On The Sofa (10)

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    Davros @davros

    (Rewatching all of post-gap Who with my 11 year old son, continued: 2×4 to 2×6)

    (Forgot to mention that in School Reunion, a conversation between SJS and 10 makes another Time War ref: “I lived. Everyone else died.” The slow drip drip drip of information is always something I liked about Who, even in the Before Times.)

    “The Girl in the Fireplace”
    This is a fun but also somewhat poignant episode. The basic concept of the ship repairs is horrific, but the Doctor’s repeated connection to Reinette is romantic.

    Arc-line, latter used by the 11th Doctor: “You’ve had some cowboys in here.”

    Zinger: “How many ticks left in that clockwork heart, huh? A day? An hour? It’s over. Accept that. I’m not winding you up.”

    Two favourite conversations:
    Reinette: Monsieur, be careful.
    Doctor: Just a nightmare, Reinette, don’t worry about it. Everyone has nightmares. Even monsters from under the bed have nightmares, don’t you, monster?
    Reinette: What do monsters have nightmares about?
    Doctor: Me!

    Doctor: Sorry, you might find old memories reawakening. Side effect.
    Reinette: Oh, such a lonely childhood.
    Doctor: It’ll pass. Stay with me.
    Reinette: Oh, Doctor. So lonely. So very, very alone.
    Doctor: What do you mean, alone? You’ve never been alone in your life. When did you start calling me Doctor?
    Reinette: Such a lonely little boy. Lonely then and lonelier now. How can you bear it?
    It’s also Mickey’s first TARDIS trip, and he’s quite an effective operator. He also continues to rib Rose about The Doctor’s supposedly libertinous behaviour.
    My boy loved the horse in space…
    This ep is called back to from “Deep Breath” when the 12th Doctor encounters robots from SS Madame de Pompadour’s sister ship, SS Marie Antoinette, but can’t quite remember where he’s seen this kind of thing before.

    “Rise of the Cybermen”/”Age of Steel”

    I always thought that the manner of the Cybermen’s introduction into new Who was quite brilliant. Basically similar to the original, except rather than on a planet that was Earth’s twin, the cybes originate in a slightly different parallel universe. Although in pre-gap Who, the origin of the cybermen was made plain, we never _saw_ it. We never really found out how we got from A to B. (“World Enough and Time” later gave some kind of version of the origin of the Mondassian Cybermen.)

    Despite the lack of direct blood and gore in this pair of episodes, the information we are given is horrific enough. Sally Phelan, the Cyberman with the broken inhibitor trying to make sure her groom doesn’t see her before the wedding … that was just heartbreaking.
    Pete’s World Jackie was a terrible person, whereas Pete’s World Pete was nice, so I suppose we should have known which of them would survive…
    Somehow I had misremembered, thinking that it was made clear that the Cyberman who tries to climb the rope ladder after PW-Pete was PW-Jackie. Actually it was the Cyber-controller. If I were writing it, it would have been Jackie…
    It felt satisfying that Mickey found a place where he was needed, taking care of his PW-grandmother.

    Davros @davros

    (Rewatching all of post-gap Who with my 11 year old son, continued: 2×7 to 2×11)

    Although I’d remembered the Cyberman-related eps of Series 2 fondly, somehow in my memory the rest of the second half of the Series was a bit bland. Although they certainly have their weaknesses, they are much better than I’d remembered. They all contain Torchwood references of course, and in most of them there is a strong suggestion of Rose’s developing romantic feelings towards Our Hero.

    “The Idiot’s Lantern”

    One of many episodes in which The Doctor does not end up where he intended. We’ll never know how many of these are due to his incompetence and how many are due to his wife interfering with his trajectory…
    This is the second historical episode of this season to involve a British Monarch. The first involved a plan by an alien to take over the Empire by possessing the Queen, whereas this one involves a Queen’s coronation being used by an alien to restore its corporeal form at the expense of millions of people.
    The secondary villain is Eddie Connolly, the unredeemed abusive husband and father of the family at the core of the story. In the end, The Doctor counsels young Tommy Connolly to reach out to Eddie. In real life this might not be the best advice (shrugs). Also a little reminder that not everything was great in the olden days.
    Eddie: Oh, he loves his Gran, this one. Proper little mummy’s boy all round.
    Betty: Oh, you know what they say about them. Eddie, you want to beat that out of him.
    Eddie: That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

    “The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit”
    The invocation of the name of Satan in this, and the statement that the Beast is a Demon older than the Universe, is probably the only bad part of this story. The tension, the intrigue, the drama, are all top flight. Then again, any time The Doctor can’t get to the TARDIS is usually a bit tense. As in “The Girl In The Fireplace”, the Doctor faces life on the slow path.

    Rose: No signal. That’s the first time we’ve gone out of range. Mind you, even if I could. What would I tell her? Can you build another Tardis?
    Doctor: They were grown, not built. And with my own planet gone, we’re kind of stuck.
    Rose: Well, it could be worse. This lot said they’d give us a lift.
    Doctor: And then what?
    Rose: I don’t know. Find a planet, get a job, live a life, same as the rest of the universe.
    Doctor: I’d have to settle down. Get a house or something. A proper house with, with doors and things. Carpets. Me, living in a house. Now that, that is terrifying.
    Rose: You’d have to get a mortgage.
    Doctor: No.
    Rose: Oh, yes.
    Doctor: I’m dying. That’s it. I’m dying. It is all over.
    Rose: What about me? I’d have to get one, too. I don’t know, could be the same one. We could both, I don’t know, share. Or not, you know. Whatever. I don’t know. We’ll sort something out
    Doctor: Anyway.
    Rose: We’ll see.

    Also introduced one of the best species of new Who, the Ood. Very well conceived, lovely character design.

    “Love and Monsters”

    Now this is near-universally regarded as one of the worst, or THE worst, episode of new Who … and I don’t disagree with that assessment, but my son and his young cousin thought it was great. There’s nothing wrong with having an episode strictly for the kids, I suppose. The monster character design and name came out of a Blue Peter competition for children. TD and Rose are only on screen for a few minutes. I suppose this is the first episode since “Rose” to concern regular folks who are trying to investigate the mystery of The Doctor.
    The episode is not completely without its charms. Jackie’s receptiveness to Elton’s infiltration efforts is epic. Ursula is played by Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter series), and Elton is played by Marc Warren who has been in an enormous amount of British gear, including one of the better Dracula adaptations in the titular role. I was not familiar with Victor Kennedy’s standup work before seeing him here: funny chap.
    The Abzorbaloff is from Clom, referenced later in “The Stolen Earth” when the Doc says, “Clom. Clom’s gone? Who’d want Clom?”

    “Fear Her”

    A small local story, to be sure, but pleasant. The Doctor shows wisdom, rationality and mercy: the Spock references (the hand gesture, the mind-meld) are apt. Also a little bit of a call back to The Empty Child: “Give me some Spock, for once. Would it kill you?”
    I thought it was an interesting choice to have the girl’s greatest fear be her abusive dead father. Hmm, second episode of the season to involve an abusive father.
    I thought is was a bad choice to call the force being used by Isolus “ionic energy”. That’s a pretty bland term with an ordinary real-life meaning.

    Rose: (to a cat) Aren’t you a beautiful boy??
    Doctor: Thanks! I’m experimenting with back combing. Oh.
    Rose: I used to have one like you. What?
    Doctor: No, I’m not really a cat person. Once you’ve been threatened by one in a nun’s wimple, it kind of takes the joy out of it.

    Advancing the Grand Arc:

    Rose: Easy for you to say. You don’t have kids.
    Doctor: I was a dad once.
    Rose: What did you say?

    Worst prediction:

    Doctor: Well, I will tell you this. Papua New Guinea surprises everyone in the shot put.

    PNG didn’t even qualify for the Olympics in that sport! Pity he didn’t say New Zealand.

    Nightingale @nightingale


    It has only just occurred to me while reading your commentary that there’s an odd disparity between what I think most fans of the reboot consider the golden age and the received wisdom about the quality of its content.

    I think for a lot of people, David Tenant + Billy Piper = Who at it’s best. In terms of the dynamic between the leads, I’d agree with that. That combination was, for me, Mr. Davies’ second greatest coup (first being bringing the show back in the first place).

    And yet that was the season that featured The Idiot’s Lantern, Love and Monsters, & Fear Her, not a few bad episodes scattered amongst the gold but an almost uninterrupted run of bad Who (by received wisdom, as I said).

    By contrast, season 3 featured many fan favourites throughout (Blink, Human Nature, Family of Blood, Utopia and the follow-up two-parter), and some underrated gems (e.g. Smith and Jones), but Tenant + Agyeman doesn’t have the same currency.

    I think this extends to the Capaldi era too. Clara is a bit of a hate figure both in Smith’s and Capaldi’s seasons, and yet with Capaldi especially the stories were often excellent. Season 9 for me was almost end-to-end brilliant. Season 10 had fewer great episodes. World Enough and Time was terrific; Exodus was very good. But despite the individual stories being a little underwhelming, it was generally considered a return to form, and again I think that’s down to the more successful pairing of Peter Capaldi with Pearl Mackie.

    The last two seasons have felt to me rather unengaging, and the principle fault I find with them is the lack of rapport between the Doctor and any of her companions. Ultimately, I suspect that questions of which episodes are better than others are largely moot: get the dynamic right, and you can get away with much.

    Davros @davros


    Yeah I never really understood the lack of enthusiasm for Clara or Martha. My favourite companion is still Donna, though.

    (Rewatching all of post-gap Who with my 11 year old son and now his 6 year old nephew, continued: 2×12 to 2×13)

    “Army of Ghosts”/”Doomsday”

    Why oh why does the BBC give away the farm in the end-of-episode preview? Early in the piece I learned to skip them but the fact that this was a Dalek v Cyberman story was given away in the “Fear Her” preview. Hmph.

    This is a very well conceived and executed story. Great sci-fi concept, funny, exciting, heartbreaking at the end. Very happy to see Mickey again, but the dynamic between the Tyler family members was very well played.

    This was our first look at Torchwood and they’ve kind of cocked everything up… This is also our first look at Freema, but she’s playing Adeola Oshodi, Martha’s cousin.

    (What went wrong with Yvonne’s inhibitor chip? )

    Like “Dalek”, “Doomsday” expands the scope of the Daleks’ ability to adapt immediately to fresh forms of attack.

    I always thought it was a bit of a plothole that the Doctor and Rose, coated with Voidgoo, could hang on to the sides of a wall just by using magnaclamps. They’re just … clamps, right? This suggests that the force of the Void is so pissweak that it can be resisted by a human hanging on to a clamp. A Cyberman should have no trouble hanging on to something. What if the Cyberman is indoors? In a basement? They should have dropped some line about the clamps dampening the fieldstrength or something. I suppose he does say they are “steeped” in Void stuff so perhaps they are more strongly affected than him and Rose.

    Interesting that the Cybermen were fairly ready to form alliances, first with the Daleks and then with the humans. The Daleks of course would be revolted by the idea of working with non-Daleks. The Cyberman also display more human traits in conversation. Very nice work by Davies as author.

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Dalek: Establish visual contact. Lower communications barrier.</span><span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”> Identify yourselves.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberman: You will identify first.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Dalek: State your identity.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberman: You will identify first.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>
    Dalek: Identify!</span>

    Mickey: It’s like Stephen Hawking versus the Speaking Clock.


    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberman: That answer is  illogical. You will modify.
    Dalek: Daleks do not take orders.
    Cyberman: You have identified as Daleks.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Dalek: Outline resembles the inferior species known as Cybermen.</span><span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>
    Cyberman: We followed in the wake of your sphere.
    </span><span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Dalek: Long range scans confirm the presence of crude cybernetic constructs on worldwide scale.

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberman: Our species our similar, though your design is inelegant.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Dalek: Daleks have no concept of elegance.

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberman: This is obvious. But consider, our technologies are compatible.</span><span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”> Cybermen plus Daleks.</span><span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”> Together, we could upgrade the Universe.
    Dalek: You propose an alliance?</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberman]: This is correct.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”><b>Dalek</b>: Request denied.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberman: Hostile elements will be deleted. (shooting)
    Dalek: Exterminate! (destroying two cybermen)</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberleader: Open visual link.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”><b>Cyberleader</b>: Daleks, be warned. You have declared war upon the Cybermen.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”><b>Dalek</b>: This is not war. This is pest control.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberleader: We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”><b>Dalek</b>: Four.</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Cyberleader: You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?
    Dalek: We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek. </span><span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>You are superior in only one respect.
    Cyberleader: What is that?</span>

    <span style=”font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;”>Dalek: You are better at dying. Raise communications barrier</span>

    Dalek: The female’s heartbeat has increased.
    Mickey: Yeah, tell me about it.



    Darlig Ulv Stranden. Brilliant. 🙂

    I do think that the events of “Journey’s End” somewhat retrospectively tarnished the perfect sadness of “Doomsday”, but it still stands on its intrinsic merits.

    There were a LOT of questions from my nephew concerning these two episodes. I don’t think the concept of parallel universes comes easily to a 6 year old and he wasn’t really convinced The Doctor couldn’t just go and collect Rose at the end. My 11 year old son was a bit moved at the end.

    Also: damn, I miss Murray Gold.

    winston @winston

    @davros   It sounds like so much fun watching these episodes with your son and nephew. I agree that a six year old might struggle but 11 is a great age to watch Doctor Who. I am watching with my 11 year old granddaughter and it is so great to see it through her eyes.I came to the show as an adult so its fun to watch a kid enjoy it and sometimes for totally different reasons than we do. She loved the Slitheen and the Abzorbaloff an teases me that she loves the Daleks and thinks they are cute.

    When I watched Love and Monsters I enjoyed seeing this small group of people ,all from different backgrounds, who got together for one reason but found friendship and acceptance instead. I really think that it was lovely. Of course that all ended badly, very badly. Have fun watching series 3.

    Davros @davros

    (Rewatching all of post-gap Who with my 11 year old son and now his 6 year old nephew, continued: 3C)

    “The Runaway Bride”

    Donna’s spectacular intro. I kind of had the feeling we would see more of her.

    The Doctor says Donna is not important: he has said this about other people too. Kind of contradicts his comments for instance in “Christmas Carol”, that he’s never met an unimportant person.

    The scene where the TARDIS is bumping along the motorway trying to stay level with the cab is still brilliant.

    Corniest joke in Doctor Who history:

    Doctor: It was all there in the job title. The Head of Human Resources.
    Lance: This time, it’s personnel.

    One thing that’s a bit off here … The Doctor commits bona fide genocide here. Yeah he gives the Empress one warning, and then exterminates countless hungry children. I guess he’s only really got a heart for the cute kids. Donna says, “Doctor, you can stop now!” but he’s not actively doing anything, just watching them all drown. I think they probably needed to insert that line (as well as her parting comment “sometimes you need someone to stop you” in order to tie in to “Keep Left” later. But in context, it doesn’t really work.

    The boys want to know if Rose is coming back… I’m not saying anything.




    dsegal @dsegal

    <div>Hi All, my brother has passed away leaving me a rather large collection of Dr Who DVDs and Audios. He was a passionate Dr Who fan and I would love to sell his collection to someone who would appreciate it.</div>

    <div dir=”ltr”>

    <div dir=”ltr”>

    <div dir=”ltr”>
    <div class=””>There are 151 sets of DVDs & Blue-rays here (plus a few VHS! Collectables)</div>
    <div class=””>http://www.sortitapps.com/items.php?username=damonsegal&type=movies</div>
    <div class=””></div>
    <div class=””>There are 593 Audio CD sets (Big Finish Productions) including several limited editions.</div>
    <div class=””>http://www.sortitapps.com/items.php?username=damonsegal&type=music</div>
    <div class=””></div>
    <div class=””>There are also a five books http://www.sortitapps.com/items.php?username=damonsegal&type=books you need filter by doc</div>
    <div class=””></div>
    <div class=””>There is also a handful of old Doctor Who Magazines and a large Danbury Mint Doctor Who Chess Set with every piece they made.</div>

    <div>I am open to reasonable offers, please email me at dsegal@me.com using subject #JS-DW, thanks to Craig for the suggestion to post on here.</div>



    Nightingale @nightingale

    I’m sorry for your loss, Damon.

    dsegal @dsegal

    Thank you, appeciated

    Davros @davros

    I was watching a Doctor Who reviewer on YouTube, some seasoned whiskery Northerner.


    He said, “I didn’t really understand the concept of regeneration when I saw the 9th Doctor’s regeneration,  ’cause I was only five years old…”



    Get the hell off my lawn.

    Still surprises me that there are full grown adults for whom the start of New Who represents very early childhood nostalgia. That’s how time works, I guess.

    Craig @craig

    Russell T Davies just posted this on Twitter:

    Okay, so, PREQUEL on the BBC website at 2, then 2.30 on my instagram in a different format. What can this mean?! Rose at 7pm, then 7.45pm, ROSE: THE SEQUEL. Yes! The sequel!

    I will try to keep up.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @craig Sounds great. I do love this rewatch iniative. It is so positive and that is just what we need right now. Look forward to hearing more. Have not watched Rose for many a year so will be good to re watch it.



    Craig @craig

    Doctor Who for April Fools’ Day

    janetteB @janetteb

    @craig aaarghh. Noooooo. (thanks for the link. We all need some good April Fools Day humour at the moment.)



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