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Least favourite era of Classic vs Favourite era of Nu

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Indrid Mercury

Indrid Mercury
Sounded like an interesting idea for a thread.

Then again, my idea of exciting is rather bizarre.

SomeCallMeEnglishGiraffe

SomeCallMeEnglishGiraffe
So basically, The Davison era vs The Tennant/Smith era.
The Davison era really aggravates me because I can see the seeds that are planted to make a potentially fantastic era. The problem is that I think JNT's ideas clashed too much with what Eric Saward wanted his own ideas to be. As a result, we have an inconsistent Doctor that ranges from "overly enthusiastic nice fellow" to "sociopathic violent grump" in the matter of back-to-back stories. There's a lot that I want to like about his era; I like the idea of a old man in a young man's body, I like the grittiness of some stories like Earthshock, Enlightenment and Caves of Androzani, but unfortunately all the squandered potential that was untapped made his era really disappointing and is an era that I don't come back to often. For the record, I haven't listened to Davison's run in Big Finish, so any potential that I wanted might be there, and I read Davison's run in the PDA's, and Fear of the Dark is an excellent story, so I do want to love 5 and his era, but his TV run had put me off that much. Also, fuck Tegan, may be the single worst companion of the franchise next to Clara. Also, fuck Warriors of the Deep so much.

Don't get me wrong, there's objectively flawed stuff in Tennant and Smith's era; the 10/Rose smugness in Series 2, Journey's End, End of Time, Moffat ditching the Cracks in Time/Silence storyline in Series 5 and 6, and doing nothing in Series 7, Let's Kill Hitler, Wedding of River Song, Asylum of the Daleks and Time of the Doctor. But I like more stuff in their eras than I dislike. I think both actors (Smith especially) have more range and nuance in their performances than Davison, I tend to enjoy their characters and chemistry with others more, and I enjoy a lot of their stories, more so in Series 3, 4 and 5. I recently watched some stories in their eras, and I really enjoyed them, such as Gridlock, the Dalek Two-parter in Series 3, Fires of Pompeii, Planet of the Ood and Vampires of Venice. In fact, thanks to Iank, I went back and watched Series 6, and I managed to enjoy it a hell of a lot more now than I did back in 2011. The Silence Two-parter, The Doctor's Wife, The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex are legitimately fantastic stories. So, as much of a Classic Who fan I am, I have to pick the best NewWho eras over Classic Who's weakest era.

Tanmann

Tanmann
Davison vs Matt Smith's era.

For the most part I'd say of the two, Matt Smith's era had the more spark of life and joy de vie, whereas Davison's was largely just the show at its most humourless, soulless and zombified.

In terms of worst for worst story, it'd be Warriors of the Deep vs Let's Kill Hitler or The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe. The instinct is almost to say that Warriors at least has some semblance of a story and plot compared to those messes. The trouble is the only story it has is ripped off from Hulke and been done better before, and beyond that it's just an exercise in running out the clock and having the Doctor procrastinate until everyone's dead. As bad as the Moffat examples were, they didn't so thoroughly trash decades of work by previous writers to develop the Doctor into an intelligent, competent hero in the way Warriors did.

I feel like ultimately though it's a question of which of the two eras was more survivable for the series, and in that sense I think Matt's era wins, but even then it's touch and go considering the Series 6 trainwreck probably left a lot of viewers throwing in the towel and unable to care anymore.

Bernard Marx


Least favourite of Classic Who is Davison, and favourite of New Who is Smith. I’ll try to break this down:
Davison has season 19, 20 and 21, whereas Smith has series 5, 6 and 7. Personally, I’d probably take series 5 as a whole (and on its own) over any of the Davison seasons, series 6 is a little tricky (and I think I need to wait until I re-watch is as to make a proper assessment- I will do so soon), and series 7 is aeons worse than any Davison season, and possibly every Classic season.

Additionally, Smith at his best easily outclasses Davison as far as I’m concerned (Smith seemed to have a stronger grasp of the Doctor’s alien characteristics, especially in series 5, and rarely delved into complete blandness), though at his worst, he’s considerably more caricatured and painful to watch than Davison (not that it’s necessarily his fault). However, Davison has admitted that he never fully realised his characterisation until The Caves Of Androzani (though he does have an interesting albeit covert character arc leading up to that, though I choose to ignore Warriors when considering it), whereas Smith seemed to have a grasp on the character instantly even if the New Who style fucked over his performance at the worst of times.

In terms of their worst stories, Davison has Warriors of the Deep, whereas Smith has The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe. Warriors is arguably more detrimental to the character as a whole (as outlined by Tanmann and Giraffe), in that it character-assassinates him and transforms him into an absolute hypocrite not too divorced from Tennant’s incarnation (as well as being really badly made and written outside of that), whilst The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe is so insultingly twee, smug, saccharine, patronising, poorly acted and written that I can barely make it past 10 minutes before turning it off. Warriors is the more coherent, though probably more covert in its shiteness- yet the narrative and overall concept of the story makes it more interesting than the Christmas special. This is a tough call.

Smith’s era probably had more shit stories along the way (Let’s Kill Hitler, Asylum of the Daleks, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, The Snowmen, Nightmare In Silver, The Time Of The Doctor etc), though also had more consistently good ones earlier on too (The Eleventh Hour, The Time Of Angels, Amy’s Choice, Vincent and the Doctor, The Pandorica Opens, The Impossible Astronaut, The Girl Who Waited etc), so that’s also difficult to conclude. I think I prefer the style Smith brings to the role at the best of times, and I really liked how his era refereshed NuWho after the fucking moronic drudgery of the RTD era, even if it was for a short time prior to descending into an era that was even more moronic. Davison’s era seems more ponderous, though also much more consistent, and his best stories exceed that of Smith’s (Earthshock, Enlightenment, Caves). I also like season 20 more than most here, and think it exceeds series 6 and 7, though I admittedly really like series 6 at the best of times from what I recall correctly (it’s mainly let down by an appalling narrative arc). I have some nostalgia for series 5 as well, it being the season that compelled me to check out the original series, and I have a very biased soft spot for the era as a whole as a result.

To fuck with it- although I’ve come to appreciate Davison’s era all the more over time, and would easily take it over Eccleston, Tennant, Capaldi and Whittaker’s era without a shadow of a doubt, I’ll gravitate towards Smith’s era, though Davison’s is probably objectively better constructed on the whole.

iank

iank
There seems to be a pattern here! LOL

Yeah, Davison is my least fave classic Who era and Smith's is my fave New Who. I don't hate the 5th Doctor era by any means, though a lot of season 19 is a right old slog these days. But Smith is more fun to watch than Davison, and Amy alone beats the shit out of the Davison companions. The season 19 brigade make me lose the will to live watching them...
Smith.

Cunnus Maximus

Cunnus Maximus
Troughton's era, I hate to say it, is the worst of the classic series. Brilliant actor sold short by most of the material he was given. The only thing that redeems his era is the occasional top notch classic like Power of The Daleks, The Invasion or The Mind Robber.

I'd rather suffer the mediocrity of the Davison era than sit through crap like The Highlanders or The Krotons.

Smith's era is marginally better than the other 3 Doctors and one Nurse, but there's some absolute turds in there, like the Silence episodes, Hitler, anything that involves River Song, and the dreadfully duller-than-unseasoned-white-sauce Gangers story.

Bernard Marx


@Cunnus Maximus wrote:Troughton's era, I hate to say it, is the worst of the classic series.
I always assumed you’d rate McCoy’s era lower. LOL

iank

iank
I'm going to be honest and risk a Hive fatwah and admit that these days I actually prefer Smith's era to Colin's too. And Pertwee's.

Evil or Very Mad Big Grin

Cunnus Maximus

Cunnus Maximus
@Bernard Marx wrote:
@Cunnus Maximus wrote:Troughton's era, I hate to say it, is the worst of the classic series.
I always assumed you’d rate McCoy’s era lower. LOL

The stories are marginally better.

Give it 10 years and we'll be able to CG him out of them anyway.

iank

iank
@SomeCallMeEnglishGiraffe wrote: In fact, thanks to Iank, I went back and watched Series 6, and I managed to enjoy it a hell of a lot more now than I did back in 2011. The Silence Two-parter, The Doctor's Wife, The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex are legitimately fantastic stories. So, as much of a Classic Who fan I am, I have to pick the best NewWho eras over Classic Who's weakest era.

You flatter me, sir! Smile

Indrid Mercury

Indrid Mercury
@iank wrote:I'm going to be honest and risk a Hive fatwah and admit that these days I actually prefer Smith's era to Colin's too. And Pertwee's.

Evil or Very Mad Big Grin

YOU FUCKING TRAITOR!!!


Kind of the same here. I still rate Seasons 7 and 22 over the Smith era but all the others are at least below 5 and 6.

iank

iank
Oh, #MeToo. Colin's time is like a 50% split between great and shite, and aside from season 7 and a handful of other stories (Day, Three Doctors, Carnival, Time Warrior) there's something about the Pertwee era that just doesn't grab me. It hasn't aged all that well either.
Series 7 is shite but I think that still gives Smithy a higher percentage. Wink

Pepsi Maxil

Pepsi Maxil
Chief Caretaker
The Pertwee era sucks. It felt like such a drop in quality after the Sixties stuff.

Doctor7


I found colony in space to be quite boring I fell asleep halfway through . I do enjoy the mind of evil that is one of the highlights of his era. And love inferno.

Ronnie

Ronnie
Even the best that NuWho has to offer is full of glaringly annoying content. To the point where if it's a straight choice between S24 and NuWho S5, I'd still struggle to choose. I think I'd rather go without either. LOL

Ronnie

Ronnie
@Cunnus Maximus wrote:Give it 10 years and we'll be able to CG him out of them anyway.

And her. LOL

Ronnie

Ronnie
@Cunnus Maximus wrote:Troughton's era, I hate to say it, is the worst of the classic series. Brilliant actor sold short by most of the material he was given. The only thing that redeems his era is the occasional top notch classic like Power of The Daleks, The Invasion or The Mind Robber.

I'd rather suffer the mediocrity of the Davison era than sit through crap like The Highlanders or The Krotons.

Do think your feelings about the Troughton era are partly because of the lack of complete stories?
They are a bit formulaic a lot of them. And unfortunately it's a formula that often doesn't translate well to audio only, or even static recons.
Web of Fear was a good example of this. Some episodes were quite a dull experience to listen to, but seeing it (mostly) as it was meant to be experienced drastically improved it.

UncleDeadly

UncleDeadly
@Ronnie wrote:Even the best that NuWho has to offer is full of glaringly annoying content. To the point where if it's a straight choice between S24 and NuWho S5, I'd still struggle to choose. I think I'd rather go without either. LOL  

Agreed. For me, its probably season 24 vs series 1 and, yes, its pretty much a stand-off. Which basically means that Classic Who wins. Even then, although series 1 is technically better produced, something like Paradise Towers contains superior ideas to anything seen even in that first series of NuWho, despite its being dogged by panto-like execution.

Ultimately, seaon 24 is at least recognisable as bad Doctor Who which is more than can be said for anything produced under Moffat. Mind you, it has to be said that with the passage of time, Delta and the Bannermen looks more and more like Russell T. Davies' blueprint for NuWho, what with its lightweight tone, simplistic storyline, poorly-motivated villains, comedy doctor, wobbly aliens, Welsh holiday camp setting, romantic subplot and pop culture references. Ultimately, all it really lacks to be the genuine imitation is the innuendo-laden dialogue.

Having said that, Delta is fine as a one-off, as Doctor Who doing something different. However, an entire series made that way? No thanks. It also must be said that the original run pulled off a spectacular recovery after season 24, a recovery the likes of which the new series hasn't even achieved once (preferring to double down on its faults and circle around the plughole); the tone is suddenly right, the production is better and McCoy finds his Doctor. The difference between Dragonfire and Remembrance really is night and day.

Therefore, I guess season 24 is best. Sorry NuWho. You're fucked.

Pepsi Maxil

Pepsi Maxil
Chief Caretaker
@UncleDeadly wrote:
season 24 is best.

Nice to see people are finally catching on Wink

Cunnus Maximus

Cunnus Maximus
@Ronnie wrote:Do think your feelings about the Troughton era are partly because of the lack of complete stories?
They are a bit formulaic a lot of them. And unfortunately it's a formula that often doesn't translate well to audio only, or even static recons.
Web of Fear was a good example of this. Some episodes were quite a dull experience to listen to, but seeing it (mostly) as it was meant to be experienced drastically improved it.

I think that's possibly something to do with it.

It doesn't make enduring them any easier.

Though my problem with the second and third Doctors' stories is the amount of filler - regardless of whether they are existing episodes or recons. Most of those 6 parters could do with a trim more than an ex-POW who's lived in a hole in the jungle for 50 years.

UncleDeadly

UncleDeadly
@Pepsi Maxil wrote:
@UncleDeadly wrote:
season 24 is best.

Nice to see people are finally catching on Wink

I would like to point out that my comment was taken entirely out of context, m'lud.

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