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Settling the Moffat vs. RTD Debate (Using AI Scores)

Guest contributor Joshua Yetman examines the AI scores and finds some surprising results.

rtd-vs-moffat

The AI scores – what are they, what do they tell us, and are they important?

You may have seen them used in arguments, seen them quoted in a news article, or you may never have heard of them at all. The Audience Appreciation Index – simply referred to as AI scores – is the BBC’s primary way of gauging the response to each and every one of its major programmes, and has been used extensively since the onset of television in the UK.

I have written this article to, simply, explain how AI scores work, their significance to Doctor Who, quote some very interesting results, and then – using statistics – I will hopefully try and settle a long-standing argument.

How does it work?

It’s simple really. In its current methodology (since 2012), over 20,000 UK citizens with a TV licence are demographically selected, asked to watch a range of programmes, and are then asked to give each programme they viewed a score of 10. The scores are collected online (currently via GfK UK). The AI score is then calculated by taking the average score of all the 20,000 people in the sample, and expressing it as a score out of 100.

Due to the large sample size, the AI score is seen as a very good estimate of the true reception to the programme, and so BBC bosses pay very close attention to the AI scores of its TV shows.

The Audience Appreciation Index has been operating in some form since 1936, and Doctor Who, being one of the Beeb’s longest running shows, has an extensive catalogue of AI scores (although, like quite a few episodes of the classic series, many AI scores are in fact missing).

However, the entirety of the classic series of Doctor Who was subject to a rather inept Audience Appreciation Index, which only operated on a 6-point scale. This led to rather questionable scores for episodes that are generally considered by fans to be the best of the best. Take “The Caves of Androzani” for example, one of the most loved stories in the show’s history; it got a seemingly lukewarm score of 66/100. Of course, one could argue that the popularity of “The Caves of Androzani”, like many classic stories, improved over time, but 66/100 still seems very low.

What does the score mean?

doctor-who-2013-logoIn its current format, an AI score above 85/100 indicates excellence, above 90/100 is exceptional, and below 60/100 is poor (and, if its below 55/100, it’s very poor). Programmes very rarely make it above 90/100, but the only programmes that ever seem make it below 55/100 are – surprise, surprise – party political broadcasts (a recent one by UKIP got a record low score of 21/100).

As the BBC is effectively a publicly funded body, it strongly desires for its programming to be of the highest quality, more so than most broadcasters, who tend to care more about the size of its audience. Of course, the BBC still cares about the size of its audience, and that is still the deciding factor in whether to axe a show or not, but the AI score is always a significant consideration.

Fortunately, for Doctor Who, the Beeb have nothing to worry about. The average AI score since 2005 when the show was revived is 85.75, indicating that, on average, Doctor Who achieves excellence by BBC standards. In fact, out of Doctor Who’s 104 episodes since 2005, 79 are considered at least excellent by this measure!

To put this score into perspective, the average BBC TV AI score is 82.3, so Doctor Who is well above average relative to other shows in the BBC’s creative arsenal.

Records of the revived era

The Stolen Earth & 413. Journey's EndThe highest ever AI score achieved by an episode in the revived era is 91/100, achieved by both “The Stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End”, both parts of the Series 4 finale. These are the only two episodes in Doctor Who history to be considered exceptional by BBC standards. Make of that what you will.

Conversely, the lowest ever AI score achieved by an episode in the revived era is 76/100, achieved by – perhaps not surprisingly – “Love and Monsters”. Still, for all the hate that “Love and Monsters” gets, 76/100 is actually quite a decent score! Sure, it’s well below the BBC average, but if I got 76/100 in a test, I’d sure be pleased!

Considering each series, Series 4 has the highest average AI score with a respectable 87.8/100 followed closely by Series 3, whilst Series 1 has the lowest average AI score with a still admirable 82.8/100, with Series 2 not far behind. Series 5, 6, 7 take the middle positions in that order from best to worst.

Some seemingly abnormal results

doctor-who-the-curse-of-the-black-spot-promo-batch-(1)Some AI scores seem to go against what we would expect. I’ll highlight a few examples here.

“The Curse of the Black Spot” received an AI score of 86/100, a score shared by “Human Nature”, “The Family of Blood”, “Midnight” and “The Eleventh Hour” among many others. For an episode so derided by fans, and considered the second worst episode of the whole Matt Smith era according to a poll on this very website, it managed to score an “excellent” score.

“Let’s Kill Hitler”, another typically scorned episode (although it remains one of my all time favourites), received a score of 85/100, putting it on par with “The Doctor Dances”, “The Impossible Planet”, and “The Girl Who Waited” among many other episodes, and also giving it “excellent” status.

Finally, the score of “Father’s Day” – a highly praised episode – was only 83/100, although that was still was one of the highest in Series 1.

So, are they reliable? Are they useful? Are they important?

The-Caves-of-Androzani-dUltimately, we have to remember that the AI scores are just estimates. Nevertheless, the AI scores are what we call in the statistics world unbiased estimators, in the sense that they are representative of the population and, given an ample sample size (which it does have), they should be very close to the true average score given by the entire population. That makes them very useful.

But then how can we explain the abnormal results I highlighted previously? Possibly, those included in the sample for episodes like “The Curse of the Black Spot” enjoyed it more than the overall population, but due to the sample size, this is actually unlikely. Maybe the UK population enjoyed it more than the rest of us, and we don’t know about it!

The fact that episodes like “The Caves of Androzani” received such low AI scores seems like another problem of AI scores on face value, but we do have to consider that many episodes only truly become fan- favourites over time, meaning that AI scores – calculated straight after broadcast – are not representative of long-term reception. Also, “The Caves of Androzani” may have only received an AI of 66/100, but the BBC TV average back then was about 65/100. This stresses that the AI score should be used relative to other programmes or episodes rather than an absolute measure of quality, but we shouldn’t compare classic series AI to revived era AI as they are calculated differently!

Also, it’s important to say that, to us, these scores should mean nothing! We all have our own personal ratings, and no little statistic is going to influence our opinions in the slightest. However, the BBC doesn’t calculate the AI score for no reason. Like I said earlier, the BBC take AI scores very seriously, and although a large drop in ratings may well sound the death knell for shows like Doctor Who (which fortunately isn’t happening at the moment – in fact, the opposite!), the BBC will be very concerned if there is a large drop in AI as well. So, let’s hope those scores remain high!

Settling the Moffat vs. RTD argument

moffat-coStatistics are powerful. With them, you can make wonderful conclusions. I personally think the AI scores are a very strong and accurate estimator, and so we can confidently throw around some hypotheses.

By the AI scores, is there evidence to suggest that the Moffat era differs in quality from the RTD era? With some quick calculations, the average RTD era episode scores a 85.57/100. The average Moffat era episode scores a 86.0/100. One is higher than the other, but, remember, these are samples. Using what we call in the statistics world as a two sample hypothesis test, I can conclude, resolutely and finally, that there is no difference in quality between the two eras at the 0.1% level (i.e. there’s only a 0.1% chance that I’m wrong).

So, hopefully, this should put an end to these mindless RTD vs. Moffat discussions, and if that isn’t the single biggest use to come out of the AI scores, I don’t know what is!

Step back in time...

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141 comments
Maiden_Ty_One
Maiden_Ty_One

See, this is why I am generally unimpressed with these kinds of methods for assessing the quality of something; a selection of 20,000 people. They might be 20,000 idiots....


The fact that "Journey's End" - one of the most badly written, contrived, deus-ex-machina littered pieces of drivel the show has ever produced - is the highest rated episode according to these statistics just proves this, for me...

diskgrinder
diskgrinder

I really enjoyed this analysis, but I have a maths degree so maybe I'm an outlier

MaraBackman
MaraBackman

Statistics and numerical scores aren't a very good way of defining the quality of entertainment, because different people will grade differently. Some people are very picky about what they give a perfect score to, while others will frequently reward things 11/10.

James42
James42

You will never ever stop the Moffat Russell T Davies debate. You can quote statistics, AI figures and viewing figures until you're blue in the face. None of it means a damn thing. It's all down to personal preference, not figures. 

Personally I prefer the  Russell T Davies era, but there is no denying it there were some clunker episodes during his reign. Moffat isn't perfect either. The whole of series six was a clunker, but series seven, including the 50th was brilliant. 

Christmas special was a bit of a let down, but Moffat isn't great at Christmas specials lets be honest. 

Now we have a new face as The Doctor, im really hoping for something extra for series eight. Something we can all talk about again. Something which makes us can't wait until the next episode. In my opinion, Moffat hasn't done that yet. Not to the extent of say The Stolen Earth. 


Even the 50th or Matt Smith leaving episode, wasn't as anticipated as Journey's End.

So in that regard, Moffat isn't yet on par with RTD.

LordRassilon
LordRassilon

I have to say, that figures of this kind are based on mass-audience interest; but not on direct fan interest. Someone that views a single story, may enjoy that more, if they aren't a standard viewer, or fan, because it was easier to comprehend, had fewer dedicated science-fiction elements, had a more attractive female lead, had a kitten in a scene, or for whatever reason..


The viewers may also spin a top, or roll a die, and give the result of that as their figure, with their telly muted, while reading a book on golf. 

It's grand that Doctor Who is receiving high AI scores, as that is keeping it alive, but the vast majority of this information is entirely useless in a subjective context: Those who are dedicated viewers, will have entirely different opinions, from casual viewers, screened at random.


In my personal opinion, both producers had amazing, and terrible stories. I find that stories like ;The Curse of the Black Spot' are generally fun, despite not having any connection to the overall plot of a series, but in the original series, two stories weren't frequently linked to any overall arc, although the standard story length was twice, to thrice (or more) the length of modern stories, so it was often more detailed in some regards.


The Moffat era, makes a real, and valid attempt to link itself to the original series; which RTD tried to avoid, with direct intent, at the onset of the revival, finally caving to fan pressure, returning Daleks, Davros, and other classic elements, but re-inventing others. 


The most recent series, draw on past continuity, without needing to re-invent it. That alone, makes them feel like a better attempt at continuation of a series: I detested the Parallel Earth scenario, in David's first year, and the Cybus Cybermen. They had none of the charm, od the original creations; while at the same time, he managed to give the Daleks some wonderful stories, and personalities, expanding on them, without needing to completely re-create an origin story.


That felt right, and proper. I really think the turning point in the revived series, was at Utopia, which finally closed a yawning chasm between both runs. The following year was somewhat of a push backwards, until Davros appeared on the screen.


Really, the RTD monsters, and species, are generally unappealing. The Slovene Family, for example, was a farce. The revived Cybermen, boring. The Ood, a background monster, that could have been explored further, especially in connection to the Sensorites. 


The best new creation, in my opinions, for RTD's reign, was The Beast, and yet, it would have been nice to learn more about the society that caged it.


It's amusing that while RTD wanted to entirely avoid using classic series villains, the highest rated stories are those that include the most popular classic series elements.


Moffat also managed some bad placement, such as using Zygons, seemingly at random, as a core monster for The Day of The Doctor. One of the most compelling stories from the RTD era, 'The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances', was his work, but some of his other work, from the tenure of RTD, i find over-rated. The Weeping Angels were fine for a while, but they should have been retired after the crash of the Byzantium.


Their return in Angels Take Manhattan, is a bit over-wrought, an d no more than a way to kill a companion, without actually doing it. The re-start story plots are a bit old now too. Can we not have a proper paradox, please?


How many times can you re-start the Universe, before you realise that nothing really matters? I'm looking forward to a 'darker era', with Capaldi, and hopefully a bit more science in my science-fiction to go with it. I'm also hoping to hear a Venusian lullaby at some point soon, but that's probably a long dream.



Nightmarish
Nightmarish

I never understood the whole debate. Personally I prefer Moffat but everyone has their own opinion and neither a statistic nor someone else's opinion should change that. I also want to mention that if a non-fan were to watch an arc heavy episode they'd probably rate it lower because of not understanding parts of it.


bp2
bp2

The bit about having a 0.1% chance of being wrong is not true. You are ignoring type 2 errors plus once you actually give numerical values to the interval instead of expressing it as mean+- x standard error it would either be 0 or 1. Also it is standard practice to report the highest significance level that the null hypothesis is not rejected.



The bit about unbiased estimators is not true. An unbiased estimator has an expected value equal to the value of the parameter. However the mean works for any sample size e.g n=3 E(1/3(X1+X2+X3))=E(1/3(3x Mean of X) therefore the expected value is equal to the mean. It depends on the property of the estimator you are using.




Also did you use a t-test or use the normal distribution figures when doing the hypothesis test given the sample (number of AI figures for one producer) is less than 100?

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

That pretty much means nothing. How many people watched the show, isn't a representation of how good it is. Series 1 was obviously going to have the lowest viewing figures, because it came first, and was not as known about.




If one series or episode has less of an AI figure, that is a representation of series' or episodes that came before it.

This information will have barely any effect on Steven Moffat vs. Russel T. Davies era debates.

I personally prefer the RTD era by far. And by that I mean the Moffat era is barely decent, and the RTD era is amazing.





KingOfTheInterWebs, bland and 2 dimensional
KingOfTheInterWebs, bland and 2 dimensional

This was an amazing article and very interesting, I learnt something new today. I hadn't even heard of AI scores before now. I also agree with the outcome of this article because I'm honestly getting fed up with the amount of RTD vs. Moffat debates, they're both Doctor Who, they both have their good and bad episodes and both have different ways of being run but they're both still fun telly in the long run and both one and the same. It's much like regeneration really. I can't help but feel though that the conclusion, while true was also just used to troll the people who try to compare the two eras. :P

DW_girl
DW_girl

I think the RTD vs Moffat debates should stop. Everyone has their own opinion- it isn't a fact that one era is better than the other. Because at the end of the day, if you love Doctor Who, you love Doctor Who, writers aside.

CraigXO
CraigXO

Actually, as soon as I saw Series 5's premiere, I did notice a change with the cameras and a 24fps framerate, rather than 25fps. This is why Moffat's seasons appeared more polished and cinematic.

Master Michael Moon
Master Michael Moon

I don't think there is any debate to be had, ever. Statistics may prove one thing over another, but both show runners have their strengths and weaknesses, like anyone and anything in the world. I enjoyed the RTD era the same as I've (mostly) enjoyed the Moffat era, so far...


mlawesome
mlawesome

The curse of the black spot is like my 5th favorite episode of all time so go The Curse Of The Black Spot!

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

Great article Supermoff! Delving deeper and looking at scores for the Moff era...



In S5 The Big Bang got 89, with Pandorica Opens 88, while the lowest were Victory of the Daleks and Amy's Choice (one of my favourites) with 84.


In S6 The Impossible Astronaut and AGMGTW both got 88, while the lowest was surprisingly A Christmas Carol with 83.


In S7, Asylum of the Daleks (an episode which is quite divisive on this board) got the highest mark 89, while TDTWATW (if you consider that S7) and several S7b episodes (RoA, Cold War, NiS) got the lowest of 84.The Snowmen incidentally was the highest scoring Christmas Episode of the Moff era with 87. I now really like RoA for example, but wasn't at all impressed initially, and would probably have given it a lowish score as well after my first viewing.


The Day of the Doctor got 89, while The Time of the Doctor got only 83, TOTD being another episode which I've grown to like more than I did after my firest viewing.


Interestingly, the 2 lowest scoring episodes of the whole Moff era were both Christmas Day episodes, Christmas Carol and TOTD! 

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

The fact that fans are the most exigent species in the universe, and Whovians even more so, makes this kind of statistics quite useless. From a non-subjective PoV, Love and Monsters and The Curse of the Black Spot may be average episodes when compared to some other crap we can watch on TV nowadays. Still, from the PoV of a committed Whovian as myself, L&M has the title of "Most embarrassing DW episode ever" and CotBS that of "most awful and terrible episode in Series 6". As for the RTD/Moffat controversy, I agree that they're essentially equal. I loved Nine and Ten and many of their companions in the same way that I loved Eleven and (mostly) his companions. From a narrative PoV, Series 2 and Series 6 are the weakest in New Who but they still enjoyed some lucky exceptions (The Satan Pit two-parter for Series 2, The Doctor's Wife and The Girl Who Waited for Series 6) which means that we can't compare the Moff and RTD. The viewing figures have increased with the show's popularity and that isn't enough to justify the Moff's victory; as for the AI scores, as I said, they're not based on fandom so that they're worth nothing to us. The only possible confrontation is that of personal taste: timey-wimey fans will favour over Moffat, while romance fans will support RTD's era. This is one of the classic subdivisions of Doctor Who fans and I think we should agree to disagree because, as the Romans said, "De gustibus non est disputandum". Let us go in peace (and sanity), in the name of the Doctor!

Sharaz_Jek
Sharaz_Jek

A very well-written article and thanks for the insight into the AI scores. Not being British, I had never heard of them. It is obvious that the scores don't really represent the quality itself (similar how high ticket sells doesn't mean a movie is good), but it certainly shows that both eras are equally liked by the public


The Finn
The Finn

Thank you so much for this article! It's interesting to see – if your calculations are correct – that there's only a 0.03/100 difference in the average AI scores.

Tomb of the Cyberbob
Tomb of the Cyberbob

Wonderful.  As someone with a Statistical background myself, I doff my cap to you.  I would just say that your "Abnormal Results" section does however highlight one thing - that there are lies, damned lies and statistics.    But jovially putting that to one side, a hearty hurrah for an excellent article with some common sense conclusions!

ajl117
ajl117

There shouldn't be a "vs". Moffat isn't trying to be better than Russell, he's just carrying on the show. They both got along and it was RTD's decision to make Moffat the head! They aren't trying to compete for a better show, they just come from different eras of the show, which is why everyone needs to stop arguing about which is better. The majority of the RTD era wasn't infact written by RTD, and the same goes for Moffat, so if you think one era is worse, the likelihood is that it's not because of the headwriter themselves!

MrThorfan64
MrThorfan64

I think JE is overrated. People were so taken when it came on they didn't notice the plot was a mess and the Metacrisis was largely there for RTD to satisfy his Mary Sue. The Cult of Skarose prefer Rose to good plots.

SouffleBoy
SouffleBoy

I love how grumpy they both look at the start. :)

TheIdleIdol
TheIdleIdol

Absolutely one of the best guest articles I've read on DWTV in quite some time. I was genuinely fearful when I first started reading the headline - "Settling the Moffat vs. RTD debate..." - but this was brilliant. Impartial, insightful and based upon tangible, meaningful data. That's not to knock the more common breed of guest submission, the "Why X is the best monster/story/series" sort of article (they can be genuinely fascinating reads at times), but it is refreshing to see the difficult problem of writing an original Who article tackled from new angles and with less of a "here's what I think" mentality. Puts me in mind of Caleb's Science of Doctor Who articles (haven't seen one of those in a while - you still here, Caleb?). More articles like this please, contributors - to even out the balance a little, if nothing else. Excellent conclusion as well - I had a lingering fear as I progressed that there'd be a sour ending where the author used the figures to champion one side over the other (no doubt starting a civil war in the process), but it ended on just the right note. Excellent idea for an article, and beautifully realised. I have no higher praise (the fact I'm even commenting, which I haven't done in months, is testament to how glad I am to have read this). Bravo, Mr. Yetman.

sontaran17
sontaran17

That Conclusion has to be the best paragraph ever written on this site

KarenBee
KarenBee

Along with the stable viewing figures, shows that Who remains highly popular and well liked, regardless of who is in charge. Won't settle the personal taste argument but it's not a zero sum game when it comes to the two showrunners or their doctors.

I think Matt is easily the most talented actor to play the doctor and like Eccleston and Troughton, an actor who is/was within the top tier of those working in the UK. I think that the scripts by Moffat (with the exception of Library) in the Davies years were better than anything RTD ever wrote. I think the production values under Moffat are much better than those under RTD. However I dislike how doctor 11 was characterised (notwithstanding Matt) and I find Moffat's tenure particularly since the latter part of series 5 is not to my taste at all. I find the companions less interesting and less well written in the Moffat era. I also find the storylines less engaging and confusing complexity for profundity. While I find Tennant a one note actor and not within coo-ee of Matt's talents, I prefer his characterisation of the doctor. I like 9 the best in the new era but anticipate that 12 will almost immediately become my new favourite.

So it's a bit of this and a bit of that and neither is better. The good and bad/less good balance out and the Who brand is much bigger than either RTD and Moffat and that is why people keep watching and liking it as if you don't like what you are seeing now, next week might be something you *love*.

MrRazza is wittily changing his name for each week
MrRazza is wittily changing his name for each week

I always will be totally devoted to the RTD era, but then 4/10 of my favourite post-revival stories were produced by the masterful imagination of Stephen Moffat, so I can never stand the bitterness you see in the era debates in the darker realms of the internet.


HitchcockWhovian
HitchcockWhovian

I don't like the AI scores.Of course, they're useful, but when this happens... ' “The Curse of the Black Spot” received an AI score of 86/100, a score shared by “Human Nature”, “The Family of Blood”, “Midnight” and “The Eleventh Hour” among many others. ' Well, one is a hopeless flop and the other few are the best New Who have to offer - so I largely ignore them. Great article, though! 







Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@Maiden_Ty_One Try and be less dramatic. There are plenty of worse episodes.

And the reason for them being more highly rated is because they are more viewed, by non-Doctor Who fans, who have come to watch it with family, or something, and so like that experience.


MeglosProductions
MeglosProductions

@JamesCresswell "Moffat isn't great at Christmas specials". What? Apart from TDTWATW his Christmas specials have been better than Russell's.

 Notsosmartguy
Notsosmartguy

@JamesCresswell Moffat's Christmas specials where better imo.  As for journey's end i despise that episode. But both writers are great but I feel people criticize Moffat way too much.

MrThorfan64
MrThorfan64

@JamesCresswell  Yes but JE was dreadful and though it was quite a cliffhanger the regenerating certainly did not pay off, save for the Cult of Skarose.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@JamesCresswell

I thought Series 7 part 1, was getting better, as generally, I'm not too keen on Moffat's era. It had flaws, such as the Daleks asking for help, and later forgetting all about The Doctor (I just hated that, it completely undermines 50 years of Daleks - well, many more years of Daleks, but 50 years since their first showing).

'The Power of Three' was a bit weak, as the supposed threat wasn't threatening. 'The Angels Take Manhattan' - I loved the whole book time travel thing, but hated that every statue is now a Weeping Angel (please do correct me if I'm wrong on that, as I really hope I am, but the Statue of Liberty being a Weeping Angel was too far-fetched and therefore silly). Other than those negatives I liked that half of the series generally.


The Christmas Special of 'The Snowmen' I thought was really good. Clara's character was amazing (She was also very good in 'Asylum of the Daleks', other than erasing memory etc. but that was to do with writing, not acting). The alien storyline was terrible, in that it was solved so easily, but other than that, a great episode - one of my favourites of the Moffat era.

Series 7 part 2, I thought, was terrible. The only episode I thought was good was 'Cold War', and that is with the exception of the terrible CGI of the face, when he, so inevitably, and unnecessarily took off his mask.

The storylines were weak. Cybermen can now upgrade almost instantly against almost anything (which is so stupid). Also, I thought the Cybermen were allergic to gold dust, as it was so fine and hard, and got into their breathing apparatus, not just anything gold touching them.

I don't like 'The Name of The Doctor', as The Great Intelligence sacrifices himself to kill the Doctor, Clara does the same to save him, The Doctor does the same to save her, which in theory should have killed them all, or at least, left them trapped in the time stream; It is never explained how they escape. Also, I was not surprised by John Hurt's appearance, as it had been announced over a week previously that he would be in the 50th, so seeing him then came as no shock.

'The Day of the Doctor' was way too overrated. I cannot stress that enough. It was barely better than the average episode. It had some good humour, though again the story lacked. The Zygon plot was kind of just forgotten about half way through, and I didn't really like the cameo of Tom Baker; as it, like all the other references served for fans to go 'ooh'. The other references are good (if a little overdone), but that one brings up suggestions of the Doctor's later life, which then leads to another over the top explanation, which really just explains nothing, and uses paradoxes and words like 'timey-wimey'. I also didn't like the 'I don't wanna go' reference, just because The 11th Doctor then says 'He always says that', when, in fact he doesn't. They could have left it with 'I don't wanna go', instead of trying to point out the reference.

The Christmas Special of 'The Time of the Doctor', I preferred to 'The Day of the Doctor'. I didn't like how he was fighting for so many years, as it feels like the audience has missed so much of the Doctor's life. And I really didn't like how, after the 3 '... of the Doctor' episodes, and in previous series', the resolution to the final question ("Doctor Who?") is that, it doesn't really matter. I wouldn't have preferred them to have actually come up with a name for The Doctor, but that answer was so much of a cop out. Other than that, quite a good episode.




I love Russel T. Davies' era, and don't really like Steven Moffat's era that much. The newer episodes are very underdeveloped and are solved with either a really simple resolution (like teleport off and self destruct the planet), or a really silly one (with the several 'love is a stronger force' solutions that have been done).



bp2
bp2

What I meant about unbiased estimators is that for the mean it is unbiased for any sample size. What you said is that it gets closer to the actual value when the sample size increases. That is true and this is a property of the estimator and it works because of unbiasedness and the property of its standard error (decreasing as n increases and is equal to 0 when the sample size is infinite). To say it is purely down to the fact it is unbiased  and to make that suggestion that at low sample sizes the mean is a biased estimator is wrong.

TheIdleIdol
TheIdleIdol

@Ollie Walton Harrod  I think you've misread/misinterpreted. AI figures aren't the same as viewing figures. AI figures are a measurement of how much a cross-section of viewers enjoyed a given show. It's essentially a poll measuring how much they liked what they saw, on a scale of 1-10. It's not got anything to do with how many people tuned in. How useful these figures actually are is still very much open to debate (as the author illustrates, many oft-derided episodes amongst the fandom score comparatively well in AI terms, and vice versa), but they're definitely more useful than viewing figures if you're attempting to analyse the show's quality. And when it comes down to it, these figures just go to show that to most people, the difference in quality between the two writer's eras is negligible at best.

Dalekium
Dalekium

@CraigXO  I'm so glad that you've pointed this out! I knew there was a definite change, and the filming style has become more and more different than RTDs; a lot more individual shots, greater use of focus/blurring and an appearance of being much wider in scale. However I'm no cameraperson in any sense of the word so I could be talking utter nonsense :P

The_Eternal_Dalek
The_Eternal_Dalek

@Sharaz_Jek It does show quality, as somebody once put it, viewing figures are the bums on seats, the AI score is what those bums thought. In your analogy, viewing figures are the high ticket sales, the AI scores are the reviews that come out afterwards, but as we all know good or bad reviews don't mean anything in the grand scheme of things.

Ivegotkidneys in 3.14159265358979D
Ivegotkidneys in 3.14159265358979D

@ajl117  I agree but it wasn't RTD decision it was the BBC decision all RTD did was send an email to the moff about why he should take the job if he got offered it : )

Padaster
Padaster

That's because they're both thinking 'good lord, not this argument again!'

MrThorfan64
MrThorfan64

@HitchcockWhovian  And the highest score was received by that mess of an episode. Obviously the Cult of Skarose had too much influence.

Doctor What
Doctor What

@HitchcockWhovianIn your opinion. Curse is a more lighthearthed episode, it never pretends to be a classic drama, and it should be judged like that. The "Human nature" two parter, on the other hand, was a bit over the top drama to my taste. It was a great story, no doubt of it, and I can see why it ranks so high in the polls, but it's not an episode I want to rewatch. The same goes for Midnight, it's a great terror story, but it's so distressing that I don't feel confortable rewatching it.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@MeglosProductions @JamesCresswell ooh now I disagree there.

The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe" wasn't very good - as you said.

'A Christmas Carol' was okay. But I just didn't like how cliche it was. Obviously it was meant to be, but I didn't like that that much.

'The Snowmen' on the other hand, is my favourite episode of the Moffat era; but even that has faults. Or rather, two faults. Those being, that the main enemy is a giant snowglobe/weather machine - a bit silly that. And secondly, and more importantly, that the snowmen are defeated by happiness.

'The Time of the Doctor' - There were a few things I didn't like, which I can't be bothered to delve into right now. But I thought it was preferable to 'The Day of the Doctor', and all of Series 7 part 2.

In terms of RTD Christmas Specials:  'The Christmas Invasion', I thought was a really good introduction to David Tennant, and regeneration, for a new audience. It also has some good humour, and a good storyline. It was a generally good, fun episode.

'The Runaway Bride' - It has a lot of good humour. I'm not too keen on the enemy, though I like the storyline, and the humour makes up for that, for me. And also, incidently, it introduces Donna, and her story arc for Series 4.

'Voyage of the Damned' is one of my lesser favourites, of the era. But I still like it, as it introduces and kills a good character. Something not done enough nowadays (or should I say, at all). That referring to Astrid Peth, though also, several other really great characters were killed off. Which made to be interesting, and sad, with the idea of, not being able to choose who lives and who dies.

'The Next Doctor', is in fact, probably my least favourite of the era. The story of Jackson Lake, and his son, was an interesting idea, and emotional though I wasn't generally keen on the whole thing. There's not really much I can think of, I liked about that episode.

'The End of Time' - I have mixed feelings for. I've only seen it twice, and since it's such a large 2 parter, I can't remember a lot of it; which does suggest it wasn't that great. But I do like the Master's returning, and later, aiding The Doctor. I also like the visiting of all of his regeneration's past companions, and I do like RTD's choice to put Martha and Mickey together; despite what other people say; I think it's nice.

Overall, my reason for preferring RTD's Christmas Specials, is that... well I can't think of a definitive reason.. I suppose it just comes down to preference.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

Dreadful is a bit extreme.

'save for the Cult of Skarose'???.

It's 'the Cult of Skaro', but I still don't know what you mean.

ShameOnSM
ShameOnSM

@Ollie Walton Harrod @JamesCresswell Finally someone that is on my side, I also dislike Moffat's work...(not all of it but all of it). Firstly River Song saving the day everyday...no just no thats the Doctors job. She then ends up being trained to kill the doctor and then sometime later marries him...I don't know what Moffat was thinking its as if Moffat wants to tell the audience forget all the previous companions River Song rules!                                                                                                                                    Secondly the amount of kissing and snogging is way too much can't we go back to basics like Classic Who no kissing and snogging (accept Susan kissing her lover correct me if i'm wrong). Its gone too far. My next point is the Daleks being overused and not really doing anything. They are not a major threat anymore especially in series 7. No offence but I haven't watched a single series 6 episode. Finally the time war arc was spoilt a little bit. To be honest I don't understand how it ended someone explain it to me.















bp2
bp2

Missed out the word and when I was reading about the unbiased estimator so you didn't say anything about the mean being biased for small samples.  However I still think it suggests that it gets close to the actual value at large samples purely because of its unbiasedness. Furthermore it suggests the properties of the mean estimator applies to every other unbiased estimator.

HitchcockWhovian
HitchcockWhovian

@Doctor What @HitchcockWhovian  Oh, absolurely - sorry, in my opinion... Curse is a bit of a childish attempt. It felt forced, even for a light-hearted romp. When done properly (The Unicorn and the Wasp, The Lodger), they work incredibly well (some of my favourites, actually). But to suggest it's on the same par with an absolute master class in characterisation and the cleverest script the show's ever seen; arguably the best Moffat episode; and a widely regarded classic, is a little silly, I think. 

MrThorfan64
MrThorfan64

@Ollie Walton Harrod  Not extreme. It was a mess that at best is pandering to the fanbase, at worse is satisfying a Mary Sue. Cult of Skarose is a nickname for Rose's obsessive fans, those who think she is the perfect companion.