The Doctor Who 2014/15 Thread

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Post by Hound » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:26 am

Can't wait for the Christmas Special. I've missed River Song...

So we can expect to see Coleman and Williams in cameos from now on then? Shame, I was looking forward to Clara not returning. I do hope the next companion is better.

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Post by Sades » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:27 am

Screwdriver, eh. I liked the glasses.

I was entertained. Good to see Arya's not stuck watching stars die, though I wonder what happened to that dude who got the other chip. And where did those chips come from? I honestly don't remember. I assume there were more than two made. The implications of that is gonna bother me, because it probably won't get cleared up.

Liked Clara in this one.

EDIT: My beloved has pointed out that the chip came from those rascally aliens that attacked Ashildr's village. Why is there only Me left at the end of time, then? Did everyone else get killed somehow? Did that chip make those aliens immortal, too or is that just what it does to humans? MY BRAIN NEEDS TO KNOW.

Or not. Meh.
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Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:04 am

I read the Me Chip as the Doctor tinkering with alien tech and getting the settings wrong. Or something. I'd have to rewatch the ep in question, 'cos I can't really remember, but I don't recall the Mire being described as immortal. Unless its one of those things where using alien tech has unintended consequences.

In other news, I really enjoyed the finale. Although there was the usual Moffat problem of throwing in some big show off stuff for no reason (Spaceships and deserts... why, its almost Star Wars), I like that The Doctor worked around Clara's death by not quite saving her and dealing with her thrill seeker-tendencies and Me's amorality by giving them a TARDIS and having Clara having to have responsibility for someone equally reckless in her own way. That was smart. Arguably, a bit late in the day, but better late than never. Presumably the hope is that Clara might find some way to save herself on her travels. Maybe. Not sure The Doctor actually wiped his own memories, if he did, fair enough, but I liked that this point seemed a little bit ambiguous (at least it did to me), and I wondered if the nebulizer was actually giving Clara knowledge of how to fly a TARDIS. Something that I don't think she knew how to do. As was the slippery way the 'Hybrid' prophecy was dealt with - and I liked that The Doctor kept dismissing such fanciful faff for the cobblers that it was. Which also sent up one of the constant cliches of sci-fi fantasy of destiny and whatnot. Along with quests, its one the tropes I don't care for, so to have it debunked was good. Much better than the disappointing resolution to the Trenzalore thing.

Other thingy things; some nice playfulness with the Doctor's backstory again - "I'm keeping those things in case the boys come back" (lovely muscial sting using the old radiophonic Doctor music here) which could be read any which way, but indicated that the Doctor may have a brother/ other family out there (put please God, don't make some unimaginative wonk make it The Master). The army fella regenerating into a lady was interesting as - although I may be wrong - I thought Regeneration was a talent of the Timelords, not the rank and file of Gallifrey - unless of course this all got relaxed during the Time War. The comment about ego didn't seem to fit that character, unless she was speaking more generally, as her previous incarnation didn't seem terribly egotistical.

And just what were do the Sisterhood Of Karn actually do? Just turn up and spout doom-mongering exposition? and/ or needlessly stir things up? They seem more like a bunch of bitchy teenagers than anything useful. They were utterly pointless here and whilst I don't mind them, if they're to show up again, they definitely need to have something more meaty and interesting to do. Apart from standing on rocks, staring into the middle distance.

Christmas special looks fun - Greg Davies! Hooray!

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Post by inflatable dalek » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:11 pm

Hmm.

There was really no plot at all to this one, basically being "Doctor goes back to Gallifrey...then buggers off again". Very slight for a longer than usual episode.

But, there were lots of nice moments, pretty much every scene worked in isolation even if they didn't really add up to anything like a narrative.

Two main flaws:

The new Rassilon was awful. I know paying Timmy Dalton's fee (which presumably would have included a foreign location shoot as well, it looked like Gallifrey and Nevada were both in Spain and done alongside the "New Mexico" stuff from the Zygon story) for such a brief role wouldn't be practical but could they really get no one better?

And what made him regenerate on post war Gallifrey anyway (more the new Borusa than the new Rassilon)? And why'd he give up on his become a cloud (or whatever it was) plan?

@Skyquake: The TV series has never said anything on which Gallifrayans can and can't regenerate. Don't forget it was only as recently as Listen it was established on screen that the entire species aren't classed as Time Lords (oh, and the barn was not only on Gallifrey after all, it was within walking distance of the capitol. They really didn't look very hard for him in Day did they?).

The big one of course is Clara. You could have had the Big Big Big dramatic and drawn out death scene in Face the Raven. You could have had the Big Big Big dramatic and drawn out (it carries on after one of the people saying goodbye has lost their memories of the other!) goodbye scene here. You can't have both happening to the same character in the same season just two episodes apart. It sullied that gorgeous set recreation (which impressively only used the console from An Adventure in Time and Space, everything else was built for this).

Overall... not a great season. After Capaldi's arrival gave the thing a shot in the arm this year felt like the last Matt Smith run, just sort of listless. The time slot and promotion has worked against the ratings, but frankly its done about as well as it deserved and a break might just be what the show needs, the problem is that whatever they're planning next year (specials? Delaying till spring 2017? I can't see anything going out in the Autumn again after this) it looks like the Moff will still in charge of the next full season and I do think we need fresh blood there.
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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:17 pm

inflatable dalek wrote:And what made him regenerate on post war Gallifrey anyway
Old-age maybe, given we're close to the end of the universe and however many billions of years have elapsed.

As much as I enjoyed the episode, it's not a good sign when the absolute very best thing in it is them breaking out an old set design.

Hoping that whatever we get going forward will have a bit more focus on story and a bit less focus on "OMG how amazing is this companion, aren't they just the most important special person in the whole of history" because that got a bit stale before Rose had even ****ed off.

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Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:58 pm

inflatable dalek wrote:@Skyquake: The TV series has never said anything on which Gallifrayans can and can't regenerate. Don't forget it was only as recently as Listen it was established on screen that the entire species aren't classed as Time Lords (oh, and the barn was not only on Gallifrey after all, it was within walking distance of the capitol. They really didn't look very hard for him in Day did they?).

Thank you for that :swirly: I just thought from whichever Tom Baker episode there was that the Time Lords in their silly hats and capes had discovered all the tinkering with time stuffs in their big citadel. And given the rest of the planet seems quite desert-y and the people outside the citadel living more a more frugal existence, there was some distinction already between the peoples of Gallifrey, although its never been explicitly stated.

I thought overall this was a better season than 8. Its not had any major stand out episodes though, which I think makes the difference. I do think Moffat has used up a lot of his good ideas (not surprising - telly and DW in particular burns through ideas very quickly), which perhaps explains why there's been a reliance on framing storylines around pieces of old dialogue this year. I do think the BBC have fumbled the ball on the promotion front though, perhaps feeling that they don't need to do much to promote the show. Although perhaps with so many lined up to pillory and question the BBC's publicly funded status, perhaps they didn't want to make too much fuss for fear of upsetting the Rupert Murdoch's of this world, who knows...?

Lord President Rassilon being banished is a fair point - if he wasn't wearing the glove, I wouldn't have known him from Adam. Again, he's a character introduced to us again like we should know who he is...and we don't really (in the new run anyway). Surely with the defeat of the Daleks, the ruling council would have been replaced for their daft cloud idea? Or maybe they were all forced to regenerate or something...? It did seem daft to banish him if the Doctor was just going to sod off again (do like that he becomes President when he does this, though!). The Doctor ending up on Gallifrey didn't surprise me that much - I couldn't really think where else the confession dial would have lead him.

I think some Specials and break for a bit would be good :) I'd agree with Brendocon that we really need to be focusing on the story a bit more . Moffat frequently has great little ideas for scenes and show-off bits, but the structure's not there to bring all these elements together. Quite often, the trailers look more interesting than the episodes as a result. Or give me a better expectation of what's to come than I get. I suppose that's the same, thing. Just said differently. Its late. Shut up! And yes, next companion to be a real person and not a plot point. Poor Clara deserved much better.

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:03 pm

Ref the barn in this episode - is it definitely the barn from "the moment" stuff in Day of the Doctor, or is it the barn from Listen? Because I was assuming it was the latter.

Unless the barn from Listen meant to be the same as the one from Day?

Because I just assumed the one last season was on a different planet from the whole "being able to travel to it when it's still meant to be timelocked" thing. Because either way my head hurts.

Or are we just expected to not look directly at the plot on this stuff?

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Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:13 pm

I think its the Barn from 'Listen' . I can tell this because it has a ladder.

Although wasn't the moment sitting a bit higher up at one point in Day? Maybe its the same barn...but from a different angle.

Mmm. Barns. So full of hay. And planet destroying gizmos.

I'm less bothered about the barn and more about where the rest of the farm is and exactly what you farm on a planet that is mostly desert? Do they have goats? Are Water-Aid or some Gallifrayen version of Oxfam helping out? Or is that why the Citadel is in a glass bottle - some time thing went wrong and made most of the planet uninhabitable unless you dress like a Spaniard?

Also : that looked suspiciously like tinned soup to me. How did they cook the soup? Or was it Gazpacho?

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:17 pm

Maybe every few decades Rassilon regenerates into Bob Geldof and they have a big concert (explaining why the Doctor's so good on recorder and guitar, as all Gallifreyans have to know an instrument) to raise money and the other planets send them tinned food.

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Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:25 pm

Oh! Like at Harvest festival in Primary School where we all had to bring in tinned food in case there was nuclear armageddon in an old folks home or something?

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:27 pm

Yeah, Gallifrey is like a galactic retirement home.

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Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:43 pm

...it certainly looks like one on the evidence of Saturday's episode...loads of dotty old folk wandering about the place, worrying the young folk are going to come for them and spoil their game of space bingo.

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Post by Heinrad » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:02 am

If I remember The Invasion of Time correctly, the only real difference between the Time Lords in the Capitol and the savage-ish 'tribes' out in the great outdoors(if you're into desert vistas) is the fact that the ones outside have given up on Gallifreyian society and dropped out.

The question is, can the outsiders regenerate? It would make sense that they could, because Gallifreyians presumably all share the same genetic make up.

Although now they they've introduced the gender-swap regeneration concept..... I still don't know if that actually works. Chromosomal overhaul seems a bit much. For the Master, it kind of makes sense. He spent so long trying to extend his life, coupled with getting reduced to sludge, and reconstituted/repaired to fight in the Time War, gender switching isn't that big a surprise. But having it happen to the general seemed a bit forced.
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Post by Hound » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:39 am

inflatable dalek wrote:Overall... not a great season.
I disagree. At least in part. I quite enjoyed this season. It was certainly better than the last two. It wasn't up to the level that RTD Who managed but there have been much worse than this one. I do agree that it's about time that Moff stepped down though. He's had a decent run but another season is going to be pushing it I think.

Has there been anything official said that there won't be a next season or that it will be starting at a different time of year or is that just speculation?

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Post by inflatable dalek » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:40 am

Brendocon 2.0 wrote:Old-age maybe, given we're close to the end of the universe and however many billions of years have elapsed.
Of course, I was forgetting the last time we saw Rassilon he and the Master were firing death rays from their hands at one another. Looks like they both took a bad hit (though the Master got by far the better deal out of the resultant regeneration).

You wouldn't think a moment like that would slip the mind would you?
As much as I enjoyed the episode, it's not a good sign when the absolute very best thing in it is them breaking out an old set design.
And I've still seen people moan that it wasn't an exact replica of the 60's console room. Despite the design being all over the place (it's only really when the wooden console room gets introduced a trend starts for it to be basically the same each story bar major redesigns. During the 60's especially a lot would depend on how large the other sets needed to be that week) and the fact that this would mean one of the walls would have be a photographic blow up on a paracetamol pack.

Skyquake87 wrote:Thank you for that :swirly: I just thought from whichever Tom Baker episode there was that the Time Lords in their silly hats and capes had discovered all the tinkering with time stuffs in their big citadel. And given the rest of the planet seems quite desert-y and the people outside the citadel living more a more frugal existence, there was some distinction already between the peoples of Gallifrey, although its never been explicitly stated.
We've seen bits and bobs outside the capitol but the actual ins and outs of Time Lord biology and society has always been pretty much vague outside of "The government is structured like a British university".
Lord President Rassilon being banished is a fair point - if he wasn't wearing the glove, I wouldn't have known him from Adam. Again, he's a character introduced to us again like we should know who he is...and we don't really (in the new run anyway). Surely with the defeat of the Daleks, the ruling council would have been replaced for their daft cloud idea? Or maybe they were all forced to regenerate or something...? It did seem daft to banish him if the Doctor was just going to sod off again (do like that he becomes President when he does this, though!).


Yeah, it was very inward looking wasn't it? God help anyone who didn't recognise the name who would have been left baffled as to if this was an important recurring character who had massive history with the Doctor. At least the General had only been in the show two years ago and was still played by the same actor. As you say, all that stuff could have been covered by a "And of course we offed the High Council" line. But it filled five minutes I suppose.

It does feel like Rassilon and the deposed council might be set up for a future story though, after all, where are they going to go? It's the end of the Universe and at best they have Kasterberous (based on the non-time travelling Sisterhood of Karn turning up the entire constellation got time locked/frozen/moved rather than just Gallifrey. That means the Doctor was literally right outside his own planet when he visited them at the start of the season) and maybe a few mangey systems to go to.

And the Sisterhood of all people should know better than to let a mad deposed Time Lord President go off by himself after Morbius.

It was also odd that the show expected viewers to remember Rassilon had a death gauntlet (if you didn't he must have looked like he was about to go "I 'ate you Butler!" whilst shaking his fist) but not to remember this is the third time the new series has visited the end of the Universe and it's actually quite a crowded place. It's lucky Me got the right 12th Doctor and Clara, it would have been awkward if she'd turned up knocking when they were rescuing Danny Pink's future descendent in the same place last season.

Actually, did I miss how Me knew all the stuff that happened on Gallifrey?
I think some Specials and break for a bit would be good :) I'd agree with Brendocon that we really need to be focusing on the story a bit more . Moffat frequently has great little ideas for scenes and show-off bits, but the structure's not there to bring all these elements together. Quite often, the trailers look more interesting than the episodes as a result. Or give me a better expectation of what's to come than I get. I suppose that's the same, thing. Just said differently. Its late. Shut up! And yes, next companion to be a real person and not a plot point. Poor Clara deserved much better.
Yeah, I've no problem with the companion being important within the context of the show (it only has two leads, they both should matter pretty much equally), but there's no need to hammer us over the head with it repeatedly.

I think the only real shame with the idea of specials is that they'd almost certainly end with Capaldi going so that the next regular season could have a big selling point of "Hey, look: New Doctor!", and I'd like him to get at least the three regular years.
Brendocon 2.0 wrote:Ref the barn in this episode - is it definitely the barn from "the moment" stuff in Day of the Doctor, or is it the barn from Listen? Because I was assuming it was the latter.

Unless the barn from Listen meant to be the same as the one from Day?
The barn in all three episodes is indeed the same place, there's actually a flashback to Day of the Doctor in Listen to make the point (Clara says something to Young Billy Hartnell along the lines of "One day you'll come back here and you'll have a cool gravely voice and a nice jacket" before it cuts to John Hurt outside the place).

It obviously wasn't originally intended to be on Gallifrey though, the sky isn't orange in Day.

Maybe it's really a poorly disguised Tardis that moves about? Hence the barn in a daft place for a barn.

Heinrad wrote:
Although now they they've introduced the gender-swap regeneration concept..... I still don't know if that actually works. Chromosomal overhaul seems a bit much. For the Master, it kind of makes sense. He spent so long trying to extend his life, coupled with getting reduced to sludge, and reconstituted/repaired to fight in the Time War, gender switching isn't that big a surprise. But having it happen to the general seemed a bit forced.
Time Lords are like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, simple!

I loved the general's regeneration though. Partly because it was done lying down like a proper one and partly because it was such glorious trolling of certain aspects of fandom. Black and a woman and done on camera leaving no ambiguity or wriggle room that the Master's was in some way a one-off.

And important to, I don't know if we'll ever have a woman Doctor (it feels like race change is much more likely to me), but it does more firmly lay the groundwork for it by having it having to a stable personality rather than a ****ing look like the Master.

Oh, and speaking of fan trolling, do we take running off with "The President's Daughter" as a throwaway secret origin for Susan?
Hound wrote: official said that there won't be a next season or that it will be starting at a different time of year or is that just speculation?
There is a certain amount of tea leave reading in this, but Sherlock won't finish filming until after the point Who started shooting this year. And that created a run that only ended just before Christmas. Unless they film both shows at once (which I think would pretty much break Moff) there's no way they could get 12 episodes out before the end of the year.

Apparently (though I've not seen the interviews myself) the Moff has also talked about how he wrote the Christmas special on the assumption it would be his Last Ever Doctor Who script before his successor took over. In the grand JNT style he was "Persuaded to stay" (and to be fair, there's no obvious replacement amongst the crop of other writers, especially with his right hand man Gattis not wanting it, they're going to have to think outside the box there), but there's certainly a lack of forward planning that would make getting a season ready for the same time next year seem unlikely.

Or at least not a good season anyway.
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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:21 am

inflatable dalek wrote:And I've still seen people moan that it wasn't an exact replica of the 60's console room.
Well no, for starters it didn't have a doddery old racist wandering about ignoring the script.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:43 am

Oh, and speaking of oddly inward looking moments... did the whole Impossible Astronaut callback with the diner strike anyone else as just being a bit odd? It's like Moff's whole starting point was "How can we get Jenna into a waitress outfit?", and he worked sideways from there.
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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:50 am

I think it worked in the context of the scene.

I'd like to think the scene was written to be in some form of generic cafe/diner/whatever in the middle of nowhere, and the Amy/Rory reference was thrown in there after they realised the set designers had dusted off the one from the Impossible Astronaut.

The thing I didn't quite get was how the Doctor didn't know where his TARDIS was, but knew it had been moved from London despite the fact he'd just been dropped off in TheMiddleOfNowheresville USA.

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Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:50 pm

...that's why I thought he might be fibbing about his memory loss...

I didn't mind the Astronaut call-back, as that was a bit of referencing that worked and didn't feel terribly navel-gazey to me.

I like your idea about Susan, Dalek. That line of dialogue totally sailed past me.

One thing I have really really enjoyed about this season is that it the attempts to weave a few ongoing narratives and themes have really worked here. Whereas stuff like the Silence and Trenzalore and Bad Wolf and whatnot have all fallen really, really flat, all the stuff here has gelled really well and made for a very cohesive whole. I think Moffat was right to bring back two-parters to help with this. See, this stuff works when you don't make such a bloody big deal about it. Suggestions for next time: No 'ooh The Doctor's going to die' (no he's not) and no bloody prophecies.

Maybe have some of the Big Finish writers do some telly stuff...?

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:04 pm

Yeah, this would have been a lot more annoying if every single episode had the Doctor throwing the confession dial in the air before catching it and exclaiming "hybrid!".

Almost as if less is more.

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