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Wibbly wobbley timey wimey samey wamey
April 23, 2011 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Last year, BBC America noticed a spike in piracy of Doctor Who episodes as fans were either frustrated with the 2 week gap between UK and US premiere and/or spoilers and gossip everywhere. The solution, as demonstrated by shows like The Walking Dead, seems to be to broadcast world wide on the same day.

See also the NY Times: New Time Warp for ‘Doctor Who’.
posted by ZeusHumms (341 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh hey, someone at the BBC grew a brain. Now do it for Top Gear, and I'll stop pirating your shows. And oh yeah, give me access to the iPlayer.
posted by strixus at 10:40 AM on April 23, 2011 [14 favorites]


Doy.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:45 AM on April 23, 2011


Historically I have grabbed a torrent of the show on Saturday night overnight, then watched it on Sunday morning. Frankly it's a pain in the ass, and I am overjoyed not to have to do it anymore.

I feel no guilt about this, and I always purchase the season sets when they come out. I was a pirate only because I refused to wait for months in order to watch a butchered version on the sci-fi channel. (Seriously SyFy, WTF?)
posted by Lokheed at 10:47 AM on April 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Top Gear? People pirate obnoxious crap like Top Gear?
posted by koeselitz at 10:47 AM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Now do it for Top Gear

Yeah, I'd welcome Top Gear in a more timely manner.

But even more than that, I'd welcome a BBC America channel which carries something more than JUST reruns of Top Gear, Kitchen Nightmares, and Star Trek: TNG.

I used to love that channel, and would watch it nearly all the time. Now I DVR one or two shows a week, tops, and never watch it live anymore. They've lost my eyeballs for their advertisers by watering down their brand to the point where it's not even really BBC programming anymore. I miss the big bold days of The League Of Gentlemen and Brilliant and Kumars at No. 42. *sob*

Thank god for the UK television torrent site I visit, where I can find the goos stuff.

posted by hippybear at 10:48 AM on April 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


The solution seems to be... really, really, incredibly obvious?
posted by Zed at 10:49 AM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Top Gear?

You know Top Gear could be a good show if they actually held a single shot for more than 1.5 seconds. As it is, it's exhausting.
posted by Faze at 10:51 AM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I mean, seriously. Is it really cheaper for them to purchase the broadcast rights of James Bond films (using the excuse that they have a british actor or three in them) rather than just using programming they've already created and shown on the BBC? Have they really found that they're getting a better market share with their shitty All Reruns All The Time scheduling that is mostly material already from the US than they were creating a schedule which was distinctly different from all other channels and very Anglophilic? Have they locked themselves in with having so many shows syndicated to PBS stations that there's nothing left for them to show on their own channel? I can't even see BBC World News America anymore because they took THAT off the air.
posted by hippybear at 10:53 AM on April 23, 2011


Is there a word that means obvious but more strongly than the actual word obvious can imply?

But hey, if there is hope for the TV industry to realize this maybe one day the MLB will realize their internet blackout policies are losing them a ton of cash.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:53 AM on April 23, 2011


Top Gear? People pirate obnoxious crap like Top Gear?

I believe everyone is referring to the British version, not the horrible American one.
posted by juiceCake at 10:59 AM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


About six or seven years ago I remember a lot of people first learning to use bit torrent because Sky One got the rights to broadcast Battlestar Galactica about six months before it aired in the US. The Sky One broadcast also had better opening music.

Does anyone know how much is cut from the BBC America versions? This morning I was re-watching the first episode of the last season and I noticed that there was at least one scene missing.
posted by the_artificer at 11:01 AM on April 23, 2011


Is there a word that means obvious but more strongly than the actual word obvious can imply?

Duh!
posted by shesdeadimalive at 11:02 AM on April 23, 2011


You know what else would be awesome? BBC America in HD. Until then.....I'd probably continue to plan on downloading a high quality copy of Doctor Who tonight. If I did that sort of thing.
posted by inigo2 at 11:02 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know how much is cut from the BBC America versions?

If they follow their pattern from last season, the first broadcast of each episode will be presented uncut and will run about 1h15m or 1h20m with commercials, and subsequent showings of that episode will be trimmed down to fit into a 1 hour timeslot.

You know what else would be awesome? BBC America in HD.

DISH has been carrying BBC America in HD for quite a while now. Since about a month after they started offering it, early in 2010.
posted by hippybear at 11:07 AM on April 23, 2011


I mean, seriously. Is it really cheaper for them to... etc.

Last time I checked, the BBC wasn't exactly an organization which would know a profit motive if one beat it over the head.
posted by valkyryn at 11:07 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Last time I checked, the BBC wasn't exactly an organization which would know a profit motive if one beat it over the head.

It's explicitly not supposed to, with generally good results. BBC however is it's own weird animal.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on April 23, 2011


You know what else would be awesome? BBC America in HD.
I'm pretty sure Comcast has BBCA in HD. There are free HD episodes of Dr.Who and Luther in On Demand, anyway.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:16 AM on April 23, 2011


Okay, that's fascinating. According to the torrent site I frequent, where the season premiere is already available, the episode is only 45 minutes long.

So maybe they're designing this newest series for broadcast with commercials.
posted by hippybear at 11:25 AM on April 23, 2011


According to the NYT, the BBCA episodes will be a week behind the BBC UK episodes after Memorial Day, when BBCA is doing Who reruns. What they're going to learn is that almost nobody is willing to wait a week and that piracy will go right back up.

The new season is also available on iTunes and looks like it will be downloading at the same time as BBCA. I bought it because I don't have cable and am not planning to wait for the DVDs. I don't mind paying for the good Doctor; I just want to see the show in a timely fashion.

(I'd pay even more for unedited Confidentials to go with the episodes, if you're listening, BBC.)
posted by immlass at 11:25 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


me: “Top Gear? People pirate obnoxious crap like Top Gear?”

juiceCake: “I believe everyone is referring to the British version, not the horrible American one.”

Ha! I love this "the-British-version-is-always-better-than-the-American-version" stuff. Hell, the American version of Top Gear is actually better than the British version. Why? Because it doesn't have Jeremy Clarkson.

Seriously, there are people that can look at Jeremy Clarkson for more than five seconds without wanting to strangle somebody? Who knew?
posted by koeselitz at 11:30 AM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


And oh yeah, give me access to the iPlayer.

You can have it when you start paying your license fee, like the rest of us...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:31 AM on April 23, 2011


PeterMcDermott: “You can have it when you start paying your license fee, like the rest of us...”

No, we can't. Why not?

Seriously, there is a fat pile of money there to be made that is not being made.
posted by koeselitz at 11:36 AM on April 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


The problem is not limited just to Doctor Who, it even goes the other way around.

UK release dates for games are routinely days or weeks after the US release, prompting the Rock Paper Shotgun call for no oceans when it comes to release dates.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:37 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


BBC JOINS SECOND HALF OF 20TH CENTURY, FILM AT 11.

Now just let me buy episodes online (to download so I can watch where/whenever I want, even without Internet access) and my piratebay usage will completely dry up.
posted by DU at 11:37 AM on April 23, 2011


Seriously, there are people that can look at Jeremy Clarkson for more than five seconds without wanting to strangle somebody?

Jeremy Clarkson's favorite album of all time is Genesis' Selling England By The Pound. That earns him a lot of cred in my book.
posted by hippybear at 11:37 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, please, allow me to legally acquire the uncut DW Confidentials in a timely fashion, BBC, because I really can't function without regularly ogling Danny Hargreaves. Oh god, my crush on that man is bordering on ridiculous.

Look, it's not so much about wanting to watch the episodes as soon as they're out. It's that, if I want to function on the internet in a remotely normal way for myself, I have to watch Doctor Who right away, or I'll be spoiled out the wazoo, and I've learned that the show simply stops being enjoyable if I can't make fun of it with people online. And then I buy the DVDs, to feed the aforementioned Danny Hargreaves predilection, and at this point they just all look awfully nice lined up on my shelf.

It's interesting to me, because as a fangirl type of person, you expect spoiler policies to be oriented for the US majority online. But it seems that when it comes to the Doctor, all bets are off. It's just expected that you've seen them already.
posted by Mizu at 11:37 AM on April 23, 2011


Seriously, there are people that can look at Jeremy Clarkson for more than five seconds without wanting to strangle somebody?

Clarkson is the thing that makes the show worth watching. His politics might be facile. His opinions might be of about as much value of those of a newt. But his expressions of sheer unalloyed childish glee and enthusiasm when he finds himself behind the wheel of a car that he really likes -- that's the thing that gives Top Gear it's significant global fanbase -- something no other car consumer TV show has ever been able to even dream of.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:38 AM on April 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


As someone who is not living in the US but enjoys watching US television shows, this has been an issue for me for a really, really long time.

And now that television networks have started to air some of the more popular shows within hours of the states, by this time piracy has fundamentally changed the way I watch television. I no longer "do" appointment TV.

More legimate streaming or downloading sites would be awesome.

[longwinded digression on itunes and hulu and regional licensing and geoblocking redacted.]

And I really hope that when they call the Doctor the "namesake character", everyone reading the NYT realises that his name is not actually Doctor Who.
posted by coffeepot at 11:38 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


that's the thing that gives Top Gear it's significant global fanbase

Well, that and James May's incredible collection of psychedelic shirts. I love his shirts.
posted by hippybear at 11:39 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


- Broadcast worldwide on the same day
- No ads
- Play on demand

1 out of 3, I'm still going to pirate.
posted by Harry at 11:46 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've just watched the first episode of Dr Who's new season here in London, and I notice it's now billed as a co-production of BBC America and BBC Wales. It's always been BBC Wales that did the show, but I think the BBC America production credit is new.

I have no idea what this means but, given the scheduling news above, it seems unlikely to be a coincidence.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:49 AM on April 23, 2011


Well, what did people think of the opener then? I always prefer the 2-parters - it seems that the standard episode length is just not long enough to establish a good story. I'll give it an 8/10.
posted by salmacis at 11:56 AM on April 23, 2011


Here in Canada, it will be on Space tonight. But Space isn't one of the a la carte channels with Rogers, and you have to buy a much more extensive (and expensive) package to get it.

So I see that Space, like many CTV/City owned channels, does broadcast episodes OF SEVERAL SHOWS for free on their site. But they only offer a few episodes of Seasons 1-4, and nothing from Season 5 online, even though they just played the marathon. No chance of them streaming season 6 online, right?

On preview: ARGHH! Do NOT even think of discussing the show before it's broadcast. I WILL HURT YOU.
posted by maudlin at 11:58 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, what did people think of the opener then?

Could we maybe save this conversation until tomorrow, when it's actually been broadcast in the US?

Either that or rot13 the discussion, please.
posted by hippybear at 11:59 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seriously, there are people that can look at Jeremy Clarkson for more than five seconds without wanting to strangle somebody? Who knew?

That's because we have dartboards with his face on.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:59 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


(OF SEVERAL SHOWS should be of several shows: I was still tired and emotional when I edited after the spectre of spoilers was raised).
posted by maudlin at 11:59 AM on April 23, 2011


Thank you for the NO SPOILERS. Please keep up the good work.
posted by imperium at 12:01 PM on April 23, 2011


It's always been BBC Wales that did the show, but I think the BBC America production credit is new.

Would this indicate anything beyond the American filming of some of the episodes?
posted by weston at 12:03 PM on April 23, 2011


Hell, the American version of Top Gear is actually better than the British version. Why? Because it doesn't have Jeremy Clarkson.

posted by koeselitz at 7:30 PM on April 23 [+] [!]

I'd concede the point, except that the American version is lacking Captain Slow and so fails the awesomeness test:)
posted by kaemaril at 12:03 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Out of courtesy I will reveal no plot details, and only say that I AM CHAMPING AT THE FUCKING BIT for next week's episode.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:04 PM on April 23, 2011


And I really hope that when they call the Doctor the "namesake character", everyone reading the NYT realises that his name is not actually Doctor Who.

The NPR discussion makes this mistake before the first sentence is half over.
posted by weston at 12:04 PM on April 23, 2011


- Broadcast worldwide on the same day
- No ads
- Play on demand

1 out of 3, I'm still going to pirate.


Why yes, the sheer audacity of them to want to be compensated for the entertainment they're providing you. Parasite.
posted by cavalier at 12:04 PM on April 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


You can watch the Craig Ferguson mini-interview with Karen Gillan here, by the way.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:06 PM on April 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Would this indicate anything beyond the American filming of some of the episodes?

Um... well, the first episode was 45 minutes, not 60... so they seem to have reformatted the show to compensate for US television commercial time...

And I'm not sure, but was the BBC subjected to a bit of budget shrinkage a while back? I know that Torchwood is going to be a joint production with an American company, too...
posted by hippybear at 12:09 PM on April 23, 2011


Could we maybe save this conversation until tomorrow, when it's actually been broadcast in the US?

Because it's not a spoiler at that point?

I am pretty voraciously anti-spoiler, but it's this sort of attitude that leads to me saying "lol, americans. cry moar."
posted by coffeepot at 12:12 PM on April 23, 2011


Hell, the American version of Top Gear is actually better than the British version.

The American version wasn't better than anything in the entire history of tv.
Yeah, Clarkson's a prat, but his sheer, sincere enthusiasm (along with his fellow presenters) for cars and driving and doing crazy crap with cars is something the US version simply didn't have. Not even a 10,000th of the enthusiasm.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:13 PM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


The most recent Nerdist Podcast has a 40-minute Q&A with the cast and crew recorded in New York a couple weeks ago.
posted by the_artificer at 12:30 PM on April 23, 2011


Because it's not a spoiler at that point?

I am pretty voraciously anti-spoiler, but it's this sort of attitude that leads to me saying "lol, americans. cry moar."


Wait what? I don't understand what you're saying. You're anti-spoiler, but you loathe people who say "can you wait until we've had the chance to watch this before we talk about it"?

I think you're a bit conflicted on what you really think and feel, and are just looking for an excuse to slam Americans.
posted by hippybear at 12:45 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Comcast has BBCA in HD.

Some locations, yes. They also have Fox Soccer Channel in HD in some locations. Philly's got both; DC has neither. Living in DC -- fuck Comcast.
posted by inigo2 at 12:47 PM on April 23, 2011


But even more than that, I'd welcome a BBC America channel which carries something more than JUST reruns of Top Gear, Kitchen Nightmares, and Star Trek: TNG.

You're in luck, BBC America is doing reruns of BSG.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:59 PM on April 23, 2011


I love this "the-British-version-is-always-better-than-the-American-version" stuff.

Which thread is that in?
posted by juiceCake at 1:19 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've just watched the first episode of Dr Who's new season here in London, and I notice it's now billed as a co-production of BBC America and BBC Wales. It's always been BBC Wales that did the show, but I think the BBC America production credit is new.

Possibly because when they shot in the States, they used the resources of BBC A?
posted by juiceCake at 1:23 PM on April 23, 2011


I am indeed bringing years of spoiler frustration to this conversation and I apologise.

When you said "Could we maybe save this conversation until tomorrow, when it's actually been broadcast in the US?" you might have meant "can you wait until we've [all] had the chance to watch this before we talk about it", but I heard "can you wait until Americans have had the chance to watch this" with the implication that once that has happened then it's fine to talk about it freely online.

I'm sorry about my tone. I meant "lol, cry moar" in "welcome to the club" sort of way. But it really doesn't read like that, you're right.
posted by coffeepot at 1:53 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why yes, the sheer audacity of them to want to be compensated for the entertainment they're providing you. Parasite.

It is actually possible to satisfy all three of Harry's conditions, and still receive compensation, by selling advertisement free episodes for download.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 2:05 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have said this many times here, but I would gladly fork over the license fee for access to iPlayer. Every single penny, just for online access. I can't imagine that the increased revenue would be less than the additional licensing fees for the BBC.

I won't be watching the Americanized Torchwood, though. My love for John Barrowman has its limits.
posted by Ruki at 2:08 PM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


And I really hope that when they call the Doctor the "namesake character", everyone reading the NYT realises that his name is not actually Doctor Who.

WOTAN says different. And WOTAN is a psychic 1960s supercomputer, so who am I to disagree?
posted by bebrogued at 2:17 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Weston said: "Would this indicate anything beyond the American filming of some of the episodes?"

I didn't think of that, but maybe not. I guess we won't know for sure unless the BBC America credit appears on an episode without any US locations as well.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:17 PM on April 23, 2011


Um... well, the first episode was 45 minutes, not 60... so they seem to have reformatted the show to compensate for US television commercial time...

AFAIK most of the new Who episodes have been 45 minutes long. Sometimes there are specials, and sometimes they just run long, but I don't think the length of today's episode is an indicator of a sacrifice for US audiences.

I kinda hope we get a lot of episodes based in the US. Surely the Doctor has solved most of the problems that afflict Britain (or at least, those parts of Britain that Cardiff and its environs can do a reasonable impression of) by now?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:25 PM on April 23, 2011


The global iPlayer from the BBC - coming in the first half of 2011 (fingers crossed)... including a less-than-US$10 a month iPad subscription app.
posted by Bwithh at 2:39 PM on April 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Global iPlayer will be a subscription-only service, launching initially on the iPad.

Balls. I got excited there for a second.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 2:43 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering if you poor Americans will be getting Don't Scare the Hare the slice of utter deranged nonsense the BBC put out before Who which caused twitter to explode (OK, mainly me) with WTFness from those tuning in early...

Like say a close encounter with Yog Sothoth the madness cannot be described only experience... I give you Alarm-A-Geddon and Hot Hare Balloons
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:56 PM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I saw that Impossible Astronaut was up less than 30 minutes after it aired. This is actually an unusually long time from show-end to being-downloadable; typically, I can download a copy of Castle almost the instant the previews roll for example.
I, like many views, don't want some DRM-crippled, limited-usage app. Give me a fast, good-quality .MPG download for a buck, and let me watch it on whatever system I want, when I want, as many times as I want, and we're good.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 3:00 PM on April 23, 2011


Don't Scare the Hare is probably good for a view or two, but what do you suppose the odds are that BBC would nationalize ITV's The Cube? That's the game show I really want to get on demand.
posted by Several Unnamed Sources at 3:05 PM on April 23, 2011


I swear that hare looks like an Aperture Science product. It's probably 80% asbestos.
posted by emmtee at 3:07 PM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hell, the American version of Top Gear is actually better than the British version.

The American version wasn't better than anything in the entire history of tv.
Yeah, Clarkson's a prat, but his sheer, sincere enthusiasm (along with his fellow presenters) for cars and driving and doing crazy crap with cars is something the US version simply didn't have. Not even a 10,000th of the enthusiasm.


I believe that they tried pretty hard to bring Clarkson to the US to anchor a US Top Gear.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:11 PM on April 23, 2011


I'm wondering if you poor Americans will be getting Don't Scare the Hare

No, we won't.

We don't get any of the BBC game shows here. And we don't get any of the Quiz Comedy shows here. The only BBC chat show we get is Graham Norton. We don't get QI; we don't get ANY of the sitcoms anymore (unless they're on PBS, and then they're mostly all at least 10 years old)... We didn't get The Sarah Jane Chronicles, or any of the soaps (EastEnders, Coronation Street, etc)...

Maybe it's easier if I tell you what a typical day's programming for BBC America consists of. Let me pull up my satellite schedule here... Although the schedule is a bit wonky at the moment due to the impending nuptials...

Monday evening, starting at 3pm (pacific time), we have 4 hours of Top Gear reruns, and then James May's Road Trip (where he goes to France to learn about wine) and then the preceeding 3 hours are rerun (2 Top Gears plus Road Trip) to compensate for the time zones in the US... then three more hours of Top Gear reruns, and then BBC World News for several hours until daytime begins.

Tuesday through Wednesday is all royal wedding stuff, mostly the same shows being rerun in 3-hour blocks (for the time zones again)... then in the evening it's 2 hours of The Tudors (a Showtime series), and then more wedding stuff...

Things all keep being royal wedding stuff until the wedding actually happens, when it is then run repeatedly from 12am Friday morning until 2am Saturday, when they start showing more of the same run-up-to-the-wedding shows they've already shows 14 times already in the week... And then they begin to run the actual wedding again all day the following Saturday...

(At this point you may think I'm kidding you. I assure you, I am not.)

Finally next Saturday evening they will show Doctor Who. That would be, a "rewind" show showing highlights from Matt Smith's tenure thus far, and then a rerun of the most recent Doctor Who, and then the new episode, and then some kind of show about the Doctor being in America... and then all THAT gets rerun again (for the time zones)...

Finally next Sunday they out of the wedding stuff and start showing their typical fare... Sunday night they'll be showing Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves (because having Alan Rickman makes it a British movie, of course)... They'll run that twice in a row, and then they'll start showing Top Gear reruns overnight...

I do not joke when I say the channel is mostly reruns. The only difference with this week and other weeks is that the wedding is preempting things like Kitchen Nightmares reruns.
posted by hippybear at 3:17 PM on April 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


BBC America is like most other American cable channels - going for the lowest common denominator that gets them the highest ratings to justify the highest possible ad rates. Second to that is fitting into whatever personality the channel has. Thus, BBC America has better science fiction then the SyFy Channel.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:22 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't even give a shit about cars and I still love Britain's Top Gear. Clarkson, Captain Slow, and Hamster have my heart, regardless of Clarkson's politics (with which I vehemently disagree 90% of the time). They just love their work so much that I can't help but love going along with them. (The caravan episode ranks among the funniest episodes of television I've seen, and the Viet Nam episode is one of the greatest television shows that has ever aired, anywhere, period.)

As for Doctor Who, or any other tv show I like that airs or has aired weeks (or months) earlier in some places than others--I've got my torrent app set up to run in the background with my favorite shows's torrents in an rss feed. It does its job, and the tv shows magically appear on my computer like on a TiVo. I don't even think about it anymore.

Re: license fee. The Beeb is unbelievably stupid for not offering folks outside the UK the option of buying a license for real-time download and iPlayer access. All I can think of is that there's some legal hitch about it somewhere, because the only other explanation is that no one there ever thought of this option, which anyone who wants to watch good tv thought of years ago.
posted by tzikeh at 3:26 PM on April 23, 2011


The Beeb is unbelievably stupid for not offering folks outside the UK the option of buying a license for real-time download and iPlayer access.

It sort of makes BBC Worldwide redundant.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:28 PM on April 23, 2011


tzikeh: "The Beeb is unbelievably stupid for not offering folks outside the UK the option of buying a license for real-time download and iPlayer access.

ZeusHumms: It sort of makes BBC Worldwide redundant.
"

It doesn't. Nothing allows anyone who receives any of the BBC Worldwide channels (of which BBC America is one) the ability to access any video on the website (iPlayer), and the vast majority of programs run on the various Beeb channels in Britain are never played on the worldwide channels (note the listing of what is on BBCA this week above, for example).

Going with only anecdata, I'd say BBC Worldwide plays maybe 10% of what gets played on BBC 1, 2, and 3. As for America (yes, yes, it's all about us, whatever), none of the other BBC Worldwide stations even air here except news. I went here to look at the channels offered by BBC Worldwide, and clicked on "BBC Entertainment" to see which programs were offered, and got a page telling me I couldn't even look at what was offered on that channel, because it isn't available in America.

(The fact that BBCA doesn't air QI is a crime, same-time or delayed.)
posted by tzikeh at 3:35 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


If anyone could just subscribe to iPlayer and watch whatever from the BBC, why would anyone ever subscribe to BBC America or watch any show they sell to another network?
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:43 PM on April 23, 2011


What have I watched and enjoyed that they haven't run here?

Off the top of my head, the Raymond Blanc cooking show (not the competition ones -- those ran here... the ones where he's just cooking)... um... QI... Psychoville or any of the other League Of Gentlemen descendents... any number of documentaries... QI... A lot of specials, like the show about Matt Lucas being in the Les Miz 25th Anniversary show and the Catherine Tate Christmas Carol... Have I mentioned QI?

Seriously, when BBC America first started, I'd literally leave the channel on all day long while I was at home. Evenings would be a long Beeb orgy of great material. It was great.

But for the past year or so, the only live programming I'd watch on BBC America was BBC World News America. (That's because they put that fucking ST:TNG hour on right afterward, so instead of just continuing to watch the channel, we'd switch away and DVR whatever came on later.) And now they've quit running even that news show... so what do I do? I have the DVR set up to snag a couple of new hours of programming a week and I don't even tune into their live programming stream anymore.

What does this ultimately mean? It means that they've ruined the chances that I'll watch any of the advertising on their channel. And isn't that theoretically why they're offering programming for me to watch in the first place?
posted by hippybear at 3:44 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


ZeusHumms: "If anyone could just subscribe to iPlayer and watch whatever from the BBC, why would anyone ever subscribe to BBC America or watch any show they sell to another network?"

I think hippybear's comment just above sums it up pretty well.
posted by tzikeh at 3:46 PM on April 23, 2011


If anyone could just subscribe to iPlayer and watch whatever from the BBC, why would anyone ever subscribe to BBC America or watch any show they sell to another network?

Why would it matter? They either get money for advertising eyeballs or they get money directly from consumers. Either way, they're getting their money for their effort expended in creating the programming...

It's not like most of what the BBC offers is being show on BBC America anyway. They'd not be losing any customers for people who like the channel as it currently stands.
posted by hippybear at 3:47 PM on April 23, 2011


Perhaps it's all part of a larger plan then.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:50 PM on April 23, 2011


The Beeb is unbelievably stupid for not offering folks outside the UK the option of buying a license for real-time download and iPlayer access.

The question for the BBC of offering the same kind of paid license (leaving aside the matter that the BBC license fee is actually a tax levied on all TV users in the UK whether they watch the BBC or not) to non-UK viewers as UK viewers is much more than an economic one. The BBC's core public interest mission crucially includes a requirement to represent the diverse interests of the British nation. This is why, for instance, the BBC has local radio stations for rural areas around the country, and why it cares about spreading around the BBC budget and offices around the country too. And it is also why the BBC. constantly engaging (sometimes well, sometimes poorly) with the UK public in trying to reflect their diverse interests. This part of the mission could be destabilized or even undermined (and so threatening the justification of the BBC license fee tax, the primary way the BBC is funded) if a large proportion, even a significant minority, of the license-paying audience were located outside of the UK and not British nationals.

This concern may seem overly sensitive to those outside of the UK, but the BBC and the way it is funded has a turbulent history as a political football in the UK (despite being still widely loved by the UK public, despite much grumbling over the content quality) . Unusually (and admirably), the modern BBC is a government-funded public broadcaster that is often at odds with the government of the day, whatever political party is in power. These politicians would jump at any new excuse that could be leveraged as a new threat to the BBC so the institution can be cowed. They would be encouraged too by the private sector media, especially Rupert Murdoch's empire - he hates the BBC, who love any idea which would limit the BBC. The tone of such a debate would, given the previous track record of the popular press in the UK, would no doubt be hysterical and exaggerated.

The BBC is certainly capable of major mistakes and institutional shortsightedness (on the other hand, it has also been remarkably innovative in ways too - e.g. the early Internet initiative which established BBC News as a major web destination) , but I think the reluctance to open up the license fee system to those outside the UK is really a matter of national interest political sensitivity in the context of a funding policy environment where governments and private media are predictably hostile.
posted by Bwithh at 3:50 PM on April 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Nobody subscribes to BBCA. We subscribe to a cable or satellite package, some tier of which includes BBCA--but nobody subscribes a la carte. Nobody's going to drop from the $39.99/mo basic-plus to the $29.99/mo basic just because they suddenly get access to watch QI at the bbc.co.uk site. Believe me, I'd drop to a lower tier in a second if I could do so without losing IFC, because everything else that comes with that is about twenty million ESPN channels and a bunch of people shouting at me about Jesus.

Also, we're almost talking about two entirely different groups of people. The people who are happy to have a ST:TNG marathon on in the afternoon and don't really care if it's on BBCA or SyFy or SPIKE or whatever, and those who want to watch what's airing on BBC 1-4.
posted by tzikeh at 3:58 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The BBC's core public interest mission crucially includes a requirement to represent the diverse interests of the British nation.

Believe me when I say, those of us who rejoiced when BBC America was first announced, and who weep when we see what it has become as it has gradually watered down over the years, would LOVE to have a channel which is representing the diverse interests of some country other than the US. And would delight in having a cultural touchstone brought into our lives which isn't a reflection of the same old bullshit we are immersed in all the time.

Maybe they need to start a new channel... BBC Anglophile channel or something... where the programming actually cuts across the spectrum of what I can find online as BBC programming offerings (I'm reluctant to link the website here because I don't want to see it get into trouble), and where a deep and wide picture is painted about what the "diverse interests of the British nation" may be.

I'll step away from this thread for a while now. I have strong feelings and am dominating this thread. :)
posted by hippybear at 3:59 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bwithh: "but I think the reluctance to open up the license fee system to those outside the UK is really a matter of national interest political sensitivity in the context of a funding policy environment where governments and private media are predictably hostile."

Thank you for the explanation, Bwithh. There's more to it than I knew, which I figured might be the case.

If the license fee is a third rail, then perhaps with this new enterprise (the iPlayer for all -- so long as "all" have an iPad, for the time being) will be apart from the license, and will lead to the ability to folks elsewhere to "subscribe" to certain programs, without their money getting folded into the national political landscape.
posted by tzikeh at 4:01 PM on April 23, 2011


I wish the Australian Broadcasting Corporation would get on board. Daren't even read this thread too thoroughly. Spoilers sweetie!
posted by Coaticass at 4:21 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


(I'm reluctant to link the website here because I don't want to see it get into trouble)

Please don't :)

posted by inigo2 at 4:40 PM on April 23, 2011


Also, we're almost talking about two entirely different groups of people. The people who are happy to have a ST:TNG marathon on in the afternoon and don't really care if it's on BBCA or SyFy or SPIKE or whatever, and those who want to watch what's airing on BBC 1-4.

Yes, but... why bother with calling it BBCA if it's going to show ST:TNG? It's not like it originated on BBC. At that point the whole idea of a channel devoted to BBC programming in the US is kind of irrelevant, if what gets broadcasted has nothing to do with the BBC but rather with ratings. Might as well show whatever all the other conglomerated lifestyle reality garbage channels have been dishing up, because that's what gets ratings. Of course I could easily veer off into a rant about the programming on the other channels all becoming disturbingly similar and barely relevant to the channel's stated content. At least for a while, BBCA was somewhat immune from this effect. If it's all turning into the same channel, pretty soon there is going to be no reason at all to subscribe to any service like cable where the content is spoon-fed, and subscription services for specific channels or shows look much more attractive.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:54 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


iPlayer for Roku or GTFO (or not).

Why yes, I'd love some tea.
posted by Mick at 5:33 PM on April 23, 2011


BBC America is like most other American cable channels - going for the lowest common denominator that gets them the highest ratings to justify the highest possible ad rates.

They have advertising on BBC America? What a fucking travesty!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:48 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the license fee is a third rail, then perhaps with this new enterprise (the iPlayer for all -- so long as "all" have an iPad, for the time being) will be apart from the license, and will lead to the ability to folks elsewhere to "subscribe" to certain programs, without their money getting folded into the national political landscape.

As I understand it, the international version of iPlayer will be rolled out by BBC Worldwide, which is a subsidiary of the BBC specifically set up for the for-profit international commercialization of BBC products. So that's a body that's responsible for the stream of revenue that's distinct from (but much smaller than) the national license fee revenue stream, although inevitably BBC Worldwide gets caught up in debates about BBC funding in general (e.g. BBC Worldwide is culturally distinct from the rest of the BBC by acting like a for-profit business; so it bought the Lonely Planet travel guide company because it thought it was a good investment with synergy with other existing BBC products. But politicians and private media competitors will ask is this investment legitimately in the scope of the BBC mission blahblahblah; some of these critics would really prefer it if the BBC didn't attempt to make money internationally at all)

I'm not sure but I don't think the internationalization of the iPlayer will be limited to iPad though, but its just that they're rolling that out first, is the impression I got?
posted by Bwithh at 5:51 PM on April 23, 2011


We didn't get The Sarah Jane Chronicles

We did on SciFi for a while.

Everything else you say about BBCA is true, though. Endless repeats, half of them now not even of British shows; and a rotating cast of about 6 movies (usually Robin Bloody Hood or The Hunt For Bloody Red October) plus a few Bond films. Goddamnit it's such a missed opportunity.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:53 PM on April 23, 2011


why bother with calling it BBCA if it's going to show ST:TNG?

The bar now seems to be "it has a British actor in it." But even that surely doesn't stretch to cover the X-Files repeats.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:57 PM on April 23, 2011


Coaticass, I believe we'll get both Episodes 1 and 2 on the ABC next weekend on Saturday and Sunday respectively. I don't know why the delay on Episode 1 (Easter / ANZAC day conflagration?), but I can wait a week. :)
posted by adamt at 6:16 PM on April 23, 2011


But even that surely doesn't stretch to cover the X-Files repeats.

I think they're relying on Gillian Anderson's 6 years of childhood in England (having moved there shortly after her birth from the US) and her current adoption of London as her home to make that show british enough to show on BBCA.
posted by hippybear at 6:21 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Plus, a lot of the X-Files was shot in British Columbia. That's gotta count for something, right?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:28 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


(That said, BBC Canada is actually pretty good about staying on topic, aside from the occasional government-mandated Holmes On Homes episode.)

(...which I've never quite understood, frankly, when there's always the Canadian versions of Antiques Road Show and Who Do You Think You Are? to fall back on.)
posted by Sys Rq at 6:33 PM on April 23, 2011


Okay, and BBCA just had a promo showing that they're going to start running BSG in June.

I guess they're going with the British Columbia filming of THAT as their excuse?
posted by hippybear at 6:43 PM on April 23, 2011


Don't Scare the Hare is probably good for a view or two, but what do you suppose the odds are that BBC would nationalize ITV's The Cube? That's the game show I really want to get on demand.

The dude didn't even activate the last sensor. Show is rigged.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 6:46 PM on April 23, 2011


Can we talk about the episode now? Because squeeeeee
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:15 PM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


The BBC Is Struggling To Tighten Its Belt (NYT)
posted by hippybear at 7:19 PM on April 23, 2011


PhoBWan, probably not a good thread to start asking for spoiler discussion in. :)
posted by tzikeh at 7:21 PM on April 23, 2011


PeterMcDermott: "You can have it when you start paying your license fee, like the rest of us..."

You don't need to pay a license fee to use the iPlayer, you just need a UK IP address. I'm downloading the show in the US via the iPlayer right now.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 7:26 PM on April 23, 2011


PhoBWan, probably not a good thread to start asking for spoiler discussion in. :)

The no-spoiler requests upthread were asking for people to wait til it aired in the US.

Which was a half hour ago. ;)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:29 PM on April 23, 2011


I don't have any problem talking about the show at this point, but I think I'll instead complain of the "limited commercial interruptions" actually being SIX commercial breaks, the first of which came 9 minutes into the broadcast and lasted for 10 minutes.
posted by hippybear at 7:34 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


And half the commercial breaks were the same iPhone commercial.

Didn't really dig the 5 second "In memory of Elizabeth Sladen thing immediately followed by a VERY LOUD ad trying to get you to buy the DVD boxsets. Tasteless.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:37 PM on April 23, 2011


I would love to have that Bel-Air wagon, though. Damn, that was a beautiful car.
posted by hippybear at 7:41 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't handle the commercial breaks, back to torrents (and then buying the box set) for me.

Someone get me a fez!
posted by Mick at 7:44 PM on April 23, 2011


I would love to have that Bel-Air wagon, though. Damn, that was a beautiful car.

Edsel Villager
posted by the_artificer at 7:47 PM on April 23, 2011


Ah, okay. I knew I probably had the make wrong.

I'd still love to have one. Despite being an Edsel.
posted by hippybear at 7:50 PM on April 23, 2011


I loved tonigh's show but I wish they had made the season opener twice as long and shown both parts.

Moffat's obviously making sure Doctor Who continues its secondary objective: being a nightmare-fuel factory for British children.
posted by aldurtregi at 7:52 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


*heh* yes. The moment in the White House bathroom was a bit unexpected.
posted by hippybear at 7:54 PM on April 23, 2011


Didn't really dig the 5 second "In memory of Elizabeth Sladen thing immediately followed by a VERY LOUD ad trying to get you to buy the DVD boxsets. Tasteless.


I agree. I was hoping for a more extended dedication. And possibly also mention of Nicholas Courtney, who passed away in February. Ah, my Sarah Jane and the Brigadier...
posted by pemberkins at 7:54 PM on April 23, 2011


I can't handle the commercial breaks, back to torrents (and then buying the box set) for me.

I just DVR shows and then start watching them 20 minutes after they start. The 30 second skip button makes fast work of those condescending iPhone commercials.
posted by octothorpe at 8:07 PM on April 23, 2011


I'm really, really optimistic about this season. I DO think that last season started much stronger than it ended, though (even though my fave ep, The Lodger, was from late in the season), but, damn, was that a strong beginning.

Mouseover for spoilers was kinda obvious, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:08 PM on April 23, 2011


Really liked the premier, but I hope that however they got out of what happened at the beginning of the episode isn't to comic booky.
posted by drezdn at 8:11 PM on April 23, 2011


Is it weird that whenever I read the word spoilers I hear it in River Song's voice?
posted by Lucubrator at 8:47 PM on April 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


"I'm quite the screamer!"
posted by hippybear at 8:57 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I believe I the only Whovian on the face of the Earth who freaking hates River Song. I hated her in the episode that introduced her, I've hated her in every episode that's featured her since. I hated her tonight. I just hate her.

It's unfortunate, because I think otherwise Eleven's first season was very good, but it colors what would otherwise be unadorned excitement before each episode.

And I agree that that was a crappy way to remember Lis Sladen (and no mention of Courtney!), but it's possible they didn't have time to do more. It's only been, what, four days since she died? And apparently no one knew just how bad it was.
posted by tzikeh at 9:02 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


but it's possible they didn't have time to do more.

They could easily have trimmed down one of their behind-the-scenes or looking-back-at-how-awesome-we-all-are-for-making-this-series segments... They had plenty of time to do something. They just didn't bother.
posted by hippybear at 9:04 PM on April 23, 2011


I think you misunderstood me, hippybear. The behind-the-scenes stuff and the looking-back stuff was shot, edited, and packaged weeks, if not months, ago. It wasn't a matter of throwing over working on one package to work on another.
posted by tzikeh at 9:10 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


If what I think is happening is what's actually happening, then this has been happening for a very long time. I wouldn't be surprised if every single one of Moffatt's Doctor Who episodes have had some kind of indication as to what's happening. Or at least what I think is happening.

Of course it's probably going to turn out that what I think is happening is not what's happening at all and in that case I eagerly await to see what happens!

Not that I'm not eager to see what happens even if I what I think is happening is what's actually happening.
posted by PapaLobo at 9:11 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I'm quite the screamer!"
posted by hippybear at 11:57 PM on April 23 [+] [!]


I totally completely "missed" that conversation even though I technically heard it. I caught it only on the second go around. This must be how kids perceive the show. At least I hope so.
posted by Lucubrator at 9:14 PM on April 23, 2011


I think you misunderstood me, hippybear.

Nah, I'm not misunderstanding you. If hundreds of nightly local news stations can edit stories for broadcast 7 nights a week, the BBC could have easily trimmed a minute out of their canned self-congratulation to honor the death of one of their generations-long beloved stars.
posted by hippybear at 9:15 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I mean, you misunderstand what I mean about time -- not broadcast time, but the time it would take to put something together for Lis on such short notice, when everyone involved with Who has spent the past three weeks stretched beyond their limits with promotion on several continents. Hell, they could completely have done away with the self-congratulation IMO, but that's not what I was referring to. I meant the time it would take to get researchers and writers and editors and so on to do a remembrance package during a week when EVERYONE involved in researching/writing/editing/producing is bent over backwards either promoting Who or prepping for The Wedding.

I expect they'll do something bigger in memoriam at a later date.
posted by tzikeh at 9:22 PM on April 23, 2011


They had a tribute on CBBC though right. Although nothing on BBC America.
posted by Lucubrator at 9:22 PM on April 23, 2011


If what I think is happening is what's actually happening, then this has been happening for a very long time. I wouldn't be surprised if every single one of Moffatt's Doctor Who episodes have had some kind of indication as to what's happening. Or at least what I think is happening.

Of course it's probably going to turn out that what I think is happening is not what's happening at all and in that case I eagerly await to see what happens!

Not that I'm not eager to see what happens even if I what I think is happening is what's actually happening.


Out with it, already!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:24 PM on April 23, 2011


Why yes, the sheer audacity of them to want to be compensated for the entertainment they're providing you. Parasite.

It's broadcast free-to-air on the Australian Government-owned, advertising-free ABC, and available for viewing on demand through iView immediately thereafter. Explain to me why I should feel bad about downloading something I already bought with my taxes so I can play it on demand a little bit earlier than I would otherwise be able to, again?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:32 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


(PS - watched it already, so nyaahhh :p)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:35 PM on April 23, 2011


I believe I the only Whovian on the face of the Earth who freaking hates River Song. I hated her in the episode that introduced her, I've hated her in every episode that's featured her since. I hated her tonight. I just hate her.

Well, the bad news for you then is Moffatt's quote from the Confidential for this episode... "I absolutely adore writing her. I have so much more fun when River's in the show."
posted by hippybear at 9:46 PM on April 23, 2011


I am fucking loving this. This is absolutley how Who should be.
posted by Artw at 9:55 PM on April 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Out with it, already!

Okay, I'm probably wrong but it seems most people in thread have seen the episode by now in both the UK and the USA here's what I think, brought to you in Klingon rot13:

Zbssngg yvxrf gb fpner gur uryy bhg bs yvggyr xvqf. Ur yvxrf pbirevat yvggyr xvqf snprf jvgu guvatf naq gura unir gurz fnl fpnel guvatf. Ur ybirf cynlvat jvgu gur abgvba bs zrzbel naq zrzbel ybff. Ur ybirf cnenqbk. Ur yvxrf lbh abg gb oyvax, ohg jnagf lbh gb ybbx oruvaq lbh. Ur'f whfg chg n yvggyr tvey va n fhvg gung pbiref ure snpr, naq fur fnlf fpnel guvatf. Evire erzrzoref yrff nobhg gur Qbpgbe nf gur Qbpgbe xabjf zber nobhg Evire. Gur Qbpgbe, Evire, Nzl, naq Ebel ner nyy frnfbarq gvzr geniryref, gur Qbpgbe zbfg bs nyy. Gur Qbpgbe unf orra ehaavat sebz fbzrguvat sbe n ybat gvzr. Evire xabjf n greevoyr guvat vf tbvat gb unccra gb ure, fbzrguvat gung sevtugraf ure zber guna qrngu. Fur nyfb unf fgngrq gung fur'f xvyyrq n tbbq zna, naq unf orra vzcevfbarq (gubhtu fur xrrcf oernxvat bhg) sbe vg. Naq abj jr svaq bhg Nzl vf certanag.

Jvgu Evire Fbat.

Naq Nzl whfg fubg ure bja qnhtugre.

Fb ubj va gur uryy vf Evire tbvat gb xvyy gur Qbpgbe?

Vs gung cnenqbk qbrfa'g shpx hc gur havirefr zber guna jung unccrarq ynfg frevrf, V'q or terngyl fhecevfrq.

Also, I never realized that one of my favorite characters, W. Morgan Sheppard, is the father of one of my other favorite characters, Marc Sheppard. Father/son actors are cool.
posted by PapaLobo at 10:01 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unless you're in Australia. We have to wait a week, and the Saturday night timeslot puts a crimp in my social life. I saw it today regardless.
I figure Easter Sunday is a good day to celebrate a man who was died and resurrected to save mankind. Eleven times.

As for the episode, thought it was a bit slow but pleasingly X-Files. Loved the Greys.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:06 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


So that near the end there... Was that set reuse or something significant?
posted by Artw at 10:06 PM on April 23, 2011


Fb ubj va gur uryy vf Evire tbvat gb xvyy gur Qbpgbe?

Jryy, vs jung lbh'er fnlvat vf gehr, gura jr npghnyyl FRR Evire xvyy gur Qbpgbe ng gur ortvaavat bs gur rcvfbqr, qba'g jr? Fb jr xabj ubj, jr whfg qba'g xabj jul.
posted by hippybear at 10:07 PM on April 23, 2011


As for Americans complaining about overseas TV, welcome to the rest of the world. Australia sometimes runs 10 year old episodes of shows as 'new'.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:15 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're just complaint because you miss your daytime soap dominance.
posted by Artw at 10:19 PM on April 23, 2011


Well, the thing about America and overseas TV is... we hardly get ANY from ANYWHERE.

We get the very very few BBC shows which show on PBS and BBCA... I see a bit more international news on various channels if I really look for it... AJE is being carried regularly on LinkTV and FSTV and there is some NHK programming on one of the PBS stations we get here... And there's Univision and such, but they're actually US programming made in Spanish.... Maybe a Canadian show like Red Green Show in PBS... but other than that, we get nothing which isn't a US production company putting on a show for a US audience.

I really think that's a major part of the problem with a lot of how the US as a culture interacts with the rest of the world. We export our media all the time to other countries, pretty much non-stop. But because US audiences aren't willing to have dubbed dialogue in movies or television series (for reasons I don't understand -- when I lived in Germany 25 years ago I watched a lot of dubbed media, and it was all really well done), and since subtitles are considered longhair-neckbeard things to put up with, what we end up with is our own pathetic little bubble of culture which shuts out everything that isn't us.

Case in point -- Life On Mars. The UK series was utterly brilliant television. But they can't possibly actually just buy that show and run it on US television. No, they have to remake it with American actors in an American setting... and it was so horrible that it didn't even last a full season. While the UK series was so popular and powerful they created an entire follow-up series which ran for 3 seasons itself.

What I'm really dreading? The US version of Prime Suspect. The original group of series was so perfect... Each series a novel depicting cultural change both within the police force and in culture at large, tackling pretty large issues every time. They weren't made as lengthy consecutive-year series. They waited until they had good stories and strong scripts, and each series was an event. The US series is going to end up being some kind of updated version of Police Woman, and probably won't last a year, either.

Why we can't just buy series from all over the world and run them here in our media is beyond me. If that were happening regularly, there's a good chance that the general populace of the US would feel more like global citizens instead of the occupants of some kind of special ivory tower, which is a dominant worldview I get from people I meet all across the country.
posted by hippybear at 10:30 PM on April 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


hippybear: Jryy, vs jung lbh'er fnlvat vf gehr, gura jr npghnyyl FRR Evire xvyy gur Qbpgbe ng gur ortvaavat bs gur rcvfbqr, qba'g jr? Fb jr xabj ubj, jr whfg qba'g xabj jul.

V whfg erjngpurq gur fprar jurer gur Qbpgbe vf xvyyrq naq Evire ybbxf nf fhecevfrq nf Nzl naq Ebel. Juvyr V'ir orra fhfcrpgvat gung Evire xvyyrq gur Qbpgbe fvapr ynfg frnfba, V qba'g guvax guvf vf jurer vg unccraf.

(Nal bar ryfr svaq vg bqq gung gur pbyq bcra fgnegf jvgu Nzl naq Ebel njnl sebz gur GNEQVF? Jul qvq gurl yrnir? Jura qvq gurl yrnir? Fbzrguvat srryf bss urer.)
posted by thebestsophist at 10:36 PM on April 23, 2011


And looking at what has happend to BBC America between its creation in 1998 until now only underscores my frustrations about this. The channel started out as a real portal into a culture outside the US. There were BBC morning shows, interview shows, soap operas, sitcoms, cop shows, game shows... the full gamut of types of programming one might see on BBC 1-4 in the UK.

But fast forward 13 years, and the programming is reruns of Top Gear, the majority of the Gordon Ramsay shows they run are the US version of Kitchen Nightmares (and they rerun those a million times), and a HUGE amount of each week is taken up with showing other US shows like ST:TNG or running movies which are also running on a million different networks already, as was already mentioned above.

Anyway, as I said earlier in the thread... I have opinions and feelings about all this. :)
posted by hippybear at 10:36 PM on April 23, 2011


Jryy, vs jung lbh'er fnlvat vf gehr, gura jr npghnyyl FRR Evire xvyy gur Qbpgbe ng gur ortvaavat bs gur rcvfbqr, qba'g jr? Fb jr xabj ubj, jr whfg qba'g xabj jul.

Whfg yvxr jr fnj gur penpx va yvggyr Nzl'f jnyy ng gur ortvaavat bs ynfg frverf; jr xarj vg jnf gurer ohg jr qvqa'g xabj ubj be jul. V guvax gur jubyr frnfba vf tbvat gb or nobhg gelvat gb cerirag gur Qbpgbe'f nccnerag svany qrngu va n jnl gung qbrfa'g shpx hc gur havirefr fb jurer jr unir gb unir Ovt Onat VVV be fbzrguvat. V nyfb guvax gurfr "ybbx oruvaq lbh" nyvraf ner ABG gur "ovt onq" sbe gur frnfba. V creuncf guvax gurl jbex sbe gung ragvgl.

V whfg erjngpurq gur fprar jurer gur Qbpgbe vf xvyyrq naq Evire ybbxf nf fhecevfrq nf Nzl naq Ebel. Juvyr V'ir orra fhfcrpgvat gung Evire xvyyrq gur Qbpgbe fvapr ynfg frnfba, V qba'g guvax guvf vf jurer vg unccraf.

Frr V guvax fur ybbxf ubeevsrq engure guna fhecevfrq, orpnhfr fur'f jngpuvat gur rirag sebz gur bhgfvqr. Gurer'f n fprar va gur erfgnhenag cevbe gb gur cvpavp ba gur ynxr jurer Evire unf n ybbx bs qnjavat ernyvmngvba naq V guvax jung'f fur'f ernyvmvat vf cerpvfryl ubj gur Qbpgbe'f qnl vf tbvat gb raq.

Naq lrnu V jnf jbaqrevat ng svefg jul Ze. & Zef. Cbaq jrer ng ubzr engure guna ba gur GNEQVF cbfg jrqqvat, ohg vg'f ragveryl cynhfvoyr gb zr gung ur qebccrq gurz bss onpx ba Rnegu nsgre gur Puevfgznf rcvfbqr gb znxr onovrf. Ur qrsvavgryl jnagf gurz gb znxr onovrf orsber ur'f pbaivaprq ol Nzl gb tb gb 1969. Uzzzzzz.
posted by PapaLobo at 10:44 PM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I did also notice this episodes running time was only 44 minutes, which is usually the length of an American TV show to accommodate commercials. I hope this is not a trend, as usually the episodes as aired on the Beeb are a good 8-12 minutes longer.
posted by PapaLobo at 10:46 PM on April 23, 2011


Naq lrnu V jnf jbaqrevat ng svefg jul Ze. & Zef. Cbaq jrer ng ubzr engure guna ba gur GNEQVF cbfg jrqqvat

V guvax lbh zrna Ze. & Zef. Jvyyvnzf. Hayrff Ebel gbbx Nzl'f ynfg anzr. Gurl qb xrrc ersreevat gb ure nf Nzl Cbaq, fb znlor gurl unir bar bs gubfr arj-snatyrq zneevntrf jurer gurl obgu xrrc gurve anzrf.
posted by hippybear at 10:49 PM on April 23, 2011


V guvax lbh zrna Ze. & Zef. Jvyyvnzf. Hayrff Ebel gbbx Nzl'f ynfg anzr. Gurl qb xrrc ersreevat gb ure nf Nzl Cbaq, fb znlor gurl unir bar bs gubfr arj-snatyrq zneevntrf jurer gurl obgu xrrc gurve anzrf.

Dude, I'm not going to even dignify this with a rot13 response. Of course it's Mr. Pond.

I watch this show way too much, is why I know this.
posted by PapaLobo at 10:52 PM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


To be fair, BBCA is better than it was 5 years ago when it was all Benny fuckibg Hill. And they've woken up to the idea that putting Who on is a good idea rather than leaving it to SyFy or CBC.
posted by Artw at 10:53 PM on April 23, 2011


I half wish BBCA would take over SyFy and do it right.

I did also notice this episodes running time was only 44 minutes, which is usually the length of an American TV show to accommodate commercials. I hope this is not a trend, as usually the episodes as aired on the Beeb are a good 8-12 minutes longer.

I'm not sure about that. From what I can tell, 50-65 minute episodes are the exception, not the rule.

Anyway here's, http://rot13.com/, for those playing with spoilers.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:58 PM on April 23, 2011


guvax lbh zrna Ze. & Zef. Jvyyvnzf. Hayrff Ebel gbbx Nzl'f ynfg anzr. Gurl qb xrrc ersreevat gb ure nf Nzl Cbaq, fb znlor gurl unir bar bs gubfr arj-snatyrq zneevntrf jurer gurl obgu xrrc gurve anzrf.

You may need to watch the last episode of S5 again. Even if its not his legal name, he's definitely Rory Pond.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 10:59 PM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, I hate rot13.

It's an interesting theory, PapaLobo, but I think it's a bit convoluted for Moffat. I could see RTD trying to tie EVERY COMPANION TOGETHER in this way, but I hope Moffat is a bit better than that. I like the fact that River's history started before Amy's with the show, and like to imagine that her character arc has a bit more breadth than that.

I did find it interesting that, when River spoke of the Doctor someday forgetting her, she specified "her Doctor." In one way, you could interpret this as something we've already seen--but 10 wasn't her Doctor, was he?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:05 PM on April 23, 2011


Nah, he's Rory Williams. And Amy Pond. And they're married. There was no name change for either party in the marriage. And that's okay, because it's the 21st Century and we don't have to get all into that chattel thing if we don't want to.
posted by hippybear at 11:05 PM on April 23, 2011


Rory admitted he was Rory Pond. Sure, it was tongue-in-cheek, but it was also a nice little nod to how the power's laid out in their relationship. Like, I don't think he'd mind anyone calling him that.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:07 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


a bit convoluted for Moffat
Seriously? To me, series 5 taken as a whole was so much more than the sum of its parts that I immediately watched the whole series again after the last episode to discover just what the Doctor knew about Amy's "condition" and how he tried to prepare her for what he knew was coming.

I find it interesting that in almost every episode of S5 the Doctor tells someone (usually Amy) to "remember" and that also the word "silence" is used in every single episode of S5 ... even including the song in the Christmas special. Okay so maybe it's not convolution, but it does show forethought in plenty.

None of this answers the question of whether or not Mr. Pond is still a nearly immortal plastic Roman, however. I'm still uncertain about that.
posted by PapaLobo at 11:15 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


None of this answers the question of whether or not Mr. Pond is still a nearly immortal plastic Roman, however. I'm still uncertain about that.


The events of 6x01 would suggest not, unless the replication process was really, really accurate.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 11:19 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


None of this answers the question of whether or not Mr. Pond is still a nearly immortal plastic Roman, however. I'm still uncertain about that.

That I think I can answer, actually.

When the Doctor healed the crack in time or whatever it was, he undid Rory's erasing by the crack, and thus undid the creation of the plastic version and restored his real self to existence. So he's his real self and not a plastic creation.

I'm not sure the plastic Rory could get Amy pregnant anyway.
posted by hippybear at 11:19 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


When the Doctor healed the crack in time or whatever it was, he undid Rory's erasing by the crack, and thus undid the creation of the plastic version and restored his real self to existence. So he's his real self and not a plastic creation.

Agreed, at the end of series 5 when the TARDIS appears at the wedding, you can hear him in the background saying "I was made of plastic!" so even though he is human and his body has only aged the normal number of years, it seems he has almost 2000 years of memories…mind you most of them are pretty boring with him standing staring around the cave under Stonehenge. (To me, a much more interesting thought experiment than whether Plastic Rory could get Amy pregnant.)

Nah, he's Rory Williams. And Amy Pond. And they're married. There was no name change for either party in the marriage.

Except that when the Doctor congratulated his as Mr. Pond, Rory said "No, you've got it the other way around." Which suggests that legally, Amy was likely at least thinking about changing her name.
posted by thebestsophist at 11:31 PM on April 23, 2011


a bit convoluted for Moffat
Seriously? To me, series 5 taken as a whole was so much more than the sum of its parts that I immediately watched the whole series again after the last episode to discover just what the Doctor knew about Amy's "condition" and how he tried to prepare her for what he knew was coming.

I find it interesting that in almost every episode of S5 the Doctor tells someone (usually Amy) to "remember" and that also the word "silence" is used in every single episode of S5 ... even including the song in the Christmas special. Okay so maybe it's not convolution, but it does show forethought in plenty.


It's not a matter of forethought--it's more a matter of tying all the characters together in a rather forced way that doesn't really seem to do any of them justice individually. I really think Moffat's a stronger writer than that, and so far hasn't been afraid to develop strong individual characters--particularly female characters--even in single episodes (Sally Sparrow, Madame Du Pompadour). Amy being River's mom just feels like something Russel T Davies would do, in part because of his fanficish attachment to individual characters, something that sometimes gets in the way of good writing (*cough* Rose).

In fact, I'd say one of my overriding fears about 11's run has been the sort of close pairing between both he and Pond as iconic characters. I don't know that we've seen other companions quite elevated to that level before (in a way, even Rose). One of the things I enjoy about the Doctor is seeing his dynamics with different companions, separately, and I'd hate if 11, the Doctor, Rory, and River were all tied together that strongly--complete with the beginnings and ends of their character arcs.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:43 PM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


There was a line about the Founding Fathers that will freak out the Conservatives. And a few other people besides.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:38 AM on April 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Interestingly, the end credits list them as 'Amy Pond' and 'Rory'. Nice dodge.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 1:29 AM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


*extremely slow clap*
posted by tumid dahlia at 1:33 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh god, I'm not sure I needed Slenderman in my Doctor Who.
posted by painquale at 1:59 AM on April 24, 2011


In the pre-Who hours looking at all the piteous 'please don't spoiler it for us Americans' tweets I nearly added 'SPOILER: The Doctor won't die'... oh what a fool I would have looked
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:05 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


me: "I believe I the only Whovian on the face of the Earth who freaking hates River Song. I hated her in the episode that introduced her, I've hated her in every episode that's featured her since. I hated her tonight. I just hate her.

hippybear:Well, the bad news for you then is Moffatt's quote from the Confidential for this episode... "I absolutely adore writing her. I have so much more fun when River's in the show."
"

Yeah, I know Moffatt loves her; it's been more than clear how much he loves her right out of the gate with "Silence in the Library." It's just how it goes; I rarely get a favorite television show that doesn't have at least *one* character whom the writer adores beyond all reason, but whom I hate. Seems to be my curse.
posted by tzikeh at 4:11 AM on April 24, 2011


So, The Impossible Astronaut was a bit of a mess, but I'm willing to wait to see where Moffat takes the story/stories next week since everything is still so up in the air!

I don't think Amy is pregnant, since both she and River seemed to get sick after seeing the aliens (The Silence) - though I do wonder why Amy jumped to that conclusion, maybe the aliens don't just erase their existence from your memory but can create false memories, too?
posted by crossoverman at 4:39 AM on April 24, 2011


Amy being River's mom just feels like something Russel T Davies would do, in part because of his fanficish attachment to individual characters, something that sometimes gets in the way of good writing (*cough* Rose).

Which see hippybear's quote about Moffat's love of River. I almost expected her to be in the opening credits. I wasn't a huge fan of River in the beginning but that was partly because I was beginning to tire of both Davies and Tennant and really wanted Catherine Tate to be the next Doctor. Horribly disappointed how she was treated out of all the new companions. But River's grown on me mainly because I love Alex Kingston and the growing dynamic between her and Matt Smith. Mrs. Robinson indeed. I guess the thing that made me thought OMG Amy is River's mom is that there were three people who saw the ... aliens ... and two of them got "sick". We're meant to think that Amy's sickness is due to her pregnancy but does that mean River's pregnant too? Or is it some kind of sympathetic impending paradox thing?

In fact, I'd say one of my overriding fears about 11's run has been the sort of close pairing between both he and Pond as iconic characters. I don't know that we've seen other companions quite elevated to that level before (in a way, even Rose)

I'll agree with you here. Davies companions all had families, which featured often into the story. Rory has no family as we've yet seen, and Amy willingly left her own just-popped-into-existence family post-wedding. It's almost getting to the point where I can't imagine Doctor 11 having any other companions other than Amy/Rory and sometimes River.

And on preview, crossoverman just brought up a very good point. Amy didn't start feeling sick until after she saw the aliens. Perhaps her telling the Doctor she's pregnant is the only way she can clue him in that there's something wrong. She may not be pregnant after all.

But then I started off saying that if what I think is happening isn't actually happening, then I'm eager to see what's going to happen even if it's not what I think is happening ;-)
posted by PapaLobo at 4:49 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the fact that River's history started before Amy's with the show, and like to imagine that her character arc has a bit more breadth than that.

Because I have absolutely nothing to do this Sunday morning in which I have awakened way too early, I'll keep drinking coffee and beanplating about Doctor Who.

One bit of symmetry I've always loved is the backwards/forwards relationship the Doctor and River have. That sort of consequence of time travel in stories just fascinates me. When we first meet River, she knows everything about the Doctor (10 at this point) and he knows nothing about her. And then River dies (well, becomes sort of virtual AI construct at least, surrounded by people whom she probably wouldn't have chosen herself but because 10 didn't know her any better probably thought he was doing her a favor). I fancy the notion that the first time River sees the Doctor the knowledge bit is reversed and the Doctor does indeed die--at least from the viewer's point of view. We don't really know who's in the suit when he dies, yet recall that the Doctor that dies has got two hundred years on "our" Doctor. And he's obviously interacted quite a bit with River in that two hundred years.
posted by PapaLobo at 5:11 AM on April 24, 2011


Jnf gur fuvc sebz guvf rcvfbqr fvzvyne gb gur bar sebz "Gur Ybqtre?"
posted by drezdn at 6:34 AM on April 24, 2011


drezdn, I would say absolutely the same one, just finished. Znxrf lbh jbaqre jub'f gur cvybg qbrfa'g vg?
posted by PapaLobo at 6:43 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't rule out set re-use, but it would seem a bit sloppy if we all recognized it.
posted by Artw at 6:57 AM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


For those who haven't seen it yet: My Sarah Jane: A Tribute To Elisabeth Sladen, the one that aired on CBBC on April 23 after the DW ep.
posted by bentley at 8:05 AM on April 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


I believe I [am] the only Whovian on the face of the Earth who freaking hates River Song.

*ahem*

Also, it's now the Day After Who in the US: time to let go of the rot13 yet?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:32 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unless she's giving birth to Gina Torres, Amy better not be pregnant. I'm not trying to take anything away from the thrilling/existentially terrifying drama of pregnancy in real life, as I'm sure it's quite an adventure, but I am really having a hard time coming up with a plot thread that I could be less interested in following over the course of a season of a show ostensibly about people who can travel the width and breadth of time and space. I do not need to see a season finale wherein the Doctor midwifes a baby as the universe plunges into a black hole at the end of infinity or something. I would be more interested in Rory's yearlong battle with erectile dysfunction, or Amy's struggle with mono, or the Doctor meeting this girl he really digs but her favorite movie is Boondock Saints 2.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:38 AM on April 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


Also, it's now the Day After Who in the US: time to let go of the rot13 yet?
We have a deal, We had a deal, Kyle.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:40 AM on April 24, 2011


Unless she's giving birth to Gina Torres, Amy better not be pregnant
Last year, for a brief moment, I thought Liz X was Gina Torres.

Still beanplating. Watching the episode on my iPod where my headphones allow me to hear better. Right after River unsuccessfully tries to shoot the astronaut as he/she/it is heading back to the lake, she mutters, "Of course not."

Why would she say that. We know she's a good shot, at least when it comes to shooting the doctor's headwear of choice.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:56 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


In my stubborn hatred of rot13, I'm going to assume you're talking about the TARDISy set that was both in the Lodger and this episode. I watched the Lodger about 3 weeks ago, and the builder of that "TARDIS" was never revealed. I think it's intentional.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the thrilling/existentially terrifying drama of pregnancy in real life, as I'm sure it's quite an adventure, but I am really having a hard time coming up with a plot thread that I could be less interested in following over the course of a season of a show ostensibly about people who can travel the width and breadth of time and space.

You know, I think I agree. I always try to hold out hope that SF- TV will Do Pregnancy Right, but it never does. There was a pregnancy plotline on this season of Fringe that seemed to be needlessly accelerated just so they could get to the birth already. It was weird.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:59 AM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Still beanplating. Watching the episode on my iPod where my headphones allow me to hear better. Right after River unsuccessfully tries to shoot the astronaut as he/she/it is heading back to the lake, she mutters, "Of course not."

I just figured she meant of course you can't shoot the monster and kill it, because...you know, when does that ever work?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:59 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe I the only Whovian on the face of the Earth who freaking hates River Song.

Sorry, no. There's a whole club; your membership package must've been lost in the mail.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:59 AM on April 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wait, that's Rot13? I thought you were all speaking Judoon.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:04 AM on April 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


You know, I think I agree. I always try to hold out hope that SF- TV will Do Pregnancy Right, but it never does. There was a pregnancy plotline on this season of Fringe that seemed to be needlessly accelerated just so they could get to the birth already. It was weird.

Pregnancy seems to be more of a sitcom trope than anything else, the more I think about it...leaving aside, of course, Tragic Pregnancies. I think the problem is that babies are cute and all, but they aren't very good conversationalists and can't be counted on to disarm timebombs or run down corridors to escape fireballs, which means they aren't great for straight-up drama and certainly not for action/adventure stories. Babies are funny, so they're a perfect addition to a comedy.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:05 AM on April 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


For those who haven't seen it yet: My Sarah Jane: A Tribute To Elisabeth Sladen, the one that aired on CBBC on April 23 after the DW ep.

Well, that's 12 minutes which gives lie to the idea that the BBC couldn't put anything together in 4 days which they could air during the BBCAmerica showing last night...
posted by hippybear at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


There was a pregnancy plotline on this season of Fringe that seemed to be needlessly accelerated just so they could get to the birth already. It was weird.

It wasn't needlessly accelerated. The makers of Fringe are on a 5-year plot curve which (apparently unlike Lost) actually WAS planned out from the beginning, and they're building to the end of Season 3 exactly as they wanted it to go. (Actually, I've read they pitched a 5-year and a 7-year story arc to the network, and are working on the 5-year plan.)

But yeah, I'd bet that any truly developing pregnancy for Amy will ultimately end up with her retirement as a companion. Now, whether they would play that pregnancy out in real-time across this series (which would put her due around the Christmas special) or stretch it out because TV time isn't real time... that remains to be seen.
posted by hippybear at 9:10 AM on April 24, 2011


It wasn't needlessly accelerated.
Agreed. Indeed, many of the things we've seen occur in the "other" universe this season on Fringe already happened in "our" universe during the early seasons of the show. Including accelerated pregnancies.
posted by PapaLobo at 9:16 AM on April 24, 2011


The quiet "rewind" sound when people forgot was incredibly effective and creepy. Moffat really manages to write both the most elegant and structured plots, and the scariest things ever, especially when you consider that they're essentially non-violent.
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:21 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It wasn't needlessly accelerated. The makers of Fringe are on a 5-year plot curve which (apparently unlike Lost) actually WAS planned out from the beginning, and they're building to the end of Season 3 exactly as they wanted it to go. (Actually, I've read they pitched a 5-year and a 7-year story arc to the network, and are working on the 5-year plan.)

Weird. That's the first I've ever heard of a five year plan, and I follow these things pretty closely (have only heard about the 7-year before). Wouldn't be surprised if that had something to do with how close to cancellation they came. Problem is, for the story arc THIS season, it felt kinda pretty corny, especially with the "gotcha Bolivia ISN'T dead!" twist. Anyway, I meant needlessly accelerated in the literal sense. But generally, it's made the second half of this season feel quite rushed, when it could have been a slow build-up. The pacing's been kind of out of whack this season, anyway.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:23 AM on April 24, 2011


But yeah, I'd bet that any truly developing pregnancy for Amy will ultimately end up with her retirement as a companion. Now, whether they would play that pregnancy out in real-time across this series (which would put her due around the Christmas special) or stretch it out because TV time isn't real time... that remains to be seen.

Meh. I've already enjoyed how Amy has continued companioning despite marriage. I'd hate to see her give up adventuring because she's a MOM. That'd be lamesauce.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:24 AM on April 24, 2011


OH also I had a great idea last night: surreptitiously download this photo into your friends' phone photo libraries, so they come across it later.
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:28 AM on April 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm not saying that it's ideal... but how would you write a season of Doctor Who with Amy having a baby to look after? So many of the stories deal with the Doctor and the Companion ending up in danger (although they don't do the damsel in distress trope TOO often, thank goodness)... And suddenly you'd have a newborn involved in all that? You'd end up with Amy staying on the TARDIS to change diapers and breastfeed most of the time, unless you want to watch television which involves the possible death of an infant as part of the storyline regularly.

I'm not saying that it's not lame to have non-adventerous mom characters. I'm saying that it wouldn't make for good family television. (Or I can't imagine how to write a full season of stories involving a Companion having an infant to look after. I won't claim to really be that creative, so maybe it could be done...)
posted by hippybear at 9:30 AM on April 24, 2011


there are people that can look at Jeremy Clarkson for more than five seconds without wanting to strangle somebody?

You know, if you really hate Jeremy Clarkson's face, you can watch it get ripped off on Top Gear.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:31 AM on April 24, 2011


surreptitiously download this photo

The juxtaposition of Amy's reflection over the creature is... interesting.
posted by hippybear at 9:32 AM on April 24, 2011


I'm not saying that it's not lame to have non-adventerous mom characters. I'm saying that it wouldn't make for good family television. (Or I can't imagine how to write a full season of stories involving a Companion having an infant to look after. I won't claim to really be that creative, so maybe it could be done...)

You know, it wouldn't be out of keeping with Amy's character to make Rory stay home with the baby.

(Not saying it would be an exploration of the best or kindest parts of her, but . . . yeah.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:32 AM on April 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know, if you really hate Jeremy Clarkson's face, you can watch it get ripped off on Top Gear.

Much less disturbing than watching Richard Hammond nearly have his head ripped off...

posted by hippybear at 9:34 AM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Interesting how this thread has become about Fringe and Who - they really are the only remaining SF series worth giving a damn about, aren't they?
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, Stargate: Universe has only been getting better during this season. It's a shame that it's the last and it will just disappear without any resolution. It really did take most of the first season to do the worldbuilding, and this second season has been outstanding interesting character-driven SF.

Sadly, it'll be gone soon.
posted by hippybear at 10:21 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying that it's not lame to have non-adventerous mom characters. I'm saying that it wouldn't make for good family television. (Or I can't imagine how to write a full season of stories involving a Companion having an infant to look after. I won't claim to really be that creative, so maybe it could be done...)

Well, and frankly the treatment of domesticated Amy in "Amy's Choice" did make this seem like something of a worst case scenario. My guess is that Amy's mind filled in the blank left by the Silence with the most terrible thing she could imagine, and that's...being pregnant. Which I'm guessing is going to be the beginning of a soap opera-y rift between herself and Rory, once it's revealed, since general contentment in a marriage makes for kinda blah drama, really. Plus, Amy and Rory are now married, but there's no way Rory is really gonna be in every episode this season, so they have to get him off the ship some kinda way.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:22 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those maybe not so little asides. River Song's description of her bad day to come (sorry, don't recall the exact phrase used) put me in mind of an Alzheimer's caregiver. She'll know more about the Doctor and he less about her, until he doesn't know who she is at all. Mark Sheppard's character's reason for leaving the FBI, a couple years after Loving vs. Virginia, a few months before Stonewall.

But I'm probably reading/projecting too much into it.
posted by a person of few words at 10:25 AM on April 24, 2011


Maybe the queasiness River and Amy felt after seeing the aliens was Insta-Alien-Pregancy. (I was raised Catholic: we're all about this, you know.) Or maybe not.

Anyway, when Amy was teasing the Doctor about his age during the picnic, he mentioned that she'd put on a couple of pounds. That could be a foreshadowing of the character actually being pregnant, but OTOH, it seems less likely that she would have known she was pregnant at that time because she was drinking wine. (I don't know if pregnant British women avoid alcohol as much as North American women.)

So if she had been mulling over the Doctor's remark about her weight, remembered how queasy she felt for what seemed to be no good reason in the White House, and tried to put the pieces together to explain her subsconscious feeling of great dread, that could have been the most likely explanation she could have come up with.
posted by maudlin at 10:26 AM on April 24, 2011


Well, Stargate: Universe has only been getting better during this season.

Well, it actually reached the level of interesting and watchable in the last few epsiodes, which I'm putting down to them burning through material before they hit the end.
posted by Artw at 10:27 AM on April 24, 2011


River Song's description of her bad day to come

Which we've already seen... in Silence In The Library.

Well, it actually reached the level of interesting and watchable in the last few epsiodes, which I'm putting down to them burning through material before they hit the end.

Nope. They had the entire season filmed before the show was cancelled.
posted by hippybear at 10:36 AM on April 24, 2011


"There's loads of boring stuff, like Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons."
posted by inigo2 at 10:49 AM on April 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


SyFy cancel rerun of Sarah Connor Chronicals in favour of... more TNG!
posted by Artw at 12:16 PM on April 24, 2011


River Song's description of her bad day to come

Which we've already seen... in Silence In The Library.


Yet immediately after that bit, the Doctor explains that time is not a straight line. I'm not at all sure what frame of reference River is using to describe her own timeline here.

Still watching bits and pieces on my iPod. Wonderful bit of dialogue I missed first time:

"Hippie!"bear
"Archaeologist!"
posted by PapaLobo at 12:45 PM on April 24, 2011


iTunes had the first episode available for download at about 4 AM central, if anyone was wondering how quickly they came out with the episodes after US airing.

Agreed with everybody that the set at the end appears to a re-use. The jury is still out here on pregnancy and especially on the theory about who such a baby might be.
posted by immlass at 12:53 PM on April 24, 2011


Agreed with everybody that the set at the end appears to be a re-use.

If there's one thing we learned last year, it's that Moffat is meticulous. Of course it's the same set, and there will turn out to be a very good reason for that.
posted by you're a kitty! at 1:00 PM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish I could download the second episode today. I'm not good at waiting.
posted by inigo2 at 1:13 PM on April 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


River Song's description of her bad day to come (sorry, don't recall the exact phrase used) put me in mind of an Alzheimer's caregiver.

We noticed that in our household as well, coupled with the fact that the monsters' scariness also stems from memory loss.
posted by lilac girl at 2:56 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's been commented that there doesn't seem to be any point in locking up River at all, as she can just walk out whenever she wants. The possibility just struck me (I'm watching it again) that she's there because she believes she deserves to be.

It's really good. That makes me happy, seeing Doctor Who be really good.
posted by Grangousier at 4:18 PM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


hippybear: "For those who haven't seen it yet: My Sarah Jane: A Tribute To Elisabeth Sladen, the one that aired on CBBC on April 23 after the DW ep.

Well, that's 12 minutes which gives lie to the idea that the BBC couldn't put anything together in 4 days which they could air during the BBCAmerica showing last night...
"

Good to know I was wrong about them not having the time to do it properly.

It sucks for those of us in the US who are hard-core Whovians, but I actually do understand why BBCA didn't air it. If they have to air "here's a whole hour explaining *just the previous season* of this show because we're hyping the hell out of it because we're co-producers now" for Americans, they're not going to dedicate a chunk of time to "here's a memorial about an actress who played a character you've never heard of." We have to face the fact that they're marketing Doctor Who on BBCA as if it's a *brand-new show*. BBCA never put any marketing push behind New Who before Moffat/Smith's first season. The people I hear talking about it (I mean people who aren't online geeks or longtime fans etc) mostly don't even know who Eccleston or Tennant are.

I'm glad they made one; I'm glad they ran it for the children who get CBBC and watched SJA, and that the adults in Britain who want to see it will see it too, but I really do understand why BBCA wouldn't dedicate air time to it.
posted by tzikeh at 4:53 PM on April 24, 2011


oh - and since we're tangenting like crazy -

Farscape did sci-fi pregnancy well. No one is more bad-ass than Aeryn Sun.
posted by tzikeh at 4:54 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


here's a memorial about an actress who played a character you've never heard of
See, she's the only pre-2005 companion I remember, mainly because of endless Tom Baker-era Doctor Who reruns on PBS. When she first showed up in the new series I was all OMG THAT'S SARAH JANE!
posted by PapaLobo at 4:57 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I rather liked the Sarah Jane Adventures, especially compared withthe juvenile crap that was most of Torhcwood, pity there wasn't more of that on US TV.
posted by Artw at 5:14 PM on April 24, 2011


We have to face the fact that they're marketing Doctor Who on BBCA as if it's a *brand-new show*. BBCA never put any marketing push behind New Who before Moffat/Smith's first season. The people I hear talking about it (I mean people who aren't online geeks or longtime fans etc) mostly don't even know who Eccleston or Tennant are.

A brand new show! That you can buy 47 seasons worth of DVD boxsets!

I find all of that pretty condescending to American audiences, tzikeh. I'm not that familiar with Sladen except for her work on NuWho, but there were many many things they could have cut to pay respects (the repeated airing of that Camilla-is-a-horse Graham Norton jokes, maybe?).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:33 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did anybody else notice?

In de col men seivuan prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait. Uis de seim cius nau op de seim ol uait men in de colobos dai trrr - ciak is e maind beghin de col bebi stei ye push yo oh. Uis de seim cius nau op de seim o l uoit men in de colobos dai not s de seim laikiu de romisdin iu nau in trabol lovgiai ciu gen. In do camo not cius no bai for lov so op op giast cam lau ue cam lov ai oping tu stei laik cius go mo men iu bicos tue men cold dobrei goris oh sandei. Ai ai smai sesler eni els so co uil piso ai in de col men seivuan prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait. Ai ai smai senflecs eni go for doing peso ai prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait. Uel ai sint no ai giv de sint laik de cius nobodi oh gud taim lev feis go uis de seim et seim cius go no ben let de cius end kai for not de gai giast stei. Ai ai smai senflecs eni go for doing peso ai in de col mein seivuan prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait. Lu nei si not sicidor ah es la bebi la dai big iour. Ai aismai senflecs eni go for doing peso ai in de col mein seivuan prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait. Lu nei si not sicodor ah es la bebi la dai big iour.

But I expect it's just the TARDIS doing that thing again.
posted by dhartung at 5:36 PM on April 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


dhartung, was that rot13? Because I can't get it to decipher...
posted by you're a kitty! at 5:38 PM on April 24, 2011


dhartung, I've got that "he's hot when he's clever" face on right now.
posted by PapaLobo at 5:39 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can use this to decipher it. You're welcome.
posted by aldurtregi at 5:40 PM on April 24, 2011


BBCA never put any marketing push behind New Who before Moffat/Smith's first season.

I don't know where you were during the years since the reboot started, but that's simply not at all true.
posted by hippybear at 6:23 PM on April 24, 2011


Then, as now, they practically became the Who channel. I wouldn't fault them there, even if for the most part they are in all other respects a mostly a shovelware channel run on automatic.
posted by Artw at 6:32 PM on April 24, 2011


So many thoughts now, I wish I could've found this thread last night when it was really cooking.

Anywoo...

I don't think Amy's pregnant, but I don't think we're supposed to know that for a while yet.

Points FOR Pregnancy:

1. She said she is.
2. The queasiness.
3. The "you've added a few pounds" bit.

Points AGAINST:

1. She was drinking wine earlier in the episode. Not that this is dispositive or anything, except that the wine-drinking, and in fact the whole picnic scene, wasn't necessary at all. They make a point about the fact that they are drinking wine, so that they can show a few seconds of them drinking wine before "more important" things grab our attention. It just reminded me a bit of The Doctor showing up with his coat on talking to Amy in "Time of Angels."

2. Both Amy and River get nauseous after dealing with the Silents (as I am calling them, because we've only seen the singular written down so far.) And unless Moffatt is taking his cues from the first season of Glee I just don't see that being a road we're going down.

3. River has an odd moment that I haven't read anyone else discussing, right after she comes across the Silents. Not a minute before she had been instructing Amy NOT to "neutralize" the astronaut, and then, immediately after seeing and forgetting the Silents, she pokes her head up just long enough to have a coded conversation which seems to be telling Amy to do so after all. River has no reason to change her mind on this so quickly, and at this moment, unless something has been messing with her thoughts.

4. Both the "extra pounds" remark and the queasiness (for Amy) come right before moments of seeing the Silent, and promptly forgetting about it. It makes perfect sense to me for her to take these elements and the residual dread associated with those moments and have her mind fill in the gaps.

So, I'm not sure. But it seems to me as if the Silents (who seem to know everything) have a way of getting people to act in ways which make sense to them, but go against their best interests. In the case of Amy "looking after the doctor" as per River's request, well, we'll see, but it doesn't seem good. In terms of telling the Doctor that she's pregnant, that would probably mean getting her and Rory off of the TARDIS post-haste, which probably wouldn't be good for anyone either.

Just my theory.

Another, vaguer theory. Moffatt's first season was thematically about fairy tales. I predict this season will about secrets and memory. We already have the mystery of "who is River Song?" and "what are the Silents and what is their plan?" but more to the point we have Amy, Rory and River not being able to give The Doctor full information about what he's doing, while they themselves are acting with very limited information from the older Doctor. That, and our season begins with a cloak-and-dagger meeting between an ex-FBI agent and the most famously paranoid and secretive President ever.

Anyway, Secrets. Dangerously incomplete information. Things just out of our vision or quickly forgotten. These will be the themes of this season.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:36 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


That thing where people look at the Silence, freak out, turn around and say "nothing here!" is endlessly creepy.
posted by Artw at 7:11 PM on April 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's actually The Silent (plural Silents), according to the cast listing given on iMDB.
posted by hippybear at 7:19 PM on April 24, 2011


As I'm reading this, I can also see my roommates watching the 2008 Christmas Special, The Next Doctor.

Thank god for Moffat.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:24 PM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


That thing where people look at the Silence, freak out, turn around and say "nothing here!" is endlessly creepy.

And it seems that people are already mining S5 for moments when characters did something similar for seemingly no reason, and that they are myriad.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:51 PM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


people are already mining S5 for moments when characters did something similar for seemingly no reason

Do tell....
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:53 PM on April 24, 2011


I can't seem to find it now, sadly. In all my reading last night I came across a blog where someone was mentioning moments where characters looked terrified for a moment, and then turned away and shrugged it off as if nothing had happened, but I can't find it anymore.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:59 PM on April 24, 2011


Okay, I'm just wondering if anyone else is really eager to see the whole River storyline play out to the end solely because then, we'll be able to watch her episodes in River-order. Anyone? Or is it just me?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:01 PM on April 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


we'll be able to watch her episodes in River-order.

MEETUP!
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:04 PM on April 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


we'll be able to watch her episodes in River-order.

riverorder, past Dave and Matt's, from swerve of time to bend of plot, bring us by a TARDIS of recirculation back to Gallifray and Environs.
posted by hippybear at 8:10 PM on April 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


That's what I loved about S5. The first time thru you're essentially going in Amy-order. The second time through you can go back and focus on the Doctor. I know a lot of people were upset with the choice of Matt Smith, but when you re-watch the series you realize just how well he fits into the role and how expressive he is at playing a scene that has multiple layers of meaning.

Didn't watch any of the confidential shows last year, but it seems that Smith at least had to have a basic understanding of the entire seasons storyline. Unlike, say, the cast of Lost who were kept in the dark about many things. And we all know how unfocused that show turned out to be....
posted by PapaLobo at 8:27 PM on April 24, 2011


people are already mining S5 for moments when characters did something similar for seemingly no reason

Here.

I'm not convinced, but I was wrong about the jacketed Doctor in the angels episode being meaningful, so I'm pretty bad at predicting this stuff. It would be pretty badass if Silents were littered just off-camera throughout the previous series. (And all the previous ones, for that matter. I'm getting the sense from next episode's trailer that the Silents have always been all around us... we just never remember.)
posted by painquale at 8:40 PM on April 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Okay I wasn't convinced by any of those bits until the last one. Now I'm scared shitless.
posted by PapaLobo at 9:21 PM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm with PapaLobo. And that moment is such a sweet, funny interlude, too. DAMMIT MOFFAT
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:23 PM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, am I nuts, or do Matt Smith and Alex Kingston have crazy sexual chemistry? I mean, I know the script says they're supposed to flirt, but holy crap.
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:34 PM on April 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Video analyzing the Silents appearances.

I'm not sure about the two legit ones. Isn't the passing figure in The Beast Below Liz X? As for the "cloaked figures" in the Big Bang, I think the one behind the mummy dude is just the way the shadows are cast against the corner. The moving figure is a little spooky, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:47 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


That last highlighted bit in the blog post is pretty disturbing in it's implications.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:47 PM on April 24, 2011


a couple of thoughts

- I hated the stetson/shot off thing. That callback wasn't really earned, and I loved the moment it was calling back to
- Would nixon really have had a black secret service officer?
- There was no such thing as SWAT in nixon's time
- I mostly liked the ep otherwise and am looking forward to more!
posted by flaterik at 9:59 PM on April 24, 2011


-The Stetson thing was a YMMV type of thing, but I'm with you.
-No, he wouldn't have, but DW has a history of putting black actors and actresses into rols that they might not have had but should have had (see: "Vampires of Venice" and countless others)
-The Doctor didn't even know off-hand who was President in '69, and the only request they granted was the maps.
-I loved the episode as well.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:05 PM on April 24, 2011


Okay... the video of the cloaked figure standing in the museum has given me the heebie-jeebies for the night. It's definitely not just shadows -- it's obviously a 3D figure standing there. Watch as the camera moves.
posted by hippybear at 10:53 PM on April 24, 2011


Someone on one of the threads discussing it suggested that it's the back of the sarcophagi, because they're clearly propped open. The moving figure is scary, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:17 PM on April 24, 2011


I don't think Amy's pregnant -- why was it suddenly so urgent she tell the doctor that at the moment they came face to face with the astronaut?

Also, I'm pretty sure the inclusion of the tardis from the lodger was deliberate -- it wasn't fully developed enough in s5 and felt like something that would develop further. I mean you don't just drop another tardis into an ostensibly time lord-free universe without explaining it.
posted by prettypretty at 3:07 AM on April 25, 2011


oooh just a thought as I'm rewatching: Moffat has his "things" doesn't he. The child (/astronaut?) was able to call the president from a warehouse where the phone connection was cut off -- a bit like The Child in The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (ninth dr).
posted by prettypretty at 4:12 AM on April 25, 2011


Has anyone rewatched "Silence in the Library" since this aired?
posted by drezdn at 6:04 AM on April 25, 2011


The ending show credits listed the monster as "The Silent."

Bleeding Cool has for a few months reiterated the theory that it's "Silents will Fall" and not "Silence will Fall." When I rewatched s5 I listened for mentions of silents/silence (which are numerous) and didn't find any times where it couldn't be either, so it's probably "silents."
posted by davextreme at 7:59 AM on April 25, 2011


Just watched the episode again--I wake up far too early--and two thoughts occurred to me. And while I haven't watched Silence in the Library since watching this one, I do know that the very first time the we as the audience see River Song...she's in a spacesuit. With the visor down.

1) Where is the 1000-years old Doctor's TARDIS? He had to get to present-day Utah from wherever-he-was before somehow. That would seem to suggest that there are two TARDISes(?) in present-day.

2) The set we see River break into is definitely the one in The Lodger. But bigger, and functioning. In the lodger, it's smaller, and has a hologram trying to find someone suitable to pilot it. It tries to take the Doctor, but what it's ultimately Craig's admission of love for Sophie and their desire to stay together that fritzes the machine out causing it to disappear/move on/whatever.

Perhaps we'll see the events this series that cripple the ship that forces it to sit on top of Craig's house masked as a second story.

Basically, when all this is over, you could watch the episodes in any character's personal timeline order and have a good time with it.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:16 AM on April 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


From a recent Moffat interview:

It really does look like it's intricate. It sounds intricate — but I'm making it up. I think it always has to be like that. It's like with River, who began in "Silence of the Library" as a gimmick just for me to get past the fact of, 'Why didn't the archaeologist break into the library and arrest the doctor?' The psychic paper isn't going to cover it because he's in a deserted library. So one of the archaeologist's knows him, so that's a bit lame, but it wouldn't be lame if he hadn't met her yet? And suddenly that plot completely overwhelmed the rest of the episode.


Also, this made me smile:
Given that there were going to be details in the performance that could use the story, I told her. But I saw no reason to tell the others, partly just to wake them up. I like the fact that when I walked on set, Alex would come hurrying over and put her hand over her little radio mic and say 'Does this mean I'm...not telling.' and Matt would be standing there going, 'What? What?'
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:44 AM on April 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


According to the BBC website (I could swear this was linked upthread, but can't find it now), the singular is Silent and the plural is Silence.

The reason you might think you're hearing "silents" is because epenthetic t is fairly common (.pdf) in word-final /ns/ clusters.
posted by Bukvoed at 9:27 AM on April 25, 2011


Has anyone rewatched "Silence in the Library" since this aired?

Just watched it last night
posted by prettypretty at 5:24 PM on April 25, 2011


Last night I had a Doctor Who dream. Removing all the personal dream bits the important thing was that The Doctor had a machine to kill all the Silents on Earth, and used it. I'm not sure if it was out of character dream logic or just my brain remember Eccelston.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:31 PM on April 25, 2011


Removing all the personal dream bits

Your analyst will want these details. You might as well rehearse them here.
posted by hippybear at 11:13 PM on April 25, 2011


From the interview: I used to have nightmares that sharks would leave the sea and come after me.

Oh my god I must email him links to Gyo now.

GASHUNK
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:56 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Incidentally (I wonder how many times I'm going to watch this before I get bored with it), I suspect there are going to be numerous inversions of our expectations:

1. Before the Space-suit-person shoots him, the Doctor instructs them on how to do it.

2. The Silent did destroy Joy, true, but otherwise its main contribution was to give Amy advice. I think we're being misdirected as to what it is and what it's doing.

Oh, and it's nice to have someone like Rory on board, who can actually listen.
posted by Grangousier at 3:36 AM on April 26, 2011


All right, orders rather than advice, but still.
posted by Grangousier at 3:49 AM on April 26, 2011


I agree with you Grangousier. The Silents, as seen in the ship, appear huddled, afraid -- except for one -- who seems to have done something to Rory. I did get freaked out when the response to Amy was "joy" when the Silent killed Joy, but perhaps he was showing off to make sure Amy followed its instructions.

Perhaps the "mean" Silent is so mean the other Silents are afraid of it. Perhaps the "mean" Silent is working for someone/thing else, and the other Silents are too afraid to do anything about it.

Also, we know there's a "Dream Lord" out there and Gaiman's penning an episode this season for Doctor Who. The title of his episode is ... misleading ... and who better to write about a "Dream Lord" than Gaiman?

I believe that's the true adversary for this season, and if that's the case the Doctor is apparently, facing himself. Which would seem to fit all the the things we know about why the Doctor is running: guilt over his genocide of two races, fear of River Song and what she means to him and, finally, his admission that it's time to "stop running".

Can't wait for this weekend. Apparently there's some wedding going on, I hope Doctor Who isn't pre-empted or anything ;-)
posted by PapaLobo at 7:23 AM on April 26, 2011


Nah the wedding will be shown live in the middle of the night here in the US, and then repeated non-stop for 26 hours (I shit you not... some will be full repeats, some will be highlight shows), and then they finally take a break from wedding stuff in time to run something like 7 hours of Doctor Who material (most of which will be reruns) and then they'll get back to showing more repeats of the wedding.

I wish I were making all this up, about how shitty their schedule is full of reruns and stuff.... But you can look at the TV schedule page for BBC America yourself and see. (You change the date you want to view over to the right -- Saturday is 4-30.)
posted by hippybear at 10:55 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy crap. Hippybear isn't joking.
posted by schmod at 7:57 PM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, we know there's a "Dream Lord" out there and Gaiman's penning an episode this season for Doctor Who. The title of his episode is ... misleading ... and who better to write about a "Dream Lord" than Gaiman?

I think that's less fun than Neil writing something new though.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:00 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, Canucks (and probably no one else, but it's worth a try): Space has the full first episode up on the web site here. It's not high res, but it's there and it's free. I just looked for it now, so I don't know if it was uploaded on Sunday or later.

Non-Canucks: can any of you play it from my link, or are you blocked?

Versions: This one has the brief tribute to Sladen but no Amy opening voice over, while the version I downloaded from iTunes (yay for leftover gift cards!) had no tribute to Sladen and no v/o from Amy, just the opening scenes of Amy and Rory in their place intercut with the Doctor goofing around through history.

So what the hell was the voice over everyone's talking about that was on BBCA?
posted by maudlin at 9:06 PM on April 26, 2011


maudlin: I keep getting "We are experiencing temporary difficulties downloading your lineup. Please wait another few seconds and try again if you're still having problems. Thanks for your patience." when I try to load the video from that link. I'll try again in a while and see if that continues.
posted by hippybear at 9:10 PM on April 26, 2011


I'm still loading the episode with no problems, so I think that's the passive-aggressive Canadian way of saying, "Fuck off, Yank!" Sorry.
posted by maudlin at 9:18 PM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, it also could be a busy server... so I'll try in a few minutes, and if it still doesn't work, it's probably location-based prejudice.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 PM on April 26, 2011


maudlin Voiceover? What voiceover? The episode I acquired from.. sources.. soon after airing had no voiceover.. now I'm curious!
posted by coriolisdave at 11:37 PM on April 26, 2011


I would jump in to say that, while it has now screened in the US, it will not be shown in Australia until this weekend - but the result of this, of course, is that I've already seen it as the alternative of hiding from the internet isn't a great option. Our beloved national broadcaster is doing much back-patting over the fact that we are now only a week behind the rest of the world.

As for the conjecture regarding the ship: while the reboot doesn't have the original show's tendency to recycle sets, I did hear an interview with Neil Gaiman saying that The Lodger was the episode that they came up with to do on the cheap so that they could afford to do his episode in the current season.
posted by notionoriety at 4:55 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


coriolisdave, I've seen discussions like this one about some Amy v/o that was part of the BBCA broadcast, but not the British or Canadian version (although the Canadian version did have the Sleden tribute -- that's us splitting the difference one more time!)

So those of you who caught the v/o: any detailed description or transcript? Or *cough* would fair use permit the posting of that excerpt on YouTube? I found this summary, which vaguely reminds me of some promo.
posted by maudlin at 8:27 AM on April 27, 2011


I think that's less fun than Neil writing something new though.

Indeed. I wouldn't have traded any amount of new Sandman material in exchange for his Babylon5 'day of the dead' episode.
posted by phearlez at 8:33 AM on April 27, 2011


Okay, that Space website linked by maudlin above absolutely does NOT work in the US.

Voiceover? Hrm. And this is at the very beginning? I still have the episode on my DVR. Let me check it out.
posted by hippybear at 8:42 AM on April 27, 2011


Indeed. I wouldn't have traded any amount of new Sandman material in exchange for his Babylon5 'day of the dead' episode.
Ewww. I hated that episode. The pair-ups of the dead returning just seemed forced. Especially Garibaldi's. Not that I would have preferred Morpheus to show up on B5, but still.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:43 AM on April 27, 2011


Okay, there's no voiceover that I can see. There's the jokey opening with the Doctor having his portrait painted, and then it jumps to Amy and Rory looking in history books and getting a blue envelope...

oh, here it is:

"When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary friend. And when I grew up, he came back. He's called the Doctor. He comes from somewhere else. He's got a box called the TARDIS that's bigger on the inside and can travel anywhere in time and space. I ran away with him, and we've been running ever since."

This voiceover takes place between the scene in the restaurant where the Doctor and River are going through their diaries and he says he's been running a long time and "Space 1969!" and the opening credits, and runs over a bunch of clips from the previous season set in kind of an oval of muted colors and wooshy stuff around the edge (obviously taken from the time tunnel in the opening credits).

So it's about a minute or two into the episode immediately before the opening credit sequence, and really doesn't have anything in the clips which is of import to the larger mysteries. (No Silence sightings or anything.)

I don't have any good way to extract this from my setup, so that's as much info as I can give you.
posted by hippybear at 8:58 AM on April 27, 2011


Aha -- thanks! That doesn't show up at all in any British versions, or the Canadian iTunes version, but it does appear (clunkily, stupidly) in the Space web site version. So I guess all the North American versions include this spoon-feeding.
posted by maudlin at 9:43 AM on April 27, 2011


I do not care for it.
posted by Artw at 9:43 AM on April 27, 2011


So my brother's in town and before he arrived I demanded that before he got here that he watch a slightly modified list from flibbertigibbet's excellent list (omitting S5 so he could watch it with me). We watched "The Eleventh Hour" last night and continuing on a marathon today whilst I essentially rebuild my computer.

Near the end, Prisoner Zero states "The Pandorica will open. Silence/Silents will fall." This being my third trip through S5 I began to wonder if the Silents were a consequence of the Pandorica opening. Were THEY in there? I didn't really put much stock in those supposed Silents appearances we talked about before until the very last one. Which took place after the Pandorica opened, but before Big Bang II, post which they seem to be rampant on Earth and in Earth's history (thus far). Not really sure what to make of that, but I found it interesting.

I also made him watch the S6 teaser trailer to basically show to him how epic it was, even though he had no clue what any of it meant. During that, I happened to notice what appears to be a set being re-used that came as a huge surprise and somewhat of a shock to me. It's at about 0:37 into the clip. See for yourself.
posted by PapaLobo at 10:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary friend. And when I grew up, he came back. He's called the Doctor. He comes from somewhere else. He's got a box called the TARDIS that's bigger on the inside and can travel anywhere in time and space. I ran away with him, and we've been running ever since."

Yuck. That sounds like the opening to The Incredible Hulk or Sliders or something like that... the kind of thing that Heat Vision and Jack is parodying.
posted by painquale at 11:48 AM on April 27, 2011


I do hope the voiceover was a one-time thing. If they continue to do that every week, it will only increase the growing hate-on I have for BBCAmerica even more.
posted by hippybear at 12:05 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd forgotten lots of little details in that S6 trailer, including River kissing the Doctor. I thought (if that is what it is), "Ah, that would be the first time for him, and the last for her", and it felt terribly emotional and dramatic. And then I realised that I don't really have a problem with it. The Moff has actually managed to set up a big relationship for the Doctor in a way that works. It seems real, somehow.

Also, I kind of feel that River has earned it. That feels like a terrible thing to say, though. Is it a terrible thing to say?
posted by Grangousier at 12:36 PM on April 27, 2011


Yuck. That sounds like the opening to The Incredible Hulk or Sliders or something like that... the kind of thing that Heat Vision and Jack is parodying.

Whispers: Doctor!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:48 PM on April 27, 2011


There's an image on the net that shows one of The Silence behind the Doctor in the Tardis. That would raise all sorts of issues.
posted by drezdn at 12:59 PM on April 27, 2011


Wasn't that voiceover bit from one of the early episodes in series 5? I swear I've heard that before. The Beast Below maybe?
posted by Gordafarin at 2:05 PM on April 27, 2011


This (minus the music)
posted by Gordafarin at 2:13 PM on April 27, 2011


Not quite the same as that.. but that's the basic idea. The pacing is entirely different, and no music, but many of the video moments are identical. (and of course the script is totally different)
posted by hippybear at 2:17 PM on April 27, 2011


There's an image on the net that shows one of The Silence behind the Doctor in the Tardis. That would raise all sorts of issues.

This?
posted by weston at 2:28 PM on April 27, 2011


Weston, that one indeed.
posted by drezdn at 2:36 PM on April 27, 2011


A chronological timeline of (new) Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sara Jane Adventures, part 1.
posted by PapaLobo at 11:19 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, as someone that enjoyed Torchwood, and has enjoyed the past few seasons of Doctor Who (but don't have much experience with older seasons), should I check out The Sara Jane Adventures? Where should I start?
posted by inigo2 at 3:04 PM on April 28, 2011


I think there's only 4 years of TSJA, so you might as well start at the beginning.

That is, unless you want to go all the way back to the Jon Pertwee Doctor Who years and catch Sarah Jane as a Companion. If that's the case, you'll want to start with 1973's The Time Warrior, and then you'll have about 3 years to watch back then, plus a few specials.

This will give you an overview of what SJS has appeared in.
posted by hippybear at 6:26 PM on April 28, 2011


11th Doctor's Theme Song on Violin [SLYT]
posted by schmod at 11:47 AM on April 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, that little girl...
posted by drezdn at 7:07 PM on April 30, 2011


So, that little girl...

So. Yeah. Whoa. What are our possibilities there? Because I feel like we have a couple.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:04 PM on April 30, 2011


Because I feel like we have a couple.
I think it all depends on The Observer
You may assume your "I'm hot when he's clever" faces now.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:39 PM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Possibilities? Whatever we think the possibilities are, Moffat will surely come up with something else :)

The little girl... can't wait to see how that pans out. One thing I don't understand (and maybe this can be answered later when spoilers can start being bandied about) is all the subterfuge at the beginning (before the show intro)?
posted by prettypretty at 8:39 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I waited until this week to watch the season premier so I could watch both of them in a row, and man, even though I could see the resolution coming, I'm so relieved about Amy's stupid face.

Also, that photo of the little girl! Gah!
posted by Phire at 8:41 PM on April 30, 2011


Also, what up with eye patch woman?
posted by PapaLobo at 8:42 PM on April 30, 2011


I am super curious about the eyepatch woman.
posted by pemberkins at 11:04 PM on April 30, 2011


Frances Barber. On first research it seems she popped in from Episode 7.
posted by Grangousier at 11:47 PM on April 30, 2011


From The AV Club, regarding the ending scene of episode 2 (SPOILERS, obviously):
Regeneration is a technology. The Time Lords have been able to teach it to other species. (Doctor Who Season 15 Underworld) The little girl isn't necessarily a Time Lord, she's just picked up the technology of regeneration. She doesn't have to be related to The Doctor or be a Time Lord to be able to do it.
Oh thank god, I didn't want more hints of Amy/Doctor shenanigans.

END SPOILERS.
posted by Phire at 1:42 AM on May 1, 2011


I liked Rory's dapper g-man look.
posted by the_artificer at 3:15 AM on May 1, 2011


Phire, would you mind sharing a link to that discussion? I'd like to totally fanboi out, but I'm having no luck finding an appropriate venue since behindthesofa closed its cushions...
posted by coriolisdave at 4:03 AM on May 1, 2011


coriolisdave, you might have already seen this, but there's some interesting discussion/speculation in the comments section of this (very spoilery) review on Den of Geek
posted by prettypretty at 5:37 AM on May 1, 2011


I loved how "Hail to the Chief" played every time Nixon appeared out of nowhere. Loved "stupid face" which to me at least finally puts paid to the Doctor-Rory-Amy triangle. Other than that, I got a very strong feeling that most of the underpinnings of the Big Bang II universe created last series are in flux. I think this may have a profound effect on the nature and timelines of Our Heroes.
posted by PapaLobo at 5:46 AM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


When marks started showing up on a character's body, was that supposed to imply that the viewer was having memory lapses too?
posted by drezdn at 9:52 AM on May 1, 2011


River and the Doctor now have personal timelines that are going in reverse. Is this new with this new season? I don't like it... it doesn't seem like there's any reason for it to work that way. I thought that their timelines were mixed up, but there'd be nothing to prevent the Doctor from next meeting River as a little girl for her first time, then meeting her when she's thirty, then when she's a teenager, etc. How does River know that they're going in reverse and that his first kiss will be her last?
posted by painquale at 11:23 AM on May 1, 2011


It wasn't stated outright before, but their meetings have been working in reverse chronological order regardless. I like it--it adds urgency to their meetings.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:25 AM on May 1, 2011


I was pretty sure it was implied they were jumbled, not reversed. Wait, the Doctor still needs to take her on that romantic tour of ice planets or whatever and give her the sonic screwdriver she uses in Silence in the Library. Didn't she say she got it the previous time she met him?
posted by painquale at 11:32 AM on May 1, 2011


If they were just reversed, they couldn't sync diaries. They'd never have shared memories. No Jim the Fish.
posted by painquale at 11:36 AM on May 1, 2011


What you're missing is that there are two Doctors in this sequence of episodes--one that's almost exactly where River is in sequence, and one who met her fairly recently.

This is what I suspect the timelines look like:

Doctor's perspective:

1. Meets River in Library
2. Crash of Byzantium
3. Pandorica opens
4. America 1/First kiss with River
5. Jimmy the Fish
6. Picnic at Asgard
7. Singing towers (Gives River his Screwdriver)
8. Teaches her how to fly TARDIS
9. Last kiss/tells her his true name
10. America 2/dies

River's perspective:

1. Kills "greatest man she ever knew"
2. First kiss/is told Doctor's name
3. Learns how to fly TARDIS
4. Singing towers/Doctor gives her screwdriver
5. Picnic at Asgard
6. Jimmy the fish
7. Meets America 2 Doc (who has experienced all of the above) who dies/has last kiss with America 1 Doc
8. Pandorica opens
9. Crash of Byzantium (between this and 10, she is released from prison and becomes a professor)
10. Death in library.

We dont' know the chronology of the middle events, but I suspect they'll be experiencing at least one of them (picnic at Asgard?) at roughly equivalent places in their timelines.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:56 AM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think the second, older Doctor changes anything. If the above is true, and if they knew it was working out like that (as River intimated), they wouldn't bother syncing diaries.

River has the sonic in every episode we've seen her? I'm not sure that seems right. She busted it out immediately in the library and I'm not sure why she wouldn't be using it now. (Why not help scan the Pandorica?) I'll have to check exactly what she said in the library, but I had the impression that she had her romantic getaway and got the screwdriver just prior to the library episode, from River's perspective.

I'm pretty sure the reverse chronology is a change in the way their history is presented by Moff. Even if it was planned by Moff from the beginning, it doesn't seem to make much narrative sense: why would River assume that his first kiss would be her last? She wasn't surprised they both met Jim the Fish, so she is aware that she can meet Doctors out of the reverse timeline sequence. She should be expecting future versions of the Doctor to pop up and kiss her again.
posted by painquale at 12:20 PM on May 1, 2011


I guess maybe the Doctor could give her a spoiler and tell her his first kiss will be her last. That would make her disappointment make sense. That's an awfully big spoiler though.
posted by painquale at 12:25 PM on May 1, 2011


Actually, reading back for quotes, it seems to me that there are multiple instances where the Doctor steps out of his timeline--it seems like this mostly happens specifically to prepare River for certain events, or to place her in the timeline in a specific way--but also a main narrative that works in opposite directions. ("The last time I saw you—the real you, the future you, I mean—you turned up on my doorstep with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Derillium. To see the Singing Towers. Oh, what a night that was. The towers sang, and you cried. You wouldn't tell me why but I suppose you knew it was time. My time. Time to come to the Library. You even gave me your screwdriver. That should have been a clue. There's nothing you can do.") So! Revision:

Doctor's perspective:

1. Meets River in Library
2. Crash of Byzantium
3. Pandorica opens
4. America 1/First kiss with River
5. Jimmy the Fish
6. Picnic at Asgard
7. Teaches her how to fly TARDIS
8. Last kiss/tells her his true name
9. Singing towers (Gives River his Screwdriver)
10. America 2/dies

River's perspective:

1. Kills "greatest man she ever knew"
2. First kiss/is told Doctor's name
3. Learns how to fly TARDIS
4. Picnic at Asgard
5. Jimmy the fish
6. Meets America 2 Doc (who has experienced all of the above) who dies/has last kiss with America 1 Doc
7. Pandorica opens
8. Crash of Byzantium (between this and 10, she is released from prison and becomes a professor)
9. Singing towers/Doctor gives her screwdriver
10. Death in library.

I think what's probably important to keep in mind that River is a Time Traveler only sofar as the Doctor is, at least from what we know so far--time seems like it's always linear for her, but the Doctor can step out of that (and has). She also seems to have a list of meetings given to her by the Doctor; does that happen at a single discreet moment, or is it cobbled together via their various meetings? Moffat's also spoiled on twitter that River's lied about knowing things/people already. Which makes it even more wibbly wobbly.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:33 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think what's probably important to keep in mind that River is a Time Traveler only sofar as the Doctor is, at least from what we know so far--time seems like it's always linear for her, but the Doctor can step out of that (and has).

I dunno, I thought they refer to life being difficult when time travelers meet. She did leave him a message on the cliffside at the beginning of time. And she managed to get back to America in Amy's time from her future prison. I think she manages to just zip to whatever time she wants after a prison breakout.
posted by painquale at 1:29 PM on May 1, 2011


They're going vaguely in reverse, not necessarily entirely, but that seems to be (or at least seems to River) to be the general progression. Whether or not this was her "last" kiss with the Doctor, she knows there's not much more.

Loved "stupid face" which to me at least finally puts paid to the Doctor-Rory-Amy triangle.

I'm just guessing, but I completely disagree. This season is "Amy's Choice" writ-large.

Quantum pregnancy. Not knowing what's real. Upsurge in sexual tension. And the woman with the eyepatch said, "I think she's still dreaming."

The Dream Lord is involved with this somehow. And the little girl who may or may not be real is a time lady.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The discussion on The AV Club.

While I adore Rory and was totally relieved when he thought Amy definitively loved him the most, I agree that the lines in that sequence were too deliberately ambiguous to have been meant as just a sweet throw-away moment for Rory. I've been reading theories on other forums about the possibility of multiple realities - i.e. in Amy's Choice, her identity/reality was split up into the one who loves Rory the best, and the one who wants to jump the Doctor. I'm not sure I believe that, but given the callbacks to the Dream Lord from the woman with the eyepatch, and given that in Amy's Choice the Doctor saw the Dream Lord briefly reflected in the TARDIS dashboard (implying that he exists even without the crystals that made the Doctor hallucinate), it would be an interesting way to tie everything together.
posted by Phire at 4:01 PM on May 1, 2011


In "Amy's Choice," the Dream Lord (a.k.a. The Doctor, sort of) describes himself to the Doctor assomeone who "hates you more than anyone else in the universe."

In "The impossible Astronaut," River describes the man who recruited them all (a.k.a. he Doctor, though the 909-year-old Doctor doesn't know it) as "someone who trusts you more than anyone else in the universe."

In "Amy's Choice," when Rory dies in the Leadworth dream, and The Doctor can't do anything about it, Amy asks, "The what's the point of you?"

In "The Impossible Astronaut," when Amy, Rory and River are discussing the Doctor's death below deck, ignoring the Doctor's cleverness, the Doctor swoops in to ask, "what the point of having you?"

More as I come across them, but Id like to mention that I was the first to posit the "Amy's Choice" theory in the A.V. Club discussion, and hereby claim irrefutable internet claim to it. Huzzah!
posted by Navelgazer at 4:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Plus, Rory has known Amy since they were kids (she used to make him dress up as the Raggedy Doctor) so it wouldn't make sense for her to say that her life was boring before he came along.

What if even Amy didn't know who she was talking about? What if "falling out of the sky" indeed referenced the Doctor but "stupid face" genuinely indicated Rory, and she kept switching up who she loved in her mind, like in Amy's Choice? What if the TARDIS can't make its mind up about her pregnancy because Amy doesn't know who she loves? As in: she's pregnant if she chooses Rory, but she's not if she chooses the Doctor?

I need a nap.
posted by Phire at 4:10 PM on May 1, 2011


Navelgazer: I noticed the parallel in the lines as well. Go Moffat.
posted by Phire at 4:10 PM on May 1, 2011


Okay, it's been decided. Tonight, after I finish editing my book (which I will finish tooooniiiiiiight), I will watch all of the River episodes in reverse order.

Will report back. Probably late.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:30 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, since half of us can't admit that Rory's last name is Pond, I'm beginning to think that all of you are right: this is indeed Amy's dream, and when the series ends she'll wake up to find Chris Eccleston in her shower, David Tennant in her bed, and Matt Smith as a blow up doll. Rory and Canton Delaware III fall for each other, and move to Atlantis with Patrick Duffy. We already know how River's Song ends. Amy gives birth to an Oodhead and all will be well.
posted by PapaLobo at 4:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Hey, present crazy plotlines, expect crazy theories.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Phire. I did get there, but turns out the comments are only visible with scripting enabled. Bum.
posted by coriolisdave at 5:52 PM on May 1, 2011


Speaking of crazy theories, here's another one.

When the group was in Monument Valley, 2011, the Silence were there as well. But then they go back to 1969 and drive them away from Earth, after the Silence had been determining the course of all human history up until that point.

The living Doctor didn't understand that they were around in 2011, and nobody else would have remembered. Thus, he wouldn't see the paradoxes created by driving them away in "the past."

Hence, quantum pregnancy. A major shift occurred in the timeline which would have brought Amy & co. to 1969 to begin with. In one timeline, she's pregnant, in the other, she's not, but we are where we are and it's neither one nor the other.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:02 PM on May 1, 2011


Okay, so I'm on Forest of the Dead and even though I'm doing this whole thing prematurely (it feels a bit like reading just the last third of the book), it's pretty awesome how well it all coheres as a narrative when viewed backwards. It's clear that at the beginning of season 6, we're meeting a River who is passionately in love with the Doctor--but after her last kiss, and his first, she begins to be a bit more circumspect around him. It comes across as very forced, though--a testament to Kingston's acting, I think. I mean, she mugs and flirts, but there's a note of sadness, like she sees the end coming from a long way off.

It's in the Time of Angels that things significantly change. It's only the Doctor's second meeting with her--and oh, he's cold. It's very, very painful to watch his initial interactions with her. He even tries to strand her at the crash of the Byzantium. He's roped along only through Amy, and Amy's fascination with River.

It feels like there's a gap between the Angels eps and River's season 4 introduction. Part of this is just in production values (the difference is insanely striking), but River's clearly mellowed. She's no longer in prison (although she did speculate at the end of the Angels duology that she might have finally earned herself a pardon), and she's a professor. She's also living a full century before she's a prison in the Stormcage, and she doesn't seem to have a Vortex manipulator.

The scene where she realizes the Doctor doesn't know her is exactly as heartbreaking as you might think.

So I maintain that a later Doctor, realizing she's about to die, intrudes on her timeline--which has, largely, been a linear reversal of his timeline--shows up with a haircut and new suit, takes her on a romantic date, singing towers and all that, and gives her his screwdriver.

There's also some weird stuff going on with the diary. Future!Doctor in The Impossible Astronaut is the first Doctor we've seen with his own diary and list of dates. At first, I thought it might have been the same diary--but it's actually a slightly smaller, very similar one (same shade of TARDIS blue). Up to this scene, it's always River asking where they are in the story. Could the diary be filled with information that the Doctor's given her early in the story? What's her reason for asking where they are? Is it just to catch up, or is it to make sure she doesn't give him too many spoilers about his future? After all, she said it's his rule that she can't reveal spoilers.

Events we haven't yet seen:
-Easter Island
-Picnic at Asgard
-Jim the Fish
-Fields of . . . bo? Something like that.
-Singing towers.
-Them getting it on("now there's a spoiler for you"). The Doctor dancing at another wedding.

At this point, I'm, pretty certain both that they're married and that she kills him. Perhaps not in The Impossible Astronaut but at some point--it's heavily implied when she tells him his name ("I'm so sorry," etc). I suspect that she kills him very early in the timeline, then comes to love and marry him.

I also really hope that at some point, perhaps just after all this, we see the Doctor figure out how to restore her from the library. Because, man, is that a sucky, boring retirement for a woman like River.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


The Doctor dancing at another wedding.

Because sometimes I can be stupid about catching things like this, I loved the realization I had when my friend Stacie informed me that when Moffat writes dancing into Doctor Who, it means sex.

Not literally, but in that show, it's what he can get away with.

It makes so many of his episodes make more sense.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ha, yeah, but she tells him that he always dances at weddings specifically.

Which, er, is kinda unusually dirty even for Moffat ;)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:58 PM on May 1, 2011


Because sometimes I can be stupid about catching things like this, I loved the realization I had when my friend Stacie informed me that when Moffat writes dancing into Doctor Who, it means sex.

Ha, I like that. And the second episode he wrote was The Doctor Dances.

Sneaky sex jokes from the guy who wrote Coupling.
posted by painquale at 1:33 AM on May 2, 2011


I'm, pretty certain both that they're married and that she kills him

I'm beginning to think River kills Rory and that the killing in the first episode (which I don't expect to stand, wibbley wobbly alternate quantum timelines and all) is a red herring for both "the good man" we know River kills and for the death in the TARDIS crew this year. I'm not married to this theory, though, since we killed Rory, what, twice? last season.
posted by immlass at 7:35 AM on May 2, 2011


Also, meant to say, dancing = sex metaphors ftw. I watched my first full-on Bollywood movie this year and caught that they do something like that (have a big dancing number instead of kissing and/or sexy times) and it's cool to think the Moff is doing something even vaguely similar in Doctor Who.
posted by immlass at 7:37 AM on May 2, 2011


I'm beginning to think River kills Rory and that the killing in the first episode (which I don't expect to stand, wibbley wobbly alternate quantum timelines and all) is a red herring for both "the good man" we know River kills and for the death in the TARDIS crew this year. I'm not married to this theory, though, since we killed Rory, what, twice? last season.

That's actually crossed my mind, too, particularly with Moffat claiming that River not recognizing Rory in the Pandorica Opens is a spoiler.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:03 AM on May 2, 2011


Also, thinking increasingly upon re-viewing TIA that the death we see at the beginning is some sort of orchestrated suicide. Everything about the way that it's set up suggests it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:19 AM on May 2, 2011


Also also, God do I love this show.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:20 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


"the good man" we know River kills

If we're going to go in that direction, may I point out that the title of the episode with Frances Barber in it (the last one before the summer break) is A Good Man Goes to War, and the promo picture for it is Rory in full Roman armour facing off against a Cyberman.
posted by Grangousier at 10:13 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I realize that I'm mostly rambling to myself right now, but I revise my above position on Amy being River's mother. Spoiler speculation rambling here; mouseover to view. And mouseover here for more.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:11 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


when Moffat writes dancing into Doctor Who, it means sex.

Ew. He was dancing with all those kids at Amy and Rory's wedding.
posted by squarehead at 2:14 PM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi, isn't the child's strength simply due to the suit (which, it seems we're being led to believe, is an autonomous entity that swallows people whole)?
posted by nobody at 2:23 PM on May 2, 2011


No, it's implied that she is insanely strong--she breaks out of the suit itself.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:25 PM on May 2, 2011


Ah, I had forgotten. In that case, I'd have to insist that she and the suit must have been in cahoots. (Like when we have a kind and understanding police officer saying "punch me harder; we have to make this look good" before letting our only somewhat innocent hero escape police custody.) There's simply no other explanation.
posted by nobody at 2:39 PM on May 2, 2011


Something I found out while poking around this afternoon - I read an interview with Moffatt in which he says that while it's nice to have the Doctor stroll in and say "Look me up" and the villain quakes, in Ep 7 he puts paid to that once and for all. Which is something else to stick in the conjecture machine.
posted by Grangousier at 2:50 PM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


in Ep 7 he puts paid to that once and for all. Which is something else to stick in the conjecture machine.

That episode is going to be the last before the sumer hiatus and is going to end on a huge cliffhanger.
posted by the_artificer at 5:59 PM on May 2, 2011


Hokey Smokes! I just remembered-- the first time we (and The Doctor) meet River (back in Silence in the Library), she's wearing a space suit!
posted by KingEdRa at 7:43 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Re the dancing as metaphor for sex, he also "dances" with Madame Pompadour in Moffat's "Girl in the Fireplace." And I have always believed he was having mad sex with her while Rose waited for him back at the TARDIS.

Also, with the first two episodes of this series, Moffat has won me back. I'm a little worried that it's all going to fall apart and make no sense, sort of like Series 5 if you look at it too closely, but for now I'm along for the ride. I EVEN LIKE AMY NOW. Phew.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:32 PM on May 2, 2011


(newer related thread)
posted by nobody at 4:39 AM on May 3, 2011


Wow, so much RTD hate in that thread. As he was my introduction to NuWho (and also responsible for Queer as Fuck Folk in the UK) I was initially quite pleased with the series.

A lot of that, in hindsight, was how much I enjoyed Eccleston's performance as 9. I still can't believe the left Doctor Who for Heroes. Bad career move, dude. However, had he stayed on the show, I don't imagine his performance could overcome the ever increasing melodramatic series finales that RTD came up with. They became exhausting to watch. I don't think it's necessary to express hatred for his work, though. Doctor Who could have remained a dead show. I'm glad it's not.

Also, brand me a heretic, but I never liked David Tennant all that much.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:29 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because, man, is that a sucky, boring retirement for a woman like River.

I think she's "dead" for good - it was definitely implied in that episode that there was a difference between living people being saved and mental data from the recorders being saved - more information, or something. I also don't really see a reason to bring her end-state self back, story-wise, when you can keep writing more intermediate Rivers.

Moffat:
If you believe in a soul, then you'd say that she's not in the computer, that's just a copy of her, that's just her mind and her memories. If you don't believe in a soul - like me - then you think that that is her, that's everything about her, that's the crucial mental data preserved perfectly within that computer. There is nothing else to keep. And given the absolute strict choice between oblivion and the run of all human history and all human literature, I'll take the run of all human history and all human literature. I think that sounds like quite a good retirement plan. That's pretty much as close to heaven as you're gonna get, and that's what the Doctor gives River at the end, he gives her an eternal retirement, which is, you know, nice of him.

posted by you're a kitty! at 8:46 PM on May 4, 2011


I guess it just seems like a kind of milquetoast ending for her, very domestic, caring for the children alone and all. She's not shown having the run of all human history, after all.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:25 PM on May 4, 2011


Then he comes back to the library and the computers gone all GLaDOS.
posted by Artw at 7:00 AM on May 5, 2011


I guess it just seems like a kind of milquetoast ending for her, very domestic, caring for the children alone and all. She's not shown having the run of all human history, after all.

I could be forgetting, but I thought it was implied that the system was built for the little girl so that she could read everything forever. I think when he says "run of all human history" he means book-wise, not that she can actually travel to it.

But I think the team is in there with her, aren't they? Not that that's necessarily a good thing, but it would at least be a bit less lonely, I suppose.

P.S. "Sometimes when you're not here, it's like we're not here" is the creeeeeepiest.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:26 AM on May 5, 2011


And given the absolute strict choice between oblivion and the run of all human history and all human literature, I'll take the run of all human history and all human literature.

Given that, it sounds like the computer might be capable of more than just books.

It's just that the River we've grown to know doesn't seem like the bookish type. And yeah, her team is there. But still, what we're shown her doing in the afterlife is really just being a mom for CAL and the FakeChildren.

Maybe we'll find out at some point that that was always her dream or something, in which case it would sit a wee bit better for me, but still. Boring heaven.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:34 AM on May 5, 2011


Hmm... true.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:44 AM on May 5, 2011


But I think the team is in there with her, aren't they? Not that that's necessarily a good thing, but it would at least be a bit less lonely, I suppose.
If you think about it ... her afterlife is a kind of prison. And it's been noted upthread that it's possible that River believes she deserves to be in prison for whatever it is that she's done, even though she seems to escape the place at will when necessary.

If this is indeed true, I imagine River's digital analogue would have a sense of equanimity about her final fate.
posted by PapaLobo at 9:40 AM on May 5, 2011


A lot of that, in hindsight, was how much I enjoyed Eccleston's performance as 9. I still can't believe the left Doctor Who for Heroes. Bad career move, dude.

His contract was only for one year, and he apparently simply chose not to renew for work environment reasons. He did some stage work and a movie or two before joining Heroes -- two years after Who.
posted by dhartung at 10:03 AM on May 5, 2011


I started watching Doctor Who because I liked what Eccleston did on Heroes.
posted by mogget at 10:07 AM on May 5, 2011


dhartung, just so. I had thought Heroes started in 2005, rather than 2006, and Eccleston joined in 2007. Timeywimeywibblywobblyknowitallneenerneeneryou
posted by PapaLobo at 8:09 PM on May 5, 2011


Having just rewatched a handful of Tennant episodes, I think I've figured out precisely what is missing.



K9.
posted by coriolisdave at 4:21 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I kinda hope we get a lot of episodes based in the US. Surely the Doctor has solved most of the problems that afflict Britain (or at least, those parts of Britain that Cardiff and its environs can do a reasonable impression of) by now?"

How come Dr. Who never helps... I dunno... Nigerians?

(Personally, I hope the show doesn't become too Americanized. I can watch plenty of American shows.)
posted by Eideteker at 5:37 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


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