Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby bobmcpherson » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:13 pm

Heccypoo wrote:
bobmcpherson wrote:
Heccypoo wrote:
I suppose I'm easily led with good visuals. My earliest movie hero as a kid wasn't an actor or writer, but a sfx man, Ray Harryhausen. Whilst I like to think I've matured since then someone comes along with a Cyber-King and I'm too gobsmacked to worry about the plot


There's a difference between what Ray Harryhausen (and what Willis O'Brian's King Kong team) did and NuWho's SFX.

Even if some were in 'B' movies, and though technically they have dated, Harryhausen's effects have craftsmanship and a charm that will still enchant.

NuWho is soulless, by the numbers CGI. CGI, done well, is a great tool in the SFX box, but the sh*te produced for NuWho is embarrassingly bad compared to American and other TV shows.



Just watched SAN ANDREAS...a wall to wall cgi earthquake/flood and dull as hell. Does not compare to EARTHQUAKE or SAN FRANCISCO. CGI is boring. Thus when NUWHO is weak it is doubly weak. You need a good story to make the dull CGI seem interesting. THE NEXT DOCTOR is okay only because of the Cybermen. Without them, it would be impossible.............


The first incarnation of Cybermen in NuWho are terrible Robocop rip offs...

That's before they became terrible IRON MAN rip offs...


Oh no disagreement there. Davies attempt to reboot them has proved a failure. I am only saying that the PRESENCE of the cybermen make THE NEXT DOCTOR just slightly better than it is. Whenever I get around to rewatching it, it is very possible that even THAT won't save. By this time, I had already decided to leave the show..it was THAT hideous and somehow Moffat(!!!) pulled a save and kept me aboard until he too started pulling a Davies........

The only genuinely good Cyberman story in NUWHO was NIGHTMARE IN SILVER..........and as stated before DEATH IN HEAVEN drove me from the series it was that decisively awful.

I expect that even many of the not god awful NUWHOs will like the initially not godawful McKoys will not survive reviewal and I will be down to a seasons worth of eps I am willing to ever rewatch again.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:37 pm

THE WATERS OF MARS
- wooohooo! I love this one! It's a real proper suspenseful base-under-seige story with some fcking scary moments for the kiddies :o (like when the first monster-mouth guy turns around for the first time), Lindsay Duncan is (as usual) brilliant. The whole tone and dynamic of this is SO much better than whimsical bollocks like Planet of the Dead's flying bus or The Next Doctor, all all that flying-home-the-TARDIS stuff in Journey's End. Hard to believe this was made my the same production team, really! (Although they did make 'Midnight', so fair do's...)

The only bit I thought was a *little* portentious was the phrase "The Timelord Victorious" (actually, it was a *lot* portentous) ... but the actual concept of the Doctor realising he can try and do whatever the fck he likes, because he's the only Time Lord left, is great... and Tennant plays the "ooooh, he's gone a bit to the dark side!" wonderfully.

Really, the only thing that's exasperating for me about stories like this is that it makes you think "why can't they ALL be like this?!?! why do we have to have bollocks about sontarons and The Doctor's Daughter and all that crap?!?"

And as only the 2nd one to be made in High Definition, the visuals are fantastic: frankly it did just look to me like it was "on mars" and "in a space base" ... the only bit that looked slighly unconvincing was the earth street at the end, with Lindsay Duncan appearing to live in some rather pretentious part of Bath or somewhere...
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby paulhickling » Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:31 pm

feline1 wrote:THE WATERS OF MARS
- wooohooo! I love this one! It's a real proper suspenseful base-under-seige story with some fcking scary moments for the kiddies :o (like when the first monster-mouth guy turns around for the first time), Lindsay Duncan is (as usual) brilliant. The whole tone and dynamic of this is SO much better than whimsical bollocks like Planet of the Dead's flying bus or The Next Doctor, all all that flying-home-the-TARDIS stuff in Journey's End. Hard to believe this was made my the same production team, really! (Although they did make 'Midnight', so fair do's...)

The only bit I thought was a *little* portentious was the phrase "The Timelord Victorious" (actually, it was a *lot* portentous) ... but the actual concept of the Doctor realising he can try and do whatever the fck he likes, because he's the only Time Lord left, is great... and Tennant plays the "ooooh, he's gone a bit to the dark side!" wonderfully.

Really, the only thing that's exasperating for me about stories like this is that it makes you think "why can't they ALL be like this?!?! why do we have to have bollocks about sontarons and The Doctor's Daughter and all that crap?!?"

And as only the 2nd one to be made in High Definition, the visuals are fantastic: frankly it did just look to me like it was "on mars" and "in a space base" ... the only bit that looked slighly unconvincing was the earth street at the end, with Lindsay Duncan appearing to live in some rather pretentious part of Bath or somewhere...



Great episode. Mars looks absolutely terrific, and the story as a whole is genuinely creepy. It does indeed make you wonder why people like Phil Ford aren't used more often.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby paulhickling » Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:38 pm

bobmcpherson wrote:
Heccypoo wrote:
bobmcpherson wrote:
Heccypoo wrote:There's a difference between what Ray Harryhausen (and what Willis O'Brian's King Kong team) did and NuWho's SFX.

Even if some were in 'B' movies, and though technically they have dated, Harryhausen's effects have craftsmanship and a charm that will still enchant.

NuWho is soulless, by the numbers CGI. CGI, done well, is a great tool in the SFX box, but the sh*te produced for NuWho is embarrassingly bad compared to American and other TV shows.


Just watched SAN ANDREAS...a wall to wall cgi earthquake/flood and dull as hell. Does not compare to EARTHQUAKE or SAN FRANCISCO. CGI is boring. Thus when NUWHO is weak it is doubly weak. You need a good story to make the dull CGI seem interesting. THE NEXT DOCTOR is okay only because of the Cybermen. Without them, it would be impossible.............


The first incarnation of Cybermen in NuWho are terrible Robocop rip offs...

That's before they became terrible IRON MAN rip offs...


Oh no disagreement there. Davies attempt to reboot them has proved a failure. I am only saying that the PRESENCE of the cybermen make THE NEXT DOCTOR just slightly better than it is. Whenever I get around to rewatching it, it is very possible that even THAT won't save. By this time, I had already decided to leave the show..it was THAT hideous and somehow Moffat(!!!) pulled a save and kept me aboard until he too started pulling a Davies........

The only genuinely good Cyberman story in NUWHO was NIGHTMARE IN SILVER..........and as stated before DEATH IN HEAVEN drove me from the series it was that decisively awful.

I expect that even many of the not god awful NUWHOs will like the initially not godawful McKoys will not survive reviewal and I will be down to a seasons worth of eps I am willing to ever rewatch again.


Yet feline is proving you wrong here Bob. Quite few episodes, including those of RTD, are proving themselves VERY rewatchable. IMHO there is NO comparison to between an average modern episode and a 'best' McCoy. On dvd I have only a handful of McCoys, and they all proved worse when rewatched. There are many new series episodes that have already stood the test of time, not a single series for me has anything as bad as a McCoy. And some (Runaway Bride for one) that actually improved when watched again.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:01 am

Yes, if there was one single bit of perspective I've gained about the Russel T Davies seasons from watching all of Doctor Who from the beginning, its was this: on transmission in 2005, I was comparing them in my head to my very very favourite classic stories (that I'd rewatched so often on VHS and DVD that I practically knew the scripts off my heard)... which is not a fair comparison.
This time round I've been comparing them to a decade's worth of prior JNT crap, and it's immediately apparent how much better the overall quality of RTD's is by pretty much every critera.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby paulhickling » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:16 pm

Personally I stand by what I've always said in the face of Classic vs New (which doesn't really exist in my mind), and that is I'm an 'all one series' fan. There are brilliant, average and rubbish in all eras. But even some Moff era average ones outshine the McCoys. Of all Doctor Who, it's that period where I see no real even average quality stories. Shame, because we see they're trying hard sometimes, but the balance is nearly always weighed towards poor.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby paulhickling » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:47 pm

Heccypoo wrote:
I suppose I'm easily led with good visuals. My earliest movie hero as a kid wasn't an actor or writer, but a sfx man, Ray Harryhausen. Whilst I like to think I've matured since then someone comes along with a Cyber-King and I'm too gobsmacked to worry about the plot


There's a difference between what Ray Harryhausen (and what Willis O'Brian's King Kong team) did and NuWho's SFX.

Even if some were in 'B' movies, and though technically they have dated, Harryhausen's effects have craftsmanship and a charm that will still enchant.

NuWho is soulless, by the numbers CGI. CGI, done well, is a great tool in the SFX box, but the sh*te produced for NuWho is embarrassingly bad compared to American and other TV shows.


We have to remember that even now, as in the past sfx in Doctor Who is there to serve the story. And for me, now, it does. The series isn't swamped with cgi any more than Invasion of the Dinosaurs was swamped with stiff models shoved on by someone's off-screen hand. The difference is that the little bits of cgi serve the programme better than crap models and cso.

Any charm must come from other aspects of the episodes, and for me by and large, they do.

And on the rare occasion when stop-motion has been used in Who it's rubbish 'cause they don't have the time. Sorry, but the Skarasan looks terrible (not to mention woefully inconsistent with the glove puppet in London) when chasing Tom across the moors. Medusa's snakes are better in The Mind Robber, because, of course, it's a tiny less ambitious sequence. Better to leave the some things out. Forget the Loch Ness Monster and just have the beautifully designed Zygons. See? It's about decisions.

Something else I disagreed with Barry Letts about, when it comes to giant monsters was the T-Rex in The Silurians vs the models in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. The former might not look brilliant, but to me it's better than the latter. But he did manage to pull out the stops with the Drashigs, which to this day look marvellous when they surface out of the swamp.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:40 pm

It's what Brian Hodgson adds to the Drashigs with his Radiophonics that takes them into a whole other league. They're great puppets, well filmed, but if they'd been dubbed with a Keff McCullough tootle they'd "look" rubbish :lol:
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby paulhickling » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:18 am

There's no doubt that those special sounds were indeed 'special'. That good we bought and actually sat listening to them on LPs and cds back in the day! And they do really work with the Drashigs. And those visual effects are that good, that on the Five Faces repeat I took off-screen stills. Not something I would do with a Venom Grub or the toy tank attack on the not-yet-Giant Robot! So it really is about the right decision, and will it work and sell the scene? If not, rewrite and leave out.

Keff is possibly the lowest point in all Who music. His presence points to yet more evidence that JNT was more suited to light entertainment, as Davison says again in the latest DWM. And worst of all, his music is such a bad fit for Doctor Who, that it isn't even entertaining in it's own strange way like, say, the incongruous jazz score in Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD, which I love.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:37 am

Finally managed to watch THE END OF TIME (parts 1 and 2).

Blimey. Hard to know what to say about this.

On original broadcast, I seem to remember my reaction what just a big "whatevah!" - after the respite in tone provided by The Waters of Mars, this story just seemed a return to the worst excesses of RTD melodramatic over-sentimental make-up-the-plot-as-you-go-along magic-ending bollocks, to the point where I really was beginning to feel like "if Dr Who is gonna be like this from now on, I'll struggle to watch it"

Watching it in context now, all the way from An Unearthly Child, and knowing what the next 6 years of Moffat were to bring, I dare say I'm a not quite so dismissive of The End of Time in the grand scheme of things.

Season 30 was definately one of RTD's strongest, with some top notch episodes (and strong support from Catherine Tate) - it was just the overblown "season finale" and "christmas/bank holiday special" guff at the end that tried my patience a little.

I think the strongest aspects of THE END OF TIME are the perfomances - Tennant gives some quite astonishing scenes, almost uncomfortable to watch - in many ways more in the sense of its uncomfortable to see *the Doctor* be like this, as the character almost never gets in such an emotional meltdown. Seen in the grand scheme of things I think it's actually great, dramatically, to stretch him to that point.
Cribbens does sterling work with what he's given - OK, it is a sentimental script, but I can't fault how he plays it.
Simms' Master also convinces me waaaay more that he did back in Season 2. He seems genuinely unhinged, mad and dangerous, much less a silly panto villain.

The weakest aspect for me is probably RTD choosing spectable over plot and MAKING SENSE.
The most egregious is Tennant falling out of a spaceship through a glass window without appearing to break any bones, never mind die. I mean WTF!??
Then having Outlanding and Hyperbolic Momentous Things Happening which are magically reversed -
everyone on Earth turns into the Master due to a magic machine... and then it's blown up and they all turn back again :roll:
And entire planet materialises beside Earth, and simply shakes a few vases off mantelpieces rather than causes the tidal destruction of the planet into asteroids... and then just magically gets sent away again anyways.

Oh and Donna - Donna whose "mind will burn if she remembers", turns out that what *actually* happens is she gives out a magic shockwave and falls asleep. And Tennant claims he had that planned all along. WHAT?!? You can't ham up a consequence like that for some many episodes and then just declare it was bollocks all along. Dear oh dear.

Then, erm, Timothy Dalton! :lol: What was all that about?!? I guess it's kinda been hinted at in the past that 'Rassilon was a bit of a baddie' (and we know Omega was a naughty fellow too) but how comes he's alive again anways!? And running things. The lady with felt-tip all over he face is completely risible.
And what's all this with "the Doctor's Mum"?? :lol: :lol: (or "the Woman" as she's called in the credits).

I dunno - I think basically, to me, this aspect of the plot just gets totally "fanzine", completely fanblabber stuff, drawn in just wild broadbrushstrokes that it barely makes sense and can never be done justice in a couple of episodes. I'm not saying you couldn't tell a story like this (or even this exact story) but I would rather see it done with proper acting and time for exposition and drama, rather than as guldering Murray Gold spectacle and CGI visugasms.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby Allons-y » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:15 am

feline1 wrote:Finally managed to watch THE END OF TIME (parts 1 and 2).

Blimey. Hard to know what to say about this.

On original broadcast, I seem to remember my reaction what just a big "whatevah!" - after the respite in tone provided by The Waters of Mars, this story just seemed a return to the worst excesses of RTD melodramatic over-sentimental make-up-the-plot-as-you-go-along magic-ending bollocks, to the point where I really was beginning to feel like "if Dr Who is gonna be like this from now on, I'll struggle to watch it"

Watching it in context now, all the way from An Unearthly Child, and knowing what the next 6 years of Moffat were to bring, I dare say I'm a not quite so dismissive of The End of Time in the grand scheme of things.

Season 30 was definately one of RTD's strongest, with some top notch episodes (and strong support from Catherine Tate) - it was just the overblown "season finale" and "christmas/bank holiday special" guff at the end that tried my patience a little.

I think the strongest aspects of THE END OF TIME are the perfomances - Tennant gives some quite astonishing scenes, almost uncomfortable to watch - in many ways more in the sense of its uncomfortable to see *the Doctor* be like this, as the character almost never gets in such an emotional meltdown. Seen in the grand scheme of things I think it's actually great, dramatically, to stretch him to that point.
Cribbens does sterling work with what he's given - OK, it is a sentimental script, but I can't fault how he plays it.
Simms' Master also convinces me waaaay more that he did back in Season 2. He seems genuinely unhinged, mad and dangerous, much less a silly panto villain.

The weakest aspect for me is probably RTD choosing spectable over plot and MAKING SENSE.
The most egregious is Tennant falling out of a spaceship through a glass window without appearing to break any bones, never mind die. I mean WTF!??
Then having Outlanding and Hyperbolic Momentous Things Happening which are magically reversed -
everyone on Earth turns into the Master due to a magic machine... and then it's blown up and they all turn back again :roll:
And entire planet materialises beside Earth, and simply shakes a few vases off mantelpieces rather than causes the tidal destruction of the planet into asteroids... and then just magically gets sent away again anyways.

Oh and Donna - Donna whose "mind will burn if she remembers", turns out that what *actually* happens is she gives out a magic shockwave and falls asleep. And Tennant claims he had that planned all along. WHAT?!? You can't ham up a consequence like that for some many episodes and then just declare it was bollocks all along. Dear oh dear.

Then, erm, Timothy Dalton! :lol: What was all that about?!? I guess it's kinda been hinted at in the past that 'Rassilon was a bit of a baddie' (and we know Omega was a naughty fellow too) but how comes he's alive again anways!? And running things. The lady with felt-tip all over he face is completely risible.
And what's all this with "the Doctor's Mum"?? :lol: :lol: (or "the Woman" as she's called in the credits).

I dunno - I think basically, to me, this aspect of the plot just gets totally "fanzine", completely fanblabber stuff, drawn in just wild broadbrushstrokes that it barely makes sense and can never be done justice in a couple of episodes. I'm not saying you couldn't tell a story like this (or even this exact story) but I would rather see it done with proper acting and time for exposition and drama, rather than as guldering Murray Gold spectacle and CGI visugasms.

For the record I hate The End of Time, but it makes complete sense having Rassilon there. In the last days of the time war when the Time Lords were at their most desperate and were ressurecting people to fight in the war anyway (it's stated they did this to The Master), it makes absolute sense that they'd ressurect Rassilon t lead them.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby paulhickling » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:02 pm

Well I love End of Time overall, but it's true that some elements are naff. Many of them feline lists. Some things would be ok if they were legitimised by some explanation, even the flimsiest excuse, instead of them just happening. But I'm glad we've come up with an excuse for Rasillon, because I was both impressed by Dalton's presence and perplexed at how he could be there. One thing's for certain he's ten times better than the last feller. But then it's hard to see Dalton being treated like a naughty schoolboy as Moff's script reduces him to. The ending to Part 1 of EoT had me totally thrilled as the camera pulled 'round to reveal him.

And I'm afraid I'm a sucker for the big Tennant sendoff. Murray Gold's accompaniment is incredible, and much loved by all who love the music and the concerts. I watched that last sequence an awful lot at the time.
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby Flying Tiger Comics » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:04 am

paulhickling wrote:And I'm afraid I'm a sucker for the big Tennant sendoff. Murray Gold's accompaniment is incredible, and much loved by all who love the music and the concerts. I watched that last sequence an awful lot at the time.



Pertwee's sendoff had one last set of (interminable and silly) vehicles and chases, in perfect keeping with the actor's style, and concluded with a set piece trademark one leg lifted and bent lying on the floor scene as he declaimed one last piece of paternal wisdom.

For Tennant, even though I did not like it personally, I think it was the most Tennanty Tennant bit in the history of Tennant in Who, and the Gold music is part of that, so if it's good enough for Pertwee... It's good enough for Tennant to go out in his own inimitable...

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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:44 am

I agree the Rassilon thing *could* make sense, but they just kinda gloss over it, probably cos someone like Julie Gardiner was complaining "casual viewers won't want all this Rassilon backstory stuff", which I completely disagree with, they shoulda done a detailed 6 episode story on it. And many 'casual' viewers would've become fans. ;)
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby DSJR » Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:20 pm

I have too many good memories of Rassilon in The Five Doctors - clever, calculating, but with a kind of portly humour (can't think of the word) than could win him many friends as well as enemies. The Doctor obviously seemed to know him of old I reckon (long before I ever heard of 'The Other')..

Interesting how RTD came in for some flack at the time, yet we can go back and watch so much of it again with renewed interest...
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Re: Watching DrWho from the beginning: Season 30

Postby 'teleportNOW!' » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:28 pm

YEah I think it's all because of greater ability now to compare it both with what came before and after: the DVD range is now complete and we've had 6 (!) years of Moffat. Back when RTD was actually being broadcast, a lot of us were comparing him with our favourite dozen VHSes of the very very best Tom Baker and Pertwee, and our self-imagineered Target novel productions ;)
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