The Tsuranga Conundrum

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    Craig @craig

    The Tsuranga Conundrum

    This is written by Chibnall again (blimey – does he not sleep?) and is directed by Jennifer Perrott who has won many awards for her short films and has also done a lot of TV in the UK and Australia such as “Hollyoaks”, “Home and Away” and “Doctors”.

    It’s a good old ‘base-under-seige’ episode with a monster terrorising the crew of a clinical spaceship. To me it has hints of “The Ark in Space”. The plot is also reminiscent of “Alien” (or are they the same thing?) Injured and stranded in a spaceship in a far-flung galaxy, the new ‘Team TARDIS’ must band together with a group of strangers to survive against one of the universe’s most deadly, and unusual, creatures.

    And from what I hear, “unusual” is the word. It will be interesting to read your comments about this ‘monster of the week’.

    A bit of trivia, it guest-stars Brett Goldstein as Astos. He’s a friend of Whittaker’s and they acted as quirky love interests together in the indie film “Adult Life Skills”, which is worth checking out. So hopefully they’ll work well here too.

    Craig @craig

    And here are some of those involved in “Adult Life Skills”. Writer/director Rachel Tunnard (left), then Brett Goldstein, Jodie Whittaker (obvs) and Rachael Deering.

    Adult Life Skills

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @craig, yes I have noticed he’s writing a lot of these…

    Graham talking to the pilot brother about her lying about her health ‘well she might have a good reason for that’. Hmmmm.


    In the first episode a microwave went ping.

    Now we have the pting.

    That has been making me chuckle for the past hour.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Well Graham and Ryan’s dynamic continues to be the emotional heart of the narrative.

    Their interactions at the birth were lovely, nuanced, funny. And we explored Ryan’s feelings of paternal abandonment, and grief at losing his mother so young as a result. So yay for added companion character depth.

    This is still leaving Yaz as a bit of a third wheel though.

    It was great to meet a humanoid species in which the males as well as the females give birth. That fits in nicely with our now expanded understanding of a gender diverse Whoniverse, in which Time Lords are a gender-fluid species. For all we know the Doctor may have given birth to Susan’s parent.

    Being introduced to the admirable General Cicero, whose faithful android servant nevertheless seemed to belong to a class of second class beings without full rights, was left there for us to ponder on, particularly as there have been so many series about android rights recently from Humans to Westworld. This android seemed to imply he would simply be “de-commissioned” i.e. boxed or destroyed after the General’s death.

    And this social blindness to injustice may be part of the developing theme of such in Season 11?  We see it in the horrid war games of Desolation in Ghost Monument, the racist segregation of the Deep South of 1950s USA in Rosa, the capitalist greed and environment-trashing of Jack Robertson (cough Trump) in Arachnids in the UK, and now here on this advanced medical transport ship which nevertheless thinks it’s OK to “decommission” a life-form after the death of his “owner”.

    Meanwhile, what is up with the Doc? The General’s own disease, “pilot’s heart” seems deliberately to have some resonance for the Doctor.  Her exo-spleen is giving her considerable trouble. Why was she the most affected by the sonic mine? Moreover, why does she keep losing the TARDIS?

    I really liked WhitDoc’s insistence on participating in the wake for the General, and saying the words of the litany/ prayer for loss at the end. This Doctor is ready to be present for grief in a way her recent previous incarnations have struggled to confront.

    Having said that, the wee energy-sucking PTing, which was a sort of space locust really, except not travelling in a swarm, was, frankly rather dull.  A sort of space Gremlin, only not nearly as much fun as the Gremlins! I do think Chibnall keeps missing tricks. C’mon, one Gremlin joke?!

    And frankly, I don’t think he should be hogging writing so many of the episodes himself.

    Whittaker’s performance is definitely mesmerising, but the writing is, I would say, uneven. Chibnall is great at some of the emotional relationships stuff but a bit less great at the aliens, so far.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Russell T Davies wrote eight out of thirteen episodes in his first series of Doctor Who.
    Steven Moffat wrote six out of thirteen episodes in his first series.

    It seems to be a ‘first series as Head Writer’ thing – presumably by the time the new Head Writer is into their second series, the writer’s room has a better idea of the tone required.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Anyway, one of the links between the stories is genetically or physically modified creatures. In the first episode, the locator device is a bio-engineered creature. In the second, the entire planet is full of bio-weapons. In the third, the ‘villain’ has been modified to be unable to physically harm people. In the fourth, the spiders have been modified.

    And tonight, the P’Ting is, I suspect, an escaped bio-weapon.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    Yes, I like the idea of the P’Ting as an escaped bio-weapon.

    Clearly the hospital ship and the General meant the Doctor and friends had arrived in some kind of a war-zone, that and the sonic mine. Not to mention the alarming fact that the ship was programmed to transmit a signal to base concering the P’Ting breach which would have resulted in automatic ship-detonation, life forms on board be damned (and which the Doctor therefore had to find a fix for).

    I particularly liked the intriguing exchange between the Doctor and General Cicero when it turns out the Doctor has crossed paths with her history before, and has indeed a “whole volume” dedicated to her exploits. I wondered if it could have been an old eddy of the Time War and that was why the Doctor recited the words for the dead so movingly alongside the others at the end.

    Plus, I forgot to say above, that naming the baby Avocado Pear was funny. It made me think of Deadpool 1 (which luckily none of the 9 year olds watching will have seen) –  you’ll know the line if you’ve seen the movie.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    The episode was entertaining and as visually impressive as the first four, but the overall impression after first viewing is that, although it contained plenty of good things, the tone seemed a bit uneven and I’m not sure that the component elements really meshed together to form an integrated whole.  I agree with @juniperfish that the real strength was in the way that the relationship between Graham and Ryan was further developed and revealed, here against the contrapuntal theme of the relationships and interaction between members of the staff of the Tsuranga, General Cicero, her brother Durkas and the android Astos,  not to mention the outsider,the diffident Mabli and the patients.  Yaz continues to be more of a foil for the others than a character with her own agency, but did come briefly into her own when she captured the Ptang and booted it into touch, which was a delightful moment.

    We were promised that the monster would be the most unusual and destructive creature in the universe, but in the event it was the weakest element and hard to take at all seriously. The concept of an energy devouring creature threatening the integrity of a space ship is fine, but when the creature itself looks like cross between a bad tempered miniature slitheen and an obese piglet the effect, deliberately or not, is more comedic than threatening, particularly as the CGI animation in this case was not nearly as subtle as that of the spiders last week. Ptang was also perhaps an unfortunate choice of name, at least for older viewers in the UK, because for me it immediately evoked the Goon Show.

    The Doctor saved the day by realising that she could arm the self-destruct mechanism of the Tsuranga to lure and dispose of the Ptang though, as so often, it was a last minute and risky gambit. Her most impressive and definingly Doctorish moment,  though, was when she invoked her philosophy of hope and invites the others to, ‘Imagine the solution and work to make it reality. Whole worlds pivot on acts of imagination’



    Mudlark @mudlark

    Did my eyes deceive me, or was the Doctor’s jumper purple in this episode, and if so and not a trick of the lighting, what is the significance. Over to you, @juniperfish .

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Well, it looked nice. Sort of 80s Who meets Space 1999 vibe to the sets. And doesn’t The Tsuranga Conundrum just sound like the title of an annual story from the 70s?

    Apart from that, I got nothing.


    So Pting has proved spectacularly popular on Twitter. Watch out for the cuddly energy-sucking toy coming to a Christmas stocking near you.  (I was thing more a sort of Colorado Beetle in space, @juniperfish).

    Not for the first time an otherwise perfectly decent yarn, with solid performances throughout has been let down by editing and direction that has lacked a certain crispness. Just a lot of points where the pause between lines is just a shade too long, or the a scene cut left just a beat too late.

    The result is that a lot potential fizz is dissipated in what was otherwise perfectly decent ripping yarn that does seem to be building thematically on what we have seen so far.

    whitewater @whitewater

    Jody Whitaker is excellent as a Doctor, but she carries too much baggage.  The companions are wallpaper, the writing is so so, the directing never breaks out of a paper bag and the Tardis is lost in space.  Someone please fix this franchise quickly.  I’ve watched it since the beginning, yes I am that old, and am disappointed with the sudden decline in quality.

    JRant @jrant

    why does this Doctor seem so completely disconnected from all the other Doctors.. ?.. was the franchise sold ?

    They can’t even seem to keep the Tardis in the show.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @jrant I think it feels that way because this run is being presented (and conceived) as a kind of fresh start. The original relaunch seemed very disconnected to the original Who to a lot of watchers, but since that start, much of new Who has been building on RTD’s original concept, especially the Time War and the idea that the Doctor was the last of his kind. And there were a lot of complaints that you had to know too much old and new who to understand any episode (I don’t know if that’s true because I’d watched all the new stuff and some of the old, and had this site by the time things got more complicated). And while I loved Capaldi’s tenure, rating did go down.

    But no, the franchise wasn’t sold. It regenerated like it always does with a new show runner. This is why I like an overlap of companions when the Doctor regenerates, their confusion and dismay reflects the way we viewers often feel when a new show runner takes control. And we have to learn, like the companions do, that it’s still Doctor Who, just this different version.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @jrant I think it feels that way because this run is being presented (and conceived) as a kind of fresh start. The original relaunch seemed very disconnected to the original Who to a lot of watchers, but since that start, much of new Who has been building on RTD’s original concept, especially the Time War and the idea that the Doctor was the last of his kind. And there were a lot of complaints that you had to know too much old and new who to understand any episode (I don’t know if that’s true because I’d watched all the new stuff and some of the old, and had this site by the time things got more complicated). And while I loved Capaldi’s tenure, rating did go down.

    But no, the franchise wasn’t sold. It regenerated like it always does with a new show runner. This is why I like an overlap of companions when the Doctor regenerates, their confusion and dismay reflects the way we viewers often feel when a new show runner takes control. And we have to learn, like the companions do, that it’s still Doctor Who, just this different version.

    Arch @arch

    Loved it but I have one massive issue with this episode that I am unwilling to get over. Why did Ryan not fist bump Graham. I’d have totally fist bumped him. Boo Boo I say.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    OK this episode. Other than I’m pretty sure Graham isn’t in remission (or at least has no intention of telling people when he ceases to be)…

    The Graham-Ryan parts remain strong. Men evolving to give birth but only through (albeit nerve free) cesarian, odd, admittedly, but this is far in the future. Could be a deliberate genetic modification. Full gestation in a week, also unlikely from an evolutionary point of view, but possibly supports the idea of a deliberate genetic modification. I do wonder about the social ramifications of men birthing boys and women birthing girls, and it made the episode shift disconcertingly from apparently a very non binary (trans men do give birth) to a very very binary (literarily two kinds of wombs and two kinds of babies) ethos. Ryan suddenly thinking how old his father was when he was born was well done, with the added insight that his father, unlike his mother, didn’t carry the baby in his body which was interesting. I imagine that part could have been rather unpleasant for anyone who has given birth and given the child up for adoption.

    So, found the subplot interesting. Main plot? The PTing was rather sweet and I want one. I felt quite happy when it enjoyed the bomb exploding in it’s stomach and was sent off to space feeling unusually well fed. I agree with @bluesqueakpip that it’s probably a genetically modified weapon. I think this might have been a better episode with a more sinister danger – this creates was very dangerous, of course, about as dangerous as a creature can be. But it’s also very much designed for the Christmas Shopping market.

    No white people, I feel the need to point out, being anything but thoroughly good and decent (albeit one of them rather overwhelmed with the sudden onset of fatherhood). We also had a white presenting android serving a black owner who appears sentient but destined for decommission after her death. It’s not quite black racism towards white people, but the visuals of it are something of an inversion. (None of these are particular concerns of mine, just bring to mind some conversations on Rosa and AITUK). What was most interesting to me was that the ship could so easily be blown up remotely, and would be, to protect the main world. This hospital ship is controlled remotely, with no on board crew, no on board defence, but traveling through space dangerous enough that these kinds of failsafes are considered necessary. This seems a combination of altruism and pragmatism that is slightly chilling. This damned ‘do gooder’ future that the villein in Rosa wanted to dismantle, is it rather utilitarian? Isn’t the time in this episode somewhat close (compared to the 20th century) to the time of the character in Rosa? And hasn’t the Doctor admitted here to being slightly less well read in this century (so maybe this millennium) than she could be?

    Overall – I don’t know. It looked fantastic. Quite enjoyed it. Chibinal is very good at writing people, I think. His characterisation is great so far. And he’s far from bad at a situation set up. I take @bluesqueakpip‘s point about the show runner writing the biggest block of episodes in their first season (though I note that Moffat, at the time lauded almost universally as the greatest current Who writer took a smaller block than his predecessor). It still seems audacious given that so many people were so very vocal about their concern at his credentials as a Who writer, and in my opinion he’s done some of his best work in Who over this series. But I’m looking forward to the next four episodes, which are by different writers, and noting that Rosa, which he co-wrote, is the best of the bunch so far, and I include in that the parts that were clearly his contribution.

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    Another decent episode, but not one that had enough to it that I’d be in any hurry to rewatch.

    Visually, I thought the environments and costumes in this episode were a real highlight. A white-dominantly environment, but not some generic white environment in BG Who style, but one that showed some real design had gone into it and highlighted the production values for the episode.

    It was an interesting choice to dial up the creature design so far on the cuteness scale though. For me that didn’t help the story, with the Pting never seeming menacing as a result, something that’s been a bit of an ongoing theme with the “monsters” in this series to date, to a greater or lesser degree.

    The main storyline pretty much worked. Some appeared to like the the subplot with the pregnant man, but for me that seemed a bit forced and wasn’t a highlight, even if it did contribute to the development of the Ryan and Graham characters and their relationship. I found the Eve/Durkas subplot more engaging.

    I’m tiring a little of one-off episodes and I’d really like a bit more of a plot arc to tie things together. The general level of bonkerising has been severely limited to this point- there’s been very little in the way of speculation posted and much more in the way of critiques and analysis of thematic connections.

    I was left for a minute thinking that Ronan could find himself on Team Tardis, if his future is to be decommissioned and the Doctor gets wind of that. Not that I think we’re in need of more on that team, and an emotionless android isn’t that promising as a companion.

    Anonymous @

    Interesting – I found this the best episode yet, but of course everyone has different criteria for “good.”  I didn’t think the P’Ting’s visuals/CGI were that great, but I’m far more into story and, er, conundrums than visuals.

    I really appreciated the “separate the Doctor from the TARDIS” plot point being completely reasonable rather than arbitrary – no, you don’t turn the ambulance around on the way to the hospital.  And I liked the way of dealing with the P’Ting, and that the Doctor didn’t even (have to) kill it.  Clever.

    One thing that struck me was how this Doctor isn’t upset by endings.  That’s a reasonable way to go, and I’m fine with it, but it’s always been an unspoken reason (or maybe the unspoken reason) the Doctor’s never gone back to visit old (in both senses) companions/friends.  Will we get some cameos by Katy Manning et al. next year?  I would love that.

    So I liked it, and look forward to a rewatch.

    Final note: If you’re shopping for pet food, don’t accidentally pick up a bag of Purina P’Ting Chow. 😉



    a genetically modified weapon

    So it’s a machine that goes PTing?



    Doctor Blues @doctorblues

    Wasn’t impressed with this one. In most of the episodes this season I have found there is a lot of dialogue (mostly not related to the actual plot), and that the plots are, in reality, rather thin. I think Chibnall’s emphasis on character development is a detriment to the story. We are also in urgent need of a good monster / villain.  The monsters are the most important part of Doctor Who. I think Chibnall wanted to steer away from anything too “familiar” to bring back people who had stopped watching (no Daleks, Missy / Master, Cybermen or Time War stuff), but what we’ve had so far have been poor substitutes.  I’m glad the ratings show that the show is reaching a wider audience, but so far the series hasn’t overly impressed. Still, 5 episodes to go and (I believe) a New Years day episode, so fingers crossed we get better stories – and villains.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    So it’s a machine that goes PTing?

    I can’t believe you went there.

    What the P’Ting (and CC really needs to stop with the random apostrophe villains, if that’s indeed how you spell it) really reminded me of was the Purple Minions from Despicable Me 2.

    Notime @notime

    Lesson to be learned….

    When the Doctors asks you to “Be sure” then you better be sure because your next waking moment can be spent looking at the business end of a sonic mine in the final seconds before detonation.


    Feels like the story just missed it a bit.  I was waiting for the moment when they exceeded the range of the translation feature provided by the TARDIS…..that would have been an interesting wrinkle to the current predicament.


    Or….maybe the Doctor has learned that losing the TARDIS is problematic and installed a “follow me” feature.  Would have been fun to stumble across it in one of the cargo holds of the medic ship.  I wonder if it would have been able to stop that creature from entering the TARDIS?



    There’s a Python gag for every occasion.

    No apostrophe in the credits.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @pedant “So Pting has proved spectacularly popular on Twitter. Watch out for the cuddly energy-sucking toy coming to a Christmas stocking near you.”

    Yes, I’ve seen lots of positive comments about the Chibnall era more generally on Tumblr too. And Tumblr tended to be a space with a sizable audience which absolutely loathed Moffat’s Who (largely because of the way he wrote women).

    Both us here @craig ‘s place and the basket of deplorables over on The Graun (not everyone of course, but egads there is a culture of entitled whingeing BTL on Dan Martin’s reacps which it is truly quite difficult to wade through) have to recognise that we are not the primary target audience for Doctor Who – kids and young people are.

    I saw a really cute picture of a birthday cake on Twitter (can’t find it now or I’d link the pic) someone had made for their two delighted little boys, of the Stenza assassin’s face from The Woman Who Fell to Earth (a blue cake with loads of white chocolate bits to represent the teeth stuck on it) so, if the Chibnall era monsters are resonating with them, that’s the way it should be.

    I remember when the farting Slitheen caused a stir back in RTD’s day with lots of pearl-clutching about the childish tone. I wasn’t that keen on the Slitheen myself, but again, the kids are Who’s future, so…

    I am very much enjoying the rather melancholic luminosity Whittaker brings to the Doctor, even though I really do miss the timey-wimey pzazz of Moffat. I think that Chibnall’s vision of the Doctor as refracted light in the universe which I mentioned was reflected in Whittaker’s rainbow T-shirt costume, was confirmed by the words of the requiem litany for the General this week, which WhitDoc recited with real feeling (and which I quoted on Dan’s blog) as the camera panned to a close-up on her face:

    “May the saints of all the stars and constellations bring you hope, as they guide you out of the dark and into the light, on this voyage and the next, and all the journeys still to come, for now and evermore….”

    I think the WhitDoc probably feels that she herself has come out of a period of great darkness (the Time War and its long aftermath) and that she is now, in this new incarnation, finally in the light once more, and back to her pre-Time War, rather wandering credo, to be a Doctor most of all, of “hope” (as she says).


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    What was most interesting to me was that the ship could so easily be blown up remotely, and would be, to protect the main world.

    Which connects with the idea that this is a century that’s used to terrifying bio-weapons capable of destroying entire fleets/planets. If you notice, the medical crew were fully aware of the possibility of being blown-up – and the three-strikes-and-you’re-out was a system that at least gave them a chance to sort the problem out before blowing them to kingdom come.

    But if the choice is between bringing in a bioweapon (possibly via an innocent patient) or blowing the ship up, what are you going to do? Let any medical emergencies die because you don’t dare send out an ambulance ship? Rely on the medical staff’s iron willed ability to suicide if they have to, rather than risk the death of the planet?

    Or have an ambulance ship with the minimal crew possible (the medics), a pre-programmed method of destruction, and make sure the crew are volunteers who know what the procedure is. They’ve got three goes to get any major problem sorted; after that the assumption has to be that the poor sods either weren’t able to solve it in time or (understandably) don’t want to suicide. So someone else has to set the bomb off for them.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Oh, and @mudlark – it was really difficult to tell the colour of the Doctor’s T-shirt this week, because of the lighting, but I think it was her reddish maroon one as opposed to her blue one.

    That means any plotting of red for past (relative to the Doctor’s companions) and blue for future, with reference to cosmological red-shift, is out the window, as I’d have expected a blue T-shirt this week in that case.

    There could be another “code” at work, such as blue for places/times the Doctor has never been before (like Desolation in The Ghost Monument) and red/maroon for places/times she has. She had been to the 67th century before (the time in which this episode was set) because she chit-chats with the General about it.

    It’s a blue T-shirt at the end of The Woman Who Fell to Earth, which she acquires in the charity shop, but when Team TARDIS lands in the same time/place (Sheffield, Earth) for Arachnids in the UK, it’s her red/maroon one. So this might work. Dammit! I will have to keep a list – you have all (and I blame you @pedant) sucked me in again 🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    “May the saints of all the stars and constellations bring you hope, as they guide you out of the dark and into the light, on this voyage and the next, and all the journeys still to come, for now and evermore….”

    Yes, I had a feeling that the Whittaker Doctor being present at Grace’s funeral was significant. That was, as far as I know, the first time since the Time War that the Doctor hasn’t run away from his dead. The change from his to her; also a change from running to mourning. So at Grace’s funeral she was present, but not taking part. She was standing at the back of the church, she was supporting Ryan – but she didn’t take part in the liturgy. Why should she? It’s not her liturgy, and Time Lords make Prof. Dawkins look like a devout Anglican. 🙂

    But she was there. She didn’t run away; didn’t leave it to others to inform the relatives, attended the funeral. She mourned the dead and acknowledged their life.

    But now she’s moved on still further – to taking part in a liturgy that expresses hope. I wonder where we’re going next?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Oh, and to add on to that: I vaguely thought I’d heard Tsuranga before. It’s a mix – or may be a mix – of Tsur/Tzur, which is Hebrew for ‘rock’ and the Maori Tauranga, which means ‘safe haven’. The Hebrew also has the meaning of ‘safety’ – the kind of rock you hide in, use as a natural fort. So a very good name for an ambulance ship

    And Tzur’s metaphorical use is ‘salvation’, ‘being saved’ or sometimes ‘God’. Tzur Yizrael – the Rock of Israel.

    alexanderbarnstaple @alexanderbarnstaple

    Camp, corny and so British.

    I watched 3 Dr Who episodes in 1968 as a pre teen and have just rejoined the series.

    Yes I missed 50 years and 200 episodes so I bring a “unique” perspective.

    My memories of those 3 episodes in 1968 broadcast in black and white

    was how bleak and ultra budget the sets were while the DR was the

    earnest grammar school science teacher playing in his apple box time machine

    meeting and sparring with  scary cardboard “monsters”.

    50 years on and what has changed. To my eyes not much really.

    Yes the Dr is a woman and there is a heavy influx of coloured people

    and a man even had a baby but the basic tenets of the programme remain.

    When a  scary force is encountered the eccentric DR and her

    rag tag band through a series of often whacky deductions, laughing in the face of the enemy

    and a generous dose of “c’mon chaps look lively” defeat the scary monster.

    And so the Dr, the Tardis the world/universe is saved once again.

    This modern fab four just like their predecessors the famous  five

    once more win the day and as usual  get home on time for tea.

    By the way any one seen Timmy?

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @bluesqueakpip – Ohhh nice on the meaning of Tsuranga – so that means the title of the episode could be understood to be “The Salvation Connundrum” which makes perfect sense, given the pre-programmed self destruct in the hospital ship in what must, surely, be a war-zone, as we have a sonic mine, a General and a hospital ship combined….

    For those of you torturing me with the Doctor’s red/blue rainbow stripe T-shirts, this is the pattern (or rather, lack of it) so far:

    Blue – The Woman Who Fell to Earth ( Relative Present)

    Blue – The Ghost Monument (Relative Future)

    Red/Maroon – Rosa (Relative Past)

    Blue – Arachnids in the UK (BUT changes to red/maroon in the last scene back in the TARDIS) (Relative Present)

    Red/Maroon – The Tsuranga Conundrum (Relative Future)

    Thank you i-player fast forward!


    swordwhale @swordwhale

    @juniperfish aaaaauuughhhhhhhhhhh, I finally saw Deadpool and I cannot think of what relates to AvocadoPear…

    I’m actually loving this series so far, perhaps it fits my taste well, adventure with a bit of humor, and great character development. (Yaz will get her day, I’m sure.) Comparing it to some critically acclaimed dramas on the BBC that show up here on PBS (coughplacetocallhomecough) this is more my flavor (I’m beginning to heartily be annoyed by draaaaaaaaaamah that just never resolves at the end of the episode). But then, I don’t like pepperoni pizza or Picasso either.

    @ pretty much everybody… the Pting struck me as a classic gremlin, not the furry weird ones from the movie, but the original ones that ate WWII planes… nice twist that it devoured energy and it took awhile for everyone to figure that out. It clearly was meant to be an annoying creature and actual threat, but at the same time kind of hilariously cute… sort of like raccoons in your trash… or bears…

    @jimthefish or those purple minions… indeed

    and reddy-bluey reddy-bluey reddy-bluey T-shirt… how about a purple one?



    swordwhale @swordwhale

    (just spent five minutes wondering why I couldn’t post, conversing like mariner… then realized keyboard not plugged in …because…cats… type…)

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564

    I am late to the party so it seems. When i watched the episode, I come with very low expectation because what I heard from other people’s comments. O were It surpasses my expectation. The pting is so cute I want one for a pet(if it doesn’t eat my house whole) but it have a creepiness to contras its cuteness. The CGI is good enough to not break me out of show.

    The some scenes do feel a little weird, like Yaz said something like something from her own experience, it looks like Chibnall fear we can understand the setting, maybe it is for children   to young to understand it.

    The plot is simply which seems like Chibnall’s style.out of one main plot and two sub plot , I think the pregnant man plot is good way to develop Ryan and Graham’s relationship and Ryan‘s own character. The brother and sister plot is good, Chibnall’s human character writing is good when it is good. The main plot is the weakest but it serves its purpose and it reminds me of Alien.

    Yaz’s character suffer from lack of focus, she serves the role of traditional AG Doctor Who female companion, not just for this episode, but the serie so far. We got to know her family, we will explore her personal history next episode, even with some hint of romantic subtext (though it is the lesbian kind now doctor is a woman, I am absolutely more than happy with it).just her lack of screen time cost her in a episode that is not focused on her.

    The Doctor of hope, not the Doctor of war. She is no longer destroyer of her own people, no longer is the one who can’t let go. After the time war she always thoughts she had failed her promise as the doctor, even question her own goodness. But no longer. She is the Doctor, try her best to fulfill her promise as the Doctor, a new beginning for her, a hope she had all the years ago rises again in her heart (or hearts). I think the Whittaker Doctor will be the Paragon Doctor , a doctor her promise herself to be , try her best to never be cruel and always be kind.


    Western sci-fi always had the tendency to have a very white future( and very little East Asian besides the 80’s cyberpunk future which Japanese business has taken over the world) which is don’t make sense unless something very horrible happened. Also if people want to complain about how white man is being depicted they can find some other “reason” like “All The White Man In The Episode Is Either Stupid OR Weak, WHITE GxxxxxxD!”



    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @bluesqueakpip oh I completely understand the logic. And even the fact that there isn’t any direct communication, meaning that the ship can’t be hijacked and the crew forced at gunpoint to make up a plausible story, and the crew can’t play on the pity and compassion of the people down on the planet. It is very logical and utilitarian, it’s more important to protect the planet than to saye the people in the ship, because one way, you will save and help more people. But it is interesting to think how they got to this stage. Morally it’s the difference between Buffy before and after her death (after her death she acknowledges to Giles that she would probably have made different choices regarding Dawn and the end of the world, and Whedon’s own feelings are made fairly clear by the ending of The Cabin in the Woods (though that scenario had added sadism). It’s the trolley thought experiment on a massive scale.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @lionheart564 I was actually thinking of you when I pointed out this episode had a black person (a woman too!) owning an android designed to look like a white man, in the context of what we were talking about before.Robot ownership is linked to slave ownership, the word robot even comes from a word for slave.

    The medic who died was not presenting as stupid or weak. He was clever, kind, compassionate, and brave. The (white) pregnant male was understandably freaking out, feeling unprepared for childbirth anyway, let alone on a ship that was literally about to be blown up because a space critter was eating it up, and did very well in the circumstances. Graham made an excellent Dhula (is that how you spell it?) in the end, and the android was brave, loyal, and throughly deserving of some kind of decent retirement rather than the decommissioning he so stoically accepted was his fate.

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564

    The medic was not weak or stupid of course. He putted the people on the ship before himself and call out The Doctor was doing other way around in the beginning. The father was a caring man who want to do right by his son. Android was a indeed brave and loyal. I am just being sarcasm.

    Not sure what do you mean by“Dhula”?

    About the general and android, ye a good point.Sci-fi stories about robot is always a good way to do a metaphor about race.It often come with a view that robot is not ‘us’, it is not a living being like us so it doesn’t deserve any kindness just like many old racism view of other people.I find that if robot is play a white actor or actress it often will have a very unnatural white skin colour to show they are not (white) human.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @lionheart564 Doula was the word I was looking for. Google searches work much better when you have the foggiest idea how a word is spelt, it took me longer than I’m proud of to find it.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    It’s the trolley thought experiment on a massive scale.

    No, it’s not. IF the medics are volunteers – which was the impression I got; they knew what they were doing and they knew about the bomb – then it’s not utilitarian at all. Quite the opposite.

    Utilitarianism in the Trolley Experiment style is seen in Torchwood: Children of Earth, where Jack has to consistently decide whether to sacrifice a small number of children to save a larger number. It’s utilitarianism, rather than another moral system, because the children concerned are never given the option to make their own choice. They’re simply tools of the adults. Sacrifices, if you like.

    But in this particular story, the impression I got was that the medics (and later the General) willingly volunteer to risk their own lives in order to save a larger number of people.

    To put it into trolley experiment terms, the people at the lever can see the people on the tracks – but someone has volunteered to see if can reach the smaller number of people in enough time to rescue them. The kicker is that if the volunteer can’t rescue them, they’re going to get squashed too…

    So the person on the lever is making a choice between killing a larger number of people – or a smaller number of people – as in the trolley experiment – but knows that there was (and is) an attempt to rescue the smaller number, and that the volunteer rescuers tried and failed. They also know (because we’re told in the script) that the volunteer rescuers have done this before, and have rescued a lot of people from those tracks.

    It’s not a utilitarian ‘greatest good of the greatest number’ decision, because this society is starting from a position of ‘we will try and save everyone, even if our volunteers die in the attempt.’ Yes, if the attempt fails, they have to make a similar decision to the trolley problem. But morally, they’re coming from a different place; they have set everything up so that it’s at least possible to rescue the small number of people.

    This is why I don’t like the trolley experiment – it’s a fake experiment which does NOT give its participants any real choice. You have to murder someone. Now, how many people do you murder? Okay, what does that tell us about you?

    In this case, nothing, because the moral agent was the person setting up the experiment. The participants can only choose between ‘lesser evil’ and ‘greater evil’. It’s also why I don’t like utilitarianism, because ‘greatest good of greatest number’ has led to some of the worst evils on our planet. 🙁

    But in the Tsuranga Conundrum, the society that sends out the Tsuranga aren’t utilitarians, because they’re trying to rescue a small number of people knowing it creates a risk for the greater number. They can minimise the risk as much as they can – but they’re still going to send out the ambulance. The people who die for the ‘greater good’ are people who were either going to die anyway – the ambulance tried to save them, but failed – or people who volunteered.

    Astos dies having made twenty seven successful runs. How many people did he save? The General dies having saved the survivors on the ship – and it’s implied she’s spent her military career defending her people. The Doctor’s impressed by her – the Doctor isn’t easily impressed by the military.

    Ronan is the dark question in this script, because he seems to be treated as a machine that can be switched off rather than the self-aware person he clearly is – but even he seems to choose to sacrifice his job and his life (which depends on keeping the General alive) to save everyone else.

    So it’s not utilitarianism. It’s an alternative ethical system, in which a hero chooses to sacrifice themselves to save others. I think the script shows signs of not having had quite enough time to finish it properly, but it’s got some good questions in it – especially because, at the beginning, the person who really wasn’t a hero, who was trying to sacrifice a lot of little victims for her own ‘greater good’ – was the Doctor herself.


    Darth Valaryn @troygorsline

    I think we are all taking the color of the shirt too far. The Doctor changes shirts. If anything, it denotes the passage of time (Team Tardis has been on adventures – at exotic beaches I think were mentioned – and they changed clothes). I, for one, rather like changing up the color of my clothes. It keeps me from thinking I am wearing a uniform.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Ecclestein change the colors of his shirt? I even think he made a joke to Rose about it in one of the earlier episodes.

    “What??? I changed jumpers…”



    Pfft. This is the home of bonkers theorising.

    Get with the bonkers programme!

    (Although, come to think of it, @juniperfish, you do need to reverse engineer Eccleston into the colour changing universe….)

    Darth Valaryn @troygorsline


    Does that also mean we need to reverse engineer when SmithDoc actually wore the fez and when he didn’t… or when he took it off and at what point???

    My head is spinning



    Go to the search box and enter “bow tie”.

    Thank me later.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Thank me later.

    Or curse you, more like 😈


    Rob @rob

    Evening All

    I almost thought that the Tardis was inside of medical ship with all the Time Lord style circles in the white control room.

    The characters we met this week were all pretty interesting with only the exploitation of the android being unresolved or more precisely not even really addressed, bar the comment from the brother apologising for being a git

    Whisht @whisht

    So, couple of things.
    Firstly, @pedant – thanks for the hint to try using Search on the Forum (I don’t think I’ve ever done that before!!).
    @juniperfish – thank Pedant for this link to that mention of Radio Times and red and blue by Phaseshift

    @troygorsline – [ahem] “theories more insane than what’s actually happening”.

    I think bonkerising will be harder than normal with this series as I’m not sure that the writers/crew are being asked to come up with easter-eggs, jokes and as Phaseshift said “texture”.
    Which means we’ll have to (and that’s tricky for me as I’m not a writer).
    But I am silly enough to try.

    Mainly I was thinking that “rubbish monsters” link the episodes.

    It occurred to me that rubbish has featured quite a bit –
    – Desolation has been laid waste and has dangerous rubbish contaminating everything (eg the water),
    – The Remnants are engineered weapons littering the landscape;
    – The spiders are mutated from poorly managed waste;
    – The Pting are either genetically engineered to manage rubbish (and like many pest controls end up being a pest themselves) or are simply evolved like the spiders.
    – In terms of Krasco, maybe its just that his ‘theories’ are junk.

    However where the Doctor uses trash, she upcycles it into something better:
    – The new sonic is made from ‘rubbish’ in the garage;
    – The Tardis console is bits and bobs as if made from junk;

    So, perhaps its the environment which is a linking theme – especially in how we deal with waste.

    Of course, if this all falls apart (ie as soon as I post this) then maybe I’ll try something else.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I think we are all taking the color of the shirt too far

    Ah, you must be new around these here parts….


    It did strike me that some of the sets did look quite TARDIS-like. Maybe they were part of an earlier redesign and just repurposed….

    Whisht @whisht

    Two things I forgot:

    – why someone would leave a sonic mine there (maybe just another example of poor waste management??!?)

    – and (maybe more interestingly in terms of avenues for bonkerising) what was the Doctor looking for on the junk planet…?

    swordwhale @swordwhale

    Did anyone else think the android is a descendant of Data from ST:TNG?????????

    Which just shows how influential that was..

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