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"It feels different this time..." - The new Doctor Who Thread

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I'll be openly hard on Chibnall, because imo he shouldn't have gotten the job, and his near-constant fuck ups bear that out (at least in the scripts he puts his name on). Phantoon covered most of my issues with Spyfall, but the end of episode two is just offensive - following his killing off of nearly every queer character he introduced in series 11, he now has the Doctor leave the first Master of colour to the Nazis, but it's played as though the audience is supposed to go "oh, good, the Nazis will take care of that guy. Go Nazis! Get his brown ass!" and I just think it's maybe not a good idea to cheer the Nazis on in any context in 2020? Or ever? It was yet another moment where Chibnall seemed to be trying to make me hate the Doctor. And if that was his goal, I'll give it to him, because he succeeded.

I have further comments I want to make about stuff that comes later in the season, but I'll hold off because I don't want to spoil anything.
 
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sfried

Fluffy Prince
I'll be openly hard on Chibnall, because imo he shouldn't have gotten the job, and his near-constant fuck ups bear that out (at least in the scripts he puts his name on). Phantoon covered most of my issues with Spyfall, but the end of episode two is just offensive - following his killing off of nearly every queer character he introduced in series 11, he now has the Doctor leave the first Master of colour to the Nazis, but it's played as though the audience is supposed to go "oh, good, the Nazis will take care of that guy. Go Nazis! Get his brown ass!" and I just think it's maybe not a good idea to cheer the Nazis on in any context in 2020? Or ever? It was yet another moment where Chibnall seemed to be trying to make me hate the Doctor. And if that was his goal, I'll give it to him, because he succeeded.

I have further comments I want to make about stuff that comes later in the season, but I'll hold off because I don't want to spoil anything.
I...don't get how that episode was in any way pro-Nazi. If anything, it just cements them as being more evil and the fact that the Master should'nt have taken such a guise to begin with is highlighted over the fact that all it took was for his perception filter to be blown. Nobody was cheering on for the Nazis in the same way Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part did with its German character in this episode. It felt more like an impartial "guess the Master gets screwed over by the enemy" much like what happens to him in the end with the Kasaavin rather than it being an "Enemy Mine" moment where people would be symapthetic towards them. And even if the Master is a homocidal antagonist, I'd say the Doctor would still be curious as to his motivations this time regarding the Time Lords and the apparent lie he mentions.

So yeah, I don't really get this hate with Chibnall at all. I feel people are just grasping at straws to find reasons to hate anything non-Moffatverse Doctor.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
3) Yes, but what's Barton get out of it? He's the main driver of much of the plot and he gets nothing out of this deal as far as we can see. The Master never gets anything out of their plots, apart from the occasional disintegration
Oh, you mean the CEO guy of VOE? As he implied with his speech, he would be one of the few alive humans left to help administrate/maintain the data under Kasaavin rule.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I...don't get how that episode was in any way pro-Nazi. If anything, it just cements them as being more evil and the fact that the Master should'nt have taken such a guise to begin with is highlighted over the fact that all it took was for his perception filter to be blown. Nobody was cheering on for the Nazis in the same way Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part did with its German character in this episode. It felt more like an impartial "guess the Master gets screwed over by the enemy" much like what happens to him in the end with the Kasaavin rather than it being an "Enemy Mine" moment where people would be symapthetic towards them. And even if the Master is a homocidal antagonist, I'd say the Doctor would still be curious as to his motivations this time regarding the Time Lords and the apparent lie he mentions.

So yeah, I don't really get this hate with Chibnall at all. I feel people are just grasping at straws to find reasons to hate anything non-Moffatverse Doctor.
Making the Nazi's be the "enemy the Master gets screwed over by" in the first place is my main issue with that plotline. Yes, there's an in-universe explanation for why that happened, but I'm less interested in that than the implications of a writer in 2020 consciously deciding to cast a person of color as the Master and then in-universe literally leave them to the Nazis. It struck me as awful literally as it aired (as I watched series 12 on broadcast on BBC1 through... a less-than-legal stream because I'm nuts lol).

And I've said it before, but non-Chibnall scripts in the 13th Doctor era tend to be alright - I like Demons of the Punjab, Can You Hear Me?, and a few episodes you're about to watch in series 12, it's just Chibnall himself who can't write to my taste. I did sorta like The Woman Who Fell to Earth, too, come to think of it. Also I love almost every era of Doctor Who, save for large chunks of Pertwee, most of the second half of Tom Baker, a good chunk of Colin Baker, and some of Jodie Whittaker - which may seem like a lot of hate, but that's still a lot of Doctor Who to love lol
.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Oh, you mean the CEO guy of VOE? As he implied with his speech, he would be one of the few alive humans left to help administrate/maintain the data under Kasaavin rule.
Yeah, but he could also not help them and remain alive too. "You'll be alive to see the hellscape you create" is the crappest deal ever

Also his company was called VOR and they did nothing with that at all
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
So yeah, I don't really get this hate with Chibnall at all. I feel people are just grasping at straws to find reasons to hate anything non-Moffatverse Doctor.
Trust us, we aren't. I want to love Doctor Who, it's been important to me for as long as I can remember. I love lots of eras that aren't Moffat, and appreciate others that I don't love unreservedly. I'm fairly confident to say that Kazin loves it even more than I do. But the current series feel like it doesn't have the animus of the series, the soul. I'm delighted that people that do like it have something for them, but it's nothing I'm interested in.

This is the beauty of Doctor Who. It cancels itself and something new is born, and it's never the same. When this Doctor regenerates it'll be different again.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I'm fairly confident to say that Kazin loves it even more than I do.
I told my wife a British person who has watched the show their whole life said this about me and she rolled her eyes and said "yeah, I believe it." lol

In any case, as much as I will (hopefully not) always whine about Chibnall, it's okay to like - even love - his era of the show. I don't want to gatekeep. I still do find it interesting you like it as much as you do, sfried, and enjoy reading your writeups about it, even if I end up disagreeing.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Man, all these spoilers I can't read. And y'all are giving me anxiety about whether or not I'll like Chibnall era at all. 😅 (Not really, it's fine.)

Meanwhile, The Return of Dr Mysterio was just tons of fun! The guest stars were ridiculous and utterly adorable. The ludicrous superhero justification somehow works just fine for both a comics pastiche *and* general Dr Who nonsense. Caught the nice Shuster and Siegel shout-out too. Also, momentary Pokemon GO reference, lol.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Yeah, I don't want to discourage you or anyone from liking the Chibnall era. That actually does make me feel a little bad, sorry about that (even if you say it's fine). Don't prejudge it based on my negativity about it!

Meanwhile I think The Return of Dr Mysterio is one of Moffat's worst scripts lol. Other than the Doctor eating sushi outside the baddies' room, I didn't like it much at all. I don't even remember much about it, which is not a good sign! I think a lot of the problem was that was the only episode of Doctor Who we got in 2016. Watching it all in sequence, knowing you've got series 10 queued up next, probably erases the context of disappointment about that episode.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yeah, ignore our opinions! Just because we're not fans doesn't mean you won't like it.

I liked The Return Of Doctor Mysterio! It's very inessential but it's genuine fun. At the time I was a bit down on Doctor Who, it'd been a long time since the last episode and the trailer for the new series didn't look exactly promising. Which was really stupid, as I'd loved all of the rest of it, so.
 
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sfried

Fluffy Prince
So I watched The Snowmen in order to understand what's the deal concerning Clara Oswald. It contains a lot of the Moffat-isms that I highly dislike:
1) What's the deal regarding the lesbian alien duo and the Sontaran? There's not even a proper introduction for them and like...I don't even understand why they didn't just attempt to solve the whole issue themselves without needing help from the Doctor. It feels so utterly contrived that it makes little sense within the context of the story.
2) So I take it Clara is just a really really curious girl enough to be chasing after the Doctor?
2) Why the hell does the Doctor need an invisible ladder, followed by a spiral staircase to some super condensed cluds in order to park his TARDIS? His TARDIS is in a shape of a policebox for a reason, so he wouldn't have to go through hiding it with this crazy shit.
3) So how did the carnivorous snow conscience survive? Did is assimilate Simeon beforehand? And who was it reflecting (its brainwave patterns) off from all this time when it melted? This is one of the bigger inconsistencies I couldn't make out.
4) What the hell is up with the one-word response test nonsense they were doing with Clara? Are they just making the Doctor respond to "pond" as in "Amy Pond"? Because this is some utterly contrived way to make her say it.
5) Oh, so is this another one of Moffat's out-of-order timeline things like with River song? Is that the reason why the Doctor mentions something about a "souffle girl" that the audience never even knows? God is Moffat really annoying with all of these in-jokes.
5) I love how these Victorian folk gentry are taking the presence of aliens gracefully in their stride, especially Captain Latimer. I mean, he should at least be more shocked than usual...
6) I really still don't understand The Doctor's "self-imposed exile" from what I'm getting... Supposedly he's not saving the world at first but already he's investigating the Snowmen? Why the hell did he choose Victorian Era London of all places and why does he need to be supervised/escorted by the alien trio?

But the current series feel like it doesn't have the animus of the series, the soul.
I highly disagree. I felt it lost its soul with Moffat's constant asspull expositioning, oddly enough alienating people who might be new or unfamiliar with the series for the first time (if that's the intention...and please don't go on about how this was some post-modern take of the series).
Man, I still love the Troughton/Pertwee era.
 
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Phantoon

I cuss you bad
1) All of your problems here are coming from the fact you haven't watched previous episodes. The Paternoster Gang were introduced in A Good Man Goes To War. I don't watch Four and complain bitterly about "where did he get a robot dog from?". Previously established continuity is not an "asspull"
2) Because he wants to be away from people after what happened in the previous episode, but being the Doctor he's not actually very good at it.
3) The snow conscience becomes The Great Intelligence from the Second Doctor's era. It was Simeon's darker impulses which became independently sentient. I can't remember exact details on this, it's been a year since I last saw it. I wouldn't spend too much time thinking on this; the Daleks often want to destroy the universe, apparently forgetting that they are in it too.
4) Because "truth can be said in one word while lies are said with a string of them". It's a narrative contrivance but also kind of true.
5) It's not out of order, but someone looking like Clara was in Asylum of the Daleks. Again, you're coming in multiple episodes from the start of a multi part arc and are complaining about it.
6) That's after the events of The Angels In Manhattan, which shook him really badly. See points 1 and 5.

It's not post-modern, it's storytelling. The Doctor has a definable arc and changes as a character, and that character and background plays into their actions. It's much preferable to me than "somebody please remind the writers that Yaz is a) in the story and b) is a member of the police force
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
It's not post-modern, it's storytelling. The Doctor has a definable arc and changes as a character, and that character and background plays into their actions. It's much preferable to me than "somebody please remind the writers that Yaz is a) in the story and b) is a member of the police force
Err, is there something bad about Yaz?

(And does that make Zootopia suddenly "bad" just because one of the main characters is from the police force, much less a civil servant of the parking ticket type?)
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yes. She's criminally underused. To the point she's barely in episodes. Her having police training (and acting like police) would be actively helpful in a bunch of situations, but she almost never does. I want her to take part, and it not be The Graham Show.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
Yes. She's criminally underused. To the point she's barely in episodes. Her having police training (and acting like police) would be actively helpful in a bunch of situations, but she almost never does. I want her to take part, and it not be The Graham Show.
Ah, okay. Yeah I agree they could use more arcs with her as in the case of The Demons from Punjab. My guess is they wanted to finish the Ryan/Graham character arc first, but I agree they need to explore more of Yaz and her character. They sorta use some of her skillset in Resolution but I really hope she becomes the reason that UNIT gets kickstarted back into action considering its absense.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Hey, they're printing a lot (all?) of those short stories they made earlier this year in book form which can be pre-ordered here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/do...own/chris-chibnall/paul-cornell/9781785947063

Part of the profits will go to Children in Need. Looking into it further there's new stuff, too, including a new short story by Neil Gaiman.

EDIT: With shipping, it's just shy of $30 USD. I know this because I just ordered it lol
 
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Phantoon

I cuss you bad
There were some good stories there too. I'm tempted to get it. Have you read Summer Falls and Other Stories? That's a good one and meta as hell.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
There were some good stories there too. I'm tempted to get it. Have you read Summer Falls and Other Stories? That's a good one and meta as hell.
I haven't - for some reason I was under the impression that book was bad? I don't recall why I thought that, but maybe I'll have to grab a copy. Could probably score it for like a buck now anyway lol
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
The Pilot and Smile - I'm sure it'll take a bit to *really* settle in like always, but Bill Potts seems cool. Pity about her cute crush, I wonder if we'll ever see her again. Somewhat interested in the hook of what got the Doctor to hang about as a professor for apparently decades, though he would certainly be an extremely fun professor. Also you'd think he would have categorically sworn off memory wipes by now, though he does get there with some prodding.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Oh, while poking around wikis I noticed this appears to be about the same point in continuity as the spinoff Class. Anyone here watched it and have an opinion? From more wiki poking it seems people liked it okay except for the last episode, which seems to suffer from "writers hoped to get another season, so it doesn't really end" syndrome.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh, while poking around wikis I noticed this appears to be about the same point in continuity as the spinoff Class. Anyone here watched it and have an opinion? From more wiki poking it seems people liked it okay except for the last episode, which seems to suffer from "writers hoped to get another season, so it doesn't really end" syndrome.
So, Class is alright, even excellent at one point - the best episode is a bottle episode called Detained, after which the show just... sucks (luckily, there's only two more episodes after that - the penultimate episode is okay, I guess, but then they just totally drop the ball in the last episode). Peter Capaldi has a cameo (not quite a guest role, he's not in it much, but he's there) in the first episode. I thought it was alright, but pretty inessential overall. If you finish Doctor Who and still want more of something similar, it fills that niche okay, but I don't even like it as much as Torchwood or the Sarah Jane Adventures, frankly.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I haven't - for some reason I was under the impression that book was bad? I don't recall why I thought that, but maybe I'll have to grab a copy. Could probably score it for like a buck now anyway lol
I certainly enjoyed it, it's fun. It's very British children's book-y iirc
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
Orphan 55 - At first glance, this seems to be yet another Tsuranga Conundrum mixed with The Ghost Monument (as in, a scenarios where people in a relatively safe place get overrun by a hostile force). Then we get introduced to the Dregs and the body counts start to rise! This definitely echoes some of the more classic Doctor serials like The Wheel in Space where there seems to be tons of casualties, then it starts to get more Aliens with the involvement of an APC and a variation of Ellen Ripley's "Get away from her, you bitch!" scene. And suddenly we are hit with the revelation that this wasn't an alien planet but earth all along and the Dregs are a mutated form of whoever survived. Granted, this feels like is was treated as a one-off/possible future given the whole plot coupon nature of how their trip got kickstarted, but was thrilling to watch and its still great seeing Doc Thirteen still being a very optimistic as ever despite the blightest of circumstances.
That said, I do find Bella's solution to blowing up the Tranquility Spa rather extreme and echoes the same problems as Kerblam! (Why the hell would you point a gun at your own daughter Kane?). Unlike that episode, yet another parental issue (two infact!) drama wraps up the mother/daughter conflict, but leaving the two of them to a Bolivian Army Ending feels rather a downer, though if one could guess, they probably found a way to coexist given how the Doctor showed Bella the Dreg's dependency on carbon-dioxide and how they could create a "perfect ecosystem" with a Dreg and a human in an enclosed room.

Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror - One of my favorite episodes so far in the season! Centering around the idea that the reason why Nikoli Tesla never became as successful as Edison was because he was too busy using Wardenclyffe to fight off aliens to the point of becoming bankrupt, and Tesla and Edison not needing as much help from the Doc except understanding the alien's weaknesses. Again it has the faster pace remenicent of Moffat's seasons with no "Doctor walking out of the TARDIS intro". The Doctor's companion's take a bit of a backseat as Tesla, Skerrit, and Edison take center stage (Yeah, I kinda see Phantoon's point about wishing Yaz to demonstrate her knowhow much more). The Skithra being a scavenger race that steals techs and has at some point bumped with the Silurians is a nice addition, and Tesla working the TARDIS is just something special. (And look Phantoon, no memory wipes!)
 
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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Why was there no memory wipes for Tesla or Edison, though? Why can they be trusted with "future knowledge" and not anyone from Spyfall? This is why Chibnall never should've brought memory wipes up - be consistent, man!

Still, I enjoyed the Tesla episode overall. Orphan 55... Less so. It felt awkwardly paced. Not awful or anything, though.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
Still, I enjoyed the Tesla episode overall. Orphan 55... Less so. It felt awkwardly paced. Not awful or anything, though.
Orphan 55 is also by far the grimmest of the new season episodes I've seen so far. Even if the Doctor is still optimistic, she remains cautious about telling them if this is the future which comes to pass. I mean, given the whole message is about global warming and such... If anything, it reminds me a lot of the Third Doctor in Inferno minus the whole bit about Evil Eye-patch Lethbridge-Stewart, though the whole parallel reality bit remains.

But yeah, the pacing reminds me of the older serials, which may or may not be anyone's cup of tea.
Why was there no memory wipes for Tesla or Edison, though? Why can they be trusted with "future knowledge" and not anyone from Spyfall? This is why Chibnall never should've brought memory wipes up - be consistent, man!
I've thought about this, and think it might have to do with the following:

  • It's possible Tesla, Dorothy and Edison continue to fight/fend off the Skithra to using Wardenclyffe behind the scenes, and erasing their minds would prevent them from averting any subsequent invasions from Skithra (at least in that part of space and time), thus like Queen Elizabeth they become essential for Earth's overall protection.
  • Meanwhile, while Ada's encounter with the Kasaavin and other technologies might be too fantastical to be believed for her time, she willing to spill the beans regarding something as big as World War II would definitely be seen as more grounded and have long-lasting consequences. Noor, being a spy herself, would likely leak intel of the Doctor's presence and tech in her time period to the British (which would've been cool in of itself), but would somehow also affect the formation of UNIT (since it would have to have been Lethbridge-Stewart to help form it). There's also the case that such information might've made her survive past the end of the War and that would've definitely changed certain key events in history.
 
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Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Ooh, the next one you're about to watch is my favourite of the Chibnall era. Can't wait to see what you make of it (you'll probably loathe it, lol)
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Ooh, the next one you're about to watch is my favourite of the Chibnall era. Can't wait to see what you make of it (you'll probably loathe it, lol)
It is a good one - though I still think Demons of the Punjab is still the era's best.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Demons of the Punjab is indeed good, and it's the same writer. Give Vinay Patel more chances to write Doctor Who, basically.
 
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