Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby SirQuacky » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:43 pm

I just import UK releases of UK shows if I'm going to buy them. I can't stand buying US DVDs/Blu-rays if I know the show was made in the 625/25i format.
Due to me ripping everything I collect to my hard drives (and cleaning it up later if I think it necessary) I've found I've lost much interest in region encoding outside of whether it corresponds to the format of the show.
I have to make some exceptions due to those releases not always being made (The Tennant Specials set is notorious). Though with the TV Movie it's rare to find a case when the NTSC version to something isn't put out.

About Blu-rays boxsets though: Instead of simply releasing the stuff at the intended rate, inferior boxsets are continuing to be pushed out for the previously NTSC now A markets. Any sets produced with a PAL source are plagued with three alternate methods of annoyance, either they slow it all down to 23.976 and mush up any interlacing, or they blend frames together to a smeary-looking 29.97, or the mix-up where it's slowed down to 23.976 with an audio track that's been pitch-shifted up creating a warbly mess. It astounds me to this day that this kind of mastering is considered releasable. It's completely destroyed promising sets that were never given a non-NTSC/A release, like The Beatles 1+. It's one of those irritating things that shouldn't need to be done anymore but still is for some reason. I'll stop myself there or I'll never stop going on about it!
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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:23 am

Yes indeed. Standards conversion issues are extremely frustrating, and something that shouldn't still be an issue in the digital era -- Yet here we are. The disc I was looking at the other day is a bit of a disaster.
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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:07 pm

Is it okay to call the character "Doctor Who?" A very complete deep dive, complete with what the rules were under original producer Verity Lambert -- where he never really called himself The Doctor either -- !

https://www.herocollector.com/en-gb/Art ... the-doctor
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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:47 pm

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Do7h1xLWwAAxWwr.jpg:orig

So, Doctor Who, then. "The Woman Who Fell To Earth."

A caveat here that I wasn't able to watch this one with a decent sound system. I bought two pairs of $1 ear buds and both broke within days. I was listening out of one ear only, with sound quality being "audible" at best.

This was a solid if unremarkable opener that worked surprisingly well at times as Actual Adult Drama. It also worked as Doctor Who - at times. Overall I found it a bit bland. It certainly wasn't like Moffat's "The Eleventh Hour," where he worked at a running pace to prove how clever he was - both The Doctor and Steven Moffat. New showrunner Chris Chibnall isn't trying as hard to dazzle us and prove himself, and the cartoony, kid-friendly elements we're used to from the RTD era aren't in much evidence either. There is a sense of alien mystery which unfolds at a careful and deliberate pace, leading us eventually to a toothy alien hunter in a black suit - standard stuff at this point.

What is unusual is the sense of danger. There are two moments where sympathetic older characters die, and this stuff lands pretty hard emotionally and overshadows the rest of the episode. Another death also carries real weight, and any of them could have come out of a PG-rated horror film. Bradley Walsh gets a chance to shine by the end, and there's a sense of subdued realism to the whole thing, rather than a more cartoony world where aliens are coming to earth all the time.

The cartooniest thing about the episode is, in fact, Jodie Whittaker's take on The Doctor, and that's as it should be. People who hate women were concerned that The Doctor would now be an attractive blonde for the first time since 1982. Others were excited for the same reason. (Imagine the outcry if they didn't fancy her!)

Whittaker is delightful and instantly recognizable as The Doctor, ignoring her post-regeneration jitters to just get on with the story. She talks about her still-forming regeneration instead as a series of welcome jokes in dialogue. There are a lot of interesting choices in her performance which make her stand out as quirky and eccentric (and even "doing a bit of a voice") which land her in similar territory to, say, David Tennant's Doctor. This allows her to take charge of scenes, and of the story, answering the usual question of, "Why are people listening to the Doctor?" Well, she's just got a forceful personality. What we don't see as much from her is empathy, and of meeting the more subdued and down-to-earth regular cast on their own level. She does some silent acting to that effect but otherwise doesn't seem that interested in them ... yet. And they haven't really earned that ... yet. Perhaps she's giving her performance somewhere to go in future installments.

She's certainly not instantly cranking the emotions up to 11 like a Russell T Davies character, and the script isn't trying to prove how clever it is like Moffat would have done. The quirks of previous showrunners which eventually became obnoxious are not present here. (Whittaker has brought her own quirks in a bag from home, which will hopefully not get tiresome.)

So what is Chris Chibnall's plan? Chibnall is best known for the David Tennant police procedural drama Broadchurch (also featuring Jodie Whittaker, and remade for the US as Gracepoint with a less convincing accent for Tennant). Chibnall also ran the trainwreck of an "adult" Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood (also something of a procedural). Here, he's given us, for now, a more grounded and back-to-basics show, without a lot of wacky or cartoony Doctor Who-ish elements ... as of yet, anyway. So far he's also got a tin ear for dialogue, with characters who speak in cliches, and whose motivations are a little bit unclear. Characters believe The Doctor a little too quickly when she talks about aliens, and that she is an alien, and that what they're seeing is alien. And it all feels more like an Adult Drama so far than Doctor Who felt even during the Capaldi era. It has a bit of police procedural about it (which I should have expected), and more than a bit of mystery about it, all of which actually works without being silly, but requires a lot more patience from the audience than before.

What Chibnall does understand is how to write The Doctor. There is something very self-conscious about a speech in which The Doctor says outright that she's different every time but that there's a basic core of who she is that doesn't change. But she's right, and in this episode she's able to show that that core is still very much present - of the quirky traveler who is always there to help.

The TARDIS is not present in this first episode, and by next episode we'll actually be traveling to a futuristic planet, so hopefully that will kick the energy level of the series up a notch.

Ryan calls the police for help, and gets his former school friend Yasmin. For an American, this was a stark contrast with what American police are like. I'll leave it at that.

As for the companions, Tosin Cole (Ryan) and Bradley Walsh (Graham) get to show their emotional range with speeches at the end, and acquit themselves well in dramatic moments. Mandip Gill (Yasmin) shows promise. They seem like regular, humble characters who will hopefully get a chance to shine in future installments. Like the episode itself, it's not an immediately exciting crew but it works. It's an unusually crowded TARDIS, and it's not the "romantic" template of Rose with The Doctor (or Amy or so on), which I'm grateful for.

As a character, Ryan is fighting a minor disability - dyspraxia - which may trip him up when running from aliens across the universe. So, good luck Ryan. Something something representation.

We haven't even seen the opening, or the TARDIS, yet, but the theme uses elements from the 1963 theme, with added drums. The episode has a dark cinematic look, and is shot anamorphic - visibly so in scenes with the alien villain. We're a long way from the 2005 series, which gave us crummy deinterlaced video with a very prominent bloom or fog filter over the lens. But then we've been a long way from that for awhile.

Jodie Whittaker's costume has an 80s feel. One element I hadn't seen yet is her unusual earring or earrings - involving stars and clasped hands - and every female cosplayer in the world is going to want those.

The series has, for now, shed the baggage of both the RTD and Moffat eras, for a back-to-basics approach that will allow it to fill in the details in its own way. We'll see how that goes!

P.S. "laughing alone with salad"

https://sadanduseless.b-cdn.net/wp-cont ... salad1.jpg
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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:16 pm

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who debut was watched by 8.2m (40.1%) - beating the debuts of David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi (Chris Eccleston figures pre-date current records)


Right-wing newspaper The Daily Mail (via writer Jim Shelley) said Jodie Whittaker was awful and not charismatic or sexy enough. (Very obviously just dogwhistles for "A woman shouldn't be Doctor Who.") These commenters disagreed, telling him off in no uncertain terms.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Do7pVUVW0AYnva6.jpg

Your favorite Doctor Who ladies gave their best wishes to Jodie Whittaker on Twitter today:

https://twitter.com/nigelfletcher/statu ... 6547916800

https://youtu.be/XCt6f1Ttmy4

https://twitter.com/claytonhickman/stat ... 0661943298

https://twitter.com/itmelkpny/status/10 ... 0912711681
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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:50 pm

Doctor Who characters as dril Tweets, a thread:

https://twitter.com/KevKoeser/status/10 ... 9346828288
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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby Oliver Judd » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:30 pm

I enjoyed this season's premiere episode, was more mixed on last night's. Whittaker's a delight, but I'm less sold on these companions (or rather, Bradley Walsh) and Chibnall's dialogue. "Show don't tell" was probably never a Doctor Who mantra, but it's disappointing all the same that Chibnall's most creative way of conveying "we're surrounded" is by having a character yell across the set "you know we're surrounded, right?!?!"
It's a self-contained episode that fell into the usual traps; unconvincing character arcs and quick explanations (most of them shouted in this case, which made for a more exhausting watch than usual - that's saying something in the first post-Moffat season). I was entertained nonetheless, and continue to have high hopes - especially for the non-Chibnall episodes. Again, Whittaker has so far been a total charmer.
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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:28 pm

I liked the abstract, Hartnell-styled opening and closing titles, which seem to show liquid spacetime and fit with the new theme, which is sort of a remix of the Delia Derbyshire 60s-70s theme. Not as self-consciously clever and exciting as the Capaldi titles, but fitting for this era of the show.

The music in general is already a highlight, which in the first episode really sold the "Sheffield Steel" and "Charity Shop" scenes.

I am concerned the companions will be a dull bunch. The first episode tried to sell us on them, and the second doesn't as much. This wasn't true of Moffat's second episode "The Beast Below" which continued to try to sell us on Amy. Without the focus that the first episode had on the companions there's not much to say about them here. The show continues to be a showcase for Jodie.

The avatar of Twitter user Spankybackpack sums matters up nicely:
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/10 ... 00x400.jpg
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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby SirQuacky » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:43 am

I feel the companions are going to be a slow build thru the season. A trio of companions usually takes the show away from the faster couple dynamic of the 70's and brings it closer to the slower group-ish dynamic of the early 60's. The Doctor stands out more because they're back to being the leader instead of the bigger half of a duo, and also because Jodie is giving it her all. That twitter avatar is as funny as it is true so far.

Whether it's working or not, while the premiere gave time to make building blocks for the new trio of companions, this second episode only found time to give Graham some noticeable lines and briefly try to continue Ryan's modern-age-guy demeanor and his discomfort with ladders, which I feel was kind of played up more in this one than the premiere. Yaz didn't get much to do, but from the next time trailer at the end, I want to guess Yaz'll get more to do this Sunday. The acting so far though has been lovely, as one of my Who-related mantras goes: It's usually never the actor's fault, most always the script.

Which brings me to the writing. Due to his track record, my only real fear going into this season was Chibnall's writing, I am glad to say I've quite enjoyed these first two, there are pacing issues in spots, especially in "fast" scenes. When the show gets to that medium speed it begins to work, I don't know if that'll fly these days, but it certainly brings me some 60's-era Who comfort. I agree he's having characters just kind of say stuff that could be developed better. Though it's only been two episodes and with the handful of characters we've got now there have to be scenes where they just slow down and talk, I just hope that gets a little better. Considering how much of the season is being revealed to be written by Chibnall solo, I can only hope these good vibes continue.

And yes, the music is so fitting and nice, and bassy! "Subtle" is certainly a word I never thought I'd get to use to describe a Doctor Who soundtrack, but it's highly appreciated all the same.
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Re: Through Time & Space: The Doctor Who Thread

Postby SirQuacky » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:40 am

Last night's episode was really gripping! It's been far too long since death felt like it had any meaning in a Who story and this one had me properly worried on that front (that it might happen permanently, not that anyone actually died thankfully). It's both parts fantastic for getting really upfront with the ugliness of the 1950's American South and equally unfortunate that (as brought up in the episode) such thought processes are still relevant and harmful for the modern day audience. It's writing was a little too obvious in spots, but I feel that was the intention. It's pacing was slower than the last episode and that worked in its favour, and while having no relation in subject matter its tempo reminded me a lot of RTD's emotional classic "Father's Day"

As I thought would happen, all the companions certainly got more activity and more noteworthy lines than last week, Yaz in particular, and Jodie's Doctor got one particularly delicious scene amongst all the usual Doctor-ing to be done.

The only two things I didn't care for at all were Ryan not returning Graham's fist-bump, and the repeated song used as end credits music, which for the latter I can forgive as it's part of keeping the impact of the story alive for a bit longer, but I always prefer having the Doctor Who theme comfort me back to reality at the end no matter how heavy the episode I've just been watching has gotten.

Also, I didn't mention it before but I heartily appreciate the Next Time trailers being placed after the credits and not before, gives some much needed time to breathe during the credits.
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