On The Sofa (10)

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    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone, I am struggling to upload a profile picture apparently the file is too big can anyone help, thank you 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @oochillyo I had that problem with a photo on another website. My solution was to reduce the size of the photo. That seemed to work.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone and @blenkinsopthebrave especially I just wanted to let you all know as you can see I finally got a profile picture yay 🙂 I could not seem to time the image (cause its a gif) correctly after 4 attempts but oh well I am happy it finally worked and thank you @blenkinsopthebrave for the advice, I found out if you wanna put a gif into this site you have to place it in vids/photos instead of just placing it in a Word Document hope that may help someone if anyone is struggling with that.

    If its unclear cause of the dim colors sorry my profile picture is The Macra from my fav episode ‘Gridlock’ when we see them up close 🙂 but I guess the dim lighting is all part of the ep, the smoke and the mystery of whats ‘hiding in the smoke’ :0 I love this ep soo much I could quote many lines such as ‘New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York’  ‘Its the air vents’  ‘I think he’s a bit slow’  ‘That and a bit magnificent’ ‘Drive up’ 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone , I hope your all happy and well 🙂

    I hadnt watched any Doctor Who for a bit since the excellent Monk Trilogy so my friend and me decided to watch Unicorn and the Wasp recently which was super nice and after that (on the same day) I dipped back into Capaldi with series 10 and watched Empress of Mars and Eaters of Light and I dont see why a lot of people dislike both of them soo much, to a certain extent I can understand but I really enjoyed them which surprised me since I heard a lot of negativity about them beforehand.

    Empress of Mars was smart, cool and interesting, I had a slight feeling of it not making me excited about the ep like it lacked a bit of energy but was clever and interesting enough to be good if that makes sense.

    Eaters of Light was a lot more interesting, smart and cool and I really enjoyed it.

    I might do a proper review for each but maybe I will leave that till I get through all of series 10 but Eaters of Light is my fav out of the two and high up there in series 10 for me, I really think series 10 like series 8 is a really good series with Capaldi and sometimes there are some weaker eps like The Pilot and Thin Ice (maybe I need to watch them again) but overall its a really great series especially from oxygen and beyond so far 🙂

    I am pretty nervous for the three part final like I know they are good but I just this series to end strong and always feel like a strong series when I look back after cracking through the final and I will Miss Capaldi’s Doctor a brilliant Doctor and a lovely and an equally Brilliant Actor 🙂 , take care everyone and stay positive hugs 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    winston @winston

    @oochillyo  It is great that you are enjoying series 10 so much. It is a good one with lots of good episodes and great new companions. Bill and Nardole are both brilliant and even better together. They are perfect for our crusty 12th Doctor. Nardole gives us comic relief and Bill seems like all of us if we were swept off in the Tardis. there is lots of good stuff to come.

    I am a fan of Agatha Christie so The Unicorn and the Wasp is a sentimental favourite of mine. It was good clean fun as my Mom used to say.

    Stay Safe.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston and @oochillyo, Just rewatched “The Unicorn and the Wasp”. It is outrageously silly, but…it is also lots of fun. The way they incorporate so many Agatha book titles into the dialogue is wonderful. As for “Empress of Mars”, I loved it it! It is one of my favourite episodes. Thinking about it, it is probably because both stories capture something about late 19th C./early 20th C. popular literature  and manage to connect it to “Doctor Who” in a way that just works…in a silly (but reverential) kind of way.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @oochillyo   @blenkinsopthebrave

    Empress of Mars doesn’t really do it for me.   It seems kind of predictable, Indiana Jones crossed with Edgar Rice Burroughs  (I think, I’ve never actually read Burroughs).   Sort of like Blenkinsopthebrave mentioned.   Ah well, tastes vary in an unpredictable way, a while ago I picked up a copy of Red Sonja for a dollar, it’s a sort of early Schwarzenegger  Xena-before-Xena-was-a-thing sword & sandals, and I wasn’t expecting to like it but I found it not bad.

    Eaters of Light, now, that was definitely one I’ll watch again.   It had atmosphere.   I think there were plot holes a mile wide but (unlike Kill the Moon) I didn’t mind, I found I could gloss over them.

    I don’t think S10 has a three-part final, unless you count the Christmas episode Twice Upon a Time, but that’s really quite unrelated to the actual final.   World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls  is a very strong 2-part final, also a highly emotional one.   You may love it, you may hate it, maybe both,  but I don’t think you’ll be able to say it wasn’t a strong one.  I won’t say more, spoilers.

    Quite OT, but here in NZ we’re having the end of summer.   Weather is fine for days on end, the sea is *warm*, lovely time to go to the beach.   And the best thing, the life guards have knocked off for the season so I can swim where I like (with due caution for my own safety) without being harassed to swim in a tiny crowd in their apparently randomly-selected ‘safe’ spot.   This settled weather usually lasts till about Easter, after which everything falls off towards winter.

    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave   When Doctor Who visits the past and real or fictional people I am usually happy. As a lover of history the past is a more comfortable place for me. The future makes me far more anxious, it usually involves monsters and corridors and robots.I am waiting for NASA to discover God Save the Queen, spelled out with rocks, on the surface of Mars. That was a silly scene and I loved it!

    Silly is good now and then, in fact I think we need more silly things in our lives. Today I watched a river otter play on the ice and he was very silly. For almost an hour we watched him slide and roll and then slide on his back for no reason but to have fun. What a privilege and a giggle.

    Stay safe

    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston by coincidence we currently have a plush river otter sitting on our table. Our border’s girlfriend gave him a WWF North American River Otter adaption for his birthday so maybe that is his otter you saw. Until yesterday I was not particularly familiar with the breed so having a toy version is not quite the same but still very cute. She also made him an otter cake.

    @oochillyo @blenkinsopthebrave and @dentarthurdent I love Eaters of Light. It is one I will re watch on a grey day. The rapport between the Doctor, Bill and Nardole is always a pleasure and really lights up this episode, and there are standing stones. (Always a plus)

    Empress of Mars I liked too. Again a lot of fun characters and like Winston would love for the Mars robot to come across those letters. The past is also a more comfortable place for me.

    Unicorn and the Wasp is also an enjoyable play on Agatha Christie novels though the story itself is a bit bonkers. It reminds me of the fifth Doctor, Black Orchid story. For the same reasons I am really fond of Robots of Sherwood, a story that is saturated with charm and humour, two qualities which are the essence of Doctor Who for me.

    We have been re watching some Pertwee stories but are now up to Robot.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   I was just thinking of you.   Hope you’re all right where you are.   We’ve been seeing the newsreel footage of catastrophic floods in Oz, though I think that’s mostly to the east of you?    We normally get the weather after you’ve finished with it, but it seems there’s this ‘blocking high’ in the Tasman that’s caused all the weather to pile up over Sydney.   Meanwhile we’ve had three weeks of fine weather and the water at Piha’s still warm, forcing me to swim every day  🙂   Makes me feel a bit guilty, actually.    But it seems (according to today’s forecast) that the weather has finally forced its way through so our turn is on the way.

    Robot of Sherwood is okay, watchable, but there was one discordant note – when the Sheriff stabbed the old man in the village, in cold blood.   I thought that was a bit too grimly explicit for an otherwise ‘light’ episode.    And there was one implausibility, shooting the golden arrow at the ship.   I like the concept, that the arrow would save the day; but to reach a spaceship on launch with an arrow you’d need to shoot it out of a high-velocity anti-tank rifle at the very least; and by what mechanism could an arrow hitting the ship be converted into fuel for its engines?    (Why does that niggle me when robots and Robin Hood and a Tardis don’t?   I *think* because shooting an arrow is very much conventional Earth kinematics, not sci-fi.   We all have our own limits of credibility, different for each of us, I think.   And I think we’re more sensitive about things we know most about.   In my case it’s mechanical things, which is why McGyver always offended me with every ridiculous physically impossible trick that McGyver pulled.   Every single one.)

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent The arrow made me cringe when I first watched the episode and still annoys me but I tend to overlook that for the sake of the banter between the Doctor and Robin though I understand how that can be too much. My sons also hated that episode for that reason. We often argue about it. They tell me  I am far too forgiving when it comes to Dr Who.

    Yes we are well to the west of the flooding and could do with a little of that water though we have had a couple of light showers in the past couple of days much to the relief of the garden and it makes the birds sing. IT has been a very cool summer here, which after last years’ horrendous heatwaves, is something of a relief. I love the heat but 48c is too much even for me and way too much for the poor garden. We went down to the beach a couple of weeks ago and it was far too cold to swim. I was regretting not taking a coat.




    Missy @missy

    @dentarthurdent: I can’t say that I was enamoured of Empress of Mars either. Then again, I really enjoyed Robot’s of Sherwood, which had me cackling most of the way through it. I especially enjoyed the scene where the Doctor took samples from some of the Merry Men and analysed them.🤣 Of course Mark Gatiss wrote both of them.

    @oochillyo: Now isn’t that interesting? The Pilot and Thin Ice are up there with my favourite episodes.

    What is everyone’s opinion of Face the Raven. Another one of my favourites ( I know, I know, you can’t really have several favourites, so forgive me) The farewell scene where the doctor takes Clara’s hand and kisses it has me in tears every time! The hand kissing was PC’s idea apparently. Very poignant.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @missy  I insist on having many favourites where Doctor Who is concerned. 😉 and Face the Raven is amongst them. A good episode on so many levels. Thin Ice is an episode that I re watch often The Pilot less so. It is not a bad episode and has some good moments but not one of the best.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @missy @janetteb Face the Raven is absolutely one of my favourites. Well written and tragic. How can I like an episode that killed my favourite companion due to a miscalculation? Because that’s the essence of tragedy. Clara died while courageously saving a life. Okay she thought she’d be safe, but it still takes courage to run the risk of something going wrong – as it did. The Doctor barely controlling his anger with Me was impressive. And the image of Rigsy decorating the abandoned Tardis at the end was deeply moving – illogically (but not unusually), that scene had me nearer to tears than anything else in the episode.

    Thin Ice is okay, but Victorian episodes aren’t really a favourite of mine. (By the way, why does the Doctor never encounter steam trains? The Orient Express in space doesn’t count. Many, many historical dramas chuck in a steam train – because they can. Preserved railways are only too eager to offer their premises and many have a few old locos which, if not going back to Victorian times, at least go back to early 1900’s (and can pass for Victorian to anyone except railway nuts like me, and I’m willing to forgive mild anachronisms if they’re not too blatant 🙂 )

    Back to Doctor Who – unlike @winston, I don’t feel comfortable in the past. It always feels dangerous and foreign to me – probably because most of history is about things which went horribly and fatally wrong, and the Doctor (or at least his companions) is out of their time, and I’m always afraid they’ll be found out. And historical events then tend to dominate the story. I feel most comfortable in the present, when the story can unfold uncomplicated, or the future, where the writers can indulge in interesting ‘world-building’. Oddly enough, I never got that uneasy feeling watching ‘Xena’, who notoriously strayed all over ancient history. I can only put that down to the fact that it was ‘her home period’ (even though that date was, to put it charitably, chronologically ill-defined) and she didn’t officially time-travel, so she wasn’t at risk of being stranded ‘out of her time’.

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent   That is why Doctor Who is so good, there is something for everyone.

    My family loved Xena when the kids were young. That and Hercules were pretty popular in Canada.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston   It was probably just as well that my knowledge of ancient history was…. sketchy.   If I’d known much I would probably have been continually dismayed by Xena’s wildly erratic treatment of history and chronology   🙂

    But what am I talking about.   Greek female warrior princess – about as likely as a Tardis, I guess.   It’s a thesis of mine that ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ is very inconsistent and what really bugs me will pass unnoticed by someone else – and vice versa.

    Just for starters everyone in the ancient (Xena/Hercules) world spoke the same language (which conveniently happened to be English) without the benefit of a Tardis translation circuit.   Ah well, pretty much like every other historical drama in that respect.   Translator microbes and Babel fish hadn’t been invented yet.

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent   I absolutely agree and for some reason when I saw “Rose” for the first time I was totally “willing”  to suspend disbelief and sink into the stories like a warm bath. Other shows can drive me crazy though because I just don’t believe in them. It’s a good thing there are so many things out there to watch, something for everyone.

    I really loved ” Joxer the Mighty” from Xena.

    Stay safe.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    I found with Hercules and Xena that the pleasant, often impressive, scenery helped a lot to make me more accepting of impossibilities.   Though about 50% of the episodes are still forgettable and better forgotten.   It was an open secret even the producers acknowledged that the quality varied wildly.   The other thing they had going for them was Joe loDuca’s magnificent musical score, I rate him consistently better than Murray Gold (though it’s not a competition, that’s just my personal opinion, and Murray Gold did good work in many eps).

    Joxer, now, was one of those characters that people either loved or found intensely annoying.   I thought that intensity of opinion was unique to Xena fandom but I’ve since seen it in others including Doctor Who.

    winston @winston

    @everyone  Yesterday in Canada we had a some wonderful,marvelous and almost unbelievable good news. A little 3 year old boy wandered away from his Grandpas house and was lost in the forest that surrounded his home. A huge search was carried out by police and volunteers but after 3 nights in the woods they were getting discouraged. It was below 0C those nights and it rained and thundered and the little guy was just a 3 year old baby, how could he be OK? Then yesterday a searcher spotted his blue coat in the woods but when he approached the toddler was laying there but then he opened his eyes! He was alive and wanted a drink .He is in hospital but other than being hungry ,thirsty and frightened  he will be fine after a few days good care.

    He was a full kilometer from his Grandpas home which is crazy. The police say he had been dressed warmly and was wearing a wool sweater which insulates even when wet. He was missing for 72 hours.

    Everyone who knew the story, including me, hoped for a happy ending and we got one!! I was so happy I actually jumped up and clapped and in tears I shouted “Just this once everyone lives!”

    I just wanted to tell you all about this little boy because his resilience is amazing and the police are amazing and even wool is amazing. I hope it gives you all a little cheer.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @winston wow that’s amazing 🙂 I am very glad that lovely little boy is safe and reunited with his family, at such a young age the outdoors is a fun adventure and you cant blame him 🙂 its like an early Easter Joy 🙂

    Take care everyone and stay positive especially with this lovely news hugs 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston that is a lovely story. Children are wonderfully resilient. I did not know that even wet wool provides insulation. I guess that helped the early 20thc arctic and antarctic explorers to survive.

    A little good news is to be treasured in times like these. It feels at times that there is nothing good happening, if it isn’t Covid it is global warming or the onslaught of conservatism. Life just seems to get harder all the time.But right now the sun is shining out side, birds are chirping happily and there is a glorious bunch of sunflowers on the table, a gift from neighbours.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston   That’s happy news.   I guess he’ll have a story to tell his kids in future years if he remembers (or if his parents document it for him).   Kids are surprisingly resilient.   I’m not surprised he made a kilometer, even young kids can move at quite surprising speeds on occasion.   (I’ve just realised I’ve been saying ‘surprising’ a lot, too lazy to reword it, sorry  🙂

    guy @sparkycherr

    I’m doing a cancer research run in honour of 10 weeks since Elisabeth Sladen passed away in 2 weeks. please donate or share if you can 🙂 https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sparkycherry?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=sparkycherry&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_term=04e52d62fae14c59997e470d88129c37.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston I guess in Canada you should be getting into spring by now?

    Easter is usually when the weather breaks down here, but our summer (NZ) seems to be hanging on extraordinarily well. We had a batch of rain before Easter, so I hadn’t been out to Piha beach for a week and a half, went out today, the beach was near deserted, the waves were big, but, to my surprise, the water is still warm. As warm as it was at Christmas! Absolutely great. The only other people swimming were a family of four from Brazil, and there were three Japanese tourists on the beach taking selfies in front of the surf. Since anyone from most countries has to stay two weeks in quarantine on arrival, and places and permission are strictly limited, I wonder what their stories are. Have they been stuck here ever since Covid started? Who knows.


    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent   Spring has sprung here in Canada but some areas are “springier” than others but we will all catch up eventually. I have some beautiful patches of crocus in bloom and the colours are so good after a long white winter. The turtles and frogs are waking up and the birds are making nests, and I am starting seeds in the greenhouse so it must be here. Thank goodness, the cabin fever was getting to me. Although it may snow again it wont last.

    It sounds like your weather is lovely and I wish I were there. There is nothing better than an empty or near empty beach. It is like a world of your own. I can think of worse places to be stuck.

    We are in an emergency stay at home order starting at midnight  and lasting at least a month. Our numbers are out of control here in Ontario although some provinces are doing much better. The variants are out of control and there are more people in intensive care and on ventilators than at any time over this pandemic. The young people are getting it now and they are getting very ill. So sad and so frustrating. Our Premier is a waffling idiot! I I really just want my shots but have no idea when that will happen. Oh well………..I’ll just picture myself walking on your beach listening to the birds and the waves.

    Stay safe.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Thanks @ winston
    Here’s hoping your emergency lockdown works and you’re released in time for your summer.

    It’s just occurred to me how extraordinarily lucky I am. First, I’m retired, there’s just me and Mrs D in the house, so we have space, even in a lockdown, to not get on each other’s nerves (and after 30+ years we’ve learned how to get along). I imagine families in inner city flats, or people having relationship problems, must really suffer.
    And the other thing, our first Covid lockdown was March last year, pretty much when the summer weather broke (it’s hanging on later this year), so not-going-to-the-beach was something that would have happened anyway. Though on a nice winter day (happens occasionally) I have been known to go there for a walk (not during lockdown though, too far). I do love walking on the beach and, if the sea is rough, watching the waves surging and crashing in The Gap, I can sit there for an hour and just watch the sea.

    And even in Level 4 we were allowed out to the nearest park, which was the busiest it had ever been, with people walking around in intricate dynamically changing patterns keeping at least 2 metres from each other. So I was still able to do my 45 minutes daily walk without which I will turn into a blob.

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  I googled Piha beach and it is a stunningly beautiful place. I love the black sand and the turquoise water. I feel I could walk it forever. The pics were all perfect weather shots but I would love to see it in stormy weather. An angry sea is an awesome thing to see, from a safe distance.

    We both got our appointments for our first vaccine on April 20th so we are pretty stoked about that!

    Stay safe


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston I thought you might Google it (it’s what I instantly do for any reference).
    I usually swim at the South beach (south of Lion Rock), but my favourite spot for watching the surf is The Gap. If you zoom in on Satellite View, at the south end is Taitomo Island – which is only just technically an island, the water only just fills a shallow channel across the beach inside the island at the top of the tide – and at the south end of the island is The Gap (which is marked on Google as The Blue Pool – I have never heard it called that, and it usually isn’t blue). There is a small deep pool there (usually, sometimes it gets bigger, but I’ve known it to disappear completely once – the sand on the beach moves around a LOT from year to year). But anyway, there’s a natural rock wall, I think a lava dyke, that runs north-south across the inlet that makes it so magic – waves come thundering in through the Gap, hit the rock wall just below the surface, and surge over it, but that breaks most of their force, so you can swim in the pool inside in comparative safety even when the approaching waves are spectacular.

    The other interesting phenomenon is that the incoming waves bring in a lot more water over the ‘wall’ than can drain back out after the wave has subsided, so a ‘river’ flows northwards across the sand and disappears through the Taitomo cave (which Google has named ‘the Keyhole’).

    I like to sit on a comfortable natural rock seat on the rocks at the south side of the gap and watch big swells come thundering in and sometimes make massive showers of spray. I can do that for an hour.

    This picture http://cr01.info/misc/Piha-TheGap/p1230045.jpg shows it at just above low tide, you can see the ‘rock wall’ with a wave just managing to spill over it.
    And here’s a couple at high tide with good waves, which is when I like it best, the ‘rock wall’ is submerged but doing good work at bouncing most of the wave energy back seawards
    (I do hope the website software doesn’t imbed those pics, I don’t want to use up all Craig’s data storage)

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Not sure whether this should be in Doctor Who memories (where I put my comments on Victory of the Daleks) or On The Sofa. I’ll stick it here (On The Sofa). I’ve got up to A Time of Angels.

    A Time of Angels – now that’s cooking with gas (as they used to say). Right out of the blocks, it’s cool, slick and cheeky. Hallucinogenic lipstick, indeed. River, summoning the Doctor across 12,000 years of space-time to rescue her when she blows herself into space. And she can drive the Tardis better than the Doctor – cue the inverse of woman driver cliches. Is this River’s first appearance since Silence in the Library? Love the way she and Doctor compare notes.
    The first sight of the Angel, the blurry monochrome TV picture, reminds me strongly of ‘Alien’ – Ridley Scott’s classic scifi horror. Apparently the ‘alien ship’ set looked so phony when seen in close-up, that he had the genius idea of showing it all through a grainy old TV set which served as a monitor for the crew’s helmet cameras. Then when Amy returns to look at the monitor and the angel has moved – that’s genuinely a shock. Especially since the video is supposed to be on a repeating loop. And then Amy’s nightmare begins…
    The whole sequence of the soldiers looking through the catacombs with torches in the dark is reminiscent of ‘Alien’ (or was it ‘Aliens’?). Very scary though. And then the realisation that, if the extinct Atlans all had two heads, why do all the statues only have one?
    This was a cracking episode.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent I has a look at the google images too and it is a stunningly beautiful beach.  Is the black sand volcanic?

    Time of Angles is indeed a cracking episode.  I love the moment when they realise that the statues only have one head. It reminds me a lot of “Curse of Fatal Death” which Moffat wrote as a Red Nose Day fundraiser back in the 90s. We were looking at the backwards River Song story, (as told from her perspective) the other day. One day I will watch the episodes in that order.

    @winston glad that you are soon to get the jab. We are going to have a long wait  I fear. We live in a Labor voting area so we are well down on the roll out schedule. (right now we are very grumpy because the train upgrade which was supposed to be finished has just been stretched out to November. So the journey which took about 45 minutes by train takes 1hr and 45 minutes by substitute bus now.)





    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi @janetteb

    The black sand at Piha is a mixture of iron-rich black sand (titanomagnetite), and ordinary yellow-brown sand. The black sand apparently comes all the way up the coast from Mt Taranaki (Mt Egmont), 200 miles away, by wave action (okay, so I had to Google that). The yellow sand is probably of local origin, and that would be volcanic, since the coast line locally is mostly volcanic comglomerate from ash showers, with occasional lava intrusions. The sand can vary from almost yellow to purple-black, depending how the washing effect of the tide has sorted the grains. It’s extremely fine, and gets very hot in the sun since the black iron absorbs a lot of heat (due to its colour), has a high heat capacity and a high conductivity. On a sunny afternoon it’s a painful challenge to race across the beach in bare feet to the cooler sand below high tide mark.

    I don’t know for sure, but I’d guess its darkness might have caused headaches in the grading for Directors of Photography on innumerable productions, not just Hercules and Xena, but a number of movies, most notably The Piano, shot on the west coast. It’s okay (visually) in the sun, but when a cloud hits it – of which we have a plentiful supply – it can look really dark. One time I was walking at Piha and I came upon an American production being shot at The Gap. Nobody would tell me its name, but the crew were very pleasant and gave me a coffee and a snack from the refreshment tent. The security guards for these productions are invariably pleasant and polite about keeping bystanders out of shot, it’s a public beach so I don’t think their filming permit gives them any legal authority to chase people away. But there are so few people on the beach outside summer holiday weekends, their job isn’t too difficult. I wonder how that compares with e.g. Doctor Who filming on the beach in Time of Angels.

    @winston Good to hear about your forthcoming vaccine. Vaccination has started here in NZ, I’m not sure where we are on the list, not for a while yet, but it’s not so urgent for us.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent I was wondering if it was the beach or in the vicinity of the beach used in The Piano. Those sweeping beach shots were the most memorable part of the film.

    We are about a two hour drive from the south coast but if we take the back way and avoid the city, (which stretches almost from here to the coast) it is a very pleasant drive. There are beaches to the west of us but they are on the peninsula and so not so enticing. Due west is mostly (now dying) mangroves.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb The Piano was at Karekare, which is the next significant beach south of Piha. Hercules and Xena and most other productions use Bethells Beach, 5 miles north of Piha. Piha tends to not be used so much because it’s the busiest settlement, however I have come across filming activity at The Gap and also at the far north end of Piha Beach. In between these beaches are a lot of tiny bays under the cliffs, some with a little sand, some of them only accessible by boat. South of Karekare though, the beach extends in one sweep 5 miles to Whatipu, it has built out a mile from the cliffs with swamps behind it. I haven’t seen The Piano but those sweeping beach shots you mention were probably of this long beach. I’ve only walked this stretch of beach once (both ways, there and back), and I met – no-one. Not a soul, it was utterly deserted.

    I’d guess the beaches west of you suffer from being too sheltered for good wave action. Most of the beaches around Auckland (except for the west coast) are the same, they tend to be muddy rather than sandy, either being in harbours or sheltered by the Hauraki Gulf islands. It takes a good amount of wave action to keep a beach clear of mud, I think.

    As it happens, today was fine (after two days of rain), so a beautiful fine calm day at the beach, and the water is still warm. I’m not sure how long this is going to last but I’m making the most of it.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone , I am not sure whether this goes in memories or on the Sofa but hey oh

    I want the Slitheen back in Doctor Who in a really cool way/story.

    It would be crazy if one of the Companions was a Slitheen in disguise, does the Doctor know all along and plays the fool or feel upset that someone they grew close to is a born killer and deceptive and are the other companions at risk.

    We havnt seen the Slitheen properly since the first New Who Series where they were the first two parter of the New Series, one was seen in that sort of space pub where Captain Jack was when the Tenth Doctor was visiting all his friends one more time so there is angles of them being kinda friendly not always selfish or aggressive.

    I am not sure which I saw first Doctor Who or Sarah Jane Adventures but the first ep of Sarah Jane Adventures I remember watching when I was very young was the Slitheen two parter (kinda interesting they got a two parter there as well 🙂 ) and it was amazing and scary the idea of your teachers being this strong monsters in disguise and the two eps were really interesting and thrilling with the dilemma of families at the end and they hinted to the actions and ramifications of the Ninth Doctor in Aliens of London and World War Three (which I found super interesting and cam to understand when going through older eps of Doctor Who I missed) as Slitheen is the family name so they lost a lot of their family back then and Sarah Jane hints to knowing it was The Doctor.

    In later eps of the Sarah Jane Adventures the Slitheen come back the Blathereen are introduced and when the Slitheen come back it connects to their first eps in Sarah Jane Adventures which I found really cool again there are consequences and ramifications to the Actions this time of the Sarah Jane Adventures crew and it was nice seeing them work together at the end despite this.

    Plus in Sarah Jane Adventures they improved the look/sound of the Slitheen and made them a lot scarier than in Doctor Who in my opinion and I understand new techniques and advancements in technology may have helped even in the short time since their first appearance but it should be kept like that if they come Back in Doctor Who which we see in that Pub the sort of ‘Modern’ version of them.

    So (all in my opinion) I want them back in Doctor Who, perhaps an acknowledgment of the connection between their first appearance in Doctor Who to Sarah Jane Adventures and the consequences of the Doctor’s actions, it would be really good if they bring back the specific Slitheen from the Sarah Jane Adventures to keep that connection going and we already know them which may be used in an interesting way especially as the child Slitheen would be older so mayby his perspectives would have changed since Sarah Jane helped him twice and his adopted family were the ones who put aside the differences between the two for the benefit of them all which shows the family dynamic and capabilities of the Slitheen to offer help and unity and we can swap the actors easily since the Slitheen can use different skins if they want to or if necessary.

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone 🙂

    I know I talk about a lot of Doctor Who Eps here what I didn’t realize is (or forgot about) until now is that in perspectives of each specific writer every episode they wrote or had a part in is included there whoops.

    I thought it was a section to discuss how we feel about the writers which I wouldn’t know where to start so I didn’t look into it well its nice to know now where to specifically talk about any eps and read others opinions on all possible eps.

    I am not leaving the Sofa as its very comfy haha 🙂 but I will probs switch between the two 🙂

    Regrades – Declan Sargent

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    So far as I can tell, this is the most appropriate forum to discuss episodes. (Though people seem to ramble all over the place, and I’m as guilty as anyone).

    Flesh and Stone – I’m continuing my trip through Season 5. A Time of Angels was a cracking episode, and this second half keeps it up. First time I saw it I was a little confused about the storyline, but this time round I could follow it OK. The Moff was really piling on the hazards here – Angels, being trapped in the corridor, having to kill the lights, Amy’s count-down, having to keep her eyes shut, the crack in the universe… the sequence where Amy had to walk blind through the Angels and they were starting to realise she couldn’t see them was genuinely scary.
    The Angels falling into the crack as the ship’s gravity failed was convenient but quite a legitimate plot point – that was well set up ahead of time but it caught me by surprise just like it did the Angels. Because they could move so fast in the dark one tended to forget they were subject to gravity too.
    It’s being established there’s something odd about Amy – she can’t remember earlier Earth events, but when the troopers fall into the crack – which causes their mates to forget they ever existed – Amy still does remember.
    Also notable for Amy coming on to the Doctor at the end (and in the short ‘Meanwhile in the Tardis’). I don’t find this odd – she’s just barely survived a terrifying experience, she’s getting married in the morning which is an alarmingly ordinary prospect (particularly since Rory probably talked her into it), not entirely surprising she wants a final fling with the madman with a magic box who saved her life. What’s funny is Amy’s determination and the Doctor’s bashful refusal to understand what she’s aiming at. I don’t think I’d have the Doctor’s strength of resistance.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone 🙂

    I just re watched The Idiots Lantern, I think I tried to re watch it not too long ago but got bored maybe I watched it at a late time anyway I dont think I liked it too much then whether I f finished it or not because this time I really enjoyed it.

    The ep went quick but it was quite precise so you didnt notice it was going quick till the end, something I noticed which slightly bothered me was that for instance the Doctor gets captured by the Police Men at night and when he says were off like lets get to the answer its suddenly day time and I think that happend in the house at one point too but less noticeable.

    Rose was good in this ep though that smile at the Father Figure and her quick rush out the door was awkward haha.

    The Doctor was amazing 🙂 a lot of the ep he was in rage mode and it was great and his hairstyle like a shark fin and that rage wow I would be scared if he shouted at me in that ep, I loved his excitement, love of the time period, all the Royal things and community even if I dont care too much about the Queen it was just lovely ‘a time before burgers’ what a quote haha 🙂

    The son was smart, kind, great chemistry with the Doctor and he seemed to pick up on things really well and quickly like the Physic Paper so much so I started to think he would be a great companion 🙂

    The Father figure was may I say interesting and the bounce between him and the Doctor and the Doctor putting him down wow that was good, I could see why his family abandoned him and I guess if they did that he must have been like this bossy boots a long time but I just thought if the Granny hadn’t been affected by The Wire and all the things that happend cause of it like The Doctor going to their house ect ect maybe the family would have remained together or at least lasted longer cause they were happy in a way before The Wire’s affects its kinda like The Butter Fly Affect

    Magpie was cool, you feel sorry for him, I wondered if he and mayby everyone would be fine if the Wire succeeded since it said it will give Magpie peace and leave once it gains power and if the Doctor showed up later mayby he could have reversed the faces through other electric things though The Wire is quite greedy ‘gorging like a pig’ so I guess The Doctor had to step in.

    I loved the way the Doctor flips the Police from questioning him to him questioning them.

    The faceless people scared me a lot when I was younger especially with those creaking footsteps and all the people in the cages waking up to attack The Doctor, they are kinda plastic like in their movements like the Shop window Dummies in Series 1 which is creepy especially with them having no face and no sounds about from the slight creek.

    The family was good I dont think I mind too much the Son going with his Father at the end so long as he lives with his Mother and Visits the other parent or vise versa but we dont fully know.

    The aesthetics of the 1950’s and tea Parties were great and I loved the ending music its kinda happy and fitting with the time but with a Sci Fi twist like stars twinkling very relaxing and beautiful.

    I am not sure if I am missing anything so overall I have changed my mind about this ep quite a lot, I think hearing a lot of people dislike it I saw the problems they did you know and it made me dislike the ep quite a lot in addition to my past experiences of it and other eps in comparison and so I would have put it far down in a list of New Who eps but not any more, I really like it now for a lot of the reasons above and its just a feel good ep with chilling and interesting elements.

    The Wire wasnt that bad, from a lot of reviews I have watched I had the Impression and sort of remembrance that it said ‘Feed Me’ like a million times especially when Magpie is in driving the Van to the Telecommunications Tower near the end but it wasnt like that at all I rarely heard ‘Feed Me’ and the alien was quite smart ‘he’s armed’ with an interesting power and back story so yeah very nice ep that I can rely on to cheer me up a very comfort ep for me 😉

    Regards – Declan Sargent



    janetteB @janetteb

    @oochillyo  the problem I have is when people point out the weaknesses in a story I become aware of them and that does affect one’s engagement with the story so I understand what you mean there. Never watch a favourite tv series with people who don’t like it. You will loose some of your own appreciation for that show.

    And having said all that I have to say Idiot’s Lantern is not an episode that I enjoyed. In fact I don’t think I have even fully watched it. The second series overall is my least favourite series of AG Who. I recently went through every series up to the most recent and scored every story and season two lost out. I think from memory it averaged about a 3& 1/2 out of ten. The only one to “fail” but then I am not really a fan of Rose, especially by second season I was finding her character becoming a bit annoying not least for the way she treated Mickey. He deserved better.

    But we all have our different favourites and that is great. I certainly like some of the less popular episodes and dislike a couple of the more popular.




    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @janetteb

    I apologies for going to much into the story, I tend to do that as I watched lots of reviews of things (still do) where they say all the good and bad which I am used to but I guess its different there cause you know the topic they are going to talk about and they warn you of spoilers beforehand.

    As I said today I found a section where like every ep of New Who is so mayby that is a better place to say what I wanna say on eps, but who knows if thats a good enough excuse as in I am thinking now with what you say and maybe others too I might skip any negative points, if I were to be really general like ooo I love this ep or this is a good one that might be best but its not really engaging to others.

    What do you think is a good alternative ?

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    I agree with you @janetteb that Series 2 compared with others isn’t that good, today I ranked the Series though not definitive I put Series 2 in the good section with 1,7,9 and 11, maybe good isnt the right word cause I really like Series 11 and Series 1 isnt terrible they just miss the great spot in that ranking list from Fantastic to Bad so really another section would help.

    Anyway I haven’t seen Tooth and Claw before maybe the slight glimpse on T.V. but I could still watch the start of Series 2 happily (plus I really love New Earth) but the second half of Series 2 really hurts it for me, I’m glad to have really enjoyed The Idiots Lantern today as its another one I can add to the good first half just before the cut off, the Runaway Bride doesnt count.

    For instance the final overall just hurts me, Rose Spoiler (just in case) being lost pretty much (Spoiler) I know Series 4 changes that but cause of losing her the sadness ect ect and how she was lost really messes up my enjoyment of that ep and its not like the ep or me can recover cause it makes a sad ending.

    I dont even care soo much about Rose in that Series actually fine with her going (though in The Idiots Lantern she was good) its the affect on The Doctor, the way it happened and they way The Daleks get going and tore through the CyberMen all of which messes up my enjoyment which ends Series 2 on a bad note for me though there are good eps in the beginning half.

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb @oochillyo

    There are some interesting points in this conversation you’re having.

    @janetteb I thought Mickey was a bit of a drip, though he did improve a bit as time went on. But the companion’s boyfriend never had an easy ride in Nu Who – Mickey, Rory, Danny Pink. Hint to guys – if your girlfriend starts travelling with the doctor, just find another girl, it’ll save you a lot of grief in the long run.

    I’m always *very* reticent about watching a TV show with anyone who isn’t a fan, I’m nervous they’re not going to like it and that does destroy the enjoyment for me. And I don’t like reading bad reviews for the same reason, though I don’t mind arguing with other fans because, I suppose, they’ve also made the implicit commitment to follow the series so they’re not going to laugh at me for liking Who (or whatever).

    I do like Army of Ghosts / Doomsday, even though it’s tragic and marks the loss of Rose, who is one of my favourite companions. Because I’m okay with sad, if it’s well done. And I think this is the first episode where a voice-over was used – that can be very effective, if used sparingly. It certainly was effective here – Rose (Voice over:) “But then came the army of ghosts. Then came Torchwood and the War. And that’s when it all ended. This is the story of how I died.” That really makes you sit up and pay attention. And I loved the pissing contest between the Cybermen and the Daleks – “Daleks, be warned. You have declared war upon the Cybermen.” “This is not war. This is pest control.”
    The last few seconds of Doomsday, I’m afraid, permanently prejudiced me against Donna. I know it was just a teaser for Runaway Bride, but I wish they hadn’t done it. The Doctor has just farewelled Rose and just faded before he could say ‘I love you’ and he’s grieving – and then this strident angry woman shatters the mood. First impressions sometimes count for a lot and unfortunately, in Donna’s case, they’re appalling – a Dalek would not have been more unwelcome.

    Season 2 was OK for me – a mix of weak and strong episodes. The Girl in the Fireplace (another sad but excellent ep), The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit, where Rose saved the day at the last moment, Army of Ghosts / Doomsday – all strong episodes. The Idiot’s Lantern, Love & Monsters, Fear Her aren’t up to much (IMO), though I found Love & Monsters reasonably entertaining and not nearly as bad as its reputation. And the first four eps – Christmas Invasion through to School Reunion – were fairly good. It was in School Reunion that the Doctor said the memorable phrase, “You get one warning. That was it.” The full quote is, “I’m so old now. I used to have so much mercy. You get one warning. That was it.” I love the understated menace in that.
    (I thought it was in Christmas Invasion but Grepping** tells me it was actually in School Reunion. I just use the command “grep ‘You get one’ * ” in my transcripts directory. It searches through all the files in the directory for the phrase “You get one” and prints the filename and the line of text. ‘grep’ stands for ‘get regular expression’, an old Unix/Linux utility, I think you can get it for Windows too. I’ve got all the transcripts from Chatokeya.net which is a marvellous site saved on my hard drive, it makes finding a quote very quick and easy).


    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @dentarthurdent I was wondering as your carving your way through Series 5 do you mind if I tag along with you to watch The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood, when you are ready to watch the two eps let me know and we can talk about it here when the eps are over, I would skip those two eps normally as they kinda of freak me out and annoy me at the same time, is that alright with you ?

    Back to Series 2 the pest control line is awesome 🙂 but I just wanted the Cybermen to deal some damage you know so when we got those new designs in Series 7 which were like op it made me crave what if they were in Series 2 instead they would have shredded the Daleks and maybe picked up the Prison Ship if thats possible hehe 🙂 , it would have been some crazy fight and when the Daleks realize they have no chance ahhh would have been amazing though ruining the final haha, the Daleks can fly but they cant hide from these Cybermen 🙂

    They need a proper fight with them round 2 haha, I think the new Dalek is a lot weaker (though I haven’t seen Revolution of the Daleks) has it got beat by a Microwave so the Cybermen would win easily even if its the Series 2 ones which I miss sometimes especially the Cyber Leader with the brain case visible and the black head piece very cool and Cybershades I want them back but not sure if it would ruin them but they could put different animal or alien brains in the Shades 🙂 ooo what if the Cybermen have like half a brain (by the way if you are really young when it happnes and get medical help you can life with half a brain) or two brains from different people mixed in 🙂 🙂 that would be sick and create some cool conflict 🙂

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @oochillyo   Declan – OK, I’ve got Vampires of Venice and Amy’s Choice to work through, but when I get to The Hungry Earth I’ll drop a note.   Actually from the title and the spooky atmosphere of the start of Hungry Earth I was expecting something more metaphysical.   It reminded me of Conan Doyle’s ‘The Day the Earth Screamed’ which also featured a deep drill hole – turned out the Earth is alive and we are no more than like bacteria on its skin.   (A bit like Kill the Moon – but rather more convincingly plotted, I think).

    (Did you know Conan Doyle also wrote historical novels and science fiction – the Professor Challenger novels – as well as Sherlock Holmes?    His ‘The Lost World’ was the original inspiration, I think, for all the Jurassic park-type dinosaur movies.   Doyle’s Lost World was Mount Roraima  (or a fictional counterpart) in Brazil – you can Google it – a high plateau surrounded by sheer cliffs with (in Dyle’s world) surviving dinosaurs on the top.    And – @nerys was talking about horror stories – there was his story ‘The Horror of the Heights’ in which he described huge tentacled jellyfish-like beings lurking in the stratosphere (remember this was published in 1913 when nobody had flown much over 10,000 feet).   It scared the daylights out of me.)

    I have to disagree with you on Cybermen vs Daleks – I think the Daleks are more deadly and always should be.   I have no logical reason at all for wanting that, just I think the Daleks are cooler monsters.   But it’s absolutely a matter of personal taste.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey everyone 🙂

    I seem to like every ep I watch haha I dont know if I have become less critical or just change in tastes anyway I really liked The Girl Who Died it was fun, interesting, The Doctor was amazing as always and I love the alien armor design (particularly the helmet) generally a really great ep , I could go on but maybe leave it for a discussion 🙂

    I am a bit worried for The Women Who Lived and I hope its just as great or better ofcourse 🙂

    If I am not wrong aren’t the Mire mentioned in Snake Dance or Kinda which is really interesting 🙂

    I searched it up and Kinda is set in the 39th Century so mayby the Mire or gone by then (can anyone help with info on this) if not gone my point is The Mire are already Technologically advanced in The Girl Who Died which is in Viking times so I wonder how the people in Kinda got ride of them unless I am very wrong because they mention them as like God’s right but the people in Kinda are kinda primitives and in Snake Dance which is 500 years later the Mire are threatening to come back though they are very different from the ones in New Who.

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Vampires of Venice – another monster with needle-sharp teeth (like Prisoner Zero), there’s something very scary about teeth like that.

    So then Rory is having a stag do complete with cake and stripper but instead he gets the Doctor, who tells him in front of all his friends that Amy is a great kisser. The Doctor has still not adjusted to the human world, obviously. Interesting that Venice is under quarantine to stop the plague getting in (just like NZ at the moment). Trogir (in Croatia) makes a very convincing Venice, with expertly done CGI ‘extensions’ as required.
    Something about Francesco makes me want someone to punch him. The girls are all very good looking, I guess as vampires should be. So then Amy applies for admission to the ‘school’ (could see that coming a mile off). “What could be so bad it doesn’t mind us thinking it’s a vampire” – intriguing question. I was greatly saddened by the death of Isabella. Quite fitting that that was what caused the Doctor to issue his death sentence on the Calvierris. And that her grieving father blew up all the Calvierri females, thus dooming the race.
    First mention of the Silence – Moff takes his time with his world-building.
    I like the little touch where the black-clad henchman (presumably human) takes the opportunity to decamp with the family treasure.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @dentarthurdent since you just watched Vampires maybe you known an answer to this:

    You said the Saturnyns are basically extinct (since I love this ep and the aliens are pretty cool reading that was kinda sad so I searched it up) from what I gather because Amy killed Francesco (who I love) the species is finished because they cant use his blood to convert more of the Women into their Species.

    In the ep though its meant to be clear that killing all the Women in the guys house ended them cause no more females which it mentions on https://tardis.fandom.com/wiki/Saturnyn but it also says when they escaped the cracks all the females died so how did they re populate the females since I thought the Queen did it but she gave up in the end after the Son died.

    If its her blood she can re build the population of females again, if it her son’s blood maybe she is finished but then again there is like thousands of males in the river I am soo confused as to how exactly they are going extinct after reading what that site said, is she too old ?

    Also on the site it implies that many more of their species traveled to other planets and we just see the ones in Venice so they must have all died on those other planets or the species would be ok, is that brought up anywhere ?

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @dentarthurdent I read your piece on Face The Raven and the emotion ect , its a really beautiful ep and ending (I just saw it, infact I have been watching quite a few great eps with Capaldi today 🙂 ) , the look on Me’s face and The Doctor rushing to Clara wow 🙂

    A super ep I really really love it 🙂

    Does anyone wanna talk about the ep with me I dont know where to start without spoiling

    Regards – Declan Sargent

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi Declan @oochillyo

    First, spoilers – I’m not sure if there’s a website policy on spoilers (other than current episodes). Maybe I should have been declaring ‘Spoilers’ before I talked about past episodes – I haven’t been doing so. Can anyone clarify? (In NZ, I regard everything as a spoiler – for example Xena, even though it was filmed here, at one point there was a 2-year hiatus between seasons screened here, so *everything* online was a spoiler).

    But anyway, I don’t think there’s any problem with discussing episodes in this thread, but if you’re not sure just put a spoiler warning.

    Face the Raven – I can’t remember where I posted about it, but I’d be very happy to discuss it. One of my favourite episodes, even though tragic. Just go ahead with your comments.

    Vampires of Venice – my, you do analyse episodes carefully, don’t you? I hadn’t noticed those plot points. Apparently all the Saturnyn women died escaping the cracks, leaving only the Queen, her son, and all the males. I’m guessing now, but maybe only Francesco’s blood can convert human women into Saturnyn brides. Presumably the Queen’s can’t because she’s female, and all the Saturnyn males can’t because they’re not royal. They could breed with human->Saturnyn women, but not ‘create’ them. (This doesn’t make sense in human terms, but gender and reproduction work very differently in other species – consider bees, or hyenas). So when Amy killed Francesco they couldn’t make any more, and Isabella’s father blew up the ones they had. Why the Queen couldn’t mate with some of the males I don’t know, maybe she’s too old as you said (it happens) – and no, cancel that, I’ve just read the website (tardis.fandom.com – excellent site). It’s simpler than I thought. Because Rosanna’s perception filter was jammed (as a result of Amy kicking it – good shot Amy!) she couldn’t turn it off, so the male Saturnyn’s couldn’t tell who she was, took her for human, and instead of mating they ate her.

    As for other branches of the Saturnyn race on other planets, maybe Rosanna had lost touch with them so didn’t know if they had survived, maybe she was exaggerating when she said the Doctor had killed their race. I just see that as a minor inconsistency.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Speaking of which – Helen McCrory, who played Rosanna Calvierri, has, sadly, just died.   It was on our evening news ten minutes ago (though they didn’t mention her role in Doctor Who).

    (Would you believe this – I’m just watching the commentary for Vampires of Venice and one of the commentors mentions how good Helen was.   That is, Helen McCrory.    And then I finally ‘clicked’.   I can notice a fact if you wave it in front of me often enough).

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey @dentarthurdent thats very sad and a big shock sine we’ve been talking about her soo recently, I searched it up (as I do) and she was Malfoy’s Mother in Harry Potter which I never noticed, I dont know much of her work but I think she was a very good actress and kind person.

    Rest In Peace Helen McCrory

    Regards – Declan Sargent

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