Forum Replies Created
9 January 2015 at 10:35 #37130
Oh wow! There is so much that I’ve missed here! (Being in Warsaw over Christmas, and away until after New Year makes it difficult to keep up!).
I can state quite categorically that Last Christmas is by far my favourite of the Xmas special episodes – definitely a 5-star story.
It is fascinating to see all the theories regarding the reality/unreality of Santa (when did it become standard in the UK to refer to him as such, and not Father Christmas?) – I just interpreted him as being a figment of their dreaming imaginations and didn’t really notice how Moff used the tangerine at the end to leave the question open for those still young enough to believe.
Not sure if I’d want to see Shona again as a companion – I think I’d find her a little irritating if she goofed around as she did here in a more serious story (she is forgiven this time – it was her dream after all!)
Ashley would make a far better companion, based on the evidence of this episode – she is much more focused, and has a degree of quiet melancholy that makes her more potentially interesting to me than Shona’s boozy bumbling.
Looking forward to series 9 proper!30 November 2014 at 11:26 #35919
@blenkinsopthebrave I could go on about this for some time, but quite frankly, I had to fight so many battles over this that were so toxic over so many years, that I think that is all I really want to say on this topic.
Oops! Apologies – I only read this after I had just posted. I hope that this has not become toxic – I find it an interesting topic for discussion.
My academic background is in Economic History, and one of the texts we used was Fogel and Engerman’s Time on the Cross: the Economics of American Negro Slavery. I don’t know how familiar you are with it, but the authors’ premise was that the US Southern states’ system of slavery lasted for so long because it was in actual fact a reasonably efficient economic system, and they backed it up with all sorts of detailed and fancy econometric tables and calculations.
It was a very interesting analysis, but one which entirely missed the point. It was a useful exploration for us as students to be able to take a step back from the analysis and actually use our modern perspective to say (essentially) “How can these guys say it was an ‘efficient’ economic system when they ignore the fact that a large fraction of the population are excluded from the measurement of wealth distribution by the simple fact of being classed as property?”
We perhaps would not have so easily reached this conclusion had we not had Fogel and Engerman’s revsionist/relativist work to analyse in the first place.30 November 2014 at 11:14 #35918
@bluesqueakpip And the ‘glasnost’ then happening in the old Soviet Union meant that it was a good time to remind people that the Soviets were our allies in WW2.
And yet so many nowadays also forget that the Soviets were one of the parties that started the Second World War for their own territorial gain. This is something that seems to always be omitted that could probably do with a little bit of counter-revisionism.
I mean, you do have to set the scene a bit if Who lands in the Peninsula War. But World War II? In an episode broadcast when it was within the living memory of half the population? No.
It really depends on what is considered an acceptable challenge to the audience’s preconceptions at the time – as you say, ‘glasnost’ and ‘perestroika’ were the buzzwords of the time, so there was something of a drive to make the Soviets appear more comfortable and to ignore the atrocities that they committed, which were entirely comparable with those of the nazis, and which happened for a much longer time.
In the same way that the show now would probably not be willing to say, “The United States was founded on slavery, genocide and treason,” because this would probably be too great a challenge for the intended audience (especially as the show is supposed to be sold to international markets), and could be rejected ‘postmodern relativism’. Nonetheless, that is a perfectly justifiable position to take based upon the evidence.
As the cliché states, “those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it”, and we find that we live in an age where our leaders are keen to bomb other states, and use drone strikes (which are the modern equivalent of the nazis V-weapons, and which kill ~30 bystanders for every actual target – regardless of the extrajudiciality of an execution carried out remotely and without a trial). A little bit of relativism that asks us to question the righteousness of dropping bombs under whatever circumstances is, in my opinion, a positive contribution to the discussion. After all, it is not Germany dropping bombs right now, is it? They seem to have remembered that lesson for the time being.28 November 2014 at 10:03 #35868
I have finally got around to watching this series. I thought I would post my thoughts on the entire story here for brevity’s sake.
The Master’s introduction was surprisingly low-key – it certainly didn’t indicate that this character would become the single most iconic individual foe for the Doctor, a character who would keep returning for more than forty years!
The re-use of the autons might have felt a little unnecessary so soon after Spearhead from Space, but it was interesting to see how the Nestenes’ strategy had evolved now that they only had a single meteorite to begin their invasion with. The story used their ability to manipulate plastic far more innovatively than the previous auton story had – lethal plastic flowers, dolls, cables and chairs were far more interesting deathtraps than just shop window dummies, so the story must get credit for expanding and enriching the Nestene enemy.
With the off-screen departure of Liz Shaw, and the goofy introduction of Jo Grant, the writers/producers of the show signalled their adherence to the norms of the time – explicitly stating that Liz’s replacement would be no intellectual challenge to the Doctor. Jo is charming and funny, but I’m still not particularly happy about the replacement of an intelligent and qualified female character with a prettier but far less intelligent one – it seems a bit regressive and rather infantilising. I’m glad they rectified this a few years down the line with the introduction of Sarah Jane.
As for the story itself, outside of the interesting new characters and a new look at an established enemy, the plot itself was rather pedestrian. The circus elements went nowhere of note (and the shot of the dancing elephants made me relieved to think that we have done away with such animal cruelty these days), the incidental characters were all one dimensional, and disposed of in quick succession without being much missed by the audience.
The one exception was the levitating city gent timelord, who was a hilarious caricature of the old-school condescending tory elite that revealed much more about how Gallifreyan culture regarded itself and the rest of the universe than any amount of elaborate alien costumes and headdresses. @bluesqueakpip – That self regard does seem to be characteristic of timelords: they consider each other to be the only *really* important inhabitants of the universe!
Thankfully there was not too much padding in this story – if it had been stretched out to six or more parts it might have outstayed its welcome. Nonetheless, despite its flaws, I really enjoyed much of the character interactions, and by the end, Jo had redeemed herself and been shown to be not such a useless ditz after all – escapology is definitely a useful skill!
Overall, I give this story a 4 out of 5 – missing out on top marks because the plot itself was not particularly fresh.23 November 2014 at 10:14 #35830
@blenkinsopthebrave it was pretty ropey. The two evacuee girls as possessed vampires was high school acting at best.
Too true, particularly the delivery of the line “You should of come into va wawtah wiv usss.” Cockney urchin Gollum, as channelled by 1980s teenagers.
the 80′s relativist attitude (all combatants are equally guilty) rankles with me
It might rankle, but in terms of the actions of Bomber Command, it is a view that has some merit. And it was the “british bombs” line that is the important part of this story. No nation came out of the War showered in untarnished glory – all sides engaged in brutal acts against civilians.
(And, as I mentioned in the previous episode’s thread, there is a tendency in modern British interpretations of the Second World War to cast the Russians as victims in the conflict, when they are at least as culpable as the Germans in instigating it.)
@purofilion It is Ace who under-plays her part that I like, now, and also the Doctor, not striding around as ‘main star’ who is gently compelling.
I’m enjoying McCoy and Aldred’s performances better this episode, although the Doctor is still sometimes performed theatrically abruptly – focuc turning on a sixpence – that seems to me to be a problem in editing.
One thing that I particularly disliked, though, was the Doctor’s unsubtly prejudiced line regarding Judson, “He’s a typical blinkered scientist.” Whilst it is unclear whether he is grouping Judson with only those scientists who are blinkered, or whether he considers it typical for any scientist to be blinkered, it certainly isn’t a science-positive line. Christopher Bidmead must’ve been appalled (if he was still paying any attention).
Still, there is nothing wrong so far with the *story* itself – merely with some of the execution. If it had been submitted to the AG production team, it would have fit in very nicely as a two-parter.21 November 2014 at 10:56 #35782
@galasura (darkanian) Daleks are like cockroaches – if you’ve had an infestation, you can get rid of as many of them as you like, but some will always get away by hiding in the shadows.
The in-Whoniverse reason is: The Cult of Skaro (Sec, Thay, Caan and Clyde) were hiding in the Void, in a voidship that was also housing a Timelord prison containing millions of Daleks. When Caan escaped from 1930s New York, it managed to breach the timelock, and release Davros and the Dalek Empire, who then hid in the Medusa Cascade, stealing planets and creating the reality bomb. A few daleks escaped from the destruction of the Crucible, and used the Doctor to resurrect the New Paradigm Daleks. It is now unclear what happened, except that it seems likely that the New Paradigm Daleks collected up all the scattered Dalek remnants into the Parliament of the Daleks.
Suffice it to say: Dalek history is *complicated*
The real reason is: They are too iconic to destroy completely forever20 November 2014 at 22:20 #35773
Anyway – This music is only what it is, but I really do like it (and the video is … peculiar)20 November 2014 at 22:17 #35772
@thekrynoidman I think Lloyd Webber’s Pink Floyd is showing!
I’ve not seen any X-men movies since the second one – I was beginning to get serious superhero fatigue. I knew I was out of step with the trend when I found the first Raimi Spiderman movie to be a snorefest, and I haven’t bothered with the others in the series, or the reboot.
Loved Guardians of the Galaxy though… and was delighted to see two London landmarks during the climactic battle!20 November 2014 at 09:53 #35768
@thekrynoidman Now Attack of the Clones, that’s an awful film.
My favorite track from Star Wars is the end credits music from Empire
Ah, the Empire Strikes Back: my favourite film and favourite soundtrack of all time. I bought the CD in 1997 when it was the soundtrack was issued in full for the first time (following the Special Editions being released in cinemas that summer), and it is probably my most played CD, then mp3 album since then. And I agree that the End credits music is probably the best track on there – it contains all the best themes from the movie – The Force theme, The Love Theme, The Imperial March and Yoda’s theme. I first saw Star Wars and Empire when they were reissued to cinemas in 1982 as a double-bill – 4+ hours of exploding spaceship fun for a 6 year old was like nothing else I’d seen before, and nothing since has had the same impact. In fact, I begged Loughborough Curzon cinema for the display poster used in the foyer, which my wife got framed for me after discovering it in my parents’ attic last year. It is this poster:
As for whether Attack of the Clones is a bad movie – I’d disagree, as I’d still pretty much watch it over virtually anything else non-Star Wars! And it is better IMHO than Return of the Jedi, which was the first big cinematic disappointment I ever had.18 November 2014 at 12:18 #35733
@mudlark As for the Russians, presumably they were allies by the time the events of this story take place – but even after Germany broke the non-aggression pact the basis of the ensuing alliance was essentially a matter of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’. I don’t think the mutual trust extended all that far, and the idea of a clandestine operation by Russians on British shores does not seem wholly implausible.
I think that a lot of people these days are unaware that the Soviet Union plotted with the Nazis to invade and dismember Poland, and that the Soviets were just as culpable as the Germans or the Japanese in starting the Second World War. The actual invasion of Poland by the Soviets was certainly glossed over during my GCSE and A-Level courses in European History.
It makes sense, therefore, from a story point of view that the Russians are acting in a duplicitous and invading capacity.18 November 2014 at 11:59 #35732
@jimthefish I’m afraid I’ve never seen anything else with Sophie Aldred in – What is Corners?
@bluesqueakpip I agree that casting for the tone and audience of the work, as well as the skill set of the performer, is critical to the success of the work.
With regard to the Sixth Doctor, I believe that it was the tone that the writers and production team went for as opposed to Colin Baker himself.
That’s not to say that I think that JNT’s casting was infallible – wasn’t he responsible for Adric and Mel?17 November 2014 at 21:55 #35724
@bluesqueakpip I was never sure what age the writers were going for with Ace – she looked to be in her twenties, but her lines were written as if she was twelve.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the character!17 November 2014 at 20:58 #35721
@mudlark @purofilion I agree that the acting of the two girls did leave something to be desired, but the acting in BG Who strikes me as often pretty variable and, by comparison with the acting on television now, can sometimes seem mannered or a bit exaggerated. When I watch these episodes now I tend to allow for this and it does not bother me much.
I agree with much of what you say – but with these two girls, they seemed to be a bit, well, Grange Hill. And I think the editing was to blame for the shockingly abrupt repetition of “baby doll“, with its weird stress on doll.
As for exaggerated performances – I have yet to order Horns of Nimon, but when I do get round to finally seeing it, I intend to enjoy every moment of Soldeed.16 November 2014 at 12:37 #35677
The Phantom Menace is a great film – I prefer it to Return of the Jedi. It certainly has its flaws, but it has a particular charm of its own.
My favourite part of the soundtrack comes at about 1:25 into this clip (the Droid Invasion):16 November 2014 at 08:28 #35665
@lisa @purofilion -lol but wait there’s more – they also had a flashback to dalek caan in this episode!
why that particular flashback? It’s feeling to me like we are heading for lots more great and
Wasn’t that a flashback to Rusty from Into the Dalek?16 November 2014 at 00:10 #35642
@bfinch I agree that Clara has the most realistic relationship with 12 that probably has ever been portrayed in a Doctor companion relationship but that doesn’t mean I have to like or support that character.
One doesn’t have to like or support a character to find them highly entertaining to watch, that is true as well. What tends to sustain my interest is seeing a character develop, and I feel that Clara has done that very interestingly, and in a way that a companion has not done explicitly before. Probably the closest would be Tegan, who started out just wanting to get back to Heathrow, but afterwards found that she still couldn’t give up travelling with the Doctor. When at last she does leave, it is because the violence and bloodshed have become too much. And yet – we see that after the TARDIS has dematerialised, she comes back once again, and it is only the fact that the Doctor has already departed which prevents her from succumbing to her time-travelling adventure addiction.15 November 2014 at 22:32 #35628
OK – I decided to watch it using @craig ‘s embedded link, as my laptop doesn’t have an optical drive.
My least favourite of the BG versions of the theme – the best thing about it is that it has the middle eight prominently featured. The rest of it is too ’80s synthesizer-ish for my taste. I’m not too fond of the intro sequence either, although silver spray-painted Radagast gives me a chuckle!
The spooky underwater shot establishes a creepy atmosphere nicely.
I like that Ace is a very astute companion – she is willing to be led, but isn’t shy about giving her opinion or observations. I can imagine Sarah Jane in similar situations muttering darkly, Tegan pouting, Leela pulling a knife and Jo Grant would follow on puppyishly and with blythe unconcern. This kind of mission really suits Ace.
Royal marines, like policemen, always seem to be getting younger.
I also think the way that the change from russian with subtitles to spoken english is handled – it shows that the programme realised that the audience was sophisticated enough to be questioning the everyone always speaks english trope, and provided a convincing reason for it.
Not sure about the Doctor’s dismissal of “Prisoner’s Dilemma”, unless he’s just being flippant (which would not be out of character).
Millington’s introduction is hilariously bizarre, as if he is an android just conserving power.
I’m amused by the viking graveyard spooOOooky superstition – it reminds me about how US movies and TV shows are always talking about Indian burial grounds.
Hmm – Ace seems quick to leap to the statement that the Russians were on the Allied side during the Second World War – pehaps she’s forgetting that the Russians as well as the Germans invaded Poland.
The interaction between Judson’s enthusiasm for the idea of machine intelligence and Millington’s suspicion is interesting – it’s almost as if Judson has never considered that a thinking machine might pose a threat. In the light of how Doctor Who usually treats AI, this would appear to be very shortsighted!
Not keen on the girls’ performances at all – the repetition and delivery of “baby doll” just sets my teeth on edge, and not in a good “terrified” way, either. It’s a terrible shame they get no closer to the Russian sniper.
The intercutting of Judson reading the translation, and the underwater hand with the drowned sailors is great.
I think this is a fine first episode to the story – dark and intriguing, full of hints.15 November 2014 at 21:40 #35625
@nerys I thought that was Dr. Skarosa’s Cyberman who was housed in Dr. Chang’s office, then emerged to confront Clara. My sense was that maybe that had originally been Dr. Skarosa’s office, which Dr. Chang took over.
Were we ever given any convincing proof that Dr Skarosa was a genuine person, and not just a name made up by Missy to be intriguing to the Doctor? A “Doctor Skaro” to taunt the man who was recently called a good dalek.15 November 2014 at 20:18 #35620
@craig – Is that the Director’s cut or the originally aired version? I was going to watch my DVD, and I wanted to make sure I had the right version.15 November 2014 at 13:25 #35593
Well – I’ve now just seen the Edge of Destruction two-parter, and I must say I was very impressed. Some memorable firsts:
- The TARDIS revealing that is is more than just a mode of transportation
- The Doctor’s speech being the first *really* Doctorish thing he has done
- The first “Inside the TARDIS” story
I really enjoyed it – the direction was really good, and the character development allows you to feel as if these people are now coming together to form a team, as opposed to being hostile and mutually antagonistic, or at least working to different agendas.
I rated it a 4 out of 515 November 2014 at 13:16 #35591
@apopheniac Late last night, I watched The Tenth Planet (so now I have three First Doctor stories under my belt so to speak, having also seen An Unearthly Child). It was interesting to see the Cybermen in their original outing (please someone correct me if that wasn’t the first Cyberman story), and compare them to what we’ve recently seen in Dark Water / Death in Heaven.
I have still yet to watch The Tenth Planet – I probably have an unreasonable aversion to watching any of the incomplete stories. You are correct that it is the first Cyberman story.
The clips I have seen of it do make me feel that the Cybermen are creepier than in later stories – they really do look like cobbled together pieces of technology covering up what used to be a humanoid.
The first Cyberman story I ever saw was Earthshock, on its original broadcast (when I was 6), and that has really been the definitive version of them for me. The AG Cybermen have only seemed to achieve a “scary” quality to me during the mass Cyber-conversion scene in The Age of Steel. Since then they have felt like the equivalent of Star Wars stormtroopers – an armoured legion that exists just to be mown down at the climax of a story.
Partly I think this is the fault of the direction since then – like the brightly lit Silurians in Warriors of the Deep, Cybermen in full daylight stomping down the street look faintly ridiculous as opposed to threatening (to me at least).15 November 2014 at 13:01 #35589
@apopheniac @purofilion – Re: attitudes to gender in very early Doctor Who
It definitely does place The Daleks in its specific era – it is very peculiar to me to see how Barbara seems to automatically defer to Ian, and how Ian sends his fellow teacher and a female alien away when dealing with the dying mutant inside the travel machine, just because he thinks that feminine sensibilities might be squeamishly upset by the sight.
Yes – I think that certain trollish criticisms of the latest companions do seem to be ignorant of the fact that the roles played by the companions have been many and varied during the run of the programme – there is no one single “correct” template of companion behaviour that must be followed formulaically.14 November 2014 at 23:36 #35564
Has anybody here played Mass Effect 2? Part of the soundtrack *really* reminds me of the 11th Doctor – especially the bit from 1 minute and 11 seconds mark in the track “Suicide Mission“:14 November 2014 at 16:32 #35536
@bfinch Welcome – you’ll find this site an enjoyable place to while away your time before the xmas special.
It’s a shame that you find Clara shallow – I’ve found her much more enjoyable as time has gone on. Her appearance as the soufflé-girl Claricle in Asylum of the Daleks I found very smug and irritating, but as ClaraPrime she has grown a lot on me. It has been nice to hear an English accent from North of London in Doctor Who again – I don’t think we’ve had one since Ecclestone’s tenure.
We’ve had a few posters recently who have been fans since the Baker or Pertwee era who have also found Clara to be problematic – but I find her portrayal of competence coupled with an addiction to time-travelling shenanigans to reveal a much more complex character than, for example, Rose or Jo Grant. In spirit, she is much more like Romana 2 or Sarah Jane.14 November 2014 at 13:44 #35531
Yay! I’ve finally watched the original <i>The Daleks</i> story! Only 51 years late!
I can really see why it made an impact on beople back in 1963, and why Dalekmania became such a phenomenon – the design of the Daleks themselves, and the Dalek city, and really the rest of Skaro (particularly the petrified forest and the swamp) came together to create a suitably post-apocalyptic alien world.
The only downpoints were, at 7 episodes long, some of the episodes are padded, and the Thals were a bit pathetic – partly:
1) They seemed to be very easy to convince out of their pacifism
2) Their gender politics was a trifle unenlightened (“I say Barbara, you see to the food while the rest of us chaps go and stand guard”)
Also, they seemed to come from the RADA accented group of nuclear-holocaust survivors.
@fatmaninabox @phileasf @drben @alex And anyone else who’s interested in the scores, I’ve given it a 4 on the ratings spreadsheet. This has boosted my average Dalek episode rating, but reduced the overall Dalek episode rating. Mind you, every one else who’s scored it has rated it 4 as well, so I’m not particularly out of line with popular opinion!13 November 2014 at 23:50 #35495
@phaseshift Gosh – what a coup. Jacobi has dabbled in the world of the Whoniverse in audio, but it was a delight to have that reveal on TV, and see the cosy charm of Yana gave way to the hollow, bitter, megalomaniac who’d quite happily kill the lovely alien who’d been helping him. Because he didn’t like her.
The Yana Master is, for me, the one with the only genuinely shocking and terrifying moment – where his eyes go black and he murders Chantho. His psychotic turn at that instant is far more unnerving than all of Simm’s, Ainley’s or Roberts’ hamming it up.
I’ve not yet seen enough of the Delgado Master to pass judgement on the original. A situation I hope to remedy, as I build up my DVD collection. (So far, I’ve only seen The Claws of Axos, The Sea Devils and The Frontier in Space). For some reason, Delgado’s portrayal makes me think of Obi-Wan Kenobi gone over to the dark side.13 November 2014 at 23:41 #35494
@rob Well in the eternal triangle of Bucks, Oxon and Northamptonshire where the winds blow, the rain cascsdes and the earth slowly liquifies into a soul sapping gelatinous ooze….
Does it continue to ooze all the way down the M40 to coagulate on the M25? This would explain a lot…13 November 2014 at 10:20 #35433
On a philosophical note … why was it so important that the person themself press the Delete button? Why wasn’t that something Seb (or Missy) could just do themselves? Since 2005, Cyberman creation hasn’t required that the person delete their own emotions – quite the opposite in fact.
Is this another one of the holes in The Master’s plan which shows how it was destined not to work in the end? Or, a facet of The Master’s over-arching evil that she thought it would be hilarious to force humans to delete their own emotions this time around?
I interpreted this as the Master creating an army for the Doctor using “volunteers”, as the Doctor would probably have had more difficulty taking ownership of a conscript army.11 November 2014 at 21:01 #35356
@lisa Cheers- it was actually a lovely day for walking around the City today – it was warm enough to do in shirtsleeves and no need for a coat! Thankfully, I don’t live in London, I just work there – living there would drive me even more nuts that I already am.
Hmm – is the photo in my post above not showing?11 November 2014 at 19:40 #35354
Well – I went down to St Paul’s this morning:
And there is definitely no red telephone box there!
I would say we have proof that the telephone box was Missy’s TARDIS! (unless there was a perception filter on an ordinary phone box to render it invisible, for some reason)11 November 2014 at 07:35 #35325
@janetteb @cathannabel Alas, I believe that CIF on the Graun is irredeemably troll-infested. I’ve been reading it for years, and I’ve realised that the only effect it has on me is to angry up the blood. I’ve never bothered posting there, although I was sorely tempted to because of a recent article where my local MP was justifying the fact that he was also working as a lawyer at the same time as being in Parliament. He claimed that his constituents had no problems with what he was doing – I wanted to point out to him that the *only* time I have been to one of his surgeries was to ask for help and advice , and not only did he take weeks to reply, the response was also factually incorrect.
Anyway – I’ve digressed enough. I can only visit CIF with a metaphorical billy-goat gruff these days.11 November 2014 at 07:29 #35324
@lisa Agreed, it is tricky to discern whether there is a figure in the reflection. One observation, though – the phone box in the reflection is the same model as the one it is reflected in (both appear to be the K2 design – if only there was a K9!).
Still, given the Master’s TARDIS has always had a functioning chameleon circuit, then minor changes in its appearance would be par for the course.11 November 2014 at 05:23 #35320
@lisa I think I shall pop down to St Pauls this afternoon, and take some photographic evidence, just to make sure!11 November 2014 at 05:22 #3531911 November 2014 at 04:44 #35316
@lisa Also, I think she has the red telephone box as a tardis now
This seems very likely, because:
1) Missy appears outside the one on Peter’s Hill (just down from St. Pauls) before the Doctor has had time to run down from the door of the cathedral
2) In real life, there *isn’t* a red telephone box there!
Just to note – the telephone boxes seen in Dark Water and Death in Heaven (outside the graveyard) are different models – the one outside St. Pauls is a K6, and the one outside the graveyard appears to be a K2. (You can tell by the shape of the windows).10 November 2014 at 22:32 #35292
One thing I noticed was that, the sight of the TARDIS dematerialising on a street in broad daylight now seems to be a totally unremarkable event, as the bystanders just go about their business without even pausing, let alone stopping to gawp.
I suppose having an army of silver cyborgs pop up out of the ground will do that to the public!10 November 2014 at 18:33 #35271
Well, I’ve finally got around to watching the finale, and I was greatly impressed. It was probably the best episode of the season. I enjoyed practically all aspects of it. Some high points for me, in no particular order:
- The teaser opening – Clara’s announcement that she was the Doctor was hilarious, especially when it showed her eyes during the opening sequence.
- UNIT troops appearing to prevent the Cybermen from advancing through London, and tossing a BG Cyberman head on the floor.
- The “Iron Man” style Cybermen taking to the air.
- The Master’s escape from captivity, and the brave decision to kill off Osgood (some proper consequences for a change)
- Danny’s death face, and the fact that he wasn’t given a Rory-resurrection (some more proper consequences)
- The Doctor realising that he’s not a good man or a bad man, but an idiot.
- The Doctor saluting the cyber-brigadier.
Additional points for the music not being too intrusive, and allowing the dialogue to speak for itself.
I definitely give this one a 5 out of 5, which takes my rating of BG Season 8 to 3.58 overall, just edging out over BG Season 2, which had 3.57 overall. That means that my season ratings are (only including the seasons for which I have seen all the episodes) are:
7 November 2014 at 18:18 #34943
- Series 13 overall – 4.17
- 8th Doctor – 4.00
- Smith Specials overall – 4.00
- Series 33 (AG Series 7) overall – 3.87
- Series 20 overall – 3.86
- Series 30 (AG Series 4) overall – 3.86
- Series 10 overall – 3.80
- Series 27 (AG Series 1) overall – 3.69
- Series 31 (AG Series 5) overall – 3.69
- Series 14 overall – 3.67
- Series 11 overall – 3.60
- Series 34 (AG Series 8) overall – 3.58
- Series 28 (AG Series 2) overall – 3.57
- Series 32 (AG Series 6) overall – 3.50
- Series 12 overall – 3.40
- Series 29 (AG Series 3) overall – 3.36
- Series 21 overall – 3.14
- The Key to Time (Series 16) overall – 3.00
- Series 19 overall – 3.00
- Tennant Specials overall – 3.00
- Series 22 overall – 2.83
- Trial of a Time Lord (Series 23) overall – 2.75
To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if the recursion problem has been forgotten by the production team, or even just conveniently ignored. It would be the best thing to do if it interfered with the story they want to tell.7 November 2014 at 17:24 #349356 November 2014 at 09:10 #348566 November 2014 at 09:05 #34855
@geoffers or, the most probable thing: the tardis took clara and the doctor back in time a bit, to the mausoleum, at the very instant that danny woke up in the nethersphere…
That would seem to be the sensible theory to go with in a show about time travel, but the Doctor’s words to Clara when instructing her to use the telepathic circuits were for her to think: “Where is Danny Pink now? Where is he now?”
Thus, if the TARDIS has followed her guidance (and we do know that Sexy has a will of her own, so it is definitely an “if”), then there is a lacuna in Danny’s experience of existence, between “death” and reawakening in Seb’s office.
@thebrainofmoffat ‘s theory also holds water, but plot holes can sometimes become narrative opportunities!5 November 2014 at 22:27 #348185 November 2014 at 22:26 #34817
Yay! I’ve just ordered Spearhead From Space on Blu-Ray and Image of the Fendahl and Meglos on DVD. I’m going to have me some ’70s-style viewing after this weekend’s Capaldi finale!
No spoilers please, as I’ve not seen any of these stories before!5 November 2014 at 17:58 #34798
@drben Something else just occurred to me. As DW is still ostensibly a family show, there’s no way that Moff could get away with suggesting that Danny and Clara engaged in pre-marital sex.
Why not?5 November 2014 at 17:57 #34797
@bluesqueakpip The time jump is from the phone call to her standing in the road with the cars going round her; her clothes change to show that time has passed, and there’s now a roadside memorial to Danny.
Hmm – this has made me realise something…
If there has been enough time for a memorial to be built, why is Danny only just now being inducted into the nethersphere?
Did the TARDIS take them back in time to just after Danny was knocked over? I thought their instruction to the TARDIS was to take them to where Danny is now?
In that case, what has been happening to Danny in the intervening period?5 November 2014 at 17:15 #34793
@courtk0027 What happened to the Master?
I don’t know how familiar with BG episodes you are, but the Master has a history of apparently dying, and then reappearing in a later story with no explanation of how he escaped. The guy was vaped by the Daleks at one point, and still managed to survive!
Since the drumming in his head was essentially caused by the events that happened in order to link the Time Lords with Earth, does he/she still hear the drums?
Unknown – but since the sound of drums was only introduced by RTD in the episode of the same name, it has not been an integral part of the character for long, and again, might be ignored from now on.
Other aspects of the Master that have been dropped (that can seem as almost defining to his character) are:
5 November 2014 at 15:50 #34790
- The Tissue Compression Eliminator, which kills people by squeezing their bodies until they are the size of an action figure
- The awesome goatee beard
@alex Off all the specials Waters of Mars is just epic, it’s actually one of my favorite who stories ever!
Totally agreed – Waters of Mars has absolutely the best adversary of the AG era – it had no explanation, motivation or history – it was just plain terrifying looking.
And best of all, it hasn’t been diluted by revisiting, unlike the Weeping Angels (which I still love, but they don’t have the same impact as they did in Blink)5 November 2014 at 15:47 #34789
@alex I just don’t agree with Martha and Mickey ending up togheter, I can’t say I liked it was like more a wathever moment, I think they were well developed and actually kinda makes sense that they end up togheter after all they went trhough with the Doctor and the time the spent together at UNIT.
I think my issue was partly because:
a) It came out of the blue;
b) Martha was already engaged to someone else;
c) I have observed that many TV shows (US ones in particular) have a habit of pairing up characters of African heritage, as if they are afraid of the whole “dating outside your race” thing. Now, I don’t believe that Doctor Who has that specific problem (Mickey dated Rose, after all), but it made me think of that, and so gave the surprise marriage a weird tokenistic taste to me. Sort of – why else would they be together?
Your point about all they have gone through together, with the Doctor and with UNIT, goes some way to mitigating my point (c) – I would just like to have seen the relationship develop on screen rather than have is presented as a done deal.5 November 2014 at 13:40 #34785
@alex How do I quote a post on this forum? Can’t find the quote post button anywhere!
Hi AleX – you have to do it manually!
Just copy and paste the text you want to quote into your reply, then use the “Blockquote” formatting button (between Italic and Strikethrough). The paragraph where your cursor is will then be indented, and shown in bold italic on the forum.
Tennant is an odd one for me, because I really enjoyed his take on the Doctor, and it was well performed and felt very modern. However, his final story, and the way his regeneration was handled left a very bad taste in my mouth. I found the End of Time story to be a horribly wasted opportunity – re:
- The Master being turned into one of the X-men with Dragonball Z powers;
- The really stupid-looking transformation of the entire population of the world into him;
- Th treatment of Donna’s fate – just fainting instead of having her mind burned out – reducing the impact of her fate from Journey’s End;
- The silly silly silly gushing treatment of Obama (Who should deal with *fictional* politicians – I wasn’t keen on seeing Nixon, either, but at least Nixon was safely dead when he was portrayed);
- The tokenistic marriage of Martha to Mickey, which cheapened two characters whom I felt had really well developed character arcs up until that point;
- The physics-defying jump from a spaceship (surely a more certainly fatal fall than from a Pharos Project communications dish)
- The waste of Timothy Dalton
- The anticlimax of the final confrontation
There’s probably more, but I think that gets across my sense of disappointment with the way 10 was sent off. Perhaps if he’d been done away with in the Waters of Mars, that wouldn’t have happened.
Still, the Tennant Doctor did have a great run with many many rock-solid episodes.4 November 2014 at 20:59 #34750
@drben What is the deal with the sister reappearing in the hydrangeas?
For some reason, the sister reappearing in the hydrangeas as a result of magical action by golden particles in the air reminded me of the nanogene cloud from The Doctor Dances. Perhaps the magical tree spirits are nanogenes “in the wild”, so to speak.