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May 20 2005

(SPOILER) Doctor Who's Russell T Davies greatly influenced by BtVS. Creator Russell gladly acknowledges that Whedon's sharp, playful, but also dramatically-deep writing style had great influence on him with regards to Dr. Who.

“[Buffy the Vampire Slayer] showed the whole world, and an entire sprawling industry, that writing monsters and demons and end-of-the world isn’t hack-work, it can challenge the best. Joss Whedon raised the bar for every writer—not just genre/niche writers, but every single one of us.”

Quote towards the end of article.

Casting spoiler for rest of DW's season

Russel really can't compare to Joss though, I've enjoyed all the episodes so far, but it's the episodes he didn't write that have been the really good ones, and the ones that have come closest to mimicking Joss' style. That's not to say Russel isn't good, he just isn't Joss. You'd never have had farting monsters in Buffy and Angel.

I'd really love to see a Joss write an episode of Doctor Who, that would be, to quote the 9th Doctor, "Fantastic!".

[ edited by Ghost Spike on 2005-05-20 17:35 ]
We've got a few threads in the Flickr annex about Doctor Who if there are any other lurking Who fans.
Ghost Spike is right, Russel can't hold a candle to Joss, but I can see the attempt and it's good to hear the acknoledgement.

Buffy fans in serious withdrawal might find some release in the new Doctor Who series, if they can use their imagination and enjoy the little adventures. The budget seems to be a fraction of Buffy's though, so don't expect any grand scifi effects, "Who" is always about the story.

Hmmm, now if only the Doctor could meet Buffy... pictures the TARDIS materializing in a graveyard... Buffy: Giles, was there always a porta-potty in this cemetary? Willow: Buffy I don't think that's a porta-potty, I mean what's with the blinking light on top? Giles: Oh my, it's a call box! In California? How odd...

Sorry, just had some silliness to get out of my system... :-)

[ edited by TaraLivesOn on 2005-05-20 18:23 ]
"You'd never have had farting monsters in Buffy and Angel."

We had shark man, though.
I being Swedish I have never really seen any Dr. Who. Well, I saw half an Episode in Astria once. My German language skills are crap so I did not understand a single thing.

Is tehre ANY chance of Dr. Who showing up in the US some how??
We HAVE had a farting monster. Wesley and Gunn were chasing a a monster through the sewers that they thought 'breathed' flames. They discovered the flames came from an entirely different place...

And I saw one episode of the new series with a gas monster who lived in the pipes, and their SFX was quite cool.

I don't know what it is with Dr Who, the episodes run the same tme as Buffy and Angel but seem way short. The Doctor arrives, discovers the monster, minor setback, defeats the monster, episode over. Many Buffy episodes seemed like movies.

[ edited by zz9 on 2005-05-20 19:02 ]
You'd never have had farting monsters in Buffy and Angel.

Oh yeah? Who can forget Ben Edlund's pee-pee demon?!
Last week's episode has the emotional intensity of IWRY. It was that good. I love the new series, it's my Buffy substitute at the moment. The Doctor and Rose 4 EVA!!!!!!
If you want to compare Russell's writing to Joss you should have a look at his teleplay "The Second Coming", where he is not under the same restrictions as when he is writing "Dr Who". This deals with an actual second coming of Christ, rather than someone who falsely believes he is the second coming. It brilliantly and fearlessly follows the logic of its premise to the bitter end.

Don't expect to see this on US television anytime soon.

Some reviews are available ; here and here.

The DVD is available from

It is rumoured that Russell came along to a UK Buffy con, as a paying attendee, to try to meet Joss. If so I hope he succceeded.
RTD is definitely not inspired by the quality of the BTVS writing. So far out of all the writers on the show, RTD scripts have been the worst. Minus the episode called The End of the World.

The other writers have been great on that show. RTD needs to take a back seat and run things. Let the others write.

[ edited by DarenG on 2005-05-20 20:50 ]
You guys should see Tom Baker episodes of Who, especially "The Creature in the Pit." You may suspect that the Whedon style of sci-fi may be older than you think
I think the period Joss was at school in the UK coincided with Douglas Adams' stint on "Dr Who" as script editor. Joss has his own, hugely original genius, but I wonder whether the mix of humour, adventure and horror owes a little to what he saw of the good Doctor.
I definitely can see the Touch of Joss in the new Doctor Who series... which is ironic, because I was always conviced I was seeing nods to Doctor Who in Buffy in the early days. I'm fair sure I was seeing things in those days, though.

RTD has had the weakest of the stories, I do agree, but only insomuch as he wrote what I felt were the two weakest episodes: "Rose" and "The Long Game." I personally loved "End of the World" and the two parter "Aliens of London"/"World War III."

My favorites by far have been "Dalek" and "Father's Day." Very strong stuff.
Well, BBC America better do the right thing, and bring Who to the States. It would almost make up for taking "Trailer Park Boys" off their schedule.
impalergeneral: the 'vanilla' DVDs are out at the minute but there is a boxset with extras etc (vastly overpriced in my opinion 70 pounds rrp) out here in November. So it might be worthwhile investing in a multi-region DVD player, as it may be a while before BBC America gets the show.

And I've been informed via email that it's Davies and not Davis so I've amended the subject line.
Ghost Spike said:
Russel really can't compare to Joss though.

TaraLivesOn added:
Russel can't hold a candle to Joss, but I can see the attempt and it's good to hear the acknoledgement.

I dunno guys, have you seen the original British Queer As Folk mini-series and/or Bob & Rose? I would stand Russel T. Davies' talents beside Joss's without thinking twice, based on those works. His original creations, not him messing around in someone else's playground. It's like if you judged Joss if he ever got to do a Star Trek series, solely on his work within that franchise, but if he was restrained by Berman & Braga and/or Paramount execs. It wouldn't be a fair assessment.

I haven't seen the new Dr. Who and I actively avoided the original incarnations, so I have no idea how Davies' latest work stacks up.

technovamp brought up The Second Coming, Davies' third major creator-controlled mini-series that I've been meaning to check out. I hear it's excellent as well.

[ edited by Kris on 2005-05-21 04:45 ]
Loving the new Who, just wish I didn't have to obtain it through clandestine means. I'm with Simon on this one.
I found Doctor Who incredibly overrated. It is essentially a children's show which a lot of adults have nostalgia for, but it receives so much media attention and a lot of people talk about it, when in my opinion there are much more deserving candidates such as Buffy. Yes, it is quite good for a children's show but that's really all it is.

I thought the "Dalek" episode was the best of the new series, but I still think it will never be as good as Buffy or Angel or Firefly.
In answer to technovamp's comments about RTD attenting a Buffy con years ago, well that's absolutly correct.Years ago SFX did a short interview with him at that con, where he stated that he was a massive fan of all this Buffy and Joss's writing. He also went on to to say that he was a HUGE Spike fan.

Pity there's no way of 'crowbaring' James in for a 'villien of the week' spot. I think he'd be wonderful!

I agree Russells no Joss, but he's the nearest thing we've got to whedon in this counrty, and whilst the kind of things he's brought to the new Dr. Who series may be 'old hat' to 'Jossverse' fans, it's certainly been a breath of fresh air to this old show.
Razor, you really need to see some of the stuff that Moffat wrote. 'Blink' was one of the single-handedly most terrifying telivision episode in history, and I have professional reviews to back me up on that. You never see the monsters, and that makes it all the more frightening. Moffat is taking over the show as of 2010, so expect it to get even better.
I would not compare RTD at his best to Joss at his best,but they definately share some of the same writing qualities, but most of my favorite DW episodes, RTD had no part in, and almost all my favorite Joss show episodes were writen by Whedon.

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