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Old 29-01-2013, 23:11
nottelling
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Is a limited number of memorable side/guest characters. Whether they have been one of characters or semi-regulars. Unlike the old series there has not been many that come straight in my mind when I think of guest characters. Sure there have been some like Wilfred, Elton, Madge, Solomon ect, but they are few and far between. I know some other names will be used, but here is what I think of the three most likely to be called.

Jack Harkness - I'm sorry but he has to be one of the most overrated characters in the show. To me he basically starts out as a Mary Sue (good looking, perfect at everything, everyone instantly likes him and if he is called out on a mistake, even if it could have caused massive destruction, is quickly brushed aside) and only improves to become a generic action character (if you're going to be the action role at least give it a quirky personality like Harry Sullivan).

River Song - Oh boy, she started of slightly interesting. But her smug attitude and constant use of the phrase "spoilers" really turns me away from her. She quickly under Moffat gets way over used and becomes basically the center of the story for ridiculous plots, I mean having episode titles like "The wedding of River Song" clearly means that Moffat only cares about that character.

And with the new popular trio of Vasta, Jenny and Strax, I will just post this http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1792901

When I think of guest characters, I think of Duggan from City of Death, Striker and Marriner from Enlightenment. Or in my personally favorite story The Caves of Androzani - most of the guest characters, especially Sharaz Jek, Morgus, Stotz and Chellak. All have deep motivations and conflicts, all of which are inter wind with each other and all characters are acted superbly (particularly with Christopher Gable as Jek). Its no wonder why Androzani was voted the greatest story in Doctor Who.
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Old 29-01-2013, 23:41
TEDR
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I guess it's just really hard to establish interesting secondary characters when (most of the time) you've only got 45 minutes to tell the entire story? How much would you care about, say, Jago and Lightfoot if they were compressed to about 15 minutes of airtime?
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Old 30-01-2013, 00:19
Granny McSmith
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I couldn't disagree more. Interesting secondary characters abound.

Cassandra, Harriet Jones, Nancy, Dr Constantine, Reinette, Ida, Yvonne Hartmann, Joan Redfern, Brannigan, Timothy, the Roman Family from Pompei, Bracewell, Father Octavian, Brian, Kate Stewart, and the lovely Canton are just a few.

I haven't included main players like Sally Sparrow, Jackson Lake, Idris, Craig or Adelaide, as you might not class them as secondary.

I would also very much include Vastra, Jenny and Strax, though I see from your other thread that you are dismissive of them.

Sorry if you don't like them, but, well, c'Úst la vie!
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Old 30-01-2013, 00:47
nottelling
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I couldn't disagree more. Interesting secondary characters abound.

Cassandra, Harriet Jones, Nancy, Dr Constantine, Reinette, Ida, Yvonne Hartmann, Joan Redfern, Brannigan, Timothy, the Roman Family from Pompei, Bracewell, Father Octavian, Brian, Kate Stewart, and the lovely Canton are just a few.

I haven't included main players like Sally Sparrow, Jackson Lake, Idris, Craig or Adelaide, as you might not class them as secondary.

I would also very much include Vastra, Jenny and Strax, though I see from your other thread that you are dismissive of them.

Sorry if you don't like them, but, well, c'Úst la vie!
But the problem is that most of them are decent (with the exception of Kate Stewart and Sally Sparrow who I agreed were excellent characters), in fact some of them I had to google their name to refresh my memory, because just looking at the episode title that they were in would not appear in my mind instantly.
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Old 30-01-2013, 00:49
Abomination
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I think the decision to remove two-parters from Series 6B and Series 7 has highlighted this issue a bit... we don't have enough time per episode to establish as many memorable characters. And though I love Moffat, a lot of his era has been a little style over substance (not all of it, but more than I think is necessary).

The problem is, memorable guest characters are very subjective. Are you wanting gun-ho? Or an emotive character? A tragic character? Or someone vividly entertaining? For me, Liz Ten, Kazran Sardick, Van Gogh and Oswin Oswald covered those fronts brilliantly. It's all a matter of opinion, and there are still plenty of characters I don't like. For the most part, particularly in Series 1-4, Doctor Who was always brilliant at making me care about the secondary characters... more so than most shows can manage.
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Old 30-01-2013, 01:01
sohoguy
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Mickey, Rose's mum, Wilfred, Sarah Jane (yep, she counts!), Roman Family, River Song, Sally Sparrow, main female in Waters of Mars (forget her name), Lynda (with a 'y'!), the two leads in Gridlock, Elton, Pete Tyler, Van Gogh...

There are loads.

I would argue that Journey's End demonstrates the true power of the RTD era, and that Pandorica Opens is a good example of the power of the Moff era early on - lots and lots of strong characters
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Old 30-01-2013, 01:05
sohoguy
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But the problem is that most of them are decent (with the exception of Kate Stewart and Sally Sparrow who I agreed were excellent characters), in fact some of them I had to google their name to refresh my memory, because just looking at the episode title that they were in would not appear in my mind instantly.
But that's extremely subjective

Are you telling me that Rory's dad had no impact on you?

Or Van Gogh?

Or Rose's mum?

Or Lynda with a 'y'

On the flip side, take stories like 'Four to Doomsday', 'Terminus', 'Underworld', 'Planet of Giants', 'Dominators', 'Time Monster' - all full of extremely weak characters
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Old 30-01-2013, 01:09
sohoguy
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I guess it's just really hard to establish interesting secondary characters when (most of the time) you've only got 45 minutes to tell the entire story? How much would you care about, say, Jago and Lightfoot if they were compressed to about 15 minutes of airtime?
I would say that you can establish them quite quickly: look at the speed in which you love Rose in 'Rose', or care about Van Gogh, or many characters. I think really powerful writing can achieve that.

But on the topic of screentime, you do make an interesting point as I cared far more about, say, the two gay guys in 'Good Man Goes to War' than I did about the entire cast of 'Underworld'!
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Old 30-01-2013, 01:24
nottelling
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But that's extremely subjective

Are you telling me that Rory's dad had no impact on you?

Or Van Gogh?

Or Rose's mum?

Or Lynda with a 'y'

On the flip side, take stories like 'Four to Doomsday', 'Terminus', 'Underworld', 'Planet of Giants', 'Dominators', 'Time Monster' - all full of extremely weak characters
You would have been right with Four to Doomsday except that to me it had one o the best acted villains with Monarch. Sure his character was not exactly shining in originality in terms of motives and had a costume made of condoms, but Alan Stratford Johns absolutely nails it and gives the character a surprising amount of believability.

That's another factor, the actor performing can affect how memorable a character is. Your right about Brian William and Van Gogh, but on the flip side the actress for Jackie Tyler and Lynda never did it for me (both seem more suited to a soap opera then a drama series.
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Old 30-01-2013, 09:53
Theophile
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I agree with one of the posters about one thing very much: the frenetic pace of the show does not allow time to develop secondary characters to the point where I care about them. They are merely placeholders and are never given time to become more than one (or sometimes two-dimensional). That is one of the things that I cannot stand about the Moffat era; he moves things way too fast and I, for one, have trouble keeping up a lot of the time. Some secondary character dies; why should I care? I was never given a chance to make a bond with that character or to identify with them. In the exceptionally frantic and frenetic pace of the show, they are never given a chance to develop as characters or gain a foothold on my consciousness.

And the good examples that you site, like Ricky, all begin before the Moffat "I-must-make-Doctor-Who-look-like-The-Bourne-Identitiy-as-much-as-possible" era.
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Old 30-01-2013, 10:13
Ed Sizzers
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Is a limited number of memorable side/guest characters. Whether they have been one of characters or semi-regulars. Unlike the old series there has not been many that come straight in my mind when I think of guest characters.
The problem is, you're not actually saying that New Who has lacked memorable supporting/recurring characters. Just that it has lacked memorable supporting/recurring characters that you have liked.

Which isn't the same thing.
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Old 30-01-2013, 10:51
daveyboy7472
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I agree with one of the posters about one thing very much: the frenetic pace of the show does not allow time to develop secondary characters to the point where I care about them. They are merely placeholders and are never given time to become more than one (or sometimes two-dimensional). That is one of the things that I cannot stand about the Moffat era; he moves things way too fast and I, for one, have trouble keeping up a lot of the time. Some secondary character dies; why should I care? I was never given a chance to make a bond with that character or to identify with them. In the exceptionally frantic and frenetic pace of the show, they are never given a chance to develop as characters or gain a foothold on my consciousness.

And the good examples that you site, like Ricky, all begin before the Moffat "I-must-make-Doctor-Who-look-like-The-Bourne-Identitiy-as-much-as-possible" era.

I really see things different from you. IMO it's just the opposite, during the Moffat Era things move so slow that there is enough time for character development, having breakfast, going for a jog and so on, especially during Series 5 and 6!

I think during RTDs time, things were a bit frenetic at times and I enjoyed that but there were episodes as well where the pace dropped quite a lot, i.e, Father's Day, etc.

However, during the Moffat Era I have found some episodes so mind-numbing dull that it's almost sent me off to sleep, don't see how you can call the vast majority of this era frenetic, but as I've said before, everyone sees things differently.

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Old 30-01-2013, 11:13
hypergreenfrog
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Without wanting to be overly critical, I think the difference between the secondary characters in Classic and NuWho may not only lie in the characters themselves, but the way we watch the show.
I notice that many fans have seen the classic episodes many times, while they only watch the new ones when they come out. This way, you are bound to feel like you "know" the old ones a lot better. Maybe if you let a few decades pass, you'll think differently about them.

From my own experience, I thought that certain supporting characters in recent years were great (Wilfried, Mickey), but I also would have preferred River to remain in the background and appear every now and then, rather than become a main figure. But that's a matter of taste, so I wouldn't say "how awful was River's development" just because of this.
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Old 30-01-2013, 11:38
shortcrust
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Without wanting to be overly critical, I think the difference between the secondary characters in Classic and NuWho may not only lie in the characters themselves, but the way we watch the show.
I notice that many fans have seen the classic episodes many times, while they only watch the new ones when they come out. This way, you are bound to feel like you "know" the old ones a lot better. Maybe if you let a few decades pass, you'll think differently about them.

From my own experience, I thought that certain supporting characters in recent years were great (Wilfried, Mickey), but I also would have preferred River to remain in the background and appear every now and then, rather than become a main figure. But that's a matter of taste, so I wouldn't say "how awful was River's development" just because of this.
^^Exactly this! The OP is comparing characters that we have grown to love over many years with ones that have only just turned up to the party. Apples and pears. Very few characters made an impact on me when I watched the classic series at the time - I saw them once and moved on to the next episode.

I'm much keener on the classic series, but I think that the new series actually often goes much further in terms of fleshing out the emotional and motivational aspects of minor characters.
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Old 30-01-2013, 11:43
Pull2Open
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I couldn't disagree more. Interesting secondary characters abound.

Cassandra, Harriet Jones, Nancy, Dr Constantine, Reinette, Ida, Yvonne Hartmann, Joan Redfern, Brannigan, Timothy, the Roman Family from Pompei, Bracewell, Father Octavian, Brian, Kate Stewart, and the lovely Canton are just a few.
Octavian, now there was a character and a half, really edgy for a priest! I think Moff could've got a bit more distance out of him but then again, his short stint may have cemented his allure!
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Old 30-01-2013, 13:24
johnnysaucepn
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The recent series have been brisk and sharp, but not hurried or frantic. They don't waste time in getting from one point to the next, but they take their time when they get there.
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Old 30-01-2013, 13:34
sohoguy
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Without wanting to be overly critical, I think the difference between the secondary characters in Classic and NuWho may not only lie in the characters themselves, but the way we watch the show.
I notice that many fans have seen the classic episodes many times, while they only watch the new ones when they come out. This way, you are bound to feel like you "know" the old ones a lot better. Maybe if you let a few decades pass, you'll think differently about them.
That's totally spot on in many, many ways

And throw in the fact that a lot of the stories would've been watched as a less-critical child, and then viewed with nostalgic eyes, and I think you're right.
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Old 30-01-2013, 17:00
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I'm still awaiting the arrival of the "Terrible Zodin" who has been mentioned but never seen! (Pat Troughton in 'The Five Doctors')
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Old 31-01-2013, 10:27
Theophile
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I really see things different from you. IMO it's just the opposite, during the Moffat Era things move so slow that there is enough time for character development, having breakfast, going for a jog and so on, especially during Series 5 and 6!

I think during RTDs time, things were a bit frenetic at times and I enjoyed that but there were episodes as well where the pace dropped quite a lot, i.e, Father's Day, etc.

However, during the Moffat Era I have found some episodes so mind-numbing dull that it's almost sent me off to sleep, don't see how you can call the vast majority of this era frenetic, but as I've said before, everyone sees things differently.

Hello. It is me again. I just watched the current season, Season 33, Series 7, and I must now ease off of my complaint regarding pacing. I think that with this current season that Moffat has finally found his footing in terms of pacing and storytelling and I really think that this has been his and Matt Smith's best season thus far. The pace has slowed down just enough to remain exciting but it now allows characters to develop quite a bit more.

Also, I like the way that the story is developing a lot.

I still like the idea of River Song, but I hate just about everything else about her.

I like the way the Williamses left the show; that was perfect (and yes, they are the Williamses, not the Ponds). I like what is going on overall.

While I still have great reservations about many Moffat era debacles, I now have great hope again for the show without having to see drastic changes.
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Old 31-01-2013, 10:27
Theophile
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I'm still awaiting the arrival of the "Terrible Zodin" who has been mentioned but never seen! (Pat Troughton in 'The Five Doctors')
Heck, I am still waiting for the Toymaker to come back.
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Old 31-01-2013, 11:23
daveyboy7472
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Hello. It is me again. I just watched the current season, Season 33, Series 7, and I must now ease off of my complaint regarding pacing. I think that with this current season that Moffat has finally found his footing in terms of pacing and storytelling and I really think that this has been his and Matt Smith's best season thus far. The pace has slowed down just enough to remain exciting but it now allows characters to develop quite a bit more.

Also, I like the way that the story is developing a lot.

I still like the idea of River Song, but I hate just about everything else about her.

I like the way the Williamses left the show; that was perfect (and yes, they are the Williamses, not the Ponds). I like what is going on overall.

While I still have great reservations about many Moffat era debacles, I now have great hope again for the show without having to see drastic changes.
I really am scratching my head now as you are seeing things totally different to me!

For me, the last Series has been a lot more akin to the pace of the RTD in some stories. It's a big improvement on the snorefests of Series 5 and 6. And that's why I have enjoyed this Series a lot more as a result.

I do find it fascinating how people always sees things differently to me on here, that's a great thing about a forum, reading opposing views!

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Old 02-02-2013, 11:47
JayPee86
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I do hope one day most stories will be two parters.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:16
sohoguy
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Yes more 2 parters!
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:52
nebogipfel
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The magnificent Jackie Tyler. The jihadist Silurian (forget name - Restac's sister), the Dinosaurs villain (forget name). Canton. etc etc. I sometimes hanker for a little more room for stories to breath, but many of the characters are excellent. The pirate captain
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