The Woman Who Lived

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  • #45368
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    the-woman-who-lived

    Sort-of a part two to last week’s ‘The Girl Who Died’, this is written not by Mathieson and Moffat but by Catherine Tregenna of ‘Torchwood’ fame.

    It’s the 17th Century and a deadly highwayman, The Knightmare, stalks the streets of London. But the looting of an alien artefact means a meeting with the Doctor. Who is The Knightmare in league with? And can the Doctor avoid the hangman’s noose and protect the Earth from a devilish betrayal?

    It’s a very different type of story this week and more heavy on the dialogue, much like the Doctor’s encounter with Davros. Capaldi and Williams are given a lot of time to talk about existence. There’s much pathos and a lot we can pick over in the coming weeks as the Doctor is forced to acknowledge that he may have made a mistake.

    And Rufus Hound is brilliant. Who’d’ve thought? This year’s stunt casting turns out to be just as good as Frank Skinner last year.

    #45387

    Hmmm.

    A guardian for the discarded.

    #45388
    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Not going to read anything yet, I’m only 10 minutes in to the episode, but alarm bells are already ringing with a functionally immortal girl who owns a large library and is annoyed that she doesn’t have enough memory to remember everything.

    #45389
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    You know, as Sam was laughing and joking before his death I was mentally writing a comment along the lines of “I bet that’s not the first time Rufus Hound has died on stage”, when what happens? The Doctor nicked the line, the bugger!

    Tonally a lot different from the first part, which I guess was the intention of getting Catherine Treganna to write it. She seemed to be channeling Neil Gaiman, who I think would have approached this commission with a similar approach.

    I’ll probably write a bit about the touchstone references to his Sandman mythos and immortals when I have the time, but they are strong. Just to say though that I really enjoyed this. I don’t know Maisie Pond from her other work and was a bit bemused by the hype last week. I thought she was splendid in this however, and it looks like she will be back. A good character piece, which touches on a lot of previous arcs (leaving companions behind) in a new way. Ashildr knows the Doctor is the one who runs away. Reckon she’s met Missy?

    #45390
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift

    I really enjoyed this one as well; the A plot and the B plot fed off each other. Highwaywoman hi-jinks because Ashildr had become both bored and conscienceless. Which feeds into the question: how do you deal with being effectively immortal?

    I definitely got the impression that Ashildr had met Missy; we also got an explanation of why Missy likes purple – the colour of death.

    Clara’s necklace is back again; except it no longer looks like the one in Series 7. That one had a central jewel in the mysterious-bird. This one has three jewels; two on the wings, one on the body. Costume department having fun?

    #45391
    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Does anyone else get the feeling that Moffat is just trying to reference Magic as many times as possible now?

    #45394
    Starla @starla

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Reference to Captain Jack Harkness… !!!!! (I’d love him to pop up again in future).  I also agree with @bluesqueakpip and @phaseshift that at least one of the possible people Ashildr has met that may have told her about the Doctor is probably Missy.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I enjoyed this episode. The absence of Clara, and the theme of ‘immortality’  explored throughout the episode, really helped to make her presence at the end seem fleeting and transitory. Clara the ‘mayfly’, floating in on a breeze.</p>

    #45395
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    I might change my mind on a second viewing but this is the first episode this series that’s really left me cold. It felt for all the world like a second-level RTD episode to me. Even Capaldi’s Doc felt as if he was being decidedly Tennant-esque in places — although there were still moments where he once again truly shone.

    The saving grace was the arc-heavy meat to chew on. I’d agree Missy is definitely going to be seen before the end of the series, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Me makes a return to (assuming they don’t turn out to be one and the same, of course).

    And Rufus Hound was great too.

    But overall, while both episodes have had their high points, my overall impression of this story has been of an infodump wrapped in some jokey historical set pieces but lacking too little overall coherence for my liking.

    #45397
    Spider @spider

    Ok, just finished watching for the first time, now to caveat the rest of my opinion its late, I’m tired and i have been drinking so, future watches will change. Initial thoughts are that I am very disappointed and thought most of that was pretty rubbish and did not enjoy most of this at all. I really hope with a second watch it will make things clearer.

    I just feel there was something fundamental really missing from this episode. Not with the acting, that was fab. But the plot and the script, I dunno, I felt really disappointed and let down.  I hope on a second viewing I’ll see some of what I missed.

    I liked the last 10-15mins ok, thought it got back on track but before then oh dear. I had so been hoping for a great episode, this I feel it me down really badly.   🙁

    #45398
    vrooom @vrooom

    I quite enjoyed this episode. Here’s my review on the YouTubes for those who might be interested: My review of “The Girl Who Lived”

    #45409
    winston @winston

    I have just finished a few minutes ago and so far I give it a thumbs up. I really liked all the indepth dialog between Me and the Doctor about the true consequences of immortality. To go back to the idea of Clara as a pet ,I have had many dogs in my life that I have loved dearly and losing each was very painful. One of my heartbreaks and the thing that makes me angry is how short their lives are. After a while you think that the pain is not worth it  and you decide “no more pets” I think this is how the Doctor and Me and all immortals must feel once in awhile. Shoud they take the risk and enjoy their companions lives ,however fleeting ,or give up and go it alone. Do they start to see us as may flys or as people deserving of compassion and help. I know how the Doctor feels.

    Anyway I also thought it was very funny and really like Sam Swift. Too bad he’s immortal cause I think he would be  fun in the TARDIS for a few adventures though his banter might get on the Doctors nerves.

    Those are my first thoughts after watching it and of course will watch it again later.

    #45413
    winston @winston

    @starla I also enjoyed the Captain Jack reference and the line about him finding her sooner or later.Oh that Jack!
    @jimthefish I’m sorry you didn’t care for this episode the first time around.Maybe it will grow on you.Maybe because I really enjoyed Tennant Doc I also enjoyed this episode.
    @vrooom I enjoyed your review quite a bit.It was funny but also imformative. I hope you finally got your children to sleep.I remember what that was like. I will be sure to watch any future reviews.

    #45414
    Anonymous @

    Watched it earlier this evening on BBC America. Random thoughts:

    -The opening was one only Tom Baker could have pulled off as well.

    -Well written script, eminently believable and well within the DW pale.

    -One trend I am noticing with concern: The companions. The Doctor is IMO becoming too emotionally attached. Three or Four would NEVER have allowed Sarah Jane to hang on him like she was his girlfriend. We need Companions that are more Sarah Jane or Romana and less Rose and Clara. Or Jamie or Ian or Harry or even Turlough (as much as I detest the entire JNT/Davison era).

    -All told, PC is growing on me.

    #45415
    winston @winston

    @pendant   A guardian for the discarded.

    I was also intrigued by that line and then we see Me standing in the picture  on Clara’s phone. Does this mean she may watch or contact other companions. Does she protect them from the effects of having travelled with the Doctor? Is she the companions Claricle in a way? And will we see Donna or Rose or Martha? So many questions so little time. Time to go sleep on it.

    #45421
    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    The powerfully played and thought provoking exchanges between Me/Ashildr  and the Doctor made that episode for me, and even the feeble Leandro didn’t really detract from the strong overall flow.

    A few first impressions…

    “Purple is the colour of death”. Which fits perfectly with Missy’s outfit, but why then have there been publicity shots of Peter Capaldi in a purple third Doctor type jacket, which I think we have not yet seen in the series?

    @winston & @pendant.  A guardian for the discarded.  This seems important in the overall arc.

    Ashildr’s appearance in the selfie of Clara and her pupil at the very end of the episode was a gripping moment. And another exchange about friends being enemies paired with Ashildr’s remark that she’ll be watching out for those abandoned by the Doctor. So Ashildr, it seems, now has a purpose.

    I’d taken all the pointers to be in the direction of Clara’s departure being her death. But maybe by now her death has been made too obvious for it to actually occur? Perhaps there is now an out with Ashildr watching her back, literally and metaphorically?

    I suspect we’ve not seen the end of either Missy or Ashildr in this series.

     

    #45423
    Ozitenor @ozitenor

    That forlorn stare from the Doctor after Clara says she is not going anywhere…  Chills.

    #45426
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    How fortunate for the Doctor that Ashildr did not decide to accelerate the rate of human progress to get off this rock.  All she would have had to do was hang around certain scientists even of the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s in England and France and coordinate their efforts.  She’s smart.  Because in the late 1700s this was the device that created the modern world, Jesse Ramsden’s dividing engine, the device that enabled the endless cascade of more precise measurements, more precise devices creating other devices:

    http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2011/04/standardizing-precision-and-beautiful-technical-prints-ramsdens-dividing-engines.html

    I would hope Ashildr did something for Ursula Blake after the events of Love and Monsters, because I don’t buy the idea she was really happy.  The ending for Ursula Blake seemed ironic to me.

    This episode mentioned another dimension, so perhaps it is a sign of what I think will be the show’s evolution to showing more of the multiverse, time and spaces, not just time and space of this universe.

     

    #45427
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    In theory there is at least one other Time Lord other than Missy that Ashildr could have encountered, the Monk, but due to the emphasis on Missy and the Doctor being the last of the Time Lords, the Monk I am afraid has been erased from recognition.

    #45430
    Serahni @serahni

    Just finished watching it.  From an arc point of view, I found it interesting and I thought the two main performances were excellent.  However, as a story?  It’s another one of those where some shambling half-explained, quickly-resolved menace is tacked onto an episode that really only exists in order to further meta-story development.  Whilst I guess there is nothing wrong with that, I just found it a bit of a shame because the other episodes this season have done a much better job of having a riveting story that the big plot twisted nicely around.

    I liked it but only for its poignant philosophy and the dangled promise of bigger things to come, and that seems a little bit sad when everything up to now had been enjoyable for its own sake.

    #45432
    Anonymous @

    @plainolddave you said this well on the Companion Thread but do you think this is a NuWho trend  only?

    I thought you might mean that Eccleston was unlikely to have this excessive emotion you describe in his Tardis? If anyone might, it could have been him -and yet he was so close to Rose?

    Do you really think that Clara’s hugging of Capaldi’s Doctor is like “a girlfriend”?

    Forgive me, but if people think that here then they would quite run from me! 🙂 My male friends very much receive those hugs -real long body hugs and cuddles -my female friends too -this ‘hanging’ on sounds like something vitiate or corrupt but it’s (if we must use this term) essential in a world where we’re adjured by bureaucrats managing our children that teachers “mustn’t touch,” that ‘air’ kissing and polite hand-shakes are sufficient. In no way is Clara’s hug with a man of 57 years a girl-friend like hug (whatever that is anyway!)- he’s what? 2000 in TL years -she loves him. He loves her. It’s simple. How they express it is up to them -but it must be suggesting something in a society where a young gal hugging a man so much older is seen as a sign of something gone “excessive?” Seriously, I thought you were winding us up! 🙂 But I do see this as your opinion and I respect it as one. It just upsets me, I suppose, that showing ‘excessive emotion’ in a time where mental illness, loneliness, sadness and general illness and poverty is on the incline is wrong. We need some humanity and we need to find it, correctly and not precipitously where we can, I believe. We need to maybe have less self-satisfaction or indignant thoughts -here on Who I think we can practise that.

    I love two or more of my male friends -I would do anything for them. This distinction of platonic or not is unnecessary, I would hope, and part of this almost protestant work ethic/conservative culture ‘thing’ which I find deeply disturbing. Capaldi is certainly loved as a Doctor and I don’t think Tom Baker would have been opposed to this ‘behaviour’ had it been scripted: the 80s were still a conservative time in telly-land in the UK -but a little different in Oz, I recall.

    #45441

    @winston @countscarlioni

    Learn to C&P guys 😉

    I’m not sure what it means, but it intrigues me. Couldn’t help thinking of Sarah Jane.

    @plainolddave

    Yes, the Doctor definitely works better when he is a sociopath incapable of empathy and caring.

    Oh, wait… no he doesn’t.

    #45443
    Anonymous @

    @pedant (pendant)

    Colitically Porrect ??

    #45444
    Spider @spider

    Right – rewatched and with the benefit of being far more awake, enjoyed that episode a whole lot more as I had missed a huge amount of what was going on first time round XD

    The bit where Ashildr realises she does actually care made me think of when Twelve has his moment in Death In Heaven with Missy (when he announces ‘I am an idiot’). Ashildr being detached and uncaring has parallels with how the Doctor was in S8, and as she realises she does care she reengages with the world – like the Doctor is more in S9.

    At first I was annoyed Clara wasn’t in it until the end, but of course without her in it, and all the build up, we get the emotional impact of what exactly the Doctor is feeling when he gives that sad look at the end.

    Very interesting and surprisingly emotional episode. I shall definitely be watching that one again. So pleased my initial reaction to it was off the mark!

    (\(\;;/)/)

    #45445
    Anonymous @

    <span class=”useratname”>@purofilion</span>

    My sensibilities are, in a phrase, mid-Victorian. With the Doctor, PDAs are… undignified.

    #45446
    Anonymous @

    @countscarlioni

    But maybe by now her death has been made too obvious for it to actually occur

    Yes, I think you might be right -I got that feeling this time very strongly

    @spider

    so tiredness does have that affect then? 🙂 I tend to think, though, that it didn’t have the strength or impact of the opening three episode,es for instance -but then I feel spoiled with those -so outstanding in many ways. And yet the Doctor’s script is marvellous and his delivery so spot on -that tonal colour he uses in his speech is quite superb and perhaps I could really listen to him reciting the worst lyrics to the worst song and nodding sagely!

    #45447
    Anonymous @

    @plainolddave

    sorry I thought you meant a PDA -as in a digital thingy! I don’t even know what that is? A personal digital aid or organiser? But you mean something different?

    Oh, you’re hardly Victorian! 🙂

    #45449
    Anonymous @

    @plainolddave

    Ah, I see I googled it, got the original PDA and then Public Displays of Affection

    And yet really? What, all displays of affection you saw with Tom Baker, even Davison  -yes he did! and Smithy are somehow ‘wrong’?

    No, no. That would be a sad world. We need affection: we thrive on it. Even the Doctor knows he’s a hugger -so the claricles have motivated him 🙂 Now, you:)

    #45450
    Anonymous @

    @plainolddave

    if say, she was ‘hurling’ herself at him, then yes, I’d agree but even in Deep Breath, he says to her “I’m not your boy friend” and she says “I never thought you were” and his response, interestingly is, “I never said it was your mistake” so you see, the same person (on the phone is Smith) and therefore all the way back to the First and Two and Three and so on, they are the same person -the hugger, the lover (with River), the twirler, the snogger (oh ick) but all 13, the same.

    So, yay for hugging in general. We will convert you yet Mr Dave  🙂

    #45452
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Give it up for Catherine Tregenna, the first woman to get to write a script for Who in quite some time. Given her Torchwood history, I too was pleased to get a Captain Jack mention!

    I’m still not a fan of the historical earth-history settings for Who, but the Dick Turpin-esque scenario made for some pretty natty costumery.

    This was, of course, primarily a psychological episode, where Ashildr mirrors and refracts the Doctor and he, her. As narrative mirroring is one of the best tools in the television writer’s armory and a technique that, once you understand it, pays dividends to the audience in the deeper appreciation of stories, I really liked the way Tregenna set out this parallel for the younger audience.

    Firstly, I enjoyed that Ashildr treated the Doctor as her “sidekick” in a deliberate taste-of-your-own-medicine twist. I agree @bluesqueakpip it’s highly likely Missy has paid Ashildr a visit.

    Maisie Williams is fantastic in this part. Her screen presence just knocks my socks off and I think we are witnessing the beginnings of one of our great British actresses. She will be the silver-haired Judi Dench of the future. But, there’s a whole lot of wild ride in between to come.

    When we saw Ashildr weeping before the cradles of her dead children, the Doctor’s cot of course leapt (as intended) to mind. The Doctor’s lost children are still very much in the narrative mind of the arc…

    Ashildr’s deliberate “forgetting” of her name, and her alias “Me” of course parallel’s the Doctor’s own adoption of a generic title “”the Doctor”.

    This is a story which really asks – is the Doctor right here? And comes down on the side of – not so much. Making someone functionally immortal and then refusing to be responsible for them – leaving them to take the slow path on earth, because you’re too frightened of the effect they might have on you should you travel together. Missy has a lot to work with, here.

    On the tarot card front, I think we can afford to squee – a lion (in the form of the alien) and the pub where the Doctor and Ashildr have their farewell drinks has the very prominent shot of a sign of two swans.

    The lion is the eighth major arcana card, strength, in the Rider Waite deck (which, for the adult audience, is called “lust” in the Crowley-Harris deck). The card depicts a woman with a lion. She is taming it. This is interpreted in various allegorical ways as the need to control one’s passions or one’s power.

    A story of the Fool’s (Doctor’s) journey through the tarot at the point he meets the maiden and the lion can be found here:

    http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/learn/meanings/strength.shtml

    So by virtue of mirroring, this is a story about the Doctor’s need to control his own power, his awareness that he does so with the help of his “mayfly” companions (which of course puts him in the place of “gods” in the Shakespeare quote – “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods..”) and the fact that the amount of power he has causes him, sometimes, to screw up.

    As for the swans – they are traditionally a symbol of love because of their tendency to pair-bond for life. The Empress card in the Crowley deck is depicted with a swan. She is said to represent love, fertility, creation…

    Of course, the Doctor has created Ashildr – she is his “child” in a sense – more echoes of the Doctor’s lost children on Gallifrey…

    The Doc reignites compassion in Ashildr, a valuable lesson from an immortal parent to an immortal child, but then he buggers off again and leaves her again. She, standing in her own power, tells him that she will be his conscience, keeping an eye on his treatment of the “mayflies” he chooses to travel with.

    The Doctor has created an immortal (and perhaps unstable) conscience for himself!

    The child imagery and swan (love) imagery point to a story about the Doctor’s kids/ love upcoming.

     

     

    #45453
    janetteB @janetteb

    @Purofilion well said. We have lots of friends who are teachers and they too share the frustration of having to comfort distressed younger children without giving them the hug which they need and we are rearing a generation who cannot distinguish between a healthy hug and something sinister. I loved the hugging scene at the end, it was so clearly an expression of friendship and nice to see the crotchety Doctor is softening a little.

    I really enjoyed the episode, (as usual) and the boys rated it higher than last weeks. The action was very much secondary to the human drama, what does immortality really mean? Both these two stories remind me a little of the film, “Man from Earth” which explores similar territory.

    I am wondering if Clara will be replaced immediately because the Doctor is building up a network of friends across the time periods which can potentially fill in as temporary companions. It would be an interesting arrangement for a series for so. It was definitely being implied that Ashildr would be the Doctor’s companion through much of the episode. I wonder if an announcement re’ the next companion or lack of is pending now.

    Cheers

    Janette

    #45455
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Ashildr will have to eventually make her way into space to keep trace of Mel and Peri?

    #45457
    Spider @spider

    @jphamlore

    How fortunate for the Doctor that Ashildr did not decide to accelerate the rate of human progress to get off this rock.

    Or, maybe she did accelerate it and that’s why we are where we are now! 😉

    Oh and other things I forgot to mention, loved the Jack Harkness reference, and also let out a cheer at the shout out to The Visitation, yay! (in which there is of course a highwayman and demise of a certain implement!).

    Got a bit annoyed at the sonic sunglassess in this one, thought the Doctor was wearing them too much and I hate that because we don’t see his eyes – but of course it mirrors the ‘mask’ Ashildr wears, so I’ll let that be my thing-that-annoyed-me-but-will-let-slide for this episode.

    (\(\;;/)/)

    #45458
    nerys @nerys

    For me the episode was a bit plodding due to Clara’s absence. Which makes me realize that I will miss her when she’s not there. It was so nice to see her there at the end, but of course it also reminded us of how keenly the Doctor will miss her, depending on what her ultimate fate is. I also wonder how much he knows of what is to come. His forlorn look, in response to Clara’s comment, “I’m not going anywhere,” implies that he knows something.

    @purofilion I too remember the Doctor’s “I never said it was your mistake” reply to that “I’m not your boyfriend” exchange he had with Clara. I do not read “girlfriend/boyfriend” into their hug. It’s a hug of affection, and also of reassurance. I’ve never been much of a hugger, mainly because my family was never into it. But my maternal grandmother was, and oh how I, as a child, cherished her kisses and hugs. They reassured me and made me feel the world was all right. And also that I was a person who was worth loving. Being physically demonstrative toward others is a way of expressing that. Though I still remember the Doctor’s comment about a hug being a way of hiding your face. There’s truth in that, too.

    Like others, I’m guessing that Me/Ashildr has had a talk or two with Missy. But I also wonder about River Song, and of course other companions she may be following. And what about Donna? I know I’m a broken record on this subject, but I so keep hoping for her to return, if for no other reason than to give her a better ending to her time as a companion. I would find it very satisfying for Donna to meet “this face” with whom she played such a crucial role.

    #45459
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Loved it. Yes, I am partial to historical episodes, but that wasn’t the reason I loved it. It was because it was an episode that flirted with (yet avoided) tragedy,  dealt with loss and regret and loneliness. It was an episode about damaged people–Ashildr, The Doctor, and in the coda, Clara.

    I found it very moving, actually, and the fact that it moved a little slower was part of its strength, as the pace suited the darkness at the heart of the story about three damaged people.

    Time for coffee and more thoughts.

    #45460
    Anonymous @

    Well, yay for the classic British Reserved Nature; stiff upper lip and all that.

     

    BUT

    The Doctor is still an Alien, and seen through British eyes. Did Four care about Romana One and Two, Leela or Sarah Jane? Of course he did, but he never got all wound up in it. Life or in the Doctor’s case, LIVES go on. He’s hundreds of years old and IMO the Producers and Writers need to do more with the “mayflies” convo in The Woman Who Lived. Companions are transient and the Doctor and (insert female companion name here) crawling all over each other is unseemly and out of character for the Doctor.

    #45461
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @plainOldDave

    Did Four care about Romana One and Two, Leela or Sarah Jane? Of course he did, but he never got all wound up in it.

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one, because my response to the rewatch of ‘City of Death’ was ‘My God, the Doctor is SO taking Romana on a date!’

    Personally, I see the Clara/Capaldi Doctor relationship as one of Daughter and Space Dad – so the hugging is fine for me. Kids often hug their parents.

    #45462
    Anonymous @

    <span class=”useratname”>@bluesqueakpip</span>

    I saw the same ep, maybe at the same time. BBC America? Anyway, I saw nothing in City of Death that would have been untoward with any other companion. Just the Definite Article being the Definite Article with the current Companion.

    #45463
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    A funny old mix in this one – some really rather daft and unsatisfying elements to the specific story, but some really fascinating, profound and moving elements relating to the arc(s).  What part will Ashildr play – what part has she already played?  Assuming that up to this point she has been earth-bound there’s still so many ways she could be retrofitted into the Who history, and that opens up lots of very very juicy possibilities, ripe for exploration by the great minds on this Forum.  Given how strong that theme is, and the interlinked one of Clara’s future, I’m ready to forgive the writer for the lion chap and his rather ineffectual space invaders.

    #45464
    Kharis @kharis

    HAS ANYONE NOTICED ASHILDR IS DRESSED IDENTICAL IN THE SELFIE TO CLARA’S MOTHER WHEN CLARA’s PARENTS FIRST MET?  Seriously, I thought this would be all over all the net and the Doctor Who Forums this morning. Not one site, no one mention.  Okay, so I will be the first to throw it out there for all to chew one.  Why are they dressed the same?  Coincidence?  Costume department bored?  Like with the necklace?

    Me thinks not.

    #45465
    ramzeppelin @ramzeppelin

    We could all be watching a great scy fy show, but now what we have the equivalent to a headache that appears on TV’s every Saturday. Bad stories that get dumber and dumber. There is no way to sugar coat it. Doctor who is now so awful I hope it dies this season.

    We could be watching a great sy fy show (that was not a vehicle for current flawed human politics) Instead this show has devolved into nonsense and honestly utter stupidity. for example…The guitar on the tank scene in episode one is so unwatchable in so many ways. Who would defend the 42 obvious idiotic points in that scene?

    How is Doctor who bad because of human politics? It takes a lot to understand, but to shorten it, When it became a liberal agenda show, that gave rise to the kind of deterioration that such a choice will always lead to. It is not that every bad choice is directly because of liberal politics and religion, but once you have people that make such a terrible choice in charge…bam, we are on a tank with a guitar insulting intelligence itself!

    I listen to the Big Finish Audio a lot and it is so superior to the tv show it is not funny. Doctor who should be about a man, a smart man travelling in time and us going with him and seeing the past (mostly) and having good stories result in satisfactory tv time. He was not a Super Hero, or a warrior as he is now. I could go on and on about so many points.

    Not every where he went did people take every alien and technology in stride, getting bored with it the same second they encounter it! think about that.

    This is what we have now, and I have come to really hate Doctor who as a tv show. the stories are childish and always illogical, not childish in an appealing way, but childish in a immature production that does not engage your brain but rather is like watching Roger Rabbit and expecting us to care about the badly manufactured drama moments.

    Capaldi could have been the best doctor ever, if they had made him a much darker, smarter written doctor and got back to making science fiction. What we have now is fiction for those that like the shallow end of every aspect of television production.

    Stringing together high falootin words does not make something smart. If this was how Doctor who had begun in the reboot, it would have been canceled after a year.

    People mostly defend this incarnation because they already chose to be a “fan”. I would recommend never being a fan of anything, but people will be. My wife still supports the show, but even she is struggling to, and if everyone knew her, they would realize how bad this show had to become for that to happen.

    So to end this posting….I am sad to see Doctor Who become a vehicle for liberalism, as it should never be a vehicle for any failed human belief system, but rather should be a sy fy show that exposes us to history and clever story telling first and foremost. The only thing about Doctor Who that is clever now, is the dialogue occasionally, but when you pull back and see it in context, even that is not very clever at all. What a shame that Doctor Who is forever tainted, and I feel bad for those that will refuse to admit it. It is like growing one very long hair to pretend you are not bald!

    PS…It would not matter if was not a liberal agenda, it could have been any agenda, all human agenda are always failed and we should never take beloved characters that everyone could like and turn them into either a agenda puppet, or just really stupid story telling.

    I try not to ever use the word “stupid” about anything! Yet the current creators of this tv show deserve to see why that word applies over and over again, one bad choice after another, that are clearly based on bias and stupidity.

    Again, my heart goes out to you all pretending this is not terrible. You know it is, you know just about every single choice they make is wrong (in a world where right and wrong are up for grabs, that is kind of amazing!) but you are determined to pretend otherwise.

    It will feel good though when you finally admit to yourself it is really bad tv making on every level for too many reasons to list here! Unburden yourselves and enjoy truth! 🙂

    #45466
    ichabod @ichabod

    @winston  After a while you think that the pain is not worth it and you decide “no more pets” I think this is how the Doctor and Me and all immortals must feel once in awhile. Shoud they take the risk and enjoy their companions lives ,however fleeting ,or give up and go it alone.

    Yes, it’s a feeling very familiar to pet owners.  Most of us give in when the “right” furry face comes along and presents itself, and then the cycle starts all over again . . . it’s not settled that Sam Swift is immortal, though, is it?  Me asked about it, and the Doctor said maybe, but most likely not, and explained why; and she said, “You just made that up, didn’t you?”  And he says yes.  So, nobody knows, leaving open the possibility of a return, which is fine with me.  I liked the character a lot — usually I hate the “cocky, devil-may-care, macho outlaw” thing, but Hound let the vulnerability shine through the desperate wit, and that won me.

    @counscarlioni  [of Clara]  maybe by now her death has been made too obvious for it to actually occur? Perhaps there is now an out with Ashildr watching her back, literally and metaphorically?

    I got the impression though that Me is committing not to looking out for discarded companions, but for the normal folks that the Doctor leaves behind when an adventure ends (for him!) and he takes off.  So far, Me has no means of traveling in time and space, so how could she “look after” Clara?  Stuck on Earth, I think her only option is to look after us after the Doctor has zoomed through leaving hurricane damage, large or small scale, in his wake.

    @ozitenor That forlorn stare from the Doctor after Clara says she is not going anywhere… Chills.

    Oh, he knows a thing or two, but he’s not telling — because it’s not good, that thing he knows.

    @jphamlore  This episode mentioned another dimension, so perhaps it is a sign of what I think will be the show’s evolution to showing more of the multiverse, time and spaces, not just time and space of this universe.

    Oh, help — not til I’m gone, I hope!  I can just about keep things workably unscrambled  now, as it is!

    @purofilion @pedant  Yes, the Doctor definitely works better when he is a sociopath incapable of empathy and caring.  Oh, wait… no he doesn’t.

    With you both on this; IMO, the writers have successfully made the shift from “boyfriend” #11 to “not your boyfriend” #12, though it took some work and had some murky patches in the doing; even on tumblr, the Capaldi following that so devotedly shipped the Doctor/Clara through S8, have been murmuring among themselves rather plaintively that they should be able to continue sailing that particular ship without being called out for it even though S9 is plainly working on a space dad/beloved friend model (“duty of care” is pretty specific about the nature of the connection, and “romantic” it ain’t).  It’s very clear in the “spinny” hug — that has grampa written all over it, as I see it; and the hug at the end of “Woman”, I see as very familial in the same way.

    @spider  . . . where Ashildr realises she does actually care made me think of when Twelve has his moment in Death In Heaven with Missy (when he announces ‘I am an idiot’). Ashildr being detached and uncaring has parallels with how the Doctor was in S8, and as she realises she does care she reengages with the world

    Oh, good — yes, exactly, though I didn’t see it at the time!  It’s interesting how much like/dislike of various episodes seems to hinge on who can see the emotional story unfolding alongside the plot story, and who can’t.  I don’t think it’s a conscious choice, but perceiving and valuing the emotional story can come with re-watches and, often, discussion on the net, as many who changed their minds about S8 attested (and as I can attest, myself, in my own case about some S8 eps).  Which I think is wonderful.  And I’m glad not to have responded to your disappointment while you were still, um, half asleep . . .

               (sunglasses) thought the Doctor was wearing them too much and I hate that because we don’t see his eyes – but of course it mirrors the ‘mask’ Ashildr wears,

    Oh, of course — I wondered why he risked breaking his leg walking into that house at night with sunglasses on, before igniting the candle.  But a mask, of course!  And the voice and body acting is so fine-tuned, I realized afterward that I didn’t even miss seeing his eyes — !

    @purofilion  the Doctor’s script is marvellous and his delivery so spot on -that tonal colour he uses in his speech is quite superb and perhaps I could really listen to him reciting the worst lyrics to the worst song and nodding sagely! . . . We need affection: we thrive on it. Even the Doctor knows he’s a hugger -so the claricles have motivated him

    Capaldi’s virtuoso instrument isn’t the guitar, it’s his voice, and he’s had decades as a professional to teach himself every nuance it’s capable of — and how to use it.  He’s a walking master-class in effective speech.

    As for the hugging, yes, it’s clear now — he’s a hugger-in-waiting at points in his lives where he’s overstressed, deeply insecure, and hyper-sensitive because of it (S8).  When he’s desperately searching for his own boundaries and what lies legitimately within them, the last thing he needs is people glomming into those already wavery boundaries, so he freezes instead of hugging back.  Sudden physical embrace could be downright painful in those circumstances.  Now that he’s got his Doctor on properly, the newly refreshed boundaries can be relaxed to let the hug impulse out — and in (look how he reaches up almost absently in that last Tardis scene in Woman, covering Clara’s huggy hands with his own).

    @juniperfish  When we saw Ashildr weeping before the cradles of her dead children, the Doctor’s cot of course leapt (as intended) to mind. The Doctor’s lost children are still very much in the narrative mind of the arc…

    It didn’t leap to my mind, but now it does, so thank you.  Great insights here — lots I missed, to look for on re-watch (right now, problems with the download, can’t see it).

    The Doctor has created an immortal (and perhaps unstable) conscience for himself!

    But one with limited range, since she can’t follow him off-planet.  Still, it’s a great start.  And I do like “the slow path” since we are all on it, while the Doctor flits and flies as he chooses (although often the Tardis chooses for him, once he sets foot inside — which makes setting foot inside a particularly daring, even reckless thing to do, casting his fate repeatedly on the winds of Tardis/fortune — but that’s The Fool for you!).

    @nerys  (of grandma hugs) They reassured me and made me feel the world was all right. And also that I was a person who was worth loving.

    Oh, brilliant — yes!  The worthy-of-love factor — You’re so right: part of that hardening and rejection of hugs that we saw in S8 is also about fending off the possibility of being worthy of hugs, because once admitted, that validation- of-the-hugee-from-without can always be withdrawn again by the hugger.  Ugh, what he hell did I just write here . . . issues of trust come from issues of past betrayal, I think.  Don’t want to think so, but do.  I’m not a hugger myself, and now I have a better idea why.

    @blenkinsopthebrave  It was an episode about damaged people–Ashildr, The Doctor, and in the coda, Clara.

    About damaged people coping with their damage, yes; but never fully healed of it.  So part of the job of living is learning how to live well in a damaged state, since damage is inevitable in a physical world (entropy again).  As a friend of mine puts it, “Nobody gets out of life unscathed.  We come here to be scathed.”  Truer words . . .

    @plainolddave  Companions are transient and the Doctor and (insert female companion name here) crawling all over each other is unseemly and out of character for the Doctor.

    Note, though, who’s doing the crawling here: not the alien.  #12 appreciates the warmth and attention now, I think, but he also rarely initiates a comforting touch, let alone a hug, himself.  Just once that I can recall, in “Girl”, and then partly because everybody around him is expressing their joy with hugs.  I think the day the Doctor spontaneously and without prompting hugs Clara may be the day he knows she’s going to die, and there will be no other chances . . .

    Sorry, this got enormously long, but I’m off for a bit and didn’t want to fall too far behind.

     

    #45467
    nerys @nerys

    @ramzeppelin I’m sorry that Doctor Who has become so unenjoyable for you. Your “truth” is different from mine, and we have very different perceptions. For me, it’s the only currently running show that I actually look forward to watching. I don’t see any “agenda” (liberal or otherwise) being applied. Certainly writers bring their viewpoints into a story, and I find that writers often write from their own emotional understanding. So there is a tendency to tinge historical fiction with modern constructs, however unintentionally.

    Me/Ashildr is something of a modern woman, I agree. However, she disguised herself with a man’s voice, costume and a mask when she was doing her highwayman gig. She adapted in order to succeed. That’s a trait of human beings throughout history. So I wouldn’t call that having a liberal agenda, but rather trying to imagine what kind of person a young woman coping with immortality might develop into as she lives through the ages, and all around her die. It’s an intriguing puzzle, one that countless writers have taken on. It’s especially appropriate for Doctor Who, given its time-travel theme … not to mention how it addresses the Doctor’s tendency to abandon people like Ashildr, failing to stick around and really live that life, with all its ramifications and consequences, with them.

    #45468

    @ramzeppelin

    We could have been reading a really interesting post full of insight and critique of the episode we have just watched, but instead we are reading the same old fanboy wailing about how much better things were ‘when I were a kid’.

    We could have considering the use of symbolism and metaphor (richer and more effective now that at any time in the show’s run), but instead we get whinges about long words.

    We could have been considering the acting of a disconcertingly assured 18 year-old… ah fuck it, I can’t be bothered – you are just too boring and long-winded, thinking it clever to recycle the same old whines, utterly devoid of wit or humour and a complete alien to charm.

    So now that you’ve stopped watching the show, feel free to fuck right off.

    #45470
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @plainolddave

    Anyway, I saw nothing in City of Death that would have been untoward with any other companion.

    There was certainly nothing ‘untoward’ about it. Merely that the Doctor suddenly decided on a trip to the notoriously romantic Paris for a meal at a nice little restaurant. Pity about the Jaggaroth.

    Generally speaking, when a male of one species offers to take a female of the same species to Paris for some Bouillabaisse – it’s a date. 😉

    #45471
    ichabod @ichabod

    @ramzeppilin  So to end this posting….I am sad to see Doctor Who become a vehicle for liberalism

    I’m not, or wouldn’t be if it were, Mr. Underbridge.  This is certainly not the kind of place you’re looking for, so do kindly bugger off and take your non-agenda with you, there’s a good chap.

    @nerys  Me/Ashildr is something of a modern woman, I agree. However, she disguised herself with a man’s voice, costume and a mask when she was doing her highwayman gig. She adapted in order to succeed. That’s a trait of human beings throughout history. So I wouldn’t call that having a liberal agenda, but rather trying to imagine what kind of person a young woman coping with immortality might develop into as she lives through the ages, and all around her die. It’s an intriguing puzzle, one that countless writers have taken on. It’s especially appropriate for Doctor Who, given its time-travel theme … not to mention how it addresses the Doctor’s tendency to abandon people like Ashildr, failing to stick around and really live that life, with all its ramifications and consequences, with them.

    So well put, I have only to quote it in full.  And you have better manners than mine, but truly, in this instance, I do not care.  I’m in @pedant‘s contingent on this one, and sans courtesies or apologies.  The Underbridges of this world know nothing of either, so I won’t bother.

    #45472
    Anonymous @

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    It was because it was an episode that flirted with (yet avoided) tragedy,  dealt with loss and regret and loneliness. It was an episode about damaged people–Ashildr, The Doctor, and in the coda, Clara. I found it very moving, actually, and the fact that it moved a little slower was part of its strength

    Beautifully expressed as always Mr Blenkinsop. I agree in every way   @nerys how right you are

    @ramzeppelin

    Ah, the liberal argument. I love these. You want screaming females and ‘actiony’ action men? You want what? Ladeez to be Ladies and men to be Men?

    The thing that concerns me, is you’re so totalitarian in your outlook, so fascist, and yet pretending otherwise that you don’t allow people to like what they actually like. If you want Songs of Praise, The Home Show or Midsomer Murders where little Joyce doesn’t have a job (LOL I love that show too @ichabod) and Mr Barnaby does all the work then go and make one.

    This here isn’t a place where we shout “oh look, the emperor is wearing clothes,” we work out when he isn’t and right now, you’re a fascist militant wandering about in the garb of the Gestapo. People killed you lot off once. We can do it again.

    Again, my heart goes out to you all pretending this is not terrible. You know it is, you know just about every single choice they make is wrong (in a world where right and wrong are up for grabs, that is kind of amazing!) but you are determined to pretend otherwise

    Right and wrong up for grabs? Actually, are you high? Do you even know whereof you speak? Sad, sad little person. Do as @pedant suggests…toddle off dear.

    @ichabod

    When he’s desperately searching for his own boundaries and what lies legitimately within them, the last thing he needs is people glomming into those already wavery boundaries, so he freezes instead of hugging back.  Sudden physical embrace could be downright painful in those circumstances

    Absolutely. He’s a nervous guy -or was @spider suggested a “parallel with Missy in the finale of S8.” He really is a different person than in previous incarnations but thru patience is slowly being shown another way. And Clara is patient and kind -as always

    @kharis really? I never knew that! You’re saying that young Ashildr or ‘me’ is in fact Clara’s real mum? Someone who would “always be there for her?” Very interesting as a notion. I don’t know where to find the original meeting? Would that be somewhere in Clara Oswald’s first run? Series 6? or 7?

    @cathannabel “ineffectual space invaders”  -a wonderful summing up and yes, I agree, there was a whole lot more below the surface to mine, wasn’t there?

    #45476
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @kharis Ooh! You may be on to something. I thought, denim jacket, quite common, but the band in the hair too? Not sure what it means though.

    Me in selfie

    Clara's mum

    #45477
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    <span class=”useratname”>@ramzeppelin</span>  Oh, thank heavens!  Finally I can stop pretending that I love this show.  You have set me free. Right, now I’ll bobby off and join a forum devoted to discussing a show that I despise, so that I can pass on the enlightenment to other benighted fools.

    Or, as @ichabod so splendidly put it, ‘do kindly bugger off and take your non-agenda with you, there’s a good chap’.

    Anyway, back to Who – @kharis, I hadn’t spotted that, but if so, then I entirely agree, it’s no coincidence.  A bit of googling is called for, I think.

     

     

    #45478
    Kharis @kharis

    @pedant or @IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeManYES. THANK YOU!  If I wanted to listen to insecure assertions of knowledge or maturity, or opinions trying to masquerade as facts I would go look up the comments in one of the popular complaining sites.   I come on this forum for intelligent conversations, fun or “bonkers” theories.  I love what you wrote:  “We could have been reading a really interesting post full of insight and critique of the episode we have just watched, but instead we are reading the same old fanboy wailing about how much better things were ‘when I were a kid’. We could have considering the use of symbolism and metaphor (richer and more effective now that at any time in the show’s run), but instead we get whinges about long words.We could have been considering the acting of a disconcertingly assured 18 year-old… ah fuck it, I can’t be bothered – you are just too boring and long-winded, thinking it clever to recycle the same old whines, utterly devoid of wit or humour and a complete alien to charm.”  YES!  (:  What you said.

    Okay, enough with all the waa waa waa,  thinking opinions are facts and general boring back and forth.

    Plus:

    “I’m being extremely clever up here and if there is no one standing around, looking impressed, what’s the point in having you all”

    Not one word about my insight, not one word.  (;   Come on everyone!  Someone at least pretend to be impressed.

     

    #45479
    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @craig got to it before I could do any investigating.  Bloody hell!  @kharis kudos for being the first to spot that.

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