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RathDarkblade

Moderator
City Watch
Mar 24, 2015
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Melbourne, Victoria
#1
I just came across this Grauniad article from 2010, where STP was talking about how ludicrous Doctor Who was becoming. :) Basically, anything was possible, and the Doctor could see anything, do anything, etc. etc.

It seems that every time the writers wrote themselves into a corner, they could "handwave" it away with a nonsensical solution that sounded plausible and required some fast talking. ;)

I agree with STP here. The whole thing sounds like nonsense, and therefore, it's not science fiction (because science fiction must be at least somewhat plausible). It's pure fantasy, a genre with which STP was surely entirely familiar.

What do you think? Has the good Doctor become worse or better since then? :)
 

RathDarkblade

Moderator
City Watch
Mar 24, 2015
13,527
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Melbourne, Victoria
#4
True. It's the script writer's "get out of jail free" card. :) It's almost as bad as the following:

- "It was all a dream"
- "The dog ate my homework"
- "A big, big really big guy dun it and ran away"
- "A wizard did it and teleported away"

... and so on. ;)

Ye olde deus ex machina. It's as old as ancient Greek plays. IIRC, Euripides (author of Medea and other masterpieces) railed against other playwrights using this trope - it was getting old even in his day, and he passed away in 406 BC. *L* His works are well-noted for realistic situation, gritty dialogue, and fine lyrics. (So basically, he wrote the NYPD Blue of his day). ;)

Personally, I don't mind a bit of magic either - but as you say, Tony, it has to make sense. :)
 

RathDarkblade

Moderator
City Watch
Mar 24, 2015
13,527
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46
Melbourne, Victoria
#6
Asimov and Heinlein too. :) It's just a shame that Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" became such a "pew-pew-pew!" movie when Hollywood got their hands on it. Boo, Hollywood. ;)

I can't recall the name of the story right now, but Asimov wrote the only "locked-room murder mystery in outer space" I ever read. Very fine mystery, too.
 

Tonyblack

Super Moderator
City Watch
Jul 25, 2008
30,543
3,650
Cardiff, Wales
#7
The film of Starship Troopers is indeed different from the book - the book is very much written as a propaganda piece. However, I think the film captures so of that. I love some of those olde times stories books. Ray Bradbury is another name I'd admit to a s being a great writer that had a different film version to his books. I'd also like to nominate Philip K Dick for such great film adaptions that had little to do with the film. His book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, became the SciFi classic "Blade Runner.
 

RathDarkblade

Moderator
City Watch
Mar 24, 2015
13,527
3,400
46
Melbourne, Victoria
#9
True. I disliked Harry Potter for another reason: every time someone was embarrassed or angry etc., they "went red". Harry went red. Hermione went red. So-and-so went red.

What are they all, giant Communist ginger tomatoes? ;) Rowling, please find another way to say that. If you're embarrassed, you blush -- or shuffle your feet -- or look down -- or feel hot and prickly. :) If you're angry, you clench your fists, grind your teeth, stamp your foot, or growl.

I got through the first two HP books, but they weren't for me. I've read far too much Asimov and Fritz Leiber and Ursula LeGuin and STP. Once you read good fantasy, you start recognising not-so-good fantasy. ;)

I always loved how Rincewind, for instance, always tried using that "get-out-of-jail-free" card by waving his hands ...................... and nothing happens ... ;) or if something does happen, it's not due to him. (The wizards of UU get around this card in a different way: they just don't do magic unless they really, really have to).
 

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