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UK sci-fi hit 'Doctor Who' celebrates 60th anniversary

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By Helen ROWE

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It's that cliche of children hiding behind the sofa

It was a cliché for the upper middle classes. Most families wouldn't have enough room in their houses to get behind a sofa.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Although the BBC shelved "Doctor Who" in 1989, it was revived in 2005 under the stewardship of screenwriter and producer Russell T. Davies.

Doctor Who was deliberately run-down by the BBC in the years prior to 1989 by executives who hated sci-fi and wanted the BBC to make more high-brow literary adaptations and tacky soap operas. It was scheduled against ITV's top soap opera, a producer they deemed useless was kept on the programme and not allowed to quit, actors who were mainly known for light entertainment rather than drama were cast in lead roles and writers such as Russell T Davies were advised to steer clear. They deliberately threw away license fee payers' money on a programme they believed to be sub-standard, rather than just cancelling it straight away or trying to make it better.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ah_so

It's that cliche of children hiding behind the sofa

It was a cliché for the upper middle classes. Most families wouldn't have enough room in their houses to get behind a sofa

What utter codswallop.

As it happens I was hiding behind my mothers legs watching the first episode. Much safer, no monster could possibly get me there, and I could still see the screen!

Personally I think it has lost its way recently, the scripts and storylines have not been very good and while I like Jodie Whittaker and much of her work she was not right for the part, though she wasn’t given much of a chance with the dire scripts she was given to work with.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

englisc aspyrgend

Personally I think it has lost its way recently, the scripts and storylines have not been very good and while I like Jodie Whittaker and much of her work she was not right for the part, though she wasn’t given much of a chance with the dire scripts she was given to work with.

There have been lots of Doctor Who stories over the years with iffy scripts, for me the big problem was the overarching idea in the Jodie Whittaker era. To my mind it's the single worst thing anyone has ever come up with for a TV series.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don’t think it is popular in Japan. There are much better quality sci-fi shows in Japan, which is famous for it around the world. Even in my country it is not popular.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

One of the best science fiction stories in the world..

Way much better than childish star wars..

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japantime

Today 09:17 am JST

I don’t think it is popular in Japan.

It's not well-known in Japan. It can't be popular if it doesn't get much promotion or media coverage. It was on NHK-E when the revived series started but I don't think they ever told anyone.

There are much better quality sci-fi shows in Japan, which is famous for it around the world.

Oh really? Such as? You don't mean any of those extended toy commercials with actor-singer wannabes prancing about in silly costumes on office block rooftops and outside factories in Kanto, do you?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It was a cliché for the upper middle classes. Most families wouldn't have enough room in their houses to get behind a sofa.

Nonsense. Plenty of space in a 1970s council house/flat's living room for that, and to recreate the best scenes after.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Every true Whovian knows that Gallifreyans may only regenerate twelve times. These are the Doctor’s lives:

The First Doctor (William Hartnell) A.K.A. “the Doctor, the original you might say”

The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) [first regeneration]

The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) [second regeneration]

The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) [third regeneration]

The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davidson) [fourth regeneration]

The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) [fifth regeneration]

The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) [sixth regeneration]

The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) [seventh regeneration]

The Ninth Doctor (John Hurt) A.K.A. “the war doctor” [eighth regeneration]

The Tenth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) [ninth regeneration]

The Eleventh Doctor (David Tennant) [tenth regeneration]

The Twelfth Doctor (Matt Smith) [eleventh regeneration]

The Thirteenth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) [twelfth regeneration]

And so it is that during the Time War “all thirteen” Doctors came and saved Gallifrey from the Daleks. So while you may see some random Time Lady or Time Queen using the name “Doctor,” perhaps even operating a Tardis with the external appearance of the Doctor’s own, those are in fact just the impostors “Nurse What?” and “Doctor Whoever.”

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are much better quality sci-fi shows in Japan, which is famous for it around the world. 

ROTFLMAO! Surely you jest, sir! What sci-fi show is Japan famous around the world for? Ultraman? ”Better quality”? In what way, pray tell. Better written? Produced? Acted?

No other tv sci-fi tv series comes half as close.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

TokyoLivingToday  10:10 am JST

One of the best science fiction stories in the world..

Way much better than childish star wars..

It used to be....not so sure nowadays.

Yes...Star Wars is childish and it's not science fiction.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

From the article:

15th doctor Ncuti Gatwa -- the first actor of color to play the part

If more recent episodes of a show also named “Doctor Who” are to be believed, heresy to a true Whovian, this statement is not true.

He was preceded by “actors of color”:

Leo Tang “The Timeless Child” (fourth incarnation)

Jesse Deyi “The Timeless Child” (seventh incarnation)

He was also preceded by “actresses of color”:

Jo Martin “The Fugitive Doctor”

Unnamed Girl “The Timeless Child” (first incarnation)

Unnamed Girl “The Timeless Child” (second incarnation)

Unnamed Girl “The Timeless Child” (sixth incarnation)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The old Dr Who movies with Bernard Cribbins were excellent. The new stuff ..not so much.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mr Kipling Today 02:54 pm JST

The new stuff ..not so much.

Well with the new stuff it isn’t really about telling a good story, but forcing a message. And what is that message?

Well there was already the female-centric spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures which was only canceled after five seasons due to the main actresses’ death. There was also the LGB, etc.-centric spin-off series Torchwood which lasted for four seasons. So had they wanted to make another female-centric series or whatever, perhaps they could have done one featuring the Time Lady Romana or one following the adventures of Clara and Ashildr in their TARDIS after Hell Bent.

Instead what they do is completely obliterate the history of a character that has developed over more than 50 years. And so what is the message? Certainly not promoting women, “people of color,” or characters with alternative lifestyles. That they could have done and indeed had already been doing. No, the message is clearly replacing any positive role models who are white and male. Just today the BBC edited out Matt Smith from the special An Adventure in Time and Space to put Ncuti Gatwa into the scene. How much more blatant could the message be?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Six million people watched the first episode when it was aired at teatime on November 23, 1963

And there were probably many like myself who were not allowed to watch the first episode because their parents wanted to watch what was on the other channel.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Watched the first episodes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

jeffyToday  03:51 pm JST

Instead what they do is completely obliterate the history of a character that has developed over more than 50 years.

Yes, it was ghastly. The all-time worst ever episode.

And so what is the message? Certainly not promoting women, “people of color,” or characters with alternative lifestyles. That they could have done and indeed had already been doing. No, the message is clearly replacing any positive role models who are white and male.

I get the idea that given that the Doctor could literally look like anyone, it was a bit embarassing for all the right-on bourgeois types running the BBC that he'd always been white and male and that wouldn't suit their inclusivity and diversity agenda at all. Steven Moffat had established in Hell Bent that Time Lords tended to stick to one gender, but it wouldn't do to imply that gender switching was in any way odd for the main character of the series. So - concoct this new backstory with literally thousands of past incarnations who could have been any sort of colour and gender you could think of, and do a huge retcon kludge.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Simon Foston Today 05:54 pm JST

Yes, it was ghastly.

Indeed. It is a shame that so many will now have to live with it in their head canon.

But the good news is that there is the truth:

https://youtu.be/0e71KWwE5Fk (from 2:05)

And then there is some odd parallel dimension which I simply do not know:

https://youtu.be/EtM_vcCoKYc (from 4:37)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Watch the following doctors

William Hartnell (1963–1966)

Patrick Troughton (1966–1969)

Jon Pertwee (1970–1974)

Tom Baker (1974–1981)

Peter Davison (1982–1984)

Colin Baker (1984–1986)

Sylvester McCoy (1987–1989)

Sylvester McCoy lived a few doors away in Hampstead. London.

I lost interest after that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

From the article:

[H]e said it would remain true to the vision of the early programme makers.

You mean like showrunner Russell T. Davies’ decision to redesign the character of Davros to no longer utilize his characteristic mobile life-support chair for “better representation of disabled people”? And when questioned what Davies’ next move will be on Twitter/X, changing the cybermen so that those with prosthetic limbs don’t get up set, Davies' response was, “oh poor baby” with a crying emoji. Sorry, but the only vision is red in the eyes of executives toward fans.

And I do like how this article tries to anticipate criticisms with the “not everyone was immediately won over” angle at the beginning to encourage viewers to give the new episodes a chance despite criticisms, as if some being turned off initially by a completely new concept is the same as the anger generated by destroying a long established character in front of fans and then blaming fans. But they are bringing back new Who favorite Doctor David Tennant for a bit to try to gain back some of the fans that they have lost. Sorry, but that is not really going to work. The early programme makers' vision was to produce something that would be successful. That is not the BBC these days, nor is it their partner Disney. Anyone go see the Marvels?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The next Doctor will be a non-White man. But that is far more acceptable than a Woman in this TV Series, ( a mistake the BBC made during the last season - just like having "Liss Turss" as a PM), and I hope that the new Doctor will continue to show the same British Humor that has been shown todate thus far. This TV Series has nothing to do with Sexism, but it's simply Doctor Who is Male - don't mess with it (too much), and don't please turn the Doctor into an Indian.. then we'll end up with Bollywood style Sing-songs that just should cancel the whole Series - just like the Tories should be in the coming Election.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

jeffyToday  01:39 am JST

From the article:

[H]e said it would remain true to the vision of the early programme makers.

You mean like showrunner Russell T. Davies’ decision to redesign the character of Davros to no longer utilize his characteristic mobile life-support chair for “better representation of disabled people”?

I was pretty interested in seeing a pre-life support version of Davros actually, but not for that reason.

And I do like how this article tries to anticipate criticisms with the “not everyone was immediately won over”

Actually that appears to refer more to what some viewers thought back in 1963. The article doesn't really seem to go into opinions about recent episodes or storylines.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

wallaceNov. 25  06:56 pm JST

Watch the following doctors

William Hartnell (1963–1966)

Patrick Troughton (1966–1969)

Jon Pertwee (1970–1974)

Tom Baker (1974–1981)

Peter Davison (1982–1984)

Colin Baker (1984–1986)

Sylvester McCoy (1987–1989)

Sylvester McCoy lived a few doors away in Hampstead. London.

I lost interest after that.

I don't think that's a fair reflection on the revived series. There were huge variations in terms of theme, tone and quality over the course of the original series as a succession of producers, script editors and writers worked on it, it could be just as PC as the revived series can get and if it had just continued instead of getting axed they might well have moved to the current season format.

Furthermore, I definitely think they would have cast Peter Capaldi as the Doctor in the late 80s if they could have got him, and that Robert Holmes, Barry Letts or Verity Lambert would be feeling pretty pleased with themselves if they'd made a story like Father's Day, Blink, Vincent and the Doctor or Heaven Sent, to name but a few.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Simon Foston

My comment is a reflection on nothing other the the Dr Who doctors I watched. Don't read anything into it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Unfortunately, all BBC drama is now subservient to the cultural agendas they are pushing. It's not subtle. They lay it on with a trowel. Instead of drama or entertainment it feel like a mix of sermon and cultural propaganda. That's why I watch Kdrama now. BBC drama was amongst the best in the world in the 80s and 90s. Not now. Authors should be aware of that if the BBC comes knocking asking to dramatise their work.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

wallaceToday  08:18 am JST

Simon Foston

My comment is a reflection on nothing other the the Dr Who doctors I watched. Don't read anything into it.

It's impossible not to infer something about your views on what came afterwards. I certainly can't read anything positive into it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Simon Foston

I can't understand how a list would provoke anything in you. What is negative about it? Enlighten me.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

wallaceToday  10:28 am JST

Simon Foston

I can't understand how a list would provoke anything in you.

Neither can I, because it doesn't.

What is negative about it? Enlighten me.

It's not the list I was referrring to.

"I lost interest after that."

How do you think that comment is going to be interpreted?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Simon Foston

yes, I lost interest after 1989, after watching every episode for 26 years. I actually don't care how you interpret my comment. More important stuff to think about.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Noone represented the human,yet alien-thinking Doctor as much as Tom Baker.

After him,they became too relatable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

wallaceToday  11:02 am JST

Simon Foston

yes, I lost interest after 1989, after watching every episode for 26 years. I actually don't care how you interpret my comment.

Why even bother to reply then?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

piskianToday  11:49 am JST

Noone represented the human,yet alien-thinking Doctor as much as Tom Baker.

After him,they became too relatable.

Colin Baker didn't, but he got blamed for everything else that was going wrong with the series at the time and fired by Michael Grade before he could really get to do his character justice.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

GBR48 Today 09:29 am JST

Its not subtle.

Indeed, not subtle at all. And this lack of subtlety is in the face of those who enjoy science fiction, a genre that perhaps more than any other is characterized by implicit deep social and ethical commentary within its stories. But these people want to make their agenda obvious to everyone since it comes from a place of deep hate. The alternative is to assume they are just stupid, but such an assumption would be a very bad mistake. While it may be sad to see so many in the world fallen to the work of the social engineers, it only means there is still a greater work ahead to be done. But what am I talking about, its just a television programme right?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Me too. As a kiddy the Daleks scared the bejeezus out of me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Shunryū SuzukiToday  04:06 pm JST

My brother is a big fan of Dr Why, I mean Who, but I never got into it.

Too poopy, pansy dodo for me

How so, if you don't mind offering us your razor-sharp analysis? What do you find more to your tastes?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many of the Dr Who timelords lived in Hampstead and North London. For many years there was a police box.

https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/lifestyle/21360894.doctor-series-stars-love-muswell-hill-crouch-end/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'd rather watch Star Wars IV; a new hope over the shenanigans of the time Lord any day.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Shunryū Suzuki Today 04:06 pm JST

Too poopy, pansy dodo for me

One of the more interesting aspects of Doctor Who has been the dynamic that exists between the Doctor and his companions. While the Doctor’s companions have changed over the years, the role of companions is often one of surrogacy for the viewer. Now as it stands one of the most successful configurations is for the Doctor to have a single female companion. Although this relationship should never be explicitly romantic, there is a certain appeal to female viewers in this configuration just as there is for male viewers who surrogate through the character of the Doctor. I would argue that this is what accounts for the success of this configuration. So while there has indeed come to be some “poopy, pansy dodo” in the mix, particularly in the revived series, this is not an inherent part of Doctor Who, nor what made it so successful.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Now Doctor Who, like everything with the BBC, has become very woke and PC. The best ever Doctor was .Tom Baker, the real Doctor Who.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Elvis is here

Today 05:00 pm JST

I'd rather watch Star Wars IV; a new hope over the shenanigans of the time Lord any day.

Hm. A film I have seen so many times I've lost count, or a new episode of a TV series I have often liked a lot. I know what I would go for.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

umbrella

Nov. 26 09:58 pm JST

Now Doctor Who, like everything with the BBC, has become very woke and PC.

It was always a bit like that, in case you hadn't noticed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Now Doctor Who, like everything with the BBC, has become very woke and PC.

It was always a bit like that, in case you hadn't noticed.

It was, but never at the expense of the story. A few years ago it abandoned story-telling and just uses the characters to dress up very patronizing lectures these days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As a kiddy the Daleks scared the bejeezus out of me.

Exterminate.

I can't get that word out of my mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I started watching Dr. Who during the Jon Pertwee era. I used to get nightmares of Daleks and Cybermen. Later I would watch Tom Baker re-runs during my university years and treat it as a comedy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jeffy Nov. 25 03:51 pm JST

How much more blatant could the message be?

Much more:

Unfortunately for fans who hoped his return to the role of showrunner would see the beloved sci-fi series rediscover its story-centric roots, Russell T Davies’ has instead used the first special of his latest run on Doctor Who as an opportunity to annoyingly lecture – or more precisely chastise – audiences on a variety of progressive topics.

https://boundingintocomics.com/2023/11/27/doctor-who-dives-off-the-progressive-deep-end-as-latest-special-sees-the-doctor-lectured-pronouns-chastised-for-being-male-presenting/

Obvious agenda is obvious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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