2MTL 195: Classical Argument

The term "Classic Doctor Who" came in for some criticism last week from Doctor Who personalities such as current and former editors of Doctor Who Magazine. Is it so wrong to draw a distinction between 1963-1989-plus-1996 and 2005-2011?

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  1. I find the designation of Classic to be helpful. It serves to make clear the difference in storytelling style between the 1963-89 era and the current era. In the Classic era, with a few exceptions(Umbrella seasons -16 and 23, and interlinking trilogies: E-Space, New Beginnings, and the Enlightenment trilogy) it was possible to opt out a story that you did not like and then return when the new story began. The weekly cliffhanger served as the impetus to tune in again. In the current series, it is necessary to watch every episode. The story telling reflects a Buffy the Vampire Slayer sensibility that has infected most televsion productions today. The impetus to tune in is based the little reveals that may appear in the show. While the new series has succesfully employed the Buffy formula, it is also a reflection of when the show is being produced and written.

  2. I was born in 1984, and having seen none of the classic series (excepting the tv movie) on original broadcast, came to doctor who through the repeats of the pertwee and baker eras on bbc 2 during the nineties. Being a bit of a retrophile I do have a tendency to draw distinct lines between the classic era and the 2005 onwards series in terms of production and storytelling, but I still see it as all one series. I love the fact that the tv show I look forward to most each year has such a long and rich history. However I agree that the branding issue runs the risk of establishing in new fans minds that it is two separate shows. This seems particularly damaging when it has become so clear in season 5 that the shows makers want it to be seen as one show. The concern I have is that this may dissuade newer fans from exploring the other 8 doctors. THAT is not acceptable.

  3. I like the term "Classic Doctor Who".

    We have:
    Classic Rock.
    Classic Cars
    Classic Literature

    Why not Classic who?

    Yes it differentiates the stories, as they should be. They're from two different eras.

    Just like I like Star Trek TOS. Which is different then Star Trek TNG. It continues the same story arc, but is it's own entity.

    Besides, the regular fan is going to continue using those terms. And as we're the ones: watching/listening/reading this stuff, then the terminology should match what we understand & relate to.


  4. I think we are seeing a change in the way people talk about the series which contrasts with the marketing of the program. Yes, there are fans that got into the series since 2005 and they probably find the older productions rather boring. However, with another reboot (Moffatt's era is clearly a change from RTD in the same way producers of the past have changed the tone of the show overall), it is pretty logical to start thinking of a more long-term marketing scheme. Personally, I'm not a fan of any idea of seperating the series. It is always Doctor Who. The marketing people just need a fresh way (series one, etc.) to make sure you get the new series. However, "The Ark" did very well in the U.K. in the dvd release charts. I think the discussion after 6 years back on the air is valid.

  5. Hi, my name is Sean and I'm a "Doctor Who fan" not a "Classic Who fan" nor am I "nuWho Fan."
    I guess you *could* say I'm an "Old Who fan" (I am 40, and have been watching the show since the 80s.)

    I have my favorite Doctor (Tom Baker, for the record.) I have a few tied for second (no, I won't list them.) I have a few favorite episodes (Shada, Blink, Time Crash to name a few.)

    My love for Doctor Who spans the gap between the original series and the new run.

    All that being said, I know that there are distinct differences between the two that draws its own line in the sand. It forms a great circle around the movie…(which to me is neither classic nor nu — it is its own installation.) I am not saying the movie doesn't belong in Who, just that it really stands out by itself. I did enjoy the movie, and watched it several times. Paul's presentation of the Doctor is in my top 5 at least.

    The lines draw themselves, based upon time and style. But I still love them all.

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