The Power of the Doctor
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This topic contains 57 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by TranslatorCircuit 4 months ago.
23 October 2022 at 19:22 #73569Craig @craigEmperor
In this feature-length special to mark her last adventure, Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor must fight for her very existence against her deadliest enemies: the Daleks, the Cybermen and her arch-nemesis, the Master.
Who is attacking a speeding bullet train on the edges of a distant galaxy? Why are seismologists going missing from 21st-century Earth? Who is defacing some of history’s most iconic paintings? Why is a Dalek trying to make contact with the Doctor? And just what hold does the mesmeric Rasputin have over Tsar Nicholas II in 1916 Russia?
The Doctor faces multiple threats – and a battle to the death.23 October 2022 at 21:06 #73576
Well my first gut feelings is that was better than I thought it would be, not saying more at the moment to avoid spoilers, and need more time to cogitate and digest it more23 October 2022 at 21:12 #73577IguanaMark @iguanamark
Wow, that was a great episode & such a shock at the end23 October 2022 at 22:37 #73578Juniperfish @juniperfish
I got absolutely soaked in a really wild thunderstorm on my way to the pub at tea time, so had to come home and try to dry the chill off my bones in time to settle in for The Power of the Doctor.
I was watching the incredible special effects and thinking, you know, I really wish we had lower production values and more frequent episodes – the gaps in between are sooooo long.
That said, this was a really super special, and a fitting goodbye for Whit-Doc.
Really delighted we got another outing for Jo Martin’s Doctor – she’s got such a sardonic and fabulous presence.
Favourite moment was definitely the “WTF” look shared by one of the Daleks and one of the Cyber-Masters as the Master got down to Boney-M’s “Ra ra Rasputin”. Sacha Dhawan was absolutely great – the vulnerability and the psychopathy so finely balanced. Lots of psychoanalytic things to say about the fact the Master wished to regenerate into the Doctor in a kind of Time Lord body-merge. He claimed that he intended to then thoroughly traduce the Doctor’s reputation for all time, by doing dastardly deeds in the “name of the Doctor”, but obviously, this course of action also revealed his desperate desire to both utterly possess the Doctor and to destroy himself.
It was touching to see Ace and Teagan again and I’m a huge fan of Nu Who’s revisiting of once-young-now-older companions, and the poignancy with which it throws into relief the Doctor’s experience of space/time, compared to that of his shorter lived earthly companions. The “Doctors’ Anonymous” support group for ex companions at the end was <chef’s kiss>.
Whit-Doc’s era was quite uneven, and took a long time to find its feet (in my view at least) but it has done brilliantly at opening up the being-ness of the Doctor going forward, so that in the future s(he) can be played by an actor of any gender and any ethnicity.
I’m gutted to see Whit-Doc go now, just when I feel she’s fully inhabiting The Doctor, but such is the nature of time and Doctor Who. I felt the same about Capaldi. Being heartbroken by a regeneration and filled with anticipation for the next incarnation is fundamentally what it means to be a Whovian!
Pretty sure the last sunrise the Doc witnessed was on the top of Durdle Door. A symbolic doorway, Durdle is apparently, according to Wikipedia, derived from the Old English “thirl”, meaning to pierce) and this time, it seems time is running backwards into Tennant Doc. Whit Doc’s expressed (to Yaz) intense desire for more time as herself (a similar sentiment to that expressed by Tennant at his own regeneration) may have been what has summoned this old incarnation back for unfinished business?
Pretty sure RTD is going to engineer a reunion with Rose at some point, just to make that section of the fanbase go wild.
Aren’t we lucky to be living through this new Who golden age?23 October 2022 at 22:50 #73579Ubik @ubik
Pretty sure the last sunrise the Doc witnessed was on the top of Durdle Door.
Durdle Door. Just along the coast from Whittaker/Tennant/Chibnall’s Broadchurch…23 October 2022 at 23:05 #73580toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond
was that Liz Truss as the leader of UNIT?24 October 2022 at 03:39 #73583
Well, I thought Chibnall redeemed himself. That was pretty great. I will wait until more people have seen it to go into details, but the nods to the past were simply wonderful.24 October 2022 at 04:01 #73584Krathoon @krathoon
I am curious as to why Jodie’s regeneration into Tennant included clothes. That was unusual.
I wonder if it has significance.24 October 2022 at 04:11 #73585
One more thing that needs to be said.
Enormous thanks to @craig for setting up the site, for looking after the site, and just being there.24 October 2022 at 04:22 #73586
Yes! that struck me as well. I assume it was that they did not want to distract from the surprise of Tennant. But I also wondered if there was a gendered assumption that the audience could not cope with a male Doctor appearing in the clothes of a female Doctor. I hope not24 October 2022 at 07:46 #73587Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent
I just saw the news of the latest regeneration on our TV news. I wasn’t expecting *that*! They certainly managed to keep it quiet. Though on reflection, the presence of past Doctors around Who HQ probably isn’t so newsworthy, given the number of past-Doctor cameos over the years.
And yes I’m happy with that news. After reading Juniperfish’s review I’ll fork out my ill-gotten [ahem] hard-earned dollars for the DVD with a bit more enthusiasm instead of just an obsession to ‘complete the set’.24 October 2022 at 07:47 #73588
Are we going do a non spoilery content in posts for the first 24/48 hrs to allow all our members who want to watch the special especially as I believe they haven’t done a simulcast across the counties like in other major who specials. Not that I haven’t thoughts and theories to spout but it only feels fair to our overseas members24 October 2022 at 07:47 #73589Krathoon @krathoon
Tegan being grumpy was great. The actress is kind of like that in real life too.
Ace was still the daredevil. The Doctor must have replaced her kinetically charged bat with a new one. It did not seem like a regular bat and the original broke in Remembrance of the Daleks.24 October 2022 at 08:03 #73591
@blenkinsopthebrave I thought Tennants return for the 60th anniversary specials had been pretty well established. Though the reason for the re/degeneration to TennantDoc has not yet been explained and how this is going to lead to this finally leads to the regeneration into Gnutidoc ( yes I know I’ve bolloxed the spelling), though I do have some theories as to this which I will discuss once I do not feel I am giving too much episode content for those who still want to watch the episode 😉24 October 2022 at 17:22 #73593
I think I need to watch this again. The last half hour made the whole thing worth it, but I just am not a fan of Sacha Dhawan’s Master. Also, I thought I had read in a post here that John Simm was returning to that role. Maybe it’s in one of the later episodes. At any rate, he never showed up here.
The end wasn’t a total surprise to me (and I wish it had been), because I’d read the news about Tennant returning. So it was just a question of how it was going to be done. It was one of the better moments of the episode. If you’re looking to score, the end is a good place to do it.
But I felt rather underwhelmed by the rest of it. A lot of frenetic activity, but also a lot of exposition which, as the mantra goes, if you’ve got to explain things, then maybe the story isn’t as coherent as it should be. That’s my main frustration with Chibnall’s writing. He seems to feel the need to explain too much. “I think he missed the “show, don’t tell” rule of writing. I was also surprised by the early exit of one current companion, and the later return of another recent one. The timing of both muted the emotional impact of farewell and reunion … at least for me.
And, did we have to have Cybermen … and Daleks … and the Master, all in the same story? I suppose the three-pronged threat, a sort of hit parade of the Doctor’s greatest foes, was meant to heighten our sense of imminent danger, but for me all it did was to clutter up an already convoluted plot.
On the plus side: The many faces of the Doctor was done well, as was the return of two long-ago companions. I especially enjoyed Ace, who doesn’t seem to have missed a step from her youth.
And I enjoyed Jodie Whittaker. I still think she was under-served by her scripts, but I also appreciate all that she did to bring her Doctor to life. Even if her Doctor wasn’t all that she could have been, as written, I think she gave her all to the role.
Like I said, maybe this will improve for me on second viewing. I hope so.24 October 2022 at 20:17 #73595Charlie Cook @charlie-cook
“I assume it was that they did not want to distract from the surprise of Tennant. But I also wondered if there was a gendered assumption that the audience could not cope with a male Doctor appearing in the clothes of a female Doctor. I hope not”
they left the master in her clothes (I know that wasnt a ‘proper’ regeneration)
Ace looked pleasantly well preserved ❤️24 October 2022 at 20:30 #73596k-9-where-are-you @k-9-where-are-you
When will this episode be rebroadcast? Any idea as to when the next episode with Tennant will be?25 October 2022 at 00:57 #73597
To @nerys – I agree with your comments.
Plot exposition: it has to go somewhere!” Viewers don’t want to get left behind.
Daleks & Cybermen: epic finale, or a case of diminishing returns?
Reasons to stay tuned: Sacha Dhawan: so-so-so charismatic. Gender-fluid fashion works for me every time, btw. David in costume: Space-time Regeneration Conversion Overlay.
Overall: This swansong extravaganza had some touching moments; was on the whole okay-watchable, but how many rabbits does a showrunner need to pull out of the hat to keep the viewing masses impressed?25 October 2022 at 12:55 #73599
OK, on second viewing, my opinion has improved. Once I got past the sorting of plot detritus, I focused more on the characters. I especially appreciated Jodie’s final portrayal of the Doctor. I think she got about as a good a sendoff as Chibnall could write, and she made the most of it.25 October 2022 at 21:11 #73603
Questions: I guess this just shows how little I have retained from the current era, but what happened to Dan’s house? He was supposed to be returning home, but then said he’d have to stay at his parents’ place. It looked like there was an empty spot where his house used to be.
Also, the Doctor asked the Master how he escaped Gallifrey. I thought the Master claimed to have destroyed Gallifrey. Yet he was able to scavenge old technology in order to do the forced regeneration. I do remember that the Doctor trapped the Master in a something-or-other (where, as I recall, the Master had first trapped the Doctor). The Master replied to her that he ingested a something-or-other. Was that one and the same thing?
I need to look up a synopsis of this entire 13th Doctor incarnation. It’s not complex on the level of Steven Moffet, but there’s a lot I have forgotten.25 October 2022 at 22:46 #73608
Real life, alas, has been rather demanding of late (which is why I haven’t posted in ages). I think I need a second watch, especially since my first watch was broken up a bit.
I thought the way they removed Dan was good – it’s all fun and games until you see the hole in your helmet. I presumed that removing him that early in the episode and replacing him with Vinder was an actor availability problem of some kind.
Agree that was Sacha Dahwan’s best Master yet, @juniperfish.
I think writing a distinctively female Doctor hasn’t been as easy as Chibnall thought it would be, which may partly explain the uneven feel of the Whittaker run. But I agree that, when we look back, we will see this as a great ‘opening up’ era. I also think the run suffered by coming straight after the Moffat era – the Moffat/Smith run really was a golden age, and the Moffat/Capaldi run had some astonishing writing and acting. After that, ‘yeah, the episode was okay’ felt like a letdown.
The Chibnall/Whittaker era tried something new, struggled to find its voice – but in the end, I think it succeeded. The only way to never fail is to never try anything new.25 October 2022 at 23:13 #73610
@bluesqueakpip I think Dan’s early exit probably was in part John Bishops availability as I seem to recall he has quite a hectic engagement schedule, also I was always a bit surprised when it was announced he was becoming a regular companion initially and that this would be an issue. It was pretty much the same issue I foresaw when Bradley Walsh was bought in when Jodie first took over, he is basically too busy other work wise to be able to commit long term. Getting his exit out the way early on in the story obviously allowed Chibnall to make more of the Yas/Doctor interaction. The way they made his exit actually allows for periodic return of companions easier with the “companion support group” though we all know the Doctors reluctance to return to old companions.26 October 2022 at 18:03 #73615Brewski @brewski
I’m not big on plot as a means of fan service, which this felt like a lot of.
That said, there is a fan moment I would have appreciated: if Kate had one last encounter with the Master where she walks up to him saying, “Nice to see you again,” and then decks him. Adding, “That’s for dad.”26 October 2022 at 20:12 #73618
OK, these articles answer my two main questions:
How the Master escaped Gallifrey.
The Master told Yaz, “I ingested the Cyberium.” I assumed this was in response to the Doctor’s question about how he escaped Gallifrey … but maybe not.27 October 2022 at 13:08 #73622
“The Power of The Doctor”. I was really looking forward to this special episode, especially after being deprived of new episodes for six months. I knew it was a regeneration episode, so that alone should make it exciting. I did enjoy it, but the question is how much? I was often thinking “What IS this?”, or “What’s happening now?”, which are good signs!
I thought that the multiple locations and different time zones, including a bullet train, Russia, volcanoes, a new planet near the Earth, and the time zones 1916 and 2022 were a nice touch, creating a multi faceted story.
Unfortunately, even in the preview six months before, when I first saw a clip of Tegan Jovanka from this episode, I thought to myself “Who the Hell’s that?!” I thought she looked absolutely nothing like her old self, meaning totally unrecognisable. Due to this, I thought a different companion should have been chosen. It could have been any other companion who is still recognisable, although I’m not sure who that would be. Perhaps it should have been Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) whose time as a companion coincided with Tegan, apart from in the story “Arc of Infinity”, when they reunited before the end. Tegan continued after her Nyssa’s departure rof course. I got a similar feeling with Paul McGann. I think it was only because he appeared with some other versions of The Doctor that I recognised him. Apart from this, how did Ace and Tegan actually meet and find out that each of them had once been a companion of The Doctor’s? This may have happened in a book I’ve never read or a Big Finish audio story which I’ve never listened to, but I don’t think that’s canon and I’ve even heard that Ace appearing in this special contradicts something that happened in a book or audio production.
It was great having The Daleks, The Cybermen, The Master, as well as various versions of The Doctor all in the same episode! I also thought that the idea of having three regenerations in one episode created more suspense about how the story would end. We now know that The Doctor has an unknown number or even infinite regenerations, so that means they may never run out of regenerations.
When I watched “The Timeless Children” for the first time, it sent shivers of excitement down my spine. I didn’t think this episode was as good as that. The whole timeless child storyline is a stroke of genius, so I’m glad it was continued with Jo Martin’s Doctor making an appearance in this story. I think it should even be used as a spinoff series which might be called “Doctor Who: The Missing Era”. In this series we could see more of Jo Martin’s Doctor, as well as some other Doctors before the Doctor played by William Hartnell.
It was great to see so many other Doctors, including from the classic Doctor Who series. Previously the BBC wouldn’t allow them to appear because they would look older than when they regenerated, so it wouldn’t fit in with the story. Now they’ve decided to allow this, but the BBC have got lots of money, especially from all the Doctor Who merchandise combined with the lack of new episodes, so they should have used some of this money to digitally de age them!
After Ace told Graeme she’d been fighting Daleks in 1963, I think it was pretty stupid of him to reply “1963?! How old are you?”, especially when he’d visited 1816 in the episode “The Haunting of Villa Diodati”.
I think it was amazing that The Master had once more escaped from what seemed to be certain death, but of course we’re never allowed to know how he does this.
I though that the scenes showing past incarnations of The Doctor in a desert reminded me a bit of the Star Trek TOS episodes “City on The Edge of Forever” and Star Trek: Discovery “Terra Firma” Parts 1 and 2. Of course, it looked different. There was no obvious gateway we could see, but it was a place they had to pass through. You could also say it was similar to the final episode of “Quantum Leap”.
The ending was still a surprise to me, in spite of all the rumours. The Doctor has never before regenerated into a previous form. I think that Jodie Whittaker has been fantastic as The Doctor, but unfortunately there was a lot of propaganda gainst her which people believed. This included claims that she can’t act, can’t remember her lines, and it’s not her fault it’s Chris Chibnall. One channel on YouTube seems to have been closed and archived for this hate campaign against Jodie. I now know that The Doctor will only be played by David Tennant for three episodes, but I don’t know if this is a good idea. I’m also supposed to wait a whole thirteen months to see this! During that time there should be a whole 13 episodes of Doctor Who, but we’ve been conned out of it!27 October 2022 at 23:01 #73627
@translatorcircuit I’m sorry but I find some of your comments about the cast bit offensively ageist just because an actor or actress has aged from their original times on the show doesn’t mean they can’t be in it now yes Janet Fielding(Tegan) has aged but in part that was supposed to be their part of the plot remember it’s supposed to be 40+ years since Tegan was left by the Doctor and 30+ for Sophie Aldred(Ace) I’m sure that in 40 years you will look different from what you look like today, and as for Paul McGann yes he looks older than his one main TV outing as the Doctor but so did the other pre gap Doctors except for David Bradley who was reprising his role as the HartnellDoc now Chibnall could have had some CGI magic done using the actors and made them look like their original appearances but to me that would have been wrong.28 October 2022 at 11:08 #73628
@devilishrobby I’m afraid I don’t agree with your comment on my post. I think that Janet Fielding now looks like a totally different person. I saw a short video of her taken at a convention years later where she looked similar to how she looked in Doctor Who, though. As for Paul McGann, he later appeared in the short video “The Night of The Doctor” in 2013, but he was still recognisable. I mentioned Nyssa (Sarah Sutton). I’ve seen some pics of her from 2022 and at least she still looks recognisable. So does Peri (Nicola Bryant).28 October 2022 at 13:09 #73629
You think they should have chosen a different actor because the ageing process has changed their appearance?
That doesn’t really make sense – in this episode Janet Fielding is playing a former companion of the Doctor. This former companion is thoroughly annoyed that the Doctor has apparently forgotten about her for nearly forty years. That means they need an actor, preferably one who did play a companion, obviously aged in their sixties or seventies. It doesn’t mean they need to look magically unchanged; it suits the script more if they’re visibly different and the Doctor still remembers them.
They also needed to match a companion who lives on present day Earth to living former Doctor, so they could both use the character’s resentment as a plot point and then have emotional closure for that sub-plot by the end of the episode.
For the current audience, it doesn’t matter that the actor now looks different, because only a minority will have watched the episodes from the eighties. For most of the audience, bringing back the original actor is simply a nice little extra.
I admit I didn’t recognise Janet Fielding’s face – but I recognised her voice as soon as she spoke.28 October 2022 at 19:13 #73632
@bluesqueakpip Sarah Jane Smith still looked recognisable in “School Reunion” (2006) although she hadn’t been in Doctor Who since “The Hand of Fear” (1976), as well as in “The Sarah Jane Adventures”, although she hadn’t appeared in Doctor Who for 30 years in between appearances! I also thought that all the Doctors were easily recognisable apart from Paul McGann.
As for “the current audience” who you think are watching, I don’t know where you get your information about them. I haven’t read Doctor Who Magazine recently, which I think has to be full of lots of rumours and half truths to fill it up, because of the lack of new episodes. Obviously most of the classic Doctor Who episodes are still available. Lots of them, or even most of them, are streaming, and I think most of them have also been released on VHS, DVD, and/or Bluray. I streamed “The Hand of Fear” only last week. I’ve got a friend who I introduced to Doctor Who about 18 months ago and he’s just nearing the end of the First Doctor’s Era. Apart from this he’s only seen The Twelfth to Thirteenth Doctor’s regeneration sequence and “The Woman Who Fell to Earth”. BTW, the last Doctor Who story I watched was “The Highlanders” (reconstruction), which I’d never seen before.
I’ve also been to some meetings where the other people attending have extensive knowledge of Doctor Who, both modern and classic series.
This problem with actors looking unrecognisable isn’t just confined to Doctor Who, though. I went to a Star Trek convention last year, where one of the actors signing autographs was a little old lady with grey hair and glasses. I was shocked to see a poster behind her showing her former role as Commander Elizabeth Shelby from ST:TNG “The Best of Both Worlds” (Parts 1 and 2). I think at least she should have got contact lenses or laser surgery, and dyed her hair blonde!28 October 2022 at 22:44 #73633
Yes, some people stay looking the same as they age. Others don’t. Elizabeth Sladen did, but I think you might have problems recognising Mark Strickson unless you knew who he was. A very famous and successful actor might have work done to make sure their face stays recognisable; the rest of us just update our photos every few years.
My point was that the part does not require the actor to be recognised as the same person. The overnights say four million watched this episode – are you arguing that four million people subscribe to Britbox? Because they don’t.
The fact that your friends are keen on the old episodes doesn’t mean you can extrapolate to the wider audience. I have a lot of friends who read the bible – that just means my friends tend to be from that subset of the population, not that the majority of the UK spends a fun evening discussing the Book of Job.
My information about the audience mainly comes from trade papers/websites and the broadsheets. I have sometimes been known to consult BARB, as well. Where do you get your information about the audience from?29 October 2022 at 12:19 #73634Juniperfish @juniperfish
But I agree that, when we look back, we will see this as a great ‘opening up’ era
Yes, and I am really grateful for it. The seeds were sown in The Doctor’s Wife, with the off-screen appearance of the Time Lord, the Corsair, described as sometimes regenerating male-embodied and sometimes female-embodied. And Missy and Whit-Doc and Martin-Doc have fully realised the concept of a female Master and female Doctors on screen.
I also think you’re right that Chibnall found writing a female doctor harder than he thought it would be.
Michelle Gomez’s Missy, in the Capaldi era, was absolutely excellent, inhabiting the Master’s capricious cruelty, villany, and obsessive Doctor-focussed mania with the strong continuity needed for the gender-swap to “take”. However, the fact that Moffat wrote The Master-as-Missy, i.e. the Master in a female incarnation, as the most redeemable version of the Master we’ve met, so that eventually, in World and Time Enough, she takes the Doctor’s side against her previous incarnation, falls, regrettably I think at least, into a gender stereotyping trap (no doubt unconscious) that women are “softer”.
As far as Whit-Doc goes, both the Doctor’s delightful, and oftentimes bombastic, arrogance, together with the Nu-Who era Doctor’s flirtatiousness, were excised from this female Doctor incarnation, again to her detriment (IMHO). Now, that partly reveals the mechanisms of the patriarchy. Whilst society is conditioned to accept that male arrogance can be endearing, and to accept that a hundreds-of-years older man romancing a teen girl can be sympathetic e.g. the entire vampire Twilight series (and here, Ecclestone and Tennant Doctors + Rose), we all know that female arrogance is socially punished (even if warranted) and that if the same romantic dynamic in the TARDIS had been an older woman Doctor and a teen boy or a teen girl, there would have been BIGLY complaints.
In the end, the writers’ room went with an unspoken (to one another) more age appropriate (to human eyes) Yaz-WhitDoc romantic attachment, inspired by the “Thasmin” fandom of this pairing. And I appreciated it, even as it gave the strong impression that, because this was a queer (in human terms) romantic undercurrent, the kiss afforded Nine-Rose, Ten-Rose and Eleven-River was bottled.
Jo Martin’s Doctor was truly ground-breaking as the first black female Doctor, and I really regret that she was only afforded a bit part, when she inhabited the role so commandingly. I would have loved to follow her own adventures further.
But I am all in on Ncuti Gatwa and can’t wait to see what happens next.29 October 2022 at 14:02 #73635
@bluesqueakpip I think everyone should take care of their appearance. As for the Classic Doctors who appeared in this episode, I think that at least they should have been wearing wigs that looked like their hair when they played The Doctor.
I’m very, very disappointed that only four million people in the UK (or who seem to be in the UK, but watched on iPlayer with a VPN and some of them watching live) watched “The Power of The Doctor”. This is only about half the number of people who watched Jodie Whittaker’s first full episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth”. BTW, I never mentioned Britbox, because Doctor Who episodes are also available elsewhere.
I think that from various stories and comments I’ve read over the years, the Doctor Who Fandom is made up of a few different groups, as follows, in no particular order.
1. People who only watch the Classic Doctor Who series
2. People who only watch “Nu Who”
3. People who watch the classic series and “Nu Who”
4. People who only watch “Nu Who”, but stopped watching Doctor Who when or just after Jodie Whittaker became The Doctor
5. People who watch Classic and “Nu Who”, but stopped watching Doctor Who when or just after Jodie Whittaker became The Doctor
6. People who watch Classic and “Nu Who” and continued watching Doctor Who all through Jodie Whittaker’s Era
7. People who only watch “Nu Who” and continued to watch Doctor Who all through Jodie Whittaker’s Era
There might even be some other groups that people can suggest, but it’s very complicated!
According to the list above, I’m in groups 3 and 6. I’m disgusted with the people in Group 4, because I think they’re traitors who want the series Doctor Who to end, or at least don’t care if it does end. THey’re either totally opposed to a female Doctor or have been brainwashed by people running hate campaigns against Jodie Whittaker and/or Chris Chibnall.
I think that Doctor Who has a status of a classic character or hero, similar to the way some people think of Sherlock Holmes, Peter Pan, or James Bond. Fans should be interested in and watch stories from the eras of all thirteen Doctors. They’re not allowed to object to any particular Doctor or say that they despise them and won’t watch their stories on TV, because at the end of the day, it’s still The Doctor. People might say “I think the sixth Doctor was very bad tempered”, but they should still watch his stories.
As for where the Classic Doctor Who episodes are available to stream, the ways people can watch them include Pluto TV, and on https://www.ardmediathek.de/suche/Doctor%20Who (episodes available in in German and English!)30 October 2022 at 18:27 #73644
One thing I forgot about which should have been explained in this episode if not in a previous episode, but it never has been. The Thirteenth Doctor’s hair. After a regeneration, the Doctor’s whole body and hair are changed. The colour, type or hair, and hairstyle can all change. One thing still remains a mystery, though. Just after regenerating into the Thirteenth Doctor, The Doctor had blonde hair with dark roots. These dark roots have appeared thoughout the Thirteenth Doctor’s Era. There was even a doll made of her, complete with dark roots. As the whole process of regeneration is a natural thing, what possible explanation can there be for these dark roots?! Don’t forget than the explanation must fit in with the story.31 October 2022 at 14:52 #73651
I suppose it’s symptomatic of Chibs’ era that it’s taken me this long to muster up the enthusiasm to watch and put some thoughts together. And I have to admit that I watched The Power of the Doctor in a state of anxious frustration – constantly willing it to be better than it actually ended up being. Frustration, I think, will be the defining emotion of the Whittaker years for me on a number of levels. Because it’s not a bad era – it’s as chocful of great ideas and bold as either the RTD or the Moffat ones and it’s looked far greater on screen than either of those. Plus in Whittaker we had a potentially great Doctor who never really got a chance to shine. And while lockdown has to take some of the blame for this, it seems I’ll always have to remember her as the Standing About Not Actually Doing A Whole Lot Doctor.
Anyway, onto the episode itself, which like its predecessors, was kind of meh, while still having enough cool moments to perk up the interest whenever it flagged. Once again, it looked great – and the bullet train sequence at the beginning was surely one of the most impressive in the show’s history. But here’s a few observations, in no particular order:
The Master. I’ve been kind of ambivalent about Dhawan’s Master throughout. His performance has been great, if a little heavy on the scenery chewing (but if the Master can’t chew the scenery, who can?) He’s consistently got all the great lines and I’ve always been left feeling that Chibs has been more interested in the Master than the Doctor. I can’t help but wonder if this era would have had a bit more oomph if Dhawan had been cast as the Doctor in the first place as in everything from dress to demeanour a lot of the time, so the plot of him wanting to become the Doctor makes a lot of sense as an endgame to me. In fact, Dhawan’s character would have made a whole lot more sense as The Valeyard than as The Master (this plot being basically the same as the reveal in The Ultimate Foe). And I guess what’s kind of irritated me slightly about the Dhawan Master is that its rather one-notey-ness essentially erased all the character development from the Simm-Gomez iterations.
On a related note, the lifts from previous stories, which are another trademark of the Chibs era, were just a bit too blatant and clunky this time around. I’ve never really cared for the tweeness of Journey’s End so to see that reprised kind of made me roll my eyes. And, similarly, with the Rasputin sequence. John Simm just about managed to get away with the dancing around to pop music trope but this time I found it to be just cringe. Making even the watching Daleks and Cybermen look embarrassed is actually quite a feat.
But the main frustration of the episode was the Doctor-shaped hole at the middle of it. Once again, Whittaker was denied her big moment and was once again reduced to standing around expositioning, this time as a hologram for much of the time. Every Doctor should get their Big Moment, whether it’s Davison’s Androzani dash, or Baker’s hanging from the Pharos Project, or Smith’s wiping out the Dalek fleet or Capaldi’s blowing up a bunch of Cybermen. Admittedly, some are better than others. The concept of regeneration was in its infancy when Hartnell left (although I’d argue that one of the highpoints of Twice Upon A Time was that it gave an added resonance to the First Doctor’s regeneration.) Colin Baker was denied an onscreen regeneration but I think Big Finish did quite a good job of rectifying that and even McCoy got (I think) a decent send-off in the short time he was in the TV Movie. All of which is a long-winded way of saying that Thirteen felt oddly absent from her own swansong. Even her regeneration speech was rather flat.
Which I guess brings us onto the other Doctors who made an appearance. The idea of there being a Doctor-specific ‘afterlife’ of sorts is a good one (and has a kind of precedent in The Five Doctor, I think) and it was a nice conceit in order to explain away the dramatic change in appearance of the actors (as was the concept that the perceptions of the companions changed the appearance of the Doctor AI). Not sure I agree with whoever said above that they should have had the ex-Docs in costume and wigs. This way gave them a bit more dignity and the only time I really cringed was when seeing Davison back in his cricket gear when talking to Tegan.
On which note, I didn’t have any real problem with seeing the Tegan and Ace as they are ‘now’. It wasn’t an issue when Sarah Jane came back so I don’t see why it should be for them. And, indeed, it was part of the point of one of the strands of the story, at least – what happens to the companions after the Doctor leaves them. Although by this point, it’s kind of been done to death and Power added nothing to the concept that hadn’t been done already. I probably had more of an issue with them being here at all. Admittedly, I’ve always found Tegan and Ace to be deeply bloody annoying characters and so I guess it was on-point that they hadn’t changed an iota in that respect. But, if nothing else, it certainly helped put Yas and Graham in perspective (although were we given any explanation why Graham suddenly showed up at the Earth’s crust? Any at all?) I’m not against fan service as a rule, but this all seemed rather arbitrary and I couldn’t help but feel that Tegan had a (characteristic) brassneck in having a go at the Doctor for not coming back when it was her that stropped off in a huff all those years ago. For Sarah in School Reunion and Jo in Death of the Doctor to feel abandoned is fair enough but it doesn’t feel earned for Tegan. (Nor for Ace, for that matter, because unless you were a diehard reader of the New Adventures, we just haven’t seen her falling out with the Doctor.) And so, I’m afraid, both those companion/Doctor ‘touching reconciliations’ left me pretty cold because once again it felt like Chibs was trying to hard to appropriate some ‘greatest hits’ of the past without putting the work in for the emotional payoff.
The Traitor Dalek. A great idea but a largely recycled one. And I can’t see any reason why it can’t have just been Rusty, who would have fit the bill nicely, and would have offered a nice bit of continuity. (But it was nice to see that the Daleks haven’t abandoned their penchant for hair-brained, tectonic-related major engineering projects.)
Finally, the regeneration itself. Like @blenkinsopthebrave, I hope that there’s an explanation given for Tennant regenerating, complete with clothes (although not without precedent again – didn’t Troughton do the same?) I’d hate to think it was cowardice on the part of the Beeb. And kudos to those who remained unspoiled by the reveal and it’ll certainly be interesting to see where RTD is going to take us next. I must admit to being a little nervous at the brief run-through of Ten’s tics that we got post-regeneration though. I find it hard to look at Ten’s run now and not come away with the impression that he was actually a bit of a dick and so I hope RTD and Tennant intend to give us a distinctly recognisable ‘Fourteenth Doctor’ and not a re-run of Ten’s schtick. If all we get is WhatWhatWHAT??, Allonsy and Well…Well…Well, I’ll be kinda dismayed.
Still, it’s nice to be able to contextualise the Whittaker era as a whole and I hope @phaseshift still plans to give us his blog on the subject. If I had to offer a definition, I’d say it’s been one of wasted potential, not helped by being dragged into the Culture Wars on too many occasions, but by no means the worst era of Who and Chibs is far from being the worst showrunner.
Anyway, sorry for the epic and thanks for reading if you made it this far.31 October 2022 at 15:01 #73652
As the whole process of regeneration is a natural thing, what possible explanation can there be for these dark roots?! Don’t forget than the explanation must fit in with the story.
Not sure it does really though. I think the regenerated body has to be starting point that can then be altered as any biological body would. Otherwise, you’d have to account for Eleven’s beard in Day of the Moon, the varying length of the First Doctor’s wig, the Seventh Doctor’s hair (not to mention the Sixth Doctor’s perm). Or do you mean the fact that she regenerated in the first place with grown-out dyed hair? There could be any amount of explanations — for instance, the idea explored in Twelve’s era that there seem to be subconscious influences at work in the regeneration process. It could just be that the Doc had been subconsciously impressed by someone who had needed their roots done at one point.31 October 2022 at 15:43 #73654
Me again. Just to echo @juniperfish‘s thoughts on WhitDoc. It is indeed a shame that the Doctor’s flirtatious arrogance was excised from this interpretation. I look forward, now that the fact of a female Doctor has been established, to seeing more courage in this direction in the future. And, yeah, I was also surprised at how lacklustre an end there was to Thasmin after the vague nods in the previous episodes and it is irritating that it did amount to little more than queerbaiting. Perhaps in 40-odd years time, we’ll have a hologram reconciliation with Yas and 13 where they can finally declare their feelings. For an era that at least initially wore its progressive credentials on its sleeve I think we could have at least seen a kiss. As it is, it felt like 13 was more cut up about Dan leaving than she was about Yaz.31 October 2022 at 19:19 #73657
You know, having to script a feature-length episode of Doctor Who and a regeneration story to boot must have been a daunting prospect for Chris C. Trying to please all of the people all of the time; keeping the BBC happy: fingers crossed for good ratings; fulfilling anticipation of much-loved arch-enemies; content as well as context; nuanced storytelling and continuity. A tough brief and he gets a hard time from fans. It’s not my intention to appraise the inclusion of or lack of the above but simply to say my initial reaction and comments were disparaging: expectation versus the reality of a tired format in need of a long rest or an entire reboot. That said, I’m more appreciate of The Power of the Doctor than I was on first viewing.
I got reunion and repatriation, those nice moments between the Doctor and Tegan; and Ace and the Professor in particular. Wonderful to see Paul McGann. Great screen presence, and his portrayal of the Doctor always utterly convincing. Pity he didn’t get a series. If the show was true to the concept of Adventures in Time & Space and the alterative/parallel universe maybe, I’d get my wish.
Thankfully the days of waiting for the Dvd… Vhs… Target novelisation… to m a t e r i a l i s e are behind us.31 October 2022 at 20:27 #73658
hey Oblique 🙂 how are you 🙂
Kind words , it must be one of the hardest T.V. roles to produce all the different sets and budgets , people ect and Sci ideas ect , sometimes we can all think of better ideas ect but if we did it week in week out wonder how many of us would keep going ha 🙂
Good to be kind and show love like I said in my previous posts 🙂
Stay positive everyone and caring and loving to all hugs 🙂
Take care everyone 🙂
Regards – Declan Sargent1 November 2022 at 15:17 #73662
So, after this spectacular episode “The Power of The Doctor” coming late in yet another year with only three specials and no new series, not even one with only six episodes, it looks like the BBC have pretty well killed off Doctor Who as a TV series! They started doing this in 2009 when David Tennant was allowed to go off and play Shakespeare, ending his era with just a few specials. We now know they’re planning to do the same thing next year. What a disaster! How were things ever allowed to get to this stage? Why aren’t fans staging massive protests against it?! I never watch any other programmes on any BBC TV channels any more. I think it would be a great idea if the soap opera “Eastenders” (which started during a forced Doctor Who gap year, financed with Doctor Who money, and with a former Dalek Trooper/Agent Leslie Grantham in one of the original main roles) suddenly had an episode where the set was invaded by Daleks, the whole cast was exterminated, then titles and an announcement tells viewers to watch Doctor Who to see what happens next. As for “Strictly Come Dancing”, a series which had an episode shown immediately before “The Power of The Doctor” on BBC1 I read that there were about eight million people watching it. I only saw the last several minutes before Doctor Who started. They announced at the end that Jodie Whittaker’s final Doctor Who episode was coming on next, then millions of sick people stopped watching BBC1 instead of continuing with Doctor Who! I think that “Strictly Come Dancing” needs the same treatment as “Eastenders”! The BBC should be closed down, their assets seized, then these as well as the money they’ve diverted from Doctor Who videos and merchandise must be used to make some more Doctor Who episodes!1 November 2022 at 19:49 #73666
@translatorcircuit I’m sorry are you trying to be purposely provocative or do you live on a different planet you’re comparing totally different types of programming that appeal to different demographics Doctor Who appeals to a different and niche subset of people than those that would have been watching Strictly Come Dancing which frankly probably has a wider appeal ( though personally I’m not a fan) as it is a “celebrity” reality program which is likely attract a wider hence probably a bigger audience. Your implication that the viewers who then switched to other channels as sick is frankly preposterous they are not sick they just wanted to watch something else the BBC has no control over the viewers this is not a police state, and your rants over series lengths and the fact that actors such as David Tennant and Jodie Whittaker had other commitments so they only made the Specials for their final years the BBC obviously wanted to keep them in the show until they could be written out, sometimes an actor’s decision to leave a show may happen between season so the specials route may have been an accommodation come to by the production company and the actors to keep them on board until they were “written out”.2 November 2022 at 00:16 #73667
Head of UNIT Kate Stewart is recruiting field agents from the Doctor’s companions. Tegan and Ace are two of them, but its tempting to think about who the other operatives may be. We saw a glimpse of Jo Grant at the inaugural meeting of the companions support group. (Lovely to see Katy Manning, albeit perched on the sidelines.) I wonder if RTD will run with this now he’s at the controls once more?
It’s surprising, to me, that the development of a team of UNIT field agents hasn’t been exploited before. The prospect is one I’d welcome but from what I understand the next season of Doctor Who will be drawn on an entirely clean slate without reference to the show’s history. This, if correct, and it comes off, will be a game-changer.
Thoughts? Anybody?2 November 2022 at 01:04 #73668
hey Oblique 🙂 how are you 🙂
I understand this is like spoiler warning but this understanding of a clean slate, just wonder is that from an article or your understanding of the trailer ect just curious 🙂
Regards – Declan Sargent2 November 2022 at 01:04 #73669
hey Oblique 🙂 how are you 🙂
I understand this is like spoiler warning but this understanding of a clean slate, just wonder is that from an article or your understanding of the trailer ect just curious 🙂
Regards – Declan Sargent2 November 2022 at 01:25 #73670
hey everyone 🙂 how are you all 🙂
wow ha somehow glitched it and now double message, I sent it then refreshed the page a while later and this happend its been a crazy day and just typical of me to maximise my words ha sorry everyone really didn’t mean this to happen.
Hope your all well and having good days 🙂
Take care everyone stay positive hugs 🙂
Regards – Declan Sargent2 November 2022 at 11:55 #73674
<div dir=”auto”>@Oblique The expression clean slate applied to Doctor Who may only be a rumour. I think what it might mean is The Doctor having all his memories wiped, then being left to wander round space and time without meeting any Daleks, Cybermen, The Master, Sontarans, Autons, Silurians, Sea Devils, Ice Warriors, Mara, or any other alien races from the series’ by then 60 year history. Some people might think this is a good idea, but I don’t.</div>
<div dir=”auto”>What about Star Trek, for example? In 2021 Star Trek celebrated its 55th Anniversary. Modern Star Trek series, such as Star Trek: Picard, and Star Trek: Discovery all build on the Star Trek history dating back as far as Star Trek TOS, which includes Vulcans, Romulans, Klingons, The Soong family, The Eugenics Wars, The Borg, Captain Picard’s ancestors, etc, etc. If Star Trek can do this then why shouldn’t Doctor Who? I think that Doctor Who should also strive to achieve a balance between old and new, though. The enemies I mentioned above were all created in the 1960s and 1970s, apart from The Mara in the 1980s. I think some newly created recurring enemies are what’s badly needed. I don’t really like the Weeping Angels that much.</div>
<div dir=”auto”>I think that part of what’s new about Doctor Who is The Timeless Child storyline. I can’t wait to hear more about this! I think it’s even more important because the Jodie Whittaker haters either hate or don’t even know about this storyline, so mentioning it again would force them to go and watch some Thirteenth Doctor episodes to find out more.</div>
<div dir=”auto”>As for me, I’m now exploring some classic series reconstructions as well as Big Finish audio productions which I’ve never seen or heard before.</div>
<div class=”yj6qo ajU”></div>2 November 2022 at 11:59 #73675
I’m sorry about all the HTML tags in my last post! I copied this post from my email after getting an error message there, but then added a few more words. Some time ago, I edited a message to remove the tags, but then found the message got hidden and I couldn’t repost it. Perhaps a moderator could remove the tags.2 November 2022 at 16:00 #73677
@translatorcircuit I think everyone should take care of their appearance. As for the Classic Doctors who appeared in this episode, I think that at least they should have been wearing wigs that looked like their hair when they played The Doctor.
Have you considered how absurd wigs would have looked? Nothing screams “fake” like a wig. Especially, I’m assuming you mean, a wig attempting to duplicate the Doctors’ hairstyles and colors from their respective eras. So actors who are in their 70s were supposed to look like they did 40 years ago? I thought McGann looked wonderful. Just an older (and far wiser) version of the Doctor than the one he played 26 years ago. Even if it was fan service, I was happy to see this series celebrating its older actors looking exactly as they do now.
Also, in my opinion, Janet Fielding (Tegan) and Sophie Aldred (Ace) look like they have taken care of their appearance. They are fit, and happily they are beautiful while looking their age. I am so tired of actresses, in particular, being forced to have work done, while actors don’t face those same pressures. I found it such a relief to see Fielding and Alred looking like women who are 69 and 60, respectively.
@jimthefish Excellent review. I think I have a slightly better impression of the episode than you do (though, admittedly, it took me a second viewing to get there), but I agree with many of your frustrations with Chibnall’s handling of the Doctor. And I agree that Whittaker didn’t quite get her moment … though she worked with what she had and made the most of it.2 November 2022 at 20:37 #73685
@oblique a complete clean slate in Who would be next to impossible as the Doctor is the sum of his previous regenerations. The whole concept of the Timelord renegade, and the Doctor is technically a renegade of his race, is that his past has shaped him/her, in the doctors case it’s produced a personality that will nearly always try to help those in need of his/her help. What the Regeneration process does seem to do is highlight different aspects of the Doctor’s personality thus making each Doctor different but the same.( I really hope that makes sense). Also I think RTD has too much invested in the NuWho era and too much fan respect to be doing a reset so to speak. Also the fan base for who would never forgive him if he was to entirely dump the past. Yes I agree I personally would prefer for there to be creation of new villains and less reliance on the old reliable enemies like the Daleks and Cybermen and the Master. In part though it may be that because they have been fan favourites there has been so much reliance on them to be the big bad.5 November 2022 at 16:14 #73695
I think, the article I scanned was published by Giant Freakin Robot.
I refer to a ‘clean slate’ as it was a phrase used in the article and not myself making a guess; however, this be GFR elaborating on what little was known at the time though much of tallies in an on-line post of November 3rd which in similar vein carries detail and authenticity, and an address to Radio Times.
I wonder how people are feeling about this controversy?
I should start a forum, must check; there may be one already5 November 2022 at 16:41 #73696
Apologies for the huge incursion made by the addition of the link I posted, above. I bow my head in shame… It has nothing to do with The Power of The Doctor and a digression from topic.
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