Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«133 »
Best Producer/Showrunner?
This poll is closed.
Verity Lambert 49 7.04%
John Wiles 1 0.14%
Innes Lloyd 1 0.14%
Peter Bryant 3 0.43%
Derrick Sherwin 3 0.43%
Barry Letts 12 1.72%
Phillip Hinchcliffe 62 8.91%
Graham Williams 3 0.43%
John Nathan-Turner 15 2.16%
Philip Segal 3 0.43%
Russel T Davies 106 15.23%
Steven Moffat 114 16.38%
Son Goku 324 46.55%
Total: 696 votes
[Edit Poll (moderators only)]

  • Locked thread
DoctorWhat
Nov 18, 2011

Someone call the Chancellery Guard. Commander Maxil's out of uniform. AGAIN.

PriorMarcus posted:

I know Big Finish use quite a few images from the new series, but can they actually use any of the ideas/themes/monsters from it? If not are they basically building up to the Time War only to never actually deal with it/call it that?

As Davros1 said, they're not allowed to really, but they don't have to expect the listeners to be completely ignorant of the New Series, so they can play with the themes and tease as much as they like. The politics that might lead into a Time War are totally open to them - they just can't do an audio about John Hurt sealing the Nightmare Child into the Medusa Cascade or whatever cool-sounding background dialogue RTD came up with.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Potsticker
Jan 13, 2006



Psychic Paper was invented in New Who? That's kind of surprising!

DoctorWhat
Nov 18, 2011

Someone call the Chancellery Guard. Commander Maxil's out of uniform. AGAIN.

Potsticker posted:

Psychic Paper was invented in New Who? That's kind of surprising!

Not really. It's a mechanism to cut out 2-4 episodes of the Doctor running off to get Letters of Transit or whatever other dumbass credentials are stuck between him and the actual plot. It's very New Who.

Barry Foster
Dec 24, 2007

Brush your teeth.


It would be really, really great if BF got the licence to the revival. It's definitely up there near the top of my list of Doctor Who Things I Really Want, coming shortly after Chris Eccleston reprising the role and Mugabe's secret stash finally being liberated.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


DoctorWhat posted:

Not really. It's a mechanism to cut out 2-4 episodes of the Doctor running off to get Letters of Transit or whatever other dumbass credentials are stuck between him and the actual plot. It's very New Who.

Ehhh what tended to happen was that the Doctor would just waltz into a place and act like he was in charge. The psychic paper solved a problem that didn't really exist, and also takes away the possibility of fantastic sequences like the one from the Curse of Fenric, where the Doctor goes into a top secret military base, demands some official stationary, writes his own letter of reference, forges Churchill's signature and gives it to the base commander with the ink still wet when he bursts in the door moments later.

Potsticker
Jan 13, 2006



If I had never seen Classic Who and you asked me if the Psychic Paper or the Sonic Screwdriver was the new gadget added in the New series, I wouldn't have guessed the paper. Not that the Doctor really needs "proper" authority when he just barges in wherever he pleases anyway.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


MrL_JaKiri posted:

Ehhh what tended to happen was that the Doctor would just waltz into a place and act like he was in charge. The psychic paper solved a problem that didn't really exist, and also takes away the possibility of fantastic sequences like the one from the Curse of Fenric, where the Doctor goes into a top secret military base, demands some official stationary, writes his own letter of reference, forges Churchill's signature and gives it to the base commander with the ink still wet when he bursts in the door moments later.

If I remember right, he even does it in front of other characters, who just seem so pleased by the audacity of what he just did that they won't make a stink.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


DoctorWhat posted:

As Davros1 said, they're not allowed to really, but they don't have to expect the listeners to be completely ignorant of the New Series, so they can play with the themes and tease as much as they like. The politics that might lead into a Time War are totally open to them - they just can't do an audio about John Hurt sealing the Nightmare Child into the Medusa Cascade or whatever cool-sounding background dialogue RTD came up with.

I haven't listened to any of Gallifrey, but isn't Juliet Landau's version of Romana implied to be from the new series' era? Or did I misunderstand a blurb on some wiki that I may have read, or possibly just dreamt I did?

PriorMarcus
Oct 16, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT BEING ALLERGIC TO POSITIVITY


Gaz-L posted:

I haven't listened to any of Gallifrey, but isn't Juliet Landau's version of Romana implied to be from the new series' era? Or did I misunderstand a blurb on some wiki that I may have read, or possibly just dreamt I did?

She's a post Time War version of herself that goes by the name Trey.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


Jerusalem posted:

If I remember right, he even does it in front of other characters, who just seem so pleased by the audacity of what he just did that they won't make a stink.

He does it in front of Dr Judson, who likes the Doctor because he knows about logic puzzles (and other things...)

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

I think Charlotte might be...A MAVERICK!


Gaz-L posted:

I haven't listened to any of Gallifrey, but isn't Juliet Landau's version of Romana implied to be from the new series' era? Or did I misunderstand a blurb on some wiki that I may have read, or possibly just dreamt I did?

The implication is she's the War Romana who travelled back into the classic era. Same way Macqueen is apparently the War Master.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Fans always know better than the creators.


DoctorWhat posted:

Not really. It's a mechanism to cut out 2-4 episodes of the Doctor running off to get Letters of Transit or whatever other dumbass credentials are stuck between him and the actual plot. It's very New Who.

It's New Who's idea for solving the same sort of problem the sonic screwdriver initially existed to solve: you don't want the Doctor to be stopped by something mundane and boring. Locked doors are a really lovely way to keep the Doctor out of somewhere, so the sonic screwdriver solves it. You want to keep the Doctor out of a room, you've gotta try harder than that.

The Psychic Paper essentially solves the organic equivalent of that. As fun as it might be every so often to have the Doctor not be trusted by those around him, for the most part you don't really want it to be a problem, so having insta-credentials helps against that. Moffat uses it far less than R.T.D., though, I guess he's more fond of the Doctor having to prove himself to a bunch of people who've never met him.

Cleretic fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2014 around 00:21

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


Or you could just write it so neither of those things are a problem? It makes you be more creative, but creativity is what's good about things like Doctor Who.

jivjov
Sep 13, 2007

How does it taste?

Dinosaur Gum

Listened to a good chunk of White Room on my commute home from work...always glad to hear a Hitchhiker's Guide reference! Future tenses are hard.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Davros1 posted:

BF would love to have it, and Tennant has said he'd come back, but my guess is they probably wouldn't even begin to negotiate until their current license expires in 2016.

Tennant would record about a million audios if that happened. Like that Dead Ringers sketch where he played the Second Tony Blair.

"A HUNDRED MORE YEARS!!!"

CobiWann
Oct 21, 2009

There are lost episodes of course. Stories that were commissioned but never made. Or made but misfiled, post broadcast. Sheer incompetence, of course.



Gallifrey is in a state of crisis, facing destruction at the hands of an overwhelming enemy. And the Doctor is involved in three different incarnations - each caught up in a deadly adventure, scattered across time and space. The web of time is threatened - and someone wants the Doctor dead.

The three incarnations of the Doctor must join together to set time back on the right track - but in doing so, will they unleash a still greater threat?

Peter Davison is the Doctor, and Colin Baker is the Doctor, and Sylvester McCoy is the Doctor, in The Sirens of Time.

The Seventh Doctor is in Episode 1 of this four-part story; the Fifth Doctor is in episode 2; the Sixth Doctor is in episode 3; and all three Doctors are in the final episode.

Cast
Peter Davison (Fifth Doctor)
Colin Baker (Sixth Doctor)
Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor)
Andrew Fettes (Commander Raldeth / Schmidt)
Anthony Keetch(Coordinator Vansell)
Michael Wade (The President)
Sarah Mowat (Knight Commander Lyena)
Maggie Stables (Ruthley)
Colin McIntyre (Sancroff)
John Wadmore (Commandant / Lt Zentener / Pilot Azimendah / Sub-Commander Solanec)
Mark Gatiss (Captain Schwieger / Captain / Knight 2)
Nicholas Briggs(The Temperon / Drudgers)
Nicholas Pegg (Delegate)

Written By: Nicholas Briggs
Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

Trailer – http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/p...ens-of-time-619

X X X X X

In 1989, Survival was the last episode of Doctor Who broadcast on the BBC.

The show was “suspended” at the end of that season, ending with Sylvester McCoy’s melancholic monologue about “work to be done.” While the show was no longer being produced for television broadcast, the adventures of the Doctor still continued. Doctor Who Magazine contained both an ongoing comic strip and original fiction within its pages each month. Virgin Publishing put out the New Adventures, a series of novels that told further stories involving the Seventh Doctor and Ace. And several of the more dedicated fans both together what are called the “Doctor Who Audio/Visuals,” a series of unlicensed cassette recordings containing an original Doctor, Nicholas Briggs, and a handful of actors and writers.

In 1998, most of these actors and writers formed Big Finish Productions, a company dedicated to putting out a series of original audio stories taken from the New Adventure novels. After a few months, Big Finish obtained permission from the BBC to do something special; a completely original adventure, based on a script by Nicholas Briggs, starring not just one or two, but THREE Doctor, as Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy agreed to reprise their role of the Doctors in the first multi-Doctor story since The Two Doctors.

The Sirens of Time was the first official release for Doctor Who by Big Finish. Fans were understandably excited; an officially licensed production, with a dedicated staff and professional production, starring three actors who made their names playing the Doctor. The time spent wandering in the wilderness wasn’t quite over yet, not until 2005 and Rose, but Sirens went a very long way toward showing that the Doctor was still alive and well in the hearts and minds of many fans. The story itself is lackluster, a sign of the growing pains Big Finish would exhibit for their first couple of releases, but it still serves as an important milestone in the long life of Doctor Who as a proof of concept that the audio format could and would become successful!

The ringing of the Cloister Bell causes the Seventh Doctor to land on an isolated planet, where a young woman, Elenya, is drowning in quicksand. Nearby, a mysterious hag cackles that the Doctor and the young woman will die. While confronting the hag, the Doctor notices a spaceship slipping through the planetary shields. The assassins onboard are there for one purpose; to kill Sancroft, First Knight of Velyshaa, a prisoner to which the hag is the jailor, for war crimes. And to them, the hag, Elenya, and the Doctor are unnecessary witnesses…

A chrono distortion and the voice of Time Lord calling for him to return to the TARDIS because of “the destruction of time” is what greets the Fifth Doctor as he finds himself stepping onto a British freighter under attack by a German U-Boat. As the freighter begins to sink, the Doctor and Helen, one of the few survivors, find themselves the guests of the submarine’s captain, as well as under attack from a member of the sub’s crew. The Doctor slowly realizes that the crewman that attacked him was under the mental control of the Time Lords, and that he and Helen are the lone survivors of the Lusitania

The Time Lord Vansell tries one last time to contact a Doctor. This time, the Sixth Doctor is in the middle of crashing his TARDIS (completely by accident, of course!) into the spatial anomaly known as the Kurgon Wonder. Elly, the only survivor from a nearby starship that also crashed into the Wonder, reveals that she is part of an organization dedicated to freeing the legendary time beast known as the Temperon, which is trapped inside of the Kurgon Wonder. The Doctor’s efforts to escape see him accidentally freeing the Temperon, who repeats the same message to the Doctor over and over again. “Beware the Sirens of Time…”

The Doctors, all three of them, find themselves deposited by the Temperon onto a ruined and devastated Gallifrey. The Time Lords have been defeated by a powerful organization known as the Knights of Velyshaa, who now consider themselves the true masters of time. It turns out that Elenya, Helen, and Elly are the same woman, Lyena, and that the actions of the Doctors have led to the destruction of the Time Lords. The Seventh Doctor drove off the assassins and saved Sancroft, whose legend drove the Knights’ dreams of conquest. The butterflies caused by the Fifth Doctor and the sinking of the Lusitania see that penicillin is never discovered and that a plague-ridden Earth is easily conquered. And the destruction of the Temperon by the Sixth Doctor allowed the Knights to obtain the secrets of time travel from its corpse. But the mucking about in time has given the Knights a horrible chronological disease, and only the Doctors can save them. But, with Gallifrey in ruins, the Knights on the verge of success even as a plague ravages their bodies, and the Temperon pleading with the Doctors to beware the Sirens of Time, is there much more to this story than first appears?

Big Finish does their best to hit the ground running. The script by Nicholas Briggs takes full advantage of the audio format to set the story in several widely different locations, a feat that would strain the budget if this had been a televised story. Briggs also allows each Doctor their own individual episodes, giving them a full adventure and a chance to spread their wings and introduce themselves to new listeners and re-introduce themselves to those who may have forgotten or not be familiar with a particular Doctor’s television run. No official companions join the Doctors on this adventure; it’s the Doctor and the Doctor alone, which also works to the story’s advantage.

As soon as Sylvester McCoy “steps” onto the “screen,” it’s incredibly obvious that the Doctor is back as he speaks sweetly to his TARDIS. McCoy, to me, has been the Big Finish Doctor who’s needed a bit of a push or a really good script in order to turn in a solid performance. It might be returning to the role that sees McCoy step back nearly to where he stepped off at the end of Survival. Putting himself immediately into unknown peril to rescue a complete stranger, McCoy keeps up with the quick pace of the first episode with his one-liners and fast-thinking. When the Doctors come together in the fourth and final episode, McCoy’s Doctor steps back a bit, not so much as letting the Sixth Doctor hog the spotlight so much as letting the Sixth Doctor take all the attention off of him; shades of the “planner” Doctor that Seven is. Sure, there’s a bit of McCoy’s “quiet overacting,” but not enough to distract from the tale at hand.

Peter Davison’s turn comes next. It’s very strange to hear the difference in Davison’s voice, almost 20 years or so after his television run, as it’s matured and deepened in those decades. But the youthful charm and caring nature is still there in Davison’s performance. Compassionate and educated, Davison nonetheless doesn’t quite carry on like he did in the television series. Maybe it’s the lack of any companions (who were stuck back in his TARDIS according to the script), but the joking, carefree nature isn’t quite there. Even when confronted with the Nazis, Davison’s Doctor easily makes up lies to get back to his TARDIS, but it comes off as a bit harsh. The final episode sees a lot of Davison shouting at the villain in a philosophical battle, but as opposed to the superb trial scene in The Eye of the Scorpion, the Fifth Doctor is longer on anger and shorter on wisdom. Luckily for Big Finish, Davison improves when paired Mark Strickson in Phantasmagoria, so I’ll chalk it up to Davison finding his footing after time away from the part.

Now, Colin Baker...when it comes to Big Finish, Six comes out of the blocks strong with The Sirens of Time, picks up speed in Whispers of Terror, and truly hits his stride with The Marian Conspiracy. In this story, the listener truly gets a glimpse of what could have been for the Sixth Doctor had he been given an honest chance during his time on the BBC. Loud, bombastic, and immediately taking center stage as soon as he walks in, Baker’s Doctor also shows the pragmatism that was one of his Doctor’s defining characteristics. The listener can hear just how eager Baker is to play the role again, but instead of subduing it a little bit like McCoy, Baker leaves it all out there. Baker only gets better as time goes on, and even now, almost thirteen years after coming back to the role of the Doctor, Baker still puts on a grand performance each time.

The supporting cast is much bigger with The Sirens of Time, and this is one of its flaws. While there are three Doctors and one “companion” in every episode who turns out to be the same woman, each episode has its own dedicated “cast,” and it’s a bit difficult to keep track of all of them or their importance to the story. The standouts are the scenery chewing Maggie Stables as the hag Ruthley, Anthony Keetch as Vansell, and Sarah Mowat as Lyena and her counterparts. Big Finish fans will quickly become familiar with Stables, who will take on the defining role of Evelyn Smythe in The Marian Conspiracy. Here, she plays completely opposite how she will portray Evelyn, turning it up to 11 as she proclaims the death of the Doctor and taunts her prisoner with maniacal glee. Keetch’s Vansell will return in vital supporting roles in The Apocalypse Element and Neverland. The seeds for his conniving and “win at any cost” personality are planet in this story, 48 serials before his fate in Neverland, as he pleads with a Time Lord to let him kill the Doctor so the fall of Gallifrey does not come to pass. Sarah Mowat would go on from this serial to star in the Big Finish series Dalek Empire, and it's not hard to imagine that her performance as FOUR different and distinct characters that make up the main villain of the piece.

As I said earlier, the best way to look at The Sirens of Time is as a "proof of concept," a rough draft of sorts to show that Big Finish could produce quality stories worthy of the Doctor Who name. If looked at in that light, The Sirens of Time barely gets a passing grade, and the large majority of blame falls onto the script itself. Nicholas Briggs is a vital part of Doctor Who, especially serving as the early "showrunner" for Big Finish, as well as penning and directing several while also providing a solid number of voices along the way. An author of several fan-based productions, Briggs' first script for an originally licensed production is just that; a first script. It suffers from two main flaws. First, the script itself has a LOT going on. Four locations, and that includes bouncing back and forth from wherever the Doctor is and Gallifrey under assault, means that it's very easy for a listen to get a little lost or forget just who is involved with what. The editing scalpel would have been of great use with this script, as attempts to explain and keep continuity intact come under the assault of a large amount of technobabble and a heavy dash of exposition. To Briggs' credit, he avoids the temptation to cram in Time Lord mythology or callbacks to the series. The second flaw, however, is the most glaring. The Sirens of Time is just BORING. For all the locations and the fact that there are three Doctors running around trying to save the day, there's just no sense of urgency to keep the listener interested. Part of it could be the lack of chemistry between the three actors; this is the first time Davison, Baker, and McCoy have not only played the Doctor in years, but this is also the first time (outside of Dimensions in Time) that the three actors have acted opposite each other as the Doctor. As such, there's no chemistry ala The Three Doctors or The Five Doctors. That helps add to the overall "eh" factor of this story. Even with Gallifrey at risk, there's just not enough emotion or sense of rising stakes. If this had been the very first Big Finish audio I listened to, I might have ended up passing on the entire line. Instead, what I got was a decent story to pass the time, but anyone looking for a kick-rear end multi-Doctor story should skip right to the 50th anniversary special The Light at the End.

Synopsis - Big Finish gets its feet wet with The Sirens of Time, but it would take a few serials for them to find their footing, sacrificing what could have been an interesting multi-Doctor story for a bland paint-by-numbers story. 2/5.

Next - Zagreus sits inside your head.

Zagreus lives among the dead.

Zagreus sees you in your bed.

And eats you when you're sleeping.

Paul McGann is the Doctor in...Zagreus.

Astroman
Apr 8, 2001



Davros1 posted:

Nope. And the only images they used were the new Daleks for Gallifrey VI and the undisguised TARDIS from "The Name of the Doctor", and they had to ge a special, one-off permission for that. They occasionally slipped something in (the 9th Doctor in "The Kingmaker", and psychic paper in "Paper Cuts", but no, they're expressly forbidden from referencing the new series.

To be fair though, the undisguised TARDIS description is straight up from the NAs 20 years ago.

DoctorWhat
Nov 18, 2011

Someone call the Chancellery Guard. Commander Maxil's out of uniform. AGAIN.

Gaz-L posted:

Tennant would record about a million audios if that happened. Like that Dead Ringers sketch where he played the Second Tony Blair.

"A HUNDRED MORE YEARS!!!"

Somehow I just watched this for the first time.

"New Labour... that's weird."

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Fans always know better than the creators.


MrL_JaKiri posted:

Or you could just write it so neither of those things are a problem? It makes you be more creative, but creativity is what's good about things like Doctor Who.

Yeah, that's what Moffat generally does. I think Eleven pulled out the psychic paper for such a thing once, and it failed.

I can see where R.T.D. was coming from in introducing it, because in his run the Doctor ran into... a lot of organized groups with rather a few lethal weapons, who would have immediately imprisoned him if he didn't have some sort of excuse. Having him deal with that every second episode would have gotten boring quickly, so giving him an 'out' would let him write those stories without having to constantly think of ways out. It's still possible to have the Doctor be imprisoned even with the psychic paper on his side, too, it just takes a little bit of creativity to come up with a reason why not.

I suppose it's a shortcut that came about in the R.T.D. years, similar to Ten's heavy use of technobabble. It might have come from the same place as the screwdriver's unlocking ability, but it probably had the opposite effect: With the screwdriver making the 'boring' problem of locked doors trivial, they had to be more creative about finding ways to keep him out of places. The psychic paper on the other hand could stifle creativity, making the problem in question a really easy solution unless you arbitrarily want it to be a thing this week.

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

Cleretic posted:

Yeah, that's what Moffat generally does. I think Eleven pulled out the psychic paper for such a thing once, and it failed.


The only time I remember it recently was on the sub and I don't remember if they recognized it was fake or not.

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


Cleretic posted:

Yeah, that's what Moffat generally does. I think Eleven pulled out the psychic paper for such a thing once, and it failed.

One of my favourite Smith moments.

The Doctor (holding up the psychic paper): "This proves I am a mature and responsible adult!"
Young Kazran: It's just a bunch of wavy lines.
The Doctor: Oh. I broke it. Finally a lie too big.

Gordon Shumway
Jan 21, 2008

Do not attempt to adjust your set...


Gaz-L posted:

I haven't listened to any of Gallifrey, but isn't Juliet Landau's version of Romana implied to be from the new series' era? Or did I misunderstand a blurb on some wiki that I may have read, or possibly just dreamt I did?

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back up. They've got Juliet Landau playing Romana in audios? That's...awesome. Tell me there's a multi-Romana story with her and Lalla Ward.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Gordon Shumway posted:

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back up. They've got Juliet Landau playing Romana in audios? That's...awesome. Tell me there's a multi-Romana story with her and Lalla Ward.

As I understand it, a lot of that season is exactly that, the two Romanas manoeuvring against each other. Plus there's a Three Romanas Companion Chronicle. (Sadly recorded after Mary Tamm passed)

Detective No. 27
Jun 7, 2006



Potsticker posted:

If I had never seen Classic Who and you asked me if the Psychic Paper or the Sonic Screwdriver was the new gadget added in the New series, I wouldn't have guessed the paper. Not that the Doctor really needs "proper" authority when he just barges in wherever he pleases anyway.

2nd Doctor didn't need any papers in War Games.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


MrL_JaKiri posted:

Or you could just write it so neither of those things are a problem? It makes you be more creative, but creativity is what's good about things like Doctor Who.

To be fair, unless I'm forgetting, they used it a bit heavily in the beginning of the RTD years and since then, they've mostly used it for jokes likes the "Responsible adult!" one (and the bus tap, which I know people hate, but I've never thought of as anything but a visual gag). Or the occasional "Nice try, we can see right past that!"

I didn't quite care for the idea of it being a Get Out of Jail Free Card, but I'd almost be okay with them using it more often if it's a broken Get Out of Jail Free card that results in a grinning Doctor flashing it at someone and a cut to him and his companions behind bars.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


The Doctor forgetting he didn't have it and flashing his (William Hartnell's) library card at the fishlady not-vampires was pretty hilarious too.

Forktoss
Feb 13, 2012

I'm OK, you're so-so

Astroman posted:

To be fair though, the undisguised TARDIS description is straight up from the NAs 20 years ago.

Big Finish did initially have a different TARDIS model on the cover of The Beginning before The Name of the Doctor aired, though.

Chairman Mao
Apr 24, 2004

The Chinese Communist Party is the core of leadership of the whole Chinese people. Without this core, the cause of socialism cannot be victorious.

Forktoss posted:

Big Finish did initially have a different TARDIS model on the cover of The Beginning before The Name of the Doctor aired, though.



This is a release that kept getting pushed further and further back because of the 50th. I can't imagine the mad scramble as they had to call Ford back in to record new material referencing Clara (obliquely and subtly enough to get past the restrictions on their license) and ditch the completed cover art in favor of something a little more lore-friendly. A bunch of other companion chronicles each got bumped up a month because of it, it must have been a nightmare.

jivjov posted:

Listened to a good chunk of White Room on my commute home from work...always glad to hear a Hitchhiker's Guide reference! Future tenses are hard.

I'm going through Dark Eyes 2 at a much slower pace than 1 but I'm enjoying it a lot more than the first one. I think it's the variety, I was pretty sick of the Daleks by the middle of the first Dark Eyes but this one keeps changing things up. I can't say I was really surprised by the enemy reveal in the second episode but it was a rather pleasant non-surprise.


Was skipping over all the BBV stuff intentional here?

I mean I know that legally they didn't have the right to use The Doctor but the first season of releases that run from Republica through Guests for the Night are very clearly 7 and Ace. I've always felt that McCoy and Aldred slipped back into their roles a lot better than, say, Davison did. The voice, the attitude, just the general feel of the characters seemed a lot more natural on them in those first few releases, and I'd kind of attributed that to the fact that they'd been playing those characters again for an entire year beforehand.

More than that though the company as a whole was a notable stepping stone between the Audio Visuals material and Big Finish. It was the first actual, licensed Doctor Who audio material that Nick Briggs worked on, even had Mark Gatiss as a writer for a while. Most of the actual content is pretty loving awful, but it's fascinating in the way the New Adventures are, where you're watching people that you know are talented because you've seen the final result of their efforts but you're going back and watching them hew these concepts from the earth for the first time. They make mistakes, lord do they make mistakes, but there's a satisfying sense of progression from AV to BBV to BF where you really do get the feeling that when they make a mistake that they learn from it, not only that what they did didn't work and not to do it again, but why it didn't work and what makes it unappealing for the listener. You still have things like pretty little satin bottoms or alien breeding slugs slipping through from time to time, but by the time they'd made it to Big Finish there was a large enough group of people with a brutally intimate knowledge of the kind of traps that fans can fall into when writing for their favorite show to keep things from getting all mary-sue fanfic-y. While I'm sure that Big Finish's style has as much to do with reacting to the NA and EDA book range, there's no substitute for experience, and at the very least, Nick Briggs was accruing that in spades during his time at BBV.

Chairman Mao fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2014 around 10:35

CobiWann
Oct 21, 2009

There are lost episodes of course. Stories that were commissioned but never made. Or made but misfiled, post broadcast. Sheer incompetence, of course.

Chairman Mao posted:

Was skipping over all the BBV stuff intentional here?

I mean I know that legally they didn't have the right to use The Doctor but the first season of releases that run from Republica through Guests for the Night are very clearly 7 and Ace. I've always felt that McCoy and Aldred slipped back into their roles a lot better than, say, Davison did. The voice, the attitude, just the general feel of the characters seemed a lot more natural on them in those first few releases, and I'd kind of attributed that to the fact that they'd been playing those characters again for an entire year beforehand.

More than that though the company as a whole was a notable stepping stone between the Audio Visuals material and Big Finish. It was the first actual, licensed Doctor Who audio material that Nick Briggs worked on, even had Mark Gatiss as a writer for a while. Most of the actual content is pretty loving awful, but it's fascinating in the way the New Adventures are, where you're watching people that you know are talented because you've seen the final result of their efforts but you're going back and watching them hew these concepts from the earth for the first time. They make mistakes, lord do they make mistakes, but there's a satisfying sense of progression from AV to BBV to BF where you really do get the feeling that when they make a mistake that they learn from it, not only that what they did didn't work and not to do it again, but why it didn't work and what makes it unappealing for the listener. You still have things like pretty little satin bottoms or alien breeding slugs slipping through from time to time, but by the time they'd made it to Big Finish there was a large enough group of people with a brutally intimate knowledge of the kind of traps that fans can fall into when writing for their favorite show to keep things from getting all mary-sue fanfic-y. While I'm sure that Big Finish's style has as much to do with reacting to the NA and EDA book range, there's no substitute for experience, and at the very least, Nick Briggs was accruing that in spades during his time at BBV.

That’s exactly why I tried to make sure I said “first officially licensed production” when referring to this story.

I’m not an expert on the Audio Visual stuff, or the stories where Nicholas Briggs was the Doctor, solely because I haven’t seen or heard any of it! I did mention that the Big Finish crew worked and wrote several unlicensed stories (and I completely slept on the 7/Ace stories because, once again, I’ve never seen a single one! Whether that’s good or ill, I know not…), but I didn’t want to write about what I didn’t know about and, well, get it all horribly wrong!

I always saw the first few Big Finish serials as going from “amateur” to “professional.” It’s like a garage band who’s done a few local shows getting a record deal, and now they have to learn to work with a professional staff in a professional studio. They know how to make music, they’ve written and played music before, but it’s a different atmosphere when there’s dedicated equipment and staff AND you don’t have to worry about where the money is coming from for a good while. You’re going to make mistakes and slip along the way until you find your footing. To me, you can see the progression from The Sirens of Time to Phantasmagoria. While the story’s still weak in the second one, the chemistry between Davison and Strickson make it work. Then you have Whispers of Terror, a story that only works in the audio format, and The Land of the Dead, the first attempt to make an old-school Who “base under siege” episode. It all came together with The Fearmonger and The Marian Conspiracy, which to me are the first really solid audios for Big Finish and where the production crew and actors embraced the challenges and advantages of the audio format.

If anyone has a link to any of the old BBV/AV stuff, though, I’d love to take a look at it. Though I have an underlying fear that they’ll turn out to be very much like Ian Levine’s little project…

X X X X X

On a different note, while driving the kiddo back from piano lessons yesterday, she said that if I wanted to listen to an audio with her, I could. She’s hitting the end of the current run, having seen nearly all of Matt Smith and all of Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, but she just can’t get into the old series at all, so maybe the audios can turn her in that direction a bit.

I’m thinking about starting with The Eye of the Scorpion and The Church and the Crown, as they’re fun historical adventure stories and she’s familiar with Five.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


Well, I just finished ...ish, which was interesting in a Snow Crash sort of way. I started going through The Rapture, which is fairly dreadful so far. It's kind of a shame how much of the Seven and Ace stuff is written as though it's still the New Adventures years (or so it feels to a person who knows of them mostly through Astroman's summaries). I really like Ace, but the teenage, rebel-against-daddy bildungsroman hijinx are just a bit overblown in some of the audios.

CobiWann
Oct 21, 2009

There are lost episodes of course. Stories that were commissioned but never made. Or made but misfiled, post broadcast. Sheer incompetence, of course.

Bicyclops posted:

Well, I just finished ...ish, which was interesting in a Snow Crash sort of way. I started going through The Rapture, which is fairly dreadful so far. It's kind of a shame how much of the Seven and Ace stuff is written as though it's still the New Adventures years (or so it feels to a person who knows of them mostly through Astroman's summaries). I really like Ace, but the teenage, rebel-against-daddy bildungsroman hijinx are just a bit overblown in some of the audios.

Yeah, hearing a much more mature Sophie Aldred playing the rebel teenager Ace is very off-putting. While Colditz is an attempt to begin the maturing of the character, going from “Ace” to “Dorothy,” The Rapture is a step backwards, not just because of the dreadful script. I can see A companion wanting to blow off steam and forget about recent events is an idea done much better in the Sixth Doctor story Arrangements for War.

Instead…well, we get daddy issues galore and an anti-drug message.

And the big “reveal” for Ace/Dorothy never, ever, ever comes into play again in any of the audios, even though it would something the character would want to follow up on in the first place!

Instead, we do see Dorothy (actually, just McShane) grow up and take on a big sister role towards new companion Hex in The Harvest, which in the end works MUCH better.

(and ...ish as Snow Crash is a great comparison!)

GonSmithe
Apr 25, 2010

Perhaps it's in the nature of television. Just waves in space.


Meet Danny Pink, a new recurring school teacher from Season 8:


http://www.doctorwho.tv/whats-new/a...-s-first-series

Sekkira
Apr 11, 2008

I Don't Get It,
I Don't Get It,



I was certain the beginning of the 50th anniversary which began in the similar vein to An Unearthly Child also featured the school Ian and Barbara were from, which Clara now tought at. But I'd never bothered checking. Now I know.

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Heh, post 50th and the Doctor's travelling with a pair of teachers from Coal Hill. Cute, Moffat, cute.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


Gaz-L posted:

Heh, post 50th and the Doctor's travelling with a pair of teachers from Coal Hill. Cute, Moffat, cute.

It goes well with the whole "Going home the long way round" thing. Like everything, it definitely depends on its execution, but it looks like an interesting idea.

Sekkira
Apr 11, 2008

I Don't Get It,
I Don't Get It,



The doctor may be interesting, but the show really shines with the dynamic between companions. Having one companion all the time can really hurt the show and I'm glad Moffat worked that out early on to drag Rory into it with Amy. I was hoping he wouldn't just stick with Clara.

100 degrees Calcium
Jan 22, 2011



I kind of hope they keep the whole Coal Hill thing as a cute coincidence and nod to the older series, and not the center of some big decade-spanning metaplot retroactively applied to Hartnell's run.

Every time Moffat talks about upcoming developments in the show, my penis sort of shrinks inside my body.

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


Evil Sagan posted:

I kind of hope they keep the whole Coal Hill thing as a cute coincidence and nod to the older series, and not the center of some big decade-spanning metaplot retroactively applied to Hartnell's run.

Every time Moffat talks about upcoming developments in the show, my penis sort of shrinks inside my body.

Nope, it turns out Coal Hill is now dedicated to churning out companions in potentia for the Doctor.

CobiWann
Oct 21, 2009

There are lost episodes of course. Stories that were commissioned but never made. Or made but misfiled, post broadcast. Sheer incompetence, of course.

The_Doctor posted:

Nope, it turns out Coal Hill is now dedicated to churning out companions in potentia for the Doctor.

In a future episode we find out that Melanie Bush once served as the fire alarm for Coal Hill.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


The_Doctor posted:

Nope, it turns out Coal Hill is now dedicated to churning out companions in potentia for the Doctor.

"Why would this fellow named Chesterton be so interested in training students to travel with me? I wonder if Chatterfield put him up to this."

  • Locked thread
«133 »