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What's this? A Doctor Who thread?
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aderack
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:22 am    Post subject: What's this? A Doctor Who thread? Reply with quote

Apparently!



So Tennant is, in all likelihood, going to hang around at least through 2010 -- for a minimum of four and a half seasons (the "half" referring to the "gap year" in 2009). That'll put him solidly as the third longest-lasting Doctor in terms of televised seasons. As concerns "real time" in the role, it'll put him even with Jon Pertwee (at five years) -- though if you count that way, McCoy and McGann are by far the longest-serving Doctors, at nine apiece.

As far as individual stories go, it'll probably tally 47, compared with Tom Baker's 42, making him solidly the most storied Doctor. Of course, the stories generally last half as long as in the old days.

In terms of actual screentime, that's (45 * 13 * 4) + (60 * 4) + (? * 3), with "?" representing the length of the 2009 specials. That's 43:00 hours, plus... 3? 4-1/2? It brings him in right under Troughton and Pertwee. If he stops after series five, he'll be pretty much in the same league as the first four Doctors.
    Tom Baker has 74:10.
    Bill Hartnell has 55:50.
    Jon Pertwee has 51:40.
    Pat Troughton has 49:35.
If he does a fifth full series (that would be series six), it'll just squeeze him past Hartnell, placing him second only to Tom Baker. Or would that be third?

I'd not be totally surprised if that were Tennant's plan all along. On the other hand, series five seems like a dramatically appropriate time to leave. A year of anticipation for his final series; a new, HD-ready production; a new production team. He can lead in the new era of the show, before handing off to the new team's Doctor.

Or he could keep going. Whatever.

Anyway, current topic: The Sarah Jane Adventures. Invasion of the Bane was really promising. Revenge of the Slitheen was... poorly pitched. Eye of the Gorgon was pretty good! The first part was better than the second. All in all, the series is shaping up well enough. If they could ditch everyone except the kids and Maria's parents, it would be even more interesting. I guess thems the rubs, though.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I disconnected my TV I missed the third series on the sci-fi channel. I still need to get the first two series back from my Father in-law. He made a strange comment about how he thought that the first series was too different from the regular Dr. Who and he liked it much better once Tennant took over. That struck me pretty strangely.

Anyways, yeah, I need to get through with this damn Key of Time saga crap so I can start watching the good stuff. I should probably just torrent the series until it comes out on DVD in the US. There's a huge gap in time for that stuff.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The series three set is coming in early November. The sixth, apparently. So not that long.

Tennant is a more obviously "traditional" Doctor. A lot of old casual fans ("There's no beating Tom Baker!!") had trouble dealing with Eccleston. He's not weird enough for their impression of the character. Too moody. And he looks all wrong. They're expecting a posh British-flavor eccentric. And Tennant certainly captures that side of the character. Where Eccleston is withdrawn, Tennant is detached. Where Eccleston is manic depressive, Tennant is simply manic. From prickly to goofy.

Curiously, Tennant also seems to better engage new audiences. In particular, women. I also keep noticing people who say they ignored the show when Eccleston was in it, and only really started to notice it when Tennant took over. The old series is dry and not particularly appealing, and somehow Eccleston kind of gets lumped in with it. Sort of.

For me, I guess the big difference is that Eccleston played the role damned well -- he's probably the best actor to ever take it, and put a really interesting and original spin on the character -- and Tennant absorbed the role. Swallowed it, and made it a part of him. Series three really drives that home.

It probably helps that he was a mega fan of the show to start with. I just read a circa-1990 interview with him for a high school paper, where he suggests his ambition as an actor, if he has one, is perhaps to eventually play the Doctor. There's an interesting episode of Doctor Who Confidential -- the one associated with "Blink" this year. He directed it, hosted it, narrated it. Basically, he went on a spiritual journey to all sorts of Who-related locations ("this is where they filmed The Silurians!!"), and talked with various people about how the show might have affected them.

I guess the result is, when you look in his eyes, you can pretty much see the same person embodied in most of the classic Doctors. Although the take is different, more yippy, you can see the basic character in there. Which is pretty damned creepy, on a level.

I still find Eccleston more refreshing. If nothing else, though, Tennant has spirit.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
Curiously, Tennant also seems to better engage new audiences. In particular, women.

I'm assuming you mean in general, because my wife enjoyed (and was only interested in the series) because of Eccleston.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I'm talking about your wife. She's trying to throw you off your guard. Watch out!

It's just, notice all of the drippy women-run blogs and communities devoted to drooling over David Tennant. I think maybe because he's a non-threatening geeky puppy dog.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
It's just, notice all of the drippy women-run blogs and communities devoted to drooling over David Tennant. I think maybe because he's a non-threatening geeky puppy dog.

c.f. anime fandoms

Dr. Who is Britain's anime.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boo who
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gundam is Japan's WWII history substitute.

but we could do this all day.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dracko wrote:
Dr. Who is Britain's anime.

The King of Fighters is the Doctor Who of videogames.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is now the fourth forum this thread has been on. Fifth, if you count IC's 2005 wipe.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good thing it packs small.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Travels light, but buys new socks once it arrives.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright guys, let's do this!

it's morphin' time!

I mean, uh, yo.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

they're all coming out of the woodwork now
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dess, this is the first time I've seen your blog, but it is classy.

aderack wrote:
just read a circa-1990 interview with him for a high school paper, where he suggests his ambition as an actor, if he has one, is perhaps to eventually play the Doctor.


If you can find the link for this, I'd like to read it!


Last edited by Ashura on Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, thank you
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, I don't know where that might have been. It was maybe four or five days ago. If it turns up again, I'll let you know. It was an old cutting, maybe 500 words, that someone scanned in and put on his webspace. Tennant (then MacDonald) looked twelve. Though he was probably sixteen or something.

Is it just me, or is Tennant's face getting way craggier than when he started? Half the time now it seems like he's channeling Patrick Troughton.



Or Scooby Doo.

Also.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there's something weird about how he tends to look like a lot of the different doctors due to the angles. Like there's one promotional pic where he looks like Davidson.

Also, that picture almost looked fisheyed in a way. Not extremely but it's way up close and such.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
Is it just me, or is Tennant's face getting way craggier than when he started?

Here's three hints: He's a total twat, can't act and tries way too hard.

Bring back Eccleston, for Christ's sake.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see how that would crease his face.

They don't seem to mind.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
Or Scooby Doo.

I see this much more frequently.
Dracko wrote:
Bring back Eccleston, for Christ's sake.

Or McGann
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patrick macgoohan
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
They don't seem to mind.

They'll fangirl to anything (as long as it's not challenging).

dessgeega wrote:
patrick macgoohan

We could use an old doctor again.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a brand new, restored version of The Prisoner coming out on DVD soon. There were some comparison shots somewhere...

There we go. Pretty interested in this; I've only seen one episode, and it looked horrible and I didn't really know anything about the show at the time.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. Though I already own the older box set, it looks good enough to me, considering its age, so I doubt I'll be shilling out for this restored version. At least not any time in the near future.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
<a href="http://www.networkdvd.co.uk/prisoner/priscomparison.htm">There we go</a>. Pretty interested in this; I've only seen one episode, and it looked horrible and I didn't really know anything about the show at the time.

That's pretty impressive! They should restore this too.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it just me, or does the shot with the girl crying look less-detailed in the restored version?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashura wrote:
Is it just me, or does the shot with the girl crying look less-detailed in the restored version?

The tears are much more subtle, yes.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was the one shot where I thought the original was better than the restored.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The restored version is a lot yellower.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ironically -- and confusingly -- A&E released a Region 1 "40th Anniversary Edition" set of The Prisoner over a year ago, but it was just a mild slim-case repacking: the actual discs in that release were identical to A&E's previous releases.

Given that, and the likely messy licensing involved for DVD distribution in different regions, I wonder if there's any chance of the new restoration making it to North America any time soon.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember seeing comparison pictures between the VHS tapes and the original DVD set way back when.

This doesn't really seem dramatic enough to give me any buyer's remorse.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to compare the new version to the VHS.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Who managed an entry in this article with the death-by-plastic-chair scene. (But the list is horribly incomplete without Highlander 2.)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's kind of arbitrary. I guess he felt compelled to find something!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That list has a few good entries. Notably: "2 - Brian Herbert wants to remodel his house"
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#8 is perceptive.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I liked that one too and I've never even really watched the channel (but can extrapolate from experiences with the equivalent Canadian channel.)

The slightly parodic could-be-any-episode descriptions are good:
The Incredible Hulk - Bruce Banner fights a racist sheriff.
Highlander - A greasy Frenchman may be more than he seems
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even the station identification stuff back then was charming as all hell. Claymation creatures bathing in lava pools on asteroids. Then that USA producer dame took over and it became all slick and boring.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have about 30 VHS tapes somewhere of Transformers when it aired on SciFi Channel's Cartoon Quest, and they have tons of the commercial PSAs and stuff from back then. Like the fake news reports from the future, and the up close segements with people who work in SciFi, like George Takei. I'll have to see about capturing some of it.

Also, Aderack, I dropped you an email the other day.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, Tennant is a pretty good Doctor. Eccleston was difficult to look at and had a stupid leather jacket. McGann is a dong.

Fun fact: While the last series of Doctor Who was on my housemates had a Doctor Who club. Every week I nearly got kicked out because I kept falling asleep. I don't like watching Doctor Who (or most of this sort of TV for that matter) because it's really inconsistant depending on the writer is this week; however, I have to concede that last series' 'Blink' episode with the statues was stupendously good.

The writer of that episode, Stephen Moffat wrote a sitcom called 'Coupling'. It's kind of like Friends but even more annoying, shiny and middle-class. However the scripts do on occasion show the same dazzling level of cleverness as his Doctor Who scripts, so I'd recommend it to anyone who liked those.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashura wrote:
Also, Aderack, I dropped you an email the other day.

You did! I haven't figured out how to respond yet. I'll sort it out.

Also, remember how every single commercial on Sci-Fi used to be for the Psychic Friends network?

Moffat also wrote Jekyll, which is half-amazing. Then it starts tripping over itself and getting boring and inward-turned, in the second half. And he's doing the Tintin movies.

Here's something everyone can agree on: Troughton was a good Doctor.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like Tom Baker.

How in the name of balls is he going to turn Tintin into a character people like? If he can do that and remain faithful to the spirit of the comics it will be an incredible achievement. The Tintin of the french-canadian cartoon version is the most asinine little twerp ever committed to TV. The thing about Tintin is since he's a comic book character your eyes can pass over him and onto the other characters- he's a vehicle for you to step into the adventure. On film, you can't ignore the sexless freak. That's why Tintin's never worked in animation.

There's been a pretty well-recieved stage adaptation of Tintin in Tibet in London lately, I wonder how what their treatment of him is like.

I wonder what a first-person play would be like? Imagine a play where all the characters keep addressing the audience as 'Gordon'.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would involve a lot of moving floors.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
Also, remember how every single commercial on Sci-Fi used to be for the Psychic Friends network?


That and Richard C. Hoagland's Mars: A Terrestrial Connection.

That commercial drove me nuts as a kid. I can probably still recite the whole thing.

DO YOU SEE A FACE?!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aderack wrote:
Moffat also wrote Jekyll, which is half-amazing. Then it starts tripping over itself and getting boring and inward-turned, in the second half. And he's doing the Tintin movies.


I finally watched that the other week; I've been meaning to comment on it here.

It really falls apart in the last episode. All the hand-waving and half-formed intentions of the first half of the series -- which were acceptable at the time, but (by convention) needed to eventually be explained -- pile up and crush the ending in a chaotic, muddled mess that ... makes sense in story terms, but doesn't in plot terms. The overweighted ending also doesn't leave a lot of space for Moffat's trademark wit and cleverness, that helped make the first 2/3rds really shine.

Structurally, it's pretty interesting the way it stands in the middle between a mini-series and something episodic. Individual episodes have their own framing, and have a big enough chunk of story in some aspect to almost stand on their own. At the same time, it's completely continuous; any time it seems to set up a status quo, everything changes, and it tries to never do the same thing twice.

What was with the intentionally bad American accents? And I say this as a person who can't remember ever complaining about bad accents in a movie/show.

A clever reference in the "daddy" stuff to Empty Child's "are you my mummy" motif.

I read on some Hollywood writers' blogs that the town was pretty abuzz about Jekyll. ... Here's a link.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fake videogame sighting.

No substantial comment after seven minutes. Wasn't looking forward to this episode, after the preview. So far it seems all right.

(SJA, this is.)

There's some weird business in the Sun about Davison wearing McCoy's costume. Don't know what that's about. I guess we'll hear something about Children in Need over the next few weeks.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way. Anyone who never spotted this, take a look around 4:00 in. See if you notice anything interesting.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom Baker's got a boner?

Also someone's hand was in shot behind Horus's chair. Even though it's probably just a BBC technician, I still got chills when I spotted it. It's quite creepy. I actually thought you were pointing out that Horus was sitting on a cushion.

By the way, one of the things I noticed in my house's Doctor Who club was that a lot of the special effects sequences in the last series were pretty unneccessary. Specifically, we didn't need to see Gallifrey, right? I'd have preferred it if they left it up to our imaginations. I dunno, what do you think?
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just said that to ensure everyone watches it again to stare at Tom Baker's crotch, didn't you.

Yeah, the special effects have been getting more gratuitous as the Mill has been getting more adept with them. I'd really prefer if they kept to practical models wherever possible. Now if they CAN show something, they make an effort to do so, whether it's necessary or appropriate or not.

That said: I think they managed to retain a certain mystique to Gallifrey. We never really got to see how things are; just a few confusing, if grand, bits of iconography. And hey, if they were gonna give some visual cues, that was as good a time as any.

And Gridlock is fun.

I think the level they hit in Human Nature is about perfect. The only obvious CG elements are a few ray blasts and smoke effects, and that shimmer to the invisible spaceship -- which I understand they did because they couldn't afford to show it. Well bravo for cost-cutting.
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