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Difficult to Follow?

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Exterminate
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« on: August 28, 2013, 11:27:28 am »

This story has been accused over the years of being a bit awkward to follow, something which I tend to agree with. Now I've seen it a few times I am up to speed, but the first time I watched it I had no idea what the hell was going on. The plot is complex and very well written, but it does get confusing at times. Is it only me? And do you think that might hinder peoples opinion of it?
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 12:24:08 pm »

I've watched it once (a little while back when it popped up on my on demand) & I found it hard to follow so it's not just you. Going to see if it's still there so I can see if it makes more sense a second time (& also to try & join in with the discussion on this story!)
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 01:04:18 pm »

Oh that would be cool. You should do it Smiley All the parts are posted upthread if you can't find it, though.

I admit, between first and second watch I had to go online and read a synopsis in order to get a better grasp on it. Usually I get confused when a story doesn't make sense. This one does, it's just hard to follow.
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 09:32:47 pm »

It did take me a couple of watches to get the hang of it, but I don't think it's any worse for that.  The word tossed around a lot in the extras is "expressionist" - ie it's more about the mood and atmosphere than a linear story, although the ideas are strong too.

Apparently, it was originally written as a four-parter and had to be cut down to three parts, so some connections got lost.  I'd say that essentially it's about life/change/evolution versus sterility/definition/death.
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 11:17:00 pm »

See I wondered if that had happened - I've seen other things where some things got lost in the edit & the result is a bit of a head scratcher that requires a few viewings to really get everything straight. I actually did check after I watched it that all the eps were there (wouldn't have been the first time my on demand had dropped an ep).
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 10:50:15 am »

I think it's just a bit like one of Moff's overly timey wimey stories. It does make sense, but sometimes it just takes a little longer to wrap your head around it. Even the cast said on the extras that they had trouble making sense of it all, so I think it stumped a lot of people initially.
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 10:51:36 am »

Apparently, it was originally written as a four-parter and had to be cut down to three parts, so some connections got lost.  I'd say that essentially it's about life/change/evolution versus sterility/definition/death.

I've never heard this one before. Off the top of my head I can only think of them ever doing that with Planet of Giants. That one was filmed and then trimmed, rather than reworked before shooting. Do you know if this one was the same?
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2013, 11:03:52 am »

I think it's just a bit like one of Moff's overly timey wimey stories. It does make sense, but sometimes it just takes a little longer to wrap your head around it. Even the cast said on the extras that they had trouble making sense of it all, so I think it stumped a lot of people initially.

Bizarrely I never have trouble with Moff's stuff - maybe because I grew up watching stuff he wrote. Or maybe I was just not 100% when I watched GL.
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 11:11:45 am »

Well generally I don't find his stuff confusing either, but I used him as an example because that is one criticism I've often seen thrown his way. I think Moffs problem a lot of the time is that people actually can keep up with it and as a result the plot holes become more evident. This story wasn't lined with plot issues, it was just plain confusing Grin
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 07:10:10 pm »

Apparently, it was originally written as a four-parter and had to be cut down to three parts, so some connections got lost.  I'd say that essentially it's about life/change/evolution versus sterility/definition/death.

I've never heard this one before. Off the top of my head I can only think of them ever doing that with Planet of Giants. That one was filmed and then trimmed, rather than reworked before shooting. Do you know if this one was the same?

They talk about that somewhere on the extras, but I haven't watched them for a while.  I think it was written as a final four-part script, then cut, but it could have been cut down after filming.
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 08:49:27 pm »

I should add that this is typical of the style of Marc Platt. I have no doubt that Platt is one of the most gifted writers to work on Who. If you have a chance to catch his Big Finish stories, they really are sublime. As was stated in another thread, this was originally Lungbarrow, the story about the origin of the Doctor which Cartmell and JNT had been working on as the climax to (what everyone believed) would be the last season of Doctor Who. Then, JNT had a meeting and was given the impression that there might be another series.. so they redrafted it to make it a story about Ace instead. I think, therefore, that by going through so many re-writes, the essence of the story become changed. It became more of a fable, viewing the Doctor through the prism of Ace and (as Nyki says) reflecting on  the nature of life, death and belonging. It's not an episode that is easy to watch and, I think even the most die hard of Platt fans (of which I count myself one) accept that its difficult to follow..

But actually, thats part of what makes it such a great story Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 11:14:43 pm »

I think it's very difficult to follow and though I'm more clued up with it now I've seen it lots it's still one I'll only put on if I've got a clear head and I know I'm going to give it full attention
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2013, 11:25:53 am »

I was just saying about this in the rating thread. I've seen it once and I had no idea what was happening. I will keep at it, but I had to go and read about it afterwards to try and make sense of some parts. Hopefully now, the next time I watch it it will be a bit clearer.
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2013, 07:36:41 pm »

Very difficult to follow, I thought. I've seen it twice now and it's still no clearer. Maybe I'll do as others have said and read a synopsis for it.
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« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2013, 11:05:05 am »

It definitely takes a couple of episodes to wrap your head around but it's worth it once it is done because the story is actually really good.
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