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The Random Thoughts of The Mind Robber - 2005 - Sorted by Oldest First

Sun 2nd Jan 2005 - The Mill Effects

A friend of mine lives next door to a guy who supposedly works for The Mill and is on the periphery of the special effects for the new series. Apparently this guy said that despite the enormous budget for the new series, they're not spending very much on the effects. But he said that they are being very ambitious in what they're doing, and just not throwing enough money at it with the result being poor quality CGI.

Cheap effects in Doctor Who... unthinkable.

Wed 12th Jan 2005 - Small Problem

"A lack of short actors has hit filming of the BBC's multi-million pound revamp of Dr Who.

Show bosses on the sci-fi series have been left fuming after two new Hollywood blockbusters hired virtually all of the talent.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has snapped up short actors to play staff in the factory.

Meanwhile, the new Harry Potter film have snapped up most of the rest to play Gringotts bank staff."

18th Jan 2005 - RTD Says:

"We've finished 1, 3 and 4. And 2 is so complicated it won't be finished until a week before transmission. They're doing CGI on 6 now and the CGI on 8 any day now. 7's waiting to be looked at, it hasn't been edited properly yet and 9 is currently filming! And bits of 11 start tomorrow. Episode 2 won't be ready for transmission until March. If someone brought forward our transmission dates we'd be like, 'Oh dear...' and was filmed in August! It's taking forever to do because it has a lot of CGI."

4th March 2005
- The Schedule

5th March
Trailer planned for broadcast during the evening. There are two planned - one focusing on the Doctor, the other on Rose.
Advertising posters to be put up today (or next Saturday).

8th March
Chris Moyles broadcasting his breakfast show from the Doctor Who set, BBC Radio One.
Press launch in Cardiff today.
The official Doctor Who website will also be relaunched today with new series content.
Possible trailer broadcast during the evening on BBC1.

10th March
Russell T Davies appears on Steve Wright's BBC Radio 2 show.
Interviews with Chris Eccleston and Billie Piper later in the month.

17th March
Russell T Davies will also be interviewed by Sian Williams [BBC2 Wales Digital] at 9pm
Doctor Who will be featured on BBC2's "The Culture Show" at 11.25pm.

26th March
"Rose" (episode one) to be broadcast on BBC1 at 7pm.
'Doctor Who Confidential' afterwards on BBC Three.

Tue 15th March 2005 - Tunnel Fireball Trailer

Two things occur to me: Firstly, I could be wrong but doesn't this trailer have the standard old music on it? Or am I just too used to the new version already?

Secondly, is this is a mock-up, like the previous teasers we've seen, and not in any episode at all? It is a terrible cliche after all, the fireball down a tunnel, and lets face it, it's a pretty crappy effect. The TARDIS looks like a cardboard cutout and the light is way too much overkill, added on afterwards. I just think maybe its was knocked together as a fun but meaningless trailer. My other thought was that should be this be a genuine piece of a story, its almost certainly a massive spoiler because we'll recognise the setting as soon as they land, so now we know it ends with the whole place blowing up!

Fri 25th March 2005 - Eccleston on Wiley

Eccleston on Jo Wilesywas quite good. Although she quizzed poor Chris on Doctor Who monsters, trying to get him to guess the monster based on their voices! Bloody hard if you ask me! Moral of the story - Too many aliens whisper! We heard Zygons followed by Ice Warriors which sounded identical. Could almost have been a Sea Devil. Stupid idea for a quiz!

He said RTD is on the top of his form, writing wise. He said there is no toilet in the TARDIS. And he keeps getting cockneys shouting non-witty things at him in the street.

Talking about scary monsters to look forward to, he said that the "Things" which come through a wound in time in ep 8 are really terrifying. In this episode Rose gets to meet her father before he dies.

On the Dalek, he said its use of its knowledge about the Doctor is its biggest weapon! He said the Dalek knowing all about the Doctor drives him slightly mad. He also said the Daleks might pop up somewhere else (i.e. other than just episode 6).

He also mentioned the Slitheens which are in episode 4 and 5 look like us but have zips in their forehead where you can see they're aliens in disguise!!!

I'm aware of the uncertainty over Eccleston doing the next season. He's had a really tough 8 months basically and he wasn't aware how the whole thing was going to take over his life. He hasn't made a decision on another season and even the lure of RTD's writing won't necessarily be enough because from what I gather, he feels he's been a little naive in letting that influence him in the first place when he's constrained by the format of Doctor Who. Generally the papers get their news from Outpost Gallifrey forums where the fans have been dissecting and over-analysing the fact that Chris has been talking about work on Doctor Who in the past tense. Also, the go-ahead for season 2 won't be given until a couple of weeks into the broadcase of season 1, but RTDs been outlining Season 2 because it needs planning well in advance if it does get the go-ahead.

Anyway, we've got lots to enjoy in the mean-time. And, at worst, Chris may just have to do an early regeneration story in next season.

Sunday 27th March 2005
- It Finally Arrived - The New Series

It had several years of rampant expectation to satisfy, so it was never going to be perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. It was only afterwards I actually started over-thinking it. Which I suppose is a good thing, and its our job to do as fans.

Yes, it was rushed, and yes there was too much in it. It should at least have been an hour to allow us to dwell on certain parts, and once an alien rampage has begun it should last for longer than a couple of minutes before its defeated, even if it isn't actually shown on screen. I wonder how many minutes between the dummies coming alive in Spearhead from Space, to the moment they're defeated?

I suppose there had to be an alien invasion, and trying to cram that into episode one along with the introduction of Rose was always going to be a problem. But as far as creating a hook, and some tension, I would have thought that making episode 1 & 2 a two-parter would have been the most obvious thing in the world. But I suppose they want a result for the audience to complete their opinions straight away, rather than saying "ohh we'll reserve judgement until we've seen the second part." And I suppose that would also have made the press-screening a lengthy process.

Just been going back through the episode and enjoying seeing it again. There are lots and lots of wonderful bits. The deck of cards (tribute to Robot?) and flicking through the book quickly (tribute to City of Death 'bit boring in the middle') was great. I loved his clowning around - Much funnier and less embarrassing than Tom Baker doing the same. And every scene between the Doctor and Rose was brilliant. The London Eye bit was very funny.

It's a shame really that considering how much brilliance there was in it, I didn't come away with the overall feeling that it was brilliant. Funny that. I suppose that's where pace and structure come into play and can override content. If something jars or isn't completely explained or happens too suddenly, it can just shock the enjoyment out of the audience. It felt very 'lean'. Like it had been through a billion re-drafts and every single bit of fat had been cut out, and I think that's what gave it the incredible pace, because there were plenty of gentle and fairly slow-cut scenes. Just the fact that they were all very important made it seem like you couldn't stop and think for a second.

Several people who've spoken to me about it wondered why the dummies had guns in their hands. As fans, we've seen Spearhead from Space in which it's explained that the Autons took over the plastic factories, but in this new episode there was no suggestion that the dummies which came to life had been made by the Autons, they just seemed to be normal shop dummies coming to life. Shame really. And the fact that ordinary plastic could be controlled by the Nestines, whereas in the original Pertwee stories it had to be plastic made in the factory or it wouldn't work.

I thought the Clive plot had potential. If they'd been brave enough to write a story which wasn't dependent on aliens, it could have centred around Clive and his obsession with the Doctor. Despite his good intentions Clive could have ended up being the threat.

Not sure about the title sequence. I really love the end titles time tunnel but I'm not terribly fussed on the opening sequence.

That aside, yeah. Good. I think we'll gradually come to terms with the speed and format of this series and recognise the greatness in it.

Last thing - Is Rose the first ever companion to be invited to join him? I can think of Vikki being asked on board, but there wasn't much alternative for her as she was a stranded orphan. Who else has been specifically invited to travel?

Sunday 27th March 2005 - Overnight Figures

Good news! Great news!

We kicked Ant n Dec's arse! Even with the Beckams on!

Overnight figures show the programme got an average of 9.9 million viewers - 43.2% of all viewers - with a peak of 10.5 million viewers, a 44.3% share of the audience. Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway on ITV1, featuring England captain David Beckham as a special guest attracted 7.2m viewers, peaking at 8.5m.

Wed 30th March 2005 - Good News and Bad

Season two of Doctor Who has got the go-ahead and RTD is writing an Xmas special.

A few of tomorrow's papers are running the story that Christopher Eccleston won't do another series of Doctor Who. Not so happy day after all. Oh well, we've coped before!

He did seem like a bunny caught in the headlights in all the interviews we'd seen. There seemed to be indications early on that he was getting cold feet.

It may impact on viewing figures and merchandise and the general opinion towards the show. Lead actors jumping ship doesn't scream success.

From what I gather it was leaked early by a BBC insider. Once one paper got wind of the story and were going to run it as an exclusive, some others did. Then the BBC confirmed it as a newsflash in the early hours which is when I heard it was official last night.

Not sure who I'd want now. A complete unknown like Tom Baker was at the time. Someone who hasn't had a career before hand and won't have one without Doctor Who who might stick around for a few years.

Mon 4th April 2005 - The End of the World

The End of the World. I'm not sure to be honest. I'm finding it really hard to develop a proper opinion on these new Doctor Whos. It's all so different and hard to get used to. Generally speaking I liked it. I watched Rose again earlier in the day and really loved it. TEOTW seemed quite slow in comparison and there was a moment I actually felt something akin to boredom, which kind of worried me.

The pump-action TARDIS made me laugh though and I ultimately we're approaching everything in comparison to the old show. A lot of people are upset that the TARDIS shakes every time it travels.

I really liked the Doctor letting Cassandra die. It was great that he was judge, jury and executioner.

I love almost all the gags. Only a couple seemed forced and unfunny, one of which was "Ipswich". Michael Jackson was laugh out loud. Bitter trampoline fantastic.

Not sure how I feel about this business of continuing the Gallifrey destruction plotline from the books. I think its a mistake personally and it gives canon seal of approval on all sorts of crap which has happened in the books, half of which directly contradicts the Big Finish series, so what do we go with now? So is this really going to be an arc story exploring the War which led to the destruction of Gallifrey or is it just throwaway stuff we don't need to know? It makes the Boom Town "character-thought-dead" plot hint much more likely to be a Time Lord, don't you think?

I'm concerned about the 45-minute format too. They just seem like short story versions of the Doctor Who we know. The plot is very thin as a result. I actually wonder if RTD can write science fiction. He's great at his characters and stuff and the structure was good but seriously - a Doctor Who story revolving around a woman who is murdering to pay for a face lift? Please! Oh well, we are back in the realm of light entertainment for sure.

I felt smug at the inclusion of pop music in the soundtrack too - something I suggested on the forums a couple of months ago because its a very modern thing to do and Doctor Who is trying very hard to be modern. I was, of course, told it was a stupid and impractical idea (due to copyright reasons) and would never happen in Doctor Who. Ha.

Its going to be very interesting to see how The Unquiet Dead comes out. I'm not a huge fan of Gatiss' work. His stuff is generally okay as a fully-painted picture, but not many of his individual brush strokes are anything to behold. Even just the three lines of dialogue in the trailer jarred on me.

I can't wait for Dalek though. Always loved Rob Shearman. He writes great two-hander scenes and the stuff with the Dalek in that Big Finish is top stuff.

Sat 9th April 2005 - A Clue?

We've all seen the TARDIS has "BAD WOLF" written on it in episode 4. Well, as it turns out, if you turn your telly up loud during the scene in Episode 2 which starts with a panning shot of The Face of Boe filling the screen, you will hear The Moxx of Balhoon say "This is the Bad Wolf scenario"... And I'm lead to believe that after The Unquiet Dead we'll know for sure that there's more to this "wolf" thing than meets the eye...

Then on top of that, there's all the graffiti on the garage doors in Rose. There's some very odd symbols and what looks like a key, and a ghost.

And there's more... There are posters all over the place in Rose. One says:


Well, there's only one 19th which falls on a Sunday in the near future... And that's Sunday 19th June... Which is the day after The Parting of the Ways!

And as for the title of episode 12 ... I'm lead to believe it is two words: Bad Wolf.

Sunday 10th April 2005 - The Unquiet Dead

Not quite "better than Talons" as someone said, but pretty good. To my mind, its the first "proper" Doctor Who of the new series. It could have been a classic episode from virtually any season from Jon Pertwee onwards.

Regarding the War and maybe the Daleks' involvement... I havent read any of the books but I hear there was a Time War in the books against a great enemy and the Doctor had to erase Gallifrey from history to win the war or something like that.

I hope the arc story doesn't take over too much. I wasn't a fan of the Time War storyline from Enterprise, it was just too confusing and you had to remember things from episodes which happened ages ago. I think an arc story can be a nice thread through the series to reward loyal viewers, but I don't think it should exclude casual viewers.

Just checked the overnights - The Unquiet Dead achived 8.339 million which was a 36.66% audience share. It beat Ant n Dec yet again.

The final official audience figure for Rose was 10.8 million!

Sunday 17th April 2005 - Alients of London

I just watched it again. It is enjoyable. I don't know, its really hard to quite know what I feel about it. There's just so much I have to put aside if I want to enjoy it. There's a lot of good stuff in it, but the problem I feel surrounding it is that the story doesn't seem to get going. Just when you think we're moving forward then it jumps back a step. The narrative being grounded in Rose's flat doesn't do a lot for me. Doctor Who was never meant to revolve around a council flat!

Would you ever have seen a farting alien in a season which included Fury from the Deep, or Inferno, or Talons of Weng-Chiang? I don't even think we'd have arrived at farting aliens if Graeme Williams had continued another five years.

Doctor Who was never this childish before. As embarrassing, yes - but not deliberately.

People are critising the directing a lot on the message boards too. I think it was sloppy in places.

Oh dear - 6.98m and beaten by And n Dec.

Sunday 17th April 2005 - Guessing Plotlines

I'm going to stab wildly in the dark...

In the forthcoming episode Father's Day, Rose finds out how her dad was originally killed and manages to stop it.

No, wait.

I've thought of something which makes more sense - Rose's dad was supposed to live in the normal time-line, but in Father's Day Rose does something which results in him being killed. This changes the timeline so that she grows up without a father and the Doctor has always felt responsible knowing this, to the extent that he "takes her in hand" which is why in Rose she's the only companion ever to be quite forcefully invited into the TARDIS.

This change in the timeline has caused a massive knock-on effect to the extent the Doctor now lives in a timeline he is not familiar with which is why he is quite uncertain about certain big facts - like when humanity actually made first official contact with Aliens. Something else that they also changed in the past cause Mickey's name to change, which is why the Doctor always calls him Ricky.

Sunday 8th May 2005 - Long Game

I'm informed me that The Long Game is a reference to a confidence trick, continued over an extended period of time. Which makes sense.

RTD did say something interesting - At the very end he said we would eventually learn who put the Jagrefress there in the first place. It now seems clear to me that the Bad Wolf is repeatedly manipulating events through time to the detriment of Earth. In the case of The Long Game, Bad Wolf put the Jagrafess in place to muck with humanity's development, which was set back by 90 years. The Doctor has now made it very clear that time is in constant flux so anything can go wrong to ruin the time-lines, particularly if someone wants to cause trouble if they perhaps don't have a normal physical form.

We've already seen one victim of the Time War in the Gelth who had lost their physical forms and could only exist as ghosts. It seems Bad Wolf could be another victim but one who maybe holds the Doctor directly responsible for its situation as he is the other main link through everything, besides Earth itself. Bad Wolf is following the Doctor through time, manipulating events and people to try to either get at the Doctor or destroy the Earth time-line for reasons unknown.

First the Nestines turn up on Earth because of the War, we've seen Earth destroyed in the future during what the Moxx says is the "Bad Wolf scenario", then the Gelth are on Earth looking for new bodies because of The War, then the Slitheen are probably manipulated into trying to destroy Earth, and a Dalek just go happened to "fall through time" and turn up on Earth to cause havoc - this would almost certainly seem part of the Wolf's plan too.

The Doctor has at least twice before The Long Game said something like "Things aren't right" and we were never quite sure if he just meant the situation, or the whole time line. Its now clear from The Long Game that the actual time line is being messed around with - 90 years of human history got ruined.

It seems to me that the Big Bad Wolf is out to get revenge on the Doctor for the way the Time War ended, which the Doctor did presumably in some catastrophic way. Or maybe the Wolf is out to get at Earth directly perhaps its because its some kind of nexus point around which the war was fought. Perhaps destabilising the Earth timeline can avert the war itself. After all, every single episode of this series is set on or in orbit around Earth. It can't just be because of RTD's earth-bound preferences because, as someone pointed out, Dalek could have been set on Mars for the sake of diversity and nothing would have changed in the plot.

The Earth is the key. Someone wants it spoilt, or gone entirely.

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