On The Sofa (10)

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    janetteB @janetteb

    Now here is an amusing item of Who related news. Timely too after we were just talking about these films.



    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent I fear that Farscape is also on our “to watch” list for Cult Tv Club for this year but I am not sure that the S/O can cope with more Muppets. We have done Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock so far this year and Labyrinth last year. Feeling a bit Muppeted out, especially as I was never a Muppet fan.

    I have never watched Battlestar Galactica but we have the board game and that involves uncovering which player is the Cylon. I got one Cylon card and was outed at once. I’m never playing poker. The youngest son got the other and nobody suspected him at all.  (It is also on the CCtvC to watch list)

    The western Red Dwarf episode is not one of my favourites. I found the Dr Who western episode to have too much of a Red Dwarf vibe for that to work either.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   I was never much of a Mupper fan either.   However, any idea that the creatures in Farscape might therefore be cuddly and family-friendly would be – misleading.   🙂     (There was one cute critter – I think somebody shot it   🙂    At some points it turns into a contest to see who can double-cross who the fastest.

    The Premiere episode starts off way too gung-ho Right Stuff but have patience, it quickly goes downhill from there   🙂

    I’d never heard of the BSG board game.    I’m not sure how I’ll find BSG on re-watching, it’s serious sci-fi and might be rather heavy going without the mystery of ‘who’s a Cylon’ to sustain it.    Or maybe not, it was very well made technically and dramatically.

    But anyway, you’ll either like them or not.   I’ve absolutely given up  on predicting whether anyone is going to like a specific episode, tastes are so personal and stories so complex.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb Here is a follow up piece (with some great set photos) to the review of the Cushing movies that you posted.



    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave Lots of lovely photos and four stars! That is praise indeed from the Guardian. (better than Marvel movie then.) Although there were some factual errors in one of the articles. (do not recall which but it irritated me.) They implied that the Doctor was not stated to be an alien until 1969 which is incorrect. It is clear in An Unearthly Child that the Doctor and Susan are not from earth though it does not state where they are from. The concept of regeneration dates to 1969. That kind of sloppy research irritates me and it is the second incidence of it I have encountered this week in the Guardian. (both I should note, really trivial details. I am becoming pedantic of late.)




    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb Yes, the implication that it was ok for the movies to make the Cushing Doctor human  because the BBC did not reveal him to be a Time-lord until 1969 was a bit dodgy. The snippet of information that I was fascinated by was the promotional campaign for Sugar Puffs cereal where there was a chance to win one of three life size Daleks. I wonder whatever happened to those three Daleks? Is there a home somewhere in the UK where a Dalek still resides?

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Just watched Can You Hear Me for the first time. Quite good, I quite liked it. A very simple story, compared with last week’s. The idea of the immortals playing with human nightmares for their amusement is very Terry Pratchett. I liked Rakaya (Clare-Hope Ashitey), pity she was evil. Very striking looks, dark-skinned with ash-blonde hair does that (cf Storm in X-Men).
    Trapping the two immortals for ever with the materialised nightmare creature was, I thought, pretty dark for this incarnation of the Doctor.

    If I had to nit-pick, I’d say the resolution – defeating the two super-powerful immortals with a wave of the sonic screwdriver – was too quick and easy. And the music – busy wittering away – was quite annoying at times (same last week). Also, there’s this weird obsession with silly-looking headgear, usually on the Doctor, but what was all that junk suck on Graham’s head? Previously, the Tardis’ telepathic circuits just needed the victim to stick their fingers in the console.

    I liked the little bit of Yaz’s family life, and the scene of Yaz on the road. This series is certainly visually pleasing, for scenery and sets (the space platform in particular).

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hmm, have just read some of the comments on the Can You Hear Me thread. I didn’t find the Doctor’s apparent lack of empathy with Graham at all disconcerting, I thought it rang true. (Personally, I never know what to say in such situations). Also, maybe I have rather low expectations of Jodiedoc’s emotional range, she talks too much (blame Chibbers?) so, to me, her words don’t carry a lot of weight. The previous doc was notoriously unskilful at human expressions, hence the ‘cheat cards’ that Clara made for him (“I’m very sorry for your loss. I’ll do all I can to solve the death of your friend / family member / pet.”) I do have to say, though, that IMO the Moff was far more skilful at slipping in little ‘alien’ touches than Chibbers, who has to nail them in with a sledgehammer.

    The other theme I notice in the comments (and which I agree with) is Too Many Companions. Though they got a bit more time in this episode, it was mainly due to the main plot being quite simple and leaving spare running time. Still, the relation between previous nuWho Doctors and their one companion was, almost automatically, far stronger than between this Doc and three companions could ever be.

    Still and all, I did quite like this episode, this series (12) so far has been an improvement on the previous one, though none of the stories or characters have grabbed me like previous Doctors or companions often did.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    And I just watched Haunting of Villa Deodati for the first time.   Not bad.   (I stuck my impressions in the Villa Deodati thread).    As a sc-fi loosely based on the story of Mary Shelley and Frankenstein, it worked fairly well.   Though it couldn’t help but detract a bit from the literary credit due to Mary Shelley – that was probably inherent in the setup and unavoidable.

    The device of the perception filter / security system doing ‘scene-changing’ was good, and seemed original to me (I gather there may have been similarities with an old Who episode, but then nothing is ever really new).

    I’ll watch it again.

    Rewvian @rewvian

    I’m new to this forum, greetings everyone!

    So I have been out of the modern Dr. Who loop for several years now.  The last series I watched was the first season of Peter Capaldi.  So I haven’t seen the majority of the 12th Doctor’s run, or any of the 13th Doctor.  But lately it’s really been feeling like high time to get back into things and catch up with all that I’ve missed.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that I tend to like most of the Doctors late in their run.  It can take a while for the actor/actress to really come into their own version of the character.  Even if the actor did a smash-up job the entire run, it usually seems like by that last season they really find their groove and solidify themselves in the role.

    I suppose I am curious about what all I’ve missed, and if there have been some noteworthy moments from Capaldi and Whittaker.  I’ll find out soon enough when I finally decide to subscribe and stream them.  Curious if anyone has some fond memories of those years?

    I do remember thinking the 12th Doctor’s first season was rough around the edges in some spots.  Mainly it was a little irritating how trees were supposed to have this alternative purpose, and things like that.  But I suppose the season also had some good moments…  Hopefully the writing improved again since that time though.

    Somewhat surprised there doesn’t seem to be an official forum for the show!  Or maybe the BBC just doesn’t want to have to be in charge of all that moderation yet.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi Rewvian I can’t speak for everybody but I think most would agree that each Doctor’s later seasons were an improvement on their first. I know I was a little dismayed by how dithery Eleven (Smith) was at the start, but he soon grew into his role.
    I was fine with Capaldi, right from the start, but I’d say his second season – with Missy, Clara, Osgood making appearances – was the best yet. (That’s my personal opinion of course). And his third was pretty good too, I think it depends muchly whether you prefer Clara or Bill as a companion (I liked them both). Some people say that Clara was too ambitious – if so, it were a grievous fault, and grievously she answered it. I think I can say the combination of Moffatt and Capaldi have certainly produced some fireworks. But since you mention it, In the Forest of the Night was not one of their better episodes (and I say that as a dedicated tree-hugger 🙂

    Whittaker, um, I’m not an enthusiast for, but I would say (and I think her fans would agree) that the writing improved a lot in her second season. Her third season I haven’t seen yet, I’m most of the way through her second on DVD. (I usually prefer DVDs to streaming, in Moffett’s day the DVD sets had a lot of worthwhile extras, for some reason the Chibnall/Whittaker era DVD’s have hardly anything on them – which seems odd given that the production budget has obviously been quite generous, the locations and special effects have been high standard.)



    Rewvian @rewvian

    Nice to meet you, Dentarthurdent!  Yes, I am glad I am not the only person who felt that way about later seasons tending to get better!  I guess I would say I was okay with Matt Smith from the start, but it did take me a little time to really accept him in the role, though I think he played the character quite well from the moment he stepped into it.  Capaldi I had these higher hopes for, but I felt the writing for that particular season was just so odd at times…  I took a look and a few other episodes I remember being odd were the Robin Hood one, and the ones about the moon.  I remember I kept saying to myself I would catch up on Peter Capaldi’s other seasons, but then another year would pass, and I guess I ended up taking a break from all of it.

    I used to have the Davies’-era DVDs, all the way through the Specials that aired prior to season 5, and I seem to remember them being decent on content as well.  I’m not sure why the newer seasons would be light on content, though perhaps it has something to do with the series barely airing in 2019, and Covid hitting in 2020.  Who knows.  Maybe it’s possible that Davies and Moffett were thorough at producing extras and bonus content as a byproduct of being such big fans of Who?  Or maybe there were just more Red Nose Day events and such things going on before.  Maybe they used up the budget on maintaining the look the series has now, lol.

    Well with Whittaker’s last season being somewhat short, and her run ending on yet another block of specials, perhaps those DVD releases will see some extra content.

    winston @winston

    @rewvian  Hello!  Welcome to this terrific site.  It always takes me awhile to get used to a new Doctor and it must be the same for the writers, directors and show runners. As they get comfortable with each other the writing starts to play to the new Doctors strengths and the show gets better. As I get used to the newbie the show seems to get better too. Who knows?

    There are a few episodes in every Doctors run that are “less loved” by some. I guess they can’t all be great. Most are though.

    Have fun exploring the forums .

    stay safe.

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  I am disappointed when there are few or no extras in a DVD set. I mean if I am a big enough fan of the show to buy an entire series I obviously want to see any extras about the show.  I always learn something and they are fun. Give me more Who anytime.

    Oh no, I really am a nerd.

    play safe

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi @rewvian

    Well, that first series, I thought ‘Listen’ was a fantastically good one, also ‘Flatline’. Deep Breath, Into the Dalek, Mummy on the Orient Express, Dark Water / Death in Heaven – all good I thought. Robot of Sherwood and Time Heist were okay ‘adventure yarns’, the only trouble I had with Sherwood was the golden arrow at the end – nobody could hit an ascending rocket with an arrow (maximum range, I dunno, 200 yards?) and how could an arrow sticking in a ship magically be processed and incorporated into its propulsion system in seconds? But other than that… (I’m an ex-engineer, so to me, everyday reality has to work – the nearer something is to ordinary the more it needs to be ‘real’. Teleports, time travel, bigger on the inside, alien stuff – I’m fine with all that, it’s sci fi, Time Lord tech, i.e. ‘magic’.   But sans magic, normal physics rules  🙂

    Kill the Moon, OTOH, the one 100% stinker in modern Who. Everything in it was wrong, from the first scene (space shuttle landing on the moon) to the last (moon lays an egg) and every single thing in between. The Space Shuttle is a glider, there’s no air on the moon, it would crash like a meteorite. The Moon – and they made much point of it increasing in mass, where did the extra mass come from? – lays an egg of equal size to itself – ever heard of the Law of Conservation of Matter? Without which, not one natural process on earth would work. And then it flies off with huge wings that would only work if there was air in space. And I doubt 100 H-bombs would ever break up the Moon, hardly make a dent in it. And as for getting a coherent signal from Earth by having the whole population turning their lights out in the space of a few minutes – never, ever has any society been that organised. And in character terms, the Doctor swans off and leaves Clara, space woman and the idiot kid to decide whether to commit nuclear suicide without any clear indication of whether it would do good or bad? – was this temporary insanity? The one believable scene was at the end where Clara, incandescent with rage, tore strips off the Doctor – that felt real. [/rant]

    I prefer to think that episode didn’t happen.

    Both the Davies and the Moffatt era DVDs had a pretty good selection of extras. I made myself a spreadsheet so I could watch the episodes, specials, ‘webisodes’, prequels etc in the right order. Which was not quite the same order as Tardis.fandom.com has them listed in. My favourite extra has to be The Night of the Doctor, the mini-episode with McGann that preceded Day of the Doctor. But some of the interviews with writers, and the commentaries, were interesting and informative.


    My theory for the decline in features of the recent DVD sets is, in the Davies/Moffatt era DVD sales were a big thing. Movies would come out in cinemas and then multi-disc DVD sets would come out and sales were massive. Now everybody ‘streams’ so DVDs are almost a thing of the past, sadly, so they don’t bother. I used to love browsing DVD rental stores, there used to be a particularly good one near where I worked (Newmarket, Auckland NZ) – a Blockbuster, quite small, but it specialised in ‘cult TV’ series, it had all of Who, Star Trek, Blakes 7, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Stargate, you name it (not that I watched all of those). I was quite distressed when their lease ended and they closed.

    Rewvian @rewvian

    @winston I guess there are a few factors there that determine how good the new doctors are.

    I think there is always a bias for certain Doctors over others, especially your first Doctor.  Like I consider Ten to be my first Doctor because he was still around when I got into the series, even though Eleven had been cast and that series was getting ready to begin.  And I ended up being fond of Ten’s run.  But looking back a lot of the other Doctors did a really great job.  Heck, a lot of props go to Christopher Eccleston for bringing the series back from oblivion with the right amount of mystery, warmness and temper for the Doctor.  I don’t know if the Ninth Doctor has made any sort of comeback in the show since Capaldi’s run, but I feel like he certainly deserves to show up for some anniversary.

    @dentarthurdent I really hadn’t given it much thought, but your theory about DVD extras simply going the way of yesteryear could be true.  Which, I am really sort of surprised that Netflix hasn’t had the idea, “Hey, let’s make a category for each show for extras!”, because I know a lot of people who would absolutely love having that content available in any format.

    I think, coming off of Matt Smith, it was like Moffatt went from having a show with a sensible plot, to one with a chaotic and unpredictable story every week.  We had a messy Doctor, and then we had a messy plot lol.  Like you’re going to the Nottingham Forest, from a story book….  Not that the Doctor hasn’t retconned things or gone to fictional places before, but it was so random.  Then trees and the moon, among other things – it just became a bit much in a season where we were already trying to get to know this new Doctor and find out who he was as opposed to our Tweed-fellow.

    It actually just occurred to me that the Capaldi years started in 2014, so it’s nearly been a decade since that time.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @rewvian Not to detract from Eccleston, because he certainly made a perfectly-judged performance as the Doctor, but I think we have to credit Billie Piper equally with the revival. And Russell Davies of course. I think, in New Who, the companion has almost always been just as important as the Doctor himself in the story (and probably in old Who too). (I know the Companion is traditionally presumed to represent the viewer, bringing a familiar viewpoint to view the Doctor’s alien weirdness from, but that strikes me as a very strange concept – I don’t feel like the Companion at all, I feel like an outside observer).

    Rumour had it that Eccleston left Who with some bad feelings – this has variously been denied (others here may remember better) – which is why he never returned. This is why he never appeared in the lineup at the end of Day of the Doctor. But anyway, if true, he certainly didn’t let it affect his performance.

    Anyway, technically my ‘first Doctor’ would have to be Hartnell, though I preferred Patrick Troughton. My watching in those days was a bit patchy, only caught a few episodes, and after Pertwee I lost touch with the show. (Yeah that’s how geriatric I am. I’ll grow up one of these days). My only other acquaintance with Old Who is the last three series of McCoy and Ace, which I recently bought on DVD. First time I saw a pic of McCoy I thought ‘what a silly old clown, no wonder the show folded’. But having watched him perform, and in The Five(ish) Doctors, and few appearances at cons (there’s a lot on Youtube!), he’s actually pretty sharp and witty, and there’s definitely chemistry between him and Sophie Aldred (Ace) – who I had also wrongly dismissed on the strength of her costume. A great pity they didn’t get the chance to carry their story further on TV.

    I really don’t agree with your criticism of Capaldi’s first series. Didn’t the Doctor always go to ‘a different place every week’? And I don’t think Moff’s plots were ‘messy’ – complicated, but carefully thought out, IMO. Some of them worked on several layers, like a mystery story. I often found that re-watching an episode, straight after the first watch, but when I had some foreknowledge of where things were going, I could appreciate better the hidden meanings in dialogue. Either you like that sort of thing or not, I guess. But I’m a sucker for cunning dialogue, black humour and irony. The classic example, when you get to it, is Hell Bent – it soon becomes apparent (so I’m not spoiling anything by sating this) that in the conversation between the Doctor and Clara, one (at least) has no memory of the other, and one (at least) does remember and is hiding it – and maybe carefully probing how much the other recalls. Probably. Maybe. But we have no idea which until the end. But it also works beautifully if you just relax, look at the pictures (it’s visually lovely), and don’t try to guess where things are going.

    But anyway, hopefully, when you re-watch, knowing roughly where it’s going, you’ll like it a bit better? (Give Kill the Moon a miss, though 🙂

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent   I agree about the viewing habits of many people now. They don’t want or need DVDs anymore. We are lucky because our library has thousands of them in its branches so I can watch many things without having to buy them. And it is free!

    play safe.


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston    To me, DVD is far the best way to view anything.    Via the TV or via laptop.   (I can let Mrs D watch TV while I watch Who or whatever on my laptop with headphones.   This was extremely useful a short while back where the vagaries of the Youtube algorithm had led our TV, via funerals,  to a string of peoples’ ‘birthing’ home movies – why would any sane person record their most embarrassingly intimate and unattractive moments and put them on the Internet for total strangers to view?   Fortunately for my equanimity, the Algorithm has now led to a series of young southeast-Asian women (Vietnamese, Thai, I wouldn’t know) living ‘off-grid’, building their own houses out of bamboo.   Surprisingly peaceful, no commentary, just natural sounds, just saw one of them replacing the bearings on her self-contained hydro-generator set herself, which impressed me.   Don’t know how genuine they are, could be as phony as Bear Grylls, but with zero hype or melodramatics, delightfully bucolic and peaceful to watch.   But I digress…)

    Anyway, I do love the physical sensation of having a DVD set in a nice plastic case, ideally with a colourful cover with table of episodes and list of extras…   if the DVDs themselves have nicely-designed artwork with list of contents, it adds to the experience.

    Our library branches only have a fairly small selection of DVDs.   If your library has a good selection, use it! – since I would guess they allocate resources according to demand.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Sad news. Bernard Cribbins had died. He was 93. All the way from the Peter Cushing Doctor to the David Tennant Doctor, he was part of Who. And we will get to see him once more in 2023.



    janetteB @janetteb

    Sad news. Bernard Cribbins, aka Wilf has passed away.  And only a couple of days after David Warner who was so memorable in “Cold War.” Two find actors both greatly missed.

    (I am following the discussions and hopefully will be able to join in more in the next few days. Currently setting up my own laptop again with much tearing of hair…)



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   I remember David Warner – very good actor.   It’s quite disconcerting when people who feel like contemporaries pass away.   I tend to imagine actors as being ‘the age they were when I last saw them in an episode’.

    I feel your pain (re the laptop).   At the moment I’m a very happy (and relieved) chappy.   Two days ago I tried installing a different flavour of Linux on one of the drives in my server and somehow, while installing the bootloader (that’s the thing that takes control at startup and then starts the operating system – or whichever OS you choose if there is more than one) – somehow I managed to munge the partition table on one of the other drives.  That whole drive just showed up as ‘unallocated’ – which means the operating system can’t read it so assumes it’s unused.   And this included the partition with all my data on it – bank records, photos, personal documents of all sorts.   *Some* of it was backed up on another drive…   8-((

    I was very lucky, it was salvageable, yesterday I downloaded a brilliant program called ‘testdisk’ which managed to reconstruct the partition table and write it back to the drive and all my stuff magically reappeared, just like that.   Whew!    I promise to make proper backups in future…

    I’ve given up tearing my hair over these things, I don’t have much to spare and certainly not enough to get a good satisfying grip on.   Maybe I should pay more attention to a tagline I once saw – “If it works, don’t f*** around with it!”    But where’s the fun in that?

    Rewvian @rewvian

    @dentathurdent I think The Doctor him/herself would be one to live life in the moment and leave some things to chance, so I’ll submit that your snafu with the partition would have been Doctor-worthy.  🙂

    Rewvian @rewvian




    It’s sad to hear about Cribbins’ passing.  Just the other day I was talking about The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, and made some comparisons to The End of Time.  Wilf had a pretty big part in those episodes, and in the regeneration of 10 into 11.  In a way Wilf’s exit from Doctor Who was my introduction to it.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @rewvian     I think it might have been Sonic Screwdriver time   🙂

    winston @winston

    @janetteb   It is very sad news. Wilf is  one of the most human of all companions and one of my favourites although he often makes me cry. If Wilf is happy and doing a little dance then I am happy but when he is sad then I cry every time no matter how many times I see it. Bernard Cribbins brought a warmth and light to the role that shone out in every episode he was in. I will always love the scene when he sees Donna in the Tardis through his telescope and cheers and dances because he is so happy for her. I am genuinely sad tonight.

    @dentarthurdent    “If its not broke then don’t fix it” as the wise ones say.

    stay safe.


    winston @winston

    @dentathurdent   Today I got the last 2 Doctor Who specials from my lovely library! I have seen the Eve of the Daleks but not the Legend of the Sea Devils but of course I will watch them both. There is a big assumption that everyone has internet or satellite or cable and in my town there are many who don’t. Low income or tech. challenged or even seniors on fixed income use the library. It is a place to get movies and series and books and even use the internet and computers for free. It is a great part of our community and I always encourage people to use it or lose it.

    There is nothing like a shiny new dvd.

    stay safe.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston    Your library is very up-to-date with its DVDs!    I love libraries, though I must admit I haven’t visited ours nearly so often since we got broadband and Youtube.   But if I’m away from home, I find a good library extremely useful as a source of information – not everything is convenient to do on a smartphone!    It sounds as if your local library is a good one – lucky you.   🙂

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Speaking of DVD’s, I just watched Ascension of the Cybermen for the first time.   I was pleasantly surprised, it’s not bad.   (This season is an enormous improvement on Chibbers’ first season).   Plenty of action, enough questions to keep me guessing (and, I trust, give a headache to everyone who complained that the Moff’s episodes were ‘too complicated’    🙂


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