The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

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  • #66479
    ichabod @ichabod

    @rob  This is one of the good things that has come out of the regeneration it makes you think about equality,  hopefully it will make me a better person just by making me think about it.

    I’d say so — one of the clear signs of a knee-jerk reactionary is automatic outrage at the fact that The Contentious Issue *has been raised* — “SJW!  Communist!  Lock you up!” (throws tomatoes instead of conversing).

    I have to admit, the stasis planets, being pretty cheesy-looking objects, made me think of bubble-wrap monsters.  And the continuous self-chat is annoying because that, too, can be a way of avoiding, not thinking, so much as feeling.  But saw some Doctor-ish firmness here, in the drawing of boundary lines on ethical grounds.  Her taking a stand with Graham and his personal revenge agenda worked for me (and, even moreso, the addendum that the rules are subject to change) as The Doctor.  Is it my imagination, or did they use some good upward slanted camera angles that gave Whittaker’s sober-faced expression more power in this episode, in keeping perhaps with having a problem on hand that involved the fates of several planets, if not whole universes or planes of existence?  The confrontation with Tim Shaw also struck me as more rooted, more determined, perhaps because this current threat was a consequence of her previous refusal to kill the bastard.

     

    #66480
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @rob – About the Doctor seeming to talk too much, I think that’s partly how JW wants to demonstrate 13’s energy level.

    I know I’ve read criticisms that too many episodes have too much standing around and talking.  I have a feeling both are related.  I read somewhere that the Tennant, Smith and Capaldi all ended up with the same knee injury.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but my feeling is Chibnall and co. are trying to cut down the running a bit to preserve their actors’ leg joints.  I can’t fault them for that!

    #66482
    G Man @swankycriminal

    So i watched this episode twice, the first time i was watching it i had some distractions and missed a few key points, and was iffy on what i thought about it and that there was also something in the back of the mind bothering me about it, but couldn’t figure it out.

    Just finished watching it the second time around and i very much liked it, it felt like a true classic Doctor Who story, it told its story adding in moral questions with furthering character development of the main stars and a familiar enemy…it had its action and confrontation with personal drama mixed in between…a lot of this stuff already covered in everyone else’s earlier posts. Plus it had one thing i’ve really been wanting:

    It got away from what has become the norm with the previous seasons. An entire doctors worth of stories and plots fitted into one season to just rinse and repeat every season.

    @bluesqueakpip said:
    We didn’t use to have a finale unless it was the final story of that particular Doctor 

    We got used to (not in Who but TV in general) to building up to the finale….having to have the finale bigger and better each time. Which is great if someone was leaving or getting a new doctor or closing up a major season plot, none of which we have. Instead this season we got a foundation season that didn’t resort to old villains/aliens/monsters but truly is starting to build up a new cast for further seasons. We’ve got new antagonists, aliens characters, settings and more. We got Tim Shaw being developed slowly and properly into a new nemesis. I could bring up the politics and morality of imprisonment or death penalty of this episode but everyone else has that covered, so i will bring up that by imprisoning him now leaves the set up for him to escape and come back in a later season…which i’m sure will add more to his character and past and slowly mold him into something much more fearful. We are getting not a story season by season….we are getting a story that will take JW’s entire time as a Doctor to be told. Slowly developing something in a day and age of instant information and lack of patience has a huge amount of risk, but in the end we will get a Doctor who’s combined seasons tell a story and in the long run i think most people will appreciate that if they wait for it to be told.

    Some of you have voiced the dissatisfaction of not having a big flashy finale, but that stuff is what specials are for and when we do get an epic finale it’ll be at the end of Jodie’s run and i think it’ll enhance it even more.

    Leaving a season off with what looks to be a brand new antagonist is probably more rewarding to me, but in the long run (and if i am correct lol…if i’m wrong my views will totally change but we got a lot of time before then)

    What i didn’t like about this episode is i wish it was a tad bit more longer…as in a few moments of Tim Shaw and the Ux post him arriving/pre Doctor shows up…give a little more to the story background. I would have loved to have a minute or two showing how Graham and Ryan come to the conclusion of locking Tim Shaw up. There are a few more cases where i feel an extra minute could have enhanced the story instead of feeling compressed and being the season finale i find it hard the couldnt get a full hour instead of 50 minutes..but oh well.

    To end this, that thing that was bothering me in the back of the mind? It was the way the episode was shot from a production point of view. Just a personal preference but i think the way it was shot kind of cheapened the episodes quality…if any one wants to get into filmography and talk about this message me, if not i’ll spare you all from a longer rant.

    I voiced my opinions, a lot is based on speculation on how i think things are being done with nothing concrete to back them up. Welcome to the forums!!!!! Have fun.

    #66483
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @rob
    Most of the Doctors could talk the hind leg off a donkey, but one thing I suddenly realised last night was that they talked about how wonderful they were. It was, in fact, called out a couple of times, with jokes that they really needed a companion to make admiring noises.

    The Whittaker Doctor, on the other hand, talks through everything, including her problem-solving. One of the things I liked about Battle of R.Av V. was that we saw the Doctor audibly decide to just take things one step at a time, solve each problem as she came up to it and not worry that the whole problem is too big. It’s really hard to teach kids that – now they’ve got a hero admitting that’s how they do it. 🙂

    But yes, I think it might be a deliberate decision. The men talked about how wonderful they are, the woman talks about her worries and her problems. Shut up, woman! 😈

    #66490
    nerys @nerys

    @bluesqueakpip Most of the Doctors could talk the hind leg off a donkey, but one thing I suddenly realised last night was that they talked about how wonderful they were.

    You are exactly right! Now that I think of it, much of the previous Doctor-babble had to do with the Doctor building himself up in front of an audience. When this Doctor speaks, she is processing information. Not that other Doctors didn’t do this before. And not that this Doctor never builds herself up. But she does seem to be doing a lot less grandstanding than previous Doctors. Interesting observation!

    #66506
    ichabod @ichabod

    @kevinwho  . . . too much standing around and talking

    Well, likely true for some people, and that’s part of the supposed SJW “issue”.  Grounding your action, when it’s imminent, in establishing clarity re why we’re going to not-kill the creature trying to kill us — that’s got to slow things down a bit (another reason that the “Bad guy!  Quick, kill it!” crowd get annoyed by conversations about ethics).  I think part of the problem may be that those conversations haven’t had the wit that Moffat & co got us used to, so they’re less entertaining now (as well as generally unwelcome to those looking for ceaseless galloping whizz-bang — hence @swankycriminal‘s I would have loved to have a minute or two showing how Graham and Ryan come to the conclusion of locking Tim Shaw up — I think they decided they couldn’t afford more of that).

    @bluesqueakpip  The men talked about how wonderful they are, the woman talks about her worries and her problems. Shut up, woman! 😈

    Well, when you put it like that — !  Yep.  Hmm; it might have been fun (and useful to some viewers) to have her starting out with all that self-boosting pep talk, just like the men she’s been so often, and then “grow out of” that, or spot herself doing it, make a joke of it, and reject it for the more pragmatic and outwardly focused “If we do this, then maybe I can do that, and possibly XYZ” that we’ve been getting here.

    #66509
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @ichabod – Yup.  Agree completely.  I also prefer a bit more action and movement with my exposition and character development.  But I can see good reasons for the approach they’re taking.  Maybe next season they can get some master of witty dialog into the writer’s room.  I nominate, with no sarcasm or snark whatsoever, @pedant – or maybe @cumquat !!   That would be awesome! 🙂

    #66520
    Bluffme @bluffme

    @jimthefish I couldn’t agree with you more. It was the perfect season finale for a simply poor and disappointing season of Doctor Who. That could have as easily been any episode this season. RIP S.M. and P.C. I will miss you two with out a doubt.

    #66523

    @bluffme

    A sense of perspective is a valuable thing.

    Nobody is actually dead.

    #66524
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @bluffme – I loved, loved, loved the Moffat years.  I miss him too.  But @pedant is right.  The show has to grow a new audience, and whatever praise I want to give Moffat, one job of a showrunner is to increase or at least hold steady on audience, and Chibnall has increased it where Moffat didn’t.

    So, yeah, I would like the complex storytelling and the timey-wimey back.  But I can’t fault the show or the BBC either for the direction Doctor Who is taking.

    And, as I said a few days ago, with the audience Chibnall has demonstrated the show can still achieve, we can all celebrate that it will never be cancelled again.  Take a year off, sure, but it’ll never go away for sixteen years again.

    #66526
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Have been thinking more about why I was so down on the episode as I indicated yesterday. I said that it was as if Chibnall was trying to recapture the Sydney Newman/Verity Lambert period, but it seemed filtered through the lens of Broadchurch. I still believe that. Let me go back to the Silurian 2-parter. There are obvious connections between the two Tim Shaw episodes and The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood 2-parter. In particular, the “we have to be better than this” trope. But thinking back to the Silurian episodes (which I have always liked more than others, I think) there are also strong parallels with Broadchurch. In both, a small boy disappears and is abducted. In both, the father is distraught, and goes hunting for him. Cut to the Tim Shaw episodes. In both those episodes and Broadchurch when one character loses a loved one because of the monstrosity of the crime (the father loses the child in one and Graham loses Grace in the other) both characters are determined on revenge. As is the mother in the Silurian 2-parter. The scenarios might play out differently in each show, but the parallels are striking.

    Why, for me anyway, the Silurian 2-parter is more effective is that while Chibnall wrote the story, it was shaped by the show runner into the final product. In the other two, it was also shaped by the show runner—Chibnall. In the former it was presented with a sense of grandeur (partly through the astoundingly colourful visual look of the Silurian home world) and hope. In the later two examples of the Tim Shaw plotline and Broadchurch it was presented in a rather dark (quite literally) and grim way.

    Still, perhaps I am being a bit harsh.

    #66532
    nerys @nerys

    OK, I watched the episode again tonight, and I was wrong about what happened with the civilizations of the planets held in stasis. The Doctor noted that as soon as the planets were removed from their orbit, it was planetary genocide. And so the people would not have been restored when the Ux returned the planets. The reason the planets had to be returned was because they could not exist in the same space. They would have destroyed the planet they were on. And, because the Doctor noted that she was trying to save the universe, I gather that the universe was at risk, too?

    There did seem to be a lack of recognition, at the end, of all who had died. But my sense was that the Doctor was dealing with the people she was with. She couldn’t change what had happened, but she could give hope to the Ux and the crew members. She urged them to travel hopefully.

    On second viewing, I felt that Graham’s path toward not killing Tim Shaw was very well established. We weren’t beaten over the head with it, but I found it convincing. After all, Graham was a good man to start with. He was temporarily jolted toward revenge because of his unexpected encounter with Tim Shaw. Revenge jumped to the forefront of his mind, and not just because of Grace. That was a nod to all the death and destruction Tim Shaw had wrought, including the planetary genocide. As Graham said, they didn’t get rid of him properly when they had the chance, and look what happened. Kind of like the “Would you kill Hitler if you had the chance?” question.

    My conviction about Graham’s path is due, in no small part, to the acting skills of Bradley Walsh, who shows us so much in his eyes, his facial expressions, his gestures. Words aren’t necessary to get all of it across.

    But talking about acting skills, I really felt that Jodie Whittaker owned the Doctor here. I didn’t feel she was an actor portraying the Doctor, but she really came into her own as the Doctor. This is a path all the actors face, and for me it always takes about this long for them to get it nailed down.

    This season finale ticked off all the right boxes, for me. I felt like this Doctor, and her companions, really hit their stride here. But I also know how subjective this can be, how so much is based on our expectations. And if someone or something we love falls short of those expectations, we can’t help but feel disappointed. I get that. Somehow, for me, this Doctor Who meets my expectations. I can’t explain it any better than that.

    Ryan keeps getting my favourite quotes: “Whatever happened to doors? Don’t aliens believe in doors?”

     

    #66542
    ardaraith @ardaraith

    No theory,  because it’s a new era. No big song and dance number to lead it out. And I loved it. This entire series has led me, as an adult viewer, to contemplate, to care about the real world. The Doctor doesn’t feel out of reach, or out of touch. It feels relatable and immanent.

    Hats and bow ties off to the new direction. I’m on board.

    #66554
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    I haven’t been entirely fair to this episode; just because I loved It Takes You Away doesn’t mean I didn’t like this one.

    One highlight for me that no one else has mentioned is when the Doctor talked about being a bit more flexible about shooting things and blowing them up.  “My rules change” gives more scope for discussion than “guns are bad.” 😀

    #66565
    nerys @nerys

    @kevinwho One highlight for me that no one else has mentioned is when the Doctor talked about being a bit more flexible about shooting things and blowing them up. “My rules change” gives more scope for discussion than “guns are bad.”

    Isn’t that always the way? When we first meet and look up to an authority figure, we often take their every word as gospel. Then we come to realize that we must take their rules with a grain of salt!

    #66569
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @nerys

    When we first meet and look up to an authority figure…

    That’s a good point.  When using firearms came up during The Ghost Monument, I wasn’t actually seeing this Doctor as an authority figure, because she struck me at that point as trying to be a friend to the rest of the TARDIS Team rather than a superior.

    But a) that’s not how they’d have seen her at that point, and b) if you can give an order and get away with it, you’re an authority figure.

    So, yes, good point!

    #66571
    tardigrade @tardigrade

    Late watching this one, so not sure how much I have to say that hasn’t been said.

    I thought there were some interesting ideas in this one, that carried it into being a pretty decent episode, if not a huge finale. I haven’t always been that impressed by some of the previous over-the-top finales, so that’s not necessarily that big a criticism.

    Tim Shaw found a new level of ineffectiveness, protected by feeble “sniper” bots and personally able to be bested by one untrained old guy with a gun. His only significant power was by proxy, through his influence on the Ux.

    I’m not feeling Bradley Walsh’s portrayal of Graham – I find I just don’t believe his performance – so when he changes his mind about shooting Tim Shaw, I didn’t have any great connection to his dilemma and it seems shortly afterwards, when he shoots him in the foot, that not being scolded by the Doctor was a major motivation, which is not really the message.

    That wraps up a series that really has hit the reset button pretty hard. As far as I can recall, there wasn’t one alien race, person or place that has ever been used before this season in Dr Who, and only very scant oblique references to anything that happened before this season. So very little in the way of fan service. It does appear to have built a new audience, so in practical terms, it probably has done what it set out to do, even it that has meant some disappointment amongst long-term fans.

    #66577
    thane16 @thane16

    @tardigrade

    Tim Shaw found a new level of ineffectiveness, protected by feeble “sniper” bots and personally able to be bested by one untrained old guy with a gun. His only significant power was by proxy, through his influence on the Ux.

    Absolutely! He was “pretty crap” as a villain. Graham and “the gang” had been to a variety of places nipping home constantly so Graham, an experienced ‘traveller,’ probably had the wits to ensnare the ailing, tied-to-the-tubes monster. 😉  -with Ryan’s buff build, it would’ve been relatively easy. Like a lot of Moffat’s episodes in Sherlock you saw A and C but didn’t need to see ‘B’ (how they got the monster in the tank) to effectively ‘tell’ the story -or ‘show’ it. There has been an unusual amount of complaints about “show not tell” which puzzles.

    I counted a dozen references in the first 9 episodes to the fanbase -not including the: “I have lost more, loved more than you have” and the return of the Fez 🙂 which has earned a capital “F.” 😀

    I actually thought new monsters was the best way to go, psychologically. The focus wasn’t “OMG, we’re all gonna DIE!” but on the monsters in us -whatever relentless  form they take:  prejudice the most notable; the acceptance of loss, the recognition that killing changes a person (it certainly changed the Doctor during the years of,  “the angry doctor, the one who forgets, the one who loses his right to the name”).

    I thought the “crap” villain that @bluesqueakpip and others identified was an interesting one. Most of the villains are ‘arch’ and tremendously successful: the daleks, cyberman, weeping angels etc. I liked that it wasn’t, “tune into next week’s two parter starring…….the daleks (again).”  I enjoyed the Doctor’s end speech: short, without a rambling coda, basically saying, “the universe is huge, there’s so much out there” so it makes sense, given the universe’s size that there are always new monsters to challenge.

    In this series’ first episode, one of the Doctor’s first questions was, “who ARE you?” in reference to the huge quantity of swelling, moving snake-like figures which, with Whittaker’s final speech, bracketed the series completely: new monsters noticed in episode 1 eg: “who are you?” and the coda, “there’s a lot out there.”

     

    @ardaraith

    Love your take on it:

    the Doctor doesn’t feel out of reach, or out of touch. It feels relatable and immanent…

    @nerys. Ah, I didn’t notice that. So, the ‘removed’ planets were restored but life-forms died? I also felt Graham’s path was fleshed out. His mannerisms, the certainty of his decision, was subtle the moment he recognised it was Tim Shaw.  Ultimately, I imagine it was Ryan’s faith in him (the same faith Graham exhibited teaching Ryan to ride) which saved Graham.  The series focussed on us, humans of sterling spirit, but easily led into choices somewhat less “magnificent” where the bitter,  the resentful and the prejudiced walk among us full of righteous certainty. We all need occasional lessons but I never felt deceived.

    On second viewing, I felt that Graham’s path toward not killing Tim Shaw was very well established. We weren’t beaten over the head with it, but I found it convincing. After all, Graham was a good man to start with. He was temporarily jolted toward revenge because of his unexpected encounter with Tim Shaw. Revenge jumped to the forefront of his mind, and not just because of Grace. That was a nod to all the death and destruction Tim Shaw had wrought, including the planetary genocide.

    @bluffme. See this:

    for a simply poor and disappointing season of Doctor Who

    I have difficulty with. How was it disappointing? I  respect your take on it. I guess I’d like reasons why, specifically, you feel this. Is it a general nihilistic sense that you have?

    Puro

    #66593
    Bluffme @bluffme

    @thane16 I have no problems no new villians or the lack of old. To me the whole season seemed to be about trying to conform The Doctor to this world view of making sure no one’s feelings get hurt, this generation of people wearing their heart on their sleeve. Where every child should get a trophy and not learn that regardless of intentions there will always be winners and losers in life. It felt to me that that was the message they were trying to send, the same pattern a lot of shows are following today, the trying not to hurt anyones feelings. The we are the voice of tolerance as long as you think like I do we can all get along philosophy.

    #66594
    thane16 @thane16

    @bluffme

    <p style=”text-align: center;”>making sure no one’s feelings get hurt, this generation of people wearing their heart on their sleeve. Where every child should get a trophy and not learn that regardless of intentions there will always be winners and losers in life.</p>

    Here’s the thing…is it possible you’re conflating issues (above) such as there will always be winners/ losers or “everyone has to have a trophy” with this show?

    Because I don’t think those issues -winners; losers, not ‘winning’ the trophy, were front or centre.

    What DO you define as a winner? Someone who has accepted death, gracefully, like Graham? Because I didn’t see him as a ‘winning’ figure initially. He lost his wife. His step-son was suspicious of him. The fact Graham didn’t kill Tim Shaw and gently showed Ryan that he would always be there for him was a good thing, a great thing, actually.

    This is a PG show, after all, and always, ALWAYS, it has taught the same thing, right from when the Hartnell Doctor regenerated on the inside of the Tardis. During Tennant’s time into Mat’s, we were taught (or told, or simply, that we listened) “never be cruel, nor cowardly, never give in and never up.”

    The Doctor doesn’t give up. No matter what the iteration.  Perhaps, deep down we don’t like being ‘taught’ by a woman -of all people 🙂

    And as to your philosophy of not wearing our heart on our sleeve? Is that wrong, to you? Honestly, is it? I’m interested in that. I’m not trying to fob you off or be ‘pissed off’ at all. It seemed to me, that if people wore their hearts in a visible place, then the world would be better: because we’d put other people first -not ourselves, so selfishly.

    Think of the Ood in Doctor Who all the way back in 2006:  they wore their brains and the sensitive part of their brains…..in BOTH hands. They had to work communally. And personally I’m confused as to where the “don’t hurt their feelings” comes from. In this series, more than any other, the Doctor did not spare her companions feelings. In Episode 2/3 she said, “It’s terrifying and I can’t guarantee your safety.”

    They didn’t go all weepy step out of the Tardis. They helped people solve things by fighting aliens and they didn’t give up, were never cowardly, recognised that the universe was as unsafe as it was scary -I felt that more in this series, than I did previously because the Doctor spelled. It. Out.

    In other words, “companions, your feelings getting hurt are the least of your problems- dying is the likely problem.”

    I should also add that tolerance is efficacious. Tolerance of kindness, of beauty, of gentleness must lie side-by-side with a lack of tolerance of hatred, nastiness, bullying, revenge killing, cruelty or victimisation. I don’t tolerate those things. I imagine you wouldn’t either.

    Puro

     

    #66597
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @bluffme

    To me the whole season seemed to be about trying to conform The Doctor to this world view of making sure no one’s feelings get hurt, this generation of people wearing their heart on their sleeve. Where every child should get a trophy

    If it had been that sort of season, Ryan would have ended it by riding a bike. Grace would have somehow returned from the dead. The Doctor would have found a way to save Prem. Tim Shaw would have said ‘sorry’. And the Doctor would’ve told Andinio to ‘look her up’.

    But instead we got no trophies. Ryan still can’t ride a bike, Grace is dead, Prem died saving his wife, Tim Shaw seemingly can’t learn better. And the Doctor is ‘nobody’.

    Neil Gaiman paraphrased G.K. Chesterton’s long comment about fairy-tales into “they tell us dragons can be beaten.” Well, what we got this year wasn’t ‘all will win prizes,’ it was the exact opposite. Sometimes we can’t beat the dragon. Sometimes, the most we can do is stop it, lock it away or send it away, hope it never escapes to hurt more people.

    Sometimes we can’t beat our disabilities by ‘trying harder’. Doesn’t mean we can’t travel the universe, just that we have to be aware that we might have problems climbing ladders along the way. [I really hope Ryan never has to manage a rope ladder – that’s my version of ‘riding a bike’]

    And tolerance was shown as nuanced. Ryan has no real problem with James VI and I hitting on him – he just doesn’t fancy him. 🙂 But he doesn’t tolerate the ‘kill the witches’ attitude. Very Doctor Who.

    #66602
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @magickirin

    I’m hoping that Ryan and Graham got the arc this series and Yaz gets the arc next series. On the whole, I think the three companions worked well this week, as it allowed the subplot to progress with Graham and Ryan while Yaz played ‘main companion’ and gave the Doctor someone to explain things to. 🙂

    I’d say that the Doctor’s main problem was the effect it would’ve had on Graham. She’s now been a soldier herself, after running away from it all her life – she knows what it did to her. She can make a pretty fair guess how it’d eat away at someone like Graham, too.

    Also, a fair number of her earlier companions were either military or ex-military. And don’t kid yourself that early Who didn’t include PTSD, even if it wasn’t called that then. We’ve had characters with shell shock, and UNIT’s Captain Yates had to tootle off and join a Buddhist Meditation Centre. That inevitably turned out to be Buddhist Meditation with Added Aliens, but everything’s better with giant spiders. 🙂

    2020 – budget. Almost certainly the BBC’s budget – we’re in December, so 2020 is only 54 weeks away. Nudging it into the accounts for the next financial year broadcasts means the BBC is going to find it a lot easier to balance the books for all their 2019 broadcasts.

    Weirdly, many people online seem to be going 2020 – 2018 = TWO YEARS UNTIL THE NEXT DOCTOR WHO!!!! OMG! But the BBC has said ‘early 2020,’ so it’s not two years at all.

    #66604
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @magickirin

    Several of the non military companions have killed during the show Ian, Leela, Romana and Ace

    Except Ian had survived World War II and done National Service (i.e. he was ex-military), Leela was famously a ‘warrior of the SevvaTeem’, and Ace arrived with a fondness for blowing things up. I agree we have no idea whether Romana had any military training – as she was a Time Lord, she’d probably avoided the army. But Romana isn’t much like Graham.

    The problem with the Doctor threatening to kick Graham off the TARDIS is that the new series cast was announced almost immediately after the credits have rolled. It’s not that much of a cliffhanger if you know everyone’s back next year. Better to have the problems resolved by the end of the episode.

    Regarding the three companions I just think three has never worked since Hartnell.

    If it worked during the Hartnell period, it can work again. 🙂 More seriously, there’s a very good production reason for making three companions work – it means the actor playing the Doctor doesn’t have a production schedule that puts them in hospital after three series (or seasons).

    I’m not even talking metaphorically. David Tennant had to have a major operation on his back, Matt Smith was on crutches with his knee (and needed an explanation for his walking stick in his final story), Peter Capaldi was also having serious knee problems even though they’d tried hard to reduce the amount of ‘running acting’ he did.

    I think this episode was Chris Chibnall’s example for the next series’ writers. Two of the three are off on an exciting subplot (in this case, rescuing crewmembers) with something dramatic to talk about (Graham and revenge). The other companion takes the ‘But Doctor…’ role. If it works, we the audience gets an exciting Doctor Who story without it being a ‘Doctor Lite’ episode. The actor playing the Doctor isn’t in as many scenes, so can manage the extras (publicity interviews, appearances, etc) without working twenty hour days.

    #66605

    @magickirin

    more in character for Graham to kill  him.

    What on Earth in Graham’s character makes you think he has the potential to be a killer?

    Seriously, if you are going to make statements like that, illustrate with examples.

     

    #66606
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @thane16 @bluesqueakpip @pedant

    Guys – would you try not to let the conversation get derailed? It’s what they want. It’s like you’re shouting at Fox News.

    I’d hate to delete a whole load of posts again.

    #66610
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @bluesqueakpip @magickirin

    …[T]here’s a very good production reason for making three companions work – it means the actor playing the Doctor doesn’t have a production schedule that puts them in hospital after three series (or seasons).

    I’m not even talking metaphorically. David Tennant had to have a major operation on his back, Matt Smith was on crutches with his knee (and needed an explanation for his walking stick in his final story), Peter Capaldi was also having serious knee problems even though they’d tried hard to reduce the amount of ‘running acting’ he did.

    Yup, absolutely.  I agree with @magickirin that three has been awkward, with somebody inevitably not having enough to do.  But a group of four can be split into two pairs, so each sub-group can have dialog while split.  So, this way, maybe we can have someone play the Doctor for more than three years if they want, or at the very least not end up under the knife.

    Applause to Chibnall for going for it.

    #66613
    swordwhale @swordwhale

    I think I’m with @bluesqueakpip ; “the threat isn’t to people’s lives as such. It’s to their very selves, their souls.” Good insights into how Tim Shaw affects everyone we see.

    also @thane16 good insights! and this: “Mum just added this:Like ‘red- shirts’ but different and worth a closer inspection”

    I’ve been loving this entire season, this new face of the Doctor, the design, and the crap monsters… who point out the real ones are internal.

    So he lands by accident in front of two Ux who’re thinking he’s the creator and he hijacks their powers. He’s still crap. Whatever he does, whatever powers he abuses, he’s still – completely inadequate. Ryan and Graham are a lot more badass than he is.

     

    I still like Jodi Whitaker’s “fizzy energy”…

    @pedant ; There is a difference between ending the suffering of an individual and a death sentence… and which is it here? And when does that line become grey and fuzzy? (I’ve had to make many decisions about ending the suffering of animals I love, and think death sentences in general are rubbish, tho my enraged goddess instincts say “kill them, kill them a lot”)

    As for this is TV not real life, the point of sci-fi and fantasy is that it dives beneath the surface of reality and brings up deep truths…about real life… in the format of a fictional tale.

    Totally enjoying the discussion here, carry on!

     

     

    #66615
    swordwhale @swordwhale

    A someone who has injured her knees in many colorful and exciting ways (swordfighting, karate, and jumping out of a truck full of raptors on the way to a lecture… you have no idea how heavy a three pound great horned owl gets on one hand when your knee is screaming… augh, I can’t lift it anymore!)… I applaud a bit of standing around talking.

    Also as someone who likes to talk a lot…what’s the problem?????????????????

    #66616
    swordwhale @swordwhale

    and I too feel “bigger and better finales” goes along with “more explosions and effects” in films…

    that’s not storytelling

    so kudos to Chibnall & Co.

    #66617
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @swordwhale

    I too feel “bigger and better finales” goes along with “more explosions and effects” in films

    I think a finale can be bigger and better without explosions and effects, but that sure is the route a lot of filmmakers go with, isn’t it?  Very glad Chibnall and company avoided that one!

    #66618

    @swordwhale

    There is a difference between ending the suffering of an individual and a death sentence…

    Not if you are trying to legitimise a death sentence by claiming that it is ending the suffering of an individual.

    #66621
    nerys @nerys

    @magickirin I disagree that Graham has not moved on. Graham is not Clara, who used her travels with the Doctor to avoid dealing with Danny’s death. I think we have seen Graham coming to terms with Grace’s death in a number of ways. He doesn’t avoid thinking or talking about her (for example, in Rosa). And I think what happened in “It Takes You Away” really made him face the fact that she is gone, never to return.

    #66622
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @nerys

    I think what happened in “It Takes You Away” really made him face the fact that she is gone, never to return.

    Agree completely.  It’s interesting to speculate if he would have gone ahead and shot Mr. Stenza if it hadn’t been for “It Takes You Away.”

    And it’s all too easy for those of us who’ve faced injustice or want a wrong righted (or just have some vengefulness inside) to say “He should’ve shot him.”  Whether any of us would have or not is worth considering, and no doubt what Chibnall and company would like us to do.

    But I’m with @nerys here.  I can’t see Graham doing it, not at this point.

    #66624

    @kevinwho @nerys

    But I think we can all be with @craig

    #66627
    ichabod @ichabod

    @magickinn  The Doctor has companions who have killed before and that has not been a problem for earlier one.  I can see  several of the incarnations having no problem if Graham did it.

    I thought that, too, and it’s bugging me.  I’d accept “no killing the bad guys” as a new rule, a result of what the AG Doctors have learned in their more lethal adventures, if WhitDoc were to articulate why Graham must not kill someone who’s trying to kill him, beyond the “no better than he is” stuff.  If I shoot a thug who’s threatening to shoot me, does that make me “no better than” him?  Not to me, it doesn’t, and I’d rather deal with the PTSD I’d incur than with the medical ramifications of his bullet in my guts instead.

    The across-the-board, blanket non-violent Doctor, if that’s actually what we’re seeing now, reminds me of the old westerns on US TV, where the Lone Ranger never killed a bad guy, but would shoot the gun out of his hand.  While both were riding galloping horses.  Kind of like Graham, with no training and an unfamiliar weapon in terrible lighting, shooting Tim Shaw in the foot and actually hitting what he aimed at.

    Well, the Lone Ranger was for kids, and this is also supposed to be for kids primarily now, so . . . I’ll probably be better off with my nifty crime series from Europe, on HMZ (they are not for kids).

    #66628
    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  . . . the BBC has said ‘early 2020,’ so it’s not two years at all.

    Are you sure?  I’ve only seen “2020”.  If it ends up as September 2020, that will be a pretty long wait.  I hope you’re right, and I hope BBC is being realistic, not just optimistic.

     

    #66629
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @magickirin I see where you’re coming from with Graham not moving on – but I disagree. At the beginning he decided to travel with The Doctor while standing in his now empty flat talking to Grace in his head. So yes, there is a degree of avoidance, of not wanting to stay in the place where he spent, it appears, the happiest but much too short time in his life.

    But a part of this decision was to spend time with his often sulky and a little passive aggressive step-grandson, with who he has never had a completely comfortable relationship with. On the one hand, Ryan is an enduring link with his dead wife. But he’s quite an awkward one. I remember a line in a J.D. Salanger short story where the adolescent protagonist notes the awkwardness of living with his step father with the discovery that they are both in love with the same person (his dead mother).

    Graham works hard on his relationship with Ryan. He talks of his own grief to try and help Ryan talk about his. To an extent he’s more focused on Ryan dealing with his grief than he is on his own. But there are little touches.  Realising he has to stay sitting on the bus, giving his ‘good man’ speech to a man he knows has to die, these things hit home to him particularly because he wasn’t able to save Grace. He can’t get past the one mistake the Solatrict made with Grace – missing her love for Ryan, and he has to let her go.

    Then in this episode, Tim Shaw is back, and his own grief rises right up to the surface. He wants revenge, he snaps at Ryan. But all the work he’s done on his relationship with Ryan pays off. And by choosing to travel through time and space with him, rather than get on with life in his lonely flat he’s managed to hold on to what was so important about Grace.

    His first instinct is that Grace would want him to kill Tim Shaw. Hard to say, in terms of wanting to be avenged, but she didn’t seem a very vengeful person. He wanted to kill Tim Shaw, for taking this wonderful woman away from him. The Doctor saying no had very little influence on him. All this is consistent with the love and grief he feels. But Ryan knew Grace wouldn’t want him to do it, as much if not more for his own sake, and additionally, Ryan didn’t want him to do it.

    As you say, Graham hadn’t had a significant relationship before Grace. He might never have felt loved, except by parents. This episode saw Graham find out that he was still loved. The episode before earned him a ‘grandad’, but now he’s told – by a nineteen year old – ‘I love you’. And this is the love he gets by being a good man. ‘You never thought I was good enough for your grandma’, that probably hurt because he shared those doubts.

    Most – or at least, many – people probably would try to kill Tim Shaw in those circumstances. But a big part of the Ryan-Graham arc is about Ryan coming to see what Grace saw in Graham. He’s better than that.

    @ichabod I might need to rewatch but I don’t think the ‘don’t kill him’ was about not killing him in self defence. She let him have a gun. She didn’t want Graham to hunt him down and kill him for revenge. Graham went back to get Tim Shaw for a particular motive. It wasn’t to prevent him doing more harm, it wasn’t even punishment for all his crimes so far. It was personal vengeance. The Doctor since the reboot has been caught between guilt over all the people who have died ‘because of my mercy’ and guilt over turning people into soldiers. Her behaviour over this is actually one of the most consistent elements of characterisation.

    #66630
    thane16 @thane16

    @craig

    huh? What did I do? I think I chatted REALLY well with @bluffme. I was discussing the post and asking ‘propa’ questions of the poster?  at post #66594. But if you think that this person just wouldn’t listen – I get that. They probably wouldn’t. Which is why I being genuinely interested in answers!

    And I’m not chatting with the untagged ‘magic’ person.  Not goin’ there!  😉

    But, sorry! I shall not talk too much.

    P.

    #66631
    TranslatorCircuit @translatorcircuit

    I was planning to post comments about each episode in Series 11 just after they were shown, but unfortunately I didn‘t get round to it. I haven‘t read any of your comments for this episode or several previous episodes before posting this, so they haven‘t influenced this post. I hope you reply to me.

    What can I say?! There were so many concepts to try and come to terms with.

    The Doctor and friends arrive on another alien planet. That‘s good! It‘s obvious to me that too many stories in Doctor Who have been set on Earth, especially in this series. They have to wear neural balancers to prevent the planet from driving them mad.

    They meet up with a ship‘s Captain called Poltracky (SP?) who seems to have lost his mind, then a neural balancer from The Doctor enables him to regain it.

    The Ux (SP?) are a species which has only two members living at any one time! How is that possible? I want to know more! Perhaps they‘re born pregnant, a bit like the Tribbles in Star Trek: TOS, but then when giving birth they die.

    Tim Shaw, The Stenza from “The Woman Who Fell To Earth“ actually reappears in this episode! This means there is a sort of series arc, although that was denied previously. This was probably just to surprise the viewers.

    I‘m glad that during Series 11 there were lots of new enemies. I don‘t think that new enemies have appeared frequently enough before now. In spite of this, I hope that in Series 12 we‘ll see the return of some old enemies, such as The Daleks, The Cybermen, Missy/The Master, The Zygons, The Autons, The Slitheen, The Rani, The Mara, or even Omega, who has already died twice, although that‘s fewer times than The Master.

    Tim Shaw was collecting whole planets, then miniaturising them, but I‘m not sure how that‘s possible. He wasn‘t killed, but I think he should‘ve been. Lots of people and aliens have been killed in previous Doctor Who stories, dating back to a Cyberman in “The Tenth Planet“ (1966) by companion Ben Jackson, who wasn‘t dumped by The Doctor immediately afterwards.

    I‘ve now heard that the BBC says that there will be no Doctor Who series 12 until 2020! I don‘t know how they dare to even suggest this! It all seems to be with taking too long in post production. I think that the Production Team on Doctor Who needs to find a quicker way of working, as well as having more more people working on Doctor Who. As for the number of episodes in Series 12, I think it must be restored to at least 13 episodes. Without checking my classic series Target Books Programme Guide by Jean Mark l‘Officier, in the 1960s, it seems that Doctor Who was showing one episode per week for most of the year. My reaction to this disgusting news from the BBC is close down Eastenders now! It‘s a waste of valuable resources! Make 2019 an Eastenders gap year!!

     

    #66632

    @translatorcircuit

    I‘ve now heard that the BBC says that there will be no Doctor Who series 12 until 2020! I don‘t know how they dare to even suggest this!

    Budget. Check around the forum. This has been discussed and explained at length. Check especially BBC Approved Spoilers.

    #66633
    thane16 @thane16

    @craig @pedant @kevinwho @nerys

    I think we know exactly who we’re with, right?

    Craig’s correct. Let’s not bother with the nasties who do an occasional fly-by. Talk of a character being a coward etc isn’t nice. If I were in charge of the sandpit, I’d be turning away. I think that’s a good plan. Otherwise he might need to delete whole threads.

    The series has had a ‘tense’ response in a few nasty media circles. A few rough days, an occasional misstep, it’s been handled well here.

    I loved the episode. @bluesqueakpip had good reasons why more than one ‘adventurer’ is splendid – from her place as actor and the practical arguments too.

    Two companions could …..hatch a plot, or, chat at some distance from the Doctor, something they are scared to mention or are fearful of. Other adventurers could ask of one another, “am I a good father, uncle, sister (now it’s established the Doctor is all of those).”

    It gives those same buddies a chance to grow and to do so away from the all encompassing ‘Lord Doctor.’ I loved Tennant and so many Doctors BG but the Doctor was THE number one person alien with the companion, learning, only occasionally talking back which happily seeped into favour with Donna and later, with Amy/ Rory -so we’re working toward a 3-companion split as far back as 2010, particularly with River. The River Gang were heavy hitters: experienced, opinionated, aware of their influence on time and space.

    We just have a new set.

    Puro with Thane-in-chat-mode.

    #66638
    Kevin Who @kevinwho

    @ichabod said –

    I’d accept “no killing the bad guys” as a new rule, a result of what the AG Doctors have learned in their more lethal adventures, if WhitDoc were to articulate why Graham must not kill someone who’s trying to kill him, beyond the “no better than he is” stuff.

    My thought was maybe Graham could have articulated it. I know when I used to watch TV dramas, they’d almost always let the hero express moral superiority over the villain during the climax. So maybe some of us were wishing we’d get something like what I made up over on the fan creativity thread:

    https://www.thedoctorwhoforum.com/forums/topic/general-thread-fan-creativity-2/page/4/#post-66637

    Would something like that have been worth cutting a couple of minutes elsewhere? Or would it have undercut what the episode and series have been trying to do?

    #66641
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @ichabod

    I’d guess that the Series 12 Announcement on the BBC Doctor Who Official site has been vetted and approved by the BBC – it specifically says ‘early 2020’ in the very first paragraph.

    This might translate as ‘New Year Special’ then the main series a bit later, but it definitely says ‘series 12 is on its way and will be returning to BBC One in early 2020.’ That doesn’t sound like it’s going to be September for the main series.

    #66642
    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  . . . series 12 is on its way and will be returning to BBC One in early 2020

    Good!  Thanks.

    #66644
    TranslatorCircuit @translatorcircuit

    @pedant I don’t care about the BBC and their budget which refuses to give enough funds to Doctor Who! Recently the only BBC TV programme I’ve watched is “Doctor Who”. I used to watch BBC Click as well, but that seems to have gone downhill. As far as I’m concerned the BBC is closing down on January 2, 2019.

     

    BTW, I’ve written a brilliant script for Eastenders (started during the first Doctor Who gap with Doctor Who money), which goes as follows…

    “There’s a big event taking place in Albert Square. Due to some documents which have recently been discovered, someone who lives or has ever lived in Albert Square is entitled to receive £1,000,000,000. However, they can only receive this money if they return to Albert Square in time for an announcement about who is entitled to the money, otherwise it will be given to someone else. This causes all former residents who have moved away to return. Suddenly, a plague type disease breaks out, then Albert Square is put under quarantine by the authorities. Den Watts (who has previously died twice) suddenly reappears and is revealed to be a Dalek agent, reprising his role as Kiston from ‘Resurrection of The Daleks’. He says this plague is part of a Dalek plan to take over the Earth. The Doctor’s TARDIS materialises in Albert Square. The Doctor and her friends come out wearing spacesuits to avoid infection. The Doctor throws a force field around Albert Square to prevent the plague from spreading any further. Some Daleks turn up and start attacking the force field to put it out of action. In the ensuing battle, the whole of Albert Square and everyone inside the force field is incinerated, so there are no buildings or survivors left except The Doctor and her friends, who leave in the TARDIS. Finally, Den Wats wakes up in an old people’s home. The whole series of Eastenders from 1985 to the present is revealed to have been just his dream. Den is given some medication by a member of staff, then he goes to bed. THE END”. (Following this series finale the entire BBC budget for Eastenders, as well as the produczion crew are transferred to Doctor Who).

     

     

    #66645

    @translatorcircuit

    I don’t care about the BBC and their budget

    Unfortunately, the BBC doesn’t have this luxury.

    PS “Brilliant” does not mean what you think it means. See “Dimensions in Time” for reference.

    #66649
    ichabod @ichabod

    @kevinwho  My thought was maybe Graham could have articulated it. I know when I used to watch TV dramas, they’d almost always let the hero express moral superiority over the villain during the climax. So maybe some of us were wishing we’d get something like what I made up over on the fan creativity thread:

    https://www.thedoctorwhoforum.com/forums/topic/general-thread-fan-creativity-2/page/4/#post-66637

    Would something like that have been worth cutting a couple of minutes elsewhere? Or would it have undercut what the episode and series have been trying to do?

    For all we know, they did film something along those lines, but it was left on the cutting room floor.  You never know.

    #66650
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @ichabod I’m a fan of the Netflixs Marvel TV shows, and one thing I like about episodes mades specifically for the platform is the irregular run times. It’s not usually more than a few minutes, but it feels as though if they felt an episode had to be 53 minutes, it’s 53 minutes, if they felt this particular episode was a 46 minute story, they did it in 46 minutes.

    Not practical for broadcast TV, of course it’s not. But I do wonder if they’ve ever considered a ‘Director’s cut’ style of thing. Of course those often involve several minutes of film time that was quite rightly cut, but I do often feel watching Doctor Who that some really quite important scenes have been shot and cut or dropped entirely.

    #66663
    ichabod @ichabod

    Yes, I’d love that — maybe some day, but I doubt it — unless BBC thought they could make Big Bucks from selling that on DVD.  There may be contractual problems with coming around later to do that, too?  At any rate, I doubt they’ll bother . . . maybe some day after the whole program ends.  But I rather have the program keep going, and just imagine the lost scenes!

    I do agree that there’ve been serious gaps left in the episodes as released.  I don’t know, though — have there been Directors’ cuts released of famous movies that have actually been better than the originals, and have sold widely and well?  I don’t follow the history of that sort of thing, but I haven’t seen much in the way of those versions circulating on social media for some years now.

    My impression has been that the longer renderings have been strictly for the fans, as the they tended to turn out to be something of an embarrassment and a let-down.  At least, that’s what my scrappish memory tells me . . .  wasn’t there a Director’s Cut of “At Heaven’s Gate” (“Door”?)?  That was a hugely long film, and I doubt that anyone but sincere afficionados ever watched it, let alone watched *all* of it.

    Still, we can dream . . .

     

     

    #66665
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @ichabod The one that immediately springs to mind is “Bladerunner”. The studio forced Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford to lay down a voiceover, as they thought no one would understand the film. You can tell Ford was bored with the whole thing. In the “director’s cut” they dropped the voiceover and added a few extra elements.

    A lot of people think the “director’s cut” without the voiceover is far superior.

    That said – I actually like the voiceover version just as well as the subsequent versions as it makes it a throw-back to film noir. But that’s just me.

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