Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Thoughts on the Series XII Flipside Cover?

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  • #225724
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Wowee! A thread I’ve started has been nominated for Hall of Fame status! Even though I made stupid typos in the opening post that I don’t know how to fix, and even though the conversation drifted into things completely separate from what the thread was originally about, I’ll take it!

    X being “unknown” instead of ten is something I could possibly get behind to settle the dispute. Even though the past couple series have clearly been called ten, eleven, and twelve (not x, x+1, or x+2). But you’re onto something here, because of course the Dwarfers would have at least a couple full “series” of adventures during the nine year gap.

    It sort of reminds me of one of the few things I liked about that stupid miniseries Heroes Reborn, which took place five years after the original Heroes run ended at season four, which was how the showrunner explained that this series was functionally “season ten” because the heroes have actually been having five seasons-worth of adventures during that five year gap, it’s just that we the audience haven’t been privy to those.

    My proposed solution, if you can call it one, that keeps the sequential numbers intact in both continuities, is to employ imaginary numbers. It actually makes sense because the crux of BTE is just a hallucination/alternate reality, as are the “series nine” and “series ten” mentioned within, so the term imaginary is apt. If you think of the joy squid reality’s post VIII-series as imaginary, then the mentioned nine and ten become “Series 9-i” and “Series 10-i” completely separate from “our” series nine and ten. Still with me? Good.

    So here’s my thought: In this paradigm, BTE is a complex number, in this case “9 + 11i”. It’s 9 because it’s clearly the 9th series produced in our world between 8 and 10, and it’s 11i because it takes place after the series 10i mentioned in the hallucination universe on the DVD cover. BTE occupies two different points on the series numerology depending on which reality’s continuity you’re using.

    So saying it’s Series IX is correct in many ways. Saying it takes place “after series ten” is also correct in the context of the special. Both are right. But if we’re just dealing with “our” universe of produced series, then undoubtedly BTE is Series IX. But from a god’s eye view, the proper series numeration for BTE is “Series IX +11i.” I have thus solved the BTE/IX debate for all time. Q.E.D.

    Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t try to contribute something even slightly pertaining to the original topic I started this thread about, so um… The possible good thing about XII being pale blue even though XI is a similar pale blue is that there’s a continuity of color between II and XII, both blue and sharing the “II.”

    Eh. Whatever. It still nags at me, the double-blue. I’m just running out of ways to rationalize it…

    #225725
    Renegade Rob
    Participant

    Wow. Fucked that up.

    Block quote fail. Don’t know how to go back and fix it.

    Sorry :(

    #225727
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    You can’t fix it, the edit button doesn’t do anything, our mistakes live forever on the G&T Forums

    #225729
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    I’m really really really glad this conversation is happening.

    #225731

    On the up side, the Guinness Book of Records phoned up and nominated us for Longest Discussion of Series Numbering in a Sitcom.
    On the down side, the Guinness Book of Records phoned up and nominated us for Longest Discussion of Series Numbering in a Sitcom.

    #225740
    Warbodog
    Participant

    The Black Adder
    Blackadder II
    Blackadder the Third
    Blackadder: The Cavalier Years
    Blackadder’s Christmas Carol
    Blackadder Goes Sixth

    #225744

    You missed out Blackadder Back and 4th

    #225760
    Katydid
    Participant

    Nobody has this debate when Blackadder to Earth came out. Why does our fandom to have to so wrapped up in this argument my side was clearly winning?

    #225761
    Katydid
    Participant

    Guinness Book called again. Apparently we have the longest non-functioning edit button in forum history.

    #225762
    flanl3
    Participant

    Never mind when BoJack to Earthman, Earthrested Backvelopment, The Back Earth Theory, and Backmastearth came out. Guess the Red Dwarf fandom are just a bunch of pricks.

    #225763
    Katydid
    Participant

    Then again, look at Blacktoearthula. That film got ravaged.

    #225764
    flanl3
    Participant

    By the way, the Book have called me for most failed attempts at making a joke on a single internet forum.

    #225765
    Katydid
    Participant

    I’ve never seen so many depressed record-holders in one topic before.

    #225767
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Guinness just called and they say they’re combining all of our records into one “saddest fanbase on the internet” accolade, and only printing one certificate

    #225768
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    The Blackadder the Third Goes Back and Forth II

    #225769

    No he doesn’t.

    #225776

    Surely

    The Blackadder the Third Goes Back and Forth II: The Cavalier Years

    #225777

    Also, Upstart Crow is set in the same continuity as Blackadder II, so maybe that wants bunging in too..?

    #225780
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    No.

    #225787
    Katydid
    Participant

    I hope we get a new Complete Series DVD that comes out right after they announce four new series to be shot in two back-to-back blocks.

    #225789
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Get it on Blu-ray. Find the model footage and scan it in HD. Episodes and other extras in SD but on the same disc, updated interactive menus. Cast commentary for the Dave episodes. Laaavely

    #225790
    Katydid
    Participant

    They’d probably excise the original bonus features entirely, crop all the old episodes into 16:9, and accidentally include the Remastered version of Marooned but with the audio track of the unaltered episode. It claims to feature brand new commentaries, but they’re just segments of the Infinity audiobook pasted over the top of Series I episodes.

    There’s one new documentary, but it’s just 52 minutes of Doug Naylor uncontrollably sobbing.

    #225794
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Haha, 3 hour long series 8 documentary of just the cast saying it’s the best dwarf they’ve ever done, interspersed with the rapiest moments.

    It’d be great if they did a TNG if they could find the model shoot film, redo any video effects and have the models in HD re-edited into the existing episodes.

    Can you trust it not to turn into remastered 2 at that point though.

    #225835
    Lilly Queen
    Member

    You could if I was in charge of it. Also Back to Earth interlaced correctly and 5.1 audio on XI and XII. And every missing raw model shot included. And commentaries with Rob and Doug on everything. Rob proceeds to praise the Dave episodes but says he prefer VIII.

    The negatives of those model shots must be out there. What was it Doug once said? The BBC lost them? That seems really odd to me. They don’t lose anything. They do junk things, but only pre-1976. I bet it’s buried somewhere in the archives. Someone needs to get on the case.

    #225836
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    I’d love Rob and Doug commentaries for 1-6 but I think making Rob do everything after is a bit perverse.

    Ed and Doug maybe, Ed has previous when it comes to talking about episodes he wasn’t involved with on Six of the Best.

    Yeah Doug said on the BtE commentary that they’d lost them around then, so between 2001ish and 2009, assuming they had access to them for the DVDs and didn’t use something they had at GNP, a highish quality (good enough for DVD) betamax or something.

    I wondered if they’d found some due to the old model shot in Skipper which seemed of no worse quality than the rest of the episode when viewed at 1080p but no-one engaged on that at the time.

    It’s a shame. I’d hope that for the 30th something could be done. Get a PI. I bet Doug is planning like crazy for the massive 30th Blu-ray mega box set.

    #225838
    Lilly Queen
    Member

    I still need to analyse that Skipper shot. Side by side with the raw fx shot from the dvd. It could be an upscale but I’m not sure. If it does mean a new hd transfer has been made, then there is much to be excited about.

    But the dvd raw model shots are definitely from a telecine transfer. Unmistakably. If they were from a videotape source they would look as shit as they do in the episodes. So the negatives were available within the decade Back to Earth was made. That seems even more unlikely that they would be lost in that time. It also begs the question of why an HD transfer wasn’t made at the time that they had them.

    Also, if that is an upscale in Skipper, with how good it looks, it makes me wonder why they just didn’t do that for Back to Earth.

    #225847
    bloodteller
    Participant

    isn’t there a bit in the XII documentary where they explain exactly how they ended up with the old model shot in Skipper? i don’t actually have the XII dvd to confirm that, it’s just something i read

    #225848
    Lilly Queen
    Member

    No, there was nothing like that. Although I haven’t watched the font or lighting featurettes yet, but I doubt it would be there.

    #225933
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    We know Red Dwarf I-VIII were, for a while at least, planned to receive a BLuray release before Doug killed it. If so, is it possible they were able to find the original model shot film and scan it in HD for a possible remastering? Considering the project was killed, it isn’t against all reason that the film may have been put to use in “Skipper”.

    Mind you, my money is on a simple upscaling of the original footage.

    #225940
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    All he said was the quality wasn’t there so who knows, they weren’t for us though were they? Didn’t they turn up on non UK Amazon first? I got the impression it was for foreign markets as a slightly better looking just the shows, and so they could give better versions to TV channels. Not sure the scope included rescanning film and re-editing stuff.

    #225996
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    In fairness, the model shots were shot on film and the show proper was shot on video. Upscaled video is almost always going to look a bit rubbish. Frankly, even though the picture quality is a little better, I’m still shocked that they bothered putting out Doctor Who series 1-4 on Bluray at all.

    #225998
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    Frankly I’m still a bit shocked that “Shada” is getting a Bluray release.

    #225999
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Since it’s Doctor Who I imagine they just thought they’d get a bit of money out of it.

    I think everyone is aware of the one inch tape related issues, I just want stuff on one disc to be honest, and it’s an excuse to re release the Bodysnatcher Docs with the early series.

    #226000
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Aren’t they redoing all the model shots for that? Well it looks like it from the Model Units Instagram anyway. I’m sure they’ll take advantage of the extra resolution.

    Mike Tucker’s tash needs to be committed to Blu-ray for future generations.

    #226003
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Mike Tucker the Starbug fucker

    Cool dude

    Much of pre-S5 Doctor Who looks like somebody smeared vaseline on the lens and the lighting is dreadful

    And some of the “wacky” editing – looking back on it makes me cringe, and I wonder if non-Who fans were as forgiving of it as we were back then or if they knew how shit it looked from day one

    #226008

    I’m intrigued. Example of “wacky” editing..?

    #226011
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Any moment where they speed shit up and do the wooshy motion blur stuff. I wish I had an example on hand, I really do. The End of Time and Voyage of the Damned both have bits in it that are just hard to stomach now. Some of it just feels so low budget, like School Reunion looks like it was made for 25p. I think part of it is just how quickly the TV-tier CGI aged, and how we’re used to much better looking shows now like Heaven Sent and anything directed by Rachel Talalay.

    It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what just looks so off in series 1 especially – the lighting, the resolution, the way it’s shot? The way all the lights catch the camera and flare. People have said “out of focus” and used the lens smeared with vaseline line, but I just don’t know.

    I thought it looked pretty good when I actually watched it going out live, which makes me wonder if it looks worse with age or always looked bad.

    #226013
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    The first episode of Ecclestone Who was like Zzzapp made a sex tape with EastEnders and someone who really wanted to be Edgar Wright directed it.

    My memories of that first series include lots of quick pans and whoosh noises

    #226014
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Don’t forget farting aliens and WALES

    Man what a time

    #226017
    Ben Paddon
    Participant

    I just want stuff on one disc to be honest

    Which won’t happen, mostly because of Bluray formatting standards. The BDA doesn’t allow pure SD content (i.e. not upscaled) on Bluray discs.

    #226023

    The BDA doesn’t allow pure SD content (i.e. not upscaled) on Bluray discs.

    I always think it’s a shame they don’t just release SD content on Bluray disc but marketed under a different name. Exactly the same technology, but market them as super-duper DVDs with lots of space. Only the boffins would know it was a bluray disc with SD content on. Normal people would just think of them as DVDXs or whatever.

    I mean a disc’s a disc. They contrive the boxes to look slightly different and stick a bluray logo on it, but the actual plastic disc just looks like a CD or a DVD.

    I suppose it’s not a sound marketing idea. You can sell me 12 series of Red Dwarf across multiple discs, with a release per series, or you can sell me all 8 series of BBC Dwarf on a single disc, and all 4 Dave series on a second disc…

    #226025
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    *cough* NAS

    #226026

    *coughcough* what does NAS mean?

    #226028
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Network Access Storage?

    Anyway, as with season 1 of NuWho which was SD but released on Blu-ray, as long as the content was better than DVD, could they do it? Was Red Dwarf broadcast at 576 lines? That’s better than DVD quality if they can release it at that resolution, would that qualify? Wouldn’t the higher bandwidth also help? Not that I’ve noticed any compression on the DVDs but someone might have.

    #226030
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Oh apparently you can have SD DVD content on Blu-ray, they’re just called SD Blu-ray. Concert DVDs release on them with SD picture but a lossless audio track and apparently there are some benefits regarding compression and bandwidth.

    #226031
    bloodteller
    Participant

    >Frankly I’m still a bit shocked that “Shada” is getting a Bluray release.

    saw this in Sainsbury’s the other day, is it any good? i looked on the back of the box and its all mixed in with weird Flash animation. surely that won’t gel together well?

    #226033
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    The alternatives are a 199X VHS featuring old Tom Baker just telling you what happened in the bits they didn’t film, in character, which is weird, or a Big Finish audio production with Paul McGann, Lalla Ward and John Leeson, which I haven’t seen.

    I watched the VHS. It’s alright – it’s not a brilliant story, it’s only reached mythical status because it was never seen by most people and it was WRITTEN BY DOUGLAS ADAMS (who admits he was phoning it in) – but it’s worth your time if you’re a completionist, I’d say.

    The “flash animation” features voiceover by Baker and Ward, I think, so if anything it will be a more cohesive version of the story compared to the VHS, but less cohesive than the audio – but to be honest, if you’re a completionist, the audio won’t satisfy you, because it’s essentially a remake, and you don’t get to see any of the original footage, which for me is sort of the point.

    Tom Baker pretending to be an older Doctor in character (The Curator, in a way) is quite something, so it’s up to you. I’ll watch the DVD eventually but having just watched Shada, I don’t feel like it any time soon.

    #226034

    Network Access Storage?

    Ah right. Not a disc format then.

    Oh apparently you can have SD DVD content on Blu-ray, they’re just called SD Blu-ray.

    Interesting. Didn’t know that.

    its all mixed in with weird Flash animation. surely that won’t gel together well?

    I bought this yesterday, and am looking forward to watching it over Christmas.

    A few years ago I saw the legendary unofficial Levine version (which was similarly part-animated) and I found it to be a perfectly satisfying way of completing the story. As Ben says, the only real alternative is that 1990s version with Tom Baker narrating across the gaps, which I’m not a fan of.

    I enjoyed the McGann webcast, but it had a completely different cast (apart from Lalla Ward) so it’s very much it’s own beast.

    The Gareth Roberts novelisation is without doubt the most I have ever enjoyed a Doctor Who novel, and is probably the best version of the story. Not least because it gives Douglas Adams’s script that final polish which it needed.

    But you know what, I can’t join in with the naysayers who reckon Shada is only well-regarded because of its incomplete status. I think it’s Douglas Adams’s best DW story. I know it’s sacrilege but I prefer it to City of Death, which I is all good fun but curiously overrated.

    Douglas Adams didn’t think highly of Shada, but then he didn’t think highly of the TV version of H2G2, and I think that is a joy from beginning to end, personally. Sometimes creators can’t see how good their stuff is, because they are fixated on the gap between their imagination and the (imperfectly-realised) version that actually got made.

    #226035
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Here’s a bombshell for you: I don’t think Douglas Adams is good at writing Doctor Who. City of Death is only the most highly regarded Who story because it’s the one most people saw (17 million, I think) by a long-shot because ITV were on-strike at the time.

    His tenure as script editor provided us with one of the worst seasons of the show, and coupled with Tom Baker turning into a gurning maniac (partly due disallowing the show to continue down its horror-fueled path, leaving them to turn to comedy as there was nothing else left).

    City of Death is FUN, very enjoyable as a comedy, but doesn’t have that great of a story behind it, and neither does Shada, and Shada isn’t as fun. It might be a better story, but it doesn’t have lines like “you’re a very beautiful woman, probably”.
    The Pirate Planet was alright too, and features an uncharacteristically good performance from Tom Baker given the period it was made in. Tom was great to begin with, became a clown at some point, then started taking it seriously again and put in some great stuff on his final season.

    #226036
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I love Hitchikers, by the way, and do not deny Adam’s talent, I just don’t think he was a good fit for Who. If they made another show starring Tom Baker written by Douglas Adams it would have been glorious, but not Doctor Who.

    #226038

    Here’s a bombshell for you: I don’t think Douglas Adams is good at writing Doctor Who.

    I gather that was in fact the consensus view of Doctor Who fandom circa about 1980.

    Personally, while I love a bit of Warrior’s Gate, I also love a bit of Shada. I see the shift from Season 17 to 18 as just a change from one type of Who (which I enjoy) to another type of Who (which I enjoy). There’s good and bad in both. Tom Baker’s Season 18 burgundy costume is definitely a trade-off for the worse, but the opening titles are all spangly and new so…

    The one thing I take issue with when people criticise Douglas Adams Who is this idea that comedy is a bad thing that needed stamping out of the programme. I just can’t understand that. Give me “undergraduate” one-liners over dialogue about Charged Vacuum Emboitments any day.

    #226039

    Incidentally I don’t yet own a DVD of Red Dwarf XII (that’s coming at Christmas) so I have yet to face the dilemma of which spine will allow me to sleep easiest at night.

    #226041
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Some of the gags are good, but when the show is JUST gags, I start to take issue. Doctor Who used to have pretty good plots and some nice serious messages back in my day.

    By my day, I mean Pertwee’s era, even though I’m only in my 20s and only watched it last year. Ssh.

    The burgundy coat 100% suits the tone of the season, like the Doctor knows he is going to die and is a whole lot more sombre. The first episode of Season 18 looks like a million dollar movie compared to the last of 17, even though it’s still fairly low budget.

    I still don’t know if I’m getting XII for Xmas, but when I do get it, I’ll probably stick with the spine it comes with. Because I don’t have the individual DVDs of 1-8, yet. When I do, I’ll probably try to make them all look lovely and nice together.

    #226045

    I dunno. I get what you’re saying, but I’m not convinced it is that sombre. The high socks, the snazzy diamond waistcoat, the question marks on the collar, the purpley palette… I see it more as JNT’s first attempt at creating an iconic “costume” look for the Doctor, rather than as a reflection of the character’s mortality. I think the 5th/6th/7th Doctors all suffered sartorially because of a similar approach.

    You’re tight Tom’s mood is sombre for much of season 18. He looks unwell, his hair is greyer and needed straightening. The scripts keep referencing entropy and decay. But I find it hard to imagine this version of the 4th Doctor going “I’m due a fabulous iconic wine-coloured makeover!” It seems more likely he would just look like an increasingly dishevelled and shabby version of his younger self. As if he’s let himself go and needs a new lease of life.

    I don’t have the individual DVDs of 1-8, yet. When I do, I’ll probably try to make them all look lovely and nice together.

    Good luck with that endeavour. Many before you have tried and failed, as this thread attests.

    #226046
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    He IS unwell for much of the Season, actually, and in at least one episode he had to have his hair permed to bring back his signature curls.

    Yes, out of universe it was JNT wanting to make his mark, but in universe I think it works.

    Fuck the question marks though. I like Peter and Colin’s outfits because that’s just what they wore when I was growing up, I can imagine as a fan in the 80s I would have been fucking mortified.

    #226047

    he had to have his hair permed

    Yeah that’s what I meant. I said straightened. I meant the exact opposite.

    Peter and Colin have utterly dreadful costumes. McCoy’s is good, but spoilt by the pullover, which should have been confined to Season 24. If he’d had a waistcoat from Remembrance onwards that would’ve been perfect. The TV Movie 7th Doctor looks a bit too “English gent.” He should be more like a slightly threadbare academic to my mind.

    #226049
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I really don’t like McCoy’s first costume, and I don’t think he liked it either. But then I don’t like McCoy himself in much of his first season, so that might explain it.

    #226050
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Pointing out for fairness that “Douglas Adams’ City of Death” was co-written by David Fisher and Graham Williams, not that they’re ever acknowledged even on the BBC book (however much or little they contributed, I don’t know).

    I love the Pirate Planet, and silly late-70s Who over tedious early-mid 80s Who any day. A shame they were too boring to make his “too silly” Krikkitmen story at the time, it’s not like they didn’t put out loads of unintentionally ridiculous stuff already.

    #226051
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    True, they are allowed to talk about it on the DVD. Although if I remember rightly David Fisher really only supplied the genesis of the story, and then Adams and Williams spent a weekend in a house staying up all night writing like mad, or something.

    I know the accepted consensus on Davison was “he was the boring one”, but he does have some great stories. It’s just when they’re boring, they’re BORING.

    It depends if I want to be bored to tears (Four to Doomsday), or physically offended by Tom Baker making a stupid joke right down the camera lens in a story that is shit anyway (Underworld)

    #226052
    bloodteller
    Participant

    haven’t actually seen much Doctor Who (the only one i can really remember is that slightly weird movie where the Doctor befriends a chinese kid, and then they have to stop the Master’s slime from stealing a clock or an eye or something) but i take it Tom Baker is considered the best one to watch?

    #226053
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Jesus, you’ve only seen the film?

    Tom Baker is the most popular “classic Who” Doctor, somewhat deservedly. David Tennant is the most popular “new Who” Doctor, no comment.

    Tom Baker’s first couple of seasons are really, really good, and he is a very good Doctor. Most people probably start with him, which is fine. I quite like Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton, as well. And Peter Davison. And Colin Baker, on audio. And Matt Smith. And Peter Capaldi. Yes.

    When I was getting into Classic Who I just picked a “top 10 episodes of Classic Who” article and watched all those, the general consensus on what’s good seems to be pretty spot on honestly.

    #226054
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Tom Baker is also supported by the just wonderful Elisabeth Sladen for most of his good stuff, which helps. She was a phenomenal actress.

    #226055

    Warbodog – yeah, it’s curious how Douglas Adams is made to look like the sole author. I think Ben’s account sounds right, and Adams didn’t use any of David Fisher’s original script, but wrote something new which was superficially similar, and Graham Williams had a hand in guiding it. I doubt Williams’s contribution to City of Death was as significant as Adams’s was to Destiny of the Daleks for example. And Adams is never credited as co-author of that story.

    I was surprised when I learnt the third Hitch-Hiker book was a rewrite of Adams’s unmade “Doctor Who and the Krikketmen” script. I can’t quite image it. Presumably you know there is a Krikkitmen novelisation coming out next month, adapted by James Goss? I’ll be getting that. I thought he did a decent job of novelising Pirate Planet.

    Ben – there are a load of reasons why I’m not a massive fan of the 5th Doctor’s era, but boredom isn’t really one of them. There are very few DW stories which are actually boring. The Space Museum (from episode 2 onwards) jumps to mind. What little exists of the Celestial Toymaker tested my patience too.

    bloodteller – Tom Baker is generally considered the best, yes. But in part this is simply because he did more years than the other Doctors, so he worked his way into the public consciousness. In addition, the long run means his era encompasses quite a broad range of styles and approaches (and several companions) so there is something for everyone to like. But Tom has clunkers and classics, it’s true.

    #226056

    the general consensus on what’s good seems to be pretty spot on honestly.

    It’s all a matter of opinion of course, but I find some parts of accepted Who fan wisdom to be misleading personally.

    The McCoy era is better than a lot of fans claim. I genuinely think Time and the Rani is the only poor McCoy story. People write off Season 24 but Paradise Towers is glorious, so long as you don’t get hung up on the stagey-ness of its execution.

    Conversley, Davison’s era seems to be held in higher regard than it deserves. I mean yeah, Kinda is very good (although if we’re docking points for stagey-ness, what the hell is that forest!?) but I just do not understand the love for Tegan. Tegan’s presence automatically makes me like a story less.

    Wow we’re really off topic now aren’t we?

    #226057
    bloodteller
    Participant

    >Jesus, you’ve only seen the film?

    i’ve seen various actual episodes over the years, but the film is the only thing that really stuck in my mind and i can actually sort of remember the plot of. i did watch some of the newer stuff a while back, but i couldn’t really get into it and there was some annoying nob called Rory who wouldn’t go away.

    i suppose i’ll try watching some of the Tom Baker stuff, my uncle said that he was quite good. but then he also said Red Dwarf VIII was great, so i wasn’t sure whether to trust him.

    #226060

    i couldn’t really get into it and there was some annoying nob called Rory who wouldn’t go away.

    Ha ha!

    Throughout the Amy/Rory years I felt like the programme was actively trying to get me to dislike it. I’m not surprised to hear some newer viewers found it hard to get into. If that was my first exposure to Doctor Who I think I would’ve run a mile.

    The advice I give to anyone who is new to Doctor Who is: wait for a new Doctor and start with their first episode. If you like what you see, then think about going cherry-picking some older episodes.

    So really, all that matters now is Jodie Whitaker.

    Eccleston/Tom Baker/the rest are all water under the bridge.

    #226061

    City of Death is my favourite Who story, and I had literally no idea how well rated it was before I saw it. I just enjoyed it more than the others, and still do to this day. It’s an utter joy on every conceivable level.

    I’m a bit of a philistine who doesn’t enjoy the Hinchcliffe era that much, though. I like Who to be weird and/or amusing, and the gothic horror thing didn’t really do either. Not a fan of Who treading too closely on traditional horror stories. The Brain of Morbius is way too Frankensteiny for my taste, for example. I watch it for something new and surprising, not horror tropes rehashed with a sci-fi explanation. I love the Graham Williams era, it’s up there with Pertwee & UNIT and McCoy’s last series as far as my favourite classic Who goes.

    New series, if it’s not got Donna, Amy & Rory or Bill in it, there’s more chance I’ll dislike it than like it. There are episodes here and there that I like, but the earlier RTD stuff was way too broad for my taste, and the Capaldi & Clara era stuff was mostly conceptually interesting but really blandly portrayed. Probably doesn’t help that Jenna Coleman only has two expressions and her character was appallingly underwritten. I don’t hate her QUITE as much as a lot of fans do, but she’s certainly in my top 10 least favourite companions of the whole show.

    #226063
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Oh hang on, it might have been Anthony Read who stayed up all weekend writing a script with Douglas Adams. Or it was Read and Williams, on Invasion of Time. Fuck. All those behind-the-scenes DVD interviews sort of blend into one, really.

    Your Who opinions interest me, Captain No-Name, because I think Paradise Towers and Kinda are mediocre, but I like Delta and the Bannermen. I think McCoy is overrated by die-hards. At least we can agree Time and the Rani is shite.

    Paradise Towers feels like something I should enjoy, but there’s something… off… about it. The performance of that zombie dude doesn’t help, certainly. I love Tegan. And Rory!

    The Brain of Morbius is possibly the worst example of the Hinchcliffe era. It’s an abortion of a script that is a massive compromise between two visions which no one was happy with. Some of the “re-tread of a Hammer Horror” Who is good, Morbius isn’t. Anything written by Robert Holmes that isn’t Morbius or The Power of Kroll is worth your time, I’d say.

    I agree with RTD being broad and not to taste, but have to defend Jenna Coleman. She was the companion for a -very- long time, and was dire in Series 7, and should have left in that one episode, but I really, really like her. “Appallingly underwritten” only applies to Series 7, I have to say, rather adamantly.

    #226064
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Also my impressions going into Destiny of the Daleks many years ago was “Douglas Adams basically wrote this.” It certainly feels like it, with the humour. But I don’t know where I got that idea from.

    #226068
    Hamish
    Participant

    > Tom Baker is generally considered the best, yes. But in part this is simply because he did more years than the other Doctors, so he worked his way into the public consciousness.

    Tom Baker also had the benefit of being the best known Doctor in America as he was the most played on PBS back in the day.

    #226069
    Hamish
    Participant

    The Simpsons would never have had a John Pertwee or Peter Davison cameo, for example:

    #226071
    Lily
    Participant

    I’ve only seen a few bits and bobs of classic Who and would love to watch more but don’t really know how to go about it. Start with the first old guy? Tom Baker? Any of the others? It’s a rather overwhelming amount of material.

    The other issue is actually getting hold if it, I’m too poor to buy DVDs and too paranoid to torrent. How do you actually get to see all this without breaking the bank?

    #226072

    I’m a bit of a philistine who doesn’t enjoy the Hinchcliffe era that much, though.

    Ooh bucking the trend there, International Debris. I love a controversial viewpoint. Myself, I can’t help but fall in line when it comes to the Hinchcliffe era, it’s great. I’m also a big fan of weird and amusing though (Carnival of Monsters, Happiness Patrol etc.)

    my impressions going into Destiny of the Daleks many years ago was “Douglas Adams basically wrote this.”

    That has always been my impression too. I can’t remember if I’m right but I have a vague memory that Douglas Adams said Terry Nation handed in 5 pages of running down corridors and a couple of explosions, and Douglas Adams padded it out. He was comically exaggerating, but perhaps not by much.

    Oh hang on, it might have been Anthony Read

    This, from Wikipedia: “Fisher was… unable to perform the rewrites. This meant that script editor Douglas Adams, aided by Graham Williams, had to perform a complete rewrite of the story over the course of a weekend. According to Adams, Graham Williams ‘took me back to his place, locked me in his study and hosed me down with whisky and black coffee for a few days, and there was the script.'”

    Tom Baker also had the benefit of being the best known Doctor in America as he was the most played on PBS back in the day.

    That’s right, but Tom had the most amount of colour DW episodes for PBS to repeat. Hence a greater opportunity to work his way into public consciousness, hence the Simpsons cameo. Although I confess I wasn’t really thinking about America.

    I’m too poor to buy DVDs and too paranoid to torrent. How do you actually get to see all this without breaking the bank?

    Ah Lily you have my utmost sympathy. This makes me realise how lucky I was seeing loads of Classic Who on UKGold in the 90s, and hoovering up VHS tapes in the early 2000s when they were discounted (I bought City of Death for about 99p circa 2003).

    Comments like yours really make me wish the BBC had the money and resources for a subscription-based Netflix-style streaming archive with ALL of Classic Who on. Imagine that, if you could pay £20 and have a month to binge on old BBC content. I’d get a year’s membership definitely. But I totally understand it’s not a realistic notion, sadly.

    So Lily, I guess your best option is cherry-picking a few classic DVDs which you can get cheap on e-bay. As for which ones, I’d say personal taste varies widely…

    #226073

    Your Who opinions interest me, Captain No-Name, because I think Paradise Towers and Kinda are mediocre, but I like Delta and the Bannermen. I think McCoy is overrated by die-hards. At least we can agree Time and the Rani is shite.

    This may well be an age thing, but for many years whenever I met a Doctor Who fan (which was rare) they would always get onto the topic of how shit the McCoy era allegedly was. Repeating that Bonnie Langford was an embarrassment and saying Sylvester McCoy couldn’t act. Occasionally, in amongst the incoherent ranting I would hear the odd recognisable phrase… “Bertie Bassett”… “care bears on horseback”… “danglng off a cliff!”

    I’ve never been very heavily involved in Doctor Who fandom, and these days it is a considerably broader church than it was when I was a lad. But I’m pleased to hear that someone is sticking up for McCoy nowadays, even if it is to the point where you are finding him “overrated.”

    Paradise Towers feels like something I should enjoy, but there’s something… off… about it. The performance of that zombie dude doesn’t help, certainly. I love Tegan. And Rory!

    There is *definitely* something off about Paradise Towers. And I think that is what obstructs so many people from enjoying it. But fortunately for me I have little difficulty squinting through its shortcomings. Also, even with its stagey execution, there is something I just love about the bonkers-ness of doing this re-telling of High Rise with theatrical feral punk children, and bloody CANNIBAL GRANNIES… It helps that I have a fascination with Brutalist architecture and the failed utopian idealism of post-war redevelopment schemes.

    Yes, I wish the cleaning robots had brushes and sponges and things so they actually looked like cleaning robots; and yes the Kangs are a bit too much like earnest Peter Pans, but… I just can’t help loving it.

    It amuses me how people always blanche at Richard Briers’ zombie performance. It’s over the top and silly, but I remember mimicking it when I was about 7 years old, and for me it’s all part of the delirious high camp grotesquerie of the piece.

    Everybody loves Tegan. It’s an opinion I have heard loads. I wish I did, but I just can’t see it. I would’ve turfed her out of the TARDIS at the first available opportunity.

    #226074
    Dave
    Participant

    On the subject of McCoy, if you’re looking for classic stories to check out, I’m a fan of Remembrance of the Daleks.

    #226075

    Listen to Dave. He speaks wisely.

    Ah, why the hell don’t the BBC repeat old classic episodes on BBC4? I know they randomly repeated one (was it Hand of Fear?) a few years back…

    If I was in charge, this Christmas BBC4 would be showing both the new version of Shada AND all 4 episodes of The Tenth Planet (with a mini documentary to explain why the hell Part 4 is animated).

    I can’t help thinking a number of viewers will be wanting to see The Tenth Planet as a result of Twice Upon A Time…

    #226076
    Hamish
    Participant

    > That’s right, but Tom had the most amount of colour DW episodes for PBS to repeat. Hence a greater opportunity to work his way into public consciousness, hence the Simpsons cameo. Although I confess I wasn’t really thinking about America.

    Oh, no doubt his long tenure helps a great deal, I am just throwing his prominence on this side of the pond out there as another supporting reason for his fame.

    > So Lily, I guess your best option is cherry-picking a few classic DVDs which you can get cheap on e-bay. As for which ones, I’d say personal taste varies widely…

    My knowledge of Classic Who comes mostly from sporadic VHS and DVD recordings I have gotten out of public libraries. We have a system here in Alberta that links all of the small community libraries together outside of Edmonton and Calgary, and you can order all kinds of things online and have them delivered to your local branch.

    It was the same thing with Red Dwarf for me before I got my own DVDs, alongside a few old PBS recordings my mother made back when she lived in Coquitlam and Calgary closer to the 49th (along with some old Doctor Who) and a couple of Byte tapes of Series IV and VI my dad bought while working in British Columbia.

    The upside of which is that Series II ended up being the last classic Dwarf series I ended up watching because my mother’s PBS recording of it got damaged, and I have somehow ended up watching a whole lot more Syvester McCoy than any other doctor outside of maybe Patrick Troughton.

    #226077
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Galifrey & Titan amirite

    #226078

    Not sure what you’re talking about GlenTokyo. Something to do with Red Dwarf? With the vampire dude and the bloke with an R on his forehead.

    Never seen it, I heard it was shit.

    #226079
    bloodteller
    Participant

    go down to CeX, they usually have a load of Classic Dr. Who DVDs there, and they’re often really cheap.

    #226083
    Dave
    Participant

    MusicMagpie often have them for little more than a quid.

    #226089
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Lily, there is a Russian Facebook-type website which hosts every single Classic Who DVD and all its extras for streaming, but I think it’s a bit illegal and don’t want to link to it in case I get banned. They’re also on various other streaming sites in horrendously lower quality.
    As far as what episode to begin with, maybe Ark in Space, the first good Tom Baker. Or City of Death, or Pyramids of Mars. Do not start with Caves of Androzani – it’s one of the greatest single Doctor Who stories ever, but it is the final episode of Peter Davison’s tenure, and works so well because it is his final episode and you understand his character and his relationship with his companion by that point.

    It could well be an age thing, Captain No-Name. To me it feels like there is a relatively small but VERY vocal minority of Who fans who rate Sylvester McCoy higher than God, so much so that any criticism of him is immediately shut down. And any fanatic group like that end up doing more damage than good for what they’re trying to support, honestly. Also I’ve definitely met a couple of Tegan deniers, and honestly I get it – like Clara, she overstayed her welcome (in their eyes not mine) and didn’t get a lot of development initially. That was a problem with Davison’s companions as a whole – there were too many of them and therefore not enough time to give them any real meaningful development.

    Thank you for clarifying that I was right about Williams and Adam’s Wild Weekend

    #226090
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I actually started with Tomb of the Cybermen, The Time Warrior and Genesis of the Daleks, which are good but perhaps a bit slow for somebody jus starting out. A lot of Classic Who is pretty lethargically paced.

    #226091
    bloodteller
    Participant

    just found some classic Doctor Who DVDs in my shelf (they came free with The Sun a couple of years ago), including Earthshock, Spearhead From Space, Robots of Death and Rose. any of these worth a watch?

    #226093
    Lily
    Participant

    Thank you for the ideas gentlemen. It looks like the classic ones are pricier than new who at about a fiver each, which is still too much for my pockets.

    Hamish has come up trumps though – Norfolk library has a healthy collection of DVDs that I can get sent to my little bit of no-where. They appear to be mainly the Tom Baker years, so I guess I’ll start with him first.

    #226094
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Earthshock – decent. strong, even
    Spearhead – brilliant, maybe a bit slow, Pertwee’s first
    Robots of Death – considered a classic, it is quite good if i remember rightly
    Rose – ehhhhhhh it’s alright, first ever episode of New Who

    #226095
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I actually think Earthshock is fantastic but it’s hard to separate the “I watched it when I was 10” from the “It is genuinely good”. Interesting that I forgot Nyssa and Tegan were even in it until I watched it again recently, lol.

    Rose is actually quite fun I think but it’s definitely not the strongest episode, and has some dodgy cgi

    #226096
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Apologies for the unprecedented triple post, but Rose is quite deliberately a retread of Spearhead, so watch Spearhead first, imo

    #226100

    Norfolk library has a healthy collection of DVDs that I can get sent to my little bit of no-where. They appear to be mainly the Tom Baker years, so I guess I’ll start with him first.

    Ah this makes me happy. Good old libraries. Good thinking Hamish.

    We might argue about the various merits of one story over another, but it’s hard to deny that Tom Baker, the vast majority of the time, just brings a special something to the role that is utterly watchable.

    Hope you enjoy, Lily.

    #226102

    McCoy’s era is a mixed bag, the production values are almost uniformly appalling, Keff McCulloch sucks the life out of every episode he and his fucking Casio keyboard score, Bonnie Langford is difficult going, and McCoy himself plays it way too broadly in his early stories. There are plenty of great ideas in season 24 – I bloody love Paradise Towers on paper, shame the final result is a 3.45PM CBBC slot show in performance and production; Delta and the Bannerman would work really well if it was written and played to give a shit about Delta and her baby, but frankly the characterisation makes Cat’s portrayal in VIII seem deep. Once the Cartmel stuff comes in, though, I think the show gets better, and I do rate the four stories in the final year as one of the strongest runs in the whole show (along with seasons 6, 7 and 12), despite – again – the CBBC production values. It’s always been a tragedy that the show was really discovering its strength again just as it was cancelled. I would have loved at least one more year of McCoy, although there’s always the possibility they would have killed off the character for good at the end.

    Ooh bucking the trend there, International Debris. I love a controversial viewpoint. Myself, I can’t help but fall in line when it comes to the Hinchcliffe era, it’s great.

    I had no idea how popular it was when I did my first Who marathon, but I remember my enthusiasm for the show suddenly dropped dramatically at the start of Hinchcliff’s second series and didn’t come back again until midway through Williams’s first. The era has grown on me – I love The Seeds of Doom and really like The Robots of Death now, for example – but it’s still a period with a lot of stories I have no desire to revisit at all.

    I’m currently reading all the novels and novelisations in internal chronological order. Interestingly enough, I’m currently on the PDA novel Drift now, which is the last one to fall within the Hinchcliffe era, with Horror of Fang Rock up next. The books are a mixed bag, but some absolute belters are turning up.

    #226104
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I liked Delta and the Bannermen, but thought Battlefield was dull (minus any time the Brig was on screen) and Ghost Light was utterly incomprehensible. Apart from that, yeah.

    Greatest Show in the Galaxy episode four is also probably the worst fucking thing I have ever seen. Such a good start, then that. Jesus.

    #226105

    Yeah Paradise Towers works best if you start from the idea it’s MEANT for the 3.45PM CBBC slot and the producer’s said “look, we’re supposed to be making 4 episodes of Grange Hill, but fuck it, I want to film Junior JG Ballard with cannibal grannies and a zombie caretaker and a killer robot in the swimming pool instead.”

    I’d totally watch that after school.

    I remember my enthusiasm for the show suddenly dropped dramatically at the start of Hinchcliff’s second series

    But isn’t that… Terror of the Zygons? One of my all time favourite stories. I can’t imagine not loving that.

    I will defend the McCoy era against many of its criticisms, but I concede most of the incidental music is irredeemable. It’s testament to quite how good Remembrance of the Daleks is in almost every single regard that it is somehow not diminished by its shit score.

    I’m currently reading all the novels and novelisations in internal chronological order.

    Wow you’ve got some stamina. There are so many of those books. SO MANY BOOKS.

    I tried to read all the Virgin NAs but I wasn’t man enough. Got as far as First Frontier and felt exhausted. There is quality in those books, but blimey sometimes it’s like panning for gold.

    #226106
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    That’s how I felt watching The Chase (the old Dalek serial)

    I went and watched it because I wanted something lighthearted, quirky and fun, and it was great, but if I was tuning into Doctor Who for a serious emotional story and got fucking stuttering socially anxious Daleks and some spiv with a bad New Yoik accent it’d probably make me really angry.

    #226107

    To be fair, if you were tuning into Doctor Who for a serious emotional story then the year probably wasn’t 1965.

    #226111
    Hamish
    Participant

    > Hamish has come up trumps though – Norfolk library has a healthy collection of DVDs that I can get sent to my little bit of no-where. They appear to be mainly the Tom Baker years, so I guess I’ll start with him first.

    You’re going to go with one of my plans? Are you nuts? What happens if we all get killed, I’ll never hear the last of it!

    > I actually think Earthshock is fantastic but it’s hard to separate the “I watched it when I was 10” from the “It is genuinely good”. I

    Earthshock was by far my least favourite Classic Who serial from The Doctors Revisited set I watched a few years back. If you want to talk about villains undermining their own threat by being too zany you just have to look at the Cyberman in Earthshock, especially when compared to the cold emotionless beings in The Tomb of the Cybermen, which was the story they chose for Patrick Throughton’s era.

    #226112
    Hamish
    Participant

    Come to think of it, I actually went to the trouble of ranking all of the classic Doctors based solely on their chosen serials from The Doctors Revisited set while I was watching as a mental experiment, just to see what order I would come up with:

    1. Tom Baker
    Pyramids of Mars

    2. Jon Pertwee
    Spearhead from Space

    3. Patrick Troughton
    Tomb of the Cyberman

    4. Sylvester Mcoy
    Remembrance of the Daleks

    5. Colin Baker
    Vengence on Varos

    6. William Hartnell
    The Aztecs

    7. Peter Davison
    Earthshock

    That actually sits about right with me, plus or minus a few placements.

    #226129
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I guess. That ending though.

    Imagine being kid in the 80s only having heard of the Cybermen or seen pictures in a magazine, these legendary enemies of the Doctor, and then witnessing that cliffhanger to episode one after 25 minutes of buildup and mystery. Someone on the DVD said they host about creamed themselves. Also one of the first times they showed clips from old Doctors in an episode, if not the first time

    #226130
    bloodteller
    Participant

    is Rememberance of The Daleks the one with Dursley McLinden in? i think i remember seeing that a while ago and being all excited because i liked Dursley McLinden when he was in Just Ask for Diamond, which was quite a good film.

    dunno if he was any good in Doctor Who though, i can’t remember

    #226131

    Earthshock is my favourite colour era classic Cybermen story, but that’s about all I can say for it. To be honest, the Capaldi two-parter is the only colour Cybermen story I’ve genuinely liked. I love all the ’60s ones, but after that I don’t think they’ve ever been written particularly well. Silver Nemesis is obviously a low point.

    But isn’t that… Terror of the Zygons? One of my all time favourite stories. I can’t imagine not loving that.

    I always think of that as being part of season 12, what with it being filmed for it and held over! Whoops.

    Wow you’ve got some stamina. There are so many of those books. SO MANY BOOKS.

    I tried to read all the Virgin NAs but I wasn’t man enough. Got as far as First Frontier and felt exhausted. There is quality in those books, but blimey sometimes it’s like panning for gold.

    Throwing in the few companion spinoffs, the Telos novellas and Short Trips/Decalogs, running up through the new series adventures as well, there are 581. I’ve thankfully sourced most of them via the internet, as there’s no way I have the cash or space to buy the lot, but I’ll be picking up my favourites once I’ve finished in a year or so.

    The novelisations are short and, if Terrance Dicks is writing them (as he usually is), simple, so they only take an hour or so. The MAs and PDAs I can slip through in an evening if they’re good, but some slower ones have actually taken me weeks. I’m halfway through Tom at the minute, and almost all his new stories have been terrible, sadly. Pertwee’s were almost uniformly superb too, which has made this even more of a let down. I’m well over halfway to the end of season 26, though, and it’s the NAs and EDAs that I’m looking forward to the most, as even though I’m sure a lot of them are terrible, I love the idea of it all going off into entirely new directions with whole plot arcs and such, rather than fitting in between existing stories.

    #226132

    Just Googled Dursley McLinden because the name didn’t ring a bell (turns out he played Mike in Remembrance) and learnt that he died of AIDS in 1995 when he was just 30. How incredibly sad.

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