Saturday, March 30, 2013

Readers' Choice -- It's All Yours Today on the BAB!

Any of our categories are yours for the taking today -- Discuss, Who's the Best...?, Face-Off, the Open Forum, and Spotlight On...  Have fun with it!  -- Karen and Doug


Ray Tomczak said...

Well, I was somewhat reluctant to step up and start things off, but since no one else has...
Tonight the 7th series of Doctor Who resumes. I haven't read each and every single post here, so I don't know if you've done "Who's the best...Doctor?" yet.
I'm pretty new to Dr. Who, I just got into it this past summer, and I still haven't seen any of the sixth, seventh or eighth Doctors. My favorites among the ones I have seen are Peter Davison (5th Doctor), David Tenant (10th Doctor) and Patrick Troughton (2nd Doctor). If I were making a Top 5 list, I'd through in Jon Pertwee (3rd Doctor) and Tom Baker (4th Doctor)

Ray Tomczak said...

"throw in" I meant to write "throw" instead of "through", though I trust BAB readers are smart enough to get that.

Rip Jagger said...

I came of Who age during the Baker era, so when folks mention the good "Doctor" that's the face I see. But I have to confess that Pertwee's rendition of the Doctor seems to me to be the most defintive. He blended the odd with the heroic better than those that preceded him and while Baker upped the ante on peculiar, which got out of hand with some of later Doctors, it's that blend which makes the Doctor hum. He can't be such a clown that he loses his credibility as a true blue hero.

When sci-fi entertainment on TV was rare for me during the 90's, I loaded up on Doctor Who as a result of the local PBS station showing most of the shows right through several times. The pacing on the new shows is much better than these old ones, but the older ones have a quaint charm the new stuff only imitates.

Rip Off

Doug said...

I did some quick spelunking and couldn't nail down a date, but I am pretty sure in the not-too-distant past we have had a couple of Dr. Who conversations. That is not to say that we can't have another today, but I'd offer that anyone else out there with a burning thought on his or her mind should feel free to state it. It's all fair game today.


Matt Celis said...

I tried watching it on BBC America but could not see what was special about it. The handful I watched felt like bad Outer Limits episodes ending with deus ex machina courtesy of Doc Who's magic wand thingie. must be missing something. I wish they'd air some kind of explanation for those who haven't been watching for years--I felt like I do when I look at a new Marvel comic and have no idea who these people are or why they are doing what they're doing!

david_b said...

Ray, interesting topic, not just because there are plenty of Who fans in our midst, but both Doug and Karen have told me they're not.m, hence not much commenting on Who here. I made the mention when Liz Sladen past on, and you can read their replies in the suggestion box. My favs are Tom, Peter and David.., LOVED 'Timecrash' with David and Peter..!!

"All my love to long ago.." Just makes me melt..

david_b said...

Yeah, Doug, they were with me.. No worries, great topic.

Matt, good reply. I'd agree if I hadn't had the history with Who during its original run, I wouldn't know what it was about ('cept reading wikipedia or something). I wonder what new fans think of it.

William Preston said...

I came of consciousness in the Pertwee era. The blend of creepiness and adventure was both engaging and scary for a little kid. With Baker, the show became more directly entertaining, almost inherently metafiction, with Baker sort of standing outside events and commenting on them.

What has struck me about the new era, even starting with Eccleston, though I thought he was terrific, was the level of sentimentality. There's a Who club at my school, and every ep I've glimpsed of the Smith era is just awash in sentiment. It's really kind of painful, and not at all the tone I associate with the Doctor.

Anyone else feel that?

david_b said...

Ray, I've seen a dozen or so Pertwee episodes which have ALL been great. A big Sladen fan, my favs are her first one with Pertwee back in Medival times with the Sontaran..

And, yes, I couldn't watch Tennant's 'School Reunion' episode the first 6 times without crying at the end. There, it's out there.

Liz Sladen was not only the 'best companion ever' but certainly a hottie.

She was such a blessing, God bless her. She virtually didn't tell a soul she was dying of cancer in real life at the end.

Quite honestly, that's the way I'd like to go.

Matt Celis said...

I Wikipediaed it but am still a bit baffled. Not saying it's bad, I just felt like I was on unfamiliar backroads with no landmarks and no map.

Maybe they need a Star Trek-style opening a la "five-year mission to explore strange new worlds," and so on.

mr. oyola said...

I have never seen an episode of Dr. Who, but I hear Daleks can't go up stairs. :)

Matt Celis said...

I'll vote for Tom Baker just because that's who (no pun intended) I picture when Dr. Who is mentioned. Probably from seeing his image on various comic books I didn't buy but wondered about. Never actually seen him play Doc Who...I wish they'd rerun old ones instead of just the more recent young-hip- metrosexual-looking guys on BBC America.

david_b said...

Matt, a few suggestions for you..

BBC America is rerunning the old doctors this month, I've watched the first two Docs already..

Second, youtube's always got excerpts (or full eps) of old DW episodes, easy to watch.., I just checked.

For fun, watch the Jon Culshaw from Dead Ringers... He does the BEST Tom Baker impersonations..!!

Here's a classic..:

Matt Celis said...

Thanks for the tip!

Steve Does Comics said...

Matt, you need to watch the Chris Eccleston episodes from 2005. That was when the show was relaunched after its 16 year hiatus and was designed to be comprehensible to a brand new audience. The show was a lot less slick and ambitious back then but also a lot less convoluted.

There's a good review and explanation of Eccleston's first episode here:

Anonymous said...

Prior to the Ecclestone reboot, you couldn't pay me to watch Dr Who. For the longest time prior to that, going back at least to the Pertwee era of the 70s, it seemed to me that the producers held the audience in contempt - 'What's wrong with these people? Don't they understand that this is childrens' programming?', and that this attitude was increasingly manifest in the shoddy production values 'It doesn't matter, they'll watch anything we serve up so long as the title says 'Dr Who'. I think that the rot really set in with Tom Baker. (Dramatic pause)...Here's why: Jon Pertwee, an actor best known for broad comedy roles up to that point, was reputedly hired to play it for laughs, but refused. Tom Baker, on the other hand, does everything short of wink at the camera. He needs us to know that he knows that it's silly. So, yeah, rant, rant, rant - but it winds me up that the show had such a free ride from a fanbase blissfully unaware that the producers were laughing at them. Happy ending: since the 2005 reboot, the quality is much, much higher, and I never miss an episode (although I still can't shake the feeling that bbc management is still ambivalent about the breakout success of what they still class as a children's show).

Retro Lad

Doug said...

Thanks to Karen for finding our only other dedicated Dr. Who post, which was much longer ago than I'd remembered (about 14 months). Here is the link, if anyone wants to read the 15 comments that were made back then:


himanbelly said...

Ooh, have to disagree strongly with you, RetroLad. The assumption that the producers' opinion or mindset about any show is what ultimately determines its value or artistic merit (okay, using the term loosely) pretty much discredits EVERYONE else involved in the process-- and all of those folks- the writers, directors, actors, and creative techs working with perpetually undersized budgets- are the ones that breathed life into the franchise. Their integrity (and even Tom Baker's campy, self-aware, loopy, popular turn in the role had its own kind of vaudeville integrity) was largely responsible for keeping the fans engaged in the franchise for years and years despite the obvious hurdles imposed by the producers. Sometimes it was good, sometimes definitely not-- but pretty much everyone that's ever worked on the series, down to the lowest assistant caterer (it seems), consistently talks about how much they enjoyed and cared about contributing to this fun little universe.
I don't think the larger body of the fandom is "fooled", as it were-- I think they get it.


Anonymous said...

You make a fair point, HB, I can't doubt that a fair number of folk both behind and in front of the camera were giving it their best. In that vein, I'd give a particular shout out to Sylvester McCoy. Although his tenure as the Doctor is, I think, generally regarded as the qualitative nadir of the series (sighs of relief from Colin Baker and Paul McGann), so much so that the show's cancellation was regarded by some as a mercy-killing, he seemed to be doing his darndest with the thinnest of scripts and budgets (at least insofar as I can judge from my limited viewing).

I've also got a soft spot for the two 1960s feature films starring Peter Cushing - although I can't offer any critical justification for that. Bringing it back to comics, my formative impression of Dr Who came from following the weekly adventures of the Patrick Troughton incarnation in TV Comic here in the UK. Even now, when I picture Patrick Troughton, I'm seeing a drawing, not a photograph.

Retro Lad

Humanbelly said...

And I very much agree w/ your assessment of Sylvester McCoy's tenure. He and the cast were particularly game about keeping the characters alive under pressing conditions. I think I recall reading somewhere that the studio time available for filming/taping at that point had even been trimmed 'way back. And, oh, the poor scenic and prop folks trying to come up w/ convincing sets and pieces on a budget that clearly had fallen to community theater levels. . . (god bless 'em).

It's kind of neat (and similar to a topic we touch on over at the Avengers Assemble page) that Whovians do tend to identify the first Doctor they encountered as "their" Doctor-- and all others are subjectively relegated to being Before or After their "real" Doctor--- as it were. Patterning. Just like little goslings or ducklings or chicks.


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