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wshaffer
Night of the Doctor (Semi-spoilery) 
14th-Nov-2013 11:31 am
fan
So, say what you want about Steven Moffat, but there's no denying that he is an old-school Who fan, and when he wants to, he can lay on the old-school fanservice thick. In just under 7 minutes, we've got a glimpse of the Time War, an appearance by the Sisterhood of Karn, an unambiguous nod to the Big Finish audios, and a proper regeneration sequence for Eight. Not to mention another plausible excuse to completely ignore the 12 regeneration limit - if Eight was technically *dead* before taking the Sisterhood's elixir, who's to say that it didn't kick off a whole new regeneration cycle?

I am curious about whether this mini-Episode has any resonance with people who primarily identify as new series fans. (Not that it needs to - that's why it's a web episode. But I'm still curious.)

Comments 
14th-Nov-2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
Well... speaking as someone who's seen mostly NuWho, and is aching to get cracking on the old stuff, just pressed for time, it made me love Who more. I don't know who the Sisterhood is/are, but I can guess from the lines in this webisode, and I really liked Paul McGann's performance, so now I'm more eager than ever to catch up on his tenure as Eight. I also love that the show's canon is so mythic and yet feels so fresh, and it's an interesting twist to see the Doctor hated by someone whose life he could save. For me, watching Who in almost any incarnation, is like meeting a wonderful/funny/passionate/slightly crazy friend again and again, and this felt the same way. So, yeah! I liked it a lot. :)
14th-Nov-2013 10:35 pm (UTC)
Cool! I think there's sometimes a fine line between evoking the show's mythology and just retreading past canon, so it's nice that it fell on the right side of the line for you.

I really love Paul McGann as the Doctor (as my collection of LJ userpics probably makes clear). It was great to see him back.
14th-Nov-2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
It didn't have any resonance with me, but I'm not even a superfan of the new Who, just a watcher of it, so I'm not sure that data point is what you're looking for.
14th-Nov-2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
Actually, in some ways I'm even more curious about how the casual watchers respond to this kind of stuff - I suspect that superfans, regardless of when we started watching, tend to lap this stuff up because we're invested in the show's mythos. But the majority of the audience for Doctor Who consists of people who don't tune in every week, much less keep tabs on characters that last appeared on screen 17 years ago.

It's nice that we have the option of doing these webisodes and other extras now - in the past, producers who wanted to do something to please the hardcore fanbase often had to bore the casual viewers to do it.
15th-Nov-2013 01:52 am (UTC)
Likewise a casual watcher. For me, the resonance consisted of the general feel that there's a world beyond the frame -- which is something I like. But I think it would have had that feeling even if I hadn't seen any Doctor Who at all, so long as somebody had given me the five-sentence description of the premise (i.e. Tardis, regeneration, etc). The actual significance of the elements was mostly lost on me.

It did, however, make me want to watch Eight, because I may have liked this six minutes of him more than two seasons of Eleven. (It isn't that I hate Eleven -- just that I've never really attached to him. If this is representative, I could attach to Eight.)
15th-Nov-2013 02:23 am (UTC)
There is, alas, only a very limited amount of Eight available to *watch*: he appeared in an ill-fated attempt to revive Doctor Who as a British/American co-production in 1996. They did one made-for-TV movie as a backdoor pilot, and the ratings weren't good enough for them to go further. The movie is a bit of a mixed bag, storywise, but Paul McGann's performance as the Doctor is wonderful. I find McGann to be one of the better actors at playing across the entire emotional range of the Doctor, from the "childlike glee," to "slightly crazy benevolent uncle," to "aloof and ancient alien" to the "deep melancholy of someone who's doomed to outlive everyone he's close to" to occasional "deep anger". McGann can do pretty much all of those, and transition between them at a moment's notice. Matt Smith, much as I like him, does best at "childlike glee" and "slightly crazy benevolent uncle" - I don't find him as convincing at the rest.

There are, happily, scores of audio plays featuring Eight, many of which are excellent, but it's not a medium everyone takes to.
15th-Nov-2013 02:38 am (UTC)
That's a good summation of Eleven. My feeling on him is that he's too young for the role -- which was weird the first time I caught myself thinking that, because it was, among other things, a sign that I was not so young as I used to be . . . .

But yes, good range on McGann, as evidenced by how much of it he packs into six minutes here. I might be interested in borrowing an audio play or two and seeing what I think of them.
15th-Nov-2013 12:34 am (UTC)
That was some of the best fanservice I've ever seen.
18th-Nov-2013 06:53 am (UTC)
I really liked it. I'm mostly a new series fan, but I've watched a fair sample of the classic series and seen Eight's movie once. I literally started fangirl flailing when McGann showed up, and I think it was brilliant throughout.
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