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Doctor Who - Warning, Spoilers!

Wow! Big episode thingies happening this week! Doctor goes all "respect my authority" on the three stooges! Historical setting! Literary figures! Classic villain! Lack of resolution!
 

ajkel64

Moderator
Much better episode. Probably the best this season thus far for me. I liked the never ending stairs and going around in circles.
 
Watched the Ascension of the Cybermen last night. Entertaining but I can't help but wonder why the Doctor doesn't use the Tardis? The trend is to park the Tardis far away and then walk into the scene. If you wanted to save the people in the camp why not just land the Tardis into the middle of the camp or at least close by.
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
If you wanted to save the people in the camp why not just land the Tardis into the middle of the camp or at least close by.
The Lord of the Rings would have been one short novella ... instead of three long novels ... if Gandalf had had the bright idea of flying TO Mount Doom on the eagles and dropping the ring in.

Peter Jackson would probably still have managed to turn it into six 3-hour movies, though.
 

TexLaw

Contributor
Watched the Ascension of the Cybermen last night. Entertaining but I can't help but wonder why the Doctor doesn't use the Tardis? The trend is to park the Tardis far away and then walk into the scene. If you wanted to save the people in the camp why not just land the Tardis into the middle of the camp or at least close by.
I'm rather enjoying that, myself. The Doctor is back to interacting with the world with her own hands and ingenuity and personal strength, rather than through black box technology (or should that be "blue box tech"?) I hate to hark back to the good ol' days again, but I grew up on a Doctor that didn't spend much time in a TARDIS. He and whatever companions might walk out of the thing at the beginning of an episode and then do the rest of the two or three episode arc without ever going back. Sure, it played a part from time to time (and sometimes an important one). However, for the most part, it was a way of getting to the next adventure rather than solving it. Sometimes, it felt like little more than a break room. :lol: Heck, Pertwee even lost his driving privileges (but got a sweet buggy)!

Just like the sonic screwdriver was turning into some sort of cure-all magic wand, the Tardis was becoming something of a wizard's cloister with a flippin' Batcomputer. I love the Tardis, but I also haven't missed it. Like @Doc4 mentioned, it's a better story. The way everything has evolved, the whole show could be The Doctor pushing and pulling stuff on a Tardis panel and madly waving around the Sonic. Problem solved!

That said, I was a bit lukewarm about the last episode. I'm not much of a fan of the tediously one-dimensional Ashad. His constant growling just wears on me and taints an otherwise very interesting storyline. It's not all that bad, but it's enough to knock off a full letter grade on its own accord. I am looking forward to the season-ender. They've set up some great stuff. Here's hoping they wrap it up well!
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
I hate to hark back to the good ol' days again, but I grew up on a Doctor that didn't spend much time in a TARDIS.
I suspect a lot had to do with whether or not the show had the budget for a tardis interior for the given episode or not. Or if they had access to the soundstage. I don't think we saw the interior of the tardis at all for Pertwee's first two seasons, and rarely after that for another season or so.

In part, though, I think it was also smart writing. The writers seemed to know right from the get-go that separation of the Doctor and companions from The Ship ... remember when only Susan called it "TARDIS"? ... could be a very compelling plot device.
  • first-ever story ... they are held hostage away from the tardis by the tribe of cavemen.
  • second-ever story ... the tardis is "broken" and they have to explore the (Dalek) city to find mercury to "fix" the fluid link.
Plenty more examples in the Hartnell era, too.
 

TexLaw

Contributor
@Doc4, I imagine it was a bit of both logistics and writing. They could only do much for a set, but who wants to watch folks yammering in a room when there is all of space and time to explore???

It's kind of like Spielberg and Jaws. "Dammit, when are you gonna fix that shark?!? Hey, wait a minute . . . ."
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
I imagine it was a bit of both logistics and writing. They could only do much for a set, but who wants to watch folks yammering in a room when there is all of space and time to explore???
I think having limitations can make the writing better. The writers know they have the limitations to work with and take the "well, we have to make it entertaining despite that" approach ... and find ways to make it work.

Contrast that to the "well, let's throw some more special effects at it" approach to papering over creative deficiencies that we tend to see far too often nowadays. ("Thanks, CGI ...")

It's kind of like Spielberg and Jaws. "Dammit, when are you gonna fix that shark?!? Hey, wait a minute . . . ."
I am not aware of the story there. Do tell ...
 
Just like the sonic screwdriver was turning into some sort of cure-all magic wand, the Tardis was becoming something of a wizard's cloister with a flippin' Batcomputer. I love the Tardis, but I also haven't missed it. Like @Doc4 mentioned, it's a better story. The way everything has evolved, the whole show could be The Doctor pushing and pulling stuff on a Tardis panel and madly waving around the Sonic. Problem solved!
I dont mind it not being around. I just wished they would have written in a reason why it wasn't used. Just a line ok r two would have made me happy.
 

TexLaw

Contributor
I am not aware of the story there. Do tell ...
Originally, the shark was supposed to be seen a great deal more in the film, but there were quite a few technical difficulties with it. Basically, the dadgum thing hardly worked at all. At first, it seemed like a disaster, but Spielberg dealt with the problem as best as he could. The fact that the shark was barely seen at all until nearly the end actually built tremendous tension and made the monster much more frightening than it ever could have been if seen throughout the film. We're always more frightened of the unknown than we are of the known. Many (including Spielberg) note the shark's malfunction as one of the reasons Jaws turned out as great as it did.

I think I recall Ridley Scott saying that learned from Jaws and applied that same lesson to Alien. He deliberately refrained from showing a clear, full shot of the monster for some time. I definitely recall him saying how he regretted the shot of someone in the monster suit doing some sort of goofy, "BOO!" move because it dispelled so much of the tension and fear he built up.

I dont mind it not being around. I just wished they would have written in a reason why it wasn't used. Just a line ok r two would have made me happy.
That's a very good point. I suppose it's a tricky decision to state a reason or just leave the issue alone.

I speculate that there was some attempt to send a message that technology isn't always the answer. I say that only because everyone seemed so confident in the advanced tech defenses, only to see them wiped out in a few moments. I really am just thinking out loud, but a line or two to that effect could have been powerful (or cheesy, but that's why they get paid the big bucks to write the stuff).
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
The fact that the shark was barely seen at all until nearly the end actually built tremendous tension and made the monster much more frightening than it ever could have been if seen throughout the film.
Cool story. Thanks.

I think I recall Ridley Scott saying that learned from Jaws and applied that same lesson to Alien.
Maybe JNT could have learned that lesson for The Lurker??
 
Ascension Part 1 - not bad at all. Not sure how they're going to be able to wrap it all up in one finale, but excited for it.
This is good Who.
 
The episode in and of itself was a good one entertainment and story-wise (with a few cringes) but it was pretty much a big middle finger to the longtime fans and the Doctor Who which preceded it. The Doctor only has 12 regenerations? Don't be silly! The Doctor is now timeless! If the Doctor gets tired of their current look, he/she/it can change it as easily as yesterday's t-shirt! They've got lives to burn! The "it's about time-ers" must have been ecstatic to learn that the original Time Lord was a female of color. In the multiple regeneration scene alone they easily filled up their diversity bingo cards. (I'm kind of shocked that they actually allowed a white male in there.) Can you say "virtue signaling" boys and girls? How nice and progressive is that?!

It's a fact that Chibnall doesn't care what the fans think. He's stated that he doesn't engage in social media, doesn't read press coverage and doesn't read reviews though he is aware of the negative blow back from his tenure on the show. "In terms of external opinions, it's not a democracy. We make the show we want to make." There are many out there who dismiss the complaints of those who say that the show is "too PC" as if there were no basis to the argument. The head of drama at the BBC has come right out and said that the BBC has a duty to be woke in the way that it tells it's stories. BBC has a duty to be 'woke' in the way it tells stories, says head of drama Piers Wenger So apparently woke programming is the highest virtue and nothing else really matters. The steadily falling ratings for Doctor Who seem to show how well that strategy is working.

Annoyances aside, I actually enjoyed the episode and think that it was probably one of the best episodes of this and last season. I'd still very much welcome a new Doctor, new/fewer companions, new writers, a new show runner and a new direction but it looks like I have a long wait in store for me.
 
That was, and I really mean this word in it's original sense, awesome.
Fantastic. Spec-tac-u-lar.
The retcon origin really changed nothing about the Doctor. Maybe it made no logical sense, but oh well, it was done well.

If that wasn't a Dr Who episode for some, I don't know what the heck they were watching before.
 
This also means that the Doctor isn't Gallifreyan but that the true Gallifreyan's have some of her DNA. How has this been missed for the last few thousand years?
 
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