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Which Who?  

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  1. 1. Which Who?

    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%201.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg2.html]William Hartnell 1963-66[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%202.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg3.html]Patrick Troughton 1966-69[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%203.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg4.html]Jon Pertwee 1970-74[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%204.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg5.html]Tom Baker 1974-81[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%205.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg6.html]Peter Davison 1981-84[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%206.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg7.html]Colin Baker 1984-86[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%207.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg8.html]Sylvester McCoy 1987-89[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc8.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg9.htm]Paul McGann 1996[/URL]
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Tyler   

Spoilers below if you haven't seen the end of last season or the anniversary special.

 

 

 

Is there an official word on where/how/if John Hurt fits in the Doctor's regeneration cycle? Everyone keeps calling Smith the 11th Doctor (and Tennant the 10th, and Eccleston the 9th), which is how the numbers lined up before we knew about Hurt. The options seem to be either (1) moving all of the nuWho Doctors up one number, which would make Capaldi the 13th (and theoretically last) Doctor, or (2) making Hurt the un-numbered "War Doctor" and leaving the original order unchanged.

 

Option (2) seems to be the standard interpretation, though still I'm holding out hope they make Capaldi the Valeyard.

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Here's the Doctor Who wiki article on the question.

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NBooth   

And so out goes Matt Smith and in comes Peter Capaldi. I mentioned on Facebook that this might just be the Matt Smithiest episode ever, and I meant that in two ways: first, in that Smith was very good and was given a lot to do, and second, in that it recapitulates all the thematic concerns of his era in a very nice way. His final speech could serve as a summary of Moffat's entire run so far ("We're all stories in the end"), and the trick of having Clara visit the Doctor at various points in his life, of course, reversed a central motif of Moffat's run. 

 

It won't do anything to please people who hate [or even simply dislike] Moffat's work, I think, but I found it tremendously satisfying.

 

EDIT: Oh, and:

I've never given credence to the fan theory that River Song is the Papal Mainframe--until today. Now, I'm more than half convinced.

 

EDIT EDIT: Charlie Jane Anders at Io9:

 

So all of this four-year story has been about undoing the Time War's legacy and bringing back the Time Lords. But it's also been about notion that the Doctor's power comes from the fact that people remember him, and that "The Doctor" is all you need to know about him (as Clara tells the Time Lords.) In this way, the Doctor is the opposite of the Silence, the Weeping Angels and other monsters who gain power from not being seen or remembered.

 

Edited by NBooth

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Tyler   

The "let's just break the rules because we can do that" resolution was disappointing at first, but if I read the ending right and they're making Capaldi's Doctor a new character, without all of the old Doctor's memories and skills, then that could work, since it has some interesting possibilities. As long as they don't trot pull an Old Spock and trot out, I don't know, Tom Baker to answer all of Capaldi's Doctor-related questions. Wait a minute... *Remembers ending of Anniversary show*

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NBooth   

The "let's just break the rules because we can do that" resolution was disappointing at first, but if I read the ending right and they're making Capaldi's Doctor a new character, without all of the old Doctor's memories and skills, then that could work, since it has some interesting possibilities. As long as they don't trot pull an Old Spock and trot out, I don't know, Tom Baker to answer all of Capaldi's Doctor-related questions. Wait a minute... *Remembers ending of Anniversary show*

 

I didn't get that feeling at all; my impression was that the last line was the result of post-regeneration wonkiness (and isn't Smith's final speech designed to reassure that Capaldi will still be the same character?

 

EDIT: One thing I really got a kick out of was the way Moffat dispatched two seasons worth of plot arc in as many lines; it felt like a cheeky jab at fans who found the resolution offered in Ssn 6 unsatisfying--a fig leaf to cover "plot holes" that (as far as I'm concerned, anyway) didn't actually need covering.

Edited by NBooth

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NBooth   

The AV Club:

 

“The Time Of The Doctor” is the culmination of three seasons’ worth of complex, frequently baffling narrative arcs. The Christmas special does about as good a job as can be expected in explaining the major lingering mysteries of the last few years, as it is revealed that the 11th Doctor has effectively been chasing his own tail from the moment he first popped out of the TARDIS in Amelia Pond’s garden. Madame Kovarian and the Silence are revealed as a massive paradox; they broke away from the siege of Trenzalore, enacted various mad schemes to kill the Doctor, and ended up creating the very cracks in reality that led to the siege in the first place. It’s not that the Time Lords have been trying to break through since way back in “The Eleventh Hour,” but rather that their means of escape is a byproduct of its own existence. I won’t claim that this isn’t confusing, but it is basically coherent, and it’s a brilliant touch to reveal that the Silence were actually genetically engineered by the Papal Mainframe as memory-proof confessors. Still, those looking for straightforward, emotionally rooted explanations—which certainly aren’t bad things!—are not going to find them in “The Time Of The Doctor,” at least not outside of the narrow context of the Doctor himself, as the episode does endeavor to explain who the Doctor is at his core.

 

 

EDIT: One more: Adam Riggio:

 

And the tragedy of Clara’s story in this episode is that Smith’s final monologue passes over her. Karen Gillan’s cameo as Amy Pond ultimately overshadows Clara’s presence in Smith’s regeneration scene. While Clara is the emotional and narrative heart of the story, and the key force that saves the Doctor’s life, her importance is overwritten by Smith’s Doctor’s vision of Amy

 

.

 

EDIT EDIT: Wholly unrelated, but Philip Sandifer is having a sale on e-books, including all four volumes of the TARDIS Eruditorium. You can get the first edition of the Hartnell volume for free (and, believe me, it's worth it for the final couple of essays alone).

Edited by NBooth

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Honestly, I found this one so very underwhelming.  It was pretty much the exact same thing we got over and over in any "Special Episode" of the Smith run.  Either all his enemies or just the Daleks show up, and we hear about these epic battles, how the Doctor came to be loved/feared by many.  It also felt rushed for me.  I get that Moffat has "themes"...but it all felt so text book and ho hum to me...I would have liked a better send off for Smith.  The only moment I really enjoyed was the post regeneration gag.

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NBooth   

Fair enough; this episode has been pretty Marmite, from what I can tell.

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NBooth   

I'm digging the quasi-Pertwee look.

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I do like that it is very much its own thing, without losing that touch that makes the Doctor recognizable.

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NBooth   

I can't express how happy this essay makes me. Adam Riggio gets it:

 

This is one way Doctor Who really is a utopian show. From a particular point of view, everything and everyone is redeemable. The destruction of Gallifrey wasn’t even erased from the history of the show: until the character reaches Matt Smith’s point in that episode, he’ll remember having destroyed it. 
 
Because time is epistemologized, character development in Doctor Who isn’t chronological, but ethical. Changing history doesn’t change the Doctor’s memory, and our interaction with our memories, how we’ve come to understand our past and our development, is of primary importance to the ethical. What happened is an ontological and moral question: discovering the present truth of the world and distributing praise and blame. The relation between our present actions and our memories determines who we are.

 

 

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NBooth   
It's also interesting in this light that the option of "protest" or "forget" has a mirror in the option of "forget" or "abdicate." There's a plot reason for this, but but I think Moffat's also getting at the truth that to "protest" by bearing witness to communal sins is to surrender control (to "abdicate") and so to yield oneself open to the process of change and growth required of moral-historical beings.

 

 

And now, nearly four years later, Philip Sandifer makes a similar point:

 

 t is not actually the exploitation of the Star Whale that is the most horrifying part of Starship UK. Rather it is the institutionalized decision to remain oblivious to this fact. Throughout Starship UK the choice given to a citizen is straightforward: live in ignorance or die. For all that the government is structured on seemingly democratic principles of transparency, its central feature is that nobody save for an unelected few are allowed the choice to live with knowledge of what their society is like. It’s crucial to note the fundamentally coercive nature of the so-called democracy. It’s not even that protesting is in fact a death sentence - it’s the fact that the material reality of Starship UK is treated as an unknowable thing and an untellable story within it. The condition afflicting Starship UK is not the material exploitation of the Star Whale - it’s a narrative condition caused by an unspeakable signifier. In this regard the Star Whale transmutes from the salvation of Britain into the titular beast below - a necrotic Other defined by the fact that it cannot even be spoken of - that it necessarily exists outside of the language of the culture since memory of it - and remember the longstanding connection between memory and narrative within Doctor Who’s alchemy. 

 

 

Yes. This is precisely why I maintain my high opinion of Moffat!Who in the face of all cavils to the contrary: it is fundamentally an era about storytelling. And it's about the ways in which storytelling can either elide or elicit the truth.

 

This is also why I hold The Beast Below among the high-points of the Moffat era. And I'll admit it's kind of nice seeing someone writing about Moffat!Who from a perspective so thoroughly coherent with my own.

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NBooth   

Only if the Bechdel test is regarded as a qualitative test rather than a thought-experiment--and if "speaking time" is regarded as determining much of anything. Neither of which is true.

 

I vented about the "Moffat!Who is sexist" earlier in this thread, so I won't rehash my comments. See also Philip Sandifer's pretty solid take. Moffat's not unproblematic, but the extent of his "sexism" is vastly over-stated and [often] depends on a fundamental misreading of the kind of show Who is under his tenure.

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Tyler   

I've watched that 4 times, and I still can't figure out what that Dalek is saying at the end. It sounds like,"I see beauty and divinity [something] 8-track!"

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NBooth   

Oh, and just for the sake of completeness--the scripts for the first five or six episodes leaked. [That's the Guardian I'm linking, not the scripts. Obviously.] Also a workprint of the first episode. The BBC is begging fans not to read them or discuss their contents. The "spoiler" section at Gallifrey Base has an extensive thread on whether or not discussing the scripts is ethical.

 

This is all very strange to me, but there you have it.

Edited by NBooth

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NBooth   

Apologies for not doing a proper hyperlink, but I am currently dependent on a phone for Internet.

I'm already a fan of Capaldi, as I was for Smith after HIS first episode. But I think I like Capaldi even more for the reasons Philip Sandifer outlines in his review (linked below). I also get a kick out of how very dark this ep was willing to go.

The following link contains spoilers. Not the quote, though.

Philip Sandifer: http://www.philipsandifer.com/2014/08/deep-breath-review.html

"Notably, for all that this is consciously structured like Robot, with the remnants of the Smith era still visible everywhere (note the conscious decision not to revamp the sonic, and to use the same basic console room set), Capaldi does not play the part like Baker (and Pertwee before him, and Troughton before him still) did, starting with his predecessor's performance and discarding bits he doesn't like. Sure, there's still the broad physical comedy that Smith made his own, but not in the sense of the Doctor as this buzzing, ever moving figure. Capaldi is aided in this by Ben Wheatley's superb direction, and his willingness to work in long medium shots that let Capaldi do a whole body performance that seems to draw more on Peter Cushing than anyone else."

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Tyler   

Best Dalek episode in a long time. I've been tired of them for a while, since most Dalek stories are essentially the same, but I really like the new angle they found, and how it fits in with the theme they're developing this season (if the Doctor is really a good man or not).

 

Image will be missing a major opportunity if they don't come up with a "beauty will save the Daleks" campaign.

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