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    nerys @replies

    @missy If I hear Mayor I think it’s a man. Very confusing when it’s a female. The same applies (in my book) to all the other titles which are being changed to the male title. Isn’t that sexist? How strange that these females who are so determined to stamp out sexism, decide to use the male title? Perhaps they would prefer to be blokes? Or perhaps they should make up their minds what exactly they are.

    OK, so now I am confused. What would you expect a woman, who is elected mayor, to call herself? Mayoress? And why would it be necessary to call a female mayor anything different than a male mayor? Candidates are running for a specific elected position: Mayor. It matters not what the sex of the candidate is.

    And that is precisely why I prefer gender-neutral terms for any professional position. The name of the position describes the work being done, not specific characteristics of the persons filling those roles. I’ve worked for decades as a journalist. What would you prefer I call myself? Journalista? Why? I’m a journalist. No confusion there. I know who I am, and I certainly don’t prefer to be a bloke. But that’s just me.

    nerys @replies

    @janetteb Back when I was working in hospitality we all objected to the suggestion that we be called by the gender neutral, “waitrons”. naturally we all immediately pretended to be robots. We much preferred the more human sounding waiter and waitress because being identified as female was fine.

    In recent years I’ve heard the gender-neutral term, server, being used to describe wait staff. As far as I know, there’s no such thing as a servette … except for a couple of sports teams Google turned up.

    nerys @replies

    @missy So, what is the difference between an actor and an actress? If the only difference is the sex of the one doing the acting, then it strikes me as a silly distinction. I’m fine with calling them all actresses, as long as everyone gets the same designation. (Though, from a linguistic standpoint, words ending in -er or -or have a sensible constructive meaning.)

    It’s like calling a female singer a songstress. The male equivalent is songster. Going by the definition of what’s actually being done, aren’t they all songsters? Or, really, singers?

    As for Miss vs. Mrs. vs. Ms., truth be told, a “Ms.” could be married or single. It’s the designation that woman chooses. The problem with “Miss” is that unmarried men are not given a similar unmarried title. Men, whether they be married or single, can go by Mr.

    nerys @replies

    @missy Please don’t worry about thanking me. But (being horribly redundant), thank you for thinking of it. Being all over the place is very, very understandable in your circumstances. Blood clots in his lungs? Oh no, that’s serious. I’m sure you are going through unbearable stress right now.

    Oh, and I apologize for my earlier typo. Heartbreaking is the word I was looking for, and meant to type.

    nerys @replies

    I agree with that, @winston. I never understood why female actors had to be called actresses. They’re actors. It seems to me that some terminology became unnecessarily restrictive as women entered those fields. Maybe all firefighters used to be men, but they’re not all men now, so it makes no sense to call them firemen. Language evolves for all sorts of reasons. Inclusivity is one of them. Accuracy is another.

    nerys @replies

    @missy Such hearbreaking news for you and your OH. Prayers that treatment is successful, and complete, hard though it may be. And may the inevitable not happen. Not too soon, anyway. No good way to word that. I know you understand that so many of us are standing by you in this virtual realm. It’s good that your housing is not as huge a worry as it might have been, otherwise.

    nerys @replies

    @ichabod Thank you for that history lesson. I’m old enough to know … but a reminder of the context certainly helps. That awful “PC” backlash has really muddied the waters, to the point where everyone forgets that it’s mostly about trying to put oneself in the other person’s shoes, and imagine how we would feel if we were called (fill in the blank), or wronged in the countless ways that so many outside the mainstream have been. There’s nothing wrong with being reminded of that, but the backlash has caused some to feel they are well within their rights, and they need not concern themselves with what the impact may be.

    nerys @replies

    @pedant My husband and I watched Chernobyl a few weeks ago and were absolutely blown away by it. As @miapatrick noted, they never descended into preachiness. And their portrayals of the effects of radiation on the human body were excruciating to watch … but important to see so that we understand the gravity of the situation. There was so much I didn’t know, including certain actions that had to be taken in the Exclusion Zone (to which I think @miapatrick is referring). I thought I wouldn’t be able to watch, but it was handled sensitively enough that I got through it. But it stayed on my mind long after we were done watching.

    I want to read the book on which the series was based, but it’s not available at our local library, so I’ve put a hold on another book that I’ll read in the meantime. I read an article contrasting the book, and the portrayal of certain scenes. There was some dramatization, which of course we should expect. It’s not a documentary, it’s a drama. But I can understand why they took the departures they did. As the article pointed out, a series about people meekly accepting their fate, without protest or complaint, would not be stimulating viewing. It’s a remarkable window into the Russian world, and is richly deserving of all the praise it’s receiving.

    Oh, and @thane16, I’m sorry I’m only just now seeing your post. Please say hello to your mom for me!

    nerys @replies

    @craig We just started watching Killing Eve last night, and you’re right. It’s superb!

    Not so great has been Star Trek Discovery, which has had a very uneven second season. It’s like the show can’t make up its mind what it is: pure comic book, trying to pay homage to the series’ canon or soap opera. Every time I got my hopes up that finally the series was finding its way, in the next episode everything would fall apart again.

    And then there was last night’s finale. The “show, don’t tell” mantra seems to be lost on these writers. Way, way too many ‘xplosions, way too much ‘xplaining going on. I agree with this review (which ends on a hopeful note; maybe now that they’re done connecting all the dots, they’ll get around to some actual storytelling).

    nerys @replies

    Well, all I can say is that I enjoyed this season. It had its ups and downs, but then I can say that about every season of Doctor Who I’ve watched. Apparently I must not be a proper sci fi fan.

    nerys @replies

    I just watched it again, and now I think it was the right call to save Aaron. As Ryan told him, he’d been running away and hiding for all of Ryan’s life. To have him sacrifice himself at the end would have been, in a way, too simple. Not easy, mind you. But it would have allowed Aaron another escape, of sorts, when now is the time for him to be there, finally, for Ryan.

    Did anyone notice a few Bondian musical cues, along with the “Doctor Who will return” banner at the end? (Maybe the latter is the norm for the Christmas/now New Year’s specials. I can’t recall.)

    nerys @replies

    By the way, who is narrating the beginning of this episode? The voice sounds to me like Aaron’s.

    nerys @replies

    @miapatrick Well … I thought I understood the bit about the Doctor’s and River’s timelines, but now that I’ve read your description, I realize I don’t. And I’m too hopelessly mired in my own linear thinking to understand it, so I won’t even try. Just enjoy their story on its own merits, and leave it at that.

    As for this episode, I actually forgot that we were due for a New Year’s special, and was happily surprised to see a new Doctor Who episode on my DVR! I loved this, and so did my husband (whose fandom goes back to the Tom Baker era). He didn’t even utter his usual, “Oh, for f—‘s sake, not another Dalek episode!” The Dalek reappeared so insidiously that I didn’t even recognize it at first. Once the Dalek was encased, I felt it was the most sinister-looking of all the Dalek designs I have seen.

    I too liked the parallel between the Doctor crafting her own sonic in the season opener, and the Dalek crafting its own case here. The weak point was what others have noted: the pacing of the B storyline about Ryan and Aaron. The story, itself, carried emotional resonance, and it was well acted. It’s just its placement within the A story that seemed to drag things down a bit. But it didn’t bother me to the point where I felt it seriously detracted from the episode.

    The call to the help desk about UNIT made me excited about seeing Kate Lethbridge-Stewart again, so I felt a bit disappointed by that turn of events. But I do understand the need to clear out the “cruft” (love that term)! And the unhelpful help desk attendant gave us a nice bit of comic relief.

    As for the prospect of darker developments, I was certain Aaron was going to sacrifice himself for “the greater good” … a common motif in the Doctor Who canon. Was a dramatic opportunity missed? Or would that have been too predictable? I will need at least one more rewatch before I can decide.

    Now, if Graham had sacrificed himself, in Aaron’s place, I would have been reduced to a bawling, squalling puddle of mush.

    If there was any question about Jodie Whittaker truly owning the role of the Doctor, any doubts were erased here. I never once thought about who was portraying the Doctor. I saw and heard, simply, the Doctor.

    nerys @replies

    @magickirin You will find plenty of folks around here who disagree with your opinion of Peter Capaldi, and also Bill Potts (portrayed with refreshing deftness by Pearl Mackie) … myself included.

    nerys @replies

    @pedant Thank you for sharing that! Lisa Morton makes a very good case for why she was not a Whovian before, but is now. I wholeheartedly agree with her five points.

    nerys @replies

    @ichabod There was a pretty key difference in the two films, and I’m sort of reluctant to discuss it without some sort of spoiler tag (for anyone who hasn’t seen the director’s cut of Blade Runner). If you haven’t seen it, and want to, then don’t venture beyond this point:






    In the original theatrical release with voice-over, there are fewer hints that Deckard is a replicant. I remember watching the voice-over version on HBO, and it never occurred to me that he might be a replicant. But in the director’s cut, it is far more strongly implied that Deckard is a replicant. I agree with @craig that, while the director’s cut is by far the superior version, the voice-over version has a nice film noir texture to it.

    nerys @replies

    @missy According to IMDb, Rachel Talahay directed seven Doctor Who episodes: Dark Water, Death in Heaven, Heaven Sent, Hell Bent, World Enough and Time, The Doctor Falls and Twice Upon a Time.

    nerys @replies

    @magickirin I disagree that Graham has not moved on. Graham is not Clara, who used her travels with the Doctor to avoid dealing with Danny’s death. I think we have seen Graham coming to terms with Grace’s death in a number of ways. He doesn’t avoid thinking or talking about her (for example, in Rosa). And I think what happened in “It Takes You Away” really made him face the fact that she is gone, never to return.

    nerys @replies

    @craig I remember you posting about your wife before. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts about her here. She must have been such a lovely person!

    nerys @replies

    @kevinwho One highlight for me that no one else has mentioned is when the Doctor talked about being a bit more flexible about shooting things and blowing them up. “My rules change” gives more scope for discussion than “guns are bad.”

    Isn’t that always the way? When we first meet and look up to an authority figure, we often take their every word as gospel. Then we come to realize that we must take their rules with a grain of salt!

    nerys @replies

    OK, I watched the episode again tonight, and I was wrong about what happened with the civilizations of the planets held in stasis. The Doctor noted that as soon as the planets were removed from their orbit, it was planetary genocide. And so the people would not have been restored when the Ux returned the planets. The reason the planets had to be returned was because they could not exist in the same space. They would have destroyed the planet they were on. And, because the Doctor noted that she was trying to save the universe, I gather that the universe was at risk, too?

    There did seem to be a lack of recognition, at the end, of all who had died. But my sense was that the Doctor was dealing with the people she was with. She couldn’t change what had happened, but she could give hope to the Ux and the crew members. She urged them to travel hopefully.

    On second viewing, I felt that Graham’s path toward not killing Tim Shaw was very well established. We weren’t beaten over the head with it, but I found it convincing. After all, Graham was a good man to start with. He was temporarily jolted toward revenge because of his unexpected encounter with Tim Shaw. Revenge jumped to the forefront of his mind, and not just because of Grace. That was a nod to all the death and destruction Tim Shaw had wrought, including the planetary genocide. As Graham said, they didn’t get rid of him properly when they had the chance, and look what happened. Kind of like the “Would you kill Hitler if you had the chance?” question.

    My conviction about Graham’s path is due, in no small part, to the acting skills of Bradley Walsh, who shows us so much in his eyes, his facial expressions, his gestures. Words aren’t necessary to get all of it across.

    But talking about acting skills, I really felt that Jodie Whittaker owned the Doctor here. I didn’t feel she was an actor portraying the Doctor, but she really came into her own as the Doctor. This is a path all the actors face, and for me it always takes about this long for them to get it nailed down.

    This season finale ticked off all the right boxes, for me. I felt like this Doctor, and her companions, really hit their stride here. But I also know how subjective this can be, how so much is based on our expectations. And if someone or something we love falls short of those expectations, we can’t help but feel disappointed. I get that. Somehow, for me, this Doctor Who meets my expectations. I can’t explain it any better than that.

    Ryan keeps getting my favourite quotes: “Whatever happened to doors? Don’t aliens believe in doors?”


    nerys @replies

    @idiotsavon Wonderful observations! Thank you for sharing them here. Now I must watch this episode again with your comments in mind.

    nerys @replies

    @thane16 “Are you my mummy?/Everybody lives!” (“The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances”) was the two-parter that got me hooked. And then “Midnight” reeled me in once again. I was so convinced that no one could top Tennant’s Doctor that I avoided watching the Matt Smith era for quite a while. We were channel-flipping one day and came upon an episode (I think it was “The Pandorica Opens”), watched it and quite enjoyed it. So then at some point I binge-watched on Netflix to catch up. Lesson learned. Prejudice deprives us of good stuff!

    nerys @replies

    @bluesqueakpip Most of the Doctors could talk the hind leg off a donkey, but one thing I suddenly realised last night was that they talked about how wonderful they were.

    You are exactly right! Now that I think of it, much of the previous Doctor-babble had to do with the Doctor building himself up in front of an audience. When this Doctor speaks, she is processing information. Not that other Doctors didn’t do this before. And not that this Doctor never builds herself up. But she does seem to be doing a lot less grandstanding than previous Doctors. Interesting observation!

    nerys @replies

    @devilishrobby But then you’ll get someone like my husband who, upon seeing that Daleks are involved, mutters, “Not another (expletive deleted) Daleks episode!” And he’s been watching Doctor Who since the Tom Baker era. So you can’t please everybody. He finds the absence of the Doctor’s usual suspects refreshing.

    And, if the villains aren’t the Daleks or the Cybermen, then is the average fan going to remember them? I’m not talking about the folks here, who know so much more about Doctor Who than I do. I mean the average fan who tunes in once a week to see monsters or aliens, and how the Doctor dispatches them.

    nerys @replies

    @bluesqueakpip So I think that stopping the stasis on Earth was meant to show the effect was entirely reversible (and possibly no one on Earth even noticed what had happened), and then the returned planets were released from stasis. The one second CGI showed an intact looking planet with clouds and a few lights that might be cities – so I think we were meant to think that the planets were all rescued.

    That’s exactly what I thought happened. It wasn’t just about saving Earth, but also about saving all of the planets. But on second thought, I’m not certain that’s what happened, and I agree that it should have been made clearer in the script. Maybe it was in the original script, but in the editing process that explanatory footage fell to the cutting room floor?

    nerys @replies

    I had just got done complaining in another thread about this season being too talky … not enough of the “show, don’t tell” rule of storytelling, and then Chibnall pulls out a balanced script of dialogue with action. I enjoyed it.

    For me, the stakes wouldn’t have felt so high if Earth weren’t next in line to be captured. That’s completely selfish, I know. But I think it’s also the ultimate motivation for the Doctor and her companions. The Doctor clearly considers Earth her favorite planet. There’s a reason she keeps going there and finding companions. So it makes sense that Tim Shaw would have targed Earth in his revenge against the Doctor. That’s a recurring theme throughout Doctor Who, and I would have been surprised if it hadn’t happened in this episode.

    nerys @replies

    @kevinwho Should we start calling this the divisive Chibnall era?

    Reading this discussion, and similar ones elsewhere, I’m amazed at what short memories people have. As has already been pointed out, there’s been no shortage of debate over Doctor Who … certainly not since I started watching (I jumped on board with Chris Eccleston’s debut). Do people really not remember all the complaining about the superb Peter Capaldi being “too old”? And he was Jodi Whittaker’s immediate predecessor. And don’t even get me started on all the whining about Clara being “too Doctor-ish”!

    I think the complaining becomes more pervasive as more and more people vent their spleens on social media, Internet comment boards and the like. So it gives the perception of overall negativity, when the reality may be just that, as always, the complainers complain, and the people who are satisfied keep quiet because they have nothing to complain about. Squeaky wheel, and all.

    nerys @replies

    For me, the little niggle is less that the show has an agenda; as others have noted, it’s always had that. But I have found this season very “talky” … more or less ignoring the “show, don’t tell” rule of storytelling. I rewatched “Midnight” the other night and still find it so satisfying. We viewers are not told all the details, yet we are acutely aware of the tension and growing menace, and we can fill in the blanks with our imagination because of what we are shown. I’m missing that element this season.

    nerys @replies

    @thane16 I apologize for being very late to the party. Happy birthday!

    On another topic (and I hope this is the right place to post it): I find myself in need of a musical balm these days. Just in time, this new Carpenters album has been released. I find myself missing Karen Carpenter all over again. Such a beautiful, timeless voice … now framed by a full orchestra: Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

    nerys @replies

    @miapatrick Thank you for posting that link! Sometimes trolling has its virtues, in that it prompts posts like yours with that link. You said you’ve posted it before, but for whatever reason that’s my first time reading it. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how progressive the times before us have been, and how in reality what is deemed “PC” is often more a matter of “everything old is new again” … necessarily so, since we seem to be in a time of “one step forward, two steps back.”

    nerys @replies

    Sorry, @amdamiri but I disagree. Several posters here have laid out a strong case for how this story follows a classic fairy tale structure. I have learned much over the years from the posters in this group, who spot things I completely miss. I suggest reviewing those posts to see what you can take away from them.

    nerys @replies

    @amdamiri 2-solaris from steven spielberg

    Not Spielberg. Steven Soderbergh directed the 2002 film. There are countless other examples besides the three you named. The story doesn’t have to be an original idea to be engaging. This story drew me in because it’s told in the structure of a fairy tale, and is based on a fairy tale the Doctor was told.

    nerys @replies

    I’d forgotten about Solaris. I’ve only ever seen the 2002 film, which I loved. I subsequently read the book, which I didn’t care for. The book was dry, focusing more on science, less on mystery, and (at least for me) it lacked the emotional resonance of the film, which captured love and loss so perfectly.

    This episode didn’t go all the way down that road, but rather invoked (as @bluesqueakpip so aptly pointed out) fairy tales in their original form, not Disneyfied to make them more sentimental, less frightening.

    nerys @replies

    I enjoyed this episode so much more than last week’s … but I think that’s because I was not bringing my own expectations into this story the way I was the last one. The only thing I would’ve changed is to make Grace the final “barrier” through the Solitract’s looking glass. I felt a bit of dramatic impact was lost there by making it Erik’s wife/Hanne’s mother, Trine. But otherwise, it’s a good’un! And I thought Ellie Wallwork, who played Hanne, was wonderful!

    nerys @replies

    Better on second viewing … yet I still feel like this episode was a missed opportunity. I guess, considering the subject matter, I was hoping for something along the lines of “Midnight” in which the menace to the passengers, and the direct threat to the Doctor, felt very real. This felt too comic book-y for my tastes.

    nerys @replies

    I thought this was the weakest episode this season … which surprised me, given the subject matter. I’d have thought the script would be written to enable Jodie Whittaker to knock it out of the park, dramatically. But it seemed like every time there was menace creeping in, the script undercut it with light banter, and the moment was lost.

    However, reading the other comments in this thread, I must give it a rewatch because I feel like I missed something.

    nerys @replies

    I admit that I prefer standalone episodes to those with long, complex story arcs. (Especially in a series like The X-Files, where the mythology arc got so convoluted that I reached a point where I didn’t care.) It’s not that I don’t like story arcs; I do. But when I am required to know every last detail in order to understand an episode, then I find myself feeling a bit frustrated.

    I was entralled with “Kerblam!” from start to finish and felt it kept a good balance between whimsy and threat. The allusions to Amazon and its ilk were spot-on and disquieting. When Judy Maddox kept checking the system and remarking on who was reported “gone,” I wondered, “OK, how many really are gone?” I thought it would be nearly all the humans … but the story didn’t take it that far … because:

    Once again, the enemy is us.

    The Doctor took the lead, and once again she did it in collaboration with her companions. That’s how I like their relationship to play out. My husband doesn’t remember enough of the Matt Smith era to recall the fez as a trait of his Doctor, so I had to explain that to him. But not knowing that detail didn’t detract from the episode, for him.

    nerys @replies

    Well, some of us Americans think the show is doing just fine now, so please don’t overgeneralize and make it sound like no one in the U.S. or Canada likes this season. I, for one, do!

    nerys @replies

    @cathannabel I agree with @winston in that the 10th Doctor, and also the 11th, apologized … a lot. It was usually in the face of something very bad that the Doctor knew was imminent and couldn’t prevent. It kind of became Tennant’s calling card, and Smith took it up. Capaldi’s Doctor apologized less. So I have felt that Whittaker’s Doctor is simply harking back to that sense of futility and acknowledgment of how little can be done to help, in some situations.

    nerys @replies

    @margaret-blaine You could be right about the bonkerizing. Doctor Who can’t please everyone, and that was the case in Moffat’s era, too. I lost count of the number of complaints I read about his stories being too complex, about how Capaldi wasn’t “my doc” … etc. Part of the fun many of us found with the Moffat era was our endless speculation about this or that detail, a bit like geocaching. Sometimes you find the prize, other times you don’t. But it doesn’t make it any less fun to search.

    Maybe that’s why this season reminds me somewhat of the Russell T. Davies era, which I found to be more character-driven, less focused on bonkers twists and turns in the plot. I enjoy both equally, but for different reasons.

    nerys @replies

    @miapatrick I do understand that this was really a story about two brothers, and the tragic divisions politics and religion can create within families and communities. I didn’t really expect there to be a major focus on this by having additional Sikh characters, but I guess I expected a bit more than a brief mention. Sikhs were equally affected by Partition, and this sort of glosses over that sad reality. But, again, I know that you can’t capture every detail, and it can undermine storytelling to try to shoehorn it all in. So I just have to accept that the Sikhs’ story not really integral to this particular story about Partition.

    nerys @replies

    @missy I understand your comments about Capaldi, and I do miss him. But then, I’ve said that about all the Doctors after their regenerations. It’s not enough to keep me from watching, so I do continue on and am finding a lot to enjoy with the current Doctor and her companions. Not without complaints, mind you … but that’s always been the case.

    @ichabod I think I agree with you on Whittaker’s Doctor. I find her more accessible, somehow, in much the same way I found Tennant’s Doctor more accessible (till his final few episodes, that is).

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    @bluesqueakpip @juniperfish Just to be clear: Even though it’s natural for us to want the Doctor and/or Yaz to rush back to save Prem, I knew it wasn’t possible, and so I didn’t really yearn for it. The Doctor established that changing this outcome might very well erase Yaz’s existence, and of course I don’t want that. But I thought, despite her inability to save Prem, Yaz would still look back, if nothing else to bear witness to what caused her grandmother so much pain. Though I do understand your observation that maybe that’s the only way they could walk away. Good point.

    @miapatrick Thanks for that reminder, re: the mention of the Sikhs; I need to rewatch the episode! And yes, I knew that the story couldn’t cover all possible angles. It just seemed like an omission … though obviously not a complete omission. Like I said, I need to watch this one again!

    I too wondered about whether the modern dress, especially for the women, would have been scrutinized. So it’s good to read others’ comments about this. I also wondered if, just as the TARDIS has a universal translator, might it also have a universal wardrobe cloaking device, something like a hologram? I don’t think that’s in the series canon, but the thought occurred to me.

    nerys @replies

    This is an interesting conversation, re: who is the most “alien” of all the Doctors. I’m most familiar with the post-gap Doctors, so for me it goes like this:

    Chris Eccleston convinced me of his alien-ness. I found him to be a believable in his portrayal of an alien needing companionship and trying (but not always succeeding) to understand and bond with humans.

    David Tennant was, for me, the most accessible of all the Doctors. Or at least he was until he got near the end of his tenure. Then he took a sharp, dark turn.

    Matt Smith convinced me of how ancient the Doctor is. The compelling element of his performance was the youth of his exterior, contrasted with the ages upon ages of experience reflected in his eyes.

    Peter Capaldi was an enigma to me, yet I loved him. Being an introvert, myself, I appreciate the comments others have made about why, on occasion, his Doctor could be so snarky and unapproachable. Does that make him more alien? I guess it depends on how we define it. If “alien” is more about the barriers that go up, preventing empathy, then that makes sense to me. But, because it’s something I understand so well, it becomes the opposite of alien and is more of a human trait. Yet, if we’re supposed to be highly social creatures … the pendulum swings back to “alien” again.

    Based on what I’ve seen so far, Jodie Whittaker reminds me of David Tennant’s Doctor (but without the Rose angst). We’re in early days yet, so I think there is much character development yet to come. The Doctor and her companions are still bonding. Given what many suspect will happen with Graham, if it happens, the ramifications for this Doctor should be significant.

    nerys @replies

    Overall, I thought this was a wonderful episode. However, I thought there were a couple of missed opportunities:

    I know there was a need to simplify a very complex subject, the partition of India. And there was a need to dramatize the two opposing points of view. However, I was surprised that (at least as far as I can recall) there was no mention of the Sikhs, only Hindus and Muslims. (I’m currently reading Arundhati Roy’s The Secret of Utmost Happiness, so of course this is foremost on my mind right now).

    I also felt there was a dramatic missed opportunity. While the Doctor and her companions are walking away, I thought that Yaz should have turned back to witness what happened to Prem. And I can’t imagine, in that circumstance, that Yaz would not have looked back. It didn’t mean that we in the audience had to see it. The expression of horror on her face would have told us everything. As it was, I felt the pain of that moment was muted somewhat.

    Having said all that, I think Vinay Patel did an extraordinary job with this subject matter. The young Umbreen was somehow not as compelling to me as I would have expected. There were moments when I felt her language was too “modern” to be believed, and it was a bit distracting. But the actor who played Prem (Shane Zaza) was riveting. He and Yaz’s current-day grandmother really made the episode, at least for me.

    And, once again, the “demons” are not the aliens, but humans. We are our own worst enemy yet again. Who needs to protect Earth from aliens, when its inhabitants are so clearly bent on destroying one another?

    I’m still waiting for the dramatic resonance that I’m certain Jodie Whittaker can deliver. She’s coming close, but for me is just not quite there yet. Still, I must admit that I have felt that way about most of the Doctors early on in their tenure. It takes time for the actors and the writers to coalesce. So I feel certain it will happen again.

    Question: I need to review past episodes from this season, but is the closing credits music always different from the opening Doctor Who theme? Segin Akinola’s closing piece was exquisite.

    nerys @replies

    @mudlark Fair enough. I certainly understand that point of view. But for me, it isn’t a prerequisite for Doctor Who.

    nerys @replies

    @chiana I had the same feeling about Matt Smith, to the point where I avoided watching Doctor Who for quite some time after he started. It was only when we happened upon a repeat and watched it that I realized he was quite convincing as the Doctor, and every bit as good as Tennant, just different.

    In fact, I loved Chris Eccleston, too. But because he had only one season, it didn’t seem like such a major transition to Tennant. Truth be told, I thought Tennant got off to a slow start. But once he got going, he was great.

    Jodie Whittaker won me over within minutes. But I also realize this is very subjective, and not everyone is going to react the same. I quite enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, but lost count of the number of people who posted (mainly on other sites) that he just wasn’t the Doctor, for them. Different strokes, and all!

    I do hope, as others have observed, we start getting some episodes that feel like the Doctor and her companions are facing more of a serious menace. Fingers crossed that that’s yet to come.

    nerys @replies

    @mudlark I was saying something similar to my husband, that re-watching these episodes isn’t mandatory. And, in a way, it’s a relief. As much as I loved Moffat’s writing, I sometimes got a bit tired of having to first watch an episode, just to get a sense of it, and then re-watch it multiple times in order to understand it. Needing to meet that challenge occasionally is fine, but every week?

    Of course, that may be more a commentary on my literal thinking than on Moffat’s writing.

    nerys @replies

    @chiana … but I am getting a bit tired of the sonic screwdriver pose with the big arm swing!

    Why more so with Jodie Whittaker than with any of her predecessors? They’ve all shown a flair for swinging out the sonic screwdriver and striking a dramatic pose.

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