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The Sea of Stars

Water-stained pages, pebbles and traces of stardust


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Summary of how I feel about a possible new Doctor Who movie
DWPensive Eleven - mars-mellow
sea_thoughts
Okay. Deep breath. I'm going to try and be as objective as possible. *wrestles fangirl back into her straight jacket*

Let's BREAK IT DOWN!

"We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," he said. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena."

Uh huh. Okay. This seems fair, as it can be quite frustrating to have films that would have been great as tv episodes but are overstretched to meet the standard feature time. (Although you could just make a SHORT film.) I am a bit leery of the implication that DW doesn't translate well to the big screen in general but okay.

"Doctor Who" follows the adventures across space and time of a super-intelligent alien in human form, who battles a variety of cosmic bad guys aided by plucky human companions.

The Doctor doesn't go looking for a fight (unless you're talking about Ten in his Time Lord Victorious mode). He just won't run away from one. There's a difference.

"The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time," Yates said.

Yes! I agree! As long as you keep what made the character so beloved in the first place.

"Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch," he said.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Does this mean you're going to completely ignore what RTD and Moffat have done? I'm going to state the obvious and say that would be a BAD IDEA. Doctor Who has always been a show that's played fast and loose with its own continuity... but that is not the same as completely abandoning it. Unless Yates means something like Gallifrey Academy: First Class. I think I'm not alone in saying I would certainly be willing to give THAT idea some room (especially if you got Fassbender to play the Master and McAvoy to play the Doctor, haha), but I don't see the point of rebooting the TV series while it's STILL ON AIR and it's still doing the business when it comes to ratings/DVD sales/merchandise etc.

They already tried that with the DW movie back in the 90s. And the only good thing to come out of that movie was Paul McGann (and Sexy in her steampunk phase). There are so many things that could go wrong with this movie that I actually feel a bit sick contemplating the prospect.

"We want a British sensibility, but having said that, Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too," he explained.

Honestly, this is the part which really pissed me off. No, Yates, he did NOT capture it 'perfectly'. Making Ron say 'bloody' every other sentence and sticking 'mental' in there a couple of times does NOT mean he captured the British sensibility. You want proof? Harry Potter hugging people in the movies left, right and centre when Harry Potter in the books finds it hard to show any kind of spontaneous physical affection AT ALL! (It's not that he doesn't care about people; he just wasn't hugged after his parents died. AT THE AGE OF ONE. Excuse me while I have a little cry.)

I do like Yates as a director, but I'm worried about who's going to write the script. I think there are some good American writers out there. But they would have to understand and love the show. They would need to understand, in the words of Craig Ferguson, that this show is about the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism. Look at those last four words and then think of Hollywood. Do you think anyone in that town could understand that concept?

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First, what would be the point? Like you said, the show is still airing.

And I really dread Americanizations, or like you said, trying too hard to stay British, like Ron in the HP movies.

I don't know! I honestly don't know.

Funny: When it was suggested RTD might produce a Ten/Rose film more fans were on board with the idea.

I like Yates--and the project is three years in the making. I've read that Matt Smith, although enjoying his success talking about his stint drawing to a close, and Karen (don't know how true this was) wants Amy killed off when she leaves (not that Moffat will do that!). Alex Kingston said that she's keeping her home in the USA and has to communt to the UK to do Who. Three years from now, fans might not like the 12th Doctor, or the new head writer, as I'm certain that Moffat will want to move on to other things as well.

I watched the last HP movie last night and I didn't even mind the bit about making Snape a hero-- in fact I actually cried for Snape! Me--sympathizing with Snape.

From the POV of a Yank who watches a great deal of British movies and television: Bloody, (In a young character who swears) works a lot better in an almost a Family Film like Harry Potter, than "F" and "S" "C' every other line. Just watched "Sexy Beast". Bleep, Bleep, Bleep, Bleep, Bleep!

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Does this mean you're going to completely ignore what RTD and Moffat have done? I'm going to state the obvious and say that would be a BAD IDEA. Remember not every Classic Who fan was overjoyed when Russell Davies admitted to ignoring a great deal of Classic Who canon when he re-imagined the show--some still are complaining because the story arch was romantic/relationship driven instead of adventure driven. And Frankly, and I adore River, I'm not plunking down 10-15 dollars (I'm certain theater cost will rise in three years!) to watch 90 minutes of "are we or aren't -- will we or won't we" and then have the Doctor win the day with some deus ex machina. What's wrong with Yates deciding he is free to make up his own canon or start from Scratch? For all we know,-- and I truly suspect he does mean something like this- Starting from scratch may mean starting from the First Doctor and Susan fleeing Gallifrey and helping us to imagine those first years from the POV of Classic Who writers like Terry Nation and Douglas Adams.

The Doctor is an alien who has chosen to emulate the British way of life and this is a British television show. I don't see any problem with making the Universe--universal instead of caricatures of what the British think other culture or ethnic groups --which is exactly what we get with the televised Who. I'm still stunned, (as well as deeply moved and impressed) by the beautiful portrayal of the young Muslim woman, Rita, in the God Complex. I still cringe at Tallulah and Solomon's first lines. I'd rather when it comes to a production team and casting that we get something international as opposed to something purely American or British--unless they want to make it clear that the Film is taking an Arthur Dent view of the universe. They'll have to be very clever -- think of the Canadian Film with Paul McGann-- when it comes to camp. Sometimes that works on the big screen, sometimes it goes over the audiences head--which is sad, because if anything dumbing down the plot to me, may mean they take out the camp, fun and humor that made the classic Doctor Who a hit with American fans in the first place.

I think Yates can make the Who Universe less xenophobic and still keep it fresh in the audience mind that for all practical purposes the Doctor is in behavior and ethics as British as the Queen.

Funny: When it was suggested RTD might produce a Ten/Rose film more fans were on board with the idea.

*barf* Not me.

From the POV of a Yank who watches a great deal of British movies and television: Bloody, (In a young character who swears) works a lot better in an almost a Family Film like Harry Potter, than "F" and "S" "C' every other line. Just watched "Sexy Beast". Bleep, Bleep, Bleep, Bleep, Bleep!

Yes, but that's not what I meant. There are other British swearwords (ones used in the books) that could have been used instead. I wasn't advocating more swearing. I simply said that sticking British swear words and British slang in sentences doesn't necessarily make a character British.

caricatures of what the British think other culture or ethnic groups --which is exactly what we get with the televised Who

Ouch. There have been some really crude portrayals, yes, but not all of them. And frankly, I think that's a problem with children's television (and literature!) as a whole, rather than just Who. And making the programme 'more international' won't necessarily solve those problems, but I take your point. I don't think Who is deliberately xenophobic.

Trust me, I understand and empathize with your concern. Remember how wonky I got on the Quill when it was suggested that Dumbledore's death was a mercy killing, and Snape's one redeeming quality was his unrequited love for Lily? :0

And frankly, I think that's a problem with children's television (and literature!) as a whole, rather than just Who Hard to tell, as I am not Briton. In the USA, family programming can get preachy, or just dumb, but for the most part. I was watching Charlie Booker and he was talking about American television the good and bad, and some of the things he thought we took seriously, No one takes seriously, unless they haven't gotten through primary school or they're running for public office.

I know our culture are more different than people recognize because of the shared language. Class in the US is based in money, so the view of the Everyman is a great deal different from yours. I know there have been complaints for example of the portrayal of Rani's family becoming caricature than fair. I liked the portrayal of Clyde and his Mum, although it bordered on idyllic. But I like how SJA writers deal with things; except for characters of color usually ending up monsters or dead, or insecure, RTD did a somewhat better job on Torchwood than he did on Who.


Rani's family was a caricature? How so? O.o I liked Clyde and his mum as well.

Like I said, I'm not British, but I was in a discussion about race and science fiction and someone said Rani's family came off as going over the top in portrayal of Asian Britons.

I'm nervous about this too, though reserving judgement. On one hand, what is in that article is all kinds of button-pushing fodder which makes the fangirl in me freak out. On the other hand, while most of the HP movies were pretty awful, I prefer the Yates ones to the others and at least one of his I love despite it being written by an American. Of course I'm not British myself and so probably not as sensitised to things that just aren't British as you all might be. I hope that the bits that are pushing my buttons are being misread (and I do trust Yates more than I would some other people), but on the whole my response is 'no no no, don't want this' mixed with 'but I'll wait and see because it could be better than I expected' - it will just be a nervous wait :D

I do like Yates's movies the most out of the HP ones. OotP is my favourite, actually! As I said, it all depends on the writer for me.

OotP was my favourite until HBP came along, and now I'm just ridiculously in love with that movie.

But yeah, the writer will have an impact (though since HP had the same writer almost all the way through the director obviously has a huge influence on how much I like movies). Like I said, this makes me twitchy and nervous but I'm trying not to be too knee-jerky about it.

And, as others have pointed out elsewhere, the chances of this getting out of pre-production aren't massively high. Projects die all the time, so maybe it's all a whole bunch of stress for nothing - doesn't stop the current stress though, haha.

Haha, I refuse to be reasonable and measured about this because it's BS. It's obvious money-grubbing, which is unnecessary on so many levels.

I'm kind of hoping that the majority of fandom will be so galled by this should it become reality that it'll get shelved.

That being said, there are a few very select circumstances in which I would be okay with a DW movie.

1) Prequel about baby Doctor having adventures on Gallifrey - but I'm not entirely sure that would be marketable. Doctor Who's appeal is that it can be appreciated across various demographics, and if you make it about a kid, it prejudices many adults against seeing it on it's own merits and writing it off as 'a kid's movie.'

2) The oft-discussed Time War - though this would presumably require bringing back Paul McGann, which won't happen. Of course, they could just ignore Paul McGann SINCE THEY'RE GOING TO IGNORE ANYTHING THEY WANT ANYWAY but whatever. I know we know what happened for the most part, but I'll be honest, I just want to see the angst. xD

3) Another Time Lord/Time Lady gallivanting across the stars pre-Time War. Which then loses the appeal of it being the Doctor, so again, it won't happen.

Basically any scenario I can think of that would make this okay is probably not going to happen.

Also I would feel better about this if Yates would GTFO. Anyone even partially responsible for the line, "I love magic," should never be allowed to make movies again. DANIEL CONVEYED THAT WITH HIS FACE. BECAUSE HE WAS ACTING. YOU DIDN'T NEED HIM TO SAY IT. I even sat there thinking, "I swear to god, if you make him say something now...and there, you did it. Fuck my life."

But he said "I love magic" in Goblet of Fire, right? And that wasn't Yates, that was Mike Newell. Unless he said it AGAIN but I don't remember that happening! O.o Also, blame Kloves for WRITING it. Apart from all that, I HATED THAT LINE, TOO. SO CHEESY AND WRONG.

No, he said it in HBP when Dumbledore and him go to get Slughorn. And yeah, Kloves is a dillhole for writing it, but the directior let DanRad say it, and the editor and the director allowed it in the film. So I blame everyone.

Ah! Okay, but he definitely said it FIRST in Goblet of Fire when he walks into the Weasley tent. So not only did Kloves write a terrible line, but he used it TWICE. DX

Well, here's my entire problem with doing a reboot:

Brand Dilution.

There is absolutely no reason to reboot a series when it is still on the air, let alone THE MOST POPULAR IT HAS EVER BEEN. A reboot for Star Trek made sense! It was an old franchise that hadn't been on the air in about five or six years and the last two offerings were... lackluster to say the least. (I love me some Katie Janeway, but Voyager was... yeah. And Enterprise was one misstep after the next.)

But people love Doctor Who. PEOPLE IN THE US! That are relatively normal! (Rather than... well, you know the stereotype.) IT TOOK FORTY YEARS FOR THAT TO HAPPEN! FORTY! RTD paved the way and Moffat damn well put the show on the map. (Season 5 remains the most perfect television storytelling I have ever witnessed. Hit. Every. Note.)

If you are going to reboot/reimagine the series while the TV show is still on the air... Doctor Who isn't Batman. And even Batman only has one animated series on at a time. (Slight exception in 2005 - 2006 when they were wrapping up the DCAU.) And you get a new animated series with each new movie.

The idea being that a new or casual audience cannot hold multiple conflicting views of a character simultaneously. And... it's pretty true. Diehard fans? Not a problem. We devote ourselves to sorting out continuities. But my sister who just wants to be entertained for an hour? Not really.

So, you keep the series running and you have a non-canon movie with all different characters running at the same time and what you end up with is a split fanbase. You can't have that! You have millions of people watching a property but only a certain percentage will watch one version. You aren't maximizing your revenues. So then one of them has to go. And that'll be the one that's bringing in the least money. And if that ends up being the TV series, well, that might just kill the internet at this point.

I would love to see a movie. One that is an extension of the show. It's possible to do in canon stand-alone who adventures. The specials prove it. It doesn't need to be Matt Smith or Tennant. A movie would be a great way to introduce the next guy, for instance.

I recognize that you can't cater solely to your fanbase. That way leads to "Serenity" and "Scott Pilgrim." Both of which did great on DVD but that no one went to see in theaters. But if you divorce yourself from the fans too much, well, you'll lose a good chunk of potential audience at which point the movie better be FRICKIN' AWESOME, because otherwise, that's like telling people, "Yeah, no, I don't want your money," and with very few exceptions, every spare penny in Hollywood is appreciated.

Yeah, this is me. The nerd who looks at things with a business perspective.

Guess how many conversations I have had with my bosses recently where I tell them that things that they want me to do won't make money and they try to make me do them, anyway! Yay, economics!

*applauds you*

I totally agree. (Especially about Series 5. Still my favourite.)

I would love to see a movie. One that is an extension of the show. It's possible to do in canon stand-alone who adventures. The specials prove it. It doesn't need to be Matt Smith or Tennant. A movie would be a great way to introduce the next guy, for instance.

Absolutely!

I recognize that you can't cater solely to your fanbase. That way leads to "Serenity" and "Scott Pilgrim." Both of which did great on DVD but that no one went to see in theaters.

Well, I would have seen them if I could have found a cinema that was SHOWING them! Especially "Scott Pilgrim" and I hadn't even read the graphic novels. I fell in love purely on the strength of the film after getting it on DVD.

Yeah, I'm torn on the whole thing.

I see all the negatives you mention. There is SO MUCH potential for it to go wrong, because let's be honest. Much of the charm of Doctor Who is the fact that it is SO HUGE and yes you can have fun twee episodes of frolicking around with Shakespeare but hidden in the background is all this history. You can't just introduce all of that history in a couple hours. And you can't shove all the dynamic aspects of the Doctor into a couple hours, because what we love about him is sometimes he's funny and sometimes he's powerful and sometimes he's kind but you can't make him be everything at once. You can't have Blink and The Eleventh Hour and The Pandorica Opens all in one storyline.

On the other hand, Doctor Who is so gigantic, so long-running, and has evolved and regenerated in so many ways. It's already spawned movies, radio dramas, and comics that did not fit the canon of the show. I don't see how a movie could harm such a solid, dynamic series, especially because the audience for a Hollywood film would not be the audience of the series. The DW fanbase, as I understand it, is mostly made up of British families and international sci fi geeks. That is not the casual moviegoer.

But then, also. Bringing in American talent to try and capture the British sensibilities? Well obviously that was a fabulous success with Torchwood: Miracle Day. I mean, what a fantastically written piece of work that was. The first episode alone was so clumsy that there is no way a new fan would figure out what's supposed to be happening, yet it barely offered anything for existing fans. The entire thing was so bland and painful and awkward and full of continuity errors, it's like nobody was reading the script as they threw it together.

Also I'm a bit bitter right now because I played the new DW iPhone game last night and Amy refuses to push blocks around because it's "unladylike." Really? Amy Pond is less buff than the Doctor? Really game?

WHAT?

Who the hell wrote this game?

That is NOT Amy Pond.

I mean, I can totally get behind the idea of the game, where you have two characters you need to get across a Zelda-like puzzle map, and they have different abilities that you need to utilize. But all of Amy's abilities had to do with being small and light: crawling through tight places or walking over shaky platforms. While the Doctor's were like, pushing blocks and climbing over things. The Doctor cracked jokes about how he's buff from eating lots of pies, but that didn't save it.

Um, sorry, but Eleven is not "buff". Neither was Ten. Nine, yes. He definitely had an athletic frame. Ten and Eleven are more wiry.

And Amy is NOT 'small'! *headdesk*

Bringing in American talent to try and capture the British sensibilities? Well obviously that was a fabulous success with Torchwood: Miracle Day. I mean, what a fantastically written piece of work that was.

*LOL* Space vagina, that's all I'll say. SPACE. VAGINA.

It could be good, but there is so much potential for it to go wrong. D:

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