(32 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

ireactions wrote:

So... the Ruth, the Fugitive Doctor, is indeed a past Doctor -- and it ties into the Doctors seen in "The Brain of Morbius." *spoilers&

"The Timeless Children" reveals the birth of the Time Lords and the secret origin of the Doctor. The Doctor is not a Time Lord. The Doctor is the first Time Lord. The Doctor was an abandoned black girl found on a distant planet by a Gallifreyan astronaut, Tecteun. Tecteun adopted the child as her own; the child died in an accident only to regenerate into a new body -- and Tecteun became obsessed with experimenting on the child to learn the secret of regeneration to ward off death. Tecteun forced the child to regenerate multiple times; the girl became a boy, changed race,  changed ages -- and while Tecteun couldn't learn anything from the child about where she'd come from her who she was, Tecteun finally learned how to graft regeneration into her own body and then other Gallifreyans but set a limit of 13 lives to control its use.

It's implied that the secret of regeneration also led to time travel, producing the Time Lords while the Time Lords continued experimenting on the child, allowing her to age to adulthood, dispatching her on various missions that would often take lifetimes, wiping her memory each time -- and then, for reasons unknown and erased, the child was mind-wiped once more, regenerated into a male form, locked to 13 lives and starting as the William Hartnell Doctor.

At one point, the Jodie Doctor looks at her own memories and there are clips from previous episodes and one of the clips is the additional faces in "The Brain of Morbius" and another is the Ruth Doctor.

The episode itself is a bit pathetic: Jodie Whittaker spends nearly the whole episode locked in a cell receiving all this exposition. At the end, Chibnall puts her in a position to blow up Gallifrey and the Master and she decides to do it but then hesitates and then stops and then a guest character blows up the planet for her so that the Doctor can run away. Chibnall doesn't have the imagination to come up with a satisfactory solution, so he creates a suicide plan for the Doctor and then has someone else carry it out. He's not a good screenwriter -- but this revelation -- I like how it makes the Doctor even more of a mystery. Who was she before she became the first Time Lord? Why was she abandoned? Where were her parents? Why couldn't she answer any questions about where she came from? Where did she come from?

Why did the Fugitive Doctor's TARDIS look like a police telephone box when the First Doctor's TARDIS only took on that form when landing in 1963 in the series premiere?

It suggests a much lengthier history behind the Doctor and the TARDIS and for every question of the Doctor's origin that's answered, a new question has been raised, and if the Doctor's Time Lord heritage and Gallifreyan origins are no longer where she started, merely a middle ground of her life, then Chibnall's decision to remove the Time Lords and the planet after Steven Moffat restored them makes sense.

It also explains a lot of peculiar continuity errors over the years. The First Doctor said that he had been "exiled" from his home planet, but the Second Doctor later said that he had run away. The Third Doctor said that he had lived for "thousands" of years but the Fourth Doctor confirmed his age to be around 400 years and mentioned that his departure from Gallifrey had involved some scandal he'd fled (which reduces the distinction between exile and running away). There's also those Morbius faces)

The Sixth Doctor was constantly bragging about his experience, but the Seventh Doctor hinted that he had personally interacted with Rassilon and Omega, the founders of Gallifreyan society at the dawn of time which if the Sixth had remembered, he would have discussed repeatedly.

Then there's the confused memories: Seven says he doesn't remember ever being a child while Eight recalls lying in the grass with his father and Ten speaks of running across fields as a boy. It looks like the Doctor's memories were edited to remove her pre-Hartnell lives from mind, but each regeneration seems to have opened up more and more with the Third remembering "thousands of years," the fourth recalling the pre-Hartnell lives -- and even the Second Doctor starting to feel that leaving Gallifrey was due to a subconscious instinct that she had been exploited, experimented upon, abused (and a woman forced to live in a man's body) -- and that her supposed excommunication was in truth an escape.

That said, Chibnall's grasp of plot, action, situation, resolution and exposition remain shockingly poor. I'm not sure what this person is doing writing television. He's a great producer: the anamorphic lens filming, locations, lighting, blocking, interiors and effects are beautiful as is the music -- to the point where I may rewatch Series 11 and 12 with the sound off and the score playing and then fill in the stories myself.


What's most shocking is that he made his Ruth Doctor far more interesting as a character than his ground-up creation starting in series 11. Is he genuinely capable but slagging it all deliberately? That doesn't make sense either.

But he did demystify the show and there's no way to say he reintroduced mystery. Not with the level of crudity he's put in (oh look, someone whose name is in key with the opening theme music caused mass murder of numerous children to a being from a magical other universe where they probably ride on unicorns too, and just to reverse engineer some DNA in a radical form of theft.)   The grossest horror gross-out movies are tamer than Teletubbies by comparison to Chibnall's handiwork. Unless it's a lie made by the Master. But Chibnall claimed he wrote this plot back in high school. Yup, it's fanfic at its finest...


(32 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

TemporalFlux wrote:

I’ve been trying to give this a chance; but we’re now six episodes in, and I’m just not into it.  I also find it odd how much praise the new episodes are receiving, and even the ratings are good.  I’m a bit perplexed by it.  The rest of the post will contain spoilers if you haven’t yet seen the episodes.

21 episodes in now and while series 12 started with potential, it dropped everything by the end.

If I had to sum up the reason I’m not enjoying it, I would say the show has now become more drama than a fantasy sci-fi adventure.  Whittaker is not the problem; I think she could be a fine Doctor.  However, she’s not being given the material to work with.  In fact, my sense of the stories so far is that Whittaker’s Doctor is delegating out tasks to the point that she’s almost irrelevant.  I’ll put it this way - I don’t watch a James Bond movie to see him ask what everybody else thinks they should do.

Ensemble pieces are hard. Chibnall and his team are hit and miss with a lot of the storytelling, which sometimes feels rushed or clunky. Series 12's finale is also the most cringe-inducing fanfic.

Really, I’ve begun to wonder if the Doctor is now actually the surrogate voice of showrunner Chris Chibnall - a showrunner in over his head asking everyone else what they think the production should do.  Just look at the episodes so far and how bereft of imagination they are.

Most shows innovate. Fewer create. Good innovation allows a story to stand on its own, without people drawing and sticking to the material being borrowed from.  (think "Sliders" seasons 1 and 2 versus "Sliders" season 3.  Sliders season 3 and Chibnall's era are both identical in the scripting department, which is often cringey, 2D, and uninspired at best.  The actors I've seen in other shows; they're not the problem. I get the impression they're being told to play what's on paper and are not allowed add into these characters, which doesn't help.

The first episode felt like and looked like a 1990’s direct to video low budget sci-fi movie.  Alien hunter stalks the city in a sports hunt for humans.  Then he pulls off the helmet.  Tooth head!

The second episode is what’s left of a racing contest on a planet of ingenious traps like flying bed sheets and rejected sports gear robots from Sliders “Rules of the Game”.

Very loose sci-fi, if that.

The second episode uses a decent template and has some great guest actors as well... but "Rules of the Game" had far better writing. There's a comparison not made every day...  especially when their androids also can't aim straight. 

Rosa was an exception and was done pretty well even though the villain was underutilized.  But again, look at the grand ending.  The Doctor tells the others how Rosa’s mark on history will last forever, and she flings open the door to show them.  Do we see the flagship of the Earth Fleet named Rosa Parks?   Maybe the planet Rosa inhabited by people who uphold the ideals of civil rights?  No.  We see a rock.  I felt like that kid in the Charlie Brown Halloween special.

The Charlie Brown analogy will go far in Chibnall's era... sad

The villain was clearly shoehorned in, and needlessly given the strength of the story when he's not in it.

Then there’s the giant spider episode with Donald Trump.  We can forget for a minute that this story is just another tired Trump bashing exercise; but the spiders aren’t even as good as those in “Eight Legged Freaks” with Kari Wuhrer.  What’s the big resolution?  The big spider grows too large and suffocates under its own weight.  Nobody did anything to make it happen; it just happened.

Chibnall's era is almost schizoid; so much inconsistency within the episode - never mind in his own arc. Especially in a team of writers, a lot of issues got out the writers' room when most of them needn't have.

Then we get to the spaceship adventure, and who’s the threat of the week?  It’s Stitch from Disney’s “Lilo and Stitch”!   And I don’t mean as a metaphor; I mean literally.  Disney could probably win a copyright infringement lawsuit against the BBC.

The ideas is there but, in long standing Doctor Who tradition, the monster is "too cute". It doesn't help how much is played up for strictly laughs, rendering the whole piece pointless. 

One of his episodes was using something that looked 99% like Predator as well... or was that in series 12?

The most recent episode - didn’t even watch it.  Not sure I will.

Don't bother. Skip to "It Takes You Away".

Then "Spyfall". Then "Fugitive of the Judoon". Then the 2-part finale. Then wait for people to comment on series 13; chibnall is either doing something bigger to be resolved next year or he's really not interested in the show and 2 seasons' worth makes "not caring" seem far more what's going on. 

Looking back at Doctor Who since it returned under Russell Davies, the show hasn’t always had the big budget or the best actors; but it always had imagination.  Whether it be Cat people, carnivorous shadows or that big ole face in a jar, it was there.  An adventure. A spectacle.  There was always a plot thread - a big epic story that connected the entire season whether it was obvious or not.  Halfway through Chibnall’s first season, and I’m not seeing it.  It’s all gone.

Cat people were introduced in Classic Doctor Who.  The shadows and face jar were pretty nifty.  I disliked the flaunted spectacle but the adventure, based on Earth or not, was still there. Chibnall's is like a piece of paper with dots on it and you follow each of the numbers with a pencil and see what the connected dots add up to.

I don’t know.  I guess I’m posting this just to see if Ive lost my mind.  Everyone I see seems so into it and loving it.  I don’t get it.  Is it because the Doctor is a woman for the first time?  Are people afraid to say it’s bad for fear of diminishing that?  If so, that may be the one genius thing Chibnall has done in his Doctor Who run - he hid his inability behind a social agenda.

Chibnall's been acclaimed for other works. His Doctor Who and Torchwood works have been spotty at best. He's good for drama, but sci-fi is a radically different genre.  That was going on long before he became official showrunner.

Given the current epidemic and, go figure, the lead star is shirtless and on near-full display, those are two reasons "Fever" would be chosen.  And it's season 1 - three reasons! smile

I'd rather pay $400 for a blu-ray remastering of all 5 seasons, assuming the 35mm negs are still available. The show was likely edited on videotape, which means every episode would need a new wormhole, if nothing else.

(But I'll admit, the actual scripts are a nice piece of kit from the actual productions. Better to be in a collection than in a landfill.)

Hi all!  Am definitely happy to have stumbled on this forum and much appreciative of the add!

I saw this show in 1995 and more or less loved it instantly.

I still remember when season three came out and most episodes were a "movie of the week", with zero innovation,  inspiration, or twist.  Save for a couple episodes, like "Double Cross" that never got followed up on anyway and Logan was pretty novel as an idea for recurring adversary...   It's no wonder FOX sold it off to Syfy.  Who then made it too much Kromagg-centric...  then came season 5, a return to basics, a largely new cast that actually has the best chemistry since the original four, and with better production team and scripts compared to season 3... but it was too late. sad  Not to mention that finale, which was a big step downward... so glad Cleavant stayed the whole time!

Arturo was one of the best characters, if not the best (he and Remmy ruled when given some decent material.)   

Not sure if Arturo or Wade got the worst sendoff.

And assuming it was our Arturo that got that ridiculous demise; I got the impression it was the wrong Arturo who slid in PTSS...