Forum Replies Created
22 June 2020 at 08:41 #70785
@dalekbuster523 Well, it’s possible “Revolution of the Daleks” won’t be an Earth-set episode in the first place, or at least not set on present-day Earth, so the pandemic would be a moot point and no alterations will be needed.18 June 2020 at 13:25 #70773
Also, the Doctor could explain that since COVID-19, etc. were humanity’s problems alone, they cannot take charge of the situation without being a sort of imperialist imposing their own morality on it. Kind of like Twelve deciding not to use a Cyber-army to save the universe, and also an explanation for why they didn’t do anything about slavery, the rise of the U.S.S.R., the Holocaust, the Cultural Revolution, etc. Or maybe the TARDIS knows they don’t need to go help out with those (it only takes them where they need to go, according to “The Doctor’s Wife”).18 June 2020 at 13:18 #70772
@janetteb I have been thinking of “Turn Left” too… 🙁 And of course, in the week since you wrote that post things have only been getting worse with the pandemic in the U.S. and to a lesser extent the U.K. as lockdown measures are being eased — to say nothing of the anti-police brutality movements in the U.S. and solidarity protests elsewhere that would have to be addressed with Yaz, if not the whole police box concept (especially after how the Doctor’s “real” backstory was presented in this and the previous episode).
Series 13 was supposed to start filming in September, but at this point the Beeb itself is pretty much saying that’s a no go so soon.
On the other hand, Jurassic World: Dominion is set to restart filming in the U.K. next week. If a gigantic Hollywood production can figure out a way to start over — then again, there’s actual money behind that.
Maybe they could do a “gap” season that’s just Thirteen alone so there’s fewer group scenes? That could be a way of working through the Gallifrey situation before turning attention back to Earth.
Part 5 of Torchwood: Children of Earth has a character theorize that the Doctor doesn’t put their hand in with the 456 situation because they’re ashamed of humanity at times like those. Maybe they’re not too proud of it right now? Or it’s actually a fixed point in time they cannot change — that would be the easiest storytelling solution, while still allowing for interpersonal drama.4 May 2020 at 17:01 #70591
@thane16 If you want a bright yellow door I say go for it! 🙂
Actually I will be moving (with my parents) into a newer house across town this summer, if all goes as planned in that regard. I suppose that’s something to look ahead to. Since I am generally a homebody anyway it’s hard to find a break from the new normal when I’m not at work. It makes it that much more frustrating to see other people complaining about protective measures. Anyhoo, thanks for all the support here 🙂3 May 2020 at 13:00 #70582
Hello. Been a while…
I live in the U.S. as you might already know from previous posts. I’m an essential worker too, so at least I get out of the house often. But these have been frustrating times for me, and I don’t have many people to talk with them about. I live with my parents, but they’re Trump supporters, so trying to get out my frustrations with anti-lockdown/social distancing protests and the like won’t end well. And it’s even made me angrier about how Series 12 ended, because who knows when we’ll get Series 13 much less if it will make the bummer wrapup worth it?
Convention season is shot, the few new movies and TV shows I was looking forward to are perhaps years away, the November election will be miserable, and the daily news remains grim. What should I do right now to have something to look forward to? Any advice?3 May 2020 at 12:53 #70581
I’m wondering if there’s any news on the status of Series 13 at this point. Series 12 had such a bummer ending and left the Doctor in a sad place for her character arc, and I doubt that “Revolution of the Daleks” is going to do all the heavy lifting needed to undo it (i.e., restore Gallifrey, etc.). And I’m also seriously wondering if Chibnall and co. are going to rethink everything they planned for her arc given the current pandemic, which I would imagine will have to be acknowledged in-universe, and which makes her current Special One status rather awkward at a time when, even more than usual, we’re seeing Not Special People being kicked to the curb worldwide by people who think they’re Special Ones and mass deaths being shrugged off in favor of the economy. Can anybody help me out here?3 May 2020 at 12:46 #70580
Hello again. I’ve been thinking, and I know this is a dangerous thing…. 😉
When we last convened to discuss this episode, and what it might mean for the next season’s arcs, the real world was…a different place. And I’m thinking that Series 13, whenever it arrives, is going to have a bigger challenge than we previously thought in making the revelations of this episode meaningful.
See, I can’t see this show not acknowledging the COVID-19 pandemic, and what it’s done to societies all over the world, in some way once it gets to scripting and filming again. Looking at one of my earlier posts on this episode, I noted that the idea of every person being important is kind of upended both by, in-universe, the Doctor being the Timeless Child and, in the real world, the horrifying willingness of many people to put money above common humanity. In my country (the U.S.) there’s a growing right-wing driven movement to end social distancing/lockdown measures even though they’re clearly working because folks want “the economy” to reopen. What would Twelve think? (see: “Thin Ice”) Humanity is in an uglier place than usual right now, and I’m thinking — unless the companions are written out — the show’s going to have to acknowledge the effects of this on the Earth characters and setting.
Where does this Doctor and her character arc fit into this? Where can it fit right now? Any thoughts?5 March 2020 at 16:39 #70012
But something seems to be happening to fandom. At one end, you have the repellent bigotry of the NMDs but at the other the fans of 13 and Chibs have become somewhat fundamentalist, perhaps understandably fearing that acknowledging any issues will be giving ammunition to the NMDs. The loser seems to be anyone who wants to engage in any critical analysis of the show.
Yes — it’s hard to find a fandom where this sort of conflict is not an issue.
Your thoughts seem to gibe with mine in that I don’t understand the reason this change to the canon has happened now. It didn’t really affect the outcome of the episode, and we’re going straight to a Dalek storyline for Christmas/New Year’s so it’s hard to imagine how it will be dealt with there. The War Doctor reveal (back when he was just “the other Doctor”) led right into “Day of the Doctor”, where it was central to the plot. And I don’t have a firm enough idea of where Thirteen’s character development is going to theorize what she will do with this information down the line. Heck, she’s just left Gallifrey twisting in the wind; aren’t they going to get back to that? Maybe all this should have been saved for her grand finale storyline.
Oh, and I thought I was the only one reminded of Supremacy of the Cybermen with the Cyber-Lords concept. I was so frustrated by that story because it quickly became clear it wasn’t going to bring the Doctors together or really confront the fallout of “Hell Bent” on the Gallifreyan characters. When the delays between parts got out of hand, I ended up only reading the first, second, and final issues.3 March 2020 at 20:02 #69971
@badwolfalice I’m with you in that I’m less concerned with the canon being changed and more concerned with why it’s been changed, especially so drastically. The Doctor seems to accept all these revelations quickly enough and good for her for seeing it as a glass-half-full situation. But especially with the ending plunging her in what may or may not be a completely unrelated adventure (she appears to be in the clink for something a past self did — but if it involves the Daleks, shouldn’t the Judoon be glad they interfered?), and how this past season never really had her dealing with revelations aside from becoming tetchier with the fam, one wonders if this will have any lasting impact on her character or the mythos. Consider the back half of Twelve’s story. Losing Clara allowed Twelve to come to terms with loss and finally be the man River Song needed…his love for River helped him accept the responsibility of tending to Missy in the Vault…his friendship with Bill led him to actually dealing with Missy more directly and finally coming to acceptance and understanding of himself…and meeting the First Doctor allowed him to come to terms with his regeneration and inspire his past selves (the ones he remembered anyway) in the bargain. He had a real character arc developing through every big trauma he went through.
Oh great, now I’m wondering why the Testimony doesn’t know about the other Doctors from all the humans it’s uploaded over the eons…
Anyway, how does Thirteen grow from this? How does she apply these revelations to a greater good? Yes, it gets her out of the Matrix, and gets a big speech about being stronger for the experience, and is reminded that she has her companions looking out for her even if their relationship is a little strained…but none of that helps her stop the Master and the Cyber-Lords! That ends up being handled by another character so the Doctor won’t have as much blood on her hands — she doesn’t even fight the guy really. And she doesn’t use what she has to restore Gallifrey after that either, which would be the natural alternative. She did it before, calling upon previous lives — what if all of them had come together at once?
Now, maybe the point of “Revolution of the Daleks” will be Thirteen applying all this to another situation, especially if it turns out the cold case is one Ruth or another unknown Doctor was responsible for. But if that story is also going to involve the current companion set (none of whom have had a real character arc since Ryan and Graham resolved the issue of losing Grace, despite some feints at them since then), as opposed to sidelining them for one story, I kind of doubt it. For that matter, what does the Doctor’s ongoing story say about their individual journeys? I don’t mind it continuing into Series 13, but I don’t see any clues as to what direction it will go in — unless saving Gallifrey again is the big arc this time. Which it could be.
Edit: Alternatively it could be further dealing with the Master’s newfound jealousy of the Doctor, but I’m not sure how that can be a growth experience for her. For better or worse, she is more special than he is, or anyone else in the universe, due to her nature. She is on the top of the mountain alone in the end. The companions couldn’t fully grasp what she’s experienced before, and this revelation only makes it harder to do so, or for her to be brought down to Earth as it were. Who are they to pick on her?
I know — in 900 years Eleven hadn’t met anyone who wasn’t important — but in reality, there are plenty of people who are not important, or at least not important enough. That’s why we have forever wars, and refugees freezing and starving to death because people with homes and countries and food don’t want to give up a little comfort, and concentration camps for the “different”, and…
If this is a theme of the next season — that every being is important in a cosmic way — it could be a powerful, important one beyond its effect on the fictional narrative. But can Chibnall and co. pull something that ambitious off?3 March 2020 at 17:49 #69966
@jimthefish Can you, I, or anybody really say that anything the Doctor does is un-Doctorly anymore? We have no idea what all those other Doctors have been up to all those years, working above the Time Lord law to boot! For all we know some of them really did eat babies, and not the jelly kind!
A common theory for the prison the Doc is trapped in at the end is that it’s Shada. How cool will it be if “Revolution of the Daleks” turns out to be a Douglas Adams-style romp?2 March 2020 at 11:14 #69927
Ha! Everybody said the Doctor didn’t deserve to have Clara brought back from the dead in “Hell Bent” and now it turns out they’re the most important person who ever existed! Justice for Twelve!
I think will be interesting to see where “Revolution of the Daleks” goes from here. We need a light comedy episode for a breather after all this, before we get into restoring Gallifrey and all that (because saving that for the 60th would be silly and a retread of the 50th), and I think it would be neat to see the Daleks used in one. The show needs to get over its case of the glums. 🙂24 February 2020 at 18:46 #69819
Also — who wants to place bets that we get an “everybody lives” finale? Think of it: The Cybermen become good as part of their ascension, while humanity gets a fresh start somewhere else. Gallifrey and its people gets restored, while the Master gets away as per usual. The Doctor and the fam can keep travelling hopefully on their own terms now that the Doctor knows and can share her past again. It would be lovely, and send a good message. 😉24 February 2020 at 18:34 #69818
It’s been pointed out elsewhere that Ko Sharmus and old Brendan are played by the same actor, which means Brendan probably cannot be Ashad, the Doctor, or the Master. But they still could be the Timeless Child, and will thus help the Doctor in the next episode. They seem nice enough. 🙂24 February 2020 at 13:23 #69814
Given that next week’s episode is called “The Timeless Children” and there was all that fluff with Brendan in last night’s episode, plus Gallifrey and the Master, I’m thinking that arc’s going to be resolved next week. If anything’s going to be held over at this point, it will be the Fugitive Doctor, perhaps for Christmas/New Year’s.24 February 2020 at 13:06 #69813
I’m surprised that more people aren’t going with the theory that Brendan is one of the Doctors rather than the Lone Cyberman. Unless they and the Timeless Child are all one and the same? That would certainly shake up the franchise.
Basically, Brendan is the first of many many Doctors (the name and box come later) and at this point the other Time Lords would wipe their memory before each regeneration, perhaps at the behest of the Timeless Child. Ruth is one of the later ones who undergoes this. But starting with the First Doctor they say nuts to that and start just living out on their own and retaining memories. Other Time Lords like the Master follow suit.
I think the biggest clue we have to where this finale will go is — what is the season’s theme beyond secrets coming out? The poor Doctor had finally been able to move past her past as it were in becoming 13, in letting it go, and was enjoying the chance to just live a life in the moment, more like humans do. She and her fam were happy. But now the past has butted in and she doesn’t even know what that is anymore. So even though they ask she doesn’t want to put her companions through the drama, but they are curious anyway even though they haven’t shared a lot about their pasts or even presents with her either. And she’s cracking under the stress.
But the truth can set her free and allow them — those who make it anyway — to be happier for it, on even terms. That’s what this is, isn’t it? The truth will fix the Cyber-dilemma, save Gallifrey, etc. I mean, there has to be a point to everyone being miserable this season. Otherwise the story isn’t worth telling.
Yeah, Chibnall is not going to stick the landing on this.23 February 2020 at 19:59 #69795
@lisa I’m thinking that the Time Lords are the ones making time wacky, which is why we’re seeing the Cybermen first, and as you note, we saw the Master running around before any of them. Or maybe this Timeless Child is the real culprit behind it all.23 February 2020 at 19:35 #69793
@lisa The problem with one or more of the companions being Cyber-converted is that we just had that with Bill Potts, and with two of the companions being minorities like she and Danny Pink were, there are some ugly optics by constantly turning those characters into Cybermen at this point. (There are also “stuffed in the fridge” issues raised if it’s Yaz.) The best mode of handling this I can think of is that they might get Cyber-converted, but the Doctor gets a chance to undo it this time. Maybe overloads their circuits with emotions or something. Still not sure why Twelve didn’t do that with Bill, just take her back to the TARDIS and get her to a reputable sawbones…23 February 2020 at 19:27 #69792
I think it’s important to remember here is that this season has had a bad case of the glums; aside from the Tesla episode, it’s been pretty downbeat. So to keep people wanting to follow things into next year the season finale has to end on a hopeful note of some kind — the way all the Capaldi season finales did. We get a rough episode tonight, and then next week things are looking up with whatever is revealed, be it splintered Doctors (remember Clara? It could happen to the Doctor) or alternate universes or maybe it all being some kind of dream crab situation. It’s all about travelling hopefully after all. 😉23 February 2020 at 19:03 #69791
@ollie14 (sorry for the late reply) The Cyberium is basically a record of the Cybermen’s history. Apparently because the future Cyberman empire was close to the losing end of the war, it wanted to use the Cyberium to figure out a situation/place in the past to time travel to and change the outcome so that humanity would end up on the losing end instead. The Alliance decided to send it back in time, possibly specifically to the Doctor, so it would not end up in their hands. The Doctor had to give it up, though, so now she and the TARDIS fam have to go to the future to save humanity from whatever changes have been made to it by the Lone Cyberman’s foreknowledge.
(It’s basically the sports record book from Back to the Future Part II in other words.)17 February 2020 at 13:12 #69702
@psymon My theory — given what the titles of the next two episodes are, and especially with word getting out (i.e. filming dates) that we probably won’t see Series 13 until well over a year from now — has it that most of this season’s plot points will be wrapped up in the next two episodes, with anything left being held over for the holiday special, as you put it (it would be an interesting way of resolving the Fugitive Doctor issue to do it in a Christmas show!). I’m thinking that the Cyberwar stuff will turn out to be the means of resolving the Timeless Child/Destruction of Gallifrey stuff and vice versa — given Gallifrey was at the end of the universe in “Hell Bent” — if only because there’s already been a “frontline conflict” Cyberman story with “Nightmare in Silver”.
Also, about the Doctor not following Captain Jack’s “order” — who’s to say he and his fellows had the right idea in the first place? We don’t even know what this resistance pocket is exactly, and he’s been involved in shady business before. In the meantime I do agree that the Doctor absorbing the Cyberium will probably pay off.
I think the Doctor would have gone into further detail about what would be changed in history had Percy died younger if it weren’t major spoilers for the other historical characters: Most obviously (and it’s been pointed out elsewhere) his dying would have put a serious roadblock to Mary actually writing her book and pretty much inventing science fiction as a genre. Frankenstein sent out a lot of ripples into literature, science, philosophy, cinema, general pop culture, etc.; who knows how many lives would or wouldn’t exist, or exist in the way they did, had it not been written. I’m surprised the companions didn’t figure that out for themselves and apologize to the Doctor for her crisis thinking back in the blue box! That said, I’m glad they’re willing to help her out all the same and head to the uncertain future.
…It’s easy to wail and gnash your teeth about how much easier things would be, damage that would have not happened, etc. if certain things had gone differently in the past. But in the end, it can’t be changed — even if we were capable of doing so — and even if it could be changed, nothing says it would necessarily be better. All we can do is deal with the consequences, even if we weren’t responsible for them. All we can do is, as Frozen II puts it, “The Next Right Thing”, and that’s what the Doctor’s doing now.12 February 2020 at 16:26 #69662
Just saw this article — apparently, the Doctor’s behavior at the end of this episode got enough criticism that the Beeb had to put out a statement explaining it. Twelve never had it this bad!10 February 2020 at 14:36 #69630
This one came off to me as half filler episode with regards to the Immortals’ plot, half oh-no-we-forgot-the-companions-have-lives catching up episode (with, as @davros notes, a bit of PSA thrown in). The bit with the Timeless Child seemed thrown in as a bone for anybody actually concerned about this season’s story arc, given that the Doctor and TARDIS fam can’t seem to care much. Unless next week’s episode turns out to be a “Face the Raven”-esque prelude to the season finale episodes…27 January 2020 at 14:24 #69407
In the meantime, with all the talk going on about how dark this season’s been going for Thirteen…Blogtor Who was commenting that perhaps whatever she learns in this year’s finale will “break her” and she’ll go all Time Lord Victorious and stuff. Personally, I think it would be a lot more interesting to see her hold up and Be Kind whatever she learns, don’t you think? 😉27 January 2020 at 14:10 #69406
Also (as someone asked over at io9, I think) if Thirteen can “contact” with Gaz, why didn’t she try that with Ruth!Doctor to figure out where each one falls in the timeline? Seems like that would be worth a try…
Other theories I’ve seen as to what’s going on with the timelines that I don’t think have been mentioned above are that the situation has something to do with the MetaCrisis Doctor and/or Pete’s World, or that Ruth!Doctor is actually an incarnation of the Master. :p Actually, the former would explain why so many of the callbacks to past events and characters are ones strongly associated with the Tenth Doctor (Captain Jack, Judoon, the Master, mind wipes, etc.).
I have some miscellaneous blue-sky ideas:
20 January 2020 at 17:50 #69260
- Thirteen and the fam have been/still are in an alternate timeline/universe since some as-yet-undisclosed point.
- Alternatively, it’s a constructed world ala “Extremis” or “Last Christmas”. 😉
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. 🙂