JN-T quits and comes back: Take 3.
This one ain't worth a review.
You actually want us to review this one?? See above paragraph. It will suffice. Bid 2 no-trump to force a response. (We hope you alerted that 2 diamonds bid...)
Hopefully, next time, he'll look through his computers.
Unfortunately, this is actually the best one of the season. Saying this leaves a horrible taste in our mouths (pass the mouthwash...).
Mel finds her new friends have some strange ideas about hospitality...
JN-T should have left when Peter Davison did. He lost creativity and good writers then, and it shows very profoundly. His attempt, along with Eric Saward, to make the show more adult in nature (the black comedies that proliferated in seasons 21 and 22) took away from the general appearance and feel of the show. As we mentioned, the stories rung extremely hollow.
The stories are far too uniform in style. Perhaps varying story length and style would help. One of the big problems is that the story is now sought to be done as the "Ninety minute movie." JN-T has only done one "six-parter" in eight years of production. Everything else is a "four-parter" or shorter. This, however, is not entirely his fault. It's been a trend since the Hinchcliffe era (one six parter per season). Some of the stories would probably improve vastly with either lengthening or shortening, such as Timelash, Revelation of the Daleks, The King's Demons, and Arc of Infinity.
JN-T never stuck with a winning team, as shown by the constant changes in production staff and writers. We did another article comparing JN-T to Barry Letts (the two longest producers of Doctor Who), listing all of the writers for each of them, and some directors. JN-T's list of writers is twice as long as Letts's, and there are about 3 times as many directors for JN-T as there are for BL. Why hasn't JN-T asked Graeme Harper to direct for him again? Fiona Cumming? Peter Grimwade?
Unfortunately, the series is now geared for Americans. This is best shown by the Beeb's pressure on JN-T to make the "Ninety minute movie." Much of this blame must be transferred to Michael Grade. When JN-T took over, he was directed to aim the series at American syndication. Granted, that most of the money comes from the US, it is still a British series. It would probably gain more popularity if the original idea for the show brought about by Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert was brought back. Doctor Who was intended to be a children's show which anyone could watch.
Another little problem is the obsession with a certain type of story every couple of years. Early in JN-T's era, it was the melodrama, that is, vulnerability and heightened tension of a gun at the Doctor's head. Then, it became the black comedy. Now, it is "light entertainment"" (quote from James Armstrong). Styles should be mixed with story length.
The most telling problem of the entire era: the freshest idea came from Robert Holmes. Do we really need to elaborate here? We think not.
Don't get us wrong. JN-T actually did some good for the show when he first took over. Probably his best improvement was bringing the sfx up to date. There are very few laughable fx during his production era, except in the rush in season 20. His sets are all quite good -- no more 2 sets and the quarry, although maybe he should make a visit back there some time.
Well, hey... you all sat through it! We've come to the end... if we had any capability of rolling end-credits, this would be the space in which we would do that...
(end credits moved to a more suitable location....)
First posted to rec.arts.drwho 2 Oct 88
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