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     Home »  The Tom Baker Era »  Why I Stopped Watching Doctor Who [spoilers?]
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    Why I Stopped Watching Doctor Who [spoilers?] Views: 2197
     Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 12:40 PM EDT
    This week's really crappy Time Beetle prop has got me reflecting on when I originally stopped watching the show back during high school.

    It was the giant rat.

    I know everyone reveres Talons of Weng Chiang as some sort of classic, but when I watched it the first time, I was stopped cold by the giant rat. My parents began making fun of the show because of the giant rat. The one other guy in my (small) high school who also watched the show began making fun of the giant rat. I began making fun of the giant rat. And I stopped watching. I never did see any more of Weng Chiang. I caught a few more episodes here and there, but more or less that was it.

    I held on to a fondness for the show, though, and, a couple years later watched the Five Doctors on its first run and even bought some Davison era trinkets, and sort of kept an eye on news of the show, even though, by that time, they weren't showing it where I was then living.

    I watched the TV movie with excitement, but by the time the show returned for real, I hardly knew it was even happening. I'd seen reports of it but didn't really give it much thought until I sort of stumbled across the idea of getting a big ol' scarf, then started looking a tsome of the novels and, after ordering one used online, the fellow included a dvd of Rose. Well, here I am, back to the show for the foreseeable future.

    Anyway, I still can't think of Weng Chiang without thinking of that crappy rat. People talk about wobbly sets, but it was the rat that killed it for me. And now, in this age of digital effects and Stan Winston(r.i.p.) aliens and such, I have to wonder if, some day in the future, the crappy Time Beetle will serve the same function that rat did to some impressionable teenage viewer.

    Thus ends my life story.
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     Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 01:22 PM EDT

    Now do we realize why RTD doesn't want the program to be shot in HD...

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 01:59 PM EDT
    Thing that really bugs me about the Beetle is that it could've been solved by a simple throwaway line: "Well, I say "beetle", but it's obviously not a real beetle. Its makers just have a garden fetish."

    "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
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     Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 02:16 PM EDT

    Well, it should be obvious to anyone, that a Trickster wouldn't use a real beetle, so it had to be a fake beetle, DUH!!!

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 02:30 PM EDT
    Fair point but at times, I do find it utterly hillarous when fans pan the new series effects but praise the old series (?). That beetle looked a million miles better than the Dinosaurs or the loch ness monster and the early cybermen. Rolling Eyes

    Doctor Who has always been a series that has relied on great stories rather than expensive effects. That's what makes the series so great. I couldn't give a monkey's about CGI and the like. Yes it looks good but i'll rather have a good story (the last 3 Star Wars spring to mind!) Don't forget that the BBC is a public broadcaster and actually has a budget!

    And to quote Toby Hardoke "When do the sets wobble? Can you name them? "2 episodes, 2 episodes out of 700!"

    Please check out my blog, as I attempt to watch and review EVERY Doctor Who episode!
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     Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 06:23 PM EDT

    So the beetle looked a tad sketchy - but damn, what do people expect anymore? 'Sides, I prefer a rubbery organic prop to bad CG any day. At least it's really there, silly-looking or not.

    And it seems quite obvious all the chips were saved for this year's finale, apart from the load they shot off on "Pompeii" and its f/x - that was next-level stuff for Doctor Who. Seriously. The wide shot of Donna and the Doctor running from the pod as the ash-cloud chased after them down the mountainside was as badass as anything playing on theater screens this Summer. Oh yes. Mr. Green

    Human Biological Metacrisis = Bite Me, RTD.
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     Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 06:45 PM EDT

    * best Tennant impersonation *

    "I like the beetle."

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 06:52 PM EDT
    I just have to add that I personally had no problem with the beetle, even though I called it crappy. It was a bit crappy. But, again, I actually didn't have a problem with it. I prefer a nice solid prop to all cgi all the time. But I'd read other complaints about the beetle and those reminded me of the rat incident.

    And, yes, the dinosaurs were much crappier -- but I first saw those when I was much younger...
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     Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 09:07 PM EDT
    Yikes...the subject of this post caught my eye and I dove in, not realizing that it references the most recent episode (Turn Left) which I still haven't seen. I'll come back later. Big Grin


    Ok, I'm back. Just watched the episode and I didn't have a problem with the beetle. They could have made it a touch more alien looking, but it was fine. Now I can read the actual Turn Left thread. Big Grin

    I'm going "Full Circle" and putting my avatar back to what it was when I first joined. :)
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     Wednesday, June 25 2008 @ 04:45 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  cybercolin]And to quote Toby Hardoke "When do the sets wobble? Can you name them? "2 episodes, 2 episodes out of 700!"

    Spot on, I was going to quote the same thing but you beat me to it. I've got to say it does make my heart sink when 'fans' refer to the wobbly sets when it's simply not true.

    With regards the beetle. My view is that this was meant to be one of the 'cheap' double-banker episodes so they weren't going to spend a lot on props. In fact in Confidential there's a bit where RTD says he wanted the TARDIS prop to explode but somebody pointed out this was meant to cheap! Smile

    That said, the beetle looked much better on Confidential when they were demonstrating the props animatronics. It's a pity there wasn't more of an opportunity to see it in action during the actual episode.

    I also viewed it as the beetle was meant to be a robotic device in the shape of a beetle rather than an actual alien creature.

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     Wednesday, June 25 2008 @ 05:46 AM EDT
    I sort of agree with you. It didn't bother me that it looked a bit stiff, what did bother me was that it was just a large beetle.

    The guy who sculpts the monsters, masks and so on for the show stated in the confidential that why bother making it an alien beetle when there's so much that's weird and wonderful in nature. He said the same thing for the Judoon, in that he just wanted them to look like rhino's, not alien rhinos.

    I personally disagree with him. It bugs ( ah ha ha) me that the beetle just looked like a large beetle. It really should have looked a bit different I think. And the Judoon should have looked rhino like rather than exactly like rhinos.

    But I thought the workmanship behind the prop was fine, it was the thinking behind it's design that got me. Anyway, only a small gripe it didn't spoil the episode for me in any way.

    If half the art of survival is running away, the other half is knowing when to keep a straight face.
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     Wednesday, June 25 2008 @ 04:28 PM EDT
    I stopped watching after Twin Dilemna.
    PD left, I went to university. A natural break I suppose.
    God bless Big Finish who helped me to discover what Colin Baker might have been (is) and now watching DVDs of the 6th and 7th Doctors which I haven't seen.
    Have to disagree with Darth S - even some of the Mccoy stories are not that bad.

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     Wednesday, June 25 2008 @ 06:58 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    * best Tennant impersonation *

    "I like the beetle."

    I *did* like the beetle....


    If Worzel Gummidge and the Third Doctor had a fist fight - who would win?
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     Wednesday, June 25 2008 @ 07:08 PM EDT

    I never stopped watching - although I came close a couple of times.

    Most notably when a certain Mr Bertie Basset came on!

    Cheers, daveac

    daveac on, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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     Wednesday, June 25 2008 @ 10:02 PM EDT
    [Quote Most notably when a certain Mr Bertie Basset came on!

    You can't 'diss' The KM, he's more tastier than Peri, Zoe and Nyssa all rolled in to one! Razz

    Please check out my blog, as I attempt to watch and review EVERY Doctor Who episode!
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