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 DOCTOR WHO/TORCHWOOD LATEST, Martha Jones branches out
Domenick Fraumeni
Posted: Jan 5 2010, 12:38 AM


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Loved WATERS OF MARS. Creepy, and so sad. And it shows a side of The Doctor that's always been there, but never as upfront as here. He almost sounded like his old school pal.



I thought THE END OF TIME was one of the craziest, emotion filled,heartbreaking Who's I've seen in over 20 something years. I am now convinced that the spirit of John "JNT" Turner has invaded Russell Davies and is having a big giggle somewhere in the great beyond. Wow. And Tennant's last line was so bittersweet.

He's only there for maybe two minutes, but it looks like Matt Smith, despite looking all of 22, will be able to pull off the role fine, especially for the newer generation.
I remember the flack that Peter Davidson got, and especially Colin Baker. Even Tennant was a bit iffy for a lot of people for the first few weeks.
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Alan Maxwell
Posted: Jan 5 2010, 11:39 AM


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Yep, pretty much all the Doctors seem to get the "he'll not be as good as..." treatment. Tennant certainly seems to have been the most popular in a while though.

As for END OF TIME... I thought it was typical RTD stuff - daft story with huge plot contrivances, some misjudged attempts at humour and several moments that make no sense if you dare to think about them, BUT as usual he tends to get the big spectacle and big emotion right. I had all the same complaints as I usually wood but once again (as has happened so often) I just got so swept up in it that I didn't care. That is definitely, in my opinion, the most touching and emotional farewell to a Doctor that I've seen, and I loved it.

For those in the UK, there's a teaser for the upcoming Matt Smith series on the official website. Some potential spoilers obviously.
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Bob Cashill
Posted: Jan 10 2010, 10:37 AM


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Maybe SPOILER...

Got around to seeing this last night...it was good fun, but might have been better had it been either a Tennant finale or a Davies one. Combining the two led to a certain strain and a maudlin feeling, as if the show itself were going off the air rather than regenerating. Without much of interest to do, John Simm did it over and over again, louder each time, a disappointment*. And what the hell happened to Billie Piper, who looked like a Goth shark with that eyeliner and those ravening teeth? The bloom was off the Rose.

Smith was introduced as kookily as possible, Tennant at 11. (Never my favorite mode of his, though we found him much more agreeable as his tenure continued.) But the preview bit indicates that he will dial it down some...and I'm delighted to have the Weeping Angels back. (It looks as if Tennant, meanwhile, is crossing the pond to make his mark on American TV.)

(*Of course Timothy Dalton, an actor with one of the zaniest resumes, had to be in this. He looked great, though, even in a goofy costume.)


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William D'Annucci
Posted: Jan 11 2010, 08:55 AM


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QUOTE (Bob Cashill @ Jan 10 2010, 11:37 AM)
And what the hell happened to Billie Piper, who looked like a Goth shark with that eyeliner and those ravening teeth? The bloom was off the Rose.

Bravo, Bob! Well observed. It is strange how they can't seem to recreate Piper's cupie-doll looks from back when she was a regular, even though that was only a few years ago.

Ultimately, I loved The End Of Time despite its many flaws. As observed above, the strengths and weaknesses of Davies' writing have never been more apparent. The maguffins, deux-ex-machinas, and assorted other contrivances functioned on the level of a mid 80s videogame, proceeding under the assumption that Who audiences cease to use their brains at all when watching. But while Davies is hopeless with any kind of logic plotting, this allows him to go full throttle when it comes to character and emotion. I was so happy that Tennant and Cribbins were given long dialog scenes together, with plenty of time to take in each others' performances and to react. Same goes with Simm, who thankfully wasn't the Jim Carrey mess he was last time (well, at least for most of it). But Bernard Cribbins as Wilf was the beating heart of this story. That man had me blubbering with tears by the end. Give him an award.

It was fun to learn that Davies left all the writing of Smith's scene at the end for Steven Moffat. A quick scene, but very funny use of wordplay. I am looking forward to his run. For those interested in reading a bit on the writers and characters of next season, check out this link but be wary, of course, as there are spoilers. Richard Curtis is writing one episode and other episodes will see returning characters from both the new and classic Whos.
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Tim Rogerson
Posted: Jan 11 2010, 10:21 AM


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QUOTE
And what the hell happened to Billie Piper, who looked like a Goth shark with that eyeliner and those ravening teeth?


The BBC website was full of comments from people asking about her teeth when she reappeared for the Davros stuff a year ago.

She's clearly had something done to them that makes her look like a rabbit.
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Bob Cashill
Posted: Jan 11 2010, 12:46 PM


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I'd love for Curtis to arrange a meeting between the Doctor and Blackadder. smile.gif

Piper has played a call girl and everything, but c'mon...I'm surprised the Doctor even recognized her, and further surprised that she didn't try to eat him.


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William D'Annucci
Posted: Jan 11 2010, 01:02 PM


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Getting past Piper's physical transformation, the important thing for me was that the heart was still there. When she greeted this mysterious man in the shadows, it was still the compassionate Rose they introduced back in '05. It was a brief scene, but I thought Piper's performance was very sweet.
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Dale Sherman
Posted: Jan 11 2010, 02:37 PM


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I know some fans were in the negative about the finale for the Tenth Doctor, but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit more than some of the earlier ones. As always, however, I still felt that Davies could have used someone who could push him to work on the script a bit more, as it always feel he comes sooooo close to making something truly epic ... only to let himself somewhat down in the end.

And to be honest, the last words of the Doctor - which some felt was heartbreaking - came off to me as a tad whiny and selfish ... as if perhaps it was just as well this Doctor had to go when he did (then again, even he said so when the time came near).

Looking forward to the next season. Wish Wilf was a regular companion, however. (Imagine everyone deferring to the old guy, when it's the young-looking kid that is actually the "elder and wiser" of the two?)
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Alan Maxwell
Posted: Apr 5 2010, 02:41 PM


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The new Doctor arrived on UK screens at the weekend and I await the opinions of the rest of you - but I loved it!

Brief, and pretty much spoiler-free thoughts: Smith totally owned it from the start with what seems like a slightly more nuts take on the Doctor and while I liked Tennant as much as anyone, I think one of the biggest compliments I can give Smith is that (with the exception of one very, very brief moment when Tennant's Doctor is quickly refererred to) not once during the entire hour did I actually think of Tennant at all. Karen Gillan also seems like a perfect match - pleasing on the eye certainly, but superbly played, some great little character moments and clearly some seeds have already been sown for some further developments down the line. I'd definitely give it no more than a couple of months before posters of this lass plaster the walls of kids the length of the country. It remains to be seen how many of the other supporting characters introduced in this episode will turn into recurring characters a la RTD.

There's a lot of what we expect in terms of the combination of big, cosmic stuff ("twenty minutes to save the world!") and well-written characters, daft science and great one-liners, and a nice balance between material for kids and stuff that us bigger kids can enjoy too. The opening story, "The Eleventh Hour" has it all in abundance and gives the new Doctor a kind of mythic feel - the episode bounced about between sci-fi and being almost felt like a fairy tale. (And yes, it already looks like there are hints being dropped for things to come, presumably building up to the season finale already)

I know it's only early yet, but if this is an indication of the standard we can expect I certainly won't be crying myself to sleep over the departure of the previous team. Roll on next Saturday!
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Bernie Jacobs
Posted: Apr 5 2010, 03:00 PM


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I pretty much concur with everything Alan said.

The "new" doctor is a little more antic, a little more out for a good time, which is definitely appealing as the Tennant years, wonderful as they were, got very "heavy" there for a while. There is indeed set-up for what seems like a season-long arc of some sort, but so far all we have are the barest of hints.

SPOILER ALERT

I especially like how they borrowed from the Tennant-era French woman episode for the effect the Doctor's time-hopping can have on the mere humans around him. That an encounter with the Doctor in her childhood basically ruined Amy's life -- 4 shrinks over the years trying to help her with her lifelong obsession with the "imaginary" Raggedy Doctor -- means that he has an unusual responsibility to her and for her. I wonder how this will play out, especially now that she ran off on the eve of her wedding, KNOWING that the Doctor's ability to hone in on specific moments and get her back in time is, at least right now, pretty shaky....

END SPOILER

It looks like the series is in good hands and I look forward to this season!
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William D'Annucci
Posted: Apr 5 2010, 11:03 PM


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I've seen The Eleventh Hour and enjoyed it immensely. From the very beginning, it's clear that Matt Smith IS The Doctor, despite his youth. I felt like I was in good hands the instant his head poked out of the Tardis. It was also clear from the get-go that the Moffat touch was in the writing, during The Doctor's interactions with the little girl. Karen Gillan was also great and had wonderful chemistry with Smith. And yes, they don't hide her sexiness (the first moment we see her) while still keeping things classy.

My only mild concern (not really a complaint...yet) is that Moffat has consciously created a story that references back to many other Who ideas, especially ones from his previous episodes. If he's doing this just one time to "mark his territory", then fine. But I just got through years of RT Davies repeating himself regularly and would hate to start that all over again.
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Lisa Larkin
Posted: Apr 6 2010, 04:07 PM


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I cobbled together most of it from youtube, though I missed one key scene. I also enjoyed it and was pleased with Matt Smith. But I was a little sad that Amelia grew up. I liked the little girl. Of course, it wouldn't really do to have an 8-year-old girl as the Doctor's companion, for a variety of reasons. But she was very good.
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Alan Maxwell
Posted: Apr 6 2010, 04:31 PM


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QUOTE (Lisa Larkin @ Apr 6 2010, 04:07 PM)
But I was a little sad that Amelia grew up. I liked the little girl. Of course, it wouldn't really do to have an 8-year-old girl as the Doctor's companion, for a variety of reasons. But she was very good.

It must run in the family...
Karen Gillan bags relative role
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William D'Annucci
Posted: Apr 8 2010, 06:28 PM


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At the end of Saturday's opening episode, they showed this absolutely smashing trailer for upcoming episodes. If you want to remain absolutely SPOILER FREE regarding what this first episode reveals about Amy Pond or who we'll be seeing in upcoming episodes, then don't watch.

But, it is one hell of a trailer! FUN has gloriously returned to television. Welcome back, Doc.

DOCTOR WHO - SERIES FIVE "Coming Soon" Trailer
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Tim Rogerson
Posted: Apr 9 2010, 03:15 AM


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Agree with the above. Was very impressed with Matt Smith in his debut episode. Karen Gillan was also good although I thought the little girl was better and should have gone in the tardis with him. Episode a bit overstrecthed for length and the alien in human guise was a bit like the family in an earlier Moffat adventure. Looking forward to next episode.
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William D'Annucci
Posted: Apr 9 2010, 09:35 PM


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QUOTE (Tim Rogerson @ Apr 9 2010, 04:15 AM)
Agree with the above. Was very impressed with Matt Smith in his debut episode. Karen Gillan was also good although I thought the little girl was better and should have gone in the tardis with him.  Episode a bit overstrecthed for length and the alien in human guise was a bit like the family in an earlier Moffat adventure. Looking forward to next episode.

I think the earlier story you're referring to is actually by Paul Cornell, the two parter titled Human Nature and The Family Of Blood. The one about The Doctor living as a 1900s teacher. Definitely one of the best from the Tennant years. And yes, the somewhat pantomime villain acting in Eleventh Hour recalls that story, along with the many others that Moffat references throughout.

This post has been edited by William D'Annucci on Apr 9 2010, 09:36 PM
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William D'Annucci
Posted: Apr 13 2010, 11:51 PM


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The first episode of this series premieres in the US this Saturday evening on BBC America. I've only seen two episodes so far, but I have no qualms in whole-heartedly recommending that everyone watch. Even if you're totally new to Doctor Who, this latest series deftly continues with what's gone before while being very accessible to new viewers. Steven Moffat wrote the first two episodes and he's starting things on a real high. Smith and Gillan are a great TV duo, playing off each other with these delightfully mad little quirks. In many ways, it is the same Doctor Who of past generations and recent years, but charged with a creative energy that's uniquely it's own.

Watch, DVR, Tivo, whatever. But don't miss.
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Steve Guariento
Posted: Apr 20 2010, 02:16 AM


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Just caught episode 3 of the new season, the Mark Gatiss-penned “Victory of the Daleks”…and, unfortunately, it simply reinforces my conviction that Moffat is aiming his revamp squarely at eight-year-olds with underdeveloped critical faculties. When clearly, he ought to be courting 42-year-olds with overdeveloped critical faculties.



MAJOR SPOILERS FOR "VICTORY OF THE DALEKS" SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE FOLLOWING EXTENDED MOAN.



The first 10 – 15 minutes or so was great, Daleks gliding menacingly along the corridors of the War Cabinet… But then the Doctor lets rip with that spanner in an attempt to provoke the Dalek into killing him (WHY????) and everything goes rapidly downhill from there. The Dalek plan was both incomprehensible and arbitrary (Daleks that don’t recognise Daleks…whuh?), with WW2 just thrown in as window dressing; it might as well have been the Battle of Hastings for all the bearing it had on the actual plot. As for the Spitfires-in-space sequence…oh dear. I’d hoped they would at least have offered some kind of plausible justification for this, but no: apparently you can construct anti-gravity bubbles, and wing-mounted laser cannons, and teach your pilots how to be astronauts, all within ten minutes. With just a dash of 1940s know-how, presumably. Why the Dalek ship didn’t simply blow them all out of the sky three seconds after spotting them, God alone knows.

Assorted gripes: Pointless reference to WHERE EAGLES DARE (“Broadsword Calling Danny Boy…”). Memo to Moffat: Please resist the urge to insert fatuous in-jokes. And (deep intake of breath)…Bill Patterson as a weepy android? No. No. NO. So you can defuse a bomb by making it go all sentimental and mushy? Useful to know.

Not terribly keen on the new über-Daleks, either. I appreciated the reference to the Peter Cushing/Amicus films in their multi-coloured casings, but they’re simply too fat and clunky-looking. As someone has already commented, all you need to do to evade them is nip down a narrow corridor. The khaki Daleks looked fantastic, though…

Can’t they sort that awful music out? Yet again this week, dialogue was drowned out completely by Murray Gold’s aggravating wall-to-wall cacophany. I understand the sound mix is superior on the BBC-HD channel; but why on earth can’t they even get this right for standard-def broadcasts? No other TV show exhibits this degree of fluctuation in volume levels. Such basic technical incompetence is deeply worrying. (This was true also for the last 1.5 seasons under RTD, so that’s not a Moffat-specific dig.) And I’m still not sure if I like the Fisher-Price activity set look for the TARDIS. We still haven’t been given a proper look at it in the actual show, yet, which seems odd. Why go to all the expense of redesigning it if you’re never going to use any wide shots that would reveal all those fascinating nooks and crannies that are allegedly there…?

All in all, “Victory” seemed like an archetypical Russell T.Davies-era story: chock-a-block with flashy superficial visuals, and absolutely zero substance. Pluses: well, I’m liking the Matt/Karen relationship more each week, enjoyed the Doctor’s Jammie Dodger moment, liked the aforementioned British soldier Daleks, LOVED the “Onward to Victory” Dalek propaganda poster, amused by the cup-of-tea Dalek…but (sigh) it was just all so smirkingly inauthentic. Compare this trivial vision of WW2 London to Moffat’s own Season 1 story “The Empty Child”…well, there IS no comparison. I mean, the Daleks’ evil ploy of switching on all the lights in London during the Blackout…please. We don’t need futuristic alien technology to combat that kind of threat: we’ve got bloody curtains.

How The Story Should Have Been Made If I Were In Charge: far more creepy buildup with the Daleks and Churchill, far less silly scientist business with Bill Patterson, bigger Dalek extermination spree, and at least SOME effort to tie the Dalek masterplan in with the WW2 setting more convincingly. While this may well be Mark Gatiss’ best script so far, that’s a textbook example of damning with faint praise.

Three episodes in and it all seems very bland and familiar, sad to say. I’m not seeing any substantial differences in approach whatsoever from Moffat: he seems just like a less effective mini-me to RTD, thus far. Next week’s “Weeping Angels” two-parter promises to be a step in the right direction: the extra running time should at least provide a more graceful buildup to the menace. Unlike this week’s, where we had 10 minutes of “buildup” followed by the usual frenetic running-around-with-loud-music; IIRC, the Spitfires were launched 25 minutes into a 42-minute episode. They REALLY need to sort out the pacing of these “45 minute” (or less) stories…to be starting the final assault on the Daleks 25 minutes in is absurd.

This post has been edited by Steve Guariento on Apr 20 2010, 02:18 AM
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Bernie Jacobs
Posted: Apr 20 2010, 10:22 AM


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Unfortunately, Steve Guariento has it pretty much right, all down the line.

They aren't only gearing the show's length to American audiences (42 minutes as opposed to the old 45-55 minutes) but after 3 episodes it's starting to seem like they've dumbed the whole thing down as a concession to American audiences too (I can say that, I live in Brooklyn, NY).

All the characters are flat & 2 dimensional (Amy's needed no adjustment time to become Super Companion, which is pretty ridiculous, even for this show). The candy-colored Daleks look like someone was desperate for a kiddie toy tie-in.

and this [SPOILER ALERT] --

QUOTE
As for the Spitfires-in-space sequence…oh dear. I’d hoped they would at least have offered some kind of plausible justification for this, but no: apparently you can construct anti-gravity bubbles, and wing-mounted laser cannons, and teach your pilots how to be astronauts, all within ten minutes. With just a dash of 1940s know-how, presumably. Why the Dalek ship didn’t simply blow them all out of the sky three seconds after spotting them, God alone knows.


bugged the living crap out of me. All I could think of was the old Calvin & Hobbes comic strip where Calvin is gleefully imagining tyrannosaurs in F-14s and saying, "This is so cool," while Hobbes just says, "This is so stupid."

I'll keep watching, and hoping, but episodes 2 & 3 aren't boding all that well for the new Doctor.

This post has been edited by Bernie Jacobs on Apr 20 2010, 10:22 AM
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Bob Cashill
Posted: Apr 20 2010, 04:04 PM


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My wife and I really enjoyed the premiere episode. We're cautiously optimistic.


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