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

APZonerunner

Features Editor at VG247.com
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I'll worry when the BBC makes a Strictly theme park.
In fairness Doctor Who will be sharing that space with franchises like Star Trek and Mission Impossible and as far as BBC shows go that park is also making use of the shambling corpse of Top Gear - it's just Paramount trying to make their new UK theme park suitably 'British' with licensing deals, heh. BBC Worldwide sold the license, but they couldn't actually be bothered to find a new location for their own Doctor Who venue, which sucks.
 

APZonerunner

Features Editor at VG247.com
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That's a fair point, yeah. Glancing at the schedules, something like this makes sense: Countryfile @ 6pm, Doctor Who @ 7pm, Strictly results show, then a sitcom, then a drama. That's basically where Who would most naturally fit. Countryfile isn't much of a lead-in, but one hopes that Who can grow Sunday nights. The alternative is that Who becomes less of an "event show", which would be bad for the show.

More than anything, it feels like the BBC blinking first at how much competition there is on a Sunday. What I don't like about that is that at its best, Doctor Who has always thrived under going toe-to-toe with behemoths like the X-Factor, so to move it away is an admission of defeat of sorts that makes me sad. I'm sure the show will be fine either way, but I want to see it grow again, not just maintain the shrunken numbers from the last few years.
 
I think it's the right decision for the time of year. It's the right decision short of delaying to Easter.
They really screwed up not using this opportunity to go back to the old spring schedule.

It feels like one more annoying thing about this year. Only 10 episodes, weird time slot. Dunno what it would've taken, butb honestly, s11 should've gone out earlier this year with 12eps minimum.

I hope it ends up actually good...
 
I mean, a lot of stuff is different in the UK around TV just because of the nature of the license fee, the BBC as a publicly-funded, ad-free broadcaster, their remit, etc etc. Ultimately, Saturday is considered a really important day for the BBC as it's a very high day for prime-time, whole-family viewership. Saturday nights are when the big variety shows get put on - X Factor, Britain's Got Talent etc - or the biggest quiz shows, or whatever. For a while the BBC was really trailing behind rivals on Saturday nights, and then Doctor Who was actually their solution - it rescued Saturday nights for them and other rival channels commissioned very similar shows to Who like Primeval to counter it. Even the BBC started commissioning other shows, like Merlin, to fill the Doctor Who gap on a Saturday night when Who wasn't on.

Sundays tend to be either for the very light touch kids stuff earlier on in the day - like tea time - or the more adult dramas or documentaries later. The stuff in between is always sort of meh, or traditionalist stuff like antiques roadshow, so it's weird/interesting to see Who put in that slot. The counter-argument is that with time shift and online and iplayer being so big the day of the week matters less than it ever did, but it is something of a prestige thing. The big Saturday night shows are the ones that get Christmas specials, sorta.

Davies and Gardner used to say that it was key to keep the show present in the mind of the BBC as their most important weekend show. That's Strictly now, obviously, but before DW could at least claim to be on par with it. Being shunted to a different day removes that chance, but alas.

It is what it is, though. There is no sugar-coating it: whatever you think of the era (and I enjoyed much of it), Capaldi's time and even the latter half of Smith's time saw big drops to the live audience - disproportionately large, even, compared to the natural drop off in viewers thanks to more people shifting to watch online after the fact. So one understands why the BBC would reach this conclusion. Doctor Who used to be big enough that it could muscle into Strictly and push it later. It isn't any more. It's not the end of the world, but reversing this trend needs to be a priority for Chibnall... and maybe the new time slot will help. Maybe it won't.
Thanks for the thoughtful response, things are different in the USA with eras of premier times (Thursday comedy block on NBC, ABC’s TGIF on Fridays, CBS on Wednesday all being popular and waning in time) plus the pull of severa sports. Weekends are never really considered prime viewing times and Sunday is seen as a more family friendly time slot.
 
That's a fair point, yeah. Glancing at the schedules, something like this makes sense: Countryfile @ 6pm, Doctor Who @ 7pm, Strictly results show, then a sitcom, then a drama. That's basically where Who would most naturally fit. Countryfile isn't much of a lead-in, but one hopes that Who can grow Sunday nights. The alternative is that Who becomes less of an "event show", which would be bad for the show.
Eh? Since Countryfile moved to early evening (some time ago now, of course!), the ratings have been pretty huge.

If it *is* in a Countryfile/Strictly sandwich, despite my initial aversion to thoughts of Sundays, I can't help but think that that's a pretty generous place to put it. That said, in recent years Countryfile has segued directly into Strictly, so they might want to preserve that (in which case post-Strictly is probably okay, pre-Countryfile is too early)
 
They really screwed up not using this opportunity to go back to the old spring schedule.

It feels like one more annoying thing about this year. Only 10 episodes, weird time slot. Dunno what it would've taken, butb honestly, s11 should've gone out earlier this year with 12eps minimum.

I hope it ends up actually good...
To get to a spring schedule, they would've needed to push production up by like 6 months or delay it 6 months, but then it'd be airing next March/April instead of next month.

I think the only way Doctor Who goes back to a spring schedule is if something goes with the production and Chibnall has to do what Moffat did with S7 and split one series over two years.
 
Thanks for the thoughtful response, things are different in the USA with eras of premier times (Thursday comedy block on NBC, ABC’s TGIF on Fridays, CBS on Wednesday all being popular and waning in time) plus the pull of severa sports. Weekends are never really considered prime viewing times and Sunday is seen as a more family friendly time slot.
Sundays in America turned into the most crowded night for dramas over the last few years, though.
 

APZonerunner

Features Editor at VG247.com
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Sundays in America turned into the most crowded night for dramas over the last few years, though.
I mean, it's worth pointing out that Saturday was never a drama hotspot for the UK either, but Doctor Who forged a unique place in the schedules in that it was a drama, but it catered to and was lapped up by the same audiences that tuned in for Strictly and X Factor. It was bloody unique for a few years, and uncontested at that for a good five or six years there. It also just seemed to fit a Saturday, being an energetic, excited show... rather than the 'oh god, work/school tomorrow' mood of a Sunday night.
 
I don’t like the move to Sunday, but it’s not a downgrade really. My main initial concern was that Doctor Who wasn’t going to be able to dislodge one of the Countryfile/Strictly/Antique Roadshow titans, all of which have tended to outrate Who for years. I’d hope that it doesn’t end up at 5 or some other daft time to accommodate them.

Sunday’s been the night for the biggest ratings for years- if you’re looking at the big rating shows, everything that’s not Strictly and, to a lesser extent, Britain’s Got Talent has fallen off a cliff recently. If you’re going to judge it purely by ratings, Autumn Sundays are going to be much healthier than Autumn Saturdays for the show- you don’t have to deal with the Strictly issue, and you get to put the show in a successful lineup rather than trying to make one.
 
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I would have been up for split seasons to keep it on Saturday somehow. I think it would actually be a nice change to be able to have Star Trek-style season cliffhangers instead of being forced to bookend everything with standalone Christmas specials.
 
In the US anyway Sunday always felt like the night for prestigious drama (Probably because that's the night that premium channels like HBO usually airs new episodes of their shows). Saturday always felt odd to me since it's a dead night for TV in the US since people are more likely to go out on the weekends. One of those little differences between the US and UK I guess.

I'm fine with it being on Sundays.
 
In the US anyway Sunday always felt like the night for prestigious drama (Probably because that's the night that premium channels like HBO usually airs new episodes of their shows). Saturday always felt odd to me since it's a dead night for TV in the US since people are more likely to go out on the weekends. One of those little differences between the US and UK I guess.

I'm fine with it being on Sundays.
I usually have shows on Sundays. It was nice having just Who to wind down on a Saturday night.
 
Wait, was this posted before?

Doctor Who Magazine says the title of the first episode is "The Woman Who Fell to Earth."
They're previewing Ep1&2 in their September 20th issue

 
Wait, was this posted before?

Doctor Who Magazine says the title of the first episode is "The Woman Who Fell to Earth."
They're previewing Ep1&2 in their September 20th issue

Shrewd choice of title. Graphic, because it's going to continue from her headlong fall from the exploding TARDIS, but also a nod to the long-standing geek associations of the series. David Bowie, Nic Roeg, Walter Tevis, The Man who Fell to Earth. One of the greatest SF novels of the twentieth century. A flawed but ravishing film.

Another world is holding me down.

https://youtu.be/anqGQZBGX0s
 
I’m looking forward to it so much, I’ve been missing it a lot. Feels like the show has been gone for a million years, and the fact so much is going to change hasn’t made the wait any easier. Anyway, it’s close now.
 
I really hope they show some restraint with all of the jokes about being female etc. It'll start to get in the way of the narrative for me.

They've shown absolutely no restraint so far about how wonderful they think they are about casting, producers, writers etc. All good information to know and thoroughly needed, but it feels like they are blowing their own trumpet too much.
 

APZonerunner

Features Editor at VG247.com
Verified
I really hope they show some restraint with all of the jokes about being female etc. It'll start to get in the way of the narrative for me.

They've shown absolutely no restraint so far about how wonderful they think they are about casting, producers, writers etc. All good information to know and thoroughly needed, but it feels like they are blowing their own trumpet too much.
Not that it matters, but in-show they've been clear that it's not even going to be commented on - she's just going to get on with it. Out of the show, I think a conversation absolutely should happen and they should make a noise about it, as it's important and historic. I agree in the show it just needs to be as if nothing has really happened though - after all, this is normal for a Time Lord.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
It's weird, but the closer we get to premiere time, the less hyped I am. I think we've been waiting for this so long that I've kind of just run out of anticipation? Does anyone else feel that way or am I just crazy?
 
It's weird, but the closer we get to premiere time, the less hyped I am. I think we've been waiting for this so long that I've kind of just run out of anticipation? Does anyone else feel that way or am I just crazy?
I think I'm deliberately restraining my inner fan girl at this point. There'll be time for gushing when there's something to gush about.

The teasers aren't aimed at me or anybody else following this thread, but at potential general viewers who need to be reminded something new is coming next month.
 
I mean I'm not going hype-crazy but this is the first time I've felt any level of genuine anticipation for it coming back in years. A mix of big breaks over the last couple of years and a new team coming in mean I'm actually curious about seeing it. I started getting quite meh about new series mid-way through the Moffat era.
 
Not that it matters, but in-show they've been clear that it's not even going to be commented on - she's just going to get on with it. Out of the show, I think a conversation absolutely should happen and they should make a noise about it, as it's important and historic. I agree in the show it just needs to be as if nothing has really happened though - after all, this is normal for a Time Lord.
I bet Graham is going to be the butt of the jokes. Older white man and all that.

Making a noise is fine, but their tone is one of self-indulgence. They could go about it without trying to seem up their own backside.
 
I mean I'm not going hype-crazy but this is the first time I've felt any level of genuine anticipation for it coming back in years. A mix of big breaks over the last couple of years and a new team coming in mean I'm actually curious about seeing it. I started getting quite meh about new series mid-way through the Moffat era.
I always get excited for a new Doctor or new companion but especially a new Doctor. It's sad to see the previous Doctor go but I really like the way it keeps the show fresh.
A new showrunner helps with that too of course since the style of the show is going to change somewhat. I'm a little more worried about Chibnall though than I was Moffat since Moffat wrote some really outstanding episodes under RTD and Chibnall hasn't written any outstanding episodes of Who (though I thought Broadchurch was pretty good so that gives me some hope).
 
My hype level has been uncommonly low this year, purely because the BBC has been so insistent on not giving us anything for so long. Even the trailer we got revealed almost nothing.

I'm at the point now where whatever scraps they throw out feel more irritating than rewarding. I'd rather just not think about it until broadcast now.
 
I always get excited for a new Doctor or new companion but especially a new Doctor. It's sad to see the previous Doctor go but I really like the way it keeps the show fresh.
A new showrunner helps with that too of course since the style of the show is going to change somewhat. I'm a little more worried about Chibnall though than I was Moffat since Moffat wrote some really outstanding episodes under RTD and Chibnall hasn't written any outstanding episodes of Who (though I thought Broadchurch was pretty good so that gives me some hope).
I'm mostly the same. Excited for Whittaker and what a new Doctor brings, trepedatious for Chibnall. Annoyed by lack of exciting info and the 10 episode schedule.
 
I'm excited for non-Moffat Who and Jodie. My concerns with Chinballs is that it might get a touch preachy based on the super woke vibe i'm getting in general from announcements. Not saying stuff doesn't need to get addressed but I'd also like a sense of wonder.

4 weeks from now and we'll have a lot to digest ;)
 
I'm excited because we know so little. We're less than a month away, and we've still got no monsters, very little idea of the plots of the episodes, almost no casting, only one title that doesn't really tell us anything we don't know, and we don't know what the title sequence and music's going to be like, or have a proper look at the TARDIS... the floodgates are going to open big-style at some point very soon, and I can't wait.

I've put my Chibnall misgivings to one side- literally everything we've heard about the show he's building has me incredibly excited, and that's enough for me at the moment.
 
A new showrunner helps with that too of course since the style of the show is going to change somewhat. I'm a little more worried about Chibnall though than I was Moffat since Moffat wrote some really outstanding episodes under RTD and Chibnall hasn't written any outstanding episodes of Who (though I thought Broadchurch was pretty good so that gives me some hope).
I took a look at Chibnall's other work (aside from Broadchurch, Doctor Who, and Torchwood) when he was announced as the new show runner.

In particular his two episodes for Life on Mars show a skilled writer using the historical fantasy police procedural setting to address social issues in a serious way while remaining accessible. Given the hints we've seen from location shoots, I think we've got every reason to expect impressive work in the historical field as well as science fiction.
 
I don't want to be too harsh on Chibnall either- his series 7 episodes were the high points of that series, and stuff like Broadchurch and United has left a better impression than most of his Doctor Who or Torchwood stuff.

The impression that I get is that he greatly matured as a writer after his experiences with Camelot- everything he's written since then has been much better than what came before it.

I'm extremely worried the new tone is going to be generic bbc drama
Even what little we've seen thus far has looked far too much fun for that- the tone they're promoting Whitaker's Doctor is miles away from that.

Much as I love them, series 8 and 9 with its troubled protagonists and muted lighting is far closer to the general state of BBC drama than this next series looks like.
 
Idle musing- the idea that Davies tossed around back when it looked like the rights to the Daleks wouldn't be secured for the new series that it was the Toclafane who fought the Time War against the Time Lords is one of the most interesting roads that the series ever ended up not taking, and much of the past 13 years would have been radically changed if they'd gone through with it.

Part of me wonders if the foes that caused the end of the Time Lords being humanity wouldn't have actually made for a more interesting character arc than the one we got.
 
An Australian distributor let it slip that the next two Classic Who releases will be a Season 10 bluray set (Pertwee's S10 that is) and The Wheel in Space. Though no word on whether Wheel is a reconstruction, animation, or actual recovered episodes.
 
An Australian distributor let it slip that the next two Classic Who releases will be a Season 10 bluray set (Pertwee's S10 that is) and The Wheel in Space. Though no word on whether Wheel is a reconstruction, animation, or actual recovered episodes.

I guess they decided not to do Pertwee's first season like they did for 4 and 5
 
I think the issue with Pertwee's first two seasons (and maybe his third too?) is that the film prints for most of those episodes only exist in black and white, and color had to be manually restored for their DVD releases. Which looks plenty watchable as is, but probably makes clean-up for a bluray conversion more difficult.
 
An Australian distributor let it slip that the next two Classic Who releases will be a Season 10 bluray set (Pertwee's S10 that is) and The Wheel in Space. Though no word on whether Wheel is a reconstruction, animation, or actual recovered episodes.
The Wheel is rumoured to be reconstructions rather than animated (which would mean a hard pass for me)

Pertwee's season 10 makes sense from a technical perspective. It's the oldest season that has the majority of its episodes (all bar Planet of the Daleks ep 3) existed on original PAL masters (though they've long since been transferred to more modern formats for archiving).

Pertwee's first three seasons are a mash of episodes where the only colour copy was an NTSC (transferred back when it was hard to do this and while it was amazing for the early 70s, it looks shash now. The DVD's have tried to repair this damage but still don't look as good as stories where the PAL master was kept- Claws of Axos) or stories where a B&W film print was combined with the colour from an off-air home video recording (like Silurians/Terror of the Autons/ Daemons). Or the stories where some people tried to recover colour from [email protected] prints (when the were originally transferred to B&W film, the colour was meant to be filtered out but often wasn't so that when the B&W versions were broadcast, you would get some red and green artefacts. Some engineer worked out you could get the colour information from this, but it's only marginally successful- parts of Ambassadors of Death/Mind of Evil/ Invasion of the Dinosaurs 1.)

I think from Pertwee's first season, only one episode exists as a PAL master (Ambassadors of Death 1). From his first three seasons, I think only Day of the Daleks exists completely in PAL
 
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