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Frank Hovis

Was This Week's Dr Who The Absolute Worst Since It Came Back?

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Dire.

Juvenile comedy (Tomtom, bloke keeps fainting, butler wants to nuke everything), stupid story line straight out of Carry On Screaming, general silliness throughout, and in the preview they're now going with time travelling kids.

That's one coming off series record. This is another Sylvester McCoy versus Bertie Bassett moment for me; I won't be watching it again as it will spoil the good ones since it came back. I'll wait for it to disappear up its own hole again and await its return after another few years' away.

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Come on!

Compared to 'Rings of Akhaten', it was top-notch :)

However, I'm finding the series as a whole to be a disapointment - some inspired moments mixed with some real tripe. E.g. in the last episode, the first 20 minutes were great - the Doctor is paralysed, cannot communicate; how is he going to get out of this? Oh - one button pressed and he's fixed himself. Boring. And the bit with the time-travel kid detectives was just daft.

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isn't this the show quite clearly aimed at 6 year old kids?

Hasn't it always been about frightening kids and some totty for the dads?

Eg Jenna-Louise Coleman

You know you would...

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Dire.

Juvenile comedy (Tomtom, bloke keeps fainting, butler wants to nuke everything), stupid story line straight out of Carry On Screaming, general silliness throughout, and in the preview they're now going with time travelling kids.

That's one coming off series record. This is another Sylvester McCoy versus Bertie Bassett moment for me; I won't be watching it again as it will spoil the good ones since it came back. I'll wait for it to disappear up its own hole again and await its return after another few years' away.

it seems to increasingly veer into complete and utter crap.....it might be time to retire it for a while, and reboot again in say 5 years with fresh ideas.

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Come on!

Compared to 'Rings of Akhaten', it was top-notch :)

However, I'm finding the series as a whole to be a disapointment - some inspired moments mixed with some real tripe. E.g. in the last episode, the first 20 minutes were great - the Doctor is paralysed, cannot communicate; how is he going to get out of this? Oh - one button pressed and he's fixed himself. Boring. And the bit with the time-travel kid detectives was just daft.

That admittedly was another low, though IMO this one is where it hit bottom.

Thanks for explaining that one, I knew I was missing something!

Here to help B)

isn't this the show quite clearly aimed at 6 year old kids?

No, as below it's a family show. Top Gear has a similar appeal. I have a nephew who only wants to watch 12 certificate films (meaning you have to be 12 to watch them, and he isn't yet) because he thinks that they are intrinsically better because they are made for an older audience; I have tried to explain that they're not. I think it's great that all ages like it. Except me now.

Hasn't it always been about frightening kids and some totty for the dads?

Eg Jenna-Louise Coleman

You know you would...

We all would.

it seems to increasingly veer into complete and utter crap.....it might be time to retire it for a while, and reboot again in say 5 years with fresh ideas.

Yes please.

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That admittedly was another low, though IMO this one is where it hit bottom.

Here to help B)

No, as below it's a family show. Top Gear has a similar appeal. I have a nephew who only wants to watch 12 certificate films (meaning you have to be 12 to watch them, and he isn't yet) because he thinks that they are intrinsically better because they are made for an older audience; I have tried to explain that they're not. I think it's great that all ages like it. Except me now.

We all would.

Yes please.

well or just apply some quality control - some episodes this series were quite good, so they could also just reduce the number of episodes - better to have 3 or 4 that keep us wanting more, than 10 with 6 crap ones that make me lose the will to watch anymore because the chance of it being good is less than 50%....

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It was a silly episode but ultimately quite dark and vicious (doomsday cult, many people die violently and permanently, a mother blinds her daughter for her own ends, an attempt to exterminate most of humanity for being "imperfect").

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well or just apply some quality control - some episodes this series were quite good, so they could also just reduce the number of episodes - better to have 3 or 4 that keep us wanting more, than 10 with 6 crap ones that make me lose the will to watch anymore because the chance of it being good is less than 50%....

Maybe the BBC could assist with this, allocating each episode a tag such as:

  • superb

  • good

  • watchable

  • poor

  • silly

  • puerile rubbish

I think I might suggest it to them.

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It was a silly episode but ultimately quite dark and vicious (doomsday cult, many people die violently and permanently, a mother blinds her daughter for her own ends, an attempt to exterminate most of humanity for being "imperfect").

Indeed.

I thought it was brilliant (and this whole series).

Having been brought up with the early ones I'm simply astonished by the quality of the graphics and the smooth visuals. Incredible they can do this on a regular basis.

The writing this series seems to have advanced several notches. I have no idea who writes it but they appear to have dropped that annoying campness in favour of wit which appeals at different levels. Similar in quality to Coronation St.

Plus Diana Rigg - What more could one want!

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Indeed.

I thought it was brilliant (and this whole series).

Thank goodness I'm not the only one who didn't mind last Saturday's episode. S7pt 2 feels less listless and disjointed than S7pt 1, even the Evil Planet episode had moments of real merit.

Having been brought up with the early ones I'm simply astonished by the quality of the graphics and the smooth visuals. Incredible they can do this on a regular basis.

The CGI seems a bit more refined and less overused than in previous years (Stargate SG-1 looks a bit creaky in comparison now).

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I'm a Dr Who fan and have been since I was a kid. However, I've never really been a fan of 'Nu Who'. I don't like the way the stories are structured now with having many stand alones and a long season ark - it's too American for me. I much prefer the old style of 5 or 6 stories a season spread out over several episodes allowing the story to be fleshed out and not feeling so rushed - not forgetting the classic cliffhangers. There are also other niggles (especially during RTD time) like the soap opera elements (Rose/Martha, her family, her love for the Doctor etc - pass the sick bag), the fact the Tardis can go anywhere in space and yet spends 99.99% of it's time on Earth, rushed stories and sudden conclusions (usually whipping out the sonic screwdriver and suddenly everything is sorted)... I could go on. I was glad with Moffet took over as I considered him a more competent writer. But after a fairly good start I've found most of his run to be boring and pretentious. Stopped watching after the first episode of this year and probably won't bother until the 50th in November - and I'm not pinning much hope on that being much good either. And it's seems I'm not the only one to of switched off as the overnight viewing figures have been dire compared to just a few years ago. Last Saturdays episode (the one OP was talking about) got just over 4.6m and it's been dropping each week (first episode had 5.5m).

Fortunately there's still loads of Classic Who DVD's I haven't got yet. Also got loads of Big Finish Audio's to get through too. Now they are REALLY good as they don’t need to pander to the chavvy element of the viewing public.

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Eg Jenna-Louise Coleman

You know you would...

Absolutely.

Although I have to agree the stories appear poor so far, but I do have some catching up to do with this series.

I think it's being let down by poor stories.

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Poor stories.

Only caught the last 20 mins of the last episode but I was left completely baffled by how the doctor seemed incapable of stopping this old women but a blind woman with a stick could. Maybe I missed something but it just appeared to be nonsensical. Dr Who could really be great, but the writing is often appalling, creating huge plot-holes in space and time.

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Dire.

Juvenile comedy (Tomtom, bloke keeps fainting, butler wants to nuke everything), stupid story line straight out of Carry On Screaming, general silliness throughout, and in the preview they're now going with time travelling kids.

That's one coming off series record. This is another Sylvester McCoy versus Bertie Bassett moment for me; I won't be watching it again as it will spoil the good ones since it came back. I'll wait for it to disappear up its own hole again and await its return after another few years' away.

Oddly enough, I enjoyed this episode more than any of the others this season - though that is damning with faint praise. As the episode was played for laughs I could forgive it the inconsistencies, plot holes and sonic-screw-driver-waving-resolutions that have come to mark Doctor Who. IMO It also benefited from having the Doctor and Clara absent for a good portion of the episode.

I think the absolute worst episode was the one with the Master flying around like Superman as that was not only rubbish in it's own right, but also trashed one of the better villains from original Who (not that I remember it that well).

I still half-heartedly watch, hoping that it gets better, but the writing has been appalling for a long time now and unless there is a dramatic improvement soon I think this will be the last season I bother with. It's a shame considering how good it could be now that they have the budget for good production values and effects to support the stories.

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I think the absolute worst episode was the one with the Master flying around like Superman as that was not only rubbish in it's own right, but also trashed one of the better villains from original Who (not that I remember it that well).

That was "The End of Time", one of the better episodes really - the worse episodes often cited by fandom is usually "Love & Monsters" and "Fear Her" (and Palpatine Master made more sense and was more dangerous than vomiting Eric Roberts Master in the failed mid 90s TV movie). The Eccleston and Tennant years under RTD seem the most popular in comparison to the more whimsy Smith years.

I still half-heartedly watch, hoping that it gets better, but the writing has been appalling for a long time now and unless there is a dramatic improvement soon I think this will be the last season I bother with. It's a shame considering how good it could be now that they have the budget for good production values and effects to support the stories.

Are we watching the same show? I think this year had a few hiccups but the show has generally found its footing again and I'm really looking forward to the Cybernan episode.

And the sonic screwdriver didn't seem to be used when stopping the Sweetville rocket (a well aimed chair into that clockwork computer worked). Also Diana Rigg was holding the Doctor at bay with a loaded gun and had misplaced trust in her blind daughter who she presumably bullied into compliance for decades. And NuWho may not be the most consistent show ever and Moffat on hindsight was better off writing individual episodes than producing seasons, it has enough credibility to attract cult novelists like Neil Gaiman (who is penning next week's instalment).

Wow, have people really turned against this show. It gets harder to keep a cult show attracting fans after four to six seasons...

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*snip*

Fortunately there's still loads of Classic Who DVD's I haven't got yet. Also got loads of Big Finish Audio's to get through too. Now they are REALLY good as they don’t need to pander to the chavvy element of the viewing public.

That's a nice way of viewing different segments of Who fandom.

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Plus Diana Rigg - What more could one want!

If you're a Rigg fan you need to watch Game of Thrones.

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time travelling kids next week? Come into the box and we'll go for a ride? I doubt they will have a line like that...

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That was "The End of Time", one of the better episodes really - the worse episodes often cited by fandom is usually "Love & Monsters" and "Fear Her" (and Palpatine Master made more sense and was more dangerous than vomiting Eric Roberts Master in the failed mid 90s TV movie). The Eccleston and Tennant years under RTD seem the most popular in comparison to the more whimsy Smith years.

I can understand why "Love & Monsters" is not popular with hard-core fans (Whovians?) as it deviates so far from the normal formula of the show, but as I remember it, it was still superior to (for example) "The Curse of the Black Spot" or "The Power of Three". Occasionally deviating from the traditional format can lead to good things - I think "Blink" is outstanding although, while being about time-travel, it is not really a Doctor Who story as such.

The Master flying and shooting lightning was just too big a leap for me and drowned out any possible plus points from that episode. Palpatine Master being (arguably) superior to Eric Roberts Master is even more damning with faint praise.

Are we watching the same show? I think this year had a few hiccups but the show has generally found its footing again and I'm really looking forward to the Cybernan episode.

And the sonic screwdriver didn't seem to be used when stopping the Sweetville rocket (a well aimed chair into that clockwork computer worked). Also Diana Rigg was holding the Doctor at bay with a loaded gun and had misplaced trust in her blind daughter who she presumably bullied into compliance for decades. And NuWho may not be the most consistent show ever and Moffat on hindsight was better off writing individual episodes than producing seasons, it has enough credibility to attract cult novelists like Neil Gaiman (who is penning next week's instalment).

Wow, have people really turned against this show. It gets harder to keep a cult show attracting fans after four to six seasons...

Well, the sonic screwdriver did somehow cure the Doctor of the poison which I think, even for the all-purpose-magical-tool is a first.

Are we watching the same show? Checking IMDB, this year we have had (Spoilers):

The Bells of Saint John: Loads of plot holes - how can robot doctor move around so freely when previously the robots were almost static wifi points? How does the Doctor hack it when a few minutes before it was unhackable? Why are mind controlled drones updating Facebook?

The Rings of Akhaten: Singing to a vampire keeps a star/God subdued, although really this is a cover for a sacrifice (not too sure, plot was a bit incoherent). Star/God feeds off memories but once awoken even the Doctor's memories are not enough for it so Clara spouts some guff about her leaf representing infinite possible memories that never happened and the star disappears in a puff of logic.

Cold War: Super dull. Ice warrior takes out submarine. Then plans to fire nukes because he thinks his race has died out. Then his race turns up so he changes his mind and goes home.

Hide: Who wrote 'Help Me'? Why was there a circle of cold? How did one pining alien end up in the pocket universe and the other one in the house? How did the one in the house remain undetected? How did it survive millions (billions?) of years waiting for it's partner?

Journey to the centre of the Tardis: Why are the zombie monsters attacking them (instead of, say, warning them and thereby saving themselves). Complete cop-out ending - "Oh look, a rift in time, I'll just tell myself to avoid the trouble I'm about to get into" - "Big Friendly Button", more like "Writers utter cop-out" button.

I'd really like to enjoy this show - there have been a few really good episodes since the return, e.g. "The Empty Child", "Blink" and (to a lesser extent) "Time of Angels", but on the whole, the good episodes are fewer and further between and the general quality has reached such a level of suckiness I'm giving up hope.

I will watch the Neil Gaimen episode - I thought "The Doctors Wife" was pretty entertaining so fingers crossed... We may not agree on the quality of the last few years of Doctor Who but hopefully we can at least agree that we'd all like to do Jenna-Louise Coleman :)

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Didn't think last Saturdays set in Victorian Yorkshire was that bad, and was penned by Mark Gatiss one of the better writers. It was also great to see Diana Rigg back on screen.

Thankfully Virgin Media have been showing old Who and I find them a lot better, despite the creaky sets and live studio look.

I never thought much of Peter Davidson but Resurrection of The Daleks was excellent, and for a kids show the death count is massive!

I think New Who has gone too far down the Harry Potter route. I think Matt Smith is excellent, but he's been badly used. He could have played a much darker Doctor.

And I agree with other posters. The sonic screwdriver should be retired for a while. It hardly featured in the early episodes.

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Journey to the centre of the Tardis: Why are the zombie monsters attacking them (instead of, say, warning them and thereby saving themselves). Complete cop-out ending - "Oh look, a rift in time, I'll just tell myself to avoid the trouble I'm about to get into" - "Big Friendly Button", more like "Writers utter cop-out" button.

Dr. Who has been one long Deus ex Machina for years now. I loved the final episode of the Ecclestone series where he somehow managed to step between the blades. That somehow felt genuine, like something that the doctor could do. Now he'd just wave his sonic screwdriver and the whole thing would be OK.

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The last episode (Saturday's one) is the only episode which still exists which I have not seen.

It's sitting recorded on the Humax box but I might even give it a miss.

In a nutshell the biggest issue with the series is also its potential biggest attribute - that it's for both children and adults.

Actually it started out as a kids' show but if you watch back some of the early black and white episodes, while some of the acting is diabolical (and some still is) it stands out even more because of a lack of "glitziness" and effects, there is a story at the heart of it.

It moves along quite slowly and has serious moments. The chilling bits are really chilling, the most memorable moment being in the first Dalek story where Barbara gets menaced by the Dalek after becoming trapped in the city.

The closest I think the show has come in recent years was Ecclestone's "The Parting of the Ways" at the end of the first season where the CGI managed to produce thousands of Daleks, perhaps one of the best moments in the show ever. The other Dalek story about the trapped Dalek ("called "Dalek") in that season was also one of the best stories ever and even went so far as to be boderline edgy to watch (the torture scenes).

Now, it isn't chilling. It has some humerous moments and a few nice ideas. It also has a Sylvester McCoy-esque "wizardry" type theme to it, perhaps replicating the show's least successful season when all the adults switched off. It has been Americanised. It is mostly puerile and childish.

I'm not sure what's left for adults to actually enjoy.

All that said, Asylum of the Daleks was OK, 6.5 out of 10, and the one last week with the interior of the Tardis (anyone seen the film Sunshine? I think so...) was maybe 7 out of 10. It's a lot better than the last time they tried running round the interior of the Tardis (back in the Tom Baker days in a Sontaran story).

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