New Daleks

paulhickling
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markhuk wrote:
LizR wrote:And the Adipose.
Oh god yes - now that was a bloody awful idea
They were great! Doctor Who's own Tribbles, and a wittier idea if you ask me. I thought they were genuinely funny, in a good way.

And Cybershades? Did we ever get an explanation for the Cybermats?
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LizR wrote:And the Adipose.
Oh no. They were sooooooooooo cute. :D
My next door neighbour mixed up her KY jelly with the superglue. I asked her how she managed that but her lips are sealed.
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paulhickling wrote:And Cybershades? Did we ever get an explanation for the Cybermats?
So your theory is that two wrongs make a right? :twisted:

Mind you, the 'shades kind of beg the question, because they look like an animal with a cyber-face added, the 'mats look more like little robots created to go into narrow spaces, so make slightly more sense.
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LizR wrote:the 'mats look more like little robots created to go into narrow spaces, so make slightly more sense.
[/quote]

The ones in Revenge are huge.
My next door neighbour mixed up her KY jelly with the superglue. I asked her how she managed that but her lips are sealed.
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LizR
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Kajaboy wrote: The ones in Revenge are huge.
I must watch that again sometime. Isn't it the one with the lunar landscape on a rotating drum?
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LizR wrote:
Kajaboy wrote: The ones in Revenge are huge.
I must watch that again sometime. Isn't it the one with the lunar landscape on a rotating drum?
That's the one.

The Cybermats always seemed a bit silly to me, at least the Cybershades were useful. The Cybermats in Revenge were quite a size if I remember correctly.
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LizR
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The point was that the shades are silly, not that the mats aren't. I can never see how some newWho silliness can be supported by saying "but they did that in oldWho!" because there were plenty of naff things in OldWho!

I was hoping NW wasn't going to just be like the worst bits of OW...!
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LizR wrote: I was hoping NW wasn't going to just be like the worst bits of OW...!
Looks like youre going to be dissappointed then........
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LizR
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markhuk wrote:
LizR wrote: I was hoping NW wasn't going to just be like the worst bits of OW...!
Looks like youre going to be dissappointed then........
"Going to be" ?
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LizR wrote:
markhuk wrote:
LizR wrote: I was hoping NW wasn't going to just be like the worst bits of OW...!
Looks like youre going to be dissappointed then........
"Going to be" ?
good point
paulhickling
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When something isn't explained, it might be annoying, but it doesn't contradict anything (Who mythology), so you just take it on face value. Neither the Cybershades or Cybermats were explained. That just leaves us to like or dislike them as details. If the Cybershades were silly what about those Troughton Cybermats with the felt legs and big eyes and antenae? They don't look silly?!

The Cybermats could be a brilliant detail. A spaceship could be infested with these things before the Cybermen walk in and simply take over. I also remember thinking what a good flying Cybermat the metal creatures in Planet of the Dead would have made. Obviously the Cybermats were based on some form of Mondasian/Telosian insect life. Shame a genius like Kit Pedlar chose not to explain them.

And I hadn't thought of the Cybershades as being an animal with a Cyberhead/brain attached. But that could be another good one. Some animal augmented by the Cybermen for use as a slave force/guard dog type thing. And a shame fans have to come up with these solutions when the paid writers can't be bothered!
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paulhickling wrote:When something isn't explained, it might be annoying, but it doesn't contradict anything (Who mythology), so you just take it on face value. Neither the Cybershades or Cybermats were explained. That just leaves us to like or dislike them as details. If the Cybershades were silly what about those Troughton Cybermats with the felt legs and big eyes and antenae? They don't look silly?!
The point was that the shades are silly, not that the mats aren't. I can never see how some newWho silliness can be supported by saying "but they did that in oldWho!" because there were plenty of naff things in OldWho!
And I hadn't thought of the Cybershades as being an animal with a Cyberhead/brain attached. But that could be another good one. Some animal augmented by the Cybermen for use as a slave force/guard dog type thing. And a shame fans have to come up with these solutions when the paid writers can't be bothered!
Exactly. The shades could have been fine - had they had some sort of explanation or sensible use, even an implied one. But the feeling I get is that RTD just thought they looked cool, and that was as far as it went. Whereas the mats were at least used in various ways to undermine defences in bases under siege - eating the fuel rods, or whatever.
paulhickling
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LizR wrote:
paulhickling wrote:When something isn't explained, it might be annoying, but it doesn't contradict anything (Who mythology), so you just take it on face value. Neither the Cybershades or Cybermats were explained. That just leaves us to like or dislike them as details. If the Cybershades were silly what about those Troughton Cybermats with the felt legs and big eyes and antenae? They don't look silly?!
The point was that the shades are silly, not that the mats aren't. I can never see how some newWho silliness can be supported by saying "but they did that in oldWho!" because there were plenty of naff things in OldWho!
And I hadn't thought of the Cybershades as being an animal with a Cyberhead/brain attached. But that could be another good one. Some animal augmented by the Cybermen for use as a slave force/guard dog type thing. And a shame fans have to come up with these solutions when the paid writers can't be bothered!
Exactly. The shades could have been fine - had they had some sort of explanation or sensible use, even an implied one. But the feeling I get is that RTD just thought they looked cool, and that was as far as it went. Whereas the mats were at least used in various ways to undermine defences in bases under siege - eating the fuel rods, or whatever.
But if your criteria then is to explain thngs, then I still say the Cybermats were never explained either. I agree there are silly things in both new and old Who. Personally I don't mind either of these. Infact I like them both. An explanation would be nice in both cases, but I'm not sure that one is particularly better than the other. I agree with your point that RTD just thought they looked cool.

Personally though, I find his liking for space animals far worse. Hated the pig men. Even though there was an explanation, originally detailed but eventually just implied in the finished story, they just looked naff. And Lazlo was a joke. His teeth/tusks looked like they would fall out any second. As for the idea he would live on happily...! The Judoon were ok, because they looked great in their outfits and the one head seen was a rather nice animatronic piece of work, plus there was an effort made, if humourously, with their speech pattern.

BUT, again BUT!, from what I've seen so far the obsession with space animals has really hit rock bottom with the Shansheeth! It's like he's breaking his neck to please the fans, only to sabotage the eps with these turkeys! Less 'Death of the Doctor', than 'Watch the Birdie'!

God, that script better be a corker.
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paulhickling wrote:But if your criteria then is to explain thngs, then I still say the Cybermats were never explained either. I agree there are silly things in both new and old Who. Personally I don't mind either of these. Infact I like them both. An explanation would be nice in both cases, but I'm not sure that one is particularly better than the other. I agree with your point that RTD just thought they looked cool.
Well, I'm not hung up on explanations, I am more interested in whether something works in various ways within the context of a story. And I also agree that I don't dislike things for being silly per se - the Daleks are, after all, fairly silly in a lot of ways, yet somehow I manage to like them. My criteria are more to do with things like internal consistency, suspension of disbelief, whether certain events in a story have been "earned" by the emotional journey of the characters involved, and so on.
Personally though, I find his liking for space animals far worse. Hated the pig men. Even though there was an explanation, originally detailed but eventually just implied in the finished story, they just looked naff. And Lazlo was a joke. His teeth/tusks looked like they would fall out any second. As for the idea he would live on happily...! The Judoon were ok, because they looked great in their outfits and the one head seen was a rather nice animatronic piece of work, plus there was an effort made, if humourously, with their speech pattern.
I agree with you about both these. (I have often cited "Smith and Jones" as one of RTD's best scripts, as it happens, and as for animal heads in boiler suits....flies, fish, rhinos, pigs, squids, plus maybe a few others I've forgotten....this has become a bit of a new-Who cliche.)
BUT, again BUT!, from what I've seen so far the obsession with space animals has really hit rock bottom with the Shansheeth! It's like he's breaking his neck to please the fans, only to sabotage the eps with these turkeys! Less 'Death of the Doctor', than 'Watch the Birdie'!
It's possible that within the context of the story they actually work well....but I doubt it. I've spend 5 years refusing to prejudge RTD, saying he might get it right this time, that he might have learned from his mistakes and so on. Having been disappointed almost every time (aside from one or two stories, see above), I'm finding that hope doesn't quite spring eternal, it springs for 5 years, but after that I've started to wonder if RTD has any sort of built-in censor, or if he just believes everyone who says he'sa genius. After all, it's almost the definition of a good artist that they are their own worst critic, but RTD gives the impression of thinking that whatever he turns out is wonderful.
God, that script better be a corker.
Yes. I'm not holding my breath.
paulhickling
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A read of some of his musings, like interviews and his book, shows he doesn't regard what we see as mistakes as mistakes. And that IS the mistake! He just does as he pleases and we either like it or not. In some ways it's the only way to go, and as you say he does occasionally do stuff we like, even whole scripts! Who couldn't LOVE Midnight? Infact the pile of good things to me is far bigger than the pile of bad....

I agree about Smith and Jones. Both that and Partners in Crime, are his best season openers, with their best balance encapsulating what Who has to offer generally speaking, ever since the classic days, in humour, thrills, monsters etc. They have a feel of the 'general entertainment' (including bonkers bits like the hospital on the moon) aspect of the Christmas specials, but with a bit more of the 'straight' Who story to them.

Rose is a classic for a number of reasons, but because of it's irksome stuff, just fails as a decent story in itself. And it has a monster that could've justifiably had one of RTD's bloody space monsters, and he doesn't bother! The original pitch video from The Mill apparently had a proper squid type Nestene, which he went and replaced with a bloomin' blob!
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Are you thinking of musings like these?
RTD wrote:I can see how annoying that looks. I can see how maddening it must be, for some people. Especially if you’re imposing really classical script structures and templates on that episode, even unconsciously. I must look like a vandal, a kid or an amateur… The simple fact is, all those things were planned. All of them were my choice. They’re not lazy, clumsy or desperate. They’re chosen. I can see more traditional ways of telling those stories, but I’m not interested. I think the stuff that you gain from writing in this way – the shock, the whirlwind, the freedom, the exhilaration – is worth the world. I’ve got this sort of tumbling, freewheeling style that somersaults along, with everything happening now - not later, not before, but now, now, now. I’ve made a Doctor Who that exists in the present tense. It’s happening now, right in front of your eyes! If you don’t like it, if you don’t join in with it then… blimey, these episodes must be nonsensical. But those classical structures can be seen in Primeval, in Demons, in Merlin, in all of them – and yet we stand with millions more viewers. And I think that’s partly why.
I have various problems with this. What he's decribing is how beginners tend to write. I've written like that, when I was 10. When you start writing, you don't think ahead. Everything happens "now", regardless of what happened before, and without a thought of what comes later. But once writers mature, they begin to produce stories that make sense, that are self consistent, that don't treat the reader as an idiot. That "freewheeling" style is great fun - and sometimes even a mature writer will do it, but normally they "riff" in a controlled manner. It's one way a writer can enjoy himself. But if it's done too much, it isn't very satisfying for the reader/viewer, and if it's done all the time, it inevitably leads to the "with a wave of his magic wand, everything was fixed" endings that RTD specialises in.

A genius like Graham Masterton or John Christopher might be able to get away with it, but for most of us - including, as is clear from his work, RTD - we need to put a bit more thought into what's already happened (so we don't get incongruities like Donna changing character in TRB, or the nature of time changing in TWoM) and into what's going to happen next (so we don't paint ourselves into a corner, like - well, like almost every script by RTD).

For a kid writing their first story, it's great. Yes, get those ideas down, see where the story takes you. Mature writers do it, too, in the planning stages - it's called brainstorming, and it's probably been around as long as there have been writers. But having got that rough draft, it needs polishing, restructuring, turning into a story - not just being presented as a finished masterpiece.

Most writers (and artists in general) are their own worst critics. (Virginia Woolfand John Kennedy Toole would be classic examples from the writer's pantheon, I guess.) But the impression I always get from reading RTD's comments about his work is that he thinks he's a genius, that everything he does is wonderful, and that anyone who criticises is an idiot. Or that they at least are too stupid to get what he's doing (see the above quote).

Having said that, I also quite like "Rose". It has a good portrayal of the Doctor, before RTD started turning him into a cross between a no-hoper who needs to be rescued every 5 minutes (as happened at the end of Rose - by which time I was already becoming a little disillusioned) and an Oncoming Storm/Lonely God (if I want a superhero there's lots of other TV shows to watch - whatever happened to the Doctor?) Unfortunately PiC was ruined for me, not just by one of the silliest aliens ever invented, but by yet another "wicked witch" character. "Midnight", IMHO,was spoiled by having one of the most irritating aliens ever, the kid-repeating-everythg-you-say alien - the fact that it was also a character drama with cardboard charactes (David Troughton wasted, for a start) and a nonsensical plot resolution (so, why doesn't it just come back inside again, like it did before?) are just the lark's vomit on the cake.

But "Smith and Jones" wasn't bad, even if the thought of adapting a hospital MRi machine to wipe out life on Earth, or whatever the (yet-another-wicked-witch) alien was planning was a teensy bit belief-unsuspending. But Martha was a breath of fresh air after Rose, who I fondly thought we'd seen the last of, and the Judoon were reasonable reproductions of the Vogons. And it had some great lines - “As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got to earn that title”, and “Right. Not pompous at all, then.” It felt like a new start, after the nonsense of AoG/Doomsday and TRB. Martha hasn't yet gone all drippy and 2-dimensional, and I had the impression that RTD was really trying hard, the same feeling I had with "Rose". Sadly that didn't last, and he was soon back on autopilot.

Actually, I quite like "Love and Monsters" too, and not just because of Marc, although he helps. It's another good idea spoiled by an awful ending (and therefore, perhaps, by that "freewheeling, now now now!" technique RTD's so fond of...)
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That was the very muse. I agree with a lot of what you say, except I do think Midnight is something of a masterpiece, the writing here gives us two brilliant performances from the two leads. Love and Monsters is another. I agree his stories are irritating for the reasons you give, though I don't think he thinks the audience are idiots. I reckon he does his stuff, and if folks don't like it there are others in the season they might prefer. My feeling is that his characterisation and dialogue, and a certain amount of heart within his scripts are what make them likable, despite those admitedly important shortcomings. There is indeed too much magic in his conclusions. Strange for someone who says he prefers sf to fantasy, when his solutions are so fantastic.

But I have to say also, that our great hope in Moffat hasn't been entirely satisfied. I feel that all his stories for RTD are classics to some extent, whereas the stuff for his own series are a bit shaky. The Big Bang was every bit as silly as anything in (the hugely enjoyable) Doomsday or Journey's End. However more credible the style might be for some, the high level of fantasy at the climax to this year's series is every bit as annoying to me as anything RTD did.
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paulhickling wrote:But I have to say also, that our great hope in Moffat hasn't been entirely satisfied. I feel that all his stories for RTD are classics to some extent, whereas the stuff for his own series are a bit shaky. The Big Bang was every bit as silly as anything in (the hugely enjoyable) Doomsday or Journey's End. However more credible the style might be for some, the high level of fantasy at the climax to this year's series is every bit as annoying to me as anything RTD did.
Yes. I was kind of hopeful that Moffat might improve things - if only by leaving other writers to get on with their work without loading them with shopping lists, rewrites etc - but I wasn't terribly hopeful, because although "Blink" and to some extent TEC/TDD were pretty good, he definitely had some weak points, e.g. a huge streak of sentimentality - "Everyone lives!" is not in the tradition of DW as I remember it - some awful dialog ("My lonely angel" etc), and, well, various other things I can dig out of my memory if necessary. I was also uncertain about Matt Smith. However, after a decent start - I could only slightly fault "The Eleventh Hour" which was for most of its length a masterclass in story telling - Moffat went into "Curate's Egg" mode, as did some of the other writers (Matt Smith was far better than I expected, however). So we got some fairly good stories - certainly above average for newWho, IMHO - but some clunkiness mixed in, plus there still didn't seem to have been a huge amount of thought put into having things make sense, or be historically accurate, with cringe-inducing portrayals of both Churchill and van Gogh (and Bill Nighy wasted, sigh). (And then there were the new Daleks - with all the wonderful designs around on the web, they might have managed something a bit more, well, Daleky...oh well...)

Unfortunately, the grand finale was as bad as some of RTD's, though not for the same reasons - where RTD was mostly bereft of any decent ideas, Moffat was bubbling with ideas that didn't really fit together (or make sense). Somewhat to my surprise there were some great emo moments in Moffat's final, but an equally huge lack of coherence. So the Doctor was written out of history then brought back because Amy remembered him....or was he? WTF actually happened? (As for River Song making a Dalek beg for mercy, that just isn't supposed to be a word Daleks even know...)
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Well, nothing to argue with there except the quality, for me, in those RTD era Moff stories.

But bringing this thread neatly back to it's core subject those new 'Daleks' are bloody awful. I too have seen far better re-imaginings around the web, many of which keep many elements that prevent them looking un-Dalek like. That's the biggest crime here. First off the rivets were a problem, coming from Cusick himself. So why not just take the damn things off? But as for giving them such big backends, making them look fat, bulky and downright ugly is unforgivable. The rivets were artistic licence to help make fibre glass props look metallic and heavy duty. It worked. They look great. The rivets were no more a problem than dirtied non-atmosphere going spaceships with the same odd sense of logic. We know it's wrong, but it looks right.

Now they look like inaccurate toys from a bygone era when toys weren't meant to be accurate models, so they just made a reasonable stab for something likey to be played with in the sand and soil. Don't make them sleek, or smart/cool looking. Make them look as stupid as possible, like something out of a really dumb kids show.

Don't know which is worse. The new Daleks or man sized vultures.
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paulhickling wrote:Don't know which is worse. The new Daleks or man sized vultures.
We'll find out soon!
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