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  • Doctor Who

    The last year has been a pretty wild time for Doctor Who.

    First we discovered that Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi were leaving the series, making way for new showrunner Chris Chibnall to swoop in and apply a fresh coat of paint for 2018. Then we find out that, for the first time in the series' history, the Doctor will be taking on female guise in the form of actress Jodie Whittaker. There was, of course, something of a hubbub from certain sectors of fandom in regards to a sex change, but overall the buzz seems to be positive.

    Her costume is incredibly weird, granted:

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    The show's format is also changing: there are going to be 10, one hour long episodes as opposed to 12, 45 minute long episode. They're updating their equipment and cameras to give it a more cinematic look -- they'll be shooting in a wider aspect ratio, apparently -- Murray Gold will be stepping down as composer to be replaced by someone new, the TARDIS has been redesigned inside and out... it really does feel like a relaunch, even more so than when Moffat took over in 2010.

    Having said all that, there's still one Moffat/Capaldi episode left to go: Twice Upon a Time, which airs this Christmas. I won't be watching it on Christmas Day, however, as I've opted to wait until the 27th of December so I can watch it at at the theater with friends and family. It's the end of an era, and I want to see it on as big a screen as possible.
    "How do you turn this off, then?"

  • #2
    I really loved the relaunch of this series. I loved it until Matt Smith showed up. Haven’t watched it since.
    Firm Believer in the Philosophy of a Ruling Class.
    Because I rule!

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    • #3
      By the end of his tenure, Matt Smith was my favorite of the New Series Doctors. That remains true to this day. I like Peter Capaldi -- particularly in series 9 and 10 -- but none of the New Series Doctors have surpassed Matt for me yet.

      Speaking of favorite Doctors: I'm currently watching the classic series via the Brit Box service, which has almost every single story that still exists from the original run of the show. Despite the fact that I've been watching Doctor Who for decades, I never got around to seeing most of the Tom Baker era. My local PBS never showed his era when I was discovering the show, so I only got to see scattered stories on VHS over the years.

      So far, I've watched Robot, The Ark in Space, and The Sontaran Experiment. I'm just starting Genesis of the Daleks, which is considered to be one of Tom's best stories. I like the way in which this season is a vaguely interconnected story revolving around a dead Earth of the future and Nerva Beacon. Not a lot of seasons of the classic series attempt to tie a season together like that.
      "How do you turn this off, then?"

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      • #4
        Like Rivers stated, I too bowed out of watching the series once Matt Smith took the helm. I enjoyed the first four series and tried to watch Smith's debut on three separate occasions. That's a lot of Who to catch up on.

        I read that the ratings plummeted while Capaldi was the Doctor. No word on the latest edition, but I also read that the show may be cancelled at the end of next year. Not sure where I read that exactly, so take it with a grain of salt.

        ...the last time I saw the Daleks was in the Batman: Lego Movie.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Monkey View Post
          I read that the ratings plummeted while Capaldi was the Doctor.
          Interest has waned -- in the UK, particularly -- but so did the marketing. The BBC never marketed Capaldi as strongly as they did Matt or David. There were even rumors that someone in the BBC marketing department has a long-standing grudge against Capaldi that goes back over a decade, but that's just hearsay.

          The ratings are interesting. They've definitely gone down, but the show's Internet presence has been on the rise. Amazon paid a pretty penny to get exclusive streaming rights to the new series, stealing it away from the likes of Netflix, and it continues to perform strongly on services like iTunes, Vudu, and so on. It also continues to be a strong performer for BBC America, and the theatrical showings of season premieres/finales and Christmas Special are strong performers. Television viewing habits have changed a lot in general since 2005, and the BBC is said to have taken that into account.

          For a show that's been on TV for nearly 13 years, it's still performing fairly well.

          Originally posted by Monkey View Post
          No word on the latest edition, but I also read that the show may be cancelled at the end of next year. Not sure where I read that exactly, so take it with a grain of salt.
          Word on the grapevine is that the BBC has given the show a five year commitment under Chris Chibnall, and have been licensing the rights for the next five seasons as part of a package deal in Asian markets. Jodie Whittaker is only being contracted one year at a time right now, but that could change if she's a hit with audiences in Fall 2018. The BBC is hinging a lot on Chibnall and Whittaker.
          "How do you turn this off, then?"

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          • #6
            It's still appointment TV for me. I enjoyed Capaldi's tenure- I always think it's a little harsh to judge an actor's performance as the doctor in relation to the viewing figures. Every time they get a new doctor they enormously overhaul the show and sometimes I think the 'other' changes are the problem. At times the Matt Smith era got far too dark. Capaldi's was always a little too big. I miss the days of small episodes. Like Blink. That was a great episode but now the weeping Angels are massively overused

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            • #7
              I liked Capaldi's journey through series 8, but I know it genuinely put some people off. I have a friend who stopped watching after Capaldi's second episode because she simply didn't like the character anymore.

              I can kind of understand her feelings. The 12th Doctor swings from cranky to outright cold-hearted during the course of his freshman year, but by the end of Last Christmas he's on a much warmer, more approachable path. He still has little time for fools, and he can be incredibly sarky, but he doesn't seem quite so dismissive of people who've died or who are going to die (Mummy on the Orient Express was probably his darkest patch in terms of coolness toward those who are dying).

              I'm going to be really sad to see him go in a couple of weeks.
              "How do you turn this off, then?"

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              • #8
                I'm SO behind on Dr. Who. I'm still on Season 8(?) - whatever season the intergalactic bank robbery episode is in. Clara just wasn't my favorite companion (although I didn't find her nearly as annoying as Amy) and I wasn't quite warmed up to Capaldi yet so I stopped in the middle of that episode.

                I did see the Season 10 opener on the big screen though and I liked that one, and am planning on seeing the Christmas special, so I guess I need to catch up. Bill quickly became my 2nd favorite companion (next to Donna, of course) so I'm super disappointed that she was only around for 1 season.

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                • #9
                  I’ve never watched more than a couple episodes of Dr Who. Where would be the best place to start? Do you need to watch from the very beginning, or is there a particular series someone would recommend?

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                  • #10
                    I've only ever watched the reboot series starting with Chris Eccelston and managed to follow along fine even though they've had callbacks to prior Doctors. Tennant is my favorite Doctor - I especially liked the arc with him & Donna.

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                    • #11
                      Cool. I’ll check out the Tennant series first. Just wanted to make sure I could follow along lol. I need something new to watch and I love the fact that this has been on forever and I can’t binge it in a weekend.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tmfb View Post
                        I’ve never watched more than a couple episodes of Dr Who. Where would be the best place to start? Do you need to watch from the very beginning, or is there a particular series someone would recommend?
                        I would start with Series 1 showcasing Chris Eccleston as the Doctor. Rose is introduced in this series as well as a few other recurring characters who you will occasionally see in series 2-4. Series 1 is a good place to start IMO.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tmfb View Post
                          I’ve never watched more than a couple episodes of Dr Who. Where would be the best place to start? Do you need to watch from the very beginning, or is there a particular series someone would recommend?
                          Start with either the 2005 (series 1) or 2010 (series 5) seasons. Those are the two best jumping on points. There's no need to go all the way back to 1963, unless you decide you want to give the Classic Series a try too.

                          The show is getting a soft reboot in 2018 with a new Doctor, new showrunner, new look, and so on. That will probably be a good jumping on point. The arrival of a new production team usually is.
                          "How do you turn this off, then?"

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                          • #14
                            I'm listening to the Series 3 soundtrack as I browse the forum, and it makes me realize how much I'm going to miss Murray Gold's music starting with series 11. I hope Chibnall brings in a good composer to replace him.

                            Also, I hope Chibnall continues to employee Rachel Talalay on the series. Freddy's Dead might have been a bit of a mess, but Talalay is one of the best directors to work on Doctor Who in the last four or five years.
                            "How do you turn this off, then?"

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                            • #15
                              I’m going to watch the reboot with the female Dr Who when it starts. I’ll take a look around and see if I can find either the 2005 or 2010 series. Thanks!

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