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Tony Grist

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Lets Kill Hitler [Aug. 28th, 2011|10:04 am]
Tony Grist
It was set in Nazi Berlin- with the Fuhrer's office recreated in a set that was one of the biggest ever built for the show, but it could have been set almost anywhere. Hitler put in a brief appearance, only to be shoved into a cupboard (quite literally) and forgotten. This wasn't a show about Hitler or fascism or the Third Reich but about the incresingly knotty relationships and criss-crossing time-lines of the Doctor and his hangers-on- and it used the nazis as window dressing. In earlier incarnations the show was about the times and places its characters visited (it began as a wizard way of teaching the kiddies a little history) but now it's mainly about the logistics or illogistics of time travel and how weird it is that your daughter is older than you but used to be your childhood friend.  Stephen Moffat has been defending himself against the charge that the stories are too complicated and- fair enough- there's nothing wrong with making an audience think- but what if the stories have become so complicated there's no space left for any proper drama or character development?  

The doctor died again and then came back to life. Oh, please- stop teasing us! The Doctor is Immortal and if he were really to die the show would end with him- and that's not going to happen anytime soon, is it?  Besides if this Doctor were to die we might get a replacement with a little more presence and gravitas- and would that really be such a bad thing? 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2011-08-28 09:32 am (UTC)
Dr Who speaks fluent German? I gave up on that show years ago, it got weird, I want Daleks, Jon Pertwee and my innocence!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-28 09:37 am (UTC)
Doesn't the Tardis contain some sort of translation device that makes it possible for its owners to speak and understand any language they come across?

It was always pretty crummy. It's just that- with all the money and talent that's being thrown at it now- I keep expecting it to be better than it turns out to be.

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[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2011-08-28 03:30 pm (UTC)
Babel fish are the way to go. I see Rentoul mentioned your episode, he knows as much about quantum physics as he does about US history. I bit him, hard!
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[User Picture]From: setsuled
2011-08-29 01:21 am (UTC)
Dr Who speaks fluent German?

Why not? The third and fourth Doctors spoke Mandarin Chinese. A guy can learn a lot in nine hundred years.
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From: loxian
2011-08-28 09:55 am (UTC)
Poor. Even my sons didn't like it, and they are devoted fans. We subscribe to the magazine, download all the games, watch all the trailers dozens of times... but, basically, there was hardly any Hitler in it!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-28 03:31 pm (UTC)
They spent all that money on sets and costumes and authentic motor bikes- and made so little use of them; it was a terrible waste.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2011-08-28 10:20 am (UTC)
I really think they should retire Moffat. It is getting too convoluted and there is a not very fine line between intelligence and showing off. Plus as I love Dr Who they should be trying to keep the audience not alienate it!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-28 03:36 pm (UTC)
I keep on watching because I'm a fan and every once in a while there'll be a terrific episode- like Gaiman's earlier this year- but on the whole I've been terribly disappointed with what Moffat has done with the show.
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2011-08-28 11:32 am (UTC)
I thought it was quite funny actually. Maybe guest writers could help.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-28 03:38 pm (UTC)
I'm looking forward to Moffat's retirement.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2011-08-28 04:32 pm (UTC)
but what if the stories have become so complicated there's no space left for any proper drama or character development?

I loved the first few episodes and Matt Smith's Doctor, who was both believably not-human and not-young; then I lost track of the show until the Christmas episode, and then again after it. I'm sorry. Steven Moffat has been responsible for some amazing television in the past.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-28 07:44 pm (UTC)
I think Moffat may be overstretched. He's not only running Dr Who, but also Sherlock- which I think is brilliant. I loved the one-off episodes he wrote for Dr Who in the RTD era.
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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2011-08-28 05:04 pm (UTC)
I gave up sometime around the whole terrible astronaut/Amy Pond is TERRIBLY IMPORTANT! plotline started going. Alas, because I was a new fan--I started watching during Christopher Eccleston's tenure, and was impressed by him--and it took them so little time to lose me again. :,
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-28 07:47 pm (UTC)
I keep going because I feel I owe the show some loyalty (I'm not quite sure why). Also because- every now and then- there'll be an episode that takes my breath away; the most recent being Neil Gaiman's "The Doctor's Wife"- which aired earlier this year.
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[User Picture]From: setsuled
2011-08-29 01:19 am (UTC)
I don't on principle disapprove of a series changing over time. Certainly there was a lot about the Tom Baker era that was different from the William Hartnell era. I doubt a series could be good for as long as Doctor Who has been around without some changes. I see nothing wrong with focusing more on the character relationships or making stories about the possible complications of time travel. The problem, to me, seems more likely that, as you said to sovay, Steven Moffat has become overstretched and it's led to a very rushed feeling story. Though I think this is also a problem coming from the generally one-part episode format. I agree with Sonya about Matt Smith--especially in "The Big Bang", I thought he very believably conveyed someone with centuries of wisdom. Maybe it just depends on what a person reads into someone's manner.

I have to say I really liked the tiny people in the human sized robot playing God. It's like, "If God did not exist it would be necessary for mankind to invent him" coming true.

The doctor died again and then came back to life. Oh, please- stop teasing us!

I definitely agree with that. It has all the impact of a maiden tied to train tracks.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-08-29 11:43 am (UTC)
The stories Moffat wrote during the RTD era were full of feeling. He seems rather to have lost the knack of that since he became show runner. Instead there's sentimentality.

There's a lot of ingenuity still. Yes, the robot with the little people inside was pretty cool.

I quite like Smith. I want to like him, because I love the show. But I think he's an over-promoted character actor- without the necessary screen presence. Maybe what I'm saying is I still miss David Tennant.
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[User Picture]From: setsuled
2011-08-30 05:57 am (UTC)
The stories Moffat wrote during the RTD era were full of feeling.

Those were definitely great.

He seems rather to have lost the knack of that since he became show runner. Instead there's sentimentality.

There is definitely that, but it's not nearly as bad as RTDs finales. Maybe part of the problem is that Moffat feels compelled to adhere to an RTD model.

Maybe what I'm saying is I still miss David Tennant.

He was very good.
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