Doctor Who News (3)

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  • #50317
    ichabod @ichabod

    @janetteb   You go, girl!  That’s exactly my idea of a solution.  If ever there was a TV show that invites the viewer to fill in gaps and obscurity with their own ideas, DW is it — and that’s part of the fun, IMO, part of the invitation to the viewer to be more than just a passive watching of events.  Love that aspect of DW, although I know that for some fans sometimes it’s a source of irritation.

    #50321
    Missy @missy

    @countscarlioni

    Read the article by Streven Moffat. It’s a relief to know that DW can go on replacing itself and it’s crew, but what ifthey “can’t get the parts?”

    Flippantly,

    Missy

    #50322

    @ichabod @janetteb

     I am very happy to never have any resolution to the mystery.

    Likewise, but there is no shortage of anal plot obsessives (who I doubt this will mollify, because they will never be mollified) and it is interesting that Moff is happy to engage at all. Many writers won’t. But also his “it ain’t canon ’til it’s canon” reminds us that, like RTD, he tries not to back future writers into corners – nor be backed into a corner.

    #50323
    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant   [Moffat] tries not to back future writers into corners – nor be backed into a corner.

    That’s exactly what drives the plot obsessives crazy.  They want canon at any cost, but Moffat protects the flexibility of the show by keeping some issues undefined or unresolved.  I think some of the obsessives can’t tell the difference between plot-blur to keep healthy wiggle-room for future stories, and plot-blur out of not bothering to think something through and cast it in stone forever.  Or, they can tell the difference but won’t acknowledge it because they’re angry at not being catered to, so they start screaming about “lazy writing” as if Moffat were some school kid turning in a one-page instead of a two-page homework assignment.

    #50328
    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    @pedant

    like RTD, he tries not to back future writers into corners – nor be backed into a corner.

    But that’s the beauty of a science fiction show – it’s REALLY, REALLY hard to back yourself into a corner without being able to come up with a way out.

    I agree with your point, but EVEN IF they declare something as canon, if they want to change their minds later it’s always “time can be rewritten” or “The Doctor lies” or some “Deus ex machina” mechanizations.

    Just like the writers came up with regeneration when they were backed into a corner that most shows have never figured a way out of – losing their star.

    #50329
    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond
    #50333
    ichabod @ichabod

    @toinfinityandbeyon   Yep, just came across this — so it looks as if they’ve found their crucial spare part.  I’ve got mixed feelings about this, since “Broadchurch” bored me to death, but what the heck — the only *really* difficult bit is waiting til spring of 2017 to see what they come up with!

    A year; a whole year!  The reasoning makes sense, but still — a year!

    #50334
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Have to say that I think Chibnall is possibly the worst possible choice as showrunner. Broadchurch fell apart in his hands in s2 and his work on Torchwood was pretty ropey too….

    #50336
    DoctorDani @doctordani

    Very, very mixed feelings about this news. I knew Moffat’s time was coming to an end. I even think the hiatus is probably a good idea, because this year the BBC just didn’t give the show the right slot it needed and there’d be no chance of it getting that against the Euros and the Olympics. The problem for me is Chibnall. I wasn’t a huge fan of Broadchurch, and I’m not a massive fan of his Who eps. Of course I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I just wish they’d taken a bit more of a gamble.

    #50337
    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    Disappointed by this news, especially as S9 was so stunningly good.

    I suppose a related issue is, Will Peter Capaldi choose to stand down at the same time as SM?

    #50338

    @jimthefish

    Have the same reservations – would much prefer Toby Whithouse – and entirely agree on Broadchurch 2. It was a masterclass in adjusting the universe to fit the story, which is bass ackwards and rather spoiled the understated humanity of the first series. But, he deserves a chance and we can also hope that Moff goes out on an even higher note than the stunning S9.

    @ob-wan

    I agree with your point, but EVEN IF they declare something as canon, if they want to change their minds later it’s always “time can be rewritten” or “The Doctor lies” or some “Deus ex machina” mechanizations.

    You’ve outlined the easiest trap for weak writers to fall into.

    The reality in the Whoniverse is that re-writing time has consequences (and as Amy found out, is not as easy as showing someone their genius) and Moffat, if he learnt one thing from Whedon, learnt that events have consequences. The upshot of this is that the fanboys would rip a writer to shreds if they did anything too arbitrary. Bearing in mind how strident the wailing end of the fanboy spectrum gets even when they don’t act in an arbitrary way, and I think we would need a new volume knob.

    You should also look for @bluesqueakpip‘s blog post on Deus Ex Machinas to fully grasp how astutely both Moffat and RTD avoided them.

    #50339
    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @countscarlioni I was wondering the same thing. I really hope he doesn’t because it feels like he’s only just warming up, but he might want to leave Chibnall a clean slate. I hope this extended time off makes him miss it enough to want to stick around for at least S11.

    #50341

    Whoa!

    Steven’s final series will air on BBC One in Spring 2017 and there will be a Christmas Special in 2016.

    So no news eps in 2016?

    #50342
    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @pedant Only the Christmas Special. Kinda sucks, but I get the rationale.

    #50345
    winston @winston

    @everyone     WHAT ?    No new series until 2017 ? Only a Christmas episode way, way ,way off in December? Moffat leaving? It is too late in the evening to wrap my head around all this news but you can bet I will have a hard time sleeping tonight. Maybe I am way to addicted to Doctor Who. A whole year?

    Night all.

    #50346
    janetteB @janetteb

    Moffat has often said that he does not want to “go out” at the same time as the actor playing the Doctor so I have high hopes that Capaldi will do at least one series under Chibnall. Moffat has stated that he wasn’t happy about taking over with a new Doctor and companion. Clearly he was hoping that Tennant would stay on for one series to help him ease into the job before confronting the challenge of casting and introducing a new Doctor. I am also sure the BBC would not want to risk too much change at once again. (Just because Moffat pulled it off so well does not make it a wise thing to do.)

    I am guessing that the reason this last season of Who was so late in the year is because they were planning to defer the next season until 2017 and were trying to ease the pain.

    Cheers

    Janette

    #50348
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Not great news, not too happy with the choice of showrunner or the gap, that said-

    I’ve loved Moffart’s who, I’ve loved both Smith and Capaldi’s doctor. Even if I don’t like the next incarnation of the show as much, there are plenty who have hated the last few years of the show (though they hid it well 😉 ) it is the nature of Doctor Who.

    I do hope we keep Capalidi for another season, and that Chibnall has learned something from ‘Broadchurch 2’. That sounded a bit arse-y reading it back. I would have preferred Whithouse. But you never know. Didn’t Chibnall write the story board for the Pond’s son turning up? That was nice…

    #50349
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Crikey…less upset by the choice of a new show runner than by the scheduling news. Spring 2017 seems an awfully long time away. With only a Christmas special to tide us over 2016. And it is unclear if there will be a 2017 Christmas special, and if so, who would write it. Hmm.

    <must resist the temptation to retreat to the Blenkinsop cellar in despair…>

     

    #50350
    Rob @rob

    Hi All

    Didn’t watch Broadchurch, but have enjoyed his Who and Torchwood work, 336 days to wait 🙁

    Maybe the Beeb will re-run PC’s seasons to keep us all happy?!?!?!?!

    May have to join @blenkinsopthebrave in the cellar 😉

    #50351
    ichabod @ichabod

    I am full of foreboding, but fending it off with a cheap but tasty red table wine which lives in a wire wine rack on top of the fridge (no cellars around here, to speak of).  I do see that Steven Moffat has done, as he said in an interview recently, “a ridiculous amount of Doctor Who” and must be ready for pastures new.  But I hate it that he’s taking everything he’s learned about avoiding misogyny away with him (yeah, it was deployed in the latest Sherlock, but I find Sherlock a bit dull, compared with the inbuilt variety and flexibility of DW), and leaving us with somebody who maybe hasn’t learned much about that . . . did someone mention cybermen in bikinis?  Date rape (Torchwood — I remember that queasy feeling)?  Urg.  I fear that if the standard set by Moffat with lessons under his belt doesn’t hold, not to mention the standard of agile intelligence, Peter Capaldi will slope off to do something more interesting, having made his mark.

    And leave us with . . . what?  I shudder to think, frankly.  Will the women writers disappear?  No more Rachel Talalay to direct?  A guys’ club again?

    And I hated Broadchurch, which sure doesn’t cheer me up.

    More wine; and then, sleep.  Maybe something will have changed for the better in the morning . . . .

     

    #50353
    Whisht @whisht

    well, that’ll be a Chibnall retrospective this year.

    Will have to think of more fun things to stretch the year out though.

    #50355
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @whisht

    well, that’ll be a Chibnall retrospective this year.

    That’s probably a good idea. But in terms of Who that means

    • 42
    • The Hungry Earth
    • Cold Blood
    • Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
    • The Power of Three

    We could put a couple of Torchwoods in there too, I guess. And looking at that list, there’s nothing except the Silurian two-parter that I’d really rate particularly. And it certainly does nothing to lift my lack of enthusiasm to post-Moffatt Who. I’d really have preferred Peter Harness as a more off-beam choice (but I’m guessing off-beam is not what they wanted.) Even Toby Whithouse would have been preferable.

    That’s a hell of a wait though and I’m less than happy about it, to say the least. I suppose the mechanics of getting another production office on the go and so on necessitate it. It would have been that, or a year of specials or a split series, all of which would have been unpopular choices too. I doubt that Capaldi will stay on either. I imagine it’ll be a similar clean break to RTD/Tennant. For some reason, I doubt we’ll see a female Doctor next time either. It doesn’t seem like Chibnall’s style and I’m guessing the consensus will be that enough risks will be being taken as it is.

    But on the upside, Sherlock has been on top form and hopefully SM will be energised with the writing of that. Also hopefully we’ll be seeing something original from him — something that frees him from the constraints of the ‘waah. This isn’t the programme I’ve been imagining in my head in every precise detail’ crowd. I also demand that he gets busy on his version of The Writer’s Tale with all due haste.

     

    #50356

    @jimthefish

     I doubt we’ll see a female Doctor next time either.

    Well, having worked with her on Broadchurch 2, he could get Charlotte Rampling in. That’s be a safe pair of hands.

    *Whistles innocently*

    #50358
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant–

    Certainly controversial at the moment, given her recent spectacularly poorly judged comments. Which means I suspect she wouldn’t be allowed near a high-profile role like this, but taken all in all, she wouldn’t be a terrible choice for a Doctor….

    #50359
    DoctorDani @doctordani

    I really hope I’m wrong about this, but does anybody else think that the BBC are cooling on the show? I suspect that it’ll move permanently to Spring and their prime Saturday night family fantasy slot in the Autumn/Winter is going to go to ‘His Dark Materials’, which they are apparently throwing loads of money at. They’ll allow that to get established and then cut DW loose around 2019/2020. I know it’s ridiculous to be worrying about something this far ahead, but all of this occurred to me last night when I was mulling the news over.

    #50360
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @doctordani — I think we’re probably looking at a permanent shift to a non-winter slot, yes. Just to avoid it clashing with Strictly any longer. But His Dark Materials is just three series — four if they split up The Amber Spyglass — so I don’t think there’s any need to worry. And Who is too much of a cash cow for it to go altogether. Although it does depend, I suppose, on Chibnall’s performance. But, yeah, it could get downgraded. Shorter series, maybe even just the occasional special. Maybe even a movie. I bet they might be able to tempt SM with that.

    #50361
    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @jimthefish No, I believe they’re going to try and spread HDM out to at least 5 series, depending on how well it’s received. A lot will depend on how well they do coming out of the long hiatus, and then obviously if Chibnall can keep the ratings fairly decent. You could be right about them downgrading it, rather than canning it altogether, but my gut is telling me that we’re moving into the final stretch. I’d love Moffat to be a part of winding things up because out of all the writers on New Who, he seems to be the one who can pull something out of the hat when it’s most needed.

    Actually, I don’t know why I’m worrying. The way TV is at the minute, it’ll be rebooted about 5 years after it ends.

    #50362
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @doctordani — Who is too much of a cash-cow for it to be killed altogether. It will endure in some form or another. Even if it ends up some kind of partnership with Amazon/Netflix kind of malarkey.

    I’m sure they’ll try to stretch HDM as much as they can but there are limits. Amber Spyglass is a bloated mess as it is. Calling attention to that fact won’t help it in the long run. But yeah, theoretically each book could be divided into two series, making a six-year run.

    #50363
    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    @pedant

    “…Moffat, if he learnt one thing from Whedon, learnt that events have consequences.”

    But even Whedon couldn’t stick to that.  Spike dies in a heroic sacrifice full of pathos and grace to save the world – oh, wait, he’s back.

    The only thing that Whedon hated about it was that the network announced that Marsters was joining the show Angel too soon.  He wanted the fans to live with the consequences of Spike’s death for a few more weeks before he brought him back from being disintegrated.

    The only thing that Doctor Who doesn’t have in it’s bag of tricks that Whedon had was “magic”.  Whedon could write darn near anything (like regeneration, I mean reincarnation) and then say – It’s magic.

    For instance, we are always getting warnings about crossing time streams and not interacting with ourselves.  Eccleston warns Rose that touching the baby version of herself would introduce a paradox.  All these signs that meeting ourselves is a bad thing.

    Unless, of course, you’re doing a Christmas special, then it’s okay for Kazran to hug his younger self without any mention at all of any difficulties.

    You should also look for @bluesqueakpip‘s blog post on Deus Ex Machinas to fully grasp how astutely both Moffat and RTD avoided them.

    “The Parting of the Ways”, ’nuff said.

    #50364
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @ob-wan — The Parting of the Ways conclusion is not a DEM. To reiterate @pedant‘s point, go and read Pip’s blog on the subject.

    Not sure I’d agree about the ‘magic’ angle either. As essentially a fantasy show, Who is full of magic. It just dresses it up in the borrowed clothes of SF a lot of the time, that’s all….

    #50365

    @ob-wan

    There’s nothing any writer can do about the stupidity of the networks (but anyway, bringing Marsters in was a condition of renewing Angel).

    And also, what @jimthefish said. What both showed had was liberal use of  the word “quantum” as general purpose handwaveium.

    #50366
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Dear Chris

    Well, it’s less than twenty-four hours since the announcement and you’re already the subject of considerable complaint. Welcome to showrunning Doctor Who!

    You’ve been the Head Writer/Showrunner on two series which were built around the lead female actor (Torchwood and Gwen Cooper, Broadchurch and DS Ellie Miller), and you also employed female directors and writers while you were showrunning. But I’m sure all everyone will remember is that Torchwood episode with the metal bikini.

    Your BAFTA win for Best Series (Broadchurch) was all very nice, but it pales beside Broadchurch 2 going a bit wobbly before hitting its stride. Basically, it’s probably best not to try and make your first series of Doctor Who an astonishing, award winning drama. People will only complain when the second series isn’t quite that good.

    You’ve written five episodes for Doctor Who, four of which received an AI rating of ‘Excellent’. You’ve also been showrunner for five different series (Who will be your sixth), four of which were very successful. That’s great. But I’m sure all the fans will remember is that Torchwood episode with the metal bikini and Broadchurch 2 going a bit wobbly before it got back on track.

    So, forget the fans. Remember that you’ve now got the job you’ve wanted since you were a teenager. And if you cast a female actor for the Doctor, for God’s sake don’t put her in a metal bikini! 😉

    Pip

    #50367
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @ob-wan

    To be fair, RTD set up Rose’s Mad Godz Skillz in Boom Town, when he established that looking into the heart of the TARDIS does Weird Stuff.

    But in my blog I note that:

      1. the scenario in Parting of the Ways is set up so that it needs a dea to unravel it, and
      2. RTD not only knows perfectly well what he’s doing, he uses an actual winch as part of the plot.

    Unless, of course, you’re doing a Christmas special, then it’s okay for Kazran to hug his younger self without any mention at all of any difficulties.

    Especially if you’ve rebooted the universe just before Kazran meets Kazran. The explosive properties of Blinovitch Limitation Effect is visibly failing in the Big Bang; it works with the Sonic (to the extent of a small spark) when the universe starts collapsing in the Roman era, doesn’t work at all by the time Amy meets Amelia, and has never been seen since in any of the TV episodes.

    #50368
    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    @jimthefish

    Dues ex machina – a character or thing (i.e. Bad Wolf) that suddenly enters the story in a novel, play, movie, etc., and solves a problem that had previously seemed impossible to solve – Merriam-Webster

    Sorry Jim, but I know the definition of DEM and I saw the episode with my own eyes.  NO amount of lawyer-ing is going to convince me that up is down – no matter how brilliant the argument.

    #50369
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @jimthefish

    Of course, the real reason for the twelve month delay is that they’ve finally got Peter Jackson to agree to direct an episode of Doctor Who.

    Six of the twelve months are for one episode…

    😈

    #50370
    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    @bluesqueakpip

    The explosive properties of Blinovitch Limitation Effect is visibly failing in the Big Bang; it works with the Sonic (to the extent of a small spark) when the universe starts collapsing in the Roman era, doesn’t work at all by the time Amy meets Amelia, and has never been seen since in any of the TV episodes.

    Now that I’ll consider.  I’m really not obsessive about DW so I’m probably not going to run to the stacks and research it.  But I’ll consider that a real possibility.

    But that comports EXACTLY with what I was saying about canon.  Canon is whatever the writers say it is until they want to change it.  Then they come up with some excuse (Big Bang 2) and say “that was then, this is now”.

    And then fans spend a lot of time trying to explain how that isn’t re-writing canon or how it isn’t a DEM or how it isn’t some other writing trick.

    #50371
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @OB-Wan–

    So your argument goes ‘I’ve made up my mind it’s a DEM and no amount of evidence to the contrary is going to talk me out of that prejudice’.

    PotW does not end with a DEM for two fundamental reasons–

    1. Bad Wolf as a concept is seeded through the entire series.

    2. The heart of the TARDIS which creates BW does not come out anywhere either. It’s introduced via the Boom Town episode.

    The ending of PotW conforms to pretty much to the accepted rules of drama. It’s not a ‘writing trick’ of any kind and it’s certainly not a DEM, unless your definition is (as it is for many fans, it seems) ‘a plot resolution that I personally don’t like’.

    As to canon, what is it except the accretion of every plot to date? It’s not something to be restricted by and it’s not a case of rewriting something written in stone but continually adding to it. And SM’s most genius move was in The Name of the Doctor by calling into question the entire 50-year backstory, thus freeing up writers and showrunners for the future. Canon-schmanon I say…

    #50372
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @ob-wan

    Canon is whatever the writers say it is until they want to change it.

    You’ve just defined the Doctor’s attitude to the laws of time. 🙂

    #50373
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @bluesqueakpip — don’t think anyone’s saying that CC is any kind of misogynist or that his stories won’t have good, well-rounded female characters (though there will almost be elements of fandom who’ll say that regardless).

    What I will say is that both his Who and his Torchwood work absolutely do not fill me with confidence, once he’s holding the reins but I agree that he should be given the benefit of the doubt since then. We’re going to have to agree to disagree on Broadchurch 2. Watched the whole thing and it just didn’t get his mojo back — and think the first series actually got a smoother ride than it should have and only was largely saved not by the writing but by Tennant, Colman, Bradley etc knocking it out of the park with stellar performances. And I think the thing that should worry us now is CC’s general arse-iness over the bad press he got. God knows how he’s going to deal with Whovians.

    In many ways he’s starting from the opposite position that Moffat did. On the strength of his RTD episodes, it was generally assumed that SM would usher in a golden age of Who (which he did. It just wasn’t what a lot of fans were expecting). But he came into the job with a lot of goodwill. CC is coming in having to prove himself far more. A very tough gig.  I think it was his, as you say, solid CV that got him the gig. It’s probably what made him a more attractive choice to say Harness or Mathieson, who are better writers, but don’t really have the production experience.

    #50374
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @jimthefish

    I wouldn’t rate Parting of the Ways as ending with an actual D.E.M., but I would regard it as a joke around the concept of Rose becoming a Dea Ex Machina in the literal meaning of the phrase.

    Just as the motorbike in The Bells of St John is an actual, genuine D.E.M., ridden by a pun on the literal meaning of Deus Ex Machina – the Doctor working through the Spoonhead machine.

    #50375
    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    @jimthefish

    And your argument is that “they mentioned the words Bad Wolf before”.  Along with a reference to the heart of the TARDIS.

    If you look at the definition of DEM you will see that there is nothing in it that forbids such vague foreshadowing.

    It matters not if the words are sprinkled here and there.  And merely mentioning the heart of the TARDIS does not tell us that that heart can merge with a human and turn them into a God.

    The actual Bad Wolf suddenly appears to solve the problem when the situation looks impossible – just like the definition says.  Just because the writers planned a DEM months in advance does NOT prevent it from being a DEM.

    So your argument goes ‘I’ve made up my mind it’s a DEM and no amount of evidence to the contrary is going to talk me out of that prejudice’.

    It’s rather rude of you to use a loaded word like “prejudice” instead of “opinion” – a little passive aggressive too.

    There’s an expression among lawyers – “Are you going to believe me or your own lying eyes.”

    I repeat – I know what a DEM is and I know that I witnessed a DEM.  I don’t need someone to try to talk me out of what I witnessed with my own eyes.

    @bluesqueakpip

    “Canon is whatever the writers say it is until they want to change it. / You’ve just defined the Doctor’s attitude to the laws of time.”

    Agreed.

    #50376
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @ob-wan

    If you look at the definition of DEM you will see that there is nothing in it that forbids such vague foreshadowing.

    Now, there I have to disagree with you. The whole point of a genuine DEM is that it isn’t foreshadowed. If you keep vaguely mentioning Poseidon throughout your series, don’t be too surprised if he turns up in the last episode. Even if he then destroys the entire cast with a tsunami, it won’t be a DEM. God, yes. Intervening, yes. But it was foreshadowed.

    Dictionary definitions are on the short side: but the key word you are quoting is ‘suddenly’. Oxford has it as ‘unexpectedly’, which is a bit clearer and may allow you to see Jim’s point. Which is, Bad Wolf cannot be a Deus Ex Machina, because we expect Bad Wolf to turn up. We just don’t know what it is.

    I’m a bit on the fence on this, because (as I said in the blog) I think RTD was following the Horace dictum of ‘If the problem is big enough to need a god to resolve it, then use a god’ (paraphrased). RTD knew what he was doing; Rose can’t get into the TARDIS without a crane-like winch (Greek drama often winched the god into the action) and her ‘god’ powers come ‘from the machine’.

    So I’d say he’s playing with the entire concept of ‘Dea Ex Machina’. But what he wasn’t doing was using it as a lazy or careless convention.

    #50377
    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    @bluesqueakpip

    Which is, Bad Wolf cannot be a Deus Ex Machina, because we expect Bad Wolf to turn up. We just don’t know what it is.

    Well, that will probably the point that we’ll have to end on.  It doesn’t appear that either of us is going to be able to move past this central point.

    In my opinion it doesn’t matter if the words “Bad Wolf” are sprinkled around.  It doesn’t matter if the writers announce – “HEY a DEM is coming.”

    The Bad Wolf itself does indeed SUDDENLY APPEAR in the last 8-1/2 minutes of the episode to “magically” save the day – just like the definition says.

    Beyond that I think we’re at an impasse.

    #50378
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @ob-wan

    It might help if you read my blog, because then we’d all be on the same page about what a DEM is. Or you could read the Wikipedia article. Arguing from a dictionary definition is a bit tricky; at the moment you’re coming across rather like someone arguing that the force of gravity doesn’t apply when we’re stationary because the dictionary tells them that gravitation is a ‘movement or tendency to move’.

    I’m actually perfectly happy with the argument that The Parting of the Ways, taken as a single episode, contains a DEM. The ability of the TARDIS to give Rose her glowy eyed supernatural powers is definitely a bit of a new one for the old girl. Of course, as RTD reminded us in Boom Town, the TARDIS has a habit of coming up with new powers on demand. Within the episode, however, it’s a bit of a ‘the TARDIS can turn people into gods? Since when?’

    But you’re arguing that Parting of the Ways is a DEM by the equivalent of saying that it doesn’t matter if we’ve been told that Cinderella has to go home at midnight; Cinderella forgetting the time is sudden and unexpected, therefore her dress turning back to rags is a DEM.

    You could have a point if you talked about the glass slipper…

    #50379
    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    @bluesqueakpip

    The Cinderella example is pretty flawed.  We’re told well in advance the conditions and consequences.  Forgetting the time, while sudden, is neither ” a character or thing that suddenly enters the story”.

    I’m actually perfectly happy with the argument that The Parting of the Ways, taken as a single episode, contains a DEM… Within the episode, however, it’s a bit of a ‘the TARDIS can turn people into gods? Since when?’

    Exactly.  The only difference appears to be that you want to count the mere mention of the words “Bad Wolf” in other episodes as spoiling the DEM and I disagree.

    So here is a good place to end.  You’re “perfectly happy” and we’ve probably spent way more time on this than it’s worth.

    #50380
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Ob-wan

    The Cinderella example is pretty flawed.

    Yes, well, I’m trying to do my tax return. That’ll flaw anything. But even so, you’re happy with being told in advance the time and conditions for Cinders and the ball, but not happy with being whacked over the head with ‘Bad Wolf’ in advance?

    Exactly. The only difference appears to be that you want to count the mere mention of the words “Bad Wolf” in other episodes as spoiling the DEM and I disagree.

    Yeeesss… however, while we agree quite closely, I do have one major, major problem with your argument. The only difference between us is that you want to be able to say that a foreshadowed character is a DEM – and that’s just plain wrong.

    It is not possible for a foreshadowed event or character to enter a story ‘suddenly’. ‘Suddenly’ or ‘unexpectedly’ (in drama) means ‘without any foreshadowing’. Writers are allowed to surprise us about what the foreshadowing actually means. But the accepted rules of drama say that if ‘Bad Wolf’ is mentioned through several episodes, Bad Wolf has to a) turn up and b) be important in the resolution of the plot. To use a site joke, Bad Wolf is a Chekhov’s Wolf.

    ‘What does Bad Wolf mean?’ say the characters. They don’t know, and neither do the audience, because if someone answers ‘Oh, Bad Wolf? Isn’t that an incredibly powerful god-like being that looks remarkably like Rose Tyler?’ it’s going to bloody well ruin any kind of dramatic suspense about the finale.

    There is only one way to argue that Rose-as-Bad-Wolf is a genuine DEM (and I’m quite prepared to use it); that’s to pick on the previously un-revealed ability of the TARDIS to give people god-like powers through space and time.

    Which is why RTD carefully used Boom Town to plant the idea that the heart of the TARDIS can do weird stuff. He didn’t want to be more specific about the weird stuff – and he knew damn well that by being less-than-specific, he was creating something that is very, very close to a DEM. Or which may well cross the line, under the permission of the ‘difficulty worthy a god’s unravelling’ clause. That’s quite probably why you can play ‘spot the DEM jokes’ within Parting of the Ways.

    Ob-wan, it really doesn’t matter how often you quote the dictionary, or what your opinion is. You keep phrasing your argument in a way that suggests that you don’t understand the concept you’re discussing. Bad Wolf is foreshadowed; Bad Wolf doesn’t turn up suddenly or unexpectedly. If the writers announce that a deus (or dea) is turning up, then what turns up may be a deus – but they won’t be a deus ex machina.

    What’s sudden and unexpected isn’t Bad Wolf. What’s sudden and unexpected is the ability of the TARDIS.

    Rose (even in her Bad Wolf persona) isn’t the DEM. The DEM is

    Looking in the TARDIS gave me glowy eyes with Mad God-skillz.

    😉

    #50381
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Fortified by the contents of the Blenkinsop cellar, I have accepted the reality of no new series until 2017. As I said, I am not too concerned about Chris Chibnall taking over. He wrote the wonderful Silurian two-parter, which I really believe captured the heart of what the show is all about. (I know others have different views.)

    What I am now wondering is how they will handle the transition. Will Missy carry over into the Chibnall era? Will River? (I think not–I suspect we have seen the last of her). Will Moffat give us a new companion in 2017 who will carry over, while Peter Capaldi leaves with Moffat? (that, I think, is more likely).

    So many bonkers theories to contemplate.

    #50382
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Well, well, the DEM is just the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it?

    @OB-Wan–

    It’s rather rude of you to use a loaded word like “prejudice” instead of “opinion” – a little passive aggressive too.

    Not really. An ‘opinion’ is a conclusion or stance arrived at via evidence and argument. As you by your own admission are refusing to be swayed by any argument that might be presented to you then you’re operating pretty much from the dictionary definition of ‘prejudice’. (And you seem to love those 🙂 ) However, sorry if you took it askance.

    You’re kind of half right that Rose as Bad Wolf is a DEM in the most literal way — as Pip points out and which I think RTD admitted to in either an interview or possibly The Writer’s Tale. It’s a joke at the expense of both the fans who always bitch about DEMs and also the show’s long and venerable tradition in using same.

    However, I’d argue that aside from the literal joke of Bad Wolf acting in a God-like way, PotW is not a DEM ending. And as Pip says, the concept relies on an unexpected resolution entirely unrelated to the action that went before it. Bad Wolf isn’t expected — and trying to write off the previous mentions isn’t going to wash. It’s established that Bad Wolf is a significant arc point. It’s established that the heart of the TARDIS is a powerful and not-to-be-fucked-with force. That means that Bad Wolf’s final arrival late in the day as foreshadowed by previous events is not a DEM, just a common or garden plot point. You might not like this particular payoff but that doesn’t make it a DEM.

    There are two other reason why it isn’t one either. The first is that a traditional DEM tends to be consequence free. It’s a dramatic get out of jail free card. This isn’t the case here. There are consequences. It costs the Doctor his regeneration.

    The second reason it’s not a DEM is more fundamental. The true arc of s1 is the relationship of the Doctor and Rose, essentially of the Doctor re-learning to connect with humans after the trauma of the Time War. It’s about a stumbling bonding of two characters (and drama is always about character, not piddling SF McGuffins). Rose sacrifices herself for the Doctor and the Doctor sacrifices himself for her. It’s the purest manifestation of their love for each other and that’s been dramatically developed throughout all the previous episodes. If Mickey or Rose’s mum or Lynda with a Y had been the Bad Wolf then the DEM argument might have held some water.

    However, let’s not forget that Who has a huge tradition in using DEMs (and long tradition of fans invoking them when they don’t like a denouement). The first and to my mind most blatantly undefendable DEM in Who is in The Edge of Destruction and that’s the third feckin’ story. Similarly the Doctor suddenly regenerating at the end of the Tenth Planet is another colossal DEM and yet regeneration is a key plank of the show’s lore now. And then there’s the Time Lords showing up in the last episode of The War Games. Another seminal Who moment and another huge DEM.

    So we can debate this being a DEM, that not, but it’s an integral part of the original show anyway so possibly something that just has to be accepted to some extent or another. But at the same time, despite all the accusations to the contrary, it’s a device that’s almost never made a significant appearance in the rebooted show.

    @bluesqueakpip–

    I’d debate the bike in Bells of St John isn’t really a DEM because it’s ultimately not that relevant to the denouement. It’s a just joke basically. Again possibly as a gentle poke in the ribs to fandom.

    Oh and just doing your tax return now? For shame! I had mine done days ago (he said virtuously 😉 )

    #50383
    nerys @nerys

    Well … I loved the first season of Broadchurch, but was quite underwhelmed by the second. And we have only a Christmas special to look forward to in 2016, followed by Moffat’s last season in 2017? That’s a long wait. Ah, well. There’s always that treasure trove of past episodes on Netflix.

    #50384
    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    @bluesqueakpip

    Ob-wan, it really doesn’t matter how often you quote the dictionary, or what your opinion is. You keep phrasing your argument in a way that suggests that you don’t understand the concept you’re discussing.

    I could very well retort that you don’t seem to understand plain English – that you’re just trying to complicate a very simple thing for your own amusement.  It’s not nuclear power (and I know because I’ve worked in nuclear power).  It comes down to one simple point that we don’t need to waste more valuable time on…

    Exactly. The only difference appears to be that you want to count the mere mention of the words “Bad Wolf” in other episodes as spoiling the DEM and I disagree.

    @bluesqueakpip; Yeeesss…

    Close enough for me.  That’s the crux of our disagreement, plain and simple.  Since you agree with that statement, there’s no reason to belabor the point further.   I can just imagine how much RTD and SWM would be laughing at us for spending so much time discussing such a minor point.

    I don’t intend to spend my life debating about how many weeping angels can dance on the head of a pin – I am done and done with this repeating of our positions.

    I won’t respond further on this subject, let’s move on to something else, PLEASE.

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