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Doctor Who in the Media

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8 hours ago, Kite said:

I had to look this up to check! I don't know if you get BBC America differently in different places, but when I searched for the show on its schedule, it's telling me  there's a new ep at 8pm on the 4th. (Also on the BBC UK and ABC in Australia schedules.) Phew!

(Although with time zones and schedule changes Australian fans are now bemoaning having to watch on Monday, luckily ABC politely fast tracks it online to sunrise.)

 

7 hours ago, chitowngirl said:

There is a Doctor Who episode. The TV grid might have it an hour later because of the time change occurring early Sunday morning. The grids will “shift” after the time change.

Thanks! It’s very possible that my cable provider has the schedule wrong. There is an episode of original Doctor Who scheduled to air on Saturday, part 6, also about spiders, that is confusing me. I’ll check after the time change.

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For a bit of fun, last night on Strictly Stacey Dooley (the TV journalist) and Kevin Clifton did the Tango to the Doctor Who theme tune. Stacey was (of course) 13 and Kevin was a Cyberman. I thought they did a pretty good job!

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2 hours ago, rab01 said:

It's like they were reading the boards here for the past several days ;)

Yeah...I've been trying to decide how I feel about it, and now I think I agree with the article and other posters here.

Full disclosure: I've not watched any Doctor Who: Original Recipe episodes. I know Doctors in the past have had multiple companions, but were they all introduced together, at the same time as the Doctor? I kind of feel like I'm trying to get to know a new Doctor, AND three new companions - all at once and in a limited amount of time - and as a result, even after four episodes, I don't feel like I know ANY of them well. That's affecting my ability to fully immerse myself in the stories, if that makes sense.

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30 minutes ago, TwirlyGirly said:

Yeah...I've been trying to decide how I feel about it, and now I think I agree with the article and other posters here.

Full disclosure: I've not watched any Doctor Who: Original Recipe episodes. I know Doctors in the past have had multiple companions, but were they all introduced together, at the same time as the Doctor?

Only in the first ever episode, which obviously had to introduce the Doctor and all three companions at the same time. After that, companions almost always overlapped, when there were multiple companions, so that there were characters we already knew on board to ease the introduction of the newbie. Which does make it a lot easier to balance the introductions, I think. But there's been a lot of variation in the show, over the years, so I'm just trying to think of the times when there were three companions on board. It was the initial status quo, in the early 60s, but dropped to two after the first season or so - then up to three again for a short time, but two soon became more standard. Then there was the UNIT era, when the Doctor was stranded on Earth, when there was just one standard 'companion' figure but also a supporting cast - but that supporting cast was actually the note of continuity in the show at the time, because we'd met them before. Then there were three companions again for a time in the 80s, but they came aboard one at a time - in successive adventures, sure, but since each adventure spanned several episodes, it allowed time for the audience to get to know each one before the next arrived.

This season, though, has found it a struggle to balance the three companions. I like all three, I like their characters and their stories and their dynamics as a group, there's some really interesting stuff going on there...but the show is definitely finding it hard to do justice to them all, in the time available.

For me, two companions is the ideal TARDIS crew - two companions who come aboard separately, preferably from different planets or eras!

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I agree that they took on too many too quickly. I can see from gender dynamics story telling reasons why they wouldn't want just one companion but it's too many. I still think it will be fine by the end of the season (some of the episodes may end up being better on rewatch).

If they'd left Graham behind for the racing episode and picked him up in the spiders episode (and flipped Rosa because he's important to being there), I think it would have helped all the characterizations fall into place.

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I have no problem with getting to know a new Doctor and three companions. I feel like I understand enough about each of them to be invested in them. I look forward to getting to know more of them and I like their interactions together.

I feel like I know them as well as I knew any of the other single/double companions by this time. I am appreciative that none of them are special snowflakes and just normal people. I don't really need to know much about them to care or enjoy spending time with them. And I much prefer a crowded Tardis to one companion. There's just lots more to play with. 

The only thing I don't like about it is, with all this backlash they are getting, I fear they might decide to kill one off. 

Thinking about it, if people can't handle a new cast of four how do they ever manage watching a new show? I mean, every new show ever has a ton of new characters to get to know. Maybe it's because I look at each new Doctor as a new show, so the cast doesn't bother me. I have no trouble getting to know a whole four person cast. I've handled bigger casts than that. 

Edited by Mabinogia
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The problem is all three people f the companions are necessary for the stories so far and I have zero problems getting to know them with a new Doctor.   As a matter of fact I think this is the best season in awhile. 

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13 minutes ago, Mabinogia said:

I have no problem with getting to know a new Doctor and three companions. I feel like I understand enough about each of them to be invested in them. I look forward to getting to know more of them and I like their interactions together.

I feel like I know them as well as I knew any of the other single/double companions by this time. I am appreciative that none of them are special snowflakes and just normal people. I don't really need to know much about them to care or enjoy spending time with them. And I much prefer a crowded Tardis to one companion. There's just lots more to play with.

I usually prefer a crowded TARDIS too, and I think three companions can work, as long as they are actually given something to do each week - there've been long spells this season when they were just trailing along after the Doctor like so many ducklings, and she has developed a bad habit of talking to them and about them as a group, rather than developing individual relationships with each one. That, for me, has been the trouble. I like it better when they are split up, given opportunities to run sub-plots...which is a subject I think I'll take to the latest episode thread now!

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3 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

I have no problem with getting to know a new Doctor and three companions. I feel like I understand enough about each of them to be invested in them. I look forward to getting to know more of them and I like their interactions together.

I feel like I know them as well as I knew any of the other single/double companions by this time. I am appreciative that none of them are special snowflakes and just normal people. I don't really need to know much about them to care or enjoy spending time with them. And I much prefer a crowded Tardis to one companion. There's just lots more to play with. 

The only thing I don't like about it is, with all this backlash they are getting, I fear they might decide to kill one off. 

Thinking about it, if people can't handle a new cast of four how do they ever manage watching a new show? I mean, every new show ever has a ton of new characters to get to know. Maybe it's because I look at each new Doctor as a new show, so the cast doesn't bother me. I have no trouble getting to know a whole four person cast. I've handled bigger casts than that. 

I agree with this.  I think that part of the problem with NuWho until now has been the overly emo quality of the relationship between the Doctor and his companions which has pushed towards one (one of the things that was a relief about 12 and Bill was that there was Nardole as well).  The NuWho Tardi tended to keep the world at bay outside of their extra special bubble (I am looking at you both Rose and Clara).  I loved Amy and Rory because it was more than a dyad.  Even Donna and Martha had far too much of the what are we doing quality for me. 

3 hours ago, Llywela said:

I usually prefer a crowded TARDIS too, and I think three companions can work, as long as they are actually given something to do each week - there've been long spells this season when they were just trailing along after the Doctor like so many ducklings, and she has developed a bad habit of talking to them and about them as a group, rather than developing individual relationships with each one. That, for me, has been the trouble. I like it better when they are split up, given opportunities to run sub-plots...which is a subject I think I'll take to the latest episode thread now!

Good point.  Of course there was some of that in Arachnids and we it worked well.

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6 minutes ago, call me ishmael said:

I agree with this.  I think that part of the problem with NuWho until now has been the overly emo quality of the relationship between the Doctor and his companions

I do not miss that at all. I like that they aren't all so deeply connected yet. They've only been together for a short time. I like the slow relationship growth, and slowly getting to know the characters. I'm not in any rush. I'm hoping they will be around for a while. I had to suffer through Clara for what seemed like an eternity (and quite honestly, I skilled most of her run and it still felt like eternity) so I welcome some nice normal not at all special folks who don't automatically know how to work along side the Doctor in outer space or in another era. I know it would take me a while to get my sea legs even though I'd love to get swept away in the Tardis someday. 

Doctor, please come find me!

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I found an immediate___ connection with Rose Tyler,Martha Jones,Donna Noble,Amy Pond,Claire Oswald, and of course River Song. I even enjoyed Bill Potts Nardole and who didn't love Sara Jane Smith?   I don't feel any_ connection with any of the new companions and I like JW, I can tell she's doing her best with the writing she's having to work with. BBCAmerica ran the episode called Day Of The  Doctor after the Tsuranga Conumdrum.   The writing of TDOTD was amazing compared to the new series. 

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On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 3:08 PM, Mabinogia said:

I have no problem with getting to know a new Doctor and three companions. I feel like I understand enough about each of them to be invested in them. I look forward to getting to know more of them and I like their interactions together.

I feel like I know them as well as I knew any of the other single/double companions by this time. I am appreciative that none of them are special snowflakes and just normal people. I don't really need to know much about them to care or enjoy spending time with them. And I much prefer a crowded Tardis to one companion. There's just lots more to play with. 

The only thing I don't like about it is, with all this backlash they are getting, I fear they might decide to kill one off. 

Thinking about it, if people can't handle a new cast of four how do they ever manage watching a new show? I mean, every new show ever has a ton of new characters to get to know. Maybe it's because I look at each new Doctor as a new show, so the cast doesn't bother me. I have no trouble getting to know a whole four person cast. I've handled bigger casts than that. 

So much this.

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On 11/4/2018 at 3:08 PM, Mabinogia said:

I have no problem with getting to know a new Doctor and three companions. I feel like I understand enough about each of them to be invested in them. I look forward to getting to know more of them and I like their interactions together.

I feel like I know them as well as I knew any of the other single/double companions by this time. I am appreciative that none of them are special snowflakes and just normal people. I don't really need to know much about them to care or enjoy spending time with them. And I much prefer a crowded Tardis to one companion. There's just lots more to play with. 

The only thing I don't like about it is, with all this backlash they are getting, I fear they might decide to kill one off. 

Thinking about it, if people can't handle a new cast of four how do they ever manage watching a new show? I mean, every new show ever has a ton of new characters to get to know. Maybe it's because I look at each new Doctor as a new show, so the cast doesn't bother me. I have no trouble getting to know a whole four person cast. I've handled bigger casts than that. 

On the other hand...

I feel like Ryan and Yaz have absolutely NO personality. Yes, they have "character development" in that we've checked off bullet points for their backstory, but I haven't felt any of that shine through in their personalities. We've been told things about them, but none of that has actually affected how they act in the episodes we have seen. If they disappeared tomorrow I wouldn't care.

Go back and watch each of their introductions and then think through the subsequent episodes and think if those characteristics we were told about have any impact on their actions.

Has Ryan had to try harder at things because of his dyspraxia? Has he shown to be relentless because he has always struggled more than other people? Or has he been shown to give up easily when he stumbles at something? Or... has it simply not been a factor?

Has Yaz shown herself to be a go-getter who's ready for the real thing not content with a bit role? Has she always been looking to step in to protect the rest of the crew and take charge of the situation because of her police training? Or... has she simply been there?

If suddenly Ryan were a 20-something aspiring musician who was too lazy to get a real job and Yaz a 40 year old professional woman from Germany it wouldn't change anything about how the episodes play out. You could insert those characters into their roles and it would barely change the script.

Graham has started to bring a little bit of something that those two haven't, but he's getting bogged down by his story (and terrible writing) in a way that is more a drag than anything else.

I get that some people are enjoying the show still and have different perspectives and that's completely fine! I'm glad someone is. But for some of us it's really difficult to see past its many brightly glaring flaws.

Thinking about it, if the writers can't handle a new cast of four how do they ever manage writing a new show? I mean, every new show ever has a ton of characters to get to know. Maybe it's because I look at each new Doctor as a new show, so the poor writing bothers me. I have no trouble getting to know a whole four person cast, I've handled bigger casts than that.

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2 hours ago, ae2 said:

If suddenly Ryan were a 20-something aspiring musician who was too lazy to get a real job and Yaz a 40 year old professional woman from Germany it wouldn't change anything about how the episodes play out. You could insert those characters into their roles and it would barely change the script.

Graham has started to bring a little bit of something that those two haven't, but he's getting bogged down by his story (and terrible writing) in a way that is more a drag than anything else.

I get that some people are enjoying the show still and have different perspectives and that's completely fine! I'm glad someone is. But for some of us it's really difficult to see past its many brightly glaring flaws.

I can see your point. For instance if Yaz had been a 40 year old German woman she clearly would have had to wonder where to sit in the bus in Rosa or had her authority as a police person challenged in Arachnid.  And I am sure that her family would have been pressing her to get together with someone rather than trying to become a police officer.  Ryan's anxiety about ladders into darkness would certainly have come into play "for any 20 something aspiring musician who was too lazy to get a real job" as would the racial politics in the 1950s.  

Basically what you see as "brightly glaring flaws" some of us see as slowly (perhaps too slowly) developing characters.  But in contrast to ROSE!!!!! or THE IMPOSSIBLE GIRL!!! or even THE GIRL WHO WAITED!!! (who I admit was my favorite) I don't mind having people unfold a bit each week.  And I certainly think that in the first three episodes (I haven't been able to watch the 4th) who they are specifically factored into the story line.

But I do get that others may feel less patient.  And that is fine too.

Edited by call me ishmael · Reason: clarification
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7 hours ago, ae2 said:

Has Yaz shown herself to be a go-getter who's ready for the real thing not content with a bit role? Has she always been looking to step in to protect the rest of the crew and take charge of the situation because of her police training?

Yes. On multiple occasions this season I have noticed Yaz stepping forward to investigate on her own initiative, choosing to go with the Doctor while the others do as they are told and stay put. Neither she nor the show make a big deal about those moments, but they are there and I have taken note of them. She has clearly recognised that she can learn a lot from the Doctor, more than she ever could have on her police training, and is eager to do so.

I mean, I agree with your general point that the companions haven't been given sharply delineated personalities with obvious ticks and quirks for us to latch onto, and 'generally good-hearted' does describe them all, but they definitely are individuals - Ryan is prone to sullen prickliness, Yaz is very eager and enthusiastic, etc.

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I have read that it takes 9+ months to shoot this show. Does that mean the cast shooting or post-production as well? If it's shooting, why does it take so long to shoot 10ish episodes?

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21 hours ago, Llywela said:

I mean, I agree with your general point that the companions haven't been given sharply delineated personalities with obvious ticks and quirks for us to latch onto, and 'generally good-hearted' does describe them all, but they definitely are individuals - Ryan is prone to sullen prickliness, Yaz is very eager and enthusiastic, etc.

Yeah, instead they are portrayed as actual human beings. I mean, really, I don't think I can define many of my friends by their quirky personality traits. Yaz, Ryan and Graham feel like normal, everyday people. I get that, after a series of impossible waiting love interests it might seem like without some kind of catchy title these characters are underdeveloped but the truth is, they are being slowly unraveled as people rather than given a short cut to a personality. 

 

On 11/8/2018 at 9:12 PM, call me ishmael said:

But in contrast to ROSE!!!!! or THE IMPOSSIBLE GIRL!!! or even THE GIRL WHO WAITED!!! (who I admit was my favorite) I don't mind having people unfold a bit each week.  And I certainly think that in the first three episodes (I haven't been able to watch the 4th) who they are spercifically factored into the story line.

Yeah, Rose, Clara and even Amy (who, of those three, is the only one I even liked (she's second to Donna in my all time rankings) are how not to develop a character. If that is what someone is used to, then I can see why characters like Yaz, Ryan and Graham seem somehow less. It's harder to get to know a character when you are getting to know the actual personality of a person and not some super important plot point.

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12 hours ago, DanaK said:

I have read that it takes 9+ months to shoot this show. Does that mean the cast shooting or post-production as well? If it's shooting, why does it take so long to shoot 10ish episodes?

It does include post-production, but I've always wondered myself why it takes so long to shoot each episode - and then one day a couple of years ago, a particular scene was filmed around the corner from where I work, and by that I mean, on a street I walk along to get to work, so I couldn't miss them, walked right through the middle of it all several times during the course of the day. They were setting up the location for the shoot first thing in the morning as I came through (I got to see a bunch of headless Cybermen wandering around, which was slightly spoilery for the coming season, I felt!). At lunch, I walked that way twice to get to the shops and back, and found them rehearsing (Peter Capaldi was tirelessly sitting for photos during his break). Then in the evening, as I left work, I had to take a detour, because they were actually filming the scene at last so I couldn't get through. They were an entire day on location for a single scene - getting everything set up properly, rehearsing, and then finally filming. That's why it takes so long to shoot. They do a lot on location, which means moving everyone and setting up and all the rest of it all over again for each new location.

Long gone are the days when they filmed an entire episode a week in a 90-minute studio slot on a Friday evening!

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Ryan and Yaz aren't being developed slowly at all, they burst into the first episode with their character histories and personalities completely on show and they get big character moments to hammer home every week. They're just a little boring. I'm all for "normal" companions, but they need to be "TV normal". Even reality TV shows expressly about ordinary people don't feature tired office workers coming home and silently watching netflix for a few hours. I enjoy hanging around with my mates, but a 13 episode TV show about us would be shit. I think Yaz and particularly Ryan veer too far into that kind of normal that doesn't make for watchable TV, though to be fair with Ryan it's largely the actor's fault for being so completely unengaging. They do, however, get the balance right with Graham, salt of the earth ordinary bloke who is just slightly odd, enough to catch and hold your attention. 

I think three companions is a great idea, it creates the opportunity for the Doctor to act and react differently depending on who she's with, but I don't think they've really utilised that very well so far. I see it a little with Yaz, so looking forward to more of that.

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On 11/2/2018 at 12:12 PM, rur said:

I haz a sad. Christmas is the wrong time to break traditions.

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OMG...I'm DYING:

 

"If you were in the U.S. last night and wanted to watch 'Kerblam!' on Amazon Video (the only way to stream Who’s latest season outside of BBC America’s app)...you instead got another episode entirely. In fact, you got 'The Witchfinders', which is set to air in the UK and the US this coming Sunday. 

On top of that, if you tried to watch the episode with closed captions on, you actually got the captions for 'Kerblam!' rather than 'The Witchfinders', leading to very bizarre situations where people from 17th century Lancashire were talking about delivery robots and warehouse conveyors."

ROTFLOL!!!!

https://io9.gizmodo.com/amazon-accidentally-streamed-the-next-episode-of-doctor-1830609009/amp

Edited by TwirlyGirly

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On 11/22/2018 at 5:09 PM, RandomWatcher said:

The haters must be wetting themselves panting for this to be true.  Well, Eccleston left after one season because he was unhappy so I guess it's possible.  However, it's also possible that the source of this is some shit stirrer hoping their fervent wish will become reality.

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29 minutes ago, tessaray said:

There does seem to be some BTS drama going on, with Chibnall not happy at all.  So I wouldn't be surprised if he left early.  

Could you point to some examples of such, please and thank you?  

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Sorry, I don't have anything tangible. But I'm on a private, mostly British DW group that has a member who has had good info in the past. And you can see the effect outwardly by the public discussion that there may only be 6 episodes in 2019 (if that). For most BBC shows that isn't a big deal but DW has a lot riding on regular seasons and licensing deals.

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I am confused. Who is Chibnall supposed to be unhappy with? The BBC?  He just started on the job. Shakes head. There has to be some fresh talent for whom running Doctor Who would be their dream job.

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7 hours ago, magdalene said:

I am confused. Who is Chibnall supposed to be unhappy with? The BBC?  He just started on the job. Shakes head. There has to be some fresh talent for whom running Doctor Who would be their dream job.

I'm sure I read somewhere that a lot of potential showrunners are very reluctant to take on Doctor Who - they see it as having too much baggage to even contemplate taking on. Too big, too unwieldy, too much history to get their heads around, massive fandom prepared to eat alive anyone who gets it wrong. It is why Steven Moffat stayed on longer than he really wanted to, because he couldn't find anyone willing to replace him. I'm sure I also read that Chibnall didn't really want to take the job - probably because he knew he'd be slaughtered by the fans, as indeed is happening - but took it out of love for the show, not wanting to see it fold for want of a showrunner.

Now, I might have imagined reading all that, but I don't think so. It should be a prestigious job for some ambitious up-and-comer...but it is also a hugely daunting job that puts a lot of people off.

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I wasn't really paying close attention at the time and hadn't heard that Chibnall didn't really want the job but do remember hearing that there was a good chance Doctor Who was due for a "rest". 

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10 hours ago, Llywela said:

I'm sure I read somewhere that a lot of potential showrunners are very reluctant to take on Doctor Who - they see it as having too much baggage to even contemplate taking on. Too big, too unwieldy, too much history to get their heads around, massive fandom prepared to eat alive anyone who gets it wrong. It is why Steven Moffat stayed on longer than he really wanted to, because he couldn't find anyone willing to replace him. I'm sure I also read that Chibnall didn't really want to take the job - probably because he knew he'd be slaughtered by the fans, as indeed is happening - but took it out of love for the show, not wanting to see it fold for want of a showrunner.

Now, I might have imagined reading all that, but I don't think so. It should be a prestigious job for some ambitious up-and-comer...but it is also a hugely daunting job that puts a lot of people off.

It's so sad that the Doctor Who fandom has become so toxic.  I used to love watching the Doctor Who reactors on YouTube but I had to stop  Reading the comments now with there being so many vile and hateful comments just puts me off Doctor Who altogether.

Well,  their hate may keep talented people from wanting anything to do with producing Doctor Who like you say. Then they won't have any new Who.  I hope that will make them happy.

Edited by magdalene
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I always thought Benedict Cumberbatch would have been an excellent Doctor Who  after Peter Capaldi.  He could jump start this series with a new companion and her family  in the storyline, like has been done before with Rose Tyler.  

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When there is talk of the fans of a particular TV show or movie franchise (or even, as in the case of GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire, a book series) being "toxic", I find the problem to almost invariably be with the creators, not the fans. Dividing your fan base into supporters and "haters" is not good long-term strategy. You need to keep everyone on board, and indeed most TV shows and movie franchises do this.

The MCU, for instance, or the Good Place tv show, or the Mission Impossible movie franchise haven't divided their fan bases.

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On 11/29/2018 at 9:14 PM, clack said:

When there is talk of the fans of a particular TV show or movie franchise (or even, as in the case of GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire, a book series) being "toxic", I find the problem to almost invariably be with the creators, not the fans. Dividing your fan base into supporters and "haters" is not good long-term strategy. You need to keep everyone on board, and indeed most TV shows and movie franchises do this.

The MCU, for instance, or the Good Place tv show, or the Mission Impossible movie franchise haven't divided their fan bases.

That's a LOT easier when you have one main show/movie since you can basically keep doing what works with your main stars.  If Tom Cruise decides to hang them up and they bring some new person to lead IMF teams then the Mission Impossible base will split (same as with the Bourne series).  The Good Place won't maintain its current fans if the cast gets banished to oblivion and a bunch of fresh new people are brought in.  A book to film/TV show adaptation will also piss some fans off because something has to be cut/consolidated.  The MCU is a special case since almost everyone seems to love it BUT if characters like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are replaced by Jim Rhodes and Bucky Barnes (or Sam Wilson) in future movies then you can bet the house that some fans will bitch.

The current Doctor will always act differently from his or her predecessor, which will inevitably make some fans unhappy.  It will also make some fans unbelievably happy since some are relieved to say good riddance to a particular incarnation.  The same applies to the various show runners.

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On 11/30/2018 at 2:14 AM, clack said:

When there is talk of the fans of a particular TV show or movie franchise (or even, as in the case of GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire, a book series) being "toxic", I find the problem to almost invariably be with the creators, not the fans. Dividing your fan base into supporters and "haters" is not good long-term strategy. You need to keep everyone on board, and indeed most TV shows and movie franchises do this.

Because some fandoms are toxic, and there's no denying it. I'm not talking about people with different opinions on their show. I'm talking about people who make life miserable for everyone else - fellow fans, actors, showrunners, everyone - and give their fellow fans a bad name. People who send death threats because their 'ship' never became canon (or because someone else dared to suggest it is never likely to). That kind of thing. It tends to be larger fandoms that have this problem, just because of the scale of the thing.

There's a post floating around Tumblr that sums the problem up perfectly, lemme dig it out - it's here, but I'm also going to quote it, because it is relevant:

Quote

Basically, the 1% Theory dictates that in every fandom, on average, 1% of the fans will be a pure, unsalvageable tire fire. We’re talking the people who do physical harm over their fandom, who start riots, cannot be talked down. The sort of things public news stories are made of. We’re not talking necessarily bad fans here- we’re talking people who take this thing so seriously they are willing to start a goddamn fist fight over nothing. The worst of the worst.

The reason I bring this up is because the 1% Theory ties into an important visual of fandom knowledge- that bigger fandoms are always perceived as “worse”, and at a certain point, a fandom always gets big enough to “go bad”. Let me explain.

Say you have a small fandom, like 500 people- the 1% Theory says that out of those 500, only 5 of them will be absolute nutjobs. This is incredibly manageable- it’s five people. The fandom and world at large can easily shut them out, block them, ignore their ramblings. The fandom is a “nice place”.

Now say you have a medium sized fandom- say 100,000 people. Suddenly, the 1% Theory ups your level of calamity to a whopping 1000 people. That’s a lot. That’s a lot for anyone to manage. It is, by nature of fandom, impossible to “manage” because no one owns fan spaces. People start to get nervous. There’s still so much good, but oof, 1000 people.

Now say you have a truly massive fandom- I use Homestuck here because I know the figures. At it’s peak, Homestuck had approximately FIVE MILLION active fans around the globe.

By the 1% Theory, that’s 50,000 people. Fifty THOUSAND starting riots, blackmailing creators, contributing to the worst of the worst of things.

There’s a couple of important points to take away here, in my opinion.

1) The 1% will always be the loudest, because people are always looking for new drama to follow.

2) Ultimately, it is 1%. It is only 1%. I can’t promise the other 99% are perfect, loving angels, but the “terrible fandom” is still only 1% complete utter garbage.

3) No fandom should ever be judged by their 1%. Big fandoms always look worse, small fandoms always look better. It’s not a good metric.

A 'toxic' fandom isn't a problem caused by the writers dividing fans into 'good' or 'bad'. It is very definitely a problem caused by fans, getting over-invested and out-of-control. The writers cannot please everyone, it is impossible, because everyone has different ideas - and they also shouldn't write just to appease fans, not even to silence the loudest voices. They have to be true to their own story, and pandering to the whims of outsiders can only weaken that story.

In the case of Doctor Who, this is a 55-year-old show with a very fluid canon, whose fans have come into the fandom at a massive variety of different jumping on points over the years and therefore have an equally massive variety of opinions on what 'real' Doctor Who looks like. A toxic fandom is one where those differences of opinion are out of control and make the fandom a miserable place for absolutely everyone - and as the theory above states, it is always only a tiny percentage of that fandom that actually is toxic. The problem is that they tend to be the loudest voices.

Edited by Llywela
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That tumblir theory is bullshit.

There is no sociological or demographic law that determines that, regardless of the ongoing quality of the TV show or movie franchise, 1% of the fandom will become toxic, if by "toxic" we mean fans who express their unhappiness online or in the media in a vociferous though non-threatening manner, which is how the term is used in most cases. (Obviously, death threats are another matter).

Star Wars fans get called "toxic" merely because they hate the most recent installment, or Ghostbusters fans because they decried the reboot. And in both cases, the "haters" probably add up to more than 1% of the total fandom.

Now, I think it silly that someone can become so invested in some ongoing fictional world that they become emotionally upset rather than, say, just stop watching the show, but people do become emotionally invested and, what's more -- the creators of the show seek to cultivate that investment.

'Who' wants fans to cosplay as the characters and to invest in the mythology. Chibnall and the BBC want fans to care about the show, to consider it special, to love it, and the fact that a significant portion currently do not should be a cause of concern, and not be shrugged away with a "a proportion of the fan base will hate us no matter what we do" attitude.

Bring in better writers. Two or three classic episodes of, say, 'Blink' quality would quickly quiet the naysayers.

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You are taking the 'theory' too literally. It doesn't mean that exactly 1% of every fandom will always be out of control, it was simply written as a reminder that in some fandoms that, yes, feel incredibly toxic to be around, the people who are making everyone else miserable are a minority (1% is a generalisation, not a literal statement). The trouble is that a very loud minority can very easily give the fandom at large a bad name. That's what a 'toxic' fandom is - one that has a very loud minority of out of control fans giving everyone else a bad name and making that fandom a very uncomfortable if not downright hostile place to be for other people who are just trying to enjoy their show. The point of the theory is that the larger the fandom, the bigger the pool of fans of all descriptions, therefore the number of out of control fans is likely to be proportionally larger - and the larger the number of these out of control individuals, the more noise they are able to make, and the more they tend to drown out everyone else, because that's just how the echo chamber works.

Sure, the word toxic might get thrown around a little too much, but there are definitely cases where it absolutely applies, and claiming otherwise is simply not true. I've been in and made a sharp exit from fandoms that were absolutely appalling.

I don't personally think the Doctor Who fandom at large is toxic, but I know there are some corners of it that absolutely are, and I'm not talking about people here with different opinions on this season (fans having different opinions on a season of Doctor Who is just business as usual).

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And all I'm saying that having a significant portion of your fans hating the direction that you are taking your show is bad for business, and that these fans shouldn't be blamed for being the problem because they don't like the current series. Listen to these fans , and address their concerns if at all possible. Granted, there may be cases when it's not possible, and a show might be willing to write off a portion of their current viewers in the hope of bringing new viewers in to replace them.

For instance, those viewers lost when the Doctor switched gender seems so far to have been replaced by new viewers attracted by the switch. Anyway, the choice has been made, and the BBC has to ride it out. It's too late to fix it even if it needed fixing, which it doesn't, imo.

But there are other adjustments that can be made in scripting, companions, tone, what have you, to address the criticisms  of those who have accepted the new Doctor ( however reluctantly in some cases) and yet who are nonetheless dissatisfied with this current series.

It's easy to blame the fans. It's hard to tell better stories.

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It is impossible to please all the fans, because what many of them want are diametrically opposed from one another - try to please this segment of the fandom, and you will alienate that segment of the fandom. And some of those people are prepared to go to war over what they want.

But I think we are talking about different things, really. You are talking about what Doctor Who writers can do to improve the show. But since you had questioned the concept of a toxic fandom, I am trying to explain that yes, some of them really are - the bigger the fandom, the greater the potential for crazy - and there really is very little the writers can do about it. Some fandoms really do develop an element that is so toxic that the quality or otherwise of the writing is really a moot point. I remember a show once where someone I knew decided early on that the father and his daughter had such a strong and complex relationship that they were inevitably going to get together at some point, and then spent the next four seasons spitting nails at the show for not telling a story about the father-daughter incest she had convinced herself was inevitable - she wasn't interested in the actual stories being told, good or bad, only in the scenario she'd created in her head out of thin air that was never, ever going to be realised on-screen. It wasn't possible to hold a conversation about any other aspect of the show because she would hijiack it to scream about her incest-ship and how blind everyone was for not seeing it. She poisoned the fandom experience of everyone around her. So should those writers have pandered to her, because her hatred was bad for business? No. From their point of view, she was just one voice in the crowd, all screaming for different things. You can't please everyone, and some of those people should not be pleased. The writers have to be true to the story they are telling, or that story will start disintegrating under the pressure of trying to be all things to all people.

A lot of it isn't even about what anyone wants or expects to see on-screen. It is about fans and fan works, and people feeling entitled to police what other people enjoy. In the early days of fandom, you'd get people standing outside someone else's door at conventions, to stop other people buying a zine with the 'wrong' ship in it - these days, they send death threats via private messages. That is toxic fandom: when debate becomes harassment.

Of course, the writers should endeavour to make their story as good as it can possibly be, which will hold the bulk of the market - I'm just trying to explain that there is no pleasing the nutcases, and that the bigger the fandom the more of those nutcases there are likely to be, and the louder they will become, amplifying one another's voices and poisoning the fandom experience of those around them.

But, you know, if you've never experienced that side of fandom, then good for you.

We are going to have to agree to disagree.

Edited by Llywela
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On 11/18/2018 at 5:01 PM, NeenerNeener said:

I haz a sad. Christmas is the wrong time to break traditions.

I remember seeing the  Doctor Who Christmas Proms specials for the children back when Matt Smith was The Doctor.  The children looked like they  were having the best time and the program was phenomenal ! If you never had a chance to see it, I believe it's on Youtube.  I feel sorry for all of the little children this Christmas who won't get their Doctor Who Christmas special to watch on the telly, talk about stealing the joy. 

Edited by One4Sorrow2TooBad
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Doctor Who only did one Christmas special for the whole of the 26 seasons of the Classic era, and that one only came about because a scheduled episode just happened to fall on Christmas Day that year. Christmas specials have been a New Who tradition, but I'm pretty sure the kids will have enough excitement without one this year, and they are still getting a special episode over the holiday period, so they aren't actually missing out.

Personally, I always find Christmas specials difficult to watch because I'm always with my family on Christmas Day and they talk right through it, so for me, a New Year's Day special is better!

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Tweeted by TVMoJoe, a Vulture writer:

”DOCTOR WHO wraps up its first Jodie Whittaker season Sunday, and at least as far as Nielsen is concerned, it's been a hit. Overall audience (including replays) is up 20% vs last Capaldi season, to 1.6M L+7 viewers. And the move to Sunday has helped same-day viewership spike 47%

Driving the DOCTOR WHO gains: Millennial women. The show has doubled its female 18-34 audience from its last season, and is now a top 15 cable show in that demo, per BBC America.”

It sounds like he’s talking strictly about BBC America and not BBC

Of course, some of the improvement is due to the move to Sunday (I’m sure the same is true for the BBC ratings), so it’s a bit of an apples-oranges comparison

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