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  1. #1
    HellCat's Avatar
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    Doctor Who 50th anniversary....anyone else not feeling it?

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    This November marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. The BBC keep saying it's going to be a massive year for the series, but am I the only one underwhelmed? We're now half way into the year and basically nothing has happened. We've had a half season on TV that was ok but generally as underwhelming as the show has been for the last few years. There's been odd bits of merchandise like Royal Mail stamps and an official YouTube channel but nothing great. A London based convention aimed at the global DW fan community hasn't even started selling tickets yet.

    International fans seem to be getting a better deal, especially America and Australia. Here in the UK the BBC won't even air any of the classic serials, something they're making an event of in other countries.

    Then we have the 50th special itself. A controversial plot and apparently only one past Doctor actor returning. Then by the end of the year the current lead actor will have left. Moffat's even said he doesn't want the focus on celebrating the past half century that made the show's name but apparently starting the road to 100.

    Surely I'm not the only one who feels what should have been a big celebration has basically been buggered?

  2. #2
    Lord Dalek's Avatar
    Lord Dalek is offline Uncreative Hack
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  3. #3
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    veemonjosh is online now The Fruit Shogun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Dalek View Post
    I've been hearing these rumors for weeks, and I have to keep restraining myself from getting excited because I'm horribly afraid of being let down. This find just sounds so absurd and out-there that you'd have a better chance of winning the lottery and being simultaneously struck by lightning on a clear day than this to be true.

    But, speaking as a fan (a fan who's been reluctant to watch more of the Hartnell/Troughton serials because I dread watching recons) and as a person who's obsessed with the preservation of every form of media, this would be the greatest thing ever and I would legit cry tears of joy.
    Last edited by veemonjosh; 06-20-2013 at 01:16 AM.
    What do you get when you put three friends in a recording booth once a week, screen old anime, and tell them to make sense of it? You get the Anime of Yesteryear Podcast! Tune in each week as we kick back and discuss anime of old, both the well-known and the obscure. (Updates Bi-Weekly! Newest: 4/11 - Megazone 23 Part 3/Final)

  4. #4
    Leviathan's Avatar
    Leviathan is offline "It's against nature!"
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    Unless his Twitter really was hacked, Ian Levine's complete about-face.is mildly encouraging. I don't think he'd be as pumped up as he is unless there was there was reasonable cause. This surely isn't the first rumor of a major goldmine of missing episodes.
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  5. #5
    veemonjosh's Avatar
    veemonjosh is online now The Fruit Shogun
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    Anyways, as for the main discussion, it actually has been a pretty big year for Doctor Who, just (oddly) not television-wise.

    The main brunt of the 50th anniversary seems to be put into the multimedia aspects of the brand. Big Finish is doing several audio stories directly related to the 50th anniversary (namely a trilogy entitled "1963" and a one-shot 50th anniversary story starring Doctors 4-8), and they've teamed up with Audio2Go to do a 11 part monthly series that covers all the Doctors. Both Doctor Who Magazine and IDW have also been doing comic stories hyped as part of the event, the former over six issues and the latter as a 12-part mini-series. Even Puffin Books has been been releasing monthly ebooks, with each Doctor's book being written by a different acclaimed author.

    So it actually been quite a large celebration, just that it hasn't been on television screens for the most part. It is defnitely odd that the US has been getting the "Doctors Revisited" nights while the UK hasn't aired any old episodes. We're getting something to tie us over until November, while the home country gets nothing? That doesn't seem right.
    What do you get when you put three friends in a recording booth once a week, screen old anime, and tell them to make sense of it? You get the Anime of Yesteryear Podcast! Tune in each week as we kick back and discuss anime of old, both the well-known and the obscure. (Updates Bi-Weekly! Newest: 4/11 - Megazone 23 Part 3/Final)

  6. #6
    James's Avatar
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    I think the potential missing episodes is a serendipitous event, I don't think one can say "the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who was planned to be a great spectacular thanks to good luck landing a load of material on the BBCs doorstep for the 50th year".

    The bottomline to me as I regularly podcast, you've got a US "showrunner" style for a UK production. We don't have showrunners, it's alien to the way our shows work, and I think that causes a lot of internal conflicts and problems that hinder output. Add on top of that you've got the showrunner running two BBC flagships, you're going to get, as has happened in both Doctor Who and Sherlock these past few years, delays which put back or reduce output as well. I think we're seeing the evidence of that in the show's 50th, a disharmony within the politics of the show and the strain of one man heading two major shows. IMO, he should stick to Sherlock, and Doctor Who should go back to having a chief script editor and producer as separate jobs. It's lunacy having anyone to both. RTD managed it to some degree as he'd been professionally both, and successful in both, but even he burned out fast and ended up causing delays in his final year.

    That being said, away from the TV production, we've had a massive swell of quality material for the 50th, and what Who we have had I think has been well above average so I don't think anyone will look back at the 50th as a wasted year, though I suspect in different circumstances it could have been a richer television presence.

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  7. #7
    Kazuya Prower's Avatar
    Kazuya Prower is offline Keeping it Tails since 2005
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    I really hate to get all your hopes up, but...

    Collector denies he has 90 missing Doctor Who episodes | Radio Times

    And I was really hoping the rumors were true.
    My PSN username: megatailsprower

  8. #8
    BlackoutCreature is online now Senior Member
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    I get the impression that Steven Moffat didn't want to deal with the 50th Anniversary. He came into the showrunner status with his ideas and storylines all planned out, and then this big occasion came along that he didn't plan for but every fan and now the BBC wants him to make a big deal about and he's just not sure how to fit it in. So he's basically doing his best to acknowledge this major milestone without completely throwing his original plans into chaos, so it's all coming off underwhelming.

  9. #9
    James's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I entirely agree, but do agree in some other ways . Moffat, for all his failings in Doctor Who that I would raise, is a massive Doctor Who fan. I don't think for a second he didn't want to do the 50th, but he's also a very proud writer and I think there's very much a need to do things his way in his approach to showrunning - and by that definition doing an anniversary about the past isn't his thing, he likes doing new things with his characters and creations. As for his plans, well I'm not sure I agree there as there's a great deal he's made up as he's gone along (River was never intended to be Amy's daughter, and Clara was never meant to be a contemporary companion, in fact the whole Clara's relevance to the Doctor was a late plan). I know a lot of his plans went through the window due to time, scheduling and budget - some of which I believe was down to his overburdened worklist.

    But this is why I feel that he should never have been given a showrunner mantle (and I think the BBC is very much in agreement these days), because it gives too much power and responsibility to one man on a franchise they do not own. Moffat does not own Doctor Who, he is a custodian at best, but the powers he has is the type you'd have if you created a show. This causes all sorts of hiccups, and I do agree that I think his approach to the 50th hasn't really reflected the demand of fans or people who have made the show great. As McCoy noted at one recent con, it seems everyone but the producers wanted the previous Doctors in the 50th and that clearly isn't happening. I suspect if the show was run by producer rather than show-writer, this 50th would have been more fan-service, or better put, show service, after all, this is a celebration of a show's splendor of 50 years and it does feel that the television show itself is reluctantly addressing that in a fairly light manner.

    That of course being said, from what I understand of Moffat's tale from the outset, based on the finale, it is a quite clever approach to the 50th, giving us a bonus Doctor (and then a new Doctor shortly after). I think it sounds like it could be quite interesting for new and old fans if it focuses on the Time War, plus the other little titbits I won't mention in case someone here is seriously spoilerphobic. So I don't think he's doing a bad job, but I certainly agree that what he's doing - for a 50th Anniversary feels like simply an 8th Anniversary of the new show. I think if the showrunner mantle had been removed after Davies, this would have been a bigger event if handled by a producer with a show writer working under that role.

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  10. #10
    EinBebop's Avatar
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    I don't know what kind of production we're looking for, but when i watched this mid-season finale with shots of all the past Doctors running around and a little taste of origin, not knowing that there was an anniversary special coming, I thought that storyline paid tribute to the anniversary just fine.

    But oing a 50th anniversary special on top of that kind of ups the ante, and even though it seems like they've led into a strong story, people are expecting stunt-casting and we already pulled the digital doctors out of our hat so that won't work twice. Otherwise you're going to need a really, really brilliant story to compensate.
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  11. #11
    James's Avatar
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    I don't entirely agree. This is a 50th anniversary of one of Britain's biggest institutions, and I think this is the one year where the show's past should be as important, if not more so, as its future. Doctor Who is a progressive show and I would always put going forward to looking back as its priority, but for such a massive achievement, I think its roots and directions are something that should have been embraced with far more enthusiasm. What we saw in the finale was more about Clara and her relevance to the Doctor than a celebration of the show. It's a show with glorious, diverse and fascinating background, I can understand why people, and I guess myself to some degree, would find the 50th year feeling a little more underwhelming in terms of celebration of its history, with the extended media's being left to pick up those pieces.

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  12. #12
    HellCat's Avatar
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    To my mind I really don't see why the focus shouldn't be on both past and future. That's kind of been a motif of anniversaries past though with this milestone it's particularly important. Moffat shying away from that actually surprises me since the whole point of Silence in the Library was to tell us that the Doctor is an amazing man with an amazing life but it's what he's yet to do that will really impress us.

    In retrospect making that claim was probably a mistake on Moffat's part. I loved his first season but beyond that his heart hasn't really seemed to be in it. I know RTD got alot of flack for doing finales which everyone ignores the following season but Moffat's just as guilty for doing massive time paradoxes/"The stars are going out". I can really respect his desire to shake things up (me and others were complaining about the repeated formula as early as mid-season 2) but in practice it comes off more as him desperately trying to make his creations the most important part of mythologies. Moffat's created one character who is now the Doctor's wife and another without whom the key events in all his past adventures would have fallen apart. At times it feels Moffat is far more invested in his own creations than the title character.

    I do think there's something to be said for how the overall production has been handled. RTD had a power trio going on with Gardner and Colinson, resulting in a well oiled machine. Poor Moffat seems to have a different exec producer each season and from what little we've seen their emotional involvement with the show usually seems nil as they treat it as another step on the ladder of a BBC career. The guy seemingly has had to steer the ship himself without support or seemingly anyone to tell him maybe an idea isn't that great.

  13. #13
    HellCat's Avatar
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    San Diego Comic Con got to show an exclusive trailer for the 50th, causing enough upset with British and international fans that the BBC had to give a brief response.

    This isn't the first time this has happened (SDCC got a trailer for The End of Time months in advance) but I can understand the anger given my already stated grievances. Comic Con exclusives are well known but this one...I think a comment I read elsewhere summed it up, that this has probably pissed British fans off because we've seen so little for the ocassion over here and there's been a very obvious attempt to sell the show to America since about 2011. It's not been non-existant prior but now it definitely seems to be a clear objective.

    It's a messy situation because I know how it feels to be an overseas fan of a country's flagship sci-fi brand. I'm a Gundam fan and have to import things/hope someone translates, so the rare times the rights holders throw foreign fans a bone are appreciated. I can well imagine there are Doctor Who fans in other countries who feel left out with various things so I really can sympathise.
    At the same time, this just feels like another kick from a 'celebration' that has done very little in the shows homeland. I think even making this an SDCC exclusive for a day or two and then putting it online for fans everywhere would have helped. The bluntness of the BBC's response doesn't help things- BBC - Help & Feedback - Corrections and Clarifications

  14. #14
    James's Avatar
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    It's funny - and its not SDCC fault - but it has become a bit of a ridiculous relevant to entertainment. It's got to the point where the industry seems fixated on Comic Con for the simple fact the industry is fixated on Comic Con. If you're not doing an exclusive at SDCC then you have no exclusive, which itself becomes a bit looney as it means everyone's trying to do an exclusive at Comic Con which of course means less chance of a spotlight for attention. Of course like I said, this isn't SDCC fault, and there's no doubt the media is interested in SDCC but it seems less so this year perhaps, internationally speaking. The Doctor Who exclusive at Comic Con seemed to be done simply because... well, that's what the industry does. Doctor Who trailer should have got at international release. Given this is the 50th, which isn't just a big deal for television in terms of duration, but a celebration of the BBC, it does seem the BBC has just given way to this industry fixation on Comic Con rather than giving itself, and its license payers the celebration the show and the country deserves.

    That being said, yes, SDCC is publicity, so I wouldn't say not doing something special for comic con would be silly, even if the fact you seem obliged to these days, does. A different trailer, or a special one would have worked. Or if it HAD to be premiered there, it should have been ready for British - or even international release day later.

    I have no qualms with a trailer being an international release, I certainly don't believe that Doctor Who is a British exclusive fandom, but I think with the BBC being license paid, and that its a British institution and a success, the BBC should have felt that the best showcase for the 50th would start at home. That's what national icons tend to do. If they'd decided on it being released at the same time home AND abroad, again, no issue there too. It's not to trump overseas, I just feel that as a national celebration we should have been part of that moment, and not a few thousand people at Comic Con, which really has become so big because its only a couple hour lazy drive for Hollywood and its publicity machine. Doctor Who isn't a nerd show, its demographic success and money comes from family entertainment, and as a British product and celebration of British television, trailer should have at least respected those two factors as priority.

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  15. #15
    HellCat's Avatar
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    Interestingly, the Radio Times have ran an article criticising that the announcement of the found Troughton episodes was swiftly followed by putting them up for sale- Doctor Who missing episodes should be free to watch on TV in the 50th anniversary year | Radio Times

    I'm not sure I can fully agree though I think that's because at this point I've come to accept the whole anniversary is basically merchandise driven. Barely any actual story but a ton of merchandise with '50 YEARS!' slapped on it, so the idea the BBC would sell these rather than include them as a free airing as part of the celebration seems par the course for the whole affair. It's hard to look at something as a celebration when all it's been is BBC Worldwide coming up with creative tat to sell whilst minimal new fiction is produced.

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