Our Kickstarter campaign has received $74,000 from over 2,000 backers! TV Tropes 2.0 is coming. There is no stopping it now. We have 4 days left. At $75K we can also develop an API and at $100K the tropes web series will be produced. View the project here and discuss here.
These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Abandon Shipping: The announcement of the 12th Doctor as 50-something Peter Capaldi has lead many to jump off the 'Whouffle' ship as an ongoing concern, sticking to shipping Clara with just 11. (Capaldi himself has allegedly stated that he was adamant about not having so much as romantic tension between the two, stating that there will be "no flirting")
And then comes an episode like "Time Heist" or "The Caretaker" where the Twelfth Doctor's outright jealousy towards Danny Pink is no longer just a matter of conjecture. At one point in "Caretaker" the Doctor attempts to "ship" Clara and a fellow teacher who happens to resemble the Eleventh Doctor!
Oddly enough, many are now jumping back on the ship and writing 12/Clara fanfics, which is becoming quite popular and already has a name, "Whouffaldi."
And then came "Mummy on the Orient Express"...
Then it turns out the "no flirting" thing was completely inflated by the media because certain segments of the fanbase would probably like to hear that - See this interview where both Moffat and Capaldi basically state that they never said any such thing; Various statements by writers and actors alike have since confirmed that it is basically more of a mixture between them playing up the 'socially inept' part of socially inept genius and an Anchored Ship situation, to the point that certain lines in "Mummy on the Orient Express" and "Dark Water" were intended as indirect love confessions. With this, Doctor/Clara is up there with Doctor/Rose, Doctor/River and Doctor/TARDIS as far as canonicity goes.
In any case, any idea that Twelve is to be read as asexual should have gone out the window the moment he kissed Missy in "Death in Heaven", however much of a playful/ spur of the moment thing that may have been.
"The Dominators" was intentionally written with an anti-pacifist message. However, it's also possible to read it as encouraging student activists to fight for justice, rejecting rote learning and irrational laws.
"The Unquiet Dead" was perceived in some quarters as an attack on immigration (since the episode features aliens who come to Earth on the pretence of finding a new home after their planet was blown up, but are actually attempting to invade), even though the subtext was entirely unintentional.
Some viewers reacted angrily to what they saw as a pro-life (as in anti-abortion) message in the episode. There's a question of preventing a birth and the Doctor gives the women the "choice" to terminate it. Then, in a democratic method, the whole world together decides to prevent the birth. But finally, Clara just can't bear to "kill the baby", and her decision to save it is proven to be the right one in the end.
Alternatively, the message could be seen as, ultimately, it is the woman's choice alone whether to terminate the pregnancy, regardless of what others tell her she should do or the outcome, making it a pro-choice message.
The fact that the title "companion" carries some pretty... adult... connotations. Lampshaded immediately when the Ninth Doctor first used the term to refer to Rose. The policeman questioning him immediately asked if it was sexual.
Some of the companions have heavy overtones of this, especially Vicki (who lost her whole family and then spent years marooned on a planet being terrorised by a villain) and Nyssa (who had both her parents murdered by the Master, had the Master start walking around in her father's body, and then had her entire home star system destroyed).
Eleven in general in comparison to both Nine and Ten. It's shown in series 6 he still has guilt for what he did to Rose, Martha and Donna, as well as the loss of the Time Lords, however.
By Series 7, he's gotten considerably more morose. He left a bomb in a Villain of the Week's ship and nearly shot another. This was before he lost Amy and Rory. The second half starts with him trying to stay out of all world-threatening events. He snaps out of it when he realizes there's a new mystery to solve in the universe, and even then he shows signs of trauma and such.
During the years that Andrew Cartmel was script editor (1987-1989) had a tendency to be a bit on-the-nose about how 'right-on' the show was. In 2010 this was admitted by people who worked on the show and who claimed they had filled the McCoy/Seventh era (1987-89) with attacks on the Thatcher government. This "revelation" was largely treated with derision, firstly for the sheer hubris of those involved (the show's days as a national favourite were well behind it and the audience by the late '80s consisted of hardcore fans and kids, neither of whom were a large voting block) and secondly because this was barely a secret since the attacks on Thatcherism had all the subtlety of, well, an anvil. Add in the fact that a LOT of shows were attacking Thatcher, so it was also a bit of "yeah, you and a thousand other blokes."
To a lesser extent, if you started a drinking game about how many times Rory being a nurse got brought up, you'd be drunk very quickly.
"The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" has a thumpingly unsubtle Motherhood Is Superior message, especially when the tree people reject males (even the Doctor) as their vessel because "You are weak", but accept females - Madge in particular - as "the mothership". British journalist Caitlin Moran figured that having spent the day corralling the family and making Christmas dinner for everyone, mothers would appreciate the boost "Yeah, we're the USS Enterprise".
It may sound incredible, but the now core concept of regeneration was itself an Ass Pull. William Hartnell was getting too ill to play The Doctor, but they didn't want to end the show - so Hartnell himself came up with the idea that Time Lords could regenerate into a new body.
The Doctor's previously unmentioned 'respiratory bypass system' which saves him from strangulation in "Pyramids of Mars"note At least it was established for the next dozen times it saved the day.
Undoing Peri's death off-screen. Actress Nicola Bryant didn't even know about this until years later, to boot!
Then there's Captain Jack Harkness' performance in "Bad Wolf". While completely naked he reaches behind himself and produces a small laser gun. This is immediately lampshaded when he is asked where he got it from. While the act in itself is an Ass Shove, it also qualifies as Ass Pull as there was no indication that he had it prior to using it. It was a scene played for laughs though.
The Gallifreyan mind meld in "The Girl in the Fireplace". Has there really never been a suitable reason to use it at any time in the previous 27 seasons?note Granted the fact that Gallifreyans were telepathic had been established in the first season in 1963, so its not such a bad example.
"Journey's End" features some of the biggest Ass Pulls in the history of the show. Suddenly the Doctor is able to send enough regeneration energy into a severed hand to conveniently grow a half-human Doctor when a human touches it. And when the human touching it is electrocuted she suddenly gets Time Lord intelligence, just in time to stop the Daleks destroying the Universe.
In "Journey's End", the Doctor is forced to wipe Donna's memories, saying that if she ever remembers him, her head will be incinerated. A year and a half later in "The End of Time", she does remember him - only then the Doctor says he added a "defence mechanism" which knocks out her and everyone in the vicinity. This comes very handy in incapacitating an enemy that the Doctor could not possibly have foreseen.
Although the spoon has relevance to the swordfight, it does seem to appear out of nowhere in the TARDIS. The Doctor is discussing Robin Hood, he's flipping through a book, he turns away from Clara, we hear a "CHING" sound effect and suddenly there's a big spoon in his hand. Clara doesn't even seem to notice. And the spoon appears to vanish when the Doctor starts hunting for the Polaroid. If the Doctor hadn't later needed the spoon for the swordfight, this would have qualified most criteria for a Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
In "Kill the Moon", the moon creature lays a second egg right after it's born, without any sign given before that it could, neatly sidestepping any problems destroying the moon would cause and proving Clara was right.
At the end of "The Daleks" the Daleks are all killed off, which caused the writers a problem when they became an instant huge success. "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" has the Doctor speculate that he's gone back to a time before they all died. Later stories simply ignore it, with some Expanded Universe stories and much commentary on the show taking advantage of the "Daleks" Daleks' weaker powers and different personality to suggest that they were simply a splinter faction of the main Dalek civilisation, or surviving descendants of early experiments by Davros.
The revelation in the TV Movie that the Doctor is a Half-Human Hybrid was hated by many fans who saw it as parochial and an imitation of Star Trek. After some Armed with Canon disputes in the 1996-2005 expanded universe material as to whether it was real or not, it was finally rejected in "The Stolen Earth"/"Journeys' End", where it's a major plot point that no human-Time Lord hybrid has ever existed.
Some fans considered that the Happiness in Slavery depiction of the Ood in "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" and the Doctor's unthinking acceptance of it was a gross breach of the show's and the character's usual moral principles. Two years later, the story "Planet of the Ood" revealed that the Ood were only happy because evil humans were lobotomising them, and the Doctor explicitly expressed guilt for being too preoccupied with the earlier story's major threat and not investigating.
The "New Paradigm" Dalek redesign introduced in "Victory of the Daleks" was loathed by fans and critics in a way that was much more universal and long-lasting than the normal They Changed It, Now It Sucks. Starting with "Asylum of the Daleks," the Ninth and Tenth Doctor-era design was reinstated as the main one, with the New Paradigm Daleks being used to fill out crowd scenes in that story and later "The Time of the Doctor."
After the violent 6th Doctor era the series tried this by becoming more light hearted. Audiences continued to drop, with the Doctor coming across as a goofy clown. So the stories became darker and the Doctor became more mysterious. Though the series was cancelled after another two seasons the 7th Doctor's era became a Cult Classic.
Though it may not have been intended this way, the reveal in "The Christmas Invasion", that in the first day after regeneration a Time Lord can perform drastic body alterations, has been seized on in Fanon as an explanation for Romana's notorious regeneration scene in "Destiny of the Daleks", where she appeared to waste several of them just to "try out" different looks.
In Matt Smith's last three episodes, Steven Moffat utilized disparate plot threads dating back to the earliest days of the revived series to negate the whole issue of the Doctor only having thirteen lives, in case the BBC felt like cancelling the series when the thirteenth actor left.
Awesome Ego: The Doctor; the Master is an evil version.
Pick a Doctor, any Doctor. There will be people who love him and people who think he ruined the show forever.
The Third Doctor, charmingly anti-establishment gentleman hero or arrogant, bigoted, militaristic tool of the Man?
The Ninth Doctor; fascinatingly tragic hero or borderline thug?
The Tenth Doctor; greatest Doctor ever or irritating git with an inconsistent and hypocritical moral code?
The Eleventh Doctor; worthy (or even superior) replacement to Ten or irritating git not fit to wear his sneakers?
The idea of the War Doctor. Some say John Hurt was fantastic in the role, others believe that the character could've been filled with either Paul McGann (as number 8) or Christopher Eccleston (as number 9). Though it's likely the War Doctor was only created because Eccleston declined to return. While the Ninth Doctor does appear in the story in a brief but crucial role, since there isn't new footage of Eccleston we never get to dwell on his Doctor finding out he never really destroyed his own planet and people, though he's going to forget anyway. It would have been fitting because he's the first post-Time War Doctor to bear that guilt. The Ninth Doctor was implied to have recently regenerated way back in Series 1 (surprised to see his big ears), so it was naturally assumed the Eighth Doctor ended the Time War. It's not really Eccleston but McGann who gets shafted by the creation of the War Doctor. Regardless, Moffat was having trouble picturing the Eighth Doctor fighting in a war because of what his character was like, even when Eight started turning darker. Which led to a regeneration scene for his Doctor to explain away the War Doctor's existence, so it's still a win in the end for fans who wanted to see McGann again, along with making his Big Finish Doctor Who adventures canon. And Hurt's Doctor even goes out on a line that links back to Nine's ears comment.
Pick a companion. Any companion.
Although she's generally well liked in her first series, Rose Tyler quickly evolved into a love-or-hate character in her second series and subsequent appearances, a lot of which had to do with her romantic arc with the Doctor. Her being brought back and undermining what many considered one of the best companion departures just caused more conflict. She is definitely one of the most divisible characters in the series.
Martha Jones. Some people consider her a bright, courageous companion who was underappreciated by the Doctor because he was moping over Mary Sue Rose Tyler, was mature enough to leave on her own, and kept up the work of defending the Earth. Other people think she was a clingy Replacement Goldfish who couldn't respect that the Doctor was getting over his alleged great love for Rose Tyler. Still others dislike her and Rose and were annoyed at another romantic subplot.
River Song. It only got worse during series six, to say nothing of the finale, which appears to have set the internet aflame.
Amy Pond. There are actually people who have stopped watching the show altogether because of her, as they feel she's turned it into "Amy Pond and Her Boys". Her mistreatment of Rory and coming on to (including forcing herself on/kissing)/flirting with the Doctor is a turn-off for some people.
Clara Oswald. Some people see her as a plot hook masquerading as a character while others see her as a plucky, resourceful companion who saves the Doctor without falling into the endless soap-opera drama of the Ponds. And then there's a third group who liked Victorian!Clara and Asylum!Clara while finding her modern version bland or uninteresting.
Depending on the fan or story, Davros is either an Ensemble Dark Horse or The Scrappy. "Genesis of the Daleks" is widely considered one of the greatest Doctor Who stories of all time, but his inevitable overexposure from being brought back in every Dalek story of the classic series since made a lot of fans wish he'd go away and let the Daleks take centre stage again.
The Abzorbaloff from "Love & Monsters"; hilariously absurd villain or most shameful monster in Sci-Fi history?note Keep in mind that it was designed by an 8-year old for a contest hosted by the BBC
Jenny (AKA "The Doctor's Daughter". She's either completely hated, or she absolutely has to return for another episode.
Billie Piper as The Moment's body in "The Day of the Doctor". Some don't mind it, others... still have issues over Rose. Although, there were some who disliked Rose as a character but thought Piper as The Moment was fantastic. And, technically speaking, The Moment wasn't actually Rose, but the Bad Wolf entity (which possessed Rose). And of course, there were people who were unhappy Rose wasn't in the special, feeling they should have had her and Doctor 10.5.
Nyssa's skirt-removal◊ in "Terminus". The in-story Hand Wave for why she decided to strip down to her slip was that she was feeling feverish. This doesn't really come across on screen, so Nyssa appears to strip off her clothes for no reason.
Peri entered the TARDIS wearing a bikini◊ (being carried by Turlough, who was wearing bikini briefs). There was a long-running joke/tradition that Companions always left the TARDIS wearing less clothes than they entered in, which many were waiting to see if it would hold true...
Broken Base:The first rule of the Doctor Who fanbase, is there is no such thing as a common consensus on any story ever. For every fan that likes something in this show, there is a fan that hates it, and vice versa. Just look at the Who entries under Awesome, Narm, Tear Jerker, etc. The overlap is something like 90%.
It is considered traditional (or so it seems, anyway) that once a new Doctor comes along a good percentage of the fanbase compensates by declaring that the Doctor who has recently departed, regardless of how popular and acclaimed he may have been during his tenure, was actually no good and we're good to see the back of him. This has happened numerous times, including without exception when Tennant, Smith and Capaldi took on the role. Similarly also occurs when a new companion is introduced or a new producer takes over. Usually adjusts itself within a few months as (again, acclaim and popularity being ignored) some fans will start pining for the previous era.
Season premieres also fall into this category, twice over if they introduce a new Doctor. Fans are always split between those who love the new direction/new arc/new Doctor and those who feel the premiere was a let down/the new Doctor underwhelms/(Producer name) must go, etc.
Anything related to the Doctor and romance breaks the base between those who have no problem with it and those who feel the Doctor, and the series, should remain totally asexual (see also Star Trek). Some classic fans also feel that the romantic plots have somewhat taken away from the "monster-fighting" aspect. This is a major bone of contention that has led to broken base with regards to the Davies and Moffat eras of the show.
The increased emphasis on romance and character relations has brought with it an increased emphasis on Shipping, meaning that extremely brutal. Arguments can and have been fought over whether Rose Tyler / Martha Jones / Donna Noble / Amy Pond / River Song / Clara Oswald (delete as applicable) is the Doctor's One And Only True Love. Considering that Donna has absolutely no canon feelings towards the Doctor unlike the others, and Amy got over hers with—shock of shocks—minimal angsting over it ("Amy's Choice" was really the only episode to play it up) and chose Rory this fuels even further flames.
There's also the old-school series's famously heavy gay male fanbase (including several famous Promoted Fanboys), who enjoyed the series because the Doctor was the only TV hero whose heterosexuality wasn't forced down their throats, and see the Ho Yay in Moffat's era as more Queer People Are Funny. With regards to the Davies era, there's a further division between those who were happy with Nine kissing Jack and the intense Homoerotic Subtext between Ten and the Simm!Master, and those who think that the same-sex attraction was too downplayed compared to his opposite-sex attraction to Rose and Reinette.
Season 17, sparklingly intelligent highpoint of the show as comedy or unfunny, underwritten, overeducated tosh made with contempt for anyone who wasn't at Cambridge with Douglas Adams?
John Nathan-Turner, producer who did his best under difficult circumstances or the Devil Incarnate Himself?
Colin Baker, crap performance or good performance in crap scripts?
There's the conflicts between fans of the classic series who view the new series and everything about it as a betrayal as all they felt the show stood for, and the fans of the new series who view the classic series as a creaky, irrelevant old relic badly in need of being updated in the first place.
The fandom are highly contested over Steven Moffat's time as showrunner. His fans praise him for having more complex and involved story arcs (as opposed to Russell T's Arc Words), more original monsters instead of just reusing classic villains, and using time travel and alien worlds more often. His detractors claim that his plots are confusing and needlessly obsessed with being "clever" to the point of including plot holes and silly explanations, his companions lack the emotional depth of characters like Martha or Donna, and that (especially in seasons 6 and 7) he's mistreated the companions and used them as puzzles instead of people. Also, how well he writes his female characters is a huge point of heated debate, especially on Tumblr. His use of sitcom and soap opera-esque elements is also a subject of debate - not usually about the quality, but about whether or not it fits into the program. It got to the point where one editor of The Atlantic spent the entirety of his articles at the magazine bashing Moffat.
"An Unearthly Child" has this after the first episode. Is it 3 dull episodes of running around with cavemen after a gripping start or well-thought out and continuing the themes of the first episode?
"The Deadly Assassin": A lot of fans have complained about this story for taking place entirely on Gallifrey, and thus stripping the Time Lords of much of their mystery. On top of that, the portrayal of the Time Lords contradicts previous ones - instead of an awe-inspiring race of god-like beings, they're a bunch of petty, pompous, lying, self-serving bureaucrats with no idea of the sort of power they wield. And then it introduced the idea of the thirteen-incarnation limit which a lot of fans wish later writers hadn't dwelt on.
"Vengeance on Varos". Another overly violent story where the Doctor is a jerk who doesn't really help? Or a self-aware and cleverly thought of satire on reality TV? It helps this has gone through Values Resonance with today's emphasis on reality TV and the success of The Hunger Games.
"Love & Monsters". Wonderfully absurd break from the action or a loathsome piece of filler? Also the fellatio joke at the end; silly and harmless line of dialogue or Squicky and unnecessary?
Some fans see the two parter "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End" as an epic work of Russell T. Davies, tying his work together, while others see it as a self-indulgent mess more like a shipping fic. Rose haters hated Rose somehow getting the Doctor and say she was unnecessary and just there to be a Mary Sue, while many people who liked Rose felt it was a poor follow-up which negated what many thought of as one of the best companion departures.
When the trailer came out, fans went wild over the inclusion of Billie Piper. When she ended up playing an AI instead of Rose Tyler fans were split over whether or not it had been a good idea: some wanted to see Rose Tyler again and have her meet the Eleventh Doctor while others were glad that the actress brought back without reprising the role.
Clara suddenly being able to close the TARDIS' doors with a snap of her fingers), doing cool stunts on her motorcycle and managing to talk the Doctor down from burning Gallifrey again. Audience reactions ranged from "Wow!" to "What the hell?!" She's becoming very divisive in the fanbase. Part of the issue is that the finger snapping to close the door was a big deal for the Doctor to do, so for Clara to just casually do it is a bit off-putting. That and it marks the fact that the TARDIS has apparently done a 180 on its opinion of her (it had previously blatantly hated her) because the paradoxes surrounding Clara have been resolved! It's probably also because Clara (i.e. the Gallifreyian version of her) introduced the Doctor to his TARDIS. Though that brings up it's own issues since the TARDIS explicitly stated it chose the Doctor.
Some fans of the classic Who felt the special was more of an anniversary special on the new era rather than a celebration of all of Who history outside a few cameos and the fact that the event that separates old from new who is the focus of the plot. Fans who joined in during the reboot pointed out that the Big Finish Audio Drama, "The Night of the Doctor" and The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot were all more focused on Classic Who. And the cameo of Tom Baker, plus the quips of the War Doctor at the behaviors of Ten and Eleven took a great big nod at the classic roots.
The Reveal that the Doctors managed to save Gallifrey instead of destroying it. While many fans loved the uplifting ending, and many Classic Who fans were just happy to have Gallifrey back and the Doctor not committing genocide against his own people, there were plenty of RTD era fans who were actually furious with Moffat for removing what had been an essential part of the Doctor's backstory for the past eight years.
Whether the Doctor slapping Clara's butt (when introduced as her "boyfriend" to her family) is playful and cute or sexist and not appropriate for a family show. Or just the Doctor having No Social Skills.
While fans don't mind the War Doctor being added as a numbered Doctor, some don't like adding the Tenth Doctor's partial regeneration, saying that Moffat added it just for angst. And caused continuity errors with several earlier episodes, which would have played out very differently if the Eleventh Doctor had been planned to be on his last regeneration from the start
"Deep Breath". Perhaps "broken" is too strong a term, but the episode and the introduction of a new Doctor lived up to the tradition of fans (and critics) being divided on their merits, with some fans declaring it an instant classic while others decried it as a waste and called for Steven Moffat's ouster; Peter Capaldi's bow as the new Doctor received a far more positive response, though there were still vocal fans who felt he'd been miscast.
"Into the Dalek" is quite the controversial episode, thanks to it being a bit unclear just how much we're supposed to agree with the Doctor's Armies Are Evil stance. Subsequent episodes amplified this. (It doesn't help that these episodes aired around the time the UK in real life entered into a war.)
A large percentage of fans responded positively to this episode, with some going so far as to naming it Best.Episode.Ever. A large percentage of fans were decidedly unimpressed, with some going so far as to naming it Worst.Episode.Ever. While this is nothing unusual with sci-fi fans, there seems to have been a large contingent of episode-haters who have gone onto the various forums honestly perplexed at its acclaim, moreso than most episodes of this type. Exacerbated by the fact Moffat is fast approaching, if not already past, the "best before" date usually set on showrunners by some aspects of fandom (most sci-fi showrunners end up being increasingly hated if they stick around for more than a few years). By comparison, Russell Davies had just produced "Midnight" at the same point in his tenure.
The fact that Clara once again has a huge role in the Doctor's past. Some don't mind, others are tired of this.
It seems that the fandom is on the fence about whether Clara's What the Hell, Hero? speech to the Doctor was deserved or whether the Doctor was respecting humanity by taking a step back and letting them make their own decisions and she is simply overreacting.
A few have also questioned whether Clara had the right to overrule the votes of the whole Earth. In fairness, switching off the big lights was unlikely to be individuals voting - it takes Governments to turn off streetlights in entire districts!
Fans seem to be particularly split on the scientific accuracy (or, rather lack of) of the episode, with some displaying total loss of their collective suspension of disbelief, while others seem puzzled why they find the fake science so much harder to swallow than that in numerous other episodes (not naming particular examples).
"Flatline". Considering how Clara's one of the more divisive companions in the revived series, a Day in the Limelight episode focusing on her was inevitably going to face this.
This episode could be considered the archetype for this trope, given the fan reaction to Missy actually being a female incarnation of the Master, exploding the debate over whether the Doctor should someday be played by a woman. Although the producers have frequently lied about future plans for the series many times before (with Steven Moffat openly stating that this is his modus operandi), some fans have seen this as the last straw. Meanwhile, a huge contingent of fans acclaimed the episode, loved the twist, and felt all was right with the world. Additionally, there are arguments over sexual orientation representation, with some fans viewing it as homophobic that the Master is only allowed to kiss the Doctor when she's a woman, and others viewing it as progressive treatment of Gallifreyan gender ambiguity.
There's also the debate over whether the Master should have come back at all, given his highly rousing exit in his previous appearance that easily could have stood as his permanent departure from the show.
The plot points concerning the dead still being conscious (even though this was a scam perpetrated by the Master) were sufficiently disturbing to enough of the audience that the BBC actually had to issue a press release defending the story.
Clara's attempt to blackmail the Doctor into saving Danny. For many, this was the final straw and many stated their dislike of Clara for being childish enough to be willing to destroy the TARDIS keys (At least, in her head) over Danny (As was proven in Nine's season, this should never be done). Others, meanwhile, felt it greatly expanded on Twelve and Clara's relationship and loved it.
Osgood's death got a lot of fans upset, coming off as a positively Joss Whedon-esque case of killing a character purely for the sake of killing a character. (This despite Moffat explaining at length in numerous venues why it was necessary to establish Missy's evil bona fides, and the logic that Osgood was the only expendable character given Kate needed to be saved by her father and killing off a red shirt wouldn't have had any impact.
Clara being kept on as a companion for yet another series, making her tied with Karen Gillan as the longest-running New Who companion. Fans of her character were obviously overjoyed at the news, as the end of series 8 made it seem as though she parted ways with the Doctor for good. The other half of the fanbase either wanted her character retired or disliked her so much over the course of series 8 that they didn't even want her in the Christmas special at all and having her around for another series would make the show unbearable. A third section of fans like her character but don't want to see her go the way of the overused Ponds, where fans are screaming for the end of her character arc.
Captain Obvious Reveal: There were fans who made the connection between the name Missy and the Master as soon as her name was revealed, which was pretty early into the season. By the time The Reveal actually rolled around, most fans had already guessed it weeks in advance.
Crack Is Cheaper: Classic serials are each collected, packaged, and sold on individual DVDs, rather than being grouped together by season or by Doctor. Collecting them all can quickly get very, very expensive. (To be fair, this is in part due to the fact full season sets are impossible for several Doctors, and because of the serialized nature of the show at that time, each storyline is treated like a movie, with is own making-of documentary and supplementary material. It also offers the added bonus of allowing buyers to (for the most part) avoid stories they don't like).
The revival series go for eighty dollars for just one series. The seasons are usually sold in two parts, which are sometimes cheaper, but leaves the specials out. The 2012 box set went for about $240 and the 2014 for $350 and both and are considered a steal; paying full-price for each season would easily cost half a thousand dollars. And then there's the Torchwood DV Ds...
Some of River's stunts are this. Highlights include jumping out of an airlock, confident that the Doctor would show up to save her and defacing the oldest mountain in the universe to leave a message for him. Oh, and fighting Nazis with regeneration.
As proof that Tropes Are Not Bad, Donna Noble started as this. She was very disliked in her first appearance, but the writers took a shine to her and in a move surprising most of the community, eventually brought her back as a regular companion. She received a surprising amount of shilling even from the Doctor. The shocking thing is that this eventually worked, and the additional focus on her led to her becoming Rescued From The Scrappy heap for many.
Creepy Awesome: In general, if a villain or monster is popular, at least part of it comes from the fans being terrified of it.
The show is a very Long Runner and for a very long time (due to home video not being invented) there was simply no way to find out the quality of stories you had missed (due to not having been born when they aired) save for: 1) buying one of the heavily altered and variable in quality Target novelisations, or 2) buying a book written by someone who had seen the episode in question summarising what it was about and, more importantly, saying whether or not it was good. Both these methods led to serious distortions of truth in the fandom.
A particular 1980s review tome - "Doctor Who: A Celebration" - contained reviews of all of the stories, in some case based on guesswork themselves (looking at the general quality of actors playing guest stars) which were taken as gospel by people who had never actually seen the stories, leading to "The Gunfighters"'s reputation as an absolute disaster and "The Celestial Toymaker"'s reputation as a classic - there is an anecdote about a woman who stood up at a Who-con to announce that the two aliens she definitely didn't want to see return were the Zarbi and the Gunfighters. Now that all the surviving footage is widely available thanks to the internet and DVDs, fans nowadays (such as Expanded Universe and new series writer Paul Cornell) tend to find that "The Gunfighters" is a self-referential and funny comedy episode and "The Celestial Toymaker" is slow-paced, badly-plotted, racist garbage - but "The Celestial Toymaker" had the benefit of a quality actor playing the villain and a quirky premise, while "The Gunfighters" had no-names and a very straightforward "the Doctor in the Wild West" premise.
The book also panned comedy episodes simply because they were comedy and the author felt they had no place in a serious science fiction show, causing comedy episodes to fall out of fashion amongst the fanbase for a while, even though comedy episodes are extremely popular with the modern fandom and the highly popular revival series incorporates strong elements of sitcom.
Critical Research Failure: In The Sound of Drums, American President Arthur Winters introduces himself as "President-Elect Arthur Coleman Winters." In America, the President-Elect is someone who's been elected President in the November elections but hasn't been sworn in yet at the January Inaugural. Thus, he wouldn't be the President yet, and wouldn't have the political power to do what Winters does here. Except for that one line, everything else in the script indicates Winters is supposed to be the current American President. If he was, there's no good reason (not even a stupid reason) why he'd call himself, "President-Elect"?
Tegan—though, as a woman of normal intelligence stuck on the TARDIS with three alien super-geniuses (The Doctor, Nyssa, and Adric/Turlough), she was Damsel Scrappy By Default. You want a real Damsel Scrappy in Doctor Who, try Vicki, Victoria Waterfield or Peri Brown.
In a rare male example, Adric. In addition to being a widely disliked character, he was repeatedly captured and/or mind-controlled by various evil manipulators; most notably the Master in "Castrovalva", the Vampire Orcon in "State of Decay", and the Cybermen in "Earthshock".
Mel was the only companion during her tenure, and thus had the duty of getting captured. This would be fine if she were useful or likable. And then she was followed by Ace. Who killed Daleks with homemade explosives (stored in deodorant cans) and a super-charged baseball bat.
Die for Our Ship: The Russell T. Davies era upped the (previously unspoken) romantic side of traveling through space and time with a heroic, dashing genius, with each companion dealing with it in their own way. Of course, everyone has their favorites.
Dork Age: Obviously the 16 years when the show was off the air (including, to some, the TV movie during that gap), though many fans tend to agree that "The Trial of a Time Lord" and then Sylvester McCoy's first season are the low point of when the show actually was airing.
Draco in Leather Pants: The Master has benefited from a lot of this, particularly thanks to John Simm's depiction and the increased Foe Yay it's given him with the Doctor. It can be a bit too easy for fans so inclined to handwave his lengthy list of evil deeds and the body count they have resulted in just because he acts a bit quirky and flirty to the Doctor or because of the Freudian Excuse the drums in his head (introduced in the 2007 episode "Utopia" as a symbol of his insanity) gives him.
Dry Docking: The fandom has "Stay away from the Doctor!"
Dude, Not Funny!: After a while, John Simm's Master's jokes stop being funny and start being more along the lines of horrifying. Given who it is, this was likely intentional.
The Sontaran's Battle Cry. Sontar HA! Sontar HA! Sontar HA!
Ending Fatigue: The 15-minute farewell scenes in The End of Time. Though to be fair, in "The Death of the Doctor" The 11th Doctor told Jo Grant that during that scene he also visited all of his classic companions offscreen. As awesome as that would be, we should probably be lucky it was only fifteen minutes.
Engaging Chevrons: The rocket launch in "The Seeds of Death", with a full one-minute countdown.
Both the Daleks and Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Both originally intended as one-off characters in the 1960s. Guess what? They've both appeared on television since Doctor Who's revival (the latter on the Spin-OffThe Sarah Jane Adventures in 2008, fifteen years after his last televised appearance).
Despite Sharaz Jek only appearing in The Caves of Androzaniand dying in the final episode, he's arguably one of the most popular side characters in the show's history.
Bill Filer and Pigbin Josh of "The Claws of Axos" have received their own little fan-gatherings.
The Zygons only appeared once during the Classic Series (and a few times in the Expanded Universe) but are one of the most popular monsters, David Tennant having cited them as his favorite monster. They were the main monsters in the 50th anniversary special.
The Celestial Toymaker. His only apperance was in one story in the Classic Series, of which three of its episodes are now lost, but he's still one of the most iconic villains in the franchise.
Within just one episode, the Weeping Angels were heavily regarded as the show's most terrifying villains. Even more so than the Daleks, just from the sheer paranoia factor. Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone only increased their popularity (except among certain fans who screamed "ruined" at some of the changes).
Yet another creation from "Blink" is also widely beloved: Sally Sparrow.
"Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead"'s Monster of the Week, the Vashta Narada, have turned out to be one of the most popular in the entire new run, arguably only being bested by the Weeping Angels. A loyal section of the fanbase has been clamoring for their return.
Canton Delaware III. Partly due to the fact that it's very hard to forget an ex-FBI agent from 1969 who wants to marry a black man. The fact he's a competent and intelligent American (See Acceptable Targets above) may help.
Craig Owens, the Doctor's roommate in "The Lodger", who gained a lot of popularity based on the excellent chemistry between James Corden and Matt Smith. People were happy when it was announced that the Doctor would go back and visit him.
Despite him only wearing them in one two-part episode, the Tenth Doctor's 3D Glasses are a well-loved fan favorite. He is often depicted wearing them in fan art.
The BBC clearly likes him too—he's been giving "field reports" on Youtube about how weird Earth is.
Jethro Cane. "We've broken down! In the middle of nowhere!" Possibly because he's Merlin.
The Adipose babies from "Partners in Crime". Tumblr fans post pictures of themselves with the cute little walking fat!
The Eighth Doctor, despite only having 2 on-screen adventures, is very well liked due to Paul McGann's performance. This is probably helped by his extensive audio adventures.
Journey Blue from "Into the Dalek". She proved to be so immensely popular after the episode's release that a not-insignificant number of fans have since been calling for her to become a companion - which is to say nothing of the people who took immediately to shipping her with Clara.
Jago and Litefoot from "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" were basically the Vastra and Jenny of the era. The BBC even considered giving them a spin-off. And they ended up getting one in Big Finish Doctor Who.
For an audio-only incarnation, Alex Macqueen's Master seems to have gained quite a vocal fanbase, some of whom wish to see his Master reprise his role on television.
Robin Hood from "Robot of Sherwood" due to his Large Ham tendencies and Hidden Depths at the end of the episode.
Series 5 has, thus far, generated reams of fan theories, ranging from very clever, probably right ones, to the fact that the barely legible text of the library card in "The Vampires of Venice" has a slightly wrong post code on it.
Series Six has followed in suit, and the Spoilers Wild Mass Guessing page had to be broken down into folders sorting the different type of speculation- e.g. The Silence, Rory's Death, who is River, etc.
And of course, Season 7 has the mystery of who Clara is and why she keeps coming back from the dead in various time periods. Steven Moffat really likes instigating these.
Series 8 before it came out already had a page.
Likewise with Series 9.
Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: "The Happiness Patrol" is the most (over)analyzed story in the history of Doctor Who. Is it a biting criticism of Thatcher? Is it about homophobia? Is it a satire of runaway commercialism smothering society? Is it just plain crap? Or all of the above? Just about the only thing anyone can agree with is that it features a candy robot that kills people.
"The Dominators". Pacificism, even if war-hungry ways have nearly wiped out the planet and left an island a whole island a nuclear wasteland full of corpses, is bad, because the first attacker will destroy you. Gun control is also bad. Arm the hippies.
In "The Ark in Space", the Doctor manipulates Sarah Jane out of a situation in which she's panicking and screaming by giving her a very hurtful and rather sexist "The Reason You Suck" Speech until she pulls herself together out of pure rage. It's an awesome moment and one of both Sarah Jane's and the Doctor's best, but does give the impression that bullying your best friend and crushing her self-esteem is a good idea to do to someone in a panic.
Rory spent 1894 years staying out of trouble note unsuccessfully and going from Britain to Rome to Germany/France to Italy in 1240 and then back to Britain by 1941. And whatever he went through, he learned that you shoot Daleks in the eyestalk.
At the end there is the whole Egyptian Goddess and Orient Express IN SPACE!; even if it never ended up being addressed in the series you can almost hear the sound of a million keyboards screaming and suddenly being silenced. (Actually they finally got around to it in season 8)
The talk of "Star Cults" who believe in the onetime existence of stars (and who are right, as the disappearance of said stars signals that the universe is wrong) and their head prophet Richard Dawkins. Who's willing to bet that said cults are made up of many of the Doctor's previous companions? Just think of the possibilities...
From "The Name of the Doctor": what all of the Clara-fragments were doing and how they saved the Doctor.
The Doctor spending hundreds of years on Trenzalore fighting of various Monsters.
The Time War itself.
The Eighth Doctor's regeneration, before "The Night of the Doctor".
It's been heavily speculated that The Ninth Doctor, after leaving Rose and Mickey in "Rose" only to reappear a split second later, went on a bunch of unknown adventures during that time. As the start of the episode hinted he just regenerated, this fills the plot holes of (While alone) visiting Krakatoa and saving a family from boarding the Titanic. "The Beast of Babylon" confirmed this.
Fanon: Pretty much every question that's gone unanswered has fan theories, some more widely accepted than others.
Faux Symbolism: "Kinda" and "Snakedance" writer Christopher Bailey derived the Mara from a demon of the same name in Buddhist philosophy which, as in Doctor Who, symbolises temptation rather than evil (at least, in the sense of "sinfulness"). In Kinda, Dukkha, Panna, Karuna, Anatta and Anicca's names and functions all derive from Buddhism as well.
Franchise Original Sin: All the problems with the original series in the mid-eighties Author Tracts, useless companions, unintentionally inappropriate music, Camp, Chewing the Scenery, hilarious Special Effects Failure — were all present in the seventies. But in the eighties they became highly prominent and common, and had few good plots or characters to balance them out, leading to viewership dropping like flies, a brief hiatus, and then another one that lasted for 16 years. (Ironically, the second hiatus was implemented just as those elements had been mostly stripped.)
If any one story from the classic series counts as this, it would probably be "Earthshock" from 1982. On its first broadcast — and even today, in fact — it was a hugely popular story thanks to its action, gritty and mature feel, and the return of a classic villain. However, attempts to recapture all of these elements in future stories would play a major part in driving the series into the ground in the mid-1980s. The continuity aspects were emphasized to such an extent that it led to major Continuity Lockout. This is well-shown by the Cybermen's next major story, "Attack of the Cybermen", which is basically incomprehensible without a good knowledge of Cyber-History and incredibly violent.
The Doctor and Rose's Implied Love Interest status started out with Rose helping to heal the emotionally damaged Doctor and him ending up effectively sacrificing himself for her, with their relationship slowly developing in the background. However it got to the point where the narrative kept presenting her as the Doctor's One True Love, to the point that even a lot of fans who liked her started viewing her as a Creator's Pet. This got worse when she appeared in Series 4, undermining what a lot of fans felt was a satisfying and emotional departure.
The moral debate over the Doctor's actions, particularly with the Daleks, started as an interesting (though controversial) departure from the original series, with the Doctor wracked with guilt over his actions and always uncertain about whether he's doing the right thing. After this point, it was alternately ignored or given such disproportionate focus (sometimes the Doctor would wipe out a species without any moral conundrum, sometimes he'd waver back and forth on killing an Always Chaotic Evil species that's about to kill a bunch of innocent people) that it lost any sort of impact, and something that started as a way to explore the Doctor's morality was repeatedly used as a way for the Doctor to lord his moral superiority over everyone else (like Harriet Jones or Handy). Eventually this aspect was dropped completely, returning to the times of killing villains no questions asked (which started its ownBroken Base), only for it to come back from the dead for season 8, making just as little sense. (Killing villains by yourself is justifiable, but killing them with a Cyberman army which makes this more effective is bad? Huh?)
Aspects of this can be seen earlier in the Series 1 finale "The Parting of the Ways", where the Doctor deliberates over wiping out the Daleks even though it will destroy all life on Earth and finally refuses to do so, considering it the moral high ground. Even though the Daleks have just wiped out nearly all life on Earth and the Doctor points out earlier the human race has spread to other worlds and will survive.
"Journey's End" in many ways is a good example of the aspects of the RTD era done badly. Author Favouritism for Rose? Very much so. The moral debate about the Doctor's actions, such as killing Daleks, being inconsistent and not making much sense? Yes. A ridiculous Deus ex Machina? On multiple occasions.
The criticisms of Steven Moffat's run of the reboot series are largely present back in the episodes he wrote for the series when Russell T. Davies was in charge, including convoluted plots, Soap Opera-level interactions between the cast, female characters who revolve entirely around the Doctor, and Everybody Lives endings via flimsy Deus ex Machina. For individual episodes his style worked marvelously, especially as it contrasted with the rest of the episodes at the time, with "Blink" still regarded as one of the best (and scariest) episodes in Who history. But when Moffat graduated to showrunner this stuff took over the show so that plot intricacy became alienating incoherence, the once-creepy elements (the Weeping Angels, the use of repeated phrases etc) were overused to the point of Narm, and the sexist undercurrents mutated into prominent themes.
To some classic fans, the Tennant and Smith eras are bashed for the doctors seemingly newfound appreciation for humanity as well as rather soapish elements with the companions becoming a Romantic Plot Tumor. But these two complaints both have elements of them showing up as early as Peter Davison's tenure, with his overall more kind persona as well as the sheer amount of companions he had causing various B-plot conflicts, this might be Older Than They Think.
Stephan Moffat's storylines were criticised for not giving a satisfying payoff that really explained the aspects. What a lot of people forget is that the S4 Finale didn't explain many of the plot points throughout the series, such as how Rose appeared in "Midnight" or much of her role in "Turn Left". It seems that the prospect of Rose coming back distracted a lot of people (including the writers) from the lack of a full explanation, however such a character hasn't appeared under Moffat.
Erato, the "Creature from the Pit", looks like... um◊... It would probably have been better if the Doctor hadn't tried blowing into the protruding bit.
Many people, on seeing a Vervoid for the first time, have remarked that it reminds them of something... WH Smith refused to stock a copy of Doctor Who Magazine with a Vervoid on the cover as they felt it contained an "inappropriate adult image".
In "The Vampires of Venice".
Rory: Yours is bigger than mine.
The Doctor: Let's not go there.
And then there's Eleven and Ten showing off their sonic screwdrivers in Day of the Doctor.
The Blake's 7 fandom tends to have a lot of overlap with classic series fandom, due to the similarities in style and close links between the production teams; the former is generally considered the adult sister show to the latter.
SuperWholockians. The above friendly fandoms with Supernatural thrown in for some reason. Very common amongst the fandom side of Tumblr.
Fans of Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman also tend to overlap with the show. As both authors also wrote for Doctor Who (and in the case of the former served as a script editor), this is also understandable.
At the end of "Shada", the Fourth Doctor muses about how future generations of Time Lords might remember him as a criminal.
"A Fix with Sontarans" was a wacky wish-fulfillment skit for a fan, with Jim'll Fix It presenter Jimmy Savile presented as Faux Horrific via the Sixth Doctor and Tegan's reactions. After his death in 2011, it came to public light that Savile was perhaps the most Depraved Kids' Show Host of all time.
To add even more to it, Colin Baker was later, in an interview made a few years before Savile's death, asked about the special and he commented that considered Savile "much more frighting than the Sontarans."
Growing the Beard: Being that the series has a few decades of history, it's a bit inevitable that there have been a lot of times when the show's quality gets lower a few times and then back up later.
The First Doctor's second serial, The Daleks, is seen as where the show really took off, after a mostly dull first serial involving cavemen.
The Second Doctor's arrival made the Doctor younger, paving the way for more action-orientated episodes, and properly established him as an eccentric but sympathetic character.
The Third Doctor's tenure saw arrival of colour TV, more political and Earth-based stories and the growth of a maturer fanbase.
But it was the Fourth Doctor's era that the classic series reached its creative peak. Now how many shows achieve this after being on the air for over ten years?
The Seventh Doctor in season 25, particularly Remembrance of the Daleks, is seen as marking the point when the 1980s Doctor Who began to show a maturer and more confident approach. Unfortunately, the show's ratings did not improve and this led to its cancellation after the following season.
The revival in general has, regardless of opinions, given much more publicity and relevance to and awards won by the show than when it faded through the 1980s, leading to its eventual cancellation in 1989. The BBC has also cared a lot more about its status as a flagship British drama and a fifty-plus-year cultural icon when comparing the Steven Moffat era side by side with the days of Michael Grade's near-cancellation of the show in 1985.
Some people would claim "Dalek" was this for the revived series and the Ninth Doctor.
For the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant's performance in his first series (series 2) was actually very well-received, but fans were less impressed by several storylines, the romance between the Doctor and Rose and the Torchwood story arc (although all three have their defenders). Depending on who you ask, the concluding episodes of series 2 or series 3 saw a significant overall improvement.
In "The Mind of Evil", it's shown that the Doctor's worst fear is worlds burning down. See Doctor, there's this certain time war that you'll stop...
The Fourth Doctor's parting "Until we meet again, Sarah" was always going to be heartbreaking after the death of Elisabeth Sladen. But it's magnified by the fact that she spent more a decade trying to convince Tom Baker to do a series of Big Finish audios with her. He finally caved and signed a contract a week before she died. So, in essence, Four and Sarah Jane never did meet again.
At the end of "Flesh and Stone", River says "You, me, handcuffs... must it always end this way?" Then you remember that's exactly how she died.
Davros using human corpses to make food out of in "Revelation of the Daleks" was pretty grim to start with. But the Big FinishI, Davros audio dramas make it clear that the same was standard practice in Kaled society while he was growing up, due to the effects of the Hopeless War.
"The War Games" has the Second Doctor simply having his appearance changed before his exile by the Time Lords. Today, with the Time Lords' 12 regenerations limit well-established, it now is more like the Doctor was essentially executed by forcing him to use one of his regenerations.
In "The Web of Fear", the Great Intelligence seems to view "revenge" as petty and beneath it, and is only interested in the Doctor again because of his usefulness. Come "The Name of the Doctor", revenge seems to be its primary motivation.
For the Doctor, at least: the description of the end of the alternate 21st Century given by the Controller in "Day of the Daleks" matches nearly perfectly with the fate of Gallifrey in the 2005 series.
The little girl is released from the Daleks' mind control in "Remembrance of the Daleks"! But a later short story shows that she was driven irreversibly mad by the experience.
The little girl in "Day of the Moon" being forgotten about only to find herself sick and dying in New York could be bad enough, until you realise this is a young River Song and the baby Amy was pregnant with. It also leads into the attempted murder of the Doctor.
The scene of Rory sadly playing with the dream!cot in "Amy's Choice" is made even more heartbreaking by what happens in series 6.
After witnessing the Doctor's judgment upon the Racnoss, Donna tells him that he "needs someone to stop him". Much later, we see him breaking under the strain of hearing the explorers on Mars dying... and he's all alone. And not even Captain Brook can get through to him.
"I never should have met you, Doctor. I was better off when I was a coward." Considering everything that happens to him later, Jack was right.
Fans are known for mourning their favourite Doctors after their regeneration, even though the character isn't technically dead, and cooking up elaborate theories for how Doctors can regenerate back into whatever the fan's preferred version of themselves is. These theories were eventually confirmed in "The Day of the Doctor", in which Tom Baker, who played the very much loved Fourth Doctor, reappears as a far future regeneration of the Doctor, playing Eccentric Mentor to his young self and assuring him that maybe he'll find himself 'revisiting old favourite faces'.
The Time Lords were all killed, with the Doctor as the Last of His Kind. Then the Master was revealed to have concealed himself by temporarily becoming human, leading fans to endlessly speculate about who else did this (the Rani being the most popular choice). "The End of Time" and then even less ambiguously "The Day of the Doctor" revealed that Gallifrey was actually locked away from the rest of the universe rather than being destroyed, and could potentially be rediscovered.
Fans were quick to notice that if Danny had the opportunity to return to the living world two weeks after his Cyberman body was killed, similar means could be used to resurrect any other character killed in the episode. Especially Missy.
Fans are also adamant that Missy killed a Zygon and not the real Osgood.
Missy had been using her disintegrator device to blast people into a fine red dust left and right. It seems kind of odd that the same device disintegrates her into a fine blue dust instead, not unlike her teleportation earlier. To this, many point out that the reasoning is because the device itself wasn't used to disintegrate her, with it instead being the Brigadier's Cybermen artillery that did the job. That said, Moffat himself enforced this trope with his comments immediately after the episode aired, noting that he hoped Missy would emulate Anthony Ainley's Master in reappearing without a scratch after getting involved in Deader Than Dead situations.
Since Seb isn't actually alive, but an A.I., it's unlikely he would have been "killed" by Missy. This, in turn, provides a small Hope Spot regarding Osgood's survival.
The series does outdo itself constantly in this area due to thrills and scares, but very few can compare to the sudden reemergence of the TIME LORDS in the final scene of The End of Time Part One, and their Title Drop of just what they plan to do.
Specifically, when the viewer gets out ahead of the plot on that one and realizes what's coming just soon enough to scream 'HOLY SHIT' about twenty times before the event actually happens.
The Daleks returning at the climax of "Army of Ghosts"? That was a big secret held by the production team at the time. These days, the following episode "Doomsday" is generally known for being Daleks v Cybermen.
The Doctor on the point of near-death dies ten times, and has his appearance forcibly changed at the end of the Patrick Troughton era.
"The Day Of the Doctor" provided this just through the extent of its Call Backs to the show's history, from every Doctor showing up to help freeze Gallifrey in the show's climax, to the revelation of the Twelfth Doctor's input, to the appearance of Tom Baker as the Curator in the episode's epilogue (marking his first appearance in an official episode of the show for the first time since leaving it in 1981).
Hype Backlash: Fandom example. Rose was a fine character on her own, but when Martha was frequently compared to her by both the show and the fanbase, even some of the people who liked her have come to see her as The Scrappy.
I Am Not Shazam: The main character's name is "The Doctor", not "Doctor Who" (in spite of what the credits might sometimes say).
In "The Girl in the Fireplace", the Doctor's solution to clockwork droids attacking Madame De Pompadour is to ride a horse through one of the time windows, breaking the connection to the ship in the future. He then engages in Talking the Monster to Death. However he is left trapped thousands of years from his companions and the TARDIS and it is only some flimsy writing that lets him get back. It doesn't occurred to him to find some other way to disrupt the time window (if smashing them can break them then it shouldn't be too difficult). This could be justified by him wanting to convince the droids to shut down but couldn't he have used the TARDIS to get there? Even if he doesn't want the droids to know about the TARDIS he could just materialise in another room a few minutes before the connection is broken.
The Series 2 finale "Army of Ghosts"/ "Doomsday" suffers a lot from this. When Torchwood find a way to draw energy from the void ghosts start appearing all over the world. What is Torchwood's reaction to this? Nothing, just treating it as a natural phenomenon. Within a couple of months people start thinking the ghosts are loved ones, for reasons that are never made clear. Then the Doctor closing the void and using it to suck the Daleks and Cybermen back. He decides to hold on using a metal clamp right next to the void and send Rose to the parallel world so she will be safe. However she returns and hangs on with him. Due to a lever breaking she turns it on again and ends up sucked towards the void, but her Parallel father saves her by taking her to the Parallel world. It never occurs to the Doctor to use the TARDIS, which is not sucked into the void despite having been through there, to keep safe. Or to find some way of turning on the void shift that doesn't involve them being right by the breach.
"The Lodger" has the Doctor pretending to be a human, and clichés every "Alien trying to fit in" trope one can think of. Not to mention The Doctor, one of the most brilliant minds in the universe, has no idea what British Football is, and when the opposing team says "We're going to murder you!" The Doctor goes into rage mode (I am The Doctor! The Oncoming Storm! I refuse to allow any killing whatsoever!). He also very awkwardly interrupts Craig and his girlfriend completely oblivious to the fact that they want "Alone Time" despite Craig outright announcing it earlier. And after unintentionally making Craig jealous (All his friends and co-workers loving him more, which he really should have picked up on) he still seems surprised when Craig tells him "I hate you, get out!" The writer has stated in his defence 'this is the Doctor acting like the Doctor, he's just doing it in a "normal" situation for once'.
In "The Dominators", the Dominators' plan to explode the planet into a radioactive mess as a fuel source is foiled. But the Dominators have been repeatedly sending messages to the main fleet to come that way. When the fleet arrives, will it sit back and take it? Especially against a Perfect Pacifist People?
"The Time Warrior". So, the kitchen staff got out of Irongron's castle before it exploded...right?
In "The Armageddon Factor", it's implied that the Atrians unknowingly managed to wipe out the Zeons very early on in the war, and that the subsequent conflict was engineered by the Shadow simply so that he wouldn't get bored waiting for the Doctor to arrive.
The climax of "Journey's End" has Earth dragged through space at phenomenal speeds, which is shown to cause such a large amount of shaking that characters have to take shelter to protect themselves from the wind and flying debris. What is essentially a world-wide earthquake would have caused widespread damage, killing thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people, and would be worse than normal given all the damage the Daleks did beforehand. Yet the only thing that Doctor comments on is that the disturbance will lead to a lot of rain. And despite all this the Earth-pulling is treated as a happy moment. That's not to mention the gravitational disturbances throughout the Solar System and the Moon getting back into place. The original script has the Doctor say they still have time before the system falls apart but this goes unmentioned.
"The Lodger", made and set in 2010, mentions that the population of Earth is several hundred million less than the real life 2010 population. This leaves the conclusion that all the alien invasions the Whoniverse Earth has experienced have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. (One possibility is that these people have been erased by the cracks, meaning that they're back at the end of the season. Still an inferred holocaust, albeit a temporary one.)
In "Time Heist", the solar storm causes a literal holocaust as waves of fire wash over the surface of the planet. The bank patrons are last seen shouting in alarm, and Madame Karabraxos flees with what valuables she can grab, an act that suggests that even her most secure vault will eventually be destroyed by the flare.
In "Kill the Moon", mention is made of horrendous destructive tides. The moon's increase in mass would have many other repercussions for the weather, plate tectonics, etc. But no specifics are given; the only report from the earth is that things are going "badly", but apparently the developed world still has electricity, even the parts along coastlines.
What happened to aeroplanes in flight when every runway in the world was suddenly taken over by the forest?
If animals could escape from the zoos thanks to the trees, could prisoners escape from prison thanks to the trees?
No way Nelson's Column is the only large structure to collapse from the growth of the trees. How many other such events occurred worldwide?
The reason humankind initially tried to burn down the trees was to make room for essential services. With that stymied, there are no ambulances to deal with medical emergencies or accidents. No quick relief for fires or crimes.
And what about the astronauts? Everybody on the space station probably got fried, unless it happened to be behind the earth at the time. (Is this why humans gave up on space travel by 2049?)
The reveal that the person cast as the companion for series 7 is appearing to be another white woman had several fans upset, to say the least. It doesn't help that the previous potential companion from the episode "The God Complex" was a woman of color who was killed off.
Really, it would be far quicker to list the things about the show that hadn't caused buckets of frothing internet nerdrage at some point or another.
Nyssa. The Master kills her family and takes over her father's body. Then her entire planet is destroyed. Then she starts traveling with the guy who was unable to prevent any of it, and was later unable to prevent one of their other friends from dying. And she still gets up in the morning and gets on with life and is sensible and quietly helps repeatedly save the universe and doesn't talk much about any of it.
The Ninth Doctor.
In series 5's "The Big Bang", Rory spends 1894 years alone guarding his in-suspended-animation fiancee in a giant metal box keeping it safe from outside influences, following it wherever it is taken and writing himself into the myths and legends of a dozen civilizations in the process. Then in Series Six he has to deal with all his memories of 2,000 years threatening to overwhealm him, the constant suggestion that Amy prefers the Doctor over him (she doesn't), his wife dissolving into goo, then his child dissolving into goo, and then the revelation that River is his daughter. Poor guy.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks: In regards to the revival, not everyone cares for the show "going back to basics" as has been promised with the Twelfth Doctor era, which has been criticized for abandoning some of the tropes familiar to audiences since the show came back in 2005 (Abandon Ship being a big one).
The intentionally 1980s-style theme arrangement introduced in 2014 has divided fans.
Every time The Master is killed off. Ditto for the Daleks.
Russell T. Davis implied this about Davros in "Journey's End". He stated that he didn't want to be the one to have permanently killed off such a legacy character. So as far as Word of God is concerned, he survived somehow just not yet.
Series 6 hinted very strongly that the Doctor is going to die For Realsies This Time and it in fact begins with a future version of the Eleventh Doctor apparently getting shot to death and cremated (except not really, as revealed in the finale). Since this would bring the entire series to an end, all but a few were pretty convinced he'd get around it somehow — the question lay in what the 'somehow' in question was. The same episode had Rory in trouble. The trailers for the next episode didn't even hide his survival.
"Night Terrors". Admit it, you were relieved when Amy turned into a doll. Nothing to do with how you feel about Amy. It's just that once Amy turned into a doll, you knew she and all the other dolls would turn back to normal by episode's end and this would be an episode where Everybody Lives.
River Song is thought of by many fans as one, and indeed many of her traits do seem like the kind of thing you'd find in a fanfiction character. She's half time lord, she's in love with The Doctor (who reciprocates), she can use guns around The Doctor without him complaining, she can intimidate a dalek by reputation alone, she knows the TARDIS better than The Doctor although that's because the TARDIS directly implanted her with knowledge of its functions, and many would say she was Easily Forgiven for nearly destroying the universe so she wouldn't have to kill The Doctor. It's a small wonder that she's so controversial.
At least one meme points out that being a constant savior of all of Timespace with little more than a time machine, a sonic screwdriver, and the greatest intellect in the universe, kinda dwarfs the exploits of certain other muscle-bound heroes in tights.
Memetic Sex God: "There are no straight men, just men who haven't met Captain Jack Harkness" is a common line to describe the character, notable for the relatively few number of straight male fans who deny the statement. There's also a popular image macro with a nude screenshot from "Bad Wolf" captioned, "You're straight? So is spaghetti, before it gets hot." Even justified in-universe. His cologne's actually a genetic modification that includes pheromones.
One could argue "Logopolis" for The Master. Yes before he had manipulated, threatened, and killed lots and lots of people, but compared to the number of people The Doctor had manipulated, threatened and killed, they were basically even, and before Delgado died he was even supposed to have a Death Equals Redemption plot. And then, when he gets a proper new body again, he destroys one-quarter of the universe, including the home planet of one of the Doctor's companions (though admittedly that was an accident he caused by going on a killing spree). And the new body he got is the corpse of said companion's father. After that, there was really no going back for him.
In "Dragonfire", Kane has the tourists, passers-through, and residents herded into a spacecraft and blows it to Kingdom Come.
In "The Curse of Fenric", Millington locks two men up in a cellar, leaving them to their Haemovorey death.
The characteristic TARDIS dematerialisation sound created, according to River Song, by the Doctor leaving the brakes on. (He claims it's deliberate). Of course, this raises the question as to why Romana and the Master had it happen to them, but River could have just been messing with the Doctor.
Often, the series manages to be cheesy while still being on the edge of your seat tense. Any non-humanoid Auton in particular.
In the Master's first-ever appearance in Terror of the Autons, he fed a man to a chair and tried to take over the world with plastic daffodils. It's widely regarded as his best performance in the role, and one of the best stories from Pertwee's era.
The Sixth Doctor trying to strangle Peri, which they themselves don't get over until The Mysterious Planet.
Another widespread example is Adric being persuaded to approve of Monarch's evil plan in "Four To Doomsday" in about three minutes of conversation, which led to massive Flanderisation of him as "always siding with the villain".
In "Dalek", Van Statten is just arrogant and ignorant... until he decides to keep the Doctor as a specimen, for torturing. And later he dismisses his soldiers as "dispensible" when the Dalek massacres them. After that, there's no excuse.
In The End of Timethe Time Lords themselves have gone off the deep end as they are willing to destroy the fabric of space and time to escape their own demise.
Miss Mercy Hartigan from The Next Doctor may have been a more sympathetic character particurlarly with her implied Rape As Back Story past. However, when she enslaves children, whatever sympathy one may have had for her vanishes. Moreover, when she decides that the children are disposable, you're actively rooting for her defeat. Interestingly, RTD later stated that, in hindsight, he felt that he should have given her a chance for Redemption Equals Death in the climax - specifically by having her What Have I Become?not result in her killing herself in horror, but for the Doctor to prompt her to transport the Cyberking away herself before it explode (if only to avoid the Doctor's Deus ex Machina-ish solution to the problem). By the time Davies thought of this solution, however, it was too late to implement it and we're left with what we got.
"The Name of the Doctor" reveals that one incarnation of the Doctor (played by John Hurt) did something so monstrous that the other incarnations (including those who have committed multiple genocides and doomed their own species,) have disowned him, stripped him of the name "Doctor" and tried to forget he ever existed. However, "The Day of the Doctor" ends up portraying him more sympathetically as a war-torn Well-Intentioned Extremist who, with the help of the Tenth and Eleventh (and the other ten) Doctors, eventually averts this and ends the episode content with the possibility of having failed in doing the right thing as opposed to the guilt of having succeeded in doing the wrong thing.
Classic series fans generally take one or two episodes from the 2005 revival and blow it out of proportion as a reason why 102 episodes from 21 writers as of September 2013 (two of the writers which are head writers with very differing styles) suck.
Not to mention the fans who bash David Tennant and/or Matt Smith solely because of the now-infamous line "I don't want to go."
Derek Jacobi's five minutes as the Master in "Utopia".
Peter Capaldi's three-second appearance as the Twelfth Doctor in "Day of the Doctor".
Padding: Often suffered by the classic series, especially in the earlier years when stories would sometimes run for six or seven (and in one notable instance twelve) episodes, but also with the more standard four-parters; the stereotypical third part episode would involve the regulars, having been captured or imprisoned at the end of the previous episode, breaking free and spending a lot of time running up and down corridors before being recaptured at the end. In some of the worst cases from the Jon Pertwee era, entire episodes are given over to a 25 minute chase sequence which doesn't advance the plot at all.
Particularly painful padding in the classic series is the long shots of characters turning knobs and levers ever so slowly, or lingering on them making tea (or doing something equally mundane) just a bit longer than necessary.
In "City of Death", there's a whole lot of shots of the Doctor and Romana just merrily running around Paris; excused partly by the BBC wanting to get their money's worth out of the location shooting (literally all they could afford was a silent shoot with Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and no other actors, and they may... um, not have asked permission to film from anyone), and partly for Scenery Porn.
Inferno has been described as a four-part story with episode three removed and replaced with another four-part story. Fortunately, both stories are generally considered classics.
The Autons. Basically anything made of plastic could come to life.
"The Waters of Mars". Don't drink the water. Don't even touch it. Not One Drop. Being turned into a monster if you touch something that your body physically needs is terrifying.
How about: "Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead! They are fast. Faster than you could believe. Don't turn your back, don't look away, and don't blink! Good Luck."
Steven Moffat seems to be determined to give the entire planet a phobia of everything. So far he's covered ticking, statues, shadows and now cracks on the wall and... whatever the Smilers are.
And now anything that captures the image of a Weeping Angel becomes an angel. You have one on your television screen? It might just come out and get you, so don't look away. And if you stare at it too long, you might get one in your head. "Don't blink, don't look at it."
Makes people scared to death of their Gran's angel collection, too.
He's now extended that to Wifi, finding something that is completely undetectable to human senses and is virtually omnipresent.
In "Deep Breath", he managed to make you scared of breathing.
"Listen." Scared. Of. Literally NOTHING. This one should be fairly hard to top.
Speaking of Moff, he also came up with the Silence, monsters that you instantly forget exist whenever you're not looking at them. Also, they look like Slender Man.
Gangers. Human clones with the same memories. So how are you going to tell the original and the copy apart? Well, you can't, unless the Ganger is incomplete and has that smooth, transparent face. Just hope you won't be seeing it in the mirror. And then there's the twist of "The Almost People": who's to say that you aren't unknowingly piloting a ganger right now, separated from all your friends and family who don't even know you're missing?
"A Christmas Carol". So you're just minding your own business, ruling a planet as the Scrooge you are. Then a guy comes into your house, shows you footage of your childhood, then appears in said footage and changes it, rewriting your memories in the meantime. At the same time, a guy appears when you're 8 and starts saying stuff like "I'm better than your nanny" at an age you can probably see the Double Entendre, even if the time-traveling alien doesn't. Then the guy almost kills you in your past several times, while you see the live feed in your present. And there's nothing you can do about it.
The Silence are made of this. They're everywhere on Earth, they could be in this very room, and forget about them every time you look away from them, and they can plan suggestions in your head forcing you to do something without you ever knowing why. If you know they exist, you'll still forget them after seeing them.
Moff did it again with the Daleks of all things. In "Asylum of the Daleks" we are introduced to the Dalek Puppets; people that have been partially transformed into Daleks using nanotechnology. You can't tell they are Daleks until their eyestalk pokes through their forehead. And the kicker? The Dalek-ified people don't even realize that anything's wrong until they remember that they died. You or anyone else can be a Dalek and you'd never know it.
Periphery Demographic: The classic series was popular with the gay community. As there was almost no suggestion of any sexuality at all, viewers could add their own interpretations on the various relationships between characters.
The Problem with Licensed Games: Most of the games based on the show have been incredibly poor. Probably the best were the Adventure Games released in 2010—2011, and even they suffered from uneven design and graphics that were barely PlayStation 2 standard, though at least were free to people in the UK.
Donna Noble, thanks to a lot of character development. Unfortunately all undone at the end of series four.
Mickey Smith, from "The Age of Steel". Solidified at the end of "Army of Ghosts".
The Seventh Doctor was regarded as a bumbling fool during his first season, with his mixing of metaphors and playing the spoons. However in the next two seasons he turned into a darker character known for being The Chessmaster of the Doctors, meaning he is one of the best regarded Doctors.
Clara had her fair share of haters in Series 7, who accused her of being more of a plot device than a character and a poor replacement for Amy. But after the mystery of her existence was resolved, she was able to spend Series 8 becoming much more developed as a real character, and has turned many of them around. That said, she went back to Base Breaker territory after "Dark Water".
Five years before becoming the first actor to play Davros, Michael Wisher has a fairly minor role as a broadcaster in "The Ambassadors of Death". He also appeared in "Terror of the Autons" and "Carnival of Monsters" and voiced the Daleks in "Death to the Daleks".
The RTD era means that it can be fun to look out for barely noticeable arc words such as "Bad Wolf", "Torchwood", "Harold Saxon", missing planets and "The bees are disappearing!"
The Moffat series are good for a re-watch purely because of the extreme amounts of timey-wimey-ness, espeically in relation to River Song's arc. There's so much Foreshadowing, Call Backs and Book Ends that entire lines and scenes can gain a new meaning.
In "Utopia", once you know that Yana is actually the Master, a lot of his more subtle parallels with the Doctor start to become obvious. He admits that he's never taught at a university, and that the title "Professor" is just an affectation—just like a Time Lord's title. His relationship with Chantho is deliberately written to evoke the Doctor's relationships with his Companions. He's an excitable Cool Old Guy with a love of science and experimentation, and he wears flamboyant antiquated clothing—just like all of the Doctor's earliest incarnations.
On second viewing of the scene where Clara is recaptured, it's apparent that the head-covering of the "robot" which brings her to the Half-Faced Man isn't fitted quite properly, because the Doctor's wearing it over his hair. There's also a visible seam on the back, although that wouldn't be surprising in a Droid either.
When the Doctor rips that face off, it looks oddly like Matt Smith's◊. That's because it is. They took a cast of the mannequin of Matt from the Doctor Who Experience for Peter to pull off. He literally pulls off his old face to show his new one.
Fridge Horror on the rewatch: Mancini's is a "Family Restaurant" and they have a "Children's Menu".
Several reviewers have noted that the fact Strax attempts suicide rather than betray his friends is a notable moment often missed on the first viewing.
Peter Capaldi's accent takes a little getting used to. As such, there are sequences (such as the alley scene and the new Doctor meeting Strax and company for the first time) that benefit from being rewatched. Not everyone catches that the Doctor mistakes Strax for one of the Seven Dwarves at the very start.
If you watch "Time Heist" again and listen to the Architect, it's blatantly obvious that it's the Doctor. You can still hear parts of Capaldi's accent.
Rooting for the Empire: Let's face it, there are people out there who aren't Doctor Who fans per-se, but really Dalek fans. During the 60s when Doctor Who first started and the Daleks first appeared, the case of people rooting for the Dalek Empire was so great, it led to the Daleks becoming the first recurring enemy of the show, and subsequently a wave of pop culture surrounding them called 'Dalekmania', marked by an excess of Dalek merchendise, comic books focused on them, and film versions of their first two TV serials. They even got comic strips before the Doctor before their second appearance.
Running the Asylum: It's the longest running Science Fiction show in existence, heavily influencing just about everyone in England who ever did anything related to Science Fiction. Its a fair bet that there's a few long-time fans on the payroll, such as David Tennant.
The series has no one creator to lay blame on, but aside from original producer Verity Lambert, legendary writer Robert Holmes and arguably Tom Baker's second producer, Philip Hinchcliffe, just about everyone who's ever worked on the show has been designated Scapegoat Creator by some segments of fandom. John Nathan-Turner (Producer, 1980-9) and Russell T. Davies (Executive Producer and Head Writer 2005-2010) are both frequent and popular targets of this.
Current Head Writer Steven Moffat has become the target of this, as of Series Six. Heck, the mid-season finale alone broke the fanbase like a damaged spinal cord, to say nothing of the series finale.
While not a severe case of this trope, the last full seasons for both the First and Second Doctors are felt to be a slight step down after two very solid seasons each. Like with Pertwee, there is a cheeky game amongst fandom in trying to spot the moment when Troughton 'quits' the series.
The Third Doctor's last season is easily his worst, despite the arrival of Sarah Jane. Even Jon Pertwee and producer Barry Letts admitted this being the case, due to a combination of fatigue (the duo, plus script editor Terrance Dicks had been in the job longer than any of their predecessors) and depression over the death of Roger Delgado.
The Fourth Doctor's era is generally regarded to have gone downhill after the departures of Philip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes. Whether or not this applies to his final season usually depends on whether you're the type who thinks Doctor Who should be serious sci-fi (in which case it's usually regarded as a decent send-off) or whether you think it should be campy and fun (in which case it's where the Fourth Doctor's run completely went to hell). Tom Baker, for his part, relished the Lighter and Softer tone, often ad-libbing his own jokes and pantomines — much to the annoyance of the crew.
The Fifth Doctor's middle season is generally considered the weakest of his three, due to nearly every story being So Okay, It's Average and lacking any of the memorable episodes such as "Earthshock" in Davison's first season, and "The Caves of Androzani" in his last. In fact, Peter Davisonhimself might support this viewpoint to some degree - in one of the DVD Commentaries he mentions that, although he'd been taking the advice of Patrick Troughton to leave after just three seasons, he essentially felt like his last season was better written overall and that if he'd had writing of that level earlier in his tenure, he'd have seriously considered coming back for just one more season. For the record, Colin Baker was already set to succeed Davison by the time Season 21 even started airing, and by the time Davison was reconsidering his decision to not renew his contract, it was too late to do so.
While neither of the Sixth Doctor's two seasons are considered high points for the show, most agree that his first season is okayish, and that his second and final season, "The Trial of a Time Lord" suffers from the show's behind-the-scenes issues becoming glaringly obvious on-screen.
The Seventh Doctor's first season is this to the show in general, with many fans considering it the show's absolute worst season. The following two seasons are actually regarded as being pretty good however, making this a rare inversion of the trope.
Of the revived series, the seasons most commonly agreed to be this are Series 2 (due to lack of solid writing in standalone episodes and over reliance on camp despite great chemistry between the actors) and Series 6 (due to an overly-complex and confusing story arc that stretched out longer than it should have and a mid-season plot twist combined with shifted episode placements making for inconsistent characterization).
Series 3 and 7 are also accused due to similar reasons as their respective predecessors (weak episodes such as "Daleks in Manhattan" for 3 and confused arcs and awkward mid-season shifts for 7), but are thought by many to be vast improvements. Specifically, the second half of season 7 seems to be what's seen the most criticism, due to a jarring difference in tone from its first half and a new companion many fans see as a mystery without much characterization to hold one's interest in the solution. Even its best episodes are considered merely adequate after a largely well-received first half to the season.
Ironically a lot of people still think Series 3 is the best of the revival. Often these are those who prefer Martha over Rose.
Some of the episodes during the Third Doctor's era which have a very political stance. A good example of this is "The Mutants". While the message about not treating other races badly and of colonialism being bad seems obvious, at the time there was an apartheid regime in South Africa.
While a heavy-handed episode, "The Sun Makers" does highlight the oppressive nature of an out-of-control bureaucracy especially when it's revealed the Usurians are using the system to work and tax the human race to death.
"Turn Left" is one of the most mature depictions of modern fascism that you'll ever see on mainstream television because it specifically avoids positioning an Obviously Evil dictator in a convenient villain role. As the episode points out, oppressive regimes don't just rise to power because of evil people with evil agendas, they rise to power when a populace becomes too scared and beaten-down to question its authority figures. Far too often, it just takes a few random disasters to rob people of their hope.
Sure, "Vincent and the Doctor" was basically a Very Special Episode about depression - even the monster that provides the plot can be read as a metaphor for van Gogh's mental illness - but it was handled so maturely that it falls squarely into this category. Even knowing that his paintings will be incredibly famous and loved in the future, Vincent still kills himself, because it's not a matter of cheering him up: he's got a disease that nobody in his time understands.
"Kill the Moon". Humanity gave up on space exploration, and then found they were in desperate need of it.
The BBC was somewhat notorious for giving the set and costume designers of Doctor Who a shoestring budget; that is, a bundle of shoe strings that they were expected to make fifteen monsters out of. Interestingly enough, however, this has always been viewed as part of the series' charm, and the fanbase reacted negatively when the TV movie upped the effects budget.
The low budget also effected the Chroma Key work throughout the seventies and eighties. It pops up every now and then in after 2005 but very infrequently.
The Kamelion prop could barely move... and whenever it did move, the movements were incredibly herky-jerky. Maybe because the original programmer and operator for Kamelion died in a boat crash and left no instructions for someone else to know how to work it.
The Myrka from the Fifth Doctor adventure Warriors of the Deep, aka that thing that looks like a Pantomime horse done by two dudes in a blanket.
When the Doctor's army reveal themselves, you can already see Strax on screen for a moment before the sound effect, and there's no visual effect either.
A particularly odd example occurs in Cold Blood when Rory is fatally zapped by a ray gun. The scene itself isn't an example, but soon after, as Amy's memories of Rory are getting erased, we get a flashback to that moment that doesn't include the lighting effects of the ray gun, so it looks like Rory's writhing in pain at nothing. So that's a Special Effects Failure of a flashback of a scene we saw less than two minutes earlier, where the Special Effects had worked just fine.
"Invasion of Time": companion Leela decides to stay on Gallifrey and marry the guard Andred. There's been nothing romantic between them. While the actors tried to suggest attraction in the story with their acting, the script didn't give them much to work with. It was basically, Doctor: "Come on, Leela, let's go." Leela: "No, I'm going to stay here and marry Andred." Doctor: "Okay, bye." This happened because the actress told the producer she was leaving at the end of the season, and he kept trying to change her mind. The Big Finish audio drama series Gallifrey ends up subverting this relationship in a fairly satisfying way.
The posthumous pairing of Peri with King Yrcanos at the end of "Trial of a Time Lord". Apparently, Colin Baker was distressed by Peri's death at the end of the "Mindwarp" portion of the Trial story arc and mentioned this to producer John Nathan-Turner. JNT, in his usual subtle way, fixed the problem by giving the Inquisitor a quick line stating that Peri is living happily with Yrcanos as a warrior queen, despite how nothing in the story, apart from the brief clip of his putting his hand on her shoulder that is shown after that line, supports that romance, and doing a Retcon of it makes a hash of the entire end of the story.
Martha Jones and Mickey Smith, two characters who before "Journey's End" had never even met, and had only been onscreen together in the scene where everybody from the new series ever flies the TARDIS, are shown in their "happy ending" vignette in The End of Time as a married couple, freelancers and fighting a Sontaran. This is despite the fact that Martha had been shown to be engaged in a previous appearance (though her fiance never showed up). This naturally got a lot of accusations that they were only paired up because they're both black.
River and Eleven for some, due to the main gimmick of their relationship being that they meet in the wrong order and therefore one tends to gain affection as the other loses it. Post-"The Wedding of River Song" they seem to be on the same wavelength, alleviating this aspect of their relationship.
Strawman Has a Point: In "The Sontaran Stratagem", the Doctor insists that he is going to handle the situation and that Colonel Mace of UNIT should listen to him and not attack the Sontarans who has already killed several dozen people and are warming up a full force invasion. While the Doctor is right that something fishy is going on with the Sontaran tactics and that UNIT could easy be crushed if the Sontarans actually tried, Colonel Mace is dealing with an alien invasion; he knows that attacking that building may end with all of his men dead, but he points out that they cannot simply sit around and wait to be conquered.
In the serial "The Invasion", aspiring glamour photographer Isobel suggests getting proof of the Cybermen's presence in the sewers by going down to take pictures. The Brigadier agrees, but intends to use his own men instead, on the basis that such a situation is no place for a lady. Isobel blows up at how backward and sexist he's being, but the Brig refuses, and both girls gang up on Jamie for agreeing with him and both she and Zoe walk away in a huff to get the pics themselves with Jamie worriedly tagging along, which ends up getting a police officer and a UNIT soldier sent to rescue them killed. While it could easily be argued that the Brig was in the wrong to assume they could not handle themselves for being women, it might have been better to let trained and experienced soldiers do the dangerous work, and neither of the girls are called out for their reckless actions getting two men killed. To add insult to injury, Isobel's photos end up being useless since she's never done any surveillance or dim-lighting photography.
Both Harriet Jones and Torchwood One are presented by both the Doctor and the script writers as being entirely in the wrong for activities such as harvesting alien technology. Problem is that the Doctor is reckless who treats death like a game and he is someone who is not likely to be there when the Earth needs him and he is responsible through his indirect actions for a good portion of the threats the Earth encounters - the Master becoming Prime Minister being the best example. We need people like them (and UNIT) to guard us in a very dangerous universe.
In "Journey's End" the Doctor is disgusted when his clone destroys the Dalek fleet and treats him like a monster, even though the Daleks are fanatical mass-murderers who never negotiate and letting them live would inevitably lead to countless more deaths. They had just come close to destroying the Universe and it probably wouldn't be too difficult for them to try again, considering from what we see the Doctor was just willing to leave them like they were, when it probably wouldn't be too difficult for them to recover.
In "The Curse of Peladon" Hepesh is treated as an unreasonable nationalist willing to do anything not to deal with the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire. But "The Mutants" two serials later shows that an earlier Human Empire did to the planet Solos exactly what Hepesh feared would happen to Peladon, exploited to the point of destruction and with the native population almost wiped out. Decades later, "Planet of the Ood" would give another good reason to dislike the empire.
The Doctor often criticised the Time Lords in the original series for sitting around being pompous instead of using their powers to intervene more, content to let whole civilisations be destroyed on their watch. However with all the dangerous renegades like the Monk, the War Chief, the Master, and the Rani running around with all the damage they cause, and the Doctor himself often centimetres away from full A God Am I status, it makes sense the Time Lords prefer not to intervene except for major problems. When they first appeared they did interfere, the Doctor calling them in to stop a plan to conquer a galaxy with an Army of the Ages assisted by a rogue Time Lord, and the Time Lords occasionally sent the Doctor, especially the Third, to assist affairs on an important scale. That's before considering that when the Time Lords intervened in "The Trial of a Time Lord" this action almost destroyed Earth, and when they sent the Doctor to destroy the Daleks before they were created it ended up being the first shot in a Great Offscreen War that nearly destroyed the universe.
The serial "Underworld" even revealed that when the Time Lords first interacted with another planet by giving them advanced technology, the planet and nearly all of the species were wiped out.
Ten and Eleven criticize Kate Stewart for being willing to blow up the Black Archive (and a good chunk of London with it) in order to keep the Zygons from using the technology stored in the Archive to conquer Earth. Sure, the Doctors came up with an alternate solution, but, at the time, Kate didn't see another option (although there are only a few Zygons, and she can summon an army).
The Doctor certainly has some choice words for Adric and his dubious behavior in "Four to Doomsday":
5th Doctor: Now listen to me, you young idiot, you're not so much gullible as idealistic. I suppose it comes from your deprived delinquent background.
And earlier in the same story, Nyssa tells him to shut up.
In an extra on the DVD version of "Earthshock", Adric survives the spaceship crash, lands on prehistoric Earth... and is promptly eaten by a Tyrannosaurus. A detached Cyberman head remarks, "Excellent."
Fan reaction to almost any regeneration and companion addition, sometimes initial, sometimes permanent. Given that the show is over 50 years old and finished its 33rd season in 2013, with regular change of cast and fourteen different actors who played the main character's thirteen different incarnationsnote counting Richard Hurndall's portrayal of the First Doctor in "The Five Doctors" anniversary special, and John Hurt's "War Doctor" and Capaldi's cameo as the "Twelfth" Doctor in "The Day of the Doctor" anniversary special, it is bound to invoke this trope.
This is particularly true for Matt Smith's run as the Doctor since they changed basically everything at the same time: new Doctor, new companions, new showrunner, new tone, new cameras, new TARDIS interior, new title sequence, new theme song arrangement, new foes (including a new look for the Daleks, though this was relegated later on), and even a new sonic screwdriver. And if you add the facts that Matt Smith is the youngest actor ever to play the Doctor, that he directly succeeded David Tennant (who as of 2013 is still considered the most popular Doctor, especially to younger fans), and that Smith's Doctor is the goofiest yet of the revived series (Tennant and even Christopher Eccleston had their moments, but that was it), you clearly get this trope in action.
The Great Intelligence in the second part of Series 7. The show makes an effort to reimagine him as an Evil Counterpart to The Doctor, and seems to leave the impression he'll be an interesting long-term enemy toward The Doctor. Not only are the implications or similarities to The Doctor and Great Intelligence left mostly unexplored, but by the end of the series, the Intelligence is most likely dead, or at least won't be appearing again for a long time.
Not to mention that fact that, according to the EU, he is the disembodied mind of Yog-Sothoth, embodiment of time and space.
Canton Everett Delaware III. "The Impossible Astronaut" almost outright states that he's one of the Doctor's most trusted still-living human allies, since he's one of just five people that he chose to tell about his impending "death" (the other four being Amy, Rory, River and himself). Aside from that, he's a very memorable Badass Normal maverick FBI agent who answers directly to the President of the United States, and he's openly engaged in an interracial same-sex relationship in the 1960's. In spite of all that juicy development, though, he's completely dropped after the two-part opener of Series 6 and never mentioned again. The last we see of him from his timeline is the older Canton 40 years later coming to see the Eleventh Doctor's "death" and then outright saying that this will be the last time he'll be seeing Amy, Rory, and River.
Osgood, an Adorkable fan stand-in who proves to be quite badass in her own right, and is then killed off in only her second appearance, because according to Moffat it was the only way we could buy the freaking Master as a credible threat.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: At the end of "The End of Time Part 1", the Master has turned every human on Earth into the Master except two people: the Doctor's current companion, Wilfred Mott and Wilfred's granddaughter, former companion Donna Noble and Donna's starting to remember! OMG! Are we about to see the return of the Doctor Donna? Maybe she'll find a clever way to keep her memories without dying! At the very least, she's bound to play a key, pivotal role in Part 2, right? Right?? Wrong. At the start of Part 2, she gets chased around a little, then some Applied Phlebotinum the Doctor left in her brain kicks in, knocking her and her pursuers out, and she doesn't wake up (and isn't seen again onscreen) until after the main crisis is over, and she wakes with her damn amnesia still intact.
Also, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures were going on at the same time- what happened to those people? Gwen was also pregnant around the day the Master created his new race. Luke apparently didn't change, because he is an artificial human manufactured by the Bane with strange differences from ordinary human DNA. Too bad that's never explored.
As noted, the claim for shortest tenure belongs to the Eighth Doctor. Which for all the flaws of his one singular appearance in-canon, most will agree that Paul McGann gave it all it was worth and was a great Doctor nevertheless.
The Ninth Doctor had the second-shortest tenure (12 weeks).
The War Doctor, getting a paltry screen time under an hour, even less than McGann, and was really a guest star instead of a tenure holder. This being the incarnation who fought a huge and terrible war.
Oddly enough, while Tennant's run as the Doctor is the longest of anyone in the revival, his Doctor is this in-universe. Every other incarnation is established as living for at least a century before regenerating (with the Ninth fitting in roughly 100 years of travel after meeting Rose and before she took up his offer to join him). With the Tenth, however, it's implied that he was less than a decade old by the time he died.
Father Octavian from The Time of Angels/Flesh And Stone. He sets a standard for Face Death with Dignity that from now on everyone's going to be struggling to match.
Isaac from A Town Called Mercy. He's loyal, brave, is a man of integrity and a leader that everyone seems to trust, has a dry sense of humour and is quite easy on the eyes (being played by Ben Browder). Of course he's doomed.
Tough Act to Follow: "The Caves of Androzani" just feels like it set the bar way too high for "The Twin Dilemma". The producers should have waited until next year to introduce the Sixth Doctor and formulate a better story, instead of rushing to the plate with the hype for Colin Baker's portrayal. At least that would have provided a lot of time for a better script.
True Art Is Incomprehensible: The Seventh Doctor serial "Ghost Light" is relatively confusing and nonsensical. Naturally many fans see it as brilliant commentary.
Even accepting the recons and the wonky production values, many people trying to get into the Hartnell/Troughton era nowadays find it hard due to the rather questionable portrayals of race and gender.
Even allowing for some Deliberate Values Dissonance of the 'Victorian horror-adventure pulp' feel it's evoking, "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" itself reflects some questionable (1970s) attitudes towards race; in particular The Dragon, a Chinese character, is played by a white actor in yellow-face; granted, the character is otherwise depicted in a well-rounded and even sympathetic fashion, but even so.
Viewer Gender Confusion: Alpha Centauri, an alien hermaphrodite, who has an obviously female voice and mannerisms but is usually referred to as "he". Apparently he was meant to be played like a gay civil servant.
The Classic Series' Cybermen went from "no known weaknesses" to "gold dust interferes with their respiratory systems" to "holy crap, anything gold kills them dead". The Five Doctors and Attack of the Cybermen didn't utilise any gold weaknesses, but they were still quickly shot down in droves, including one who forgot it was immune to ordinary bullets. The trend has been reversed since "Rise of the Cybermen", the first Cyberman episode since the Sylvester McCoy era. Although the ones that appeared from 2006-2008 weren't from Mondas, a single Mondasian Cyberman in "The Pandorica Opens" has more nasty tricks up its sleeve than they ever did in the classic episodes — including lasers, tranquilizer darts, Combat Tentacles and the ability to function separately as a body and a severed head when necessary. Three years later, "Nightmare in Silver" (described by Word of God as a "cross-breeding" of Cybus [the corporation that created the 2006-08 Cybermen] and Mondas tech, and in-story using some of the source code of the older Cybermen in its Cybermites) added Adaptive Ability and Super Speed to their arsenal, while keeping a nod to the "body working separately from the head" seen in "The Pandorica Opens".
The Slitheen were fairly menacing in "Aliens of London", "World War Three" and "Boom Town". By the third series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, they were quickly caught by their "cousins".
All of the title sequences are just beautiful even after the technology has moved past whatever they were made with. From the ghostly streaming white lights morphing into letters of the 60s, to the swirling and brightly-coloured lights morphing into the face of the Doctor in the early 70s, to the gorgeous kaleidoscoping 2001: A Space Odyssey-inspired "time tunnel" in the mid-to-late 70s, the Doctor's face emerging from a howling starfield in the 80s, the early CGI for the late 80s showing the TARDIS trapped in a bubble, the modern CGI for the TV Movie and the new series... You'll have your favourites, but all of them are gorgeous.
Say what you will about the Daleks, their original body and voice designs are superb, rubber plungers notwithstanding. Especially when the guys inside the Dalek casings remember to move around a bit. You'd be amazed at the difference a few random twitches and slight back and forth movements make to bring those things to life.
In "The Sensorites", there's the major technical triumph of showing the TARDIS crew going through the TARDIS control room, leaving the doors and stepping out onto the spaceship they've landed on in one continuous, seamless movement. There is a cut to facilitate this, but it's very subtle and the mind refuses to register it. Nowadays, an effect like this would be trivial, but the series spent decades trying deliberately not to show this movement under the grounds that it would be unconvincing, despite it being executed seamlessly almost right at the very beginning.
The effects in the first episode of "The Space Museum" are amazing for the time and would have been incredibly difficult to do. Vicki's reverse-playback dropped glass is the obvious one, but the way the TARDIS crew seamlessly walks through objects still looks good today.
The first ever shots of the TARDIS travelling through the vortex in "The Chase". It's suitably dreamlike and gorgeous and all done with practical, 1960s effects, and the kaleidoscope look of the Vortex was actually brought back for the title sequence of Season 7B. And then there's the Daleks fighting the Mechanoids. With the Mechanoids' flamethrowers.
William Hartnell's regeneration into Patrick Troughton. Seamless, done with a broken and hideously primitive video machine, and blows away all of the other Classic regeneration effects in terms of beauty, even the one in the late 1980s which used CGI (although, to be fair, the CGI looks really good, it's just the Fake Shemp that ruined it).
The whole serial looks unusually good due to being shot on film and being a (relatively) big-budget season opener.
The lovely matte painting of the Earth hanging in a deep canvas of stars at the beginning, especially on the Blu-Ray version.
The Autons mark one of the times where the inability to create a realistic monster was exploited to create something pants-shittingly scary. 1970s shop window dummies actually did look that creepy.
"The Dæmons". Though it was filmed in the days when both technology and budget were pathetic, the producers worked wonders with just a few clever camera tricks (filters, angles and some judicious shaking). The gargoyle costume was astonishingly realistic, and for once the revealed monster (Azal) exceeded expectations. The model church which was blown up at the end was so realistic a number of people complained to the BBC, thinking they had blown up an actual building.
The giant maggots in "The Green Death" were made on the cheap, out of condoms, and are terrifyingly realistic thanks to some excellent puppetry, camerawork, set design and construction. They don't just look good for low-budget monsters, they look fantastic by any standards. The ingenuity involved is immense.
"Pyramids of Mars" had smoking footsteps and strangulations and Scarman's reverse-playback bullet-wound healing. (There was no reverse-playback on videotape in those days, so the producers had to borrow a video disc machine from the BBC's sports department.)
The face falling off the android Sarah Jane in "The Android Invasion". Not only is the effect one of the all-time behind the sofa moments, some very clever construction is used to make the servos look like they go right to the back of the head, and the eyeballs are mounted on stiff springs that twitch in a way frighteningly like natural eyeball flicker movement, making it seem like the android is still thinking and studying the Doctor as it turns its head towards him.
The early CGI used for the eyes of the robots in "The Robots of Death", not to mention the beautiful death-mask-like masks they wear, and the generally really high production values of that serial. It almost looks like a 00s revival series episode.
The Gorn-tastic makeup on the human being transformed into a Dalek while begging for death in "Resurrection of the Daleks" is an interesting case - it's quite obviously done on the cheap (its cybernetic parts are represented by sequin-mesh), but its cheapness makes it a lot more organic and viscerally revolting to look at than the properly-made latex prosthetics used on later human Daleks were. It was almost certainly made at least partially out of real meat, and a small part of it throbbed pathetically to a heartbeat - again, had it been the whole mask throbbing, it would have come across as less sickly and fundamentally wrong. As it is, the scene is pure, childhood-destroyingSquick.
For all the mocking the classic series receives for its shoddy effects, nobody can deny just how awesome that opening shot of the space station in Trial of a Time Lord was. Unfortunately later spaceship shots in the same serial don't even come close that quality - the BBC just couldn't afford it.
The special effects are pretty much the only good thing about "Time and the Rani". The planet and the bubble traps in particular look incredible for their time.
The gorgeously realised alien planet in "Survival" is a definite contender as well.
March 26, 2005, teatime. "Rose", the first new episode in just under a decade has begun to air, and after just a minute or so, there's two of these: the beautifully rendered title sequence of the TARDIS travelling through the fiery time vortex and then the shot of Earth in orbit, which picks up speed as it moves toward London.
In the original Terror of the Autons, the Autons are magnificent examples of Uncanny Valley that traumatised the nation in a way that most other monsters in Who never did save the Daleks. However, the BBC did not have the budget to show the glass on the windows breaking, so they cut away from it. This is why it's Awesome in the very first revival series episode, "Rose", when they do have the budget to show the Autons breaking the glass. The almost pornographic attention paid to the effect is joyous, and a total celebration of what they can do now.
Almost any shot of a satellite or spaceship from the new series as early as "The End of the World"'s Platform One.
A man's face transforming into a gas mask in "The Empty Child". The fact that they actually managed to make something that sounds that absurd look so convincing and horrifying is incredible.
With a few exceptions, all of Series Five. The Atraxi. Starship UK. Blitz-era London. The Spitfire vs. Dalek saucer space battle. The crash of the Byzantium. All of them are rendered so gorgeously that it would be hard to convince someone that all of these are from a TV series, and one that used to be mocked for cheesy effects at that.
"Vincent and the Doctor", the stargazing scene. The Doctor, Amy, and Vincent Van Gogh look up at the night sky, and it transforms into The Starry Night. Absolutely beautiful.
The Teller in "Time Heist" is primarily a suit instead of CGI and benefits greatly for it, especially when it curls its eyestalks towards each other which had to be tricky for the BBC effects people to figure out.
Every single shot of Gallifrey we've gotten in the New Series has been absolutely stunning.
The Ninth Doctor's (and by extension, the Tenth Doctor, Derek Jacobi's Master's, the Eleventh Doctor's, the War Doctor's and both of River Song's) regeneration sequence.
Wangst: Tegan was always whining and complaining about something.
These moments were very common during Russell T Davies' run on the show, with the Tenth Doctor and Rose getting the worst of it.
What an Idiot: So, Dorium, what did you think would happen when you attemped to negotiate with the Headless Monks?
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The show itself is considered family viewing, despite its dark tone of certain episodes and surprising amount of sexual innuendo and it is shown around the supper hour on a Saturday. Doctor Who is over fifty years old and neatly matches the second paragraph of this trope's description. It's very much seen as a family/children's show, but it's been violent from the very beginning. A BBC audience research survey conducted in 1972 found that Doctor Who was the most violent show it produced at the time (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_who). The show was especially violent during the first few Fourth Doctor seasons, consistently getting complaints, and the show was also so violent in 1985 that it got the show cancelled for 18 months. For instance, The Brain Of Morbius (1976) featured a man getting shot in the stomach with an explosion of blood, then crawling, dying, down a corridor.
Even the first few stories could be really dark. In the first story "An Unearthly Child" the Doctor is a quite morally ambiguous figure, and there were some surprisingly violent scenes, such as a Caveman covered in blood and a cave of broken skulls. "The Edge of Destruction" uses haunted house tropes and has Susan wildly stabbing a bed with scissors.
Also a number of classic and revival stories have been rated 12 by the BBFC.
A lot of stories from the '80s, thanks to writers and producers making the show Bloodier and Gorier. Attack of the Cyberman has a 15+ rating in Australia, but it was still shown at 6 o'clock at night.
Season 22 is notorious for this, showing someone having their hands crushed and showing several people being stabbed to death. This is lampshaded in "Vengeance on Varos".
Pretty much every time they've shown up, there's some sort of political tie-in that can be debated with the Silurians. The old-series seemed to have a more Soviet/Communist slant to the reptilians, while the modern re-imagining almost mirrors conflicts between native peoples of a land and those who would come to settle on it.
The McCoy era has had several examples of this, some confirmed, some jossed. Word of God has specifically denied fan theories that the red, blue and yellow Kangs were a reference to the colours of the UK's three major political parties at the time.
The Twelfth Doctor's "Independently angry eyebrows" may be a jab at the Scottish independence movement. Clara's mouth wanting to "go solo" might be taken as a second comment in that direction. Bits of one's face running off elsewhere is rather problematic.
What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The Mark of the Rani. summary So... the Rani is using weird brain insects to extract chemicals from homoerotic miners which drives them mad and makes them want to smash things, while the Master stands about in a field dressed as a scarecrow FOR NO REASON just on the off chance the Doctor shows up (how long was he in that field?) and then teams up with the Rani for future universe-domination and kill the Doctor using mines that turn people into trees. Peri is nearly turned into a tree, but as she's needed for fanservice, she is saved from this Fate Worse Than Death by someone who's already been turned into a tree. And then the Master gets kicked in the nuts by the Rani for being a git, and the two of them get crushed by a T-Rex that's just... there for some reason, and sent off on an enforced intergalactic road trip. WHAT. THE. HELL.
The 2005 reboot was a resounding triumph for the Britain's biggest sci-fi hero following the series' ignominious death back in 1989 and the failed pilot on Fox.
Following "Kill the Moon" proving to be incredibly polarising, Base Breaking and poorly received with a large portion of the audience. "Mummy on the Orient Express" has been received with near universal admiration. To the point multiple fans have outright referenced this trope when talking about it.
Nicholas Parsons' casting as Reverend Wainwright in The Curse of Fenric might appear to be an example of this at first glance, given that he was best known for being a quiz show host at the time of the story's airing. In reality Parsons was actually a pretty experienced actor, although he hadn't done any TV acting work for over a decade when the story was made. (The director wasn't aware of this prior to recording of the story, but when he noticed Parsons could actually act a number of scenes were hastily rewritten to give his character more development.)
Beryl Reid as Captain Briggs in Earthshock. This was due to producer John Nathan Turner's love for light entertainment.
Nathan-Turner's era as producer in general has been strongly criticised by many fans for Stunt Casting without much consideration as to whether the celebrity guest was actually suited to the role. The Russell T. Davies era, on the other hand, was noticeable for its intelligent casting of celebrity guests in roles that were suited to them, with celebrities who weren't really actors reserved for walk-on roles or cameos as themselves. Although not all their celebrity cameos exactly made sense.