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    Just watched the first episode of “Star Trek: Picard”. I thought it was simply brilliant.

    In the spirit of Data, I am still processing, and may offer further thoughts later, but I have not been this impressed by a sequel to a show–any show–as much as this.




    A lovely reflection on Terry Jones. I couldn’t agree more. It is hard to think of many people who could bring so much laughter to so many people, and at the same time give us wonderfully insightful books on English cultural history like “Chaucer’s Knight” (which I remember very fondly, and deeply regret losing my copy of many years ago).




    Hmm. Well, he looks shifty, he seems to be wearing black, and we seem to be promised a Gallifrey arc, but…why that particular character? If Chibnall is to resurrect elements of Who  mythology, I am not sure that bringing back storylines from the JNT years would be my first choice…




    I am up for something on the Spoilers page, if you want to elaborate…


    Looking at the trailer again, I was rather struck by the clip with Ryan and Yasmin, both looking gloomy, and Ryan says: “How long’s this going to last, Yaz?…Is this our lives?” (I think that’s what he said…I found it a little unclear.) Could it foreshadow a change of companions?




    A bonkers theory, of course, relies on its own internal logic, and remains disdainfully aloof from the inconvenient reality of the paleontological record.

    Otherwise, how could we come up with “theories more insane than what’s actually happening”?



    New BBC trailer:



    To add to my bonkers theory above, this also might make sense of our reservations over the mind wipe. If, as I am suggesting, time travel was stolen from humans by the Timelords, perhaps it also involved a collective, planet-wide mind wipe, so that humans were destined to have no memory of their earlier achievements. Essentially, the fate of Donna, but on a planetary scale. Under this bonkers theory, perhaps we are being fed “troubling” issues concerning the justification of wind wipes in these episodes precisely because it is leading to a much bigger revelation.


    Damn. A bonkers theory spoilt by poor spelling.  I meant, of course, Earth.



    Just to add to what I said above, while it was a good historical, one of the reasons why I think “Rosa”, for example, will linger for longer as a memorable episode is that, instead of rather disposable alien monsters, in “Rosa” the monsters were us.

    @tardigrade raised the idea that perhaps “the lie” that seems to underpin the projected Gallifrey arc might involve the theft of time travel from another race. Let’s run with that for a moment. Here is an exploratory bonkers theory. What if the Time Lords stole the secret of time travel from humans, at a stage of development long preceding our understanding of Earth’s history? Perhaps somewhere deep inside the Doctor (and even the Master) their suppressed memory or knowledge of this helps explain why the Doctor is so preoccupied with the fate of Eath.




    Like everyone else, I enjoyed this episode. In a way, it reminded me of “Vincent and the Doctor” which, for me, is high praise indeed, as I felt that episode was, perhaps, the finest episode of AG Who. Of course, there were differences. Vincent was the genius in history’s eyes, but a failure in his own eyes, While, for Tesla in this episode, it was sort of reversed. But still.

    Yes, it was also an example of a good historical. But…really good historicals (and I am going back to the Verity Lambert years) did not clutter up the story with alien monsters (who we had seen versions of before!) . Really good historicals were (like “The Aztecs”) a way of illuminating and educating children (and adults). I am not sure this one will stay in anyone’s collective subconscious very long at all.

    And.. Silurians are not aliens!!

    Anyway, an enjoyable episode…compared to other Chibnall-era episodes.




    Allow me to join @miapatrick and @juniperfish in congratulating you on the award of your doctorate! I had somehow missed that when reading the posts. Given the erudite argumentation of your posts over the years, it all makes sense. While you will, not doubt, continue to be known on these boards as @jimthefish, I will, inevitably, like @juniperfish, tend to think of you as Dr. Fish.




    Maybe there should be some kind of plaque…

    Perhaps there is a build-up of plaque on the teeth of Nu-Who.

    <Blenkinsop furtively runs away after making terrible joke…>




    I, for one, would love to read your blog developing the JNT allusion.

    When I posted the comment I thought of adding the question: “Too harsh?” But on reflection , I thought it was unnecessary.




    Re-watched again, just see if I had been too critical. Nope.

    I think we all tried really hard during season 11. And we were initially excited about the new Master and the potential Gallifrey arc. But then we all watched the opener again…

    All of which leads me to ask: are we witnessing the John Nathan-Turner years of AG Who?





    That post was the best thing I have read all day! Actually, for ages. And so painfully accurate…



    Just saw it. OK, I am not going to hold back on this one, but before I start, there are many regulars on this site who know how much I love this show. So, keeping that in mind:

    I thought this was really bad. There was too much happening too quickly (the point being that it was near impossible to relate to or reflect on anyone’s individual story), the “message” was so outrageously obvious that it was an insult (if we are accusing it of preaching to the converted …hell, I am one of the converted, and I thought the final speech was insulting). And finally (and I have mentioned this before) but the camera work is terrible. Too much of every single episode so far is filmed so darkly that it is almost impossible to see what is happening, much less a character’s expressions or responses.

    Basically, I am with @craig on this one, but more so.

    p.s. @jimthefish, I love your theory about Yaz, but I suspect that on the basis of what we have seen so far, it is wish-fulfilment. I really do hope you are right, though.

    p.p.s. Thumb in the mouth as a tender parting gesture…just…no.




    On the question of the mindwipe, I tend to agree with @phaseshift and @jimthefish (now there’s a name we haven’t seen on the board for a while!). It does not seem right either in terms of consent, or in terms of the ways it has been used in the past (eg. Donna) or, more to the point, the countless times it hasn’t been used in the past. And as @jimthefish notes (over on the TV show thread) there is quite a lot about the Whittaker Doctor that doesn’t seem particularly noble. I am wondering, however, if there might be method in the madness. Specifically, if this Doctor, acting in this seemingly un-Doctory way, might be linked to what seems to be a new arc about “the lie” raised by the Master. Could the Whittaker Doctor be…well…not the Doctor? Or the Doctor, but playing a very long game, that will make sense as the arc unfolds?




    Syzygy the elder,

    Have  been reading about the appalling conspiracy theories regarding the fires emanating from the Murdoch press and the dark corners of the web. Frankly, it takes my breath away. You mentioned, on another thread, the example of someone who was hounded and pilloried because of the false accusation of being an arsonist.

    This seems to me way worse than what it was like in Australian political culture when I left in 2013, when there was the occasional crazy but, by and large, things seemed pretty normal. Has it really changed to that extent?

    What I find amazing (and horribly frightening) is that this “dark web” is focused on an environmental catastrophe. Not “politics” as such, but an environmental catastrophe.  This all sounds very different from the Australia I grew up in. I am hoping that you are going to tell me that I am wrong.



    Television viewing habits confession:

    We have never subscribed to cable. This means we watch very little TV. Technically, we watch no TV, only shows or movies that we have on DVD (and we are lucky enough to have one of the few remaining DVD rental shops left in Canada; one that specializes in quality stuff).  Occasionally, I hear of a show I might like to watch that requires cable and is never released on DVD. Well, that’s where a good book kicks in.

    Agree on early Tennant and early Clara (and would add early Capaldi). By comparison, that’s what makes Season 5 with early Matt Smith and Amy (both young and adult) feel uniformly dazzling (to me, anyway). But I have the feeling that Sacha Dwhan’s Master will change my impression of this iteration of Who considerably. For the better.





    One of the ongoing problems we have in Canada is the disruption of the episode’s flow, due to commercials. That has always interfered with my enjoyment of Doctor Who, and I believe that’s probably the case with these two episodes. When I can watch them all the way through, sans interruptions, my appreciation for the work as a whole may grow.

    Totally agree. The solution in the Blenkinsop household is to purchase the episodes on iTunes. A small price to pay for the opportunity to view them sans the awful commercial interruptions.

    p.s. Pretty much agree with your overall response to the Chibnall era so far.



    there’s a deep seated memory, hidden from successive generations, but embedded in a way…

    Did I suggest that?…It’s always nice to acknowledged, but I suspect someone else deserves the credit for that one.


    I have been wracking my brain searching for a reason ,a reason so bad that the Master would or could destroy Gallifrey and I am drawing a blank.

    Then I am in good company, for neither can I. (Of course, I am not even convinced that he has destroyed Gallifrey.)


    Also, it’s a sonic screwdriver, not Harry Potter’s wand. Stop pointing it like your expelling Snape.

    I confess I have been having the same response. I know each Doctor should have their own mannerisms, but it does seem so reminiscent of Harry Potter to be a bit off-putting. For me, anyway.

    I think a few people here have their reservations about the Chibnall’s writing, but the introduction (hopefully) of an arc has begun to pique my interest.



    where are the people?

    Yes, good point. Would the Doctor have gone to the devastated Gallifey (supposedly) and not noticed any dead bodies? No, I think the sleight of hand (is spellcheck working?) takes a different form.



    Or, indeed, “sleight of hand”.

    (When in doubt, always blame spell check…)



    the big assumption here

    Yes, for some reason I am skeptical about the Master’s claim to have destroyed Gallifrey. It seems too monumental to have happened off-screen. For a similar reason, I am skeptical that Gallifrey really has been destroyed (or even that the Doctor saw what she thinks she saw). I sense a slight of hand in all of this.



    P.S. To anyone who has never seen the “Star Trek NG” episode “Ship in a Bottle”, it is absolutely brilliant–funny and outrageously clever (in other words, it has quite a lot in common with “Doctor Who”).

    Highly recommended (and easy to find).


    Hold on…I have it! The answer to: what is the lie?  Something so terrible that the Master destroys Gallifrey, and shares his anguish with the Doctor. (Revelations like the following often come with the second glass of Shiraz…)

    The Master has discovered that he, the Doctor and the entire universe are all part of a holodeck programme like the one that Moriarty and the Countess find themselves on at the end of the “Star Trek Next Generation” episode “Ship in a Bottle”, destined never to know that their reality takes place in “a little box, sitting on someone’s table”.

    And the reason that the Master is so upset is his discovery that it wasn’t even the result of someone with the intelligence of Data, but that it was designed by Lt. Reginald Barclay.

    “Computer, End Program.”



    The lie. When the Master tells the Doctor that everything is a lie, this could, of course, refer to anything. Through his/her various iterations, the Doctor has had little time or patience for the Timelords. To discover, for example, that the Timelords were the result of eugenic breeding wouldn’t necessarily be something The Doctor would be all that surprised by. It strikes me that when the Master refers to everything being a lie it seems to evoke something so terrible that it would make the Doctor question the whole purpose and point of being the Doctor. Similarly, for the Master to decimate Galifrey (still not sure about that one: a. it means the Master is surprisingly more powerful and successful that he/she has ever been in the past, and b. it seemed, well, too easy) the “lie” would have to be something that confronted the beliefs and values of the Master as well as the Doctor. That means we have to think of what they have in common that they could be equally emotionally and philosophically shattered by, to discover that “it” was all based on a lie. (Sorry, “shattered” was the best word I could think of.)

    And the answer is…no, I can’t think of what it might be.


    Thinking about the arc involving the Timeless Child,  I just rewatched “The Ghost Monument” from the previous season. As suspected, it references “the timeless child”. It is towards the end of the episode where the Doctor is surrounded by something called “the remnants” which look like bits of floating, well…remnants…of cloth. They say to the Doctor: “We see further back. The timeless child. We see what’s hidden. Even from yourself. The outcast, abandoned and unknown.” The Doctor replies with something like:”Get out of my head!” It is not clear whether the remnants are referring to the Doctor when they talk about the outcast. And that’s it. To be honest, I was hoping for more in the way of a link between that and the most recent reference to the timeless child. Clearly, Chibnall has planted the seed of an arc early but…and I think back to the ways in which Moffat planted the seeds of an arc…well, I am sure I am missing something.




    Hurrah! An arc!

    I love that Gallifrey has been returned front and centre to Who. This is a Master who is tortured, who feels he is the victim, and I like that.

    True, we are supposed to forget about the fact that if he was on Earth for 77 years he (presumably) managed to miss all the other Masters who were around London and the environs during the ’70s and ’80s, not to mention Prime Minister Saxon. But, as Mrs Blenkinsop wisely reminds me: “You are not supposed to ask those questions”.

    Other questions linger. The Doctor managed to find the devastated Gallifrey pretty quickly. I thought it was deliberately hidden in a pocket universe?

    But, at the end of the day, or episode, the introduction of the Master/Gallirey arc promises interesting things to come.

    Ooh, now if they could actually allude to the 1930s Raymond Massey movie “Things to Come” that would be cool.





    Thank you, very droll. Let’s face it, you are a bit of a dick aren’t you?



    Well, in the cold light of dawn, I am less sure about the Master as The Wizard of Oz, but I still feel that they are consciously drawing on allusions to The Wizard of Oz. To what end, I am not quite sure. If there is anything along those lines, I will have to wait until the next episode.

    Still, right or wrong, it is nice to have a story again that allows us to construct “theories even more insane than what’s actually happening”.



    So.. (oh, dinner is over)…if The Master is modeled on The Wizard of Oz then it tends to suggest that he is rather limited in his powers. That means…hmm.

    The end of the episode: the Doctor ends up in a place that seems rather like the matrix. Not sure what to make of this either, but if it is the case, then that means we might revisit the Timelords. Maybe…

    You’re right, it’s time for bed.



    OK, just re-watched it. “O” is hiding out in Australia. (Important). “O” turns out to be the Master. When this is revealed and they look out the window of the plane they see his house flying along with them.  O/the Master is…The Wizard of Oz.

    Where this goes, nobody knows.

    Time for dinner. Back later.


    Curtesy of Mrs Blenkinsop (technology wizard) we finally got to watch it! So…The Master–pre-Missy or post-Missy? I say post-Missy. We don’t know yet what the Master’s plans are. Episode 2 awaits.

    Overall response? Sure, I liked it but…just like the previous season, why is everything filmed to be dark ? (I mean photogentically dark.)  To be honest, I find that really distracting. And sort of, well, un-Who. Of course, it may have something to do with the ailing Blenkinsop eyes.

    p.s. @pedant. The memory of a stewardess collecting miniature passengers sounds very Twilight Zone or maybe Out of the Unknown  (or even Emma Peel period Avengers) but I have not yet been able to track it down.




    Let me join in wishing everyone best wishes for the new year. I know we seem to surrounded by hubris and stupidity in the world right now, but I think this site shows that there is still a place for whimsy and hope. And especially Doctor Who.



    The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Python, The Rutles. They were my teenage through early twenties years.

    To have seen him in concert…I envy you, @pedant.


    Hold on. Who screened on 23 November, not December. (Damn. Another senior moment.) Well anyway, Cash on Demand was still brilliant.


    Thank you @nerys for the tip about Cash on Demand.

    I found it on YouTube, Mrs Blenkinsop figured out how to stream it and we just watched it. It was brilliant! And yes, it really was “Hammer does A Christmas Carol” (in a very loose and very clever way). Peter Cushing and Andre Morell were excellent, as versions of Scrooge and an inspired version of Christmas Past, Present and the threat of Future (sort of). And also Richard Vernon as the put-upon chief clerk (aka Bob Cratchit).

    A bit if searching revealed that the movie was filmed in 1961, but only released in 1963, specifically 23 December 1963. Not only the day the movie is set in, but also the same day as the first episode of Doctor Who.

    It’s a small world.

    Thoroughly recommended.



    Thanks for the reference to Cash on Demand. I looked it up, found the trailer, and it looks great! I had never heard of it. As for access, Turner Classic movies are a little hard to come by where I live,  but there must be way to find it.


    The black and white Alastair Sim version is wonderful. After reading your post, I went downstairs to search for our copy, only to find it missing! Major consternation in the Blenkinsop household. Another search is in order, otherwise it’s back to Amazon…



    Does this mean no U.N.I.T any more? (Dominic Cummings probably sacked them.)

    Oh, well, I ‘m still looking forward to it.




    As the BBC was unavailable in our remote location, Christmas viewing at the Blenkinsop pile consisted of of the never-viewed-before Muppet Christmas Carol (day time viewing and actually pretty great) and the 1972 version of the M.R. James story A Warning to the Curious (twilight  viewing and suitably creepy).




    Despite the heat, have a wonderful Christmas.


    Hello all! Well, the festive season is upon us (either Hanukkah, or Christmas, or a few days off work) and I decided to offer a present. It is a compilation of all the best insults from the perfect Christmas movie, “The Man Who Came To Dinner” (1943). Enjoy.

    p.s. I decided to put it on this thread to draw attention away from, well, another thread. And since this thread is about Who, I am getting out the Jammie dodgers in expectation of the return of Who!



    Yes! I love both the music and the film of Once Upon a Time in the West. Fabulous.

    It would be easy to offer another bite of the score, but what you provided is the best. Instead, I offer up one of my favourite film scores of all time, by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The music is a perfect counterpoint to the movie. I cannot say more, because of…spoilers. (But anyone who has seen the movie will know how the romanticism of the music relates to the…conflicted emotions (can’t say more) of the movie. I know the clip is 7 minutes long, but it is worth it.




    I know I have loaded this up before, but it always make me feel a bit better, and thinking that maybe we could all do with something to make us feel a bit better at the moment, here it is.




    If you are interested in voting and the long-term impact of slavery in the US, you should read this article, just published today:



    @thane16, @whishtet al,

    For your consideration:

    The CD is regularly played in the Blenkinsop pile.



    Adonis something of a has-been but trustworthy and with an intact moral compass.

    Well, since I admitted that it might reveal more about me than I might imagine…I can live with that!


Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 1,549 total)