Doctor Who – Series 11

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    Worth a discussion thread?

    We’re just watching Capaldi’s regeneration into Whittaker as part of our build-up to tonight’s episode. Such a great scene.



    I thought it was OK, Whittaker was good and I like the new TARDIS crew more than I expected. It wasn’t a barnstorming debut like Smith though.

    Oh, and I really like the new version of the theme tune.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    I thought Matt Smith was rubbish, that’s about as far as my opinions on Doctor Who goes before I stopped watching it.


    Pete Part Three

    The story itself was pretty by the numbers but the cast were on point and it worked pretty well as a new mission statement. I disliked pretty much all of the last season (and the Christmas special), so I’m interested to see where this goes.


    Flap Jack

    I really liked it! Very odd that there were no opening credits, though. I hope that’s not the new normal.



    I’ll be honest and say that I’m not a fan of the sex change, but I’m watching at least the first few episodes to see how it pans out. It was good that they didn’t dwell on it at any point, just a quick ‘oh I’m a woman now, OK’ and moving on.

    The story itself was alright but I feel like I’m left with a feeling of a lot of things not really making much sense.

    How spoiler’y can we be in discussion? I presume because it’s aired it’s not an issue?



    I was dancing around spoilers but maybe let’s just assume that anyone visiting this thread is up to date with the latest aired episode and only avoid spoilers for anything unaired.

    So I can mention the fact that the advance publicity focusing on the three companions made it pretty clear that one of the four wasn’t going to survive past this episode! It was nicely handled, though – Walsh did well during the funeral scene.

    I really liked it! Very odd that there were no opening credits, though. I hope that’s not the new normal.

    I think Chibnall has said that we will see the new title sequence ‘in situ’ from episode two, so presumably it was just a one-off for this opener.



    I thought it was fine.

    Doctor Who, at least the nu-ten series, has this atmosphere that I can’t describe which all the Who-wannabes – your Merlins, Primevals, Sinbads, Musketeer and Atlantiseses – try to emulate but can’t. This… didn’t have that.

    Look: Art Malik!



    Yeah, fine. It’s not really for me, but there’s a very limited range of Doctor Who that I really click with anyway (most of Tom Baker and early Matt Smith), so that’s okay. More interesting and worthwhile than series ten, which just felt like a by-the-numbers series for the sake of having one. Jodie felt a bit CBBC. New theme sounded good, the more electronic and less orchestral the better.



    I liked series ten, largely because I thought Bill brought a great new energy and freshness to the series (after Clara long outstayed her welcome).

    But either way I think a change was overdue this year, and this new version of the show definitely feels like something different.


    Toxteth O-Grady

    I don’t watch Doctor Who, but I do love the theme tune (the later Tom Baker version is my favourite, when they put it in a lower key).

    Whenever there’s a new Doctor, I always watch the beginning of one of their episodes to hear what the theme tune’s like, and I’ve hated pretty much all of the versions since they brought the show back (Matt Smith’s theme was particularly unpleasant for me).

    I’m glad to read they’ve gone more electronic for the latest series. Looking forward to hearing it. Orchestral sounded wrong, and they over-complicated it with daft little extra flairs throughout.
    Minimal and electronic should be the sound of Doctor Who’s theme, as Delia Derbyshire arranged it.



    I really liked the Eccleston series but I could never get into Tennant and kept drifting in and out of it.
    Reasons –

    -the sentimentalism was too sickly
    -it seemed like there was too much quality variation – a great episode would be followed up by a silly one, and the extreme mix of styles from one episode to the next (horror to sci fi comedy) meant I never really felt excited about sitting down to watch it
    -Tennant’s manic performance didn’t really grab me

    having said that, I did enjoy a lot of episodes, and admired the imagination, I just couldn’t get excited about it.

    Matt Smith’s era always seemed a bit too posh and mainstream for me, with all him and all his friends being tall white and skinny. Not saying there wasn’t good episodes.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    I quite liked Tennant (Of course, Eccleston beats him, but still), a lot of his stories stick with me as really good like Midnight, Turn Left, Waters of Mars, Human Nature, etc.

    Though the number of times Tennant’s doctor went “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry” good christ, and his last story was just fucking terrible and he came across as such a whiny cunt “I DESERVE MORE” (If I was a Doctor Who fan, probably go down in my top 5 worst Doctor moments)

    But overall, he was quite good and I enjoyed him.



    I think the new theme might actually be the original theme embellished or remixxxed? Which is nice. People have ripped it to YouTube.

    I often feel like rewatching the Eccleston year, I like how it’s so self-contained despite the flaws, but it’s probably better in my memory. It was mainly Moffat’s annual story that got me through the Tennant years, but all the other episodes mentioned were really good too.

    We rewatched Matt Smith a few months ago and still mostly love series 5 & 6, but 7 was a largely unrewarding slog at the time and nearly all skipped now. Capaldi was alright, but I liked each year a little less and felt kind of detached from it. ‘Heaven Sent’ aside, which is ace.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    Okay, so I watched every Cyberman episode from Tennant and Smith (Exception of Smith’s last story with the wood Cybermen, but come on that’s fucking stupid anyway) so I have zero frame of reference for Capaldi’s Cyberman episodes; but good christ did they fuck them up. Never once was any episode with them good.

    Worst ones:

    1. Closing Time (James Cordon defeats them with the power of LOVE; give me a fucking break. Dumbest episode of Smith’s era)
    2. Nightmare in Silver (Clara was a shit companion and should’ve been retired)
    3. Doomsday (QUICK, we gotta make the Daleks look badass, give them some fodder to murder)
    4. The Next Doctor (I’m waiting for the Power Rangers to show up anytime now)

    Siliconia was the best Cyberman episode modern Doctor Who never had,

    1. Humanised converted former humans; took time to actually watch and see them slowly lose their personalities (I know with Cybermen this is instantaneous except that one brief moment in The Age of Steel, but still the whole point of Cybermen is they were previously unwilling humans)
    2. Made the enemies actually a force to be reckoned with by the main protagonists (I swear to God, every Cybermen story I’ve seen its just a bunch of army dudes blowing them up, OH LOOK AT OUR BADASS CLARA)
    3. When the formerly human converts actually DO lose their personality, they are threatening (Cat especially, that voice Danny does is fucking ace) and they don’t act like robots like modern Cybermen but an uncanny middle-ground. Modern Cybermen is them clanging their feet and marching in rows all the bloody time in complete unison, no meat to bite into, yeah you can say its creepy that they are just indistinguishable from each other, I disagree you need some hints.

    Yeah, Siliconia’s ending is practically a deus ex machina, but goddamnit does everything else about that episode work so well. Well anyway rant over, talk about Jodie and stuff.



    So I can mention the fact that the advance publicity focusing on the three companions made it pretty clear that one of the four wasn’t going to survive past this episode! It was nicely handled, though – Walsh did well during the funeral scene.

    I avoid all trailers and publicity, so this was a surprise to me. Unfortunately I found her the most likeable one of the bunch so was pretty pissed off that she got killed off for no particular reason.

    I think one of the things that threw it most for me was that the sense of time and locations didn’t seem to flow right. I’ve a whole list of ‘that should have taken longer’ and ‘how did they get there so fast?’. Yeah it’s picky but it’s hard to get into a story when your mind is going ‘hang on, that doesn’t feel right’ all the time. How did the guy who lost his sister know the pod was there? Why are the construction workers on site at what must be middle of the night? She’s already killed him, why send him home and get annoyed at the lad for kicking him off when he’s already teleporting anyway?

    So many niggles that just shouldn’t be there.

    As for Whittaker? Ehhhhh, pretty hard to judge when it’s all regeneration madness. We’ll see after the next few episodes.

    Fucking hate the culottes.



    I haven’t seen it yet, but killing off one of the new team sounds like Torchwood



    “I’ll be honest and say that I’m not a fan of the sex change”

    I’m fine with it, but for logic’s sake shouldn’t it be called Nurse Who now?



    >I’m fine with it, but for logic’s sake shouldn’t it be called Nurse Who now?

    I’m pretty sure everyone’s already done this joke

    Haven’t seen the new Doctor Who yet, don’t know whether it’s worth bothering with. The last episode I saw is that one where they accidentally make the TARDIS all small and the Doctor sticks his hand out and stuff. Not really a big fan of Doctor Who but if there’s nothing else on then I usually take a look. The only Doctor Who I really enjoyed was the movie with Paul McGann, I thought that was great



    >I’m fine with it, but for logic’s sake shouldn’t it be called Nurse Who now?

    I’m pretty sure everyone’s already done this joke

    Haven’t seen the new Doctor Who yet, don’t know whether it’s worth bothering with. The last episode I saw is that one where they accidentally make the TARDIS all small and the Doctor sticks his hand out and stuff. Not really a big fan of Doctor Who but if there’s nothing else on then I usually take a look. The only Doctor Who I really enjoyed was the movie with Paul McGann, I thought that was great



    >Yeah, Siliconia’s ending is practically a deus ex machina, but goddamnit does everything else about that episode work so well.

    I didn’t mind the deus ex machina of them finding the Siliconia- it’s at least mentioned throughout the episode so it doesn’t feel like it comes totally out of nowhere- it was the little epilogue part afterwards that bothered me. We don’t actually see Rimmer and Cat back to normal, so it doesn’t really feel like they are, and “the soundproof airlock” is a really weak gag to go out on. The extended ending with Rimmer and Cat coming in forced to obey Lister should have been kept in, imo- it’s funnier and is a much more satisfying conclusion to the episode. It’s not like the episode was rushed for time either- it runs a little short actually, so they had plenty of time to include the scene.

    It’s a shame, because apart from the ending Siliconia was an absolutely brilliant episode.



    I’m rewatching from 2005 using Ian’s excellent blog Curiosity In A Junkyard as a guide. I did watch every episode up until series 5 and after that I drifted in and out. My current opinion having only got halfway through series 2 is that Doctor Who is 33% amazing and 66% silly nonsense (1% awesome theme tune).



    I watched the first half hour of the new episode and found it surprisingly stagey with very functional dialogue. I will of course catch up with it all in due time (I’m currently on The Impossible Planet).



    >Doctor Who is 33% amazing and 66% silly nonsense

    I agree, but the 66% silly nonsense is what makes the 33% amazing.

    But what do I know, I enjoyed that one with Robin Hood. Pure silly nonsense, that was. This new one was a bit po-faced, which is fine. The thing that I didn’t like was any attempt at humour, which fell completely flat for me. That Capaldi one with him running around the castle on his own, I loved that one, and I don’t think there was any humour in that.

    Jodie Whittaker is good in the role but hasn’t had a proper time to shine yet. I’ve seen people comparing her to Matt Smith but I found her very different. She talked fast sometimes, yeah, but she seemed more in control of her performance whereas Smith seemed a lot giddier, usually, which was part of his appeal (I liked Matt Smith a lot). She’s also clearly the most human out of nearly any Doctor (the only way she can top Davison is by doing something even more Doctor-y than sacrificing her life for someone she just met). At first I found it a bit jarring going from Capaldi’s aloofness, but then I realised I actually enjoy the Doctor being actually likeable as well as admirable.

    I’ve said too much. If you’ve read all of this garble, I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry.



    Just as a sidenote, I see Mike Tucker has contributed storyboards for the next set of Tennant/Tate stories from Big Finish.


    Paul Muller

    My opinion is that it was good.



    Christ, episode two was a bit dull wasn’t it. Clunky script and the cast all seemed a bit subdued compared to episode one.

    It still looks very nice though, and I love the new version of the theme tune and opening. Plus, the Tardis interior looks pretty cool.



    I quite liked it. Reminded me of a Star Trek (possibly Voyager) type of episode. Though it was a little paint by numbers, with obvious preachy dialogue (not that I have a problem with dialogue that is preachy, it just was written badly, wasn’t clever or subtle which is what I tend to expect from DW) – and both of those things add to the Star Trek feel of it.

    I still love Jodie, I think she is awesome. The rest of her team still need a little teasing out, like Yaz needs something to do. Graham and Ryan were ok, added something to the story by fixing the boat and their characters / relationship were moved along a little bit.

    I’m intrigued what this “timeless child” is about … and don’t care anything for the Stynza (?)

    I’m enjoying this new run, looking forward to next week.



    There’s not a Doctor Who fan in Sheffield who didn’t have a smile on their face when they mentioned the Police Box on Surrey Street.
    There was no way they were going to get through a series which features Sheffield so prominently without featuring our green TARDIS somehow.



    I’d read that Chibnall wanted to be more educational, but that felt like the most patronising one ever. I hope kids are enjoying it, at least. I can’t muster any enthusiasm for these arcs they’re sowing. There’d better be a ‘Blink’ in here somewhere.



    I rather liked it. It seems appropriate that the crew are more subdued when they’re in culture shock from being in space and crash landing on an alien planet. It’s going to be difficult to have all of them playing a significant part in every episode, so while it was Ryan and Graham this week, I’d hope to have more focus on Yaz next week. It makes sense you can’t do character development on all of them when you’re still building the Doctors new character too.

    As for the patronising side, I felt it more for the character than personally. In both the getting the boat to go and climbing the ladder, the character development was already there and was just spoilt by the Doctor coming along and giving him a pat on the head for being a good boy. The pep talk to get up the ladder felt very ’11’, but really we’re getting a bit beaten over the head with the dyspraxia bit. Just a shot of him psyching up before climbing would have made the point.

    The talking mindreading rags seemed very … odd. Leaving aside the question of how rags can talk, if they can see all the way into a time lords subconscious (memory/whatever), wouldn’t the plan of what they were about to do be in big flashing letters? Eh, nitpicky. That whole scene felt very Harry Potter’esque for some reason I can’t pin down.

    I’m happy enough to look forward to next week now.



    Like every other Sheffielder, I’m happy that the Surrey Street Police Box found its way into an episode. They’d have been missing a trick not mentioning the Sheffield TARDIS.



    I think we’ve experienced this period of time before, sir.



    It’s going to be difficult to have all of them playing a significant part in every episode, so while it was Ryan and Graham this week, I’d hope to have more focus on Yaz next week.

    I gather that Yaz will be getting a bit more time in the spotlight in episode four.



    I think we’ve experienced this period of time before, sir.

    Ah, yes. I’ll read what I’ve written where in future. I’ve mentioned it in two or three places, didn’t realise I’d reached G&T yet.



    Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey etc.



    >I’d read that Chibnall wanted to be more educational

    Whelp, guess that was the educational history episode of the series then.

    But well done on Ryan getting rid of the bad guy, we’re NEVER going to be seeing him again -_-



    I’ve never watched any Capaldi episode, so I got his first box set today and just watched his first ep about the robot organ collecter under Victorian London. I really enjoyed it.



    I thought that was better than last week’s, and definitely a memorable and worthwhile entry even if it’s not one I’d watch again for fun. It could have been a Tennant/Martha episode easily enough, but benefited from the expanded cast. I’ll always pine for that time Doctor Who was mainly written by sitcom writers, and I miss seeing the full colour spectrum, but I’m still on board.



    I thought that was ok actually, they handled the issues pretty honestly and the sci-fi/villain elements were kept around the edges so it didn’t feel like too much of a crass clash with the historical stuff.

    I had some problems with the shape of the story (like how flimsy the villain’s motivations and plans were, and how bluntly he was despatched in the end – and also how bizarre it was that the Tardis crew had to piece together Rosa’s story like detectives when they could have just used the Tardis to find out the details), but it wasn’t so damaging as to ruin the episode.

    Ultimately the talk beforehand about it potentially being like a Quantum Leap episode was on the money. Quite good from an educational point of view for kids – it led to some good conversations about racism and the civil rights movement.



    > also how bizarre it was that the Tardis crew had to piece together Rosa’s story like detectives when they could have just used the Tardis to find out the details

    Well, there was a line of dialogue that went something like

    “Why aren’t we going back to the TARDIS?”

    “Because that bloke has eyes on it, and we’ll run into him again if we keep going in and out”.

    Which seemed kind of invalidated after she then went deliberately looking for him a bit later.


    Pete Part Three

    The Quantum Leap comparison is valid, but specifically the JFK episodes. This got so bogged down in historical accuracy and highlighting real-life drama, that it forgot to innovate some drama of its own.



    Historical Accuracy: Elvis *was* in New York for a publicity photo shoot on December 1st 1955.



    But *didn’t* have a mobile phone at the time.



    And, admittedly, wouldn’t have been close enough to Frank Sinatra to lend it to him. In fact, Frank wasn’t a big fan of Elvis, certainly not in 1955.



    I trust everyone is reading Andrew Ellard’s notes on the new episodes, anyway – they’ve been very good so far.



    Yes indeed.



    I do wish the writing on the wall hadn’t rubbed off only for the Doctor to realise that she’d used a permanent marker.

    (Also wish she had said, in episode 1, that half an hour ago she was a Flying Scotsman.)



    I thought Arachnids In The UK was alright, and I thought they judged the scariness about right – a couple of eye-covering moments in our house but nothing too disturbing.

    It did feel like it lacked resolution though – some kind of scene to show the spiders definitively being dealt with. It suddenly jumped from the big plan to all the post-story stuff.

    Also, all the Trump stuff was a bit on-the-nose. Presumably Noth is coming back later this series?


    Pete Part Three

    15 minutes in, I thought “this is promising”.

    30 minutes in, I thought “Maybe something surprising will happen, they’ll be an actual escalation of stakes and this will go somewhere rather than just being a crap version of Aliens”

    50 minutes in, it finished.



    That is an ending recent Red Dwarf would be proud of. Lure the spiders into a room and lock them in, then we all go home.

    The end.



    I can see that maybe the ending was a bit flawed (I had actually forgotten how the story was resolved about 15 minutes after it ended), but that was my favourite episode of the series so far. And Jodie’s Doctor has appeared tonight. We’ve got a definite character to latch onto properly.



    The most optimistic I can be is that we’ve done most of Chibnall’s episodes now – just next week’s and the finale left. The four in-between are by other writers, which is where my hope lies. That’s just how I felt during most of the RTD era, to be fair.



    Well that was a bit underwhelming. I really really don’t like spiders in movies (the Lost in Space metal spiders gave me actual nightmares for weeks) so I had to gear myself up for this episode. I figured Sunday tea-time shouldn’t be too scary though. Unfortunately I’m almost disappointed how un-scary they actually were.

    Like Dave said, the Trump stuff was a bit unexpected as well. It was bad enough having a rich American hotel mogul running for president but I was really surprised when they literally name-checked him. Is this the first time Who has mentioned a real life politician? I mean, we’ve had two story lines involving prime-ministers without mentioning real politicians, why bring Trump into it?

    As for the spiders, I’m really confused by the Doctors new pro-life policy. Sure, when you have a sentient lifeform that can be communicated with, having a little chat persuading them to bugger off is a nice idea. But these are literal man-eating monsters, I’m sure a previous doctor would have just torched the place and be done with it. The gun thing makes no sense either. Oh yes, let’s leave these spiders in a small room where they’ll starve and cannibalise each other before a slow and painful death. Likewise lets watch this giant spider slowly suffocate to death instead of putting it out of its misery. Oh and we’ll have a nice cosy chat afterwards and clear off, leaving all the other giant spiders roaming round the city, no probs bruv.



    Obama was in David Tennant’s last episodes, back when people really loved Obama. Capaldi mentioned Trump in one of his last episodes, basically comparing him to the Cybermen as unavoidable shit humanity has to deal with.

    If Chibnall is being clever, the high-and-mighty anti-gun tirades here and in episode two (both times where the Doctor’s solution was arguably worse) will be building to her realising a character flaw, similar to when Matt Smith’s Doctor got too cocky and speechy for his boots and was slammed down. Otherwise it’s just wank.


    Seb Patrick

    Is this the first time Who has mentioned a real life politician? I mean, we’ve had two story lines involving prime-ministers without mentioning real politicians, why bring Trump into it?

    Ann Widdecombe endorsed The Master for Prime Minister. I’m sure Ken Livingstone got a namecheck when a cab driver was grumbling about traffic in an early RTD one, too.

    Also: Churchill, obvs.



    It does feel like there’s been so much focus on the anti-gun hypocrisy that it needs to amount to something more.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    Thatcher was referenced in the background in Eccleston’s Father’s Day, but doesn’t really count considering it was a decade after her government I suppose.



    If we’re going back that far they had Nixon actually appear in that episode at the start of series 6 where Matt Smith’s Doctor ‘dies’, didn’t they?



    He had Abraham Lincoln in to help with his history report didn’t…oh no, that was Bill and Ted, wasn’t it?



    OK so I should have specified current politicians. Historical figures are another thing.

    I guess I just don’t current affairs in my sci-fi. Can you imagine Tom Baker’s doctor making snarky comments about Harold Wilson? I’m not a fan of having pop music in episodes either.

    Maybe I’m just a grumpy old woman, but maybe if the shows were better written it wouldn’t be so egregious. Sci-fi has always made social and political commentary, but Who is doing it with the subtlety of a brick through the window.



    > I guess I just don’t current affairs in my sci-fi. Can you imagine Tom Baker’s doctor making snarky comments about Harold Wilson?

    Well, Helen A in The Happiness Patrol basically was Margaret Thatcher, and that was put out in November 1988.


    Ben Saunders

    Haven’t watched any of it yet for various reasons, but I’m about to dip into episode one now. They’ve managed to go 55 years while only fucking up the casting of the Doctor once (can you guess which time I’m referring to?), so they’ve got a good track record on it thus far, I’m not too worried by that. The writing is much more important and Chris Chibnall has… written episodes before.



    (can you guess which time I’m referring to?)

    Give me 14 guesses and I’m sure I’ll get it


    Ben Saunders

    The Woman Who Fell to Earth was absolutely fine. Some very predictable writing as the deaths of the drunk man and the security guard, and the death at the end are all things I saw coming 50,000 miles away. Cringed at opening the new series with a vlog and all the social media references (yikes, this isn’t how you stay relevant to ‘the kids’, people), but I audibly aww’d at the twist regarding who the vlog was about. Whittaker is being written as a sort of Tennant Two, something a lot of us were worried was going to happen, and her performance felt a little forced with the more wacky stuff, but this is only her first episode and I can see her growing into the role – I didn’t like Smith at first either but he quickly became a favourite of mine in his second series. Playing the monster for laughs is almost always a mistake, and I could physically feel the tension being sucked out of the scene when they made fun of his name. I loved the stuff on the cranes, very tense. Monster design was cool I guess. The music is pretty good – I liked Gold but this is a nice change of pace. The show is shot in that way that makes everything look a bit fake via trying to make it look realistic-yet-stylised, and everything is a bit dark. Overall 6.5/10 for that first episode. Nearly hits 7/10 but there are a few moments made me roll my eyes enough to drop the score back down – less Wacky Tennant, please.

    “It’s been a long time since I’ve bought women’s clothes” – LOL


    Ben Saunders

    A further note on Whittaker since I forgot to actually say what I liked about her – when she wasn’t being balls-to-the-walls wacky in the car she seemed very childlike in an endearing way, like when she asked to turn the sirens and lights on. I also really liked the sonic building scene and her speech at the end about her family. Bradley Walsh also surprised me by being able to act, the funeral scene was quite nice – although sit the fuck down, Doctor, honestly.


    Ben Saunders

    Oh and don’t quote the main theme in the episode’s incidental music!! Just don’t! They did it in the 80s and it was just as naff then!



    >Well, Helen A in The Happiness Patrol basically was Margaret Thatcher, and that was put out in November 1988.

    I’ll admit I’ve not seen that one, but from a quick google that it’s basically supporting my point. It may not have been terribly subtle, but it’s still only a caricature with plausible deniability. It’s not like she’s shutting down the mines and stopping free milk for children, or Ace right out saying “oh that Thatcher is a cunt”. (On a side note, wtf is up with the giant Berty Bassett?)



    (On a side note, wtf is up with the giant Berty Bassett?)

    People have been asking that for the past thirty years.



    I was just the right age to be scared by Kandyman when The Happiness Patrol first went out. To this day I’m not quite sure how.


    Ben Saunders

    The Happiness Petrol is quite good once you get over the high pantomime tone, a leftover from McCoy’s first season. Certainly one of his better ones, if blatantly unsubtle in its anti-Thatcherism. Not to get into politics, but that aspect of it didn’t bother me at all. They certainly knew what they were doing. The whole McCoy era is a bit iffy but that’s a diamond in the rough. Spoilers, McCoy is the one I think was miscast, but I’m aware there are people who will want me hung drawn and quartered for saying so.


    Ben Saunders

    Also once you get over the appearance of the Kandyman. He’s still quite threatening despite looking so ridiculous, but… he died look ridiculous, doesn’t he?



    Davison’s the odd one out for me. There are some good stories and he’s a good actor, but I can’t see the character continuity there, except maybe right at the end. Which is fine, it doesn’t always have to be the same.

    I like Happiness Patrol a lot and enjoyed the grotesque, proto-Mr. Blobby/Bertie Bassett Kandyman for the joke I assumed it was. But I thought the moon-egg was funny too, so what do I know?



    I like McCoy because he’s the Doctor I watched as a kid (and I maintain that Remembrance Of The Daleks is one of the best DW stories, despite knowing that it’s partly the nostalgia factor that makes it work for me).

    That and Happiness Patrol were two of his most memorable stories, for me.


    Ben Saunders

    Davison was supposed to be completely different, so I guess they managed that. I agree he was a bit of a wet blanket in his first two seasons, but from Frontios onwards, he was absolutely incredible, and totally nailed the character. Luckily, it is his post-Frontios performance that makes it into Big Finish, so he’s great there, too.


    Ben Saunders

    Just reached the Call of Duty part of episode two.
    Oh no.
    Ohhh nnnoooooo.


    Ben Saunders

    That second episode was a bit naff, wasn’t it? And the new TARDIS. And the opening theme. Closing theme is alright, though. Meh.



    Ghost Light is the only original-run Doctor Who I can remember, when I would have just turned four. Definitely the appropriate age for that one. I didn’t know it was Who (and not T-Bag or something) until I watched again as an adult and remembered being scared by the golden ghost, and animal head busts with glowing red eyes were a feature of my nightmares for years, so might have come from there. Glad I didn’t miss out on childhood Who trauma completely.


    Ben Saunders

    The Rosa episode was a bit dodgy as well. If Grease Lightning can’t get violent, how did he smash up the bus? He was an alright actor, reminded me of Piers Brosnan.
    Tosin Cole has very little presence, it’s as if he has has no power behind him, and his lines are often delivered very awkwardly.

    >Ending the episode on pop music
    Oh, no.
    No, no, no.
    No, no, no, no, no.


    Ben Saunders

    Ghost Light is incomprehensible drivel and I’m convinced the people who actually like it only do so because they’ve filled in the gaping narrative gaps with the novelisation and the two have become entwined in their memory. There’s some nice stuff with Ace in it, though.


    Ben Saunders

    Arachnids in the UK is like a mediocre, Series 7B kind of episode, which is honestly so refreshing after the shite we’ve been dealt so far this series. The grime music and the plot “resolution” were all fucking dreadful, though, Christ. Lock them all in a room and forget about it? Starving/suffocating to death is a more humane death than a gun to the head?. The politician character was a shitty caricature, the villains this series have all been really two-dimensional and underwhelming, and he was in the right for most of the episode anyway. It isn’t his fault other people caused all these problems, and any sane person would shoot the fuck out of those spiders, I liked the attempts at humanising him through Kevin and when he mourns that other woman. I get what they were going for with that character but he was just so surface level and there was nothing really to him.

    Some great character stuff in this episode, love Graham and the line about not being happy the dad said “real family”, but still nothing that really drags it above anything but a 6.

    Arachnids > Woman > Rosa > The one about the race



    I’ve only seen nu Who, but I’m never sure what to make of regenerations. I’m never sure how much you’re supposed to feel the Dr is the same person with a new face, or a different person with the same spirit/mission.



    I like the ambiguity about regeneration, and the way that different Doctors have approached the experience. There are clearly through-lines between different Doctors, but also a sense that a different person has taken over that identity.

    It’s one of the reasons why I really liked Matt Smith’s goodbye speech, and the way it used regeneration as a metaphor for how a person grows and changes over the course of their life. “When the Doctor was me.” There was a certain acceptance that it’s a positive and necessary change. Whereas with Tennant and Capaldi there was a real reluctance and resistance there.

    I liked the (slightly poetic) way that Whittaker described it in the series opener, actually. Something to do with being reborn but not fully formed and gradually moving towards the new person that you have to become.



    another little thing. I rewatched the “day of the Doctor” scene where they freeze his planet, and when Capaldi says “no, all 13” to introduce himself, he sounds English. I wonder if they only decided to use his accent after that scene?



    That isn’t his voice, is it? It’s the general on Gallifrey. We only see the attack eyebrows, we don’t hear him at all.



    OH – I thought it was him introducing himself…


    Ben Saunders

    Nope, hahaha, it’s the general.

    What a moment that was, seeing 12 in DotD. Then seeing 11 phone 12 in Deep Breath. The kind of timey-wimey bullshit only Moffat would give us, and I love him for it. Those and Night of the Doctor are some of the biggest “holy shit” moments I’ve had as a Who fan. Other than that guy getting mulched in Seeds of Doom.



    Day Of The Doctor is just great. It’s Doctor Who as a big, epic, self-referential fan-pleasing romp but it works brilliantly.


    Ben Saunders

    Zygon subplot felt a bit like padding but it set up a quite-good two parter for Series 9 so I guess I’ll forgive it. I don’t think DotD is a good episode of Doctor Who but I do think it’s all those other things you said



    I did hope that as Capaldi’s run came to a close, we’d see that ‘All 13!’ from the other side. When he returned to Gallifrey in Hell Bent, I thought we were going to see it…



    Going back to series 11, I’m loving Bradley Walsh. The scenes with him talking to Grace in their house were just heartbreaking.



    I’m sure Capaldi even teased in an interview that we’d see “all thirteen” again, from his perspective. Ah well.


    Ben Saunders

    With the Heaven Sent/Hell Bent we ended up getting, there’s no real place to put it without it just being a gratuitous fanwank moment that distracts us from the story, so I guess it either got written out or left on the cutting room floor.

    And yeah Graham is my favourite thing about Series 11. Yaz is… there, Ryan is an alright character with some dodgy acting, and the Doctor herself……….. exists



    I presume there was a vague notion to return to it at some point but a story never presented itself. It’s hard to imagine how to make that moment really interesting again from the other side, given how otherwise uninvolved the Twelfth Doctor is with Day of the Doctor and that we all know how the story played out already.



    Random thought: do you think they’ll ever explain how the Doctor fell to earth safely at the start of this series? Or is it simply what it appears to be: one of those “I’ll explain later” moments that will never be referred to again.


    Pete Part Three

    Was there every confirmation that she’d fallen from a considerable distance? The woman “who fell to Earth” was Grace, not the Doctor, so didn’t think there was anything to suggest she’d fallen from a great height, or just jumped in from the roof of the train.

    Well, certainly not a greater height than Tennant in The End of Time Part 2.



    If you saw the end of ‘Twice Upon A Time’ then you saw how far she fell from.



    >do you think they’ll ever explain how the Doctor fell to earth safely at the start of this series

    “Still in regeneration”

    I’m more confused about the whole ring falling off and Tardis throwing her out thing. I presumed the ring was required to operate the Tardis or something like that, but new Tardis apparently don’t care. There was such focus on the ring it’s got to mean something?



    I don’t think it was any deeper than her hands being smaller than Capaldi’s. We saw her hands before her face in her original reveal video, and their small size made my wife twig that it was a woman immediately, maybe that shot was a similar clue for viewers who’d managed to remain unspoiled before slowly revealing the face.



    Yeah, I think that was just a nice detail to show the physical change.

    I wonder if there will ever be an explanation for the Tardis malfunction/explosion. Chibnall seems to leave a lot of loose ends that may or may not ever get followed up.



    Going back to series 11, I’m loving Bradley Walsh.

    Yes, he’s great. Really showing us his acting chops. (That doesn’t really sound as good as it should, does it?)
    Still, if they can cast a teen pop star* and a silly comedienne* as companions, and they don’t do too badly, there’s no reason why a footballer/comedian/singer/game show host* shouldn’t be wonderful, too.

    *and actor


    Pete Part Three

    >If you saw the end of ‘Twice Upon A Time’ then you saw how far she fell from

    Well, not for about 11 months and not particularly keen to revisit it. I remember the regeneration and her saying “brilliant”. Did she fall out of the TARDIS while it was in orbit?


    Ben Saunders

    If I recall correctly she does fall out. Because right after, my dad said “see, not even the TARDIS agrees [with a female Doctor]”.



    It’s still on iplayer (in fact all nuwho is now).

    I re-watched the regeneration earlier, the Tardis turns on its side and literally shakes her out. That’s why I thought there would be more issue made about the ring and getting back in. But apparently not.


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    I’m more confused about the whole ring falling off and Tardis throwing her out thing. I presumed the ring was required to operate the Tardis or something like that, but new Tardis apparently don’t care. There was such focus on the ring it’s got to mean something?

    Hartnell’s ring was discarded by Troughton at the start of his first episode. It’s a back-reference to this, given the context of the episode.



    She fell out of the Tardis from a great height, yes. Above cloud level.


    Ben Saunders

    She should have looked in a mirror and seen a dodgy photograph of Capaldi pasted on it as her reflection as well



    The scene where they’re reunited and the TARDIS apologetically opens its door to welcome her back in is my favourite bit of the new series so far. (‘Tough competition’ etc.)



    >Hartnell’s ring was discarded by Troughton at the start of his first episode. It’s a back-reference to this, given the context of the episode.

    Thank you!


    Ben Saunders

    >‘Tough competition’ etc.
    Arachnids in the UK is my favourite episode of this series so far. ‘Faint praise’ etc.



    Arachnids in the UK is my favourite episode of this series so far.

    Ditto. Highlights included Ed Sheeran and Ryan making shadow puppets in the background.


    Ben Saunders

    The grime music made me want to die and the villain was a two -dimensional thinly-veiled caricature, and the Doctor’s morals were incredibly questionable (suffocating/starving to death being more humane than getting shot), and the plot is basically left unresolved, but apart from that it was…. medicore.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    If only this was an episode of Red Dwarf we’d have formed a general consensus by now


    Ben Saunders

    Despite not enjoying the series so far, I’m really looking forward to tonight’s episode. Either I’ll get to complain more, or I’ll be pleasantly surprised and it will actually be good. Oh joy. I hear it’s a Chibnall one (oh dear) set in space (finally)


    Ben Saunders

    That was GREAT! Funny, tense, emotional, uplifting. Jodie is really coming into her own, now, although the writing really needs to evolve past emulating Ten, and there were some nice character moments for everybody, especially Ryan.
    I kind of liked The Doctor being talked down to and made to concede, that isn’t really something we see a lot. Also a couple good laughs in the episode, including “I’m not being hostile!” said hostile-y, and “Are you kidding/sometimes”.

    More like this, please.


    Pete Part Three

    Thought it was fucking awful.



    Yes I really enjoyed that one. Tension, danger, running around, people dying, Doctor desperately trying to take charge and think of how to save them, all good Who stuff. I could have done without the dead mother chat which rather killed the pace for a little while, but other than that it was a good little episode.

    Shame we’ve had to wait 5 weeks for one though.


    Ben Saunders

    The internet in general seems to think it was pish and I’m starting to wonder if I only thought it was good in relation to the shite we’ve been fed up until now



    I feel like this episode bit off more than it could chew. Too many different character stories fighting for attention, and smothering what could have been a pretty tight and tense main story about the alien eating the ship.

    It felt like scenes often happened in a fairly random order, with the momentum of certain scenes being totally killed by what followed (especially the scenes that just stopped the flow dead to have the characters dole character backstory).

    That said, I think the Doctor marvelling at the antimatter drive might be my favourite Whittaker moment since the start of this series.


    Ben Saunders

    Would have just been more generic/closer to Alien without that stuff, at least this episode tried to be interesting and wasn’t just boring dross like the past four episodes sans Rosa (which was only interesting at the very end) were

    I agree with the momentum dying at some points – not the conversation between the two companions, but there were a couple other moments (the antimatter high school physics lecture which served no purpose and didn’t even mention annihilation) where everything just sort of paused.

    The antimatter explanation was very sudden and out of nowhere but i sort of liked it – on the impetus that it would be used to set up something. But it doesn’t. It’s just there, and a waste of time, time that could be spent sorting out Dave’s first criticism.

    Somebody pointed out that the ship is for some reason stable during all the birthing scenes, which is a bit convenient now I think about it. Same person said that The Doctor being injured for most of the episode served no purpose as well, but I rather liked that, as showing her defeated/submissive etc was a nice little bit the episode did. And it allowed Jodie to stop acting like a facsimile of David Tennant and give us a little something different, her performance was more interesting and more her own, then. Not as wacky.



    >The internet in general seems to think it was pish

    Oh wow yeah, they really hated it didn’t they? I mean sure, it’s no Blink, but I didn’t think it was that bad? It had a few issues but nothing that killed the show dead in the water.

    People are moaning that it was boring and confusing, but I found it neither. Just a entertaining little base-under-siege middle of the season episode. Almost feels like I didn’t watch the same show as everyone else (apart from Ben).



    The biggest problem for me is that this was the fifth episode in a row that I found really quite boring and there’s nothing worse than boring. Can’t think of another time since I started watching Who properly in 2010 where that’s happened (I dipped into the RTD era from time to time but couldn’t get on with most of what I saw).

    My partner loves Who and is similarly disappointed but we’ll both continue to watch the show in the hope that it delivers something special somewhere down the line. At this point I haven’t much hope left though.

    Out of curiosity, is there anyone on the board that is really, genuinely loving this series? If so, what are you loving about it?



    Rosa has been my favourite so far, FWIW, but I want my season high point to be a lot better than Rosa is.


    Ben Saunders

    Series’ 3, 7 and 9 had boring stretches but you’re right, nothing has been quite so boring for so long in Doctor Who since The Web Planet.

    The next handful of episodes AREN’T written by Christ “Mediocre” Chibnall, and are being written by brand new writers, so at least we have potentially interesting scripts to look forward to.

    Remember Torchwood? Towards the end of series one that show was starting to get REALLY good, with great character dynamics… then… the finale… was a huge monster… written by Chris Chibnall… WHAT a letdown



    No, even I thought that was a duffer. Like I said on Twitter, as much as we all ‘know’ that it’s essentially a kids’ show, that felt distinctly CBBC fare. When Eve was ‘piloting’ the ship…I thought that was pretty toe-curling to be honest. My dad (who really liked it, he said he didn’t want it to end) said it reminded him of Sandstrom in Hyperdrive (no, I know you didn’t watch it).
    I did think Pting was very well realised though, I was worried when it first appeared that it was just going to be a nasty cartoon, but it actually looked pretty cool (and a bit like a baby Slitheen).



    Being an adult who moans about Doctor Who not going his way makes me feel worse than the initial disappointment did, so I’ll shut up until I like something again. Look – four weeks of guest writers ahead!!!


    Ben Saunders

    >so I’ll shut up until I like something again
    And Warbofrog was never heard from again :(

    Criticising stuff is a lot of fun in my experience… it’s almost addictive… and criticism can be a good thing… somebody could write a decent sci-fi about that idea….



    There was a point at which I thought they were going to go quite dark – once they established that the monster didn’t eat human flesh and they needed to stop it from eating the ship, I thought that they were going to sew it inside the pregnant man just after he had his baby.

    Probably would have been a bit weird though.



    It’s all been a bit of a shrug for me, seeming like the writers aren’t really sure what they want to do so far. My cousins, though, who are target-audience age, they’re loving it. The youngest walked around Derby the other week quoting the whole bit in Rosa Parks which ends with Ryan saying “that’s good, because I don’t eat them.” This week’s was enjoyable fluff, I just want something more, but I can’t argue with children who say they love it.



    I feel similarly.

    Over the past few weeks I’ve more or less made my peace with the fact that, for me, it probably isn’t going to be the show it once was. I liked it a lot as a kid, enjoyed lots of bits of the RTD era (and thought Tennant was very good), and I really enjoyed the Moffat era (and thought that both Smith and Capaldi were brilliant).

    On the strength of these first five Chibnall episodes it seems to be chugging along at an OK average – not awful, but not great – and if it continues like that it will never reach the heights of the RTD and Moffat eras. Who knows, things might change.

    But I’ve noticed that other people are really enjoying the new take, including my daughter who finds the show much easier to follow in general now than she did under Moffat. Others seem to be on board too, judging by the general reaction of friends and other parents that I know (both for themselves and their kids).

    So I feel like I maybe need to accept that the show is moving into a new phase that works for other people better than it does for me – and it needs to do that, to regenerate when it becomes old and tired, and turn into something else, something new and different.

    Or to put it another way: “Doctor, I let you go.”



    I’ve only had a chance to see the first episode and clips of the rest so far, but from what I’ve heard talking to friends etc, it sounds like the new series is kind of very down to earth and going for a more more kid’s show, CBBC-ish feel, less epic and intense, more friendly. I think I’ll probably prefer the Capaldi era (which I’m watching now and enjoying), but yeah, good luck to the new series even if it turns out to be more for kids than older fans. And not so much my thing.



    I mean..I can imagine someone like Judi Dench playing a “scary” Doctor in a more Moffat style series. That would have been good, but maybe we have to wait longer for that. Maybe the next era will be Olivia Coleman playing a more intense Doctor.


    Ben Saunders

    I don’t know any kids, but both my parents think the show is pretty gash now. My dad is a big Star Trek guy, my mum thinks he’s called Doctor Spock. Nobody else I know irl still watches this show, it has totally fallen off in terms of pop culture relevancy and viewing figures, but it had been doing that already during the Moffat era for a myriad of reasons. The 50th and its aftermath were a brief “fuck yeah Doctor Who” globally apparently, but everybody I know irl says they stopped watching after Tennant left, which is really disappointing. Understandable that they would try to get the casual audience back, I just wish they could do so without being so BLAND. And afaik the viewing figures aren’t doing all that much better after the initial interest in the series opener, but I don’t really want to be one of those people who talks about hearsay regarding viewership, I find that a bit daft sometimes.

    Somebody said the other day that the show itself is so boring now we have no choice but to discuss things like this because the actual episodes don’t warrant all that much discussion, lmao.

    What do you think of the reference to “the timeless child” and the Doctor not even knowing about something herself? Are we getting an arc, or is it more bullshit throwaway lines like “hey remember that time on planet 42 when I did some bullshit”



    I think this whole thing about the show being more of an ensemble and the Doctor not standing out as much, sound like an interesting choice. I mean, it may be boring to watch, but it’s interesting if they’re making a choice to get away from the “things get done by one awesome person and his group of inferior friends” mindset.



    I thought the viewing figures had been pretty good, despite the expected dropoff after the first episode.



    > I don’t really want to be one of those people who talks about hearsay regarding viewership, I find that a bit daft sometimes

    I’m daft, I’m a data nerd. I was actually having an argument with a friend this morning about this. He’s one of these “never watched after Tennant” types, who was adamant that viewing figures have been going down ever since and no-one liked or watched Smith. So I put this together to hit him with some data.

    Last week’s final figures haven’t been confirmed yet and obviously her average will go down over the next few weeks. The grouping isn’t entirely accurate as Ecclestone never had an Xmas episode, but it’s close enough to give an idea. I also split out the season that was half Amy, half Clara as there was a clear dip in interest with Clara around. There’s also an extra Xmas episode that I ignored, as it wasn’t attached to a season and xmas is always an outlier anyway.



    Oh, poor graphing skills with no labels. It’s viewers in Millions up the side and episode number along the bottom.



    Chibbers has written way to many episodes this series & they’ve all been thoroughly average (don’t say Rosa because you can tell Malorie Blackman wrote most of that) he should’ve stuck with the opener & closer & let the guest writers do the rest, especially now there are only 10 episodes.

    To the people who are surprised at this, trust me, the man has written for Doctor Who & Torchwood since 2006 & every single fucking episode he has ever written (save for maybe the Dinosaurs one, which was actually good fun) has been exactly like this. Just average, he’s the guy you call when you need 20 episodes of Star Trek on a deadline to fill out the rest of the run. Not someone you base an entire series around.



    I was having a look at Chibnall written episodes of DW / Torchwood the other day.

    42 I seem to remember being a fairly decent episode, and Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is silly fun with a bit of a sinister ending. The rest can go to hell though. But the rest are mostly Torchwood.

    The difference between his previous DW work and now is that he had RTD and Moffat to sharpen up anything he delivered. And I’m sure both of them are on record (at least Moffat is) of doing fairly extensive script re-writes for guests writers.

    I’m seriously beginning to wonder if the man can actually write science fiction. Every episode I’ve been left baffled by things that weren’t addressed in episodes, dialogue being really simplistic, obvious and feeling like it’s from the first draft. Threads not coming together etc.

    He certainly isn’t painstakingly worrying in a sci-fi nerd fan boy way about how the technology etc within an episode works in the way that Moffat did, or considering the consequences of it.

    Take for example last week. The medics ship spends 4 days in space travelling to the medical station.



    Shit, posted before I was done.

    I spends for weeks travelling through space, then when the Doctor questions how she’ll get back to the junk planet to fetch the TARDIS they say they’ll just teleport her …. across 4 days of space travel. Why bother with a medical ship if you can just teleport people across those distances. Beam them straight into the hospital!!



    The thing is, it would only take the odd line to rectify stuff like that. Something about how you can’t teleport the injured because it would mess up their injury or interfere with the treatment or something like that. It suggests there hasn’t been much close script-editing. Which is odd given how long these scripts have taken to get to the screen.



    That’s exactly it. I don’t want to be unfair to Chris because I’m sure he has spent a lot of time working on these shows, and I’m sure he is very proud of them. But it just doesn’t feel like the same care and attention has been applied in a way we’re a) used to with Doctor Who and b) is necessary in science fiction.

    Every new script essentially needs new world building applied to it, the why things happen and how they work etc -, and that doesn’t seem to be the case with a lot of this.

    I guess from the minute he decided to ignore/not explain how the Doctor survived her fall in episode one (a fall Chris set up no less) was an indication of how the rest of the series would be treated.



    Episode for episode, this series doesn’t appeal to me any less than the early parts of some RTD runs. Stuff like New Earth, Tooth and Claw, The Shakespeare Code and Daleks in Manhattan that I’ve never desired to watch again and that didn’t feel aimed at me in the way most Moffat episodes really did. Though I found Moffat’s series 9 & 10 uninteresting for the most part as well, with exceptions, so it’s been a general decline from 2010-11 for me rather than a painful break-up.

    That decline is admittedly getting steeper since this is a brand new era that needs to impress and we haven’t had what I’d consider a great episode yet. I’m looking forward to the new guest writers more than I’ve been looking forward to the last few. Gizza Moffat.



    * By which I mean “Gizza new stand-out writer who writes clever episodes I/we eagerly await every year and are overjoyed when they eventually give him/her the keys.”


    Ben Saunders

    Doctor Who peaked in Series 8 for me, then the finales of each mediocre-good season after that were absolutely astonishing (TUAT is an epilogue not a finale), so it has been a very sudden and very upsetting drop in quality for me.

    RTD did a hell of a lot of re-writing scripts from what I remember, so much so that I think he claims he deserves a writing credit on a few of them in The Writer’s Tale. Moffat felt the same way, and actually started taking a writer’s credit on episodes he significantly rewrote in Series 9, which is why he gets so many.

    I agree with the comments about potentially unpolished scripts. A lot of the episodes don’t really have a proper ending, Arachnids and Tsuranga especially from memory leave a couple things unresolved, such as how she got back to the TARDIS and why they can’t just teleport anyway.

    A lot of Chibnall’s stuff is also signposted really hard and feels like conventional, by-the-numbers storytelling, the likes of which you’d read about in a how-to book. Here is the SETUP. Here comes the PAYOFF. This character is going to DIE, you can tell because we gave them loved ones and a line or two to make you care about them. It’s just very la-di-da.


    Ben Saunders

    He also writes dialogue which is so “realistic” with characterisation he got from How To Characterise For Dummies that it comes off even more unrealistic than Moffat’s heavily stylised, everybody-is-witty stuff at its worst. Good Moff dialogue is incredible, good Chibnall dialogue is rare.


    Ben Saunders

    How many of you have seen that clip of Chris Chibnall taking down Pip and Jane Baker (live?) on television, chastising them for how shite their contributions to Trial of a Timelord were? It’s pretty funny, and almost ironic in retrospect, how the criticisms he makes about their attempts at Doctor Who are now being thrown at his.



    That was one of the better episodes this season. I don’t know if the season order was planned or rejigged to deliberately air it on Remembrance Sunday, but it felt quite apt.


    Ben Saunders

    Well that episode was alright, got slightly emotional at moments. Still nothing spectacular.

    I’ll never get used to them ending with different music that plays over the credits, I don’t like that. I also don’t like the “hey remember when we did that thing in that place that one time” throwaway lines, like in the opening elevator scene of Attack of the Clones, it’s really lazy “characterisation”.
    And Tosin Cole still can’t act.

    I really liked the twist with the aliens in this one, it was actually quite haunting, but immediately after that reveal the episode gets boring again. All the floating heads was some nice imagery.


    Ben Saunders

    >I don’t know if the season order was planned or rejigged to deliberately air it on Remembrance Sunday, but it felt quite apt
    A lot of crazy right wing nuts were crying about how the BBC would dare to air something that was clearly going to be anti-British/anti-White on remembrance Sunday, saying it was disrespectful etc. That lot have a real knack for pre-judging things before they’ve even seen them. They all seemed to have shut up now that the episode has actually aired, but they’ll be back. Probably trying to figure out how to mould what they just saw around their agenda. Give them a few.



    The twist with the aliens reminded me a bit of the most recent Christmas special. Similar ideas at play.



    That was definitely the better written episode of the series so far. Lots of good and heavy drama. Though, like with Rosa, I felt the aliens were superfluous. It just felt like an historical drama with Doctor Who dropped in for the excuse of telling the story. I was bored half way through and, for the first time since I started watching Doctor Who at the end of series 4, I started looking at my phone whilst the episode was airring.

    I’m sure there’s an audience out there loving this series, I’m just not a part of it.


    Ben Saunders

    >The twist with the aliens reminded me a bit of the most recent Christmas special
    Not much reminds me of TUAT because it was one of the least memorable things I have ever bared witness to

    >I felt the aliens were superfluous
    Somebody else said this, but the revelation of what the aliens were actually doing, all the floating heads, and that shot of The Doctor and co. walking away from and reacting to the man being killed were some of my favourite moments in the episode, so losing those would knock the episode down quite a bit for me. It could be heavily re-written to remove them, perhaps.

    Did anybody else feel like the younger brother character wasn’t fleshed out enough? I didn’t really understand why he was so pro-partition, what made him turn against and potentially kill his own family etc. Were they a large group? How did they convince him, what did they say to him, who were his sources, etc. Either I missed something (I know he was in the war and a bit young for it), it’s something I’m supposed to know from history (we didn’t do partition in school however), or he really was just not fleshed out.


    Pete Part Three

    I didn’t mind that one although I can’t imagine a time when I’d be bothered to rewatch it. It’s another very straight-forward tale, and the Doctor and her mates played no active role in the story. That said, I think I preferred that to the heavy-lifting they did to get them involved within the events in Rosa. All the bollocks about bus drivers and holiday tickets to Las Vegas tried my patience. Frankly, Tikka to Ride was a far better episode about “correcting timelines” and if you can’t even match that, maybe just stick with something a little less ambitious in terms of sci-fi. So, we get aliens who pose no thread and timelines running more or less how they’re supposed to… but still a reliance on real world drama to give it any kind of weight.

    I’m really not sold on the idea of three companions. Mainly because, most episodes, two of them have bugger all to do. And what’s the arrangement anyway? Is The Doctor just hanging around now?



    I liked it. Seen the story before (Father’s Day / time travel stories generally + Twice Upon a Time aliens), but the exotic scenery was nice.

    Three companions works well when they’re introduced gradually rather than competing for development from the off. I liked how they did it in series 5 with Amy > Amy & Rory > Amy, Rory & River.


    Ben Saunders

    Chibnall going for the Davison approach – bland, blonde Doctor with three poorly acted and uninteresting companions who are horribly underwritten.*

    *Except I quite like the Davison era



    Fanwank theory of the week – The reason Yaz is Umbreen’s ‘favourite granddaughter’ and given the watch is that Umbreen remembers Yaz being there in the first place.



    I didn’t think that was a fanwank theory, I thought that was the whole point of that moment.



    Yeah – Chibnall isn’t really all that great at showing connections too well, if I was being generous I’d say it’s too subtle. But I think that’s the point … she gives her the watch, refuses to talk about it, which encourages Yaz to travel back to that moment and be a part of it.

    They then have that bit at the end about how “she ended up in Sheffield” but they both know full well she is there because she wanted to be



    I didn’t think that was a fanwank theory, I thought that was the whole point of that moment.

    Really? Oh, I thought I was being clever.

    she is there because she wanted to be

    Who wouldn’t?



    Maybe the favourite granddaughter thing wasn’t intended, they never specifically link the two I guess. But given how much they emphasised that moment at the start (along with the mystery of the watch, details of the grandmother’s personal history etc.) it felt like it was patting the audience on the head and saying “the story you are about to watch is going to provide an explanation for all these things you have just been told”.



    I enjoyed the episode in general but the alien twist felt rather unsatisfactory. Once you’ve found out they’re just hanging out for dead people it makes their former actions more questionable like why all the mental attacks on the Doctor when they first get there?

    >And Tosin Cole still can’t act.
    While I agree, I’d also argue that he’s making the best of the lines he gets. Sometimes it’s a case of *screen turns on* “Hey look, the screen’s turned on”. It doesn’t help that everything seems to be delivered in a monotone.

    >I’ll never get used to them ending with different music that plays over the credits, I don’t like that.
    Ditto. Hate that.

    What I found a little odd was the lack of accents. The Nan had a very mild accent in Sheffield, which was less than I’d expect really. It was the stuff in the Punjab that really seemed odd though. You get a little line about their punjabi not being bad for foreigners, but then all of the locals have a faint northern accent. It’s not like I’m saying we need Apu but it just felt a little off.

    Also why are they all “oooh what killed the holy man?” – doesn’t the sonic read a bullet wound?



    Andrew Ellard made the bullet-wound point in his notes for this episode too. It does feel like a bit of a plot hole.



    >I’ll never get used to them ending with different music that plays over the credits, I don’t like that.
    Ditto. Hate that.

    Oh, just catching up on reddit they point out it’s the normal theme slowed down indian style.
    Still hate it.


    Ben Saunders

    To be fair, if the TARDIS is translating language from “wherever” to “prefect English”, it is most likely also capable of rendering it in an accent which is easy for you to understand. All the alien monsters seem to have British accents and so do most of the other secondary characters. Exceptions off the top of my head would be the Chinese woman in Mind of Evil and Chiang in Talons Of.

    What I found stranger was the Yaz’s gran in the 40s seemed to be using modern British slang/colloquialisms, which is hard to get used to but I guess it makes sense on the same level as the concepts previously discussed.

    Yeah it was the normal theme in an Indian style, but I didn’t notice until just before the next time trailer. I love Gunmen of the Apocalypse’s alternate credits theme, for some reason it feels more acceptable in Dwarf. Perhaps because the music is just better, and to be fair Gunmen’s music is very clearly presented as “here is a new piece of music just for the credits”, whereas in Doctor Who they play a piece of music which doesn’t stop and just carries over into the credits awkwardly.



    Step up from the last two weeks, & the only episode of this series where Chibbers doesn’t have a writing credit. Funny that.

    Rosa was stellar but you could tell where Chibbers had shoehorned his bits in. We’ve got guest writers for the next three episodes so it will be interesting to see how things go.



    I’d have preferred one, six-part serial per year with a guest writer coming in for each story, like Toby Whithouse, Neil Cross, or Jamie Mathieson. Sort of like ‘Trial of a Timelord’ but done right. It’s what the show was built on & where TV is at the moment & I feel like the monster of the week format is played out at this point. You could still have a feature length festive episode written by Chibbers but let someone else do the more involved storytelling that a serial requires.

    Chibnall i think is the Julie Gardener figure that Moffat badly needed behind the scenes during his tenure, someone who can deal with the actual show-running behind the scenes whilst someone else deals with the actual storytelling aspect. It’s what the show was built on & where TV is at the moment. I feel like the monster of the week format is played out at this point.



    Gash, I can’t get into edit my comment so yes I am aware that I’ve repeated myself.


    Ben Saunders

    I liked the idea of series 9 being all two parters but I didn’t really like the execution. I do agree that monster of the week is a bit old hat, it worked better when it was monster-of-six weeks



    I found the closing theme a bit cringeworthy, to be honest.
    As far as Rosin Cole and Ryan goes, Ryan was definitely ill-served this week. It seemed pointless his even being there.




    Let us edit these fucking posts, for God’s sake.



    New viewers keep being born who haven’t seen Doctor Who yet, so it’s not “played out” to them. I think serialisation’s overrated anyway, so many streaming-model shows are padded and boring. Individual episodes and two-parters suit Doctor Who and kids’ attention spans. I’d rather there were a few bad/mediocre episodes per year that can be forgotten about than a 10-parter with deep troughs you have to struggle through any time you want to watch that story.

    It’s good to see that most of the complaints about the last episode are just really petty things like people’s accents, convenient oversights and changing the theme tune you’ve heard enough times already. Things are looking up.



    I find this notion that kids are somehow unable to follow a more serialized format mildly patronizing. If they can happily sit through a 2+ hour Harry Potter film then I don’t see the issue. All about the execution.


    Ben Saunders

    >a 10-parter with deep troughs you have to struggle through any time you want to watch that story
    Miracle Day was a bit shit, wasn’t it?



    >a 10-parter with deep troughs you have to struggle through any time you want to watch
    that story

    Who said anything about it having to be ten parts? A five or six part serial is more than enough.

    >Miracle Day was a bit shit, wasn’t it?

    And Children Of Earth was incredible. Next



    >Doctor Who peaked in Series 8 for me

    That’s pretty much where I think Steven Moffat should’ve bowed out, actually (even though I quite enjoyed series 9) He likely would’ve too, if Smith had agreed to stay for another year. Should’ve followed RTD’s lead of 4 series. It would’ve been nice not to have Moffat dominate all of Capaldi’s run.



    That or the 50th TBF. The end of Day of the Doctor would’ve been a perfect jumping on point for a new show-runner.


    Ben Saunders

    I know Moffat intended to bow out with The Doctor Falls but decided to also do TUAT because Chibnall wasn’t going to, and I think he might have also done the entirity of series 10 for the same reason although my memory is a bit fuzzy.
    No Moff-led S9 means no Heaven Sent/Hell Bent so that idea can fuck off, lol.

    Children of Earth was good, but it lags in the middle and gets little repetitive and shitty. Miracle Day has that random episode where Jack starts fucking some Italian guy in the 40s which is actually one of the best episodes out of the whole show, but then it also has 7 episodes of filler



    How did a discussion about the current season of Doctor Who manage to become a chat about a seven year old series of Torchwood? That’s clever even by G&T regulars’ standards.



    I’m amazed it hasn’t become a conversation about Red Dwarf VIII yet.


    Pete Part Three

    Don’t be silly. There’s nothing more to say about Red Dwarf VIII. It was a fantastic series and we’re all very happy with it.

    Much like Doctor Who Series 11.



    >I know Moffat intended to bow out with The Doctor Falls but decided to also do TUAT because Chibnall wasn’t going to, and I think he might have also done the entirity of series 10 for the same reason although my memory is a bit fuzzy.

    My first thought when the rumors swirled about the festive episode being moved to New Years Day was all the effort Moffatt had put into not losing the Christmas slot, lol.

    Series 10 is really the only time i felt the format was truly tired & Moffat really had run out of ideas, although World Enough & Time/The Doctor Falls *almost* makes the entire series worth it. Twice Upon A Time was just kind of… there. Basically just a glorified epilogue & a bit inconsequential. Kinda like the last 15/20 minutes of The End Of Time but extended to fill an entire episode.

    Also, that’s now 3 times we’ve had moments where a much better regeneration was sacrificed for the sake of something more drawn out, overly sentimental & soapy. 10 in the radiation chamber, 11 on the clock tower & 12 at the end of series 10. I still maintain that Capaldi regenerating on the floor like Hartnell & waking up as Whittaker was a fuckin’ open goal & they missed it.



    Where is it said he intended to bow out with The Doctor Falls? I know he was saying he thought The Husbands of River Song was going to be his last while he wrote it, but I’ve never read that he wasn’t intending to do a Christmas special after Series 10.

    I really like the last two-parter of Series 10, personally. The Lie of the Land is utter dross though and the episodes following follow suit until Word Enough and Time. I don’t see anything wrong with 11’s clock tower scene, though.

    I’ve almost caught up with series 11, but haven’t seen the latest. I’ve heard it’s better than the previous episodes though, so hurrah!



    Moffat has said he intended to end his run with a regeneration at the end of The Doctor Falls, but then agreed to stay on for one more episode when it became clear that Chibnall wouldn’t be ready to take on the show by the Christmas special. In particular, Moffat said he didn’t want the show to lose the coveted Christmas Day slot by skipping a year. So he extended the regeneration to run over that entire episode (you can see pretty easily how the regeneration would cap off The Doctor Falls).

    It’s ironic that it’s now been confirmed that the show will miss the Christmas Day slot this year anyway, with an episode on New Year’s Day instead.



    >Where is it said he intended to bow out with The Doctor Falls?

    Here –



    I was pleased to see that a prolific comedy actor who finally appeared in Red Dwarf not too long ago will finally be appearing in (televised) Doctor Who in an upcoming episode.


    Ben Saunders

    There was a lot of behind the scenes stuff with Moffat’s run (and honestly everybody else’s) that completely changed his original plans, I read that there were preliminary discussions between him and David Tennant about Ten staying on for one last series in which the first episode or something would deal with him dying then there would by timey-wimey shenanagins and a mystery plot leading to an explanation in the finale, similar to what we ended up getting with Series 6.



    I’d love to read an uncompromising Writer’s Tale tell-all from Moffat. But he’s still working for the BBC with Draclia, so not yet.



    I was pleased to see that a prolific comedy actor who finally appeared in Red Dwarf not too long ago will finally be appearing in (televised) Doctor Who in an upcoming episode.

    And me. I wasn’t sure whether we, as a community, were already aware of his casting, but it was certainly a very pleasant surprise to see his face in the new DWM. But then, seeing former Hyperdrive stars always is. (And only the second to have credits in the Holy Trinity of Dwarf, Hyperdrive and Who.)



    Well, I hope you will be fascinated to know that I am currently watching my way through the Capaldi era for the first time, after having seen none of it before. And – having just picked up the series 8 and 9 dvd sets – this is the first time I’ve ever really watched Who properly. I’ve seen most episodes from Nu-Who up to Smith’s first series (and loved some episodes), but this is the first time I’ve ever really engaged with the show and put effort into following it, as opposed to just sitting there while family watch it. And – I’m loving it. Some reactions so far …

    Deep Breath – Loved the steampunk look and how spooky it was – it made me think the series was going to be more elaborate and canon-heavy than it turned out to be, with the characters from Smith’s era (in fact, I didn’t even know Silurians and Sontarans were in the old series).

    Into the Dalek – thought this was going to be a throwaway, but the weird little scary touches (like the immune system) made it better than I thought.

    Sherwood – I really liked this one, I liked the humor around Hood being as cheesy and heroic as he should be.

    Listen – I really like Danny’s character, I’ve always admired a good schoolteacher, and I was really upset what happened to him at the end of the series, even if it set him up to defeat the Cybermen in a powerful way.

    Time Heist – like Sherwood, one I thought would be skippable but had enough flair and style to make it worth it.

    Caretaker – I laughed all the way through – love the Doctor being mean to Danny, and Danny seeing him as an Officer. It’s a bit unfortunate IMO that the show’s good diversity, combined with the Doctor being derisive to companion boyfriends, means he ends up being rude to black men so often though. (ie Mickey and Pink.)

    Kill the Moon – I liked it – seemed a bit of an easy solution though. What would they do if the dragon didn’t lay a new moon?

    Mummy – just good gripping fun.

    Flatline – loved Clara proving herself as an effective Doctor! Hopefully she can go on to be some sort of Time Lord ish person some day?

    Forest – Again I’ve always admired good school teachers so I liked Clara and Danny in this one.

    final 2 parter – Probably one of the most disturbing episodes I’ve seen. Missy is better at playing the DC comics Joker than any actual Joker actor IMO. I’d love to know if Moffat flicked through some Batman issues as there was some stuff there that seemed specific from 70s/80s Joker (I forget what now).


    Ben Saunders

    Wonderful review of my favourite series, reminding me of just how strong it is, and how bizarre the fact that everybody seems to hate it also is. Kill the Moon I thought was dreadful, but I think “what if it didn’t lay a new moon” is part of the point of the episode – the characters didn’t know it was going to do that beforehand, did they? So it was all about the impossible choice they had to make. I guess it laying another egg (ignoring the fact that no organism could possibly lay an egg BIGGER THAN ITSELF) does make the ending a little too neat, but then again we couldn’t go on for all of the rest of Doctor Who with the Earth being moonless. Unless they did a little sidequest to find a replacement.

    I didn’t like Forest either but I think it was just medicore compared to Moon which I found genuinely annoying.

    Death In Heaven has some absolutely terrific Doctor/Master dialogue and making The Master a woman was an inspired twist and planted the seeds for the audience a female Doctor, and Capaldi/Gomez come the closest to recreating the magic of Pertwee/Delgado that anyone has ever come before, while still completely owning the characters and putting their own fresh new spin on the relationship. Despite one of Moffat’s biggest criticisms being his writing of female characters, Missy went on to become one of the absolute highlights of his era, I would say.

    What did you think of CyberBrig?


    Pete Part Three

    That was the last series I liked, really. Aside from Heaven Sent and the Zygon two-parter, I wasn’t keen on season 9, and 10 pretty much drifted away without making any kind of impression.

    Listen and Mummy on the Orient Express are very different, but both great examples of how versatile the show can be in terms of story and execution. I thought Deep Breath was a terrible opening story for Capaldi, mind.


    Ben Saunders

    I appreciated Deep Breath much more on rewatch earlier this year, it does a really good job of setting up what’s to come which obviously you can only really tell retroactively



    ‘Mummy’ was my favourite from that year and my second favourite Capaldi episode, just a really solid story. I’ve never got the ‘Kill the Moon’ hate, I thought it was a bit boring but I’d never considered that Doctor Who had to be scientifically accurate, the daftness is part of the charm.

    I’m not fond of them bringing back the same baddies over and over to face every Doctor – Daleks belong to Hartnell, Cybermen to Troughton, Master to Pertwee – so all of Capaldi’s Dalek/Cyberman/Master episodes don’t do much for me. Maybe that’s part of why I like Smith’s more self-contained run and Tom Baker’s diverse bestiary the best. I thought “no returning monsters” was going to be a real strength of series 11 too… well, it’s not a rule.



    I really liked Mummy on the Orient Express too, but it did cause one of the two non-family members I know who watch the show to stop. He thought Capaldi’s Doctor was too heartless in it. Not sure if he made it to the end of the episode though. Series 9 I like a lot of, but do find stretches of it intensely boring. The Viking one is one of these boring ones, and it’s a pretty essential watch to get the full impact of the finale, which I love but can understand people being put off.

    Thanks for clarifying the Moffat statement and providing a link, I hadn’t heard his original plans got changed.



    Also, I entirely agree about the daftness of Kill the Moon being part of the charm. The fact that the show attempts to pull it off is great, even if the attempt fails (note: it didn’t fail for me). I hope the show edges closer to these crazier ideas than it is at the moment. It still seems to me that it’s lacking confidence in itself to do anything too interesting.


    Ben Saunders

    “The daftness is part of the charm” is only really true to a degree, and I believe that modern writers (Gatiss) believing that to be completely true leads to a lot of the general shiteness of parts of the RTD era and some other episodes, and that writing something deliberately silly is a grave error. Classic Who was very rarely deliberately silly. The effects weren’t shit on purpose.

    It is mentioned dozens of times on the Pertwee DVDs that the mark of a great Who story is that no matter how silly everything seemed and how flimsy the sets and effects were, everybody (for the most part) played it straight and took the material seriously. Once you get into Season 16-17 Tom Baker stuff, where Baker is no longer taking the roll all that seriously (with some exceptional moments) and people (Douglas Adams) start writing the show to be intentionally silly, I really start to switch off, and actively hate the show at points.


    Ben Saunders

    Holmes was good at “deliberately silly”, and The Pirate Planet y Adams tows the line, almost veering into “oh, fuck off” territory several times, but Baker is still putting in a good performance on that one, and the pantomimey villain is (spoilers!) given a story reason to be acting like that, which is a pretty interesting payoff



    I’m still not sure about the logic of Missy’s afterlife business – I’m not sure if she downloaded the mind of every single person who ever lived or died (even from the past and future), just people from when her “3 words” thing was in business, or people who had fought alongside the Doctor. And why did it look so pleasant for the first few people in the series (a garden centre) and then a dark city at the end.

    Just seen the S9 opening Davros 2 parter, loved it (I’m sure it would have more impact if I’d seen more past Davros, but I know who he is). Loved the shock of Clara not being able to say what she wanted in the Dalek, really dark moment. Capaldi seems to be giving a bit of an OTT performance, so I’m curious as to if he will calm down as the series goes on.



    (oh yeah, I loved Cyber Brigadier, even though I’m only slightly familiar with him, it was a great moment).

    I’m thinking of getting the series 2 dvd (the one with Tennant and Piper) and giving it a chance. I found it too sappy at the time, and only got back into Who when Martha came in. It was mostly the Rose/Doctor relationship I found too sentimental too. I do remember some of the individual episodes being awesome though (like Madame de Pompideu, the Coronation TVs one, and the werewolf/ Victoria one). Maybe I’ll enjoy the emotion more now I’m not missing Eccleston, years older and have a more open mind.


    Ben Saunders

    Perhaps Missy’s afterlife thing was all nice and friendly for the first few people she welcome in, but as more and more people started coming in it got worse and worse.

    S9 opener references Genesis of the Daleks and is better if you’re familiar with he and the Doctor’s relationship, but I don’t know if it’s all that important really – I have a friend who thought the episode was great having seen none of the classic series.

    Series 1 or 4 are ones I’d recommend more, but Series 2 is good for the most part. Ten/Rose is a bit much, but many many other people would disagree.



    Yeah, I’m thinking If I go in steeled with the knowledge that the series is a love story between Ten and Rose, I might enjoy it more. I remember even being put off by that first episode where he cured zombies with water guns shooting happiness. I think I’ve seen most of series 1 and 4 – Checking Wiki now – definitely seen all of 1 but of 4, only seen Adipose, Pompeii, Ood, Agatha Christie, and the Library/River episodes – don’t remember any of the others on the list.



    Just seen the S9 opening Davros 2 parter, loved it

    That was when Capaldi really became the Doctor for me. Thought he was absolutely brilliant.


    Pete Part Three

    Wasn’t keen on that 2 parter. It suffered from one of Moffat’s occasional problems: NOTHING IS HAPPENING TO PROGRESS THE PLOT BUT IF WE TALK FAST, CRACK WISE AND BLOW THINGS UP IT WILL MAKE IT SEEM LIKE IT IS.

    (C.f The entire “Doctor is missing” subplot in the opener, the whole of A Good Man Goes to War, Let’s Kill Hitler etc,etc)



    Well, as I’ve just started the series, I’m slightly worried the whole of it is going to be padded like that, with the 2 parters structure. I’m sure I’ll love it though.


    Ben Saunders

    AGMGTW is worth it for the poem and the ending and the conversation with that girl. The doctor is missing stuff felt really weird and unnecessary especially since we’ve already been through this kind of shit before. I guess it sets up the confession dial though? And gives us the Pretty Woman scene which is pretty funny, especially how both Clara and Missy think it’s about them and it’s ambiguous as to who it’s for, their reactions are great



    Yeah, I remember at the time that being the first real misfire by Moffat for me. His stuff started to become a lot more hit & miss from that point onward, as if he’d peaked too soon with series 5 & quickly hit writers block.

    If you take all of series 5, & bits n’ bobs from 6-10 , you’ve got the makings of an amazing 4 series + specials.



    Yeah I didn’t mean to block quote my own post, but i was trying to reply to this.

    the whole of A Good Man Goes to War, Let’s Kill Hitler etc,etc



    I quite enjoyed Kerblam.


    Killer Amazon parcels and weaponised bubble-wrap feels like something from Moffat’s era.


    Plus, the design of the Good Robot Us-es was nicely spooky without being too scary.


    Pete Part Three

    Lost interest fairly early on. I think it reminded me most of The Beast Below, and I didn’t have a good time with that episode back in the day.

    It was better than most of the episodes in this series, and it’s relief that the show can still do this kind of campy throwaway stuff that RTD used to stockpile, but it’s not exactly my idea of though-provoking sci-fi.


    Nick R

    Coincidentally, today my iPlayer rewatch of RTD’s Doctor Who episodes reached The Unicorn and the Wasp, which I finished watching only about 15 minutes before Kerblam! aired. So I appreciated the explicit reference to it in the new episode!

    The first two thirds genuinely fooled me into thinking that it was going to be inspired by the numerous newspaper articles over the last few years about working undercover at AMAZing South American Rainforest’s warehouses, and take the obvious route of having the automated system and/or its human managers rotten to the core and willing to sacrifice people in the name of efficiency. My guess for much of the episode was that the abducted workers were going to be imprisoned in a hivemind or something on the lower Dispatch levels – literalising the repeated phrase a “people-powered company”. And I’d assumed that the HELP ME message would turn out to be a plea from those people’s collective imprisoned subconscious. So I didn’t predict the twist about where the threat really came from.

    I laughed out loud at the bubblewrap reveal. If you’re going to make an everyday substance scary, I think bubblewrap works a lot better than, say, the rheum monsters from Sleep No More!

    I was less keen on the conveyor action sequence and the Kira character.

    Also a couple of Doctor Dwarf comparisons for you: it’s Twirly Toaster and the Tension Sheet!



    I thought of the tension sheet too, but none of the Dwarf links were as great as the Partridge moment.

    “Dan! Dan! Dan! … Dan!”


    Pete Part Three

    The conveyor belt bit reminded me of the Star Wars prequels and I tapped out.



    It was a bit like the droid factory scene wasn’t it? I thought of Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc.



    Good stuff, felt very familiar DW but still subverting expectations. Also reminded me of The Beast Below aesthetically, but I like that one too. Bad bubblewrap was the best, always happy when they make everyday things terrifying.



    Not a fan of that one personally. From the start the over excited reaction of when the Kerblam bot turned up was uncomfortable to me. There’s sometimes the feeling that this Doctor is a 12 year old who’s had too much sugar.

    The whole ‘automated company has put all the people out of work’ thing was a pretty low hanging fruit swipe at Amazon complete with objectionable manager. You knew Dan was dead as soon as he got soppy about his little girl (love Lee Mack though), you knew Kira was dead as soon as the Doctor started to protect her.

    Ryan’s dyspraxia bit felt totally shoe-horned in. It was like they recognised that the iminent action sequence was a dumb idea that shouldn’t be possible, so they put a disclaimer beforehand of ‘I have this condition, but I’m going to do this anyway’, like that makes it any better.

    Did anyone else have trouble telling the types of robot apart? It didn’t really occur to me that there were two types, as they all looked the same to me. I will admit I loved the design though, creepy right from the start.

    As much as I loved the twist, it almost feels like it raised more questions than it answered. How was the ‘evil’ manager keep track of disappearances when the HR lady kept saying it’d be impossible to know? Why did Charlie try to kill off Yaz the moment she got there (presuming it was him giving people 999 orders to get picked off by his bots). Finally, since the system could control what the good bots said and did, why didn’t it just -tell- the Doctor what was going on?

    I really wanted to like this one, but it just irritated and annoyed me all the way through.



    Yeah, if it could send a cryptic message to the Doctor there’s no reason why it couldn’t send a clearer message to the human managers, but where would the show be then? An episode short, that’s where.



    I hope this was intentional.


    Ben Kirkham

    Think I’ve seen enough of this series to begin forming an opinion and it’s… mixed.

    Once you get past the hype of the female Doctor thing (which has worked and not been that big a deal), I can’t find much more to talk about. This series is… fine. It’s just so achingly unambitious. I can’t fault Whittaker’s performance nor can I praise it that much. I can’t say much on the episodes because there isn’t much to say. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. A strange feeling. Particularly after so many years of Moffat, where I *always* at least had something to say about the episodes. For example, I love Heaven Sent and I despise Hell Bent, but at least there’s something to say about it. But I feel guilty because I feel I’m being unfair. It’s definitely going down the populist route which I completely approve of. Moffat’s era had become too inaccessible.

    But surely some real jeopardy would help with things. But it’s a new team getting started. I’m hopeful that things will get better and better.


    Ben Kirkham

    Oh, love the theme tune, love the title sequence. The TARDIS interior will grow on me.


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    Kerblam! would have been a decent run-of-the-mill mid-series episode in any other series, and is therefore one of the better episodes of this one.



    I like the new opening sequence/theme in isolation but I don’t feel that they suit the tone of this season at all.


    Ben Saunders

    Kerblam! was alright, I agree with Symes. Tinges of The Greatest Show In The Galaxy (post-bot delivers to the TARDIS), The Sun Makers (capitalism planet), The Robots of Death (take a guess) and even The Armageddon Factor (characters on a conveyor belt about to be incinerated).

    I really liked the Kerblam 1.0 robot, it was cute, Lee Mack was much better in this than he is in Not Going Out but wasn’t really given much to do. Tosin still cannot act and Jodie still comes off a bit CBBC.

    I liked how the Doctor was wrong to suspect the evil boss man trope, that was a nice subversion. The little romance was yeugh. Killing the dude was brutal and Yaz wanting to give the necklace to Lee’s daughter was touching.

    I liked the Doctor’s “it’s not the system, it’s the people abusing the system” speech a lot because I agree with it (mostly), but I’ve seen some people criticise it as pro-capitalism (no comment on whether being pro-capitalism is a bad thing)


    Ben Saunders

    Oh, is it just me or is Ryan’s dyspraxia dealt with in a sort of… condescending way? “I can’t do it/yes you can” (he does it) doesn’t seem very realistic and a bit like telling somebody with depression to just cheer up


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    I was reminded of The Sun Makers too, but without the villain that looks like Iain Duncan Smith or people gleefully throwing someone off a tall building.



    Apparently Amazon Prime in the US have leaked next week’s episode ahead of time, running it in place of *Kerblam!* by mistake.

    At least it’s not only Red Dwarf that has these problems.



    Doesnt really matter what episode they leak when a series mostly feels like youve seen it all before. Glad some casual viewers, female veiwers, new viewers and more are enjoying the lightness of what the shows become. I see ratings are up, it’s all nicely shot and i still love jodie Whitaker who i liked in Good vibrations and a few other shows/films before Dr who. She’s a bit tenant bit davison, I believe she is the dr, no issue. But then i didnt mind romana in dr who, or the sarah jane adventures which this show is now mostly like.

    setting the show in a space warehouse, i got echoes of paradise towers, and as i work in warehousing
    found it the dullest dr who ever committed to screen. Not least because it has things that fucking teleport it in, yet you still need convayer belts moving stuff around, what a stupid load of wank.

    Si who else was in hyper drive, who and dwarf? which certainly isnt a holy trinity. its an akward threesome.



    Maggie Service was in Doctor Who: Deep Breath, played Rachel in Samsara, and was assorted voices in Hyperdrive. Now we’ve got Kevin Eldon joining the club.



    It’s just occured to me that it really is like ..a stereotypical Yorkshire/northen DW series. Like, slow paced, gentle, Sunday it’s Heart Beat gone sci fi. And the Dr is a cross between Victoria Wood and Mork.


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    Maggie Service was in Doctor Who: Deep Breath, played Rachel in Samsara, and was assorted voices in Hyperdrive. Now we’ve got Kevin Eldon joining the club.

    And with this I realise it’s a scandal that Morwenna Banks has never been in Doctor Who.


    Ben Kirkham

    I really hope that these rumours about Chibnall and Whittaker aren’t true. There’s a huge amount of potential in the new team and it would seem such a shame if they don’t get at least three series for the 13th Doctor.


    Ben Kirkham

    A bit like the Red Dwarf 1-VI ‘bubble,’ I like to think of the first seven Doctors (and, at a pinch, number eight) as existing in their own little bubble. I love 21st Century Doctor Who, but I grew up watching the classic series, and it’s untouchable (even the bad bits!).



    I checked out the first episode of this out of boredom, and honestly I thought it was a bit rubbish. I’m not really into Doctor Who that much (except the movie with Paul McGann, that’s great) so I don’t really know what I was expecting, but it was all a bit off. The villain being called Tim Shaw for some reason was weird and then they sort of try to make a joke of it but don’t, the weird emphasis on the Doctor saying “You had no right do do that” when the construction worker with self-esteem issues kicks Tim off the edge of the crane,and the dialogue throughout just felt really unnatural. That said, I did like the twist of Ryan’s v-log at the beginning of the episode actually being about his grandma, rather than the Doctor as you’re led to expect. All in all though, didn’t really settle with me, although I didn’t really expect it to going in so that might have soured my opinion of it

    I’d totally watch it if they bring back Chang Lee though



    ‘Tim Shaw’ was a deflating anglicisation of his similar-sounding, generically alien name. I liked the gag, but just realised it’s the same as someone “hilariously” mispronouncing an Asian person’s name. And the equally generic name and design of his species were played straight.


    Ben Saunders

    His name wasn’t actually Tim Shaw?! I thought it was. Also thought making fun of his name at that moment completely deflated all tension in the way many people on here complain about making fun of the villains in Dwarf



    Apparently Tzim-Sha. If those aliens return, as their namedrop in episode 2 suggests, I expect they’d reprise it. “I am Kree’grott.” “Craig Rudd?”


    Ben Saunders

    Is it too late to ask them not to?



    I enjoyed it tonight. A decent plot, some good historical stuff and some genuinely quite scary baddies – there was a fair bit of eye-covering and “tell me when this bit has finished” in our house.

    (And that was just me etc.)



    Tonight’s was an absolute cracker. Loved it.



    Alan Cumming gave *exactly* the kind of performance you want from a guest-star. Loads of fun.



    It’s actually getting to be quite funny that every episode since Chibnall stopped penning has been really quite good.



    I said last week that Kerblam was exactly what you want from a Doctor Who episode, and this week was exactly the same.

    I even think for the first time the pacing was right, I was bored, the mystery unfolded hitting beats at all the right time. There wasn’t really anything superfluous going on. Team Tardis all got involved and had stuff to do.

    The aliens were intriguing, though I wish we had a little more from them as to their history, why they were in that prison etc rather than just guess work from the Doctor.

    And it would have been nice if the Doctor had tried to do a little more than lock them back in their prison. Like, remove them from the planet entirely and get them out of that hill so they don’t potentially pose a danger to anyone else in the future.

    Speaking of which, how many aliens or other species have been living underground in the earth for as long as it has existed now?

    The Racnoss


    This weeks lot (forget their name now, Mortocks?)

    Oh, and Alan Cumming was great – the most memorably of the guest characters this series I think.



    Pretty much what I thought.
    My Tweet just after it ended:

    They got that bang on tonight, for me. Good story, nice plot, well paced. Plenty of wit without being stupid, well-realised alien menace, with something decent for everyone to do. Great stuff. #DoctorWho


    Ben Saunders

    I’ve just started it and I can’t get this feeling of “I fucking hate Doctor Who” out of my mind, I’m having trouble paying attention because my expectations are so low I feel like if I give it the time of day it will only disappoint me. Here’s hoping I’ve changed my tune 50 minutes from now.



    Perfect historical setting for the Doctor’s gender to make a difference – which you don’t want to overdo, but needed to happen this year – but I don’t think they made the most of that. She’s been tied to stakes and accused of that stuff before when she looked like Tom Baker anyway. It was fine, but I was quite bored.


    Ben Saunders

    That was shite. What have they done to Doctor Who?

    They must have spent a fortune constantly replacing the scenery for this episode with Alan Cumming chewing it all to fucking bits. Bit OTT, for me. He’s Scottish, isn’t he, but so am I and I’ve never heard that accent before. What is that supposed to be?
    Why is the Doctor of all people surprised the 1700s is a bit shit for women? You could say she’s never been a woman before so never had to deal with it, but then she wasn’t black either and was still aware of racism in Alabama in the 50s. She would know, and really stuff like this should have come up all the time with companions in the past.
    The villain’s voice was lame.
    The granddaughter smiling as she delivered her “it’s not me I swear” line was super odd, another take maybe.

    What is WITH The Doctor being so strange with getting angry at the person who kicked the monster she just BLEW UP off a crane and the King torching the “witch”, and with her highly questionable method of dealing with those spiders? Is this going to pay off in the finale with her getting her shit flung back at her or is it just consistently bad writing?

    This is the first episode ever where I’ve genuinely considered just not coming back next week.

    Graham is still the only good thing about this series, along with some, but not all, of the music. Tosin better take some acting lessons if he’s coming back for the next series.

    People in the past were thick, weren’t they? The drowning test for witches is just bonkers, but I guess that actually happened so it’s not exactly a criticism of the show.

    “Would you prefer a hanging?”
    … Yeah, isn’t drowning worse than hanging?

    >She’s been tied to stakes and accused of that stuff before when she looked like Tom Baker anyway
    Yeah that line about “if I was a bloke everybody would believe me” just had me thinking pffff, are you sure? Do you not remember, for example, Black Orchid?



    I think Alan Cumming’s accent was possibly meant to be an authentic 1700s accent – there’s been some stuff on TV recently on how linguists are figuring out how people sounded then, based on the word patterns and rhymes in stuff like Shakespeare’s poems and plays. Kind of precise English crossed with Yorkshire crossed with modern day rural american.

    incidentally – I’ve never understood why people complained about stuff like, Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. I believe it’s a lot more possible that a middle ages outlaw would have sounded like Kevin Costner than, Patrick Stewart say. (not that we would have understood them anyway)



    oh, I just saw the Girl Who Died/ Woman Who Lived for the first time. Wow, I think that competes with Silence in the Library for my favourite nu Who episodes. Not looking forward to the Zygons ones next though. The trailer looks like Sontaran Stratagem which were my least favorite episodes. I least, I think they were, I can’t really remember them. At least the Osgoods are going to be in this one.


    Ben Saunders

    I really disliked Girl Who Died but thought Woman Who Lived made up for it, it was a nice slow one with some haunting ruminations on the curse of immortality, after a noncey jape of an episode I didn’t care for. I also remember the Zygon two-parter actually being quite good, basically making up for the unnecessary inclusion of the Zygons in Day of the Doctor which just felt tacked on, at the time.



    “Noncey jape”?



    The Zygon episodes were kind of the inversion of the ‘Human Nature’ two-parter for me – when I first realised I actually cared about this show and wasn’t just watching for the hell of it (followed immediately by ‘Blink’ that sealed the deal).

    I felt out of touch with the consistently rave reviews series 9 was getting, calling it the best ever. There’s only one episode I thought was that good. But we all have our disproportionately beloved eras and styles.



    I just watched the end of New Earth (early Tennant episode with hospital zombies) on youtube – I thought he filled up a water gun with the cure and ran around spraying it, instead of just putting it into a sprinkler? I’m sure I remember a scene like that. Maybe I’m remembering something else.


    Ben Saunders

    Mandela effect, clearly.

    I didn’t rate Series 9 that highly either, outside of the first two and last three episodes. The zygon episode was decent but not outstanding I thought, the one with the deaf girl was boring, and I can’t remember the other ones. Oh there was Sleep No More… an episode which if it appeared in this current season would be a highlight…. but was in the top 5 worst New Whos before then

    I don’t know where noncey jape came from but I stand by it.



    I don’t react out loud very much to TV, even in company – just laugh, groan, voice approval. But when I realised what was going on in that series 9 episode that I don’t want to spoil for tombow, I went mental, shouting and pacing the room. The magnitude!

    Other things I’ve had strong reactions to include ‘Trojan’ – the euphoria of new Red Dwarf being good! – and the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field – dude.


    Paul Muller


    The crew enter into an open sexual relationship with a plasticine man.


    Paul Muller

    Shit, posted that in the wrong thread.



    > The crew enter into an open sexual relationship with a plasticine man.

    Next weeks episode leaked, obviously.



    Just got around to watching this week. Good period stuff, interesting mystery, interesting witch finding stuff, whole team feeling useful, it was on the whole a really good episode. Loved Alan Cumming hamming it up as King James.

    Until the shouty alien turned up. Then it all got rather silly. I’m not a fan of the whole shouting to make things scary. I’d rather be scared by actions, not volume of voice.

    Out of interest, are the writers this year all new to Who?



    according to IMDB, yeah, none of them have written who before



    60% of the episodes have been penned by someone who has written for the show before.

    Or had Who forgotten?



    Other than Chibbers though?


    Ben Saunders

    I mean yeah Chibnall hired all new writers but he isn’t a new writer himself. New directors I think also. And producer, etc.



    Well yes, I did mean other than Chibnall. If everyone else is new though, that might help explain that feeling of “almost, but not quite” that I’m getting on every episode. Would certainly be a reason why so often the alien of the weekend feels a little crowbarred into a story that didn’t need one had it not been Doctor Who.

    What determines a show as a success though; the quantity of the general public watching it, or the opinions of the fans?



    according to the internet “many credible rumors” say that JW and CC are going to move on next year after a 6 episode half series. Be interesting to see if this comes about. Personally I’d like to see JW come into the role for longer.


    Ben Saunders

    If that rumour is true, my disappointment with Chibnall will turn into actual anger. Takes a year off to make the series as good as possible, it ends up being shite, slashes the number of episodes to ten because it’s too hard, most likely seeing a precedent going forward. Then (if the rumours are true) slashes the number of episodes to a measly six and fucks off right after. I would be livid. Everybody else managed to do thirteen episodes of varying quality and if we get six shite ones I’ll wonder why he even bothered taking the job in the first place.

    But hopefully that won’t transpire and I’ll just continue to be disappointed


    Ben Saunders

    Regarding what counts as success: definitely general popularity against actual quality (in the eyes of fans). Most people who call themselves fans that I know of loved the Capaldi era but the general feeling I get from the public is that it was a failure. Than of course you have many shows with strong but small fanbases (Star Trek, Firefly, Chuck) getting cancelled because nobody watched the (quality) episodes. Instead we’re on to the seventh season of The Walking Dead.



    And the fourteenth season of Supernatural



    Back in the Red part 1 got over 8 million viewers and that’s the best episode of Red Dwarf, so sometimes it can be both.



    I don’t really know what the Audience Appreciation Index is, but the general public thought fan favourite Heaven Sent was among the five worst episodes of Nu Who (series 1-10) and they love Dalek finales the best (the ace library two-parter is also near the top, so they’re not complete simpletons).


    Ben Saunders

    >the general public thought fan favourite Heaven Sent was among the five worst episodes of Nu Who
    Now, I’m not the type to ever use the word “plebs”, but if I ever had to….
    Heaven Sent has, I think, the highest IMDB score of all Doctor Whos ever, alongside Blink and Caves of Androzani, so there’s that at least.



    I really can’t see that rumour being true … the BBC would be just as pissed at him as fans would be. And wouldn’t he be contracted for at least two or three series so a potential new show runner couldn’t do what has been rumoured?

    Also, last I heard, he had a 5 year plan for the show … which, if 5 year plans for other shows are anything to go by will mean it will start out a bit shit, start to get really good and then be cancelled before it can be finished



    The way things have been lately, a five-year plan could end up only being two-and-a-half series.


    Ben Saunders

    The five year plan could include cancelling it in the second year



    The 5 year plan only included 3 series anyway, with 18 month gaps. But because this series has done so well on Sunday nights, the BBC now want a series every year. But Chibnall doesn’t want to do that much, so is going to half-arse one for them next year then fuck off, with Whittaker going with him.




    Got the Missy stories book out of the library and enjoying it



    Forever to be known as “the talking frog one”.


    Pete Part Three

    And it was doing so well at identifying itself as “the actually good sci-fi drama one”. OK, it wasn’t amazingly original but the execution was sharp and it was holding my attention when so much of this series has had me lose interest shy of the twenty minute mark.

    And then there was the scene with the frog.

    I’ll let them off though, as when the camera focused on the carving on the wall at the finale, I was back on board. More like this, PLEASE.



    The frog was great. The episode was great.



    Oh, I liked the frog and quite enjoyed the episode in general.

    The only real problem was the Doctor suddenly pulling the explanation out of nowhere, halfway through the episode, seemingly based on very little evidence – and then turning out to be completely right in her guess.

    It made me think another twist was coming and she was going to be revealed as wrong about what was going on.



    Also, I couldn’t help but think of the Kochanski/Lister stuff from Back to Earth during this one.



    The Frog could have been so much better even if they’d only CGI’d the mouth to give it the ability to form words. That’s all it needed. A bit of a polish, maybe, but just the mouth would’ve been fine.
    The episode itself though was intriguing. Some crazy ass shit going on in there. Looked great. The ‘cave’ was wonderfully atmospheric.



    That was probably my favourite episode since 2015, weird incongruous frog climax and all.

    I lasted almost nine episodes before having a Thirteenth Doctor erotic dream, how did you do?



    The only real problem was the Doctor suddenly pulling the explanation out of nowhere, halfway through the episode, seemingly based on very little evidence – and then turning out to be completely right in her guess.

    “Best guess,”


    Stephen Abootman

    TV needs more Kevin Eldon on it.



    What a shit show. Literally.

    OP should have added the poo icon to the title like Jawscvmcdia.

    Rest the series and give us some movies.



    Jawscvmcdia’s new forum flair is the most significant Red Dwarf event of 2018.



    …which was a jab at the lack of 30th anniversary merchandise and not the massive Dimension Jump event. Feel free to flair me appropriately.


    Captain No-Name

    The Frog could have been so much better even if they’d only CGI’d the mouth to give it the ability to form words. That’s all it needed. A bit of a polish, maybe, but just the mouth would’ve been fine.

    I do wonder if it’s just the mouth that spoiled it for some people. A CGI mouth would be one solution, albeit possibly too expensive and time consuming to do well.

    If I’d been the director, my inclination would’ve been to film a real frog against green screen, and just have an echoey reverb on the voice, to suggest it was communicating telepathically.

    Admittedly, this wouldn’t satisfy the viewers who were upset by the camp silliness of the image of a sentient universe manifesting as a talking frog on a chair… but those people are probably watching the wrong show.



    Well that was a bit bloody brilliant. Even the frog.

    OK so the Doctor pulled the explanation for what’s going on out of her arse a bit, but in all honesty that’s almost a feature of Who anyway. I can totally live with that.

    Everything else was just great! We’ll have more of that thank you very much.


    Ben Saunders

    Everything to do with Graham was excellent, there was a genuine mystery set up, things were generally at least a little interesting… but again, Tosin Cole can’t act, the dialogue is abhorrent and the whole thing is just a bit amateurish. It’s written like a Big Finish audio play – the characters announce what they see a lot, when several scenes this episode could have been accomplished in a much more effective and engaging way with little to no dialogue. Show, don’t tell.

    Talking frog was just too silly and took the wind out of my enjoyment of the episode. It’s the way it comes out of nowhere, has the nan’s voice and the mouth doesn’t move properly, and especially how it does that stupid hand movement when it uses the force to push the Doctor back (to where, might I add, the mirror was long gone).

    I’m fine with camp in Who, but it was tonally off for what they were trying to do and the campness wasn’t properly established earlier on, it’s a total shift of mood and turns what could have been a pretty powerful scene ridiculous. I’m reminded of Meglos, in which the villain was A Cactus, but at least in that we’re introduced pretty early on to the villain being a cactus and it is initially played for laughs before then showing us it’s all a bit more sinister than we give it credit for. It’s still pretty silly, though.

    So much of the dialogue in that episode was genuinely annoying, with the “hey look, an x”, the sheep wars, seven grans, the Doctor eating the soil to find out where she is, etc. The latter could maybe have worked with better comedic timing/delivery, but even similar stuff that happened in the Capaldi era annoyed me as well.

    What’s frustrating about this episode in particular is that it was almost amazing – take the concept of a parallel world created by an ancient entity to lure people in with the memories of their dead loved ones, and you could create an incredible Star Trek script, or an incredible Doctor Who script were it not edited by Chris Chibnall, and if Yaz had been completely excised from it. Three companions is too many companions.


    Ben Saunders

    >The only real problem was the Doctor suddenly pulling the explanation out of nowhere, halfway through the episode, seemingly based on very little evidence – and then turning out to be completely right in her guess.
    The Doctor giving us her impression of Kryten, there.



    On the subject of Tosin not being able to act, I know someone that knows him. She ran script writing workshops that he attended so she got to work with him in an acting/drama environment for quite a while.

    After the first episode she asked me how he did, and I said something along the lines of he’s ok, but his accent is shocking.

    Her response was that she cannot fathom why they’d cast Tosin if the role required him doing a northern accent, because accents were always his weakness.

    Even now she has seen him in the show she’s doesn’t quite get it, role just isn’t for him.

    I actually quite like the character, and Tosin is generally ok, it’s just when he speaks it all falls apart


    Ben Saunders

    Is that not his real accent? That might explain a lot, because he sounds so monotone and… mindless, when speaking. It’s like he’s really not engaged with the material. Phoning it in, reading off an idiot board for an easy paycheck. I guess the character is alright, but the acting prevents me from thinking I like him, and neither him nor Yaz are really given all that much to do – get rid of one of them so that you have more time to develop either of them.



    I suspect Doctor Who will go under quite a significant re-tooling next year.

    Bin everyone bar Jodie and Bradley and get back to some fucking adventuring, instead of this season’s worth of smack you around the head social commentary.



    I think the awful accent might well affect the acting. I’m sure he’s a perfectly fine actor, but the fact he’s trying hard and failing to do an anywhere *near* convincing Sheffield accent, coupled with the fact that Ryan never really seems to have a great deal to do, or have decent dialogue…well, it detracts from any actual acting going on there.
    If it weren’t for the fact that his story is almost inextricably linked to Graham’s, I’d drop him off and leave him with his dad for a bit.



    Ryan has called him grandad now. We just need the fist bump next week and we’re done with Ryan.

    Unfortunately I suspect we’re more likely to lose Walsh at the end of the season, as he seems far more likely to be a ‘one season and done’ kinda companion. If Chibnall and Whittaker do leave then we’ll get her and the remaining 2 companions in next year’s half arsed season and then starting all from scratch again.



    Bloody Colin Baker era all over again.

    I do smell assassination around Chibnall though. It’s almost tradition to whinge about the Who show-runner within the fan community but he is particularly ham-fisted with Whittaker’s crop of stories.



    I feel defensive about Nu Nu Who now, because I loved that last one (thanks, Ed Hime) and think the other guest-written episodes have been as good as the average guest-written ones we’ve always had – i.e. fine filler. But all the criticisms are correct and it’s clearly Chibnall’s fault.



    I’m trying to remain positive here because even if the show isn’t to my tastes I want it to do well, & even though 4 million have turned out since the premiere, viewing figures are still respectable (although the fact there’s been a consistent & steady drop in almost every episode is a cause for concern)

    For the first few weeks there seemed to be real momentum & dare I say some zeitgeist again, but my gut says that Chibbers may have blown it & we’ll be back to average viewing figures next series. It’s frustrating because the world was watching & this was the shows last big chance to return to a mass audience & we won’t get another shot like this in my lifetime.



    The revived era was a fluke, a well deserved fluke but one nonetheless. I suspect the BBC saw it lasting five years and then either being quietly leased off to an American production company or going back into the vaults after they figure out another Who-esque show to scare the children with. The worldwide popularity and new generation of fans that appeared through it was beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and the culmination of it all with the 50th anniversary special really was an indicator who how far it had come from being just another dreary old serial your dad watched to a touchstone in modern television culture.

    The Whittaker era should’ve took it back into the stratosphere but it hasn’t and why? The writing, the club around the head social commentary and the distinct lack of adventure and eccentric daftness that we do very well.

    Either Chibnall goes and they re-tool or they spend the 2019 season making nod and wink promises to everyone that it’s gonna be back to what we know and like best for 2020 and they can’t afford to lose viewers or long-term appeal through that.



    Pretty blobs on lines, for those that are interested in seeing viewing figures in context.



    Very interesting trends there. Most series bar Capaldi’s kick off with approx. 8.5 – 9 million viewers and decrease as the episodes roll on, Whittaker’s run has started with the sea change and viewership pull of a female Doctor and is diving after an 11 million premiere. The 2019 series will likely settle into the 8.5 – 9 trend but decrease after that at a greater rate as seen in the 2018 series with a 2020 series maybe even venturing into Capaldi’s 6.5 million nadir.

    What to take from this (and my own reflection) –

    People like younger Doctor’s with a bit of zeal about them, they like light-hearted adventures and don’t like to wade through episode after episode of social commentary when you can intertwine that with some real good storytelling at the same time. People give the Smith era a lot of stick but boy was it fun and it didn’t mind wearing its heart on its sleeve. You can go anywhere in the Smith era and not have to worry too much about episodes that have came before. The Whittaker – Chibnall stories feel like commentary first with alien of the week tagged on to help pull together the three acts and it really shows.

    So the BBC have a decision to make.

    Allow Chibnall to venture on as he pleases in the 2019 series, lose two million viewers and international recognition before replacing him and essentially rebooting the show in 2020 and hoping Whittaker stays for a third series to build a transition to the fourteenth Doctor in 2021.

    Or do you ‘Solo’ it, get the clunkiest 2019 episodes whittled out and re-written with stronger and more ‘Who-esque’ stories and build up that transition earlier and cross your fingers that the first Whittaker series will be seen a blip.



    The Whittaker era should’ve took it back into the stratosphere but it hasn’t and why? The writing, the club around the head social commentary and the distinct lack of adventure and eccentric daftness that we do very well.

    I think the lack a real, substantive overarching plot hasn’t helped either. There’s been no reason for those extra eyes who tuned in out of curiosity to keep watching past the first few episodes

    I still say Chibbers should’ve gone with a full blown serial, either 6×60 or 8×45, one story spread over the whole series. The idea it needed to be standalones to be more ”accessible” is nonsense, look at the figures for Bodyguard or Broadchurch (that Chibnall created)

    I mean christ, Doctor Who was practically *built* on the cliffhanger/serialised format.



    The Whittaker era should’ve took it back into the stratosphere but it hasn’t and why? The writing, the club around the head social commentary and the distinct lack of adventure and eccentric daftness that we do very well.

    I think the lack a real, substantive overarching plot hasn’t helped either. There’s been no reason for those extra eyes who tuned in out of curiosity to keep watching past the first few episodes

    I still say Chibbers should’ve gone with a full blown serial, either 6×60 or 8×45, one story spread over the whole series. The idea it needed to be standalones to be more ”accessible” is nonsense, look at the figures for Bodyguard or Broadchurch (that Chibnall created)

    I mean christ, Doctor Who was practically *built* on the cliffhanger/serialised format.








    Please, for the love of god, let us edit our own posts.



    But Doc ain’t Broadchurch, what works for one brand of drama doesn’t work for another. Doctor Who was serialised in the classic run but when you look at the amount of ground they covered per serial, it’s clear that you could take two or even three episodes from the ’63 to ’89 era and condense them into one equivalent revived era episode without it feeling rushed which is why the two-parters in the modern era have big consequences and changes for the show and characters, they’re more like films and a plot broom to sweep away the loose threads.

    I would hate to see an over-arching plot for a new series of Who, does nobody remember the last two Torchwood specials? You’re gonna annoy the long-term fans who want to see the Doctor come up against new dilemmas and characters and you’re annoy new fans who just want to sit down and put on an episode without having to recall the MacGuffin from episode four and how it plays into the C-plot. Plus over-arching series sag like mad in the middle and once you start building up to the finale, you’ve lost half your audience.





    This post is bigger on the inside.



    You’re bigger on the inside, fatty.



    ”I would hate to see an over-arching plot for a new series of Who, does nobody remember the last two Torchwood specials?”

    Children Of Earth was one of the best pieces of television RTD ever penned, & only 5 parts to boot.

    Miracle Day was an overcooked mess, thanks largely to being about 5 episodes too long, & having a chaotic behind the scenes American/British co-production.



    And Russell T Davies stated he preference for the miniseries format whilst writing Children Of Earth, feeling the format more ambitious & intelligent.



    Children of Earth and Miracle Day were each three-parters at best, a miserable end to a show that was starting to get interesting.



    I do recall the end of Children Of Earth being a rough watch. I mean the whole serial is fantastic, & i love TV painted in darker hues, but the end is… too much, even for me. I mean it’s bold, but in the process it sort of ‘spoils’ Torchwood & forever taints the character of Jack.

    I get the impression RTD was not in a good place when he wrote that. I think the closest Moffat ever got to that level of grim was probably Extremis.



    You can go anywhere in the Smith era and not have to worry too much about episodes that have came before.

    I don’t know, series 6 got a lot of stick for being “too complicated” and Smith’s lore-heavy Christmas Day finale must have been off-putting to casual viewers, or even fans who hadn’t reminded themselves of certain dangling plot threads the series hadn’t touched on for 2 to 3 years. Overall, there are definitely fewer back references and continuity nods in Smith vs. Capaldi though, one reason I prefer it.

    The Smith/Moffat era started out like the current era, making a clean break with hardly any holdovers – just Moffat’s own River Song and Angels and the classic enemies (which usually had disappointing episodes and I could have done without). I like the clean break approach and self-contained eras, it just needs someone exciting in charge!


    Ben Saunders


    Children of Earth was incredible, but probably an episode too long. Miracle Day was about five episodes too long, but that episode where they show Jack having a [seemingly] random relationship with that Italian man was just stunning, really unexpectedly brilliant.



    If Chibnall was an ice cream flavour, he’d be that fucking bland ice cream from Farmfoods your gran always had which was barely vanilla and had the texture of cardboard.

    While a half dozen ethnic minorities watched you eat it and tutted.



    ethnic minorities

    I thought we were dissing the failings of the Chibnall era, not the good stuff?



    Don’t mistake me mentioning that term in a flippant fashion for a negative outlook on it all. The casting and use of non-white actors in recent Doctor Who has been great but it does veer on Chibnall pointing at them and going ‘ain’t this marvellous, look at how broad the palette is now, look how we’re tackling the issues of the day’.

    He’s as subtle as a sonic screwdriver up the rear.



    Diversity can’t really be subtle when you’ve only got four leads to spread it around, but I still think representation for the sake of it and “doing it because you can” or because you haven’t before is good enough reason. Yaz is still a nothing character right now, but having a South Asian British / Muslim companion (who only brings that up when relevant) is great, and not just because it’s fun to think of how it pisses off some people.



    That was largely pretty dull I thought, and bringing back the underwhelming comedy baddie from the first episode was maybe not the best choice for a big series finale.

    And while I was glad to see them return to the idea of unintended consequences of the Doctor not being decisive enough in her method of dealing with villains, it felt like a thread that never went anywhere.



    I was again, just bored by the way Chibnal writes. There was a lot in this episode that if it had been written by someone else it would have been a lot more interesting to watch. The dialogue is so dull and repetitive. “Don’t kill people” – ok we know that, but let’s stop and have a quick philosophical discussion on why killing bad people is bad. Rather than the cliched “you’ll be just like them”

    Let’s take that conversation onwards a bit. Sure Graham might be “just like him” if killing 1 bad guy is the same as kidnapping and wiping out the life on 5 planets. Let’s have a brief discussion on consequentialism, isn’t it better to kill the genocidal maniac than let him live and carry on killing, rather than getting bogged down in utilitarianism.



    What she really needs is a quirky hat



    I can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed. It felt like there were ideas that were big and impressive, but were treated with so little care they just rushed past. Big battles, hundreds of crashed ships, whole planets in a bit of perspex, people that live thousands of years, chambers full of stasis people, ‘the planet’ wiping memories. So many things that were thrown in, maybe to try to make it seem epic, but just ended up feeling a mess.

    Also, since I don’t see trailers or any promotional material if I can, I was totally expecting Graham to be killed off today. Especially since he had his deathwish grudge match. So in all honesty I feel a little cheated that he just shot Tim in the foot and was fine and dandy. Not even the Ux died. Doesn’t feel like a finale unless -someone- dies.

    I guess to give some credit, it wasn’t a BAD episode. Just, could do better. Which is a shame.



    It’s been announced that the next series won’t air until 2020. Not entirely unsurprising but it does allude to growing production problems.



    Also, BBC have confirmed no Doctor Who in 2019, with the next series coming ”early 2020”. Bradley coming back is great news, at least.

    I’m just… meh at this. Considering how underwhelming this series has turned out (after starting out so promisingly) I’m not as bothered as I thought I’d be when this rumour started circulating.

    I want to say this will harm momentum, but if we’re being honest the momentum’s already gone, Chibnall pissed it away after the 3rd episode & deep down we all know it, if the 8-9 million consolidated ratings had continued past the first few episodes, I’m certain we’d be getting at least at least *some* of series 12 next year.



    I do worry that he’s squandered the incredible viewing figures of the first few episodes. They knew the world would be watching when this series started, & it should’ve been seen as a golden opportunity to bring the show back into the zeitgeist in a way it hasn’t been since 2009.

    And they fucked it.




    Better than some of the cringeworthy finales we’ve had, but definitely the dullest. Felt like the villain was transplanted from Stargate or something. New Year will be the proper finale since it’s so soon, hopefully that’ll leave things on a more hopeful note.



    It’s been announced that the next series won’t air until 2020. Not entirely unsurprising but it does allude to growing production problems.

    Not growing, just not being fixed (even after cutting the episode count again). Series have been released around 18 months apart since 2015, “early 2020” still fits that. 2014-15 is the only time in the past decade that uninterrupted runs have aired a year apart (13 months).


    Pete Part Three

    I wish Chibnall would fuck off, frankly. That reminded for of his godawful Silurian two-parter from Series 5. Supposedly grand ideas muted by plodding execution. No wit, no panache, no translation of stakes. Even the episode title was awful; the sort of stock sci-fi title that deserves to be parodied. And the dialogue? Argh… Straight from the top:

    BORING WOMAN : Finally. This is where our journey stops.

    BORING MAN : You’re going to make this the place?

    “Here?!” would have conveyed that, if it was really fucking necessary. But it wasn’t, was it? It’s just shitty exposition which isn’t even trying to be actual dialogue. RTD would have loved that, I’m sure.

    His DW scripts range between bland and shite, the vision for the show is questionable, there’s at least one companion too many (Yaz’s turn to sit this episode out) and his producing abilities seem distinctly lacking if he can’t even deliver the episode quantities at the start of his tenure that the previous showrunners were capable of. Children seem to like the show right now, but 18 months will be a lifetime for them.



    ”and his producing abilities seem distinctly lacking if he can’t even deliver the episode quantities at the start of his tenure that the previous showrunners were capable of. Children seem to like the show right now, but 18 months will be a lifetime for them”

    Yeah, a gap year after just one series is taking the piss, quite frankly.

    To this day I’m impressed with how quickly Moffat managed to get series 8 in the can, they filmed 1×75, 10×45 & 1×60 in just seven short months. And then came back a month later & filmed an hour long christmas special. I can’t imagine how stressful that probably was, but It’s taken Chibnall nearly 3 months longer to produce less content.

    ”Yeah, but the episodes look super polished”

    Yeah, but the problem is that most of the scripts… aren’t.



    ”Yeah, but the episodes look super polished”

    It looks drab and colourless now. I know they’ve upgraded the camera hardware, but I don’t remember being struck by many iconic shots this series – mainly the TARDIS on the hill, because it was used in promos, and the frog because it was funny. Everything was in neutral tones with a bit of yellow and most of the aliens are just humans now, because they think we’re too racist to empathise with the plights of blue people.


    Flap Jack

    Overall I enjoyed this series a lot, but it didn’t exactly wow me as I was hoping it would. Love both Doctor and companions though. It was nice to get a series of Doctor Who whose episodes were largely self-contained and unpretentious for a change, even if that’s a low bar to clear.

    Here’s hoping next series they bring back multi-parters, work out how to make room for all 3 companions in each episode, come up with some more memorable villains, and generally just improve upon Chris Chibnall’s overly expositional and shallow writing style.

    Also, Series 12 is “early 2020” so I guess that’s more of a gap six months than a gap year. It’s still disappointing to wait so long after they got such good momentum going. It’s bad enough we only got 10 episodes rather than 12 or 13!

    I wonder if they’re doing a Christmas special in 2019, or a another New Year’s special in 2020… or neither?



    My guess is neither. Though I agree a 2019/20 seasonal would be great. ‘Tint going to happen though. Think we’re probably looking at about May 2020.



    My guess is neither. Though I agree a 2019/20 seasonal would be great. ‘Tint going to happen though. Think we’re probably looking at about May 2020.



    I wonder whether they’re planning a New Year’s Day debut for season 12. That would actually make the gap smaller than the gap between seasons 10 and 11.



    It’ll be a shrove Tuesday special as Chibnall will have run out of New Year’s Day ideas by then.



    RESOLUTION (mild spoilers follow)

    I thought that was a pretty good episode in the ‘Dalek’ mould – until the last five or ten minutes when it turned into a massive load of old guff.

    I was a bit surprised that such a complex functioning Dalek device could be constructed by a woman with her bare hands, but I guess if they made it look any more low-tech it could have been laughable. I was happy to suspend my disbelief on that front – less so with that focused vacuum tunnel (?) business at the end.


    Pete Part Three

    I just get the feeling Chibnall is being pigheadly contrary for his own amusement now. After a series of non-returning monsters, he brings back arguably the most iconic alien threat in TV history and dispenses with the one thing that made them iconic for much of the runtime and then sticks them in a deliberately shit realisation of that for the rest. This really could have been any monster. A waste of a Dalek, frankly.

    Then there’s the “three companions” thing. That wasn’t crowded enough, so let’s throw in another 3 non-characters. In this week’s episode: Yaz got to escort two of them out of a buillding. That was pretty much her entire contribution to the proceedings. Bearing in mind Charlotte Ritchie’s character managed to make it through proceedings without any lasting damage, couldn’t they just have lumped all the things that happened to her onto Yaz. You know, just to give her something to do.

    Just mediocre, forgettable. I knew I wasn’t in for a good time, when we had a crappy voiceover narration opening the episode. Not sure that was required, and if you’re going to get someone with a very deep voice to do narrative, maybe sort out the audio levels of the background music so it’s actually discernible what is being said. Like the stupidly large captions, was it really necessary?

    The Microwave thing was signposted with the subtlety of a sledgehammer and the Doctor’s final plan was complete stupidity. So…she opens the door on a supernova and just expects the Dalek to fly out…but no one else? I mean, fair play it worked; but only because Chibnall decided it had to. It would have been more believable if Ryan’s Dad had sacrificed himself…but I’m glad we were spared of that as that would have been ghastly, and we’d probably have another 10 episodes of living under a grief cloud.

    What purpose is the continual mourning of Grace, a character we barely knew, actually serving?. Is this the only drama Chris Chibnall knows how to write competently? Dealing with the aftermath and consequences of dramatic events, rather than actually showing dramatic events? It worked for Broadchurch Series 1, it’s worked for fuck all else.

    Bleugh. The most interesting thing was the moment when the Doctor phoned up Laura Evelyn, interrupting her Bandersnatch coding to ask about UNIT. OK, that wasn’t really what happened, but it would have been slightly more interesting.

    This show has taken massive steps backwards. It’s neither cerebral enough to be interesting, nor quirky enough to be fun. The worst insult I can give it is that I will not miss it at all in 2019.



    Stephen Abootman

    Hard to disagree with any of that. Can see why there isn’t many attempts at humour in it these days if the best on offer is ‘the wifi’s down’ ‘what do we do?’ ‘we’ll have to have a conversation’.



    I’m sure it was fine for kids, I find pretty much all Dalek episodes a waste of time anyway, so didn’t get anything out of it. Just talked over the boring family drama bits. I was hoping that oven was going to end up saving the day in an amusing way, must have briefly forgotten who was writing it.

    stupidly large captions

    I’m watching Killing Eve at the moment and it has those, so maybe just another attempt to make Doctor Who look respectably trendy rather than distinctive.


    Ben Saunders

    I’m sure if I gave two shits about Ryan that would have been a pretty touching episode, despite the fact that the forgiveness happens way too quickly and isn’t completely believable. It’s all too nice. More of Chibnall’s “stuff just happens” writing. More of the stupid throwbacks to events we haven’t seen – three or four of them at the beginning of the episode!

    Ryan doesn’t have dyspraxia. He just doesn’t. Until the writers decide to remind us that he’s supposed to.
    I hope we get another Terileptils story this year and they destroy the Doctor’s fucking screwdriver, god damn it. According to the screw-scan, sirs….

    Episode picked up somewhat around about the army scene, 12-year-old me would have found a Dalek with rockets really cool. I guess the Dalek was a part of the network thing they all have going (despite that only being introduced in about series 7 and this apparently being an OG Dalek from way back when) so knew who The Doctor was, otherwise how would it? I was hoping for a little moment where The Doctor tells the Dalek they have been defeated time and time again since it had been asleep, and would go on to be defeated time and time again in the future.


    Ben Saunders

    Oh I skipped the season finale btw and only watched this one because I knew there’d be a Dalek in it and it might actually be a bit Doctor Who-y. I should have just kept watching TNG, reading you lot’s comments on it hasn’t convinced me to go back and watch it.

    I’m glad we aren’t getting a series this year, because my New Year’s Resolution is to be less negative, which is impossible when I’m watching Chibnall Who.



    I was into the episode up until Ritchie’s Dalek hug then things started picking up towards the end but the ending was silly. The thought occurs that Nicholas Briggs could have played the archaeologist(?) so the human puppet/Dalek symbiote could have been more effective voicewise.

    Ryan doesn’t have dyspraxia. He just doesn’t. Until the writers decide to remind us that he’s supposed to.

    Is the dyspraxia supposed to be apparent in the way Ryan speaks? Cause it doesn’t seem to be a condition that is that overt to onlookers unless it’s extreme or pointed out so I’m not sure how much of that scans on screen without Cole looking like he can’t act or Ryan coming across as incompetent in general rather than struggling to keep up with certain ways.


    Ben Saunders

    It just seems like he can’t act and the clumsiness never really comes up except “oh btw I can’t climb this ladder” and “not bad for a boy with dyspraxia eh”, to be fair I had a mate in high school who had it and it never really came up either. Ryan just acts like a normal character 95% of the time and I don’t know why they’ve given him this trait if it’s almost never relevant. It’s a small gripe, though.

    If the dyspraxia is the reason he talks like he’s out of breath from all the thinking he has to do with his 68 IQ, I guess that would explain it, but I thought it was because he was trying to put on the accent



    I largely enjoyed the episode. It has it’s faults, but I think there are more positives to focus on. It generally felt like a decent-average Doctor Who episode. Nothing fantastic, and certainly not annual special worthy, but it kept me entertained and not bored like a lot of the rest of the series. Cut out the stuff with Ryan and his dad and the story is pretty solid right up to the resolution (pun intended) but where have we been seeing that a lot recently?? Maybe TV writers have forgotten how to write good endings.

    That said, it hasn’t really left me wanting more. Which is a shame. With such a long gap until the next series again, I’d have liked to have been left eager to see what is to come next. In reality I’m happy to patiently wait and hope not to be disappointed by another meh series.


    Ben Saunders

    Something that I noticed is that all the “it’s New Year’s btw” stuff felt really forced, especially the “here’s my resolution” line, and it didn’t feel like a festive or New Year’s special at all, just another episode. So my question is… why couldn’t you have just done the exact same, except on Christmas, to net an extra couple million viewers? A Christmas special doesn’t need to be ABOUT Christmas, it can just be ON Christmas, especially when your substitute New Year’s special has fuck all to do with it being New Year’s.

    I wish we weren’t at a stage where “decent-average” was a compliment and not a criticism. We used to rag on Gatiss episodes for being decent-average, which was usually shit in comparison to what surrounded them. Now I would welcome a Gatiss episode where I used to dread them.

    The idea of the Doctor and companions celebrating a holiday sort of makes sense if you assume that they keep track of how many hours have passed for the companions since they were picked up – say sixteen lots of 24 hours have passed, now it would be “Christmas” from their point of view. Not that you wouldn’t get horrific jetlag from travelling through time and space and going on sometimes incredibly long adventures all the time – you could be just about ready for bed, then travel to somewhere where it’s 9am and Daleks are trying to kill you. But then the concept of Christmas or it being any specific day falls apart when you have companions from different times, different planets etc. Would Nyssa join in with Tegan and the Doctor celebrating New Year’s?



    It seems to me that the move to New Year is all part of the positioning of the show.

    They seem to want the show to be seen more like a flagship BBC drama these days, which is reflected in the Sunday night series slot and also in the New Year timing of the special (New Year’s Day having been a big day for new BBC dramas like Sherlock in recent years, or Luther this year).

    In comparison, Christmas specials are more often reserved for light-entertainment or comedy shows, and I get the impression that’s the kind of label that Chibnall is trying to shake.


    Ben Saunders

    All the attempts to make Doctor Who seem like a modern, flagship drama (including the aspect ratio, oh God the aspect ratio) feel hollow and forced, and sucking the life, the spark, the identity out of the program. This isn’t Broadchurch. it’s Doctor Who. Turn up the lights and fill the screen, for a start.



    Oh dear, that’s not a great overnight (may improve with catch up, mind) but it is indicative of the level of casual interest in the show & how it’s fallen since the premiere, to be honest.

    I don’t think Chibbers appreciates just how much good will he’s pissed away with this latest series.


    Ben Saunders

    Interesting to see news outlets that aren’t just The Sun (which has always ragged on Doctor Who, probably because it’s a relatively leftist show) running the “DW is hemorrhaging viewers” narrative, perhaps indicative of the general attitude towards the Chibnall era



    I only got round to watching it last night, as I’ve been in no real hurry to catch up. Almost wish I hadn’t bothered as it’s yet another ‘eh’ episode.

    It really felt like the pacing was all over the place, one minute we’re having quiet conversations, cut to action sequence of dalek causing havoc, cut back to a different emotional conversation. It just felt really disjointed and unsure what tone was being set. Then just to mix it up there’s a handful of comedy scenes being thrown in for no good reason. Oh the Doctor is panicking about this alien invasion and is desperately calling for backup? Of course that’s the perfect time to throw in a “aren’t call centres annoying” comedy bit!

    I’ve also got to the point where I stop worrying about all of the plot holes/conveniences now. The archaeologist guy -happens- to be an expert in this 9th century cult that just -happens- to be relevant to the plot, complete with illustrated guide on how to kill a dalek? Fine. Whatever. A dismembered dalek can be buried for over two thousand years, but with a little UV light teleport its bits back together again and live? Fine. Whatever. I’m willing to suspend disbelief, but things still need to have their own internal logic.

    I think another problem is that they try to make things seem grand and epic when they’re not. Having the Doctor looking at tardis monitors, running around shouting “oh no, it’s turning off the wifi, it’s shutting down the power!” is meant to sound epic, but all we’re seeing is her looking at monitors. It doesn’t -feel- threatening. Go back to season 1 and watch Eccleston stare in horror at one tin can trundling through a single building and you really -feel- the threat of a Dalek.

    As for the end, I couldn’t really care less about the Dad. We’re told all season he’s a bit of a loser and doesn’t even really say sorry to Ryan during their heart to heart. The only reason I didn’t want him to die was because that would give too much importance to a nothing character.

    If I could re-write the last few episodes, I would hold off on the Graham/Ryan moments and leave them for this one. Dalek jumps onto Graham, Graham is willing to sacrifice himself for the others, “I’ve had a good life” and all that, Ryan says “I love you Grandad”, Graham lives, everyone happy and sentimental. Job done.

    As for the ratings, yeah as a single number 5.15 million is low even for a normal episode, let alone a ‘special’, but everything on New Years Day was low. It was still the 4th highest show that day with the top only 0.5m more. It’s not really a case of the show “haemorrhaging viewers” but just that not many people watch TV on NYD. But let’s not let facts spoil a nice narrative eh?



    ”but everything on New Years Day was low. It was still the 4th highest show that day with the top only 0.5m more. It’s not really a case of the show “haemorrhaging viewers” but just that not many people watch TV on NYD. But let’s not let facts spoil a nice narrative eh?”

    Still shit numbers though, however much people might want to spin this as ‘no big deal’.

    And considering what the opener pulled just a few short months ago, there’s no excuse for that overnight, also i could care less what other shows are doing, saying ‘but *all* T.V is down these days’ just sounds like the sort of racing drivers excuses that were pulled during the latter half of the Moffat era when the numbers started falling.

    If it was compelling, interesting T.V that gave a reason for people to give a shit about it, people would’ve tuned in on the night, regardless of what external factors may have been at play.

    It didn’t, & they didn’t. Even on 28 day, 4 screen catch up, the show is nearly 5 million down from the opener to episode 9, so what else do you call that other than ”haemorrhaging viewers”?

    Again, it may make up for the shortfall on catch up, so this could all be a moot point anyway.


    Ben Saunders

    At the tail end of the Moffat era I know only a handful of people who still watched the show, but they at least enjoyed it. Now, those same people are with me when I say it’s shite, bar one. When I was in high school everybody loved or hated Doctor Who, now I’m the only person who ever mentions it. I don’t know about ratings, but it certainly feels like a show nobody watches anymore. I hope the ratings fall to two million and we get either a kick up the arse or a cancellation



    >the show is nearly 5 million down from the opener to episode 9, so what else do you call that other than ”haemorrhaging viewers”?

    Whittaker has a gap of 4.5 million from her opener to the lowest, not 5. Ecclestone had drop of 4 million, Tennant and Smith both lost 3.7 million in their first seasons. Ecclestone lost 2.8 million in the first week, Whittaker lost 1.9 in her first week. The only one that didn’t have a large gap is Capaldi, but far fewer watched his opener in the first place.

    So I’d say that losing millions of viewers is pretty much par for the course in a new Doctor’s season.

    It just bugs me that the media has been ripping on this season since the start, making out that losing viewers in the first week was a sign that a woman doctor and ‘sjw friendly’ companions was a disaster, rather than a totally normal pattern of viewing behaviour. There’s is always a large drop after the first week. They then carried on the story about it being a ‘ratings disaster’ even when it was getting better ratings than it has for a few years now.

    Rather than the hyperbole of a haemorrhage, I would say there has however been a steady decline in viewers. Other seasons have peaks and troughs according to how interesting the next episode looks. Tennant had a big jump in viewers for the first Cybermen story and again for the return of Rose in Donna’s finale. That’s been missing this season, there’s been no ‘wow I need to watch that’ episodes to get people back watching. It also doesn’t help that we’re a whole 3 episodes short of a full season.

    Going back to the NYD episode though, with catchup it might just reach 7 million, which will scrape about where Capaldi got with Xmas specials. So yeah, it is pretty shit and probably an indication of what’s to come. If they don’t change something and start writing actually good and enjoyable Who soon, they’ll be back into the ratings of Capaldi’s last season in no time, which were objectively awful.

    Pretty blobs on a chart –


    Ben Saunders

    It depends what media you read, what narrative you get from it. The Sun has always hated Doctor Who, for example, but almost all the lefty outlets were spunking undue praise all over this series in the beginning, but do seem for the most part to me much more disparaging of the show now.

    I think trying to appeal to people who just don’t like Doctor Who is a waste of time. I’ve got a mate who just will not watch it. No matter if the Doctor is a woman, black, or a talking dog, they’ve already decided Doctor Who is shite and nothing will change that.

    It is a shame that the first female Doctor and the obviously deliberately multicultural TARDIS team has just so happened to coincide with the worst season of the show since Season 24. I wonder how much lasting damage something like that will do to people’s acceptance of women and minorities in this way. Of course there are people who will resist such a change anyway, but then for people on the fence or people who are indifferent, Series 11 is hardly a glowing review for this new, inclusive view of the future. It happened to Star Wars, too. They spent so long making sure they ticked all the representation boxes and no time on the scripts or making the stories exciting or anything. In a time when all the world was watching and they have a responsibility to deliver, they totally dropped the ball.



    >I think trying to appeal to people who just don’t like Doctor Who is a waste of time.

    RTD did that extremely well though. I was a mod on a consumer review site back then and most people who reviewed the DVDs were non-typical “girlie” fans who loved things like the kitchen sink drama and Britney/Weakest Link jokes among the adventure, and would usually say how they didn’t expect to like Doctor Who based on its reputation.

    Obviously Chibnall was hoping for the same thing, but couldn’t find a way to really hold the public interest beyond some worthwhile historicals that he didn’t even write.


    Pete Part Three

    RTD has his Producer hat on so much of the time. He was great at “marketing” the show, and reading The Writer’s Tale who realise how much thought he gave to scheduling (Waters of Mars going against The X Factor final!) and the desire to keep the TARDIS crew fresh every series (whether that be a change of Doctor or companion) so every premiere got a bit of a ratings bump due to viewer curiosity.


    Ben Kirkham

    I think RTD was the best showrunner of 21st Century Doctor Who. He knew how to attract and keep an audience, he kept the show very faithful to its past yet also made it accessible. He didn’t hit the bullseye 100% of the time, but I found it to be event television for the majority of his era. Plus, I really like him; I could listen to him talk all day. His other stuff outside Doctor Who is remarkable, particularly The Second Coming and Bob & Rose.



    I hated the weakest link/big brother episode in 2005, to the point that I stopped watching, annoyed. I just felt like it was a silly idea. But I just watched it and the Bad Wolf finale again. I quite liked them this time. Maybe the theme was’s all about tv..this season was all about getting Who back on TV, so they were exploring the kind of trash tv they had to compete with (in that sci fi-less time). Or something.



    The Series 11 Bluray boxset arrived today.
    It’s very good. And looks fantastic.



    Shame the content is meh


    Ben Kirkham

    I don’t see any reason why Resolution couldn’t have been included, given the release date of the boxset.



    BBC money grab isn’t it! They’ll charge you another £15 for that episode in a couple of months time



    Might it end up as the first episode in an eventual Series 12 boxset?

    That’s how the Christmas specials were handled for the Tennant series on DVD – they all ended up as the first episode of the next season rather than the last episode of the current season. I think it happened later too – the first Smith series DVD set only featured the regular season 5 episodes and then ‘A Christmas Carol’ went on the start of series 6.



    I never liked or agreed with that ordering. All episodes from the same calendar year feel like they belong together, regardless of whether Christmas is actually closer to the next batch. Some of them even lead in directly with cliffhangers.

    (Apart from The Next Doctor, which belongs with the Specials year. And series 7 being messed up anyway. And that year when there was only a Christmas special, so put it with the next series. And Resolution being closer to its parent series than any other special but actually being in a different year just to mess it up. All the rest of the time).


    Ben Kirkham

    Back in the day, that was quite possible. Given the state of physical releases at the moment and the staggering lack of detail (Thanks for the Memories, the Doctor Who Season 10 box having no information as to what was on each disc), I doubt it’ll get included and since we’re waiting until 2020 for the next series it seems too long a gap. Same thing for Series 10. If BBC Worldwide waited until January 2019 to release it, it could have had Twice Upon A Time on it. My expectations for all releases now is a type of cautious anticipation. I think DVD/ Blu-Ray releases generally started to go really downhill about the time of Series 8.


    Ben Kirkham

    In the early 2000s I was excited to open up a DVD and delve in. Nowadays (with a few exceptions), it mainly feels like a duty for the sake of completeness.



    I mean, that makes sense in some respects.

    The Christmas Invasion is Tennant’s first episode and really a precursor to series 2.
    So for each Christmas episode to appear at the start of the series 2, 3, 4 makes sense.

    Then you get the 2010 specials … how were they released? As a set or individually?

    At series 5 I would have flipped it though, and put the Christmas episode at the end of the series boxset (although looking, there is a rather larger gap between series 5 ending in June and Christmas so maybe forgive them there)

    So it goes at the start of series 6

    but then because of that it starts to get a bit messy

    Series 7 has 2 Christmas episodes. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe (which was aired just shy of 3 months after the end of series 6) and then The Snowmen which comes in the middle because of the series being split.

    Originally there were released as Doctor Widow and Wardrobe, series 7 part 1, The Snowmen, Series 7 Part 2

    The Snowmen comes 3months after 7a and 3months before 7b.

    And this was of no surprise to the BBC, they knew the break in the series was happening and knew when it would be released so it was at this point they could have easily flipped it around and put the Christmas episode in with the series somewhere … presumably at the start of 7b as they’d wanted 7a out in time for Christmas DVD sales.

    No matter on we go.

    Series 8 ends 6 weeks before Christmas but that special gets pushed onto the series 9 DVD. Series 9 ended 20 days before Christmas.

    Again, pushing the series 8 DVD in time for Christmas missed the the Christmas special for that year … but at this point, Last Christmas fits in much more with series 8 than 9

    So the series 9 DVD has Last Christmas at the start and The Husbands of River Song at the End

    Finally starting to make a bit of sense I fell putting Husbands on the series 9 DVD

    Series 10 opens with Doctor Mysterio … that’s fine, it was the only episode the previous year. But guess what. The very final episode of Capaldi’s run, Twice Upon a Time is missing.

    And it is omitted from the series 11 DVD too. It’s released on it’s own.

    Now again, I get that scheduling is an odd one for some of these, whilst they would make sense to be attached to other series, the fact they come out on Christmas day means hold back on the series release until after Christmas or put it out separately or on the next series dvd

    At this point I’m not really sure of my point … other than from 5 on wards I feel that the Christmas specials belong at the end of the series, not the start … though I do realise not always possible

    However Ben is right, they could have put Resolution on the series 11 DVD. Especially as the DVD came out after Christmas. It really is the series ender and given we won’t have another series for at least 12 months … it just seems like a deliberate act to leave it off and put it out as a separate DVD as they have with other specials in recent years before it.

    That became a ridiculously and needlessly long post. Feel free to ignore it



    It’s mixed, but I find most of the Christmas specials work much better as epilogues wrapping up the year rather than distracting prologues before you can get into the year. I mainly can’t get behind Christmas Carol being 6×00 when it’s the honeymoon after the wedding or TDTWATW being 7×00 when it symbolises the end of my own honeymoon period with my the show since 2010, my enthusiasm gradually dialling down across 6B and finding a new level there.

    I can handle it. It’s not as bad as when the Narnia books are arranged in “chronological” rather than publishing order, that’s a hill to die on.


    Ben Saunders

    Two decent video essays on why Series 11 wasn’t very good – a short one and a much longer, more detailed one. One of the most telling things in the second video is when they describe the characters of the previous Doctors in brief, and question what defines each series and it’s Doctor. 2, 4, 9 and especially 11 are described extremely well and have a lot to latch onto, and the brief description of 12’s arc actually made me smile. Of course, it is cheating a bit to compare a Doctor’s entire run to their first series – except in the case of 9, who only got one series, and who still got a great deal of depth and character. It’s very funny and indicative of the issue when they point out that the Doctor said “I love conspiracies” and “I hate conspiracies” in the space of a couple of episode.

    The reason these videos stood out to me and merit sharing in my eyes is because I usually avoid videos like this, because after similar videos on The Force Awakens brought up some genuine points before quickly descending into misogyny and racism and “anti-SJW” stuff, I assumed these videos would do the same – thankfully, they do not.

    10 mins:
    20 mins:


    Nick R

    I don’t think that one of those two links is what you intended to post.



    I don’t think that one of those two links is what you intended to post.

    Doesn’t last 20 minutes, for a start.


    Stephen Abootman

    Kirk making love to a mountain would have been far more entertaining than most of Series 11


    Ben Saunders

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha oops

    not the worst thing i could have accidentally pasted into a comment

    this is what i meant to paste:

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