On The Sofa (10)

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    AmeliaG @ameliag

    I will be reading through all the comments on all episodes, including the classic ones! Ive watched from Hartnell to Pertwee so far in order (and some Tom Baker on dvd and britbox, and remember Colin Baker and McCoy. I have alot to catch up on!

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  Yes, BG is before gap and AG is after gap.  Doctor Who on a steam train would be cool.

    @ameliag  Hello right back!

    Stay safe.

    janetteB @janetteb

    welcome @ameliag It seems you are very busy right now and that I have a lot of posts to catch up on on the episode threads, which is good as I certainly never tire of discussing Dr Who.

    Was Colin Baker the first Doctor you saw?



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb    I’m relieved to see you’re still there and not floating down a river somewhere.   Oz does seem to get some extraordinary weather (if you include fires as ‘weather’).   Still,you don’t seem to get many earthquakes, which is definitely a plus – the novelty wears off long before the repairs are finished.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent We were spared the flooding though it would have been nice to get enough rain to make the local river flow but alas, on Thursday when I walked into town it was no more than a muddy drain. The grass is green now though so something to be thankful for.

    We do get extremes of weather but are geologically stable which is some compensation for living in the driest state of the driest continent I guess.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb    Well at the moment we’re getting all the rain that didn’t have time to drop on you  🙂    Though the worst floods were in South Island, absolutely record rainfall, washed away bridges and the like.

    Gives me a break from reinstalling a new heater core in my car, which I was halfway through doing when the rain started.   To my relief, Mrs D has discovered a soap opera on Youtube, which makes a welcome change from the disgusting diseases, people with bizarre medical conditions, and particularly grisly ‘true-life’ American murders we get on TV channels.   It (the soap) happens to be entirely in a south-east Asian dialect of which neither of us know a word, currently on episode 101 (no she didn’t watch from the start), feeding the title into Google Translate tells me it’s in Hmong.   The Hmong are a people in south China/Vietnam/Laos, apparently.   But anyway, Mrs D follows the action and I can happily ignore the whole thing.

    (A few years ago she got addicted to Filipino soaps on DVD, introduced to them by someone at her work.   What intrigued me was that some actors would speak English, some Tagalog, and others would switch between the two, often in mid-sentence and apparently at random, but they all got subtitled in English anyway.)

    Time to load another episode of Who season 6 into my laptop, methinks.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well, Night Terrors I skipped because, well, it’s kinda skippable.   And I wanted to wacth The Girl Who Waited.   That really blows my socks off, even on repeat watching.  It’s right up there with Blink.

    I wrote half a page and posted it on the forum for that episode, but I’ll just hit the highlights here.
    Right from the start – the beautiful, stark, dead white sets just grab you. And then within couple of minutes Amy is trapped in a separate timestream – this episode starts with a rush.

    And, Apalapuchia is under planet-wide quarantine (now where have I heard that recently? This seems to be a particularly appropriate time to be watching this episode).    The garden is really beautiful.

    But the shock of Arthur running into a 60-year-old Amy is – shocking. Excellent make-up and acting, by the way.

    Though nothing compared with the shock of the Doctor shutting the Tardis door in Old Amy’s face after the trio fight their way past the bots.   And Old Amy tells Rory not to let her in and asks the Interface to show her Earth as she turns to meet the robots. I know how this ends but my glasses were still misted up at this point.

    Probably the best ever performance from Karen Gillan (and the best opportunities).

    Amongst a trio of fairly average and forgettable episodes, this one stands out like a supernova.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    I envy those of you out there who live close enough to see this.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Just watched The God Complex.   Interesting premise, a self-reconfiguring hotel.   (I seem to recall Emma Peel of the Avengers was once trapped in such a building.   And of course the castle in Heaven Sent).   The old monster, feeding on faith.   Interesting, but a bit shaky in its development – the conclusion that Amy’s faith in the Doctor made her a target was believable, but not really the ease with which he destroyed her faith.   It’s not that easy.   Would have been more credible spread over a longer period of time, but more painful, so I’m glad they didn’t.   But after the events of the Girl Who Waited, if Amy still has faith in the Doctor it must be pretty unshakeable by now.

    I really did like the character of Rita.   Smart, very quick on the uptake, and courageous.   I was disappointed when she died.   She would have made an excellent companion (but the job was already taken).     So then we were left with the ferrety alien – ugh.   I was waiting for someone to hit him.

    OsdfFdsfg @osdffdsfg

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    janetteB @janetteb

    Been a busy and exhausting week, getting things prepared for our little writing festival and helping youngest son with an essay on the Spanish Civil War, a depressing subject, and so tonight, we put on The Five-ish Doctors Reboot. It is so wonderfully good, so clever, so warm hearted. We are finishing off with Steven Moffat’s first Dr Who foray, The Curse of Fatal Death. Two find un canon Dr Who offerings perfect for a lazy Friday night.




    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb I have always thought of the Spanish Civil War as both depressing and inspirational.

    I offer this photo as representative of the inspirational side of it. The soldier on the left was Oliver Law, who was the first Black American to command troops in action. It was 1937 (not 1927 as the caption claims), and it showed what was possible.

    Oliver Law (left) (1927) Commander of the Abraham Lincoln brigade in the Spanish Civil War. He was killed fighting fascism 80 years ago today. from OldSchoolCool


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb    I loved the Five-ish Doctors.  Good comedy, aside from the hook of trying-to-recognise-every-character.

    It was actually on the strength of that, that I acquired McCoy’s last three stories in oldWho.   I’d always dismissed him (based solely on that silly  ‘???’ jumper and ‘?’ brolly), as a lightweight, but actually, he’s funny, quick-witted, and can be cunning/sinister at the same time (a bit like the Moff).   And I immediately liked Ace.   It’s evident from con footage that Sophie and McCoy are really comfortable with each other, there’s a nice vibe between them.   It would have been interesting to see where they were going after the last episode screened (preferably, with the aid of time travel, with some decent modern effects).

    I’ve just finished S6, Wedding of River Song, I’ll do a short paragraph on it separately.


    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave  That is a great photo! The Abraham Lincoln Brigade with Oliver Law have the look of heroes everywhere, just everyday people doing what they think is right and good.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @dentarthurdent I actually really liked the Sylvester McCoy Who in the BG Who. From what I understand of his tenure was I think his storylines were what hasbecome known as the Cartmel plan which from what I understand was going to give the Doctor a back history that he was in fact some kinder of ancient Uber Timelord,  hmmm now where have we seen that kind of storyline. In retrospect with the Cartmel Plan in mind I see where Chibbers got his Lonley Child story arc. Back  to McCoy Doc initially when he became the doctor I was a bit surprised partly as it was a surprise change at the time due I think Colin Baker either resigning or being sacked and the fact that he was mainly know a comedic/quirky role  actor. But like you I soon became to like his portrayal of the Doctor especially in the episodes where he was portraying what appeared to be a darker/mysterious natured  Doctor for example in Battlefield, Curse of Fenric and Silver Nemisis stories.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    I was lying in bed last night musing on River Song (as one does), and I suddenly realised that a major problem I have conceptualising her travels is groundless, misguided and WORNG. I had assumed that River was living life ‘backwards’, but that was not only impossible but factually incorrect and leads to total confusion. e.g. the Doctor’s last meeting with her (Darillium) should by that logic have been River’s first meeting with him. And how could she coexist and interact with ‘normal’ people for an hour?

    No. River lives life forwards, just like everyone else (except when she’s actually time-jumping). It’s only her random meetings with the Doctor that appear in a different order to each of them.

    The way I conceptualise it is this – say the Doctor is on a (‘linear’) train journey from Lisbon via Madrid, Barcelona, Nice, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw, and Minsk to Moscow. (Helps to visualise if the towns are more or less in a line). As he stops over in Nice he encounters River for her first time (that’d be Demons Run). He finally gets off the ‘Nizza’ in Kievsky station in Moscow and meets River for (his) last time (the Kremlin Gardens aren’t exactly the Singing Towers of Darillium but they’ll have to do). In between, River sits in Edinburgh (Stormcage), periodically teleporting off to encounter the Doctor at random stops along his route. Her last trip is to the Doctor’s initial location in Lisbon, where she falls off the Castelo dos Mouros and dies the ‘first’ time she meets him.

    (You may prefer to substitute any other linear journey like Quebec – Montreal – Ottawa – Winnipeg – Calgary – Vancouver, or Townsville – Brisbane – Sydney – Melbourne – Adelaide, anything familiar to you). Thing is, the Doctor’s timeline appears *to him* to be a linear progression. Just as River’s does *to her*.)

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @devilishrobby   I should probably acquire a few more episodes of Seven.   I effectively stopped watching Who partway through Jon Pertwee’s stint  (following TV series in those days required real dedication, since asynchronous viewing was not possible).   So the only Sevens I’ve seen are the last three, Ghost Light, Fenric and Survival.   I think a good comedy actor ‘going dark’ can be very effective indeed.   To do comedy well, they need above all a good sense of tone and timing, and that works well when being sinister.   And from what I’ve seen of Sylvester McCoy at cons (on Youtube, thank you bootleggers) he’s pretty quick-witted.

    By the way, since last night I’ve suddenly acquired a far greater tolerance for the quaint costumes and ‘effects’ that oldWho was encumbered with.   They were doing their best with the very limited technology and budget that they had.

    (What happened?   Last night I randomly stumbled across a Youtube video of ‘Birdemic’, which must have the worst ‘special FX’ ever perpetrated.   And I don’t say that lightly.   Now the makers had the benefit of modern technology so their CGI ‘birds’ are rendered in crisp sharp detail – which just makes the utter laziness and total incompetence of the film makers even more glaringly obvious.   (Just Google it, or see for example  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLNBp22sahk    at 4:50  or  6:15   – I defy anyone not to burst out laughing at the sheer absurdity of it. )

    So in the light of that, I can be far more accommodating of the Old One (?) in Fenric, or the cat people in Survival, while still wishing they’d had more modern tech (say nuWho level) when making it.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @devilishrobby My youngest son recently gave me a long lecture on The Cartmell Plan. If only he was that dedicated to his study. He was researching Dr Who while I was researching the Spanish Civil War on his behalf. I got the impression from what son said that the Timeless Children concept might have evolved out of the Cartmell Plan but I was far more interested in the Spanish Civil war at the time so my understanding of it is still sketchy.

    @dentarthurdent I think when watching any series from the past some leeway has to be given to the special effect though at times the models used look more real that poor CGI. Over reliance on CGI can be just as bad as overly ambitions special effects in the past. One of the problems that Dr Who producers had was that the writers’ often did not understand the limitations of what could be achieved and so they were expected to produce effects that were then impossible. Quite a few scripts were ditched or heavily revised because of this. (We have a podcast where we discuss special effects, models verses CGI but I think it is still being edited. I am rather more than just a bit behind at the moment.)

    @blenkinsopthebrave that is a lovely photo and  @winston I believe that there is a film or tv series, (fictional),coming out soon about a volunteer in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade which I am tentatively looking forward to.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   Well yes.   I just watched ‘Closing Time’ (before Wedding of River Song), which features a Cybermat – real vicious-looking little critter.  But in the ‘behind the scenes’ clip they have a shot of the original Cybermat and – oh dear oh dear.   A cuddly plush toy with frilly felt ‘teeth’, it really does look like it belongs in a cot with a 2-year-old.

    One of my other enthusiasms was Blakes 7, and you can be sure that wasn’t because of the special effects either, or the model shots   🙂       Though model shots can be very good (Red Dwarf, Star Wars) – I don’t know if model-making has had any huge advances in technology in the last few decades or it’s just better budget.

    Modern CGI has gone too far the other way – perspectives are too exaggerated, parallax motion too accelerated.   For quite a long time the James Bond movies were an honourable exception, they did all their (quite often really dangerous) stunts ‘for real’, and you could tell.    But they eventually fell off the wagon, there was some really terribly fake CGI in Die Another Day (which is in other ways a movie I enjoy).   I don’t mean the ‘invisible car’, we know that’s sci-fi so I’ll accept an unreal CGI shot, but e.g. Bond’s jet-ice-racer dangling off a cliff – its motion is so unnatural.   In fact getting motion right is probably the most difficult challenge in CGI.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent You have nailed the problem with CGI. It is often taken too far to represent the impossible. That is one of the problems I have with LOTR, the overuse of CGI that breaks the viewer’s immersion in the narrative. If something defies our sense of what is physically possible then we know that we are watching a fiction, unless it is deliberately fantasy and we have been told that what is impossible is possible, ie the Tardis is bigger on the inside. I can believe that the Tardis is bigger on the inside but I do not believe the dwarfs would survive that fall in the goblin caves. I think you are correct about the challenge re’ getting motion right in CGI. Facial expressions are also difficult. CGI works best when used for background, landscape and fantasy elements but not when it is used to replace good acting. (Galadrial at the mirror and Gandalf in Bagend)

    We loved Blakes 7 too. We did one of our first Cult TV podcasts on Blakes 7. I don’t know if it survived the transition to the new site last year or not. Will check and post the link if it did.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb Something I find interesting is that our levels of ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ i.e. what we find credible, is not uniform, it’s highly idiosyncratic. It’s NOT like the boundary of what I can accept is a smooth curve through the space of all possible phenomena, and someone else who may be ‘less credulous’ has a boundary 20 percent short of mine in all directions. More like our boundaries weave around like the coastline of Britain.

    For example, I’ll happily accept time travel and ‘bigger on the inside’ – the two biggest physical impossibilities in all of Who. But I’m an engineer, I have a close acquaintance with mechanics, so my tolerance there is limited. This is probably why ‘Kill the Moon’ dropped me out of credibility right from the start – a Space Shuttle (which is a big glider) landing on the Moon (which has no air)? And the Moon’s mass is essentially fixed, how could the total mass change even if it was an egg hatching? (Note the improbability of a 2000-mile bird doesn’t worry me at all. Conservation of mass does). Now when it flies away (how? Birds need air for their wings to work on. Also, how does it breathe, but that’s very much secondary for me) and magically produces an egg the same size – just doubling the total mass from nowhere – oh dear oh dear. That just broke everything.

    Now somebody else might notice nothing wrong with all that and be far more concerned with the Doctor’s treatment of Clara and the annoying kid.

    Another one that gives me pause is the scene at the end of Journey’s End with about 10 old companions working the Tardis. Never mind that the Tardis is sometimes picky about who controls her, and can usually be flown by one, how on earth do 10 people usefully co-ordinate their actions? It’d be like three people trying to drive a car at once. It’s not physically impossible, it just doesn’t ‘work’ for me.

    I also, for example, have quibbles about the Cybermen in The Doctor Falls apparently punching their way up through decks in the giant ship. Those decks must be massively strong, any Cyberman that tried would just end up as a metallic squish on the ceiling of the floor below. A bit like your problem with the dwarfs in the goblin caves. But I can manage to overlook the Cybermen for the sake of the story.

    “CGI works best when used for background, landscape and fantasy elements” Absolutely. Also, I guess, if it’s being used for fantasy elements, we have no experience of the ‘real thing’ to tell our senses that the CGI is not quite right. And backgrounds are usually okay because we’re not really looking hard at them.

    I do agree that LOTR has far too much CGI.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Last night Mrs Blenkinsop and I finished watching “The Wheel in Space”, a Troughton story in six parts, from 1968. It was one of those stories that was previously “lost”, with only two episodes surviving. In the recent past, these type of lost stories have been animated, and as a result–in my mind anyway–somewhat clunky (the recently restored “Macra Terror” being a case in point). But with this one they used surviving still shots, photos from the shoot, and added the surviving audio track around the still shots. We both found this a far superior form of restoration, in part because you could see real facial impressions along with the dialogue.

    The story is a superior Cybermen story, set on a space station, with an international and multi racial crew (and a couple of definite Australian accents). It is the story that introduces Zoe who will become the new companion after the departure of Victoria. It is a ripping yarn, of claustrophobic unease on the space station with aforementioned Cybermen, a large cast with speaking roles (you really get the sense of a crew working together) and even a sequence that involves Jamie on a space walk (but not in his kilt, I hasten to add). All in all, a great story. We accessed it via “Britbox”. Highly recommended.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Hello everyone!

    I know I haven’t been very active recently, but I’d like to ask a favour even so… I hope this is OK to post here.

    In March I co-presented a talk on increasing visibility of dyspraxia in university systems for a conference on accessibility hosted by my university (the OU). One of the points I made was that at the moment the best resource for studying with dyspraxia might well be students with dyspraxia – especially for humanities, where very little research seems to exist.

    We’ve been asked to write an article for October (a long deadline, but I’m working on my dissertation through till January, and the person I’m working with is supervising other students as they write their dissertations and teaching the taught modules. And we’re both dyspraxic. So we need the time!) about studying with dyspraxia, and we’re looking for people’s experience – support, or the lack of it, and also, techniques people have either been taught or come up with for studying and essay writing.

    My main thoughts on the matter at the moment are that the bulk of educational support seems to focus on getting the information in (which is, unquestionably, important) and there isn’t so much out there for how to get the information out of our heads and onto the page. Or with issues with proofing our work even when reading levels are fine.

    I know there’s at least a couple of you on here with a: degrees, and b: dyspraxia. And I think there’s always a lot to be gained about talking about things like this, and sharing experience. So if anyone on here feels willing to chat about this – no one needs to be named in the article if they don’t want, feel free to drop me a comment (or comment here, whichever you’re more comfortable with).


    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave We have the reconstructed stories but I have only watched a couple. Not sure if we have watched Wheel in Space or not. Will have to have a look as it sounds like it might be the Dr Who story that frightened me when  I was a child. (Not even really sure it was Dr Who)

    @miapatrick. I would be very happy to help as I have some experiences to share. Will message you.



    janetteB @janetteb

    We are currently watching Listen. I must have watched it at least twenty times already. It is one of those episodes that can be watched and watched and is always a pleasure. We just watched Time Heist, out of order, and that always bears up well to repeated viewings too.





    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb    Listen is one of my favourites.   Capaldi at his best and the Doctor at his most ‘alien’.   And a couple of really hair-raising moments – who would have thought that the old kid-under-a-blanket routine could be so scary?   And of course the classic noises-in-an-empty-place where no-one could possibly be…

    But also, funny and entertaining, as Moffatt usually is.

    It’s right up there with Blink and Midnight in my episode rankings.

    Time Heist is okay, quite watchable, but not in the same class as Listen.   IMO, of course.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    The Troughton story Wheel in Space is not yet on DVD. We got it through the streaming service BritBox. Not sure if that is available in Australia. But whichever streaming service in Australia has all the old Who should have it. Happy hunting.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave. We do have a reconstructed version in our personal library. Not sure as to the quality however. We have had the collection for some time so there might well be a better version around now but it does use stills and voice over so sounds akin to what you described.

    @dentarthurdent Time Heist is certainly not Listen which is one of the best of the best. I view it as one of the better of the average episodes. BTW hope you are not too adversely effected by the storm.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   Thanks, but (as usual) Auckland just gets the tail of the weather, after it’s expended most of its energy over South Island and Wellington.    We got some heavy rain last night, and stiff winds today, but nothing exceptional.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    That is excellent! I was unaware that the whole thing had been previously released. I would love to hear your reactions when you get around to it.

    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave  I hope you and the Mrs. are managing the heat wave that the west is having. My daughter was having a hard time keeping her furry kids cool which really upset her but it cooled a bit today where she is. We have extreme heat here but a lot of us have air conditioners to keep us cool. Anyway , take care and keep as cool as a cucumber.

    stay safe.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well the last Who  I watched was The Wedding of River Song.

    What a way to start an ep. All of time happening at once in a chaotic jumble (and also, great fun to watch the anachronisms).

    “There are no rats in the transept”. “Good.” “The skulls eat them.” I burst out laughing at that. And then the skulls ate Gantok…

    “And they want me dead.” “No, not really. They just don’t want you to remain alive.”

    A lovely convoluted jigsaw of an episode which will all make sense in the end – we hope.

    The Soothsayer (Doctor) telling Churchill the story while Silents lurk and black score marks appear on his arm (you really do need to have seen the whole story-so-far to appreciate this).

    So then River (in the astronaut suit) drained the weapons system so it didn’t shoot the Doctor and that disrupted the Fixed Point in Time such that all time happens at once.

    “Don’t panic. In small numbers they’re not too difficult” – and his arm is covered in score marks. An extraordinarily disturbing thing, to discover you’ve just been fighting off scores of the things and they’re probably still around and *you can’t remember*. And then Amy walks in and shoots him.

    Then it gets really complicated…

    Lots of lovely moments. Amy putting Madame Kovarian’s deadly eyepatch back in place, “River Song didn’t get it all from you, sweetie.”

    And it did all make sense in the end. Even the subterfuge of using the Tesselecta as, effectively, armour, so River could shoot him (thus getting the Silents off his track) with non-fatal results.

    As so often, it repays two watchings. One to get the general drift, and the second time through, you can see where it’s going and fit the scenes into a mental framework. And it’s good writing, I think, NOT to tediously explain every aspect for some non-regular viewer who just tuned in five minutes ago.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent The Tessalecta was such an obvious “get out of goal free” card hidden in plain sight and we none of us guessed it. It was such a beautifully simple solution to the riddle of the series.

    This is a classic Moffat episode, timey wimey story that challenges and amuses the viewer in equal parts.



    Missy @missy


    Agreed, I didn’t see it coming either, as you say, obvious and classic Moffat material.

    Chibnall could take lessons from Mr. M.

    I wonder what INSIDE  MAN will be like?



    janetteB @janetteb

    @missy I had seen that series is in development but did not realise that Moffat was the writer. That explains the cast, which includes David Tennant, Dolly Wells and the other Dracula name which I have already forgotten. Now I am more interested.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb @missy    I do like it when the writer tells you what s/he’s going to do, then at the end of the episode (when you’ve completely forgotten about it) s/he saves the day by doing exactly that.   For some reason this makes some people very cross, but I love it.   I love the audacity of it.   And there’s a certain neatness to it.

    I wish I could think of some examples (I know there are, just can’t bring them to mind).

    Ricey1979 @jimjams79

    Played this? Tardis landing at the beginning!


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Asylum of the Daleks. Truly fascinating from start to finish, with a plethora of understated yet chilling lines.

    DARLA: My memories are only reactivated if they are required to facilitate cover or disguise.
    DOCTOR: You had a daughter.
    DARLA: I know. I’ve read my file.

    HARVEY: I died outside, and the cold preserved my body. I forgot about dying.

    Even the Daleks get some good lines:
    DOCTOR: I thought you’d run out of ways to make me sick. Hello again. You think hatred is beautiful.
    DALEK PM: Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you.

    AMY: (on being Dalek-ised) What comes first? How does it start?
    DOCTOR: With your mind. Your feelings, your memories, and I’m sorry but it’s started already.
    AMY: How do you know?
    DOCTOR: Because we’ve had this conversation four times.

    And the neatest reason ever for Amy and Rory being dragged into the action – “It is known the Doctor required companions.”

    Oswin Oswald – a brilliant character. But in retrospect, there are clues stacked up ceiling high that she cannot be ‘real’ any more. Keeping Daleks out with a couple of planks. Hacking the Dalek computer systems (‘very easy to hack’. Doctor: No it isn’t). Or the fact that Oswin can see the Doctor, Amy and Rory but they can’t see her – the script even lampshades it. But she is such a dazzling character that my mind just didn’t want to entertain the idea that she might be a Dalek, even with the example of Darla and Harvey right in front of me.

    It was a master bit of plotting when Oswin saved the Doctor by simply deleting him from the Dalek database. And then, one of the most tragic moments in all of Doctor Who, as Oswin’s excited jubilation at being rescued is contrasted with the fact that she is now a Dalek and beyond help. First time I watched it, this completely broke me up, I was so sure they were going to rescue her.

    So then Oswin takes the security system down so the Dalek fleet can destroy the asylum (and her), and the Doctor and friends can escape by teleport to the Dalek command ship where – the Daleks don’t know who he is. “Doctor – Who?” indeed.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent You missed one. Rory “What colour” and when they all look at him. “There were no good questions left”. (or words to that effect.)

    It is one of the “great episodes”.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Absolutely agree about it being one of the great episodes.   And I think having a novel situation (like the Doctor being required to save the Daleks from their own insane casualties) is conducive to entertaining dialogue.

    There was a nice exchange just after Rory’s comment that you noted –

    DOCTOR: You’re going to fire me at a planet? That’s your plan? I get fired at a planet and expected to fix it.
    RORY: In fairness, that is slightly your M. O.
    DOCTOR: Don’t be fair to the Daleks when they’re firing me at a planet.

    But there’s far too much to quote.    “Where d’you get the milk” is one of those apparently irrelevant asides that turns out to be highly significant – just as the Doctor insists.   I get the impression that the Moff is enjoying himself, waving tantalising details at us which we are most definitely going to ignore.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent And the Doctor adjusting his bow tie when it is clear that Amy and Rory have healed the breach. It is those lovely little moments that make Moffat’s writing so brilliant and the current writing seem so lackluster.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   Oh yes, I noticed that.  Clever Doctor.     For an alien who’s sometimes socially – odd, he can also be remarkably perceptive.

    In many series, the Amy – Rory rift would take an entire episode of angst all to itself.   Here, it was just a subplot.   There’s just so much happening in this episode.


    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent   This is one of my favourite Dalek episodes, the  Daleks needing the Doctors help with even more dangerous Daleks. Poor Oswin is one of them in the end and although I figured it out early I hoped I was wrong.

    There is a lot of banter, running down dark corridors and a little love story, who needs more? A quest to save the princess trapped by monsters and on the way Rory and Amy learn that love can overcome anything.

    Stay safe

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston    Now you put it that way, it is in fact the classic fairy story.   But quite the most entertaining one I have ever seen.   And yes, I think it’s my favourite Dalek episode too.

    I think I half-guessed that there was something not quite right about Oswin (dare I say ‘impossible’?) but my emotional self just didn’t want to know.    Much of this was due to how well Oswin was written and how well Jenna Coleman carried it off – perfect casting, I wanted Oswin to be real.   I think the gradual reveal (like, the Moff was throwing hints at us the entire episode) actually added to the emotional impact because we were sort of primed for it – if it had come out of the blue it would have been more of a shock but maybe less deeply felt.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Incidentally, thinking back to Asylum, was Darla the first occurrence of a Dalek ‘skin job’?   (Not sure what the correct terminology is, I borrowed that from Battlestar Galactica).    I think the next occurrence was Tasha Lem in ‘Time of the Doctor’?

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    I think onscreen it is the first instance of the modern dalekification, though I suppose technically the robotisation of humans was probably seen in the BG Doctor Who and the Dalek invasion of the earth in both the tv and film versions in the 60’s, in the book and big finish audiobooks lore they have been used several times

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Those earlier instances, did the dalekised humans fully retain their original human shape?   Or were they humans trapped inside a Dalek ‘tank’?

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent and @devilishrobby In Dalek Invasion of Earth, which we watched just last week the “robomen” were wearing a kind of metal band over their heads which controlled them. And even though it is only a week ago, I am not entirely certain but  I think they were basically “dead”, and not “recoverable”. Back in Old Who days human life was generally pretty cheap, unless it was one of the main characters. I do recommend Dalek Invasion of Earth. It is one of the best of the first Doctor stories.






    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb    In NuWho days human life is sometimes pretty cheap too, specially when Daleks are around…   I don’t think Darla is ‘recoverable’ either.

    And Tasha Lem died, as the Dalek said, ‘Several times’.   (The Moff can really make a couple of words chilling).   (Incidentally my latest Thinkpad is named ‘Tasha’ – when I install a new operating system I have to give it an arbitrary name so they’re all named after sci-fi characters)

    I’ll note Dalek Invasion of Earth for future, but I think I’ll continue my trek through NuWho for now.   I just watched Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, which isn’t bad, but suffers a little from the comparison with Asylum and A Town Called Mercy.   Talking of cheap human(oid) life, Solomon murdering all the Silurians was pretty nasty, I didn’t mind at all that the Doctor sent him off for missile target practice.    I liked Nefertiti, I just couldn’t figure her getting stuck with Mr White Hunter.   Might have worked if he had more charisma and less ego.    She would have made a good Companion if the position wasn’t already occupied by the Ponds and booked for Clara.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent I think the real difference, (and many old Who fans would be calling for my blood for saying this) is that in BG Who the scriptwriters treat life as cheap, whereas in AGWho the characters who treat life as cheap, like Soloman are “evil”.  We cannot feel any sympathy at all for Soloman who committed genocide.

    Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is a mediocre episode, fun but not really one to rewatch too often. Mr Weasley, Brian was a good addition to the story but Mr White Hunter really contributed very little at all.  I found Nefertiti slightly irritating as well but her character did have a purpose within the story.

    I am not a fan of A Town Called Mercy mostly because I hate Westerns and that cyborg looks far too much like Kryten. Have you watched The Power of Three yet?



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