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(BBC)   Were the 1980s a low point for the Doctor Who TV show? If not then why do so many fans love to hate that era?   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 67
    More: Interesting, US TV, Doctor Who, guest role, costume designers, sci-fi tv show, Victorian London, Coronation Street, Newsnight  
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1721 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 29 May 2013 at 10:54 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-29 07:48:08 PM
F*ck! How many goddamn Doctor Who threads does this site need? Is this farking show funded by BuzzFeed?
 
2013-05-29 08:03:14 PM
The writing was as solid as it ever was.
 
2013-05-29 08:04:54 PM
No.
 
2013-05-29 08:37:31 PM
The 1980's was a low point for everything else.
 
2013-05-29 08:47:47 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: F*ck! How many goddamn Doctor Who threads does this site need? Is this farking show funded by BuzzFeed?


WHY WON'T YOU PEOPLE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS POPULAR THING THAT I'M COMPLETELY FREE TO IGNORE????
 
2013-05-29 08:54:23 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: F*ck! How many goddamn Doctor Who threads does this site need? Is this farking show funded by BuzzFeed?


i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-05-29 09:36:47 PM
I don't know,

but I just "acquired" all the original Who's, so I'll let you know in a couple weeks.
 
2013-05-29 09:57:26 PM

MurphyMurphy: I don't know,

but I just "acquired" all the original Who's, so I'll let you know in a couple weeks.


You got NetFlixs?!?
 
2013-05-29 09:59:08 PM
Colin Baker was horrible, and while I liked Sylvester McCoy, there were some real stinkers during his time due to budget cuts.
 
2013-05-29 10:32:01 PM

ShawnDoc: Colin Baker was horrible, and while I liked Sylvester McCoy


Both of their Doctors were fine. The problem was largely the writing. Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy got some absolute turds. The budget cuts didn't help, but Doctor Who could have survived that. They essentially stopped  writing at the time, and just threw in whatever shiat would fill time.

They got better towards the end of McCoy's run- the show was killed just as it was finding itself again. But there were miles of terrible episodes with pointless, and incomprehensible plots. Even well liked episodes, like "Ghostlight" make  no goddamn sense.
 
2013-05-29 10:47:23 PM
The head of BBC1, Michael Grade, hated the show because of the cheap sets, cheap FX and poor writing? So why didn't he give them the money to do the job better?
 
2013-05-29 11:05:00 PM
Production quality.  Older stuff is monochrome quaint, new stuff is HD great, and the 80's in between is cheesy-ass crap.  Essentially across almost all genres.
 
2013-05-29 11:14:22 PM

t3knomanser: ShawnDoc: Colin Baker was horrible, and while I liked Sylvester McCoy

Both of their Doctors were fine. The problem was largely the writing. Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy got some absolute turds. The budget cuts didn't help, but Doctor Who could have survived that. They essentially stopped  writing at the time, and just threw in whatever shiat would fill time.

They got better towards the end of McCoy's run- the show was killed just as it was finding itself again. But there were miles of terrible episodes with pointless, and incomprehensible plots. Even well liked episodes, like "Ghostlight" make  no goddamn sense.


Yeah, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy got a raw deal and were two splendid Doctors, but you could tell the creative team needed an overhaul.  The BBC probably should have let JNT resign when he wanted and brought in new blood who could have made the Sixth Doctor work much better.  It's pretty much a case of people behind the scenes having big ideas they handled badly.

Flint Ironstag: The head of BBC1, Michael Grade, hated the show because of the cheap sets, cheap FX and poor writing? So why didn't he give them the money to do the job better?


Because he was too busy trying to get a job at Channel 4 and didn't give a shiat.
 
2013-05-29 11:15:24 PM
The problem with 1980s Who wasn't Collin Baker or Sylvester McCoy.  It was Johnathan Nathan Turner.
 
2013-05-29 11:16:37 PM

t3knomanser: The problem was largely the writing.



Yes. In my opinion the stories were getting unimaginative and tedious during Davison's run already -- it seemed like every week it was another 'old folk superstition has extraterrestrial origin' story. It just got old.

Even so, I need to look into McCoy's episodes one of these days, thanks to reasonably good word of mouth in all these Fark threads.
 
2013-05-29 11:18:49 PM
That decade was saved by Peri's tits.
 
2013-05-29 11:28:01 PM
Well its down to drinking our own urine. Raise a glass and toast the meh Doctors.
i.imgur.com
 
2013-05-29 11:31:10 PM
I stopped watching Dr Who after Tom Baker left. I've turned on later episodes once or twice, including the new iterations of Dr Who. I've seen no reason to regret my decision, even though I made it when I was about 9.
 
2013-05-29 11:31:21 PM
Peter Davison was wonderful in Love for Lydia. It's not his fault about the writing or the production values or whatever. He's a good actor.
 
2013-05-29 11:38:32 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: F*ck! How many goddamn Doctor Who threads does this site need? Is this farking show funded by BuzzFeed?


Agreed. 
Kinda tired of the Dr. Who 'how much nerd cred do you have?' thing.
Dr. Who seems to be the "look how weird I am" thing. It seems to be an okay show.
 
2013-05-29 11:42:49 PM

Pip and Jane Baker were unutterably awful writers and they inflicted Bonnie Langford on an unsuspecting public.  That alone should get them a bloody good shoeing.


Sylvester McCoy is a talented actor with depth and nuance and the hacks that were masquerading as writers gave him some of the worst the show has ever had to endure. I think if it had been allowed to run longer the McCoy Doctor would've gotten very dark and the show would've been the better for it.

/I literally bumped into Sylvester McCoy on George Street in Edinburgh and he was so nice he apologised to me for my clumsiness.
 
2013-05-29 11:59:02 PM
I liked the '80s theme music.
 
2013-05-30 12:07:55 AM
After Baker it got pretty craptastic, I don't blame the actors though.

Nu-who is hit and miss and has been dumbed-down and bubble-wrapped more than I care for.

/FU Moffat!
 
2013-05-30 12:17:02 AM
I blame the question marks.
 
2013-05-30 12:24:04 AM

phaseolus: t3knomanser: The problem was largely the writing.


Yes. In my opinion the stories were getting unimaginative and tedious during Davison's run already -- it seemed like every week it was another 'old folk superstition has extraterrestrial origin' story. It just got old.



Well, blame the Pertwee era for starting the whole craze with Buddhist spiders and ET Satan.
 
2013-05-30 12:46:01 AM

Makh: The 1980's was a low point for everything else.


Yup
 
2013-05-30 12:58:38 AM

Great Janitor: The problem with 1980s Who wasn't Collin Baker or Sylvester McCoy.  It was Johnathan Nathan Turner.


Don't leave out Saward. He should get a lot of the blame. IMO Saward should get as much if not more blame because the shiatty stories he picked were  primarily his fault. I think he was the only script editor in DW's history who really didn't understand the charm and mechanics of Doctor Who.

But '80s who had a loooooong list of problems.

John Nathan Turner, the producer, did a good job of getting DW out of the look-at-the-camera/campy humor of (late era) Tom Baker. However Turner then became obsessed with making the show a big hit overseas, making merchandising a very high priority and slavishly wallowing in continuity the way that Star Trek would do years later. Eric Saward also took over as script editor & felt the show should be long on action with a very dark and pessimistically gritty tone. I am of the firm opinion that Saward never "got" Doctor Who's central charm and core theme because he wanted an dark action-show in space. Likewise I think JNT understood DW's core charm and structure only slightly more than Saward.

Since Saward and JNT had completely different visions on the tone and direction of the show the gap got wider and the animosity increased as time  went on. Saward finally quit before the end of Trial of a Time Lord, leaving JNT to finish it himself. After that, JNT had also had enough and wanted leave the show and move on. JNT asked the BBC if he could leave or be reassigned and was told NO you can't. And don't think about quitting or you'll never work at the BBC again. He was stuck until cancellation in 1989.

Colin Baker himself wanted to do something new with the Doctors character - he wanted him to evolve. He wanted to make his Doctor start off brash, loud, obnoxious, even cowardly. As his episodes went on Baker planned for the Doctor to mature, learn his lesson and become more mellow, likeable and properly heroic. Good plan but ruined by timing.

In his first story, Twin Dilemma (the real stinker of a script didn't help) he played the Doctor as he imagined - very unlikeable and manic. However, that was the season finale and it would be a  year before the next season aired. Viewers had the bad taste of an unlikeable, obnoxious Doctor lingering for a year before seeing new episodes. Ratings dropped.

Add to this Saward and Turner fighting with each other, wanting the show going in their own separate directions, it was a complete disaster. Saward also hated Baker intensely and said publically Baker should never have been hired. And on top of all that, there'e Michael Grade's hatred of both Doctor Who and Colin Baker (that's another separate sordid story) and his multiple plans to have the show cancelled. The whole show was screwed up royally.

BTW Colin Baker's awful costume was JNT's idea - a candy-colored uniform. Ugh. Baker wanted a minimalist black suit and straight black tie, but JNT would have none of it.

When Mccoy took over the show (yes, Baker was fired) he played the role as a clown and the scripts were still as bad, even worse than Saward's junk. Cartmel took over as script editor and got Mccoy stop the clowning, mugging version of the Doctor and to play hime as a dark, secretive chess-master-type of planner, which really helped to rehab the show. The last 2 years had a few good episodes but it was too late. The axe fell.

As an aside, BBC tv show methods which had been in place since the 1950s were changing and the old, BBC-in house method of doing shows was dying off as well. Coupled with rising costs and changes in viewing habits the old way of doing shows that way was disappearing as well.
 
2013-05-30 01:32:05 AM
The 70's were the best time for Doctor Who - Pertwee and Baker were the best Doctors, Anthony Read, Robert Holmes and of course Douglas Adams writing and Phillip Hinchcliffe and Graham Williams nurtured a darker, more complex show than it had previously been.

Of course then 1980 came and with it brought John Nathan Turner
 
2013-05-30 01:59:49 AM

phaseolus: t3knomanser: The problem was largely the writing.


Yes. In my opinion the stories were getting unimaginative and tedious during Davison's run already -- it seemed like every week it was another 'old folk superstition has extraterrestrial origin' story. It just got old.

Even so, I need to look into McCoy's episodes one of these days, thanks to reasonably good word of mouth in all these Fark threads.


Battlefield, Curse of Fenric, Ghost Light.

And Battlefield and Fenric both have recut, movie-length versions with new effects added as bonus material on the DVD releases.
 
2013-05-30 02:29:32 AM
I dunno. Not to drone on about some of the worst scripts of Who coming from that era (Timelash, I'm looking at you!), but the Doctors themselves were pretty interesting and amazing to watch. I have no big problems witht the Doctors themselves.
 
2013-05-30 03:07:17 AM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: F*ck! How many goddamn Doctor Who threads does this site need? Is this farking show funded by BuzzFeed?


It's a BBC link.
 
2013-05-30 03:08:19 AM
Wow. If Ghost Light is considered one of the better examples of the McCoy era, I'm glad I haven't seen any of the worst. "Arsenic and Old Lace" is already too manic and precious for my tastes. Blatantly remaking it, only this time spicing it up with clownish space fops straight out of a bad panto, made for painful watching.

I liked McCoy's Doctor, and Ace was a great companion. I just wish the scripts had been tolerable enough to make me want to see anything more of their episodes than the two or three I've already caught. At least McCoy is still getting work these days, appearing on the big screen as, uhmm... Radagast the Sh*thead in the Hobbit movies. (McCoy really does seem like a nice guy. Why do scriptwriters dump on the poor bastard so hard?)
 
2013-05-30 03:30:05 AM
I just watched Trial Of A Time lord for the first time since the 80s.

sweet zombie Jesus. Colin Baker never had a chance. the writing was crap. the music was crap. the less said about his cousins, the better. And Peri? holy sh*t, what a shrill, unbearable, character. and her American accent not only changed dialects repeatedly, but she kept slipping back into her British accent.

Baker's Doctor never stood a chance.
 
2013-05-30 03:34:57 AM

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: I just watched Trial Of A Time lord for the first time since the 80s.

sweet zombie Jesus. Colin Baker never had a chance. the writing was crap. the music was crap. the less said about his cousins, the better. And Peri? holy sh*t, what a shrill, unbearable, character. and her American accent not only changed dialects repeatedly, but she kept slipping back into her British accent.

Baker's Doctor never stood a chance.


You weren't supposed to notice Peri's accent, or voice.

1.bp.blogspot.com

revengeofthefilmnerds.com

2.bp.blogspot.com

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-05-30 04:00:25 AM
Wish they expanded more on the eighth doctor instead of just the movie.
 
2013-05-30 04:22:34 AM
I was lucky.  Even though I first saw Doctor Who in the Eighties, I was watching it in New York, on a tbs-like pre-cable, non network channel.  Addams Family, May berry, Sanford and Son, and I would later realize when talking to people and my time didn't make sense, I was evidently watching reruns of the late 70's Tom Baker Doctor Who episodes.

I later did get to see the eighties Doctor Who, and thought it was definitely the low point, although the last couple of seasons under Moffat seem to be vying for that particular honor.  Remember that's just my opinion.  Moffat just isn't to my liking, and Matt Smith just never worked for me.  IF you think it's the best ever, good for you, infact I envy you a bit.  But for me, it just isn't.
 
2013-05-30 05:33:54 AM

Flint Ironstag: The head of BBC1, Michael Grade, hated the show because of the cheap sets, cheap FX and poor writing? So why didn't he give them the money to do the job better?


Because Grade is the sort of arrogant, upper-class snob who doesn't like sci-fi, or even try to understand it. And if you're running a TV station, you should be able to understand all genres.

When he cancelled it (because it looked cheap) the BBC got huge numbers of complaints. So, he brought it back but made it so shiat that it could then be justified for cancellation. Never mind that Dr Who cost very little and was perfect for the slot it filled.

If you read his Wikipedia page, Grade's actually a bit useless. His "TV genius" thing is purely about his personality. In terms of results, he didn't achieve that much.
 
2013-05-30 05:41:48 AM

farkeruk: Flint Ironstag: The head of BBC1, Michael Grade, hated the show because of the cheap sets, cheap FX and poor writing? So why didn't he give them the money to do the job better?

Because Grade is the sort of arrogant, upper-class snob who doesn't like sci-fi, or even try to understand it. And if you're running a TV station, you should be able to understand all genres.


B-b-b-but... Bonnie Hammer!

/the American, female Michael Grade.
 
2013-05-30 05:48:19 AM

sirbissel: I blame the question marks.


There's truth in this. You could say that before the question marks, the Doctor's get-up each time reflected an archetype: Edwardian, hobo, dandy, Bohemian. Then with the question marks it became a superhero costume that didn't really make any sense outside itself.
 
2013-05-30 05:52:07 AM
Doctor Who was still good in the early JNT era, all the way up till the end of Peter Davidson's Doctor.  Besides Colin Baker getting the shaft, things really started to go downhill post 1985.  I don't know what it was, but everything just started sucking just around the time of "Attack of the Cybermen."  Everyone seemed to be just going through the motions, then EVERYTHING started to suck as we got closer to the 90's.  1980-1984 was the most awesomest time ever.  After 1985, everything seemed get more and more blaise; not just with Dr. Who.

But I will say this, Dr. who hit its peak with "Warrior's Gate" in 1981.  It was truly Tom Baker's last episode, and arguably the best Dr. Who episode ever.
m0vie.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-05-30 06:06:08 AM
At the risk of Godwin-ning this whole thread, the main question of this article is pretty stupid. It's like asking: If the Holocaust were such a low point in human history, why is it the event so many Jews love to hate?
 
2013-05-30 07:06:55 AM

phaseolus: t3knomanser: The problem was largely the writing.


Yes. In my opinion the stories were getting unimaginative and tedious during Davison's run already -- it seemed like every week it was another 'old folk superstition has extraterrestrial origin' story. It just got old.

Even so, I need to look into McCoy's episodes one of these days, thanks to reasonably good word of mouth in all these Fark threads.


McCoy is a Doctor of two halves - the Bonnie Langford era (I have blotted her characters name out of my mind, and it must be noted it is far from all her fault), and the Ace era - while not the best companion ever, Ace was pretty good and her interactions with McCoy were the main redeeming feature at that point (the writing wasn't so good still, but they had a few gems).
 
2013-05-30 07:59:17 AM

hideous: I was lucky.  Even though I first saw Doctor Who in the Eighties, I was watching it in New York, on a tbs-like pre-cable, non network channel.  Addams Family, May berry, Sanford and Son, and I would later realize when talking to people and my time didn't make sense, I was evidently watching reruns of the late 70's Tom Baker Doctor Who episodes.


That would have been on WOR, Channel 9.  They picked up DOCTOR WHO (the first 5 Baker serieses, if
memory serves) as a counter to the success that WPIX Channel 11 had with STAR TREK and WNEW
Channel 5 had with LOST IN SPACE.  They first ran them Saturday evenings at 6pm, but they were
quickly moved to Saturday morning before WWF Wrestling.  I spent many a pleasant Saturday morning doing
our family laundry watching DOCTOR WHO and wrestling waiting for the wash loads to change, since I
figured out that if I volunteered to do laundry as my chore I could watch TV while I folded.

Trivia note:  the syndicated episodes had opening and closing narration by Howard Da Silva, wherein he
called the character "Doctor Who" and it set up the proper cliff-hanger nature of the show for the rather
dim US audience.  These episodes were later shown on the SciFi channel in its early days, when the
channel actually cared about showing science fiction.
 
2013-05-30 08:41:07 AM
Peri gives me a low point.

www.type40.com

/in my pants
 
2013-05-30 09:06:10 AM
It's interesting that Dr. Who episodic production doesn't overlap UK airdates of Star Trek: The Next Generation or its spinoffs. Dr. Who didn't really come back till Star Trek was dying.
 
2013-05-30 09:13:06 AM
I started watching with my Mum during Peter Davison's era. I couldn't get my 7 year old head around regeneration though and refused to watch Colin Baker because he "wasn't Doctor Who".

Then when the show relaunched with some fanfair in '87 I got really into it and loved Mccoy as the Doctor. I remember going to the exhibition in Longleat and reading the books and basically being a massive fan along with some of my friends.  I loved all his little eccentricities and I found Ace really very interesting even if I wasn't old enough to know why.I was devastated when the show got cancelled.

Having re-watched some of them more recently I feel that besides the sense of nostalgia, they are not really as bad as everyone says. I have even watched some 6th doctor ones but the 7th remains my favourite 80s Doctor. The 1989 series is mostly good, although that seems to be because they knew it was ending and wanted to go out on a high.

Now I am a big fan of the modern era and have been to the exhibition in Cardif and introduced my wife to the new series.
 
2013-05-30 09:21:05 AM

Type40: Now I am a big fan of the modern era and have been to the exhibition in Cardif and introduced my wife to the new series.


For all the slagging-upon McCoy gets, his era is the archetype that defines NuWho. Ace is the model of all modern companions. His manipulative, somewhat arrogant Doctor appeared in both Tennant and Smith's versions (Smith more heavily).
 
2013-05-30 10:05:00 AM
Like many, I grew up on and enjoyed the Fourth Doctor despite its campiness.

When Tom Baker left, my interest waned, and each successive Doctor was more annoying and the episodes sh*ttier than before. Then they made that awful FOX movie.

Thank Rassilon the current series is good. It started rough, and there have been a few stinker episodes, but for the most part it's been solid sci-fi entertainment since, and I'm really stoked for the 50th Anniversary special in November.
 
2013-05-30 11:10:59 AM

FirstNationalBastard: Dumb-Ass-Monkey: I just watched Trial Of A Time lord for the first time since the 80s.

sweet zombie Jesus. Colin Baker never had a chance. the writing was crap. the music was crap. the less said about his cousins, the better. And Peri? holy sh*t, what a shrill, unbearable, character. and her American accent not only changed dialects repeatedly, but she kept slipping back into her British accent.

Baker's Doctor never stood a chance.

You weren't supposed to notice Peri's accent, or voice.

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 381x286]

[revengeofthefilmnerds.com image 512x502]

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 537x948]

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 339x400]


I'd give her something to notice, if ya know what I mean, and I think you do.
 
2013-05-30 11:18:29 AM
Colin Baker was doomed, from the moment they decided 'when he regenerates, he will be wrong..for a while!' as a plot point.   This gave him a horrible first impression, and the perception of the character never recovered.   He was the @#$hole Doctor, more than any of the others.
 
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