Forum Replies Created
12 November 2014 at 22:29 #35407
Despite what the following might suggest, I enjoyed this, although I don’t think it quite lived up to the first part.
1. I may be over simplifying matters (I’m sure any IT bods on the board will tell me sharpish), but couldn’t Missy have saved herself a lot of trouble by installing a simple “If …. then ….” subroutine into the conversion process, as in IF subject has deleted emotions THEN restore to body”? Clearly neither Danny or the Brigadier had done so.
2. This series has given us some bad science (moon mass gravity issues) and some debatable science (solar flare negating forests) but the finale really frustrated me in delivering sound but poorly explained science. The cyber converting rain was gabbled away with a lies to children explanation (pollination) when the real explanation (lost in a single hurried line) was so much more satisfying and (in this context) creepy – self replicating machines. A brilliant idea rather lost in the need to include so much everything in the episode. I would have happily lost 2 minutes of Danny Pink to have that idea fleshed out. On the subject of flesh and of satisfying science:
3. If the dead remain connected to their bodies, and can feel cremation or the incisions of researchers, why didn’t anyone think a little further down that line to wonder what it would be like to feel your flesh slowly broken down by the forces of decomposition, the incremental incursions and insinuations of beetles, worms, earwigs, mould and bacteria. Now that is creepy.
4. Danny Pink, as a character, had a lot of interesting things to say, especially in this remembrance weekend finale. The guilt of the soldier/survivor, the mouthpiece of the sacrificed generation, the critique of the officer class, all of these are relevant and necessary. i just don’t think Samuel Anderson is a good enough actor to carry it off. Personally I think that whole graveyard scene would have worked better if he’d kept his facemask on and Clara had interacted with a cyberman.
5. Missy is surely not dead and I look forward with glee to her next apearance
6. Self sacrifice on a global and a personal scale abounds and gives the series its heart(s).
7. Capaldi’s realisation of who he really is may finally signal the return to a smaller scale old school sort of adventure that was promised in 11’s time. This will hopefully also herald a shift away from the companions extra-Tardis activities (honestly, in the old days only the Tardis and the adventure existed) and bring us more doctor centered stories because
8. Capaldi is wonderful
9 The Brigadier equally so – I do hope the Cyber Brig will return.
10. Osgood – this upset me more than any other Who death in recent times.2 November 2014 at 16:58 #34542
Sorry if this has been mentioned already, especially as it may be of no moment whatsoever but:
Who is Seb?
We only ever see him in the nethersphere so this means either he’s dead (but not cyberised as he still seems to have emotions, albeit in a moderately sociopathic way) or he’s a computer programme or he’s alien/potentially time lord (almost certainly not the latter). Have their been any clues as to his identity or provenance?
As for the episode itself, I loved this, right up their with the best of Doctor Who. I am slightly disappointed that Missy turns out to be the Master – not because I don’t love a Master story, and who else could do the job better than the marvelous Michelle, but rather because I had hoped for a reprise of an old favourite such as the Rani. More later once I’ve had a chance to read all the theorising and counter argument below.30 October 2014 at 16:50 #34328
@phileasf “it’s pretty amazingly irresponsible to have the Doctor say, in effect, that people who hear voices should stop taking their prescribed medication. Wow. Not sure how that one got through.”
The fact that it did get through tells me that it wasn’t in anyway accidental. Far from a glib comment offering general encouragement to stop taking the meds, I think this is the writer (presumably with the support of the show runner) making a very pointed comment specifically about the medication of children as a response to behavioural concerns. As someone who has spent a lifetime working with children with behavioural difficulties this line really struck a chord with me. Overwhelmingly the young people I’ve worked with who have been medicated (a) have been under a prescription from a very young age (b) express feelings about their medication ranging from resignation and guilt to anger and fear, often with associated, unpleasant physical symptoms (c) express a desire to not be medicated (d) have developed strategies around their medication that enable them to regain control – the most common, conversely, being that they will not take meds so as to lose control.
The overall effect is that these young people stop seeing themselves as agents in their own lives. Medication should (and can) be used as a short term measure to enable an individual to develop behaviour management strategies that support their development in social and educational terms. The responses listed above tell us that the opposite is the case. The child believes that the meds control their behaviour and that they have no role to play in this process, largely because so little is explained to them and their families at the time of diagnosis (anyone who has ever read a statement of SEN will know that they make nothing obvious or clear to a child, nor to any parents who have limited education or literacy skills). Moreover, the process of reviewing prescriptions is often a box ticking exercise, taking place at statutorily specified intervals, rather than being part of an ongoing dialogue. The conclusion this leads us to is that not only are we not listening to children, we are also not talking to them, and even worse, we’re not letting them speak to themselves.
In short, I take that line as an entreaty to us as a society to do more of all three.29 October 2014 at 18:44 #34286
@devilishrobby “For this reason in my personal opinion it can be forgiven for straying from factual science. ”
I’ll refer you to @badwulf on this – basically saved me a lot of typing, so thanks.
@phaseshift “And it seems the lost (and perhaps dead), are starting to return”
Brilliant – it hadn’t occurred to me that Annabel might have returned from Missy’s heaven! That would redeem an otherwise unforgivably saccharine ending for me. Also, am I the only person who found the prodigal’s silent grin slightly unnerving?29 October 2014 at 18:09 #34284
@juniperfish “this was a eco-fable about the majesty of forests; one where the Doctor was a wizard who knew to listen to children rather than medicate them.”
Exactly – this was a children’s fantasy told pretty much entirely from a child’s POV. As such not all of it worked for me (wish fulfilling dodgy science, empty London, reappearing sister, entire world stopped in tracks by unaffected voice of a child to name but four) but I applaud the attempt to tell the story in a different way. Its this commitment to attempting the different in terms of style, tone and delivery that is making the current series such a thrilling ride. Uneven maybe, but ambitious and fresh, for which I forgive almost everything (except maybe the moon egg).
On a different note – Danny. Personally I’m not a huge fan, but I don’t get the noise about him being controlling/possessive/ a potential abuser. Wasn’t it him who told Clara to think carefully before deciding to stop traveling? Wasn’t it her who lied repeatedly to him, even though he made it clear he didn’t have an issue with her being in the Tardis? Wasn’t it him who, confronted with evidence of her dishonesty, didn’t get angry or exit in high dudgeon, but actually very reasonably explained why he deserved an explanation and then offered her time to think before she gave it? Am I missing something here?12 October 2014 at 22:25 #33465
Really enjoying having this series take me where it will, and watching the doctor awash with moral ambiguity (so much more interesting than moral certitude). A couple of convictions growing:
7 October 2014 at 21:52 #332377 October 2014 at 21:51 #33236
- The robot/ retooled human theme spells Cybermen
- Buoyed by growing wave of regal flotsam and jetsam I grow more sure that Missy/Gus/lady in the shop is not a female Master but, in fact, the Rani
- In the words of Tom Waits: “Two dead ends but you still got to choose”. Not sure who but someone has some unpalatable choices coming up.
Sorry – I meant @bluesqueakpip ! There are a couple of posts responding to you up above with an embarrassingly poor spelling of your name.7 October 2014 at 21:03 #33226
@badwulf @Bluepipsqueak thanks for introducing me to the Trolley problem. Having read up on it it seems the biggest problem with it, or at least its variants, is that it seriously overestimates how fat a person can be.7 October 2014 at 21:01 #33225
@mtgradwell @Bluepipsqueak – “All the science was garbage …….. You might be onto something here” I really hope you are onto something, because if I get you right and what you’re saying is that these multiple distortions of reality are a symptomatic of some over arching distortions, probably related to the status of Missy’s promised land, then that might in the long run, take care of most of my objections to at least 2 of the 3 episodes which have disappointed me this series so far. Namely ROS and KTM were both so shockingly detached from basic narrative sense that they irked me (I am on record as saying that I never actively dislike an episode, but these 2 ran me close) – I hope we’ve found a mechanism that can mitigate (some of) the major flaws. Might this also help to explain the third of those disappointments – Listen (it was great in many ways, flawed in others and the “it was all the Doctor’s own fears” explanation of events didn’t do it for me. The distorted realities idea might).21 September 2014 at 14:36 #32280
Sorry: “deep Breath” – not sure why I keep thinking of it as “Breathe”! Possibly a latent memory of Prodigy.21 September 2014 at 14:35 #32279
Purely in terms of story telling, and having scanned the thread I get the feeling I might be in a minority, I thought that was the best episode of the series so far. I’ve enjoyed every episode, but have been finding the story telling a little lacking on the whole. “Breathe” was an enjoyable introduction to the new Doctor, but the story was a bit of an afterthought, “Into The Dalek” was told extremely well (and featured the 2 best guest performances so far from Zawe Ashton and Michael Smiley), but still somewhat necessarily weighed down by the Doctor’s need to discover himself, “Robot of Sherwood” was this season’s “Gods and Monsters”/ “Curse of the Black Spot” (enjoyable nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless, not to mention as nonsensical as it’s title suggested – golden arrow shoots space ship into orbit? Really?). Finally, there was “Listen”, fascinating and infuriating, with a conclusion that did not fit the observed facts, it flattered to deceive, but the deception was so enthralling that I can’t bring myself to criticise it too much.
So what of “Time Heist”? The story worked from start to finish on its own terms (I struggled a little with brain soup donors still walking around, but I can suspend enough belief to buy that if i assume the brain stem was kept intact to maintain vital functions, and don’t go looking at any anatomical text books), it was suspenseful and exciting, the people felt more than usually fleshed out (I believed in Ms Delphox, Si and Sabre more in a few seconds, than I did Robin and his merry men in an entire episode), Clara continues to grow into her role as moral compass and strong counterpoint to the Doctor and best of all, here, brilliantly, definitively, is Capaldi’s Doctor and, as has been clear at times from the very first second, it is destined to be amongst the finest of all 13 portrayals.
Moving on, a question: the series so far has been littred with references to episodes past. In that 45 minutes alone, and without really looking, I spotted: “The Bells of St John” (this one was clearly a plot point so can probably be ignored as regards my question) , “Rings of Akhaten”, “Bad Wolf”, “The Long Game”, “Amy’s Choice”, “Christmas Carol” and “The Beast below”.
I’m sure I’ve missed some, and I’m sure as lengthy a list could be compiled for each episode this season so here’s the question. Are these references:
(a) a heavy handed but fun treat for the fans
(b) there for a reason related to the developing story arc?28 December 2013 at 15:14 #23524
“She’s a psychopath, loves the Doctor, lives in a mainframe” – ooh now, I was utterly convinced Tasha and River couldn’t be one and the same right up to there. Are you suggesting that the Papal Mainframe is descended from CAL in some sense (an app perhaps?)?28 December 2013 at 15:06 #23522
@phaseshift “It does seem to suggest that the Time Lords (and Doctors) fears about them being frozen in that moment in an alternative Universe were unfounded. Time seems to play out at some pace on the other side.” Or is the question looped over again because the Time Lords are frozen in a discrete slice of time during which they can act (to find the crack, send the message, deliver regeneration energy etc) but cannot escape without an exit route.28 December 2013 at 12:20 #23516
Not sure if this has been noted yet but – now we know what was in the Doctor’s Room in the God Complex. The Crack.19 May 2013 at 18:40 #9860
“We now know that she suggested to Hartnell’s Doctor which TARDIS to steal. We also know, from The Doctor’s Wife, that the TARDIS stole her thief. Ergo – Clara is either a manifestation of the TARDIS or is psychically linked to the TARDIS. We already know she is psychically linked to River.
River, the TARDIS and Clara are all connected therefore.
River is a child of the TARDIS, that much we know. I don’t think Clara is her daughter or granddaughter, not from the way River interacted with her at the seance table. She is, surely, the creation of River and the TARDIS working together to save the Doctor.”
A compelling case, particularly the first part. This theory certainly fits all the evidence and also would be delightfully elegant if true. Just to add to it, we also know:
that River is far more adept at flying the Tardis than the Doctor, suggesting a high level of empathy with the old girl.
River knew that their was a point in the Doctor’s timeline when she wouldn’t be around anymore, and that Trenzalore was approaching. Its not beyond the realms of possibility to imagine that River, who was once prepared to let the entire Universe perish in pain rather than let the Doctor die, would use that empathic connection with the Tardis to set in motion a course of evasive action. Could Clara be that course?
The Tardis seemed wary at first and would only work with the true Clara on its own terms , yet had no such problems with the fragmented Claras, and as the series progressed and the time approached for Clara to make her sacrifice she almost seemed to be lead by the Tardis towards an understanding of what was expected of her (witness the reveal of memories in TNOTD), indicating that Clara needed to be prepared by the Tardis, and then River, for her task. Yes River tried to disuade her at the last, but when Clara asked if this is what needed to happen River had only one answer. Yes.19 May 2013 at 16:09 #9841
@jimthefish and @wolfweed For that matter how much TV or Film Sci-Fi truly is scientific? Books yes, I’ll give you that. Asimov, Dick, Gibson and many more have all produced fiction based on projecting current science and imagining the future from a scientifically rational view point. But on television or film what has their actually been that doesn’t exist more to serve the need for fantasy and escapism than to examine the ramifications of scientific advance ? Mostly it seems that people trot out the term “hard” sci-fi when actually what they mean is serious, or perhaps po-faced (BSG for example might have been excellent satire, but it was no more hard sci-fi than original Star Trek or the Clangers, yet somehow its taken seriously in a way that Doctor Who never has been despite the fact that by the nmiddle of season 3 it had degenerated into insufferable pomposity shortly before disappearing up its mystically spiritual backside).19 May 2013 at 15:54 #9840
Firstly – yes, definitely, ding dong, top smart etc. Secondly, not sure if this has been asked (or answered) yet, but do we have confirmation that the GI was destroyed in the Time Stream, or is that an assumption? If his demise is unconfirmed there is room for a return. I for one have not had enough of Richard E Grant’s special brand of dastardly melancholia.28 April 2013 at 00:09 #698927 April 2013 at 23:22 #6979
Oh and one other thing – did anyone else feel like Matt Smith was “doing Tom Baker” when he revealed to Gregor and Tricky that he’d fooled them?27 April 2013 at 23:19 #6976
Okay, so I haven’t had time to read all the responses yet so forgive me if I repeat anything but:
Brilliant – just brilliant. taut, neatly plotted, superbly played, both humane and fantastical at the same time.
A big button referenced as such at the start then tossed into the mix to save the day at the death and going by the name of the Big Friendly Button? I don’t know about any of you but I really enjoy imagining the degree of anguished tooth gnashing and mental gear grinding that will have caused for the anti deus ex machina/magic button brigade (neither of which I’m a huge fan of by the way, but some people see them everywhere and get so red in the face). Hint: Its not deus ex machina if its an evident and integral apart of the machine from the start.
Swimming pool? Red Dwarfy aspects to the salvage ship? Christopher Ecclestone name dropping Genghis Khan? Multiple fangasms? Of course.
Question – just before the swimming pool – what did Clara pass in the previous corridor?
And so to the main business – Clara. Honestly, I’ve struggled with her a little this series so far, not because she isn’t delightful (she is) and not because I haven’t enjoyed the stories (they’ve all been good at the least – Rings – and excellent at best – tonight, Cold War), but because I can’t get a handle on her. She seems uneven, not quite real and far too comfortable in time and space and in the Doctor’s slip stream, and I haven’t been able to work out if this is a deliberate ploy on the part of Moffatt, or a problem with the way the character has been developed by the actor and/or writers.
However – tonight everything seemed to gel. Her performance was breath taking. So (given my previous concern about the uneven, fractured nature of the character) is it significant that this seemed to happen in the episode where she was accepted properly as herself, by the Doctor, by the Tardis and to a certain extent by herself (after all, this is the first time she hasn’t been able to fall back on the Doctor, or look to him for approval. She was alone in what she felt was a hostile environment and, memory loss not withstanding, she bore up).11 April 2013 at 01:17 #5063
Just thought I’d pop over here from the Guardian as it seems much more fun (I think it was that John Donne deduction from @haveyoufedthefish last week that really did it for me). Just out of interest, I don’t know if this has already been mentioned or if it is relevant (although given the Susan and grandfather references this week, and last weeks title, I think it is) but am I right in thinking that this is the first doctor since William Hartnell who’s Tardis door featured the St John’s ambulance sign? Checking a few pictures on-line I think he might be.