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Author Topic: TV: Doctor Who *finally* comes to the US  (Read 2265 times)
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JCC
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« on: January 12, 2006, 10:41:44 PM »

On the Sci-Fi channel!

Yay!
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2006, 11:15:36 PM »

Cool!  I had watched the Tom Baker/Peter Davidson Doctor Who episodes on PBS years ago and it quickly became one of my favorite things to watch.  Can anyone comment on how the newest incarnation of the show stacks up?
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2006, 11:21:35 PM »

It's excellent. Far more accessible than the old show, but retains the quirkiness, humor, and spirit of the old show. It far exceeded my expecations.
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2006, 02:15:44 AM »

I... acquired... some episodes last year and enjoyed them thoroughly.  Before that I was aware of Doctor Who by reputation only, having never seen any of the previous incarnations, so I can't vouch for how it compares to the Baker or Davidson years, but I loved it.  I was very dissapointed to hear that the Doctor would be quitting after one series.
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2006, 02:52:40 AM »

You should... acquire... the Christmas Special. The new Doctor looks very promising.
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2006, 04:03:19 AM »

So does this mean the episodes are going to be heavily edited so they can have commercials but keep the same running time? If so, I'll wait for the DVDs.
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2006, 12:43:40 PM »

The episodes are about 44-45 minutes long, so there shouldn't be much, if any need for trimming. In all likelihood, any trimming needed can simply be done to the closing credits/trailers for next week's ep.
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2006, 04:59:29 PM »

Thanks for the news!  I absolutely loved the old Doctor Who Episodes.  I used to watch them all on PBS when I was a kid.
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2006, 01:42:46 AM »

CRAP CRAP CRAP!! I don't get the Sci-Fi channel.

Sigh....
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2006, 03:07:52 AM »

Now if Cartoon Network would just start showing Danger Mouse...
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2006, 07:27:19 AM »

I'll have to record it and watch when I get home from work, but
Tonight (Friday) is the night!

2 hours on Sci-Fi!
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2006, 01:43:28 PM »

crappitty-crap-crap.

I gotta get my PVR back online. frown
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2006, 03:24:22 PM »

I can't wait for this tonight.  I was a huge fan of the Tom Baker days.  This is going to be really good.  Finally, something good on the sci fi channel on a Friday night!  :wink:
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2006, 03:38:06 PM »

I grew up on Tom Baker so he's the only real Doctor in my book. I could'nt watch anyone else do the role. Ill pass. Though the chick is hot.
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2006, 04:49:38 PM »

I'll definitely be watching.  Don't know much about how the series has progressed since the 6th Doctor (Colin somethingorother) but I'm really looking forward to this nonetheless!
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2006, 09:44:15 PM »

I've heard of Dr Who, never watched it on PBS, never read the books.  I have the vaguest notion of what it's about(time travel).

Can someone bring me up to speed?  Mainly- what's it like, what other shows/movies/books does it resemble.  If you could give me a 'Well, if you like XXXXX, you'll like Dr Who' comparison, that would help.
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2006, 10:26:57 PM »

Quote from: "gameoverman"
I've heard of Dr Who, never watched it on PBS, never read the books.  I have the vaguest notion of what it's about(time travel).

Can someone bring me up to speed?  Mainly- what's it like, what other shows/movies/books does it resemble.  If you could give me a 'Well, if you like XXXXX, you'll like Dr Who' comparison, that would help.

This should help.

Link to Bovine Conspiracy's spoiler-free review
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gameoverman
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2006, 10:59:02 PM »

It does actually, thanks.

One thing though, no one ever mentions the Dr's motivation.  Why time travel, why affect things they way he does?

In Star Trek, Xfiles, BSG, heck even in Lost, I know why characters are doing what they are doing.  Why does the Dr do what he does(what's in it for him?) and why does he need an assistant?

Or is it a case where I need to watch the show to find that out?
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2006, 12:00:28 AM »

Quote from: "gameoverman"
It does actually, thanks.

One thing though, no one ever mentions the Dr's motivation.  Why time travel, why affect things they way he does?

In Star Trek, Xfiles, BSG, heck even in Lost, I know why characters are doing what they are doing.  Why does the Dr do what he does(what's in it for him?) and why does he need an assistant?

Or is it a case where I need to watch the show to find that out?


I'm not sure if it's ever stated why exactly.  I haven't seen most of the old episodes in such a long time.  I've always assumed he's an explorer of sorts travelling through time and helping out wherever he lands.  Sort of like Quantum Leap I suppose.

He's always had an assistant.  Wherever the Doctor goes, there goes an assistant.  That's how it is.  smile
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2006, 12:31:24 AM »

From what I remember back in the days I watched it on PBS, his race partakes in time travel as explorers.

I believe they are also in a war of sorts, defeating and cleaning up after other time traveling races (the Daleks are the only one I remember at the moment).
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gameoverman
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2006, 01:06:07 AM »

Quote from: "Nth Power"
I've always assumed he's an explorer of sorts travelling through time and helping out wherever he lands.  Sort of like Quantum Leap I suppose.


Ah, but on Quantum Leap Sam was always trying to get home.  That was his motivation.

I can see how if there are other alien races mucking up time, his mission is to clean up after them.  That gives him a worthy goal.  

See the thing is, I'd have a hard time watching a sci-fi show if the main character/s had no goal, no reason, for doing their thing.   There's gotta be some sort of conflict, some purpose to it all, to get me to watch.
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2006, 02:28:29 AM »

Were you a Star Trek fan?
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2006, 04:08:37 AM »

Okay that was fun!  Totally brought me back to my adolescence staying up late on Sun night watching the Doctor.

Peter Davidson was the first Doctor I saw and I always had a thing for Tegan.  I actually ran into (as in literally ran into him as he was coming around a corner) Peter Davidson at a Doctor Who convention in 1985.  He was a bit embarrassed.  Fortunately I didn't knock the guy over or anything.

Tom Baker ruled all though.

I do like Christopher Eccleston.  I liked him from way back when he was in Cracker.

This show has promise.  B grade for tonight's episodes.
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2006, 08:42:53 PM »

Great start for bringing the Doctor back!  
I'm glad it kept the spirit of the old show without "updating" the Doctor too much.  Too bad Eccleston isn't back for the second season.  I think he did a great job on this reincarnation.  It would be nice to have a semi-regular Doctor and not a new one every season, but who knows (no pun intended).

Billie Piper = great assistant, so far.  She's also quite the looker.
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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2006, 09:07:15 PM »

Quote from: "unbreakable"
Were you a Star Trek fan?


'Fan' as in I can watch the show and enjoy it- yes.  I'm not a trekkie or anything.  I don't think William Shatner changed the world.  But that show started every week with a clear statement of their mission, of what they were doing.

So I saw the two shows.  First one was pretty bad, in alot of ways.  However it did have one saving grace- the chemistry between the two leads.  I think they work really well together and that counts for alot with me.  A good cast can keep me entertained even when the show itself sucks.   How did those mannequin things get guns inside their hands?  Did I miss something there?

The second one was much better.  While waiting for it to start, I had been thinking "When you have no money to do your show, you can make up for it with imagination and creativity- those things are free".  Well, I was very pleased with the way the second one started, and it went from there.   If the rest of the season is like that episode, I will enjoy it alot.

I'm completely entranced by Rose.  The actress who plays her steals every scene she's in, she just has 'it', whatever 'it' is.  I could watch a whole episode of just her talking on the phone to her mum.   I googled her (I HAD to know more about her) and
Spoiler for Hiden:
she may not be there for season 3?!?!?!  Say it isn't so!  Pay this girl whatever she wants, she's worth it!


The guy who plays the Doctor is alright so far.  He doesn't annoy me, but then he doesn't have half the charisma of Billie Piper- that's a bad sign since he's the star.  I'm hoping he gets his head around his character as the show goes on.

One question:  the plots of the two shows so far seem to have no connection to each other or anything else, is there something I missed?  What I mean is the Dr just seems to be traveling around aimlessly and by whim.  If you could go anywhere in time and space and your home planet had been destroyed in a war, killing all your people, isn't your first stop kinda obvious?  Did he try that already?
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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2006, 10:04:20 PM »

Quote from: "gameoverman"
How did those mannequin things get guns inside their hands?  Did I miss something there?

Yeah, that was a huge implausibility.  I kept thinking the same thing and no reason I came up with seemed valid.   I'm usually more forgiving the first few episodes to see if the series will find it's feet.  It seems like it's heading in the right direction as the second ep was much better than the first. smile

Quote
One question:  the plots of the two shows so far seem to have no connection to each other or anything else, is there something I missed?  What I mean is the Dr just seems to be traveling around aimlessly and by whim.  If you could go anywhere in time and space and your home planet had been destroyed in a war, killing all your people, isn't your first stop kinda obvious?  Did he try that already?

Maybe it has something to do with what the Doctor said to Rose when Earth exploded, "Everthing has a time and everything dies."  I'm guessing, but it could be a tenet he believes with trying not to interfere.
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2006, 01:19:03 AM »

Quote from: "Nth Power"
Maybe it has something to do with what the Doctor said to Rose when Earth exploded, "Everthing has a time and everything dies."  I'm guessing, but it could be a tenet he believes with trying not to interfere.

There's a reason you don't interfere.  Third or fourth episode, if I recall correctly.
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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2006, 02:29:07 AM »

I'll try to answer some questions...

Re: Doctor's motivation. The Doctor's people, the Time Lords were generally portrayed as this society that was technologically advanced to the point they were almost "above" other species. Certainly, that was THEIR opinion of their stature. Generally, they sealed themselves away from everyone and simply observe all the goings on of the "lesser" races and feel smug about themselves. The Doctor hated this and wanted to get out there and be involved with all the goings on in the universe. He also came to be a champion for "good" and felt it was irresponsible for the Time Lords to sit still and just observe while evil forces run free. In short, his motivation is that he just has an insatiable thirst to see more, do more, experience more and learn more. And along the way he rights wrongs and has tons of fun while all the while his life is constantly threatened.

(Why doesn't he change the past for his planet?) Having said that, there are some sort of undefined rules about meddling with history. Yes, the Doctor often travels around and interferes liberally with the goings on. But, when he knows about what has already transpired, he doesn't (and can't) change things to make things happen. Sometimes he "bends" the rules a bit, but generally speaking he is able to run around interfering because he doesn't know specifically what was supposed to have happened in the incidents he interferes in. (Ie. in The End of the World, he knows the Earth is finally destroyed and doesn't interfere with it. But, he didn't know about Cassandra's (albeit non-sensical) plot, and freely interfered with her machinations.) Later on in "Father's Day" (the 8th episode) it should become obvious why he doesn't go back in time and save his own planet.

How did the mannequin's get the guns in their hands? The short and easy answer is, "because on the old show they had them". On the original episode with the Autons and the Nestene Consciousness they replaced the shop dummies with "Autons" who had the guns. Presumably, they might have done the same thing here without explaining things properly. "Rose"'s actual plot is sacrificed a lot since they had to cram so much introductory content into it.

I hope you noobs will stick with it. Next week's episode "The Unquiet Dead" (3rd ep) is my favorite of the first 5 episodes. After that you have 2 that were well received by the general British audience, but die hard Who fans had some problems with (including me). After those you have one of the best in the whole season ("Dalek"), and things start to really take off. The best episodes are the 9th and 10th ("The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances") which are mind blowingly awesome. It generally gets better as it goes along.
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2006, 03:25:02 AM »

I was impressed.  I remember watching the show back on PBS up in Cleveland but that was before I became really interested in Sci-Fi, and at first I was worried they'd do the cheesy effects I remember from back then.    They didn't and it rocks.  Plus Rose is  :shock: .  I mean, not just  :shock:  but  :shock:  :shock:  :shock: ......

Plus I just found out that a local Baltimore station runs classic episodes very early Saturday mornings.  I figure I'll plug it into the DVR to record all of them.  Tonights episode is listed as being from 1971.
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« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2006, 04:04:01 PM »

The Doctor's past was intentionally kept mysterious in the original serial. That said, the writers have provided hints as to his origins over the course of the entire work. As a quick summary, JCC's description works well, but there are some details that are worth filling in. Mind you, the show has been around since the 60s and quite a few of the early episodes have been lost due to the BBC's lax archiving practices.

The Doctor and his granddaughter, Susan, were exiles from their home planet. The two refugees had procured a time machine and had taken temporary residence on Earth. Susan attended the local schoolhouse, apparently for cultural education; however she often butted heads with her teachers, Ian and Barbara, over matters of science and history. Concerns for Susan's well-being brought the two teachers into a direct confrontation with the Doctor himself. As the show progressed, the audience learned that the Doctor was a Time Lord and that his actual home planet was called Gallifrey.

The Time Lords have a rather sordid history. Initially, they used their advanced scientific knowledge to wage war with other races and manipulate lesser species. The first notable war mentioned in the show was the Great Vampire War. In it, the Time Lords extinguished all but one of the Great Vampires. The war nearly devastated Gallifrey itself, and was the last war that the Time Lords were actively involved in before the Time War. Instances of manipulation that were mentioned in the show include the Death Zone from The Five Doctors, the xenocide of the Minyans in Underworld, and the whole of Genesis of the Daleks in which the Doctor was directly involved.

The events before Genesis are generally cited as examples for why Time Lord Society adopted a culture of removed observation. Of course, as Genesis proves, certain special interactions were still advanced at the highest levels of government. The television show, however, never really gives a clear picture of what caused the Doctor to leave in the first place. And the books and audio plays aren't always considered canonical.
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« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2006, 04:53:31 PM »

I give it a definite thumbs up!

I had only seen a few of the original eps....sadly. And thanks for all the background material on the show.   MUCH appreciated smile
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2006, 05:38:17 PM »

I really wonder how much the producers of the new Doctor Who show are going to stick to the established continuity?  They made it seem like he'd regenerated when they showed him looking in the mirror in the first episode but then we found out from the conspiracy theorist that the Doctor had been around on at least two or three other occasions - all with the same face.
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2006, 06:11:27 PM »

Yeah, but if you're talking about going back in time couldn't he have gone to those places after the first episode?
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2006, 06:39:39 PM »

Well crap.  You're right.

 :evil:

Okay here's another possible continuity problem.  I seem to remember (from high school so it's been awhile) that the Doctor could only regenerate a certain number of times.  9 maybe?

And I understand Eccleston isn't going to be the Doctor next season so we've got to be getting close to the limit.
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2006, 06:54:44 PM »

Yeah, I was wondering abou the number of regenerations myself.  I thought it was 12 but if you're right there could definitely be a problem.  I really liked how they used to play a small piece showing the previous doctor's demise and him regenerating into his new form.  Of course the footage probably would have looked too different to do it but it would have been very cool.
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« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2006, 12:40:27 AM »

There have been 7 'Doctors' so far, 8 if you include that made for TV movie released by Fox.  So that would make Eccleston either Doctor 8 or 9.  I remember the movie was pretty horrid and I'm fairly certain it was non-canon, so I'm saying he's #8.
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« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2006, 01:10:10 AM »

Russel T. Davies has stated repeatedly that Eccleston is the 9th Doctor.

A Time Lord can regenerate 12 times, so in theory that means there can be 13 Doctors in all. Of course, if it comes to it they'll simply concoct a reason for him to be able to keep regenerating when they need to.
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2006, 02:52:34 PM »

I liked these episodes pretty well (finally seeing them last night)...  No doctor compares to John Pertwee in my book (though Tom Baker was the first I 'knew') but this one did a pretty good job in the role...

I'll keep my TiVo tuned for a few weeks anyhow; been a while since any sci fi show drew me in (since Deep Space 9 I believe), so it's cool to be at least intreagued by one.
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« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2006, 03:03:55 PM »

Yeah, the old show got around the 12 regeneration limit with the Master rather insidiously. It will be interesting to see how the writers work around that limitation when it's the Doctor's turn.

Paul McGann was a decent Doctor if you could look beyond some of the controversial additions the U.S. production team made to the Doctor's history. FOX was originally going to film a collection of made-for-tv movies starring McGann, but they marketed the show poorly (as they seem to do with most of their sci-fi properties) and it never really got an audience. McGann is still involved reprising the role of the eighth Doctor in audio format.

A lot of fans in the U.K. and the U.S. were hoping that Davies would give McGann a proper send off or a couple of his own episodes on the small screen, but Davies wanted to start the new series without any past baggage. Personally, I was slightly disappointed, but Davies' decision was perfectly understandable. Besides, it seems fitting to have the show back under the direct supervision of the BBC now that internal politics won't get in the way.
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« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2006, 03:04:18 PM »

John Pertwee?  Wow.  I thought I was the only one who saw those episodes.  I liked him as the Doctor but I didn't like that he was trapped on Earth for much of his run.

Apparently word of mouth has it that the current run only gets better as it progresses.  The first two were apparently the weaker episodes.
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