Apparent theme of the 8DAs

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Finn Clark

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Oct 20, 2001, 8:59:56 AM10/20/01
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I'd been musing recently, having too much time on my hands. The recent
8DAs, for the first time in simply *ages*, have been standalone stories
rather than Arc Book #6012. And very nice they've been too, with the new
team with Fitz and Anji settling down to become something really rather
good.

However I think I've spotted a common thread running through a few of the
recent books - that there are "more things in heaven and earth than are
dreamt of in your philosophy". Or in other words, the Whoniverse is more
complex than just a set of SF building blocks. Books that might seem to
take this line include:

Vanishing Point (Steve Cole) - hey, it's God!
The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of space in which the laws of
physics are completely unlike anything we've seen before! Nothing can
travel faster than light!!!
City of the Dead (Lloyd Rose) - luscious magic in New Orleans.
Grimm Reality (Simon Bucher-Jones and Kelly Hale) - make three wishes, watch
out for the wicked stepmothers and don't go down to the woods...

...and the next two 8DAs are by Lawrence Miles and Paul Magrs. (Hmm. I've
said that before.) Both have a track record of headfucks and literary
hijinks.

Of course, this might all be coincidence. The BBC Books have played this
kind of game before, largely in the works of Magrs and Messingham.
Nevertheless we're seeing a new multiverse without Time Lords, which a newly
inexperienced Doctor is still exploring and rediscovering. It seems not
inappropriate to me that the boundaries of the Whoiverse are being stretched
and bent at a time when recent events (see the Ancestor Cell) mean that
right now it's being quietly redefined...

Finn Clark.

Steven Kitson

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Oct 20, 2001, 11:56:18 AM10/20/01
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Finn Clark <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
> I'd been musing recently, having too much time on my hands. The recent
> 8DAs, for the first time in simply *ages*, have been standalone stories
> rather than Arc Book #6012.

Yeah. Pity, in't it?

> However I think I've spotted a common thread running through a few of the
> recent books - that there are "more things in heaven and earth than are
> dreamt of in your philosophy". Or in other words, the Whoniverse is more
> complex than just a set of SF building blocks.

I haven't seen that in the recent books, actually -- at least no more
than previously. To my mind, it was the early New Adventures that opened
up 'doctor Who' to real mysticism, sybmolism, and mythology --
'Timewyrm: Revelation', for example, or 'Time's Crucible: Cat's Cradle'
(introducing the magic vs. science theme that would run and run) and
'The Pit' (for all its faults, it does looks at religion and mythology
-- and it has William Blake in it!).

> Books that might seem to
> take this line include:
>
> Vanishing Point (Steve Cole) - hey, it's God!

And 'god' turns out to be just another alien race. Yawn. No, sorry, that
doesn't seem to me the expand the 'Doctor Who' universe at all...

(I was disappointed in this, actually -- I was looking for a book which
actually grappled with some metaphysical issues rather than wussing out
with the 'genetic engineering' card.)

> The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of space in which the laws of
> physics are completely unlike anything we've seen before! Nothing can
> travel faster than light!!!

Which is practically normal compared to the system in 'Sky Pirates!'.

> City of the Dead (Lloyd Rose) - luscious magic in New Orleans.

I'll agree with you on this one. Though to me it's just finally taking
the step of confirming what we all knew already by not bothering to
dress the magic up in pseudoscience. the importance of that step
shouldn't be diminished, though.

> Grimm Reality (Simon Bucher-Jones and Kelly Hale) - make three wishes, watch
> out for the wicked stepmothers and don't go down to the woods...

Due to the distribution difficulties, I'm only just about to start this.
I do hope it isn't just a 'the Sorceror's Apprentice'-like 'Look, magic
-- ah, fooled you, its really science!'.

> ...and the next two 8DAs are by Lawrence Miles and Paul Magrs. (Hmm. I've
> said that before.) Both have a track record of headfucks and literary
> hijinks.

Indeed, and Miles has already picked up the 'more things' theme with the
most explicit treatment of the MAs 'magic vs science' in 'Christmas on a
Rational Planet', while Magrs has played with magic in 'The Scarlet
Empress' and whole other universes with v. different takes on the Doctor
in 'The Blue Angel'.

> Nevertheless we're seeing a new multiverse without Time Lords, which a newly
> inexperienced Doctor is still exploring and rediscovering.

This I would agree is a recurrent theme.

> It seems not
> inappropriate to me that the boundaries of the Whoiverse are being stretched
> and bent at a time when recent events (see the Ancestor Cell) mean that
> right now it's being quietly redefined...

I don't see any stretching or bending that isn't insignificant compared
to what's gone before.

--
I'm made of steel, soul and metal
I'll be human 'til the day I die

Finn Clark

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Oct 20, 2001, 12:57:10 PM10/20/01
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Steven Kitson wrote:

>> The recent 8DAs, for the first time in simply *ages*,
>> have been standalone stories rather than Arc Book #6012.
>
> Yeah. Pity, in't it?

No.

1 - we'd had a *lot* of arcs. We needed a breather.

2 - I would suggest, based on observation of the books all the way back to
Timewyrm: Genesis, that the quality of a book that's part of an arc tends to
be lower than that of a stand-alone. Doing an arc *properly* is a hell of a
lot of work. It's much easier (and more common) to have big complicated
things happen that you haven't necessarily thought through properly, usually
happening around some books that are barely linked to the arc at all and
would have been better for its absence.

A well-done arc can be a wonderful thing, but I would point out that the
NAs' halcyon days (and this is in the opinion of Rebecca Levene according to
the latest DWM, not just me) were arc-free. They started with four arcs and
ended with the Psi-Powers arc, but those stories IMO were less successful
than what came in between.

> I haven't seen that in the recent books, actually -- at least
> no more than previously. To my mind, it was the early New
> Adventures that opened up 'doctor Who' to real mysticism,
> sybmolism, and mythology -- 'Timewyrm: Revelation', for
> example, or 'Time's Crucible: Cat's Cradle' (introducing the
> magic vs. science theme that would run and run) and 'The Pit'
> (for all its faults, it does looks at religion and mythology
> -- and it has William Blake in it!).

I'm not talking about mysticism, symbolism and mythology. I'm talking about
something a little more literal, stretching the Whoniverse to tell stories
that you couldn't get in Star Trek or Star Wars. There's always a tendency
to regard Doctor Who as hard science-fiction when you start taking it (too)
seriously. Ask Christopher Bidmead. Ask Virgin - it's noteworthy that the
companions Virgin introduced were all futuristic SF characters (including
New Ace).

These books I'm talking about are being a bit more playful with concepts and
notions that aren't normally associated with hard SF. If a technobabble
handwave is included at the end, I see that as less important than the fact
that broader subject matter is being addressed than Doctor Who's usual
rebels 'n' robots stock elements.

I also have a slight quibble with the apparent viewpoint of
Virgin-did-it-all-first [1]. I'd suggest that there's an important strand
of literary Who that wasn't present under Virgin, but had to wait until the
BBC took over. The Virgin NAs were plot-driven adventures that could have
worked in any medium - yes, they had symbolism, dream sequences, etc. but
even something as off-the-wall as Sky Pirates! was simply a very wacky
adventure rather than an abandonment of the traditional cliffhanger serial
format in favour of other literary forms.

The BBC, on the other hand, have (occasionally) given us stuff like The
Scarlet Empress, The Blue Angel, Tomb of Valdemar and Grimm Reality. Paul
Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998 and I think it's been
*the* single most important development in the Doctor Who novels. It hasn't
superceded the traditional adventure format, but it's shown us something
genuinely new and exciting that we hadn't had under Virgin.

[1] - I realise you didn't say this, but it felt as if you did and so I
started responding to these voices in my head. :-)

Finn Clark.

Brett O'Callaghan

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Oct 20, 2001, 5:13:24 PM10/20/01
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"Finn Clark" <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

>The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of space in which the laws of
>physics are completely unlike anything we've seen before! Nothing can
>travel faster than light!!!

Oh, they're rip.... being inspired by Vernor Vinge now?


Byeeeee.
--
http://www.geocities.com/brettocallaghan
Home of QDNStats V2 - Newsgroup Stats for Agent

Cardinal Zorak

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Oct 20, 2001, 4:59:25 PM10/20/01
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"Finn Clark" <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:9qsa6o$6u4$1...@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk...

> The BBC, on the other hand, have (occasionally) given us stuff like The
> Scarlet Empress, The Blue Angel, Tomb of Valdemar and Grimm Reality. Paul
> Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998 and I think it's
been
> *the* single most important development in the Doctor Who novels. It
hasn't
> superceded the traditional adventure format, but it's shown us something
> genuinely new and exciting that we hadn't had under Virgin.

I know it's purely anecdotal, but I used to read stories to my ex-partner
(who was not English, but loved Dr Who) and I cannot describe the
disappointment she felt with the writing of the first Iris story in Short
Trips. The words she used for Paul Magrs were unprintable! And yet, she
lvoes "experimental" stories adn changes from the Norm. What does this
indicate to you?

After Magrs, we stuck to better-written fantasy, there's a lot of it out
there...

Zorak


Finn Clark

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Oct 20, 2001, 6:44:44 PM10/20/01
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Cardinal Zorak wrote:

> I know it's purely anecdotal, but I used to read stories to my
> ex-partner (who was not English, but loved Dr Who) and I
> cannot describe the disappointment she felt with the writing
> of the first Iris story in Short Trips. The words she used for
> Paul Magrs were unprintable! And yet, she lvoes "experimental"
> stories adn changes from the Norm. What does this indicate to you?

It indicates that Paul Magrs's short stories have generally been bull poop!
I don't think I enjoyed a Who-related piece of short fiction from him
until... oooh, Short Trips and Side Steps? They don't bear comparison to
his novels at all (though to be fair, even his novels don't bear comparison
to each other; they're all very different).

Finn Clark.

Cardinal Zorak

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Oct 20, 2001, 7:33:11 PM10/20/01
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"Brett O'Callaghan" <bm...@dingoblue.net.au> wrote in message
news:g6q3ttc9m8vcb28mu...@4ax.com...

> "Finn Clark" <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of space in which the laws of
> >physics are completely unlike anything we've seen before! Nothing can
> >travel faster than light!!!
>
> Oh, they're rip.... being inspired by Vernor Vinge now?
>
>

No; Albert Einstein. ;-)

CZ


Brett O'Callaghan

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Oct 21, 2001, 12:17:59 AM10/21/01
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"Cardinal Zorak" <Fab31...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

>"Brett O'Callaghan" <bm...@dingoblue.net.au> wrote in message

>> "Finn Clark" <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>> >The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of space in which the laws of
>> >physics are completely unlike anything we've seen before! Nothing can
>> >travel faster than light!!!
>> Oh, they're rip.... being inspired by Vernor Vinge now?
>No; Albert Einstein. ;-)

Sounds an awful lot like the Slow Zone to me.

William December Starr

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Oct 21, 2001, 2:34:57 AM10/21/01
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In article <9qsa6o$6u4$1...@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk>,
"Finn Clark" <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> said:

> The BBC, on the other hand, have (occasionally) given us stuff like
> The Scarlet Empress, The Blue Angel, Tomb of Valdemar and Grimm
> Reality. Paul Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998
> and I think it's been *the* single most important development in the
> Doctor Who novels. It hasn't superceded the traditional adventure
> format, but it's shown us something genuinely new and exciting that
> we hadn't had under Virgin.

How would you definbe that paradigm?

-- William December Starr <wds...@panix.com>

Finn Clark

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Oct 21, 2001, 2:59:38 AM10/21/01
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William December Starr wrote:

>> The BBC, on the other hand, have (occasionally)
>> given us stuff like The Scarlet Empress, The Blue
>> Angel, Tomb of Valdemar and Grimm Reality.
>> Paul Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in
>> September 1998 and I think it's been *the* single
>> most important development in the Doctor Who
>> novels. It hasn't superceded the traditional adventure
>> format, but it's shown us something genuinely new
>> and exciting that we hadn't had under Virgin.
>
> How would you definbe that paradigm?

Now then, William. You know perfectly well that thousands upon thousands of
words have been expended, many of them by me, in debates on The Scarlet
Empress and such books. I've made strenuous and honest attempts to explain
where I was coming from on this issue, you always reacted as if I was saying
stuff falls upwards and I thought we'd agreed not to keep going around in
the same circles yet again.

In all seriousness, I've attempted to satisfy you on that question so
often - and always failed - that I'd be bashing my head against a wall to do
so again now. (However if anyone else was interested in the answer to
William December Starr's question, I'd suggest visiting Google and looking
up discussions with the keywords "Magrs", "magic realism" and stuff like
that. The Scarlet Empress was published in September 1998, if that's any
help in narrowing down your search by date.)

Finn Clark.

CMento6653

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Oct 21, 2001, 12:08:08 PM10/21/01
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Vanishing Point (Steve Cole) - hey, it's God!

BUT NOT GOOD.

The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of

HEY IT'S SLOW AND DULL AND BADLY WRITTEN.

City of the Dead (Lloyd Rose) - luscious magic in New Orleans.

THE BEST WHO NOVEL IN AGES.

Grimm Reality (Simon Bucher-Jones and Kelly Hale) - make three wishes, watch
out for the wicked stepmothers and don't go down to the woods...


HAVE NOT READ YET.

Cardinal Zorak

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Oct 21, 2001, 12:11:49 PM10/21/01
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"Brett O'Callaghan" <bm...@dingoblue.net.au> wrote in message
news:13j4tt4uiq61kssci...@4ax.com...

> "Cardinal Zorak" <Fab31...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >"Brett O'Callaghan" <bm...@dingoblue.net.au> wrote in message
> >> "Finn Clark" <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
> >> >The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of space in which the laws of
> >> >physics are completely unlike anything we've seen before! Nothing can
> >> >travel faster than light!!!
> >> Oh, they're rip.... being inspired by Vernor Vinge now?
> >No; Albert Einstein. ;-)
>
> Sounds an awful lot like the Slow Zone to me.
>

Was that written before Special Relativity was released in (what was it)
1902?

Zorak


The Count

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Oct 21, 2001, 1:30:16 PM10/21/01
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Cardinal Zorak <Fab31...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
:"Brett O'Callaghan" <bm...@dingoblue.net.au> wrote in message
:news:13j4tt4uiq61kssci...@4ax.com...

:> "Cardinal Zorak" <Fab31...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
:>
:> >"Brett O'Callaghan" <bm...@dingoblue.net.au> wrote in message
:> >> "Finn Clark" <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
:> >> >The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of space in which the laws of
:> >> >physics are completely unlike anything we've seen before! Nothing
can
:> >> >travel faster than light!!!
:> >> Oh, they're rip.... being inspired by Vernor Vinge now?
:> >No; Albert Einstein. ;-)
:>
:> Sounds an awful lot like the Slow Zone to me.
:>
:
:Was that written before Special Relativity was released in (what was it)
:1902?

Special Relativity is the most ridiculous piece of science fiction written
ever.

William December Starr

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Oct 21, 2001, 5:55:07 PM10/21/01
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In article <9qtrie$l4n$1...@news5.svr.pol.co.uk>,
"Finn Clark" <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> said:

>>> Paul Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998 and I
>>> think it's been *the* single most important development in the
>>> Doctor Who novels. It hasn't superceded the traditional adventure
>>> format, but it's shown us something genuinely new and exciting
>>> that we hadn't had under Virgin.
>>
>> How would you definbe that paradigm?
>
> Now then, William. You know perfectly well that thousands upon
> thousands of words have been expended, many of them by me, in
> debates on The Scarlet Empress and such books. I've made strenuous
> and honest attempts to explain where I was coming from on this
> issue, you always reacted as if I was saying stuff falls upwards and
> I thought we'd agreed not to keep going around in the same circles
> yet again.

This is, I believe, the first time you've chosen to expand your
opinion of Magrs works to the point of saying that they were
paradigm-redefining for the who bloody series of books, though.

So, what was the old paradigm, what is the new one, and what post-
September of 1988 DW books outside of the works of Mr. Magrs himself
exemplify this new paradigm?

Finn Clark

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Oct 21, 2001, 7:32:50 PM10/21/01
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William December Starr wrote:

>>>> Paul Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998 and I
>>>> think it's been *the* single most important development in the
>>>> Doctor Who novels. It hasn't superceded the traditional adventure
>>>> format, but it's shown us something genuinely new and exciting
>>>> that we hadn't had under Virgin.
>

> This is, I believe, the first time you've chosen to expand your
> opinion of Magrs works to the point of saying that they were
> paradigm-redefining for the who bloody series of books, though.

No, and no.

1. I never said they're paradigm-redefining for *all* the Doctor Who books.
They're obviously not. The number of books that have followed in these
particular footsteps is very small and the rest of the novels have
cheerfully carried on in their various good old ways. I reckon "haven't
superceded the traditional adventure format" in my original post (see above)
covers that fairly well.

2. I think I expressed myself fairly fulsomely in my original review of The
Scarlet Empress, posted to this newsgroup back in September 1998 and
available either through Google or at the Ratings Guide:

http://pagefillers.com/dwrg/frames.htm

I even made the prediction that other books would follow and carry on the
good work. In other words, not changing the basic Who paradigm but
inventing another that can live happily alongside it. I'm not saying
anything I haven't said before.

> So, what was the old paradigm, what is the new one,

> and what post-September of 1988 DW books outside


> of the works of Mr. Magrs himself exemplify this new
> paradigm?

I'm not going to go over this again with you, William. Perhaps Mr Kitson
might ("play nice, boys!"), but I've been there and done that. Though the
third of your questions can be answered IMO with The Blue Angel, Tomb of
Valdemar and Grimm Reality.

There's a case for saying that Unnatural History also tried (it borrowed
much of Scarlet Empress as well as Alien Bodies), but I don't think it got
there. Verdigris doesn't really count either.

Finn Clark.

Cameron Mason

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Oct 21, 2001, 7:33:39 PM10/21/01
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CMento6653 <cment...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20011021120808...@mb-mi.aol.com...
<snip>

> > City of the Dead (Lloyd Rose) - luscious magic in New Orleans.
>
> THE BEST WHO NOVEL IN AGES.

I agree with J2 on something!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

*Runs off to poke eyes out with a stick*

Cameron
--
"I'm half-human on the Other's side."

http://members.fortunecity.com/masomika/


CMento6653

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Oct 21, 2001, 9:57:38 PM10/21/01
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*Runs off to poke eyes out with a stick*
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

That makes it all worth it though.

On second thought, I can say I like anything and Cameron will agree cause he
likes anything and won't dare criticize any new WHO novel.

Cameron Mason

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Oct 21, 2001, 11:14:53 PM10/21/01
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CMento6653 <cment...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20011021215738...@mb-fs.aol.com...

>
> *Runs off to poke eyes out with a stick*
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>
> That makes it all worth it though.

It might for you, but not for me...

> On second thought, I can say I like anything and Cameron will agree cause
he
> likes anything and won't dare criticize any new WHO novel.

Keep talking utter bollocks J2.

If I like something I will praise it, and if I hate it... remember Divided
Loyalties....

Snarky, Demon of Mockery

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Oct 21, 2001, 11:15:07 PM10/21/01
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'Twas brillig, on Sun, 21 Oct 2001 17:11:49 +0100, and the slithy
toves did gyre and gimble in the rec.arts.drwho wabe, when Eris
Kallisti Discordia spoke to me through Cardinal Zorak's flonking, and
the mome raths outgrabe:
> "Brett O'Callaghan" wrote...
> > "Cardinal Zorak" wrote:
> > >"Brett O'Callaghan" wrote...

> > >> "Finn Clark" wrote:
> > >> >The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of space in which the laws of
> > >> >physics are completely unlike anything we've seen before! Nothing can
> > >> >travel faster than light!!!
> > >> Oh, they're rip.... being inspired by Vernor Vinge now?
> > >No; Albert Einstein. ;-)
> >
> > Sounds an awful lot like the Slow Zone to me.
>
> Was that written before Special Relativity was released in (what was it)
> 1902?

Nah, Vinge is recent...Past twenty or thirty years or so, IIRC -- I
think I've only read a short story or two by him, 'cause I know I
haven't gotten round to his novels...

--
_____________________________________________________
No-one expects the Fannish Inquisition!
Cardinal Snarky; GGGHD; HCNB
There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We're all
crew.
ICQ: 135930147

Snarky, Demon of Mockery

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Oct 21, 2001, 11:19:09 PM10/21/01
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'Twas brillig, on Sun, 21 Oct 2001 17:30:16 GMT, and the slithy toves

did gyre and gimble in the rec.arts.drwho wabe, when Eris Kallisti
Discordia spoke to me through The Count's flonking, and the mome raths
outgrabe:

> Cardinal Zorak wrote:
> :"Brett O'Callaghan" wrote...
> :> "Cardinal Zorak" wrote:
> :> >"Brett O'Callaghan" wrote...
> :> >> "Finn Clark" wrote:
> :> >> >The Slow Empire (Dave Stone) - a region of space in which the laws of
> :> >> >physics are completely unlike anything we've seen before! Nothing
> can
> :> >> >travel faster than light!!!
> :> >> Oh, they're rip.... being inspired by Vernor Vinge now?
> :> >No; Albert Einstein. ;-)
> :>
> :> Sounds an awful lot like the Slow Zone to me.
> :
> :Was that written before Special Relativity was released in (what was it)
> :1902?
>
> Special Relativity is the most ridiculous piece of science fiction written
> ever.

No, that was A.E.'s line "God does not play dice with the
universe"...Pure drivel. Sure S/He does -- but S/He cheats...

--
_____________________________________________________
Hail Eris! All hail Discordia!! Kallisti!!!
mhm 29x21; Tom Baker's #1 Fan; feetofclayatshawdotca
S.N.A.R.K.Y.: Synthetic Networked Android Responsible
for Killing and Yardwork; the Discordian People's
Most Powerful and Revered Being (without portfolio);
GGGHD; HCNB; Cross-posters for Goddess Cabal
"If 'we are such stuff as dreams are made of...' then
why are they usually or officially regarded as
meaningless or....er....psychotic in nature??"
-- Ayla, in alt.discordia
Economic Left/Right: -5.71
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -7.23
ICQ: 135930147

Steven Kitson

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Oct 22, 2001, 4:16:38 AM10/22/01
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Finn Clark <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

>William December Starr wrote:
>> So, what was the old paradigm, what is the new one,
>> and what post-September of 1988 DW books outside
>> of the works of Mr. Magrs himself exemplify this new
>> paradigm?
>I'm not going to go over this again with you, William. Perhaps Mr Kitson
>might ("play nice, boys!"), but I've been there and done that.

You know, I think just might have got it out of my system. Maybe.

>Though the
>third of your questions can be answered IMO with The Blue Angel, Tomb of
>Valdemar and Grimm Reality.

'The City of the Dead'?

Actually, I'm only a hundred pages into 'Grimm Reality' but I'm already
disappointed that it looks like there's going to be a pseudoscience
explanation for all the weirdness (one that's hinted at practically at the
start of the book, so I'm not spoiling anything). I do hope it doesn't
turn out that way.

y

--
I'm older than I once was, and younger than I'll be

Daniel Gooley

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Oct 22, 2001, 4:50:27 AM10/22/01
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Finn Clark

> Paul
> Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998

Without wanting to revisit the Scarlet Empress debates, this seems a strange
claim. Paul Magrs showed us a fairly standard fantasy novel in September
1998. I know that Doctor Who's exploration of this area has been a bit
retarded by the fact that a lot of fanboys clutch their heads and scream
"No! No! No!" at the faintest whiff of anything vaguely fantastic, but I
somehow doubt that your experiences have been so narrow, Finn.

The Blue Angel stretched the format a bit more IMO, but certainly not to the
extent that someone like Miles was doing about the same time.

Danny
(afraid I'm not really up-to-date enough to comment on your other
ponderings)


Jack Beven

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Oct 22, 2001, 5:08:10 AM10/22/01
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On Sat, 20 Oct 2001 17:57:10 +0100, "Finn Clark"
<kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

>The BBC, on the other hand, have (occasionally) given us stuff like The
>Scarlet Empress, The Blue Angel, Tomb of Valdemar and Grimm Reality. Paul
>Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998 and I think it's been
>*the* single most important development in the Doctor Who novels. It hasn't
>superceded the traditional adventure format, but it's shown us something
>genuinely new and exciting that we hadn't had under Virgin.

IMHO there were two paradigms that The Scarlet Empress introduced
and both of them have alienated me further and further from the books as
time has gone along.

The first seems to be that "ambiguity=good storytelling". That
attitude has worked its way into a lot of the later EDAs (most notably
The Blue Angel and The Turing Test) with little in the way of good
results IMHO.

(An aside about The Blue Angel: There was a very good Doctor Who
story lurking in that confused mess waiting to be told. Unfortunately,
IMHO the authors were too busy showing off their knowledge of how
to circumvent literary conventions to just tell it.)

The second paradigm? Well, Magrs came across to me as championing
the position that the DW elements in the story don't matter as long as
the story is good. That paradigm has IMHO sent the EDAs into the
abyss.

Looking at it, that is probably the largest single difference between
the Virgin NAs and the BBC EDAs. The NAs, whether through chance
or design, had many stories that were both good stories and good
Doctor Who stories. I like to think it was by design - that the editors
realized that good stories by themselves don't automatically make
good Doctor Who stories. The EDAs, especially since "Interference",
have tried to be just good stories and haven't really paid more than
lip service to being good DW stories IMHO.

(And as I've said before, piling on continuity references does not
automatically make a good DW story. DW elements have to be used
correctly, just like any of the other larger literary elements.)

The Turing Test is probably the best example of this dichotomy.
One one side, it is a rather well-written story. Not a perfect story,
mind you, because it kind of drowned itself in ambiguity and
loose ends. But one that was notably more good than bad. On
the other hand, the story features about the worst portrayal/
characterization of the Doctor that I've ever had the misfortune
to encounter. It was like something out of a bad fanfic written
with the attitude "I *can* write the Doctor this way so I *will*!".
I didn't hear the Doctor scream at the end of the story - I heard
a 200 decibel thud as the EDAs hit rock bottom.

Another way to look at this is to contrast The Left -Handed
Hummingbird with The Year of Intelligent Tigers. They
both feature strong concepts - a feature seen in almost all of
Kate's DW stories. However, IMHO Hummer has better
characterizations of the Doctor and companions than
Tigers and is much better plotted. Tigers was rather dull
in places and IMHO the story could have easily have been
15-25 pages shorter. Thus, I'd rate Hummer a better overall
story than Tigers. (I could also say the same thing about
Set Piece vs. Tigers.)

Then there are the DW elements. Hummer has a lot of them,
including the TARDIS, the mention of the Exxilons (sic?), the
time-travel-dependent plot, and the use of the character
tensions and developments of the previous NAs. IMHO
there's quite a high level of Whoishness.

Tigers, on the other hand, seems to have a totally different
attitude about its Whoishness. There is only one obscure reference
to anything earlier than The Burning, and the TARDIS and all the
functions normally associated with it are essentially absent. Then,
there's the character of the Doctor. First of all, he's the Amnesiac
Doctor who I deem to be a pale imitation of what a fully functioning
Doctor could be. Second, at one point the Doctor yells something
about not wanting to ever remember his past. Now, YMMV, but IMHO
this smacks of cowardice - the Doctor running away from himself.
Thus, I'd say that Tigers doesn't even have the foundation of a
"never cruel or cowardly" Doctor going for it.

To summarize, Tigers is not a bad *story*, although it ranks a bit
below Kate's best work in overall quality and being a gripping tale.
However, as a *Doctor Who* story, it is far and away the worst thing
that I've ever seen Kate and/or Jon write. I gave it a 5/10 in Shannon's
rankings. Kate, I hope you don't take offense, but Hummer comes across
to me as a story written by someone who loved DW, while Tigers comes
across to me as a story written by someone who doesn't or is just
writing it as a job.

(As an aside, I'm not picking specifically on Kate and Jon here. I
could make the same comparison of the works of Paul Cornell, Lance
Parkin, or any other writer who's written both NAs and EDAs. IMHO
the same changes for the worse are present in those writings too.)

I'll close by saying that Tigers is the last EDA I'll be reading for
a long time, most likely. I don't like this portrayal of the Doctor.
(I want to read the adventures of the Doctor who is the Time Lord
with eight lives and a thousand years of experience - and he's AWOL.)
I don't like the paradigms/attitudes/mentalities that the EDAs are
currently being written with, especially those that relate to how the
current stories deal with the series' past. Both the Doctor and the
paradigms are going to have to change for (IMHO) the better before I
buy another EDA. (And if they never change, well, so be it. I won't
miss those stories all that much.) Finally, I don't like the fact that
between Tigers and the 23 stories the preceeded it that I can't find:
a) any story that I thought was a great Doctor Who story, and
b) any story that I'm in any hurry to read again. If I can't find
much I like in those stories, chances are I won't find much in the
similar stories that are yet to come.

My apologies for the length of this post. I've tried to summarize
all the things that I've thought about DW since I read Tigers back
in July, and between trying to stay calm enough to be objective and
external events there's never been a good time to talk about it until
now.

Jack Beven (a. k. a. The Supreme Dalek)
Tropical Prediction Center
New URL: http://www.mindspring.com/~jbeven/index.html jbe...@mindspring.com
Disclaimer: These opinions don't necessarily represent those of my employers...

Steven Kitson

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 5:53:16 AM10/22/01
to
Daniel Gooley <daniel...@detya.gov.au> wrote:
>Finn Clark
>> Paul
>> Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998
>Without wanting to revisit the Scarlet Empress debates, this seems a strange
>claim. Paul Magrs showed us a fairly standard fantasy novel in September
>1998.

I don't think it's really 'fairly standard fantasy', in the same way as
'Lord of the Rings' and the like, but on the other hand the tradition of
'Magic Realism' has been around since at least the sixties.

So it's not new, but it's not quite that old, either.

--
You put the cyanide pills next to the valium? That's asking for trouble!

Lance Parkin

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 6:31:33 AM10/22/01
to
On 22 Oct 2001 10:53:16 +0100 (BST), Steven Kitson
<ski...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:

>I don't think it's really 'fairly standard fantasy', in the same way as
>'Lord of the Rings' and the like, but on the other hand the tradition of
>'Magic Realism' has been around since at least the sixties.
>
>So it's not new, but it's not quite that old, either.

Magic Realism was a term coined in 1925. Which is
thirty years before Lord of the Rings.

So, no, Paul isn't exactly doing something newfangled.
But then again, what do you expect when he's writing
for a series who's first episode starts with an intertextual
Dixon of Dock Green reference, deconstructs the
premise of the show as 'ridiculous' and features a time
machine sitting in a London junkyard. Doctor Who *is*
postmodern, self-referential and magic realism. That's
sort of the whole point.

Lance

Steven Kitson

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 7:19:01 AM10/22/01
to
Lance Parkin <la...@lanceparkin.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>On 22 Oct 2001 10:53:16 +0100 (BST), Steven Kitson
><ski...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>>I don't think it's really 'fairly standard fantasy', in the same way as
>>'Lord of the Rings' and the like, but on the other hand the tradition of
>>'Magic Realism' has been around since at least the sixties.
>>So it's not new, but it's not quite that old, either.
>Magic Realism was a term coined in 1925.

Was it? Lordy. Who was it describing?

Lance Parkin

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 7:58:54 AM10/22/01
to
On 22 Oct 2001 12:19:01 +0100 (BST), Steven Kitson
<ski...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:

>Lance Parkin <la...@lanceparkin.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>>On 22 Oct 2001 10:53:16 +0100 (BST), Steven Kitson
>><ski...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>>>I don't think it's really 'fairly standard fantasy', in the same way as
>>>'Lord of the Rings' and the like, but on the other hand the tradition of
>>>'Magic Realism' has been around since at least the sixties.
>>>So it's not new, but it's not quite that old, either.
>>Magic Realism was a term coined in 1925.
>
>Was it? Lordy. Who was it describing?

Artists of the New Objectivity movement in 20s German. By
Franz Roh. The expression was first widely used in English
after a 1943 exhibition at the MoMA called 'American
Realists and Magic Realists'.

Can you tell what I did my Masters degree in yet? I had
my university interview in 1989 and was told off during it
for using 'such an old hat expression' as Magic Realism.

Lance

Steven Kitson

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 8:41:56 AM10/22/01
to
Lance Parkin <la...@lanceparkin.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>On 22 Oct 2001 12:19:01 +0100 (BST), Steven Kitson
><ski...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>>Lance Parkin <la...@lanceparkin.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>>>Magic Realism was a term coined in 1925.
>>Was it? Lordy. Who was it describing?
>Artists of the New Objectivity movement in 20s German. By
>Franz Roh. The expression was first widely used in English
>after a 1943 exhibition at the MoMA called 'American
>Realists and Magic Realists'.

Ooh. One of those terms that started in Art. When did it make the jump to
literature?

Andrew McCaffrey

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 11:12:53 AM10/22/01
to
Jack Beven <jbe...@mindspring.com> wrote:
[Paradigms introduced in The Scarlet Empress]

> The second paradigm? Well, Magrs came across to me as championing
> the position that the DW elements in the story don't matter as long as
> the story is good. That paradigm has IMHO sent the EDAs into the
> abyss.

I didn't get that impression at all from The Scarlet Empress (or from The
Blue Angel, for that matter). The whole character of Iris is a reaction
to the Doctor; it's hard to imagine her "Seven Irises" story making sense
without having "The Five Doctors" to fall back on. There's even a running
theme concerning the storytelling in DW itself.

Fundamentally though, I think the main problem is the lack of a proper
definition of what a "Doctor Who element" really is. I mean, I know what
a Doctor Who story *isn't*, but I can't really come up with an explanation
of what one is outside of "I know it when I see it".

> (And as I've said before, piling on continuity references does not
> automatically make a good DW story. DW elements have to be used
> correctly, just like any of the other larger literary elements.)

[snip]

[Hummer vs. Tigers]


> Then there are the DW elements. Hummer has a lot of them,
> including the TARDIS, the mention of the Exxilons (sic?), the
> time-travel-dependent plot, and the use of the character
> tensions and developments of the previous NAs. IMHO
> there's quite a high level of Whoishness.

Those DW elements sound like continuity references to me. If DW elements
aren't just references, then what are they?

> Thus, I'd say that Tigers doesn't even have the foundation of a
> "never cruel or cowardly" Doctor going for it.

Perhaps, but to be fair, neither does "An Unearthly Child", "The
Daleks" or "The Chase". ;>

--
+------------------------Andrew McCaffrey+[amc...@gl.umbc.edu]---------+
|"Star Wars is adolescent nonsense, Close|"My thumbs have gone weird!" |
|Encounters is obscurantist drivel [and] | -- _Withnail & I_ |
|Star Trek can turn your brains into |"I can't do chords. No sir." |
|puree of bat guano." -- Harlan Ellison| -- B.B. King |
+------------------ http://userpages.umbc.edu/~amccaf1 -----------------+

Finn Clark

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 1:34:58 PM10/22/01
to
Steven Kitson wrote, re. my "new kinds o' storytelling" niche of Magrs, Tomb
of Valdemar and Grimm Reality:

> 'The City of the Dead'?

No, that's perfectly straightforward storytelling. Very good indeed and
deals with magic in a new manner for the Whoniverse, but there's nothing
outre in the telling itself.

> Actually, I'm only a hundred pages into 'Grimm Reality' but
> I'm already disappointed that it looks like there's going to be
> a pseudoscience explanation for all the weirdness (one that's
> hinted at practically at the start of the book, so I'm not
> spoiling anything). I do hope it doesn't turn out that way.

Yeeeeeeesss, but the nature of Doctor Who is that people are going to *look*
for the explanations. Personally I think Scarlet Empress pulled off the
no-explanations trick about as well as one possibly could, but others still
felt it was a significant omission. (See Robert Smith?'s review.) We're
talking about a show which has explicitly established (The Daemons) a
magic-science dichotomy, viz. that one exists and the other doesn't. Simply
having magic at all is a step too far for many people. I think the approach
of City of the Dead and Grimm Reality is a sound and sensible one - put the
explanations (or a hint of one) relatively up-front, so the worriers can
relax and won't be treating the entire book as the scientific equivalent of
a murder mystery.

Which is what Sorceror's Apprentice was, now I come to think about it. You
might disagree, but I think an author needs a justification for introducing
overtly fantastic elements into Doctor Who. I'm just talking on the level
of what works. The Scarlet Empress was all about a fantastical kind of
storytelling so that was a special kind of justification, but by and large
you're gonna need some technobabble along the way. That's what I reckon is
the case, nine times out of ten.

Finn Clark.

Finn Clark

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 1:45:45 PM10/22/01
to
Jack Beven wrote:

> IMHO there were two paradigms that The Scarlet Empress
> introduced and both of them have alienated me further and
> further from the books as time has gone along.
>
> The first seems to be that "ambiguity=good storytelling". That
> attitude has worked its way into a lot of the later EDAs (most
> notably The Blue Angel and The Turing Test) with little in the
> way of good results IMHO.

To be honest, I'm not sure how The Scarlet Empress could particularly be
regarded as the originator of ambiguity. It doesn't offer explanations,
agreed, but its events are reasonably clear and unambiguous. They're just
weird. When it comes to ambiguity I'd have thought Virgin got there first
with the likes of Time's Crucible or Head Games.

> The second paradigm? Well, Magrs came across to me as
> championing the position that the DW elements in the story
> don't matter as long as the story is good. That paradigm has
> IMHO sent the EDAs into the abyss.

Ahhhhhhhhh, that one. Again, I'd say that debate has been going on for as
long as there's been Doctor Who fiction. Hell, the fanboys were wrestling
with it when Attack of the Cybermen came out - or even the Hinchcliffe era!
Genesis of the Daleks! Brain of Morbius! Deadly Assassin! One man's
fanwank is another's heartwarming nod to the past.

I'd suggest that The Scarlet Empress probably contains more explicit Doctor
Who references (there's a fair bit of discussion of the Seventh Doctor) than
something like Kursaal. It just feels less traditional, that's all.

> Finally, I don't like the fact that between Tigers and the
> 23 stories the preceeded it that I can't find: a) any story
> that I thought was a great Doctor Who story, and b) any
> story that I'm in any hurry to read again. If I can't find
> much I like in those stories, chances are I won't find
> much in the similar stories that are yet to come.

Actually I'd agree with you that there's been some godawful rubbish
published over the past five years, but ironically I also feel Year of
Intelligent Tigers was a bit of a turning point. I've really enjoyed just
about every 8DA since then, in its own way. You might give City of the Dead
a try - I haven't heard anyone here (even J2Rider) say a bad word about it.

Finn Clark.

Jim Vowles

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 1:57:09 PM10/22/01
to
William December Starr wrote:
>
> In article <9qtrie$l4n$1...@news5.svr.pol.co.uk>,
> "Finn Clark" <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> said:
>
> >>> Paul Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998 and I
> >>> think it's been *the* single most important development in the
> >>> Doctor Who novels. It hasn't superceded the traditional adventure
> >>> format, but it's shown us something genuinely new and exciting
> >>> that we hadn't had under Virgin.
> >>
> >> How would you definbe that paradigm?
> >
> > Now then, William. You know perfectly well that thousands upon
> > thousands of words have been expended, many of them by me, in
> > debates on The Scarlet Empress and such books. I've made strenuous
> > and honest attempts to explain where I was coming from on this
> > issue, you always reacted as if I was saying stuff falls upwards and
> > I thought we'd agreed not to keep going around in the same circles
> > yet again.
>
> This is, I believe, the first time you've chosen to expand your
> opinion of Magrs works to the point of saying that they were
> paradigm-redefining for the who bloody series of books, though.

I think he pretty clearly states where he's coming from, though--having
read several recent books which seem to pick up on the "more things than
are dream'd of in your philosophies" angle and do something interesting
with it. Sometimes you don't know how important a precedent has been set
until a fair amount of time passes.

> So, what was the old paradigm, what is the new one, and what post-
> September of 1988 DW books outside of the works of Mr. Magrs himself
> exemplify this new paradigm?

I'd say that the other books he mentioned--Valdemar, Grimm Reality, and
perhaps to a lesser extent Ancestor Cell and a few more--fit the bill.

Jim Vowles

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 2:03:19 PM10/22/01
to
Steven Kitson wrote:
>
> Daniel Gooley <daniel...@detya.gov.au> wrote:
> >Finn Clark
> >> Paul
> >> Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998
> >Without wanting to revisit the Scarlet Empress debates, this seems a strange
> >claim. Paul Magrs showed us a fairly standard fantasy novel in September
> >1998.
>
> I don't think it's really 'fairly standard fantasy', in the same way as
> 'Lord of the Rings' and the like, but on the other hand the tradition of
> 'Magic Realism' has been around since at least the sixties.
>
> So it's not new, but it's not quite that old, either.

Fair enough--but what it did was to successfully (for many readers, at
least) show how to successfully apply the genre to Doctor Who. It
loosened the anal-retentively tight constraints of continuity, too--what
a sin to so many fan eyes!--and exposed a hitherto totally unknown
element in the Doctor's backstory, and added a wildcard or two to the
deck that can be (and has been) used to generally good effect ever
since. IMHO, of course. :)

Jim Vowles

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 4:24:32 PM10/22/01
to
First, let me say that I frequently find Jack to be a thoughtful
commentator, and while I think I most often disagree with his take on
things, I think it's generally a valuable view well expressed.

Jack Beven wrote:
>
> On Sat, 20 Oct 2001 17:57:10 +0100, "Finn Clark"
> <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >The BBC, on the other hand, have (occasionally) given us stuff like The
> >Scarlet Empress, The Blue Angel, Tomb of Valdemar and Grimm Reality. Paul
> >Magrs showed us a new paradigm back in September 1998 and I think it's been
> >*the* single most important development in the Doctor Who novels. It hasn't
> >superceded the traditional adventure format, but it's shown us something
> >genuinely new and exciting that we hadn't had under Virgin.
>
> IMHO there were two paradigms that The Scarlet Empress introduced
> and both of them have alienated me further and further from the books as
> time has gone along.

Whereas for me, they've helped keep things new and fresh and
occasionally unexpected.

> The first seems to be that "ambiguity=good storytelling". That
> attitude has worked its way into a lot of the later EDAs (most notably
> The Blue Angel and The Turing Test) with little in the way of good
> results IMHO.

IMHO, ambiguity is bad when it is accidental--when the reader is unsure
what happened but that was not the intent. *Deliberate* ambiguity about
certain things, however, I often like, if I have some trust that the
author has a particular place he's taking me and doesn't want to spoil
everything.

For example, it's never explicitly spelled out that Brax is the Doctor's
brother. It's ambiguous in that he describes his brother in ways that
make us think of the Doctor. But I think that makes *me* say "Hmmm, it
sounds like the Doctor and Brax are brothers, but maybe not", and it
makes Jack say "Are they brothers or aren't they?" I see additional
potential in those grey, hazy spaces, but Jack wants to *know*.

> (An aside about The Blue Angel: There was a very good Doctor Who
> story lurking in that confused mess waiting to be told. Unfortunately,
> IMHO the authors were too busy showing off their knowledge of how
> to circumvent literary conventions to just tell it.)

We'll agree to disagree, then.

> The second paradigm? Well, Magrs came across to me as championing
> the position that the DW elements in the story don't matter as long as
> the story is good. That paradigm has IMHO sent the EDAs into the
> abyss.

I thoroughly and completely *disagree*. He said "wow, these parameters
can be stretched awfully far, and we can look at bog-standard Who thinks
from a totally different perspective". Or "hey, there's *nothing* you
can specifically nail down here, but it's still clearly Doctor Who".
THough of course you'll probably disagree, I think the successfulness of
the latter paradigm is a matter of taste.

> Looking at it, that is probably the largest single difference between
> the Virgin NAs and the BBC EDAs. The NAs, whether through chance
> or design, had many stories that were both good stories and good
> Doctor Who stories. I like to think it was by design - that the editors
> realized that good stories by themselves don't automatically make
> good Doctor Who stories. The EDAs, especially since "Interference",
> have tried to be just good stories and haven't really paid more than
> lip service to being good DW stories IMHO.

We have a *wide* variation of opinions on what makes for a good DW
stories. With so many people complaining that late 80s Who had crawled
too far up its own fannish hole, I think the only real solution with
potential legs is to stretch *Who* to encompass other stuff (a proven
option) rather than to stretch other stuff to fit in Who. I'd rather
push the existing envelope--which is pretty damned flexible--than snip
things to fit.

> (And as I've said before, piling on continuity references does not
> automatically make a good DW story. DW elements have to be used
> correctly, just like any of the other larger literary elements.)

But your examples tend to be references to earlier adventures that we
saw on TV, or specifically making use of the TARDIS or time travel or
Time Lords---and the series has done without any or all of those even
when it was just a TV show.

> The Turing Test is probably the best example of this dichotomy.
> One one side, it is a rather well-written story. Not a perfect story,
> mind you, because it kind of drowned itself in ambiguity and
> loose ends. But one that was notably more good than bad. On
> the other hand, the story features about the worst portrayal/
> characterization of the Doctor that I've ever had the misfortune
> to encounter. It was like something out of a bad fanfic written
> with the attitude "I *can* write the Doctor this way so I *will*!".
> I didn't hear the Doctor scream at the end of the story - I heard
> a 200 decibel thud as the EDAs hit rock bottom.

Another thorough disagreement here. What you got was a characterization
of the Doctor that was very much at odds with what you were used to ---
but then, as I and others pointed out in other debates, you're not
getting an absolutely honest narrator; you're getting three separate
narrators, each bringing their own biases and agendas and emotions.
We're used to viewing the Doctor more or less directly, or through the
eyes of a loyal companion. Turing gave us three perspectives on a Doctor
who was already somewhat different from expectations, and those
viewp[oints themselves contradict each other.

> Another way to look at this is to contrast The Left -Handed
> Hummingbird with The Year of Intelligent Tigers. They
> both feature strong concepts - a feature seen in almost all of
> Kate's DW stories. However, IMHO Hummer has better
> characterizations of the Doctor and companions than
> Tigers and is much better plotted. Tigers was rather dull
> in places and IMHO the story could have easily have been
> 15-25 pages shorter. Thus, I'd rate Hummer a better overall
> story than Tigers. (I could also say the same thing about
> Set Piece vs. Tigers.)

I'm sorry, it's been hundreds of books since either of those early Kate
books and frankly I don't remember them well enough to contrast them
with Tigers. But I found Tigers to be one of the more engaging tales,
with an interesting new culture to explore, a Doctor at odds with his
companions, in fact a tale overall more about people than about events.
That's Kate's strength and she does well to play to it--but moreso, it
helps cement and redefine the emerging Post-Gallifrey Eighth Doctor.

> Then there are the DW elements. Hummer has a lot of them,
> including the TARDIS, the mention of the Exxilons (sic?), the
> time-travel-dependent plot, and the use of the character
> tensions and developments of the previous NAs. IMHO
> there's quite a high level of Whoishness.

I don't agree that those things make up "whoishness". Time travel is
actually *rarely* used as a storytelling device throughout DW's history.
And the TARDIS is also largely optional--most often time and space
travel is simply a vehicle to put the lead characters in a particular
location where the story can happen. Namechecking an alien culture
doesn't make something Whoish. Using the character tensions and
developments is something the NAs did pretty well, but it was not always
a component of the show and is clearly not something *peculiar* to DW.

> Tigers, on the other hand, seems to have a totally different
> attitude about its Whoishness. There is only one obscure reference
> to anything earlier than The Burning, and the TARDIS and all the
> functions normally associated with it are essentially absent.

Again, you claim that namechecking earlier stories isn't what makes
things Whoish, but that's your example.

The Doctor Who line (and the character himself) underwent a pretty
drastic pruning because the weight of the existing foliage was in danger
of damaging the whole--the line was, IMO, collapsing under the
collective weight of its own continuity.

> Then,
> there's the character of the Doctor. First of all, he's the Amnesiac
> Doctor who I deem to be a pale imitation of what a fully functioning
> Doctor could be. Second, at one point the Doctor yells something
> about not wanting to ever remember his past. Now, YMMV, but IMHO
> this smacks of cowardice - the Doctor running away from himself.
> Thus, I'd say that Tigers doesn't even have the foundation of a
> "never cruel or cowardly" Doctor going for it.

See my notes about "pruning" above. Once you accept the need to do this
(and I realize you don't) the reality is that some branches are going to
be lost. Others will regrow in slightly different ways. So the Doctor is
in a period of regrowing a lost limb, and things are still raw--so of
course he's not going to be the juggernaut that he once was.

The Doctor is, perhaps, running away from himself by not wanting to
remember his past...but isn't he also running away from his heritage at
the very outset of the program? I think you're interpreting the "never
cruel or cowardly" bit too broadly, to be honest. The Doctor fears his
own past for quite a long time, and this was such a traumatic experience
that his mind just shut down. And yet, he's never cruel, and he's never
cowardly--by which I mean he's unafraid to risk everything about himself
to save the day. He's just unwilling to acknowlege something about
himself, which IMO is not *quite* the same thing, though I'll grant that
it probably knows where cowardice lives.

> To summarize, Tigers is not a bad *story*, although it ranks a bit
> below Kate's best work in overall quality and being a gripping tale.
> However, as a *Doctor Who* story, it is far and away the worst thing
> that I've ever seen Kate and/or Jon write. I gave it a 5/10 in Shannon's
> rankings. Kate, I hope you don't take offense, but Hummer comes across
> to me as a story written by someone who loved DW, while Tigers comes
> across to me as a story written by someone who doesn't or is just
> writing it as a job.

Wow. That's awfully harsh. I'd say, perhaps more accurately, that Hummer
has the advantage of being a new writer's first book about a beloved
subject....but it's been something like 8 years (and about that many
books) since then, and just as Kate isn't quite the person she was in
the early 90s, neither is the Doctor.

{snip]

Your chief complaint seems to be what it's been for as long as I can
remember -- things changed a bit more than you wanted them to.

Personally, I think the way forward is for DW to be *less* of a
celebration of the past and *more* of an inventive, dynamic series that
takes chances, that risks losing audience to keep things fresh and new
---like it's always been.

Steven Kitson

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 8:05:53 PM10/22/01
to
Finn Clark <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
> Steven Kitson wrote, re. my "new kinds o' storytelling" niche of Magrs, Tomb
> of Valdemar and Grimm Reality:
> > 'The City of the Dead'?
> No, that's perfectly straightforward storytelling. Very good indeed and
> deals with magic in a new manner for the Whoniverse, but there's nothing
> outre in the telling itself.

Ah. I see what you mean: there's two elements to 'The Scarlet Empress'
that often get conflated because the same people dislike both: the
content (with its explicit magic) and the style. You were talking about
the style; I thought you meant the content.

> > Actually, I'm only a hundred pages into 'Grimm Reality' but
> > I'm already disappointed that it looks like there's going to be
> > a pseudoscience explanation for all the weirdness (one that's
> > hinted at practically at the start of the book, so I'm not
> > spoiling anything). I do hope it doesn't turn out that way.
> Yeeeeeeesss, but the nature of Doctor Who is that people are going to *look*
> for the explanations. Personally I think Scarlet Empress pulled off the
> no-explanations trick about as well as one possibly could, but others still
> felt it was a significant omission. (See Robert Smith?'s review.)

Relally? I don't read on-line reviews. Where can I find that one --
should I search google groups?

> We're
> talking about a show which has explicitly established (The Daemons) a
> magic-science dichotomy, viz. that one exists and the other doesn't.

'Established' in the sense of 'the Doctor insists it in spite of all
available evidence, to whit an alien with powers he can't explain (he
never suggest how Azal changes size, for example, or how on Earth a
stone gargoyle is animated) who is destroyed not by 'science' but by
symbolic sacrifice, the domain of magic, that it doesn't exist'.

Watch 'The Daemons'. Really watch it. The _only_ thing in the whole
story that even _suggests_ that there's no such thing as magic is the
Doctor's bluster. Everything else, from black masses that summon aliens
to animated stone scared off by iron and an incantation (what the
incantation is being less important than the symbolism -- another
hallmark of magic!) cries out that he is wrong -- and even he admits it
in the end, 'See, Jo, there is magic in the world after all!'

So I don't understand these people who say 'The Daemons' proves that
magic doesn't exist in the 'Doctor Who' universe. If anything, it proves
the opposite! The Doctor keeps saying 'there's an explanation', but he
never comes up with one beyond 'psychic science', a meaningless bit of
technobabble if ever I heard one.

> Simply
> having magic at all is a step too far for many people. I think the approach
> of City of the Dead and Grimm Reality is a sound and sensible one - put the
> explanations (or a hint of one) relatively up-front, so the worriers can
> relax and won't be treating the entire book as the scientific equivalent of
> a murder mystery.

Or don't worry about it at all. Can you tell me the bits in 'The City of
the Dead' which suggest there's a scientific explanation for everything,
because I think I missed them?

> Which is what Sorceror's Apprentice was, now I come to think about it. You
> might disagree, but I think an author needs a justification for introducing
> overtly fantastic elements into Doctor Who. I'm just talking on the level
> of what works. The Scarlet Empress was all about a fantastical kind of
> storytelling so that was a special kind of justification, but by and large
> you're gonna need some technobabble along the way.

I give you 'The City of the Dead' as a counter-example.

--
I'm made of steel, soul and metal
I'll be human 'til the day I die

William December Starr

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 9:56:10 PM10/22/01
to
In article <3bd3f45f...@news.freeserve.net>,
la...@lanceparkin.freeserve.co.uk (Lance Parkin) said:

> So, no, Paul isn't exactly doing something newfangled. But then
> again, what do you expect when he's writing for a series who's first
> episode starts with an intertextual Dixon of Dock Green reference,
> deconstructs the premise of the show as 'ridiculous' and features a
> time machine sitting in a London junkyard. Doctor Who *is*
> postmodern, self-referential and magic realism. That's sort of the
> whole point.

Or not. It's a _character_, not "the series" that says that a certain
idea is ridiculous, and if there's something inherently more postmodern,
self-referential or magically realistic about a disguised time machine
in a junkyard than in a laboratory, I don't know what it is.

Andrew McCaffrey

unread,
Oct 22, 2001, 10:15:00 PM10/22/01
to
Steven Kitson <ski...@greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>> (See Robert Smith?'s review.)
> Relally? I don't read on-line reviews. Where can I find that one --
> should I search google groups?

Try: http:/www.pagefillers.com/dwrg

> Watch 'The Daemons'. Really watch it. The _only_ thing in the whole
> story that even _suggests_ that there's no such thing as magic is the
> Doctor's bluster. Everything else, from black masses that summon aliens
> to animated stone scared off by iron and an incantation (what the
> incantation is being less important than the symbolism -- another
> hallmark of magic!) cries out that he is wrong -- and even he admits it
> in the end, 'See, Jo, there is magic in the world after all!'

Absolutely. For all the Doctor's talking, the magic used by the
white witch (I forget her name) and the Master work exactly the way
they're supposed to.

Sure, there a few things that resolve to scientific explainations (such as
the car and the "devil"), but there are just as many things that aren't
explained (such as the wind storm, the summoning ritual and the force
barrier).

Jonathan Blum

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 12:13:03 AM10/23/01
to
jbe...@mindspring.com (Jack Beven) wrote in message news:<3bd3d097....@news.mindspring.com>...

> To summarize, Tigers is not a bad *story*, although it ranks a bit
> below Kate's best work in overall quality and being a gripping tale.

Cheers. As they say, all the rest is commentary. :-)

It's a shame that you felt that "Tigers" didn't have enough of what
you saw as "Doctor Who". On the other hand, a rather more common
criticism in reviews has been that it had too *much* in the way of
familiar Who elements -- being basically a story where the Doctor gets
caught between two colliding factions, each with a reasonable claim to
the planet, and has to keep the situation from spiralling out of
control. In other words, the story and the Doctor's role are highly
reminiscent of a bunch of previous stories, most notably "The
Silurians"... another Who story that didn't mention the TARDIS, any
old continuity references at all, or indeed any Who elements aside
from the recently-established regular cast. :-)

The idea was, of course, to balance between the old and the new, the
familiar situations with the unexpected approaches to them. It seems
more people feel we erred on the side of too much old than too much
new.

Ah well, at least a lot of people seem to like it anyway. And if
you're really going to give up on the EDA's, might I recommend that
you at least read Lloyd Rose's "City of the Dead" first? Not only is
it a lovely book, a really well-written novel, it's also got some
stuff to do with the Doctor's past which might be a bit more up your
alley. :-)

Regards,
Jon Blum

Jonathan Blum

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 12:41:18 AM10/23/01
to
Jim Vowles <alab...@capu.net> wrote in message news:<3BD48080...@capu.net>...

[lots of great stuff snipped -- ta]

> > Then there are the DW elements. Hummer has a lot of them,
> > including the TARDIS, the mention of the Exxilons (sic?), the
> > time-travel-dependent plot, and the use of the character
> > tensions and developments of the previous NAs. IMHO
> > there's quite a high level of Whoishness.

[...]


> > Kate, I hope you don't take offense, but Hummer comes across
> > to me as a story written by someone who loved DW, while Tigers comes
> > across to me as a story written by someone who doesn't or is just
> > writing it as a job.

> Wow. That's awfully harsh. I'd say, perhaps more accurately, that Hummer
> has the advantage of being a new writer's first book about a beloved
> subject....but it's been something like 8 years (and about that many
> books) since then, and just as Kate isn't quite the person she was in
> the early 90s, neither is the Doctor.

I think a fairer assessment is that "Tigers" was written by someone
who loves Doctor Who, specifically the Doctor, but who no longer gives
a flying one about the Exxilons. And it seems odd to praise "Hummer"
for drawing on the character tensions and developments of previous
books, while slating "Tigers" for drawing on the Doctor's character
tensions and developments established since "The Burning". (Though
the elements Kate foregrounded extend back well before "The Burning"
-- surely Jack noticed all the Life's Champion stuff in this one? :-)

Regards,
Jon Blum

Zebee Johnstone

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 12:58:05 AM10/23/01
to
In rec.arts.drwho on 22 Oct 2001 21:13:03 -0700

Jonathan Blum <jb...@zip.com.au> wrote:
>It's a shame that you felt that "Tigers" didn't have enough of what
>you saw as "Doctor Who". On the other hand, a rather more common
>criticism in reviews has been that it had too *much* in the way of
>familiar Who elements -- being basically a story where the Doctor gets
>caught between two colliding factions, each with a reasonable claim to
>the planet, and has to keep the situation from spiralling out of

Guess so.

I found it lacking. It just didnt do anything for me, and the generic
nature of it might be some of the reason.

I think a lot of it is 8Doc, I just can't get interested in him. Does
nothing for me at all.

Some of it was definitely "ho hum. Nothing gripping here. Best I can
say is that it's a standard tale."

I have all the Who books Kate has written, and I think there's a bit of a
downward spiral I fear. HUmmer and Set Piece really grabbed me, Sleepy
was Ok with a couple of nice bits, Room with No Doors perked up again,
Return had some fun bits but I dunno, less said about Vile the better.

I mostly liked the 8DA collaborations, but I was very disappointed in
Tigers. I read it till the end, but not with much enthusiasm.

If getting together with you provided an outlet for whatever it was
that was dirving those first two, maybe you need to go on a 6 month
world cruise without her or something!

Zebee

Finn Clark

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 1:22:10 AM10/23/01
to
Steven Kitson wrote:

> Ah. I see what you mean: there's two elements to 'The
> Scarlet Empress' that often get conflated because the
> same people dislike both: the content (with its explicit
> magic) and the style. You were talking about the style;
> I thought you meant the content.

...euuuuuuungh, well, no. The Scarlet Empress, as its afterword says, is
about a new kind of storytelling. Lance said a few posts above this that
magical realism is what Doctor Who's been all along... well, that's Paul
Magrs's opinion too, but he was the first person to actually do it in an
original Who novel.

Similarly, Tomb of Valdemar is a tale-within-a-tale told around the
campfire, complete with self-aware narrator. Grimm Reality borrows the
style and the form of European folk tales (though puts them alongside more
traditional-for-Who hard SF elements). What I see as the common element in
all these is an attempt to write Doctor Who as something other than Flash
Gordon adventures with death-defying cliffhangers. There's nothing wrong
with the Flash Gordon story pattern, being as it is Doctor Who's bread and
butter, but I get excited when a writer comes along and demonstrates that
Doctor Who can also be something else I'd never before imagined it as.

I think this isn't style or content, but form. (Scurries off to look for
dictionary to see if he's talking out of his arse...)

>> (See Robert Smith?'s review.)
>
> Relally? I don't read on-line reviews. Where can
> I find that one -- should I search google groups?

You could, or visit http://pagefillers.com/dwrg/frames.htm.

> Watch 'The Daemons'. Really watch it. The _only_ thing
> in the whole story that even _suggests_ that there's no such
> thing as magic is the Doctor's bluster.

You make a very persuasive case that makes a lot of sense. Objectively
viewed, one can very easily defend the conclusion you reach: that The
Daemons is far more mystical and anti-scientific than it thinks it is. (It
also continues the demonising of science that we see so often in the Pertwee
era. The atom bomb and other scientific achievements are used as sticks for
beating the human race, rather than as positive things that have helped to
make the world a safer and cleaner place. If GM food had been around in the
seventies, you just *know* which side Letts and Dicks would have supported
in that debate.)

However all the ambiguity mentioned above *strengthens* rather than weakens
the power of the magic-science conflict in The Daemons. You're right - it's
not a one-way traffic. The story's trying to have it both ways. Basically
it's a Dennis Wheatley black magic yarn, but the BBC Grey Suits insisted
that they had to say Magic Ain't Real. That message is emphasised
frequently and often (even if it's undermined by other aspects of the
story), and for literal-minded fans that message sank home firmly enough for
Battlefield to rankle seventeen years later.

> Or don't worry about it at all. Can you tell me the bits in
> 'The City of the Dead' which suggest there's a scientific
> explanation for everything, because I think I missed them?

See pages 16-19. It's very clever - it doesn't explain anything *away*, but
it gives questioning readers enough justification for us to accept that
magic might work for the rest of the book without forever looking for the
man behind the curtain. I love that scene; by giving technobabble
suggestions via the Doctor alongside the magical theory, it gives the
hardline there-is-no-magic-it's-all-science fanboy a place to hang his hat
without killing what the story's *really* talking about.

There are certain narrative conventions within a Doctor Who story that one
ignores at one's peril. You can subvert them, but it's dangerous to ignore
them. If you set up a mystery and then never resolve it, you'll piss off
readers - even if it's a mystery only in their subjective opinions.

Finn Clark.

Jack Beven

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 1:44:43 AM10/23/01
to
On Mon, 22 Oct 2001 16:24:32 -0400, Jim Vowles <alab...@capu.net>
wrote:

>First, let me say that I frequently find Jack to be a thoughtful
>commentator, and while I think I most often disagree with his take on
>things, I think it's generally a valuable view well expressed.

Thanks!


>
>Jack Beven wrote:
>>
>> On Sat, 20 Oct 2001 17:57:10 +0100, "Finn Clark"
>> <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

[snip]

>> The first seems to be that "ambiguity=good storytelling". That
>> attitude has worked its way into a lot of the later EDAs (most notably
>> The Blue Angel and The Turing Test) with little in the way of good
>> results IMHO.
>
>IMHO, ambiguity is bad when it is accidental--when the reader is unsure
>what happened but that was not the intent. *Deliberate* ambiguity about
>certain things, however, I often like, if I have some trust that the
>author has a particular place he's taking me and doesn't want to spoil
>everything.
>
>For example, it's never explicitly spelled out that Brax is the Doctor's
>brother. It's ambiguous in that he describes his brother in ways that
>make us think of the Doctor. But I think that makes *me* say "Hmmm, it
>sounds like the Doctor and Brax are brothers, but maybe not", and it
>makes Jack say "Are they brothers or aren't they?" I see additional
>potential in those grey, hazy spaces, but Jack wants to *know*.

That's because in a situation like that the biggest potential I
see is for the authors to play the "is he or isn't he" game
indefinitely - either because they would want to tease the audience
or because they wouldn't want to anger one side or the other by making
a final decision. My main reason for wanting this issue pinned down
would be to bring that game to an end once and for all.

(For the record, I would be more in favor of Brax *not* being the
Doctor's brother. Keeping the Doctor a character with as few as
possible living relations would be one decent way to help preserve
the mystery of the character.)

Granted there are some things that are left ambiguous so the authors
can bring surprises on us at a later time. I can live with those. I'd
really like to get rid of the ones where the authors are playing
games with us or are being used as excuses for bad storytelling.

[snip]

>> The second paradigm? Well, Magrs came across to me as championing
>> the position that the DW elements in the story don't matter as long as
>> the story is good. That paradigm has IMHO sent the EDAs into the
>> abyss.
>
>I thoroughly and completely *disagree*. He said "wow, these parameters
>can be stretched awfully far, and we can look at bog-standard Who thinks
>from a totally different perspective". Or "hey, there's *nothing* you
>can specifically nail down here, but it's still clearly Doctor Who".
>THough of course you'll probably disagree, I think the successfulness of
>the latter paradigm is a matter of taste.

Looking through The Scarlett Empress, I can't find all the passages
I'm looking for. However, the discussion on pages 233-235 rather reeks
of a disregard for continuity, the past, and the idea that the Doctor is
the sum of his memories or even more so. In other words, I think it's
going against several things that I think make for good DW.

>> Looking at it, that is probably the largest single difference between
>> the Virgin NAs and the BBC EDAs. The NAs, whether through chance
>> or design, had many stories that were both good stories and good
>> Doctor Who stories. I like to think it was by design - that the editors
>> realized that good stories by themselves don't automatically make
>> good Doctor Who stories. The EDAs, especially since "Interference",
>> have tried to be just good stories and haven't really paid more than
>> lip service to being good DW stories IMHO.
>
>We have a *wide* variation of opinions on what makes for a good DW
>stories. With so many people complaining that late 80s Who had crawled
>too far up its own fannish hole, I think the only real solution with
>potential legs is to stretch *Who* to encompass other stuff (a proven
>option) rather than to stretch other stuff to fit in Who. I'd rather
>push the existing envelope--which is pretty damned flexible--than snip
>things to fit.

I will disagree with this. IMHO the solution is to do what DW has
done for a long time - take the best that literature/entertainment
industry/whatever has to offer and incorporate it into the series.
That to me is the best of both worlds solution - it lets DW use what
is good to better itself without losing or throwing out what came
before.

>> (And as I've said before, piling on continuity references does not
>> automatically make a good DW story. DW elements have to be used
>> correctly, just like any of the other larger literary elements.)
>
>But your examples tend to be references to earlier adventures that we
>saw on TV, or specifically making use of the TARDIS or time travel or
>Time Lords---and the series has done without any or all of those even
>when it was just a TV show.

I was going to answer this in another post, but I'll do it here
instead. In my mind, DW elements are those that set the series
off from other series (or stories) and make it unique. They are the
things that give it an idenitity. People's mileage will vary as to what
they are. My list would include the character of the Doctor, the
characters of the companions (not the principle of having
companions), the interaction between the Doctor and the companions,
the TARDIS, the monsters, the settings, and the continuity (in all
of its many forms). It's these things that make DW different from
say "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", "The Time Tunnel", or
any other story about time travel.

Let's look at this another way: In their fundamental forms, Star
Trek: Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 are both sci-fi space
operas centered around the intrigue on a space station. Does
that mean they were two identical series and that making both
of them was a waste of time and money? Heck, no! Each series
had its own elements that set it apart from the other and made
each series unique.

The principle of proper use of series elements in writing a
good story for that series applies to more than just DW, you know.
IMHO it is an underlying fundamental principle of writing for
*any* series.

>> The Turing Test is probably the best example of this dichotomy.
>> One one side, it is a rather well-written story. Not a perfect story,
>> mind you, because it kind of drowned itself in ambiguity and
>> loose ends. But one that was notably more good than bad. On
>> the other hand, the story features about the worst portrayal/
>> characterization of the Doctor that I've ever had the misfortune
>> to encounter. It was like something out of a bad fanfic written
>> with the attitude "I *can* write the Doctor this way so I *will*!".
>> I didn't hear the Doctor scream at the end of the story - I heard
>> a 200 decibel thud as the EDAs hit rock bottom.
>
>Another thorough disagreement here. What you got was a characterization
>of the Doctor that was very much at odds with what you were used to ---
>but then, as I and others pointed out in other debates, you're not
>getting an absolutely honest narrator; you're getting three separate
>narrators, each bringing their own biases and agendas and emotions.
>We're used to viewing the Doctor more or less directly, or through the
>eyes of a loyal companion. Turing gave us three perspectives on a Doctor
>who was already somewhat different from expectations, and those
>viewp[oints themselves contradict each other.

Different does not automatically equal good. And regardless of the
number of narrators and their viewpoints, the Doctor's characterization
still looks like utter crap to me.

>> Another way to look at this is to contrast The Left -Handed
>> Hummingbird with The Year of Intelligent Tigers. They
>> both feature strong concepts - a feature seen in almost all of
>> Kate's DW stories. However, IMHO Hummer has better
>> characterizations of the Doctor and companions than
>> Tigers and is much better plotted. Tigers was rather dull
>> in places and IMHO the story could have easily have been
>> 15-25 pages shorter. Thus, I'd rate Hummer a better overall
>> story than Tigers. (I could also say the same thing about
>> Set Piece vs. Tigers.)
>
>I'm sorry, it's been hundreds of books since either of those early Kate
>books and frankly I don't remember them well enough to contrast them
>with Tigers. But I found Tigers to be one of the more engaging tales,
>with an interesting new culture to explore, a Doctor at odds with his
>companions, in fact a tale overall more about people than about events.
>That's Kate's strength and she does well to play to it--but moreso, it
>helps cement and redefine the emerging Post-Gallifrey Eighth Doctor.

Well, I agree on the culture. However, the Doctor at odds with his
companions things was done *much* better in the Alternative
History arc that included Hummer. Also, the people tale was IMHO
done much better by Ben Aaronovitch in The Also People.

And if this is the Doctor we're going to see until BBC TV finally
gets around to regenerating him, then it just gives me less
incentive to read the future EDAs.

[snip]

>The Doctor Who line (and the character himself) underwent a pretty
>drastic pruning because the weight of the existing foliage was in danger
>of damaging the whole--the line was, IMO, collapsing under the
>collective weight of its own continuity.

[snip]

>See my notes about "pruning" above. Once you accept the need to do this
>(and I realize you don't) the reality is that some branches are going to
>be lost. Others will regrow in slightly different ways. So the Doctor is
>in a period of regrowing a lost limb, and things are still raw--so of
>course he's not going to be the juggernaut that he once was.

I don't accept the need for pruning *at all*. If an author wants to
write a continuity-light or free story, all he or she has to do is
create a new setting for the Doctor to visit and new monsters/villians/
races that the Doctor has never encountered, and place it far
enough away from any of the Doctor's other adventures spatially
or temporally that there's no chance of any overlap. That takes care
of 90% of potential continuity problems, as well as giving the authors
an tremendous chance to show off their originality. The only things
that the authors would have to be careful of at that point is to get
the continuity of the characterization of the Doctor and companions
right - and that should not be that big of a burden on the authors.

The post-Ancestor Cell EDAs are not charting such a course.
Seven out of the ten of them that I have read were set on Earth,
and the other three involved Earth-origin humans. IMHO using
such settings over and over again is just sowing more mines
in the continuity minefield.

To me, there is no such thing as a continuity problem. Instead,
it is a people problem - authors who want to write stories that
directly contradict others, authors who want to use settings that
have already been oversused, and authors who can't seem to
make that extra effort to get continuity right. Trying to dismiss
continuity as excess baggage is IMHO the easy-way-out
solution, and taking the easy way out does not strike me as
an approach that leads to good storytelling.

And that lost limb will not be regrown IMHO until the pre- and
post-Ancestor Cell Eight Doctor's are unified back into one
whole.

[snip]

>> To summarize, Tigers is not a bad *story*, although it ranks a bit
>> below Kate's best work in overall quality and being a gripping tale.
>> However, as a *Doctor Who* story, it is far and away the worst thing
>> that I've ever seen Kate and/or Jon write. I gave it a 5/10 in Shannon's
>> rankings. Kate, I hope you don't take offense, but Hummer comes across
>> to me as a story written by someone who loved DW, while Tigers comes
>> across to me as a story written by someone who doesn't or is just
>> writing it as a job.
>
>Wow. That's awfully harsh. I'd say, perhaps more accurately, that Hummer
>has the advantage of being a new writer's first book about a beloved
>subject....but it's been something like 8 years (and about that many
>books) since then, and just as Kate isn't quite the person she was in
>the early 90s, neither is the Doctor.

I'm not the same person I was when I started reading the books back
in 1991. I've become much more cynical about the authors and their
agendas and a lot more analytical and critical of the books.

As for Kate, you be the judge. Please check out her own words on
Tigers at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lemniskate/message/14

>{snip]
>
>Your chief complaint seems to be what it's been for as long as I can
>remember -- things changed a bit more than you wanted them to.
>
>Personally, I think the way forward is for DW to be *less* of a
>celebration of the past and *more* of an inventive, dynamic series that
>takes chances, that risks losing audience to keep things fresh and new
>---like it's always been.

It's not that the EDAs have changed more than I want them to, it is
that in their changes they've gone directions I don't think they should
go.

My all-time favorite DW book is Paul Cornell's Love and War. Why?
Because it is an excellent *constructive* blend of the series past and
its (at the time) future. It was built on a foundation of solid DW, yet
introduced new ideas and concepts that took the series off in
interesting new directions. Few, if any, of the NAs/EDAs since
that time have even approached that level on constructive harmony
between past and future - Alien Bodies being about the only one
I can think of off the top of my head.

Lately, the interaction between series past and series future has
IMHO been *destructive* - Interference tried to retcon Planet of the
Spiders, Shadows of Avalon destroyed the TARDIS, The Ancestor
Cell destroyed Gallifrey and retconned the Taking of Planet 5 out
of existence in the process, and the Amnesiac Doctor destroyed
large chunks of the character. No matter what comes out of these
developments (particularly the Amnesiac Doctor), I'm always going to
look askance at them because they had to destroy so much in order
to create. IMHO there was (and is) nothing that is so wrong about
DW that it requires such a literary urban renewal project.

The bottom line is that the EDAs have chosen destruction over
construction, and that IMHO is the wrong way to go. Kate writes
at the end of Tigers that the Doctor choses life, and that is exactly
what I think I'm chosing for the series - inexorable, relentless,
dogged life for *all* parts of the series rather than a life for one
part based on the death of other parts.

Jack Beven

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 1:47:42 AM10/23/01
to
On Mon, 22 Oct 2001 18:45:45 +0100, "Finn Clark"
<kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>Jack Beven wrote:

[snip]

>> Finally, I don't like the fact that between Tigers and the
>> 23 stories the preceeded it that I can't find: a) any story
>> that I thought was a great Doctor Who story, and b) any
>> story that I'm in any hurry to read again. If I can't find
>> much I like in those stories, chances are I won't find
>> much in the similar stories that are yet to come.
>
>Actually I'd agree with you that there's been some godawful rubbish
>published over the past five years, but ironically I also feel Year of
>Intelligent Tigers was a bit of a turning point. I've really enjoyed just
>about every 8DA since then, in its own way. You might give City of the Dead
>a try - I haven't heard anyone here (even J2Rider) say a bad word about it.

Does CotD re-unify Doctor present with Doctor past and EDA
present with the rest of Doctor Who? If not, I'd say the chances that
I will like it have taken a hit.

Cameron Mason

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 2:05:41 AM10/23/01
to

Jack Beven <jbe...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3bd4e5f3...@news.mindspring.com...
<snip>

> Lately, the interaction between series past and series future has
> IMHO been *destructive* - Interference tried to retcon Planet of the
> Spiders

No - Lawrence was using Faction Paradox to make a point - the Doctor's past
is just as malliable as Earth's history, infact you could say he was working
with a theme from as far back as The Aztecs....

Cameron
--
"I'm half-human on the Other's side."

http://members.fortunecity.com/masomika/


Cameron Mason

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 2:08:09 AM10/23/01
to

Jack Beven <jbe...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:3bd503f1...@news.mindspring.com...
<snip>

> Does CotD re-unify Doctor present with Doctor past and EDA
> present with the rest of Doctor Who?

Well....
SPOILERS FOR THE CITY OF THE DEAD!!!!!!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
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.
.
.
.


The EIghth Doctor has this dream where he finds The Seventh Doctor in a
tomb, who then gets up and yells at him, before trying to strangle him....

Cameron
--
Dimensions in Crime

http://members.fortunecity.com/masomika/


Jack Beven

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 2:25:14 AM10/23/01
to
On 22 Oct 2001 21:13:03 -0700, jb...@zip.com.au (Jonathan Blum) wrote:

>jbe...@mindspring.com (Jack Beven) wrote in message news:<3bd3d097....@news.mindspring.com>...
>> To summarize, Tigers is not a bad *story*, although it ranks a bit
>> below Kate's best work in overall quality and being a gripping tale.
>
>Cheers. As they say, all the rest is commentary. :-)
>
>It's a shame that you felt that "Tigers" didn't have enough of what
>you saw as "Doctor Who". On the other hand, a rather more common
>criticism in reviews has been that it had too *much* in the way of
>familiar Who elements -- being basically a story where the Doctor gets
>caught between two colliding factions, each with a reasonable claim to
>the planet, and has to keep the situation from spiralling out of
>control. In other words, the story and the Doctor's role are highly
>reminiscent of a bunch of previous stories, most notably "The
>Silurians"... another Who story that didn't mention the TARDIS, any
>old continuity references at all, or indeed any Who elements aside
>from the recently-established regular cast. :-)

Well, I honestly don't see these plot elements, or plot in general,
as DW elements. To me, they are elements that are more related to larger
literary issues than elements unique to Doctor Who. I'm sure if you and
I looked we could find stories outside DW that use the same plot ideas
that you mentione here.

To give another example, the base-under-seige storyline has been a
staple of DW almost since the beginning. However, DW hardly has
a monopoly on base-under-seige stories, so I don't count that sort
of plot as a unique DW element.

As I said in the long post I just finished, people's ideas of DW
elements will vary. I try to limit mine to those that set DW apart
from other series and not what it has in common with other
series. Does that clarify things?

>The idea was, of course, to balance between the old and the new, the
>familiar situations with the unexpected approaches to them. It seems
>more people feel we erred on the side of too much old than too much
>new.

My feeling is that the presence of the Amnesiac Doctor tilted things
toward the new regardless of how the rest of the story went.

I did go through a little mental exercise of trying to plug a fully-
functioning Doctor into the story to see what might be the result.
IMHO that wouldn't change the plot to any notable extent, but
it would increase the Whoishness and trim back some of those
things got my nose bent out of joint when I read the book.

I went through a similar exercise with The Burning, except there
I took the Doctor out and replaced him with the likes of Sherlock
Holmes, Richard Seaton, or Ace. Some of the dialogue would have to
change, and one scene would have to be dropped, but for the most part
I didn't see where the story as a whole would have to change. What does
that say about the Whoishness of The Burning?

>Ah well, at least a lot of people seem to like it anyway. And if
>you're really going to give up on the EDA's, might I recommend that
>you at least read Lloyd Rose's "City of the Dead" first? Not only is
>it a lovely book, a really well-written novel, it's also got some
>stuff to do with the Doctor's past which might be a bit more up your
>alley. :-)

I'll see. The problem is that I'm disenchanted with the directions
the EDAs have gone over the past three years, and no matter how
good City of the Dead may be I've not heard anything to indicate
that it marks a change for the better in those directions. I should
make one thing very clear here - Tigers is *not* the primary reason
I'm giving up on the EDAs. It was, however, the straw that broke
the camel's back.

I can see why people would like Tigers and the direction that
the EDAs have gone. However, I seemingly have different
standards of what makes for good DW than most of the current
EDA audience.

I've heard through other sources that you were interested in
getting my feedback on the weather portions of Tigers. I'll
say here that part of the story came under the concepts that
I thought were the strength of the story. I'll be glad to talk to
you and Kate about it in more detail outside the group.

Jack Beven

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 2:38:41 AM10/23/01
to
On 22 Oct 2001 21:41:18 -0700, jb...@zip.com.au (Jonathan Blum) wrote:

>Jim Vowles <alab...@capu.net> wrote in message news:<3BD48080...@capu.net>...
>
>[lots of great stuff snipped -- ta]

[snip]

>I think a fairer assessment is that "Tigers" was written by someone
>who loves Doctor Who, specifically the Doctor, but who no longer gives
>a flying one about the Exxilons. And it seems odd to praise "Hummer"
>for drawing on the character tensions and developments of previous
>books, while slating "Tigers" for drawing on the Doctor's character
>tensions and developments established since "The Burning". (Though
>the elements Kate foregrounded extend back well before "The Burning"
>-- surely Jack noticed all the Life's Champion stuff in this one? :-)

For me, the Exxilons in Hummer served the same general purpose
as the presence of the Daleks and the Draconians in Love and War -
not exactly vital to the plot but providing the foundation of the past
that those stories and whatever future events they led to were built
on. Having that foundation present didn't stop either story from being
an exciting tale with new additions to the series. IMHO that kind of
foundation has been sorely missed in the post-Ancestor Cell books.

A question for you, Jon: Could Love and War be published *as
written* under the current direction of the EDAs?

And no, I didn't catch the Life's Champion bit. I did see the line at
the end about life, but Life's Champion didn't exactly leap off the
pages at me. :-)

Finn Clark

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 2:55:24 AM10/23/01
to
Jack Beven wrote:

> (For the record, I would be more in favor of Brax *not* being
> the Doctor's brother. Keeping the Doctor a character with as
> few as possible living relations would be one decent way to help
> preserve the mystery of the character.)

Completely agreed. I think I spat blood when one of the later Benny books
basically said Brax was the Doctor's brother. I just don't see the *point*.

Text - "Braxiatel is the Doctor's brother!!!!!"
Finn - "Yes, and?"

> And that lost limb will not be regrown IMHO until the
> pre- and post-Ancestor Cell Eight Doctor's are unified
> back into one whole.

A few points, just to throw my hat in the ring.

Firstly, I think the Eighth Doctor's amnesia has really improved the
character. Before this development, I found him impossibly dull and a
nearly insurmountable challenge for even the best authors. You might feel
he works less well as a link with the past, but (in the more recent 8DAs at
any rate) I think he's working much better as the hero of his novels. Even
if the amnesia is eventually undone, good will have come of evil. :-)

Secondly (to take one example), City of the Dead is a very good book and
bashing it for the sins of its predecessors would seem a tad unfair to me.
T'ain't Lloyd Rose's fault. (If you eventually read it, then you'll find
that it discusses the Doctor's amnesia without screaming in horror and
jumping on a chair. IMO if you're going to have a continuing series rather
than a pissing-in-the-pool contest between the authors then this is
necessary and desirable. If you've got a big scary story going on, then the
way to resolve it is to push it to its dramatic conclusion rather than to
cut it dead.)

Thirdly, the Doctor has had amnesia before. One could argue that it's an
appropriate use of Doctor Who elements... see the Third Doctor's memory
blocks during his exile (and arguably they weren't all removed; see the
discussion of Season 6B and Troughton's Stattenheim remote control in The
Two Doctors), or Timewyrm: Genesis.

Fourthly, I think one's got to assume that the amnesia is *going* somewhere.
Quite apart from anything else, in time the Doctor will have acquired so
much new experience that it won't make much practical difference whether he
regains his memory or not. The 8DAs are an ongoing story and to bash
individual books for not resolving the situation immediately is perhaps akin
to bashing a book's individual chapters for building its plot developments
towards the final climax instead of wrapping up everything on the spot.

But having said that, I do have one problem with the amnesia... that it
makes the Doctor seem like a wuss. Okay, yes, he went a bit spastic in
Dominion 'cos he broke a nail [1]. But to wipe your brain clean and still
be going into hysterical fits A HUNDRED BLOODY YEARS LATER seems a bit over
the top to me. Get over it, will ya? So the man's got a highly developed
sense of guilt. Get a life. Take a pill. He's done scary things out of
expediency before without turning into a prize fucking petunia.

I suppose you could construct an argument that the Eighth Doctor is reacting
to his Virgin and other exploits when he was still being played by Sylvester
McCoy, just as so many of his other incarnations have seemed to react
against their predecessors. And yes, blowing up Gallifrey was about as bad
a bad thing as you could possibly get... er, with the possible exception of
the Seven Planets, or the destruction of an entire parallel universe in
Blood Heat...

[1] - joke. Actually the TARDIS went awol.

> Lately, the interaction between series past and series future
> has IMHO been *destructive* - Interference tried to retcon
> Planet of the Spiders, Shadows of Avalon destroyed the
> TARDIS, The Ancestor Cell destroyed Gallifrey and
> retconned the Taking of Planet 5 out of existence in the
> process, and the Amnesiac Doctor destroyed large chunks
> of the character.

I think this is a very accurate and perceptive comment. However all that
destruction was either the Cole-era "What The Fuck" arc or part of its
wrapping-up. Since then the books have had a different spirit.

Finn Clark.

Steven Kitson

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 4:44:25 AM10/23/01
to
Jack Beven <jbe...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> A question for you, Jon: Could Love and War be published *as
>written* under the current direction of the EDAs?

I doubt it. I mean, it doesn't explain why the Doctor suddenly becomes
this short man with a hat, and where Fitz and Anji went, and why the
Doctor's gone all manipulative, which he wasn't as much in (for
example) 'The Year of Intelligent Tigers' or 'Grimmm Reality' and and...

(having an identity crisis day)

Steven Kitson

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 6:00:53 AM10/23/01
to
Finn Clark <kafe...@blewbury99.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>Steven Kitson wrote:
>> Ah. I see what you mean: there's two elements to 'The
>> Scarlet Empress' that often get conflated because the
>> same people dislike both: the content (with its explicit
>> magic) and the style. You were talking about the style;
>> I thought you meant the content.
> [...]

>I think this isn't style or content, but form. (Scurries off to look for
>dictionary to see if he's talking out of his arse...)

I think this is just a semantic mismatch; I think I know what you're
talking about, even if we do use different words for it.

>>> (See Robert Smith?'s review.)
>> Relally? I don't read on-line reviews. Where can
>> I find that one -- should I search google groups?
>You could, or visit http://pagefillers.com/dwrg/frames.htm.

Oh, that's quite touching -- 'I must have missed'. Benefit of the doubt,
'it was in there, I'm sure, but I missed it.' Not something I'm used to
seeing in connection with 'Doctor Who' books.

>> Watch 'The Daemons'. Really watch it. The _only_ thing
>> in the whole story that even _suggests_ that there's no such
>> thing as magic is the Doctor's bluster.
>
>You make a very persuasive case that makes a lot of sense. Objectively
>viewed, one can very easily defend the conclusion you reach: that The
>Daemons is far more mystical and anti-scientific than it thinks it is.

'That it thinks it is'? Than the Doctor thinks it is, I think you
mean. I'm not sure, but given...

>(It
>also continues the demonising of science that we see so often in the Pertwee
>era. The atom bomb and other scientific achievements are used as sticks for
>beating the human race, rather than as positive things that have helped to
>make the world a safer and cleaner place. If GM food had been around in the
>seventies, you just *know* which side Letts and Dicks would have supported
>in that debate.)

... and the last line, I suspect that Letts and Dicks may have known
_exactly_ what they were doing. For all we talk about Dicks being stuck in
the past, he's definately not stupid when it comes to storytelling!

>However all the ambiguity mentioned above *strengthens* rather than weakens
>the power of the magic-science conflict in The Daemons. You're right - it's
>not a one-way traffic. The story's trying to have it both ways. Basically
>it's a Dennis Wheatley black magic yarn, but the BBC Grey Suits insisted
>that they had to say Magic Ain't Real.

Or Letts and Dicks knew that Storytelling is Conflict, so they set up this
magic vs. science conflict?

> That message is emphasised
>frequently and often (even if it's undermined by other aspects of the
>story),

By one character. The message that it's good to be happy is emphasised
frequently and often by Helen A in 'The Happiness Patrol', but that don't
make it so. The Doctor is fallible -- we've seen enough evidence of that!

>> Or don't worry about it at all. Can you tell me the bits in
>> 'The City of the Dead' which suggest there's a scientific
>> explanation for everything, because I think I missed them?
>
>See pages 16-19. It's very clever - it doesn't explain anything *away*, but
>it gives questioning readers enough justification for us to accept that
>magic might work for the rest of the book without forever looking for the
>man behind the curtain. I love that scene; by giving technobabble
>suggestions via the Doctor alongside the magical theory, it gives the
>hardline there-is-no-magic-it's-all-science fanboy a place to hang his hat
>without killing what the story's *really* talking about.

I'll have a look when I get home. Is that the scene where he corrects
someone's use of the word 'dimension'?

>There are certain narrative conventions within a Doctor Who story that one
>ignores at one's peril.

Indeed, but I'm not sure that 'magic isn't real' is one of them. I think
it's something that people _think_ was a convention, but if you look back,
it's not really there. From 'The Daemons' to 'Kinda' to 'Enlightenment' to
'Battlefield', there's magic there all the way. The books have continued
that, and the Virgin New Adventures even picked up on the whole magic vs
science theme from 'The Daemons' and made it not a difference of opinion
between the Doctor and an English villager, but a fundamental defining
part of the cosmos.

(Is it just me hates Paul Cornell's suggestion that the Eternals became
the Gods of Gallifrey? It's just so unnecessary, and it removes some of
the mystery surrounding both).

Lance Parkin

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 6:09:47 AM10/23/01
to
On Tue, 23 Oct 2001 06:38:41 GMT, jbe...@mindspring.com (Jack Beven)
wrote:

> A question for you, Jon: Could Love and War be published *as
>written* under the current direction of the EDAs?

I think so. At the same time, it was a very long time ago,
now - I love the book, but it's as old now as K9 and
Company was then. Tastes and trends change, things
come along that means things develop. Could K9
and Company be an NA *as written*? No, of course
not.

A lot of the things that were big and clever in 1992
when L&W first came out - the monster based on
obscure continuity reference, the pop culture
cameos from Vic Reeves and the like, the companion
having sex, the casual referencing to two or three TV
serials, the idea that a books companion can be
infinitely more entertaining than a TV one ... well, put
it this way - if Love and War appeared *as written*
now it would be doing those things for the hundredth
time, not the first, and that's all the difference in the
world.

Love and War is great, Love and War is nine years old
this month, and our job isn't to lovingly recreate 1992,
it's to try to tell stories that are just as compelling and
entertaining now as Love and War was then.

Lance

Andrew McCaffrey

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 11:37:38 AM10/23/01
to
Jack Beven <jbe...@mindspring.com> wrote:
> Looking through The Scarlett Empress, I can't find all the passages
> I'm looking for. However, the discussion on pages 233-235 rather reeks
> of a disregard for continuity, the past, and the idea that the Doctor is
> the sum of his memories or even more so. In other words, I think it's
> going against several things that I think make for good DW.

(For those of us without quick and easy access to our books please type
out a quick summary of pages 233-235? I can't really remember what's said
on those exact page numbers. ;> )

>>We have a *wide* variation of opinions on what makes for a good DW
>>stories. With so many people complaining that late 80s Who had crawled
>>too far up its own fannish hole, I think the only real solution with
>>potential legs is to stretch *Who* to encompass other stuff (a proven
>>option) rather than to stretch other stuff to fit in Who. I'd rather
>>push the existing envelope--which is pretty damned flexible--than snip
>>things to fit.
> I will disagree with this. IMHO the solution is to do what DW has
> done for a long time - take the best that literature/entertainment
> industry/whatever has to offer and incorporate it into the series.
> That to me is the best of both worlds solution - it lets DW use what
> is good to better itself without losing or throwing out what came
> before.

I don't think there's as much disagreement here as it would appear. When
DW stretches its envelope out into different genres and formats it *is*
incorporating new things into the series. I don't think anyone is saying
that in order for DW to do a 19th Century mystery novel (for example) it
must give up doing all isolated-base-under-alien-attack stories.

It's a trade off, really. You push the DW envelope out in the
direction of the new idea while at the same time pulling at the new
idea to drag it into the DW format. Doctor Who is fortunately enough to
have such a flexible format that it can incorporate many many different
tones and genres under its main umbrella without doing much damage to
either the existing material or the new stuff.

>>See my notes about "pruning" above. Once you accept the need to do this
>>(and I realize you don't) the reality is that some branches are going to
>>be lost. Others will regrow in slightly different ways. So the Doctor is
>>in a period of regrowing a lost limb, and things are still raw--so of
>>course he's not going to be the juggernaut that he once was.
> I don't accept the need for pruning *at all*. If an author wants to
> write a continuity-light or free story, all he or she has to do is
> create a new setting for the Doctor to visit and new monsters/villians/
> races that the Doctor has never encountered, and place it far
> enough away from any of the Doctor's other adventures spatially
> or temporally that there's no chance of any overlap. That takes care
> of 90% of potential continuity problems, as well as giving the authors
> an tremendous chance to show off their originality. The only things
> that the authors would have to be careful of at that point is to get
> the continuity of the characterization of the Doctor and companions
> right - and that should not be that big of a burden on the authors.

I have no problem with this; there are a lot of stories out there to tell
that don't need to be sequels to previously told stories or plots based on
revisiting the past. And characterization of the regulars should *always*
be a huge consideration for any author writing in a continuing series.

On the other hand, if you have a continuity-free story then aren't you
going to be looking for the links to the Exxilons, Draconians, etc? It's
a very fine line being painted here...

> The post-Ancestor Cell EDAs are not charting such a course.
> Seven out of the ten of them that I have read were set on Earth,
> and the other three involved Earth-origin humans. IMHO using
> such settings over and over again is just sowing more mines
> in the continuity minefield.

While I would like to see more alien environments (paging Nick Walters), I
don't really see a problem with the Doctor being involved with humans.
The Doctor travels with humans, dressed like a human, enjoys human
company, eats human food, etc. Humans are a huge part of the Whoniverse
and are 100% of his audience. ;>

> To me, there is no such thing as a continuity problem. Instead,
> it is a people problem - authors who want to write stories that
> directly contradict others, authors who want to use settings that
> have already been oversused, and authors who can't seem to
> make that extra effort to get continuity right. Trying to dismiss
> continuity as excess baggage is IMHO the easy-way-out
> solution, and taking the easy way out does not strike me as
> an approach that leads to good storytelling.

I don't really see how the two concepts link up here. Dismissing
continuity may not lead to good storytelling, but neither does it
necessarily lead to bad storytelling. I don't think that continuity
really matters outside of existing for its own sake. A story can get
every detail right, but still end up being a dull, runaround. A story can
mess up in every way possible, but turn out to be a riproaring pageturning
masterpiece. I don't see how continuity has an effect. Getting
continuity wrong may weaken the series itself (though I'd disagree with
that thought), but I don't see how it would relate to the storytelling,
plot, characters and tone present in an individual book.

Matthew Wilson

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 1:20:11 PM10/23/01
to
On 23 Oct 2001 15:37:38 GMT, Andrew McCaffrey <amc...@gl.umbc.edu>
wrote:

>Jack Beven <jbe...@mindspring.com> wrote:
>> Looking through The Scarlett Empress, I can't find all the passages
>> I'm looking for. However, the discussion on pages 233-235 rather reeks
>> of a disregard for continuity, the past, and the idea that the Doctor is
>> the sum of his memories or even more so. In other words, I think it's
>> going against several things that I think make for good DW.
>
>(For those of us without quick and easy access to our books please type
>out a quick summary of pages 233-235? I can't really remember what's said
>on those exact page numbers. ;> )

Is this the bit that says: "Time's Champion my arse!" ?

Matthew

Finn Clark

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 1:37:34 PM10/23/01
to
Andrew McCaffrey wrote:

> The Doctor travels with humans, dressed like a human,
> enjoys human company, eats human food, etc. Humans
> are a huge part of the Whoniverse and are 100% of his
> audience. ;>

You haven't been to a convention recently, I presume? :-)

Finn Clark.

Steven Kitson

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 2:13:39 PM10/23/01