Gaspode Chats Up The Director of WHO’s Second-Season Finale!!
I am – Hercules!!
SciFi brings America tonight the big two-hour “Doctor Who” season finale - and AICN’s resident “Who” fanatic “Gaspode” brings us an interview with the feller who directed:
Graeme Harper Interview:
Dealing with Doomsday
[This was originally going to be part two of the interview with director Graeme Harper that ran several weeks back, but I caught up with Graeme again a few weeks back so we could talk specifically about some issues related to the final two-parter. If you haven’t seen the episodes in question yet, you might want to come back to this interview a bit later, because there are a few potentially major spoilers within…]
Tell me about the two episodes you’re doing for the third season. I think I read that you were doing a two-parter written by Paul Cornell?
Graeme Harper: I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think I’m doing two single stories, one by Russell and I don’t know who’s writing the other one yet, so it’s two one-offs and I don’t know what episodes they are. I was just told that there were changes being made and that was the way it was going to be, so I was now doing two one-off episodes.
Is it a bit of a relief, not being doing four episodes back-to-back?
Harper: It’s half the time. Obviously the logistics of doing two Cybermen stories back to back made sense in terms of hiring people plus doing all the FX, and it was hard, but once you start working on it, it is relentless, you forget all of that and just get on with it, and at the end, you finally realize that you’ve just done ten weeks of a lot of physical and mental work. That’s when you realize that maybe it wasn’t a great idea and maybe not the best way to work.
Let’s talk about your final two-parter, ‘Army of Ghosts’ and ‘Doomsday.’ Did the massive amount of security surrounding those episodes because of events such as the return of the Daleks or Rose’s departure in episode 13 filter down to you on a production level?
Harper: We were all sworn to secrecy, but the problem was that the majority of newspapers and fan sites all guessed or found out that the Daleks were coming back, but right up until the time it went out, I always denied it. I have a very close friend who’s one of the biggest Doctor Who fans in the world, who kept ringing me saying, ‘We just heard that the Daleks are coming back and there’s going to be a major war between the Daleks and the Cybermen; is that what’s happening? It’s official now, it’s in the newspapers,’ and I kept denying it. But my argument was, what makes it exciting for you, the progression of the story and the great moments in it; why do you need to know? Why can’t you sit back and enjoy the surprises that we’re going to try and give you, and then you can comment on that and say, ‘I was thrilled that they were back, but what kind of lackluster production was that?’ or whatever you feel it was, but to preconceive, once you know, you then have a hope either way. You’re either going to hope it will fall on its face and be dreadful, or you can hope that gosh, maybe in our hands now in 2006, these creatures will look fantastic and something special will happen. And then you start to build it up to something that can never possibly be possible. I don’t understand it all, so I’m just not going to tell anybody anyway. I don’t need to be sworn to secrecy; I wouldn’t tell you anyway because I want you to watch them and see them for their own value and the great stories they are- or not you may say.
But didn’t you have a problem at one point with your location manager for example, because you had to find a beach for one of the final scenes and couldn’t tell her why?
Harper: You’re right, but nobody knew what that last scene was going to be about. Nobody knew that Billie was going, and all the time something else was happening, and I’ll tell you a bit more about that in a moment, because that was interesting too, but to keep the whole story secret from the whole crew and certain members of the crew? Of course Ed [Thomas, the production designer] knew something about it, because he was much more in with the hierarchy and what was going on, because he had to be. He had to set things up and figure out the cost for whatever they came up with so he kind of knew what was coming, but he never talked to me about it, because he couldn’t, so I was kept in the dark for quite a long time. Eventually, I knew what was going to happen, and you’re right, I spoke to the location manager and she was very upset that she wasn’t brought into the know about what that script was and I said, ‘Look, the fact is, they wanted to keep it a secret. I know it’s ridiculous, because you should know, however I can tell you what is required, so I will tell you the setting I want and you don’t need to know anymore,’ but that didn’t really please her, and quite rightly because she should have known and she would have kept the secret. I sympathize with those people, but at the same time, it was possible to get a great shooting location within traveling distance of the studio that was perfect for what we wanted even though she didn’t know what it was about but she did her job.
You mentioned something else that was going on at the time?
Harper: When we cast the character of Adeola, I met Freema [Agyeman] for this part- actually, I met her for two parts, and when I met her, as soon as she walked through the door, I knew she was going to be quite exceptional. When she walked in, I thought I was looking at Halle Berry English-style. She isn’t Halle Berry in looks, but when this girl walks into a room, heads turn seriously, because they’re looking at a very beautiful woman, but not only is she stunningly good-looking with her own special style, she has some inner beauty when you’re talking and working with her; she’s a really nice, warm human being, who has a real aura to her. She has ‘it,’ whatever ‘it’ is, but I didn’t know I was going to cast her yet; she just walked in and I thought, ‘Hello, this is something special!’ She then read for a particular part and was about to go, and I said, ‘Before you go, could you read for another part for me as well?’ because there were two possible parts there, and I know I indicated to her that if I had my way there would be something for her, although it wasn’t up to me in the end, because these decisions are made by committee and Russell has to approve the casting, and so does Julie and Phil and that’s how it worked. But if I was able, I would persuade them to go down that road, because this girl was really special. Well, they said, ‘Yes please, would you offer her the part of Adeola?’ and I know she was thrilled. Of course what I didn’t know at the time was that they were already looking at her to possibly play the new assistant.
Did you know anything about this Rose spin-off that Russell was talking about at one point?
Harper: I have no idea if she would have done it, but she certainly wouldn’t have talked to anybody about it. I remember doing a sequence that was meant to be by the River Thames and we were in Newport waiting for the camera to be set up and there was a ten-minute delay, so I was sitting on a bench next to her and I said, ‘What are you going to do; do you think this series is going to be the end for you, or you going to do another one?’ and she said, ‘No, I’ve given it lots of thought, I was thinking originally I’d just do the one series,’ but she had now worked with Christopher Eccleston who was great and suddenly to be offered another great Doctor to be working with, she thought it was too good an opportunity to throw away like that, so that’s what she said, but all the time she knew she was leaving at the end, and she probably knew that Freema was coming in!
If you’re staging a fight between a group of Daleks and a group of Cybermen, is it difficult to make it sufficiently dramatic when you’ve basically got a bunch of faceless characters in the same scene?
Harper: It worried me, until I met and worked alongside Nick Briggs who was doing the voices. When Nick and I talked about both the Cybermen and Dalek voices, he said, with the Dalek voice, there is a bit of emotion, particularly when they go completely psychotic and the voice goes higher and higher and more neurotic, and also they do have a bit of inflection, so it’s not just one monosyllabic voice. There is emotion there, so he said, ‘What do you want to do with the Cybermen?’ I said, ‘Well, in my heart, it should be one long no-inflection, no-emotion,’ but actually, if you listen, particularly when Roger Lloyd-Pack turns into the Cyber-Controller [in the first Cyberman two-parter], his voice is his voice and it has emotion. All the Cybermen voices otherwise, they’re all absolutely identical, but for some reason, maybe because I was telling the story, I felt there was emotion. I think what makes you know that there is emotion and feeling there is the fact that they are half-human half-robot, and I think that psyche makes the audience go with it, the fact that even though they are Cybermen, there are human brains in there. I think what makes those scenes work was the dialogue, because the dialogue between the Cybermen and a Dalek was banal and the Dalek could wipe them all out. I think the other secret of the dialogue that I found funny was that half the time, it was background, so you couldn’t hear it but you could and it sounded like two women talking over the garden fence, so I think that took over.
After you finished your four episodes for season two, you went off to Hungary for a while to work on the BBC’s new Robin Hood series. Did it help you on a creative level, being able to go to a different country and setting and do something completely different?
Harper: When I went away, I was about to do something that was swashbuckling heroic stuff, and I had in mind how I was going to shoot it. It was an iconic series, so I knew what I what I imagined they wanted, but when I got this offer, it was offered to me by Tiger Aspect, so I didn’t know who was offering it to me. Eventually I met the producer, but he hadn’t chosen the directors, it was somebody else; it was [executive producer] Foz Allan who I had worked with before. I then while I was there watched the early episodes to see the style and pretty soon, I realized exactly what they wanted was what I was going to offer, and that had come out of the way I had shot Doctor Who, and even though it was science fiction, it had certain mystical things in it, certain requirements that are difficult to explain.
Anyway, I had a way I wanted to shoot it and they liked that idea and fortunately all the directors felt the same way, so we’ve all got different styles but overall it’s the same type of feel and energy that comes through. It doesn’t end up the same way, but it ends up with that energy and drive. I’ve been back for three weeks and I have another two weeks before I start working on the next series of Doctor Who, and I think what you don’t do is rely on what you did before. If you had some success with that, don’t lean on that because you know your next story is going to be totally different, so you can’t say, ‘Oh, I know how to do this!’ and use some of the old tricks you used before. You’ve got to look at it afresh, so right now I’ve had a break and I’m ready to start with fresh pastures. The only element of continuity is the Doctor; everything else about the story is going to be different from everything I’ve done before, because we’ve got a new assistant to work with, and two new stories.
How do you plan on approaching these episodes Doctor Who episodes, or is it still too early to talk about that?
Harper: It’s interesting, the only thing I’m thinking about, this isn’t a two-part story this time, so I’m wondering if I can I do justice to what I’m about to get, not knowing what those scripts are, because I haven’t actually read the scripts at this moment. As soon as I get the scripts, my problems are not over with- they’ve only just started, but at least I have an immediate idea of what I want to do with them. That idea will change, but at least you’ve got something to start with. But my anxiety is, ‘What if…?’ because if it’s too complex, you’ve got to think about it very carefully and have it planned very carefully with your first assistant director in order to keep everything nice and equal for the two different stories and just keep on top of the storytelling and the pacing in order to tell the story. In the middle of November, I start prep and I don’t shoot until the middle of January, but there’s a two-week gap at Christmas, so it’s not as long as you think.
Is that basically as far ahead as you’re thinking right now?
Harper: I’m also thinking about projects that I’m developing with another person, because I’d like to get something of mine off the ground, so I’m concentrating on that. My brain is not thinking about Doctor Who at all, and if it does, it’s more about my anxieties about doing two 45-minute episodes. I’m happy to do it, and I’m looking forward to it, but I know it’s going to be a real challenge.
What genres are you looking to work in?
Harper: It’s strange to tell you this, but I came into this business because I wanted to make westerns. I dreamed about doing westerns, and I developed a big western series and offered it a certain company but another series happened, so I knew I was right about westerns, and look what’s happening now: we’ve got Spielberg, who’s made six feature-length movies so I know I’m right. I want to make my own western, so one of the projects I’m developing right now is a western from an English point of view- or a Welsh point of view.
8 p.m. Friday. SciFi.
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Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Dec. 22, 2006, 12:41 a.m. CST
This is the one you want to watch.... Getting the Christmas special too are you ?
Dec. 22, 2006, 12:41 a.m. CST
Cool, I've never been first on one of these talkback forums before... Anyway, this new chick coming in to replace Billie Piper better not suck.... Anyone know when SciFi'll start the 3.x episodes? Also, I could've sworn talk of a Rose spinoff was not only dead in the water, but the worst TV spinoff idea since Flavor of Love.....
Dec. 22, 2006, 3:43 a.m. CST
I really enjoyed this episode... even if flying Daleks equal nipples on Optimus Prime. Please don't let the next season suck.
Dec. 22, 2006, 5:06 a.m. CST
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-cZI8VQwU4 Go on, have a look. You know you want to ...
Dec. 22, 2006, 5:25 a.m. CST
I was nearly crying at the end when Will and Lyra said their final goodbyes to each other before returning to their seperate universes forever. *Sniff*
Dec. 22, 2006, 9:06 a.m. CST
Since this is a Dr. Who talkback I think it's pretty safe to assume that the people in here are fans. I have to ask the fans a question. I saw one episode on SciFi (there was something about a guy who was posessed by some ancient evil, and alien slaves who communicated telepathically adn revolted), and it seemed like they had spent about $12 to produce the episode. The dialog seemed pretty snappy, and I'm not saying that it was terrible, but it seemed pretty cheap. Are people just starved for sci-fi shows, or is this really a good show? I know the kind of heat I'm begging to have brought down on me by asking a question like that here, but I just have to know.
Dec. 22, 2006, 9:33 a.m. CST
The episodes set in the past or the present aren't too bad, but the set designs for the futuristic episodes are rather on the crap side. You learn to live with it after a while. As for the quality of the stories, it depends on the writer. I would give any episode written by Russell T Davies a wide berth. He used to be one of the UK's best TV writers a few years ago before he developed an ego the size of Saturn. He now seems content to churn out any old self indulgent tosh. You can't really go wrong with any of the episodes done by the other writers though. They are all humble enough to except criticisms and suggestions on how to improve their scripts, and this shows in the final product.
Dec. 22, 2006, 9:42 a.m. CST
Not bad at all. Very good light entertainment. Would really love to see if they bring another "Deela." Then again, I am dating myself.
Dec. 22, 2006, 9:44 a.m. CST
the episode in question was a 2-parter called the impossible planet/the satan pit and the premise was basically they land on a planet somehow stuck into the well of a black hole and a team of earth scientists are trying to unearth a immense power source.Unbeknownst to them that power source was the actual satan...or the thing behind the myth of satan more acurately...and believe it or not it was one of the better episodes of this series..though every1 liked eccleson as the doctor much better than tennat who plays him now...and to enjoy the show you gotta understand that it is cheesy and to a certain extent i believe it is supposed to be. It has a certain tongue in cheek asethetic. It helps alot if you are familiar with the old WHO show..i dig it..i really do..but it's on the second tier of my viewing heirarchy below...battlestar galactica,LOST,Heroes,The Wire,House,The Office,Earl,etc...SO give it a shot..but don't go into it with high hopes of seeing 2001ish realism..take it for what it is..l8r...crescent fresh
Dec. 22, 2006, 9:57 a.m. CST
Pretty good episode...until you realise this is the guy that made Caves of Androzani and Revelation of the Daleks 20 years ago, two of the best pieces of television ever.
Dec. 22, 2006, 1:15 p.m. CST
by Boba Fat
It's not about the cost, it's about the story. Suspension of disbelief. Dr who is probably one of the most expensive shows on Brit TV at the moment and the story you mentioned will have had a large budget. If you can't get past some of the FX work or can't enjoy it without comparing it to something else then it's not the show for you, but I think you're missing out on some unique sci-fi
Dec. 22, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST
I fully expected to be blasted for ripping a bit on what I understand is a pretty damn popular shows among fanboy circles. From the bit that I saw I will say that it didn't seem bad, but the fact that it's on SciFi and so cheaply made it was admittedly difficult for me to separate it from the rest of the crap SciFi produces. I'd honestly give it another try, but my wife would probably laugh me out of the room. So what's the show about? I'm far too young to have seen the original, and from 30 - 40 minutes of one episode I didn't really get much of an idea of what the show as a whole is about.
Dec. 22, 2006, 2:58 p.m. CST
Apart from a horribly awkward GHOSTBUSTERS reference and the Daleks making the non-Mondasian Cybermen their bitches far too easily for my liking, "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday" is a solid two-parter. <p>The ending scene on the beach isn't nearly as weepy as some would have you believe, but it does provide a decent closure to Rose's era. As a bonus, you get to check out the smoking-hot Freema Agyeman, the new companion Martha Jones, albeit as a completely different character. For anyone who has a problem with using the same actress for two separate roles, well, it worked for Colin Baker.</p>
Dec. 22, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST
The idea of the Cybermen and Daleks facing off against each other is too big for the show. All we end up with is a couple of shots of them blasting each other when if this was in a film it would be a HUGE battle. But let's just put this into perspective. It's a family show and has one of the biggest budgets (if not THE biggest budget) for a TV show in the UK. Saying things are being done too cheap is no good because there's nothing that can be done about it. The BBC already throw so much money at it. Effects have never been used at this level on British TV (only on something like 'Walking With Dinosaurs'), they're damn good for a TV show. Galactica uses the same CG models every week (pretty much) and most of the show is shot on the same sets or same trees in a Canadian forest, whereas Doctor Who has to try and make things different each week. Going from a Victorian Scottish manor to a modern day school to a 50th Century spaceship with clockwork robots to an alt-Earth with Cybermen to 1950s London to a planet 'orbiting' a black hole. Yes sometimes things have the whole thrown-together vibe and the dialogue is ridiculous, but that's what the show is. It isn't about moody characters frakking each other.
Dec. 22, 2006, 4:32 p.m. CST
...which actually WERE made for $12. Seriously, that's part of the charm. You know why that alien looks like a Jello mold with a lightbulb in it? Because it WAS a Jello mold with a lightbulb in it.
Dec. 22, 2006, 7:59 p.m. CST
we'll leave you to the american version of The Office, Friends, SG and another series of 24.
Dec. 22, 2006, 9:30 p.m. CST
Now, I know I'm the only person who _didn't_ know they were the big surprise but, sheesh, it would have been nice if the SciFi channel didn't trumpet it in the teaser before the episode aired. I would have jumped through the roof (I love those little guys). I'm sure they were too busy to care, trying to figure out what cheesy song to play over the ads for next year's Battlestar Galactica.
Dec. 22, 2006, 10:46 p.m. CST
But I am a girl, so it's OK. Tonagan - I know what you mean about that cheesy song playing on the BSG promo. Are they going after teenage girls as their new demographic?
Dec. 22, 2006, 11:54 p.m. CST
...I'm sure they'll take your feedback on board. "Worthy of your attention", how important do you consider yourself? Don't bother responding, nobody cares
Dec. 23, 2006, 12:19 a.m. CST
The Doctors plan should have only been partly successful. All of the Cybermen who were created after coming through the void would NOT have had any void material on them, so they would not have been sucked back into the void.
Dec. 23, 2006, 12:22 a.m. CST
Don't know what the fuss is about. Both countries produce it's fair share of great TV and more than it's fair share of crap as well. Of course, I do completely blame the UK for giving us Simon Cowell. LOL
Dec. 23, 2006, 12:45 a.m. CST
by Bill Clay
They left the appearance of The Runaway Bride in at the end of the episode, but AFAIK there are no plans to show the 2006 Xmas Special. A good way to confuse the US fans, Sci-Fi!
Dec. 23, 2006, 1:04 a.m. CST
the BAFTA & Hugo winning Doctor Who is no Angel, no.
Dec. 23, 2006, 5:54 a.m. CST
The issue of some "Cybermen" being left behind appears in a Torchwood story.
Dec. 23, 2006, 6:39 a.m. CST
So maybe you all need to try harder. I grew up on Doctor Who imports in the '70s (pre-Star Wars, mind you, so that was my sci-fi fix), and I like (not love) the new ones. You like it or you don't. All I know is, I really want some friggin' multicolored Dalek toys now.
Dec. 23, 2006, 7:42 a.m. CST
Give me a break. American television is so popular in the UK, there are plans--and there may already be--a channel to exclusively air American imports. Note we rarely import your shows. we rework them the way we want them.
Dec. 23, 2006, 7:49 a.m. CST
"The issue of some "Cybermen" being left behind appears in a Torchwood story"...What about the boss lady that became a Cyberman? She seemed to still have some free will. They followup on her or did she blow her own brains out after wasting the Cybermen on the staircase?
Dec. 23, 2006, 10:15 a.m. CST
by Bill Clay
Was it odd? Yes. But it made such an impression on viewers that debate about it is still raging almost a year later. You don't see reaction like that from most US shows.
Dec. 23, 2006, 10:26 a.m. CST
The only people I know who are still talking about it are Doctor Who fans. To most ordinary, well-adjusted people it was just an embarrassing, juvenile pile of old clap-trap best forgotten.
Dec. 23, 2006, 11:26 a.m. CST
There are the SciFi fans, who want the explosions and the FX. For them, Dr. Who doesn't offfer much, nor would the original Trek series or any number of old, "cheesy looking" films and tv shows. Then there are the SF fans, who are interested in the stories and ideas. For them, Dr. Who offers ideas, imagination, and quirky humor and they are perfectly comfortable watching those old cheesy programs so long as the ideas remain fresh.
Dec. 23, 2006, 11:59 a.m. CST
From Outpost Gallifrey: <p>"The American cable network Sci Fi Channel has announced that they have secured the rights to air Series Three starting in the summer of 2007, according to a note on their Doctor Who page. Sci Fi completing the airing of Series Two with the double-bill of "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday" last night. Series Three will air on the BBC in the UK this coming Spring; if this plan by Sci Fi in the US holds, it will be the earliest turnaround of episode broadcasts since the start of the new series (series one having taken a full year; series two, six months)."</p> <p>Oh, and most DOCTOR WHO fans know that "Love & Monsters" is crap, which is why they that episode and "Fear Her" ended up right at the bottom of this year's DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE poll. Thus endeth the lesson.</p>
Dec. 23, 2006, 12:54 p.m. CST
by SPECTRE Agent
If the Doctor is so lonley but can travel through time, can't he just meet his fellow Time Lords in different eras? Presumably they have travelled to every historical era. Time travel sort of makes death irrelavent ala Slaugterhouse 5.
Dec. 23, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST
How could they so blatently lift plot elements from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials books? The "ghosts" from another dimension that slip through cracks in the universe, 3D glasses substituting for the amber spyglass, 2 lovers trapped on parallel Earths... Finkelstone up there knows what I'm talking about.
Dec. 23, 2006, 1:07 p.m. CST
by "re-working" do you actually mean ripping the soul and originality out of something. look at the 1996 Doctor Who TVM, if that's the way you wanted it i'm bloody glad it didn't take off. or The Office remake, it's so shit that the BBC only aired the first series and now it airs on ITV2 late night. and yes, i'm ashamed to say that channel 5 has a station dedicated to american imports. they should just rename it: CSI, NCIS, Law and order and talkshows. thanks for nothing america.
Dec. 23, 2006, 2:10 p.m. CST
Thank God! I only wish BBC had done likewise! Way to screw up an emotional climax with those shrill hysterics!.... oh, and as for the question of the Boss Lady who was converted to a Cyberman. (spoiler alert) she's not the one in Torchwood, but another Torchwood employee is a half-Cyber-conversion, who retains some of her own individuality and some cyber-programming. In both cases, i attribute the willpower they have to resist cyber-domination to a line in that two-part Cyberman/Daleks finale about Torchwood employees having psychic training.
Dec. 23, 2006, 4:12 p.m. CST
You either like, or predisposed to like Doctor Who, or you don't. A great deal of the charm of the current series is based on what the old series meant to people. Yes, at its worst it's cheesy and wince-inducing. But there are so many things to like about it, and seeing it done with a larger budget and with reverance is something to see. The emotion seen between Rose and the Doctor, while it has some fans quite upset, I think it has takent he series to a higher level. .......And as far as the worst episode......."Fear Her" is damn near unwatchable, while "Love & Monsters" has several things to like about it. Offical "Love & Monsters" flame war to follow immediately.
Dec. 23, 2006, 4:32 p.m. CST
So many people were laying hate on Love & Monsters, when i found Fear Her to be much, much worse. Overall I've really enjoyed the two new series, with a predisposition towards David Tennant because he's so engaging.
Dec. 23, 2006, 5:07 p.m. CST
All the Timelords and All the Daleks (except for the many that amazingly appear) have been destroyed in a war that the Doctor started and survived. Eccleston showed much more survivors guilt that Tennant does. The giant head told the doctor he had a secret to tell him when they saw each other again. I'm pretty sure it is about the Timelords surviving. But even then Romana from way back in Tom Baker days was left in another dimension so she should still be alive.
Dec. 23, 2006, 6 p.m. CST
The Time Lords were more likely erased than simply killed, along with the Daleks, although we know there is an army of them in the void. Anyway, even a Time Lord not in the vacinity of the war may have been erased, probably in a fashion similar to the attempt to avert the creation of the Daleks in Genisis. We really haven't been given enough information to know exactly what happened. They seem to imply they were erased, but they seem to have a reputation in the universe, which would indicate they weren't completely erased. If the series goes on long enough, they'll be back, even if it happens after RTD is gone.
Dec. 23, 2006, 7:42 p.m. CST
by Bill Clay
That's why vanilla is the most popular flavor, the majority want it plain with no surprises. Which is why popular doesn't equal quality or sophistication.
Dec. 23, 2006, 10:10 p.m. CST
It was like they (the Doctor Who folks) were slapping you in the face while shouting "Snap out of it!" I'm still trying to decide if that was a bold decision or a really crappy one.
Dec. 24, 2006, 3:33 a.m. CST
I'm a longtime Doctor Who fan, but I didn't hate "Love and Monsters" nor "Fear Her". While I'll admit they aren't among the best of the best, I appreciate them for what they are. "Love and Monsters" was just an attempt to tell a Doctor Who story from the perspective of one of the many 'minor' characters The Doctor encounters. I liked that angle, although I admit the story could use some polishing. As for "Fear Her", I accept this episode as being Rose's true farewell episode. This is completely her story. She is the hero of the day and The Doctor (and the world) would have been finished without her. Again, it could have used some polishing, but it wasn't that bad. The only episode that I really, REALLY didn't like was "The Idiot's Lantern". I felt it was too long and drawn out. It just didn't capture my attention as much as an average episode of Doctor Who usually does.
Dec. 24, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST
Naomi Ryan! Better known as "Lehann" from *Mile High*. She can act, she's beautiful, and oh what a body she has. Needless to say, maybe the producers can be convinced to bring her aboard for an episode...maybe as a relative of Freema's character "Martha". Hear me now, RTD (and waiting-in-the-wings Steve Moffat), I want Jemima Rooper on the show! And a friggin' flashback with Paul McGann wouldn't hurt either. :)
Dec. 24, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST
With a fadeout of The Doctor flipping the controls on the Tardis console. Granted, that would have been a somber ending, although not as much of a downer as *Earthshock* was. I would like that ending. Then show the recap of that with the first appearance of the "Runaway Bride" in the teaser intro to the next episode. I hope they can recut that for a future release. Then again, the show is always about the next adventure, so maybe that's why it was left in...
Dec. 24, 2006, 11:34 a.m. CST
by Bill Clay
Apparently Sci-Fi Channel will be showing last year's Xmas Special during their Xmas day movie marathon this year. Which means US viewers won't see The Runaway Bride until Xmas 2007. FTW?!
Dec. 24, 2006, 12:21 p.m. CST
The thing you have to remember is that unlike Battlestar Galactica, or even largely the Star Trek episodes is that every episode has a new setting and a new cast except for the doctor, the companion and the tardis. So other shows save by building some really good sets and using them over and over -- like the bridge of Star Trek or the corridors. In Doctor Who, if they want to do something as easy as walking down a hallway they have to think about what do they want the hallway to look like, not make it look like other hallways in other episodes, etc. Of course by having so many episodes take place on Earth and with Rose's family they got around that, but that still means that every other episode has to have entirely new sets. So even if they spent the same amount of money on each episode that say Battlestar did, it still wouldn't be enough because Who has to spend money that Battlestar doesn't.<br><br> Regarding the Christmas episode, I'm pretty sure that SciFi just showed the Christmas Special as the first episode of Season 2 when they started airing season 2, so I would imagine they will do that with the Runnaway Bride as well.
Dec. 24, 2006, 1:28 p.m. CST
If they ever shoot a live action take of "The Banana Splits", they should cast Billy as Bingo.
Dec. 24, 2006, 3:02 p.m. CST
I love the character of Rose and the job Billie Piper did playing her, but the Banana Splits reference is spot on. She definitely started hitting the snacks tray the day Eccleston left the show.
Dec. 25, 2006, 12:04 a.m. CST
I remember SciFi ran last year's Xmas episode as the "season premiere" of Series 2 a few months back... I'd have to guess they do the same, tacking 2006's Xmas show onto the start of Series 3 next summer.
Dec. 25, 2006, 11:12 a.m. CST
This is upon reflection of watching the 1996 tv movie last night with a friend who had not seen it before. Rose was ditsy compared to (Dr.) Grace Holloway. Not only was grace an actual medical doctor (vs. a shop girl), but she had no problems grasping the mechanics of time travel. I don't think you'd catch the 8th Doctor talking about pop television programs to Grace like the 9th and 10th Doctors had to do in order not to talk over her level. The romantic relationship seemed more believable since the two were more evenly matched while Rose+The Doctor seem more like Marilyn Monroe marrying Miller. Not that Rose wasn't a fun character though. And I think The Doctor's quick interest in asking if Rose was preggers does imply that they had a sexual relationship and not The Doctor simply assuming she was getting the love again from Mickey Smith, Defender of Alt.Earth.
Dec. 25, 2006, 11:16 a.m. CST
Zuneo, Azureus's commercial BitTorrent download service. Not to be confused with the colossal flop from Redmond known as the Zune. Zuneo will be selling *Doctor Who* episodes online to U.S. residents (who knows...maybe iTunes will be next), although no price has been announced, when the service will start, and what episodes will be sold. *Red Dwarf* will also be available. Of course, if you can't wait, you can get Series1 on DVD (R1) or on Sony PSP UMD format. Series2 comes out on DVD in R1 on January 16th. Man, I wish it were available on Blu-Ray (or HD DVD) right now. The early adopters of either format could be buying the discs on a whim after seeing how little product is on the shelves at Target for either format.
Dec. 25, 2006, 2:10 p.m. CST
I have always enjoyed roses character. I believe that her and the doctor had great chemistry and the episode was very well done and a definite tear jerker. We will all miss you you Billy.
Dec. 25, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST
Sorry. Had the spelling wrong there (zudeo.com).
Dec. 25, 2006, 7:40 p.m. CST
<p>This week's was surprisingly decent. I'd even say a well-above average episode. Okay it did continue an earlier trend of stealing from movies (this week: Fight Club!) but it only happened at the end and thankfully was surrounded by far better plot elements including Gwen drugging her boyfriend whilst asking for forgiveness.<br></p>Those final moments of Rose with the Doctor were amazing, and really moved my non-Who fan family members back when it was shown. And Gorrister sums up my thoughts in the L&M and Fear Her "debate"; a word that admittedly overstates the importance of the disagreement among fans! But now we look to the future, with the Christmas special.... which I believe I forgot to record... NOOOO!!!
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