The Gallifreyan Embassy
Home of the Doctor Who podcast DOCTOR WHO: PODSHOCK
Advertising | Donate | Feedback | New Website | Podshock | Shop | Forum | Media Gallery | Web Resources | Polls
 Gallifreyan Embassy 3.0  
  • Doctor Who: Podshock 305 - Interviews with Peter Howell and Ron Katz
  • Five Years of The Cultdom Collective Podcast!
  • The Official BBC Teaser Promo Video for the New 2014 Series [VIDEO]
  • How do you rate Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos? (5=Fantastic)
  • Doctor Who: Podshock 304 - 'The Claws of Axos' is Reviewed
  • New Doctor Who Series Launch Confirmed for August and Teaser Promo Video
  • How do you rate Doctor Who: The Invasion of Time? (5=Fantastic)
  • Doctor Who: Podshock 303 - 'The Invasion of Time' is Reviewed
  • Dozens of Doctor Who guests converge on Long Island this November!
  • Doctor Who: Podshock 302 - Terry Walsh Interviewed

  •  Topics  
    Home
    Doctor Who News (188/0)
    DW: Podshock (201/0)
    DW Reviews (33/0)
    Torchwood (15/0)
    Sarah Jane Adven... (13/0)
    General News (29/0)
    Embassy News (19/0)
    Editorials (5/0)
    Alien Tech (2/0)

     Extra! Extra!  

    Become a Podshock Supporting Subscriber


     Randomizer  
    Cyberman
    Cyberman
    Browse Album

     User Functions  
    :

    :


    Lost your password?

     Support Podshock  

    This site and our podcast are free to use and listen to respectively. Though there are costs involved in maintaining and producing both. If you like, please make a donation to help offset these costs and to help ensure that we can continue to bring you both. Thank you so much.

    You can make a one time donation of any amount you like using the above "Donate" button. If you rather make an annual recurring donation of $25 (that is less than 50 cents a week), use the "Subscribe" button below.

    Save big on toys & collectibles at Entertainment Earth! CLICK HERE for Doctor Who, Star Wars, Buffy, Ozzy, Spider-Man, & more!


     Events  
    There are no upcoming events

     Audible UK  

    Dr Who Audio Downloads from audible.co.uk


     DWNY  
    DWNY

     Ads by Google  

     Older Stories  
    Wednesday 06-May
  • In Russell/Moffat We Trust Shirts and More (1)

  • Tuesday 05-May
  • Join Us for Our Second Second Life Meet Up (3)

  • Friday 01-May
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 147 (0)

  • Wednesday 29-Apr
  • Sonic Newsdriver for the Week of the 27th of April 2009 (0)

  • Saturday 25-Apr
  • Who Party 14 Toronto Doctor Who Convention (0)
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 146 (1)

  • Thursday 23-Apr
  • Sonic Newsdriver and Hoo on Who for the Week of the 20 April 2009 (0)
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 145 (4)

  • Wednesday 15-Apr
  • Three New Producers Announced (0)

  • Saturday 11-Apr
  • Planet Of The Dead Canadian air date confirmed (0)

  • Tuesday 07-Apr
  • Doctor Who: Podshock Recognized as Best Podcast (1)
  • Sonic Newsdriver for the Week of the 5th of April 2009 (0)

  • Wednesday 01-Apr
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 144 (5)

  • Friday 20-Mar
  • Doctor Who: Podshock - Episode 143 (3)
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to British Sci-Fi - Episode 3 (1)

  •  Notice  

    Doctor Who and the TARDIS are owned and trademarked by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The Gallifreyan Embassy and the Doctor Who: Podshock podcast are not connected to the BBC in any way. No infringement is intended.



     

     
     Home »  The Paul McGann Era »  The Half Human Dilemma
    Prev Topic Next Next Topic Printable Version
    The Half Human Dilemma Views: 3561
     Sunday, August 06 2006 @ 09:34 AM EDT
    Speaking of eyes...

    Upon rewatching the movie recently, I got to wondering about the Clockwork Orange-y eye clamp device thingy that the Master clamps onto the Doctor. Why would the good Doctor have that kind of torture device lying around the TARDIS? Do you think he's got other implements of torture lying around? I hate to think there's a bondage room somewhere. Or is there a perfectly benign reason for a Time Lord to own a device meant to force someone's eyes open?


    http://thatneilguy.blogspot.com
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Quote 
     
     Sunday, August 06 2006 @ 11:39 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  That Neil Guy] Why would the good Doctor have that kind of torture device lying around the TARDIS? Do you think he's got other implements of torture lying around?



    You're right!!! It's utterly creepfest. For my part I just like to pretend the 1996 movie never happened.

    If Worzel Gummidge and the Third Doctor had a fist fight - who would win?
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Quote 
     
     Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 12:31 PM EDT
    Is it possible the Master picked it up somewhere on Earth? I don't recall where he got it from, perhaps that's an answer. Or possibly, it's something the Doctor took away from a villian at some point and never disposed of, or kept as a trophy of sorts.

      Profile    PM    Email   
     Quote 
     
     Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 12:52 PM EDT
    I personally have no problem with the Doctor being half-human. In some ways, it explains a lot of his passion for the planet Earth and not being the best student in university. And even if he calls himself an alien, that could be how he feels. He grew up on Gallifrey in a completely different culture and his genetics might make him more Gallifrean instead of Human. The only character I can think to compare the Doctor too, in this regard, is Spock. Spock always referred to himself as being Vulcan, even though he was half-human. Maybe its those darn human genes that make the Doctor a little slower in learning at university and reduces his mental powers in comparison to Abbot K'Anpo Rinpoche in 'Planet of The Spiders'.

      Profile    PM    Email   
     Quote 
     
     Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 07:38 PM EDT
    Might also explain why the Doctor pulls out glasses from time to time. With all the nanobots in a Time Lord's body their eyesight should be as advanced as their respiratory system.

      Profile    PM    Email   
     Quote 
     
     Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 10:09 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter]
    It's complete rubbish as Louis said. A desperate attempt to Americanize the series in 1996.
    I've heard this exact thing over and over again, so this is by no means a dig at you in particular, Sean. But them's bravely arrogant words about a "British" show principally created by a Canadian.

    I think RTD Who is far more deliberately modeled on North American TV than the McGann movie was. Phil Collinson has said that it "should be lit like Smallville", the Buffy influence is acknowledged in RTD's writing, and the SFX are judged by how close they are to Hollywood norms. Likewise, the notion of Wales as a filming location, while it certainly has a lot to do with the personal preference of RTD, is certainly an attempt by the accounting department to turn Wales into a kind of "New Vancouver".

    I think the producers of the 1996 movie succeeded admirably in keeping the Doctor's tonality in line with that of his predecessors, and to reaffirm the basic ideals of the show. Certainly not since Davison had we gotten a Doctor that was so obviously interested in helping the people around him better their lives, and, indeed, in attempting to solve problems through intellect rather than force. I would forcefully argue that the TV movie is more in keeping with the high-water seasons of the original show than anything that came after "Caves of Androzani".

    It made more sense than any "100% purebred British" Sixth or Seventh Doctor story that comes to mind. I can accept non-Americans tackling core American characters like Batman, the Hulk, Tom Sawyer. I don't, for instance, dislike the recent Hulk movie, because its production team wasn't led by an American. I don't like it cause it's not what I think the character should be. Similarly, I can view without threat the so-called "takeover" of major American publications by British editors, and judge each publication on its new style.

    The thing with which I have greater difficulty is understanding why, just because of a weak plot and a kiss or two, suddenly it's "Americanization run amok".

    It wasn't that. It was just a bad plot.

    Just because a "pseudo-British" institution founders in the hands of an American doesn't mean that North Americans are incapable of exerting positive influence upon what has long been a mythos shared by the world. After all, Doctor Who didn't raise the BAFTA trophy in 2006 without a concerted effort to take on board some rather obvious American conventions. And Sidney Newman wouldn't have been brought in to head BBC Drama in the 1960s if the Brits weren't spinning their creative wheels.

    I don't like Doctor Who because it's British. I like it because it's a great idea.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Quote 
     
     Wednesday, August 09 2006 @ 12:54 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]
    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter]
    It's complete rubbish as Louis said. A desperate attempt to Americanize the series in 1996.
    I've heard this exact thing over and over again, so this is by no means a dig at you in particular, Sean. But them's bravely arrogant words about a "British" show principally created by a Canadian.

    I think RTD Who is far more deliberately modeled on North American TV than the McGann movie was. Phil Collinson has said that it "should be lit like Smallville", the Buffy influence is acknowledged in RTD's writing, and the SFX are judged by how close they are to Hollywood norms. Likewise, the notion of Wales as a filming location, while it certainly has a lot to do with the personal preference of RTD, is certainly an attempt by the accounting department to turn Wales into a kind of "New Vancouver".

    I think the producers of the 1996 movie succeeded admirably in keeping the Doctor's tonality in line with that of his predecessors, and to reaffirm the basic ideals of the show. Certainly not since Davison had we gotten a Doctor that was so obviously interested in helping the people around him better their lives, and, indeed, in attempting to solve problems through intellect rather than force. I would forcefully argue that the TV movie is more in keeping with the high-water seasons of the original show than anything that came after "Caves of Androzani".

    It made more sense than any "100% purebred British" Sixth or Seventh Doctor story that comes to mind. I can accept non-Americans tackling core American characters like Batman, the Hulk, Tom Sawyer. I don't, for instance, dislike the recent Hulk movie, because its production team wasn't led by an American. I don't like it cause it's not what I think the character should be. Similarly, I can view without threat the so-called "takeover" of major American publications by British editors, and judge each publication on its new style.

    The thing with which I have greater difficulty is understanding why, just because of a weak plot and a kiss or two, suddenly it's "Americanization run amok".

    It wasn't that. It was just a bad plot.

    Just because a "pseudo-British" institution founders in the hands of an American doesn't mean that North Americans are incapable of exerting positive influence upon what has long been a mythos shared by the world. After all, Doctor Who didn't raise the BAFTA trophy in 2006 without a concerted effort to take on board some rather obvious American conventions. And Sidney Newman wouldn't have been brought in to head BBC Drama in the 1960s if the Brits weren't spinning their creative wheels.

    I don't like Doctor Who because it's British. I like it because it's a great idea.


    I can't but help to agree with you DarthSkeptical. I kind of get tired of people downing the 1996 movie. Once again in it's context you have to take it for what it was worth (of course to some, not much)...HAD it be a success, it could have relaunched the series and then we would have probably had episodes that perhaps explored the half-human possibility. Everyone would be celebrating and saying how terrific it is and that DW has been saved, etc. It would win a BAFTA or a Golden Globe and trounce Roseanne in the ratings...Some fans would later complain that it's "too updated" or "it's not the real WHO"...sounds kind of like today? Hey...perhaps on the parallel universe McGann is still the doc or it's the BBCi doctor? (Oh...that's probably another thread....)

    I think someone may have mentioned this before, but according to the BBC Book Doctor Who: The Legend, the Doctor says he can transform himself into another species, but only when he 'dies' (the book states that this is also implied in The Dalek's Master Plan). Therefore, i think the movie is canon, but take it as you see fit. Don't we do that anyway? Everyone has bits and parts that we like and dislike and yet we and DW continue!

    "...edible ball bearings...genius!"
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Quote 
     
     Tuesday, December 26 2006 @ 07:57 AM EST
    The Half-Human concept introduced in the 1996 telemovie makes COMPLETE sense when you think about it:

    1) The Doctor has always shown a personality inversion from one incarnation to the next. The 7th Doctor was decisively bringing back the mysteriousness of his origins and made him all the more darker and more alien. So why not an "open as a book" 8th Doctor that deliberately broke that pattern by exposing something he has never mentioned before? That he is Half-Human?

    2) The Doctor has always held an inexplicable connection to the Earth and specifically to a British/UK and Victorian/Edwardian-contemporary Earth locale & period with all of time & space to choose from? This manifests in everything from the endless visitations & companions to his manner of dress and decor (circa H.G. Wells & Jules Verne). Even the referential terminology?

    3) His regenerations are usually beyond his control, something apparently unique to him vs. other Time Lords? (and Time Ladies)

    4) Occasionally he has needed to resort to spectacles (particularly #1 & #5) - not to mention the reference to his eyes exposing his 'true' nature in the telemovie?

    5) Come on... was Susan really Gallifreyan? As in full blooded?... or was she more likely 1/2 to 1/4?

    I could go on and on with this, but you get the idea. I know it seemingly flies in the face of all that came before... but is it so iconoclastic? Wouldn't it explain so much? Shouldn't we feel all the more connected to him as a character for being 1/2 (us)? Doesn't it also put to rest so many troubling plot points (that are really due to budget constraints and an attempt to identify with the audience)? All of those quirks, his exile, his connection to us?

    Just my take on it.

    I also must admit that for an otherwise terrible story (and poor casting of the Master) this fairly brilliant revelation is only eclipsed by what I honestly believe to be the best interior design of the TARDIS by far. (and yes, I mean 1963-2006... including the newest!)


      Profile    PM    Email   
     Quote 
     
     Tuesday, December 26 2006 @ 10:44 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]
    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter]
    It's complete rubbish as Louis said. A desperate attempt to Americanize the series in 1996.
    I've heard this exact thing over and over again, so this is by no means a dig at you in particular, Sean. But them's bravely arrogant words about a "British" show principally created by a Canadian.


    Yes, I've heard that before. While the show may have been created partially at least by a Canadian, it was created uniquely for a British audience, and thrived in the UK in a UK format, with UK crew, cast, writers and audience.

    When I say that the TV movie was an attempt at Americanizing Who, I was right. Many PBS stations brought Doctor Who to US TVs, but made no attempt to change it. It had a small cult following here under the PBS stations, but never got huge market share, as to do so you need a NEW show.

    The 1996 movie was deliberately made to attract a US audience, and pulled some very stupid tricks to do it - like the Spock-like half-human nonsense.

    If UK shows didn't need "Americanizing" to be popular explain "Three's Company", and the plethora of other UK shows that were converted to American and became popular on their own or failed on their own. When in fact the original UK shows were superior and could have done fine in a US audience, but no one attempted to bring them here unchanged.

    I came to the US from Canada 10 years ago (ironically, in 1996 just before the movie aired. I saw it here in the US) and in Canada we used to get the original UK shows, so I watched "Man About the House" years before "Three's Company" got started, and "Three's Company" was amusing for a while but fell into the formulaic trap early on and never stopped.

    As for "Americanizing" shows, look what Jonathan Frakes did to "Thunderbirds." He Americanized a show that is hugely popular throught the entire world OTHER THAN the US.

    And he ruined it. I mean I liked the movie for what it was, but man, it irks me they got Jonathan Frakes to direct a show he had never before seen in his life, and he did it all while working in the same damned building as Gerry Anderson. He said the two would chat in the hallways, but he never once consulted the creator of the show while he was directing the travesty of a movie.

    He did some things right. The ship redesign was lovely. Casting was fantastic for Parker and Penelope, but that was about it.

    Frakes did what so many other people have tried to do - Americanize a UK show. And he failed. The 1996 movie is fun to watch, and it makes me hurt that McGann didn't really get his shot at a series, but it wasn't a great episode.

    The half-human thing as I mentioned was simply an invention of the Master to explain the eye of harmony, but as I said that was also another very bad inconsistency since he was inhabiting a human body and could have opened the eye himself.

    It was just crappily written, though gorgeously produced. I still enjoy watching it, but I don't take any stock in what the Master said, and I am grateful that the series didn't get taken up in the US if that would have been the result.

    I'm far happier with Russell T. Davies' version, which you say is more Americanized than previous Who, and on purpose.

    That brings me back to Thunderbirds. Thunderbirds was produced by Gerry Anderson specifically for an American audience, and it failed ever to gain American audience. And instead it became wildly popular in almost every single other country in the world, including Canada... but ironically, not the US.

    I'll take RTD's version over whatever FOX would have done with it any day.

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Quote 
     
     Tuesday, December 26 2006 @ 11:29 AM EST
    The interesting thing about the telemovie, however, is that it's too slavish to its "British" roots. It tried to include so much from the "British" original that it really didn't have a particular voice of its own.

    The faults with the telemovie aren't to do with Americanization. Bad ideas—like spending the majority of the movie defining the Master and the Doctor—have no national boundaries.

    If British writers can successfully tackle American icons like Superman and Batman, it is entirely possible for Americans to make Doctor Who, and to make it well. RTD's genius doesn't come from the fact that he's British. It's everything to do with having something to say and using Doctor Who to do it. The impression I always get from watching the telemovie is that its producers were just trying to establish the character.

    People always say there's not much of a plot to the telemovie. But really, the problem is there's no theme. The plots of RTD Who are often weaker than the telemovie's. But we obsess over plot points like this half-human dilemma because there's nothing much else in the way of theme to care about. And we forgive fairly weak RTD plots because the themes are generally powerful and poignant.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Quote 
     
     Tuesday, December 26 2006 @ 12:35 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]If British writers can successfully tackle American icons like Superman and Batman, it is entirely possible for Americans to make Doctor Who, and to make it well.


    That's only a theory. Until it's been done, it is unproven.

    So far Americans have not done Who well. Until they do, you can speculate that "they can" all you like, but it will be completely unfounded because so far "they haven't".

    Entirely possible? Sure. But until we see it, it's only that - possible.

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Quote 
     
     Thursday, December 28 2006 @ 02:04 AM EST
    Not to criticize anyone here, but it does seems to me that this particular forum topic has transitioned rather strongly from "the Half Human Dilemma" to a much more general discussion on the 1996 telemovie and the overall "Americanization" of Doctor Who... no?


      Profile    PM    Email   
     Quote 
     
     Saturday, December 30 2006 @ 02:14 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  steven3x] Not to criticize anyone here, but it does seems to me that this particular forum topic has transitioned rather strongly from "the Half Human Dilemma" to a much more general discussion on the 1996 telemovie and the overall "Americanization" of Doctor Who... no?



    So I'll jump in to try bringing it back on topic. My own little way of trying to explain away the line is, that up until that line they were seeing through the eye of harmony what the Doctor saw. I'd have to go back and watch it to be 100% sure, but I believe the moment the master zooms in and sees the human retinal pattern is when the Doctor is kissing Grace. If the Master was seeing through the Doctor's eyes, then maybe that was Grace's retinal pattern that he saw and he made an incorrect assumption.

    Big Grin

    I'm going "Full Circle" and putting my avatar back to what it was when I first joined. :)
      Profile    PM    Email   
     Quote 
     
     Saturday, December 30 2006 @ 09:58 PM EST
    That's a really interesting theory that made me go back and look myself. I don't think I've ever heard that in the ten years that the debate's been raging. And it's pretty close to being right. But if you believe the cuts between the TARDIS and the park are happening at precisely the same time, it doesn't quite mesh up. The biggest tip-off on this is that the Master examines the retinal pattern of the Doctor quite a bit before the Doctor's eyes become "windows" for the Master.

    The sequence goes fairly close to this:

    The Eye of Harmony opens. This causes the Doctor to fully remember who he is. He kisses Graces celebratorily. He then goes on to explain a little bit more of who he is. She says "Now, do that again". He obliges. The images in the Eye switch from looking at the two Doctors to zooming in, rather inexplicably, on the retinal pattern of the Doctor. We cut back to the Doctor and Grace, still makin' out. At this point, the Doctor realizes the Master is in the TARDIS and what the Master's plan is. He freaks out, but is still fully looking at Grace while he speaks. The Doctor says, "He is planning to take my body, so that he will live and I will die". At this point, we see a flash of light in the park on the Doctor's face, and he closes his eyes. The scene switches back to the TARDIS, where the Master says, "There . . . there! We're seeing what he's seeing." An image of Grace flickers briefly into the Eye, and then vanishes, replaced only by the Doctor's voice.

    So, it seems to me, at least, that the retinal pattern comes before the Eye enables the Master to see through the Doctor's eyes. Hence, the Master is most likely looking at the Doctor's retinal pattern.

    Another point here is that even if you do find some way to convince yourself that the two scenes are slightly out of synch with each other, and that the Master is therefore briefly looking at Grace's retinal patterns, you're still left with trying to find a way to explain away all "the TARDIS really likes you" references the Master makes to Chang. Not that that's particularly difficult, of course. The Doctor could have intentionally set the "combination" to the Eye of Harmony to a human retinal pattern specifically as a check against another Time Lord opening his TARDIS' Eye. But, still, the clear intent of the writers was to establish the Doctor as half-human.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Quote 
     
     Sunday, December 31 2006 @ 04:20 AM EST
    Hmmm, this is interesting. In the Wikipedia entry for "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor Who Project team have added this to the "half Human Dilemma":

    [Quote =Wikipedia]Depending on interpretation, the Doctor's comment regarding humanity being "optional" to him can be read as confirming a popular fan hypothesis that the Eighth Doctor's comment about being "half-human on his mother's side" (Doctor Who, 1996) applied uniquely to that regeneration, rather than to the Doctor in general. Alternatively, it may be another double entendre — as with the "do not blaspheme" gag from The Parting of the Ways (2005).
    I don't personally buy any of this. I think he was actually making a romantic allusion. But, it's worth noting in this discussion, if only that it reminds us that, beyond all the retinal pattern/human-loving-TARDIS business, the Eighth Doctor actually says he's half human.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
      Profile    PM    Email    Website 
     Quote 
     

     
    Topic Legend:
    Normal Topic Normal Topic
    Locked Topic Locked Topic
    Sticky Topic Sticky Topic
    New Post New Post
    Sticky Topic W/ New Post Sticky Topic W/ New Post
    Locked Topic W/ New Post Locked Topic W/ New Post
    Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic
    You may not post messages
    Full HTML is allowed
    Words are censored