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@Antee991166 @ Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey @type41tardis @The 14th Doctor The original Sontaran was played by Kevin Lindsay. (Who indeed did not have a British accent, as he was Australian.) I was unable to find a record of his height, but I did find some stills from "The Sontaran Experiment" showing him next to Elizabeth Sladen. It was shot entirely on location, with very uneven ground, but he doesn't appear to be much taller than her. IMDB lists her height as 5' 4". So I'd guess he was about 5' 6". Whether or not you consider that "short" probably depends on perspective. I'm 5' 2", so it's a decent height in my books. ;-)
The Sontarans were recast for their next appearance, in "The Invasion of Time", because Kevin Lindsay had suffered a fatal heart attack not long after "The Sontaran Experiment". To keep costs down with them being a clone species, they had all but one keep their helmets on at all times, thus avoiding any complicated split-screen work. Most of the stills I could find show them with the Doctor (and Tom Baker isn't a fair comparison, as he's pretty tall), but one showed the lead Sontaran with Castellan Kelner, played by Milton Johns. Johns is clearly looking slightly downwards to look General Stor in the eye. I couldn't find heights for either Johns or Derek Deadman, who played Stor. But at any rate, the Sontarans in that episode (the first time we'd seen them in a group) definitely appeared shorter than average for adult males. It's possible all the other actors were just tall, but I don't think so.
There was a fairly tall Sontaran in "The Two Doctors"; the two main Sontarans in that serial had a rather surprising height disparity for a clone species.
As far as design, I think the old design is pretty dated; it looks like the 70s. It's not bad, but it's very 70s. ;-) Also, the modern costumes clearly have far greater flexibility, and modern prosthetics offer far more expressiveness for the actors than the original masks did. From a *technical* standpoint, I prefer the modern designs. And really, they're not much different.
46 minutes ago on Deep Breath Spoiler-Free Review
Not having seen it yet, I have to disagree about confining the Paternoster Gang to the Matt Smith era. I realize there's a temptation to make a clean break, but we must be reminded in some way that this *is* the same man, even if he has changed rather drastically, and bringing an element of the previous era along has been used before to great effect.
I'm thinking specifically of "Robot", Tom Baker's debut serial. (I second the call for longer runtime; one of the things that made the classic series so successful was the runtime. Yes, they had fewer stories in a season, but I think they were generally stronger.) The entire story was conducted in UNIT's bailiwick, complete with the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton. (No Captain Yates, alas.) And they even gave the Doctor a companion out of UNIT: Dr Harry Sullivan, who went along for the rest of the season.
Of course, sometimes it's not an old goodie gang that helps them along, but a baddie. Peter Davison's tenure began with the dramatic conclusion to a lovely story arc featuring the Master, and that really helped tie it together in my opinion. Of course, I was quite young when those stories aired, so I remember htem so fondly anyway that it colors my judgement. ;-) But my point is that the idea of bringing along something familiar from the previous era is not that unusual and has been beneficial before. Honestly, I prefer it to a clean break. I love "The Eleventh Hour", but in the first few minutes it felt like they were putting the previous era on a bonfire to dispose of it and start clean. Heck, they started it by blowing up the console room. It did work out, but I'm pleased to see them doing something different this time around, and giving us more of a link.
Oh, and one other story comes to mind: The Christmas Invasion. Rose's family was a home gang that helped give the audience something familiar through the transition, beyond the main companion's continued presence.
1 hour, 12 minutes ago on Deep Breath Spoiler-Free Review
@craig33 In fairness, I think interviewers try to be thick so as to get their subjects to try harder to explain things, and they ask stupid questions so as to get the known and expected answers stated. By now, I wouldn't be surprised if he can do an interview in his sleep....
6 hours, 44 minutes ago on Capaldi on Coleman Leaving Rumours
That is an absolutely beautiful response. My hat is off to you, madam. You know how to tease us fans exactly right. ;-) And you know how to preserve what's important - the experience of watching and going on an adventure of discovery with the Doctor in the TARDIS. Thank you!
6 hours, 48 minutes ago on Coleman on Exit Rumours: “I don’t want to tell you the truth”
I'm looking forward to this one; I suspect it will be a lighter episode, because "robots + Robin Hood" just equals fun. Or at least, it should. ;-) But we'll see where they go with this. Personally, I just like swashbucklers and other period pieces, so I'm looking forward to this.
1 day, 6 hours ago on Robot of Sherwood BBC Synopsis
@mrclever @The Alien Hunter YES! YES! YES! A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!
But then, we all already felt that way, didn't we? ;-)
3 days, 3 hours ago on Chris Addison to Guest in Series 8 Finale
@Gustaff The novel "Lungbarrow" (which was originally intended to be an actual serial in what ended up being Sylvester McCoy's final season) had exactly that -- a Gallifreyan identity theft by regeneration. The story was nixed by producers, and bits of it morphed into the transmitted serial "Ghost Light". (Lost nearly all the story, but kept the fantastic atmosphere and several story elements.) I don't want to say whose identity gets stolen, because it's a serious spoiler, but let's just say that if a Gallifreyan wants to frame somebody, and is able to control their regenerations well and were willing to sacrifice a couple of regenerations to do it, they could do a damn good job of it if they wanted.
1 week, 2 days ago on Series 8 “Faces” Deep Breath BBC Radio Trailer
That's a really creepy way to look at it -- if the Doctor has a lined face, where did the lines come from? How creepy would it be, getting a body with an obvious history that you weren't a part of? Might explain Doctor #3's tattoo (seen very briefly in his debut episode; certainly the Doctor wouldn't have had time to go get that done, so where do things like that come from, hmm?). Of course, they look like their actor's, but how much more interesting to think "what if that was real, what if that could actually happen, what would it mean for them, psychologically?"
*chuckles* That last paragraph has me really strongly thinking of another schoolteacher character. Is Clara becoming a bit like Susan of Sto Helit from the Discworld books? ;-)
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Coleman on Capaldi’s “Mad Curiosity”, Clara’s Home Life
@GRANDMARSHALL Colin Baker has joked that the best thing about wearing the costume was that it meant he didn't have to look at it. :-D He did not like it either.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Moffat on Capaldi’s “Grey-haired stick-insect” Look
The "reset" is actually pretty consistent with 10's regeneration scene; we saw his face mysteriously heal well before the actual change occurred, and he seemed to be indicating that this meant the process was now irreversibly started.
Hallucinating that Amy was there . . . well, that has precedent. Both Tom Baker and Peter Davison hallucinated friendly faces (and some decidedly unfriendly faces) during their regenerations. So as a longtime fan, I was actually glad to see that.
3 weeks, 6 days ago on Why I Love the 11th Doctor’s Regeneration
I was fully prepared to rant and rave about "TOO LATE, MOFFATT!!!!"
but then I read his whole comment and realized he was actually right.
Sure, he's the 12th Doctor to us. But to him? He's just the Doctor.
And given how, ah, competitive the various Doctors can be when they're
around one another, I suspect Moffatt's right that the Doctor would be a
bit annoyed by it.
Which makes me want to do it even more. :-D Twelfth Doctor! Twelfth!
mentioning that i can think of one instance when the Doctor *did*
identify himself with a number. And it was under Moffatt's auspices --
in "the Lodger", Matt Smith says "Eleventh."
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Moffat Questions “Twelfth Doctor” Title
@Captain_British I've lived in four places, not counting dorm rooms. But I know folks who would have to take a lot longer to work that out, because they are *not* loaded and consequently have had to move a lot in pursuit of lower rent.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Moffat Teases Massive Series 9 Cliffhanger
@AriannaTrahan In fairness, a giant ontological paradox is probably right up Doctor Who's alley. ;-)
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Moffat: Who says the Doctor is NOT human?
I do like a good cliffhanger, so I look forward to this. ;-)
Um, Moff, sorry, but he's said it lots of times. He's explicitly said "I'm not human" on multiple occasions, and sometimes it has even been a plot point. Grace Holloway couldn't identify his blood as even *being* blood; it looked too different under a microscope. The Fifth Doctor depended on his different anatomy to get him past the android guard in "Caves of Androzani". Various other episodes hinged on specific elements of Gallifreyan anatomy. In "Genesis of the Daleks", the unnamed Time Lord at the beginning alludes to the antiquity of their species by saying that they had mastered teleportation when the universe was "half its present size". The Sixth Doctor says Time Lord civilization is 10 million years old, suggesting the actual species is much older still, which is at odds with the actual age of humanity. (Our species is under a million years old.)
I could go on; I'm sure Moffatt thinks he's being clever, just as he was with the "there's a Doctor we didn't know about", but while that one revolves entirely around the Doctor being really embarrassed about that time in his life (which is entirely consistent with his character, really), this one has to go further to explain away fifty years of the Doctor being an alien. It's just barely possible that Gallifreyans are descended from far future humans, but if so, they've clearly forgotten the fact. And actually, I did read some fanfic a while back that worked with that essential idea. It was an intriguing notion, and built on some of the (now non-canonical) revelations of the novel "Lungbarrow". And essential to it was that if the Doctor is a future human, he is completely unaware of the fact. And so are all the other Gallifreyans. Consequently, Moffatt's explanation doesn't fly at all.
Oh, and he can't hang this one on "the Doctor lies" because we'd inexplicably have to have the entire Time Lord race, most of whom don't like him very much, colluding in this lie. No, if they're future humans, they'd have to somehow be completely oblivious to it, and that's hard to support. You can get away with it in a fanfic, but in the actual series it would have to hold up for decades to come and I really don't think it would.
BTW, it's worth mentioning that in the unaired pilot that was reworked and reshot for "An Unearthly Child", it's much more explicit about the Doctor and Susan not being human. Not canon? Technically, I'd have to agree, but it makes it pretty clear what Syndey Newman and Verity Lambert et al had in mind.
YES!!! This must happen!
2 months ago on The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Getting A Follow-Up?
"The Day of the Doctor" I have observed perform precisely such a conversion. My sister-in-law had never seen Doctor Who before, and now she loves it. ;-)
From the classic series, I've found that "The Deadly Assassin" makes a good converter story, and so does the arc from "The Keeper of Traken" through "Castrovalva".
2 months ago on You will become like us! The Best ‘Converter’ Episodes
Pshaw. We were always watching it. ;-) And heck, his predecessor was pretty dang easy on the eyes too, and nearly as young when he started. But one big thing is different today compared to twenty years ago, and that's that it is more acceptable for females to admit that they like science fiction. I would suggest that we've always been watching, but until recently, we've been relatively quiet about it.
2 months ago on Colin Baker: Tennant & Smith Brought Female Fans to Doctor Who
"The next year, in The Idiot’s Lantern, the Doctor and Rose
intended to take their scooter for a spin around the streets of New York
– so why did it have a British number plate? That’s irresponsible, Doc." Not really. The scooter came from the TARDIS; why should we assume the Doctor would be itching to be in compliance with New York state licensing laws? It's not like such things have generally been a big deal to him anyway. (Plus, you can totally operate a vehicle in the US with non-US plates. They'd like you to eventually get local plates if you're moving in. But would he be pulled over for having British plates? No. In fact, I saw a British car in my home city in middle America not too long ago; they'd had it here long enough to have gotten Minnesota plates, but they'd kept the British ones too.)
2 months ago on WHOops! When Doctor Who Gets It Wrong
@Richy Woo It's not been confirmed whether that's canon or not. I used to like thinking it as canon, but now I prefer thinking it's not, since it gives her the chance of survival.
2 months ago on Series 8: Master Finale Rumours
@Youforgotaboutthecake He did annotate it with "but not then" so I guess we can make of it what we will. ;-)
2 months ago on Weird and Wonderful
Oooh, more from the JSC visit! I'm actually not sure which part of that whole thing to geek out about the most. But it's a very funny bit of improv from all those guys there. ;-)
@Mikeyboss182 @ilyootha @Notsosmartguy the Superior Venom None of it *needs* to change, but all of it *can* change. ;-)
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Series 8 Filming: Tunnel Vision
NOOOOOOO!!!! Of course, this is RIGHT after I just broke down and ordered the individual DVDs of those....
2 months, 2 weeks ago on 50th Anniversary Box Set Incoming
McGann and Baker in space -- anybody have any context to that picture? Because it seriously looks like the inside of an ISS trainer (that looks suspiciously like a CBM hatch behind them), which makes my geek gland burst from the overload of awesome. ;-)
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Weird and Wonderful
Never mind, I found more context through the magic of Google. They got to go to Johnson Space Center in Houston and fool around in the ISS trainer. Very very cool.
@MeglosProductions It's been growing on me. If you approach it as a campy bit of fun, it's not bad.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on The Top Stories & Doctors (According to DWM 2014)
I actually really like "Time Flight". I know it's not popular, and the effects . . . well, you can tell they spent the budget on "Earthshock". But I like it, though admittedly mostly because of its technological guest star, the Concorde. ;-)
@TheCapaldiMasterplan @mlawesome@DWTVAnd don't forget one of the longest running companions of all time: the Brigadier! He and the rest of the UNIT crew never went into the TARDIS if they could help it, but are generally considered companions anyway.
3 months ago on Another New Companion for Series 8?
@Notsosmartguy the Superior Venom @The_Eternal_Dalek@beskarI don't think he was meant as a clever representation of classic who fans who aren't fond of new who. Have you seen any of the past multi-Doctor stories? He acted exactly the way all the other Doctors have acted upon meeting their other selves.
Doctor 2: "Well, so long! Fancypants."
Doctor 3: "Scarecrow."
3 months ago on Moffat: Day Was My Most Difficult Script Ever
@Planet of the Deaf @mn0062@JulianPrimeAll the six-parter (and longer!) stories during the Pertwee era suffer from that, in my opinion. Some six-parters work; "Genesis of the Daleks", for instance, I think benefits because it lets us really get to know the Kaleds and then the Thals, and "Seeds of Doom" is great because it lets us have a more stepped story development -- almost two different stories. But a lot of the ones longer than four parts get too long in places. To me, it's a bit like reading Charles Dickens, who was a great writer but since he was writing in serial form, padding got him paid more so of course he did it. ;-)
@jamface23 How did you feel about Ace? She was meant to be a teenager. And as for Susan -- well, we don't know how old she really was. Don't forget, she was Gallifreyan. Lord only knows how long they take to reach maturity. (In the Doctor's case, I think eternity....)
3 months ago on Series 8 Filming: Spaceman
@PaddyB @MoxxNo, this isn't Bad Wolf Bay; that was the much rockier Southerndown Beach.
@Antee991166 @MrRazzaBeing an American, the first time I saw it was on PBS, and it had been edited together into "omnibus" format -- so no cliffhangers, just flowing straight from one episode into another. That more movie-like format works quite well for it. It's hard to pace a story to have cliffhangers every 25 minutes, especially if it needs five of them, without some of them getting a little contrived. ;-)
3 months ago on On First View: Genesis of the Daleks
The Five Doctors demonstrated how difficult it is to have that many Doctors around, especially when you consider that they really only had four of them to deal with. (Tom Baker's part in that one was nothing more than scavenged "Shada" footage, since he was unavailable.) Four is definitely pushing it, though they had the "Game of Rassilon" concept to structure it and provide a convenient way of splitting them up for more practical writing and production. With that in mind, the three they had for the bulk of "Day of the Doctor" was plenty. I thought it worked out beautifully. Though I too would've liked to have seen Eccleston again.
3 months ago on Smith on 50th Classic Doctor Criticisms
I think he succeeded. Not only did I love it, but it turned my daughter from hating Who into loving it, and it made an instant fan out of my sister-in-law, who came to my Doctor Who party but who had never seen Doctor Who before. That transformation is what convinced me that it was successful. Not only did it celebrate the series, it also delivered it to new audiences. And that is amazing. ;-)
@Ninjauthor As a woman myself, I like the way he writes his female characters, and have not found him to be demeaning in any way to my gender. But as with any art, we'll come out of it with different impressions.
3 months, 1 week ago on Rachel Talalay Directing Series 8
Given that the more serious attempt (which was in canon, actually) did not succeed in attracting network attention in the US, I think we can rule out a US production, other than things like BBC America co-producing "The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon". The Torchwood: Miracle Day was more successful, and while we can all debate its merits, it was definitely watched and I think achieved what it set out to do.
So on the whole, I think Doctor Who spinoffs can work overseas, but the core series itself is best kept to a single stream.
3 months, 1 week ago on Could An Overseas Version of Doctor Who Ever Work?
Well, to each their own. I think we've had some extremely handsome Doctors. ;-)
3 months, 1 week ago on Moffat: Handsome Actors don’t suit the Doctor
@ilyootha Exillon would be really cool.
3 months, 1 week ago on Series 8 Filming in Lanzarote, Hermione Norris Cast
Lanzarote, returning to the scene of an old adventure . . . oooh, if I hear a rumor that someone's persuaded Mark Strickson to return to acting, I'd be very excited. ;-) Lanzarote was where they filmed Turlough's final story (and Peri's first), "The Planet of Fire". Are they going back to Sarn?
@Dannie Madsen I take it you haven't seen much of the Seventh, then? ;-) He was pretty notorious for being a conniver.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on RTD: Fans Can’t Ignore “Half-Human” Doctor
By the way, about Bill Nighy -- some folks feel he was underused. Would you feel better knowing he's been offered the ultimate role on the show and turned it down? That's right: he was offered the Doctor at least once. But the Doctor is a gigantic commitment; you have to pretty much put your career on hold. Sure, RTD and Moffatt have allowed the series to shift around a bit to allow their leading men to maintain their careers a bit, but the fans screamed holy hell over that. I can entirely understand a famous actor's decision to accept a role which we might feel is not up to their stature. Cameos are no slight to an actor's professionalism -- quite the contrary, in fact.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on 10 Misused Actors in Doctor Who
@TheOncomingHurricane @KarenBeeI dunno; I liked House as a disembodied voice. Made it creepier than if it had a flesh persona. It was everywhere, inescapable, and then it entered the TARDIS and Rory and Amy had to deal with that same inescapable, omnipresent entity there as well, in what they were used to seeing as a sanctuary.
@Seekles Yes. I think a lot of people forget that this is a job to them. A small role on Doctor Who is great because it means they can mark off that little "to-do" item on their bucket list without a major commitment that can seriously impact their career plans. I can think of lots of actors I'd love to see on the show, but I'll take whatever I get. ;-)
I think we run a very real danger if we start attempting to match actors up with roles "of their caliber", as it were. For one thing, a lot of actors would consider that a slight on their professionalism. For another, what are you saying? That their *fame* is what's important? That other very fine actors on the series were okay taking their roles because they weren't famous so any insult isn't important? (Never mind that at least one of these on your list only got famous *after* Doctor Who.) But more importantly, if your story is all about embiggening a famous star, then it's going to stink. You want to keep famous actors out of crappy stories? Then stop worrying about making sure they're in really good stories. The best stories are ones that concentrate on telling a good story. If you get hung up in giving your talent enough to chew on, you run a very real risk of that breaking down.
All of the actors you list did an excellent job in the roles they played. I wouldn't undermine that by saying they deserved better.
Especially John Cleese. Seriously. He wasn't even cast in the serial; he just happened to be around the studio, along with Eleanor Bron, and the production team thought it'd be funny since they had a little spare time to throw in a quick scene. Which begs another question -- why did you leave out Eleanor Bron? Because she later appeared in "Revelation of the Daleks", perhaps, and presumably you liked that one? Or did you just not know who she is?
And what is your threshhold for fame? By now, the majority of Doctor Who actors are noted thespians. They're generally very happy to "do a turn" on Doctor Who. Let's try not to mistake "I'm a fan of so-and-so and I want to see more of him" for "so-and-so was cheated".
I dunno. I personally put it in the same bucket as the Morbius Doctors and UNIT dating. ;-)