Saturday, May 31, 2014

Doctor Who Saturday - Names and the New Series

Originally written in 2008, I still kind of stand behind the theory.  Except for the part about Blondie

Episodes and the new series by Mike Heinrich 6/3/08

Two parters/three parters/50 minutes not long enough to tell a proper story...

You know what just occured to me? Well... four or five months ago, but still. It takes time to find a moment to write these things down.

Two essential truths. From a certain perspective-
  1. The new series has in no way given up episodic storytelling
  2. We've only had six new Doctor Who stories out of the new series.
If you think about it - comparing the episodic storytelling of the early Hartnells to the current series and all things being equal - it seems fundamental that we've only seen six new stories, each episode of whivch has its own individual title, and the overall titles of which never having been properly revealed/decided upon/ or seeming important. Compare Season 1 (New Series Dating) to The Dalek Master Plan. A: Number of parts written by different people with one guiding-ish story being told which meanders through different styles and subject, B: Daleks.
Which means of course that thirty years from now there are going to be a number of drunk 40-somethings fighting very passionately in a bar somewhere over whether it's 'Really' called Bad Wolf (because that's the crux of the story) or Rose (because that's the name of the first episode) or The Tribe of Gum (because they'll be drunk).

So for the sake of these future barflys, here's what I think they're sort of called-ish:

1.1 - Bad Wolf

A thirteen parter about the return of the Daleks, the Doctor's coming to terms with the tragic events of his recent path, and the mystery of 'Who or what is Bad Wolf?' A pretty good story, when looked at as a sum of its parts. And Aliens of London becomes strangely palatable when looked at as a modern-day Feast of Steven. And looking at it as one story saves us from having to argue about whether or not Adam counts as an 'official' companion. He's a one-story incidental character with a bit of thematic relevance and that's that. Doctor Todd or Will Chandler, basically. It also bumps Captain Jack from 'companion' to 'recurring character' which basically makes him a fabulous camp Brigadier - which is either a good thing, a bad thing, or of no significance, depending on your level of pedantry.

1.2 - The Christmas Invasion

A one parter regeneration story/Christmas special. And a charming one at that, btw.

1.3 - I'm not sure on this one... Rise of the Cybermen? The Age of Steel? Something clever and hitherto not attributed like Parallel Lines, which at least brings Blondie into the discussion, which is no bad thing? I think I lean toward The Age of Steel as it sounds dramatic and doesn't announce the identity of the monsters right off the bat. I suppose we could call it Torchwood...

A thirteen parter which brings back the Cybermen and writes out Rose.

1.4 - The Runaway Bride
Which could possibly be considered the mirror image of 'Cyberman Cutaway' and could arguably be 1.3a, I suppose.
A one parter/Christmas special

1.5 - either Last of the Time Lords or Mr. Saxon
A thirteen parter about the return of the Master and with one-off companion Martha Jones - truly the Sara Kingdom of our generation. Or not.

1.6 - Voyage of the Damned
A one parter which I haven't seen yet and thus can say nothing about. I may start trying to convince people that it's called The Terror of Kylie Minogue, however, for no reason whatsoever.

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