Doctor Who Review: Is Every Episode Going to Be a Remake?

Doctor Who Review: Is Every Episode Going to Be a Remake?

Though Into the Dalek is another highly derivative episode, it's still a solid entry into the mythos of the Daleks and the Doctor.

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You arent the only one who was reminded of classic dr who.. for me it was the colin baker years when the doctor was an asshole.

the dr's turned into a boring old fart, who is quite happy to let people die and who uses his sonic screw driver as a weapon

I liked the episode.
I think it could have gone a LOT better, if it had gone a LOT darker, but I don't blame the BBC for being worried about crossing too many lines.

I REALLY love what Peter is doing for the roll.
He seems to be getting a bit of that 7th Doctor's 'moral ubiquity' and the 2nd Doctor's playfulness.

I hope the next episode works out.

there are a bazillion Doctor Who episodes, the remake feeling is unavoidable.

I'm just happy to see the Doctor not get everything wrapped up and score a flawless victory. I did like Matt Smith as the Doctor, but the problem i had with his stories sometimes was that you always knew he was going to get everything he wanted: Everyone was saved, bad guys were beat and it's all wrapped up nicely bar the season long mystery plot. There wasn't much, well, to lose if you get what i mean and things stopped feeling tense.

What i liked about this episode was that, yes the Doctor won...but it wasn't a complete 100% victory. The dalek didn't turn good, it just redirected it's hatred of all living things into hatred of the Daleks instead when the Doctor wanted to turn it good. And that's not even getting into the fact people died for realzies without a reset button being hit or something.

It was bittersweet, and that's something i quite liked. And something the series sorely needed in my opinion.

Granted, not saying ALL episodes have to be utter downers and he has to lose all the time or anything. But, if they strike a better balance between the Doctors victories and his losses compared to the last few seasons it helps keep the show interesting. That way it's less "Wander how he's going to wrap everything up in a neat little bow this time" and more "Is he actually going to win this one?"

"So on* one hand..."
"...the acting alone is good reason to tune* in..."
"...you can catch* new episodes of Doctor Who..."

Peter Capaldi continues to be excellent, Clara is improving and the production values are better than ever. It's the stories that continue to let the show down. They're often either derivative or have a lumpy, unsatisfying structure; relying too much on meaningless technobabble to resolve the plot or on mind-blowingly 'epic' moments to carry the entire episode. Look at Moffat's earlier work: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead or to eps like Dalek/Midnight/The Doctor's Wife for examples of satisfying, well-rounded STORIES. Too often these days when discussing Who I notice people praising 'that scene' or 'that one-liner' - rather than the whole episode as a self-contained narrative.

What was interesting was that the soldier that sacrificed her self ended up in missy's garden.
Makes you think she is collecting "people" whom gave their lives for the doctor.
Also that would mean that the clockwork android wasn't pushed but jumped.

And it would have been interesting if the Dalek gave his live to help the doctor.
This could still happen.
Any way, i'm sure we haven't seen the last of him.

I've been thinking about it and I really can't decide whether I liked this episode or not. I want to say yes, but something stops me and I think I've put that down to the premise.

It took me incredibly off-guard and I just felt that the episode from that point on became based around a big gimmick. Which is sad because I feel that the Eccleston episode that this is clearly remaking, explored the same themes and deconstruction of character without needing such a pointless setup. Although maybe I'm just bitter because Eccleston is still my favourite Doctor.

I think that it wasn't so much ripping off Eccleston's episode as it was following it up. The Daleks said that 9 would make a good Dalek, and now 12 finally *is* a good Dalek. With 9, it was the threat of what he could become, while with 12, it's the horrible realization that he already was as bad as a Dalek.

It was bugging me a bit was that an army that battle's the Dalek is so useless at it.
As far as i could tell, they killed just one Dalek.
Storm-troopers would have done better.

As seen in Army of ghosts/Doomsday even Cybermen have a hard time with the Dalek.
But some alien races have quite effective weapons now.

And even a hospital ship would have a bit more than just laser pointers on board.

Rawbeard:
there are a bazillion Doctor Who episodes, the remake feeling is unavoidable.

I don't know. Moffatt has been "remaking" episodes from the last five years quite frequently. If Doctor Who was an endless runner, and remakes were obstacles, it would be a case of tripping up during the first "easy" stretch.

Infernai:
I'm just happy to see the Doctor not get everything wrapped up and score a flawless victory. I did like Matt Smith as the Doctor, but the problem i had with his stories sometimes was that you always knew he was going to get everything he wanted: Everyone was saved, bad guys were beat and it's all wrapped up nicely bar the season long mystery plot.

Were we watching the same show? Aside from keeping Rory and Amy, he rarely got everything he wanted. Hell the arc ends are about the only places this really manifested: Season 5, where he reboots the universe and sacrifices himself but doesn't really, season six where he cheats death at a fixed point in time, season seven where...Okay, this is a little muddier...I'll even let the fifthieth special slide because that's a gimme.

I'm having trouble thinking of episodes where he got everything he wanted. There's...The first Matt Smith episode, and....

No, I'm pretty close to tapped. Maybe "Let's Kill Hitler?" Can you give some examples? I'd like to know what you feel constitutes this. Especially with terms like "everyone saved," because I keep thinking things like "The God Complex," or "Angels Take Manhattan," or "The Curse of the Black Spot," which are definitely not "Everybody lives" episodes.

Zachary Amaranth:

Infernai:
I'm just happy to see the Doctor not get everything wrapped up and score a flawless victory. I did like Matt Smith as the Doctor, but the problem i had with his stories sometimes was that you always knew he was going to get everything he wanted: Everyone was saved, bad guys were beat and it's all wrapped up nicely bar the season long mystery plot.

Were we watching the same show? Aside from keeping Rory and Amy, he rarely got everything he wanted. Hell the arc ends are about the only places this really manifested: Season 5, where he reboots the universe and sacrifices himself but doesn't really, season six where he cheats death at a fixed point in time, season seven where...Okay, this is a little muddier...I'll even let the fifthieth special slide because that's a gimme.

I'm having trouble thinking of episodes where he got everything he wanted. There's...The first Matt Smith episode, and....

No, I'm pretty close to tapped. Maybe "Let's Kill Hitler?" Can you give some examples? I'd like to know what you feel constitutes this. Especially with terms like "everyone saved," because I keep thinking things like "The God Complex," or "Angels Take Manhattan," or "The Curse of the Black Spot," which are definitely not "Everybody lives" episodes.

I admit on reflection it wasn't a 100% perfect run in some regards, it has been a while since i saw the whole thing but I'll try and trudge up a few examples.

Smiths second episode is an example, the one with the Space Whale. Although, I will sort of let that one slide as it was the start of his tenure and this was after the end Tenth Doctor Period where...well, the universe sort of slapped him in the face for a while so a win at that point wasn't too bad.

The Curse of the Black spot if i recall basically was an everybody lives episode with the Siren of the episode revealed as an artificial intelligence that's gathering sick and injured humans and ends with the captain basically getting a space ship upgrade from his sea ship.

There was also the pre-50th episode where the Doctors timeline get's attacked and he follows Chlara by literally jumping into it despite warnings that terrible things will happen and...absolutely nothing does, they meet the war doctor and then they...walk out? Honestly, that part was a bit muddled and weird. Seriously, did they ever explain how the fuck the doctor got out of that one? I admit that one maybe doesn't fully count as everyone lives but sorta does because Chlara does fix his timestream. But, it does bring up the point of how they got out of that situation...

There were some other episodes, like that guy the doctor ends up becoming the room mate of as well as his sequel episode and also the one where the couple have that kid that's really some weird alien...thingy that happened in the second season. There was the initial Weeping Angels two parter which...ended with a reset button and erased memories. The first christmas special he did where the doctor literally rewrites a guys timeline to make him less of an asshole (Which bothered me because, well, this guy was head of a planet and I'm sure that changing stuff like this would have lead to some serious time paradoxes in the place.)

I will concede though that episodes like The God Complex weren't "Everybody lives" now i have thought back. For example Rory's initial death and the negotiations basically being postponed and ceased was a bit of a loss, but did end on the high note for the negotiation scenario by hinting that they'd wait and try again later down the road. Angels Take Manhatten I admit was a loss, but...by that point my question became "So, are Amy and Rory actually gone this time? Like, for realzies? Permanently? Not coming back?". Given I was half expecting Rory to pop up all fine later on in the tenure, i can't be blamed for this. Do note i didn't hate Amy and Rory initially, but...Smiths Second Season did sour me on them and when they actually did leave i kind of didn't believe it at first.

Anyway, consider my initial point of 100% victories revoked slightly. I was a bit on the tired side when i wrote that, but i will admit on reflection i was slightly wrong as he did have his losses. Still, i remember feeling that in Smiths tenure it felt like he was definitely going to come out on top somehow. While i did like his doctor and i think he played it well, nightmare in silver and Asylum of the Daleks are my favorites of his tenure, he did end up giving me a feeling that he was more or less going to come out of things and i did feel like the stakes were lowered slightly by it.

Jeroenr:
It was bugging me a bit was that an army that battle's the Dalek is so useless at it.
As far as i could tell, they killed just one Dalek.
Storm-troopers would have done better.

As seen in Army of ghosts/Doomsday even Cybermen have a hard time with the Dalek.
But some alien races have quite effective weapons now.

And even a hospital ship would have a bit more than just laser pointers on board.

Maybe the weapons were on loan from the Imperial Guardsman? xD

...And now I'm wandering what a Doctor Who/40k cross-over would look like. I'm not sure if the Doctor would end up solving things, or would just have an aneurism from the sheer magnitude of the conflict and go "FUck it" before slamming the door of the TARDIS and just going elsewhere.

Infernai:

Smiths second episode is an example, the one with the Space Whale. Although, I will sort of let that one slide as it was the start of his tenure and this was after the end Tenth Doctor Period where...well, the universe sort of slapped him in the face for a while so a win at that point wasn't too bad.

Where everyone lived unless you were not a child and taken by the winders. Also, where the Doctor nearly killed a space whale due to his own ignorance and was saved only because Amy Pond was quicker.

The Curse of the Black spot if i recall basically was an everybody lives episode with the Siren of the episode revealed as an artificial intelligence that's gathering sick and injured humans and ends with the captain basically getting a space ship upgrade from his sea ship.

One example.

There was also the pre-50th episode where the Doctors timeline get's attacked and he follows Chlara by literally jumping into it despite warnings that terrible things will happen and...absolutely nothing does, they meet the war doctor and then they...walk out? Honestly, that part was a bit muddled and weird. Seriously, did they ever explain how the fuck the doctor got out of that one? I admit that one maybe doesn't fully count as everyone lives but sorta does because Chlara does fix his timestream. But, it does bring up the point of how they got out of that situation...

Season finale., already covered by my statement that season finales tend to be different.

There were some other episodes, like that guy the doctor ends up becoming the room mate of as well as his sequel episode and also the one where the couple have that kid that's really some weird alien...thingy that happened in the second season.

"The Lodger" features people dying. If you mean he saves Craig and Sophie, yes. But that's a total of two people living. The alien kid, I don't remember the people who were put in the cupboard coming back EXCEPT Amy and Rory.

There was the initial Weeping Angels two parter which...ended with a reset button and erased memories.

This one gets super technical, in that anyone eaten by the crack never lived and therefore nobody died in the episode. They were still erased. I think that should count as casualties.

The first christmas special he did where the doctor literally rewrites a guys timeline to make him less of an asshole (Which bothered me because, well, this guy was head of a planet and I'm sure that changing stuff like this would have lead to some serious time paradoxes in the place.)

Doesn't the object of scrooge's affections die in that one? Hold on, to Wikipedia!

I will concede though that episodes like The God Complex weren't "Everybody lives" now i have thought back. For example Rory's initial death and the negotiations basically being postponed and ceased was a bit of a loss, but did end on the high note for the negotiation scenario by hinting that they'd wait and try again later down the road. Angels Take Manhatten I admit was a loss, but...by that point my question became "So, are Amy and Rory actually gone this time? Like, for realzies? Permanently? Not coming back?". Given I was half expecting Rory to pop up all fine later on in the tenure, i can't be blamed for this. Do note i didn't hate Amy and Rory initially, but...Smiths Second Season did sour me on them and when they actually did leave i kind of didn't believe it at first.

At the point you're bringing the potential success of negotiations up (after several people died), you're describing EVERY DOCTOR EVER.

Okay, other examples:

Victory of the Daleks: Smith saves the day using Amy's bewbs, but the Daleks are back (and tricked him into reviving them) and they escaped. The Doctor literally trades their freedom for the earth. I doubt that counts as getting his way.

Vampires of Venice: The girls all (or mostly) die.

Vincent and the Doctor: to Amy's dismay, Van Gogh still takes his life.

The Doctor's Wife: The Doctor finds hope that there are other Time Lords out there, only to have it taken away. The only "victory' is a return to status quo.

The Rebel Flesh/Almost People: Several people die. The Doctor manages to save a couple, makes lemons from lemonade, fixes a brain clot.

A Good Man Goes to War: He still loses the b aby, getting tricked by the coalition of his enemies who successfully weaponise the baby. The only positive point is the infuriating way he cheats death at the end of the season. Still, this episode admittedly bugged me, as the bloodless coup of a military installation was just....ARG

Let's Kill Hitler: Everybody lives. Except the Nazis, and the crew of the Teselecta. Oh, and Hitler lives, because the Doctor accidentally saves his life. A high point, Rory clocks Hitler.

That's as far as I care to go, but his win record isn't slightly below 100%, it's horrible.

Zachary Amaranth:
[quote="Infernai" post="6.859417.21333747"]

Let's Kill Hitler: Everybody lives. Except the Nazis, and the crew of the Teselecta. Oh, and Hitler lives, because the Doctor accidentally saves his life. A high point, Rory clocks Hitler.

Actually, most of the crew of the Teselecta escaped being beamed to a ship. I think maybe one or 2 crew bit it? Also, who cares about the Nazi's dying? In fact, I'd say the worst thing would be River uses all her regeneration energy to save him, which basically means she gave up a few lives to do it.

Actually I'd say the Doctor's OVERALL "Winning Streak" is over 100% If you take the individual stories, a life here or there is tragic, but the fact he's saved the Earth dozens of times, the universe many times, and all of Creation (our Universe and all the parallels and dimensions at least once, as well as taking a big risk to save Galifreay, than I'd say he's doing pretty damn well in the W-L category :)

Seeing as "Dalek" was a remake...

No, seriously. It's based on a Sixth Doctor audio adventure from the same author. Different settings, but the set-up of a tortured Dalek we're supposed to feel sorry for is the same.

I thought "Into the Dalek" was them finally getting right an idea which has been bouncing around Doctor Who since the Troughton Era (where the Human Factor created good Daleks, who destroyed the Dalek Emperor). Davies seemed absolutely obsessed with it as we get Daleks pushed passed their original programming on at least three occasions (Dalek, the New York story, and Donna's finale). That Daleks could finally learn something, but they doomed themselves by doing so. This story finally pushed it past the series of one-offs by having a Dalek motivated by a different hatred, succeeding in learning something, but still a slave to his nature.

Two out of the three Moffat Era stories feature the concept of the Good Dalek (Asylum and Into), so he's following the well-established path of the Davies Era, along with the Big Finish audio plays. The closest to Moffat's idea is the second Dalek Empire audio plays where an alternate universe Dalek fleet shows up who are the "good guys" and end up being as bad as the evil ones. Instead of trying to exterminate all who are different, they seek to assimilate them and the humans have to fight not for their survival but for their humanity. Rusty could lead to a lot of fun mischief in the future and push Dalek stories into different frontiers which are no less nasty than the standard Daleks.

So, no, I don't think of it as a remake of Dalek. Dalek was already on well-worn territory and it's tough coming up with a new angle for a Dalek story. I can see shades of Dalek, Asylum, and Evil (the Troughton one) in this one. Victory is the one honest to goodness remake of a previous, much better Dalek story, that being The Power of the Daleks from the Troughton Era.

It's important to remember that while many of us will have seen older Doctor Who episodes this is derivative of, Doctor Who is a show that has a large number of fans who have only recently come to it, and many who are also younger children. Similar as it may have been to Eccleston's Dalek episode, that was 8 years ago. The Daleks went on a bit of a back burner during Smith's tenure, and now we've got a new Doctor, maybe they're coming off the bench, so we get an episode reestablishing who they are, how they and the Doctor relate, and while it might be a little repetitive to us, people who are new to it know what's going on now.

Also, there's a difference between a remake and retreading old themes in new ways. Remakes in a TV series are bad form. Retreading old themes builds continuity.

I did not get that Into the Dalek was derivative of any previous Doctor Who episode, but it did remind me of that Lost In Space episode wherein Doctor Smith and Will Robinson have to travel into the Robot who has grown huge under some sort of gamma ray space storm that upset his growth parameters or whatever the heck that means. I'd be surprised if there's a single whippersnapper here who knows what I'm talking about.

Jamalam:
Peter Capaldi continues to be excellent, Clara is improving and the production values are better than ever. It's the stories that continue to let the show down. They're often either derivative or have a lumpy, unsatisfying structure; relying too much on meaningless technobabble to resolve the plot or on mind-blowingly 'epic' moments to carry the entire episode. Look at Moffat's earlier work: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead or to eps like Dalek/Midnight/The Doctor's Wife for examples of satisfying, well-rounded STORIES. Too often these days when discussing Who I notice people praising 'that scene' or 'that one-liner' - rather than the whole episode as a self-contained narrative.

You've got me wondering whether we, as fans, invite dumbed down storytelling. I can't help but think that the more fans work themselves up over what are showy (and sometimes cringe worthy) moments of Doctor-centric egoism, the more Moffat and other writers gear the narrative away from strong storytelling for the simple reason that they don't really need to do better. Are fans too eager to believe the best of their favourite show, or do the writers just think fans love everything they put on screen?

Either way, I think a trend toward one-liner stage setting has emerged and I'm keen for a return to the Eccleston or Tennant era approach of using the main protagonist to develop the story, not the other way around.

Brockyman:

Actually, most of the crew of the Teselecta escaped being beamed to a ship. I think maybe one or 2 crew bit it? Also, who cares about the Nazi's dying? In fact, I'd say the worst thing would be River uses all her regeneration energy to save him, which basically means she gave up a few lives to do it.

Who cares that Nazis die? It defies the "everybody lives" argument, so for this limited case, I do.

And I'm not sure River losing regenerations is a particular loss. We already knew that River Song dies and does not regenerate. It's sort of like that gaping plot hole from this episode where the Doctor is out of regenerations anyway, so ensuring he can't regenerate is pointless and his comments about regeneration are confusing. Or any other from this season.

Interestingly, early trailers, teasers and the like for Into the Dalek had me rolling my eyes at yet another rehash of old stuff, but once it started I found it actually very refreshing. I really don't like the suggestion that it's derivative of Dalek. Even if the basic concept is similar (which, tbh, it really isn't), the direction it takes is completely different and that's what's important.

I don't even really appreciate the suggestion that Deep Breath "borrowed" from Girl in the Fireplace, because they called out the fact that it was a sister ship. Is that a lame explanation and laziness for using the same monsters? Yes, but it's not stealing, it's more a poor, straight to video sequel.

Brockyman:
Actually I'd say the Doctor's OVERALL "Winning Streak" is over 100% If you take the individual stories, a life here or there is tragic, but the fact he's saved the Earth dozens of times, the universe many times, and all of Creation (our Universe and all the parallels and dimensions at least once, as well as taking a big risk to save Galifreay, than I'd say he's doing pretty damn well in the W-L category :)

having some trouble to call saving Galifreay a win.

The war doctor blowing it up was more a scorched earth tactic.
Locking it away in a pocked dimension was a Pyrrhic victory at best.

And it can't come back before all the time-lords enemy's are gone, or start a new time war.(not likely to happen)
so it may just as well have been blown up.

Fiairflair:

Jamalam:
Peter Capaldi continues to be excellent, Clara is improving and the production values are better than ever. It's the stories that continue to let the show down. They're often either derivative or have a lumpy, unsatisfying structure; relying too much on meaningless technobabble to resolve the plot or on mind-blowingly 'epic' moments to carry the entire episode. Look at Moffat's earlier work: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead or to eps like Dalek/Midnight/The Doctor's Wife for examples of satisfying, well-rounded STORIES. Too often these days when discussing Who I notice people praising 'that scene' or 'that one-liner' - rather than the whole episode as a self-contained narrative.

You've got me wondering whether we, as fans, invite dumbed down storytelling. I can't help but think that the more fans work themselves up over what are showy (and sometimes cringe worthy) moments of Doctor-centric egoism, the more Moffat and other writers gear the narrative away from strong storytelling for the simple reason that they don't really need to do better. Are fans too eager to believe the best of their favourite show, or do the writers just think fans love everything they put on screen?

Either way, I think a trend toward one-liner stage setting has emerged and I'm keen for a return to the Eccleston or Tennant era approach of using the main protagonist to develop the story, not the other way around.

Honestly, if you take Moffat out of the Davies Era, the new series has always been a bit iffy when it comes to its plots. The Satan Pit two-parter is often held up as a classic, but nothing in the second part makes any sense. Why exactly would someone chain up the devil down a bottomless pit where he can never escape again, with cryptic instructions left for the Doctor on how to destroy the devil. Ummm, wouldn't it make more sense to just kill the devil yourself. Why go to all the trouble of imprisoning him in an impossible cell if you just have to drop him in a black hole to destroy him. Oh, and the TARDIS just so happens to be down there with him.

This kind of thing is almost as poorly plotted as the final acts of "The Hand of Fear" and "Pyramids of Mars" :)

I think Doctor Who has always been more about the vibe than well-constructed plots. The classic series is filled with padded run-arounds heavy on personality. Why exactly are the Daleks carving out the Earth to turn into a space ship (the Extended Universe has spent decades providing an answer to that 49 year old story)? How does Mondas make any sense in The Tenth Planet?

Fiairflair:
You've got me wondering whether we, as fans, invite dumbed down storytelling. I can't help but think that the more fans work themselves up over what are showy (and sometimes cringe worthy) moments of Doctor-centric egoism, the more Moffat and other writers gear the narrative away from strong storytelling for the simple reason that they don't really need to do better. Are fans too eager to believe the best of their favourite show, or do the writers just think fans love everything they put on screen?

Either way, I think a trend toward one-liner stage setting has emerged and I'm keen for a return to the Eccleston or Tennant era approach of using the main protagonist to develop the story, not the other way around.

I don't think the story telling is any weaker than it ever was. If I think back to the end of Tennant's reign, as in everything after the 3rd season other than the Silence In The Library episodes, I can't remember many decent stories, and the 2nd season also has it's fair share of weak episodes. It's not been perfect since Moffat took over either, seasons 5 and 7 both have a fair few weak episodes, but I actually think the show has gotten better.
I get that people liked it when the show was less about exploring it's own universe and character's and I guess tried be more grounded in ideas, but I don't really think Russell T Davies pulled it off that well. When he was head writer I felt the shows tended to overly focus on stuff like the human consequences of the Doctor's actions, or the Doctor's loneliness, or really weak attempts at ideas like like a werewolf being an alien the Lazarus Experiment. We always had to see the companion's families, a member of whom would always have to get worried and upset, probably cry, or we were hearing Tennant moan about being the last time-lord and being alone and having made mistakes, etc. Moffat's run, on the other, tends to do stuff like use time travel as an actual part of the story a lot more, which I quite like, and generally tries to explore the parts of the universe that make show unique. To me Moffat's run has taken a sort of fairly tale in space approach, which I prefer to the clunky attempt at being clever we often got with Davies' run. Plus the Moffat run has yet to produce anything as outright stupid as Fear Her, End of Time or Turn Left, to name a few, well besides Dinosaurs On A Spacship.

uro vii:
Moffat's run, on the other, tends to do stuff like use time travel as an actual part of the story a lot more, which I quite like, and generally tries to explore the parts of the universe that make show unique. To me Moffat's run has taken a sort of fairly tale in space approach, which I prefer to the clunky attempt at being clever we often got with Davies' run. Plus the Moffat run has yet to produce anything as outright stupid as Fear Her, End of Time or Turn Left, to name a few, well besides Dinosaurs On A Spacship.

I think Moffat's time traveling take has been a bit of a mistake. Nothing too major, but despite the TARDIS the show has never really been about using time travel as a plot device. Traveling through time is just how he gets to the adventures. And it's Moffat's biggest plot cheat. Davies always gave someone godlike powers to win the day in the finale, Moffat tends to just get a bit confusing with the time travel and declare victory.

But I think the big difference between Davies and Moffat is Davies was a much more militarized and xenophobic show. Since so many stories took place on Earth, they were constantly fighting off some alien invasion or the other and he had a very, very, very bad habit of turning former companions into paramilitary heroes who defend the Earth from alien invasion. Rose... head of alternate universe Torchwood and comes back packing a gun. Mickey... alternate universe freedom fighter. Martha... UNIT doctor who eventually hooks up with Mickey to be freelance gun-packing defenders of Earth. Captain Jack, head of Torchwood. Only Sarah Jane and Donna escaped that particular ending.

Moffat seems to go in more for misunderstandings and the hard road to peace. The Doctor was always trying to broker peace and often the tragedy of the ending was he failed. The Vampires of Venice refuse to accept his help is an example of that. A lot of stories are also quite personal such as Amy's Choice or The Girl Who Waited, where the sci-fi menace isn't at the heart of the story. See also The God Complex where the monster is to be pitied and the true danger was within.

Netrigan:
I think Moffat's time traveling take has been a bit of a mistake. Nothing too major, but despite the TARDIS the show has never really been about using time travel as a plot device. Traveling through time is just how he gets to the adventures. And it's Moffat's biggest plot cheat. Davies always gave someone godlike powers to win the day in the finale, Moffat tends to just get a bit confusing with the time travel and declare victory.

To be honest I think if a show has time travel as one of it's fundamental concepts, it really should be an important part of at least some of the stories. I agree at Moffat's time travel rules being a bit iffy, but at least in episodes like Hide and Blink it was actually a part of the story, while, as you say, Davies just used it as a method to have the Doctor show up.

Netrigan:
But I think the big difference between Davies and Moffat is Davies was a much more militarized and xenophobic show. Since so many stories took place on Earth, they were constantly fighting off some alien invasion or the other and he had a very, very, very bad habit of turning former companions into paramilitary heroes who defend the Earth from alien invasion. Rose... head of alternate universe Torchwood and comes back packing a gun. Mickey... alternate universe freedom fighter. Martha... UNIT doctor who eventually hooks up with Mickey to be freelance gun-packing defenders of Earth. Captain Jack, head of Torchwood. Only Sarah Jane and Donna escaped that particular ending.

Moffat seems to go in more for misunderstandings and the hard road to peace. The Doctor was always trying to broker peace and often the tragedy of the ending was he failed. The Vampires of Venice refuse to accept his help is an example of that. A lot of stories are also quite personal such as Amy's Choice or The Girl Who Waited, where the sci-fi menace isn't at the heart of the story. See also The God Complex where the monster is to be pitied and the true danger was within.

I pretty much agree with this and the more I think about it, the more I feel that one of the main problems at the heart Davies' run was how lacking in optimism the show got. It started out well enough, with the first episode of Tennat's run trying redo the 'everybody lives' thing, but by the end of the season the show seemed to have dropped all of that in favor of an optimistic sounding rant from Tennant every now and then. I remember watching an Interview with Davies back when the Tennant run was starting, and he talked about how the show needed to demonstrate how these ridiculous, fantastical adventures would effect actual human beings (which I think is a fairly bad idea to start with). Yet when you watch the show, that idea only really materializes as the companions' families freaking out, or the companions themselves crying about having to leave the Doctor or them not saving everyone, or things like the concentration camps during the Master's arc and the family from Pompeii watching the city burn. Similarly, when we got the Doctor sticking with a group of people for an episode, like Midnight or The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit, it was always to show group of horrified, broken people, some of whom would die because of it. Even the ideas lost their optimism, a crew devolves into a bloody clone fueled war in only two weeks, the human race eventually ending up as mutilated, destructive psychopaths, but not before enslaving and selling an entire race by cutting out their brains. In fact I'd say the show had got a bit obsessed with it's own pessimism by season 4. Hell by the end Tennant seemed to have gone half mad with power and loneliness and unfortunately that seemed to be what Davies was most interested in exploring.

Also, responding to something the article said, other than the clockwork robots in the first episode and the appearance of a 'good' Dalek in this one, I really don't see any similarities between these episodes and any past ones. I find the assertion that the first one is a 'remake' especially weird, since that would insinuate that any time a villain appears again in an episode it is somehow a remake of the first time they appeared.

uro vii:

Netrigan:
I think Moffat's time traveling take has been a bit of a mistake. Nothing too major, but despite the TARDIS the show has never really been about using time travel as a plot device. Traveling through time is just how he gets to the adventures. And it's Moffat's biggest plot cheat. Davies always gave someone godlike powers to win the day in the finale, Moffat tends to just get a bit confusing with the time travel and declare victory.

To be honest I think if a show has time travel as one of it's fundamental concepts, it really should be an important part of at least some of the stories. I agree at Moffat's time travel rules being a bit iffy, but at least in episodes like Hide and Blink it was actually a part of the story, while, as you say, Davies just used it as a method to have the Doctor show up.

It wouldn't be until mid-way through the Pertwee Era that the Doctor could control when and where the TARDIS landed. The focus has always been on the TARDIS being used as a way of getting to adventures. The Virgin novels in the 90s and the Big Finish audio plays got a bit timey whimey, but Moffat is pretty much the king of it. I don't think any other Doctor Who writer has used it more than he.

The problem is it ends up exposing the contradictions at the heart of the series, that he is both changing and not changing the course of history. Moffat gets a bit cute in doing both at the same time, which might be why he kind of gets away with it. We admire his cheek, but typically speaking, Doctor Who stories which use time travel as a plot device have a high failure rate. They can get hard to follow (Moffat uses this as a central joke) and it's real easy for it to seem like cheating as you ask "well, why doesn't he Bill & Ted his way through all of his adventures?" (i.e. help his past self).

Netrigan:

It wouldn't be until mid-way through the Pertwee Era that the Doctor could control when and where the TARDIS landed. The focus has always been on the TARDIS being used as a way of getting to adventures. The Virgin novels in the 90s and the Big Finish audio plays got a bit timey whimey, but Moffat is pretty much the king of it. I don't think any other Doctor Who writer has used it more than he.

The problem is it ends up exposing the contradictions at the heart of the series, that he is both changing and not changing the course of history. Moffat gets a bit cute in doing both at the same time, which might be why he kind of gets away with it. We admire his cheek, but typically speaking, Doctor Who stories which use time travel as a plot device have a high failure rate. They can get hard to follow (Moffat uses this as a central joke) and it's real easy for it to seem like cheating as you ask "well, why doesn't he Bill & Ted his way through all of his adventures?" (i.e. help his past self).

It's done wrong sometimes, I agree, but I also think the show is one of the few platforms to tell stories like Blink or Girl In The Fireplace, and it actually doesn't do it all that much anyway. Besides, I also mean the way it's integrated into the story in smaller ways now, like the Doctor collecting everyone with the Tardis in Day Of The Moon, or River sending him messages on ancient artifacts and such.

 

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