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

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I haven't seen the most recent season but while I was cool on the previous, I will say what it did well was a quasi-return to the historicals, which makes perfect sense for a new female Doctor and her friends who include two people of color. Yes, Demons of the Punjab and Rosa had extra sci-fi elements beyond the time travelling alien and her fun friends but they weren't the strongest part of the episode, the historical drama was. That said, the inspirational song at the end of Rosa was a bit eye-rolling for me. I get why because the classic Doctor Who theme might feel weird after the tone of the ending and the journey. The sci-fi stuff was the weakest element of that season and more grounded historical drama was where it was stronger.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
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)
Fujitive of the Judoon - HOLY HELL! First Jack Harper shows up again to foreshadow a future episode...but Ruth...being another Doctor incarnation that she couldn't remember? At first I was suspecting she was a mind wiped River Song...or that it's some plotline/carry-over from Torchwood, which I've never seen btw. Also who exactly was the "boyfriend" Ruth was with? A sort of a guardian to help her alternate identity out while she wasn't being a Doctor? Mind blowing stuff!

I didn't loath it at all. In fact I absolutely loved it.

I haven't seen the most recent season but while I was cool on the previous, I will say what it did well was a quasi-return to the historicals, which makes perfect sense for a new female Doctor and her friends who include two people of color. Yes, Demons of the Punjab and Rosa had extra sci-fi elements beyond the time travelling alien and her fun friends but they weren't the strongest part of the episode, the historical drama was. That said, the inspirational song at the end of Rosa was a bit eye-rolling for me. I get why because the classic Doctor Who theme might feel weird after the tone of the ending and the journey. The sci-fi stuff was the weakest element of that season and more grounded historical drama was where it was stronger.
I always did take the series as a "BBC Period Piece BUT WITH ALIENS!" thing, though you're right that the historical drama, or drama elements in general are much more pronounced in this season.

Give Vinay Patel more chances to write Doctor Who, basically.
I agree with you on this one.
 
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sfried

Fluffy Prince
Praxeus - Seems like another repeat of the Orphan 55 green aesop plot, only this time the instigator was an alien who pulls off the "brilliant work, Doctor!" Master plan in hopes of finding a cure for her race. The Doctor pulling a save on the last minute is nice. Okay episode , but if there's one thing I like about episodes such as these, it's the sense that the Doctor is more globe-trotty then ever compared to the mostly-in-Britain adventures that were in the past.
 
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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
And luckily, Praxeus doesn't have the shit politics of Pete McTighe's previous episode (Kerblam)!

Series 12 is an improvement over series 11, Chibnall's solo scripts, as usual, aside.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
And luckily, Praxeus doesn't have the shit politics of Pete McTighe's previous episode (Kerblam)!

Series 12 is an improvement over series 11, Chibnall's solo scripts, as usual, aside.
Kerblam! in general felt like a very off episode even for Doctor Who standards. It felt like something pulled straight out of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...minus all of the fun bits and humor.
Love this little moment from Day of the Doctor.
Going back to the Fujitive of the Judoon, are there any clean shots of Ruth Doctor's TARDIS interior? I like the fact that the rounds things actually move around and stuff in it.

Edit: Apparently somebody made a Blender shot of it:
 
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Purple

(She/Her)
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.
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"
I mean, in A Good Man Goes To War they're ALSO introduced as these old friends of The Doctor's from past adventures in a way that strongly suggests "hey you totally remember these people from this episode/these episodes, right?" when no, they're literally just showing up here for the first time. And don't really leave that episode as a properly formed little 1800s trio that I recall. And do have more backstory alluded to later on that seems like it would make for a decent proper episode.

Plus the first time they show up would have been the perfect time to actually bring back some characters who The Doctor actually befriended on camera, of which plenty of good options existed that could have been brought in as fun callbacks, so, no, it's pretty weird, and kinda feels like a nod to the writer's personal fan fiction or something. Plus their relationship with each other really doesn't make any actually organic sense, so criticizing them as feeling very artificial seems pretty fair.

Meanwhile K9 was introduced on screen perfectly well, so that's a weird example to jump to. More than once, even. With the most screentime going to the one where his backstory really is just... The Doctor thought some other robot dog was pretty cool so he went to the store and bought the newest model. No real mystery there.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Moffat wanted to bring back Captain Jack for A Good Man Goes to War, but John Barrowman had scheduling conflicts at the time, hence the creation of the Paternoster Gang.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
Moffat wanted to bring back Captain Jack for A Good Man Goes to War, but John Barrowman had scheduling conflicts at the time, hence the creation of the Paternoster Gang.
I kinda wish the original plan with Jack Harper happened then, because as Purple says, this Paternoster Gang gets introduced in a previous epsiode in such a way that made me go "Who the hell are you folks?" that I kinda considered it to be a tremendous asspull. And yes, I've watched A Good Man Goes To War.

That's one thing I'll give Chibnal and Russel T. Davis proper credit for: formal introductions of characters coming into the series as well a proper explanations as to not let the audience feel beguilded and bewildered. "Nod to the writer's own personal fan fiction" sounds super accurate of why I'm not fond of Moffat (unless he gets reeled in by someone like Mark Gatiss like in Twice Upon A Time. He seems to suffer from the same problems I have with Josh Weadon and Quentin Tarantino when they pat themselves on the back too much: They become insufferable).
 
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Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I love the idea that the Doctor had lots of mini adventures that weren't worth a TV episode. It makes the story feel bigger than it is. He's letting other writers doodle in the margins of the story. It's like season 6B. Some people theorize about it because of the enormous continuity issues Robert Holmes introduced because he (rightly, in my opinion) couldn't care less about that sort of thing, but it can't fit if you're a continuity slave. There's no spaces for it. Moffat makes the spaces for other writers to write their own stories, knowing full well that they will. More potential Doctor Who is a good thing.

How did the Doctor meet the Paternoster Gang? Why do you have to be told this story for A Good Man Goes To War to work? If you care so much, write the story yourself. Doctor Who isn't the documentary of the life of a real person, your tale would be as legitimate as one of Moffat's. Doctor Who survived for 18 odd years through Virgin and BBC Books, which was nothing if not fan fiction. That's why he took the time to canonise Big Finish, I'm pretty certain he's of the opinion all Doctor Who is canon, even the stuff that doesn't fit. Especially the stuff that doesn't fit, he's done a couple of visual nods to the films.

Which is the opposite of being insufferable, if you ask me. He's a crazy fan, like the rest of us.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
I love the idea that the Doctor had lots of mini adventures that weren't worth a TV episode. It makes the story feel bigger than it is. He's letting other writers doodle in the margins of the story. It's like season 6B. Some people theorize about it because of the enormous continuity issues Robert Holmes introduced because he (rightly, in my opinion) couldn't care less about that sort of thing, but it can't fit if you're a continuity slave. There's no spaces for it. Moffat makes the spaces for other writers to write their own stories, knowing full well that they will. More potential Doctor Who is a good thing.

How did the Doctor meet the Paternoster Gang? Why do you have to be told this story for A Good Man Goes To War to work? If you care so much, write the story yourself. Doctor Who isn't the documentary of the life of a real person, your tale would be as legitimate as one of Moffat's. Doctor Who survived for 18 odd years through Virgin and BBC Books, which was nothing if not fan fiction. That's why he took the time to canonise Big Finish, I'm pretty certain he's of the opinion all Doctor Who is canon, even the stuff that doesn't fit. Especially the stuff that doesn't fit, he's done a couple of visual nods to the films.

Which is the opposite of being insufferable, if you ask me. He's a crazy fan, like the rest of us.
It's the same problem I have with certain long running anime series and why I can't get into them: They're treated as a large multi-media event that requires you to follow every spin-off, light novel and audio drama in order to understand how certain elements and charcters play a roll, especially if they just pop-up into the mainline series unannounced as some sort of wink and nod, but still play a vital part that goes largely unexplained except in supplementary material, thus if you end up missing said material, you'll have no idea who are what these characters are and end up alienating your audience, especially if they're first time viewers.

The problem too is that Moffat's crazy insufferable about his own lore and verse of Doctor Who, but doesn't bother nor care to explain it at times which I find highly irritating. It's like an in-joke that never gets explained. (That make him not like the rest of us.) The only time everything was cohesive and thoughfully explained was with Twice Upon A Time, and I'm at least hoping there are at least more episodes like that that do not require the audience to just "take the writters word for it" and actually show/explain to the audience how/why they manage to pull something like that with a certain level that would be credible to the audience.

We should've at least gotten an episode dedicated to the Paternoster Gang's origin the same way we got an episode about River Song's, even if it would have to be later down the season(s).
 
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Phantoon

I cuss you bad
It's the same problem I have with certain long running anime series and why I can't get into them: They're treated as a large multi-media event that requires you to follow every spin-off, light novel and audio drama in order to understand how certain elements and charcters play a roll,
Well no. Because there wasn't one. There might be one now, but it's no more valid than any other reading if Moffat didn't write it. How did Obi-wan Kenobi meet Bail Organa, he knows him well enough to leave one of the two most important children in the galaxy with? The correct answer is "who gives a crap, it has no bearing on the story that's being told"

I mean, if you can't quote verbatim where the Doctor first got his love of Jammie Dodgers from we'll obviously have to revoke your fan badge and card

Edit: a challenge to you. Name one example where a backstory to a long running minor mystery isn't a huge disappointment or out- and- out disaster? Rey's parentage was way worth the wait and in no way shot the Sequel trilogy in both feet

Edit 2: I appreciate this seems a bit of an about face on my previous "was explained in a previous episode" but some of it was. The Paternoster Gang does form in A Good Man Goes to War. It doesn't explain where exactly the Doctor met Strax, Vastra and Jenny originally, but it wasn't worth it to the episode. He needed allies to join him, is it really worth an episode each to get to that point? I feel that it falls into the checklist mentality of evaluating art which gives us stuff like Solo. It's a good enough film but it give us nothing of real importance to the overall Star Wars lore. Kessel run? Check! Meeting Chewie? Check! Han gets the Falcon off Lando? Check! Han is disillusioned? Check! If Solo disappeared completely tomorrow nobody would notice as it has no intrinsic value. It's all extrinsic.
 
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Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Oh no, don't bring Star Wars into this thread lol. Episode IX sucked so hard I don't even want to think about that series anymore lol

Honestly, I can understand both sides of this discussion. There are times when I want more of an explanation for something we're never going to get, and times when more background and details cheapen the story. One of these statements applies to the end of series 12, even (I won't say which one as I don't want to spoil it for sfried, but Phantoon knows what I'm talking about lol).

The reason I don't care too much about the origins of the Paternoster Gang though is, to be honest, because I don't care about them very much. They're not outright bad, but they're hardly my favorite characters.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
One of these statements applies to the end of series 12, even (I won't say which one as I don't want to spoil it for sfried, but Phantoon knows what I'm talking about lol).
oh god noooo

It does literally the same thing I hated about Episode IX too

STEP AWAY FROM THE SPOILER SFRIED I'M REALLY NOT JOKING

you're so special by birth, nobody could be as special as you! Your actions weren't what made you special, it's who you popped out of!
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
Can You Hear Me? - The mental health episode. I do like the idea of the Eternals "sleep-apnea Man" and "evilStorm" who feed on the nightmares of people, particularly those which are shown to be adult fears. The resolution felt rather anti-climactic, though we do get more back story for Yaz (as to how she chose her profession), a bad future featuring Dregs with Ryan, and more future episode foreshadowing with the Doc during the dream sequences. Meh-episode with some interesting ideas.
 
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Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Interesting seeing everyone argue about the Paternoster gang - watching all of new Who straight through, I guess I remember briefly wondering what exactly their deal was when they first showed up, but I quickly stopped caring because I love them and watching them do whatever was just so much fun.

Anyway I poked some wikis a bit and evidently they were sort of introduced in a minisode prequel to the xmas episode done for charity? Not that it actually explains anything but it does say who they are.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Meanwhile I've watched some more season 10 -

Thin Ice - Liked this one pretty well. Fun setting, and an amusing swerve from sci-fi explanations to just humans being shitty.
Knock Knock - Eh. Kinda disposable haunted house episode, and the sense of "we are setting up for a haunted house episode" felt more contrived than usual. I bet back in the Davies era the kids would've stayed dead, heh. Not that I'd necessarily prefer that or anything.
Oxygen - Huh, two horror eps in a row, only now space zombies. I think I remember back in the thread people talking about the show getting back to more social activism, and this lays it on pretty thick, but that's okay I'm always down for a good capitalism roast.

On the season meta-arc - I'd already been wondering before the one-second cut in the preview whether the Doctor somehow had Missy hanging out in that vault... I wonder if we're actually going to get any explanation of the aftermath of The Witch's Familiar or it's just going to be a "stuff happened" sort of deal.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
The Haunting of Villa Diodati - This was a fun episode! It had some really nice creepy moments and humor to it and was quite surprised that it started to pick up on the whole Cyberman arc plot this early. Also enjoyed the fact that the psychic paper doesn't seem to work this time, and the non-Eucledian house had me guessing it was another TARDIS, but apparently it was the whole house just under the influence from the perception filter caused by the Cyberium. Love the banter between George Gordon Byron and the literal skeletons in the closet speech. Surprisingly enjoyable!

Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children - Starting with the overaching plot of the Cybermen seems to be some sort of reverse-Terminator in that in that the good guys intentionally try to send the thing that causes "Skynet" way back into the past in order to defeat them. Then the Master comes in and it sort of turns into "Lore collaborating with the Borg" scenario, only if the organic species could regenerate: The prospect of the CyberMaster is in of itself both creepy/awesome, but I could see why some are disppointed that "the Time Lords are wiped out again?". Actually, the writters seem to have been strongly hinting that the Master's minaturization weapon thing doesn't really kill people per se, or rather it is a reversable process as he wouldn't have been able to gather all those Time Lord bodies that regenerate to turn into CyberMasters, so I still see a chance of the Time Lords being revived, assuming being minatiuraized lets them survive the Death Particle blast... (The scenes with the Master toying with the Doc ("I've brought you so low" speech) and having her close to (but not) detonating the grenade also really echo why I always hated Moffat having the 11th Doctor casually wave and use a gun in The Time of Angels: It really cheapened the fact that the Doc never takes the usage of weapons lightly.)

Now I can see why Phantoon and Kazin might be quick to draw the whole "Rise of Skywalker" aspect in that we get details that didn't need to be expounded on in the form of how the Time Lords and regeneration all came from a child beyond the rift which is implied to be the Doctor, but I beg to differ: Were more questions actually raised than answered? I mean the Master could be telling most of it as true, but it could also be seen as the Master projecting his insecurities to what he's seen. In other words, we could take his word from it that the Doctor was Timeless Child, but you'd think you could hold him to that (or, as I said, he himself doesn't know and is just projecting)? I also get how , if true, this would make the Doctor somehow another case of being "the chosen" (hypothetically speaking of course), but by what measure could we even apply that to a being from some other dimension, where perhaps the standards are different? Does this mean we will be exploring different universes now? (Is this Sliders?) And who exactly is the Fugitive Doctor? All these questions...

Oh, and that's not even mentioned the whole thing about The Division being some sort of clandestine sect/operatives within the Time Lords. Who exactly was the officer shown getting shot, surviving, and then "mindwiped"? I'm already guessing that the Doctor was one of them, and that the profession he/she choose will be the explanation of the title given to themselves ("The Doctor"). There's clearly a lot of build-up here that is yet unfinished, but it's already making me anticipate Revolution of the Daleks and beyond. I can already guess Jack Harkness will once again come to the rescue.

Also, what are the chances we will see Christopher Eccilson again?
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The difficulty for me in talking about the series 12 finale is just that the whole thing is dumb. Whether the Timeless Child is the Doctor, or the Master, someone else, or all a lie, it's all so stupid and I hate it. I find it very hard to engage with. It's sci-fi "lore" cranked up to eleven in the dullest way imaginable. I love the show a whole bunch, but I just don't care about the Doctor before An Unearthly Child (the only way you'll get me to care about that period of time is if you bring in Susan in the modern series, but other than 12 having a picture of her in series 10, the modern show hasn't gone anywhere NEAR that - and even then, it'd be hard to do well and would probably still suck anyway), and I certainly Do Not Give A Crap about how the Time Lords acquired regeneration. Why should I care if it's a fact of their biology or something they stole from someone else somehow? More importantly, what is it even about? For all that I get mad about Kerblam!, at least you can argue about it's politics or message or themes, but I can't do that with the series 12 finale.

You're right, though, in that the story is unfinished, and that we'll likely get some more information in the upcoming special/series, but as a finale to a season, I found Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children absolutely disappointing, which is impressive considering how crap I found the series 11 finale. Could they turn it around? Potentially, and I hope so! I just don't see it happening considering who's at the helm.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yeah, exactly. It's just words, words, words. Sci-fi nonsense that means nothing beyond "isn't the Doctor special by accident of birth". Not, you know, by the 50-odd years of risking their lives. It doesn't add anything to the story, beyond killing the Time Lords and making them irrelevant to boot. Who cares about Time Lords now that 1) The Doctor isn't one any more and 2) there's an infinitely more powerful race out there somewhere. It doesn't add new exciting storytelling avenues, it makes the story smaller, for no discernable reason. It's hilarious how careful Moffat was to not call the War Doctor the Doctor as he didn't live by the ideals and it'd mess things up for the fanbase, and here he are with potentially infinite new Doctors who were doing who knows what?

The way it was delivered also sucked. It was LORE LORE LORE for half an hour with no explanation about why we should care, followed by "well it doesn't really matter to who you are", which just drove home what an empty thing it all was. It's stuff for people who get excited about the pub quiz question potential rather than the meaning for the characters.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
The way it was delivered also sucked.
Ugh, that reminds me - wasn't the Doctor silently stuck to one spot while the Master exposited at her all this garbage for that half hour or whatever? Chibnall can't even make his expository scenes look interesting, much less sound interesting lol

EDIT: Wait! I do have one bit of actual praise for the episode - the Cybermen in Time Lord regalia looked cool as hell, I will give them that. The design team was on their A game for that, imo.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Ugh, that reminds me - wasn't the Doctor silently stuck to one spot while the Master exposited at her all this garbage for that half hour or whatever? Chibnall can't even make his expository scenes look interesting, much less sound interesting lol
Yes

Yes she was

:mad:

(maybe spoiler that though)
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
So yeah... I still don't understand where the hate for Chibnall is coming from, as I actually enjoyed these episodes much more than...most of the asspulls that Moffat has done. They kind of remind me a lot more of the slower-paced Whos of yester year, and I know that can bore some people, sure. But I liked 'em! At least all that talking explains stuff, instead of... you know, not making sense by not explaining.

And screw the Poternoster Gang.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Yes

Yes she was

:mad:

(maybe spoiler that though)
I... did? It's showing is ISPOILER'd on my end...

So yeah... I still don't understand where the hate for Chibnall is coming from, as I actually enjoyed these episodes much more than...most of the asspulls that Moffat has done. They kind of remind me a lot more of the slower-paced Whos of yester year, and I know that can bore some people, sure. But I liked 'em! At least all that talking explains stuff, instead of... you know, not making sense by not explaining.

And screw the Poternoster Gang.
I'm just not interested in explanations for explanations sake, if they're not interesting, and what Chibnall comes up with is not. When Moffat's plots don't make sense - and I would argue this is rarer than you would, I assume - at least the stuff going on in the episode is at least thematically interesting or something, and not just... pointless sci-fi blather.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
It's a skinsuit of drama. It looks and moves around like it's drama but there's nothing there. A Chinese Room version of Doctor Who

@Kazin the Cyberman bit wasn't to me
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
You guys talk about not wanting to gatekeep, but find it hard pressed for people to end up liking the Chibnall episodes more than Moffat enough to revoke their fandom card...

Sorry, but I like these Chibnall episodes. In a sense they kind of remind me of old Doctor Who, which similarly had lots of talking.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
You guys talk about not wanting to gatekeep, but find it hard pressed for people to end up liking the Chibnall episodes more than Moffat enough to revoke their fandom card...

Sorry, but I like these Chibnall episodes.
I'm not trying to revoke your fandom card or anything, but you say you don't understand all the Chibnall hate, so we try to explain why... and we keep saying it's fine to like the Chibnall stuff, even more than the Moffat stuff. We just... don't.

If you're saying I'm being a dick about it, I apologize, as I'm not trying to be. It's a hard line to walk for me, as angry as the era makes me, of discussing why without being an asshole lol. So if I'm coming off that way, I'm sorry.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yeah, you keep saying you don't understand, so we're telling you. Everyone is entitled to like what they like, and I'll try not to be a dick about it, but there are legitimate reasons we dislike it. I'll leave it to Andrew Ellard who's a professional script writer and script doctor and I'm done.

If you like the era then I'm genuinely happy for you. I'd much sooner like the things I care about.
 
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Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Extremis - Enjoyed this one. Nice opening fakeout where obviously we all assume it's the Doctor who's gone and got himself lined up for execution. Anyway I feel like it's a bit rare to see a "it was all just a simulation" episode done well, but I this pulled it off. Although when I pause to think about it more, I am left wondering if the Veritas contained other things besides that one truth - which, while obviously existentially troubling, I wouldn't think would always lead to suicide. I mean, maybe if it had the whole truth people would assume that the less they lived the less information the invaders would get? But hell, you could just avoid doing anything that might help against an alien invasion for the rest of your simulated life... But that's a pretty minor nitpick so an enjoyable episode.
 
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