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Author Topic: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]  (Read 310 times)

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Offline NachtmahrTopic starter

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Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« on: August 23, 2014, 06:39:05 PM »
So, I've literally just finished watching the newest episode of Doctor Who, and while everyone, including Capaldi himself, promised that the show would be going in a more mature direction following the very whimsical escapades of Matt Smith's highly youngster-friendly approach the universe and the overarching story.
To be completely honest: I didn't really take any of those claims seriously, and I didn't expect them to deliver on that part.


I was wrong!


Now that we've got that out of the way - I definitely think that the show is showing signs of going in a far more adult direction with direct and visual references to such things as sex, homosexual relationships and death it self. For once we're not being led around the subjects on tip-toes, but we're pretty much shown head-on that all of these things do exist in this universe. Vastra and Jenny have been part of the series for a while now of course, but in this episode they finally seem to stop implying that they've got a thing in a way that's meant to make us giggle and go 'Oh you two!' - No.. No it's pretty much getting as graphical as Jack Harkness likes to get in Torchwood.
Don't get me wrong, some of the implications in the past have been quite heavy at times, but this time around there are no implications, it's being said and shown in the most in-your-face ways. There are obvious flirting going on too, with quite racy sexual references that aren't as obscure as Matt Smith popping open his sonic screwdriver prematurely!

The end of the episode, as you will know if you watched it (Which I hope you have, and if not: Stop reading, for heavens sake!) even implies that the Doctor has become capable of murdering someone - Something that has been a very 'last resort' thing and even then was obscured with layers of implications and what not. The show has also taken a stance on religion it seems, with 'the Promised Land' being referred to as superstition and with the main antagonist of the episode being impaled on a cross in a way I find to be less than subtle.

So, what are your thoughts? Has the show matured, or do you think it's still the same - Or perhaps you didn't think Matt Smith was in any way a bit too whimsical and lighthearted?

Please - Keep the discussion as civil as possible, don't spoil anything beyond the first episode of season 8 if you happen to know anything, and be nice to each other!

Offline Lilias

Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2014, 08:38:59 PM »
I'm still digesting it - it seems they were bent on making the viewers as confused as the Doctor was! :P

On a side note, we may be getting more of the Lone Gunmen... sorry, wrong franchise... Madame Vastra, Flint and Strax: the rumours that they will be getting their own spin-off show are still persistent.

Offline NachtmahrTopic starter

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Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2014, 08:56:04 PM »
Consider Torchwood and it's relative success - I don't see why not! What I'd love is if they'd take it and put that very adult spin on it, rather than make it as childish and juvenile as one might fear.

Offline Aneveite

Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 03:04:39 PM »
I was pleasantly surprised by the episode. When I saw Moffat was the writer during the opening credits I couldn't help but groan in despair, especially with how awful I thought Matt Smith's last episode was. I don't know, I'll never like Moffat, I'm not exactly a fan of him as a person and I've found in the past his writing ranged from lackluster and kinda insulting to down right obnoxious. That said, I was quite pleased with this episode, it had the potential to go into the same tired cliches that it always does with the themes of sexuality and romance, but it didn't, or at least not too badly. Idk if the new season is going to keep it up... again if Moffat is writing I certainly have my own cynical doubts, but at least for the time being I rather like season 8.

That said, my one complaint when I saw the preview for the next episode was: 'Really. Again, really?' Bah >_< I think I just want to see new stuff and new twists.

Offline Mathim

Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 03:09:05 PM »
I always liked how DW was a happy medium between the too-kiddy-ish Sarah Jane Adventures and the tongue-wobbling-naughty-bits-action of Torchwood, but then Torchwood started to suck and Sarah Jane died...now they're kind of stuck with so few options all because they were too stupid to keep enough of a connection to the original four seasons' continuity to let the other shows thrive. I'd rather see the more mature stuff going on in another spin-off than watch Doctor Who take all the responsibility for evolving itself. But I already stopped watching it shortly after Clara became the new companion so I'm not that interested. If they'd kept the writing quality consistent I might be more interested in seeing how the show would be changing and maturing but they already lost me.

Offline NachtmahrTopic starter

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Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 03:22:37 PM »
I always liked how DW was a happy medium between the too-kiddy-ish Sarah Jane Adventures and the tongue-wobbling-naughty-bits-action of Torchwood, but then Torchwood started to suck and Sarah Jane died...now they're kind of stuck with so few options all because they were too stupid to keep enough of a connection to the original four seasons' continuity to let the other shows thrive. I'd rather see the more mature stuff going on in another spin-off than watch Doctor Who take all the responsibility for evolving itself. But I already stopped watching it shortly after Clara became the new companion so I'm not that interested. If they'd kept the writing quality consistent I might be more interested in seeing how the show would be changing and maturing but they already lost me.

Torchwood started to suck? In my opinion it only got better and better as the show went on, the last two seasons being in a while other ballpark than the first two and their 'CSI'-ripoff plots with aliens. It's a shame about Sarah Jane for sure - I have to admit that I never watched any of that particular spinoff though, and apparently BBC no longer has the creative rights to K9, which has been turned into the protagonist of some random DisneyHD-quality kids show. I don't think it's fair to say that the show itself has lost all relations with it's former self either, but it did have to evolve somehow, and while the first season of Matt Smith's doctor was quite a decent follow-up to Tennant's then it sort of just started bleeding out into mess later on. I liked Clara, up until this new episode in which she becomes the typical prejudiced emotional antagonist of the whole episode because: Oh god! He's like.. Not a teenagers fantasy anymore! That whole sub-plot was utter garbage. But I'm glad to see the show take on a more serious actor, who reminds a bit of Eccleston. To this day, I think the fact that he only stayed for one season is both the best and the worst thing to have happened to the show.

Offline Aneveite

Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 03:25:21 PM »
I loved Eccleston. Idk, of all the doctors, I think he has to be my favorite.

Offline Stella

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Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2014, 05:36:38 PM »
I'm a big Moffat fan and I'm very excited about the direction the show is going in. I don't love everything he does (coughImpossibleGirlcough) but in general, I really like his story arcs and writing. The show will never get too dark or grown-up given who their target audience is, but I'm very interested in where it's heading. Peter is exactly what we needed in a new Doctor!

As much as I love Doctor Who, I wouldn't watch a Paternoster Gang spin-off. I like them in small doses, and this episode featured them a little too heavily for me. (Finally, a kiss, and bugger the critics who didn't like it!)

Nachtmahr, I've got to disagree with the implication that there hasn't been a serious actor in the Doctor role since Chris Eccleston. Besides the fact that it's very early days in Peter's portrayal and we don't know much about his character yet, Matt Smith played a Doctor capable of being very serious and very dark. If anything, the playful image he projected only served to make him even scarier when it came to that.

Offline NachtmahrTopic starter

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Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2014, 06:02:57 PM »
Well, that's just the thing! The target audience that the show has right now is not the target audience the show had before! It started off as mostly an educational sci-fi family show, and then it became more about the action and the stories, and far less educational. Even at the start of the reboot, the show was quite clearly targeted at an audience ranging from young adults to the middle-aged demographic. The whole bright and sunny 'let's go skipping through some flowers!' tween-friendly attitude of the show with no dark context and no mission our hero couldn't manage to find a way out of.. That actually didn't come along until Matt Smith's second season.

Look back at episodes like.. 'The Doctor Dances', delving into his sexual identity and such. 'Don't blink' - That arch was in no way targeted at a younger audience.  In the later Matt Smith stories everything started becoming increasingly disjointed and it lacked the interconnected feeling that you had in his first season with the rifts and the Pandorica. And the whole Impossible Girl plot so far has been so full of Deus Ex Machina's to save the day that it's all effectively without any kind of impact on the overall story.

But before I go on for too long: The target audience for Doctor Who is adults, and therefore the show could easily go on to have some far darker and more grown themes. But keeping the tweens and what not in mind: You can still handle adult materiel in ways that doesn't require borderline homoerotic porn rolling by on your screen. Most shows today that boast of having 'Adult Material' are just using gratuitous sex, gore and violence and pretending that it's common for adults to kick around dead bodies to make room for sex all day while getting drunk and snorting heroine.

Let's be honest: Adult life isn't really like what we see in either 'Sex and the City' or 'CSI: Miami'.

Offline Stella

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Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2014, 06:47:33 PM »
Hmm, I still disagree. I agree that while there is a lot of content that's better appreciated by adults, the show is still targeting kids. Just look at the timeslot - it's on at the 'family' time of 7.30pm. If it was just targeting adults, it'd be on later, and they'd take those adult themes a lot further. Right now they're open to interpretation and going over the heads of little kids. 'Delving into the Doctor's sexual identity' in 'The Doctor Dances' was not the focus of the episode, it was hinted at, so I'd hardly say it was something 'delved' into. (Moffat's confirmation that 'dancing' was a euphemism for sex was not part of the episode itself.) The show will continue to have darker themes and adult issues, but I believe they'll be presented in a way that still makes them suitable for kids to watch.

If anything, the show is targeting a broad demographic, which is pretty impressive! Basically, I think it targets both children and adults, and will continue to straddle that line.

(Not to say it hasn't crossed it a few times! We've already seen some very dark themes, so that's nothing new: Peri's exit from the show as a companion of the Sixth Doctor was incredibly dark, Amy's kidnap, scary labour and stolen baby, etc etc.)

Offline NachtmahrTopic starter

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Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2014, 07:25:04 PM »
I still disagree too - I don't really think that the time at which the show airs is a proper argument as to where the content is going. Also, the air-time isn't a constant either, as it changes from region to region, country to country. Here where I live, you might be lucky enough to catch an episode an hour from now - That would be three in the morning.

I don't think they've ever tried to 'go over the heads of the little kids' because I genuinely don't believe that the show was ever intentionally targeted at said kids. I'm sorry, Hannah Montana is a kids show, this just isn't. You can't really compare Doctor Who and it's content reliably to any proper 'kids' shows that have been on in the last decade or so, from the relaunch of Doctor Who and up until now. The directors in the 60s even explicitly stated that it was meant to be an educational 'family' show. And there's really no arguing that 'family' means 'kids'. All kids shows are family shows - You aren't going to scare or confuse an adult with a squirrel telling badly synced one-liners, but not all family shows are kids shows, and not all families necessarily include tweens or lower.

The moment that a show repeatedly crosses the lines of themes and elements suitable for children to watch and comprehend, it's not really a kids show anymore, and that's yet another reason why I think your argument that the show is primarily targeted at children falls short. If it was, then every episode would be, not some of them, not even most. You don't get that one episode of Spongebob that's full of sex-jokes either. (Bad example, considering that Spongebob is full of adult material, bordering on what I'd dare call a kids show to begin with.)

I think the show has always been targeted mostly at adults, I think you can express adult themes without going overboard and having to spray the inner workings of other people all over the camera and wiggle your tits about. (I say 'your' here in reference to you avatar. As much as I'd love it if she did, it's not necessary. :P)
I don't see what you mean when you say that it would emphasize it more than it does - Just look at tonight's episode.

Also - Yes, if the writer says that what it means, then that is what it means. Your own interpretation sort of becomes invalid when the creator of something tells you what it's purpose is, whether it's a vacuum cleaner or a book. If Tolkien had told us that 'Sting' was actually a trolls penis, then that's what it would've been. Whether it was said in the episode itself, or outside, that's completely irrelevant - The author said it. :P

Offline Stella

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Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2014, 08:49:34 PM »
Yes, but the writer also stresses that it is a kid's show... click for link.

I'll bow out now, as I'm not a fan of debate. : ) Agree to disagree, here!

Offline Lilias

Re: Has Doctor Who 'Grown up' at last? [Spoilers for season 8]
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2014, 06:16:44 AM »
Also - Yes, if the writer says that what it means, then that is what it means. Your own interpretation sort of becomes invalid when the creator of something tells you what it's purpose is, whether it's a vacuum cleaner or a book. If Tolkien had told us that 'Sting' was actually a trolls penis, then that's what it would've been. Whether it was said in the episode itself, or outside, that's completely irrelevant - The author said it. :P

Actually, that's not true. The moment a work of art, any art, is released to the public, it ceases to belong to its creator. The people who come into contact with it will decide what it means to them, and that can be something that the author declared, or suggested, or never even thought of. LotR is still seen as an allegory, while Tolkien spent the rest of his life after its publication insisting that it wasn't.