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 DOCTOR WHO/TORCHWOOD LATEST, Martha Jones branches out
Neil Jackson
Posted: Jul 2 2007, 08:30 AM


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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.

This post has been edited by Neil Jackson on Jul 2 2007, 08:35 AM
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Justin Kerswell
Posted: Jul 4 2007, 02:25 AM


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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.


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Mark Entwistle
Posted: Jul 4 2007, 03:35 AM


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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.


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Alan Maxwell
Posted: Jul 4 2007, 12:00 PM


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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!
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Dale Sherman
Posted: Jul 7 2007, 10:00 PM


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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. tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Dale Sherman on Jul 7 2007, 10:05 PM
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Shawn Garrett
Posted: Jul 7 2007, 11:18 PM


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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.....
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Terry Barhorst, Jr.
Posted: Jul 8 2007, 09:33 AM


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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.


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Peter Nepstad
Posted: Jul 9 2007, 10:55 PM


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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




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Terry Barhorst, Jr.
Posted: Aug 9 2007, 09:41 AM


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**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.


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Jinx
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Neil Jackson
Posted: Aug 10 2007, 11:18 AM


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Link

...and some official BBC news.
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Domenick Fraumeni
Posted: Oct 15 2007, 06:23 PM


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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.
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Chester Berne
Posted: Nov 11 2007, 06:25 PM


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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!


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Tom Kessler
Posted: Nov 11 2007, 11:57 PM


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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.


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Mark Entwistle
Posted: Nov 12 2007, 05:02 AM


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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.


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Tom Kessler
Posted: Nov 13 2007, 08:40 AM


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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. tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Tom Kessler on Nov 13 2007, 09:05 AM


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Dale Sherman
Posted: Nov 13 2007, 09:03 PM


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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? wink.gif

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! laugh.gif

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.

This post has been edited by Dale Sherman on Nov 13 2007, 11:07 PM
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Lisa Larkin
Posted: Nov 14 2007, 01:29 AM


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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.
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Jeff Wilson
Posted: Nov 14 2007, 09:28 AM


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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.
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Dale Sherman
Posted: Nov 14 2007, 08:19 PM


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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 ..."

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Mike Metzler
Posted: Nov 15 2007, 02:35 PM


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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!


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