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  #51  
Old 01-06-2020, 08:43 PM
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The Master has been a psychopath quite a while - casually murdering people is his thing. The Master's usual mode of operation is to find some phenomenon or group that seems important or powerful, and start fiddling with it/allying with them in the hopes that he ends up on top (see Logopolis, the Matrix, the Cybermen, etc.); in the old days, the Doctor didn't even have to defeat him sometimes - instead, the Master's plans would fall apart so badly that he's have to call the Doctor for help.

Yeah, Ada was obvious.
Yes, but he was never a ranter and usually not a shouter. Delgado and Ainley were both subdued; Ainley threatened the entire universe in "Logopolis" with a soft-spoken threat. That's the part that I find tedious; it makes him the same as the Pirate Captain from "The Pirate Planet" without Douglas Adams writing his dialog (also, the Bruce Purchase knew when to tone things down for effect).

It's like the difference between Michael Wisher's Davros and David Gooderson's. Wisher knows when to speak softly; Gooderson shouts from start to finish.

Though I did like the new, improved tissue compression eliminator.

I didn't like the erasing of memories. Too pat a solution to the problems raised.

Last edited by RealityChuck; 01-06-2020 at 08:45 PM.
  #52  
Old 01-06-2020, 09:06 PM
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... I didn't like the erasing of memories. Too pat a solution to the problems raised.
The characters were great but there is little question that they were put into the show as an educational service highlighting some often under-sung heroic and brilliant women of history.

My WAG is that the writers wanted to be very clear that there is no implication in the Whonervise that Lovelace's ideas, or Khan's bravery, were a result of The Doctor's visit.
  #53  
Old 01-07-2020, 08:40 AM
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Again, the grandson companion is an utter moron and should be jettisoned.
Maybe - although have the helpless companion that needs rescue being male is a bit of a change.

I did chuckle over Ryan saying that he could fly an airplane even if he couldn't ride a bicycle.

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(There was a semi-good reason to leave the phones where they were. There were no good reasons for him to stop Yaz from calling her mother and to stomp on the phone.
Except that Yaz talking to her mom was delaying running for their lives.

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The later phone call from the public telephone box was the stupid one.)
That was done deliberately to draw the bad guys to them. That's why Graham was out of sight until he needed to start shooting (with lazer shoes... )

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I liked it well enough - has the Doctor always been able to wipe memories?
Yep.

Not just the Doctor - the Time Lords wiped some of the Doctor's memories about time travel to keep him exiled on Earth during Pertwee's tenure. As well as other instances mentioned.

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Not to mention that squirrel DNA or cabbage DNA would work just as well.
That might work for the aliens, but not for the Master's purposes. He really does not like humans. And he definitely does this sort of thing to get the Doctor's attention.

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The characters were great but there is little question that they were put into the show as an educational service highlighting some often under-sung heroic and brilliant women of history.
Yeah. I'm OK with that.

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My WAG is that the writers wanted to be very clear that there is no implication in the Whonervise that Lovelace's ideas, or Khan's bravery, were a result of The Doctor's visit.
And I'm actually thrilled with that - that human beings are capable, inventive, and can do great things without alien intervention.
  #54  
Old 01-07-2020, 11:12 AM
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I actually don't hate the companions - one of the strongest moments of last season was Graham realizing that he would have to be the white bus rider whose presence inspired Rosa Parks' civil disobedience. His pain at being complicit with Jim Crow was palpable, and a fine bit of acting from Bradley Walsh. And I enjoyed watching the dynamics of his relationship with Ryan evolve; it's nice to see the writers explore a bond other than companion-Doctor.

But I agree that this Doctor is lacking some essential quality (no, not a Y chromosome). I said it during the last season as well - the Doctor knows she's always the smartest person in the room; I want to see that arrogance. I really like Whitaker, and I really want her to take the Doctor in new directions. But I want her to remain recognizably the Doctor.

And I really really don't want trolls.and incels to be able to say "See? See? Should have cast a man!"
  #55  
Old 01-07-2020, 11:25 AM
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But I agree that this Doctor is lacking some essential quality (no, not a Y chromosome). I said it during the last season as well - the Doctor knows she's always the smartest person in the room; I want to see that arrogance. I really like Whitaker, and I really want her to take the Doctor in new directions. But I want her to remain recognizably the Doctor.
There was a moment in the Tenth Doctor episode "Smith and Jones" (one of my favorites) where the Doctor had just met Martha Jones at the hospital and seen a spark of bravery and intelligence in her. He makes a snap decision: "Come with me." And then, dismissively to Martha's cowering friend: "Not her. She'll just slow us down."

I don't think he meant to be mean or nasty--it was just that his mind moves so fast that he can't abide being slowed down by anybody who can't at least make an effort at keeping up with him. You can be nice later, when everybody's safe.

I want to see Thirteen do that occasionally. I don't want her to always be "nice" and try to put all the humans at ease. Sometimes when you are the smartest person in the room and there are life-or-death problems to be solved, you can't let yourself be bogged down trying to appease people who can't help.

Last edited by Infovore; 01-07-2020 at 11:25 AM.
  #56  
Old 01-07-2020, 11:29 AM
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I think it was Moffat who started the whole trend of making the Doctor take a back seat to the companions, a la the Ponds, then Impossible Girl. I don't prefer it, either.

I don't think the writing has been great for Capaldi or Whitaker. It's like they don't know how to write for someone smart. I liked first season of Sherlock, by Moffat. After watching it, I had a tough time watching Elementary. (Later seasons of Sherlock ended poorly for me, but that's another story.) Elementary did something with all of the characters around Sherlock (who is the human version of the Doctor, imo) which was impressive. They made them smart. They had them learn. In the first season, others can't see what Sherlock does and he lays out what happened. By the end, the people around him were getting steps one, two, and three but it was still Sherlock that got step four. That's what I want from the Doctor and his companions.

I think it might be more interesting to have companions from different eras so that they can ask different questions. We only need one stand in for the audience. I don't mind them but they don't have their roles to fit into the group. I mean that, any of them could have gotten laser shoes or the airplane app and the dialog wouldn't have to change. That's what is bad about these companions.

I think it was someone on this message board that said Moffat made them appreciate RTD more and I'm missing RTD as well.

Having whined that, I thought part two almost made up for part one. If they had removed showing the Doctor make the airplane stuff, I think it would have been great. As it was, it did explain why she was trying NOT to be arrogant, and the Master is the perfect foil to that. It did have her be smart against the Master atop the Eiffel Tower.

I think the characterization of the Master was all over the place. I do agree that Ainley or Delgado knew better when to scream or when to whisper. I'm willing to give him another chance, though.

So, to sum up, I definitely liked part two better. I didn't find it as cringe-worthy as the things that bothered me before and liked how they brought it together.

Thanks for the discussion!
  #57  
Old 01-07-2020, 01:27 PM
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it's nice for Chibnall to actually acknowledge that there's a history to this show, but I'm pretty disappointed they destroyed Gallifrey again. It feels like Aliens 3.
  #58  
Old 01-07-2020, 02:11 PM
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Forgive me if this is obvious but I'm a latecomer to Doctor Who. (I think I only started watching regularly during the David Tennant era.) I thought it was canonical that the Doctor was the one who destroyed Gallifrey (although apparently he had good reasons for doing so).
  #59  
Old 01-07-2020, 02:18 PM
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Forgive me if this is obvious but I'm a latecomer to Doctor Who. (I think I only started watching regularly during the David Tennant era.) I thought it was canonical that the Doctor was the one who destroyed Gallifrey (although apparently he had good reasons for doing so).
They retconned it a few years ago to that all the Doctors came together to suck Gallifrey into a pocket universe. All the Daleks surrounding Gallifrey firing on it ended up blowing each other up so it looked like the Doctor destroyed both. The Doctor at the time had no memory of it what actually happened (due to multiple Doctors being together). Only the 11th (Matt Smith) knew that Gallifrey was actually saved, and the 12th (Peter Capaldi) was the first to go back to it.
  #60  
Old 01-07-2020, 02:48 PM
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A while ago, there was supposed to be a multi-part episode where Sophie Aldred's character was to go to Gallifrey to train up to be a Time Lord. The series went on hiatus, however, so it was never produced. This would have put her on more equal footing with the Doctor, but on the other hand it would have also marked her departure as his companion.
  #61  
Old 01-07-2020, 03:17 PM
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* I'm also confused on why anyone on Earth notices that they're gone - they have a time machine, they can go back to the point where they left. (I know past Doctors have done it, why not this one? Was that explained sometime when I wasn't quite paying attention)
Mainly it's due to the TARDIS being very finicky. For example, all the way back to when Rose was first a companion, he accidentally dropped her off one year after she first left. No one knew what happened to her.

Also, some adventures are on Earth in the present day (just like this one). I don't think they can go back to when the adventure first started; paradoxes and all that.
  #62  
Old 01-07-2020, 04:03 PM
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I don't recall exactly, but wasn't there still a problem with going to Gallifrey, even after it had been brought back? Somehow I didn't think the Doctor could just go for a jaunt home for the holidays...
  #63  
Old 01-07-2020, 04:16 PM
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I don't recall exactly, but wasn't there still a problem with going to Gallifrey, even after it had been brought back? Somehow I didn't think the Doctor could just go for a jaunt home for the holidays...
It's still stuck in that pocket universe, so it's not easy to get to. And the time lords can't leave it either. Mainly because if it;s brought back to our universe the Time War will just start right up again.
  #64  
Old 01-12-2020, 11:52 PM
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Okay, explain me this:

The white ghost alien "spies" made a time map of all the people responsible for bringing computer technology to the human race. For what possible reason if all they needed humans for was to use their DNA for data storage drives? Also, an advanced civilization that can re-map human DNA to use for storage can't create a synthetic DNA for storage?? I mean given the inherent flaw in human DNA for mutation, why even bother? Nothing at all made any sense about the entire premise. What am I missing?
I was so certain that they were going to somehow tie it to the Cybermen when Barton was giving his big speech. I’m glad they didn’t, but I ended up not not really getting what the light aliens plan really was. Did they ever answer why they were killing all of the spies?
  #65  
Old 01-12-2020, 11:54 PM
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Did they ever answer why they were killing all of the spies?
They were getting too close to The Plan.
  #66  
Old 01-13-2020, 06:57 AM
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They were getting too close to The Plan.
That, and the Master wanted the Doctor's attention, and talked his allies into doing something so dramatic that MI6 would call the Doctor in.
  #67  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:06 AM
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Since The Master had to get from the 1940s to 2020 the hard way, did he get turned into The Master when everyone got turned into The Master?
  #68  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:14 AM
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Since The Master had to get from the 1940s to 2020 the hard way, did he get turned into The Master when everyone got turned into The Master?
The Masterification only affected humans (the Doctor and the other aliens in that episode weren't affected).

Last edited by Andy L; 01-13-2020 at 07:14 AM.
  #69  
Old 01-13-2020, 07:35 AM
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If he wasn't clued in on the plan, that had to have been a weird experience.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:36 AM
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Oh, wait--he was (probably) from after that.
  #71  
Old 01-15-2020, 12:51 AM
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Is there a thread for the rest of the season, or should I bitch about Orphan 55 here? Because man, what a load of poorly-scripted rubbish (and I don't even mean the hit-you-over-the-head message of it all).
  #72  
Old 01-15-2020, 01:00 AM
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Is there a thread for the rest of the season, or should I bitch about Orphan 55 here? Because man, what a load of poorly-scripted rubbish (and I don't even mean the hit-you-over-the-head message of it all).
To be fair, it was also very poorly directed.
  #73  
Old 01-15-2020, 01:34 AM
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Is there a thread for the rest of the season, or should I bitch about Orphan 55 here? Because man, what a load of poorly-scripted rubbish (and I don't even mean the hit-you-over-the-head message of it all).
Yeah, but it got partially redeemed by the best line of the season so far:

Tech guy: You can't build an ionic membrane from scratch!
Doctor: If I had crayons and half a can of Spam, I could build you from scratch! Now get out of my way!

Now that's the Doctor I know and love!
  #74  
Old 01-15-2020, 08:40 AM
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I think the best way to treat Orphan 55 is to never mention it again and try to forget that it ever happened.
  #75  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:24 AM
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Is there a thread for the rest of the season, or should I bitch about Orphan 55 here? Because man, what a load of poorly-scripted rubbish (and I don't even mean the hit-you-over-the-head message of it all).
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To be fair, it was also very poorly directed.
I was wondering if we were going to discuss it or purge it.

Yes, except for some of the Doctor's arrogance, in just the right way, I was disappointed by this episode.

I started a big rant of things that bugged me and if we start discussing it, I can post it. Otherwise, maybe we just move along and hope for better next episode.

Thanks for the discussion!
  #76  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:28 AM
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I think the best way to treat Orphan 55 is to never mention it again and try to forget that it ever happened.
Yes, but if we never mention it again, we can't complain about it. I am conflicted.
  #77  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:38 AM
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Yes, but if we never mention it again, we can't complain about it. I am conflicted.
LOL! Me too! I seriously had nine points already before I thought better of going down that rabbit hole!
  #78  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:58 AM
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I kept checking for a thread on "Orphan 55", because I couldn't believe no one wanted to talk about what a crappy episode it was.
  #79  
Old 01-15-2020, 09:58 AM
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Okay, then--what the hell happened with this episode? Possibly the top thing that stands out to me (okay, in the top five) was how the central plot of a big chunk of the episode was finding the old guy who was then

off-handedly given a Poochie death. I mean, what could have happened? Did they forget to film half the scenes? Did the actor die mid-filming? What could possibly have lead to "Oh, your fiancé? Yeah, I killed him off-screen. Don't worry, he wanted it."
  #80  
Old 01-15-2020, 11:15 AM
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The thing is, it was as monumentally bad as episodes like Kill the Moon or The Forests of the Night, because the degree of stupidity in episodes like those two requires a certain amount of demented imagination and misguided confidence. Orphan 55 was just incompetent at all levels.
  #81  
Old 01-15-2020, 01:54 PM
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Yeah horrible dumb episode.

Moving on. Should we ask to change the name of the thread to reflect the season or going forward a new thread per week?
  #82  
Old 01-15-2020, 02:51 PM
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The AV Club's review did point out one good thing: the Doctor's great line, "With crayons and a half a can of Spam, I could build you! Now get out of my way!" That's the arrogance we've been looking for.

Other than that, poorly-written, poorly-plotted, poorly-paced. Just a crap ep.

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Yeah horrible dumb episode.

Moving on. Should we ask to change the name of the thread to reflect the season or going forward a new thread per week?
I'd say, just make this a thread for the whole season.
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  #83  
Old 01-19-2020, 11:29 PM
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I'm watching the current episode about Tesla right now, and the only thing that could possibly redeem it is if he turns out to be a fake.
  #84  
Old 01-20-2020, 01:00 AM
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It was better than last week at least. Yeah faint praise.

They do go for the heavy handed when they have a point to make. But the thing is in their parallel of Edison with the scorpion aliens, Edison as the idea stealer is the one remembered, with more, as the characters in the show, thinking of Tesla as a car.

And the portrayal of Tesla would have been more interesting if it captured more of the tragedy of the man, which was not just that he died penniless and with his substantial genius poorly recognized, but also his significant mental illness.
  #85  
Old 01-20-2020, 08:40 AM
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DSeid: Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Well, it's better than Orphan 55 but that's not a standard to use!

I keep feeling like they don't know what they want to do with the stories. Do they want to tell a fun adventure? Do they want character growth? Do they want to teach history?

This one felt like the TNG episode with the Paklids. ("We look for things.") But worse. I mean, I can forgive the scorpion queen (is that even a thing for that species?) and the drones. Okay, interesting. How did they even get this far if they steal technology and don't understand it? How would a non space faring race be able to fix their spaceship, cobbled together by different species with different tech?

(This was the problem I had with the Wraith from SG Atlantis. I probably have a bad idea of how an advanced species should act and hissing and spitting and preening isn't on the list.)

Again, feels like the companions could have been switched around and it wouldn't have changed much.

And after stopping Ryan, in this episode, from using a weapon, the Doctor's plan is to make a weapon and shoot it?

But there were some gems.

I did like Tesla and I like that actor, who is from the same place as Tesla.

I do think that while Tesla isn't as well known as he should be. I did like how they portrayed Edison and Tesla.

I did like the Doctor used a different trick on the queen to get the queen where she wanted her.

So ... better. A long way to go.

Thanks for the discussion!
  #86  
Old 01-20-2020, 08:43 AM
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  #87  
Old 01-20-2020, 10:53 AM
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... And after stopping Ryan, in this episode, from using a weapon, the Doctor's plan is to make a weapon and shoot it? ...
Well that's standard NuWho formula - we always give them a chance to leave peacefully before destroying them. Oh they never do but we have to give them the chance to.

Tenant did a nice version of it, asking those around if they heard it, that he gave them the chance, that they leave him no choice ...

Sometimes there's been more anger or sadness or even smirk to it. This version just powered through it without changing gears in any way. The words were disgust and anger with them but the affect was still the same slightly pressured speech as is her baseline.

Same complaint on the interaction over destroyed planets. That should be some emotional reaction, a raw nerve hit, from The Doctor dealing with processing her home planet destroyed and having just finished seeing a future with Earth as an orphan planet ... but no gear change at all.

I like that she is more in charge and the smartest in the room though!

Last edited by DSeid; 01-20-2020 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Thanks for the title change!
  #88  
Old 01-20-2020, 08:28 PM
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The episode should have had The Doctor save Topsy.
  #89  
Old 01-21-2020, 11:35 AM
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I liked the Tesla episode actually. Sure, a lot of it made no sense, but it really felt like an honest-to-goodness Who episode. Whittaker took a while to find her legs as the Doctor, IMO, but suddenly I'm really feeling her.

Part of what I've always liked about the Doctor (and I hope I'm putting this clearly) is that knowing more than everybody else often paradoxically makes everything more confusing. In other words, when Doc sees things not acting as they should, or something previously unencountered, it's more jarring to the Doctor than the average Joe. So there's always that fumbling in the dark for a bit, even by the smartest person in the room. Then, when the "ah-ha" moment finally comes, look out. Whittaker and the current writers seem to be getting that, finally.

(Did anybody else catch the shout-out to the "Teeming Millions"?)
  #90  
Old 01-21-2020, 01:09 PM
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DSeid: Hmm. Good points.

I saw something recently that said if you are peaceful but not capable of great violence, you are harmless. The Doctor is not harmless. I feel like they have tried to make it a big deal when the Doctor is willing to do violence. But, yes, given how much he inspires other to do violence, maybe it's hypocritical. And, yes, he does give them a chance, as you said, with the sycorax.

I love Jodie's Doctor but am not happy with the writing. Haven't been for years now.

I did mostly enjoy the Tesla episode, to be clear. Of course, after Orphan 55, not too high a bar. Fewer things to nit pick in this one and I could sit back and enjoy it.

Definitely appreciate that a bit of arrogance and being the smartest in the room is back.

Does anyone know how the ratings are? Is it slated for another series yet?

Thanks for the discussion!
  #91  
Old 01-21-2020, 01:13 PM
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Well, darn. Ratings are down. (Wasn't sure how much I could find while at work.)

This one is an episode behind. https://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/d...on-12-ratings/

Overall, seems lower and I don't like that as they will blame the first female Doctor for it and I don't think that's the case.
  #92  
Old 01-21-2020, 11:53 PM
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Every once in a while, I go to YouTube to rewatch some of my favorite Doctor Who scenes; usually, the emotional highlights, like the last five minutes of "A Good Man Goes To War"; or really strong performances by the cast (the master class in nonverbal acting that Alex Kingston and Peter Capaldi put on in the "Hello, sweetie" scene of "The Husbands of River Song", for example).

I was watching Capaldi's monologue to Jenna Coleman and Jemma Redgrave on war, in "The Zygon Inversion", when I realized that what we haven't yet seen from Chibnall and Whittaker is any depth in the Doctor. The character's always had a goofy, manic, manchild aspect, and Whittaker is very good at that; she can do fish-fingers-and-custard. But she hasn't shown us any of the Doctor's gravitas. Can you imagine her giving Capaldi's "Doctor..I give you up" speech? Or Smith's speech to River in "The Name of the Doctor": "You're always here to me. And I always listen. And I can always see you."? I believe Whittaker has the chops for drama; I'd like to see her get a chance to display them.
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Last edited by Slow Moving Vehicle; 01-21-2020 at 11:53 PM.
  #93  
Old 01-22-2020, 01:47 PM
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I felt like Moffat wrote great moments but not great stories and never concluded them well.
he wrote some great stories ("The Day of the Doctor", "Heaven Sent", "Listen") and some not-so-great stories, but, as you said, even the less successful stories had great moments in them.

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I don't think Calpaldi got anywhere near the scripts he deserved and could have done.
definitely true. from 1963 on, meh writing has always plagued Doctor Who, especially post-2006. Moffatt and RTD generally contributed the best scripts.

Last edited by iguanas.com; 01-22-2020 at 01:47 PM.
  #94  
Old 01-22-2020, 02:00 PM
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My fear is that in a few years people are going to look at this doctor as a failed doctor, and the counter will be, "You didn't like it because the Doctor was a woman." And that's going to be far from the truth.
I've thought about this. it would please me if Doctor Who ended for a while without the current Doctor regenerating. then they retcon away the last couple of seasons and pretend that Capaldi regenerated into someone else. that'll never happen because... oh no, sexist! but it would please me because Chibnall doesn't work and neither does Whittaker, at least playing the part in this particular way.

(articles suggesting things like that used to appear in fanzines in the '80's. I guess I've turned into one of those fans who can't stand the current era of Doctor Who.)
  #95  
Old 01-22-2020, 02:09 PM
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I think it was Moffat who started the whole trend of making the Doctor take a back seat to the companions, a la the Ponds, then Impossible Girl. I don't prefer it, either.
Doctor Who has usually centered around the Doctor but not all eras have gone that route, starting in the late '70s. never mind that when Doctor Who first came out in 1963. it had an ensemble cast with the Doctor as the most important character, but not the "main" character. the Doctor got more and more prominent with time, in part because the audience fell in love with him.

personally, I like the show to center around the Doctor but Moffat didn't invent the idea. RTD deliberately made Rose the focus of Series 1, for example, because the audience could relate to Rose more. with Series 2, he moved the focus back on the Doctor.
  #96  
Old 01-22-2020, 02:11 PM
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The "oncoming storm" was NuWho, not old-school, and agreed that that got tiresome. These complaints aren't about that.
by "old school", the OP clearly meant the Eccleston and Tennant eras.
  #97  
Old 01-22-2020, 02:18 PM
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It's still stuck in that pocket universe, so it's not easy to get to. And the time lords can't leave it either. Mainly because if it;s brought back to our universe the Time War will just start right up again.
Series 10 showed that Gallifrey had left the pocket universe and returned to the main universe, only in the far distant future.
  #98  
Old 01-22-2020, 02:30 PM
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So far we've had post-apocalyptic monsters in Russian subway tunnels followed by alien raiders who steal technology because they can, threatening death and destruction if they don't get what they want and they don't really understand how any of their acquired technology works. What's next?

Last edited by Skywatcher; 01-22-2020 at 02:31 PM.
  #99  
Old 01-22-2020, 05:55 PM
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I rate the Moffat era massively highly. I can easily imagine Jodie Whittaker in some of my favourite episodes like Extremis, Vincent and the Doctor, Flatline, and others.

I can’t imagine Smith or Capaldi salvaging anything from crap like Orphan 55. That’s how I know the problem is the writing. Get some better writers in and all the other problems will fix themselves.

Last edited by Unreconstructed Man; 01-22-2020 at 05:57 PM.
  #100  
Old 01-22-2020, 07:30 PM
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But the last ep?

I can imagine some range in that one. Some greater irritation at Edison, both at his lack of actual inventiveness and at the unfairness at knowing that he becomes the one rich and remembered while Tesla dies penniless and largely forgotten. Something other than a continued hypomanic response ... maybe something slowly measured, clearly controlling a reaction, to the Scorpion Queen's flippant ask if The Doctor, wit the current destroyed Gallifry arc in place and just after seeing destroyed Earth, has ever seen a destroyed planet. Some depth of some sort, any sort, to the traditional giving a chance to leave peacefully and then knowing that they will now be destroyed stating that they will just be forgotten ... disgust, anger, pity, something other than the same fish-fingers-and-custard affect.

I know she's got the chops for it, so I blame the directing.
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