Watching NuWho

Willie Oleson

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it's got that exciting watching-Saturday-morning-telly-when-you're-a-kid vibe.
I'm not sure we ever got that, at least not before the commercialisation courtesy of satellite TV in the late 1980s.
The way I remember it, children TV programming was pretty scarce which could explain why I watched everything so eagerly even if I didn't really like everything.
The Wednesday afternoon (because all the schools were closed) and Saturday afternoon. And then perhaps something (10 or 15 minutes) in the early evening before children went to bed.
But the other days...I have no idea.
 

James from London

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children TV programming was pretty scarce

Gosh, we were so lucky! We got two channels each giving us a couple of hours of kids' TV every weekday afternoon* plus two rival Saturday morning shows full of cartoons and pop stars that seemed to go on for hours: The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop on BBC1 (posh, uncool but secretly pretty good) and Tiswas on ITV (thrillingly anarchic).

*and oh the terrifying theme music:



 
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James from London

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How could you watch that when you were in school until four o'clock-ish?

Ooh good question. Maybe more like an hour and a half then: 4.25 to 5.45, then scribble some homework and back at 6.35 for Crossroads!

TVTimes-Wednesday-23-February-1972.jpg
 

James from London

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Is "Tomorrow People" about adults going crazy and attack cars and other machinery?
Ha, no! It's about kids who feel like they're different suddenly "breaking out" and realising they have super powers like telepathy and stuff. They join forces and discover they are in fact homo superior. If you're a misfit child, it's an incredibly appealing concept.
 

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I watched the new episodes this morning and really, really enjoyed them. Two brand new eps back to back: I don't think we've ever had before. It felt like Christmas! Turns out Saturday morning is an ideal time for Who: it's got that exciting watching-Saturday-morning-telly-when-you're-a-kid vibe. Ratings and merchandise and all those external things are largely irrelevant to me, and I can't remember a time when the fanbase wasn't divided. In fact, I don't think you can call yourself a fanbase unless you're upset about something. The experience of watching the show is pretty much all that matters to me.
Well about a divided fanbase, there is a difference that needs clarifying.
In the past, the "divisions" were constructive criticism about stories or character development, in general, but the overwhelming majority of fans were watching and enjoying the show.
Constructive criticism is healthy, because it gives the showrunners an opportunity to correct aspects of the show that needed it.
The divisions of the Chinall/JW era were because the show had become a shadow of its former self, with bad casting, worse stories, writers and directors who were inexperienced in sci-fi, and a shocking lack of respect by the production team for both long-time fans and the show's origins.
It was more than division - the majority of fans stopped watching, as evidenced by the steep decline in ratings and the disappearance of merchandise from the shelves.

RTD was clearly rehired to repair the show. So far, it is trending in the right direction
 

James from London

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Constructive criticism is healthy, because it gives the showrunners an opportunity to correct aspects of the show that needed it.
I wish I could find it, but I remember a quote from Steven Moffat saying that it's great that people write and blog about Doctor Who and everything, but as soon as you do that, you're no longer watching the series as a regular viewer and that's who he was aiming the show at. So the idea that the show runners are listening to all the fans online and altering the show accordingly ... well, I'm really dubious about that. I don't think art (or any kind of creative endeavour) should be a democracy.
a shocking lack of respect by the production team for both long-time fans
Well, I started watching Doctor Who a long time ago and I didn't feel disrespected. The only time I've felt vaguely insulted by Who is while watching some of the '80s episodes which are such a muddle, but other people adore that era, so clearly it's a subjective feeling.
 
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Jock Ewing Fan

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I wish I could find it, but I remember a quote from Steven Moffat saying that it's great that people write and blog about Doctor Who and everything, but as soon as you do that, you're no longer watching the series as a regular viewer and that's who he was aiming the show at. So the idea that the show runners are listening to all the fans online and altering the show accordingly ... well, I'm really dubious about that. I don't think art (or any kind of creative endeavour) should be a democracy.

Well, I started watching Doctor Who a long time ago and I didn't feel disrespected. The only time I've felt vaguely insulted by Who is while watching some of the '80s episodes which are such a muddle, but other people adore that era, so clearly it's a subjective feeling.
The fans input matters when it effects ratings and merchandise sales. If those things decline, production teams will make adjustments.
It is disrespect when the production team and lead character are openly negative toward fandom,as was the case during the Chibnall/JW era
 

James from London

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This is an interesting quote from Steven Moffatt about him writing an episode of the new series: "A fairly small number of people give a damn about any of it, even in Doctor Who’s vast audience. A small number of people know whether Russell and I are different people or not! Quite a few of them get confused."

It's a reminder that a lot more people watch Doctor Who than the fans who talk about it on the internet and pore over every little detail.
 

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This is an interesting quote from Steven Moffatt about him writing an episode of the new series: "A fairly small number of people give a damn about any of it, even in Doctor Who’s vast audience. A small number of people know whether Russell and I are different people or not! Quite a few of them get confused."

It's a reminder that a lot more people watch Doctor Who than the fans who talk about it on the internet and pore over every little detail.
That statement needs more context.

Since Doctor Who returned, most episodes have had an audience between 7-10 million.
Obviously, the number of fans who are respectful of continuity and the shows origins will be somewhat less, but it is not small.
Other long running franchises -ie Star Wars and Star Trek - have an audience in the millions that includes many, many fans who want
their show's history, origins and continuity to be respected, but it is not an insignificant number
Websites, Fanclubs, videos on utub, fansites, etc all have significant numbers of Doctor Who fans.
They rightly assert that without a coherent continuity, it becomes an aimless, arbitrary, shallow production,



There was no new Doctor Who From 1990 to 2005 on the air, except for the TV movie
During that time that so-called "small" number of fans kept both future and return of the show possible
again, with Websites, utub videos, fansites, etc, as well as purchasing novelized adventures and other merchandise.

The show returned, in large part, because these fans demonstrated that there was an audience that wanted the show.
It is not a "small" number. It is a significant core group that is vital to the the show's continued success.
 

James from London

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That statement needs more context.

Since Doctor Who returned, most episodes have had an audience between 7-10 million.
Obviously, the number of fans who are respectful of continuity and the shows origins will be somewhat less, but it is not small.
Other long running franchises -ie Star Wars and Star Trek - have an audience in the millions that includes many, many fans who want
their show's history, origins and continuity to be respected, but it is not an insignificant number
Websites, Fanclubs, videos on utub, fansites, etc all have significant numbers of Doctor Who fans.
They rightly assert that without a coherent continuity, it becomes an aimless, arbitrary, shallow production,



There was no new Doctor Who From 1990 to 2005 on the air, except for the TV movie
During that time that so-called "small" number of fans kept both future and return of the show possible
again, with Websites, utub videos, fansites, etc, as well as purchasing novelized adventures and other merchandise.

The show returned, in large part, because these fans demonstrated that there was an audience that wanted the show.
It is not a "small" number. It is a significant core group that is vital to the the show's continued success.

Interesting, thanks. I can't really talk about ratings because the subject just sends me to sleep -- my brain starts to shut down like I'm reading someone else's accounts -- but clearly there's a real, probably unresolvable, tension between long-term fans and "casual" viewers when it comes to who Doctor Who is made for, or "should" be made for. And creativity needs tension so maybe that's a positive thing. For the sake of my own enjoyment of the show, I'm glad I feel slightly outside of it all.
 
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Willie Oleson

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It's a reminder that a lot more people watch Doctor Who than the fans who talk about it on the internet and pore over every little detail.
During that time that so-called "small" number of fans kept both future and return of the show possible
The channel that broadcast DYNASTY in the Netherlands informed the audience that the Moldavia wedding was going to be the last episode.
Millions of viewers bombarded them with letters and complaints and that's how Dynasty returned to Dutch TV, albeit in a afternoon time slot (but who cares).
Those people weren't hardcore fans, they just loved to watch it and wanted to know what would happen next.
Most of them have probably forgotten all about it, unless they've bought the DVDs.

Fans can have some influence, but it's mostly about certain events or something very niche that isn't expected to be very profitable in the first place.
I have been responsible for some tracks being released on certain dance music CDs, but those weren't mass-market releases. Those music labels largely existed because of their niche fanbase.

I don't think the BBC would have invested in a Doctor Who revival if they thought it wouldn't have much potential, but even if that's how it happened then it still doesn't mean that the fanbase "owns" Doctor Who.
Of course you're free to complain about the things you don't like, we all do that from time to time, especially on internet forums like tellytalk.
From what I've seen of New Doctor Who I honestly don't know if this series was meant to be about continuation and legacy. There are so many things happening in the most bizarre ways, how do you even make sense of it?
 

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The channel that broadcast DYNASTY in the Netherlands informed the audience that the Moldavia wedding was going to be the last episode.
Millions of viewers bombarded them with letters and complaints and that's how Dynasty returned to Dutch TV, albeit in a afternoon time slot (but who cares).
Those people weren't hardcore fans, they just loved to watch it and wanted to know what would happen next.
Most of them have probably forgotten all about it, unless they've bought the DVDs.

Fans can have some influence, but it's mostly about certain events or something very niche that isn't expected to be very profitable in the first place.
I have been responsible for some tracks being released on certain dance music CDs, but those weren't mass-market releases. Those music labels largely existed because of their niche fanbase.

I don't think the BBC would have invested in a Doctor Who revival if they thought it wouldn't have much potential, but even if that's how it happened then it still doesn't mean that the fanbase "owns" Doctor Who.
Of course you're free to complain about the things you don't like, we all do that from time to time, especially on internet forums like tellytalk.
From what I've seen of New Doctor Who I honestly don't know if this series was meant to be about continuation and legacy. There are so many things happening in the most bizarre ways, how do you even make sense of it?
Not a question of "owning" Doctor Who.

It is a matter of having a show that is a quality presentation that does not turn into a messy, awkward, arbitrary production
And the show is on the air because the long-term fans kept Doctor Who in the public consciousness during 1990-2005
when there was only a TV movie and no new series.


If there is no core coherence to a show, it loses all its impact
 
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pete lashmar

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Julie Gardener was the controller of BBC1 and she was a Doctor Who fan, she felt the show could be revived with the right people involved. However general reaction from BBC execs was not positive, they still felt the show could not compete with a BBC budget and therefore would look cheap and silly. Julie continued on, with the help of Mal Young, who was controller on ongoing drama series. The 2 of them pushed forwards because of their own belief in the show. Their biggest issue was a "Rights" one, FOX TV still held a lot of rights due to the TV movie, but as soon as they returned to the BBC they approached Russell T Davis, who had previously discussed wanting to bring the show back some years prior. Then Jane Trantor and Phil Colinson joined the team as producers and, well....the rest is history, though very few people at the BBC or the general British media/press were unconvinced it would work, until the show aired and the reaction from old and new viewers was overwhelmingly positive.

Many fans of the show kept it alive and well in the wilderness years, but Julie Gardener brought the show back due to her personal love of it and wanting to bring it to a new audience. Although they wanted fans of the show to return, this was being made for a new audience and they just hoped the older fans would come back too.
 
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James from London

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I posted this earlier in the thread, but it seems to fit here as well:

I vividly remember a TV interview Eccleston did when he took on the role (at least I think I do -- he didn't do many interviews and I've not been able to find it since, so I'm beginning to think I dreamt it) where he firmly stated that this new version of the series belonged to the children of today (i.e. 2005) just as the original had belonged to previous generations of kids. I loved that. It meant it wasn't my Doctor Who, but I had the privilege of watching it anyway. (I took that same attitude to New Dallas as well: this wasn't mine; I had no ownership of it, and somehow that made it an even more exciting experience.) I remember thinking how much kids would be loving the farting aliens, which the BBC never would have stood for when I was growing up. It wasn't until years later that I discovered how unpopular the farting aliens were with Who Fandom, who take the whole thing altogether more seriously.
 

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I posted this earlier in the thread, but it seems to fit here as well:

I vividly remember a TV interview Eccleston did when he took on the role (at least I think I do -- he didn't do many interviews and I've not been able to find it since, so I'm beginning to think I dreamt it) where he firmly stated that this new version of the series belonged to the children of today (i.e. 2005) just as the original had belonged to previous generations of kids. I loved that. It meant it wasn't my Doctor Who, but I had the privilege of watching it anyway. (I took that same attitude to New Dallas as well: this wasn't mine; I had no ownership of it, and somehow that made it an even more exciting experience.) I remember thinking how much kids would be loving the farting aliens, which the BBC never would have stood for when I was growing up. It wasn't until years later that I discovered how unpopular the farting aliens were with Who Fandom, who take the whole thing altogether more seriously.
It is not a matter of having to choose either the original series or the relaunched series.
That is a false choice construct. People can be fans of both.
It is true, however, that fans of the original series kept Doctor Who visible with fan sites, utub videos, fan clubs, supporting merchandising
such as DWM, novelized new adventures, DVDs, etc.
Without fans of the original series, there would have been no relaunch, or any series at all in the first place.
The new series did clearly acknowledge the classic series with Daleks, Autons, Unit, mentions of the Time Lords, reference to (unnamed) Davros
and a scene with a Cyberman helmet. The new series was successfully relaunched, because it appealed to both fans of the original series and new fans.

I disagree that fandom takes it too seriously. Most fans simply want the show to be entertaining and well produced/written.
For the most part, it was until the disastrous Chibnall/JW era, in large part because he disrespected the shows origins.
A long-running franchise, whether it is DR Who, Star Wars or Star Trek, must be grounded in a basic core story,
otherwise it is just "anything goes" which ultimately destroys the entire basis of such shows.

Now that RTD has returned and NG seems to be a charismatic actor, we will see how Doctor Who does.

Again, people can be fans of both the original series and the relaunch. It is not a one or the other choice
 
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James from London

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It is not a matter of having to choose either the original series or the relaunched series.
That is a false choice construct. People can be fans of both.
I wasn't suggesting otherwise. I love the fact that last week's Beatles episode, 'Flux', 'Trial of a Time Lord' (even though I didn't enjoy a lot of 'Trial of a Time Lord') and 'An Unearthly Child', while each completely different to each other, are all part of the same thing. I really enjoy zigzagging through different eras. That's what's so fun about the massive historical chronological video I'm working my way through: one minute you're watching the whole of ‘The Space Museum’ in the wrong order followed by five seconds of Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, then a glimpse of Tom Baker and Lalla Ward, followed by four episodes of 'Time Flight'.
I disagree that fandom takes it too seriously.
I said they take it more seriously, not too seriously. But granted, it was a generalisation: fandom is made up of many individuals who don't necessarily all share the same opinion of every aspect of Who. But then, that makes me wonder: if, as you say, the opinions of the fandom are important and should be acted upon by the programme makers, which opinions are they meant to take notice of? Some of Steven Moffat's episodes have been voted the most popular in all of Who, yet he was driven off social media because a sizeable chunk of "the fandom" were so horrible about his run of the show. You clearly dislike the Chibnall era yet others were very moved by and deeply invested in the Doctor's relationship with Yaz. There's lots of positivity about the newest episodes while a vocal contingent are disgusted at how "woke" (such a meaningless word) they are. Who gets to decide which opinions have more credibility and should be taken notice of?
 
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Luke_Krebbs_Ewing

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Julie Gardener was the controller of BBC1 and she was a Doctor Who fan, she felt the show could be revived with the right people involved. However general reaction from BBC execs was not positive, they still felt the show could not compete with a BBC budget and therefore would look cheap and silly. Julie continued on, with the help of Mal Young, who was controller on ongoing drama series. The 2 of them pushed forwards because of their own belief in the show. Their biggest issue was a "Rights" one, FOX TV still held a lot of rights due to the TV movie, but as soon as they returned to the BBC they approached Russell T Davis, who had previously discussed wanting to bring the show back some years prior. Then Jane Trantor and Phil Colinson joined the team as producers and, well....the rest is history, though very few people at the BBC or the general British media/press were unconvinced it would work, until the show aired and the reaction from old and new viewers was overwhelmingly positive.

Many fans of the show kept it alive and well in the wilderness years, but Julie Gardener brought the show back due to her personal love of it and wanting to bring it to a new audience. Although they wanted fans of the show to return, this was being made for a new audience and they just hoped the older fans would come back too.

You've left out one crucial key player at the BBC who was really responsible for the shows returning in 2005. Lorraine Hegessey was the Controller of BBC One in 2003 and it was her who re-commissioned Doctor Who as a new series. :)
 
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