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     Home »  The Sylvester McCoy Era »  Cartmel: Viewed through rose-colored glasses..
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    Cartmel: Viewed through rose-colored glasses? Views: 1005
     Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 10:32 AM EDT
    If you guys haven't heard the roundtable discussion over at MMM Commentaries about the JNT era, you certainly should. It's lively, informative and, most of all, a lot of fun. They broke it up into three parts (one part per Doctor) and just finished up with their examination of the McCoy era.

    What I noted about their description of the McCoy era was something which has got me curious enough to post a query over here as I did on their forum.

    Very often in fan descriptions of the era, the 24th season is described as a mess, especially with respect to its depiction of the Doctor himself. Fans quite often say, as the MMM team did, that "things got better after Carmel arrived". But the thing is, Cartmel was always script editor during the McCoy era—from "Time of the Rani" onwards.

    So why do you think it is that people remember him for the so-called "Cartmel Master Plan" of Season 26, but generally gloss over the fact that he also presided over the messy start of the McCoy era? Is it fair, do you think, to imagine Cartmel as the architect of the mess that the "Master Plan" was seen to correct? Why do many fans celebrate his "Time's Champion" concept while altogether forgetting that the maligned character trait of mixing metaphors was also Cartmel's specific 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
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     Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 12:24 PM EDT

    The first few scripts from season 24 were inherited by Cartmel. He didn't particularly like them, but it was either continue producing them or delay the season/compromise on production even more than was common in the era. Also, those early scripts were originally intended for the previous Doctor and had to be reworked for the new Doctor. Now, Cartmel wasn't a god, but at that point any change would be viewed as favorable. The return to a more mysterious lead character was a step in the right direction, but the overly continuity heavy emphasis in the latter stories was a mistake, as new viewers could not get into the program as easily.

    I read two of Cartmel's books. Script Doctor was a very interesting first person account of the era. His other book (Through Time-I think that's the title) shows his biases in dissing stories in prior eras of Doctor Who for doing things that he applaudes being done in his era.

    The McCoy era is difficult for a non-fan to get into, dependant on the story, of course.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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