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08 January 2009 @ 07:14 pm
A 'Doctor Who' question to ponder  
jedi_of_urth posted asking for questions about any fandom, and I came up with this one for New Who. I liked it so much that I wanted to put it here to get more responses. So ...
If you could pair one plot of any episode with a different writer from the show, what/who would it be? Anbd why? And how would it be different?
Roxie H.avoria on January 9th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
Er... I'm not sure I completely understand the question *is dim*. Are you asking what a plot would be like with a different writer behind it?
Arabian: I ♥ RTDarabian on January 9th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
Yup. Like (for example jedi_of_urth said GitF written by Rusty, and then explained why and how she thought it would be better.
Roxie H.avoria on January 9th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC)

Hmm, well, following that trait I'd want Forest of the Dead/Silence in the Library written by RTD. River would not have been cast as an actress who annoys me (though, that's hardly her fault XD) and... er... Oh, I don't know, I'm too tired to think.

Basically the ideas behind River's character would be original, not stolen. And there would be no secret hinthints of him being his wife -_-. And she wouldn't make creepy comments about "spoilers" with handcuffs. Ew!
Marina: coffee heartjavabreeze on January 9th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
Well, of course, I'm going to go ahead and say I would really really loved to see how Rusty would have handled Girl in the Fireplace. From a non-shipper pov, I really enjoyed the episode if you ignore everything that comes before it. lol
Salienne de Lioncourtsalienne on January 9th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. I would have loved for RTD to have written it, because while the plotting would probably have been looser, the supporting cast would have been stronger and maybemaybemaybe River Song would have been handled better. Donna definitely would have been. The implications of locking River Song in that world would have been looked into more, and I'm thinking there would have been less sexism.
Larissa: kitty *begs*larissa_j on January 9th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)
bastetseyebastetseye on January 9th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
Gonna have to go with the popular opinion it seems, and say any Stephen Moffet episode written by RTD. All the other episodes I can't really imagine them being different, I'm happy with them the way they were..now Torchwood on the other hand, but that's a different answer to a different question.
bubbles234bubbles234 on January 9th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
I'd quite like to see GitF written by Rusty. I think characterisation would have been less of an epic fail, for a start. Emotional continuity would also have happened... he wouldn't have had Rose being so happy to have Mickey there because he would KNOW about the end of School Reunion...

And from a shipper PoV, I don't think the Reinette thing would have played out that way. Because RTD is as big a fangirlboy as anyone xD
Principiaprincipia on January 9th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
I'm going to stretch your question here slightly, and say any one story block.

SitL/FotD, by Paul Cornell. First off, River Song would've probably turned out to be Romana. Second of all, even if it weren't, he could've made RS someone who would've been brave, funny, awesome, sexy, who we would all be glad to know was on the horizon for Ten given that he would have to inevitably parted from Rose. And he wouldn't have killed her off.
Larissa: kitty DO NOT WANTlarissa_j on January 9th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
As others have said, GitF by RTD because he manages to do Ten fanboying historical figures without it being disrespectful to the current companions and he makes it fun. He also manages to give historical figures personality without destroying them like Moffat did with Reinette.

Still bitter about that.

With SiL/FotD, I'm going to say anyone but Moffat because I'm at the point where I think almost anyone could have done a better job fleshing out River and making her likable. I also believe almost any other writer could have done it with less sexism, could have managed to keep Donna around, could have made me want to see River again and wouldn't have shoved River in a computer in a white dress with babiez and made her like it.

Still bitter about that too!
Shaela Scanlonmls03j on January 9th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
If I could only pick one, I’d give “Tooth and Claw” to Mark Gatiss. Rose’s characterization in “The Unquiet Dead” is my favorite of any episode in the series, outside of “Father’s Day,” “The Parting of the Ways,” and “Turn Left.” If he’d written “Tooth and Claw,” I might actually be able to rewatch it.

If I could pick two, I’d give “Rise of the Cybermen” and “Age of Steel” to Paul Cornell. If he’d written them, I think the transition from “School Reunion” and “The Girl in the Fireplace” to “The Idiot’s Lantern” would make more sense to me. (There would’ve been fallout from “The Girl in the Fireplace,” for one thing.)
Arabian: Dr Who (9) - WTFarabian on January 9th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
Ooh, another TUD fan! I ADORE that episode sooooo much.

As for RotC/AoS, I disagree with your problems with the transition, because I honestly think that whoever was stuck with that after GitF was screwed because it made absolutely NO SENSE in general for the D/R relationship, but especially coming after SR. If you skip GitF, the relationship/characterization flows much, much smoother. Yes, it's still not as smooth as it could be, but I can see RTD looking at GitF and being all "DAMNIT! I can't do more Doctor/Rose angst about the discussion in SR because GitF basically negated so much of what happened there." The Doctor swears he'll never leave her, "not you." And yet, he does in GitF -- the very next episode. The Doctor all but says ILY to Rose in SR, and then falls for another woman, practically ignoring Rose in the very next episode. The Doctor is pained about loving a human because they wither and decay, and then easily and quickly falls for a human without a second thought -- who isn't Rose -- in the very next episode.

So basically, Moffat screwed up continuity, consistency for ANYONE following his episode and basically made it impossible to deal with the emotional complications of SR without dealing wtih the WTF!?!?!? head-scratchers of the complete lack of emotion and character continuity and consistency of GitF.

I REALLY hate GitF for this reason. It SO mucked up the emotional power of the episode before it and hurt the emotional depth of the following episode.
Flying Mint Bunnyharo on January 9th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
IA. Honestly it's better for the writers to just forget the darn thing (GitF) then to let it affect characterization for the rest of the season. It's not in character in the first place, the other writers shouldn't have to alter their characterization to accommodate that. SR flows into RoTC fairly well, GitF is the sore thumb.
Shaela Scanlonmls03j on January 9th, 2009 05:47 am (UTC)
Ooh, another TUD fan!

Oh, yeah. I love the whole first season more than is strictly decent, but that episode is definitely one of the highlights.

As for RotC/AoS, I disagree with your problems with the transition.

*laughs* Well, it’s no secret that I see season two differently than most Doctor/Rose shippers. rosa_acicularis has already said almost everything I want to say better than I can, so I’m going to point you to her entries about “The Girl in the Fireplace” and the “hugely frustrating gap between ‘The Age of Steel’ and ‘The Idiot's Lantern.’”

What it boils down to, for me, is that “School Reunion” raised a lot of questions (including the unspoken question, “What happened to Jack?”), but I don’t think it answered them. In the next to last scene, Rose asked Sarah Jane, “What do I do? Do I stay with him?” And she didn’t look all that reassured by Sarah Jane’s answer. But I know that I’m in the minority on that one.
Arabian: I ♥ RTDarabian on January 9th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC)
I agree that questions were raised that weren't answered in S2 (I do think the core of them was resolved and dealt with throughout s3 and s4). What I'm saying is that I think that because GitF was so OFF from SR and completely ignored the emotional ramifications in a logical, it makes perfect sense continuity-wise -- as I wrote in my reason for why I won't rewatch-review GitF -- RTD and NO ONE could pick up the emotional threads lain there in SR and have them flow naturally from GitF.

I've always felt that RTD had a plan set in motion in S2, we see from NE and T&C that the Doctor and Rose are in love; unlike S1, there's no more hesitation on either one's part from an emotional point of view. They are in love, even if they don't say it. And then SR comes in and opens this door where they really have to look at the ramifications ... and then GitF just shot it all to hell. Suddenly, the Doctor has fallen for someone else, Rose is acting all girlfriend-y to Mickey and the emotional beats of the D/R relationship that had been building are completely disrupted. So, in RotC/AoS, RTD had to restart those beats, restart that arc and with only seven episodes left, and yet still remain on schedule for that planned arc to get to the finale. Speaking of, that two-parter, plus the D/R-lite episode actually left him with five really with which he could recover the ground he lost by GitF.

Again, he (and anyone else following GitF) was just screwed by Moffat's complete lack of respect for the emotional continuity and consistent characterization of the Doctor/Rose love story that had been building from episode one, series one and had REALLY ramped up episode one through episode three of series two. So, corners were cut because, due to GitF, they essentially lost four episodes of build-up.

ETA: Sorry for the edits, grr.

Edited at 2009-01-09 06:17 am (UTC)
Shaela Scanlonmls03j on January 9th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
We see from NE and T&C that the Doctor and Rose are in love; unlike S1, there’s no more hesitation on either one’s part from an emotional point of view.

I think that’s probably where most of our disagreement is coming from. I do see hesitation in “New Earth” and “Tooth and Claw.” Granted, Rose is possessed for most of “New Earth.” And she might as well be possessed for most of “Tooth and Claw.” But there’s still a scene where she tells the Doctor, “You’re so different.” And then in “Tooth and Claw,” when the Doctor finally made it to the cellar, Rose asked, “Where the hell have you been?” I don’t remember her saying that when he rescued her back in “The Unquiet Dead,” much less “The Parting of the Ways.”

I understand your issues with “The Girl in the Fireplace.” And I wouldn’t mind pretending it never happened. But I don’t think erasing it would change the way I see the season as a whole.

P.S. Have you read rosa_acicularis’s story “But Broken Lights”?
Arabian: Dr Who (10)arabian on January 9th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, we disagree because I don't see what you list as hesitation. They are clearly in love in both NE and T&C, in a way they weren't obviously so prior to those two episodes. As I said "emotional hesitation." And the fact that Rose yells at the Doctor in T&C shows that even more surely. There was a part of Rose that was afraid the Doctor would dump her back on Earth if she pushed him too far, etc., but by T&C she's completely secure enough in their relationship to know that she can damn well get mad at him if he messes up, in her opinion.

I don’t think erasing it would change the way I see the season as a whole.
I don't think I was quite clear with what I was saying. I don't think erasing GitF would change the series at all, because essentially in the follow-up and the rest of the series, RTD and every other writer basically DID erase GitF, it wasn't referred to emotionally at all. There was no fall-out from the Doctor falling for Reinette, from the Doctor essentially deserting Rose and Mickey, etc. It was essentially erased, and the series played out as if it hadn't happened, so of course, erasing it wouldn't have changed the series.

Now, if it had been written properly following the emotional beat, it would have made it a stronger series overall, because it would mean that issues from SR would have flowed naturally into RotC/AoS and would have been dealt.

I like rosa_acicularis and some of her stories, but I don't agree with her point of view (based on the links you sent me), but I'll try the fic. The title sounds familiar, but I don't recall it at all, so either I met to read it and hadn't yet, or I started to read it and was thrown off by it and didn't finish it.

ETA: Read the fic. I don't think it dealt with the effects of SR properly because the Doctor's awful behavior in GitF was completely glossed over, because it had to be. Which goes back to my final point, it was so OOC that it's impossible to actually deal with those events. The Doctor was a jerk in GitF and to have Rose being the one to apologize was wrong, imo. So my original premise still stands -- there is no way to properly and fully deal with the emotional ramifications of SR (especially in the course of only a 13-episode series) without ignoring the events of GitF. And when you ignore the events of the GitF, you basically give the Doctor a free pass for being a bloody git in it.

Edited at 2009-01-09 10:56 pm (UTC)
gowdie: Rose and Doctor in the Tardisgowdie on January 12th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
I've always felt that RTD had a plan set in motion in S2, we see from NE and T&C that the Doctor and Rose are in love; unlike S1, there's no more hesitation on either one's part from an emotional point of view. They are in love, even if they don't say it. And then SR comes in and opens this door where they really have to look at the ramifications.
I totally and absolutely agree with all of this! They are totally carefree dating through the stars in NE and T&C. I've had him comment in fic that I think he is almost forgetting who he is - what it means to be him, and have his lifespan - for these stories. He is so caught up in the moment. And then SR is a horrible crashing down. Faced with the reality of Rose's mortality.

And as I've said below, I have HUGE issues with GitF. But I manage to fanwank it enough so that it does lead into the new place they are in for TAofS. To me there is the possiblity that SR puts this huge barrier between the Doctor and Rose. And he takes a step back from that carefree romance. And is still stept back in GitF. But then! GitF allows him to see the consequences of not being involved. Like I said below, in a microcosm.

He would still lose Rose. And possibly miss all the good parts of her life. So if you put that spin on it - and then assume A LOT of Doctor self-reflection, it's possible he makes an active choice to enter back into the relationship.

Because it seems like from TAofS they are back to their happy in love selves. All they have left to deal with is the Mickey factor. And that's Rose's issue, really. And Mickey's! And it gets dealt with, so by TIL, they are free to be them. They are essentially a solid couple, now without any guilt, until Doomsday.

Anyhoo - that's my fanwanky way of dealing with the continuity issue. And that's what fanwank is all about, after all. I wrote it into my fic, These Are The Sofa's Of My Lives, where I also deal with the dreaded River Song a bit as well.
But you can call me Bowie: dr who 9 smilesisiscaughey on January 9th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC)
In the realm of completely impossible and not very specific, I would love for Douglas Adams to have written a Ninth Doctor episode. Ooh, or to get more specific, have Douglas Adams write "Time Crash". I mean, I enjoyed it anyway, but the Adams humor would have been ever better.
Diana: Flame Hair - Donnabutterfly on January 9th, 2009 10:48 am (UTC)
I'd have liked to have either GitF or SitL/FotD written by Paul Cornell. He always uses the companion well and he is wonderful with the Doctor's characterization. And he was sorely missed in S2 and S4. I'd have loved to see what he could have done with Donna.
gowdie: Rose and Doctor in the Tardisgowdie on January 12th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
First of all, in answer to the main question - I would also go with GitF as written by RTD. What I like about that episode, what I REALLY REALLY like about it, is the idea that it shows what any relationship must be like for the Doctor in a microcosm. How fast a human life must go for him - and the emotion behind jumping in and out of it, watching someone go from childhood, to womanhood, to death, and missing all the bits in between.

I love that idea, and am glad it was addressed. And it is an idea we NEVER want to have explored with Rose. So you have to put another character in that place. But I would like to see RTD do it, since I trust he could, without messing up all the Doctor/Rose continuity, relationship, etc, instead he could connect. Instead I would expect him to off a bit of "What does this experience say about Doctor/Rose?"

Aside from that - oh the cognitive dissonance. First, I flat out refuse to accept that he was in love with her. Nope. Didn't happen. I WILL allow that he was infatuated with her as he so often is other great people of history. So he can have that. So I acknowledge the ep through those Rose coloured glasses. Heh.

And I HATE that he jumped through that damn window. Without thought. It's interesting - Jacob on Television Without Pity initially hated that as well - called the Doctor an idiot who suddently inexplicably hates Rose. But then later in another recap, he recants. Changing his mind to the idea that the Doctor always has to jump for the non-companion, for the person stuck in the timeline. And the actual companion is awesome because she knows this and can deal.

And I get what he's saying. But I'm not sure I agree. Because no way in hell would Nine ever have jumped. He actively didn't jump on a number of occasions. So then the question becomes does the relationship change enough in Season Two? But it isn't a fair question, because we never get the opportunity to find the answer - there isn't an ep where he has to choose.

Until the Satan Pit. And there we have the great speech. He believes in her. Essentially he can jump - because his trust in her is so absolute. He knows she will be able to handle it and deal, and it will all end okay.

So I guess what I'm saying, is I could accept the jumping IF I believed it came from that same belief. And that's where Moffat fails. There is no moment of pause, like in the Satan Pit. No moment of reflection, weighing the risks, and then deciding Rose has stepped up her game enough as companion, and perhaps in light of everything that happened in Season One, and knowing that it will end well. And I think that RTD would have given us that.