Rate The Big Bang

Rate the latest episode of Doctor Who, comments as always are welcome

10
65
25%
9
30
11%
8
36
14%
7
77
30%
6
22
8%
5
7
3%
4
6
2%
3
6
2%
2
6
2%
1
6
2%
 
Total votes: 261
chap with wings
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I think thats where we differ as fans Tony, I love the "human angle", I find if I dont care about the characters, I dont care about the plot, and the kitchen sink moments are what I have really missed about this series.
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LizR
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tony ingram wrote:See, I don't care that much about the 'human angle'. I watch Doctor Who because I like science fiction, so I'd rather find myself slapping my forehead and exclaiming 'oh, I get it now!' over a clever time travel related plot twist than sit there yawning and glancing at the clock as yet another boring kitchen sink moment unfolds. Yes, character moments are nice-but they should compliment the plot, not substitute for it. I think Moffat understands that more than Davies did. My instinctive reaction to Davies transparently trying to manipulate the audience's emotions with an overdone wuv scene and yet another rising score from Murray 'Cheesemeister' Gold was usually to swear at the screen...
Yes, agreed. (I have also been championing better SF over kitchen sink drama ever since newWho started, so I can hardly argue!) My problem arises because the "clever time travel related plot twists" don't actually appear to be very clever. As I said somewhere - maybe on another forum - the finale had about 4 "magic wand moments," all of which could have been avoided with better writing, IMHO.

PS In case it wasn't this forum, they were...

Amy cured by the Pandorica, how stupid is making a prison for the most feared being in creation that revives people?
Rory brought back as an Auton from Amy's memories, even though she couldn't actually remember him...
The universe brought back by a lot of hand waving...
The Doctor brought back Tinkerbell style because someone believes in him...

I'm starting to think that the siprit of RTD lives on.
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chap with wings wrote:I think thats where we differ as fans Tony, I love the "human angle", I find if I dont care about the characters, I dont care about the plot, and the kitchen sink moments are what I have really missed about this series.
I think you need both. You have to care about the characters, and you need a clever, gripping, well-constructed story. RTD managed the first (to some extent), SM manages the second (to some extent)...

So far the main characters have been reasonable, IMHO, especially the Doctor, young Amelia and Rory... but they were completely overwhelmed by the plot mechanics in the finale, which wouldn't have mattered so much except that the plot didn't seem to make much sense.
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tony ingram
 
 
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chap with wings wrote:I think thats where we differ as fans Tony, I love the "human angle", I find if I dont care about the characters, I dont care about the plot, and the kitchen sink moments are what I have really missed about this series.
As I said, character moments can be rewarding, but I don't think they should ever dominate the plot. To take two Dalek related examples: the final scene of The Dalek Invasion of Earth is a great character moment, quietly understated but impressive in its conviction, and it comes out of a sub plot that develops pretty much unnoticed (consciously at least) over several episodes as Susan becomes fond of David and the Doctor notices this. But that sub plot never dominates, it never impacts on the plot until that last scene when everything else is wrapped up and it's time to say goodbye. It works, it's very touching, but not intrusive. Doomsday, on the other hand, which should be an epic story about Daleks fighting Cybermen-something fans had waited forty years for-just stalls in the middle to indulge the writers desire to throw in a totally irrelevant plotline about Pete and Jackie Tyler, two characters who add nothing whatsoever to the actual main story (if Jackie had been totally omitted and Pete replaced by Jake or some other freedom fighter, it wouldn't have affected the Dalek/Cyberman plot at all). Then, just when it gets back on track, everything is wrapped up in about five minutes in order to get to yet another boring bit of soap drama, an interminable ending revolving around the actually rather pervy when you think about it unrequited love between a 19 year old bint and a man roughly a thousand years her senior who's actually from a completely different species! What a waste of a decent story!See the difference?

That whole relationship, incidentally, was something I hated. Within he context of the show, a show about an ancient alien travelling with a human girl, it made no sense. It relied on the audience basically forgetting the fact that the Doctor was this centuries old being from another world and engaging with him emotionally as though he was the 35 year old man he appeared to be. A casual viewer who didn't think through the implications of the thing properly might be able to do that; I never could. It didn't make sense. And I need the story to make sense more than I need to engage with the characters.
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i thought all that time hopping was juvenile and silly. especially the Doctors quip upon meeting River song in the TARDIS. that kind of pop culture reference from the Doctor always felt misplaced coming from an ancient alien time traveller.

i did quite like the Doctors little bedside chat to the little girl. i thought Matt Smith didn't overdo it, so it worked all the better.

it wasn't bad i suppose, but it wasn't great either.
chap with wings
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tony ingram wrote:
chap with wings wrote:I think thats where we differ as fans Tony, I love the "human angle", I find if I dont care about the characters, I dont care about the plot, and the kitchen sink moments are what I have really missed about this series.
As I said, character moments can be rewarding, but I don't think they should ever dominate the plot. To take two Dalek related examples: the final scene of The Dalek Invasion of Earth is a great character moment, quietly understated but impressive in its conviction, and it comes out of a sub plot that develops pretty much unnoticed (consciously at least) over several episodes as Susan becomes fond of David and the Doctor notices this. But that sub plot never dominates, it never impacts on the plot until that last scene when everything else is wrapped up and it's time to say goodbye. It works, it's very touching, but not intrusive. Doomsday, on the other hand, which should be an epic story about Daleks fighting Cybermen-something fans had waited forty years for-just stalls in the middle to indulge the writers desire to throw in a totally irrelevant plotline about Pete and Jackie Tyler, two characters who add nothing whatsoever to the actual main story (if Jackie had been totally omitted and Pete replaced by Jake or some other freedom fighter, it wouldn't have affected the Dalek/Cyberman plot at all). Then, just when it gets back on track, everything is wrapped up in about five minutes in order to get to yet another boring bit of soap drama, an interminable ending revolving around the actually rather pervy when you think about it unrequited love between a 19 year old bint and a man roughly a thousand years her senior who's actually from a completely different species! What a waste of a decent story!See the difference?

That whole relationship, incidentally, was something I hated. Within he context of the show, a show about an ancient alien travelling with a human girl, it made no sense. It relied on the audience basically forgetting the fact that the Doctor was this centuries old being from another world and engaging with him emotionally as though he was the 35 year old man he appeared to be. A casual viewer who didn't think through the implications of the thing properly might be able to do that; I never could. It didn't make sense. And I need the story to make sense more than I need to engage with the characters.
We are definately at opposite ends of the Spectrum Tony! :D :D

I thought the scenes between Jackie and Pete enriched the story no end, I like the idea of ordinary people thrown into extraordinary circumstances and the consequences it has on them, to me The Daleks and Cybermen were secondary, a plot device to let the emotional story be told, much like the actual purpose and secrets of the Island on Lost were secondary to the effect the place had on the characters, that just me, I am a sentimental middle aged fool who cries at the least thing.
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tony ingram
 
 
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I don't really do sentimental. Not over TV shows, anyway-they aren't real. I watch TV to get away from real life. Maybe this is the root cause of much of the disagreement over which era of Whop is best-it comes down to what you want to get out of it, and what the writer is intending to give you. I don't think Moffat is trying to win the hearts of his viewers as much as RTD was, he's more interested in engaging their brains. Different approaches, probably both as legitimate, but appealing to different chunks of the audience to an extent. This latest one appeals more to me since I don't really need to emotionally connect with the characters so much but I like convoluted plots.
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tony ingram wrote:As I said, character moments can be rewarding, but I don't think they should ever dominate the plot. To take two Dalek related examples: the final scene of The Dalek Invasion of Earth is a great character moment, quietly understated but impressive in its conviction, and it comes out of a sub plot that develops pretty much unnoticed (consciously at least) over several episodes as Susan becomes fond of David and the Doctor notices this. But that sub plot never dominates, it never impacts on the plot until that last scene when everything else is wrapped up and it's time to say goodbye. It works, it's very touching, but not intrusive. Doomsday, on the other hand, which should be an epic story about Daleks fighting Cybermen-something fans had waited forty years for-just stalls in the middle to indulge the writers desire to throw in a totally irrelevant plotline about Pete and Jackie Tyler, two characters who add nothing whatsoever to the actual main story (if Jackie had been totally omitted and Pete replaced by Jake or some other freedom fighter, it wouldn't have affected the Dalek/Cyberman plot at all). Then, just when it gets back on track, everything is wrapped up in about five minutes in order to get to yet another boring bit of soap drama, an interminable ending revolving around the actually rather pervy when you think about it unrequited love between a 19 year old bint and a man roughly a thousand years her senior who's actually from a completely different species! What a waste of a decent story!See the difference?
To me Susan and David just seems tagged on at the end. They have very little interaction and certainly not enough to make me think she would have fallen in love with him and want to stay behind.........with only one shoe to her name. Same with Leela (20 something savage bint) and whatshisface (maybe thousands of years old) in Invasion of Time.
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I think we all want to see Doctor Who stories with both well crafted characters that the audience can empathise with and clever, exciting, well-constructed stories.

Russell T Davies was exceptionally good at writing characters that viewers liked and identified with, but the complaint most levelled at him is that he wrote series finales that were so huge in concept and scale he couldn't find a plausible way of resolving them. I agree with that up to a point, there were some cop out moments that made me wince, especially in Journey's End. The point is the journey. There may be a cop-out magic wand moment or two, but it's science fantasy, if you want hard hitting documentaries tune into the Discovery Channel.

I could happily endure the magic wand moments in Parting of the Ways, Doomsday, Last of the Time Lords, and Journey's End because the stories involved characters I cared about in situations that I thought were gripping, dramatic, funny, tragic and exciting. Doctor Who has always had an element of high camp melodrama, and RTD seemed to understand that, and knew how to exploit it. He made the programme accessible to everyone, which is what was needed to change it from a cult show into a family drama, and a ratings hit.

The problem with this series finale is that Steven Moffat hasn't succeeded in creating leading characters that I care about this year. There were no punch-the-air moments, there was no-one that I thought "oh I hope she he/she makes it". I couldn't have cared less if any of them had been blown to smithereens. The plot can be as clever, complex, and well written as it's possible to be, but if I don't give a toss about the characters, who cares.

RTD gave us Rose Tyler, Jackie, Mickey, Captain Jack, and Donna Noble. Steven Moffat has given us Amy Pond, who shouts a lot, wants to cheat on her fiance, and is sometimes a bit of a bitch. The only redeeming features of this series have been the completely wonderful Matt Smith (sorry chap) and Arthur Darvill as the much-underused Rory. The only moment of the last episode that I thought was rather marvellous was the Centurion guarding the Pandorica through the ages. Even if it was gubbins, it was touching.

But my main complaint is that as a finale this was small scale and (at times) dull. It reminded me of a mid-season filler episode rather than a finale, and what has happened to the budget this year, it looks like it's been halved. I thought Moffat might have been saving his pennies for the finale but it just didn't look as good. If that's down to the BBC then it needs to remember Doctor Who is one of it's best selling programmes, both in terms of overseas sales and merchandising, and it ought to invest in it.
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Whereas I hated Rose and her annoying family and couldn't give a toss about Martha or Donna, but really connect with Amy since I know and love someone just like her, and find Rory both likable and hilarious. It's all down to personal taste. I also don't really see why every series finale has to be an epic, and certainly don't agree that the journey is more important than where you end up: it doesn't matter how interesting the story is, if it falls apart at the end, it's a failure as far as I'm concerned.
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For me, I want to care about the characters, but I wont care for them if they exist in a fantasy world where no real danger can ever present itself and they are being moved around clumsily like pieces on a chess board to push various emotional buttons. The fact RTDs idea of what an engaging character was didnt fit mine wasnt much help either.

To put it another way, even the most believable character will not be believable if the things they experience do not follow any kind of internal logic. So you can slather on all the emotion you want, if these people are just transparently puppets of the writers often contradictory whims, my tears will remain unjerked.



Bettre to put characters in a more "believable" world (not realistic - different things!) and see them react to the events and let the charcter be drawn by those events. Then I'll be engaged. Don;t think Moffat pulled it off here - way too many plot points that unnecessarily make things over complicated and even worse, nonsensical.

This just added to my suspicion that Moffatt is deliberately aping RTD motifs and trying to leaven them with a bit of cleverness. Sometimes thats worked, and sometimes thats failed and sometimes they've forgotten to add the smarts (Siluran eps, I'm looking at you!)!

So if you peer at this one, theres a lot of RTD style tomfoolery - the Pandorica handily being the sum of all atomic knowledge of the universe - or just as weird, all atoms have the knowledge of all other atoms... or something! - the power of memory to manifest people back into being....

Like a good magician he distracts you with some timey wimey other cleverness that works logically enough (if you accept he can get away with it just this once due to teh collapse of the entire universe bar this think sliver). But again, it is just distraction. Not in quite the same way RTD would do it, with some schmaltz and weeping (though Moffatt isnt afraid to go there), but with some plot shenanigans to keep the plot nerds eyes away from the inherent nonsenses elsewhere. Personally, i prefer Moffats style of distraction, but even so, it is still distraction. I'd much prefer they shied away from putting themselves in such unwinnable situations in the first place and told good stroes that didnt need a reset button, elegant or not.

Matt Smith also helps paper over the cracks if you'll pardon the expression....

Quite good that there are plot threads dangling ("Silence will fall" etc), but not if they lead to yet another overblown finale. I think this proved that no matter how clever you craft them, throwing the Doctor into these super sized threats is a fools errand.


As LizR poited out this feels very much like the eccleston era - some good things, some bad things, but which will the writers embrace next time out... i'm still living in hope, but I can still remember Series 2.... Maybe thats why Moffatt reset the numbering - eek!
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Character development is definitly one of the shows successes and Russell Davies actually did a lot of really great work in this area, the shame is he just couldn't leave a character at their peak. If Rose had been left behind with Doomsday we'd still be talking about it, it was that good a send off and left her at a high in terms of character development. Martha I feel was given a raw deal as her character went absolutely nowhere, I don't think it a huge exageration to say she's barely remembered and that's a real shame.
Donna I absolutely hated up until Left Turn and some real insight into who she really was, like Rose it's a shame she wasn't left at a high though. The sum result and effect of all this character work has been succesful overall though, I really liked the dark edge Tennant occasionally showed and he can do that sort of thing very well, quite disturbing in fact. In that sense he beats Matt Smith hands down and I regret they didn't explore the 10ths darker impulses a little better despite the excellent Waters of Mars....

Maybe there is a graphic example of the shows ability to almost get it right in terms of character development but lacking the sense to know when to cease or alternately go for broke. :(
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Zenith wrote:Character development is definitly one of the shows successes and Russell Davies actually did a lot of really great work in this area, the shame is he just couldn't leave a character at their peak. If Rose had been left behind with Doomsday we'd still be talking about it, it was that good a send off and left her at a high in terms of character development. Martha I feel was given a raw deal as her character went absolutely nowhere, I don't think it a huge exageration to say she's barely remembered and that's a real shame.
Donna I absolutely hated up until Left Turn and some real insight into who she really was, like Rose it's a shame she wasn't left at a high though. The sum result and effect of all this character work has been succesful overall though, I really liked the dark edge Tennant occasionally showed and he can do that sort of thing very well, quite disturbing in fact. In that sense he beats Matt Smith hands down and I regret they didn't explore the 10ths darker impulses a little better despite the excellent Waters of Mars....

Maybe there is a graphic example of the shows ability to almost get it right in terms of character development but lacking the sense to know when to cease or alternately go for broke. :(
I'm not against returning characters but I wish RTD hadn't redone the beach scene from Doomsday at the End of Journey's End, there was no way he could match the emotional intensity of the original.

It also seemed unlikely to me that Rose would be happy with a 'clone' Doctor, especially a clone that seemed to have quite different values from the original.
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aggedor wrote:
Mike Nuttall wrote:Overnights of 5.1 million.

Hot weather. England footie showing on Sunday. A very disappointing figure, I hope it rises with the finals.
It'll go up to around 7 million which is very good considering the early start time and the hot weather. Doctor Who was the highest rated show of the day on the BBC, beating Casualty by over a million. The football on ITV was the highest rated show of the day and it only got 5.7 million.
Didn't Journey's End get nearly 13 million.

It is a bit disappointing, but I'll be happy with 7.
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If the silence will fall thing isn't explained at Christmas does that mean we have to wait 18 months to find out what it's all about?
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LizR
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Mike Nuttall wrote:I'm not against returning characters but I wish RTD hadn't redone the beach scene from Doomsday at the End of Journey's End, there was no way he could match the emotional intensity of the original.
Hmm, that would be the scene where a 900 year old alien starts to tell a 20 year old "stupid ape" that he loves her, but is cut off when his supernova runs out of steam? :D It certainly had emotional intensity for me (but perhaps not the same ones... Vomiting Smiley Face )

As for the clone Doctor - eeew. That was just wrong.
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abominable snowman wrote:If the silence will fall thing isn't explained at Christmas does that mean we have to wait 18 months to find out what it's all about?
"I'll explain later..." :lol:
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LizR wrote:
abominable snowman wrote:If the silence will fall thing isn't explained at Christmas does that mean we have to wait 18 months to find out what it's all about?
"I'll explain later..." :lol:


...Surely the next series will be seen around May again? :|
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Rewinding a little I really don't like these overtly sexual advances Amy keeps making towards the Doctor. In The Big Bang she goes up to him and invites him to kiss the bride and then a few minutes later she walks into the TARDIS and asks for a snog. It's her wedding day and Rory is around, it doesn't make her very likeable, she doesn't seem to care about Rory's feelings.
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