What Ruined Doctor Who Part 2: Doctor Who is All About Change

The Doctor and Sarah travel back to stop Chris Chibnall, Steven Moffat, and Paul Cornell from ever meeting up.

In the last article we looked at how a particular fandom incrowd was able to take over the Doctor Who franchise when it was at its most vulnerable, the Fitzroy Crowd (who were named as such because they all used to congregate at the Fitzroy pub in the 90s.)

The Fitzroy Crowd included the likes of Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Chris Chibnall Paul Cornell, Gareth Roberts, Nicholas Briggs, Mark Gatiss, etc.

The Fitzroy Crowd, apart from a few exceptions in my opinion never really cared much for the Classic era. They generally tended to use the show to launch their own projects such as Torchwood instead.

We also examined how the Fitzroy Crowd were able to play on Doctor Who fans collective self loathing, and insecurity of the show not succeeding after the cancellation crisis, to bully fandom into accepting the mantras “Doctor Who is all about change”, “Doctor Who has no canon,” and “all change is good.”

In this article I am going to thoroughly debunk the Doctor Who is all about change mantra once and for all and run through why it has been so poisonous for the franchise.

Why Doctor Who is all about change and has no canon are so damaging.

Image result for paul cornell

Whenever anyone criticises anything about the new Doctor Who, the first thing its fans will say is either “Well Doctor Who has always been about change. Oh you are the type of people who would have criticised William Hartnell changing into Patrick Troughton.”

Or “Doctor Who has no canon, what about the three sinkings of Atlantis, or the UNIT dating controversy. There are no constants in Doctor Who. It can change its continuity all the time.”

Sadly despite being demonstrably not true, this line of thinking has become the official mantra of the show, with the BBC themselves even using it to justify Jodie’s casting.

These quotes from Paul Cornell, a writer of the 21st century version of Doctor Who and various pieces of spin off material sum up the attitudes of both the makers of New Who and its fans.

To be a good writer, you have to smash things up.  To make great Doctor Who, especially, you have to destroy something someone values with every step.  Those footsteps of destruction will, in a few years, be cast in bronze and put on a plinth for the next great story to destroy. 

Because when you say ‘the books just aren’t “canon!”’ or ‘the books “happened” and the TV show can’t ignore them!’ you’re not saying something like ‘for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction’, you’re saying something like ‘the South will never surrender’. You’re yelling a battle cry, not stating the truth. Because there is no truth here to find. There was never and now cannot be any authority to rule on matters of canonicity in a tale that has allowed, or at the very least accepted, the rewriting of its own continuity. And you’re using the fact that discussions of canonicity are all about authority to try to assume an authority that you do not have.

In the end, you’re just bullying people.

Because in Doctor Who there is no such thing as ‘canon’.

Leaving aside how ridiculous it is that Paul Cornell would complain about bullying. This is a man who regularly smears people as sexists, who called all critics of Missy people who would throw their relatives out onto the street for being trans, and who retweeted a cartoon where critics of Jodie where depicted as wife beaters, whose wives ran away with Jodie fans. (Presumably representing him.)

Image result for Whovians in love

Remember its not bullying to call people wife beaters, and make jokes about shagging their wives over a difference of opinion over a tv show. It is however bullying when you point out plot holes in their stories.

To start with the all about change idea, is a terrible argument overall not just in regards to Doctor Who. It basically means that a writer dosen’t have to justify any creative decisions on their own merits.

“Someone did something back in 1966, so that means I can do anything I want to now.”

That’s basically Paul Cornell’s argument. By that logic I could have the Doctor morph into a big yellow Dinosaur that shoots eye beams and justify it with, “well William Hartnell changed into Patrick Troughton. That was a change and so is this, so it must be exactly the same. Also Doctor Who has no continuity, so this makes perfect sense.”

Each creative decision has to be justified on it’s own creative merits. There is no one size fit’s all method. No one is saying all change is bad, but you have to take change on a case, by case basis. The concept of regeneration and introducing the Time Lord’s were not even comparable to one another, never mind regeneration and the Timeless Child.

Trying to lump every change together under the umbrella of they are all the same, so every chang is good, is every bit as bad as saying nothing can ever change. Both are extremes with no room for leeway or debate.

Furthermore limitations are not a bad thing by definition. Paul Cornell likes to paint them as being limits to his creativity, but in actual fact limitations are what define a character, or franchise and give it it’s own identity.

Take a look at another long running character like say Batman for example. Batman has been around longer than Doctor Who, and has gone through arguably more changes.  Even just in terms of adaptations Batman has been a comedy character with Adam West, a dark, gothic character with Tim Burton, a sci fi hero with the DCAU, and a gritty crime fighter with Christian Bale.

Throughout all of these adaptations however, Batman has always retained a number of traditions and characteristics that have helped to define him.

Adam West, Michael Keaton, Kevin Conroy and Christian Bale’s versions of Batman are all ordinary humans with no super powers, their civilian identities are all Bruce Wayne, they are all motivated to fight crime by the tragic murder of their parents which they all witness as children. They all even have similar costumes, a bat shaped cowl with pointy ears, a long flowing cape, a bat symbol on the chest, bat gloves, a utility belt etc. They all have the same gadgets, batarangs, bat ropes, gas bombs. They all have a Batcave, a Batmobile, a Bat bike, a Bat aerial means of transport. They also all have a butler named Alfred, work with Commisioner Gordon, are summoned by the Bat Signal. They also all fight at least some of Batman’s colourful enemies, the Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin etc.

All of these things define Batman as a character and it’s the job of a particular writer to do something new within those limitations. Limitations are not a bad thing. They define a character.

For instance everyone knows that Sherlock Holmes is asexual. That’s a limitation of the character, that Holmes cares more about his work than any kind of personal life. Without that limitation, he wouldn’t be Holmes anymore.

Similarly everyone knows that Batman is a brooding character, tormented by his parents death. Even in Adam West’s time, whilst he is comical, he is still nevertheless in his own way very serious.

You can throw away some limitations of a character its true, but utlimately you cannot throw them all away. It’s okay to have a Batman who might be a bit less tormented, or even a Sherlock Holmes who lives in modern day.  They still have to have some limitations that the others had, like being asexual, fighting the Joker, living in Gotham, etc. If you were to throw away all of those limitations, then we wouldn’t have Batman, or Sherlock Holmes at all, so why bother adapting them and not doing something new? Surely creating a new character is the most creative thing you can do?

Also bare in mind that some limitations are stronger than others. Like Batman and Sherlock Holmes both have to be ordinary men without superpowers, above all else.

With this in mind, why should the Doctor as a character, or Doctor Who be any different? It’s demonstrably not true to say that as a franchise, Doctor Who doesn’t have a number of constants that have helped give it a unique identity.

Why has the TARDIS remained a blue police box for over 50 years? Why has the show kept the same theme for over 50 years? Okay there have been different variations, but it is the same basic piece of music.

Why has the Doctor continued to fight the Daleks in every incarnation? Why do the Daleks have the same design? Why do the Daleks have the same voices? Why do the Daleks have the same motivation to exterminate all non Dalek life forms? Why has Davros continued to reappear? Why have the Cybermen continued to return to face almost every Doctor? Why have other villains and characters and staples like the Master, the Ice Warriors, The Brigadier, UNIT etc all spanned multiple Doctors?

If what Paul Cornell said is true that in order to write good Doctor Who you have to smash everything that came before, shouldn’t all these old 60s, 70s monsters and characters have been jettisoned a long time ago?

Why do we not know the Doctors name? Why does the Doctor still have a Sonic Screwdriver?

All of these things are limitations, constants that give Doctor Who it’s identity. If you smash them up, then you don’t have Doctor Who anymore, which is why people like Paul Cornell are so harmful to the franchise. They not only want to smash up the show and characters defining traits, but tar anyone who doesn’t as a bully!

“Oh but the Doctor regenerates, so he can be anyone.”

Again however this argument doesn’t hold much water.

In Classic Who, all of the different Doctors were meant to be the same person. Regeneration was simply an advanced form of healing.

Basically a Time Lord, or Lady’s body broke down, and then it repaired itself, but in doing so changed appearance. As a result of the change, their outer personality might be given a shake up.

Ultimately however a Time Lord, or Lady’s consciousness, memories, morals and core personality remained the same throughout all of their lives. If not then the Doctor wouldn’t exist as a character. He’d be a title handed down to several, totally unrelated characters.

Regeneration was created in order for the character of the Doctor to endure beyond any one actor. It wasn’t just a simple way of replacing the lead. Back in 1966, since we knew nothing of the Doctors people, the writers could have just as easily revealed that the Doctor was a title handed down to various members of his race, and had the Hartnell version die, only to be replaced by a new Doctor.

Instead however they came up with the best of all worlds. The Doctor could change, meaning they didn’t have to throw out everything from Hartnell’s Doctor (like his history with the Daleks.) Yet at the same time, not only could a new actor play him, but he could in some ways make the role his own, whilst still being believable as the same character.

In Classic Who it was all about finding the right balance when casting and writing the Doctor. You needed someone who would bring something new to the role, but who would not be totally unbelievable as still being William Hartnell under his new face.

Any of the 6 classic Doctors after Hartnell fit that description. Jon Pertwee for instance, brought something new to the role by being more of an action hero, yet he was still an old, grandfatherly scientist like Hartnell. He still had the same motivations as Hartnell, to explore the universe, the same moral code, the same asexual nature etc.

This isn’t just my interpretation. In the series itself the Doctor never treats regeneration as death. He always treats it as a way of escaping death.

See these quotes from Classic Who stories.

The War Games.

TIME LORD: You will be sent to Earth in the twentieth century, and will remain there for as long as we deem proper, and for that period the secret of the Tardis will be taken from you.
DOCTOR: But you, you can’t condemn me to exile on one primitive planet in one century in time! Besides, I’m known on the Earth. It might be very awkward for me.
TIME LORD: Your appearance has changed before, it will change again. That is part of the sentence.
DOCTOR: You can’t just change what I look like without consulting me!
TIME LORD: You will have an opportunity to choose your appearance.
DOCTOR: Oh, well, that’s not so bad. But I warn you, I’m very particular.

If each Doctor were a different person, why would the Second Doctor say its not so bad if he gets to choose his new face? He’d be dead either way. He’s choosing someone else’s face!

Similarly why does the Third Doctor refer to the Second Doctor as I on many occassions?

DOCTOR: That was my business.
JO: What about stealing the Tardis?
DOCTOR: I didn’t steal it. I just borrowed it. I fully intended to return it, I assure you. Anyway, she wasn’t exactly the latest model, poor old thing.
JO: You can say that again.
DOCTOR: I’ll tell you, I made a complete fool of that prosecuting council, though. I ridiculed his every argument. Yes, and I told him that I had the complete answer to every one his charges against me.
(And behind his back, the Doctor is using his steel wire on a hinge of the cage door.)
JO: And then what happened?
DOCTOR: Then what happened. Well, they found me guilty, changed my appearance and exiled me to Earth.
JO: And that’s where you met me.

All of this clearly shows that the writers and producers intended Pertwee, Troughton and Hartnell to be the same man.

Furthermore, in the Deadly Assassin, a Time Lord makes a distinction between regeneration and death.

DOCTOR: Yes. He was evil, cunning and resourceful. Highly developed powers of ESP and a formidable hypnotist. And the more I think about it, the less likely it seems.
ENGIN: What?
DOCTOR: Well, that the Master would meekly accept the end of his regeneration cycle. It’s not his style at all.
ENGIN: But that’s something we must all accept, Doctor.
(Engin hands the Doctor a drink.)
DOCTOR: Thank you. Not the Master. No, he had some sort of plan. That’s why he came here, Engin.
ENGIN: After the twelfth regeneration, there is no plan that will postpone death.

Also the Master who plans to steal other regenerations because he is afraid of death’s motivation makes 0 sense if each incarnation of a Time Lord is a different person. He’ll die as soon as he changes anyway.

The Fifth Doctor also makes a distinction between regeneration and death in his last story.

PERI: There must be something I can do. Tell me!
DOCTOR: Too late, Peri. Going soon. Time to say goodbye.
PERI: Don’t give up. You can’t leave me now!
DOCTOR: I might regenerate. I don’t know.
(She lays his head down on the floor.)
DOCTOR: Feels different this time.

The hallucinations of the Doctors companions telling him not to die make 0 sense if the 5th Doctor is actually dying.

Finally in The Twin Dilemma, the poison that killed the 5th Doctor is meant to have damaged the 6th Doctors mind, making him more unstable than previous incarnations. As a result the 6th Doctor starts doing things the Doctor would never do. After his violent attack on Peri he is horrified and states firmly that he is never violent unless in self defence.

Again this makes no sense if all the Doctors are different people? How does the 6th Doctor know that he would never harm anyone if he isn’t provoked? If everything about a Time Lord changes, maybe 6 is just a psychopath. He is basing his behaviour entirely on his previous selves. Similarly why hasn’t one version of the Master ever been a good guy? Why do they all have the same motivation and opinion of the Doctor?

Furthermore its not just that this is how regneration is portrayed in the show itself. All of Classic Who’s most prominent writers, producers and all 6 actors who played the role after regeneration was introduced hold the same opinion.

Patrick Troughton said in an interview collected for the 10th anniversary in the Radio Times, that the key to Doctor Who’s success was that he, William Hartnell and Jon Pertwee were playing different sides of the same character, rather than three different characters.

Jon Pertwee meanwhile was adamant about the Doctor remaining asexual like his predecessors, whilst Tom Baker also said in an interview collected for the 1977 Docu “Whose Doctor Who” that the Doctor was the single most limited role he had ever played. Baker said there were so many things he couldn’t do or else he wouldn’t be the Doctor anymore.

Terrance Dicks the shows longest serving script editor, (and author of more Doctor Who books than is seemingly possible) meanwhile said in this interview conducted in 2013, that the single most important thing is to not change the Doctors character too much.

Terrance Dicks Interview

Robert Holmes and Terry Nation, the two most prolific writers of the original series have both said that they always viewed the Doctor collectively as one character. They both said that they wrote the Doctor as the same character and simply allowed the actor to say the lines in their own way. Both Holmes and Nation argued that from their perspective as writers, the Doctor hadn’t changed. Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker had the same motivations, the same moral code fundamentally, the same attitude to humans and the Daleks, etc. It was up to the actor to make the Doctors outer persona different.

Pertwee would play the role completely seriously, Tom Baker might bring a more bohemian quality, Hartnell would be grumpy and difficult, Davison more youthful, energetic and vulnerable etc.

Point is however it was the same person underneath.

Here are is a quote from Robert Holmes, taken from his biography.

“I wrote the fifth Doctor in very much the same way as his predecessors. After all, the Doctor is always the same character. His body changes, his manner and idosyncrancies alter, but at the bottom he remains the same person.”

Finally John Nathan Turner was also adamant about making the Doctor seem like the same person, hence his famous no hanky panky in the TARDIS policy. JNT even forced his actors who played the role to all grow their hair out, as he said short back and sides were not the Doctors style.

None of the most prominent people involed in the original 26 years of Doctor Who, ever had the attitude of Paul Cornell. Whilst its true what Cornell said that Doctor Who was not the work of one person like Sherlock Holmes, and therefore it’s canon was not set down officially. Ultimately all of the most prominent people who worked on the original still followed an accepted template for the Doctor, based on what had come before.

Its also worth mentioning that many of the people who worked on Classic Who, who helped shape its lore, would be involved throughout most of its history. Terrance Dicks wrote from the third to the 5th Doctors.

Robert Holmes wrote from the 2nd to the 6th Doctors, whilst Terry Nation not only wrote for three Doctors, but also had final say over every single Dalek story until the very end. Even John Nathan Turner had worked on the show in some capacity since the Troughton era.

Barry Letts meanwhile who co-created the Master, helped to reintroduce the character in the Anthony Ainley era, and filled John Nathan Turner in on his backstory, character (even on the aborted idea that the Master was really the Doctors brother, which nearly re-appeared in Planet of Fire.)

Paul Cornell is talking nonsense when he says that the original creative team had no contact with each other, and all worked independently.

The changes behind the scenes were gradual, there was a definite idea of who the Doctor was, and many of the people who helped create and shape the lore were there in some capacity, from Terry Nation to Barry Letts right the way through.

“But the Doctor changed into Patrick Troughton, and in the Hartnell era he wasn’t established as a Time Lord. So that proves the show should rewrite itself.”

No it doesn’t.

To start with these changes that are always cited as proof that all changes work, like the introduction of Time Lords, and regeneration, where introduced when the show was still young and was more of a blank slate. They are not comparable to the Timeless Child that comes after 60 plus years of established history.

When Hartnell morphed into Troughton, we knew nothing about the Doctors race. We didn’t even know what they were called. Revealing that they had the power to renew themselves didn’t contradict anything that had come before. It was still a convenient asspull, but it wasn’t actually contradictory. We already knew that the Doctors people lived for a long time, so the idea that it was because they could renew their bodies, fitted in well.

Similarly in the War Games revealing that the Doctors people were the Time Lords, that he had ran away from them to explore the universe, was not a change. It was filling a gap in. We had never seen his people before the War Games, we had never known why he had ran away so it wasn’t a change. Furthermore it was one that fitted in with what we had seen before.

We knew his people were highly advanced, we knew that the Doctor was a scientist who wanted to explore new worlds above all else (to the point where as Hartnell he risked his friends and families lives at the prospect of exploring a new city.) Finally we also knew he could never go back and was in exile.

The Time Lord explanation fitted into all of that. It tied in with the fact that he couldn’t go back, that he was a renegade, and his status as a scientist who wanted to live by his own rules.

Similarly revealing that Time Lords could regenerate only 12 times wasn’t a contradiction either. It was filling a gap in. Prior to the Deadly Assassin, the Doctors changes of appearance had been very vague. We didn’t know the process in detail, the Deadly Assassin simply told us.

Notice that once these gaps were filled in, they were never contradicted.

After the Doctors people are revealed to be the Time Lords, then that’s it. There is no story that reveals “actually his people are Venusians, and they are giant shapeshifting monsters, with the Doctor just having assumed a human form.” If what Paul Cornell said is true that you “have to smash up what a previous writer created.” Why did everybody from Barry Letts to John Nathan Turner stick to the Doctor’s people being the Time Lord’s after The War Games?

Similarly once the limit for the Time Lord’s lives has been given as 13, that’s it. The Keeper of Traken, Mawdryn Undead, The Five Doctors, The Twin Dilemma, all stick to that rule as contrary to what Cornell said, it clearly was set in stone at that point for future writers.

Again let’s compare this to another character like Batman. Originally Batman was just a generic crime fighter, but then it was revealed that he fought crime because his parents were killed by a mugger. Once that was revealed, that was it. His origin always had to stay that way. Another writer 20 years later couldn’t come along and say “Batman’s parents are alive, and it was his brother that was killed. If you object to this you are the type of person who would have objected to Batman’s parents being killed in the first place, because that was technically a change and so is this etc.”

Too much time has passed with the knowledge that Batman’s parents are dead. From an in universe perspective it would require a retcon that would stretch credibility, and from a real world perspective audiences wouldn’t accept it. Audiences all over the world recognise the death of Batman’s parents as being a key ingredient of his character. Even in a remake, or adaptation, his parents still have to die. The only time you can not have Thomas and Martha Wayne die, is if it’s meant to be a weird alternate universe version of Batman that is supposed to have a different history.

The Doctor is the same. The Doctor has been set in people’s minds as a Time Lord for over 50 years now. Similarly for over 40 years it has been set that Time Lords have 13 lives. Trying to compare getting rid of, or changing that, to a change that came in after 6 years when the character was more of a blank slate is totally dishonest and harmful to the character. It now means that not only is his past identity that generations have come to love unsafe, but it also means that he can never have an identity again. If the Doctor can say be a Venusian one episode and then a Time Lord the next, then he ceases to exist as a character. Unlike Batman who we know always lives in Gotham, or the Doctor of Classic Who who we knew was a Time Lord, had a TARDIS, hated weapons etc, a character written under the all change is good formula will be nothing more than an incoherent mess.

“What about the three different endings for Atlantis, doesn’t that show the Classic series never cared about continuity.”

No it doesn’t. The three sinkings of Atlantis to start with are a minor part of the show’s lore. Second of all they are an honest continuity mistake.

You can’t bring up examples of the writers making honest mistakes, and use that to justify smashing essential parts of something.

Every single show makes continuity blips now and again. Frasier has about 6 different dates for his birthday. Curb Your Enthusiasm, another classic American comedy series makes a big mistake in series 6. The character of Marty Funkhouser states very clearly in series 4 that his mother has been dead for decades, whilst an episode in series 6 revolves around his mothers recent death.

Again this is a minor blip.  It doesn’t then mean that a later writer can come along and smash up the entire story of Curb Your Enthusiasm (by changing it one week that say Larry was always married to Susie Green rather than Cheryl for instance.)

Also I feel that the likes of Cornell often leave out the dozens more examples of really tight continuity from the Classic era.

Look at the Cybermen’s history for instance.

In The Tenth Planet it is said that the Cybermen come from Mondas. After Mondas is destroyed, the Cybermen are driven to near extinction. In their next story, The Moonbase the Cybermen are said to be desperate after losing their home planet.

In Tomb of the Cybermen meanwhile they state that they moved to Telos to survive after their failed invasion of the Moonbase, and the destruction of Mondas.

See here.

DOCTOR: We’ll play for time. Wait our chance. Leave it to me. Excuse me. May I ask a question? Why did you submit yourself to freezing? You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want to.
CONTROLLER: To survive. Our history computer has full details of you.
DOCTOR: Oh? How?
CONTROLLER: We know of your intelligence.
DOCTOR: Oh, thank you very much. Ah, yes. The lunar surface.
CONTROLLER: Our machinery had stopped and our supply of replacements been depleted.
DOCTOR: So that’s why you attacked the Moonbase.
CONTROLLER: You had destroyed our first planet and we were becoming extinct.

In The Wheel in Space meanwhile the Cybermen are again depicted as being desperate. Mondas isn’t mentioned in The Invasion, but there is nothing to contradict it either. (Contrary to popular belief that story does not state that the Cybermen come from Planet 14, simply that they met the Doctor there.)

In Revenge of the Cybermen meanwhile the Cybermen again mention their home planet being destroyed, or rather the Doctor does.

“You’ve no home planet, no influence, nothing!”

Mondas is mentioned in Earthshock too, whilst Attack of the Cybermen shows the monsters attempt to prevent it’s destruction. Finally Silver Nemesis shows the Cybermen attempt to make Earth the New Mondas.

So from the first to last appearance, over 20 years, the show kept to the idea that the Cybermen came from Mondas and as a result of it’s destruction, they were desperate.

Similarly the Daleks home planet is established as Skaro in their first story, and it remains that way right the way through to Remembrance. The Chase meanwhile is a sequel to The Dalek Invasion of Earth. In The Chase, the Daleks explicitly mention wanting to destroy the Doctor for foiling their invasion of earth.

The Daleks Masterplan meanwhile depicts the monsters as having time travel, because they were shown to have invented it in The Chase. Many Dalek stories set after, such as Day of the Daleks, Ressurection and Remembrance also carry on this plot thread too.

Planet of the Daleks also mentions the events of the first Dalek story too, whilst Resurrection follows on from Destiny. It not only continues the Movellan/Dalek war story, but also follows on from Davros being frozen at the end of Destiny. Likewise Revelation follows on from Resurrection by showing Davros being on bad terms with the Daleks after betraying them.

Similarly the Master, from The Deadly Assassin onwards it is established has lost his ability to regenerate. The Keeper of Traken shows he learned the ability to transfer his mind into new bodies and both of these plot threads are kept up afterwards, even to the 96 movie.

At no point is the Master suddenly shown to be able to regenerate without explanation, post The Deadly Assassin. If it is brought up, he will mention having no lives, and being forced to steal more bodies.

Furthermore the Brigadier’s story is overall consistent as well. Whilst they may get the dates of the stories wrong, the Brigadier always mentions having first met the Doctor when they faced the Yeti in the London Underground, having worked with Sergent Benton, Jo Grant, faced the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Master etc whenever his past is alluded to.

The Doctor’s exile to earth is another example of tight continuity too. In The War Games the Time Lord’s state that they will not only exile him to earth, but remove the knowledge on how to pilot the TARDIS from his mind.

Throughout the Pertwee era his is shown to struggle with fixing the TARDIS, because of the blocks around his memory.

In The Three Doctors the Time Lord’s return the missing piece of the TARDIS to the Doctor, and the Doctor mentions his memory of how to work the machine being restored.

See for yourself.

The War Games

TIME LORD: You will be sent to Earth in the twentieth century, and will remain there for as long as we deem proper, and for that period the secret of the Tardis will be taken from you.

The Three Doctors

DOCTOR: The Time Lords! Look, they’ve sent me a new dematerialisation circuit. And my knowledge of time travel law and all the dematerialisation codes, they’ve all come back. They’ve forgiven me. They’ve given me back my freedom.

Furthermore many stories in the Classic era served as sequels to previous adventures.

The Web of Fear is a sequel to The Abominable Snowman, whilst The Invasion is a sequel to The Web of Fear. The Curse and Monster of Peladon are also connected too, whilst Metebelis 3 is mentioned in various stories before showing up in Pertwee’s last adventure.

The Web of Fear

TRAVERS: Who are you?
JAMIE: I’d like to ask you the same question.
VICTORIA: Wait a minute, Jamie! I’m Victoria Waterfield. And that’s Jamie McCrimmon!
ANNE: Father?
TRAVERS: But it can’t be. Why, that’s over forty years ago.
JAMIE: What’s going on here?
VICTORIA: Oh Jamie, don’t you recognise him? It’s Professor Travers.
JAMIE: So it is! Professor Travers! Here, hasn’t he got old? Oh, but we’re very pleased to see you, Professor. Very pleased.
TRAVERS: The time machine. It was all true then?
JAMIE: The Tardis you mean? Aye, of course it’s true. Hey, do you know what’s happened to the Doctor?
VICTORIA: Oh, is he safe?
TRAVERS: Isn’t he with you?
ANNE: No, he’s in the tunnels. Arnold’s gone to look for him. Father, what is going on?
TRAVERS: Oh dear, I do hope he’s all right. Come on, Jamie. Let’s go and find out if he’s got back yet.
ANNE: Father!
TRAVERS: Eh? Victoria, try and explain to Anne, will you? It’s all right, Victoria. You were born. I mean. She was born years before I was!
(Travers and Jamie leave.)
ANNE: A time machine.
VICTORIA: Oh, dear.

The Invasion

BRIGADIER: How nice to see you again, Doctor.
DOCTOR: It’s Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart!
BRIGADIER: Ah, Brigadier now. I’ve gone on up in the world.
JAMIE: Oh course, the Yetis. We met you in the
BRIGADIER: That’s right, McCrimmon, in the underground. Must be four years ago now.
JAMIE: That long. It only seems about a couple of weeks ago, doesn’t it.
DOCTOR: I’ve told you over and over again, Jamie. Time is relative.
BRIGADIER: Are you still making a nonsense of it. Doctor, in your, what was it called? Tardis?
DOCTOR: Yes, we’re still travelling. Yes.
BRIGADIER: Yes, Mister Travers told me all about it. It’s er, well it’s, to say the least, an unbelievable machine.
DOCTOR: Any more unbelievable than the Yetis?
BRIGADIER: No, true. I’m not quite so much of a sceptic as I was since that little escapade.

With this in mind, how can anyone say that continuity didn’t matter in Classic Who? For the most part it was kept up. Even as far back as the Hartnell era, continuity was deemed important by the producers.

William Hartnell’s widow states in this very interview that the producers kept notes on the show’s lore to make sure that new writers wouldn’t mess things up.

Jump to round about 8 mins in to see Heather talk about how new writers had to adhere to a very strict formula when writing the Doctor.

You can see when you watch the Hartnell era itself, (which again I’m not sure that the Fitzroy Crowd have in decades) It’s continuity overall is surprisingly tight. For instance in The Dalek Invasion of Earth it is established that the Daleks invaded and conquered humanity in the 22nd century. Vicki who is from a later date in human history is therefore familiar with the Daleks, as are other humans from the future, such as Steven, and the colonists in the Ark.

[Museum Exhibit room]

DOCTOR: Chesterton!
IAN: It can’t be!
(The adults recoil at the sight of a large pepperpot with a bad disposition, but it is only an exhibit labelled Dalek, Planet Skaro.)
VICKI: So that’s what a Dalek looks like.
DOCTOR: Don’t touch, child.
BARBARA: What do you know about them, Vicki?
VICKI: Only what I’ve read in history books. That they invaded Earth about three hundred years ago, was it?
IAN: We were there, Vicki. That was one of the periods we visited.
DOCTOR: I don’t mind admitting, my boy, that that thing gave me a start. Coming face to face to it again.
VICKI: It’s not a bit the way I imagined it. Oh, I mean, the books describe them all right but well, this one looks quite friendly.
BARBARA: Friendly?
IAN: You wouldn’t say that, young lady, if ever we meet them again. Which to say the least is very unlikely. I hope.

Furthermore the Monk is left stranded on earth at the end of the The Time Meddler, and in his next appearance he mentions this to the Doctor, and vows revenge as a result.

DOCTOR: Ah, tut, tut, tut, my dear Monk. Now don’t be so ridiculous. Put that down at once.
MONK: Well, hello, Doctor. Keeping well?
DOCTOR: Oh, no complaints, no. And you?
MONK: Oh, so so, you know, just so so.
SARA: Who is it?
MONK: Delighted to see you again, young man.
STEVEN: Thanks. I wish I could say the same for you.
DOCTOR: I suppose congratulations for your escape are quite in order.
MONK: Oh, thank you. Most kind of you, Doctor. Yes, it took a bit of time, but I finally managed to bypass the dimensional controller.
DOCTOR: Yes, a very interesting solution, yes, I’m sure, though I think it would make for rather an uncomfortable ride. However, I don’t suppose it affected you very much, being an amateur.
MONK: Yes, it was rather uncomfortable, but then, we can’t have everything, can we? As for being an amateur, we shall see. Anyway, it was better than 1066.
DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose so.
SARA: What’s he talking about, 1066?
STEVEN: It’s all right. We’ve met the Monk once before. I’ll explain later.
DOCTOR: And you returned here for one obvious reason, did you not?
MONK: I’m afraid so, Doctor. Revenge is a strange thing, isn’t it?
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, quite, quite. Tell me, any plans?
MONK: And all carried out as well. Oh, ho. Doctor, you remember you left me in 1066?

In the 80s meanwhile Ian Levine was called in by John Nathan Turner as a continuity advisor. Whilst some think that Turner went too far with continuity references, personally I think this has been exaggerated somewhat.

The fact is there were references to previous stories before John Nathan Turner’s era. I feel this point get’s exaggerated as a way of justifying the show’s cancellation. Obviously too many references to the past is a bad thing, as it can alienate new viewers. I think you should only reference the past if you are following a previous story. If you are setting a story on an entirely new planet and time, then there is no need to comment on the past.

Still it’s worth baring in mind these references from the Pre JNT years.

The Daemons

DOCTOR: Ever since man began? Exactly. But why? All right, Captain Yates, the curtains. Now creatures like those have been seen over and over again throughout the history of man, and man has turned them into myths, gods or devils, but they’re neither. They are, in fact, creatures from another world.
BENTON: Do you mean like the Axons and the Cybermen?
DOCTOR: Precisely, only far, far older and immeasurably more dangerous.

Pyramids of Mars

SARAH: Hey, Doctor. Doctor, look what I’ve found.
DOCTOR: Hello, Vicky.
SARAH: What?
DOCTOR: Hmm? Where did you get that dress?
SARAH: I just told you. I found it back there in the wardrobe. Why, don’t you like it?
DOCTOR: Yes. Yes, I always did. Victoria wore it. She travelled with me for a time

Spearhead from Space

BRIGADIER: Since UNIT was formed, there’ve been two attempts to invade this planet.
LIZ: Really
BRIGADIER: We were lucky enough to be able to stop them. There was a policy decision not to inform the public.
LIZ: Do you seriously expect me to believe that
BRIGADIER: It’s not my habit to tell lies, Miss Shaw.
LIZ: I’m sorry, but it is a fantastic story.
BRIGADIER: We were very lucky on both occasions. We had help from a scientist with a great experience of other life forms.
LIZ: Really Who was this genius
BRIGADIER: Well, it’s all rather difficult to explain. We used to call him the Doctor.
(A phone buzzes.)
BRIGADIER: Yes

The War Games

TIME LORD: You have heard the charge against you, that you have repeatedly broken our most important law of non-interference in the affairs of other planets. What have you to say? Do you admit these actions?
DOCTOR: I not only admit them, I am proud of them. While you have been content merely to observe the evil in the galaxy, I have been fighting against it.
TIME LORD 3: It is not we who are on trial here, Doctor, it is you.
DOCTOR: No, no, of course, you’re above criticism, aren’t you.
TIME LORD: Do you admit that these actions were justified?
DOCTOR: Yes, of course, I do. Give me a thought channel and I’ll show you some of the evils I’ve been fighting against.
(The Time Lords nod to each other.)
DOCTOR: The Quarks, deadly robot servants of the cruel Dominators, they tried to enslave a peace loving race. Then there were the Yeti, more robot killers, instruments of an alien intelligence trying to take over the planet Earth.
TIME LORD 3: All this is entirely irrelevant.
DOCTOR: You asked me to justify my actions, I am doing so. Let me show you the Ice Warriors, cruel Martian invaders, they tried to conquer the Earth too. So did the Cybermen, half creature, half machine. But worst of all were the Daleks, a pitiless race of conquerors exterminating all who came up against them. All these evils I have fought while you have done nothing but observe. True, I am guilty of interference, just as you are guilty of failing to use your great powers to help those in need!
TIME LORD: Is that all you have to say?
DOCTOR: Well, isn’t it enough?
TIME LORD: Your defence has been heard and will be carefully considered, but you have raised difficult issues. We require time to think about them. You will be recalled when we have made our decision.

The Curse of Peladon

(There are footsteps so they duck back behind the tapestry as a familiar scaly-armoured green figure hisses its way past. They follow it to a corner.)
JO: What was that
DOCTOR: That, Jo, was an Ice Warrior. A native of the planet Mars.
JO: You’ve seen them before
DOCTOR: Yes, indeed I have, and believe me, they’re not very pleasant company.

Day of the Daleks (TV story) | Tardis | Fandom

Ultimately Doctor Who as you can see did very much care about it’s continuity. To say that it didn’t just because of a few minor continuity blips, sprinkled throughout a 26 year history is once again dishonest and harmful.

Fandom seems to have it in their heads that continuity is something that only fans care about, and that it consists of just shoehorning in pointless references. It doesn’t.

Continuity is essentially just making sure a story stays consistent. For instance if you establish that a character like Buffy has super strength, but cannot survive bullet wounds, or conventional weapons then that becomes part of canon. A proper writer will therefore want to work within that, and not have Buffy survive a bullet wound to the head because of her powers. A lazy hack however will have Buffy get shot in the head with a shotgun and be perfectly fine, and justify it with “continuity is for nerds.”

Similarly if a character’s story has been built up for years by other writers, then it won’t just be die hards that care about it being followed up on. If you bring the character back without explanation after being killed off, people will feel cheated. (In all fairness Classic Who was guilty of this with The Master after his supposed death in Planet of Fire. However that was rightfully criticised at the time. It makes no sense to use a bad example of something from Classic Who as a template whilst ignoring all of the good.) Similarly if you undo years of development and don’t explain why, even casual viewers will feel cheated.

Trying to turn continuity into something that must be ignored is a terrible idea, as essentially it is telling viewers “nothing matters. We are too lazy to try and remain consistent to any degree about characters, histories, powers, or anything like that.”

It also means you can’t develop a character properly. After all if their entire history can be just tossed aside (because continuity is for nerds.) How can you possibly develop them over a long period? An example of this from New Who was the development of Missy into a more heroic character that was quickly dropped without explanation when the Master returned in the Chibnall era.

“What about the two different origins for the Daleks in Genesis and the first Dalek story, and what about the Time Lord’s being presented completely differently. That proves Doctor Who constantly rewrote itself as those are large parts of the lore, not just minor blips.”

No it doesn’t. To start with those changes are nowhere near as big as they have been made out to be. (Often by people like Paul Cornell.) Second of all those changes were still carefully done. Again I am not saying you can’t ever have any retcon’s or changes, but even with a retcon it still has to fit in with what came before to a reasonable extent.

In the first Dalek story we learn that the Daleks were once humanoid creatures called the Dals who engaged the Thals in an atomic war which destroyed the surface of Skaro. Both species were mutated as a result, and whilst the Thals mutation cycle eventually came full circle, the Dals mutated into the Daleks, and housed themselves inside metallic casings.

In Genesis of the Daleks, we find out that the Daleks humanoid ancestors were called Kaleds instead. Like the Dals, the Kaleds engaged the Thals in an atomic war that destroyed the surface of Skaro. Both species slowly began to mutate, but in Genesis it is revealed that the Kaleds leading scientist Davros, accelerated the Kaleds mutation cycle (as well as tampered with their minds for his own ends) before placing the mutants inside metal casings, creating the Daleks in the process.

At a glance these two origins stories are deeply contradictory, but Terry Nation (who wrote both stories.) Insisted that they weren’t.

Nation argued that in the first Dalek story we only heard a vague, second hand account about the Daleks origins written thousands of years later from the Thals history records. In Genesis we see a first hand account meanwhile. Therefore the first Dalek story’s origin can be dismissed as just simply the Thals (who were a primitive society at that time) getting their history wrong.

He says as such in this interview at roughly 9 mins 50 seconds.

Personally I think this is a fair enough answer. As Nation himself has pointed out there often many contradictory historical records of different events and important figures.

The point is that Genesis shows us a first hand account, and so after Genesis there is no third origin story for the Daleks. There’s no wiggle room left after Genesis.

Similarly in The Deadly Assassin, Robert Holmes never set out to destroy canon, or smash things up as Paul Cornell said.

The Deadly Assassin was controversial, because prior to The Deadly Assassin the Time Lords had seemingly been portrayed in a sympathetic light, whilst The Deadly Assassin portrayed them as being somewhat corrupt.

Holmes was able to defend the story however, by stating that as far as he was concerned the Time Lords had always had a dark side.

He argued that they had a death penalty (as seen in The War Games) which meant that they were not total pacifists. He also argued that they had produced a number of renegades which suggested that their society was entirely peaceful. (The Meddling Monk, The War Chief, The Master, Omega and Morbius, all of whom were created by other writers. Morbius was introduced in a story Holmes had script edited, but the character was still the creation of Terrance Dicks.)

Holmes also argued that the Time Lords had punished the Doctor in a severe way by exiling him, and that they had been depicted as unfair and unjust in Jon Pertwee’s time in their treatment of the Doctor.

See here for Holmes words on the subject.

I looked at all that was known about Gallifrey, and it was very litte. The only occasion when more than one Time Lord had been seen in the programme was at the end of The War Games, when a group of them condemned Patrick Troughton to exile on earth for interfering in the affais of other races.

Hang on! Wasn’t it usually a Time Lord who was seen dispatching the Doctor on some important mission? And didn’t this normally result in a bit of some distant planet being blown up? In this case wasn’t it grossly hypocritical to punish Troughton by turning him into Jon Pertwee?

This new hypothesis seemed to fit better than the old belief that Time Lords were lofty minded, cosmic Buddhists. It explained why the Doctor never went near Gallifrey; why in The Brain of Morbius he flew into a rage over their interference and used the telling phrase “won’t soil their lily white hands; and why Morbius himself called them “pallid, devious worms”. It also, I thought explained the disproportionately high number of villainous megalomaniacs emanating from Gallifrey. The Meddlesome Monk, The Master, Omega, The War Chief and Morbius.

I have therefore decided to depict the Time Lords as an inward looking oilgarchy, involved in constant political intrique within their own version of the Palace of Westminster. This interpretation seems fully defensible in the light of the known facts..

Of course we had often been told what splendid chaps they were, interested solely in the welfare of the universe, but it was usually a Time Lord who told us this anyway, it could be dismissed as taradiddle.”

You can see with this in mind that Robert Holmes certainly didn’t have the Paul Cornell mindset of “I can do anything I want.” If he were going to reveal something new or provide a new interpretation of an old character, he would still try and make it fit with what came before.

That’s what any writer should do when trying to rewrite, or reinterpret something that has been established. They find a loop hole, or a way to make their retcon still fit somewhat.

Even outside of Doctor Who you can see that the most successful retcons have worked this way.

In Batman The Killing Joke, Alan Moore added a whole new backstory to the Joker, but again Moore made it fit with established DC continuity. Prior to this adventure, the only thing we knew about the Jokers past was that he had once been a criminal known as the Red Hood, who had fallen into a vat of chemicals. The chemicals bleached his skin white and drove him insane, resulting in the birth of the Joker.

Moore still kept those elements of the Jokers origins intact, but again used the wiggle room that was there to show us who the Joker was before donning the Red Hood persona. (Which had never been revealed before.)

“The Joker has a kind of muddy kind of origin. They’d said that he’d been the leader of a criminal gang called the Red Hood Mob and that while trying to escape from Batman he’d swum across this river of chemicals…That was about it and this was from a story from like the late 50s or something, and so I thought “Okay I won’t contradict that,” because I kind of believe in working by the rules of the material as it already exists but I can put a lot of spin on that.”

This is how you build on established characters backstories. You fill in any gaps there are, see what wiggle room is still left for you to play around with, try and do something new with them in the present.

If you take the Paul Cornell/Fitzroy approach of just trampling over all established aspects of an established character however, very soon you won’t have anything left of said character, or any kind of consistent universe or mythology or franchise.

This is what has happened to Doctor Who and in the next article we will examine just how the revival smashed the core identity of the Doctor to pieces.

We will be examining how from even the Eccelston era, the revival did not stay true to the Doctors character, and also how this changed the direction of the series and it’s audience as a result.

To Be Continued

What Ruined Doctor Who: Part 1

Image result for Jodie Whittaker

Well its official now, Jodie Whittakers era has been a disaster. DVD sales are down, merchandise is virtually non existent, and the shows viewers have dropped almost every week since her first episode to under 4 million.

That’s with all the publicity, support and promotion the show could have, and it being placed in the best time slot. (Not only is Sunday night less competetive, but the show is also being shown in January, the best month for any tv show.)

Naturally fans have begun to hurl accusations at certain individuals and groups for ruining this once most wonderful of series.

Chris Chibnall, Jodie Whittaker and the SJW boogey men tend to get the most of the blame. I used to hold the SJWs solely responsible, but in truth now I think they were merely a symptom of the greater problems with the entire 21st century version of Doctor Who.

Ulltimately the 21st century version of Doctor Who never showed any respect to the original. It never attempted to carry on its story arcs, characterisation of the Doctor or other characters like the Master, the Daleks etc.

It was always in essence a remake, which would have been fine, except that it insisting on being a sequel in order to cash in on the originals huge success.

Sadly however unlike other fandoms that generally tend to reject unfaithful adaptations, Doctor Who fans have been quite unique in rolling over and taking the vandalisation of their favourite series.

Over the course of this miniseries, we will see how a particular fandom incrowd were able to dominate all areas of the Doctor Who franchise, not just the television series. We will see how this incrowd didn’t have the shows best interests at heart, how they nurtured a kind of self loathing fanboy mentality and spread lies, such as “Doctor Who is all about change, so all change is good”: and how these lies ultimately destroyed the very core concept of Doctor Who.

The Fitzroy Crowd and their takeover of the franchise

Image result for paul cornell steven moffat

Throughout the 90s when Doctor Who was off the air, a fandom incrowd began to take over all forms of Doctor Who related media. The book range, the magazine, the audios. This incrowd have often been referred to as the Fitzroy Crowd, as they all used to congregate at the Fitzroy pub. They included Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Paul Cornell, Nicholas Briggs, Mark Gatiss and Chris Chibnall.

The Fitzroy Crowd, contrary to popular belief were not the only people interested in reviving Doctor Who throughout the wilderness years. Terry Nation the co-creator of the Daleks pitched a version, as did Leonard Nimoy, the actor and director best known for playing Spock in Star Trek. Steven Spielberg even expressed an interest in the brand at one point.

See here.

“Leonard Nimoy is a very pleasant, courteous, soft-spoken and generous man, who had already invested a great deal of time in researching Doctor Who. He had accumulated a fairly extensive collection of videotapes, covering all seven incarnations of the Doctor. We spent a fruitful couple of hours discussing the very basis of the show – what makes Doctor Who Doctor Who – as well as the psychology of its hero, companions, and various off-the-wall casting ideas.”

-From the Nth Doctor book.

The Fitzroy Crowd however I feel had a slight advantage over the others as they had connections within the BBC. (Steven Moffat’s mother in law is Beryl Vertue, whilst Russell T Davies was close friends with Julie Gardner before making the revival.)

Of course that’s not to say it was entirely nepotism as to why they were handed the brand. Davies and Moffat had both produced award winning, successful shows prior to working on the new series. As Terrance Dicks himself said, getting ahead is both who you know, and what you know.

Still ultimately I think its fair to say that Davies and Moffats connections might have given them more of an edge than say Leonard Nimoy, who though more famous; would have undoubtedly been looked down on by the heads of the BBC, as the star of a silly sci fi series. (The heads of the BBC were known for their disdain for the genre in the 90s and 00s, which also undoubtedly contributed to Doctor Who’s long hiatus.)

Still the Fitzroy crowd in hindsight I don’t think were really the right people to bring the show back, despite the massive succes of the revival at first. To me the Fitzroy crowd have always been too cliquey and refused to ever allow contrary voices to get a look in.

This article from Lawrence Miles about Paul Cornell sums up the Fitzroy Crowd’s attitude towards their critics.

“But if all this monkey-posturing sounds absurd, then let’s put in the context of the late ’90s / early 2000s. You may remember a time, in the days before “Doctor Who fans” meant thirteen-year-olds, when the Virgin / BBC novels actually seemed important. The authors certainly thought they were important, and pride was their most valued possession. After all, the reason I gained a reputation as an unhealthy influence was that I broke what Keith Topping called “the unspoken code”, the Omerta-like law which held that New Adventures writers should all stick together in the face of fandom and not publicly criticise each others’ work. I say “Omerta”, but in practice, they behaved more like Medieval overlords than mafiosa: the elite have to form a united front, because otherwise, they’ll be revealed as weak, flabby individuals and the peasants will get ideas above their station. Oh, and you’re the peasants, by the way. When the new series began, those authors who were promoted to scriptwriter-level went from “overlords” to “royalty”, which is why my heartless attack on Mark Gatiss was received with the same shock as if a small-time landowner in the Middle Ages had just referred to the Prince of the Realm as a big spaz.

You think I’m exaggerating…? Then consider this. When Paul Cornell took me to task for the social faux-pas of having opinions, he seemed appalled that I was incapable of respecting the natural hierarchy, and asked whether there was anybody I ‘bent the knee’ to. Bent the knee…? What is this, geek feudalism? When I told him that I had no interest in serving or reigning, he asked me: ‘Do your followers know that?’ I found it horrifying that anyone could even think that way, and I still do.”

Now Lawrence Miles is in all fairness a biased source against the Fitzroy Crowd. He had a very big public falling out with most of them in the 00s, but still when you look at their interactions with people on twitter, or what the likes Davies himself has to say about his critics it becomes obvious that there is at least a grain of truth to Miles statements.

Here

“I do worry about being surrounded by yes-men. You’re right, it happens. […] I don’t think it’s happened to me yet. In the end, just as good writers are hard to find, so are good script editors, good producers and good execs. When you find good people like Julie and Phil, their sheer talent cancels out the risk of them yes-ing. I suppose the danger is not RTD And The Yes-Men, but a triumverate of people who are so similar that contrary opinions don’t get a look-in.”

Russell T Davies- The Writers Tale

With this in mind it becomes obvious that Doctor Who has become the vision of one fandom elite in all areas. The show, Big Finish, the books. Anyone who dislikes anything these people have to do with the show is cast out as a pariah from the fandom. Worse these people will never give up the brand it seems. When one of them stops working on the show, they will hand it over to one of their friends (who all think the same, as can be seen with Moffat and Chibnall.) As a result of this for all their talk of the show is all about change, it has become stagnated over the past 30 years to a greater extent than ever before.

Still a bigger problem lies in the fact that this fandom elite who everybody must “Bend the Knee too,” don’t actually care much for the original series at all. They have prevented it from returning as itself, peddled lies about the original that no one dare question, and have changed what the Doctor is in popular culture.

Anyone who disagrees with their opinions, like Doctor Who is all about change, a female Doctor is the best idea since Hartnell changed into Troughton etc. Then you are cast out of the fandom and franchise as a heretic.

The Fitzroy’s Crowd’s disdain for the original

Image result for 13th doctor missy

Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall claim to be lifelong fans of the original, yet they turned Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgado’s characters into what you see above. Note: I’m not having a go at the person who did the drawing which is fine, just the men who made it possible for lesbian porn to be inspired by the man behind Worzel Gummidge and the Noodle Doodle Man.

Now I don’t think that the Fitzroy Crowd hated the original series and wanted to actively destroy it. I think they all probably did watch the classic era as children and have a nostalgic love for it, but ultimately I don’t think any of them have ever watched it since it was first aired.

Chris Chibnall outright admits in this interview here that he has never watched the classic era since it was on tv.

Chris Chibnall interview

I think the same is probably true for the rest of the Fitzroy Crowd. You can tell by their opinions of the Doctor, and their analysis of the show that they clearly don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re trying to piece Doctor Who together from memory when they were children, and because nobody dares to question their opinions on anything then it becomes received wisdom.

For instance take a look at Moffat’s analysis of the character of the Doctor.

“We know him to be a sort of academic aristocrat who one day, on a simple moral imperative, erupts from the cloisters and roars through time and space on a mission to end all evil in the universe, unarmed and,if possible, politely.

Consider for a moment — as you would have to if you were casting this part — what kind of man makes a decision like that? He’s profoundly emotional (it’s a profoundly emotional decision), he’s idealistic (unarmed?? Not even a truncheon??), he feels the suffering of others with almost unbearable acuteness (or he’d have stayed at home like we all do when there s a famine or a massacre on the news), he’s almost insanely impulsive (I don’t think I need explain that one) and he is, above all, an innocent — because only an innocent would try to take on the entire cosmos and hope to persuade it to behave a little better.”

No one who has even a basic understanding of the Doctor would come to that conclusion. The Doctor it is said multiple times left Gallifrey because he wanted to explore the universe. He wanted to discover new life forms, new planets, learn the secrets of the universe as a scientist. He did NOT set out on a mission to save the universe. Furthermore far from being someone who feels the suffering of others, there are many times where the Doctor has to be forced into helping others. The Third Doctors entire era is practically him being forced to help others.

The Time Lords exile the Doctor to earth because they see it as being vulnerable to attack. He is put there to protect it as much as it is a punishment. The Doctor however still tries to leave during his exile, even though he knows the earth needs him. He even tries to leave during two crisis’! The Fourth Doctor similarly has to be forced and threatened with death into solving problems such as during the Key to Time story arc.

GUARDIAN: There are times, Doctor, when the forces within the universe upset the balance to such an extent that it becomes necessary to stop everything.
DOCTOR: Stop everything?
GUARDIAN: For a brief moment only.
DOCTOR: Ah.
GUARDIAN: Until the balance is restored. Such a moment is rapidly approaching. These segments must be traced and returned to me before it is too late, before the Universe is plunged into eternal chaos.
DOCTOR: Eternal chaos?
GUARDIAN: Eternal as you understand the term.
DOCTOR: Look, I’m sure there must be plenty of other Time Lords who’d be delighted to
GUARDIAN: I have chosen you.
DOCTOR: Yes, I was afraid you’d say something like that. Ah! You want me to volunteer, isn’t that it?
GUARDIAN: Precisely.
DOCTOR: And if I don’t?
GUARDIAN: Nothing.
DOCTOR: Nothing? You mean nothing will happen to me?
GUARDIAN: Nothing at all. Ever.

(The Tardis materialises amongst the ruins and the Doctor rushes out. Thunder rolls.)
DOCTOR: Come out, meddlesome, interfering idiots. I know you’re up there so come on out and show yourselves!
(Sarah sneaks out cautiously with a torch.)
DOCTOR: Messing about with my Tardis. Dragging us a thousand parsecs off course.
SARAH: Oi, have you gone potty? Who are you shouting at?
DOCTOR: The Time Lords, who else? Now, you see? You see? They haven’t even got the common decency to come out and show their ears.
SARAH: They’re probably afraid of getting them boxed, the way you’re carrying on.
DOCTOR: It’s intolerable. I won’t stand for any more of it.
SARAH: Oh look, why can’t it have just gone wrong again?
DOCTOR: What?
SARAH: The Tardis.
DOCTOR: What? Do you think I don’t know the difference between an internal fault and an external influence? Oh, no, no, no. There’s something going on here, some dirty work they won’t touch with their lily white hands. Well, I won’t do it, do you hear

The next segment is from Spearhead From Space where the Doctor already knows aliens have landed on earth.

(Liz give the key to the Doctor.)
DOCTOR: I’m afraid he’s going to be awfully cross with you.
LIZ: Well, if you’re quick, he mightn’t even miss it.
(The Doctor opens the Tardis door.)
LIZ: It didn’t turn when the Brigadier tried to open it.
DOCTOR: Well, that’s because the lock has a metabolism detector.
(The Doctor enters the Tardis. The Brigadier enters the lab.)
BRIGADIER: Miss Shaw, where’s that key. You’ve given it to him.
LIZ: He needed some equipment.
BRIGADIER: Equipment I had no idea you could be so gullible. That’s an excuse. We shan’t see him again.
LIZ: Oh, what do you mean©
BRIGADIER: Listen.
(The Tardis dematerialisation sequence starts, but it is stuttering.)
BRIGADIER: He’s going.
(There is the sound of a small explosion inside the Tardis, some smoke comes out and the noise grinds to a halt. The Doctor emerges, coughing.)
DOCTOR: Just testing. I wanted to see if the controls
LIZ: Doctor, you tricked me.
DOCTOR: Yes. The temptation was too strong, my dear. It’s just that I couldn’t bear the thought of being tied to one planet and one time. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.
BRIGADIER: It won’t. Give me the key, Doctor.

Ultimately the Doctor is a hedonistic character. Someone who just wants to live life by his own rules and hates being forced to do anything he doesn’t want to. He does still have a strong moral sense, so if he sees a problem, most of the time he will interfere. (Though many times the Doctor is also just trying to help himself after his curiosity has gotten him into trouble.) Still he is not someone on a mission to save the universe.

As for being unarmed, this is yet another gross misunderstanding of the Doctors character. The Doctor is a scientist first and foremost who wants to simply explore, so he naturally doesn’t like weapons. Still far from being idealistic, the Doctor is practical and understands that sometimes he has to use weapons to protect himself and the people around him.

Case in point.

DOCTOR: Professor, you don’t happen to have an elephant gun, do you?
LITEFOOT: Elephants? Why on Earth do you want an elephant gun?
DOCTOR: We’re about to embark on a very dangerous mission.
LITEFOOT: Well, I’ve a Chinese fowling piece if that’s any good. Used for duck, mainly.
(The Doctor looks at the long-barreled weapon.)
DOCTOR: Made in Birmingham. Yes, that’s the main requirement. Could you get me a small boat?

Steven Moffat also said that he wanted to recapture the dynamic of Pertwee’s Doctor and Delgado’s Master with Gomez/Capaldi (I’ll give you a minute to laugh at that) by depicting the Doctor and the Master as friends.

Moffat said that not once did Pertwee and Delgado play the Doctor and the Master as anything but friends.

Here’s the quote.

“I was looking back at the old Jon Pertwee/Roger Delgado ones and what’s fascinating about that is that they only ever play it as friends. They never, ever play it as enemies at all. They’re just two gentlemen having fun with each other. The Doctor’s best friend is a murdering psychopath, that’s actually quite fun.”

Here are some actual interactions between Pertwee and Delgado.

MASTER: I hope I’m not interrupting anything important.
DOCTOR: No, no, indeed not. You’ve come here to kill me, of course.
MASTER: But not without considerable regret.
DOCTOR: How very comforting.
MASTER: You see, Doctor, you’re my intellectual equal. Almost. I have so few worthy opponents. When they’ve gone, I always miss them.
DOCTOR: How did you get in here.
MASTER: Oh, don’t be trivial, Doctor. I see you’ve been working on the Nestene autojet. My own small contribution to their invasion plan.
DOCTOR: Vicious, complicated and inefficient. Typical of your way of thinking.
MASTER: Now, come, come, Doctor. Death is always more frightening when it strikes invisibly.
DOCTOR: Tell me, how do you intend to activate these flowers.
MASTER: Oh, by a radio impulse which the Nestenes will send. I shall open the channel for them. We’ve distributed four hundred and fifty thousand of these daffodils, so when four hundred and fifty thousand people fall dead, the country will be disrupted.
DOCTOR: And in the confusion the Nestenes will land their invasion force.
MASTER: Exactly. It’s a shame that you can’t be here to enjoy the chaos and destruction with me. Goodbye, Doctor.
(Jo walks in just as the Master was about to shoot the Doctor. As the Master is distracted, the Doctor grabs something from the bench.)
JO: You were quite right
DOCTOR: Wait! Don’t shoot.
MASTER: Doctor, you do disappoint me. We Time Lords are expected to face death with dignity.
JO: Oh, no!
DOCTOR: Don’t worry. He’s not going to kill me.
MASTER: That is your last mistake.
DOCTOR: If you fire that thing, you will never be able to leave this planet.
MASTER: You’re bluffing on an empty hand, Doctor.
DOCTOR: I’m not bluffing and my hand, as you can see, is not empty. If you kill me, you will destroy the dematerialisation circuit from your own Tardis. You recognise it, I feel sure.
MASTER: Where did you get that.

See how the Master is willing to kill him and the Doctor has to genuinely bluff his way out? Hey maybe this is just one out of character moment for Delgado?

The Daemons

MASTER: You realise, of course, that you’re a doomed man, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Oh, I’m a dead man. I knew that as soon as I came through that door, so you’d better watch out. You see, I’ve nothing to lose, have I?
MASTER: Enough! Azal, destroy him!
AZAL: Who is this?!
MASTER: My enemy and yours, Azal. Destroy him!
AZAL: This is the one we spoke of. He too is not of this planet.
MASTER: He is a meddler and a fool.
AZAL: He is not a fool, yet he has done a foolish thing coming here. Why did you come?
DOCTOR: I came to talk to you.                                                                                                                   
DOCTOR: To try and make you listen to me.
AZAL: Why should I? I see no consequence of value.
MASTER: Then kill him. Kill him now!
AZAL: Very well.
(Azal aims his hand at the Doctor.)
JO: No!            

The Time Monster                                                                                                                                             

DOCTOR: Greetings to you, Krasis. Any friend of the Master’s is an enemy of mine.
MASTER: Oh come, Doctor, must we play games? I take it you have something to say to me before I destroy you?
DOCTOR: Yes, I most certainly have.

MASTER: Miss Grant?
JO [on scanner]: What’s happened to the Doctor? You must help him!
MASTER: Ah, he’s beyond my help, my dear. He’s beyond anybody’s help.
JO [on scanner]: You mean that thing, that, that creature really swallowed him up?
MASTER: Ah, that’s a nice point. Yes and no. Yes, it engulfed him. No, it didn’t actually eat him up. He’s out there in the time vortex and there he’s going to stay.
JO [on scanner]: Then he is alive?
MASTER: Well, if you can call it that. Alive for ever in an eternity of nothingness. To coin a phrase, a living death.
JO [on scanner]: That that’s the most cruel, the most wicked thing I ever heard.
MASTER: Thank you, my dear. Now, what are we going to do about you, though? You’re an embarrassment to me. As indeed is that antiquated piece of junk of the Doctor’s. Now let me see
JO [on scanner]: I don’t really care anymore. Do what you like, but just get it over with.
MASTER: Your word is my command. Goodbye, Miss Grant!
(The two Tardises move in and out of each other in the vortex. On the scanner, Jo’s image sways then blurs as the two time machines finally separate.)

Episode Five

The Sea Devils

DOCTOR: How do you know about them?
MASTER: Oh, from the Time Lord’s files.
DOCTOR: More stolen information?
MASTER: Naturally.
DOCTOR: Well, why do you want to contact them?
MASTER: Those reptiles, Doctor, were once the rulers of this Earth. And with my help, they can be so again.                                                                                                                                                   
DOCTOR: I still don’t see why you want to help them. What can you possibly gain?
MASTER: The pleasure of seeing the human race exterminated, Doctor. The human race of which you are so fond. Believe me, that’ll be a reward in itself.

The Mind of Evil

JO: But I don’t see why you’re so upset. If you give him back the circuit and he hands over the missile
DOCTOR: You just don’t understand, do you, Jo? Once he gets that circuit back he’s free to roam through time and space. We’d never catch him.
JO: Then you’ll just have to give in. The Master’s got the missile and all we’ve got is this wretched machine.
DOCTOR: Jo, will you stop stating the obvious. What did you say?
JO: I said all we’ve got is this machine.
DOCTOR: Well, that’s it. That’s the answer. We’ve got the machine and we’ve got our friend, Barnham.
JO: I don’t understand.
DOCTOR: With a little help from you, old chap, we can destroy this machine and the Master at the same time.

[The Master’s Tardis]

MASTER: Ah, Doctor. I was afraid you’d be worried about me, so I thought I’d let you know that I’m alive and well.

[Prison Governor’s office]

DOCTOR: I’m extremely sorry to hear that.

Colony in Space

DOCTOR: Now you stay here! I’ve got to try and stop this senseless killing.
MASTER: It won’t do any good, Doctor. They won’t listen to you. It’s always the innocent bystander who suffers eventually.
DOCTOR: And what’s that supposed to mean?
MASTER: (leveling a gun) I’m afraid you’re both about to become the victims of stray bullets

Frontier in Space

(The Master is in the cage with Jo.)
MASTER: Why? What’s his plan?
JO: He wanted to get to the flight deck. He was outside the ship when you made your course correction!
MASTER: Was he now. How very unfortunate (laughs). By now he’s probably thousands of miles away, swimming around in space by himself. But just in case he isn’t, you come with me, Miss Grant. Come on.

Claws of Axos

MASTER: Stop him! Don’t you understand. He’s committing suicide and he’s taking us all with him! He’s doing this for Earth, not for you. He’s putting you all in a time loop and you’ll never get out of it! Never!

DOCTOR: Well, it’s perfectly simple, Brigadier. A time loop is, er. Well, it’s a time loop. One passes continually through the same points in time. Passes through the same. Yes. Well, the Axons said they wanted time travel and now they’ve got it.
FILER: What about the Master.
DOCTOR: Well, I sincerely hope he’s with them.
FILER: Hope.
DOCTOR: Well, I can’t be absolutely sure. I was pretty busy at the time. But I’m ninety percent certain though.
FILER: How much.
DOCTOR: Well, pretty certain. Well, I suppose he could have got away. Just.

Yep the Master and the Doctor were never portrayed as enemies in Delgado’s time. Except in literally every single Delgado story!

It is true that the two were meant to have been friends years ago, and the Doctor does express some regret at how the Masters turned out. Also in Colony in Space the Master offers to let the Doctor help him build his better world.

However the Doctor and Masters past friendship is actually only mentioned in a grand total of one story of the entire classic era, the Sea Devils. It is never presented as interfering in eithers feud with one another in the present. Both may have regrets, but both are perfectly willing to kill the other if need be from the start and the more their feud goes on, the more they develop a genuine hatred for each other that eclipses their former friendship.

Furthermore in Colony in Space the Master’s offer to the Doctor is less about the Doctor and more about his beliefs in building a better galaxy.

The Master throughout the Delgado era wants to rule over planets like the earth because he believes that under his rule he can make them a better place.

See here.

AZAL: I answered your call because the time was come for my awakening. The time has come for the completion of the experiment or its destruction.
MASTER: Then fulfill your mission by granting the ultimate power to me. Who else is there strong enough to give these humans the leadership they need?
DOCTOR: I seem to remember somebody else speaking like that. What was the bounder’s name? Hitler. Yes, that’s right, Adolf Hitler. Or was it Genghis Khan?
MASTER: Azal, I have the will. You yourself said so.

At first he thinks that the Doctor can help him build this better world, as he is on a similar wavelength (another renegade Time Lord.) When he finds out that the Doctor will not only never help him, but is actually a bigger threat. The Master becomes determined to destroy the Doctor, which leads to their feud intensifying.

Moffat however has clearly never watched these stories since the early 70s but remembers vaguely that Delgado and Pertwee were friends in real life and assumes it must have been that way on the show. This explains his ridiculous reading of their relationship. Two guys who regularly tried to shoot each other, blow each other up, stab each other etc, were just two old gentlemen having a laugh!

Similarly the Doctors phobia about guns as we have seen is something that no one who actually watched the show could possibly think. Chris Chibnall openly said in a recent interview that the Doctor never throws punches or fires bullets.

Its not like these are isolated incidents. Part of Jon Pertwee’s entire Doctor was that he was an excellent fighter.

Then there was the moment the Fitzroy crowd actually came third in a Doctor Who trivia quiz.

Steven Moffat Comes Third in Doctor Who Quiz

Clearly the Fitzroy crowd have no knowledge of or interest in the Classic Show. They liked it as children, and they like some of the ideas and characters such as the Daleks, but ultimately they see Classic Who as a boring, embarassing, dated old show that they fixed.

See here for Moffat’s opinions of the show in the 90s.

Back when I was in my early twenties, I thought Doctor Who was the scariest programme on television. I had one particular Who-inspired nightmare which haunts me to this day — except it wasn’t a nightmare at all, it was something that happened to me on a regular basis. I’d be sitting watching Doctor Who on a Saturday, absolutely as normal… but I’d be in the company of my friends!!

Being a fan is an odd thing, isn’t it? I was in little doubt — though I never admitted it, even to myself — that Doctor Who was nowhere near as good as it should have been, but for whatever reason I’d made that mysterious and deadly emotional connection with the show that transforms you into a fan and like a psychotically devoted supporter of a floundering football club, I turned out every Saturday in my scarf, grimly hoping the production team would finally score.

Of course my friends all knew my devotion to the Doctor had unaccountably survived puberty and had long since ceased to deride me for it. I think (I hope) they generally considered me someone of reasonable taste and intelligence and decided to indulge me in this one, stunningly eccentric lapse. And sometimes, on those distant Saturday afternoons before domestic video my nightmare would begin. I’d be stuck out somewhere with those friends and I’d realise in a moment of sweaty panic that I wasn’t going to make it home in time for the programme—or worse, they’ d be round at my house not taking the hint to leave — so on my infantile insistence we’d all troop to the nearest television and settle down to watch, me clammy with embarrassment at what was to come, my friends tolerant, amused and even open-minded.

And the music would start. And I’d grip the arms of my chair. And I’d pray! Just this once, I begged, make it good. Not great, not fantastic —just good. Don’t, I was really saying, show me up.

And sometimes it would start really quite well. There might even be a passable effects shot (there were more of those than you might imagine) and possibly a decent establishing scene where this week’s expendable guest actors popped outside to investigate that mysterious clanking/groaning/beeping/slurping sound before being found horribly killed/gibbering mad an episode later.

At this point I might actually relax a little. I might even start breathing and let my hair unclench. And then it would be happen. The star of the show would come rocketing through the door, hit a shuddering halt slap in the middle of the set and stare at the camera like (and let’s be honest here) a complete moron.

I’d hear my friends shifting in their chairs. I could hear sniggers tactfully suppressed. Once one of them remarked (with touching gentleness, mindful of my feelings) that this really wasn’t terribly good acting.

Of course, as even they would concede, Tom Baker (for it was he) had been good once — even terrific — but he had long since disappeared up his own art in a seven-year-long act of self-destruction that took him from being a dangerous young actor with a future to a sad, mad old ham safely locked away in a voice-over booth.

Which brings us, of course, to Peter Davison (for it was about to be him). I was appalled when he was cast. I announced to my bored and blank-faced friends that Davison was far too young, far too pretty, and far, far too wet to play television’s most popular character (as, I deeply regret to say, I described the Doctor). Little did I realise, back in 1982, that after years of anxious waiting on the terraces in my front room, my home team were about to score — or that Davison was about to do something almost never before seen in the role of the Doctor. He was going to act.

Let’s get something straight, because if you don’t know now it’s time you did. Davison was the best of the lot. Number One! It’s not a big coincidence or some kind of evil plot, that he’s played more above-the-title lead roles on the telly than the rest of the Doctors put together. It’s because-get this!-he’s the best actor.

You don’t believe me? Okay, let’s check out the opposition, Doctor-wise (relax, I’ll be gentle).

1. William Hartnell. Look, he didn’t know his lines! (okay, fairly gentle. It wasn’t his fault) and it’s sort of a minimum requirement of the lead actor dial he knows marginally more about what’s going to happen next than the audience. In truth, being replaceable was his greatest gift to the series. Had the first Doctor delivered a wonderful performance they almost certainly would not have considered a recast and the show would have died back in the sixties.

2. Patrick Troughton. Marvellous! Troughton, far more than the dispensable, misremembered Hartnell, was the template for the Doctors to come and indeed his performance is the most often cited as precedent for his successors. Trouble is, the show in those days was strictly for indulgent ten-year-olds (and therefore hard to judge as an adult). Damn good, though, and Davison’s sole competitor.

3. Jon Pertwee. The idea of a sort of Jason King with a sillier frock isn’t that seductive, really, is it? In fairness he carried a certain pompous gravitas and was charismatic enough to dominate the proceedings as the Doctor should. Had his notion of the character been less straightforwardly heroic he might have pulled off something a little more interesting. His Worzel Gummidge, after all,is inspired and wonderful.

4. Tom Baker. Thunderingly effective at the start, even if his interpretation did seem to alter entirely to fit this week’s script. (Compare, say, THE SEEDS OF DOOM and THE CITY OF DEATH. Is this supposed to be the same person?) I think I’ve said quite enough already about his sad decline so let’s just say that it’s nice to see him back on top form in Medics. Well, is was while it lasted.

5. Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. Miscast and floundering. Neither made much impression on the role and none at all on the audience. Or at least on me.

Is it because Davison doesn’t fit the established, middle-aged image of the Time Lord — even though, with twelve regenerations the Doctor must be a rather young Gallifreyan with, we know, a definitively youthful, rebellious outlook? Is it that some fans had actually latched on to tackier, more juvenile style of the earlier seasons and actually missed that approach? Whatever the explanation, if it’s possible for anyone to watch something like KINDA and not realise the show was suddenly in a whole different class then I find that slightly worrying. Perhaps — no definitely — there’s something about being a fan that skews your critical judgements.”

Now in all fairness to Moffat he did refute some of these criticisms. People’s opinions change over time (my opinion of New Who has become more negative for instance in the last few years.) Still I can’t help but think that Steven Moffat deep down still feels this way towards the Classic era.

Look at his depiction of the First Doctor in Capaldi’s last story. Here he rewrote the First Doctor to be a sexist, sexual braggard!

This is a shameful misrepresentation of the character to 21st century audiences. The first Doctor was never depicted as a sexist. His era actually featured many strong, brave female characters such as Barbara and Sara Kingdom, both of whom the Doctor never treated as inferior or less than the men around him.

The Doctor could be condescending to Susan, but that was because Susan was his grand daughter and 15 years old! The Dalek Invasion of Earth depicts the Doctor as still viewing Susan as a child only to realise at the end that she is now a woman, and has outgrown him. The line about how she needs a jolly good smacked bottom, is meant to be embarassing as it shows the Doctor still viewing Susan as a troublesome little girl.

Moffat however completely takes it out of context and has the Doctor say the same thing to Bill, a 20 something woman he has never met before! This almost makes the Doctor look like a dirty old man. Its one thing to still view your teenage grand daughter that you raised as a little girl, its another to walk up to an obviously adult woman you don’t know and threaten to spank her! (The fact that he earlier boasted about the members of the fairer sex he’s known, like Al Bundy would, just makes it worse.)

Steven Moffat is far from the only member of the Fitzroy crowd to trash the original.

Russell T Davies outright said that the original was an utter joke until he and David Tennant came along.

See here.

It’s hard to express the joy of that. For 20 years, this thing was a joke. It was slightly embarrassing admitting liking it. In fact, very embarrassing. You’d see comedians taking the piss out of it. It would crop up on I Love the 60s shows, where they would make it look like rubbish. And to see it being what it always was in our hearts is just amazing. You mentioned it in the same sentence as James Bond. My God, that’s impossible!

Can you feel the love Russell T Davies has for the original series?

Mark Gatiss similarly said in a recent interview that if the revival had not come along, then the original would have been forgotten about as it didn’t hold up to modern audiences.

With “fans” like this, who the fuck needs haters? Seriously what can a hater do to the original that the Fitzroy Crowd haven’t? Say it doesn’t hold up? Insult its characters and the actors who played them? Create a narrative that the original was a total joke that has been accepted by the press?

I think most of the Fitzroy Crowd simply saw the show as being a potential cash cow that could further their careers. Russell T Davies for instance originally pitched Torchwood as a series before Doctor Who called Excalibur, but when it was rejected he decided to spin it off from Doctor Who.

Now the narrative is often that the Fitzroy Crowd were all big shot writers who were taking a risk in producing an embarassing old show like DW.

Sadly the rest of fandom buys into their lies, but the truth of the matter is that whilst Doctor Who in the 90s was no longer a mainstream series, it was still a huge brand.

I myself grew up in the 90s. I was born in 1991 after the original series finished. I was introduced to it through video releases and I was far from the only person my age who enjoyed it. Plenty of my friends enjoyed the original series and I was never teased for liking it. Obviously everyone’s experience is different and I don’t doubt some people were ridiculed for liking it.

Doctor Who is a sci fi and fantasy series, and sci fi and fantasy sadly have a negative stigma attached to them. Even today with the record breaking success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sci fi is still seen as a niche genre in some respects.

Yes shallow morons on panel shows (tv made by idiots for idiots) laughed at Doctor Who in the 90s, but that doesn’t mean that millions of other people didn’t like it.

Incidentally even today people on panel shows and other comedy series still ridicule Doctor Who. Look at this clip from the Australian version of Gogglebox where they absolutely ridicule the 21st century Doctor Who.

If this above clip was from a 90s show then it would be used as proof that nobody ever liked Doctor Who during that decade by the Fitzroy Crowd. Face facts the type of people on these shows are never going to love Doctor Who. If its a fad for a short while, like during the Dalekmania craze, or when it was first brought back during the Tennant era, they might say they like it for a short period, but ultimately they will always view sci fi as a silly, childish genre.

During the 90s Doctor Who still had a larger following than the overwhelming majority of genre series (save possibly Star Trek.) In 2002 when the British public were asked which old series they would most like to see come back, Doctor Who topped the poll with the majority of the vote( beating out Blackadder, Fawlty Towers and Dad’s Army.) Most of the people who voted were under the age of 20, and therefore born during the time of Doctor Who’s supposed decline.

See here.

Jump to 5:20 to see the Radio Times poll.

In 2002 the Doctor was also voted the greatest tv character in a poll for SFX magazine, beating out various characters in then current, popular series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Farscape among others.

See here.

The Doctor Transcends Time To Be Voted The Best Character

Doctor Who is Sci Fi Favourite

Furthermore every single Doctor Who story that existed was released on video during the 90s and the 00s. If there had been absolutely no demand for them, why would the BBC (who had no love for the series) release obscure and poorly recieved stories like Underworld?

Even compilation videos like the Pertwee Years were best sellers. See here. Jump to 4 minutes in to see Pertwee talk about its success.

Its worth noting that even today Classic Who still maintains a devoted audience. Every single year Classic Who outsells New Who on DVD.

See here, the best selling tv series on DVD and Blue Ray in the United Kingdom for both 2015 and 2017. Classic Who ranks considerably higher than New Who for both years.

Classic Who Outsells New Who 2017

Classic Who Outsells New Who 2015

Once again its clearly mostly young people who are buying Classic Who DVD’s as the rest of the top ten tv series are all modern programmes.

Furthermore anything Doctor Who related on television was a massive success during the 90s too. Dimensions in Time, the notoriously reviled Eastenders crossover shown in 1993, pulled in over 13 million viewers. The 96 movie contrary to popular belief was not a flop either. It received a positive critical reception at the time and pulled in over 9 million viewers (almost as many as Rose, the first episode of the revival.)

Its also worth noting that until Voyage of the Damned, the first episode of the 4th series of the Russell T Davies era; Rose the first episode of the new series was also the highest rated.

So clearly Classic Who still had a massive following and does still hold up to modern audiences. Obviously I’m not saying that Classic Who could still be a mainstream series (What show from even the 90s could still be shown on primetime mainstream television?) Still to people who love sci fi and fantasy of which there are millions, Classic Who holds up as much as any other genre classic.

Furthermore given how fondly in was remembered by the general public, who’s to say that a more updated version of Classic Who with better practical effects couldn’t have pulled in millions of viewers too?

Far from being a dead show that Russell T Davies was taking a risk bringing back, it was a sleeping giant that he and the rest of the Fitzroy Crowd monopolised for themselves, used to boost their own careers and launch their own projects such as Torchwood/Excalibur.

Among the other ways the Fitzroy Crowd have attempted to down Classic Who’s success is claiming that it never had an overseas following, and that women never enjoyed Doctor Who until they came along.

The narrative is that Doctor Who was NEVER popular abroad until the Steven Moffat era. Critics and fans will often make out that Doctor Who was totally obscure in places like America until Matt Smith, which is demonstrably not true.

Doctor Who first caught on in popularity in the late 70s, early 80s. At one point in the 80s its popularity in America was greater than it was in Britain! In America DW’s viewers from 1984 on were over 9 million, whilst they generally tended to hover at 7 million in the UK  (until the 86 cancellation where they dropped.)

The Doctor Who fanclub of America was also the largest in the world throughout the 80s.

The shows popularity faded in the late 80s due to the BBC raising the prices of the stories to the point where no one could afford to buy them. This was part of the BBC’s calculated attempt to finish the show in the late 80s. (Which also included slashing its budget, giving it no publicity, putting it opposite Coronation Street etc.)

See here.

Still it nevertheless remained a cult favourite in America on a par with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Lost In Space. The character of the Doctor (or rather the 4th Doctor) became recognisable to the general population, as did other icons from the series such as the TARDIS and the Daleks.

There were many loving references to the series on American tv in shows such as the Simpsons and Futurama throughout the 90s and 00s. (The character of Leela was partially inspired by and named after Leela from Doctor Who.)

Even to this day whenever an image of the Doctor is used on America tv it’s almost always Tom Baker rather than any of the New Doctors.

See here.

Even when Sheldon is talking with his girlfriend called AMY, then its still Tom Baker they use as he is more recognisable.

Image result for the big bang theory Sheldon 4th doctor

Image result for the simpsons 4th doctor

Its hilarious that even with these references we routinely get told that Doctor Who only caught on in America from the New Series onwards.

See here.

Aside from America, Doctor Who also had large cult followings in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It was in fact shown in over 80 countries around the world.

The revival has not actually enjoyed more popularity in America than the classic era. Both are cult series in America that have enjoyed success by the standards of cult series, but neither are what you would call mainstream hits. (New Who’s viewing figures at the height of its popularity in America were barely over 2 million.) However New Who’s success is beefed up by the media, whilst Classic Who’s is done down to the point where fans who don’t know any better, assume the classic series was completely obscure Stateside until Moffat came along.

It was harder to sell series to other countries and develop followings abroad during the time of the Classic series too. No streaming service, no internet, and no channels like BBC America. A series had to actually be sold back then, and for Classic Who to be seen in 80 countries and make the millions it did for the BBC.

As for female fans, well its true that the classic era of Doctor Who was overall more of a guys show. On average men prefer sci fi to women. The reason for this is most likely because sci fi is generally perceived in popular culture to be an action genre, and men on average prefer action movies.

Actual genre fans know that sci fi can come in various different forms, but still the stigma persists and so women on average are not drawn to the genre as often as men.

Still women do need escapism and fantasy too. I think that whilst there is a grain of truth to it, the idea of women not liking sci fi is greatly exaggerated and is perhaps more of a self fulfilling prophecy.

Doctor Who meanwhile I think was able to overcome the stigma of being just an action series for women, due to the fact that its leading man was certainly not a conventional action lead. Even in Pertwee’s time. At a first glance, Pertwee who is much older is not going to seem like a conventional leading man. Doctor Who’s massive mainstream popularity from the 60s to the 80s also ensured that it became a part of British popular culture like few other genre series, and thus was more accessible to women.

Throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, Doctor Who was a family show, watched by fathers, mothers and little boys and little girls. On the 1970s Documentary, Whose Doctor Who, which is collected on the DVD release of The Talons of Weng Chiang; just as many young girls are interviewed as young boys, and just as many mothers are spoken to as fathers as representatives of DW’s core audience.

The competition winner from Doctor Who magazine was on set today, a 15-year-old girl. When I was a kid, 15-year-old girls didn’t watch Doctor Who.

-David Tennant

A surprising number of American Whovians are women. Joan Paquette a legal secretary from Boston is attracted to Doctor Who’s bumbling charm and mastery of the impossible. Says Graphic Designer Jan Scuza of Cambridge Mass, the Doctor is a humanist hero who fulfills a need in our technological society. Notes Barbara Shewchuk 28, a stenogropher from Bridgeport, Pa “The fact that Doctor Who cares about all life forms shows that you can trust him”

-Extract from Time Magazine in the early 80s.

Throughout the 90s when DW became more niche, then most of its fanbase did tend to be men in the UK. In America however throughout the 80s and the 90s, over 80 percent of its fanbase were young women. (Remember that in America it was more popular in the 80s than it was in the UK.)

Once again however these female Classic era fans are erased from history just as often as 90s era fans like me are because we don’t fit the Fitzroy did it all narrative.

Now just to be clear I am not trying to do down the Fitzroy Crowd’s success. Classic Doctor Who had a huge audience in the 00s, and Doctor Who was still a big brand. Still had the revival not captured the publics imagination on its own steam, then the nostalgia for the original would have faded within a year or so. Added to that the revival has managed to develop its own cult following in places like America, made up of many people who never saw the original series. It also has to be said that Matt Smith is unquestionably the second most recognised Doctor in America too after Tom Baker. Chances are if its not an image of Tom Baker they will use for the Doctor, it will be one of Matt Smith.

I’m more than happy to give the revival the success its due. The problem is however that the Fitzroy Crowd have not been happy to give the original credit for its success. The narrative that they have created is that the original was only ever a niche thing, liked by nerdy men (not that there is anything wrong with that!) Until they came along.

It would be like if Chris Nolan came along and said that nobody had ever heard of Batman until he directed The Dark Knight.  The reason for this however is because it helps the Fitzroy’s lies to become more accepted by the fandom, as it becomes a case of “Well if it wasn’t for us then the show would just be an embarassing little niche thing, only liked by nerds, so you have to go along with everything we say.” Which leads onto my next point.

Self Loathing Fanboys

Image result for Paul Cornell

The curse of any fandom is the self loathing fanboy.

The self loathing fanboy will usually be from a more upper middle class background, and will have been teased by people when he was younger for liking sci fi. As a result he will be desperate above all else for it to be accepted and the most popular tv show on earth.

Now fair enough we are all like this to some extent. We all seek acceptance, and we all want the things we love to get their due.

Still the self loathing fanboy is so desperate for acceptance that he will be happy to make any concessions to what he thinks are the it crowd, just to see his favourite show, character, be popular.

Whilst there are self loathing fanboys in every fandom, Doctor Who is sadly rife with them for many reasons.

Ironically a large part of that is because Doctor Who was more successful than most other genre series, and because it later received a far worse treatment from the media.

Most genre series are lucky to last a few years. Firefly, Dollhouse, Randall and Hopkirk deceased, were all axed after one year, whilst even the likes of Star Trek, Lost in Space and Blake’s 7 all only lasted three or four years.

The likes of Buffy, and Xena meanwhile were able to have decent runs, but they were shown on very small channels and only ever became big cult series. Joss Whedon even said that if Buffy were shown on a mainstream channel, its viewers would have seen it cancelled (as was the case with Firefly that was shown on a larger network.)

Classic Who however was shown on the mainstream British tv channel in the best time slot. It was one of the most popular British televisions series in general throughout the 60s and the 70s and even the early 80s. Unlike other sci fi series, which sadly are depicted as being just a thing for young men in the media. Doctor Who broke down all barriers. Mothers, fathers, little boys and little girls, and old grannies and grandfathers all gathered round to watch it.

When the show became more niche in the 90s, its fans weren’t equipped to handle it. All big franchises popularity waxes and wanes over the years. No one can remain at the top forever. This is why the most important audience to get are the cult audience who are going to stick with you no matter what.

Again take a look at Batman. Batman was a huge sensation in the 60s, only to drop back to obscurity until the 1989 film after which it was a sensation until the late 90s, only to fade again until the Nolan movies. It then went through another bad patch after the Nolan movies until the Joker in 2019.

Throughout it all however the character has remained a recognizable part of popular culture and maintained a devoted fanbase who have kept him alive.

Doctor Who was exactly the same throughout the 90s and the 00s, but sadly unlike Batman fans, DW fans weren’t equipped to deal with it. Batman had after all begun as a more niche character, so when he went back to being one, Batman fans attitude was “well we were fine before, we’ll be fine now.”

The same applies for Star Trek fans. Star Trek until the 80s was a niche thing, and after its mainstream popularity died in the 00s, their attitude again was “we got by in the 70s we can do it again.”

With Doctor Who however because it never had a period of being niche before its cancellation, they just couldn’t cope. They couldn’t bare it just being another cult series (even if it was the most popular cult series alongside Star Trek!) They couldn’t bare the thought that more casual viewers might not be as interested in it anymore, now that it wasn’t current.

In all fairness to Doctor Who fans however, the show also did have a harder time from the media in the 90s and 00s than say Star Trek ever did.

You see from the 90s on, most comedians, particularly in Britain were cowards. They only ever went after targets that the media said were safe to go after, from celebrities that the papparazzi were harrassing, to religious groups that were safe to poke fun at, to unpopular political leaders.

In order to appear edgy however, these comedians would be ridicously nasty to these easy targets.

I have already written an article exposing these comedians cowardice and bullying nature.

If you have the time please check it out. I talk about their shameful treatment of Doctor Who towards the end, but I’d recommend reading the other sections to get an idea of how these bullies work.

Why Modern Comedians Are Cowards

Sadly due to how much the BBC and the media hated the classic series, then it became an easy target for these hack comedians. Their treatment of it, much like their treatment of other vulnerable targets such as Amy Winehouse went beyond the pale. Its one thing to make a light hearted joke about a show being nerdy, or cheesy as is often the case with Star Trek. Its another to get the person who actually killed the show on to laugh and sneer at it, and make out that it was just a laughing stock.

I totally understand why a lot of Classic Who fans felt bad at this awful treatment, but you have to always look at things in a measured way. Yes these bastards may have been able to sneer at True Who in the 90s, but 30 years after it finished, Doctor Who is still one of the best selling series on DVD, whilst almost all of these panel shows that mocked it are long forgotten.

Sadly however it seems that Doctor Who fans let the bullies win. They were so desperate for the show to not ever be niche again, that they were willing to go along with any trend that they thought might make it popular.

Obviously all fans want their franchise to be successful, but there is a fine line between updating something in a practical way, and selling it out, which sadly the makers of New Who crossed from the beginning. Sadly however they were able to bully a lot Classic era fans into going along with it under the justification of “if you don’t support this we’ll go back to the 00s/90s”

As a result Classic Who fans didn’t defend the show’s traditions and lore until it was too late. Jodie Whittakers Doctor represents the final straw. There is absolutely nothing of the original left in her anymore, so fans have finally started to complain (then there is also the fact that Jodie isn’t popular either.) Still its come too little, too late..

From the start Who fans should have held the Fitzroy Crowd accountable for fucking with the lore and traditions of the character, but we didn’t.

When you look at how fans of other franchises reacted when their characters and traditions were being messed with compared with Doctor Who fans, its embarassing.

Star Trek fans complained when a Beastie Boys song was used in the trailer, because they felt it wasn’t staying true to the tone of the series.

Doctor Who fans meanwhile actually supported turning the Master, the Doctors archenemy from this.

Into this.

Again not having a go at the person who made this video. I never like to punch down, which picking on a random fan whose never done anyone any harm, and just makes videos as a hobby would be, but I think this vid is the best example of what Moffat did to the character, to contrast with the True Who portrayal of the Master. I suppose the maker of the video should be happy, that this is the best representation of Missy/12’s relationship I could think of online.

That would be like if Khan had been played by Sarah Silverman, and had been rewritten into being in love with Captain Kirk and sang “I’M FUCKING CAPTAIN KIRK” in the style of her I’m fucking Matt Damon song.

Do you think for one second that Star Trek fans would be happy with that? Do you think they’d say such ludicrous things as “Sarah Silverman channelled Ricardo Montablan when she sange about fucking Kirk” or “There was always a sexual subtext between Kirk and Khan, only homophobes don’t acknowledge it.”

As it was Trekkies were unhappy with Benedict Cumberbatch being cast. Cumberbatch gave a good, serious performance, and didn’t turn the character into a joke like Missy, but Trekkies were still unhappy with him in the role simply because he wasn’t a natural fit for the role of Khan.

Similarly look at the shit Jared Leto got from Batman fans for his performance as the Joker. Leto’s Joker whilst certainly not one of my favourites, was at the worst bland and fairly unremarkable.

That’s still better than Missy, who as I have been over before literally threw out absolutely everything about the character of the Master.

The Masters main motivation is to conquer the galaxy and make it fit his vision, hence why he calls himself THE MASTER, the clues in the fucking name Moffat. Having a version of the Master not want power is like having a version of the Joker who isn’t a clown, or a version of Magneto who doesn’t bend metal

Yet Moffat knew so little about the character he did just that.

Delgado Master

DOCTOR: (About the Masters plan to take over the galaxy.) You’re risking the total destruction of the entire cosmos.
MASTER: Of course I am. All or nothing, literally! What a glorious alternative!
DOCTOR: You’re mad! Paranoid!

MASTER: There, Miss Grant. I think we’ve seen the last of the Doctor. Buried for all time under the ruins of Atlantis. You know, I’m going to miss him.
JO: He’s not finished. I just know it.
MASTER: Of course he is.
JO: No, you’re the one who’s finished! Do you think that, that creature out there will ever let you control it?
MASTER: I do so already. He came when I called. You saw that yourself.
JO: Like a tiger comes when he hears a lamb bleating.
MASTER: Nicely put, my dear. You know, that was worthy of the late lamented Doctor himself. You know, I could kick myself for not having polished him off long ago. Just think of the future. Dominion over all time and all space. Absolute power forever. And no Doctor to ruin things for me.

MASTER :Think of it, Doctor, absolute power! Power for good. Why, you could reign benevolently, you could end wars, suffering, disease. We could save the universe.

Burned Master

MASTER: Rassilon’s discovery, all mine. I shall have supreme power over the universe. Master of all matter!

Ainley Master

DOCTOR: You’re quite right. One mistake now could ruin everything.
MASTER: I know that, Doctor, and it could happen so easily.
DOCTOR: What do you mean?
MASTER: The universe is hanging on a thread. A single recursive pulse down that cable and the CVE would close forever. Even a humble assistant could do it.
DOCTOR: You’re mad!
(The Master produces his weapon, then switches on the tape recorder to broadcast his message to the universe.)
MASTER [OC]: Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully. The message that follows is vital to the future of you all. The choice for you all is simple. A continued existence under my guidance, or total annihilation. At the time of speaking, the
DOCTOR: Blackmail.
MASTER: No, Doctor, I’m merely reporting the state of affairs. I have it in my power now to save them or destroy them.
DOCTOR: You’re utterly mad.
MASTER: Back, Doctor. The proceedings must not be interrupted. It’s mine. The CVE. It’s all mine.
DOCTOR: Only while that cable holds.

MASTER: A turbulent time, Doctor, in Earth’s history.
DOCTOR: Not one of its most tranquil, I agree.
MASTER: A critical period.
DOCTOR: You could say that.
MASTER: Oh, I do. The beginning of a new era.
PERI: Doctor, do you get his drift?
DOCTOR: I’m afraid I do, Peri.
PERI: He wants to pervert history.
DOCTOR: Not that the Prince of Darkness here would see it as perversion.
MASTER: Maudlin claptrap. The talents of these geniuses should be harnessed to a superior vision. With their help, I could turn this insignificant planet into a power base unique in the universe.
DOCTOR: And you intend to use the Rani’s bag of tricks to achieve this egocentric scheme.
MASTER: You are indeed a worthy opponent. It’s what gives your destruction its piquancy.

Now take a look at Missy, the female version of the Masters attitude to gaining ultimate power. In her first story Dark Water/Death in Heaven, she gives up an indestructable army of Cybermen to the Doctor (without a failsafe) and says.

DOCTOR: All of this. All of it, just to give me an army?
MISSY: Well, I don’t need one, do I? Armies are for people who think they’re right. And nobody thinks they’re righter than you. Give a good man firepower, and he’ll never run out of people to kill.
DOCTOR: I don’t want an army!
MISSY:
Well, that’s the trouble! Yes, you do! You’ve always wanted one! All those people suffering in the Dalek camps? Now you can save them. All those bad guys winning all the wars? Go and get the good guys back.                                                                                                                                                                
DOCTOR: Why are you doing this?
MISSY:
I need you to know we’re not so different. I need my friend back.

In what universe is that the same character? One is willing to destroy the universe to gain ultimate power, the other says she doesn’t need an army? Missy never makes any other attempt to gain power over the galaxy in her entire time on the series.

That alone is enough to make her stand out from the others (leaving aside the whole sex change.) Moffat also fucked up the Doctors relationship with the Master.

See here

True Who story, The Deadly Assassin

MASTER: Escape? Escape is not in his mind. Now he is hunting you.
GOTH: It was a mistake to bring him here. We could have used anyone.
MASTER: No, we could not have used anyone. You do not understand hatred as I understand it. Only hate keeps me alive. Why else should I endure this pain? I must see the Doctor die in shame and dishonour. Yes, and I must destroy the Time Lords. Nothing else matters. Nothing

New Who story, Dark Water.

MISSY: You know who I am. I told you. You felt it. Surely you did.
DOCTOR: Two hearts.
MISSY: And both of them yours.

DOCTOR: Clara. Clara. Clara. I’ve got to get Clara!
(The Doctor runs to the lift door.)
MISSY: Oh, Clara, Clara, Clara! You know I should shoot you in a jealous rage. Now, wouldn’t that be sexy?

On top of that, Missy embodies NONE of the Masters other character traits like his hypnotic nature, his manipulative streak, his signature weapon the TCE that shrinks people.

I’d say she is the Master in name only, but even then she’s not.

Yet poor old Jared Leto and Benedict Cumberbatch get raked over hot coals for simply not being as charismatic as Ricardo Montablan, Mark Hamill, Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, and Cesar Romero? Meanwhile some Doctor Who fans actually praise Steven Moffat for properly capturing the Masters character, and the writer himself was even able to single out Missy as one of his greatest triumphs?

The reason for that is again because a lot of Doctor Who fans are self loathers. All they care about is that the show is popular. Back in 2014, before the backlash against identity politics really began, a lot of fans felt that was what the kids were into, so they went along with it. (The makers of New Who are still under that delusion, hence why the show is crashing and burning.)

The Fitzroy Crowd are the ultimate self loathing fanboys. They were all embarassed to admit they liked Doctor Who to their snobby friends in the industry. (Moffat more or less admits in the quote I posted above.)

None of them had any respect or confidence in the format, and all were more interested in telling their own stories.

Sadly however they were able to dupe fans by playing on their collective self loathing and overwhelming desire for Who to be successful, and the result is ironically that the show is now in a worse position than ever before.

Not only did it sell out to the wrong fad, but now its hard to say what Doctor Who is anymore because its identity has been broken and twisted.

In the next article we will dissect the final lie the Fitzroy Crowd perpetrated “Doctor Who is all about change” and debunk that myth once and for all.