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Poll: Which Who? (30 member(s) have cast votes)

Which Who?

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#121 Tyler

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:49 PM

I watched The End of Time today. Was the part about the Time Lords going crazy and trying to destroy everything (and hanging out in the galactic parliament set from Star Wars) supposed to make any sense?

#122 NBooth

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 08:58 PM

I watched The End of Time today. Was the part about the Time Lords going crazy and trying to destroy everything (and hanging out in the galactic parliament set from Star Wars) supposed to make any sense?


It didn't make sense? [I kid, I kid....] They wanted to end time so that they could be immortal. By destroying everything. Or something. (If one wanted, I suppose one could say that they exemplify some sort of death-drive: by trying to control everything they ultimately long for stasis blah blah blah, but really it's so jumbled that I'm not sure it's worth the effort).


"End of Time" is, in a way, the ultimate expression of RTD's style--big, splashy, emotional, and just a little bit nonsensical. I won't lie and say I didn't enjoy it, but it's hardly the series' brightest moment, I think.

#123 Tyler

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 10:06 PM

"End of Time" is, in a way, the ultimate expression of RTD's style--big, splashy, emotional, and just a little bit nonsensical. I won't lie and say I didn't enjoy it, but it's hardly the series' brightest moment, I think.


Why yes, I do watch Torchwood.

I did think End of Time was fun, although the setup was better than the follow-through (seems to be another RTD pattern).

I just watched "The Eleventh Hour." Matt Smith looks like Tennant if you ran him through a Zemeckis motion-capture machine.

#124 NBooth

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:01 PM


"End of Time" is, in a way, the ultimate expression of RTD's style--big, splashy, emotional, and just a little bit nonsensical. I won't lie and say I didn't enjoy it, but it's hardly the series' brightest moment, I think.


Why yes, I do watch Torchwood.


I really need to get around to that second season....

I did think End of Time was fun, although the setup was better than the follow-through (seems to be another RTD pattern).


[nods] Oddly, I don't think this was really a problem with the Eccleston run; it was only as the finales got progressively more world-changing that things got out of hand.

I just watched "The Eleventh Hour." Matt Smith looks like Tennant if you ran him through a Zemeckis motion-capture machine.


:D Smith is very much channeling Tennant in a couple of scenes there. FWIW, I think he owns the role pretty handily by the next episode, and by mid-season I was asking "Who's David Tennant?" (It doesn't hurt that I tend to prefer Eccleston to Tennant anyway, and Pertwee--from what I've seen--to either).

#125 NBooth

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 10:26 AM

"The God Complex": pretty darn good. The twist (that the creature was feeding on faith) was a nice variation on the expected explanation, and lead up to the conclusion very well.

Also: stylishly shot--I've got to say, at times this episode felt as much like a revival of The Avengers as an episode of Doctor Who; heck, even Amy looked a bit Emma-Peelish a couple of times. I could easily see this episode running back-to-back with "The Joker" or (especially) "The House that Jack Built". This is a good thing.

EDIT: Here's a clip from "The House that Jack Built" to illustrate my point:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft_glYCP4n4

Edited by NBooth, 18 September 2011 - 10:38 AM.


#126 Tyler

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 01:42 PM

Posted Image

#127 BethR

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 06:51 PM

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That would be perfect. :)

#128 NBooth

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 08:20 PM

Well, that finale's gonna be a splitter. I think the last few minutes were pretty audacious, myself, and can't wait to see where next series goes from here.

EDIT: Some further thoughts:

1. Yep, too rushed, as all arc episodes have been this season. Someone on another board suggested they could have cut the terrible pirate episode and given the finale a proper two parts, and I'm inclined to agree.

2. I'm a little surprised at how much I love this little family that's formed in the TARDIS over the past two years. It's different from any other set of companions of which I'm aware--just taking the revived series, it's difficult to imagine Ten dropping in just to hang out with Martha or Donna, but Eleven would absolutely (I think) spend a relaxing evening with Amy and Rory.

3. Matt Smith and Alex Kingston's chemistry is palpable. I would watch an episode consisting entirely of them trading Moffat quips.

4. And so the Doctor is now a man of mystery again. Next season is, apparently, going to be less arc-heavy, which is fitting (one suspects that Moffat plans to bring out the big guns for the upcoming anniversary).

5. What I said earlier about Amy looking Emma Peelish? Goes double for this episode. I'm convinced: if they ever do a proper revival of The Avengers, Karen Gillian needs to be the talented amateur.

EDIT EDIT: Ok, one more:

7. My biggest beef with this series has been that it's been substantially less idea-driven than last year; that is, there was nothing as compelling as "The Beast Below" or the memory theme. Over the season that's changed, with ideas about parenthood coming to the fore, but it's still been pretty diffuse...until TWORS, where suddenly everything comes together and makes the season as a unit very talk-aboutable indeed. The family element is one very strong bit, but I really dig the idea that "time can be rewritten" constitutes some sort of rejection of life itself (since rewriting time not only results in the chaos Moffat has underlined throughout the series, but in actually collapsing all times in on themselves--resulting in a very post-modern sort of world of endless referents--and that only by re-inserting oneself in time [and specifically in a time made up of familial/familiar connections] can the true order of things be realized. At the same time, only by accepting death is the Doctor able to escape the real death that is eternal now-ness). Not, perhaps, a very original theme, but I think it's elaborated pretty well, and the eternally-now moment that introduces the episode gives a very good visual illustration of the idea.

Besides, reducing history to a set of signifiers has always been a particular issue with Nu-Who (see: the Shakespeare episode and the Christie episode, which function less as historicals than as extended meta-jokes of the "What the Chaucer?" variety). TWORS takes it one step further by actually collapsing history into a Real-ized version of the "now" and explicitly critiquing it. The Churchill who appears here is a radicalized version of the Churchill from last season--not the real man in his real historical moment, but a free-floating and contextless sign. By re-defining what is meant by a "fixed moment in time" this season has taken the radical (for Nu-Who) stance that history matters as history and that outside of that context it is little more than cultural death.

Of course, I have no idea if Moffat will follow up on this, but I kind of hope he does, by giving us some real historically-conscious episodes next season.

Edited by NBooth, 02 October 2011 - 12:12 PM.


#129 BethR

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 03:15 PM

Thanks, N! There were moments in this seasons when I wavered, but then I thought about the wretched Torchwood: Miracle Day, and the comparison renewed my faith that Moffat would come through in the end. The finale was just enough spectacle and "what the--?" without going right over the top. And I'm now looking forward to whatever's next.

I'm really enjoying Amy as a companion with a life, mind, & love of her own. Rory, too, has become increasingly memorable. As hard as they tried to give Rose's boyfriend and/or his doppelganger a personality, he never really stuck. Similarly, in Torchwood, Gwen's husband never makes much of an impression, so that they have to keep telling us that she loves him (and that poor baby).

Two thoughtful reviews, both crammed with SPOILERS, from British Matt Hills and American Alan Sepinwall.

#130 NBooth

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 04:55 PM

I'm really enjoying Amy as a companion with a life, mind, & love of her own. Rory, too, has become increasingly memorable. As hard as they tried to give Rose's boyfriend and/or his doppelganger a personality, he never really stuck. Similarly, in Torchwood, Gwen's husband never makes much of an impression, so that they have to keep telling us that she loves him (and that poor baby).


Agreed.

Two thoughtful reviews, both crammed with SPOILERS, from British Matt Hills and American Alan Sepinwall.


Oooh, I'm digging the Matt Hills review. Especially this bit:

The ultimate enemy here isn't the Doctor's death, though, or even the Brigadier's heartbreaking absence; it's the end of storytelling itself. Cheating a fixed point means all of time happening at once, stuck in the same day and time, over and over. It's a world which sustains surreal special effects and wonderful juxtapositions, making for some eyecatching, unusual TV drama. But it's also a world in which no more stories can be lived out: cause and effect, sequences of events – what we usually call plots and narratives – no longer seem possible. In part, this is a story-arc finale threatening a finale to all storytelling.

Only the Soothsayer can bring back the pleasures of a tale properly told.



#131 NBooth

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:13 PM

Here's an interesting complaint (I don't use the term pejoratively):

Let me start by saying I really liked the Doctor Who finale. But it was also emblematic of the Lady Problems the show’s been having, where otherwise good female characters keep getting turned into The Girl Who Waited or The Doctor’s Wife — people who are defined in the negative space of the central male character. We’ve found out a lot about River Song this season, which culminates in this episode as she both marries and kills the Doctor — but she does both as part of his character development, not hers.


Which, yeah. I can see that. At the same time, (1) The show is, after all, Doctor Who, and the nature of his timey-wimey relationship with River is such that they only meet...well...when they meet, and anything that happens to her in those cases is bound to be all about the Doctor, and (2) the River we meet in the middle part of "The Doctor's Wife" is not the River we meet at the end. Since we've been seeing her character arc out of order, it makes sense that she moves backwards over the course of the series from being a well-developed, self-fulfilled individual to being more or less defined by her relationship with the Doctor.

Right? Or no? I don't want to offhandedly reject the concerns raised in the piece.

Edited by NBooth, 04 October 2011 - 05:15 PM.


#132 Tyler

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 11:12 AM

Finished catching up with the series last night. The idea that the entire structure of the universe can be set right with a simple bait-and-switch is really unsatisfying for me.

#133 NBooth

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:05 PM

Finished catching up with the series last night. The idea that the entire structure of the universe can be set right with a simple bait-and-switch is really unsatisfying for me.


Fair point, although I have difficulty seeing how else the season could have been resolved without killing the Doctor for real, and so ending the series. I'm just proud they didn't use the Flesh--although, of course, that episode set up the theme of replacement etc.

#134 Tyler

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 08:40 PM


Finished catching up with the series last night. The idea that the entire structure of the universe can be set right with a simple bait-and-switch is really unsatisfying for me.


Fair point, although I have difficulty seeing how else the season could have been resolved without killing the Doctor for real, and so ending the series. I'm just proud they didn't use the Flesh--although, of course, that episode set up the theme of replacement etc.


Yeah, once they painted themselves into that corner--in the first episode of the season--I was bracing for a resolution I didn't expect to like.

My bigger issue, though, is not how it happened, but that it worked. The issue of the Doctor dying at Lake Silencio wasn't just that the Silence wanted it to happen, but that it was a fixed point in the Totality of Everything. If it were just fooling the Silence, I could accept it. But it was really fooling the universe itself, which seems like it would know if the Doctor really died or not.

Edited by Tyler, 12 October 2011 - 08:45 PM.


#135 NBooth

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:12 PM



Finished catching up with the series last night. The idea that the entire structure of the universe can be set right with a simple bait-and-switch is really unsatisfying for me.


Fair point, although I have difficulty seeing how else the season could have been resolved without killing the Doctor for real, and so ending the series. I'm just proud they didn't use the Flesh--although, of course, that episode set up the theme of replacement etc.


Yeah, once they painted themselves into that corner--in the first episode of the season--I was bracing for a resolution I didn't expect to like.

My bigger issue, though, is not how it happened, but that it worked. The issue of the Doctor dying at Lake Silencio wasn't just that the Silence wanted it to happen, but that it was a fixed point in the Totality of Everything. If it were just fooling the Silence, I could accept it. But it was really fooling the universe itself, which seems like it would know if the Doctor really died or not.


But wasn't the idea all along not that the Doctor had to die, but that he had to seem dead? That is, the finale reveals that it was the Doctor's tesselecta that died all along--not the Doctor himself--and what mattered was that everyone thought he was dead?

Yeah, that's a stretch. I admit it. I liked other stuff in the finale (as elaborated above) enough to give it a kind of pass on this score.

#136 NBooth

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:40 PM

The be-paywalled Variety is apparently reporting that David Yates wants to do a movie--one unconnected to the ongoing series:

Yates told Variety that the show "Needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena," and that they won't be adapting the current series but starting "from scratch." Yates told them that he and the BBC are currently in the process of looking for writers, and "we're going to spend two to three years to get it right"-- meaning that Yates might have plenty of time to direct those smaller films after all before a Doctor Who movie takes shape.


Of course, there's talk about a movie every year or so. And I really can't imagine why the BBC would be so willing to dilute their brand this way.

And--as interesting as it would be, I really don't want to think about the continuity issues that it'll raise.


[Of course, there were two Doctor Who movies in the sixties--right at the height of Dalekmania--starring Peter Cushing. These, too, were unrelated to the TV show. So it's not like the idea's unprecedented.]

EDIT: Link to our thread on the movie.

Edited by NBooth, 14 November 2011 - 03:40 PM.


#137 NBooth

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:32 PM



Trailer for the 2011 Christmas Special. It's title? "The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe"

#138 Tyler

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 04:35 PM

Moffat says, "Expect to cry your eyes out" over the Christmas special.

#139 Anna J

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:24 PM

What, exactly, does he think we've been doing this whole time??

#140 NBooth

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:46 PM

What, exactly, does he think we've been doing this whole time??


Seriously. The past two series have been pretty high on the emotion-scale--higher, for me, than during the Tennant years. Which is odd, since emotion is supposed to be Davies' strength.