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Old 13-04-2008, 08:29   #41
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Some parts of this episode were fantastic others were awful.
Tate is dreadful. Shouting when in danger and looking sad with some water sprayed on your face do not make you an actress. Who could not image her saying 'am I bovvered' at the priestess with the knife ?
I think this hits the nail on the head - inconsistency. Overall this was for me a better episode than the series opener - probably 7/10. The effects were not bad, the production values overall were better, the outdoor scenes in Pompeii looked nice. My main problems were a) Donna (at times) and b) the tone of the story.

Yes Tate was good in parts (the end scenes were not bad, like the scenes with Bernard Cribbins in the previous ep), but for me the shouty bits still jarred incredibly. I like the idea of a more mature non-girly companion who can stand up to the doctor and question him and his actions - but not just by shouting loudly at him and calling him "Mr Spaceman" when she want's to dis him. Again in the sacrifice scene Donna's raging verbal outburst at the knife wielding priestess was ridiculous and unrealistic.

And before you fanboys say "it's a fantasy it doesn't need to be realistic" - the setting may be fantasy but characters still need to react in a believable and consistent fashion to their surroundings and situations they find themselves in.

The story itself was not bad, and I quite liked most of the other characters, but what I found a bit off was the jokey translation of modern language using the lazy excuse of Tardis-translation. OK you can use this as an excuse as to why everyone can understand each other, but really I think this should be more of an "unsaid" rule, rather than trying to up-play it and having people speaking east-end market speak etc.


As usual, my tuppence worth only.
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Old 13-04-2008, 11:03   #42
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Lastly, was it just me or did the main bad-guy remind anyone of Gary Busey?
He looked to me like a hybrid of Busey and John Craven.

He wasn't bad but you couldn't help but think that Capaldi + some better dialogue could have made that character into a genuinely good Who bad guy. You get the idea that Capaldi was wasted somewhat, and while Craven/Busey could've been decent, splitting bad guy duties between him and the petrified crone meant that the episode lacked a focal point for all things evil.

Overall I thought the episode was a big improvement over last week, and the effects were great too. It's astonishing to believe the same effects house did this and the dire CG last week. Also nice to have an episode title that genuinely sounds like a Doctor Who story, for once.

I think what they're trying to do with Tate's character is absolutely fine, but the actress herself just doesn't seem to be able to handle the dialogue particularly well. Also, as posted previously, she seems to be ten years older than the character she's supposed to be playing. I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure why the Doctor shouldn't travel with a slightly older woman for once.
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Old 13-04-2008, 11:21   #43
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Companions shouldn’t be/look older than The Doctor. They’re an expository device and are there to get captured so they can be rescued. Thems are the rules. Perhaps RTD has some viewing figures that show 40+ year old women aren’t watching and so has given them a point of identification in The Tater. Or perhaps he just thinks that every stupid idea he has is golden and steamrollers over any dissenters (if any of the production staff has a pair and dares stand up to him) to get these bad decisions on-screen. I know which I think it is.
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Old 13-04-2008, 11:55   #44
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I think there might be a Doctor Who cult/religion thing in this series....why else have him as the "house god" in the bit at the end.
I would say the end of the episode is likely to be very significant - if the Doctor was meant to allow everyone to die, then saving that one particular family will have consequences.
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Old 13-04-2008, 12:05   #45
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Tate is annoying, but she's got a decent pair of tits on her!


Gotta agree with Baps, i'm enjoying the running a lot more this season
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Old 13-04-2008, 12:11   #46
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Let's just hope they didn't blow the entire series budget on shooting at Cinecittà!

Next week - back to the service passageways of Cardiff shopping centre
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Old 13-04-2008, 12:35   #47
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Well on the whole I enjoyed it - some decent emotional stuff, some humour and some decent FX. I thought the tacked on ending was a bit pants though. The emotional point would have hit home far harder if he'd let the family die...

Can't stand Catherine Tate on her show - but her character seems to be getting a bit less annoying with each appearance. And it should offer a different dynamic if she stands up to The Doctor and is more independent.

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Old 13-04-2008, 13:13   #48
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Let's just hope they didn't blow the entire series budget on shooting at Cinecittà!

Next week - back to the service passageways of Cardiff shopping centre
Do you mean "Not another "earth" episode?

I can assure you that our service passageways in Wales are as good as service passageways anywhere else.

And that the stairs outside my office as seen in the season opener are good stairs.
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Old 13-04-2008, 13:56   #49
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Hmm

The thought of Catherine Tate returning made me worry for the state of the show but, I have to admit, this weeks episode was fine really.

controvercy mode on

I can't imagine it being any better with "Bovvered" Rose instead since she always seemed to be a twenty something version of tate anyway and was just as - or even more - annoying. Plus it's sort of nice that we have a companion who isnt oggling the Doctor and swooning over him every episode. After 3 seasons of that it was starting to get very annoying!!

controvercy mode off

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Old 13-04-2008, 13:58   #50
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Companions shouldn’t be/look older than The Doctor. They’re an expository device and are there to get captured so they can be rescued. Thems are the rules. Perhaps RTD has some viewing figures that show 40+ year old women aren’t watching and so has given them a point of identification in The Tater. Or perhaps he just thinks that every stupid idea he has is golden and steamrollers over any dissenters (if any of the production staff has a pair and dares stand up to him) to get these bad decisions on-screen. I know which I think it is.
I imagine the 40+ year old woman audience is more than happy with David Tennant to look at; Tate is working out very well.

I don't know if you've noticed, but in this new series, the idea of companions being there to get rescued has been turned on its head at least once a season. Away with you and your rules, they are no longer required.
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Old 13-04-2008, 14:33   #51
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Do you mean "Not another "earth" episode?

I can assure you that our service passageways in Wales are as good as service passageways anywhere else.

And that the stairs outside my office as seen in the season opener are good stairs.
I wasn't being Anti-Welsh, just Anti-Corridor

Why are the Welsh so defensive

There was a nice nod to the Welsh in this week's episode ... I think ... when Doc Spartacus and Donna went to see Caecilius for the first time, he worked out that they were "celtic", and said "Oh you're Celtic? There's lovely" in a Welsh accent

I just got done watching the Confidential episode ... was a really good one I thought, all the interesting and respectful stuff about the people of Pompeii. I loved how cool and that Italian dude that was showing Tennant around was
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Old 13-04-2008, 14:55   #52
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Companions shouldn’t be/look older than The Doctor. They’re an expository device and are there to get captured so they can be rescued. Thems are the rules. Perhaps RTD has some viewing figures that show 40+ year old women aren’t watching and so has given them a point of identification in The Tater. Or perhaps he just thinks that every stupid idea he has is golden and steamrollers over any dissenters (if any of the production staff has a pair and dares stand up to him) to get these bad decisions on-screen. I know which I think it is.

Indeed. The latter.
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Old 13-04-2008, 15:11   #53
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Or perhaps he just thinks that every stupid idea he has is golden and steamrollers over any dissenters (if any of the production staff has a pair and dares stand up to him) to get these bad decisions on-screen. I know which I think it is.

Well to be fair to RTD, (and I'm not saying I agree with all his decisions or scripts) it's technically his show until he moves on. Until the series falls out of favour or starts getting bad viewing figures he needn't listen to any critics at all. At the end of the day he's there to make successful television, which is what he is doing. The idea that some people need to stand up to him is almost as silly as the scripts themselves.

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Old 13-04-2008, 15:15   #54
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Companions shouldn’t be/look older than The Doctor. They’re an expository device and are there to get captured so they can be rescued. Thems are the rules.
Really ?

Are you the world's no. 1 officianado on all things Dr. Who ? Or maybe you created him ?

Thought not.

Personally, I don't have a problem with Tate's performances this series so far.
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Old 13-04-2008, 16:38   #55
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Just watched this, utter dross for me.

The whole thing just felt like it was written in a lunch hour, the water pistol part was cringe-worthy.

The trouble with Tate is one minute she is fine and the next I feel like I'm watching her sketch show. It just doesn't work for me.

Effects were top notch though which was a surprise compared to the shoddiness of last week.
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Old 13-04-2008, 17:20   #56
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One of the best shows on TV, and like nothing else.

One thing I'd like to point out about Catherine Tate: one gets a very skewed opinion of her popularity on internet message boards. Her BBC2 sketch show gets massive ratings.

The impression you'd get from hanging around here is that most people hate her -- that is simply not the case. I genuinely feel that's worth mentioning.

Fair enough, the Net community don't seem to like her but what percentage are we of the viewing public?
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Old 13-04-2008, 17:44   #57
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Really ?

Are you the world's no. 1 officianado on all things Dr. Who ? Or maybe you created him ?

Thought not.

Not sure why you’re so irked at a contrasting opinion but nevertheless I have watched the show for decades and it is made with our money so it is one of the few subjects I feel fully qualified to hold forth on. The whole raison d’etre for the companion role is so The Doctor can relate plot points to us, via them, and the secondary job is for them to get into scrapes so they can be rescued. IIRC several old hands from the show’s past have articulated exactly that point. The show is called "Doctor Who" for a reason. It’s the main character we watch for not the interchangeable ciphers that tag along with him. A point that needs to be emphasised to the Welshman who, time and again, seems far more concerned with the (what should be) ancilliary characters. It is this kind of distorted emphasis that resulted in too many eps in the previous 3 seasons being about Rose/Martha mooning over The Doctor.

As to RTD needing someone standing up to him "being silly", we only have to look at other public figures who surround themselves with toadying yes-men and the mess they get themselves into as a result. The show is not his own personal plaything. As I have said before he has a responsibility to the programme’s history and to the audience that grew up with it. The idea that he can do whatever he pleases with it regardless......well, that IS just silly.

As a final point I am a big fan of Tate and have the DVDs of her own show but there is such a thing as mis-casting and this is most definitely it.
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Old 13-04-2008, 17:52   #58
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One of the best shows on TV, and like nothing else.

One thing I'd like to point out about Catherine Tate: one gets a very skewed opinion of her popularity on internet message boards. Her BBC2 sketch show gets massive ratings.

The impression you'd get from hanging around here is that most people hate her -- that is simply not the case. I genuinely feel that's worth mentioning.

Fair enough, the Net community don't seem to like her but what percentage are we of the viewing public?
Indeed, I personally know quite a few "Common" people and they all think she's great.

I think she "Could" be very good, if only she could restrain her gob, which lets her down. She has moments where you feels she's really good, and then goes completely over the top, flips into the Catherine Tate show, and completely ruins it. It's a shame she can't seem to tell when she's doing it.

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Old 13-04-2008, 17:55   #59
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With "Modern" doctor who (and having to appeal to todays generation)

Which always seems to be the downfall of anything (eg Thunderbirds the movie)

Do I assume Doctor who can never be played seriously ever again?

Like many children's shows used to be.
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Old 13-04-2008, 18:00   #60
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As a final point I am a big fan of Tate and have the DVDs of her own show but there is such a thing as mis-casting and this is most definitely it.
The other point to a companion is that it's, generally, someone the Doctor has rescued.

So, it would be a little churlish to dismiss demographics when considering casting. Why shouldn't the Doctor feel that a strong willed occasionally chav mouthed larger lady shouldn't replace his previous Tardis Totty (TM)?
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