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

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.

 

I'm not sure that it's a punt so much as another choice: the Doctor refuses to be the officer that Danny accuses him of being.

 

I'm very pleased with this episode--very pleased with this season, which just replaced Series 6 as my favorite of the NuWho run. This has been a season with a couple of underwhelming episodes, but [as with last year] there have been no outright bad ones, and [unlike last year], there have been quite a few brilliant ones. Marvelous, marvelous run of episodes.

 

Also--that last scene. Oh, my. For an episode that ranked pretty high on the emotion-o-meter, that last episode really packed a punch. And a good deal of that is down to Peter Capaldi. 

 

EDIT:

A couple of other things:

1. This is an episode defined by narrative take-overs. Clara not only continues her Doctor-ification in the cold open--she is actively allowed to take over the show, re-vamping the title sequence itself. She's the one with narrative power over the Doctor (which is, honestly, characteristic of Moffat companions). In a season committed to the question of "who is the Doctor?" this was an important move--and, for the rest of the episode, everyone (Danny and Missy, particularly, but also UNIT) try to define the Doctor until he regains his own narrative at the very end by giving up agency (surrendering control of the Cybermen to Danny). But it's not that simple--because the episode ends with another narrative usurpation, this time by Father Christmas.

 

2. How nifty is it that both of the other thematic strands--broken robots and soldiers--were resolved in the same character

 

3. I'm generally positive on Moffat--I liked, but didn't love, last season, for pete's sake!--but this is probably the single densest, most compelling and thematically interesting season since the return. Possibly since T. Baker's early run.

 

EDIT EDIT:

One more thing.

This episode circles back around, as so many of Moffat's scripts do, to "the power of love." But there's a difference. Here, "love is not an emotion. Love is a promise." As

this commenter points out at Sandifer's blog, Moffat is here cribbing from Wittgenstein. It also marks an ethical advance from the other "power of love" resolutions that have occurred under Moffat--not only in his scripts, but in "Victory of the Daleks," "The Lodger," "Closing Time," etc. It also circumvents the emotional essentialism of the Doctor's words earlier--yes, Cybermen can love, even if they have no emotions, because the emotions are only a part of the action known as "love." 

 

This is why I don't mind Moffat revisiting tropes; every time he does, he adds something, he thickens the texture and deepens the resonance. His "power of love" endings have worked before, but never more than now, when love is recognized as something transcending mere emotionalism.

Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought the Christmas episode mostly wasted Nick Frost. It was fun to see him in a Santa suit, sure, but he just didn't have much to do. As for the episode overall, the Who-ception conceit was all right, but not anything special, and as much as I like Jenna Coleman, I'm ready for the show to move on from Clara.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought the Christmas episode mostly wasted Nick Frost. It was fun to see him in a Santa suit, sure, but he just didn't have much to do. As for the episode overall, the Who-ception conceit was all right, but not anything special, and as much as I like Jenna Coleman, I'm ready for the show to move on from Clara.

 

More or less agreed, except for that last bit. There's some fantastic stuff here: the doubling of Santa and the Doctor, "You have a horror movie called Alien?", "You're a dream that's trying to save us?" "You pretty much just described me in a sentence", etc etc etc--but all of that occurred to me after the fact, between reading Sandifer's review and doing a little rumination of my own. Watching the episode itself, I found the experience entertaining and painless, but hardly up to the very-high heights of the last few episodes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an approach I can get behind:

 

On some level, this year’s Christmas special feels like an extension of “Listen,” as here too Steven Moffat deconstructs many of his most familiar tropes. The Doctor tells us that the dream crabs can weaponize people’s own dreams against them, and this is an entire story that weaponizes the audience’s narrative expectations against them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've rarely if ever found the Doctor's Christmas specials to be among my favorite episodes, but this year, for my money, The Librarians "And Santa's Midnight Run," (with the esteemed Bruce Campbell as the spirit of Christmas) beat "Last Christmas"--well, maybe not all hollow, but pretty close.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

River's back! Or, she will be this Christmas.

I'm not unhappy with the idea of Kingston and Capaldi sharing an episode, though I did feel like the sendoff she got during the Smith years was more than adequate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jenna Coleman is leaving. Not a surprise, really; she's tried to leave at least once already and was convinced to come back. And some of the dialogue teased from the finale seemed to indicate that her character wouldn't be around at that point.

I've enjoyed Coleman's work a lot, so I'm a little sorry to see her go. Only a little, though, since change is the name of the game with this show. What I'm looking forward to less is the year or so of backseat casting that's coming up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, that was a good one. Not great. But enjoyable. Philip Sandifer (as usual) gets it just about right.

Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mixed feelings on "The Witch's Familiar." So many interesting scenes gutted by a cross-and-doublecross structure. Missy is still great, though, and it's looking like her history with the Doctor is going to be pretty important this year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really liked Capaldi and Coleman's performances

leading up to Clara's death scene,

but I didn't like the accidental path the episode took to get to that point. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This news would have been much more exciting a decade ago.

Meanwhile--"Heaven Sent"? Really, really good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile--"Heaven Sent"? Really, really good.

Yes. Every show should have 50 minutes of Peter Capaldi wandering around a castle. Not sure I understood the

hybrid stuff, or why the Gallifreyans didn't just make the prison impossible to break out of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My bet is that the hybrid stuff is going to tie back to the mid-90s movie (hybrids have been a pretty consistent theme this season already). As to the other--that I'm not entirely sure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile--"Heaven Sent"? Really, really good.

Restating what I said on Facebook: Heaven Sent is manifestly Capaldi's "I am the Doctor" moment. Smith and Tennant both made a few grandiose speeches (and I mean that in a good way) that defined themselves as the Doctor. Capaldi has been more introspective about his self. Working out who he is, rather than just saying it. This episode was a beautiful example of that - almost re-framing his entire run to this point through that lens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Meanwhile--"Heaven Sent"? Really, really good.

Restating what I said on Facebook: Heaven Sent is manifestly Capaldi's "I am the Doctor" moment. Smith and Tennant both made a few grandiose speeches (and I mean that in a good way) that defined themselves as the Doctor. Capaldi has been more introspective about his self. Working out who he is, rather than just saying it. This episode was a beautiful example of that - almost re-framing his entire run to this point through that lens.

I was convinced that his big speech in "The Zygon Inversion" was the defining moment of Capaldi's run, but after this episode I'm inclined to agree. This is pretty wonderful as an incapsulation of Capaldi's performance--and he is, as always, very good indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've liked this season but haven't been over-the-moon about it. This finale, though? Absolutely wonderful. All that talk from a few years back about how Moffat is so inferior to Davies in his handling of women characters should be put to rest by

 

Spoiler

 

Clara's exit, which--as Sandifer points out--is a direct answer to Donna's exit in the Tennant run. And better. Clara's slow transformation into the Doctor becomes, not a source of tragedy but of triumph.

 

 

 

Besides which, Moffat has now made it in-universe possible, and I would say inevitable, that the Doctor can and will regenerate into a woman or a person of color--or both!--without breaking his essential character.

And besides that--really, how refreshing is it to have a season finale that doesn't turn on the destruction of the universe (any destruction is a red herring) or the subjugation of Earth? Moffat took a lot of stick early on for reverting to the same formula, but the more seasons he does the clearer it becomes that he's far more flexible in his formula than Davies ever was. 

And besides that--I want an album of Capaldi playing music from the show.

I'm really, really pleased with this finale.

EDIT: A little more--

Moffat's sneaky. A few seasons back he introduced Clara with the Impossible Girl arc, which immediately came under criticism for making Clara "all about the Doctor." But--as Sandifer pointed out way back then--what Moffat was actually doing was parodying his own tricks from the previous season, setting them up and then inverting them--Clara's mystery was precisely that she wasn't mysterious. And over the course of her run we've seen her growing more and more Doctorish, and this was taken by many people--including myself!--as the set-up for a tragic end to her character. But that was, it seems, not Moffat's end-game: rather than making her Doctorish and then punishing her for it (like happened with Donna, for instance), Moffat transformed this character--who, again, was introduced as just another puzzle-plot--into the most self-actualized companion in the show's history. I think I'm correct in saying that. At the end of the day, she defines herself--she isn't defined by her relationship with the Doctor; if anything, she defines that relationship herself, sets its terms and its limits. Somehow, this showrunner who has been consistently (and wrongly) accused of misogyny has done more than Davies could vis-a-vis the companion. Sandifer was right.

Edited by NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just watched the Christmas special The Husbands of River Song. It was really lovely; I mean, it's a Christmas special, so it's light compared to the series-proper episodes, but Kingston and Capaldi are wonderful together. And the last couple of scenes reiterate several of Moffat's key thematic nodes in a way that's really satisfying (to me, anyway).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, 

Spoiler

The Doctor giving River his sonic screwdriver

at the end was fine, but I really appreciated how light and fun the episode was overall. Feels like Who hasn't done that in quite a while. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I shouldn't say much about Chibnall until I've checked out Broadchurch, but--eh. What a boring choice.

OTOH, Moffat's never been better, and it's as well that he leaves on a high note. I'm excited to find out what he does next.

Edited by NBooth

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