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Old 12-07-2006, 02:55 PM
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Default David Tennant named 'best Dr Who'

Fans have named David Tennant the best ever Doctor Who in a poll, beating Tom Baker into second place.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6211584.stm?ls

Man, Valium must need a Valium right about now.

The thing that surprises me about this is not that DT is on top but that Peter Davison is way down the list. Sometimes I feel like the only Fifth Doctor fan on Earth.
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
Fans have named David Tennant the best ever Doctor Who in a poll, beating Tom Baker into second place.
Or, it's the fact that Dt is the current and latest doctor, and many of the fans now are young and stupid and vote for the latest one. Or because he's 'cute' or because they don't even know anyother doctors... Nothing against DT though.

I did watch 'The Three Doctors' again last night, (effects still as bad as ever) But boy was it good. Pertwee was great. Troughton too. I loved the way they played off each other. Like moody brothers. There were friends in real life though!
But anyway, thats the kind of doctor I liked, grandfather like but still young and funny. And kinda 'grand' speaking...with secrets in him....

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The thing that surprises me about this is not that DT is on top but that Peter Davison is way down the list. Sometimes I feel like the only Fifth Doctor fan on Earth.
I'm not a big fan of him, but don't mind some of his episodes. To me, though, the thing is this. There's a poll on another website about which doctor, on the TV (Medical, not 'The doctor') would you want to be treated by, in you were in trouble. Out of a bunch of them (JD from scrubs, Some from ER, etc)Who wins? House! The man that seems to have no morals! I was chatting to a friend and she said it's probley because people feel that he will do anything to save a patient, and you feel safe with him - like he knows everything. I think Pertwee and Baker played it a bit like that....always knowing everything and a quality that would make you feel safe even when the worst is happening. Davison...well I'm not so sure....
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Last edited by Burt; 12-07-2006 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:14 PM
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Very interesting. I'm handicapped by a lack of experience with the first eight Doctors, but personally, I would have voted for Eccleston over Tennant. It's downright tragic that he only stuck around for one season.
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Old 12-08-2006, 01:26 AM
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1. Can anyone really tell me what the big deal is with Doctor Who? It reminds me of people gushing about B5, when all I see is a show. A good show, no question, nice characters, but shows that force me to watch all of them in order to understand all the nuances (seriously, if you don't watch from Day One at least 80% of B5 goes right over your head) really tick me off.
2. How come they've never syndicated DW on regular TV? Late night on PBS, if nothing else.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:21 AM
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1. It's the longest-running science fiction series in the world. (I think.) Also, it's one of the few shows that can plausibly recast the main character every couple seasons to give the show a fresh new look and not suffer for plot or character development because of it. And the TARDIS is awesome.

2. Because they hate us.
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:45 AM
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Uh, I'm not so sure about that longest-running thing anymore. I think in terms of sheer number of seasons, yeah, but continuous...Stargate owns that title, and I get the feeling it's gonna hold it for awhile.
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Old 12-09-2006, 02:21 AM
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Or, it's the fact that Dt is the current and latest doctor, and many of the fans now are young and stupid and vote for the latest one. Or because he's 'cute' or because they don't even know anyother doctors...
Well, DT definitely has the "cute" and "energetic" thing going. I wonder about the lack of exposure to other Doctors -- I'd be interested to find out how much of the voting audience had either seen the classic series or watched the DVDs, which are coming out in a torrent in the US and the UK. Still, many (like Zeke) have only seen the new series. The poll is from Doctor Who magazine, and its subscribers are likely to be more hard-core fans -- but the magazine itself breathlessly hypes the current series at every turn, so there's a little bit of programming involved.

One thing's for sure, though: Tom Baker was "the" Doctor for ages because ... he was "the" Doctor for ages. It was self-perpetuating. If that spell is broken, the Fourth Doctor episodes are going to start to look dated. I think that's one reason that Pertwee did so well -- turning away from Tom for new fans meant looking at David Tennant, but for classic fans meant looking at Tom's predecessor. (Before anyone gets up in arms, I'm not ranking on Tom -- I think he turned in some brilliant stuff. It's just all a long time ago now.)

By the way, "Three Doctors" is fun, but -- wow. Not only are the effects bad, but the set design is really nasty, and some of the plot is very dumb. But the Pertwee-Troughton-Brigadier dynamic is a hoot.

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Uh, I'm not so sure about that longest-running thing anymore. I think in terms of sheer number of seasons, yeah, but continuous...Stargate owns that title, and I get the feeling it's gonna hold it for awhile.
I have a problem with this statistic. Stargate deserves credit for 203 continuous episodes without a break, which is what got it the Guiness record. That means Stargate achieved "the longest run of continous science fiction series episodes," which is impressive.

DW, however, delivered 695 episodes in consecutive seasons from 1963 to 1989. I'm not saying that's Better, or More Impressive. I'm saying that means DW is still the "longest running science fiction television series."

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Can anyone really tell me what the big deal is with Doctor Who?
The nice thing about DW is that you don't have to watch all the episodes to get it or enjoy it, any more than you have to with TOS. Sure, seeing earlier episodes will give you context, just like watching "The Corbomite Maneuver" gives you background for "The Deadly Years." But each serial of DW is self-contained. Even in theme seasons, you can watch "The Ribos Operation" and enjoy it completely without caring a bit about the Key to Time or what happens to it later.

Yes, there are obsessive fans of DW, and they get just as obsessive and stubborn and exclusively cliquey as B5 fans or anyone else. Ignore them. The joy of DW is that it centers without fail on how one outsider and his friends submerge themselves in someone else's crisis and use ingenuity, not violence, to resolve it -- though not without an emotion toll on themselves. The Doctor compelling because he made himself into this sort of wandering god, and after doing it for so long, with all else fallen away, with his home world destroyed and his whole people gone, there is no other way of being for him.

And in that respect Zeke is right -- no one portrayed that tragic aspect of the Doctor's character as well as Chris Eccleston. CE "got" it -- the Doctor is lonely and damaged and he keeps going on to new worlds and other people's disasters because that's all there is for him. David Tennant (deliberately, I'm sure) lightened that aspect of his character, but it shows through occasionally. In "School Reunion," he says to his adversary, "I'm so old now. I used to be so full of mercy. You get one warning from me -- that was it." Only the Tenth Doctor could have a line like that and convey what it really meant -- but partly because we'd seen its rawer form as revealed by Chris Eccleston. But getting back to what I said before, "School Reunion" is a delight even if you never saw Chris Eccleston's Doctor, and even if you have no idea who this woman is who claims to have once traveled with the Doctor long ago. It stands on its own just as well as it fits into the larger puzzle.

One thing has stayed constant over the whole 43 years of TV, radio, film, plays, and books. Even the most ham-handed hack episode writer has a job messing up this core concept, though many have tried. Ultimately, DW is about the trade-offs of having the power to do good, and how it changes you as a person and affects the people you care about.
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:25 AM
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You can have a problem with the statistic, but it's still true. Nya-nya.

Yes, I am juvenile. Maturity is overrated.

695 episodes. That's crazy. When you get to that point, I don't think it qualifies as a single series anymore. That's soap opera territory.

Actually, it sounds more like a franchise. There are five different (canonical) Trek series. They all derive from the same source, the same genius, but they are still VERY different.

Oh, and twenty-six years? Bluh-huh? Who comes up with that many stories for the "same" character without going insane?
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Old 12-09-2006, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Infinite Improbability View Post
Oh, and twenty-six years? Bluh-huh? Who comes up with that many stories for the "same" character without going insane?
This is a series that features living plastic, farting aliens (anyone up for The Curse of Fatal Death?), and a police box bigger on the inside than it is on the outside...that then travels through time and space. Sanity is the very, very least of one's concerns.

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Yes, I am juvenile. Maturity is overrated.
And with that personality trait, you're not watching Doctor Who why? Farting aliens, dude.
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Infinite Improbability View Post
Actually, it sounds more like a franchise. There are five different (canonical) Trek series. They all derive from the same source, the same genius, but they are still VERY different.
Interesting point, and the way fans talk about the ten Doctors (not even mentioning the extra, non-canonical Doctors (speaking of Curse of the Fatal Death -- or how about Scream of the Shalka?)), it often sounds like ten different series.

The main difference is that unlike the ST franchises, all 10 DW "series" follow the same character and have the same (albeit, evolving) premise. So you're also following the long story of one man having endless adventures and being changed by them. "School Reunion" showed the Doctor interacting with Sarah Jane not as the 10th Doctor, not as the 4th Doctor, but as the Doctor.

That said, yeah, it does get silly "occasionally." Fortunately no one works on it for very long. And there is occasionally repetition, though not so much now as in the late 60s. This week: the Cybermen attack an isolated base -- yes, again!
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:14 PM
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I'm not sure if the "same main character=same series" argument really works or not, so let's move on...

I'm not watching DW because it's not on regular TV. I thought we'd established that.
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:03 PM
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I'm not watching DW because it's not on regular TV. I thought we'd established that.
Got a DVD player? Either that or bittorrent and a defecit in conscience.

...hey, you could watch the Shalka episodes. They're Flash animations on the BBC website, and one's soul doesn't need to be sold to see 'em.
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:19 PM
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Hey, it's cool if you don't watch, it's cool if you don't like it. We all have our things. I don't want to be the guy who gets wound up if people don't like his show. My original responses were to the question of why people like it, but I'm not going to beat anybody over the head. It's all good, OK, Nate?
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:33 PM
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That was an excellent huge mother of a post, Scooter. You guys have reminded me I've gotta track down some older DW material.

By the way, did anyone else read Hejira's comment about "farting aliens" and immediately think Farscape?
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:32 AM
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Okay, let me reiterate. No cable, no DirectTV, no uberDVD player, no DVD-Rs, no piles of cash just waiting to be spent on DVD sets. Sorry, but the first few hundred bucks that magically pop out of thin air are going to Trek and Stargate sets, not DW.

As for bittorrent, no cable Internet and a few scruples. I sort of follow the idea of "if you can obtain it legally, don't take it for nothing. If you can't obtain it legally, then maybe you can download it." Still stinks, though, because the thing that I really want that I'll never get is Keen 6. The owners of the copyright (not Apogee et al) went belly-up, so you can only get it through the uberrare iD Anthology set. It's still floating around eBay and such, so it's still obtainable "legally," so no one's ripped it yet. A shame.
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:34 PM
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The Doctor is the Doctor is the Doctor, though he's also the guy with two hearts.

I'm not surpised by the poll. I personally wouldn't list Tennant as my favourite Doctor, because I couldn't now list any of them as my favourite. I just like the whole of the character too much to choose only one facet of it as being the best in my eyes.

I'd recommend, Zeke (and anyone else who is interested) in keeping an eye out for the tie-in novels. There are plenty that are worth reading, and certainly no shortage to choose from - there are more than a hundred that have been published by the BBC so far, and I know there are at least fifty or sixty of the Virgin novels as well (though they're all at least a decade out of print now, and harder to come by).
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Infinite Improbability View Post
2. How come they've never syndicated DW on regular TV? Late night on PBS, if nothing else.
I was picking up some DW DVD's at the library the other day and the librarian mentioned that she glad that they had brought the series back and she missed watching it on PBS.... but I really don't know how long it was that she was watching it.


The only Doctors I’ve seen much of are the 4th 9th and 10th (I know the names of the actors but I’m sure I’d butcher the spelling and I’m to lazy tonight to look them up ) and i couldn't possibly pick which of those is my favorite.
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