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The rise & fall of the hipster doctor


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Old 01-08-2013, 11:11
thorr
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http://www.newstatesman.com/print/cu...hipster-doctor

Excellent article which, for me, nails the reason the last few episodes have been generally sub par.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:23
Granny McSmith
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http://www.newstatesman.com/print/cu...hipster-doctor

Excellent article which, for me, nails the reason the last few episodes have been generally sub par.
Who says the last few episodes have been sub par?
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:32
Sh'boobie
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Very well written article. Agree with almost every word.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:40
chuffnobbler
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The use of the phrase "mood dubstep" suggests that the writer is a hipster himself ...

Despite that, I wouldn;t disagree with much of this. This, along with the Moffatt vs Davies like vs dislike thread, has got me thinking ... I suspect the reason I don't care about current DW can be boiled down to the phrase "JUST TELL ME THE BLOODY STORY, WILL YOU?!". the New Statesman article touches on that.

The Daily Mash had a "story" a while back, that DW was now being written to impress Stephen Hawking, but Stephen Hawking's response was "I don't understand it, and I only watch the show for the monsters and pretty girls". That's why I watch DW and why pretty much everyone I know watches DW.

Current DW stories are not "stories" as such. They're a bunch of plot points. Just as the most recent Star Wars films switched me off because they were clearly designed as a range of action figures first and a script second, so current DW switches me off because it's about being too clever.

Really, are the Doctor and Clara inside the Doctor's own mind at the moment? That's what seemed to me to be going on when they met John Hurt. I'd much rather have Mandrels shuffling along a corridor. And I think a lot of the audience feels the same (anecdotally, a lot of people I know feel this way). All the nonsense with stories ending before they begin, people being other people's grandparents, etc etc etc ... don't care. Please, just tell me an exciting story, will you?

Matt Smith is one of my favourite Doctors, for the reasons that the New Statesman article outlines. There's energy and alienness to him. But the thing that weakens the whole concept is that, at any given time, I have got absolutely no idea what he is doing or why he is doing it.

Bring on the Mandrels.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:42
TheSilentFez
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I don't believe something did go awry in his last series. The episodes were just as good as any other series. It just felt odd because the arc was no-where near as big as previous years and the lack of two-parters meant every episode was fast-paced.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:46
johnnysaucepn
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Pretty good article. I'm not sure if it's that the manicness has been turned up, or more that there haven't been opportunities in the stories for him to turn it down. Still, it has been quite prominent.

The article definitely doesn't seem to imply that the recent series was bad in any way. However, it does help crystallise in my mind that I would like to see a change of direction in the next series. Not a change in writer, but in style and themes.

Less metaphor, more substance, please! Less philosophy, more science!

Very good article - although I still don't know why one would call Eleven 'hipster' and not Ten?
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:54
bp2
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The use of the phrase "mood dubstep" suggests that the writer is a hipster himself ...

Despite that, I wouldn;t disagree with much of this. This, along with the Moffatt vs Davies like vs dislike thread, has got me thinking ... I suspect the reason I don't care about current DW can be boiled down to the phrase "JUST TELL ME THE BLOODY STORY, WILL YOU?!". the New Statesman article touches on that.

The Daily Mash had a "story" a while back, that DW was now being written to impress Stephen Hawking, but Stephen Hawking's response was "I don't understand it, and I only watch the show for the monsters and pretty girls". That's why I watch DW and why pretty much everyone I know watches DW.

Current DW stories are not "stories" as such. They're a bunch of plot points. Just as the most recent Star Wars films switched me off because they were clearly designed as a range of action figures first and a script second, so current DW switches me off because it's about being too clever.

Really, are the Doctor and Clara inside the Doctor's own mind at the moment? That's what seemed to me to be going on when they met John Hurt. I'd much rather have Mandrels shuffling along a corridor. And I think a lot of the audience feels the same (anecdotally, a lot of people I know feel this way). All the nonsense with stories ending before they begin, people being other people's grandparents, etc etc etc ... don't care. Please, just tell me an exciting story, will you?

Matt Smith is one of my favourite Doctors, for the reasons that the New Statesman article outlines. There's energy and alienness to him. But the thing that weakens the whole concept is that, at any given time, I have got absolutely no idea what he is doing or why he is doing it.

Bring on the Mandrels.
Steven Moffat's Doctor Who is not complicated the problem is unanswered questions. Also physics isn't that complicated, anyone can understand the concepts it is just the maths that is hard. (Special relativity is an exception to this rule). A joke is funny when it is based on truth in my opinion. The person who wrote that silly article could have at least done some research before writing it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:35
Whovian1109
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Can't really agree with this article. I feel as though Smith has always pitched his Doctor just right and has rarely let the side down. I disagree with the idea of overcompensating for poor scripts, I think he plays to what the script demands which isn't the same thing.

Personally, I think the last series has been the best of Smith's tenure and Smith himself has performed really well in them as well, I can't think of a more fitting end to it. I also disagree with the creepy, lurking Doctor idea, I think the Clara/Doctor relationship has been pitched perfectly
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:47
Benjamin Sisko
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Jeez, this place is developing a more negative atmosphere than Logopolis.

Regardless, I disagree with the article, but that's mainly because I've enjoyed Series 7 (bar Rings and Hide). But I will agree that Matt always brings his A-game to each episode and for that he is truly a remarkable Doctor.
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Old 02-08-2013, 20:08
snopaelic
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lol A round-about way of saying he overacted this season. I pretty much agree with article.
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Old 02-08-2013, 20:21
Shawn_Lunn
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Can't really agree with this article. I feel as though Smith has always pitched his Doctor just right and has rarely let the side down. I disagree with the idea of overcompensating for poor scripts, I think he plays to what the script demands which isn't the same thing.

Personally, I think the last series has been the best of Smith's tenure and Smith himself has performed really well in them as well, I can't think of a more fitting end to it. I also disagree with the creepy, lurking Doctor idea, I think the Clara/Doctor relationship has been pitched perfectly
Nicely put. Series 7 is nowhere as bad as some parts of fandom have insisted it is.
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Old 02-08-2013, 22:07
Kapellmeister
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I don't believe something did go awry in his last series. The episodes were just as good as any other series. It just felt odd because the arc was no-where near as big as previous years and the lack of two-parters meant every episode was fast-paced.
Perhaps not, but I don't personally know anyone who enjoyed the last series of 'Doctor Who', myself included, despite being fans of previous series.

Smith's performance descended into an embarrassing caricature of itself and made me glad to see the back of him.
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Old 02-08-2013, 22:18
Benjamin Sisko
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Perhaps not, but I don't personally know anyone who enjoyed the last series of 'Doctor Who', myself included, despite being fans of previous series.

Smith's performance descended into an embarrassing caricature of itself and made me glad to see the back of him.
Ahh the social circle. Not neccessarily the best source of evidence to drag out. It means nothing when compared to the AI figures and opinion polls and things that present a balanced view towards the series.
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Old 02-08-2013, 22:33
Kapellmeister
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Ahh the social circle. Not neccessarily the best source of evidence to drag out. It means nothing when compared to the AI figures and opinion polls and things that present a balanced view towards the series.
That's why I said 'personally'. I never claimed I was speaking for the UK, did I??
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Old 02-08-2013, 23:22
mr_wonderful
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Let's trawl the internet to find an article we agree with. Make us feel better.
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Old 03-08-2013, 00:59
GilaGora
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Nicely put. Series 7 is nowhere as bad as some parts of fandom have insisted it is.
I think it's been the second best series of the Moff era after Series 5. Series 6 was the weakest but even that had plenty of gems like The Doctor's Wife, The Girl Who Waited and The Impossible Astronaut. The show has been consistently very good under Moffat and I'll never understand why so many people don't like it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:16
performingmonk
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This is the reason the show isn't as good anymore -

*cue bad impression of Matt* 'Yeah the show's so cool, Kazza's so cool, the Nose is so cool, Alex Kingston's so cool, Jenna's so cool, I'm so cool, shooting in America is so cool, doing this US chat show is so cool, Steven's so cool, writes the coolest stories in television history, I'm so cool, playing the Doctor is so cool, the fans are so cool, the US fans are so cool, did I mention I'm so cool? Did I mention I dated a model but we split up, sort of didn't but sort of did, but I'm still cool cause I dated a model, right? Did I mention I want a US film career? Oh...stop it!'

That and the fact that Moffat has lost his touch. I can't believe I would end up pining for the RTD/Tennant days. Tennant is a genuinely decent guy and approached the role in the right way. He knew he was playing the Doctor and he never got wrapped up in the whole buzz of the show. To me, you need the actor playing the Doctor to actually focus on playing the Doctor. Matt has, for ages, been acting like someone who's already done with the show. To me he's been phoning it in since series 6. Series 5 was the only one where he really wanted it. The same goes for Moffat, in many ways. Asylum is the only good episode he wrote since series 5.

Just make a good show!! Instead of constantly bragging how great everyone supposedly is. Write some good stories, some actual stories. Give us a solid series, even if it's only 5 episodes! Stop basing the entire show on a single piece of hype like River's identity, the Doctor's 'death', the Doctor's name etc. The whole show feels gimmicky as a result! As a viewer it makes me feel like I'm being played as opposed to entertained. Moffat pointing and laughing at us like a little kid who knows a secret but he's not telling, and in the end that secret is nothing to get excited about anyway.

Hmmm a bit more ranty than I wanted! but it's all true!!!
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:03
sebbie3000
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This is the reason the show isn't as good anymore -

*cue bad impression of Matt* 'Yeah the show's so cool, Kazza's so cool, the Nose is so cool, Alex Kingston's so cool, Jenna's so cool, I'm so cool, shooting in America is so cool, doing this US chat show is so cool, Steven's so cool, writes the coolest stories in television history, I'm so cool, playing the Doctor is so cool, the fans are so cool, the US fans are so cool, did I mention I'm so cool? Did I mention I dated a model but we split up, sort of didn't but sort of did, but I'm still cool cause I dated a model, right? Did I mention I want a US film career? Oh...stop it!'

That and the fact that Moffat has lost his touch. I can't believe I would end up pining for the RTD/Tennant days. Tennant is a genuinely decent guy and approached the role in the right way. He knew he was playing the Doctor and he never got wrapped up in the whole buzz of the show. To me, you need the actor playing the Doctor to actually focus on playing the Doctor. Matt has, for ages, been acting like someone who's already done with the show. To me he's been phoning it in since series 6. Series 5 was the only one where he really wanted it. The same goes for Moffat, in many ways. Asylum is the only good episode he wrote since series 5.

Just make a good show!! Instead of constantly bragging how great everyone supposedly is. Write some good stories, some actual stories. Give us a solid series, even if it's only 5 episodes! Stop basing the entire show on a single piece of hype like River's identity, the Doctor's 'death', the Doctor's name etc. The whole show feels gimmicky as a result! As a viewer it makes me feel like I'm being played as opposed to entertained. Moffat pointing and laughing at us like a little kid who knows a secret but he's not telling, and in the end that secret is nothing to get excited about anyway.

Hmmm a bit more ranty than I wanted! but it's all true!!!
In many people's eyes the show is still perfectly wonderful. So, rather than being 'true', it is 'subjective'.

I do think it's a shame that people aren't enjoying it - I certainly am!

And the figures (AI and ratings) seem to show that for every one who has been turned away from the show, there have been others tuning in. The show is clearly in good hands, and I'm sure the next showrunner will have his/her fans and detractors, for exactly the same reasons, as well the actor playing the Doctor. Just the nature of the beast!
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:08
shortcrust
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In many people's eyes the show is still perfectly wonderful. So, rather than being 'true', it is 'subjective'.

I do think it's a shame that people aren't enjoying it - I certainly am!

And the figures (AI and ratings) seem to show that for every one who has been turned away from the show, there have been others tuning in. The show is clearly in good hands, and I'm sure the next showrunner will have his/her fans and detractors, for exactly the same reasons, as well the actor playing the Doctor. Just the nature of the beast!
Well put! I'm certainly still enjoying it as much as ever and my dad's wife is a new convert to the show because she enjoyed the last series so much.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:21
TheSilentFez
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Perhaps not, but I don't personally know anyone who enjoyed the last series of 'Doctor Who', myself included, despite being fans of previous series.

Smith's performance descended into an embarrassing caricature of itself and made me glad to see the back of him.
I enjoyed it, although admittedly not as much as other series.
To me the episodes were good, but there was something about the series as a whole which I felt was lacking, and I'm not entirely sure what it is- maybe it's the lack of two-parters or maybe it's the less prominent story arc which was only present from The Snowmen onwards or maybe it's the disjointedness of it all or perhaps even it's a combination of all three.

With all this said though, I can't help but feel the individual episodes were as good as ever.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:22
Aedin
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This is the reason the show isn't as good anymore -

Tennant is a genuinely decent guy and approached the role in the right way. He knew he was playing the Doctor and he never got wrapped up in the whole buzz of the show. To me, you need the actor playing the Doctor to actually focus on playing the Doctor. Matt has, for ages, been acting like someone who's already done with the show. .....Write some good stories, some actual stories. Give us a solid series, even if it's only 5 episodes! Stop basing the entire show on a single piece of hype like River's identity, the Doctor's 'death', the Doctor's name etc. The whole show feels gimmicky as a result! As a viewer it makes me feel like I'm being played as opposed to entertained. Moffat pointing and laughing at us like a little kid who knows a secret but he's not telling, and in the end that secret is nothing to get excited about anyway.
Couldn't agree more. The last series has been the best in a while (the godawful Rings of Akhaten notwithstanding) precisely because there has been much less of the overall grand arc. I have really enjoyed Matt Smith's doctor from the start, but there has been a creeping smugness about his performance lately which has begun to ruin it. He's right to get out before it gets worse.

I am pretty disappointed by Moffat, who is a much better writer than producer. Just as RTD needed someone to tone down his over-sentimentalit, Moffat needs someone to curb his "look-how-smart-I-am" tendency, the need to put show-off plotting before story telling. A good producer will do that, tough to do to the "showrunner" (awful phrase).
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Old 03-08-2013, 14:36
Lady of Traken
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This is the reason the show isn't as good anymore -

*cue bad impression of Matt* 'Yeah the show's so cool, Kazza's so cool, the Nose is so cool, Alex Kingston's so cool, Jenna's so cool, I'm so cool, shooting in America is so cool, doing this US chat show is so cool, Steven's so cool, writes the coolest stories in television history, I'm so cool, playing the Doctor is so cool, the fans are so cool, the US fans are so cool, did I mention I'm so cool? Did I mention I dated a model but we split up, sort of didn't but sort of did, but I'm still cool cause I dated a model, right? Did I mention I want a US film career? Oh...stop it!'

That and the fact that Moffat has lost his touch. I can't believe I would end up pining for the RTD/Tennant days. Tennant is a genuinely decent guy and approached the role in the right way. He knew he was playing the Doctor and he never got wrapped up in the whole buzz of the show. To me, you need the actor playing the Doctor to actually focus on playing the Doctor. Matt has, for ages, been acting like someone who's already done with the show. To me he's been phoning it in since series 6. Series 5 was the only one where he really wanted it. The same goes for Moffat, in many ways. Asylum is the only good episode he wrote since series 5.

Just make a good show!! Instead of constantly bragging how great everyone supposedly is. Write some good stories, some actual stories. Give us a solid series, even if it's only 5 episodes! Stop basing the entire show on a single piece of hype like River's identity, the Doctor's 'death', the Doctor's name etc. The whole show feels gimmicky as a result! As a viewer it makes me feel like I'm being played as opposed to entertained. Moffat pointing and laughing at us like a little kid who knows a secret but he's not telling, and in the end that secret is nothing to get excited about anyway.

Hmmm a bit more ranty than I wanted! but it's all true!!!
I did laugh at the cool first paragraph but I do agree with some of what you say. Making everything cool is not what the Doctor is all about or Doctor Who imo. Was Matt dialling it in as you say.. maybe a little. He didn't seem as excited about Season 7 and I think the blockbuster theme was constraining in a way to any real creativity from the writers including Moffat.

I want solid logical adventures stories where the Doctor and his companions go in and solve the adventure and not all the emphasis on the personal life of the companions which is as you say gimmicky. . what I mean is the mystery of the companions is a short term gain. Once you have the ending of who Clara is or River is then watching the stories again the mystery is resolved and so if that is all there is how can they stand up as stories long term.
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Old 03-08-2013, 14:58
performingmonk
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I did laugh at the cool first paragraph but I do agree with some of what you say. Making everything cool is not what the Doctor is all about or Doctor Who imo. Was Matt dialling it in as you say.. maybe a little. He didn't seem as excited about Season 7 and I think the blockbuster theme was constraining in a way to any real creativity from the writers including Moffat.

I want solid logical adventures stories where the Doctor and his companions go in and solve the adventure and not all the emphasis on the personal life of the companions which is as you say gimmicky. . what I mean is the mystery of the companions is a short term gain. Once you have the ending of who Clara is or River is then watching the stories again the mystery is resolved and so if that is all there is how can they stand up as stories long term.
Exactly. I felt something was a bit off when I was re-watching series 6 and, The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex aside, nothing was doing it for me. I would prefer the whole series to be interestingly written stories like those instead of the abysmal A Good Man Goes To War/Let's Kill Hitler which I just want to turn off, and the only reason I carried on watching them in the first place was cause I did want to know who River was etc. With that cat out of the bag it all looks a little silly.
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Old 04-08-2013, 00:02
Lady of Traken
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Exactly. I felt something was a bit off when I was re-watching series 6 and, The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex aside, nothing was doing it for me. I would prefer the whole series to be interestingly written stories like those instead of the abysmal A Good Man Goes To War/Let's Kill Hitler which I just want to turn off, and the only reason I carried on watching them in the first place was cause I did want to know who River was etc. With that cat out of the bag it all looks a little silly.
I think the problem was the premise of Series 6 was a red herring with the supposed death of the Doctor. As an audience you know the central character isn't going to die and as fantastic as the first 2 episodes were the payout has to be huge at the end to satisfy. If you are going to have that idea then it has to be a transformative experience ( a bit like the Turn Left episode for Donna) That the death was avoided only due to the teselecta machine didn't feel good enough. It was a bit of a cheap trick for me.

Whilst the revelation about River was dramatic it made her less interesting being related to the ponds and limited her potential to grow. Certainly all the Mels stuff feels dire to watch now.Its so unsubtle I do cringe
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Old 04-08-2013, 00:06
Kapellmeister
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Exactly. I felt something was a bit off when I was re-watching series 6 and, The Girl Who Waited and The God Complex aside, nothing was doing it for me. I would prefer the whole series to be interestingly written stories like those instead of the abysmal A Good Man Goes To War/Let's Kill Hitler which I just want to turn off, and the only reason I carried on watching them in the first place was cause I did want to know who River was etc. With that cat out of the bag it all looks a little silly.
The only two episodes from the second half of series 6 that really stood out for me. The rest was drivel. If only everything had been of the quality of those two eps.
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