Pratchett Attacks Doctor Who

secretsantaone

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Acidwell said:
veloper said:
Acidwell said:
veloper said:
Doctor who is science fiction, it has other planets, aliens, space-ships and advanced technology. A basis in science fact or hypothesis is not what makes something science fiction because then you wouldn't count the work of H.G. Wells or Philip K. Dick as science fiction even though they are widely recognised as being some of the leading writers in the genre. A basis in fact only determines if it is hard or soft sf.
No, H.G. Wells based his sci-fi novels on the backward scientific theories of his time (like space travel by cannon) and you cannot accuse blade runner of being inconsistent or too far-fetched.
Those are 2 very specific examples and they are more or less wrong.
Firstly H.g Wells didn't base all of his writing on science-fact of the time, he invented the phrase time machine and he was the first person to write about an operator controlled machine that could choose their destination. Also the way the Martian fighting machines move is completely made up.

Secondly Blade Runner wasn't written by Philip K. Dick and it has androids which were never based in fact or hypothesis. Only in the last 20 years has anyone done anything about making them a reality and that is due to science fiction. The book that he actually wrote has quite a bit extra for example electric flies, pets etc which are only touched on in the film. As well as a number of machines that are imagined and not based on scientific fact.
At least these were explained and justified, not just 'sonic screwdriver can do everything'.
 

Malcheior Sveth

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secretsantaone said:
Acidwell said:
At least these were explained and justified, not just 'sonic screwdriver can do everything'.
That's the other thing. In the old Doctor Who, the sonic screwdriver was not nearly as abused as it is now. It opened door locks, and that was about it as far as "furthering the plot" stuff that it did (it was also occasionally used during repairs on various things, like K-9) but it wasn't a magic wand. And it did get broken several times.
 

jasoncyrus

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Ok I just lost a lot of respect for pratchett if this article is true.

Simply because his writing is complete make it up as you go along ballocks aswell (admittedly amazing ballocks to which i worship and own every book of but still ballocks in the made up sense).

Example: 7th son of a 7th son become a wizard, someone able to manipulate the magic around them, yet somehow the 7th son of a 7th son of a 7th son becomes a source of magic just in one sentence. And somehow a swamp dragon which normally breathes fire from its mouth and nostrils can rearrange its entire digestive system to fire backwards and fly fast enough to knock a full grown regular dragon out of the sky just by the force of it flying past. Where normally if you even kick a swamp dragon it explodes. Such forces of flight would make the first swamp dragon explode within the first second. Also golems, they gain life by having a piece of magic paper stuck in their head, no special clay just a piece of paper with magic words written on it. And somehow writing regular words on it can make them self possessing.

Sorry pratchet but Ballocks to you bashing on Dr Who. They can at least give complex explainations to thigns happening rather than just "Magic". While awesome, its a pretty shitty plot excuse.
 

DancePuppets

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I must admit he pretty much sums up the reasons I have hated some of the episodes in the past. Generally I love it, but every now and then an episode comes along (like the last episode of series 3 with magic psychic satellites that make the Doctor better and give him superpowers ARGH!!!) which makes me want to punch Russell T. Davies repeatedly. Luckily thus far the silliness has been fun so Moffat is currently safe, plus Karen Gillan and Matt Smith both seem excellent.
 

Zig13

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I completely agree, Steven Moffatt relies too heavily on deus ex machina for cliff-hangers. An exception might be the empty child cliffhanger which was pretty clever. The latest one was just stupid though. Cliffhangers are hardly necessary anyway - people should watch the second half of a two parter for the entertainment value rather than to find out what happens next (and of course they will). On the other hand, Terry Pratchett has said himself that his books make better plays than films as they are all about the dialogue. If Doctor Who was to take the same approach it wouldn't be half as successful as it is today. The fact that Michael Bay films do well just proves that considerable swathes of the population care for nothing but action in their media.

I think really the problem is that Dr Who as a mainly sci-fi program has no right to effectively say 'that's the case because of magic'. Classic sci-fi such as star trek always manages to come up with some plausible pseudo science but Doctor Who sometimes seems to be hardly trying... In contrast, the discworld has magic built in and even explains the magic on a scientific level. And even with magic, Terry Pratchett very rarely falls back on deus ex machinima which is generally seen as a poor storytelling technique. I think it's safe to say he has the high-ground on this one...
 

johnman

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I fucking hate doctor who ever since Chris ellecstone left. The recent episode with the Daleks was bloody terriable. In the space of 10 minutes they are able to convert spitfires to fire lasers, make them space worthy and train the pilots to fly in space. I know its not suppose to be realistic but there has to be asemblence of realism or it jsut becomes bloody ludricous. Not even a child would find that entertaining. I miss the old doctor who episodes where genuially diffcult events and desiscions took place.

orangebandguy said:
Science FICTION.

For crying out loud, the whole idea of doctor Who is that it's supposed to be fun and outrageous. When has Doctor Who ever been serious?
Some of the older episodes are incrediably serious, they still retain tyheir sense of fun but are grounded in harsh reality. The cyber-men were vicious killing machines, and that would be demonstrated before they they could be stopped, instead of the clanky hydrulic muppets we see today. In the episode where they visit the creation of the daleks, the doctor steps on a landmine, hundreds of prisoners are shot in cold blood while trying to escape captivity and the Davros happily destroys the planet, all the while the doctor is unable to come up with an effective solution to stop it all, until he resorts to bombing half the planet. In the recent episodes he would save the children (oh please think of the CHILDREN! That episode with the cybermen in the victorian age is a prime example), get rid of the daleks (without killing them!, and everyone would live happily ever after etc etc.
 

Me55enger

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Pratchett wins this round.

If anyone has has earn't the right to criticize the content of this genre, it's him.

But I adore his work and I enjoy Dr. Who.

Same genre, different Target Audiences.

Hang in there Pratchett
 

WolfLordAndy

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Totally agree with Pratchett to be honest. But I'm a fan of pretty heavy Scifi books, where everything has either a basis in science fact, or at least set limitations. Dr Who just does whatever it wants, thinks of plot device first and science afterwards.

Pratchett's discworld for all the madness, has method. Everything is explained pretty indepth as to how it works, even the magic, he doesnt just pull stuff out the bag just so he can poke the story the way he wants it, he has the science/magic, and uses it with the story.
 

Death-of-Penguins

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I've got to admit, Pratchett has a few decent points. Solving something in a quick and easy way so it fits into the time slot on the BBC feels like a teensy bit of a cop out. RTD did try and slide us some rather thin feeling solutions, but also some decent jokes and dialogue. The deus ex machina got a little out of hand as time went on sadly, and I was never as hooked as I used to be. Without sounding like a parrot repeating other posters, Blink was a wonderfully thrilling episode with good solutions. Wait, that was Moffat too...
Though if the Doctor can summon the TARDIS, why didn't he during that episode? Meh, nevermind. I'm happy taking it as brainless fun.
I have great respect for Pratchett, and think that he's just made a minor point about a TV show that's gotten blow out of proportion.
He's also quite right in saying that the show is more entertaining if you don't examine it too closely.
 

conzan

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look I'm not going to argue with pratchett (manly because he's right) but like he said its still fun to watch so yeah live and let live
 

conzan

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jasoncyrus said:
Ok I just lost a lot of respect for pratchett if this article is true.

Simply because his writing is complete make it up as you go along ballocks aswell (admittedly amazing ballocks to which i worship and own every book of but still ballocks in the made up sense).

Example: 7th son of a 7th son become a wizard, someone able to manipulate the magic around them, yet somehow the 7th son of a 7th son of a 7th son becomes a source of magic just in one sentence. And somehow a swamp dragon which normally breathes fire from its mouth and nostrils can rearrange its entire digestive system to fire backwards and fly fast enough to knock a full grown regular dragon out of the sky just by the force of it flying past. Where normally if you even kick a swamp dragon it explodes. Such forces of flight would make the first swamp dragon explode within the first second. Also golems, they gain life by having a piece of magic paper stuck in their head, no special clay just a piece of paper with magic words written on it. And somehow writing regular words on it can make them self possessing.

Sorry pratchet but Ballocks to you bashing on Dr Who. They can at least give complex explainations to thigns happening rather than just "Magic". While awesome, its a pretty shitty plot excuse.
what he is saying is it is ok to make shit up as long as you back it up with a bit of back story or maybe mention it at the beginning of the episode or something like that
 

persona J

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er how about because im right the FACT is he is wrong, u cant apply real world law into fiction thats the whole point.
 

Pyotr Romanov

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Nivag the Owl said:
Didn't Terry Pratchett like, die? Or did he just get some serious condition.
Yes, that's what I thought too. I even mourned for a while... Apparently, criticizing dr. Who was more important than Death.
 

flaming_squirrel

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Oh thank fuck for that, was starting to think I was the only person left in the world who believed that Dr Who is mildly entertaining garbage.

Dr Who could be something special, but instead it seems to be content with wallowing in mediocrity, replaying the same tired plots over and over.

TooMiserableToLive said:
Nivag the Owl said:
Didn't Terry Pratchett like, die? Or did he just get some serious condition.
Yes, that's what I thought too. I even mourned for a while... Apparently, criticizing dr. Who was more important than Death.
He has alzheimer's.
 

felixader

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yourbeliefs said:
How can you complain about something being "too fiction" in Science Fiction? Also, I thought Dr. Who was classified as Sci-fi/Fantasy. Is he saying that the old Dr. Who was okay while the new series is wrong?
I guess he thinks of the "Science" in the definition Science Fiction. ^.^
 

captaincabbage

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"Doctor Who replaces this with speed, fast talking, and what appears to be that wonderful element 'makeitupasyougalongeum'. I don't know about you, but I don't think I would dare try to jump-start a spaceship that looks like the Titanic by diving it into the atmosphere."
Well, maybe that's why he's not the Doctor. XP

I know where he's coming from tho. I watch it with my girlfriend each sunday and I do get the occasional feeling that the writers are just fucking around with sci-fi, but hey, that's what the show is these days, a hilarious piss-take of sci-fi in general, wrapped up in a blanket of warm, gooey narrative and that's what I watch it for. It's not afraid to take the piss out of itself.
 

chozo_hybrid

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Jul 15, 2009
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Coming from a man who pulls (Some really brilliant) bullshit out of his ass for his writing...

He's not even a science fiction writer (correct me if I'm wrong) what would have been interesting would have been hearing from Douglas Adams on this, especially since he wrote for the old show a few times.

yourbeliefs said:
How can you complain about something being "too fiction" in Science Fiction? Also, I thought Dr. Who was classified as Sci-fi/Fantasy. Is he saying that the old Dr. Who was okay while the new series is wrong?
Did you say Scifi-fantasy!? I'm sorry, but it's science fiction. Sometimes having a fantasy setting does not turn something into a hybrid genre.

Star Wars is scifi-fantasy.
 

Bigeyez

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Someone takes Doctor Who waaaaaay too seriously. The show is definitely NOT trying to be hard Sci-FI in any way. The shows geared towards kids for god's sake. It's not meant to be grounded in realism like HG Wells type stuff is.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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chozo_hybrid said:
He's not even a science fiction writer (correct me if I'm wrong)
You're wrong I'm afraid. He did quite a few Sci-Fi as well. Only You Can Save Mankind & Strata for instance.

Given what he's said is about the horrid examples in RTD's episode, I think he's quite justified.

Zig13 said:
I completely agree, Steven Moffatt relies too heavily on deus ex machina for cliff-hangers.
Do you know what a DEM is? And can you justify your point?
Cliffhangers are hardly necessary anyway - people should watch the second half of a two parter for the entertainment value rather than to find out what happens next
Actually, don't bother.