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Doctor Who Marathon on BBCAmerica-HD

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Surprised no one has mentioned the Doctor Who Marathon running now on BBCAmHD. It started at midnight (eastern time) Friday and concludes tomorrow night at ten PM. This is a great chance to catch up on the series as they seem to be running all the HD episodes beginning with the 2006 UK season, ending with parts 1 and 2 of the "End of Time".

This is about 46 hours including ads, and unfortunately won't fit on the SA DVR. I suspect we'll be watching in quasi-real time, and saving the overnight episodes for the next day.

Mike
post #2 of 33
Can you actually get this channel (BBCAHD)?

It seems as if only 25 people in the whole of the US can get the channel.

Also, I think Doctor Who only went HD in 2009 with "Planet of the Dead".
post #3 of 33
I think most, if not all, of the regular series episodes of Dr. Who (well, the recent revival series) were shot in widescreen 576i PAL and are being shown upconverted from the widescreen PAL format. Not HD, but should be decent picture quality on the HD channel. Well, for those few who actually get the BBC HD channel. Verizon Fios in it's infinite wisdom has not added BBC America HD yet.
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_man View Post

Can you actually get this channel (BBCAHD)?

It seems as if only 25 people in the whole of the US can get the channel.

Also, I think Doctor Who only went HD in 2009 with "Planet of the Dead".

It's been on TWC here in SC on most headends for the last month or two. We also have a SD BBC-America on-demand channel with recent episodes...

A while back there were a couple of threads covering the way The Doc has been produced over the recent past (tied in with same discussion about Torchwood, the Dr. Who spin-off). ISTR that Sneals had a lot of good G2 on the capture and edit technology.

In any case the show has terrific production values, excellent casting, compelling story lines... upconverted or not it's a great treat to be watching today.

Mike

PS: and the PQ is very very good!
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori84 View Post

PS: and the PQ is very very good!

Not on the standard channel. The 1.85 image is stretched. Unwatchable.
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Clemons View Post

Not on the standard channel. The 1.85 image is stretched. Unwatchable.

BBC-A SD doesn't stretch their content. Doctor Who is presented straight up letterboxed. The image quality is pretty bad mind you, but it's OAR.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Clemons View Post

Not on the standard channel. The 1.85 image is stretched. Unwatchable.

Yeah, if you are watching it "stretched" to 1.85 on the SD channel, then either your TV or your cable/satellite box is in the wrong mode and stretching it.
post #8 of 33
I had never watched Doctor Who on BBCA before yesterday, but wow, the hack job they do editing it for America is awful. The addition of commercials, but on top of that the bumper they play before going to commercial...just takes me right out of it. Im glad I know how to acquire these shows to watch them how they are meant to be seen. Why cant we just get the real BBC over here? BBC Radio is available over satellite here, what is stopping BBC television?
post #9 of 33
I could do without the "bump" as well... but SyFy broke it up for commercials as well... so only way to get the shows without commercials are to buy the DVDs (soon Blu rays) or alternative methods.

I prefer to buy them.

As for BBC in America... Firstly, the BBC would have to want to do it... secondly, they would have to come up with a way around the UK laws... BBC content on official Web sites in the UK are often IP restricted so you can't view the clips outside of the UK. And last, but not least... there's no assurance that getting BBC in the US wouldn't end up with commercials as well to help pay the bills since we wouldn't be paying those TV-taxes to the UK help fund the channel.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ENDContra View Post

The addition of commercials, but on top of that the bumper they play before going to commercial...just takes me right out of it.

If by "bumper" you mean the 3 second Doctor Who ident then that is quite standard for "commercial" channels in GB. When the "commercial" (not the BBC) channels were set up, in the 1950s/60s, they HAD to differentiate between programs and commercials so they had a 3-5 second ident BEFORE and AFTER the commercials. This was so that the viewers would know when the program stopped and the commercials began, and vice versa. I have noticed that over here (in the USA) there is no such differentiation and the only way you know commercials have started is that they are 10 times as loud as the program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ENDContra View Post

Why cant we just get the real BBC over here? BBC Radio is available over satellite here, what is stopping BBC television?

What BBC Radio stations are available on satellite?

The BBC is totally funded by the TV License and is a non-profit organisation in Britain. It has as subsidiary "for profit" company called "BBC Worldwide" which sells BBC stuff to other countries, including the US, and any profits they make are passed back to the original BBC.

If someone, here in the USA, wanted to show the original output of the BBC television channels they would have to buy/rent/lease the rights to show that output. They would have to set up all the infra-structure for the channel, like TNT or TBS etc. Then they would have to get the cable co's and D* and E* and FIOS to include the channel. After all that they would have to make a profit somehow!

Neither the BBC (in Britain) nor BBC Worldwide want that headache
post #11 of 33
It says alot about the overall lack of quality UK programming on BBC America that I've come across many comments on various forums about "getting BBC in the US."

BBC America should be the BBC in the United States, but instead has been turned into a channel that airs a few semi-current UK reality shows, many repeats of older UK reality shows, and one typically sci-fi program on any given week in primetime. And in the age of being able to quickly watch worldwide programming online after initial broadcast (in very high quality), BBC America would stand a better chance of getting viewers if they focused on airing quality UK shows (that means comedies, dramas and reality shows) in a timely manner.

Being Human S2 starts in the UK next Sunday, but so far BBC America has no information on when it will air in the US. Last year, Robin Hood S3 started in April in the UK, but it didn't start on BBC America until September. I watched Demons, which premieres tonight, online in early 2009. BBC America isn't premiering Survivors S1 until February 2010 -- I watched it online in late 2008!

For me, the bottom line is that if I learn that a new season of a show is premiering in the UK and I don't see any news that BBC America has immediate plans to air it, I will either watch online or buy the DVDs from Amazon UK instead of waiting 6-12 months or more until BBC America gets around to airing it.
post #12 of 33
This Doctor Who thing has a somewhat unfortunate Canadian angle...... as many of you know, CBC co-produced the first 3 seasons of the DW (modern era) but has bowed out of this financial arrangement -- and with it any airings in HD (much delayed) on the CBC network.

In the past year, Space TV, a Toronto-based national cable TV network, owned by the CTV networks, has picked up the rest of the series. It has been playing major catch-up, airing all the special episodes in 2009 (and those in 2007 and 2008 that the CBC didn't air) that many Canadians have missed on "free" TV.

Today, Space is running a Doctor Who marathon on its own, concluding with the 2 new episodes of "The End of Time". Letterboxed, but no HD. So we've lost a little bit of PQ, but the series is no longer delayed in Canada.
post #13 of 33
Not what I was hoping for in a finale. I have my reservations about the next guy, buy I guess I always do. Funny to see Timothy Dalton. Wonder if he was a fan.
post #14 of 33
I was kind of disappointed Dalton didn't have a bigger role. I mean, his character was a big character... but he didn't have as much interaction with the Doctor as I would have liked.
post #15 of 33
I'm glad they ran this marathon. I've seen all the regular episodes (most more than once). But I hadn't seen Waters of Mars or End of Time yet. So they all went on my Tivo today. I'll watch them tomorrow. Can't wait.
post #16 of 33
I watched the David Tennant special that aired before the finale, and thought that was a nice tribute to his time as the Doctor.

As for the finale itself, for me it was a mixture. It pulled one of the DH convenient plot devices like they did with the Daleks. The Daleks are all wiped out....oops, no here they are again.

The Doctor is the only remaining Time Lord because everyone else was killed in the war...oops, no they were hiding in the space between reality and the netherworld.

Still, it was a great touch having him visit his old traveling companions before he transformed.

As for the new Doctor, I actually didn't like David Tennant when he first appeared as the Doctor, but after a while thought he was one of the best. I'll give the new guy a free pass for the moment.

I sure would have liked to have seen this in HD. Maybe next year now that the DirecTV 12 satellite has launched, BBCHD is hopefully added to the lineup.
post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 
Just finished watching the shows that had piled up on the DVR over two nights and I am wiped out. It was a real roller coaster ride: mostly enjoyable, with a few dull moments, and a fair number of unexpected turns. I won't spoil anything for those of you who have not seen them, but the last three in particular (Waters of Mars, and End of Time 2 parter) were beautifully produced, shot, and edited. The special effects approached motion picture quality. Yeah, the storylines seemed to have been adjusted to fit certain plot scenarios, but then time travel almost always creates some paradoxes!

I found the HD episodes "just noticably better" in PQ than the up-converted earlier ones, which disappointed me a bit. But then the "SD" ones were native 16:9 and presumably converted from component video 576i masters (ie not PAL or NTSC encoded) so they looked great and ran rings around most 480i SD material.

Thank you BBCAmerica for running this marathon! My wife is now hooked on The Doctor too and we are both looking forward to new episodes with the "new" Doctor.

Mike
post #18 of 33
I haven't been watching Dr. Who recently. Who was the woman at the book signing? Or more importantly, who is the woman that the book was about?
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hooked01 View Post

I haven't been watching Dr. Who recently. Who was the woman at the book signing? Or more importantly, who is the woman that the book was about?

We could tell you but it'd a bit of a spoiler if you haven't seen the entire series. I do believe the quick answer was addressed in the 1/2 special that aired before the finale.

The real question is who was the "ghost" woman, that was warning Gramps Noble ... Lady Romanna perhaps? I'm a bit rusty on my "classic Who" history and what ultimately happened to her.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hooked01 View Post

I haven't been watching Dr. Who recently. Who was the woman at the book signing? Or more importantly, who is the woman that the book was about?

The great-granddaughter of Joan Redfern, who fell in love with the Doctor's human alter-ego "John Smith" in Series 3.
Quote:


The real question is who was the "ghost" woman, that was warning Gramps Noble ... Lady Romanna perhaps? I'm a bit rusty on my "classic Who" history and what ultimately happened to her.

That remains a mystery.
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_man View Post

What BBC Radio stations are available on satellite?

BBC Radio 1 is on XM Radio and Sirius. As is BBC World Service.

http://www.xmradio.com/bbcworldservice

http://www.sirius.com/bbcworldservice

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

The real question is who was the "ghost" woman, that was warning Gramps Noble ... Lady Romanna perhaps? I'm a bit rusty on my "classic Who" history and what ultimately happened to her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarenceR View Post

That remains a mystery.

That would be the Doctor's mother.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDawg View Post

That would be the Doctor's mother.

Yeah that would have been my first or second choice ... or The Doc's granddaughter. Of course, the other nay-to-end-of-time-voter could be one of the other choices as well.
post #23 of 33
If she was the mother... who was the father?

Did that timelord "president" had to spit to much when he talked? LOL
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ENDContra View Post

Why cant we just get the real BBC over here? BBC Radio is available over satellite here, what is stopping BBC television?

I wish we could. If there was a subscription BBC channel that showed its dramas and news programming uninterrupted, unedited, commercial-free and in HD, that's something I would be very willing to pay for.

There are some BBC shows acquired by channels willing to do it right. Quite a bit of BBC material is shown by PBS (including the new Masterpiece contemporary stuff, which has had some quite good movies). The first two seasons of Torchwood were shown by HDNet, which ran them uncut and unedited, and they looked glorious. Somebody (was it AMC?) ran some seasons of Hustle, which they did break up for commercials, but they ran them in 75 minute time slots so they didn't have to edit, and left the content alone.

Other BBC shows -- not so lucky. Spooks (renamed "MI-5" by some idiots at A&E) is a totally different experience when you aren't missing the 15 minutes chopped from it. And BBC America, which I don't yet get in HD, with its icky standard def and huge bug and cutting down episodes -- yuck. Not to mention all the stuff you can't get at all, or get a year behind. I don't even bother.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrLar View Post

If she was the mother... who was the father

There were two timelords who voted against "the plan"... and both were up front covering their eyes... One man, and one woman... and only the woman actually looked up. So not only do we not know 100% for sure who the woman was... we didn't even get to see the man's face.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrLar View Post

Did that timelord "president" had to spit to much when he talked? LOL

That was Timothy (James Bond) Dalton, BTW. A pleasant surprise to see him on the show.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

There were two timelords who voted against "the plan"... and both were up front covering their eyes... One man, and one woman... and only the woman actually looked up. So not only do we not know 100% for sure who the woman was... we didn't even get to see the man's face.

Yeah we do know who the woman was, she was the Doctor's mother. Same person as the lady in the TV in part 1.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDawg View Post

Yeah we do know who the woman was, she was the Doctor's mother. Same person as the lady in the TV in part 1.

We only "know" because of internet discussions. They didn't say who she was in the actual show, so that's why I'm hedging.

I think if they wanted us to know for certain, they'd have had her say something much more specific or better, had the Doctor say something specific.
post #29 of 33
Russel T. Davies made it clear in the podcast for The End of Time Part 2 that the identity of the woman is up to the wants of each fan. In other words, there is no right answer, or if there is one, it will be revealed later by another writer.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwrmetal View Post

Russel T. Davies made it clear in the podcast for The End of Time Part 2 that the identity of the woman is up to the wants of each fan. In other words, there is no right answer, or if there is one, it will be revealed later by another writer.

That was kind of my impression. Since it wasn't explicitly stated... fans can think it was the Doctor's mother, the Master's mother, Romana, or who knows who else.

They also never explained how whomever she was, was able to communicate with Wilf somehow throughout the story.
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