Doctor Who

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Kublai Khan
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Post Post #3275  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:44 pm

Yeah, it was a good episode overall.

I agree with a lot of poro's nickpicks. Ribbons is a throwaway character that shows off that moths are dangerous, but then moths kinda vanish for no reason at the end. it's just kinda.. What? And Old missing his dead wife is pretty obvious, and if it seems like "character building", then that's only because it's weird that he was so happy-go-lucky during other episodes.
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Post Post #3276  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:40 pm

Time for episode 10. The first review headline I saw was that it was disappointing. Thats from a site that made the first 9 episodes sound like the best thing ever. So Im looking forward to it.

Might make notes but not as extensive today.

Think Im with Graeme on this one and the Doctor is wrong. But I've felt that a lot this series. If Tim Shaw isn't dead by the end of this I'll be sorely disappointed. Purely because it would mean we would have the shittest villain in the world having the potential to return.
I think I half invented them. Shut the fuck up Doctor, no one gives a shit.
Im bored.
Could have made the neural dampner plot point a bit more drastic...

Episode gets a 4. Scripting was better than usual, pacing was alright but the doctor was an airhead again, plot points could have been made more interesting and the episode was just.incredibly.dull. Tim Shaw is not an interesting villain, the Ux were not interesting aliens, the planet was a quarry, there was no threat. The effects were pretty poor, as was the location, which is unusual. The call-backs to previous episodes, to make it look like they were all connected was very VERY ham-fisted.

---

I wanted to talk about the whole series. I've been a little worried about how to portray my feelings of disappointment in the series. Although I've been quite verbose about it, my worries about the series came to fruition. The doctor being a woman was never ever an issue for me, honestly I didn't care. What I did care about, and I think my posts from last series express this, is that the writing on Doctor Who at the moment would be unable to handle it. I think some episodes were better than others in this regard, but I'm not sure we ever got past that fact and started learning about the doctor as a person. I think I can quite safely say I hate this incarnation of the doctor. That's not new, I realised this quite early on, but had hoped for an arc where she changes or at least grows.

I got very quickly sick of the doctor knowing everyone and having a hand in inventing or discovering every single thing. If I was a companion I'd be telling her to shut the fuck up because noone likes a know-it-all. What's the point in going on these adventures if she has seen/done everything there is to do? She's a very patronising doctor as well. Now someone brought up that most of the doctors are patronising, and that person is correct, CE definitely was, as was MS. But every single other doctor had other personality traits to combat this. If I was asked to list 5 character traits of this doctor I'm not sure I could. I think Jodie Whittaker is a great actress, I think Chibnall can be a great writer. Look at Broadchurch. But it became very obvious that this isn't the role for her (and not the show for him - but Ill get to that later). The doctor by his/her nature has to be a commanding presence. Someone in control, even when they aren't. This doctor isn't and I don't just think that's part of the writing. I think Jodie was given some nice speeches to say and was given this bold costume but felt like this mousy person playing pretend and getting lost in the narrative at times. The doctor has certain traits that transcend iterations. Keeping the companions safe is one of them, but all too frequently they were told to go off on their own in potentially dangerous situations, like it was nothing. I hoped and preyed one of them died throughout the series, because it would have shown how piss-poorly the doctor has treated her "fam". (- which minor niggle, is a shit word)

The writing/scripting/theming was piss poor as well. I'm grouping them together to avoid going on too long. Doctor Who is the BBC's flagship show. You can have your Killing Eve's and Bodyguards but they are limited series. (also fucking fantastic, I recommend them both highly) In every single episode there had to be some sort of political/moral point and actually I don't always mind that. But the show does what I think is unforgivable. It's patronising to us as the viewer. It talked down to us a lot of the time. It rammed the message down our throats and out through the other side. This is an entertainment show and I think Who forgot that this year in favour of delivering a message to people wanting to see "alien thriller fun times". It's disappointing, because Who could be a good platform for delivering a message that as long as you stay true to the ethos of the show. It also falls flat if you fail to make an entertaining story around it.

I've been trying to work out what Chibnall contributed to this series. His episodes (excluding Kerblam!) were the worst ones.

1. He decided on no recurring aliens from previous series - Fine you want to put your own mark on it. But you have to know what that mark is. You have to have a distinct plan for the series and have it build to something.
2. He decided on the humans being the bad guys for the most part, with little to no aliens at all - Remember it's Doctor Who. Aliens are in it's DNA, you take out the aliens and then you have a car ride to a new place, which is something I can do with a little bit of money and some mode of transport.
3. He decided to focus on characterisation???? of maybe the guest characters???? - I think that was his intent, but it took other writers to actually do the leg work on the main characters. Yaz had nothing to do until Demons and Klazam, and Im still not sure of her motivations or drive. Graeme got bits here and there, but beyond grieving older man (whose a bus driver...) do we know anything more? Ryan, the same, we got bits here and there, but beyond the legwork done in episode one, do we get anything new after that?
4. He decided to focus more on Earth and history - I mean it's taking yet more aliens out of the picture, but considering the three best episodes were the ones set back in time, I'll give that one a pass. Although again, not going to alien planets really takes away from the Who experience. I realise quarries are a Who staple but having both your sole alien planet storylines set in one is a bit lazy.
He decided to go full episodic - Probably BBC mandated because of Moffatt but it meant a lot of plot developments felt really unearned.

The scripting I've talked to death about. It got better but it never was any good. Plot developments were pushed forward without ever really figuring out why. Inexplicably having characters split off into groups that just perfectly align with the storyline was way too convenient and happened all the time. The doctor suddenly knowing what to do at any given moment is not confined to this season, but fucking hell, it takes all the narrative urgency out of any episode. Having character moments that are poorly scripted is astounding to me. Doesn't someone at some point go - "this doesn't feel like a natural conversation to me".

And that to me is the crux. People got caught up in what gender the Doctor was, and what platform she should stand for and people thought the TV show could write itself and what came across was really lazy writing, with little care to whether it was good or not, let alone whether it made sense. Which let's be honest, often didn't. Writing that the sonic saves the day is poor writing. Writing that "these fumes are suddenly toxic" is poor writing. Having Graeme shoot the alien in the foot and suddenly disable this great warrior is guess what, poor writing. I think if most people had my opinion on a show like this, they would stop watching and I hate being a completionist. But it's because I see glimmers of what the show could be and I think that it could be great. But I don't currently believe that can happen under Chibnall. We'll see if the Daleks can make a good episode, but considering Asylum is the only one in recent memory that I actually enjoyed, I doubt it
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Post Post #3277  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:31 pm

In post 3233, Kublai Khan wrote:My fear for Ryan/Graham is that the fist bump things is going to be a major character arc that "pays off" in a super awkward fashion.

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Post Post #3278  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:58 pm

Terrible episode to end a season on.
Oh hey yeah the TARDIS can do that probably.

I think it was some minor point about religion and extremists.
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Post Post #3279  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:21 pm

I sort of get that they were trying to go with smaller scale stories. I was getting burned out on "whole earth or universe is in danger" every week storylines and they had nowhere to up the stakes to. But this season was pretty dull. The new doctor doesn't seem that bad, but she wasn't given anything to work with. She came off as very encouraging, but not necessarily brilliant. And I blame that on the writers not given her the opportunity to appear brilliant.
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Post Post #3280  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:07 am

That's my biggest complaint of the season. The Doctor never got her "I'm the Doctor and this is what I do" moment. We didn't get to see a peek behind the curtain at the brilliance or "special" nature of the Doctor. It all just felt like she made it up as she went along.
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Post Post #3281  (ISO)  » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:48 pm

It was alright, verging on a decent episode. Things still annoyed. Especially the scripting at the start. Biggest thing for me is how poorly they are doing equality. I mean there is not doing it and that's bad. But there is doing it this way... "my boyfriend says..." the character is someone with 2 lines. I'm not sure why we needed to know he was gay beyond a ticky box exercise, something to say "see we're doing it". We didn't know the characters name or anything else about him (beyond his job - as that was a plot thing). Maybe they could put it in BIG WHITE LETTERS to tell us beforehand.

Also thanks for cutting to the family who didn't have wifi. I didn't understand the concept of no wifi until that happened.
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Post Post #3282  (ISO)  » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:59 pm

oh wow is it another standard chibnall episode where there's a decent concept executed in a mediocre way resulting in an episode that is watchable but generally just lacks a hook or drive or point to push the episode into the realms of "good"

i guess it is
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Post Post #3283  (ISO)  » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:00 pm

Also is it just me or was the "junkyard" dalek just a bit too perfect

like that could have been a really cool design if it looked full on scrapheap challenge but it was symmetrical and regular and with the balls all round and in the right proportions, almost like a shell had just been chucked on a regular old dalek model rather than looking anything like what a mere human being unwillingly controlled by a dalek could throw together with scrap metal
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Post Post #3284  (ISO)  » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:13 pm

In post 3282, Davsto wrote:oh wow is it another standard chibnall episode where there's a decent concept executed in a mediocre way resulting in an episode that is watchable but generally just lacks a hook or drive or point to push the episode into the realms of "good"

i guess it is


Please tell me Im not about to defend a Who episode Dav? Because whilst I still think they could have done more with it, I actually thought they managed to utilise the concept of the Dalek taking control of the human quite well. I mean Dalek plots are rarely complicated.
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Post Post #3285  (ISO)  » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:26 pm

I mean sure but the Doctor barely interacted with said interesting Dalek taking control of the human and then from it making the case onwards it's standard Dalek episode

It was an interesting concept but ultimately added little to the Doctor-fighting-the-Daleks dynamic and as such kinda stopped it from being a hook for longer than half the episode
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Post Post #3286  (ISO)  » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:19 am

the wifi moment was not great

i really wish they hadn't done the Dalek reveal so early

let us spend the whole episode thinking it's a new alien squid thing. then have the big reveal when they find Lin at the shop. find out he was making something. "Making what?" then Dalek reveal with the Doctor's reaction

this really should've been a two-parter to finish the season
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