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    Nick @replies


    Your first one sounds like something in Time of Angels (a Matt Smith two part story), but I don’t remember the actual scene so I may be wrong.

    Nick @replies


    The mechanisms which cause evolution (natural selection, isolation of species, random mutations, and the others) are well understood both in theory and in practice, which is why the scientific community no longer considers evolution to be a theory. The details though, are a different matter.

    The problem with the fossil record is that there are huge gaps and what seem to be rare (like feathered dinosaurs) can turn out to be be more common place with the discovery of new locations of super-preservation. But the locations of super-preservation are relatively few at any particular time, cover relatively narrow periods of time and probably cover only a limited climatic/physical environment in contrast to the total environmental and bio-diversity of the time. Most life at any point of time isn’t preserved at all. According to wikipedia the current estimate is 8.7 million species today (with a large margin of error) – the number of fossil species covering over 500 million years falls within the margin of error. Obviously it’s going to be very difficult to distinguish between a real major evolutionary leap and missing information. Worse there is no DNA information, which makes tracking evolution much more difficult.

    Nick @replies


    I’m not arguing that @jimthefish is wrong on the changes that are happening, but (in a different way) we’ve been through something similar before which we might use as pointers to what might happen with the way people consume entertainment and that the alliance between content production and money mean that the big TV that drives streaming services like netflix, arent going to make the existing players go away (although their economic model may need adjustment into subscription services as well as free to air) and that whilst the medium of consumption is changing, it will have a smaller effect than Jim thinks in the medium term.

    We widened the debate somewhat by discussing whether AI and similar developments are really going to change things  ie the recent press coverage on the number of jobs that will disappear or whether they will just morph into something different, which is what historical major technology changes have done.


    Nick @replies


    It started of as a debate about new media arising from a discussion about the importance of ratings and whether we’d past Peak New Who or not (from a UK perspective) which sort of came out of a debate about the standard internet theme of “moff is a poor writer” which itself started of about the Christmas story and my opinion that Moff shouldn’t being doing what he appears to be doing….

    There are a couple of other tangents that arise along the way as well.

    Its on the spoilers thread if you’re interested (and happy to look there)… 🙂 The more opinions the merrier

    Nick @replies


    Isn’t Streaming more like listening to a specialist radio station (easy listening, country etc) where you get to listen or watch what you want to (or at least think you want to). Interesting for a while, something good to do occasionally, but ultimately a little dull ?

    Sometimes, I do think the more things change, the more they stay the same (in a different way). Progress has always been pretty slow, and even now, when the pace is as fast as it has ever been things change quite slowly. Having reached 50, its hard to appreciate just how different things were when I was 15.

    Yes old media styles are dying out slowly. Newspapers are the most obvious one. There filled with less news, more reporting of PR output, more comment (and perhaps more comment disguised as news) then they were. Perhaps, overall we are less interested in what goes on around today than in the past. I’m not sure, but I don’t think there’s widespread appreciation of how much internet based “news” is actually opinion or propaganda yet. But we are in very angry and disturbed times right now and opinion and propaganda seem to be what a lot of us are happy with.

    But then even newspaper circulations were much higher (before free internet and TV news dominated) were things really that much better than today ?

    Nick @replies


    I would leave Trump out. He’s President because the US election system is flawed.  You win all electoral college votes from all (most ?) States, even if your vote majority is only 1 person. If electoral college votes were proportional to the actual number of ballots cast, then Clinton would have won, since she got more votes overall (I haven’t done the maths for each state, but that seems the most likely outcome. It certainly would have been very close either way).

    I would argue Brexit has more to do with UK Politicians ignoring large parts of the UK’s population because they don’t vote (younger people, low turn-out in many seats) instead of doing their electoral duty of representing the entire community. UK government would also be a lot more communal orientated if the allocation of MP’s was more closely aligned with the proportion of votes cast by party. That doesnt help fix the no vote issue. but it at least makes the result more democratic.

    Getting back to the Who point ( 🙂 ) if you dont engage then you will never get the chance to convince the one or two who are open, to change their mind or at least listen to your point of view. To my mind, that is a worse outcome by miles. As a society, we’re very good at appeasement by silence. Our government does it all the time (political expediency). We should try not to as individuals, but neither should we jump to conclusions before we have listened.

    Nick @replies


    You can accuse me of wanting to have my cake and eat it 🙂 However I think there is a difference between something that can be proven to be factually correct in an absolute sense (evolution) and something which is subjective and unproven (unproveable even).

    They do, however, lay themselves open to charges of misogyny because the effect of ‘not changing’ is misogynist

    I have not said that they don’t – I say that jumping to a conclusion before speaking with them is a mistake. It’s the same sort of argument that is often trotted out that if you want to talk about immigration – that you must be xenophobic or racist. It reduces any debate to the lowest possible place, without even commencing any discussion.

    Since we both believe in equality, do you think that all of the women who have posted that they don’t like the idea of a female Doctor or have strong reservations about the idea are just as automatically open to the charge of misogyny ?

    I agree with you, anyone making a statement that it is impossible to cast a Women as the Doctor or any other character, real or not – such as Churchill – , must automatically have rather dubious motives, although I would still want to ask them to explain their reasoning.

    It is the same in respect of casting a non-white person into a “white” role. The only get out of jail card I can think of is that the writer/director are attempting to be absolutely period correct in their casting decisions. Even then, its not very likely to end up with an all white cast in many circumstances. For example, the vast majority of non-white members of the British Army in Victorian times would most likely be found in colonial army units. In addition, I would expect to find that there would be a number of people with mixed-ethnicity in “white” only units (probably more in the junior ranks of the Navy ?) and in colonial units. There would even be a small number of women.

    Any one paying attention to the TV coverage ought to have spotted the names of the Indian Soldiers carved on the Menin Gate during the commemoration of the Third Battle of Ypres. It was very obvious on the BBC TV pictures. I’m sure that there are also some Nepali names there too, alongside British, Irish, Australian, South Africa, Canadian and West Indian names (and other nationalities no doubt).

    Nick @replies


    Isn’t biology an important element in generating character ?

    I think, that the Doctor’s character, in its fullest sense, is broad enough to encompass gender change. My point is that if someone else doesn’t believe that to be true, who are we to criticise them for thinking something different, let alone call them misogynist.

    Nick @replies


    in the case of Judaism itself has roots into earlier religions, essentially in pre-history, which are little known.

    Does it?

    Yes. It evolved out of polytheistic religions that pre-existed it and merged elements of that and other middle eastern religions before it came into existence. Yahweh had a wife at one time for example. Even then, what is generally considered to be the key elements of the religion (The Torah for example) weren’t written in their current form until much later and were influenced by interaction with Zoroastrianism in Babylonia. Nothing exists in isolation.

    Most of what I know comes from watching documentaries over the years, so is limited in nature. It is covered on wikipedia, but I dont know any good starter books on this topic (or I’d read them myself).

    Nick @replies


    New technology has always increased employment in the long term

    Hmm, tell that to a worker in a car plant, or a travel agent, or a typesetter. While it’s true that technology creates jobs that never existed before while getting rid of others, that’s not an endless process (leaving aside the quality of the jobs they create.) We’re looking at what more than 60% unemployment in 20 years down to automation. That”s going to change things dramatically.

    If that is what happens, I’d obviously agree with you. History suggests that this wont happen, but ofcourse it might. Let’s look at self driving vehicles. It seems plausible to suggest that when this technology matures (and there is some way to go yet) a large number of drivers will loose they jobs. Long distance trucks may become much more like a train service, but that isnt where the majority work. For short distance delivery, the driver may go, but one or two people will still be needed to unload the deliveries and transport to the customers door. There probably wont be that much change in this area.

    That leaves Taxi’s. Here it will come down to the cost of the technology and software verses the cost of a standard vehicle plus driver. That equation will probably come down to the price differential and the view of the mass consumer market. Do we watch to switch wholesale from self driving or not ? Without mass scale adoption, the self driving technology is likely to remain expensive. With mass unemployment (and universal income) people are more likely to become cheaper to hire than more expensive (especially as the taxation system will need to convert to mostly not taxing people’s income).

    It seems to me, that this concept certainly has the potential to make very significant changes, but the speed of adoption and the degree of adoption in western economies is by no means clear. Adoption outside western economies ? Very uncertain.

    AI is the another big topic right now. There’s an important debate starting about just what we want AI to do, but it is also important to realise that the technology remains more of a concept than reality at the moment. How long will it take to develop systems that are as capable as a person is an unknown. The extent to which we will allow such systems to take decisions (as opposed to autonomously running systems) is unknown. The size and energy requirements, the ability to make such systems mobile all unknowns.

    But what of other potential technology ? Current research (most visibly around disability) shows a promising start to linking human brains to digital technology to control mechanical technology. It is certainly possible to envisage a future when the human/computer interface is much more integrated that today. What implications does this have for the utility of building AI systems. Will it be necessary ?

    It is certainly true that the development of such systems,the nature of the world and employment will probably change. But I very much doubt that anyone today has any real conception of just how let alone when such systems will become ubiquitous. I can remember watching Tomorrow’s World and learning of how the digital revolution, which was still in its infancy, was going to make all our lives less stressed, that we would have to work less hard than today, that we’d have more leisure time. 30+ years later, we are still waiting (and if anything the opposite has been true).  Am I the only one, who finds Google searches (even where the search terms are very specific) pull up more irrelevant information than useful.This from the leading provider and one of the wealthiest corporations in the world. Even then, plenty of databases remain behind paywalls, something which isn’t likely to change in the near future (the opposite surely ?). Don’t futurologists over sell the future; technology companies under-deliver on the hype ?

    The one constant is people’s innate behaviour surely ? For oldsters like me, television remains a primary form of entertainment. I watch the programmes I am interested in at that moment (which includes programmes I would never watch as a first choice) and use catch up TV/Binge watching/streaming programmes with a history that are new to me. 20 somethings watch less TV, but more streaming. Is the proportion of new material of interest to that audience higher than for me ? Perhaps. But how much of the rest of is old stuff that I watched years ago ?

    Of course, they may well spend an hour of time that I spend on TV or reading, playing games, browsing celeb websites via instagram, chatting etc. Does this change the fundamental nature of the Entertainment Media. I don’t really think so. The scope of what we define as entertainment is increasing in size, and we are spending less time on each individual element, but mostly because there are more individual elements available today than in the past.

    The medium is changing, the distributors within that medium are changing, but content remains king. Content suppliers will continue to exist in one form or another. New technology has had a democratising affect of course, by blogs and video blogs, but these have broadened the base for content, not over turned the media environment itself.

    In (film) TV and music, you’re right we are now consuming content over a 30 to 50 year window (depending on medium) rather than just what is new today. This has created an explosion of choice that was previously only available for literature and classical music. Just how new is this as a cultural phenomena ? Isn’t this explosion, really no different than for books ? Can we not draw some conclusions on the future consumption of TV from our history of reading ?

    Nick @replies


    I suppose it depends on how you look at the variety of opinion within each religion. In my, no doubt simplistic way looking from the outside, I see all three as a tree with a trunk (ie the basic common doctrine that defines you as a Christian say) and then branches which reflect the various stems of thought. Each religion (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are three separate trees which are joined together via roots, which in the case of Judaism itself has roots into earlier religions, essentially in pre-history, which are little known.

    I used codified for the point at which the consensus as you put it evolved into the trunk  – the core common beliefs of each religion. Is codified the correct word ? It seemed reasonable to me, but I’m happy to be corrected. As you say, the consensus for what defined Christianity was agreed at the first council of Nicea, at least as I understood it.

    The usual mainstream view is more along the lines of ‘if there’s a conflict between the Bible and the ‘whole sum of human knowledge’, we’ve obviously misread the Bible.’

    Ok, I can’t say it was ever explained like that to me, but since I’m only a christian by baptism as a baby, plus school from 5 to 13, I certainly wouldn’t know. (I think technically that isn’t enough to make a Christian as I haven’t been confirmed). It has certainly never seemed that simple to me with the ordination of women or when dealing with homosexuality.

    I don’t believe I have commented on what the majority of Christians believe in respect of creationism and evolution and certainly not regarding Islam, where I have absolutely no idea.

    Nick @replies


    because Doctor should be male because he’s always been can be a shorthand statement for everything else that an an individual may value about this character. The history of the programme, the stories, your emotional attachment to the character, your dislike for change for sake of change etc.

    In terms of acting (which is a form of make believe) unless you’re restaging history in as realistic a way as you can achieve, any character is capable of changing gender or race for the purposes of putting on a play or making TV or a film. Jodie W can act and provide us (the audience) with her interpretation of Churchill or Blair (say). Are all the people, who would probably say that shouldn’t happen, misogynist  ?

    Nick @replies


    English is really a rather poor language sometimes. can one talk about a particular group of people within a larger group of people without sounding wrong (its venn diagram’s in words).

    There is a group of Christians (and Muslims) who do literally believe that the bible is the word of god, and everything it is is absolutely true (a 100 % fact) even when the whole sum of human knowledge, whether science, history, archaeology, textural analysis etc shows that it really can not be 100 % true. The problem, for me anyway, is that is finding any common language to debate in.

    The problem with evolution verses creationism, is that to espouse creationism, you have to close your eyes to human history. The hundreds and thousands of years of selective breeding to change natural things (aurochs, cereals grains wolves etc) into the domesticate animals and food stuffs we have today. That we have, as a species, spent the last 15,000 years using the methods of unnatural selection (if you like) to do what natural selection does in terms of evolution seems to get lost somewhere. Once you close your mind to evolution, you also must close your mind to everything that exists to make evolution possible (DNA if you like) and the medical and scientific developments that arise from the study of genetics.

    In that context, how can one (I would right you) not be appalled by those who demand that creationism be taught in schools (or universities) on the same basis with the same degree of credence as evolution ?

    Nick @replies


    Apologies if I was being too definitive, it is a fault of mine, but

    Except now, I see the point Blue is making. If you don’t want  a female Doctor because you’ve always had a male one and that’s your only excuse then those people are showing hints of possible  misogynist behaviour.

    No, I don’t believe there is any reason to suggest that there is even a hint of possible misogynist behaviour in that belief, although, of course, this isn’t true of everybody.

    Nick @replies


    The point at which you worry about ‘legitimising their arguments’ is when you realise that their argument is in fact simply that you, or people you know, do not have a right to an argument. Because you (or people you know)are the wrong gender, or the wrong race, or hold the religious belief that God (or a god, or goddess) scheduled the Big Bang.

    And that being any or all of those things means that there is nothing, absolutely nothing you can say that has any worth whatsoever.

    You’re right of course, but I would say that whilst you (I chose not to use “one” a la the Royal family) will probably never be able to influence the people who;s belief or opinions deny your right to have an argument, you’re not necessarily addressing them as the audience, but the wider elements of society. By engaging you might actually be validating their argument, which should not be validated, but that is probably a price worth paying.

    In any case, you may well actually achieve something positive within the close minded group, by forcing them to make a response and thus finding a way to let members here alternative points of view that they never otherwise hear, within the close bubble that they live and are brought up in.

    Nick @replies


    I agree with you that its difficult and that it could be seen to be legitimising arguments and points of view that reprehensible, but what else can we do ? If you ignore it, then you leave them inside a bubble of silence, where they actually grow stronger and, if the circumstances are right, start to influence public policy (as in the US) in local areas or more generally as we see with politicians like Trump playing up to them in order to gain their votes.

    I think the best (of a bunch of bad possibilities) is to vocally engage with them, whenever possible, if only to demonstrate that the arguments are ridiculous in a very public way. It may change the minds of those who are already believers (and I expect the probably of that may be very small), but it ought to negate their influence with the general population. However, the engagement has to be to dome with a degree of respect, because otherwise it comes across as bullying, which will negate what you are trying to achieve in the first place, by employing the same sort of methods as they do.

    Religion is a particularly difficult area though. Both Christianity and Islam were codified a very long time ago (300’s and 700’s ad) in times which were very different from out society today. How do you combine respect for people’s belief (and their right to believe), recognise all the positive elements within those religions, but also deal with the elements that make homosexuality a sin, which must be punished, and other elements that we find unwelcome today. The underlying Doctrine is frozen or has become so, by the element who have been taught to believe that the Bible/Qur’an are the actual word of God  – so must be believed as literal truth – as opposed to written by Man applying what they understand to be God’s message to the times they lived in.



    Nick @replies


    But really the only people who will ultimately lose out will be the monolithic corporations who until now could control the channels of distribution. A few will survive but many won’t as it becomes easier and easier to bypass them.

    That’s certainly possible for music and writing, but I don’t think it ever be the case for films and much TV as a whole (as well as other cultural pursuits, which require significant training to become skilled).  You really do need the $ to generate a “product” which reaches a mass audience. (fake) Newspaper outrage spread Punk across the country and created and unleashed the creativity of the new wave in 77/78 which fueled everything that came after it for about 20 years. The internet really hasn’t unleashed a new wave of musical creativity, things are as stagnant as they were in the light entertainment orientated 40’s and most of the 50’s, at least in terms of the mainstream, which is what most of us get to see.

    I am quite open minded when it becomes to automation and the future in terms of employment. New technology has always increased employment in the long term. We need a new thread for that discussion though !

    Nick @replies

    @thane15 @bluesqueakpip @jimthefish

    The debate did initially generate rather more heat than light but I think thanks to discussion and debate that seems to have softened a bit.

    In essence, this is what I’m suggesting is the right thing to do, even if/when the tone/arguments to the opposite are racist or misogynist (and I appreciate how difficult this is to do) or even how small the probability of changing minds actually is in practice. Using the same sort of language or argument back to will certainly achieve nothing, whereas the opposite at least has a chance. It also descalates the conflict.

    Nick @replies


    Older yes, wiser ? perhaps not 🙂 All or nothing  -because there isnt an obvious middle ground when debating subjective things of this nature. The things that make the Impossible Girl story line impossible for me to like are the things that either dont bother you or you found enhanced the story. This makes it a circular, endless debate, but it also allows each of us into the other person’s eyes and lets us see from their perspective. Understanding other peoples perspectives is extremely important in life. Just look at how poor many politicians are in practice as they expound policies that work for just a small section of society, when they (at least in the UK) are meant to represent everyone in their constituency, whether they voted for them or not. Impossible to do, of course, but it is a noble aim at least.

    Lack of respect – No its not about individual responses between users here (which is rarely less than extremely polite), but the general attitude. If anyone dismissed other people’s point of view out of hand then how can you consider it anything but a lack of respect for other people. There have been comments made on here, (let alone on twitter or other forums) that are unaddressed, which definitely show no respect towards the “traditionalists” who view the Doctor as a male character and don’t want to see that changed, by badging their opinion as misogynist.

    As for core audience  -I would think we are?

    No we’re not. The average consolidated ratings for most of AG Who in the UK have been about 7 million people (depending on the measure) based on these figures:

    we’re a tiny % of that audience. That’s why we’re twits 🙂

    Nick @replies


    Can you (belatedly) wish Puro happy birthday 🙂 or perhaps I should say I hope that she has had a very happy birthday.

    Nick @replies


    Longer term, I agree things will certainly change. The problem with automation is the unemployment that it will create. Some form of universal income might off set that financially (although I do wonder if those bit of the economy which become very automated will generate enough tax revenue given competition from equally automated industries located next door). Given enough “wealth”, a move to something akin to bank’s Culture might well be plausible. But in the near future, the universal income will not be set at a level that provides something much more than a basic life.

    The problem I often detect with a lot of current economic thinking, is that consumers have to be wealthy enough to consume, our your consumer orientated economy ceases to work. On a mild scale, what else has the period 2008/9 to 2017 shown in Great Britain ? Without significant income, we have millions of people in the UK who live at subsistence level using pay day loans to get buy or credit card debt for the wealthier. Debt is rising and personal savings levels have hit another low. Many dont save for pensions; an impoverished retirement awaits surely ? I am cynical enough not to believe universal income will be sufficient to change this. Will they be able to afford to consume culture. It seems more like creating fertile ground for revolution to me.


    Nick @replies

    @jimthefish @thane15

    Hi Jim. If we agreed on everything, life would be very quiet and dull. I agree with you. I like the vast majority of Moff’s stories and have loved both Matt and Peter’s version of the Doctor under him. I still find parts that could have been done better. The discussion does seem to be all or nothing sometimes, even on here.

    The problem with streaming (or subscription such as sky atlantic) is that they are pretty expensive and have quite limited new material. Just how many times has sky atlantic shown the entire run of GoThrones back to back now to fill up its schedule ?

    Whilst they can afford to pay for a few new, very high quality programmes, the vast majority of their catalog, is old material and films that they have bought relatively cheap because they are old.  This isnt a model that can replace the very significant output that BBC and ITV (or their equivalents in the US, Germany, France etc) produce based on advertising and licence fees.

    Producing 7 hours of premium GoT at a cost of about £80 million (or House of Cards, American Gods etc) each year looks much more like a movie studio style model, but with a different payment mechanism for home rather than cinema viewing. Look at something like the new Twin Peaks series with its 18 episodes. Globally there’s probably enough of an audience to make it pay/profit, but its probably not enough to generate revenue several times its cost. Without that level of cash/profits there isn’t a way to fund much other new material let alone pay shareholders and financiers. For every game of thrones, there will be several times as many, very expensive flops.

    I suggest that, what we will see happen over the next 5 years or so, is that the big global TV producers (BBC, ITV in this country) will sell there material directly via their own subscription channels (britbox ?) before they sell it on to third party distributors like Netflix or Amazon prime. With less new material on subscription sites, at what point does it become cheaper for the user to buy/rent new Netflix material from itunes (a bit later) rather than pay the annual subscription ? They might then become more like production companies.

    Longer term, I agree all bets are off for now. However, I rather suspect things will change less than you think, at least for the forseeable future. Radio is still going strong even though it is technically obsolete and will probably continue to succeed (even if the medium switches entirely to the internet rather than radio waves). DJ’s (or TV channel schedulers) still have a big part to play.

    Nick @replies


    I’ve been struggling to respond to your larger post thoughts. A couple of things I suppose. One, yes I’m a Twit and I don’t mind admitting it 🙂 I may be in a minority on this site, but possibly not across the entire audience. Unlike most of the twits, who probably just shrugged their shoulders (assuming they caught every episode) or were jusr bemused, I was able to come here and find out what wiser minds than mine thought was going on and what the opaque stuff might just mean.

    In my opinion, I think there’s a difference between hiding cookies for specially diligent fans to get a deeper meaning from and writing something that a more general fan won’t make sense of. I think Moff got the balance about about right in series 10, but not in series 5 or 6. My opinion. Clearly, the opposite is true for you. Great 🙂 Where does the balance sit though ? That’s the big question that matters. Peak Who, ratings, awards, complaints about poor story telling tend to suggest Moff hasn’t got that right for the overall audience (in my opinion). There arent many of us here who think Capaldi has been anything but an outstanding Doctor, or that Moff has done a poor job as show runner or isnt a very talented author. But we are not the core audience.

    Two. You might well be tired by different points of view than your own, but don’t doubt the opposite is also true. You could also be accused of being a bit patronising to suggest that it’s their fault they’re twits (essentially = they aren’t clever enough or interested enough to view every episode multiple times to work out what’s going on) and concluding that perhaps the show isn’t for them. I might even suggest that smacks of elitism. I don’t think you actually meant to do either, but .. 🙂

    The thing I find worse on the internet, and occasionally on here as well is the lack of respect for other people’s point of view. The Jodie W thread is a prime example. Not everyone who doesn’t want a female Doctor, is a misogynist. Treating them like they are and dismissing their point of view without engaging with them is reprehensible. Next thing you know, the “right minded” will be accusing them of thought crimes ? We all know where that can end up.

    On a lighter topic, I think you should watch some (or watch some more) BG Who 🙂  I’d love to have a discussion with you about just how different BG and AG Who actually are:

    just that I’m puzzled because BG Who always had longer plots I believe? There were long stories over 6 episodes (25 mins/p/ep  -though I could be way off!)

    The longest was 13 episodes (although that had a one episode prologue separated by another adventure). The Web Planet might be a good choice (it gets panned quite a lot for trying – and failing for some – to do something different). Seeds of Death ? (that drags on a lot). Any of the long episodes in Pertwee’s first two season shown in 1970 and 1971 (they had big cash problems – long episodes maximised the budget by having fewer sets). As @jimthefish suggested on a different post above, there are actually some very very good stories, perhaps even more imaginative that today, hidden in there, but I’m not sure you’d find them very subtle.

    Nick @replies

    @jimthefish @bluesqueakpip @craig @thane15

    I do “worry” about ratings, but only because audience related statistics (whether ratings or AI or awards) are the only measures where a public broadcaster funded by a £147 annual poll tax can justify its existence.

    If most people watch by download/streaming, the BBC licence fee will go and the BBC will be part advertising based (free to air element) and subscription fee based (for everything else) following the market. Since there there will be fewer sign-up to a subscription service than for the licence fee, BBC income will most probably fall leading to a very different service, where “ratings” become king and experimental and low audience programmes are cut. I don’t think Who would be the same as today. It would need to be a please everyone, maximum audience style programme (or a pretty cheap niche cult programme), although there is always a chance that it could become a Game of Throne style event TV, with £10 million per episode budgets 🙂 .

    I’m not entirely convinced that the streaming service economic model will win out as viable in the long run (as someone who pays more than the BBC licence for Sky access (without sport and movies) and slightly more than half as much for Netflix and Amazon Prime, given what my wife and I watch. Netflix/Amazon only seem good value when compared to new DVD/itunes download prices.

    I may be wrong, but with the advent of Britbox paid streaming service in the US (and probably elsewhere) its only a matter of time before all new British TV ends up behind a global pay wall anyway.

    Nick @replies


    I have the DVD release and saw several different reconstructions of the final episode before the BBC did one with the animation.

    As you suggest, this:

    ‘No, I can’t go through with it! I can’t! I will not give in.’  This line of dialogue isn’t in the transcripts, so unless it was in the original script and dropped from the episode, there has evidently been some slight retconning of the synopsis to conform with the predicted theme equating the attitude of the two Doctors to their approaching regeneration

    isnt in the original episode or any of the reconstructions. It must be a new addition. I am (or would be) very happy to watch a new story embedded within the Tenth Planet, using the gaps as you point out. If this gave a new reason for the regeneration, I wouldnt be bothered either. What I dislike is changing the original story, as broadcast 50 years ago, to suit Moff’s conception of capaldi’s regeneration.

    Nick @replies


    Thane – I was amused that your original argument (80 % of the tenth Planet is missing so its ok) changed (flipped) to 90 % of it is here, but its still ok to rewrite a bit 🙂

    I have no problem if you (or anyone else, including Moff) doesn’t care (or care significantly enough) about past Doctor stories, that they are happy to rewrite and change parts, thereby changing the story conclusion (and yes it does seem Moff is doing exactly that by changing the nature of the regeneration and the circumstances around it) to suit a later story. Explanations like, its ok the story has plot holes and unexplained things that need fixing, there are inconsistencies that need fixing etc are usually referred to as fanwank. Are retcon’s ever appropriate ? I guess sometimes, but in this case, not for me ?

    I don’t think there’s any middle ground to meet on with the conclusion of the Impossible Girl arc. From what Moff wrote and showed on screen every past (and probably continuing) Who story ever written has scenes where the Great Intelligence interferes to change the existing story (time line if you prefer) to the detriment of the Doctor and companions, followed by a Claraicle interfering to negate that change, alter the circumstances to allow the Doctor to win out.

    The question of how and why Clara, a perfectly ordinary Human is able to beat the Great Intelligence each and every time, when its shown that the Intelligence has no problem controlling and defeating Humans remains an mystery. I think it’s also very likely that the GI and Claraicle would counter-each other’s changes. Its likely that there are multiple changes in each individual story. Of course, the Doctor, never notices either the Great Intelligence or Clara, despite coming across their involvement hundreds or times.

    So far as I can see, each past story either has missing scenes and we are presented with an highly edited story with multiple missing scenes, or that each existing story was changed and is now different from what was originally shown. Either option is possible in canon as Moff didnt suggest what his view was.

    Of course, since we saw the Doctor’s entire time line in his “grave”, the effect must still be going on today and into the future (since D13 wasn’t the last Doctor), or perhaps the new regeneration cycle retconned everything into non-existence, changing the Doctor’s past by giving him a different future, one where his grave/death didn’t occur on Trenzalore and Clara and the Great Intelligence never visited his grave and were never able to jump into the timeline in the first instance.

    Whether any of this is a a problem to you or not, is obviously a personal thing. I think it depends on whether you’re (at heart) a fan of AG Who in particular or all Who and the extent to which you care about”canon” and history of the show or not.  I watched 20 of the 26 years of BG Who “live” and I know I was watching it before I can actually remember. I was also one of the 20,000 or so (according to @craig) who bought and read the Virgin New Adventures, where RTD, Gatiss, Paul Cornell got their first start as professional writers, where the creative origins of AG Who were born. The past matters to me as much as the present and future does,

    Clara as “feminist icon” is a different discussion and is a thread on its own, although the arguments has probably been done to death already. I wont restart it 🙂



    Nick @replies


    It’s great. Personally I find the its all gone to pot argument very very much over done. That said, Capaldi era hasnt seen any of the viewer choice style awards that David and Matt routinely got (hopefully that  might change given series 10.These are the sort of little things that make me think Who is post peak right now, but in a very strong position to, if you like, bounce upwards again.

    Although its impossible to say, I wonder if the “Capaldi’s great but the writing sucks” line isnt due to a misunderstanding of what Capaldi is portraying in his characterisation of the Doctor.

    Nick @replies


    and announce that my personal dislike of his most recent story arc and character choices for the leading role means he must be prey to “poor writing and pretentious nonsense”.

    Of course not, you’re far to intelligent to do that. However, there are a large number (it appears) of people who have done just that. No one individual viewer can dictate, but collectively that do indeed do just that. Whilst the statistics arent there (or at least easily found), broadly it does seem that total UK viewers (including iplayer) are down in 2017 (as is total broadcast TV audience), but more obviously significant is the degree of popular interest/hype as well as audience share % in the UK, does seem to be lower and on a declining trend.

    This isnt obviously based on “quality”. The standard of writing, acting, producing etc is as high as its ever been and has been consistently of the highest standard since 2005. Is this show specific or general in nature ? Impossible to say. However, we do seem to be past peak “new Who’ currently. My impression would be to place peak Who coinciding with the period between Last David Tennant and first (or perhaps second) season featuring Matt Smith.

    I’d love to see what market research the BBC has done (assume it has), as I think there are quite a few individual factors at play, but the overall picture does seem to suggest that RTD’s overall style appeals to a slightly larger audience than Moff’s. Which is a shame for me as I broadly prefer Moff’s style over RTD’s.

    What I was trying to highlight, by the comment I made and the subsequent point to Sandifer’s blog comments, debating Moff’s style of writing, is that his style of writing appeals to some types of audience members than others and that in particular (for me at least) is one primary source of general discontent/content. In addition, I think a valuable commentary on the extent to which his style differs from the typical style we see most of the time. At least that was the major things I have taken out of that debate on earned/unearned and “close reading” on that blog.


    Nick @replies


    Sorry I forgot one thing I wanted to say re Much of Who under Moffat has expected us to work out the little teasers on our own but as long as they don’t interfere with the ‘why’ or the story between people and how the people grow because of that meeting then it’s not a difficulty.

    For me one great strength of Series 10 compared to series 7 say, was that the back story scenes and arc themes were there and formed the foundation of the series as a whole, but nothing was as cryptic and sometimes unexplained as it had been at some points previously. For me, the balance was much better, but perhaps there was less to interpret and speculate on for others.


    Nick @replies


    Hi Thane. I like the flip in your argument 🙂 I don’t find either point of view is particularly valid argument from my point of view .

    It seems to me that the essential argument boils down to “is that its ok, the original artistic endeavour (I hesitate to call it art) doesn’t have much value (as it is), so its ok to change it to something else which will have”.

    I’m not talking about doing something like the Star Trek DS9 story (thanks @jimthefish @bluesqueakpip), where a new story in embedded in the old story (which doesn’t change), or plays off some unexplained things in the original story (“an outside force”)  or takes the Doctor off on a new story using specific gaps in the original as a jump off point.

    What Moff appears to be doing is changing the original story. Introducing the (first) Doctor as “not wanting to regenerate” – mirroring Capaldi (both being the first Doctor of their respective regeneration cycles) (new material from both trailers) and secondly adding at least 1 new scene to reinforce the Doctor not wanting to regenerate within existing Tenth Planet episode. This is not a minor change, but a wholesale rewrite of the regeneration premise.

    I don’t doubt that the revised version will make sense, will be done sensitively, and I will enjoy watching it. None of these things change the premise of my argument though; I’m the (current) show runner I can change anything I like in the shows past, because I want to and I dont value the original piece of work, its flawed, so I’ll rewrite it.


    Much of Who under Moffat has expected us to work out the little teasers on our own but as long as they don’t interfere with the ‘why’ or the story between people and how the people grow because of that meeting then it’s not a difficulty.

    What about the section of the audience that don’t want to work out the teasers, or can’t work them out, that found their inclusion baffling or looked back from the end and saw things that seemed to be a big deal turn out to be minor details, unexplained or explained by throw away one-line comments from the Doctor that are easily missed (hardly show not tell). What happens if they concluded that this was poor writing and pretentious nonsense ?

    Something along these lines is quite a common view and seems to be one source for the frequent complaints “Capaldi is great, shame about the writing” or “let’s hope Jodie gets better stories than Capaldi did”.

    Thane and everyone else who’s interested in the nature of story telling in Moff’s Who:

    There’s a great (in my opinion) discussion between several commentators starting with the earned/unearned elements of the Doctor Falls and following thata more general one on the nature of Moff’s storytelling on Philip Sandifer’s blog review of the Doctor Falls here :

    [alternatively googling “philip sandifer doctor falls review” gets you to the same place]

    (@craig – can you change this to a link ? )

    Nick @replies


    🙂 Thanks. Font of all knowledge.

    I do know that various BG Who characters belong to the writers or their heirs and permission is need to use their characters. I don’t know if the BBC has special rights that differ from use in other media (Books etc).

    I must have missed the Trek stories that have done that (not entirely surprising on my part). I don’t think that makes me feel any differently about it though.


    Nick @replies


    SM perhaps felt the show would be better off doing by formalising the conflicts inherent in the show’s history. (cf RTD’s infamous ‘ming-mong’ comment a few years previously.) The other aspect of it is that as the 50th approached, he knew that he wasn’t going to bring back any BG Doctors in the strictest sense (Curator notwithststanding), so I guess he wanted a way to tie the BG and AG eras in a more direct way than just the sly references

    As series by series by series has gone by, I rather wish that RTD had let his head over-rule his Heart. A lot (most/all) of these issues are self inflicted because the AG team want more flexibility to go around long held concepts and traditions from BG Who.

    It would have been much better of it had been a Hard relaunch (which is pretty much was anyway), which had the old show into the archive of another programme with the same name, to be dipped into for characters/monsters/ideas as wished, but also absolutely free of “canon”.

    The older timers would still have watched (with the odd grumble), but without the axe that RTD and Moff has gifted them. Its hard for me not to conclude that Moff, in is own way, is just as much as a fan boy as Ian Levine in terms of what they want Who to be. Moff has stamped his own perspective on as much Who “canon” in 5 years as BG Who did in 26 years it was on air.

    Nick @replies


    The other interesting question is why does SM and MG revisiting Arthur Conan Doyle’s material raise nary an eyebrow, but doing so with Pedler and Davis is considered problematic? Is it purely time? Or the fact that he’s not the first with one to do it with the ACD?

    I can only give my personal view. There are three main approaches to using Conan-Doyle’s stories:

    • Straight up reconstruction a la Granada TV versions (and some recent BBC examples)
    • Completely new stories set in modern/past times (US TV’s Elementary)
    • New stories inspired by the original story (the 1940s films and Sherlock)

    There’s obviously some leeway with the first of these (eg Poirot where they added in Captain Hastings into many stories, where Christie didnt have him participating).

    None of these involved adding new scenes or changing the basis of the original TV story years later. I’m not sure if this has ever been done before (although given sod’s law I guess it probably has at least once). That is my bug bear.

    Nick @replies


    Hi Thane. It’s a bit hard for me, not having encyclopedia level knowledge of Who history, to be 100 % sure of what is on screen fact or from Terrence Dicks (and others novelisation writers) and fan thinking.

    So far as I recall, the original idea was that the Tardis was in for repair/scrapping as an old out of date version, which is why the Doctor got his hands on it. The chameleon circuit problem and the lack of ability to control the Tardis were due to a combination of the Doctor’s lack of knowledge and with the Tardis needing repairs. She was a “she” in the same way most cars, steam trains and ships were “she’s” to a particular generation of Britishmen (as well as at least some other European languages).

    The Tardis, as a “machine” being telepathic (or something similar) came up first in an early Hartnell story and was repeated in Tom Baker’s time (I can’t remember which episode, but he wiped some of Sarah Jane’s memories while editing his own via the Tardis). Certainly the idea the the Doctor/Tardis relationship was special/different evolved out of the very long time that they have been together. I think that’s broadly “canon” but I am hard pressed to say whether that is more of a BG fan conception than TV fact.

    The only character (out of the Doctor, Master, River, Romana and any other timelord) who ever has trouble flying a Tardis is the Doctor (even Clara/Me didn’t). That’s a recurring joke from the 70s onwards. The need for 6 pilots has only ever come up once (RTD’s finale). It was never mentioned before or afterwards that I can recall. Perhaps that is a manual mode and everyone else uses the autopilot 🙂 .

    At some point in AG Who, Moff or RTD evolved the idea from random uncontrolled flights to the current one of the Tardis taking to Doctor to where he needs to be. I’m not sure of that came up in the Doctor’s Wife or was implied previously off the top of my head. I like both ideas actually.

    Nick @replies


    Yes of course, you’re right. But does Chibnall, say, need RTD or Moff’s approval to rewrite or add new scenes into any of their stories ? They have copyright ownership (unless they’ve agreed with the BBC to pass ownership as part of their contract). Were they even BBC employees ?

    The thing is, if you went back to the original script for episode 3 and 4, and transferred some of Ben and a bunch of Barclay’s lines back to the Doctor, as originally intended, and perhaps even inserted the Doctor alongside Ben in the Rocket room, the story wouldn’t actually be that different from what we’ve got today. I expect there might have been more lines about the Doctor’s growing thin etc, but the Doctor’s illness and withdrawl from episode 3 is an effective way of showing something “bad” is happening to the Doctor, which is going to have a consequence we havent seen before. The regeneration scene would still be lumped onto the end as something separate from the story itself.

    Nick @replies


    The only thing that is missing is the video from the final episode (and there are several short clips available from that episode, The sound track, photo’s, a novelisation and the script are all available (and now an animated version). There aren’t actually any gaps to fill in. There are spaces where you can take the Docto off for additional adventures (no one has disputed that) and the regeneration scene is different as the Tardis seems to be self operating, which would allow a new explanation to be added if you wanted to.

    I’m sorry I wasnt clear enough on when talking about Gaiman. Martin, RTD and Moff. They dont just hand over there material and allow the production team to do they want to it. They take producer roles and ensure they have a significant degree of creative control over their original source material.

    As for Sherlock, in particular, Moff and Gatiss took the original story idea and then rewrote them in a new and completely different way. Gatiss did something similar when he took the original Ice Warrior story as starting point for his first Ice Warrior story. If you’re going to do something like that, probably the most important criteria is make it good (Study in Pink and Hound of the Baskervilles certainly did).

    Some people really don’t like the IG story but I wonder if we need to remember that it was created in response to the Great Intelligence. Clara’s sacrifice saved the Doctor but I don’t understand how it changed everything we ever saw? I watched a guy on the webs saying something similar -that Clara inviting the Doctor to choose a particular Tardis was “way too shocking and retconned the whole show” when, to me, it established why the Doctor is taken where he needs to go not where he wants. It’s like we had the answer but we never had the question:

    “Why this Tardis?”

    Why this Tardis didnt matter (they were all the same semi-living intelligent machines) until Moff made it matter.

    I may be wrong, but the only person  getting flack over the IG is Moff. It’s all his creation. Whether you like it or not is an opinion. I didnt find the arc particularly interesting to watch, although there were some very good individual stories (as well as some awful ones).The various clues about the nature of Clara, which the audience were meant to be puzzling over, weren’t used  or explained (apart from the leaf). @bluespeakpip’s avatar of Moff explanation is as better than anything I’ve read, certainly better than anything Moff wrote on the show.

    The time stream idea was clever, although its resolution (The Doctor and Clara “standing” inside the Doctor’s imagination and simply leaping free (really ?). I don’t know what Moff actually intended with this idea, but for me, at least, he inserted additional missing scenes into every Doctor Who story written up to that date (and perhaps every story that will ever be written given Timelines must go from Birth to Death, which hasnt happened yet).

    Subsequent Clara episodes are a different thing entirely with a quite different, more complex character and a second character arc. Speaking for myself, I dont hate Clara or Moff. As @bluesqueakpip pointed out to me a long time ago, you just have to wait until the next show runner, next Doctor etc. That’s the power of the show. I think I was very lucky. I only had to wait until Series 10 to watch something I enjoyed more than the bits of season 8 and 9 I watched.

    Nick @replies


    Hi Jim. Since I didnt like (putting it mildly) or understand the Impossible Girl scenario, I expect I’m not getting the point. I dont see how the whole idea changed anything, let alone in the way you describe. Can you explain how you see things to me ? There’s no point going around in circles and I’m not going to brwak this one without some external input.

    Since I grew up as a fan, before “Canon” or Continuity were invented by fandom (which – if this makes sense – I dont see myself a member of),  I don’t see it as anything great or magical about the whole thing. With Who, broad continuity of the character and the revealed elements of his background is probably the most important thing.

    We know Barry Letts intended the Doctor/Master to be brothers. Moff has changed that to best friends and a man crush. What’s to complain about ? Nothing I can see. Cartmel had some other idea, that the Doctor was some resurrection (?) of a long lost early Time Lord. I dont think the idea was fleshed out and if he’d actually done it, there’s nothing we could complain about. I agree with you, pretty much everything can and has been reinvented to suit the audience of each era.

    Moff is free to do as he wants. That’s what he paid for. But I don’t see Gaiman – in Amercian Gods TV or GRR Martin handing over control of there artitistic endeavour to someone else. Moff and RTD certainly haven’t with Who and Sherlock for example. Why then should Moff want to mess around with Gerry Davis and Kit Pedler’s story (Gerry was script editor as well. He probably wrote the regeneration scenes).

    The Tenth Planet is a complete mess, because episodes 3 and 4 were rewritten on the fly by Gerry, because Hartnell was ill. Hartnell’s role was diminished and given to Ben and Barclay. That said, I doubt the regeneration changed very much at all. Sure its an add-on which doesnt really fit very well and isnt very well explained, but it was a new concept and perhaps they thought Troughton might not have turned the show around. I certainly don’t think they considered that there would be be a bunch of people discussing that flaw 50 years later.

    I’m very open to the idea that the cause of the Doctor’s regeneration is due to the Christmas episode and happened during episode 3 or the ep 4 gap.  I don’t see any need to reshoot any of Tenth Planet to achieve that, although reshooting some original 10th planet scenes with David Bradley might well make it work better on screen. The Doctor’s speech to Capaldi outside the Tardis and the Doctor/Polly flip are very suggestive that fitting a new story within the Tenth Planet frame work as it exists, is not what Moff is doing. This seems like more than a minor retcon to me.

    But at the same time, as I say, I don’t think Who has ever had a showrunner more respectful of the canon than SM. Even RTD played far more fast and loose than he does/did.

    That sounds like a blog post to me with some story by story analysis. I’d suggest neither has done that much, other than the Impossible Girl story line, which rewrites everything we’ve seen on screen before it. It must do that mustn’t it ?

    The Daleks or Cybermen don’t have any time lime that makes sense. Why should they ? If you ignore the design/costume issue, The Doctor dips into to their history at multiple different points out of sequence, without the whole time line being known in the first place. Of course, That’s before changes that might have happened because of the Time War. I don’t hear any one complaining.

    If it does bother anyone enough, then they can try and piece it together (David Bank’s Cyberman book makes a valiant attempt, which completely fits into the multiple genesis scenario Moff put into the S10 finale).

    Nick @replies


    Fantastic. It seems Mark has had a lot of bonkers ideas. Chibnall should hire him as, at least, an “ideas contributor” to his writing room (if it exists).

    Nick @replies

    @bluesqueakpip @wolfweed @jimthefish @thane15 @blenkinsopthebrave

    I have already stated that a new story can easily be added into the Tenth Planet during the episode 3 or in the gap when the Doctor leaves the cyber-ship before Ben & Polly. I agree that the final scenes before the regeneration were a bit weird based on later stories. The Tardis is (or at least was) telepathic. I can just as suggest that during the moments of weirdness, The Doctor is linking up with 13 former generations to save Gallifrey from the 50th anniversary story. Of course, if Moff wants to write something new into that portion, which explains what was going on there and tie that into the 2017 Christmas story, then why not. I’d love to watch it.

    So far as I can see that the new story would be Ben & Polly free missing episode. We’ve had a similar story in the past (Face of Evil) and a large number of books and audio stories that do something similar. I have no problem if Moff did this now (or Chibnall did a new missing episode with Matt, Chris, david or Peter in the future).

    However, writing new scenes with appear to imply the “stop/start” regeneration for the original Doctor, a la Capaldi, by inserting new scenes in the middle of an existing story is going beyond that. If Moff wants to add an outside force reason why Capaldi doesnt want to regenerate, that’s fine (if not apparently consistent with Series 10). Applying that same force to an existing regeneration is a not an insertion, its a rewrite with the specific aim of changing an existing story.

    How can we watch the (admittedly incomplete apart from audio and scripts) Tenth Planet without adding Moff’s new scenes and the probable change in the way the regeneration will happen ?

    Of course this is all personal choice on Moff’s part and each of ours in terms of how we react to it.  That doesn’t mean can’t also be egotistical and entitled on his part. Which other Who show runner has fixed someone else’s story for them to this extent ?

    Nick @replies


    Finally, he can do what I’d love to see done; treat early Who as scripts, not holy relics, and permit David Bradley and the actors playing Ben and Polly to interpret them within the established characterisations. Judging by the subtle differences in the trailer scene, that’s what’s happening- this is going to be David Bradley’s First Doctor, just as you get David Tennant’s Hamlet or David Suchet’s Poirot. Each of the Doctor’s becomes a role, not the personal possession of the actor who originally created it.

    I don’t have any issue with David Bradley’s first Doctor having new adventures with recast Ben & Polly alongside Capaldi or on their own. The Missing episodes book lines do exactly that. If it didn’t devalue the main series, I wouldn’t have a problem with reshooting/rewriting original stories as well as new stories in a Missing Stories line of TV adventures. I would love to see some of the classic stories redone with current TV technology and style and interpreted by different actors. Your right, this is what the Theatre has been doing forever – why shouldn’t TV (reboots/relaunches do something quite different).

    However, nothing I’ve seen so far, suggests that Moff is doing anything like that.

    Nick @replies

    @jimthefish @thane15

    is the pinnacle of SM’s achievements on the show. And he did it for a very good reason, I think. To free future showrunners from the burden of 50 years of canon without erasing that canon in the process

    Jim – Finally something we disagree on ! For me, its the lowest point, the only lower thing I can think of is Colin Baker Doctor’s trying to strangle Peri and that’s just the Impossible Girl concept. I don’t understand why or how you think it made anything different. Its all still there. The Twin Dilemma is still one of the worst ever stories, there are still two different versions of Atlantis, each with different endings (neither of which was a volcanic explosion). Canon is only a burden if you want to make it one. and the only people who really care are a handful of uber-fans. If needed to justify it, the Time War is a broad enough concept to explain virtually anything. In Pertwee’s Stories the Nestene’s were simple colonists . Under RTD they became refugees. The only thing I can easy see that this arc did, was give any show runner/writer free reign to rewrite any existing story the way they want to. Is that not fankwank at its simplest ?

    It also shows more respect for the show than say Terrance Dicks who on more than one occasion said that he and Holmes didn’t really give a stuff what had come before and would pick and choose from continuity for what they needed to make the current story work.

    Writing today, it would be hard to disagree with this. Back in 1970, with virtually no repeats, no novelisations, no programme guides, not so much. That said, the freedom to use characters from previous stories in a different setting is one of the things that makes Who so long lived. If you watch/read all of the Cybermen stories from Tenth Planet onwards (or the Silurians/Sea Devils, Daleks) there is virtually no continuity and we know have at least 3 or 4 different origins (as Moff rightly pointed at a few weeks ago). The lack of respect for past stories actually held true until JNT took over and super-fans like Ian Levine  stated to have an input. Has “canon” ever been a handicap to a writer in Who.


    Of course we can and should disagree with each other and each and every show runner, writer and actor if we so choose. Disagree doesn’t give anyone a justification for any form of abuse, although it does seem a few (?) noisy people using the internet don’t seem to understand that.

    Of course, being a show runner or writer, your opinion counts more than the entire sum of fandom. That’s the way it should be. Whilst RTD and Moff are both fans, the stories they have written, the arc’s created reflect their individual preferences/interests, which impact just as much on their non-Who work. Robert Holmes did exactly the same. I don’t think many of us, would want to see Who being written for fans and fan sensibilities (I’m not even convinced that JNT went that far – his continuity references in Attack of the Cybermen – re 1986 Invasion/Tenth Planet mash up is not really any different to Moff in intend, although JNT is roundly criticised).

    However, if you are a fan show runner, when you do choose to “fix”/change past stories, you do have a higher duty of care, if you like, and must expect at least a degree of criticism if the changes you make are significant. Only a few might complain when Moff rewrote RTD’s original ending to the TimeWar. Adding new scenes, apparently in the middle of an existing story and changing the nature of the original regeneration (as seems likely at this point) is not a small thing to do to someone else’s original work.

    I expect the changes Moff makes to the Tenth Planet and the original regeneration, will work and enhance the Twice upon Time story that he wants to tell. Will it simultaneously enhance the original Tenth Planet Story. With the changes Moff (might) make the additional scenes/ending needs to be retroactively added to the existing Tenth Planet story, if we are to see it in the entirety of Moff’s conception. Perhaps it will. But it will not be and never can be the original story with all its faults and problems and triumphs anymore.

    Either way, I will probably enjoy watching it (just as I did Hell Bound).

    Nick @replies


    Thanks. I didnt realise there was more than one version of some (all ?) of the plays. My impression was that most (many ?) were found in the manuscript pulled together some years after he died. I never got that impression from any of the BBC making of documentaries I’ve watched over the years (the last one I remember was Tennant in Hamlet, although there may have been one on Macbeth more recently. That was also the only play of his we studied at school).

    My impression had always been that it was a choice made by the Director/lead actor for dramatic reasons or to remove scenes that didn’t add anything or make sense. Mind you, I don’t remember any of that being explained very well.

    On the Tenth Planet, we’ll have to wait and see what Moff is actually doing to that story, before we can discuss whether its appropriate or not. From the limited information available, it seems more like a major rewrite of the regeneration part of the original story. If so, then that’s quite a lot different than adding a new story or something like Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

    Nick @replies


    We’ll have to wait and see, but the only easy places to add a new adventure (and Doctor only ones at that) are either in episode 3, when he passed out or right at the end after leaving the Cybership, as he was a few minutes ahead of Ben & Polly.

    I don’t think anyone can have a problem with fitting another adventure into either of those gaps – none allow Ben & Polly into the story though. However, the additional base scene with Polly in the trailer cant be a reshoot of the original episode. Ben and Polly are together in the control room (or elsewhere) until Ben leaves leaves to go to the missile room. The Doctor cant go off on his own during the bulk of episode 4.

    One other thing the additional scene with Polly (apart from the one I mentioned in the post above) suggest to me at least, that Moff is rewriting the original regeneration to fit into and mirror his concept for the D14 regeneration (“I dont want to go” and suppressing the start of the regeneration) as well as in special effect terms.  That’s quite a big rewrite in fact.

    The scenes where the Doctor meets D14 whilst very nicely done, the Doctor is no where near as frail as he was at the end of the Tenth Planet (he cant be of course if your going to write a new story into the interval).

    Nick @replies

    @blenkinsopthebrave @jimthefish

    I dont call the ending of the Impossible Girl (should be woman of course) “arc” sensitive – he rewrote every story for no good reason at all, other than to create a companion who is more important to the series than all of the Doctor’s. Ego anyone ?

    I assume the rumoured Clara bit is for her to appear as a claricle to open the Doctor’s Tardis door so that Ben & Polly can watch the original regeneration and not get left behind or to direct him towards D14 on his trip across the ice ?

    The idea that there is any need to add a scene so that Polly is more attuned to the idea of regeneration than Ben – not withstanding that they both watched it happen – (if that is what he has done) would be high level fanwankery. Rewriting someone else’s story because some fans think the end doesn’t quite make sense ? In 50 years of the TV show I cant think of any other show runner or writer that has done that.

    Nick @replies


    Of course, I’ll wait and see. I dont think writing new scenes into an existing story makes it fresh or relevant (apart from disrespecting someone else’s writing and acting). I’m happy to disagree though 🙂 . I dont agree with what Lucas did (it served no purpose and weaken Han Solo’s character), but at least Lucas created and wrote it in the first place.

    I know there’s a long history of rewriting, reordering and editing Shakespeare. I found it interesting the Writer/directors/actors can seek to improve the work of our most important playwrights, but then that is part of the necessary ego, which gets you into that sort of place in the first instance.

    Nick @replies


    Having rewatched, it does seem to be the South Pole Base set. Refilming a small part of an old episode around the regeneration is one thing, but adding new scenes into someone else’s writing shows nothing but Moff’s hubris.

    Nick @replies


    From the reconstructions I’ve seen, they never filmed shots showing him fall to the floor from the clips of him standing at Tardis console (while the controls operate themselves, while the door doesnt open). I wouldnt be bothered if they reshot that with DB or even morphed DB back to WH for the regen itself as they’ve did in the promo. I see that as being different to refilming the regen itself with Bradley and Shearsmth (or someone else) standing in for PT.

    If the Polly footage is with DB in the Tardis, then where can it fit in to the story. Ben and Polly are locked outside, the door opens and they both go to the Doctor who’s lying on the floor. The regen happens with both of them watching him change. Reshooting it so we can see the orange jets from his arms so it doesnt confuse the current general audience would be a pretty poor reason.

    Nick @replies

    @wolfweed @jimthefish @genek1953

    Moff could write and show that, but I rather hope he doesnt. If he wants to show the first Doctor regeneration then in my opinion he should use the original footage (adding some colour if he must).

    Genek I had assumed it was Capaldi because Ben & Polly were outside when the Doctor collapsed (and I have the impression the Tardis opened the door itself) and he regenerated on the floor.

    For the Capaldi Doc regeneration is it technically possible for the CGI team to use every Doctor’s regeneration scene (face say) in sequence before ending in Jodie’s (obviously new footage could be used for several Doctors if needed). I think that would be a more fitting tribute to the show by Moff.

    Nick @replies

    @jimthefish @genek1953

    I think I’d prefer they used the original footage (colourised and cgi the glow effect if they must for the modern day general audience).

    One thing no one seems to have commented on regarding the trailer is the apparent Polly footage with Capaldi Doctor. I’ll be interested to see what they do, but it seems plausible that the footage will alter the end of The Tenth Planet and the beginning of Power of the Daleks regeneration scenes, which continue on the theme is this really the Doctor well into that story. I think that would be a real shame.

    Nick @replies

    @jimthefish @blenkinsopthebrave @wolfweed

    It’s a shame (well not really) that Trump isnt a fan and tweeting. Thanks to all of you for letting me know what the latest crap is about. Gutter journalism, is what it is, unfortunately. Its best not to pay attention, if you can.  Maybe I was a bit hard on Moff, but I do think its best not to play their game. It only makes it worse.

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