Forum Replies Created
8 November 2019 at 18:00 #68326
Always love an Austen reference!
I still feel you’re not getting what I’m saying – because I do agree with you. What I’m saying is, man as gender neutral was fine – when both what we call men (and they called wermen) and what we call women (what they called wifmen) both had prefixes. And at that time, man was gender neutral for when you didn’t have a need to add the prefix to be specific about sex.
But since the word for males dropped the prefix ‘wer’ (unless talking about werewolves, in which case, confusingly, females of the species also get to use it) and the language adopted ‘man’ as both describing the race in general, and male, the default apparently (according to medical research, for example) in particular, it has in fact no longer been gender neutral.
It was gender neutral when male men and female men had prefixes, mer and wif respectively. When males no longer had the prefix, it ceased to be gender neutral. My argument is that man can not be gender neutral when it also stands to indicate the male sex. But when it didn’t do that, it was.8 November 2019 at 08:01 #68321
So, British residents on here – BritBox? Apparently every surviving episode of Old Who is going to be put on from Christmas. The one thing that makes yet another streaming service sound actually quite exciting. No contract either, I think.
(lots of complaints on the Guardian site, of course, about having to pay again for BBC licence fee funded programs, but to be fair we do that every time we buy a Who DVD.)8 November 2019 at 07:00 #68320
@missy it’s also worth noting that Mistress shortened to Mrs has historically been used by and for a woman who has achieved independent status – a cook, housekeeper, shopkeeper might be unmarried and ‘Mrs’. Or an older, unmarried, independent gentlewoman.
Mistress shortened to Miss was used more to denote a young woman still in the protection of her father or closest male relative.8 November 2019 at 06:38 #68319
@janetteb true, but it does seem man once was truly gender neutral, till ‘man’ dropped the prefix. Theres something fundamental about it isn’t it – that this word is at the same time supposed to mean this specific group – male people, and all people. Men as the default, as seen in medical testing, crash test dummies, etcetera etcetera…
@pedant good point, there always is I think a more natural gender neutral term. I like camera operator over man/person. And I’m very glad we got out of the habit of adding ‘ess’ or ‘trix’ to the end of professions, or putting ‘lady’ in front (still current in the 90’s: ‘I’m a lady vicar’. I’d read too many 19th century novels for that to sound like anything but the female equivalent of a Priest who hunts and lives off a private income.)7 November 2019 at 13:50 #68311
@missy technically Miss and Mrs both mean the same thing. And that thing is Mistress, which came to mean something else entirely…
when it comes to ‘man’ or ‘person’ I can’t help thinking it would be easier if we’d stuck to ‘wifman’ and ‘Werman’ (I think it was) and kept ‘man’ as gender neutral. But we didn’t.2 July 2019 at 08:11 #677642 July 2019 at 08:08 #67763
@pedant agree, absolutely brilliant. There was, I think, a small element of hindsight, though never smart-arse or preachy, from the opening scene.
I also have to mention the scene I was absolutely dreading (I’m trying to avoid spoilers even though this is an historical series and it’s something that actually happened – but there is a webpage named for this particular aversion) was handled absolutely sensitively and respectfully.
I’ve been reading Russian novels recently, especially 19th century, and just listed to a series of lectures on Russian literature, and one thing that struck me was how very Russian a lot of this was – this baseline conflict between the solider and the bureaucrat, with peasants (I don’t mean that word with any disrespect) standing to the side barely touched by anything but interference between them and the land/work creating moments of sadness and bathos.27 March 2019 at 12:02 #67491
@bluesqueakpip if it’s a dating site, it’s not a very good dating site. I’ve yet to receive a single unsolicited (or solicited, for obvious reasons) photograph of genitalia. (Or then again, maybe that makes it a very good dating site after all).25 March 2019 at 11:01 #67463
A very rich dying widow has asked for my assistance in distributing her fortune via private message on here…13 March 2019 at 09:44 #67421
@peladon1972 while I also feel CC has more potential as a show runner than main writer (and needs to find his Moffart), I don’t think Doctor Who has ever been hard sci-fi. As for the Timelords, Phaseshift did an excellent blog on this subject.7 February 2019 at 09:15 #67334
@archaicwhovian,@winston,@blenkinsopthebrave she’s a great actor, but… I don’t want the Doctor to be anything but British. It’s probably as irrational as people not wanting the Doctor to be female, the Doctor isn’t, after all, human. I don’t object to American actors playing British characters, or vice versa. I’d forgotten that Christian Bale was British. ,So I’m not entirely sure what my problem is with it, and it is something I bare in mind when I encounter people who are opposed to the changing in sex. (Not the people who think the Doctor should be white, I have no patience with that.)23 January 2019 at 13:55 #67282
@whisht frustratingly, the other post leaves us hanging over what the most spontaneous effect of Kamagra is…23 January 2019 at 11:53 #67278
@cathannabel it’s random… ‘Dated from history, it was seen that many men were shy to ask the drug from local pharmacy shops, but with the blessing of the reputed online pharmacy business, you can order Kamagra with the help of simple clicks. The online pharmacy shops take care of your confidentiality from the order placement to the final shipment. To serve you with complete satisfaction, Kamagra medicine will be delivered to you in a sealed envelope’16 January 2019 at 08:45 #67222
@thane16 and indeed, unsurprisingly, she lost. Massively.
It’s hard to know what will happen now. There ought to be a general election. Ideally, what with the UK being a Parliamentary Democracy, and Leave campaigning on the basis of Parliament’s sovereignty, the M.P.s and rival candidates ought to consult their constituencies, and decide to run on a leave/stay/if they must second referendum (if we’re stuck with pretending to be a referenda democracy) and then the new house could vote on that.
What I think will happen is a vote of no confidence on the Tory party, which they will probably win, maybe replace May and an attempt at renegotiation. Which would probably lead, eventually, to a no deal exit anyway. Or the above.
I’m not very keen on the Government being propped up by the DUP, mostly because they have different laws, very different laws, not like the Devolution powers of Wales and Scotland, but things actually illegal or just not legal which are part of our law. But NI is, arguably, going to be even more affected by us leaving Europe than the mainland, and is at risk of Civil war.
I feel like I’m living in a chapter of a history book. I know we all, always are in the end. But I’ve never got such a strong sensation of school children writing an essay about my life before.16 January 2019 at 07:35 #67221
@thane16 thank you, and can you thank your mother for me? To be fair, it took me till my late thirties. And took a good deal of glowering at my desk hissing ‘It’s assignment week!’ if someone so much as asked me to put the kettle on. ‘You can have your tea when I’ve graduated.’ I was great fun during this time.15 January 2019 at 19:01 #67215
@archaicwhovian only from this site. So, yes we do ;).
I know what you mean by ‘pure moments’, that’s an excellent way to put it.15 January 2019 at 11:54 #67211
@thane16, hya, and thank you.
I finished my degree (got a first) and right now am bogged in a sea of panic over MA application, partly because a third of my degree was on Creative Writing, and I want to study literature. Felt a similar way when I started my degree, and that was with the OU who’ll take anyone! So I’m doing a lot of reading and thinking and writing which I like, but probably not enough actually applying. It’ll be fine, though. So far this year we’ve mostly been focusing on adopting a puppy (we lost three dogs last year). I think it’s a forgivable distraction.15 January 2019 at 08:43 #67206
@rougecyberman, I think the sonic is mostly a useful shorthand. In a lot of sci-fi, a character from a technologically advanced species is going to pull out some useful tech, for this to be valid story telling the tech has to be mentioned before, so you get the choice of either ‘cheating’ by not doing this, or quite a bit of story clutter. But given that our own species has already created multi-purpose, historically speaking, incredibly powerful computers that we carry around in our pockets, the idea that the Time Lords have a kind of sonic Swiss army knife, once it’s established, is reasonable.
It’s also become something of an in joke in Who. War Doctor: ‘what are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at it’, various people in Eleven’s time ‘point and think’. Its tendency not to work on wood. I don’t know if it’s a British thing, but in my experience, we do tend to think if we take the piss out of something slightly silly we’re doing, we tend to think that goes some way to justify it. After all, at least we’re not committing the crime of ‘taking ourselves too seriously’.
@archaicwhovian I agree that a lot is down to how it is used. Thirteen seems to use it mostly as a scanner. I think someone here has described her as a quite excitable field scientist. The sonic as scanner makes perfect sense. The sonic is frequently used to reprogram things, that makes sense as well, its basically a hacking instrument.
As for CC’s writing, I think his best episodes were at the start and the end of the series, which are entirely the appropriate episodes for the show runner to write. I feel overall he’s better at selecting writers than writing episodes, and that’s good news if he’s prepared to hand over more of the work to other writers. But he’s in a difficult situation in that not only does he not have what RTD and SM had – Moffat as a writer – (and he probably knew from the start he’d suffer some criticism as a result), but he’s also, by many, expected to provide a kind of antidote to what many people came to dislike about Moffat.
So Moffat fans will dislike him for not being like Moffat. People who got sick of Moffat’s signature, complex, timey-whimy mysteries and call backs to previous episodes want him to produce something more straightforward (be as little like Moffat as possible), and people who liked his RTD episodes but came to dislike him as a show runner just want another episode like Blink, or The Girl in The Fireplace.
I’m a Moffat fan, I loved all the complex timey-whimy call back stuff. I think the occasional absurdity of it was sufficiently dealt with, once again, by the War Doctor’s sarcasm. When it comes to CC, I think he’s doing a good job in producing something more straightforward, accepting that that wasn’t what I personally wanted, and also a decent job in producing something different instead. I liked this season at least as much as I like RTD’s first season, and that is my main basis of comparison. I enjoyed the Ryan-Graham arc. I always liked it when Who put a very real and relatable human in there – Donna, Rory, Bill. And I’m all right with the fact that the current companions will most likely not become the kind of legendary beings that these perilous companions became.14 January 2019 at 16:45 #67200
@rougecyberman in episode one, after Grace dies, Ryan’s dad doesn’t turn up for the funeral, although Grace was his mother and Ryan really needed him to. The Doctor stuck around for the funeral, which isn’t a regular kind of thing for her.
I agree about lone Dalek’s. There does seem to be a sense of diminishing returns when it comes to Daleks. An episode with one Time Lord v One Dalek gives us a chance to focus on the depths of The Doctor’s relationship with them as a species. Although I loved the part in The Witches Familiar (I think) when The Doctor rides into a room full of Dalek’s in Davros’ chair ‘face it, we’ve all had this exact same nightmare’14 January 2019 at 16:36 #6719911 January 2019 at 19:30 #67178
@misslegaleagle On the Sofa is, as it says, a place for general chat. Cooking poultry defiantly comes under that heading. Especially around the Christmas season.11 January 2019 at 19:26 #67177
@bluffme the shows you mention are from American networks, aren’t they? Can’t really compare that to a BBC show.11 January 2019 at 09:02 #67168
You’re complaining about the number of episodes.@bluesqueakpip pointed out that we, in fact, got a loss of fourteen minutes this last series. That’s very little difference in work load, it’s just longer episodes.
She also pointed out that to get more episodes, they’d need a bigger budget. The greatest enemy of the Doctor has always been, not the Daleks, but the budget department.8 January 2019 at 12:44 #67143
@margaret-blaine I only didn’t count her as she’s not human, it just happens that humans look like time lords. She is an example of an unbigoted Time Lord (though not perhaps always, if I remember the first ever episode correctly) unlike Missy/Master, who refers to the human companions as pets. However her enthusiasm for the human species can look a little like an overcompensation (I love humans! My best friends are humans!). I would assume since we’ve seen a Time Lord switch race as well as sex, pigmentation doesn’t have the meaning on Gallifray it does on earth, any prejudice there seems to be class/time vortex caused mutation-based.
And yes. It is, to put it one way, easier to be anti-racism when racism is, to an extent, illegal. Not in a thought police sense, but when racial discrimination and hate speech is covered by law. And it’s easier to simply not be racist when the law considers all races equal. Even complacency/indifference is less glaring. Much harder and more obvious when the racism is actually upheld by law. We’d all like to think that if we were born in that kind of world, we’d be among the exceptions, and exceptions have always existed. But even though I’m probably as SJW as you can get, I can’t be certain I’d be one of them. No one can.8 January 2019 at 07:53 #67138
@kevinwho yes but to clarify my comment – when racist white people are being criticised, the only people being criticised are racist white people. And Rosa, for example, makes it clear that this isn’t, at the risk of involving a hashtag, all white people. Graham isn’t racist. One particular bus driver had to be driving the bus for her protest – according to this episode – to ensure that the full extent of the law was called on. So it’s a major plot point that a different driver might well not call the police and have her arrested for refusing to move.
Elsewhere in the episode a waitress tells them to leave. All we can be certain of the other customers is complicity. Are they silent out of shock for who has walked into the place? Or out of tension for what they know is about to happen? The episode essentially shows three attitudes: overt racism, complacency/indifference to racism, and anti racism. That is, in fact, the range that exists.7 January 2019 at 16:05 #67132
@margaret-blaine It’s fine, still works I agree with what I said too ;).
The good thing about Graham’s part in this is how instinctive it was. His immediate protectiveness of his (step) Grandson. He probably knew, somewhere in his mind, how that would have gone down, made no difference.
It surprises me that so many people see this show as generally bashing straight white men when there has, throughout, been Graham, with his kindness, his sandwiches, and his just general goodness. There were concerns that boys/people/children need to see a strong male role-model, this series has provided it. He’s not the smartest and most powerful person in the room – he’s not the Doctor, but he’s smart and powerful in his own, important way, and he is, most of all, kind. Kind is important in Who. Donna’s kindness to the PA in Silence in the Library, 12’s instruction to his successor at the point of regeneration. Nor is he remotely emasculated by the Doctor – his decision not to kill Tim Shaw came because Ryan got through to him. And if the show was as hysterically pc-sjw-snowflake-whatever the next phrase will be as some critics have suggested, they wouldn’t have placed him as such a contrasting example to Ryan’s dad.
When people mention racism critically, what they’re criticising is racism. But I would suggest that if anyone starts to feel personally as though their entire ethic group is being attacked, they might want to take advantage of the opportunity to feel some empathy here, and maybe exercise a sense of proportion and consider exactly how much it affects their day to day lives to feel a little preached at by a television programme. And remember other people are watching this who have experienced the kind of abuse Yaz talks about in this episode, they’re not being ‘informed’ of anything anyone is assuming they don’t know. They’re being given a voice.7 January 2019 at 07:23 #67126
@rosasucksandsodoess11, OK, so assuming you’re not a troll (I second advice to change the name, it does resemble the kind of name people create when they come to forums like this deliberately just to troll).
1: As @margaret-blaine points out. Graham was a white anti-racist, and the team needed that particular bus driver because it needed to be one who would absolutely insist and then call the police if Rosa refused to move.
2: I agree the baddie can seem rather under drawn, but I think the decision that he not be ‘compelling’ might be deliberate. A theme throughout this season is that the root of what’s going wrong hasn’t been some powerful supervillen, Tim Shaw is a loser of his species. The Game master had to capitulate and take two winners when they stood up to him. Prim was killed by his angry and confused little brother. And so on through the series. It’s an unusual choice for a Who series, but I think it all pulled together at the end, with the return of Tim Shaw as a genuine, serious threat. Ordinary people can become heroes, (the Tardis team, even Ryan’s dad) or ordinary people can become catastrophic. The most destructive people in our history weren’t super villains from space, they were people affected by their experiences to managed to achieve positions of power who often got there through a combination of some enthusiasm for their ideas, and a lot of indifference towards the less pleasant aspects of them. He was no more or less impressive than Hitler in Lets Kill Hitler, which I think is part of the point.
3: I didn’t see that scene as Yaz talking of herself as a victim, but as someone who has experienced racism on a daily basis. Moffat (much as I love him) and RTD tended to skirt around this. Generally, we’d see a future without racism, or at least, racism against blue people but not along the old/current lines. Or an experience of racism during time travel, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s more or less done with today, and will be entirely a thing of the past in a few centuries. It would have been quite easy for Yaz and Ryan to share a quick ‘thank god we live in the 21st century, eh?’ but it’s not that simple. What this episode did show was the shock of experiencing legally acceptable, in fact, legally mandated, racism. The episode was about the progress our society has made over the last few generations, but without forgetting that it’s certainly not all over yet.
I also don’t see how Yaz mentioning the abuse she faces amounts to CC assuming people don’t know this happens. A television show wouldn’t work if the characters only ever said things the watching public don’t know. Unless it’s a quiz, and it’s called QI.
4: personally I found it compelling, I often think the slowest episodes are the best, but that is a matter of personal taste.
I agree about Bradley Walsh, fantastic as always. And that kind of underlines the point – some very well portrayed white anti-racism with deep moments that you enjoyed.5 January 2019 at 09:57 #67079
@margaret-blaine re River and the Doctor. The opposite directions isn’t literal, they just meet at different times for each of them in the relationship, While their relationship isn’t linear, our experience of the Doctors has been, we’ve seen 10, 11, and 12 encounter her at wildly different points in her own timeline, ending with her meeting 13 at the last time she sees the Doctor in her own chronology before he meets her for the first time the day she dies. 13 has just come after 12, so she’s met her, felt extremely ambivalent about her, married her, fallen in love with her, spent that very long night with her, and morned her (even Missy expressed sympathy! But then River wasn’t entirely human, she was probably Time Lord enough for Missy to respect the relationship). CC probably won’t use River, but 13 has been through all this.
re: Tourchwood, I don’t know. RTD created it, CC re-created it into something different. But then he took it to very, very dark places, so while he’s perfectly entitled to pick it up again, I’m not sure it can be woven back into Doctor Who. I’m going to try and avoid spoilers, in case someone hasn’t watched the last two seasons of Tourchwood and wants to at some point, but I don’t think Captain Jack can team up with the Doctor again.
From Resolution, I don’t think CC will create another agency or revive any of the old ones. I think there was a clear idea in this episode, teamwork, not with government agencies or governments (The Doctor didn’t bother to inform the world that since it was now in grave danger she was, by their own decision, president of the world for the duration) but people. She’ll build a sonic, or a transporter, or a weapon with what she has around her, and she’ll fight off a threat with the people who are in her vicinity.
OK now I’ve just remembered how she built a transporter to find her Tardis and I’m slightly more annoyed that it was Ryan’s dad who worked out how to use the microwave to fight the Dalek. Still, quite nice bookending.3 January 2019 at 15:23 #67047
Public school types, I mean of course. That said…3 January 2019 at 08:59 #67045
@pedant, quite, I was thinking of Susan’s parents. Something his (at the time) children said to him? Something Susan said to him?
It’s also made me think, she’s mentioned lots of grandmothers, there was that woman in an RTD episode that was apparently confirmed as his mother. No mention of father figures other than the Doctor travelling with his granddaughter. The barn on Gallifray, some kind of elite boarding school? (elite boarding schools in England tended to be quite harsh living conditions) or did it connect so much with Danny at the orphanage because the Doctor was a kind of orphan? Or some kind of Spartan system where children leave their homes when they’re very young.
The High Council always reminded me of Pubic School types. Which would be the natural thing for the writers of the time to draw on. But we did end up with a kind of mindset as a result of so many children sent to live in, as I said, quite brutal conditions, and ending up in positions of power.
So the Doctor might have a quite complicated and distant relationship with fatherhood from both sides of the equation.3 January 2019 at 08:24 #67041
@kevinwho agree about Yaz, the problem at the moment is that the Doctor absolutely loves her, but we haven’t really seen much of why. I mean, we can see why she would, she’s a perfectly lovely character, but we haven’t really seen her do much – in this episode, she escorted two people through the vault to the stairs.
So like a lot of people I’m hoping that now the Graham-Ryan relationship has been worked through – which is a decent reason why they had relatively more action and screen time – we can see more of the Yaz-Doctor pairing. looking at the episodes, she’s physically positioned as the primary companion – she’s usually the one the Doctor takes with her while Ryan and Graham stay together – but most of the attention is on them. And the thing is, there is a lot more she could contribute – the Doctor is adjusting to people responding to her as female (not as much of an automatic authority figure). Yaz is a female police officer, so dealing with that is essentially what she’s doing when she isn’t on the Tardis.
At the same time I can see why there is so much focus on the male companions with a female Doctor, just as there was always more focus on Rose than Mickey, Amy than Rory, it’s the counterpoint. But what made Rory such a great character was his differences, his occasional critique of the Doctor, because there are many more than one kind of man. And I do worry that Yaz and the Doctor are a little too similar. Which also makes the exposition function of the companion a little trickier, exposition in dialogue comes across a lot better when there is an element of conflict, the companion not just asking the doctor what they’re going to do, but why, is that a good idea, etc.2 January 2019 at 07:09 #67029
Also, one thought. When she comments about dads being complicated ‘so I’m told’ is that a nod to her relationship (or lack of it) with her own father, or a comment on her relationship with her own children in the past?2 January 2019 at 07:06 #67028
I thought that was good. And nothing like a Dalek to make the Doctor go, well, full Doctor. I’m the Doctor, Earth is protected. Maybe if I just tell them that they’ll go away…
100% thought Graham would sacrifice himself for Ryan’s dad.31 December 2018 at 18:37 #66988
Happy New Year everyone! (before I get too drunk to safely post.)
This year’s been pretty rough in my household. There have been death threats, serious surgery, close friends dying and nearly dying. Other close friends lost. And three of our dogs died, one of them yesterday. So mostly I’m just settling down and waiting for this bloody abomination of a year to end.
There have been good things, I made a new friend (and I’m forty without an external workplace). And things to look forward to, applying for an MA next year. I’m looking forward to the New Year’s Day Doctor Who episode and it just, generally, not being 2018 anymore.31 December 2018 at 18:21 #66987
@pedant When I played it the second time, I almost became less excited but more interested by what he’s doing with this. The second time I deliberately tried to make different choices, didn’t find many different scenes. There seems to be several optional endings and only one absolute, though I’ve been told there are five ‘real’ endings.
I’m probably going to have a few more goes, but it seems to be more about the illusion of free will than a genuine chose your own adventure.
One thing I liked was all the programming things, my father was a lecturer in computer science and got his MA by creating a video game version of Connect Four I think during the 70’s, he wrote an interactive computer game for me when I was a toddler, promoted the use of computers in my primary school (he was on the board of governors) and even wrote a book about the use of computers in schools. As my use of the phrase ‘programming things’ indicates, I have no talents in that direction, but it had an odd kind of nostalgic familiarity about it.31 December 2018 at 12:04 #66983
Has anyone watched the new Black Mirror episode?29 December 2018 at 17:38 #66969
@ddoherty95 Matt Smith for me. They’re both great, but I think the thing is, the show runner is a key part of it. Smith was a quintessential Moffat Doctor, Tennant was perfect for RTD, and I’m (with respect to RTD’s achievement) team Moffat.
When Moffat wrote for RTD, the characters that stand out to me are the characters he created – Captain Jack, River, Sally Sparrow, Reinette (as characterised by Moffat). To me the differences between Tennant and Smith are the differences between RTD and Moffat, what they wanted the Doctor to be.
But taking that into account – Ten was a fantastic Doctor for what he was, the shards of loneliness, bitterness, anger cutting through the enthusiasm. But when I think of him I mostly think ‘sorry, I’m so sorry’ and ‘I don’t want to go’. He’s a great actor playing a well drawn character, but I never could care about him and Rose the way I cared about Eleven and River.
Smith was at once the oldest and the youngest doctor we’ve seen. He stank of hubris. Obsessed with his companions, and terrified of his future with River, his growing relationship and understanding with Rory was a highpoint of his time. Him recognising Rory’s overwhelming goodness and strength, Rory seeing his own wife’s imaginary friend made flesh and blood with a clearsighted affection and cynicism. (River didn’t get it all from Amy and Madame Kovarian). Smith was a revelation in an incredibly complex role.26 December 2018 at 10:55 #66935
@winston – they love their jumpers. Unfortunately, day turned out less than perfect since one doggie (who is suffering from heart and kidney failure) decided she needed a tummy bug to round things off. I mean, she’s up on the window seat as we talk shouting at passers by so we’re not panicking, but let’s just say she’s given me lots of Christmas presents this year…
Mika and day time drinking did help enormously, though.25 December 2018 at 12:18 #66918
Merry Christmas everyone. Currently drinking tea with brandy, watching Mika on youtube, dogs are wearing their Christmas jumpers, beans on toast later for dinner. Christmas traditions are whatever you make them.19 December 2018 at 21:33 #66830
@craig I don’t know if it concerns me, personally, it certainly doesn’t surprise me. The episodes by other writers were in my opinion much better. (Though I will say that his episodes for this series are among his best work).
Rosa – it’s tempting to assume the time traveler elements were Chibnall, most of the setting the other writer, but both elements worked well together in my opinion and the good news is that he chose a team of very good writers – and as (I think @bluesqueakpip?) pointed out, show runners have tended since the reboot to dominate the script writing for the first season more than subsequent ones.15 December 2018 at 10:14 #66650
@ichabod I’m a fan of the Netflixs Marvel TV shows, and one thing I like about episodes mades specifically for the platform is the irregular run times. It’s not usually more than a few minutes, but it feels as though if they felt an episode had to be 53 minutes, it’s 53 minutes, if they felt this particular episode was a 46 minute story, they did it in 46 minutes.
Not practical for broadcast TV, of course it’s not. But I do wonder if they’ve ever considered a ‘Director’s cut’ style of thing. Of course those often involve several minutes of film time that was quite rightly cut, but I do often feel watching Doctor Who that some really quite important scenes have been shot and cut or dropped entirely.14 December 2018 at 07:48 #66629
@magickirin I see where you’re coming from with Graham not moving on – but I disagree. At the beginning he decided to travel with The Doctor while standing in his now empty flat talking to Grace in his head. So yes, there is a degree of avoidance, of not wanting to stay in the place where he spent, it appears, the happiest but much too short time in his life.
But a part of this decision was to spend time with his often sulky and a little passive aggressive step-grandson, with who he has never had a completely comfortable relationship with. On the one hand, Ryan is an enduring link with his dead wife. But he’s quite an awkward one. I remember a line in a J.D. Salanger short story where the adolescent protagonist notes the awkwardness of living with his step father with the discovery that they are both in love with the same person (his dead mother).
Graham works hard on his relationship with Ryan. He talks of his own grief to try and help Ryan talk about his. To an extent he’s more focused on Ryan dealing with his grief than he is on his own. But there are little touches. Realising he has to stay sitting on the bus, giving his ‘good man’ speech to a man he knows has to die, these things hit home to him particularly because he wasn’t able to save Grace. He can’t get past the one mistake the Solatrict made with Grace – missing her love for Ryan, and he has to let her go.
Then in this episode, Tim Shaw is back, and his own grief rises right up to the surface. He wants revenge, he snaps at Ryan. But all the work he’s done on his relationship with Ryan pays off. And by choosing to travel through time and space with him, rather than get on with life in his lonely flat he’s managed to hold on to what was so important about Grace.
His first instinct is that Grace would want him to kill Tim Shaw. Hard to say, in terms of wanting to be avenged, but she didn’t seem a very vengeful person. He wanted to kill Tim Shaw, for taking this wonderful woman away from him. The Doctor saying no had very little influence on him. All this is consistent with the love and grief he feels. But Ryan knew Grace wouldn’t want him to do it, as much if not more for his own sake, and additionally, Ryan didn’t want him to do it.
As you say, Graham hadn’t had a significant relationship before Grace. He might never have felt loved, except by parents. This episode saw Graham find out that he was still loved. The episode before earned him a ‘grandad’, but now he’s told – by a nineteen year old – ‘I love you’. And this is the love he gets by being a good man. ‘You never thought I was good enough for your grandma’, that probably hurt because he shared those doubts.
Most – or at least, many – people probably would try to kill Tim Shaw in those circumstances. But a big part of the Ryan-Graham arc is about Ryan coming to see what Grace saw in Graham. He’s better than that.
@ichabod I might need to rewatch but I don’t think the ‘don’t kill him’ was about not killing him in self defence. She let him have a gun. She didn’t want Graham to hunt him down and kill him for revenge. Graham went back to get Tim Shaw for a particular motive. It wasn’t to prevent him doing more harm, it wasn’t even punishment for all his crimes so far. It was personal vengeance. The Doctor since the reboot has been caught between guilt over all the people who have died ‘because of my mercy’ and guilt over turning people into soldiers. Her behaviour over this is actually one of the most consistent elements of characterisation.13 December 2018 at 08:46 #66585
@ichabod that’s a good point, and after all, in his final season, 12 was a professor. And what did we call people with that job at Polytechnics before they got turned into universities? Lecturers.
I think sex/gender is affecting how some people respond to theDoctor. I’ve seen her accused of ‘hectoring’ a grieving father (for telling his blind daughter there was a monster in the woods then leaving her alone for days not knowing what happened to him.) As though any other version of the Doctor would have just patted him on the back, said ‘ah, well, grief is a tricky thing. When you feel really ready how about going back and looking after her.’ And as though, had 13 taken this approach, people wouldn’t have been saying ‘the Doctor has no authority or strong principles’.
This season is seen as particularly close to the bone, partly I think because of a return to the older historical format – because the historical format is more human based. I’ve listened to Who episodes on the radio where Tom Baker Doc and Leela meet Bodiccia. Understandably Leela wants to join her. So this isn’t unprecedented. And I think it makes a nice change from ‘Victorian London but with Cybermen’ ‘Victorian London with a weird parasitic worm’ ‘Victorian London with The Great Intelligence’. I liked those episodes. But the change is nice. The problem with putting alien consciousnesses at the root of the conflict is, however much humans are involved, it makes the problem appear external. It makes humans collaborators, often dupes, but not the source of the problem. The Doctor protecting us from external threats.
And yet… What about Harriett Jones? Didn’t she get a bit of a lecture? And then taken down by a line that I could see echoing around the UK right now: ‘Doesn’t she look tired?’12 December 2018 at 07:52 #6654712 December 2018 at 07:50 #66546
So, while waiting for the New Years Day episode (and dreading the approaching Who-less year that will follow. And hoping the BBC/Netflixs keep the old episodes on their platforms for the duration) I’ve been thinking a lot about Ryan.
Graham was, rightly, for many people the stand out character and people have noted how his relationship with Ryan was the emotional heart of this series. Ryan as a character has attracted more criticism. Not here, so much, but he has.
And I’ve read a lot of criticism of his character falling mostly into two camps: that the actor was wooden, and that dyspraxia was mentioned but hardly featured.
This amuses me because the actors expression and tone of voice were, for me, always convincing. And yes I have noticed moments when his delivery of lines seemed a little miss timed. That happens to me, because I’m dyspraxic, and sometimes translating my thoughts into words comes off a little awkwardly.
Other than that, ‘we haven’t really seen Ryan overcome his dyspraxia’ (yes I’m mostly talking about The Other Place and Facebook). Well, no, if by ‘overcome’ they mean magically re-wire his brain. It’s a permanent neurological condition. Yes we have, if by ‘overcome’ you mean see someone who starts out a bit prickly, self-conscious, and defensive become more confident in their abilities and worth.
Two things were guaranteed, that if he had mentioned his condition more than the three times he did, the cry would be ‘why hit us over the head with it every episode’. And that all the additional times his dyspraxia did feature but without being named would go over many people’s heads if they don’t have direct experience with it. His garbled memory of Rosa Parks, his interaction with the girl in It Takes You Away, and his innovative thinking in the Spiders episode along with his idea of essentially (unknowingly) replicating The Doctor’s eventual solution in the Time War.
Now of course, this is Doctor Who. Maybe the Doctor could ‘magically rewire his brain’. But that would be a terrible path for the show to take.11 December 2018 at 10:05 #66486
@cumquat I can only apologise (and thus compound the wrong) but, like @idiotsavon, I can only say, I try, but I fail. For example, while I flexed my fingers over my laptop with the purpose of pouring out a torrent of abuse in response to your posting, I have all but lost control of my fingers which insist on asking you:
Really five Basset Hounds? What are their little names?
Now, if you inform me that that was just a joke, and you own no pets, or, worse still, cats, I think we could potentially get a decent flame war going here. Ball’s in your court.10 December 2018 at 13:12 #66429
@bluesqueakpip yes that was interesting from Yaz. Graham, quite reasonably, struggled. Ryan felt right away his gran wouldn’t have wanted that, especially not for Graham. Meanwhile Yaz was seriously making that calculation. This series the character development quite understandably focused on the two people who had just lost someone they loved. It’s also shown us the people Yaz loves/is constantly infuriated by. She’s usually the one the Doctor picks to be with her, and the Doctor has walked away from an atrocity to protect her timeline.I think it could be interesting to see how this turns out.9 December 2018 at 20:54 #66401
@bluesqueakpip absolutely. I really think her objection in the first episode was about the human (can’t remember his name – Colin?) who tried to kill Tim Shaw, it was more for his sake, the effect that killing another being has on a person.
It would have destroyed Graham. The spellchecker on here wanted to change my misspelling to ‘distorted’ and I think it has a point. It was interesting seeing the conflict between him and Ryan there. Graham seemed quite sure Grace would want him to do it. Ryan disagreed. There are some levels there – Graham was her husband, but he only knew her for three years. Ryan knew her his entire life. But, ideally, you will outlive your grandparents (and parents. I’m the grandchild of people who outlived their son.) Her concern was for Graham. And, satisfyingly, so was Ryan’s. But in the end, all he could do was try to be a good man. Which meant not killing Tim Shaw, but shooting him in the foot rather than let him kill his grandson.
And I’m glad, I was prepared to see Graham die, more than I was to see him corrupted. He was a little corrupted, by grief and unexpectedly finding the cause of it, but Ryan pulled him back.9 December 2018 at 19:36 #66397
@psychossassin I would assume an auton doesn’t count as a life form? They’re non organic and automated by a disembodied consciousness.9 December 2018 at 19:30 #66395
@bluesqueakpip hope – and Grace. Never such a well named character. I’ve kept thinking, through this series, of this line ‘Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.’ You can give out justice, you can dispense mercy, or you can bestow grace.