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Eric Fucking Saward

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1 Eric Fucking Saward on Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:38 pm

It boggles my mind how underrated this chap actually is. The dark, gritty stories he wrote back in the Davison/Baker era kick the living shit out of the modern series. High death counts, REAL consequences of character actions and science fiction blended with quality action. Great characters like Lytton, Jobel, Styles, Mercer, Orcini and Scott were people I gave a damn about. The Whittaker era's only hope of being good is to get this man back as soon as possible and pen one of his famous bloodbath tales where people actually die and stay dead and show the universe isn't all sunshine and roses. Sadly, I doubt much will change from Capaldi's torrid tenure.

Also, read Eric Saward's Twin Dilemma, Slipback and Attack of the Cybermen target novels. Great character development and fantastic black humour.

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2 Re: Eric Fucking Saward on Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:56 pm

He had his flaws but his era was certainly superior to the modern fairy floss.

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3 Re: Eric Fucking Saward on Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:08 am

I feel Saward was underrated, despite his flaws. Also, working with JNT was a total mismatch which really didn't do him any favours. I was reading Philip Sandifer's usually rather good Tardis Eruditorum Vol 6 over Christmas. It's supposed to specialise in redemptive readings of the classic series but he throws a major strop when he gets to this era!

He completely slates series 22 and only begrudgingly admits that the Dalek finale was really rather good. Plus, he favours Time-Flight over Arc of Infinity. I know they are both seen as stinkers but I have always rather liked Arc. His defence of Time-Flight was just bizarre.

Thankfully, he seems a fan of the McCoy era so, hopefully, the next book will be better...

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4 Re: Eric Fucking Saward on Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:18 am

There's an edit of Time-Flight out there which makes the whole thing a lot more tolerable and shows there was a decent premise in there, but defending the actual, unedited story? Yeah, that's a stretch.

Saward's hands were mostly tied by JNT, but on-point he could deliver the goods, and he always had a knack for dialogue

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5 Re: Eric Fucking Saward on Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:11 pm

@Zarius wrote:There's an edit of Time-Flight out there which makes the whole thing a lot more tolerable and shows there was a decent premise in there, but defending the actual, unedited story? Yeah, that's a stretch.

TBF, his defence was 50% it's not as bad as AoI and 50% there were good ideas in there which is what the edit you mentioned proves.

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6 Re: Eric Fucking Saward on Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:50 pm

The book is OK but the televised version is total crap. Even Davison came out and said as much while he was making the bloody thing. Better than Arc of Infinity? With Maxil, the beautiful Amsterdam setting and the return of Omega I can't see how that's worse than watching decent actors act in front of a shit painting and some ugly set design. The only things about Arc that I didn't like were Tegan's cousin and his mate. Proper dodgy actors. The rest is decent if a little inferior to the likes of Mawdryn and Enlightenment. Better than Terminus and The King's Demons and probably a little below Snakedance.

Season 22 is one of the better JNT era seasons so I'm not quite sure what Philip Sandifer is banging on about. 4 of the 6 stories are essential viewing with Varos and Timeflight being weaker but enjoyable in a B-movie way because of their cheapness. Season 23 was awful though which I refuse to defend. I remember thinking it was going to be completely epic because season 22 was so good. When I received the boxset and started binge watching it I become aware around the 3rd part of Mysterious Planet that the show had completely gone down the shitter and that Colin's portrayal was frighteningly off point. Funnily enough, Season 24 is considered worse despite having better visuals, more interesting plots and a more stable feel than 23.


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7 Re: Eric Fucking Saward on Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:07 pm

I used to prefer S23 to S24 but part of that was me wanting to be contrarian and back the underdog. After repeated viewing, however, S23 just gets worse, whereas, S24 not only improves but, after watching High Rise and getting the cannibal reference, it improves with age. Honestly, P+J Baker were useless but having King Solomon instead of Einstein was a much better idea. Yet, Cartmel wanted him replaced with Albert cos people wouldn't get the reference? C'mon Andy, credit your viewers with more intelligence than that. Overall, Cartmel did wonders compared to S23 and most of the Davison era.

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8 Re: Eric Fucking Saward on Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:21 pm

Mr. Happy wrote:I used to prefer S23 to S24 but part of that was me wanting to be contrarian and back the underdog. After repeated viewing, however, S23 just gets worse, whereas, S24 not only improves but, after watching High Rise and getting the cannibal reference, it improves with age. Honestly, P+J Baker were useless but having King Solomon instead of Einstein was a much better idea. Yet, Cartmel wanted him replaced with Albert cos people wouldn't get the reference? C'mon Andy, credit your viewers with more intelligence than that. Overall, Cartmel did wonders compared to S23 and most of the Davison era.

Bang on.

The best thing about Season 24 is that it is completely fresh. New titles, very different incidental music, superior effects, better camerawork and writers that weren't afraid to shake things up a bit. Time and the Rani is Pip and Jane's best story by far. Paradise Towers & Delta was when Cartmel's vision was starting to influence certain aspects of the storytelling. You could argue that saving a princess from an evil bounty hunter in 1950s Wales is a bit silly and zany but it sure beats the previous year of mostly indoor stories set in underground complexes. I refuse to watch Trial again except for Part 13 & 14. Despite not hating Vervoids it isn't one I want to watch again either. Davison's era was inconsistent but he had more watchable stories than he did really terrible ones.

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9 Re: Eric Fucking Saward on Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:50 pm

The CIA agents in Delta, Hawk and Weismuller, a BF spin-off just waiting to happen.

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