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Doctor Who

post #1 of 409
Thread Starter 
I've only just flipped by it now and again when its on PBS. It seems to make no sense whatsoever and the production values are laughable. Nevertheless I'm intrigued. What would be a good place to start on the series?
post #2 of 409
1963.
post #3 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ross
I've only just flipped by it now and again when its on PBS. It seems to make no sense whatsoever and the production values are laughable. Nevertheless I'm intrigued. What would be a good place to start on the series?

If you can find the episode arc entitled "Genesis of the Daleks" on DVD that would be a good place to start. If you don't like that, you won't like any of it.
Overlook the production values, the BBC didn't have any of that Star Trek money.
The show is greatness.

EDIT-I am assuming, by the way, that you are watching the older series not the new 21st century version.
Best non Galactica show on the box.
post #4 of 409
The Tom Baker years are required viewing....It's greatness is without question.

I've only seen a few episodes of the pre and post Baker years.....The Fox movie can be skipped....Eccleston's season was great and rehooked me to the show....And so far I'm enjoying Tennant as the Doctor....The show is definatly in my top five "must see" TV.
post #5 of 409
My favorite doctor was the second, Patrick Troughton, who replaced an ailing William Hartnell partway through Season Four (1966) and stayed to the end of Season Six (1969). His doctor had a fidgety, clownish quality which suited the character well and offered a welcome dose of amiability after Hartnell's miserable, grouchy mad scientist. Troughton is in my opinion the only doctor who could really sell the timeworn gag of pulling irrelevant objects out of his pockets to search for a crucial tool (in one case, a roll of masking tape!), because I could buy into the idea that his nervousness would compel him to grab anything which might prove useful down the road.

The Troughton Years were also in that period when British pop culture was at its most psychedelic, so there's a lot of freaky and bizarre visuals, some of it very heady and experimental for TV at that time (particularly in "The Mind Robber"). And partway through Troughton's run the doctor picked up possibly my favorite of his companions, Zoe (Wendy Padbury), who was plucky and cute in a way that the later female sidekicks never quite matched.

Unfortunately, most of the Troughton episodes were destroyed during the BBC purges, and only three of his serials are so far available on DVD ("The Tomb of the Cybermen," "The Mind Robber," "Seeds of Death"). Seek them out.
post #6 of 409
The Tom Baker episodes are probably the easiest to locate on DVD (and my personal favorite)...I got hooked on the series during its 70s reruns and only later delved into its earlier episodes.

Not too fond of the actors who followed Baker throughout the 80s, though the current Doctor (David Tenant) is likeable.
post #7 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorille Verte

Not too fond of the actors who followed Baker throughout the 80s, though the current Doctor (David Tenant) is likeable.
Current Doctor is the best since Tom Baker for my money.
He has a little of all of the Dr's (the good ones, anyway) but has made it his own. I think he is the first actor to really convey the feeling that this guy has been around for ever and seen everything since Baker, who displayed a sort of madness and wild eccentricity you would expect from some one who has a universe worth of information and experience rattling around in his scone.
Can't wait for series three.


EDIT-spellink
post #8 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt OCallaghan
Current Doctor is the best since Tom Baker for my money.
He has a little of all of the Dr's (the good ones, anyway) but has made it his own. I think he is the first actor to really convey the feeling that this guy has been around for ever and seen everything since Baker, who conveted a sort of madness and wild eccentricity you would expect from some one who has a universe worth of information and experience rattling around in his scone.
Can't wait for series three.
I've only seen the first two episodes with Tennant but so far i'm impressed....I thought Eccleston was great in the fact that he got me back into enjoying the show and didn't try to emulate any of the other doctors and brought his own take on the character....But your right about how Tennant has that kind of wildness to him that makes the character so wonderful.
post #9 of 409
Tennant's surprisingly good at squaring off against the heavies. He dishes out the smack-talk with a tremendous amount of authority and really sells the fact that he is one of the most formidable life forms in the galaxy.
Although it's takes place in a pretty average episode, the sequence where Tennant and Anthony Head talk each other out while circling a gymnaisum pool are fantastic. Their scenes crackle with energy and good ole fashioned england hammy acting!
Between this and Battlestar Galactica Im pretty much sorted for TV viewing.
post #10 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ross
I What would be a good place to start on the series?
Get your hands on The City of Death.
It's a Tom Baker episode that was written by Douglas Adams (im pretty sure it's written under a non de plume) and is one of the best episodes, at least as far as fleshing out a pretty brilliant sci-fi concept with a pissy budget goes.

Also from the Tom Baker era is a story arc called "The Talongs of Weng Chiang" that is a fantastic example of the "Gothic" sensibilities the show has, which is still on display in the newer series, particularly the episodes written by League of Gentleman alumni Mark Gattis.
post #11 of 409
My first exposure was to the Jon Pertwee Doctor on PBS when I was a kid. Then PBS started showing the Tom Baker shows when I was in junior high and high school. It's just such a solid concept (and the name "Doctor Who" is so damn iconic), and they had a stroke of genius with the regeneration concept. And yes, the production values aren't always the best, but I'll take imagination without a budget over routine with an unlimited expense account any day.
post #12 of 409
Just finished watching disc 2 of the British DVDs, and Tennant has solidified himself in my mind as the perfect modern take on the character. I love the fact that they definitively linked him to the Pertwee/Baker era. Not to take away from Eccelston, 'cause he was great and added nicely to the pantheon, but Tennant for me is more of a "proper" doctor, and so far I like season 2 better than season 1, even the weird episodes. I just fucking love the show. It has made me remember why the Doctor is my favorite fictional character; the perfect adolescent nerd-boy fantasy.
post #13 of 409
The new guy is definitely better than the previous doc.
post #14 of 409
wait until the later episodes of the second series with tennant. he just got better and better as the show progressed.
post #15 of 409
I just pray they hold on to Tennant for as long as humanly possible. I'll miss Piper, but I don't mind a change in the companion dept.
post #16 of 409
Unfortunately, Tennant is apparently asking for 1 million pounds to do season 4, which is sky-high for BBC programming. I can't help but feel that cycling out Doctors so rapidly will hurt the continuity of the show (and get to 12 regenerations awfully fast).
post #17 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by The LD
Unfortunately, Tennant is apparently asking for 1 million pounds to do season 4
Really!? Where did you hear that?

For those Brits out there, how successful is the show in the UK? I don't even know how the ratings work there. Could Tennant get that kind of money, realistically?
post #18 of 409
I got it from the boards at Newsarama.com...the search function there sucks, but the guys on that board at Doctor Who FREAKS, and the information is almost always right, sadly.
post #19 of 409
Well, if he's asking for a million, they'll negotiate and hopefully come up with something amicable. Then at least we'll get three seasons of Tennant.

Who knows if it'll even last past 4 seasons. Although we are talking about a show with a forty year history.
post #20 of 409
Isn't it about time they rounded up the surviving six doctors and Tennant for a Seven Doctors anniversary special? If Eccleston turns up his nose, the producers could always use outtakes and then stick his character in a time eddy for the remainder of the show.
post #21 of 409
I couln't agree more. I know Eccleston is pissed about the way he was treated as The Doctor, but there's a moment in the second to last episode of this season that I really had hope that he was coming back. He's far too magnetic as the Doctor to never take the role again. That being said, I think he'll be awesome as Number 6 in The Prisoner.
post #22 of 409
I would love to see the producers go back to using older, more eccentric actors to play the Doctor. Malcolm McDowell and Robbie Coltrane would be interesting choices.
post #23 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by The LD
I couln't agree more. I know Eccleston is pissed about the way he was treated as The Doctor...
He is? I always figured it was an amicable deal. What's the story?

As Tennant has said, there's always a loophole the show can figure out regarding the regeneration limit (I think this has been hinted at in Who before). But yeah, I'd certainly like to see Tennant stick around for more than two seasons...ending another season with a newish companion witnessing another regeneration would be bad deja vu.
post #24 of 409
The problem with Tennant-and a little bit with Eccleston, for that matter-is that these guys are talents on the rise, and they're so damn good at what they do that they're gonna get offers out of the wazoo post-Doctor. I love Tennant, he's the best doctor since Baker. But I can understand why, with the added exposure the series has given, he would want to move on to pastures new. He's got a whole career ahead of him, and being shackled to a signature role this early on would be incredibly counterproductive.

I tihnk they need to cast older when they eventually replace him, find someone who has nothing to prove any more and who can have fun with the role. Then again, I can't see them doing that now that the character's been set up as a sex symbol.
post #25 of 409
I caught the last two weeks of Who reruns on Sci-Fi, having not yet seen an entire episode of Who (new or classic) before. It's tempting to say that I'm hooked. Tennant's fun to watch, that's for sure. I'm looking towards getting Series 2 when that is released in Region 1 in January, and will probably snag Series 1 with some Christmas cash.

The local library had a handful of Who DVDs, and I got out a Pertwee story (Carnival of Monsters) that... wasn't so great. The others available were The Pirate Planet (Baker) and Resurrection of the Daleks (Davison). Any preference from the more knowledgeable Who fans out there?

Anyway, here's hoping that Sci-Fi doesn't wait until the fall to give us Americans (who don't have CBC) Series 3...
post #26 of 409
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post #27 of 409
I don't care what the haters say, I love Doctor Who! To me, I think it was like reading a book in that you had to use your imagination to fill in the gaps provided by the low budget.

I loved coming home from elementary school and pretending to do my homework while watching the show in half-hour format. Then they moved the show to the full hour on Saturday nights.

I haven't seen enough of the older doctors, I don't think the Pertwee years added much besides his Aikido and Katy Manning's deliciously short skirts.

I finally accepted Peter Davison, never liked Colin Baker, but I thought Sylvester McCoy was suitably wacky but by then the series had run out of steam.

I don't know what exactly is available but I recall some of my favorite episodes:

Genesis of the Daleks-Excellent, almost has a WW2 overtone to it. I used to have a record of the episode narrated by Tom Baker and would fall asleep to it. NERD!

Talons of Weng Chi'ang-This one is good too, and the main villain's little robot henchman is played by Deep Roy, who was in some Jamie Kennedy shows and Willie Wonka.

Horror at Fang Rock-Ok, the villain is a glowing mass of goo, but I liked the claustrophobic atmosphere of this one.

The Brain of Morbius-Basically a Frankenstein story, the creature is wonderfuly absurd and the henchman reminds me of Freddie Mercury on steroids.
post #28 of 409
When I first caught some Doctor Who, they were editing the serials into movies, and it bored me to tears. It wasn't until a year later, when the local PBS station started showing the series in its proper half-hour daily serial format, that I became hooked.

I understand why people love the Tom Baker years so much, as he himself was a blast to watch, but the episodes themselves didn't always live up to him. Though there were certainly a good number of great episodes, the Baker years were afflicted with a case of "monster of the week" syndrome. Davison fared a little better in this regard, with stories that showed a little more imagination. Colin Baker was just annoying.

Personally, I preferred Eccleston to Tennant just a little bit. Eccleston's ability to turn deadly serious on a dime was impressive, and he could be one thing that I've never found another Doctor to be: intimidating. When he'd turn on the bad guys and warn them to stand down or be destroyed, I bought it.
post #29 of 409
The Deadly Assasin should be required viewing, just so you can see The Matrix being invented in 1976.
Rememberance of the Daleks is continuity-heavy, but had the best effects in the history of the old series, and the original stair-climbing dalek.
Vengeance on Varos, although patchy, is one of those "pre-empting reality tv" things.
post #30 of 409

I have  Doctor Who question.  I just started watching the first season on Netflix.  Yeah, it's the first first season, but I guess it was some sort of first season?  I don't know.  But basically everyone keeps raving about the show and I figured I would check it out.  So I've gone through I think five episodes.  Yeah, not too many to judge a whole show on.  I just finished a two parter with farting aliens wearing human skin.

 

So my questions is does this show get better?  I don't not like it, but I don't find it to be all that great either.  It just comes across as a sci-fi original series right now.  Is this a show like Buffy, where it takes some episodes to find it's footing before it turns into something much better?  Or is this something like LOST that started strong right from the get-go, and if I haven't enjoyed these first five episodes then I may as well quit now.  Yeah, yeah, I know I may be watching it wrong.  I may missing out by not watching the original Who from days of yore.  But keep in mind that I'm pretty much just watching what is available to me on Netflix.

 

So should I keep going, or is Who just not for me?

post #31 of 409

Yeah, it gets much better.  I actually like a lot of the first season, but the only episode I've not watched all the way through was the 3rd episode..  My first try at watching season 1, I stopped with that.  I came back some time later and skipped that episode.  The season picks up after the 5th for the most part.

 

If that doesn't catch your attention, skip to the finale, and head on to the second season.  If that doesn't grab you, skip to season 5.

post #32 of 409

That's good to hear.  I'll keep on keeping on, then.

 

One other thing.  This being a show about time travel, do I just need to let go with any thinking on paradoxes and what not and just go with it?  By that I mean watching the second episode (I think) where they go check out the end of the world, tree lady gets cooked while the doctor is going through giant fan blades.  My first thought is "if you are so bummed about this, why don't you get in the Tardis, go back a few hours, and keep all this from happening?"  Is the reason he does not do this (not on this specific occasion) ever addressed?  Or is this something I just need to forget about because if he always did that the show would be a complete mess?  Or is this something I need to shut up about and wait and see?

post #33 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post
 

 My first thought is "if you are so bummed about this, why don't you get in the Tardis, go back a few hours, and keep all this from happening?"  

 

Ask a geeky question on a forum like this and it's inevitable that you'll get a geek like me respond. 

 

It's the Blinovitch Limitation Effect, as established in the classic Doctor Who show. You can read about it in detail here but I'll sum it up fo you.

 

If you make a mistake while time travelling or things don't work out as planned, why not go back and change them? It's a tempting idea when so much could go wrong. Surely the point of having a time machine is that you can give yourself a second chance?

 

Unfortunately, returning again and again to redo what you've been trying to do weakens the space-time continuum. In a sense, the very fabric of reality becomes worn away by repeated visits to the same time and place. To protect itself, the universe creates what is known as The Blinovitch Limitation Effect. The Blinovitch Limitation Effect simply states that repeated attempts to change set events have less and less effect the more you try to do it. Present events will conspire more and more to protect the timeline as it stands the more you try and fight them. In essence, the fabric of time protects itself by gradually losing its elasticity and becoming more and more rigid.

 

It is the great irony of time travel that you only really get one chance to put things right.

post #34 of 409

Well that perfectly answered my question. Thanks!

post #35 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post
 

Well that perfectly answered my question. Thanks!

 

I should probably add that there's an episode later in the season you're watching which deals with messing around with time (and why it's a bad thing!)

 

Oh and Hypnotoad's advice on watching Nu-Who is absolutely what I would have said. Season Five is a pretty good jumping on point if you find things tough going, although I'd really recommend trying to watch it in order as it'll reap some rewards later.

post #36 of 409

I'm a completest, so I'll watch them all, good and bad.  That's why I wanted to make sure the show got better before I spent any more time watching it.  Though like I said, I'm not so much a completest that I'm going to hunt down the old seasons that aren't on Netflix.

post #37 of 409
Has a regeneration limit been established? A buddy at work thinks so, but he also thinks that somehow the events in The Day of the Doctor might have changed or reset that limit.
post #38 of 409

I had basically the same experience. Honestly, things get significantly better in Season 2 when David Tennant comes on board. It then (in my opinion at least) takes another significant jump in Season 5 with Matt Smith as Doctor and Steven Moffat taking over as showrunner. There's some really goofy stuff in the early seasons, and sometimes it was pretty much just my completist nature that kept me watching some episodes, but there's enough highlights in there to make it worth it.

post #39 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turingmachine75 View Post

Has a regeneration limit been established? A buddy at work thinks so, but he also thinks that somehow the events in The Day of the Doctor might have changed or reset that limit.

It's canon that twelve regenerations, for a total of thirteen incarnations, is the upper limit, but that this is by the Time Lords' design rather than a natural limitation. An old episode where the first five Doctors team up had the Lord President of Gallifrey offer the Master an additional set of thirteen lives if he would help the Doctor, and he followed through with that promise. This implies that the Time Lords who first figured out the regeneration process sat down, thought about it, and decided that, while life extension is pretty sweet, it's best for society if the old still make way for the young eventually - but that workarounds for the artificial limit do exist.
post #40 of 409

I have to wonder if The War Doctor/John Hurt was Moffat's way of ensuring that he'd be the guy to write the character out of the regeneration limit.

post #41 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

 

I should probably add that there's an episode later in the season you're watching which deals with messing around with time (and why it's a bad thing!)

 

But every episode of Dr Who is exactly about messing around with time.

 

With this show I never bother to even pretend the rules make any sense, or that there are any rules at all.

post #42 of 409

With Doctor Who, I've always found it best to not think of it as proper science fiction.  But rather a fairy tale about a Wizard who travels in a magic box getting into all kinds of crazy adventures.  Neil Gaiman agrees with me on this.

 

Season 1 is a bit rough going but Dalek and The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances two parter definitely make it worth it.  Fair warning though; once you get to Season 2, just skip the episode entitled "Love & Monsters".  How that piece of shit got made is utterly beyond me.

 

As a sidenote, I've started watching the Classic Era of the show.  Only watching certain complete serials from each Doctor as I sadly do not have the time to commit a year to watching everything that's available.  I honestly had trouble with the Hartnell era (watched An Unearthly Child and The Daleks) but I put that down more with the educational format of the early years because Hartnell is a delight in the role.

 

Now Troughton?  Troughton's run I'm loving whole heartedly.  I've watched Tomb Of The Cybermen and am currently watching Enemy Of The World.  You can really see him laying the foundations for future interpretations of the Doctor and Jaime may be my favourite companion yet.  Love their interactions.  My favourite being from Tomb where after they defeat the Cybermat:

 

The Doctor: The power cable generated an electrical field and confused their tiny metal minds. You might almost say they've had a complete "metal" breakdown.

Jamie: [groans] Oooh!

The Doctor: I'm so sorry, Jamie.

post #43 of 409

Yeah, skip Love and Monsters, it's the worst Who episode ever.  Which is saying a lot, after a 50-year run.

 

For Hartnell, try The War Machines.

post #44 of 409

Love the War Machines, goofy robots and all! Also check out The Invasion, which features a Cybermen invasion of London, including a Fat Cyberman!

post #45 of 409

Watching "Spearhead From Space" on Netflix Instant. Man the original Autons were CREEPY as hell.

 

Pertwee is really strong right out of the gate (this is his first episode). At first he does a Patrick Troughton imitation before quickly launching into his own things.

post #46 of 409

I'm aaaall about fat Cybermen!  

 

I did actually want to ask the much more knowledgeable Whovians around here:  What would you consider to be the essential or "Must See" serials/episodes of each Doctor?

post #47 of 409

These lists will be used for the sole purpose of increasing my own knowledge as I can't yet consider myself a True Doctor Who fan until I have watched a large amount of the Classic Series.

post #48 of 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Codename View Post
 

I'm aaaall about fat Cybermen!  

 

I did actually want to ask the much more knowledgeable Whovians around here:  What would you consider to be the essential or "Must See" serials/episodes of each Doctor?

 

I'll give some off the cuff selections:

 

1st Doctor: The Daleks, The Chase, The War Machines, The Tenth Planet.

 

2nd Doctor: The Web of Fear (read the novelization, which rocked: anticipating the DVD coming soon), The Invasion, The War Games.

 

3rd Doctor: Spearhead from Space, the Green Death, Terror of the Autons (First appearance of The Master!).

 

4th Doctor: Genesis of the Daleks, Horror of Fang Rock, Logopolis, The Ark in Space.

 

5th Doctor: Earthshock, The Five Doctors.

 

6th Doctor: Attack of the Cybermen

 

7th Doctor: Remembrance of the Daleks.

 

Or you can go by this guide


Edited by Cylon Baby - 12/13/13 at 8:36am
post #49 of 409

1st Doctor: THE AZTECS is a gripping historical, very well written and suspenseful. I'm also a big fan of THE DALEK INVASION OF EARTH and its on-location work in the eerily deserted streets of London.

 

2nd Doctor: There are so many great Troughton serials, it's just too bad that so many aren't complete. A favorite? Maybe TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN.

 

3rd Doctor: Pertwee's first season was excellent, and I loved companion Liz, but I never warmed to the remaining episodes. Favorite is definitely the nail-biting INFERNO, followed by Robert Holmes' SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE.

 

4th Doctor: Holmes' THE TALONS OF WENG-CHIANG, followed by HORROR OF FANG ROCK.  

 

5th Doctor: No contest here ... Holmes' THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI.

 

6th Doctor: The underrated doctor. Favorite: THE MARK OF THE RANI.

 

7th Doctor: I've seen two 7th Doctor serials from beginning to end, and didn't like either of them, so I won't pick a favorite.

 

8th Doctor: THE CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (Big Finish audio drama)

post #50 of 409

For the Seventh Doctor, you either want "Remembrance Of The Daleks" which is one of the best Dalek stories Who has produced, or my own favorite; "The Curse Of Fenric" which perfectly demonstrates why he is considered the most manipulative of The Doctor's incarnations.

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