Guest

Dr. Who

Which Who?   31 members have voted

  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]
      0
    • [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]
      0
    • [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]
      3
    • [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]
      17
    • [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]
      1
    • [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]
      1
    • [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]
      1
    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc8.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg9.htm]Paul McGann 1996[/URL]
      0

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

401 posts in this topic

Not bad. Some thoughts:
 
1. As Philip Sandifer points out, this is basically a pastiche episode. Fair enough. There's not been that many great Dalek episodes since the revival anyway, with the exception of Dalek and possibly Asylum of the Daleks--the latter of which, when you get down to it, isn't really a Dalek story at all. This one was at least better than Victory, more thematically unified and better-written. So there's that.
 
2. Speaking of Sandifer--this episode totally confirms his central thesis about the Doctor not being the Doctor until he meets the Daleks. Boom.
 
3. Ok, Star Trek references and Star Wars references. Cool.
 
4. The story's a bit of a mess, in terms of character motivations. Why are they doing this, again?
 
5. Capaldi continually surprises me with how very, very, very good he is. Like, dang. And I'm getting mild T. Baker vibes from him.
 
6. That girl with the jealous father from Misfits! Hurrah!
 
7. More Moffat-identity-memory stuff. This time turned onto the Daleks in a way that's similar to Victory, though it's different in a key way: here, the memories are real, not programmed.
 
8. I could have sworn part of this episode was scored by Vangelis.
 
9. Ok, this next bit I'll spoiler entirely:
 

Moffat's 

Who is centrally concerned with mortality and memory--indeed, part of the way he proposes to evade mortality is through memory. Identity is part of that--Rory the Auton was an early indication of that fact, and Deep Breath, which is on the surface simply about reassuring younger viewers that the Doctor is still in, actually makes the problem of identity--rather than mortality--a central concern. The broom story, the questions about whether the Doctor is the same person, etc etc etc--at first I took these as simply existing for the episode. But here, when the question is whether good Daleks exist, and to what extent memory--or the lack of memory--determines morality [and so, determines identity], it's starting to look like the case of identity is going to be a central problematic for this season of the show [see also: concerns about Dalek duplicates]. Is the Dalek still a Dalek once he's recovered his soul? Is a soldier still a soldier once s/he quits soldiering [the Blue/Pink pairing makes this pretty obvious]? Was the Doctor the Doctor before the Daleks [and this reverberates all the way back to A Good Man Goes to War, where the idea of the Doctor's name was first pushed to the front--now his name is once more a sign of his identity, but what is that identity and how is it constituted? And don't forget the War Doctor, etc etc etc]? Then we've got the stuff in "heaven," and who knows how that'll play out [i expected Missy to only go after villains, but now she's picking up people who died around the Doctor? Curious].

 
 


Like so many scripts with Steven Moffat’s name on it, “Into The Dalek” has its grand thematic points to make about the Doctor and his oldest foes. I already mentioned the episode’s direct link back to “The Daleks,” but the central takeaway of that line works independently of one’s knowledge of the continuity reference; the important point is that the Doctor knows good and evil from his experiences with these creatures. Also good is Rusty’s observation that “Resistance is futile, life returns, life prevails,” as the horrified Doctor realizes that the broken Dalek uses precisely the same vocabulary to describe the Daleks’ relationship with all life as he would his own conflict with them. If last season’s “Asylum Of The Daleks” was Moffat’s deep dive into the essential madness of the Dalek mythos, then “Into The Dalek” attempts the more tightly focused task of teasing out who the Doctor when his very identity is so tied up with the universe’s ultimate monsters. 

 

Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a little startling to realize that, at this point, Mark Gatiss has written more not-terrible episodes of Who than he has awful ones. That's new.

 

Robot of Sherwood was fun. Not brilliant--possibly not even good--but a serviceable romp. The Doctor-Robin banter was very good, and the whole thing was a pleasant, slightly campy, confection. I know that tends to get an episode labeled "disposable" or something, but these kinds of episodes are far from disposable--they serve a very important role in keeping the whole series properly leavened. The same goes for this episode's light version of the plot of Deep Breath--it's a repeat, but it underlines the sorts of thing this series is trying to do.

 

I got a kick out of the scene late in the episode that pretty blatantly echoed the climax of The Eleventh Hour--possibly a subtler way of making the same point that the episode drives home in its final scene.

 

EDIT: I also loved the cheeky jab at Marxism. You'll know it when you see it.

Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was a reference to The Tick at the beginning, right?

 

tickspoon.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never seen The Tick. I probably should [...?]

 

FWIW, it occurred to me that the whole Marxism joke is actually a bit more subtle than it seems, since it's basically an oblique reference to Star Trek into Darkness, Iron Man 3, and other recent blockbusters that have as their central twist this kind of "false flag" operation, albeit in reverse. That's actually pretty clever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never seen The Tick. I probably should [...?]

 

 

You definitely should. I prefer the animated cartoon to the live-action version with Patrick Warburton--though they're both good--but the cartoon is harder to find. The Warburton is on Netflix, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, man. Listen. Here's what I just posted on Facebook:

 

 

"Deep Breath" was a good episode mostly highlighted by Capaldi's marvelous turn as the Doctor.
"Into the Dalek" was, at least, a good Dalek episode, which are startlingly rare in NuWho.
"Robot of Sherwood" was fun.

"Listen"? "Listen" takes everything I love about the past four years and boils them down into a concentrated essence. It might replace "The Wedding of River Song" as my favorite example of the show under Moffat turning around and commenting on itself. All of Moffat's themes--his obsession with death [here read more broadly as "the unknown,"], his interest in the ways in which stories can provide comfort in an uncaring world, his insistence on human inter-connectedness [which is, after all, the real point of his timey-wimey plotting]--it's all here. The monster might be the most typically Moffat monster there is; the Angels, the Vashta Nerada, the Silence--they're all just faces of this one.

And now I'm toying with the idea that there's another element that I've not really analyzed--that joy and play might be just as important in this stew.

 

 

 

Seriously. This episode was stone-cold brilliant. At least, to me, as a Moffat fan. Those who hate him probably won't have their minds changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved it, too. But what was going on with that thing in Rupert's bedspread? Saying that was just a projection of the Doctor's subconscious fear doesn't do it for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it was deliberately ambiguous, but my own take is that it was another kid in the home pulling a prank.

 

EDIT: One more thing. The Doctor's trouble with soldiers takes on a whole new meaning once it's revealed that he was initially destined to be one, himself

Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it was deliberately ambiguous, but my own take is that it was another kid in the home pulling a prank.

 

There's an out-of-focus frame or two where you can see it being pulled off, and the thing underneath did not look human to me. I thought it looked like a mini-Silence, but it's probably something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I think it was deliberately ambiguous, but my own take is that it was another kid in the home pulling a prank.

 

There's an out-of-focus frame or two where you can see it being pulled off, and the thing underneath did not look human to me. I thought it looked like a mini-Silence, but it's probably something else.

 

 

Oh, right. That shot. Yeah, it was--different. I can think of a couple of different explanations:

 

1. It actually was a monster and will get a pay-off in a future episode

2. It actually was a child, but the camera-work was wonky

3. It actually was a child, but made-up to look like a monster, or

4. It actually was a monster, but made-up to look like a child.

 

Or, I guess, 

5. It was actually a child, but the camera was as frightened as the Doctor. This is similar to the hypothesis you reject, except it spins it in a different way. I know I bring up Sandifer a lot, but he's really a very smart voice who seems to "get" Moffat in a way that jives with my own intuitions about the man's work--and Sandifer argues that, ever since The God Complex, the camera has been implicated in the stories told in a way that it hasn't, really, in previous eras. If you'll permit me a longish quote:

 

the subjectivity is not that of any individual character or that of the assumed viewer (as it had been in essentially all pre-Hurran Doctor Who), but rather the subjectivity of the story itself. What we get is the prison/hotel’s own framing of its narrative. 
 
This is a powerful idea within Doctor Who, a television show whose basic narrative trick is to set up a new collection of narrative conventions every week, explore them, and then dismantle them. And that’s always included an element of visual style. Episodes look different from each other, are shot differently, have different casts, et cetera. But Hurran has just created a very big tool such that the narrative conventions of a given genre become inseparable from the supposed location in which the story takes place. It’s the distinction between “the TARDIS lands in a hotel and the Doctor has an adventure that riffs on The Shining” and “the TARDIS lands in The Shining and the Doctor has an adventure.” And while I’ve argued that this approach is implicit in the show since day one, it’s not until The God Complex that it becomes fully explicit (save, perhaps, for The Gunfighters). 

 

 

--so it could be that the camera sees a monster because the Doctor really is in a monster story--regardless of whether or not the monster "really" exists [especially since, after all, none of these monsters really exist]. 

 

Put another way, Moffat could be suggesting that the monster is the one that only exists when the camera is trained on it--that is, when it's in an episode of Doctor Who.

Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally unrelated, but while I was digging for that Sandifer post, I came across this one, which bears the confrontational title "Steven Moffat is Feminist and You are Wrong if You Disagree"

 

Given the number of folks I know on Facebook who subscribe to the "wrong" view, there's no way I'm posting it there. But I've been fairly open around here about how tiresome I find this particular line of critique, so I'm a-gonna drop a link here. It's long but fairly thorough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So. Time Heist. Not particularly great--it was very stylish to look at, but the heist itself seemed a bit...half-baked. As did a couple of the twists. The robot-theme continues [and the memory theme] with the cyborg fellow, and there's some stuff about multiple identities with the shape-shifter and the clones, so thematically it's of a piece with the rest of the series so far, and indeed with Moffat's tenure. Definitely a breather episode, though--not that that's a bad thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As someone who really liked Roberts' other two efforts, I really liked "The Caretaker." The Doctor's angry through most of the episode, which is fun, and Danny proves that he's not a clone of Rory, which is nice. Anyone paying close enough attention will recognize how deftly the episode subverts the Doctor's soldier-phobia (I know some people who get really cranky about this aspect of the character, even in the Classic Series. I can't say I'm too bothered about it). Other comments:
 
1. Everyone is gaga over how "Unearthly Child" this all is, and they're right to be. I've been saying for a while that Moffat was slowly rolling back the Davies hallmarks and trying to get closer to "Classic" Who, and I think this season shows the end-result of that: a thorough blend of the classic and post-Eccleston years.
 
2. Part of that is Capaldi, who continues to invoke Tom Baker in various ways, as well as Pertwee. Actually, the criticism of the Doctor leveled in this episode--that he's an aristocrat, used to command--is something that could very much be applied to Pertwee, perhaps more than any other incarnation of the Doctor. Which--since the season is set to end with a UNIT story--is pretty interesting. [i think Sandifer makes a similar observation below, but it came to me before I read his review]
 
3. It's interesting to compare how Capaldi plays the Roberts-Doctor-fish-out-of-water story to how Smith played it. I like Smith, but I prefer Capaldi.
 
4. I pretty much prefer Capaldi.
 
5. This isn't just because he's new; I love the way Smith would play an old man in a young man's body, and I think he did some excellent work. But Capaldi is so incredibly dry--also harsh, arch, and intensely difficult to relate to at times (well--I suppose he is). He feels like the most "Classic" Doctor we've gotten in--twenty years?
 
6. I've liked Clara from the start, and never really sympathized with arguments that she's underwritten (since I see her as being the generic companion very much on purpose). But she's really good this season.
 
Ok, that's enought from me. Here's some bloggy stuff:
 
 
There’s several ways in which the program feels like it’s genuinely in a different place than it was a year ago. This is worth noting explicitly in an episode that is, as much as anything, about reaffirming the end of the Eleventh Doctor era. This is the last episode of the half of the season where it was relatively easy to guess what you were going to get. It’s not that it’s been devoid of surprises - hello Listen - but the surprises have generally been within episodes. Every week after Deep Breath, you basically knew what you were going to get if you were paying attention to writers, episode titles, the Doctor Who Magazine descriptions, or, let’s be honest, the script and screener leaks, which vented an awful lot of spoilers into the atmosphere.
 

 

 


The most philosophically intriguing element of The Caretaker is its conversation about the politics, morality, and ethics of class. This is most obviously brought to the surface in the first direct conflict between Danny Pink and the Doctor. Part of the thematic arc this season has involved the Doctor’s distrust of soldiers. It’s never quite explained why, but given the history of the show in total and some key events this season (particularly in Into the Dalek), it’s because they prioritize violent action as a means of problem solving.
 

 

 

 
Roberts and Steven Moffat have penned a script that continues this season’s renewed emphasis on character, and director Paul Murphy proves himself adept at balancing the episode’s disparate strands of comedy, drama, and science fiction. But a huge portion of the credit here has to go the actors. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought "Kill the Moon" was good, though how good depends on subsequent [less weary] viewings. Philip Sandifer, on the other hand, thinks it's "the single best episode of Doctor Who ever."

 

So my television has just made me vote on whether or not to belong to the sort of species that deserves to go to space and see an endless future of impossible wonders or to belong to the sort of species that falls in on itself and sinks beneath the sea into deserved extinction.Doctor Who has decided to go back and fulfill the promise of the Hartnell era, using science fiction to confront the present. I think this is genuinely the first time the series has ever dared to be this radically faithful to its own premise. I think that what just happened was an act of magic carved out of television. It was art and alchemy. More than any other story, I think you can point to this and say “this is a demonstration of why Doctor Who is amazing.” 
Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So yeah, the conclusion was so thuddingly on the nose it made me want to throw things at the screen. And the fact that the whole episode was just an extended excuse to manufacture the Doctor vs. Clara argument at the end didn't sit well with me, either.

 

The heaven/paradise stuff is really this season's Fireworks Factory. It better be worth it when we get there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone on the train is totally dead, right? We're going to see them again when we finally get to Paradise, and then Clara will really be done with the Doctor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone on the train is totally dead, right? We're going to see them again when we finally get to Paradise, and then Clara will really be done with the Doctor.

 

Could be. This episode, particularly, pushed the whole "The Doctor lies" thing much more than the Smith years did. Then again the mechanic survived, so....

 

I liked this one. More than "Kill the Moon," actually, which had a delightfully bonkers idea at its core, but which didn't actually go as crazy as I would have liked. "Mummy" is, for one thing, chock-full of Classic Series references (Jelly Babies! Bubble wrap! And more!) without becoming too fan-servicey. And it's a better Agatha Christie homage than "The Unicorn and the Wasp," which was--quite frankly--rubbish. And Capaldi brought his A+ game. A very good episode, all told.

 

EDIT: Oh, on another note it looks like Philip Sandifer's newest Erudatorum compilation has launched early. This one covers the second half of Tom Baker's tenure, and it boasts the single greatest cover in the entire Erudatorum line.

Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could be. This episode, particularly, pushed the whole "The Doctor lies" thing much more than the Smith years did. Then again the mechanic survived, so....

 

Yeah, but I feel like there's more going on there than we saw in the episode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was last night's episode inspired by Flatland or Flat Stanley?

 

Has to be one or the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was last night's episode inspired by Flatland or Flat Stanley?

 

Has to be one or the other.

 

No idea, but this was another episode I really liked. Not just "liked" in the way I like most Doctor Who (my baseline standard for the show being "entertaining"), but liked liked. Clara's really coming into her own this series, and Capaldi continues to be excellent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was worried this episode would be a ripoff of The Happening , but I liked how it resolved things. 

 

Looking forward to more Paradise stuff in the last 2 of the series. Because that has to pay off, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was worried this episode would be a ripoff of The Happening , but I liked how it resolved things. 

 

Yeah, the science was rubbish--but who actually goes to Doctor Who for science? [Well, I know some people....] I actually liked this magic/mystic episode better than Kill the Moon!, which I thought had a properly magical idea but didn't quite stick the landing. This one did. Also Capaldi. [That's my new summary of every single episode: Capaldi].

 

 

Looking forward to more Paradise stuff in the last 2 of the series. Because that has to pay off, right?

 
Given the official synopsis, I would say so:
With Cybermen on the streets of London, old friends unite against old enemies and the Doctor takes to the air in a startling new role.
Can the mighty UNIT contain Missy? As the Doctor faces his greatest challenge, sacrifices must be made before the day is won.

 

 

By the way--and I know it won't happen--but I really wish Missy would end up being something like Iris Wildthyme. (The thought isn't original to me, but I liked it immediately). It would be a neat reveal for the "big bad" to be simply another mercurial time traveler like the Doctor instead of an insidious villain with evil intent.

 

Probably won't happen, though.

Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to more Paradise stuff in the last 2 of the series. Because that has to pay off, right?

 

Yes, yes it does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Looking forward to more Paradise stuff in the last 2 of the series. Because that has to pay off, right?

 

Yes, yes it does.

 

 

And how!

 

One of the things I think people have historically missed about Moffat is his tendency to write obvious twists. I don't mean this in a pejorative way--just that the twist (how did the Doctor survive being killed at Lake Silencio? Who is River Song? etc) is generally something that's obvious from the moment the central riddle is introduced--something that is sometimes actually mentioned in the dialogue (Amy: "It's a robot or a clone," etc). So, too, with the identity of Missy. For all that I wanted her to be something different, I expected her to be exactly who she is.

 

This is actually a pretty effective trick (Nolan uses it, too, in Inception), because it shifts the interest away from plot and onto the manner of telling. In the end, it doesn't matter how the Doctor escapes Lake Silencio--we know he will, anyway--what matters is the excessive pleasure of telling the story. And that's what's going on here, too: Moffat is reveling in setting up an obvious twist, playing it like it isn't obvious, and still following through with it. I think he does it better than Nolan, but there you go. 

 

Also--as Philip Sandifer pointed out way back at Deep Breath, Moffat has made a female Doctor essentially inevitable. Not that he'll get credit from all the people who are convinced he's a knuckle-dragging misogynist. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nick Frost is playing Santa!

 

I liked that the finale circled back to the questions about the Doctor's character, although it punted on forcing him to make any real choices by letting Danny's sacrifice solve everything.

 

And again: 

Nick Frost is playing Santa!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now