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I'm pretty sure that sequence does indeed say "Eleventh". I've just re-watched it on YouTube for my own peace of mind, and it sounds pretty clear to me.
1 week ago on Moffat Questions “Twelfth Doctor” Title
It's true that he doesn't include his incarnation number as part of his name when he introduces himself, but what would be the point given that most species know nothing of regeneration? There are instances where he does refer to himself by number under other contexts, though - such as when he headbutts Craig in the Lodger to transfer knowledge to him secretly, and specifically states "Eleventh" while pointing to his own face to clarify that he's the Eleventh incarnation. So it can't be the case that The Doctor simply doesn't differentiate between his own incarnations, he clearly does. He just doesn't treat it as a de facto part of his name, the way us IRL fans do for the convenience of discussion.
I imagine that given his prestige, if he does ever direct an episode of Doctor Who it'll be one of the bigger budget episodes of its series - and I'd stake money on it being either the series opener or the finale.
1 week, 1 day ago on Moffat: Peter Jackson Episode Will Probably Happen
Yeah that's perfectly fair - the difference in lighting really does alter the mood. But ultimately the set itself didn't change, which is the only reason I tend to think of it as Eccleston's TARDIS even despite Tennant's longer stint in it. Both are valid though, I don't intend to criticise.
1 week, 2 days ago on How does the TARDIS reflect the Doctor?
You know, you actually might be. I've seen practically every element of the show slagged off by somebody, at some point, but I can't recall seeing anyone ever speak ill of the TV movie console room. I thought it was one of those things that everyone automatically loved, like finding a fiver in your pocket or watching David Tennant shake his fist and say "Barrrrowmaaaaan!"
It makes me sad when people call it "the Tennant one". :( I know he used it too, but... poor Eccleston. He finds a brilliant new desktop theme, and his successor gets all the credit.
I'd all but forgotten about the Tom Baker era secondary control room - looking back, I really quite like it. When compared to all the other Classic control rooms, which each have their characteristic nuances whilst broadly trying to imitate one another's core design, it almost feels as if it was the precursor to the post-revival approach toward the TARDIS design: making each one visually/aesthetically unique. It wasn't a total fresh start, like we've had during the NuWho makeovers (you still had the "round things" adorning the walls, the same shape of console, etc), but the wood and stained glass was in such contrast to the sterility of the other console rooms of its time that really does ooze personality. By and large though, I don't think the TARDIS interiors, for the most part, were a great reflection of their current inhabitant until at least the movie. That seems to be the point when they really started trying to give the room some real personality and to try and match it to the current inhabitant - the grand, gothic library was was the perfect match for a lonesome, aging 7th Doctor, and a good fit for the 8th considering his style of dress. Then we got much more alien again with Eccleston, which the Coral look couldn't have been more ideal for, and Smith gets his weird, asymmetrical labyrinth, which suited him to a T. Really makes me wish that hadn't redesigned the TARDIS again so late into Smith's era, as it means that like Tennant, Capaldi will have to make do with a TARDIS that, to me, was clearly designed with the previous Doctor in mind. I want to see what they'd be able to come up with if they were starting afresh to design a purely-Capaldi TARDIS control room.
"The Doctor's Wife" was great and that season had the usual mix of both good and bad episodes.
1 week, 4 days ago on Cybermen Invade London (Again!)
Precisely. The Cybermen were never intended to be robots. They're near-humans who have cybernetically enhanced themselves to the point of being unrecognisable, but there's a living, organic core supporting it all. That, for me, was always their appeal and their fright factor - they're what we might become, once we realise we can out-engineer our own bodies and make ourselves, stronger, faster, smarter and near-immortal. They're a metaphor for the slippery slope of technological dependence. Turn them into your run-of-the-mill robots (as, to a certain extent, they have been over the years) and they lose their very essence.
There are very few Classic-era companions that I'd be interested in seeing return, but Ace would definitely be one of those few. I'm still mildly content with the passing reference to her in that SJA serial with Jo Grant ("Death of the Doctor"?); fingers crossed we get a Moffat-era "School Reunion" to elaborate on that. More so than almost any other companion, I'm curious to know what Ace is up to now (and what alien-battling initiative "A Charitable Earth" is a front for :D).
1 week, 6 days ago on Barrowman on Jack’s Future, Capaldi Critics
I wouldn't be so sure that the only reason we haven't seen more Torchwood is because RTD doesn't want to write it yet; fact of the matter is, it's an expensive show to produce and I'm not sure anybody wants to pick up the costs. The reason Miracle Day was a co-production with U.S. network Starz was because the BBC weren't prepared to fund another series of Torchwood until someone else was willing to split costs. So we're lucky we even got Miracle Day really, regardless of what you may think of it. Since it didn't get the best reception - either in terms of viewing figures, or critical reviews - I'm not sure anyone sees it as financially worthwhile. And sadly, the longer we wait, the less culturally relevant the show is, and thus the case for making Series 5 grows weaker and weaker still.
Nope. He was commissioned to write the episodes that introduced Jack, whom had already been 'created' (or conceived) by Russell T. Davies as part of the overall plan for Series One. By virtue of writing Jack's first appearance(s), Moffat shaped the character somewhat, but he doesn't take credit for creating him.
People were saying it the night he was unveiled in that live special, all those many moons ago. But loads of people were quick to say Matt Smith would be terrible before he made his full debut. A fair few said the same of Tennant before his tenure got underway properly. I can't really recall much furore around Eccleston's casting, but I'll bet a pound to a penny that there were plenty saying he wouldn't be right for the part too. It's funny how a show that's only survived through constant change still gets so many in a panic whenever anything changes.
Really, though, will he ever be "required"? No character, bar the Doctor of course, is ever truly "required". It's entirely up to the writer. If there's something that the Doctor can't achieve without the help of an unexpected re-appearance from Jack, it's because that's how the writer has chosen to write the story: theoretically, there's nothing that Jack could do that the Doctor couldn't achieve without him. Sure, Jack's a swell, 51st Century Guy, but the Doctor is an ancient genius from the most powerful race ever to rule the Universe. There's never going to be a story where Jack is absolutely, inarguably needed - he's only a requirement if the writer decides that he should be. So honestly, I'd say bring him back whenever so long as it isn't done purely in fan service. If there's a decent role that he could fill in a story, and Moffat feels so inclined, I'd gladly see Jack again.
I can't say I'm part of his cult-like following, but I do rate both Harkness and Barrowman. The man himself because of his sheer passion for the franchise (you can tell that he's as big of a fan as any of us here), and the character because at the time, he introduced something different. Although much of what made him special was later assimilated into River Song, rendering him less notable with hindsight, when he first hit our screens he was a blaze of charm, wit, pansexuality and square-guns, from a far future in which everyone communicates exclusively through flirting and innuendo. That was pretty cool; immediately, the character stood out and without needing any time to 'gel' into the TARDIS dynamic, immediately felt like worthy contrast to Nine and Rose. He melded into that dynamic perfectly and added whole new elements to it (imho, Nine/Rose/Jack is the best character dynamic of the revived show). It helps that he was introduced in such a strong story, and was given plenty of screen-time and a good script to help him flesh out the character. From there, while his popularity may have waned a little, he was pretty much permanently established as a talking point within the fandom for at least the next few decades.
If there's one thing that Moffat does excel it, it's making changes to the show to keep it fresh. Whereas all of the Tennant era feels as-one, every series of Moffat's tenure so far feels like a re-envisioning. We started with the light and fairytale-esque Series 5, onto the more sci-fi heavy and arc-centric Series 6, and then the blockbuster film vibe of Series 7. They all felt fresh and all had a different tone and dimension to them. So I wouldn't worry too much about Series 8 feeling too similar to what we've had before; if that's what Moffat has been able to do whilst working with the same lead actor, imagine how much more a step he can take into left-field with a brand new leading man ready for a whole new set of directions? I'm confident that we'll get something that feels new and exciting, and I'll be thoroughly disappointed if we don't - because I see no reason why we shouldn't, based on both common sense and past form.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://www.doctorwhotv.co.uk/discusswho/062014/
Even as someone who's flicked through the first couple of scripts and had a sneaky-peaky-week at the Deep Breath rough cut (no regrets - please, form an orderly line if you're queuing to beat me with a wet fish), this annoys me. I just don't understand why people can't wrap their heads around the idea that not everyone wants things spoiled for them ahead of time. There are plenty of us out there who have indulged in the leaks for personal gratification without desiring to pour it all over your doorstep, so I do apologise for my far less intellectually-extant cousins; they're from the side of the family tree that we don't talk about. #keepeverybodyelsespoilerfree #imtooimpulsivethoughdon'tworryaboutme
I understand that having the companion struggle to come to terms with the Doctor's regeneration and new persona goes against all previous form, but surely that's the point? Up until 2009, every previous Doctor had been (for the most part - some mouthed off a bit, like Troughton) quite accepting of their demise and reincarnation; they didn't see regeneration as that big of a deal. Yet they completely flipped that around during Tennant's final run, and it spawned one of the most compelling and emotive narrative threads of the revived show thus far (if not of all Who history). It took something we're used to accepting passively and made us think about it - just as we passively accept that all companions are ready and willing to effectively ignore the fact that the man they've been running around time and space with has just exploded into fire and been replaced by someone new. But why not step back, look at things anew, and question whether everybody would be so quick to accept that? If I was chatting with my mate down at the pub one day, and he suddenly combusted and became an old Scottish guy, I'd probably need at least a week or two to come to terms with that. I think it's wonderful when the show looks at its own formula and finds ways to portray the same old conventions in an interesting and original way, and couldn't be happier that they've obviously decided to spin a story out of this.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on How Far Into Darkness will the 12th Doctor Take Us?
That's some interesting stuff - I feel compelled to do a bit of research now. Thanks for sharing, Caleb.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Series 8 Launch Trailer Breakdown
At the same time though, some very inexperienced male writers have written for the show. Take Gareth Roberts, for example. He'd written a few Who novels back in the 1990s, but beyond that he had very little experience writing in any medium at all: but RTD brought him into the show without hesitation, and Moffat kept him there. He's now one of the show's most established recurring writers. Or Matt Jones, who wrote The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit. He'd had a fair bit of experienced in TV, mostly in producing, but few notable writing credits. He was given a shot too. Granted they're both RTD's doing, but Moffat has had similarly inexperienced writers - Steven Thompson, despite some stellar work on Sherlock the year before his first Who script, was practically unknown previously. Ultimately, if the show is willing to gamble on bringing in male writers who are as yet unproven at Who's level, they should be equally willing to gamble on female writers without subjecting them to a proving grounds first - which is why I say it should be for all or none. Though, as I said, I don't think it's a bad idea to try and use alternative mediums to help an unproven writer establish themselves and hone their skills before giving them full writing credits: it just needs to be done fairly and justly, hence why I wanted to take gender out of the equation.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on First 12th Doctor Novels Detailed
Have you read any of the older Doctor Who books, like the Virgin New Adventures/Missing Adventures ranges, or the Eighth Doctor Adventures? There's some really good stuff in some of those, too. If you're only just getting into the Who novels, then I'd definitely say that the current NSAs are the place to start, but I heartily recommend looking into some of the older material once you've had your fill of the current stuff. They're a bit different, but still fascinating.
If Doctor Who isn't already required reading, you're on the wrong course. You should consider switching to Transcendental Engineering
Haha - it's not at criticism at all if that's what you're asking, more a reference to your omnipotence and omniscience.
Audio scripts tend to be a little different to televisual scripts, but they're much more closely related than either are to novels. It'd certainly be a more effective way of testing whether a writer can tell a good story in the right sort of format before risking a big-budget TV episode on them, even if there are still differences that a writer transitioning from one to the other would have to overcome. But whilst I certainly wouldn't be opposed to using the NSAs or Big Finish as a testing ground, purely to make sure the overall standard of the show is maintained whilst allowing less experienced writers to prove their worth (an opportunity they otherwise might not get), it shouldn't simply be for prospective female writers. It should be for all unproven writers across the board, or for none at all. Getting segregationist and holding double standards isn't going to make the sexism debate go away.
Excellent, thanks. And howdy - it's been a while haha.
I was sold as soon as you said 'Zombiote'. That's going straight into my mind-canon.
I'm curious. The shot of the TARDIS flying through space, which DWTV calls a re-used scene - does anyone know where it's actually from? I'm not doubting DWTV's knowledge (I'm pretty sure the whole website is run by a bored TARDIS), I'm just wondering where exactly it's been lifted from. Obviously, the other re-used shot from The Doctor's Wife is quite easily identifiable - the former, not quite so much. Anyone know?
It's sort of like a Kindle, but it's written in ink on sheets of mashed-up plant fibre and can only hold one story. Non-rewritable too, unless you've got enough time and crayons. It's quite antiquated, but it has a certain charm.
I'm pretty sure that's how things worked for the early 10th and 11th Doctor New Series Adventures; they had script access (so they knew how the character would be written), and got to see some of the filming footage (so they knew what sort of edge the actor would put on their incarnation). Obviously it's still tremendously hard to capture a Doctor's personality when the actor and writers are still finding it for themselves, but they don't have a blank slate to start from.
I believe you're referring to the wonderful David Morrissey, and he did indeed play The Governor as well as Jackson Lake. Quite a sharp contrast of roles right there.
(The same applies to all writers irrespective of gender, I should make clear - I'm making the point that books aren't the best testing grounds for potential TV writers, rather than addressing the 'there's not enough female writers' argument).
There's a big difference between writing prose and writing for television/film - trust me, I've experienced both first-hand, and skills in one don't always translate into skills in the other. Some writers are perfectly capable of both. Some writers are better suited to one than the other. I'm sure they would be able to find plenty of talented female authors to pen some terrific Doctor Who books, but those same authors may not be suited to writing scripts, so it doesn't really work as a testing ground for potential show-writers. Torchwood, being a TV show, worked much better for that reason - you knew they were good at writing specifically for television before they ever penned a Who script.
I'm liking the sounds of the second one: reminds me a little of that old Tenth Doctor animated "special", The Infinite Quest. He found himself locked up on a prison world during part of that mini-serial too, after being recognised as a wanted criminal and faced with serving a 2 billion year sentence. I always thought, back at the time, that it would have made a fantastic live-action episode in itself (I don't think that section of The Infinite Quest lasted more than about 10 minutes so it wouldn't exactly be rehashing as much as giving some substance to the same concept). Sadly I can't see an episode along those lines happening any time soon if the same plot has been adapted into one of the official novels, but I'll happily settle for a book. I haven't added to my Who novel collection in quite some time; I think it's about time I gave them some company. The Clockwise Man has been sitting solemnly on my shelf for nearly a decade, and I can't even imagine how lonely Warmonger must be getting.
That's why it irks me to see fans of one Sci-Fi franchise chiding those of another! All this in-fighting just ain't right, we should be uniting to form an alliance of geeks powerful enough to bring our favourite genre to reality. Now fantasy fans, on the other hand, fantasy fans can go to hell. Vote GeeKIP. (I jest, of course - we should unite with the fantasy fans just long enough to take power).
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Weird and Wonderful
And it's just about the best thing that was ever made.
Well, I think Malcolm Tucker walked away with it personally, haha.
Outside of Britain, at least, I'd say that Star Trek is at least as culturally iconic as Doctor Who. I'd hazard a guess that there are probably as many Trekkies out there as Whovians, too. And as for technological advantage, I'm not entirely sure what aspect(s) you're referring to - as the video itself references, Star Trek was being broadcast in colours years before Doctor Who ever was, and the budgets that the modern Star Trek films have had exceed anything Doctor Who will ever have in a series. So, past and present, there's a fair claim that Star Trek has had certain technological advantages over Who. Plus, although Star Trek has had some really naff-looking aliens over the years, early Doctor Who probably had worse by-and-large. Don't get me wrong, I've never been a particularly huge fan of Star Trek and I'd take Doctor Who any day of the eternity: but you're being pretty harsh on Star Trek (and Americans for that matter) IMO. Out of interest, have you ever watched much Star Trek?
Far from impossible (from what we know, it doesn't seem too unlikely at all), but I'm hesitant on the grounds that it's very un-Doctor-ly. By all accounts, Twelve might not abide by the same rules as his predecessors, but one of the few things The Doctor will never do is to interfere with his own history. See "Father's Day" for an explanation of why. Crossing back across your own timestream is a big no-no even to a renegade Time Lord like the Doctor, which is why he occasionally has to rebuff suggestions from (often fairly new) companions that he should just simply hop back in time and change things in the past. Once you're part of events, you simply can't do that, lest you destroy the whole Universe or accidentally un-write yourself from time. It's one of the fundamental "rules" of both the show and the titular character. Not that there are never exceptions, but if he does start travelling back along his timeline to undo everything that ever went wrong, he might as well start carrying an AK-47 on his back (for occasionally killing innocent civilians). It'd be a huge departure from the man he's always been and the rules he's always tried to follow.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Doctor Who Series 8 TV Launch Trailer
He was a shade over 1200 at the beginning of The Time of the Doctor, and then spent roughly 900 more years defending the town of Christmas. So actually, he's more like 2100 (at least). At this point, he's most definitely rounding down.
Fine, but I insist no live-action: we go anime all the way.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Weird and Wonderful
Ha, I was expecting the Rap Battles of Sci-Fi video to be terrible as soon as I hit play and heard the sound quality, but I guess it's a reminder not to judge a book by its cover; the quality may be lower, and the guys' impersonations may not be as good, but the lyrical quality of that "battle" far out-shined the Doctor Who vs. Doc Brown predecessor from the Epic Rap Battles of History crew.
Yeah, Russell went a bit OTT in translating classical, archetypal villainy into "oh, him? yeah, he's just a bit insane" during his era - worked well with Simm's Master, for my money, but seemed like more of the same when it came to Davros (even though he always had been a little crazy). If he does come back, I'd like to see him a little more reserved and conniving (and preferably not a pet).
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Doctor Who Series 8 TV Launch Trailer
Perfectly reasonable argument. But to me, without going into the depths of my individual gripes with that particular redesign, I don't think the Daleks should ever be "fantasy orientated", even if that's the general direction the show may be going - they're high-tech biomechanical war machines hellbent on ethnic cleansing on a Universal scale. I just don't think it was ever the greatest idea to paint them bright colours and make them so unnecessarily large and cumbersome; you're never going to reconcile "intergalactic holocaust" with "cozy fairy tale", and the attempt to do so did, in my view, degrade the Daleks quite considerably at first. But whilst the Officer Class idea may have been thrown together after-the-fact, I do think that it provides an internally-sound logic for having the occasional giant, colour-coded Dalek amidst the hordes of little bronze blighters. All armies need commanders, right? So in my view, this is all one, big, happy accident - the Moff accidentally commissioned some terrible new Daleks, and in the process of trying to find a way to retcon himself, found the perfect niche for them to fit in after all.
Personally, although I agree completely that promoting/demoting them to Officer rank was an blatant damage-limitation move after the awful reception they got, I thought the dynamic it created for the newly re-established Dalek Empire in AotD was terrific, and whilst I was one of the fans who publically bemoaned the now-infamous "Skittle Daleks" after Victory of the Daleks, I became immediately sold on them as an elite sub-class of Dalek and I'm actually now quite anxious to see them stick around. I'm just eager to see this new Dalek Empire expanded upon full-stop, really. It feels to me that Steven Moffat hasn't had a clear idea of exactly where he wants to take the Daleks under his stewardship, but Asylum - wittingly or unwittingly - has paved the groundwork for what could be their first serious "character development" ("race development"? I can't find the words) since 2005. I hope he realises that and runs with it, because as much as I prefer the bronze Daleks aesthetically, it'll be a real waste if he phases out the Paradigm models entirely. It'll be interesting to see exactly what direction Episode 2 goes in (I won't lie, I did start reading the script at one stage, but I cut my losses early).
Good, solid trailer. Provokes plenty of intrigue without giving too much away (besides the Daleks - notably not the Paradigm - although who wouldn't expect them to feature this year?), and even if it's pretty standard for a Who trailer, it all looks pretty good and gives me high hopes for the series ahead. Has anyone else picked up on the TARDIS interior tweaks yet though? Unless I'm being remiss and something changed between The Snowmen and The Time of the Doctor which passed me by completely, those are some brand new bookcases (and other miscellania - I can't really tell) on the walls. Which is interesting, because the set as a whole is obviously the same, they've clearly not rebuilt from scratch with a new design - just made some modifications. I like it; was never a fan of the new overly metallic interior (give me Coral any day), but at least some bookcases and such give it a touch of homeliness. Interesting how the set is lit very differently now too - it tended to be shown in cold, blue hues during Smith's stint in it, whereas it's all warm and ominously red/orange here, which presumably is a stylistic choice they'll be sticking with (I think it's brilliant, it brings out a whole new side to the console room and, in quite literal terms, shows the Doctor himself in a very different light too - makes him seem more fierce, as Capaldi's incarnation seems to be).
It always baffles me when people equate Doctor Who being 'dark' (a term the fandom has incidentally grown far too attached to, but I digress) with the Tennant era. For the most part, I think it tended to be at its lightest and fluffiest back then (with exceptions, obviously). Sure, he had a fiery or even cruel side that he showed now and then - Family of Blood, Waters of Mars, etc - but I'd say Smith's Doctor had more of those sorts of moments than Tennant ever did. When I think of the Tennant days, it's the romance, warmth and charm that he exuded that sets that era apart - almost the opposite of 'dark'.
To me, he looks like a hybrid of the War Doctor and Sir Digby Chicken Caesar from The Mitchell & Webb Look. Which is a Science Fiction novel that demands to be written right away.
3 weeks ago on Series 8: Deep Breath First Look
As far as I'm aware, he didn't know when it was being written. I don't even think the decision had been made at that point. IIRC, he found out he'd got the job round about the time the episode went to air. However, he knew he was in the running back when he wrote it (and presumably that he had RTD's backing too), and River Song was part of his "pitch", a sort of backdoor pilot wrapped up into a character if you like. But you're right in that The End of Time most likely wouldn't have been written, or at least turned out the way that it did - I wouldn't have been surprised if RTD still wanted to use the Time Lords as part of his personal finale, but the whole four knocks thing would have been out, which would have had quite a knock-on effect.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on What if… Tennant had stayed for Series 5?
I'd completely agree with you - without taking anything away from Who, Breaking Bad is a different beast entirely and, on a myriad of levels, is probably one of the best television dramas in many years (if not, as many might say, all time). But it's just so simply unlike Who that it doesn't feel fair to stack them up against one another, so I try not to. I think I need to abstain from this vote, lest one of the voices in my head develop a grudge.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on 2014 BAFTA Television Awards: Day Triumphs!
@DWTV I did stumble across that account too, but still retained my doubts. It all seemed fairly fishy. But confirmation is confirmation, and I'd be bloody delighted to have a 90 minute finale. No complaints I guess!
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Two-Part Finale for Series 8