On The Sofa (10)

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    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    I agree about Dinosaurs.   Okay to watch but not high on my list.

    Haven’t rewatched A Town Called Mercy yet (haven’t had time) but it’s next on my list.   I don’t hate all Westerns – they’re a very mixed bag.   There was an awful lot of rubbish produced, with a few really good ones; but you could say the same of sci-fi.  At the moment some TV channel is re-running all 15,000 episodes of Bonanza, which Mrs D watches while I try to bury my head in my laptop.   But I do have a liking for Sergio Leone’s ultimate Spaghetti Western, Once Upon a Time in the West, (the European version with the longer running time), not least because of Ennio Morricone’s amazing score, and Leone knows how to build up tension.    Incidentally, it was shot in the same area of Spain as A Town Called Mercy.

    It feels like just about every long-running sci-fi and fantasy series has done a Western episode at some time or other – Farscape, Red Dwarf, Who.   Not sure if Firefly did one specifically but then that whole series was a ‘space western’.   And Blakes 7 similarly.   Oh and of course The Prisoner, with ‘Living in Harmony’ – a good episode IIRC.

    But anyway, from memory of my first watching, I really like ‘Mercy’.   As I recall Amy gets really irate with the Doctor and threatens to shoot him – Amy on the warpath is truly impressive.

    The Power of Three (which I’ll watch after Mercy) – I loved the concept of the cubes.   They lent themselves to some really quirky and entertaining moments.   And in their studying us while we studied them, that’s reminiscent of (I won’t say ‘copied from’) the mice in Hitchhiker, where Arthur Dent tells Slartibartfast he’s got it back to front, we study the mice and Slarty replies ‘ingenious, aren’t they’ (or words to that effect).   So, anyway, so far so good for the cubes.   But that build-up really needed a better payoff, just looking to kill us with electric shocks to effect an invasion – why would that take a year of study by the cubes to arrive at?   A technology that could create the cubes could defeat us in two weeks flat.   So, I found the build-up great but the payoff disappointing.   But I’ll see on re-watch.

    nerys @nerys

    @dentarthurdent “Asylum of the Daleks” is one of my continually rewatched episodes. It never gets old, at least not for me. Here we are introduced to Oswin, later on Clara. I was so intrigued by Oswin, but mildly disappointed by Clara’s debut. (Not to digress too much, but it’s almost like the idea of “The Impossible Girl” was better than how it actually played out.) Anyway, there is so much to love about this episode … it remains one of my favourites!

    I think we can discuss other non-Doctor Who shows here, yes? My husband and I just finished watching the second season/series of Staged. What a great comedic take (with a few dark moments) on the twists and turns this pandemic has taken in all our lives!

    We also just finished watching all five seasons of Orphan Black. Wow, my hat’s off to Tatiana Maslany, who played multiple roles beautifully and utterly convincingly! Solid ensemble cast and storyline that looked like it was produced as planned, right through to the end.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Oh, and yes, the cyborg in Mercy does look remarkably like Kryten.   But I don’t count that as a negative.

    I think it probably also resembles Yul Brynner’s android in Westworld, but I must admit I haven’t seen that movie.

    Incidentally, the concept of a droid-populated environment (as in Westworld) was also borrowed by Red Dwarf in (Googles)  ‘Meltdown’.   Red Dwarf covered a huge gamut of fascinating sci-fi concepts, it was far more inventive than it’s usually given credit for, I suspect it’s under-estimated because it was also a comedy.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys    Well, Asylum of the Daleks is obviously one of my favourites too.   Whether I’ll find the ‘impossible girl’ debut of Clara disappointing on second viewing, I’ll know in a few days since I’m re-watching in episode order.   Certainly liked her the first time round.

    I don’t know Staged (but yes it’s certainly OK to discuss other shows in this forum, I think).   Looks as if it’s worth a watch.  Michael Sheen and David Tennant – last seen in Good Omens, I think?   That was a pretty good mini-series.

    nerys @nerys

    @dentarthurdent I guess I was so taken with Oswin’s passion that I found that lacking in Clara, at least initially. I always felt (and I know this is subjective) that Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman didn’t have the kind of chemistry Smith shared with Karen Gilliam and, by extension, Arthur Darvill. “The Angels Take Manhattan” left me so distraught that I didn’t even feel like watching Doctor Who for a while … and so maybe that was part of it, as well.

    Interestingly, I loved Clara in “The Day of the Doctor” (the 50th anniversary special). It seemed to me that Coleman was taking energy from David Tennant and the other Doctors, which infused her interactions with Smith’s Doc, as well. Of course, that is my viewer’s take on it, which is probably completely unsupported by what was actually happening. When Coleman and Peter Capaldi’s Doc got going, then I felt her character really took off.

    Speaking of David Tennant: Yes, Staged is the series in which he co-stars with Michael Sheen, following up on Good Omens, in which they also co-starred. They are brilliant together. It feels completely spontaneous, like the two actors are riffing off one another. Apparently they were so convincing in the first season/series that viewers felt they really were improvising. No, there actually is a writer, and so this comes into play in the second season/series. I will say no more! Staged brought some much-needed laughter into our household, for which we are very grateful.

    nerys @nerys

    Drat, Karen Gillan. Sorry about the misspelling (and it’s too late for me to edit it).

    janetteB @janetteb

    @nerys I love Staged and there is to be another series of Good Omens. Apparently Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman discussed a sequel but never wrote anything down.

    @dentarthurdent I agree re’ the cubes. Such a neat idea but a very disappointing resolution. Speaking of Red Dwarf we are finally going to review it in the podcast but that is currently delayed due to lockdown. I will let you know when it goes up.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   I’ll be very interested to see your Red Dwarf podcast.

    @nerys   I basically agree with all of that.   Oswin was such a dazzling character, and so tragic.   And The Snowmen was not one of the best Christmas specials (in my opinion).   So though The Bells of St John was a good episode, with some witty interaction between the Doctor and Clara, it does suffer a bit by comparison with Asylum.   It (Bells) has some of the feel of Rose’s introduction in ‘Rose’.   The Rings of Akhaten was also a so-so episode (IMO).   Its ‘alien planet’ reminded me of a Farscape scenario for some reason.   ‘Hide’ I liked, and ‘Journey to the Centre of the Tardis’, but none of those Clara + Smith episodes were outstanding until DotD.

    And yes, the sudden loss of Amy and Rory in ‘Angels Take Manhatten’, just when we thought the peril was over, was shocking.   I know the feeling.   I could never really warm up to Donna after her first appearance at the end of Doomsday when the Doctor was grieving the loss of Rose and Donna literally burst on the scene.

    Day of the Doctor was possibly the best Who episode ever (at least in my personal list).   Even though it didn’t feature my favourite Doctor (Capaldi), Smith + Tennant + John Hurt made up for it.   Clara was great in it, as was Rose (aka the Interface) – it was great to see her again.   And it had Osgood too, another intriguing character.   Generally, more is not better (as in Journey’s End – too many people), but in the case of DotD it all worked well.

    I’ll see if I can get ‘Staged’ on DVD.

    nerys @nerys

    @janetteb I had read that there was another season/series of Good Omens! I really need to watch that without commercial interruptions. Sadly, as with Doctor Who, when there are constant commercial breaks, it really disrupts the flow of the program. It gave Good Omens an overly frenetic, almost frantic vibe, which I do not remember from the book. It will be interesting to see what they come up with for a new season/series.

    @dentarthurdent I could never really warm up to Donna after her first appearance at the end of Doomsday when the Doctor was grieving the loss of Rose and Donna literally burst on the scene.

    Ah, dem’s fightin’ words! Just kidding. Donna is one of my favorite companions. But I think the reason I didn’t have the same reaction you did is because of something quite silly. We were watching Doctor Who on cable, and this was in the pre-DVR days. The Space Channel (now CTV Sci-Fi) kept moving Doctor Who around in its schedule. We had our VCR programmed to a certain day and time. Space would move it, and we couldn’t figure out when it was on. So there were these big gaps in our viewing, till we finally managed to track down Doctor Who again. It just so happened that we missed all the angst with Rose going off into her parallel world. When we got back on track, it was with “Silence in the Library” … one of the eeriest Doctor Who episodes ever. And don’t get me started on “Midnight”! That’s another one I never tire of.

    I absolutely agree with you on “Day of the Doctor”! Everyone involved caught lightning in a bottle. It has a magical charm that draws me to watch it again and again … and again.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys   Well, first impressions definitely matter.   In my case, having seen Asylum, I was definitely well-disposed towards Clara (and Clara lookalikes), though the loss of Amy was a shock.   (All right, and Rory too, originally he was a bit of a dork but he improved as time went along.   Liked him better than Danny Pink, anyways).

    If you’d seen the loss of Rose then maybe you would have shared my doubts about Donna.  Or not, I can’t say how you ‘ought to’ feel!   But Rose was, at that point, *the* companion (in NuWho terms), an impossible act to follow.   I think Martha was fortunate in that Donna intervened for one episode, so by the time Martha appeared the pain of losing Rose had subsided a little.

    But if you only found Who again with Silence in the Library, you missed a huge chunk of Who – some of Rose, all of Martha, and some of Donna.   This is why I prefer to do my watching off DVD, no longer a slave to the TV programmers.

    I recall when Blakes 7 was on (in re-runs) in the 80’s, I used to dash home from work (they put it on at 5-30, for the ‘kiddies’, then had to reschedule the final episode because it wasn’t suitable for the kids what with everyone getting shot 🙂  – but anyway, my boss used to notice me rocketing out the door at 4-30 on Thursdays and I’m sure it didn’t help his opinion of me.   He never actually said anything, so I didn’t have the opportunity to point out that I usually worked a few minutes later on all other days (and besides, admitting that I was dashing off to watch a kids sci-fi programme?   Uh, no).

    Umm, Midnight.    That was a mini-classic.   And they never did find out the stewardess’s name.   Probably RTD’s best episode.

    Good Omens, I got the DVDs.   I got them because I like Pratchett and Gaiman, liked the book.   The TV show had a lot of new things in it, but (seen on DVD without ads) didn’t seem at all frenetic to me.   One thing I enjoyed having the luxury of DVD – when the witchfinder sticks a pin in the map to show the cottage – that’s a real OS map.   And I found the location – they changed the name on the map in the episode, but by freeze-framing I recognised the general area and the actual spot on the map is named Colstrope Farm.   And here’s the thing – Googling tells me the actual cottage they used for filming *was* Colstrope (just north of Hambledon, near Henley-on-Thames).   Nice touch!   It really didn’t matter for the series, any map would have done, not even the nit-pickiest map-obsessed geek would have complained if the map was arbitrary, I guess it qualifies as a well-hidden ‘Easter egg’.   Really DVD with its sharp freeze-frame is a gift to geeks of all varieties.

    Oh, and I just ordered the DVD of Staged (both series).

    nerys @nerys

    @dentarthurdent I should note that I did eventually catch up on all those missing chunks of Doctor Who, first on Netflix and then, after Netflix dropped it, on Crave TV. But, of course, by then I was already predisposed to like Donna, given what I had already seen. I did find Rose’s departure emotionally jolting, even years later, but it had less impact than it would have had at the time. I suspect my husband would have found it all too soap opera-ish. I’m not sure he ever saw those episodes. I was doing most of the catching up in my own spare time, which is different from his. He did see Amy and Rory’s last episode and was moved by it. It was, as you say, so abrupt and unexpected that it carried an emotional wallop.

    We have a space (as in living space, not outer space) problem. As a result, I resist collecting DVDs because they take up too much space. We have some, but we very carefully consider our DVD purchases. So far, despite my complaints about commercial interruptions, I haven’t resorted to getting Doctor Who DVDs. Past seasons are available on Crave, minus commercials, so if I am willing to wait, I can view them the way they’re supposed to be seen.

    Hmmm, maybe I can find Good Omens on demand there, as well! Commercial interruptions are, I’m sure, what give it a sort of frenetic vibe because the flow is interrupted. So the transitions are not what they are supposed to be. Same thing happens with Doctor Who.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys    Well, I have plenty of space, or did have.    My problem is, it inevitably fills up with interesting things which I can’t bear to throw out.   (So really, I’m the problem).   For example, 500 VHS tapes (remember them?)   I disposed of 300 a few months ago, there are still around 200 in the living room which I must bite the bullet and dump (because, though I never watch them, they’re all catalogued and indexed).

    DVDs are far more compact and manageable, and of course far higher quality picture and much more usable.   And of course, frequently DVDs have all sorts of extras on them, varying from highly interesting to pointless.   In the case of Doctor Who there are all sorts of ‘Webisodes’ which add to the ongoing story…

    I also have ~1500 books which are a much more intractable problem…


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    A Town Called Mercy – I really like this episode.

    Had some classic lines in it.   Written by Toby Whithouse, but worthy of the Moff.

    “Why would he want to kill you? Unless he’s met you.” – Amy (to the Doctor).

    “I speak horse. He’s called Susan, and he wants you to respect his life choices.” – The Doctor.

    “Everyone who isn’t American, drop your gun.” – The Marshal (to Amy).

    “Frightened people. Give me a Dalek any day.” – The Doctor.

    There was real tension when the Doctor faced off Walter (the 18-year-old) with a gun and talked him out of shooting. Marvellous scene.

    I hardly recognised Bill Browder (Crichton of Farscape) as the Marshal, but he was a really good character. I was *not* expecting him to get shot half-way through.

    What I liked was that nobody was simply malicious or evil, not even Kahler Jex or the gunslinger. All their questionable actions – the Doctor trying to throw Jex out of town, Walter and the townsfolk wanting to do the same, Jex trying to avoid the gunslinger’s attentions, the gunslinger wanting to kill Jex – were all based on either self-preservation, wanting to protect themselves and their families, or a desire for justified retribution. The gunslinger just wanted Jex and didn’t wish to hurt innocent people (in that way Jex had programmed him well). Jex’s terrible actions in the past – creating killer androids – he made a powerful argument that they were prompted by patriotic motives in a terrible war. And Jex redeemed himself at the end by blowing himself up.

    “He behaved with honour at the end. Maybe more than me.” – The gunslinger.

    As Western episodes go, this was a really good one. Well-written, and the motivations of all the characters were entirely convincing. And visually striking.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    … and so, on to The Power of Three.   (Ponds don’t have long to go…)   Started well, with the enigmatic cubes, they were mysterious and entertaining.   And went well till 2/3 the way through the episode.   The problem is, having started so strongly, what do you do for a payoff?   Well this was an anticlimax – a wave of the sonic and everything is fixed.

    And, the absurdity of studying mankind for a YEAR in order to figure out you can electrocute them?    And then, only doing a third of the job, and having to send a ‘second wave’ of cubes – which no human is going to go near after what happened with the first lot…   this super-advanced, able-to-manufacture-indestructible-cubes-that-far-exceed-human-technology race is really, really dumb.

    I did like ‘Ravens of death’ – though, given the nod in The Day of the Doctor (‘The ravens are looking a bit sluggish. Tell Malcolm they need new batteries’) I rather uncharitably (uncharitably towards Chibnall, that is) suspect that line was inserted at the suggestion of the Moff.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent I also suspect that the best lines in Chibnell’s stories were edited in by Moffat.

    (I am trying to think of something nice to say to take the sting out of that but nothing is coming to mind just now. I don’t think that kind of humour is Chibnell’s trademark writing style while it is Moffat’s. That is the best I can do after a long Friday so apologies to Chibnell who is if not a better writer than me a far more successful one. [probably much better as well].)




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    To be fair to Chibnall, apparently (as JimTheFish noted in Who News) much of the brevity of the climax of Power of Three was down to Steven Berkoff, the villain, who sabotaged most of the takes.    (According to the Internet which as we know is always accurate).   This would certainly explain why the villain’s appearance was so brief and why he was so easily defeated with a wave of the sonic, why his ship conveniently blew up with an overload, and why the Doc so easily reversed the casualties.   Solomon (in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship) got far more screentime and he was only endangering a ship full of dinosaurs and six humans, not the entire population of Earth.

    Still leaves the motivation for the cubes a little thin, though.

    I do agree that ‘Ravens of Death’ has a distinctly Moffatt ‘feel’ to it,  of course there’s also the raven in ‘Face the Raven’, I wonder if Moff suggested that or if Sarah Dollard picked up on the Raven reference?   (And my virtual apologies to Chibnall if that was indeed his phrase).

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Oh, and I did like the brief guest appearance of Brian Cox early on in the episode.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb I see the covid has reached you (again), hope the lockdown is only needed for 7 days.

    I just got to Angels Take Manhattan – imprisoning people for their time energy, now that’s a real lockdown. And a horrific idea.

    The ep starts off almost idyllically (is that a word?), but the moment we see that angel fountain it’s obvious there’s danger around. The fountain’s real, by the way, not down to the BBC art department, Streetview shows it’s the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. What an ideal ready-made prop.

    I thought the Angel Statue of Liberty was a brilliant idea that suffered in the practical execution (how could it move around without being seen?. Also, we know it’s actually hollow and made of iron and copper, not stone). But there was some real tension in the roof scene and Rory and Amy falling off the roof (even though we’d been told that would probably be the Reset button). And then, just when we thought the drama was over, a stray Angel zaps Rory. That really was a shock the first time I watched the ep. So naturally Amy has to follow him. It was never stated what the Doctor did about that Angel, but considering the fate of the Family of Blood, I imagine it would be something suitably drastic. They can be damaged, as the Angel in Grayle’s possession illustrates. Volcanic lava lakes or quarry stone crushers come to mind.

    But overall, a good episode, if not outstanding, and a worthy finale for Amy and Rory.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent I am in S.A, not Victoria so just out of one lockdown and holding our breathes that we steer clear of another given the fiasco in the eastern states. Our most recent lockdown was the week of the Writer’s Festival that our little writing group organise so that was disappointing. On the bright side my s/o and I had our first jabs yesterday, after a very long wait. I just wish the young members of the household were also eligible. Worrying times.

    Angels in Manhatten is a good episode. I love timey wimey, and clearly so does Moffat and I am also a fan of film noir. We studied it at uni and I even attempted to make a short film noir film in third year. My second son made a much better noir short film for yr 12 drama. So this story appeals to me on two fronts. It is a fitting finale to Amy and Rory. Another thing Moffat was good out, writing out characters. He made their farewell sad and poignant while still allowing them to have a good life. He does the same with Clara and Bill.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb Of course you’re in SA. I know that perfectly well! I just had an absent-minded moment, listening to the news from Victoria. My apologies for my error. I do hope SA can continue to evade the virus. Our (NZ) vaccine rollout continues to progress slowly but steadily, and I don’t think we (as a country) could really justify trying to jump the queue on vaccines.   But navigating the hazards of covid is a balancing act for most governments.

    Yes Moff is good at handling the exits of favourite characters. I really do like the way he manages to soften the blow. We really do have it both ways – there is the shock of a loss (the angel that gets Rory and Amy, Clara’s Raven, and Bill getting Cyberised) – but then he softens it in some way. Some fans criticise that that undercuts the dramatic impact of the loss, but I don’t see it that way.   It makes the loss less abrupt, less final, less … wrong.

    But then Moffatt is very good at characters in general. I just watched The Snowmen and it struck me how engaging the characters of Vastra, Jenny and Strax were, and particularly (of course) Clara. They’re characters I instinctively like. If some writers suit some actors particularly well then the Moff and Jenna Coleman were an ideal pairing. But then the Moff’s writing goes well with many actors. Anyway I couldn’t restrain myself from writing a lot of comments on Snowmen, which I’ll post later.


    winston @winston

    @janetteb  Congrats on the 1st jabs! I hope your younger people can get theirs soon, it is a relief to have your your kids and grand-kids protected. Our 12 year old granddaughter has had both and she finally came for a visit. It was sooooo nice!

    Ontario covid numbers are rising again due to the delta variant mostly. I think we will get a 4th wave come fall when everyone is back inside just like 2020. I hope not but I will be prepared. They are now talking a 3rd booster shot but have not made any announcements. I say poke away if it helps.

    @dentarthurdent and Janette , As much as I am saddened when we lose a companion Moff does give them powerful but happy endings. I don’t think you would want to get to know and love these characters if they all had a sad or bad ending. Just like you wouldn’t be so shocked at a bad ending if they were all happy. Being with the Doctor is supposed to be a grand adventure not a tragedy and I like to imagine the life Amy and Rory had or Clara’s adventures in her very own Tardis  and what Rose and her Doctor got up to on their parallel earth. He even gave Bill her time with the pilot. An ending is as important as a beginning.

    Stay safe.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent. That’s ok and I am sure it won’t be long until we are in lockdown again. Makes it hard to plan anything. I think everyone is “on edge” just waiting for it to happen.

    I love Snowmen and I agree re’ Vastra, Jenny and Strax. I was hoping that Moff would pen a spin off series about them. The potential was certainly there. Likewise Kate Stewart and Osgood could have had their own story. We were just watching Death in Heaven last night.

    @winston I hope you do not get another lockdown but wonderful that you have been able to see your granddaughter at last. It is good that young people are able to be vaccinated in Canada. Here the age cut off is 40 and our excuse for a P.M. is trying to blame the population for not being vaccinated. (The wait for vaccination for those who are eligible is now up to 8 weeks.)

    Moffat said that he would not outright kill off a companion as that would be too brutal for a “family” show but he also addressed the question of why would anyone want to stop having adventures in the Tardis. Companions would not simply just walk away. It always did feel like being short changed in BGWho when they did that. I feel that the only AGWho companion not to be given a fitting send of was Martha. (Not having watched the final episode of the last series I do not know who Graeme and Ryan were written out.)



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston I do agree with you about endings – even if they’re not going to be ‘happy endings’ they can be sad but hopefully not depressing. I guess Doctor Who is escapism and I want to be entertained and not depressed. This is absolutely not to say that Bad Things shouldn’t happen, bad things are what heightens the drama. But I do very much like the way Moffatt handled the exits of all his companions. Much better than ‘Exit, pursued by a bear’ or its modern counterparts (which just illustrates that getting rid of a surplus cast member is an age-old problem).

    @janetteb Yes, there is the problem of, why would anyone give up travelling with the Doctor? That problem was half acknowledged in the last couple of Ponds episodes, when Amy and Rory tried to establish an ordinary life on Earth for themselves and had problems settling down.
    However, I disagree that Martha’s initial exit wasn’t fitting. I liked Martha, she was highly intelligent, she realised she was hopelessly in love with the Doctor and he was never going to get over Rose so she did the only sensible thing and walked away. Was she the only companion who ever left the Doctor for their own good? The only NuWho one, anyway, I think. That was fine, to me. I actually think her couple of recurrences with Unit or with Mickey kind of devalued that a little bit, but not enough to upset me.


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well, just watched The Snowmen and couldn’t resist bursting into print…

    I’d remembered this episode as sort of middling, probably due to its Victorian setting (not my favourite period for stories). But it’s a lot better than that. The Great Intelligence is a fairly uninteresting villain, and the snowmen not very frightening, but it’s the frills on the story – Clara and the Vastra menage – that make this episode interesting and enjoyable.

    Vastra, Jenny and Strax are a great vehicle for comedy, offending stereotypical Victorian sensibilities at every turn. “Good evening, I’m a lizard woman from the dawn of time, and this is my wife.”

    The first acquaintance with Clara, she’s bold, rash and willing to take risks. In someone with less personality than Jenna Coleman, I’d find her really irritating – as it is, I find her highly attractive.

    The business with Strax, Clara and the memory worm is hilarious. And Clara is as quick as lightning on the uptake – talking the Doctor out of using the worm on her, for example.

    The Doctor has found a clever new way to park the Tardis – in a cloud of invisibility, hovering in mid-air (so no-one’s going to bump into it). Pity Clara’s nerve fails her at the last minute and she runs back down the staircase, leaving only her scarf behind (isn’t that a quintessential element of fairy stories?).

    So then, much later, Clara is the first human to see the new Tardis interior – and it’s truly beautiful. Clean, spacious and elegant, it makes the previous one look like a junkyard. The best Tardis by a mile. And the Doctor has finally figured out that Clara (who likes souffles, by the way) is The One – his new companion – and Clara (who as I said is lightning quick) – divines exactly what he’s thinking. “I never now why. I only know – who.” And gives her a Tardis key. This is the first time we’ve seen the Doctor cheerful since he lost Amy and Rory. And Clara is thrilled and excited and ready for adventures with the Doctor… At which point, just like the Angel that got Rory, the ice woman grabs Clara and drags her to her death. The Moff did it to us *again*. The effect on the Doctor must be devastating. (And for all the fans who knew Jenna was the new Companion – they weren’t expecting that!)

    And there’s a major anachronism – the biscuit tin in which the Doctor offers Simeon chunks of the ice woman has an Underground map on the lid – first designed in 1931. Though I suppose the Doctor could well have picked it up on one of his travels, so I guess it isn’t an anachronism at all. Kind of difficult to have anachronisms with a time traveller. Oh, but then the Doctor points to it and identifies it as the 1967 version. (So much for my wannabe geekery.) Which I guess proves that humanity survived Simeon’s plots anyway.

    And then Clara dies, echoing Oswin’s words, and sets up the mystery of who Clara Oswin Oswald really is. I love a good mystery.


    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone 🙂

    I got my school exam results yesterday (its a little over midnight now) so thats the big development currently, been struggling to pick eps to watch and been doing other things in the mean time as we, so I might slowly engage more with you all (got lots to read through on here) glad your all happy and talking to each other 🙂 mayby I need my Doctor Who friends far more than before, been lots of ups and down and its nice that if I am welcome (cause I ramble and sometimes leave for weeks) I can talk with you all 🙂

    Little talk piece to get things going I find helpful – what thing or element/theme occurred in an ep or maybe a two parter for instance that really bugs you, for example in Classic Who the way Adric (spoilers in case) dies in a sort of domino effect starting from the greed of the Captain and you just watch the pieces fall in place like destiny really bothered and annoyed me through the ep, same could be said when Wilf was in the box, I don’t remember if he had a certain amount of time but couldn’t The Doctor find another solution and again its like locked in fate really bugs me sometimes.

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    janetteB @janetteb

    @oochillyo Welcome back.

    As to whether fate as a narrative device annoys me, it depends on how good the writing is. If it is too obvious that the writer is designing the story to get to the desired outcome, ie the death of a character and ignoring possibilities that might change that outcome, then yes it is annoying. If the script is well enough written to be convincing then it works. But then i have read Thomas Hardy so fate in Dr Who stories stacking up against the characters is minor league.


    Enjoyed your analysis of The Snowmen. It has always been one of my favourites. The script is clever, the re appearance of Madame Vastra and co very welcome and the story engaging. I also love the Tardis interior but think it was greatly improved in the CapDoc years by the addition of the bookcases. Capaldi’s Tardis is my favourite.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @oochillyo @janetteb

    Fate piling up on characters – it depends how it’s done. I found Wilf in The End of Time, quite annoying. I didn’t mind his character before, but he *would* go and get stuck in the cubicle with a deadly dose of radiation building up, wouldn’t he?
    On the other hand, Clara’s death in Face The Raven was just as much a case of the circumstances neatly falling into place as if Fate was stacking the deck. But I didn’t mind that, and much though I loved Clara, I think it was a fitting way to go. (And also, unlike Wilf, Clara – and not the Doctor – paid for her mistake. Well, the Doctor later paid a terrible price, but that was a different episode and also, it was really the fault of Rassilon).

    (For a series where fate really was weighted against them, see ‘Farscape’. Anyone who saw ‘Henson’ in the credits and thought ‘Muppets – warm fuzzies’ was sadly mistaken. One episode that I perversely like (because I don’t generally like ‘gloom’, I like my escapism escapist) was the standalone ‘Different Destinations’ where the crew are visiting a monument to a historic ancient siege when they get zapped back in time to the event, and everything they do to try and help the besieged (a group of nurses and a few soldiers) just makes things worse and by the time they are zapped back to ‘now’, the monument is to a massacre).

    I did like Thomas Hardy when younger. Partly as a reaction to Dickens, whose style I found to be far too elaborate and heavy-handed, particularly when he was trying to be humorous (I wouldn’t dare say ‘funny’). A simpler style of writing seems to age far better. And also, I grew up in west Hampshire, and when we moved to Auckland in my early teens I was slightly homesick, and Hardy really seemd to have a ‘feel’ for his Wessex countryside. That counted for me more than his slightly Victorian characters.

    Things that really ‘bug’ me in Who? Not many. Donna’s unfortunate first appearance when the Doc was just mourning the loss of Rose and Donna crashed in and shouted at him. Season 11 on – many things (and I won’t get into that).
    Some of the truly terrible ‘monsters’ from Old Who. I make allowances for limited budgets but I guess modern FX and CGI have rather spoiled us.

    Something that bugs me but Who is mercifully free from (prior to S11 anyway) – characters who preach little morals. If the story doesn’t provide its own lesson then having some character telling you what it is, doesn’t help. When I was a teen and cowboy Westerns were a thing, in some series at the end of every episode one of the characters would do a little homily on the moral of the story and it would make me cringe. Probably why I’ve liked black humour ever since, I’m a reactionary.

    And – this is a weird ‘bug’ – the ‘Charlies Angels syndrome**’ – group scenes where all the characters get one line each in turn. As in the scene at the end of Journeys End where everybody turns up and they’re all taking a hand in helping to fly the Tardis – this is patently phony since it’s usually flown by one. Fortunately Who doesn’t do that often. (**Because it was rumoured that the three Angels in the original TV series had contracts that guaranteed them equal time, to the point of their agents counting lines in the script).
    [End of ‘Things that Bug Me’]



    Yes, I definitely liked Snowmen better on a re-watch. I think the first time, comparing it mentally with Asylum of the Daleks (which was spectacular) and Angels Take Manhattan (which was – dramatic), it suffered a little. Tough comparison.
    Tardis interior – well, really Smith’s new Tardis and Capaldi’s are the same, just with the addition of a few furnishings. Either one is gorgeous, and streets ahead of any others. And it is three-dimensional, it leads you to expect more rooms off the control room (in a way that older ‘classic’ Tardis interiors didn’t. You tacitly accepted that they existed, but weren’t really deep-down believing it). I’d guess I’d give the edge to Capaldi’s, but it’s close. Obviously the Tardis couldn’t ‘redecorate’ too much, with Clara inside.


    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @dentarthurdent

    I totally agree I love Wilf but the way in which The Doctor efficiently lost cause of having to rescue Wilf from the Radiation Chamber is very annoying and if I think about it I can trace back (even if your not meant to) all the key like turning points that led to this;

    The fact the Doctor used up his matching receptical either cause he was distracted by seeing Rose again or its part of fate that Cann set up which if its up to fate is very annoying cause Cann know there would be two Doctors so even this random event/accident in the street seems tied to fate.

    The Doctor being reckless, examples such as walking straight up to The Master who shots him at one point with the lighting powers, not tieing or locking up The Master safety when jumping through the glass ceiling from like 50ft lets say when he could have dropped from a lower height also couldn’t he have gone to The Tardis at that point to escape better.

    There’s more examples if I think about things but I dont want to ramble on, so mostly a lot of fate and reckless/not thinking things well all leads to The Tenth Doctors end which is soo annoying partly cause you dont want him to go and partly cause you see the pieces that lead to it and like with The Tardis idea you can think of ways round it The Doctor didnt

    Remember that quote by River in A Good Man Goes To War ‘He will rise high, higher than he has ever done before and then fall so much further’ feels like that for all The Tenth Doctor faced and beat and then to end this way I know its like the tragic hero but it still really hurts and is annoying.

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    * There should be a comer , between locking up The Master safely and when jumping

    Also gone to The Tardis to escape better at the point after knocking out The Master

    I just wanted to fix a few sentence errors so its makes more sense 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    “Some truly ‘terrible’ monsters from Old Who”

    Respectfully, I totally disagree with you on that one. Of course, I was a youngster in the mid 1960s when I watched those shows, and they were perfect. Why? In part, precisely because of the lack of special effects, which meant you were always applying your imagination to what you were seeing. That element–the imagination that enhanced what you saw on the screen as you peeked from behind the sofa–is something I think has been lost in the era of marvellous special effects.

    Who could not love the Slyther from “The Dalek invasion of Earth”…even when on a tea break.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    I was thinking of things like the first Cybermat which looked like a plush toy (probably because it probably was a plush toy). Also the first Cybermen who were only too obviously human extras in sacks. That is, I found them horribly unconvincing until Moffatt re-did them in World Enough and Time, and *of course* they were just humans in sacks! That’s what Cybermen were.

    But I partly agree with you. FX and CGI are not the end, they are the means. Exactly the same way that wide-screen colour TVs and stereo sound are. They all help to tell the story. They don’t help much if the story is rubbish.

    So I think, special effects and CGI are necessary up to a certain level of adequacy. Below that, you notice their lack (and in Old Who I did notice their lack. Also in Blakes 7, where even the Liberator’s walls famously wobbled if an actor bumped into them). But I could willingly make allowances for the sake of the story. If the story was good and the acting (I loved Kerr Avon’s sardonic sarcasm) I’d happily watch.

    ‘Adequate’ isn’t the same as ‘perfect’, by the way. CGI isn’t quite there yet. For decades James Bond avoided CGI and did it the hard (and dangerous) way with real-life stunts, and it really did show. When they finally started using CGI (Tomorrow Never Dies, I think) the movie suffered visibly in places because of it. I don’t mean the invisible car, that was well done, obviously had to be CGI, and it worked because we have no comparison to judge it by, but when e.g. Bond’s ice yacht fell off a cliff, the motion was just wrong. Modern movies that rely too much on CGI with exaggerated perspective and dizzying zooms – it gets tired.

    Back to Who – I think the FX and CGI in modern Who has been perfecty adequate. e.g. Asylum of the Daleks – looks great, and nowhere does anything look ‘false’ to me. Or the ‘spoonheads’ in The Bells of St John that I just watched. It props up the story perfectly and that’s all it needs to do and all it ought to do.

    Old Who – um. Watching ‘Survival’ I really want to think all the actors are cat people but it stretches my powers of ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ beyond their limit. I still like the episode, love Seven and Ace.

    I first watched in the 60’s too (wasn’t allowed to watch Quatermass though, maybe I was too young). I agree, imagination made up for a lot of deficiencies and doubtless my expectations of ‘FX’ have risen with the surroundings. Imagination *still* works well – just think of ‘Listen’ and how scary those totally unexplained noises where there should be no life, were. And that bedspread rising into the air behind ?the Doctor and Clara? – just a bedspread?

    I talk too much.   Love the Slyther, though.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    Umm, yeah.   I did wonder about the Doctor crashing straight through that glass dome and splatting on the floor without so much as a cracked rib – was it ever canon that he was extra springy?

    The End of Time – that certainly did have the look of Fate bringing all sorts of disparate threads together (the Master, the Time Lords and didn’t Timothy Dalton make a great Rassilon, the rich guy who wanted to make his daughter immortal, even the vinvocci (cactus people) who were kinda fun).

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @dentarthurdent I like the fun elements but it the fate spinning and how The Doctor goes down really hurts my enjoyment of a story that isnt perfect even before all the pieces of the Doctor’s downfall start interlocking.

    Mayby 10 deserved better or mayby something like saving Wilf a major hit to his new ego is what he needed.

    I thought just recently the ‘I dont wanna go part’ is better than I ever thought before –

    If you look at Ten he lost Donna and a lot of his other friends but you seem him in the Specials like Planet of The Dead where he is having fun and The Next Doctor he fixes a broken man and is praised on Christmas by everyone and then Time Lord Victorious kicks in at some point (not sure the ep order) and that boosts his ego and desire to survive and change things that was locked away to him morally cause of The Time Lords no interfering Policy but it all ends when he has to save one old human man a normal person after surviving soo much even The TimeLords who were back and could have punished him for his reckless behavior but no he survives them and yet has to sacrifice his life and the time he could have had to do whatever he wants for an old man.

    The ‘I dont want to go’ isnt said angry because I think the sadness of having that freedom to do what he likes and have fun again which has been snuffed out from him is soo very tragic especially for his character, its wanting to experience life when your suddenly at the end that’s why he is sad about going compared to his other incarnations he was the one who could have had and done it all but fate (hehe I am starting to find many places for this word) cut him down, he said to Wilf he knew he was going to die soon but when he thought he had overcome his enemies after The Master stopped Galifary from coming back he gets up knock knock knock knock and bang there is Wilf and fate is locked he didn’t escape it not even Time Lord Victorious can escape their own fate .

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    This is cool and helps certain parts for me like the not fair bit that was cool but now I can see it in a new light with The Time Lord Victorious allowing him freedom to do whatever but ‘its not fair’ after centuries of abiding to the Rules of The TimeLords when it hurt him as he couldn’t save people and stop massive history events when thats finally gone from him its too late and the ending part for me where he says ‘I dont wanna go’ I find that much better now and it fits him really well.

    Who knew on a Thursday Morning thinking about how annoying an ep is could lead to a new found discovery that fixes major issues in it and boosts my appreciation for the big elements that dragged it down for soo many years in my mind, yes there are other annoying or wonky bits but I am glad I have fixed the ending cause thats the bit where fate gets locked in which really really bugged me before and now I can like it yay 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    Hi Declan

    I’m pleased (for you) that you like this episode a little bit better.   Good when that happens.   It’s not one of my favourites, but I do like it better than the previous Master one, Last of the Time Lords.    The Master was a much more interesting person when he wasn’t all-powerful and 100% evil  (and it turned out Rassilon was the real villain of the piece, who woulda thunk it?).   I did like the Master’s last-minute decision to take out Rassilon and save the Doctor.

    (Though Timothy Dalton was certainly the best Rassilon, I think.   The one that tried to shoot the Doctor and the Doctor banished was pretty good too (‘How many regenerations did we grant you?   I’ve got all night…’)

    I know there have been episodes (and ongoing story arcs) that I’ve liked a lot better when I’ve gone through them in my head and sorted out the way the story ‘works’.   Notably the River Song saga, after I realised that the idea of River living her life ‘backwards’ was misleading and also, not possible.   I was being too literal about the sequence of their random encounters.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @dentarthurdent thank you 🙂

    Yes I havnt really seen the ep where he is back hut Rassilon was better on his first come back in New Who , I watched a bit of classic Who were it was Time Lord focused and it was pretty cool there a lot of extra lore you can find through these eps not just the obvious 🙂

    It was pretty cool when The Master got his revenge and crushed Rassilon and his group and locked them back in The Time War 🙂

    Again I havnt seen the ep just clips but the new Rassilon wouldn’t he be happy with The Doctor for saving them in the 50th Special he seems very cross with 12th is there a reason for that.

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @oochillyo The 50th special – The Day of the Doctor? – that was a great episode. And yes, the Doctor did save Gallifrey.

    (Someone correct me if I get this bit wrong, and I’ll try and avoid too many spoilers:)
    But time is long, and Time Lord gratitude not quite so long. There was a prophecy that a creature known as the Hybrid would one day stand in the ruins of Gallifrey, and the Time Lords thought the Doctor knew something about it. So they – Rassilon – trapped the Doctor in a ‘confession dial’ (getting Clara killed as collateral damage – Face The Raven) to force him to reveal all. But he withstood it for billions of years (Heaven Sent) until he finally escaped – in Gallifrey – and had his confrontation with Rassilon (Hell Bent).
    More than that I won’t say (spoilers). Other than, those are three fantastic episodes.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    @dentarthurdent ah thank you

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    syzygy @thane16


    I rewatched The Day of the Doctor. 11Doc laughs at bit at Tennant’s “I don’ wanna go” which prompts the tongue in cheek comment,  “he says that a lot.” 😁


    Yes, rewatched The Only Water in The Forest Is The River arc & recognised it wasn’t ‘backwards’ but that River & the Doc met out of sync? Hence syncing diaries & the question by River, after a deliciously long pash: “you’re acting as if we’ve never done this before?” [they hadn’t].

    I saw it as a meandering glitchy timeline focussing on a complex love & River’s greatest fear- the Doctor’s death & hers didn’t frighten: “There’s a far worse day coming for me, a day when he doesn’t know me at all.”

    I realised Darilium from The Library, hadn’t happened perhaps showing the “backwards” arc …wasn’t…

    But Moffat wouldn’t leave that dangling, much like the “run you clever boy & remember” ‘signal.’ A reminder to us.


    How’s it all going? The outbreak in Sydney’s awful. Maybe its premier should’ve acted as speedily as QLD’s LGA once Delta hit the largest city. But then I’m reminded of 35000 cases across the UK on 13/8 (aaand I could be wrong about that stat)…I think your govt has acted appropriately- but then we get few updates about S.A?


    syzygy @thane16


    on westerns have you seen Whedon’s “Firefly.”

    a space western with 14 eps & BRILLIANT. 9 major characters all dancing onto screen with a full set of backstories rarely seen in telly series – even in Who (barring S5 with our Ponds).

    winston @winston

    @thane16  Hi there!  I spent way too much time trying to figure out the River and Doctor time line and also came to the realization that it did not run back to front but in a wibbly-wobbly , timey-wimey sort of way. I had to let it go before my brain exploded.

    Mr.Winston really likes Firefly and I was lucky that the library had the movie. I think it was called Serenity. It really is a space western with all the classic characters. We just discovered it and were disappointed that there were no more series.

    stay safe.

    winston @winston

    I wanted to tell you all a very cute little Doctor Who story involving a fez.

    My granddaughter came to stay for the 1st time in a year or more and we wanted to take her shopping and out for lunch now that things are opening up a bit.She is 12 going on 20 and suffering all the angst that comes with growing up and even more after almost a year out of school and she did not want to go out. She did not like her clothes or the way her hair looked and of course she thought everyone would be looking at her.

    I tried all the usual stuff but she wouldn’t budge. So I went in my room and called out that no-one would be looking at her because “I wear a fez now” and came out wearing it. She said she would go out with us as long as I didn’t wear my fez and a good time was had by all.

    That night we watched the “Day of the Doctor” and every time the fez showed up she turned and grinned at me. The Doctor saved the day and he wasn’t even here, only his fez!

    stay safe

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Oh, the forum just got busy!

    @thane16 syzygy – Yes, I sort of thought River had time running backwards (which is impossible and hurt my brain to try and reconcile it) so pretty much managed to wave it away until Darillium made it obvious that view was wrong. I eventually worked out that time ran the same way for her and the Doc (as for everybody) but of course being time travellers, they jumped around so their meetings were ‘random’. So now my brain hurts a little less 🙂

    Probably the fact you get few updates about SA is a good sign (for them) – no news is good news. Nobody really wants to live in ‘interesting times’.

    Yes I have seen Firefly – in fact I have the DVDs. A friend sent them to me. It very much is a space western. I also have Serenity on DVD. IIRC they also had a remarkable character named River (in fact isn’t River on the cover of the Serenity DVD in memorable pose brandishing an axe thingy?)

    At the time I was halfway through Farscape, which coincidentally was also about a band of galactic fugitives in possession of a large spaceship fleeing from the Federation… (oops, no, the Federation was Blakes 7)

    So possibly for that reason Firefly was okay but didn’t really ‘grab’ me. I should probably re-watch it without the distraction of an ongoing different show. I have the DVD’s (he says). As I recall, Serenity was pretty much a standalone movie, not so much a Firefly follow-on.

    As an aside – The Warehouse (our biggest retailer) has just stopped selling DVD’s. Wtf?? I suppose broadband and streaming video has killed the market. As far as I’m concerned, DVD’s were/are the best consumer medium by far. Obviously way ahead of VHS, in quality and usability (by that I mean, you can jump to any point instantly), but also satisfying to have a thing you can hold onto, you don’t need an internet connection or to pay some monthly fee, and NO ADVERTS. And also they often come with extras like commentaries and ‘behind the scenes’ which are sometimes rubbish but can be very illuminating. And I used to love wandering through video rental stores. There used to be a store near where I worked that specialised in ‘cult TV’ series like Trek, Who, X-Files, Monty Python, Galactica… you name it.

    @winston Love the cute fez story. Maybe you’re lucky she didn’t call your bluff on the fez, though.

    I remember that ‘everyone’s looking at me’ feeling. I eventually cured myself when I was about 20 by reflecting that most people are 99% absorbed in their own affairs and won’t notice much else. (Google ‘the invisible gorilla’). What forced this realisation on me was this – I was at an annual prizegiving dinner and went to the washroom. Which had small circular handbasins and very stiff pushbutton taps that would shoot a jet of water down into the handbasin and up the other side all over the front of ones trousers. Which it did. So then I thought ‘everybody who sees me will think I failed to make it in time’. Oh the embarrassment. So after much headscratching I reasoned, 1, most people aren’t going to notice and 2, anybody who does notice isn’t going to say anything anyway. So I walked back to my seat and – nothing happened. 🙂

    syzygy @thane16


    the Fez story is luverly & reminds me of something Doctor 11 would do to help a young child….


    Big tick on Serenity (yes, there’s a River too). NOT selling DVDs? Sounds like a supermarket deciding to stop selling fruit!

    agreed. Streaming🙄🙄

    at one point I had Apple (free for 8 more weeks), Shudder (about to not be free so cancelled); Disney (also binned), Amazon (keeping at the mo because of House and Who) AND Netflix

    so eventually we’ll keep just the one. Disney had, for awhile, a raft of add-ons  and where I saw Angel again. It was also $7 but a price rise this month caused the sudden binning.

    I also realised I’d stopped reading & facing permanent stupidity & possible budget ishoos, thought better of all the streaming.

    but if it gets you thru Lockdown…..

    still, The Nevers looks to be on Binge so I might take a 3 month offer for that.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston Loved the story about the fez. My moment of realisation regarding self consciousness came when I was working in a big Hotel in central London. I would watch the guests coming in with their breakfast trays and panicking because they felt as though they were being watched by the other guests and I realised that everyone experiences that fear and that is has no foundation at all, all the seated guests were more intent on eating and talking to each other.

    @dentarthurdent  I notice that there are now a lot of DVD’s being sold in second hand shops. I am always on the look out for good items. It is nice to have a hard copy, to actually own the film/series. I am the kind of viewer who likes to watch and re watch and so I am rather mistrustful of streaming sites. I also dislike being marketed at but am enduring Netflix at the moment as our main computer is “down” and so I have limited access to our own collection. Also I have discovered some interesting series that I would not have known about otherwise like Dark which is very good. I just watched Shadow and Bone which I would not really recommend.

    @thane16 Lovely to hear from you. I hope you are Covid safe up in Brisbane. Touching wood we are currently covid free but the government has mandated mask wearing, at last as we are almost inevitably going to get another “border breach”. I have no love for our state government but they did act very quickly last time, locking down within about 24 hours of finding the first case which meant the outbreak was quickly contained. Gladys thinks people don’t want lockdowns and that is correct but people do not want to be suffering from covid or loosing family members to coved far far less and we mostly of us at least, accept that lockdowns are necessary. I think she is more afraid of losing votes than of losing voters. On the up side both the S/O and I have now had our first jabs and the boys are all booked in for theirs though it is a very long wait.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   Yes I like browsing through second hand shops for DVDs.   I used to like second hand bookshops too, but I eventually had to stop myself – I currently have ~1500 books and I’ve got no more room!    Now, I only buy a book if it’s one I really, really want to read…


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @syzygy I’ve avoided streaming services so far. Partly because Mrs D is in charge of the TV. One of the channels is a ‘old series’ channel, 50’s to 70’s TV shows, and it’s painfully obvious that for every classic there are a hundred which are mercifully dead and I never wish to see again 🙂 But she likes them. So I just hunker down with my laptop and headphones and Youtube or DVDs, and leave her to it.

    Also, it’s a smart TV, I barely understand how it works, and I don’t think Mrs D has a clue. We have Youtube on the TV too, but the vagaries of the Youtube algorithm are truly bizarre to contemplate. At one time, for several nights, we had an entire series of a Hmong soap opera (I deduced it was Hmong by feeding the credits into Google Translate. No I’d never heard of Hmong either. But their incidental music was quite pleasant and after a couple of episodes Mrs D was able to tell me the entire plot, just from observation 🙂
    Currently we’re having (on Youtube) a whole series of funerals (the Vietnamese ones are the most tuneful). Mrs D finds them interesting, anyway. That at least is better than the string of birthing videos we had at one point (why people put their most intimate moments on Youtube for strangers to gawp at, totally baffles me).   I’m squeamish.

    Oops, we’re back to birthing videos.   Up with the laptop screen, bury my head in it, and ignore the noises coming from the TV…

    BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice

    I think Sainsbury’s in the UK has stopped selling DVDs too. Streaming has its advantages (I’m glad to have Britbox for Doctor Who as there’s no way I could afford the entirety of that on DVD in a short space of time) but it’s sad to see it pushing DVDs out of the market.

    winston @winston

    @janetteb  We get quite a few DVDs at charity shops and the library sells them to raise money. I also like owning some series and movies to watch over again. We have not streamed anything yet as our internet is too expensive and between the library, YouTube and the channels our antenna brings in we have way too much to watch. I may have to wait awhile for the library to get what I want but they will buy things if it is requested.

    I was a bartender for 7 yrs when my kids were small and at first I used to feel sick before I started each shift because people did look at me. Some guys sat at the bar for hours looking at me and after awhile I just stopped caring. So although I know that most people couldn’t care less what I look  like I am also desensitized. I remember growing up though and all the anguish that goes with it.

    @dentarthurdent  What my granddaughter knows is that I would most definitely go shopping in my fez!

    @thane16   There are so many great things to learn from the Doctor. Now that is a person with an abundance of self confidence! If I could have even a bit of it I could take over the world.

    Stay safe

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Just watched The Bells of St John, which is the first appearance of the ‘real’ Clara.
    And it’s classic Moffatt, full of lovely one-liners and loaded meanings that make me flick back the DVD to appreciate them better.

    I love that ‘The Bells of St John’ literally refer to the phone bell on the Tardis beside the St John logo.
    Monk: Is it an evil spirit? DW: It’s a woman. (Monk crosses himself)

    “Actually, he’s about to go on holiday. Kill him when he gets back. Let’s not be unreasonable.” The Moff does casually ruthless better than anyone else. Oh, and it seems HR is responsible for, errm, terminating surplus employees. Nice.

    “Did you just hack me?” “Because you changed your mind?” “I hope I did.”

    “When you say ‘mobile phone’, why d’you point at that blue box?” “Because it’s a surprisingly accurate description.”

    “Human souls trapped like flies in the world-wide web. Stuck forever, crying out for help.” “Isn’t that basically Twitter?”

    When they walk out of the Tardis on the bank of the Thames, it’s almost a copy of the scene in Rose. In many ways this ep reminds me of Rose.

    “Blue box. South bank.” “Are we sure this time? Earls Court was an embarrassment.” I seem to remember reading, one of the few surviving blue police boxes really was at Earls Court. Nice verisimilitude.

    “I can’t tell the future, I just work there.”

    So now Clara – this Clara – has been uploaded to the Great Intelligence cloud and downloaded, twice. So what has that done to her intelligence, I wonder? She’s retained the computer skills package (which includes some pretty good ‘social engineering’).

    And this manifestation of the Great Intelligence was far more convincing and threatening, I thought, than the Snowmen.   Altogether an ep that was great fun to watch, with something happening every minute.

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