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Source: (consider it) Thread: Doctor Who: (again) Winter 2012
doubtingthomas
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# 14498

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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
doubtingthomas - well yes, there are times it is brilliant. But it always varies, and at its worst, it is still good, light drama. That was the point I was trying to make.

I was trying to say that at its worst (and even before that), it isn't. And that is when it fails to entertain.

[ 07. April 2013, 16:10: Message edited by: doubtingthomas ]

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Ariston
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Blah blah blah, standard issue Philip Pullman anti-religious "live your life and stories without feeding them to some unworthy god" view of religion—oh wait, this is Who, did we actually expect anything else? Compared to some of the stuff from the Tom Baker era, this is probably pretty tame (and it doesn't even have Richard Dawkins future wife co-starring!).

That said, I really wish they'd have come right out and called the thing in the sun an Elder God. Really, was I the only one picking up a whiff of Lovecraft on the nose of that episode?*

As for the whole "grandfather" thing: interesting that the title of the elder god should be the same as that Susan used for the Doctor. I know there's some debate among the hardcore fainbois as to whether Susan's really the Doctor's granddaughter, but that only stems from the novels (granted, one or two of the more significant worldbuilding ones). However, I think this is the first time in a long while we've had references to a granddaughter. Children and the Doctor's family, sure—"Fear Her" and "A Good Man Goes to War" both state/strongly imply that the Doctor had children, but grandchildren are a new one. What with the explicit mention of a granddaughter and the grandfather parallelism in this episode, might we be hearing more about the Doctor's family—or even seeing them?

Now there's a plot twist for ya!

*ETA: and late-90's computer game, but I doubt enough writers at the BBC have played Marathon to intentionally include a reference to the W'rkncacnter, the sleeping god of chaos that was imprisoned in the heart of a star and...well, it gets complicated from there.

[ 07. April 2013, 18:46: Message edited by: Ariston ]

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Bob Two-Owls
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It has just got too damn soap opera and not enough sci-fi. My cousin's two boys were with me yesterday and they both hate Dr Who, yet their sister loves it. There has to be something wrong with Dr Who when it appeals to nine year old girls more than eleven year old boys.

We (the boys) went into the other room and put The Robots of Death on the DVD. That was thoroughly enjoyed by all three of us, wobbly sets and dodgy costumes notwithstanding.

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Heavenly Anarchist
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My boys, aged 8 and 12, are obsessed with Doctor Who and made no complaints about the episode.
Re: Susan, isn't there supposed to be an anniversary document-drama about the making of the original Doctor Who? If so, they might want to sow some interest in his grand-daughter for those who have not seen the early episodes.

[ 07. April 2013, 19:21: Message edited by: Heavenly Anarchist ]

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Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Bob Two-Owls:
It has just got too damn soap opera and not enough sci-fi.

Yes. But the whole New Who since Ecclestone has been soap opera, ever since they decided to flesh it out with Characters Who Have Relationships. And there have been some real nadirs ever since.
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Ariston
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Okay, we've seen this time and time again—it seems everyone has different expectations on what they want from a Who episode/companion/story/series/reboot. Half our arguments, especially of the "how could you (not) like Amy/#11/"Spearhead from Space"/the old Daleks" seem to come from just this.

So, what does make a good episode, etc., and what are the current production team (not) doing right that would give you what you want?

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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[Overused] (kisses Ariston)

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Ariston
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Eeeeewwwww. Bunny slobber. Almost as bad as watching Tom Baker fellate the Creature from the Pit.

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Should I change to the Cthulu avatar?

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Ariston
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Okay, fine, so I asked it, I guess I have to answer it.

First, good writing. "Well whoop-de-frikkin' do, Aristonwhatsit, we all like bad writing" Yes, fine, but there's a certain standard of pacing (not too slow, don't do that whole "the first episode's plot doesn't really matter" thing they used to do in the old series, sufficiently develop all the plotlines you need to in both the episode and the overall story arc within the context of the action) world and character development (and why were we supposed to care about Nyssa again? Shouldn't we have liked Turlough and Kamelion long before Planet of Fire? Why exactly are we supposed to hide from the Daleks?), and using the appropriate character/obstacle for the plot—in short, everything should have a certain reason for being there, even the silly Strax jokes. Heck, if you can make something do two things at once (character/world development and plot advancement, changing the mood of the scene while establishing a character, setting up an arc while letting the action breathe for a moment), that's even better.

Episodes that do this well: "The Doctor's Wife" (hey, it's Neil Gaiman, we'd hope for good writing!), "The Angels Take Manhattan," "Genesis of the Daleks," and (a personal favorite, why not?) "Androids of Tara." In all of these, there's a fair bit of action, but it's used to stress characters, to bring out alternate dimensions and the limits of their personalities (Romana can be just as ingenious and quick on her feet as the Doctor, the Doctor's a great swordsman despite his usual pacifism, Sara Jane may be plucky, but even her courage has its limits) and, in many cases, to explain the world in which Who takes place. Sure, the Doctor may seem godlike, a Deus in his blue machina, but there are (and, from a storytelling point of view, should be) limits on what he can do. The Doctor and his friends get through problems by being more clever, creative, and just than their antagonists, rather than simply blowing things up or, worse still, having the writers make stuff up.

Second (but really part of the first), working, developed (and developing) characters. Seriously people, Nyssa? Who is she, what are her motivations, and why should we care? How about Tegan first time around, before she got picked up again? One's a princess who somehow knows how to work the TARDIS (so really, a half-assed substitute for Romana), the other's a mouthy flight attendant, and that's about it for far too long. Now, it can take a long time to discover or develop a character (they certainly took their time with Amy and River), but that's okay—and in the case of characters with something to hide (let's add Turlough to the mix), it might be a good idea, so long as you also develop their personalities.

Now, I'll admit it, I like long character arcs. The whole Amy/Rory development, from two-man lady/emotionally stunted kissogram and pushover nurse to Girl Who Got Tired of Waiting and Last Centurion was one I liked—especially since it was accomplished by bringing out elements of each character. Sure, true devotion can manifest itself by being a doormat, but also as violence and daring.

Also, I don't mind flirting. And yes, I know it pisses off half the people here. But really, what do you expect? A man with movie-star good looks (because what else are David Tennant and Matt Smith?) shows up on your doorstep, tells you that you're special for some inexplicable reason, and offers to take you anywhere and anytime you like, for free, no strings attached, no payment required, no time off work, and all in his amazing flying mansion. If you thought a weekend getaway to a mountain cottage was romantic, get a load of that! Oh, and did we mention he's immensely successful and accomplished, excitingly dangerous, beyond well-connected, can get you into any party you want, any job you want, and can get enough money for breakfast just by parallel parking?

If you wouldn't flirt with that, you're dead.

At this point, though, it gets a bit old when the flirting goes according to plan. This is why the Amy/Rory thing worked, but Rose and Martha didn't—we got to keep all that flirting, but with somebody besides the Doctor. Face it, the Doctor can't form a meaningful romantic relationship with a human. It's too imbalanced. If you don't have abilities at least equal to his, you're his inferior, not his partner—and, in the history of Who, there have been only two companions (River and Romana) who were his equals. Flirting from humans? It's fun to see the normally calm and competent Doctor flustered and clueless, but it kills the character development after a while. Give the human an outlet so we can get a decent arc going, or get the Doctor a better girlfriend.

Third—gimmie some workable scenery. I mean, I don't need whiz-bang effects all the time, but keep things believable, or at least from distracting from the story. Heck, the occasional great vista of an alien world or one of the castles #4 always seemed to be finding himself in would beat another sterile mining vehicle/rock quarry/I don't know, but it looks like last week's setting. I like visual cues to help remember the story, to add to the atmosphere—I've found that the new series does this particularly well when it's doing something closer to a horror film ("Blink," "Day of the Moon," and "The Doctor's Wife" had some very strong creepshow horror elements, as well as a few unique visual cues), but the greenhouse of "Seeds of Doom," Renaissance and medieval/Gothic trappings of "Masque of Mandragora," "Androids of Tara," and "State of Decay," general directing and atmosphere of "Warrior's Gate," and contrasting Ren Faire/Funny Costume Future of "Snakedance" all made those memorable. Oh, and then there's "Inferno," where they didn't even need to try anything fancier than an eyepatch and a few surplus Nazi uniforms to be far scarier than any horde of shiny-cloth cybermen could ever be.

To contrast, how about, oh, the floating wrench in "Pirate Planet," everything about "Horns of Nimon" if you're not watching it for camp, infamous pink snake in "Kinda," about all the humanoid monsters from the classic series, and all that really awful Lightwave/bluescreen stuff they did in the first couple seasons of NuHu? I can forgive any number of abandoned quarries (what do you think Skaro looks like? Something other than an abandoned wasteland, the leftovers of humanity's wanton greed?) if you just keep me from noticing where you either got too ambitious for your costume/CGI department or just didn't quite know what you were doing after all, did you?

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Should I change to the Cthulu avatar?

And, since I somehow forgot while writing all that: yes.

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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If you really want to damp down my desire to kiss you, you need to stop writing such brilliant shit. Every damn word a pearl.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Ariel
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# 58

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Some people take Doctor Who altogether too seriously. It's light entertainment. It's intended primarily for children. It's not great art, it's not aimed at people in their 40s and older so of course we're going to find it unsatisfactory.

However, I do look for internal consistency in any drama series, not something that appears to have been brainstormed and thrown together in a hurry. Children deserve better than that. They have (or should have) inquiring minds. New Who is too fast-paced and frantic at times. It doesn't have to be like that.

The relationship thing is a tangent that at times has dominated the series to the exclusion of all else. It's not what it's about. And I don't think Matt Smith has film-star good looks. (Or even good looks, and I suppose a few of us will disagree on that...)

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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Actually hat I find attractive about him is that he doesn't have movie-star looks-- he's a complete original-- but otherwise, I agree with that section of what Ariston said.

[ 08. April 2013, 05:49: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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Okay, this may be a Pond Difference (and also an effect of the series cancelation/reboot), but Americans really don't see it as a kid's show. At all. It wasn't until I started reading the (sadly, soon to be ended) Wife in Space that I realized that's how it was thought of by anybody. Here, it's a mild geek show—I'd say at least half my friends (generally in their twenties) watch new episodes when they come out and will get/make jokes about bow ties or not blinking. Heck, if you're a female with an English degree, having a crush on the Doctor/Smith/Tennant is as common as liking Jane Austin.*

Now, there are probably a few reasons for this: there's a growing mainstreaming of geek culture in America that means that playing video games/watching non-cult sci-fi (Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Who)/reading webcomics/knowing what 3d10 means are now socially acceptable things; classic Who having always been a foreign thing, therefore less mainstream, therefore more geeky, therefore more likely to be part of a certain adult culture, rather than kid culture; Who having existed for fifteen years as not-easily-availible radio dramas, novels, and pre-Internet (or early Internet) mailing lists that really only teenagers and adults would have even known where to find, much less get their hands on; and, perhaps most importantly, a history of mid- to high-budget mass appeal sci-fi character-driven light drama, especially Star Trek: The Next Generation. From an American perspective, Who is the closest thing to ST:TNG currently on the air, in that both are fairly mainstream (no real knowledge of hard sci-fi tropes is needed or assumed) programs with decent budgets, decent writing, and won't put you off your popcorn with excessive gore, sex, or language. Sure, there are kids who watch Who, just as I watched ST:TNG when I was a kid—but it was my parents who changed the channel from the local news to the Enterprise every week.

As for Matt Smith's looks or lack thereof, I have only the feverish swearing of undying love (along with other unprintable swearing) from my female acquaintances to go off of. Among a not-so-randomly selected sampling of American females, ages 18-to-32, either pursuing or having a degree in the liberal arts or sciences who have seen Who, Matt Smith might as well be a combination of Adonis and Cupid doused in hormones and wearing nothing but a very sexy bow tie.

*Over and above the usual Anglophilia, even. I swear, the fact that I studied in England gets me (very, very relatively) more women then the fact that it was at Oxford. Or that I blow glass. Or make a martini that could end wars. Or my Nobel Prize.

[ 08. April 2013, 06:08: Message edited by: Ariston ]

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

In other news:

1. Not a few women are jealous of the companion, whoever she is, unless she reminds them of themselves somehow.

2. Every man in the English speaking world is jealous of Smith. ("NO,I'M NOT! HE'S JUST FUCKING OVERRATED!")

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
2. Every man in the English speaking world is jealous of Smith. ("NO,I'M NOT! HE'S JUST FUCKING OVERRATED!")

No I'm not. Why do you think I use a pseudonym?

*adjusts bow tie*

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Oh come on. The discerning women of the Ship will accept no substitutes. (Meaning, get lost, Timelord, can't hold a candle.) [Big Grin]

I meant the sad fact is, whatever his charms, he's not a Shipmate.

[ 08. April 2013, 07:05: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Ariel
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# 58

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YMMV. There was a time when I'd have stayed in to watch Doctor Who. It says something that I even forgot that the latest episode was on, until it was nearly over. I'm just not that engaged by it these days. And frankly more than a bit fed up with the angsty messianic personality that the Doctor has become; someone who can solve any crisis with the sonic screwdriver, when he's not going through various emotional crises.

Things change and classic Who has had its day, it wasn't perfect but at least it was a bit more plausible. This new version is overblown.

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Heavenly Anarchist
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I don't think it is actually seen as a kids show over here, more a family show. And that means there is something for everyone in it. We always watch it together and my boys obsess about the next episode (we don't have a TV and they have to wait til the episode is downloaded from iPlayer - they nag constantly). To add to that, Doctor Who is actually the only programme we are all guaranteed to watch, I haven't watched any other TV for weeks. We also watch classic Who episodes together of a Sunday afternoon, though admittedly I spend a lot of this time laughing at the make up/costumes and stuffed toy monsters.
I agree with almost everything Ariston has said about Who, and find Matt Smith very attractive, his quirkiness just makes him more so.

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'I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.' Douglas Adams
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The Great Gumby

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# 10989

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I see we're back to the usual arguments over what Who is meant to be, and whether it's better than ever or worse than ever. That in itself is a fair indication that this was a Boring Episode.

That's not to say it didn't have its moments, and there were more homages than you could shake a lightsaber at, but there didn't seem to be any actual substance to the story. Quarter of an hour in, there was still no clear indication of any actual problem to solve, which is usually a warning sign, two-parters aside.

I've repeatedly said that I don't mind the Sonic Screwdriver as long as it's used sensibly, as a way of moving the plot along instead of a resolution, but there are limits. This was so screwdriver-heavy that it got ridiculous. I think there were about 5 minutes in the middle where Matt Smith did nothing but stand with his arm outstretched, looking strainy. Not impressed.

The reason, of course, was that the episode was written from the final scene backwards. That was the reason for the confused setup, and the repeated use of the screwdriver to move the story on fast enough for a Big Showdown. Reasons for that? First, as a clumsy way of showing that Clara's her own person, prepared to stand up to the Doctor, just like The Beast Below for Amy. Second, story development and hints.

The grandfather thing's been mentioned (although I thought we were meant to be giving up on the Doctor-as-God motif), and there's also the leaf. I wonder if the infinite possibilities mentioned might not be some sort of clue about Clara. There are a few small problems, like how she would end up in completely different times, but I offer it for consideration.

I hope some of this makes sense later on, or the episode would be almost completely pointless.

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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Bob Two-Owls
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# 9680

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I think the thing that really irks me about NewWho is that every problem has an emotional solution. In ClassicWho we got ambiguous political, scientific and military solutions to amoral situations that made it all feel more real and a lot more bleakly mechanistic. In some ways ClassicWho was more atheist while NewWho is decidedly religious in tone. I wonder if that is why it is more favourably received on the Ship than in the various Science and Maths topic forums that I frequent?
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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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I quite liked Akhaten, and I think that was mostly because it wasn't so damned frenetic. There were actually some pauses between sentences where I could process the sentence!

I also definitely liked the relating to a child character: in Clara's case because it fitted so well with her existing storyline, in the Doctor's case because we've already observed how good Matt Smith is with children.

Having said that, my gripes... the climactic song was easily the least atmospheric of the episode. After earlier numbers were somewhat ethereal and mysterious, we got a lovely little sing-along. [Disappointed] The alien audience might as well have got out their cigarette lighters.

Also, I found Clara's leaf bit not as effective as the Doctor's description of his long and tumultuous life. Yes, both were hokey but Matt Smith delivered his bit with gusto.

Earlier yesterday, I watched The Enemy of the World. Fairly good fun. With a first episode lifted straight from James Bond (heck, I found out it even used FOOTAGE from James Bond!), and one brilliantly wild twist in ep 4. Of course, only episode 3 actually still exists...

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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What the hey, even the worst Dr Who episodes are a million times better than 99% of the reality shite clogging up the telly schedules.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Oh, in terms of what makes a good episode... I had an interesting discussion last week about the need to use what you've set up previously with a character, and to challenge a character.

The bit of the conversation I remember most was my own observations about the episode Midnight... only they're not really my own observations, it's mostly stuff I read elsewhere that otherwise would probably only have stayed buried in my subconscious somewhere.

David Tennant's doctor usually waltzes into situations with an air of confidence and control and people just fall into line behind him.
Part of the reason that Midnight is so damn scary is that his usual strategy fails so utterly. That's good writing because it relies on what we already know about the character. The same plot wouldn't really work with Matt Smith's form of chaos.

I used to be a big X-Files fan, and some of the best episodes similarly managed to tap into existing character history. If Scully does something it ought to be characteristic of her, not of Mulder.

Heck, I'm quite a fan of The Good Wife and the main reason for that is that the show has succeeded in created a web of shared history that makes character's lives more complicated than a 'case-of-the-week' show would (and the first half of TGW's first season pretty well WAS 'case-of-the-week', before they figured out what they were doing).

To be honest, Doctor Who doesn't seem to be particularly successful at creating character depth of that kind. It's idea of depth often consists of name-checking monsters from decades ago. Even if it does that while changing the characteristics of the monster...

Decades. Who am I kidding. I'm still pissed off that Weeping Angels II didn't appear to really be the same as Weeping Angels I. All of a sudden they can move in front of each other so long as Amy can't see 'em...

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Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Adeodatus
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After decades of fan-geeks squeaking "It's not Who!" every time something new happens, a lot of people are finally coming to the conclusion that the show is virtually formatless. It's been around for so long, there's not a lot that hasn't already happened. Flirting? - has anyone watched a Jo Grant episode recently? Sex? - did nobody notice Barbara being implicitly threatened with rape in The Keys of Marinus? Comedy? - The Romans, The Myth Makers ... Downright silliness? - well how about that episode of The Green Death where the Doctor disguises himself as a cleaning lady, complete with dodgy Welsh accent? Plots stolen from other sources? - pick virtually any story that Robert Holmes contributed to.

The only thing the old version never really did - and which NuWho does better - is to acknowledge that companions have a life. The classic-series Doctor Who companion is the archetypal alien abduction, vanishing from their old life and quite possibly never coming back. How absurd was it that Ian and Barbara just stepped back into 1960s London a couple of years after they'd have been logged as "missing persons"? Did Sarah Jane never miss a writing deadline when she went off on those trips in the TARDIS? How was it she never had a Significant Other in her life? (Something that was only explained in School Reunion thirty years later: she was in love with the Doctor all along - "You were my life.")

I love that in the new show, Rose had a mum and a boyfriend; that Martha had bickering separated parents; that Donna had a fantastic granddad. I love that Amy and Rory got to be the couple that Barbara and Ian should have been.

The only thing I don't like - that I really don't like, actually - from the past couple of years is Moffat's constant recurring theme that family love is the answer to everything. It's repetetive, it's mawkish, and it's just not true anyway. He needs to get over himself and blow up some more aliens.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
After decades of fan-geeks squeaking "It's not Who!" every time something new happens, a lot of people are finally coming to the conclusion that the show is virtually formatless.

In fact it's arguable that this is precisely the show's genius.

quote:
Sex? - did nobody notice Barbara being implicitly threatened with rape in The Keys of Marinus?
There's not really anything implicit about it! And then in Time Meddler they went even further with another female character quite clearly being raped. How they got away with some of the stuff in the first couple of years of this 'children's show' is beyond me. Maybe kids just weren't shielded from these topics in the 60s. But going back to watch the Hartnell years was certainly an eye opener.

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Heavenly Anarchist
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Downright silliness? - well how about that episode of The Green Death where the Doctor disguises himself as a cleaning lady, complete with dodgy Welsh accent?

We watched that a few weeks ago, the hippy scientists are also classic and they seemed to have invented Quorn!

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Hedgehog

Ship's Shortstop
# 14125

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Flirting? - has anyone watched a Jo Grant episode recently? Sex? - did nobody notice Barbara being implicitly threatened with rape in The Keys of Marinus? Comedy? - The Romans, The Myth Makers ... Downright silliness? - well how about that episode of The Green Death where the Doctor disguises himself as a cleaning lady, complete with dodgy Welsh accent? Plots stolen from other sources? - pick virtually any story that Robert Holmes contributed to.

On the flirting count, I always thought that Sarah Jane flirted with the 4th a lot. Even at the end of The Hand of Fear, when she is annoyed by his inattention and threatens "to pack my goodies and go home" she clearly is just playing at a childish tantrum to get the Doctor to talk her into staying--pure flirt. And her feelings are made clearer a moment later when the Doctor explains that, in fact, she has to leave--she looks worried and asks if he is about to regenerate again.

The difference with the new series is that we actually see the Doctor responding on screen. Classic Who, it was open to speculation. And, honestly, maybe that was better--to leave it to our imagination rather than to be (ahem) explicit and remove all doubt.

quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
The only thing I don't like - that I really don't like, actually - from the past couple of years is Moffat's constant recurring theme that family love is the answer to everything. It's repetetive, it's mawkish, and it's just not true anyway.

I'd just stop with "repetetive." An occasional story once every five or six years where family love wins out would be refreshing and moving. Having it happen ever week is awful.

I feel much the same way about the sonic screwdriver. I understand that the current series needs to use it as a shortcut. The old series was, roughly speaking, about twice as long per story. It could afford to have the Doctor take time to figure a way out of being locked up--but in the short time allowed for the current series, they need to get past that quickly so, screwdriver to the rescue. It is a minor plot hurdle to get over to have the major confrontation. That being said, when the screwdriver becomes the solution over and over again, week after week, it gets boring. Repetition, again.

However, this is the 50th anniversary season. I suspect that it will loop round to the Doctor's family. Don't be surprised that family love--the Doctor's family--features in the finale.

Hmmmm. So far we have had "Bells" and "Rings"--and music wherever she goes. Anybody anticipating a trip to Banbury Cross?

(Edited to fix code)

[ 08. April 2013, 19:50: Message edited by: Firenze ]

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Posts: 2740 | From: Delaware, USA | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Matt Black

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# 2210

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Downright silliness? - well how about that episode of The Green Death where the Doctor disguises himself as a cleaning lady, complete with dodgy Welsh accent?

Or sings very badly to Aggedor (spelling?).

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Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Heavenly Anarchist:
I don't think it is actually seen as a kids show over here, more a family show. And that means there is something for everyone in it.

But a family show is aimed primarily at children.

Not that this is entirely suitable for family viewing these days. "The Empty Child" scared half the nation senseless, and there have been a few other episodes since that have been distinctly creepy (The Silence, hanging upside down like bats, chittering, for one) but suitable for kids? Also, it seems to be getting sexed up and the storylines are becoming increasingly over-complicated.

And I see I'm not alone in thinking that.

Ah well, my opinion won't change anything, but at least I've said what I think.

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Heavenly Anarchist
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by Heavenly Anarchist:
I don't think it is actually seen as a kids show over here, more a family show. And that means there is something for everyone in it.

But a family show is aimed primarily at children.

Not that this is entirely suitable for family viewing these days. "The Empty Child" scared half the nation senseless, and there have been a few other episodes since that have been distinctly creepy (The Silence, hanging upside down like bats, chittering, for one) but suitable for kids? Also, it seems to be getting sexed up and the storylines are becoming increasingly over-complicated.

And I see I'm not alone in thinking that.

Ah well, my opinion won't change anything, but at least I've said what I think.

I consider the Bake Off as a family programme but I doubt kids are their target audience (though my youngest loves it). We would watch Doctor Who even if we didn't have kids and others have mentioned their interpretation of it as a geeks' programme. I think the audience s wide ranging.
I wouldn't criticise it for being scary, it is supposed to be, I spent my childhood hiding behind the sofa when watching both Doctor Who and Star Trek (and numerous others). As for sex, well, others have pointed out the sexual connotations of 1960s Who and I was brought up on a diet of decidedly risqué 1970s comedy which was considered suitable for family viewing and is far more sexualised than anything in Doctor Who.

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Posts: 2831 | From: Trumpington | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by Heavenly Anarchist:
I don't think it is actually seen as a kids show over here, more a family show. And that means there is something for everyone in it.

But a family show is aimed primarily at children.
Children know more than we realise.

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balaam

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# 4543

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
The only thing I don't like - that I really don't like, actually - from the past couple of years is Moffat's constant recurring theme that family love is the answer to everything. It's repetetive, it's mawkish, and it's just not true anyway. He needs to get over himself and blow up some more aliens.

So what?

It doesn't have to be true in real life, this is fantasy.

What does reality have to do with a show that has Daleks.

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Posts: 9049 | From: Hen Ogledd | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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I'm just watching The Web of Fear. And there's a bit of Episode 5 that managed to remind me a great deal of the recent Bells of St John. Which is a good thing: someone was actually paying vague attention to what their resurrected Classic-Who villain was like.

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Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Matt Black

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# 2210

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Which bit exactly?

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Posts: 14304 | From: Hampshire, UK | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
Which bit exactly?

When the professor is possessed by the Great Intelligence. And wants the Doctor's mind.

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The Great Gumby

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# 10989

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A question for the Hive Mind: K-Glet The First is reaching the sort of age when Doctor Who is likely to have a huge appeal for him, but he's also rather sensitive and liable to be freaked out by the strangest things. How do I best go about indoctrinat- er, introducing him to our mutual interest?

I think to begin with, we may need to watch together once I've assessed the scariness of the episode, but where to start? The obvious place is with Eccleston, as NuWho is pretty much self-contained with prior knowledge useful but not essential, but then I wondered if it might be better to start with some classic old stories for the sake of accessibility and awareness of the history.

What say you?

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Trudy Scrumptious

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# 5647

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We started our kids with Eccleston. I wouldn't have started them with classic episodes because I find most kids today get very impatient with the poor production values and cheap special effects of old sci-fi. Our kids will sometimes now appreciate the campy glory of old Doctor Who or TOS Star Trek but more to laugh at the cheesiness than really appreciate the story.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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Eccleston is clearly designed as a starting point for people who know vaguely what Doctor Who is but haven't actually seen it before.

The Unearthly Child/Daleks series of episodes has the basic problem that the Doctor isn't the hero. He's only barely not the villain. The other episode that's a genuine starting point is Spearhead from Space, and that introduces perhaps the most atypical period of the series.

Once they're started on the new series and interested in the classic series, I'd show them a selection of favourite episodes. Or use Wife in Space as a guide to good episodes to show.

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beatmenace
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# 16955

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quote:
I'm just watching The Web of Fear.
Isn't 'The Web of Fear' a lost story?

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by beatmenace:
quote:
I'm just watching The Web of Fear.
Isn't 'The Web of Fear' a lost story?
Oh fine. I'm watching one episode of the Web Fear followed by 5 episodes lovingly recreated by the folks at Loose Cannon from the surviving audio, fragmentary film clips that exist thanks to New Zealand censors getting jittery (especially in episode 4) and lots of still photographs, plus composites and a spot of animation.

The survival of every episode in audio really is an extraordinary gift, though. Mostly due to a boy in his early teens.

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angelica37
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# 8478

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I hope that tomorrows episode was better than last weeks, that was the first time for ages that I've got to the end of an episode and thought it was disappointing and a bit lame. Not sure why it didn't work, because the monsters were quite good I think there was too much talking (and singing) and not enough of an actual story.
Also what was the monster in the glass box for? If there was an explanation for it I missed it

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Adeodatus
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# 4992

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quote:
Originally posted by angelica37:
I hope that tomorrows episode was better than last weeks, that was the first time for ages that I've got to the end of an episode and thought it was disappointing and a bit lame. Not sure why it didn't work, because the monsters were quite good I think there was too much talking (and singing) and not enough of an actual story.
Also what was the monster in the glass box for? If there was an explanation for it I missed it

One of the things people seem to be complaining about most in last week's episode is that nothing got explained. I think that's true, and a valid criticism. Call me shallow, but it was enough for me that it had some great words*, lovely images and nice music (though Murray Gold wasn't quite at his best: this wasn't as good as the Ood's Song of Freedom). I didn't mind if the plot didn't quite meet up at all its edges. Mind you, I'm not convinced it didn't, I might just have to watch more carefully. I think it might have been all about the Leaf.


* (Re: great words - Matt Smith. Big speech near the end. Single tear running down cheek. What does a person become when they go straight through awesome and out the other side?)

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Posts: 9779 | From: Manchester | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
M.
Ship's Spare Part
# 3291

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The thing that I complain about mostly re last week's episode is simply that I was bored by it.

M.

Posts: 2303 | From: Lurking in Surrey | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hedgehog

Ship's Shortstop
# 14125

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quote:
Originally posted by angelica37:
Also what was the monster in the glass box for? If there was an explanation for it I missed it

The monster was a Red Herring. The explanation given in the story was that it was Grandfather's alarm clock. In other words, at first we (and the Doctor) thought that the monster-in-a-box was the big bad Grandfather and the Doctor confidently promised that he would take care of it. But when the monster broke out of the cage, the Doctor realized that it was that act that awakens Grandfather, who is Much Much Bigger. Enormous. Almost as huge as the plot holes in the story.

I just got a chance to see it again last night. While watching I realized that, although I had watched it on Saturday, I couldn't remember exactly how it ended. And, frankly, the end is a little ambiguous. The threat is averted but it is Not At All Clear whether the monster has been killed or simply put back to sleep waiting to be fed more young girls in the future.

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
I just got a chance to see it again last night. While watching I realized that, although I had watched it on Saturday, I couldn't remember exactly how it ended. And, frankly, the end is a little ambiguous. The threat is averted but it is Not At All Clear whether the monster has been killed or simply put back to sleep waiting to be fed more young girls in the future.

Given that the monster is the sun around which all these planets are revolving, it's not even clear which would be worse. But talking about individual things that didn't make sense is like pointing out a dog turd in a sewer.

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Posts: 5382 | From: Home for shot clergy spouses | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Adeodatus
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# 4992

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quote:
Originally posted by The Great Gumby:
But talking about individual things that didn't make sense is like pointing out a dog turd in a sewer.

I'm beginning to sense you didn't like it. Yes, there are websites where it's being unfavourably compared to Season Two's Fear Her, which was Russell Davies's "who the hell thought this was a good idea?" moment.

I thought it was pleasantly whimsical.

I'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow, Mark Gatiss won't do to the you-know-whats what he did to the Daleks a couple of years back. I didn't like last year's story* by him, either, at first viewing, but it's improved with re-watching.


*(What was it called again? Honestly, memory like ... one of those things with holes in it ...)

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Posts: 9779 | From: Manchester | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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See, I didn't especially mind Fear Her either. Well, I suppose the last part of it is a bit of a cringe.

I think there's always going to be a spectrum of people who like different styles of stories.

And in the same vein... oh, that's right, the next one is Gattiss.

*Lowers expectations immediately*

[ 13. April 2013, 05:07: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Adeodatus
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# 4992

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I read that tonight's episode is set in 1983. I wonder if a certain British Prime Minister will be mentioned? [Devil]

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