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    Time Lord


    At 41! I popped in to share the link myself, after I put a short comment about his encouragement over the years.

    Hope everyone else is fine. Sorry I haven’t been around but .. it’s a long story.

    Best regards.

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    Time Lord

    @jimthefish @jannetteb @blenkinsopthebrave

    The novelisation of Day of the Doctor is an absolute joy. Other books in the range by Russell ‘the’ Davies (a nod to ‘fiveish doctors’ there) and Paul Cornell all seemed to try to go for the Terrance Dicks approach (and why not). Day of the Doctor has a clear authorial voice – if you’ve listened to Moffat speaking, you almost hear him reading it to you. It’s incredibly barmy and all the better for it. The three way narrative between the Doctors as they are transported to the Tower is a thing of beauty. A writer writing for the format (because you can’t do that stuff on TV).

    We actually formed just after the Snowmen in Series 7, believe if or not. Check out that thread and you’ll see us all staggering into the light. All praise our saviour @craig.

    @bluesqueakpip @jimthefish

    We’ve missed a few episodes, mainly the early RTD and Moffat years. We covered a lot in the RTD and Moffat retrospectives, but we haven’t covered episodes like Father’s Day, School Reunion and about 12 – 15 others.

    If we are in need, the ‘best of the rest’ could be an option?

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    Time Lord

    Well, I’m settled down in the Lakes (our nearest neighbour is half a mile away – and she’s a sheep) with a small, but still medically inadvisable glass of wine, and enjoying the shit out of this.

    It brings back a lot of warm memories.

    Just to note Moffat has temporarily rejoined Twitter and is posting a Twitter commentary which is quite nice of him. It’s typically very funny.

    Other thoughts (including from other people involved) can be found on the #savetheday hashtag (you don’t need to join Twitter to follow these threads).

    I’d love to post a running commentary myself, but a bit knackered after a long trip. See you later!

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    Time Lord

    I hope everyone is well and safe. Best wishes to @bluesqueakpip – hope you have a speedy recovery.

    I disappeared after the finale because the Coronavirus issue led to some emergency work with a couple of utility clients about emergency preparedness. It’s actually been a sobering experience looking at the reaction to this. I apologise to @rob if he was expecting me or anyone else. I’m in the same boat @rob – projects cancelled left and right. I’ll finish the work I have tomorrow and then I think I’m heading to our country retreat in the Lakes (not nearly as impressive as it sounds, but isolated.)

    Hopefully I can use this time to write a Chibnall blog (sorry for the delay @jimthefish ) and contribute a bit more. I’ve taken @blenkinsopthebrave s recommendation for Picard, but only watched two so far. I’m impressed, but hope to have a bit more to say when I’ve caught up.

    Also up for Penny dreadful.

    I’ll leave you for the moment with sound advice from Mitchell and Webb (aka the robots from Dinosaurs on a Spaceship).

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    Time Lord


    While I take your points and believe you can rationalise these choices of dialogue either way I think my main point is still that when you go down the path that this seems to be going, you have to be very trope aware so you don’t fall into those narrarive traps.

    The above article from @jimthefish is a good exploration of how Moffat played with tropes and audience expectations. He often didn’t land a story in the way a media literate audience suspected.

    Chibnall, on the other hand just seems oblivious to their existence. There was a bit of ‘high fiving’ after “Can you hear me?” aired because a gay couple had lived. This was said to be a ‘corrective’ to Chibnall having fallen into the ‘bury the gay’ trope last season.

    I think part of the problem he faces is that when his production proudly announced it was more diverse than ever and tackle the sort of issues it has, then it will attract audiences who are invested in those issues, and their core experience/knowledge may be better than his own.

    The kind of ‘on the nose’ writing and trope unawareness leads to what I’d consider pretty considered progressive commenters like Council of Geeks or Elizabeth Sandifer criticising the overall approach. He therefore has a problem with the unreconstructed knuckle draggers and some of the people he hoped to appeal to.

    I may be wrong but I think I’m more inclined to think that Chibnall is more likely than not to write The Timeless Child and hit those Ubermensch (or Uberdammen) tropes with depressing regularity.

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    Time Lord


    That is an excellent read Jim (it popped up in my Google recommend feed this afternoon) and I’d recommend it to everyone.

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    Time Lord


    I hope the next series makes it clear that the reason the Doctor is so different, personality-wise, to most other Time Lords is not because she’s the Timeless Child, but because she’s the Doctor. I don’t think it would send a very good message to the audience if the only reason she decided to escape from being a puppet to the Time Lords and instead devote her life to exploration and kindness is because she comes from a different species

    Thing is – from exposure to the two “types” of storytelling, the are completely divorced. I referenced Robert Holmes earlier and (not to start any arguments again here) he did more to advance this idea that the Doctor, by Gallifrean standards was a bit of a schlub. Mediocre. Possibly mad, but charming and inventive. It was carried forward by the Williams era.

    I think that is a major reason why Tom Bakers Doctor was a success. Other Doctors had been unconventional but the combination of him and scriptwriters almost weapononised the unconventional. And if you were considered odd as a kid, you gravitated to him. Elizabeth Sandifer in her blog asked why Doctor Who had never actually engaged with the punk era, as Pertwee had engaged with the iconography of the glam period. Baker was already a punk before punk started. His oddness and aversion to ‘the system’ was his superpower.

    Later writers started to construct more ever elaborate origins about the character. The ‘Cartmel Masterplan’, The ‘Leakley’ backstory for the Eighth Doctor movie. ‘Time’s Champion’. All wanting to make the Doctor the most special of special people. And once you do that, you keep having to remind people of that, with some unfortunate results occasionally. The later NA books fell into the trap. In my entry on them in the Faces of the Doctor for the seventh I noted the more the books developed the more remote they became from the core of the series. In my (hopefully humerous) post on summation of Gallifrey we had a discussion in which I suggested it was better to have a role model that rebelled against an oppressive and unjust society than one who was basically a reborn god. You can’t aspire to be a god successfully.

    And this is why I loathe the new reality. You need those reminders. So the Doctor confronts the Master and tells him she is better than him.

    Is it because she has a better moral code? Is it because that she realises they aren’t animals? Is it because she isn’t a giggling psychopath driven mad by the sound of drums? Is it because she’s kind? That where she stands is where she falls? Without witness or reward?

    No, she tells him she’s filled with a multitude. Her genetic inheritance. Her DNA is better than the Master’s.

    There is a lot to explore in that idea. None of it leading anywhere pleasant. The Doctor, under this tone deaf scriptwriter, would surely make a great Dalek.

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    Time Lord


    You forgot to include the terms “SJW” and “woke”. Otherwise, a fine effort. Or, in real money, completely desperate.

    A good evening to you.

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    Time Lord


    Let’s be clear here, because I think one of us needs to take a break from internet comment.

    I went with you though your displeasure with the Capaldi era. I don’t think I hectored you or even tried to change your mind. I think I was the first person to highlight the unDoctorly behaviour of Capaldi in S10. But I gave you, I hope, the space to voice your criticism. Please allow others the same courtesy.

    I think I’m coming to the end of my comments on the series. There is something sad about a fifty year old lamenting the present isn’t as good was the past. Even if the past was was four years ago. I am going to stick it to Chibnall in a final post though. Just because I think I’ve invested so much in the show from boy to Man I at least deserve to set our my case.

    You won’t approve so don’t read. Good advice for your blood pressure. I think I’m going with “He’s a Chinball Wizard, there has to be a twist” as a headline.

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    Time Lord

    Quick question.

    If regenerative ability is down to the special ability of the Timeless Child, and therefore not exposure to the Time Vortex as has been established previously then how do we think that Amy got that extra bit of “Doctor juice” to create baby Melody? Perhaps it really was a ‘Big Bang’!

    Of course that would mean that that … Oh no. Euuww. Seriously, Eeuuuwww!

    The ramifications of this are going to be so funny as people unpick them!

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    Time Lord

    And no apologies for misattriubution of comments. Does this demand a recount. Did we reach quorum!? We need answers!

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    Time Lord

    And no apologies for misattriubution of comments. Does this demand a recount. Did we reach quorum!? We need answers!

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    Time Lord

    I knew it was my first post that drew your ire @bluesqueakpip. The response spoke volumes.

    But ‘I repeat’ this is as cynical a fanwank as you are likely to experience.

    I’ve explained my reasons. Your response is pretty poor. I think that the obfuscation and misattriubution paints a picture. And then colours it in.

    Go at it.I have no grist to grind here. You enjoyed the story. Well done!

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    Time Lord


    But I suppose my main point is that I’m developing a deep suspicion that had the Holmes/Hinchcliffe/Nation plot points been broadcast under the name ‘Chris Chibnall’, you would even now be telling me how awful they are.

    Well that’s a rather lame attempt to paint me as a ‘bowelstreak’ type naysayer, isn’t it? Especially when coupled with:

    I think you and @phaseshift keep saying this retcon is pointless and forgetting that it’s a re-retcon.

    Because I’ve carefully reread what I actually wrote and I have never suggested it is pointless. I asked what other people thought the point was. I suppose I should say that I’m developing a deep suspicion that you’re too invested in defending some pretty suspect writing to meaningfully debate these points without resorting to the above tactics.

    So let’s cut to the chase. There could be a little bit of ego going on here as @blenkinsopthebrave suggested. It’s not likely though. BBC brand management have to OK most ideas that could fundmentally alter the character or even discuss his early life (Moffat revealed convincing them that he wasn’t going to name the Doctor in Name of the Doctor was fairly tortuous). No – this is something the BBC wants.

    Chris Chibnall is about as interested in resolving barely remembered continuity issues as I am. And I remind everyone here that I have long expressed the opinion that Doctor Who doesn’t have a canon, more something like a mythos. Having a pretty good grasp of Who stories (my wife would opine “an embarrassingly encyclopedic knowledge bordering on ****ing scary”) I could point out that the story not only retcons the Doctors history, but the outcome of he Cyberwars themselves (see Revenge of the Cybermen, Ark in Space and the various stories about the mass exodus from solar storms for more information). But what the hell.

    I’m sure @jimthefish is right in that the choice of a young female POC to play the original Timeless Child was meant to goad the few NMDs that are still watching. I treat it in the same way I treated RTDs efforts to goad religious people with his “the Doctor is like Jesus, but cooler” moments. The alternative is that Chibnall is actually an inept corporate SJW who thinks that having the original Doctor as a young female POC neutralises all those accusations that Who was sexist and racist in the old days. A bit like the idiots who thought Sulu should be gay in the new Star Trek films to address ‘inclusivity’ issues, and ‘honour’ George Takei. An actor who promptly gave them a well deserved kicking over it.

    No – I think the real reason is the future. Some may remember the David Yates film argy-bargy? You know – David Yates (of Harry Potter film fame) has secret talks with BBC Worldwide. Announces development of film. Moffat suggests ‘over my dead body’, embarrassing wikileaks emails between Sony and the BBC emerge. If you don’t know about it look it up. It’s very entertaining. The final BBC email suggested the next showrunner would be much more amenable. Talks resumed in earnest last year. Interest in casting a female Doctor, but not JW.

    So – not really the future, more the past. This move gives an almost infinite possibility of franchising, movies, audio, comics. “Don’t pay for likenesses of people who made the show what it is – make your own Doctor!” “Hey – have a Doctor per movie if that’s what you want!”. All without raising expectations that a famous film star must eventually become a Doctor on TV because they were future versions. “No mate”, says the BBC “She/He was pre-Hartnell”.

    As I said. It’s a retcon that draws on fanwank. It’s entirely cynical. Designed to sell more content. Franchising. ‘The Doctor Who Universe(TM)’. Welcome to the future. Its set in the past.

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    Time Lord

    I respect your opinion @bluesqueakpip , but also note that your response is an inelegant method of not answering my main point. What’s the reason for the Timeless Child retcon?

    Holmes wanted to eventually write a high stakes story about the ‘death’ of the Doctor and seeded these ideas that would feed into it and establish those high stakes. Establishing the situation is good writing, yes? Unfortunately (or fortunately for you perhaps) the response from the Viewers and Listeners Association to Deadly Assassin saw Hinchcliffe and Holmes having to step down from their roles. It never came to pass. These things happen. The decision to use behind the scenes people was Hinchcliffe, because it was cheaper than hiring actors.

    I do feel though that it is hugely ironic that a scene that was intended to establish that the Doctor had limits to his regenerative ability is now used in a huge retcon to establish the Doctor is immortal with no limits.

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    Time Lord

    Well, what can I say? …

    That was as cynical a bit of fanwank as you are likely to experience. A “story” that the legendary Craig Hinton (the undisputed ‘King of Fanwank’ in Doctor Who novels) would have cried at not being able to write.

    Don’t get me wrong – I love a good rewrite of history. As a Doctor Who fan of old you come to appreciate when its done well. It helps when you understand the underlying reason for it though. I’m pretty sure most of us understand why ‘The War Doctor’ exists. You can argue that the role could have been taken by Eight (and many have) but as someone who was invested in his audios, I wouldn’t agree.

    As it’s been mentioned a lot in conjunction with this episode (with a call out) let’s consider ‘Brain of Morbius’. As a ‘Retcon’ it sought to overwrite the Hartnell Doctor being the ‘first’ (as defined by the Timelords in the Three Doctors). A number of behind the scenes people appeared as previous Doctors and\or Morbius’.

    What was the reason? Well – Robert Holmes, the script editor (and one of the past Doctor\Morbius) convinced producer Philip Hinchcliffe (also one of the past Doctor\Morbius) that this regeneration lark actually robbed the show of what little jeopardy it had. If the Doctor could regenerate endlessly then what was there to fear? Where was the jeopardy for the Doctor?

    And so they first established that Tom may not be the fourth Doctor in Brain of Morbius, and then later introduced the 13 lives rule in Deadly Assassin. The last one stuck, but the idea that Tom Baker could be the 10th,11th or (aarrghh) 13th Doctor never did. Interesting.

    To be frank, the above examples are people who considered story telling on a much deeper level than Chris Chibnall who is a mediocre mind with a small gift for self selling.

    So – tell me viewers & listeners? If every retcon is done for a reason, then what is the reason for this one? I’ll give my solutions to this conundrum later. I’d be interested to hear yours.

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    Time Lord

    Oh dear… Bored now.

    Take it by PM to Craig. As I suggested. A good while ago. You remember?

    Any further additions will be DELETED. To allow the rest of the Forum to get on with enjoying themselves.

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    Time Lord

    Fair enough – get what you want from the site. It should be a place like that. I think that was the intention.

    Have a good time.

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    Time Lord


    I think most forum users here are experienced enough to see:

    1. You started this chain of events
    2. You’ve tried to propogate the argument to stupid lengths
    3. Your grandstanding is embarrassing, even towards the lurkers who just want a bit of argy-bargy

    If you want to have a laugh and and a joke, talk Who and post a couple of choona go at it. You can easily ignore me.

    But your responses indicate you want something more. So make a complaint to Craig and keep it off the forum. I always encourage complaints. Especially when the reasons are as obvious as this one. 😉

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    Time Lord


    Part of me wonders if Chibnall likes wearing hair shirts. His younger self accused Pip & Jane Baker of producing a story based on the Doctor & companion running down a corridor. For his first Who episode in “42” that’s essentially what he has Martha doing.


    All of which leads me to ask: are we witnessing the John Nathan-Turner years of AG Who?

    And you’ve just called it basically. I’ve been working up to it, but when I suggested I was going to work a blog on s11 into the mix, this was going to be my lead proposition. Is Chibnall the new JNT? Because there are some striking parallels when you look at the history.

    As a wise Cylon once said “All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again”.

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    Time Lord


    I don’t know if the Doctor himself knows how to travel the timelines. Poßibly just the TARDIS operating in 11 dimensions can work it. The only time I can think that the Doctor did it (other than Pyramids of Mars, where it was inevitable) is the implied reunion between 11 and Amelia at the end of Angels take Manhattan. Amy and Rory seem to have memories of two different timelines, and the Doctor traveling back to tell the young Amelia what she can expect is possibly a third?

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    Time Lord

    What a great track! I am blessed!

    I did get MrsP to help me (with my arthritis) and she loved it too!

    Wishing you the best xxx

    Thanks for bringing so much joy into our lives!

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    Time Lord


    ..And yet you initiated this exchange and continue to do so. How very pedantic sorry pedestrian of you? All I want is for you to enjoy your time by conversing with like minded people. I’m guessing that’s not what you want is it?

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    Time Lord


    You….almost died…?!

    Break out the tambourines MrsP and let us praise the Lord!!

    (You started this newbie – as you say, get over yourself, deal with whatever inner demons you have 😉 )

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    Time Lord

    With discussions of alternative timelines and a certain cognitive dissonance required to watch the upbeat Doctor 13 takle climate change then what can I do?

    Well, this guy Bill McClintock could help. He’s a You Tube remixer of some repute.

    His channel is seriously funny if you have a bit of knowledge about rock/metal.
    His mashup of slayer & Katrina and the waves is cognitive dissonance personified

    But,the featured track is pure brilliance. River said the Doctor got Stevie Wonder to play at the frost fairs get her birthday. I’d like to think that in a Aborted timeline this actually happened!

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    Time Lord

    My dear @peacefrog, I didn’t realise you had such talent!

    To pick up on the everyday finger fumble by the arthritic trying to use a touchpad! Lawks alordy! Trances \=\ Frances.

    God bless you! Your parents must be so proud!! I’ll show MrsP your post tomorrow. She. Will. Be . ASTOUNDED!!!

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    Time Lord


    While I’m sniggering I’ll just point out I may have arrived at a (admittedly poor) reason for last week’s mindwipe.

    The first Mindwipe was completed by the Timelords on Jamie & Zoe. If we are looking at the lies of Timelords then the memory wipe will do. Could be a reminder the TLs do have this power and the Doctor\Master may have experienced it. To forget ‘The Timeless Child” (or whatever).

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    Time Lord


    I did mean to post a response to your question earlier, but things happen.

    In the BG episodes the mindwipe never happened. Well, once, but in a different way. And is wasn’t the Doctor who performed it.

    When we finally meet the Timelords at the end of Patrick Troughtons’s run (The War Games), they mindwipe Jamie and Zoe (the companions) but leave them with the memories of their original encounter with the Doctor. They remove all the knowledge and experience they have accumulated since though.

    It didn’t happen after that. Oh, the Doctor did have mental powers to be sure, but it was mostly healing\putting people into Frances.

    Spin forward to the AG years and it’s one Steven Moffat who brings the mind powers back. In The girl and the fireplace The Doctor and Madame de Pompadour have, essentially, consentual mind sex (I’m pretty sure that’s how Moffat felt about it anyway).

    Spin forward again and you have Donna. Poor woman. I’m always reminded of that line in The Doctor, The Widow & The warbrobe “THINK OF THE VISUAL”. Because the Doctor bearing down on Donna while she’s saying “no, no” isn’t the greatest visual is it?

    And then you have the corrective. In Hell Bent Clara demands the Doctor respect her and her memories. She refuses the mindwipe. With Bill she asks “how would you feel if someone did this to you”.

    Consider Adam in Chris Ecclestons first series. Modern guy, degrees out of his ass, used to tinkering with alien tech. went to the future, sought to profit from it. The Doctor left him on Earth after deleting his download but with his memory (and future headtech implant) complete.

    Consider the Doctor took HG Wells (as @jimthefish has pointed out) to a future on a different planet (Timelash -don’t watch it, it’s awful). It inspired him to write the Time Machine. Consider that the Doctor took Vincent van Gogh to see his future legacy, but it didn’t help.

    Consider that Ada could not comprehend the words “dimensional” and “portal” together. As much as Ada was a genius for her time, she was not a chemist, physicist or electrical engineer. Looking at or even working with a modern computing device would have been like magic. There is a reason it’s taken us so long to get here. It’s all those little steps, like how to purify a mix of ammonium fluoride/hydrofluoric acid to contain less than 5 ppb Sodium to etch (via photomasking) a circuit base on a silicon wafer. That’s how we do it people! Well, since about 1996 when the ultrapure chemicals could be made.

    And I always prefer my Who to be inspirational rather than regressive. I think her experience should have been positive because she was a good character. More HG Wells than ‘mind rapey’.

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    @badwolfalice @ollie14

    Just on the timelines question, yes there is a lot of history here. They are distinct from Alternate Universes in that they exist within our universe as possibilities and can be accessed only by time travel. From one starting point a myriad of possibilities are possible and the Time Lords used to monitor them all looking for danger points. An alternative Universe started the same as ours and was essentially the same until one event was different, and significant enough to fundamentally change its overall range of possibilities.

    The idea that timelines are essentially a ‘new universe’ that is created by a decision (turn left/turn right) doesn’t really work because you need an awful lot of energy to create a Universe.

    Essentially though, 50 odd years of basic scientific understanding has led to the point where ‘it’s Timey Wimey is a catch all’.

    I wrote a blog to try to illustrate a couple of points. I may have confused matters even further.

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    Time Lord


    I’ve seen Tim Minchen a few times. The last time was a few months ago. For a 50th Birthday treat we spent a week in Cardiff, with his gig being the cornerstone of the trip. Highly recommended to everyone.

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    Time Lord

    Just to say (if you don’t know) an Orphan planet is a real term for a planet that doesn’t orbit a star and usually adopts an eccentric orbit around galactic central point. They are thought to begin life around stars until something catestrophic occurs (supernova, encounter with a neutron star / black hole, etc). They are thought to be quite common.

    Don’t know why they adopted the term for a planet its inhabitants have defecated on repeatedly, but there you go.

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    Time Lord

    I actually watched this on Monday night, and then spent a while thinking how I could engage meaningfully with this episode. Then I come in and see so many of you have given it a thorough kicking, and I needn’t have worried. 😉 And @whisht deserves a good star for that post. Marvellous!

    And @bluesqueakpip is on the money here. I don’t mind made up science in normal Hurley burley of sci-fi and sci-fantasy. I think when you address a real world current issue where the truthfulness of the science is questioned constantly, you are honour bound to get the basic science right. This did a lamentable job.

    I’m still trying to get my head around how Chibnallls writing team works, beyond the general description of ‘we kind of have a writer’s room’. Has anyone come across an extra or interview where he outlines the process? Because this did not seem to be the same writer as ‘It takes you away’. It was more like a Chibnall script. ‘It takes you away’ was script edited by the writer of next weeks episode, so it will be interesting to compare the two.

    Overall though this left me cold and just reminded me of some of the low points of series 11. Workmanlike direction, stodgy dialogue followed by an extremely ‘on the nose’ message that’s just probably going to piss off people who support change rather than actually change hearts and minds.

    I did enjoy the comedy of the virus manifesting.

    Recycling is good for the environment!

    @juniperfish called ‘Planet of the Apes’ and @rorysmith called ‘The Time Machine’. Good observations, but no one called the most obvious reference for Doctor Who.

    And you are all forgiven! Because in the first parts of the Sixth Doctor adventure Trial of a Timelord (The part generally known as ‘The Mysterious Planet’) The Doctor and Peri arrive on a world light years from Earth and discover through means of signage of London Underground, that this is actually Earth relocated! Extraordinary!

    Raiders of the lost arc!

    After Lenny Henry killed his mum last week we have a Daughter-mum grudge match. Dysfunctional families as a recurring thing?

    I mention ‘The Mysterious Planet’/’Trial of a Timelord’ (a story so bad it finished of legendary writer Robert Holmes) because it transpired it was the Timelords plot to move the Earth and pin the blame on the Doctor. If we have an arc about the basis of Timelord lies and make reference to a story where they actually lied, that may make sense. I’m kidding myself aren’t I?


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    Great to “see” you again.! 😉

    As soon as I watched spyfall PT 2 that minor exchange from Hell Bent came straight back to me. Made me realise how I missed a lot of insight by contributors on here.

    Pretty much agree with everything you say here, but to be charitable to Chibnall, I think the fate of Solomon was requested by Moffat. It dovetails into A town called Mercy and the question of the Doctors morality when not anchored by his friends.

    If @miapatrick, @juniperfish and yourself are up for a rewatch of Penny Dreadful, perhaps we can entice others in as well. It’s something that could be enjoyable, perhaps when this series of Who ends?

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    While I think they did leave the ending ambiguous, I have a feeling this may be a one – shot like Jekyll (The BBC commissioned it while RTD was in charge because they wanted to see if he could deliver a project like that and take charge of Doctor Who).

    I’ve seen all of Penny Dreadful and I think once it settled down it became a stonking piece of TV. My original comment (which compared it to Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) is here. If you type Penny dreadful into the search bar, you’ll see a fair few references by others. @miapatrick was an early adopter as well.

    I didn’t get to say that series 3 Episode 4 “A blade of grass” that featured Eva Green in the mental institute confronting Dracula and Satan was one of the highlights of that years TV. It features Eva and Rory Kinnear in a two hander the year after Heaven Sent. Both bits of incredible TV.

    I’m a bit suspicious of the mindwipe coming back. Moffat was slightly ahead of the #metoo curve and the issue of consent. I do think that for someone who has positioned themselves as progressive, Chibnall can be a bit tone deaf on certain points. We’ll see how it goes.

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    Like your style. I will attribute you and other contributers with these and any further observations in my retirement project – A Book entitled “Steven Moffat and his BBC projects – What the hell was going on there?!”. The truth is in here. 😉

    I was quite surprised by the relatively minor part played by Mina, but I think the Lucy part is a lot more complicated. Her letters, in the book, seem to extole the virtues of the men in her life a lot. They’re much better at everything than she is, etc. Very conformist Victorian.

    I think I’m still grappling with her depiction because it is so different. Obviously she and Dracula are Mirrors. When Dracula looks in the mirror he sees horror. When she (burnt) looks in the mirror she sees beauty. Perhaps self image is the key. What I think is clear is that she is a Clara – she’s reckless and drawn to danger. What I find also interesting is that, like Clara there is a distinct emphasis on “consent” in her outcome.

    My recent comment on the reapperance of the mind-wipe in Skyfall had everything to do with consent. When Donna was mindwipped in S4 there were serious points made in other places that this amounted to (if you’ll pardon the expression) ‘mind rape’. When we got to Hell Bent I think Jimthefish and I may have read those same conversations because he and I suggested that it was a necessary corrective. Clara argued for her memories to remain intact. Her choice, her consent. Similarly I think the novel and many previous adaptions the fate of Lucy in presented as an invasion. I can’t think of any other adaption where Lucy made the choice and gave consent.

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    Time Lord

    @fatmaninabox @miapatrick @juniperfish @mudlark

    Yeah, Dracula was a rare treat. You’ve already covered many points I had in my notes, but thanks for the reference to the barmaid in the Rose & Crown. Completely missed that on first watch!

    I just thought it was constructed brilliantly. I just wanted to point out that the most controversial point for many – the relocation to the present day, was actually in the spirit of the Stoker novel, but it’s easy to miss as it’s considered a “period” piece these days. From the authors point of view he was relocating a medieval vampire who lived a medieval life style to “contemporary” England. It’s Dracula’s desire to see the ‘new world’ that informs the book and this adaption. The book makes reference to phonograph, telegraph and Van Helsing tries to save Lucy with a blood transfusion (some years before it became a standard practice). Truly a land of miracles! I liked the update with Dracula eulogising the modern household.

    I have a special fondness for the second episode. There has been a film project in “development hell” for a couple of decades now called “The last voyage of the Demeter”. I have a feeling an actual film might disappoint after this. Well produced with lovely cinematography for a TV budget.

    Claus Bang was great as Dracula but was overshadowed by Holly Wells as Sister Agatha. She’s actually the daughter of John Wells – actor, comedian and satirical writer, and a man who’s last TV role was in the Steven Moffat comedy ‘Chalk’ (he played the School Headmaster, Richard Nixon). I must admit, watching this made me wonder what she’d be like as The Doctor with Moffat scripts behind her.

    Which is to say that Dracula and Sherlock seem to be companion projects to Doctor Who in many ways. I’ve expounded on this for Sherlock in the past, but suddenly we have a female Doctor and Van Helsing (in a very Doctor-like role). The relationships intrigue me.

    I was given a DVD of Moffat’s “Jekyll” for Christmas (I’d been looking for it for a while). Its been years since I saw it so I’m hoping to refresh myself and see if any further parallels can be drawn.

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    I have to agree with @craig , @mudlark and others when they suggest this is an improvement on Series 11. To be upfront I didn’t get much from the last series and special at all, and I may write a blog about it sometime rather than going episode by episode.

    This had pace (almost frenetic compared to series 11) and I thought the direction and camera work was much more dynamic than last year (which would have really benefitted from an initial carryover of Directors from SMs last year I think).



    but it left me kind of cold, sadly

    This really. And it was the recycling in this episode that really stopped me getting into it and grading it higher.

    We have the the Master blowing up a plane mid air (ah, Missy in Death in heaven), the Doctor communicating to someone from the past via video recording (how could we forget blink) the gang being set up and taunted by the bad guy while pursued through contemporary London ( done better or worse in last of the Timelords do we think?)

    Add in remote controlled cars with killer satnav (did no-one learn from ATMOS!) Gallifrey being burned again and even a returning joke from Curse of Fatal Death (at least the Master didn’t have to crawl through sewers this time) and yeah, this just left me disconnected.

    It’s a pretty piecemeal approach to developing a story. Now that’s what I call Doctor Who volume 2020 (the RTD and SM years, resampled and remixed).

    To someone not overly familiar with the recent past, or a younger viewer I guess this wouldn’t be an issue. But we live in a modern world of binge watching and catch-up.

    I can’t help but think that, to someone like that, this density of recycling may make the episode seem a bit tired. And confused, because I think the return of the mindwipe was a big mistake. To a binge watcher we are only a series away from the Doctor getting his memory of Clara back and Bill’s “how would you feel if someone did this to you”. People see future technology all the time in Doctor who. Bringing the memory wipe back seemed like just a call out to Donna, ignoring the fact that she was dying and Ada… Wasn’t.

    Ten points from Hufflepuff, Chibnall.

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    @bluesqueakpip @mudlark

    Thanks for the well wishes. Not there quite yet, health-wise but an end is at least in sight.

    Look forward to reading your thoughts on Dracula, there is a small discussion on the TV thread which I’m going to contribute to at the weekend. I’d also be interested to hear what you think of Star Trek Disco @bluesqueakpip. I’ve seen both series, so no spoilers. 😉

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    I’d like to apologize to all members for my absence. Dysfunctional kidneys seems a poor response, but there you go. I hope to touch on why I think Chibnallls first series is small “c” conservative, Dracula is brilliant, and why Worzel Gummidge could be the saviour of humankind;-) in forthcoming posts. I’m catching up!

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    And please @pedant.

    Don’t bother @craig with yet another complaint about me. Yeah, we know, you’re ‘special’. He’ll get the gist. As a wise man once said (it may have been @whisht) “go fuck yourself”.

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    No m’dear @blenkinsopthebrave. He’s a massive bellend with no sense of when he has gone too far. I have awakened and any further infractions will be deleted.


    Reviewing your conduct towards other members has made me reach for the mind bleech. You really are an objectionable tit of the most massive proportions. I will take pleasure in deleting even the most innofensive post you make until you apologise to @whisht personally via PM or (preferably) make such apology in public.

    If you can make one of the most innofensive members of this forum tell you to go fuck yourself, then consider the advice carefully while staring at your cold-blank face in the mirror, you prick.

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    Hello, and seasons greetings to one and all.

    Just dashing through to post a word of thanks to @wolfweed and post a question about a question.

    Wolfweed posted a link a while ago about pre-screenings of Twice Upon A Time up here in t’frozen North. MrsPhaseshift seized the opportunity to apply for tickets and only bloody did it! We go today to Bradford for a showing.

    To explain while I’m feeling a bit giddy, I studied Chemistry in Bradford between 88 and 91. I was there at the ‘death’ of Doctor Who’s original run. in that year (89) I met a blazing redheaded maths student who I canoodled with at the Odeon cinema on many a date. The cinema closed later that decade and fell into some disrepair. The blazing redhead was MrsP.

    The old building is undergoing a regeneration at the moment and we’ll be present for the first cinema showing for quite a while. It’s going to be a peculiar experience for both of us, I think. Personal Time Travel.

    It also sounds as if we have guests with Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi turning up and a Q&A thing. So my question is really ….. What question would you ask? I’m happy to ask the question you’ve always wanted to ask if I get the opportunity.

    Anyway here is a news item about the screening and the cinema.

    Hope to have a bit of time between Christmas and New Year to go back to fill in the blanks about series 10 which I had to leave because I was so far behind.

    See you all after the show!

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    I’ve just got back from the NE and was surprised by the number of spoiler thread comments myself. I’ll be back to post some thoughts on the last couple of episodes tomorrow, but I’m currently laughing at the notion that Theresa May may have just ‘won’ a hung Parliament. Delightful (but being realistic, unlikely).

    Anyways, a while back you @blenkinsopthebrave and @arbutus had a conversation about the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. I can only echo @blenkinsopthebrave s thoughts on Viv Stanshall, but just add that the band had another genius in the form of Neil Innes. I was delighted to find out that a large amount of his solo work from ‘The Innes Book of Records’ has been uploaded to YouTube.

    So, on the subject of Elections, here is Neil on the subject of apathy:

    And a thought on the nature of democracy by a much older Neil:

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    interjecting with a possible Bowie ref for this episode:
    On the day of execution/only women kneel and smile

    Hi! Now that is a good catch. I have to admit I’ve listened to Black star (the album) once and found it difficult listening at the time (just after his death). I’ve just listened to the track with the video for the first time. Wow – lots to chew over in that as imagery goes!

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    @steffstaff @miapatrick

    The origin and purpose of The Veritas in the simulation is quite interesting.

    We’re told the book is thousands of years old and somehow came to be in the possession of The Vatican – locked in their library of heresy that was established by The Naughty Female Pope With The Castanets, shortly after she met the Doctor. Doesn’t that last bit send alarm bells ringing?

    So let’s assume that what SimDoctor said was true – the simulation was too accurate. The Veritas and the Library actually exist. Given what we know the text says, someone in the past, using the terminology of ‘demons’, etc. seems to accurately predict the scenario where the world is Simulated and leaves a shadow test.

    As a time traveller, you think “hey, the people who had the prescience to write The Veritas may have some information on the big bad Demon behind this” and set off into the past. Your first port of call is surely to your old friend the Pope to question if she has any clues as to the source of the text she’s about to lock in her brand new library.

    Alas, she doesn’t have a clue about the text. Or the Library. You sigh and think “oh, no – not again!” and sit down to start writing The Veritas from the Simulated recording you’ve been sent from your Simulated self. All the time urging The Pope to put her Castanets down and apply herself to the more mundane interior design requirements for a forbidding ‘Library of Blasphemy’.

    If anyone in the real world manages to translate it from the obscure combination of languages you’ve selected in the real world, they will be reassured that they are in the real world shortly before bursting into tears that they’ve spent years translating something akin to an April 1st Joke. In the intended Simulated world it would be devastating. A weapon. Ultimately a weapon designed to destabilise the simulation and introduce The Doctor to this ‘war’.

    Yep – it’s our old friend the bootstrap paradox. “Who wrote Beethoven” becomes “Who wrote The Veritas” (well, precisely)

    Not saying this is accurate by any stretch of the imagination, and we’ll see how it plays out, but it does use concepts pre-established in the show and should be familiar to viewers. Even though some of them would undoubtedly pour onto the internet claiming it doesn’t make sense. Main reason I mentioner this? The writer of Next weeks episode is the same guy as Before the Flood.

    It also occurs that the ultimate spoke in the machine of whatever the Monks plans entail is going to be Missy. Locked up in her quantum vault she does represent a huge chaotic variable that I assume the simulations haven’t been able to account for. Maybe she’ll be a hero, if only just for one day.

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    Some slightly befuddled thoughts because I’ve got that jet lag feeling. I thought production on this was superb. The ‘inevitable confluence of events’ witnessed by the Monks starting with Erika’s journey to work reminded me of the last season of Sherlock – not only the filming style, zooming to specific points or clues, but the idea that with enough data you could become omnipotent.

    It’s interesting that the Doctor actually recognises the plan and his solution is sound (the countdown clock winds down) but his pride with regard to his sight proves the ultimate undoing as Bill succumbs to the temptation offered. Is she “the (wo)Man who sold the world?”

    I can’t help but think that, in recognising and desiring an emotional response we aren’t dealing with proto or disguised Cybermen. Their campaign seems directed towards the Doctor. I wonder if their claim to have killed this Doctor ‘many times’ was just in simulation or as a result of something like the Confession Dial. We look like corpses to them because, as Clara once claimed, we all look dead to a Time traveller. A Pyramid materialises out of nowhere? A very Matrix like simulation? Are they somehow Rassilon and the exiled high council?

    Probably not. Will need a thorough rewatch of this tomorrow AM I think.

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    Hey, I’m getting better. It’s only three days later and I’m reviewing Extremis!

    I’d find this difficult to rate as a standalone, but felt we were getting a little bit more for our time as the ‘setup’ phase was out the way. It’s interesting that the trend to echo the past is still strong though. Silence in the Library comes to mind, not only for the Library, but conjoined with the Simulated world that echoes CAL’s environment in that two parter.

    It’s all remixed to good effect . Out of all Moffat’s ‘puzzle boxes’ this is the most direct and simple. I’m pretty bewildered by some assertions elsewhere that this is in any way difficult to follow.

    Instead this is much more a character piece looking at our main players and the relationships between them. This concept of Truth we’re highlighting plays into notions like Bill’s ‘closeted’ status with her Foster Mother and The Doctors reluctance to tell Bill the truth about his eyes. Of all the main players the hapless Nardole seems to be the only one that has no secrets. He’s doomed I tell you!

    Obviously the truth of those two secrets will out, but as I suggested before the episode I think a bigger secret is in play here. I think @alexwho and @mudlark have picked up on it. The offer for Confession for whatever the Doctors remorse is due to by the Cardinal was a punch in the air moment. The fact that the episode immediately segues into a Doctor flashback with Missy would seem to indicate that the Doctor does have a confession to make to Missy. I think that Truth is going to cause a lot of damage.

    Random other things:

    – The Doctors devastating impact on his companions dating lives continues to raise laughs. This made the comedy of errors between Clara and Danny Pink in Listen look tame. Also loved the fact that the Doctor made up for simDoctors mistake, and bigged-up Bill’s confidence to ask Penny out.

    – The custodians of the Execution world reminded me heavily of the Jaffa from Stargate, with their ornamental robes and elaborate staffs and neckpieces.

    – I thought the ‘look me up’ moment (again reminiscent of Silence in the Library) was funny and well earned by the setup. These people obviously take a particular pride in ending life, elevating it almost to a religion. Having ‘The Doctor’ as a cause of death in their Database is very funny. Then try to imagine some of the entries that may be on it. Morbius? Magnus Greel? Sutek the Destroyer, ancient Osirian God? Death by Doctor. Satan!? They couldn’t run fast enough! 🙂

    As others have said, putting a blond wig on the President would probabloy have been a step too far, but the thought of a president driven to suicide by the revelation that he’s a fake in a fake world, as a fake news report plays in the background is quite a strong image in itself.

    @wolfweed & @whisht

    Bowie. Well it’s an interesting one this. When Bill and Nardole enter CERNs canteen, their, and our, first clear look a the timer is heavily signified (I think it’s minutely slowed down when I watched it closer on i-player).

    Screen grab:

    cern countdown

    Which reminded me of this

    I’ve posted it here because the cover of Heathen, the album it’s on is worth dwelling on. A ‘blind’ Bowie. And surely the Doctor is the ultimate ‘Heathen’ being consulted by the Catholic Church. This song is about moving on after a personal loss. Very apt for the Doctor in those flashback scenes.

    The rest of the title made me wonder – blind Doctor vs. Weeping Angel? Could Moffat resist?

    Need some sleep. Long night doing improbable things in a field. Same again tonight.

    Back with more thoughts at some point I hope.

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    Hilarious isn’t it? I wonder if she knows that the comparison with Supreme Commander Servalan that a lot of people are riffing on now originates with Doctor Who performers and writers like Nicholas Pegg? (Click on the pic as it probably won’t show it all)

    I’m not on twitter, but I occasionally check out feeds for writers and directors on there. I thought @janetteb may enjoy this. Writer Jamie doing some bonkers theorising on his own episode!

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    Intertextuality Alert!

    Do not continue if specultion on intertextuality disturbs you, brings you out in hives, etc! Skip this one and make a calming cup of camomile tea instead.

    Yes, Veritas – the Goddess of Truth. That most elusive of beings and concepts. She was often thought to hide in a well, according to myth.

    When Sherlock went seeking the truth of his sister, he too found an unexpected truth hidden in a well.

    Yep – I’ll be back on intertextuality watch between now and the end of the series. I can’t help but think the general shape of the Euros plot will be mirrored onto Missy, but the path will be reversed. I think the Doctor holds a big secret or truth about Missy – the original reason he left the Confession Dial to her, to open only on his death. Something he feels guilty about. Something about her daughter, perhaps. A bit of a game changer.

    Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next seven weeks.

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    I like pushing the Bowie envelope a bit, so:

    It was ‘The Passenger’ that sent us on the Bowie frenzy, believe it or not. The version I posted can be found here (easy to miss as the music thread can take some time to load)

    + @cathannabel & @whisht

    I was really surprised noone selected this. The enemy in space – lower pressure. The time when you see the Universe’s true face? When they are Under Pressure.

    ‘Walk away from it all like a blind man’

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