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 JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who

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PostSubject: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:21 am

Seeing as a little discussion has come about by JNT lets have a chat about our feelings of him and what he did/did not do for Doctor who, From from 1980 until it was effectively cancelled in 1989.
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SeaDevil
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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:02 pm

This is always an interesting discussion because there's a lot of good and bad stuff over his tenure in my opinion.

First the good.

He initially "refreshed" a lot of stuff to either update the old or change the dynamics. He had a new title sequence designed, new arrangement of the theme, and a new look for Tom Baker. Later he would give the Fifth Doctor a new console. Additionally, in order to make the Doctor more independant of "plot crutches," he phased out K-9 and the sonic screwdriver was destroyed. In another effort to change the dynamics, the Doctor now traveled with multiple companions again. The casting of Peter Davison to replace Tom Baker was in my opinion a great move, in that he was a well-known actor that people could latch onto immediately and who had a very different personality.


Now the bad.

I found a lot of his decisions as producer to be ill-advised. He let Dudley Simpson go and went to more overtly electronic music - and in many cases, there was too much of it in any given story. Three companions or more is too many. I personally found his casting of series regulars and guest cast to be sketchy. Without naming names, some folks were just not right for the parts they were cast for, but they were cast to bring in ratings in the name of we now call "stunt casting." The quality of stories declined, maybe in part to do with his rocky relationships with his script editors over the years. From his first year with Tom all the way to the end, his Doctors wore "costumes" rather than "clothes." It always seemed to me that he may have been too involved in departments outside of his experience, like scripts and casting. But that's just my opinion.


Having said all of this, I do belive he had the best interests at heart. He loved the fans and enjoyed meeting them and talking to them. He championed the show to the BBC and probably kept it on longer than it would have under another producer. He worked hard to keep it's presence in the news and to make publicity for it. Evan after the series ended, he kept it alive with things like Dimensions in Time and More Than 30 Years in the TARDIS. He was a true believer in Doctor Who and like any producer did what he thought was right for the show.

It wasn't my personal favorite era of Doctor Who, but it was for a lot of fans, so I guess it's all in how you look at it. For me, despite all the things about his era that I didn't care much for, at the end of the day I feel he was good for Doctor Who.

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The Castellan
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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:08 pm

His question mark fetish was annoying.
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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:15 pm

It was the best of times, (the first three years) It was the worst of times, (the final seven years)
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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:27 pm

I agree with whoosier here- I think JNT had a very clear over ambitious vision...but I think he stayed too long and lost his enthusiasm for the show.

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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:36 pm

I wouldn't say he lost his enthusiasm...from what I've seen, the man refused to delegate responsibility and with the BBC threatening cancellation almost every week, JNT clutched the franchise tighter and tighter to his own chest in an effort to "save" it...not realizing he was smothering it himself.

I dunno, in isolation JNT's era is overall a weak one, but there was a lot of politics happening behind the lens at the BBC. It's hard to know exactly whose hand was in the pot.
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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:47 am

Whoosier Whovian wrote:
It was the best of times, (the first three years) It was the worst of times, (the final seven years)

The final seven years had some good scrips.
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Ronpur
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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:00 pm

Poor JNT. Saying he out stayed his welcome isn't really fair. Since the BBC would not let him out of his contract. He was told the show would be cancelled if he left. Obviously,he cared enough to not want that to happen.
To me, it was my first era of Doctor Who that I saw "live". As the show was broadcast for the first time. Not a nostalgic blast from the past. Being at the University of Illinois at the time, we felt like Doctor Who was the center of our universe and JNT helped to bring it to the US. There is not a single season of his era that there is not an episode I enjoy or an episode I cringe at. And I can say the same of about 44 of the last 50 years of Doctor Who (The Pertwee years and Key to Time being the main exceptions.)
But, he did have some strange taste in clothing, and the costuming of the cast was questionable. I just assume the Doctor has a Wardrobe Room full of identical shirts or Timelords do not sweat. Poor Colin. But Peter and Sylvester had great great costumes. (Obviously, I like Peter's!) I have always assumed the question mark to be the Gallifrian symbol for the Doctor's name and he liked monograms!
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Rust
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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:25 pm

Strictly speaking, I've always been a favorite of Hartnell, Pertwee, and McGann's get ups. Actual clothing, just not the correct time period. It fits the idea of a "Man outside of time".
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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:08 pm

I dunno i think the weird costume saga after Tom left is not really bad. I know a lot of fans say Colin's costume could have been the opposite to the tone it was but it suited his personality when i watch the stories now, the Character Options fig made me realise that i love his 'dignified clown' look the best. Sly's look was brilliant too.
I only got into high school when the 7th Doctor debuted on tv and i was really pissed off about the regeneration sequence since they were meant to be epic and well delivered but this was a joke. The stories became really tedious and i was getting fed up with the acting and more interested in repeats of 'Captain Scarlet' at the time. But i believe it was duly down to the politics of what was happening in the BBC in 1986.
I think the first 5-6 years he stayed were pretty good productions for the budget.
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amckinney
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PostSubject: Re: JNT Good or Bad for Doctor Who   Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:32 pm

Ronpur wrote:
Poor JNT. Saying he out stayed his welcome isn't really fair. Since the BBC would not let him out of his contract. He was told the show would be cancelled if he left. Obviously,he cared enough to not want that to happen.

that was really only during the McCoy seasons, though. Hindsight's always 20/20, but he probably should have left with Peter (or, maybe even after the 20th Anniversary special instead), and as he hadn't permanently damaged the show at that point (in the eyes of the fans or the public, at least), he could possibly have gotten onto another show at that point.

By staying on for Season 22, though, both his image (and the show's) were damaged by the cancellation.


Quote :
JNT helped to bring it to the US.

Well, he certainly helped bring celebrity guests to the US conventions, which, in turn, helped to increase the show's profile in the States, but there was plenty of fair criticism directed his way at him focusing too much time/attention/resources into the convention circuit and not enough into the show itself.
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