Doctor Who News (3)
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1 March 2015 at 22:05 #38425
Danny was boring because the writers wouldn’t give him any background — no friends, no (extended) family (since he was an orphan), no ex, no dog, no damn nothing: just Clara, Clara, Clara, 37 wells, and a dead Afghan boy, none of which works as the kind of background that gives a character dimension. Given the shallowness of his material (until the finale, anyway), I thought Anderson did a bang-up job of at least making paper-thin Danny likable despite being conceived as a cardboard cut-out. Gods, I hate the *waste* of talent and opportunity *so much*!6 March 2015 at 02:55 #38541ScaryB @scaryb
Rupert and Orson, such a big set up, if they are not important, why even put them there
You got the payoff in the episode. (Although I do hope we’ll see more of Orson).
@ichabod Sorry you didn’t like Danny. I thought he got a raw deal from the fans on the whole. A lot of it seemed to be coming from the “What is this? The Clara show?” ARSE brigade, but not all of it. I’ll concede his character probably suffered a bit from being the Doctor’s mirror in many ways, and it was maybe difficult to develop when he was only on screen intermittently. But I thought he was a sympathetic if damaged charcater and I liked his arc – his sacrificing himself to save the Afghan boy at the end was entirely in character.6 March 2015 at 02:59 #38542ScaryB @scaryb
News update from teh redoubtable Kasterborous. The Burton Doctors again, also links to interviews with Moffat re Clara’s plans for leaving at end of Series 8 (now cancelled. Probably).
A bit about James Corden taking over from mad Who fan Craig Ferguson on US’s Late Late, and a bittersweet wee item about Tennant’s dad being terminally ill.6 March 2015 at 07:32 #38553
@scaryb Um, I clearly didn’t make myself clear about Danny. I *did* like him, and I was happily waiting for the writers to give him some depth to grow into, but they didn’t. I know there are always time constraints, naturally, but I would gladly have foregone another discussion of wells etc. for a sort scene of Danny on his own, maybe, calling up an old army mate to get together for a drink, because he’s feeling alone and disconnected from his civilian life (and Clara is off with the Doctor) . . . Just a couple of hints of a life for him outside of school while away from Clara would have been enough to give him some independent reality for me. And that was what I wanted, so I’d get the sense of a real, multi-dimensional life with more to than just Clara that was ended with his death. The Doctor’s mirror was way too narrow a definition for him, and the failure (of the writers, not the actor — he did the best he could) to endow him with a bit more dimension, took away in the end from his sacrifice and death as CyberDan.6 March 2015 at 07:44 #38554WibblyWobbly @wibblywobbly
The Doctor visits the White House
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="735"] #doctorwho #tardis #obama #whitehouse[/caption]7 March 2015 at 01:08 #38560
I dunno — is this “News”, exactly? It certainly was news to me. So — the Horse Guards are fans? What about their horses?
Hell, it’s gotta go *somewhere*, dontcha think?!7 March 2015 at 16:18 #38582PaperMoon @papermoon
@scaryb – I assume you are talking about ‘Last Xmas’. I was pleasantly surprised to see Danny. It was unexpected for me, but I thought it was a better resolution for him. I had thought that if anything, we would see Rupert and/or Orson on DW at some point this coming season. I still find it curious that there are/were three versions of him out there, it’s one’s of those ‘bee in one’s bonnet’ things for me, lol.16 March 2015 at 00:01 #38853
More on the future of the BBC, with specific and warm reference at the end to Doctor Who:16 March 2015 at 00:49 #38857Anonymous @
what an interesting article, not least about a Doctor Who episode entitled “inseminoids”? and the norse word jormungandrians? Something to learn every day!
We have an ABC channel -the one, really, where are own programmes are shown ( & there are precious few of those) as well as a news channel and two children’s channels with a ‘spare’ channel that contains the weird and ‘wonderful’ tacky stuff which nobody watches all that closely.
I’m now about to watch the 4th episode of Broadchurch as I watched only half of it last year and decided that I really like Olivia Coleman (rather a lot) and am also acknowledging my girlie-crush on Charlotte Rampling16 March 2015 at 00:51 #38858ThePapalMainframe @thepapalmainframe
@scaryb, I think Danny could of used some more character development. There wasn’t enough backstory on him, just that he was in the army. But I need there to be something that comes and hits you in the face, (metaphorically speaking) and makes you care more.16 March 2015 at 01:27 #38861
@purofilion Charlotte Rampling is something else — now there’s somebody who can project “alien” just by standing there. Something about the eyes . . . ? Always doing something interesting.
@scaryb With Danny, here’s what I would have liked to see, to give him a bit more dimension but without making a huge distraction out of it (he was not, after all, a super-significant focus point until DiH): I’d like a scene with Danny talking about his new girl-friend with a couple of mates from his Army time, being cautious about it, but when they talk about their shared experience a bit, absent friends etc., warming up to a real sense of the solidarity that can happen among comrades in arms who’ve gone through some s**t together. This would give him a bit of inner conflict between his guilt over having killed a child and his sense of belonging with others who’ve been there with him, who support him and approve of him and don’t make the same judgments about him that civilians are likely to do.
I think this actor could have carried it off brilliantly, and his conversations with the Doctor and with Clara would have gained considerable depth, because both of them have *also* been through war-is-hell stuff too.
Probably too complex, but what the heck, it would have been a lot more interesting than another conversation about digging wells, and it would have made Danny more real at the same time.
What else could have been done to help? Maybe they’ll bring him back somehow, but if they do it without getting past the Danny we got in Series 8, there wouldn’t be much point to it, IMO.16 March 2015 at 01:57 #38865TenthDoctorFtw @tenthdoctorftw23 March 2015 at 17:42 #39140Whisht @whisht
Not really News, but more of a deep wish on my part (that I mentioned here a long time ago).
pah! “commitments”?? ditch them! Break your promises! Write that script – I demand it!!
[eek- got a bit ARSE-y there… must’ve been that coffee; best lie down for a bit…]24 March 2015 at 01:59 #39153
Just read that article @whisht I share your sentiments. I pretty sure I read somewhere that Iannucci had expressed an interest in writing a Who script for Peter Capaldi.
Janette24 March 2015 at 02:50 #39155
Oh, aarrgghhh, oh PLEASE — but Iannucci’s idea sounds like something really tentative and far off for now, so . . . might as well just start breathing again. Bah. Breathing. Not as great as it’s cracked up to be . . . Anyway; as somebody said a while ago, what a wonderful time to be alive and plugged in! Jeez. It kind of reminds me of early TV in my mom’s house, when everything was just a blast, and you’d suddenly get an Alfred Bester story dramatized on Studio One or something of that calibre — just amazing.
And hey, look: it’s almost the end of March . . . ! Time flies when the conversation’s good, and there’s so much to look forward to!24 March 2015 at 03:53 #39158Anonymous @
@ichabod ba hum bug ‘wonderful time to be alive?’ You tink? No, I don’t think so. I was thinking of my parents and the one family one earner, the one car, the one small home and I conclude: life isn’t the way it should be. People are living when they might be better off dead. Now, that I see, sounds, glum and mean and ‘depressed’ and I don’t mean it to be. It was a thought -ripping thru a miserable head today. Ignore it.
However, on a more positive note, if I want to see Dr Who in all its glory from 1970 -1980, I just have to pop down to the local JB Hi-fi and get what I need. Pronto. Or I can have it delivered. Same with d’pizza or Chinese!
Still, it’s not all good. Not at all.24 March 2015 at 06:28 #39163
@purofiion http://www.doctorwhotv.co.uk/top-21-tracks-of-series-8-part-1-72400.htm, followed by part 2, good listening despite some poorly cleaned tracks; listening to this while winding up taxes gave me a lift! Some of the selections were very surprising, since I hardly ever hear the music while actors are speaking words.
I hope pizza (or Chinese) has helped with depression, not to mention some classic Who; it was the plugged-in part that was making me happy — so much music and good stuff available now, it just reminded me of the thrill us kids got from TV when we had our own b&w set in the living room so we could fight over “Howdy Doody Time”, Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, etc. while doing our homework . . . everything else was crappy, but that was *good*.
At least, in memory . . .26 March 2015 at 16:48 #39236Anonymous @26 March 2015 at 17:00 #39237Anonymous @
A wonderful celebratory video by John Smith.27 March 2015 at 02:57 #3924627 March 2015 at 03:28 #39248
@fatmaninabox Another thank you for the birthday goodies. I had forgotten that this weekend was the tenth anniversary.
Janette27 March 2015 at 08:32 #39252Anonymous @
thank you for that –all the best moments forged into one with a terrific score on the video. A very sophisticated combo -just perfect for a little show that went way beyond the Pond and took the world by Storm: “I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear”.
Neither will we! And nor should we. Whether a Lonely God, a caped man with bow-tie in a blue box, a helper, healer, companion, puzzler solver, raggedy man, scientist or Oncoming Storm, I think we can agree that he’s a great friend.
Thanks to @craig for setting up this site with @phaseshift and all the mods who do the hard yards in making it work so well @fatmaninabox @jimthefish & the great ‘Doctor’ minds like @bluesqueakpip who put in so much work answering questions calmly, resolutely and writing wonderful blogs about the timey whimey nature of the world within and beyond the Blue Box.
Kindest, puro.27 March 2015 at 17:34 #39259Anonymous @
I’m quite surprised by the lack of ‘fuss’ shown by the BBC. While I wasn’t expecting anything on the same scale as the 50th, it would have been nice if they’d made a ‘Confidential’ style show to mark the occasion. 🙁9 April 2015 at 18:41 #39507PoshEmoDork @poshemodork
I have made a video on the casting of Maisie Williams in Doctor Who. Please give it a watch and like, Comment and Subscribe. I am uploading another follow up video to this casting also tomorrow so please subscribe 🙂23 April 2015 at 04:24 #39675
Sorry this is not Doctor Who news this is Torchwood news but I will try to post Doctor Who news soon . John Barrowman has said that the BBC has declared that Torchwood will return as radio dramas . It looks like we are getting four radio dramas , three will be character base and one will be with the Torchwood team . If these go well than we might get a 5th season of Torchwood .23 April 2015 at 06:50 #39676
@gamergirlavatar I think Torchwood news counts. 🙂 I wonder who will be scripting.
Janette23 April 2015 at 17:23 #39678Anonymous @
Yep, it’s perfectly ok to talk about Torchwood as well as the Sarah Jane Adventures.
There is a thread for Doctor Who audios here which, at the moment only has a section set up for the 8th Doctor.
There have already been seven Torchwood audio plays released since 2008 which have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (the last one was in 2011) but I must confess that I didn’t hear them. They do occasionally repeat them so, if you’re in the UK, keep an eye on their program listings. I think they are also available to buy.25 April 2015 at 04:45 #39682
I have some Doctor Who news now . We have a new writer for this season . Catherine Tregenna ( a writer from Torchwood ) will be writing a episode and Mark will be writing a episode . Moffat said that he has already wrote the cliffhanger for this season . Moffat has said there will be new monsters for this season . There has been a photo taken on set of a man with face paint on their faces . Mark has also been talking about the ice warriors so the ice warriors might return for this season . I will type some more news later .25 April 2015 at 15:10 #39685acswild3 @acswild3
Hey guys. Here is a Tee-Shirt that mashed together. Its a cross between House and Dr. Who. Let me know what you think? I wanted a better blue for the shirt but was limited by the site.26 April 2015 at 06:21 #39696Anonymous @
@acswild3 Hi there! Are you knew to this site? That’s a great t-shirt. I liked House and of course, Who and the blue is great actually. Great job.
@gamergirlavatar Did you write on the other thread about the Face of Boe emerging from Jack? Yes, I always thought it was pretty simple? That in order to live ‘forever’, parts of him would eventually need to be protected -such as his head and the optic nerve centre. He would, after centuries and evolution, learn to communicate as an empath.
As for Clara and the Dr, do you really think Missy would help Clara assist the Dr? I don’t think so, personally. But, it’s one theory, so fair enough!
@fatmaninabox good to see you on the boards. How is the landscaping going? We’ve heard, in Oz, of some serious weather conditions in the UK? At least I think so. The news here tends to get mixed up. In NSW, we’ve had some unbelievable weather events recently where an entire wooden house came off its sidings and floated next door. The power stayed on throughout and the fridge, still ‘cooling’ was floating beside the owner who was using the dining table as a boat. Nearby, a retired swimmer was taking neighbours to safety on a wheelie bin he’d turned into a life raft.
Oh, to wake up to trees all over the planet soaking up the moisture. 🙂
Kindest, puro26 April 2015 at 19:15 #39699
@purofilion Yea I wrote The Face of Boe theory and I do think Missy will help Clara save the Doctor . She might be doing this for a reason of her own and Clara might have to chose between saving The Doctor and Missy . She might want to chose Missy because Missy can bring back Danny , but I think she will chose The Doctor and they will save the world and might get a clue to where Gallifrey is . I am trying not to type to much about season nine because most of the time I get it right . I knew Missy was The Master and I had the idea about the cyberman turning people into cyberman by sending the “virus” into the sky before I saw the 11th Doctor regenerate . So if I do type about season nine I going to try not type to much or say any spoilers .28 April 2015 at 00:21 #39708
Today is Russell T Davies birthday . Happy birthday to the man who help bring Doctor Who back to our tv and created Torchwood .28 April 2015 at 08:22 #39712jphamlore @jphamlore
It seems to me in the classic Dr. Who the Doctor’s enemies were mainly bureaucrats. That’s what the evil incarnation of the Doctor, the Valeyard was, a bureaucrat. Or perhaps I should refine this to say the Doctor’s enemies have been mainly politicians, which pulls in supremacists such as Daleks, Cybermen, and Sontarans.
Perhaps in reaction the Doctor deliberately avoid planning or thinking too deeply. That is after all what bureaucrats and politicians claim to be doing, taking responsibility. So the Doctor is an idiot with a box and a screwdriver.
Is it an underlying theme that the Doctor is keeping himself constantly in a state of emergency to avoid downtime where he might think and draw some obvious but painful conclusions? Like maybe the Master never dies because he has figured out how to upload his thoughts to a Gallifreyan hard drive and download them into a new body? Hasn’t there been by now innumerable stories where some alien species has been tampering with human DNA to use human bodies as a host, including stories with the Master?
Or in the most painful way possible hasn’t the Doctor learned that Gallifrey can never be found because that would reignite the Time War? The only way for the Time Lords to return to normal time and space would be if they were to hide somewhere, perhaps throughout the time stream. Where else would that be but Earth?
And just look at how Time Lords are still portrayed in the newer series: They are church bureaucrats and politicians with the common people dressed like medieval serfs. A long time ago in the classic series the Doctor realized the evil he had left to fight was actually right there back at home on Gallifrey.
And these monsters with some connection to time travel such as Weeping Angels, where would they get that from other than some connection with Time Lords since the Time Lords used to monopolize that technology. Thus my prediction which I believe in retrospect will be seen as completely obvious: Many of the monsters especially those related to time travel will be eventually revealed to be evil Time Lords corrupted in an attempt to usurp humans on Earth.1 May 2015 at 19:02 #39748
Doctor Who has been filming in India . Kate Stewart is going to return . Season nine will have 12 episodes and a Christmas episode . Moffat has also said that in this season they will explain why the 12th Doctor has the face of Caecilius from “The Fires of Pompeii” . I don’t know if they will explain how he also has the face of John Frobisher from Torchwood . I think Clara might be part of the reason why The Doctor has that face . Missy might have given Clara The Doctors number so Clara can give him that face so his face can tell him some thing .2 May 2015 at 00:52 #39751Anonymous @
@gamergirlavatar that sounds awesome although I don’t think Clara would know about the Doctor’s face -from either Fires of Pompeii or as Frobisher. Yes, she stepped in as the Impossible Girl but only at some points in his timestream which didn’t involve Fires of Pompeii. Still, interesting! I think we know why Missy gave Clara the Doctor’s number -that was already established last season.2 May 2015 at 07:06 #39752
@gamergirlavatar — India!! Tenerife!! What next, Iceland? All this globe-trotting is new-ish, isn’t it? The Beeb must have loosened the purse strings significantly. The upside is — exotic backgrounds probably means *more alien settings* in S9. Great! I’m ready.
Meantime I sulkily entertain myself with trying to work out a story that starts like this: “The Ring of Bleble and the bad-tempered Schism walk into a bar . . . ”
I’m still not clear on why MixMaster put Clara and the Doctor together in the first place, and seemed so pleased with whatever happened to them . . . is it enough to suppose that she meant all along for Clara to get such a grip on him that he would, indeed, “go to Hell if she asked” him to — since that’s (metaphorically) what they did in Dark Water, ending up in the Nethersphere and in MixMaster’s clutches (and v.v.)? Seems an awfully long stretch, to me, in terms of plans . . . I’m hoping there’s more to it, to be revealed in S9 of course.2 May 2015 at 20:35 #39759DoctorFoo @doctorfoo
@ichabod your opinion on Danny Pink was very good, I couldn’t agree more. He was very boring, no background except that he was an orphan, a solider and that he killed. I had hoped that they could have at least given him a good background.3 May 2015 at 03:46 #39760
@doctorfoo I think maybe the writers aren’t fully aware of the effects in S8 of having a suddenly very amped-up level of acting from their leads, so they didn’t realize that they really needed to also amp-up the writing for Danny, since he had to be more than a mere spear-carrier to be accepted as a legitimately strong influence on both Clara and the Doctor. Not that there’s anything wrong with spear-carriers (the generally one-dimensional/one function characters supporting a story around the leads, like, say, Maisie in MotOE or the clean-up gang in Flatline); every story needs them, unless you’re writing about the last person on Earth and you *mean* it. The failure in the case of Danny is surprising, since NuWho (at least) has a history of giving even background figures like these moments in which they get to exhibit more unusual complexity of character: look at Grouchy Old Fart in Flatline, for example, saying a real thank you at the end — not what we’d expect from him; or Rigsy, a sweet-natured arty kid cleaning up a youthful error, who suddenly reveals a streak of heroism, however unconsidered, by to die ramming the oncoming train.
But with Danny — they seem to have gone out of their way to *deprive* him of that extra depth, by making him an orphan, for starters. That meant no coffee with a big sister, say, to whom he could try to talk about Clara but find the subject too touchy. They made him a soldier, but then deprived him of even a phone call from an old army mate. He was built to fail, which became all the more striking because the actor’s presentation was full of the kind of warmth and kindness that attracts people — that guy would never have been a loner without friends, PTSD or not. It made me angry because of the waste, and the way the poor writing of that character hurt the stories he was in. I’ve thought about it a lot, because it was such a glaring error. Think of how much more wrenching his final gesture would have been if we’d been given enough about him to really care *before* he got to the Nethersphere!
I hope the writers have recognized their failure with him, and learned from it. They’re so good at providing that little spark of extra interest to minor figures (again, Flatline — the engine driver, “I always wanted to ram something!”) that not bothering to do that with some one as important to the story as Danny was — a mistake, to say the least.3 May 2015 at 04:03 #39761Anonymous @
@ichabod hey! ‘The ring of bleble” that was my line and it stuck! I am so proud 🙂
On points, I am willing to agree about Dan -although I think he was a nice guy, overall. The writing was a bit insubstantial though and I can see that having mates, having some connection with his orphan mates or frriends would have been appreciated. Though having a husband who spent some time in an orphanage means quite a personality dilemma -a need to repress those features of his life, which, whilst not unpleasant, were a little sad to dwell on and thus best avoided?3 May 2015 at 05:06 #39762
@purofilion Yep, *you* are responsible for the Ring of Bleble”, and don’t you forget it! I just borrowed it for a joke . . . I like the sound of it so much! Yes on the orphanage background — which could have been made more real and significant if he’d gotten news of the orphanage, welcome or not, and been given a moment to react (the orphanage is closing? A staff person there that he loved but left behind has died? The orphanage is beginning to receive kids adopted from abroad but then dumped by disappointed adoptive parents?). It’s *because* he was a nice guy that people feel so disappointed in him.
Dang it. No wonder the Schism is bad-tempered.3 May 2015 at 05:34 #39763Anonymous @
@ichabod I think the Bad Tempered Schism should be a THING now. What do you reckon? Also, yes, there should have been some sort of communication with the orphanage/step sister/school family and particularly, particularly, from his army mates. From experience (oh, and movies 🙂 ) those in the Force, tend to friend each other afterwards -unless, perhaps a terrible experience (which doesn’t unite) means that Dan wouldn’t want to contact his ‘brothers’ and would prefer to forget about everything and do that terrible thing we now tend to over-hear: which is “move on”?3 May 2015 at 08:17 #39765
@purofilion Oh, it’s a thing, all right. That ship has incontrovertibly sailed, IMO.
And yes, of course, one can flee from terrible memories and everything that brings them up again. But even if Danny were sort of hiding out at Coal Hill School, for the purpose of giving the poor man some dimension an army mate could have tracked him down and contacted him out of worry about him, or looking for help from him, and then we would have seen Danny respond to that overture, and how that response (whatever it might be) could complicate his relationship with Clara. He would have had his own secrets — not just something crude like an unintended death in the chaos of war.
You know, this is *exactly* why fans write fan fiction — to stop the awful itch of possibilities left crying out for development, interesting side-paths compelling exploration although the TV stories had to rush past them. So I don’t dismiss fan fiction as a sub-sub-genre out of hand. The impulse is an honorably creative one, a response to a call from the source material (which can only call if it’s got some good, strong life that’s still trapped in there, unused), without the lure of profit as part of the equation. The Slash stuff is usually awful (but not always), as that horrible 50 Tons of Trash demonstrates; but even there, you can find exceptions to the rule of semi-literate idiocy (50 Tons, perfect example of the idiocy part).
The Bad-Tempered Schism does not agree with me on this, I think, but then a bad temper often leads to misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and lost joys, don’t you think? While the Ring of Bleble is so irritatingly *cheerful* most of the time — “Ring Around the Roses” is chiming in my head, damn it. Maybe sleep will prove a cure, before this whole thing takes off somehow and keeps me from sleeping for a week . . .3 May 2015 at 09:16 #39767
I’m hoping there’s more to it, to be revealed in S9 of course.
I’d say that’s almost, almost certain. When all the rumours were swirling about Jenna Coleman having decided to leave, been persuaded to stay a bit longer, decided to leave and finally being persuaded to stay for S9 …
… I was saying ‘no way. Companions aren’t that hard to replace.’ And then it turned out that the rumours were true; those two final scripts were written in such a way that she could delay the actual decision right up to filming the Christmas Special.
My conclusion is that – for some reason – Jenna Coleman is hard to replace. The likeliest explanation is that Steven Moffat’s ‘Clara’ storyline hasn’t finished yet.
As for the desire for more backstory for Danny Pink: I wonder if that was something about Samuel Anderson, to be honest. Maybe his Danny was played as a bit too lovely, and not quite enough PTSD? We knew as little about Arthur Darville’s Rory (his Dad didn’t turn up until his final series, though we did see his Stag Night), but it never really worried the audience. Arthur Darville played Rory as utterly wrapped up in Amy, so it was perfectly understandable that mates and family took a very distant (and practically invisible) second.
A slightly more Clara-obsessed, slightly more PTSD Danny might have had the same effect.The lines were there for that: the acting wasn’t. Why, I don’t know. Last minute tone change? Decision that Clara would never have stayed with PTSD Danny? Dunno.3 May 2015 at 15:08 #39769DenValdron @denvaldron
I really don’t have a strong issue one way or the other with Danny Pink. He seems to have been a repository for things that didn’t come off.
I’m looking forward to Clara Oswald leaving the show.3 May 2015 at 16:20 #39770
Any particular reason you don’t like Clara Oswald, or is it just a personal thing?3 May 2015 at 17:21 #39777DenValdron @denvaldron
It’s a personal thing. Back when I was a little boy, Clara Oswald shot my father down in cold blood. He weren’t doing nothing, and she walked up and shot him in the back! And then she went and robbed the bank and burned down the liquor store.
More seriously – Clara Oswald is a terrible character. She’s poorly constructed, uninteresting and shallow, inconsistent and essentially a roving plot device. Clara is not anchored or rounded in the way that Dona Noble, of Rose or even the Ponds were. There’s no real sense of her having a place in life, a point of view, any meaningful identity. In place of that, we simply get tropes. Clara needs something to do, we’ll make her a school teacher. She’ll need a boyfriend, we’ll make Danny.
She’s essentially the Doctor Who version of the Simpson’s character ‘Poochy.’ For those who don’t recall that episode, ‘Poochy’ was a creation of the animation company doing the ‘in-universe’ Itchy and Scratchy. Fearing that they were losing touch with their audience, they decided to create a ‘hot new character’ – a skateboard riding dog who would be the epitome of cool, but who was actually a collection of traits and tropes. They pushed this new character relentlessly, with Itchy, Scratchy and all the other cartoon characters going on about how cool Poochy was. The problem was that Poochy was merely a soulless cynical marketing effort. He was dramatically worthless, unfunny and dragged the show down.
Clara Oswald in a nutshell. Every character in Doctor Who has to expound on how wonderful Clara is. The Doctor moons over her to the point that he instantly overlooks her betrayal, an idiotic plot that would have killed them both horribly, he endorses her outrageous whims. Every episodes revolve around her. Her trivial moods are treated as portents from Olympus. She is consistently presented as perfect, brilliant, witty, insightful, amazing, gracious, compassionate…. yadda yadda yadda. All that’s fine, but its not interesting and its not good storytelling.
Back in the 1970’s, there was a market for plucky girl heroines, making their way in the modern world: Mary Tyler Moore, That Girl, Rhoda, Phyllis, etc. It’s all very nice. I’m sure there’s a market for the Clara Oswald Show. I’m just not interested. In Doctor Who terms, she’s the modern Mel.
Clara has been endlessly debated among fans. So it goes. I doubt that we’ll add much, discussing it again.3 May 2015 at 18:46 #39779
@denvaldron We’ve already had many interesting discussions of Clara; they just didn’t happen to include people serving up Clara-hater talking points, until now (lucky us!).
An observation: *all* TV characters are “collections of traits”, and Clara’s original “traits” were assigned to her per her function in the story, just as the Doctor’s traits were, way back in the beginning, assigned to him. Lead characters generally get the benefit of more developed back-stories, and add value to a show by exhibiting some degree of growth and change over time, as a way of more realistically mimicking the development of real people. Both Clara and the Doctor have received this treatment. Apparently you don’t find Clara’s “collection of traits” convincing or pleasing. I shared your view, through S7, but found her roaring to much more realistic life in S8. You dismiss her depth of background; it’s sufficient for me, because her foreground — her performance and place in S8 — has been powerful and compelling.
Please give examples of every character expounding on how wonderful Clara is (counter example, right off the bat: Mdme Vastra’s lambasting of her rejection of the “new” Doctor in Deep Breath; want more?). How are her reckless impulsivity, her outbursts of temper (justified or unjustified), her deceitfulness about each man to the other, her selfishness in trying to hang onto both relationships and postpone choosing between them forever, her shallowness in rejecting the new Doctor, her weakness in betraying the Doctor by trying to blackmail him, etc etc, examples of her being presented as “perfect, brilliant, witty, insightful, amazing, gracious, compassionate”, let alone “yadda yadda yadda”?
S8 was a two-hander; most episodes “revolved around” the developing tensions and relationship between two major characters, the Doctor and Clara, both caught up in the crises of a really bad post-regeneration recovery. If you don’t “get” why the Doctor forgives Clara’s blackmail attempt and then tries to get for her what she was demanding in the first place, well, that’s a pity; but says much more about you than it does about “Dark Water”.
If you have any interest in more of my opinions (or those of anyone else here) about this character, I suggest you check back over the past discussions of each pertinent episode of NuWho, plus the “companions” discussion, and find out for yourself. Your post, above, to me bears a heavy “trolling” taint, but I’ve taken on your points as presented as an indication that unsupported character-assassination doesn’t fly by unchallenged here as a rule. Beyond that, I’m certainly am not about to recap half a year’s commentary for you.
Meanwhile, I am personally done talking with you on this subject until you bring something serious to the table.3 May 2015 at 21:17 #39781workaholic84 @workaholic84
I’m in a bind and I need help.
I’m getting married tomorrow, (last min decision) and my fiance decided that we’d write our vows. (She failed to tell me about this until she told me she was done). She’s the biggest fan I’m aware of, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything Dr. Who, and I can’t imagine using anything else as a reference.3 May 2015 at 21:44 #39782
Well, I was hoping you’d say ‘It’s a personal thing’. I’m an optimist. 🙂
More seriously – Clara Oswald is a terrible character. She’s poorly constructed, uninteresting and shallow, inconsistent and essentially a roving plot device. Clara is not anchored or rounded in the way that Dona Noble, of Rose or even the Ponds were. There’s no real sense of her having a place in life, a point of view, any meaningful identity. In place of that, we simply get tropes. Clara needs something to do, we’ll make her a school teacher. She’ll need a boyfriend, we’ll make Danny
Okay. This is a terrible deconstruction of a character, because you don’t point to anything specific about Clara (scenes or actions); you just list a collection of negative adjectives. Later, you just list a number of positive adjectives, and claim that’s how she’s ‘consistently presented’, without giving any scenes, lines or actions that show Clara behaving that way. Additionally, a number of the not-very-specific points you do give are wrong.
Inconsistent: In S7 we see Clara in her first job. She’s a children’s nanny. In S7 we also see that Clara has a degree. By the 50th Anniversary Special we see that degree + experience working with children has developed into ‘teacher’. During S8 we see her at work. As a teacher. That’s a fairly consistent piece of character development.
It’s far more than ‘we’ll give her something to do.’ She often reacts to the Doctor as if he were a super-intelligent child; in fact, she often behaves towards everyone as ‘the grown-up in the room’. Rose, Donna and Amy were defined by their relationships. Now, look at the common factor in their lives.
Rose was working in a shop and thought (correctly) that she could do better.
Donna was temping.
Amy had a variety of jobs. She dabbled.
They are anchored by their family (in Amy’s case, anchored by Rory) because their family is their only constant. They all have crap or temporary jobs. They don’t have a job that’s also a calling. The only person who does is Rory; look how many times Rory reacts as a nurse, a carer, somebody who looks after the injured.
Clara consistently, even through her Claricles, looks after children. She nannies them, she educates them, she chases the Doctor when he’s shattered Courtney’s self-image… dump a school-age child within 100 metres of Clara and she will promptly a) make sure they’re okay and b) try and help them if they aren’t. What anchors Clara isn’t her family (though they’ve turned up a heck of a lot more than Amy’s parents). What anchors Clara is her job.
@ichabod has critiqued the ‘every character has to expound how wonderful Clara is’, so I won’t add any more counter-examples. But I will comment on ‘she needs a boyfriend, we’ll make Danny.’ How else is a writer going to provide a boyfriend for one character apart from by creating another character?
In S7, the ‘boyfriend’ slot is filled by the Smith Doctor; playing the boyfriend without being genuinely Clara’s boyfriend. In S8 the Capaldi Doctor makes it clear he knows he should never have done that.
And stepping into real life for a moment: have you seen how film-star beautiful Jenna Coleman can be? Clara would have a boyfriend. Clara, in fact, would be beating off potential boyfriends with a club. One of the most realistic things about the start of the relationship with Danny is the way Clara makes it obvious to him that he’s in with a chance; a girl that pretty is going to be very used to a guy she fancies thinking that they haven’t a hope. Incidentally, it also explains why she’s so (relatively) off-hand when the Smith Doctor offers her a ride in his time-machine. She’s used to being the one chased. He’s keen on her. He’ll turn up next Wednesday. 😉
Ichabod’s also pointed out that S8 was essentially a two-hander; quite different from the more ensemble S1 to S4 and the ‘three hander’ S5 to S7. And then there’s real life (again); if you hire an actor in his 50’s, rather than one in his 20’s, they will need a slightly less strenuous schedule. Which means you’ll see a lot more of their co-star, especially if there’s only one co-star this series. They’ll have to be much more of a co-star.
Not just ‘the asking questions one’. The ‘asking questions one’ was the role of the Companion back in the 1970’s; see Jo, in The Daemons, which we’ve just been watching. She really was the plucky girl heroine.3 May 2015 at 22:06 #39783
@workaholic84 Maybe you can use a reference from the episode “The Wedding of River Song ” , or a reference to her favorite charter . You can also use a line from her favorite episode , or add some thing about the stars and the planets . Maybe about how time has been kind when you to met and just like River and The Doctor you to will love each other till the end even if the universe forbids it , no matter what dangers you face you will always be by her side .
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