Ah, I loves my sister. No, not like that. And The Doctor. No, not like that either.

Since Auntie Beeb and the Warner boys seem to believe that the Dr Who DVDs should be priced at a premium against almost any other DVD of a single TV program, I haven’t got around to getting any of them yet.

Ah, but my sister was standing in front of the DVD rack at MediaPlay or Best Buy or some-such when she called to ask what I wanted for xmas, and now I have ‘The Five Doctors’ and ‘Ghost Light’, the two I specifically remember mentioning by title.

Answer me this, if anyone can (especially the Brits who read my blatherings): what is it about the Daleks that something so patently ridiculous as an animated pepperpot with a toilet tank float sticking out of it can send a shiver up my spine with a single “EX-TER-MIN-ATE!”?

In re: ‘The Five Doctors’–interesting commentary track with Peter Davison and Terrence Dicks. Apparently Dicks wanted to use lots of Daleks, but the script editor wanted Cybermen, so there were dozens of Cybermen and only one Dalek. Dicks had his revenge by having the Cybermen slaughtered all but en masse. And the lesson is: never annoy your writer. :)

Davison was never one of my favorite Doctors–I’m a McCoy/Troughton man, m’self, and I’ve made room for Eccleston–but it’s not that I dislike his protrayal, I just don’t like it as much as I do the others.

BTW, anyone who’s seen it: how does Tennant stack up? I’ve heard bad things about the story he started with, but hopefully it’s script problems and not actor problems.

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4 comments so far

  1. avon_deer on

    what is it about the Daleks…

    In the recent episode entitle “Dalek”; When asked why the Dalek wanted to kill everyone, the doctor’s response summed it all up:

    “Because it genuinely believes you deserve to die.”

    The Daleks were allegedly based in Nazi storm troopers. And their attitude reflected Nazi docterine perfectly. Their stacatto(sp?) mode of speech taken almost directly from the style of the famous speeches of the Fuhrer himself.

    It is this insidious, single minded attitude which makes the viewer sick the stomach when that metalic sounding word is uttered.

    Incidentally, the BBC tried using the latest digital synth systems for the Dalek voices in the new series. But nothing modern sounded “quite right”. So they blew the dust off the orginal anaologue kit used by the Radiophonics team (it STILL worked after years of retirement), and the sound was “perfect”.

    Strange, isn’t it?

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      I didn’t know that’s where Nation took his inspiration from, but it makes sense, even moreso in 1963 when WWII was quite a bit more recent and within easy memory reach of even young adults.

      Dicks made an interesting point on the commentary track: Nation had the hottest property around with the Daleks… but they weren’t worth a penny separated from The Doctor, so he had no way to use them apart from the show, however much he wanted to.

      I’m not surprised they ended up going back to the old equipment–good thing it was still there!–since if the Daleks didn’t sound like Daleks, there would have been angry mobs with pitchforks. I know–I’d’ve been one of them. :)

      I have several of the new Who eps, but have only had the chance to see the first three. Not entirely sure I like the idea of single one-hour episodes over the old multi-episode story arcs, but I like what I see so far.

      • avon_deer on

        single one-hour episodes

        That, in my opinion was the major Achilles heel of the whole new series. The shows just felt like a rush to tie up as many loose ends as possible at the end of the fourtyfive minutes.

        Case in point: The story entitled “Empty Child”, which was IMO the best story of the entire series was spread over two episodes. That made all the difference.

        One episode stories SOMETIMES work (case in point: Dalek). But for the most part; I’d like to see the return of the traditional six parter format. Or maybe a three parter compromise.

        I think the BBC took the plunge and opted for a fast paced single episode story format due to their perception of a changing TV market. They feel that people have a lot less time for TV these days, and get bored with it a lot more quickly. There are also a lot more distractions from other media (Internet etc). So they feel that they have to keep things punchy and short in order to satisfy the shorter attention span of the lowest common denominator.

        For people like you and I, this is nonsense. If you make a story good enough, and the ending “cliffhangery” enough, then a good selection of people WILL tune in next week to see the conclusion. The problem is that for the BBC “a good selection of people” is no longer good enough.

        They forget that sci-fi is quite a niche thing, and niches are no good in an era driven br ratings. Their dumbing down of “Dr Who” is an attempt to bring sci-fi to “the masses”. In an age when “the masses” lack the mental ability to cope with anything more challenging than “Big Brother”.

        • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

          You’d think that somewhere, some TV exec would finally say to himself, “Hey, SF fans are the most incredibly loyal fans in the universe! We oughta leave our goddamn fingers off whatever it is that’s working and ride the money train as long as we can!”

          But no. It happened to Classic Star Trek, it happened to Farscape, it happened to Babylon 5 and Crusade, it happened twice to Mystery Science Theater 3000, it happened to Doctor Who, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it happened to Blake’s 7 and Red Dwarf, too. The suits either killed the show because they didn’t understand it, or they were jealous of the success that they didn’t create, or they thought they could “improve” it.


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