i think one of my very fav behind the scenes DW stories is, back when nick briggs and gary russell & co were making doctor who audiovisuals they had fuck all money cause they were all students, so at first they just recorded in people’s living rooms
after the first couple of seasons they started recording in an actual studio and I and most of the people involved in the AVs figured they’d just like, got permission to use it for free or smth
BUT NO it turns out what happened is, they wanted to record in a studio, located a studio, and started using it on the regular and if anyone asked what they were doing they’d just confidently state that they had permission to be there and no-one ever questioned this
& i love this because, the doctor would be so proud of them
You hate the 50th too? Oh good. What did you hate about it???
whenever I bring it up, I mostly refer to the terrible “plot twist” / “retroactive retcon” at the end-
but if I had to be comprehensive……… *cracks knuckles*:
!!! Billie Piper is back…..WOW! AWESOME!
except, haha. JK she is not here to play Rose Tyler.Because fuck you, fans. Instead Billie will just stand around…… speaking in posh-english…… and wearing a very ragged, un-Rose like sulking face the whole time.
And since Rose isn’t actually back, you don’t actually get any nice “Oh, Rose is back” things… there’s no Eleven x Rose angst, no flirty Clara x Rose interaction, no Ten x Rose cuteness.NOTHING. Billie is literally just a Sexy Lamp Prop for the crappy plot to hang on.
Then of course there’s the disservice done to………..
Paul Mcgann, after being the serving Doctor for longer than anyone, but having no TV appearances, finally had the chance to come back Him coming back would have done Justice to all those years when he was The Face Of The Wilderness Years, and would have truly connected Classic and New Who for reals…………
(and his charm combined with DT’s
would have brought the world to its knees)
…instead they cast a new person who had 0 connection to the FIFTY YEARS LONG world of Who (just because he has more screen “prestige”/”pedigree” i guess!!), and the actual guy who deserved the spotlight is given a 5 minute webisode.
Let that sink in, instead of giving Eight the screentime he deserved, because Moffat couldn’t deal with giving due to a character somebody else created, he had to create an entirely new Doctor-
A new doctor that doesn’t make any sense! The “War Doctor” is characterized as a “gritty war hero” yet the only thing he does is graffiti some walls. Ooh, so scary. Also he was destined to die in this (1) episode which just makes his the more pointless.
This is because the Time War itself is mis-characterized! The Cool Thing about the Time War is that it was this unimaginable, horrific conflict between two factions whose war technology was literally out of any comprehensible human scale. The reach of its destruction was so great it literally shattered the structure of time and left things like the monsters from Fathers Day to stabilize it.
None of this Coolness is reflected in the special. The images a “Time War” conjures up should have been like in this Nick Briggs quote illustrated by Tealin:
However if you just watched the 50th you would walk away thinking the Time War was a tiny skirmish on the surface of 1 planet (Gallifrey), where The Daleks raided the OH SO Poor, Defenseless, bb!Gallifreyans with their bad deadly lazerz.
Then, because the Gallifreyans were mis-represented, that leads us to the biggest offender: the retcon of the time war/genocide of the Time Lords. Honestly I could go on for 2 hours on why this plot point sucked but I have already written a lot so Ill keep it short: it sucks.
Of all the aggravating things in the 50th it is what aggravates me the most. It retroactively manages to ruin my favorite era of Doctor Who (the RTD era) since it basically said “haha jk, the doctor never actually had to make a sacrifice, AND he was WRONG to think she could make it in the first place
(never mind that Nine and Ten DID live their lives with that choice. never mind that we as an audience accepted it because it was presented as a complex, juicy moral dilemma, that was the crux of all the thematic themes of those stories. )
but it is all FIXED and now everything you knew and loved was a LIE! long live the Big Friendly Reset Buttom!!! fuck moral dilemmas”
LMAO AND AFTER DOING ALL THIS SHIT Gallifrey could come back in the main series- they did nothing worthy with it. This “I must find Gallifrey” plot went nowhere, and it took it years
before it could have any kind of pay off in Heave/Hell Bent (where
Gallifrey was pretty much just a white noise for all the Clara/Twelve
Sorry, I guess I didn’t really keep it short did I uhhh…..The whole other Zygon subplot is just a stupid set up for the (even more horrible) Zygon episodes later in the main series!!
But back to Gallifrey,
The episode makes the final point that The Doctor had to go through all those adventures so he could “return” to Gallifrey. And the way it is framed is just….ugh. Gross. At the time the final scene pissed me off so much because it goes against one of the core values of The Doctor as a character.
Let me elaborate: The Doctor as an archetype is that of a rebel, a non-comformist. He is the bohemian, counter-culture to the academical-obsessed Time Lords. This is one of the traits that has The Doctor so appealing to people. This is the reason he ran away from Gallifrey
…but the way the episode frames it, it comes across as this big moment of “maturity”.
It frames his decision to run away from Gallifrey as something not unlike “teenage rebel-dry” and his decision to come back as a sign of “adulthood” (tangent: I was hyper-aware of these themes because they were also the problems with the then-recent Amy Pond arc). And this is the philosophical cross-way where Moffat and I clearly disagree, because IMO, if there is a “mature” reason for The Doctor to come back to his homeland, it would be to improve it. Because he was right in running away from there, because Time Lord society was stagnant, and “ degenerate, and rotten to the core”.
A N Y W A Y
The root of it all is that I HATED the concept behind it.
idea we couldn’t “just” have a fun, silly get-together, with as many guest-stars
from the past as possible, with old companions drinking tea and hanging around in the TARDIS
(- The Five Doctors . I wanted The Five Doctors)
No, we needed to be Serious and Big because according to Steven Fucking
Moffat: “It cant be about looking to the past, it is about looking forward”.
Yes, celebrating the past In ananniversary!!!! episode!!! was unthinkable.
Oh yeah, and Tom Baker does get a little cameo but honestly it is so pointless and cringe-y that I always forget about it tbqh.
I haven’t seen it again since it aired years ago (#BLESSED) but Im sure there were other, minor grievances about it in the other 80% of the episode. Subscribers get more at my 50th tag.
Behind the Scenes of The Runaway Bride (Part Four)
Excerpt from Benjamin Cook’s interview with David Tennant in DWM 378
BC: Now that you’re not only famous but also very rich, do you go mad with extravagance at Christmas?
DT: Yes, I do. I’ll be reclining on a bed of money, having champagne drip-fed to me by a harem of scantily-clad witches. I’d imagine that’s how I’ll spend Christmas.
BC: What are you hoping for from Santa?
DT: I’m not sure. Um - I know that lots of children are hoping for Cyberman heads this Christmas, so maybe one of those. On Boxing Day, thousands of kids will be running up and down the streets talking like Nicholas Briggs. He’ll be everywhere!
BC: Is that a good thing?
DT: Possibly not.
BC: I suppose we’d better mention The Runaway Bride…
DT: I’m still thinking about Nick Briggs.
BC: What do you make of the script?
DT: I love it. Actually, ‘romp’ is a good description of it. Or caper comedy. It’s got something of that about it, which is a good thing at Christmas. If it were a 1950s movie, it’d star Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.
Up next in confusing Doctor Who connections, the 7th Doctor audio Frozen Time is actually a sequel to the AudioVisual story Endurance, featuring the Wanderer Doctor as played by Nick Briggs. Lord Barset’s Antarctic expedition from Endurance is also referenced in the 3rd Doctor novel The Scales of Injustice and the Sarah Jane / K9 comic City of Devils.
“Nick comes to the read-through with his ring modulator. And he sets up a little speaker and he sits there, and he patiently waits for the first Dalek line to come around, knowing that when it does and when it first booms across that read-through room he’s going to get a shiver of delight from everyone in the room.” - David Tennant, Doctor Who Confidential “Friends and Foe”
Behind the Scenes of Evolution of the Daleks / Daleks In Manhattan (Part Five)
Excerpt from the DVD Commentary by David Tennant, Nick Briggs (voice of the Daleks), and Barney Curnow (Visual Effects On Set Supervisor)
[talking about the Tenth Doctor being hit by lightening] Nick: I love it when you get electrocuted
[Nick laughs as the Doctor starts to scream]
David: What are you laughing at? I’m in agony!
Nick: I love the way you go up a notch as well… and now it’s agony plus.
[now David laughs]
Nick: I thought, what’s he gonna do? It’s the shaky thing, isn’t it?
David: You can see my gold filling there.
Barney: You’ve got a gold filling?
David: Well, the Doctor does, obviously. Obviously I remove it in real life.
[later in the commentary] David: It was a great guest cast on this actually, I think particularly good. It became quite a tight ensemble, didn’t it? With a two-part story, of course, everyone is together for five weeks - it’s usually two-and-a-half weeks on a single story. It was a really nice bunch to hang out with. Andrew Garfield I think will become a large star in the near future.
Nick: Yeah, he’s excellent. His American accent was superb. Very specific as well, Tennessee.
David: Yeah. And he’s terrifyingly young, he’s terrifyingly young. In years to come we’ll go, “He was in an episode of Doctor Who? That’s amazing!”
Other parts of this photoset: [ one ] [ two ] [ three ] [ four ] Other behind-the-scenes photosets are available [ here ]