purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (books)
The Jadepagoda mailing list had a long and agonised debate a few years back, before new Who came along and changed everything. The debate went something along the lines of "Who fans will buy any old tat with the logo on, therefore BBC books publish any old tat. If we, as Who fans, only bought the books by the authors we actually like then possibly the quality might improve and even if it didn't we wouldn't have wasted money on books we knew in advance that we wouldn't like." While I recognised the validity of this argument I couldn't quite bear the idea of not being able to say "I have every Doctor Who novel and novelisation on my bookshelf". However, I eventually, with much indecision, decided I didn't need every officially published Doctor Who Short Story on my bookshelves, especially since the "Short Trips" collections by which these were primarily published were generally rather dull and inispiring. So, with much pride, I heroically cancelled my subscription. But then I began to hear rumblings, also on Jadepagoda, that "Short Trips: Time Signature" was actually rather good. And, mostly, it is.

More including mild spoilers, though nothing I hadn't guessed after the end of the third story, under the cut )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (doctor who)
I was disappointed with Season 1 of New Dr Who. I thought the plots were frequently dull. I thought that all too often things happened to get characters from emotional point A to emotional point B without said events making much sense in the context of the wider plot or characters. I thought the comedy was frequently heavy-handed and the acting (even from the much revered Eccleston) often cheesy. I was disappointed by the lack of imagination on display at the world-building level.

For many years I had been pretty heavily invested in the original full-length Dr Who novels. The new series killed these absolutely stone dead. Some would say this was a mercy killing. Certainly their hey-day was long past. Perhaps as a result, I don't really compare new Who with classic Who and mourn its passing. I mourn the passing of the novels but new who could have been greater than the greatest thing ever and they would still have gone.

So, I got over my disappointment. I accepted that I would not be getting intricate and clever plots, fascinating new worlds or even particularly subtle character exploration and began to watch new who on its own terms. Every so often it serves up The Girl in the Fireplace or Blink which stand among my favourite Who episodes (such as City of Death, Pyramids of Mars, Caves of Androzani - highly regarded by all, and Vengeance on Varos and Delta and the Bannerman (less widely acclaimed - if not widely derided - but personal favourites none the less)). It probably helped, shallow creature that I am, that I find David Tennant very easy on the eye. Mind you, I find John Barrowman remarkably pleasant to look at and I'm not forgiving Torchwood its sins yet.

More, including spoilers, under the cut )

So Season 3 NuWho: mostly dull plots, boring world-building, heavy-handed characterisation but surprisingly thoughtful, with more interesting twists and more interesting characters than last year and a genuinely critical approach to the central character, proper pay-offs for its foreshadowing and a character arc that actually made sense. I'll still be watching season 4 and not just because I enjoy reading what people have to say about it afterwards.

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October 2017

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