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Published on May 5th, 2010 | by Chris Davids

Pratchett on Who

Wildly successful fantasy author Terry Pratchett has spoken out on the subject of Doctor Who in a recent guest blog on the SFX website, describing the show as “ludicrous”.

Terry Pratchett on Doctor Who Promoting his “guest edit” of SFX #196, Pratchett – whose most recent Discworld book Unseen Academicals is hilarious – points out various failings of Doctor Who, particularly since its return in 2005.

It’s a law – well at least a guideline – in writing plays that if somebody is going to be killed with an axe in the third act, then the axe should be visible hanging on the wall in the first act, and, for the hard of thinking, should be the subject of a line of dialogue that would go something like “you shouldn’t leave that around, it could do someone a mischief.”

The unexpected, unadvertised solution which kisses it all better is known as a deus ex machina… I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would dare try to jump-start a spaceship that looks like the Titanic by diving it into the atmosphere… but I have to forgive the Doctor that, because it was hilariously funny

This is just the tip of the iceberg on a superb critique of the series from 2005-2010 (some is still relevant, but clearly the piece was written before The Eleventh Hour aired) which covers issues such as Adipose, World War One, The Empty Child and the idea of moving the show to Sundays to account for all of the Messianic posturing.

A great read – head over to SFX now!


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4 Responses to Pratchett on Who

  1. avatar Rick714 says:

    Very amusing and entertaining article but I’m curious why it bothers him so much that Doctor Who is labeled as “science fiction”? “Fiction” is imagination and make-believe, it’s not “what should be possible at some point here on Earth”. Dotor Who, more than any other show is all *about* “Science make-believe” and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He does make some good points about the god thing though…..

  2. avatar MalenyGail says:

    I read Terry Pratchett’s article on Doctor Who and all I can say is , a) I love Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld Novels and b) I also LOVE Doctor Who. The argument re science fiction or not can be applied to both avenues of entertainment. I can only say – Terry as the writer of wierdly entertaining stories where normal physics have been dumped over the side of the Turtles back cannot really criticise a flying phone box and a magic screwdriver. Love them all.

    • avatar Christian Cawley says:

      I don’t think he’s critizing Doctor Who as a whole, just a certain era which has tended to use deus ex machina resolutions (time will tell about the new series) – reading the full article its affectionate to DW.

  3. Pingback: Doctor Who Describes Doctor Who As "Gripping" | Kasterborous Doctor Who News

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