Doctor Who [11]

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:40 pm




Made me think of Figg Sofa

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:54 pm

Suspect

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:48 pm

Very Happy


The Trouble with Clara

I was having a discussion about Gaimans second episode, Nightmare in Silver, and it led me on to some thoughts about Clara I thought I would share.
They mainly concern the inception of the character and some of the odd things about her early writing in particular, but it really covers all of her first series from the Snowman on.
Those who read my episode reviews will know I had issues with Clara from the start, but I've had time to nail them down a bit more.
I should add that I think series 8 Clara is spot on- had that been her debut series I would be doing nothing but singing her praises.
But it wasn't.

The first weird thing about Clara is her set up.
She is the second Moffat companion to be introduced as a preplanned part of the plot.
The first was Amy who Moffat always knew whoever the companion was they were going to be the mother of River.
But outside of that one element he was free to do whatever else he wanted with the character.
Clara however has a very defined role to accomplish in a single series arc, and her first series at that.
I personally think the series 7 arc would have been better had it still been Amy and Rory.
But Moffat never got that choice as his actors wished to move on.
On top of this Smith was leaving too at the series end- which meant a regeneration and Clara would also have to be integral to that plot.
In the end Moffat combined everything together into 1 plot- but it meant Clara pretty much was there to serve a single purpose- save the Doctor in a manner which leads directly into the events of the 50th and the regeneration.
Thats a tall order in one series and a xmas special.

Then there were changes, and production reasons. The original idea was that the xmas Victorian Clara would travel with the Doctor, but that was changed to modern Clara as Moffat formulated his plans to build towards the 50th (that side of series 7 does work, the parts that build directly into the 50th pay off in the 50th in a satisfying manner, as the popular and critical acclaim of it testified to).
Problem is Victorian Clara was a nanny with two children to look after, and some of the scripts (including Gaimans Nightmare in Silver) were already written for that Clara.
This is explains the initial Clara home life- the rather convulsed story of her staying with friends over the summer when the mother died, as her own had, and she then choose to stay on to look after them.
Her homelife rarely comes up again, save in scripts like Nightmare in Silver, written for Victorian Clara.

It also meant that in series 7 her personality is not strongly enough defined outside of Moffat penned episodes, as some writers were writing for a different Clara base do the Snowman script, and before I'm accused of just bigging up Moffat, I mean he was clearly aware of the issue and used his own episodes to make definitive statements about her in the short time he had- such as the truth field on Trenzalore where she calls herself a control freak.
The issue is if you are going to make the companion a control freak who insists the Doctor return her home after every trip, rather than just travelling with him all the time, then she needs something less shifting as a home life to return to.
The good news however is that from the 50th on, once he got her teaching in Coal Hill he had a setting and a surround cast to give her that home life. And because its not a family based home life, she lives alone in her own flat, its not a repeat of Rose's home life.

The weird thing about Clara is that taken just a plot device whose purpose was to build the story to the 50th she was very successful.
But taken as a rounded character she was not.

Moffat basically regenerated her along with the Doctor in Deep Breath, and for me he has directly addressed each of the major issues that creating her as a plot device in the first place have caused.

Descriptions of the companion/Doctor relationship in series 9 is that 'they are having fun' I rather like the sound of that, now we know who she is it should be fun to watch too.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Forest Shepherd on Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:07 am

That is the most critical review of Moffat-Who that I can remember you writing Petty!

I don't really see how it can be a simply "fun" season though. We have finally (hopefully) locked down this "Am I good man?" silliness, which is good, but Clara has still lost her boyfriend in a very not-nice and traumatic way. I don't see how that can just fall by the wayside for Clara and the Doctor to have fun all season. Unless Clara goes through another rewrite-thingum and somehow just moves on.

I think this question of moving on and whatever-you-call-it... closure, had been settled in Season 8 somewhere. But I honestly can't recall where or when or how at the moment. I must be in Who overload still as I am not really looking forward to more Clara-action in the next season. Maybe my opinions will change by next fall.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:51 pm

Moffats female characters seem to be able to just conveniently forget traumatic and devastating things if it serves the storyline. strangely the male characters never forget. Amy 'forgot' her baby, but Rory never forgot waiting 2000 years and he frequently refers to it. Danny never forgets the trauma of war, but Clara forgets being zapped into infinite Claras. Moffat thinks male suffering is deeper and more real.



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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:52 pm

Amy didn't forget, she murdered the woman responsible for it in an act of revenge. And much as I don't like the execution of the divorce stuff the roots of it, both physically and mentally for Amy go back to Demon's Run. Her initial issues, the need for four psychiatrists throughout her life as everyone insisted she had invented and imagined the Doctor is another trauma she never fully finds a solution to until her final episode.

And Rory does not bring it up often, he brings it up in argument with Amy exactly once.

Clara's memory of events is an unknown- hazy seems to about sum it up- which is no different to Amy's recollections of her multiple time line childhood, or Rory's recollections of being a Roman, or the Doctor's recollections of time when he meets his other selves- its a long established factor of someone who gets splintered in time, crosses over time lines, or some other weird time thing in Who, and it goes way back to classic.
And Clara''s entire personality and outlook is shaped by her slightly idolised memories of her own mother, a trauma from her childhood she has never forgotten.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Amarië on Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:14 pm

I am still struggling to catch the brilliant fun satiric depth of the church/religion thing. The headless monks are fine; following blindly without thought. I get it. Life of Brian did it better. Throwing in gay members of the church here and there... I feel it caters more to those who believe that homosexuality is evil and wrong, who can nod their heads and go "why yes, Moffat, quite right, homosexuality is wrong indeed and we should protect our church from such unnatural things and be spared from a future so bleak and heartless. And a female pope too, yes this will go badly indeed, you tell 'em Moff. The kids will listen to you. See now kids, the gay men paid for their sins and that man is now free from evil thoughts forever. Halleluja. Let us all rejoice and pay our BBC license with gladness."

Or is it so that in the UK it's so far fetched to have a gay bishop that it the idea itself is actually laughable? I guess Moffat is trying to kick something and probably aiming up, but I don't see what he tries to hit.

To add some perspective to where I am standing; the last big, public controversy about the church and homosexuality here was Tooji's coming out video and official song for the Oslo pride festival. Tooji –The Father Project. Look it up on YT, NSFW, but no bits are showing and it's rather pretty.

Basically the church it is filmed at didn't mind the gay priest and his boyfriend or the naked embrace by the altar with wings coming down from above. The controversy is about them protesting that there's a steaming hot love scene they weren't told about (or so they say) and didn't agree to, and people feeling offended that this happened in a holy place.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:57 am

Throwing in gay members of the church here and there... I feel it caters more to those who believe that homosexuality is evil and wrong- Amarie

How on earth do you draw that conclusion?!! Shocked
That's like saying the episodes where in the future the President of America is a woman are there to cater to those who believe women should never be allowed to be president. It doesn't make sense.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:55 pm

Moffat on the Who haters-

“[John Nathan-Turner] was the first boss of Doctor Who to have a tiny little number of (sort of) fans who were waging entirely ineffectual campaigns against him, in their twos and threes. Russell had a bit of that, and so do I. So what? Pick an online newspaper, go to the comments section below, read the ranting horrors there. It will turn your hair white. Dear God, who are those people? I don’t know. I don’t care.

“The fact is, you don’t judge the newspaper, or people in general, by the standards of those comments sections, so why would you judge Doctor Who fandom by the occasional attention-seeking ranter? I have always found [fans] to be clever, funny, articulate and more than usually friendly. And perfectly and humorously aware that knowing every detail about an early Saturday evening adventure serial is a pleasant but extremely daft thing to do. May it be daft forever. It is now, and always has been, a game for the civilised and kind. Lone exceptions don’t change that.”

However, he adds: “I suppose, being honest – because we’re all human and fragile – some of the blows do land. You know, when you’re tired, in the dark watches of the night, when that hand is grasping for your ankle from under the bed. I guess it must have been hard for JN-T, sometimes, back in the day. I remember, not long ago, feeling a bit grim myself, about some vicious remarks. Stupidly and childishly, I’d let them get to me (ranters rejoice, your aim was true).

“Neil Gaiman dropped me a gentle note. He said (something like), “They love your shows so much, they think they own them.” I think the point – and the kindly admonishment – was that it’s a privilege to be making shows about which people care so much, and that honour should take care of everything else.”- DWTV

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by malickfan on Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:23 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Moffat on the Who haters...

I read that and agree with him, Whovians are perhaps a little too passionate for their own good, if the show was cancelled tommorow by the BBC I'm sure they'd find someway to blame him...

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:35 pm

I don't know. I think there was a reason JNT was criticized. (He stayed too long.) As for Moffat..

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by malickfan on Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:41 pm

Bluebottle wrote:I don't know. I think there was a reason JNT was criticized. (He stayed too long.) As for Moffat..

Hey don't get me wrong Moffat and JNT both deserve a great deal of criticism (and yeah I'd agree Moffat should probably step down soon...) but its clear they are both fans making the best of budgetary constraints and under a huge amount of pressure, at the end of the day I'd rather have some who on screen than none, and after the abuse RTD and Moffat have recieved from elements of the fanbase its hard to see why anyone else would want to take the job on...

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:44 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Moffat on the Who haters-

“[John Nathan-Turner] was the first boss of Doctor Who to have a tiny little number of (sort of) fans who were waging entirely ineffectual campaigns against him, in their twos and threes. Russell had a bit of that, and so do I. So what? Pick an online newspaper, go to the comments section below, read the ranting horrors there. It will turn your hair white. Dear God, who are those people? I don’t know. I don’t care.

“The fact is, you don’t judge the newspaper, or people in general, by the standards of those comments sections, so why would you judge Doctor Who fandom by the occasional attention-seeking ranter? I have always found [fans] to be clever, funny, articulate and more than usually friendly. And perfectly and humorously aware that knowing every detail about an early Saturday evening adventure serial is a pleasant but extremely daft thing to do. May it be daft forever. It is now, and always has been, a game for the civilised and kind. Lone exceptions don’t change that.”

However, he adds: “I suppose, being honest – because we’re all human and fragile – some of the blows do land. You know, when you’re tired, in the dark watches of the night, when that hand is grasping for your ankle from under the bed. I guess it must have been hard for JN-T, sometimes, back in the day. I remember, not long ago, feeling a bit grim myself, about some vicious remarks. Stupidly and childishly, I’d let them get to me (ranters rejoice, your aim was true).

“Neil Gaiman dropped me a gentle note. He said (something like), “They love your shows so much, they think they own them.” I think the point – and the kindly admonishment – was that it’s a privilege to be making shows about which people care so much, and that honour should take care of everything else.”- DWTV

poor delicate petal is telling people to shut up in case he cries. boo hoo.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:48 pm

and after the abuse RTD and Moffat have recieved from elements of the fanbase its hard to see why anyone else would want to take the job on... - Malick

There have been rumours circulating that Moffat originally planned to leave with Matt, but that noone else wanted to take on the job because of the huge amount of work it entails and all the flack you get for doing it


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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:58 pm

maybe he wouldn't get so criticized if he wasn't such a one trick pony.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by malickfan on Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:58 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:and after the abuse RTD and Moffat have recieved from elements of the fanbase its hard to see why anyone else would want to take the job on... - Malick

There have been rumours circulating that Moffat originally planned to leave with Matt, but that noone else wanted to take on the job because of the huge amount of work it entails and all the flack you get for doing it


Yeah I heard those rumours, wouldn't surprise me (still think Toby Whithouse is the most likely candidate to take over...)

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:23 pm

maybe he wouldn't get so criticized if he wasn't such a one trick pony- Figg

But he doesn't get 'so' criticised. He is right he gets vocally criticised by a minority- if you go to one of the big Who forums like Gallifrey Base and go to the series episodes and read the comments you will hear loudest those complaining. But if you look at the top of the page where people just vote in a poll- and most do and never leave a comment- its rare to see an episode get below 7 out of 10- the majority are usually happy.
And critically its rare for Who to get bad reviews overall, because even episodes like Fear Her still have more imagination and ideas in them than most shows manage all year.
And in terms of viewing figures its held more or less steady since it returned, and for a show back 10 years during a period of massive transition in how people watch television that's damn good going, especially when you consider its massively increased its overseas audience in the same time.

The anti-Moffat brigade is not the majority voice, it just sounds like it at times.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:27 pm

so why is he moaning?

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:03 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:The anti-Moffat brigade is not the majority voice, it just sounds like it at times.

I think I might have read that argument before.. on torn..

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:13 pm

The difference there is subject matter- on ToRN we have an original writing source for comparison with the end product on which to base arguments, Who is its own thing and invents itself as it goes along and always has.
So for LotR's there is argument to be had between lots of people like it, and that's not as important as being true to the source material. With Who the only defying argument, the one that keeps it on air is do people like it.
Which is why whilst I dont like the RTD era I have nerve begrudged him his place as the man who brought the show back and made it popular, the manner in which he did so, and I have said so before, was not to my liking, and for me not quite proper Who, but it was just the right pitch to maximise a popular broad audience of that time and make it a success.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:48 pm

I think you overlook the fact that the people who criticize the show now, but loved it under RTDs stewardship does have something to compare it with. Wink And people might still criticize the quality of something despite it not being an adaptation, and that they do it as part of a minority don't diminish their concerns to me.

I don't really have a bone to pick in this fight, I didn't care much for the RTD era, and there are things I struggle with about the Moffat era. Oddly those things I struggle with are not the same.

Here is my take on it. When something in popular culture goes through a change you always have a core base of consumers or fans, these are the most vocal voices both positively and negatively. Most people will either leave something they loved but feel has dropped in quality, or continue watching without the same enthusiasm. Those who will express a vocal opinion about it will be a small minority both on the positive and negative side. The reason such arguments get so acrimonious is that people who love something you obviously feel protective of it, while those who perceive a drop in quality feel betrayed as what they previously loved to them has lost what made it special. I guess these arguments erupt because people feel the need to establish truth and to most people truth takes it's basis in their perception.

To my mind I think Moffat has done decently, but I'm not sure I feel him suited as show runner. To me he does better as the writer of the smaller episode here and there. I particularly feel he struggles writing the big two parter finales. He somehow struggles to write big and straightforward without it getting convoluted. To my mind a prominent weakness of both the RTD and the Moffat era is to much being rested on the shoulders of one person. The show would have benefitted from a wider range and new influx of inspiration at a more usual rate. And decision making being shared by more hands, particularly when one person is left in charge for such a long period.

Now that is all my opinion, of course.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:57 pm

I agree about the showrunner thing. you can tell a 'Moffat' show a mile off, its almost a pastiche of itself its so formulaic.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:21 pm

I think you overlook the fact that the people who criticize the show now, but loved it under RTDs stewardship does have something to compare it with.- Blue

They dont, because you cant compare any era of Who to just one other era, its impossible, thats my point about it inventing itself, this is what it does, how it survives. And its not always going to be to taste- I have no greater a love for the Pertwee era than I do the RTD for example. You can only compare the show to the body of itself- does the Doctor stay true, does he travel through time ad space in a machine stuck disguised as a 1950's police box? Does he take people with him? After that anything.
I dont like the soapier elements of RTD, but I dont say a companions family have no place in Who, its the style I object to, the manner in which its done, not the thing itself as Who can try to do what it likes.

'that they do it as part of a minority don't diminish their concerns to me.'

Nor me, I am not saying their concerns are not genuine, I am saying they are a minority voice in a franchise which only survives if enough people like it, in response to Figgs implied 'so' that a majority complain about Moffat.
They don't, was my point, not that their arguments do not have any merit.

'I particularly feel he struggles writing the big two parter finales. He somehow struggles to write big and straightforward without it getting convoluted.'

Yet I absolutely love the Pandorica two parter, its full of great moments and performances and is great fun to watch, and it often crops up on lists of favourite episodes and its convoluted (As most of Moffats episode do), and one of the best received episodes of recent times, prompting even some Moffat critics to say it was his best sine Blink, was last series Listen. So for me he does pretty well on both, but I would actually say if had to pick that he struggles more in the confines of single episodes overall than two parters, Wedding and Time being two examples where the length works against him.

'To my mind a prominent weakness of both the RTD and the Moffat era is to much being rested on the shoulders of one person. The show would have benefitted from a wider range and new influx of inspiration at a more usual rate.'

But look what the era give us- can you imagine no Adams era? No Hintcliffe? No themes of gothic horror? Or of word play humour? No RTD era? No Rose (there is always a silver lining!) Era's give the stability for periods of time (ideally 1 or 2 generations of watching children) in a show that goes on after showrunners and all its lead actors have left many, many times and been replaced long ago.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:58 pm

Looks like BF are going for it now they have license to post 200 characters-


'The new wave of adventures, due next year, will feature Alex Kingston as River Song, who first appeared in 2008's Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. River will be stepping into the era of the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) for Doctor Who: Doom Coalition 2, alongside Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) and Helen Sinclair (Hattie Morahan).
Producer David Richardson says
The idea of River meeting previous Doctors was actually proposed by Steven Moffat, and it's just irresistible, isn't it? Alex embraced the idea of returning to the role, and so she will be starring in no less than two box sets next year. And yes, we are still pinching ourselves!
River will then return later in 2016 in Doctor Who: The Diary of River Song, an epic four-hour adventure that takes River across space and time, seeking out the secret rulers of the universe. Paul McGann will reprise the role of the Eighth Doctor in the final instalment.

The New Series adventures will continue in Doctor Who: The Churchill Years, in which Ian McNeice returns as the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In the four-hour saga, Churchill relates a number of encounters with the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors in his memoirs, battling alien incursions, metamorphosing creatures... and a Dalek! The stories are told by Ian McNeice, supported by a full cast of guest actors, including Danny Horn as Kazran Sardick, in a story taking place within the 2010 special A Christmas Carol.'- Gallifrey Base

I like the sound of both those serials- Kingston and McGann together should be good and I like the idea of a sort of secret Churchill war diary all about his friendship with the Doctor, something we've heard more about down the years than ever seen.

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Re: Doctor Who [11]

Post by malickfan on Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:08 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Looks like BF are going for it now they have license to post 200 characters-


'The new wave of adventures, due next year, will feature Alex Kingston as River Song, who first appeared in 2008's Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. River will be stepping into the era of the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) for Doctor Who: Doom Coalition 2, alongside Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) and Helen Sinclair (Hattie Morahan).
Producer David Richardson says
The idea of River meeting previous Doctors was actually proposed by Steven Moffat, and it's just irresistible, isn't it? Alex embraced the idea of returning to the role, and so she will be starring in no less than two box sets next year. And yes, we are still pinching ourselves!
River will then return later in 2016 in Doctor Who: The Diary of River Song, an epic four-hour adventure that takes River across space and time, seeking out the secret rulers of the universe. Paul McGann will reprise the role of the Eighth Doctor in the final instalment.

The New Series adventures will continue in Doctor Who: The Churchill Years, in which Ian McNeice returns as the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In the four-hour saga, Churchill relates a number of encounters with the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors in his memoirs, battling alien incursions, metamorphosing creatures... and a Dalek! The stories are told by Ian McNeice, supported by a full cast of guest actors, including Danny Horn as Kazran Sardick, in a story taking place within the 2010 special A Christmas Carol.'- Gallifrey Base

I like the sound of both those serials- Kingston and McGann together should be good and I like the idea of a sort of secret Churchill war diary all about his friendship with the Doctor, something we've heard more about down the years than ever seen.

... Holy sh*t Shocked bounce bounce bounce bounce  cheers

Anything with McGann in it is worth listening to (though I'm not a massive fan of River Song personally...I'm very very excited by where they might be taking the character and what this holds for the future...) but I'm kinda worried this might be over saturating the market a bit with spin-offs/interlinked stories.


I guarantee some of the regular BF listeners won't be too happy with the News though (anything post 1996 is a poisoned chalice to them...)

Does kinda bring up a few awakward questions about the pre/post time war universe? River's Doctor was one of the last of the timelords whereas McGann's tenure is full of them.


I think it was a great move of NOTD to give McGann a definite end point, as I always felt the timewar wasn't really filmable (even 'on' audio), River and 8 will bounce off each other very well...I wonder if this means they don't have the license for War-12? 8 is basically a modern doctor anyway, it would be a shame to end things too quickly for him...






Last edited by malickfan on Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:37 pm; edited 3 times in total

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