Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Doctor Who – Series 12

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  • #257345
    Dave
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant
    #257383
    Ben Kirkham
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    I think it probably is that, yes.

    #257397
    si
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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

    That’s just Chibnall bad at writing

    #257405
    si
    Participant

    That’s just Chibnall bad at writing

    Whatever, it’s still better than s11.

    #257407
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    routes.

    #257448

    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

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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

    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
    Participant

    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

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Member

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

    #257588
    Dave
    Participant

    The joke, there.

    #257593
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    *inclined, not “in line”.

    #257694
    Dave
    Participant

    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
    Participant

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

    #257696
    si
    Participant

    Best episode of the series for me.

    #257697
    Veni
    Member

    Ben come back, this one’s apparently good again

    #257698

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    (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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    >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
    Participant

    This *is* fun! Are you mad?

    #257722
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    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
    Member

    Are we watching the same stuff

    #257726
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    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
    Member

    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
    Participant

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

    #257772
    Dave
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    >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
    Participant

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

    #257775
    Dave
    Participant

    I was reminded of Magrathea and Slartibartfast towards the end.

    #257776

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    >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
    Participant

    “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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Member

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

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

    #257812
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Member

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

    #257822
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    You people honestly need to relax lmao what a response

    #257827
    Hamish
    Participant

    #257828
    Dave
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    #257873
    Dave
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

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

    #257877
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Member

    How was series 12 overall

    #257881
    Dave
    Participant

    Okay

    #257882
    Veni
    Member

    So the tally is:

    Series 11 – Trash
    Series 12 – Okay

    #257885
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    Just fucking bad.

    #257891
    Veni
    Member

    So the new tally is:

    Series 11 – Trash
    Series 12 – Just fucking bad

    #257894
    srmcd1
    Participant

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

    #257896
    Dave
    Participant

    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
    Participant

    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
    Participant

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

    #257903
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    I mean… sure, OK. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    #257904

    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.

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