Doctor Who

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Sharkey
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Sharkey » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:48 am

Well, that was some stupid fun. As usual, a lot potential wasted because we gotta keep the status quo. God damn, that could have been spectacular if it hadn't flipped back to basic heroes and villains shit. "I was manipulating you all along!" "Yeah, I know. Asspull counter plan!" Maybe I'm an idiot, but I was holding out hope and then "Yeah, fuck genuine pathos. This again." Still fun, but just... fuck me.

I'm only a little bit annoyed by teleporter shenanigans. Anybody who's not actually retarded was expecting that, and I know it's a staple since at least the first finale of the new series... but way to remove the slightest inkling of a chance of a vestige of a notion potential danger from every death ray ever. Now it's less "I wonder how they'll inevitably get out of this" and more "I wonder why they didn't just do that teleporter fuckery again." Ditto fake exploding Tardis. It's like a playground game, or reading someone's shitty roleplay. "I shot you!" "Nuh uh! I did the teleporter thing!"

Also, the Master with boobs stuck in Dalek sewers seems way too specific to not be some kind of cheeky Curse of Fatal Death reference.

I'm actually digging the sunglasses thing. It's exactly the sort of individual bit of flair that would only work with Capaldi. I can't really see it coming off as anything but cheesy with say, Tennant. If the Tenth Doctor was a kid trying to be the coolest guy in the room, the Twelfth Doctor is the old rock star who already knows he is.

It's not like he has crudité pinned to his jacket.

What's frustrating so far is that while Capaldi is already perilously close to becoming my favorite just by virtue of so many great individual scenes and lines, I don't think I've seen a single complete story for him that would remotely break into my overall top ten. A lot of perfect moments and pull quotes, but the episodes themselves seem to be more about shotgunning underdeveloped ideas and setpieces than actually putting together a tight narrative that explores what it gives itself to work with. Listen and Orient Express have been the only two exceptions. Maybe Flatline. Same thing with Gomez, actually, though the bar for Master stories is obviously a lot lower.

I almost wish they'd ditch the monster-of-the-week format, slash the budget, and force the show to focus on the characters beyond broad caricature.

Then again, I'd like a Star Trek series about Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Clearly I'm a fucking imbecile.
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Bal
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Bal » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:04 am

Can we have a show about Missy and Clara hanging out? Just tone down the random murder.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Mongrel » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:05 am

Sharkey wrote:Then again, I'd like a Star Trek series about Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Clearly I'm a fucking imbecile.

Well if you're an imbecile, I must be a cretinous idiot, because I already think that would be way better than any series after TNG.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Mothra » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:17 am

Harcourt Fenton Mudd was the original troll.

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Thad
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:15 pm

Sharkey wrote:Well, that was some stupid fun. As usual, a lot potential wasted because we gotta keep the status quo. God damn, that could have been spectacular if it hadn't flipped back to basic heroes and villains shit. "I was manipulating you all along!" "Yeah, I know. Asspull counter plan!" Maybe I'm an idiot, but I was holding out hope and then "Yeah, fuck genuine pathos. This again." Still fun, but just... fuck me.


Yeah, agreed. Part two was a lot stronger and more focused than part one, but the ending just felt like "Oh yeah, we need an action sequence and a reset button."

I DID like all the callbacks ("Am I a good man?", "I want to see the sunrise", etc.) though I can't remember them all anymore. Really nice job on the sets evoking the Daleks' first appearance, too.

This week's...not much to say yet, I guess. Tough to judge the first half of a two-parter without seeing the payoff.

MEANWHILE: The Four Doctors comic ended and it was pretty good. (Though there's a bit a few pages into the last issue where Clara's hair goes from short to long and I'm still trying to figure out if it's a continuity error or some kind of subtle clue like that episode where Eleven's jacket disappeared halfway through a scene.) Cornell manages to weave a complex time-travel story in five issues that's got lots of little continuity details in it (both internal and external) and which all comes together in the end, and then it's got a couple more surprises and cameos. If you were waiting for the trade, the trade's worth picking up.

Up next they've got an Eighth Doctor miniseries, which has piqued my interest but which I'll probably wait for the trade of.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:35 am

Meant to add: I DID quite like the bit with the Doctor and Davros sharing a laugh. Very Killing Joke.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:49 pm

So it looks like Big Finish has gotten the rights to some of the supporting cast of the current era. The last couple Doctor Who comics I picked up had ads for UNIT: Extinction, which features Kate Stewart and a not-dead-so-it-might-be-a-prequel Osgood; next month they've got a Jago & Litefoot & Strax crossover coming, and in December the first 3 episodes of a War Doctor series, with 9 more coming next year.

So I guess the ten-year "don't show what happened in the Time War" rule is well and truly out the window, seeing as we've got not just four War Doctor series coming, but also an Eighth Doctor series actually called The Time War in 2017.

All things considered, if we're going to see the Time War fleshed out instead of just left to our imaginations, I think Nicholas Briggs is probably a better choice to take Davies and Moffat's ideas and turn them into a coherent story than either Davies or Moffat themselves would have been. (Though I'm sure Moffat could have worked out some neat time-bending things to do. How does a Time War work, anyway? Presumably both sides are rewriting vast swaths of history all over the place.)

Also next year: The Diary of River Song. Which has Paul McGann in it, so I'm not sure how it squares with all the "You're so young, I've never seen you this young" stuff in Silence in the Library, but what the hell.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Bal » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:16 am

Good episode. Liked the reveal of the reason for the face. Looking forward to whatever the ending pays off for in the end.

Two things that my brain couldn't stop shouting though were "Viking was a job, not a race" and "No one ever had horns on their helmet", but that is very possibly just me being a bore.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Mothra » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:50 pm

I was thiiiis close to dropping this show entirely after that season finale, and season starter, and crappy undersea two-parter.

The viking ep just pulled me right back in.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Sharkey » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:40 pm

Bal wrote:Two things that my brain couldn't stop shouting though were "Viking was a job, not a race" and "No one ever had horns on their helmet", but that is very possibly just me being a bore.


Also, electric eels are from the fucking Amazon. I don't think a raiding party went that far and then decided to bring back a couple of barrels of eels. The only electric fish with a Scandinavian range would be the marbled torpedo ray, which likes to hang out on the ocean bottom and isn't really something that you're likely to catch a lot of, even if you were bloody minded enough to actually try.

But hell, where do you even start with anachronisms and bad science with these things? The last historical episode had gold currency, Franciscan friars and halberds in England around 1190. Hell, that one didn't even get the planet Earth right (if you ever happen to be in orbit over Europe and for some reason aren't sure what century it is, you can always just glance at the Netherlands. Stuff like the Flevopolder stand out like a dog's balls.) At that point it seems more likely that the Tardis actually showed up in some kind of Westworld style theme park. Again.

But you know, whatevs. Other than the usual fun pedantry this is the first one this season that I've pretty unreservedly enjoyed.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:57 pm

I also quite liked that, despite being the first half of a two-parter, it was a standalone episode. Yes, it set up a story arc, and we'll see more of it next week, but even if we didn't? That right there was a beginning, a middle, and an end. If they wanted, they could pick up this story at the end of the season, or next season, or never. There was a "To be continued," but there wasn't really a cliffhanger.

Wonder how much the explanation for Capaldi's face jibes with what Davies originally had in mind. Probably not much since it doesn't explain his role as Frobisher on Torchwood.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Sharkey » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:50 am

Purple... the color of DEATH!

OMG DUDE

The light of IMMORTALITY!

So these concepts exist on an actual spectrum and emit corresponding visible light. That's... convenient. (The light of CONVENIENCE is a kind of pinkish orange baby Aspirin color.)
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Bal » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:16 am

Gosh there are a LOT of call backs to the Fourth Doctor this season. More than usual, anyway, and in more important to the current happenings than usual. This one reminded me greatly of The Mind of Morbius where The Doctor lecture the Sisterhood of Karn (shown there for the first time) about the downfalls of immortality, and how the Time Lords, though long lived, do die eventually. Except, now he's, what, 1300 years older? And in a fresh cycle of regeneration besides. There's a great deal here that also seems to rather grimly call back again to number 4, with his line "You don't understand the implications... I'm not a human being; I walk in eternity", there said just to highlight that his difference of perspective, but these days he's got a much better picture of eternity and he doesn't seem to like it. Ashildr, who now walks in eternity, is herself no longer a human being (said provisionally last episode of course, but shown here to have come true).

Also, I really like Ashildr.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:06 pm

Bal wrote:Gosh there are a LOT of call backs to the Fourth Doctor this season.


And yet, when he says he's traveled with an immortal before, he says it was Jack Harkness.

No, dammit, it was Romana; Jack wasn't immortal until after he traveled with the Doctor.

Still, great stuff here; I don't know how Maisie Williams keeps managing to outdo herself seeing as the first time I saw her I thought she was the best child actor I'd ever seen. Sure wouldn't mind seeing her pop back in now and again.

Welp, on the one hand we're getting some pretty strong foreshadowing that Clara's going to die, but on the other the whole season's built around the Doctor as somebody who saves people even if it breaks the rules, so it's pretty hard to figure they'll actually kill her off. Hell, they already faked us out once, last Christmas.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Bal » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:39 pm

Romana is a time lord, and he doesn't consider them immortal per se, and certainly he wouldn't have considered Romana to have the perspective of an immortal. Jack was closer when he traveled with the Doctor briefly the second time, but his lifespan at that point wasn't much more than Romana's, and obviously it wasn't enough to jade him yet, though I'm not sure anything really could. Jack is just like that.

His perspective on his own immortality is likely a result of having A: lived longer than most time lords at this point and B: having recently completely cheated what should have been his death.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:29 am

Fair point that Romana was too young to have become as jaded as the rest of the Time Lords.

(Well, there's an argument to be made that Night of the Doctor namedropping Charley implies that the President Romana stories must have happened too, but that's a little too inside baseball for purposes of this discussion.)

But I don't agree at all that the Doctor didn't intend to include the Time Lords when he said that when immortals spend time together with no mortals around it makes them lose perspective. In fact I think that's pretty much the Time Lords' whole deal.

And I don't buy that the Doctor's perspective is the result of all his extra aging as Eleven, or his death cheat into Twelve, either, because the idea that he needs humans around to keep himself from becoming completely unhinged goes back at least as far as The Runaway Bride.

Jack's travels with the Doctor as an immortal are pretty brief; he clings to the TARDIS as an uninvited guest in Utopia (and hangs around for the two episodes that follow, of which the third mostly has the Doctor as a Dobby-thing in a cage), then shows up in The Stolen Earth and Journey's End. Unless they've had other adventures offscreen (always a possibility, as the show and the spinoff media like to remind us; there's currently a Ninth Doctor comic miniseries from the Rose and Jack period -- he's still not an immortal in that one but you get my point) then I think it's a pretty big stretch to say he used to travel with an immortal named Jack Harkness.

The simpler reason that Jack gets a namedrop is that the episode was written by Catherine Tregenna, who also wrote for Torchwood (including Out of Time and Captain Jack Harkness, two of the best episodes of the series, which both shared a lot with this week's episode in focusing on Jack's immortality and how it changed him and made him feel isolated).

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Bal » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:43 am

I wasn't really agreeing with the episode's name drop of Jack, just pointing out that Romana was the Time Lord equivalent of an undergrad on a Euro vacation and hardly had the kind of perspective being discussed here. As for Jack, if nothing else, he never appeared jaded or out of touch in front of the Doctor. The stated reason for not wanting to be around him at the time was that the nature of his immortality made The Doctor queasy.

With regard to the other Time Lords, I think the Doctor views them as distant and jaded as a people. That their civilization, particularly in the pre-Time War era, was too stagnant and distant from the universe at large for at least his tastes. Though again, in Mind of Morbius he indicates that while Time Lords are long lived, they aren't immortal, his point on that occasion being the total stagnation of the Sisterhood. So while he (at the time) considered the Time Lords too stuffy to bother with if he could help it, he still saw qualities in them that were lacking in true immortals.

I think his current distaste, and acute awareness of that particular facet of his situation is a result of his current age and cheating death. Of course the Doctor needs the Companion. This has always been the formula, but who qualifies has always been a bit more loosely defined. As Smith's Doctor said, he never knows why, just who. Capaldi's Doctor seems to have rejected a number of people based on more specific biases, and accepted others (for brief trips anyway) more openly than I think any other modern Doctor. Taking Clara's class in to hide from the treemageddon, taking certain of them on adventures, but rejecting soldiers and immortals outright, even if they're otherwise fine.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:53 am

Yeah, all good points. (Nine picked up a couple of one-offs, but never an entire class's worth of kids.) And I've been meaning to watch The Brain of Morbius but haven't gotten around to it yet.


Meanwhile: well, this was just a matter of time:


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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Bal » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:36 pm

So a bit late, but just thought I'd share some thoughts before we get the pay-off tomorrow. I never thought I'd find Zygons of all things creepy, but here we are. Man oh man can Jenna Coleman pull of an evil look, and the body snatchers element, as well as Osgood and the Truth or Consequences New Mexico sequences were all good and foreboding (Cactus Jack a Zygon? I could believe it). The idea that the invasion was already over got me pretty good, though in fairness to my genre-savvyness, I was playing Anno while I watched.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:24 am

Sharkey wrote:As usual, a lot potential wasted because we gotta keep the status quo. God damn, that could have been spectacular if it hadn't flipped back to basic heroes and villains shit. "I was manipulating you all along!" "Yeah, I know. Asspull counter plan!" Maybe I'm an idiot, but I was holding out hope and then "Yeah, fuck genuine pathos. This again." Still fun, but just... fuck me.


Was this one more what you had in mind? It certainly struck me as having the kind of payoff I wish the Davros confrontation had.

Plus, probably Capaldi's best performance to date.

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