Doctor Who-ERA |OT| It's Almost Time... But Not Yet

APZonerunner

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I mean, usually there's never smoke without fire on this stuff, so I wouldn't be surprised if some serious shit went down behind the scenes and there was the threat of a quitting or whatever and it blew over. Like, every time it was rumored Moffat was walking there was a grain of truth to it but he re-upped in the end.
 

Drewton

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Oct 27, 2017
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I mean, usually there's never smoke without fire on this stuff, so I wouldn't be surprised if some serious shit went down behind the scenes and there was the threat of a quitting or whatever and it blew over. Like, every time it was rumored Moffat was walking there was a grain of truth to it but he re-upped in the end.
There were a lot of rumors about Jenna Coleman leaving which were all partially accurate or even true. IIRC the Series 8 finale was meant to be her exit, then the Christmas episode was meant to be her last one, then during production of the special she decided to stay for another series, just like Clara does in the episode.
 

CommodoreKong

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Oct 25, 2017
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There were a lot of rumors about Jenna Coleman leaving which were all partially accurate or even true. IIRC the Series 8 finale was meant to be her exit, then the Christmas episode was meant to be her last one, then during production of the special she decided to stay for another series, just like Clara does in the episode.
The Christmas episode would have been such a perfect ending for a companion but Jenna had to do one more season.


Kinda disappointed Chibnall isn't leaving, I was pretty disappointed with his season of Who (Rosa was the only great episode IMO).
RDT and Moffat both had their faults but they were at least able to deliver a couple of great episodes of Who every season. I don't have a lot of faith in Chibnall being able to do that, especially after his first season.
 

EvilRedEye

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Oct 29, 2017
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Even Radio Times didn't confirm anything beyond Series 12 so it's still up in the air whether Chibnall might be gone for Series 13.
 
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Dwebble

Dwebble

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Oct 25, 2017
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I think there’s a decent likelihood that Chibnall doesn’t go past series 12, but I don’t think it has much to do with this rumour.
 

milamber182

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I enjoyed the last season but most of the episodes written by Chibnall I ranked in the bottom half. The Women Who Fell to Earth and Resolution were his best.
 

APZonerunner

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There were a lot of rumors about Jenna Coleman leaving which were all partially accurate or even true. IIRC the Series 8 finale was meant to be her exit, then the Christmas episode was meant to be her last one, then during production of the special she decided to stay for another series, just like Clara does in the episode.
The end of Series 8 was because Jenna hadn't signed on for any more at that point and was iffy, but Moffat wanted to leave it open-ended for her return. Then she signed on, but only for Christmas. Then Last Christmas was more clear-cut - she actually said she was leaving, then had a change of heart at the episode read-through, so the last-minute swerve was actually pink pages added to the script.
 

Blader

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Oct 27, 2017
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Clara and the Doctor admitting to each other they need each other in Last Christmas, and the way that motivates both Clara's decision to get back in the TARDIS but also her and the Doctor's general arc throughout S9, ended up working out really well anyway.

The Chibnall leaving rumors, whether it was leaving after S11, leaving after S12, or leaving during S12, are quite baffling to me because they all seem to rooted in this same central idea of: basically the workload is too much, he's constantly butting heads with the BBC, and he bit off more than he could chew. Right? But I don't really understand why any of that would be the case when: a) he already has experiencing showrunning a years-long, high-profile show (albeit one much less logistically complex than Doctor Who), and b) he wrote a handful of episodes for the show already, across both RTD and Moffat's eras, and would presumably have had at least some insight into how the show worked -- no? I get the show is very difficult to make, but Chibnall is already making far less of it than his predecessors -- and doing so across a longer span of time -- that it makes you wonder what the deal is. And makes you appreciate even more the insane amount of stuff RTD and Moffat got done, especially since they were juggling Doctor Who showrunning duties with other tv commitments!
 

sir_crocodile

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Oct 25, 2017
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If you look back at the amount of stuff RTD had on the go at once it's pretty astonishing.

I'm in the camp that the rumours hold some level of truth as there are longstanding zeta members pushing it that I wouldn't expect to be making it up. Obv BBC will try to smooth things over as best they can. I wouldn't think they'd want to change showrunner again so soon.
 
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Paradox

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Oct 28, 2017
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Clara and the Doctor admitting to each other they need each other in Last Christmas, and the way that motivates both Clara's decision to get back in the TARDIS but also her and the Doctor's general arc throughout S9, ended up working out really well anyway.

The Chibnall leaving rumors, whether it was leaving after S11, leaving after S12, or leaving during S12, are quite baffling to me because they all seem to rooted in this same central idea of: basically the workload is too much, he's constantly butting heads with the BBC, and he bit off more than he could chew. Right? But I don't really understand why any of that would be the case when: a) he already has experiencing showrunning a years-long, high-profile show (albeit one much less logistically complex than Doctor Who), and b) he wrote a handful of episodes for the show already, across both RTD and Moffat's eras, and would presumably have had at least some insight into how the show worked -- no? I get the show is very difficult to make, but Chibnall is already making far less of it than his predecessors -- and doing so across a longer span of time -- that it makes you wonder what the deal is. And makes you appreciate even more the insane amount of stuff RTD and Moffat got done, especially since they were juggling Doctor Who showrunning duties with other tv commitments!
So I was listening to the most recent Radio Free Skaro and while they largely wrote most of the rumours off, the one thing they brought up was the issue that a couple of years ago BBC Studios entered into a deal with China allowing them access to the past few series and the promise of five more series before 2023, which, at the current rate of production, is looking increasingly unlikely. So some of the clashing and potential strife might be between Chibnall, who wants to take his time and make the show at his own pace, and BBC Studios, who want as much of the show made as possible to appease foreign sales.

They also said they heard (probably via Wayne Yip who they are familiar with) that for the first few days of production for Resolution there still wasn't a script available, which perhaps speaks to Chibnall's...relaxed pace.
 

PlanetSmasher

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Oct 25, 2017
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It was perfect the way it was, Jenna and Capaldi were at their best together in S9 and it was because of Clara that we got Heaven Sent and Hell Bent.

And yeah agreed on Chibnall
Agreed. S9 was the best Capaldi season by far (even despite some real hits in his final go) and that wouldn't have happened if Jenna hadn't made the last-second decision to come back and let the two characters explore how fucked up their relationship really was for one more year.
 

APZonerunner

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The main reason I think there's a grain of truth to it is that there were whispers that Chibs was struggling last year, before Series 11 even aired, so I wouldn't be surprised if that has continued into Series 12 and the BBC has just had enough. Running this show on this budget is something doing Broadchurch does not prepare you for, and this is something both RTD and Moffat ran aground on as well. RTD had an amazing production team and lived and learned, while Moffat's production era lurched from mess to mess while surprisingly managing to maintain quality and keep the BBC happy primarily because of a growing audience in North America. Chibnall has the same problem, except the NA audience is now shrinking.
 

Blader

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Oct 27, 2017
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So I was listening to the most recent Radio Free Skaro and while they largely wrote most of the rumours off, the one thing they brought up was the issue that a couple of years ago BBC Studios entered into a deal with China allowing them access to the past few series and the promise of five more series before 2023, which, at the current rate of production, is looking increasingly unlikely. So some of the clashing and potential strife might be between Chibnall, who wants to take his time and make the show at his own pace, and BBC Studios, who want as much of the show made as possible to appease foreign sales.

They also said they heard (probably via Wayne Yip who they are familiar with) that for the first few days of production for Resolution there still wasn't a script available, which perhaps speaks to Chibnall's...relaxed pace.
That's interesting. Still, you'd think, though, that producing X amount of shows in Y amount of time would've been covered quite early on when negotiating the job with Chibnall in the first place.

The only other times the show has had to more or less take a year off were for showrunner transitions (RTD -> Moffat in 2009, attempted Moffat -> Chibnall in 2016 which was aborted when he wasn't ready yet and they re-signed Moffat to one more year). The fact that Chibnall has had to take a skip year because he just isn't fast enough (?) probably does not bode well for his future on the show...

That said, the year off has been good in that it's given my wife to finally jump on board the bandwagon and get up to speed. She watched S11 last fall, then went back to S1 in January. Just started S6 this month, so hopefully will be all caught up by the time S12 begins.
 

PlanetSmasher

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The main reason I think there's a grain of truth to it is that there were whispers that Chibs was struggling last year, before Series 11 even aired, so I wouldn't be surprised if that has continued into Series 12 and the BBC has just had enough. Running this show on this budget is something doing Broadchurch does not prepare you for, and this is something both RTD and Moffat ran aground on as well. RTD had an amazing production team and lived and learned, while Moffat's production era lurched from mess to mess while surprisingly managing to maintain quality and keep the BBC happy primarily because of a growing audience in North America. Chibnall has the same problem, except the NA audience is now shrinking.
Yeah. The American audience really has not been trained to wait huge gaps between seasons of popular shows. I think the Who fanbase was willing to forgive the gap year between showrunners, but a complete year with no DW in the middle of a showrunner's tenure means the fanbase isn't engaged, and people fall off and forget to get caught up. Hell, I STILL haven't seen anything since The Woman Who Fell to Earth because they never put the season up on Prime Video. As a result, I have zero hype for next season, which is appropriate because next season basically doesn't even exist yet.

If Chibnall can't crack it, he probably needs to step aside and hand the show off to someone who can, because all these break years and all the extended radio silence is basically burning through any and all goodwill the return actually generated.
 

Blader

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Oct 27, 2017
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Yeah. The American audience really has not been trained to wait huge gaps between seasons of popular shows. I think the Who fanbase was willing to forgive the gap year between showrunners, but a complete year with no DW in the middle of a showrunner's tenure means the fanbase isn't engaged, and people fall off and forget to get caught up. Hell, I STILL haven't seen anything since The Woman Who Fell to Earth because they never put the season up on Prime Video. As a result, I have zero hype for next season, which is appropriate because next season basically doesn't even exist yet.
heh, and you're not going to either, now that the streaming rights are moving over to HBO Max in the spring.

I actually don't know if it's an issue of an American audience not being used to gaps between seasons, I feel like that's becoming more and more the norm now. Ten+ years ago I remember people were pissed about The Sopranos taking so long to return for its final season, but some of the biggest shows today -- Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Atlanta, Westworld -- are increasingly taking a year or more off in between seasons. I think streaming has helped fill that void, because audiences get accustomed to the idea of binging a show whenever it's available, and not necessarily thinking about it in year-to-year increments. Personally, I think the way the BBC has handled Doctor Who's streaming -- taking it from Netflix, which I'm sure was a huge factor in the show's growth in America, to Prime and now HBO Max -- has probably done more to shrink the audience than the gap years have. But I have no numbers to back that up, just a feeling.
 

PlanetSmasher

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heh, and you're not going to either, now that the streaming rights are moving over to HBO Max in the spring.

I actually don't know if it's an issue of an American audience not being used to gaps between seasons, I feel like that's becoming more and more the norm now. Ten+ years ago I remember people were pissed about The Sopranos taking so long to return for its final season, but some of the biggest shows today -- Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Atlanta, Westworld -- are increasingly taking a year or more off in between seasons. I think streaming has helped fill that void, because audiences get accustomed to the idea of binging a show whenever it's available, and not necessarily thinking about it in year-to-year increments. Personally, I think the way the BBC has handled Doctor Who's streaming -- taking it from Netflix, which I'm sure was a huge factor in the show's growth in America, to Prime and now HBO Max -- has probably done more to shrink the audience than the gap years have. But I have no numbers to back that up, just a feeling.
I'm sure it's a contributor, yeah. The constant "where the hell can I watch Doctor Who?" questions are getting so bad it's honestly becoming more viable to just shell out for the box sets, and I hate buying TV shows on physical media.
 

APZonerunner

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Yeah. The American audience really has not been trained to wait huge gaps between seasons of popular shows. I think the Who fanbase was willing to forgive the gap year between showrunners, but a complete year with no DW in the middle of a showrunner's tenure means the fanbase isn't engaged, and people fall off and forget to get caught up. Hell, I STILL haven't seen anything since The Woman Who Fell to Earth because they never put the season up on Prime Video. As a result, I have zero hype for next season, which is appropriate because next season basically doesn't even exist yet.

If Chibnall can't crack it, he probably needs to step aside and hand the show off to someone who can, because all these break years and all the extended radio silence is basically burning through any and all goodwill the return actually generated.
I mean, ultimately, it's a show for children. I never particularly thought the expansion Moffat oversaw in the US was particularly "good" for the show in that sense, because what happened was that while the show went after twisted timelines and epic over-arching stories, kids in the UK lost interest. And really, it's their show, and I've always believed that. The adults just borrow it.
 

Blader

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Oct 27, 2017
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I mean, ultimately, it's a show for children. I never particularly thought the expansion Moffat oversaw in the US was particularly "good" for the show in that sense, because what happened was that while the show went after twisted timelines and epic over-arching stories, kids in the UK lost interest. And really, it's their show, and I've always believed that. The adults just borrow it.
I've heard this argument before and I don't really buy it. Kids don't go for twisted timelines and big epic stories? Kids love Back to the Future and Star Wars and Terminator, and all sorts of sci-fi that treads that same ground. Unless we're talking really young kids the problem isn't that the stories aren't dumbed down enough. I mean, wasn't this sort of the same argument that parents and censors had about the show during Tom Baker's early years -- that the show had gotten too dark, too horror movie-ish, to be suitable for kids? But I don't think kids were turned off by it at all (on the contrary, I read or listen to all these interviews with people who loved the show as kids because of that stuff), more just that adults were projecting what they thought of the show onto what they thought kids would be taking away from it. And it's not as if RTD didn't also build his seasons around epic overarching plots and parallel universes and alternate timelines and deep reservoirs of continuity.

tbh I think a lot of the shrinking audience really boiled down to people's rejection of Capaldi compared to Smith and Tennant. No longer having the handsome boyfriend Doctor in the lead role. The fact that Twelve was quite brusque out of the gate prob didn't help endear Capaldi to skeptical viewers either. Which is a shame because imo Twelve is the most interesting Doctor and Capaldi's performance as the Doctor is the best yet. But I hear more of people who fell off the show going from Smith to Capaldi rather than falling off the show during Smith's tenure, and I think that has less to do with "twisted timelines and epic over-arching stories" (which fwiw I think were far more convoluted during the Smith years than the Capaldi ones) and more to do with people just not being onboard with Capaldi.
 
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infiniteloop

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Oct 25, 2017
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probably sacrilege to some, but I'd like to BBC partner with HBO like they've done with His Dark Materials, Years and Years. Maybe that would provide some better stability/funding to turn the show out more consistently?
 

APZonerunner

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I've heard this argument before and I don't really buy it. Kids don't go for twisted timelines and big epic stories? Kids love Back to the Future and Star Wars and Terminator, and all sorts of sci-fi that treads that same ground. Unless we're talking really young kids the problem isn't that the stories aren't dumbed down enough. I mean, wasn't this sort of the same argument that parents and censors had about the show during Tom Baker's early years -- that the show had gotten too dark, too horror movie-ish, to be suitable for kids? But I don't think kids were turned off by it at all (on the contrary, I read or listen to all these interviews with people who loved the show as kids because of that stuff), more just that adults were projecting what they thought of the show onto what they thought kids would be taking away from it. And it's not as if RTD didn't also build his seasons around epic overarching plots and parallel universes and alternate timelines and deep reservoirs of continuity.

tbh I think a lot of the shrinking audience really boiled down to people's rejection of Capaldi compared to Smith and Tennant. No longer having the handsome boyfriend Doctor in the lead role. The fact that Twelve was quite brusque out of the gate prob didn't help endear Capaldi to skeptical viewers either. Which is a shame because imo Twelve is the most interesting Doctor and Capaldi's performance as the Doctor is the best yet. But I hear more of people who fell off the show going from Smith to Capaldi rather falling off the show during Smith's tenure, and I think that has less to do with "twisted timelines and epic over-arching stories" (which fwiw I think were far more convoluted during the Smith years than the Capaldi ones) and more to do with people just not being onboard with Capaldi.
Well - you're right, and I wasn't disagreeing that the show is more convoluted in the Smith tenure - Moffat himself said around Series 8 that he wanted to strip back the big plots and get back to basics. And he did. Missy being in every episode is reminiscent of Bad Wolf or missing planets or whatever; very light touch (though also, somehow, still too much, in that the cut-aways when somebody dies sucks tension out of a few meaty deaths) -- but by that point the point about the show being too complicated for its own good or whatever had been already well established. The show had spent years being pilloried for it in the press.

Capaldi's era oversaw a continued drop, but Smith's era also dropped pretty significantly after series 5. I don't actually think -- well, you're right - kids do like twisted timelines and big epic stories, but it's really about execution. RTD's was quite light touch, and so was Series 5 - comparatively speaking - but I really do believe series 6 was hampered by it, as was some of the back end of Smith's run. It's really about series 6, though, which I considered a test on the casual audience that Moffat's era never truly recovered from in the UK.

It's a nebulous thing to try to explain, but broadly speaking I think RTD's tenure on the show was just better at hitting that Pixar-style cadence of being really accessible and fun for kids but also enjoyable for adults - with a little more depth, some adult gags, but switch your brain off and enjoy it. I think there's a sort of post-Sherlock shift in Moffat that means you have this really fun, kid-friendly Doctor but thrown into stories that aren't very satisfying for the other segment of the audience that really matters - not the nerd adults, but the parents who control the TV remote and ultimately the household watching agenda. So maybe, yeah, actually Moffat's Doctor Who didn't lose the kids so much as it lost the larger segment of the family, which in turn drives down the audience share for the kids.

The fact is the UK audience took a painful hit, though - even timeshifted - and during Smith's time as well. Then there was the bigger loss in from the RTD era, which was Who transforming from a prestige show that was a press darling in the papers to just another TV show - which is going to happen over the years, ultimately. Capaldi obviously wasn't a publicly beloved choice for the role no matter how good he was, but I do feel his age has become a sort of scapegoat, of sorts, for some of the wider issues.

Anyway, the point is - this trend has been ongoing for a while, but for over half of his time in the top job Moffat was shielded by huge international growth. Chibnall finds himself in a similar situation to Moffat, except he doesn't have that as a meat shield, so the pressure from the BBC is probably immense.
 

EvilRedEye

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Oct 29, 2017
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I think a big difference between Smith coming in and Capaldi coming in is that Smith had a great opening episode, whereas Capaldi had a pretty weak one where they even seemed so unsure of what they were doing that they had Smith phone in to kind of reassure the audience by proxy. And obviously in addition the show had been running for almost a decade by then so a lot of people would have been looking for an excuse to jump off.

I hope Capaldi gets some decent Big Finish stuff.
 

APZonerunner

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I think a big difference between Smith coming in and Capaldi coming in is that Smith had a great opening episode, whereas Capaldi had a pretty weak one where they even seemed so unsure of what they were doing that they had Smith phone in to kind of reassure the audience by proxy. And obviously in addition the show had been running for almost a decade by then so a lot of people would have been looking for an excuse to jump off.

I hope Capaldi gets some decent Big Finish stuff.
I ultimately think, to be honest, that in the future Smith will be thought of as an incredible Doctor largely let down by a lot of his material, while Capaldi I think plays the role well and has a really large number of good-to-outstanding episodes that all stand alone very well... which isn't that much unlike Tennant, except his portrayal got the real reach and accolades, a bunch of BAFTAs etc. But a lot of Capaldi's tenure is going to age really well, I think. In this sense, I think Smith has more to gain out of Big Finish than Capaldi (or Tennant, whose output so far just amounts to 'here's some lost episodes that sound exactly like an episode from the era with the screen switched off').

Mind you, I think there's a general challenge with New Who and Big Finish, which is... New Who is a lot better (and simply more) defined than the old series. So, like, whereas it's very easy to find new spaces to take old Doctors stylisically, the new ones I'm not surprised to see merely sound like blacked-out versions of episodes from that era. I wonder if time and distance will help them to get more experimental, but to be honest, I'm fine with it anyway. Listening to the 10/Rose and 10/Donna ones are legit like falling through a time portal into 2008. It's great.
 

Blader

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Are there Ten/Rose and Ten/Donna stories narrated by Tennant, Piper, and Tate? My wife would be into listening to those (she went from being casually into the show to hardcore DT fangirl in no time lol) but I don't know Big Finish well enough to even know what direction to point her in.

I think there's a sort of post-Sherlock shift in Moffat that means you have this really fun, kid-friendly Doctor but thrown into stories that aren't very satisfying for the other segment of the audience that really matters - not the nerd adults, but the parents who control the TV remote and ultimately the household watching agenda. So maybe, yeah, actually Moffat's Doctor Who didn't lose the kids so much as it lost the larger segment of the family, which in turn drives down the audience share for the kids.
Ha, so it's not that the show became too much for kids, it became too much for their parents and the whole family stopped watching? Some parenting!

I think a big difference between Smith coming in and Capaldi coming in is that Smith had a great opening episode, whereas Capaldi had a pretty weak one where they even seemed so unsure of what they were doing that they had Smith phone in to kind of reassure the audience by proxy. And obviously in addition the show had been running for almost a decade by then so a lot of people would have been looking for an excuse to jump off.

I hope Capaldi gets some decent Big Finish stuff.
This is a good point. Rose, The Christmas Invasion, and The Eleventh Hour sold you on the Doctors right out of the gate. Deep Breath was a mediocre episode that I think spent so much time trying to assure viewers of Capaldi's Doctor that it might have drawn more attention than was necessary to the 'problem.' I get why Moffat would try to address the concerns of skeptical viewers within the episode, but I think he might have overcorrected in that regard too.
 

APZonerunner

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Are there Ten/Rose and Ten/Donna stories narrated by Tennant, Piper, and Tate? My wife would be into listening to those (she went from being casually into the show to hardcore DT fangirl in no time lol) but I don't know Big Finish well enough to even know what direction to point her in.
The new Tenth Doctor adventures star Tennant and the rest of the cast, yeah. The first set is Tennant and Tate, the second set has Tennant and Piper, but also Camille Coduri (Jackie). The third set is back to Tennant and Tate, but this time with Cribbins (Wilf) and Jacqueline King (Sylvia), so they're bringing the families in as well.

If the two of you like new Who in general, there's some great options beyond that, anyway. Some people will point you to the Time War and stuff, which is really new series backstory, but in the realm of full cast audio plays, there's also:
  • The Diary of River Song, which is an entire series of River on adventures with past Doctors, with Alex Kingston and whichever Doctors/companions she's crossing paths with
  • A UNIT series with Kate Stewart and Osgood
  • A Doctor's Daughter series starring that one-off episode character as the lead on Doctor-like adventures
  • Bizarrely, even a 'Tales From New Earth' series supported by returning cast members from the New Earth bound episodes of Tennant's era.
  • A couple of War Doctor stories John Hurt recorded before he passed, and also some 'War Master' stories set in the Time War with the Master we see prior to Simm in series 3 before he legs it and wipes his own memory.
Some of that all crosses over, too, like the River Song series eventually features the UNIT cast, etc etc. Probably the River stuff is the most worthwhile to a Nu-Who fan outside of the main Doctor stuff, and only if you like that character, but yeah. I think a lot of the Time War stuff is a bit long in the tooth, tbh.

The River stuff so far has her crossing paths with the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Doctors... and there's a story where she battles 4 incarnations of the Master at once, including Missy, all played by the original actors. River really wore thin for me on the show, but she's more here - they sort of really lean into the concept of River as a James Bond-like figure, and she gains a lot from it. Growth like that after-the-fact is really what Big Finish does at its best.

There's also loads of one-offs, like Rose stories with her running alt-universe Torchwood (with relevant cast returning), a story about Christina from Planet of the Dead(??)... lots of mad stuff like that.

Ha, so it's not that the show became too much for kids, it became too much for their parents and the whole family stopped watching? Some parenting!
I think it's a little from column A and a little from column B, really, but there was definitely just a shift where Doctor Who ceased to be X-Factor style 'event family viewing', and I think that's partially down to adults and partially down to the kids. It's not just about ratings, either, but also about, like... character options drastically reduced the number of Doctor Who toys and action figures they were making after series 5, and by the time we hit series 7 were making basically none. Which is indicative of something. Are there any series 11 figures apart from of the Doctor herself? They didn't even make one of the new style scrap Dalek!
 
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EvilRedEye

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Oct 29, 2017
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They're releasing three toy sets based on Big Finish adventures this month!

It finally happened. Big Finish finally became more mainstream than the actual show.
 

PlanetSmasher

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I think it's a little from column A and a little from column B, really, but there was definitely just a shift where Doctor Who ceased to be X-Factor style 'event family viewing', and I think that's partially down to adults and partially down to the kids. It's not just about ratings, either, but also about, like... character options drastically reduced the number of Doctor Who toys and action figures they were making after series 5, and by the time we hit series 7 were making basically none. Which is indicative of something. Are there any series 11 figures apart from of the Doctor herself? They didn't even make one of the new style scrap Dalek!
I'm still amazed we got the LEGO TARDIS set before all the toys dried up. DW in 2019 never would've bothered.

...also I should probably build that thing at some point. But it just has so many paaaaaaaaaaaarts.
 

APZonerunner

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They're releasing three toy sets based on Big Finish adventures this month!

It finally happened. Big Finish finally became more mainstream than the actual show.
Well, we all know the answer there is pretty simple: if it's a hard sell to get kids to buy toys for £10 for a toy set and you still have the license, you can always charge the hardcore fans £70(!) for three as a limited edition bundle, ha ha ha

But in real terms, I'm talking about the period when you couldn't walk into a Toys R Us (RIP) or Entertainer at Christmas (or any time of year) without seeing rows and rows of Daleks. I remember in like 2009 or 2010 the Doctor Who display in my local TRU was as big as the bloody Lego display. It was a different time though. It was a time when I impulse-bought the 1.5ft tall Dalek for nearly a hundred quid.
 
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Blader

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Oct 27, 2017
9,794
Pursuant to the earlier conversation, we just watched Day of the Moon tonight...woof. Quite a stuffed hour of things happening. Even knowing what I know from later on, it’s still...a lot.

The new Tenth Doctor adventures star Tennant and the rest of the cast, yeah. The first set is Tennant and Tate, the second set has Tennant and Piper, but also Camille Coduri (Jackie). The third set is back to Tennant and Tate, but this time with Cribbins (Wilf) and Jacqueline King (Sylvia), so they're bringing the families in as well.

If the two of you like new Who in general, there's some great options beyond that, anyway. Some people will point you to the Time War and stuff, which is really new series backstory, but in the realm of full cast audio plays, there's also:
  • The Diary of River Song, which is an entire series of River on adventures with past Doctors, with Alex Kingston and whichever Doctors/companions she's crossing paths with
  • A UNIT series with Kate Stewart and Osgood
  • A Doctor's Daughter series starring that one-off episode character as the lead on Doctor-like adventures
  • Bizarrely, even a 'Tales From New Earth' series supported by returning cast members from the New Earth bound episodes of Tennant's era.
  • A couple of War Doctor stories John Hurt recorded before he passed, and also some 'War Master' stories set in the Time War with the Master we see prior to Simm in series 3 before he legs it and wipes his own memory.
Some of that all crosses over, too, like the River Song series eventually features the UNIT cast, etc etc. Probably the River stuff is the most worthwhile to a Nu-Who fan outside of the main Doctor stuff, and only if you like that character, but yeah. I think a lot of the Time War stuff is a bit long in the tooth, tbh.

The River stuff so far has her crossing paths with the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Doctors... and there's a story where she battles 4 incarnations of the Master at once, including Missy, all played by the original actors. River really wore thin for me on the show, but she's more here - they sort of really lean into the concept of River as a James Bond-like figure, and she gains a lot from it. Growth like that after-the-fact is really what Big Finish does at its best.

There's also loads of one-offs, like Rose stories with her running alt-universe Torchwood (with relevant cast returning), a story about Christina from Planet of the Dead(??)... lots of mad stuff like that.
Thanks! Tbh I don’t have much interest in Big Finish myself (sorry McGann/Colin stans, I will never know how good they really are) but I think she’d really be into the Tennant ones.
 

Drewton

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,185
I think a big difference between Smith coming in and Capaldi coming in is that Smith had a great opening episode, whereas Capaldi had a pretty weak one where they even seemed so unsure of what they were doing that they had Smith phone in to kind of reassure the audience by proxy. And obviously in addition the show had been running for almost a decade by then so a lot of people would have been looking for an excuse to jump off.
Maybe I’m in the minority but I thought Deep Breath was a fantastic opening perhaps even better than Eleventh Hour that totally sold me on Capaldi’s Doctor. I actually prefer him in his early episodes. This was the first time a companion had seen a Doctor regenerate since Rose and Ten and Nine regenerated into a younger guy; Twelve and Rose was kind of the reverse of that, and she needed more reassurance. Perhaps the audience too in part because this was the first older Doctor.

It was many leagues ahead of Woman Who Fell to Earth at the least.
 

Htown

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,960
Maybe I’m in the minority but I thought Deep Breath was a fantastic opening perhaps even better than Eleventh Hour that totally sold me on Capaldi’s Doctor.
as much as I loved Capaldi as the Doctor, this is crazy talk

Eleventh Hour is fantastic, and is probably the best jumping-on point in the entire franchise
 

Drewton

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,185
as much as I loved Capaldi as the Doctor, this is crazy talk

Eleventh Hour is fantastic, and is probably the best jumping-on point in the entire franchise
Eleventh Hour is definitely the better jumping on point, and it’s meant to be, particularly because it’s the beginning of the Moffat era. Capaldi’s series build much more on what came before. The two episodes are trying to be entirely different things. Deep Breath to me like it’s finally the “true” Doctor finally revealing himself without any gimmicks or fake young faces or anything. And it’s a much more interesting episode, with the Doctor‘s endless change being reflected in the half face man. It doesn’t hurt that I prefer Capaldi even though Matt Smith is probably second or third best for me and the production values are far higher.
 

CommodoreKong

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,713
So I was listening to the most recent Radio Free Skaro and while they largely wrote most of the rumours off, the one thing they brought up was the issue that a couple of years ago BBC Studios entered into a deal with China allowing them access to the past few series and the promise of five more series before 2023, which, at the current rate of production, is looking increasingly unlikely. So some of the clashing and potential strife might be between Chibnall, who wants to take his time and make the show at his own pace, and BBC Studios, who want as much of the show made as possible to appease foreign sales.

They also said they heard (probably via Wayne Yip who they are familiar with) that for the first few days of production for Resolution there still wasn't a script available, which perhaps speaks to Chibnall's...relaxed pace.
The main reason I think there's a grain of truth to it is that there were whispers that Chibs was struggling last year, before Series 11 even aired, so I wouldn't be surprised if that has continued into Series 12 and the BBC has just had enough. Running this show on this budget is something doing Broadchurch does not prepare you for, and this is something both RTD and Moffat ran aground on as well. RTD had an amazing production team and lived and learned, while Moffat's production era lurched from mess to mess while surprisingly managing to maintain quality and keep the BBC happy primarily because of a growing audience in North America. Chibnall has the same problem, except the NA audience is now shrinking.
From what I understand the BBC isn't supposted to make decisions because of or worry about not making as much money as they could be from licensing their content via BBC Worldwide but I'm sure that's it's a pretty big unofficial issue right now. The seeming decline of Who popularity worldwide along with fewer episodes/slower rleases of episodes and possibly not being able to fullfil that China deal is probably on the minds of BBC execs when they think about the future of Who.
 
OP
OP
Dwebble

Dwebble

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,561
There’s also the fact that production was handed over to BBC Studios a few years back.

It’s a commercial enterprise, which means there’s more money available, but also means that secondary pressures like merchandising actually have significant implications for the show. I can’t imagine they’re at all satisfied with how un-merchandisable series 11 turned out to be.
 

Paradox

Member
Oct 28, 2017
255
There’s also the fact that production was handed over to BBC Studios a few years back.

It’s a commercial enterprise, which means there’s more money available, but also means that secondary pressures like merchandising actually have significant implications for the show. I can’t imagine they’re at all satisfied with how un-merchandisable series 11 turned out to be.
Don't be silly, I'm sure all the kids were clamouring last Christmas for action figures of guy with teeth in his face, or future racist, or sentient pieces of cloth, or energy from before the creation of the universe that manifested into the shape of a frog.

(I actually fully expect the Pting was designed for the express purpose of its marketability although it probably didn't help that it happened to feature in one of the most poorly audience-rated episodes of the series)
 

Metallix87

Member
Nov 1, 2017
9,455
No it’s not, it was absolutely boring for me, but I remember reception for the episode being initially positive.
TBH, I think that largely was due to a lot of people wanting to not shit on Jodie's first episode, and hoping things would improve. At least, anecdotally speaking, that was what happened for both myself and my girlfriend when we saw the first episode at NYCC last Fall.
 

Blader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,794
I thought Woman Who Fell to Earth was one of the better eps, and certainly a better 'Doctor intro' episode than Deep Breath (which has its moments but is way too long and has Capaldi overacting for a good 45 mins before he's finally allowed to settle into character).
 

M.Bluth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,674
The Woman who Fell to Earth is fine. It's a decent introduction to 13 and the TARDIS team.

The problem is that the rest of the season did absolutely nothing good with its characters, so it ends up feeling pointless.

Deep Breath needs another editing pass to tighten it up and it'll be great.
 

Joqu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,485
The Waffle Kingdom
Yeah, I thought Woman Who Fell to Earth was quite good. Definitely my favourite Chibnall-written episode of series 11 alongside Resolution.

It's Ghost Monument / Arachnids / Tsuranga that I have way more issues with, but Jodie's opening episode, the special and some of his Torchwood series 2 work tell me Chibnall can write Doctor Who episodes that I find to be quite enjoyable.
 

Metallix87

Member
Nov 1, 2017
9,455
I thought The Woman Who Fell to Earth suffered from poor pacing, a lame plot, and a Doctor who doesn't have any defined direction or personality. Sadly, these issues continue moving forward, and actually get much worse in several episodes.
 

8bit

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,023
If Chibnall gets his P45, who is in the running? Gatiss? Was annoyed enough with his Brigadier shenanigans that I'd probably have to complain bitterly.
 

Kuraudo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
790
Next showrunner needs to come from outside of the show. There’s really no reason to limit it to people who have written for it before.