On the sofa

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    Anonymous @

    @EcclestonTennant – I’m with @phaseshift on asking you to expand your ‘dumbed-down’ phrase further – as it stands in your original comment, it could easily be interpreted as inflammatory, and that is probably not what you wanted to convey.

    If I can take the liberty of applying my own interpretation to your question, I think the RTD series started with Ecclestone as much more of a stereotypical ‘children’s programme’ in that there were farting aliens (twice!), and a dustbin which came to life and comically swallowed a character.  However it always included more ‘adult’ themes (but still themes children could understand) of death, plague horror, are-they-really-monsters-or-are-you-unduy-prejudiced, self-sacrifice for the greater good, and losses which cannot – and should not – be retrieved.

    And notwithstanding Steven Moffat’s children, I think his series have been even more ‘adult’ than RTD’s.  The basic stories and themes are still accessible to children, but The Moff has added so many layers which demand thoughtful, adult analysis to reveal some pretty hard-hitting and emotional punches; that my take is, if your phrase ‘dumbed down’ refers to ‘children’s TV’ vs ‘adult TV’, then no, I don’t agree with you.

    But – gauntlet thrown over to you to make your case!

    SatsumaJoe @satsumajoe


    psychology degree sounds a lot more useful than the ‘humanities specialising in creative writing’ that I’m doing.

    I suppose so, it’s certainly part of why I’m doing it, but I think usefulness isn’t the best reason (or indeed most… valid one) for undertaking study especially at this level. To do it from interest? Yeah, that 😀

    negative feedback on the OU website (credit to the OU for including it- or evil mechanisms of the OU consciousness?)

    I think you might be on to something! Online only course is the most evil thing I’ve ever encountered. A 10 week war of attrition.

    if it’s too easy, it isn’t much of an achievement.

    That’s another good reason, the challenge of it. It’s part of my goal 🙂



    I think “dumbed down” is one of the laziest phrases in the English language. It is, of course, quite impossible to dumb something up.

    So perhaps if you could be clear and specific about what you mean that would look a tad less trollish.

    Anonymous @

    @Shazzbot & @AmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan

    My opinion is that some of the episodes from series 1-4, when Davis, Gardener, & Collins produced and wrote the show, is that some of the story-lines were alot more intelligent than the new ones, also, in the new series, I find that there is too much comedy in it, I dont mind comedy, by all means I’m not against it, but some of the jokes where alot smarter, intelligent comedy! For example, In the end of time, the tenth doctor says to the ood ”…God married! That was a mistake, good queen bess, and let me tell you, her nickname was no more” Good queen bess (Queen Elizebeth) Her nickname (The virgin queen). It took a while to work that out, and thats what I loved about the old doctor who, you had to figure it out for yourself, not everything was told to you

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    cush 100

    @denvaldron – Peter Cushing was born 100 years ago today!

    ScaryB @scaryb


    I don’t think everyone would necessarily agree with you that innuendo is the high-spot of adult humour.

    what I loved about the old doctor who, you had to figure it out for yourself, not everything was told to you

    I would resepctfully suggest that 11,000+ comments on this site alone (in 5 months) are testament to the fact that a bit of “figuring out yourself” is still required!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Nice pic @wolfweed. Happy b’day to Mr C (a sort of ghost Dr 🙂 )

    Craig @craig

    @EcclestonTennant Are you trying to get moderated?

    Please try to use paragraphs, use punctuation properly, and make a cogent argument. Don’t say the series was better in the past because the jokes were better and then refer to one single joke. If that joke took you a while to work out then maybe you’ve missed a lot of the recent, more adult ones. Just saying 😀

    Anonymous @

    @ScaryB Yes, but thats not the point, some of the jokes in the most recent episodes are funny, but not very smart, and also, there is a bit too much comedy, I dont expect everyone to agree with my point but thats what fourms are for, people expressing their opinions and listneing to what they have to say, I thought some people would agree with my point, but no, nobody has agreed yet, but I would still like to hear what they have to say


    Anonymous @

    @Craig, I was just using that joke for an example, There are lots more like that in series 1-4, your right, maybe I should of used another one, but my point still stands, that was an intelligent piece of comedy, a piece of comedy that Russel, let the viewers figure out for themselves


    Craig @craig

    @EcclestonTennant Before anyone will respond to you they would like to hear from you in more detail, as you are making sweeping statements. As @phaseshift suggested, please write a longer post outlining your argument, then we will respond.

    Craig @craig

    @EcclestonTennant Really? Spelling and grammar are not your strong points, are they? With all due respect I am beginning to think you are a troll and will quite happily delete you unless you redeem yourself pretty quickly.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Am LOLing at idea of 9, 10 being “old Dr Who”

    mwuhuhuhuh! :mrgreen:

    <falls off sofa 😳 >

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    @wolfweed     Very cool.  Time to reappraise Peter Cushing’s Doctor.


    PS:   Island of Terror, the man who did the musical score also did the musical score for Doctor and the Daleks from Amicus.   The effects in Island of Terror are frequently compared to Dr. Who.



    I thought some people would agree with my point, but no, nobody has agreed yet,

    That is because you have yet to properly outline your point.

    Do so, or troll off.


    Ah, I see ET has left the building!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I promised you a response.

    I think comedy is a pretty weak subject to pick. Even given it’s a big subjective issue in itself. But for my money series 5-7 own that territory.

    Russell can do comedy very well, from broad innuendo and pratfall comedy to one liners. The problem for me is that his belief that children loving a good fart joke, or a wheely-bin burping wouldn’t take the audience out of what they were watching.

    I’d say Steven is a better comedy writer and avoids the later while giving good broad brush approach to the others. The broadest pratfall humour he has is with Strax, the Sontaran.

    What Steven has though is the ability to write extended dialogue with very comedic elements that rely on the audience buying into his reality and following an entire conversation.

    As an example, I’ve met people who don’t get the “words” joke Clara makes in this scene. It’s a battle of wits between two characters and she goes from a weak position to a strong one, and in two words, changes the dynamic. Dumb it isn’t. If you can offer up anything as sophisticated from a Russell episode then I’d be interested in watching it.


    ScaryB @scaryb


    Great example.  I love that scene. It was much discussed on the Snowman thread. It’s all done with looks (and very few words) – as you say it’s about watching the dynamic switch completely.

    It’s what I also loved about NotD – Moffat at his best can turn scenes on a dime, with a huge amount packed in. And it’s about using all the tools in TV language – looks, angles, lighting etc as well as the words.  Which is no doubt why we’re all still speculating like mad after 3 series. 🙂

    Whisht @whisht

    @denvaldron – well, I’ve mentioned Horror Express a couple of times (I’d wager Mr Gatiss has a copy at home!!) so thanks for mentioning it up-thread.

    If its Peter Cushing’s birthday, then I have a slightly awkward link to post.

    I have a strong memory of this, as when I watched it as a kid, I thought it was an incredibly tender love that he had for his wife – a love so tender that he wanted to create a rose to be named after her (as she had passed away by then).

    Its only problematic for its recent context, but let’s focus on Cushing and learning a bit about cross breeding roses!

    (and yes, Roses….)

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    If you like Horror Express, Christopher Fowler’s ‘Hell Train’ is a good read.  The framing device is someone attempting to write a horror film for Hammer and even Cushing and Lee make an appearance.

    A bit portmanteau, but all the stories take place aboard the 19th century train in the story written by the scriptwriter.

    ScaryB @scaryb



    Remind me never to get on your wrong side.


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    lil cush Crazy Captions 4 is now on the Blog in honour of Mr Cushing.

    Craig @craig

    @wolfweed @denvaldron and the rest

    Peter Cushing – Brilliant!

    I once had the pleasure of going to a talk by Freddie Francis who at the time (may still be, I’m not sure) the only cinematographer to have won an Oscar for both colour (Glory) and black and white (Elephant Man).

    He also directed a few Hammer Horror films in his time. He had wonderful stories to tell about them, and he fell over himself in his praise for Cushing. He said scripts would come in with, sometimes, two or three pages of appalling exposition, and how was he going to shoot that? Then Cushing would take it and make it the most gripping dialogue he’d ever seen.

    The man was a legend of screen acting – he made the difficult look simple. As with many people who do the same, perhaps not as well recognised as he should be.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    amy tweed

    ‘At last – I’m ginger!!!’



    I have a bit of a hair-trigger response to on-topic trolling: it is designed to suck you in first. Delighted to see @craig‘s zero-tolerance response 🙂

    @phaseshift – that video is flipped (still a great scene, but the newspaper headline looks Russian at first glance!)

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Yeah – there seems to be a strange belief in some quarters that flipping a video clip makes you immune from copyright issues. An odd one that. 🙂

    & @scaryb

    And thanks. I was bowled over by that scene when I saw it at Christmas and still think it’s a work of genius. Great dialogue, astonishing performances, lovely close camera work to capture those expressions, and beautiful use of music building in the background.

    I actually hope “Snowmen” wins the Hugo, but voting may be split as Moffat is up against himself with two other episodes nominated. I think Fringe may get it as it’s now a “complete” work.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @phaseshift was well worth abit of trolling to be reminded of that scene. (And yes, it would be nice to see Dr Who actually win an award again. Going to be difficult if episodes are up against each other).

    In RTD’s defence (but not in a competitive way, just as a reminder RTD was much more than fart jokes and innuendo) – I put forward the scene in Midnight when the woman copies Tennant’s phrases, catches up with him then starts saying them first. It’s funny at first then progresses through creepy to downright scary. Great performances and again the dynamic switches as we watch, because of the timing and performances. (Sorry, don’t have clip of it)

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Apropos of nothing, watched the first episode of Sherlock again last night and realised that Watson’s sister Harry’s girlfriend is named Clara. The Moff moves in mysterious ways.

    Anonymous @

    @scaryb – far be it for me to come to an exterminated troll’s defence, but your statement ‘a reminder RTD was much more than fart jokes and innuendo)’ appears to be pointed at my rejoinder (and gauntlet challenge) to said troll, rather than addressing said troll’s statement.

    The now-disappeared troll’s point (if there was one) seemed to be that things dumbed down after RTD.  And hinged solely on 11’s quote implying that the Virgin Queen did not deserve that title because of his actions.  My rejoinder acknowledged that whilst there were indeed fart jokes in RTDs time, his episodes also dealt with heavy, so-called ‘adult’ themes, a trend which in my mind has become stronger under The Moff’s reign.

    (sigh}  After all that boring pedant work, I guess it’s my shout.  What’s everyone having?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    No argument from me that Midnight was good. I put it in my top 20 🙂 . No, that scene was used in particular regarding more subtle ways of humour.


    Actually, although his post was a bit confusing, the line about Elizabeth I was 10s (from End of Time pt 1) which he held up as an example of comedy that really made you “have to work it out”. No comment.

    But we are falling into the trap of discussing a pretty trollish series of posts. Call it a night on this one, eh?

    Case @case

    I have a question for my UK friends here.

    Over here in America, Doctor Who is shown on the cable channel, BBC America. Whenever there is a commercial break over here, the episode seems to cut out earlier than the music and sound effects seem to allow. Prior to every commercial break, it’s like the episode is cut off like a song being cut off on the radio a second before the actual end of the song.

    I guess what I want to know is what does the UK audience see just before a commercial break? It seems that BBC America is editing something out of the UK version, and I want to know what I’m missing. 🙂



    BBC – we don’t have commercial breaks on the BBC 🙂

    Case @case


    So, I guess BBC America forces in the commercials and ruins the natural flow of the episodes. No wonder it always seems like the commercials arrive so abruptly. They aren’t meant to be there in the first place. lol

    This answers my question. It makes me wish I watched the episodes unmolested.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    @case Find a way to access the iPlayer (no, nothing to do with apple). You can watch the episodes for a few weeks after first screening.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    :peeks in:

    Were we ‘trolled’ while I was away sunning, in the few days of summer Ireland is likely to get?


    @case – if you are on a Mac try Tunelbear or Netscape and access the BBC iPlayer site – you can view for 7 days after broadcast (and contribute to UK consolidated ratings!)

    I’m sure there are ‘doze and Linux equivalents.

    Case @case

    I’m not on a Mac. Is there a PC-centric player for this past season’s episodes?

    Anonymous @

    @ardaraith – you can see that various people have responded to a username which no longer exists; however, the original posts still appear in this thread, albeit with the unlinked user name ‘Anonymous’.  (PS pls advise about your hols over in the pub!)

    @craig – Is that how it’s supposed to work?  Or if a username gets exterminated, shouldn’t that delete all their comments, too?  But does that mean that all replies to such comments would / should be deleted as well?

    Craig @craig
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