Doctor Who – Series 12

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  • #256874

    Dave

    Well, that was a lot of fun, I thought. One of the good things about the show is that it can support so many different styles of story, and I thought they did a Bond-esque spy romp quite well (with a touch of X-Files thrown in).

    Everyone seems a little more comfortable in their roles now and there’s a bit more meaningful character development than last series.

    Plus, I liked the late reveal, which I didn’t see coming at all.

    (And the ‘hiding behind the sofa’ gag made me chuckle.)

    As good as anything from the last series.

    #256878

    Ben Saunders

    Better than the last series, but that really is not saying much of anything. The dialogue and the clunky exposition and the shit humour still absolutely reeks of Chibnall, his “style” is just atrocious. Much much much more serviceable than the previous series though, would have been the highlight if it was broadcast in 2018.

    Making a big deal of Ryan and Yaz missing things in their real life is a bit bizarre with the whole time machine thing. Showing the Doctor working on the underside of the TARDIS like it’s a car doesn’t make any sense since the police box shell is a disguise. The Doctor is happy that they managed to transport the TARDIS without damaging it… it’s virtually indestructible, remember? I doubt a mirror would refract a death ray like that.

    Chibnall manages to do NEITHER “show, don’t tell” OR “tell, don’t show” in the car scene. One minute and one half into the scene, the Doctor feels the need to inform us that “somebody’s driving this car, and it isn’t me!” despite that being abundantly clear to everybody. There is so much unnecessary expository dialogue in this show, it’s very clunky and amateurish. It’s show AND tell.

    Based on the trailers, Chibnall seems to have done a complete 180 on his stance from the previous series, of wanting this show to establish its own identity without having to rely on old monsters and the like. This annoys me on an ideological level right now, but if this series proves to be an improvement on the last, I will concede the point.

    #256879

    quinn_drummer

    I really enjoyed it. Definitely the best thing of the Chibnall era so far (though that isn’t saying much). It felt a lot better thought out and put together than anything from last series. Most characters had something to do, and though Graham was sidelined somewhat, it was fun having O ask if his only job was to provide a running commentary, because it came at the time I was starting to think the same thing. So there is something of a fun self awareness there that was missing last series.

    I also laughed a lot through this one, there were a lot of clever little lines and gags that lightened what could have been a too serious spy episode.

    I was shocked to see Stephen Fry’s character killed off so quickly. Hopefully he comes back again somehow as that seems like a completely wasted opportunity to not be able to include him more.

    Equally was surprised to see Lenny Henry in the same episode. I for sure expected the two big name guest stars they had be trailing to be in different episodes. Though it did feel like he was playing a sort of poor mans Idris Elba, I enjoyed his performance more than I was expecting to.

    Chibnall still needs to work on his writting a bit. Dialogue is a bit funky, and as Ben has pointed out, too much show and tell. Whilst there’s times its necessary (if Vor is the Google/Facebook of this story, no-one would ever follow up hearing the company name with “the search engine” as Ryan did – but it is needed for the audience) there is a lot where it isn’t necessary. But the rest of the dialogue felt better than before.

    Ben, to your point which I have seen mentioned in other places too

    Making a big deal of Ryan and Yaz missing things in their real life is a bit bizarre with the whole time machine thing

    This wouldn’t be the first time the show has addressed stuff like this. With Amy and Rory it happened from time to time especially as they’d go away, come back and go away again etc. Otherwise they could in theory leave for a year and come back and not have missed a day. But they’d have aged in that time and too much of it causes problems.

    And the Doctor has never been great at getting people back to the right place and time. Maybe The Doctor and this team of companions have decided to try and keep things simple by allowing time back home to pass at the same rate it does for them whilst there away, and to only go off for a week at a time or something … a bit like with Bill and Ted, you can’t leave and come back a week later to the point you left.

    Re the Master … I love that that came as such a shock and they were able to keep it under wraps. I’m not sure how I feel about him being back so soon after the last appearance (its only been 13 episodes even if it has been a couple of years) but I’m a sucker for a reveal like that so I’ll let it go for now.

    This episode genuinely has me quite excited for this series now, and I can’t wait for the next episode on Saturday. Hopefully they’re able to keep it up for the next couple of months.

    #256881

    Lily

    Yeah I enjoyed that. The killer self-driving car has been done before I’m sure, but otherwise it was all good stuff.

    I always try to stay strictly spoiler free to the point I don’t watch trailers or ‘next time’ clips, so was somewhat annoyed at my local radio station talking about it this morning before I’d had a chance to watch on catch-up. With Stephen Fry, Lenny Henry and the Master in one sentence it still did surprise me in the end which was a nice twist.

    Looking forward to next week.

    #256882

    (deleted)

    I still haven’t watched any of series 11. They’re all piling up on the planner as a massive box set. Partly because my DW enthusiasm is on a temporary leave of absence, partly because I really like the idea of watching the entire Whittaker era in one go when it’s over, in a Netflixy kind of way. I got the feeling in the Smith era that I was really losing out by keeping to the one-a-week pace rather than just waiting for a bit. As an experiment I saved up and watched the last Capaldi series in one go at the end of 2017, leading slap bang into Twice Upon A Time, and got so much more out of it by being patient and giving it that focus. So I’m doing that on a grand scale with a whole Doctor’s era.

    #256884

    Flap Jack

    Yeah, I thought that was pretty great. It was well paced, the action was good, the characters all made an impression, the monsters were sufficiently threatening, and I didn’t see the reveal at the end coming either. Let’s just hope part 2 sticks the landing!

    I think the only complaint made here that I agree with is that the dialogue is frequently overloaded with unnecessary exposition. Not a big deal and the cast to their best but it always comes across as awkward.

    It can be easy to fall into the trap of nitpicking every minor incidental detail of Doctor Who, CinemaSins style (e.g. Ben assuming that a death ray can’t be reflected by a mirror, or that the blue box being a disguise would make it impossible for there to be wires hanging out of the bottom of it), and conclude that because you’ve uncovered X number of trivial complaints, that’s enough to make the episode bad. But that’s a bad outlook to take with sci-fi shows or with fiction in general. Those nitpicks don’t really matter individually and they don’t really matter collectively.

    Also, it’s a minor point, but I’m glad to see the return of multi-parters and the return of giving stories an overall title. Of all the things for Russell T Davies to bring back from the William Hartnell era, making multi-parters all have individual titles with no overall one was always a bizarre choice, and equally bizarre that it persisted through the Steven Moffat era. Having to refer to stories like ‘Extremis/The Pyramid at the End of the World/The Lie of the Land’ is just annoying.

    #256885

    Ben Saunders

    >and conclude that because you’ve uncovered X number of trivial complaints, that’s enough to make the episode bad
    Not how it works, don’t say that it makes you sound thick

    #256886

    Ben Saunders

    The “nitpicks” come later, and aren’t the heart of the argument of anything, it’s just shit I noticed, if you read my posts about Star Trek episodes I actually liked, I say the same shit. I don’t dislike the episode because they did a visual gag of the Doctor working on her TARDIS like it’s a car. I hate the clunky writing and overabundance of stinky exposition, and the annoying “humour” and the like

    #256887

    Flap Jack

    That’s cool, it can just be hard sometimes to tell how much is in the “stuff I noticed” column and how much is in the “stuff I have a serious problem with” column.

    Obviously you know that you’re not making these minor observations as a thesis about how bad the episode is, but people have built media careers doing just that, so it’s not too strange.

    #256888

    Ben Saunders

    Yeah, as much as I love RedLetterMedia, having actually finally watched the Next Generation movies, I now know that most of their “criticisms” are just nitpicks or them getting hung up on things that don’t really matter, etc. I always knew that with their prequel reviews, but seeing them do it more and more often is pretty disheartening. Final straw was them parroting the myth that Lucas doesn’t deserve any of the credit for the OT in their RoS review. I now realise they’re just a bunch of boomers complaining about bullshit. Still funny, though, I still like them, just I discard a lot of their opinions and much prefer to have my own.

    CinemaSins on the other hand I have always viewed as strictly comedy, people taking that channel seriously is their own fault in my eyes. But I also haven’t watched them in about seven years, I know their content has gotten progressively worse over that time, as I checked in very occasionally for a couple years following.

    #256889

    Dave

    I think often with these minor nitpicks there can be a tendency to look for them once you’ve had a negative reaction to something, as part of gathering evidence to back up your feelings. When they’re often just incidental silly little details that don’t really matter either way.

    Not saying that’s what’s happening in this case, but I’ve seen it with other things where people who don’t like something try to ‘prove’ that it’s bad by rolling out a huge list of insignificant nitpicky shit that isn’t really related to whether it’s good or bad overall, it’s just ammunition in an argument.

    #256890

    Ben Saunders

    I was going to make a point similar to that. It’s not really “evidence gathering”, it’s more… once you’ve decided that you fundamentally dislike something, these kinds of nitpicks will annoy you more than they normally would. I’m not really using them as ammunition to say “the episode is bad because of a shit visual gag”, it’s just “I didn’t like the episode, and I found these things a little ridiculous”. I pick up on stuff like that in things I DO like all the time, and I often mention them, but I’m much more willing to forgive them, if the actual thing in question is something I fundamentally like and enjoy. I’m definitely not trying to “prove” that the episode is bad because a car mirror reflects death ray but windows don’t, it’s just something I think is silly. I would still think it was silly if it happened in The Doctor Falls or something.

    #256891

    Dave

    Yeah, didn’t mean to make it sound as pointed as that – I’ve done it myself with stuff I don’t like. Once I don’t have that investment in it I find myself rolling my eyes at all the little minor stuff that bugs me, which I would have shrugged off if I’d been more engaged and enjoying it overall. It’s natural I think.

    #256892

    Ben Saunders

    I liked the music, and Lenny Henry. So there.

    #256893

    Ben Saunders

    I do think there are much much much better Spy pastiches out there though, Chuck, Deep Space Nine, Austin Powers etc. To me, the Doctor Who episode ISN’T a “spy pastiche/parody”, as some people are claiming, it’s just an episode that uses such iconography and a couple of gags relating to that. To call it a pastiche or a parody, you’d have to say it’s not a very good one, since it doesn’t particularly concern itself with being a beat-for-beat spoof or commentary on anything. It’s just a spy STORY more than anything else, it’s not Austin Powers or Doctor Bashir I Presume.

    None of that is a complaint about the episode – since I’ve already seen all of those spy pastiches which are all so excellently done, I don’t really need nor want to see Doctor Who attempt it. It’s more just a commentary on how other people have reviewed the episode. If you go into this episode expecting a full on parody/pastiche/spoof, I would think you’d come out of it rather disappointed.

    #256894

    Ben Saunders

    It’s as much a Bond pastiche as Mechocracy is a parody of the 2016 US presidential election. In that it isn’t.

    #256895

    Ridley

    Whey Sacha Dhawan from CITV’s Out of Sight whey. Glad he’s not a one and done character either.

    Don’t see myself not struggling through this Chibnall series as with the last one though. And my inability to quite articulate why is so useful for an Internet forum.

    #256898

    si

    i thought it was great, and anyone who disagrees with my opinion is a prick because I know better than everyone.

    I didn’t dislike series 11 as much as a lot of other people, but that managed more characterisation in one hour than the whole of the last season. Looking forward to the rest of the series. Fine, not everything makes sense, but if you’re just watching and not over-analysing everything (which, as Doctor Who fans is, admittedly, unlikely), I thought it was fantastic.

    #256899

    Nick R

    One of the biggest things that stuck out to me this first episode was that they’ve clearly been paying attention to the complaints that Yaz got too little to do.

    Based on the trailers, Chibnall seems to have done a complete 180 on his stance from the previous series, of wanting this show to establish its own identity without having to rely on old monsters and the like.

    The scene where O talks to Graham about his bookshelf of notes on the Doctor also suggested to me that this series is going to get more involved with linking to the past. Looking forward to seeing how the companions react to learning about Gallifrey and the Doctor’s previous faces!

    To me, the Doctor Who episode ISN’T a “spy pastiche/parody”, as some people are claiming, it’s just an episode that uses such iconography and a couple of gags relating to that.

    The episode’s music – at least in the tuxedo scenes – can definitely be described as a John Barry pastiche, though.

    #256900

    Ben Saunders

    Again, while I liked the music, if it’s going for out and out “pastiche”, it’s a very watery one, and not the best Bond music pastiche out there. I do not think it’s going for pastiche, though, just taking inspiration from that music and having one or two similar themes that remind you of it. If something was going to go full out on the pastiche front, I would want it to go a little harder. But again I don’t even think that’s what it’s going for, so it’s not much of a complaint.

    I’ve seen so many people say things along the lines of “it’s good if you don’t overanalyse it!” or “it’s good if you don’t have any expectations/don’t take things too seriously”, which to me reads dangerously close to “turn your brain off” or “better than nothing” style thinking. Like why are you giving this high budget, primetime, national institution of a television series such leeway? You really ought to be expecting a base level of quality from it. There are so many other things I could be watching, so for something to just be “alright” is a little bit of a waste of my time.

    #256902

    Lily

    I tend to give Doctor Who more leeway as they’re trying to be all things to all people. It has to be sci-fi, but not to a point it confuses people, it has to be light but not a comedy, has to be enjoyable for children but not a kids show, has to tackle topical subject but not lecture, and generally be something that is for whole family enjoyment. With that in mind, I can live with a few rear view mirrors reflecting death rays. Sure, you wouldn’t get that in Star Trek, but Who isn’t trying to be that.

    I agree that there are some episodes that have been outstanding, with perfect writing and everything, but I don’t expect that every week. All I ask is an hour/45 mins of enjoyable entertainment. Series 11 fell short on that too often, with plots that didn’t make sense, over explanation and just shitty scripts.

    I don’t expect every episode to be a masterpiece so as far as I’m concerned, an hour of enjoyable telly is meeting expectations.

    #256907

    performingmonkey

    Seeing as Lenny Henry’s in it (and brilliant), it’s worth reminding ourselves of one of the best Doctor Who parodies of all time –

    https://youtu.be/60shMyabeMo

    They obviously won’t cast him now, but he WOULD have made a great Doctor.

    #256909

    quinn_drummer

    That was pretty good.

    #256910

    Lily

    Nice, another Doctor/Dwarf link, as I’m pretty sure that was Paranoia with the beard?

    #256911

    By Jove its holmes

    Some bits of it was very “Paul Jennings”.

    Have you ever, ever felt like this?

    Good old Round the Twist, without a shirt. When I was a pubescent boy watching the first Linda actress, I really wished Tamsin West was in a bra and knickers without a shirt and trousers without a shirt.

    #256920

    Dave

    That was alright I thought. The main plot was wrapped up a little too easily and neatly, but there were some nice details and the Gallifrey stuff has potential.

    #256921

    quinn_drummer

    I really enjoyed that. Really felt like a Doctor Who story, and was a lot of fun.

    As to the main plot being wrapped up too easily, as I was watching it reminded me of how easily Kryten defeats M-Corp, but is that really any different to how a lot of Doctor Who episodes are wrapped up. 40 mins of running around with 5mins at the end of the Doctor talking and waving a sonic screwdriver around?

    It would have been nice seeing some of the stuff she was saying, but at that point it’s not really necessary. She solves it in a very Doctor Who way, and saves the plane in a very Bill and Ted way to boot.

    One thing this episode did, and more so than even last week, was highlight there is absolutely no need for Graham, Ryan and Yaz. Last week, the only benefit they get from Ryan and Yaz going to see Barton is they get an invite to his party … which the Doctor manages by fiddling with the guest list anyway.

    This week, they did even less. Just ran around Essex and shot lasers from Graham’s shoes. Nothing they did had any consequence on the story or outcome. And in both episodes the Doctor has found other companions. O last week, and Ada and Nor this week.

    I really enjoyed the interactions of the Doctor and the Master. I hope that isn’t the last time we see Sacha Dhawan in that role. He did a cracking job, though it I’d like to see some more unique characterisation of in his portrayal, but I guess he can only work with what he is given.

    Nice little nod to Logopolis in there too.

    Nice to see them pick up the threads of The Timeless Child that were left dangling in episode 2 of last series. Hopefully we get a little more push on that with the new Gallifrey stuff that’s been revealed. However I worry this story will probably last at least another series and it won’t be mentioned again for a while. Did I read somewhere Chibnall had a 5 year plan? I sort of hope not because they have never been very successful in the past.

    Barton’s speech was a bit heavy handed, a bit too evil villain. Sort of reminded me of the great speech the nan gives in the final episode of Years and Years, only much much worse. Like, yeah we get it, technology is bad ok! But I guess they’re writing for all audiences that might not ever consider that stuff.

    Still, an exciting and thrilling story. Still better than most, if not all of series 11. Especially the Chibnall written episodes. Not quite up there with anything Moffat might have written but not far from it story wise.

    #256922

    Lily

    I really enjoyed that.

    #256923

    Dave

    Bill and Ted did get mentioned in our house as soon as Ryan started seeing the signs.

    And the video was quite ‘Blink’.

    The Logopolis reference made me laugh too.

    #256924

    Dave

    Did I read somewhere Chibnall had a 5 year plan?

    Yes but currently that only equates to two and a half series.

    #256925

    quinn_drummer

    Yes but currently that only equates to two and a half series.

    ?

    Yeah good point.

    On other point, Jodie is feeling more and more like the Doctor now too. In performance and characterisation.

    #256926

    Dave

    Yeah I felt like there was a bit more confidence and general comfort with the character in this story. The ‘snap’ scene from episode 1 got a genuine laugh from me and I thought she handled the more serious stuff towards the end of this episode well too.

    #256928

    Ridley

    Not quite up there with anything Moffat might have written but not far from it story wise.

    Chibnall can only ever match Davies or Moffat by copying them (eye em oh).

    #256931

    Ben Saunders

    This is just dreadfully unengaging and uninteresting, I can barely bring myself to watch this. Shit humour, childish writing. This episode is filled with unnecessary cruelty. I honestly didn’t care listening to The Master give that emotional reveal. He’s a bit drama studenty, a bit substitute teacher. The companions continue to be thinner on characterisation than the darkest depths of the 80s. I’m not going to nitpick anything, but there’s a lot there if you’re looking. I wish the Doctor would stop spouting platitudes about hope and darkness every twenty minutes, it’s bordering on self-parody.

    Jodie continues to seem like somebody doing a Tennant impression, but to be fair that’s also inherent in the writing. She occasionally gets good moments, but that scene of just her talking to herself just made me wish I could see a version of this scene with Baker or Capaldi.

    I don’t want to, but I’ll be tuning in next week. I wonder how long I can go on saying “I hope it will get better”

    #256932

    Ben Saunders

    This is like Chibnall trying to write “Doctor Who™️”
    rather than writing Doctor Who

    The music is good in spots

    #256959

    Veni

    I can’t be bothered with Doctor Who anymore. It’s lost all the spark it once had and just churns out the most boring, dull, monotonous, and lazy content ever. I’m genuinely curious who likes this garbage, and more importantly, what is there to even like about it.

    Jodie is by far the worst Doctor the revival series has seen, and I’d go so far as to say she’s currently the worst Doctor period. Inconsistent character, barren of any likable qualities beyond the absolute bare minimum, and too reliant on her crap companions to get the ball rolling.

    Call me when 14 comes along.

    #256960

    Ben Saunders

    Yeah, before this my least favourite Doctor actor was Sylvester McCoy, but at least towards the end of his run he was given some stellar material, even if he performed it less than convincingly. Jodie has been given VERY little to work from, and has done almost nothing to elevate any of it.

    Every series of Doctor Who (since 1963) has had at least one or two right clunkers in it, episodes that make you embarrassed to be a fan. This is true for most television shows with more than six episodes per series, and is symptomatic of having so many different writers writing so many different stories. But again every season of Who so far has had one or two standouts, excellent episodes that remind you why you got into this show in the first place. Season 15… bad example. Season 16… shit. They were mediocre, but Invasion of Time, Ribos Operation and Pirate Planet had things to like. Season 17 had City of Death. Actually, fuck me, 15-21 was pretty rough, wasn’t it. Sum the odd Enlightenment or whatever dotted around, point is over the past two series we’ve really had nothing to remind us that this show can reach great heights. Good Doctor Who is a distant memory, now, and with Chibnall at the helm and these companions, I don’t hold out much hope for even an episode as good as something like the Invasion of Time, which was at least a bit of fun and had a great cliffhanger

    #256961

    Dave

    over the past two series we’ve really had nothing to remind us that this show can reach great heights

    I thought World Enough And Time/The Doctor Falls was a pretty great story.

    I agree though that there was nothing in Series 11 that stood out as great, or even that I’d choose to watch again.

    #256962

    Ben Saunders

    >I thought World Enough And Time/The Doctor Falls was a pretty great story.
    We’re on series 12, that was series 10, I meant we’ve had nothing in series 11 or 12 that was worth watching. The Pilot, Oxygen, Extremis, World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls were all great episodes in series 10, imo.

    #256963

    Dave

    Oh, right. Past two series is only really one-and-a-bit then – I’m ready to give this series a chance after that opener, too early to write it off I think.

    #256964

    Ben Saunders

    I thought it would be simpler than saying “past series plus-two-episodes”, but alas it was not to be. It is a bit early to call it, but that’s not what I’m doing. I would be willing to place a wager, though. Because placing a bet on something subjective sounds like a good idea.

    #257024

    Dave

    Lots of Dwarf parallels this episode:

    An outdoor ‘paradise’ setting clearly filmed on a grey blustery day!

    A slobbering monster with more teeth than the entire Osmond family!

    A terrible preachy ending that spells out the morality of what you’ve just watched!

    A James Buckley guest role that gives him virtually nothing to do!

    #257025

    Dave

    But yeah, in all serious that was utter guff, and a massive step down again for the show.

    #257026

    Pete Part Three

    I think I’m very close to tapping out. I’m barely watching it when it’s on.

    Remember those shitty things that ITV used to put on during RTD Who as competition? Well, that’s the standard we’re now hitting.

    #257027

    Dave

    I’ve got Troy McClure singing “oh my god, I was wrong” stuck in my head for the entire evening now.

    #257028

    quinn_drummer

    I sort of enjoyed that, it had the makings of a good story there, just the execution was off.

    It seemed a little obvious it was going to be Earth from about the time the explanation of what an Orphan planet is. Which is fine, I sort of liked that it was Earth. But they really started to hammer it home a little too much. We as an audience already know Earth gets fucked up. The Doctor has seen it, and has seen humanity branching out from it countless times, so just show it and leave it be a bit I think.

    There were a lot of too many forced moments. Ryan and Bella sucking thumbs at the end. James Buckley and his kid arriving just in time to save the day and having that not earned reunion.

    The reveal that Bella was a bit of a terrorist to get back at her mum was just shit.

    The silly virus thing that somehow means they can conveniently make the fuel they need to teleport?

    As I say I sort of enjoyed it. It felt like a Doctor Who episode and one that could have worked quite well in the correct hands. It had all the right elements, just thrown together in an unsatisfying way.

    I’m really like the “life on board the TARDIS” intros we’re getting under Chibnall.

    I like the idea of a holiday park being built in a dome on a planet that can’t sustain life.

    The monsters were a ok … nothing to write home about.
    And again we’re treated to the Doctor not really giving a shit about them and leaving one in a cage to die of carbon dioxide deprivation.

    I still think we’re getting some good Doctor scenes, the way she works things out and talks to herself. Her claim that other people talking to her gets in the way of a good conversation … that was nice.

    Companions, again, just along for the ride. I think we need to just accept that that will be the case with this era of Who and move on. It’s a shame, but that’s what we’re getting.

    I think that’s all I have to say right now.

    #257029

    quinn_drummer

    Oh also, whilst their all stood on their TIME AND SPACE SHIP worried about the safety of Bella and her mum … why not, you know, use the TIME AND SPACE SHIP to save them. That would be a very Doctor thing to do.

    Just a thought.

    #257030

    Flap Jack

    I more or less enjoyed Orphan 55 as I was watching it, but it definitely seems more shit the more I think about it.

    – Pretty good monster design (though perhaps a bit generic), as well as a name that is actually memorable (!), but the design for the people was extremely basic. A couple of them have green hair, and one of them is in Cats cosplay. That’s it.

    – The twist about the planet was OK, but The Doctor’s speech at the end felt like it was filling time more than anything, and it was clearly directed at the audience more than the companions. Plus, the part about it being only a “possible” future was a serious cop out considering the subject matter. Doctor Who doesn’t usually treat the futures they visit like that? Also, there was a serious gap in the script where we ought to have got clarity about whether Orphan 55’s true nature was supposed to be a surprise to everyone or just to the time travellers. (Maybe I’m just misremembering bits there.)

    – You could feel the painful grinding of the plot as they justified the action of having literally every character leave the safety of the dome to go look for someone (“BENNNI!!!!”) who was so clearly doomed, especially considering the fact that the monsters kept him alive made no sense.

    – The villain here had the thinnest motivation and stupidest plan combination of any Doctor Who villain I can remember. And yet by the end we were supposed to sympathise with her, I guess? So bad.

    – Yeah, have to agree with quinn that it’s always frustrating when they’re like “we need enough energy to teleport everyone out!” and I’m like “No, you need enough energy to teleport ONE person out: THE DOCTOR, so she can rescue everyone with HER GODDAMN TARDIS”. It’s quite a contrast when you consider the liberal use of Bill and Ted time travel solutions in the last episode.

    – Anyone else confused by that bit where they were sure Ryan was dead, even though there’s no reason the system would register him as such?

    – “Leaving the safe area in a huff” and “leaving the safe area to pick up a hat” definitely rank up there as cringeworthy ways characters get themeselves in mortal danger.

    – Graham is a treasure as always. Protect Graham at all costs.

    – Siliconia still has the better characterisation and costume design for a James Buckley guest character.

    #257031

    Dave

    Plus, the part about it being only a “possible” future was a serious cop out considering the subject matter. Doctor Who doesn’t usually treat the futures they visit like that?

    No, and it undermines all the Gallifrey stuff from last week immediately, because presumably that’s just a possible fate for Gallifrey too.

    #257034

    quinn_drummer

    Anyone else confused by that bit where they were sure Ryan was dead, even though there’s no reason the system would register him as such?

    Yeah that didn’t make any sense. The sensors were clearly working, so why he and Bella weren’t registering is a mystery.

    No, and it undermines all the Gallifrey stuff from last week immediately, because presumably that’s just a possible fate for Gallifrey too.

    It really seems like Chibnall’s who is going with Bill and Ted logic of, as time passes from your perspective, so does time elsewhere. So on the Doctor’s personal timeline Gallifrey is fucked and she can’t do sod all about it. Ditto with the survivors of Orphan 55, even if she left to get the TARDIS, by the time she’d be back, they’d be dead. Something similar happened in Spyfall that I can’t remember now.

    #257035

    Dave

    I still think they should have included a line in this about how the ‘dead’ Earth farted its way out of the solar system.

    #257038

    quinn_drummer

    but that would contradict S01 E02 and Doctor Who never likes to contradict itself.

    #257040

    Ben Saunders

    Well, that was the single best episode of Doctor Who we’ve had since The Doctor Falls.
    Still a bit formulaic, heavy handed message, lots of nitpicks. But it was funny, and the writing just felt a lot more cohesive than in recent times.

    They literally already did the “desolate alien world turns out to be a far-future Earth underground station thing in Trial of a Time Lord: The Mysterious Planet. Literally the same revelation.

    #257041

    Ben Saunders

    >It really seems like Chibnall’s who is going with Bill and Ted logic of, as time passes from your perspective, so does time elsewhere. So on the Doctor’s personal timeline Gallifrey is fucked and she can’t do sod all about it
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Daleks

    #257123

    By Jove its holmes

    Still mad at being lectured like a 10 year old from the last episode.

    we must be thankful that they did not have Swedish Greta guest star.

    #257149

    Dave

    This week’s was alright I thought. All the alien stuff was fairly run-of-the-mill but the historical aspects were ok. Hard to get really excited about it though.

    #257150

    Pete Part Three

    And…I’m done. I’ll be back when Chibnall fucks off. Whittaker could be great if she had some decent writing behind her… and I like the opening titles. Nothing else holds any promise whatsoever to convince me to keep watching. It’s just a lifeless chore.

    I started watching Classic Who earlier this month. I’ve seen a few bits and pieces before (including the entirety of The Five Doctors) but not a huge amount. I watched Episode 2 of The Daleks earlier today. Is is ploddingly slow, Hartnell fluffs pretty much every other line, and I want to strangle Susan…but it holds my attention throughout.

    #257152

    Ben Saunders



    #257153

    Ben Saunders

    That episode was alright. I liked Tesla – just the right amount of social awkwardness without going too far into comedic territory, it felt very natural. I liked him a lot. The villain looks just like the Racnoss, though, to the point that when I saw her in the trailer I thought she was just that. Also – the Doctor’s plan is to shoot at them? What happened to “no guns, Ryan”, which happened about two minutes previous?

    Racnoss for reference:

    #257154

    Ben Saunders

    The Five Doctors is fucking dire in places, and The Daleks is really slow, but it also really sells the desperation of the whole situation, the fatigue, the heat, all that stuff. It is SO grim. It’s really effective.

    #257156

    quinn_drummer

    I have few problems with this weeks episode. That, to me, could have come from any series in the last 15 years. Really well done, good use of guest characters, interesting and enjoyable story with lots going on. The Doctor being the Doctor etc. Telsa was brilliant, played really well. The aliens had a motive even if they don’t look all that original.

    I will say though, sack off the 3 companions. The Doctor is better without them. She keeps finding a new companion each week that serves the story better. Just do as the 2010 specials did and have her travel on her own meeting new people each week. Wouldn’t make any difference to the episodes.

    Anyway, I’ve been enjoying this series mostly (definitely more than the last one) and this was probably the best of the lot so far.

    #257158

    Lily

    I didn’t even post last week I was annoyed with how crap it was.

    This week, I guess it’s perfectly serviceable Who. It did feel a little wikipedia’ish at points when they’re gushing about Tesla. Would have been nice if they’d showed us him being an amazing inventor instead of just telling us.

    I didn’t hate it, so that’s a step up from last week.

    #257164

    Dave

    I thought it was The Racnoss returning from the trailers too.

    #257165

    Dave

    It did feel a little wikipedia’ish at points when they’re gushing about Tesla. Would have been nice if they’d showed us him being an amazing inventor instead of just telling us.

    See, I don’t mind this too much as it’s clearly aiming for the kids with these sections, and spelling it out clearly (as with Ada Lovelace and Rosa Parks) is probably needed.

    #257168

    Nick R

    This was shaping up to be probably my favourite historical figure episode since Vincent and the Doctor… until the Scorpion Queen alien showed up. Even so, it’s definitely one of the strongest episodes of the Chibnall era so far.

    Once the aliens were revealed, I struggled to buy the central idea that a spacefaring alien species would think that Tesla would be of any use to them at all as an engineer. (I’m sure I’ve been bothered by this in earlier stories a historical scientist or artist has been vital to a Doctor Who alien’s plan, though I struggle to think of any specifics.)

    But I liked the way the episode contrasted Tesla’s mind for innovation against the aliens’ status as scavengers who don’t invent anything (therefore paralleling the aliens with the popular, but simplified, depiction of Edison as a credit/patent thief).

    Was anyone else distracted by the fact that Tesla, his assistant Dorothy Skeritt, and Edison were allowed to retain knowledge of their adventures, whereas just two episodes ago Ada Lovelace and Noor Inayat Khan had to have their memories wiped? The norm is for Doctor Who to handle it the way this episode did, and so I usually accept it. But because the Spyfall episode aired so recently, the difference jumped out at me – and unfortunately it came across as if the famous men were allowed to keep their memories, but the famous women weren’t.

    I’ve seen people justify it by saying that in Spyfall, Lovelace and Khan had time travelled, whereas Tesla, Skeritt and Edison had not. But I’m not sure I accept that late-19th century inventors knowing about a teleporting phone box and the existence of aliens would be any less disruptive to history than an early-19th century mathematician knowing about WW2.

    #257169

    Ben Saunders

    I assume the argument would be that Tesla et al are viewed as crackpot inventors and that nobody would believe them even if they did write about that stuff. Isaac Newton was really into the occult, and everybody just ignores that aspect of his work. Pythagoras, as well, was nuts.

    My least favourite part of the episode was when the supposedly menacing scorpion aliens had a comedy chase scene, where they bump into each other and get mad at each other like they’re the three stooges, and then one of them CRASHES INTO A FRUIT STAND

    #257170

    Dave

    I took the mind-wipe/non-mind-wipe discrepancy to be more about not making it seem like Spyfall was crediting the Doctor and the time-travel experiences for Ada Lovelace’s later inventions.

    With Tesla and Edison they were visited later in their lives, after their major inventions had already taken place, so these wouldn’t be affected by meeting The Doctor in the same way.

    #257171

    quinn_drummer

    It is incongrious, considering that a) the Doctor hasn’t really wiped minds before and b) she does it to two people and then two episodes later doesn’t do it to another two.

    There could well be an explanation, like Dave suggests, and had we been given that we wouldn’t really be complaining. Like, in Spyfall “sorry I have to wipe your mind, you’ve seen too much and I can’t let that affect your life or your inventions you are yet to create”

    #257172

    Ben Saunders

    I believe they kind of cover it in The Shakespeare Code(?) by saying that Shakespeare will die in like two days anyway

    #257173

    Ben Saunders

    That or the Dickens one

    #257174

    Dave

    There could well be an explanation, like Dave suggests, and had we been given that we wouldn’t really be complaining. Like, in Spyfall “sorry I have to wipe your mind, you’ve seen too much and I can’t let that affect your life or your inventions you are yet to create”

    I’m sure there was a line hinting at that in Spyfall.

    Looking it up, she says to Ada something like “you don’t need a preview, you’ll figure it out before anyone”, which must be where I got the idea.

    #257291

    Dave

    Well, that was all a bit exciting!

    Good episode, some decent mysteries set up (if very little resolved) and a nice surprise with the return of that character. Tying in with the spoiler discussion in several other threads at the moment, it’s nice to have this stuff kept quiet and not leaked in advance.

    #257293

    Lily

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    *ahem* long time since I’ve done that, but fuck me was that unexpected and the other thing is so cool and I’ve not been so genuinely excited for the show in a long time. I would say can’t wait for next week but this looks like it’ll take the rest of the series to sort out.

    #257295

    Nick R

    I was expecting an entertaining but insubstantial rehash of “Smith and Jones” (humans get caught up in the Judoon’s pursuit of a monster of the week), and the first part of the episode seemed to be going that way. I’m please that it turned out to be something a lot more interesting!

    (That time period had to be a lot longer than 4 minutes and 30 seconds, though.)

    #257296

    Dave

    Yeah, feels like there are some big ideas at play here.

    But even before those big ideas took over, this was a decent, well-made episode that had my attention and made me want to keep watching. One of the best, if not *the* best, of the Chibnall era.

    #257298

    Dave

    Thinking about it, this felt a lot like an RTD episode in some ways, and like a Moffat episode in others, while still being very much of the current era. Kind of a ‘best of’ the rebooted show.

    #257303

    quinn_drummer

    ARRRRGHHHH that was soooooo fucking good!

    To echo Dave, right at the start I was thinking this felt very RTD, with Ruth and Lee and their lives and her job and everything and it all seemed to be working really well. Now I know its a shame to have to say the best episode of an era that is shit is only good because it feels like a previous era, but holy hell did it not disappoint when it really got going.

    I don’t even know where to start really. Every twist and turn and mystery had me excited and on the edge of my seat. I haven’t felt this way since “INTRODUCING JOHN HURT AS THE DOCTOR” – which is probably quite apt considering what happened.

    And what did happen? – I’m going to speculate that our crew have somehow ended up in another universe. At some point during or after Spyfall they’ve crossed over into somewhere else. As that species from Spyfall was dicking around in a lot of different universes.

    As for everything else, so glad to see Jack back, and have it teased that he’ll return. He’s definitely returning right. This story isn’t resolved yet and won’t be until later in the series.

    THe writing was absolutely spot on. The companions had some stuff to do which was nice. And not a minute of a line of dialogue was wasted.

    It was written by Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall. I’ll speculate that Chris came up with the story and Vinay wrote the bulk of the script. In which case I think that maybe the way to go in the future. Chris has the grand idea and passes it off to someone who can write. We have another writer + Chris next week so we’ll see how that pans out.

    I cannot wait until next week now. And will definitely be rewatching this episode before then. Maybe even right now!

    #257304

    quinn_drummer

    Oh I tell you what. I was chatting with Lily as I was watching this (she’d already seen it and was re-watching with me) and as “Ruth” broke the glass, i was in the middle of typing something along the lines of “has she done a pocket watch job from Family of Blood on herself???” And then before I could hit send she delivered that massive reveal!

    Blood marvellous

    #257305

    Pete Part Three

    I saw a bit of a hubbub on Twitter and decided to tune in and…it just kind of irritated me that it wasn’t a cohesive story, and was just a succession of mystery-box moments. I mean, well done Chibnall for actually learning how to generate a bit of excitement from some fanwank…but when are we actually going to get an episode that doesn’t rely on teasing mysteries to generate excitement?

    Still baffled why they’re persisting with this three companions thing. What did they have to do this week? Listen to a warning from Jack. And then deliver that warning to the Doctor. They are basically serving the same purpose as an answerphone message. And there’s three of them. Their dialogue is utterly interchangeable. For the love of god, kill one of them off.

    #257306

    quinn_drummer

    Interesting details. Ruth’s mirror is hexagonal, like the shapes in the TARDIS

    #257307

    Dave

    I agree with the alternate universes thing. Funnily enough during the first part of Spyfall (where they showed all those different maps of Earth) we speculated in our house as to whether they were all Earths of different universes, and if so whether each universe had its own Doctor…

    #257308

    Dave

    Interesting details. Ruth’s mirror is hexagonal, like the shapes in the TARDIS

    That leapt out at me even on a first watch. So I knew something funny was going on.

    #257310

    quinn_drummer

    The old lady outside the Cathedral is knitting a 4th Doctor scarf, nearly.

    Lee says “humans” in a sarcastic fed up way when the cafe owner is dicking him about. So presumably he is Galifreyan too? Especially as he had the same training as the woman track down Ruth.

    I also really love the location work in this episode. It’s beautiful. And glad its not Sheffield, London or Cardiff again.

    It’s just all really nice

    #257311

    quinn_drummer

    I agree with the alternate universes thing. Funnily enough during the first part of Spyfall (where they showed all those different maps of Earth) we speculated in our house as to whether they were all Earths of different universes, and if so whether each universe had its own Doctor…

    I’m pretty sure something went through my own mind!

    #257313

    quinn_drummer

    The ship Jack is on is definitely a TARDIS of some description. That console is very “TARDIS” which I picked up on first time around, but the floor is also made up of hexagonal tiles.

    #257314

    Dave

    Yeah, they lingered on the hexagon floor there didn’t they?

    #257315

    Nick R

    When Ruth said that she moved to Gloucester in December 1999, it reminded me that the 1996 TV movie (which I’ve never seen) was was a Master story set around the 1999-2000 New Year. I wonder if there will end up being some connection to that?

    #257317

    quinn_drummer

    YES! It reminded me of that too. It can’t be a coincidence. This is an episode where everything has been considered in detail, that date will have been picked for a reason.

    OOOOOOOH! I wonder if Lee is The Master protecting the Doctor in this universe for whatever reason.

    Gatt says they had a touching and moving funeral for him. The TV movie opens with The Doctor transporting a dead Master back to Gallifrey.

    #257318

    quinn_drummer

    The lighthouse looks like the top of the Police box/TARDIS

    And at 29mins, there’s a shadow over Ruth’s shoulder that looks like a TARDIS

    There is soooo much in this episode that is there if you know to look for it.

    #257319

    quinn_drummer

    More possible evidence this is a different universe

    Re Cybermen “empire in ruins, brought down to nothing, finally” definitely suggests its quite recent. As if its another history, i.e. a different universe

    #257320

    quinn_drummer

    Ok so this miiiiight be a stretch.

    The Beetle Ruth and The Doctor are driving in sort of reminded me of the Third Doctor’s little yellow car for some reason. This might all be a coincidence but it’s an old 1970 J reg Beetle, the same year the Third Doctor appeared on TV.

    #257322

    Lily

    The lighthouse is just up the road from Cardiff and the owner is a Who fan. I saw it on an old episode of Hotel Inspector a few weeks ago.

    He’s got his own tardis on the roof and a life sized dalek in the front hall. Having this filmed there must have been ultimate heaven for him.

    http://www.westusklighthouse.co.uk/gallery.html

    #257323

    quinn_drummer

    Whatever this is, alt universe or different timeline, I’m now leaning on The Darkest Timeline/Mirror Universe. Everyone is a bit bad and evil. Ruth’s Doctor is a fighter who isn’t opposed to using guns. Gatt says she works for “the glory of Gallifrey” …

    #257331

    Ben Saunders

    Re-solder my circuit boards and call me Gerald. A good episode of Doctor Who.

    #257332

    Ben Saunders

    The Irish man in the café reminded me of Rory/Arthur Darvill. I was annoyed when he died, I quite liked him.

    Some actual funny humour in this episode! I agree that it seems to have been majoratively scripted by Vinay Patel rather than Chris Chibnall, since Chris Chibnall cannot fucking write.

    I like Jodie showcasing her PTSD, crying on the Judoon ship, her confused and traumatised by the events she’d just witnessed by the end. This is the first episode in which I haven’t been annoyed at them making Jodie do something Tennant-esque because the writers are too unoriginal to actually give her anything else to do.

    Chibnall has to be a Star Trek fan, all these references to anti-matter drive, transporting, matching shield harmonics, etc.

    One stupid moment is when the Judoon have to take a recording of a woman speaking in order to decipher that the language is “human.” For a start, if one language was “human” it would be Mandarin, and two, you fucking went to EARTH and have clearly had encounters with this fugitive before, ignoring the events of SMITH AND JONES you should AT LEAST know what fucking planet you’re on and what fucking species they are, and what language they would use, ffs.

    I like the Doctor not really knowing what her psychic paper says and being surprised by it – I think they did this once with Eleven, weird that it would suddenly become a “thing” but it’s funny so I don’t care.

    Humanity have seen aliens so many god damn times by this point that they really shouldn’t be so shocked by Rhino men stomping around. There aren’t even any cracks in time to make people forget things. UNLESS this really is an alternate universe, and this is first contact for THESE humans.

    One should not that Captain Jack does not know that the Doctor has ever been a woman – I won’t say this rules out her being a past Doctor or this being an alternate universe, but Jack’s inclusion in this story makes those possibilities seem slightly less likely.

    Loved Jack mistaking Graham for the Doctor – this actually annoyed me in Spyfall because they didn’t do anything with it other than a shit “I’ve had an upgrade” joke, but more is done with it here.

    Jack is supposed to be immortal but he looks old lol.

    John Barrowman flirting with Mandip Gill feels wrong, she looks about 17. Turns out she’s… THIRTY-FUCKING-TWO?! No way.

    If the Judoon’s field is down, why can Jack STILL not get a lock on the Doctor?

    Jodie is still quite rude and demanding which makes me question why people would listen to her, follow her and like her, but she’s getting better.

    Is scanning graves ethical? It isn’t in Star Trek.

    The music when Ruth reveals herself to be a Doctor is very similar to an Angels and Airwaves song called Parasomnia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lbn7IYUOSA

    They made a black woman the Doctor without making a black woman “The Doctor”, which is very cheeky.

    Did the Judoon not once scan the Doctor? Our Doctor, which would give them a positive match?

    Will this episode stand the test of time and be as good as we think it is now, removed from the shock of the twists?

    Two Time Lords CAN occupy the same space and time. They do it a lot.

    Contact is a Vulcan mind meld now.

    Another “secret Doctor” mystery, only seven years after the last one.

    Lee was just misdirection, I think, especially his “humans” line. You’re supposed to think he’s the fugitive, so that they can pull the twist on you right after. The TARDIS-y ship, as well, possible misdirection I should think. Ordinarily I’d think calling back to the movie like that would be far too much of a stretch, but Chibnall seems to be really plundering canon this series, with a ridiculous amount of references, callbacks and returning characters, etc.

    #257334

    Dave

    Plus, the whole moon/lagoon rhyming thing was funny.

    #257335

    quinn_drummer

    Humanity have seen aliens so many god damn times by this point that they really shouldn’t be so shocked by Rhino men stomping around

    Yet time and time again it is shown we sort of just forget about it within the who universe. Moffat went to great lengths to basically undo RTD era to explain why humans don’t remember, he then on more than one occasion shows humans just forgetting/ignoring alien invasions after they happen.

    But equally, what you say is right, if it is another universe this could be the first time they’ve encountered aliens.

    Two Time Lords CAN occupy the same space and time. They do it a lot.

    Yeah, this annoyed me. Especially as 13 Doctors have all been in the same place at the same time. That said, if this is another universe, maybe they haven’t seen anything like it before. Maybe whoever these Timelords are have all been taught the universe will implode as a way to prevent multiple of the same Timelord teaming up in whatever is going on that demands the “glory of Gallifrey”

    Lee was just misdirection, I think, especially his “humans” line.

    What do you mean by this? It is heavily implied he is from Gallifrey, same training as Gatt with some sort of war medal. He isn’t a “faithful companion” to Ruth’s Doctor in the same sense we know companions to be, i.e. a human along for the ride.

    #257341

    Flap Jack

    Yeah, I enjoyed this one a lot! I even correctly predicted that Ruth was the real fugitive, and that there was a chameleon arch in play (though I thought it would be Lee’s medal box), but that didn’t hamper my enjoyment because the twists were just that wild. I definitely didn’t see the final twist coming either. Pour one out for all the fan theorists desperately hoping that one day a mysterious female character in Doctor Who will actually turn out to be Susan or The Rani.

    This episode will live or die based on how much they screw up the conclusion. It could be great, but we could also end up with another A Good Man Goes to War on our hands.

    As far as criticisms go, my only major one I have is how completely separate and superfluous the Captain Jack stuff felt. Fun to see him again to interact with the new companions, yes, but he was just there to tease future episodes, not to actually contribute to this one.

    It’s also not a great sign that the best episodes of this series are the ones where Graham, Ryan and Yaz are separated from the plot for most of the episode and do something inconsequential while The Doctor carries the story.

    #257342

    Ben Kirkham

    I pray to God that this is an alternate universe (like Big Finish’s Unbound series) and that Chibnall isn’t introducing pre-Hartnell Doctors. That would seriously piss me off. I actually love the idea of a whole alternate universe of different Doctors, but I’d hate Chibnall to create a huge retcon of the series. I think they got away with it with the War Doctor because it was plausible (and it’s John Hurt so why not). But to contradict the classic series would be vandalism, as far as I’m concerned.

    #257344

    quinn_drummer

    I’ve seen a lot of comments suggesting it could be “pre-Hartnell” and I honestly just cannot see Chibnall messing with lore that much. It seems too big of a thing to re-write/add to.

    Alternate universe/timeline seems much more plausible, and gives him the freedom to do whatever he wants without upsetting anyone at all.

    It really feels as if he is sticking to and drawing from continuity a lot in this, so to then go a big a big fuck you and change a lot of it would be pretty bold.

    The War Doctor works because a) it is plausible b) we all understood the reasons why it needed to happen c) it was happening in the 50th anniversary year where a big change like that can come without too much upset and d) it was John fucking Hurt and everyone was on board with that.

    For anyone to try that again they’d have to be mighty brave, or mighty stupid.

    #257345

    Dave

    Yeah, while I’m sure that part of the point is to tease people with the possibility, I don’t see them going with pre-Hartnell Doctors.

    #257346

    Ben Saunders

    Considering how livid sections of the fanbase were over just the War Doctor and Moffat daring to SHOW the First Doctor doing shit, not even directly contradicting anything, the fallout from introducing pre-Hartnell Doctors would be immense, and I don’t really want that to happen. We actually see Hartnell steal the TARDIS in I think Name of the Doctor, so it would be a huge retcon if Chibnall was to attempt that. Placing Doctors anywhere between Hartnell and now would also fuck with the regeneration limit thing from Time of the Doctor, unless there’s some bullshit where the Time Lords decided to give them a very specific number of regenerations extra, as opposed to a whole new cycle. I would find it funny if they attempt to canonise The Morbius Doctors, which I saw described as an “unexploded continuity bomb” yesterday. But ultimately I don’t really want them to make Ruth a past Doctor, because that’s a bit silly, and they’ve already done that with the War Doctor – it would be too much of a retread. I’m going alternate universe for now, since Gallifrey also exists.

    And yeah, Jack was just used as an answering machine this episode, and every other line he had was a sexual innuendo or reference, a bit of a flanderisation of his character – like, we get it, he used to go on about sex a lot, but come on man.

    #257347

    Ben Saunders

    Throwing a whole ‘nother regeneration into Season 6b would also annoy me, since that is explicitly Troughton, but I don’t think they’ll do that anyway. It’s a bit too complicated to try and explain that to a modern audience who haven’t even seen Troughton/Pertwee. “Oh, by the way, just before the second Doctor was forced to regenerate by the Time Lords and exiled to Earth, which happened by the way, the Celestial Intervention Agency employed him as a special operative in order to…. bringing back his companions who had their minds wiped… teamed up with the Sixth Doctor… and…. then….. plus……”

    #257348

    Paul Muller

    I’ve been casually dipping in and out of this series, but I enjoyed this one mainly on the basis that it was set and filmed in my home town, even if it was a sort of Bizarro world version of Gloucester that isn’t covered in shuttered shop windows, bored groups of teens, and seagull shit.

    #257351

    si

    The companions had some stuff to do which was nice.

    They remembered that Yaz was in the Police.

    And glad its not Sheffield

    I’m not.

    #257382

    Ben Kirkham
    #257383

    Ben Kirkham

    I hope this is a case of “the showrunner lies” that Moffat was so good at, just to throw people off the scent.

    #257384

    Dave

    I think it probably is that, yes.

    #257397

    si

    Someone’s lying.
    Is Chibs lying that ‘Ruth’s The Doctor? Is Jodie lying that she’s staying? Was Jodie lying as a ruse so that we didn’t suspect that ‘Ruth’ is The Doctor? Will both Doctors go round Time and Space together? Why is Ruth’s TARDIS interior so much nicer than Jodie’s? And how does John Barrowman’s Cardiff apartment actually look?

    #257398

    si

    The fact that Chibnall said that she was “definitively” The Doctor, as opposed to ‘Definitely’ The Doctor. Is there really a difference, or am I reading too much into it?

    #257399

    quinn_drummer

    That’s just Chibnall bad at writing

    #257405

    si

    That’s just Chibnall bad at writing

    Whatever, it’s still better than s11.

    #257407

    Ben Saunders

    Speaking of, I have absolutely no expectation or faith in the rest of the series being anywhere near as “good” (interesting) as what we just got. I’m open to being surprised, but there are couple roots this could go down which would just deeply annoy me.

    #257408

    Ben Saunders

    routes.

    #257448

    quinn_drummer

    So that was ok. A better way of doing a social commentary on the environment without just having to have a big speech about it all. It all tied in quite nicely.

    Quite enjoyed it. Was coherent. The companions, though split up again, largely had stuff to do. Especially Yas, who should some competence.

    Not an episode I’d be rushing to re-watch but haven’t come away regretting that I have which is nice.

    And glad The Doctor has finally realised her TARDIS can be used to actually go and save people in imminent danger.

    #257449

    quinn_drummer

    I also quite liked how slowly everything felt like it was unravelling too. Was really the last 10mins that things fell into place, before that it was just the characters caught up in a story for 40mins plodding along which gave us time to sit and watch and think about it without having to try and keep up with too much stuff.

    #257450

    Dave

    Yeah, I thought it was fine. The environmental aspects were much better handled here than earlier in the series, the globe-spanning aspects worked and the dramatic moments landed for me. It also made use of the larger TARDIS team quite well.

    Horribly effective makeup/effects for the alien disease too.

    And yes, we were shouting at the screen for her to rescue him with the TARDIS at the end so we were pleasantly surprised when she did.

    #257568

    Dave

    Well that was a load of old guff I thought. I can see what some of the ideas were aiming at, but as a whole it was pretty incoherent.

    #257570

    quinn_drummer

    Funnily enough, for a generic story/monster of the week I thought that was pretty decent.

    I like the ideas of ancient aliens feeding off of fear and nightmares. All the companions had a bit to do again which was nice. The Doctor was really pushed to work on her own a bit more this episode and it gave Jodie a time to really show herself being The Doctor.

    “You get me an A-Z of the universe and I’ll be able to stick my finger straight on … no I’ve got no idea” is the funniest line in Doctor Who for a long time. I actually legitimately laughed out loud at that.

    Interesting that the Doctor’s nightmare (at the moment) is the Timeless Child, when Matt faced his biggest fear in that hotel room (though we didn’t see what it was) so presumably it’s changed since then.

    And there was an honourable mention to everyone’s favourite Red Dwarf episode ‘Timewave’ in there so, you know …

    #257579

    Dave

    Didn’t we find out later that the Eleventh Doctor’s biggest fear (that he sees in that room) was Amy’s crack?

    In fairness, this Doctor only just found out about all the Timeless Child stuff so it makes sense it would be her current preoccupation.

    #257583

    quinn_drummer

    Was that was it was meant to be? I don’t remember if that is made explicit, though it would make sense.

    #257585

    Ben Saunders

    I don’t think we were shown definitively what his fear was, it’s not really the point of the scene, to have it spelled out to you “this is what the Doctor is looking at”, is it? If we are eventually shown it in Time of the Doctor then it’s a sort of retcon.

    Just read a forum post from after the episode aired, and people are still debating what it was, so I don’t think we’re told explicitly. It’s easy to assume it was the crack, but my favourite theory is that it was the War Doctor, although I’m pretty sure that would also have to be a retcon. My initial idea was that he saw himself, possibly Nine (or Eight). But War makes sense in hindsight.

    #257586

    Dave

    Yes, I’m pretty sure Amy’s crack is explicitly revealed later on – I can’t remember exactly when, it might be in Smith’s final episode (which rushes through a lot of that kind of tying-up of dangling loose ends, so could be easily missed.)

    #257587

    Veni

    You’d think the Doctor would be more than happy to see Amy’s crack.

    #257588

    Dave

    The joke, there.

    #257593

    Pete Part Three

    I’ve now fallen asleep watching the last two episodes. Now, this may have something to do with the time of day I’m watching them, but the fact I haven’t been in line to look into how they developed past the twentieth minute probably speaks volumes.’

    I might come back to laugh at how bad the finale is at explaining the stuff in Episode 5.

    #257594

    Pete Part Three

    *inclined, not “in line”.

    #257694

    Dave

    Very enjoyable this week, I thought. Good and scary in places (my kids had to look away from the screen during some moments) and I liked the way the Cyberman was tied to Frankenstein. Plus it makes for good setup for the two-part series finale.

    I also thought Whittaker was better than usual this week, possibly because the material gave her more to work with. It feels like the outburst at the end of the episode about the team has been a while coming.

    #257695

    Pete Part Three

    Well, I managed to not nod off the week, so things are looking up!

    #257696

    si

    Best episode of the series for me.

    #257697

    Veni

    Ben come back, this one’s apparently good again

    #257698

    quinn_drummer

    It’s a pretty low bar for being a good episode (that isn’t completely turning the fandom upside down with Ruth and Jack etc) but it was ok. I wasn’t really engaged until the Cyberman turned up, and even once he did it took a bit too keep my attention.

    I just felt that so much of the episode I’ve seen in other places. Spooky houses re-arranging themselves, disembodied hands, “ghosts”, and then a broken Cyberman that’s trying to do a different take on it and making it somewhat interesting but ultimately just moving further away from what Cymbermen are about.

    I guessed that the lone Cyberman would inform Frankenstein, but its a cool if not obvious idea.

    Agree with Dave that Jodie was quite good in this.

    There’s some stuff I’ve come away confused about that may have been explained in the episode but wasn’t clear … which is odd because the show has a habit of just exposition dumping everything in dialogue, and this episode felt like no exception.

    I imagine for kids, this would be a great, fun, scary episode so that’s something.

    Looking forward to the two parter, just hope we’re not let down … though also will quite sadistically sit back and watch the internet implode at whatever inevitably pisses everyone off.

    #257699

    Ben Saunders

    They’re nine years late on the Frankenstein/Cybermen connection, Big Finish did it already, and even had Mary Shelley travel with the Eighth Doctor for a while. https://tardis.fandom.com/wiki/The_Silver_Turk_(audio_story)

    That episode was alright. I don’t care anymore. Just as things were heating up towards the end, my mates wanted to play Halo, so I got in a call with them and started setting up the game while the last few scenes played. I’m really excited for Chibbers to completely destroy Doctor Who as we know it with the next two episodes. I hope he burns it to the fucking ground, in a way that makes right wing video essayists have a collective heart attack.

    #257701

    Flap Jack

    You don’t care? Well, I’m certainly convinced.

    Call me an optimist, but I think that if Doctor Who can survive the 80s, the TV Movie, the Time War, River Song, the War Doctor, Hell Bent, and Clara Oswald being directly responsible for The Doctor’s entire life of heroism in multiple ways, then whatever reveals are coming up regarding Gallifrey/The Timeless Child/the Ruthless Doctor will barely register.

    #257702

    Ben Saunders

    I’ve watched every single episode of Doctor Who, the TV movie, Scream of the Shalka, Dreamland, listened to loads of Big Finish audios, read a few books, a couple comics. I can say with confidence that Jodie’s tenure is the most consistently boring the show has ever been. Even in Colin Baker’s era we got stuff like Vengeance on Varos. The second most boring stint of Who is Davison’s first two seasons, if you’re interested.

    >Clara Oswald being directly responsible for The Doctor’s entire life of heroism in multiple ways
    People only believe that’s what happened in Name of the Doctor because they want to. The Doctor was a hero all on his own. THEN The Great Intelligence went in and fucked everything up, THEN Clara went in and stopped him. And it was all just an excuse to somehow show clips from Classic Who in the buildup to the 50th anniversary.

    #257703

    Ben Saunders

    (I can’t really say that with confidence, I’d be very interested in hearing from people who think this era is really exciting)

    #257704

    Flap Jack

    I’d say the worst of the Chibnall era has been uninspired and predictable, but I can’t agree that it’s ever been so extremely dull that the show is at risk of irreedemably damaged. That’s just hyperbole.

    People only believe that’s what happened in Name of the Doctor because they want to. The Doctor was a hero all on his own. THEN The Great Intelligence went in and fucked everything up, THEN Clara went in and stopped him.

    I do get that this was the intention, but it was very poorly communicated. Clara was just saving him from random incidents that The Great Intelligence seemed to have nothing to do with (like the literal cliffhanger in Dragonfire). But the part that annoyed me most – even though it wasn’t about heroism – was the part where Clara told the Doctor which TARDIS to steal. Tying such a major part of the backstory of the main character into Clara Oswald (who btw is much less engaging on average than any of the current companions) was just such unearned arrogance.

    And of course I wasn’t just talking about Name of the Doctor, but Listen too. Because I guess The Doctor would never have learned not to be cruel or cowardly without Clara terrorizing him as a child. That was greater harm in 1 episode that Chibnall’s managed in 19 for sure.

    #257705

    Spaceworm Jim

    Listen might have done “harm” (although, personally, I think that’s nonsense) but the acting, writing and direction are better than anything produced for 2019.

    Name of the Doctor is fine. It’s FINE. John Hurt!

    #257706

    Ben Saunders

    The Doctor always chose that TARDIS, though. She was just being a fan, and showing Hartnell/Susan/that moment was just fanwank for the 50th. People’s opinions on this stuff and Hell Bent etc seem so intrinsically linked to whether or not the like Clara. Who, incidentally, I thought was fantastic. The fact that so many people dislike her so much almost makes me like her more. I don’t care that Clara did something potentially a bit important in Listen, because she is great and that episode is stellar.

    At no point did I link my point about the show being irredeemably boring to my point of Chibnall potentially ruining everything in the finale. If I were to do so, I would say that I am so bored of the show at this point that I genuinely hope he fucks everything up, to the point of it getting cancelled, so we can try again in 19 years time.

    #257707

    Flap Jack

    Well, when I say that Listen did “harm” I am speaking in relative terms. It didn’t really matter much in the end, just like it won’t matter if the Series 12 finale has some seismic twist in it. Doctor Who’s canon is flexible and resilient (or non-existent, depending on who you ask), which is part of why it’s such an enduring series.

    The Doctor always chose that TARDIS, though. She was just being a fan, and showing Hartnell/Susan/that moment was just fanwank for the 50th.

    Yes, I do understand the bootstrap paradox at play here. The episode establishes that The Doctor “always” chose that particular TARDIS because Clara suggested it. Undeniably fanwank, just not the good kind.

    Unless you mean that it isn’t a bootstrap paradox, and Richard E. Grant is just off screen in that scene saying “No Doctor, pick that other TARDIS! That one works just as well but is “less fun” and if you have less fun my victory will be assured!”. I can’t deny, if the episode had actually shown that, it might have circled around to being good again.

    People’s opinions on this stuff and Hell Bent etc seem so intrinsically linked to whether or not the like Clara. Who, incidentally, I thought was fantastic.

    Perhaps that’s true. I haven’t run a survey. But as far as I’m concerned, those aspects of NotD/Listen/Hell Bent wouldn’t work even if it was Sarah Jane in that role. The thing I appreciate about The Doctor’s backstory is that she wasn’t a hero from the get-go. She was (by Time Lord standards) a regular person who fled society out of selfishness, but then over time became a hero through circumstance, which we see occur over the Hartnell era. So establishing that the universe via Clara was grooming The Doctor into being a hero since birth is just incredibly lame. It’s like anti-fanservice.

    Clara in general is… fine, I guess. The overall quality of the episodes or companions wasn’t really the point anyway, just the audacity and stupidity of the major reveals and plot turns, which I assumed is what you were expecting Chris Chibnall to potentially “fuck everything up” with, not tedium.

    At no point did I link my point about the show being irredeemably boring to my point of Chibnall potentially ruining everything in the finale. If I were to do so, I would say that I am so bored of the show at this point that I genuinely hope he fucks everything up, to the point of it getting cancelled, so we can try again in 19 years time.

    Yeah, spite is definitely not the most helpful emotion.

    #257720

    Ben Saunders

    >The episode establishes that The Doctor “always” chose that particular TARDIS because Clara suggested it.
    Nah, he chose it because he chose it, then 50 years worth of adventures happened, then Clara took the opportunity presented to her via being thrown into the Doctor’s timestream to go back to that moment and convince him to do something he was going to do anyway, is my take. Again it’s justt some fun for the 50th anyway.

    >Yeah, spite is definitely not the most helpful emotion.
    Do try to have some fun for once, I’d much rather the show just got better than got cancelled, I’m beiing hyperbolic

    #257721

    Hamish

    This *is* fun! Are you mad?

    #257722

    Flap Jack

    Nah, he chose it because he chose it, then 50 years worth of adventures happened, then Clara took the opportunity presented to her via being thrown into the Doctor’s timestream to go back to that moment and convince him to do something he was going to do anyway, is my take. Again it’s justt some fun for the 50th anyway.

    OK, you seemed so sure about this that I was beginning to doubt my own memory. Thanks to whomever decided that all of NuWho should be semi-permanently on iPlayer for how easy it was to check this. Quoth Ms. Oswald:

    Doctor?

    [The Doctor is already halfway through the entrance of a TARDIS]

    Sorry. But you’re about to make a very big mistake.
    Don’t steal that one, steal this one.
    The navigation system’s knackered, but you’ll have much more fun.

    I hope you also take a moment to appreciate how absurdly out of character it is for a pre-Season 1 Doctor to follow the suspicious advice of a complete stranger to deliberately choose an apparently already majorly damaged TARDIS to steal, on trust that “fun” will ensue. XD

    Do try to have some fun for once, I’d much rather the show just got better than got cancelled, I’m beiing hyperbolic

    Fair enough, but you must know that discerning the difference between earnest hyperbole and lighthearted hyperbole in forum text posts is not so easy.

    And hey, I don’t need to resort to cancellation fantasies for fun. The show itself is already fun enough. ;-)

    #257723

    Veni

    Are we watching the same stuff

    #257726

    Flap Jack

    No, because I’m from the Berenstein Bears universe, where Doctor Who is a great show and Rob Grant has been the sole writer of Red Dwarf since 1997.

    Modern Red Dwarf is significantly lower quality over there, but our Series IX was actually called Series IX, so it balances out.

    #257727

    Veni

    We actually get to see the Cat-Polymorph sex scene in that timeline, surprisingly more arousing than you’d think. Too bad that timeline’s fandom keeps posting gifs replacing the pipe with a dick

    #257771

    Ben Saunders

    Well that was no Army of Ghosts, but I’m excited to see how they balls it up next week.

    #257772

    Dave

    You’re still watching after all, then?

    I thought that one was ok, but after setting a lot up quite quickly it felt like they didn’t really do a huge amount with it this episode. I thought it was a mistake not to tie in the ‘mystery’ plot strand with the main story more strongly, and I thought the cliffhanger with the Master was far too vague to really propel things forward into the big finale.

    I guess I was hoping for more. There are ingredients there for a decent story, but not enough really happened this week. This one will be easier to judge once we have both parts of it and can see how it works as a larger two-parter.

    #257773

    Ben Saunders

    >You’re still watching after all, then?
    While on my phone discussing it with Quinn and not really invested in what’s going on, yeah

    Yeah, it was all fine, I guess (although one Cyberman is a lot more interesting than 10,000), but they didn’t really give us anything to sink our teeth into and get us really hyped up for the finale. I guess the Gallifrey thing is supposed to be that? But that moment was immediately deflated for me because The Master turned up, and I don’t like him

    #257774

    Ben Saunders

    I completely forgot about those flying Cyberman heads lmao what the fuck was the point of that, it looked so silly

    #257775

    Dave

    I was reminded of Magrathea and Slartibartfast towards the end.

    #257776

    quinn_drummer

    There isn’t much I have to say about this episode. Agree with Ben that one Cyberman is better than 10,000.

    More interested in what is happening in the Ireland flashbacks. But also think they should have put all that in the next episode when it (hopefully) becomes relevant. Clearly Brendon is the Cyberman but it didn’t give us any contextual information relevant to this episode.

    The flying heads were pretty silly.

    Of course The Master was going to appear.

    Not been left excited for the final.

    #257777

    Flap Jack

    Hell yeah, that was great.

    I don’t think it lived up to the continuity announcer promising it would be “game-changing” – you can’t change the game just by teasing a plot twist, you actually have to tell us what the plot twist is – but I’m intrigued to see what happens next all the same.

    #257778

    Pete Part Three

    They’re not going to tell you what the plot twist is, as that’s all Chibnall’s got going for him; a bunch of questions and a everlasting promise of game-changing reveals.

    Without all the mysteries being dangled in front of the audience like a mouldy carrot, it would just be a lot of arsing about with the poor writing and shite characters front and centre. Like the last season. And this season, when you rewatch it.

    #257779

    Lily

    Last year suffered from no real arc or strong villain for the finale, but it feels like it’s the opposite now. There’s so many mysteries and surprise twists dangling around that there’s no way they’re going to get dealt with in a satisfactory way next week.

    I was so hyped after the Ruth episode, but now I’m distinctly ‘meh’ about whatever turns up. Hoping it’ll be great but not holding my breath.

    #257780

    Flap Jack

    I’m not begrudging this episode for not giving out the answers. It is part 1 of a 2 part story after all. This is 100% a criticism of the overblown PR.

    I agree that if the resolutions to the mysteries next week are bad/absent then it will make this episode worse retrospectively, but it’s silly to try and make that judgement in advance. We’ve only got a part 1 right now, and I’m judging it as a part 1. Fingers crossed it turns out well.

    Without all the mysteries being dangled in front of the audience like a mouldy carrot, it would just be a lot of arsing about with the poor writing and shite characters front and centre.

    I mean, it’s as difficult to fully refute that kind of hypothetical as it is arrogant to assert it, but still, I disagree. The only episode of this series in which the series arc/mystery box/whatever was actually a major element was Fugitive of the Judoon, so if the conclusion to it does suck then that episode is the only one that will go down (outside of this 2-parter itself, of course).

    Like, The Wedding of River Song was a crap conclusion to the “The Doctor is destined to be murdered by some fucker wearing a classic NASA spacesuit” arc in Series 6, and that made The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes To War, and Let’s Kill Hitler significantly worse on rewatch, but it didn’t cause everyone to suddenly think that great episodes such as The Doctor’s Wife or The Girl Who Waited were shit just because they were in the same series.

    #257781

    Ben Saunders

    The difference with particularly The Impossible Astronaut and A Good Man Goes to War (I don’t care about Let’s Kill Hitler) is that they are actually entertaining episodes in their own right. The whole ending of AGMGTW is still truly special stuff, even if it leads into… stuff I’ve mostly forgotten. I caught the end of AGMGTW on whatever digital channel they show Who reruns on now while making my lunch one day, and just from the last ten or so minutes, I was absolutely sucked into this fantastic show. I get that same feeling any time I see a clip of Moffat Who or certain parts of Classic Who on YouTube – that feeling of being sucked in, of being utterly gripped by what’s happening on screen, even though you’ve already seen it and it’s just a largely out of context clip. It’s the same feeling I get from good TNG or DS9 clips, and more rarely TOS. It’s certainly not a feeling I experience while watching anything by Chibnall. Moffat Who had the “high fantasy” stuff and the fairly tale tone and stylised dialogue, TNG has the warmth and the hopefulness, DS9 has the seriousness and the depth. What does Chibnall Who have? Boring, “realistic” dialogue, unnecessary exposition and underdeveloped characters, washed out colour grading and a general dreariness.

    >The only episode of this series in which the series arc/mystery box/whatever was actually a major element was Fugitive of the Judoon, so… etc
    None of the rest of the episodes really have anywhere to GO “down”. Everything else we’ve had in Series 11+12 is middling at best, with Spyfall and (I mean this) Orphan 55 being the best we’ve had so far, and those episodes are not without their sometimes glaring and oft-discussed issues.

    Our main criticism of Ascension isn’t “begrudging this episode for not giving out the answers”, it’s begrudging the first part of a two-parter for not really giving us anything to sink our teeth into, and not really giving us any questions we want answered, no reason for us to tune in next week. That was all given to us by Spyfall and Fugitive! Graham et al are being ambushed by 10,000 Cybermen… they’ll be fine, it doesn’t even take watching the Next Time trailer to realise that. And even if they aren’t fine, I don’t care about any of these characters to worry about the alternative. I’d rather they were unceremoniously killed off, especially Ryan. Is Yaz even there, or with the Doctor at that point? She’s so inconsequential to anything I honestly don’t remember.

    The one thing they’ve given us that is an “oh, I wonder what that’s all about” is the portal to Gallifrey, and again I was taken out of that mystery immediately by a character I don’t like turning up.

    #257783

    Dave

    Compare the great cliffhangers of previous two-parters (including Spyfall) to this one, and it’s kind of laughable. The Master turns up at the end and says “oooh, something exciting and interesting is about to happen, I promise!” And that’s it.

    #257784

    Flap Jack

    As much as I appreciate your willingness to launch into lengthy explanations of why Doctor Who is terrible now, Ben, that’s really not at all relevant to what I was saying.

    “Of course Series 12 episodes won’t be brought down by a bad conclusion, they were already fully bad!” is a valid take (wrong of course, but valid), but my point was that the people who liked Series 12 episodes aren’t going to suddenly change their minds due to a bad ending or a bad plot twist. They either like them already or dislike them already, but that opinion is not going to change for that reason.

    So if anything, you saying “Well I still love A Good Man Goes To War despite the mysteries set up having disappointing resolutions!” supports my argument.

    As for “we’re not criticising Ascension of the Cybermen for not providing answers, we’re criticising it for not pulling us in”, I never said that was your criticism, I was just clarifying that it wasn’t my own.

    #257787

    Pete Part Three

    >Of course Series 12 episodes won’t be brought down by a bad conclusion, they were already fully bad!” is a valid take (wrong of course, but valid),

    If despairing at the state of this series is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

    #257788

    Ben Saunders

    “I agree that if the resolutions to the mysteries next week are bad/absent then it will make this episode worse retrospectively” makes it sound like you’re arguing for the exact opposite of what your most recent post clarifies you are arguing for

    #257789

    Flap Jack

    Ah, OK, that’s just a simple misunderstanding.

    if the resolutions to the mysteries next week are bad/absent then it will make this episode worse retrospectively

    As in, if part 2 of a 2 part story is bad, then that makes part 1 worse retrospectively. Not that it’ll make the entire series of largely unrelated episodes worse retrospectively, which is what I was disagreeing with Pete about.

    #257792

    Ben Kirkham

    If the rumours are true, Chibnall is about to take a massive shit on the history of ‘Doctor Who’. If he does, can somebody do a fan edit of the end of ‘Twice Upon A Time’ where Capaldi explodes mid-regeneration? I’d rather leave it like that and stick with 1963-2017 and Big Finish than see this vandalism.

    If the rumours aren’t true, I’ll happily eat my words. I’ve never wanted to be proven wrong more than I do at the moment.

    #257793

    Dave

    The rumours do sound utterly shit. For a show with a usually pretty bulletproof approach to continuity and lore it’s still a fairly decent stab at really upending everything in a pretty un-ignorable way.

    #257794

    Flap Jack

    There’s really no call for this kind of self-imposed stress, for the following reasons:

    1. Chris Chibnall is a lifelong Doctor Who fan. Discounting the possibility that he’s only been pretending to love Doctor Who for decades in order to gain the trust of the BBC and intentionally destroy the show from the inside, it seems unlikely he would do anything that would majorly rewrite or undermine its history.
    2. Even if The Timeless Children does hit us with a really stupid twist that has ramifications for how you view all 38 seasons of the show, Doctor Who barely has a canon. If it’s that bad, it’ll just be ignored from next series onward, and it ultimately won’t matter. Just like it doesn’t matter that Clara was directly responsible for The Doctor’s origins as a hero in 2 different ways, or that The Doctor is half-human on his mother’s side, or that a lady called Ursula is presumably still living as an immortal, decapitated head on a paving slab.
    3. Chris Chibnall does not have access to a real TARDIS and therefore cannot do any harm to history.
    #257796

    Veni

    I don’t think its possible for any episode to be so bad it tanks the entire legacy of the show, I don’t think that has happened to any show. You can have an episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets raped by a panda, and I’ll still love everything before that and just pretend the show ended before it got to that point.

    However, I will say that if the show keeps getting detrimental viewership ratings, that could prove to be a great threat to the show’s sustainability with how fickle audiences are, there’s no telling if you fool them once they’ll be willing to risk being fooled again.

    #257798

    Ben Saunders

    I don’t think anybody is truly arguing that whatever the fuck Chibnall does will retroactively ruin 50+ years of storytelling – Episode VIII of Star Wars was fucking shite but I-VI are just as good as they ever were. It still would be utterly shitting all over everything if he dared to pull the shit everybody is expecting, and would fuel people’s already rather strong opinions that this man should not be in charge of the show.

    I actually think it’s pretty funny that people are getting genuinely pre-angry over something that hasn’t happened yet, and might not. A lot of people are going to have egg on their faces if the finale turns out to be completely mundane (but if it does I and many other will just be annoyed at THAT, most likely). If it isn’t clear, I am expecting something utterly stupid to happen, and I am slightly looking forward to the shitstorm, but I’m not really pre-angry about it, and any suggestion as such is hyperbole. The height of my annoyance with Doctor Who was actually during The Witchfinders when I realised this show really was not getting any better and we really are lumped with Chibnall for three, four, possibly five seasons. I’m over being really annoyed by any of this stuff and am now just shitting on it to pass the time, really. Ridiculous hyperbole and saying I want showrunners to literally kill the show forever is just my style, I think it’s funny.

    >Chris Chibnall is a lifelong Doctor Who fan
    So is fucking Ian Levine and his magnum opus was all the bizarre, almost but somehow wrong in the strangest way possible continuity porn of Attack of the Cybermen. Being a fan doesn’t mean you can’t have shit ideas. For example, Moffat was a fan when he wrote Clara doing all that shit, and RTD was a fan when he came up with a blowjob slab.

    #257800

    Dave

    I actually think it’s pretty funny that people are getting genuinely pre-angry over something that hasn’t happened yet, and might not. A lot of people are going to have egg on their faces if the finale turns out to be completely mundane (but if it does I and many other will just be annoyed at THAT, most likely).

    Just as long as everyone can be angry about *something*.

    Episode VIII of Star Wars was fucking shite

    Nine in roman numerals is actually IX.

    #257801

    Flap Jack

    Being a fan doesn’t mean you can’t have shit ideas. For example, Moffat was a fan when he wrote Clara doing all that shit, and RTD was a fan when he came up with a blowjob slab.

    Oh, absolutely fans are not above coming up with stupid shit. Just not completely-reimagining-Doctor-Who-history stupid shit. Even the worst of Philip Segal and Steven Moffat’s major continuity additions complement Doctor Who history (albeit badly), not rewrite it.

    Again though, I’m saying that Chibnall being a fan makes it unlikely he’d do something like that, not impossible. I guess we’ll see.

    Also, I know you like to suggest that “there’s a plot twist so huge and so bad that it makes people want to forget this story ever happened” and “it’s so completely boring that people forget this story ever happened without trying” are the only options on the table for this final episode, but obviously there’s a massive gulf of possibility between those two outcomes.

    #257803

    Pete Part Three

    Ah, Saunders law. “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of Ben bringing up The Last Jedi steadily increases”.

    #257812

    Ben Saunders

    It’s my most solid go-to example of something that’s well known to be utter shite. I actually rather enjoyed Rise of Skywalker because I was so disconnected from actually caring about what was happening onscreen that I could just enjoy it at face value. It’s massively stupid, but I couldn’t bring myself to be offended by any of it.

    #257813

    Ben Saunders

    Remember when RTD made it so that the reason The Master was so evil was because there was a drum beat playing constantly in his head? This show is no stranger to totally bonkers and stupid lore retcons. I was glad Moffat entirely ignored that, because fuck me. I actually got annoyed when the new Master referenced it in his morse code message, because I thought we’d managed to quietly sweep that one under the rug.

    Just imagine Delgado teaming up with the Sea Devils while his head constantly does dun dun dun dun. Absurd.

    Remember when the master ate a burger really fast, turned into Skeletor and flew away? I think those both happened in the same story. I have to say, Chibnall so far hasn’t given us anything that fucking stupid, so I guess we should count our blessings.

    #257814

    Dave

    Nah, Last Jedi is alright and is comfortably the best of the new Star Wars movies. Being utterly convinced that something is awful doesn’t force everyone to feel the same way about it through sheer force of will, fortunately for both Star Wars and Doctor Who.

    (If anything, I thought that The Last Jedi was best known as a very polarising film that had provoked strong reactions at both ends of the spectrum.)

    #257815

    Dave

    I quite liked having the Master’s madness manifest through an obsession the Doctor Who theme tune as an idea, although I supposed it might seem odd if you couldn’t help but think lf that while you were watching old Master stories.

    As a comics fan I’m used to seeing different creators do very different things with characters on different runs over the years, even though they’re technically meant to be the same character in terms of the overall continuity. I have the same approach to stuff like Doctor Who (and Star Wars) – I can appreciate different takes in their own right and not worry too much about the implications of one take reaching back and tarnishing another take. Best just to try and enjoy them on their own terms.

    #257816

    Dave

    I quite liked having the Master’s madness manifest through an obsession with the Doctor Who theme tune as an idea, although I supposed it might seem odd if you couldn’t help but think of that while you were watching old Master stories.

    As a comics fan I’m used to seeing different creators do very different things with characters on different runs over the years, even though they’re technically meant to be the same character in terms of the overall continuity. I have the same approach to stuff like Doctor Who (and Star Wars) – I can appreciate different takes in their own right and not worry too much about the implications of one take reaching back and tarnishing another take. Best just to try and enjoy them on their own terms.

    #257818

    Flap Jack

    It’s my most solid go-to example of something that’s well known to be utter shite.

    Then you really ought to find a better one, because The Last Jedi is not a solid example of that at all.

    I understand the instinct to feel that your own opinion is the consensus, especially when there are a lot of people who agree with you and many of those people are extremely loud and confident about having that opinion, but TLJ is in fact an example of a film that is controversial or polarising, not a film that is widely agreed to be terrible. A simple Google search will reveal that, if you must disbelieve me every time I try to inform you that this is the case.

    If you’re stuck for ideas, just have a look at IMDb’s bottom 250 list for inspiration. There are plenty of well known options that, unlike TLJ, almost definitely won’t start any arguments when you cite them as examples of “something that’s well known to be utter shite”. Epic Movie, Battlefield Earth, Dragonball Evolution, The Emoji Movie, Mac and Me, Catwoman, Jack and Jill, Superman IV, Batman & Robin. Take your pick.

    #257819

    Veni

    The Last Jedi is better than two-thirds of the prequels.

    #257822

    Ben Saunders

    You people honestly need to relax lmao what a response

    #257827

    Hamish

    #257828

    Dave

    This thread is now worse than any Doctor Who finale could ever be, so I’m finding myself looking forward to Sunday.

    #257829

    Ben Saunders

    I hope we just get lots of gratuitous shots of the new Cyb design, because I quite like it. It’s basically copying the Invasion design but that’s one of my favourite designs

    #257872

    Ben Saunders

    #257873

    Dave

    I predict there will be a lot of backlash to that due to teh canons, but I actually thought it was ok. It was a nice, dramatic, eventful finale with room for a few decent character moments, and the big reveals about the Doctor’s history don’t fundamentally undermine the character as much as they could have done (and they left plenty of wiggle room to give them easy outs if they choose to take them later.) Either way, there’s clearly a longer plan with more to reveal here.

    Timelords crossed with Cybermen was a bit fanfiction-y but I thought it worked quite well.

    I also liked the Ruth Doctor’s appearance and again it made me feel like I could happily watch a series with her as the lead.

    #257874

    Ben Saunders

    That was all a bit fanwanky and unnecessary – Cyber Lords, early Gallifrey lore, retconning the Morbius Doctors – all stuff that really shouldn’t be explored, but was, and it’s… whatever. I feel I might have enjoyed some of this stuff if it came at the end of series 9 or 10, and not after two years of almost exclusively shite that turned me into a Who sceptic rather than a believer. As it stands the episode is alright, I’m sure people are going to be very upset about it, though.

    Ruth’s appearance unfortunately solidifies how much a lot of people prefer her over Jodie… not only is she more convincing in the role of The Doctor, but having her actually mentor the “real” Doctor and help her figure out how to escape just reinforces her being “better”, don’t you think. Jodie has finally been given some real material to chew on and… she’s alright. Better than Sylvester McCoy.

    The leaks that involved the Time Lords torturing the Timeless Child to either find out how they regenerate, or forcing them to perpetually regenerate in order to fuel their own powers, were a little more interesting.

    1) Was the stuff in Ireland all allegorical/didn’t literally happen?
    2) Why the fuck would Chibnall not call The Division, The Celestial Intervention Agency, if he was going to do all this fanwank bullshit? Why not go whole hog?

    Some research for people who don’t know what I’m talking about:
    Morbius:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51a1hoSn4uY
    The CIA: https://tardis.fandom.com/wiki/Celestial_Intervention_Agency

    #257875

    Ben Saunders

    12 regenerations being an imposed limit has been canon since the 70s, as is regeneration not being a natural process… a lot of the reveals in this episode are honestly just unnecessary “filling in the blanks” type writing, which I find to be rather unnecessary. Stuff we don’t really need to have explained to us, since we can make up our own minds on that shit if we want to. Leave it to books and comics that people can argue over the canonicity of for the next forty years.

    #257876

    Dave

    Yes, the Ireland stuff was all meant to be allegorical for the Timeless child/Doctor up to the point of mindwipe.

    #257877

    Ben Saunders

    That’s what Quinn said, but me and Lily couldn’t recall them actually stating that. Bit weird. But I’ll take it.

    It’s always been a long-accepted idea that The Master actually respects The Doctor a lot… that’s why they were so chummy in the Pertwee years, and this is eventually canonised with Missy… having the Master be THAT upset by the reveal of the Timeless Child’s identity… it just doesn’t quite gel, for me. I could have bought the “the Time Lords have been torturing a little girl for eternity” thing as a reason for him being so angry, especially post-Missy. In the episode as it stands, we don’t really see anything from The Timeless Child’s perspective, and we get nothing of their feelings on the matter. They just… go along with the experiments, because… that’s what happens. Could have given us something, there.

    Do the Judoon not remember the whole Pandorica fiasco? Do they really think they can just put the Doctor in jail? Evidently she’ll have escaped by next episode, but come on. Of course, these could be Judoon from a younger timeline, I guess.

    #257879

    Dave

    It was a bit quick, but it was during the section with the Division. It explained that the memories had been disguised as the Ireland stuff from last week, and intercut some of that with the Timeless child stuff from earlier on to draw the parallels explicitly (eg. the fall off the cliff.)

    #257880

    Veni

    How was series 12 overall

    #257881

    Dave

    Okay

    #257882

    Veni

    So the tally is:

    Series 11 – Trash
    Series 12 – Okay

    #257885

    Ben Saunders

    I’m genuinely annoyed at Chibnall for not calling it the Celestial Intervention Agency. Come on, man.

    Series 11 – Bottom of the barrel trash
    Series 12 – closer to the top of the barrel but still ultimately trash, but you accidentally threw out a couple of things you quite like, and eventually go back into the bin to get them back out again, but you have to touch a load of old mashed potato to get there

    #257888

    Pete Part Three

    Just fucking bad.

    #257891

    Veni

    So the new tally is:

    Series 11 – Trash
    Series 12 – Just fucking bad

    #257894

    srmcd1

    On the plus side, BabelColour over on YouTube is going to be absolutely thrilled “The Ten Doctors” can still work.

    #257896

    Dave

    I do wonder whether the story might actually have been more interesting had the Doctor not been the Timeless Child – and instead had to grapple with the fact that Timelord society (and her own regenerative powers) were built on exploitation of this other being. Making it less of an “everything you knew about yourself is wrong!” story and instead focusing more on the aspects of class and privilege and abuse might have been a more interesting way to take it.

    Of course, with the big gap in the timeline that they left and the ambiguity around the Doctor’s weird implanted memories of Ireland, they’ve still left themselves an easy get-out if they want to later reveal thay she’s not the Timeless Child after all.

    #257897

    Flap Jack

    Yeah, I definitely have mixed feelings about this Timeless Child reveal. On the one hand it was certainly major enough to justify the hype and Chibnall didn’t just replace the answer with a bigger mystery for the next series as Moffat would have, on the other hand it ultimately doesn’t change a lot but does manage to undermine the idea that The Doctor is extraordinary by choice, not by birthright. That’s kind of a shame.

    But, as I predicted, it didn’t burn Doctor Who canon to the ground, so hopefully people can calm down a smidge.

    Other thoughts:

    – The episode is called “The Timeless Children”, so who were the other ones then?

    – Sacha Dhawan is still great. I especially felt like he was predicting what the audience response would be when he said “So you’re plan is just to become robots? Wow, that’s pretty boring”.

    – Cyber Time Lords? Hell yes. Every aspect of that was superb.

    – So we get the implication (if not confirmation) that the Jo Martin incarnation is pre-Hartnell, but if that’s the case, why did she already call herself The Doctor and have a police box TARDIS?

    – Does The Doctor have infinite regenerations now, or did she just used to? Did the Time Lords just pretend to give him an extra regeneration cycle in Time of the Doctor to cover themselves? Or did they genuinely give him an extra regeneration cycle because they didn’t realise they didn’t need to?

    – Not sure I quite buy the Time Lords deciding that the Timeless Child was at odds with their political glorification of Gallifreyan supremacy to the extent they needed to cover it up. Everyone knows that regeneration doesn’t occur naturally and that scientists had to invent a way to give people that ability, so what difference does it make if it comes from an alien or not?

    – However, I do buy that this incarnation of The Master would be petty enough to destroy Gallifrey over this.

    – So… how much of this Cyber War did the Master personally plan? Maybe he just set up the boundary portal to Gallifrey on the assumption that The Doctor/the Cybermen would get there? Seems like that depended on a huge amount of luck. Also did the previous human survivors of the Cyber War go to Gallifrey or somewhere else?

    – The Timeless Child was neither Susan nor The Rani. And so the cycle continues.

    – People are understandably focusing on the pre-Hartnell Doctors aspect of this Timeless Child twist, but the revelation that The Doctor is not a native Gallifreyan and not even native to this universe is surely just as massive. I guess the ability to regenerate naturally is the only difference between The Doctor’s species and Shabogans? Otherwise it absolutely would have been discovered.

    – So all Time Lords are effectively half-Gallifreyan and half-alien? LIKE A HYBRID, CLARA.

    – This episode gives us a reference to Rassilon’s “For Gallifrey! For the Time Lords! For the end of time itself!” speech and a triple “What?!” cliffhanger. The David Tennant era is back, baby.

    – Dear Chris Chibnall, please make up your mind about whether multi-parters get individual titles or not.

    – Despite the major Doctor backstory embellishment this episode contains, I was still more irked by the ones in Name of the Doctor and Listen.

    – Being casually shrunk down by The Master is an extreme anti-climax for the lone cyberman.

    – Are we meant to think that Ko Sharmus is a Time Lord? Maybe that’s just me.

    – I liked how elated Ryan was about successfully blowing up those Cybermen.

    – Not sure why it’s “The Division” and not the Celestial Intervention Agency. Maybe they wanted this organisation to be unknown even to The Doctor and not contradict her knowledge of the CIA from other things. Or maybe it’s intended as a precursor, like the OSS.

    – Bit weird to tease a Dalek episode with a Judoon incident (and a shame as I’m sure the Judoon are worthy of having their own episode dedicated to them without needing Daleks or Time Lords or Captain Jack or Anne Reid in there as well). Also notice they’re being cagey in calling it a “festive special” again rather than “Christmas” or “New Year’s”.

    On the whole, despite there still being plenty to grumble about, I did really enjoy this series. I’d probably put it in the middle third of New Who series, which ain’t too shabby.

    #257898

    Dave

    I took The Timeless Children to be a reference to the Timelords.

    #257903

    Flap Jack

    I mean… sure, OK. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    #257904

    quinn_drummer

    I think the Timeless children are all the different regenerated versions of the The Timeless Child/Doctor that get experimented on?

    My main conclusion to this is that it was a complete an utter waste of time.

    Completely agree with Flap Jack that it makes The Doctor so aggrandised and important to the history of Gallifrey and the Timelords that it spoils the history of the character that has been built up over the last 50-60 years. However it adds to much yet ultimately changes nothing for the Doctor, the characters around her, or us – Chibnall knows this and that’s why he put in the scene with The Doctor saying as much.

    There’s so many questions and things that don’t quite make sense.

    Are there two boundaries? Or is it just the one? Where does the Timeless Child actually come from? And who is this race of infinately regenerating people and why would they abandon a kid on a planet in a different dimension/universe?

    How does shoving a Timelord in a Cyberman actually help anything? The Lone Cyberman’s plan was to rid it of all organic components and the Master is all, hang on, stick a Timelord in there and they’ll never die. Except, we know and it is confirmed in this episode that Timelords have a regeneration limit imposed, so at most they can survive 12 deaths, probably less. They can presumably still succumb to the technical aspects of the Cyberman being damanged/destroyed, regeneration can’t solve fix that.

    They also did nothing! If you’re going to dangle the idea of Cyberlords or whatever in front of us, use them to do something interesting.

    Some of the question Flap Jack has asked. Why was Ruth Doctor, pre Hartnell, calling herself The Doctor and swanning around in a Police Box? There’s potential answers to this, all of them problematic. Either she was given the code name The Doctor, and a TARDIS in the shape of a Police Box, and then she had her memories wiped at a later date. Then Hartnell runs away, picks the name The Doctor because it’s deeply buried in his subconcious, visits Earth, his TARDIS gets coincidentally stuck as a police box … it doesn’t work! Or Ruth comes at a time after Hartnell that we don’t know about (series 6b?) and that is yet to be explained.

    Does the Doctor have infinate regenerations? I’d have to say categorically yes. The extra regen cycle in Time of the Doctor would have to be explained as the Timelords (some of them) know who the Doctor is (in which case why let him/her swan around the universe the way they do – you’d think you’d want to keep your god basically close to home and out of harms way etc) and they put on a show of bestowing regenerations to keep the secret but ultimately Matt would have regenerated into Capaldi without them.

    Or, they don’t know who he is and the Doctor just absorbed some regeneration energy which then kick started his regeneration which eh was destined for anyway.

    Are we to also understand now that basically all Timelords except the Master and the Doctor are dead / Cyberified (and presumably blown up)?? Which, effectively, undoes everything Moffat spent the 50th year undoing from RTDs run. RTD introduced the idea the Timelords are dead, Moffat undoes that and brings them back, then Chibnall goes and kills them all again?

    Speaking of which, I was questioning earlier why The Doctor would so readily allow a random old guy to blow himself up in her place, but it makes sense as she has already lived with the experience of having genocided Gallifrey herself (even if that didn’t happen, the Doctor spent hundreds of years believing it did) so maybe, as soon as she saw a way out she took it and ran.

    Ryan, Yaz and Graham have their own TARDIS now! Presumably will be used in some capacity to get them into the action of the special as they are, as always, separated from the Doctor.

    How is River able to regenerate? If regeneration comes from splicing in the DNA for the Timeless Child, how is being concieved in the time vortex able to allow River that ability? Surely after millenia for pissing about in time and space and doing experiments on this kid and everything else, the Timelords themselves would have figured out they could get regeneration abilities another way. Something there doesn’t add up.

    It would have been much more interesting had The Master been the Timeless Child. And I’d have actually bought him being so angry at that revelation that’d he’d destroy Gallifrey over it. Not sure I buy him being angry its The Doctor because he has always had a respect for them.

    Urgh, that’s all I have for now I think. I’d have been more interested in a single story explain the whole of the Ruth thing, rather than expanding on the Doctor’s history and importance and leaving Ruth dangling to be further explained (presumably) at a later date.

    #257906

    Flap Jack

    Gallifrey being destroyed again is pretty darn bleak. With what was revealed in Spyfall alone, the door was still open for the Time Lords to still be alive, and just the buildings and political leaders had been destroyed/killed, but in this episode they decisively wipe out all organic life on the entire planet. Whelp. Maybe there was a massive evacuation effort during The Master’s attack we don’t know about.

    About the Cyber-Masters, I read the invincibility claim as hyperbole. Obviously they wouldn’t be immune to harm (regeneration doesn’t protect against all fatal events; that bomb Ryan used to blow up that group of Cybermen totally would have killed Cyber-Lords as well), buy they’d still be much more formidable than the Cybermen ever were or would be as robots.

    Regarding regeneration and River Song, it’s definitely a contradiction but I can’t say it’s especially egregious by the standards of Doctor Who history. Originally the TARDIS was what gave The Doctor the ability to regenerate, but that hasn’t been true for ages.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but in this episode don’t they establish that their discovery of regeneration pre-dated their discovery of time travel? So maybe the Timeless Child and the time vortex are just 2 different ways to get the same power, like how Superman and Wonder Woman can both fly. Or maybe The Doctor’s species got their regenerative powers by living in or heavily exposed to the time vortex themselves, so the Gallifreyans discovering time travel was them switching from getting the power from a secondary source to a primary one. Maybe this is why they decided to switch The Doctor from being a guinea pig to being a secret agent.

    #257907

    Ben Saunders

    I thought they were going to reveal the the Master was the Timeless Child, just for a second. That would have been better. I don’t like the idea of the Doctor being so important by virtue of their birth – they BECAME important via their actions, which is different. I know they had their memories erased and this TECHNICALLY doesn’t change the past 5X years of stories, but it does sort of re-frame episodes like The War Games, The Three Doctors, Genesis of the Daleks, the Key to Time arc, Trial of a Timelord… etc. Any time the Time Lords got the Doctor to work on their behalf. Again.

    Where did the Cyber Time Lords get those fancy Gallifreyan helmets? Did they mass produce them in such a short span of time? They look silly.

    >Why did she already call herself The Doctor and have a police box TARDIS?
    This I kind of hate, if they ever bother explaining it. Hartnell’s TARDIS is a police box because he landed in a junkyard in 1960s London and the chameleon circuit broke, and he either couldn’t fix it or didn’t care to. This will not be retconned – if it is retconned, I shall ignore it.

    Regen limit is unexplained, who knows if it ever will be.

    >The David Tennant era is back, baby.
    As I feared.

    I assume Ko was a Time Lord. Why else would he touch the controls like that and use such specific language? Maybe the Doctor knew this, which is why she just let an innocent old man kill himself on her behalf.

    Everything Quinn said.

    #257908

    Ben Saunders

    The Doctor having infinite regens could possibly explain why he was able to give River some of his regeneration energy to heal her broken wrist, why he was able to threaten the Cyber-Planner with regeneration, why he says he’s unable to regenerate due to the poison in Let’s Kill Hitler despite not having any regenerations left, and why the Tesselecta Doctor attempted to regenerate, etc etc. But this could all be explained away before anyway – rule one: The Doctor lies, and it’s long been canon that a Time Lord on his last life has some regeneration energy left, but not enough to trigger an entire regeneration. In fact, it was old canon that some Time Lords could/did attempt to regenerate past this, with mixed results.

    #257909

    Ben Saunders

    Although that could explain why the Doctor was able to use/threaten the use of regeneration energy as Matt Smith… it doesn’t explain why he would THINK he was able to do so, since he thought he was on his last life! He’s be operating under the assumption that he only had a little left, as I just described.

    #257910

    Ben Saunders

    >RTD introduced the idea the Timelords are dead, Moffat undoes that and brings them back, then Chibnall goes and kills them all again?
    Apologies for bringing it up, but I’m getting Star Wars 7-8-9 vibes from this. 8 throws out all of the setup 7 established, then 9 carries on as if 8 didn’t happen, openly retconning it in various places.

    >Correct me if I’m wrong, but in this episode don’t they establish that their discovery of regeneration pre-dated their discovery of time travel?
    Rassilon and Omega, who very annoyingly aren’t so much as mentioned in the Gallifrey historydump, invented time travel together. I can’t remember what order it comes in, but it’s all very quick, if I remember my old lore well enough.

    #257911

    Ben Saunders

    It is now even more questionable that the Doctor managed to be a white man for so long. The Timeless Child is shown to be a black girl, a brown girl, a white girl, an Asian boy, a white boy, a brown girl, a black boy… and then a staggering TWENTY-ONE WHITE MALES IN A ROW (Morbius – Capaldi). What’s the in-universe explanation for this, what are the odds? Why would the Timeless Child regenerate into all these different earth-specific races? This has always been a weird thing about Who lore, it got weirder in the modern show, and now it’s downright bizarre.

    #257912

    Ridley

    – The episode is called “The Timeless Children”, so who were the other ones then?

    The regenerating Cybermen as a borne from the Doctor/Master is the way I took it.

    #257913

    Ridley

    Mamma mia.

    #257914

    quinn_drummer

    > The Doctor having infinite regens could possibly explain why he was able to give River some of his regeneration energy to heal her broken wrist

    if regenerations have an imposed limit, why does River have a limit at all? Why couldn’t she heal herself?

    I’m struggling with my history of River here, but we only see 3 lives of River Song right? The little girl in the space suit, Melody, and River. We never actually see the little girl regen into Melody, but we’re sort of led to assume that’s what happened right?

    I’m not sure where I’m going with this …

    Basically, River (a huge massive important part of the last era of Who) has become an anomoly that can’t easily be explained, when before, it had fairly easily been explained and we accepted it.

    > and then a staggering TWENTY-ONE WHITE MALES IN A ROW

    Just copying from the Discord to add to the discussion here

    well, the Doctor doesn’t have control over how he turns out does he, but there are things that can affect it (ignoring 2-3 for the time being) such as 12 being the face of the guy from Pompai, that was the Doctor’s sub-consious reminding him to be kind. So perhaps there’s other little elements that play into it, and for 21 lives the Doctor identified best as a white male.

    You’d have to then try and find an explanation as to why, after all that time, that identity completely fell away and the outward expression was to become white female. Maybe 12 not wanting to regenerate at all kick started an absolutely complete overhaul and forced a completely new “identity” so to speak
    to add to the 12 example … 9-11 are all the Doctor getting younger, running away from the War Doctor and the terrible things he’d done.

    the getting younger thing may not be explicitely stated, but it is implied and can be inferred from interactions 10+11 have with War
    but if we take 12 as the setting of the canon that subconciousness plays a role sometimes, then it can be assumed it plays a role all the time
    or at least more often than has been explictely stated

    #257919

    Ben Saunders

    Yeah, River is a huge anomaly, now. Even if you don’t like “Amy and Rory fucked in the time vortex” as an explanation, that is at least an explanation. Now we have a sort of situation where, outside of bringing back a character who’s arc is very much over and done with, there’s no real REASON to explain it, other than to satisfy some nerd’s continuity grumbles. So I think we’re going to have to keep grumbling. It would be extremely interesting to have River and Jodie interact – do you offend people by having them avoid any sort of hanky-panky altogether, implying that lesbianism is too taboo for TV (although we’ve already had Vastra/Jenny, which did draw a few complaints), or do you invite criticism from those who would view the two women so much as kissing as oversexualisation? I know what I’d like to see, but I think we can all be glad that I am not in control of Doctor Who in any form.

    #257920

    Ben Saunders

    It’d be like that TNG episode where Beverly is suddenly not attracted to her old partner because she is now in a female body. This is of course a perfectly natural reaction since you cannot just force a straight person to become bisexual, as much as certain people like to say sexuality is fluid (for everyone, it isn’t) and everybody is a little bi (they aren’t). I’ve seen a few people complain that the episode isn’t progressive enough and that Beverly should have just been fine with it, but I do enjoy the drama that her being resistant to it brings to the episode.

    #257923

    Veni

    So I actually watched the finale and I was pretty insulted by it not gonna lie. Can’t see me every enjoying Doctor Who under this canon.

    #257936

    Flap Jack

    I was going to throw out some headcanon regarding River here – Is the accidental way she became a Time Lord or the fact that she’s a human the deciding factor somehow? Is the “infinite regenerations” thing a guarantee if they don’t deliberately block it, or is it still conditional? – but it really doesn’t feel worth it to think about that for too long.

    Because honestly, if we’re limiting the scope to “how Time Lord regeneration works”, Let’s Kill Hitler was multiple levels of canon fuckery worse than this episode was. That was the real can of worms. “Anyone can be born a Time Lord if their conception happens while their parents were time travelling” is like the “I’m half human, on my mother’s side” of the 2010s. New writers aren’t going to go out of their way to directly undo it… but they probably wish you’d pretend it never happened.

    #257938

    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    I think you can fudge the River thing by saying that the Time Lords must have imbued TARDISes, which are living things, with the regeneration DNA. We’re told that River could regenerate because she was conceived in the TARDIS, so it’s all perfectly consistent if you assume that they spliced the special DNA into their time machines as well as themselves.

    Personally, I’m kind of OK with everything that was revealed about the Doctor, although I do prefer the idea of her being some random renegade to her being an integral part of Gallifreyan history that was always destined to be special. But ultimately I don’t care much about canon, or continuity changing, or things we thought we knew being wrong, because it’s all just bollocks that’s been made up by somebody, and the next person who comes along will just pick and choose what they want to keep and discard the rest. But it was all so fucking BORING. That’s the problem.

    #257942

    Lily

    Fuck everything about this.

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    #257945

    Nick R

    I wrote a post but I think it got eaten by the spam filter. Probably because I put three links in it.

    #257944

    Nick R

    In the heartfelt conversation between Graham and Yaz, I couldn’t help myself filling in the blank:

    Graham: “You ain’t got a time machine… or a sonic…”

    Me: “Or a character…”

    It may be due to my high tolerance for expository infodumps, but I didn’t hate the finale. At least, I didn’t dislike it anywhere near as much as Elizabeth Sandifer and her commenters. Earlier in this topic some Star Wars comparisons were posted, but nothing that compares to “Finally, we can all see what The Rise of Skywalker would have looked like on a shitty BBC budget.” Wow, don’t pull your punches – that’s harsh!

    I’m not keen on making the Doctor the origin of all regenerations on Gallifrey, and as people have pointed out, it definitely didn’t live up to the Master’s claims of how devastating the news would be (though I suppose it provides motivation for the Master’s renewed hatred of the Doctor). But I don’t think it’ll permanently damage/break the show as some of the critics are saying. I don’t mind the revelation that the Doctor had pre-Hartnell regenerations – even ones in which they acted as a morally questionable Gallifreyan secret agent, doing things of which a modern Doctor would not approve.

    It might be beneficial: as with John Hurt, the introduction of previously unseen regenerations could give us a chance to see how other actors might play other versions of the Doctor in one-off events, without those actors needing to commit to doing a full series. I suppose that option was always available to them – but until now, one-off guest star regenerations had to be from some unspecified time in the future, as with Tom Baker’s Curator, and what The Next Doctor initially looked like it was going to do.

    #257949

    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    (I published it, but due to the unique way G&T is built, it’s now below your comment about your previous comment)

    #257951

    Nick R

    Thanks! How appropriately timey-wimey.

    #257952

    Pete Part Three

    Is Chibnall under the impression that he’s still writing Broadchurch and the final episode of the season has to be a bunch of flashbacks and explaining? Only problem here was that he set up bugger all in the way of a mystery all season beyond saying “There is a mystery”.

    30 minutes boring of tedious fanwank that did nothing except extend the possibilities of storytelling in a show which had no real limits anyway. And once we start to wonder why any ANY of this matters, the main character comes to the realisation it doesn’t. So, um, that was a worthwhile use of time.

    All that stuff that Moffat did with the Doctor’s real-name (which this new twist probably contradicts but fuck it); it was tiresome, but at least there was always an acknowledgement there that the show would never be so bold as to reveal it, as nothing could quite live up the hype. With this Chibnall twist, I get the impression that we’re intended to want The Doctor to go on some quest to find out her original home planet and who her real parents were. It’s been over 50 years. WE DON’T CARE. Just give us a fun show with nice sci-fi writing and decent characters.

    Meanwhile, some tiresome stuff with the Cyberman, the promise of yet more revelations next year that will swap illogical nonsense exposition for story, some desperate mugging by The Master and a truly embarrassing scene where Chibnall tries to convince us that Yaz is a well-written character by having another character remark on some characteristics the writers have never seen fit to give her.

    A truly terrible piece of television.

    #257953

    Dave

    I know from experience that Yaz has quite a lot of kid appeal, and is a good gateway character role model type for young girls.

    I’ve heard adult fans moan a lot about how thin her characterisation is, and while I think that’s true to some extent, it doesn’t prevent her functioning as a good companion for the series from a child viewer’s POV.

    The nature of the show means there has to be something for everyone in there, and it’s worth remembering that it might not all be for you. (Just the same as a lot of the jokes and references sprinkled throughout often mean nothing to children watching.)

    #257954

    Ridley

    I liked the regenerating Cyberman (wish it had changed appearance though) and the Master.

    I can lol no the Doctor being the Chosen One while awaiting the undo but it is another example of, I presume, Chibnall’s dodgy politics. Had taken the Time Lord Cybermen to be reanimated corpses inside so thought it was good way to avoid the death particle being a mass killing by the Doctor if she was just oblierating dead tissue then the show made a point of saying they were people. So… oh.

    Murdering Cybermen also cures dyspraxia.

    #257955

    Ben Saunders

    Isn’t it really problematic to imply that people with dyspraxia can just get over it when it’s really important for them to do so? It trivialises their condition, right?

    #257958

    Dave

    No, as I understand it most sufferers of dyspraxia don’t experience it consistently and it’s a condition that can come and go, not being a problem for every activity. And it affects every sufferer differently.

    (Which makes it a hard thing to write as a character trait without making the writing seem wildly inconsistent, especially in a show that requires your character to be leaping atop trains and throwing bombs long distances with precision.)

    #257959

    quinn_drummer

    “Anyone can be born a Time Lord if their conception happens while their parents were time travelling” is like the “I’m half human, on my mother’s side” of the 2010s.

    I see the “half human” line as an example of something we’re ready to forget quickly when picking and choosing canon quite often, but I think there is a fundamental difference between a line like this and something like how River born with Regeneration capabilities.

    Firstly it was one single line. It can much more easily be read as The Doctor lying or sort of joking about it. We don’t really know his motivation for saying it, and it is never again expanded upon, so it is much easier to write off as, even at the point of being said, not being the case and not being canon in any respect.

    Secondly, the context of that line is that it is delivered in a one of TV movie that had the express ambition of rebooting the show and making it more palatable to American audiences. We understand it was trying to fuck around with the show a little, and we understand it failed quite badly. It didn’t succeed in its mission and none of the events of that movie are ever really expanded upon again. The most we can take from it is that the 8th Doctor exists. As a one off, writers have largely ignored everything else.

    With the River thing, that is a much more prominent part of the shows history, appearing in the middle of the current shows run, and is used multiple times and is a fairly important story detail that spans several episodes. It much harder to ignore and isn’t something I would expect anyone could be as flippant with.

    There was ways of working River and The Timeless Child’s origins and abilities in together (all we need to establish is that the Child was born in a time vortex/that boundary and her abilities were what led her race to abandon her, because it scared them – this also then undoes the potential issue of there being a race of beings out there that regenerate infinitely by birth)… and perhaps that will happen at some point. Perhaps it will be ignored entirely, but I don’t think if that is the case, that River’s abilities become something we ignore as non-canon when re-watching the show, as that is far too much to ask.

    #257960

    Flap Jack

    Well, I didn’t really mean that the circumstances were identical. The River Song thing does indeed have a bigger importance in the story, Segal did have more of an excuse than Moffat etc., I agree with that. But either way, they’re both new continuity details that don’t fit well with the rest of the show, and writers covering the topic would prefer you not to remember them even if you wouldn’t explicitly class them as “non-canon”.

    Also, just to be clear, the “half-human” thing is not only one line. It’s a plot point. The Master can’t get into the Eye of Harmony in the TARDIS (another bizarre continuity confusion that the Moffat era doubled down on for some reason) because it needs a human eye to open it. He even says “Ah, of course, The Doctor’s half-human” or something along those lines.

    #257961

    quinn_drummer

    Also, just to be clear, the “half-human” thing is not only one line. It’s a plot point. The Master can’t get into the Eye of Harmony in the TARDIS (another bizarre continuity confusion that the Moffat era doubled down on for some reason) because it needs a human eye to open it. He even says “Ah, of course, The Doctor’s half-human” or something along those lines

    I’ll admit its been years since I watched the film, I thought it just a throw away line.

    But this doesn’t make sense, as the Master in the movie has taken over a human host hasn’t he? He’d be more human than any half-human Doctor.

    Maybe I should re-watch the film (god help me) before I comment any more on this.

    #257963

    Dave

    Reports that Graham and Ryan will leave the show after the upcoming special:

    https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/03/doctor-bradley-walsh-tosin-cole-quits-12337489/

    Makes sense given their other commitments.

    #257966

    quinn_drummer

    If they did leave, I’d hope Chibnall would do at least one series with just Yaz. See how he is writing a show with just 2 main characters. Might force him to actually characterise them and give them shit to do.

    #257967

    Dave

    Yes, with them gone, for Yaz the only way is up.

    #257968

    Ben Saunders

    >However, having the Eye of Harmony on board the TARDIS contradicted the idea that the Eye itself was on Gallifrey. To reconcile this, fan speculation held that this was not the real Eye, but merely a name applied to a remote link to the actual Eye that powered the craft (possibly in the same way the Time Lords transmitted energy from Gallifrey to the TARDIS in The Three Doctors), or alternatively, the Eye had been somehow transferred to the TARDIS. The former conjecture became established fanon, and was taken up in the spin-off media and was eventually confirmed by the official BBC website.

    #257969

    Flap Jack

    But this doesn’t make sense, as the Master in the movie has taken over a human host hasn’t he? He’d be more human than any half-human Doctor.

    YOU’D THINK. But man, when you consider the sheer chaos of that film’s production, it’s a miracle it was even halfway coherent or at all enjoyable.

    And despite these snafus, Philip Segal was actually champion of continuity by fighting so hard to bring Sylvester McCoy back to regenerate, arguably to the detriment of the actual quality of the movie.

    #257974

    Pete Part Three

    Give me the TVMovie over anything Chibnall has ever done with Doctor Who.

    #257982

    Ben Saunders

    Anthony Ainley’s Master took over a “human” (Tremas of Traken), too. It’s just treated like another body/”regeneration” for him.

    I would rather watch the TV Movie than any episode of Chibnall Who, as well. I wonder how the fuck Fugitive/Timeless will hold up on rewtach, given that the only interesting thing about those episodes was the mystery, although I don’t intend to find out – I’ve still only seen most of S7 onwards of New Who once each, and there are so many others I’d rewatch sooner.

    #257986

    Ben Kirkham

    Ok. Time to vent my spleen. I’ve been a Doctor Who fan all of my life. I’m 34 now. The series has given me so much wonder, hope, humour, scares, thrills etc. But not anymore.

    I struggle to see how anybody can see what Chibnall has done as anything other than vandalism. Aside from the idea of Pre-Hartnell Doctors (which I’ve never liked anyway), Chibnall has ripped the very hearts and soul out of the character of the Doctor. To say that he/she wasn’t really someone that left Gallifrey to rebel against the hierarchy and help people *just because he cared,* he’s turned the character into the Sci-Fi Mary Sue cliché; a version of the baby Jesus that is the key to everything. It’s an awful development. By introducing a seemingly endless plethora of early Doctors, the character has been diluted and the other Doctor’s feel compromised as a result. “This adds to the mythology,” I’ve heard people say. You add to mythologies by moving forwards and creating new characters, new stories and new situations, not by crowbarring in some poorly-conceived origin. But Chibnall is creatively bankrupt and sees this as innovative. Said “origin” by the way leaves a bad taste in the mouth. A mother repeatedly torturing, murdering and experimenting on her child (adopted or not) in what I’ve always believed is a television series for the whole family, leaves me slack jawed in disbelief. There’s something really sick about how casually it was dealt with, too. This whole obsession the series has now with regeneration. It was supposed to be some quirky thing to allow for a change of lead actor, but now it’s the focus of the show. To be fair, that did start with Moffat.

    Hideous, franchise-damaging retcon aside: Jodie Whittaker isn’t very good. I’m sure she’s a good actress but she is woefully miscast as The Doctor. This isn’t a gender complaint either; a female Doctor can and should work. But Whittaker is not up to the task. She is irritating in the extreme, lacks emotional depth and the quirky moments seem incredibly forced and childish. She hasn’t helped herself in interviews as it’s clear that she has a distain for the classic series, in particular. Not every Doctor has to be a rabid fan of the show, sure, but Whittaker seems to regard the legacy of the series as an embarrassment and is keen to rewrite it, from what I can gather. To be fair to her performance, the script gives her nothing to work with. No Doctor has ever felt so badly detached from the others.

    I find the character of the 13th Doctor to be fraudulent. This is supposed to be the same character that wouldn’t destroy the Daleks at birth because he saw the bigger picture of their existence. This is the same character that very quietly decided to take Wilfred Mott’s place to save the life of an old man because it was the right thing to do. A hero. This is the same character that argued with the Master about staying to stand and fight to protect a small community from the Cybermen, even though he knew it was almost certainly futile. This is the same character who sacrificed his life to save Peri, a young girl who he hardly even knew at that point. But the 13th Doctor isn’t like that. She doesn’t comfort her friend when he worries about his cancer returning, even though we’ve seen the “socially awkward” Doctor have tender and emotionally resonating moments with his companions throughout the history of the series. She is prepared to let another person take the fall so that she can escape. This isn’t the Doctor.

    I’ve stuck with Chibnall’s era out of a loyalty and hope that it would get better. I’ve felt through every episode that this series isn’t welcoming me anymore. Telling people to feel emotions doesn’t work. All of Chibnall’s emotional scenes ring hollow. I don’t believe or understand the Doctor’s attitude toward her “fam” (groan) or believe that she really cares about them.

    Chibnall is a terrible choice of showrunner. I watched ‘World Enough and Time’ and ‘The Doctor Falls’ the other day. Moffat made many mistakes but he clearly adored the show and when on top form, he delivered brilliant Doctor Who. I also watched ‘The Waters of Mars,’ and marvelled at how a show so clever and emotionally complex that featured characters I could root for and believe in has degenerated into such a pitiful mess. It’s also telling how he views the series pre-Whittaker. In Spyfall, Stephen Fry’s character is corrected on the Doctor’s gender by her saying “I’ve had an upgrade.” Awful. What’s wrong with her just saying that she wanted a change? It’s hard not to think Chibnall has an agenda with dialogue like that.

    I refuse to let this retcon change the way I view Doctor Who 1963-2017. Hopefully someone will do a fan edit of ‘Twice Upon A Time’ where the screen fades to the credits when Capaldi starts regenerating. It’s a far more fitting end, the First Doctor and the final Doctor in one final episode together.

    I’m devastated. I like to believe that I’m a positive, progressive person that has always adapted to changes in the series over the years. But this is it for me. Series 13 can come and go, and then the best thing at the moment would be to give the series 10 years off. Then bring it back, just like RTD did with Rose (those were the days) and give me a hero I can believe in again. In 1989, Doctor Who ended with dignity. Now it’s ending screaming.

    It’s been painful yet cathartic to write this and I’m going to my DVD shelf to enjoy REAL Doctor Who now.

    #257988

    Flap Jack

    To say that he/she wasn’t really someone that left Gallifrey to rebel against the hierarchy and help people *just because he cared,* he’s turned the character into the Sci-Fi Mary Sue cliché; a version of the baby Jesus that is the key to everything.

    I don’t think it actually does this? They’re sure to make it clear that the Doctor lost all her pre-Hartnell memories when she became Hartnell, and the secret of her origin was suppressed so heavily that most of the Time Lords wouldn’t have known about it. The reason the Doctor left Gallifrey and the reason she became a hero have not been changed. She even makes a speech and has a speech made to her saying how this doesn’t change who she is. (Which of course raises a different major criticism of “why even bother including this twist, then?”, but that’s an individual story complaint, not a series-vandalism complaint.) From a meta perspective, The Doctor is important to Gallifreyan mythology because she’s important now, but in-universe it’s just a coincidence.

    Heck, they even manage to miss out the explanation of how The Master even deduced that The Doctor was The Timeless Child in the first place, which smacks of “we can undo this if we change our minds about it”.

    Ultimately the canon of Doctor Who is rewritten all the time and the formula of the series means that these details are rarely that important anyway. This really isn’t as monumental a deal as everyone is determined to declare it is.

    Hideous, franchise-damaging retcon aside: Jodie Whittaker isn’t very good.

    I couldn’t disagree more. Inconsistently written, yes, but Jodie has given some amazing performances as the character. She has her quirks that some people find annoying, but they’re essentially Tennant or Smith-esque quirks, not something un-Doctorish.

    She is prepared to let another person take the fall so that she can escape. This isn’t the Doctor.

    Let’s be real here: Six would 100% do this.

    Hopefully someone will do a fan edit of ‘Twice Upon A Time’ where the screen fades to the credits when Capaldi starts regenerating. It’s a far more fitting end, the First Doctor and the final Doctor in one final episode together.

    Someone? Fading out and then cutting to the credits is one of the simplest edits you could do. Be the change you want to see in the world, Ben.

    But really, if you see The Doctor regenerate rather than die, that confirms that Twelve is not “the final Doctor” then, doesn’t it. I guess you mean “final” from a meta perspective, that if you don’t see Thirteen, you can just pretend the show ended there. But if Series 11 weren’t confirmed, they wouldn’t have cast a new Doctor or done a regeneration in the first place. So the real goal should be a fan edit where Twice Upon A Time has no regeneration in it all. Now that’s a challenge.

    In 1989, Doctor Who ended with dignity. Now it’s ending screaming.

    It isn’t ending.

    #257989

    quinn_drummer

    “This adds to the mythology,” I’ve heard people say. You add to mythologies by moving forwards and creating new characters, new stories and new situations, not by crowbarring in some poorly-conceived origin.

    Ellard has made the observation that the show has now moved away from Doctor Who, and become Doctor What. Because now we’re (or at least the characters within the show) not left questioning who this person is, we’re (and some of the characters in the show) are left asking what this person is. Because she isn’t Gallifreyan and she isn’t by nature it seems, The Doctor.

    Whatever the pre-Hartnell version of this person is, The Division element and the stuff with Ruth seems to suggest more of a secret agent or sorts, thats willing to kill etc. Which is the antithesis of The Doctor. We had that once, with War Doctor. And that was meant to be a mental, one off version that chose that life because it needed to be done to end war and save life/the universe etc. The War Doctor was meant to be the anomaly. But now, of all the potential lives The Doctor has had, it seem the version that is the Doctor has only be a part of this person for a short space of time their life, (12/13 regenerations that we’ve seen) vs the untold number of Ruth like agents that came before Hartnell. So this isn’t a person that is ultimately caring, but for a little blimp if their endless life has done some good, whilst the rest has done god knows what.

    a female Doctor can and should work

    And ironically, Ruth sort of proves that that is somewhat possible, given the right script, dialogue, and direction to work with.

    I don’t believe or understand the Doctor’s attitude toward her “fam” (groan) or believe that she really cares about them.

    I’ve been rewatching some old episodes recently (End of series 3, 9 and 10) and in every scene, there is a caring bond and a familiarity between the Doctor and his companion that just is not replicated anywhere in Chibnall’s era. That’s in part probably due to too many companions to build on those relationships and probably because they always get booted off to the side of the story and don’t get to interact with the Doctor too much. And there isn’t any room in the story for the Doctor to sit down with these people and eat a plate of chips and have a chat about their lives and what is going on.

    “I’ve had an upgrade.” Awful

    I don’t think this is a comment on pre-Chibnall who or gender or anything. I think it is genuinely meant to just be a witty come back to someone being confronted by what they didn’t expect to see, which is within keeping with the character of the Doctor. If it had been a male Doctor saying it to someone who expected to meet someone else, then it would have a) still worked and b) we wouldn’t be talking about it.

    #257994

    Ben Saunders

    It’s not even the Timeless Child nonsense which killed the show for me, it was series 11; I only watch out of some sense of sunk cost fallacy/brand loyalty and boredom now, and to not miss out on the fabulous discussions online.

    #257999

    quinn_drummer

    The only good things to come out of this Timeless Child stuff is that it has generated a lot of discussion which I’m quite enjoying. Picking apart the idea of it and trying to make it all make sense, even if that is a futile endeavour

    #258015

    Pete Part Three

    I wouldn’t bother to try to fit it in with the continuity of the Moffat era, as Chibnall certainly couldn’t be arsed.

    #258027

    Ridley

    Time can be rewritten.

    #258033

    Pete Part Three

    Shame Chibnall’s scripts couldn’t be.

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