On The Sofa (9)

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    ichabod @ichabod

    @janetteb  I do like Robots of Sherwood. I agree the script is very silly and the ending even sillier. I enjoy it because it is a fun play on the Errol Flynn movie and the banter between Capdoc and Robin is hilarious.

    Me. too — I was happily reminded of a bunch of lurid “historical” movies of my childhood, and I found poor Robin’s uncertainty about being real and/or fictional rather engaging.  Also the spoon.  And lots else about Robots of Sherwood.

    And this: discussion requires something more than a mere statement of preference and a dismissal of everyone else’s view points.

    Ever so YES.  If you approach like a troll, @seeoswald, no point being surprised by being called out as one (especially if “form” is an issue . . . ).  So why else are you here, seeoswald?  All the stuff you’ve said so far is just a regurgitation of a bunch of generalized and childishly dismissive talking points that have infested DW chat on reddit and other such sites for years.  Got something new and specific to offer?


    syzygy @thane16

    watching ABC Happy Hour with Silence in the Library. Tennant was brilliant and it’s terrific to watch Kingston play against such an accomplished actor. His nervous, “who are you to me? what’s in that book?”

    Donna’s suspicious and can’t work out what River is saying with her, “I sent a note and it got here too soon. This is early in his future.”

    I love River’s, “have we done The Crash of the Byzantium? Picnic at Asgar?” Interesting that, based on his face, she -human of a certain percentage-  still isn’t sure which ‘face’ arrived at those places in time.

    Also funny to see attitudes to companions: how Donna is teleported away without any explanation from the Doctor who basically talks very fast and lies in order to protect his companion. The Doctor’s “I’m so sorry, so, so sorry” to Proper Dave who turns into a Vashta Nerada swarm is a regular beat with this particular Doctor. Moffat had terrific monsters! But I think now is the time to change things ‘up’ with the true monsters being ourselves.

    @arbutus I missed your tale of exploding lentils! Awful! I have done this myself with pumpkin soup. Fortunately the apartment had low-ish ceilings and they were a pale apricot (not our choice) so the problem was easily remedied. But I smelled pumpkins for 12 months after… Actually To all Word Smiths: is it “smelt” or “smelled?” Is the former more ‘industrial’ and arcane?


    Whisht @whisht

    Can I just add to @blenkinsopthebrave ‘s delight in “Savon Manor”

    If I’d had your name I’d have probably been my usual self-deprecating self by going with “Idiot Heights” but I’d have castigated you @idiotsavon for doing so!

    As its my antonym I can’t really take this, but will anyone on this Forum go with “xxx Barracks” ?


    I’d love to use “Camp Whisht” but its sadly not reflective, so Whishtland might be better (especially if you ask my family, who believe I live in a world very different to the rest of them!)

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @blenkinsopthebrave @whisht Ha ha thanks for the props. Idiot Heights would be far more apposite but what’s the point of the internet if you can’t dress yourself up with a bit of fictional grandeur? How about Whishtminster Palace? 🙂

    @mudlark A bit late, but I just want to add my voice to those wishing you well. Hope your nose is causing no discomfort or worry, and that the problem will be quickly and easily sorted.

    Good to see you back on the threads, Puro @thane16

    I did notice the Capaldi/Smith/Jodie disparity, but if I’m honest I didn’t really question it. It felt quite natural. I might have gone along with it if it hadn’t been challenged by others. That’s conditioning for you I suppose.

    The first name/surname thing is really quite interesting.

    There are a good number of female performers who have made a conscious decision to go by their first name only. Madonna, Sia, Shakira, Adele, Rihanna, Enya, Beyoncé – all known professionally by their first name, I believe all by choice. Cheryl Tweedy/Cole/Fernandez-Versini is now simply Cheryl. I’m not sure whether Kylie Minogue and/or Oprah Winfrey originally had their surnames confiscated by the tabloids, but these days both women often use just their first name in marketing and promotions.

    I can’t think of many male equivalents at all. *googles it* Drake, Seal, Usher (I didn’t know any of them were real names) ermm Jazzy Jeff? Dr Phil?

    When shows are named after their stars, on the female side we get quite a few first names (e.g. Miranda, Roseanne, Ellen and harking back, I think “I Love Lucy” counts.) But on the male side we get only surnames (Seinfeld, Hancock’s Half Hour) or full names (The Larry Sanders Show.) I can’t think of any male-first-name shows or any female-surname-shows off the top of my head.

    Is there a sense in which women’s identity is tied up more in the first name, since we do not tend to keep the same surname throughout our lives? Is dropping the surname in fact arguably a feminist move? (“Please, from now on just call me Germaine. Grier is so horribly patriarchal.”)

    It’s not necessarily malicious to use first names. Reeves and Mortimer are affectionately known as Vic and Bob; Morcambe and Wise similarly were Eric and Ernie. Corbyn fans often refer to him as Jezza. Boris Johnson is often referred to not unkindly as Boris and I believe Margaret Thatcher was often called Maggie by journalists who supported her.
    But I suppose, affectionate or not, the use of the first name can undermine the dignity of an individual. There’s a sense that this is not someone you need to take seriously. That’s completely fine for comedians like Boris, but not so great for politicians like Thatcher or Corbyn, or indeed serious actors like Whittaker.




    You could go all Bletchley Park and have Station Whisht…

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @ichabod  @idiotsavon

    Thanks for the good wishes. They are indeed taking it seriously. Out of curiosity I looked up the record of the consultation, which can be accessed on a secure site, to see if there was anything additional to what was discussed during my consultation with the GP, and it was marked ‘cancer, fast track’. Skin cancers can be sneaky, but I think that even in the UK people are generally now more aware of what to look out for.

    @thane16  (puro)

    You make it sound as if we were homeless itinerants, rather than a family moving house post war in one of the harshest winters of the 20th century! It wasn’t *that* bad, and quite funny in retrospect 🙂

    Cold mince pies and ice cream, hmm. I can see the appeal of that in an Australian Christmas, but in this hemisphere and in this latitude I’ll stick with hot mince pies, preferably with brandy butter. But not for another month, because I like to keep things strictly seasonal. My mother was a mince pie fiend and used to make batch after batch, well laced with booze. One Christmas Eve we were entertaining the family of a school friend of mine when, around 11 pm, my friend’s aunt said she was leaving to go to midnight mass at the RC cathedral in the city, a six mile drive. My friend suggested we go to the midnight service at her Anglican church near the cathedral, so the three of us left after a final nip of whisky, with mince pies hot from the oven to sustain us on the way. I cannot guarantee that we were quite sober on arrival.

    If all goes well I shall be spending Christmas in Suresnes – the place with the American cemetery where Trump did deign to turn up and deliver a garbled speech. My brother called a few days ago to request that I bring a Christmas pudding – although it’s too late for me to make one because they need to mature for at least a couple of months, so it will have to be shop bought. My sister in law in the background was more concerned that I bring the home-made florentines.


    Whisht @whisht

    @idiotsavon – as I live in a pit, Whishtminster Palace makes me smile no end.

    Hm…. “Whisht End” might be even more apposite (remembering that “whisht” means “shut up!”)


    Whisht @whisht

    and obviously @mudlark – I’m really glad you’re taking positive action about what you noticed about your condition and that you’re able to make informed choices.

    Even if it means something possibly ‘unsightly’ for your nose, I’m so so glad this didn’t lead you to deferring doing anything and possibly meaning worse happens.

    Hm, I’m writing this in a word-y way for some reason – just want you to know I’m glad you’re taking action and wishing you all the best.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark I share your love of mince pies. I made my first batch a week ago, not for eating because like you I like to keep the seasonal treats until the season or they loose that flavour of “specialness.” I had to do a recipe for a rural newsletter, (which funds our writers’ festival) and needed a picture. I packed the pies away in a cake tin thinking at least I had made a head start on the Christmas baking but unfortunately it was not to be. R.2 came down in the night and found them and now the tin is empty..

    I made a pudding well in advance but may not have much need of it this year. Rather to my dismay the family have decided upon Christmas lunch in the city. They wanted to do to a restaurant but I said no very loudly and firmly so we are having a picnic in a park. (Don’t know what we will do if there is a heat wave.) So instead of an array of roast veggies I am going to have to make salads. (I am about as enthusiastic about salads as Lister was about pasta.)



    XAD4 @xad4

    Happy Doctor Who Day everyone! 😀

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @xad4 Thanks for the reminder! It’s funny, I still have a vivid memory of watching the very first episode of Who when it was screened and yet I have no memory of the assassination of President Kennedy.

    Of course, it was Australia, and to a 12 year old what was happening at Coal Hill School and in Trotter’s Lane probably had more resonance than what was happening in the United States.

    And come to think of it, the screening of the first episode would have been on a different date in  Australia (where the young Blenkinsop was languishing in the family home dreaming of a life in more sophisticated locales. Of course, I had not idea where those sophisticated locales might be, but I knew they were not contained in the Blenkinsop family home).

    Anonymous @

    Yes indeed, @xad4 – thank you, and hope yours is great as well!

    winston @winston

    Happy Who Day to all my fellow Whovians!

    @mudlark and @janetteb  Although Christmas pudding is not one our family food traditions I will be making enough shortbread and butter tarts to keep a dairy in business. I also make the shortbread ahead of time to “age” in the cold room so the simple flavours have time to mingle. Christmas time is very yummy and very hard on my diet.

    We have a good layer of snow here and temps of -12 C so the snowmen are appearing as if by magic.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston I so envy you snow. We were watching a TV series filmed in Canada tonight and the snowy scenes were making me “homesick” for Sweden, or anywhere where there are thick banks of snow. We had a heavy snowfall in late October when we were in Sweden but no snow again until well into January. There was frost though in December so we pretended it was a “white Christmas.” I doubt I shall see and feel snow again for many years.

    I will make shortbread too, normal and gluten free for neighbours’ gifts, though I suspect I am not very good at it. I did not know it was better aged so must try that. I am going to try to make Speculaas as well. A neighbour brought me back a mould from Netherlands earlier this year that will nice to make use of. I am also currently working on my cards. I design and make my own as well as designing cards for the two community groups I am involved in. So busy days ahead. I do so love this time of year. So much to do and I always try to do at least twice as much as is possible.

    And Happy Who day. I forgot all about it. Not even any Jammy Dodgers or Jelly Babies this year. too close to the end of exams etc unfortunately. We are now in wind down & recovery mode. We still have last week’s episode to catch up on. Maybe tomorrow night.



    Anonymous @

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Sounds like most of you guys are not from New York. I live on Long Island and would love to make some friends in Australia and all the other countries represented here. As I said in my initial post I haven’t seen some episodes. Probably most with Peter Capaldi (Sorry for any misspelling). So can someone tell me what was locked up behind the big steel doors in the basement at the university and the name of the episode I have to see that explains it. I don’t care about spoilers. Thanks.</p>




    I can’t recall when the specific reveal was  off the top of my head, but it was Missy.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave




    This should save a lot of posts….

    Anonymous @

    @pedant – That is hilarious!  I’m still laughing! 😀

    winston @winston

    @pedant  That should make things easier for some people.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant   At last, a much needed public service to all DW fans some of the time and some DW fans all of the time!  Thanks for the giggle; I needed it!  Well, we all need it some of the time . . .

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Witches. I am sure we’ll all know this, but it is (always) worth watching again:


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @idiotsavon <span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>On the subject of names, I don’t disagree with the principle. And yet, I recall that while Tennant and Capaldi were mostly called by last names, Matt Smith was very often “Matt”. Due to youth, perhaps, or personality? There might be a bit of that element with the use of Jodi (as well as the typing issue, as someone mentioned).

    The hip hop guys frequently go by one name (often made up, as you say). Interestingly, Vancouver’s new mayor, a guy named Kennedy Stewart, ran his whole campaign on a first-name basis– “Elect Kennedy”, to the point where Mr. Arbutus wasn’t sure whether his name was Kennedy Stewart or Stewart Kennedy!

    @thane16   Puro, re “smelled” vs. “smelt”, there is this old line: “He who smelt it, dealt it.” 🙂

    @janetteb  Love the story of R2 and the mince pies! With a 19-year old son at home, I would pretty much have to label things “do not touch” if I expect them to stick around!

    @pedant   I love a good form letter.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @mudlark   Echoing the best wishes of everyone. I trust everything will proceed accordingly.


    Mudlark @mudlark

    @arbutus (and everyone)

    I saw the dermatologist yesterday, and she confirmed that the GP I saw was haring of on the wrong track and there was no way it could be a melanoma. She (the GP) was very pleasant, but if she does not know what a melanoma looks like I feel a bit relieved that she is not my regular doctor.

    The consultant dermatologist thinks the thing on my nose could be a basal cell carcinoma – which was my first thought – or a pre-cancerous lesion (solar keratosis), neither of which necessitates urgent action. The blob had its photo taken from every angle and I am booked for a biopsy on December 21st, which isn’t particularly convenient since I am hoping to travel to France on the 22nd or 23rd, but no matter. If further action is needed other than treatment with fluorouracil it will presumably have to wait until the new year. Meanwhile, my nose survives intact and only marginally disfigured 🙂

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @mudlark Very glad to hear that the Mudlark hooter remains intact. I get the sense that many of us on this site are getting to the age where it feels like entropy is setting in. So it is good to hear that that is not the case.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Yes, it does sometimes feel as if I’m beginning to disintegrate, but considering all the near-misses I’ve had in my life, from  polio at age 6* onward, I’m just happy to have survived so far in relatively bouncing form. And the inner me is  no than 30 – probably less.

    * The mild form of the disease, so for me it entailed a little more than a week in the isolation hospital and a lot of presents, and there were no permanent after-effects. I was too young at the time to appreciate how scared my parents and other relatives and friends must have been.


    Apropos of nothing…

    Craig @craig

    On ratings…

    I thought this was quite good.



    One of the things I spotted was the bowelstreak-esque sites crying about bloggers trying to deny the ratings collapse.

    Next tine I’m just going to point out that a twat on YT is still a twat, and just a blogger with a camera.

    Just notice I mistagged you when I put up my blog, so I case you haven’t spotted it, it’s there.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    yeah, I saw that earlier. As usual, CoG is one of the voices of reason among the WhoTubers and on this he’s dead right.

    I suspect the Whovian obsession with ratings comes from when ratings were used as the excuse for cancellation in the 1980s. It’s a hangover from a time when they actually meant something and they live in fear of a time when bad numbers means the end of the show.

    I suspect we’re past that now, at least for the time being. It would be my guess that at some point Who will find a home on a streaming service, whether that’s some current or future version of iPlayer, or Netflix or something else but there will come a time when a Series will be batch-released online and ratings will cease to even be released, let alone be of relevance.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Thought people here might enjoy this – Sheff Uni making the most of the Who connection!


    ScubaGeek @scubageek

    Hello, I’m new. My name is Chris. I’m from the US, so you may have to speak slow-ly and clear-ly (ya know, if you put a ring modulator on that, it’d sound like Dalek speech). I’m looking for some specific information, and I don’t know where to ask, but this seems like this might be a good place to do so. So,:

    1. Why are some of the Doctor Who DVD’s outrageously overpriced on Amazon? Are they now out of print?

    2. Is there a website anywhere that can give me specific information about what’s on the “special edition” DVD’s? Amazon and Wikipedia are both proving to be lemons in that department. Is it worth repurchasing stuff that I already have in their previous DVD incarnations, or what? If I don’t already have the original DVD edition (e.g. Claws Of Axos), do I need to get both (well, not need, but if they dropped something from the special edition, I’d like to know if it’s worth buying both to get whatever is missing).


    Anonymous @

    Hello everyone, long time watcher, first time poster

    Had a question about Twice Upon a Time…i was thinking about leaving a comment in that particular episode thread but after reading through everyones thoughts on it and such and my question not really involving much to do with the story decided to bring it here.

    So, to my knowledge…the Doctor is credited with inventing the sonic screwdriver, it’s first appearance with the 2nd doctor. In the episode the 1st doctor asks the 12th doctor what his tool was, 12th states its a sonic screw driver. 1st doctor is amazed at never seeing such a tool. Episode ends, 1st doctor proceeds to regenerate into the 2nd doctor who creates a sonic screw driver based off the 12 doctors based on the 2nd doctors original sonic screwdriver based off of…you should get it now….it just keeps looping. A bootstrap paradox. Is the sonic screwdriver a paradox?



    I don’t think so – it is established (per Day of the Doctor) that an earlier regeneration cannot retain the memory of meeting a later regeneration.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant So does Day of the Doctor retcon every previous multiple doctor episode where they remembered meeting and events (The Five Doctors, Time Crash) for example?

    Anonymous @

    and if only the oldest doctor can only retain memory how did the 11th doctor remember when all the doctors were there to save gallifrey, including the 12 and 13th? (13th not actually being shown but mentioned as being there) ..(and im sure the eyes/eyebrow shot of capaldi is where they got the pic for capaldis intro). None of it makes sense.

    syzygy @thane16

    @swankycriminal   @pedant

    Partly, they were “all” there to save Gallifrey at that moment in time. They do not, and cannot, remember ‘out of the cup of soup’ which is how they knew to keep Gallifrey frozen IN that moment (though the Gallifreyans were said to be living normal lives -but in a hidden part of the universe).

    It was almost like a ‘pocket universe’ where the Doctor’s -because they were all doctors in that moment – could do the impossible ‘thing’ but in the not remembering is where the tragedy lies. And no it doesn’t ret-con previous episodes – as it, the 50th anniversary special, occurred in that moment in time where ‘space time’ was opened by The Moment. Later, (or earlier) because he’s still The War Doctor, he won’t recall it, specifically. As for The Day of the Doctor, the Smith Doc points out the conundrum by saying, ***”oh, here’s where I come in.”

    He doesn’t know what he is remembering  ***-just that the swirly time portal in Queen Elizabeth’s under-gallery is a faint memory. He doesn’t remember meeting the Tennant Doctor also because history is being re-written in The Day of the Doctor.

    I thought it was stunning television and helped our strap line: theories more bonkers than what is actually happening 🙂


    There are other ideas, though 🙂


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @swankycriminal I think the elder version remembers the previous meeting only when it happens again. Before that he’s forgotten it because it still lies in his future.

    So, in Day of the Doctor, Eleven remembers meeting, well, Eleven, back when he was Ten only when he, Eleven, meets Ten.

    And both Ten and Eleven remember meeting Ten and Eleven when they were the War Doctor, only when they meet the War Doctor. After they part, the memories fade for Ten. Otherwise, paradox etc. The latest generation can retain the memory – so Eleven can remember the events of Day of the Doctor, because none of it is in his future, only in his past.

    Otherwise Nine, Ten, and Eleven would always have known of the events of Day of The Doctor. As River Song says, spoilers…

    Miapatrick @miapatrick




    None of it makes sense.

    Ah, I see where you are going wrong.

    Allow Jenna Coleman to explain:

    syzygy @thane16

    @miapatrick @swankycriminal

    Absolutely! Miapatrick: Your version is much better than mine. Of course the 11th Doctor remembers only from that point on because he’s the latest iteration and thus going back to meet 10 is the very thing he’s doing now… As you say, because that’s in his past -and his linear, chronological present too.


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @thane16 or to put it even more succinctly: wobbly-wobbly, timey-wimey… stuff.

    Anonymous @

    Thanks for all the responses, i understand what you all are saying, i truly do. I’m also aware that over 50 years there are plot holes and contradictions, and i know how to just enjoy the show. Let me try asking in a different way.

    1. In Twice Upon A Time, both the 1st and 12th doctor meet up. Both doctors are holding back on why to regenerate, albeit for different reasons. Now, the 1st doctor when he goes back to his timeline wont remember meeting up with the 12th doctor but will retain the presence of why he should go with the regeneration.

    2. In Day of the Doctor, 11 when seeing the the ripple in time opening though he cant remember the events of saving Gallifrey but the imprint of a fez coming through a time ripple is present enough to instinctively throw his fez through the time ripple.

    3. Not the doctor but still a time lord meeting oneself in the same universe as the doctor is The Master/Missy. In The Doctor Falls Missy cant remember the events that happen there, but she can remember being thrown up against the wall by a scary woman and to always carry a spare dematerialization circuit, which Missy ends up doing.

    4. In The Five Doctors, the 1st Doctor remembers the versions of himself that he met in The Three Doctors.

    All this to me says that they forget enough to prevent a time ending paradox but imprints of the events do still remain, the events already happened and to maintain a fixed point in time  the events have to unfold the same way so not everything can be forgotten to maintain this (Fez is my prime example…Fez came through the ripple so it would always come through the ripple so the imprint of the fez would have to remain for this to happen)

    In Twice Upon A Time they specifically  bring up the sonic screw driver scene. The Doctor invented the sonic screw driver but the 1st has never seen or heard of such technology, though it’s as import as the doctor, the tardis and the companions themselves. If imprints of words, faces, objects and stuff still make it through why wouldn’t the sonic screwdriver? Because the 11th doctor said timelines are out of sync and memories cant be retained? (Dont forget Rule #1 BTW) These words established why you can’t remember events with multiple doctors but its not set in stone for every detail, it just explains that enough is removed from memory to prevent a paradox and other things can get through, and some stuff needs to remain to continue a fixed point of time

    I ask the question about the sonic screwdriver being a bootstrap paradox, because i believe it is (The 1st and 12th doctor are  a fixed point of time to not only keep the doctor going for both reasons but to also establish the sonic screwdriver) The best way for me to test it out was to bring it up to get opinions and counter theories.

    I appreciate everyone who joined in and would still love to debate or just talk about this or anything else it brought up and what not.

    Im still sticking with my sonic screwdriver is a paradox because I haven’t come across anything that disproves the notion and just the idea of the sonics story as a paradox is very Doctor who and awesome and more enjoyable in the first place which is more important in a story.

    syzygy @thane16

    @swankycriminal  Good stuff. And welcome to the site….

    Yep. I think you answered your own questions. The Doctor -particularly number 12 is very old, he doesn’t remember everything. He simply can’t. Even 11 has issues there. But in Day of The Dr it’s his present. And from then on, I assume he remembers. Missy is the same. But worse. She’s done so many awful things she barely remembers all of them by the time she’s locked up ‘under the university’ – the Doctor tries to re-teach her ‘good behaviours’ 😉 Some things -particularly where it involves saving herself- she remembers.

    I like the sonic as a paradox -or a time womble because of the hint back in the RTD era where the two sonics met and ended up ‘fizzing.’


    syzygy @thane16

    I must refer you to @bluesqueakpip who has excellent blogs on the timey whimey nature of the 11th Doctor.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I think you might also like @phaseshift‘s Time and The Doctor.
    My blog on timeywimeyness in the Smith Doctor’s tenure is: The Day of The Doctor – a time structure analysis. My more general one on time in the Whoniverse is Wibbley Wobbly, Timey Wimey.

    The SIDRAT section of the blogs are well worth looking at if you like the kind of puzzles Doctor Who throws up.

    Anonymous @

    Thanks for posting these refs. Will have to read through and give time to think and process.

    Anonymous @

    I’m between major projects at the moment, giving me time to think.  (Run for cover, quick!)  Being me, I’ll do my best to think it through, and inflict it on all you Grateful Readers. 😀

    Do you like some audacity in your Doctor Who? The thought came to my mind after the ever-audacious It Takes You Away. I’m not talking about the Doctor being daring, necessarily, but do you like it in the show itself, in its ideas and stories? I’d wager you might (Who nose?).

    After all, consider Blink. Look at the basic plot: it makes no sense. It’s a Moffat Loop, a Bootstrap Paradox, and I repeat paradox. Can’t work. Consider further what we learn in the course of the episode: that the Weeping Angels feed by grabbing ahold of you and sending you back into the past, feeding on the temporal energy of the years you didn’t live. That’s why, in the opening scene, one tries to whang Sally Sparrow with a thrown rock or something.

    But the episode works, and is a classic. Wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t had the audacity to tell that story.

    Or Heaven Sent, where there’s nobody for the Doctor to engage in dialog with. Or Flatline, with the Mysteriously Shrinking TARDIS, and the resulting outrageous scenes of Clara pulling a sledgehammer out of her purse and the Doctor letting his fingers do the walking on the subway tracks.

    Gotta love a big dash of daring, don’t you?

    Then again…maybe not. In Blink, remember the police detective? His name came right to me when I thought about him: Billy Shipton. A minor character, not getting a lot of screen time, but fully realized and three-dimensional. Contrast him with the detective in The Angels Take Manhattan. Remember his name? Me neither. A cliche straight from any noir murder mystery.

    That’s why Blink is a classic, and Angels Take Manhattan powerful, but not quite top-drawer. (A similarly thin-drawn character is why I think Rosa will remain powerful but not classic. However, a) time will tell, and b) I digress.) You’ve got to get a lot right if you’re going to dare that much.

    So again, as to liking audacity in the show, maybe not. Let me name a couple of other really audacious stories in the concept/plot department(s). How about the one that focuses not on the Doctor or companions, but on the people whose lives the Doctor only brushes by? That’s right, Love and Monsters.

    Or the episode that said, why don’t we go for a found-footage approach? Yup, Sleep No More. Or, wouldn’t Spitfires in space be cool? Wouldn’t everybody love that? Mm…maybe not. Victory of the Daleks isn’t on many people’s best-of lists.

    So audacity can send you soaring, or suffocate you like a spaceborne Spitfire pilot. The more you dare, the more you win, or lose.

    Still, I think most of us would agree on attempted audacity, at least occasionally. After all, Grateful Readers, has this show lasted so long by endlessly playing it safe?

    syzygy @thane16


    Or Heaven Sent, where there’s nobody for the Doctor to engage in dialog with. Or Flatline, with the Mysteriously Shrinking TARDIS, and the resulting outrageous scenes of Clara pulling a sledgehammer out of her purse and the Doctor letting his fingers do the walking on the subway tracks.

    I think Heaven Sent demonstrated how well the Doctor can chat to himself! It’s not the first time. In previous iterations, and in Listen, for example, the Doctor ‘talks.’ To some, the Capaldi Doctor’s strength lay in the certainty of his peculiar interior and philosophical/academic Doctor-personality. I believe most of Who is based on the ‘audacious:’ as well as the outrageous, the silly, the serious, the commanding, the gregarious  – and in many other iterations, an off-putting, often socially awkward Doctor.

    The fingers walking across the track was a hint by Clara to do ‘The Munsters.’ And as for shrinking, if the Tardis  travels through time and into ‘other’ universes it can certainly shrink. 🙂 It’s its own portal. We know that, at one point, a Doctor says “it’s so heavy it would crush the planet”  [or something to that effect]. Listen showed how the companion was effectively deploying Doctor-tactics. It opened up the possibility of Clara over-stepping the mark (and she had a ‘real’ mark to prove it in Face The Raven) leading to her death (though there were hints it wasn’t final).

    ... consider Blink. Look at the basic plot: it makes no sense. It’s a Moffat Loop…..a ….paradox. Can’t work. Consider further what we learn in the course of the episode: that the Weeping Angels feed by grabbing a hold of you and sending you back into the past……in the opening scene, one tries to whang Sally Sparrow with a thrown rock or something.

    Ah, OK, I thought it wasn’t an Angel throwing the rock. Sparrow writes, “duck” to herself, under the wall -paper or is it her friend, from the past, spirited away by the Angels who writes on the wall and delivers a letter to Sally?  It think it does make internal sense and thus it most certainly works.

    The detective in Blink is an extremely important character. I’d argue that the detective in Angels in Manhattan isn’t as significant. Unless you’re thinking of Det. Song?  🙂  This is the episode where the love Rory and Amy have for each other is shown as eternal;  the implicit trust shared, is a major focus. This is the episode, I believe, where the Doctor loses them to time; and where River comforts him knowing he cannot re-visit New York.

    For once, time can’t be re-written. I think Angels in Manhattan is a character focussed story. Whilst Blink is also a love story, and a ‘thriller’, it’s not focussing on the companions, and their last moments as companions, with the Doctor. But then again Blink spends a short amount of time on Billy Shipton: and what we see is genuinely moving. But I felt that too when first Rory, and then Amy, stood in the cemetery and vanished. It was a tremendous shock:  the suddenness of death.

    Blink is a different proposition: the Angels appear for the first time so the narrative’s solid but like all good stories it ensures the 40 minutes outlines characters we never see again, which being central to the unfolding story -that’s why Sparrow and Shipton are so “three dimensional”-  and yet wholly memorable.

    Comparing the two Angels stories is a difficult analysis if you’re attempting to explain character motivation, character development (central to the plot in Billy Shipton’s case)  and plot, imho.  When you look at other episodes, such as the base-under-siege story, Under The Lake, with its wonderful whimey-timey approach as well as the Zygon two-parter with not-Clara Zygon, you have massive ladles of audacity topped with loads of custard. And jammy dodgers 🙂


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