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I'm Going To Hate This One, Frequently And Loudly
August 31, 2012 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Diamanda Hagan is an obsessive Dr. Who fan in scary makeup. She posts extensive, entertaining, and exhaustively nerdy rants on some of the worst episodes of Nu Who. Behold! The Beast Below, Voyage Of The Damned, Victory Of The Daleks, Fear Her, The Next Doctor, Planet Of The Dead, The Doctor's Daughter, and The End Of Time (The Whole Damn Thing) (NSFW language)
posted by The Whelk (299 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, come on. The Beast Below wasn't bad. It's not going to make the best-episode-ever playoffs, but it wasn't bad.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:11 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


It wasn't great, but it had its moments - the "but then I wouldn't be the doctor" bit being a standout in particular.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on August 31, 2012


No crappy pirates one?
posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on August 31, 2012


I liked the Pirates one. It was so much better than it might have been.
posted by jb at 10:17 AM on August 31, 2012


When I am Dictator of Earth, I will give Russell T. Davies a gold medal for bringing back Dr. Who, and then put him in front of a firing squad for what he did with it.
posted by Rangeboy at 10:18 AM on August 31, 2012 [20 favorites]


Pirates! I didn't mind so much, cause I like when we get out of the modern era or THE FUTURE for a bit and it wasn't like "make me stop watching the show for two years" bad like The Satan Pit (Oh good your plan is to defeat Satan, literally Satan, by yelling at him. And it's not like a bluff or something. Great. )
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 AM on August 31, 2012


I'd also like to nominate "the entire works of Chris Chibnall".
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on August 31, 2012


Oh jesus people. Have you /seen/ the old Dr. Who episodes. From the stilted pilot to the high-camp 80s, it is a string of one bad teleplay after another. The sets are laughable, the settings improbable, even for speculative fiction, and the dialogue an inside joke.

And this is why people like it. All the new series brings is a little more grown-up sexy, sets that don't appear to be made of stryofoam and the parts where stage-hands or their shadows appear in a scene are generally edited out.

Save the lather for the shower, girlfriend.
posted by clvrmnky at 10:22 AM on August 31, 2012 [18 favorites]


the high-camp 80s

You can't make me go back!

And that's fighting talk re:Unearthly Child.
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on August 31, 2012


All the new series brings is a little more grown-up sexy

Except its idea of "grown-up sexy" is a sixth grader's idea of grown-up sexy. You've seen Torchwood, right?
posted by Rangeboy at 10:28 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


And this is why people like it.

You can still have silly high-concept SF camp and still be totally watchable/child terrifying. There's that word again "tone" and the Dr. Who tone is really delicate and hard to pin down but also unique and interesting, which is why I like it. I remember not feeling "The Wire" too much but my Dr. Who fanboy SO *loved* it cause it *felt* like an old series, time-travel! Cheap yet somehow terrifying villain hamming it up! Effective threat to reality!

I mean there is silly-bad and then there is "Fear Her" which I'm pretty sure only exists in under to serve as a drinking game.
posted by The Whelk at 10:28 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


See, again, the awfulness of Chris Chibnall.
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on August 31, 2012


Remember it's a children's show... you know, for kids!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:29 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "The End Of Time (The Whole Damn Thing) "

The hell you say. The nods to continuity alone in those episodes were great. Including the signing of A Journal of Impossible Things.
posted by zarq at 10:30 AM on August 31, 2012


All ages, not children's.
posted by The Whelk at 10:30 AM on August 31, 2012


fearfulsymmetry: "Remember it's a children's show... you know, for kids!"

Who watch from a safe vantage point, huddling behind the couch.
posted by zarq at 10:30 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Except its idea of "grown-up sexy" is a sixth grader's idea of grown-up sexy. You've seen Torchwood, right?

Torchwood is clearly GRADE EIGHT sexy.

Doctor Who is Grade Six sexy -- Bunkbeds! I totally would have loved to have shared a bunkbed set with my grade six crush. I would have even let him have the top bunk if he wanted it.
posted by jb at 10:30 AM on August 31, 2012


I tried to write a clever comment about my annoyance at people who spend great amounts of time pompously declaring that "new" Who is awful.

But I think maybe instead I will write a long snotty diatribe about how R.E.M. was all downhill after "Murmur." Surely people will be interested in my attempt to demonstrate that I have new glib and facile ways of explaining that I am a true connoisseur and that the rest of the world stupidly loves a sell-out.
posted by sheldman at 10:32 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess this is a good as place as any for this: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Steven Moffat, Wil Wheaton, and Chris Hardwick go bowling. (Yes, really)
posted by jcreigh at 10:32 AM on August 31, 2012 [13 favorites]


"The video of that was lost when the BBC mixed up the term 'storage' with 'burn the fuck out of that shit'," is one of those things that's funny because it's true.
posted by Drastic at 10:34 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why Doctor Who isn't just for kids

(probably needs a parallel peice on why, yes, it is actually fit kids as well. )
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The Beast Below" is awesome. My other half can't even watch discussions of it, like on those Chris Hardwick clip shows BBC America has been running incessantly in the past month or so, without tearing up.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:40 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clicked through to discover that the nerdy rants are vlogs. Gotta say, even as an old skool fan who has my issues with nu Who (which, like classic Who, has been uneven), a thing I would enjoy even less than watching nu Who episodes I think are sub-par would be watching a vlog of someone ranting about them.
posted by immlass at 10:49 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Satan Pit (Oh good your plan is to defeat Satan, literally Satan,

He's not really "literally Satan" (i.e., he's not an angel cast out of heaven or anything like that). If I recall the episode correctly, it's more the other way around. He's a ghastly alien monster whose actions gave rise to the myth of Satan (and various other "Supreme Evil" myths on different planets). No?
posted by yoink at 10:54 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


My kids liked The Satan Pit!
posted by Mister_A at 10:57 AM on August 31, 2012


If it were consistently bad, I could just pretend it doesn't exist, but even Davies once in a while would craft something excellent, like the low-key bottle episode "Midnight." It's creepy, tense, and harkens back to the best of the Robert Holmes stories. But then he'd go right back to creating some awful, over-the-top thing that confuses bombast with profundity and ladles on the cheap sentiment like it was going out of style.

Moffat's a definite improvement, although I still have issues with his stuff. (We all stopped caring about River Song two years ago, and the longer he drags out the Silence arc the less confident I am it's going anywhere.

Also, don't be fatuous sheldman, Life's Rich Pageant is clearly where R.E.M. fell off.
posted by Rangeboy at 11:06 AM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


We all stopped caring about River Song two years ago

"We"?
posted by yoink at 11:07 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


LIZ X FOR PRESIDENT.
posted by PapaLobo at 11:11 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


"We all know that 'The Doctor's Daughter' is the worst episode of the new Doctor Who series. What 'Let's Kill Hitler' presupposes is...what if it wasn't?"
posted by Legomancer at 11:12 AM on August 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


"The Satan Pit" had the Ood in it.

Any episode that has the Ood in it is de facto awesome.

I have spoken.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:13 AM on August 31, 2012 [11 favorites]


Something has just occurred to me - Moffat's Sherlock doesn't feature any kids, timey-wimey, memory wipes or pretty much any of his maybe-too-common Who tropes, excepting a very Who like central character. So he can do it.
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sherlock always felt like more Gatiss' baby. He just needs to find a way to shoe-horn in some dreamy WW2 soldiers
posted by The Whelk at 11:25 AM on August 31, 2012


Holy shit y'all, The Satan Pit/Impossible Planet are some of my favorite episodes.

They're scary as hell (possession of crew and Ood is super creepy) have some pretty cool idea (the planet that's trapped at the edge of a black hole?) great side-characters (the gal who gets trapped in the pit with the Doctor) and the Doctor meets alien who has tortured folks with mind games by banishing his ass straight into a black hole.

Fuck it, I'm going to go watch it right now because it's so awesome.

Also: Ood, as infinitywaltz says: Ood.

Q.E.D.
posted by Tevin at 11:28 AM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


So far it's been one very Gattis episode, one very Moffat episode, and a less good one by pirate guy. Though in season 2 the pirate guy one wasn't actually awful.
posted by Artw at 11:28 AM on August 31, 2012


I went off Russel T. Davies during "Voyage of the Damned" when he had the doctor ascend from the fiery pit, carried aloft by two golden angel-robots to save mankind. In a Christmas episode. Though when he puts down the sledgehammer he's a good writer.

Personally I also find him a little too campy, but that's more of a personal taste issue, particularly with something like Doctor Who. "He's not taking the police box time machine alien who looks exactly like a human sci-fi kids TV show SERIOUSLY ENOUGH!".
posted by Grimgrin at 11:29 AM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm down with the Satan Pit. Great build up, great midway cliffhanger, resolution wasn't quite all that, but that's not exactly uncommon.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on August 31, 2012


So I checked out the "End of Time" video. We are told that the tenth Doctor is more unlikable than the Colin Baker (first seen strangling his companion) sixth Doctor. Sick joke or lack of humanity? Who can say?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:30 AM on August 31, 2012


Well, it all comes down to personal taste, of course. For myself, I was never really sold on the idea of the Doctor as Dread Destroyer of Worlds Feared Throughout the Universe. Reading Christopher Bahn's write-ups of Classic Who over at the AV Club, I realized how much I missed Sylvester McCoy's Doctor as Machiavellian Schemer Disguised as Buffoon. The so-called "Cartmel Masterplan" wasn't as awesome as a lot of people seem to think it is, but they were definitely starting to do something interesting toward the end there. (Also, Seven/Ace is probably in my top three Doctor/Companion pairings, after Four/Sarah Jane and Four/Leela.)
posted by Rangeboy at 11:35 AM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Doctor should get props for not strangling more of his companions. Even the most responsible pet owner wants to occasionally throttle them, and while he's a standup fellow, as a pet owner he's not very responsible at all. He's constantly losing them and letting them wander off, not providing consistent reinforcement, etc.

And the point about Doc Four carrying the foreknowledge that a Master-related confontration was going to result in his current regeneration's end with a whole lot less whinging and moping about it in sharp contrast to Doc 10's going on and on and ON about it was well said. Especially about whining about "dying" at an old fellow who was going to actually for really-reals mortal-human-type die in at best a couple more decades. Have some perspective! (I'm in the camp that heaved a sigh of relief at RTD stepping down. Glad he resurrected the show, but really overstayed his welcome.)
posted by Drastic at 11:39 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


He certainly made the best argument for his leaving with those last few specials.
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


The last bastion of civility on AICN, this week's Friday Docback features all the episodes of "Pond Life" and some pretty awesome movie posters based on the first set of episodes all on one page.
posted by PapaLobo at 11:56 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


So... BEST episodes... Here's some contenders...

The Doctor Dances (2 parter, enter Moffat)
Blink (Moffat again)
Family of Blood (2 parter, Paul Cornel who really should do more)
Turn Left (see? A RTD one I'm fond of)
Midnight (two even!)
Amy's Choice (Simon Nye - who knew?)
A Christmas Carol (Moff again)
The Doctor's Wife (of course)

Any others?
posted by Artw at 12:41 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this show uncritically. I'm going to keep loving this show, uncritically.

Bit of background so you'll understand why: Never saw an original Who, except in snippets on PBS while waiting for Python and whatever other Brit stuff they bought and broadcast in the '70s (I have weird memories of seeing Paul Hogan, Marty Feldman and Benny Hill, but I can't sort them right now). It looked like a crappy show and none of my friends watched it, so there.

So after NuWho's been on for several series, a co-worker lent me the DVDs of series one, so we started watching them with my son.

And I got hooked. We watched two borrowed series, then started buying the box sets. We watched them all.

And it's weird to say that I enjoyed them all, because I never think that way. I am extraordinarily hypercritical. I write stories. I tell stories. I admit, I wasn't thinking them through carefully. I can see they use plot devices extensively (these are what I call explanations for improbable events: "Dad, how did the Daleks get there so quickly?" "They used the plot device.")

Can you imagine what it's like to love something like this? Wonderful. Not childish, just a relief. I can't explain it, except maybe there's so much to love going on at various times -- the doctor's personality, the monsters, the Tardis, a funny line -- that they mask my suck detectors.

So I won't argue these points (except to note that the series is still for children, although there were moments when I wondered). I'll even admit a fondness for "Love and Monsters" with its story of true love from concrete-slab girl, because of its use of ELO's "Blue Sky." I love ELO, but not as uncritically as I love Doctor Who.

Maybe on rewatching I'll discover all its flaws. I sure did on "Sherlock!" But not now. It feels too good, especially after reading this -- from "The Writer's Tale," where Russell T Davies reflects on the effect of Internet criticism:
It’s those internet message boards. The forums. They destroy writers. The job is full of doubt already, but now there is a whole new level of fear, shouting at us. It is now a writer’s job, like it or not, to put up with it. It’s like when Helen Raynor went on Outpost Gallifrey last month and read the reviews of her two Dalek episodes.

She said that she was, literally, shaking afterwards. Like she’d been physically assaulted. I’m not exaggerating. She said it was like being in a pub when a fight breaks out next to you. I had to spend two hours on the phone to her, talking her out of it, convincing her that of course she can write, that we do need her and want her. That bastard internet voice gets into writers’ heads and destabilizes them massively.

The stupidest thing you can say is ‘Ignore it’, because no one can. Who can resist going in search of their name on the internet? Helen knows that now. It was the same with Murray Gold during Series One: a massive loss of faith after the first episode leaked onto the internet, because he read the Outpost Gallifrey comments about his music. He was saying, ‘I don’t know how to do my job anymore.’ Noel Clarke read the online reviews of his portrayal of Mickey, but at least he got angry. Yet none of them has been attacked as viciously as I’ve been.
But I especially love his reaction to the criticism, because I suspect there's more than a hint of truth in it:
I read that stuff and it doesn’t stop me, not ever. I’ve got quite high-flown and fancy beliefs about art that maybe put it all into perspective. Principally: it is not a democracy. Creating something is not a democracy. The people have no say. The artist does. It doesn’t matter what the people witter on about; they and their response come after. They’re not there for the creation. ... It was summed up best by Rachel Cooke in The Observer recently, where she said that the online voice writes with a deep sense of exclusion. She wrote about that with some anger, but also with a lot of sadness. I don’t see the sadness myself. I think its right they’re excluded.
So I pity Diamanda Hagan.
posted by Bill Peschel at 12:48 PM on August 31, 2012 [18 favorites]


Artw I'd like to add Forest of the Dead (2-parter) to that list.

I would also include the Satan Pit/Impossible Planet but it looks like my love for that two-parter is a bit more exceptional than I realized.
posted by Tevin at 12:50 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


What, no "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead?" Another probably my favorite by Moffat.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:52 PM on August 31, 2012


Jinx, Tevin.

Also, "another probably my favorite?" Yikes.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:54 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


<psychic paper>Just dropping this comment here so this thread shows up in my Recent Activity tomorrow night. Pay no attention to this comment.</psychic paper>
posted by Rock Steady at 1:26 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I realize that this is heresy to many, but as far as I'm concerned, the worst of Doctor Who is a solid 70% of the Amy/Rory episodes.

Obvious bests, IMO: The Doctor Dances/The Empty Child, Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, Vincent and the Doctor (not, worth noting, an Amy/Rory episode), The Doctor's Wife. I also loved The Impossible Astronaut, but it's soured on rewatching because I so strongly dislike the arc it introduced.

It turns out that I love Moffat episodes, and I hate Moffat arcs.
posted by MeghanC at 1:49 PM on August 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Bill Peschel : That actually explains quite a bit about why his writing got worse and worse over the run of the series.
posted by Grimgrin at 1:53 PM on August 31, 2012


Great post! Excellent distraction from dissertation writing!

MeghanC, I...completely agree. My bf is all excited about the new series starting, and I'm just like, ugh more Amy and Rory. I like Matt Smith, but I am so so tired of those two and the whole dynamic.
posted by sundaydriver at 2:30 PM on August 31, 2012


"Girl in the Fireplace"

I spaced on that one.

That's the go-to 'introduce noob's to Who' episode for me.

Vincent and the Doctor is very good, but the lame monster makes it not-quite a best for me.

Man, my heels had cooled to the Doctor the last few months (I was largely disappointed with S6) but talking about it again has me all kinds of excited for this weekend.
posted by Tevin at 2:47 PM on August 31, 2012



Just dropping this comment here so this thread shows up in my Recent Activity tomorrow night. Pay no attention to this comment.


Ah, so this will be that thread, then. Good to know.
posted by KingEdRa at 2:52 PM on August 31, 2012


"Vincent and the Doctor" felt like it was a fantastic character episode with a well-done examination of mental illness that some Americanized BBC exec shoehorned a Monster of the Week (with bonus morality tale) into just because. I would rather have had a half-hour episode that was all about Vincent, Amy, and the Doctor just hanging out and discussing art and love and life than the hour we got, where those brilliant bits were interrupted by a useless bit of CGI every couple of minutes.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:53 PM on August 31, 2012 [7 favorites]


SundayDriver, I'm so glad that it's not just me. We should be pals. I also like Matt Smith, but...I dunno. I want wacky hijinks in time and space, occasionally with a side of romance. I do not want long, drawn out, convoluated romance with a side of feeeelings and oh hey look we're time travelling...eh, fuck it, let's mind-wipe Amy again and then try to get Rory laid!

I'm choosing to be super excited because you go in knowing, for a fact, beyond a doubt, that they have a finite lifespan, and if you're reading anything about the upcoming season, you know exactly how long that lifespan will be. I think I'm going to bake a cake or something for that episode. I've loved Doctor Who since I was a kid, and this is the first time that I've ever been this out of love with it. It makes me sad.

I also agree that the Monster of Vincent and the Doctor was done poorly, but on the other hand, I still cry every time I watch that ep, monster or no, so it gets points with me.
posted by MeghanC at 2:58 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who, when seeing a bottle episode or invisible monster goes "So, I guess we're saving up our budget for the finale then?"
posted by The Whelk at 3:48 PM on August 31, 2012


And I think the rescheduling is to save up as much money as possible for the 50th anniversary.

I've long enjoyed the parallel story of Dr Who as the tale of valiant producers trying to massage a budget into some sort of shape. Not always entirely successfully.

And I enjoyed the last series a lot, and am quite looking forward to the new one. Putting together what we know about Amy and Rory in the sixth episode with what we've always known about Weeping Angels (but have been misdirected from over the last couple of appearances) I've a personal theory as to how that will all pan out, which could be quite poignant, but who knows.

I can't really see who will replace Moffatt when he bows out - Chibnall (no, please, no), Toby Whithouse (if Being Human runs its course, which it might, though I liked the last series of that better than the previous two, as well) or Matthew Graham. Of the three, I think the best choice would be Graham, though worry that Chibnall has it sewn up. Personally, I'd like someone out of the middle-aged-white-guy demographic somewhat, but have no idea who that could be.
posted by Grangousier at 4:04 PM on August 31, 2012


I'm just going to say NEW SERIES TOMORROW NIGHT! I have a fez all ready. I am VERY EXCITED.
posted by alasdair at 4:07 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pleasepleaseplease can the next Doctor (or even better, the next season) resist a romantic arc already? It's a weak way to get people to care about the characters. I'd kind of love a crotchety old Doctor in the old style; an awesome no-nonsense, snarky, crotchety old LADY Doctor would rock my world. /hurumph
posted by smirkette at 5:01 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


command-F "The Idiot's Lantern"

Phrase not found


Really? Come on, now. By comparison, everything else on the list is high art. Yes, even "Fear Her".

Anyway, I've liked Hagan's bad-horror-movie reviews for a while. I'm not big on vlogs, but hers get a pass for wit and usually not going too overboard with shtick (despite the Halloween makeup.)
posted by kagredon at 5:12 PM on August 31, 2012


"Fear Her" was awesome. Your argument is invalid.
posted by jbickers at 6:08 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


What??

Everyone has their faves and least faves, I guess, but you may be the first person to make that claim.
posted by Artw at 6:23 PM on August 31, 2012


Not the first ... the then-six-year-old son who watched it from behind the couch that I was sitting on was the first. I'm the second. (Perhaps his experience informed my opinion of the episode. It was awesome.)
posted by jbickers at 6:42 PM on August 31, 2012


Just dropping this comment here so this thread shows up in my Recent Activity tomorrow night. Pay no attention to this comment.

Okey dokey.
posted by homunculus at 7:16 PM on August 31, 2012


/makes note to remove from activity tomorrow.
posted by Artw at 7:17 PM on August 31, 2012


Am I the only one who, when seeing a bottle episode or invisible monster goes "So, I guess we're saving up our budget for the finale then?"

I'm aware of the practical reasons - but I also enjoy when technical/budget limitations lead to interesting art: monsters that are more shadow than obvious, or tense character-driven drama (like "Midnight").
posted by jb at 7:45 PM on August 31, 2012


I'm torn on The Satan Pit--first the Ood, and the overall tone of the first episode, I thought for sure they were heading straight into Lovecraft territory and was almost weeping with excitement. Doctor Who and the Mountains of Madness, something like that. And then...oh. I think I would like it more if I hadn't been so terribly disappointed.
posted by orrnyereg at 8:08 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really liked Matt Smith in Season 5, and especially enjoyed watching Rory (for lack of a better phrase) grow up that season to become less of a bumbling buffoon and more of a real character. Living as a Roman centurion for 2000 years will do that to a person/Auton. OTOH, Season 6 seemed to drown itself into a sea of overwrought cleverness that introduced a couple of explosive ideas that needed an entire season to fully retcon into coherency--and even with the finale, I don't think they fully got there. As I've said in other threads relating to Doctor Who, my hope is that Season 7 will dial things down a bit in terms of the convoluted plots.

MeghanC, I'll admit to some fatigue with Amy & Rory, but the entire River Song storyline from last year was even more exhausting to watch at the end. Part of my curiosity with Season 6's finale was that I wanted to see if Steven Moffat really could pull that rabbit out of the hat. He had two interesting ideas--let's kill the Doctor, and let's have the Doctor fall in love with River--but near the end of last season, I really felt like he wrote himself into a corner. If RTD enjoyed bombast, then Moffat enjoys twisting the audience's expectations. Moffat should look at the career arc of M. Night Shyamalan to see what happens to someone who constantly felt the need to outwit his audience and over-convolute the plot to the point of near-incomprehension. And after looking, Moffat should step away from that ledge.
posted by stannate at 10:20 PM on August 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Emma Thompson would make a fab Doctor. And yes, lots of people would hate her. Couple her with a very likeable human companion or two, that would be fun.
posted by alasdair at 2:50 AM on September 1, 2012


Pleasepleaseplease can the next Doctor (or even better, the next season) resist a romantic arc already? It's a weak way to get people to care about the characters. I'd kind of love a crotchety old Doctor in the old style; an awesome no-nonsense, snarky, crotchety old LADY Doctor would rock my world. /hurumph

I think I just had a nerdgasm imagining Dame Judy Dench as the Doctor, even for just one gendery-bendery episode. I'd also happily accept Maggie Smith, and I think Helen mirren could pull it off too. Less mad running, more wit and out thinking. I miss liz Sladen.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:03 AM on September 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want to add my love for Vincent & The Doctor, and Dalek.
How has no one remembered to add in Dalek yet? Or am I alone, like the lone Boomtown fan on the moors?
posted by Mezentian at 3:30 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've just finished watching several of these reviews. They raise an interesting question: how should you criticise something like DOCTOR WHO? Because I found myself agreeing with some of the broader views expressed, but not the observations that seem to justify them.

A lot of the criticisms in the videos seem to boil down to literal mindedness - "here's where they suffer horrible burns" when the characters are being dragged, "create a vacuum cleaner that sucks up heat and you have yourself a spaceship" etc.

This sort of criticism - snark? - is quite a common way of approaching pulp fiction. You can see it on TV Without Pity, The Nostalgia Critic etc. But I don't think it's very helpful, because it's far too easy. It doesn't really go to the heart of what is good or bad about an episode. And it runs the risk of not using the video form to its full potential (e.g. to highlight things that are genuinely bad that you might miss or to bring things together using cuts to underline a point). Instead, it just becomes a narration of the episode with a bit of snark layered over it.

DOCTOR WHO is a difficult show to write - I suspect - because it can do so many things and, over the course of its history, actually has done, picking up different tones like a man running through an exploding paint factory picks up different hues. Any given writer would have to pick one thing and develop it well to create a good episode, but inevitably that will annoy someone who just doesn't like that sort of thing. I don't like romance plots for the Doctor, for example, even when they are with equals (such as River Song) and not rendered inherently creepy by being with humans (e.g. Rose). I have a lot of sympathy with RTD's attitude that art is not a democracy, even if I disagree with some of his choices.
posted by lucien_reeve at 4:30 AM on September 1, 2012


For folks like me who find RTD problematic at times, I really do suggest tracking down The Writer's Tale.
It's painful to read at times, and kinda sleevy, but I came away with a much better appreciation for how the show gets made (by the skin of its teeth, often) and an understanding of why certain decisions were made.
posted by Mezentian at 4:47 AM on September 1, 2012


I agree, THE WRITER'S TALE is very interesting and well worth checking out.

Having listened to a few more of these review episodes, they are starting to get a bit grating - the reviewer just seems to make the same banal, boring jokes over and over again.

On the other hand she - he? the voice sounds male - also reviews Urban Gothic, a British horror show made for about 10p and a packet of crisps back in the early 2000s. This at least reminded me that Urban Gothic existed, which is a pleasant thought - this was a show that felt like it was trying to do new and interesting things - and failing, as often as not, but at least it was trying. Which means it deserves better than someone saying "this is stupid" over and over again, in rather unimaginative ways.
posted by lucien_reeve at 5:20 AM on September 1, 2012


Urban Gothic?

I has a curious.
posted by Mezentian at 5:23 AM on September 1, 2012


URBAN GOTHIC is much like the older series of DOCTOR WHO: very cheap, ambitious and usually based on whatever was most prominent in higher budget pop culture at the times, but with a twist (there are episodes that are based on THE MATRIX, LOCK/STOCK, the SCREAM films).

If you take it for what it is - practically student budget film-making - there is quite a bit there to enjoy. Probably best sought out on Youtube etc.
posted by lucien_reeve at 5:37 AM on September 1, 2012


Oh, hey, DALEK BINGO.
posted by Mezentian at 5:45 AM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, hey, DALEK BINGO.

I thought this would be similar to those bingo cards that point out dog whistles of privilege, but with every space filled with 'EXTERMINATE!'
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:33 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seven and Eight... EXTERMINATE!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:55 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Scottish Dalek
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:58 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Old school Doctor Who episodes that everybody should watch
posted by Artw at 6:59 AM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pleasepleaseplease can the next Doctor (or even better, the next season) resist a romantic arc already?

Failing that, can we at least get rid of the endless encomiums to mundane dumb people and their boring boring boring domestic lives and families? I get that it's a way to tell the kids watching that "everybody's special and important" but it's so fucking ham-fisted.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:21 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think you need to somehow show that the ordinary people are important, rather than just saying that they are (a recurrent problem with DOCTOR WHO, unfortunately).
posted by lucien_reeve at 7:51 AM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


mundane dumb people and their boring boring boring domestic lives and families?

I think we left that behind with the Jones family.
Because I know you ain't talking smack about Wilf.
posted by Mezentian at 7:54 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think we left that behind with the Jones family.

Nope it carried through this season, right through that fucking awful episode with whathisface from Gavin and Stacy and how being a dumb bumbling dad is the most important thing in the whole world as long as you love your baby enough.

Wilf had his moments. I don't have a problem with extended families and friends existing and being important, and that being in contrast to the Doctor who is always an outsider to some extent. It's having the Doctor blather on and on and on and on and on about it.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:56 AM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nope it carried through this season, right through that fucking awful episode with whathisface from Gavin and Stacy and how being a dumb bumbling dad is the most important thing in the whole world as long as you love your baby enough.

I'd literally blanked that one out of my head and now I'm having horrific flashbacks...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:06 AM on September 1, 2012


How has no one remembered to add in Dalek yet? Or am I alone

Not alone.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:16 AM on September 1, 2012


It's having the Doctor blather on and on and on and on and on about it.
This: it's like they forgot one of the first lessons of writing: show, don't tell. It must be really, really tempting to give great actors long speeches (especially when writing space and time opera), but TV is a visual format and a strong image can be much more gutting than an epic monologue. One of the only good things RTD did when he got rid of Donna was that scene where the Doctor checks in on Wilf. Donna walks in after a few words, completely unconcerned about the man talking to her grandfather. That was heart-wrenching.

I'm still angry at RTD for how he handled Donna's dismissal in general, though. Married her off? It's about the most unimaginative way to get rid of a female character, even if it does book-end how he met her in the first place. Points for underscoring how we are largely a sum of our experiences, I guess, but by the end, Donna deserved better.
posted by smirkette at 10:36 AM on September 1, 2012


How has no one remembered to add in Dalek yet? Or am I alone

Not alone.


See? No need to trigger the self destruct.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM on September 1, 2012


I'm still angry at RTD for how he handled Donna's dismissal in general, though.

I agree: I thought she was treated brutally. And no-one commented on it in the show.

The only thing to do is say "See, that just shows how the Doctor really IS an alien, or he would feel some kind of remorse!" Otherwise you have a show with a leading actor who is kind of a dick. That gets me through.
posted by alasdair at 12:30 PM on September 1, 2012


orrnyereg: I'm torn on The Satan Pit--first the Ood, and the overall tone of the first episode, I thought for sure they were heading straight into Lovecraft territory and was almost weeping with excitement. Doctor Who and the Mountains of Madness, something like that. And then...oh. I think I would like it more if I hadn't been so terribly disappointed.

Yes! The first half, The Impossible Planet actually stands up as pretty good sci-fi horror, scary and atmospheric (albeit with one or two narm-y moments with the "possessed" crewmember, but, eh, if you can't get past or enjoy some occasional narm, then this is not the show for you.) And then in the back half...ech. RTD was really good at setting up interesting situations and then resolving them terribly with some half-baked messianic-Doctor nonsense (see also: Last of the Time Lords.)

(That and all of his female characters in both Doctor Who and Torchwood were handled...problematically at best. Though, to his credit, the first season of The Sarah Jane Adventures features one of the best-written mentorship relationships that I've seen anywhere in fiction, and between two characters who are (a) both female, and (b) both outside of the 20-40 age range, so that was a very pleasant surprise.)
posted by kagredon at 1:04 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well that was a pretty good start...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:16 PM on September 1, 2012


I quite like Oswin. . .
posted by peppermind at 2:07 PM on September 1, 2012


What's with the little bursts of slo-mo in Doctor Who these days? They seem rather incongruous to me.
posted by MUD at 2:17 PM on September 1, 2012


Zombie Daleks! If we had a couch in this room my daughter would've been behind it.
posted by fullerine at 2:46 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm really happy with the new episode. Very happy I went in unspoiled. Surprised the BBC and everybody kept that spoiler to themselves, given public screenings have already happened.

Good work, Mr Moffat.
posted by crossoverman at 5:49 PM on September 1, 2012


I have so many questions now.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:22 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sooooo .... are we talking about "Asylum" now? Spoilers?

Oswin is awesome. Cannot wait to see where it goes with her.
posted by jbickers at 7:18 PM on September 1, 2012


I liked Asylum. Zombie Daleks are a great idea.

But... I did not like the end, any more than I liked it at the end of TWORS.

I also have questions. Spoilerific questions.
posted by Mezentian at 7:19 PM on September 1, 2012


DWN has a behind the scenes clip. Spoilers, obviously.
posted by Mezentian at 7:40 PM on September 1, 2012


If that was supposed to make the Daleks scarier, it failed. It just made them more endearing. Now I want a show about the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing at the Dalek Parliament.
posted by homunculus at 8:07 PM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Alternative title for this episode: Question Time.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:11 PM on September 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I lament no Dalek in this episode called for order in the house.
posted by Mezentian at 8:15 PM on September 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was a great episode. Also: very happy that this might minimize the "epicness" of the Daleks, and therefore Who in general, a bit.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:29 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


homunculus: Now I want a show about the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing at the Dalek Parliament.

Would that be more House of Cards or more Yes, Minister? Because I think one would be more endearing than the other (I'm not saying which).
posted by Sing Fool Sing at 9:19 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


But... I did not like the end, any more than I liked it at the end of TWORS.

I like the concept more than the execution.
posted by crossoverman at 9:36 PM on September 1, 2012


Simpsons Who
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Simpsons Who

Where's Martha? Rory and Jenny but not Martha!
posted by crossoverman at 9:43 PM on September 1, 2012


Or Mickey.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:07 PM on September 1, 2012


So the supposedly big surprise of "Asylum of the Daleks" was worthy of the hype (to this spoiler avoider at least) and the Rory/Amy fight made me and mine tear up a bit, so damn it Moffat, you win.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:16 AM on September 2, 2012


and the Rory/Amy fight made me and mine tear up a bit, so damn it Moffat, you win.

I'm relieved the fight was resolved in one episode. By the end of "The Pond Life" I was quite worried they were going to bring back the Rory/Amy/Doctor love-triangle yet again.

I also quite like Oswin. They managed to pull off the human/dalek hybrid concept quite well. If they want to go back and replace Dalek Sec with one of those, George-Lucas style, I'm not sure anyone would complain.
posted by Gary at 12:39 AM on September 2, 2012


The guys who do the Complete Guide to Everything podcast just put up a very funny episode on Doctor Who. One of them is a dedicated Doctor Who fan. The other doesn't know anything about the show, but agrees to watch three episodes in order to let the other guy try to convert him into a fan. I found it really funny.

They talk about some spoilers for the latest episode, but only in the last fifteen minutes, and they give ample spoiler warning beforehand, so it's worth listening to even if you're not caught up.
posted by painquale at 2:18 AM on September 2, 2012


This week Tom bets Tim that if he watches 3 hand selected episodes of Doctor Who (Blink, The 11th Hour and Victory of the Daleks) he'd be bound to like it

Victory had a lot to recommend it (until the actual Victory part) but.... a slam dunk episode it is not.

Incidentally, I do try to shy from spoilers, but I had no idea there was HYPE about a BIG SPOILER.
posted by Mezentian at 2:57 AM on September 2, 2012


Yeah, I didn't see the description and during the podcast they slow-rolled the episodes they had him watch... I kept thinking "please choose Blink and Eleventh Hour" and was psyched when they did, but when he mentioned the third choice... Urgh.

I didn't know there was to be a big spoiler either. I actually didn't know what the big spoiler was after I watched the episode until I read some reviews. Nothing seems that monumental to me, but I guess I'm curious to see how they'll handle the Christmas special now. (I have some guesses, but I'll let some time pass before spoiler talk begins in earnest.)
posted by painquale at 3:27 AM on September 2, 2012


The Big Spoiler may have had more impact in the UK where they're more familiar.
I pegged it early on but just shrugged my shoulders and moved on assuming I was wrong. Until the credits.
posted by Mezentian at 3:38 AM on September 2, 2012


Oh, it took some work to piece together what the "big spoiler" is that you're all mentioning. It's sort of funny that it's only meaningful as a spoiler at all if you're already following the news/rumors. In fact, prior knowledge would do nothing to ruin this episode. Rather, the knowledge you already had (apparently officially announced a month or two ago), combined with this episode, forms together into what constitutes a spoiler for the future direction of the series, no?

In any case, they should have decided to make her the next doctor.
posted by nobody at 4:47 AM on September 2, 2012


Toooooo YOOOOUNG.
posted by Mezentian at 5:56 AM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm still sticking with Tamsin Grieg (or Tilda Swinton if available - ha ha)... Though I must admit Lara Pulver is an interesting possible choice.

I'd be pretty happy for it to be Matt Smith for as long as possible.
posted by Artw at 6:11 AM on September 2, 2012


Would that be more House of Cards or more Yes, Minister? Because I think one would be more endearing than the other (I'm not saying which).

All I know is Dalek Malcolm Tucker would be the most horrifying thing ever.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:41 AM on September 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh man, Tilda Swinton as the doctor would just be AMAZING.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:44 AM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Eggs..." yeah, that was pretty good.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:49 AM on September 2, 2012


That was a great episode. Also: very happy that this might minimize the "epicness" of the Daleks, and therefore Who in general, a bit.

I...okay, I liked "Asylum" -- the thing that Moffat tends to fumble a lot (to wit, people behaving in a recognizably human fashion vis a vis emotional reaction to external stimuli) really worked here in two scenes that hit like punches to the gut -- but this take on the Daleks was pretty disappointing to me. Art's link to classic Who episodes everybody should watch notes "The Dalek Invasion of Earth," which despite its budgetary limitations and the occasional padding the multi-episode format of the old series lent itself to is a very effective story, and gives the Daleks a gravitas the new show has never pulled off. (Overpowering soundtrack aside.) The Skaro scene at the top of "Asylum" felt like a spiritual successor to the world of "Invasion," with its burning skies and the gigantic Dalek statue/hive straight out of Kirby's Apokolips. I wanted to see more of that. We've mostly seen the Daleks reduced to shadows of their former glory on this show; the freshest, boldest thing Moffat could do with them is actually let them be scary and cool again.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:53 AM on September 2, 2012


Is it too early to talk about the end of the previous season? Or previous half-season, or whatever the run was that finished a few months ago? Because I'm going to do that, with MASSIVE SPOILERS, in the next paragraph. There's nothing about last night's episode that you don't already know from watching the trailer. But seriously, skip my entire comment if you haven't seen the stuff from the beginning of this year.

So, the whole idea behind the Pandorica was that a load of species that the Doctor regarded as "bad guys" decided that enough was enough, and that they must work together to get rid of this terrible scourge. Didn't quite work out as intended, but there we go. Then the Silence, a religious order who want to kill the Doctor to prevent him from answering the Question and therfore ending the universe,* have a crack using the Headless Monks, the religious marines/mercenaries (apparrently drawn from civilisations all over the place) and eventually Melody/River as proxies. After a brief temporal screw-up, the Doctor lets everyone think that the Silence succeeded in killing him. And now that everyone thinks he's dead, he can go back to smaller interventions and become less prominent in the universe.

So, given all of this: How or why do the Daleks think that the Doctor -- their nemesis, the one person they fear, about whom they keep extensive records and around whom they have woven elaborate plots -- is still alive? Do we assume that they didn't know about the Silence's "endless, bitter war" against the Doctor, or just weren't paying attention? Do we further assume that the Silence won their war, defeated their greatest (possibly only) adversary, and didn't tell anyone? Or are the Silence the only people who were fooled by the faked death, and so the rest of the universe still think of the Doctor as this roaming trickster-god at large, messianic or genocidal depending which side you're on? Because that would be a very disappointing hole in his declared intention (and the writers' need, IMO) to operate on less ridiculously grandiose scales.

On the other hand, if Rule One is "The Doctor lies", then Rule Zero must be "Don't worry too much about continuity in Doctor Who, or your head will fall off". So, meh.

Beanplating aside, it was a good episode, IMO. A nice nod to the Doctor's darker side, his hatred of the Daleks which can sometimes bring him closer to them. Souffle Girl was a lot of fun, if weirdly similar in character to the Doctor's daughter, and her overall story was satisfying. I wish they could go back to a single Dalek being terrifying and nigh-unstoppable in its own right, as in Ecclestone's tenure, but I think the story went some way to re-establishing the Daleks as a genuine threat. It was nice to finally see some fall-out from the Ponds' trauma at Demons Run, too. Not much nuance, but it's probably the best that can be managed in a show whose audience includes huge numbers of primary school kids.

*The parallel with Hitchiker's Guide has only just occured to me. Nice.
posted by metaBugs at 7:18 AM on September 2, 2012


So, given all of this: How or why do the Daleks think that the Doctor[...]is still alive?

It doesn't even seem hand-wavey to me to point out that the Doctor bounces around in time. Who knows when this Asylum bit is? (I mean, the Daleks can't see into the future to see that there are later going to be rumors of the Doctor's death, right?)
posted by nobody at 7:42 AM on September 2, 2012


(I mean, the Daleks can't see into the future to see that there are later going to be rumors of the Doctor's death, right?)

Except the bait-zombie at the beginning of the episode explicitly references that the Doctor is supposedly dead, so this seems to be happening post Lake Silencio.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:50 AM on September 2, 2012


Dalek Parliament launches an attack on Dalek disabled and destroys Dalek health service using outside contractor (Stolen from twitter)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:39 AM on September 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


During the prequel to the episode, the messenger monk takes the Doctor out of the tea room into some strange vaulted room and asks him if he recognizes where he is. There's the sound of children laughing. The Doctor seems to know the place, and it makes him uncomfortable. Where is he? What is that place? I don't recognize it.
posted by painquale at 11:17 AM on September 2, 2012


Doctor Who and the codependency of the Daleks
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on September 2, 2012


Ahhh, finally saw it so the social media diet is over until next week. Definitely approve of Souffle Girl and love the direction things are going--but fully expect this NOT to be a fixed point, and therefore undoable.
posted by immlass at 12:59 PM on September 2, 2012


It turns out that every actress other than Billie Piper who plays a NuWho companion has had a role on the show long before becoming the companion. There's the Donna/River type of earlier appearance, where the character appears in an earlier episode, the Gwen/Martha type, where the character appearing earlier is a relative of the companion, or the Amy type, where Karen Gillen's previous role is never mentioned at all. I'm guessing Clara will be a Gwen/Martha type. (Gwen was never really a companion, but close enough.)
posted by painquale at 1:18 PM on September 2, 2012


I enjoyed the hell out of it - It might fall short of the best episodes list but it's certainly one of the good ones.
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM on September 2, 2012


@Painquale Had any of those actresses been cast as companions when they made their first appearance? I'd like to see more of Oswin, and I'd really love it if this was more of the Donna/ River type. I know Moffatt's got a history of writing really great companions for a single episode and never hearing from them again (Sally Sparrow, anyone?) but I would love to see more of Souffle girl and Chin boy's banter.
posted by peppermind at 2:00 PM on September 2, 2012


Especially if it's all done in Souffle Girl's "real" voice. Someone should do a redub of this episode.
posted by painquale at 2:04 PM on September 2, 2012


Painquale Had any of those actresses been cast as companions when they made their first appearance?

I think they might have wanted Catherine Tate but didn't expect to be able to get her for a whole season, so they just wrote her into a single episode. And who knows what the plans for River were back then? All the others were completely unplanned though.
posted by painquale at 2:13 PM on September 2, 2012


Well, in the Bartholemew's Eve Massacre story, Dr 1 and space pilot / Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves try to make up for abandoning a nice young woman to certain death in the aforementioned bloodbath by taking someone who might well be one of her descendants* in Swinging London on board the TARDIS. Perhaps it's something like that

*Were it not for the fact that, being brutally murdered, she's unlikely to do much procreation.
posted by Grangousier at 2:47 PM on September 2, 2012


I want the TARDIS pool to be the lynch pin to some huge arc in the future.
posted by The Whelk at 2:59 PM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was deleted.
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on September 2, 2012


(though the TARDIS keeps a lot of back-ups)
posted by Artw at 3:04 PM on September 2, 2012


I'm still sticking with Tamsin Grieg (or Tilda Swinton if available - ha ha)... Though I must admit Lara Pulver is an interesting possible choice.

I'm rooting for Suranne Jones.
posted by homunculus at 3:27 PM on September 2, 2012


The case for Julie Andrews.
posted by painquale at 4:57 PM on September 2, 2012


Sooo I just saw Asylum. I'll try to word around spoilers but, treat with caution.

Strong start! But with one really big thorn, I'll get back to that.

The Good: Skarro. The Doctor being, well, angry and confrontational and selling his hatred of the Daleks which made them finally feel like a real threat and not something they needed to trot out every season. He's so not whimsical and quirky about them! No Jammy Dodgers for miles. Everything Dalek -related in this episode was gold, the Parliament, the Prime Minister's haughty contempt, zombielks, everything. And that ambiguous ending, this is so not the slam dunk the Doctor thinks it is. I mean the question was just asked.

Oswin! I spent half the episode going "okay no, this is a Mary Sue. There has to be more here. Spunky and flirty and cute and a genius? It's like she was grown in a lab to be a compan-oh. Oh I see. Oh very well then. Eggs indeed. Thank you for anticipating the audience there.

The Bad: The source of the Amy/Rory breakup. What the hell? Really? The couple that's supposed to be impossibly right for each other? THAT was the argument? Wow, that really diminishes their relationship to me. Not even getting into the Big Book Of Lady Character Cliches doesn't that seem like something they could like work out? If you raise an issue like that you have to address it with more time than 5 minutes and it requires a level of complexity I don't think the series is up to. If anything wouldn't the problem be on Rory's side Mr. I'm a two thousand year old plastic duplicate with gun hands? I assume they wanted to be more direct and tie it into the Demon's Run plot and set up this future thing but you don't just wedge an issue like that into the middle of a scene for all 30 seconds. Anvils. Anvils everywhere. If you don't have the time just talk around it in generalities, like humans do, until you do. Gah. Way to take me out of the story there, both their reactions made me kind of instantly dislike them.
posted by The Whelk at 7:18 PM on September 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


/sad at lack of Dalek companion.
posted by Artw at 7:30 PM on September 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rory's not plastic anymore, though, right? Since OLDER SEASON SPOILER the universe got rebooted?
posted by lauranesson at 7:32 PM on September 2, 2012


The source of the Amy/Rory breakup. What the hell? Really?

That was my reaction too.

If anything wouldn't the problem be on Rory's side Mr. I'm a two thousand year old plastic duplicate with gun hands?

He's not an Auton any more. He became flesh and blood when the Doctor rebooted the universe.
posted by painquale at 7:32 PM on September 2, 2012


/sad at lack of Dalek companion.

This may still happen!
posted by crossoverman at 7:32 PM on September 2, 2012


"Amy Pond simply isn't feisty & sassy & annoying & rude enough. Sure hope they improve on that with the next Companion." -- Nobody, Really" - Jacobtwop

Really Oswin until the reveal is really just the worst kind of Make A Likable Character Madlibs so the reveal is just, really good cause yeah that's why she's so perfect and knowledgeable and all that.
posted by The Whelk at 7:33 PM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's not an Auton any more. He became flesh and blood when the Doctor rebooted the universe.

I was confused about that, did they ever outright say that cause I must have missed it.

Anyway I know Amy has to have a flaw and her flaw is her temper, apparently, but just....uuuuugggggggh. Way to make me not give a damn about either of them! How long have they been married and not with the doctor? A year? And their charmed, epic romance of epic romanceness is undone with THAT?

I mean, write it in generalities, Amy's temper flares up and she starts to treat Rory like crap cause she thinks she doesn't deserve him and pushes him for what she thinks is for his own benefit and then, when you have more than ONE SCENE, go into her reasons why. Reasons she could confine in her imaginary friend with but not say, her husband, who waited 2 thousand years for her and she so, so not sure she's worth that kind of love.

GAAAAAAH.
posted by The Whelk at 7:39 PM on September 2, 2012


The Doctors Wife just now won the Hugo.
posted by Artw at 7:49 PM on September 2, 2012


Ideally now someone should steal it.
posted by The Whelk at 7:51 PM on September 2, 2012


Awww.
posted by homunculus at 7:55 PM on September 2, 2012


of course really Oswin's just a nice girl from 1940s New York who ended up on the Alaska via experimental time travel/mind control technology
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 PM on September 2, 2012


A lot of these comments have basically been spoilers. Can we just declare this thread a spoiler zone? Here, I'll make the pronouncement.

THIS IS THE END OF THE SPOILER-FREE ZONE. THOSE WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS, RUN AWAY. RUUUUUN.

My biggest regret about this episode is that they teased super-scary insane Daleks, but we didn't see any. We just saw a bunch of broken ones. Why was the planet so scary to the Parliament? Nothing there was really threatening to them. It wasn't an asylum; it was a junkyard. I wanted crazy Daleks!

They could have fixed this by making Oswin a genuine Dalek... not a human converted into Dalek form, but a Dalek that was insane, thought it was a human, and was institutionalized because this made it incredibly dangerous. Oswin wasn't institutionalized, she was converted on the planet, and it was just by accident that the Dalek planet happened to be a Dalek asylum. If she were institutionalized, it'd convey that there are crazy dangerous Daleks like this all over the planet, and Oswin just happened to be the one near the place the Doctor landed. That would make the planet truly scary! If Oswin is just the neighborhood crazy Dalek, who knows what the one down the street will be like?

I don't know how I'd feel about a Dalek companion. Especially a Dalek companion that conveniently looks just like a pretty lady. It feels shark-jumping, but Who is kinda at its best when it blasts over sharks with a jetpack. I think that Clara will be one of Oswin's ancestors, but there will probably be more trickery than that in store.

I was confused about that, did they ever outright say that cause I must have missed it.

At Rory and Amy's wedding, when they get their memories of the Doctor back, Rory says something about how in the other universe he was made of plastic. I guess this doesn't necessarily imply that he's no longer plastic, but it's suggestive. They haven't mentioned him being plastic in any other episode, and they wouldn't have bothered giving him one of those bracelets that protects organic matter in this latest episode.

And their charmed, epic romance of epic romanceness is undone with THAT?

That was certainly my reaction: I thought it made Amy look like the crazy, irrational woman yet again. She never brought this up with Rory before? Did they never discuss adoption?

I'm not sure that this is fair. Infertility can be hugely psychologically damaging. (I'd never really considered the extent until reading comments about it on Metafilter, actually.) I don't think it's totally psychologically unrealistic or belittling to think that Amy became incredibly insecure because of it, and she subconsciously manifested this by being cruel and dismissive to Rory and driving him away. But this isn't really communicated by the scene. Amy comes across as having known what she was doing and having consciously made the choice to drive Rory away for his own good. And the resolution is so sudden that Amy does not come across as understandable. I'm not tempted to give Moffat very much benefit of the doubt when it comes to his portrayal of women.
posted by painquale at 8:16 PM on September 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I too was hoping for some CRAZY! Daleks! Daleks that hate Daleks! Daleks that like to bake! Dalek cults! Daleks that talk like belga lugosi! Daleks that worship the Doctor! So many possibilities.

And yes, there is a basis for Amy sabotaging her relationship and fall out from Demon's Run, but these are things that require ...more than three lines of dialogue. Such a clumsy attempt to telegraph a storyline and really hammers home the "Wow Amy is really inconsistently written" problem I have with her. She's just so amazing and rude and FIERCE, sigh. Oswin almost felt like a parody of Amy Pond, which is why the reveal works and why I came away with a general good feeling toward the episode (Seriously, the first scene on Skarro, with Serious Scary Doctor? More that please.) but man I am ...just over Amy and Rory so much now.
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 PM on September 2, 2012


although if want to get really butthurt nerd picky, where was the music from her transmissions coming from? (okay memories, whatever, shut up.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 PM on September 2, 2012


I agree with everything painquale said about the Dalek at the end of the book.

We were short-changed crazy Daleks! Daleks without rules!
I don't think I even saw the Special Weapons Dalek fire his gun.
Daleks so hateful they kill other Daleks!

I assume the music was re-created from her brain, like her voice, and created with synths.
posted by Mezentian at 8:33 PM on September 2, 2012


This was posted in the Doomwatch thread by jaduncan, but this seems a good place to put it:
The unaired Asylum of The Daleks prequel
posted by Mezentian at 8:39 PM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The unaired Asylum of The Daleks prequel

Ah, I didn't know there was a youtube version (I saw it because it comes bundled in the iTunes season pass). I asked this up above, but now that everyone can easily watch it: does anyone know what location the Doctor is in after he leaves the tea room? The dialogue indicates it is important, but I don't recognize it. Is it a place we should know of?
posted by painquale at 8:46 PM on September 2, 2012


So, okay let's work out the Dalek's plan here. A crashed ship has breached the defenses of the Asylum, the place they put Daleks too crazy and too dangerous to kill and they're worried about a flood of crazy Daleks escaping so they get the Doctor using a gambit he can't resist ( save us ) and by snaring his favorite pets along for the ride. Upon investigation, it turns out the crashed ship has been there for a year and one of the crew was so brilliant and vital she was turned full Dalek but had managed to create mental blocks to the conversation process and somehow do what the Doctor couldn't, hack into thier telepathic mindshare.

So it would seem like the whole reason to send the Doctor down was to shut off the force field long enough to allow them to blow up the planet, to get rid of the rebel Dalek who goes and deletes the Doctor from the collective Dalek network rig before becoming radioactive debris. They would have known a Dalek team would've been at risk from her mind hacking and The Doctor, despite being compassionate, would not suffer a Dalek to live.

There's something .....fishy about this. I mean the episode started with a trap. It really seems like they wanted to be memory wiped.
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 PM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am guessing its Gallifrey, either his childhood home (Lungbarrow in the books which have probably been discounted by now), or somewhere else of importance we have not seen before.

Or, a random corridor. I mean, not everyone can see it so it may not have any importance at all in the scheme of things. Just the location of yet another tragedy.


No, that's crazy. It can't be Gallifrey. There's not enough salmon pink and plastic plants.

(Yes, I am maintaining the rage about '80s Gallifrey).
posted by Mezentian at 9:01 PM on September 2, 2012


Gaiman apparently announced hes in the middle of writing another one.
posted by Artw at 9:10 PM on September 2, 2012


The Doctor and Death just pal around for 45 min.

C'mon I can dream.
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 PM on September 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd joke that the 2014 Hugos are in London, which would be convenient for picking up the award, but he lives in Minnesota these days.
posted by Artw at 9:25 PM on September 2, 2012


He can use the box.
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 PM on September 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: There's something .....fishy about this. I mean the episode started with a trap. It really seems like they wanted to be memory wiped.

Totally agreed. Or the mind wipe is at least going to have adverse consequences. On rewatching the episode, one of the first exchanges in front of/about the Parliament of the Daleks really seems to stand out:

Amy: What do we do?
The Doctor: Make them remember you.

Yet, by the end of the episode, that's exactly what the Daleks can't do. Hmmmm.
posted by onebadparadigm at 10:15 PM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just realized: the Doctor never got a chance to see what Oswin looked like, did he? When he meets Clara, he might not recognize who she is. Maybe the similarity between the two won't be addressed for a while. The audience will know something's fishy and we'll be left to go crazy speculating about whether she's a Dalek spy or whatever, but the Doctor will have no idea that something's amiss.
posted by painquale at 10:20 PM on September 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmm, in the first Smith episode, he reminds the baddies who he is and what his reputation is and maybe they don't want to tumble with that. It's a bluff ( kind of) but it works, he does have quite the rep.

What if the entire universe just straight up forgets who the Doctor is?

That's one way to untangle decades of backstory and history....
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 PM on September 2, 2012


I mean the main thrust of the bad guys in season five is building a prison to contain the Doctor, putting aside differences to get rid of thier common foe while cracks in the universe are erasing things from history, The Silence can alter memories and perception and have devoted human development into finding a way to stop the Doctor from answering the question cause it will destory everything,

And the question has just been asked.
posted by The Whelk at 10:25 PM on September 2, 2012


And he calls in a bunch of favors to save the day in season six, if you really wanted to kneecap The Doctor, you could attack the system of favors, debts, obligation, and fear he's got going since the start of time. If no one remembers him, then he can't just bluff or intimidate his way out of a battle or call upon the help of his trillion page Rolodex of people who Owe Him.

So that's my prediction, take away the Doctor's immense, long lasting history and reputation.

Which would be a dandy thing to do for the 50th anniversary. Just sayin'
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 PM on September 2, 2012


So that's my prediction, take away the Doctor's immense, long lasting history and reputation.

Moffat's said that this is his plan.

I think the first time the Doctor pulled his blustery intimidation move was back in Forest of the Dead, which was a Moffat-penned episode. "I'm the Doctor; look me up." That was a great line, and it was also great when Moffat used the same trick in the next episode he wrote (The Eleventh Hour), but I think he recognized that the Doctor-as-myth was getting stale and needed to be dialed back.
posted by painquale at 10:42 PM on September 2, 2012


It only struck me afterwards that the reason that at least some of the inmates are considered insane is that, like Oswin, they think they're still human (the "people" that Amy hallucinates - because she's a bit on their psychic network at that moment she sees them as they think they are, not what they actually are).
posted by Grangousier at 11:06 PM on September 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Gaiman apparently announced hes in the middle of writing another one.

The Doctor and Death just pal around for 45 min.


While the Master and Desire scheme.
posted by homunculus at 11:40 PM on September 2, 2012


It only struck me afterwards that the reason that at least some of the inmates are considered insane is that, like Oswin, they think they're still human (the "people" that Amy hallucinates - because she's a bit on their psychic network at that moment she sees them as they think they are, not what they actually are).

Huh. That is really interesting!
posted by painquale at 12:09 AM on September 3, 2012


Also, nanogenes alter your perception if you are not protected.
The doctor was not protected when he met the oswin "dalek" so we might just be seeing things from that distorted point of view.
Maybe she really was human.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:42 AM on September 3, 2012


Why did the Daleks put the TARDIS in their Parliament.
They already have time machines of their own, so they don't need to study it?
Why dangle it in front of The Doctor?

Obvious plot device is obvious
posted by Mezentian at 2:33 AM on September 3, 2012


Dalek fashions through time ON-TREND! ON-TREND! ON-TREND!!!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:59 AM on September 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


It only struck me afterwards that the reason that at least some of the inmates are considered insane is that, like Oswin, they think they're still human

A dalek spinning in a circle: "I AM A PRETTY BALL-ER-INA!"
posted by charred husk at 9:09 AM on September 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Am I crazy, or did I see The Crack at the beginning, in the stars, when Rory looks out of the Dalek ship into space?
posted by Mezentian at 7:15 AM on September 4, 2012


Mezentian: Am I crazy, or did I see The Crack at the beginning, in the stars, when Rory looks out of the Dalek ship into space?

Honestly, I would be surprised if you didn't, even if it was just as a little easter egg for the fans of previous seasons and not a harbinger of events to come.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:33 AM on September 4, 2012


did they even try to have the other daleked survivor from the crashed ship ( and all his zombie dalek buddies) to turn off the defenses ? I mean, they had a years time and they were already on the planet.
posted by asra at 3:39 PM on September 4, 2012


I assume, as they were part of the defense system, they could not be used to switch it off.
posted by Mezentian at 4:30 AM on September 5, 2012


Okay, something has been bugging me about this episode and I finally nailed it down. It's the human/dalek conversion thing. Daleks are racial supremacists. They are the superior beings, and they mean that in a genetic way. The outer battle armor is not the dalek, it's the squishy radioactive mutant inside that is the dalek. That's why they freaked the fuck out at the dalek/human hybrids in "Daleks take Manhattan".

The whole "nanites convert humans into daleks" thing - no. That's Cyberman territory. You don't just add some parts and change some emotions around to make a dalek. You can't. If the people with the headstalks and laster palms were just new robomen or something, that would be fine, but they were explicitly said to be daleks and that is just wrong. A wonderful as Oswin was she was not a dalek - the squishy bits left inside were still genetically human and she had apparently resisted the brain washing. She was not a dalek, no matter what she looked like. (Frankly I think it would have been a better story if she had actually been an insane dalek to begin with instead of being a converted human.)

I'm sure there are all sorts of hand wavy things that can be said to explain it all away. "The people were changed genetically, too!", "That's why they were left on the asylum planet!" But dammit, it's a thematic thing. It's like they took some perfectly fine elements for a cyberman story and shoehorned them into a dalek story.

Anyways, rant over. For now.
posted by charred husk at 6:07 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


You don't just add some parts and change some emotions around to make a dalek. You can't.

I thought they broke that rule off the bat in the new series, back when Christopher Eccleston encountered the first NuWho Dalek. Maybe they got rid of the non-Dalek Daleks in one of the season finales that involved bringing uncorrupted old-style Daleks from outside the timestream, though. (I've mercifully blanked a lot of the season finales from my memory.)

It chaps my hide too, but there's a reason Who has the Discontinuity Guide.
posted by immlass at 6:56 AM on September 5, 2012


You know what, going back over the history of the daleks, I am just stupid and wrong. Apparently even in the old series this was a thing going back as far as the 2nd Doctor in "The Evil of the Daleks". I'm not sure what it was about the new episode that annoyed me so much, but "humans being turned into daleks" is a thing, apparently (albeit in two old series serials and a handful of new ones).
posted by charred husk at 7:12 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the major arc of this season is people forgetting the Doctor, that would start to tread on some traditional Neil Gaiman area.
posted by drezdn at 11:13 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just watched Dinosaurs On A Spaceship.
Easily Chibnall's best script. And I was not a hater.

I have some small issues, but mostly now I want to see a TARDIS gang comprised of The Doctor, Brian Pond and Evelyn Smythe.
posted by Mezentian at 9:13 PM on September 8, 2012


I was happily surprised, not even good for a Chibnall just like good, just turn the goofy up to ....eleven and put in as many high concept ideas as you can and just keep them up in the air through sheer force of the ridiculous premise, it was delightful.

I mean it was definitely come up with th Steiner line first and work backward, but I don't mind this flavor of Who, it's fun and goes down like lemonade.

Also, " vice versa" SOMEBODY has read ahead.
posted by The Whelk at 9:49 PM on September 8, 2012


Also, Christmas references, memory themes, etc.

I can think of two possible Amy endings, one bleak and one total schmaltz, so it'll probibly be both.
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 PM on September 8, 2012


No! No! Not the triceratops. No...

Fuck.
posted by homunculus at 1:00 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Doctor kissing then slapping Rory is one of my new favorite scenes.

Also, yay for Mitchell and Webb robots!
posted by painquale at 1:21 AM on September 9, 2012


That was very fun.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:38 AM on September 9, 2012


Actors With Roles In Both ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Star Wars’
posted by homunculus at 12:57 PM on September 9, 2012


and I got to show off my Queen Nefertiti knowledge to people!
posted by The Whelk at 1:02 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do we already know the theme of this season of Doctor Who?
posted by homunculus at 3:24 PM on September 9, 2012


I now want to trade my beagle for a tricerotops (Tricey is better at playing fetch) but I wish they'd stop using "Geronimo" as a tag line.
posted by peppermind at 3:29 PM on September 9, 2012


I now want to trade my beagle for a tricerotops

Why not have both?
posted by zombieflanders at 3:53 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This episode had so many good lines and character moments ("Are you a queen, Amy?"; "I'm not a Pond"; pretty much everything else Rory's dad said), but man oh man, was Solomon's line about "breaking in" Nefertiti ever tone-deaf. Also, the Doctor straight up killed a dude. I don't mind the character written that way, but it's really not in keeping with what the series has become. One of the most bouncy, fun-filled episodes of NuWho had two of the most casually dark scenes in recent memory.

I really like the new opening credit sequence. The odd color saturation makes it look more unearthly, and a bit like an old and slightly corrupted VHS tape, which is particularly appropriate for this show.
posted by painquale at 4:10 PM on September 9, 2012


The titles now also literally fade from existence.
posted by The Whelk at 4:13 PM on September 9, 2012


I'm also curious about the changing logo. That was dinosaur skin, right? Which makes last weeks not some sort of gaudy lighting, but Dalek bumps.
posted by Mezentian at 4:46 PM on September 9, 2012


It seems to be episode specific, which is neat.
posted by The Whelk at 4:47 PM on September 9, 2012


Although on the rebroadcast of Aslyum, which was a really strong episode aside from That Scene, it hit me how much better it would be if Rory was still an Auton. You don't have to drop your baby bomb into a scene that can't contain it and rather have Rory take the risk that cause he's not technically organic it could work and while they may be broken up, he doesn't still doesn't want her to DIE and become a zombilek so she's saved by her willingness to accept his risk taking and not by a " oh the doctor fixed it!" line AND tie mpinto the themes with Oswin insisting she's human. Maybe being human is something you insist on, seems like a very Whovian theme to me.

Again, it's such a small thing to fix so it irritates me beyond reason.
posted by The Whelk at 4:56 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


...irritates ME beyond reason.
posted by The Whelk at 5:01 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was there any significance to the cobwebs? They seemed to be front and center a little too often to be a passing detail.
posted by Gary at 9:36 PM on September 9, 2012


I honestly just thought it was a reference " rarely see spiders in space" to the Planet of the spiders in Pewtree's era, little mythos gag there.
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 PM on September 9, 2012


Steven Moffat 'flounces' from Twitter.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:01 AM on September 10, 2012


That's sad. I would often look at this Twitter over lunch.

Man, ONTD really is a toxic shock syndrome of a hateful spite.

you flounced because you can't fucking handle constructive criticism.

First of all, I've seen some of the stuff texted at him. I reckon a lot of it is far short of being legitimate criticism, much less "constructive".

Jesus, what a bunch of self-entitled wankers these people are.

Also: flounced? Some people might take issued with that particular verb.
posted by Mezentian at 3:50 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


man oh man, was Solomon's line about "breaking in" Nefertiti ever tone-deaf.

Yeah, I cringed at that one. A bit rapey-er than I find appropriate in a family show. I'm fine with a little hanky-panky in the TARDIS now and again, as long as it's consensual.

As for ONTD and how Moffat ruined a once-beloved show, I do not get the Moffat hate. We all have showrunners we love and hate (Hinchcliffe vs JNT for you old-skoolers out there) but the Moffat hate is surprisingly personal to me. There are a lot of criticisms I can and do make of Moffat and his handling of various characters, and not just the women, but it seems like a lot of the haters start off from a place of hating the man and therefore criticizing anything he does venomously, not constructively or helpfully. This is frustrating to me because there are definitely problematic/sexist/whatever aspects to NuWho (and Sherlock!) and it would be nice to be able to talk about them without it being all about the showrunner's personality and how people feel about him.

Fandom, I do not understand you.
posted by immlass at 7:24 AM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Steven Moffat 'flounces' from Twitter.

Wow, that link is awful.

And yes, there is a subset of fans that are basically the worst, most toxic and needy people in all of fandom and who need to calm the fuck down and think about their life priorities. Generally adults, more often than not American, often new to the show with a fixation on Tennant as the One True Doctor, I have no idea why they watch the show except because they hate life and fun. Fuck those guys, wouldn't want to share a social network with them either.
posted by Artw at 9:03 AM on September 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


(I imagine at its peak Buffy fandom was actually worse, but at that point of the internets life more avoidable.)
posted by Artw at 9:04 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


often new to the show with a fixation on Tennant as the One True Doctor,

Yeah, I had a lot of trouble adjusting to Davison after Baker (and JNT after the Baker-Era showrunners) and kind of hated Five for a while, but I was fourteen.
posted by immlass at 9:24 AM on September 10, 2012


These people will be fourteen FOREVER.
posted by Artw at 9:27 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh god peak Buffy fandom was psychotic. Everyone hated everything all the time.
posted by The Whelk at 1:25 PM on September 10, 2012


But you had to go like, actively seek it out and stuff.
posted by The Whelk at 1:26 PM on September 10, 2012


I guess it's the old thing of NEVER READ THE COMMENTS, only if you are sufficiently famous/attract sufficient nuts that's NEVER HAVE A PUBLIC TWITTER ACCOUNT as well.
posted by Artw at 1:30 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This doesn't seem to happen to Gaiman but I think he handles it better.

Or, you know, magic powers.
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on September 10, 2012


Gaiman doesn't have a fandom of _thing_ to contend with, he has a fandom of him. If he was writing a TV show or maybe even comic on a regular basis that might be different.
posted by Artw at 1:33 PM on September 10, 2012


That's true, was Sandman fandom a thing when it was still issue to issue? Like in .....magazines? The tablets with pages?
posted by The Whelk at 1:34 PM on September 10, 2012


also he's not taking over an existing series, big difference (and some people straight up hated his Who episode, which is like hating SUNSHINE. I'm reminded of the SNPP, the biggest gathering of Simpsons haters in the world. Worst. Fandom. Ever.)
posted by The Whelk at 1:36 PM on September 10, 2012


So far I've not really known comics fans to be anything other than politely enthusiastic to creators they are talking directly to on Twitter, even when ripping them a new one behind their backs. Smaller base is probably a factor.
posted by Artw at 1:43 PM on September 10, 2012


Doctor Who "A Town Called Mercy" Writer Toby Whithouse Interviewed
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on September 10, 2012


I hate Moffat's hair... it's fucking terrible, get a decent barber man
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:49 PM on September 10, 2012


From the Toby Whithouse interview: The pitch he gave was just, "There’s a town that is being terrorised by some kind of robot.” It was much the same as when I did “The God Complex”. Steven’s pitch was that the Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves in a hotel where the geography keeps shifting and it’s like a maze.

And Chris Chibnall said that his pitch for Dinosaurs on a Spaceship was just the title. It sounds like Moffat is really hands off with his writers and lets them write pretty much whatever they want. At least in the beginning stages... I expect he has a huge hand in punching up the scripts once the first draft is in. I'm giving him big props for sending Chibnall to write the goofy fun-filled script. Chibnall's episodes are always so portentious and dreary; it was good of Moffat to recognize that Chibnall could do silly.

Chibnall also wrote the fourth episode, which sounds like it'll be about the Pond's marriage, so I'm trepid about that.
posted by painquale at 4:57 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sounds like Moffat is really hands off with his writers and lets them write pretty much whatever they want.

He's like the anti-RTD who gave out ideas, and apparently polished all of the scripts in the first few years, except Moffat's.

Chibnall's episodes are always so portentious and dreary;

Cyberwoman was neither. Just forgettable.

Chibnall also wrote the fourth episode, which sounds like it'll be about the Pond's marriage, so I'm trepid about that.

I keep thinking it's a Toclafane invasion. I'd be down with that! More heads in balls!
posted by Mezentian at 5:36 PM on September 10, 2012


Adrift was one of the better Torchwood episodes though. Genuinely unsettling.
posted by painquale at 6:17 PM on September 10, 2012


The problem with Torchwood is that no one really thought about what they were doing before they started writing it.

I don't mind his stuff (Countrycyde was great stuff, IMO, and DW's 42 worked for me). I think he copes a lot of flack for being the main Torchwood guy, or something.

And the "The Hungry Earth" was just plodding.
posted by Mezentian at 8:34 PM on September 10, 2012


Mezentian: And the "The Hungry Earth" was just plodding.

You know, after "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" I was thinking that I should re-watch the first NuWho Silurian two-parter, but then I remembered that it literally put me to sleep the first couple of times I tried to watch it. Good to know it's not just me.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:12 AM on September 11, 2012


Bring back Madame Vastra!
posted by Artw at 6:45 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


And the "The Hungry Earth" was just plodding.

I remember it having some pacing problems, but I was so delighted that someone wrote a Three adventure for Eleven that I was disposed to love it. (Not that the Three adventures it was clearly patterned on didn't have some clunky pacing.)
posted by immlass at 7:10 AM on September 11, 2012


Artw:
"Bring back Madame Vastra!"
Done.
Next?
posted by charred husk at 7:58 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


charred husk: Done.
Next?


How bout her own spin-off series?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:13 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would seriously watch Victorian Lizard Avenger.
posted by The Whelk at 9:24 AM on September 11, 2012


Rock Steady:
"How bout her own spin-off series?"
Done!Almost.
Next?
posted by charred husk at 10:26 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hmm. We apparently have some serious pull at the Beeb. Let's see... Bring back The Young Ones!
posted by Rock Steady at 12:29 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, there's a Bottom reunion, will that do?
posted by Grangousier at 2:25 PM on September 11, 2012


Let's not beat around the bush. Are you going to remake The Young Ones, or am I going to have to kick your teeth in?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:40 PM on September 11, 2012


not an update, a catch up, they're all sad middle-aged losers now.
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 PM on September 11, 2012


Young Ones?

Careful now! Remember when you wished for more Ab Fab? More Red Dwarf?
posted by Mezentian at 8:45 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


well..Ab Fab wasn't ...that ...bad.
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 PM on September 11, 2012


I haven't seen the new Red Dwarf. Is it that bad?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:52 PM on September 11, 2012


I was meaning Back to Earth.
I look forward to being disappointed by the new 'Dwarf.
posted by Mezentian at 10:48 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: I look forward to being disappointed.
posted by homunculus at 12:02 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I liked it when Frankenstein's monster turned off his VATS
posted by The Whelk at 7:06 PM on September 15, 2012


I really liked A Town Called Mercy.
I did.
Not the greatest or most inventive story, but it was better than the sum of its parts.
And I look forward to The Slow Invasion next week.
posted by Mezentian at 9:28 PM on September 15, 2012


Speaking of Red Dwarf: the "they're all dead" bit in Asylum was a direct lift from the Red Dwarf episode Kryten, no?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:00 PM on September 15, 2012


I enjoyed it, didn't love it. Thoug Ben Bowder was criminaly underused but, a soild episode. More angry Doctor please.

Also his age keeps creeping up and that's one of the few things they've been pretty consistent about. What has he been doing in between picking up the Ponds?
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 AM on September 16, 2012


I wonder if they plan on using Bowder again. That character was distinctive enough that he could play a different character later without being easily recognized by those not already familiar with him. It'd be nice to see him again. I imagine the Cyborg Marshal will show up again someday.

That was pretty bad episode, though. Too many predictable cliches. Next week's look more promising.
posted by homunculus at 9:56 AM on September 16, 2012


The thing that I didn't like was the overt parallelism between the Doctor and Jex and then the ending compared with the arc of this season. It was a little heavy-handed. The dilemma might have been a bit cliched, but it was nicely constructed until the very last bit.
posted by immlass at 10:19 AM on September 16, 2012


(And I should say, I liked the episode overall. I just thought the ending was weak.)
posted by immlass at 10:20 AM on September 16, 2012


I was a little bugged by the transformation from:
Won't hurt innocents. In fact, will construct an artificial line around the whole town and will not enter it because entering town to pursue the target might put others in danger during that pursuit.
to:
I'll kill everyone in town, even small children, if you don't give up the criminal before noon.
Like, there's no middle ground here?

I guess I just need to let go a bit and take these things as silly plot-movers, but this seemed a particularly lazy way of getting the town-under-siege/isolated-safe-haven set-up and still reach a forced climax.

(I was also a big bugged by everyone painting their faces with the criminal's face-mark. The only reason we know that would likely have any effect whatsoever is because we saw earlier his POV with the pattern-matching overlay. I get that they wanted that action version of an "I am Spartacus" moment, but still... Then again, I may kind of wish the show never bothered with any action sequences.)
posted by nobody at 9:55 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only reason we know that would likely have any effect whatsoever is because we saw earlier his POV with the pattern-matching overlay.

Jex would presumably know how his creations would identify people.

I thought it was a pretty great episode. I feel like they are doing a good job of creating this new theme/motif of the Doctor as an unknown quantity in the Universe, and at the same time bringing his very situational morals into question. Being a bit subtle about it, but not so subtle that it seems to be an afterthought -- it's really been woven into the fabric of each of the episodes so far.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:52 PM on September 17, 2012


Jex would presumably know how his creations would identify people.

Oh, right, thanks. Sorry about that. (And for what it's worth, that ought to have read "a bit bugged," not "a big bugged.")
posted by nobody at 2:58 PM on September 17, 2012


Some insightful recaps.

I guess I just need to let go a bit and take these things as silly plot-movers, but this seemed a particularly lazy way of getting the town-under-siege/isolated-safe-haven set-up and still reach a forced climax.

Yeah, normally I'm fine with Doctor Who setting aside plausibility in order to move the plot forward, but this episode crossed a line for me. The stone circle was one thing, and the passive reactions of all the townsfolk (including Isaac) to the Doctor frogmarching their friend at gunpoint... that was also bizarre. No one acted like real people, which was a big problem for a supposed morality tale.
posted by painquale at 9:18 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Somewhat unrelated, but they showed one of those XXXX Of Doctor Who things here last night (Cliffhangers, Maybe?) and I was reminded of just how awesome RTD could be in his set-ups.
The cliffhanger for The Stolen Earth, with its chorus of Exterminate! Exterminate! over the radio, and the look on Captain Jack's and Sarah Jane's faces.... it was pretty awesome.

(And so was Davros).

Unfortunately the resolution, like so many of RTD's scripts, relied on fairies.
posted by Mezentian at 1:51 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


So apparently the western one is series 33, episode three... Pity it couldn't have been the cubes one.
posted by Artw at 7:31 AM on September 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look how adorably British this "New York" newspaper headline is.
Superbowl -- I love it.

I love it so much I want to make a London Observer headline that talks about" Soccer's Worldcup."

That said, I'm sure the use of the Detroit Lions is a fairly clever joke, and I certainly couldn't make it's UK equivalent.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:17 AM on September 19, 2012


MCMikeNamara: That said, I'm sure the use of the Detroit Lions is a fairly clever joke, and I certainly couldn't make it's UK equivalent.

Well, the Lions are famous for their futility, so maybe "Great Britain win Worldcup"?
posted by Rock Steady at 11:18 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Peter Jackson puts the idea of directing an episode of Doctor Who into everyone's head, everyone dies
posted by homunculus at 1:40 PM on September 19, 2012


Look how adorably British this "New York" newspaper headline is.

You missed the real issue: redheaded girl, glasses!

Oh, and on the Peter Jackson thing:
And then all of geekdom exploded in joy.

So. True.
I'm not pondering how .... unique a Gaiman-penned, Jackson-directed episode would be.

But I figure PJ could just write the episode himself. Or maybe PJ Hammond could help.
posted by Mezentian at 3:49 AM on September 20, 2012


The new episode is going to have UNIT! YESSSSSSSS! (Although UNIT will never be the same without the Brig. *sniff*)
posted by immlass at 7:34 AM on September 20, 2012


Look how adorably British this "New York" newspaper headline is.
Superbowl -- I love it.


If they're actually in New York just following the Super Bowl... Shouldn't the trees be leafless?
posted by drezdn at 9:58 AM on September 20, 2012


Why put such a weirdly specific headline on your prop newspaper anyway? Why not just "Education Bill Put To Vote" or "Fire Fighter Saves Puppy" or something?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:51 AM on September 20, 2012


So when Chris [Chibnall] asked if he could bring them back I couldn't say yes fast enough.

Because it must be ages since we last saw UNIT.
posted by Mezentian at 3:55 AM on September 21, 2012


The new episode is going to have UNIT! YESSSSSSSS! (Although UNIT will never be the same without the Brig. *sniff*)

Though if Jemma Redgrave's character's name is a coincidence I'll eat my fez.

(However, a part of me wants it to just be a fan windup because it would be the greatest fan windup since...well, the last time Moffat did one of those.)

I've got to say, since I didn't do it earlier when I dropped the fake headline mocking in the thread, I enjoyed "Mercy" much, much more than I thought I would. I agree that there were a lot of sci-fi tropes in there that bordered on cliche, and in fact, it felt like such a typical episode that I was sure it was exactly like some story I'd forgotten just with an old west setting. But I'm pretty sure it's just that it was the kind of story that, though cliche full, is still just the type of thing that only Doctor Who can get away with doing... or at least doing somewhat well... and that's why it felt so familiar. But most of all, I enjoyed it. And I'm sure as heck not going to complain about that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:15 AM on September 21, 2012


It's not a coincidence.
She was in Downtime (both versions), which is, I guess, now semi-official.

So, the real question is what does this mean for the Yeti?
posted by Mezentian at 5:17 PM on September 21, 2012


The Power Of Three was ... really uneven.
posted by Mezentian at 11:58 PM on September 22, 2012


It's like they forgot to write a forth act.

But everything leading up to that was gold. Which is what makes the " and then the doctor fixes everything effortlessly " really sting cause, wait no we had a really awesome episode for like 35 whole minutes and then ....,blah? Totally flubbed th dismount.
posted by The Whelk at 12:04 AM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


That! It was about 33 minutes of snap and crackle, and then seven minutes where they forgot the earth-shattering POP! and dusted off a script from Sarah Jane, but with a sprinkling of 'Ooooh! Scary" from the Virgin era.
posted by Mezentian at 12:09 AM on September 23, 2012


It seemed like they were so intent on introducing the Gallifreyan Boogeymen and the Tally to the Doctor Who mythos that they forgot they'd been telling an entertaining story up until then.

Was it just me or did the Shakri guy look a bit like Darth Vader without his helmet? Use your aggressive feelings, Angry Doctor!
posted by homunculus at 12:29 AM on September 23, 2012


I would have preferred it if they hadn't figured out where the bodes were from and the boxes were just, well, boxed up.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:41 AM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was it just me or did the Shakri guy look a bit like Darth Vader without his helmet?

I was going with Circuitry Man from Circuitry Man and Circuitry Man II: Plughead Reloaded, but you have a pretty good point there.

I really hope this episode gets a payoff next year. Or Kate travels with the Doctor for a while. Both.
Kate and Brian Pond, in the TARDIS.
posted by Mezentian at 1:10 AM on September 23, 2012


I thought the unorthodox pacing and structure of this episode were great. I really liked the quick "oh yeah, and then the Doctor saved the day" ending. Most stories in pretty much any media have endings that drag on and on. We don't need another extended scene about a Minotaur or invisible chicken beast dying or a Venetian fish-person committing suicide.

Maybe this Shakri guy is the one who commandeered the TARDIS and said "silence will fall" in The Pandorica Opens. But it's more likely those are just some plots that they unfortunately decided to drop.
posted by painquale at 2:21 AM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Make your own Doctor Who The Power of Three cube
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:44 AM on September 23, 2012


Thoughts on the episode3. (that's what all the cool kids aren't calling it):

It's like when I wrote that "The Town Called Mercy" was "just the type of thing that only Doctor Who can get away with doing", the universe took it as a challenge and decided that this week would be the most Doctor Who-y Doctor Who episode ever. All of these standalone episodes feel very old school -- like a standard classic Who 4 episode story combined into 45 minutes, with a bunch of companion character development shoved in (sometimes, sadly, elbowing out a bit of the plot) Still, enjoyable as fuck, which, since I didn't come to the show via fan shipping/story arcs or hard core sci fi expectations, is just fine by me.

And, if I was a person who didn't like to be emotionally manipulated, I'd be sending a healthy 'fuck you' to the production team for the even the tiny bit of Kate Stewart that we got making me cry. (Putting science first! That salute!) So I'll thank them instead.

As for the sorta-new-and-definitely-improved-from-previous-new-series-incarnations UNIT, which despite the bust up intro at the Pond household, ended up being just a couple of actors in a supposedly secure but not that secure looking secret base sure felt like the old times too. In preparation for the episode, I watched the first episode of "The Web of Fear" on my phone while I waited for my partner at the doctor (yay for living in the future!), and yes, pedants, I know that the military wasn't UNIT yet (and the Brigadier wasn't even the episode...and wasn't the Brigadier yet anyway) but even five years in the classic series, though it is so different on the surface, still feels very much like the same show I watched on Saturday night. And I'll never get over that being neat.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:23 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


but the shoving of 4 episodes into one, I really felt it here. Total set up for a two parter and then BAM! Everything is fixed! Whiplash!

Did they even need a villain? I think fanrage might be higher if the boxes where just random space junk with no explanation but I like that more, seems to fit with the idea of the universe being a big, strange place and sometimes stuff just ...happens and the drama comes from everyone wondering what fresh strangeness is this.

Plus, little boxes appearing everywhere with no discernible purpose is a great old-school soft-SF kinda of idea that reminded me a lot of this short story

http://www.metafilter.com/79035/At-A-Deadly-pace
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 AM on September 24, 2012


I think fanrage might be higher if the boxes where just random space junk with no explanation but I like that more, seems to fit with the idea of the universe being a big, strange place and sometimes stuff just ...happens and the drama comes from everyone wondering what fresh strangeness is this.

I love that idea.

I really didn't mind the "wave sonic at a screen for a 30-second wrap-up", because that's really what just about every denouement in Doctor Who comes down to, they just distilled this one down to its essence and didn't waste time on it.

I thought it was a fun episode, especially the way the cubes were doing literally everything possible, up to and including Chicken Dance cube. I appreciated the "How many Cubes can you sell to random passersby?" challenge on The Apprentice (or whatever the British version of it they showed was). My daughter was cackling with laughter at the "He's on the Wii again" line.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:43 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chicken Dance cube

The Birdie Song by The Tweets... I knew they were aliens

The Apprentice (or whatever the British version of it they showed was)

Yeah, I was mildly surprised (though probably should not have been) that nobody over the water knew our Apprentice and especially Sir Allen.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:38 AM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rock Steady: "I thought it was a fun episode, especially the way the cubes were doing literally everything possible, up to and including Chicken Dance cube. I appreciated the "How many Cubes can you sell to random passersby?" challenge on The Apprentice (or whatever the British version of it they showed was). My daughter was cackling with laughter at the "He's on the Wii again" line."

The episode was pretty funny, but the "Goofy Doctor" scenes in the last couple of episodes really turned me off. Walking into a bar and getting the toothpick stuck in his mouth. That sort of thing. I prefer Matt Smith when he isn't overselling the role.

Except that one scene. Good lord, that was far, FAR funnier than it should have been. The shot of the Doctor playing Wii completely cracked me up.
posted by zarq at 12:24 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rock Steady:
"I really didn't mind the "wave sonic at a screen for a 30-second wrap-up", because that's really what just about every denouement in Doctor Who comes down to"
The Fifth Doctor needs to return, grab Eleven's sonic screwdriver, toss it in a nearby river, slap Eleven in the face and then walk off. Or even better, slap the writers in face instead of Eleven.

Also, the re-starting hearts thing even managed to snap my "Moffat can do no wrong" wife out of the episode. "Even if they managed to not die they're probably severely brain damaged." And did they leave those other people on the ship to die? What was the point to the hexagon-mouth guys? Why did they even need to kidnap Brian? Why were they kidnapping anyone? Usually unanswered questions like this can lead to some excitement about learning the answers later or are easily hand waved away because they're minor details, but the feel of this season and episode leaves the impression that it was just very sloppy writing.

So, awesome episode until the end where I began flinging dog poo. Definitely needed to be either a wind up or a two parter.
posted by charred husk at 1:07 PM on September 24, 2012


Also, this thread expires a day or two after the next episode so someone needs an excuse to make a Dr.Who related post. :)
posted by charred husk at 1:09 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


yeah the really, really sloppy ending just sticks in the caw cause everything up to that was SO. GOOD. The villians there where completely superfluous, but on the plus side it's over pretty quickly since it literally comes out of nowhere in the final ten minutes just so we can have a Save The Day! ending.

More in the Doctor's wheelhouse, the cubes are from a very alien race bent on monitoring Earth but because they received no commication between them and the humans (they commicate in some completely novel, undetectable way) they misunderstood the actions has hostile or ..something. Nice and Classic SF and plus we could have the Doctor being excited about finding something NEW! and the visual gag of the Doctor sitting down to a peace talk between UNIT and a small black box.
posted by The Whelk at 1:14 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, this thread expires a day or two after the next episode so someone needs an excuse to make a Dr.Who related post. :)

At the time of the next episode, there will be a trailer for Christmas or the next half of the season.
Too thin and chatfiltery for a post?

Let us pray Lord Peter Jackson and his Moffness ink a deal for a half series in NZ at that time.

I am working on a script that sees the Doctor encounter Gastroids Under The Mountain. There are twins.
posted by Mezentian at 4:12 AM on September 25, 2012


Also, this thread expires a day or two after the next episode so someone needs an excuse to make a Dr.Who related post. :)


I thought of this yesterday but then I realized that it was the end until Christmas so it wouldn't be that big of a deal to be without a thread, so what great timing.

But then I was :(

I'm trying to not get too excited about the Pond exit because I'm pretty sure I know how it's going to happen, and for once, I don't want to be surprised because, unless the other option is better, nothing will satisfy what I've decided will happen.

My biggest hope is that the wrap up doesn't get in the way of a good Weeping Angels story because, really, I've not been let down by them yet but am also really afraid of them getting overplayed.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:19 AM on September 25, 2012


Heh. I liked the cubes one despite the perfunctory ending. Thought it was charming, even. First time that's ever happened with a Chibnall script.
posted by Artw at 11:23 AM on September 25, 2012


The Angels Take Manhattan:

* "Next Time" Trailer

* Full Trailer
posted by zarq at 11:31 AM on September 25, 2012


Neil Cameron's Asylum of the Daleks sequel

Nice use of the proper comicbook Dalek font there.
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Grover as The Doctor at 1:55.
posted by Gary at 5:02 PM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Chibnall should have just taken a page from Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror. Amy and the Doctor walk through the elevator wall, cut to a title card that says "Missing Reel", and then everyone is clapping the Doctor on the back for a job well done.

That obviously would have been great. Actually, it's pretty much what Chibnall did do, so therefore the ending was great.
posted by painquale at 5:45 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


10 Best Doctor Who Companion Departures (And 5 Worst)

My guess is we'll be adding to one or the other...
posted by Artw at 10:34 PM on September 26, 2012


That list is wrong. Rose's departure may have been... what it was. But it was not the best. And then she came back. Which was a mistake.
And Donna? Oh, she kinda had a good ending in acting! But in scripting it was moronic.
And then she came back. Which was a mistake.

It is also wrong about Leela.

“The Invasion Of Time” may be a wretched story? *GASP*

But that list is also right about the worst exits. Dodo is there.
Well, except it includes Astrid as a companion. Whooooo?

And that's all I have to say about that.
posted by Mezentian at 1:14 AM on September 27, 2012


Grover as the Doctor (at 1:55)
posted by painquale at 5:43 PM on September 27, 2012


I didn't get truly sick of Rose till she left the second or fourth time.
posted by Artw at 5:54 PM on September 27, 2012


Every (spoiler-free) review I've read of The Angels Take Manhattan says pretty much "it's good - as long as long as you don't get your hopes up" - but this sneak peek makes it very hard for me to not get hopes up.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:08 AM on September 28, 2012


Also, it says something about how right (and wrong) the show has gotten companion exits over the year that my top 10 is (almost) exactly the same (I'd swap Jamie and Zoe for Martha -- though I do like Martha's exit too... and unlike Rose and Donna, I think her coming back strengthened the original exit.)

As for Rose's original departure, love it or hate it/the character, if you're a fan of the current show, I feel like you need to hold it close -- the fact that they made Rose and the Doctor's relationship better by separating them is probably one of the five or so reasons the show is as popular as it is today.

My problem with Leela's exit -- and "Invasion of Time" is general -- is not that it doesn't work, it's that it could work with very few changes. Add a few more scenes with Andred and/or make Leela stay behind to have something to do with the Outsiders and it would make sense.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:34 PM on September 28, 2012


Another list of the 10 Most Depressing Companion Leavings will be ... controversial. Adam? Kameleon?

Lamenting Kameleon is like being sad those Kit-10 rumours were never true.
posted by Mezentian at 6:30 PM on September 28, 2012


Well. Emotionally satisfying, but so many plot holes.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:27 PM on September 29, 2012


I found the penultimate climax surprisingly moving. And feel more than a bit of relief that the show can move on from Amelia Pond now, the epilogue pretty much reminding us how the very best part of her story was when she was a child at the beginning.

And I know I really need to lower my expectations before going into these, but there was just so much ball-dropping in this one, in terms of its potential.

Ignoring the general muddling of the Angel-Statue mythos (and ignoring the way that lights going out seemed way more primary here than simply being forced to look away, and trying to ignore, in the episode's largest lapse of rigorousness, the giant, menacing Statue of Liberty remaining politely still despite no one looking in its direction for quite a while during the climax), the biggest bit of ball-dropping was misusing the idea of New York as the city that never sleeps. It's mentioned, but only in reference to the city's endless population/food-supply?

If you're going to make the Statue of Liberty a monster that can only move when no one is looking, how can you make the story not be about how the statue was given as a gift to the United States and placed in its most populous city's harbor as a way of ensuring that at least one pair of eyes would be on it at all times (and, thus, about how those circumstances have now somehow changed)?

It's like the whole Statue of Liberty angle here was just for the marketing, no? (Or, rather, that the idea seemed like a strong one, but then wasn't scrapped once it became clear that letting the Statue actually do anything beyond moving from its starting point to right behind a building would prove narratively tricky.)
posted by nobody at 2:44 PM on September 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Michael McShane!

(Spoilers below, obviously)

I liked the episode a lot, and thought it was a good send off for Amy and Rory. Although it does makes the whole divorce seem even more pointless and gimmicky. They love each other so much they will die for each other and live a life apart from all their friends and family just to be together. But they got a divorce over an issue that was solved by literally two minutes of talking to each other?

Also, this drawing is from reddit and made me sad.
posted by Gary at 11:56 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


(more spoilers!)

Recall that in The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, the Angels that hadn't yet fully gained power still looked like statues. Maybe the Statue of Liberty didn't move because she, too, wasn't a full-powered angel? Similarly with the cherubs that moved Rory through space but not time.

This episode was definitely my favorite of this series, if only because the pacing actually felt right for a single episode for once. I also loved all the parallels to The Wedding of River Song; Rory sacrificing himself to create the paradox--and Amy's refusal to let him go alone--mirrored the Doctor's confrontation with River atop the pyramid. Not to mention River's echo of "You embarrass me."

I've thought ever since seeing The Power of Three that the ending would have been much improved by Rory saving the day (even better, with Brian's help--the fact that his watching the cubes for months yielded zero useful information rather subverted the message about patience). There's so much in that episode--the praise of Rory's nursing abilities, of everyday life, and the fact that the focal point of the invasion was the hospital where he worked--that would make such a solution natural, to the extent that I wonder if Chris Chibnall wrote it that way at one point.

I have to lay aside the criticism now, though. Too busy being moved by the joy and terror and grief of being (not quite) human. The acting never ceases to get me.
posted by beryllium at 12:40 AM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like everyone says, plot holes, but they were papered over by emotional/character stuff.

And, I can kinda feel the divorce thing as being... of course, they are going to come up against an issue. It would have better if they thought the Doctor was deal, Melody was out of the picture and life was going to be life.

Oh, but Brian Pond. That Reddit drawing is almost as good as the end of the last Fringe.

Brian Pond has to come back, right? Christmas special in a year or two? Or Two Men and a Vortex Manipulator? With Wilf?

The old white men demographic is really getting screwed over here.
posted by Mezentian at 12:41 AM on September 30, 2012


Recall that in The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, the Angels that hadn't yet fully gained power still looked like statues.

I'm not sure that's in Time of Angels. I think it's the lumps of stone that are still waking up.
I think the cherubs use space because they're trying to create a feed lot by creating fixed points.

I rewatched The Slow Invasion last night and... the end feels like a hash. A Sarah Jane episode.

But now I am off to watch Warriors of the Deep, so feel free to karate chop my comments.
posted by Mezentian at 12:50 AM on September 30, 2012


If you're going to make the Statue of Liberty a monster that can only move when no one is looking, how can you make the story not be about how the statue was given as a gift to the United States and placed in its most populous city's harbor as a way of ensuring that at least one pair of eyes would be on it at all times (and, thus, about how those circumstances have now somehow changed)?

That's exactly what I expected. What a waste. The angels episodes since Blink have been really disappointing. At least in this one they remembered that the angels send people back in time, which was completely forgotten in the previous two-parter. Still... monsters that can only move when you look at them and that send you back in time: those conceits could kick off so many great stories (like the New-York-as-prison story). The angels are instead used as scary-looking monsters of the week. I'm worried that they're going to do the same thing to the Silence.

It seems like most people here liked is one more than I did. It left me cold. The ending felt contrived to me... the Doctor could surely find all sorts of ways to rescue Amy and Rory. How about landing ten years earlier and then waiting around? How about using River's wrist-transporter, or landing in Europe and then taking a ferry? How about picking them up in 1950, when they're a bit older? Eh, they'll probably do one of these things three Xmas specials from now in the big return of Amy and Rory.

I also really don't like the "cause a paradox to save the day" deus ex machina... it is so cheap and does absolutely anything the writer wants. But, whatever. Criticizing Doctor Who for having plot holes is like criticizing a six-year old's crayon drawing. It's really easy but it feels immoral.
posted by painquale at 6:51 AM on September 30, 2012


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