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

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
The ending of Extremis is just excellent, the idea that even a shade of the Doctor can ruin their plans.

The quote "Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage. Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis." is just fantastic too.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
The Pyramid at the End of the World / The Lie of the Land - It seems a little weird that a race with *that* advanced tech would still need to pull the schemes of your average two-bit fascists just to keep a world conquered for really no apparent reason. But if you accept that the story all works and it's a pretty good one. Though my original thought halfway through was that maybe they went about things the way they did because they were, like, love/adoration vampires, and needed everyone to believe in them to sustain themselves. But nope, just fascists for the hell of it. Ah well.
Also Pearl Mackie definitely got her most intense acting yet in that one scene in the second episode, but man - I can see, plot-wise, why they had to be sure she wasn't compromised, but laughing at her about it afterward really deserved a punch.
And apropos of nothing, her inflection in one of the last lines of the episodes when she said "Wellllllll, that's what makes us lovable" or something (about humans never learning from their mistakes) really reminded me of Tennant.

Interested to see where this whole Missy thing is going on the side as well...
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Oh, one thing that mildly bugged me in the first of those eps, the Doctor deciding the best strategy was a show of strength from Earth's military seemed wildly out of character (and Bill and Nardole certainly thought as much as well) but was never really explained and didn't amount to anything but to show the invaders were powerful, which we already knew. Weird choice.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Those two episodes are dogshit, and are the nadir of the Capaldi era imo - especially The Lie of the Land. Poorly constructed, poorly paid off, and that laugh you're talking about is the Doctor at his absolute worst and it is totally unearned/out of character. He deserved worse than a punch, there. Screw you, Toby Whithouse.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
The Lie Of The Land is just poo. I quite like Pyramid, but it's a big quality drop from Extremis on its own, and Lie Of The Land is much, much worse. The writer didn't understand what was going on at all. Unfortunately Steve Moffat's mum was dying when these two happened so he didn't have his eye on the ball, unsurprisingly.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
If you (or anyone else) would like to read a very long far left response to the Zygon two parter, I suggest this by Jack Graham - I love those episodes and the Moffat era but I find that is a very, very good piece of criticism of those two things. It's one of my favorite pieces of writing about Doctor Who I've ever seen.
Lol, I was gonna get back and read this eventually, but apparently the blog's domain expired today. Hopefully they'll notice and renew it...
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Lol, I was gonna get back and read this eventually, but apparently the blog's domain expired today. Hopefully they'll notice and renew it...

Site is back up now, if you still want to read that piece.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Still down for my but I bet the DNS just hasn't finished propagating yet, I'm sure it'll work again soon.

Meanwhile, Empress of Mars - to start with a nitpick, the colonel's plot-line didn't make any sense to me; why was someone who was literally (if unsuccessfully) executed for desertion in charge of a platoon of soldiers? I thought maybe there was going to be some further interesting twist to his backstory but it never happened. The other captain was of course just cartoonishly imperialist, but that's fine for the era I suppose. Reasonably fun episode regardless. Should I assume the two second cameo of some weird-voiced Alpha Centaurian at the end was an Old Who continuity thing?

Eaters of Light - I loved the premise and setting of this one, cool monster too. Good supporting cast.The Doctor seemed especially callous with his tough love act to whip all the kids into shape, though. I know that's generally twelve's shtick but he laid it on pretty thick here.

Already up to the Capaldi finale! Looking forward to it.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Still down for my but I bet the DNS just hasn't finished propagating yet, I'm sure it'll work again soon.

It's working for me, but I don't really know what DNS is, so I guess it depends haha.

Meanwhile, Empress of Mars - to start with a nitpick, the colonel's plot-line didn't make any sense to me; why was someone who was literally (if unsuccessfully) executed for desertion in charge of a platoon of soldiers? I thought maybe there was going to be some further interesting twist to his backstory but it never happened. The other captain was of course just cartoonishly imperialist, but that's fine for the era I suppose. Reasonably fun episode regardless. Should I assume the two second cameo of some weird-voiced Alpha Centaurian at the end was an Old Who continuity thing?

Yes - not only is it an old Who cameo appearance, it's performed by the same actress. Mark Gatiss's (the writer of this episode) favorite era of the show is the Pertwee era, which Alpha Centauri exclusively appears in, up until this episode anyway (in both The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon, the former of which is absolutely excellent and the latter of which is dull and crap). It was out of left field for Alpha Centauri to appear, and I laughed that they actually went and did it.

Eaters of Light - I loved the premise and setting of this one, cool monster too. Good supporting cast.The Doctor seemed especially callous with his tough love act to whip all the kids into shape, though. I know that's generally twelve's shtick but he laid it on pretty thick here.

Meanwhile this episode is, to date, the only episode of New Who written by someone who wrote for Old Who - specifically Rona Munro, who wrote the final episode of classic Who called - amusingly - Survival. I was really excited for this episode when they announced it, because I was fascinated to see how someone who wrote for the old show would tackle the new one, and it turns out, in my opinion, pretty seamlessly. It's not my favorite episode of the era or anything, but it has some fun bits and like much of (the good bits of) Classic Who, it is drenched in world building, which impresses me considering the much shorter run time Munro had to work with.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Yes, it was a cool thing to do. The new series has had tons of crossover with the old one, but never with one of the writers, and I think she did an excellent job adapting. She wrote the last lines of the classic series Doctor and he she's the last non-Moffat writer to write lines for his era.

I'll be fascinated to see what you make of the last three episodes!
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
World Enough and Time / The Doctor Falls
First off, fun premise. I mean, I'm pretty sure if you actually had enough gravity differential across a ship to cause that kind of time dilation it'd be ripped apart by tidal forces immediately, but it's a cool setup anyway and I did come up with it as a possibility shortly before they revealed it. The slowly built up reveal that we're actually just creating Cybermen again, was also interesting, and I'm glad they at least finally acknowledged that this just keeps happening for some reason.

Getting to see Missy and Saxon play off each other was pretty great, though I wish we had even more time for Missy to actually do stuff after all her back-and-forth development. Also I guess they stuck in some line about her not remembering much from before, but I half hoped she might have remembered being shot in the back and done something about it and was a little disappointed when that didn't happen.

And then Bill... Bill was great but I really wish we'd gotten more than one season with her. Companions and their loved ones are developing quite a track record of resisting Cyberman programming although it's rarely enough to save them in the end. And then suddenly, old girlfriend! That bit was kind of a total deus ex machina, but it was also a really sweet ending, so I'll give it a pass.

And Capaldi of course was great. This is what it comes down to for him, he doesn't have to be saving the universe, he's saving one small group of people in front of him, even if only temporarily, because that's where he is and that's what he has to do. Definitely looking forward to his wrap-up in the next special.

So yeah, liked these a lot. In they end they didn't hit me as hard as the previous finale (Heaven Sent/Hell Bent) but I think that's down to not getting as much time with Bill as with Clara, plus the latter's particular themes just happening to resonate with me particularly hard. This one was still really good!
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I'm a huge Cyberman fan, despite the fact that almost every story they're in is completely crap besides The Tenth Planet and Space Parts (and Death in Heaven / Dark Water, but they aren't really the main antagonists) and they're used perfectly here. They're a tragedy born of our need to survive at all costs - even when the price gets too high - and instead of doing the usual stompy robot nonsense they learn right into the body horror of their original appearance. They scoop out all of their human weakness, but everything of value is also lost. They also use the most horrifying bit of Spare Parts, and it's just brilliant.

And as you say, the Doctor is about giving people more time. It's an unsaveable situation, but the Doctor will die to give them more time. It's a restatement of what the Doctor will stand for.


I do think this series suffers slightly because Bill is the only Moffat companion who's been around for such a short time, but she's brilliant here.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Twice Upon a Time was delightful.

Of course I haven't actually seen any of the First Doctor serials, but it certainly felt like David Bradley was nailing something. It was great to get some more denouement with Bill, and honestly I found this goodbye more affecting than the finale one - I think it helped that, even if it's arguable how "real" she is here, she gets to be herself more because she's not in pain and distress. Also fun to see what became of Rusty the "Good" Dalek.

Seemed like Capaldi was really enjoying himself here which is always great. Also I'm a sucker for a good Christmas Truce reference.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Kirin, any thoughts on Clara's appearance in Twice Upon a Time? I kind of wish she hadn't restored the Doctor's memories of her... not because I want the Doctor to forget her, but because Hell Bent was so good I didn't want TUAT to take away from it... And I know you really enjoyed Hell Bent, so I was curious what you thought.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Eh, it didn't really bother me. In terms of her being in the episode at all, it was just a nice short wave of a cameo, like Amy's at the end of 11's run. And as far as the character plots and development go, the reason the Doctor had to forget (aside from the immediate contrivance that set up a "his or hers" memory wipe) was that it was too painful to let her go. But he's done a lot since then, so I think the idea that he's now, at the end of his term, arrived at a point where he can handle it again is perfectly believable. And uh, *also* works for the personal resonance I had with Hell Bent, so yeah, I'm fine with it.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Thank you for that. I still felt a little sad when it happened (not for Jenna Coleman, who as much as I love Bill, is the definitive Capaldi companion, who totally deserved a farewell/victory lap, just... I'm still mad at the Doctor for wiping Donna's memory, and she doesn't get a second chance to remember her adventures lol.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Twice Upon A Time is brilliant, surprisingly so given its gestation. Having done an entire season he hadn't planned to because Chibnall wasn't ready he then did a Christmas special he hadn't planned to to keep Doctor Who its Christmas spot. It's a summation of things Moffat did and a restatement of what his Doctors stood for. Using the (real) Christmas ceasefire like that made it a Christmas episode like no other, with real hope that we can be better, not the manufactured Christmas spirit that usually gets trotted out.

I still think Twelve was Six done right. He seemed like a heartless dick, but over time you realise it's all a front to cover the fact he cares far, far more than is healthy.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I still think Twelve was Six done right. He seemed like a heartless dick, but over time you realise it's all a front to cover the fact he cares far, far more than is healthy.

Yeah - again, from Dark Water - "Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?" is basically the character summed up in one (extremely good) quote.

I love the Capaldi era so much.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Well, sorry, we don't get to talk about Capaldi on my account anymore since I'm on to Whittaker. Who I like! Pretty much as soon as she opened her mouth she felt very "Doctor-y" to me, which was interesting, since I gather her casting was a little controversial at first (I mean, aside from bros with a problem just with her gender, who can obviously be discounted).

Anyway, yeah, I'm digging her. Fun new companions too though obviously everyone's still just settling in. Pity we lost a cool one immediately, though I assume that's stage-setting for everyone's development. But I am already getting a whiff of what seems to be people's main complaint about this era, liking the cast more that the plots/scripts. Plot-wise The Woman who Fell to Earth was okay but not amazing. Actually, the introductory scenarios and cast interactions were all just fine, my only real complaint is that the baddy is such a generic cartoon-gritty SF villain. I mean, I dunno, lots of Who villains are cartoonish, but this one just didn't seem cartoonish in a Who-ish way, I guess? Hard to put my finger on but felt a little off.

Kit-bashing a new sonic was cute.

The preview teaser for the rest of the season at the end felt weirdly laid-back and low-budget, after the very action-movie-trailer teasers we got during Moffat's era.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
I'll try to comment less on your watchthrough of the Whittaker era and will try to restrict myself to the positive thoughts I have. So, for The Woman Who Fell to Earth:

I really like how the Doctor is introduced! She just fucking slams into the train and gets to work, to the bewilderment of the passengers. Segun Akinola is now doing the music/soundscape for the show, and I really like his work. Building the screwdriver herself was good!

Otherwise I'm pretty much with you re: the baddie. I hope Phantoon and I didn't pre-color your impression of the era. There is stuff to like in it! It's just not as to my taste as prior eras, generally.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Well, I avoided reading any of the copious spoiler-marked stuff that I hadn't got to yet, so I mostly just know that you and Phantoon are very down on Chibnall's writing in general, which is fine. I'm coming at it with an open mind, no worries!
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
The Ghost Monument - Man, that was some really didactic "guns bad" stuff shoved in there, along with some smack-you-over-the-head "people need people" stuff. Neither are bad sentiments, just being awfully blunt and un-subtle about it, like the show is trying to ham-handedly over-correct for some of the shooty bits people complained about in the Moffat era.

Un-subtle dialog aside, the episode was fine if a bit inessential. I liked the cloth monsters, though I missed what they were saying about the Doctor just before she incinerated them. Not thrilled that the "ooh I'm so edgy I shove victims' teeth in my face" race appear to be overarching villains for this season, but hopefully there's plenty of other stuff to see along the way.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I really like reading people's impressions on this stuff, it gives me the chance to review my own. I'll be fascinated to see what you think of the later episodes.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that the new Tardis interior is weird, man. I don't think I hate it, but several episodes in I still don't feel like I've got a good look at it since the camera is often either shaking of close-focused on the crew when we're in there.

Rosa - I liked this one. Yeah, it obviously takes some liberties with the history and it sure ain't subtle but its heart's in the right place and I think it pulled it off well. Only thing I don't really get is why the hell some (alien?) dude form the far future would give a crap about the US civil rights era, but I assume we'll be seeing that character again eventually.

Arachnids in the UK - Ehhhhh. Leaving aside the question of focusing a whole episode on giant fucking spiders, this one was pretty forgettable. The mystery answers ended up being pretty silly, and the "American politicians/businessmen are awful" riff was over the top without being particularly funny. Also I'm not really sure trapping animals and letting them starve to death is a lot more humane than shooting them. Appreciate the ongoing commitment to diverse casting, though.

I find Whittaker has been reminding me a lot of Tennant. Something about her mannerisms. This is not at all a bad thing.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Rosa - I liked this one. Yeah, it obviously takes some liberties with the history and it sure ain't subtle but its heart's in the right place and I think it pulled it off well. Only thing I don't really get is why the hell some (alien?) dude form the far future would give a crap about the US civil rights era, but I assume we'll be seeing that character again eventually.

Re: that dude - he cares about the US civil rights era because that is when - according to him at least - race relations went "wrong" for white people like him. He was trying to change history and chose that as his focal point.

I like Rosa. The moment where the police car pulls up and we get a musical sting that says to the audience "the bad guys are here" might be the best moment in the Chibnall era so far. I rather liked the ending, too, where the white TARDIS team has to sit on the bus, and feel awful about it. Whatever issues people have with the episode, I was encouraged coming out of it that the Chibnall era might be alright if we got more like it.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Rosa - I liked this one. Yeah, it obviously takes some liberties with the history and it sure ain't subtle but its heart's in the right place and I think it pulled it off well. Only thing I don't really get is why the hell some (alien?) dude form the far future would give a crap about the US civil rights era, but I assume we'll be seeing that character again eventually.

I don't think so. I think the point of the character is he's just a white supremacist shithead from the distant future who is just doing what a lot of shitheads might try to do if they could. I don't think there's much more to do with that specific villain.

Rosa is a bit much at times (I understand not ending on the standard theme but the uplifting ballad didn't do it for me) but I like essentially doing a "historical" again like they did in the early seasons with the added danger of having characters of color. It really subverts a lot of the colonialism views of the early season and manages to drive home danger of simply being a person of color even in a mundane setting.
 

sfried

Fluffy Prince
I like Rosa. The moment where the police car pulls up and we get a musical sting that says to the audience "the bad guys are here" might be the best moment in the Chibnall era so far.
You know that specific chord really does remind me of the bad guy's theme in No One Lives Forever...by alot.
 
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