Part 6 – The Vanquishers
5 December 2021 at 11:14 #72624Craig @craigEmperor
It’s part 6 – the finalé of the series and there are so many plot strands to pull together it’s kinda boggling my mind. This could be really interesting or really disappointing. I mean, I’m thinking the latter, but I still hope to be surprised.
All I know is what the BBC have released. In the final epic chapter in the story of the Flux, all hope is lost. The forces of darkness are in control. But when the monsters have won, who can you count upon to save the universe?
It’s written by Chibnall and directed by Azhur Saleem again. Kevin McNally is back as Professor Jericho, Steve Oram is back as Joseph Williamson, and of course Azure and Swarm will be in it too.
Once again, fingers crossed for something good.5 December 2021 at 19:49 #72629Oochillyo @oochillyo
hey everyone 🙂 how are you all 🙂
Short review for now since watching Snooker with my Dad 🙂
I think it was pretty good, had some nice new ideas especially for a finale.
Liked a lot of the character dynamics.
I feel something was missing though like it didnt quite hit the mark and the real excitement and pace kicked in later which is what I was waiting for from the start of this Final ep especially given the Series so far and the next time trailer.
I liked how Asure had more focus, slightly felt like Swarm was left out, I could see part of the solution when The Doctor landed where Passenger was but hey oh I like working things out ahead of time but I wonder how others felt about it, liked how Passenger felt like a hero at the end, a lot of beautiful colors and shots ect just wanted a bit more of that.
I was waiting for a CyberMen/Dalek/Sontaran fight, it felt slightly lack lusterd but I liked the fact The Sontarans trick and betray them for strategic advantage across the Universe 🙂
The Dialouge was half and half sometimes The Doctor may have said the obvious bit too much and sometimes we had nice character to character dialogue. themes and call backs 🙂
My fav of this was The CyberMen “What is the meaning of this” ? after realizing they have been betrayed 🙂 classic 🙂
Swarm and Auzure if they are gone went out a bit easy for what power they had ect like I said before, they were such great villains sort of hope they come back like The Daleks in the next time trailer.
Short ish review so I am missing out a lot of the good/bad parts for me and nice touches ect but it was nice. it was like a diamond it looks nice and there were nice elements just wanted a better condition for my worth 🙂
8-10 I think wanna re watch this one hope it clicks a bit more with me 🙂
Regards – Declan Sargent5 December 2021 at 19:54 #72630Anonymous @
Far too much happening, too many villains and as confused writing as ever. What’s worse than one Jodie? Three of them.5 December 2021 at 21:37 #72631Cosmo @cosmo
Just finished watching the episode. Very exciting especially with original Cybermen and Daleks appearing. Was quite surprised to see the Sontarans returning after being defeated at the beginning of the series. My Dad was very happy as the Sontarans mentioned the Rutons from the original Tom Baker episode ‘The Horror of Fang Rock’. Also looking forward to New Years Eve special with Daleks with machine gun blasters. Quite shocked to see the trio get exterminated in the next time trailer. Overall, very good season finale.5 December 2021 at 21:39 #72632Anonymous @
@cosmo – no regeneration in next ep, do you read much?5 December 2021 at 21:57 #72633Cosmo @cosmo
@gojodiego Hey, sorry must be a bit behind on information. You obviously know a lot more than me but if I may ask, where do you get the information from? I have done a lot of digging but haven’t found any reports saying if the Doctor will or won’t regenerate. Thanks.5 December 2021 at 21:58 #72634Anonymous @
Just do a web search.5 December 2021 at 22:12 #72635
Still digesting and cogitating as someone else has said it felt as if they were trying to cram too much into the final episode and the way they defeated the ravages I’m sorry it felt a bit like a cop-out defeat to me. The other thing does anyone have the feeling Chibnal was echoing Tenents departure lead up from The Waters of Mars and the Timelord Victorious theme with the way the Saviour character was saying to the Doctor her end was coming.5 December 2021 at 22:30 #726366 December 2021 at 02:52 #72637
By and large, I really enjoyed it. Read somewhere else that it had been planned as 8 or 9 episodes and Covid meant they had to make rapid changes. If true, I understand why some things felt rushed or unresolved. A lot to process, so will return after sleeping on it, but a couple of thoughts:
Of all the characters, the one who seemed to exhibit extraordinary powers/abilities was Diane. Will she return as Diane, or…? Was hoping for more with Bel and Vinder. Kate Stewart seemed a bit underused. I hope she and UNIT return. Professor Jericho died a hero’s death, and my wish-fulfilment desire is that he will become the 14th Doctor (Yes, I know it won’t happen, but still…)6 December 2021 at 04:54 #72638janetteB @janetteb
@blenkinsopthebrave One of the boys came across a rumour that Kevin McNally will be the next Doctor based upon the compelling evidence (by current standards) of a photo of him on set. (this was a few weeks ago so probably before he appeared in the story). I did have a quiet chuckle about that.
Was excited to see in Martin Belam’s review a mention of Kate and UNIT returning. Yay. Something to look forward to when I finally get to watch the series.
I admit to putting if off, in part because I am still a bit sour about the destruction of Gallifrey. It was MOffat’s great legacy, restoring Gallifrey and it felt like a deliberate slight to destroy it again.
Janette6 December 2021 at 11:35 #72639Miapatrick @miapatrick
Doctor’s parentage theory still, I stubbornly assert, yet to be disproved. Nor have my hopes of a RuthDoc regeneration scene completely died. With her encounter with Time, I’m assuming what we’ve been given instead of a tying up of threads is a set up of her final crisis. I wouldn’t expect more than another hint from the New Years special, as those tend to be determinedly lighter, so that gives us two episodes, quite far apart, if Chib’s does intend to resolve the bulk of his story line himself.
There was some agreeable darkness to the Doctors decision. ‘Should we warn the darleks and Cybermen?’ ‘nah, we’ll just wipe out the Sontarens with them’. Obviously it has been made repeatedly clear to the Doctor, and us, that there is no such thing as genocide when there’s time travel but she did rather skip over that line with a grin.6 December 2021 at 12:37 #72640
On the note on the announcement of the first of the specials, as it’s trailer was part of this episode and what I have to say is ‘Really’ another Dalek Christmas/Newyear Special this will make the 3rd Dalek themed special in a row. Ok their cameo appearance as part of the series finale was acceptable as it was part of the overall plot but I’m beginning to think Chibnal is obsessed with using them for specials, and wasn’t Chibnal supposedly not going to use monsters from the who past when he came in.6 December 2021 at 14:10 #72641
“I don’t think you’re going to have time to execute me.” Brilliant.
I have a question. Didn’t the flux destroy most of the universe? And it hasn’t been restored?6 December 2021 at 21:20 #72642MissRori @missrori
@spacely, Yes, most of the universe is gone and not restored — as far as can be told from the text. Many pro reviewers and plenty of folks on the Tweetosphere are pretty shocked and dismayed that the Doctor and her friends apparently don’t care about this (or all the species she killed on the way!)
A theory going round is that Swarm and Azure’s time-rewind abilities already rewound time BEFORE they were destroyed, as part of that torture-the-Doc thing, but that’s only an assumption. (Keep in mind that if they did that, everybody should be back, including Tecteun.) It’s a lapse on the creatives’ part not to make this clear.
Man, poor Twelve got all that guff about saving Clara six years ago and now this…6 December 2021 at 21:31 #72643
…and no master, and no regeneration. I thought for sure memories were going to LEAP out of the watch and create a new doctor in a new way.7 December 2021 at 06:01 #72644
Umm…where is everybody?7 December 2021 at 07:53 #72645MissRori @missrori7 December 2021 at 10:34 #72646Juniperfish @juniperfish
I only managed to watch yesterday and did get a vertiginous sense of kitchen sink. I’m still digesting.
There are elements I’ve appreciated very much about this “mini-series”. I feel Whittaker now fully inhabits the role of the Doctor. Her relationship with Yaz has developed an emotional meaning which anchors relations on board the Tardis. The larger themes have been enticing.
@miapatrick I was shocked by the Doctor’s genocidal decision not to warn the Dalek and the Cybermen fleets about the Sontaran trap.
But I wondered whether that was a signal that the Doctor’s past lives in the Time Watch are closing in on her. Who knows what atrocities she may have committed whilst working for Division. Karvanista’s revelation that he’d been a companion of hers once, who would have done “anything” for her before she summarily left him ,was intriguing. He was clearly a companion to one of her “hidden” selves.
And why did one of these “hidden” Doctors (presumably with Division) destroy Swarm and Azure’s people? Is that also a metaphor, for the Time Lord’s wresting of control of Time from the natural forces of the universe?
I think the Doctor discovering she’s been controlled and used by her Wicked Step-Mother and Division, and more so, steeped in blood whilst doing so, is a brilliant new darkness to add to Time Lord mythology.
It has the possibility to add so much to the Doctor Who narrative, going forward. Stories could take place with past reincarnations of the Doctor (once they’ve been “unveiled” from the watch) as well as with future ones.
For now, no wonder Whit-Doc doesn’t want to know, and entrusts her past to the bowels of the Tardis.
She’s promised a more emotionally open relationship with Yaz – a bit of a huge psychological step for the Doctor! And one that’s clearly doomed. Evidently, she thinks Yaz may not feel the same way about her anymore, once she integrates with her past selves. Certainly that integration will transform her, one way or another.
@miapatrick Yes I’d like it if the Doctor’s parentage thread had evolved. Possibly Bel’s pregnancy was simply there as another metaphor for the birth and death of the universe and the birth and death of Whit-Doc, in the same way that the, rather deliciously saturnine, Grand Serpent was.
The Master, is still in the mix, as the Doctor was warned about him by her swarmy clone.
In a sense, the Master is the Doctor’s child, given that she is the genetic progenitor of Time Lord regenerative abilities.7 December 2021 at 10:53 #72647
Karvanista must be pretty old to have worked with her in the past. Unless she went back on the timeline is and is nearing her previous division selves.7 December 2021 at 19:17 #72648
@blenkinsopthebrave I think in part we’re all trying to organise our thoughts, as I’ve said in other posts I think this season needs to literally seen as a whole as it’s a mini series format this season. I’ve found I’ve liked some episodes more than others especially when there’s been more structure to the episode.
I think part of the problems has been the storyline has appeared to be a bit chaotic because some elements have only became clear in the last 2 episode. Also to be honest I’m still not clear how Swarm and Azure were really necessary to the storyline other than as a red herring and a way of setting up the scene with the Doctor and the ?Savior character.Also Other than Division and its creation of the Flux there’s not really been a big bad of the series that’s really been explained properly. Yes we know that Tectuen was head of Division and the apparent evil stepmother figure of the Doctor but even she was not used to full effect and appeared to be just thrown away, even the Great Serpent was sort of a damp squib in the end.7 December 2021 at 21:11 #72649
@devilishrobby I agree. I think I need to rewatch this season now, from the beginning, and work out my thoughts about this. @juniperfish mentioned a “kitchen sink” vibe, and that’s exactly how I felt. Everything was tied together, but it felt rushed and a little unsatisfying. Yet parts of it were wonderful. I loved the Doctor finally showing us a little something there at the end. I wished that all of the thematic and emotional threads had been pulled together similarly. But maybe that will resonate with me more on second viewing. Fingers crossed!8 December 2021 at 00:45 #72650JimTheFish @jimthefishTime Lord
Well, it’s been a couple of days and I still don’t quite know how I feel about that. But first of all, massive props to the extreme Hartnell-ness of the actual title. Chibs deserves kudos for that, at least.
I’d said before that the overall success of Flux would depend on Chibs being able to stick the landing and needless to say he didn’t manage it. But that’s not so much the problem as him juggling about three or four different landings and just about managing to paste them over the hole. As @juniperfish says, there was something very ‘kitchen sink’ about this and it made for a still strangely enjoyable but ultimately unsatisfying finale.
As @blenkinsopthebrave points out, the story going round is that this was a full series that was cut down because of Covid and that would explain the extreme packedness of these episodes. It suggests that if Chibs had to make cuts then he made some wrong ones because there’s stuff here that just should never have been included. Ultimately the Bel and Vinder stuff didn’t really go anywhere and could easily have been cut (while at the same time we never really got enough of them for me to remotely care about their plight anyway). Similarly, the Grand Serpent infiltrating UNIT, while interesting, could easily have been removed to give Tecteun and the Timeless Child narrative more room to breathe (and let’s face it, it’s a narrative that so ground breaking that it needs attention given to it).
In fact, there’s so much here that it feels even 10 episodes would not have been enough to do it all justice and part of me wonders whether whether Chibs was told/decided he was moving on and tried to cram the rest of his whole ‘five year plan’ into these episodes.
That said, given the manic velocity bordering on incoherence of the finale, I still kind of enjoyed The Vanquishers. It’s certainly miles better than Chibs two previous finales, having at least some sense of rising stakes and urgency (entirely lacking from Av Kolos) and also avoiding the tedious passivity of the Timeless Children. The whole series benefits from a nice Guardians of the Galaxy vibe and benefited from a roster of likeable/interesting characters. With Jericho, Claire, Karavanista, Dan, even Tecteun, Flux has introduced more memorable characters than the rest of Chibs’s run put together. I certainly hope that by some jiggery pokery we get to see Jericho again. I was convinced that he was going to return to 1901 to look after Peggy, maybe burdened with the heavy knowledge that he already knew what the next decades held in store. His death seemed rather perfunctory too. Given that they’d spend three years with him and embarked on a number of globetrotting adventures together, I would have expected at least Dan and Yaz to be be a bit more cut up about his death. Karavanista would be welcome to return too. He feels very like Chibs’s version of Strax in many ways. Certainly it feels like he and the Doctor have some unresolved business.
There were weak points though. As I said, Bel and Vinder never really came alive for me. The return of Kate Stewart felt kind of pointless too. As was Di, whose throughout the series was to do nothing but to be there to dump Dan at the end. She seemed just a bit too tech savvy for a museum tour guide while inside Passenger and her coming up with the solution in the TARDIS at the end seemed like a bit of a leap. It felt very like she’d been given some lines that would have been a more natural fit for Yaz. (On which note, the Doctor’s apparently heartsfelt joy at being reunited with Yaz seemed to suggest a leaning into the whole Thasmin thing which it might be nice to see a bit more of.)
But as others have pointed out, there’s a hell of a lot of loose ends here. The universe has been left in a severely depleted/destroyed state and I agree that the Doctor seemed remarkably OK with leaving it that way, and with the casual genocide of the Daleks and Cybermen (it’s as if the 50th anniversary never happened). And we didn’t really even get the canon reset that looked as if it might have been about to happen. It’ll be interesting to see where the following specials go, whether Chibs has plans for the fob watch or whether the Timeless Child arc has been kicked down the road for RTD fix later.
But I have a feeling that there’s at least something being set up for the end of Whittaker’s run/the 60th anniversary and that’s Omega. Surely, having three Doctors (another quibble might be that I’m not sure JW quite sold the three Docs thing either) in this episode and the fact that the plot hinged on matter being turned to anti-matter and vice versa suggest that he’s going to be the Big Bad for 13’s swan song. The prophecy of ‘their Master’ returning seems a little obvious and on-the-nose and must surely be a misdirect. Mind you, this is Chibs we’re talking about.8 December 2021 at 00:51 #72651
@devilishrobby Yes, the lack of a big bad (unless Chibnall brings in Time at the end to say that time itself is the big bad–and that sounds ridiculous even as I write it) has been a problem. Absolutely agree with what you say about the less-than big bads that are jammed together–Swarm, Azure, Tecteun, the Grand Serpent. The only one that had any back story was Teucteun, and she was jettisoned unceremoniously.
I have found the experience of watching each episode enjoyable–they have been done with a sense of verve, with good actors, stunning make up(!) and great visuals. In that sense, I have enjoyed watching them. But the further away from each episode I get the more questions and criticisms I have with the story telling.8 December 2021 at 07:41 #72653Miapatrick @miapatrick
@juniperfish yes there was, behind the exuberance, a kind of cold pragmatism behind the Doctors actions. Rather than prevent two genosides, make it three. a heartfelt sorry to Karavanista and the realisation that the Doctor abandoned him (there was a double meaning I think when he said ‘if I talk about it I’ll die’, literally, I have no doubt, but other kinds of pain as well) soon turns into ‘whelp, off you go on adventures with these two, you’ll learn to like it’ when if there is one thing the Doctor understands feeling (even if it was never quite true) is that you are the last of your kind. If this was under RTD or Moffart, a companion would have pulled the Doctor up over all of this by now. It’s interesting, though, if Chibs has balanced out Moffat’s presentation of the first female Master being in a sense the most redeemable and emphatic (even if she hadn’t turned GUD!) with the first female Doctor (and a second bonus past female Doctor) one of the most disturbing and problematic. I’m not completely confident that’s what he’s getting at though.
So all he’s really done so far with the Timeless Child is present it from the Doctors prospective – less Messiah, more kidnaped and abused child, and yes, that’s helped. And set up that interaction between Time, and the Timeless child who is also the creator of the Time Lords, and there is a lot that can be interesting in that, I just wonder what he’s going to manage in three episodes, widely spaced, one of which is a New Years Day one featuring Elves.
Yay we saved the universe. Only they saved what was left of the universe. Does the universe now end just beyond that side of the earth? And why have that whole thing about reversing and replaying the flux, if the damage the flux had done so far wasn’t going to get reversed?
One thing I did like was quite good use of humans, even if there were so many, so quickly, it was hard to bond with them. This felt like the final series of a somewhat different run. I liked Graham and Ryan’s story very much. But it didn’t do so very much for the overall story arc, and then you get a whole bunch of people extremely important to this who we barely know. But I like that the humans were resilient, clever, and I like that there was more to saving the day than the Doctor telling them what to do. If this was all his plan from the beginning he didn’t do much other than seed ‘Timeless child, missing memories’ reveal what it meant at the end of the last series and then put most of the story into these episodes
@jimthefish re the Grand Serpent. I liked the character, I actually checked he wasn’t an old who thing, he seemed quite retro, down to the name, but I agree that he didn’t do much in the story. And yes this did rather have the feel of the last season of a cancelled series. Rather like the last few episodes of Dollhouse.
Overall, like a few of you, I enjoyed this series. It was a massive improvement, it was magnificently made. It did not resolve the story but apart from that the individual parts worked pretty well. I have a little more respect for Chibs for at least rising my expectations though I might have over-stated his ambition, he’s done a lot here, and a lot of the flaws I see are only flaws if he doesn’t tie them up over the next year. But I’m all too aware of the very strong possibility that he won’t in fact tie them up over the next year. I’m looking forward to binging it. I maintain, that this series tips too far towards binging to completely work as Doctor Who, and I don’t think that’s me and my viewing habits, the Disney MCU shows work fine week by week. I think even binged it will be a very long film with a slightly disappointing, but enjoyable last act.
But it’s been fun watching and talking about it. I’ve a lot of criticism, but I’ve had a good time.9 December 2021 at 05:54 #72654
I have been contemplating “The Flux” as a whole story told over six episodes. I am still contemplating, and I have already (as others have) expressed thoughts on the whole story. But…I think it requires a dedicated blog. I am contemplating it, but would also be keen if others wanted to jump in before me.
A quick preview: looked fabulous, was lots of fun from week to week, but was ludicrously frustrating in terms of plot, and character development, and motivation, and coherence, and…9 December 2021 at 08:19 #72655
This wrap-up was crazy-making. I’d re-watch to see if it could be made sense of, but I think I’d rather chew rocks. It’s almost as if Chibnal said to himself, “So, they thought my first two runs were flat, simplistic, and slow, did they? I’ll show ’em!”
Well, he showed me, anyway. There was much too much going on, much too fast for necessary connections to be made, and too many characters being moved around fast enough to give you whiplash, along too many plot lines, and no discernible reason for any of these people to be there at all. So there’s a talking wookie who howls after his entire species has been wiped out and then stands around while other people talk; this Grand Serpent — what’s he doing there? Is sticking him on a chunk of rock about as big as a Dodge Ram in the middle of space a death sentence? Does he breath dark matter and eat asteroids? Can he fly off to do other dastardly deeds if he wants to?Does anybody know, or care? Then there are these tall metal golems that stand around and serve as — transport for prisoners or something? You get locked in there and it’s like a grandiose and utterly unimaginative setting for “Aida”, with no cast and no orchestra. Two skull-faced nasties like to kill universes and bring them back to life for fun — only they’re prevented, so they “ascend” to something or someplace in apparent ecstasy? Couldn’t they just have done that in the first place?
There are no stakes here. Flux the hell out of this universe and everybody in it, and the Doctor — our Doctor — doesn’t even blink? Never mind, just move on to the universe next door. This Doctor has no heart, no soul, no wit, no wisdom, no remorse, no memory, and no kindness. It’s retrograde time travel — the show is as shallow as “Buck Rogers in the 21st Century”. Remember that one? Never mind, just watch this.
The thing is, there’s not enough connective narrative tissue to make one satisfying or even comprehensible story, let alone a workable conclusion of half a dozen plot lines. Things just *happen*! And then there are these two star-crossed, generic young lovers, unfailingly cheerful as they get slung around from here to there just missing each other until they get slung together again, and — ??? Lots of guns, lots of potted potato men showing up bellowing threats just as something enlightening might be about to happen or get said (or not) — and a grown-up looking woman with one arm (who’s she?), and a bit of Kate L-S explaining some things.
At least Whittaker achieved a few Doctor-ish chops at last, having been relieved of her duties as a teacher taking a small, rather dull class (or “fam”) on some occasionally interesting outings. Better yet, this “arc” is over, I hope to God. It would help if Whittaker could drop her speaking voice to a somewhat lower register and nix the capri pants + clown shoes; but no, not gonna happen. It might help if there were anything memorable about the music (there was music, right? I don’t remember a note of it, or any sound design to speak of at all).
I figure if I can hold out for another couple of years, there might actually be something worth watching again called “Doctor Who”. But I hear that about half the fans seem to be happy with this current stuff, so . . . who knows? Maybe I’m just too old for this now, never mind for it a couple of years on.
Maybe Davis can do something grand with what’s left. I hope so. Meantime, Chibnal has succeeded in this, at least; I am definitely vanquished, and will now go quietly to wherever people who rant go when they’ve ranted themselves out. I hope there’s cake, at least (C-ake, for effort; I tried, I really did).9 December 2021 at 13:09 #72660Juniperfish @juniperfish
@ichabod – your characterisation and frustration did make me smile 🙂
I do appreciate feeling slightly crazed (as above) by the kitchen-sinkyness of it all. Some of the mystery I liked, however, because the universe is mysterious, after all.
I mean yes, totally, what was The Grand Serpent’s motivation? He seems to have been a dictator on Vinder’s home planet and he infiltrated/ contributed to the founding of UNIT on Earth and was working with the Sontaarans because??? He wanted to be Grand Serpent of the universe?
I think he was meant to be a representation of every petty megalomaniac tyrant to ever have cursed the ordinary folk – a snakey space Trump.
He works metaphorically in a way he doesn’t work logically. If we see him as a manifestation of Ouroboros, the eternal birth, death and rebirth of the universe, aligned with the forces of destruction, then he has been exiled to contemplate his incomplete ruination on a space rock, because, even from the ashes of destruction wrought by a megalomaniac power-tripping dictator, life rises again. What do binary demi-species eat though? Space dust?
Azure and Swarm, who claim to represent Time, whose people were destroyed (according to them) by the Doctor and Division, and their mysterious skull-like passenger-forms (which seemed very like Time-Lord techy) were very intriguing.
Tecteun used them (by “injecting them like poison”) to try and destroy the universe she was done with. It seems as if they were natural agents of entropy (destruction) and of “free time” before the Time-Lords wrested control of time itself, using the Doctor’s “Timeless Child” DNA.
The figure of Time in Doctor form, who dissolved Azure and Swarm at the end of The Vanquishers – was she a member of their species? A mythic embodiment of Time Herself?
The title of the episode, “The Vanquishers”, made me think about war poetry, which frequently speaks of “the vanquished”. Like Laurence Binyon’s famous WW1 poem, “For the Fallen”, which speaks of the dead as immortal, as timeless now:
………….. (this isn’t the full poem)
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning.
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Nietzsche said (in Human, All Too Human 1878-80) “Against war it may be said that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished revengeful. In favour of war, it may be said that it barbarises in both its above-named results, and thereby makes more natural; it is the sleep or the winter period of culture; man emerges from it with greater strength for good and for evil”.
So, there is a sense in which the partial destruction of the universe has created powerful motivation for revenge, e.g. in Karvanista as the sole survivor of his species, in any of the Sontaarans, Daleks and Cybermen who may remain (none of whom are going to be best pleased with the Doctor, right?). And also, out of the ruins and the ashes, new possibilities.
It seems the Timeless Child must join with the Time Watch which contains the multitudes of her past selves. Who will she become, in the process?13 December 2021 at 11:16 #72664
@juniperfish — Thanks for the explanations! I completely missed the Azure and Swarm thing about their species being wiped out by the Doctor and Division: when? Which Doctor? And why? The Doctor, whichever one, tried to wipe out TIME? What the hell? Surely the Doctor – *any* Doctor — would know better than to try to do that, and then botch it so that two pissed-off Time-people are left? And what the hell is wrong with Tecteun? She just seems flat out nuts. What’s attractive about another (completely unknown) universe?
I just don’t get any of it. But I thank you for trying — I’d seriously try to think my way through this, but it really feels a bit like the tornadoes that just flattened a swathe of the US SE — stuff flying through the air, and nothing left but flat land covered with busted-up junk. Or like any dimwitted superhero comic/movie/ where anything can happen and it doesn’t matter because none of it means anything, and any disaster can be reversed by a snap of the fingers, any old fingers, or not, and any dead character can pop up again because, why not?
In some ways, maybe it’s exactly true to these strange and chaotic times we live in. Maybe. Maybe I’m just too old to to make any sense of it, when I see these whirlwinds tearing our real world apart and we know exactly why it’s happening, and why we as a species are not going to pull the will and vision together to adapt and make something livable for humans (and any other remaining sizable mammals) of the aftermath.
The Timeless Child is nothing to me; I can’t find any meaning in it. The Time Watch is just a monkey wrench to throw into the hitherto sturdy, flexible, and lusciously mysterious framework of the Doctor’s past. I just want the destructive tornado of Chibnuts to stop. And it won’t; three specials to go, THREE. How much more damage is this ruinous bastard going to be allowed to do? I feel insulted for my universe, that’s not good enough any more, so let’s shamble on over there to that one, whatever it is, and lurch around in a patchwork notion of another universe looking for something to blow up, or six more alien species to murder except for a few vengeful remnants for the sake of somebody’s idea of plot.
Okay, gonna shut up now. One and a half glasses of white, and it’s 4 a.m., and to hell with it. Love alla you guys, but I think I’m way past my limit now . . . Cheers! Or something.13 December 2021 at 12:50 #72666Whisht @whisht
Well, it’s been a week or so since I saw it and I’ve nothing to add.
Which is ironic, as it didn’t stop Chibnell adding everything even if it wasn’t that relevant.
@ichabod – I agree. You said it better than I and have left me smiling ;¬)
@blenkinsopthebrave – oh, do write a blog if you want, I’ll read it!
@juniperfish – agree with everything you say too.
But did I miss a character (urgh do I have to re-watch?).
Anyway, going to scuttle off to the Music thread to see if I can make anything from the leftovers from the Vanquishers.13 December 2021 at 17:19 #72669JimTheFish @jimthefishTime Lord
Just to say to @blenkinsopthebrave that the blog is an excellent idea. Flux has given much to chew over (albeit in a gristly rawhide kind of way). I’ll look forward to reading it.15 December 2021 at 00:07 #72675Missy @missy
I figure if I can hold out for another couple of years, there might actually be something worth watching again called “Doctor Who”. But I hear that about half the fans seem to be happy with this current stuff, so . . . who knows? Maybe I’m just too old for this now, never mind for it a couple of years on.
If only! You are not too old, simply discerning. I too look forward (fingers crossed) to the real Doctor Who returning to our screens.
JW always sounded like this, she hasn’t the talent to do otherwise..
Missy15 December 2021 at 02:26 #72678
@blenkinsopthebrave The blog sounds like a great idea. You write it and I will read it!
stay safe.15 December 2021 at 03:35 #72679
@missy — thanks; here’s hoping! And here’s hoping this link works, for a long and interesting look-back with Moffat that sounds as if was taped just before Chibnal’s seasons started.15 December 2021 at 09:59 #72681
@ichabod Yes, the link worked!
There’s a couple of other Q&A’s with the Moff, one at Oxford Union
and one with Mark Gatiss at the Cambridge Union
so I guess I now know where this evening will have gone 🙂15 December 2021 at 10:00 #72682
Oops, here’s the link to the Cambridge Union one15 December 2021 at 10:20 #72683
@ichabod Actually, that Q&A that you linked to (featuring the Moff with a minimalist beard) was, from the context, recorded after the return of Russel Davies had been announced. So, quite recently.16 December 2021 at 07:45 #72686
@dentarthurdent Thanks, Arthur. I couldn’t find a date on it, which I thought was weird.16 December 2021 at 10:18 #72689
Did you all see the article on the possibility that his granddaughter could come back and help fix the Canon?16 December 2021 at 23:45 #72690Missy @missy
Link worked beautifully.
Interesting interview – as is usually the case when Mr. M takes the stage. *grins*
I must say that the facial hair suits him.
Now to watch Mark Gatiss – lovely man. His “Goodbye darling.” when Una Stubbs died, brought tears to my eyes.
Missy28 December 2021 at 15:44 #72712
@blenkinsopthebrave A quick preview: looked fabulous, was lots of fun from week to week, but was ludicrously frustrating in terms of plot, and character development, and motivation, and coherence, and…
Sadly, I agree. I had such high hopes, because the storyline had the potential to wrap up with a satisfying conclusion … and then didn’t. Part 1 set the stage: Too many characters, too much far-flung plotting, too little coherence between all the different threads. And, most importantly, too little real urgency or depth of feeling between the characters who matter to us.
I wanted to like it, but in the end I felt frustrated, as I have through much of Thirteen’s run. It’s such a shame, because it didn’t have to be this way. It’s easy to blame Chibnall, but part of me wonders about the “too many cooks in the kitchen” curse. Would it have been better, stretched out into eight episodes rather than six? I’d like to think so, but there’s been precious little in what I’ve seen to make me believe that.28 December 2021 at 19:54 #72713
@nerys I think you may have in part hit the nail on the head the whole series series felt too rushed. In some part I think some of the COVID restrictions will have had some effect on production and I suspect Upper Management at the BeeB may have a had their sticky fingers in the pie so to speak so your comment about too many cooks is very apt.28 December 2021 at 21:00 #72714
@devilishrobby It had a bit of a Marvel Comics vibe to it, didn’t it? It struck me as a feeble attempt to capture the spirit of The Avengers (the Marvel Studios film, which I haven’t seen … not the TV series starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg, which I love). It just felt like this big mob of characters stuck together in an overly convoluted plot. I never got a chance to really feel the danger the Doctor or her companions were in. When that’s lacking, it’s hard to commit to their situation and root for them to come out of it OK. I find it especially disappointing, since early on I thought this season might be heading in the right direction. Then, with the finale, it all just fell flat.
Which is such a strange experience with Doctor Who. I am a post-gap viewer, and while there might have been a hiccup here and there, I can’t recall feeling such a prolonged stretch of ennui with any Doctor or companion, starting with Chris Eccleston and continuing all the way up through Peter Capaldi. Fingers crossed that the new RTD regime can right the ship!31 December 2021 at 02:29 #72719
@nerys and @blenkinsopthebrave I finally got to watch the whole thing in a ad free binge over 2 days and I will watch again soon as it needs a few viewings to catch it all. My first impression is that it looks great with lots of special effects and even better period scenes with wonderful costumes. I liked the look of the dog alien but not so much the skull heads. I liked Dan and he took to the Tardis like a duck to water. The travels he takes with Yaz and the professor were probably my favourite part of the whole thing. I liked the couple looking for and finding each other at the end. There were a lot of things to like about this series, the cast,the acting, the baddies and JW as the 13th doctor. She was very much the Doctor and some of her scenes made me very happy.
But…….there was just so much going on that left me feeling like I had turned on a different show. Instead of the Doctor flying around in the Tardis helping people everywhere she went, in fact going where the Tardis thought she should be. She now travels around looking for her back story. I call it “Doctor Who: The Origin Story”. It reminds me of the X-Men series running chronologically until you get to Wolverine which is his origin story. It was a good movie and I liked it but it made no difference to the X-Men movies. It didn’t advance that story or change how I felt about Wolverine(I love him) and after watching it I went back to the X-Men movies in the right order. I hope that makes sense to someone.
So although I liked it and I will probably understand it all after a few viewings, it feels like a prequel and it looks as if the Doctor will pick herself up,dust herself off and start all over again as if it never happened. She even threw the watch, her story, into the centre of the Tardis! What?
I guess we have the New Years episode soon so who nose what will happen.
Stay safe31 December 2021 at 02:44 #72720
I would add to the above that while yesterday I watched Rose and then Listen I will never be able to just watch one of the episodes in this series by itself. None are stand alone episodes and watching all 6 episodes takes a bit more time and commitment. They won’t be re-watched very often and that is a shame because watching over and over again is how I get to really know and love a Doctor.
Play safe16 October 2022 at 14:11 #73523
‘With one bound, (s)he was free’ – but twice over? Yaz and the Doctor escaping in the first few seconds of the episode.
If the Lupari shield completely surrounds Earth, how is there daylight under it? And how did the Sontaran ships get to Peru? What are they doing inside the shield? Did I miss something?
(Urgh. The Doctor is being annoyingly chatty again. VERY annoyingly chatty. As Yaz says, normal service resumed. Regrettably).
Apparently the world is full of Sontarans. So what exactly was the Lupari shield doing? Oh, and Sontarans use psychics, and are total chocolate addicts – who knew? And how convenient. This is Chibbers rewriting canon again, isn’t it?
And Karvanista is an ex-companion of the Doctor’s, but he can’t talk about it or he will be instantly killed (as he explains at some length – do I see a contradiction here?)
And in the time it took for Karvanista’s ship to reach the Sontaran HQ in Peru, apparently the Sontarans have captured all seven billion Lupari ships and killed their crew, all without Karvanista getting word of it? Seriously? How?
Why do the Sontarans think that predicting the location of the final Flux event will give them any sort of win? And how would human psychics know the location anyway?
Two Doctors. Twice as annoying. You need Moff’s skill to exploit the humour in that (Day of the Doctor comes to mind) but sadly, Chibbers ain’t Moff.
Oh, the Sontarans plan to use the Daleks and Cybermen to soak up the anti-matter Flux. Who would have thought they were such master strategists. But though Karvanista didn’t know that all his fellow doggies were being killed on board their ships, he apparently still had remote control of all 7 billion ships…
And what happened to “We have to stop the Sontaran plan with the Grand Serpent.” How that was going to work, I don’t think we ever found out.w
So… have I got this right? – Chibbers has now destroyed all the Time Lords (except the Doctor and the Master); all the Lupari (except one, but we never saw any others anyway); the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Sontarans. And also most of the Universe.
Oh, except for the 7 billion or so Sontarans currently unconscious in the Lupari ships. That’s going to be awkward.
This was just too much, too apocalyptic. Pretty much the opposite extreme from Blue Teeth Boy in Jodie episode one. But beyond a certain point, it ceases to have any emotional impact. It appears that the Doctor is indirectly responsible for all the destruction. And Division, because they couldn’t control the Doctor, threw all their toys out of the cot (or rather, blew them up). Isn’t that a bit of an over-reaction? I much preferred the Doctor as a normal being, just a ‘madman with a box’.
By far the best episode of the series was the most limited, Village of the Angels.19 October 2022 at 13:29 #73550
… and now, having read through all the comments on this page, it seems I had the same reaction as almost everybody else. Too many story threads, too many loose ends, too much disaster going on. There were some good stories in there, but the way they were split up made it hard to feel any emotional involvement. Bel and Vinder, for example – perfectly good story, but at five minutes per episode, who cares? This is one reason I never watch soaps – if there’s an interesting story thread, you only get five minutes of it interspersed with other stuff, then you have to wait a week for the next five minutes. It’s just acutely frustrating. And so it was in this series.
Yaz and her companions, stuck in 1904, were another sub-thread that could have been good – as a standalone episode. (The Nepalese hermit for example, was a most amusing character). But it all fell flat and felt hard to take seriously because it felt like an irrelevant diversion from the main story thread.
The Angels episode was by far the most satisfying of the series, partly because it was more coherent and focused (and less apocalyptic – and that is a statement that’s only valid in the context of this series!) Possibly because it was co-written with a writer who was not Chibnall? That sounds snarky but I mean it seriously.
The production values and the CGI were generally excellent, as we’ve come to expect these days. (If only old Who had had one tenth the effects budget and one-tenth the image processing power).
I think, if one took all the raw footage, re-shot a few connecting scenes, and ruthlessly re-cut and re-shuffled the entire series, somebody could make six reasonably coherent linked episodes out of it.
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