The RTD Era

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The RTD Era

Post by Patrick on Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:35 am

There seems to be a lot of interest in discussing the new series and episodes people both liked (and want to watch again), and didn't like. So this seems like a reasonable place to consolidate those discussions into one place.

So, have at it! Did you think "Fear Her" was unwatchable? Think "Midnight" was sublime? Loved "Dalek" but hated "Daleks in Manhattan"? Here's where you can have your say...

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Lucy McGough on Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:55 am

What amazes me is how RTD can be so absolutely brilliant in some places, and so ... not ... in others. I mean, compare 'Planet of the Dead' (which sucked) with 'Turn Left' (which blew me away).
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Beatly on Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:39 am

Just like the classic series, the new series has been an undulating landscape: some classics, some duds, plenty in between. I'm personally rather fond of some of those episodes that aren't regarded too well, eg Fear Her, Love & Monsters, Daleks in Manhattan, but there are a few which I find are absolute stinkers to varying degrees: 42, The Lazarus Experiment, The Unquiet Dead and, worst of all, the single worst Doctor Who television story in its entire 46-year run, Voyage of the Damned. Yuck!
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by barnaby morbius on Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:20 am

well, as you know i've enjoyed pretty much all of the |RTD era. and i enjoyed most of the original series as well. hopefully i will enjoy the moffat era as well.

it's much easier liking stuff.

(although, obviously some of it is better than some of the other stuff)
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Rich Flair on Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:50 am

Beatly wrote:Just like the classic series, the new series has been an undulating landscape: some classics, some duds, plenty in between. I'm personally rather fond of some of those episodes that aren't regarded too well, eg Fear Her, Love & Monsters, Daleks in Manhattan, but there are a few which I find are absolute stinkers to varying degrees: 42, The Lazarus Experiment, The Unquiet Dead and, worst of all, the single worst Doctor Who television story in its entire 46-year run, Voyage of the Damned. Yuck!

I love Voyage of the Damned - don't get why people don't like it. RTD did his usual by setting up a group of great characters (that he failed to do in Planet of the Dead) and when killed most of them off in less than an hour i was sad to see them go. It was a rollercoasting Xmas Day movie and me and the family all loved it.
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by The Co=Ordinator on Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:09 am

Have to say that, on the whole, I've loved it ever since Rose aired. However IMO it's definitely time for the era to end.

Maybe RTD should actually have upped and left, after Journey's End and let Moff lead Tennant's farewell.

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Beatly on Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:42 am

Rich Flair wrote:I love Voyage of the Damned - don't get why people don't like it. RTD did his usual by setting up a group of great characters (that he failed to do in Planet of the Dead) and when killed most of them off in less than an hour i was sad to see them go. It was a rollercoasting Xmas Day movie and me and the family all loved it.

I'm glad that opinions manage to differ so much in some cases (even though you're still wrong! Razz ), but I'm sorry to say it just did nothing for me except leave a nasty taste in my mouth. I gave it another chance recently, and didn't find myself liking it any more. I wish I could, but I just can't! Sad
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Max Marble on Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:22 am

I like most of the RTD era. Here are some favorites of mine. I'll limit it to two stories per season:

Dalek
The Empty Child

The Girl in the Fireplace
Doomsday

Gridlock
Human Nature

The Fires of Pompeii
Silence in the Library

There are very few RTD-era stories I dislike. There are more I'd call average, like Boom Town or The Lazarus Experiment. Even Love & Monsters I really like from the beginning up until the point when the Abzorbaloff hits the scene in all his loincloth-clad glory. But I'd have to say I really do not like the following:

The Impossible Planet
Fear Her
42

And I'm tempted to add The Shakespeare Code, The Idiot's Lantern, and The Doctor's Daughter to the list but in each case it's just a specific element I did not like yet I could appreciate most of the rest of it.
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Lee Carey on Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:00 pm

Beatly wrote:the single worst Doctor Who television story in its entire 46-year run, Voyage of the Damned. Yuck!
Now while I can understand the statement "My least favourite story in its entire 46 year run," I find it hard to understand the use of the word worst, without someone giving that statement some sort of context.

Are you really saying that Voyage is badly made? And if so, then can you rally justify that alongside other, worst made stories (for instance, Dragonfire, and it's 'cliffhanger' ending that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever? Or the Twin Dilemma, and it's sets made out of tinsel?)
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Patrick on Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:03 pm

Lee Carey wrote:Are you really saying that Voyage is badly made? And if so, then can you rally justify that alongside other, worst made stories (for instance, Dragonfire, and it's 'cliffhanger' ending that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever? Or the Twin Dilemma, and it's sets made out of tinsel?)

Or "Horns of Nimon".

*Ducks to avoid the heavy object C=O has just thrown at him.*
Razz

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Lee Carey on Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:23 pm

Ah, now I love the Horns of Nimon-- a great story let down mainly by a shoddy monster. But the story makes sense dramatically, and even the supposed 'over the top' acting by Graham Crowden is justifiable within the story because, by the time he utters his last, Doooooooooooommmmmmed!, he is utter;y, utterly unhinged.

I love season 17, me, and won't hear a word against it. The last well written season before series one, in my opinion.

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Colin Hicks on Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:31 pm

I might even go so far as to say "Nimon" makes more dramatic sense than "Voyage of the Damned". At least I actually care about some of the characters.

Hell, on that score, so does "Dragonfire", if just for Glitz. Not "Twin Dilemma", though.

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Dave Webb on Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:52 pm

Haven't seen Twin Dilemma in aaages, will find and watch.

Voyage? It's never going to be the best of anything, but it's never going to be the worst - at least not in a universe in which Pip and Jane Baker have written for the show.

The era as a whole? It suffers from one thing, which allows it to scale incredible heights when things work well: Doctor Who Must Be Event Television.

This is a fallacy. Midnight and Turn Left both demonstrate that you can do compelling and excellent RTD era Who without the scale and scope of something like a movie plot. That's why Fear Her seems to badly done - it's lost in the background while other eps prance around going "Ta DAAAAA!"

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Beatly on Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:53 pm

Lee Carey wrote:
Beatly wrote:the single worst Doctor Who television story in its entire 46-year run, Voyage of the Damned. Yuck!
Now while I can understand the statement "My least favourite story in its entire 46 year run," I find it hard to understand the use of the word worst, without someone giving that statement some sort of context.

Are you really saying that Voyage is badly made? And if so, then can you rally justify that alongside other, worst made stories (for instance, Dragonfire, and its 'cliffhanger' ending that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever? Or the Twin Dilemma, and its sets made out of tinsel?)

I can justify it by adding a reminder that all posts should have "in my opinion" at the end, because that's what it is: my opinion. In my opinion, that's the worst story yet.

Dragonfire is a bit poor, yes (in my opinion), but I'm rather fond of both The Horns of Nimon and The Twin Dilemma. Smile
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Max Marble on Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:37 pm

The only problem I have with Voyage of the Damned is that too many people sacrifice themselves, until it almost makes the sacrifices pointless. Well, here goes another one... too bad. Is she gonna die? Yeah, probably. Did someone survive?

But I really like the characters in the episode. Especially Bannakaffalatta.

"Couldn't I just call you Banna?"
"No! Bannakaffalatta!" lol!
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Zoltar on Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:17 pm

Dave Webb wrote:The era as a whole? It suffers from one thing, which allows it to scale incredible heights when things work well: Doctor Who Must Be Event Television.

This is a fallacy. Midnight and Turn Left both demonstrate that you can do compelling and excellent RTD era Who without the scale and scope of something like a movie plot. That's why Fear Her seems to badly done - it's lost in the background while other eps prance around going "Ta DAAAAA!"
I agree on this. Wanting to create Event TV has taken a toll on more than a few TV series in recent years. The idea of the bombastic Event Finale to every season/series has become the norm.

As for Daleks in Manhattan, I actually liked Part 1. Part 2 is where it falls apart for me.

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Zoltar on Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:19 pm

Max Marble wrote:The only problem I have with Voyage of the Damned is that too many people sacrifice themselves, until it almost makes the sacrifices pointless. Well, here goes another one... too bad. Is she gonna die? Yeah, probably. Did someone survive?
It's the Disaster Movie model, it's common in those sort of films for the main cast to take several losses. If VotD were a movie, those roles would probably be played by famous actors to add to the shock value.

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Dave Webb on Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:08 pm

Zoltar wrote:
Max Marble wrote:The only problem I have with Voyage of the Damned is that too many people sacrifice themselves, until it almost makes the sacrifices pointless. Well, here goes another one... too bad. Is she gonna die? Yeah, probably. Did someone survive?
It's the Disaster Movie model, it's common in those sort of films for the main cast to take several losses. If VotD were a movie, those roles would probably be played by famous actors to add to the shock value.

Yep. A cast of 38 start out, two and a half survive. Check out the original Poseidon Adventure, or Towering Inferno, for examples.

I could have done without Stardust Kylie, though. No one else got to be drifting atoms. Actually, the people who fell into the nuclear storm drive probably did, but they weren't very photogenic drifting atoms.

For me, the biggest triumph of the RTD Era comes with the Rewatch Value. You can watch an RTD story three times; the first time for the roller-coaster ride. The second time you can play "spot the RTD trope" and the third time you can scour it for references, imagery and assorted other gubbins to make you sound like a total bore in the pub (but which is secretly very edifying to have spotted because it means you didn't waste your education). Try it with The Next Doctor and you'll see what I mean.

It's also the era that let The Moff loose on Doctor Who, so I'm happy about that, and it gave Mark Gatiss two writer credits, even if The Idiot's Lantern should have been a two parter.

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Rich Flair on Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:10 pm

It should have been a no parter, Webbo!
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by The Co=Ordinator on Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:50 am

Patrick wrote:Or "Horns of Nimon".

*Ducks to avoid the heavy object C=O has just thrown at him.*
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Graymalkin on Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:41 am

The episodes I'm particularly fond of, my dozen fave-raves if you will, would be...

'The Unquiet Dead';
'The Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances';
'The Girl in the Fireplace';
'The Impossible Panet/ The Satan Pit';
'Love & Monsters';
'The Runaway Bride';
'Smith and Jones';
'The Shakespeare Code';
'Human Nature/ The Family of Blood'
'Blink';
'The Sound of Drums'*;
'Midnight'.

The Co=Ordinator wrote:Maybe RTD should actually have upped and left, after Journey's End and let Moff lead Tennant's farewell.

I think that's a fair point - 'Journey's End' certainly feels like a full-stop...

Beatly wrote:I'm sorry to say ['Voyage of the Damned'] just did nothing for me except leave a nasty taste in my mouth...

It's Kylie. It's Kylie in boots. It's Kylie in boots and a waitress' outfit. Job done...

Lee Carey wrote:Ah, now I love the Horns of Nimon...

Courtesy of iTunes I watched this for the first time since I was a kid on my iPod recently. Loved it...

Zoltar wrote:As for Daleks in Manhattan, I actually liked Part 1...

I agree with you to a point, and that point is about thirty minutes in - there's a really good first-half-hour to that story...

Dave Webb wrote:For me, the biggest triumph of the RTD Era comes with the Rewatch Value...

Particularly 'Gridlock'...



*Not sure if it's cheating to split this off from it's surrounding episodes, but I have. It's what the Master would do...
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Dave Webb on Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:46 am

Rich Flair wrote:It should have been a no parter, Webbo!

Alright, a one parter about the Doctor and a short play, for a completely different show, about being a kid in the 1950s.

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Re: The RTD Era

Post by Rich Flair on Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:57 am

Yeah, I thought the stuff about the kid and his dad was awkward and confused. Fair enough that we are suposed to hate the Dad for being mean to the family, but it seems like we're also being told that he's bad for ringing the police about his faceless mother in law. Which was surely the sensible thing to do.
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:23 pm

Dave Webb wrote:The era as a whole? It suffers from one thing, which allows it to scale incredible heights when things work well: Doctor Who Must Be Event Television.
Which is why "M" faces a big problem. It took RTD four years to build up to the chutzpah of Journey's End. No way will the incoming Guv'nor be able to achieve that from a standing start. I just hope that the general audience is forgiving if his first series does not end with the bang of an RTD finale.
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Re: The RTD Era

Post by The Co=Ordinator on Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:31 pm

I personally think it would be nice not to.

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