Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Did Someone Call For The Doctor?

EVE Online is not a game I play, nor even one I write about. Nevertheless, I feel I ought to mark the day. It might well be the most unexpected mmorpg news story of the year... and it's only January 5th!

Here's the official promo video.

The comment thread that follows the video on YouTube is not pretty. I wasn't aware the current incarnation of the Doctor was so unpopular. I haven't watched Dr. Who at time of broadcast since the Peter Davison era, although I did eventually catch up, all the way to the end of Sylvester McCoy's run. I own most of the revival-era seasons on DVD but haven't broken the shrink-wrap on any of them yet.

I suppose I could have guessed what the hardcore Whovians would think of the current iteration but I have no knowledge of whether the negativity comes from the expected antideluvian attitudes of the entrenched core or if the show really isn't much good right now. As for EVE fans, I've been reading a lot of late about how unhappy they are with the direction the game's taking. It's hard to imagine this making many of them feel any better about it. On the contrary, it looks almost calculated to make them madder than ever.

The Nosy Gamer has a very good post up with all the details and some pithy commentary. I can't wait to hear what Wilhelm has to say.

Dr. Who, of course, can survive any amount of off-brand messaging. If you need proof, try this eighties classic, by the KLF offshoot The Timelords.

That made #1 in the UK charts in 1988 and the Doctor still managed to come back from the embarassment. Here's Orbital at Glastonbury, six years later with a harbinger of good things to come.

Whether EVE can regenerate into an equally successful new incarnation after this remains to be seen. At least there aren't any NFTs involved. This time.


  1. Yeah, I am holding off until Friday because I have other posts already queued up.

    The summary though is that this isn't so much a dislike of Doctor Who as a reaction to yet another bizarre move by CCP that ignores the problems players have with the game. Players are angry about the economy, CCP ignoring long standing issues, and the CCP CEO out talking up NFTs and play to earn. So you pop a lore breaking cross-promotion on top of that simmering pot of discontent and you get another explosion from the players.

    1. It's hard to see who a crossover like this is supposed to appeal to. Dr. Who fans who don't play EVE are hardly going to be able to drop in to what is famously one of the most difficult to engage with of all mmorpgs and have a great, fun time right off the bat. They're more likely to be confused as hell, I'd have thought. Conversely, EVE players who don't have any particular interest in Dr Who are going see it as at best a silly diversion and more likely as a calculated insult. That just leaves the subset of EVE players who also love Dr Who and I'd bet even most of them wouldn't want to cross the streams.

      Someone must be making money out of it, I guess. I wonder who it is? Anyway, looking forward to reading your take on the whole bizarre affair!

  2. As you may have surmised, the "only MALE Doctors" crowd is the primary reason for the unpopularity, with the scripts being subpar compared to prior showrunners' eras being a distant second. They at least addressed the second by bringing back Russell T. Davies, and I think that there will be a new Doctor soon (as three seasons seems to be the new normal).

    But watching the invective about Jodie Whittaker reminds me of the crap heaped on the all female Ghostbusters movie, for no other reason than because they were female.

    1. Yep, I figured that was the underlying cause of the negativity from the tone of some of the comments, although the ones I read were a lot more temperate and measured than you'd expect from that crowd. I knew it was an )inevitably, unfortunately) controversial casting choice back when it was announced but honestly I can't remember hearing a single mention of Dr. Who in anything I watch or read since the first Jodie Whitaker shows were broadcast. It had dropped completely off my radar until the EVE news. Not sure what that suggests but I'm sure it can't be good. It feels as though whatever controversy there was must have been so localized it didn't even merit reporting outside the fandom. I wonder what the viewing figures have been like compared to previous incarnations. That usually tells us a lot more abnout the quality of the shows as mainstream, popular entertainment than anything the fans say about them.

    2. There was a lot of crap heaped on the female Ghostbusters just because they were female. There was also a lot of crap heaped on them because they were just not funny... Chris Hemsworth was the only consistently entertaining actor in that film. Likewise, there are people who knock Jodie Whitaker for being a female Doctor, but the real problem is that the scripts have been terrible. I'd like to have seen what she'd be like with a different writer, but unfortunately Whitaker and Chibnall came and are leaving as a package, so we'll never know.

      On the original topic - Dr Who seems a weird franchise to cross over with EVE. As I commented over on Massively OP, it feels like somebody in marketing went "hey, it's all sci-fi nerd stuff, right?" I could see The Expanse or Battlestar Galactica fitting in with the EVE aesthetic a lot better.


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