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The Davison era

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26The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Wed 29 May 2019, 1:24 am

Cunnus Maximus

Cunnus Maximus
Does anyone know about Davison's cocaine and shagging exploits?

27The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Wed 29 May 2019, 3:26 am

Doctor7


The Davison era - Page 2 F1ae8110

28The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Wed 29 May 2019, 3:27 am

Doctor7


The Davison era - Page 2 Mv5bmj10

29The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Wed 29 May 2019, 11:52 am

stengos

stengos
I really enjoyed this era. A producer and script editor at the respective tops of their games, a first class leading man and an interesting twist on the character of the Doctor, who was sometimes indecisive and unsure of himself which made for some interesting story lines and situations. Some of the stories were poor / dull  - Four to Doomsday, Black Orchid, Timeflight, Enlightenment - but on the whole these three seasons worked for me.

I liked the fact that Eric and JNT both decided to drop 6 parters. Not always but quite often they were overlong (Invasion of Time, Armageddon and Shada) or worked because they were made almost like a 4 and 2 parter stuck together (Wheng Chiang, Seeds of Doom). Four episodes was a more ideal length. I was less fond of the 2 parters myself - not enough room for story or character development. But at least the majority of Eric's output was the former and he avoided having to put too much reliance on flimsy 3 episode or less stories.

On the whole, bar one, i liked the companions of this era. Nyssa was a bit too cosey for my tastes but she acted the part well. Tegan offered Davison a feisty sparring partner in the Tardis which helped create a degree of dramatic tension in the crew. She also looked fit in the air stewardess costume. I also thought Peri worked well as his companion in Davison's last story.

Davison's characterisation worked well as a sharp contrast to Tom Baker's portrayal which was probably better for the shows survival.

For me, Davison compared favourably with Colin Baker. Colin's Doctor was fine and i really enjoyed some of his stories, but i found him a bit too loud in his mannerisms and general demeanour. In all honesty he was not as good an actor as Davison. I really enjoy "Revelation" - its a great story and very welly acted (on the whole and with some exceptions) but i would have preferred Davison as the Doctor.

30The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Wed 29 May 2019, 4:16 pm

Doctor7


Colin I think is very stage actor Esq like how stage actors do plays. They are very loud and dramatic.

31The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Wed 29 May 2019, 5:20 pm

stengos

stengos
@Doctor7 wrote:Colin I think is very stage actor Esq like how stage actors do plays. They are very loud and dramatic.

That is probably what it was.

As i say i didn't especially dislike Colin, I just preferred Davison.

Thanks.

32The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Thu 30 May 2019, 8:35 pm

Pepsi Maxil

Pepsi Maxil
Chief Caretaker
@Doctor7 wrote:The Davison era - Page 2 F1ae8110



Nyssa and Tegan were as beautiful as each other. Such a lovely pair!

The Davison era - Page 2 Nyssa_10

33The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Thu 30 May 2019, 9:09 pm

Doctor7


Yep I agree

34The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 10:58 am

Bernard Marx


I like Davison’s era, though it’s probably my least favourite of the original series. There is a certain static quality to the tone of his era, at least initially, and it doesn’t really have a defined identity. He’s also my least favourite of the original Doctors due to his decidedly bland and ordinary nature, though I quite like his underplayed character arc that culminates with Androzani, where he renounces his passivity (which defined him for most of his era) in order to survive in a world populated by drug runners and psychopaths and save someone he barely knows, which is a rather brilliant means of making his character all the more endearing and special. Likewise, as Maxil points out, quite a few of the musical scores were great (especially for Castrovalva, Earthshock, Mawdryn Undead, Enlightenment, The Five Doctors, Resurrection Of The Daleks and The Caves of Androzani). Although the era also had some seriously crap stories, mainly Time-Flight, Arc of Infinity, The King’s Demons and Warriors of the Deep (all of which are amongst the absolute worst of the Classic series), and much of it is a little staid. Though it is an era that I’ve warmed to quite a lot over the years as well, and I enjoy most of it much more than I used to. I vastly prefer it to any era of New Who (barring perhaps the early Smith era, which I am personally biased towards).

35The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 11:24 am

Ronnie

Ronnie
It must've been difficult for the production team to know where to go with the Doctor, after 7 years of the most successful Doctor the series has ever known.
What could they do that was different? I suppose Davison's blandness and yet more humanistic portrayal was a reaction partly to the latter excesses of Tom Baker eccentricity, and an attempt to make a distinctly different approach.
How successful that was is open to opinion, but whilst the Davison era didn't have that many ultra highs, story-wise; by the same token, there aren't too many ultra lows either. There are a few, but not as many as poor Colin had to contend with.
Was Davison the right man for the job? I remember being aghast that they'd cast someone so young, and I definitely agreed with the description of his Doctor seeming like a 'struggling supply teacher'.
I think his era has fared relatively well over time, but partly because what came after was worse.

36The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 11:48 am

Tanmann

Tanmann
@Ronnie wrote:It must've been difficult for the production team to know where to go with the Doctor, after 7 years of the most successful Doctor the series has ever known.
What could they do that was different? I suppose Davison's blandness and yet more humanistic portrayal was a reaction partly to the latter excesses of Tom Baker eccentricity, and an attempt to make a distinctly different approach.
How successful that was is open to opinion

I always felt the right direction to go in after jolly Tom was a darker, more machiavellian Doctor. I think that could've been different and compelling enough. Instead they seemed to go the other way to a frankly unfit for purpose incarnation.

And unfortunately I think the problem is that the production team, and Eric Saward in particular didn't seem to think much of those prior 7 years itself or why it had been successful.

He just thought under Tom it had been a silly pantomime where the Doctor just had to offer out jelly babies to pacify everyone (which suggests to me he hadn't watched the era properly as there were many stories where it looked like Tom's Doctor wouldn't pull through against the most malevolent odds and adversaries, or had to be ruthless to win- even in some of the Williams stories, and even a few where he loses, such as Genesis, Fang Rock, Logopolis). So he thought what he was doing with the show was so much edgier and adult, but infact it was crude and below par.

Maybe they had to set themselves apart from what came before, but it seems to me the backlash they went for was a moronic one that gave audiences less and less reason to care. It even feels, watching his era that even the Doctor is tearing his hair out, waiting for the era to finally get good.

The other problem is, they saddled him too much with Pertwee era rehashes that demanded he couldn't be his own Doctor but more a badly remembered version of Pertwee and slave to precedent (and had to balk at opposition and dilemmas he'd already overcome long ago), and not enough stories where he faced new foes suited to his particular incarnation that gave him challenges he could actually grow from.

Was Davison the right man for the job? I remember being aghast that they'd cast someone so young, and I definitely agreed with the description of his Doctor seeming like a 'struggling supply teacher'.

I think he could've been great, given better scripts and direction. Watching bits of Campion is a taunting experience because he feels so much more stoic and Doctorish in that than he ever seemed to under JNT.

Even in something as catastrophic as Time-Flight I can see Davison had potential to make a mark, if they had a solid idea of him as the same ancient, alien, intellectual force to be reckoned with, only in a young body. Saward largely unfortunately just seemed to see him as an inconvenience, and the stories seemed to treat him as such, and unfortunately Davison was so professional he just went along with it rather than fighting his corner in the way maybe Pertwee, Tom or Colin would've.

37The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 11:52 am

Ronnie

Ronnie
Good points there. Especially re the Pertwee rehashes.

38The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 12:07 pm

Bernard Marx


Agreed- good points raised, Tanmann, but did Saward genuinely feel that way about the Hinchcliffe era? I do suspect as you do that he hadn’t watched it properly if that was how he saw it. Where does he say all this?

39The Davison era - Page 2 Empty Re: The Davison era on Mon 02 Sep 2019, 12:33 pm

Tanmann

Tanmann
@Bernard Marx wrote:Agreed- good points raised, Tanmann, but did Saward genuinely feel that way about the Hinchcliffe era? I do suspect as you do that he hadn’t watched it properly if that was how he saw it. Where does he say all this?

He said it in the Warriors of the Deep commentary when I think Janet had asked him about how the Doctor gets out of violent situations and he replied by saying it was easy for Tom because he only had to offer the enemy a jelly baby or something. Which really struck me as condescending and a belittling way to make his own era look good.

He also gave a similar soundbite in the recent Resurrection novelization when he describes recalling Tom's incarnation and adventures the same way during the mind scanning scene.

I was thinking it might be that he'd only seen a few Tom stories and thought he'd got the formula down pat from that. But then again I think he must've at least seen Talons from the Hinchcliffe era, since he was so eager to bring Holmes back. Maybe that was a story he discovered later in the job for him though, and so the bulk of Davison's era was still written under that view of the Tom Baker era being the 'safe, kids' show'.

The thing is, I never got the impression he was that studious a script-editor when it came to the stories he was writing or homaging.

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