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I started this thread and I.love the show. Classic Who is my thing and I've probably seen every episode a dozen times. As for the new series started 2005, well I've watched every episode and have the dvd box sets,  and enjoyed the first four to five years,  but it has increasingly become a slog to get through it all. I'm halfway through Whittaker's second season so haven't watched the recent special,  but am not expecting much. A good gauge is the Planet Mondas forum,  like TRL forum,  run by diehards,  committed fans of the show. The most popular score that the recent special got on their poll was 0 yes 0 out of 10. The ratings compared to other shows on at the same time are not bad, but this is still the lowest rated Dr Who festive story to date ,half of even Capaldi's last one which wasn't so long ago. I'll reserve judgement till I see it, but the show is slowly dying IMO.The xmas special is certainly no longer a must see family event. 

 

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The Christmas special was fine I think, by the standards of these things.

I do wish, for all the stories of recent series, they sometimes had more time to breathe. Yes there are season-long story arcs but squeezing an entire storyline into 50 minutes or whatever it is often fails to do justice.

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2 hours ago, HawkMan said:

I started this thread and I.love the show. Classic Who is my thing and I've probably seen every episode a dozen times. As for the new series started 2005, well I've watched every episode and have the dvd box sets,  and enjoyed the first four to five years,  but it has increasingly become a slog to get through it all. I'm halfway through Whittaker's second season so haven't watched the recent special,  but am not expecting much. A good gauge is the Planet Mondas forum,  like TRL forum,  run by diehards,  committed fans of the show. The most popular score that the recent special got on their poll was 0 yes 0 out of 10. The ratings compared to other shows on at the same time are not bad, but this is still the lowest rated Dr Who festive story to date ,half of even Capaldi's last one which wasn't so long ago. I'll reserve judgement till I see it, but the show is slowly dying IMO.The xmas special is certainly no longer a must see family event. 

 

I don't share your negativity, I'm afraid.

I still enjoy the show very much. I am genuinely in awe of the creativity that constantly surrounds it.

This year's special was the most watched programme on BBC One on New Year's Day and there was loads of positive reaction towards it on social media afterwards. How that can be interpreted that is it somehow 'dying' escapes me. 

It is constantly changing. That is its inbuilt appeal. If you don't like the actor currently playing the Doctor, you know there will be a different one coming along within 3-4 years, because that's how it works. If you don't like the current writers or production team, the same applies. None of them stay forever. So why waste energy slagging them off while they are passing through?

I'm sure there will have been fans of William Hartnell who absolutely loathed the thought of Patrick Troughton taking on the part back in the 1960s. Thank goodness no one listened to them.

The vitriol that is aimed at the lead actor, writers and production team from some quarters is appalling, in my view. Especially given that most of them are fans themselves, who know the show inside out and love it just as much as any of the keyboard warriors on forums whose default setting is to find fault rather than look for enjoyment. 

I've seen criticism that the current TARDIS team is 'too big' with three companions, but that was exactly how the show started out back in 1963!

Forums in general, including this one, tend towards the negative for some reason. 

Maybe that's what happens when groups of die-hard fans get together. They are too busy looking for perfection, and anything that falls short of it, however good it might be on its own merits, is dismissed as a failure to reach those unattainable heights.

The past can never be recreated, because you can never be the same person you were 10, 15, 20 or more years ago when those golden memories were created. 

A lot of 'classic' Who is actually quite ropey, if we're honest about it. But when you are a child, watching on a tiny black and white telly, you don't notice William Hartnell fluffing his lines or a microphone boom looming into shot. It doesn't matter, because your imagination is covering over those cracks. You don't care that entire episodes can go by without the plot moving forward at all, because you're just happy to be watching the Doctor faff about on an alien planet for a bit. You can forgive wobbly plastic dinosaurs because if Jon Pertwee is running away from them, you know they are definitely scary. One of my abiding memories of watching Doctor Who as a kid, is Tom Baker's first story with the Giant Robot. I was 8 years old. It blew my mind. I was utterly transfixed. It was only years later, rewatching it on DVD, that I even noticed the CSO effects in that epsiode are absolutely awful and the robot's legs keep disappearing into the background.

I guess what I'm trying to say, in this long winded ramble, is that even now, at 54, I still try to watch Doctor Who with the wide eyed wonderment I had back then, because it's just more fun that way. 

I think if the original show had been relentlessly scrutinised and pulled apart by adults at the time, in the same way the modern version is now, it wouldn't have lasted through 1964, let alone chalked up 57 years and counting.

.

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.I understand your points John, maybe I'm just an old fogey, who BTW is a fan of 70's/80's tv generally,  but a lot of us older fans have a problem with the current version of the show. The imagination going into the stories are great, the fx terrific,  the preachiness is a tad OTT but of course the original show had this sort of political undercurrents in stories such as Green Death, Invasion of the Dinosaurs,  and Monster of Peladon,  but the story was the main thing, the message was not all consuming,  but this isn't the issue . The characterisation of The Doctor has altered drastically,  gone are the days of the mysterious and  unknown traveller turning up on various planets, helping out with companions in awe of the adventures they were having.  Now the Doctor is the saviour of the Universe,  a legend,  armies turn back at the mention of The Doctor.  Companions like the dreaded Clara , egocentric who fit in their travels with the Doctor in between their boring personal lives, that apparently the writers think we are all interested to know about. Also classic aliens have been revived and ruined IMO. Silurians, Ice Warriors,  and omg the Cybermen,  now devoid of any character,  just emotionless robots. The Cybermen of Earthshock might be a bit too emotional,  but you were reminded of the fact that remnants of people were inside the metallic casings. The Sontarans have now been turned into figures of fun. The Master a brilliant creation realized by Delgado is now a panto villain.  Has new Who brought back any classic element and improved it? Oh well, I'll watch it , because it is STILL better than most other rubbish on tv in science fiction genre, I just hope Blake's 7 my other love isn't revived, that would be too much. 

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On 24/10/2020 at 22:51, HawkMan said:

I assume you mean Curse of Peladon and The Green Death,  also Monster of Peladon  the miners strike . Yes it had an agenda, but it wasn't really preachy, and the agenda was woven into the story expertly.  Today you almost expect Jodie Whittaker to turn to the camera and say ," remember viewers take care of the planet, god bless "

Might as well be blunt. I don`t even begin to comprehend the appeal of Doctor Who or anything similar. Beyond the theme tune and the assistant totty.

However, I did watch it as an impressionable infant, and I`m pretty sure "The Green Death" is the one with the giant maggots. One episode was experienced while trying to eat a bowl of mandarin orange segments. Wasn`t able to finish them, and to this day even the thought fills me with nausea. They were previously my favourite dessert. The power of association is amazing.

The series from that era that really creeped out my young mind was "The Sea Devils". Not just the freaky monsters, but the accompanying Radiophonic Workshop weirdness.

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Since the rebirth of the series, they have tried to pack in rather too much portentous cosmic gubbins and ambitious plot arcs. Sometimes it has worked well, sometimes less so.

To be honest, I've drifted in and out of it since Tom Baker's days. But the very sudden outbreak of foaming rage that (by complete chance, I'm sure) coincided with the first female Doctor* has been a bit on the twatty-virgin side.

*and thus usurping one of the 12 trillion roles that Idris Elba has been linked to by lazy columnists in the last decade, too! How dare they!

Edited by Futtocks

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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1 hour ago, HawkMan said:

., I just hope Blake's 7 my other love isn't revived, that would be too much. 

it would be renamed blakes 7 colours of the rainbow flag if they did 

did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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6 hours ago, HawkMan said:

.I understand your points John, maybe I'm just an old fogey, who BTW is a fan of 70's/80's tv generally,  but a lot of us older fans have a problem with the current version of the show. The imagination going into the stories are great, the fx terrific,  the preachiness is a tad OTT but of course the original show had this sort of political undercurrents in stories such as Green Death, Invasion of the Dinosaurs,  and Monster of Peladon,  but the story was the main thing, the message was not all consuming,  but this isn't the issue . The characterisation of The Doctor has altered drastically,  gone are the days of the mysterious and  unknown traveller turning up on various planets, helping out with companions in awe of the adventures they were having.  Now the Doctor is the saviour of the Universe,  a legend,  armies turn back at the mention of The Doctor.  Companions like the dreaded Clara , egocentric who fit in their travels with the Doctor in between their boring personal lives, that apparently the writers think we are all interested to know about. Also classic aliens have been revived and ruined IMO. Silurians, Ice Warriors,  and omg the Cybermen,  now devoid of any character,  just emotionless robots. The Cybermen of Earthshock might be a bit too emotional,  but you were reminded of the fact that remnants of people were inside the metallic casings. The Sontarans have now been turned into figures of fun. The Master a brilliant creation realized by Delgado is now a panto villain.  Has new Who brought back any classic element and improved it? Oh well, I'll watch it , because it is STILL better than most other rubbish on tv in science fiction genre, I just hope Blake's 7 my other love isn't revived, that would be too much. 

Doctor Who isn't made primarily for its own ageing fanbase (myself included), who can remember the names of minor characters from obscure Tom Baker episodes.

It is made for a general family audience, many of whom will be too young to have watched any of the classic series at all. 

There will be kids who's first exposure to the series will have been watching Jodie Whittaker, and they will love her as much as we loved 'our' first telly Doctor Who. I posted a video earlier in this thread illustrating exactly that point. It's their show now, not ours.

It simply wouldn't survive on TV these days if it hadn't evolved from what it once was.

It has to be remembered that the classic series that older fans revere, was cancelled by the Beeb in 1989 and was off air (bar the failed TV movie and a handful of dreadful charity 'specials') for 15 long years. We might have loved it, but no one else did.

The 2005 reboot was wildly successful exactly because it had been updated, with all the tics and tricks that a modern TV audience demands. I haven't loved everything they've done with it, but I'd rather they keep on innovating and pushing it forward with new ideas than just trying to regurgitate the past.

We can go back and watch the old episodes anytime we want, to wallow in a bit of childhood nostalgia. But everything we consider as 'canon' now, was once a new, unfamiliar idea tried out by a writer pushing boundaries to challenge the audience. One of the show's most iconic writers, Robert Holmes, trashed everything fans already thought they knew about the Time Lords in The Deadly Assassin way back in 1977. The modern day writers like Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall are only following in his footsteps.

You asked in 'New Who' had brought back any classic element and improved it. How about Sarah Jane Smith? Arguably THE most beloved companion of the old series, whose return was so successful she got her own long running spin off show, that only ended when Elisabeth Sladen sadly passed away.

.

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9 hours ago, John Drake said:

It is constantly changing. That is its inbuilt appeal. If you don't like the actor currently playing the Doctor, you know there will be a different one coming along within 3-4 years, because that's how it works.

As I was saying...

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker quits after three years as Time Lord

https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/doctor-who-star-jodie-whittaker-23255685

I didn't expect my point to be vindicated before the end of the same day I wrote it! 😁

.

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5 hours ago, Futtocks said:

Since the rebirth of the series, they have tried to pack in rather too much portentous cosmic gubbins and ambitious plot arcs. Sometimes it has worked well, sometimes less so.

To be honest, I've drifted in and out of it since Tom Baker's days. But the very sudden outbreak of foaming rage that (by complete chance, I'm sure) coincided with the first female Doctor* has been a bit on the twatty-virgin side.

*and thus usurping one of the 12 trillion roles that Idris Elba has been linked to by lazy columnists in the last decade, too! How dare they!

Those Idris Elba rumours will be firing up again shortly...

.

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8 hours ago, HawkMan said:

.I understand your points John, maybe I'm just an old fogey, who BTW is a fan of 70's/80's tv generally,  but a lot of us older fans have a problem with the current version of the show. The imagination going into the stories are great, the fx terrific,  the preachiness is a tad OTT but of course the original show had this sort of political undercurrents in stories such as Green Death, Invasion of the Dinosaurs,  and Monster of Peladon,  but the story was the main thing, the message was not all consuming,  but this isn't the issue . The characterisation of The Doctor has altered drastically,  gone are the days of the mysterious and  unknown traveller turning up on various planets, helping out with companions in awe of the adventures they were having.  Now the Doctor is the saviour of the Universe,  a legend,  armies turn back at the mention of The Doctor.  Companions like the dreaded Clara , egocentric who fit in their travels with the Doctor in between their boring personal lives, that apparently the writers think we are all interested to know about. Also classic aliens have been revived and ruined IMO. Silurians, Ice Warriors,  and omg the Cybermen,  now devoid of any character,  just emotionless robots. The Cybermen of Earthshock might be a bit too emotional,  but you were reminded of the fact that remnants of people were inside the metallic casings. The Sontarans have now been turned into figures of fun. The Master a brilliant creation realized by Delgado is now a panto villain.  Has new Who brought back any classic element and improved it? Oh well, I'll watch it , because it is STILL better than most other rubbish on tv in science fiction genre, I just hope Blake's 7 my other love isn't revived, that would be too much. 

Hope this is taken the right way, but I never thought the worlds of Rugby League and Doctor Who could inhabit the same space but here we have them joined by a post 😉.

Have to admit, I like the nostalgia of being scared by the Daleks and particularly the Cybermen as a kid but also glad that the show continues to evolve.  The Weeping Angels I found creepy AF for whatever reason and really drilled back to those older episodes.  Being on the other side of the pond now I see it through newcomers eyes much more and the following it generates over here, the more overt moralising sits more easily than perhaps some of the older and subtler stories.  

I like Jodie Whittaker I have to say, not so much for the sci-fi-ness of the stories, perhaps its her awkwardness that resonates sometimes, but I certainly enjoy the fact that her casting wound so many people up.  Show's it was the right decision.

For me, I'm just happy that it continues and reaches people.  Evolution or regeneration? 🤷‍♂️

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https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/jan/04/times-up-which-actor-could-replace-jodie-whittaker-in-doctor-who

So if, as is speculated in the press it's time up for Doctor Jodie then Who's next Who?

I'd like to see a relative unknown, preferrably outside the standard White Male demographic that has been used 12 out of the 13 incarnations. The writers have been more ambitious with the Master than the Doctor.
Get some better scripts as well, more show than tell please. Jodie Whittaker has in my view been badly served by the scripts she's had to work with.

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Here's my take on the festive special , overall I found it an enjoyable episode , better than a lot of the festive specials , loved the design of the reconnaissance dalek and the overall plot . One slight drawback for me , was the exit of Graham and Ryan , I thought they spent too much time on it and it didn't impact on me as much as say , Rose , Donna , the Ponds , Clara or Bill . One final note , if you thought The Doctor was upset at Graham and Ryan leaving , wait till you see her when Yaz gets killed at the end of the upcoming series , its gonna happen .

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2 hours ago, Shadow said:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/jan/04/times-up-which-actor-could-replace-jodie-whittaker-in-doctor-who

So if, as is speculated in the press it's time up for Doctor Jodie then Who's next Who?

I'd like to see a relative unknown, preferrably outside the standard White Male demographic that has been used 12 out of the 13 incarnations. The writers have been more ambitious with the Master than the Doctor.
Get some better scripts as well, more show than tell please. Jodie Whittaker has in my view been badly served by the scripts she's had to work with.

If its true that this is Jodie's last season , it wouldn't surprise me if  Chibnill had planned to do a secret regeneration , so nobody knew that Jodie was leaving until she regenerated into a new doctor on TV , if that's what was planned , then he will be absolutely fuming at the leak of her departure. As for the new doctor , it wouldn't surprise me if it was the Ruth doctor as played by Jo Martin , personally , I wouldn't mind that .

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On 02/01/2021 at 15:43, Johnoco said:

As I understand it, the ratings for Xmas TV were pretty terrible all round.

Ordinarily I’d say it’s not a surprise due to changing viewing methods but with lockdown I thought they might have been pretty big. 

This helps explain where some of the 'missing' viewers were over the festive fortnight.

https://www.tvzoneuk.com/post/bbciplayer-festivestreams2020

They were still watching lots of Christmas telly, just not at the time it was originally broadcast.

From the website: 'Overall, EastEnders was the most watched programme over the festive fortnight on BBC iPlayer with a total of 13,852,000 streams. Doctor Who came in at eleventh on that list with a total 2,425,000 streams.'

Doctor Who was only available on iPlayer from 1st Jan, which was very near the end of the period these figures cover. It is likely to add several million more streams on top of that, which added to it's original overnight rating of around 5 million, puts all those 'the ratings are down' alarmist headlines that newspapers love so much when they've nowt else to write about into some kind of perspective.

Discussing overnight ratings figures in isolation these days is a bit like discussing how many people watched a particular show in black and white in 1977, when most people had already switched to colour tellies.

The numbers watching shows as they are broadcast will go down as the number of other options to watch the shows whenever you want to watch them goes up.

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On 04/01/2021 at 13:16, Shadow said:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/jan/04/times-up-which-actor-could-replace-jodie-whittaker-in-doctor-who

So if, as is speculated in the press it's time up for Doctor Jodie then Who's next Who?

I'd like to see a relative unknown, preferrably outside the standard White Male demographic that has been used 12 out of the 13 incarnations. The writers have been more ambitious with the Master than the Doctor.
Get some better scripts as well, more show than tell please. Jodie Whittaker has in my view been badly served by the scripts she's had to work with.

I agree Jodie has been screwed by poor writing and showrunning - the star wars sequels actors have suffered the same recently and have become increasingly vocal about it. 

Chibnill seems to be coming in for a lot of criticism.

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On 03/01/2021 at 15:06, John Drake said:

I don't share your negativity, I'm afraid.

I still enjoy the show very much. I am genuinely in awe of the creativity that constantly surrounds it.

This year's special was the most watched programme on BBC One on New Year's Day and there was loads of positive reaction towards it on social media afterwards. How that can be interpreted that is it somehow 'dying' escapes me. 

From what I gather one of the more legitimate criticisms laid at the current iteration (and I realise there is an entire industry based on whining about things) is that it is losing audience numbers, and that being moved from Christmas to New Years day is another confirmation of that?

That's not to say it is dying but perhaps in a difficult period?

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21 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

From what I gather one of the more legitimate criticisms laid at the current iteration (and I realise there is an entire industry based on whining about things) is that it is losing audience numbers, and that being moved from Christmas to New Years day is another confirmation of that?

That's not to say it is dying but perhaps in a difficult period?

It was moved at the request of the people who make the show, not as a 'demotion' by the BBC. 

Presumably because after so many Christmas themed episodes, they'd run out of new ways to shoehorn anything festive into the plot.

On New Year's Day, you don't have to have robot Santas, Scrooge references or a bit of fake snow, but you are still treated as the flagship drama of the day in the BBC promos.

Plus, if you believed all the doom-mongers, that ratings alone were the be-all and end-all of a top BBC show, pretty much everything in the schedule would now be under threat based on the Christmas Day overnights.

.

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41 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I agree Jodie has been screwed by poor writing and showrunning - the star wars sequels actors have suffered the same recently and have become increasingly vocal about it. 

Chibnill seems to be coming in for a lot of criticism.

Whoever runs the show comes in for criticism.

Fans were clamouring for Steven Moffat to replace Russell T Davies, until he actually did replace Russell T Davies, and then they were clamouring for him to go and be replaced by someone else.

Now it is Chris Chibnall's turn to be slated for 'poor writing' which considering he delivered one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows in recent history (Broadchurch) on another channel, and is an actual Doctor Who fan of long standing himself, shows just how baseless the vast majority of those criticisms are.

But, the more they are repeated by a small group of people (and it is a small group, compared to the show's overall audience) they become amplified and accepted as statements of fact, repeated by others who just want to go with whatever the current consensus happens to be.

Honestly, if William Shakespeare came back from the dead and wrote for Doctor Who, there would be the usual suspects accusing him of 'poor' or 'lazy' writing and arguing that he was ruining the show.

.

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27 minutes ago, John Drake said:

It was moved at the request of the people who make the show, not as a 'demotion' by the BBC. 

Presumably because after so many Christmas themed episodes, they'd run out of new ways to shoehorn anything festive into the plot.

On New Year's Day, you don't have to have robot Santas, Scrooge references or a bit of fake snow, but you are still treated as the flagship drama of the day in the BBC promos.

Plus, if you believed all the doom-mongers, that ratings alone were the be-all and end-all of a top BBC show, pretty much everything in the schedule would now be under threat based on the Christmas Day overnights.

I do get that, but it has been suffering for numbers for some time now?

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6 minutes ago, John Drake said:

Whoever runs the show comes in for criticism.

Fans were clamouring for Steven Moffat to replace Russell T Davies, until he actually did replace Russell T Davies, and then they were clamouring for him to go and be replaced by someone else.

Now it is Chris Chibnall's turn to be slated for 'poor writing' which considering he delivered one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows in recent history (Broadchurch) on another channel, and is an actual Doctor Who fan of long standing himself, shows just how baseless the vast majority of those criticisms are.

But, the more they are repeated by a small group of people (and it is a small group, compared to the show's overall audience) they become amplified and accepted as statements of fact, repeated by others who just want to go with whatever the current consensus happens to be.

Honestly, if William Shakespeare came back from the dead and wrote for Doctor Who, there would be the usual suspects accusing him of 'poor' or 'lazy' writing and arguing that he was ruining the show.

I disagree, and I do that as a fan of the show. 

The Jodie Whittaker episodes have been characterised by "tell not show" scripts where the Doctor talks a lot about the problem without actually doing anything, she is a great actor and given scripts and story arcs of the quality her predecessors had , even Peter Capaldi, she she would have nailed them. very few of her stories are particularly memorable and of those that are it's mainly for the wrong reasons. Bringing characters like Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks into stories will always prove difficult and will feel "shoehorned" as if to match an agenda, likewise completely re-writing the back story in The Timeless Children was done very clumsily although all the actors involved were brilliant. I just had a look on Wiki for the name of that last episode and looking through synopses of the episodes in that series I couldn't remember most of them . 

The actors are as good as ever, the effects and budget likewise, it's only the scripts that are letting it down.

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