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  1. #1
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    Default Historicals out!

    Innes Lloyd did Doctor Who a lot of good- bringing in new companions, writers and ideas, making it more popular than it'd been for a while....

    But while this true, one of his decisions was controversial- the axing of the historical stories. He claimed they weren't popular with the viewers (despite the figures not really bearing this claim out) and that they weren't what doctor Who was all about.

    Did he do the right thing?

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

  2. #2
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    To be fair, as much as I love the historicals (and prefer them to the 'future' stories by and large), I don't think they would have been sustainable in the long run, and it was only with their disappearance that we could have Season Five and the beginnings of Doctor Who as we know it today. I'm wondering now, writing this, if, had the historicals been allowed to continue right to the end of the decade, The War Games really would have seen the end of Doctor Who and the entire programme be more or less forgotten now. I certainly can't see Pertwee's Doctor in anything like The Massacre or Marco Polo, nor any of those that followed. Which isn't to say I don't think the actors could have coped with them, rather that the way the programme grew and developed, Doctor Who itself couldn't have.

  3. #3
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    I certainly can't see Pertwee's Doctor in anything like The Massacre or Marco Polo, nor any of those that followed.
    I agree it's hard to imagine. And I certainly think that they could never have gone back to doing every other story as a historical. What is sad though is that in the 45 years following, we've only had one pure historical story on TV (unless you count Tooth and Claw as being an accurate and verifiable historic event). Even then there was an alien-like monster trapped in the attic.

    In terms of research, it probably takes a lot more effort to put together a story like The Highlanders than The Time Warrior, for example. Without relying on monsters and aliens to provide the menace of the story you have to full back on purely human characters and their interactions, so you tend to have political stories too.

    The question is - how do you stop the historicals being dull?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  4. #4
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    Partly I guess there are only so many variations of not changing the course of established events that can be told without getting repetitive but that aside It would've been nice to see more historical stories in the Troughton era but it must count for something that we tend to look fondly back at many of the monsters from that era rather than, for example the Voord or the Sensorites so in terms of appealing to the show's core audience they were certainly doing something right.
    It's a shame that we didn't see more of a return of the historical during the Davison era as Big Finish have subsequently proved that his Doctor works well in those settings. Also I think the semi-historicals we've had post 2005 have been a good compromise and the current success of Horrible Histories shows that the audience for history made fun and interesting is out there.

  5. #5
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    They missed a trick in the Pertwee years- they could have had the TARDIS limited to earth but with partial functioning, so the Doctor could travel into the past. I think of Pertwee historical would have been a thing of wonder. He seems very at home in the past in The Time Warrior for instance.

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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    The question is - how do you stop the historicals being dull?
    Throw in zombies, werewolves or an alien bee ... d'oh!
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  7. #7
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    I think of Pertwee historical would have been a thing of wonder.
    Oooo! To have actually seen him patronising old 'Boney' - Napoleon Bonaparte! "You can't run a ship like that, man!"
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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