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Too Dark?

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Exterminate
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« on: February 28, 2012, 01:49:59 pm »

One of the arguments put forwards in the debate about canceling the show was that it had become too dark, with this story singled out as a prime example, but what do you think? Was the show too dark, just dark enough and not dark at all? Did it justify a reason for cancelling the show? What are your thoughts?

I think this show is dark, but it's dark in a good way. It wasn't disturbing but it didn't go easy on the audience either. Maybe it was a bit much for a young audience, but I don't think it was any worse than some of the things that had come before it. I think that at the time people had their pitchforks at the ready for the show and were happy to use any reason to take a swipe at it, and this story gave them a new angle to use. The season was darker overall, but not so dark that it was unwatchable by a younger audience. They'd have been just as quick to moan if it had been dumbed down, I'm sure.
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 08:05:35 pm »

I think this was, actually, a really far sighted piece of writing. Too me it shows the dangers inherent in reality TV. This was a good few years before we saw some of the freak shows that grace our screens now. It was a fairly brutal satire but I liked it. I was 12 at the time I first saw this and it did - even at those tender years get me thinking about what passes for entertainment.
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« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 01:28:02 pm »

I don't remember watching this when it was first broadcast, though I likely did. It's hard to say now whether or not it is too dark because I think when it comes to TV in this day and age the audience, even the younger ones, are far more desensitised to it all. This story has some dark themes running through it but I wouldn't say it was any darker than some of the stories we get now. I think in the mid 80s it may have seemed a bit more shocking as teatime family viewing that it appears to be now but using it as a reason for ending the show seems a bit harsh. There were plenty of stories that came before it that were equally, if not more dark.
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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 08:04:01 pm »

I think for the time it probably was quite dark, but I don't think there is anything wrong with that. People will watch what they are going to watch and the ones who were already fans of the show will know to an extent what to expect. I wouldn't have had an issue with a kid watching it. There is nothing horrific or potentially damaging in it's content and I think that youngsters are often too shielded to things. Doctor Who has often gone up to 'the line', but it knows to stay on the right side of it. It may have been darker but it was still family friendly imo.
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« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 11:17:29 pm »

I think it's the acid thing that takes this story close to the line. I remember reading that there were a lot of complaints because it looked like the Doctor pushed them in. I found that there were a lot of lighter moments and humourous parts in this that balanced out the darker bits. I don't think there was anything 'too dark' though.
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 06:58:02 pm »

I like a story that's a bit dark, a bit gritty. I thought they did a great job here of getting that out of the story and translating it to the screen. A lot of stories fall a bit flat when they try to be dark or creepy or scary (Night Terrors is a recent example) but it really worked in this story. I don't think it was too dark, at all.
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 09:59:18 pm »

No, I don't think it was too dark - I think the problem was that for some years Mary Whitehouse had been pushing the belief that it was aimed at young children - she was constantly complaining it was unsuitable for a child of five or six.  If that had been true, this probably would have been too much, but of course it wasn't.

With the acid bath, I don't think it was wrong to have it - my only problem with it is the fact the Doctor seems unconcerned or even pleased that two men have just died horribly.  That feels wrong.
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2012, 01:28:25 pm »

See, I thought the Doctor might have actually pushed them in. It was a bit of an odd angle and his reaction to it made the whole thing seem a bit more ambiguous.
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2012, 07:20:50 pm »

I thought it was just the right level of dark. I can understand why the stuff with the acid might have been seen as pushing it, but it's more the thought of it that's close to the line as apposed to what we actually see. There have been stories that are far scarier than this one that haven't recieved the same level of debate.
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2012, 03:18:05 pm »

I can't say I've ever watched this and thought 'wow, that's dark', or whatever. I never realised that others thought so either. As others have said I think perhaps the debate would have made more sense at the time but these days I really don't think there is anything in it.
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2012, 02:24:05 am »

With the acid bath, I don't think it was wrong to have it - my only problem with it is the fact the Doctor seems unconcerned or even pleased that two men have just died horribly.  That feels wrong.

It was this I think that made the whole thing feel darker. It's the Doctor we rely on to be moral and concerned. He's had to kill or cause the death of many people and things in the past but he's never (as far as I can remember) seemed quite so proud of it before. Even though he didn't cause their deaths this time, his reaction to it I think was particularly dark and unfeeling
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