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"It feels different this time..." - The new Doctor Who Thread

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Your post about it did not disappoint, @Vaeran. You also got that line from Barbie Girl stuck in my head while I took the trash out this morning, thanks for that lol

It took me three tries to get through The Web Planet without falling asleep. It's almost impossible for me to watch all six episodes in a row without doing so. Watching one at a time really helps, though yeah, it's still boring.

Regarding Susan - I'm just going to lift an entire chunk from El Sandifer's Sensorites entry, as I think it explains pretty well why Susan got next to no characterization, and everyone that followed her, Vicki included, did:

"...The Sensorites is, ultimately, about Susan.

Susan, as you recall, is initially defined by her alienness. Here that is expanded on, with much of the story relying on her previously only hinted at psychic powers. She is, initially, the person with whom the Sensorites communicate. Unsurprisingly, this quickly brings her into conflict with the Doctor.

The main scenes of their arguments are tough to watch, mostly because they make it obvious why Susan is never going to work as a character. The Doctor’s response to Susan’s taking the initiative is to infantilize her, marginalize her, and declare her input to be worthless. Susan responds to this, basically, by completely caving and renouncing her efforts to be independent.

Bafflingly, the Doctor claims that he and Susan have never had an argument. This is clearly untrue – they argue in all of the first three stories. Given that the Doctor is already established as a bit absent-minded and prone to a bit of obliviousness, this statement can be read less as a lie than as a declaration of the Doctor’s absolutism. This can be a positive and a negative trait – and it will get played in both ways as time goes on – but here it seems clearly negative. The Doctor is unable to allow Susan to be an interesting character.

Eventually, Susan’s psychic powers provide a key element of the story’s resolution, as she uses them to help the Doctor, who is isolated in some tunnels. Thus we can see that Susan is capable of functioning on her own. But as soon as she is back in the TARDIS, it’s back to normal – with it being made explicit that her psychic powers will fade. The Doctor makes vague promises to work on the abilities when they return to their homeworld, but it’s obvious that this is not going to happen.

And this is the Problem of Susan. I take the name from Neil Gaiman’s short story of the same name, which is in turn written in response to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books, and the character of Susan within them. Susan is the lone member of her family not to ascend into Narnia at the end, blocked out of heaven because she is sexualized and, in the argument of her siblings and Aslan, no friend of Narnia due to her shallowness. C.S. Lewis, of course, died the day before Doctor Who premiered, and so it is fitting that the show would inherit this problem from his work.

Put simply, the Problem of Susan is the problem of sexual maturity in children’s literature. It is not, I assume, a horrific revelation to you, dear reader, that much of children’s literature is about sexual maturity. Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan are perhaps the most explicit classic examples. (Well, I suppose the most explicit classic example is Alan Moore’s Lost Girls, but let’s not go there.) The character who stares into a fantastic new world is changed by it, and for children, change is maturity. Susan, at sixteen, is torn between teenage sexuality and being the Doctor’s granddaughter. And, crucially, the two are mutually exclusive.

The problem is that they are, in addition to being mutually exclusive, are also interconnected. Because we have some pretty fucked ideas of teenage sexuality. And so whenever Susan is put in the vulnerable granddaughter position she is sexualized because vulnerable women in peril are considered sexy. And whenever she’s put in a position to take charge and do things, she is sexualized because she is made into an adult. Susan, in other words, is caught in a Catch-22.

Not only is this tension unsustainable, but its resolution furthermore has profound impact on the Doctor. The Doctor, in The Sensorites, is still forming. The words “Time Lord” are years away from being spoken. Sight of another Time Lord besides Susan is over a year out. The nature of the Doctor is still heavily obscured. His motivations for traveling appears to be the pure love of the adventure – the TARDIS crew discusses as much at the start of the story. The Doctor, at this point, is a creature of pure action – in most ways indistinguishable from the TARDIS.

And so when Susan, this episode, speaks of her planet, where “the sky is a burnt orange, and the leaves on the trees are bright silver,” she fences in the Doctor. When the First Elder of the Sensorites says that Susan wants to return home but also wants to wander, this has grave implications for the Doctor – because right now, the Doctor, endlessly running, and not yet established as himself, cannot return home. He’s not ready yet, and it will be a long time before he is. (And when he does, the price will be immeasurable.)

But more to the point, Susan is a constraint on the Doctor. As long as the Doctor’s primary goal is the protection of Susan, he is unable to be completely free. Susan drags the Doctor back towards home, and away from endless travel.

Susan, in other words, is unsustainable. It is unsurprising that, in three stories, she will be the first member of the TARDIS crew to go.

The result of this, hopefully, will be that endings like the ending of The Sensorites, in which the Doctor, for no visible reason, flips out at Ian and vows to throw him off the TARDIS, seemingly ignoring episodes of characterization. Because that is the consequence of the Problem of Susan. As long as she is on the TARDIS, the Doctor cannot continue developing as a character."

I know I quote El far too fucking much, but I really do enjoy her work.

You quoted my favorite scene in the Web Planet, though, when that weirdo bug kills itself by shoving its head in a wall, leaving an alien bug corpse next to Ian. That is some weird shit and I am here for it. Other than that though, the episode is pretty much a snoozefest lol.
 

Vaeran

(GRUNTING)
(he/him)
Your post about it did not disappoint, @Vaeran. You also got that line from Barbie Girl stuck in my head while I took the trash out this morning, thanks for that lol

This is but one of the many services I provide.

Regarding Susan - I'm just going to lift an entire chunk from El Sandifer's Sensorites entry, as I think it explains pretty well why Susan got next to no characterization, and everyone that followed her, Vicki included, did:

This is some excellent analysis, even if I haven't seen The Sensorites yet. Hopefully season one comes out on blu ray sooner than later. I keep meaning to start reading Sandifer's stuff, too. I should really get around to that.

Susan as a character is so interesting to me, more because of what she represents than anything they actually let her do in the series itself. She was developed as the Doctor's granddaughter long before so much of his personal lore and that of Gallifrey and the Time Lords was established, and now no longer neatly fits in with any of those things. The show grew around her character rather than through it. One item on my wishlist for RTD's second administration is that he brings her back and does something with her, whether that's showing her life on post-Dalek invasion Earth, or whatever else. Carole Ann Ford's not getting any younger!
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Yeah, all she really gets in terms of characterization is An Unearthly Child and The Sensorites. You'd think Chibnall would have gone and brought her back in some respect with the clusterfuck he made of the show's backstory, but he never did. Maybe RTD will take that up, I dunno. Part of me at this point wants them to stop messing with pre-Hartnell Who at all (or, I guess, the Hartnell era itself with regards to Susan), even if a better writer is at the helm now.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Just got to the second special, dang that was a banger. Some terrifying body horror and reasonably clever plotting going on. Not much else to say that wasn't covered but


(At least until Donna knocked her no-thing to the floor with one punch. How much of a threat can they really be?)

I read it as established that in order to get into someone's head for information they needed, they were gradually becoming closer and closer to a 100% identical copy of that person. By the end of the episode that process was close to finished - not quite there as the 4-legged run happened, but close enough that what Donna punched out was at this point a barely-more-than-Donna creature.

Presumably they can still choose to revert and become something else, so they're still a terrifying *potential* threat if left to their own devices for any length of time.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The Giggle Preview trailer:


Everyone thinks they're right, and arguing with them makes them flip out? MY GOD is it nice for Doctor Who to be *about something* again.
 
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Vaeran

(GRUNTING)
(he/him)
This looks and sounds like it's going to be amazing. Am I really ready to watch David Tennant regenerate again?! 😭

Depending on what we're able to get done today and tomorrow, there's a chance I may have to work Saturday, and if I'm stuck in the office instead of cozy at home watching new Doctor Who I am not going to be a happy camper
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I'm going to be at a Christmas party

I can live with the wait, but it's nice to be excited about Doctor Who again
 

Vaeran

(GRUNTING)
(he/him)
Onward, to The Crusade!

I never hear anyone talk about this story, and after watching it I have no idea why. It's great! I'm gaining such an appreciation for the Hartnell era.

Once again Barbara and Ian are put through the wringer while the Doctor and Vicki get to swan about King Richard's court for almost the entire serial. But in contrast to The Romans' adolescent giggling, The Crusade takes a hard look at the horror and misery of slavery. The story of Haroun and his family, and what he urges Barbara to do if they're discovered, is maybe the darkest the show has gotten yet. (...He says, not having seen the latter half of season 1.)

We get two false starts on what could have been some interesting business for Barbara: first she has to pretend to be Princess Joanna, but barely gets three words out before the ruse is uncovered. Then she's going to do a big Scheherazade for Saladin, but that never comes to pass because she gets double-kidnapped. El Akir delivers a chilling cliffhanger line: "The only pleasure remaining to you is death... And death is very far away." Brrr!

BARBARA: I arrived in the forest in a box!
SALADIN: You were carried?
BARBARA: No lol
SALADIN: Where were you before that?
BARBARA: Ancient Rome, England in the far future, a planet of giant insects...
SALADIN: Ah. You are part of a theatre troupe.
BARBARA: ...Sure!

barbara wtf r u doin, dont freak out the normies

I don't think anyone pronounces Saladin the same way twice in this story.

All the business with the stolen clothes (first the Doctor and Vicki stealing them, and then Hartnell talking circles around both the merchant and the Chamberlain to convince them that no theft occurred after all) was delightful. I don't buy Vicki being mistaken for a boy for a second. Love the Doctor standing up to Lord Leicester about his thoughtless warmongering.

The guest actors turn in great performances here, particularly Julian Glover as Richard and Jean Marsh as Joanna. No wonder they were both asked back. Marsh in particular acts her fucking ass off in her furious tirade at Richard when she learns she's to be married off. Thank goodness episode 3 survived so we could see her performance in full. Her line to the Doctor: "There is something new about you, yet something older than the sky... I trust you" wouldn't be out of place in New Who.

This is the second story in a row in which Sir Ian(!) is menaced by ants. It'd be hilarious if he put to use some knowledge he gained during the Zarbi encounter, but I can't think what that would be. Oh well.

I usually feel that classic Who serials are an episode or two too long, but this is one where I was a little saddened that we only got four. Truly top tier stuff, and gives Marco Polo a run for its money.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
It's on the DVD/bluray set so you may have seen it, but for the VHS release of the Crusade, they brought William Russell back for linking narration:


(I don't remember the exact wording, but any reference to Salem and any witch trials in the above video are a reference to the book "Doctor Who: The Witch Hunters," which was new at the time this was filmed and was basically the only Doctor Who going back then)

But yeah, I like the Crusade a lot. Particularly Saladin's characterization and the acting job done by Bernard Kay (in brownface, sadly). He's not putting on some crude accent, he's not a hideous caricature of a Muslim, he's an interesting, well thought out, well played character who is surprisingly (at least for a serial written so long ago) written to be wise, merciful, but also tough. Some of the other actors do worse than Kay in this serial, but as far as I can remember there isn't anything too egregious.

Ian being knighted by Richard the Lionheart is such a fun thing to happen, and the Doctor and Vicki goofing off is, as you say, a delight to watch. David Whittaker always writes good Doctor Who. I wish I could read the biography of him that just came out but with shipping to the US, it's like $60 and I can't justify dropping that right now. Hopefully they release an ebook of it at some point.


Looking forward to what you have to say about the rest of the season! There's some good stuff that follows, and also some utter garbage, often within the same serial.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Another preview for Saturday:


The Toymaker is German, now, apparently? Or at least has a cod German accent?

EDIT: Oh, wait, duh, he had other accents in other videos, so he's changing up his accent on purpose. Maybe that's how they're retconning the problematic "Celestial" part of his character, in that he pretends to be different ethnicities for fun? Or something?


My wife is going to HATE me saying "Efreybody loves de balls!" over and over again all weekend, I can't wait.
 
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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I missed this yesterday, somehow. Apparently, they're "animating" The Celestial Toymaker:


Crap visuals for a crap story, I suppose.
 

Vaeran

(GRUNTING)
(he/him)
Gross.

Honestly I'd be happier looking at telesnap reconstructions than animation in pretty much every case, but I get that not everyone feels the same way. I'll take these missing stories any way I can get them, just put them out before we're all in the ground
 

Vaeran

(GRUNTING)
(he/him)
RUSSELL.

I swear to god this man won't be satisfied until he's filled the universe with David Tennants.

Right, positives first: Neil Patrick Harris is spellbinding as the Toymaker, and the "Spice Up Your Life" sequence was an utter delight. Loved the little puppet show of Amy/Clara/Bill, and snickered when it skipped right past "the Fam" and went to the Flux. Even the Toymaker doesn't remember them. Lovely to see Mel again, though I wish she'd gotten a little more to do.

Interested to see what the Toymaker was running from (the same entity the Meep referred to as "the boss"?) And hey, we found another silly way for the Master to come back! Sure, why not.

Negatives:

Wish they'd done more with the "everyone thinks they're right" premise and had less running down repeating corridors, but I guess that's Doctor Who for you.

Oh my god I cannot believe RTD did the same thing AGAIN. Bi-generation my ass. It was a stupid cheat the first time around, but at least THAT Doctor was consigned to another universe, and never the twain shall meet. Now we've got two Doctors flying around in two TARDISes and it's just so stupid. I don't even have the words for how much I hate this. (By the way, nice job splitting Fourteen's costume across the two of them so our introduction to Ncuti's Doctor is him running around with no pants on. Very dignified.)

This sucks. I guess I managed to make myself forget that we're going to have to take the bad with the good when it comes to RTD being in charge. Strong, emotional character work, good dialogue, and goofy-ass plots.

EDIT: lol

Soon after arriving in London, looking for publicity, Baird visited the Daily Express newspaper to promote his invention. The news editor was terrified and he was quoted by one of his staff as saying: "For God's sake, go down to reception and get rid of a lunatic who's down there. He says he's got a machine for seeing by wireless! Watch him—he may have a razor on him."[18]
 
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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I loved Ncuti Gatwa and Neil Patrick Harris.

Plotwise... so David Tennant came back so a version of the Doctor could basically retire? Does his eventually become the Curator, presumably (Matt Smith: "I never forget a face." Tom Baker: "You may find yourself revisiting a few... but oh, just the old favorites, eh?")? I don't like it, but it does imply that the Doctor... er, some version of the Doctor, anyway, is always out there adventuring, while some get to retire and hang out with Donna, I guess? And sometimes go off on adventures?

I can see why they're calling Gatwa's first season series 1 again. Again, not that I like it, jfc. It's all very weird. I'm going to have to chew on it a bit. The Doctor just... dying when he gets shot wouldn't have changed the plot all that much, at least from Gatwa's point of view - he'd have just played two player catch.

One thing I did like about the "bi-generation" was they split the clothes. David Tennant was commando for that whole catch game lmao


Vaeran, I read your line I swear to god this man won't be satisfied until he's filled the universe with David Tennants and she loved it (as did I lol).
 
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Vaeran

(GRUNTING)
(he/him)
Oh, I just got it.

The Eighth Doctor spinoff rumor is true and this is how we get there. Kazin, you're right, this is the version of the Doctor who becomes the Curator and just endlessly revisits past faces, so Tennant regenerates into McGann who eventually in his personal timeline regenerates into Tom Baker (and then Colin Baker in the audios.)

It's still stupid! Pfeh!
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Well, according to this week's official(tm) Doctor Who podcast (spoilers for The Giggle, obviously):


It would seem that somehow, this bi-generation caused EVERY Doctor to bi-generate, apparently? So instead of the 14th Doctor eventually becoming McGann again, etc. there is a new version of every Doctor out there, every time? I don't know if they were joking when they said that that was RTD's "theory" (how the head writer can have a "theory" and not just tell us what is going on is beyond me, but anyway), but that is somehow even dumber than the above! Apparently that's why all the Doctors looked older in those memory TARDIS episodes from a month ago.

...god, I'm going to have to go look at Gallifrey Base. That place has got to be a smoldering crater by now lol
 
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Daikaiju

Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
Well, according to this week's official(tm) Doctor Who podcast (spoilers for The Giggle, obviously):


It would seem that somehow, this bi-generation caused EVERY Doctor to bi-generate, apparently? So instead of the 14th Doctor eventually becoming McGann again, etc. there is a new version of every Doctor out there, every time? I don't know if they were joking when they said that that was RTD's "theory" (how the head writer can have a "theory" and not just tell us what is going on is beyond me, but anyway), but that is somehow even dumber than the above! Apparently that's why all the Doctors looked older in those memory TARDIS episodes from a month ago.

...god, I'm going to have to go look at Gallifrey Base. That place has got to be a smoldering crater by now lol
Minor note:
There were probably a number of fans who though regeneration itself was bollocks back in the day.
That said, 15 telling 14 to slow the FUCK down and rest was some great stuff. And the hugs. We got a hugger people!
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
My take is similar to my take on Russel as a writer on this show in general: mixed bag. But more good than not good.

Great performances all around NPH is chewing the scenery but he sells all the tones anyway. The "WELL, THAT'S OK THEN!" scene takes what could be commentary on the repetitiveness of certain character exits (the dramatic cake and eat it too that, ironically, the show also does here) and uses it to really needle the Doctor about "Oh, are you good at saving people?"

Overall, the big twist... is something I don't have a big problem with. Like, it's silly and dumb but while it technically changes stuff (retroactively, according to RTD, even though that, like, makes no sense), it doesn't change, in my opinion, who this character is intrinsically. Yeah, it's a cheat for some down the road decisions and potential cameos for the series but whatever. It doesn't derail stuff.

I was hoping the final game would be a real battle of wits (I was imagining something like the D'Arby bros fights from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure) but it was really more silly.

I feel like my take on RTD has been that he has a cheesy sense of humour that sometimes works (the Spice Up Your Life scene is very fun) and sometimes doesn't, does well with considering who these characters are but often in going big, sometimes gets a bit too cartoony or even abandons a cool idea. Sure there are shaoilin monks in the werewolf episode but... why? And this episode had a really great apocalyptic threat but very little follow through and stopping it had little to do with the thematic element itself.

Overall, the new status quo in the grand scheme doesn't matter much to me because really it feels more like 15 won't be playing with it a ton (instead, it's probably going to harvest the seeds like the gold tooth, Meep's boss and the forces that scared the Toymaker) so another fresh start will feel good.

I will say it was nice to see Mel but it feels like everyone from the Doctor's past is now a special UNIT agent now? To be fair, I remember the attitude of the character more than the specifics but I don't think that's the kind of character she was.

Also, considering the late stage classic Doctor era references, I would not be surprised if the big bad alluded to is The Valeyard. No, really, I know it's one of the show's less fondly remembered characters from one of the show's most infamous stories but "damned to one day become evil creep" has always been an interesting idea that they didn't do much with. And the Toymaker refers to the threat as "the one who waits" and that sounds like the Valeyard to me.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
heck it wasn't even a Marilyn Manson
If only.

jolyne-cujoh-stone-free.gif
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
So there's a lovely commentary track for The Giggle featuring David Tennant, Russell T Davies, and Phil Collinson which was only available in the UK, but some lovely person put out a torrent with it on there. I don't expect everyone else here to go listen to it (except Vaeran, who is probably watching it as I type this lmao), so here are some highlights that I found interesting (spoilers for The Giggle, of course, but also some light spoilers for upcoming stuff):

- Apparently, RTD has wanted to do a "split regeneration" for years, where a future Doctor gets to be in the episode with the "current" one just like this. The term "bi-generation" was invented very late in the day. At one point (years ago, apparently, not for this story), he thought it might be like a Jekyll and Hyde thing, where the Doctor keeps changing back and forth during the episode.

- Peter Purves was almost in this one, originally hidden in a giant cow that he'd pop out of, for some reason lol

- The main goal going into this regeneration was RTD wanted a "happy" one. One where it isn't all sad that someone died and isn't coming back, but instead someone new appears, heads off for adventures, while the old one gets a happy ending chilling with his friends.

- RTD does say the "Doctorverse" exists (namechecking the Spiderverse while doing so, since no one has trouble following that), and that all past Doctors bi-generated. So there's a version of Pertwee who woke up on the UNIT floor, a version of McCoy who is just laying in a freezer in San Fransisco (lol), Davison just waking up on Andorzani with a TARDIS there (somehow?), etc. He wants this to be the case so any Doctor can just show up at any time without some huge explanation being needed.

-...although, RTD did mention he doesn't yearn to write a multi-Doctor story, saying that it really feels like all the actors are there, rather than their characters. Tennant didn't react to this. I think RTD is dead wrong, but what do I know lol

- "Why bring go through all the trouble of bringing back David Tennant and make him different from the Tenth? Who wants that?" Me, Russell! Me! I'm the weirdo lol

- They mention a racist line in Spice Up Your Life that even the Spice Girls themselves took out, but the licensed version still has the line in there, they just drown it out in noise so we don't hear it. Oddly, no mention is made of The Celestial Toymaker here, where they edit the N-word out with voiceover in the rereleases of that story (and who knows what the hell they'll do with the animation. Presumably it's just gone)

- Tennant, Tate, Neil Patrick Harris, and producer Phil Collinson did an escape room one of the days while filming those scenes on the street in 1925. The staff was understandably gobsmacked to see them all walk in, as is understandable. Reportedly Tate has a grand old time - RTD thought she'd have been bored as hell lol

- During the bi-generation, Mel almost had a whole speech about Lykertya and the Rani lmao

- They do talk about how now there's a Doctor just hanging around Earth now, presumably available for all kinds of adventures and help in case the current Doctor is in trouble. RTD explains this away by saying "well why don't other Doctors ever show up? Why doesn't UNIT show up every time?" etc etc. He basically says yeah, there's a Doctor on Earth but he's not helping because the writer doesn't want him to. I don't buy it, but I'm a stick in the mud lol

- Tennant was a bit gutted he couldn't even be there for the filming of the Matt Smith/Tom Baker scene in the 50th, he's still a bit sad about that. RTD always wanted to ask him about it and did so on this commentary.

- Apparently in a story to come, there's an explicit reference or explanation about how the two TARDISs at the end of this episode are the same TARDIS, not two different ones.

- RTD originally wrote an ending discussing Wilf/Cribbins passing, but didn't use it since Cribbins had just died, and producer Phil Collinson thought - rightly, imo - that it wouldn't fit the tone of the episode, especially the happy ending, so that's why Wilf is offscreen shooting at force fielded moles at the end.

- I think my favorite part of the whole commentary is they do not mention Ncuti Gatwa running around in his pants the whole fucking time. It just doesn't come up lmao


So I enjoyed that. I'll pick away at the behind the scenes stuff heading into the Christmas episode. I'm coming around on the bi-generation thing, even though it's super dumb. I just need to let it go, like Donna says in The Star Beast, I guess lol
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
So I enjoyed that. I'll pick away at the behind the scenes stuff heading into the Christmas episode. I'm coming around on the bi-generation thing, even though it's super dumb. I just need to let it go, like Donna says in The Star Beast, I guess lol
It's very dumb but it's the kind of dumb that doesn't break anything. It's Silver Age Comics dumb and that's far from the worst thing.
 

SpoonyBard

Threat Rhyme
(He/Him)
I saw the third special, and yeah, I guess my feelings on the regeneration are the same as everyone else's. In that it's dumb and probably wasn't even necessary but I can't be too mad at it. I don't think it'll really affect 15 and in the end that little family dinner scene was worth the stupid logic.

If there was one thing that I'm annoyed about how that shook out, it's that Rose got a David Tennant, now Donna gets a David Tennant, but Martha still just gets stuck with Mickey.

One thing that made me smirk, with the subtitles on Disney+, after the regeneration whenever Tennant and Gatwa were both speaking over each other they used 'Tenth Doctor' to distinguish Tennant.
 

Vaeran

(GRUNTING)
(he/him)
So there's a lovely commentary track for The Giggle featuring David Tennant, Russell T Davies, and Phil Collinson which was only available in the UK, but some lovely person put out a torrent with it on there. I don't expect everyone else here to go listen to it (except Vaeran, who is probably watching it as I type this lmao)

😁 Thanks again. I'll pepper in my own highlights of things you didn't mention:

- Mel's appearance got leaked because when they filmed Tennant and Tate walking down the alleyway in Bristol, there was a crowd of fans held being just out of shot and they overheard the mention of Mel in the dialogue. Bloody fans.

- Even RTD, in preparation for writing a sequel story to it, couldn't bring himself to rewatch The Celestial Toymaker. How poisonous is this serial?! I've got to see it now.

- The sound crew wanted Tennant to record an effort noise in ADR for when the Doctor hops the counter in the Toymaker's shop ("you didn't make a sound when you did it" "Because I'm poised like a gazelle!"), and he's aghast that the final sound mix makes him sound like a wheezing old man, lol

- This episode was written before Flux even aired, because RTD was chagrined to see that the effect for what happens to Dan's house was similar to what happens to the Toymaker's shop. Maybe that sort of scheduling is obvious in retrospect but it blows my mind a little.

- LONG LIVE THE RUMINANT

- RTD does say the "Doctorverse" exists (namechecking the Spiderverse while doing so, since no one has trouble following that), and that all past Doctors bi-generated. So there's a version of Pertwee who woke up on the UNIT floor, a version of McCoy who is just laying in a freezer in San Fransisco (lol), Davison just waking up on Andorzani with a TARDIS there (somehow?), etc. He wants this to be the case so any Doctor can just show up at any time without some huge explanation being needed.

Power of the Daleks, episode 1:
BEN: OY ARE U THE DOCTOR OR WOT MATE
SECOND DOCTOR: [tootling mysteriously on recorder] 🎵
BEN: ALRIGHT, WHO'S HE THEN??? [points]
FIRST DOCTOR: Who indeed! Yes, hmm hmm hmm!
BEN: MATE

- They do talk about how now there's a Doctor just hanging around Earth now, presumably available for all kinds of adventures and help in case the current Doctor is in trouble. RTD explains this away by saying "well why don't other Doctors ever show up? Why doesn't UNIT show up every time?" etc etc. He basically says yeah, there's a Doctor on Earth but he's not helping because the writer doesn't want him to. I don't buy it, but I'm a stick in the mud lol

god it's the "why not just call in the Avengers???" problem all over again, save me

(that reminds me that I meant to make a joke about Tony Stark having sold Avengers Tower to UNIT, so pretend that I did)

Anyway that was all previously explainable because a) the Doctor generally experiences life on modern-day Earth in chronological order as it's his second home so there's only one of him here at a time anyway, and b) UNIT, much as I adore them, are a bunch of useless dingbats playing soldier. But now we've got a spare Doctor hanging around mooching off of the Noble-Temples for the rest of eternity, who presumably will just raise an eyebrow when he sees a Cyber armada materialize over the London skyline and ask if there are any more scones.

I'm still mad about bi-generation, but there's nothing I can do about it. The only positive thing I can say is that I would prefer RTD take big swings and big risks, and do interesting, different, surprising things with Doctor Who rather than just churn out 13 episodes a year of the same undifferentiated grey slop we got during the Chibnall era. Yes, bi-generation is a miss in my book, and a big one. But who knows, maybe something interesting will come of it down the road. At the very least I can appreciate that RTD is passionate about this show and wants to keep it feeling fresh rather than just going through the motions. I can respect that. Keep surprising me, Russell, and I'll keep watching.

"but Vaeran, Chibnall did The Timeless Child and you despise him for that. why's it good when RTD does wacky shit but bad when Chibnall does it?"

BECAUSE I'VE BI-GENERATED MY OPINIONS, MOTHERFUCKER
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
- Even RTD, in preparation for writing a sequel story to it, couldn't bring himself to rewatch The Celestial Toymaker. How poisonous is this serial?! I've got to see it now.

It's not even poisonous. It's just boring. It goes on and on until it ends. Sure, not being able to see it makes it much worse, I'm sure, but it's not like the surviving episode is exciting either. I don't think animating it is going to help, even if they take huge liberties with the visuals - the audio is still there, and it's just four episodes of Steven and Dodo playing fucking hopscotch. Boringly.

Power of the Daleks, episode 1:
BEN: OY ARE U THE DOCTOR OR WOT MATE
SECOND DOCTOR: [tootling mysteriously on recorder] 🎵
BEN: ALRIGHT, WHO'S HE THEN??? [points]
FIRST DOCTOR: Who indeed! Yes, hmm hmm hmm!
BEN: MATE

Okay, I literally laughed out loud at that haha. I don't think that one can be topped.

"but Vaeran, Chibnall did The Timeless Child and you despise him for that. why's it good when RTD does wacky shit but bad when Chibnall does it?"

BECAUSE I'VE BI-GENERATED MY OPINIONS, MOTHERFUCKER
Because when RTD does it, sure, it's still bullshit, but at least we're entertained while he does the bullshit. Having The Timeless Child explained to the Doctor while she was tied up felt like... well, being tied up and having a TARDIS Wiki page read to us. At least RTD was nice enough to give us Ncuti Gatwa blorping out of David Tennant in his pants, ffs.
 
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