The Worst Moments of New-Who

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bige
 
 
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I've got a few nominations...

:evil: THE LAST OF THE TIME LORDS - Everyone in the world says 'Doctor' and then the Doctor gets superhero powers and the Master cowers in the corner. The Doctor then goes to him and hugs him and says "I forgive you": CRINGEWORTHY!!!
:evil: JOURNEY'S END - Donna suddenly becomes a metacrisis thing, fiddles with controls, blabs on about the greatest crap I ever heard, and the Daleks spin around in circles in a defeat that's suppossed to be 'funny': PUKEWORTHY!!!
:evil: PLANET OF THE OOD - Pretty much all of it. The Ood are apparently telepathic opera singers, and are connected by a very, very, very big brain and does nothing but make gurgling noises: PUKEWORTHY!!!
:evil: JOURNEY'S END - Congrats Russell. You've got two awful moments in one episode! The Doctor leaves Rose on the beach so she can live with the Doctor's clone; More like the Doctor dumps Rose on some mutant reject, and therefore the mutant reject and her have to snog: CRINGEWORTHY!!!
:evil: DOOMSDAY: So the Daleks are going to destroy the Earth? No, David Pansy Tennant can suck them into the void. Send them to hell: WTF?!-WORTHY!!!
:evil: DOOMSDAY/ARMY OF GHOSTS - Of course the Daleks would say "EXTERMINATE!" a billion-trillion times so Rose can say their names (A similar thing happened in "The Stolen Earth"): WTF?!-WORTHY!!!
* (can't use a smiley)THE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE - The Doctor goes though time in a Fireplace and Madame de Pompadour songs him (Despite this, THE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE was a very cleverly-made episode): CRINGEWORTHY

Any other nominations?
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Voyage of the Damned - the Doctor being carried aloft by "angels", the cactus-like alien with the coffee-inspired name, smoke trails in space, the "Titanic" pulling out of a hypersonic dive without shattering any windows, the Doctor being thanked by the Queen...

The Next Doctor - the Lady in Red, the giant Cyberman, the cyber-dogs...

Partners in Crime - the Adipose, the Nanny...

Midnight - most annoying alien possession ever...

The Waters of Mars - 45 minutes of being told "ye canna change the laws of time" only to find out that, oh no, wait, actually you can (sorry about misleading everyone, but there wouldn't have been a story otherwise) - a pointless suicide, the ridiculous idea that having Adelaide turn up mysteriously dead on Earth would somehow be as inspiring to her grand-daughter as her nobly sacrificing herself on Mars...

The Unicorn and the Wasp - silliest alien (after the Adipose...)

That's just off the top of my head. If I could be bothered reacquainting myself with a few more episodes, I could write a small novel on the subject.
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bige wrote:THE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE - The Doctor goes though time in a Fireplace and Madame de Pompadour songs him (Despite this, THE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE was a very cleverly-made episode): CRINGEWORTHY
Most ridiculous rationale ever (the space-ship's name....therefore the ticktock men want Reinette's brain....?!)
Some cringeworthy dialogue...
"The clock on the mantel is broken! It is time!"
"Oh, such a lonely childhood... so lonely, so very very alone... such a lonely little boy - lonely then and lonelier now... my lonely Doctor."
A cringeworthy riding through a mirror on a white horse....
The Doctor abandons Rose and Mickey to their fate to rescue his bit on the side...
The Doctor has an affair (with - cringe - "dancing" being mentioned...) with - cringe - a human. Who we hardly get a chance to know, and neither does he, but we are supposed to sympathise with nevertheless....
One episode after he's explained very convincingly why he doesn't form strong relationships with "shortlives", who have a habit of upping and dying on him, he goes ahead and does it....very unconvincingly, IMHO...
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LizR
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And of course, possibly the worst moment was when I finally conceded that the new "Doctor Who" wasn't living up to my expectations, a moment about which I eventually felt compelled to write a review...

"Dissy Daleks! Dissy Doctor!" by LizR 11/4/07

Let's get the good stuff out the way first. This was, as ever, entertaining. There wasn't a dull moment. I was moved. I laughed, I cried. My tears were jerked when I witnessed the best ever Rose/Doctor moment (when he sent her back in time, out of danger) and the best Rose/Jackie moment (when J realised that R had actually met her dead father, and perhaps realised just why Rose wanted to travel with the Doctor - you may recall it was the words "By the way, it also travels in time" that made her change her mind at the beginning of the series...) And we had that brilliant silent "Ex-ter-min-ate!" of course...

And finally - "Barcelona!" - roll the credits - settle back with a happy sigh.

If you're happy to just be entertained, read no more.

This episode was supposed to be the climax of the season. As such, it suffered more than the average amount of post-coital triste. Because, just when you though Russell was going to treat you to a "Second Coming", instead you got coitus interruptus.

But let's start at the beginning.

Rose is alive! But she's in the "hands" of the Daleks. "You will do as we say," they say, "or your associate" (nice touch, that word!) "will be exterminated."

So what does our fearless hero do? He makes a rousing speech, telling Rose and the Daleks (via a video link, natch) "I'm going to rescue her ... I'm going to save the Earth ... I'm going to wipe every stinking Dalek out the sky! Rose - I'm coming to get you."

Now, this brought a lump to the throat, it was great, it was wonderful, it was... stupid.

Can you imagine Patrick Troughton making that speech? No, me neither. Because Troughton (and David Whittaker) respected the Daleks. He knew "the suffering they cause". He knew that they were capable of exterminating Rose just because he'd dared to disagree with them.

But they didn't. Not Russell's Daleks. Apparently, all they can do is get in a tizz. "But - you have no plan!" They do, supposedly, have a reason (of which the Doctor was, incidentally, unaware) to keep Rose alive - to "predict the Doctor's actions". Well, OK. So they put her into one of their fiendish torture/mind-reading machines and... oh. No, they ask her politely. And she refuses to cooperate, so they exterminate her... oh. No, they keep her hostage in a cell... oh, no, they use one of their famous neck manacles (which often has to be held in place by the actor in question)... oh. No, they leave her to wander around their control room unfettered. As you do with a captured enemy.

These are DALEKS?

Well, no, as it turns out. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

So, anyway, the Doctor and Jack have to rescue Rose from the Emperor's flagship. That's a big space ship: even the smaller ones hold 2,000 Daleks apiece; the Emperor's must be a mile across, easily. Gosh, I can see there's going to be some problems here! The Doctor doesn't know what the Daleks have done with Rose, so he'll have to materialise the TARDIS in some inconspicuous corner, and they will have to sneak through those Dalek-infested corridors until they can find Rose, rescue her, then make their escape.

Or not. A better plan would be to fly the TARDIS through space (it's not as though it can just disappear in one place and reappear in another, after all) and let the Daleks shoot at it. Because, what with the Time War and everything, they certainly won't have developed any TARDIS-busting missiles, will they? Certainly not one that the Doctor's TARDIS can't withstand, because it's such a super-duper advanced model, isn't it, not a crappy old mark 40 or whatever.

Or not. Still, in some unexplained manner, it allows Jack to charge up a gun he put together out of something he lifted from a makeover show, and a force field, and - I can't be bothered with more sarcasm, yes, Russell has the TARDIS miraculously locate Rose in the Emp's mile-wide ship and appear around her, and then they have a forcefield which follows them around so they can step outside and belittle the Daleks even more, just in case we didn't get the point that the metal monsters have now been turned into pussies.

And apparently the Daleks call the Doctor "the Oncoming Storm". Very poetic, just the sort of thing you expect from them.

Sigh. This is just one thing that Russell got completely, almost mind-bogglingly wrong. The Daleks. I could write more Dalek-like Daleks. You could. How could he possibly not get them right?

Sigh. So Russell disses the Daleks. OK, let's move on. Without further ado, cutting to the chase, etc...

Then we have the Delta Wave. The Doctor spends most of the episode connecting cables so he can wipe out most of the human race, in order to wipe out the Daleks (which are also, in fact, human beings, pulped, filleted, etc). And he doesn't know whether the Daleks ALSO have colonies and outposts, where they too will survive out there in space. Did they put all their eggs in one basket? He doesn't know. But he carries on, building a machine that he will eventually wimp out from using in any case.

OK, so Russell disses the Doctor.

And we have Rose sent back in time. Nice touch. Nice speech. And then she decides to come back. And she tries to open up the TARDIS with a car. Nope, doesn't work. It's a piece of alien technology, the apes in 2001 may as well have hit the monolith with the jawbone of an antelope. So she tries something clever, like, oh, asking it? She perhaps finds some key, some clue she left herself from the future (the password to open the TARDIS is "Bad Wolf," perhaps?)

No, she uses a tow truck. Nice one. First Russell disses the Daleks, then the Doctor, and now the TARDIS.

Meanwhile, back at Satellite 5, Jack gets to make a rousing speech: "Ladies and gentlemen, we are at war" etc.

And the Daleks finally get to look menacing for a while, as they blast away everyone in sight. Just like in Dalek, the only thing that makes them into even a shadow of their former selves is blowing away extras. No cunning, no other forms of ruthlessness. Plus we get the same "overkill": namely, Russell can't make a few Daleks threatening - we have to have millions. So you know there's got to be some sort of deus ex machina to remove them all, whether it's an extra-dimensional vacuum cleaner or "Vortex Rose" (which also sounds like a vacuum cleaner, come to think of it).

Oh, and I almost forgot, the Daleks have got religion.

What? But, the Daleks have always had religion. Their creed has never changed: "we are the supreme beings, everyone else is scum to be used and lied to as necessary, and then exterminated." Why do they need to dress it up any other way, or try to force other "inferior" beings to "Worship him! Worship him!"? Well, because it's sledgehammer time (again). Because Russell is moralising (again), showing how bad religion is. Never mind whether it makes sense, helps the story, contradicts characterisation, or not, he's got to get that soapbox stuff in somehow.

So, the Daleks invade. Everyone dies, heroically or otherwise. There is a steal from Destiny of the Daleks - "My vision is impaired!" - and finally, with a merry quip, Jack is exterminated, the Doctor is surrounded, there is a showdown with the Emperor, the Doctor wimps out, and . . .

Enter Jennifer Saunders, singing: "With a wave of my magic wand, your troubles will soon be gone..."

Sorry, what I meant to say was, enter Billie Piper and lots of glowing ectoplasm, to save the day.

Now, that's a nice trick. We can use it next time the universe is threatened, surely? Cybermen? No problem. Just get someone to gaze into the heart of the TARDIS, and zap 'em into atoms.

But wait. The Doctor tells us: "No-one's supposed to do that!"

Why not? It appears to work. Is it illegal, immoral, fattening, or just dangerous? Apparently the latter, but this is not explained, and NO REASON IS GIVEN AS TO WHY the Time Lords didn't do the very same thing at any point in the Time War! Couldn't a volunteer have been found to look into the heart of a TARDIS and save Gallifrey, to save all the Time Lords, to save Susan and Romana and the Master and the Meddling Monk and all the others? And whoever did it wouldn't even have to die, because Time Lords can regenerate.

D'uh.

This is incredibly, inexcusably lazy writing. Worse than the earlier miraculous rescue of Rose, worse than the tow truck.

What else? Well, the Doctor continues to prove he's a wimp by not saving the world, as he'd promised to do earlier. So the Earth remains in ruins, presumably. And Jack is resurrected, but no one else is, as far as we know, even though millions of people must have been wiped out.

And what about the "Bad Wolf" business? Gosh, talk about coitus interruptus. We were built up slowly, week by week, to expect something truly wonderful, something utterly brilliant. And then the climax was so . . . pointless. I know Russell can't resolve a plot sensibly to save his life (see The Second Coming, The End of the World, Boom Town, Doomsday etc, etc). But honestly, he could have just read some of the speculation on Outpost Gallifrey and come up with a better idea. Even my "password to enter the heart of the TARDIS" idea would have been better than "Oh yes, must send myself a reminder to rescue the Doctor from certain death."

(Incidentally, speaking of resolutions that didn't quite make it, wouldn't New Earth have been great if only Cassandra had, at the last moment, and unnoticed by anyone else, leapt out of Chip and possessed her younger self, thereby becoming an immortal time loop being? Wouldn't that have been just SO Doctor Who? That's just a random example of how Russell has let down my expectations. I actually think New Earth is his best script so far, except for the Sarah Jane Adventure Invasion of the Bane).

Someone give the man another BAFTA, and tell him he's a genius.
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LizR
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I'm starting to get into my stride now... :D
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tony ingram
 
 
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Can I just nominate everything in the last five years that was written by Russell T Davies? It'll save time.
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LizR
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tony ingram wrote:Can I just nominate everything in the last five years that was written by Russell T Davies? It'll save time.
But that would spoil the fun!

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bige
 
 
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"Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways" was good, but was majorly flawed, as LizR puts it perfectly. Rose turning into a god could have been really good if Russell actually paid more attention to it, and made it not-so-easy. The idea of Religion was f**king annoying, and (again) as LizR puts it, the Daleks simply allow Rose to wander around in a the control room. In the classic series, if the Doctor said what he said in "Bad Wolf", then the Daleks would have went "Then she will die!" <BANG-SIZZLE!>. Rose is dead. :o

"Boom Town", "Fear Her", "The Unicorn and the Wasp", "Midnight" and "Planet of the Dead" are AMAZINGLY under-rated. Why is it, when the New Series FINALLY manages to come up with something that ISN'T crap, everyone thinks it IS crap!? :lol:

"The Waters of Mars" did have flaws in that the Doctor was saying how you can't change the laws of time and the episode ends with him doing so. "The End of Time" was the 2nd most WORST piece of crap that Russell ever came up with.

I seriously want to murder Russell sometimes. Anyone seen what happens to the eyeless prisoners in "Mansion of the Doomed"? I'd like THAT to happen to him...
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What annoys me most about RTD is that before new Who, I thought he was one of us (!) I remember reading a couple of reviews by him in DWM special about (I think) Fury from the deep and Spearhead. Then later, when I heard he was going to be the show runner I re-read these and thought "wow! This guy really knows what makes great Who". But he never delivered that. Ok, I can concede that he's given a re-birth to the show, but I think most of that is down to the high budget and the wonders of the Mill.
Also, I always felt the Hinchcliffe era would be the one that he would pay the highest homage to. But, no, he seems to see the Williams/Adams era as definitive Who. WTF!?
Btw, I agree with most of the above reviews. We are not all rabid, bitchy no-life people. Most of those who review are intelligent and articulate people. But Russell doesn't take any of this constructive criticims on board. But he studied English at Oxford - criticle analysis is what it is all about. He should know and respect that.
And despite the brilliance of some of Mr Moffat's work, I think it'll be more of the same - too many sexual references (rather than romance) and body function jokes.
Still, I'm a fan and I'll be watching in wonder like a 10 year old. ;)

Oh and for me the worst moment was the Doctor carrying the Olympic torch in Fear Her - effing stupid.
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Fear Her. A bore-fest.

Most of Voyage of the Damned, including the Angels carrying the Doctor upwards through the air and smashing through into the ship's bridge with not a hair on his head out of place.

The last fifteen minutes of Journey's End. Far too much treading old ground, it lost much of it's emotional impact, and Billie didn't look thrilled to be fobbed off with a human Doctor.

Far too much of The End of Time Part One.
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Love and Monsters: insult the viewers of the show
Macra: Let's insult a classic Who monster
The Farts of the Slitheen
and last but not least:

Mickey and Martha married?!?
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LizR
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Guantanamera wrote:Oh and for me the worst moment was the Doctor carrying the Olympic torch in Fear Her - effing stupid.
AAAAARRRGGGHHHHH! Yes, another awful moment! :shock:

I would have got on to that eventually, but there's just so much....
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Mike Nuttall wrote:Billie didn't look thrilled to be fobbed off with a human Doctor.
Not necessarily the worst, but by a country mile the creepiest moment of new-Who. The Doctor (and hence Russell T Davies) obviously thinks there's nothing wrong with handing over the Doclone like it's a piece of merchandise. Rose seems happy to accept a photocopy, as though she's so shallow that all she wants is someone who looks like the Doctor, the Doclone doesn't help by just standing there without complaining, looking like a blow-up doll, and everyone seems to think this whole transaction is normal, rather than excruciatingly embarassing.

RTD seriously allowed his fantasies to get in the way of a coherent story. As one reviewer put it: "in a lifetime dream fulfilled (and in the most expensive fanfic in the world), Davies's stand-in gets her man. Sorted."

Did I saw eeeeeeeeew?
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HornOrSilk wrote: Macra: Let's insult a classic Who monster
Ah yes, this one. I think it may have been David J Howe who said that the best resolution to Gridlock was to have the Macra behind the whole thing - you know, the vehicle gases and the people just willingly accepting to be stuck in a never moving line of traffic that goes no where and no one reallly knows where they're gonna go anyway. The reveal of the evil crabs near the end would have been a superb finish. But no - it was all down to the Face of Boa doing it all, that made no real sense and was just too far fetched. The Macra were wasted, wasted, wasted!!
Did not one senior production person think that?? Or do people just listen to Russell saying how everything is "bwilliant" all the time?
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Guantanamera wrote:
HornOrSilk wrote: Macra: Let's insult a classic Who monster
Ah yes, this one. I think it may have been David J Howe who said that the best resolution to Gridlock was to have the Macra behind the whole thing - you know, the vehicle gases and the people just willingly accepting to be stuck in a never moving line of traffic that goes no where and no one reallly knows where they're gonna go anyway. The reveal of the evil crabs near the end would have been a superb finish. But no - it was all down to the Face of Boa doing it all, that made no real sense and was just too far fetched. The Macra were wasted, wasted, wasted!!
Did not one senior production person think that?? Or do people just listen to Russell saying how everything is "bwilliant" all the time?
Option 2, I think.
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One persistent irritation for me has been RTD's failure to appreciate numbers. Like 5 billion. Or 100 trillion.

I miss the poetry of "the filipino army in their final advance on Rejkjavik" in the 51st century. The 30th-century ark in space. The invasion of the daleks in 2164 AD. I miss having a plausible sense of scale of human history, earth history, cosmic history. Our earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Our universe, about 14. The Andromeda galaxy will probably crash into the solar system in about 7 to 10 billion years, under some meaning of the word "crash". There is drama in these numbers, there are stories to tell.

I get it that RTD doesn't really understand arithmetic. Or physics.

But... 100 trillion years? Really?!!!

RTD might say "who cares?!" about these things. To me it's sloppy crafting.
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LizR wrote:I'm starting to get into my stride now... :D

Indeed you are!
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The climax of Last of the Timelords when Floaty Jesus Doctor glides across the room to hug the master and say the very words we are led to believe the Master most fears from the Doctor - "I forgive you".

Yes the worst partly cos its so embarrassing to watch esp in the company of non-doctor who fans who burst out laughing (in my experience).
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Indeed, all the religious iconography littered around in RTD's stories is rather weird considering he's allegedly an atheist. He would, it seems, rather make little jabs at the subject rather than do something which addresses it full on, e.g. do a story about a race which is dominated by religion and the effects this has (not too hard to imagine - or a historical would do - maybe a trip to the crucifixion :D ).

But instead, as one person put it, "RTD is afraid to grab the bull by the horns, as they did in classicWHO, preferring instead to yap away at the issue like a terrier biting your ankles."
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The Doctor jumping out of a spaceship, crashing through a skylight and NOT regenerating.
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