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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 26 September 2018 at 6:17pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The new series of Doctor Who begins on Sunday October 7th with an hour-long episode.

18:45 on BBC1.

13:45 ET BBC America.

10 self-contained stories, no returning monsters.


Edited by Robbie Moubert on 26 September 2018 at 6:22pm
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Jack Bohn
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Posted: 28 September 2018 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I was about to ask if they were adopting the Netflix model dropping all the episodes at once. My DVR, set to record new episodes of Doctor Who, had been showing an episode every hour (not on the hour). But it's settled down this morning, set to record once in the afternoon and once in the evening -- the episode descriptions have changed from the previous generic placeholders to something specific, and they are the same; I suppose BBC America has decided the showing in what will probably be the standard timeslot is also a new episode. Although the time it has set aside is an hour and 47 minutes (two hours two minutes at night, the first showing might be commercial free to keep in sync).
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 28 September 2018 at 9:39am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I read today, that the `Christmas` special, may in fact
be a `New Year` special, shown on New Year`s Day.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 28 September 2018 at 11:08am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

No Yeti yet? Why aren't there any Cyberwomen?Tsk tsk. Female Brig, female Master, now a female Doctor and no Dalekettes even as back-up singers! I better at least see a new doiley or two in the Tardis. Standards must be upheld and all.

Could the Doctor now get pregnant do you suppose? Maybe give birth to a future Will Hartnell and lend a Heinlein's 'All You Zombies' twist to the whole she-bang?
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 28 September 2018 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Rebecca, there was a Cyberwoman in Torchwood, plus The
Brigadier`s daughter has appeared in New Who, playing
virtually the same role.
Your pregnancy question is intriguing... don`t give them
ideas!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 28 September 2018 at 12:51pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Rebecca, Dalekettes? :)

Good idea!
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David Miller
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Posted: 28 September 2018 at 1:01pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Whittaker's performance reminds me of David Tennant.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 30 September 2018 at 8:31pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'm glad there are no returning monsters. Both the Cybermen and Daleks have been overused.


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Bill Collins
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Posted: 06 October 2018 at 11:45am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Brian, i would love to see returning monsters that have
not been in New Who, such as an update of The Sea
Devils!
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 07 October 2018 at 3:12pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Just watched. David Tennant as a woman... people driving around Sheffield at night in a Volvo station wagon (not that there's anything wrong with that), welding goggles, a construction crane, lots of teeth.... A good start actually! :^)

I missed the first five minutes, so have to watch the repeat again later (that's my excuse anyway).

Yes, a chorus line of Radio City Music Hall Dalekettes (if the Badoon women are worse)...
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 07 October 2018 at 4:22pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Yeah, she's definitely cribbing Tennant.  But there were a lot of worse ways for her to potentially go.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 07 October 2018 at 4:55pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Also, the new version of the theme, that can be heard beneath this season promo, is pretty back to basics.

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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 07 October 2018 at 5:10pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Reminded me a bit of both Tennant and Tom Baker, actually. Which is fine by me, since they're my two favorite Doctors. 

Disappointed that there was no opening sequence (or did I somehow miss it?), and the new sonic screwdriver looks like she stole a Cyberman's sex toy...
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 07 October 2018 at 6:28pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I found it very enjoyable. The direction was particularly good and the restrained usage of incidental music (compared to what we've had in previous seasons of 21st century Who) was a treat. I like that the main theme has gone back to something of the spooky original rather than the 'superhero' version of recent years (hopefully that will reflect the direction of the show itself).

As for the Doctor herself...yes, I liked her. I know some people are throwing out that they felt she was like a female impersonation of previous Doctors, but personally I saw something completely new and original in Whittaker's performance. Not Tennant, not Baker...she was her own...woman, and I liked that. The scene where the Doctor was welding a new sonic screwdriver really sold me on this new incarnation. A promising new beginning for an old favourite.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 07 October 2018 at 7:14pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Really enjoyed the first episode. Needed a trypophobia warning for the monster though.

My only real complaint is that between Whitaker’s Yorkshire accent and her being more soft-spoken than the previous Doctors, I had a hard time following her lines. Not as bad as Capaldi’s first season though.

The Companions are refreshingly normal. 
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 07 October 2018 at 11:35pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Michael>>The Companions are refreshingly normal. <<

Agree.  The overall tone seems pleasingly less broad, so even slightly fantastical stuff (like The Doctor making a sonic out of stuff she found lying around) seems all the more amazing.

Very much enjoyed The Doctor's descriptions of what regeneration was like. 

Also liked how I could really feel the confidence of the companions in The Doctor growing by the moment.

And tooth creature.  Jeebus.



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Bill Collins
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Posted: 07 October 2018 at 11:49pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

She will have echoes of previous Doctor`s, as did her
male forebears!
I see the monster only took perfect teeth, no fillings
for him! ;-)
I liked the bit of the theme tune as she appeared in the
train!

Also, there were no opening titles in this episode, we
have to wait until ep 2 for those!
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Jim Muir
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Posted: 08 October 2018 at 3:56am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I thought it was quite touching as a TV drama and would
have worked so much better without all that alien,
scifi stuff in it!

Still, it went well. A solid performance by Whittaker
and likeable companions plus a return to the simple
'alien of the week' format favored by Russell T Davies
makes it much easier to digest for the casual viewer. I
expect a success for the BBC.
(I also expect a backlash from diehard fans of the last
few seasons - it's worlds apart from the Moffat's
approach)

Cant add anything on the new sonic screwdriver that
hasn't been mentioned already (!) and I hope they don't
draw out the missing Tardis too much!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 October 2018 at 6:20am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I don't miss the excessive use of incidental music!

As Mr Muir said, a solid performance by Whittaker - and likeable companions.

The story was reasonable, I suppose (made me think of PREDATOR), but nothing I haven't seen elsewhere.

I did like the characters, though, and will enjoy seeing them interact.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 08 October 2018 at 8:22am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I too, thought Predator, but what challenge is there in
hunting an average young man?
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 08 October 2018 at 10:08am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Bill>>but what challenge is there in 
hunting an average young man?<< 

Well, if you're cheating like all get-out like Tooth Boy was, none at all.  But if the rules were followed, no weapons, etc. It'd probably be pretty challenging?  He'd tend to stick out and draw a lot of hostile attention to himself if he had to use an internet cafe or something.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 08 October 2018 at 11:54am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I don't think the comparisons to Tennant are meant as an insult to Whittaker's performance.  For a couple reasons.  First, pretty much all actors playing an established part try to 'find' the character through other interpretations.  Matt Smith for example said he got a handle on the Doctor after watching Troughton.  Since Whittaker and Tennant are friends and have worked together in the past, his performance may have been a natural way into the character for her.  

Second, when you have a new actor playing an established character, especially when its the first female actor to play the character, its important at the beginning to establish continuity of character.  Yes, this is still the Doctor you've come to know and love all these years.  As her time in the role continues, I'm sure there will come to be a bunch of 'Whittaker' things that she will bring to the character.  But if you start playing the character very differently right from the jump, you risk alienating a lot of your fans.

That said, I think this transition, even though in many ways it was a much bigger transition, was handled much better than when Capaldi took over the role, and we spent the better (or worse) part of a series hearing meta-commentary on the fact that this was a different Doctor but that's okay, tying up plot danglers from Matt Smith's era, and episodes focusing on Smith's supporting cast rather than the new Doctor.  This first episode to me felt a lot like the first episode of NuWho, like a relaunch, rather than a recasting.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 08 October 2018 at 12:16pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Since Whittaker and Tennant are friends and have worked together in the past, his performance may have been a natural way into the character for her.

———

Upon a second viewing, I felt her similarity to previous Doctors was deliberate. In addition to Tennant, there were some lines that I thought could have come from Smith and Capaldi’s Doctors. When the Doctor was trying to explain regeneration to her new companions, she said:


 QUOTE:
“Right now, I’m a stranger to myself. There’s echoes of who I was, and a sort of… call towards who I am, and I have to hold my nerve and trust all these new instincts, shape myself towards them. I’ll be fine. In the end. Hopefully.”

I thought her performance reflected that. She was sorting through past versions of herself until she could figure out who she was in the end. 
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 08 October 2018 at 12:35pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Reposting two posts I made on a Doctor Who specific forum, but I think they add to the discussion here:

(We were rating /10, btw)

7 for me.

It wasn't terrible but it wasn't fantastic either. It's an introductory story so I'm cutting it a little bit of slack. This episode had to accomplish a number of things including getting viewers over the gender hump so I think that writing the perfect opening episode was a nearly impossible task. I'm not particularly a fan of Chibnal's writing -- he's written what I consider to be arguably the worst dreck ever to have the names "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood" hung on it (and that's pretty damn bad for TW!) but this wasn't as stunningly awful as his NuWho Silurian episodes.

Where I feel his stories are a letdown are in the logistics and timing of events -- things tend to happen for reasons only to push the story along but then are coveniently ignored when they no longer serve their purpose, eg. Ryan's inability to ride a bike only affects him when he's riding a bike and the Doctor also is able to whip up a sonic screwdriver in less time than it takes to melt the metal (as evidenced by the "Hey, we found something on the computer" line) but we still get a pointless scene of her melting the metal with a torch and soldering the electronics. Daft stuff like that makes me stop and think "Wait... what?" and I'm pulled out of the narrative and feel compelled to rewind to double check that was what I actually saw. 

Notes, comments, questions:

*For being an extended length episode it really wasted those precious extra minutes on car trips, slow crane climbs, and a someone repeatedly falling off a bike.

*For a guy with supposed coordination/balance issues he seems to walk and climb cranes just fine but the minute he touches a bicycle he starts having convulsions like he's allergic to it. Who knew dyspraxia was so selective?

*One episode in and one of the companions has already pulled an 'Adric', and two others are collateral damage. Sheesh.

*What's with the crappy 'hunter' who apparently can run faster than most humans but as soon as he has to climb a crane and walk the gantry he's suddenly slower than cold molasses?

*Is it just me or did the Doctor look better in Capaldi's costume than Capaldi ever did? I'll reserve judgement on her actual costume until I see more of it.

*A number of Jodi's lines sounded like Chibnal talking to old Doctor Who fans, reassuring them that everything will be ok. It's eerily similar to Moffs lines for Capaldi's opener where he reassures the audience that it's ok if the Doctor isn't young like he used to be (in the new series, at least).

More comments when I think of some...

----------------------

It just occrred to me that the sacrifical Nan character was a bit of a paradigm shift.

Normally these Doctor and series opener episodes at least have the regular fanbase behind them but this episode needed to convince both new and old fans that it was still the same show. So elderly white male Graham who traditatonally would have narratively represented the erm... old white pasty Doctor Who fans, doesn't. He would have taken on some of the recovering Doctor's role in the story and said the lines designed appease and assure that part of the viewiership not to worry, that this was Doctor Who. Instead he kind of becomes part of the background furniture. 

The Nan however stepped up into that role perfectly. She's likable, curious, brave, boisterous, has little regret, speaks not only her mind but nuggets of wisdom to every character, willing to help people she doesn't know, charges into a fight without concern for her safety and dies heroically battling an enemy she didn't have to. Pretty much every quality we like about previous Doctors is distilled into her and ironically she's the one designed to help the old fans. Tragically falling from a height and dying surrounded by his friends -- excatly the way Tom Baker left the show. 

It's actually kind of brilliant on Chibnal's part because it indirectly shows that superficialities like a female lead are irrelevant if the character acts and behaves like the Doctor should. Hopefully Jodi is just as good at being the Doctor as the Nan.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 8:20am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

The first episode got around 8 million viewers in the
U.K.
I`m wondering how many will stick around after watching
for the novelty aspect? Plus, ITV are showing a
Coronation Street themed celebrity special of quiz show
The Chase, hosted by Bradley Walsh at the same time this
Sunday?
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