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    Doctor Who: Podshock Aftershock 080520 | 1 comments | Create New Account
    The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
    Doctor Who: Podshock Aftershock 080520
    Authored by: DarthSkeptical on Monday, May 26 2008 @ 04:30 PM EDT
    There were many, varied reasons for even the staunchest Doctor Who fans to call for JNT's head in 1988. Or indeed 1983, for that matter. The essay you read was completely fair comment. Sometimes no Doctor Who is better than any Doctor Who.

    If JNT had simply resigned at the expiration of Davison's contract, sure he might have been out of work like the BBC were threatening. But you know what? He deserved to be. He was clueless as to what good drama actually was, much less good Doctor Who. And, sure, the program might have been cancelled earlier, perhaps even at the conclusion of Davison's contract. But y'know what? It might've been brought back that much earlier as well. I enjoy the success we're having now with the show, but as far as I'm concerned the wait for Doctor Who was longer than the 16 years between "Survival" and "Rose". Much of the Davison era is enjoyable only on the strength of Davison's personal appeal. So it's good he was around to help the show limp across the significant 20th anniversary threshhold. Having a nice, round 20 years behind ya makes it marginally easier to argue for the show's eventual return. But Doctor Who effectively died in 1979.

    I do think it's time for RTD to go, but not at all for the same reasons I wished JNT the pink slip. The very format of the program is periodic change and renewal. It's churlish for a producer to stick around for much longer than the show's originating chief. And I kind of think it's bad form for a producer to outlast the initial Doctor he or she starts with unless it's clear that he or she has taken over at a time when the then-current Doctor is essentially a lame duck. RTD gets the "Innes Lloyd get-out-of-jail-free card" for staying through the Tennant era, because a large part of his mandate in bringing back Doctor Who was to re-establish the whole mythos including regeneration. More to the point, he had a very clear idea what he wanted to do with the dramatic nature of regeneration itself, having been formatively shaped by the experience of "The Tenth Planet" (part 4). JNT could even be forgiven Davison, because it was fairly clear when he took over that it was Tom's last year. He had strong, if largely misguided, ideas about what he wanted the next Doctor to be like, even when he was struggling with Tom.

    At the end of the day, even someone with a reasonable storytelling head on their shoulders like Verity Lambert, Philip Hinchcliffe or Barry Letts simply tends to get locked into a certain "vision" towards the end of their run. It's no coincidence that many prefer the start of each of these producers' runs over the end. That's not to say you won't find occasional flashes of brilliance in the later stages "Talons", "The Time Meddler" and "The Time Warrior" leap to mind but there's a kind of excitement to the beginning of any human endeavor that is generally not present at the end.

    Far better for RTD to go out when the program is still enjoying Top 20 ratings than when his ego has drug the program down to the basement.

    His resignation now, like the production he has helmed, is classy. And respectful of the grander aspects of the show's behind-the- scenes traditions. The only professional commonality between RTD and JNT is the "T" in their respective acronyms.

    ---
    You know, I am so constantly outwitting the opposition, I tend to forget the delights and satisfaction of the gentle art of fisticuffs.