The Eighth Doctor

totally normal behaviour! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I sometimes put it on at school on mute but the file I have downloaded has no subs. But not to worry because I know it by heart :sweat_smile:

3 Likes

The Divergent Universe arc was an odd one. While the premise was interesting (a universe without time), it seemed the stories were often hit and miss. Then the arc was cut short by the return of Doctor Who to TV and Big Finish not wanting to alienate the potential influx of new fans. What are your thoughts on the success or failure of the Divergent Universe?

1 Like

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a failure, but unfortunately I am one of the Divergent Universe dislikers. Mainly for me, I think it’s the combo of wobbly stories and the fact I’m not a huge Charley fan, so there’s not a whole lot there that compels me. I’d listen to it if I were doing a relisten, but there aren’t any episodes I’d choose to listen to as one offs

1 Like

I love it. I love when doctor who gets weird, and this is one of the weirdest things the franchise has ever done. Yeah, some of the stories aren’t great, but they’re totally eclipsed by the quality of the ones that are

4 Likes

Same here. I’d only really re-listen to it if I were doing a McGann re-listen or a Main Range re-listen. On that note, we should be hitting it in the Audio Club aproximately late-January into February 2025.

2 Likes

I think the concept of a universe without time is better than the realisation in the audios. I’m not sure it’s a concept that we, bound by time as we are, that we can really get our head around and I think the writer’s struggled with it because, by a story’s very nature, ‘time’ passes from the beginning to a middle and then the end. So I’m not sure what sort of stories they wanted to tell that were in any way different from normal Doctor Who fare. The ‘experimental’ stories like Scherzo and The Natural History of Fear don’t even really play with the concept, preferring to explore their own brand of weirdness.

5 Likes

Agreed. You can also see remnants of the arc in the post-The Next Life stories like Scaredy Cat, Time Works and Something Inside.

1 Like

I watched it last night with my 7yo on the Blu-ray for the first time, and then today at a screening with other folks and Daphne Ashbrook, so I just need to watch it again tomorrow. :grin:

3 Likes

When Doctor Who came back to TV in 2005, the Eighth Doctor left the Divergent Universe and the season/block release schedule for single adventures inter-mixed with the rest of the Main Range. Some of these were Divergent Universe ideas that just moved into our universe, others were more traditional stories with Daleks and Cybermen. What are your thoughts on this little era and the departures of C’rizz and Charley?

2 Likes

Minuet in Hell is such a fun time lol, I’m right there with you

3 Likes

After the rapidfire departures of C’rizz and Charley, we got four seasons and a boxset of the next Eighth Companion, Lucie Bleedin’ Miller. Gone were the remnants of the Classic Series, the four half-hour episodes and traditional cliffhangers. Here we had individual hour-long episodes with a feisty modern companion designed to mimic the recent success of the 2005 revival. What are your thoughts on Lucie Miller and how these differ from Charley and the Main Range offerings?

1 Like

As someone who just thinks the Classic format is much better for Doctor Who, I’m not a big fan. There are some good stories in there though. Lucie herself is fun, I guess, although not a standout. But like no present-day companion is going to be as interesting a character as someone from the past, the future, or an alien world; and the “one 45 minute episode per story” just can’t do the same amount of stuff with a character, so she’s definitely a step down from Charley and C’rizz in those regards. (Spoilers for series 4) I found Tamsin a little more interesting than Lucie and wish she’d gotten a proper run as a companion, I think she could have been iconic.

To end on a more positive note, my favorite stories from this era are: Human Resources, Grand Theft Cosmos, The Scapegoat, and The Book of Kells.

3 Likes

I can’t say how she differs from Charley because I haven’t listened to the Eighth Doctor Main Range stuff (getting there!) but I love Lucie Miller and after listening to a dozen Main Range stories I must say I still prefer a single 45-60min episode over several 25min episodes with cliffhangers!!

I know that cliffhangers are a kind of staple for Doctor Who but I find that they often result in a cheap trick where someone gets in trouble and then it is immediately resolved in the next episode.

Pair that with the interruption of the theme music and about 60 seconds of recap each time and I just find it an annoying waste of my time :laughing: sorry!

2 Likes

I mean that’s basically what the definition of a cliffhanger is, especially from the early days of Saturday morning cinema.

I think both formats work but they tell stories in slightly different ways.

4 Likes

I love Lucie Miller so intensely, she is literally everything to me <3 it is also very obvious that her era (if we can call it that :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:) is clearly trying to emulate the New Who style of pace and excitement, so I can see how people would prefer the more ‘classic’ style of the Charley episodes, and as with every era of Dr Who ever there are dud episodes with Lucie.

However there are also brilliant ones and she and Eight bounce off each other so well and I love her, so there :rofl: perhaps it helps that I listened to her series first, but honestly her era has no more duds than Charley’s (hello Divergent universe…)

But I will stop before I start being mean about Charley who is unfortunately not my favourite :person_shrugging:

3 Likes

The stories were explicitly written to follow the revival’s format. This was in part because they were written to be broadcast in the sci-fi slot on what was then called BBC 7, which was the digital radio drama station back in the day.

6 Likes

And listening to her on the radio is how I got into Big Finish at all! :grin:

6 Likes

That’s cool!!!

There was a certain type of fan online about 10-15 years ago (you know, when the show was at the height of it’s international popularity) who would bemoan the state of the show and claim that it was dying. Usually they would be older men, seemingly upset at the fact that a good portion of the new series’ audience was younger women. These “true fans” would post their ideas on how they would “fix” the show, that would usually amount to just “more classic monsters and less character development”. The Lucie Miller era feels like that. I get the same feeling listening to it that I do fron the Chibnall era. It’s clearly trying to emulate the RTD1 era without fully understanding why that version of the show actually works

There’s this attitude the series has where it feels like it thinks that “The Ark in Space”, for example, is a good story because it has the Wirrn in it, so if if they use the Wirrn, that’ll be a good story too. Naturally, since this is an audio medium, that just means you get people saying Wirrn or Krynoid or Morbius a lot in otherwise bland stories, expecting to be carried purely by nostalgia that I don’t have. Season 4 is different and good, until the finale where it’s just speedrunning “The Daleks’ Invasion of Earth”, with the Daleks explicitly just doing the same plan again, and the reveal that the only reason they brought Susan back was so she could point out that “It’s just like the last time”. Also they changed the theme tune to “just the 60’s one again”. It’s just upsettingly backwards-looking

Also as a trans woman I really don’t like a lot of the beats of the Auntie Pat arc (particularly the Doctor and Lucie’s reactions to it), or the Doctor’s comments to the villain in Orbis. I also find the way he treats Alex in Relative Dimensions to be bizzarely patrirchal

I get that this era is popular, but I’ve never understood why

4 Likes

I think it’s a shame to conflate the toxicity of ‘true fans’ (who are anything but and more often than not seem to have entirely missed the main message of Doctor Who) with the Lucie Miller era because there are a lot of great stories in there which are more than just ‘stick the Wirrn in and we’ll have a good story’.

I can’t comment on the Auntie Pat aspects which worry you but I do know that Death in Blackpool is a hugely affecting story. Human Resources is a great two parter and The Scapegoat is excellent too. Horror of Glam Rock is lovely as well.

I don’t disagree that some of them are a bit ‘here’s a classic monster’ and not a lot else but I think BF know that nostalgia sells to a lot of Doctor Who fans - even the one’s who aren’t nasty little trolls complaining the show’s gone woke.

I also don’t disagree that Season 4 goes a bit off the rails and I don’t think I was as affected by all the many, many deaths but I did quite enjoy the conceit of Lucie being the Monk’s companion for a bit. And Graeme Garden is excellent as the Monk.

I also think lots of us know The Ark in Space is good for a lot more than just the Wirrn. And I utterly disagree that Chibnall is trying to emulate RTD1. If anything Season 11 is trying to emulate the Hartnell era - but that’s a different discussion altogether.

6 Likes