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Title: DOCTOR WHO/TORCHWOOD LATEST
Description: Martha Jones branches out


Neil Jackson - July 2, 2007 02:30 PM (GMT)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/news/cult/n.../02/46692.shtml

This just in on the BBC official site.Beware spoilers for non UK viewers.

Justin Kerswell - July 4, 2007 08:25 AM (GMT)
I see that UK comedy actress Catherine Tate (who appeared in the last Christmas special) will be the Doctor's companion throughout the next series. Should make for an interesting dynamic!

SPOILERS for series three finale:

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... John Simm is one of my favourite actors, and I thought he was wonderful as the latest reincarnation of the Master. The first part of the series finale was a belter, but I thought the series closer was a little underwhelming for some reason. Still, enjoyed the hell out of the series (despite a few weaker episodes).

The final twist seems to indicate that this year's Christmas special will be set on the Titanic (does the Tardis cause it to sink?!). Seems that Kylie Minogue will be guesting on this one.

Mark Entwistle - July 4, 2007 09:35 AM (GMT)
One of my earliest memories is hiding behind the sofa when the Yeti appeared on DR. WHO in the sixties, complete with hopeless fur costumes and completely unconvincing effects.

Now here we are with shiny digital effects and relatively huge budgets, but the show is saddled with the worst writer possible. That was the most embarrassing hour of TV since... well, since the last series of TORCHWOOD finished I suppose. I felt sorry for John Simm, who signed up to play the Master, but found himself dancing to the Scissor Sisters and being forced to overact like a loon. (In the DR WHO CONFIDENTIAL interview, he virtually apologises for his performance)

I could go on about this episode as it was the BATMAN AND ROBIN of DR WHO, but it's time for Russell T Davies to give up writing and leave it to Paul Cornell and Steven Moffatt. Assuming they want to write for the likes of Kylie Minogue and Catherine Tate.

Alan Maxwell - July 4, 2007 06:00 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Mark Entwistle @ Jul 4 2007, 03:35 AM)
I could go on about this episode as it was the BATMAN AND ROBIN of DR WHO, but it's time for Russell T Davies to give up writing and leave it to Paul Cornell and Steven Moffatt. Assuming they want to write for the likes of Kylie Minogue and Catherine Tate.

Agreed. While I didn't dislike the last episode, it wasn't as good as the handful preceeding it and it did contain some seriously misjudged scenes. I applaud RTD's work in revitalising the series for a new generation, but I really wish he'd stick to the overseeing and leave the writing for the guys who have been turning in the best episodes rather than force us to watch more high camp and gimmicky guest stars.

Catherine Tate? I'm all for reserving judgment and all that, but I can't see how this can possibly be a good thing - I certainly didn't see anything in the Christmas special to suggest she'd be a valuable addition to the cast. Bring back Sally Sparrow!

Dale Sherman - July 8, 2007 04:00 AM (GMT)
Finally saw "Runaway Bride" last night when it aired on Sci-Fi (with my hearing problems, I really had to wait until I could see the third season with closed captioning). Also watched a bit of "Smith & Jones" and ....

SPOILERS
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I know there's a lot of fans upset over Catherine Tate and her character OF Donna, but I can't say I see the problem here. In fact, I liked the idea of her character as a regular more than what I've seen so far of Martha, who seems rather dull and just a setup for another romance for the Doctor. If so, Martha is/was a terrible idea, as it makes Rose look like one in a line of girlfriends for the Hugh Hefner of Doctors. Come to think of it, I didn't much care for the Doctor trying to entice Donna into the TARDIS for a spin with a come-on line that looked like he was wanting to check out the submarine races. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if pretty soon he comes out of the ship wearing a smoking jacket and pipe and asking women if they want to see Rassilon's hot-tub.

But getting back to Donna ...

I liked the interaction between Donna and the Doctor in the episode and I think the comedy worked much better between them than even in some of the Rose episodes (which had the Doctor and Rose so giddy at times you had to wonder if there was a slow gas-leak in the TARDIS). It had a bit of the old screwball comedy feel to it that wworked due to there being something more "mature" about the relationship than seen with Rose, which I thought was a nice twist on things. At least the interplay between the characters showed a better conflict there than the typical lovey-dovey feel of the Doctor with Rose.

Is the character dense? A tad, but we've certainly had companions who were dense in the past on the show, and some even beloved by fans (Jo and Jamie for example), so that's not entirely a bad thing. Plus, with the character having been zapped into space, one could understand a bit of the shock and anger she was feeling in the early portions of the episode. One complaint I've heard more than once about Rose was that she was somehow this uneducated shop-girl who was also a calm, brainiac messiah, which seemed a bit off. No doubt, some tickering will go into the character when Donna comes back. One can just hope that Davies will not just turn Donna into Rose Mach III by the time the third season comes around.

As for "Runaway Bride" itself? I thought it rather good, and it even got my wife's interest (who usually cannot stand much in the way of DOCTOR WHO) ... until it got to the Racnoss. I don't know why it was thought terrible over-acting was the way to go there (Perhaps because it was pantomime time? That would be my guess.), but it just drove me right out of the story, while my wife laughed and said, "Ah, we're back to sucking again for DOCTOR WHO!"

Ah, but beyond that, I thought the story was okay. Better than some of the second season episodes. Almost makes me hopeful for the rest of Season Three.

But I'll see how that goes in the weeks to come. :P

Shawn Garrett - July 8, 2007 05:18 AM (GMT)
While I agree that the Racnoss was OTT, when I finally saw it for myself it seemed like what they were attempting to do, but not suceeding at, was the idea of having an alien villain who had it's own particular sense of humor that was inscrutable to non-members of it's race. Or at least that was my theory. It seemed like the Racnoss was having a jolly good time being evil!

I like the idea of bringing Donna back for a number of reasons, many of which you touched on. Hopefully, she'll put the stake into the lovey-dovey companions for a bit, and I also like the idea of a more abrasive companion along the lines of Tegan (was that here name? The brassy Australian flight attendant from the end if the Baker / start of the Davison years). I still wish they'd open things up a bit and give us a human from the past or an alien. Also, from what I've heard about the season that just finished (haven't had the chance to watch them yet), her return is a pay-off of the line from RUNAWAY BRIDE when she says she feels that The Doctor need someone around to "stop him" occasionally, so after what's transpired this last season, he may have deliberately sought her out.

I can't remember - does she actually get married at the end of THE RUNAWAY BRIDE? If so, that certainly makes for an interesting dynamic if her husband's wondering where she's galavanting off to.....

Terry Barhorst, Jr. - July 8, 2007 03:33 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Shawn Garrett @ Jul 7 2007, 11:18 PM)
I can't remember - does she actually get married at the end of THE RUNAWAY BRIDE?

No, she's still quite single at the end of the episode.

Peter Nepstad - July 10, 2007 04:55 AM (GMT)
Actually, I think Catherine Tate will be just fine as well. The series does pretty well with companion characters overall. It has much more trouble with villains, who must be told to recklessly overact. The Racnoss could have had a lot of pathos, if they could have focused on her motherly instinct, instead of on her panto acting.

A few actors can do the overacting ham bit -- John Simm certainly can. As could, in Season Two, our fearless Cyberleader. ("And how will you do that...FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE??!?!?!?!?). And the daleks are always shouting. But the new series villains have as many misfires as hits -- the Racnoss, the Wire (from The Idiot's Lantern), and in season three, an epidemic of overacting villains.

And regarding Russell T. Davies...well, I can't agree that he's a bad writer. He writes some stuff that I just don't like, but the pacing and the dialog of his episodes are generally significantly better than those that he doesn't write, with the only exceptions being Moffatt and Cornell. As far as I can tell, Davies and Moffatt are the only ones who can write the Captain Jack character at all, certainly he comes off quite terribly in TORCHWOOD.

I noticed a marked improvement in the direction in Season Three. Season Two had a number of extremely painful scenes of the Doctor "thinking", talking to himself with a lot of quick cuts to different angles. These scenes were always painful, and happily, did not return in the new Season.

-- Peter



Terry Barhorst, Jr. - August 9, 2007 03:41 PM (GMT)
**Kinda Spoilery**

This is from the Sun (and nothing's confirmed):











Gandhi is new leader of Daleks

But it's much too fun not to share.

Neil Jackson - August 10, 2007 05:18 PM (GMT)
Link

...and some official BBC news.

Domenick Fraumeni - October 16, 2007 12:23 AM (GMT)
I'm two episodes into TORCHWOOD and I already like it a great deal. It's hip, sexy, funny, and pretty brave, for a genre show. It's a lot like watching an adult version of THE X-FILES, but funnier and without the pretentiousness that the show unfortunately developed later on.

And I love Catherine Tate. Sure, Donna's a bit of an airhead, but Tate pulls it off so well, and she's a genuinely funny actress. i think she'll make a great companion, from what I've seen.

Chester Berne - November 12, 2007 12:25 AM (GMT)
To be honest, I've been growing a little tired of TORCHWOOD as they chased their alien of the week, but I thought I would give it another shot and watched OUT OF TIME last night and I think it's the best episode yet, I loved it! It was just very good human interactions, from the comic to the tragic. I really hope they have more episodes such as this one.

And from watching the run of DR. WHO's on SciFi on Friday, it's nice to know Queen Victoria was the one who started TORCHWOOD!

Tom Kessler - November 12, 2007 05:57 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Mark Entwistle @ Jul 4 2007, 09:35 AM)
I could go on about this episode as it was the BATMAN AND ROBIN of DR WHO,...

You've clearly never seen the 1996 FOX t.v. movie.

Mark Entwistle - November 12, 2007 11:02 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Tom Kessler @ Nov 11 2007, 11:57 PM)
You've clearly never seen the 1996 FOX t.v. movie.

Of course I have, although I didn't realise Fox paid for it until now. That was more like the BATMAN FOREVER of DR. WHO, at the time I was disappointed but I had no idea how low it could go...

It didn't work at all but at least it didn't camp up the whole concept and wink at the audience relentlessly like a second-rate comic.

Tom Kessler - November 13, 2007 02:40 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Mark Entwistle @ Nov 12 2007, 11:02 AM)
Of course I have, although I didn't realise Fox paid for it until now.  That was more like the BATMAN FOREVER of DR. WHO, at the time I was disappointed but I had no idea how low it could go...

It didn't work at all but at least it didn't camp up the whole concept and wink at the audience relentlessly like a second-rate comic.

I'll have to take your word on that season finale for now since I still have to finish up Series 2, but I still maintain that DOCTOR WHO will never be more self-conscious or campy than the FOX movie. If you haven't seen it in 11 years, you may be horrified to note just how far it goes.

*MAJOR SPOILERS for the FOX movie (includes SPOILERS for the ending)*


Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I actually enjoy the t.v. movie because it's the "big budget" DR. WHO movie that my adolescent self always wanted. It flaunts series elements popularized during the Tom Baker era and inflates them into iconic gimmicks with flashy special effects, slick production values and even a motorcycle chase thrown in for good measure.

In less than 90 minutes (sans commercials), this movie manages to work in a reference to the Daleks, Gallifrey, The Master, The Cloister Bell, The Eye of Harmony and, of course, regeneration. It doesn't do so in the service of the story so much as to cram in as many references as it could to make fans happy while cranking up the stylized direction like Russell Mulcahy on a sugar rush.

Thus we get The Doctor getting gunned down by thugs the minute he steps out of The TARDIS (heh, it was bound to happen some time), and resurrecting with lightning flashing and a couple of guards watching FRANKENSTEIN on t.v. (get it?). Furthermore, our Frankendoctor pads out of the morgue wrapped in a shroud which makes him look like Jesus (get it?).

We also have the new companion racing off to do surgery on The Doctor from a cocktail party (or something....I forget) in slow motion with steam and wind blowing her dress around.

And, of course, there's Eric Roberts as The Master. And, ya know, it's kind of a fun performance, but if Roberts isn't vamping and camping, I don't know what else to say about what he's doing.

And why does The Master act like The Terminator for the space of one scene? Well, it's to nudge the audience in the ribs as if to say, "We've raised DR. WHO to the level of THE TERMINATOR!! Dig it!!!" I can't remember if The Master tells the hospital attendant that he'll be back, but he may as well have done.

And as far as winking at the audience, there's a later scene with The Master posing as an ambulance attendant (The Master of disguise, I guess?) and I swear to you that he almost literally winks in that scene. When the obnoxious new companion tries to pass The Doctor off as a loon, Roberts smirks and shakes his head. Really, now.

So, yeah. When I finally dig into Series 3 after the holidays, I'll be inwardly challenging it to give me a spectacle more campy and self-conscious than this film.

Don't forget that the t.v. movie ends with The TARDIS actually EATING The Master and belching. Russell's season finale has a lot to live up to. :P

Dale Sherman - November 14, 2007 03:03 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Tom Kessler @ Nov 13 2007, 08:40 AM)
*MAJOR SPOILERS for the FOX movie (includes SPOILERS for the ending)*



...Don't forget that the t.v. movie ends with The TARDIS actually EATING The Master and belching.  Russell's season finale has a lot to live up to.



... You mean like RTD having a trashcan eat a person and belch in the very first episode of the first season? ;)

Actually, I recently dubbed my copy of the '97 Television Movie to DVD-R and have to admit that it holds up pretty well since that time. McGann makes for an interesting choice as a Doctor and seemed up to give it go (and I'm happy to see him liking the role enough to agree to do some audio stories now as the Eigth Doctor). Story wasn't that horrible of a rebirth for the show either, and - darn it - I LIKED the FRANKENSTEIN scene! :lol:

Perfect? Oh, absolutely not. But I don't cringe while watching it as I did with some of the second and third season episodes from RTD. And I'd gladly take The Master via TERMINATOR over one via Graham Norton anyday.

Lisa Larkin - November 14, 2007 07:29 AM (GMT)
What I like the most about the Fox movie is the TARDIS itself. It's very cozy, someplace I could see spending a lot of time, unlike the current TARDIS which doesn't seem to have any comforts at all. If I'm traveling through space and time, I want a comfy chair and a wood-paneled sitting room with a fireplace like the 8th Doctor.

Jeff Wilson - November 14, 2007 03:28 PM (GMT)
Whatever the faults of the new incarnation of the series, I haven't seen anything as abysmal as the worst of the original run. Even "Last of the Timelords" didn't plumb the depths like "The Mutants," "Horns of Nimon," about half of Davison's run, much of Colin Baker's run, and much of McCoy's run, which were all grotesquely bad (although "Nimon" is at least uber-cheesy fun). The only story I felt was really awful from the most recent season was the Dalek two-parter, which seemed to be channeling the original series in its use of a prodigiously cheesy monster design and the ridiculous pig creatures, which couldn't be taken seriously for a second.

On another note, has anyone else been watching the SARAH JANE ADVENTURES? I've liked it so far, though I could have done without the Slitheen returning.

Dale Sherman - November 15, 2007 02:19 AM (GMT)
I must concede to your argument, Jeff. I guess if I ever feel bad about a new episode I can always chant the mantra, "The tree won't harm you ..."


Mike Metzler - November 15, 2007 08:35 PM (GMT)
Just saw the Third Series episode "Blink" and it (along with THE SOPRANOS) is some of the best TV I've seen in 10 years.
More Moffat!

Jeff Wilson - November 16, 2007 03:16 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Dale Sherman @ Nov 14 2007, 08:19 PM)
I must concede to your argument, Jeff.  I guess if I ever feel bad about a new episode I can always chant the mantra, "The tree won't harm you ..."



Hah, I actually bought the DVD of "Mark of the Rani" when it came out, having sort-of fond memories of it from my misspent youth as a Who-fanatic, and upon revisiting it, it was plainly apparent how crap it really was. At least i only spent about $10 on it. What's amazing is how many fans still want the Rani to be brought back...

Tim Rogerson - November 16, 2007 11:17 AM (GMT)
Agree - some of the Tom Baker stuff under Nathan-Turner's reign is abysmally bad (usually the final episode). Underworld in particular and also the second half of The Invisible Enemy are dire. Stones of Blood with killer rocks also.

Steve Guariento - November 16, 2007 12:28 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Tim Rogerson @ Nov 16 2007, 05:17 AM)
Agree - some of the Tom Baker stuff under Nathan-Turner's reign is abysmally bad (usually the final episode). Underworld in particular and also the second half of The Invisible Enemy are dire. Stones of Blood with killer rocks also.

Agreed on Underworld (with the possible exception of the alleged comedy episode of The Daleks' Master Plan, this must be the worst Who ever before JNT arrived with his jester's cap and bells a-jingling for Season 18) - but this slithered in under Graham Williams' watch, as did Stones of Blood (which I like for its Gothic atmosphere and crypto-gay villainess...and hey, The Outer Limits also did sinister rock-aliens, and I liked that too).

Terry Barhorst, Jr. - November 19, 2007 10:01 PM (GMT)
Anyone else (besides me) seen the latest children in need Doctor Who 'Special'. They have a youtube clip of it at aintitcool:

DOCTOR WHO Meets A Familiar Face To Help Children In Need!!

If you're a long time fan you will get a kick out of it.

Chester Berne - November 25, 2007 04:46 PM (GMT)
I must admit, the two Captain Jack's made a darn nice looking couple last night!

Bob Cashill - December 28, 2007 04:38 AM (GMT)
David Tennant and DOCTOR WHO make a delightful appearance in the final Christmas episode of EXTRAS, which HBO is airing this month (I think it's on Saturday afternoon and is likely On Demand besides). It comes about an hour in during the 85-minute episode. I was "'aving a laugh," as Andy Millman's sitcom character says.

Chester Berne - December 29, 2007 11:03 PM (GMT)
Thanks for the heads-up on Extras, I tivo'd it last night and that section was a hoot! I also liked the bit afterward with Chef Ramsey.

Terry Barhorst, Jr. - February 14, 2008 05:41 PM (GMT)
Just saw that the first series of The Sarah Jane Adventures is going to show up on Sci-Fi this April. Series 4 of Doctor Who starts up as well.

DOCTOR WHO SEASON FOUR AND THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES COMING TO SCI FI CHANNEL IN APRIL

Terry Barhorst, Jr. - April 7, 2008 01:31 PM (GMT)
Sarah Jane Adventures starts up this Friday on SciFi at the odd time of 6:30 central and then moving to 7:00 central the week after. It looks like they're going to run two episodes at a time (for a full hour). Looking forward to this; the reviews have been quite favorable.

Terry Barhorst, Jr. - April 7, 2008 07:25 PM (GMT)
I just saw (if I understood correctly) that the new series of Doctor Who has started (Episode 1 was this weekend, I guess). Anyone care to chime in?

Alan Maxwell - April 7, 2008 07:39 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Terry Barhorst, Jr. @ Apr 7 2008, 01:25 PM)
I just saw (if I understood correctly) that the new series of Doctor Who has started (Episode 1 was this weekend, I guess). Anyone care to chime in?

Well it was an RTD episode so obviously there were a few moments of silliness but overall it was a fun opener. The creatures were memorable enough - they'll be too cute for some, but I'm quite sure the kids will love them - and Catherine Tate didn't grate the way I expected her to. Not that I was one of the rabid anti-Tate brigade, but I certainly didn't like the idea of her being cast - but there doesn't appear to be anything to worry about. I don't want to give too much away, but there was one moment hinting at things to come this season which I'm sure has excited a few fans.

Terry Barhorst, Jr. - April 18, 2008 11:07 PM (GMT)
SciFi is starting series 4 of Doctor Who tonight with the broadcast of Voyage of the Damned. SciFi's going to be showing these eps about 3 weeks after the UK broadcast (except for the Christmas special).

Dale Sherman - April 22, 2008 03:26 AM (GMT)
Finally got a chance to watch "Voyage of the Damned."

Spoilers for those who haven't seen it ...











Rather liked this one, although they really should have called the ship the Poseidon instead of the Titanic (and it still would have fed into the same joke about the aliens using a ship name that is "famous" - perhaps even more so). When the term "D31" popped up, I kept thinking of it being New Year's Eve (i.e. December 31) instead of Christmas, actually.

Kylie was fine in her part and I didn't have a problem with her being killed off in the sense of the story (and perhaps as a way of the producers to show that sometimes people do die on the program that look to be companion material). On the other hand, it would seem to me that the Doctor wouldn't want to immediately jump into having a companion again after what happened to Astrid (then again, maybe he just really hates Donna and is hoping to have something terrible happen to her ... "Dammit, Astrid died before a single adventure was over and yet Donna's still here! I hope she doesn't hang around like Adric did!")

Anyway, good start to the new season. Hope it's the sign of good things to come.

John Egan - April 22, 2008 08:59 PM (GMT)
I thought 'The Voyage of the Damned' was the weakest new Who I've seen. Disaster movies cliches with nothing to chew on. Kylie is a bizarre creature incapable of exuding a molecule of actual warmth and she would have been a dismal companion. The climax of season three had some problems but it was bizarre and unpredictable which is the least I expect from The Doctor. I'll be expecting more from here on.

Lisa Larkin - April 24, 2008 04:40 AM (GMT)
I wasn't that thrilled with "Voyage of the Damned" either. The last two Christmas specials were better, I thought. But if there's even one episode in series 4 as good as "Blink", I'll be happy.

Lisa Larkin - April 27, 2008 02:48 PM (GMT)
The first episode with Donna was an improvement. At last, a companion who isn't madly in love with the Doctor and they toned down Donna's shrillness and dumbness without entirely losing her Donna-ness. The scene with them trying to read each others lips through the window was pretty funny.

I think the chemistry between these two could be good. The writers didn't seem to know what to do with Martha and I got pretty tired of some of the silliness with Rose [as someone else said in this thread or elsewhere, they were so giddy it often seemed like there was a gas leak on the TARDIS].

Tim Rogerson - April 30, 2008 08:32 AM (GMT)
I've now seen the first two episodes (been taping them as unable to watch live and still have two more to catch-up). The Catherine Tate character is really grating me; maybe I'm just getting old but I can't understand what she's saying half of the time. She talks too quickly in some mock Thames Estuary accent and I can hardly make it out at all. Does anyone else have this problem?

Luckily it seems as if Marha's back in a few episodes - at least i can understand her.

Bernie Jacobs - April 30, 2008 03:48 PM (GMT)
I've been watching the episodes as they air in England, so I'm two weeks ahead, but so far I'm really enjoying this season, and think the episodes have just gotten better & better from 1 to 4. They've toned down Donna's character just enough to make her bearable over a season-long arc, and I like it very much that she doesn't defer to the doctor or openly worship him or have a crush on him like the last 2 companions. That whole idea, so novel with Rose, was already a cliche by the time Martha was introduced (wow, and it only took 2 seasons!).

Mark Entwistle - May 20, 2008 09:04 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Mark Entwistle @ Jul 4 2007, 03:35 AM)
... it's time for Russell T Davies to give up writing and leave it to Paul Cornell and Steven Moffatt.

Well, I got my way. I'm confident Moffatt won't let us down.

Terry Barhorst, Jr. - May 20, 2008 09:08 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Mark Entwistle @ May 20 2008, 03:04 PM)
QUOTE (Mark Entwistle @ Jul 4 2007, 03:35 AM)
... it's time for Russell T Davies to give up writing and leave it to Paul Cornell and Steven Moffatt.

Well, I got my way. I'm confident Moffatt won't let us down.

We'll just have to wait until 2010 to find out for sure.




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