On The Sofa (10)

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    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  I love when the Doctor drives his special motorbike straight up the Shard. Very silly just the way I like it.

    The poor women at the end back in her childhood and looking for her Mommy. I hope she gets some help and a ton of counseling.

    Stay safe.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent A good review of the episode. There are so many good moments in it. “I may have invented the quadracycle.” Matt Smith is in fine form so too is Moffat. It is a good introduction to Clara. It is a whirlwind of an episode. “there is something in the wi fi.”

    I have a feeling that “the woman in the shop” was a throw away line at the time which Moffat then had to readdress because of us annoying fans who kept theorising about it.

    Oh and sorry for the lockdown. Though it is actually NSW to blame, not the rest of the country, who are furious with the state that refused to go into Lockdown because that is what left wing governments so and now has put not just our entire country but your’s too in peril.

    @winston yes I kept wondering what would become of her.

    We are currently re watching some old Who. We tend to switch between AG and BG depending upon our mood, the weather etc.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston  Miss Kizlet (I can’t help calling her ‘Miss’) –  well acted.   Even at her most evil and villainous, she was an intriguing character.  (The Moff has a talent for intriguing female villains – Madame Kovarian and Missy, for example).   But ultimately she was a victim of the Great Intelligence too, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her at the end – which I hadn’t expected to feel.

    @janetteb    DON’T apologise for Covid.  We were going to get an outbreak sooner or later, from somewhere in the world.   On the whole, we’re getting off fairly lightly.   Just personally, it doesn’t affect us much since we’re retired.   Due for our second jabs in a couple of weeks.   I went for a walk yesterday (permitted under lockdown rules, so long as we ‘stay local’) to our local park, as usual there were a fair number of people walking around in intricate patterns designed to keep a distance from each other.

    I think Bells of St John is the best ep of that half-season  (excluding Day of the Doctor, which was a special).   Great fun to watch.   ‘The woman in the shop’ – I’m not sure.   It might have been a throwaway line and Moffatt then had to invent an explanation, but alternatively he might have planned it from the start – he’d be entirely capable of it.

    I’ve since watched Rings of Akhaten, which for some reason reminds me strongly of a Farscape episode – they were always visiting alien planets with weird alien inhabitants.   I had a little bit of a problem with perspective – how could they be so close to the sun without getting fried?    And the question of atmosphere was – probably best ignored.

    Cold War was a fairly good ep.   The submarine was quite convincing, assuming a nuclear sub is a little more roomy than its diesel predecessors.   (I’ve been in one sub, S-56, which is preserved as a war memorial in Vladivostok.   It wasn’t too cramped, there was room to stand up everywhere.   But it was liberally bestrewn with pipes and valves.   The only thing that might give one claustrophobia was the circular watertight doors at intervals, like the one shown in the episode.   Still, there’s nothing would persuade me to embark in a submarine for real.)   The light grey walls are the right shade of grey.   And of course there’s nothing adds authenticity more than a few signs in Cyrillic script.  (And they didn’t say rude things, as one of the producers in the commentary postulated.   The most prominent one said ‘Missile Bunker’.  Sadly, most were out of focus.)

    I did like the old professor Grisenko (David Warner), even though the cast was fairly stock – sensible Captain, fanatical second-in-command, benevolent Professor.   I also liked Clara confidently asserting she didn’t speak Russian and then finding out that she was.   Which raises the question, how long does the Tardis’s translation circuit persist?


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    As a digression from Doctor Who (is this the right forum?) – a short while back I watched ‘The Fifth Element’, found it entertaining, and on the strength of that I ordered Luc Besson’s ‘Valerian’, which arrived last night. I’d describe Valerian as Fifth Element on steroids, or maybe Avatar on LSD. Based on a comic book, apparently it’s what Besson would have liked to do at the time of Fifth Element, but had to wait ten years until the effects technology made it possible.

    A short while ago I dissed movies that substitute CGI effects for story or acting. Well, Valerian is wall to wall CGI (literally), but it works. It looks real. The story and acting are adequate, but predictable, and the co-stars are likeable enough, and that’s all they need to be. Much of the interest is the dazzling array of bizarre aliens that parade across the screen. And (going by the ‘making of’ video) virtually all the ‘sets’ were not actual sets with CGI extensions (as in Dr Who), but 100% CGI. And so were the aliens. Not actors in prosthetics (like Who) or animatronic puppets (like Farscape), but motion capture CGI. But they look as physically solid and real as any of the prosthetic creatures in new Who.

    So, an entertaining watch, keeps up the pace, never slow or gloomy, and many of the (CGI) visuals are quite beautiful.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    We’ve been watching, nightly after midnight, the 1984 Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett.   It was made by Granada, not the Beeb.   Last night was ‘The Final Problem’, the Reichenbach Falls episode where Holmes and Moriarty got killed off.   They actually went to Switzerland to film it, and found an enormous waterfall (bigger, I think, than the actual Reichenbach, but I can’t swear to that).   And they actually lowered a couple of stuntmen on wires down the face of this fall – you can just make out the wires (this was the days before CGI wire removal, and I think before green screens.   And anyway, it would have had to be the world’s biggest green screen   🙂     So, quite impressive for a 1984 TV production.

    Back to Who – I just watched ‘Hide’.   Very good.   They managed to make the forest in the bubble universe really spooky.   And the deformed monster was quite nightmarish, even though not malignant.     I’m not sure how the bubble universe ‘worked’, but near enough.   One of the better haunted-house episodes.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    … and Journey to the Centre of the Tardis. This was an intriguing episode, even if it did feature a very obvious Reset button (which they duly lampshaded). We got to see the swimming pool – which was vast, and looked absolutely glorious. And the library, which well deserved Clara’s comment ‘Now you’re just showing off’. The books were intriguing, I would have liked to see it at more length.

    The Doctor putting an hour limit on the self destruct, then cutting it down to half an hour, and threatening to halve that again – I’ve never seen Eleven so believable and menacing.

    I couldn’t quite follow the logic of the future scorched versions of themselves – okay, the core was damaged and time was leaking in erratic ways, but why would their future selves be hostile to their present selves?

    And I’m still not sure of how that big friendly Reset button actually worked. Did the Doctor magic it with his sonic in some way?

    Anyway, a very watchable episode.

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent   I have not watched that one for ages. I did love the library but Clara hiding behind the shelves ,while the charcoal monster looks for her, is pretty frightening. I need to watch this one again. Oh yeah,  they convince the younger brother that he is an android. Now that is bullying!

    stay safe.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston     Oh yes, that charcoal monster (good description!) in the library gave me the shivers too.

    It was a good ep, though maybe suffered slightly from closely following the other Tardis-centric ep The Doctor’s Wife  (closely following for DVD-watchers, probably well separated on TV).

    Carrying on – The Crimson Horror – this was a fairly so-so episode, for me. The Paternoster Gang offered some light relief. But Thomas Thomas offering navigational instructions – that was a little bit too much of a wink at the audience.

    So then, Nightmare in Silver. Somehow, this episode feels very Gaiman. I’d previously dismissed it as just average, partly because I’m not a fan of Cybermen, but re-watching I’ve notched it up a couple of grades, partly on account of the excellent dialogue and partly on the interplay between the Doctor and Clara. Worth an instant re-watch just to enjoy the interplay between the characters.

    Clara: I trust the Doctor.
    Captain: You think he knows what he’s doing?
    Clara: I’m not sure I’d go that far.

    Some find the kids annoying, but I don’t mind them. They’re not too obnoxious and they seem to quite enjoy themselves when they get the chance. And Angie redeems herself when she recognises Porridge as the emperor. And Porridge (Warwick Davis) is, as always, an engaging and sympathetic character. I’m resolutely not PC but I love it that the shortest person in the episode is the Emperor.

    Tricking all the Cybermen into trying to compute a chess problem – genius! And it’s excellent writing by Gaiman, that credits his audience with knowing the factoid that chess is almost uncomputable. I’d missed the nuance of that, first time round. I’m sure there’s more to catch on re-watch.

    Doctor: Can someone untie me please.
    Clara: Do you think I’m pretty?
    Doctor: No, you’re too short and bossy and your nose is all funny.
    Clara: Good enough.

    So, going to re-watch it again now.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hmm, this place seems to have gone dead.    Where is everybody?   Hulloooo??

    Well, here in Auckland not much is happening.   Still in Level 4 lockdown because ONE case of Covid got loose a month ago and spread to several hundred…

    I’ve reached The Name of the Doctor in my re-watch, just some impressions:

    This episode is excellent, much better than I recalled – I’d somehow conflated it with ‘The Time of the Doctor’ and that, combined with it being overshadowed by Day of the Doctor, made me seriously underrate it.

    The Paternoster gang are always amusing. I love the by-play between them and River and Clara. Strax’s off-duty pastime of slumming it in Glasgow is a very Scottish joke.
    It takes a re-watch to realise that the interactions between the gang, Clara and River, and the Whispermen are all coherent and carefully worked out.
    The Great Intelligence is a far more formidable foe in this episode than he was in The Snowmen.
    Clara is a very determined young lady, isn’t she?

    I was struck by the uncharacteristic bitterness and disgust the Doctor ended with in “It actually is the Tardis. My Tardis from the future. What else would they bury me in?”

    Nice little exchange (the Moff always manages to pack several layers of meaning into any utterance):
    Strax: The heart is a relatively simple thing.
    Vastra: I have not found it to be so.

    The Doctor’s timestream is really rather visually beautiful.

    The episode ends rather abruptly, I’d expected a few more minutes just tidying off the Doctor and Clara’s escape from his timestream and extricating them all from Trenzalore. But I guess we can fill that in for ourselves and the Moff wanted to end on a high note – introducing John Hurt.


    janetteB @janetteb


    I have been checking in, and have a post half written which I keep copying but been busy with podcasts, esssays on teh cold war, and general household stuff and so apologies for not posting. Sorry about the lockdown. We are still getting by just, holding our breaths and turning face masks into fashion items. There are some really nice ones about now. (personally the more of my face I can hide the better.)

    Re you previous post. I also like the Nightmare in Silver. I fact I must be alone in preferring it to The Doctor’s Wife and it leads into the next episode which is so good. I do find the children a little irritating though but they do improve through the course of the episode.

    Been looking forward to your review of Name of the Doctor. It is one of my (albeit many) favourites. All round an excellent episode. I love the stars going out. “A universe without the Doctor doesn’t bear thinking about.” Unfortuantely that is our universe.

    There are some interesting discussions floating around regarding the next showrunner. Apparently the showrunner of Babylon Five, (JMS) has expressed interest which caused a minor ripple of excitement in this house. Son’s girlfriend suggested Richard Ayoade. He has often been proposed as the Doctor but would fit equally well into the showrunner’s chair. I must admit however that I would rather like to see a female in the position given that thus far all the showrunners have been male. Or maybe they can have a showrunning team.

    Hope all is well with everyone..



    JoopiterJane @joopiterjane

    I’ve decided to fight back my fear (of the plague) by doubling down on my fandom education. Today I will be binge-watching Dr. Who starting at Season Two of the modern shows (the David Tennant years) and I would love some company. If you have some helpful tutelage to offer, I will send over the  link for screener.com and we can all binge together. This could go on for a while…

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone 🙂

    @dentarthurdent This Forum will keep strong and regenerate when its at more quite times I do like to hope 🙂

    I have been thinking about replying to your recent ep review but wanted to see if anyone else had any thing to say first , dont wanna be soo intrusive

    @joopiterjane This sounds fantastic and I would very much like to discuss how this sharing site works if I can join you 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi @janetteb

    No apologies ever required for NOT posting, it’s not an obligation. My ‘Hullooo’ should be read, not as an exhortation, but merely mild surprise that everyone seems to have gone silent after the babble of conversation a week ago. 🙂

    Anyway, our lockdown seems to be persisting – we’re still getting about 20 cases a day, not getting worse, but like one of those annoying coughs that just won’t clear up, they just won’t go away.

    Back to Who – yes you’re probably the only one who prefers Nightmare in Silver to The Doctor’s Wife, but it is indeed a most enjoyable episode. I wish Who could get Neil Gaiman as showrunner.

    That wasn’t really a ‘review’ of The Name of the Doctor, more just scattered impressions. It is much easier to see how the pieces fit together on a second or third watch-through (like many complex Moffat episodes).

    I assume Vastra, Jenny and Strax were somehow teleported to Trenzalore by the GI and his whispermen? (I had previously assumed that they were there in spirit only, but then they remained after the whispermen evaporated, and the Doctor told them the Tardis would get them home). River was there through her psychic link with Clara, which is why the GI couldn’t see her.

    The big development, of course, is that Clara spread herself throughout the Doctor’s timeline. I don’t see how that changes canon, though, the Doctor has always had help from his companions, and every single nuWho main companion has saved the Doctor (or sometimes, the Universe) at some point. Rose, Martha, Donna, River, Amy, Clara, Bill.   I have no trouble with a companion I like (and I like most of them) being ‘too important’ in the story.

    Showrunner. Nothing wrong with a female showrunner in principle. The New Who custom seems to be, de facto, that the showrunner is also a writer of episodes and the overall story editor. How common or essential that is I don’t know, maybe it only worked out that way because RTD and the Moff had a clear vision of where they wanted the story to go. Female writers who were pretty successful were Sarah Dollard (Face the Raven, Thin Ice) and Rona Munro (Survival, Eaters of Light). But whether they have the experience, desire or temperament to be showrunner I don’t know. (That ‘don’t know’ isn’t meant to express doubt, just ignorance). Whoever does get the job is going to have a daunting job to recover it from the controversy that has surrounded it.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hey  Declan  @oochillyo     Of course you wouldn’t be intrusive!    I can only speak for myself, but the more comments in this forum the better.   Gives us something to chew over, maybe reply to and anyone not interested can just skip over them.

    (At least, that’s what I tell myself when I wonder if I’m talking too much  🙂

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby


    Dr who has a long history of female members of the senior production staff going right back to its beginnings so having a female show-runner should not surprise any of us should this occur. In my opinion it is this mix of the sexes involved in its production that has given Who its overall longevity, and at the risk  of and not wanting to spark another debate on the rights or wrongs of the Doctor having both male and female incarnations as we are about to see a new incarnation of the Doctor in the next 12 to 18 months I have to say wether you have loved or hated Jodie as the Doctor I feel that just having had a female doctor has been good for the show.

    Aidan @aidan

    Hello Everyone,

    This is Aidan. I´m watching this Forum for a bit now and I wanna say Hi.

    So, a little information about me:

    I am watching Doctor Who now for around 4-5 Years and I loved every single Second of this show (except of Orphan 55:) ). My favourite Doctor is the 9th and my favourite Episode is “The Parting of The Ways”.

    Why is there only one series with the 9th Doctor and what are your thoughts on him and the Episode?

    PS: I am sorry for every typo and grammar mistake. I hope it doesn’t bother you so much I try my very best.  And I am sorry if this is the wrong thread for introductions.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @aidan It was a conscious decision by Eccleston when Who was relaunched to become what we now call post gap who or NuWho that he only wanted one season. In his words he didn’t want to be trapped into the role of Doctor Who even though he was well known for other roles as well at that point. He even went as far as refusing to do conventions for a while much to the fans displeasure as I understand. I think he has since re-thought his views on not doing post regeneration Who as he is involved in some of the Big Finish produtions

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @devilishrobby   I expect your knowledge of the oldWho production staff is better than mine (which is virtually non-existent) so I’ll happily take your word that female production staff have been frequent.   What I don’t know (and regardless of gender) is whether it’s usual for the showrunner to double as head writer?    I just Googled and, apparently, yes.   Sounds like a massively busy job and one I think could well be shared among a small group of people.

    Personally, I’m fine with the concept of a female Doctor.     I wouldn’t be happy with a female James Bond because that’s not who the character is.   (I was going to say, any more than Robin Hood is female, until it occurred to me what a wicked subversion it would be for Robin to have been a woman cross-dressing – even the name is ambiguous.   Would make Robin’s relationship with Maid Marian … interesting, pre-dating Vastra and Jenny by a few centuries  🙂    But James Bond 007 is nominally the same guy as Sean Connery so they can’t swap him, IMO, shouldn’t and don’t need to.    There are plenty of genuinely female superheroes, I like female superheroes.

    Back to the Doctor, s/he’s a different case entirely because s/he can regenerate, so why not.    That said, I think Jodie Whittaker was… miscast and probably misdirected.   And not helped by some horrendously clunky writing.   “I’m the Doctor, sorting out fair play throughout the universe.”    The unintentional bathos of that makes me cringe.   Also, “fam”.   And someone should tell Jodie that goggling at something with her mouth open makes her look like a goldfish.   It does most people.   The director really should have caught that.   And while I’m at it, I sincerely hope the next Doctor gets a new Tardis interior, the crystal grotto with the nodding pillars just doesn’t do it for me.   I’ll shut up now.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @dentarthurdent no need to bow to my minor knowledge of pre-gap who as it is much less than other contributors to this site it was just prompted by my knowledge that the Producer for the first 2 seasons was Verity Lambert and was as I understand it was quite influential in the direction of early who.

    The Tardis’s look has constantly changed over the many years  and usually with change of Doctor so in all likelihood will change as Jodie retires.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi @aidan    Welcome, this is as good a place as any to introduce yourself, and nobody is going to be bothered by typos or grammar overmuch.

    I sort of lost touch with the original show partway through Patrick Troughton’s run – if you missed the show when it was on, or maybe the repeat a week or so later, that was it – no rental DVD’s in those days!    So it was virtually a new show (for me) when they re-launched it with Nine and Rose in 2005.    I thought Eccleston was a pretty good Doctor  (mind you, I have to give credit to Billie Piper for really getting me hooked).    Well, both of them.    Eccleston was the exact right degree of slightly odd to contrast with Rose’s everyday shop assistant.

    The Parting of the Ways – yes, that was an excellent ep.   I loved the scene where Badwolf Rose disintegrated the Daleks.  That was some really impressive visuals.    In my own spreadsheet listing of all the episodes it’s rated a 5 (out of 5).   I even liked the bit where Jackie unexpectedly came up trumps with Rodrigo’s tow truck.

    Aidan @aidan


    My comment to one of yours earlier:

    I too think that having a female Doctor even when it kind of backfired, was a great idea. On one had it was just natural that the Doctor could be a woman (I think it was even often teased in the show and there even was a timelord which regenerate into a woman.). On the other hand, I think this opened up the show to even a wider audience and (kind of) made it famous again. And in my opinion her personality even was a nice contrast to that of the masters which made the 12th Series quite interesting. My problem is, that the show lost a lot of its weight after so many important and interesting characters were gone. Now we just have the master who did a great job in the last season and made it for a great.  Without the diversity Doctor who wouldn’t be the show I have learn to love.

    Aidan @aidan


    I tried to watch the original show too. It is just that it is quite hard to watch it now because on one hand I have some problems of finding copies of the show at that point and the visuals are just all over the place. Even one episode was kind of like a diashow with colour pictures. But I loved the episodes, I saw. I really liked how they put even back then so many great ideas in just one episode.

    But I think the best part in this Episode is the dalek emperor. His speech (“if I am god the creator of all things then what does it make u, Doctor?”) was one the reasons I kept watching the show. But Rose got my full attention after the Episode “dalek”. The acting from Rose and the Doctor was just so on point that I could watch it again and again and made the duo in my eyes the best.

    But you could help me in a way. You said you have a list of your favourite episodes; can you tell me what is the best episode to start with? A fried of my watched the episodes “silence in the library” and “forest of the Dead” with me, because he wanted to see what all of this Doctor who stuff is about. Was that a good idea to show those episodes and which should we watch next?

    (Idk if this post will pop up 2-3 times because after I wanted to edit it, it wasn’t shown anymore)

    <span class=”useratname”> </span>

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    Yes! to that speech by the Dalek Emperor. It lifts the Daleks above the level of just-baddies-to-be-destroyed.

    Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead is pretty good as a starter.

    Oh gosh, this is going to be *very* subjective!
    All I can do is list a few of the episodes (NuWho eps only) I personally liked the most. No guarantee everyone else will agree.
    I’m sure others will have suggestions

    It depends whether you’re looking for ‘standalone’ eps that don’t require much background knowledge, or whether you’re looking to start a series of linked episodes. These are mostly ‘standalone’ episodes, or ones that aren’t too strongly tied into an ongoing storyline.

    Series 1 (I guess you know them) Dalek, Bad Wolf, The Parting of the Ways.
    Series 2 – Tennant / Rose:
    The Girl in the Fireplace
    Army of Ghosts / Doomsday – where the Doctor loses Rose

    Series 3 – Tennant / Martha
    Blink (which is a standalone Doctor-lite ep by Moffatt, highly regarded by almost everybody)

    Series 4 – Tennant / Donna
    Midnight (which is a standalone Donna-lite ‘bottle’ episode by RTD)

    Series 5
    The Eleventh Hour (introducing Matt Smith and Amy)

    Series 6 – Matt Smith / Amy
    The Doctor’s Wife (by Neil Gaiman – the Doctor meets his Tardis)
    The Girl Who Waited

    Series 7 – Matt Smith / Amy / Clara
    Asylum of the Daleks

    The Day of The Doctor (the 50th anniversary ep, with John Hurt)

    Series 8 – Capaldi / Clara

    Last Christmas (a Christmas episode with Father Christmas and sarcastic elves)

    Series 9 – Capaldi / Clara
    The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar

    Face the Raven / Heaven Sent / Hell Bent

    Series 10 – Capaldi / Bill
    The Pilot / World Enough and Time / The Doctor Falls

    This is a hurried list, it’s 3a.m. here! Suggest checking a synopsis of episodes e.g. at Tardis.fandom.com to see if they’re the sort to suit your tastes. If I had to pick any single one of those, I guess I’d say ‘Blink’ or ‘The Day of the Doctor’.

    I’M NOT SUGGESTING watching all these in the sequence above. Just watch a couple to get the flavour, then (I’d suggest) picking a season you like or a Doctor/companion you like and working through maybe the half-dozen most significant eps of that season.

    I’d be happy to elaborate on what are the ‘essential’ episodes for any particular season – later!


    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone its soo lovely to see soo much discussion 🙂

    hey @aidan welcome to the Forum 🙂 I hope you like it here and take a look around 🙂

    About what eps to introduce your friend to I tried Blink with my friend cause everyone recommends that for a introduction ep and it was a bit more horror like which suited my friend however Billy Shipton stuffed up their enjoyment of the ep cause he died pretty much so its not always a guarantee just see what your friend likes and try to match it to an ep or many , and mayby have some diverse eps like so they see the range Doctor Who has 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone I was just thinking about The Sarah Jane Adventures and all the cool aliens they have , Doctor Who is like the big cheese lets say haha and then you have like spin off’s like The Sarah Jane Adventures , TorchWood and now Class

    Do you think there are limits to which elements you can take from them and inject into Doctor Who , I am thinking about the cool aliens at the moment but there are other dynamics and things to bear in mind , should they be separate from Doctor Who as much as possible or not for instance ?

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Aidan @aidan


    Wow! What an amazing list. By every recommendation I was like: “Yes that is true, loved that episode”. So thank you very much. And now I just want to watch them all but have no time: (.

    And yes, of cause why didn’t I think of “Blink”?! That was such an amazing episode. It was just so far away from like the normal style that I just don’t think of the episode when I think of Doctor Who. I really loved the dynamic between the two main characters and it was just a lot of fun to see this kind of nerd stereotype interacting with the Doctor Who world.: ). And I think this even was one of the first episodes with the weeping angles in the new show, right?

    But just one question. Why do I hear so many people say that Midnight is such a great episode? I never rewatched it, because it kind of didn’t stick with me and was just this weird episode. It’s been a long time since I have seen that episode and it might just be that I was too young at that point.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @aidan

    There are many great parts/elements that make Midnight a really cool and popular ep but to pick the high points the ep is really great at building fear , there is fear of the unknown , its scary how Powerless The Doctor is and he doesn’t know what the enemy was , fear of people like these nice holiday makers start turning on each other and you see the destructive side of humanity when they lash out cause of fear , the whole environment is really claustrophobic and the syncing of dialogue and the aliens powers are really unsettling.

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Aidan @aidan


    I was busy so this is the answer to your earlier Post:

    To be honest, I have never watched the spinoff shows. Are they worth my time? I have never tried them because I can’t think of watching doctor who without the Doctor. Sounds stupid but the doctor was like was one of the thinks that makes this show so great to watch and follow, because we have this everchanging personality and actors.

    But I would love to see those shows combine and have some crossover episodes. I really missed Jack Harkness in Doctor Who. : (

    And your description of “Midnight” sounds a lot like a H.P. Lovecraft like episode. But back then it didn’t have such an impact like “The Empty Child”. But thanks for the description. It sounds like something I would love now : ). Oh, I should stop thinking about all these great episodes. I want to watch all of them now and I see my free time fly away.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @aidan   Midnight was almost a ‘bottle’ episode.   (A bottle episode is one that uses very few sets, very few cast members, and so can be produced quite quickly and cheaply.    Midnight had only about 8?  cast – a few more than a strictly ‘bottle’ ep – and really only one set).   I think Declan has expressed why it’s so effective.   And – when at the end, the Doctor asked what was the name of the hostess who sacrificed herself to save all their lives and nobody knew it.   That stung.

    Also, we never get to see the monster at all.   Just sounds.    VERY effective (and of course saves heaps of budget).   I don’t rate it equal to Blink but it’s a good second place.

    Reminds me of ‘Listen’ in that respect – there’s nothing more chilling and creepy than noises in an empty base where all life has died out aeons ago.

    And of course  Blink was another case where ‘less is more’.   It was the very first appearance of the Angels and they were another example of what you can’t see (them moving) is more frightening than what you can see.    By the way, I disagree with Declan that Billy dying spoiled enjoyment of the episode – it was very sad, yes, death of a sympathetic character always is, but sad in a good way, he had lived a full life.    That is another episode where I have to sit down and mentally work out how the timeline works.   Of course like all these episodes, the casting ‘makes’ it and Carey Mulligan was perfect in the part.   She has beautiful sad eyes.   And Finlay Robertson as the scruffy but amiable almost-boyfriend was perfectly cast too, he just fitted in neatly.   I liked the hint of Sparrow-Nightingale romance that was left up in the air at the end – I like to think that they got together but I don’t need to have it confirmed by the episode.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @aidan    The spinoff shows.   The only one I know is  Torchwood.    It featured Gwen Cooper  (Eve Myles – Gwyneth from The Unquiet Dead),  Jack Harkness, plus others, and later on Martha Jones for three eps.    The first two series were a bit ‘darker’ than Doctor Who.    But generally, I suppose you could call them similar in tone to Unquiet Dead  (they were based in Cardiff).

    But personally, I tend to agree, without the Doctor (and his companion) it’s not quite the same.   Best regarded as a different show rather than Doctor Who lite.

    Then series 3 and 4 were fully serialised (i.e. just one story each), Children of Earth and Miracle Day, they went very dark and grim.   A bit too dark for me, and generally I like dark.

    The other spinoff was of course  The Sarah Jane Adventures  which I think was aimed at a more junior audience.   Apparently quite popular, but I don’t know anything about it.


    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @dentarthurdent I completely agree about Billy , he lived a full life and in my view he is not an important character or anything , important to Sally but for Doctor Who no

    My friend saw this cool as ice flirt and got annoyed that they took his character out even though he had a sweet ending in the Hospital so for my friend his love of cool Billy Shipton ruined the ep and mayby Doctor Who in general as he hasn’t watched many eps since which is disappointing but all of us here know what he is missing out on 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @dentarthurdent Loved your 3am list of episodes! Am in complete agreement. (And I say that at 9am, fully charged up with caffeine.)



    winston @winston

    @aidan   Welcome to the site!  I also love the 9th Doctor and Rose, and coincidentally I have just started a re-watch beginning with ” Rose”. I watched “Dalek” just last night and even after 6 or 7 views I still get goosebumps when the Doctor realizes that the Dalek is helpless. Chris’s acting was intense and this show more that any so far showed us who the Doctor is and how scary the Daleks are.

    If you want to learn more about the show check out the forums for the episodes. You will find some interesting discussions about most episodes and some great theories that have been proven right or wrong since then. Even some mysteries that have never been solved. Beware though, I often lose hours reading the posts.

    @dentarthurdent Nice list!  They are all great episodes.

    @blenkinsopthebrave  Happy election day!  We had a very smooth voting experience with only a 5 minute wait but I am in a rural area so a small population. While we were in line we spotted a praying mantis struggling on the hot pavement so Mr Winston put it in a cool grassy patch. Results!

    Stay safe
















    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @oochillyo   It’s unfortunate your friend got attached to Billy Shipton.   Doctor Who has a knack (and particularly RTD and the Moff) of inventing secondary characters who are much more sympathetic and engaging than just-another-extra-to-support-the-plot.   And generally they’re well cast.  So you do care about them enough to be interested in what happens to them.

    I could give a few examples of excellent supporting characters but the list would go on for pages…

    I think that’s got to be one of Who’s strengths, it’s not always just about the Doctor, or Doctor + companion.    The Doctor (+ companion) is still the main focus, but if every ep was a Heaven Sent-level of intensity we’d get fatigued.   The other characters add to the landscape, so to speak.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @blenkinsopthebrave    Thanks!

    @winston    You’re right about the forums being a rabbit hole  (of course Youtube is the most famous rabbit hole but there are many on the Internet).   (Where’d that phrase come from? – Alice in Wonderland I think).

    Dalek – not only showed the Doctor in a darker light, but wasn’t that the first time Rose seriously challenged the Doctor?   One thing I do like about nuWho is, the companions are strong characters in their own right.   (Not sure how true this was of oldWho, I know Ace was).

    By the way, apropos of nothing in particular, I love the quote in your icon  “We’re all just stories in the end.”   From The Big Bang (I admit I had to google it).     I had thought it was  Hell Bent, but that was   “You said memories become stories when we forget them. Maybe some of them become songs.”    The Moff is a poet.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well, I just re-watched The Day of the Doctor, for about the fifth time, and it’s as good and entertaining as ever. Liberally sprinkled with little easter eggs for the fans, but none of them are obtrusive or forced.

    The interplay between the three doctors is a joy to see. For example their competition in screwdriver sizes (“Compensating?”) or the exchange that went
    11: It’s a timey wimey thing.
    War (offended): Timey what? Timey wimey?
    10: I’ve no idea where he picks this stuff up. (You outrageous hypocrite, Ten, every fan knows exactly when you first used it!)

    Or the scene in the cell in the Tower, where 11 sends a message in stone through the centuries to Kate and Clara; War starts analysing the cell door with his screwdriver, then the Interface prompts War to realise that 11’s screwdriver will have worked out the answer by now; and then Clara walks through the door which was unlocked all along because Elizabeth left it that way…

    It’s full of witty little throwaway lines, like
    “The ravens are looking a bit sluggish. Tell Malcolm they need new batteries.”

    Or KATE: What’s our cover story for this?
    OSGOOD: Er, Derren Brown.
    KATE: Again?
    OSGOOD: Oh, we’ve sent him flowers.

    Osgood, of course, with her multicoloured scarf, is a walking tribute to the fans.

    And the Interface, personified as Bad Wolf Rose. Billie Piper is always a delight to see. The Moment may have developed a conscience, it has also developed a sense of humour and irony.
    War: Ow. The interface is hot.
    Badwolf: Well, I do my best.
    Oh, look at you. Stuck between a girl and a box. Story of your life, eh, Doctor?

    And I’m still noticing things I’d overlooked first time through, like the way in which Ten and 11 were able to crash the party in the barn –
    Ten: These events should be time-locked. We shouldn’t even be here.
    11: So something let us through.
    Badwolf: You clever boys.
    Yet again, I love the way that Moff doesn’t tell us explicitly that the Moment did it, just lets us know indirectly. Which leads me to wonder, given that the Moment had some ability to see the future, did it know that the Doctors would work out the idea of freezing Gallifrey in a time bubble, and set the whole thing up? Oh, and a nice touch that Badwolf echoed the last words of Clara’s first two incarnations.

    But just about every line of this episode is a delight to watch. I frequently burst out laughing with enjoyment.


    Aidan @aidan


    I loved that episode too. But I had some problems with that Episode, because I really didn’t get who the “Doctor of War” is. I don’t get it because the Wiki stats that the Doctor of War is the ninth doctor but didn’t the ninth regenerate when he was “young”.

    Who is the Doctor of War?

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @aidan    The 7th Doctor was Sylvester McCoy, the last of OldWho.

    He regenerated into the 8th, Paul McGann, in the Doctor Who movie.

    McGann regenerated into the War Doctor John Hurt in ‘The Night of the Doctor’, a short that preceded the 50th ‘Day of the Doctor’.   The War Doctor was effectively not counted, subsequent Doctors never acknowledged his existence until after The Day of the Doctor rehabilitated him.   At the end of Day of the Doctor, the War Doctor started to regenerate into…

    Nine, Christopher Eccleston.

    Who regenerated into TENnant, and then later a clone of Ten was grown from the hand that was cut off in The Christmas Invasion(?) so I suppose we call him 10 1/2 but he was never in the main line of succession  (or something like that, I’m a bit hazy on that)

    Ten eventually regenerated into Matt Smith Eleven who regenerated into Capaldi Twelve.

    But Ten and Eleven weren’t going to renumber themselves to accommodate the War Doctor.

    So the numbering was slightly idiosyncratic long before the Timeless Child (was it?) made a shambles out of everything.



    Aidan @aidan


    ah yes, thanks! Now it all makes sense. Well but is really confused me back then.

    But you reminded me of the timeless child and I want to ask you all if someone else thinks that this was kind of rushed. Other reveals where build up over many series like the face of boe or river song. The timeless child story kind of came out of nothing. I think this reveal was great and brings the story forward to a new level. But I have tought about it, are there any inconsistencies in the show now?

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @dentarthurdent what you have to remember is that before  the  Timeless Child reveal and after the War Doctor reveal Capaldi can actually be considered Doctor 2.1 with the sequence actually  being

    HartnellDoc 1.1, TroughtonDoc  1.2, PertweeDoc 1.3, T BakerDoc 1.4, DavidsonDoc 1.5, C BakerDoc 1.6, McCoyDoc 1.7, McGannDoc 1.8, HurtDoc 1.9, EcclestonDoc 1.10, TennantDoc 1.11, (aborted/clone regen )TennantDoc 1.12, SmithDoc 1.13 then as far as we knew at that point the timelords had granted a second regeneration sequence making CapaldiDoc 2.1,  and WhittakerDoc 2.2

    Obviously  the revelations of the timeless child has technically blown any sequencing but from our perspective the above list is the sequencing we would take the doctor to have lived

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent


    Yes but…  (as they say)

    The numbering you have given may be technically correct.    Though (as always among geeks) one could quibble.    Does the regen from McGann 8 to the War Doctor count, since it was considerably modified by the Sisterhood of Karn?

    This raises the question of how the regenerations were kept track of.   Is it built into the Doctor’s DNA by the Timelord technology?   In which case the clone of Ten couldn’t count.

    Or does it ‘phone home’ like an iPhone or Windows 10?    In which case Rassilon’s “How many regenerations did we grant you?   I’ve got all night”  was surely just rhetorical nastiness, since he could have ordered the main system to cancel them.   However maybe it was just more convenient at that moment in time to shoot the Doctor as many times as necessary right there and then.

    Regardless of all that, so far as identities go, Tennant will always be Ten, Smith Eleven, and Capaldi Twelve.   Since they’re all called The Doctor, those numbers are the nearest things to names for them, that we have got.   (And we can’t call them Tennant, Smith etc without stepping outside the universe of the show).

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    And as a P.S. –  yes we know that all Rassilon really had to do in Hell Bent was shoot the Doctor fatally and then shoot him again while he was regenerating.   (And that would presumably be that, regardless of whether the Doc had a counter in his DNA, or whether the Gallifrey ‘mainframe’ enabled regenerations).   So presumably he was just being rhetorically nasty.

    In fact, an argument against the ‘phone home’ theory is as follows:   It would require, whenever the Doc regenerated, for a data link to be established with the Gallifrey mainframe.   But how would that be possible at times when Gallifrey was timelocked?   So I tend to favour the idea that the counter was encoded in the Doc’s DNA, a bit like the runtime limit of replicants in Blade Runner, and that timelord technology would allow them to reset the counter.

    I’m sure all this has been worked out in great detail before, but this is the first time I’m trying to work it out.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Wow a couple of days of not checking and there is soo much to catch up on. 🙂 I had to make notes.

    to start with I am references posts from prior to my last post. I think I was either rushed or tired then. so, to my notes,

    @dentarthurdent I fondly remember watching the old Sherlock series. I think Green Screen was either pioneered by the Star Wars film or very new when they were made so new around that time.

    Hide is a good episode but I had some issues with the age gap.

    Journey to the Centre of the Tardis, doesn’t really work for me though I enjoy the exploration of the Tardis, something Dr Who does not do often enough.

    Crimson Horror, I like but mostly for Dianna Rigg. I was amused to find a Thomas Thomas in the family history.

    @oochillyo Comments are always welcome.

    @devilishrobby Re’ female Doctor. I agree, it was more than time.

    Dentarthurdent. I also agree re’ James Bond not being played by a woman. We need a new female hero not a rehashed male one. My vote would be for “Peel, Emma Peel” (Yes I was a bit fan of the character when I was young.)

    @aidan and @jupiterjane. Welcome to the forum.

    Oochillyo and Aidan. Sarah Jane Adventures is in my opinion the best of the spin offs. It is aimed at children but has good characters, ok stories and Sarah Jane. I dislike Torchwood. Similar stories but with added (unnecessary) sex and violence because they thought that was required to make it “adult”.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb That Sherlock Holmes series is generally very well made. I don’t think they used any green screen – as I said, the Reichenbach Falls shot was a couple of stunties on wires, actually on location. And I don’t think they even did wire removal, just the wires were nearly invisible in front of the waterfall.

    The predecessor of green screen was back-projection, I think, though that dates back decades. Most conspicuously used for scenes in cars where the two leads are talking and the road is unrolling behind them and the driver is randomly turning the wheel with no correlation to any bends in the road they’ve just ‘driven’ down (yes I’m a technogeek, I obsess over this stuff 🙂

    Green screen and wire removal (and CGI backgrounds) were certainly a thing by the time they made Xena (late 90’s), but still expensive, which is why they used as many in-camera tricks as possible. And some regrettable rubber monsters (but oldWho fans know all about rubber monsters 🙂 Feature films of the time probably had a much bigger budget for effects.

    Talking of rubber monsters, the one in Hide was actually very good. Like most of the nuWho ones.

    James Bond was always a hold-out for doing as many stunts ‘for real’ as they possibly could, and it shows in the films. And you can see the few scenes when they resorted to full CGI motion and it’s just not entirely realistic.

    Female James Bond – no. Emma Peel – yes, definitely. She was cool. In fact, since about the nineties, there have been plenty of female heroes, I’m happy to say. (Maybe not as many as male, I don’t know, and IMO it shouldn’t be a competition). Not just heroes, but strong supporting characters. A few of my favourites are Ripley, Sarah Connor, Mystique (X-Men), Xena, Aeon Flux, Chiana, Nebula, Six (BSG), several Who companions, Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) from Tomorrow Never Dies, Natalya Simonova (Goldeneye), and dozens that don’t come to mind right now.

    Torchwood – I’m not sure I agree with ‘added sex and violence’. I can’t say I noticed any sex particularly (which is not to say there wasn’t, just it didn’t make a big impression on me). As for added violence, what could be more violent than a typical Dr Who Dalek or Cybermen episode? But – Torchwood was much grimmer in tone (I think we agree on that), way more so in Seasons 3 and 4. It’s not the violence in itself, it’s how it’s treated in the episode that makes the difference.

    nerys @nerys

    @dentarthurdent And someone should tell Jodie that goggling at something with her mouth open makes her look like a goldfish. It does most people. The director really should have caught that.

    OK, here’s where I’m going to cry foul. I know what you’re talking about. I can also think of many, many instances in which the NuWho Doctors (Tennant, especially) had nearly identical facial expressions. My problem wasn’t with Whittaker utilizing it, but rather that it seemed derivative, rather than inventive. She could have done so much more, as we have seen her do elsewhere. I have a feeling she was directed to react in that way, because “that’s what the fans expect!” But I am only guessing at that. What I do know is that Whittaker has a much more extensive acting range than we were shown during her time with Doctor Who.

    Emma Peel? Ah, yes, one of the all-time great female action heroes. But I’m not sure anyone will ever play her as well, or as memorably, as Diana Rigg.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    As I said, that look has the same regrettable effect for most people.   It’s one that should never be held for more than half a second (in my opinion).   Xena (Lucy Lawless) occasionally used to use a similar look and it made me cringe there too.   Really, directors and editors (if they want their star to look good) could do better.

    Back to Whittaker – there was some pretty awful writing that made her seem a bit too much like a Yorkshire lass – partly because she had the same accent as her companions.   (Along with ‘fam’ and suchlike).    Somehow, when Capaldi used some everyday slang phrase, it came across as a strange alien trying it on for size, when Whittaker used it, it felt like her normal vocabulary.

    So, I only know her from her portrayal of the Doctor, and – I don’t care for it much.   If she has a deeper range and a bit more gravitas, I would have liked to see it.   (I’ve only seen Season 11, not 12, don’t know if that makes any difference).

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