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The Road to Series 11: The Great Big NuWho Binge

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@Adam Ant Driver wrote:3. The Unquiet Dead
Wow. I didn't care for this episode when it first aired but I watched this late last night and it was, as the big eared twat of a Doctor would say, fantastic. At least for nuwho standards. It was almost like watching a classic Who story, in fact if someone were to edit this to alter the colour and slightly degrade the picture quality, it could almost pass for a classic who story.

They changed the lighting to match the setting which rids the episode of the oversaturated, bloom effect look that plagued the previous episodes, though the orange tint remains. The cheap looking camera work is a positive here and combined with the new characters and their dialogue completes the illusion that The Unquiet Dead could have been ripped right from the early-mid 70s Who era.

My biggest surprise was the music, or more the lack of it. Most of the episode has no music at all, entire scenes go by with nothing but the dialogue and some atmostpheric noises and what music there is is mostly well done and effective. Simple notes being drawn out, growing in intensity to match the mood of the scene.

There are still some issues however, mainly the pace. I think the story would have been improved if it were a two parter or done in the classic who format, again the reveal of the threat is too close to the resolution and it needed more time to set the tone and slowly escalate. And NuWho loves to reuse actors doesn't it? I had no idea Eve Myles was in this.

Positive comment: What more is there to say? Very solid episode and it'd be easier to try and say something negative about it, so I will. It's been three episodes now and I'm not buying Eccleston as the Doctor. His accent, his costume and the way he plays the part don't fit the role, especially not here where I'm taken out of the setting and mood every time he appears on screen.

One thing I did wish they'd at least touched on at the time was that the Doctor had at least considered the possibility of the aliens double crossing them (and hence may have not been on the level). You'd think he'd have been around long enough to not be quite so gullible.

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Mr. Herpes wrote:I know the Britney Spears song is meant to be humorous but it just makes me cringe.

Nothing wrong with a bit of Britney Spears Wink

It's the best part of an episode I consider to be the very worst of series 1.


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For me, the worst was The Long Game. Rose is just a spare part and the story can't carry her and Adam who is a bit of a dead weight.

Aliens of London/World War 3 gets unfairly maligned in my opinion. It seems like everybody wants to focus on the daft farting (which was just... urgh!). I quite like Boom Town as well.

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Speaking of The Long Game, does anyone else think that the 9th Doctor's treatment of Adam Mitchell was incredibly fucked up?

Yeah, I get it. He went behind the Doctor's back and nearly changed the course of history by trying to send information from the far future to 21st century Earth, but that hardly warrants leaving him stranded with a brain chip in his head that is immediately exposed whenever someone in the nearby vicinity clicks their fingers. He wasn't evil, he was just a dumb kid who was way out of his depth. I mean for fuck's sake, Rose very nearly created a massive time paradox in Father's Day when she tried to save her dad and the Doctor only gave her a light slap on the wrist for doing so.

Yet another example of the moral inconsistencies frequently seen from the NuWho Doctors.

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@DeadManRising wrote:Speaking of The Long Game, does anyone else think that the 9th Doctor's treatment of Adam Mitchell was incredibly fucked up?

Yeah, I get it. He went behind the Doctor's back and nearly changed the course of history by trying to send information from the far future to 21st century Earth, but that hardly warrants leaving him stranded with a brain chip in his head that is immediately exposed whenever someone in the nearby vicinity clicks their fingers. He wasn't evil, he was just a dumb kid who was way out of his depth. I mean for fuck's sake, Rose very nearly created a massive time paradox in Father's Day when she tried to save her dad and the Doctor only gave her a light slap on the wrist for doing so.

Yet another example of the moral inconsistencies frequently seen from the NuWho Doctors.

Good point actually. That's one thing I hate about the New Who Doctor though is the way he picks favourites.

You never got the impression with the old Doctor except when it was Susan (who fair enough was his family.)

Even then though he treated Barbara with just as much respect as Susan like at the end of The Edge of Destruction.

The New Who Doctor is always picking favourites however and doing companions like Mickey and Martha down. Its unlikable to say the least.

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On a smaller but still significant scale, the Doctor won't give that surviving tour guide from the starship Titanic crash a trip home in the TARDIS - literally just one trip that would have taken him virtually no time at all. Instead, leaves him on Earth which given what he was saying on the tour, was a place he knew nothing about. I don't know why but that annoyed me a lot more than it should have.

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OK, according to this, circumstances about what I wrote were a little different (I don't remember noticing any of this at the time)

"After being refused an opportunity to travel with the Doctor (because the Doctor did not want a new companion at the time), the Doctor told Copper that the credit card he had was worth the local equivalent of 50,000,056 credits. Ecstatic at his newfound wealth, he planned to make a life on Earth so he wouldn't spend the rest of his life in prison on Sto for fraud. (TV: Voyage of the Damned)"

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Copper_(Voyage_of_the_Damned)

but it did all give rise to this which probably more entertaining than the actual episode (not one of my favourites, to be honest).

http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/doctor-who/news/a841841/doctor-who-grumpy-interview-resurfaces-clive-swift/

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Also its Mr Copper that set up the foundation Harriet Jones uses to call the Doctor in The Stolen Earth. Had he not left Mr Copper on the earth then there would have been no way of contacting the Doctor and every universe would have been destroyed.

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I never joined those dots ... thank you for letting me know.

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Adam Ant Driver

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@Rawkuss wrote:Aliens of London/World War 3 gets unfairly maligned in my opinion. It seems like everybody wants to focus on the daft farting (which was just... urgh!). I quite like Boom Town as well.

I haven't watched any more episodes since I saw those were next. I'll have to take your word for it and continue.

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4 & 5. Aliens of London/World War 3.
Even ignoring the farting aliens stuff, these episodes were complete shit. An absolute mess from start to finish and if the writer wasn't high on coke or rushing the script out the night before the deadline (or  both) then they should be ashamed, as should the producers and the BBC for allowing it to be screened. I never cared for these episodes but I didn't realise they were this fucking bad.

Did they even read the script back as they were writing it or did they just make it up as they went along, not caring about how little sense it made?

  • The prime minister is found dead in a cupboard but was presumed alive and seen alive only hours ago so how/why was one of them posing as the acting PM?
  • Some skin suits have visible zips constantly while others appear magically.
  • Why the fuck do they have zips anyway? Just show a big glowing seam appear and it's fine because sci-fi shit, adding a zip only makes you question the entire concept. Where did they come from? Do they make suits from scratch based on a person's appearance or is it real skin? If so what did they do with all those human insides?
  • Even out of their human suits the slitheen sounded like the people they were posing as, did they just luck out and pick targets that happened to have identical voices to their own?
  • Harriet Jones and Rose are stopped by security at a door because they don't have clearance but then walk through the door without any trouble when the scene is ending.
  • Security/armed police that we clearly see are in big numbers around the building disappear and are forgotten whenever the writer feels like it.
  • The slitheen teleport around the building in the disguised and natural forms at a whim.
  • Pig man... not even the only time Nu-Who uses those.
  • What was the slitheen's plan anyway? We find out they're a family, not a species, and were on Earth for their family business but I don't remember them ever saying why.

I can't even repeat my previous positive comments about decent costumes because the slitheen suits were horse shit with seams and unconnected parts visible throughout the episodes, they even had to cgi simple shots like the aliens running down a corridor because the one time they did it practically the head almost came off.

These episodes killed all of the goodwill for NuWho that The Unquiet Dead created for me.

Positive comment: The subplot where Rose has been missing for over a year and the fallout with her family and Mickey was a geniunely interesting concept and could have made a pretty good episode that would have been easy on the budget but it was barely touched upon.

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So far, Adam, you seem to be confirming that we generally feel on here about these episodes is not incorrect.

My recollections of s1 (which I did rewatch ago a few years ago, along with s2 & s3 and felt exactly the same about them then as I did at the time of transmission) were that the scene at the end of The Long Game where Adam's mother 'accidentally' activates his brain port was the most contrived piece of writing I've ever seen on TV : a child would have been embarrassed if they'd come up with that. I remember Simon Callow being excellent (as always) as Dickens in The Unquiet Dead, Father's Day was perhaps as close as RTD got to Buffy-style backstory development, pathos & tragedy, and Joe Ahearne's direction of the story was strong - as the writer/creator/director of the forgotten but brilliant C4 series Ultraviolet I've always admired Ahearne's work, though what he must feel about some of the material he had to helm towards the end of Nu Who s1 I dread to think!


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Honestly, AOL is one of the few from series 1 I can still rewatch. I find it actually fun. LOL
As for the slitheen's plan... were you watching it at this point? It's quite clearly expressed that they want the planet nuked in order for them to be able to then break it up to be used as radioactive fuel for spacecraft, which would earn them a fortune. Wink

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@iank wrote:As for the slitheen's plan... were you watching it at this point? It's quite clearly expressed that they want the planet nuked in order for them to be able to then break it up to be used as radioactive fuel for spacecraft, which would earn them a fortune. Wink
I missed that completely then, must have checked out by that point or it happened while I was still mocking the episode and laughing with my brother.

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6. Dalek
I'm going to start with my biggest issue. I'm practically halfway through series 1 now and with that halfway through Eccleston's entire run as the Doctor and this episode has confirmed that he's just awful. He's not a good fit for the role and not all that great of an actor in general. The scene where he has to act against the Dalek alone comes off as clumsy and unconvincing, he was either uncomfortable acting with the prop or he doesn't have the chops to carry the scene without another person to work with, I don't know, all I know is if your lead is out-acted by Billie Piper and a rubber tentacle puppet you fucked up.

As for the episode itself, I'm going to have to agree with what was said recently in another thread, the RTD era is unwatchable now. A lot of it was shit to begin with but it's aged so badly that even the few good aspects are being lost. I remember Dalek as being one of the better episodes of the series but it was just so-so. The plot was okay but again the execution and tone was messy. Most of the episode felt like I was watching some cheap horror b-movie and the biggest problem is that that those moments were the thing about the episode. Watching the Dalek's plunger warp to press buttons so it can hack its way out of a locked room was so goofy it was delightful as was watching it smash a tv screen and get electrocuted so hard it repaired all of its broken armour. I know they say absorbing something from Rose's DNA is what fixed it but still.

The effects (and overall look of the show) are awful once again. At a few points in the episode the Dalek didn't even look like it was CGI, it looked like someone had taken a png file and tried to animate it as a gif in photoshop. The Dalek opening up was the most jarring. And the logo that appears on top of the end credits is also clearly a badly cut out png file with rough edges and artifacts.

The more episodes I watch the more I'm surprised that not only was this primetime TV but it's managed to survive for 13 years. Six episodes is enough to know rewatching isn't going to change my opinion of the show and I'm thinking of skipping straight to the Moffat era or ending this little experiment altogether. The RTD era is a wash.

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Even ignoring the farting aliens stuff, these episodes were complete shit. An absolute mess from start to finish and if the writer wasn't high on coke or rushing the script out the night before the deadline (or both) then they should be ashamed, as should the producers and the BBC for allowing it to be screened. I never cared for these episodes but I didn't realise they were this fucking bad.

Yeah, Aliens of London/World War Three is easily the low point of Series 1.  

The juvenile humor scattered throughout the story is just cringe worthy. The Slitheen constantly farting while laughing hysterically, the Benny Hill esque chase scene... good lord.

Also, the UNIT soldiers are hilariously incompetent in this story. Like in the hospital scene where they find the Doctor trespassing and they all aim their guns at him, and then after hearing a woman screaming in the distance they all inexplicably start following orders from this random stranger for some reason. Or in Downing Street where the Doctor runs away and manages to duck inside an elevator to get away from them, even though the soldiers easily had a good 4-5 seconds before the lift doors closed to shoot the Doctor in the leg or something.  

Also... "BUFFALO" is the password which gives you complete access to both UNIT and the Navy's official websites? LOL. Just fucking LOL.  

I honestly can't call this story anything other than a complete failure.

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Eccelston's Doctor was terrible. He just didn't fit the role very well at all. I mean I try and be fair to all of the Doctors on my blog and have looked at good points with his Doctor before.

Still being completely 100 percent honest here, whenever people say he was their favourite I honestly can't think why?

I'm not saying its like when people say Missy is the best Master or channelled Delgado. I KNOW you are talking bullshit in that case, but still what is there to like the most about Eccelston's Doctor?

Being useless and having to be saved by his companion all the time?

Being a hysterical idiot "ROSE I WASN'T, I COULDN'T!"

Having the most boring costume?

Falling in love with someone who is only 4 years older than Susan? (PS just read online that a Big Finish audio reveals that Susan's real name is Rose in Gallifreyan which just makes the whole thing even creepier! Though granted that's more on the part of the people who made the audio which was after Rose was introduced. What were they thinking?)

Being so awkward when he tried to act eccentric that he looked like Rik from the Young Ones going "AREN'T I A BIT NUTTY EVERYONE!"





A DELTA WAVE! ugh

However you got to give credit to Eccelston who walked after just one year cause clearly he thought the stories were shit as well.

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The more episodes I watch the more I'm surprised that not only was this primetime TV but it's managed to survive for 13 years. Six episodes is enough to know rewatching isn't going to change my opinion of the show and I'm thinking of skipping straight to the Moffat era or ending this little experiment altogether. The RTD era is a wash.

The Moffat era is even more frustrating. It starts off with such potential. Matt Smith is such a brilliant Doctor, and he has really great, even classic stories at first like Vincent and the Doctor.

Sadly however whilst his era goes downhill, the Capaldi era manages to top even the worst excesses of Eccelston and Tennant's era. Though admittedly at times its hard to choose.

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Eccelston's Doctor was terrible. He just didn't fit the role very well at all.

True, but Eccleston's Doctor was FAAAAAR more tolerable than David Tennant's Doctor at least.

Granted, this was more down to the writing and the way they were both forced to play the character rather than the actual actors themselves. But I'd take Eccleston along with his stupid leather jacket and awkward attempts at being eccentric over Tennant constantly hamming it up and acting like a hyperactive 12 year old.

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@DeadManRising wrote:
Eccelston's Doctor was terrible. He just didn't fit the role very well at all.

True, but Eccleston's Doctor was FAAAAAR more tolerable than David Tennant's Doctor at least.

Granted, this was more down to the writing and the way they were both forced to play the character rather than the actual actors themselves. But I'd take Eccleston along with his stupid leather jacket and awkward attempts at being eccentric over Tennant constantly hamming it up and acting like a hyperactive 12 year old.

They were both probably just as bad as each in other in principle to be fair.

However I think Tennant simply from being there longer got at least a few stories were he was a proper Doctor.

Like take a look at The Next Doctor. He is perfectly fine in that story, because its written as a proper DW adventure.

He's level headed, he's not a raging hypocrite about using guns (and even gets a few good fight scenes.) He doesn't mope, apart from the ending, he isn't in love, he saves the day and isn't undermined for his companion, doesn't scream and shout like a moron.

He's fine in that story. Not the best Doctor, but perfectly acceptable.

Eccelston however I don't think got any stories like that. Is there one where he is remotely like the Doctor?

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@Adam Ant Driver wrote:

As for the episode itself, I'm going to have to agree with what was said recently in another thread, the RTD era is unwatchable now. A lot of it was shit to begin with but it's aged so badly that even the few good aspects are being lost. I remember Dalek as being one of the better episodes of the series but it was just so-so. The plot was okay but again the execution and tone was messy. Most of the episode felt like I was watching some cheap horror b-movie and the biggest problem is that that those moments were the thing about the episode. Watching the Dalek's plunger warp to press buttons so it can hack its way out of a locked room was so goofy it was delightful as was watching it smash a tv screen and get electrocuted so hard it repaired all of its broken armour. I know they say absorbing something from Rose's DNA is what fixed it but still.

The effects (and overall look of the show) are awful once again.

My favourite from s1 was The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, though Dalek did seem ok at the time. Have we officially reached the point where Moff/Chibbers-era Nu Who fans cringe at the FX in the RTD era the way the RTD lot used to laugh at Classic Who's? I remember Into The Dalek's being very variable and that was from the Crapoldie era...


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Cheesy ending aside, 'Dalek' was and still remains to this day a legitimately great episode that treats the Daleks with the respect they deserve and makes them seem like an actual legitimate threat.

To dismiss it purely based on outdated special effects seems rather shallow and hypocritical to me. Especially when you consider how godawful some of the effects were in the Classic Series. Doctor Who has never really been known for having particularly convincing special effects anyway, so I really don't see why it should suddenly become an issue with this particular story.

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@DeadManRising wrote:Cheesy ending aside, 'Dalek' was and still remains to this day a legitimately great episode that treats the Daleks with the respect they deserve and makes them seem like an actual legitimate threat.

To dismiss it purely based on outdated special effects seems rather shallow and hypocritical to me. Especially when you consider how godawful some of the effects were in the Classic Series. Doctor Who has never really been known for having particularly convincing special effects anyway, so I really don't see why it should suddenly become an issue with this particular story.

I didn't dismiss it based on the effects, I thought the story was done in a way that reminded me of a cheap b-movie made by people with no experience. You think the Dalek was a threat, I thought it came off as goofy and the monsters in cheap, rushed together knocks offs trying to cash in on franchises like Jurassic Park and Terminator had a more serious effect. Not in the way it looked but in the way it was treated.

It's not just the effects but almost everything about how the show is handled and presented now makes me wonder how on Earth it was ever greenlit, and again, became primetime viewing. Barrowman is ashamed of that shark movie he did but that seems like a serious production compared to 2005 Who.

When I started the rewatch I thought we'd been watching this show wrong the entire time and RTD was secretly making some camp parody but it turns out it really was just shit all along. I think one of the reasons I'm optimistic about series 11 is because that leaked clip at least looked and sounded like it belongs on tv, even with the poor quality of the recording.

For what it's worth I have no real love for Classic Who either, I can enjoy it or at least appreciate it but it was never my show. I have no passion for it, no nostalgia and no strong feelings about the lore. It's why I'm not bothered by many choices throughout NuWho, I don't care I just want some entertaining stories.

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For what it's worth I have no real love for Classic Who either, I can enjoy it or at least appreciate it but it was never my show. I have no passion for it, no nostalgia and no strong feelings about the lore. It's why I'm not bothered by many choices throughout NuWho, I don't care I just want some entertaining stories.

If you don't like either version of DW that much why are you an admin on a DW fansite?

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I don't fucking know. LOL LOL

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