Doctor Who

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Mothra
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Mothra » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:56 pm

Thad wrote:And we're back.

I was a little surprised they recast the Master so soon. I guess it's a little disappointing that Missy's entire character arc is out the window, but it was bound to happen; no matter how many times Magneto reforms, he always becomes a villain again eventually.

And I think Sacha Dhawan is great in the role; he's got the alternating rage and glee working. And we haven't seen the Master straight up casually murdering dudes since, what, Missy's first arc?

And the tissue compressor is back! I love that shit. I've been hoping we'd see it again since Simm first showed up, and...well, it took another twelve and a half years, but at last the Master's most ridiculous calling card is back.


After a season of setting up new stuff, Chibnall seems comfortable delving back into the lore -- and placing his own stamp on it. We'll see where the latest revelations go. Seems interesting so far, anyway.

Nice to have the main cast back. And the "Doctor teams up with badass women from history" hook is good and I hope to see more of it. And Chibnall's kept up the entirely unsubtle commentary on contemporary politics, which is something we need right now. We need somebody to tell us that fascists never win, even when it seems like they're going to. It's hard for me to believe that message sometimes -- especially right now, and especially coming out of the UK right now -- but we need to hear it.

Just watched Spyfall, I definitely agree with all Thad's points.

This show is like... it whiplashes wildly between truly god-awful and great, within every episode. I don't know if I legit like it, even after having watched a half-dozen seasons. The actor who played The Master was extremely good and I love watching this cast. The storylines in every episode are incredibly dumb, on the other hand, and it's like, christ almighty, what is this? I keep trying to re-contextualize it in my head (oh it's just a light sci-fi adventure, it's british sci-fi, it's meant to be funny) to enjoy it properly, but that context changes season to season.

I think whenever they try to do something dramatic, it's a huge whiff, just because like... how many times has the Earth been in peril of annihilation by aliens? How many times as the Doctor stopped this common alien foe or that foe? How many times has Gallifrey been destroyed or lost now? Hard to get invested.

Anyways, in true Doctor Who fashion, the first two eps were great, then this week's one absolutely sucked ass, so I'm gonna go back to keeping an eye on reviews and just dipping back in whenever I hear one of them is good.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:40 pm

Mothra wrote:then this week's one absolutely sucked ass

Yes. Yes it did. It was worse than the giant moon spider abortion one. Legit the worst episode in years, I thought, even before all that "this is only one possible future" fuckery that completely violated the established Doctor Who rules of time travel. (Wouldn't everywhere she goes be "only one possible future", then?)

And for some reason it became Metro 2033 halfway through? I mean, I started the game and it seems pretty cool, but kinda outta left field?

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Brentai
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Brentai » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:29 pm

I thought the "timey-wimey stuff" comment was to call out the fact that time works however the current writer feels like.
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Thad
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:29 pm

The rules are certainly flexible, but the rules have always been "there's just one timeline; anything else is a parallel universe." The future can (sometimes) be changed, but that doesn't switch between multiple branching timelines; it changes the one single timeline. The Dalek Invasion of Earth in the 22nd century isn't "one possible future"; it's *the future*.

"Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey...stuff" was first used in Blink; the Doctor was explaining causality loops, events in the past being influenced by things that will happen in the future. Causality loops explicitly require the existence of a fixed future; Blink doesn't work if there are a number of branching possible futures; it only works if there's The Future.

But ultimately, the shoddy time travel rules in the Doctor's closing sermon aren't the thing that made Orphan 55 a bad episode. The whole closing speech was pretty awful (I guess we've found my threshold for where I stop saying "it's OK to be preachy and obvious"), but it would have still been a shoddy hour of television without it.

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Mothra
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Mothra » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:40 pm

Yeah, I generally don't mind if the time travel doesn't make sense at this point (unless the time travel is the focus of the episode). It's more just the baffling or nonsensical stories.

In Spyfall, for example, they spend one half of the episode going back throughout time and showing how Ada Lovelace was inspirational in laying the foundation for modern computers. Then, they go into the future, and do this eye-rolling villain monologue about how computers have become this addicting menace that has caused us to lose our privacy and individuality. Kinda goes directly against the theme you were setting up the entire episode! It ends with them defeating the one guy and stopping his plan.

The other recent one that comes to mind is the Amazon warehouse one, where the solution to a developing sentient AI is to destroy the AI and revert to running without without automation. Like, the leaders of the soulless megacorporation are gonna decide to pick the one that makes less money? And puts them at a disadvantage against competitors? Weird message to send, that the only problem with companies like Amazon is the use of automation, and not the heinous labor practices.

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