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Steven Taylor in The Celestial Toymaker

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« on: January 13, 2013, 12:04:32 pm »


Steven Taylor was a former spaceship pilot turned companion of the First Doctor.

While a prisoner, during the events of The Chase, Steven built a wooden construction rather like a climbing frame to keep himself active. It let him climb up to the roof for fresh air. It was here, in his room in the Mechanoid City, that Steven met the Doctor and his companions, and soon after the Daleks. Upon seeing them, he asked, "Who won the war?" and introduced himself as, "Steven Taylor, Flight Red Fifty". Steven helped the others escape from the city, though he returned to retrieve HiFi. Steven fell from a great height when the Daleks destroyed the Mechanoid City. Luckily, he stumbled through the jungle and found the Doctor's TARDIS. Steven stumbled into it as the Doctor and Vicki were saying goodbye to their former companions, Ian and Barbara. Before the Doctor and Vicki returned to the TARDIS, Steven passed out in a dead faint. When Steven recovered, he discovered that the TARDIS had re-materialised in England, in 1066, and so began his travels with the Doctor.

Steven was often at loggerheads with the Doctor, finding him destructive and uncaring when lives were lost. When the travellers arrived in Paris, in 1572, Steven was disgusted by the Doctor's abandonment of his Huguenot friends and decided to leave the Doctors company when the TARDIS returned them to London in 1966, though he later decided to stay. Eventually, the experiences that Steven had on his travels led him to decide to use his skills and training to help rebuild a civilisation. When Chal invited him to help the Elders and the Savages live together, he decided to accept the challenge, and left the TARDIS.
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 05:46:49 pm »

Steven seemed to lose his rag a lot in this. He threatened violence a few times and was quite quick tempered with Dodo. It's not very representative of the character, I don't think.
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 11:16:17 am »

He gets like that a lot though, I think. It's one of the reasons I'm not so keen on the character. He never seems able to see the fun in anything and takes everything far too seriously. I suppose in a way it helped here because that atmosphere was meant to seem a lot more scary than it came across, but because it didn't quite work out that way he just seemed like a grump
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 04:34:29 pm »

Steven is cool. He's tetchy at times, but a good character. I liked him in this. And I loved his jumper.
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 08:34:35 pm »

I think with Dodo the intention was to have Steven act in a sort of older brother role and so his frustration with her is perhaps a bit more understandable.
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 09:43:10 pm »

I don't know.  Bear in mind this is only three stories after Stephen watched both Katarina and Sara horribly killed.  The emotional fall-out from that was dealt with in The Massacre of St Bartholemew's Eve, but I don't think he'd have been over it by this time, so perhaps it's not surprising he has a short temper.
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 11:23:59 am »

Nyki's point is valid, and probably correct, but given the way they have tended to gloss over these things with companions it wasn't something that I immediately thought of as a reason for his short temper. Just look at other examples. Nyssa is a good one. Her entire world was destroyed and a madman is running around in her fathers body and yet within days she was laughing and joking with Adric. Sometimes they just tend to forget what happened previously.
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 02:14:46 pm »

I've no idea about events before this so my opinion of him is based solely on this and I think he perhaps was a bit of a grump, but not unlikeable.
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 05:41:56 pm »

Nyki's point is valid, and probably correct, but given the way they have tended to gloss over these things with companions it wasn't something that I immediately thought of as a reason for his short temper. Just look at other examples. Nyssa is a good one. Her entire world was destroyed and a madman is running around in her fathers body and yet within days she was laughing and joking with Adric. Sometimes they just tend to forget what happened previously.

That's true, but I'd say the character continuity was a lot better early on (as it is on NuWho) perhaps partly because the show was on almost continuously.  Although a lot of good things came out of the JNT era, continuity wasn't a noticeable one.
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 12:04:24 am »

I'm fine with Steven's attitude/temper in this because I think it's in keeping with his character in a few stories, but I think things like this really add to the feelings of the audience. He was constantly getting frustrated and annoyed with Dodo, making her seem like an annoying child and I think that possibly may have rubbed off on the audience too.
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 12:22:26 pm »

I think the above comment makes an interesting point. It's something I've seen mentioned in regards to the audience reception to Martha based on how the Doctor treats her. It's sort of like subliminal messaging, though I don't think the intention was to write an unpopular character.

In regards to Steven though, I liked him in this. I've liked him in all the stories I have seen him in. I don't think he was coming off as aggressive, just perhaps a little touchy and as Nyki says, there's a good enough reason to justify it.
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 04:16:42 pm »

I think Steven took himself far too seriously at times and this is one of those occassions. I suppose most of it was down to him realising just how much of a threat they were under, though.
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