Doctor Who

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Thad
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:51 pm

It's weird how many people in the Song of Megaptera interviews say they were surprised by how old it was because it felt so current. Because to me it felt EXACTLY like it was written in the late 1970's by somebody doing an impression of Douglas Adams. It's about a space whale being chased by evil corporate whalers, consisting of colorful characters including two dumb security guards and a computer that goes through three different personalities.

(In fairness, those weren't all in the original script; the interviews say that the guards weren't written as comic relief until the script was adapted for radio, and I'm pretty sure the script didn't have the computer saying "leet" and "kekeke" when it was originally written either.)

In fact writer Pat Mills (co-creator of Judge Dredd!) says that this was his first TV script and, before he wrote it, he was given a set of acerbic script notes Douglas Adams had given to previous writers to prepare him. So I can't help wondering if he deliberately (or subconsciously?) produced a script that he thought would please Douglas Adams.

Turns out it didn't matter, because by the time he handed in the script, Douglas Adams and Tom Baker were out and Eric Saward and Peter Davison were in, and he had to rewrite it. Saward passed; he rewrote it a few years later for Colin Baker, Saward passed again, and Big Finish adapted it in 2010.

It's not much of a story, really, but it's got a good cast and they get to ham it up. (A highlight is a delirious Peri singing The Star-Spangled Banner and asking for a Dalek as a pet.)

Ultimately, I liked it okay but can't recommend it for $13.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sun May 31, 2015 1:34 pm

The Beat has a six-page preview of Paul Cornell's upcoming crossover with the Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and War Doctors.

Cornell's in downtown Phoenix at the moment, at the local Comicon. I'm not going to make it there this year but he's one of the two guests I'd be pretty excited to meet if I were there (the other is Jim motherfucking Steranko).

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:19 pm




I was more excited about the one where the Doctor teams up with Gandalf, Batman, and Homer Simpson than the one where he teams up with Arya Stark, until I found out it was another Skylanders/Amiibo/Disney Infinity thing. Though at least in this case the figures are Legos. Legos ARE pretty awesome.

(Also that looked like the Sisterhood of Karn again? I should probably watch Brain of Morbius. Doesn't seem to be on either Netflix or Hulu, but the DVD is only $14 at Amazon.)

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:27 pm

Big Finish has some deals going.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:55 pm


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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:43 am

Also, Four Doctors #1 is out today.

Image

Yes, it is self-aware.

And Paul Cornell wrote it. Paul Cornell, lest we forget, is one of the writers of The Discontinuity Guide, a book which, among other things, proposes an entire offscreen season between The War Games and Spearhead from Space where the Time Lords send the Second Doctor and his companions on a bunch of errands before executing and mind-wiping them, respectfully, just to explain away a bunch of continuity errors in The Five Doctors and The Two Doctors.

So, as you would expect from somebody who pays that level of attention to continuity problems, yes a lot of the issue is taken up with conversations about all the reasons this story is logically impossible (Ten and Eleven couldn't have met prior to Day of the Doctor because Ten didn't recognize Eleven when they met then; neither Ten nor Eleven could have met Twelve because Eleven thought he was on his last regeneration in Time of the Doctor, and so on). This is much more fun than it sounds.

In fact it's really pretty delightful; Cornell has a great deal of insight into the Doctor in all four incarnations we see here (War in the prelude, 10-12 in the main story), but the best part is hearing the three companions compare notes about their respective versions. (Ten and Eleven have companions who are original to the comics, while Twelve has Clara. Whose motivation is to prevent this teamup from ever happening, because she's been told it will bring about the end of the universe. As you might guess, she fails to prevent the teamup from happening.)

While honestly very little happens and most of the issue just involves the companions and Doctors meeting in a cafe in Paris in 1923, it really is a hell of a lot of fun so far, from the character stuff to the dialogue to the continuity nitpicking, and I look forward to finding out where Cornell's going with it. I expect that this time the paradoxes will get a more satisfying explanation than "everybody's memory got erased" (and the last-page cliffhanger may have a clue -- let's not forget this isn't Cornell's first time dealing with paradoxes).

I've been talking exclusively about Cornell, and haven't mentioned the artist, Neil Edwards. Well, Edwards didn't blow me away; his work is serviceable but looks a lot like the House Style stuff you see everywhere lately. He does a great action sequence at the beginning, and manages to keep the book interesting even when it's mostly talking heads. He draws the Doctors and Clara clearly enough that you can tell who's who without tripping that uncanny valley thing where it starts to bug me when an artist draws actors instead of characters.

Also it amuses me that the War Doctor is still only depicted in silhouette on the final cover; I had assumed that was just something they did for the preview cover and that he'd be filled in in the final version since they revealed he was going to be in it months ago (and also he appears two pages into the comic anyway).

Anyhow! I haven't been following Doctor Who comics for the last few years (not since they switched from Ten to Eleven, and the only stuff I've seen since the license moved from IDW to Titan was this year's FCBD issue), but I picked this up because I expected it would be good coming from Cornell, and I was not disappointed. I want to see what happens next -- and fortunately I won't have to wait very long, since this thing is weekly.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:59 pm

River's coming back for the Christmas special.

I think that makes good sense. Yes, her arc already has an end, a middle, a beginning, some more middle that kind of includes its own beginning and end, and another end, but it was implied from the get-go that she knew the Doctor in multiple incarnations prior to meeting Ten.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Grath » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:35 pm

Thad wrote:River's coming back for the Christmas special.

I think that makes good sense. Yes, her arc already has an end, a middle, a beginning, some more middle that kind of includes its own beginning and end, and another end, but it was implied from the get-go that she knew the Doctor in multiple incarnations prior to meeting Ten.

Also: Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey, deal with it.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:19 pm

Well, right, the reasons against bringing her back aren't logistical, they're just that she overstayed her welcome during 11's run. But by Christmas it'll be two seasons and two and a half years since the last time we saw her.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Sharkey » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:17 pm

I actually really liked River as a character in her first appearance, and rewatching a little while ago helped me put my finger on exactly why I haven't particularly cared about her since. The first time she shows up she's engaging not just because she pretty much has the advantage of everybody, but because she clearly has a life beyond some mysterious past with the doctor. She's a space-trotting, adventuring archaeologist with a lot of hinted at past that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with him. She apparently dated androids? She's a formidable character in her own right, and acts as the first competent (or more competent) protagonist foil for the doctor since, I dunno.... Romana, probably. That's the sort of character I could have actually believed him falling in love with at some point.

Flash forward a couple years and her entire life has revolved around him since before she was even born. The sum total of her existence is to be the doctor's goddaughter/murderer/lover/wife while rattling off catch phrases and cheesy innuendo. The fact that Moffatt can't write female characters to save his life is almost undermined by the fact that he actually did. Once. And then he completely gutted her over the course of a dozen more appearances.

I'm not really holding out hope for this one, partly because River has become such a caricature that I spent most of Smith's finale pretty much convinced that the Papal Mainframe chick must be her somehow, but mostly on account of the fact that the Christmas episodes have pretty much always sucked. I've got my fingers crossed that putting those two calamities together may end up in so-bad-it's-good territory.

That said, I actually like Alex Kingston a lot, and really would like to see how she works opposite Capaldi. I'd just rather she were playing the character that we were introduced to rather than the one we ended up getting in the end.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:29 pm

Yeah, I think that's about right; he took away her agency. (And let's not forget that, as good as her first appearance was, he kinda whiffed it on the ending; the Doctor "saves" her to leave her in a virtual world with fake children, yay?)

I've actually liked probably about half of the Christmas shows (The Next Doctor, A Christmas Carol, The Snowmen, Time of the Doctor, Last Christmas, and does the second half of The End of Time count even though it aired on New Year's Day?), so we'll see. I think the fact that her arc has run its course actually bodes well for moving her forward; there's no mysterious backstory to fill in anymore. She doesn't need to be a plot device this time (though obviously she still could be).

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:33 pm


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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:56 am

I read an interview with Moffat where he said the pitch for this one was "Let's do the big finale right at the beginning of the season," and yeah, that's pretty clearly the mission statement here.

Nice having Capaldi actually be fun for a few minutes in this one, and I enjoyed it, but man, it's really more of a crowded kitchen sink/Moffat thematic Bingo (in just the first five minutes we've got unseen monsters, eyes, holes in the ground, someone being told not to move, an origin retcon, the Doctor disappearing off somewhere to avoid facing his possible demise, a psychotic female, and more references to Old Who than you can shake a stick at) than anything that really holds together.

Still, it WAS pretty fun.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:19 am

Also, apparently Big Finish is doing a sale every weekend to coincide with the new season.

This weekend it's The Novel Adaptations vol 1 for $20. Apparently it's an adaptation of two Gareth Roberts novels, The Romance of Crime and The English Way of Death, starring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Bal » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:16 pm

I really enjoy the idea that the Doctor has had a second bite at Genesis of the Daleks, and decides yes, if you know someone will go on to kill countless billions, you SHOULD kill them. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:55 am

Well, I think it's safe to assume that next week's episode will not actually begin with him shooting a child.

They've been re-litigating the "Have I the right?" scene in one way or another for forty years, but I'm okay with that; it really is a question with no answer.

In a pretty overstuffed episode, the Doctor/Davros scenes really were a nice, quietly simmering anchor. As often as they've had this same conversation, Moffat did a pretty good job of finding a new angle on it.

Missy was pretty well-served here too; they walked the line of making her seem like she really is the Doctor's friend and cares about him and wants to rescue him, while still making it clear that she is psychotic and will fucking murder you for fun.

(Also her indignance at the Doctor referring to someone else as his nemesis was a highlight.)

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Mothra » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:58 am

Ugh... okay, I just caught up. The season's villains were seriously the Master and the Cybermen? Did Russel T. Davis write this thing?

I want to like Missy but she keeps incinerating people all the time. Like, she'll do something to become a fun character, then kill someone to re-assert that she's evil. Do you want your character to be fun and demented, or do you want her to be dangerous and violent? I really like the idea of her traveling with the Doctor, but am I supposed to swallow that the Doctor just isn't REALLY gonna give a shit that she keeps murdering people around him all season?

Anyways, I loved the Davros opening in this latest one, a lot. The hands, the one unending war, the reveal. Then they just upped and left for the entire duration of an episode before winding up where they started. For the life of me, I cannot remember anything that happened between the opening and closing scenes besides Missy blowing a few people up.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Sharkey » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:50 pm

The Doctor was one Wubalubadubdub from going full fucking Rick Sanchez. I'm surprisingly okay with that.

I liked it, but I feel like if you made a Moffat bingo drinking game this one would kill you a third of the way in.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:59 pm

Yeah, I said much the same thing by the time we got to the eye monsters.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Grath » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:04 pm

Sharkey wrote:The Doctor was one Wubalubadubdub from going full motherfucking Rick Sanchez. I'm surprisingly okay with that.

I liked it, but I feel like if you made a Moffat bingo drinking game this one would kill you a third of the way in.

I just started the episode and I'm pretty sure I'd be drunk by the time the opening credits rolled.

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