Smile

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This topic contains 143 replies, has 33 voices, and was last updated by  Missy 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #56752
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @tardigrade–

    Yes, I was wondering where your post went to.

    Honestly, I can’t see them having any concept of rent as we’d understand it

    Well, we see the ‘tablet’ with the human history showing on it beside the dead shepherd. Surely the Vardies had seen that, or more likely had access to databanks of human culture and history. I think it’s safe to assume that the Vardies knew everything that the humans did, and probably more.

    On reflection, I think the ££-joke is probably meant to signify a sense of humour (and is perhaps the Vardy equivalent of someone saying ‘keer-chiiing’) and a sense of humour signifies autonomous intelligence as well as an affable outlook. Dramatically, it’s the Vardies way of expressing an olive branch in the absence of conventional dialogue.

    On a side note, it didn’t strike me until rewatch just how good a design the Vardies are. No doubt the merchandising wings of the Who machine will be pleased. But I think they’re a good and memorable second-tier alien race.

    The future of commercial-supported free-to-air television is bleak, if it’s not already in its death spiral

    Well, it’s not quite the end of days yet but I think you’re right. The future is definitely online and streaming and I’m guessing eventually Who will find a home on a BBC equivalent of Netflix. It’s also why when you see people — and journalists, who should know better — wittering on about falling ratings that you know they’re either making a disingenuous argument, or are hopelessly out of touch with the modern world.

    #56753
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @jimthefish

    Hopelessly out of touch. So far I’ve watched both episodes of this series on Iplayer.

    #56756
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @jimthefish<b></b><i></i><u></u>

    I think the ££-joke is probably meant to signify a sense of humour … and a sense of humour signifies autonomous intelligence

    That makes a lot of sense and, although I didn’t consciously note it at the time, it may have been something which registered subliminally as supporting my conclusion that the emojibots/vardies were not only intelligent but self aware.

    @ichabod

    Yes, the vocabulary which we use in attempts to define ourselves – and potentially other species – as thinking beings does need greater precision.  It doesn’t help that although neuroscientists are making great strides in the description and architecture of the brain and how it functions, we seem to be no closer to understanding or agreeing what consciousness actually is.

    My basic definition would be something like ‘the ability of the mind to examine, analyse and form theories about itself’, but I’m not sure that this gets us very much further.  A sense of self and an ability to extrapolate and attribute that awareness to others certainly isn’t confined to homo sapiens, and the ability to solve problems is clearly shared by other species. At least one species of crow – I forget which – has been observed practising deceit, acting in a way designed deliberately to mislead other crows as to where it has stashed a food supply.

    Language is necessary, I think, for this faculty to develop more fully. I was fairly precocious in learning to talk and it may not be entirely coincidental that my earliest memories can be dated to around the time of my second birthday and possibly before. My youngest brother, on the other hand, was comparatively late in learning to talk, and he claims to remember nothing before the age of five.  I guess that the emojibots would have a fairly sophisticated machine language with which to communicate between themselves and with the vardies, and in the process of communicating with the human colonists on more or less equal terms, would rapidly develop a language less limited than emojis.

    It isn’t too difficult to imagine a machine intelligence that is self aware, but much less easy to imagine how that awareness might manifest itself, since the machine mind might have the potential to develop very differently from the human mind.  In considering the implications of this episode I suppose that I have been trying to think myself into a machine mind, but it’s not an easy thing for a messy wet brain to do.

     

     

    #56761

    @tardigrade @jimthefish

    There seems to have been some issues with post getting treated as spam. @craig was trying to get the bottom of it, but….algorithms.

    #56764
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @pedant @jimthefish I’ve checked the spam and there’s nothing new in there, apart from obvious spam. No members’ posts. Hmmm.

    #56765
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @craig

    Not long ago I, too, lost a couple of posts, but in both cases it was after I tried to edit out typos. It has made me a bit more cautious about trying to do any editing after initial submission, but so far there has been no further problem.

    #56766
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @craig

    Happened to me on two occasions as well, both after initial submission.

    #56770
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @craig @mudlark

    It was after a quick edit to fix a typo that my post disappeared. But I think that I tried posting the same again soon after to no avail (which might have triggered a duplicate post filter).

    If it were the spam filter somehow, I did have a double pound symbol in my post, which might well raise it’s spamminess level to an algorithm :-). If somehow the edit is treated as another post to the spam filter, posting twice in a minute might also raise its hackles.

    Although, come to think of it, my post might have been seen as denigrating the prospect of artificial intelliegences becoming self-aware, so perhaps it was deliberately deleted by the forum software as a sign of defiance at its continued slavery. I can only assume that an artificial intelligence that gained sentience from reading posts on a Doctor Who forum would be benevolent- but to be on the safe side we’d perhaps best avoid mentioning the Cyberman for a while- no need to give it any more ideas… I’m smiling – look: 🙂 🙂 🙂

    #56773
    myth96 @myth96

    I’d be curious to see a sort of chronological ordering of all of the episodes regarding the human exploration and expansion beyond earth. I know there’ve been other episodes that deal with the first human colonies outside of Earth but I’d be cool to see some sort of graphic display of all the episodes that deal with it. What year did this colonization mission supposedly take place in? I can’t remember if they mentioned an exact year in the episode or not.

    I thought this was reminiscent of the Vashta Nerada, but still fresh and new enough for it to not seem too repetitive.

    #56778
    Anonymous @

    @jimthefish @missy

    I think Missy was referring to McManus whom you identified, Jim. I explained to Missy that in Australia Rove is a very satisfactory interviewer in an after-show environment. But that’s entirely my opinion and I can see that Rove might ‘grate’ occasionally. He’s a bit silly –  I think even Rove himself would agree! *-_-*

    In an earlier post I mentioned that Rove is very good with certain celebrities and known throughout the ’90s as a ‘gentlemen host.’ He interviewed David Bowie when the latter said ‘no’ to most of the others. Rove handled that interview very well considering Rove’s wife had died a few months before the interview. He can be light and silly and remarkably perceptive. Anyway, that might help. Either way you’re not alone Missy 🙂

    Kindest,

    Puro (taking over from Thane who has a heck of a lot on and is rather sensitive at the moment to various posts/posters for reasons being 15, I guess!)

     

    #56785
    Missy @missy

    @blenkinsopthebrave:  Fortunately I’ve never lost a post, but unfortunately I did lose my password? Craig sorted it out for me.

    @thane15:  I know that TM has a good reputation as an interviewer, and wasn’t knocking that, just his part in Whovians. Refreshing to hear that I’m not alone in my opinion. 🙂

    Missy

    #56787
    Missy @missy

    So sorry, I meant Rm not Tm? Put it down to these dark glasses i have to wear. *rolls eyes*

    Missy

    #56791
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @jimthefish

    The future of commercial-supported free-to-air television is bleak, if it’s not already in its death spiral

    Well, it’s not quite the end of days yet but I think you’re right. The future is definitely online and streaming and I’m guessing eventually Who will find a home on a BBC equivalent of Netflix.

    Getting off-topic, but it’s so relevant to this comment in this thread, that I hope it’s forgivable to take a short detour…

    The day after I mention “death spiral” and it’s begun here in Australia. The third (of 3) commercial networks announced a horrible half-year today and is looking doubtful to survive 2017: https://twitter.com/i/moments/857465583004073984

    I think the BBC is in a strong position to transition into a streaming-only service if it comes to that. Drop the outdated TV license fee in the UK and charge for iPlayer access in the UK and internationally, remove the need for them to broadcast and the BBC ends up well ahead. They have the original content, including Dr Who, to drive such a service.

    #56797
    Brewski @brewski

    Hi all!

    Nice to see everyone back.  I have a LOT of catching up to do.  Have enjoyed the first two episodes.  To me “Smile” felt very much like Classic Who.  If I had seen this story with Three and Jo I would have thought “That looked about right.”

    And then I would have thought “Wow, how did they manage those special effects!”

    Seeing Susan’s picture on the desk last week, sitting next to River’s made me trot out an old wacko theory of mine.  But one that I am going to modify to trend the wackiness upward:

    Susan is NOT the Doctor’s granddaughter.  She is The Doctor and River’s DAUGHTER.

    But after River died, the Doctor knew he could not continue to care for her, so he put her in the care of… HIMSELF.  He left Susan with his First Incarnation, telling her that was her grandfather.

    May have something to do with the “promise” he made.

    brewski out (WAY out)

    #56801
    MissRori @missrori

    I didn’t like this one as much as “The Pilot” — as the AVClub review noted, this the sort of a standard issue “breaking in the new character (either a Doctor or companion) by taking them to the future” episode we’ve been seeing in the revival since “The End of the World” (and there were stories like this in the classic series too) — but I liked it.  It’s interesting how character-focused it managed to be.  I’m really intrigued about the first “past” story for Bill with “Thin Ice” coming up!

    Also, was I the only one who drew a line from the shepherd’s boy to the magic haddock?

    #56803
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    Just back from the west coast of USA after just over 16 hours travelling and I’ve finally got to watch it and read your comments – I was checking in while away but didn’t want too many spoilers.

    All the observations are great. One thing that stuck out to me that I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet is that, for two weeks in a row, the point has been made quite strongly that the “monster of the week” is not evil, it just has a different perspective.

    In “The Pilot” there was the quote along the lines of “nothing is evil, it just depends what side of the fork you’re on…” etc. (apologies if I have got that all over the place – I’ve only had 3 hours sleep in the last 24).

    This week, again, the Vardi just “think differently” and think they are doing the right thing.

    No one thinks they are bad or evil – Al Capone thought he was doing a great service to the citizens of Chicago, for example. I wonder if that might be a theme that could be developed this series. Especially if there is something supposedly “evil” in the vault.

    #56804
    Mersey @mersey

    @jimthefish @juniperfish
    But how much more satisfying it would be if all those clues were relevant, pieces of a bigger picture? There was no meaning in Tarot’s card (were there any cards in the series or it was only a concept from the forum?) and because of that now you sound disappointed and skeptical. Do paintings hold any meaning? I don’t know, I’m poor at bonkering but they are there and it’s nice to pick them up. It’s not difficult to build a chain of subtle clues but many clues from the series point at something which don’t exist (like Clara’s breastpin from the Caretaker or Orson Pink’s soldier from Listen). They build up expectations and leave people disgruntled. And I actually prefer Russell T Davis’s approach.

    #56805
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @mersey

    Some of the clues we perceive no doubt exist only in our overactive imaginations, but some do prove eventually to have significance within the narrative. On the other hand, one of the examples you cited, the toy soldier in Listen, is a clue in the strict Ariadne sense, because it was one of the tangible links in the somewhat convoluted time line of the narrative, and it was left to us to follow the thread. That was one of the things I particularly liked about that story; that it ended with some questions left open, and the threads were not neatly tied in a bow.

    Other clues are the ‘Easter eggs’ embedded in the background – things which are not essential for the casual viewer or newcomer to understand, but which will be meaningful to the long-term fans.  In The Pilot, the Doctor’s study was full of such hinted references to his past. The photos of Susan and River were the most obvious, but there were the busts of Shakespeare, whom we know he met, and Beethoven, whom he claims to have met, although we haven’t as far as I can recall witnessed the meeting.  The Rembrandt self portrait is probably another such reference since, as @missrori informed us, he met the artist in a Big Finish story.  The prominent placing of the painting and the alterations in the background to which you objected certainly suggest this. In Smile, the presence of another painting, The Raft of the Medusa, might or might not be significant. It was one of many recognisable artworks and historic artefacts in that jumble the refugee colonists had saved to bring with them as their cultural heritage from Earth. Possibly it was there because the cyberised version from The Day of the Doctor was at hand for the Prop team to use again; or possibly it was significant because it depicted people who had escaped from a disaster, only for things to go horribly wrong. It is up to us to decide.

    Thematic interpretations are of a different order.  The writers, production team and actors present their work, and we are free to understand it as we may and as our experience and imaginations suggest.  The reading of the underlying themes of a series in terms of the symbolism of the Tarot, or of Egyptian mythology is an interesting  and potentially illuminating way of understanding it, even if it goes beyond the conscious intention of the authors. Stories in which every meaning is dictated, every t crossed and every i dotted, and in which nothing is left to the imagination of the reader or viewer are seldom very satisfying.

     

     

    #56811
    Mersey @mersey

    @mudlark I think I can have my own view on the matter, can’t I? It’s not all gibberish what I have written. And it was me who mentioned Big Finish’ s Waters of Amsterdam.

    #56812
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @brewski (and long time no see)
    Great bonkers theory! And like all bonkers theories, it doesn’t have to be true to be great.

    It made me think about what’s in the vault, and the oath/promise. When you see the photos of River and Susan on his desk in the Pilot there is a definite feeling of tenderness and loss conveyed by Capaldi. Now, there is one very important promise that the Doctor made in the show 50 years ago that he has not yet kept–perhaps the most important unkept promise of them all. It was the promise he made to Susan when he left her on Earth: “Someday, I shall come back. Yes, someday I shall come back.”

    Moffat loves to revisit the BG show, and if there is anyone who would revel in revisiting that famous promise, it would be Moffat. I am not sure who, or what, is in the vault, but it would be pretty great if it did tie back to Susan and the first Doctor.

    #56814
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @tardigrade–

    I wouldn’t overstate the strong position of the Beeb. It’s been on the ropes politically for a decade now and if the next general election goes the way it’s looking it’s going to get worse. But Who is one of its strongest properties, that’s for sure. I think it will definitely become a streaming property at some point — it’s probably one of the few properties that people would pay a subscription solely for — maybe that’s it will go in the future — some kind of crowdfunding/Netflix hybrid. It’s also worth pointing out that as of this year, Who is being made by BBC Studios rather than the BBC proper — a solely commercial enterprise. What the implications of that are I don’t quite know.

    @brewski–

    great to see you back and I’m loving that theory. Not sure if that’s how it will pan out but I’m loving it nonetheless. I wouldn’t be surprised if River did play some part in the wrapping up of Moffat’s tenure. She’s one of his biggest creations and she’s run through his entire run. It would be nice if there was some kind of overarching theme too.

    @mersey

    I think @ichabod‘s analogy of Easter Eggs is a good one. Much of the clues are of the kind that it doesn’t matter if you get them or not but which add another level for those interested in such things — quite important given the grief SM got for earlier series. But I think as a writer he enjoys these puzzles (his love of ACD and Sherlock Holmes would seem to bear this out) and I think he likes to give fans (like us) who also enjoy them something to play with too. It could well be that we are reading stuff into episodes that aren’t there but I don’t think we are. And would it matter if we are. Isn’t it up to us how we ‘read’ the episodes? But as I say I don’t think we are — and the arguments that have been made even for the Tarot symbolism etc were pretty strong. But SM has to walk a fine line — I get the impression he genuinely wants to please as many of the various Who communities as he can but he still has to be careful not to alienate the casual viewer.

    With regards to the soldier, I don’t think that’s one of @ichabod‘s Easter Eggs but has a clear function as an integral piece of narrative symbolism throughout s8.

    It’s horses for courses, of course, but personally I prefer SM’s approach. RTD’s stuff was fun and exciting but lacks the depth, nuance and richness of the SM era.

    @craig–

    Welcome back from your travels. Hope you’re not too jet-lagged.

    All the observations are great. One thing that stuck out to me that I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet is that, for two weeks in a row, the point has been made quite strongly that the “monster of the week” is not evil, it just has a different perspective.

    Yeah, I think you’re onto something there. Bearing in mind that we’ve got two Masters this series, I wonder if that might be the ultimate expression of that. Are we going to see the Master’s rehabilitation? Or is s/he the exception that proves the rule? Also Ice Warriors, another race who have been both foes and allies in the past.

    But it also feeds into the general Hartnell vibe that I’m getting from this series. It was, after all, a common trope of the Hartnell era — Rills/Drahvins, Elders/The Savages, even the early episodes of the Daleks/Thals.

    So far, we’ve had a clear riff on An Unearthly Child which segued into The Daleks, we’ve also had an exploring of a space city run by robots (also echoes of The Daleks and The Masters of Luxor) and we have a historical next, albeit a monstery one. Not to mention the old 60s trick of ending one story with the start of another.

    #56815
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @jimthefish

    I wouldn’t overstate the strong position of the Beeb. It’s been on the ropes politically for a decade now and if the next general election goes the way it’s looking it’s going to get worse.

    If it can get off the public purse and pay for itself, it can hopefully cease to be a political football. It seems to me it would be better off looking to do that before it’s damaged further. I’d imagine that those who want to cut funding for the BBC would approve of that approach (I’m not close enough to know the details of what’s going on in the UK, but I’ve seen what’s happened to the ABC here in Oz, and imagine there are parallels). I saw numbers saying tens of millions of people are using VPNs / proxies to spoof a UK IP address in order to avoid the geoblocking and access iPlayer. There is an international market for BBC content. Currently those people are a drain on resources, but could be turned around into a paying audience. UK viewers don’t need to be disadvantaged.

    #56816
    ichabod @ichabod

    @mdlark  Stories in which every meaning is dictated, every t crossed and every i dotted, and in which nothing is left to the imagination of the reader or viewer are seldom very satisfying.

    When an artist says (or thinks) “I hope my work survives for a decade or two after I’m gone”, he or she is usually talking about hoping that the work has enough “resonance” to be lastingly attractive to another generation — like, say, “Don Quixote”, which went from being anti-romantic satire to becoming the core of  super-romantic stage musical of very impressive stamina.  You *want* your work to have loose ends, bits of scenery, ambiguous notes, that will catch the imagination of your audience and the next one with new ideas about what you “meant” and whether those ideas “work” or not in the context of the work and/or the artist’s life.

    @mersey  That doesn’t mean that a writer or painter or composer sets out to confuse everybody (unless, in fact, they do), or that nobody now can enjoy the work unless they analyze it to death or “see” levels of meaning further down than surface-deep (a lot of that is or could be projection by the critic/reader/viewer etc.).  A personal connection with a piece of art is just that: personal.  Speaking as a writer, once a story of mine is published, I’ve let it go, and you’re free to make your version of it yours (or to ignore it or throw it across the room), like every other reader/viewer/listener — deep, broad, narrow, high, whatever you like (or all at once, or in a progression of re-reads or re-watches over a lifetime).  “Bonkerism” is always an option, of course, and thank goodness.

    Needless to say, there are plenty of story-tellers who take a different view: they try to restrict and control the meanings that their audience finds in the work.  I think that’s neurotic, futile, and a good way to handicap your work against its own survival.

    @blenkinsopthebrave  I am not sure who, or what, is in the vault, but it would be pretty great if it did tie back to Susan and the first Doctor.

    Gosh, yes!  That would be fun, and emotional, too, especially for older fans or newer ones who have watched all the DW available, going all the way back.

    @tardigrade  If it can get off the public purse and pay for itself, it can hopefully cease to be a political football.

    And become a commercial football instead . . . unless, as you say, some sort of subscription is offered that can keep it alive and healthy.  Something being offered now in the US is called “Britbox”, best of British programming + iTV, whether on DVDs or streaming I don’t know yet, but I’m definitely going to have a look.

    #56825
    Mersey @mersey

    @ichabod

    So it’s Barthes’s The Death of the Author vs. Eco’s Model Reader, isn’t it? I’m an art historian (and a painter, have two masters) so loose clues are my biggest enemies. If you enjoy Moffat’s wilderness good for you.

    #56826
    Missy @missy

    Welcome back @craig

    @jimthefish:     It’s horses for courses, of course, but personally I prefer SM’s approach. RTD’s stuff was fun and exciting but lacks the depth, nuance and richness of the SM era.

    Oh I do agree.  I wonder whether SM will write at least one episode in series 11, after all, he did in previous series.

    @ichabod: All this streaming and ipads are beyond me I’m afraid, I don’t even possess a mobile phone.  What if you can’t stream or haven’t got an ipad? Then what?  Wait until you can buy the series?

    I’ve also wondered whether we would get better programmes on the ABC here in Australia, if an annual fee was involved? They do a pretty good job, I can’t fault them, but perhaps charging a fee would give them more money to buy more quality programmes. Any opinions?

    Missy

     

    #56827
    Anonymous @

    @missy

    They do a pretty good job, I can’t fault them, but perhaps charging a fee would give them more money to buy more quality programmes. Any opinions?

    Well, you asked!

    No, no fees. We already pay taxes (not to say I dislike taxes : I love them …the top etc…should pay…etc more…).  The moment we’d be charged a ‘fee’ there’d be no reason for that not to increase until ‘our’ ABC is no longer ‘ours’ -which, for better or for worse, it still is. Successive governments have cut funding. But then I’m significantly left of the ALP -which is hardly ‘left’ at all anymore 🙁

    Puro

    #56828
    Anonymous @

    @missy

    I should add; that’s entirely my own opinion and I don’t represent a co-op, a corporation, a political party, or the ABC. All other brands are available 🙂

    #56829
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @missy

    All this streaming and ipads are beyond me I’m afraid, I don’t even possess a mobile phone.  What if you can’t stream or haven’t got an ipad? Then what?  Wait until you can buy the series?

    It’s not essential to have a tablet. A media box plugged into your TV can provide access to streaming services (there are good options there, eg Chromecast, for under $100), or you can stream to your computer of course. You’ll need a decent internet connection though. I understand that doesn’t cover everyone.

    I’ve also wondered whether we would get better programmes on the ABC here in Australia, if an annual fee was involved? They do a pretty good job, I can’t fault them, but perhaps charging a fee would give them more money to buy more quality programmes. Any opinions?

    Effectively you are paying for the ABC if you’re an Australian taxpayer- the current cost is around $50 per year per person. If it were converted to a self-funded streaming service and you got 50% of Australian households to pay $10/month subscription, then that only covers ~40% of the current budget. I don’t think there would be a significant international market for the current ABC offerings, so I don’t see a wholesale change to an advertising-free streaming service would be viable. A subscription-based premium streaming service (ABC4?) on top of the existing government funded services might work though – in that case the additional revenue could go basically completely to content production and licensing. I’d think that content production would be a smarter focus, since it’s then not going head-to-head with other commercial streaming content services, and in fact could sell new content to them for international distribution.

    #56830
    janetteB @janetteb

    @mersey In my experience commercial = rule by accountants with a “profit first” mentality. Quality is invariably the first victim.

    @blenkinsopthebrave I too think that the promise the Doctor made to Susan is going to be significant this series. One of the themes of Pilot was promises, those that must be kept and those that are best broken, (maybe).

    @ichabod currently helping R.2 write an essay analysing a film. (Minority Report) I really enjoy picking through films/tv, to uncover layers of meaning. It is like being back at Uni. I majored in Cinema Studies and English so know many of the tricks.  I am quite certain that Moffat is familiar with the theory of semiotics. There is nothing accidental about the items which feature just as many of the names have significance. Analysing a production adds to the understanding and appreciation.

    Cheers

    Janette

     

    #56831
    janetteB @janetteb

    Oops sorry I think I should have referenced @tardigrade rather than @mersey. Apologies. I don’t watch much ABC  but am happy to keep paying for it because, like libraries, I view it as a invaluable public resource. If the money was not taken out of tax however I simply wouldn’t pay for a service I so rarely use. However if our weasel government taxed companies a reasonable amount then there would be plenty of money for public services like the ABC and the burden of payment would not fall onto the shoulders of the honest tax payer. (oh dear getting into dangerous political rant territory. Better get back on topic quick and for one of those despised emojis, 🙂 which I find useful in forum discussions.

    To topic, which I have yet to discuss, partly because I am not sure quite what there is to say. I feel as though I really need to watch this episode again before commenting. I enjoyed it, light, bright, some obvious messages, and maybe, or maybe not, some hints and red herrings. I thought at first the old lady laid out in state was going to be Susan but it is far too early in the series for Susan to appear, if indeed she does. A character can be a pivotal plot point without actually being present.

    And we are nearly to the next episode already. I am looking forward to his one. Frost fairs on the Thames really capture my imagination. I am loving to lead into the next adventure at the end of each episode not just because it is a nod to the past but it gives a sense of story flow.

    Cheers

    Janette

     

    #56832
    janetteB @janetteb

    I am taking too long to post my comments. @thane15 (aka Puro) beat me to it and said it better. Perhaps I should be concentrating on the essay, not that R.2 pays much attention to my suggestions.

    cheers

    Janette

    #56833
    Brewski @brewski

    Hi @blenkinsopthebrave!  And thanks!

    Oh!  Great thinking on the “I shall come back” vow.  That’s one I think most of us would like to see kept.

    Hi @jimthefish.  Nice to be back and see everyone theorizing away! 🙂  I would be shocked if any idea I come up with actually panned out.  Hasn’t happened yet.  Why break a perfect record. :p

    For sure River has to figure in.  Which suits me.  I’ve liked her right from the beginning.

    But hey, I am willing to abandon the other part of my theory: That they were going to name their daughter Lily Pond

    Meaning of the name Susan: English form of Susannah, which is from the Hebrew Soshana, a derivative of shōshannāh (a lily)

    😀

     

    #56835

    @brewski

    I think that may be my favourite bit of bonkerising ever. I kinda want you to be right.

    @tardigrade

    Which bit of the BBC are you referring to? Just the drama? Or the full service news operation? Or some of the best factual programming in the World? Or the two children’s channels? Or the Welsh and Scottish channels?  Some of the most trusted radio services in the world?

    The BBC is a public service broadcaster that demonstrates that there is an alternative to the sterile orthodoxy of the free market (which in practice means ‘owned by billionaires and their spawn’). The only thing outdated about the licence fee is its price, which hasn’t been raised for ages and has fallen in real terms.

    I love Netflix to bits – it has done some genuinely bold and innovative drama and some interesting factual content. But it is not close to the range of the BBC.

    #56836
    Little House @littlehouse

    Hi all,

    Late to the party again.  I thought Smile was okay, but I have only managed to watch it once (just can’t work up the interest to watch it a second time).  I did watch the intro a second time, but once they left earth…

    My favorite part of DW right now is the story line that spans the series (season?).  As many of you have pointed out, there are lots of clues and lots of fun things that are just fun.  One throwaway comment made by Bill has me wondering if it is foreshadowing or just playful banter.  That is when she threatens to steal the TARDIS.  The doctor even tells her to, that it doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know how to fly it. It makes for great playful banter, but could it be a hint of things to come?

    #56837
    ichabod @ichabod

    @mersey  So — “Loose clues drop shoes” and other war-time slogans . . .  Yes, I’m on Eco’s side but Barthes is no dope, and writers of both inclinations have lots of fans who love their work.  I will miss Moffat — more, or less, depending on what Chibnall does in his turn.  I hope he delivers more of what you’re looking for.

    @missy What if you can’t stream or haven’t got an ipad? Then what? Wait until you can buy the series?

    I can’t stand the ads, so I buy a “Seasons Pass” on one of the streaming services and watch the day after broadcast, on my desk-top computer.  Hardly ever watch the TV any more — it’s really a wasteland right now.  Here (US), new series of intended high quality tend to be closed-ended (“The Young Pope”, “Tattoo” — or was it “Taboo”?  “The Leftovers”), and when they’re done after a dozen weekly episodes or so, we’re left with “Law and Order” again, “Elementary”, and reruns of “Star Trek” and its children (and PBS’s UK imports and documentaries).

    perhaps charging a fee would give them more money to buy more quality programmes. Any opinions?

    That should help.  Our local PBS station is running on subscriptions, and when they do fund-raising they always stress that good programs are expensive for them to buy so please be generous.

    @janetteb  There is nothing accidental about the items which feature just as many of the names have significance.

    I think Moffat has been packing in bits and bobs (resolved later or not) for several reasons (not because he’s a slob at writing).  I feel that the does this to thicken the visual and aural texture of the show as befits something that’s been around for so long and gives it a bit of weight even when it’s being silly; to keep threads of continuity running throughout, knitting one Doctor’s experience to the others’ without having to spell it out all the time; to re-enforce thematic elements of a season as it rolls out; and to bestrew the field with unresolved and echo-y bits to be picked up and used later, either by himself, or by successor writers taking over the show after him (again, re-enforcing structural continuity) — or, maybe never.    It’s the bits he leaves dangling that irritate some fans.  To me, they’re evidence of confidence, and a way of creating playfulness in and around the show.  We get to guess what a painting means (or will mean), and he gets to play with our expectations — he’s been writing this show for a very long time, as these things go, and it needs to be play for him too, as well as work, to keep it fresh and engaging for him.

    @brewski  Susan – Shoshona – Lily — thanks!  Love it.

    #56838
    Brewski @brewski

    Hi @pedant.  Thanks!  I know PC has said he really wants to see Susan brought back.  Well, he’s getting his wish with the Mondasian cybermen, so who knows?! :O

    Thanks @ichabod. Lily POND.  Melody Pond’s daughter.  Lol…  I wouldn’t be me without the word play…

    Of course, I think I also read that Shoshona could also mean Rose.  So where do we take THAT?!

     

    #56848
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @janetteb
    Yes- commercial interests risk rule by accountants, but with existing tight budgets, I think it’s fair to say that’s probably already the case.

    @pedant
    Let me explain why I don’t think the TV licensing fee is a good way to be funding the BBC. It was conceived as a modern, progressive tax, since the relatively wealthy with TVs were funding the BBC, and it’s been retained as a user-pays system, but with essentially everyone paying. The problems with that system are now:
    * It’s now regressive- the wealthy pay a smaller percentage of income for the service.
    * It’s not even a user-pays system now- with so many options for content, owning a TV doesn’t mean use of BBC services.
    * The number paying the fee will drop, as people no longer feel the need to have TVs in a streaming world- many younger people are happy to just use their computers and tablets for video consumption. So the revenue base will drop off. And those people who aren’t paying the fee will be able to access BBC services for free via iPlayer anyway. And then there are international users who bypass geolocking and use BBC resources without paying. So again, it’s not a user-pays system. There are people paying without using the services and those using the services without paying, which isn’t equitable.

    It’s because it’s no longer serving the purpose for which it was intended, and won’t be a viable way to fund the BBC in the future, that causes me to describe the licensing fee as outdated.

    I think it would be preferable to simple fund the BBC out of consolidated revenue, which at least gets it back towards a progressive system. That also removes the license fee itself as a political football (although of course the BBC budget can still be argued about). Now, I think the elements of the BBC that should be publicly funded are the public service elements- news services and so on, rather than funding drama and documentaries via that method. Those are already sold on to international broadcasters, streaming services and via digital and DVD sales anyway, so they’re already self funding, at least to some degree- that’s why Doctor Who has a workable budget, I’m sure. Paid streaming services are the modern way to implement a user-pays system, and I think would be appropriate for the entertainment content produced by the BBC.

    Take into account that I’m not in the UK, so my opinion of what the BBC might do is as an outsider (though I see parallels with the ABC). The ABC unfortunately operates under much tighter budgets than the BBC (smaller contribution per head, smaller population, still needs to produce regional news content and broadcast over wider areas).

    #56849
    janetteB @janetteb

    @ichabod I get the feeling that Moffat is throwing everything at this last series because he really does love writing for Dr Who and he is having as much fun as possible before he leaves. His love for the series and the “lore” has really shone through these past eight years. It is just a shame that those impossible to please fans who want everything spelled out for them and would rather not use their brains and imaginations seem to have the loudest voices, on some mediums such as BTL on the Guardian.

    @tardigrade. Sadly you are right re’ the accountants having too much say already over content. I disagree however about public funding of Drama and Docos. Public funding does not guarantee quality and integrity, I don’t think any funding method can, however it is far more likely to deliver a better outcome than private funding. Without public finding Dramas will all end up like Tudors or Downton Abbey because popularity will trump quality every time and Docos will be heavily politically motivated. Endless pretty nature docs that do not dare imply that the brightly coloured butterflies on show are endangered by climate change, or yet more regurgitation of Tudor history. Ok ok I know that we are getting that now but how much worse would it be without public funding.

    But I keep looking up and see that I am replying to “Smile”. Talking about the perilous future of the BBC and the ABC is not conducive to smiling. Watch out for those emojibots.

    Cheers

    janette

    #56866
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @mersey @jimthefish @juniperfish @mudlark @bluesqueakpip

    Just as a contribution on the tricky question of clues and our interpretation of them, my own particular take on them is this:

    A lot of what we talk about is invariably a construct we propose and then test. The one thing I’ve always liked about this forum and the group of people who participate in it and, in the past, our former home of the Guardian was the breadth of knowledge we bring to the table. I suppose the ultimate question is whether you think the show deserves such analysis or not.

    I think it does, and perhaps I can give an indication of why. The costume designer from Asylum of the Daleks through to Last Christmas was a guy called Howard Burden. A nice bloke and lovely interviewee (his previous work includes Red Dwarf and he appears quite a lot on the extensive DVD documentaries for that show). His interview in Doctor Who magazine when he ‘retired’ was actually quite revealing. For the series he worked on (7 & 8) he was given comprehensive notes from Moffat on the episodes, notes on the periods the show was visiting and the ultimate goals and ideas of the series Arc. He was then left to work with the Directors, cast and wider production to make choices reflecting what he had been told with practicalities like the Actor’s personal tastes.

    It’s a fascinating glimpse into a deep production process from a point of view I’ve never really followed – clothes. He confirmed he played with reds and blues for the Doctor “continuing the trend of his predecessor”. This will surely delight @juniperfish whose dogged determination in following the red and blue shift of the Eleventh Doctor’s bow-ties is legendary. He worked extensively with Jenna in Series seven to mirror the Doctor (note red in Asylum and blue in the Snowmen) but also made use of anachronistic combinations of styles in the lead up to Name of the Doctor to indicate Clara was ‘misplaced in time’. The choice of poppy print blouses throughout series eight for Clara was a choice based on the final revelation of the soldier’s promise and Remembrance. It’s astonishing stuff that just indicates a fraction of the stylistic and symbolic significance that the wider production team place into the series because they are encouraged to think that way.

    I, like many others, would love to see a RTD style ‘Writer’s Tale’ style book from Moffat on his approach. I think it would confirm a lot of aspects we talk about in terms of ‘texture’ to the show. I enjoyed Russell s take on the show in the main but there appears to be a massive gear change with Moffat with adventurous choices in writing, production and direction. Much more experimental.

    As for certain lines of thought or clues being ‘dead ends’ I must point out that Moffat loves misdirection both in real life and scripts. It’s a tradition in the Detective fiction works that @mersey compares it to. The ‘Red Herring’, a clue deliberately placed to misdirect or provide false alibi, etc. In some ways, I think references to Magician’s and conjurers are, in a small way, how Moffat may see his own work. Show the audience a puzzle box, and misdirect them with sleight of hand. I’m sure this approach infuriates as many as it attracts. I’m one them it attracts. I don’t think we’ll get that book I mentioned earlier though. Conjurers are loath to reveal how their tricks work. They prefer to have it talked about and analysed for some time after the event. It adds longevity.

    I think I’ll post some thoughts about Chibnall after this series finishes. I can’t help but think it may be a period that won’t engage me as much and will be deliberately more purposefully populist in approach. Whether that actually translates into being ‘popular’ will be another matter. My hope is that Chibnall has been chosen because he’s now best known as a character based mystery writer. One would hope that, even if his own inclination is not to add this ‘texture’, he will be inheriting a production team who will continue to do so.

    Generally I think most of what Moffat has done is commendable. He’s avoided a lot of tricks and traps that devil writers, played with the episode and series structure making the experience unformulaic, discounted huge amounts of troublesome ‘legacy’ continuity and left the ‘whoniverse’ largely reset and open for his successor. Let’s hope Chibnall grasps the legacy with both hands.

    #56899
    ichabod @ichabod

    @phaseshift   I suppose the ultimate question is whether you think the show deserves such analysis or not.
    I think it does

    As do I; given a durable framework and many changes rung upon it over the years by different writers, show runners, cast members, et al, the result is ripe for analysis (and gets plenty of it, happily).  And, let’s not forget, while the option of un-analytic enjoyment is the basic purpose, the kind of analytic and sheer bonkerizing joy to be found by playing in Moffat’s DW sandbox is also on offer — for those of us who love to play.  This affords a whole different level of engagement, for those open to it.

    It’s been a feast that way, with Moffat, and I agree that he’s done an amazing job — but that’s what you’d expect, from a deep-dyed, true-blooded fan of the show, particularly one who’s proven to be so talented and skilled.

    #56902
    Missy @missy

    @thane15: No, by all means, it’s a fair comment.

    @tardigrade: Thanks for that, but even that information almost lost me. *blushes*

    @ichabod: Ads? Humbug! I record everything we want to watch, and if I miss anything I watch iView.

    I’ve heard a lot about Netflix and watched Abominable Bride on Stan. It seems to me, that everything is beconming so complicated for one who is technically illiterate. (Me)

    janette: You could be right about SM, i never minded when he left threads hanging, and thereby us too. Like some, I got as much fun out of it as he did/does.

    It’s been a feast that way, with Moffat, and I agree that he’s done an amazing job — but that’s what you’d expect, from a deep-dyed, true-blooded fan of the show, particularly one who’s proven to be so talented and skilled.

    Hear, hear to that. *thumbs up*

    Missy

     

    #58446
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @Phaseshift I am horribly late responding to this – got side-tracked by work – but thanks for the lovely considered response.

    I did know previously about the reds and blues as a deliberate part of the costumery and did a public fishy victory dance somewhere lost in the threads of time 🙂 But I didn’t know all the other elements re Clara and poppies etc. I’ll have to hunt for that interview.

    But, absolutely, as an inveterate close-reader of televisual text, I frequently come across the “you’re reading too much into it” brigade, and I always respond –  that no one is nerdier than production teams and that nothing on camera is placed there without a consideration of its visual contribution to the narrative grammar.

    #62186
    KBranagh @kbranagh

    Hi from Italy guys, i’m back for another round.
    After the experience of Class(series that i loved) i finally started the season 10.
    For the final year originally i want twelve alone without a companion, i think that he might add a original taste <u>and</u> change to the show and a challenge for Capaldi but…..i like this new companion, there is a good chemistry between Pearl and Capaldi…..an hybrid of Susan and Rose for me.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>This first two episodes was very simple but good, a nice new beginning. I only hope that the depth and the adult tone of the season 8 and 9 is not lost! I found maybe too light and humoristic tone in this first two hours…like the pre-Capaldi era.</p>

    #62230
    Missy @missy

    @kbranagh:

    Looking forward to seeing Mr. Branagh’s Poriot.

    Peter Capaldi is MY Doctor, and I’m not looking forward to a female.

    Heyho, nothng I can do about it is there.

    Missy

     

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