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Old 2006-07-21, 06:35 PM   #1
Osku
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Smile Doctor Who, some background info wanted

Doctor Who begins showing in Finland in September. It seems it's the new series.
http://www.yle.fi/doctorwho/

I don't really want to go see spoilers of the series. I know there are Doctor Who freaks around. Care to give a little background, or a link to non-spoiler introduction?
 
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Old 2006-07-21, 06:47 PM   #2
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Basic information, you mean?

The Doctor is an alien, a Time Lord. He can travel through time and space in his ship, the TARDIS (which should be able to change shape to camoflague itself, but got jammed as a police box in 1963 - it's a sort-of British thing about high technology being a bit dodgy - it's also bigger on the inside than the outside the new series control room was designed by Bryan Hitch). He usually has a human travelling companion - in the new series, it'll be an English shop-girl named Rose. They then career around time and space, usually accidentally landing somewhere there's some diabolical plot in motion, which they then try and sort out.

The first "new" series, starring Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor (the 9th), with Billie Piper (a minor pop star beforehand but very good in Doctor Who). It's a bit mixed, and Eccleston is IMHO badly cast, but it's still good TV.

The BBC wesbite is good for basic info, but does contain some spoilers... I've had a quick glance over a few pages which seem to be spoiler-free: -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/characters/doc9.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/characters/rose.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/episodes/2005/ (avoid the galleries for Parting of the Ways and Christmas Invasion; both contain spoilers)

Erm, yeh, that's about it for the basics of the new series unless you have follow-up questions
 
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Old 2006-07-21, 06:48 PM   #3
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The Doctor is a native of the planet Gallifrey - home to a race of people called Timelords.

They look human but aren't. Several differences - they have two hearts, for a start.

They are able to travel back and forwards through time (and across space) in a machine called a TARDIS - which is huge on the inside, but a lot smaller on the outside. It can camoflauge itself to blend in with its surroundings, but the Doctor's got broken and is stuck in the form of an old style Police Box.

Timelords don't die like you or I - they regenerate, gaining a new body and usually a whole new personality to go with it (presumably a result of changing neural pathways / hormonal levels / whatever). The memories, however, remain.

That's pretty much all the background you need to be able to watch the new series.

[EDIT] Damn you, Cliffjumper! I shall have my rewengay!
 

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Old 2006-07-21, 07:01 PM   #4
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Yeh, the new series is designed very much so you don't need to know anything much about it to enjoy it. The first episode, "Rose", basically sees The Doctor and Rose meet up, and is given over largely to The Doctor explaining half of this stuff. There's the odd bit that is in there for the fans, but the plots don't dwell on it

For the Eccleston series, I recommend the 1st episode as a groundwork, then the 3rd and 6th, and then the 8th to the 10th. The rest are a bit dodgy plot-wise, IMHO. The new series takes a season to really find its' feet, but the second has generally been a huge improvement

A lot of it might be more enjoyable without preconceptions, though.

Come back when you've watched it all and I shall lecture you on Sylvester McCoy and Andrew Cartmel
 
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Old 2006-07-21, 07:04 PM   #5
Osku
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Thank you, both.

Was Doctor Who somehow connected to Marvel comics? I seem to remember reading a short strip about similar character. Could have been 2000 Ad also.

Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
A lot of it might be more enjoyable without preconceptions, though.

Come back when you've watched it all and I shall lecture you on Sylvester McCoy and Andrew Cartmel
It'll be shown one episode per week, so it'll take some time. The slow showing schedule is actually nice. They used to show Babylon5 on the same time slot (we're talking about public national channel 2 now) on Sundays.
 

Last edited by Osku; 2006-07-21 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 2006-07-21, 07:06 PM   #6
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Marvel bought the license back in the 1970s, and still do the magazine in the UK now (via Panini).

An earlier version of the Doctor, the 7th one, is the chap who shrinks Death's Head down to human sized in "Crossroads in Time"
 
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Old 2006-07-21, 07:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
An earlier version of the Doctor, the 7th one, is the chap who shrinks Death's Head down to human sized in "Crossroads in Time"
Which makes him perhaps the only character in the TF universe to have died more times than Prime.

... I'll get Legion's coat.
 

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Old 2006-07-21, 07:10 PM   #8
Osku
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
An earlier version of the Doctor, the 7th one, is the chap who shrinks Death's Head down to human sized in "Crossroads in Time"
Ah, the black & white strip.
 
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Old 2006-07-24, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Marvel bought the license back in the 1970s, and still do the magazine in the UK now (via Panini).
Though Panini do have the rights to reprint Marvel stuff in the UK they are a totally seperate company from the big M- Which is why they now do DC reprints as well. If you do wind up interested in Who comics as well Osku Panini are puting out several handsome collections- The earliest of which have rather gorgous Dave Gibbons art (and were written by the co-creator of Judge Dreed- which migh be why you were thinking of the Galaxy's greatest comic).

Quote:
which should be able to change shape to camoflague itself, but got jammed as a police box in 1963 - it's a sort-of British thing about high technology being a bit dodgy
I thought it was entirely down to the budget not being big enough for them to afford a new Tardis prop every four weeks if they'd gone with the original idea of the ship disguising herself wherever she goes?
 
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Old 2006-07-24, 02:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Judge Dreed
Judge John Dreed?

Maverick QC, yes?

Quote:
I thought it was entirely down to the budget not being big enough for them to afford a new Tardis prop every four weeks if they'd gone with the original idea of the ship disguising herself wherever she goes?
Like the mutant heads being dropped from BW because they couldn't afford to animate them. Rather than them being dropped for being a **** idea.

As an aside, isn't there some guff about the Timelords having a general non interventionist policy, whereas the Doctor has a "do what the bloody hell he thinks is for the best" policy?
 

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Old 2006-07-24, 02:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brendocon
As an aside, isn't there some guff about the Timelords having a general non interventionist policy, whereas the Doctor has a "do what the bloody hell he thinks is for the best" policy?
Officially the Time Lords were supposed never to interfer, but the CIA (Celestial Intervention Agency) would frequently carry out black op style mission to remove what they considered to be potential threats (such as destroying Earth is a super-nova just because some stolen sectrets from Gallifrey were hidden on the planet). Frequently the Doctor would have to do things for them so as to be allowed to keep his freedom.

Of course, the Time Lords are a lot better at not interfering since they became extinct.
 
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Old 2006-07-24, 02:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Of course, the Time Lords are a lot better at not interfering since they became extinct.
For Osku's benefit, the spoiler tags will now be invoked!

SPOILER! (select to read)
Remarkable how the Timelords won that war, yet there are still Daleks everybloodywhere.

I missed chunks of the Ecclescake series... did they ever actually properly elaborate on the Time War? In as much as - did they, like, summon all the Timelords to this specific point in the future so they could all die, or is it possible that some were visiting prehistoric Cygnus Alpha at the time and as such had no clue about it, therefore surviving?

 

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Old 2006-07-24, 02:55 PM   #13
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SPOILER! (select to read)
I can't see that as much of a spoiler considering the first mention of Timelords in the new show is "They're all dead".

The only way the Time War would make sense would be if whatever the Doctor did was supposed to wipe out all Daleks and Timelords from throughout history- If it only killed those on the battlefield or those in that time frame then he wouldn't be supprised to run into Daleks what with them being a time travelling race. This might explain the Doctor's survival actually- As the person who threw the switch he couldn't be removed from history because then there'd be no one to throw the switch- The Man's a paradox!
Though that theory's blown out the water by people like Jack knowing what Dalek's are, which wouldn't be the case if they'd been removed from time. I suppose it's possible the bling bling Daleks were created especially to fight in the time war which is why he'd be so supprised to see one...

 
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Old 2006-07-24, 03:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
SPOILER! (select to read)
I can't see that as much of a spoiler considering the first mention of Timelords in the new show is "They're all dead".
SPOILER! (select to read)
Well, it was more the Dalek stuff I was trying to mask. Though their first appearance is pretty much given away by the episode title. Almost as pointless as the great lengths they go to in Rise of the Cybermen to stop you seeing the Big Bad until the very end... shock value slightly undermined by the title card 40 minutes prior. But there ya go.


Quote:
SPOILER! (select to read)
The only way the Time War would make sense would be if whatever the Doctor did was supposed to wipe out all Daleks and Timelords from throughout history- If it only killed those on the battlefield or those in that time frame then he wouldn't be supprised to run into Daleks what with them being a time travelling race.
SPOILER! (select to read)
That's much what I thought... but then why didn't it effect the ones in the Genesis Ark and the Golden Beach Ball of Doom? Or the one that fell back through time... or the Emperor and his mates for that matter?

The thing I didn't quite follow with the Cult of Whatsit was the bit about them having come across the void. The fact that they bailed on the Time War puts them as being from our reality... so presumably they punched their way out of this dimension, then punched their way back across? Or is this stick meant to be held at the other end? If it is the case, I can accept them surviving because they weren't in this dimension... but as for the others?

Brain hurts.

 

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Old 2006-07-24, 03:07 PM   #15
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SPOILER! (select to read)
As far as I can tell the Daleks in the sphere surrvived because they were outside of time and space in the so called void when the war ended How the Emporor Dalek and and one in Dalek surrived remains a mystery. That's why I think the show will never go into much detail on what happened, it gives the show a good format but doesn't stand up to that close scrutiny really


Did you wind up buying Caves in the end?

And for those of you skiping through all that spoiler space, here's a nice pic of the best thing to ever be in Who:


 
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Old 2006-07-24, 03:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Did you wind up buying Caves in the end?
Yeah. Quite enjoyable. Probably would have had a bigger punch if I was more familiar with Peri (great camera work in the last scene, incidentally).

Dodgy production, but a nice intelligent, subtle plot. Makes a pleasant change from in-yer-face childish stories that hammer you about the head with exposition.

Even if I wasn't quite sure what they were doing on the planet on the first place, or why they decided "ooh, let's go into the caves, then."

Plus it had Maurice whatsisface in it.

Davison's class. Sir.

Was that archive footage of the Master and that at the end, then? Or what?
 

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Old 2006-07-24, 03:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brendocon
Yeah. Quite enjoyable. Probably would have had a bigger punch if I was more familiar with Peri (great camera work in the last scene, incidentally).


This is only Peri's second story, all the contempoary audience really knew about her was that she likes wearing small pink bikini's- That's aprt of the tragedy really, the Doctor sacrifices himself for someone he and we) barely knows.

Quote:
Even if I wasn't quite sure what they were doing on the planet on the first place, or why they decided "ooh, let's go into the caves, then."
Because they ran out of time in the studio they couldn't film the opening Tardis scene explaning what they're doing there- It was somthing to do with collecting sand to make glass for the Doctor's glass blowing hobby or something (full details are in the text commentary, it's probably not as bad sounding as that). That's why Peri randomly mentions glass, and indeed why they're mouths aren't moving as they leave the Tardis because they had to hastily overdub dialoug on that scene.

Quote:
Plus it had Maurice whatsisface in it.
You might want to check out The Nightmare Man, four part story with Maurice Whatisface written by the same bloke who wrote Caves (and basically is a Who serial without the Doctor...).

Quote:
Davison's class. Sir.
Hugely underrated, perhaps oddly so considering his era was the last time the original show was relatively succesful.

Quote:
Was that archive footage of the Master and that at the end, then? Or what?
All the clips were specially filmed at Davisions leaving party.
 
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Old 2006-07-24, 06:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brendocon



SPOILER! (select to read)
That's much what I thought... but then why didn't it effect the ones in the Genesis Ark and the Golden Beach Ball of Doom? Or the one that fell back through time... or the Emperor and his mates for that matter?

The thing I didn't quite follow with the Cult of Whatsit was the bit about them having come across the void. The fact that they bailed on the Time War puts them as being from our reality... so presumably they punched their way out of this dimension, then punched their way back across? Or is this stick meant to be held at the other end? If it is the case, I can accept them surviving because they weren't in this dimension... but as for the others?

Brain hurts.
I guess whatever the Doctor did was sorta equilivant to a explosion. You can perform the exact same explosion everytime bit each time a different part of the room is more damaged, different numbers of organisms are injured, die or survive even. People close to a explosion can even ramdomly come away unhurt while others further away are killed.

Whatever superdestructive thing that the doc did just missed the odd target. The recent Daleks were elsewhere and where really kown to the Doctor so he could target them or check to see if they were destroyed.
 

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Old 2006-07-24, 06:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by inflatable dalek

And for those of you skiping through all that spoiler space, here's a nice pic of the best thing to ever be in Who:

She looks like a mouse.
 

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Old 2006-07-24, 06:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by inflatable dalek


This is only Peri's second story, all the contempoary audience really knew about her was that she likes wearing small pink bikini's- That's aprt of the tragedy really, the Doctor sacrifices himself for someone he and we) barely knows.
No, it illustrates what a caring, trusting man the Fifth Doctor is - he doesn't nned to know Peri for months to know he likes her, and that she trusts him, and he isn't going to let her down. That's the triumph of the whole thing - the Doctor is prepared to risk his life (remember, in fictional terms, there's absolutely no guarantee he'll regenerate) for someone simply because she's his friend, and she believes in him. We actually pick up a fair bit about Peri from "Planet" - she's smart, witty, brave but a little impetuous, a bit spoilt, inquisitive... It was just all junked for Season 22.

The scene where he runs into Jek's lab, full of bodies, grabs Peri without even looking at the fallen, and runs for it is a masterpiece.

Androzani is a top-to-bottom masterpiece. It understands The Doctor, it understands Peri (something only one other story managed), it understands people, it understands violence, it understands greed. Every single performance is perfect, every single character feels like a person.

I wouldn't have recommended it for a first "old" Who simply because there aren't many other places to go...
 
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