Doctor Who As Watched By Someone Who Doesn't Really Watch Doctor Who

MovieBob

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Doctor Who As Watched By Someone Who Doesn't Really Watch Doctor Who

Watching Doctor Who as a non-Whovian is a fish-out-of-water kind of experience.

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Soulrender95

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Ok, is this a cultural thing? I mean I've heard April O'Neil (classic series) classed as a red head and now Jenna Coleman (Clara), when to me both have clearly got brown (Brunette) hair colour.

I mean normally I'd not nitpick but if it's not a cultural thing then I've gone colour blind.

OT:
It's interesting to see an outsiders view on the show, as a fan the whole thing positively reeked of Steven Moffat's love for the fifth doctor and trying to recreate the first serial from his era (Castrovalva) though what was really annoying was the Clara stuff,
she -knows- about regenerations, she ran around with three different versions of him two stories earlier, this shouldn't have been as big a deal to her as it was.
 

Daaaah Whoosh

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For someone who's not a Doctor Who fan, you got a lot of it right. Even the things you got wrong have made me wonder if there really was something I'd missed.
If it helps, I'd reccomend The Girl in the Fireplace, as well as Asylum of the Daleks and The Snowmen. It should help fill in some of the gaps in your knowledge without taking up too much time slogging through what messes must occur in each series of Doctor Who.

After that, try the Sontaran Stratagem and the Poision Sky for an introduction to the short potato-heads, and The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood to learn about the green lizard people. But that isn't really necessary, as Vastra and Strax kind of make it difficult to put these alien races as adversaries in any meaningful way.
 

Hiramas

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As far as I can tell, you got nothing wrong there.
Steven Moffat (showrunner and writer) has the talent to do things right and the only better episode to start dr. who may be the "first" season from 2005.
Also, I don't get why people don't like clara and capaldi-doctor. They are both awesome, have great chemistry and are good actors.
I watched the episode at the movies and had a lot of fun.
When the doctor left her and she hold her breath I actually had trouble breathing. If that is not good TV, I dont know what is.
 

elvor0

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Soulrender95 said:
Ok, is this a cultural thing? I mean I've heard April O'Neil (classic series) classed as a red head and now Jenna Coleman (Clara), when to me both have clearly got brown (Brunette) hair colour.

I mean normally I'd not nitpick but if it's not a cultural thing then I've gone colour blind.

OT:
It's interesting to see an outsiders view on the show, as a fan the whole thing positively reeked of Steven Moffat's love for the fifth doctor and trying to recreate the first serial from his era (Castrovalva) though what was really annoying was the Clara stuff,
she -knows- about regenerations, she ran around with three different versions of him two stories earlier, this shouldn't have been as big a deal to her as it was.
I concur, O Neil and Coleman both have brown hair. Amy Pond was a red head. Not only does Clara have that experience, but she also jumped into his fucking timestream and saw/met all 13 of his incarnations. Aside from being slightly odded out at it happening in front of her, this shouldn't be an issue.

Well Bobs opinion of the episode was pretty mch in line with the fans, which was to say...underwhemling.
 

LaoJim

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Well done, Bob, for a (nearly) first time viewer, you pretty much nailed all the important points. Look forward to reading your thoughts next week.


The T-Rex coughs up the TARDIS onto the shore of the Thames and Interspecies Sapphic Investigation Duo I Haven't Thought Up a Better Nickname For Yet go to check it out
The Guardian Doctor Who blog is currently split between "Lezards" and "Lisbians"

I get that people historically get really attached to their first/preferred/favorite Doctors, but are they really expecting that there are enough fans devoted enough to be included in this lecture to actually need it? Is there really a reasonable worry that Matt Smith's departure is going to take that much of the audience away with him?
Remember Doctor Who is essentially a children's programme with a particularly dedicated hardcore audience (Think Harry Potter only with way worse continuity problems). It doesn't do subtle. It seems there is also a large core of the female and gay audience that regards a handsome young chap with a box that can go anywhere in space and time as a type of wish fulfilment (this is especially prominent in the first few series of New Who).
 

marscentral

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Dec 26, 2009
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elvor0 said:
Soulrender95 said:
Ok, is this a cultural thing? I mean I've heard April O'Neil (classic series) classed as a red head and now Jenna Coleman (Clara), when to me both have clearly got brown (Brunette) hair colour.

I mean normally I'd not nitpick but if it's not a cultural thing then I've gone colour blind.

OT:
It's interesting to see an outsiders view on the show, as a fan the whole thing positively reeked of Steven Moffat's love for the fifth doctor and trying to recreate the first serial from his era (Castrovalva) though what was really annoying was the Clara stuff,
she -knows- about regenerations, she ran around with three different versions of him two stories earlier, this shouldn't have been as big a deal to her as it was.
I concur, O Neil and Coleman both have brown hair. Amy Pond was a red head. Not only does Clara have that experience, but she also jumped into his fucking timestream and saw/met all 13 of his incarnations. Aside from being slightly odded out at it happening in front of her, this shouldn't be an issue.

Well Bobs opinion of the episode was pretty mch in line with the fans, which was to say...underwhemling.
Yeah, I didn't get the redhead thing either.

I think they wanted Clara to be the voice of the audience when she didn't really need to be, we've had months to get used to the idea of Capaldi as the Doctor. I think it was natural for her to be upset at the change because she has lost "her Doctor", it could have just been handled more subtly.
 

J0057Mith

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I'm impressed Bob, you picked up on all the meaningful subtleties including the timey wimey mess concerning making a disguise like that and getting changed in under 2 minutes. I hope you'll keep writing a little in this type of article because I'm curious to see how quickly you'll know enough about the show to judge good episodes from bad ones, because Doctor Who as a show is definitely one of the more wibbly wobbly ones in terms of episodes working out or not as a real 'Doctor Who' episode. 'Who knows', maybe you'll like the overall smoothness of the next episode better or maybe the premise will be more 'new' and you won't drown in vague Columbo-like moments where the Doctor can't seem to get his head around how similar this is to something that happened in a 2006 episode. (Just wait till the thing about 'I remember this face from somewhere' REALLY comes into play) (Hint, Capaldi played a Roman in Pompeii 5 or 6 years ago)
Soulrender above does hit on the 'issue' of Clara, Clara Oswald is the single most inconsistent companion in New-Who history (out of 7 to 9 total) and 'that' bothers people. At one time she is presented as the wide-eyed innocent girl being shown the wonders of the universe, another she is presented as more an all knowing PARENT to a whimsical boy (which was basically her outlook in this episode) but the episode Soulrender mentioned above (two stories ago) she looked into a completely different and (chronologically) younger Doctor's eyes and said they were young and innocent compared to 'her' Doctor's. She WATCHED as this 'youngest' Doctor got an idea and the two older ones subsequently 'remembered' having had the same idea when they were the younger version. She saw all three of them 'be' "The Doctor", REALLY BE the Doctor, all acting on that one bundle of characteristics that is represented in each and every one of them, and she STILL doesn't recognize that in the new one?! As you said, the supposed build up of the Doctor being capable of leaving Clara to die was ridiculous and she should've known that better than any of the people sitting at home watching it.

But at least she makes up for it in knowing how to be her own person where Classic Who companions were sometimes relegated to alternate between 'watching the Doctor be awesome' and 'getting in trouble for the Doctor to rescue them' for entire seasons at a time. (On that note watch a few Tennant episodes if you get a chance, and NOT Blink or even Midnight (best of Russel T Davies' work by far) but any episode with Donna Noble/Catherine Tate (Character/Actress))
Welcome to Doctor Who, I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
 

K12

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I wonder who's going to be the first nerd to say that neither the Daleks nor the Cybermen are robots (Daleks are genetically engineered aliens in battle armour/ personal tanks and the Cybermen are basically cyborgs that are mostly mechanically).

Oh, look it's me!

To be fair Bob got a hell of a lot right here for someone not familiar with the show. I'm going to but it down to a huge amount of genre savviness. I'm a long time fan and can't remember what the inter-species, victorian, lesbian, ninja couple are called either.

As episodes go this was rather unfocused but it had quite a bit that it wanted to get through so we'll see how the season proceeds.
 

SeeDarkly_Xero

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Getting stuck on the "redhead" thing is a bit silly.
Could just be the settings of his screen drawing a little more red out. Not all settings are universal.
And it's only hair... not any central story element.
(Though my wife was disappointed that 12's concern was about 13 being grey and not if he was ginger. heh)
 

elvor0

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marscentral said:
elvor0 said:
Soulrender95 said:
Ok, is this a cultural thing? I mean I've heard April O'Neil (classic series) classed as a red head and now Jenna Coleman (Clara), when to me both have clearly got brown (Brunette) hair colour.

I mean normally I'd not nitpick but if it's not a cultural thing then I've gone colour blind.

OT:
It's interesting to see an outsiders view on the show, as a fan the whole thing positively reeked of Steven Moffat's love for the fifth doctor and trying to recreate the first serial from his era (Castrovalva) though what was really annoying was the Clara stuff,
she -knows- about regenerations, she ran around with three different versions of him two stories earlier, this shouldn't have been as big a deal to her as it was.
I concur, O Neil and Coleman both have brown hair. Amy Pond was a red head. Not only does Clara have that experience, but she also jumped into his fucking timestream and saw/met all 13 of his incarnations. Aside from being slightly odded out at it happening in front of her, this shouldn't be an issue.

Well Bobs opinion of the episode was pretty mch in line with the fans, which was to say...underwhemling.
Yeah, I didn't get the redhead thing either.

I think they wanted Clara to be the voice of the audience when she didn't really need to be, we've had months to get used to the idea of Capaldi as the Doctor. I think it was natural for her to be upset at the change because she has lost "her Doctor", it could have just been handled more subtly.
Aye, agreed. I must say, even though I've been on board with Capaldi being The Doctor since day one(hey they even gave us an in universe reason as to how Capaldi is playing The Doctor after being two other characters in the Who-verse already, well played Moffat!), they didn't do much to establish him. He wasn't in the episode that much and spent most of it in a post-regeneration delerium. I've no real idea as to what his persona is like yet.
 

Tanis

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Aug 30, 2010
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I think a LOT of this episode was to reassure NEW fans that, yes, The Doctor is 'old' (he usually is!) but he's still THE DOCTOR.
9/10/11 - all have been 'handsome', or at least, charming, unlike the 12 who's rather...
Well, LOOK AT HIM!


Plus, that last line about 'boyfriend' was less about Clara and more about The Doctor.
He's been a 'young' man so long that it's like he started thinking himself as one.
I think that whole conversation was about HIM realizing he IS an OLD man, no matter the body.

"Lizard Woman", far as I can recall, is suppose to be who Sherlock Holmes is based off of.
Plus she, and her wife, act as a nice little 'go fuck yourself' to modern day anti-marriage equality bigots.
-Because, google it, in Victorian times women COULD and DID marry!
 

Darth Sea Bass

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I tuned out half way through Matt Smith's second season and I'll admit I don't get the Clara hatred either, and I was quite smitten with Amy Pond.

On the whole though I'm willing to give the show another chance!
 

Robot Number V

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Yeah, it what universe is Clara a redhead? It's brown. Dark brown. Closer to black.


More on topic though, this was pretty much my opinion as well. Moffat (the current show-runner) sometimes seems more concerned with jamming as many ideas into an episode as possible, rather that simply making a single, more well-put-together story. It seems like he's reached the stage of his career where people stop saying "no" to him, and he goes nuts. Short version: There was too much shit going on in the episode, to it's detriment.
 

Darth Sea Bass

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Robot Number V said:
Yeah, it what universe is Clara a redhead? It's brown. Dark brown. Closer to black.


More on topic though, this was pretty much my opinion as well. Moffat (the current show-runner) sometimes seems more concerned with jamming as many ideas into an episode as possible, rather that simply making a single, more well-put-together story. It seems like he's reached the stage of his career where people stop saying "no" to him, and he goes nuts. Short version: There was too much shit going on in the episode, to it's detriment.
Pretty much why I gave up on it! I got to Ep 8 let's kill hitler. I was tired cranky and hadn't really been enjoying the previous episodes and just went... Fuck it I ain't got time for this noise.
 

NinjaDeathSlap

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Feb 20, 2011
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You actually got a surprising amount of those guesses right Bob. In fact, the only thing you got consistently 'wrong', is that Clara is clearly a brunette, not a redhead. :p

Tbh, Clara's never really bothered me either. I mean, she's not the most interesting or likeable character ever (It didn't help that the show spent a looong time establishing her before she got on board, and then the whole mystery behind it all turned out to be kinda underwhelming), but there have been a lot worse.
 

PuckFuppet

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Jan 10, 2009
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You're spot out about the "Fuck you" to the fanbase Bob.

Moffat has done similarly in Sherlock, he doesn't endorse or entirely understand the eh... fan-fiction involving sex thing.
 

Oskuro

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marscentral said:
I think they wanted Clara to be the voice of the audience when she didn't really need to be
Being the voice of the audience is the point of companions in Doctor Who, so it was warranted to dedicate the episode to encourage people to give such a different Doctor an opportunity.

Its also fitting seeing how much fans have rejected Clara herself, despite changing companions being another staple of the series.

And lets not forget the uproar from David Tennant fans* when Matt Smith took the role. If many of those were complaining that the then new Doctor was "too ugly" or "too young", what is to be expected with the arrival of Capaldi?


I personally was a little underwhelmed by the episode, but I think it is more due to needing to get used to the new style (for example, I find the theme music somewhat grating, but I've personally been partial to 11th's era orchestral arrangement, while this new theme seems to try and recapture the weirdness of the original, so it's a taste thing).

I also think Capaldi still has to "find his Doctor", and given the focus of this episode on accepting the transition, he didn't get his chance to do so properly.


So, all in all, and coming from someone who loves the 11th Doctor era, it is a good start, and I'm looking forward to what the show has to offer.



* Yes, David Tennant fans. I'm sorry, but if the departure of a specific actor is a reason to dismiss the show, then you're a fan of the actor, not the show, particularly in a show where changing the lead actor and the style of the entire show is a defining characteristic.
 

Vigormortis

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That was a (mostly) spot-on first-timer's review. Well done, Bob.

However, as to one question you made at the end of your article, specifically this one:
Not to start lecturing myself, but maybe a better way to get the audience onboard with the new guy is to have him do more cool/fun/interesting stuff?
There's a simple answer. And, if you'll excuse the vernacular, it boils down to "blowing your wad too early".

If they showed the new Doctor doing all of his wild, crazy, cool things right away there'd be little left to build into for the rest of the season. In most instances, a season of Doctor Who is about building towards something. An event, a realization, or something similar. And in the cases of a new Doctor reveal, the season is often used to establish the kind of man the new Doctor is, what motivates him, what his intentions are, and what he is ultimately capable of.

Given that the Doctor, despite the general b-grade feel of the show, is very often a deep, multifaceted character, it just wouldn't work trying to cram his entire personality reveal into the first episode.

Oskuro said:
Precisely.

It has always baffled me how so many fans can become so....upset might be the simplest term....over a defining characteristic of the show while simultaneously professing their love of everything about the show.

More often than not the show is about the companion's journey. And, by proxy, the audiences journey. It's rarely ever solely, or primarily, about the Doctor. (despite him often being the center of events)

Which brings me to another baffling thought: Why is there so much hate for Clara? I really don't get it. In every instance wherein I asked someone why they disliked her, the answer I got was always the same. It basically boiled down to, "She's not like my favorite companion, so I don't like her."

I can appreciate a new Doctor or Companion not fitting into whatever specific character traits someone might want, and having that detract from a person's enjoyment of a new series, but that doesn't make the new Doctor or new Companion bad.