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  1. #5656
    Extraordinary Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    The Sun Makers, for example, was about as blatant as you could be short of Tom Baker narrating the actual message while the episode played in the background.
    The Green Death had the Doctor literally saying words to the effect of "look after your damn planet"

    There are so many examples of it in classic Who.
    Yeah take Robert Holmes one of the greatest Dr. Who writers of all time but back in the day if something in society was bothering him you be sure to hear about on Who and he wasn't subtle like the Two Doctors and eating meat.

  2. #5657
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    There's quite a bit of it in even the later seasons; McCoy's Happiness Patrol is partially about Thatcher while Greatest Show was kind of a meta joke on the BBC and Doctor Who itself. "Rememberance" also dealt with social issues of the 60s with the Daleks once again serving as a sort of analogy.

    Speaking of which, the Dregs sort of seemed a lot like the Haemavores from Curse of Fenric-mutant humans created from pollution. However, the story also sort of implies that it wasn't the "industrial progress" as the Doctor says but Fenric dumping the chemicals into the sea that would've created the Haemavore future (The story *is* a bit confusing, like Ghost light). There's also of course the Futurekind and Toclafane from the Master trilogy but those seem to not have been caused by pollution but by desperate attempts to survive (Almost like the Daleks themselves-RTD even stated that if he wasn't allowed to use the Daleks he would've used the Toclafane).
    Last edited by ChrisIII; 01-14-2020 at 12:57 PM.
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  3. #5658
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60shMyabeMo

    Interesting thing here-Lenny Henry (Spyfall) as the Doctor in a 1985 comedy sketch.
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  4. #5659

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    Big Finish's Day of The Master set the bar pretty high for the Master's 50th anniversary.

  5. #5660
    Duly appointed enforcer of the Admin Accord Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisIII View Post
    There's quite a bit of it in even the later seasons; McCoy's Happiness Patrol is partially about Thatcher while Greatest Show was kind of a meta joke on the BBC and Doctor Who itself. "Rememberance" also dealt with social issues of the 60s with the Daleks once again serving as a sort of analogy.
    Basically every Dalek story was thematically about nazism and/or facism.
    Battlefield was blatantly about the dangers and idiocy of nuclear weapons.
    Survival was all about selfishness and how one's survival is nothing against the welfare of a larger community.
    Ghost Light was basically a giant middle finger to creationists.
    Silver Nemesis was about how greed corrupts and is self destructive. And again, a commentary on nuclear deterrents.
    Meanwhile, Dragonfire was about how much Mel sucked as a character and how quickly she could be jettisoned from the show.
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  6. #5661
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    I was keen when Jodie Whittaker was announced as the new Doctor - she'd shown her formidable acting chops in shows such as Broadchurch and she obviously knows her trade.
    But this incarnation of the Doctor really isn't doing it for me at all and I think it's the writing and directing to blame.

    Part 2 of Spyfall, for example, there were a lot of camera shots which were simply bad. When Barton is there monologuing to what looked like a university lecture hall, there was a close up of his face with five lights behind his head. More lens flare than a modern Trek movie and it looked clownish. When the Master's message was being played in the TARDIS, the Doctor draping herself on the steps looked very forced and was a poor directorial choice.
    The apparent destruction of Gallifrey, yet again, comes across as lazy writing. The Time Lords have just been brought back and effectively not been touched on at all from a narrative standpoint - their new place in the Universe post Time War not explored much at all. And now gone again.

    I think what does bug me the most is that this incarnation seems to be repeating some of the worst tropes/mistakes from the classic series.
    During the 5th Doctor's run there were simply too many companions at the one time. Three means that there simply isn't enough for each of them to do (this comes up a LOT in the DVD commentaries) and this was, once again, evident in Spyfall. The three companions moved around as a collective group, not individuals as such. What makes this effort worse is, unlike a lot of classic series companions, none of these three seem to possess any notable special skills or qualities that can be used to drive scenes/narratives - there's no scientifically trained Nyssa or underhanded Turlough. Honestly, it's a struggle to remember their names at times simply because they are written as 'the companions' and not as actual characters.

    Keeping with the comparisons to the 5th Doctor, this current incarnation shares another trait. That of not being in control. The 5th Doctor generally was very reactive and didn't demonstrate the ability to take a situation and control it like most other incarnations did. This Doctor does the same but to an even greater degree - this one's tendency to talk to herself incessantly does little but indicate they don't seem to know what they're doing and clearly has little idea about what is actually happening. The self questioning fulfils the purpose the companions usually fill - asking the questions that the Doctor answers on behalf of the audience. Now the Doctor is doing the questioning which makes the over abundance of companions even worse.

    The writing, in general, really hasn't been great. Every tenure has it's great stories and terrible tales. For every Blink there's a Fear Her. For every Heaven Sent there's a Forest of the Night.
    But was there even one memorable story from last season? Has anything stood out, in a positive way, as a memorable Who tale? Damned if I can think of anything.
    And Spyfall didn't help, especially with the wasted use of Stephen Fry, the writing out of UNIT, the terrible visual gags with laser shoes and a plot that needed serious pacing work.
    This is a great summation of where Iím at. Too much backpedaling. Too many companions. I agree with the politics but dislike the directing, dialogue, and storytelling. Not enough time travel. IMHO, if youíre going to strand the series somewhere, go Victorian or something.

    As an aside, it bugged me that part 1 was a James Bond pastiche but didnít have Bond style music or intrigue. The Doctor tells everyone to be discreet then walks up to the tech guy and dumps a bunch of exposition about aliens. Thatís a bad scene unless played for laughs about how awkward/goofy the Doctor is and it just failed to be funny while also being a bad spy scene. Flash did a so-so Bond parody this season but it was easily 10x better and snappier than Spyfall.

  7. #5662
    Extraordinary Member Cyke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Gerard View Post
    This is a great summation of where I’m at. Too much backpedaling. Too many companions. I agree with the politics but dislike the directing, dialogue, and storytelling. Not enough time travel. IMHO, if you’re going to strand the series somewhere, go Victorian or something.

    As an aside, it bugged me that part 1 was a James Bond pastiche but didn’t have Bond style music or intrigue. The Doctor tells everyone to be discreet then walks up to the tech guy and dumps a bunch of exposition about aliens. That’s a bad scene unless played for laughs about how awkward/goofy the Doctor is and it just failed to be funny while also being a bad spy scene. Flash did a so-so Bond parody this season but it was easily 10x better and snappier than Spyfall.
    I can't say much about intrigue (that seems more like a stylistic thing and I never really paid much attention to intrigue in Bond movies, tbh), but the bombastic music instantly struck me as Bond-ish, particularly the Connery films -- almost every time he stepped out of a car in a tropical getaway, a big brass band would play! I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the incidental music in Spyfall isn't used in future episodes unlike other stock DW music (something Murray Gold really liked to do, though I like his stuff nonetheless).
    Last edited by Cyke; 01-14-2020 at 06:38 PM.

  8. #5663
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyke View Post
    I can't say much about intrigue (that seems more like a stylistic thing and I never really paid much attention to intrigue in Bond movies, tbh), but the bombastic music instantly struck me as Bond-ish, particularly the Connery films -- almost every time he stepped out of a car in a tropical getaway, a big brass band would play! I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the incidental music in Spyfall isn't used in future episodes unlike other stock DW music (something Murray Gold really liked to do, though I like his stuff nonetheless).
    If it had been Davies, he’d have probably fought for actual Bond music. Ha.

    Like I say, there are scenes that feel like they should be funny but they just aren’t.

  9. #5664
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    It seems like they mainly dropped the spy/Bond angle apart from the laser shoes in the second episode for a more traditional "historical celebrity"/Master episode. Although the France part involved spying it was pretty much World War II stuff, not Bond really (Although some of Fleming's inspiration for Bond came out of his own World War II experiences).

    The part with Barton designating the companions as public enemies kind of felt right out of "Sound of Drums" in particular (and of course the drums themselves made a comeback).
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  10. #5665
    Astonishing Member Derek Metaltron's Avatar
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    If you’re interested in both Doctor Who and gamebooks like me you might be interested in this! All proceeds go to a mental health charity.

    https://gamebooknews.com/2020/01/15/...fescan-threat/

  11. #5666
    Fantastic Member Indian Ink's Avatar
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    Dr Who has always flipped around a little, I think, between, all ages show, to children's show that can also be watched by adults. Since Dr Who restarted it's been pretty much an all ages program, but now with the new Doctor it feels to me at least, to be more 'children's that can also be watched by adults'. A more slick Sara Jane's if you will. I'm not sure this format is going to hold onto the viewers for very long. Though not rapidly, the viewing figures seem to be slowly dropping. I wouldn't be too surprised if the natural level for this is going to be under Capaldi's low ratings.

  12. #5667
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    I think that more or less the ratings have been dropping since Tennant and RTD left.
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  13. #5668
    Duly appointed enforcer of the Admin Accord Matt's Avatar
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    Which is interesting as in terms of story quality, I think the high point since the reboot was the Smith + Amy + Rory era.
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  14. #5669
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisIII View Post
    I think that more or less the ratings have been dropping since Tennant and RTD left.
    American numbers shot up with Smith (not that BBC necessarily takes that into account) but plunged when Karen Gillen left and again when Smith left.

    I can say anecdotally that tracks given my dozen closest friends and parents as a sample:

    About a third watched Tennant. The majority watched most or all of Smith. My dad and I were the only ones who watched Capaldi.

    We dropped Whitaker with Spyfall after never really enjoying any of the episodes before it and more or less feeling emotionally burned by the destruction of Gallifrey.

  15. #5670
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    The Sun Makers, for example, was about as blatant as you could be short of Tom Baker narrating the actual message while the episode played in the background.
    The Green Death had the Doctor literally saying words to the effect of "look after your damn planet"

    There are so many examples of it in classic Who.
    The Sun Makers was blatantly a dig at the Tax Man, no doubt. The difference is that it was written intelligently. The Happiness Patrol is another in that it was a satire of Thatcher. Helen A is as close as you can get to Thatcher without actually casting Thatcher herself.

    Pertwee's era is when the show was really on the moral high horse. Barry Letts was pretty big on it since he was a Buddhist. Inferno, The Silurians, The Mutants, Green Death the list is endless.

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