BBC Approved Spoilers

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    I don’t know if it was specifically that, but I have had a couple of ranty “how Doctor Who was betrayed buy the SJWs” things coming up on my recommended feed.

    I may have had some fun….

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    OK, here I am on the right thread.

    The trailer for the next episode…Historical, well, excellent! Rosa Parks…well, brilliant!

    I am really looking forward to the Fox News and Daily Mail reviews of that one!




    janetteB @janetteb

    @pedant Urrgh I want to see more. That has got me properly excited… (and after just saying negative things about Chibnell on another thread. I might have to eat my words.)




    News Year’s Day teaser…

    The scarf shouls really piss off the wailing fanboys….

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I must admit I think the new scarf is really quite spiffy. That and the stovepipe hat (or fez) should be permanent additions to WhitDoc’s wardrobe.

    I’m hoping that the fanboys don’t get up in arms about the colours. After all, the Doctor wore multicoloured stripes years ago. Just because they’re horizontal rather than vertical shouldn’t make a difference. It will, of course. But it shouldn’t.

    I must admit the sheer combativeness in fandom around this series is making me so weary now. It really shouldn’t be like this.



    I like the scarf too. It makes her look like a girl who went to uni.

    The thing to not letting it wear you out is to realise that the alt-right and the many cohorts that cluster around that pustulant sore on the arsehole of the universe are not remotely interested in acting in good faith. It is amazingly liberating to realise that you do not in any way have to be nice to these fuckers, but instead focus on taking the piss and watching them get more and more wound up. Youtube’s woefully corrupt algorithms push confrontational bollocks  like bowelstreak or shitstain or whatever the fuck he/she/it is called and I have no compunction whatsoever dishing it out to them. Strictly drive-by; never look back to inspect the damage.

    There are legit questions about how the show is going, and the answers are far from simple. But none of those fuckers add anything but noise, so boot them hard and move on.

    Having said that, I feel a bit of a blog coming on and if I get a mo, I’ll post it. Because there is an issue independent of those fuckers. Because there is something a bit similar in both Star Trek and Star Wars fandoms and, in honour of Brexit we could probably call it ARSE+++.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Love the scarf. Not so keen on the coat. Don’t really like neutrals as a fashion choice also it look very, “off the shelf” rather than “opp shop”. I loved the idea that she gets her clothes from the opp shop. (Gives me something in common with the Doctor..)

    @pedant the problem is when actual criticism gets drowned out or attributed to the right wing nut jobs. Of course they will leap on all criticism and claim that it is supporting their agenda. I doubt many of them actually watch or care about the shows they are screeching about. I can’t image too many right wing nut jobs being “Who” fans. If they are then they clearly watch with their eyes closed and ears filled with tissue paper. Who has always had a leftist undertone. Always.. and there have been many times in both BG and AG Who when it has not been afraid to wear its political heart on its sleeve. The hijacking of all discussion by the nut jobs is killing public debate and generating resentment, often directed at “political correctness” which is of course just what they want. Disturbing times we live in..



    syzygy @thane16

    @jimthefish @janetteb @pedant

    It is wearing and I’m sympathetic.

    Yes, it’s combative. These people aren’t going to beat chests about nuclear missiles so we can talk them ‘down’ to conventional, sensible weapons. I tend to think if they want combat then they need to see what it looks like.

    And they should be prepared for it.

    At risk of cliché, if we don’t stand up: we’ll fall.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    The alt-right and the alt-left are two cheeks of the same arse (or ARSE) when it comes to playing the ‘Twitter pile-on’ game. And misogyny can be found in both of them.


    In fact, there are some writers who work in the wider Whoniverse who are a) Whovians b) right of centre and c) even voted Brexit. 😀 Which is how it should be – writing Who can be political, but it shouldn’t be party political. The writers should be kicking shit out of my assumptions, and @jimthefish‘s assumptions and all our assumptions (though probably not in the same episode). The best way to do that is to make sure you’re deliberately commissioning writers you don’t agree with politically – otherwise unconscious bias kicks in and you start selecting ‘people like me’.

    I get the impression that Chibnall has been doing that – Kerblam! was certainly a more comfortable episode for the right-of-centre than the left-of-centre. Getting people talking about stuff like that is good. Is it ‘The System’, or was the young, entitled, highly educated Definitely Not Momentum Honest Charlie the real problem? Or, as Miapatrick said elsewhere (I won’t at her, as I don’t know if she reads the BBC Spoilers) – did offering people loads of low skilled wage-slave level jobs in fact delay the discovery that not needing to work can be an escape?

    But, as @pedant says, YouTube and Twitter both push the combative style rather than the sitting down and having a discussion about politics style. Which means that Twitter has morphed from a lovely, funny, sociable place for people to chat – into a cesspool.

    And what we’ve got at the moment with the fandom is all the little white boys who never grew up complaining that their show is no longer about them. Never mind the ‘unconscious bias’ thing, this lot are flat-out biased, and they’re not interested in being told how wrong they are. It’s not the main fandom; you can see on Twitter how many people love the Whittaker Doctor, enjoy the shows and are really having a great time. But they’re being shouted out by the Shouty Little Boys

    The new scarf is terrific and really suits both costume and actor – apparently it’s a Paul Smith design, ‘Rainbow Edged Scarf’ and could technically have turned up in a charity shop if anyone wanted to give away a £64 Paul Smith scarf. For some reason it’s out of stock at the moment. I can’t think why.:)

    But my first thought on seeing it is that it’s both a deliberate callback to the Tom Baker Doctor, and a statement that ‘We’ve moved on since then’. So, @thane16, it’s almost a ‘You want a war? You won’t win – because we’re Doctor Who, and we’re not backing down.’

    Craig @craig

    @jimthefish @janetteb @pedant @bluesqueakpip @thane16 and others…

    I don’t have much to add, but I just think the Doctor looks, in her own words, brilliant.

    And @janetteb, it may just be me but I kinda thought the neutral jacket was a call back to Davison, so I like it for that reason – even if there’s no celery on it.

    As for the so-called “fandom”, as you can tell I’m taking a back seat unless someone gets out of hand. Most of the idiots seem to be one post then gone, some a couple of posts – but then people are entitled to express their opinions. I love you all and you do a good job of keeping people in their places.

    But please let me know if we could do a better job of moderating. I don’t want to delete all negative comments (if that’s what people believe) but I also don’t want this to turn into a Doctor Who hate-fest either.

    Please keep me on my toes.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant and @thane16

    Certainly bowelstreak is one of the worst of the red-pill end of the Who commentariat and the increasingly high profile he’s gained over the course of this series has alarmed me. I’m not sure he can even believe half of the inflammatory crap he comes out with and I’m convinced he’s just playing up to the crowd now. He’s basically imported the Trump playbook into Who and I’m of the mind that just ignoring him and not even engaging with him is the best policy. (Because if we’d maybe did that with the Tango Twat a few years back we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now. Ditto with Farage.)

    Arguing with these guys just increases their visibility and gives them the presence, if not the validity, they crave. The best way to call out their BS I think is not on their own thread, not even to reference them but to make a new post, or a new video or tweet or whatever that counters their views with fresh argument. That way, I think, they stay at the fringes where they deserve. There’s lots of arguments of this approach I think, not least it keeps the blood pressure down but if you deprive these idiots of the hits and long trailing comment threads then it means there’s less chance of the MSM picking up on them and mistakenly using them as representative of the views of the fanbase at large rather than as the few maladjusted weirdos from the margins that they actually are.


    I too really like the idea that the Doctor just rummages for her new outfit from a charity shop. My main problem is that this outfit itself seems to be way too coordinated for that to have actually been the case. I would have preferred something more raggle taggle for the WhitDoc personally. It’s the same reason I prefer SmithDoc’s first outfit to his later burgundy ensemble (or CapDoc’s later hoodie look to his early one). It just looks more ‘found’. And as a personal preference I do also think that colours that are too light don’t seem quite Doctorly enough for some reason. The best example for me is that the instant McCoyDoc swapped his white jacket for the dark brown one he instantly inhabited the role much more in my view.

    @bluesqueakpip (and all of the above too)

    No, Who shouldn’t really be party political but it almost certainly never has been. In fact, the closest it’s come to it has been with Arachnids and its Trump pastiche and the actual mentioning of the Orange One. I don’t have any particular problem with mocking the so-called POTUS but I still think it was a mistake narratively. It just made the show far too parochial politically in a way that the show had deftly avoided for 55 years before that. Notice how RTD was careful not to identify Harriet Jones with one particular party or who even the most blimpish of the Pertwee bureaucrats were not specifically aligned to one party or another (although you could probably make pretty educated guesses about the affiliations and beliefs of the likes of Mr Chinn or Sir Reginald Styles).

    The best way to do that is to make sure you’re deliberately commissioning writers you don’t agree with politically

    I don’t think so. You hire writers on the strength of the story they’re pitching and the commitment they bring to that idea rather than filling quotas. It’s ‘is this a story that’ll work on Who’ rather than ‘right, we better get a Tory writer in now to balance things up a bit’. And at the end of the day, KerBlam! for me doesn’t work not because of its politics but because it’s a pretty prosaic, by-the-numbers slab of Who that could have come straight out of mid-period Tennant or even early-to-mid McCoy.

    And it’s easy to forget when we’re busy defending Who from idiotic accusations of SJW/NPC flapdoodle that the show has always been home to a multitude of political outlooks, even if they largely gravitate around humanistic/liberal/very soft left centre of gravity. Yes, The Daleks is an anti-nuclear, anti-fascism parable but it’s also pretty blatantly anti-pacifism and pro-military intervention. Given the times it was written, I’d say it’s a pretty straightforward rebuke to CND disarmament rhetoric, coming from a place somewhere on the right. Similarly, the Peladon stories, often held up as textbook Political Who, are deeply conservative — and royalist — in their outlook. Just look at the representation of the workers in Monster. They’re easily manipulated idiots, for want of a better word.

    And what we’ve got at the moment with the fandom is all the little white boys who never grew up complaining that their show is no longer about them

    No, that’s the fringe morons like bowelstreak and while they often shout the loudest that is not all of fandom. Contributing equally to the increasingly toxic atmosphere are the positively evangelical pro-Series 11 fans who shout down any criticism (and there’s plenty to be critical about) by screaming sexism and misogyny, whether that’s justified or not. I don’t see much evidence that they’re being shouted down and are in fact doing just as much shouting themselves and in just as reductive a way as the red pill contingent. Who are being shouted out at the moment are all the fans who are somewhere in the middle and who are to varying degrees sympathetic to the current series but whose misgivings are being drowned out by the extremists at both ends of the spectrum. Don’t believe me? Look at the latest videos by the traditionally more moderate vloggers like CrispyPro, TheWhoAddicts and CouncilOfGeeks. It’s becoming an increasingly identifiable problem.

    And, much as I hate to say it, the fact that rhetoric like ‘Shouty Little Boys’ is making an appearance on this site tell me that it’s not a problem relegated to Twitter and YouTube and that @pedant is right in that it is infecting all of fandom in the same way that it’s already infected Star Wars and Star Trek. We used to be better than this. I remember in the days when @htpbdet was still with us that we would tend to disagree more than agree but I don’t ever recall it becoming fractious or dismissive. Something has definitely changed since then and so, yeah, @pedant, I think a blog on this might be very timely.)

    Finally, @craig I’m sure we’ve discussed this quite recently but I think that the current moderation policy is the right one. The more idiotic of the trolls are essentially drive-by’s who get bored easily and to start deleting their posts willy nilly (save for the occasional one that is downright abusive or offensive) would just feed into their sense of grievance.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    You hire writers on the strength of the story they’re pitching and the commitment they bring to that idea rather than filling quotas.

    Sounds great. Would be wonderful. Doesn’t work in practice.

    Mainly because we tend to pick ‘people like us’, and then rationalise that they pitched the stronger story/played the best/were the best candidate. Meantime, the people who aren’t like us are struggling to gain as much experience as the ‘people like us’ – so while their talent is the same, their experience isn’t.

    This came up recently in my area because a person at a higher management level, to his eternal credit, realised that while he was utterly committed to ‘best person for the job, regardless of colour, gender preference, school, etc’ – he was somehow managing to appoint white public schoolboys. So he got someone to look into it. It’s called ‘unconscious bias.’

    One method of combating it is to specifically say ‘I will cast a woman as the Doctor, I will accept the best pitch by an Asian writer and the best pitch by a Black writer and I will ensure that I hire at least two women directors.’

    Oh, and – @pedant gets to refer to “pustulant sore on the arsehole of the universe”, “Shitstain” and ‘wailing fanboys’ without comment and I get my wrist slapped for ‘Shouty Little Boys’? What IS that?

    Craig @craig

    @bluesqueakpip Who slapped your wrist? It certainly wasn’t me.

    Anonymous @

    I wish the show had been a little softer or more subtle or something with Rosa and Trump-clone.  When episodes get that overtly political, at least in overtones, in the current climate, it just sets a place at the table for the shouty people.  They’ll show up anyway, but there’s no sense inviting them.

    I do hope we can stay the “friendly site” that convinced me to create an account and open my yap.  I know we’re seeing a lot of disagreement lately, but as long as everyone can accept that different people are looking for different things from Doctor Who, with luck we can contain our disappointment that others aren’t getting out of it what we are.

    Wow, that last sentence just kind of grew…

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Forgive me, the last thing intended is to slap any wrists. I’d probably argue that @pedant‘s colourful language was aimed at a generality and a concept rather than a group of people but it’s a fair point. If we expect a higher standard of discourse that should be across the board.

    Yes, unconscious bias is definitely a thing and certainly Moffat was more guilty than most of slipping into having a little clique that was largely a ‘white boys’ club’ for at least the early years of his tenure. And I’m not really trying to put forward that tedious ‘meritocracy’ argument that the broflakes often do. You should absolutely say ‘I’m going to cast a woman Doctor’, ‘I’m going to have at least two Asian writers’, ‘two female directors’ etc but I don’t think that’s what I was saying. I think it was more that once those decisions have been made, you don’t try and shape their stories, or the series in general, by saying ‘we’ve had two leftie stories now, so I want a rightie one for a bit of balance’. You give the writers their head and let the story take them wherever, the political thrust (or not) of the story coming from their own process and not externally imposed upon them.

    It’s slightly more complex than that, of course. We don’t know for sure if, say, Malorie Blackman wanted to write about Rosa Parks and pitched it to Chibbers or whether he wanted a Rosa story and asked her specifically to write it.

    It’s also worth being aware of the biases that we ourselves bring to the show and I try to do that as much as possible. It’s never lost on me, for example, that I’m probably more likely to gravitate towards CapDoc because of the fact that he’s white and Scottish and that there are resonances to WhitDoc that I’m blind to because of my gender. But as long as I’m aware of that, it shouldn’t overly affect my ability to critique the show. Would I have been any less harsh on Arachnids or Conundrum if Kris Marshall had been the Doctor? I don’t think so. If anything, it might have been worse.


    @craig @bluesqueakpip

    I think @jimthefish just picked the last one he saw. No wrist slap.

    But I will take the issue on: none of you will be shocked to learn that I am very much of the ‘front them up’ school. I used to be ‘don’t feed the troll’s’, but I no longer believe that is tenable. I’ve seen too many communities wrecked by ‘ignore it and it will go away’ thinking. It doesn’t. It just gives them licence.

    Farage (too pick up Jim’s example) prospered because a lazy media played along with his fags-and-booze-man-of-the-people shtick without ever pointing out that he is a Dulwich College educated money broker whose headmaster expressed concern at his taste for Nazi regalia, songs and imagery. Nor did they ever perform the basic journalistic due diligence of challenging the manifold lies he has spewed for years. See also Rees Mogg.

    So studiously hit the “Don’t like” button and mock their inability to get laid or engage in whatever way floats your boat. Anything.

    But never validate them by letting them dictate the terms of discussion. Silence does that.




    Wow, that last sentence just kind of grew…

    Everything good is done in the edit… 😉

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I do have a lot of sympathy for that view and I’m no one to talk about not taking on the trolls with the amount of flame wars I’ve become embroiled in. And you’re right, I think, that silence is counterproductive in the current climate and it’s not what I advocate by and large. I just think that it’s more productive not to join the fight on their terms. Take it elsewhere. Make it a multi-valent conversation rather than just their voice and everyone else just lost among the babble of dissenters.

    To continue with the Farage analogy, which is, you’re dead right, the biggest dereliction of journalistic duty in this country in decades. What you don’t do is to continue to invite him on Newsnight. You make serious news programmes highlighting exactly the sort of hypocrisy that you outline above. We just didn’t see that in the last years, or at least not nearly enough of it.

    It’s possible that you’re entirely right in your ‘take the fight to them’ approach and that I’m just too weary and very much in ‘time to leave the battlefield’ mode. Who used to be fun*. Talking about it, debating it used to be fun. Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s what got me through some very tough times in my life. Right now, it just doesn’t feel like fun.

    (*And that’s not an argument for non-political, non-serious stories as it’s often interpreted. I’m all for them.)

    Anonymous @


    Everything good is done in the edit… 😉

    So true!!


    Right now, it just doesn’t feel like fun.

    Yeah, or at least nowhere near as much.  But this too shall pass?  Hope so.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Right now, it just doesn’t feel like fun.

    I know what you mean, but my response is to persevere, and to find some way of putting the fun back in. When the wonderful @craig set this site up for those of us eager to escape the lack of civility at the other place, it wasn’t, I don’t think, initially designed around bonkers theories, so much as designed as a place where genuine enthusiasts could converse in a supportive and civil environment. By and large, it remains that. So what has changed? In a way, I think that the change in emphasis in Chibnall’s approach–eschewing complicated arcs and therefore the potential for bonkers theorising–has meant that the political flame wars (which were there during the Moffat years) have moved to the foreground instead of sharing space with discussion of the arcs and the complicated stories. This was as true of the other place as of this site. It seems to me that even here now, without the opportunity for bonkers theorising of the scale that used to be undertaken, that there is a tendency, even here, for more of the discussion to be shaped by the toxic politics and trolls elsewhere, than was the case in the past.

    The solution, perhaps, lies in consciously finding ways of injecting fun. It might, for example, be to make greater use of the other forums on the site–Music, Films, etc, where the discussion can be entertaining and lift our spirits, so that the fun generated can begin to to be reflected in our discussion of the episodes again. And the blogs have always been tailor-made for this site, and for the people who respond to this site. The blogs have been thoughtful, insightful, well reasoned and well argued. Both you, Jim, and @bluesqueakpip are exemplars in this regard.

    Personally, I am very attached to what this site offers, and hope that it continues to flourish. Yes, the context has changed and the fun seems to be in shorter supply than we would like at the moment. But if we consciously try to find ways of reviving the fun, we might not only find more enjoyment for ourselves, but we might attract back some well-loved and much missed names who used to contribute, and attract some new like-minded souls.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

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    Ah, the old ‘don’t feed the trolls’ dilemma.  I can see the argument, but decided some time ago that it was a dangerous tactic.  Some years back I wrote something on my blog about it, responding to the vilification and threats that Caroline Criado Perez was getting for arguing for the new £10 note to feature a woman (OMG!  The horror!)

    This was one of the comments I got:

    You say that the trolls want to “shut you up”, so by shouting at them you deny them. However, the trolls win in that case, because they’re distracting you from what you were saying before they came along. In CCP’s case, the commendable bank note campaign got lost in the noise of CCP’s angry responses to the trolls. So they won. They shut her up about the bank note campaign, because CCP chose to react publicly to them instead.

    I replied:

    This is not, as I’ve said, about trolls. I thought I’d made that distinction quite clearly. The flood of vile threats against CCP (and others) was not a distraction, it was a huge and horrifying assault on her peace of mind and her sense of personal safety, and her response, as she has said, was not a strategic or tactical one but an emotional response to attack. When I’m talking about shouting back, that’s what the rest of us should be doing, to defend those who are subjected to this horror. We should be shouting back at them not at their targets. And whilst the bank note campaign was important and a valuable victory, the campaign about how women who speak out on the internet are treated is in itself important.
    So I disagree. I note also that your comments elsewhere about CCP accuse her of ‘hysteria’ which in itself is a pretty classic way of shutting women up and invalidating their responses…

    I think the arguments there can be applied more broadly.  We do have to challenge the kind  of crap that has recently been appearing on the Forum in response to the new series, but the question is, how do we do that without amplifying their voices.  Some of them do pop up, demand that everyone involved in current Who is fired because they didn’t care for the episode, and then vanish again (hoorah!) but others linger like a rather bad smell and keep on injecting their particular brand of bigotry into the conversation.

    I share @jimthefish‘s weariness, and I’d far rather not have to deal with the crap but I am not prepared to advocate either summary blocking just for being twats, so we will have to respond ad hoc with mockery, demolition, distraction or whatever tactics seem appropriate, and then get on with what we really want to do which is to talk about Who.

    lisa @lisa

    I agree with @blenkinsopthebrave broadly.  .  I’m 1 of the folks that’s a very sympathetic fan of Dr. Who.

    I just cant get into this iteration.  I didn’t like a few of the before gap series either .   I’ve stopped following

    these weekly forum blogs.   At the same time it upsets me a lot. This series just feels weak to me.  Jodie is

    a hippie and I know a bit about being a hippie!  But still she and these episodes bore me.

    That’s probably why your getting more hater posts.   I don’t care that the Doctor is a woman.

    I don’t care about the inclusion and social justice stuff except I don’t like the relentless heavy

    handedness that never felt so in your face before.  Its not subtle. Its more sledgehammer.

    Its also more kiddie-fied which is a major bummer for me.

    Its also bringing us into the current politics of this world in every episode  which is currently

    a mess on so many levels.  So for some that might be ok but for me frankly it just  makes me feel sad.

    Its  a global attitude now and not quite as UK centric in spite of the Sheffield plugs.  Something

    tangible has been lost for me.  Something has definitely changed.

    Craig @craig

    @pedant @blenkinsopthebrave @cathannabel @jimthefish and others

    I do try and check this site every day and also try to respond to email notifications as soon as I see them.

    We have had, basically, some arseholes recently but I’m still of the opinion that they’re entitled to show themselves up for being said arseholes. Feeding them leads to an evening of argument and actually brings the tone of the site down (for me anyway).

    And, none have come back – they drop a comment “The Doctor should be a man” etc. and then we never see them again.

    If it is persistent than, as promised, I will take them down – either via debate or blocking, or both. You have my word.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @craig, I think you are doing a brilliant job as gatekeeper and totally agree with your approach. I suppose my post was more about a “malaise” that seems to be evident in comparison to the heady days of full-scale bonkerizing in previous years. This might sound silly, but there seemed to be more whimsical humor around in those days.

    syzygy @thane16

    Well, I’d personally weaponise the fuckers pretty damn quick.

    I know Thane really wants “an ignore” approach but it should also involve lots of “pointing and laughing” as were the words spoken by David Tennant’s Doctor in: Silence in the Library. And wasn’t there lots of fabulous retrospective discussion about THAT? So, the 17 year old has a point, but me? Nope. Scramble the jets.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Puro, this one is for you


    syzygy @thane16

    It’s the only way to be sure.”


    Thank you! 🙂

    As SOON as I heard that voice: “it can’t be happenin’ man, it can’t be” I knew it was the same actor in True Lies, which, for all its dreadful racism, is one of Thane’s favourite films. I think he plays a waiter, lives in a trailer and pretends to be working for the CIA, NSA or another 3 letter organisation?  @bluesqueakpip @kevinwho @cathannabel @craig and gracious others: on the topic above, I think there are trolls and trolls. Dozens are SO stupid that they spell easy words wrong, don’t tag and watch Tennant-era eps on repeat (as their favourite iteration): Smith would be too “gay;” Capaldi, “too old & not a heart throb” whilst banging on about “Moffat’s inability to handle Sherlock and Who at once:  with too clever arcs and lazy writing.”

    Some stay for a while.  They often tag people and aren’t the “spit out a post and vanish” type. Example: ‘bahar’ (cant recall his tag) spoke of the terrible music; that the composer and orchestrator lacked talent and had been chosen for his “black skin.”

    He spoke about that several times and so it wasn’t a drive-by troll. He loved the 50’s -70s music scores and that as a middle aged white guy whose partner had died, it implied he had the necessary criteria to despise people who were accepted in positions when merit wasn’t the criteria. I argued against that. He loosened his grip a tad, others attempted to argue with him, and he kept on going. There’s always the idea “one can never change their minds” and yet we have 3 current new members who admitted to having their minds changed and that’s good  -but it’s rare.

    I think this isn’t a complicated situation. They’re bullies; we all know what bullies do, how they act, and so reasoning with bullies is difficult, often impossible. Two years ago I left Seeoswald with a little lesson: use a topic sentence, explain why you dislike something, give examples, etc etc and she vanished and then….returned…not changed one iota.

    She said she was born in ’66 and that makes her a year older than me (if that’s to be believed on her part) and THAT’s worrying. It’s not always the shouty lads on half term. Frequently it’s shouty women in their 20s -50s who  don’t support the ERA, firmly insist husband as head-of-house etc.  They believe African Americans are naturally inferior because of their colour, that the previous president was Muslim and born in Qatar. Sometimes they come here to make an account like “turntheclock” deliberately finding a place to spread venom. I don’t like killing cockroaches and I collect spiders and put them outside. Anything truly venomous like green ants, with their nasty bite, I kill stone dead and forget about them.

    I guess I feel that way about the bile and venom of certain posters on youtube. I don’t even visit The Guardian pages where I imagine I’d be horrendously rude to anyone who claims “the Doctor can’t be a woman and Ryan’s an idiot and Yas is Indian: why isn’t there a female, white companion?”  which is why I stay put here. But I know good people do visit those sites in order to create a balance (of a sort) and I worry that the BBC, despite the excellent ratings could end the Chibnall era early.

    Where do our ‘jobs’ as forum members begin and end? What is the job of moderators? Should mods say “I’m done now. I’m packing it in” or should they moderate and encourage people to look for what’s exceptional about a set of episodes?  And how do we stop the rot? I don’t have the answers myself. But somebody must.

    I haven’t checked lately but the ad hominin attack rule on our front page might need an English trans? Apologies if that happened two years ago!

    I wonder about actually saying, “if you’re here to hate the female doctor, hate the writer, complain about lax writing then ship off.” That’s harsh but what tends to happen is that posters do exactly that and then people start to ‘reason’ with them which takes valuable time from enjoying theories and bonkerising leading to weariness.

    Is it possible that when showing a scene from the new Who episode that week that a short 3 mins youtube clip from AG Who which dealt with exactly the same issues (or similar) could be inserted as a method of showing viewers that actually Who has been spreading “social messages” since ’63? Not sure about copyright but I reckon poor Chibbers would be dead thrilled. I can’t imagine what he’s feeling right now. Personally I fell in love with “gabby Doc” like Thano from ep 1 – a very different ‘gabby’ quality from Tennant although the baleful whining has often included: “Jodi is trying to be Tennant. She’s basically the same. Find a different personality” 🙁

    Puro Pondering.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @blenkinsopthebrave and @jimthefish

    I sense the ‘lack of fun’ feeling from quite a few people – but I think a fair amount of it is just that inevitable sadness that comes when you have to move on from something you really enjoyed to something new.

    I’m lucky, because I was into the new Doctor and new style by about episode 3 and was really into it when I realised I could write a blog on it. It may be that Chibnall’s style (thematic, asking social questions rather than philosophical) suits blogs rather than episode by episode discussion. It also helps that I like social questions and themes as much as I like philosophical paradoxes. 🙂

    Or it may just be that I’ve been waiting for a woman Doctor for years, so I’m inevitably more tolerant of those ‘oops, that bit didn’t work’ moments that will happen when a new producer, new writers and new leading woman strike out into uncharted waters. I’m not surprised Chibbers went back to 1963 in some ways – it must almost feel like that.

    But I know that if you still feel that you want the previous Doctor back, then everything even vaguely clunky is going to be as irritating as heck. And the fact that this series isn’t as polished and pacey as the Moffat years is true. But, Chibbers isn’t Moffat. He’s RTD. And RTD’s first series was so clunky you could have recorded the clunks for some kind of beat track.

    I think blenkinsopthebrave is right, though. If we’re finding the individual episodes aren’t generating the same level of conversation, we need to do our own striking out into our own semi-charted waters. More blogs, possibly. Or more games. Music competitions? Which song best fits the episode?

    Re: trolls. On T’other place I tend to affect a rather bored tone. Mainly because that’s my main feeling about trolls. They’re boring. Destructive rather than creative – the sort of people who’d smash up a bus stop because they can’t think of anything to do.

    But, in this particular area of the internet, they can only smash up our site if we choose to let them. It’s not Willa vs. Becca, where Becca is the one with all the power. On the whole, I think ignoring them is often a mistake – but it’s a judgement call. Are they the spider you can ignore, or the venomous ant you need to squash?

    @jimthefish – No hard feelings – I get that you might have thought I was after a particular group when pedant was being more general. In fact, I wasn’t referring to any particular people – just a particular type of poster.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – I do not want to dwell on the negative, but let me take one moment to address the “fun” issue, strictly personally.  Everyone has their own wants from an episode or series, and if they don’t get enough of those wants satisfying, well, for them the ep/series will come up wanting.

    In my case, I want to be amazed, bedazzled, awestruck and filled with sense of wonder.  But that’s absolutely not what Chibnall is trying to give us, so of course I’m left out.  That’s okay; I’m still finding things to like, and I can hope that eventually they’ll throw the likes of me a bone.  After all, Kerblam! was pretty good in that area; confounding expectations will at least leave me bemused if not bedazzled.  And at about this point in RTD’s first season, we’d had Father’s Day, and The Doctor Dances two-parter (why can I never remember the name of part one?).

    I admit on the troll issue, if I’m going to address them, I’ll take the sweet-reason approach.  I realize it will rarely be effective.  But the internet’s bile quotient is already so high, I just can’t bear to add an unlovin’ spoonful more.

    Craig @craig

    @thane16 I don’t know if it was today or yesterday, but Happy Birthday! Hope you have/had a great day you smart young man.

    To @pedant @blenkinsopthebrave @cathannabel @jimthefish @bluesqueakpip and others, I’ve just been through the Activity feed and it’s just all you beautiful people, for post after post.

    As I said, if an individual becomes a problem, then they’re my problem and they will be dealt with. But the odd idiot who posts once and doesn’t come back doesn’t bother me – as long as we don’t let them derail the conversation – i.e. don’t feed them.

    Craig @craig

    Oh, and to @blenkinsopthebrave @jimthefish @bluesqueakpip

    I do think there is a lack of fun this year (at least for us). The separate episodes are good fun but, to me, it’s probably Chibnall’s approach – no arc, just different stories every week. That’s fine, but what is there to bonkerise over? Apart from Whittaker’s different coloured T-Shirts! (shout out to @juniperfish) I mean, we could wonder about Yas getting with Ryan, Ryan finally accepting Graham as his grandfather, but there’s not much to go on so far.

    There were little hints in episode 2 that there might be something more going on but that’s not been mentioned again. Moffat was the king of bonkerising, with story arcs that stretched over several series (even when he wasn’t in charge). I just think Chibnall’s taken a different route – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    And yet, he may surprise us all!

    Mudlark @mudlark


    I agree. There is nothing inherently wrong with Chibnall’s approach or with any of the stories so far, and much to enjoy; but once we have talked about the merits and/or possible flaws of the individual episodes there hasn’t been nearly as much food for discussion or speculation as in recent years

    Moffat took the concept of time travel, shook it out, and exploited all its philosophical and paradoxical potential in a way which obviously appealed to a majority of us here, as well as teasing us with complicated narrative arcs. Chibnall, going back to the established tradition of earlier BG Who, has been using time travel simply as a convenient device which allows a succession of stories alternating between past, present and future to address important contemporary issues in a manner long established in science fiction. To that end we have been presented with linking themes in place of the narrative arcs, and everything has been accessible pretty much on the surface. For some of us that can lead to a slight feeling of frustration because, once we have discussed the obvious, where is there to go?

    As for the trolls or suspected trolls, my view would be to give them the benefit of the doubt on first post unless they are outright offensive, but challenge them to justify their opinion and present a cogent argument. If they can’t or won’t, then  by all means point, laugh and – zap!

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I too have been looking forward to a woman Doctor and part of me thinks that the reason it’s become such a charged issue now is because it kept getting put off for so long. Probably, it should have happened after Smith (although I’m glad we got Capaldi). Really, it would have been wise if the Beeb had followed Sydney Newman’s advice and cast a female doctor back in the 80s.

    I think a fair amount of it is just that inevitable sadness that comes when you have to move on from something you really enjoyed to something new

    There’s always an element of that, of course and transition from one era to another is sometimes a wrench. (Moffat had the smarts, for example, to continue to give his era an RTD feel at least initially. Whereas Chibbers’s approach seems to be to break with tradition as much as he possibly can. As I’ve said before, too far maybe. WhitDoc doesn’t seem to have access to her previous incarnations’ memories and experiences a lot of the time, I’ve felt.)

    Certainly there’s a feeling that this is like coming to the Williams years after the Hinchcliffe era. There’s just no way of expelling the notion that it’s certainly different and just not as good. But at this stage this is definitely not my first rodeo and I’m really not pining for Moffat and Capaldi to come swooping back. That era was great but it’s done. I really want to get on with the Chib/Whittaker era but it’s just not happening. Not yet, anyway. I’ve been holding off and waiting but I’m genuinely surprised at just how much clock-watching I’m doing through episodes, wondering just how long I’ve got left.

    But, Chibbers isn’t Moffat. He’s RTD

    I get what you mean and S1 was definitely clunky as hell. There’s some really bad stuff there but to me it works because there’s enough cracking episodes sprinkled through it to make it work.

    But I’d say Chibs is far more JNT. More specifically JNT with Bidmead riding his coat. In the sense that he seems to want shift the thematic tone of the show far more dramatically than had been the case for years before. Which is totally fine — I’m very much on board with what he wants to do, just not with the way he’s going about it, which strikes me as clumsy and unsubtle.

    The historicals are a case in point. The four-person TARDIS crew might superficially look like the first crew but it reminds me far more of Davison’s first ensemble really. I’ve always felt that the historicals worked back in the day because we were still learning about the show, learning to know these characters, so seeing them embroiled in a historical setting was an interesting way to see them tested. But after a while, as the show inevitably picked up its own cultural mass, its own tropes, they just became less interesting. The show had irrevocably drifted from that mission statement and I don’t really think there was any going back.

    Having said that, the historicals are the best thing about this series. Rosa and Punjab are great bits of dramatic TV, I think, but I’m not convinced they’re particularly good bits of Who. Certainly they don’t integrate the historical and the Who elements nearly as well as the Hartnell ones did. We never, as far as I recall, got anything as clumsy as that little lecture at the end of Rosa in the Hartnell days.

    The problem for me is that a lot of the time this really doesn’t feel like Who. What it does remind me of, oddly, is Class. But I think at times even Class had more life to it. Certainly Katherine Kelly was a lot more Doctor-ey a lot of the time than Whittaker seems to be. (Ditto Michelle Gomez at the later end of her Missy days.) Class, I think, is really quite underrated — maybe that’s a blog right there.

    Whittaker, I feel, lacks conviction (in much the same way that Ecclestone often seemed to). Even when she’s doing her breathless enthusiasm bit, I’m just not feeling that it’s sincerely meant. Which worked for Ecclestone in the sense you could say that he was covering for his post-war PTSD. And maybe you’re right, Pip, in that its meant to mask her discomfort with the gender change.

    But it will be interesting to see how just how Series 12 goes. If the current gossip is true then we could potentially be more than halfway through this era. I’m not convinced that’s going to be the case but it’s a bizarre thought in itself. But what frustrates me most about this era is not that it’s bad — it’s not, there’s stuff to love in just about every episode — but just that it’s boring and underachieving. The Colin Baker era was objectively bad. It was over-acted with illogical stories and production problems that were transparently played out on screen. But it was never dull. It had the fascination (and feeling) of watching a wasp trapped in a pantomime horse. But this is often dull to me. Too often I seem to get the feeling that it’s trying to use (admirable) conviction as a substitute for ideas. The lack of arcs isn’t helping this but for the first time in the reboot it feels like narratively the show is treading water, not moving forward, not evolving. And in a series that sees the first female Doctor that’s pretty worrying, I think.


    I don’t think the troll conversation was particularly directed at this site, just a general discussion of the timbre of current fan discourse.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @pedant You have indeed blogged and splendidly.  I will I hope have a moment to comment properly but probably not till the weekend.  Suffice it for now to say ‘hear hear’ and that I may have choked up a little bit whilst reading your conclusion and clicking on that link…. Thank you.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    But what frustrates me most about this era is not that it’s bad — it’s not, there’s stuff to love in just about every episode — but just that it’s boring and underachieving.

    But I don’t see it as boring, and I don’t see it as underachieving. Not liking a Doctor is not necessarily a reflection on how well they inhabit the role as they see it – it can just mean that the role as they see it is not how you see it. The disconnect is too great and you end up saying ‘for me, they’re not The Doctor’.

    But that’s a me thing. It’s my reaction to them, not a reflection on whether or not they lack conviction in their performance. It’s the difference between saying ‘oh, okay, I didn’t like that interpretation of Hamlet because it didn’t emphasise Hamlet’s intellectual nature,’ and saying ‘I don’t like that Hamlet because the actor didn’t understand the role.’

    [In fact, the actor had understood the role perfectly, he just thought that his Hamlet was going to be someone who’d stayed at college because he wanted to stay away from the new marriage, and whose education was the problem – because Hamlet wasn’t smart enough to see his way through the opposing viewpoints he’d been taught to a conclusion. Hence the indecisiveness.]

    I did not like Peter Capaldi’s Doctor because (in his first two series) he was grumpy, unlikeable, and incredibly irritated by people. And every single one of these traits can be found in previous Doctors. There was nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with his performance – I just didn’t like that interpretation of the Doctor. It missed out what, for me, is a very important component of the Doctor – which is, even at his most irritating and alien, s/he’s likeable. S/he has charm (as Eccleston said). I accepted the Hurt War Doctor within a scene or two, because he’d picked up on that attribute of ‘charm’ and was busily charming everyone’s pants off.

    But as soon as an actor goes for early Hartnell unlikeable, they go into ‘not the Doctor’ territory, as far as I’m concerned. Even though – as you can see from early Hartnell, C. Baker and Capaldi, likeability is not an essential component as far as The Doctor’s concerned. 🙂

    Anyway, the reason I’m going on about this is that – at the moment – you really sound like me versus the Capaldi Doctor. I don’t know if you’re quite sitting in front of the telly with your arms folded while muttering ‘Entertain me, you bastard!’ or whether the thought of an episode consisting entirely of the Whittaker Doctor on her own would make you break out in hives the way Heaven Sent did me – but that ‘this is dull’ is awfully familiar.

    It wasn’t ‘dull’. I just felt miserable watching it, because I didn’t like the lead character – especially after Moffat killed off the viewpoint character who I did like. Everyone else thought Heaven Sent was brilliant; if you suggested watching a repeat of it versus root canal treatment I’d have to give the root canal some serious consideration. In fact, I think I might go for the root canal.

    Yeah, Whos moving forward. It’s evolving. It’s a thematic arc, not a philosophical or plot arc. It plays with social questions, questions about where we’ve come from, what we’ve done and where we might be going. The monsters we need to fight are internal, not external – that could be really interesting if it’s played with in the finale. What internal monsters are hiding in the TARDIS team? In the Doctor herself?

    Or Chibnall might be planning something else. I think two companions might have been better than three – but then Moffat had three for an awful lot of the Smith Doctor’s run. (Incidentally, I’m fairly certain the clunky coda at the end of Rosa is because Marjorie Blackman came up with a script which fitted the old 42 minutes time, and they needed something to fit it to the new 50 minute time. If you notice, the script is credited to both Blackman and Chibnall. I think he wrote that coda. )

    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish @bluesqueakpip

    …it’s boring and underachieving.

    But I don’t see it as boring, and I don’t see it as underachieving.

    Should we start calling this the divisive Chibnall era? 😛

    Anonymous @

    After thinking about this a little, the one thing I’d add is that, yes, @bluesqueakpip is right in that boring is in the eye of the beholder; just because some are bored doesn’t mean all are.

    At the same time, though, I’d have to give weight to @jimthefish saying the series is underachieving in an objective sense, solely in that it’s turning off a percentage – probably not a very big percentage – of the fan base it should be holding onto.  And the same was true of the Capaldi era, based on falling viewing numbers.  The goal to achieve is to keep hardcore fans happy while bringing in (or back) the casual ones.  Obviously easier said than done, but neither Chibnall nor Moffat has done as well at both halves of the goal as anyone would want, I think.

    What I’m hoping is that Chibnall and any future successors can sit down and analyze what makes the show appeal to both groups, and craft series after series that does so.  Moffat was overambitious with story line cleverness, but seeing some of the reaction to “early Chibnall,” I think he’s under-ambitious with it (conviction instead of ideas).  Any such misplaced ambition can be corrected, and I hope is.



    Should we start calling this the divisive Chibnall era?

    Unlike the Unified Moffat era.

    solely in that it’s turning off a percentage – probably not a very big percentage

    But the ratings tell a different story. It has manifestly picked up new viewers. As a friend of mine said when Whittaker was unveiled: representation matters. And his daughters are loving it.

    What I’m hoping is that Chibnall and any future successors can sit down and analyze what makes the show appeal to both groups,

    It is hard to imagine a worse way to go about fostering creativity and innovation that “this is what has worked in the past, so let’s do it forever”.

    Moffat was overambitious with story line cleverness

    Yep – he should definitely have been conservative and dumb. Seriously, such comments really insult young people.

     Imagine being able to enjoy Doctor Who in isolation. A complete vaccume where no one else can doubt you or tear down your views. That was me growing up watching Sylvester Mccoy. That’s my children with Jodie Whittaker. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks but you. #DoctorWho


    Oops – duplicate

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Should we start calling this the divisive Chibnall era?

    Which (as @pedant says) implies that there was ever a non-divisive era. Afraid to say no such animal exists. Take a look at the audience reaction reports for pretty much any BG era of the show and you’ll see that Who fans have always been a bunch of moaning arses. In fact, I remember the Mrs Fish of the time and I went along to a meeting for a Who fan society in Sydney many years ago (during the interregnum, I think) and were quite gobsmacked at just how tribal and schismatic it was. There were, no word of a lie, three or four factions assembled, none of whom would have any truck with the other but all of whom courted us to see if we could be recruited to their cause. It was bizarre and comical but it pretty much made up our minds not to return.

    And his daughters are loving it

    Which reinforces a point that @bluesqueakpip raised earlier and I meant to address. That by any metric you can care to name, Series 11 is a major success. That there are quarters of the broflake contingent trying to call it a ratings failure just shows how idiotic they can be. As Pip and Pedant point out there are thousands of new fans, many of them young girls delighted to have someone they can cosplay and emulate. All you have to do is look at the endless tweets of them delightedly in their rainbow-stripe coats and sonics.

    And that’s as it should be. They are who the show is for, after all. This is what the likes of bowelstreak and his cohorts forget, and which I try never to forget. While I have a right to my opinion, that opinion doesn’t really matter a whole lot. Not as much as those of the emerging generations of fans. My opinion probably counted for something when Tom Baker was facing off with Jagaroth or Davison with Mawdryn, but not anymore. Now, I’m strictly along for the ride. If I enjoy where the show is going, fine. If I don’t, then really there’s many other things I should be getting exercised about. And that’s why I’ll always try to register my opinion here, or sometimes on the Graun, focus as much on the positives as I can (not always succeeding obviously) and then shut the hell up and let the show get on with it.

    What I’m hoping is that Chibnall and any future successors can sit down and analyze what makes the show appeal to both groups

    Well, in an ideal world, yeah. But I don’t think it’s ever really happened. As I’ve said elsewhere, RTD had the smarts to draft in writers like Moffat to bring what he couldn’t to the writing table. And to an extent, Moffat continued that tradition (if he perhaps let it get a little too stale). Chibbers’ mistake, I think, is failing to do that. He’s not providing variety and he’s not providing continuity. Deliberately so, I think. And I suspect it’s a mistake. Because this is where the dullness is coming in for me. As I said, I don’t find it bad, just kind of samey and there’s been nothing standout, not in terms of Who anyway, although the historicals have had significant dramatic power in their own right. But by this time, Ecclestone would have had Dalek, Tennant would have had Girl in the Fireplace, Smith would have had Eleventh Hour and Capaldi Listen. It’s not too late, of course, but we’re quite far on now and for me it makes this series rather flat narratively speaking.

    But no showrunner is ever going to please anyone. RTD was always going to have a ‘gay agenda’ for some people (he didn’t), Moffat was always going to be too complicated (he wasn’t) and Chibnall is always going to be PC gone mad (he’s not really). A mix of voices can help, but as with any creative, any showrunner has to be true to their voice and vision and if there are people who don’t like it (there are always going to be) then they just have to suck it up and either get with the programme or sit it out until the next regime change.


    Not liking a Doctor is not necessarily a reflection on how well they inhabit the role as they see it – it can just mean that the role as they see it is not how you see it

    There’s certainly an element of that for sure but I’m not sure it’s the whole story. Take Hartnell, for example. I don’t really like the First Doctor. Never have done. But do I accept him as a character? I definitely do. Same with Colin Baker. Really dislike his Doctor but I’m convinced by the performance. I was never convinced by Ecclestone. And I’m not really by Whittaker either. Even when this week she got her ‘Doctor moment’ with King James, I didn’t really get a sense of conviction from it. It felt like a recitation rather than a character moment to me. Rather like how when Ecclestone said ‘fantastic’, I was always left thinking ‘you don’t really think this is fantastic at all, do you?’

    And sometimes it can happen with a Doctor’s era. I didn’t really buy McCoy’s doc when he started. It was pastiche and annoying, trying too hard to be what JNT thought was Troughtonesque. But by the end of the run, McCoy had found the true voice of his Doctor and I totally bought the character. Same in reverse with Tom Baker actually. Pretty much from the off, he nailed his Doctor but just look at him in s18. He’s really not trying that much anymore. There are occasional flashes but really to me the Fourth Doctor’s last story is Horns of Nimon (let’s say Shada to make it slightly more palatable).

    But I suspect we’re never going to reach agreement on this one and that’s totally cool. And you’re essentially right, that the character of the Doctor is so vague and multi-valent and is unique in just how much an individual actor brings to it that you’re never going to please everyone. As you say, everyone has a personal interpretation of how the Doctor should be and there are several ‘types’. For instance, I think people are right when they say that Whittaker’s Doc is somewhat in the Davison mould. Now Davison was very much ‘my’ Doctor when I was the target age for the show but he’s never going to make my list of Top Docs. And consequently, I suppose, WhitDoc with her ‘happy-clappy let’s put flowers in our hair’ approach is never going to appeal either because I tend to align her with that subset of Doctors. (And it’s maybe complicated slightly by her being the first female Doctor and I imagine that most of us have been formulating our own headcanon of what that should be like for years.)

    the thought of an episode consisting entirely of the Whittaker Doctor on her own would make you break out in hives the way Heaven Sent did me

    Actually, I think I’d totally love to see that and that it might be the best thing for WhitDoc to see her operating away from her gazillion companions. Maybe a Lodger-style scenario where she’s separated from the TARDIS and companions and has to find a way back. But at the same time I think Heaven Sent (which needless to say I think is probably the highest bar AG Who has reached) is one of those episodes that wouldn’t work for any other Doctor. In the same way that Rosa could only really have worked with WhitDoc or City of Death for Tom Baker.

    Moffat had three for an awful lot of the Smith Doctor’s run

    He had the sense though for them not to be permanent additions. Both River and Rory dropped in and out as regulars and there’s really only one or two stories where they’re all in situ. A TARDIS team of four is just too much I think. One of the AG innovations that does work, I think, is having the companions not confined to the TARDIS but dropping in, as it were, continuing to have their own life back on Earth. I think that worked and suspect Chibnall should have maintained that. That way you could have a, say, Yaz-free story without it being some weird issue. She just happened to be working that day.

    you really sound like me versus the Capaldi Doctor

    Now, I really will try to dispute this one. As I said above, I’m not pining for Moffat or Capaldi. That era is done and it was done well and I’d even argue that it lasted at least one episode too long. I really want the WhitDoc to work and I really want to like her more than I actually do. I really do believe that I’ve been willing her to succeed, not fail and that it’s with the greatest reluctance that I offer these criticisms. These things take time to bed in and I kept waiting and waiting, saying ‘OK, that didn’t quite work but let’s give it a bit longer’. If anything, I’m reminded of when Colin Baker became the Doctor. I was quite excited and after the whole ‘change, m’dear’ thing I thought ‘this is going to be good, this is going to be great’ and I sat through The Twin Dilemma, Attack of the Cybermen and Vengeance on Varos and I think the first episode of Mark of the Rani before I reluctantly came to the conclusion that ‘yeah, this is what it is and I don’t really like it’.

    And at that point, the only thing to do is to maybe casually drop in every now and again to keep an eye on it but to move on for the time being. That’s what I did then and chances are that’s what I’ll do now. And as others have said, the advantage of now as opposed to then is that we have the whole show at our fingertips. Even if the current iteration isn’t floating your boat, you can occupy yourself with blogs, Big Finish and other media, and even previous eras while cheering on the show in the abstract from the sidelines.

    (Again, apologies for the extremely epic nature of this post. And thanks for reading.)

    Anonymous @

    @pedant @jimthefish

    Should we start calling this the divisive Chibnall era?

    Which (as @pedant says) implies that there was ever a non-divisive era.

    That’s actually what I was trying to imply.  I’m really picky where I go to read about Who, and even more so to view (one bowelstreak – actually about half of one – was more than enough).  At the same time, some of the places I go are so relentlessly pro-JW that it gets on my nerves.  I unapologetically love Moffat and his era, though not every episode, and get tired of the one-viewpoint-only people on either side.  (Though the pro-13 crowd bothers me much less.)

    As to ratings and daughters loving it – good!  The one thing I will absolutely say in favor of Chibnall is that the show will never, ever go away for long now, because he’s shown what a ratings mammoth it can be.  If and when it starts to slip in viewership again, there will be change, maybe even a short hiatus, but nothing more, and that’s all to the good.

    That said, of course nothing is going to be to everyone’s taste, so some will pass on a series or Doctor or showrunner.  (Although, again, I would hope showrunners would generally provide enough variety like RTD did, to satisfy more tastes.)  And that’s okay if people check out; I just hope they check back in at some point.  Maybe the first time won’t work, but eventually they should be surprised and pleased.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    So, apart from the New Year’s special, we do not get another season until 2020.

    That does seem like an awfully long wait (particularly since there were on 10 episodes this year). Could this have been the reason behind a New Year’s show instead of a Christmas show–to be able to claim that the show was running in 2019?


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Yep, I posted that earlier on the News thread but it kind of got lost under the ‘finale’ posts. And I suspect you’re right, that the move was to ensure there was at least some new Who ‘in’ 2019. It’s a mistake, I think. Gap years never do the show any favours.

    Although as the rumours have mostly turned out to be correct so far, I’d wager that s12 will be JW’s last one and that spinning it out like this means she can remain at least the marketable face of Who for another two years before moving on.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    It’s currently December. ‘Early in 2020’ could mean anything between New Years Day 2020 (i.e. a twelve month wait from the 2019 Special, which is itself only about three weeks away) and April 2020 (a sixteen month wait).

    It’s pretty much the same as the gap between Series 9 and 10, in other words, or possibly shorter if they mean to start with another New Year Special.

    The word that is springing into my mind is ‘budget’. The BBC’s budgeting – they want to push the series into 2020 because that will allow them to put the budget into a different accounting period.


    @bluesqueakpip @jimthefish @blenkinsopthebrave

    Yes, this is clearly about cashflow. While Doctor Who is one of the BBC’s most valuable properties, it is also probably it most expensive returning show.

    And the BBC is increasingly resource constrained, and will be until this shitshow of a government is gone.

    This is what the American commentators and Youtube noise generators can’t seem to grasp. The BBC definitely does not want to cancel the show (and especially after its best year for years). But it doesn’t have the money to just chuck at it.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant @bluesqueakpip

    It’s pretty much the same as the gap between Series 9 and 10

    I’m not sure comparing it to the gap between s9 and s10 is that helpful, partly because the gap between the actual series is almost exactly two years between series proper. Where do you include Dr Mysterio? As the start of s10? Which still makes a year gap, with one special and then another four months until the actual series proper. But let’s not forget what it did to s10’s ratings. There’s a case to be made that it’s still long enough to knacker the good work that’s been done in rebuilding audience awareness.

    This is what the American commentators and Youtube noise generators can’t seem to grasp. The BBC definitely does not want to cancel the show

    I haven’t seen anyone anywhere seriously suggest that the show is under threat of cancellation. A few of the broflakes might be calling for it/wishing it but no one with the remotest credibility. I don’t think there’s the remotest chance the show will be cancelled not until it’s really gasping on its last legs. More likely it will end up becoming a co-production with something like Netflix sooner or later.

    And yes, it’s obviously a budgetary decision but what irks is the rather sneaky way they’ve been dripping all this out, trying to hide and spin it. What I’m struck with is that for someone who’s apparently ‘a fan’, Chibnall doesn’t really be that bothered about Who. Moffat split seasons to avoid too long a break (while also juggling Sherlock) and compromised his big finale to save the Christmas slot. At a time when he should really be brimming with ideas for his ‘five-year plan’, he really does give the impression that he doesn’t really give that much of a toss.

    syzygy @thane16


    Dr Mysterio wasn’t well liked? I actually didn’t know that! All three of us thought it was a hoot.  A real Christmas treat. Naturally I preferred The Husbands of River Song and Twice Upon a Time but Thane definitely loved Dr Mysterio because he would’ve been 12 or 13 at that time and related to the kid-star.

    Do you think Chibnall isn’t that bothered? Could it be, that in closed door meetings, they’re dolling out cash, drip by tiny drip, whilst he begs for a tad more? Also, I wonder whether Chibnall, unlike Moffat, who seemed to be involved in lots of interviews etc, is more inclined to keep things very close to his chest ?

    Pondering Puro.

    Anonymous @


    I wonder whether Chibnall, unlike Moffat, who seemed to be involved in lots of interviews etc, is more inclined to keep things very close to his chest ?

    I saw a Moffat interview somewhere in which he was asked what advice he’d give Chibnall, and at least part of his answer was “be less visible [than I’ve been].”  Seems Chibnall is doing so, and probably a good idea.

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