Orphan 55

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    Ollie14 @ollie14


    You’re also right about the science. Was way off at times! Frustrating.

    Ollie14 @ollie14

    A few people are discussing on Twitter about multiple timelines (because the Doctor mentioning that Orphan 55 doesn’t have to be Earth), does anyone know if DW has delved into this much before? Whether they should or not?

    Peace Frog @peacefrog


    “Twitter” and “multiple timelines” are two words that shouldn’t ever be that close together. Who knows what might happen next?


    What do you think caused the “Big Bang” in one of the multiple timelines?

    DrWhoOpinion @drwhoopinion


    I am actually quite glad Martin Luther King awakened so many. But if all of the world is a political speech to you, then the concept of entertainment has been lost.

    As for the inhumanity of slavery, I have always asked people what would you have been like if you were born during the decades of slavery in the US? Would you have really been a mover and a shaker? Or would you have sort of felt weird, but gone along with the current cultural flow? Big question. Or you could ask the question what would you be like if the average age span was 400 years, and many people who were slaves and owned slaves were alive today, would there be forgiveness? And to bring the thought train to today, what societal norms are you accepting and not challenging today? Every age has them.

    As for not watching the show, I have seen plenty, as about eight years ago I attained an external herd drive with every Dr Who Show ever shown up until that point. I know they are all available on line now, but not back then. I love how Dr Who helps us to think outside the box. Even Orphan 55 had several good ideas.

    As for my statement of being tired of being preached to, I stand by that statement. We can just agree to disagree with that. That’s fine.

    Your thoughts on art and creativity are very sound.

    <span class=”useratname”>@thane16</span>

    Your sense of humor even managed to get the F word in there. Good job. Sorry, I am a real person, not boring or stupid.

    <span class=”useratname”>@vervain</span>

    Thanks for your comments.

    The national anthem is not a political song, but a moment to honors those that have died to protect our freedom. This is a great country. To lower the moment to a protest on their thoughts on social injustices is a hijacking. I am fine with hearing there opinions, but just not in that venue. Maybe a march, some articles. I have cut back on watching football games by over 50%. Sports was a last bastion of non-politics. Well, that’s gone. Your point that their protests is good marketing of their ideas is a true statement. It has worked well for the Kapernick’s of sports. At the same time, I am not alone in the declining ticket sales and viewership of sports games.

    I hope the upcoming episodes of Dr Who are more in the vain of the first two episodes. To me I see the decline in Dr Who viewership to correlate with it’s politically correct scripts. More fans are looking for just entertainment to escape for an hour. We get plenty of preaching when we go to look at the news.

    And thank all of you for your comments throughout the thread.


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @missrori thanks for the clarification! I have to admit that had me stumped!

    That sounds stressful, and dealing with parents as an adult can be tough – I also live with my mother, though in my case it’s more her living with us.

    I feel for kids nowadays, I hate those memes that get circulated mocking young people for protesting about the environment by talking about how in their youth there wasn’t all this disposable plastic, lifts everywhere, PlayStations etc – as though the changes in the world that took place during their adulthood are somehow the responsibility of generations not even born at the time…

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @drwhoopinion it’s true that in the past relative minorities have been the ones opposing what we now call atrocities.  A big part of that has been the balance of ‘preaching’. People didn’t think about it, or accepted the justifications. Literature in particular has always had a polemic side. A core point in the development of the novel was the idea it can be used to address attitudes. You don’t get much more preachy than Dickens…

    The USA is, as are all countries, a flawed country. As you say, all have societal norms more or less accepted, even when they make people uncomfortable when they think about it. So it’s a good idea to encourage people to think about it. Sasha Baron Cohen, I read one time, wrote his dissertation on: ‘the road to the holocaust was paved, not with good intentions but indifference’. The time to protest social injustice is when you have people’s attention.

    This episode – I felt it was preaching to the converted, that the only convertible people watching, given the way it was managed, were the fairly young, who can’t do anything yet, and things are urgent enough that we need action now. CC isn’t terribly good at preaching. He isn’t really using the companions enough either. It might have worked better with Yaz or Ryan, on realising it was earth saying, of course, look what’s happening, they’re right, we’re doomed, and the Doctor saying ‘no, it’s not too late, this future can be changed’. And of course, the woeful science rather undermines a general argument that is literally built on science. It’s a matter more of skill than concept.


    syzygy @thane16


    attained an external herd drive


    if all of the world is a political speech to you, 

    No, but the political exists in the polis & every one of us is a part of this.

    Except in Africa, parts of Europe & South Africa where a child who isn’t white is worth less than a privileged white American child. National Anthems are political methods of “hijacking” the politics of pretense where a country’s nationalism creates a border between the so called fake “great country” & the real, individual people which populate the planet (my alliteration’s getting out of hand).

    Maybe a march and some articles

    Enough to please you?  Maybe so the “maybe” march doesn’t do anything. Doesn’t change, radically, the nature of things. Because if it’s the U.S. you’re writing from, then it hasn’t done enough, has it.

    As for preaching, generally some individuals who use that word, are unfortunately belligerent enough to warrant the message preaching provides.

    As an Australian seeing cattle shot (before they burned alive) from the back of an escaping truck, the messages in Orphan 55 effected a range of emotions in our early academic classes for 18 -year- olds. The very first Doctor Who programmes always infiltrated our better selves when we most needed it.

    There’s a time for serious discussion of abuse, violence & climate change & it’s not the nightly news. That’s indiscriminate in its reach & so must be discriminating in its framing of material.. However, using an anthem during sports games is better than backing it with massive deaths in Iraq & in the U.S. military. Big costs. Big body counts. Big infringements of liberty. The Big stupid.

    Now, compared with 1963, Big messages are necessary. Why? Because we’re inured to stupidity. We’re surrounded by it; our perspective & logic’s dulled & our capacity for acknowledging astonishment is so high we’re required to watch programmes which effectively “chuck the kitchen sink at us.” Had we paid sufficient attention when it mattered,  the messages needn’t be preaching.

    Our activism via church is abandoned, so its up to well loved programmes to responsibly recognise how we need to change. And do it LOUD.

     I hope the upcoming episodes of Dr Who are more in the vain of the first two episodes. 

    Well, quite, vanity is the problem.

    Syzygy the Ol’

    The young’s coming…..




    RorySmith @rorysmith

    Read most of previous posts. Wow.

    My only serious gripe about this episode is the  similarity with the classic The Time Machine.
    Utopian dome, former human morelock creatures, and a selfish antagonist.

    Anyone else see that?

    syzygy @thane16

    Hi doods!

    One fun lecture down and bakery to go (long story).  So, I loved it. But Mum cried because our gen has to remove all your mistakes. I saw that in the young mechanic: confident, but scared -when hiding silently from the herd of predators -As kids we’re told to be silent.

    Like @arbutus I felt it contained  waay too much stuff? but then I wondered if it has to, because if not, when are the most people going to subscribe to those ideas?

    Random things I found very interesting

    tranquility as an idea that’s fake. Fake meditation etc..

    Fakeacation (and it’s a lot like Lucy in Dracula) looking like an expensive sports stadium. And male sports as a bastion of violence against women. And the whole anti-gun idea in Who.

    A girl named Bella who hates her name & lacks confidence (Twilight).

    The Little Shop (& the one of Horrors  🙂  )

    Hopper virus which Scrabbles as ‘pore’ or ‘prop.’ And aren’t our parliamentarians props? Nightly News shows unfiltered fear-based sound bytes

    The Doctor talks. That’s what our MPs (in the States DEMS or REPS) do. Action is the ‘change.’

    Russia -the American election including bots & youtube causing an unbalanced inversion

    Love between Benni & his partner (no marriage necessary) but shoot me because of the pain (Kane doing that).

    Kane  -Cain.

    The Doctor breathing in the oxygen of a violent male Alpha. Oxygen is blood. Blood is fertility. Blood burns.

    In the end all of these stories are uncomfortable for us to watch.  If they rouse emotion, good.

    Syzygy the Younger

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    This episode – I felt it was preaching to the converted

    Worse than preaching to the converted. It was the relatively powerful (the Doctor) preaching to the relatively powerless (the Companions, and by extension the kids in the audience). It was also hypocritical, because the programme had flown its main cast out to South Africa to make the statement.

    My worries about the current environmental protests can be summed up by the recent Canning Town protest. Relatively wealthy, well educated protesters decide to protest about our children’s future by stopping a lot of relatively poor people working to feed their children today. Then they’re shocked when the protest nearly turns into a riot – against them.

    We are not going to save the planet by having Marie Antoinette lecturing us about the carbon footprint of cake. We really aren’t.

    syzygy @thane16


    Hi you! Happy new year. I did, yes. I couldn’t recall what they were called. I was thinking werewolves or forelocks 🙂

    syzygy @thane16

    @bluesqueakpip @miapatrick

    I felt it was preaching to the converted, that the only convertible people watching, given the way it was managed, were the fairly young, who can’t do anything yet…

    The thousands of protesters were young like me (18). We CAN do something now. A programme like that dares us to. No-one believes -because I was there -& so were insta mates in NSW, ACT & VIC – that the poor couldn’t get to work in Australia. Protesting meant doing so outside large corporate palaces where salary earners (not wage earners) were ignoring problems. Where the Legacy media created issues of arson where there were none. Creating issues of “foolish fires” when the cost of back burning stopped the surplus from going “ahead.”

    Believe me, it meant something to a lot of us. And to the new yr 12 students who will turn 18 during their final year. They drive, they work 20 hours a week, they study, they play sport. We’re OUT THERE and we’re ANGRY. We also know the significance of harnessing this catastrophe & never letting the timid win.

    Why is ‘preach’ so bad? Is it the domain of the Baptist or the Priest? If not, can’t we use “spoke?” It spoke.

    Syzygy the Young.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Well, I hope there’s nothing wrong with preaching because I have an actual licence to do just that.

    Okay, let’s preach it, brothers and sisters!:)

    Protesting meant doing so outside large corporate palaces where salary earners (not wage earners) were ignoring problems.

    And did you check that the people who maintain, clean and do the low-level jobs in the large corporate palaces could get in? Did you check that you weren’t blocking access to a hospital? Because that’s one of the (many) things that went wrong in London. The protesters had a righteous cause – but they somehow thought that cutting off public transport at a major interchange was a good thing because the interchange was taking bankers to their massive corporate palaces. Forgetting (or not understanding) that the interchange was also taking people from some of the poorest areas of London to their wage paying jobs.

    They stopped traffic in Central London – which meant that as well as the fat cats and the governments, Mr and Mrs Blogs were struggling to get through to their hospital appointment. A spokesperson had a major interview on a mainstream channel – and didn’t know what was in the UN report she was ‘quoting’ from.

    Protest doesn’t replace knowledge. In fact, protest requires knowledge. One reason this week’s episode was so utterly infuriating was that it will not, as we’re all saying, do anything but preach to the converted. Because it has no knowledge. Less than none – how do people expect anyone to be convinced about the science of climate change when the production team are apparently unaware that fire needs oxygen and the writer knows so little science they don’t realise an apex predator is at the top of a food chain? Seriously? After that episode, I wouldn’t trust that writer to tell me that CO2 is a molecule, let alone how it can act as a heat trap.

    Keep protesting. But don’t forget the science textbooks. 😉

    Craig @craig


    My pet theory about Yaz is that she’s being set up to become disenchanted with the Doctor and switch sides to become the Master’s companion.

    While that is an interesting idea, I don’t think it will happen. Mostly because, while we may be colour blind, it would be very bad optics for some.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Yeah, that did cross my mind as an objection to it…

    Mudlark @mudlark


    about eight years ago I attained* an external hard drive with every Dr Who Show ever shown up until that point.

    If so, the BBC, not to mention myriads of fans, would be delighted to know, because BBC practice during the 1960s was to wipe recordings and reuse the tapes, and there are a great many Doctor Who episodes from that period which are not known to survive 😈  No such thing as a hard drive in those days (and yes, I am more than old enough to remember those days very clearly).

    * I suspect you mean obtained, and I have corrected the typo which follows. Sorry, such slips tend to bring out the pedant in me.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    how do people expect anyone to be convinced about the science of climate change when the production team are apparently unaware that fire needs oxygen and the writer knows so little science they don’t realise an apex predator is at the top of a food chain?

    Excellent point.  As I wrote above, strict scientific plausibility is not essential to the majority of Doctor Who stories, but it is a very different matter when scientific accuracy is essential to a message they are trying to convey. In such cases would it break the budget to employ a scientific advisor?


    Whisht @whisht

    So Whisht, you haven’t commented on the episode.
    [Whisht shakes his head]

    Would you like to?
    [Whisht looks uncomfortable with being asked about the episode]

    Ok Whisht, its ok. Here’s a doll. Point to where the episode hurt you.

    [Whisht points to the doll’s head]
    [Whisht points to the heart]
    I see…
    [Whisht points to the ears]
    Hm, ok….
    [Whisht points to the eyes]

    Ok, OK. I get it. Nothing positive to add?
    [Whisht looks pained]

    Hm, no songs smart arse?
    [Whisht looks down]

    Hmmmm…. You didn’t add any songs for the opener either.
    It was a two parter! There were revelations! And no songs??
    [Whisht looks up – his eyes look bright for the first time]

    You have a song for the opener?
    [Whisht nods enthusiastically]

    Will it add to the enjoyment and insights people had for it?
    [Whisht looks down]

    Oh ffs its just a random piece of music tied to a search on your iTunes again isn’t it?

    [Whisht looks back at the doll. Orphan 55 still hurts]

    Stop sucking your thumb Whisht….

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @jimthefish I’m not massively keen on Gallifrey’s re-destruction personally. It all depends how it plays out, of course

    I’m not massively keen on it either. I LOVE Gallifreyan stories, but it feels a bit odd, after the long and wondrous arc of the Time War across Doctors Ecclestone to the War Doctor (and then Capaldi Doc’s search for the Gallifreyan pocket universe) to start a a new era with WhitDoc and then suddenly retread a major story from the previous era.

    Only this time, instead of all the long build up and mystery, it’s just wham! The Master has (apparently) single-handedly found the pocket universe with ease (which we saw Capaldi Doc magnificently struggle to access) and wiped everyone out with a flick of a wrist.

    That’s what @phaseshift and and I were saying on the Spyfall thread – why is Chibnall recycling so many past Who elements in S12?

    @bluesqueakpip had a good theory that it might be a plot-point and the Master was the one doing the recycling.

    Time will tell…

    However, I suspect that TPTB are making the mistake of listening to “hater” online fandom chatter too much. All that complaining about Moffat and his “over-complexity” and his arcs. So, when Chibnall takes over, we get an arc-less first season for Whit Doc. And lo and behold, fandom chatter hates on that too. So, now an arc re-tread is pulled out for S12!

    Of course, it’s not possible to totally ignore audience feedback, particularly as social media metrics are now part of the data that get shows renewed or cancelled.

    I am feeling a bit frustrated that (to my mind) WhitDoc is not getting to shine as much as she could, in the Chibnall era.

    I like each of her companions, but, I wonder, does she? Her connection to them seems a bit abstract.

    I keep thinking the grandfather/ grandson dynamic of Graham and Ryan is there for a reason (some parallel delving into the Doctor’s own familial past).

    Time will tell…

    I like your idea that the Master may be about to drive a wedge between the Doctor and Yaz, and I don’t think that would be a problem in terms of the racial politics of the show. The Master has been established as nefarious over many previous, caucasian, incarnations. And Yaz doesn’t have to go full Turlough. It could be a case of her feeling frustrated that the Doctor won’t open up emotionally about her past, and the Master worming his way into her confidences by telling a load of (tall) tales about the Doctor’s history.

    As for E-space, it’s also a pocket universe as I recall, and difficult to traverse to and from. The TARDIS only fell in there by accident.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    That post was the best thing I have read all day! Actually, for ages. And so painfully accurate…


    smashedavvo @smashedavvo

    I only just made this account but last time I watched the ep was a couple days ago but don’t worry, I didn’t make this account to say that the show is ‘too woke’ and that i’m ‘no longer a fan’. But I’m just here to say my opinions like everyone else.

    What I will say is that this episode was disappointing for me as it felt like a lot of wasted potential. It was like a lot of great ideas but they’re all compacted into a 45 minute episode making it way too fast and stripping away a lot of the emotion the episode could have. The woman who kept shouting “BeNnYyYyY” was also very annoying, and the ending was unsatisfying. I didn’t feel like the complication had been resolved.

    On to the positives. Like I said, the ideas in the episode were great. The climate change monologue was nice but here in Australia I can currently smell smoke in my room, it’s already too late. Jodie Whittaker’s performance was amazing! Visually the episode was nice. The dregs looked cool, they could be in DOOM. The first half or so of the episode was quite enjoyable.

    Hopefully this is just a dud and the series will pick up after this. Very excited for the Nikola Tesla episode next week!

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Great post. Don’t worry the pain will pass.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I suspect you’re right that this is a kneejerk reaction to the criticism of s11. And to be fair, Moffat went through the same process too. s6 was criticised for being too complex (ha!) and lo and behold we get the ‘movie of the week’ format for a while. I suspect that’s just part of the ongoing process.

    Personally, I’m glad to see the return of an arc and thought s11 suffered badly for its absence. I’m hoping that the recycling does end up being some sort of actual plot point and not just the result of Chibs having to quickly rummage to knock an arc together quickly and to order. Happy to be wrong but I do have my doubts.

    Also tend to agree about the Fam. I think with Whittaker there’s a fine Doc there still trying to come out but that she’s constantly losing valuable screen time to the other three. All the companions are fine on their own but together there’s just too many of them. Davison had the same problem and it wasn’t until Androzani when it was just him and Peri that you got a sense of the Doctor he could have been. The chemistry between WhitDoc and the Fam often feels forced and awkward to me. I am hoping that for her third year, she sheds a couple of companions, maybe even gets someone completely new.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I actually watched this on Monday night, and then spent a while thinking how I could engage meaningfully with this episode. Then I come in and see so many of you have given it a thorough kicking, and I needn’t have worried. 😉 And @whisht deserves a good star for that post. Marvellous!

    And @bluesqueakpip is on the money here. I don’t mind made up science in normal Hurley burley of sci-fi and sci-fantasy. I think when you address a real world current issue where the truthfulness of the science is questioned constantly, you are honour bound to get the basic science right. This did a lamentable job.

    I’m still trying to get my head around how Chibnallls writing team works, beyond the general description of ‘we kind of have a writer’s room’. Has anyone come across an extra or interview where he outlines the process? Because this did not seem to be the same writer as ‘It takes you away’. It was more like a Chibnall script. ‘It takes you away’ was script edited by the writer of next weeks episode, so it will be interesting to compare the two.

    Overall though this left me cold and just reminded me of some of the low points of series 11. Workmanlike direction, stodgy dialogue followed by an extremely ‘on the nose’ message that’s just probably going to piss off people who support change rather than actually change hearts and minds.

    I did enjoy the comedy of the virus manifesting.

    Recycling is good for the environment!

    @juniperfish called ‘Planet of the Apes’ and @rorysmith called ‘The Time Machine’. Good observations, but no one called the most obvious reference for Doctor Who.

    And you are all forgiven! Because in the first parts of the Sixth Doctor adventure Trial of a Timelord (The part generally known as ‘The Mysterious Planet’) The Doctor and Peri arrive on a world light years from Earth and discover through means of signage of London Underground, that this is actually Earth relocated! Extraordinary!

    Raiders of the lost arc!

    After Lenny Henry killed his mum last week we have a Daughter-mum grudge match. Dysfunctional families as a recurring thing?

    I mention ‘The Mysterious Planet’/’Trial of a Timelord’ (a story so bad it finished of legendary writer Robert Holmes) because it transpired it was the Timelords plot to move the Earth and pin the blame on the Doctor. If we have an arc about the basis of Timelord lies and make reference to a story where they actually lied, that may make sense. I’m kidding myself aren’t I?


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Just to say (if you don’t know) an Orphan planet is a real term for a planet that doesn’t orbit a star and usually adopts an eccentric orbit around galactic central point. They are thought to begin life around stars until something catestrophic occurs (supernova, encounter with a neutron star / black hole, etc). They are thought to be quite common.

    Don’t know why they adopted the term for a planet its inhabitants have defecated on repeatedly, but there you go.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I’ve seen Tim Minchen a few times. The last time was a few months ago. For a 50th Birthday treat we spent a week in Cardiff, with his gig being the cornerstone of the trip. Highly recommended to everyone.

    Peace Frog @peacefrog




    Can we all come together in a joint effort of hope that Phaseshift is onto something here. 🙂

    I’ll just extrapolate this a little bit further.

    Planet comes from the Greek meaning “wanderer”.

    An orphan planet is one that wanders off away from the gravitational pull of it’s star.

    Okay…stay with me now.


    Do we know of any other people or things from Doctor Who that might be described as a “wanderer”?

    A wandering orphan?



    See where I’m going with all this? 😀



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @badwolfalice @ollie14

    Just on the timelines question, yes there is a lot of history here. They are distinct from Alternate Universes in that they exist within our universe as possibilities and can be accessed only by time travel. From one starting point a myriad of possibilities are possible and the Time Lords used to monitor them all looking for danger points. An alternative Universe started the same as ours and was essentially the same until one event was different, and significant enough to fundamentally change its overall range of possibilities.

    The idea that timelines are essentially a ‘new universe’ that is created by a decision (turn left/turn right) doesn’t really work because you need an awful lot of energy to create a Universe.

    Essentially though, 50 odd years of basic scientific understanding has led to the point where ‘it’s Timey Wimey is a catch all’.

    I wrote a blog to try to illustrate a couple of points. I may have confused matters even further.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Yep, it’s the Who references that stuck out a mile for me too. This veered rather a lot to be being a remake of The Mysterious Planet with a bit of The Leisure Hive thrown in. For someone so famed for dissing Colin Baker-era Who, Chibs seems to be doing a bang-up job of emulating it….

    BadWolfAlice @badwolfalice


    Thanks for the link to the blog post, that’s very interesting. So in this particular episode, do the two (or more) Earth timelines exist concurrently, and can the Doctor travel to whichever one she chooses to?

    MissRori @missrori

    @phaseshift There’s absolutely a dysfunctional families thing going on this season.  The Master destroying Gallifrey is another manifestation of it, the fabled “sins of the fathers” thing.  And I think the Doctor’s fam will end up strained too over the course of the season, but come back together by the end.

    @bluesqueakpip I’m in sort of that powerless position myself when it comes to affecting change; since my family would not support me stumping for the rights of others, I’m feeling rather sidelined and increasingly frustrated with being preached to.  I’m also not sure how to couch my concerns about, say, immigrants at my country’s southern border to someone like my mom who wants her grandkids to grow up in a safe country.  She doesn’t trust sources beyond Fox News and the like, so I can’t use statistics and data.  @juniperfish, I’ve actually looked at that article you linked before, and I like its ideas, but my mom is quick to anger.  If I were to call out her morals and point out where she’s falling down on them, it could get extremely ugly — and I don’t take being yelled at well.  Which would only make her angrier if I were to cry.  And I’ve listened to her side of things many times, and there’s just so much hate there.  How much am I expected to put up with?  It’s come to the point that, to keep the peace, I just don’t talk to her about much anymore.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @juniperfish     I think we’ve gotten used to After Gap DW, in which the Doctor’s connection to his companions has been much deeper than in the past. So far, at least, Thirteen has a warm but less intense relationship with her “fam”. I was never altogether comfortable with the angsty aspect of the Doctor/Companion dynamic that took over the After Gap series, so this current version doesn’t bother me. Anyway, we’ve yet to see how it will all play out!

    @jimthefish     Fifth Doctor was gifted Companions that were always squabbling amongst themselves. It always felt like he had to parent them, and he often came across looking very weak as a result. The current group doesn’t have quite that problem. However, it’s true that we lose time with the Doctor due to the group. Much as I love all these companions, I’ve always felt that the Doctor benefits from cycling through a few. New relationships bring out new aspects of character.

    We’ll see how the new Gallifrey arc goes. Hopefully it’s not as much of a retread as it sounds at the moment.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @missrori     Responding to you in the pub so as to avoid getting modded!

    nerys @nerys

    I gave this episode a second watch last night with hubby, in the hope that my opinion of it would improve. Sadly, it didn’t. I just didn’t feel invested in any of the characters, perhaps because there were too many of them. Just as I got focused on one relationship, we abruptly shifted to another, and another … and so on. I hate to admit it, but Benni’s death didn’t really affect me, thrown in as it was into this hodgepodge.

    I’m a fan of the “show, don’t tell” mode of storytelling, but we both felt this message was handled in a heavy-handed, preachy way. The thing is, we like and agree with the message. But we want an engaging story, and somehow this one fell short. Lots of running, yelling, growling, explosions and so on. I certainly felt like I was supposed to care. But it lacked the emotional resonance I need to draw me in.

    Contrast this with my reaction to another “vacation getaway” episode, “Midnight.” It’s one of my all-time favorites, and so I suppose any other will pale by comparison.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Re-watched again, just see if I had been too critical. Nope.

    I think we all tried really hard during season 11. And we were initially excited about the new Master and the potential Gallifrey arc. But then we all watched the opener again…

    All of which leads me to ask: are we witnessing the John Nathan-Turner years of AG Who?



    Peace Frog @peacefrog



    I haven’t watched this one yet but everyone seems to be talking about the use of recycled themes.

    Just realized that while I thought the first two episodes were way better than most of last years, they did reuse some stuff from Smith’s run.

    Namely…the Day of the Doctor.

    Both have a mysterious organization sending somebody out to get the Doctor and bring them in. Unit in one and MI6 in these new episodes. The plane going down reminded me of The Zygon Invasion/Inversion when Not Clara shot down 12’s plane. Can’t think of anything else now but I’ll be back when I’ve watched this one.


    Can somebody please explain to those scary creatures with big hairy feet that Doctor Who is a kids show and has been since 1963. Why would it be any different now?

    Just because those kids back in ’63 kept watching doesn’t change that.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    [hands Whisht a teddy bear]


    If we have an arc about the basis of Timelord lies and make reference to a story where they actually lied, that may make sense.

    You know what, Phaseshift? I think you might be on to something there. Because I seem to recall that when the Doctor said she’d realised Orphan 55 was Earth only a little before the fam did, Jodie Whittaker played it with what you might call a bit of a shifty look. I could go back and check…

    … no. Actually, I couldn’t. Not even for a bonkers theory. But it would make sense, if every story this series was in some way connected to the evil that the Time Lords have, canonically done.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    While I’m sniggering I’ll just point out I may have arrived at a (admittedly poor) reason for last week’s mindwipe.

    The first Mindwipe was completed by the Timelords on Jamie & Zoe. If we are looking at the lies of Timelords then the memory wipe will do. Could be a reminder the TLs do have this power and the Doctor\Master may have experienced it. To forget ‘The Timeless Child” (or whatever).

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I don’t know if the Doctor himself knows how to travel the timelines. Poßibly just the TARDIS operating in 11 dimensions can work it. The only time I can think that the Doctor did it (other than Pyramids of Mars, where it was inevitable) is the implied reunion between 11 and Amelia at the end of Angels take Manhattan. Amy and Rory seem to have memories of two different timelines, and the Doctor traveling back to tell the young Amelia what she can expect is possibly a third?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Part of me wonders if Chibnall likes wearing hair shirts. His younger self accused Pip & Jane Baker of producing a story based on the Doctor & companion running down a corridor. For his first Who episode in “42” that’s essentially what he has Martha doing.


    All of which leads me to ask: are we witnessing the John Nathan-Turner years of AG Who?

    And you’ve just called it basically. I’ve been working up to it, but when I suggested I was going to work a blog on s11 into the mix, this was going to be my lead proposition. Is Chibnall the new JNT? Because there are some striking parallels when you look at the history.

    As a wise Cylon once said “All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again”.

    syzygy @thane16


    <i>Keep protesting. But don’t forget the science textbooks.</i>

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>You’re saying the “poor” couldn’t get to work. S<span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>oon there’ll be no work for them to get to. <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”> Some of the so-called rich earn <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>less than $100 000 per annum (<span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>not pounds, Aus dolllars). Either way they’re not the “rich.”</span></span></span></span></span>

    You’re comparing some protestors – people who are self funded retirees to a vainglorious woman from a completely different period. <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: inherit; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>Also, those who preach don’t always listen.</span>

    Keep arguing but don’t forget the history text books. 🙂

    Syzygy the Young (one).

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    I, for one, would love to read your blog developing the JNT allusion.

    When I posted the comment I thought of adding the question: “Too harsh?” But on reflection , I thought it was unnecessary.



    Davros @davros

    Prior to Season 10, there were only two episodes that I would seriously tell people to skip: “Love and Monsters” and “Sleep No More”.

    “Gridlock” was pretty dire but it did provide some new details on Gallifrey, and the message from the Face of Boe, so you can’t really ignore it completely.

    I thought Season 9 was mostly pretty solid. D12, Clara, Missy, Zygons, Ashildr … the dynamics worked for me. Final three eps were a pleasing set. On the other hand, I felt that ending the grand arc, resolving the Gallifrey question, would probably leave Who floundering. There was not much mystery left. They needed a new arc.

    I wasn’t impressed by about half of the Season 10 episodes. To me it felt as though they were somewhat hurrying towards the conclusion of the Capaldi era. World and Time Enough and The Doctor Falls were tidy, and the novelty of seeing D1 in Twice Upon A Time carried that over the line for me, but much of the season seemed undercooked.

    Between production of Season 10 and that of Season 11, there was a big break in filming, so it’s not as though they rushed things: had plenty of time to get the writing just right, but despite this much of it was a bit flat. It was nice that they ran three Real History episodes, but a lot of the actual sci-fi wasn’t … clever enough? Some of it was fairly basic, perfunctory, Monster of the Week stuff. They made some stylistic changes that I didn’t mind, but they also appeared to make a conscious effort to eschew callbacks, continuity, nostalgia. Those things can, in excess, be cloying, but there’s nothing wrong with a smidge.

    I’m not really sure why this happened. Chibnall’s previous DW work was nice enough, and his writing for Torchwood, Life on Mars, and Broadchurch was lovely. As creator of Broadchurch, he showed he could manage a story based on short tales, long arcs, and the dripfeed of information, which is exactly what a DW showrunner needs to do. I’ve liked Whittaker’s take on The Doctor. Walsh and Gill have also slipped well into companion roles, but I dunno about Cole: some of the time he does not seem to be into it.

    There was, again, a <i>big</i> gap in production between S11 and S12, presumably while they were sorting out the direction of the show.
    Season 12 is, to my mind, off to a decent start. Hard to dislike Lenny Henry and Stephen Fry in Spyfall, and Dhawan is shaping up nicely. (I do wish Fry was a continuing character, though!) And now we have a hint of an arc that will hopefully persist for a few seasons.

    Orphan 55, for me, was not great, not terrible. Obviously this is not the most original premise in science fiction, and it was a little heavy handed at the end, but there were good points. (I was glad that they avoided the overused trope that the Dregs were individual humans who had mutated: it’s a silly idea even by the standards of the genre.  I thought they were heading towards that when Benni asked to be shot. But instead they are just mutated <i>descendants</i> of humans.)

    The audience reaction scores for Orphan 55 are comparable to those for Love and Monsters or Sleep No More. I didn’t think it was <i>that</i> bad. Middling, not tiresome.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @phaseshift and @blenkinsopthebrave

    I too would love to see a blog on this subject. It does make me wonder what other analogies we can make. Would RTD be Verity Lambert, for being the midwife of Nu-Who? Does that make Moffat Barry Letts or Philip Hinchcliffe?

    Was also wondering if this is the most comprehensive trouncing the forum has ever inflicted on an episode. I’m struggling to remember a worse one. Maybe there should be some kind of plaque….

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Maybe there should be some kind of plaque…

    Perhaps there is a build-up of plaque on the teeth of Nu-Who.

    <Blenkinsop furtively runs away after making terrible joke…>


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord
    GalaxyMage @galaxymage

    Several people seem to have severely disliked this one, but I really don’t think it was that bad.

    The beginning was hilarious (at least I thought so). I loved the whole thing with the virus and the bats. The middle was decent, though I didn’t really get the whole thing with other timelines being possible. And the end honestly wasn’t that bad. The speech was really good, and it’s not too out of place in Doctor Who, but I felt like it didn’t really belong at that exact moment. The thing with the “or else” and a flash of the Dreg seemed to be too much like a threat, but other than that I didn’t have any problems with the speech itself.

    I do think that this episode was a bit too heavy handed. The reveal was so obvious that I thought of it sarcastically and then dismissed it, but it wasn’t too bad. And yes, the science was off. But since when is it possible to graft someone’s personality into another’s body with their brain still intact? Since when is it possible to violate the Law of Conservation of Matter? And since when is someone able to exist on pure hatred? So, yes, oxygen is necessary for combustion. And although it isn’t really possible, maybe the Dregs has some way of decomposing CO2 into carbon and O2 gas. Then they’d still have O2 for combustion, and they could breath out the excess? I am fully aware that it makes nearly no sense, but I think it makes just enough sense that I can accept it as Doctor Who science.

    All in all, this wasn’t a terrible episode, and it was better than I was expecting. I fully agree with their message, but I think it would have been passed along more efficiently if it was just a bit more subtle. Having these ideas built into them by watching/reading sci-fi is much more likely to work on young children than a speech that their parents say is ridiculous. Big things are blocked out, but small things slip through the cracks in the wall of willful ignorance.

    Theory: A few people have mentioned that they think Yasmin will betray The Doctor, which I think is becoming a higher and higher probability as time goes on. Now, I like Yas, and I don’t want to believe she’d turn evil. She’s also a police officer — she dedicated her life to stopping bad guys, not helping them. So while I think she’ll turn on The Doctor, I don’t think she’ll ever work with The Master against The Doctor in particular. But The Doctor is known for prioritizing the lives of the few (and his/her morals) over the lives of the many. I wrote a long paragraph on this in the Spyfall 2 thread, but I think that she’s going to try to do what a police officer would do and save the day. And even if that means going against The Doctor, she’ll do it, because The Doctor’s philosophy would never survive in real life. Harriet Jones killed the Sygorax in an attempt to help humanity — and The Doctor simply removed her from office. He ruined her life because of this. (Harriet Jones was also the one who ordered him to go through with bombing 10 Downing Street, even though it could kill Rose, which I feel like is the type of thing Yas would do — and just like Harriet Jones, she’s the only government official in the room). The Doctor’s not always a good person, and Yas, Ryan, and Gram are quickly becoming disenchanted with her. I firmly believe that given the choice between doing what’s right and what’s easy, Yas would do what’s right, or at least what she thinks is right. And that might involve betraying her friends in order to save the world. That’s not a coward’s actions. That’s one of the bravest, most difficult things to do, and I think Yas is capable of it.

    syzygy @thane16

    I think, please, that we need some mods to deal with the code that often crops up in people’s posts. I have NO idea why all of that appeared so apols for the masses of punctuation that appeared there and wasted space. To Blue:


    Keep protesting. But don’t forget the science textbooks.

    You’re saying the “poor” couldn’t get to work but soon there will be no more work for the poor to get to. Once the poor are taxed higher; once Brexit & its calamitous consequences are fully met; once the corporates are slugged with “Big New Taxes” (something Tony Abbott our former PM used to repeat a lot) and so on. Some of the so-called rich earn less than 100K per annum. Not pounds but Aussie dollars.

    The corporate rich aren’t,  probably, the people who are showing up to protest. Their lives are a treat, by comparison. Protest will affect groups of people in all sorts of situations. It’s dangerous and wasteful to protest in any other way. Also, you’re comparing some protestors, people who are self funded retirees, to a vainglorious woman from a completely different century. Ironically, it was January 15, 1797 that Louis xvi was found guilty of undermining the First French Republic.

    I should add, those who preach don’t always listen.

    Keep arguing but don’t forget the history text books. 🙂

    @galaxymage I actually loved it! It’s hard to find a voice who agrees. Usually it’s common for people to say “hey, I agree with you that it was awful…confusing….more focus on the companions” etc. But I thought it was a lot better than “it’s not so bad.” Not really a ringing endorsement, that, but I can certainly see the difficulties that the writers are facing. It’s a complex show with a complex agenda.

    Syzygy the Young (one).

    winston @winston

    @thane16 and @galaxyimage  As I said after watching this episode, I liked it! I watch Doctor Who as an escape and escape I do, for 45 glorious minutes. I sink into the show like a soft mattress with a warm and fuzzy blanket refusing to move until it is over. How I feel about the show when I am watching is all that matters to me at the time and when I dislike an episode it is because of the feels it gave me. There are episodes I rarely watch but that is because they make me too sad or too anxious and those I watch again and again because they make me too happy.

    Sometimes when it is over and I think about things with my critical brain then I can see problems but next time I watch it I will once again be sucked in and forget the problems and enjoy the show. That is how this one is for me. I like running and corridors and monsters and aliens and I love the Doctor. My logical brain is one thing but the heart knows what it likes.

    My 11 year old granddaughter loves this Doctor and she watched Sunday night. On Monday she called me for help with a letter she was writing to the Mayor of her town to suggest ways to help with climate change. Coincidence? Maybe, but either way I have committed myself to help in her quest to help the planet. If the Doctor did that then her speech was worth it. The granddaughter comes over in the morning so I will ask and let you know.

    I also never have theories because I forget to think of them when I watch,lol  That is why I love everyone else’s!

    winston @winston

    @galaxymage  Sorry about that, I added a letter.See above.

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