The Ghost Monument

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    Arbutus @arbutus

    @jimthefish   I too saw a certain amount of Matt Smith, this week, but both this week and last, I’ve been seeing Davison rather than Tennant. It might be that she undersells that bright sunny aspect a bit, so it recalls for me more of Davison’s cheery but restrained demeanour. And I never minded the cricket outfit, so that may be why I’m okay with this look as well! But it’s possible her look will evolve as both Smith’s and Capaldi’s did. One other thing about her current outfit is that, for me, it channels a little bit of millenial nerdism that perhaps calls out the techie side of her character.

    I think we all have to give her time, as it may take a while both for Whittaker to settle into the part, and for the writers to settle into her take. I enjoyed that evolution with Capaldi and I’m perfectly happy to enjoy something like it again.

    Regarding the Stenza. In the Big Finish audio world, there was at one time a move toward portraying the Daleks as in an “evil empire” fashion, and they were much more effective as a collective or societal menace than an individual one. I caught a hint of that in the references to the Stenza in this episode. As has been said, Tim Shaw was not terribly threatening. But apparently, his people are out there colonizing the universe, and from the sound of it, a force to be reckoned with.

    @mudlark @juniperfish    Love your thoughts on the TARDIS!

    @ardaraith    I loved that moment, too, with Ryan and the gun! The sense of “it’s all so easy, I’ve seen this before”, until it isn’t.

    @geoffers    I had exactly the same thoughts about the Doctor’s surprise at not finding the TARDIS. Perhaps she is still in a bit of a mental muddle after regen?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    I hope I haven’t just spammed everyone, I had a little trouble getting this to post. The site claimed I had posted it already, but it wasn’t showing up for me. Apologies if you’re seeing the last post a few too many times!

    Mudlark @mudlark

    It rained all day here, so there was no incentive to work in the garden and I seized on the excuse to indulge myself be re-watching the episode, as well as watching the BBC adaptation of The City and the City which I recorded months ago but had never got round to viewing.

    First, though, I succumbed to a masochistic impulse and ventured BTL on Dan Martin’s blog in the Guardian, which at least kicked me out of my morning lethargy and generated a good head of steam. One of the commonest opinions offered by the legion of Usual Suspects was that the dialogue was clunky and there was too much ‘tell’ rather than ‘show’. While I concede that the dialogue did not have quite the wit and depth of Moffat at his best, I really cannot see that there was much to complain about, and it would have been difficult to avoid the ‘tell’ element, given that Graham, Ryan and Yaz had been flung without warning into a completely bewildering situation which inevitably required a good deal of rapid-fire explanation if it was to seem at all realistic. The only point at which I found this at all clumsy, though I didn’t comment on it yesterday evening, was in the way Desolation was explained – with the Doctor reading from the inscription on the floor. My own feeling is that it would have been better to have left it at least partially a mystery, while providing some hint that the Stenza were involved.

    Rob @rob

    Well, I think it was better than last week, the lethal bandages were a little mumbly or gabbled

    Graham’s character progressed significantly especially when compared to Yasmin and Ryan

    The Timeless Child could be Jenny

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Yes, I received two separate notifications, as presumably did everyone else who was tagged, but no apology is needed. These things happen, and anything is better than losing a lengthy post entirely, which happened to me a few days ago.


    The Timeless Child could be Jenny

    Somehow I don’t think so. The Doctor felt that the Remnants were reading her mind,  and clearly thought the reference was to her, even if she didn’t understand.

    That the Doctor is an anomaly and a far from typical Time Lord has been emphasised from at least the time of the fourth Doctor until the present. He was the one who barely qualified for the Academy and who was taunted by Romana I for having graduated at a lower grade than she did, but who is driven to engage passionately with the universe in contrast to the normal, icily hands-off policy of his people; the misfit whose rashness, or perhaps his sense of inferiority, led him (or her) when young to a traumatic encounter with the Matrix and, ultimately to flight from Gallifrey, but who was nevertheless employed on occasion as an agent of the Time Lords. He/she was at the centre of the enigma of the Hybrid, so why should there not be further depths and mysteries to explore?

    As for the Remnants – animated bandages, dish cloths, blankets or rags according to individual perception, the first thing that they brought to my mind on seeing them was the ghost entity in M R James’s ‘Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad’, which always gave me nightmares when I was young and impressionable.


    Arch @arch

    Since we now know that the stenza are not a throw away one episode villain and would appear to be shaping up as this seasons cybermen I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that their appearance on earth was not random.

    If they were to be prepping for an invasion it would make sense that they would try to weaken earth in some way before hand. If the targets that were being chosen were not random but important in some way to earths future defence. They may be attempting to change or interfere with earth history to weaken them in the future. Though two random Sheffield twenty somethings seem like odd targets at this stage which are the only targets we can confirm their may be more. I suspect this may come up in later episodes.

    Or maybe I’m giving them too much credit and it’s completely unrelated.


    @jimthefish @geoffers et al

    Oh, and where the hell did those sunglasses come from?

    From dialog just before Graham complains about getting sand in his eyes:

    “Oh, I forgot I put stuff in these pockets”

    And then, after given the shades to Graham

    Like and old pair of mine…I say mine; can’t remember…. etc etc”

    So was directly addressed in dialogue and heavily implied that she stocked up in the charity shop with a few things she liked.

    I wasn’t even listening out for that, but it jumped out at me in a “How the hell did I not notice that?” kinda way, so I checked the subtitles.

    FrostFair @frostfair

    I really enjoyed Ghost Monument: fun, chilling at times and perfectly dealt with in just one episode.

    I liked that the Stenza were nit a one-off villain, they are certainly sounding more interesting and sinister than the hapless “Tim Shaw” led us to believe.

    The hint of a “Timeless Child” arc was intriguing.

    Also Graeme is an interesting character too. I am enjoying how Bradley Walsh is portraying him – he says exactly what I’m thinking….but he got out of the medipid much more quickly than Ryan – how and why?

    Can I also say what a relief this blog/site is. Just looked at the Guardian comments – they were all so negative – were they really watching the same show?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Cheers for that. A slightly unconvincing explanation to my mind (are they really the sort of thing 12 would be carrying about? Maybe they would.) But at least it shows that Chibbers is cleaning up after himself (narratively speaking) a bit more these days.

    On a rewatch of both episodes, I have to say I quite like the focus on a more working class outlook on the universe in CC’s writing as compared to SM’s rather more middle class one. It’s a refreshing change and I hope it continues to play a role in his stories….

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @jimthefish Agreed on the class perspective.

    I’ve been re-watching Christopher Ecclestone’s Doctor again (Netflix) and lamenting that he only stayed one season. Him and Billie Piper are still absolutely wonderful together, and chosen quite deliberately by RTD as actors from working-class backgrounds.

    As for Chibnall’s themes – a planet called Desolation which is a) environmentally poisoned b) dedicated to warfare above all else and c) the site of brutal competition where there are only “winners” and “losers” (zero sum) and which insists on playing a “game” where no co-operation is allowed. That’s a pretty heavy reference to the state of our own little planet right now, as we hurtle towards terrible climate change impacts, merrily selling arms to the Saudis whilst Yemen starves, under a rapacious late capitalism which seems intent on cannibalising itself.  He ain’t playing!


    I knew there was something else I’d noticed but took ages to find.

    “Bonuses and snaketraps”

    Snakes and Ladders.

    In space.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    I’m not yet used to tuning in on a Sunday. I’ve always known DW as a bit of Saturday primetime, my body clock is struggling to adjust!

    With regards to the episode it was okay. Not bad, but not one I expect to rewatch. Ryan and Graeme are really fleshed out characters already and JW fits in well as the Doc. Haven’t really felt the same can be said for Yaz yet, though I expect that might change next week.

    The Timeless Child interests me though. The inference is that it connects to the Doctor’s childhood, the question is how. A possible curveball though could easily be it referring to Susan, the family thread is the one thing I’ve noticed has survived the Moffat-Chibnall handover, especially relationships between grandparents and grandchildren.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    I loved this episode and felt that JW was continuing to cement herself into the role as the Doctor. I felt that this episode was essentially a continuation of the introduction of the new Doctor and the new companions.

    As for the Stenza, I am not 100% convinced yet that they are a part of any underlying arc though I am not ruling that out yet. I don’t know why but there was a fleeting moment when Bradley Walsh’s character was rubbing his chest or abdomen that made me think he’s only signed up for one series and given that Graham is supposed to be a cancer survivor I couldn’t quite shake the feeling they were setting up an out for him, especially given B W’s workload on his quiz show does not appear to have been effected.

    As for the new TARDIS interior I felt we haven’t really seen enough to make a proper judgement on it, though I did like what I saw . If memory serves me all the post AG Tardis interiors have been very organic or steampunky and pre gap the interiors and control panels were more technical and scientific so it’s not surprising they’ve continued in the same vein.

    Notime @notime

    The sniper bots were terrible shots.  The native inhabitants must not have been nearly as quick as humans.   Or perhaps they trained at the Storm Trooper Academy…


    I think I am enjoying the companion introductions without them being seduced by the capabilities of the TARDIS… least right away.  From their point of view, the best feature so far is the cookie dispenser…..excluding the space/time traveling thing of course.

    Does anyone recognize the cookie (biscuit) type/flavor?   I wonder if they are available here in the States?

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    I’m not used to the new timing for episodes. A Sunday evening UK time makes in Monday in Australia, so it’s harder to find time to watch. I’ll have to get used to it though 🙂

    I liked this episode a whole lot more than the first one in the series. I felt that the tone swung back much more to where I expect the show to sit. Some hints towards an arc were welcome. It even retroactively improved the first episode a little, with the Stenza encounter seemingly meaning more as part of a wider storyline. I didn’t pick that the Ghost Monument was the Tardis until it was shown, so the misdirection around that worked, at least on me.

    I enjoyed the new intro- obviously calling back to older iterations, but doing its own thing.

    Character development still seems a bit slight for the companions- I felt in some ways that we got to know the one-off characters in the episode better than we have Yaz in particular.

    The overall Tardis interior design didn’t grab me. Overall a bit dark, and the spinning mini-Tardis in the centre of the console, especially it wobbling around as it spun, bothered me a bit more than it probably should have. (I know that some BG consoles were very wobbly 🙂 )

    On those commenting on the sunglasses- it occurred to me also they must be things she’d picked up on Earth, probably at the charity shop and, despite the banter, definitely nothing to do with Archimedes. At that point, the Doctor hasn’t revealed that she has access to time travel, so it must have seemed very off-the-wall to Graham and the others.


    given that Graham is supposed to be a cancer survivor I couldn’t quite shake the feeling they were setting up an out for him, especially given B W’s workload on his quiz show does not appear to have been effected.

    I’d find it very unsatisfactory to have someone leaving the Tardis due to a chronic medical condition. That is something that the Doctor could help him address, given time. Graham has already spent time in a medipod, and if it had time to implant a universal translator, a little cleanup of dormant cancer seems a higher priority.

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    I meant also to mention, that since Ryan and Graham are now aware of the ability of the Tardis to travel in time, I’d be expecting them to be asking very shortly about going back to save Grace.

    Kharis @kharis

    Definitely better than the first episode, in almost every way.

    I’m loving the story arc being laid out, plenty to chew on there!  The ‘Timeless Child’ was tantalizing, and certainly a little ominous. I’m hoping that Chibnall doesn’t dive too far into the Doctor’s origin story, mostly because an air of mystery there is half the Doctor’s charm.  It sounds like the floating spello-tape/howler was hinting at the Doctor’s childhood, but I think it would be far more interesting if it was Susan or Clara/Charlotte.  I don’t think it’s Ashildr, because I still believe she is the “Nightmare Child” not the “Timeless Child” and I hope it’s not Jenny because I find that whole story very unappealing and hoping we don’t run into her again.

    Whittaker is doing a good job, and I think like Capaldi she is rightfully channeling all the Doctor’s incarnations.  The Doctor is supposed to be the same person at his core, so having all the personalities show up makes sense.

    The music is still very cliche sci-fi, nothing visceral or inspiring, but it works as background music, and I’m sure some would argue that you shouldn’t even notice the music if it’s doing its job properly. For me, I love composers like Murray Gold and John Williams because I feel they improve every episode/movie and I like to notice and enjoy the music.  On the other hand, I enjoyed the opening credit’s music, it had a nice retro feel to it.  I’ve liked other versions better, but this one was still very good.

    I’m glad that the Stenza have more to them since last week’s episode really concerned me with the boring characterization and black & white bad guy nonsense.

    The Tardis moment was a relief, and it started to feel like I was actually watching Doctor Who and not a new show called Doctor Who.  Not my favorite Tardis, but like a favorite Doctor, that depends on personal taste, so it could be the best Tardis ever for someone.  In my opinion, there was never a bad Tardis or second-rate Doctor, it’s just that different personalities and styles appeal to different people.  That’s why the lists online of best Doctor, or best Tardis 1 -10 is ridiculous, that’s just THAT PARTICULAR writer’s list, not hard facts. Basically, there is a Tardis and a Doctor for everyone, and this isn’t the one I’d like to open the door to as the Doctor.  Capaldi’s library Tardis or Smith’s steampunk Tardis would have suited me just fine.

    Overall, this episode gave me a glimmer of hope that Doctor Who didn’t become Torchwood or worse.  It did have a Firefly flavor, but that was fun for a single episode and worked with the Whoverse.  Firefly and Doctor Who have a similar vibe, so it’s tolerable. I was going to give the show a break for a while after last week’s episode, but now I may hang in there. Not an episode that would make my top twenty, even top fifty, but I liked it, and it worked, thank goodness.



    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @bendubz11 yes, the family thing – when she’s asked if she has family in episode one, she says no, she’s lost them, but she keeps them with her, thinks about what they’d think etc. At the time I thought maybe it was a way of putting all of that to rest, clean slate etc. And then I thought it tied in nicely with Grace’s death. But now…

    If this was popping up with Moffat I’d be thinking he and River had a baby, I’d be speculating about the Silence. But although we can clearly take what was said about this series with a pinch of salt, it seems that the focus will be more on BG Who. So I’m defiantly thinking its more likely to be Susan than, say, Jenny. (Even though she is occasionally reminding me of Davidson).

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @notime: That there is a custard cream. Absolutely useless in my opinion without a cup of tea, I hope there’s a kettle in there somewhere…

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @tardigrade I would put money on Graham’s time in the Tardis being his time in remission and him sacrificing himself in some way, with a speech along the lines of ‘I got (x amount) more years, I got Grace, I got to go on all these wonderful/absolutely appalling adventures’.

    Kharis @kharis


    Yes, I thought the Doctor was referring to dealing with the loss and moving on at first too, but with the hints she is forgetting something?  It is fun to start theorizing again!

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @pedant re the green police box – sorry, yes, I think all of us Sheffield/South Yorkshire Whovians are a bit over-excited at the moment about the local references and prone to miss the joke or the subtext!  We’ll settle down in a bit, honest.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @kharis isn’t it!

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    I would put money on Graham’s time in the Tardis being his time in remission and him sacrificing himself in some way…

    Yes- much more what I’m thinking. Although… now that I think back, Graham was out of his medipod first- conceivably that leaves room for him to have gotten a nasty diagnosis from the machine that he’s keeping to himself. Or maybe Ryan was in longer, as the medipod was trying to resolve his dyspraxia.

    NearlySane @nearlysane

    I think that Graham was only rubbing his chest after them having to run. I thought it was just a nod to the fact that he’s a bit older and so all the running would be expected to take more out of him, rather than as we often get in TV everyone appearing to be equally fit. That causes its own issues as regards Ryan’s dyspraxia though as I think it’s going to be way too easy for that to be only switched on when necessary

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    A few thoughts about Graham and Grace:

    Graham is supposed to be in remission from cancer, yet he recovers from the exposure to vacuum more quickly than either Ryan or Yaz. It should be the other way round: the younger, fitter companions should be the one out of the medipod first.

    Graham makes a joke about ‘will people stop sticking stuff inside me’.

    Graham didn’t expect to recover from the cancer – he appears to be retired from driving a bus.

    Grace is Ryan’s Nan, and Ryan clearly adored her. Yet her son wouldn’t come to her funeral.

    Grace clearly wants Ryan to accept Graham as his ‘grandfather’.

    Grace reacts with (over) confidence to the aliens, and is eager to destroy the surveillance device. So eager that she both risks her life and gets killed – and while doing so says something along the lines of ‘try to kill me, will you?’

    Grace was Graham’s chemo nurse, and in a perfect position to insert more advanced healing technology. Previous episodes written by Chris Chibnall make it clear that Rory (another nurse) was deliberately collecting such advanced technology and using it on his human patients – but did it in a way that wasn’t spotted.

    We know from Episode 2 that people were being ‘cleansed’ by the Stenza, and that some of them were running as far and as fast as they could.

    Possibilities? One is that Grace was one of the people running from the Stenza, and had hidden on Earth. This could explain Graham’s unexpected recovery from both cancer and exposure to vacuum (she loved him, and so saved his life with advanced healing tech that’s still inside him), Ryan’s Dad’s not turning up (he either knows to stay clear, or is Grace’s stepson) and the aliens turning up in Sheffield (they know there’s an escapee, but can’t spot the right one).


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @nearlysane I must admit at one point I was watching them run and thought ‘now Ryan falls over’ and topple he did. Only because I’m dyspraxic. I’m hoping they go a little further than the coordination issues though.

    NearlySane @nearlysane

    @miapatrick – Yep, I thought that too but’s then glossed over, and he later picks up the gun, goes outside runs about,  and blasts the admittedly crap snipers and runs back. Now fair enough, it was linking to video games but as I said my worry is that the dyspraxia is witched on and off to suit the situation.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Or the guns are self-aiming. And the sniper robots were designed to be an obstacle to the race, rather than slaughtering all the remaining contestants.

    Because they definitely had attended the Stormtrooper School of Sniper Training, and their weapons were rather low powered. 🙂

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    That’s my thinking @bluesqueakpip  If the Sniper bots were meant to be slaughtering the competitors, I don’t think they’d have waited until being shot at to activate. They’d have been active from the beginning

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    I love the Graham and Grace theory.

    Not sure about the reason for Ryan’s Dad’s absence though. Got the impression from Ryan he was a bit of a deadbeat Dad full-stop. We shall see.

    I do agree with several folk above that Yaz has been short-changed as a character so far. Hopefully we’ll get to know her a bit more next episode.

    Kharis @kharis

    @bluesqueakpip Possibilities? One is that Grace was one of the people running from the Stenza, and had hidden on Earth. This could explain Graham’s unexpected recovery from both cancer and exposure to vacuum (she loved him, and so saved his life with advanced healing tech that’s still inside him), Ryan’s Dad’s not turning up (he either knows to stay clear, or is Grace’s stepson) and the aliens turning up in Sheffield (they know there’s an escapee, but can’t spot the right one).

    Okay, officially accepted headcanon for me!  Good theorizing!

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Oh, like @kharis, I do like @bluesqueakpip‘s theories here.  I’d be surprised and disappointed if Ryan’s dad was that tired old stereotype of the Afro-Caribbean dead-beat absent father, so this opens up some much more interesting possibilities.  Ryan may well think that’s what his dad is but it would be great to have him proved wrong.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @bluesqueakpip – I thought the comment about people putting stuff in him was a reference to the bomb thing last week. But then it was Graham who said it… I like the theory. I’m inclining to Ryan’s dad being her actual son.

    @juniperfish – that was the impression I got, but as @cathannabel suggests, the truth could be more interesting, including, does he blame Grace in some way for Ryan’s mother’s death? Though in which case, depending on what he was told about her death, you think he’d be on his way to get his son out of there. But we don’t know what he’s been told.

    I think the father will be mostly absent, I kind of hope so because I’m interested in the development of Graham and Ryan’s relationship, and because four main cast members is enough. But there could be interesting interactions in the future – acquiring a step father when you’re basically middle aged can be unsettling. And Graham wants to be a (grand)father figure to Ryan (and I think he’ll succeed).

    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  perhaps my ageing brain has a problem processing  words delivered at machine-gun velocity.

    For me, it’s that plus the swallowed consonants — but I had trouble with “Deep Throat” for the same reason, and I’ve been watching with subtitles on ever since.  It helps a lot!

    the redesign of the Tardis interior; at first glance it seems visually very confusing

    And crowded, and gloomy — I didn’t like it at all.  It starts with a sort of Steam Punk vibe, and then gets all gigantic with forms that look — crystalline, but massive?  It looked cluttered and gargantuan at the same time, and dark as a dungeon.  The little video on the design helps — maybe if I look at it as being inside a gigantic semi-mechanical tree that’s also a cave full of gear wheels?  Wot?  I really like the concept as articulated by the designer — hands on, orgnical — but I’ll have to get used to the gloomy confusion.

    @bluesqueakpip  For equally obvious reasons the episode glossed over the projectile vomiting, major toileting failure, seizures, paralysis

    Yeh; kids, don’t try this at home — LOL!

    @jimthefish   I just can’t get on board with Whittaker’s costume, especially when she even managed to make Capaldi’s tattered outfit last week look stylish. A good Doctor’s costume might convey quirkiness or eccentricity but it should also convey authority. Even Troughton and Baker I’s did this. Baker II, McCoy and even Davison suffered as Doctors because their costumes erred to far on the risible side and so, I fear, does Whittaker’s.

    Gods, yes.  Nail/head: it’s the *authority* factor that’s missing.  This outfit makes an instantly-recognizable silhouette — of a cartoon character.  The wide wedge form of the coat and wide culottes, and then the slim bare calves — and then a pair of enormous boots!  It reminds me of Mickey Mouse and his ears, or Mister Natural and *his* huge shoes.  I do like her haircut — no nonsense, but flattering.

    @juniperfish  immediately latching on to the oldest dude companion and seeing him as the Doctor by default, we are used, culturally and historically to bestowing authority more commonly upon men. Which makes the whole question of authority, and how the Jodie Doctor wears it, carries it, wields it, and is recognised or not recognised (in show and out) as having it, highly intriguing.

    Good, that turns the costume thing into a bunch of interesting possibilities for me, instead of a bad joke.  Thanks!  So how does a female authority figure assert herself without wearing a version of male “authoritative” attire?

    @arch  Capaldi who I adore did his best work solo, Jodi I think will work better with a team.

    Hmm.  I thought Capaldi was brilliant as half of a two-hander as well.  The emphasis with Whittaker on forming up her team of companions by repeatedly using them as a team and telling them they’re a team does support a group-leader identity rather than the unique wild card steadied by one powerful relationship that Capaldi gave us.  Interesting in terms of gender politics as well, that contrast.

    @wolfweed  Stenza ™ is an American stationery company…  !!!  LOL!

    @notime  First place I would go is to the female racer’s home planet.  Two reasons.   Cleanse it of the “tooth fairies”

    I agree that we’ll get back there — but next ep is 1960s US, which suggests to me that the Tardis is going to take them where it wants them to be, so maybe there’s some glitchy interaction there at first; but I’m betting we head for Albar later to sort the Stenza, and then go find Illin to make sure none of those captive scientists aren’t still being held by him as a slave labor force for planetary engineering.  All that sneering arrogance and power must surely be addressed, and his next “game”, whatever it is, dealt with, IMO.

    @geoffers  maybe we’re in for (if not a full-on origin story) some new knowledge of the doctor from when s/he was a child…

    Maybe when the Doctor was a child — and a girl, at least for a while, as Missy (was it?) remarked?

    @nearlysane  the defeat that Jodie Whittaker showed before the TARDIS appeared seemed a bit odd, and out of character,

    Yes — but on the other hand, this is the first promise this new Doctor has made (to get them all back home stat), and it looks impossible, so her wobble into defeat reads right for a Doctor still a bit shaky from regeneration and faced with her first big setback.

    @missrori  Maybe Thirteen was getting flashbacks when faced with the possibility of three new acquaintances meeting their doom too…

    And that — though for me that would have to be nailed harder (with a real flashback, say), and clearly this early on they aren’t going to be harking back to Capaldi’s run, I think, since they’re pushing the “new beginning” vibe still to back up a female Doctor.  Maybe later there can be some clear reach-backs to the experiences of the earlier AG Docs as they connect with Whittaker’s character; or maybe that sort of long continuity work will wait til later in her series, when she’s firmly established as herself.

    @notime  I thought for a second the Doctor was going to pull out the sonic sunglasses for Graham to use….that would have been a little comical.

    Me, too!  I think that was a declaration to the fans that the sonic sunglasses are gone for good . . . a pity.  I got fond of them.

    @arbutus   I love having an older Companion in the TARDIS!

    Oh, yes; that’s really refreshing, and frees up Whittaker to not exercise her 2,000 year old woman self; a nice contrast to Capaldi’s rather stark “ancient alien bravely battles Time and loses” vibe (which I loved; but quirkily youthful is a great next step).

    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  the dialogue did not have quite the wit and depth of Moffat at his best

    Yes; no snap, little sparkle, but those are some of Moffat’s gifts — but not, as I thought watching B’Church, Chibnal’s.  It’s going to be workmanlike at best, which kind of suits the steam-punkish look of things so far.  I’d be missing Moffat’s brilliant flashes already, except that for me, the feel of this Doctor’s world is not brilliance but — sturdy exertion, rather as I expected.  So far, anyway.

    @notime  The sniper bots were terrible shots.  The native inhabitants must not have been nearly as quick as humans.   Or perhaps they trained at the Storm Trooper Academy…

    Ha!  Too true.  I wanted someone to make a snarky remark about how they needed tune-ups badly, but basically they shouldn’t have been specified as *snipers* considering how awful they were at hitting anything — just warbots still learning how to shoot would have been fine, and a crack about even a stopped clock etc. and ezbo’s wound could have kept the suspense up even so.

    Did anybody else have a bit of a reaction to how often JoDoc uses the sonic?  It’s solving an awful lot of problems in just this one ep — again, it’s very cartoon-y: a tool that can do whatever you need done at a given moment . . .

    @tardigrade  At that point, the Doctor hasn’t revealed that she has access to time travel

    Yeah, that was a bit goofy — that Graham doesn’t follow it up, but of course there’s running to be done.  I wonder if one bonus to having a couple of youngsters and an oldster on board the Tardis will turn out to be these characters begging for a look at historical bits — as the fans have been saying forever, let’s get more glimpses of interesting points in history!  That could be fun — Ryan would want battles (though maybe not so much after his run-in (and run-out) with the killbots.  What would Jaz want?  For Graham — maybe Boadicca’s chariot?  The building of one of the pyramids?  And I’m sure saving Grace will be raised as a possibility, and the Doctor will have to explain why they can’t do that — or maybe they can, and Grace can rejoin them?  Bit of a crowd, though.

    On Ryan’s Dad — maybe he got grabbed by the Stenza on a previous leadership outing?

    Mudlark @mudlark


    That there is a custard cream. Absolutely useless in my opinion without a cup of tea,

    I cling to a fading hope that some day before I finally pop me clogs there will be a Doctor who likes ginger nuts or chocolate digestives. Sadly, custard creams, with or without a cup of tea, appeal no more to my palate than do jammy dodgers, which is to say, not at all. 🙁


    Yes, I too sometimes resort to subtitles in case I miss anything critical in the dialogue. Maybe it is a result of growing up in an era when most actors on TV worked chiefly in the theatre and were therefore accustomed to articulating clearly, and it is certainly the case that I have no such difficulty when watching repeats or DVDs of older TV dramas. Such clarity not have been entirely naturalistic, but then dialogue in drama is rarely if ever entirely naturalistic anyway,  as may be demonstrated if you compare even the most ‘naturalistically’ rendered script with literal transcripts of unrehearsed speech or conversation.

    As for the new Tardis design, even taking into account the explanation in the video, I find it the most difficult of any so far to adjust to. In fact I have liked all of the previous designs in their different ways, from the pared down functionality of the original, which bore a passing resemblance to the control board of a power station of the period, to the organic feel of the tenth Doctor’s Tardis and, perhaps my favourite of all, the civilised, almost classical feel during the twelfth Doctors time at the controls.  The massive crystalline forms, the cluttered looking console and the eye-confusing business of the surrounding walls combine in an overall effect which strikes me as both  overpowering and claustrophobic.

    Another thing which I noted was that the police box is now, for the first time I think, represented as a kind of vestibule to the whole rather than as containing it, as if it were merely a portal to another dimension. Maybe that shift in concept shouldn’t bother me, but it does a little.



    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  Agreed on the Tardis — I loved the spaciousness of 12’s ship, full of stuff but never cluttery — like, you know, space.  That in itself was a sort of statement of authority, a Time Lord’s ship.  This new one — dungeons, no dragons.  I will try to ignore it until (?) it begins to seem natural by sheer habituation.  As for the police box as a mere entryway, I noticed that there was a sort of — vestibule effect in 12’s Tardis too, but not an actual hallway into the interior as here.  It just feels like more clutter, to me.  And where’s the balcony, second floor, whatever that was, with books?

    I have a sinking feeling that this Doctor doesn’t do books, much.  More likely, engines, maybe gekkos, hamsters, maybe a quagga . . . ?


    Mudlark @mudlark


    Did anybody else have a bit of a reaction to how often JoDoc uses the sonic?

    Yes, it did rather bring to mind the War Doctor’s sarcastic comment in The Day of the Doctor. On the other hand, it was used mainly if not entirely for opening and closing doors and as a scanning and diagnostic tool, both uses which are now established as standard and which could be seen as justified in the circumstances.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @mudlark yes, custard creams just taste generically of… biscuit. I’m not too keen on sweet things that aren’t sour. Apart from Hob Nobs.

    re: Tardis interior, I seem to recall when Bill first stepped in there was a similar effect?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  Yes, the sonic did what we know it’s supposed to do — I just felt it was used an awful lot in ep 2, but you’re right — it was warranted.  Just felt a bit intrusive.



    but I had trouble with “Deep Throat” for the same reason

    I really hope you meant “Deep Breath” there!

    On the other hand….

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @mudlark @miapatrick we’ll have to disagree there, Custard Creams are delicious, as is the case with all biscuit sandwiches. Custard Creams, Bourbons, Golden Crunch Creams, Jammy Dodgers, Oreos, Vienesse Whirls and Vienesse Fingers. All utterly scrumptious.

    XAD4 @xad4




    lisa @lisa

    Sifted thru most of the posts here,   so here is my take.  Another bit of a clunker episode.

    It just felt flat for me.  Jodie is trying to make her mark as the ‘all Doctors combined’ alpha

    female Doctor but I’m feeling that the writing isn’t doing her a lot of favors.  I’ve come to

    expect more from Dr. Who than I’ve felt so far from this new show.  Hopefully they will

    continue the story arc concept which might have possibly been hinted in that first

    episode as a ‘family’ theme. (In spite of the Doctor’s comment about not having any

    but the Doctor lies.)   Otherwise this  CC season might just turn into quite the let down for me!


    @mudlark @miapatrick

    I’m with @bendubz11. Apart from oreos which, besides being and American affectation, do something deeply unsettling in your digestive tract if you eat a whole packet.

    Not that I’m allowed any sodding biccies at the moment.


    One aims to please 🙂

    (Did you see my gif of Dinas’s fledging? Can’t recall if I tagged you or not.)


    LindaLeeRose is very taken with the new Tardis. Also, she knows a biscuit when she sees one:

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    Another thing which I noted was that the police box is now, for the first time I think, represented as a kind of vestibule to the whole rather than as containing it, as if it were merely a portal to another dimension. Maybe that shift in concept shouldn’t bother me, but it does a little.

    Noticed that also. I’ve always rather enjoyed the idea that the Tardis is bigger on the inside and literally contained within the police box exterior, at least in some sense, so I found having the bulk of the Tardis outside the police box a bit conceptually jarring.

    Notime @notime


        Did anybody else have a bit of a reaction to how often JoDoc uses the sonic? 

    I didn’t focus on how often it was used as much as HOW it was used.   As the end of the episode grew near, I began to wonder which mode she would use each time she pulled it of her pocket.  Seems like it has at least two modes……(1.)going to poke a wild animal and (2.)painting a fence.



    Another thing which I noted was that the police box is now, for the first time I think, represented as a kind of vestibule to the whole rather than as containing it, as if it were merely a portal to another dimension. Maybe that shift in concept shouldn’t bother me, but it does a little.


    Same here.  Weird to see the illuminated POLICE BOX letters readable from the control room.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @notime  I did love seeing Venusian Aikido put to such a good, simple use, and so effectively.

    @pedant Good grief — I did that?!  NO more wine at bed-time!


    ichabod @ichabod

    @lisa  Jodie is trying to make her mark as the ‘all Doctors combined’ alpha female Doctor

    Some comments I’ve seen have pointed out Jodie throwing bits of the other Doctors into her performance, but I have to admit, I’m not seeing that, and I remember that in interviews before the season started she said that she hadn’t watched DW before, and was asked by Chibnal *not* to watch it she she could keep her own personal fresh new take on the role.  That may have changed by now, or not; but I don’t see call-backs to previous Docs going on here, where others note that she’s playing it a bit like Tennant, or Tennant x Smith, or keeping some of Capaldi at the start (besides the outfit).  I feel she’s a fine sort of generic Doctor, but I’m not feeling any backbone of continuity with any of the Docs who came before her.

    It’s weird to say this, but — I find I’m a lot more interested in the companions, and even the others they all encounter in ep 2, than in this Doctor.  I’d like to know more about these people, and even the evil game-boss, but I’m not feeling that there’s anything much more to know about this Doctor than I’ve already seen (except for the tease from the murderous rags, “Timeless child” I think it was?).

    Maybe this actor just isn’t working for me in the role; it happens, as we all know.  Or maybe it’s Chibnal’s tone.   Well, it’s literally early days, and I’m in for the season and hoping for better.  As it is, this is just what I was worried about, not re Jodie herself, but the way the show is presenting itself to reach, teach, and reassure a younger viewership.


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