RTD Era vs. Big Finish Eighth Doctor Adventures
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Join Date: Jan 2013
I recently heard that "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End" was the story being used to represent the Tenth Doctor in "The Doctors Revisited", much to my disappointment. I don't like this story, I rather hate it, and I plan on simply skipping it, the only one I'm not going to bother.
Now, I could go on about what I hate about this story, but I'm certain it's been talked to death and other people who don't like this story likely have the same ideas. There's nothing new to be had in this argument.
What I do love however are Big Finish's Eighth Doctor Adventures, plus "Dark Eyes". They are some of my favorite stories ever, with the Series 4 storyline being simply the best arcs in the show. I then noticed that both RTD and the BFA used a number of similar ideas for their storylines, and after comparing them, I decided that BFA did everything RTD tried to do much better.
I like to believe that there is no such as a bad idea, only bad executions of said idea.
Here are the comparisons I found.
Failed Companions: Adam Campbell vs Tamsin Drew
I always felt Adam was a bit of a missed opportunity, a companion not working out with the Doctor. He spends almost all of "The Long Game" separated from Nine and Rose, and never actually contributes to the plot in any fashion. He is then kicked out of the TARDIS, when other companions had made worse mistakes then him (Rose herself knowing does something the Doctor told her not to do int he very next story). At the end, it all feels an excuse to say how great Rose is ("I only take the best."
Tamsin, in my opinion, fits this idea rather well. It's clear that the writers put a good deal of thought into her. She gets along well with the Doctor, and actually adds things to the few stories she travels with the Doctor. What I liked most about her arc was her own moral compass. In "Deimos/The Resurrection of Mars" she doesn't agree with the Doctor's actions regarding Lucie and the Ice Warriors, and then later about Halcyon. She doesn't like that the Doctor is ready to put in danger so many, just to save a few: Lucie against the human colonist of Mars, and then later the human colonist against the billions living on Halcyon. She believes in lesser evils, and that the Doctor spends to much time looking at the small things, that he might miss the bigger picture.
I've seen some hate against Tamsin, and I can understand it, but I do find it to say that she's wrong in a situation that can only be morally grey at best.
Returning Companions: Rose Tyler vs Lucie Miller
I'll admit that I'm not exactly Rose's biggest fan, but I do think her ending is one of the better written ends for any companion. In the end, her absolute faith in a forever with the Doctor is cruelly taken away from her, and she is forced to live a life without. It's heartbreaking, and tragic, and given the situation, the only sensible departure for a companion in a show like this. No one stays forever, that is fact. But RTD ruined what was originally a wonderful beautiful tragedy by giving us some fanfic-styled ending with a Doctor clone. This clone is not really the Doctor, and yet we're expected to believe that she is perfectly happy with it. It's like winning gold, not it's actually bronze with gold paint.
Lucie Miller's initial departure is also heartbreaking; in "Death in Blackpool", she discovered that the aunt she knew her whole life was actually a Zygon, and the Doctor knew. She cannot trust him anymore, and they have a tearful goodbye on the Blackpool beaches on Christmas. It's not the end for Lucie though, as we see her again several stories later. The Doctor is overjoyed in seeing her, but Lucie is still hurt from the Doctor's lies, and declines his offer to travel again. He then takes her to Christmas dinner with Susan, and her son Alex, where she departs with them. We get to see Lucie again, but the reason for leaving remains unchanged.
In "Lucie Miller" during the Dalek invasion, she laments how she much she misses the Doctor, and that if they ever meet again, she'd want to travel with him again ("That's what I'd like Doctor. That's what I'd really like.") It doesn't happen though. She dies. She takes the Dalek fleet with her, but she dies all the same.
Rose's original ending was watered down by a half-baked attempt at a happy ending. Lucie's exit always stuck, and when it seemed like it was going to get better, it got much worse. Tragic ending like this cannot be undone, otherwise it takes away all meaning from what had been an originally stronger ending.
Worldwide Dalek Invasion: The Stolen Earth/Jounrey's End vs. Lucie Miller/To The Death
In RTD's Series 4 finale, the Dalek invade Earth so suddenly, and are defeated so quickly it all happens far too quickly to seems like ti has any real impact. BOOM! Planets in the sky, Daleks everywhere! Boom! Everything's fixed! Really, it just seems like at the end of the story, that massive invasion is simply treated like just another thing. No different than a rainy day.
There is also the matter of the Dalek's defeat. It's laughable, they are defeated and reduced to a joke in a matter of seconds. This, combined with how everything seems to simply reset at the end, has turned me off the Dalek stories of this scale ever again.
In BFA's Series 4, we get a good feel on the impact on what kind of damage the Dalek's have done; the virus they released on Earth, how it crippled Lucie, how it decimated the population, and how the survivors fight against the Daleks. We get a very good look on what the Daleks have done.
When they are defeated, it's not without it's consequences; the Earth is still wrecked, three main characters are dead, and the experiences have left the Doctor an almost unrecognizable man. Everything is still terrible and the road to recovery is a very long way away.
Reunion: Ten's Friends vs. Eight's Friends
In RTD's finale, we saw the returns of Rose, Martha, Mickey, Wilf, Sarah Jane, Jack, Jackie, Francine, Silvia, K9, Harriet Jones, as well introduces him to Gwen, Ianto, Luke and Mr. Smith. While it is good to see these characters again, It's simply to large a cast, and it just ends up with not having much for anyone to do. Throughout the story, the cast runs around, doing things, without actually getting anything done, everything that happens is due to a last minute deus ex machina. I was amazed by how little so many people could do.
In BFA's finale, we saw the returns of Lucie, Tamsin, Susan and Alex. The cast here is much smaller, giving them each something important to do. Each one, in their own way, adds something to the story that only they could add. They are very relevant to the story, and at no point do they feel pointless, except for when the Daleks decide that Tamsin can't help them at all, and kill her. Even then that still manages to affect how the story goes.
The Doctor's Sadness: Series 3/4/Specials vs Dark Eyes
Loss and sorrow was a very prominent feature to Ten, after Series 2, the subject of his loneliness and angst was brought up almost every episode right until "The End of Time". His loss of Rose being the biggest of these, so much that it almost seemed like it was meant to work against Martha, who was often seemed to be only "Not Rose". The ideas behind his loss became so much of a central theme that it tends to overshadow the more positive character traits he had, and because of how much it was played, and how much of a big deal it always was, I was never able to really sympathize with him because there was nothing but sadness with him.
There was never any real good in his life; any there was simply made to make him a more miserable man. The amount of terrible things that he had been through just made the good things seem far and few in between, to the point where it seems like there was nothing else to that character, The one time that all of this could have worked well was "The Waters of Mars", but his realization of his actions were undone in the next story. Ten was never able recover from his losses, and it took a complete rewrite of his personality for him to move on.
in "Dark Eyes", the Doctor is still suffering from "To The Death". He has lost faith in the universe and is grasping for anything, any little shred of hope that he can find. At the request of the Time Lords, he goes to save Molly O'Sullivan, and see if there is really any hope left. The recent events that he suffered, and how they've left him a broken shell of what he once been, are a major theme of the story. However, at the end of the four-part story, it's clear that while he's still damaged, it seems that he's able to move on with his life, and not let past tragedies rule over his life.
And those are my thoughts on RTD and BFA. I've heard that there will be more more Eighth Doctor adventures coming next year, so I can't wait to see them.
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
The 8th doctor Big Finish is far too nihilistic. It's hard to get invested in it when you know there's a good chance Nic Briggs will decide to exterminate every character in the end.
They announced Dark Eyes 2, 3 and 4 this week, to be released over a year from February 2014-15. http://www.doctorwho.tv/whats-new/ar...s-of-dark-eyes
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