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I sat and watched the very first episode of Dr. Who in 1963 and each week I got a little more excited as the Doctor William Hartnell) and his companions stumbled from one danger to another. I even recalled the William Hartnell Dr holding up a glass of sherry and wishing the viewers a merry Christmas. Everyone said I had imagined that but now its on You Tube!
The series writers and producers never talked down to their viewers –they treated child and adult alike, delivering great stories –some with heavy philosophical questions: such as should the Dr (Tom Baker) destroy the Daleks before they were ‘born’ (mirroring the old time travel quandary of “If you went back to when Hitler was a baby would you kill him?”).
Sylvester McCoy got the short shrift because Michael Grade who said time and again that he “despises with every ounce of my being Dr Who and Science fiction” (as on BBC TVs Room 101 –recorded before Dr Who returned and started drawing viewers at which point Grade, having hopped to ITV and ruined it, then back to the BBC then to Channel 4 and then back to the BBC….you get the point? Well, he congratulated the show’s great success. Slime). But he wanted Dr Who dead and he made sure the series/scripts was altered so as to make Dr Who start failing. Something writers like Malcolm Hulke commented on. But Grade got his way.
Then, as a “thank you” to Russell T. Davies, who had delivered the BBC a success with “Queer As Folk” -the most talked about scenes involving sex –I’ve asked people who raved about it at the time “What was it about?”…blank faces. You never ever let a fan control AND write anything. Fans got into US comics and screwed the industry up –just as fans got into UK comics and screwed things up.
Yes, Davies returned Dr Who to the TV BUT, despite some good stories, at times it was like watching a Mills & Boon novel adapted for TV or downright silly slapstick. It was NOT the Dr Who the fans remembered and I’d need to write a book to discuss things under Davies.
The heavy, emotional stories (the Dr saves someone from a doomed Mars expedition –The Waters Of Mars- to changed time, to prove he CAN alter the timeline. The survivor hears his rantings and realising she should not survive, kills herself. Heavy. Pity than when the Dr was poisoned in the 1920s it was like a Chuckle Brothers scene. One episode it was deadly serious, maybe the odd twist of humour, but the next…slapstick.
Enter Steven Moffatt and Matt Smith. Smith won me over. No, I never thought Karen Gillan was “hot”. Smith was almost reminiscent of Troughton and Pertwee’s Dr. It worked.
Things started going wrong, though. The stories seemed to have a lot of continuity errors. Moffatt noted that only fat fan boys sat in front of the TV worried about this. That is Dr Who fan boy Moffatt who wrote aboutr such things as a fan. Nothing like a “Feck you all –I’m in charge now!”
The realisation that something majorly bad was going on came in the big Amy Pond was kidnapped and there was a question unanswered since the dawn of time series plot.
What was the unanswered question? “Doctor Who”. Or, as it was declared in the all non-explaining episode: “Dr Who Dr Who Dr Who Dr Who Dr Who Dr Who Dr Who Dr Who” ad nauseum and infinitum.
W-T-F??? Since the dawn of time???? As explained in The Three Doctors, the Time Lords were not and did not have time travel until one of their race, Omega, made the supreme sacrifice. So, the Doctor, was not even alive back then –he’s only supposed to be over a thousand years old now!!! So….how?????
Then we have Amy and Rory trapped in New York in the 1930s where they have to live out their lives because, due to some absolute crap writing and nonsensical explanation, the TARDIS can no longer land in NY. Okay, land the TARDIS outside NY and go and fetch Amy and Rory. Problem and moping done. Also, Amy’s “daughter” –the Doctor’s “wife”- River Song can time travel. She can save her mum. But no, bad writing and continuity excludes these answer.
So, this Christmas Dr Who special hardly featured Matt Smith, concentrating more on the “new companion” –who isn’t a new companion yet but will be…
It has now become a bit of a childish fantasy programme which, with an absolutely dire script, not even Matt Smith’s acting could save. It was just awful awful awful!
The Victorian Silurian female seen before on Dr Who (“A Good Man Goes to War”) is, apparently, Conan Doyle’s “inspiration for Sherlock Holmes” and her maid/assistant “Dr Watson”. Reference to the duo being a “little too close”, Richard E. Grant’s character got the response: “How dare you suggest any impropriety –we’re married!” Then, in another scene she knocks on the door and introduces herself as “I’m a sword carrying lizard lady from the dawn of time and this is my wife” (WTF??)
Let’s forget the Sherlock Holmes crap. We have never been told how this character got to Victorian London –the Silurians did not wake until the 1970s. Let’s say she had woken somehow and throw all other (MANY) questions aside: HOW did she marry her human companion??? C of E no doubt –they’ll marry anyone…oh. No, they wont will they?
So, when the not quite a new companion is shouting for the Dr in a park, and the Silurian’s maid just happens to be there, she is taken to their home to be questioned and “Answer but use only one word”/ say why the doctor must help -but use only one word” -a test? What sort of test??? More like the worst kind of sloppy writing I’ve ever come across on a Dr Who –or any TV series.
And a pull down ladder (invisible until pulled down) that led to a spiral staircase that led to the TARDIS sitting on solidified moisture particles. W T F???
Also, excuse me but TWICE I looked around thinking I’d fallen asleep as the story/scene “jumped” with no explanation.
Now the Dr is off on a quest to find this not quite a new companion yet as she has died twice –she was the “soufflette girl” who had been turned into a Dalek (“Oswin”) and was thanked by the Dr for removing all memory of him from the Daleks before she died.
Right, the mere mention of “The Doctor” makes the deadly Daleks stop in their tracks and think twice. His name is utter and despots throughout the universe tremble. Not any more. Daleks can do what they like. The Dr, after almost 50 years is a coward who no longer cares. W T F????
Or maybe he does care again? Who cares? Moffatt will chop and change as he feels like it.
TV news and other programmes give warnings over flashing lights. Not last night’s Dr Who, even with the lights turned on I could hardly watch the screen for the strobing lights. Richard E. Grant was great as a villain but thoroughly pointless because the snowmen were all in his “mind” –a great performance by Grant but for what?
Doctor Who, had 7.6 million viewers, an average audience 1.3 million fewer than in 2011.
Dr Who viewing figures are falling but it continues (until the 50th anniversary at least) but Merlin (with average viewing figures each weekend of 7.5-8 million) is cancelled as the writing and performances were getting better.
Christmas 2012 is the time Dr Who died for me.
ps:Stax won the show for me!
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