Doctor Whom

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Clix » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:37 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Well, it's imminent. Sunday 7th. Though I may well not get to see the season premiere (slipping into leftpondian, there) until a few days later due to various things, and I've no idea how BBC Worldwide is scheduling on foreign outlets.



My understanding that it will be broadcasts in all outlets at the same time as the UK premier. In my case BBCAmerica will show it at 1345 Eastern, with repeats through out the day/evening. My personal plan is to record it and then watch it so I can zap the commercials.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:59 pm UTC

Well, to my surprise I saw it 'live'.

Still composing my opinion, but I'll first leave this here.

(May be a spoiler, in a sidelong way, so really only for those who have seen it. But memorably identifiable as seen from the motorway by millions.)

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Flumble » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:13 pm UTC

I nearly saw it live; it never stops amazing me how quickly a torrent is (highly) available after the broadcast.

It had a bit much going on, or, rather, it had much going on during several parts of the episode and didn't have clear climaxes (climaces? climates?), but more like smooth hills with a gradual increase and decrease of tension.
I, err, need another 20 episodes to compose an opinion about this doctor. And I hope only 1 or 2 of 3 companions remain by the end of the second episode. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship was a mess. Well, that had a lot more than "just" three companions, but still.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby flicky1991 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:52 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:And I hope only 1 or 2 of 3 companions remain by the end of the second episode.
All three are companions for the whole season. Sorry. (It's not the first time we've had three - the original line-up had three companions, Fifth Doctor started out with three, etc.)
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:30 pm UTC

I'm sure people with actual objections to it have said "there's been tickboxes for diversity - skin-colours of white, black, and 'shady'" or similar. The two women in the party are powerful and determined (one man is finding his confidence, the other may have had a lifetime already we do not know but seems to have been, literally, retiring if not shy). But I've not sought out those corners of the internet. Nor asked yet the opinion of the one person I know who definitely inhabits the overlap between Whovian and Bigot.

I'm familiar with the dominant accent-groups well enough, of both Doc and companions. I'm wondering how that assault on the senses goes down with the international audience? (You liked Daphne from Frasier, you say? Ecclestone was closer to that.)


As to the series proceeding, I think they've equipped themselves with building blocks for development. Unfulfilled Jasmin (a second year probationary police-officer must have plenty of interesting skills she's dying to use), new-breath-of-life Graham (like Brian Williams, speaking of Dinosaurs On Spaceships, but with plenty more scope), and a potentially eager Ryan who needs to redevelop his lost confidence. The latter two having lost their main anchor on Earth (not that that mattered, as it turned out!) and the first may not be too upset to have been temporarily forcibly divorced from the job she was perhaps 'married to' (perhaps against her culture, so parents may be distant).

I think a four-hander might well work. Three different aspects of humanity revolving (and negotiating with each other, when they have different viewpoints) as they wobbily revolve around the rather eccentric hub that is Thirteen. With Amy and Rory it was excitement and reluctance, respectively, tangoing around the Doctor, when together, but it seemed more like Amy orbiting like a planet and Rory as her moon. Single companions tend to Dr Watson the Time Lord Sherlock, relentlessly. But imagine the possibilities as different companions get to be the "one who needs it explained to" (though I suspect Ryan may do that more than the others, until he surprises us) and yet another may be the one to do that. Either from native experience or by down-translating the initial Doctor Explanation.


I was hoping to get another view, before giving much more about my impression, but for a starter I'm going to liken this to Eleventh Hour as a post-regen reboot/reaquisition. In a number of obvious ways. With some Deep Breath and a tad of Christmas Invasion obviously. I'm not sure it was the most consistently gripping story progression (slow start, could easily have been a regional drama with no SF elements!) but pieces came together.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Flumble » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:45 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Flumble wrote:And I hope only 1 or 2 of 3 companions remain by the end of the second episode.
All three are companions for the whole season. Sorry. (It's not the first time we've had three - the original line-up had three companions, Fifth Doctor started out with three, etc.)

Aww, bollocks, that means less Doctor. Then again, if they have to be contemporary humans (who are as stupid and unfamiliar with anything outside Earth as we are), having multiple companions may be the next best thing. Hadn't considered what Soupspoon describes, that multiple companions can be valuable to each other, whereas one companion is mostly just an asset to the Doctor.

[edit]made the last sentence more legible
Last edited by Flumble on Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:57 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:33 pm UTC

I liked how the fact that the Doctor's a woman now (or rather, that half an hour ago she was a tall white-haired Scotsman) was just played off as but one of the many strange things about this person, at least from the perspective of the new companions and Thirteen herself, and didn't steal focus for the whole episode.

I do kind of wonder about the retconned implications on the Doctor's earlier life that this and some of the build-up to it have. She says she hasn't bought women's clothes in a long time, and in an earlier episode Twelve says something about when he was a little boy, then says something like "at least I think I was a boy at the time". Since every incarnation of the Doctor we've seen on screen has been a man, things like those seem to suggest that there are previous incarnations of the Doctor that we've never seen on screen, and that the First Doctor was not actually the first Doctor.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:50 am UTC

With new companion(s) also across a regeneration-boundary, they don't even know that this crazy person hasn't been a woman. Well, I think she mentions it in the train, IIRC, but there's weirder stuff going on that she lands in the middle of*, and at that point she's not even capable of giving her name. Later on she mentions she's not even human, and by that time nobody has any reason to object.

It might have been different in a different time and a different place (I'm wondering if the TARDIS field will hep, cover for that, as it does weird clothes, etc, except when the dressing-up box is arbitrarily raided** for… reasons) but this is contemporary urban Britain and she's dealing with two men who each know and love a strong, professional (medical!) woman who is also there, and leaps into the gathering storm of the adventure, plus the other strong professional woman who isn't going to question that aspect of this strange new person.


On past lives, canon (I think) has it that the First Doctor is the oldest age reached by the incarnation that is the boy seen in the flashback scene of (I think) young Doctor and Young Master traipsing off to stare into the naked Time Vortex in Sound Of Drums. (Or another time, but definitely referenced by Timothy Dalton arranging to contaminate the latter with the four-beat mindworm that contributes to him going mad like he always did... Timey Wimey!) And the count of Doctors (including the sometimes disavowed War Doctor and that bit where Ten regenerated into himself and dumped the metacrisis into the 'handy' recepticle) sort of matches the "twelve regenerations, thirteen incarnations including the original one" idea at the point when Eleven gets a much desired fresh set (another twelve?) from Time Lord HQ after that long stint on Trenzalore.

Though it's a dubious count, especially as during Eleven's time he gets a lives-saving dump of younger River's erstz regeneration-energy at one point and is "remembered anew back into the post-Pandorica universe" by Amy. Either of those things could mess up the tally as well. But Eleven is sure enough the limit was reached.. (Although Twelve's sort-of-7000 years of re-encountering The Veil in that castle in the sea must not have used anything up?)

I think any "buying women's clothing" might have been during Romana's companionship (as a courtesy for a fellow Time Noble?) or just for any of the earthgirls at some between-adventure lull. The several generations (of locals) of time in holding off the enemies on Trenzalore alone is long enough to have made that and Twelve's entire tenure the period the Doctor has not had a sniff of a ladies' clothing department. That also couldn't be accommodated by the TARDIS's cupboards.

Rose Tyler, at least, was initially directed to find the wardrobe "first left, second right, third on the left, go straight ahead, under the stairs, past the bins, fifth door on the left" or thereabouts, and has been actually seen in other forms before and after that point. Eleven initially reoutfitted himself 'in the wild', like Thirteen, but most of the others seemed to already have this wardrobe stocked sufficient for their tastes and also any passengers (many having been female).

But then we know The Doctor can be a bit of an unreliable narrator about his(/her) past, if we shift the blame entirely from merely the inconsistent/lore-ignoring scriptwriting, so who knows what the real truth is, and even if The Doctor is capable of keeping proper track of such stretched-truths!?!


* Coincidence? Or nascent story-arc, a la Bad Wolf meme or Missy appearing in the background to each tale?
** Often then to find they've actually landed in the wrong time/place/climate, And the companion still tends to get away with it, except where plot demands, while the Doctor tends to get a pass.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:06 am UTC

Yeah, we've accounted for 13 lives, so him having been her previously would be a genuine retcon, rather than just a revelation of a previously unmentioned part of the past. Him having cross-dressed in the past would not be a retcon (or even terribly surprising). But we also know he had a family and someone (or something) stocked the TARDIS wardrobe. I think the bigger surprise is that the Doctor has been clothes shopping in the past, rather than that it included buying women's clothes...

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:12 am UTC

Given that we've had at least one episode revolving entirely around the fact that the TARDIS can just make you anything you want, that's a good point. Why ever shop for anything?

And I should be clear that when I say "retcon" I don't (necessarily) mean changing previously-established history. Revealing previously-unrevealed history fits too. Say for example if it were revealed that "the Doctor" had previously (before the start of the show) used up a set of 13 lives and then gotten another set (just like Eleven-who-was-actually-Thirteen did, when he became "Twelve"), but didn't start using the name "the Doctor" until he got that first set, so in the same sense that the "War Doctor" wasn't "the Doctor", none of that first set of lives were "the Doctor" either, but they were still the same person who has gone by that name... and some of them could have been women.

Given the Doctor's ancient role in the Cartmel Master Plan (unimplemented as it may be), something like that wouldn't be so far-fetched.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Jorpho » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:23 am UTC

We never did hear about The Valeyard again. (Except for that bit before the Doctor jumped into his own timestream. What a silly mess that was.)

Anyway, calling it now:
Spoiler:
By the end of the season, the Doctor will have had to make a Terrible, Terrible Choice and will be responsible for "authorizing" the hunters.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:22 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:She says she hasn't bought women's clothes in a long time
Soupspoon wrote:I think any "buying women's clothing" might have been during Romana's companionship
I'd just like to note that the last confirmed time was the Eleventh Doctor buying a dress for River Song. I think it was in one of the shorts they made for the DVDs.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:40 am UTC

Yeah I'm disappointed that with Eleven's "I'm actually Thirteen!" revelation, the whole setup for the Valeyard was just erased, because the Valeyard should have happened somewhere between TenTwo and "Eleven". I mean, I know, technically the Valeyard is just "somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation", and now that "final" and "thirteenth" are not synonyms, the Valeyard could happen anywhere any time! But then why would he have mentioned twelfth specifically. The whole WarDoctor/TenTwo thing has really screwed up... everything.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:18 am UTC

It's almost as if continuity is just on "occasionally smiling and nodding at in the street" terms with the series…

;)

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby moody7277 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:11 am UTC

Ghost Monument

Spoiler:
--First shot I was thinking "looks like the Improbability Drive kicked in"
--Apparently we might have another Danny Pink with Ryan saying "this is what I was trained for" *pew pew*
--The new TARDIS interior is going to take some getting used to. Especially the Stonehenge inner ring.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Flumble » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:15 pm UTC

"I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere."

...is one of the lines that unfortunately didn't make it into this week's episode set in space San Helios.
Are the Stenza going to be the new big bad? So far they feel amateurish if you compare their introduction with the introduction of the (2006) daleks or the weeping angels. Then again, travel a millennium into the future mid-season and suddenly they're a force to be reckoned with.

re: Ghost Monument
Spoiler:
moody7277 wrote:--Apparently we might have another Danny Pink with Ryan saying "this is what I was trained for" *pew pew*

Hmm, I'd be surprised if Ryan was in the military at some point. He seems more of a Call of Duty player.

It was weird how the doctor gave up so easily near the end of the episode. IIRC she said the tardis was phasing in and out of existence, so you can reasonably expect it to be out of phase for a bit when you arrive. Also there's lots of tech to work with, so she should be able to build a space ship in no time.
And I remember someone saying (while enumerating the hostilities of the planet) the air is toxic. Where did that come from? I'm inclined to say it was rather nourishing, since no one got hungry for a whole day.
Also where did she get the sunglasses? And why aren't they sonicked?

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:36 pm UTC

I recall reading somewhere that this series would be less "arc"y, more like single episodes that just stand on their own more, than the recent trends towards double-or-more interdependent sequences. Which is not to say I disliked Classic Who multi-episode serials in a single scenario with multiple cliff-hangers between, but the NuWho doubles/greater have been sitting in that uncanny valley between true serial (good) and Monster-Of-The-Week (good) and I'm thus hoping that what we're seeing is mostly down at the level of Arc Words. Only time (and relative dimensions) will tell!

Ghost Monument innards…
Spoiler:
The same alien species being mentioned is hopefully not a Missing Planets (Adipose nursery world, etc) level of Arc. But I doubt it's the last we'll hear of that.

These ostensibly-human two racers (when they saw the first tent, I was convinced it was another Satellite 5/Game Station game-show thing, and wasn't too far wrong) not having heard of humans/Earth put them (probably) well into the future°, so the falling/melting Tim Shaw could easily have provoked a cultural grudge-match of epic proportions in the time since his contemporary visit to Sheffield. - Assuming that these weren't inexplicable parallelly-developed humanoids to yet be so close to be without the need for breaking out the latex and make-up.

We know Tim came from "5000 galaxies away", or thereabouts, so we're not entirely sure where(/when) the failed attempt to zero in on the TARDIS reached out to with the same equipment and some slightly confused Timelord Knowhow. Or at least Doctor knowhow, having claimed and proven proficiency in transporter technology, e.g. with the Dalek Asylum.

Another likely arc-cue is the talking bandages/stranglers¹. I think it is their taunting of the Doctor that knocked her resolve to survive to the point where it became fragile at the end. Some of what they said to her might relate to the as-yet unresolved issue of Gallifrey (though I hope not) and links to her ep1 acknowledgement that she 'lost' all her family a long time ago, perhaps.

Ryan: No good balancing on a bike, does not like ladders, has good FPS experience (even if it doesn't help much) and might be the non-Doctor repository of random useful knowledge.

Yasmin: Does have a loving family (father, certainly, and her sister just would like her room, probably wouldn't kill her for it) so has more than just the tedious 'puppy-walking' phase of police-work to go back to (speaking of which, she's trusted to be the sole driver/oparator of a police patrol car. Maybe not qualified for full lone pursuits, but capable of more than the old-fashioned panda-cars…). So that revises my opinion.

Graham: Probably enjoying this the most? No job, back home, lost his love, has found more to life than he previously believed possible, even after the chemo got him into remission. If the medpod gave him the Translator Implant (to see further use even after the TARDIS can work its magic again?) and dealt with his exposure to vacuum (quicker than Ryan, though Ryan had maybe still held his breath, and that's the wrong thing to do!) then could it have brought him even from the threat of its return? Or yet a plotpoint.

TARDIS: Not sure yet about the internal design. The external design is greener, amongst other things. Is it perhaps anything to do with (in-universe) homage to the actual Sheffield police-box that was actually name-checked? Noting that while Classic Who TARDII tended to have internal doors divorced in design from the external doors (one always assumed an 'airlock' between the console room and the door that matched with the current/eternal external result of the chameleon circuit), and then NuWho had for a long while the inside of the door or inside of the main face with the door, now it's a full 3-sided-and-roof portico/porch 'add-on' to the inside. Interesting.

° Inconsistent with what we know about the End Of Time knowledge, among other less-far-future settings, unless it's in a relatively Dark Aged future/region where the ultimate origins of such obvious humaniforms is lost to most people, in an Asimovian Foundation Era sort of way.

¹ First impressions of them is that they went after Mr Grumpy Paranoid Misanthropic Contestant, whateverhisnamewas, because of his SniperBot² injuries. A mix between the Black Spot of the pirate ship caper and the bandages of the Mummy On The Orient Express. I thought they might be targeting the injured, to help but misguidedly so. That they were 'sentient', viciously and obviously designed to taunt (except when their target was asleep and there was just one of them there?) didn't come out until later.

² How rubbish were they? If they were produced by the scientists who developed flesh-eating water and all the other horrors (I presume the poisoned air was just "background-level not particularly healthy, like a smog only without the particulates" dangerous, at least for the (short³) day that they were to suffer it) then they must have been a very basic attempt from the beginning of their development and/or hamstrung. Compare with the Raston Warrior Robot from the classic era! And the only one who got hit was the one who should have been best in a shooting-match. Call Of Duty excepted.

³ Potential plot point missed. The deadline was to reach the goal before the next day, I think, and then later we find the suns were setting quicker than they should, so that might have introduced yet more urgency to the process. SFAIK, the night coming quicker was the only issue they had.
But I need to see the episode again, to be more thorough, and I've only just seen it the first time. And I'm sure there's something else I meant to mention but have forgotten about.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:38 pm UTC

I rather like the new TARDIS interior.

I do find it a bit odd that Sexy just decided to change her own desktop instead of waiting for the Doctor to ask for the change, though.

(I almost wrote "instead of waiting for daddymommy to ask" and didn't because that seemed too creepy in connection with Sexy, but I did like that joke and the subtle "still not completely used to being a woman" thing. I also liked that I could really see Capaldi saying "come to daddy" in Whitaker's performance; it really does feel like the same character with a new face. I thought Tenant/Smith had that too, but not Eccleston/Tenant or Smith/Capaldi, both of which were kind of disappointing transitions for that reason, IMO).
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:57 pm UTC

She may have had a lot of time alone, and nothing much else to do with herself. Literally. Even at a few seconds of 'real time', then jumping ahead "a thousand rotations" for the next few ticks of time. The phenomenon it provoked had been noted (if not originally discovered) by "the ancients" so even without invoking other Timey Wimeyness (like a Narniaesque accelerated inner-timeline) it still adds up. More so if time between appearances was still in synch, just out of phase, as we've seen invoked (End Of Time).

Could even be a visible sign of the onset of isolation-provoked senility. If that's ever needed for the future plotlines. Being adrift from the person she stole away and was clearly infatuated over.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby pkcommando » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:26 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I do find it a bit odd that Sexy just decided to change her own desktop instead of waiting for the Doctor to ask for the change, though.

It was the same as the 10-11 switch, too, though. 11 was locked out of the TARDIS while it was "rebuilding" (11's words) during Eleventh Hour and he had to be surprised what the TARDIS had cooked up for him. Notable that the rebuild was for the same reason - the predecessor damaging the TARDIS during a regeneration that had been significantly delayed. Probably either a default of the rebuilding process, or a result of the Doctor forgetting/not knowing to flip a certain switch.

Edit: Posted mid-thought, needed to finish that.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:06 pm UTC

Interesting episode, Rosa.

I got blind-sided by 'obvious' telegraphed plot-twists that didn't happen (which are still spoilers), such as:
Spoiler:
That was a proper Time Agent, he was there to stop Monster Of The Week (perhaps an intangible psychic infection type thing, that could inhabit anyone and anything) from disrupting History, and thought The Doctor ad her crew were its main means to do so, hence the animosity.

The belligerent cop was not a real cop (either the above MotW or, together/instead of the guy above, an embedded Time Agent).

In order to preserve causality, Graham has to become the bus-driver who went fishing, take his place and do more than not help Rosa, but actually initiate the whole arrest. Has to become the very person that Ryan's grandmother had portentously hoped he was nothing like.


Those aside, some loose ends.
Spoiler:
Sexy clearly determined that they needed to be there (it is canon that she does that sort of thing) to do the Quantum Leapesque "keeping right what is at threat of becoming wrong".. What about all the previous places she hopped into, between ep2 and ep3. Were they necessary to get everyone in the right frame of mind to become the Scoobies, perhaps?

(Maybe also wiggle-room for some Big Finish audio adventures, though with undeveloped characters who don't learn much about themselves in the process.)

You can barter for a vortex manipulator in such a notoriously harsh prison? That seems like a bad security breach.

Did he really get zapped far enough never to interfere with this season again? Ryan thinks he did, but I see potential for an Evil Leaper subplot there.

Lazy cop, didn't check the obvious escape route from the bathroom. Which seemed a handier egress/ingress than the original window (first* floor?) entryway. Unless the bin-alley's outlet onto the street was much more readily surveiled than the front-of-house, which should have been hinted at to make such sense.

* - second floor, that is, under 'Merkin numbering rules..


I'm assuming Tim Shaw's people never got mentioned. Hopefully not even alluded to in a Bad Wolf reveal that we'll learn later.

Practically, Yasmin is rejected as a Mexican in the diner but gets away with being in the White seats on the bus. It was questioned, but then shrugged off as "well, no problems then", even on Mr Main Bigot's bus. Timey-wimey Perception Filter smoothing that over? (Either just nudging the perceptions a little, or Sexy had to modulate things to get the crew to experience exactly the right amount of objection to get them in theroght frame of mind.)

Ryan getting sent off on his own, with still the threat of being another Emmett Till? Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! (Luckily he only mildly upset the whitefolks during that segment. And the cop(s) didn't bother him during Rosa's arrest.)

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:07 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Spoiler:
In order to preserve causality, Graham has to become the bus-driver who went fishing, take his place and do more than not help Rosa, but actually initiate the whole arrest. Has to become the very person that Ryan's grandmother had portentously hoped he was nothing like.
My dad said during the episode that he expected this was going to happen. I was pleased with the way it turned out instead, actually.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Jorpho » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:32 pm UTC

It felt that they were stretching a little to fill the whole running time.

Soupspoon wrote:
Spoiler:
Did he really get zapped far enough never to interfere with this season again? Ryan thinks he did, but I see potential for an Evil Leaper subplot there.


Spoiler:
Seems to me like you can't have a ramble on "History is a whole bunch of little things coming together!" and then not inevitably segue into the ol' Sound of Thunder plot.
But eh, things are still leagues beyond golden arrows and electric eels at this point

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:33 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Spoiler:
Seems to me like you can't have a ramble on "History is a whole bunch of little things coming together!" and then not inevitably segue into the ol' Sound of Thunder plot.

Compare and contrast the Pompeii episode's message about it, the Waters Of Mars ending and others (maybe not coincidentally being mostly Ten's era, the ones I best remember?)…

I think that Sound you mention is almost always muted in Who plots. Except where it is the plot, of course. :P Could go either way, this series!

Another edge-of-spoiler thing (for which I need another viewing to confirm) is:
Spoiler:
To link with Back To The Future, they're spending money while away from the TARDIS, something 1955 Doc Brown would worry about. Notably avoiding going back to maybe rifle through some obscure drawer in a back room, they still manage to pay all those bus-fares, intention to buy lunch, maybe a round or two bought in the busmen's bar as part of the information gathering process and of course rent a motel room. And Thirteen is notably short of money in pockets, with none of them having era-specific currency. Can't even Sonic an ATM, as Nine did, and no sign of the Psychic Paper being available to smooth over the gaps by little-white-deception.

I'm deciding they probably did what Kirk did in The Voyage Home, but we never ever saw the actual artefact, in a sort of anti-Chekhovian way. Or Bill&Tedded it? ;)

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby moody7277 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:51 pm UTC

I seem to remember reading somewhere that these historical educational episodes were what Doctor Who was originally going to be before they started with the scary sci-fi robots.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:16 pm UTC

IIRC, they were supposed to alternate between a history lesson and a sciencey one. (With equal short-sightedness, the pedants might have argued.)

Hartnell first went back to 'caveman' times, then forward to some time with easily forgettable mechanised creatures... Daleks, were they called? Then (by way of rapidly approaching the beginning of time) Marco Polo. After that, some kind of post-apocalyptic future. Then they drop into the Aztecs, a future space mission from Earth and the French Revolution.

But it just turned out to be too entertaining, so while bouncing around forward and backwards (and elsewhere) was always an option, historic locales sort of became more special than the (alternating) norm, and perhaps better boils down to various encapsulated philosophy lessons with a bit of (pseudo-)history and (pseudo-)science thrown in. And what kid these days doesn't know how to reverse the polarity of a neutron flow, right? Success!

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:10 am UTC

Arachnids in the UK
Plot:
Spoiler:
Overall, I found it interesting. And I've heard some people found it scary, but maybe I'm a bit innured and not enough of an arachnophobe to suffer even through the TV screen.

There were the more than superficial likenesses to The Green Death and Planet Of The Spiders (both Third Doctor stories) that makes me think it was primed by them (or at least a shared inspiration, as classic tropes) with at least one Fourth Doctor nod, maybe, others, to the "Monster Of The Week" actually being the (more) innocent party in this, compared to the 'victim' humans. At least one of which is the witting/unwitting instigator of the conflict. (For more recent Who, look at something like The Doctor's Daughter maybe, for an inhuman enemy that is just a product of circumstance, with a senior human figure ending up being shown as the one who won't wish resolve things amicbly.) I was also minded to recall the Star Trek episode with the Horta.

Loose ends, perhaps resolvable upon a repeat viewing of the episode:

I seemingly missed what they did with the 'baby' spider trapped in the cooking pot. Did that (plot dpisode) go anywhere? Apart from revealing the stampede of 'babies'.

Whether or not that was something I missed, did they get all the baby spiders? Remember there'd been one (shedding skins?) in Graham/Grace's attic, same or different from the one in the flats and last seen there. And "a natural death" trapped in a Safe Room with many of their kin? A bit horrible. Even with six months of (human, 1 person) food. At least some of it in tins, I imagine. Not so sure about that.

Am I to assume the junk Yasmin's father collected is overspill (or spider-ejected?) waste from the mine? Strange that Yasmin hadn't thought of this 'conspiracy' in ep1, though, when asked to ask around for strange things. (OTOH, assuming a week or two between that night of action and the funeral and getting The Doctor and themselves transmatted into ep2, maybe it wasn't current then, only been happening since Tim Shaw was defeated.)

Billionaire seemingly getting away with it scot-free (minus Kevin and his niece's wife, so I don't know if he has anyone else to act as amanuensis to whitewash the original disaster, with or without the spider remains to deal with). Interesting to see if this is a future returned-to-Earth plotpoint (a more Earthly version of Mister Saxon, and/or spun like the Sound Of Drums/End Of Time figure). Could be set/started in late 2020/early 2021 (an Aliens Of London-like misflight home, say) with the discovery that post-Trump is even worse with wossisname now in charge.


Characters:
Spoiler:
As predicted, Graham has good reasons to travel (willingly) in the TARDIS, and I can see Ryan's point.

Not sure about Yasmin. Shown to be partially right ("married to her job", apparently, as I said) but wrong about her family. Not at all estranged from them, in fact her islamic-heritage family (there was some arabic-script decorative… whatsit… just inside her front door, and other things that showed that flavour of culture) were so progressive that their first question was practically whether she had the hots for Thirteen! And sounded like they'd totally not mind if she did. (Maybe she is developing a crush?) Mum asks the same about Ryan, when they meet up in her presence, so we're left with that possibility open (Mickey and Martha hooked up, we saw - layabout/low-expectation lad and inteligent professional woman, both BAME - after their respective TARDIS-trips improved/diversified them into Warriors For Earth(s)).

The not-so-subtle "your niece's wife", alongside the ep2 female competitor widow(er?)ed by the Stenza, and the aforementioned ambiguity of Yasmin's life… I imagine these things (plus the Rosa episode) might annoy some people. Not me, but I'm not looking forward to (eventually) talking to a long-time friend of mine when we next get together, as I can imagine him being 'unwoke' about such things. Still, if it keeps him off the whole Muslim Invasion thing… which is something else I expect he'll be complaining about, him being somewhat a racialist these days.

I hear that our Ross Perot character (I can imagine him using the platform of a neo-Reform Party, if he isn't planning on getting the Republicans to put him forward instead of Trump, for 2020) is played for laughs against the backdrop of some other role that actor played a similar character in. Lost on me. But nice to see someone who is set up to have no redeeming features. Now I'm waiting upon them being Doctored, in a future encounter, to complete their story to my satisfaction. (Even though I have said already that I'm against such mini-plot-arcs, if it can be helped.


Off-plot geographical meanderings:
Spoiler:
Since the first episode's materialisation in Sheffield, a place I have some knowledge of, I've been thinking of going that way to check some hunches as to the spacial-awareness/strictness of the show.

That high path (where Ryan is taken to try to ride the bike on) with the grassy surround and the rocky edge above the valley (we see a wide river, and some distinctive architecture amongst the buildings that looks like a retail-park frontage, below a green-svelte valley) doesn't quite seem to match up with anything to the north of the city, yet the van that took Tim's 'onion' from the woods below it is then clearly seen going southbound on the lower deck of the Tinsley Viaduct (trust me on that) and then past whichever-of-the-two-football-clubs-it-is-that-is-coloured-red's stadium (still southbound, so Google Streetview suggests) which is not an impossible route to have taken towards the alleged location of the onion-napper's car workshop and alien-conspiracy-nutcase HQ. Though I've not established where that really is. I would have looked elsewhere, first, between those two known points.

The road where Yasmin is first seen dealing with the hammer-blow to the windscreen should be locatable (a church is framed down the road, in one shot, and I've a good idea whereabouts that view might be towards, though I haven't Streetviewed the candidate area yet).

But onto this episode.

Park Hill, Sheffield, is a very obvious landmark (refurbished, from the frame on out, for at least part of its length) that was even in the running to be the locale for Channel 4's national or local out-of-London HQ, within the last year, though it fell off the shortlist I think. Not surprised they featured it. And it's not far from where the TARDIS was landed down to the Park Square roundabout with the distinctive bridge for the trams (and pedestrians) we saw.

On top of that, Graham's (and Grace's) place looks very like the housing I know is off in the direction they indicated they were, wrt Yasmin's flat. Somewhere I have photos on disc (unpublished, not even on the relevant wiki) showing myself and that very area when I happened to be able to visit a Geohash on a street corner up there, which may not be more than a road or three aeay from "Graham's Place". You get there be exiting Sheffield station on the side away from the city centre, climbing many steps up the hillside to the point quite obviously used for 'the city as a backdrop' shots of Team TARDIS (in both the episodes set there so far) and then weave up through the ?victorian? stonebuilt terraces. IIRC.

As to this epidode's a tion, again I need another viewing. The scrawl on the map that suggested the nexus of spider-city seemed to deliberately obfuscate the actual location of that golf-hotel. (Natural enough!) But I did some digging (NPI!) and there were coal mines quite close to Park Hill, but only in a parallel universe could that possibly be fitted into the local geography of here and now. Alternately, there are very old mineworkings within the grounds of an existing golf-course, but it's on the edges of Sheffield, beyond the bounds of the activity map that appeared to be shown 'pre-scribble'. Conceivably, Tinsley Park or Concord Park ranges might be the surrogate sites, but again they're long established, while many historical industrial areas (not notably coal-mines, but steel plants/etc) have been redeveloped as retail. The current course at Tinsley seems to overlook an old colliery site now given over to Sheffield City Airport (not apparently in use, it looks like).

As far as industrial heritage is concerned, Sheffield has its share of brownfield sites (post-80s, and the loss of a lot of its heavy industry) but the coalfields still active recently enough to have been earmarked for regeneration have been out away from Sheffield itself, around parts of Doncaster, Barnsley, plus over into neighbouring Northamptonshire or parts of Yorkshire other than the People's Republic of South Yorkshire.

Though I am wondering if perhaps the famoys Orgreave, just across in the bounds of Rotherham, is landscaped at least partly in a manner to inspire the probably mythical golf-course and hotel-frontage depicted. More research is clearly needed! And a trip there.


(You should probably ignore that last spoiler, BTW, it's really hardly programme-related at all. Just, as I said before I realised quite how much I'd set down about it, some mental meanderings I was having.)

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Moo » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:59 pm UTC

I really hope Chris Chibnal is able to take some constructive criticism to heart and find at least a writing partner. I love Jodie, I want to love this season, but the writing is seriously getting me down.
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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:24 pm UTC

I'm finding it 'over-worthy'.

Not for me, personally, but (as well as bashing the gender-gap* re: Thirteen) there seems to have been a Moral Message (or more than one) in each episode, being bashed home with a huge mallet. And not everyone will like that. (I'm debating whether to buy a Who-themed birthday card, later this month, and yet I think the intended recipient will only like it for ironic reasons.)

On the medi-spaceship:
Spoiler:
Obviously the whole male birth thing, celebrating diversity. In an episode with barely no two skin-tones the same (brother/sister, of course, and Thirteen/Graham matched the doomed medic perhaps). Also "Believe in yourself", for multiple characters. Duty. In the face of remote, unsentimental and/or uncaring inevitability. And of course Monster Of The Week was (second week in a row!) not actually bad, just a gremlin (as I immediately came to think of it) acting on instinct, so don't judge on appearances!


That said, it was a romp. Obviously when [rot13]sr yrnag gurer ner gjb rfpncr cboqf[/rot13], just enough, there'd not be for long. (Ten? Given the spacious capacity of the ship, seems a bit remiss.) The separate power supply the father was reassured about having seemed hand-wavily convenient to avoid it threatening to become too primitive a procedure, but was usurped (from my forward predictions) as the instrument of saving-the-day by... the other thing that actually saved the day.

The screenplayed reasons for keeping (most) CGI and actor happenings separate was painful. They should have had more faith in their ability to mix media, without having to 'cover it up'. Not convinced by the kick, in such a low-ceilinged corridor, but not the worst bit of that sequence


Oh, I liked it, on the whole, but not yet seen a proper 'classic' episode that I think will stand the test of time. Rosa could have been it, and may yet do in post-series hindsight, but I'm awaiting something better. And too late to rescue this season if that element I'm looking for isn't already in the can, so there's maybe a lot riding on the unforeseeable future if I am to get such a jewel this side of Christmas.


* Nothing I've seen addresses the Gender Pay Gap, positively or negative. I suspect it's like Sandi Toksvig vs Stephen Fry. She gets paid less for the same job mostly because of how the various hard-to-quantify differences in their careers (and what colour ribbons their respective National Treasure awards were tied up in, silver-gilt vs 22 carat gold, say, for Toksvig/Fry), and connected contracted responsibilities, powered the negotiating hands of their agents. Who may have varying core powers or abilities of their own.

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Re: Doctor Whom

Postby Jorpho » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:14 pm UTC

Well, "Kerlam!" was pretty good. Interesting aesthetic, vaguely topical, interesting twist. A little predictable and a little bit padded still, but quite possibly the best episode so far this season.


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