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Old 05-05-2013, 00:44
Dave-H
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Before you all round on me, let me explain that the word "pantomime", like the word "circus", has developed a lot of very negative connotations in recent years.
I don't agree with this at all, as pantomime when it's done well is one of the most entertaining, clever, witty, funny, outrageous and subversive forms of entertainment that there is.
I think that tonight's episode of Doctor Who was pure pantomime, and pantomime at its finest.
I'm sure Mark Gatiss must be a pantomime fan, oh yes he is!
A way over the top period setting, a hissable villainess, more references to everything from The Avengers to Doctor Phibes than you could imagine, corny outrageous out of period jokes, you name it, it was there!
Anyone else agree?
I should hardly have to mention that I loved it! Anyone who didn't I respect their opinion but they should really ask themselves whether they were looking at it in the right frame of mind.
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Old 05-05-2013, 00:51
ea91
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I noticed the panto vibe too. Nothing against pantomime, but Doctor Who is not a panto and should not try to be. It's a sci-fi show with an international following. Just because Moffat is skilled at working comedy into it, doesn't mean it should become the overall tone of the show and certainly not when those less skilled at comedy than Moffat are writing the episodes. A couple of lines fell flat for me in Hide, but even more did in The Crimson Horror. For a panto that's acceptable, but for Doctor Who it is not.
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Old 05-05-2013, 00:58
Galadriel
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He's behind you....
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:00
Dave-H
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Don't worry, I quite agree that Doctor Who should not always be considered pantomime.
It's one of the brickbats often thrown at the latter years of the classic series that it became too "pantomime".
There is a place for that sort of thing in Doctor Who though in my opinion, as it revels in the intrinsic ridiculousness of the whole fantasy time travelling scenario.
It shouldn't be like that all the time, heaven forbid, but just every now and again, it's permissible to cross that line, which tonight's episode did and got away with it in my opinion.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:04
ea91
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It shouldn't be like that all the time, heaven forbid, but just every now and again, it's permissible to cross that line, which tonight's episode did and got away with it in my opinion.
That's why I like Moffat's episodes, they're more subtle. Both quirky and serious, with comedic moments. The other writers, on the other hand, seem to focus on creating the amusing moments rather than explaining how a worm who can't speak managed to build a rocket, and it's becoming a problem.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:22
Dave-H
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That's why I like Moffat's episodes, they're more subtle. Both quirky and serious, with comedic moments. The other writers, on the other hand, seem to focus on creating the amusing moments rather than explaining how a worm who can't speak managed to build a rocket, and it's becoming a problem.
Yes, but does it matter?
Even back in 1963, people asked quite rightly how a race with apparently no hands, and an apparent inability to even climb stairs, could have built a high tech futuristic city!
Yes, the Daleks!
If you start asking those sort of questions, and expect serious answers, you are missing the whole point of the enjoyment of Doctor Who I'm afraid.
(In my personal opinion I hasten to add!)
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:27
ea91
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Yes, but does it matter?
Even back in 1963, people asked quite rightly how a race with apparently no hands, and an apparent inability to even climb stairs, could have built a high tech futuristic city!
Yes, the Daleks!
If you start asking those sort of questions, and expect serious answers, you are missing the whole point of the enjoyment of Doctor Who I'm afraid.
(In my personal opinion I hasten to add!)
Well at least the Daleks can speak. And fly!
Again, Moffat has set a precedent for people thinking about the show and discussing it (there was no Digital Spy in 1963 anyway). He even pulled one over on me when young River regenerated in New York, not only did I not realise it was her, I hadn't even noticed a little girl regenerating at all. Moffat has taught me that details matter. It's difficult to go backwards from that.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:33
Dave-H
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Well at least the Daleks can speak. And fly!
Again, Moffat has set a precedent for people thinking about the show and discussing it (there was no Digital Spy in 1963 anyway). He even pulled one over on me when young River regenerated in New York, not only did I not realise it was her, I hadn't even noticed a little girl regenerating at all. Moffat has taught me that details matter. It's difficult to go backwards from that.
I'm not quite sure how you couldn't have noticed the little girl regenerating, it was the climax of the whole episode, but I completely agree with you on that, it was a stunning bit of long term story telling!
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:35
ea91
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I'm not quite sure how you couldn't have noticed the little girl regenerating, it was the climax of the whole episode, but I completely agree with you on that, it was a stunning bit of long term story telling!
What can I say, children bore me.
So next week looks fun...
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:36
saladfingers81
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Before you all round on me, let me explain that the word "pantomime", like the word "circus", has developed a lot of very negative connotations in recent years.
I don't agree with this at all, as pantomime when it's done well is one of the most entertaining, clever, witty, funny, outrageous and subversive forms of entertainment that there is.
I think that tonight's episode of Doctor Who was pure pantomime, and pantomime at its finest.
I'm sure Mark Gatiss must be a pantomime fan, oh yes he is!
A way over the top period setting, a hissable villainess, more references to everything from The Avengers to Doctor Phibes than you could imagine, corny outrageous out of period jokes, you name it, it was there!
Anyone else agree?
I should hardly have to mention that I loved it! Anyone who didn't I respect their opinion but they should really ask themselves whether they were looking at it in the right frame of mind.
I think Gatiss himself would appreciate the comparison. There was a delicious high camp about the episode tonight. In keeping with his role as a scholar of horror over the ages (anyone who hasn't seen his documentary series should check it out...essential viewing) packed alot in. The Frankenstein references were numerous, Hammer horror period classics, Penny Dreadfuls, a slither of Carry On, a call out to Total Recall (which I mentioned in the episode thread). Real grand Guignol stuff full of nice references to things past and it captured the atmosphere perfectly. Its felt very much in the spirit of DW stories like Talons and was Gatiss drawing on all his strengths. Its as if The Unquiet Dead and The Idiots Lantern were workings towards this and he finally nailed it in one episode and made his best Who episode yet.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:03
Dave-H
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I think Gatiss himself would appreciate the comparison. There was a delicious high camp about the episode tonight. In keeping with his role as a scholar of horror over the ages (anyone who hasn't seen his documentary series should check it out...essential viewing) packed alot in. The Frankenstein references were numerous, Hammer horror period classics, Penny Dreadfuls, a slither of Carry On, a call out to Total Recall (which I mentioned in the episode thread). Real grand Guignol stuff full of nice references to things past and it captured the atmosphere perfectly. Its felt very much in the spirit of DW stories like Talons and was Gatiss drawing on all his strengths. Its as if The Unquiet Dead and The Idiots Lantern were workings towards this and he finally nailed it in one episode and made his best Who episode yet.
Absolutely agree with that!
I've actually met Mark, and he's a lovely guy and obviously very passionate about everything he's involved with.
The criticisms that have been levelled against much of his contribution to recent Doctor Who must have hurt him deeply, but he totally came good yesterday as far as I'm concerned at least.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:10
Rowls
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Yes, agree with Dave-H and saladfingers.

Gatiss got the camp just right in Crimson Horror. It's a fine line to push the surreal absurdity of the plot that far and not have it snap into panto but they achieved it with aplomb.

Credit must go to the actors too. They have to make that material work and deliver it all straight laced or else it falls apart.

Crimson Horror is a camp classic in the making. Great stuff and agree that Gatiss' work for Dr Who this series has been his strongest to date.

PS: Did anyone notice the dialect and correct contemporary vernacular? Gatiss has a great ear for this as anyone who remembers his Crooked House series will attest.
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Old 06-05-2013, 16:59
Dave-H
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Yes, agree with Dave-H and saladfingers.
Gatiss got the camp just right in Crimson Horror. It's a fine line to push the surreal absurdity of the plot that far and not have it snap into panto but they achieved it with aplomb.
Credit must go to the actors too. They have to make that material work and deliver it all straight laced or else it falls apart.
Crimson Horror is a camp classic in the making. Great stuff and agree that Gatiss' work for Dr Who this series has been his strongest to date.
PS: Did anyone notice the dialect and correct contemporary vernacular? Gatiss has a great ear for this as anyone who remembers his Crooked House series will attest.
Absolutely agree with all that too!
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Old 06-05-2013, 21:52
Residents Fan
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Don't worry, I quite agree that Doctor Who should not always be considered pantomime.
It's one of the brickbats often thrown at the latter years of the classic series that it became too "pantomime".
There is a place for that sort of thing in Doctor Who though in my opinion, as it revels in the intrinsic ridiculousness of the whole fantasy time travelling scenario.
It shouldn't be like that all the time, heaven forbid, but just every now and again, it's permissible to cross that line, which tonight's episode did and got away with it in my opinion.
I remember reading in one of the Tulloch books on DW
that pantomine has a self-aware, "breaking the fourth
wall" quality. Tulloch suggested this was DW fans used
"pantomine" as an insult for episodes of the show they disliked.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:49
Dave-H
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I remember reading in one of the Tulloch books on DW that pantomine has a self-aware, "breaking the fourth wall" quality. Tulloch suggested this was DW fans used "pantomine" as an insult for episodes of the show they disliked.
Stage pantomimes certainly quite deliberately "break the fourth wall", as direct interaction with the audience is all part of it.
It can't be done in the same way on TV of course, but addressing the audience can be successful if done correctly, as in House of Cards and its sequels.
It has no place in things like Doctor Who though IMO.
The only time it was sort of tried was in the infamous Love & Monsters, and look how well received that was!
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:52
Virgil Tracy
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But Barrowman wasn't in it
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Old 07-05-2013, 17:01
nebogipfel
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Except that Love and Monsters was pretty terrific.

Turrning to the camera and wishing "viewers" a merry Christmas was a bit weird though. Who did the Doctor think was watching him? Touch of paranoia.
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Old 07-05-2013, 17:16
TommyCinderford
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For me the new era was defined by one moment in Eccleston's first episode...

The belching wheelie bin.

I dunno about pantomime but I'm afraid I'm one of the old boys who see the whole post 2005 remake as a sorry joke.
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Old 07-05-2013, 17:25
Airborae
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For me the new era was defined by one moment in Eccleston's first episode...

The belching wheelie bin.

I dunno about pantomime but I'm afraid I'm one of the old boys who see the whole post 2005 remake as a sorry joke.
One of the funniest bits of Doctor Who of all time! I loved it!
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Old 07-05-2013, 17:36
bugloss
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Stage pantomimes certainly quite deliberately "break the fourth wall", as direct interaction with the audience is all part of it.
It can't be done in the same way on TV of course, but addressing the audience can be successful if done correctly, as in House of Cards and its sequels.
It has no place in things like Doctor Who though IMO.
The only time it was sort of tried was in the infamous Love & Monsters, and look how well received that was!
and The Caves of Androzani. By mistake, but they left it in
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Old 07-05-2013, 21:01
Dave-H
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and The Caves of Androzani. By mistake, but they left it in
Really, I don't remember that!

Shameful, as I remastered Caves for DVD some years ago.
Off topic, but what exactly was that incident?
I'd love to be reminded!
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Old 07-05-2013, 21:10
bugloss
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Really, I don't remember that!

Shameful, as I remastered Caves for DVD some years ago.
Off topic, but what exactly was that incident?
I'd love to be reminded!
Morgus at one point talks directly to camera?
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Old 07-05-2013, 23:03
Dave-H
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Morgus at one point talks directly to camera?
Ah, right.
Certainly don't remember that.
Was he actually talking to the audience though, or was it just a badly framed shot and he was supposed to be talking to one of the another characters in the scene?
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:34
TommyCinderford
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One of the funniest bits of Doctor Who of all time! I loved it!
Certainly a litmus moment...
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:06
JCR
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For me the new era was defined by one moment in Eccleston's first episode...

The belching wheelie bin.

I dunno about pantomime but I'm afraid I'm one of the old boys who see the whole post 2005 remake as a sorry joke.
Ah yes the good ol' days where it was always so serious, especially the 'Tom's not bothered to read the script' era. Lord Nimon, Lord Niiiimon! It is I, Soldeed!
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