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DTMark

Doctor Who

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First up - in reply to the sub-title of the thread, I hope not.

Bit of a long one but I recall quite a few serious DW fans on here from a previous thread.

I must be one of the show's biggest fans of all time. When the series came back and the final credits rolled on that first eposide with Ecclestone, I was really close to tears - those being of happiness that not only had it come back, but the promise it held was amazing.

For the rest of that first season, which to me was produced largely by taking successful elements from the show's history and melding them fairly faithfully, got better and better. There was almost nothing to criticise, and it strikes me that the biggest fans can also be the biggest critics.

Fast forward a few seasons. There's still the excitement as the credits roll and the incredulity that it's actually back on TV. Still.

It starts to go wrong. And it's gone downhill pretty much ever since. The specific turning point, I think, was around the story "Rise of the Cybermen".

The formula for the original, classic show used to run roughly:

Devise a decent story. Do the best with the CGI that the budget will permit, but above all, tell the story.

The formula for the show now:

Pick some really big events of people. Not just your bunch of starving peasants being exploited on an alien barren rock ("The Savages"), has to be a US president, Shakespeare, Dickens, etc.

Work out the set pieces - the CGI comes before the story. How can we make it look good?

Then film all the set pieces, and hope it holds together cohesively enough to tell the story. If there is one.

For the purpose of this compare one of the best stories ever, "The Caves of Androzani" (Davison's last story) with the two part opener.

In the former almost all the special effects - the mud storm, that dragon creature, the bat - all risible really.

The story and the drama is the winner. The interplay between the Doctor and the companion isn't spoon fed to the viewer. She nearly dies. She's saved partly by the Doctor and partly by the evil villain who unites with the Doctor to save her life.

The whole story makes sense. The players, the motives. The acting is mostly excellent. The villain is quite villainous. It has real drama. The whole story has an overtone of what's to come (The Doctor's death). It's outstanding sci-fi.

Now to this series, and the series opener.

"Why did they suddenly decide to go to the moon in 1969? They needed a space suit" - I must have missed something here. They could probably have got one from Russia before 1969 (sorry America).

Who were the villains? Some weird humanoid things who actually IIRC only kill one person in the whole story, What exactly have they done to harm humanity? The threat is hardly clearly defined.

If people forget the creatures after they have seen them then broadcasting the "You should kill us all" footage would not have worked anyway, as the whole thing is wrapped up in the usual slapstick fashion in about 90 seconds at the end.

The Tardis saving Song from her fall from that building was laughable; just because something can be done doen't mean it should. I mean that both in the context of saving her, and having her saved like that.

River Song is just not Doctor Who. OK, she's there to kill the baddies, since the Doctor can't go round shooting people, it's OK for someone else to do that. But this in itself is a limiter, not an enabler. One of the reasons K9 was dropped originally was because it made things too easy for the Doctor to have a mobile laser gun walking round with him.

Nobody really gives a toss about the interaction with Rory anyway. Is he a companion, or not? Hopefully not...

The endless oh-so-clever "spoilers" are getting to me now. The stories themselves are barely cohesive sometimes let alone trying to work out whether the girl in the space suit who killed the Doctor was River Song, and quite why she dresses up in a spacesuit to do it is also a mystery. Perhaps it was the Doctor himself. But I don't really care.

Yep, it's got Nixon in it, this one. It even looks as though some of it was shot on location and they managed to get Apollo 11 into it. None of this is a problem; indeed "Planet of Fire" (Davison) worked well because it was actually filmed on location in Lanzarote without dodgy looking indoor sets. But you have to have a story underneath it all.

Otherwise what happens is the "Independence Day" effect. Yes, it all looks good. Americans seem to like some action and don't really give two hoots about whether the thing actually stands up as a piece of worthy sci-fi.

I note that BBC America had a hand in this. Please tell me this was only for the location filming for this story only.

Doctor Who died the first time because it lost its way. It did not appeal to adults as it was "childish". Trouble is the kids were "too cool" for it. It was actually embarrassing to watch in front of adults. Like, er, now.

At the moment, it's dead cool for kids who thrive on a diet of junk American TV piped down their Sky dishes. IMO it isn't a programme for adults.

But something cooler will come along, and where is the uniqueness of Doctor Who then? What is it, er, for?

Maybe I'm judging too soon. The last series was an improvement on the previous one. Perhaps it gets better. Maybe this show was "for America" more so than the others will be. (Though I suspect the writers could recall that the very reason Doctor Who was so big on the US originally had a lot to do with it's Englishness)

When the show returned under Ecclestone, it was an absolute must see.

As time progressed it dropped to "Really try to see, but not bothered if I miss it, I'll probably watch the repeat"

It's now hovering on "not really bothered if I see it or not".

Maybe it's just moved on and I'm stuck in the past. But if I stop watching the thing and lose interest, having seen/heard every single eposide produced which still exists, it makes me wonder how durable it is.

And please get rid of that wretched orchestral piece that immediately precedes a gurning/slapstick scene. In fact, better still, just get rid of those scenes.

Am I judging too early and being impatient? (The RTD effect will take a while to wear off perhaps)

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What a piece of analysis by DTMark!

Yes, I think it's rapidly running out of steam. It has been great to see it come back in such fine form after the debacle of the McCoy / Davison endings but there comes a time when the new take on it also runs out of puff.

My heart sank when they introduced at the end of the last show that staple of the writer that has run out of ideas - the mysterious little girl. Cue twee sentimanetality run riot as with Dickens' Little Nell.

And too much of it is for laughs now, Matt Smith was fine when he started but is now doing it like stand-up comedy. Unlike Jon Pertwee who was a a fine comic and played it totally straight.

There was such a contrast in this last two parter between Part 1 - measured, asking questions, scene-setting - and Part 2 - all action, rushed, slapstick, corners cut. The new Bond was similar: Casino Royale was great, a proper film with chracter development, then Quantum of Solace followed, action, rushed, slapstick, corners cut.

No need to kill it off quite yet but a year's break would help a lot.

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It was PERFECT with Chris Eccleston and Billy Piper. Ever since, though, I couldn't bare to watch it. The episodes with Chris were dark and full of character. Tenant's period was too humorous and grated on me. The newest guy loves himself and although it is a bit darker (which I like), it REALLY drags on... and that woman who flirts with him I find really annoying.

Merlin is one hundred times the show Doctor Who is.

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Have to agree. I've been grumbling about this for a couple of years now, but your analysis goes far deeper than my grumblings.

I remember one of the making of progs that they run going on at length about how much trouble they'd gone to to shoot one scene as a single uninterrupted event. To which my wife remarked that she wasnt sure why they'd bothered as they'd then edited it to bits. The TV-making equivalent of having a good w8nk seemed to be the only reason why a they'd bothered and b they'd thought it was worthy of making such a fuss about it.

My whole family was glued to the set on Saturday evenings when it returned. But slowly, one at a time, everyone has lost interest and stopped watching. The only person known to me who watches it now is my 30-ish year kidult, goes to Dr Who Cons and has a flat full of Dr Who tat, brother.

I specifically asked the kids if they wanted to give it another try. No. They'd rather watch DVDs of old shows (Babylon 5 for the eldest, Blakes 7 for the youngest).

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One more thing.

In "Revelation of the Daleks" (about 1989 I think), the Doctor (Colin Baker) encounters a statue of himself in the "Garden of Fond Memories".

To quote as best I can:

"This statue is here, of me, as I am now. It means I shall never again regenerate"

So, Matt Smith is the Doctor's last regeneration, yes? Or no?

(In the example above the statue turns out to be a prank by Davros, he didn't really die)

Edit: Isn't You Tube great. This episode, from 01:30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxlsBqJDjU0&feature=related

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I can't really disagree much with DTMark's analysis, except that I think Matt Smith is a brilliant Doctor, but they just aren't making the best of him.

The opening two partner was disappointing, and incoherent and made no sense at all. Having created monsters that could erase themselves from memory, like RTD's scripts, they had backed themselves into cul de sac once again.

Sad because Moffat wrote some of the better episodes since the reboot, certainly a lot better than RTD's.

Now they have blown the budget filming in Utah and building an elaborate "Oval office" set, we might now get some decent episodes. Virtually all the big budget epics (even involving Daleks and Cybermen) have been poor.

Nothing is explained. Why did the Tardis explode in the previous series?

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I can't really disagree much with DTMark's analysis, except that I think Matt Smith is a brilliant Doctor, but they just aren't making the best of him.

The opening two partner was disappointing, and incoherent and made no sense at all. Having created monsters that could erase themselves from memory, like RTD's scripts, they had backed themselves into cul de sac once again.

Sad because Moffat wrote some of the better episodes since the reboot, certainly a lot better than RTD's.

Now they have blown the budget filming in Utah and building an elaborate "Oval office" set, we might now get some decent episodes. Virtually all the big budget epics (even involving Daleks and Cybermen) have been poor.

Nothing is explained. Why did the Tardis explode in the previous series?

Agreed on Matt Smith...

However one thing which strikes me is: having brought the show back and made it very popular, changing from Tennant to someone else was a risk. It's the "Tom Baker effect" in that generationally, most of my peers regard him as The Definitive Doctor.

So changing the character - allowing complete flexibility for Matt Smith to play it how he wanted - might have been a risk too far perhaps. What if Ecclestone had come second, not first - suspect a lot of the younger viewers would be disappointed that a lovable character had been replaced with a bit of an impassive thug (OK I'm exaggerating to make the point that a darker character might not have been the best thing for the ratings - personally I think he was one of the very best Doctors ever)

Matt hasn't yet had time to fully develop the character and I do think the "RTD effect" will take a while to wear off, as it were, partly because of this.

My favourite was always Peter Davison, who suffered because he was and remains only the second really well known TV actor to have played the part, and people couldn't make the transition from Tristan the vet to the timelord.

But the almost unique aspect of his portrayal is what brought believability to the character: he played it as a fallible character. He got things wrong. This made cliffhangers much more believable and brought an element of real drama (oddly enough, Tom Baker and John Nathan Turner fell out over Baker's flippiant, larger than life "I know it all" portrayal - it was all so "comfortable")

That's completely at odds with Tennant (espcially) and Smith's (less so) characters. "I'm the Doctor and I'm brilliant and I'm always going to win, I'll kick yaw ass".

I think Smith's character has a more quirky, eccentric Hartnell/Troughton style to it which could well be developed. But had Tennant stayed on, and he knew this, he would have struggled to get any work in any adult parts ever again because of the way it was going despite being magnificent in that Shakespeare production and being an excellent actor.

But when the story beneath it all is risible, it's hard to play a part seriously.

One day to go for the next episode. Must admit that when I posted up my long spiel at the start I'd actually hoped for a string of "No, you're wrong", "It's moved on", "I disagree" to counter my own musings and point out what I was missing in terms of the positives.

What would be good is to hear from some newer DW fans, who I appreciate might be a bit alienated (no pun!) by some of the detailed referencing: what do you think?

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Nothing is explained. Why did the Tardis explode in the previous series?

On that specific point: the inside of the Tardis isn't inside the physical box you see. It's in another dimension (might be wrong on this reference, but I think this was The Masque Of Mandragora - Baker explaining to Leela how it's bigger on the inside than out: "If you could keep the large one that distance away, and have it here: the large one would fit inside the small one")

So the Tardis can't really "explode". But it "exploded" in another story too which escapes me at this moment, may have been The Space Pirates.

Continuity is hard to do in such a long running show based on time travel perhaps. But in the Tennant story with Davros when they captured the Tardis, they all trooped out to meet their fate on the basis that the outside was only made of wood and the Daleks would be able to get in anyway. Which is nonsense.

It's this kind of "to hell with continuity, works for this one story" aspect which has been so prevalent, which to me is weak writing.

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One of the problems with new Who has been the big end of season climax. It worked well with Chris Eccleston's first season but ever since it's like they've been trying to top each succeeding crisis with something even more overblown.

My favorite stories are usually the "small" ones, often stories that hardly feature the Doctor. "Love and Monsters", "Blink", "Boom Town", "The Girl in the Fireplace", "Turn Left".

I must admit though that my interest in new Who has picked up a bit with Season 5. Steven Moffat seems to be giving the show a new feel that is distinct from the RTD era. Season 5 seemed a bit too much like an RTD season, complete with a ludicrously overblown crisis at the end (the entire universe is wiped out) and a facile resolution to the problem.

One thing I'd liked about Moffat stories in the RTD era was his attempts to resolve them without a deux ex machina, so beloved of RTD (the ending of Journey's End for example, just push a few buttons and the Daleks are wiped out --- again!).

Unfortunately, using the Pandorica as a way of saving both Amy and the entire universe seemed bizarre. Why build a prison that would keep the Doctor alive forever. Why put him in a prison at all. Why not, as Scott Evil would suggest, just, y'know... shoot him.

So we got the season long arc that has become standard (no surprise really, I'd expected him to retain that) but just like RTD we got a seemingly unresolvable situation resolved by doubletalk and technobabble.

I also didn't much care for the ruination of the Silurians, the dreadful "The Beast Below" and the very rushed "Victory of the Daleks", with the new generation of fatty Lardeks.

Moffat seems determined to change loads of stuff that didn't need changing. The TARDIS interior, exterior, the titles, the daleks. OK, new producers have done this in the past, but not to this extent. Isn't the BBC supposed to be cutting back a bit?

However, the opening 2 parter does seem a lot more confident than some other efforts since Moffat took over as head writer and it seems to be setting up an interesting season to come. I'm relatively optimic at the moment.

So the Tardis can't really "explode". But it "exploded" in another story too which escapes me at this moment, may have been The Space Pirates.

The Mind Robber.

Nothing is explained. Why did the Tardis explode in the previous series?

That I think is part of a story arc that crosses over into Season 5.

On a related note, can anyone explain to me how Rory can have the memories of his Nestene duplicate considering that he was (a) dead during these events and (B) even worse, he'd been wiped out of existence by a time crack.

And how could the Nestene Auton Rory have the memories and emotions of "real" Rory when (a) Real Rory had never existed and (B) it was established in both "Spearhead from Space" and "Rose" that the Nestene Consciousness needed to keep the original alive to access their memories.

These are the questions that keep me awake until the wee small hours.

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I've always felt the new show should go and push the boundaries a little more and take more risks, especially with historical timelines. Why not run a plot around the Nazi's and how the Doctor has the chance to remove/kill Hitler but can't for the fear of unleashing an even more despotic leader who kills even more people during WWII.

There's so much that could be done, but they appear to be playing safe. The first two episodes where clearly for the US market.

I agree that the first two episodes seemed messy on the plotline, although it will be interesting to see if they tie up all the questions about what was going on buy the end of the series.

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My favorite stories are usually the "small" ones, often stories that hardly feature the Doctor. "Love and Monsters", "Blink", "Boom Town", "The Girl in the Fireplace", "Turn Left".

I would agree with that, and add "Dalek" with the solo stranded Dalek, that becomes modified by extracting the DNA of a time traveller (Rose Tyler) and commits suicide. Indeed the big Dalek/Cybermen "epics" with fleets of CGI generated TV21 flying saucers might sound like a Doctor Who fan's wet dream, but they were invariably disapointing.

Moffats monsters are more intelligent. Quantum locked Angels and monsters that wipe memories. They make Daleks and Cybermen look very, well 1960's. I love the way he plays tricks in time, with his plotting. Whether we will remember Moffats monsters (and plotlines) 30-40 years down the line is another matter.

Indeed ask any new viewer to write down all the Doctor Who elements in a list, its likely to be all the 60's elements, ie tardis, time lord, regeneration and daleks, probably no new 21st century elements of the show, which I think is a problem, going forward.

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The Mind Robber.

Thanks - memory recall isn't what it used to be ;)

One of the problems with new Who has been the big end of season climax. It worked well with Chris Eccleston's first season but ever since it's like they've been trying to top each succeeding crisis with something even more overblown.

I think that's spot on. And:

Indeed the big Dalek/Cybermen "epics" with fleets of CGI generated TV21 flying saucers might sound like a Doctor Who fan's wet dream, but they were invariably disapointing.

I thought it worked in the Ecclestone two parter at the end of the first season. Although the ending was a little weak (Rose swallows the Vortex? Eh? I personally thought that the Tardis was going to repeat its earlier trick materialising round the Doctor over the plunger just as one Dalek got a round off and shot him which I thought would be more believable):

The clever bits were there, but more subtle. The girl wired up to the satellite station was obviously supposed to be a clue as to who was hiding (visual reference: the Emperor Dalek in "Evil of the Daleks").

It had a haunting, gloomy quality to it. But the one thing DW fans have historically missed out on is decent special effects, indeed the cost/lack of these was, I think another one of the reasons for the show's original demise following the likes of Star Wars, etc where people saw what "could be done". It made DW look weak.

At the end of the penultimate episode where the Daleks reveal themselves (lots of 60s sound effects, retro style Dalek ship, the Dalek with the blowtorch - all successful, original elements from history used faithfully to good effect) on the monitor with Rose in the background, the camera pans out and you can see thousands of Daleks (where before you were lucky to get three in a shot given how much the models cost to make) - what a moment. In fact I think it's one of the greatest moments in the show's history, I was breathless.

"Rose, I'm coming to get you" - absolutely wonderful. Very gung-ho. But Ecclestone's portrayal, the fathfulness to the show, the blinding FX - it (very nearly) all worked.

It's as if the gung-ho and the CGI remained, and so much else fell away in an effort to "go one better".

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"Rose, I'm coming to get you" - absolutely wonderful. Very gung-ho. But Ecclestone's portrayal, the fathfulness to the show, the blinding FX - it (very nearly) all worked.

It's as if the gung-ho and the CGI remained, and so much else fell away in an effort to "go one better".

I might have to revisit those episodes, as I think I only watched them once. I found the whole "Bad Wolf" story reveal very disappointing.

Also the Doctor I think, almost chickens out of killing off the Daleks, similar to Tom Baker's incarnation in "Genesis...." when he dithers over connecting the wires together in the Dalek breading lab.

But yeh it gets left to Rose to do the dirty deed by looking into the time vortex as you say. I think thats poor scriptwriting. The protaganist should always resolve the situation himself without resorting to deus ex machina as Bart suggests.

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Ive just intently read and enjoyed this thread and Ive never even seen an episode of DW.

Strange that!

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Never enjoyed DR Who since I was a nipper... the new series is awful, the spinoff with that John "I'm screwing someone high up in programming at the BBC so you're going to see my smug face everywhere" Barrowman was truely dire - a kiddie show with swearing....

The type of childish, pretentious, politically correct, patronising p1sh that only a navel gazing monopoly like the BBC could produce...

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Never enjoyed DR Who since I was a nipper... the new series is awful, the spinoff with that John "I'm screwing someone high up in programming at the BBC so you're going to see my smug face everywhere" Barrowman was truely dire - a kiddie show with swearing....

The type of childish, pretentious, politically correct, patronising p1sh that only a navel gazing monopoly like the BBC could produce...

Who's your favourite Doctor then Krackersdave? :)

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Who's your favourite Doctor then Krackersdave? :)

Like the Highlander - there can be only one... Tom Baker.

The scarf swirling, curly haired, toothy grinned, jelly-baby muching, slightly manic genius that IS the Dr...

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Like the Highlander - there can be only one... Tom Baker.

The scarf swirling, curly haired, toothy grinned, jelly-baby muching, slightly manic genius that IS the Dr...

What about Jon Pertwee? Surely he's also the 'can be only one' one too?

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The formula for the show now:

Pick some really big events of people. Not just your bunch of starving peasants being exploited on an alien barren rock ("The Savages"), has to be a US president, Shakespeare, Dickens, etc.

To be fair wasn't that the formula in the Hartnell era? Marco Polo etc. I think the original concept was to teach children about history in a fun way; the alien shoot-out stuff came later with Troughton.

Some of the post-1987 Who stuff has been good, but there's just been far too much of it, I hate the way the Beeb plasters it over everything and that Russell T Davies or whatever his name is gets on my wick - complete BBC pc luvvie if you ask me.

The golden era for Who was the Pertwee/Baker/early Davison years. Watch some of those stories now and the writing and characterisation is superb, eg the conflicts between the Doctor and the Brigadier - they were only let down by wobbly special effects but in a way this helped as it meant the writing had to be better.

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The golden era for Who was the Pertwee/Baker/early Davison years. Watch some of those stories now and the writing and characterisation is superb, eg the conflicts between the Doctor and the Brigadier - they were only let down by wobbly special effects but in a way this helped as it meant the writing had to be better.

I don't think the plots of 60/70's shows were more convoluted, but certainly featured more dialogue and talking heads due to their low budgets and lack of special effects. Basically televised stage plays. Also I think a major aim of the current series is simply to scare the kids.Miss some of the sheer wackiness of 60's shows though, such as the later Avengers episodes. I'm sure LSD played a part. :P

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The frustrating thing is that Dr Who should, and could, be brilliant.

Instead it has descended into a smug self-satisfied vanity project for TV luvvies and celebs who want to be cool and appear in it. It is so into itself it is in danger of disappearing up it's own backside.

Hartnell was intriguing, Troughton had the potential, but then it descended into inconsistency and arch in-jokes. Pertwee's tenure was, through no fault of his, an embarrasingly poor nonsense with lousy effects, Baker made it into a passable low-budget comedy. What followed Baker became increasingly risible.

Ecclestone was superb, and showed how good Dr Who could always have been, if it had been more of an adult program. He brought a darkness that added real depth to the character. Tennant was just too pretty. Whathisname who is the current Dr is an unconvincing actor.

A time machine should be the only gadget on the show... what else does a script need FFS? The sonic screwdriver is the laziest deus ex machina in science fiction.

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In the spirit of trying to work out the clues:

We thought there was a bit of a clue in this week's episode when Amy sees a window appear in free space and gets told "You're doing fine"

River Song is a timelord or an agent of the timelords. She was tasked with going back in time to change history. A bit like in a similar Star Trek Voyager story where they attempt the same, they find their plans go wrong and so she travels back further and further to "meet him". Other events are set in time too for him to "intercept" like Rory's spell as a soldier. This has to do with the cracks in time.

Amy is an "event" placed in his history (isn't her history a bit suspect?). She was recruited for the part and in taking it, becomes a timelord (that's her regenerating at the end of the series opener and is why there was a photo of her in the kids asylum place) so her and River are in on it, or at least River is.

Thanks to meddling with time: at some point the Doctor has to be killed - maybe they end up with the two of them running in parallel and have to get rid of one?

The clue in this week's episode is someone giving Amy some encouragement when she gets a bit scared (keep on with the mission)

I'm sure there were more co-incidences we thought of that support all this, but they escape me now..

Would all seem to draw a line under what went before...

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In the spirit of trying to work out the clues:

We thought there was a bit of a clue in this week's episode when Sam sees a window appear in free space and gets told "You're doing fine"

River Song is a timelord or an agent of the timelords. She was tasked with going back in time to change history. A bit like in a similar Star Trek Voyager story where they attempt the same, they find their plans go wrong and so she travels back further and further to "meet him". Other events are set in time too for him to "intercept" like Rory's spell as a soldier. This has to do with the cracks in time.

Sam is an "event" placed in his history (isn't her history a bit suspect?). She was recruited for the part and in taking it, becomes a timelord (that's her regenerating at the end of the series opener and is why there was a photo of her in the kids asylum place) so her and River are in on it, or at least River is.

Thanks to meddling with time: at some point the Doctor has to be killed - maybe they end up with the two of them running in parallel and have to get rid of one?

The clue in this week's episode is someone giving Sam some encouragement when she gets a bit scared (keep on with the mission)

I'm sure there were more co-incidences we thought of that support all this, but they escape me now..

Would all seem to draw a line under what went before...

I've forgotten who Sam is? unsure.gif

Wonder of Amy's phantom pregnancy is part of the "event."

Wasn't watching all that closely.

Series opener 6.5M viewers. Regarded as good, but least watched than other openers. I thought the US location and setting good and making a pleasant change, shame the conclusion was a wash out (apart from the regenerating child).

Does seem an incredibly negligent Doctor, who gets clue's that something deeper and more serious isgoing on (cracks in time, Amy's strange "pregnancy") and then goes off and does other stuff. The again his older self in the opener states, he's been running faster than he's ever run before and its time to stop.

There is some discussion that Amy and River Song are the same, or two different regenerations of the same Time Lord in the same time stream (The Three Doctors etc..). However the Doctor would feel the presence of another Time Lord (he's failed in the past) unless they are "fobwatched."

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I've forgotten who Sam is? unsure.gif

Wonder of Amy's phantom pregnancy is part of the "event."

Wasn't watching all that closely.

Series opener 6.5M viewers. Regarded as good, but least watched than other openers. I thought the US location and setting good and making a pleasant change, shame the conclusion was a wash out (apart from the regenerating child).

Does seem an incredibly negligent Doctor, who gets clue's that something deeper and more serious isgoing on (cracks in time, Amy's strange "pregnancy") and then goes off and does other stuff. The again his older self in the opener states, he's been running faster than he's ever run before and its time to stop.

There is some discussion that Amy and River Song are the same, or two different regenerations of the same Time Lord in the same time stream (The Three Doctors etc..). However the Doctor would feel the presence of another Time Lord (he's failed in the past) unless they are "fobwatched."

For "Sam" read "Amy" - was having a brainstorm ;)

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