Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children" (spoilers)

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greeneggsandspam
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children"

Post by greeneggsandspam »

I think the main issue that I dislike is that the episode is too exposition heavy, you dont really get an adventure, and the one we were having gets cut short for that. The changes to canon, if they actually stick in the end which things like this often don't, didnt bother me, I dont really care what the doctors backstory is, they can change things about and reveal whatever, I just dont want a whole episode of that, just getting told the new backstory. I found s6 to be a low point for me for the same reason, we had quite a lot of episodes turned over entirely to the story arc, and even if it had been a story arc that I'd care about it ate away at the number of episodes we had, and made the better episodes which weren't story arc related feel less purposeful. It's a problem shared by s6, s12 and particularly by the spinoff class.
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Spannerintheworks
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children"

Post by Spannerintheworks »

Also -
Neon Wolf wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:33 am

Doctor Who is partially funded by HBO and they're owned by AT&T who are 200 billion dollars in debt, they are looking to make a quick buck any way they can which means they're cancelling anything which in their eyes doesn't make enough money. I believe the phrase used was 'nothing is sacred' in regard to DC comics and that sentiment is shared with their other investments. It's been rumoured that they are looking to sell WB Interactive Entertainment for about 4 billion and this pressure from AT&T is likely what caused DC comics to split from diamond distribution because they can't wait to get their books back out there as if they can't prove that they're financially viable by they end of the year then they're toast.

In this talk of billions how do you think Doctor Who fits in? Because as it stands I don't see this deal sticking as from our side the show will probably miss deadlines mandated in the contract because they can't film due to social distancing and from their side it's not a worthwhile investment as a dwindling show is probably not much of a pull for their new streaming service, so even if we get 13 and 14 I can't imagine them renewing the contract. You also have to take into account that the only reason it's on HBO is because Netflix and Amazon didn't bid for it because they weren't interested.
This could be a separate thread, but yeah - This really worries me.

A couple points to add:

*HBO's biggest cash cow (Game of Thrones) wrapped, and there's really nothing that replaced it. The shows they have that come closest - Watchmen, and perhaps Westworld - have the former being confirmed so far as a limited, single series event and the latter losing audience and critical support with each series.
*HBOmax (their only plan that gives you access to Who) has been bungled from the start. I'll spare details, but they certainly did this in a way that was confusing or upset existing customers.
*I'm in the states, and the advertising they did is so telling:
*First ads: Who represented, shows the TARDIS in the vortex and 13 entering from "The Ghost Monument"
*Second round of ads: Who represented, the TARDIS is shown in the vortex.
*Third round of ads: No Doctor Who.

Now, I can't say for certain, but the other "nostalgia TV" they scored showed programs in their prime (South Park, Friends). It's a nice gesture to show Jodie and the current era (or they were asked/told to), but if you wanted to market this on Nostalgia.....they should've shown Tennant. Or Tennant and Smith, standing together in the 50th.

Bottom line, going by their advertising, HBO already is considering Who less a draw. And first run ratings (which in this country were last at their highest for...."Twice Upon a Time") might not encourage them to reconsider.

And it's a shame. Who had it best on Netflix. Friends of mine discovered it there, and many of them stopped watching at Series 8. Not because they didn't like it, but because that was the last series added. And you know what? Each time, with Smith and then Capaldi, they came around. They'd binge and catch up, and find they still liked it. Now, they have to pay for a new service, and it's on a service that launched AFTER most quarantine. This show can't catch a break here.

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skifflebits
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children"

Post by skifflebits »

HBO has a license to stream past episodes of "Doctor Who" but that doesn't mean they partially fund the production of the program.

As far as accounting goes, my guess is those are totally different "money bins" they draw from. The profit from the licensing of past programs I'm sure falls on a different balance sheet.

The only entity I could see partially funding the show would be BBC America -- assuming they're still showing the new seasons as they come out -- but even they ultimately just pay a license fee to BBC Worldwide for the rights to air the show. They don't "own" any of it.

I'm sure profits from overseas licensing does factor into big-picture budget considerations, but it's not like the future of the show is dependent on a single streaming service carrying the past catalog.
Bottom line, going by their advertising, HBO already is considering Who less a draw. And first run ratings (which in this country were last at their highest for...."Twice Upon a Time") might not encourage them to reconsider.
Not sure what you mean by "less a draw." Less a draw than what? The entertainment business is driven by the next shiny object. The fact that HBO isn't featuring "Who" in their ads anymore is just part of the lifecycle. It's hardly an indication that the show is in jeopardy.
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Spannerintheworks
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children"

Post by Spannerintheworks »

To be clear, I don't consider the show in jeopardy. The BBC seems to know Who is profitable, but reluctant (traditionally) to spend freely on it. (Multiple accounts back this right into the new series; Davies' book is a great example of how they had to stretch things to achieve what you see onscreen)

Overseas viewing rights absolutely help fund the show. Again, Davies' book touches on this. I'm not saying HBO is the be-all or end-all of funding, though

Bottom line, I'm looking at accessibility. Because Who thrived in the states most when:

*It was shown regularly on Syfy, and later BBC America.
*It was easily accessible via Netflix.

Since leaving Netflix, it hasn't shocked me that fewer people get into the show. BBC America is not included on many cable platforms and Amazon Prime (which did have it free w/membership until recently) does not have as easily accessible a recommendation or browsing platform.

HBOmax has the potential to offer it and make it accessible, but they're making a hash of it and I very much doubt Who is anything approaching a priority. That was my point.

It's not an easy show to casually view or get into here in the US without some effort or investment, and most people who fell out with it when it easy to find or free to them remember....Tennant and Smith.

It'd be nice if that changed, but I doubt HBO cares to effect that. And their advertising kinda reinforces they're focusing where they feel their strengths are with regard to nostalgia titles. Friends. South Park. The DC properties. Not so much Who. You get HBO's regular programming and back catalog with a regular subscription. Their acquired movie library and shows like Friends are absolutely a "draw" to people willing to spend more to get them. And per their advertising changes, they are focusing....away from Doctor Who.

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Neon Wolf
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children"

Post by Neon Wolf »

I can't help but feel that the show is in actual jeopardy. It starts by putting out a poor product and then you have COVID which stirs up this perfect storm of trouble.

-The filming of the show is delayed indefinitely whilst social distancing is in place
-The BBC are looking to cut jobs and spending due to a fall in income
-The Licence fee may be scrapped in the next few years or at least not paying it will no longer result in a punishment (at that point who would pay it?)
-The shows viewership has continued to fall week after week
-The merchandise (which a show like Doctor Who NEEEDS to survive) doesn't sell and is almost entirely relegated to budget retailers and aimed at a small group of fans
-The big partnership streaming service you have is owned by a company who are $200 billion in debt and are looking to make cuts wherever they can (DC Comics is in full panic mode right now!)
-The show is not generally well received by the public or fandom for the most part (I've lost count of how many posts I've read trying to look past this era to 'the next Doctor')

All this builds up to a particularly bleak future is you're a fan of Doctor Who. But how does this tie back to "The Timeless Children" specifically?

Everything that's wrong with this era is encapsulated in this one story, poor performances, too exposition heavy, terrible pacing issues and to many half baked characters with nothing to do but sit around and wait for their bit. So what makes it worse than all the rest of the Chibbs era? This episode with its new retcon to continuity has become the bedrock of the entire franchise and by chiselling out what came before and replacing it with newer, weaker, foundations Chibbs has crippled the show. This isn't one episode in a bad era, this effects the whole show and therefor the whole product is tainted. Not great when you have to sell said product and you're already losing money and making cuts and cozying up to a company who are also in debt up to their eyeballs and are also looking to make cuts.

The Tennant and Smith eras were a good product that commanded a good rate with companies fighting for the rights to make various pieces of merchandise, it was on the king of streaming services NETFLIX. This era is marred by bad storytelling cheap gimmicks and underwhelming fan reaction which has made the product an easy pass for most and that's what will kill the show in this climate.
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Kaldor
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children"

Post by Kaldor »

What’s worse for me personally is that from here-onwards, with every option that ought to be considered and/or taken, the BBC are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
Consider it. To undo some of the mess, we could:
• Reverse time back to Capaldi’s regen. It’s definitely do-able. It would sort of split the timeline which would be creative and innovative and create a timeline that never was, meaning that Whittaker could just slip off into a parallel universe, or even better, never exist (which would be the better option for her era as a whole).
• Pass the whole thing off as a regenerative fever dream, brought on mid regeneration by a Kantrofarri stowing away in the TARDIS.
• Regenerate the Doctor back into a man (and blooming well keep it that way)
• Make Jo Martin’s Doctor the 1st Doctor from an alternate or unbound universe, which gives her a cool origin, and then rewrite the whole of the Timeless child crap (which doesn’t make sense in the first place, because now if anyone dies I will be expecting the doctor to whip out some regeneration energy to heal them like 11 healed River- because there’s no excuse not to now we know they have infinite energy).
Sadly, the BBC won’t reverse the entire era or slip it through a crack in time, as they would then be admitting their little experiment failed miserably, and the more it fails the more they want to push it because “women can do it too” (seems to be the attitude since it was decided that women can’t have their own original characters written or conceived as concepts, like God awful Ghostbusters).
Passing the whole thing off as a fever dream... neat concept- but what would Capaldi’s reaction be without it being a bit... ya know? “Oh god! I was a woman... and also a timeless child? How weird. Must have inhaled some TARDIS fumes.”
Regenerating the Doctor into a man and just pretending the era never happened is potentially the best thing we can hope for. Jo Martin did a phenomenal job, sure. But it’s for the best that we don’t have any more women going forwards. I’ve always been an advocate that anyone could be the doctor... but sadly, I’ve been proven wrong by Whittaker, and like many who said they wanted to see a female doctor, I’d rather now never see a female doctor again. I’ll be the first to admit it, I was wrong- it failed. It is disappointing, but I wish I’d listened more to the opposition who didn’t want a female doctor from the start. You guys were right.
But here’s where this next situation gets tricky. You regenerate Whittaker into another woman, you’ve lost the 99% of fans that clung on to watch out of support for the brand, if not the show. The 99% that knew even though it was bad, they’d still watch because it was their show. I myself am in that 99%. The 1% is all the women who started to watch because “Doctor Who is a woman now” and the men who basically did what the fan girls did with Tennant. Had an exciting pants reaction and decided to watch because they’re “hot”.
Anyway. If they regenerate her into another woman- you’ve lost even more fans than the first female regeneration, and you’ve killed the show and popped the coffin in the ground at this point. I think we all agree, and it’s safe to say that, the final nail is already placed with the Timeless children.
If you pop the doctor back into a man, you get all the fans back, but now there’s the expectation that the doctor is going to be a woman next time, and all of a sudden regenerations become man/woman/man/woman/man/woman. Which is just crap. I don’t want a world where we go “black man/Asian woman/white man/black woman/Asian man/white woman” etc. For a start, just cast someone who’s best for the goddamn role. If you work a bit harder on casting the net out and make sure you see everyone- great! If you don’t... well, cool. Cast whoever is best from what you’ve got.
But by setting yourself in this man/woman/man/woman business, there’s now an innate sense of dread for whenever the next person comes along. There will be though! It’s true. If someone told you that Capaldi was gonna turn into Whittaker, rumoured at the start of series 8, you’d watch 9 and 10 with a taint and just be dreading it.
But there’s also the people who I believe are called “SJWs” (I’ve done some research and I think that’s the correct term to use here), as well as radical feminists, who will call a regeneration into a man a “step backwards” and day the BBC aren’t progressive. Which let’s be honest, is probably the very thing the Beeb are being terrified of being called.
Now, next option, is that we keep Jo Martin as a Doctor who pops into multi doctor specials now and again, and we get an individual series with her. She’s the best thing to come out of the Whittaker era without a bloody doubt. Keeping her in the show let’s people have a female doctor and a black doctor. I like that. I’m mixed race, and I’m not fussed about this representation bullocks. It’s something that I find people bring up to stoke arguments or call racism on, and it irritates me to no end. All the doctors (except Whittaker... shudder) represent me. I think Martin is amazing. I just don’t want her in the main line up. No doctor belongs before Hartnell. I don’t care if you got in another big name like Hurt. Goddamn Brad Pitt could be cast as a one off Doctor (which again, is a concept I’m totally done with. Wasn’t keen when Moffat did it, but I was won over because... true- we never saw the regen between 8 & 9) but nobody belongs before Hartnell. He IS the 1st Doctor and that’s the end of it.

DalekCheese
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children" (spoilers)

Post by DalekCheese »

I see.
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Doctor Gamer
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children" (spoilers)

Post by Doctor Gamer »

I have no problem with the current era. It’s going to be a lot easier to accept that the doctor is a woman and frankly not care about the gender because it shouldn’t be a defining character trait for any gender. The more you care about the doctor being a woman the less easier you are to enjoy the show and accept that things will change. The doctor is a woman deal with it.

Also I think it’s frankly stupid for the BBC to retcon the series. Sure little details will be forgotten and retconned in the future but they’re trying something new which I respect them for because it makes the show feel fresh. But imagine being someone out of the massive cast and crew who work on doctor who and work to make the vision come alive and suddenly the bbc go, actually all the stuff you worked hard to create isn’t real, which to me would feel like a massive middle finger to everyone who has contributed to this era and all the work I would’ve done to make it what it is.

Personally I can’t understand the Jodie hate. Sure, the era isn’t perfect, but so was 12’s and 11’s and 10’s. We’re bound to have bumps and scratches along the way and frankly series 12 wasn’t that bad and I can only see things getting better for the show in the future.

However having said that, you are perfectly entitled to think what you want about the show and you have full right to disregard what I just said :)
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Kaldor
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children" (spoilers)

Post by Kaldor »

Because the era is trash. The doctor, as a character, is inherently NOT a woman. It’s not hard to accept. James Bond, as a character, is NOT a woman.
Same way that Mary Poppins is not Gary Poppins. Mary Poppins, as a character, is inherently a woman. Mrs Marple. A woman.
I could go on. To pretend otherwise is to be foolish.

Whovastron
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Re: Thoughts and Opinions on "The Timeless Children"

Post by Whovastron »

Neon Wolf wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:33 am
It's just bad storytelling, the idea, the execution and the performances all compound to give us this utter trash.

It's not just the episode on its own either, since Chibbs took over it's been all down hill leading to one of the steepest declines in a show I've ever seen. A lot of fans have seen this dumbed down era as a speed bump to just 'get over' before we get back to the good stuff however now with this story its disease has spread to the core of the show that every writer from now on has to build off of. It ruins stories like 'Time of the Doctor' Clara's desperate plea to the Time Lords to grant the Doctor a new life cycle is forever tainted and that's not to mention the plot holes it throws up. If the Time Lords didn't gain the power of regeneration through exposure to the time vortex then why did River Song's conception aboard the TARDIS cause her to be able to regenerate? If Doctor Ruth is pre Hartnell then why does she have the police box? Why didn't Clara uncover this while travelling down the Doctor's time stream? Etc...

This was a terrible move to make as it was only ever going to bother the fans and since the fans are the only people watching this show anymore that division created by this episode is devastating. I've seen people around various forums trying to to get past it by saying 'maybe they'll change their minds', they won't, or 'a new show runner will fix it'', they won't, some are even fan casting the 'next Doctor' in a desperate attempt to look past this. However I think it's time we entertain the real possibility that there won't be a new show runner or even another Doctor, this is it and after the heights the series reached since its revival, are you happy with it ending like this?

Pre COVID it was clear to me that we were on the home stretch, the viewing figures are down significantly, the merch doesn't sell and the overall quality of the show is poor and as we'll likely see not paying the licence fee decriminalised in the next few years the BBC won't have the money to make Doctor Who to a reasonable standard if they can't capitalise on it. After COVID things are even more bleak because now the rules of the game have changed.

Doctor Who is partially funded by HBO and they're owned by AT&T who are 200 billion dollars in debt, they are looking to make a quick buck any way they can which means they're cancelling anything which in their eyes doesn't make enough money. I believe the phrase used was 'nothing is sacred' in regard to DC comics and that sentiment is shared with their other investments. It's been rumoured that they are looking to sell WB Interactive Entertainment for about 4 billion and this pressure from AT&T is likely what caused DC comics to split from diamond distribution because they can't wait to get their books back out there as if they can't prove that they're financially viable by they end of the year then they're toast.

In this talk of billions how do you think Doctor Who fits in? Because as it stands I don't see this deal sticking as from our side the show will probably miss deadlines mandated in the contract because they can't film due to social distancing and from their side it's not a worthwhile investment as a dwindling show is probably not much of a pull for their new streaming service, so even if we get 13 and 14 I can't imagine them renewing the contract. You also have to take into account that the only reason it's on HBO is because Netflix and Amazon didn't bid for it because they weren't interested.

Doctor Who could have been in a much stronger position if it had been handled with more care, it used to be one of the best written and most beloved programmes on TV but in a relatively short amount of time it's been reduced to a shadow of its former self.
Since when has hbo funded Doctor who

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