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Thank heavens for the return of the two-parter!!! 

I don't think we've had one since... series 6.  The Name of the Doctor *sort of* was a two parter with that sucker-punch of a cliffhanger.  But it really wasn't. 

1 day, 19 hours ago on Dark Water Clip

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@Polyphase @The Living Angel is Regenerating  


"What about when a better episode comes along?"



Well then it's either a tie...or you need to start using decimal increments. 


Or, in some really wild cases, you rank the best darn episode ever with an 11/10.  Yup.  That's when an episode is so good it really is "off the charts", meaning exceeding the 10 point grading scale. 

1 week, 2 days ago on Your Verdict on Mummy & Episode Ranking

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Not surprising since this episode featured a genuinely terrifying monster. That mummy design was a full-on body horror fright-fest and scarier looking than all of the Hollywood movie mummies combined....and that includes the Boris Karloff mummy from the 30s.

Betcha there were some kids any adults hiding behind the sofa (or at least behind a pillow) when the camera came in for the gruesome teeth-gnashing closeups.

Doctor Who did me proud with Mummy on the O.E.

1 week, 2 days ago on Your Verdict on Mummy & Episode Ranking

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Finally figured out what's wrong with this redesign of the Cybermen: the edges of the mouth slant outward at an 80 degree angle, giving the impression of a smile.


Smiling clowns: scary to some.  Smiling Cybermen: not so much. 


Just look at that cover photo!! The Cyberman looks happy to see something pleasant in the distance.  Happiness is an emotion.  And that is SO not what Cybermen are about.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on DWM #479: Heaven or Hell?

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@LeahGotTheBox 


Indeed..!  This is proper scary.  Doctor Who can reclaim it's badge for making you hide behind the sofa.

3 weeks ago on Mummy on the Orient Express Clip & Intro

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@Angie Whodini will foretell... YOUR DEATH! 


I can see your point but damn: that is one frightening monster. That is PROPER scary. 


3 weeks ago on Mummy on the Orient Express Clip & Intro

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Now this is proper scary.  Doctor Who can reclaim it's badge for making you hide behind the sofa!

3 weeks ago on Mummy on the Orient Express Clip & Intro

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Clara.  Definitely Clara. 



In over 50 years, no companion has ever brow-beaten the Doctor so blisteringly.  I'm surprised he has any eyebrows left after that.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Kill the Moon: Clara or the Doctor?

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So what are the numbers for the iPlayer crowd?  Do we know?  If there is a minimum of 1million UK folks watching on BBC iPlayer, then that makes the figures quite robust. 


Time Heist's final figures, for example, would be 7.99 million and Deep Breath would be 10.17 million.



Is there some agency -- other than the BBC -- tracking the BBC iPlayer viewing?  And if so, where might we see the results?

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Doctor Who Series 8 UK Ratings Accumulator

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"I'll slap you so hard you'll regenerate."  -  Best. Line. Ever!


I think I just had a nerd-gasm. 

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon

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ooo!!  Now that's proper creepy!  Great timing too, as we move into the Halloween fright season.

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Next Time: Mummy on the Orient Express

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"Spiders. Why did it have to be spiders?"    ~  Indiana Jones meets Doctor Who


1 month ago on Kill The Moon Promo Pics

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@JolomontheCube 


Or the ratings might JUMP really high. People like getting scared.  Think JAWS, THE EXORCIST and ALIENS: all horror movies that raised the bar and broke box office records.  The word-of-mouth on how scary these films were made the line-ups at the theatres grow even longer.




"Just when you though it was safe to go in the water again." ~ tag line for JAWS 2

1 month ago on Next Time: Kill The Moon

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@12th's Sonic (I'm the new caretaker. John Smith) @Typo42 @thetru1h 

I think Typo42 is kidding around... note the avatar:  a TARDIS carafe. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Rate & Discuss Time Heist

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The one thing I don't think anyone's mentioned (and it really DOES deserve mentioning because it is the one thing people have been complaining most vocally about): the Doctor did not rely on the Sonic Screwdriver!!!!




And if any story was screaming out for the Sonic, this was it: impregnable fortresses, barricades and vault combinations!!!  But for a wonderful change, when the Doctor did bring it out, it proved to be ineffective. 


I think Moffat did this ON PURPOSE to address the over-usage of the Sonic by having the characters use their intelligence and cleverness to break into the bank. 



We definitely ARE moving in the right direction with series 8.   :D

1 month, 1 week ago on Rate & Discuss Time Heist

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An open letter to 'Cos Guess Who? Ha!  and to all fans of the show:






About two days ago, a serious rant was made by 'Cos Guess Who? Ha! and I would like to just say something in defence of this Moffat-penned episode (specifically addressing the point 'Cos makes that it is impossible for Clara to somehow end up on Gallifrey when it is locked in a pocket universe).





Listen, I hear you.  I'm not the biggest fan of Moffat *as the showrunner* of Doctor Who and I have been most vocal about the quality of the show under his leadership.  But he does have moments of genius... and I have to give credit where it's due.  For example: try as I might, I can't say that The Eleventh Hour is a bad episode.  It's a great episode!!






Anyway, my point is that the impossible girl known as Clara is revealed to us in THE NAME OF THE DOCTOR as the person born to save the Doctor.






Quite a LOT of fans liked that episode, including me.  But the one thing people didn't mention was that Clara  -- in being born to save the Doctor --  is revealed to be a sort of "spirit guide" for him, appearing at key moments in his life. 





In keeping with that established motif, we see that this is just another moment in the Doctor's timeline where Clara is the spirit guide.  Yes, she is surprised that the child is not Rupert... but as soon as she realizes who he is, she falls into her role as the spirit guide and whispers words of wisdom to him  -- to the Doctor --  words of comfort, words of courage, words to live by.  Words the Doctor obviously listened to and ended up living to save the day.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Listen

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@They're all my favorite Bank Robber @StephenCoppins 


And Robots was 42 minutes vs LISTEN being 47.  Lots can be done with 5 extra minutes... like letting the story breathe...

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Listen

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@'Cos Guess Who? Ha! @awkward91 @smallaustralian 


Woah there... listen, I hear you.  I'm not the biggest fan of Moffat *as the showrunner* and I have been most vocal about how the quality has suffered.  But he does have moments of genius... and I have to give credit where it's due.  For example: try as I might, I can't say that The Eleventh Hour is a bad episode.  It's a great episode.


Anyway, my point is that Clara revealed to us in THE NAME OF THE DOCTOR that she was born to save the Doctor


Quite a LOT of fans liked that episode, including me.  But the one thing people didn't mention was that Clara  -- in being born to save the Doctor --  is revealed to be a sort of "spirit guide" for him, appearing at key moments in his life. 


In keeping with that established motif, we see that this is just another moment in the Doctor's timeline where Clara is the spirit guide.  Yes, she is surprised that the child is not Rupert... but as soon as she realizes who he is, she falls into her role and whispers words of wisdom to him  -- to the Doctor --  words of comfort, words of courage, words to live by.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Listen

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"So, what?  You're the truth behind the myth then...?"  said the Tenth Doctor to Satan in The Impossible Planet.

Whether you believe in God or the Devil is of no consequence. From a secular perspective, Satan is a myth. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Robot of Sherwood Review

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"Furthermore what’s wrong with Doctor Who focusing on a character from myth and legend? They've done it plenty of times in the past..."  - TARDIS BOY

Indeed they have TARDIS BOY.  Clint, my man, step back in time with me and consider
The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit:  This is is a prime example of a DW story focusing on a character from myth - a story, I might add, that recieved universal praise from fans and critics alike for its daring and thought-provoking sequences that examined faith and religious beliefs.

Whether you believe in God or the Devil is of no consequence.  From a secular perspective, Satan is a myth.


"So, you're the truth behind the myth then...?"  ~ The Tenth Doctor

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Robot of Sherwood Review

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@greggc72 



Robin says "I'm as real as you are"



I think this is a nod to the fantastical nature of Doctor Who:  remember at the start of the episode that the Doctor asked Clara when she started believing in heroes and magic (or something to that effect) and Clara's response is mostly in her body language:  when her life crossed paths with the Doctor!!



Modern Doctor Who has done this sort of quasi-subtle  "in-joke referencing" before.  Take, for example, the scene in THE GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE when Madame De Pompador says to Rose: "The monsters and the Doctor: it seems you cannot have one without the other."


His comment simply was, IMHO, a nod to the show's fandom:  The Doctor is real to us, even though we know there's a whole production behind it and that it's just an actor playing a part.  The love and time we invest in the show make him as real as any character we fall in love with in fiction. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Robot of Sherwood

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Well, I have to say that I am grinning from ear-to-ear.



What a wonderfully-realized tale of whimsy and sci-fi.....



Capaldi was hilarious as he kept trying to poke holes in the "reality" of Robin Hood and his merry men. And I absolutely LOVED the way Clara had to take charge of situations, telling both Robin and the Doctor to shut up on more than one occasion.



For the first time in AGES, I watched Doctor Who with a complete sense of awe and enchantment. And it felt SO fresh!!  And my suspension of disbelief was not strained which felt truly wonderful.


It felt like it was 2005 all over again.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Robot of Sherwood

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@AztecsDaleksAndCavemen @TheOncomingHurricane 

It wasn't mentioned again and again.  It happened and that was that.  If it had been mentioned again and again, then it would have become the central point of the episode.... and instead of seeing the Half-Faced Man impaled, we would have had this instead:  The Half-Faced Man is impaled but the crowd beneath him gasps in shock and says "See what happens when two women kiss!!!?"

And then the balloon from which he fell would have the following words painted on it:  "Did everyone see those two lesbians kissing?"

And then there would have been a march down the mainstreet with everyone singing "Two women kissed!  Two women kissed!  Two women kissed!"

2 months ago on Addressing the Deep Breath Kiss

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I still don't get why Clara has such a hard time with the transition to the Twelfth Doctor, considering the fact that she "was born to save the Doctor", has met them all....and even met the WAR DOCTOR without skipping a beat.


Will somebody please explain to me what I am missing?


Thanks!

2 months, 1 week ago on Rate & Discuss Deep Breath

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This is my favourite RTD opener too!  And Martha is bloody fantastic.  She's smart and beautiful and can hold her own.

Martha can't be blamed for "falling for the Doctor" because of that genetic transfer.  Any one of you (who like blokes) would have had the same reaction if a tall good-looking guy suddenly came up and gave you a good snog. 

Yes, it's frustrating that she went through the whole unrequited love thing but then so was having Donna's memory wiped. 

With that one exception, Martha proved to be a blast of fresh air and the angles of racism that were brought into the stories proved to be an interesting narrative point for Doctor Who.

2 months, 1 week ago on New Who Openers In Perspective: Smith & Jones

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I can only hope that Capaldi's popularity (due to his role as Malcom Tucker) will draw a bigger UK rating, particularly among adults and the college demographic. 




From what I've seen already (no spoilers here, I promise), Capaldi appears to have instantly captured the erratic, mysterious, friendly and darkly humorous quality of the wanderer in the 4th dimension: in very much the same way that Tom Baker perfectly captured it back in 1974.



I wondered for a time if we'd ever see such a perfect storm as Tom Baker.... and I do believe we have it in Capaldi.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Capaldi Unclear on Series 9 Return

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@ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! 


Darn, wish there was a way to pvt message people.  I'm having some problems with the computer at the moment, but I think I saw you mention to me that my CAPS lock was on. 


If you mean when I was quoting EMPIRE, yeah I typed it out that way because that's how it appears on their cover [in full caps].  I guess I should keep in mind that not everybody knows that and is likely to think I'm yelling.


Sorry if you thought I was. 

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@TheCapaldiMasterplan @dragonsfyre @ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! 






Hello.  Welcome to the party.  :D





"Magazine making comment about tonal shift of show != Doctor Who is no longer a serious programme."





No no my friend, you're not comprehending. 




When EMPIRE magazine says IT'S DEFINITELY TIME TO TAKE DOCTOR WHO SERIOUSLY, they're not saying the programme isn't serious:  they're saying that it couldn't be taken seriously anymore. There's a difference.  But NOW with the shift towardscarier and darker stories (like in Doctor Who's glory years), it CAN be taken seriously again. And it's time to start doing so.

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! @dragonsfyre @ClaireAbraham 


Mr Superior, I would like to share with you the note I just wrote to Rani Nose:


There's tons of evidence.  But really, you needn't look any further than the newest edition of EMPIRE magazine: 



"ABOUT TIME. IT'S SCARIER, IT'S EDGIER, BEN "KILL LIST" WHEATLEY'S DIRECTING THE FIRST TWO EPISODES...AND THE NEW DOCTOR IS MALCOM TUCKER! IT'S DEFINITELY TIME TO TAKE DOCTOR WHO SERIOUSLY"



Read that last bit carefully:  IT'S DEFINITELY TIME TO TAKE DOCTOR WHO SERIOUSLY. 


EMPIRE magazine is saying that Doctor Who couldn't be taken seriously anymore! And when you have a magazine as big as EMPIRE saying this, you know it's not just them.  It's what disgruntled fans have been saying for a while now. 



I rest my case.

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@Rani Nose 


There's tons of evidence.  But really, you needn't look any further than the newest edition of EMPIRE magazine: 


"ABOUT TIME. IT'S SCARIER, IT'S EDGIER, BEN "KILL LIST" WHEATLEY'S DIRECTING THE FIRST TWO EPISODES...AND THE NEW DOCTOR IS MALCOM TUCKER! IT'S DEFINITELY TIME TO TAKE DOCTOR WHO SERIOUSLY"


Read that last bit carefully:  IT'S DEFINITELY TIME TO TAKE DOCTOR WHO SERIOUSLY.


EMPIRE magazine is saying that Doctor Who couldn't be taken seriously anymore!   And when you have a magazine as big as EMPIRE saying this, you know it's not just them.  It's what disgruntled fans have been saying for a while now. 


I rest my case.


3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! @dragonsfyre @ClaireAbraham @Rani Nose 


True true!  A good story is a good story. 


"while you might not be happy with recent series a lot of us are."


Yes, a lot of people are happy with the recent series (I'm presuming you mean the last three years).  Oh yes.  Indeed they are happy.  And I'm glad you're one of them and that you're happy.


But guess what?  The people who aren't happy VASTLY outnumber the happy ones.  We are the majority and we have made our voices loud and clear and taken whatever actions necessary to ensure the BBC felt the impact.  


When you have EMPIRE magazine saying  "ABOUT TIME...  IT'S DEFINITELY TIME TO TAKE DOCTOR WHO SERIOUSLY" you know that the unhappy fans have successfully made an impact.


So in the long run our voices and actions did matter.  The power of our opinion and actions has turned the tide.


Do you think Moffat just came up with "Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up"?   No, he's been feeling the pressure from everywhere, to the point where he even had to close his Twitter account. 


I'm glad the unhappy fans helped the show move away from "Doctor Who as fairy tale."  You could sense that changes were starting in Matt's second season... but now the shakeup is in high gear and the show is FINALLY returning to its glory days when it was dark and scary with bits of magic and wonder peppered throughout.  


And you know what?  The creators of Doctor Who might actually be able to resurrect their old expression that the show makes kids "hide behind the sofa."  






3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@Amy is Hannibal

Wow. That comment SO misses the point.

But since you brought it up, I will say one thing only:  If "Tom Baker's first four years have [so] little bearing on the show's modern climate", why did they have Tom Baker appear in THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL?????



3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! @ClaireAbraham @dragonsfyre @Rani Nose

I'm really glad you wrote IF it was a kid's show.  And on that point I agree: we shouldn't be ashamed to watch a kid's show.  Like The Sarah Jane Adventures, which IS more for kids.

But Doctor Who is not a kid's show.  Sesame Street is a kid's show.  

 

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@yolt13 @dragonsfyre @Rani Nose 

Sorry, but there has been an outcry.  A very loud and protracted one.

I could be wrong but I suspect you might have been tuning out the naysayers.  But that's okay.  Rose-tinted glasses are nice too.

If you like I can provide you with ample evidence of the call for the show to grow up and be scary again.

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! @supermoff  @dragonsfyre @Rani Nose 

A darker tone does not ncessarily ruin a show:  look at Blink, MIDNIGHT, THE EMPTY CHILD, THE WATERS OF MARS...these are some of the best loved stories of New Who.

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! @Rani Nose 

And look what happened with the introduction of horror by Phillip Hinclife and Robert Holmes:  they got the highest ratings the show had ever seen before OR since.

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! @dragonsfyre @Rani Nose 

Mr  Superior:  "scariest and most violent period of the show".  Horror and violence are not part of a kid's show.  Phillip Hincliffe and Robert Holmes deliberated made it more adult and they got the  adults tuning in as a result....making the ratings hit the stratosphere.

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@Amy is Hannibal 

People just need to stop underestimating kids and kids' media.

This is true enough... but the show did the best ratings when they made it purposely more for adults with the Gothic horror and ramping up the violence.  That period was the 4 first years of Tom Baker's tenure.

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! @dragonsfyre @Rani Nose 

The answer is simple:  the show is not for kids according to the ratings when ADULTS were tuninng the the scariest and most violent period of the show, Tom Baker's first four years:  a whole new demographic came into the fold as college students began tuning in and heterosexual dads also started watching (well, that latter demographic was drawn to the TV mainly for a scantily-clad female companion). 

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@Rani Nose 

It's not so daring when you realize the BBC brass have heard the outcry from across all forms of media:  the show is NOT for kids. Make the show scarier and darker, the way it was during its two golden periods of Tom Baker's early years and early Tennant and Eccleston.

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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Hallelujah! 

3 months ago on Moffat on Why Series 8 Needed A Big Shake-Up

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@VictorWong1 


Great thoughts VictorWong1..!


Especially the shake up the Dalek portrayal part. Now I must say this even though I have had my serious issues with Moffat's show-running abilities:  in Asylum of the Daleks, we did get a taste of what a good shakeup could do for the Daleks: 


"Save the Daleks!  Save the Daleks!"   In spite of my disdain for Moffat's ability to run the show, I must give credit where it's due:  in the show's entire history, we've never heard the Daleks begging/commanding the Doctor to "Save the Daleks".


That, IMHO, was just fantastic....and it made the Daleks fresh and different.



3 months ago on Time to Regenerate the Daleks?

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@Rani Nose 



Actually, the new post featuring EMPIRE's new magazine cover pretty much sums it up:



"ABOUT TIME.  IT'S SCARIER, IT'S EDGIER, BEN "KILL LIST" WHEATLEY'S DIRECTING THE FIRST TWO EPISODES...AND THE NEW DOCTOR IS MALCOM TUCKER!  IT'S DEFINITELY TIME TO TAKE DOCTOR WHO SERIOUSLY"



See, in 2005 you could really tell that Doctor Who wanted to be taken seriously: it wanted to divest itself of the public perception that DrWho was full of wobbly sets and rubbish monsters.


And RTD succeeded it getting the show to be taken seriously by giving us a nearly flawless first season with dark (The Unquiet Dead), gripping (Dalek), terrifying (The Empty Child) and emotionally cathartic stories (Father's Day). 


Seasons 2 and 3 built upon this with even edgier and more frightening tales (TOOTH AND CLAW, THE SATAN PIT, BLINK, HUMAN NATURE) that managed to be intelligent and thought-provoking all at the same time.


Series 4 started to crumble near the end but it too had wildly compelling and dark stories (the tale of the doomed city in THE FIRES OF POMPEII and harrowing possession in MIDNIGHT and body horror in THE WATERS OF MARS).


For EMPIRE magazine to say "It's definitely time to take Doctor Who seriously" is proof positive that the perception of the show in the last three years had returned to the point where you couldn't take it seriously anymore.


Thank you EMPIRE for saying pretty much what I've been saying all along.  And rest assured Rani Nose: me and the publishers of EMPIRE do NOT stand alone in this perception. The majority opinion is that Doctor Who needs to be scarier, edgier, darker.  You're certainly free to feel otherwise.  But the majority have spoken loud and clear across every form of media and the BBC brass have heard us.  


It's about time. 

3 months ago on Capaldi was Adamant About No Flirting in Series 8

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@Rani Nose @dragonsfyre 


Dear Rani Nose,


I'm glad you prefaced your note with the word IF. 



As it happens, I *did not* think Partners in Crime was "about an invasion of giggling fat molecules".  I was speaking of an imaginary video game to help illustrate a point.  Obviously I failed to articulate my point of view in such a way that you would understand the gist of my argument. 

3 months ago on Capaldi was Adamant About No Flirting in Series 8

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@Ollie Walton Harrod @dragonsfyre @Notsosmartguy

Ollie Walton Harro: lol... Indeed.  Love defeating the enemy...what hogwash.... and wasn't the rain supposed to be the tears or something? 

Yes, I too liked the character/relationshiop development in The Snowmen...

3 months ago on Capaldi was Adamant About No Flirting in Series 8

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@Doctor What @dragonsfyre @Rani Nose Forgot to mention City of Death also doesn't count as an accurate barometer of ratings because of that ITV strike.

But apart from all that, it's not that I'm espousing violence for violence's sake. I think my response (just 2 posts below) to NOTSOSMARTGUY about weird monsters may express my thoughts a little more precisely.

3 months ago on Capaldi was Adamant About No Flirting in Series 8

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@Notsosmartguy   I guess the simple answer would be that weird monsters strain credibility, especially in a more mainstream audience.



With the exception of the farting Slitheen and the "armless" jokes in ROSE, when Doctor Who was resurrected in 2005 you could really see that it wanted to be taken seriously:  it wanted to divest itself from the perception that DrWho was full of wobbly sets and rubbish monsters. 



And it did so by giving us a nearly flawless Season One with dark (THE UNQUIET DEAD), gripping (DALEK), terrifying (THE EMPTY CHILD) and emotionally cathartic (FATHER'S DAY) stories.



Doctor Who needs to be taken seriously again. And that won't be accomplished with pumpkin-faced snowmen or wooden kings (The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe).  It will, however, be taken seriously with more menacing creatures like the Zygons and with darker stories where the stakes are higher, there are consequences to actions and where characters who die stay dead.

3 months ago on Capaldi was Adamant About No Flirting in Series 8

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"With many different elements, some that support each other well and others that juxtapose and clash, the underlying outcome is, in my opinion, not the need for just greater consequences, but for the need to make stories that the audience can become immersed in and relate to, with scenarios and characters they recognise being affected."



Bravo!  I couldn't have said it better myself. These are the essential elements, fully distilled, that Doctor Who needs.



And they arrive on immense bat-like wings in less than a month.


I'll see y'all behind the sofa...



3 months ago on What Actually Makes a Story Dark?

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