On The Sofa (10)

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  • #72806
    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent      Congrats on getting series 12! I love new DVDs that have never been played before, so shiny and just waiting to be watched.

    We also got our boosters yesterday and although my arm always hurts after a jab, Mr Winston usually has little pain but this time we both have sore arms. I reminded him that together we have 2 good arms. It is so cold here at -25C this morning, that we used our good arms to fill up the wood box and spent the day watching TV. Too cold to go outside if you don’t have to. Basically take 10 minutes to dress in our winter gear, fill up the bird feeders (poor chilly birds) grab an arm load of firewood and run back inside.

    Even though you are probably having lovely warm weather I still hope your arm feels better soon. Lets hope we don’t have to get another booster.

    Stay safe.

     

    #72807
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi @winston     Thanks,  my left arm is improving.   It’s quite an important arm for me, it’s the one I change gear with.   (It would be less important if I lived in France, drive on the right, sit on the left.   Or in Canada, come to that).

    But I don’t mind how many jabs we have to have, long as they work.   I used to have very bad needle phobia, but I gradually got over it, and the Covid jabs are insignificant.   Used to be, if I had an injection coming up, I used to Think of Other Things very very hard, and it sometimes worked.   These days, it doesn’t even occur to me to bother.   Ditto the dentist, now I worry more about the bill, which I guess is a massive improvement.

    Um yes, it’s warm.   25 to 28 degrees.   The water is 21 degrees.  And it’s been warm enough to swim (and I’m a wimp when it comes to cold water) ever since mid-November.  (And usually our swimming season runs late, doesn’t start till Christmas).   It’s almost reached the stage when I groan “Oh no, not another perfect beach day”.   I know exactly how lemmings feel.   🙂     I can’t even imagine -25 degrees.   If I could send you one of our (current) days, I would.   We could easily spare a few.

    Back to Series 12 – I’m (kinda) hopeful.   But then I was kinda hopeful about Series 11 and somewhat disappointed.   But the Christmas (?) special, Resolution, I noted down as quite good, so that’s a hopeful sign (though I can’t remember much other than a renegade Dalek, so maybe that’s not so hopeful 🙂

    #72808
    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent   I dream about your weather when it is that cold here. As an avid gardener the idea of things growing all year is a wonderful fantasy. I am landlocked but I do love the ocean and beaches when we travel to either coast. Something about walking along a beach looking at the shore birds, listening to gulls and terns ,spotting seals is food for my soul. Hopefully we can go again soon. Skip a stone for me on your next visit.

    It warmed up today to a balmy 0C so that was nice but it is supposed to cool off again tomorrow.It has to be 1C or warmer to get the perfect packing snow needed to make a snowman so no joy yet. I have lived here my entire life and I actually like winter most of the time, especially if I don’t have to go anywhere. Travel can be treacherous sometimes and I am happy I don’t have to warm up the car and shovel snow at 6am to go to work anymore. It can also be very nice to stay inside by the fireplace watching it snow through the window knowing how pretty everything will look with a dusting of glittering snow. Isn’t this planet great!

    Stay safe.

    #72809
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston Well yes, things do grow all year here in Auckland (we never get a severe frost, and usually plenty of rain). Mrs D’s dahlias seem to grow two ‘crops’ a year. English visitors (and I, when we first arrived here) are struck by how green everything is. The downside is that many perfectly inoffensive plants (in an English context) like privet, run wild and become a pest here.

    Sadly, stone-skipping is not a ‘thing’ in Auckland, for geological reasons. You need strongly layered rocks, like the shaly rocks in Cornwall (UK), to produce good flat skipping stones. Our West Coast, such as Piha, is volcanic (conglomerate, probably), with lava pebbles anything from an inch to several feet across, imbedded in a very adhesive volcanic ash matrix. In the cliffs you get these extraordinary features where football-sized boulders stick out, held by narrow ‘necks’ of ash, all the ash around having worn away by wave or wind action. But the smaller stones make it very hard to walk on in bare feet.

    And the Manukau Harbour shore, near us, is just fairly soft mudstone cliffs. Due to lack of wave action in the harbour, there is only a little sand (probably imported by the council) at the top of the beaches, all the rest being mudflats. For a change from going to Piha for a swim, I went down to the nearest beach for a walk today (only possible below half tide). Very few people bother with the shore below the cliffs since the swimming is no good, shallow muddy bottom, so you can be on a near-deserted shore with a city of a million people out of sight above you. It isn’t good ‘walking’, more like negotiating mud and sometimes-slippery rocks, but it is satisfying. And something I never discovered for five decades until about ten years ago.

    I can understand how one can get attached to a place (like you obviously have done to yours). Yes, this planet is great.

    Sorry, everybody, for straying so far from Dr Who.   Next post will be about Who, I promise   🙂

    #72810
    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston we have been huddling in the house too but for the opposite reason. The past couple of days have been reasonably hot, 37-40c. (after the horrors of 2019 summer 40c does not seem excessive) We venture out to water the garden. Life is interesting here at the moment, the goverment in its great wisdom having decided to throw down all defences and “let it rip”. The streets are earily quiet, the shops almost empty of people as well as goods. Now we know what life in a pandemic is like. I just hope that the government will pay dearly come election time but they have the Murdoch media on their side so will probably get away with it.

    @dentarthurdnet hope the arm is feeling better now. Our son’s girlfriend was terrified of having the jab. She almost passed out heading in but the security guard noticed that she was struggling and called a nurse to take care of things. The nurse was so supportive that she went in to get the booster without a worry. Our second son almost fainted after the jab but again the staff were wonderfully supportive.

    We have to wait to the end of the month to get out boosters. I suspect that if we haven’t already had Omicron we will have by then even though we try not to go out unless absolutely necessary.

    And back to Dr Who, I hope you enjoy series 12. I look forward to your reviews.

    I do not remember if I put up the link to the podcast we did on the Pertwee story, The Daemons. It was not entirely well received which did not surprise me.  I am planning on covering two Tom Baker era stories this year as his tenure was so long I don’t feel that watching just one story does justice to it. (we each pick two “cult classics” to look at each year.  And speaking of Tom Baker we are currently hearing him speaking, ie voice acting in Star Wars Rebels.

    cheers

    Janette

    #72811
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb I just can’t imagine 40C. We hit 28C a few days ago and I thought that was as hot as I ever want to be. In particular, my brain stops working at that temperature – which is to say, I’m still conscious, but I just can’t make any mental effort. When I was working in Rarotonga, over the height of summer, I would just sit in my office in the afternoon, catatonic and unable to think. It wasn’t laziness, I felt guilty, but mental activity was just too hard. I think it was in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld that the trolls got less intelligent at warm temperatures as their silicon-based brains overheated?

    My arm is fine thanks. I think a large component of the fainting due to the jab, is psychological. Early in my working life, I was persuaded into going to give blood (which, given my phobia of needles, was probably not a good idea). Anyway, after standing in line for a preliminary blood test (which was a prick on my thumb), I just fainted dead away (and this was obviously not due to any drug reaction). I do agree that having sympathetic staff can make a huge difference. My experience with covid vaccinators here has been overwhelmingly positive.

    My impressions (hardly ‘reviews’) of Series 12 may have to wait a little bit, I’ve decided for now to work through Series 9 at least, first. But maybe speed up my watching a bit. I just watched Under the Lake / Before the Flood – comments to follow.

    #72812
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Under the Lake – this is better than I remembered, I think first time round it suffered from following the brilliant Skaro episodes.

    The Doctor’s prompt cards are a hoot – obviously part of a Clara campaign to make the Doc more socially acceptable. But of course the Doctor subverts them – “I’m very sorry for your loss. I’ll do all I can to solve the death of your friend slash family member slash pet.” And equally classic is Clara’s expression while he is saying this, looking into space with the exact same expression** as a housetrained cat using the litter box – until the last few words catch her out.
    (**viz. ‘This has nothing to do with me. I’m not here.’)
    The “It was my fault, I should have known you didn’t live in Aberdeen” card is pure fan service though.

    Clara is getting increasingly reckless with her own safety. I think the loss of Danny has destabilised her. The Clara decoy hologram was a nice touch.

    “Surely just being around me makes you all cleverer by osmosis.” The Doctor is incorrigible.

    The ultimate cliffhanger at the end, where they get separated (standard action sequence) and the Doc promises to come back and save them – and then reappears as a ghost.

    Before The Flood

    I love the introduction, with the Doctor in didactic mood – with an axe and Beethoven. This will be relevant later, presumably.

    And the village, with Cyrillic signs everywhere. Can’t help trying to read them all.

    Love the way O’Donnell waits till the Doc is out of earshot before exploding in glee with “It’s Bigger on the Inside” – just when we thought every possible variant had been done. I was saddened when she died.

    The Doc finds he’s going to die, and is resigned to it – but Clara isn’t! She is a *very* determined young lady, isn’t she?

    But this episode does question (possibly unfairly?) the Doctor’s willingness to risk the lives of other people in preference to his companion. This follows on from Skaro, where Davros questioned whether the Doctor was, morally, ‘good’.

    Then it gets really complicated, with Doc (in the past) talking to his own ghost (in the present). And then we have two Tardises with an overlapping time stream – how is this going to work?

    So the ghost Doctor was a hologram. Very ingenious. Still trying to get my head around quite how all that worked. And the time loop of how the Doctor got the idea to create his ‘ghost’ from seeing his creation in the future…     Maybe if I read the synopsis on tardis.fandom.com I can figure it out,maybe not.

     

     

    #72814
    Archier @archier

    hello everyone!

    i didn’t know about the sofa, so i posted on the chat of an episode. And i’m sorry about that.

    i’m from brazil, big big fan of dw in a place that most people never even heard about the show. So its really good to be here.

    *there might be some writing mistakes as english is not my first language.

    #72815
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @archier    Don’t worry about that.   Everyone here is pretty friendly.  And this site’s geography can be quite confusing, so posts often end up in the ‘wrong’ place.   Also, ‘topic drift’.    I just posted some episode comments here, when it should have been on the ‘episode’ page.

    Craig  (the Chief Dalek) is pretty tolerant.   I can only think of two rules that he enforces – 1.  Be nice.   No insulting other posters.   And 2, no Spam.

    Oh, welcome to the sofa.

    #72816
    winston @winston

    @archier  Welcome to you from up here in chilly Canada! We love the Doctor too so you are at the right place. Have fun exploring and commenting.

    @janetteb  @dentarthurdent    It was -25C   all day today, have pity for my frozen tootsies. All I can say is Brrrrr…..

    Stay safe.

    #72818
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston    That is unbelievably cold!  Put it this way, if we averaged our HOT (well, hot by NZ standards, maybe not Oz) temperature and your cold temperature, we’d be at freezing point.

    #72821
    janetteB @janetteb

    @archier Hi and welcome to the forum, our little Dr Who loving community. Don’t worry about posting in the wrong place. We all do it. Technically The Sofa is supposed to be for Dr Who related discussion but as you will observe, we are continually going “off topic”.

    @dentarthurdent I really like part one, “Under the Lake” and most of part two “Before the Flood” but there are some issues with the resolution that bother me. The breaking of the dam wall would not permanantly flood the valley below, and the monster of the week is just that. However the dialogue is excellent and the characters so good that any weaknesses in the story are easily forgiven.

    @winston the coldest we experienced in Sweden was -17c and that was close to unbearable. I had to use public transport to get the boys to school which involved waiting for a connecting bus at 8.00 am every morning. Fortunately everything was so well heated that when the bus arrived we defrosted quickly. I can’t imagine any colder.

    cheers

    Janette

    #72827
    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent   @janetteb  It warmed up to -7C today so that was nice. We are expecting a snowstorm through the night so we may have a lot of snow in the morning. I have charged all devices , gathered up the emergency lights and stocked up extra water in case we lose our power, so I am ready. I also put a couple Doctor Who audio books on my tablet to keep me entertained. So bring it on winter, I am prepared.

    stay safe and stay warm or cool,which ever applies.

     

    #72828
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston I guess there is something satisfying about battening down the hatches and settling in for the duration. Not unlike our first covid lockdown (before the novelty wore off). Hoping your ‘snowed in’ episode (what do you call it?) is not too onerous.
    I’m sitting on our verandah in the shade, reading posts and taking a break from fitting a new radiator on the BMW.

    So far over the Christmas break, the starter on Mrs D’s Mazda failed (on Christmas Eve), on New Years Eve my BMW got a big crack in its radiator, and my old Escort (that I hauled out of the garage to use while waiting for businesses to reopen so I could order a replacement BMW radiator – which the courier then promptly lost in transit), had a broken exhaust bracket that I had to weld up. Somehow I’ve made it to the beach on a regular basis. (The day after the BMW’s radiator cracked, I took it to Piha anyway (*nothing* stops me going to the beach!), stopping every 2 miles to top up the radiator – I had 24 litres of water in bottles in the boot, and stopped midway at Nihotupu Stream to refill them. This worked quite successfully for twenty miles, it would get tedious any further). The courier finally found the radiator this morning, I’m just fitting it leisurely now (piece of cake, actually).

    And that, friends, is how I relax over Christmas 🙂
    (Not exactly by choice, but I’d rather all this mechanical misfortune happened now, than when it’s windy, wet and cold).

    #72829
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb Yes, geomorphology 🙂 I agree, it is incredibly unlikely that the dam breaking would permanently flood the valley, though certainly it could drown the Fisher King. Unless there was another major dam downstream (in which case the village would have been flooded already). I hadn’t bothered to analyse the situation to that extent, it was a niggle at the back of my mind which I ignored. Incidentally, I guess it’s necessary that the village be truly isolated, else the Doctor’s little bit of dam busting would have caused massive (and unacceptable) ‘collateral damage’. And while I think of it (massive nitpick), he should have dropped the power cell in the water on the upstream face of the dam – that’s how Barnes Wallis’s ‘bouncing bombs’ worked on the Mohne and Eder dams. On the ‘air face’, an explosion powerful enough to breach the dam (which we assume the power cell was) would have left no trace of the village.

    Another little thread that came to nothing was the ‘Russian village’ theme – it didn’t seem to relate to anything much. I’ve always found these ‘fake village’ themes fascinating, ever since the first one I saw (which I think was in ‘Danger Man’, an episode called (googles) ‘Colony Three’ which featured a fake ‘English’ village in Russia. And which is reputed to be the germ of The Village in The Prisoner.) Incidentally, Danger Man also had an episode called Under the Lake. Nothing is new… But anyway, aside from Russian posters everywhere, nothing much came of it.

    But these are minor niggles, and easily glossed over. (Don’t ever let me get started on Harry Potter and ‘Hogwarts Express’ 🙂

    #72831
    Archier @archier

    Thank you guys!

    And seeing you talk about the cold its kinda crazy. Where I live is pretty HOT all the time, up to 30°C. My dream is to visit Canada in the winter haha

    #72832
    winston @winston

    @archier    That is funny because most Canadians dream of going somewhere warm in the winter. We got about 2 feet of snow the other night and it is beautiful to look at but very hard to shovel.

    Stay safe

    #72833
    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  You were determined to make it to the beach eh! I can’t blame you. We were snowed in until today but even then many rural roads were not plowed yet, but we should be good to go tomorrow. The power stayed on and there was little wind so not a big deal really. The mister spent a lot of time shoveling and today he did the roof before it gets too heavy. It is very hard work, poor guy.

    I hid out inside and watched the pilot episodes of all the Doctors from 9th to 13th. Rose is my favourite and I still get that feeling that I am going on a great adventure with the marvelous Doctor and his blue box, every time I watch it. I felt that way the 1st time I watched it and it has proved to be true. Next viewing binge will be the final episodes for the 9th to the 12th Doctor. Not as much fun but I will wallow in my grief and feel better after, I hope.

    Stay safe.

    #72834
    winston @winston

    @janetteb   After -20C  it is just cold….really f*#*ing cold. It can take your breath away. Best stay inside curled up under a fluffy blanket watching Doctor Who.

    stay safe.

    #72836
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston    Yes, I get itchy feet after a long spell confined to barracks…  on a warm sunny day, a ‘long spell’ is about, oh, two hours   🙂     When they go to bury me, the service will be interrupted by banging on the coffin lid, “Oi!  Let me out!   I’m bored!   I wanna go for a walk!”

    But I’m pleased for you that your blizzard was short-lived.   Still. shovelling snow off the roof sounds high-risk, isn’t there a danger that he’ll slip and fall off?

    The pilot episode ‘Rose’ was great.   Not a top-notch episode by comparison with the best of NuWho, but good enough and intriguing enough to re-launch the series.   And both Eccleston and Billie Piper deserve a lot of credit IMO, for portraying engaging characters that were fun to watch.  If either of them had been less than excellent, the series might have foundered.

    Also, Billie is very photogenic, the camera loves her (as they say).   I’m thinking of the scene in Day of the Doctor where the Interface (the Moment) is just leaning against a wall in the background while three Doctors bicker, one of them the great John Hurt, and I can’t speak for any other fans but I’m watching the Interface to see what she does.

    Final episodes – I’m not sure I could binge-watch them.   Too much sadness (the ending of anything is always sad).

     

    #72837
    nerys @nerys

    @dentarthurdent Still. shovelling snow off the roof sounds high-risk, isn’t there a danger that he’ll slip and fall off?

    When we lived in Ontario, we used something called a roof rake to pull the snow down off our roof. It’s basically a long, narrow shovel on an extendable handle. You stand on the ground and maneuver the roof rake up onto the roof, then pull down. Much safer that way! Of course, then you have to shovel the mountain of snow that you just pulled down! But it’s better than have it piling up on your roof, potentially causing your roof to collapse.

    Another trick is that we use a snow scoop for most of our snow removal, rather than shoveling. It’s still a workout, but it’s much easier to fill up the scoop, then push it to where you want to dump the snow.

    #72838
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys   That roof rake is an interesting solution.   (Not that snow removal is a problem here.   Still, I sometimes have to go up on the roof to clear the gutters.   Our house is on sloping ground, so single storey at one end, two storey at the other (which is where I get  veeeerry cautious).

    The snow scoop, I imagine, is a sort of mini snow plough, maybe with wheels on it?

    I’m mentally contrasting that with the approach in the Alps, which seems to be, to design the roof to take the snow.   In places like Andermatt, in Switzerland, the huge old houses of 3-4 storeys (so a roof rake would not be possible anyway) have high-pitched roofs, with what I presume are little ‘snow fences’ a couple of inches high running across them at intervals, or more often a pattern of ‘tabs’ sticking up.    I assume these are to prevent a mini-avalanche from landing on passers-by in the street below.   (You can see them on Google Streetview if you ‘zoom in’ on a distant roof.   Some of the Streetview footage was taken in winter and yes, they do seem to tolerate a mountain of snow piling up on their roofs.)

    #72839
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    So, just watched The Girl Who Died.   When it starts with Clara in desperate straits in a space suit, who thought it was going to be Clara?   But of course it wasn’t.

    I have a slight niggle with the electric eels. I know they’re found in the Amazon, not so sure about Scandinavia. Also, I don’t think they generate sparks or blue flashes underwater.  And the episode’s treatment of electricity and magnetism generally.  But I’m too literal when it comes to physics.   🙂

    Another niggle: the Mire have teleports and a medical kit that can repair someone indefinitely (or maybe, only when the Doctor upgrades it), so I’m not so sure their level of technology is as primitive as Clara makes out. But of course she might be bluffing.

    This appeared to be a ‘lighter’ episode (notwithstanding the Mire zapping all the Vikings). So I really wasn’t expecting Ashildr to end up dead at the end of the battle. So then the Doctor fixes her. And – no good deed goes unpunished, someone will have to pay. So we have this marvellous finishing shot as the camera circles Ashildr while the centuries race past and her smile turns to disillusion.

    “She might meet someone she can’t bear to lose. That happens. I believe.” And we all know the Doctor wasn’t talking about Ashildr. But, nice foreshadowing for the Doctor’s grim determination at the end of the season.

     

     

    #72840
    nerys @nerys

    @dentarthurdent No wheels on the roof rake; just a wide, narrow shovel blade attached to a long, (often) extendable handle. The shovel blade part carves off the snow as you pull it down the roof toward you. If you Google “roof rake,” you should see photos of the contraption. This article from Erie, Pa., shows someone doing it. Our roof rake extended farther than hers, reaching all the way up to the ridge atop our 1.5-storey house.

    And no wheels on our snow scoop, either (though some may come equipped with wheels). The scoop has ridges on the bottom and slides quite easily on the snow. You dig the blade into the snow, then push using the handle, and the snow scoop slides along, gathering snow. When the scoop is full, you push it over to where you want to dump the snow, then rinse and repeat till the job is done.

    #72841
    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Was having a browse on YouTube about the various postings about when they are going to announce the actors/actresses identity earlier and given that RTD is supposedly going to start principle/pre  production in Feb it got me to thinking we know there are 2 more specials for Jodie but are they going to do a Xmas/new year special as the new docs first episode or are we going to  have to forego a special and wait till later 2023( my betting would be an Easter launch in that case ) for the new season especially as as far as I am aware they are going to do a 60th anniversary special so the doctors new season will have to have been completed by then.

    #72842
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys   No, I didn’t visualise wheels on the roof rake!   🙂    But I did wonder about the snow scoop.   I guess, if it’s sliding on snow, it wouldn’t need wheels.   If you were trying to clear the last of the snow off your driveway, then I guess wheels might be of some use.   But my experience with snow is virtually nil, our nearest snow (in winter) is Mt Ruapehu, 200 miles away.   South Island knows all about snow, though.

    #72843
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    … and I just watched The Woman Who Lived

    I have to love the Knightmare’s justified indignation at having ‘his’ robbery rudely derailed by the Doctor. (Reminds me of “I’m robbing you!” from Ruthless People  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS6lNDrCi88 )

    Nice reveal when the Knightmare turns out to be Ashildr! But it is rather tragic when she thinks the Doctor’s come to take her away and it turns out he’s only there by coincidence. And over the centuries, she’s lost all memory of her childhood. Yes, of course that would happen.

    The Doctor always commits occasional anachronisms – “[Housebreaks] should be easy for me – sonic technology – can deactivate any alarm”. So of course Me says “What’s an alarm?”

    How they get down off the roof of Lucie’s house after climbing up the chimney to escape is – conveniently not narrated. I’ll indulge the writers there, we don’t need to know. The scuffle with Sam Swift and his minions was very nicely choreographed.

    What did set off my anachronism sense was “Would you care for a cocktail, milady”. But Googling suggests ‘cocktail’ originated in the 18th century, so compatible with highwaymen. I’ll bet the writers put that in just to tweak geeks like me.

    Me’s pleas to the Doctor to take her with him are moving and almost irresistible, yet he resists. Why does he? Because of the prophecy that the ‘hybrid’ (Me?) would stand in the ruins of Gallifrey? So she resorts to siding with Leandro. Very interesting, the confrontation between the Doctor, Leandro, and Me. Even though Me claims to be completely callous to human life now, and angry with the Doctor, she has forbidden Leandro to kill him. Leandro is a pretty naff villain, but it’s not really about him.

    I couldn’t help laughing at the impromptu comedy duo of Sam Swift and the Doctor, even though their jokes were the corniest ever.

    So, not a bad episode, quite diverting, and very moving in parts.

    Now for vogons, sorry, zygons…

    #72846
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    And so I just watched the Zygon Invasion/Inversion.   Absolute cracker of a (double) episode!     (I stuck my random comments on the pages for those episodes).

    I think overall this was the best season. Only one really weak ep (Sleep No More). Every other ep rates at least a ‘good’ in my estimation, and the Daleks and Zygon two-parters and the ending three-parter are all top-notch.

    My only disappointment with this season was the DVD commentaries, or lack of.   What went wrong?   No commentary on the Dalek episodes, or the Zygon episodes, or the three final episodes – in other words, the really standout eps of the season.

    And the commentaries on the eps we did get – Under The Lake / Before the Flood, and The Woman Who Lived, were really not very informative for one reason or another.   (And Sleep No More – I haven’t re-watched yet so don’t know about the commentary).

    I would have just loved to see commentaries by the writers and/or actors on the top episodes.   Enough gripes, I’ll just have to go and read the forums for them on this site.

     

     

    #72849
    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent    We are getting more snow today , so more shoveling tomorrow but not the roof..  The Mr. uses a snow scoop on a flat part of our roof and the rake on the rest. We only have to do it if we get huge amounts of snow or if it is going to freeze rain on top of the snow making it too heavy. We have only one story and after all this snow if he did fall off he would only fall a few feet before he hit the huge pile of snow around the house.

    I finally made a snowman so I have a smiling face to look at out my kitchen window. I sprinkle bird seed on him and little birds land on his hat and his stick arms. You have no idea how happy that makes me!

    I finished my final episode binge, sad but happy. My next planned binge is all the cyberman episodes. After that maybe all the Dalek episodes.

    Stay safe.

    #72851
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Okay, a nice pile of snow is probably quite a good cushion.

    I jumped off a roof once, onto grass.   When I was a student, at engineering school, the student hostel was old single-storey wooden buildings.   There was a water-fight going on and I was cornered by the ‘enemy’.   Amazingly, I landed without breaking anything – just as some sneaky bugger trotted up and got me with a bucket full.    Ah, student days   🙂

    Probably just as well we didn’t have snow to add a further element of insanity to our activities.

    Your snowman with the birds landing on him is a happy image.

    #72854
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    … so I just rewatched Sleep No More

    Reminiscent of 42 and Under the Lake in places. Particularly with all the dark gloomy/grimy corridors. Interesting concept, but I think it had a few shortcomings in the execution. It was all quite hard to follow and I felt, lacked some of the wit and sparkle of dialogue that many other episodes in this season exhibited.

    The antigrav shields made no sense, if this thing is in orbit, nor should turning them off differentially affect the sandmen. Okay, the story is, they can’t handle the extra gravity (after all, why have grav shields in the first place) – but still, in orbit you shouldn’t need grav shields (in fact you should need artificial gravity). But then how could such flimsy creatures break through doors.

    Interesting ‘shock’ ending, that the whole episode was to plant a virus in our brains.

    But all in all, the weak episode of the season. Why did I watch it? – because Face the Raven is next, of course. 🙂

     

    #72855
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Face the Raven. I knew it was good, I’d forgotten just how good.

    I love that the amnesia drug Rigsy had been subjected to was called Retcon – a nod to the fans.

    Anyone think Clara enjoyed dangling out of the Tardis far too much? Rigsy certainly did.

    The meeting between Ashildr/Me, who only remembers Clara from her diaries, and Clara who met Ashildr a few weeks ago, is engagingly strange. One of those little facets of time travel. “I enjoyed our conversations. I’ve read them many times.”

    The street full of aliens is really ingenious plotting. And we’re into a murder mystery with Rigsy as the suspect. This episode really draws you in to its complex plot.

    “Can I not be the good cop?” “Doctor, we discussed this. Your face…”

    So then Clara ingeniously puts herself right in the frame for the Raven. The dangers of making ingenious plans with incomplete knowledge. I *knew* it was going to be a bad idea…

    And then the murder mystery turns into a set-up, a trap to lure the Doctor into the clutches of – who? And Clara is simply collateral damage, an accidental victim who got in the way of the scheme. Just as Me was collateral damage of the Doctor’s scheme in The Girl Who Died. The wheel turns full circle. Fate does that. No good deed goes unpunished.

    That climactic scene with Clara, the Doctor, Rigsy and Me is dynamite. Beautifully acted by everyone involved, and beautifully written. And not a dry eye in the house.

    And then the postscript with Rigsy sadly painting a memorial on the abandoned Tardis…

    Altogether a beautiful episode.

     

    #72856
    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston I hope that you are weathering the storms and not having to shovel too much snow. I did not know that snow needed to be shovelled off the roof. We weren’t told about that when we were in Sweden. Nor were we told that we would need to know where the snow shovels were when we were hit with a snowstorm. In fact we just thought they were funny shaped shovels and let the boys play with them so when it did snow they were buried and I had to resort to shovelling the snow off the driveway with kitchen utensils. It took me over two hours to get the car out while the s/o was freezing in an unheated bus shelter. Needless to say after that we took better care of the snow shovels.

    @dentarthurdent I am really enjoying your reviews.  Would like to comment more but always seem to be busy or reading posts late at night when I am too tired to write coherently. (Like now for instance.)

    I do have a story to share about salt and pepper shakers… Last night, when I was feeling very seedy as a result of having the booster shot the previous day, eldest son and his girlfriend came home from the city with a gift. They had bought me Tardis salt and pepper shakers which now have pride of place in the centre of our table.

    About thirty years ago the s/o and I bought Dalek salt and pepper shakers. They are pewter so have always been used as ornaments. (They get Christmas hats every year.) It seems as though I am now collecting Dr Who themed salt and pepper shakers though I suspect the potential there is rather limited. Maybe I should stick with collecting Tardis models. I have a usb hub which never worked, a playmobil Tardis. (It is a customised port a loo) and several models of different sizes, a Tardis beach towel, a blow up Tardis which has a puncture and a Tardis shower curtain which is not long for this world sadly. (It has been noted that I am a bit of a sucker for merchandising.)

    Cheers

    Janette

     

     

    #72857
    nerys @nerys

    We made it through this latest nor’easter without incident. The power stayed on, and there was no storm surge along our waterfront. (Fortunately, the wind was blowing from the northeast, driving the waves away from shore, rather than toward it.) We took advantage of a lull in the snow, then ice pellets, then freezing rain, then rain, to get out the snow scoop and shovel our cars out, then clear the part of the lot not plowed out by the snow plow. Amazing how much work that is!

    #72858
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb Loved your story about the Tardis salt and pepper shakers. It prompted me to look up from the couch in the living room only to see the Tardis cookie jar sitting on a bookcase next to the fireplace. Upstairs is my mini Tardis USB port connected to my laptop. And a recent arrival is the Tardis backpack (a frivolous, lockdown-induced, purchase on Amazon). We have decided to repurpose it as our household emergency packet (containing flashlight, batteries, drinking water, waterproof matches, candles, etc) that we are all encouraged to keep handy, as the island is potentially vulnerable to earthquakes. It seemed appropriate that if we do need to survive disaster at some point, that it should be with the assistance of a Tardis.

    #72859
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb For some reason I laughed (not in an unkind way) about your saga in Sweden. Probably it was a reflection of just how ‘different’ you would have found it from South Australia.

    Thanks for your kind comment but my random comments on episodes really don’t qualify as ‘reviews’, I feel. More like, just isolated things that strike me while watching, and I feel sufficiently motivated to write down.

    Surely the Daleks are the quintessential salt shakers. ‘Death by kitchen utensil’ as someone said. For some reason I was reminded of Reg (Professor Chronotis) ‘magic trick’ with the salt shaker imbedded in an antique pot in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. (It wasn’t magic, he just went back in time and bribed the potter. But then, the amount of tracing he would have had to do to locate the little girl and ensure she found the pot is daunting.

    @blenkinsopthebrave Your Tardis backpack sounds neat. Just a pity it doesn’t incorporate ‘real’ Tardis technology. Just think of all the gear you could stow in it. Of course, if that were the case, you could just crawl in (?) and it would then take you wherever you needed, so you wouldn’t need the gear…

    #72860
    janetteB @janetteb

    @nerys glad that you are ok. Seeing pics of the latest storm on the news. You really seem to be experiencing a very tough winter this year.

    @blenkinsopthebrave A Tardis backpack!! That is perfect as a suvival bag but I hope you never have to use it.

    @dentarthurdent Indeed Stockholm in terms of weather could not have been more “different” to SA. We left here in February on a 40c day arriving there to -17c and snow. On the night of the snowstorm however it did kind of work in our favour, once I actually managed to get the car out of the driveway. We had been warned about the storm and, being terrified of driving on icy roads, dutifully changed to “snow-tyres” the previous weekend. When I got out on the road the verges were lined with abandoned cars and a jack-knifed bus. There was not another car on the freeway. I did drive very slowly but got to the bus terminal, collected the half frozen s/o and returned home safely. None of the locals had bothered to change to “snow-tyres”, including those who had told us to do so. Apparently it is the same every year.

    I wondered why the name of Professor Chronotis sounded family as I am reasonably certain he does nto feature in the BBC Dirk Gently and I have yet to read the books but then recalled that he appears in Shada. Obviously Douglas Adams reused the character.

    Cheers

    Janette

     

    #72861
    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave @janetteb   The only thing I have ever bought myself is a VHS tape of The 1st Doctors 1st episode that I found in a charity shop for a quarter a few years ago. Yet I had to find and refinish a cupboard (Tardis blue!) to hold an ever growing collection of mugs. cookie jar, scarves, books, slippers, cute little Doctor dolls and other things I can’t think of now. I even have a Who clock on my wall and a Fez mailed to me from Turkey! I wear a Fez now.

    I have 3 lovely kids who never know what to get me and are all good at online shopping. I am a lucky Mom with a lot of toys.

    I have faves of course like the 11th Docs sonic screwdriver which I use to bleep people and a little Dalek that my daughter knitted. He even has a little plunger. There is also a great Tardis mug and when you put hot tea in it the Tardis disappears and reappears on the other side. Fun stuff to feed my Who need.

    @nerys  Glad you got through your storm without too much trouble. You guys got a lot of snow. We have shoveled way too much this year. We are just cold here, way too cold. It was -30C Friday morning. It was so cold the snowman asked for a blanket.

    Stay safe.

    #72862
    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent    If my kids keep adding to my collection I am going to wish my Tardis cupboard was bigger on the inside.

    Stay safe

    #72863
    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston I think you have well and truly outdone my Who collection. I especially love the sound of the knitted Dalek and the mug. We have a few Who mugs but none that “cool”. I did want a fez for my hat collection but I no longer have a hat collection as I loaned my hat stand to a friend and never got it back.

    I need a Tardis house. I think part of the appeal of Dr Who is that two of the cornerstones of the story are things we all long for. A home/cupboard/bag that is bigger on the inside and the ability to travel in time. (and be able to communicate with the locals despite differences in language. It would make O.S. travel so much easier.)

    Cheers

    Janette

     

    #72864
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb I’ve only once driven semi-seriously on snow. I say ‘semi-seriously’ because I didn’t have to, yes, it was an entirely snow surface, but the track led uphill all the way from the main road so I figured I could probably get back down it again. It was the Tukino Track up Mt Ruapehu, one July when the whole region was covered in white, and I actually got almost all the way up the steep hill a kilometre beyond the “4WDs Only” sign to the ridge at 1425 metres. Ran out of momentum 30 feet below the crest, got stuck broadside turning round, luckily a 4WD came down the track and its driver gave me a gentle push which is all it needed to nudge the front downhill. He had to since I was right across the track, he was polite enough not to say “People in ordinary cars shouldn’t be on tracks like this”. I actually found packed snow quite a predictable surface to drive on, somewhat to my surprise.

    I’d forgotten that you mentioned that Dirk Gently was a TV series. Any good? I can certainly recommend Adams’ first book (having just re-read it). His second (Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul) was okay, not quite so good I felt, but maybe that was because I was expecting it to be a similar tone to the first, and it was quite a bit different.

    The Tardis Translation Circuit is almost a thing now, with Google Translate (or similar) on peoples’ phones. I hate to admit it (having almost learned French) but it almost makes learning languages optional. The problem with learning a foreign language is that foreigners can’t agree on what language to speak, so the language you learn is not going to work, most of the time. (Me, in the Rossiya (‘Trans-Siberian Express’), hopefully, “Parlez-vous Francais?”) Fortunately a couple of passengers had limited English, and several people had speaking ‘translate’ functions on their phones.

    @winston Your kids are lucky, they always know what to get you (something Who-themed 🙂 I have terrible trouble with Mrs D, she always says ‘don’t bother to get me anything’.

    I have (as Mrs D says) “too many things”. I’ve just (in desperation) sorted out about 200 books which are going to go to a second-hand bookshop or the charity shop. (Preferably a bookshop since many of them are ones of specific interest to *somebody* – e.g. books on geology or history – and they stand a better chance of finding an owner that way). This is just an attempt to make room to move. I do like browsing second-hand bookshops but these days I rarely buy anything since I have nowhere to put them.

     

    #72865
    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent  I really enjoyed the BBC Dirk Gently though there were only three episodes. Have not seen the U.S. version which stars Frodo Baggins.

    We should be parting with books. There is a very large box of children’s box in the study which we currently don’t have storage room for and as the odds of ever having grandchildren are looking very remote there is no reason for holding onto them, but… but…

    Cheers

    Janette

    #72866
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   I know that “but…” very well.    As a tagline I saw once said, “Nobody who can read is ever successful at clearing out an attic.”

    All the ~200 books in my pile for disposal are ones I could have read – just I decided I’d never get around to it.   What with DVD’s and Youtube and Internet discussions (so it’s all you people’s fault   🙂      Which just leaves the remaining 1300 or so to read…

    And just to add further to distractions, I’m just about to order Season 1 of Dirk Gently.   Wikipedia says there were 8 episodes of Season 1, though one of the DVD descriptions names just four, so I guess they were double episodes.

    #72867
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Brief impressions of Heaven Sent –

    “I just watched my best friend die in agony. My day can’t get any worse. Let’s see what we can do about yours!” The Doctor in full Malcolm Tucker mode – I love it.

    What do you think, Clara? Is someone trying to give me a hint? What would you do?
    [Same as you.]
    Yes. Yes, of course you would. Which, let’s be honest, is what killed you.

    “This whole place is designed to terrify me. I’m being interrogated. It’s not just truth it wants. That’s not enough. It’s confession.” Which is why it’s called a Confession Dial. Can’t say the Moff didn’t give us some clues.

    And at 38:50 we have an unheralded appearance by Clara (I’m sure we all noticed Jenna’s name wasn’t in the intro credits).

    Apparently the only thing that doesn’t reset is the azbantium wall. So was the whole thing a real physical phenomenon happening in another dimension courtesy of Timelord technology? Or was it all in the Doctor’s mind, trapped in the Confession Dial? And does it actually make any difference?

    Marvellous, the scene at the end where the Doctor walks out of the ‘door’ onto the desert. And a glorious reveal of Gallifrey at the end. And such a visual relief after the gloom of the castle.

    “You can probably still hear me, so just between ourselves, you’ve got the prophecy wrong. The Hybrid is not half Dalek. Nothing is half Dalek. The Daleks would never allow that. The Hybrid destined to conquer Gallifrey and stand in its ruins … is Me.” Tricky, tricky Moff – I’m sure we’d all forgotten about Ashildr/Me by this point.

    Though carelessly undercut by Ashildr’s appearance at the start of the ‘Next Time’ sequence – did someone slip up there? But I notice that nowhere is there any mention or sight of Clara – tricky ol’ Moff still has one card up his sleeve.

    I hadn’t expected to write so much about this episode. To be honest I find it a bit grim, and much less enjoyable than its bookends. (I know it’s regarded as a tour de force, and rightly so). But full credit to the Moff and Capaldi for making it watchable despite its subject matter.

    #72868
    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent you might be looking at the U.S. Frodo version. (which might be good to. I know some people really like it but have not see it myself.) It is BBC America. The   BBC English version (this is getting confusing) stars Stephen Mangan as Dirk Gently and is actually four not three episodes. I forgot about the pilot episode.

    cheers

    Janette

    #72869
    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent

    Agreed Heaven Sent is a tough episode to watch. The pain is palpable. But the story is so compelling and Capaldi’s performance so intense. It is one of my favourite episodes. Only the CGI of the castle resetting lets it down and that is a very minor glitch. This episode is the work of a script writer at his best and the actors at their best and credit to Rachael Talalay for her expert direction.

    Cheers

    Janette

     

    #72870
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   You might well be right about Dirk Gently.   It seems the Wikipedia page refers to the American version.   Looking at Ebay.com.au, there are DVDs of the American version, and two different-cover DVD sets (one with a greyish cover, one with a red cover which is I think a later edition of same) of the British version.

    I was of course getting confused between Wikipedia (8  US episodes) and the one Ebay listing that bothered to describe the contents (4 episodes).   So now I’m unconfused again – thanks!

    Heaven Sent – I cringe when the Doctor is smacking his fist against that wall.   (Why didn’t he go and get the shovel?  It would have speeded up his progress by a hundred times, easily).    I think the CGI of the castle is adequate – not overwhelmingly impressive, but good enough (for me anyway) not to stick out painfully as ‘fake’.   But, top-notch episode (for everything except ‘fun’)

    #72871
    Missy @missy

    @dentarthurdent

    Face the Raven, one of my favourites (I know, a favourite is usually one item *grins)

    Beautifully written and acted. the actress who plays “Me” gives me the pip, I can’t explain why.

    The goodbye scene between the Doctor and Clara I find heartbreaking, every time I watch it, and when the Doctor

    kisses her hand, tears come unbidden!  Did you know that Mr. C added that himself? It wasn’t in the script.

    I cannot abide The girl who Died, or Lived, boooorrring!

    As for Heaven  Sent? One of the best scripts Mr. M has written.

    My opinion.

    Good to read that al of you are surviving the pandemic.

    Missy

     

    #72872
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @missy That goodbye scene is probably one of the best ever in Doctor Who. (And the fact that Clara came back later doesn’t devalue it in any way, we didn’t know that at the time). Moffat (I’ll assume he had a hand in it) seems to be unusually good at goodbye scenes – making them incredibly emotional without obvious tear-jerking. I think the key is to restrain the emotion on screen, but let the audience feel it for themselves – something that is quite difficult to achieve. Obviously the director and actors have a big influence too.

    RTD, I don’t think handled partings nearly so well. (Rose, Tennant…) A bit more overtly emotional. But maybe that’s just my tastes. But probably the worst was Farscape, a series I generally liked for its subversive Aussie sense of humour, but when a character died they would ham it up awfully and I’d be thinking ‘just get on with it’.

    Maisie Williams (Ashildr/Me) – to me, she’s okay, but not an actor/character that grabs me. (I haven’t seen Game of Thrones). And her hairstyle is not to my taste – 1940’s (?) fashions just don’t do it for me. That’s my parents’ generation, and ones parents’ fashions are always totally, cringeingly un-cool. 🙂 Which is undoubtedly Me’s fault, but not Maisie’s.

    But I think she did all right in the final scene, where Me realises with horror what is going to happen to Clara, and that it’s partly Me’s fault. Quite difficult to act, since we don’t want to end up hating Me (after all, she has to be an acceptable character in Hell Bent) but we don’t want too much sympathy for Me to overshadow Clara. (And the same goes for Rigsy). And, she had to explain the slighty contrived mechanism whereby she couldn’t take the hex off Clara.

    That’s where Sarah Dollard / the Moff’s script was excellent, all characters acquitted themselves well and believably, nobody was being evil (other than the unknown entity. He’s going to get his comeuppance in a couple of episodes).

     

    #72874
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    I just posted a rather long blurb on the Hell Bent thread. (Again). Watching that magnificent episode seems to impel me that way. I particularly love the scenes in the diner.

    I’ve just been reading the discussion thread – fascinating – and as @mudlark said in 2015:
    “… on some level he [the Doc] has clearly not forgotten, as is evident in the fact that it is he who is narrating the story we see. It is just that the memory of her is now externalised, as if she were in a tale he had read or been told, rather than personal to him. When he starts to tell the story to Clara in the diner he may not have recognised her, but he would have to have been pretty dense not to have realised who she was by the end; as I said in my post above, she did all she could to make sure that he would.”
    “… here I got the impression that, while nothing was said, they parted with a tacit understanding and mutual awareness.”

    Damn, now I’m going to have to re-watch the ‘diner’ scenes again and try and figure out who knew what and whether anyone was throwing out hints. Did the Doc realise the waitress was Clara when the diner started to dematerialise? I suppose he must have. But did he suspect before that? I notice he never asked the waitress her name, which would have been a natural thing to do. Did he subconsciously not want to force her to lie?

    Watching that first scene, it seems like they’re both fencing – trying not to reveal too much. Clara knows, of course, but she can’t know how much (if anything) the Doctor remembers. This is one of those scenes you have to watch at least twice, the second time with the benefit of later knowledge.

    Then there’s a bit of misdirection halfway through the episode where the Doc says “I had to wipe her memory of me”.

    And, re-watching, I could say that Clara is giving him hints – but is that just my foreknowledge talking? I think there could equally be an impression that the Doc was dropping hints towards the waitress (i.e. that he was the one who remembered) – until of course the reveal ~50 minutes in.

    Full marks to Capaldi and Jenna for the acting all this perfectly and naturally. (And of course to the Moff’s writing. He seems to be never happier than when he’s operating on several levels of meaning). In fact you could watch it with the mindset that ‘the Doc knows’ or with the mindset that ‘Clara knows’ (or both, or neither) without encountering a discordant note.

    However you look at it, these are beautiful scenes.

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