February 22, 2019 at 9:41 pm #244849
By Jove its holmes
Fact of the Day: Tom Baker was the first DW series lead who wasn’t a veteran of the Second World War. He had the mercy of a late birth.February 22, 2019 at 10:10 pm #244850
For those of you who are supremely, hopelessly nerdy (ie all of us), this site: http://www.dalek6388.co.uk covers the Hootsuite of the Dalek props built and used for each and every one of their appearances in Classic Who. What you quickly realise is that the BBC really are cheapskates. They continue wheeling out Dalek props from the 60s well into the 80s, when they were already showing their age by the early 70s. They really do look shite by the time of Planet of the Daleks (1973), and they just look more and more tired and battered with each new appearance. If you like articles about sets and stuff on here you’ll probably like this.February 22, 2019 at 10:11 pm #244851
I meant history*February 22, 2019 at 10:15 pm #244852
Pete Part Three
William Hartnell ducked out of the Greco-Persian Wars by being neither Greek or Persian. Also he had the mercy of a late birth.February 22, 2019 at 10:23 pm #244853
HOOTSUITE OF THE DALEKS
The Special Weapons Dalek sets up a cracking owl sanctuary.February 23, 2019 at 12:37 am #244857
I’ve been watching Doctor Who from 2005 (currently up to Listen) with Ian’s excellent Curiosity In A Junkyard blog. I am ever so slightly fascinated with Colin Baker’s last series although every time I attempt to watch it I lose interest.February 23, 2019 at 1:57 am #244860
By Jove its holmes
“the mercy of a late birth” is from a speech by Helmut Kohl. You try to be intellectual and sophisticated and they turn it into a joke. Jee Whiz, Radioactive Man!February 23, 2019 at 5:56 am #244867
Pete Part Three
I know these threads have a tendency go off-topic, but this is the first time it’s happened with the opening post.February 23, 2019 at 10:09 am #244868
I spent a couple of years going through all the Targets, MAs and PDAs, but started to go insane and went back to other books for a while. I’ve got The Curse of Fenric up next, and will probably return soon. Some of those books I’d love to see on screen. Others, less so.
I should really watch my season 12 and 19 BluRays soon.
That’s about it for the minute, thanks for reading. xxxFebruary 23, 2019 at 1:02 pm #244894
I never had too much fun with the novel ranges. I respected their notion of telling stories “too broad and too deep” for TV but found the ones I read to take them very far away from what I like about the show. There was a period where they even made life after the Doctor a bit of a doom fest – Jo Grant a divorced single mother, the Brigadier a bitter widower, Dodo a victimised psychiatric patient etc.
At times I half expected the Doctor turn up as a heroin addicted Jazz critic who wasn’t an alien.February 23, 2019 at 1:53 pm #244895
I’ve not moved on to the Virgin New Adventures yet, and I know they go very ‘dark’, but a lot of the PDAs/MAs are fun and frequently totally bonkers. The likes of Managra – in which Sarah and 4 land on a version of Earth where Europe is dominated by romantic literature, and are joined in their mission (which takes in a trip into a vampire-infested Transylvania) by someone pretending to be Byron – are utterly tremendous. Most of the Third Doctor ones are really in keeping with the era and are highly recommended, there are some wonderful pure historicals for Troughton and Hartnell in The Roundheads and The Plotters. There are some great timey-wimey ones (Festival of Death, The Time Travellers), and some mind bending parallel universe ones (Spiral Scratch is a brilliant head-fuck).
There’s are also plenty of middling bollocks (anything by Christopher Bulis, for a start) – and a hilariously appalling Terrance Dicks story in which a shaven-headed Five goes to war with Morbius with a galactic battle fleet of Sontarans, Cybermen and Ogrons – but generally I’ve enjoyed it. I’m not sure quite how much I’m looking forward to the more serious, dark approach I know it’ll be going in once I hit Timewyrm, but I am looking forward to it being a wholly ‘new’ era of the classic show, so that’s something.February 23, 2019 at 3:06 pm #244897
By Jove its holmes
I still have a soft spot for Timewyrm: Exodus.February 23, 2019 at 10:52 pm #244904
I have a lot of novels to go – the “season 23b” Mike Tucker novels, the VNAs, and EDAs, then all the new series books, plus the various Decalogs and Short Trips collections, the three Companion Chronicles, odds and ends like the Missy book and, possibly, the Bernice Summerfield, Torchwood and, at a push, Class novels – and after that I’m onto Big Finish. I’m still not sure what to do about that. I know some of the stories are sequels to others which will make picking and choosing annoying if I happen upon one, but even if I get naughty downloads of them all, I doubt I’ll have enough time in my life to actually listen to them all.February 23, 2019 at 11:00 pm #244905
I’ve thought about cracking open one of the Wilderness book ranges before, but there are just too many and I’m not interested enough to commit the time, same reason I never read a Star Wars novel. I prefer lower-effort expanded universes like Red Dwarf and the 11 Indiana Jones books.February 24, 2019 at 6:02 pm #244921
I haven’t listened to that many Big Finish productions, but the big famous ones such as Jubilee and Spare Parts are absolutely worth checking out, as is Psychodrome in my opinion, and (and I mean this) Doctor Who and the Pirates is incredible. Legend of the Cybermen is great too – it finished off a trilogy, but I listened to it as a standalone and thought it was excellent.
This dude: https://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/ reviews a lot of the audios and his scores are a fairly good indication of quality, with a few extremely questionable ratings scattered throughout.February 25, 2019 at 12:12 am #244931
I made a decision to not get into Big Finish stuff, because I didn’t want to *really* skint myself. Plus I have a bit of a short attention span when it comes to audio. I can lose concentration, and end up doodling and missing important plot points. But I have bought a few, and they’re worth buying. (Although I’d prefer to be able to buy individual stories of some ranges rather than the full series).
The new Tenth Doctor stuff’s great, too.
If you haven’t tried Big Finish, and you’re not sure if you fancy buying any, you can check https://www.bigfinish.com/ranges/released/big-finish—for-free where you can get free stories – sometimes the first part of a particular story, or one-off episodes. A lot of my account purchases are made up of these, it has to be said.February 25, 2019 at 12:24 am #244932
I’ve always found audiobooks/radio shows/podcasts a good incentive to go walkabout or take random day trips to get your listening done, rather than sitting down and playing games or something in the background. Although that can graft mental images of places and other associations onto stories when you think back that don’t exactly match what’s happening. The Eighth Doctor spent a lot of time looking out of bus and train windows, if I recall.March 15, 2019 at 11:53 am #246022
By Jove its holmes
The UNIT Family set-up is really, well, not Dad’s Army but Brig’s Army. You have a Brigadier, a Captain and a Sergeant. That’s a very small group to be fighting off alien monsters.March 15, 2019 at 4:21 pm #246028
UNIT doesn’t hold up very well to close inspection. Their duty – to fend off ‘unknown’ menaces – doesn’t stop them constantly facing scepticism, even from within their own ranks. And it also doesn’t explain why they seem to spend most of their time providing security for peace conferences or trafficking missiles around. Or why they’re so consistently, spectacularly bad at their jobs.
My Season 18 BluRay came this morning. Going to be indulging in some special features later I think.March 15, 2019 at 8:00 pm #246033
UNIT deal with all the weird shit but also matters of national security, like important peace conferences and nuclear missile convoys. Funding an entire arm of the government permanently JUST to deal with aliens would be bonkers, since (at least until the Third Doctor was exiled to Earth), alien invasions were relatively rare.March 15, 2019 at 8:02 pm #246034
>Or why they’re so consistently, spectacularly bad at their jobs.
“You know, just once I’d like to meet an alien menace that wasn’t immune to bullets.”March 15, 2019 at 10:38 pm #246038
Imagine them doing security for a peace conference when an alien invasion happens. That would be embarrassing. They also manage to fuck up at the peace conference and lose the missile. Useless fucks.March 16, 2019 at 12:59 am #246041
Got my Season 18 box, too. But as my big WhoWatch has only just reached season 14, a few extras aside, it’ll have to wait a couple of months before I watch it properly. It was the same with the Season 12 set.March 16, 2019 at 8:59 am #246044
By Jove its holmes
Some fans seem to prefer the serious, gritty UNIT of Season 7 to the cozy Saturday teatime-friendly UNIT Family.March 24, 2019 at 1:01 am #246589
I’m still amazed at how poorly the BBC handled that Season 12 blu ray release. People are selling them on ebay for £350. Nobody should ever pay that much to watch Revenge of the Cybermen.
The Australian release wasn’t much better either. I ordered the set from an AU DVD website and they decided to jerk me around for 6 months instead of just admitting that they didn’t have it.
At least the Season 19 release showed improvement, but they really should have just gone with simpler packaging for all these blu rays, so that they could be kept in print.March 24, 2019 at 11:24 am #246598
Given the ridiculous prices for the 12 box, you’d at least think they’d do another run of them. Not many people were expecting it to sell out so quickly, and so lots of people thinking they could get it a few months down the line were screwed over. I have the US ‘Tom Baker Season One’ release in place of it, which will suffice, but will look daft on my shelf in the long run.March 24, 2019 at 1:05 pm #246599
What I take exception to is the wording. They described it (and continue with later releases) as “Limited Edition Packaging”. This indicates that the release will later get a non-limited simple release later on but they have confirmed that they have no plans to rerelease Season 12. If they changed the wording for al future releases to “Limited Edition” then it’d be fine but they don’t seem arsed.
For what it is worth they did appear to be taken aback by the demand for Season 12. Russel Minton (head of Who on DVD/BR now) said he had to fight for this release and used the strong DVD sales as an indicator but the higher-ups still didn’t have high expectations.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the plan is to wait until they are all out and then rerelease them in complete Doctor box sets (perhaps splitting Tom Baker’s era into two sets).March 24, 2019 at 1:35 pm #246600
Yeah, the wording is pretty poor, a lot of people were caught out expecting a standard packaging later. The fact that they’re doing them as limited editions in the first place is ludicrous anyway. If there’s demand, keep them in print, surely? I can’t fathom why not.March 24, 2019 at 4:06 pm #246601
What makes it worse is that the Season 12 set infamously has errors on 2 of the discs, so there are literally no UK copies of it that aren’t dodgy. You’d think that might be extra motivation for them to re-print it, to recoup some of the losses from having to send out so many replacement discs, and YET.
I have the US ‘Tom Baker Season One’ release in place of it, which will suffice, but will look daft on my shelf in the long run.
I’ve just ordered that too. :-) I’m sure Ben Paddon would be disappointed in us, but fancier packaging and one extra featurette (which you can just get in SD off Amazon Video) are clearly not worth £300.
Is the 1fps slowdown noticeable outside of direct comparisons?March 24, 2019 at 4:39 pm #246602
From what I read, it’s a very good conversion apparently. I certainly didn’t notice it being any different to normal.March 24, 2019 at 4:54 pm #246603
Very reassuring to hear, thanks!March 26, 2019 at 9:39 pm #246662
My American Season 12 set arrived today. I did a quick comparison between the Blu-ray and DVD versions of Robot episode 1, and I was surprised to see they had exactly the same running time.
So, I guess now we know that I don’t actually understand how frame rate conversions work!July 6, 2019 at 10:13 am #251941
By Jove its holmes
The letters U.N.I.T. stand for United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. This special international army of soldiers and scientists was formed when it became clear that our increasing scientific progress on Earth was attracting the interest of alien life forms in Space. For example, every day thousands of tele vision stations all over the world are sending out their pro- games. Since television signals go in almost straight lines and do not follow the curvature of the Earth, they travel on into Space possibly for ever. This let it be known to beings on other planets that Earth must be inhabited by intelligent creatures. Then we started to send spaceships to the Moon. and this too was noted and observed by distant species in Space. These alien beings had no reason to care about Earth and Mankind, any more than you mind very much if you step onto an ant hill. Various hostile invasions, or attempted invasions, of our planet took place. So the world’s authorities decided to set up an army of specialists to protect Earth‘s security. Each country has its own branch, but all the branches come under the UNIT headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.July 6, 2019 at 8:30 pm #251952
… If you have a problem… if no one else can help… and if you can find them… Maybe you can call… UNIT!July 7, 2019 at 5:23 am #252009
By Jove its holmes
McCoy chomping on a cigar and giving a hacking cough?July 8, 2019 at 6:25 am #252019
By Jove its holmes
Someone on facebook reminds people that “Hartnell and Hartnell’s Doctor loved black singer Paul Robeson whilst Moffat’s David Bradley Doctor would have cheered on as Robeson was lynched by the KKK”July 8, 2019 at 7:06 am #252020
Oh God, it was truly horrible what Moffat did to the First Doctor in that episode. I’m a huge Moffat apologist and his vision of Doctor Who is basically exactly what I want the show to be, but fuck me. Doctor One was never racist, and stopped talking down to Barbara by the fucking Edge of Destruction. I know what Moffat was trying to do, to say “look how far we’ve come!! We have black people on TV now and the Doctor is about to be a woman!! Progress!”, but it was done so, so poorly, and through the wrong character.
When One said “what you need is a jolly good smacked bottom”, he wasn’t saying it to somebody’s secretary, or a woman he just met. He was saying it to his granddaughter. Now, smacking a child (if you could even call Susan a child in Daleks Invasion of Earth, he certainly still viewed her that way, which is one of the themes of the story and possibly explains the line) is an old-fashioned concept, sure, but to have him make the same comment to BILL in a totally different context is just horrid.
Twice Upon a Time was fucking shite outside of “le six lines” as well, what a fucking disappointment after the incredible The Doctor Falls. It was written very hastily, Moffat planned to go out on Doctor Falls and I wish he did, but he only made the episode because Chibnall wasn’t ready to take over yet, and refused to begin his run on a Christmas special, so Moff gave us TUAT in an attempt to hold onto the Christmas time slot, out of fear that they might lose it. So we got a shite episode, and Chibnall got rid of the Christmas slot anyway. What a fucking farce.July 8, 2019 at 8:39 am #252022
Yeah, The Doctor Falls would have been a lovely ending. Twice Upon A Time has its moments, and it’s a lovely regeneration scene, but it isn’t generally a strong one to go out on.July 8, 2019 at 9:08 am #252023
I would have been fine with The Doctor Falls being the finale of the entire fucking show, honestly. The Doctor refusing to regenerate, The Masters killing themselves. It’s just beautiful. TUAT really -feels- like a hastily-written last-minute epilogue that was farted out just to keep the show on air.July 8, 2019 at 2:34 pm #252024
Yeah, the First Doctor being a bit stuffy occasionally is a world away from him being a bit of a bigot. I like the idea of the message, but frankly Polly making the tea throughout her time with Troughton was probably worse than most of what happened during Hartnell’s era. It’s hard to quite work out why Moffat chose to do it that way – at times it almost feels like he’s ribbing the fact that Hartnell himself had quite a lot of questionable views.
I wasn’t very fond of the whole “I don’t want to regenerate” stuff either, and that must have only been written to feed into Twice Upon a Time. It was all a bit of crap really.
If Chibnall continues on the way he’s going with his back-to-basics approach (and he probably will, he’s not one for big, bold ideas), then the one thing we can at least expect from his tenure as showrunner is a straight-forward regeneration. The only one I’ve liked in the new series has been Eccleston to Tennant. Mopey victory tours, being given a new cycle of regenerations through a crack in the universe, not wanting to regeneration but being persuaded to do so by meeting the First Doctor, it’s all so bloody try-hard. Let’s just have an “oh shit I’m dying, oh look I’m someone new” scene and get on with it shall we?July 8, 2019 at 4:27 pm #252025
I feel the opposite – I think Moffat has written two beautiful regeneration scenes that work as lovely messages about life in general, fun nods to the actors’ (and in the case of 12-13, the showrunner’s) feelings about the transition, and also work for the characters of the two doctors too. Smith’s regeneration in particular I feel is very moving.July 8, 2019 at 5:51 pm #252026
Pete Part Three
I loved the Eccleston > Tennant regeneration scene. Liked the story that preceded it. Like the story that followed it.
Wasn’t keen on the Tennant > Smith regeneration. Hated the The End of Time and the “victory lap” was pants and really quite bizarre in the context of a character who never really dies. The Eleventh Hour is wonderful.
I didn’t like the story that preceded the Smith > Capaldi regeneration. Or the story that followed it. Smith’s farewell speech was great though.
The Capaldi > Whittaker regeneration was blah. As was the dull story and season that preceded it. And the season that followed it, strangely enough.July 8, 2019 at 7:07 pm #252028
Eccleston – Tennant was great, relatively understated, very in character. I loved the Series One finale, couldn’t care less about the Series Two opener.
Tennant – Smith just felt really gratuitous and self-congratulatory. Tennant crying like a little baby that he doesn’t want to go – why not? Why are you so special? What is his actual reason for being so fucking mopey about it? The previous episode was schlock for the most part with a few decent bits, and of course Smith’s debut is one of the best Doctor debuts ever. The victor lap made me sick to my stomach, particularly marrying Mickey off to Martha – what the fuck?
Smith – Capaldi, the regeneration itself was beautiful and touching, the story preceding it was a bit spotty but overall I liked it a lot. It is a bit silly how the Doctor gets a new regeneration cycle via Christmas miracle, but it unfortunately landed on Christmas where you’re a bit limited in what you can do via having to cater to the casual audience. I’m a bit miffed that Tennant, who was already overrated and already had his undeserved victory lap, was semi-retroactively given TWO regenerations, but I liked the inclusion of the War Doctor. I’m so glad it was Moffat who had to deal with the regen limit and not Chibnall.
One of my favourite moments in Smith’s final episode is the parallel to Last Christmas with the Christmas Cracker. In Last Christmas, the Doctor had to help old Clara open a christmas cracker as she was too old and too weak to do it herself. Here, the roles are reversed.
Capaldi – Whittaker, all of the emotional stuff for me occurred in the incredible The Doctor Falls. The Doctor refusing to regenerate here makes a lot more sense after the shit he’s been through, losing Clara, losing Bill, losing Nardole. (He still thinks they’re dead even if they are alive). The four billion years he spent trying to save Clara in Heaven Sent. The lengths he went to to try and make Missy see the light. The dramatic irony of him actually having succeeded in his goal, and of Bill actually being alive, juxtaposed with him knowing it, his despair and his reluctance to go on, makes his desire to just end it all right here, right now just heartbreaking.
When it came to the actual regeneration, I unfortunately didn’t really care much because i was already bored to tears by Twice Upon A Time. The scene did lead to the unfortunate joke about women drivers as as soon as the Doctor becomes a woman the first thing she does is crash. My dad also said “see, even the TARDIS disagrees” (with a female Doctor), referencing how her ship threw her the fuck out of itself as soon as it saw she was a woman.
I hope Whittaker regenerates as soon as possible, and we get a new showrunner too. But that won’t happen.July 8, 2019 at 7:10 pm #252029
Juxtaposed with him NOT knowing it, ffsJuly 9, 2019 at 5:41 am #252031
By Jove its holmes
I think that if – IF – the First Doctor features again, and is depicted more fairly, they should reference Hartnell’s love and admiration for Paul Robeson. Considering Robeson’s radical politics, it’s possibly a real indication that Hartnell might not be the old-timey reactionary he’s caricatured as today.July 9, 2019 at 8:25 am #252054
Oh, there is that bit in The Chase where The Doctor says “Now, come along. We must go back to the TARDIS. This is a madhouse. It’s all full of Arabs. Come along”, but to what Arabs exactly he is referring I have no idea. It’s possible he misspoke, or that’s some old-timey saying or something, but I blame Terry Nation for that.
Also I heard rumours that Hartnell was somewhat racist (not to be apologetic but he was an old dude in the 60s), but none of that is any reason to piss all over the relatively progressive and right-on character of the First Doctor.July 9, 2019 at 11:23 am #252058
It’s mentioned on a couple of DVDs. I don’t think he was very fond of the black astronaut in The Tenth Planet, and Anneke Wills and Michael Craze suggested they weren’t very fond of Hartnell because of him being a bit… ‘old fashioned’ in his views.
And yeah, I don’t necessarily agree that age excuses bigotry, but at the same time, somebody born before the first world war having those kind of views isn’t particularly unusual and was just an unfortunate part of the times. His character was still, as Ben says, progressive for the time. I wonder if any people have been put off exploring the first few series because of the portrayal in Twice Upon a Time.July 9, 2019 at 6:52 pm #252063
No doubt William Hartnell probably had racist and homophobic views, but I think it does say something that he maintained a close relationship with Carole Ann Ford, who is Jewish, for many years after their time together.July 9, 2019 at 7:31 pm #252064
I’ve still not got around to watching the old Who, but I’ve always presumed there’d be a light sprinkling of racism and sexism in line with the times it was produced. Nothing wrong with that, as that’s just how things were then.
Even though I’ve not seen them, I still felt that the First Doctor in Twice was deliberately made to be even worse than he probably was, just so they could say “oh look how awful things were and we’re so inclusive now!”July 9, 2019 at 8:06 pm #252065
I took it as quite light-hearted commentary about the era rather than anything pointed or nasty about Hartnell or the First Doctor.July 9, 2019 at 8:30 pm #252066
The worst it gets is the female companion is occasionally made to make some tea, honestly. Doctor Who has always been very progressive and very left. Barbara is a pretty strong character and even Susan is given time to shine in The Sensorites. Once Susan left the showrunners really didn’t know what to do with the companion role all that much and it all gets a bit sketchy, they burn through them like wildfire towards the end of Hartnell’s run. Any time a female character gets talked down to she typically has something to say about it.
We start getting overtly feminist companions in the 70s, 1969 if you count Zoe, and even Jo, who was specifically brought in to be more of a “typical companion” damsel-in-distress-type really comes into her own and ends up a total badass. You do sometimes end up with the female companion breaking her ankle or having to be rescued, but that’s more down to shitty writers and the 25-minutes-and-a-cliffhanger format than any kind of sexism.July 9, 2019 at 8:34 pm #252067
One of my favourite lines in Classic Who is from The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The Doctor and co. are seeking refuge from The Daleks and find an underground resistance group, who are low on supplies and wary of outsiders. To prove that she has something to offer, Barbara mentions that she cooks. The leader responds: “Oh, good. And what you do, Susan?” Susan snaps back: “I eat.”
This from the same serial as the infamous smacked bottom line.July 9, 2019 at 9:06 pm #252070
My young cousins laughed their heads off at the smacked bottom line.
The bit before the Doctor goes into the TARDIS to regenerate, between his companions disappearing and him going inside, I found that moment poignant. I don’t really know why, and I don’t care to know. The rest of the episode was worth it for that.July 9, 2019 at 9:07 pm #252071
Sorry, just remembered this is meant to be about Classic Doctor Who. Damn.July 9, 2019 at 10:07 pm #252074
Doctor Who has always been very progressive and very left.
I think that this is a retrospective and irresponsible myth, to be honest, that is becoming a bit of a ubiquitous received opinion. There are times when it *was* overtly leftist, but probably more times when it was overtly conservative and plenty of times when it sat in the middle. Politically it was a real chocolate box which is about correct for what the show should be. It’s never stood consistently on any soapbox, even in the Cartmel years – maybe the gay lib themes of the RTD era (but I’d argue that’s not necessarily a left-wing issue – our side’s saviour complex and imagined monopoly on emancipation is a disagreeable burden to carry) perhaps?
The modern show only gets toecurlingly embarrassing when it goes cringingly on the nose about current politics (“massive weapons of destruction”, the ISIS/Zygons trainwreck and its abominable quote-me-quote-me speech – the Belgrano stuff in Christmas Invasion is quite good, mind). It’s *not* a political format, by design or by execution, and those that write it as though it is are rather building up their part. The odd reference to a crap PM or allegory to something out of the headlines doesn’t make it a left-wing show any more than a handful of original songs over 56 years makes it a musical.July 9, 2019 at 10:37 pm #252076
Oh, don’t.July 9, 2019 at 10:38 pm #252077
Next up: Star Trek was never a liberal showJuly 9, 2019 at 11:29 pm #252079
The question of “Was the first Doctor a racist/sexist/homophobe etc.?” is a little tricky. Because obviously nobody writing, directing or producing the show was actively trying to craft a racist character, but given the time it was made and the people who made it, that doesn’t mean he didn’t end up racist regardless.
I mean, the guy literally referred to Native Americans as “Red Indian” and described them as savages in episode 1 of the entire series. That’s clearly racist by the standards of the 1860s, let alone the 1960s.
I sympathise with Steven Moffat’s desire not to sanitise the first Doctor and the real world context of the show’s inception, but unfortunately he did overcorrect by making One’s bigotry so blatant in Twice Upon A Time, so in the end in just seems like he’s patting himself on the back for not making the Doctor an overt bigot in his episodes, which is like the bare minimum you should do.
Also, I agree that Doctor Who’s politics were always a bit inconsistent even if they generally trended progressive. The Green Death is pro-environmental, The Sun Makers is anti-tax, The Happiness Patrol is anti-Thatcher, the Pertwee era is (broadly) pro-military etc. It’s all over the place, really. The Doctor will be a revolutionary in one story and fighting to maintain the status quo in the next. Nothing wrong with that necessarily! But it is wilful misremembering to say that Doctor Who is by default an anarchic, leftist show.July 9, 2019 at 11:37 pm #252080
>The Pertwee era is (broadly) pro-military
For the most part, The Doctor really isn’t “pro-military”, he is very often disdainful of violence and The Brigadier’s methods. Doctor Who and the Silurians, anybody? This is muddied, however, by the very popular serial The Daemons, in which for some reason or other the Doctor suddenly has a boner for authority and tells Jo to listen to The Brigadier because he outranks her. Since The Daemons is so popular, this is the attitude that seems to prevail, even though it is inconsistent with Three’s characterisation in other episodes.The Doctor bows to authority when it suits his ends, to be honest, and uses it to do things as he sees fit.
Claws of Axos has one of my favourite Pertwee moments, which more accurately encapsulates his politics, I believe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61y_ci48HEQJuly 9, 2019 at 11:39 pm #252081
This idea that Three was actually some pro-authority, boner-for-the-military, Tory voting wine enthusiast is unfortunately perpetuated by the people writing the comics line, including I think Paul Cornell. It seems to be based more off people’s memories/cultural perception of the character, rather than them having actually seen any of it recently.July 10, 2019 at 12:54 am #252082
FWIW, no, Star Trek was never “a left-wing show” either, and for similar reasons. It has nominally progressive anti-war ideals, yes, but its abolition of capitalism was always more of an idea than it ever was an ideal, and like Doctor Who its prominent left-leaning episodes are more than balanced out by the opposite. It’s a show about American patriotism, except in space.July 10, 2019 at 1:11 am #252084
Doctor Who has such a varied history with such a huge number of writers that it’s hard to classify it as having any particular leaning – there are always ’60s artefacts that jar, and even Moffat asked Gatiss to write Churchill as the cuddly hero rather than the racist, war-loving cunt that he actually was. But on the whole, the character has always been an anti-authoritarian peace-lover who fundamentally believes in the good in people to get themselves through things. He’s an anarcho-communist if anything.
Star Trek is programme about how positive humanity could be if we put our differences, greed and violence behind us. TNG onwards much moreso, admittedly, but the universe of the Federation is about as close to utopian left-wing politics as fiction ever dares go.July 10, 2019 at 7:10 am #252087
It’s also a bit rich of the man responsible for the Ponds not giving a shit about their abducted baby or that awful “squeezed into a skirt that’s just a little bit too tight” line to take the Sixties to task for casual sexism.July 10, 2019 at 8:48 am #252088
Let’s Kill Hitler is a bit shit but I don’t see how it’s sexistJuly 10, 2019 at 9:57 am #252114
I don’t think Three himself is actually especially right wing, but it’s inevitable that if your status quo for 5 seasons is “The Doctor works for a military organisation to fight off alien threats to Earth” then inevitably your show and main character are going to have a much more pro-military vibe.July 10, 2019 at 11:40 am #252115
He is very reluctantly forced into that role, and is constantly butting heads with The Brigadier. He does grow somewhat fond of him and especially the others, but he is still constantly trying to run away from it all and absconding scolding the Brig for his shoot first, ask questions later approach.July 10, 2019 at 3:59 pm #252117
Yes, he only really stays with UNIT because he’s using their scientific equipment to try and repair his TARDIS. He’s always critical of the military, even if he becomes fond of the regulars on a personal level, and as soon as his TARDIS is fixed he fucks off and only really comes back to Jo and / or Sarah.July 10, 2019 at 7:30 pm #252120
It doesn’t really matter what the specific details were. Of course The Doctor was frequently butting heads with UNIT and was ultimately not happy to be there, but regardless UNIT were allies to The Doctor in every episode and were co-heroes of the show. You physically *can’t* make a TV series with that set up without said series being pro-military. Even if the Producer is a Buddhist hippy.
Got to remember that the politics of Doctor Who itself is separate from the politics held by The Doctor personally, but even for the latter it’s still very inconsistent. The Doctor is so OK with the Brigadier’s military involvement that he salutes his corpse inside a cyberman, but in that same series he basically sees Danny Pink as a child killer for having been a soldier, before he even has the opportunity to find out that he actually did kill a child.July 10, 2019 at 11:05 pm #252123
Wow it’s like you missed the whole entire pointJuly 10, 2019 at 11:28 pm #252124
Oh man, I often expect to miss the whole point, but the whole entire point? That’s just upsetting to hear.
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