Livefyre Profile

Activity Stream

Dear Amy, it's not that adults can't enjoy silly/light-hearted material.  We can, my dear, and do.


But for Doctor Who to reclaim its ability to make you hide behind the sofa, it MUST ratchet-up the fear factor. You can still have whimsy and magic but serious scares need to be part of it. Indeed, when horror is woven into a story that starts with whimsy and wonderment, the results can be electrifying.

2 days, 15 hours ago on Moffat: Series 8 Not A Fairytale, There Are Consequences

Reply

This is music to my ears! 


Seems like Moffat and the BBC finally caved under the pressure from millions of adult fans who have called for an end to the silly fairy tales and a return to more dramatic and/or scary Doctor Who.

3 days, 3 hours ago on Moffat: Series 8 Not A Fairytale, There Are Consequences

Reply

OMG, I just noticed the biggest problem is with the newest redesign:  look at the mouth slit...!!!  It's designed with the side edges slanting outward (like the outside of a V) running parallel with slanted edges of the faceplate. That creates a SMILE effect.  I knew it wasn't my imagination that they seemed happy and not menacing.



Geez, man!  If they wanted to return to the impassive features of the classic cybermen from the black and white serials, HOW did the designers allow this smile to be worked into their tin soldiers????


3 days, 19 hours ago on Cybermen Invade London (Again!)

Reply

@A Friend of the Ood @OttoVonBismarck  That too.  But one of the biggest reasons Michael Grade (the big cheese at the BBC) didn't like it is because the production value was laughable next to STAR WARS, which had raised the bar VERY high in the special effects department.  Look it up. Michael Grade is on record for saying that.  And he says it to this day -- indicating he's glad he canceled it because the look of modern WHO is far and away superior to the final years of the classic series.

1 week ago on How Far Into Darkness will the 12th Doctor Take Us?

Reply

@Planet of the Deaf @supermoff   I'm not sure who feels what anymore.


I can only speak for myself.  The Doctor himself should not be dark:  he should just NOT be a childish man-boy like Matt Smith was -- frequently hamming it up as if he were doing a performance for 3 year old year old kids. 


No, it's the SHOW that needs to be DARKER. The Daleks need to EXTERMINATE people again. 


Characters MUST DIE and STAY DEAD and not come back from sealed off dimensions: unlike Rory, Captain Jack Harkness and Rose.  When Ianto died in CHILDREN OF EARTH, that was heart-breaking and dramatic.... and although it enraged us, it MADE US FEEL EMOTION because he stayed dead. 


That's what modern sci-fi on TV does: it incorporates the structures of drama into the story-telling, making it appealing to everyone (not just fan-boys) because everyone can relate to loss and pain. That's why THE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE ranks so high on every survey ranking of DW's episodes:  because Madame de Pompadour does NOT get to travel the stars with her Lonely Angel.  The Doctor's heart is broken when he sees her coffin leaving Versailles. 


There's no happy ending in TGITF but it we are enraptured with it because we watched the two characters grow and fall in love:  we got a rich, satisfying, mature and DARK tale of love, loss and pain.  We finally got to see what the Doctor goes through as he outlives the companions he travels with:  and in seeing this, we got a good look into the Doctor's psyche and we understood why he leaves his companions, why he tries to act indifferent and aloof at times.  


Doctor Who also needs to DARKEN by ramping up the horror factor again:  like when Dr. Constantine morphed into the gas-mask creature or the characters became infected by the Flood....   These are gritty moments that shock and terrify.


If Doctor Who doesn't DARKEN during Capaldi tenure, we can take away the expression that is linked to this show:  "hiding behind the sofa".  Instead, we can say, "laughing out loud on the sofa at the silly show on telly".


1 week ago on How Far Into Darkness will the 12th Doctor Take Us?

Reply

@OttoVonBismarck Not true. Darkening the show during McCoy's era was putting the final nail in the coffin:  poor production values stood in stark contrast to STAR WARS and made the show laughable.

Making the show darker and scarier for the start of the TOM BAKER era made the show more popular than it had ever been before or since.  It attracted the college crowd because of the Gothic Horror and more heterosexual dads tuned in because of a certain female warrior companion wearing a loin cloth.  Kids hid extra long behind the sofa as the body horror component was ratchetted up. 

The violence, horror, rivetting drama from Rob Holmes and TOM BAKER came together in a perfect storm that made Doctor Who go international.  And it's fear factor was SO great that a moral crusade was launched against the show by one Mary Whitehouse.  Her influence forced the brass at the BBC to order the show to be toned down and be made more for kids.  That was when the declining viewing figures started happening and Doctor Who became a pale shadow of its former self.... until eventual cancellation.

1 week, 1 day ago on How Far Into Darkness will the 12th Doctor Take Us?

Reply

A darker Doctor is good.  But some eccentricity / alien-ness should remain. 

What's more important is getting the situations and stories to be darker, companions gettting killed occassionally, the DALEKS actually exterminating someone etc.

1 week, 1 day ago on How Far Into Darkness will the 12th Doctor Take Us?

Reply

Patrick Troughton appeared as the 2nd Doctor in Colin Baker's first FULL season in a single story: THE TWO DOCTORS...and that didn't detract from Colin's first season. It enhanced it as far as I was concerned.

As such, there's no reason at all why McGann's appearance in Capaldi's first season would steal the limelight or confuse people. Done correctly, a riveting story can be penned which sees the 8th Doctor's timeline intersecting with the 12th.

THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR intersected a few Doctors' timelines.....including one we'd never seen before: the War Doctor. And McGann was in the prequel to that story. So there you have it: all things are possible with a character who walks in eternity and you have a creative storyteller....

2 weeks, 6 days ago on McGann Doubtful on Return, Spin-off

Reply

Mary Sue's Vertue: if it's too dark and graphic, they can put up an advisory for parental guidance: as they did with THE WATERS OF MARS which featured some strong body horror and suicide.

Oh yes, the same was also done when Mr Hooper's character died on Sesame Street: parents were advised of the nature of the show, that it would not shy away from the fact that the actor who played Mr. Hooper had died and they would be working that into the storyline.

The Producers of Sesame Street wrote that they understood if parents didn't want the kids watching the episode but they strongly encouraged parents to watch it *with* their kids as the educational component of death being a part of life would be invaluable to children. And parents could explain things in greater depth if the kids had questions.

This was for pre-schoolers!! They did that for Sesame Street, they can do it for Doctor Who. Worst case scenario: if an episode is deemed much too frightening, they can air it later when kids are tucked away in bed.

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Should Doctor Who Adopt a Darker Tone?

Reply

Yes yes yes and yes: the show needs to be scarier! The monsters need to be more terrifying and threats need to be more real: thus ending the running complacency that the companion will never get harmed. If you die, you die. Like Adric.

It's great that emotional drama has been introduced to the show by RTD, demonstrating that there are real consequences to taking a girl away from her parents and then retuning her 12 months later by accident ("I *am* a Doctor!!" "Prove it!! Stitch this! " And Jackie Tyler gives the Doctor a hard smack across the face.)

The ratings for WHO were the highest during Tom Baker's first 4 years when HINCLIFFE and HOLMES ratchetted up the horror and body horror during their Gothic Horror run.

Part of that was due to tom Baker but another part was due to the college crowd and adults tuning in as the show began strutting a more adult quality with sharp, explosive stories that had gun violence (THE SEEDS OF DOOM), a warrior companion "I'll cut your heart out!" and lots of thought-provoking episodes (the Doctor asking himself if he has the right to wipe out the DALEKS in GENESIS OF THE DALEKS).

Yes, bring back the adult nature of the show. Let kids hide behind the sofa. I sure did when I was a kid during Doctor Who.

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Should Doctor Who Adopt a Darker Tone?

Reply

It's not THE Doctor either. THE is only when referencing him / himself in the 3rd person. As in "Don't worry, the the Doctor will be there when you need him." or. "I am the Doctor."

Correct usage, as demonstrated by Davros: "Welcome to my new empire Doctor."

1 month ago on WHOops! When Doctor Who Gets It Wrong

Reply

In Richard Linklater’s movie,Waking Life, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise their roles as Jesse and Celine for a 5 minute sequence in the middle of the film. Hawke and Delpy debate the ideas of the collective unconsciousness and how a radical experiment was performed to prove its existence: the experiment required a test group of people to complete a crossword puzzle from that day’s newspaper. That same group of people was then asked to complete another crossword puzzle from a previous day’s newspaper. The results were astonishing because, overall, every person did much better with the 2nd crossword.

Why was the result astonishing?

Because it implied that the test group did better with the 2nd puzzle due to the answers being accessible via the collective unconsciousness. The answers had been published and were “out there” as it were – allowing the test group to know the answers as if they were tapping into a database.

My reason for bringing this up is to show that the very *real* negative ONLINE opinions of the fanbase did, in fact, cause the production team to be surprised when they won for DAY OF THE DOCTOR. And the fandom’s online invective has indeed caused Moffat to believe that we hate him.

Did this make Moffat sweat bullets to put all his efforts into creating an amazing 50th anniversary episode? I’m quite confident the answer is YES. The pressure was on like no other time in Doctor Who history, before or since.

I, for one, am glad he’s heard the fanbase uproar over his time as showrunner. I’m glad he had to close his Twitter account because of all the rants. I’m glad we’ve gotten to him and the BBC. The fanbase outcry made the BBC brass have a good long chat with Moffat, stressing the importance that he make an utterly fantastic 50th anniversary episode...and not just because of its milestone nature but also because its high-profile status. An excellent 50th anniversary episode, which was to be simulcast world-wide on TV and in cinemas, was the ONLY option for the BBC. Failure for Moffat to do that would ensure a global outcry from the fanbase, effectively killing Doctor Who once and for all.

No one doubts that Moffat is a gifted writer as his 4 stories during the RTD era are all top-tier stories.

But as showrunner, Moffat is terrible. And yes, our rants have gotten to him. The collective world-wide-web has ensured that our thoughts about his ability to run the show were heard loud and clear. And that made him produce the awesome Night of the Doctor and Day of the Doctor.

And we cheered. And he heard that too. Because without us, there would be no Doctor Who.

1 month, 1 week ago on Yes, I’m a Whovian, but I’m one of the nice ones

Reply

You're right about that. I just meant to use the example of the Adipose as the pinnacle of children's TV and that Moffat should steer clear of that.

The RTD era wasn't perfect (I mean really, farting aliens, belching recycle bins and pigmen???) but it had a greater number of adult-themed episodes.

When the show rebooted, you could tell that -- by and large -- it wanted to be taken seriously. It wanted to shed the idea in people's minds that Doctor Who was filled with wobbly sets and aliens that strained credibility because you could see it was just a man in a rubber suit.

To be taken seriously, a return to real drama against a Sci-Fi setting (with adult themes) MUST take place or else WHO will be on the cancellation list again.

2 months ago on Bring Back… Paul Cornell

Reply

Then you missed the British newspapers talking about be rising horror during the Hincliffe era -- showing Morbius and his patchwork Frankenstein body beside the article.

It may not be horrific to you in this day, my friend, but it was for thousands and that is where the expression "hiding behind the sofa" comes from. Or at least it is intimately associated with DrWho. In fact, during the marketing for the launch of the new series in 2005, some ads said "are you ready to hide behind the sofa again?"

And actually, did you know that the British broadcast of THE EMPTY CHILD had the sequence of Dr. Constantine edited so that you couldn't hear the sound of his face bones crunching as he morphed into the gas mask creature?

But you're right: horror and violence do not necessarily make for adult-themed entertainment but they sure do help. We need a return to grittiness....and by all accounts that is where the Capaldi era will take us. BBC has heard the outcry from its adult tans and has finally responded.

2 months ago on Bring Back… Paul Cornell

Reply

Dear Moderators: please use this version of my comment. I'm afraid I ran out of time when I was editing my comment. My apologies but I hope you will take into consideration what appears to be a duplicate post but actually is slightly longer than the one just posted a few minutes ago. Thank you. Please edit out my note to you above and please find the comment below:

"One of the great and unique things about Doctor Who, is that it’s aimed at children..."

THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES was aimed at children. If anything, Doctor Who is aimed at families and young teens....

But it's interesting you should say that: I believe your statement proves just how far the show has fallen into children's territory. No one hides behind the sofa anymore.

Prior to Moffat taking over as SHOWRUNNER, we had MUCH more adult-themed stories:

'The Satan Pit' (replete with discussions of faith and confrontations with the Devil),

'Midnight' (possession),

'The Waters of Mars' (body horror, suicide),

'The Empty Child' (the horrifying transformation of Dr. Constantine into a gas mask creature),

'The Unquiet Dead'(zombies, bodies coming to life in the morgue),

'The Fires of Pompeii' (the High Priestess of the Cybaline/Pyroville hybrid creature, the doomed city of Pompeii),

I

'The Girl in the Fireplace' (Rose and Mickey get their arms injected with sedative and their bodies go limp),

.....and let's not forget the Gothic Horror years of the Phillip Hincliffe/Robert Holmes era: violence, body horror and terrifying monsters were splattered our screens at 6pm in the evenings. Stories like THE SEEDS OF DOOM, THE DEADLY ASSASSIN, THE BRAIN OF MORBIUS, GENESIS OF THE DALEKS, TERROR OF THE ZYGONS etc had even the adults scurrying for cover behind the sofa. Yet these are widely as some of the best Doctor Who stories ever...but so terrifying that the moral crusader Mary Whitehouse infamously led the charge to demand that the BBC tone down the horror and violence of the show as children were watching.

And they did tone down the adult nature of the show, effectively sounding the death-knell that saw the show become a pale shadow of its former glory...leading to the end of the classic series some 9 years later.

Yes, we need the darker, more adult-themed stories to return. If the nature of a particular story is deemed to be too frightening, then you put a PARENTAL GUIDANCE notice at the start of the show and between commercial breaks. Or air the show later for that particular week.

By doing this, you make fans of all ages happy. Because guess what Mr Moffat? Doctor Who has been around for 50years, meaning that you have fans who are well into their 60s now. They are ADULTS and are deserving of darker, more mature stories....not silly, happy-go-lucky stories with cute little Adipose for kids.

2 months, 1 week ago on Bring Back… Paul Cornell

Reply

Oh hello there tealeaves.

:D

Yes, some clarification is definitely needed. I had a whole other paragraph that didn't get published because my editing time ran out. So I do apologize for a half-baked presentation.

The gist of that unpublished paragraph was that, in my opinion, Steven Moffat is blowing smoke at us by trying to spin a colossal blunder into a magnanimous gesture of respect. It's like any politician or big business doing damage control after being caught doing something bad. And the Beeb *is* a CORPORATION -- so Moffat *has* to make it look like it was done intentionally as part of some grand gesture.

He's not likely to come right out and admit he made a mistake, is he? But just for laughs, let us imagine if he did: "Oh f***, how did that version of the regeneration sequence make it to the final cut? Well fans, you're right. I completely dropped the ball on that one."

See?

Coming out and admitting that he screwed up isn't in Moffat's best interest or the BBC's. So the best thing to do is turn a negative into a pseudo positive with their friendly neighbourhood spin doctors.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Moffat on Why Hurt to Eccleston Regeneration Was So Short

Reply

"seems highly unlikely that this shot would not have been mentioned to him"

Good day Tealeaves :D and thanks for your comment/observations.

Seeming highly unlikely is quite different than knowing something as fact.

But even so, that is neither here nor there because the BBC own the rights to ECCLESTON'S portrayal of Doc#9 and they use the image on merchandise and anything relating to Doctor Who. The BBC books are a good example.

Using stock footage in the saving Gallifrey sequence was good but they easily could have used the stock image of his face to extend the regeneration sequence as that fan did so expertly. No one's rights would have been infringed upon. And no one would be disrespected. It's THEIR image. not Christopher Eccleston's.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Moffat on Why Hurt to Eccleston Regeneration Was So Short

Reply

"...and not respecting his wishes would have been grossly unprofessional and disrespectful...."

...says Moffat after having allowed a body-double to wear digital markers so they could digitally graft CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON's face onto him for that final shot with all 11 Doctors.

Yes. Very professional and respectful Mr. Moffat.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Moffat on Why Hurt to Eccleston Regeneration Was So Short

Reply
  1.  Midnight (2008), Blink (2007), The Girl Who Waited (2011):  all 10/10
  2. The Doctor Dances (2005) 9.5/10
  3. Love and Monsters (2006) 8/10
  4. Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (2013) 7/10
  5. Vincent and the Doctor (2010) 2/10


Vincent and the Doctor, while being an excellent story about the struggles of mental illness, is ruined by the fact that the alien nemesis is   -- essentially --  a giant space chicken.  This is silly and it undermines the seriousness of the central theme. 


Some of you may point to the fact that the Abzobaloff is just as silly a creature.  Point taken.  But Love and Monsters has *lots* of humour and throwaway laughs peppered throughout the episode (even some slightly inappropriate adult humour when Jackie ogles Elton's butt as he fixes her, ahem, her pipes).  Tempering the episode with laughs and comic turns allows the silliness of the Abzorbaloff to be just another sight-gag: "Takes just like chicken!" 


So while L&M has gags galore, its still essentially a great story with the central theme of bonding with like-minded people who are obsessed with the Doctor:  essentially making this a love-letter to the fans.  We may be eccentric and maybe make vlogs for social media but we DO have feelings and we can get hurt.  We are real people who are capable of forming loving relationships in a world that is rife with absurdities. 

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Series 1-7 Face-Off: Episode 10

Reply

Here here!!!  Well said!  The timing couldn't be more perfect.  And the chance to do it is NOW or NEVER, as the saying goes.   Or else McGann will begin to look older than he did before he regenerated.  We MUST take advantage of the present.

And for a 50th anniversary season which willl be a neo-classical approach to the show (older incarnation for the Doctor, two teachers at Coal Hill High School), what better way to inject a "new" component by having a classic Doctor pop in every now and then across Capaldi's timeline???!!!!!

It's perfect I tell ya.

But worst case scenario is this:  McGann will get a series of mini-sodes.  In fact, I'll say it here and now as a PREDICTION:  McGann will be filming (if it hasn't already started)  maybe 5 or 10 minisodes for a webcast.  And this series of minisodes will fill in the gap between now and Capaldi's debut in the Fall of 2014.  

3 months, 4 weeks ago on How To Bring Back McGann

Reply

"Does not having the character of the Doctor in to fall back on make the writers pen better plots?"

The answer is a resounding YES YES YES and YES!!! (btw: THE GIRL WHO WAITED was a Doctor-lite episode from Matt's era. And look how good that story was!! That was an emotional rollercoaster, turning me finally into a fan of Karen Gillan who, IMHO, hadn't really shown her acting chops until that story.

And as with TGWW, the Doctor-lite episodes, companion-lite and companion-centric ones DO make the writers pen better plots and stories. Want proof? Look no further than the cerebral and gut-wrenchiing tale of survival in MIDNIGHT - and the jaw-dropping performances of Lesley Sharpe and David Tennant. No monsters to see: just tour-de-force acting with a stellar script.

Yes, when you take the focus off the Doctor-as-hero formula, the writers absolutely need to be more creative. And that creativity (which is born of necessity) shines through with a refreshing take on a beloved series. And some might argue, a better take on the series.

In fact, Moffat himself has indicated that lite episodes are even MORE about the Doctor because of his very absence. Sorry, don't have the quote at this very moment...but I could find it if required. I don't necessarily agree with that particular assertion of his assertion as I feel BLINK was more about Sally, Inspector Shipton and the Nightingales but still... the point is that the lite episodes are, on the whole, more creative and refreshing for their lack of reliance on the Doctor-as-Hero trope.

In my opinion, the the show would fare better if each season had at least TWO lite episodes (whether Doctor-lite, companion-lite or Companion-centric): giving the show a better range and allowing the series to really stretch its legs

4 months ago on Are Doctor-Lite stories the best of Doctor Who?

Reply