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Old 04-13-2010, 04:40 AM   #161
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Either way you've clearly not met Sylvester McCoy! Me and Gabez have. Lovely man.

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Old 04-13-2010, 04:51 AM   #162
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:15 AM   #163
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I wonder why they hired Sylvester McCoy instead of an actor.
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:35 AM   #164
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F*** you.

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Old 04-18-2010, 12:18 AM   #165
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Us Americans just got the Eleventh Hour, and I've got to say I really like Matt Smith so far. Fish sticks and custard. Love it.

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:38 PM   #166
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Victory of the Daleks I enjoyed while I was watching it, but afterwards I was disappointed. The first half, with the WW2 Daleks and the mystery, was excellent, but all that was pushed aside to cram in the new style of Dalek.

There were also just too many logic problems.
Show spoiler
It all just felt very rushed, and considering the potential of the idea and the first half it felt like a wasted episode to me.

The Time of Angels though I'm still on the fence about. It was undeniably an excellent episode, but there a few things that marred it. First of all, Moffat seems to be cramming too much in to his episodes this series. The Beast Below didn't give reasons for half its best ideas, and this time it takes far too long to get the characters exploring the Maze of the Dead. Loved the opening, but tonally was out of place and they really needed to get on with the story. None of Moffat's other two-parters have had this problem, in fact I don't recall any Doctor Who two-parters doing it at all.

There were also a few too many moments of “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE JUST TELL SOMEONE” that mar the worst horror movies and spoilt a lot of the episode for me.
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Hopefully the next episode will eliminate these problems.

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Old 04-26-2010, 02:13 PM   #167
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I liked Victory of the Daleks very much, and wildly adored The Time of Angels.

As for the logic problems in VotD here are my thoughts:

Show spoiler


Of course you're not wrong in having these doubts -- but I think that the fault was not having more explanation, rather than an error in the logic itself (which, although stretched, seems to hold). What the episode needed was a stronger editor. The human love bomb could have been fixed quite easily I think.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:29 PM   #168
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:57 PM   #169
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Works-In-Progress
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:14 PM   #170
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:27 AM   #171
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Good point about the curtains. However:

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Old 04-27-2010, 04:39 AM   #172
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Yeah, all the professor had to say was "we've got some prototypes ready, but we haven't tested them yet" and in just that one line everything would make sense.

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Old 04-27-2010, 05:16 AM   #173
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The Time of Angels though I'm still on the fence about. It was undeniably an excellent episode, but there a few things that marred it. First of all, Moffat seems to be cramming too much in to his episodes this series. The Beast Below didn't give reasons for half its best ideas, and this time it takes far too long to get the characters exploring the Maze of the Dead. Loved the opening, but tonally was out of place and they really needed to get on with the story. None of Moffat's other two-parters have had this problem, in fact I don't recall any Doctor Who two-parters doing it at all.

Show spoiler


Hopefully the next episode will eliminate these problems.
I found The Time of Angels most thrilling...
Show spoiler


As regards telling good stories, I get what you're saying about Moffat trying to cram too much in, but I think what I enjoy about his writing is how it doesn't stop where you think it will, he digs a little deeper, and risks a mildly chaotic narrative in efforts to make things interesting. The Time of Angels in particular had so many ideas. I've definitely appreciated and understood his episodes more when I've viewed them a second time, which I'm sure isn't the ideal for a childrens' adventure show, but they are packed with good, clever stuff that enriches the Whoniverse.

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Old 04-27-2010, 01:54 PM   #174
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Hmm - I feel like there are levels to that, though. Surely
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All stuff I only really get to spot or think about when rewatching an episode, that starts me anticipating what might be coming up in the 'arc'. I'm really enjoying it all anyway, I hope the episodes keep on being as good as Saturday's.

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Old 04-27-2010, 05:05 PM   #175
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Regarding notcing things...

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"The repetition of the crack in Amelia's bedroom wall has gone from the nice subliminal appearance in the Tardis at the end of The Eleventh Hour to the crash-zoom signposting" -- where is that? I've watched the 11th hour 4 times and went back to that scene just now in the iPlayer but still couldn't see that crack. :~
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:15 PM   #176
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Regarding notcing things...

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"The repetition of the crack in Amelia's bedroom wall has gone from the nice subliminal appearance in the Tardis at the end of The Eleventh Hour to the crash-zoom signposting" -- where is that? I've watched the 11th hour 4 times and went back to that scene just now in the iPlayer but still couldn't see that crack. :~
I don't have the episode handy anymore, but it's during the scene in the Tardis, when Doctor and Amy are walking around the instruments, and she is asking 'Why me?' and so on. The camera lingers on one of the displays, which shows that same crack on a kind of graph. The Doctor looks at this and seems to consider it for a moment, then he flicks a switch and the display goes blank.

It looks like this (from the blog of my friend's fine new Who podcast).

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Old 04-28-2010, 10:47 AM   #177
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Ah... I thought that was just reflecting his sound waves, but beneath the sound waves is the crack outline, and, more than that, it plays the same sound effect that played when we first saw the crack. So yes, very good!
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:10 PM   #178
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There's also what seems to be a subliminal image during the flash when the Doctor presses the switch during that oscilloscope crack bit, but on pausing it rather disappointingly just appears to be a shot of the Doctor.

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Old 05-02-2010, 08:12 AM   #179
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So, uh, this last episode? It completely erased any missteps the series has had so far. It was very, very good, and with little to no cop out. I loved it. I was genuinely scared at a couple of points.

I'm sorry I doubted you, Steven Moffat.

I should probably watch series 1-4 properly.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:21 AM   #180
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I had problems with the last episode, but Flesh And Stone was non-stop brilliance. Best one so far this series.

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Old 05-02-2010, 12:08 PM   #181
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Yeah, I loved the moment Tingler talked about as well, and agreed that it was really scary!

And I also agree with your second point, TT; to me it was very unexpected, but I also liked the scene very much because of the comedy value, and the Doctor's reactions. I also enjoy the fact that some episodes have a bit at the end that is unrellated to the main story and will carry on into the next episode, making the story seem more whole.

Kroms: Silence in the Library and it's second part is essential as that was the introduction iof River Song. But you won't go wrong if you can get your hands on all of 1-4. For instance "Dalek" (series 1) is a good episode that wasn't written by Moffat. I also think that Gattis's other episodes ("The Idiot Lantern" and the Dickens one) were very good, even if peoole didn't like his Victory of the Daleks so much.

Also, Russel T Davies could write brilliantly about families and politics.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:36 PM   #182
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I've seen "Silence in the Library" (very good) and "Forest of the Dead" (not as good). I usually scout out an episode before it hits, as to have some idea of what is going on, and go back and see any relevant episodes.

Anyways, thinking back on it there were some moments where maybe the episode got lazy - the part where
spoiler:
the teleportation kicks-in and Amy escapes
wasn't a deus ex machina per se, but could've maybe been handled better. So while this isn't as good as "Blink", which to me is the gold standard, it comes very close, and is finally the one that topped "The Eleventh Hour" as the best episode this series. (Not because of how well thought-out it was - that award still belongs to the use of the apple from "The Eleventh Hour", but because it was actually scary in parts.)

I think, all in all, that they've been doing a very good job, but maybe Tingler's right in saying they 1. either try cramming too much into their episodes, or 2. decide to take "love will cure"-like routes without explaining why they work and thus harm their believability.

Or maybe they just need more time. "The Eleventh Hour" could never have worked as a 40 minute episode, and "The Beast Below" needed an extra ten minutes. Same with "Victory of the Daleks". I know Moffat will figure out how to balance everything sooner or later, so I'm not worried.

Either way, the next episode looks like a good one.
spoiler:
The concept of vampires and mirrors reminds me of Blink and the Weeping Angels: in some ways, they're the same idea. This episode could be genuinely scary if they work it right.


Also, Richard Curtis (from Blackadder) is writing an episode at some point. That should be fun and interesting.

So basically thanks for getting me into this series, Gabez and Zaarin.

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Old 05-02-2010, 12:42 PM   #183
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You're welcome! Glad you're into it.

And nevermind Richard Curtis, Neil Gaiman is writing an episode next season!

I disagree about the thing in your spoiler tag being lazy -- it was neccesary. Do you mean that there could have been more talk about the thing gettting to work in the first place?
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:04 PM   #184
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I was like "Oh yay" when it happened, but I did also feel that the entire bit was set-up for that specific moment. I think the reason "Blink" worked so well was because everything happened naturally and felt like a brilliant piece of improvisaton. As in, the angels trapped themselves because each was handling the TARDIS from one side, and, with the TARDIS being a rectangular prism, they ended up facing and thus trapping each other. Whereas in this episode they very specifically introduce
spoiler:
teleportation to get Amy out of that predicament
.

Well, maybe "cop out" isn't the right word, as it did feel deserved. It definitely strengthened the credibility of River Song as someone you could rely on, if not entirely trust. But in this case, the way they escaped that particular situation didn't feel natural. It's still a very good episode. I'd give it a 4-5 stars.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:57 PM   #185
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Nah, I had plenty of complaints about logic in Victory of the Daleks and The Time of Angels, and I saw absolutely no problem with the teleporter. River is clearly tasked with getting that teleporter online so they can get them, but the crew wait for the last possible split-second to pull Amy out of there. I think it worked very well - it's the traditional rescue from the jaws of death, and is established properly beforehand unlike a few of the things in Victory of the Daleks.

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Old 05-07-2010, 11:17 PM   #186
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I am SO asking for this for my birthday:

http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/ind...ucts_id=59475#

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Old 08-01-2010, 01:42 PM   #187
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So I ended-up watching all of Series 5 and, so far, 11 episodes of Series 1.

Series 5 is fantastic. It isn't all great, but there were magical episodes, scary episodes, sad episodes and happy episodes. Everything was a different adventure. I suppose I disliked the two Silurian episodes, as well as Victory of the Daleks, as they both:

1. had characters do things without motivation;
2. didn't fully explain everything.

The Silurian episode also suffered from bad directing. It could've been much better as one episode. Victory of the Daleks ends on a completely unexplained deus ex machina, and at one point goes bat**** insane, completely randomly (from WWII to Star Wars).

Even Moffat didn't do a perfect job. The Beast Below needed work, and he solved the final two-parter with (spoilers) too many paradoxes, I think. And the whole "Pandorica has the DNA of the entire universe!" thing didn't jive with me. I know Who has a healthy slice of pseudo-science, but that was just ridiculous.

But yes, overall, it was a fantastic series. Amy Pond was extremely well thought-out, with a wonderful story and very, it seemed to me, genuine characterisation. The fairytale route just works. Can't wait for Series 6! Moffat is one of my new favorite writers.

Now to Series One...

So far, I've yet to like an RTD episode. I guess it's a shame. He's tonally all over the place, and there's the farting aliens and whole soap opera-style storytelling...it's quite frankly a little jarring. And his Doctor is kind of impatient and maybe a little bit aggressive, though played exceedingly well by the brilliant Christopher Eccleston. I have, however, been enjoying the other episodes. The Charles Dickens one was good - not fantastic, but good. "Dalek" was excellent, and made me fear the little buggers. The ending is just...gah. Pseudo-science as well, but gah, I love a character-driven moment. The guy who wrote that should do more episodes. "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" are brilliant. I didn't know Moffat had written them - I'd looked away when the writer's name came on - but I was very very impressed. It was an excellent story. And "Father's Day", while not excellent and also directly contradicting established rules, was still very good. It gave Rose and her mum a bit of depth that I liked.

Anyways, two more episodes to go. Am excited.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:41 PM   #188
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Yes, agree with all those points.

RTD in Series One was indeed a bit "merely okay". The last episode of the season is pretty damn good though, and the one you're on humanises the Slitheen a little bit... and sets up Torchwood (the series). The one in-between is just bizarre, but has a few nice moments.

The Christmas Invasion (that carries on from The Parting of the Ways) is utterly superb though. Personally I think each season is better than the previous one... well, apart from Season 5, I think they're still all just getting used to their new job titles, plus it does all feel just a little bit more Sarah-Jane Adventures than under RTD.

Quote:
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The guy who wrote that should do more episodes. "
His name's Rob Shearman, and he's a brilliant writer, but sadly he's only done that single episode - mostly because he's a massive slacker (normal writer). He's mostly worked for Big Finish Productions on the Doctor Who audio adventures (which are great, they're literally just "more Doctor Who episodes"). His stories include Jubilee (which Dalek was loosely based on), The Chimes of Midnight, and The Holy Terror, all of which are worth listening to, and not just because the latter has a companion who is a shapeshifter that regularly disguises himself as a penguin.

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Old 08-27-2010, 07:09 PM   #189
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Okay, finished Series Two. Better than Series One (little to no Slitheen), but I'm starting to think they should re-title the series as "And Yet Another Dalek Invasion".

Too tired to give my usual stream-of-consciousness shallow analysis, so here are my favorite episodes of Series Two, in order:

1. The Girl In The Fireplace
2. The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit
3. Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel (so incredibly cheesy it's good)
4. Army of Ghosts/Doomsday
5. The Idiot's Lantern
6. School Reunion
7. Love and Monsters
8. Tooth and Claw
9. New Earth
10. The Christmas Invasion

I hope Matt Jones ("The Impossible Planet") writes episodes for Series 6. That was a really, really good episode, though maybe he should have been a bit more subtle with the Satan stuff.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:16 PM   #190
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I really loved The Impossible Planet two-parter. It's the only time in the current series that the Doctor has faced a god-like adversary. Some of the best episodes in the whole series have that (Pyramids of Mars, The Celestial Toymaker, um, The Three Doctors).

Welcome spoiler for series three: the Daleks are in it, but fortunately it's not a world-ending finale and just a "normal" story.

I really hated that they turned up in Army of Ghosts. That was an utterly superb Cyberman story until the Daleks breezed in and it became obvious that Russell T Davies preferred them.

Loved the condescending banter between them at one point though.

"Identify yourselves."
"Daleks do not take orders!"
"You have identified as Daleks." D'oh!

Series 3 and 4 are even better and certainly the strongest two so far.

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Old 08-28-2010, 07:20 AM   #191
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3 and 4? I thought it got worse as it went on. Hiring light entertainers as actors has never been good for Doctor Who. Fortunately RTD pissed off and the last series was an improvement.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:57 AM   #192
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Series 3 favorites:

1. Blink.

2. Human Nature/Family of Blood. This would be in first place if it had less cheesy aliens. Maybe.

3. The Lazarus Experiment. Movie-monster horror done well.

4. Gridlock. Maybe it was because of low standards, this being a Russell T Davies episode, but I liked it. Not keen on the idea (infinite traffic), but the execution left little to be desired.

5. Utopia/The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords. I would like this trilogy a lot more if it weren't for: 1. the what the **** ending, 2. yet another scene where the British government is laid to waste in some spectacularly cartoonish fashion, 3. Martha half-talking to herself and realizing she, too, loves the Doctor (doesn't everyone?), and 4. the Master not killing Martha in the street when he can in the world's most blatant plot device.

6. 42. I liked this one, actually, but tonally it seemed to rip-off The Impossible Planet.

7. Smith and Jones. It's very similar to other RTD episodes, but! But...I loved the corny "Take 'em to the MOOON" thing. The Judoon weren't all that lame either.

8. Evolution of the Daleks/Daleks in Manhattan. These felt like a bunch of ideas from other episodes (including Dalek and Doomsday), mixed together, and not very well, though I'm a sucker for Depression-era Manhattan. Objectively, it's pretty average. Subjectively, I love the "Laszlooo" she croons. The pig thing is LAME, though. Are we actually recycling that idea, RTD?

9. The Shakespeare Code. I would've liked this one more if it weren't for a million things.

10. The Runaway Bride. Nothing redeeming about this.

Anywho, onto Series 4 when I get the chance. I haven't yet found a legal copy to rent, even though I stumbled across Series 5 the other day.

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Old 11-19-2010, 06:21 AM   #193
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Really didn't like the Shakespeare Code? That's been much higher for me. Why not then?

I do agree with the top 2, really hard to choose between them. Blink is so utterly perfect, even for people who don't know Doctor Who. There's a great line Russell T Davies said about Steven Moffat, "I gave you a two-parter and it was the best in the season, so I cut you down to one episode and it was still the best, so I gave you the episode without the ****ing Doctor OR companion in it and you STILL bloody made the best one in the entire season!"

What I loved about series three was the big build up to the Master's reappearance, all this talk of Harold Saxon. The Master's always been one of my favourites, and the emotional flashback with Gallifrey is lovely.

Season Four, despite Donna Noble being back, is actually my favourite season overall though I think. Donna redeems herself amazingly. First episode as usual, is ****, and then it just picks up.

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Old 11-19-2010, 08:22 AM   #194
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The Shakespeare Code doesn't have Shakespeare in him, but a cartoon caricature of the man. Just like Victory of the Daleks has a caricature of Churchill who stumbles around and shouts out his quotes left and right.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:48 PM   #195
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That and a million other things.

Done with Series Four. I'm almost done with the Specials. I only have The End of Time left.

My Series One rankings, in case anybody was dying for them:

1. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
2. Dalek
3. The Unquiet Dead
4. Father's Day
5. The End of the World
6. Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways
8. Rose
9. The Christmas Invasion
10. Boom Town
11. Aliens of London/World War III

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tingler View Post
Series 3 and 4 are even better and certainly the strongest two so far.
I have to disagree. I think Series 5 runs rings around any of the RTD seasons. The weakest of the lot came from a RTD-era writer, that hack Chris Chibnall.

As for Series Four: I prefer Donna over Martha and Rose. Rose was this whiny, clingy loser (sort of; she has her brilliant moments), and Martha was a lovely woman who deserved better than to be stuck in a b-sci/fi soap opera. Maybe it's because I love Catherine Tate and her brilliant comedy, and maybe it's because there was nothing vaguely romantic between those two, and her family not being this annoying bunch of idiots helped a lot, but yes: I prefer Donna Noble over the other two.

1. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. The idea of a time-travel love story is brilliant. Starting it from one POV, ending it from another: moreson. It being set in a vast library where the dark is eating people up? Woof. I love it.

2. Midnight. It was spooky and weird, and actually ripped up the Doctor. He has no authority and humans are panicking.

3. Turn Left. A nice "What if?" story.

4. The Stolen Earth/Journey's End. Okay, it has more holes and deus ex machina than a bad Greek play, Davros is practically an X-Man and yes, the world is saved with a switch, but I found it enjoyable. I saw it with a friend and we both enjoyed it a lot. Our companionship undoubtedly helped. I get why people would call it wank, but it was nice mindless tele. I'm also a bit of a Davros fan, and the guy who played him did a good job. Donna's ending was appropriately sad.

5. The Fires of Pompeii. The dialogue is embarrassing, but the story is generally OK and I love a bit of Ancient Rome. The Doctor causing it wasn't a bad touch either.

6. Planet of the Ood. Not the best story, but it had its emotional moments. Quite atmospheric. Had some **** scenes, like the one with the claw. Rabid Ood was...yeah. :/ The brain thing broke my heart though.

7. The Next Doctor. It's a weird mix of sweet and lame. I ended up enjoying it, but it's not what I'd call "good".

8. Voyage of the Damned. Full of unnecessary deaths and cheesier than Cheddar, but it was fun. Nothing spectacular.

9. The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky. More style than substance. World's dumbest cliffhanger (seriously, just break the ****ing glass already). Excellent performances by the two Sontaran guys. The geniuses thing was kind of lame. The suicide was lamer. In the world of Doctor Who, people kill themselves for nothing. It's emotional or some ****.

10. The Doctor's Daughter. Jumble of ideas never followed up on or fleshed out. Still enjoyable. I liked the bubbly aliens that Martha understood for an unexplainable reason, though her entire presence in that story was unnecessary.

11. Partners in Crime. Stupid ****wad story, but a lot of the dialogue was funny.

12. The Unicorn and the Wasp. This was just embarrassing.

Last edited by Kroms; 12-25-2010 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:03 PM   #196
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A Christmas Carol: brill. Some plotholes. Otherwise excellence. One of the best things I've seen this past year. Shames the **** out of the last four Xmas specials.

Last edited by Kroms; 12-26-2010 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:42 PM   #197
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Pretty much agree with everything you said, although you missed out the last couple of specials. I utterly love Donna, even though I hated her before (and don't like Catherine Tate either). Martha I much prefer to Rose too, if only they hadn't forced in the love story angle.

I slightly enjoyed the Sontaran two-parter, but it should've been much stronger for a classic enemy resurrection. Between this and the Silurian two-parter in Series 5, I'm beginning to worry for the Ice Warriors.

You going to do a run-down of Series 5? My general notes, from memory, of Series 5:

1. Matt Smith is utterly brilliant, very different from Tennant but just right for the Doctor.
2. Amy starts off great and gets slowly more annoying. Her story is completely finished by the end of this series, and yet she's still going with the Doctor!
3. I really feel sorry for Mark Gatiss. He wrote the very strong The Unquiet Dead for series one, and was given the only Dalek episode this season. Furthermore, the wonderful idea of Daleks in World War Two, pretending to be a special weapon for the allies! "WOULD YOU LIKE SOME TEA??" Superb! The only problem is Gatiss was clearly given a message on high to introduce a new line of toys Daleks, which were more cartoony and less threatening, and so the rest of the episode just falls apart.
4. Why the hell do they keep on hiring Chris Chibnall?! Torchwood was considered a joke thanks to him, and the Silurian two-parter is the only middle two-parter to be terrible. Usually it's the best two episodes in the season, but not this time!
5. Vincent and the Doctor. So fantastic and deeply moving you forget there's an invisible space chicken.
6. I can forgive The Lodger because Matt Smith is just so much fun away from Amy - same goes for A Christmas Carol, although that one was just great anyway.
7. I really enjoyed the final two-parter because it is so unexpected. The Cyberman in The Pandorica Opens is probably the creepiest the Cybermen have ever been, if utterly ineffective. It also leaves a lot of questions...
8. Dear god I hope the Dream Lord comes back. He's definitely my favourite villain of this series. Very like Q from Star Trek.

Veering off the TV series for a moment, I am really getting into the Big Finish audio adventures again. They had a brief lull, but now they're picking up steam again. The recent Sylvester McCoy 'season' featuring Ace and Hex was utterly incredible:
1. 'Project: Destiny' was the dramatic conclusion to the Forge trilogy (Project Twilight and Project Lazarus being the other two), and his companion Hex finally learns who he is.
2. 'A Death in the Family' brings back one of my favourite villains (speaking of the Dream Lord), the Word Lord, into a huge epic story spanning different planets and times, and bringing back popular Big Finish companion Evelyn. It's one of the best stories they've ever done.
3. 'Lurkers At Sunlight's Edge' is unconnected to the first two, but is described simply as "Doctor Who and HP Lovecraft". Yes, the Doctor takes on Cthulhu. Wow.

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:54 AM   #198
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I saw the Waters of Mars (it was impressive and appropriately creepy, oddly sad), Planet of the Dead (it was OK, though I kind of liked it for making those bug aliens so likeable), and the first part of The End of Time (it is bonkers, and made hungry for chicken). I've yet to see Part 2, because I promised a friend of mine I'd see it with him and he ain't comin' back till the New Year's.

And I listened to A Big Finish audio play, Chimes of Midnight. I like Rob Shearman's work (short stories, plays, etc) and this was no exception. The first three parts were taut, suspenseful, you-can't-stop-listening, but the last slows down a bit. Still, excellence. I love Paul McGann.

As for Series 5:

I love Chris Eccleston and I like David Tennant, but Matt Smith is the Doctor. He isn't doing a good job *playing* the Doctor, he *is* the Doctor. I don't think, "Wow, Eccleston is really pulling that off with the Dalek," I think "Geez, the Doctor is really angry at this Dalek for asking him if he wanted tea."

I also love Amy. On first view I found her annoying (and wayyy too like my aunt), but I re-watched Series 5 with my cousin over the past two weeks (I was bed-ridden sick), and grew to really like her. She's a strong, well thought-out character, and her fascination with the Doctor makes *sense*. She's invested way too much into her imaginary friend, and geez that reveal at the end - "There's a crack in your wall, and it's been eating away at your life" - makes her for me. Of course that's where her parents. No wonder she loves the Doctor so much; her aunt is useless.

If we include the Christmas Special, there's 11 good-to-great episodes, and three wank ones. Zaar had a reallyyyy good idea the other day about Victory of the Daleks, suggesting it should have been set in London ruins. That would have been *creepy*. Dalek ship is shot down, they're making new Daleks. That simple. I thought it harkened back to a "What if?" question: what if the Nazis had been successful in entering London? That's really strong sci-fi/alternative history, with alien Nazis. It's kind of weird that Mark Gatiss - who is a hit/miss writer - wrote something like this, that starts off as intriguing WWII drama and then quite literally goes multiple personality into Star Wars. The Unquiet Dead is a highlight of New Who (it makes you want to read the books of Charles Dickens; that's a very good thing!), The Idiot's Lantern is average, but Victory of the Daleks is awful.

As for Chris Chibnall: I don't think that man could make the back of a cereal box entertaining. He's a hack, and the only reason that particular p.o.s. episode is worth enduring is because they decided to include two very important things in the ending. The Siliurian episode is extremely cheesy and very, very badly-written. I wouldn't hire this man to write a stop sign.

I think Amy's Choice comes very close to greatness. Of course Rory imagines himself more: he's not a nurse, he's a doctor! So it's very peculiar that they decided to throw in aliens at the village, instead of some sort of plague or disease a doctor could figure out. Just like the Doctor solves the problem at the TARDIS (his world), Rory should have solved the problem in his. They could've thrown in Amy's "choice" between two men/worlds more efficiently (I can think of two ways that don't harken to an out-of-character, but explainable-by-pregnancy-hormones suicide), and had the Dream Lord tease her more cruelly, but it's still a very strong episode.

Vincent and the Doctor: the "chicken" thing made me sad. I'd have liked them to draw the obvious parallels between the chicken and Vincent, but that's OK. The last ten minutes elevate that episode from "very good" to "classic".

I loved most of Steven Moffat's work in this series. The Eleventh Hour is very enjoyable, though the highlights are all the night scenes. It's just the right mix of adventure, cheesy and funny. The Beast Below is much, much better on second viewing (I finally got why they were wearing hoods) than on first, though that episode still needed time to breathe, I think. The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone suffer from horror movie cliches (characters not saying what's wrong with them) and moving angels, plus being the inheritors to that ever present masterpiece, Blink.

Blink has a few things which make it superior to the other two:

1. Monsters original as ****.
2. No missed opportunities.
3. It's based 100% in the Doctor Who mythos. TARDIS, etc.
4. It all comes together in such odd but perfect ways.

Time of Angels is a good horror story, but the angels are incidental.

The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang is utterly brilliant: the twist that this isn't Rory at all, but an auton, was my favourite part. Arthur Darvill does a marvellous job. Plus the suspense, the story, the beautiful direction: all great. It shows that the Daleks and the Cybermen can be freaky if written by someone with talent, and has the greatest Dalek-related moment I've seen yet in facing the Stone Dalek against River. On the other hand, the way the Doctor escapes the Pandorica feels like a cop-out. You could say that the world ending means the rules change, but I still think that a paradox helping the Doctor escape is...not Moffat's best moment. Unless it turns out that the Silence helped out. Ohhh, spooky. Otherwise, episode excellence. Up there with the best of the lot.

Finally, The Vampires of Venice and the Lodger. I think these were good episodes, but fall short of greatness. Venice was cliche after cliche (world saved by switch, monsters walk slooooowly giving prey chance to escape, monsters make stupid mistake like sending all minions to house-that-later-explodes-and-kills-them-all), but it was funny and I liked the excuses they used for aliens-as-vampires, and why they were in Venice. It could've been better. But it could've been way worse.

The Lodger is good. It shows the geeky side of the Eleventh Doctor that I like a lot. It's a light-hearted romp, and if it weren't for the lame bits where a creepy human flickers in the darkness and victims actually follow to his bedroom - aka, people doing things they would never do in real life - and the resolution at the end, it'd have been great.

A Christmas Carol: some silly moments, but completely brilliant. I wonder what screw-driver we're getting now? Was it a toy decision from the BBC? And what was with the fish biting his neck?

I'm happy there's no Daleks in Series 6. I'm also hoping that Robert Shearman or the guy who wrote "Spare Parts" get to write more episodes. Booo Chris Chibnall. Hack.
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:02 AM   #199
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I mean, I'd love for Paul Cornell, Robert Shearman, Marc Platt (he wrote Spare Parts; I'm around half an hour into that) and maybe Matt Jones to do more episodes. It'd be good for new, untested writers to do some episodes. I think the days of Gareth Roberts, Toby Whithouse, etc are over. Mark Gatiss can write such good things (his Sherlock episode was excellent), but he can **** up royally too.

Series 6 is bringing back the decent Tom McRae. It's bringing back Mark Gatiss. It's bringing back Matthew Graham (admittedly a good writer, but "Fear Her" was lame). And it's bringing back Toby Whithouse. I think it needs new writers.

They might bring back Robert Shearman. That guy is excellent. His book Tiny Deaths is highly recommended. Him, I don't mind.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:38 AM   #200
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Totally agree with all of that. I still Mark Gatiss had a great idea, but was forced to crowbar in the 'new Daleks'. I do prefer Zaarin's idea, too. And absolutely anyone could've written that Silurian duo better.

Marc Platt's not written for new Who but totally should - he's an excellent writer for Big Finish, and he's one of the few who actually wrote for the original series too (he did 'Ghost Light', which actually was the last Classic story ever made).

Another great Big Finish writer who I'm predicting will turn up on the TV series eventually is Joseph Lidster. He's actually written for Torchwood and done a lot of on-the-side writing and editing for that series and Doctor Who itself, so it's not too big a leap. He's actually the only writer (barring RTD himself) to have written for all the major adversaries - Daleks, Cybermen, the Master and Davros. 'Master' is one of my personal favourites, and 'Terror Firma' is just an epic.

As for Rob Shearman, 'Jubilee' is utterly fantastic. Scenes in that got re-used in his First Series Dalek episode.

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