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Ironwood
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Reply #2240 on: November 26, 2018, 08:42:47 AM

Oh, I  dunno about that.  Genesis was pretty fucking top notch and if you liked that, then you automatically liked Destiny, so.....

Don't get me wrong, it was good.  But....

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Khaldun
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Reply #2241 on: November 26, 2018, 01:51:13 PM

All of the non-Chibnall written episodes have been better than the Chibnall-written ones. I hope he learns from that and sticks to showrunning.
Ironwood
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Reply #2242 on: November 27, 2018, 06:00:18 AM

Previous Moffatry suggests that's not the pattern that gets set.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Khaldun
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Reply #2243 on: November 27, 2018, 08:53:55 AM

Yeah. I mean, I get why the showrunner might want to write some episodes to "set the tone", but the evidence this season is that Chibnall's done fairly well in setting the tone and he can just stop now and run the show.

I do feel like they need an episode where there's an actually dangerous adversary where the Doctor really needs to be a bit brilliant or clever beyond her usual. But otherwise, this is a good season with no real turkeys though also only one or two really excellent stand-out episodes. The companions are great; Graham is easily one of my favorites in the entire history of the series.
slog
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Reply #2244 on: December 04, 2018, 06:14:59 PM

I'm halfway through the third episode of the season and nothing has happened.  I hope the season gets better but there is a serious lack of anything going on so far.

"Die of flaming ass cancer you schmuck. No really, die."

.
Khaldun
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Reply #2245 on: December 04, 2018, 06:40:53 PM

You know, when you have an opinion about something other than politics, it makes me feel better about liking whatever I'm trying to make up my mind about. Like, I'm really sure I do not want slog's version of Doctor Who where stuff "happens".
slog
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Reply #2246 on: December 04, 2018, 07:38:33 PM

You know, when you have an opinion about something other than politics, it makes me feel better about liking whatever I'm trying to make up my mind about. Like, I'm really sure I do not want slog's version of Doctor Who where stuff "happens".


Well, I'm about halfway through and so far they have talked Rosa parks, had a conversation with another time traveler, and rented a hotel room.   I'm just not getting engaged like I did in David Tenant's first season.  

Edit: I think I just put my finger on it.  Where is the humor?  Maybe it's the new writers, but previous seasons were a lot funnier than these episodes have been.  The funny monologues from the Doctor seem to be gone.  I know it's hard to be humorous when you are in a setting as dreary as the deep south during segregation, but Doctor Who was a little more light-hearted in prior years.  All the mini battles in the town of Christmas were funny as hell like the Wooden Cyberman getting defeated by an old doctor.  This season needs more of that.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 07:54:56 PM by slog »

"Die of flaming ass cancer you schmuck. No really, die."

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Reg
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Reply #2247 on: December 04, 2018, 08:07:21 PM

Damn you slog! You have the same opinion of the new doctor as I do! Now I expect to be cast out into the frozen darkness.
slog
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Reply #2248 on: December 04, 2018, 08:20:49 PM

Damn you slog! You have the same opinion of the new doctor as I do! Now I expect to be cast out into the frozen darkness.

heh.  As I watch farther, what is this crap about not interfering?  Isn't that what the Doctor does?  He goes in, saves the day, and tweaks shit just a little bit so things work out despite his meddling.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 08:22:47 PM by slog »

"Die of flaming ass cancer you schmuck. No really, die."

.
Fraeg
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Reply #2249 on: December 10, 2018, 06:02:45 PM

been some decent episodes, I rather like the Rosa Parks episode. Not engaged like the first few seasons of the reboot but... /shrug

I think the Actress and supporting cast are terrific actors, I just haven't seen something that really sunk its teeth into me.

"There is dignity and deep satisfaction in facing life and death without the comfort of heaven or the fear of hell and in sailing toward the great abyss with a smile."
Khaldun
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Reply #2250 on: December 10, 2018, 10:17:14 PM

The new episodes are fairly weightless in their way, except for the Punjab episode and the season ender, maybe the strange alt-dimension one a bit too. They do need to give the new Doctor some scenery to chew here and there. I appreciate that it's not the end of the universe episode after episode, but a bit of anger and alien-ness would both be good here and there.
palmer_eldritch
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Reply #2251 on: December 11, 2018, 03:02:48 PM

I like all the regular cast but I haven't felt like i cared about the situations they found themselves in or the people they were trying to save, with the exception of the partition episode. The season has been a bit boring.

I kind of hate to say it because I know a lot of the people who are hating on this season are just assholes doing it for asshole reasons.

At the same time, there's been nothing that really annoyed me either, unlike some of Moffat's stuff.

Regarding the politics, Dr Who has been political in the past of course. Pertwee's Doctor supported "Women's Lib", which sounds cringeworthy now but was considered correct at the time. I vaguely recall a Pertwee story about how unions are good, I think?
eldaec
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Reply #2252 on: December 13, 2018, 05:54:19 AM

The companions have been great - which surprised me because (a) one of them is Bradley Walsh and (b) when they were introduced my immediate reaction was 'wow this is a bit.... on the nose'.

The doctor herself still fails to convince me she is 900 years old. Which was the same issue Tennant had for quite a while.

The scripts are fine, pre-2016 I probably would have thought they were a bit too preachy. But right now as basic societal norms such as 'don't be a fucking racist' continue to break down - maybe extra preachyness isn't such a bad thing.

"People will not assume that what they read on the internet is trustworthy or that it carries any particular ≠assurance or accuracy" - Lord Leveson
"Hyperbole is a cancer" - Lakov Sanite
Ironwood
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Reply #2253 on: December 13, 2018, 06:16:39 AM

Much like Catherine Tate, Bradley has been both a huge surprise and joy to behold.  I have been extremely pleased with almost all aspects of his character and performance.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Khaldun
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Reply #2254 on: December 13, 2018, 06:24:38 AM

He's kind of my favorite companion so far in the history of the series. I don't think there's ever been a soulful character in the TARDIS, but he's nailing that characterization perfectly.

The Doctor just needs an episode or four in the next (2020!) season that gives her a bit more gravitas--she hasn't really had a Big Speech, she hasn't really dealt with a dangerous adversary, she hasn't had a moment of being really rather alien and she doesn't have much of an arc so far except that she's a bit careless when it comes to putting people in danger. But I like the broad contours of her characterization--enthusiastic, loyal to friends, a science whiz, optimistic. And I'm glad that there's no hint of the lonely space god-wanderer or Onrushing Storm for the most part. It's just good if the sense that the Doctor can be a dangerous person to piss off occasionally blinks through just a bit.
eldaec
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Reply #2255 on: December 13, 2018, 09:57:36 AM

I don't think she needs a big speech so much as opportunity to be serious and competent in a sustained grown up way. Also the damn screwdriver annoys me even more in this than in every prior season.

She comes across as reckless and lucky rather than appropriately confident. Whenever she gives bad or serious news she undercuts it so quickly and completely that you fear she is mentally ill rather than rising to a challenge.

On the plus side it is so very relaxing not to spend the whole episode emotionally braced for sudden Moffat.

"People will not assume that what they read on the internet is trustworthy or that it carries any particular ≠assurance or accuracy" - Lord Leveson
"Hyperbole is a cancer" - Lakov Sanite
Khaldun
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Reply #2256 on: December 13, 2018, 12:27:08 PM

Yeah, I also do prefer the "Doctor has a plan" to show through from time to time, though I also do like the "Doctor is winging it" narrative structure that's pretty common in the series.

It might be time for a new adversary besides the Master (or other Time Lord) who is as smart as the Doctor, more or less, and yet very very differently motivated in some way. NOT Mr. Future Racist from earlier this season, please.
slog
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Reply #2257 on: December 14, 2018, 08:05:22 AM

Yeah, I also do prefer the "Doctor has a plan" to show through from time to time, though I also do like the "Doctor is winging it" narrative structure that's pretty common in the series.

It might be time for a new adversary besides the Master (or other Time Lord) who is as smart as the Doctor, more or less, and yet very very differently motivated in some way. NOT Mr. Future Racist from earlier this season, please.

The Future Racist didn't even make any sense.  What was he going to do, spend the rest of his life going to every single civil rights moment that popped up in the revised timeline and change it like he's playing wackamole??  A real antagonist would help the series a lot.


"Die of flaming ass cancer you schmuck. No really, die."

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Khaldun
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Reply #2258 on: January 10, 2019, 01:55:29 PM

Wasn't wild about the New Year's episode. The Dalek would have been better were it a bit cruder and ultra-powerful, but also it just felt kind of dumb to keep the Doctor from having to meet or talk to anyone who had previously associated with him/her. Yes, I get the hilarious Brexit joke about UNIT, but come on.

The show benefits from some sense that this is a character who has a history of continuous adventures. It's fine to not let continuity and consistency become a deathtrap, but a little bit of modest fanservice is a welcome thing. And one thing I'd really like them to figure out is why human beings as a whole seem to constantly forget that there have been alien invasions of Earth before. Seeing British soldiers go after a Dalek with no idea whatsoever that it's a super-dangerous alien war machine is kind of depressing; it's like a hospital show where the doctors have to reinvent antibiotics every season because they forget about everything they knew last season.
Sir T
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Reply #2259 on: January 10, 2019, 11:52:17 PM

Yeah. Ironically, on one of the First Doctor episodes he tells a guy from future earth to look up a previous Dalek invasion and that will tell him how to deal with them if they go after Earth again.

Sometimes irony is pretty ironic.
Riggswolfe
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Reply #2260 on: January 11, 2019, 09:48:23 AM

The companions have been great - which surprised me because (a) one of them is Bradley Walsh and (b) when they were introduced my immediate reaction was 'wow this is a bit.... on the nose'.

The doctor herself still fails to convince me she is 900 years old. Which was the same issue Tennant had for quite a while.

The scripts are fine, pre-2016 I probably would have thought they were a bit too preachy. But right now as basic societal norms such as 'don't be a fucking racist' continue to break down - maybe extra preachyness isn't such a bad thing.

I haven't finished the season but they definitely feel preachy to me. I think my issue is that it is extremely unsubtle. At least the ones I saw. I don't mind sci-fi making points like "Racism is bad" but having them help Rosa Parks was just super on the nose and as subtle as a hammer to the face. It almost feels like Chibnal saw all the Incels that got pissed about a female Doctor and decided his first season was going to go out of its way to piss off Right Wingers and drive them away. Which, ya know, if you go by Youtube videos and comments sections he's succeeding at. But I really want to see more Doctor doing wacky Doctor stuff that isn't so blatantly message based.

That out of the way, I love all the actors this season. I like all 3 companions. I like Jodi Whittaker's Doctor but I fear she is going to suffer the same fate as Peter Capaldi. He was a great Doctor that was let down by subpar scripts. I like her enough I've added Broadchurch to my list of shows to check out soon(ish).

"We live in a country, where John Lennon takes six bullets in the chest, Yoko Ono was standing right next to him and not one fucking bullet! Explain that to me! Explain that to me, God! Explain it to me, God!" - Denis Leary summing up my feelings about the nature of the universe.
Khaldun
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Reply #2261 on: January 11, 2019, 02:51:57 PM

I did not like the Rosa Parks one and I was annoyed by the people who loved it. But the India-Pakistan partition one, by contrast, works really well.

Yaz didn't get very much attention this season otherwise, but I can see some ways to develop her further. Graham is just fucking great--Bradley Walsh is SO surprising in this role, and I think almost all of it is how he's playing it. He managed to make the "I didn't kill my enemy" trope, so utterly standard in this sort of story, quite convincing and soulful--and he's sort of established himself as in some ways a wiser and older soul than the Doctor, which is a nice shift in the Tardis and I think pretty much unprecedented. (I know I've been saying for years that this is what the Doctor actually needs--an older person who is working out a really different set of issues than the usual ones that the younger Companions bring.) 

Whitaker is fine, but she definitely needs a bit more gravitas, some more dramatically meaty stuff to work with, at least a little bit of a character arc. I almost am afraid that she's being written into the same hole that Janeway was on ST: Voyager, though Voyager was overall a terrible show in every imaginable way. But in this case, what that meant was that in the first two seasons of Voyager particularly, Janeway was written as making some absolutely terrible decisions that had very negative consequences, and yet the show never really acted as if those had been bad decisions and Janeway never got written as having the kind of inner life and conviction that would allow her to grapple with the decisions having been a mistake. Contrast to Kirk, who despite being the prototypical man of action, nevertheless worries fairly often that he's made a bad decision (or is forced to confront the consequences of a mistake that the show acknowledges was a mistake). Picard on a number of occasions mulls over whether he's made a mistake--and of course is unwillingly compelled to do horrible things that he is deeply regretful about. In the context of Doctor Who, think about Capaldi's mulling over, "Am I a good man?", which wasn't bad at least when it was not so Moffaty. Think about Tennant's Doctor on Mars or in a number of other episodes where regret and error were acknowledged; Smith's entire arc is full of it, and of course Eccleston's Doctor is full of grief about his deeds.

I worry that male writers who are bringing a female protagonist into a previously male-centered show feel a need to overcompensate so that they aren't undercutting the heroism of the protagonist, partly because male writers tend to think of the kinds of mistakes that women can make in ways that are actually kind of sexist--very few men can write women who have internal conflicts or regrets in a convincing way. But the overcompensation is just as bad--it makes the character appear to have no inner life or texture, no complex humanity. That's key to the success of nuWho; the Doctor stopped being a more plot-mechanical figure and started having something resembling an actual inner life and dramatic arc. (Tom Baker pulled that off a bit; Sylvester McCoy was trying to do it a bit near the end of old Who.)  So they've got to find a way for Whitaker's Doctor to know what her weaknesses as well as strengths are; to have regrets; to have aspirations or goals. She's had a number of episodes this season where she's done something kind of dumb and she's not really owned it; she's not really talked all that much about what she's doing or what she wants.
slog
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Reply #2262 on: January 14, 2019, 11:31:07 AM



I worry that male writers who are bringing a female protagonist into a previously male-centered show feel a need to overcompensate so that they aren't undercutting the heroism of the protagonist,

This is what my wife thinks as well.

"Die of flaming ass cancer you schmuck. No really, die."

.
Khaldun
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Reply #2263 on: January 02, 2020, 08:09:37 PM

Well, they apparently understood and wanted to respond to the criticism that the new Doctor got nothing but minor enemies that she could mostly be really nice to. I hope she shows a touch of the anger and gravitas that the other nuWho incarnations could muster at times.

Not entirely sure how I feel about that episode yet. Will wait to see how it resolves next week.
 
Khaldun
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Reply #2264 on: January 08, 2020, 03:51:07 PM

Well, hm.

I am hoping there's something more complicated going on re: Gallifrey than it seems, but...ok, this strikes me as a good attempt to give Thirteen some more emotional and narrative complexity. There's an interesting implication that she doesn't feel as connected to her past lives as some previous Doctors did--I hope they do something interesting with that. And I like that they decided to drive a slight wedge between the Doctor and her companions over the fact that she's disclosed almost nothing about who she is. None of the Doctors have been aggressively forthcoming about their pasts, but none of them except maybe Two have been as chummy and familial with their companions either--it's markedly odd to have a "fam" where three of the people in it are known pretty intimately to one another but where the ostensible parent-in-charge never ever talks about their past at all.

I also wouldn't mind some work to explain
slog
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Reply #2265 on: January 11, 2020, 05:57:28 PM

I gave up on the last season halfway though the witch episode.  Is this season any better?

"Die of flaming ass cancer you schmuck. No really, die."

.
Reg
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Reply #2266 on: January 11, 2020, 06:15:11 PM

I just plain don't like the new doctor. I'll just wait for her to be over and pick the show up again then.
Khaldun
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Reply #2267 on: January 13, 2020, 09:45:42 PM

This season is trying to fix at least one thing that even people who like the new Doctor and the *idea* of the new Doctor didn't like.

We will see.

I think there's an interesting problem here of male writers so scared of writing a female replacement for a male protagonist that they talk themselves out of writing good stories. It could be simpler: maybe Chibnall just isn't very good. Could be both. I'm sure the actor playing the Doctor can do better because she has in the past. But they seem to know that they have the problem that they had for last season.
01101010
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Reply #2268 on: January 14, 2020, 05:22:15 AM

I just plain don't like the new doctor. I'll just wait for her to be over and pick the show up again then.

I kinda lost this show once it fell out of my streaming services realm early in the Capaldi reign. How long has Whittaker been the doctor? I only ask because every transition I have disliked the doctor for the first season starting with Tennant. Really couldn't stand Smith for the majority of his first season, but grew into him. Capaldi I liked the concept of the older doctor like back in the original days, but some of the stuff was just stupid (sonic sunglasses? wtf?) and made me dislike the show (not so much the Doctor).

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Reg
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Reply #2269 on: January 14, 2020, 07:26:43 AM

This is her second season, I think. I watched about half of first season and there's honestly nothing that holds my attention. Even the companions leave me cold.
01101010
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Reply #2270 on: January 14, 2020, 07:40:32 AM

This is her second season, I think. I watched about half of first season and there's honestly nothing that holds my attention. Even the companions leave me cold.

That's fair. I survived the first couple of episodes of Capaldi because of Clara, even though I didn't really like her character (but the actress was lovely). Matt Smith was rough because you had all new companions to get used to, but they all seemed to mesh well as a unit after working out the kinks for the first few episodes. Rose was a nice bridge for Tennant who then allowed me to continue to watch when Martha took over even though I couldn't stand her. I'll wait till I restart the Capaldi episodes and then the first season of Whittaker and see how I feel.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
Reg
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Reply #2271 on: January 14, 2020, 09:03:47 AM

I had a little trouble adjusting to Capaldi having never experienced an old Doctor but after a few episodes he grew on me.
Khaldun
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Reply #2272 on: January 14, 2020, 09:06:10 AM

This is Whitaker's second season.

Her companions are interesting. There's been attempt to make them more of a surrogate family and less of the one-to-one dynamic of nuWho companions, which has had difficulty getting out of the romantic rut that settled in after Rose. But one structural problem that entails is that it's been difficult for them to establish story arcs for all three companions--two of them have fared pretty well, one not so much. The big surprise is Bradley Walsh's character--he's kind of jerk in real life, but his character on the show is rather soulful. He's a type of character I've wished would be a companion--an older person who has experienced a lot, who provides a kind of mirroring for the Doctor.

The basic problem with her first season is that they decided to do all one-and-done episodes with no returning antagonists. I get the impulse--they wanted to get away from the puzzle-box Moffat plots and the overamplified 'the universe is ending' stories, to minimize the timey-wimey stuff, and to leave behind the characterization of the Doctor as a lonely god-wanderer. But Whitaker's strengths as an actor include playing some pretty serious and melancholy characters, so making her play a perky, upbeat, big-sister Doctor whose adventures are mostly small stakes and who has almost no ties to her complicated and interesting past made it hard to care much about the show--it meant every single episode had to be utterly compelling storytelling all by itself, and most of them just weren't. There were a couple of really striking one-and-done episodes in the first season, but more that were just sort of meh where watching felt like a chore.

So they've clearly set out to correct this in several ways: they've brought back an old antagonist in a fairly surprising way, have brought back Gallifrey in a startling (maybe) way, have introduced a season-long arc, have had the companions suddenly needing to know more about the Doctor's past after a season of being completely incurious about it, and seem to be working towards giving Whitaker some more room to do things with the character besides being upbeat, friendly and quirky.

-----------------

I think Capaldi is maybe the best actor to play the Doctor in nuWho or classic, and he brought a fantastic range of humor, anger, and melancholy to the role. I just wish he'd had better scripts--if he had, I think his run would be the gold standard for the future. Unfortunately it just isn't because of what he had to work with, and maybe also because he had the worst companion of nuWho to work off of.
Surlyboi
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Reply #2273 on: January 26, 2020, 08:11:53 PM

This episode was amazing.

Iím thinking alternate universes like the Timelords used to be able to traverse at will.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
Khaldun
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Reply #2274 on: March 11, 2020, 09:45:42 AM

Alternate universes seem pretty confirmed in their importance now after the finale. Lots to think about at this point, though the writing still is kind of weird and slipshod at times.

I've always liked the idea that the Doctor went on the run out of a profound disagreement with Time Lord society; this adds a completely new element to that idea.
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