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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

thanks a lot, Sci Fi Channel

[potential Doctor Who spoilers, if you’ve not been following the show as it aired in the U.K.]

Thanks, Sci Fi Channel, for being such miserable spoiling fucks. Did you really, honestly, truly have to ruin the suspense at the end of “The Stolen Earth”? The episode ends with the Doctor in, you know, the throes of regeneration, and saying, “I’m regenerating.” When this aired in Britain a few weeks ago, surprising the hell out of everyone and making us sick to our stomachs for a week, the coming attractions for the next episode continued the suspense by not, you know, showing us scenes of the Doctor still played by David Tennant.

Not everyone is cheating by watching the episodes as they air in England. Did you really have to snatch away all the fun of a week’s worth of wondering what the hell was gonna happen for everyone else?

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  • Poly in London

    “Not everyone is cheating by watching the episodes as they air in England.”

    So the “cheats” are rewarded and whoever waits patiently is not. Great way to fight illegal downloads.

  • Sci-Fi spoils every show with their promos. It’s why I don’t watch ’em. Ever!

  • Christy

    You know, sometimes I feel bad bitching about Sci-Fi when really I am happy that Doctor Who gets aired in the States at all.

    Then they go and pull things like this.

    God, just let only BBC America air it in the same way they air Torchwood and be done with it.

  • +1 to the last comment. At least BBC America cares a little about the property.

    Sci-Fi used to be a good channel back it the day, but ever since it became the Stargate network with monster movies on the side, forget it.

  • joy

    Yep, I thought it was a pretty shoddy thing to do to the US viewers. Whether or not you’re cheating and watching the UK airings isn’t the point. The SciFi promo monkeys seem to be worse than The WB promo monkeys of old.

    I was one of those who freaked out for that week before the series finale – and it was the not knowing that did it.

    Of course, don’t get me started – while I’m happy that SciFi picked up the show at all, they’ve botched the hell out of the show’s branding, not to mention the US edits. The crap edits I can forgive, because I imagine it’s a hard thing to figure out what should go.

    But, honestly, SciFi marketing team, unless you conducted some ridiculous focus group somewhere, there was no call for creating a whole new brand identity when the DW branding is already iconic.

    Dummies.

  • I wondered what the hell they were showing the previews for last night. “Miserable spoiling fucks” is exactly what the people that run Sci-Fi are. Whatever happened to making people squirm wanting to know what happens next? America has such an appetite for immediate gratification that it just spoils it for everyone.

    Thank goodness The X-Files movie managed to keep everything under wraps. I was pleasantly surprised rather than spoiled by all too telling previews and too much talk about the movie ahead of time. If only Sci-Fi were like that with the Doctor Who finale.

  • Geez, everyone, thanks for talking about the “coming next week” bit at the end of the show. I deliberately don’t watch those, so that I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next episode. I really did think that the Doctor might actually regenerate. Thanks for spoiling it for me, ya miserable spoiling jerks.

    I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Just yanking your chain.

    I actually did catch that part of the broadcast and I agree… someone at the SciFi Channel needs to be taken out, dangled over the edge of a cliff by their ankle, and had the definition of a cliffhanger explained to them.

  • Joanne

    That’s just cruel and unnecessary.

  • Mo

    Well, if you wanted to look on the bright side, at least the Sci Fi channel didn’t buy up the rights and then not bother to show it because it would interfere with hockey. I figure we’ll see that episode here roughly around oh, February maybe? Moved from a fantastic Monday spot to that unpromoted Friday dead zone that already killed off Torchwood up here.

    It’s still awful though. I used to be very careful about following the Canadian schedule until last year when someone blurted out who the Face of Boe was. It’s like people and networks go out of their way to punish the patient.

  • MaryAnn

    Whether or not you’re cheating and watching the UK airings isn’t the point.

    No, of course it isn’t. I can just imagine, though, that the idiots at Sci Fi may have assumed that everyone already knows that Tennant stays on as the Doctor, either because they’re watching the British versions or because they’re reading stuff online. Assuming Sci Fi thought about this at all…

  • Assuming Sci Fi thought about this at all…

    I doubt they did. Really, the show is far enough outside the norm of American television convention that I doubt it would occur to them that their preview was bunk. How often on American TV:

    * Can a show realistically scare the audience for a week that it’s about to jettison the lead actor in a season finale? (The closest you get here are cliffhangers that don’t resolve until the fall and you already know the lead isn’t going anywhere.)

    * Does a show twice in one season hide key scenes from even critics to keep the plot secret? (Does anyone even bother to try that here?)

    * Does a show take a planned year hiatus anyway? (Probably, never.)

    And so on.

    I doubt Sci-Fi sees puts much thought into it besides what kind of ratings they can get from it, and how much they can cut out to get a commercial in.

  • Barb Gorczyca

    I noticed the lovely way Sci-Fi pretty much gave away the plot for the next eppie. Really nice – not. I really don’t get why they have to re-do the promos in the first place and tack in the lousy voiceovers into them. The orig. trailers are more than sufficient to give the public a feel of what is coming. They only positive is their supposed airing of the uncut finale next week (which I will watch).

    As for BBAC, I’ve taken then station off my listing altogether since I’m fed up with their lack of current BBC programming/pendant for block programming of the same show. Plus, their non-widescreen showing of series 2 (or was it 3) was a major put-off (this is also a standard practice they seem to use for many of the imports they bring in – most BBC shows are in widescreen).

  • Want to see some new Who? Seriously. It premiered today at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I was there!

    http://www.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=KwI-V4AdGYc&fromurl=/watch%3Fv%3DKwI-V4AdGYc

  • Sorry, that wasn’t quite the right link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwI-V4AdGYc

  • Alison

    Thanks Proper Dave – I needed that:)

  • Poly in London

    “It premiered today at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I was there!”
    Lucky you! I first heard it on the radio before I saw the clip and the audience reponse and interaction was brilliant. It worked so well, which must have been difficult since the clip was pre-recorded. I could only imagine the kids in the audience being completely thrilled. It sounded a fantastic event all the way.

  • Yes, according to The Times it was harder to get tickets for Sir Simon Rattle than it was to get into the Doctor Who Prom. There were 6,000 people there, with another 3,000 on the waiting list!

    On its own the clip might not seem that great, but in a venue packed with kids, parents, fanboys and fangirls, the interactive element of it worked brilliantly. Sheer magic, and a memory I’ll treasure till the end of my days.

  • EDIT: I meant easier to see Rattle than Who, not harder. The concert must have dazed me – that’s twice I’ve had to correct myself!

  • Mo

    “It premiered today at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I was there!” Wow, soo lucky. I was just listening to that on the radio and grinning like a five-year-old. Sounded like a blast.

    Did the Graske really attack one of the cellists with a water pistol?

  • Joanne

    Thanks, Proper Dave – I was hoping someone would put that on YouTube so those of us unable to access the BBC site would get to see it!

  • Yes, according to The Times it was harder to get tickets for Sir Simon Rattle than it was to get into the Doctor Who Prom.
    –Proper Dave

    Because, of course, all us Yanks have heard of Sir Simon Rattle…

    Thanks, Sci Fi Channel, for being such miserable spoiling fucks. Did you really, honestly, truly have to ruin the suspense at the end of “The Stolen Earth”? The episode ends with the Doctor in, you know, the throes of regeneration, and saying, “I’m regenerating.”
    –MaryAnn Johanson

    I’m beginning to be glad that my initial exposure to the new series came through the DVDs, which I’ve either bought or rented. Of course, even the BBC trailers that come up during the end credits I usually skip, precisely because I hate having the slightest hint what the next episode is about. (And let’s face it, the episodes work better that way.)

    And I have to ask: is Clayj a relative of yours, MaryAnn? I can’t help but notice that you both have the same last name. Not that that necessarily means anything. I meet many non-relatives who also have my surname but I can’t help but be curious. If it’s none of my business, feel free to tell me so.

  • Tonio: No, we’re not related, as far as I know, unless it’s way, way back. My granddad came over from Sweden (from a little town called Kil, pronounced “sheel”) in the first decade of the 1900s and went to Colorado via Kansas. I’m not related to any of the Johansons in Minnesota or any place like that. I found this site when I was very very bored at work and was Googling my name.

    The fact that MaryAnn and I have the same last name and are practically the same age and are both single is just a big coincidence. :-)

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