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Old 03-26-2005, 04:23 PM   #1
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New Doctor Who (spoilers)

This is mainly to the Brits on the forum (all three of us!), but I figured that since we're all Who fans (juding from last year's avatar splurge) this would be as good as any a place to discuss the new series. And yes, there will be spoilers.

Here's my nerdy two cents:

Good
The Autons. They felt like a mysterious Alien force and then went out to full blown Halloween-esque unstopable terror. Shame it didn't last longer.
The ending. Rose deciding to swing ont that chain was a great defining moment, and the way it was itnersliced with shots of the Autons and their guns worked brilliantly.
Generally excellent dialouge, which is what you'd expect from such an aclaimed writer.
The refferences to time in the whole episode. Could have been better if it wasn't so rushed, though.
The Tardid looks great. It looks Alien, and it looks like it's actually been used. Before Star Wars everything "future" was white and curvy and clean, and Lucas made it look realistic by making it dirty, worn down and broken - which is also what the BBC have done. It's easier to believe that the Tardis has been through time and space since forever, and that the buttons and levers actually do something.
The Doctor is pretty good, though I still prefer Pertwee. ;
The end finale was great, but I wish it wasn't all wrapped up in one episode. The scene of devistation at the end somehow felt unsatisfying - I kind of felt like there should be some Men in Black style mind eraser, because even though they'd wrapped up the Doctor and Rose, they hadn't bothered to explain what humans would make of the Auton invasion.
The sonic screwdriver and the way the Doctor is shown as being very mortal.
They way get got in the London Eye. Makes you proud to be British, sort of.
The special effects, obviously. It never felt too blue-screeny either, which is good - there was a good mix of CGI and actual sets.

Bad
I thought they wrapped up the story far too quickly. In fact, they really packed too much in full stop (though to be fair they did all the explaining really well - they were always on the move which meant that it wasn't too dull, though that 5 minute walking sequence when the Doctor explained everything was a bit much). The Autons were too easily destroyed and we didn't feel their terror as much as we did in Speerhead from Space, which gave them a lot more time.
Why didn't Rose's boyfriend just die? They set it up so well. It doesn't make sense that he survives, and it means that Rose following the Doctor is even less plausible. They could have even gone the way of killing Rose's family and had the "well I've got nothing left for me here" route. At least it would have made sense.

Missed opportunity
The Who nut was great (and a good refference to the fanbase), but it would have been really cool to have had a link to the past Doctors there. Something like "I've been tracking this guy for ages and he seems to change faces, but it's definitely the same guy because he comes out of the same police box. (Shows picutres of Hartnell, Pertwee, etc. in appropiate photographs)
They missed out the best bit of the Who theme. It usually plays at the end credits and is the best bit.

The music
I didn't like the tech music they used, but the sort of Gothic like ones they had were great. At the end finale they had undertones of the main theme, which was also cool.
The main Who theme is great, with a good ochestratic beat replacing the old 80s style thump. Shame they missed out the best bit, though.

Coming up next
Now that they've got all the explanitary storytelling out of the way, the next episode looks really great. The last remaining human looks fantastic, and it's good to see the old style weird Aliens (but this time without lines where you can see where their masks end)
What I want is a main storyline that continues over each Episode, and isn't wrapped up neatly at the end. I'm pressuming the BBC will do this.

To sum up...
Pretty damn good, but not without its faults. I'll be eagerly anticipating the next one.

8/10

I'll probably think of more later, but for now this'll do.


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Old 03-26-2005, 04:51 PM   #2
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As I was watching it I thought 'I might make a thread about this on Nightlight forums', a thought which was shortly followed by another thought: 'I'll leave it to Gabez. He knows Dr. Who better'. And low and behold, here is the thread.

Anyhoo, my impressions. I've never been a big Dr. Who fan (I've hardly watched it before) and I think most of the positives about the new episode were because of the nice little nods to the past episodes (like the dummies which were more than slightly reminiscent of the wax figures I believe I saw in Dr. Who a few years ago). You're definately right when you say they should have culled Rose's family. And it was too packed with material.

Best part for me was seeing all the dummies smashing out of shop windows with their funky gun hands. It really felt like a classic Dr. Who moment.

On the whole, better than I expected (I expected it to be all hype and no substance). I'll definately watch it next week.


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Old 03-26-2005, 05:04 PM   #3
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Re: New Doctor Who

I absolutely agree with what you've said, Gabzo, so I won't bother to duplicate it! There were a few things that stood out, though.

Overall the episode was very enjoyable, but I think I enjoyed it on a rather different level to the original series.

First there were the comic touches. They were good - I think the first episode being all earnest and pompous would have killed it stone dead and proved once and for all that it was aimed at diehard Doctor Who 'fans' - but maybe a little bit over the top. Burping bin anyone?! They managed to balance the humour quite well with the rest of the programme though, and importantly it wasn't the "haha aren't we hilarious" "humour" that marred some of the 80s episodes with Colin Baker and ol' Sylv.

I think the most obvious difference was in the pacing. The original series usually had plenty of time for exposition, due to its format - in fact a lot of stories were quite clearly too sparse for the amount of time allocated, so the characters would spend a lot of time not doing much at all. When the balance was right, though, this meant you as the viewer had plenty of time to build up a feeling of expectation and suspense, and the opportunity to reflect on events. In the new series, as the Doctor was essentially unveiling and thwarting a major alien conspiracy within 45 minutes - and introducing himself and Rose at the same time - there was no chance of this happening. Somehow it just doesn't seem right that everything could be resolved so quickly. Keeping the action bubbling along is all well and good, but we also need time to take a breather! I think the story could have run at least twice as long and been better for it.

Oh, and another casualty of the new format - no cliffhanger. I didn't think I would miss it, but towards the end I began to ponder: how can the Doctor see the world threatened with destruction and manage to save it without a cliffhanger in between? It just isn't right, man!

Oh man, I meant this to be a quick post, but I've gone and waffled on at length. Oh well! Hopefully other people will chip in and I'll feel less silly - apart from 8-of-12 I presume, unless he wants spoilers aplenty. :~


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Old 03-26-2005, 05:05 PM   #4
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Yeah, the glass smashing was fantastic. One of those moments that you see coming for ages, but it still shocks you when it happens.

The "wax figures" you refer to are the Autons, and they are one of Gabez's favourite Doctor Who enemies. They first appeared in the Pertwee episode Speerhead from Space (which was repeated on BBC 2 a few years ago - I'm pressuming this is the one you saw) and came back in Terror of the Autons. The Nestene Consciousness was likewise mentioned on those options, but it was never seen because they could never have shown it properly - which makes seeing it at last rather exciting:

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Old 03-26-2005, 06:45 PM   #5
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Here's a very cool montage of the new series. Doesn't contain any major spoilers, but avoid if you want everything to be fresh and new. (For us Brits this is the same montage as the one shown on Jonathan Ross).
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Old 03-27-2005, 06:03 AM   #6
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Yay! Dalek's!!! I can't wait for that episode. I love the Dr.'s look of horror as he sees it. It's the most unthreatening of robot designs in history. But apparently they can handle stairs, somehow.


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Old 03-27-2005, 09:35 AM   #7
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The new Daleks can fly. Some people are annoyed at this, but it's actually nothing new - Daleks have been able to fly up stais before, though only a certain type can manage it.

You're right though, that Dalek exterimate bit is amazing. Any self respecting Whovian should be wetting themselves when they see that.
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Old 03-27-2005, 09:58 AM   #8
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By the way...

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!!

That's your lot.


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Old 03-27-2005, 04:11 PM   #9
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I thought the new Dr Who was awful, especially considering when I was little I saw the original Autons. Oh Jesus H Christ they were creepy, and much much MUCH better than these new losers. The original Auton scene had a 'Shock Point' when the dummy jerked its head, rather than the new episode's cliche 'slowly turning around head' thing. Ugh. Also, the explanation of the Autons was worse. In the old one they were robots sent to destroy the human race with their hand-cannons, but in the new one they're 'Living plastic'. What the hell? Living plastic? Awful. And how did they get guns if they were just ordinary window dummies and not robots?

Also, as a first episode it was alright. Not good, pretty bad. But alright. Passable. Will watch again.
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Old 03-28-2005, 09:38 AM   #10
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The explanation of the Autons is the same - they're an Alien force that can take over plastic objects, which lead to all manner of plastic objects being turned into monsters (such as the child's doll in Terror of the Autons or the dustbin in Rose).

I agree that they were scarier in Speerhead from Space, though - but I put that down to the episode being too short. They had to explain a lot, and in 45 minutes they couldn't have shown enough of the Autons as I would have liked. If you download the montage then you'll see that the gas-mask people look very Auton-like, and a lot scarier.

You should also be wary that when you saw the original Autons you were more likely to be scared, because you were younger, if that makes any sense. Just be careful you don't get "good old days" syndrome.
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:36 AM   #11
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Okay guys... I avoided this thread until I managed to get a copy of the episode and watch it. I'll post soon.


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Old 03-31-2005, 11:38 AM   #12
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Uh oh! Bye bye Ecclestone.

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Old 04-04-2005, 09:37 AM   #13
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The nitpickers guide was a great article, 8. Here's my response to a few of your points:

2) The Doctor didn't want to blow all of the plastic dummies sky high at all - he wanted to talk with the Nestine Consciessness to see if they could stop him pulling off the attack (the London Eye beam hadn't activated all the plastic around the world yet, just London - but if it was given time it would have eventually). When this didn't work, plan B was to drop anti-plastic on the bastard. With the Nestine Consciessness, the London Eye didn't have the power to act as a transmitter anymore and therefore the dummies were no longer controlled by the Autons. The explosions were just the Nestine Consciessness diying, and had nothing to do with the plastic dummies.

7) True, but Clive's web-site is certainly real.

9) I guess they didn't want to confuse viewers too much.

Generally there are a lot of good points made here, though!
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:28 AM   #14
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Gonna post a new thread about the new episode, Gabez?

In regards to 2)... so pretty much blowing up the department store didn't achieve ANYTHING.

Could have pissed off the Nestene conciousness though.


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Old 04-05-2005, 03:03 PM   #15
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Oh, God, yeah, I forgot about blowing the store up at the start.

Yeah, that's a good point then.

I guess it can be explained by stuff we didn't know about, like maybe there was a mini transmitter there or something.

Is the new episode you're reffering to "The End of the World"? Have you seen it yet?
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:03 PM   #16
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I thought 'The End of the World' was pretty darn good, myself. I'm not sure if it was Dr. Who-ish enough for all you retro Dr. Who fans, but on it's own it was great. Rose was a bit on the ol' rubbish side. Well, she was crap really. I liked all the aliens. I don't fully understand how the last human could possibly talk without lungs or a voice box, but anyway. I liked the way they avoided any massive CGI driven scenes (okay, there were a few, but not too many). The best bit was definately getting past the last fan.

Out of curiosity, had we ever heard about the Doctor's homeworld before?


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Old 04-05-2005, 04:21 PM   #17
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Yes, Galiffrey, though
spoiler:
...it being blown up and all the Timelords being dead...
is news to us.

The episode was pretty typical Doctor Who - it's not always about saving the world, you know.
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:32 PM   #18
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I really have no idea what the average Dr. Who is like. When I watched the old ones I was too young to remember them.


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Old 04-05-2005, 09:29 PM   #19
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spoiler:
So why can't the Doctor just go back in time to before all the timelords were destroyed and stop it from happening?


I take it we won't see the master anytime soon, if that's the case, innit


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Old 04-06-2005, 05:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by 8 of 12
spoiler:
So why can't the Doctor just go back in time to before all the timelords were destroyed and stop it from happening?


I take it we won't see the master anytime soon, if that's the case, innit
Maybe that's how all the others died, by trying that. So it's too risky. Maybe we'll find out in the future.


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Old 04-06-2005, 02:02 PM   #21
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I think there are *some* restrictions on Time Travel. I mean, seripusly altering stuff by going back and changing everything might mean that your grandfather is never born, or something.

The only time The Doctor has actually changed things by time travel is when he went back to save Grace in the TV movie, but that was only a small incident that didn't effect the grand scheme of things much. And besides, the TV movie is hardly gospel.

It's also being implied more and more heavily that the Doctor is special from the other Time Lords, like he's evolved or something.
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Old 04-07-2005, 06:59 PM   #22
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Yeah, the Doctor doesn't want to mess around with time and all that. Like in that episode where he could've gone back in time and stopped the Daleks before they were created - but he didn't want to.

Also, the second episode was a lot better, I think. The third one looks even better. I'll see how things turn out.
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:32 AM   #23
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Wow. The latest episode, the unquiet dead, was just amazing.

When is Australia getting Doctor Who, 8? I heard that ABC had bought it and was going to show it soon...
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Old 04-10-2005, 09:51 PM   #24
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Ummm... they're going to start showing it in the middle of May. But that's television, I can never remember to watch the damn thing.

The episode was good. The aliens were, rather predictably, bad, and I was a little dissapointed that the only thing we really got to see was Charles Dickens.

And all through the damn thing I had Number Two in my head saying 'but you're not Charles Dickens, no you're not, no you're not'


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Old 04-10-2005, 10:17 PM   #25
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Hee yeah, "this is a family show for Gods sake!"
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Old 04-11-2005, 07:45 AM   #26
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I thought the latest episode was pretty good. The one bit I didn't like was Charles Dickens' 'Of course, the gas' bit when he realised how he could stop the aliens. What does Charles Dickens know about chemistry, really? And it was a bit cliched him returning at the last minute with a brilliant theory that would save the world. And I'm also getting a bit fed up of the Dr. coming a hairs breadth away from death in every episode. I mean, if he just looked a bit worried and thought up a plan, fair enough. But it seems like in every episode he is certain that he is going to die after God knows how many seasons of living and God knows how many episodes of the current season left. I'm not saying he shouldn't get into great danger, but he shouldn't keep weeping about how it's the 'end of the road for the Doctor'.

Anyhoo, not a bad episode overall.


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Old 04-11-2005, 11:28 PM   #27
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And what sort of christmas carol is this, your evil Doctor Beazley music? This is supposed to be a family story! Do this seriously for once! Baby.

Now that's better. Everyone would think that the world was going to end with the music you were playing! We got the night off!

And we won't be attempting global destruction on christmas eve!

lol. I'm my own biggest fan.

The Marley's were dead to begin with...


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Old 04-15-2005, 03:55 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gabez
I think there are *some* restrictions on Time Travel. I mean, seripusly altering stuff by going back and changing everything might mean that your grandfather is never born, or something.

The only time The Doctor has actually changed things by time travel is when he went back to save Grace in the TV movie, but that was only a small incident that didn't effect the grand scheme of things much. And besides, the TV movie is hardly gospel.
Yeah, I don't think he's "allowed" to go back and change his own actions, or something. When Adric died and his mates were pleading with the Doctor to go back and save him, his excuse was that it just didn't work like that, or something. Personally I think he found Adric as annoying as the rest of us.

Besides, it's a major flaw in all time-travel stories - if you fail the first time, what's to stop you travelling back again and again until you get it right? I don't think anyone actually addresses this one!

Quote:
It's also being implied more and more heavily that the Doctor is special from the other Time Lords, like he's evolved or something.
I like this! At first I wasn't so sure (like when the Doctor got past that fan - I was thinking "hold on, he's not supposed to be paranormal!") but the idea is growing on me. Like Ol' Sylv and his implications that there was a darker side to him than he was letting on, but we never found out what it was. Sniff sniff. Let's hope we get the chance to see the current Doctor's secrets outed!

And just for the record, I thought the latest episode (The Unquiet Dead) was the best so far. Great pacing, much less rushed than the previous episodes (even time for some ominous conversations), and some wonderfully scary stuff. 90+ complaints to the BBC from jelly-backed parents can't make it wrong! And apparently the script was much darker when first submitted.

Roll on the next episode - although I hope the boyfriend dies early on.


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Old 04-15-2005, 11:27 PM   #29
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David Tennant has been confirmed as the next Doctor. I haven't seen him in anything. Apparently the regeneration is going to take place in the christmas special. Rather morbid and fitting at the same time


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Old 04-15-2005, 11:31 PM   #30
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And it looks like the Doctor might be picking up another companion towards the end of the season. A character named Captain Jack Harkness is in the last four episodes.


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Old 04-16-2005, 09:59 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by Huz
like when the Doctor got past that fan - I was thinking "hold on, he's not supposed to be paranormal!"
I didn't consider that paranormal. I thought it was just an enormous stroke of luck. A kind of leap of faith like near the end of Indiana Jones- Last Crusade. That's why I think the Dr. is getting too close to death every episode.



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Old 04-16-2005, 03:51 PM   #32
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Just watched the latest episode. It started off really strong, but it got a bit cheesey towards the end IMO. The aliens were a bit poo, and that pig thing was stupid. High points were the bit where the Doctors name trigerred the alert and when he got cornered by all the armed guards.

Overall, I like the whole conspiracy thing, and the way the Dr. is known on earth, but some of the details and visuals put me off.


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Old 04-16-2005, 04:43 PM   #33
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The latest episode was the weakest so far, I reckon.

And they still had a 'Next week...' trailer despite the fact it ended on a cliffhanger this week? What's that all about?! The cliffhanger alone should be reason enough to watch next week, surely!


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Old 04-17-2005, 05:51 AM   #34
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I was a bit iffish on the entire episode. Of course, a well timed fart joke is always appreciated.

And yeah, the next week on Doctor kinda took away from the cliffhanger.


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Old 04-19-2005, 09:17 PM   #35
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I loved it, but then I've got to the stage where I'll love anything the series does as long as they don't seriously bodge it up. The Big Ben being smashed bit was an amazing peice of animation I thought. Personally I rate this episode higher than the first one, but probably less than the other two.
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Old 04-30-2005, 05:41 PM   #36
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WHAT AN EPISODE!!!

Best yet, by far. People have told me that the Daleks were some of the most frightenning things when they were children and I didn't believe it until tonight. That bit where it killed all the guards in that hall way (when they showed the Matrix style bullet dissapearances) freaked me out. And now it's over I want more. I want another Dalek for The Doctor to kill. Better yet, an entire army. I'm so sad that I missed the original episodes and the original destruction of the Daleks. My only one slight reservation about the episode was the Dalek learning to 'love'. It was all a bit cliched and predictable, but when the rest is so good, who cares?

And I don't think I'll ever forget that scene where The Doctor first saw the Dalek. What a classic moment. I can't wait to watch the repeat tomorrow.


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Old 05-07-2005, 04:41 PM   #37
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I may be flogging a dead horse in posting in this thread, but I feel compelled to say that the last episode was rubbish. The story was full of holes and compared to last weeks it was abysmal.

*Waits for Gabez to prove me wrong*


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Old 05-07-2005, 05:24 PM   #38
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*sigh*

I can't really prove you wrong as I don't know why you didn't like it. I couldn't see any plot-holes, and even if there were any it doesn't really matter with Sci-fi (look at Red Dwarf). I personally thought tonight's episode was the best yet, and much better than last week's.
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Old 05-08-2005, 06:39 AM   #39
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Really? I thought last weeks was absolutely incredible, and that might be why this one wasn't as good. And as for plot holes, I didn't really mean that. I meant they had a strangely easy time of it. We'd seen that massive blob creature eat people before, so why didn't he just get the Doctor. And how on earth cold a bit of heat cause something like that to explode? Earlier, the Doctor had said that heat only affected it's metabolism. And why weren't there any security measures in place any where? I mean, I know the human race were stupid, but you can't just rely an entire empire on no one asking questions. The mere fact that the woman at the end began asking questions so quickly shows that more security was needed. It just all seemed like a bit of a walk in the park. I guess its down to personal preferance.


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Old 05-08-2005, 02:57 PM   #40
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Limpo, I think that's more of a pacing issue than anything. They have tried to squeeze 'epic' plots about the end of the world, the enslavement of humanity and so on, into 45 minutes. It hasn't really worked - you have all this fantastic exposition building up over the first 35 minutes or so, then it's all wrapped up in about ten minutes. I don't think I was alone in saying "this must be a two-parter" towards the end of the episode (and some of the others), before feeling disappointed at the anticlimax of everything being sorted out very quickly.

I think they need to return to the 'original' format, either of 25-minute chunks (perhaps not realistic in the modern world), or at least two-parters of 45 minutes each. That would give these more 'epic' stories time to breathe. The only story I think has really worked from a pacing point of view has been Mark Gatiss's ghost story, which was a fairly simple premise lacking in epic scale, so we didn't feel too short-changed at its length.

For what it's worth, I agree with the Gabzo. I thought it was great. All right, so the fact humanity was subjugated so easily was a plot hole - but then a Dalek with feelings is just bollocks, so it all balances out! I loved the fact we didn't see the 'monster' until near the end of proceedings, real classic Who. In the past it was because they couldn't come up with a special effect convincing enough to be on-screen for more than 2 seconds, now it's because they realise the formula works! Let the viewers form their own expectation of what the 'monster' is, then show it to them - wouldn't be surprised if what some kids imagined was much worse than the reality, anyway.

Ooh man, another rambly Doctor Who post. Sorry about that!


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