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  1. #1
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    Default Guest Producer - season 18

    "Guest Producer" is a feature I've dusted off from time to time over the years (see seasons 23, 22 and 20) and is best described as

    Working my way through the Trial set, I couldn't help but think of things which could've been done differently. There is a temptation to be smug after the fact and, with the benefit of hindsight, expound at length about the mistakes people made. I don't want to do that. Or at least I don't want it to sound like that. What follows are a number of suggestions of things that could've improved the season.
    The rules are simple -

    (1) You canít change anything which would be out of the producer's control (e.g. the overall budget or time slot).

    (2) You canít do anything that would've required a lot more money.

    (3) You canít ask for anything that was impossible (such as a script by Douglas Adams or a Death Star).

    (4) You canít criticise anything without offering a practical alternative.

    (5) You canít change the actor playing Doctor.

    With all that in mind, if you suddenly took up the producer's reigns at the start of Season 18 what would you have done differently and why?
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  2. #2
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    Kicking it off with a simple thing that would make Meglos a lot less silly - don't have a cactus in a pot. Maybe have a dying humanoid or non-humanoid in cactus makeup - the last being Meglos possessed - desperate to take over a new host and put his plan into action.

    Also, because the episodes run so short, there would be time for a couple of talky scenes which give vaguely plausible explanations for things - the controls are made for human fingers because Meglos built this control room for use after he'd taken humanoid form, breaking the time loop by repeating your actions works because the time loop is artificially generated by a computer and it was confused long enough for the Tardis to slip out, or even dropping hints about what was to come by raising the point that the dodecahedron seemed to be drawing power from somewhere outside the universe (ie what would later be revealed as a CVE or a pocket universe).
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  3. #3
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    The one thing I'd do is a bit of script editing, ie scrap the Master's "People of the universe..." lines from the latter scenes of Logopolis, as I've always felt it's rather just ridiculous to expect us to believe that he could speak to the universe at large in such a manner...it just doesn't sit well with the overall tone of the story imo, something trivial seeming so silly and ruining the sombre tone of the story.

    I'd do nothing to replace it, I just feel the episode would work so much better without it. I know I'm breaking the rules (no.4!) here but I still regard it as constructive criticism, and anyway sometimes less is better...

  4. #4
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    I'd actually change very little, over the years I've found myself more and more admiring the way the series sort of builds - even as a kid, I remember finding it tremendously exciting when the Doctor refers back to the CVE in Logopolis.

    There are a few small nips & tucks, though, that I'd like to have made - in Full Circle, and particularly Logopolis, Grimwade bungs in some very bad model shots which (a) add nothing to telling the story but (b) always 'take me out' of the 'reality' of the story. Plus, in the case of Logopolis, the model shots of the TARDIS at the Pharos Project, and the shots of the telescope itself, don't match the location footage AT ALL. Just cut them out, Peter, they're rubbish!!

    Also, on a really picky level, the Keeper of Traken (in part 1 of his story) says that his end, unlike the Doctor's, is near. It would have been a nice touch if he'd not made the distinction - ie, saying that for both of them the time of their passing was soon. A lilting touch of haunting music over that, hold for a beat, then on with the story... would have been a nice moment I think.

    And, yes, OK, my love for McCoy's umbrella notwithstanding, I'd scrap the question marks. By all accounts only JN-T liked them, and everybody else tried to talk him out of them - if people felt that strongly, maybe he should have listened***.

    But these are really very small things, because it is just such a very strong season.





    ***Mind you, the recent Dalek redesign is even worse a decision - and I fully expect in 20 years time to read interviews in DWM from all concerned saying they hated it, but Moffat just would insist!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    ***Mind you, the recent Dalek redesign is even worse a decision - and I fully expect in 20 years time to read interviews in DWM from all concerned saying they hated it, but Moffat just would insist!!
    Off topic, but I've heard that Mark Gatiss told a friend of mine that he was horrified by the Dalek redesign, and that he'd had NO say in it!

    Ant x

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

  6. #6
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    It's one of those decisions (and particularly in light of the fact that after broadcast I don't think anyone, anywhere has liked it) that you can't quite believe was made without somebody on the design/production team saying, "Actually, it doesn't look very good does it?" Just really bizarre.

  7. #7
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    I love every story in Season 18. However, I think that Meglos would have made a really tight three-part story, with the extra time devoted to a really epic and filmic Warriors' Gate (still four episodes long, just more time in the studio).

    Oooh, coconut macaroons!

  8. #8
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    There are two things I would change.

    Firstly I'd give the Savants different wigs in Meglos. It's absolutely ridiculous that all of them have EXACTLY THE SAME HAIR.

    And secondly I'd try and balance the budgets a bit better so logopolis doesn't look so cheap and they really could have filmed at Jodrell Bank.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    There are two things I would change.

    Firstly I'd give the Savants different wigs in Meglos. It's absolutely ridiculous that all of them have EXACTLY THE SAME HAIR.
    Maybe they're actually meant to be wigs which the characters are wearing? In the same way that judges all wear identical wigs.

  10. #10
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    I'd say that was a very generous reading of the situation. Though they could've made a minor point of it - the religious sect cover their hair, the scientific class proudly doesn't.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  11. #11

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    The thing is that in some shots you can even tell that they're wigs, because you can see the false plastic hairline edge below bits of the fringes.

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