Forum Replies Created
19 October 2019 at 18:26 #68191
@lrobby99 I think you are referencing two Season 22 serials featuring the Sixth Doctor, “The Two Doctors” (which has the man-eating Androgums), and “Revelation of the Daleks” (the cemetery planet and DJ).19 October 2019 at 18:22 #68190
@winston I’m glad to hear you and your family are getting by despite some very tough times. Much love!19 September 2019 at 18:46 #68120
@missy So sorry to hear that. I hope you and your husband can bear up the best you can.22 July 2019 at 16:38 #67878
Hey @missy, hope you and your husband continue to improve. (hugs)
I’ve been puttering for a while since Series 11 ended, doing…well, various things (along with work of course). Catching up on a lot of old movies and stuff. Frankly I’ve been feeling rundown mentally lately, though not physically. I haven’t had many people to talk to in “meatspace” as some call it about how roughly things are going in the World at Large, since my close family (those I live with) are far more conservative than I am and it would only end in tears on my side. Active activism isn’t in the cards. My usual optimistic, reliable online friend has her own problems at the moment, my boyfriend and I just get depressed talking politics, and other online folks are more downbeat. It’s hard to find a place to vent. Any advice? It would be appreciated.27 June 2019 at 15:54 #67760
I have a different kind of Who news to share — about 2 weeks ago, the online streaming service Pluto TV launched its Doctor Who Classic channel.
Pluto TV is an commercial-supported service, so there’s no fee for watching any of its channels (well over 100 regular ones at this point) or on-demand movies/shows, but you do have to put up with commercial breaks.
Doctor Who Classic is a 24/7 stream of BG serials. Pluto TV doesn’t schedule much further than a few hours out, so there’s no formal guide to what airs when, but they are currently featuring about 25 or so serials, focusing on Doctors Three through Seven (they seem to be waiting on showing black-and-white episodes). The one flaw with the channel is that with episodes that run shorter than 25 minutes (or 45 minutes in the case of “The Mark of the Rani”), sometimes there’s a “hiccup” of sorts and a few minutes of previous scenes will run again before progressing, possibly to fill out time without adding more ads. Hopefully this will be ironed out in time.25 May 2019 at 17:18 #67700
(shoofshoofshoof as Miss Rori emerges from under the lurkers’ couch)
Hello. Been working in other fandom circles of late, but wanted to check in. I do like the idea of the Judoon being brought back — it’s been a long while since any AG monsters have had anything significant to do in the show after Twelve’s era focused on new one-offs and BG antagonists (not counting the expanded universe works).10 December 2018 at 14:53 #66430
I agree with others that this was a bit underwhelming as a season finale goes. It largely worked on a character level, though Graham’s arc ended up pretty predictable, and the starship crew ended up mainly a plot device that didn’t add much to the story (and people thought Bill got shortchanged in “World Enough and Time”/”The Doctor Falls”!).
The business with trapped and/or out-of-place planets has of course been done before in both BG and AG Who, and I think the Thirteen was too sunny at the end given that five planets’ populations were destroyed as an indirect result of her sparing Tim Shaw’s life, sort of like how “The Lie of the Land” has too sunny an ending given that Bill and Twelve don’t seem guilty about all the people the Monks imprisoned and slew because of their mistakes. I realize that many people (and showrunners) thought the “last of the Time Lords” angst got out of hand by the time “Day of the Doctor” came along and fixed the whole destruction of Gallifrey, but if they don’t want to have the Doctor under a cloud anymore, why not just reveal all the planets’ people were still alive, or have the dead spring back to life in the Monks’ case?
Actually, perhaps it’s time that the show give some major time over to discussing the question of how culpable a person actually is if they choose to do the right thing and spare even a villain’s life, and the villain goes on to create more trouble. (This situation was also seen with Missy in Twelve’s arc of course.) Is it the Doctor’s fault if a person, shown mercy and sometimes even forgiveness and given a chance to change their ways, chooses not to change them? Come to think of it, why does everybody like to blame the Doctor anyway? 😀 I think back to the io9 review of “Face the Raven” that was toplined “This was all the Doctor’s fault”, when it can be argued that — especially given what happened in the remainder of Series 9 — no character was more wronged/treated with more malice in that season than Twelve, and none who wronged him received the punishment to fit the crime. He was just trying to do the right thing, be a good kind man, and everyone else got out their knives to thank him. 😉19 November 2018 at 14:58 #65778
I agree that the intended message of this episode (technology is not inherently evil, but can only be as good as the people who use it) was rather muddled when placed up against the real problems it was referencing; the AV Club review of this episode was frustrated by that too, feeling it could easily be misinterpreted as “corporate monopolies good, workers who want good conditions bad!” However as some of you above have noted, that the episode has us discussing and parsing out these debates is a very good thing!
This is my favorite episode of the season that isn’t a historical, and the AV Club reviewer also made a great point that it handled multiple characters far better than “Tsuranga Conundrum” did. It was fun to have more references to the previous Doctors too, and I liked how she didn’t find the deliverybots creepy! Also that she named the old model “Twirly”.15 November 2018 at 16:13 #65652
@bluesqueakpip I agree that as strong as “The Doctor Falls” was as a story, it would have been an awfully unfitting end for a Doctor who went through as much unusually personal heartache as Twelve did. Having him die alone right after all that sacrifice and disappointment, with no reassurance that it wasn’t all for nothing to try and redeem Missy, would have been just plain mean — especially after everything that happened to him in the final stretch of Series 9, which I still think was overly hard on him culminating in the victim blaming of “Hell Bent”. (Still no explanation as to why nobody tried to get him out of the confession dial. “Loved by so many”, eh, River?)
While I understand the idea that “Twice Upon a Time” undercut “The Doctor Falls”, it is hard to be inspired to be kind by a story in which it pretty much doesn’t work out for the hero striving to be kind. People choose to be cruel because they see the glory and riches right there for those who are. You can’t have a stick without a carrot! So giving the Doctor a little time to actually regain the will to live doesn’t seem unseemly to me. 😉
I am disappointed that Moffat’s efforts didn’t pay out with regards to the Xmas slot, but it is true they’d pretty much run out of ideas for Christmas-y Christmas shows after “Last Christmas”; after the Christmas Truce, I’m not sure what other premise for a Christmas Who episode wouldn’t look really silly. A New Year’s Day special can have just about any plot. Unless they want to do something about the Tournament of Roses parade… 😀14 November 2018 at 14:05 #65633
@ichabod I’m really enjoying this season and Thirteen, but you are right that so far we haven’t had a story that really lets her personality and code be the focal point of the action as yet. We haven’t yet had any development thread this season focusing on her side of the story, but rather on those of her companions in a more-crowded-than-usual TARDIS. Perhaps next week’s episode will do that, given its jumping off point. In fact, with that and only three more episodes after to go (not counting New Year), it’s about time she took center stage now that we’ve seen enough of her filtered through the companions’ perspective.
While it is nice that Chibnall isn’t heavily drawing upon the Doctor’s past this season, it is true that it feels a bit disconnected from it as a result. A friend of mine wants to see some Daleks, Sontarans, etc. soon — it could make a huge difference to see how Thirteen relates to them.12 November 2018 at 14:11 #65572
Well, if there’s one thing Thirteen’s era is making itself known for besides having the first female Doctor, it’s really knocking the historical-set episodes out of the park. Last week’s conundrum was serviceable, but this was a genuinely tearjerking episode, both on the human and alien sides of the story, and it’s nice to finally have a truly Yaz-centric storyline (though “Arachnids in the U.K.” was a good try at that). On the lighter side, how much fun was the whole business with the Doctor officiating the wedding and enjoying the henna application? 😀
I do understand complaints that this season has been too heavy-handed with socio-political messaging, drawing parallels, and whatnot, but I think the points it’s making are more than valid and aren’t being made enough, if anything.
Looking forward to next week’s “Kerblam!” — especially as the premise is the sort of satirical story that they could take in either a super-scary or extremely humorous direction. What will be interesting is where it comes down on the issues it raises, as they are very knotty ones. Not to mention that a lot of other shows, books, etc. have already done stories of this sort. 🙂29 October 2018 at 19:13 #65150
@jimthefish Heck, wasn’t one of the complaints against Moffat during his showrunner tenure that he supposedly couldn’t write female characters who weren’t either companions (or close to it in River’s case) or baddies? People definitely noticed those villains at the time! 😀29 October 2018 at 08:05 #65111
I liked this one — it managed to be spooky without being gratuitously scary or gross, and while I agree the A-plot came to an abrupt (if surprisingly dark) ending, the SFX work was excellent, there were lots of good comic beats, and the B-material about Yaz, Ryan and Graham learning you can’t go home again and realizing that they want and need more time with the Doctor even with the risks it has — and I definitely think Thirteen still is haunted by her previous self not being able to give companions happy endings (at least, not on his own) — was very well handled.
I do think it’s interesting that Thirteen is having to face the fact that there’s only so much she can do against the darker nature of humanity. I’ve noticed of late commentaries about the current superhero boom that point out that in the end, the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, et.al. end up only reinforcing a status quo for humanity. They can get rid of crazy alien/high-tech threats, but never seem concerned with economic/class inequality, the refugee crisis, famines, etc. even though they have abilities and technology that could be turned to positive ends in those situations. (TVTropes calls this issue “Reed Richards Is Useless”, after the scientist in Fantastic Four) Do they really save the world if they’re not addressing those problems? (The fact that a lot of these superheroes are white, cisgender males doesn’t help, nor does the recent pushback from traditionalist fans against trying to diversify franchises, resulting in such ugly situations as Comicsgate.) At least the poor Doctor has knowledge that, as a time-and-space traveler who needs to keep the Web of Time intact (and who saw humanity pay dearly for a previous self ousting Harriet Jones), there really is only so much she can fix.
On the lighter side, the spiders being lured to the safe room reminded me of a great early-1990s episode of The Simpsons, “Whacking Day”. Springfield has an annual tradition of luring all the harmless native snakes to the center of town to whack them to death with sticks, which upsets sensitive Lisa. When Bart (who’s being homeschooled at the time) reads Bob Woodward’s The Truth About Whacking Day, which reveals the tradition has had its true nature distorted over the decades (it was originally a way to pick on the Irish, though an Irishman remembering it says “‘Twas all in good fun”), he and Lisa decide to lure the snakes away from the town square via vibrations. As it happens, the great soul singer Barry White was supposed to perform at the festival but didn’t realize it was a snake-killing celebration until he got there, whereupon he quit in disgust, so he ends up providing the deep bass rumble needed to save the snakes once Bart rigs up some speakers. 🙂22 October 2018 at 14:44 #64799
@bluesqueakpip and others suggesting an end-of-season villain pileup — I remember back when Series 8 was ongoing some reviewers were wondering if the Nethersphere scenes with Missy greeting the characters who died was setting up a big confrontation between them and the Doctor in the season finale, but it didn’t work out that way exactly… 😀
@juniperfish I was off from work the night/day the Grenfell Tower fire took place, and in the U.S. it was the top story on the overnight network news shows — the wee-hours ones just marking time. I think it might have been a bigger story here if, shortly before the national morning shows went live, there hadn’t been the Congressional baseball game shooting. Coverage of that pretty much meant the Grenfell disaster was buried in the American press despite the awful death toll.22 October 2018 at 12:09 #64792
I was nervous going into this one, but this is the best Thirteen story so far. It managed to be respectful, heartfelt, truly suspenseful, and surprisingly a great deal of fun as well — rather like “Thin Ice”, which was also the third episode of its season oddly enough.
While I’m still waiting for an episode that can allow Yaz to truly have the spotlight, she was well-used in this one, and I liked the small steps for Graham and Ryan’s relationship too. Also, how neat is it to see Graham’s ex-bus driver cred come into play again?
Thirteen really shone, particularly in the extended confrontation with Krasko. (Am I the only one who got an “evil Captain Jack” vibe from him, even before the vortex manipulator was revealed?) She is one tough cookie! And she got a lot of smiles and laughs from me too, both the little moments like clambering on the bed to write on the wall and bigger ones like the ruse to get the substitute driver out of the picture. That’s what I like to see in my Doctors! 😀
For those who don’t know co-writer Malorie Blackman previously wrote a pretty good Seventh Doctor/Ace short story for the 50th anniversary 11 Doctors, 11 Stories project, “The Ripple Effect”. This makes her the second author who worked on that project to later work in the televised Whoniverse, as Patrick Ness (who wrote Class) contributed the Fifth Doctor/Nyssa story “Tip of the Tongue”.
(Deposits $0.02)19 October 2018 at 22:06 #64691
@ichabod You’re right of course. I do like Thirteen for who she is and if she isn’t my Doctor she can be that for others, as you say. 🙂19 October 2018 at 11:51 #64673
@ichabod I understand what you mean by not being as fascinated by Whittaker!Doctor’s world so far. Like you I’m sticking with it despite some doubts about Chibnall’s approach, but Thirteen so far doesn’t have the broody, rough-edges magnetism and melancholy that attracted me to Twelve and got me back into DW after I lost the thread in Tennant’s first season.
I’m reminded of how I haven’t been able to fully get into the current big-screen trend of cinematic universes built around the various Marvel and DC superheroes (though I really really enjoyed some of the early MCU films, specifically the Iron Man ones), as well as the other ongoing big-screen franchises of late. It’s so much stuff to try and keep up with for what ultimately seems to boil down to a bunch of fights and crossovers, and the same hero’s journeys, and I’ve never really been a fan of rock-em-sock-em action. Following Twelve’s adventures was exhausting enough for my emotions as it was! 😀15 October 2018 at 11:23 #64517
Also — I know some people felt Thirteen seemed too ready to give up when the TARDIS wasn’t right there and all seemed lost for her and her friends, but look at it from her point of view. In the Doctor’s previous incarnation, he watched Clara die and didn’t get the chance to see…whatever his plan was to bring her completely back from the dead through was after all he suffered for the sake of duty of care. He couldn’t reach Bill Potts in time to save her from being Cyber-converted, and there was no way he could have when you give it some thought. Nor could he figure out a way to undo the conversion once they were stuck on Floor 507 and had to deal with the farmers’ plight on top of everything else. (Though he had regeneration energy right there!) And as far as Thirteen knows, everything her previous self did to bring Missy around was for worse than nothing because of what Bill and so many others went through. Basically, poor Twelve had to deal with the sting of failure quite a bit when it came to what personally matters to him. Maybe Thirteen was getting flashbacks when faced with the possibility of three new acquaintances meeting their doom too…15 October 2018 at 11:11 #64516
This seemed a middle-of-the-road story to me, much as “Smile” was last season, though that story having fewer major characters meant that it could focus more on refining the Doctor-new companion dynamic. Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, but I do think it would help if BBC America would, at least for the premiere airing, drop the commercials. They are REALLY killing momentum.
While the Stenza turning out to be the big bad for the season is a promising possibility — we haven’t had a recurring enemy unique to AG Who since the Silence (one of my regrets for the Capaldi era is that Twelve never had a unique adversary of that kind, though he had some great one-offs) — I’m not keen on the idea of the “Timeless Child” remark turning out to be an arc rather than, as @pedant put it, a commentary on the Doctor’s past as previously established.** It just seems like a lose-lose situation — if it’s an old character, then Chibnall and co. have to come up with a convincing justification for it being brought back AND have to unload a bunch of backstory to get new viewers up to speed. (By the by, Ashildr/Me already has the title Woman Who Lived, and Clara is both the Impossible Girl and 1/2 of the Hybrid… 😀 ) If it’s a new character but someone the Doctor doesn’t recall despite being sooooo important, then there’s a bunch of backstory that needs to be unloaded to explain that to all viewers! Moffat couldn’t pull the Hybrid arc off back in Series 9 with the cheat of an explanation he went with; does Chibnall think he can do better? 😀 We shall see.
I’m with those who feel that poor Yaz is getting shortchanged by Chibnall and co. at this point in favor of Graham and Ryan when it comes to companion stuff. We learned a little bit about her family, but not much. Maybe next week’s episode will finally find a way to expound upon her personality and situation?
I don’t really think too much about Tennant and Smith looking at Whittaker. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen near so many of their episodes (especially Smith) as I have some of the BG Doctors, Eccleston, and Capaldi. I like her a lot and I don’t see her as especially derivative.
See you next week! (Deposits $0.02)
**I was actually reminded in that scene of a sequence near the end of the Twelfth Doctor’s first Doctor Who Magazine comic strip storyline, “The Eye of Torment”. The adversaries are creatures that drive others to despair and destruction of self and others by preying on their regrets, esteem, mistakes, etc. and when they go after the Doctor they call him such things as a “sad little boy”.8 October 2018 at 20:04 #64285
@rob I was bothered by the optics of Gran’s death too — especially coming (narratively) not that long after sweet Bill Potts narrowly escaped fridging, and only a few years after Clara Oswin Oswald went through a similar so-close-but-yet-so-far encounter with the Doctor with even the same manner of death. It will be really interesting to see how this affects the remainder of the season in terms of the other characters and whether the unfortunate implications can be amended. (I know other genre shows have a bad habit of killing off black female characters and having Bill make it out after all was refreshing.)
If you want our theories and details on where the season’s going from here and how arc-based it will or won’t be, you’ll have to go to the future-episode-spoiler-friendly forums for those. I relearned that the hard way today! 😀8 October 2018 at 16:49 #64277
@craig No need to apologize, you’re the moderator and it’s good to be reminded of boundaries. I apologize for being too gabby. 🙂8 October 2018 at 14:16 #64269
I liked this episode, though as seems to happen a lot with Doctor introductory adventures the actual “adventure” wasn’t much to write home about. It was serviceable enough though.
I really like Thirteen/Whittaker, and the new eventual-companions are a promising team with some interesting angles to work with regarding their backstories. My main beef — and I think this is where the “feels like Torchwood not Who” complaints I’ve seen elsewhere stem from — is that the ending felt rather dour between Grace’s death, the memorial service, and the Doctor still without a TARDIS leading to a cliffhanger where everybody’s about to asphyxiate. (Yep, I couldn’t help thinking about how badly “Oxygen” ended for Twelve too…) It would have been a much more tantalizing, optimistic ending had the TARDIS come back to her at the end and everyone could head off to new adventures together, instead of the others being forced into them with her. I’m now worried that they’ll all be grouchy next week in “The Ghost Monument”.
Also, I really hope they don’t stretch out the search for Ol’Sexy too long. Given that ********* ******************** *************** ************ ****************** *********************** ************* ********* ************ ******* ********* — there’s no guarantee that the TARDIS will be recovered by the end of episode three. Especially if Chibnall and co. don’t come up with a satisfying explanation for why she doesn’t come back to the Doctor, I think it would get old fast finding other ways to get around time and space, and given how much is changing with the new crew, it seems silly to sideline the TARDIS — THE big icon of the franchise — for an extended period of time.
*Paragraph completely removed because of possible spoilers*
(Deposits $0.02) See you next week!
Edit: Also, I know a lot of commenters out there really want to see what the Doctor does about the trapped trophies now that she knows about them…another reason it would be good to get back to the TARDIS as soon as possible.
Edit by Craig – the above was edited by me because – spoilers1 September 2018 at 16:57 #63954
@ichabod A while back I read Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes, which is effectively a history of autism in its being recognized, diagnosed, defined, etc. It notes that early SF fandom and clubs in the 1920s or so seemed to attract a lot of people who, today, would likely be diagnosed as autistic. In fact they seemed to be the people who helped organize groups. 🙂 I will keep your recommendation of the Walton book in mind. 😉1 September 2018 at 16:51 #63953
@tempusfugit At this point about the only vacation time I take off from work save for an annual week in Las Vegas is specifically for going to conventions, usually just a few hours away in Chicagoland. Not an exotic locale for the money but it’s more than worth it to see the Artist Alleys, cosplayers, and so forth.
The Who-specific conventions are especially nice because they tend to get more older fans and there’s a clearer, more sympathetic and diverse picture of the overall fandom. I’ve not had to deal with Moffat-haters at Chicago TARDIS, and I see more Twelve cosplayers there every year. 😉 Of course when I went to Baltimore for RegenerationWho this past spring where Capaldi was a guest, there were acres of Twelve cosplayers. Kids dressed as Twelve are especially cute. 😀31 August 2018 at 19:32 #63932
@tempusfugit @ichabod @janetteb I pretty strongly identified with and sympathized with Twelve’s grumpiness in Series 8 because I could see where it came from. I am on the autism spectrum, and I understand what it is to have no interest in small talk, to be grumpy, brusque, and blunt in the heat of trying to get things done — being too focused on a task at hand to feel like being “nice”. Go away humans! 😉 Twelve was a better man than he knew, full of empathy and kindness, but especially in Series 8 he did have to learn and relearn moving beyond gut reactions and showing his best self to others. That can be hard work. I always liked how his story so often went back to examining the difference between nice and kind, right up to the very end.31 August 2018 at 19:22 #63931
@tempusfugit @ichabod What’s funny is that I couldn’t really get into Tennant — I’d really enjoyed Eccleston’s one season, but Series 2 just came off as too focused on character angst for me, the sort of problem I’d had with the expanded universe novels, specifically the ones from the 1990s — they seemed more interested in analyzing and reanalyzing the characters (often in negative ways) than the fun storytelling that I liked from the classic series. Too much “lonely god”, “sad angel” stuff; even though I liked Tennant’s take on the character and had no real beef with Rose, I bailed about 2/3rds of the way through the season and only kept up with the show in passing, in that I’d read reviews and stuff, for many years. I’ve only seen 2 Smith episodes in full. For shame!
Capaldi was actually what brought me back to the show even though Series 8 got so much negative press. Ironically if anything it was exploring the Doctor’s sorrows more than ever but Twelve was such a rich character I was genuinely interested in his struggles and occasional successes, rather than frustrated and bored. I miss him dearly but we did get 3 seasons and change out of it, plus a lot of expanded universe stuff. The writers of comics, short stories, etc. slip into Twelve’s voice and personality so easily — that’s how well-defined he was from the start. Perhaps down the line Capaldi will do Big Finish (he’s busy right now loafing around after all that work!), so we can hope. Also, there is a 60th anniversary coming in 5 years or so… 😉29 August 2018 at 06:49 #63891
@tempisfugit Hi, I would have replied sooner but I was out of town for a convention and then needed some time to recover. 😉
This forum is still active, along with the episode specific ones. 🙂 12 is my Doctor too and he was far from my first! (Gushgushgush)21 August 2018 at 17:59 #63823
@thane16 I think those theories carry some weight. From what I’ve gleaned in other, sometimes more disreputable parts of the ‘net, a lot of fans were let down by the latter two Matt Smith seasons, and Moffat in particular was getting a pretty big hatedom (especially regarding how he wrote female characters). The 50th anniversary special and tie-ins were a brief reprieve, but then “Time of the Doctor” wasn’t a similar hit.
With Capaldi the hook that the Tennant and Smith seasons had of a youthful-looking, magazine-cover-ready Doctor was gone, which hurt the show’s marketability. Beyond Twelve not being “likable” enough in Series 8 — even though it’s clear that his challenging quest to understand himself and defrost is part of the season’s point — a lot of people felt that Clara hogged the spotlight for much of the season, giving rise to jokes that the show was now Clara Who (which may or may not have inspired the switched billing gag in “Death in Heaven”). Combine that with anti-Moffat attitudes poisoning the well, and things started getting really tough.
Also, with other, bigger-budgeted, flashier, often more “adult” sci-fi and fantasy TV shows coming along — the number is growing exponentially at this point — I think Who began to be taken for granted post-50th. The Old Reliable is going to struggle to be noticed alongside The New Model.
And yes, there are a fair deal of people who feel the show was too grim in the Capaldi seasons, compared to Tennant and especially Smith’s tenures. I do wish he’d had a few more “breather” stories myself! 😉 Perhaps the saddest convention experience I have ever had was at WizardWorld Chicago 2016, after Series 9 had come and gone. There was a “Doctor Who Ultimate Fan Panel” that drew a big crowd, and I and my new boyfriend were so looking forward to discussions of Series 9…but the hosts then took a poll of hands and only about half the crowd had even watched Series 9; this was followed by audience members agreeing that the show wasn’t “magical” anymore and that at some point in Capaldi’s tenure they’d tapped out. Even one of the hosts hadn’t seen Series 9 at that point. I recall trying to speak in its defense — sure there was a lot of sorrow laid at Twelve’s doorstep but think of the rich characterization and touching stories, it still had “magic”. But it didn’t take. The rest of the panel was mostly looking back on the tenures of Nine through Eleven.
Since then most of the Who and general interest conventions I’ve visited have been much much kinder towards Twelve’s era, though RegenerationWho in Baltimore this past spring, when it got to Series 10-specific discussions, expressed a fair deal of frustration on such issues as Bill not getting a lot to do from “World Enough and Time” onward and her character development getting curtailed in the process, the Monks Trilogy falling apart, and the portrayal of One in “Twice Upon a Time”. I think Bill was probably the most popular companion the show had in years, and they were really left wanting more and wishing she’d been kept for Series 11.
I do notice that in general — there were some major exceptions, such as MaryAnn Johanson — professional critics even at the time were enjoying the Capaldi era as much as, or more than, the Tennant/Smith seasons, even as they acknowledged the bumps in the road. They were sad to see him go, excited as they are for what’s to come.
(Deposits $0.02)17 August 2018 at 17:47 #63784
@ichabod and company: I’m not too worried about Mackie. She did some theatre in London this past spring and has been getting lots of conventions under her belt otherwise. I hope to meet her at Chicago TARDIS this Thanksgiving. Whovians take care of their own! 😀
Capaldi definitely has been taking it easy. Aside from the David Copperfield shoot, he’s only been doing large, regional cons and the occasional appearance elsewhere, like in the AMC Story of Science Fiction documentary, where he notes that he feels the eternal appeal of Who is how it examines death — grief, inevitability, moving on — but says he is discouraged from saying that this is its eternal appeal “because it is not useful in the promotion of a brand”. I think he was really frustrated by the bean-counters trying to get in the way of what he and Moffat and the rest were doing. At RegenerationWho he said that when 12’s costume was originally being developed with his input, there were complaints from BBC higher-ups that it wasn’t going to push a lot of toys, and he just told the nitpickers that that wasn’t the point.16 August 2018 at 19:42 #63778
@craig Sorry to hear you’ve had some really tough times. I hope things turn around soon, and how cool that you encountered Matt!
I don’t follow filming reports and such, and a recent shoulder injury’s still got me down, so I’ve been quiet too. But hopefully Series 11 will give me lots to talk about! 🙂 Also, I made it to the RegenerationWho convention back in late March after all and got to meet Peter Capaldi. So it isn’t all bad. 😉16 August 2018 at 19:39 #63777
So sorry to hear about your troubles Missy! Take care and be happy… <3 <38 March 2018 at 20:50 #63249
@missy I would have liked to see Twelve learn that he brought Missy around to the side of “gud” too given how the Testimony works, especially as she was the one constant in his grand arc as it were, but at the same time that would have compromised the nature of her demise — “Without hope, without witness, without reward”. Between that and Moffat regretting having Twelve lose his memories of Clara, well, Clara won the comeback sweepstakes.
Then again, perhaps that’s a sign that she actually survived Floor 507, possibly via regeneration — the Testimony couldn’t come for her since it takes people just before they permanently die. (Or it doesn’t take Time Lords because the Doctor’s right and their memories really would shatter them!) Given that the Master/Mistress is the most popular standalone villain (as opposed to villain race like the Daleks or Cybermen), they’re bound to return somewhere down the line, likely in a new body, and perhaps matters will be resolved then — i.e., if they regenerated, did they stay good or not?8 March 2018 at 20:40 #63248
@ichabod You make good points on the memory issue. Of course this was considered in Series 9 with the Ashildr/Me arc, with the idea of her human brain not able to hold all the memories of her evolving existence, and the larger conceit of characters forgetting/being made to forget/remembering things in turn, starting with Davros remembering his encounter with Twelve.*
Not-so-incidentally I notice that the upcoming RegenerationWho convention in Baltimore is doing a whole panel on “Memory and Identity in the Moffat Era”!
*Now that I think about it, that kind of fell through in “Hell Bent” when Me still remembered “Face the Raven”‘s events — wouldn’t she have wanted to forget that whole business if she could, out of guilt if nothing else? Unless someone hounded her those billions of years over what she did (we know it wasn’t the Doctor!)…she possibly encountering people who loved him and would hold their own grudges, perhaps? Come to think of it, how did she find out about Missy anyway? 😉16 February 2018 at 11:19 #6316711 February 2018 at 09:38 #63139
I’ve had a run of bad luck lately that isn’t letting up, and a bad case of cabin fever in this rough Midwestern winter. I had been hoping to get out to the Regeneration Who con in Baltimore (late next month) to meet Peter Capaldi — my parents wanted to make the trip my 40th birthday present — but circumstances are not looking good. He is not booked for any of this year’s Chicagoland conventions as yet. I’m really struggling with the disappointment — what should I do?8 February 2018 at 19:20 #63112
@trinajoanne I have found Blogtor Who (blogtorwho.com) to be the best of the unofficial news sites for collecting legit stories/press releases about all aspects of the Whoniverse, including other projects the cast and crew are busy with.8 February 2018 at 19:17 #631114 February 2018 at 17:29 #63094
Okay, thinking back on what people (here and elsewhere) were hoping/expecting to see in this one — I was glad this story didn’t turn out to be the First and Twelfth Doctor’s sides of “The Day of the Doctor”, but why wasn’t Susan Foreman brought back for a cameo? Apparently Peter Capaldi hoped his Doctor would meet her, and they did find a way for Twelve to encounter the Mondasian Cybermen, so…especially given how the Testimony works, why not give him and One that happiness?
Or, in five years, will Twelve get to meet Susan in the 60th anniversary show?…29 December 2017 at 12:52 #62848
@tardigrade The Doctor may have bought into it with the Library, but at this point he’s had experience with the Nethersphere too, so he has some reason to have doubts over whether such a concept works/is a good thing or not, I suppose.
Regarding the cue cards, I was okay with them, though I can see where some thought this overplayed Twelve’s can’t-see-the-trees-for-the-forest issues. Of course, they were Clara’s idea in-universe IIRC, as she was so frustrated with him — and she always was the bossy type…
The idea that Glass!Bill had “spoilers” snipped out is one I’ve seen broached elsewhere as a plausible explanation for why she doesn’t bring up her post-“Doctor Falls” experiences.
Weirdest theory I’ve seen about the First Doctor’s sexism as running gag — a commenter at The Mary Sue genre discussion site argued that it’s actually Moffat’s way of clandestinely expressing how much he hates women, couched as a joke.28 December 2017 at 02:13 #62797
@jimthefish The Moff has said that “The Doctor Falls” was supposed to be the regeneration but Chibnall didn’t want to introduce Thirteen for Christmas and the show wouldn’t get any more Christmas specials if they skipped a year, so Moff decided to go with the coda approach you mentioned to squeeze out one more story for Twelve. And yes, I did appreciate that Twelve wasn’t quite so alone in the end, choosing to be alone when he regenerated notwithstanding.27 December 2017 at 16:45 #62784
I notice that one question people have with this one is “Why bring back Rusty the Dalek, of all 12th Doctor-specific characters?” Here’s my theory:
It fits in with the episode’s larger war-and-peace, soldiers and Doctors motif. Rusty is sort of the bad counterpart to the good Captain, stuck in a situation he didn’t create. Thanks to the poor Doctor’s well-intentioned mindmeld bringing up his hatred of the creatures created solely to hate everyone else, Rusty ended up the one “good” Dalek and isolated from everyone. He marks how much the Twelfth Doctor evolved as a character regarding both his fraught relationship with the military/soldiers and his initial tendencies to see the forest but not the trees in situations (after all, “Into the Dalek” was his second story); he always cared about doing the right thing, but at first tended to ride roughshod over individuals’ emotions in a crisis. Twelve came to an understanding over time with those who serve while also promoting peace, even realizing he sometimes thinks more like a soldier than a doctor in “Empress of Mars”, but the character that most facilitated that development — Danny Pink — couldn’t have effectively been brought back (say, as another Glass Person) because his relationship with Danny was an entwined outgrowth of his relationship with Clara, whom he does not remember completely at the time. So, bringing back Rusty — who was introduced in the same episode that introduced Danny — is another way of marking how much Twelve grew as a person from his brusquer early days.27 December 2017 at 16:28 #62783
@nerys The article was written and posted before the Christmas special aired, and isn’t discussing it with regards to the endings of Clara and Bill. The author is just referring to their respective fates in “Hell Bent” and “The Doctor Falls” — both women die, at least in a metaphorical sense, and the Doctor isn’t able to do anything for them as much as he wants to. He can’t restore Clara to full life because her death is a fixed point, and he can’t de-Cyberize Bill because they don’t have access to the TARDIS on Floor 507 and saving the solar farmers is a bigger concern than saving their own hides. But both women are ultimately restored to a new kind of life that also grants them the freedom to explore all of time and space with a companion of their own, and for various reasons the Doctor cannot follow them (the Hybrid issue and that he’s been mind-wiped in Clara’s case, and because Bill believed him dead in hers). Some fans even have the headcanon that the bisexual Clara (who said she’d fight the Doctor for Me back when they first met her) and possibly-bi Me (who did refer to Clara as “beautiful”) become lovers, as Bill and Heather are!
As for Pearl Mackie’s presence in “Twice Upon a Time”, Moffat says that Bill wasn’t in early drafts of that episode because he figured the Captain was a sufficient “companion” figure for the audience to relate to, but he later decided the story needed more “fun” and wrote in Bill.26 December 2017 at 11:36 #62746
@bluesqueakpip I wouldn’t say the Doctors were being villainous for not wanting to regenerate — One doesn’t know what the future holds and is just scared (and gets even more scared when he finds out that sorrows await him), while Twelve was just tired and probably feeling like a failure who might as well stop trying to help others, based on the circumstances of his partings from Missy, Bill, and Nardole. I do think the Capaldi-Moffat era works, but it is true that it focused more on the downsides of being the Doctor than the upsides. So this story hinging on both One and Twelve seeing the good that they do and can still do, which ultimately pushes each one of them to regenerate, makes some sense.
I enjoyed this episode a lot. On the one hand, I do understand the complaints about “nothing happening” in the story; there aren’t any radical revisions to the canon and there isn’t a lot of action. And those fans who were hoping this story would turn out to be One and Twelve’s sides of “The Day of the Doctor” must be frustrated! (One really does wonder — will Gallifrey and the other Time Lords ever be revisited at this rate?) Ditto for those hoping for a Susan appearance. Rusty the Dalek was a really out-of-left-field choice for a cameo!
The Captain was a nice character; his situation was an interesting counterpart to the Doctors’, but he didn’t get much to do. I know that the Moff didn’t add Bill Potts to the story until later drafts (he wanted to add more “fun”); touching as her situation here was, it would have been interesting to have just had the Captain be the one muggle in the bunch and give him a more proactive role. And having him turn out to be the Brig’s ancestor was the least interesting reveal they could have made about his identity. Ditto for the Christmas Truce playing into the plot (I remember first seeing that theory broached here, when I was wondering out loud what exactly WWI could do to be an inspiring setting!) as the way to get the episode to somehow reference Christmastime. But having that effectively be Twelve’s last heroic deed, and perhaps the most heroic of all by being the push One needs to accept the fearful future and allow his later selves and their good deeds to exist, DID work dramatically.
The Testimony turning out to be the benevolent version of the Nethersphere was a lovely full-circle conceit, and the idea of people being the sum of their memories (and a Time Lord even more so) was as good a way as any to work in Clara without having to bring back Me. And given that a lot of fans suspected/predicted Clara would be worked in, it was nice that they didn’t forget Nardole. I would have really liked to have a last-moment reveal that Missy was in the Testimony too, which would have wrapped up the one part of Twelve’s “myth arc” that was always around, but I guess that means she didn’t die for good on Floor 507 after all. 😉
There were a lot of directions this one could have gone in, but I think this was as good an approach as any, and the final scenes in the TARDIS were lovely. I know Twelve’s last speech owed much to earlier barnstorming speeches he’s made, but it was still moving, especially how it worked in Capaldi’s idea of what the Doctor’s real name is.25 December 2017 at 16:56 #62728
Check out this retrospective piece and let me know what you all think:24 December 2017 at 18:35 #62719
Early reviews for “Twice Upon a Time” have been very positive from the Radio Times to Den of Geek to Who-specific sites like DoctorWhoTV.co.uk and blogtorwho.com . I’ll leave other forum members to look them up, as the reviews have varying degrees of teases and such that can be seen as spoilers. Anyway:
24 December 2017 at 18:27 #62718
- The performances are all excellent
- It’s more character-focused than the previous revival-era Doctor finales have been
- NO reviewers have seen Thirteen’s first scene; all pre-air screeners cut off at the regeneration itself
I do hope that the Twelfth Doctor is given a reason to keep on living that’s more than just “the universe needs the Doctor”. To quote Homer Simpson, “Can’t somebody else do it?” 😉 The universe hasn’t given this Doctor enough back; I can’t blame him — given what he’s just gone through — for wanting to embrace eternal rest if that’s the cost of not changing. We’ll just have to see.
I won’t be seeing “Twice Upon a Time” until Tuesday morning at the earliest, so I’ll get back here then.21 December 2017 at 18:57 #626708 December 2017 at 17:04 #62595
Along with the TV trailer that dropped today, here’s a Radio Times set visit article with some authorized teasers! And they’re very interesting ones.7 December 2017 at 16:56 #62590
So, I have to ask/bonkers-theorize — which classic villain do you think is the mastermind of these glass people? Come on, Moffat wouldn’t just have glass people as the villains of Twelve’s final adventure. Just push ’em over! 😉 No, there has to be something more powerful behind them. Maybe the Time Lords are into glassworking and we didn’t know it? 😀
More seriously, if they’re enchanted glass people as the offical synopsis puts it, who enchanted them? Maybe they’re finally bringing back the Celestial Toymaker? 🙂6 December 2017 at 14:26 #62589
Official promo gallery! Not all that spoilery if you’ve seen any previous promotional materials; still no hint as to what the glass people look like or if there are any other characters of note besides the two Doctors, Bill, Ben, Polly, and Captain Needs-a-name. 😉 Either they decided to do a “bottle episode” with this one, or there’s a lot that they’re still keeping under wraps.