Forum Replies Created
20 January 2020 at 17:50 #69260
This was definitely an improvement over “Orphan 55” and it was nice to finally have an episode this season not end on a bummer note even with the bittersweet aspects. But I agree with @jimthefish that Thirteen’s characterization is getting increasingly muddled in what I’ve come to assume are attempts to present her as more than an eternal optimist. I was really wondering how they’d wrap things up with Tesla and Edison’s memories after what happened in “Spyfall”, and it was odd that she just let ’em go. And with only six episodes left, the fact that they’re not going anywhere with the Timeless Child arc as yet makes me worry about a rushed wrap-up to that arc and wherever it is they’re taking Thirteen and her fam’s dynamics this year.15 January 2020 at 17:38 #69120
@phaseshift There’s absolutely a dysfunctional families thing going on this season. The Master destroying Gallifrey is another manifestation of it, the fabled “sins of the fathers” thing. And I think the Doctor’s fam will end up strained too over the course of the season, but come back together by the end.
@bluesqueakpip I’m in sort of that powerless position myself when it comes to affecting change; since my family would not support me stumping for the rights of others, I’m feeling rather sidelined and increasingly frustrated with being preached to. I’m also not sure how to couch my concerns about, say, immigrants at my country’s southern border to someone like my mom who wants her grandkids to grow up in a safe country. She doesn’t trust sources beyond Fox News and the like, so I can’t use statistics and data. @juniperfish, I’ve actually looked at that article you linked before, and I like its ideas, but my mom is quick to anger. If I were to call out her morals and point out where she’s falling down on them, it could get extremely ugly — and I don’t take being yelled at well. Which would only make her angrier if I were to cry. And I’ve listened to her side of things many times, and there’s just so much hate there. How much am I expected to put up with? It’s come to the point that, to keep the peace, I just don’t talk to her about much anymore.13 January 2020 at 14:02 #69034
(eeeek) I can’t edit my previous post, but I meant to say that I didn’t vote for the current POTUS! My whole dilemma sounds ridiculous without that correction 😀13 January 2020 at 12:23 #69031
@jimthefish I think one reason 13’s been running into seemingly more ethical issues than the later seasons of 12’s run is likely due in part to a different writer, but also, the world’s been changing quite a bit since 12’s debut run. “Kerblam!” had a disappointing ending, but when the systems of big tech and capitalism are so vital in much of the world to basic — if flawed — functioning, dismantling it may be something too big for even the Doctor to do; it would take a village to make that work. It’s why she doesn’t just get rid of all the smartphones and social media at the end of “Spyfall” either, despite the problems they pose. (The ending of “Orphan 55” does pretty pointedly go with the masses of humanity idea as well with the crisis posed there.)
Basically, a hopeful, humanist, family-oriented show like Doctor Who is running into some pains at the moment dealing with the cruelties of the real world it’s reflecting, metaphorically or more obviously. This is a show where “Burn it all down!” and “Eat the rich!” are not supposed be the solutions to problems, but for an increasing amount of well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning people in our world, they seem to be the only ones left. Basically, our world is one that believes it needs a Warrior, not a Doctor.
Perhaps that’s what Series 12 is building up to, the Doctor figuring out how to be the best version of herself she can be (again) to solve the problem the ending of “Skyfall” poses to her, which can work as a metaphor for how us humans can be Doctors and save the world with kindness rather than “strength”. And perhaps she has to make mistakes on the way there?13 January 2020 at 11:42 #69028
@miapatrick I had a similar feeling as you about exactly how much the poor kids can take away from this episode — especially depending upon who their parents are. For those who don’t know, I’m in my early 40s but also an autistic. I live at home with my family, and rely upon them to get around (working a job to pay rent, etc. in exchange). I was lucky enough to be born to a loving household, but my mom in particular has grown very conservative over the years. She still can’t forgive me for voting for the current POTUS. So while it would be nice to pound the pavement and stump for change, that’s not really an option for me; I didn’t have a good high school experience and never rounded up a crowd of “meatspace” friends to turn to as a support network. I’ve read a lot about families torn apart by political differences of late, and the lack of empathy really is an impediment to being the best we can be. Of course that’s a theme of this episode — the disconnect between generations — and notably just about all the “family” groups presented end up perishing.
Obviously, the Doctor needed to give us some pamphlets about how to follow our convictions without ruining our families! I have searched for information on this but come up awfully empty! 😀
@juniperfish It’s pretty obvious this base-under-siege story is thematically tying into the fate of Gallifrey arc, that it’s possible that 13 can fix what became of it or at least its people. I do wonder how, though, it can serve as a larger metaphor for what’s going on right now.
Also, the reveal that the Dregs breathe in CO2 and expel O pretty much made a lot of this story a pretty blatant lift from the early Studio Ghibli film Naussica of the Valley of the Wind. I wish they’d followed the conflict between the Dregs and the rest in the direction that film ultimately took it, but I can’t say more without going into spoilers for the movie 😛11 January 2020 at 12:41 #68953
@bluesqueakpip Glad I’m not the only one wondering if there aren’t any live Gallifreyans still out there, possibly because the Doctor got them out/will get them out before it was/is too late.7 January 2020 at 18:49 #68879
@blenkinsopthebrave Actually my boyfriend and I were discussing this earlier. Gallifrey left the pocket universe at some point and ended up at the end of the universe temporally, as established in “Hell Bent”. But going by this episode, IIRC, the Master visited and razed the planet while it was in the pocket universe. So perhaps there is something here that Thirteen is going to correct.
@thane16 What I meant about the Hybrid being a copout was that it wasn’t the interesting expansion of the Time Lord/Gallifrey mythos that it could have been, but rather as you said just going back to the Doctor/Clara dynamics. I’m wondering if the Timeless Child business won’t turn out to be something similarly mild.
Elsewhere I’ve noticed a fair deal of observations/complaints about Thirteen mindwiping Ada and Noor, the former against her wishes, given that Twelve crucially relented on doing so to Clara and later Bill; io9 saw that and her leaving the Master to the Nazis as Thirteen “going dark” in the wake of finding out about the Time Lords being (supposedly) done for. Any thoughts on why Chibnall went this route? Or, given what happened to Twelve because he didn’t just mindwipe Bill in “The Pilot” — in particular, what became of her by the end of Series 10 — maybe the Doctor’s rethought their stance on this issue again?6 January 2020 at 14:54 #68867
@miapatrick Well…Thirteen’s previous incarnation ended up on pretty unhappy terms with the Time Lords, and they likely weren’t going to welcome outsiders on her world anyway. Why bring up people they were never going to meet? The Master’s really the only person she has from that world out there so work with.
Especially given that this set of companions has been dealing with some major grief/angst from the beginning with the demise of Grace, and how unhappily things have turned out with recent companions when she did let them in on her past, the issues with Time Lords, etc. and/or focused on adventures rather than let them have plenty of downtime with Earth family, etc., Thirteen might be wanting some distance between her “fam” and the rest of her lives. And right now, if she doesn’t even know the truth about her world anymore, why share it? Also, as people have pointed out elsewhere, Graham, Ryan, and Yaz weren’t asking her a lot of these kind of questions in Series 11. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
(Also, keep in mind that the 1960s Doctors hardly had much to say about their pasts even when questioned, and when the info would have been a lot fresher in their minds!)6 January 2020 at 14:45 #68866
@miapatrick Yeah, I think the idea was that the Kasaavin were just trying to find warm bodies to colonize, and our unused data (for all our intelligence) made us particularly desirable. Actually, I was reminded of “The Unquiet Dead” way back in Series 1.6 January 2020 at 14:22 #68863
@bluesqueakpip The Le Guin story (the premise of which I know rather than the text, since it’s pretty well-known) comes to my mind too. But I’m not sure Chibnall is going to radically alter the Who Mythos into a Big Lie thing. It would seriously undercut something like “The Day of the Doctor” to have the whole of Gallifrey turn out to have never been worth saving, and we already had the copout of the Hybrid — the last tease of something really big being added to the mythos — in Series 9. (Moffat was pretty insistent post-airing that the Hybrid was Clara and the Doctor even though that’s not how prophecies work, so I doubt Chibnall intends to bring that idea back.)
Alternatively, if the Timeless Child thing does turn out to be a major change, it will probably be a positive one by the end of the arc — the Doctor will pull, in effect, a “Beast Below” (or Frozen II) and Gallifrey will end up not only restored but better than ever for exposing the truth, resulting in a more positive Time Lord world.
In fact, this could help explain where O falls among the Masters. He came after Saxon and got to post-“Day” Gallifrey first and blew it up, then Thirteen fixed the problem, then Missy came along and decided to taunt Twelve for fun, then the ungrateful Time Lords kidnapped Twelve, etc. It can make sense! 😀
Anyway, this is not the time for Doctor Who to send the message “The past/present isn’t perfect so burn it all down cuz who needs the future?”, so I’m pretty sure that this arc is going to have a happy ending. Have to keep the kiddies in mind!6 January 2020 at 13:47 #68861
@juniperfish Well, trust no one — the Master could well be lying about all this Big Lie stuff. Besides, Thirteen didn’t take a look around. Could be some Drylanders about, making do. Or this will prove rewritable like in “Day of the Doctor”. Thirteen didn’t get to save Gallifrey then, but in this year’s finale, she does!
On the other hand, if it is all done for, well that’s what Gallifrey gets for what they pulled in Series 9. Twelve is avenged! 😉
Frankly, this episode is coming off as rather bitterly timed. A lot of people here in the U.S. are wondering if we’re heading towards WWIII, Australia’s burning down, and there’s nothing left for good people to do. Sorry Doctor. Darkness Always Wins.2 January 2020 at 15:44 #687622 January 2020 at 13:08 #68755
The AV Club review (which was positive) is right that as with most kickoffs to AG Who multi-parters this was largely puttering about in a flashy way before a last-moment reveal for the cliffhanger (the timing for Yaz and Ryan’s argument about her sister was weird), but it was a big reveal and I agree it was nice to have one actually kept secret by the BBC for a change! Having read interviews with Chibnall I was not surprised that they finally brought Time Lords back into the action even this soon, but I was surprised that they got to the Master as soon as they did.
The main issue I have going into Part Two is that there is a lot of stuff that has to be explained in 50 minutes, and I’m not meaning stuff about how the Master came back, which number they are, etc. — it’s the whole glowy-alien thing and what their deal is, why their plot is So Much Worse than other plots, and all that. It will be interesting to see how that’s balanced with having to reintroduce the Master concept to those viewers who just got on board with Thirteen, or missed the Twelve era, etc. Also, the “everything you know is a lie” thing could open things up to a lot of potential twists in Part Two. I won’t go into the broached theories I’ve seen but it should be interesting! 🙂
(That said, was I the only one not impressed by the plane crash cliffhanger? Twelve alone dealt with similar situations more than once!)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 #63111