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 Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?

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Clavius
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PostSubject: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:09 pm

And I don't just mean the current one but the fact that every season now has to incorporate an overriding thread through the whole season.

Season 1 - Bad Wolf
Season 2 - Torchwood
Season 3 - Vote Saxon
Season 4 - Bees (& Planets) Disappearing
Season 4.5 (The Specials) - "Your song is ending" (Though we all knew THAT was coming)
Season 5 - The Crack

On the one hand, it's kind of neat to see little hints at something larger, woven through the season in anticipation of a big payoff at the end.

On the other hand, it's starting to feel a little gimmicky to me now and I almost wish they'd just return to straightforward episodic storytelling, at least for a season or two.

With the advent of big "Arc" shows like Lost, 24, Battlestar Galactica etc. Is Doctor Who simply trying to ape that model and if so, should it?
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bret_owen99
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:30 pm

good post, and i will add my 2 cents here, since as anyone knows here, i am outspoken.

i really enjoyed the bad wolf arc. i didn't know what it would turn out to be, and i was happy for what it was.

the torchwood arc/word of the day, i could have done without. however, i understand that in spinning off that show, they needed to drill that into our brains so when the show came out, we had to watch it, which i did.

the vote saxon thing wasn't too bad/persistant. could have lived without it, but it was a nice little way of showing how something can be right in front of the doctor without him knowing it.

the planets disapearing did tie into the end of series 4(i love saying the lost moon of poosh), but donna mentioning the bees over and over again was annoying, and i just thought a cheap way to have an arc.

the specials thread, your song is ending, was heartbreaking. it made you kept guessing up untill the end, and even though i knew what was going to happen, seeing it, made me break down. everyone gave a lifetime performance in that one, from simm, to tennant, to cribbins. i wouldn't have changed a thing about that.

now, onto the crack. i have been the most vocal negative person about this new series(imo, as i always state), however, i am waiting to see how it all wraps up/ends. to me, this is moffat's make it or break it time. if it's a good ending/reveal, i will be the first one to admit it. however, if i do not like it, i will start my own post for people who were not happy with the arc/ending/episodes written by moffatt.

here's the deal, and i don't mean to go off on a tangent. i loved rtd's storytelling. it was part buffy, part lost, and all doctor who(imo, i know some fans disagree). the episodes written by moffat in the rtd era were the best in each series. in my opinion, though, the episodes written by him in this series, have been the worst. i don't like the crack arc(still giving it a chance to wrap up), i don't like his two-parter's, and i don't like his whole obsession with lightning/children/cracks. to me, the ending of this series will either prove that he had one over on me, and had a good ending all the time, or that he was a one hit writer, and that a whole series is too big for him to handle. i never felt that way with rtd, but unfortunately, i do with moffat.
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:40 pm

I'm honestly so bored of this whole arc that I laughed when I saw the trailer for the next episode. When I read the synopsis for "The Big Bang" I literally laughed. And people complain about RTD's stuff being over the top? O-kay... anyways, this is me with contained excitement.

I think reruns of Hogan's Heroes are on, and I'd rather watch that.
~
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:48 pm

I like the arcs. Mainly because they are there for the every episode viewer, but mean little to the casual viewer. Which means that you can be a casual viewer to the show.

It's shows like LOSt that lose me very quickly because i have to watch every show to get what is going on, rather than just tune in for a story every now and again.

Admittedly this year's arc is more prominent and covers more ground, but a casual viewer can still follow the main story of that weeks episode.

They are a nice treat for the every day viewer.

As for RTD vs Moff on story arc, it's a bit unfair to make a comparison just yet as there has been only one Moff season, but for RTD Bad Wolf worked, Torchwood went nowhere aside from face value, Saxon was fine, but really didn't amount to to much aside from the reveal of the master which they gave us a week before we were to figure out who Saxon was so it was a no brainer. Plus it was spoiled by insiders. And the disappearing bees and planets were pretty good as they were a mystery for the main cast to solve rather than being in the background, so this is the closest we get to the Moff version.

What I am tired of is the sad story arc. The season end on sad notes and the Doctor's life is so lonely etc. I'd like to see a season end in celebration and happiness that they saved the day and all is well in the universe and that the Doctor and companion do indeed have fun out there.
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khana
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:22 pm

What I like is some subtlety with the arcs. I didn't actually catch the vote Saxxon thing until the second time I watched it, for example, and I love that. Bad Wolf was cool, because it kept appearing in different, random, seemingly unrelated ways, and didn't even clarify there Was an ongoing story arc till Boomtown.

Season 5 sucks because there's no subtlety whatsoever. With zooming in on this crack, mentioning it almost every single episode, glaringly in-your-face "hints" all the way through...

So basically, I like the story arcs that aren't obviously story arcs until the reveal, as in 1-4 (or a nice heart-warming sendoff type thing in 4.5).

I also agree that Moffat is just not handling the series well. I think there's been some great bits of dialogue (I absolutely loved the whole, "One thing you never put in a trap, if you want to succeed, is me" thing), there's been some enjoyable elements to be sure, so he's obviously a capable writer... but I think he's best as a single-ep or supplemental writer. Trying to handle a full series... especially one this rich, this complex, with this much history and subtlety woven through it... is just over his head.

Can't blame him, in that respect... I daresay Doctor Who would be over most writers' heads.
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:59 pm

The only arc I liked was #3, the Saxon one, because I didn't even notice it. Series 4 was just confusing, with the bees and missing planets, and Egypt was mentioned about 5 times so I thought that was something as well but turned out to be nothing. This crack nonsense is just annoying. It doesn't tie in to the stories at all, just appears at the end of the episode.

khana wrote:
I also agree that Moffat is just not handling the series well. I think there's been some great bits of dialogue (I absolutely loved the whole, "One thing you never put in a trap, if you want to succeed, is me" thing), there's been some enjoyable elements to be sure, so he's obviously a capable writer... but I think he's best as a single-ep or supplemental writer. Trying to handle a full series... especially one this rich, this complex, with this much history and subtlety woven through it... is just over his head.

Can't blame him, in that respect... I daresay Doctor Who would be over most writers' heads.

Couldn't have put it better myself. Agree 100%.
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:10 pm

khana wrote:
Season 5 sucks because there's no subtlety whatsoever. With zooming in on this crack, mentioning it almost every single episode, glaringly in-your-face "hints" all the way through...

I've wondered about this, not that i mind it in your face because the crack talk have been far less obtrusive than the Torchwood references that seemed like they were shoe horned into the scripts. What I was thinking was, could the cracks and silence actually be a diversion from the real arc? Sure they pay off and have a purpose in the end, but have we missed stuff along the way. This is what i am dying to find out.

Either way though I think the cracks story has been handled well. With the exception of the camera zoom in The Beast Below. Rather than wait till the very end they make the characters figure it our or notice it early on.
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mysterylad
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:50 pm

I actually like story arcs, and would be pretty disappointed if modern Doctor Who didn't have them. Don't get me wrong, I loved the old episodic approach, but when you get right down to it, that model was not all that distant from how it works now: it just took 4-6 weeks to wrap up a story, as opposed to a 13-week season. The format isn't all that different; it's the timing of the episodes (the unfolding of the story) that's different.

Anyway, the season-long arc is where television has been heading for a very long time. This storytelling format is where television differentiates itself (as an artform) from cinema, and as such virtually all worthwhile TV shows have, at the very least, over-arching subplots, if not straightforward ongoing narratives. Remember how disappointing season 3 of Battlestar Galactica was when, under pressure from station execs, they switched to a more episodic format?

This is a genie that can't be put back in the bottle; to abandon the long-form story arc now would diminish television to what it was before it became story-driven. Meaningless events with no greater context, characters who remain painfully static...ugh. It took so long for TV to get past that model, I would hate to see it go back.

This is all my characteristically long-winded way of saying, "No, I'm not tired of the Arc." I've enjoyed all the DW arcs thus far. Smile

Now, I would argue that Moffat has actually fared better than RTD in a technical, narrativist sense--though we haven't yet seen how it ends, the arc thus far appears to have fewer structural holes in it than some of RTD's--but I freely admit that the themes Moffat explores can, if you're not into them, ruin the show for you. It's a matter of differing styles, really. RTD introduced a soap-opera element to the show; Moffat brings with him a certain fairy tale sensibillity. This too is not all that different than vintage Who, which also varied in tone and theme depending on who was producing it (compare the unique flavor of the Letts era to that of the Hinchcliffe era, for example).
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DacaZ
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:37 pm

I don't mind it as a device if it is subtle enough, but Moffat's been beating me over the head with it since the beginning of Series 5. Its like someone trying to be clever who isn't.

Honestly, if it weren't for a few great episodes and the fact that I love Smith as The Doctor so much, I would have lost patience with S5 a long time ago.

Quote :

Remember how disappointing season 3 of Battlestar Galactica was when, under pressure from station execs, they switched to a more episodic format?

It wasn't the episodic format that made me wash my hands of that series, it was people discovering they were Cylons by listening to a Bob Dylan song, and other plot points of that ilk.
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CrochetOwl
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:02 pm

At this point I'd have an arc for a couple of episodes not an entire series. The classic series did it with the Key to Time essentially. I would not count Doctor 3's enforced stay on Earth as an arc though. Stick with three or four episodes and move on. More standalone episodes (off Earth) would be nice.
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone getting tired of "The Arc"?   Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:15 pm

I'm loving the change up in Series 5, but to each their own. I like that instead of words or ideas, we actually had a visible threat that appeared and was noticed by the main characters, with the mystery of what it was haunting us.
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