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I liked quite a few parts of this one. The Trump villain is pretty hammy and fun, and I like that he keeps getting away with things after failing up so spectacularly. The Daleks as security drones was sooo dumb but the scenes of them starting to take over England reminded me of RTD high stakes episodes which was silly but fun.

 

Ryan’s goodbye did nothing for me, but I teared up a bit when Graham did his little speech. He was a good companion. Didn’t care much for Angel Grace in the last scene but it was a sweet idea.

 

Captain Jack was surprisingly good in this! He was a bit jarring in his brief appearance last season but settled in nicely in this ep. A great scene with him and Yaz.


Something that pisses me off: the squid creatures ARE DALEKS. Not the armour. I wish they’d stop saying silly things like “the creatures that live inside Daleks”. Also why doesn’t earth recognise them again? I know there’s been some retcons but it’s so hard to keep track.

 

As for the bad... well you guys have already covered it. The show under Chibs doesn’t know what it wants to be. At times it wants to be as broad as RTD’s, but also wants the quiet gravitas of Chib’s own Broadchurch. As a result it frequently ends up in Torchwood territory: hammy as hell but trying to be serious and grown up. Jodie’s still good but after two years her portrayal still feels more like a retread of Tennant than anything new.

 

Look, I’ll be fine if the show stays like this for a bit longer as long as the ratings are good enough not to kill it off. I’m a lifelong fan, I know how uneven the show can be for years at a time, and I know that I’ll probably love it again at some point in the future. It just has to stay alive for that to happen.

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I think it’s telling that the Series 12 soundtrack has been announced and there’s no buzz for it on any film music forums.   With recent revelations that the show is at its lowest interest l

Recently rewatched Smith/Moffat's first season and really, honestly just can't get over how much fun it is. I loved it at the time, but now it just hurts to see how much the show has dipped in quality

New series trailer. Judoon! What might be a Racnoss! Cybermen! Lenny Henry! Stephen Fry! 

Wow was that another train wreck of an episode. So let me get this straight. The Doc is in space prison for 19 years yet we have to see the humans whine that they were left for 10 months the entire episode and the Doc was sorry about that? 

 

Then contrivance after contrivance. Oh let's contact the really militant daleks to take out these new mutated daleks. And to get rid of them I have this nifty back up tardis ready to go. 

 

Then the final 20 minutes was trying to milk the companions dry and trying to make us care about them. Ugh

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I’ve thought about it a lot since I first saw it and you’re right, they were trying to give the companions an emotional farewell that wasn’t earned. Considering the Doctor had her one and only heart to heart with Ryan in the same episode he leaves. Do the writers really think they’ve done the legwork to get a Davies-era exit episode? No way. Then they shortchange Graham who has been the most compelling of these poorest of companions, making him decide to leave with a shrug. He should have been the focal point - maybe put him in mortal danger for once and let him decide being with the Doc isn’t what he wants after all. Oh and that friggin bike scene. There should have been a title card that read “1 month later, Graham and Ryan come full circle”. Really bad stuff that doesn’t particularly show growth for either of them.

 

Whilst it was nice seeing Captain Jack back, he felt like a hollow version of his once-great character. Telling everyone he’s immortal instead of showing them. I figured Jack would spring the Doctor from prison, but for it to all happen only 10 minutes in, when the prison setting had been a focal point of the whole advertising campaign. Also, why can’t this Doctor do anything for herself! We’ve seen Twelve in a prisoner scenario but he didn’t just sit around. I’d have preferred for Jack to have tried and failed, only for the Doctor to come up with an alternative. And geez Chibnall, spring for some Judoon to actually be guarding the Judoon prison ship! The Doctor’s imprisonment is left totally unresolved.

 

The one positive I took from the episode was that finally we were left with just Yaz and the Doctor, finally back to the Doctor-Companion dynamic that we know works. But no, surprise! A new companion is joining them in the next series. And it’s a middle aged white man! That’ll show all the middle aged white men who can’t stand the Doctor being a woman, we’ll include them along for the ride because we certainly can’t have an all female Tardis crew. If they were going to go that route I’d have preferred Jack hang around as a hop-on, hop-off companion like he was during the RTD era.

 

My final beef is with the music. I listened to the Revolution of the Daleks album and found the same old plinking and plonking that has now run through 2 series. There are moments that try to shine through but they are so thin and melodically simple that they just don’t resonate. I gave Segun Akinola a series to find his feet, then sat up when he pulled out some great Bondian cues in Spyfall. But ultimately I fell in a heap as the rest of series 12 happened and the endless percussive loops beat me senseless. There must be a raft of brilliant composers in Britain who could put proper heart and soul back into Doctor Who. I eagerly await Murray Gold’s series 10 album, the culmination of his genius on the show.

 

I have watched every Chibnall episode so far, desperately wanting to love it. I think Jodie Whittaker is a brilliant actress being utterly wasted in this role. I am so disappointed that the creator of Broadchurch, with its dedication to compelling characters, hasn’t managed to transfer that to Doctor Who - a show that has thrived on its compendium of interesting characters.

 

The question is how much longer do I keep watching, hoping for the best?

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I was annoyed that there was only some throwaway line as to why The Doctor was imprisoned. I wish her imprisonment had more of a connection to the plot and had at least some weight to it that made us, and her companions, care why she was gone. The episode should've focused on that instead of another half-arsed Dalek plot.

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The overnight viewing figure for the special was 4.69 million, BBC's most-watched prog on New Year's Day apparently. 

Yes, I know that once the figures for people watching on catch-up services are included the figure will probably be somewhere be between 6 - 7 million. That said ... the overnight doesn't seem like a GREAT audience for a time when the vast majority of the population would've been indoors on lockdown, or is it just me? Wasn't the Smith era managing double that overnight figure 10 years ago? 

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7 hours ago, MattyO said:

 

My final beef is with the music. I listened to the Revolution of the Daleks album and found the same old plinking and plonking that has now run through 2 series. There are moments that try to shine through but they are so thin and melodically simple that they just don’t resonate. I gave Segun Akinola a series to find his feet, then sat up when he pulled out some great Bondian cues in Spyfall. But ultimately I fell in a heap as the rest of series 12 happened and the endless percussive loops beat me senseless. There must be a raft of brilliant composers in Britain who could put proper heart and soul back into Doctor Who. I eagerly await Murray Gold’s series 10 album, the culmination of his genius on the show.

 

I've rather enjoyed Akinola's take, but it is a very different style, and not for everyone. I'm often in the mood for somehat abstract electronic music, plus, in what is probably a minority view, I was starting to tire very slightly of Gold's occasionally OTT full orchestra style. Very little of what he did for series 9 and 10 interested me, whereas the series 11 album felt like a bit of fresh air.

 

I actually would love a complete release of Rosa, of which I made rips before the album release.

 

RotD had good moments here and there - it may be that it doesn't fully warrant a complete score release, but that's hardly something to complain about.

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11 hours ago, stewdog1 said:

Wow was that another train wreck of an episode. So let me get this straight. The Doc is in space prison for 19 years yet we have to see the humans whine that they were left for 10 months the entire episode and the Doc was sorry about that? 

 

Then contrivance after contrivance. Oh let's contact the really militant daleks to take out these new mutated daleks. And to get rid of them I have this nifty back up tardis ready to go. 

 

Then the final 20 minutes was trying to milk the companions dry and trying to make us care about them. Ugh

Pretty much that... particularly the first part with the companions being intensely selfish that the Doctor had disappeared for 10 months when she'd been in prison for years. This just seems like poor writing as none of the characters had previously seemed that selfish. It would even have been good if one had been selfish and another had been "hang on, give her a break" type thing, but nothing.

 

Did the spare Tardis come from anywhere?! I mean, if there had been an explanation for it that made sense (plus for the Doctor being in prison) it would have been acceptable but it just turned into contrivance as you say. Having said that, the solution of the Daleks being lured to the Tardis was quite fun (a fairly RTD style way to end I thought).

 

Music was fine, but as I've said before, can you imagine filling the Royal Albert Hall with families coming to listen to any of this music like they did with Murray Gold's?! I really can't, fine enough though some of it is. Akinola's Dalek motif was a pretty basic duh-duh-duuuuuh type villain motif, rather than the apocalyptic chanting that Gold used. Almost reminds me of the difference between Ron Jones and Jerry Goldsmith's Borg motifs, where I think that's a (very!) rare occasion where someone scored similar material better. Jones' synth choir is really effective whereas Goldsmith's is more like Akinola's Dalek motif, albeit a bit more effectively sinister.

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Yes, Gold had a handful of great, recognizable, hummable themes, but that was back when the show was stronger and was still gaining momentum, peaking with Smith's era. I liked some of Akinola's brass of doom that souned like real brass.

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I can't stop thinking that a better episode would've been to have the companions rescue The Doctor, with Captain Jack and do something with all those monsters locked up in the prison. I was thinking it might've provided a good opportunity for each of the companions to think about what The Doctor means to them, and why they might want to leave. 

 

Also, they had The Master's TARDIS and wasted it! Bring back The Rani... or something!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

2 eps into Invasion Of The Dinosaurs ... pacy Pertwee funtimes, although I am somewhat surprised that the special feature that's on some Who DVDs to watch with updated CGI effects isn't on this one; as the contributors to the making-of docu make clear, the dinosaur effects were regarded as bad even back then.    

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On 2/1/2021 at 12:02 PM, Sweeping Strings said:

2 eps into Invasion Of The Dinosaurs ... pacy Pertwee funtimes, although I am somewhat surprised that the special feature that's on some Who DVDs to watch with updated CGI effects isn't on this one; as the contributors to the making-of docu make clear, the dinosaur effects were regarded as bad even back then.    

I've just watched a YouTube clip that has a 1974 SFX vs CGI, stegosaurs scene. I assumed it was from the updated Blu.

Even if it isn't, its worth checking out.

If any Classic Who is in dire need of updated SFX, it's INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS :lol:.

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From Invasion Of The Dinosaurs to Revenge Of The Cybermen, the final story of Tom Baker's debut series. I was amused to see the Cybermens' cohort using a certain Bond gadget and curious as to how it had ended up with the Beeb's props department. Hurrah for Wikipedia ... 

 'The secret radio transmitter disguised as a clothes brush, used by Kellman, is the same prop that appears in the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die. The prop was handed over by Bond star Roger Moore when he visited the BBC in 1973. He later told the Radio Times that the props master, not recognising Moore, had paid him two shillings and sixpence for the item: "I'd popped into the Beeb [BBC] for a cup of tea and spotted a notice about an upcoming "Doctor Who", so I thought the darlings would be so cash-strapped they'd need anything they could get their hands on. It wasn't MGM, after all. But I didn't expect to walk out with two and six!" ' 

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  • 3 months later...

To mark the 25th anniversary of Jon Pertwee's passing, a radio docu on his life and career from 2019 (presented by son Sean) was broadcast on Radio 4 Extra on Tuesday. A fine listen with many rare clips, worth catching on BBC Sounds if you can. 

And to mark the 20th anniversary of Delia Derbyshire's (the Who theme's original arranger) passing, there was a docudrama about her on BBC4 last Sunday night which is now on the iPlayer.   

And to mark another 25th anniversary (the premiere of the TV movie) I rewatched it last Sat night. Sure it's not all great, but that doesn't apply to McGann ... a fine incarnation of the good Doctor, who deserved at least one series for sure. 

 

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McGann's work on the audio stories with Big Finish are generally very good, especially his 4 series of the Eighth Doctor Adventures along with Sheridan Smith as his companion Lucy Miller.  Hopefully the BBC will give him something to do during the 2023 anniversary year, as his brief appearance in Night of the Doctor showed just how good he can be as the Doctor even with the briefest of time.

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4 hours ago, Sweeping Strings said:

To mark the 25th anniversary of Jon Pertwee's passing, a radio docu on his life and career from 2019 (presented by son Sean) was broadcast on Radio 4 Extra on Tuesday. A fine listen with many rare clips, worth catching on BBC Sounds if you can. 

And to mark the 20th anniversary of Delia Derbyshire's (the Who theme's original arranger) passing, there was a docudrama about her on BBC4 last Sunday night which is now on the iPlayer.   

And to mark another 25th anniversary (the premiere of the TV movie) I rewatched it last Sat night. Sure it's not all great, but that doesn't apply to McGann ... a fine incarnation of the good Doctor, who deserved at least one series for sure. 

 

BBC Radio 3 has also been playing a lot of Derbyshire compositions/

arrangements, this week, beginning with you-know-what.

I know of the Pertwee doc., but I've not heard it, yet.

McGann could have been a great Doctor, but he was hamstrung by a bloody awful pilot. 

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S' funny, but the things that the TV movie was criticised for (the increased budget lending it a certain unfamilar 'gloss', a faster pace, Doctor kissing his companion) were all hailed as positives when the show returned properly in the Noughties. 

The thing that really jars for me is the 'half-human' stuff (I understand that there's a Moffat-penned story that retcons it, though).    

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The half-human thing was a leftover from the original script, which essentially served as a reboot.  The Doctor was going to be half-human and searching for his Time Lord father named Ulysses.  Eventually they nixed the reboot idea, but I think starting with the seventh Doctor was a mistake. Moffat sort of addressed the half-human thing with the "hybrid" arc in Season 9, but honestly it really didn't confirm or deny anything IMO and seemed rather pointless in the end (especially with the Timeless Child revelation in Season 12).  

 

It should have started with 7 being rolled into the ER rather than the extended opening with a bunch of lore and backstory that could have been told in story rather than an info dump to start the story. McGann was terrific in the role, and if he had been given more time and more to do, perhaps we would have seen more of him.

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13 hours ago, Sweeping Strings said:

He has had (and continues to have) a long run in the Big Finish audio adventures, but it's a time-and-money investment of a size that I don't think I'm prepared to make. 

Money wise I think most of the 8th Doctor Adventures material is available free on Spotify

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Yeah, a lot of the early Big Finish stuff can be listened to on Spotify.  McGann has done many audios, but for a starter, I'd recommend the Eighth Doctor Adventures, which are basically his "seasons" complete with returning characters and season long plots.

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  • 2 weeks later...
9 hours ago, Docteur Qui said:

Recently rewatched Smith/Moffat's first season and really, honestly just can't get over how much fun it is. I loved it at the time, but now it just hurts to see how much the show has dipped in quality since. I know the Chibnall-bashing is flogging a dead horse but the difference is night and day.

 

What stuck with me wasn't the arc-centric episodes (which are very good), but how entertaining the monsters-of-the week are. Vampires of Venice is a delightful romp with a wonderful villain in the late Helen McCrory, jam-packed with fun and illuminating character beats from Amy, Rory and the Doctor. The Lodger makes me laugh out loud despite the broad humour sometimes falling flat - it's almost always made up for by Smith's earnest performance.

Victory of the Daleks, which I recall being very tepid on, just sings in comparison to something like Revolution of the Daleks (the blatant plot similarities notwithstanding).

 

Even the most expository scenes vibrate with energy and movement. To then watch something as anaemic, simplistic and procedural as Orphan-55 or Arachnids in the UK is such a drag.

 

As I said, flogging a dead horse, but man, remember when Doctor Who was fun? Or at least tried to be?

I relate very hard to this

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This isn't just Chibnall's fault, it's the new directive that the writers are completely new and inexperienced. Moffat at least called upon a stronger writing team right uo until the end.

 

We've had two seasons with Jodie's Doctor already and you wouldn't even know it. 

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Whittaker's second season is completely forgettable - I can barely remember anything beyond one or two episodes, and it's completely the fault of Chibnall and the writing team for uneventful stories with too much emphasis on sermons.

 

Her first season, while far from perfect, had many memorable episodes

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On 5/25/2021 at 8:04 AM, Naïve Old Fart said:

I watched DIMENSIONS IN TIME, yesterday.

Why? Why?????!!!!! :pat:


I also checked it out recently having never seen it before, erm ... YEAH. I'd previously thought my least favourite arrangement of the theme was the one for Colin Baker's second season, but the dance-remix version of McCoy's that was used on this ... YIKES. I'd say Tom, Sylvester and Sophie emerged with at least some dignity by not having to appear in EastEnders, but the rest of them ... well, let's just say it's as well it was for charidee. 

@Docteur Qui, couldn't agree more about the 'zip' in the show during the Smith (and Tennant) years compared to now, and also about the 'clean slate' approach Chibnall took with the writers ... I'd have the likes of Mark Gatiss, Toby Whithouse and Jamie Matheson back on the writing team in a (double) heartbeat.   

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22 hours ago, Arpy said:

This isn't just Chibnall's fault, it's the new directive that the writers are completely new and inexperienced. Moffat at least called upon a stronger writing team right uo until the end.

 

We've had two seasons with Jodie's Doctor already and you wouldn't even know it. 

 

Nah, I place the blame squarely on Chibnall. As head writer, executive producer and showrunner the buck stops with him. Just take a look at the writing credits for both of his seasons, out of a total of 22 episodes his name is on 15 of them. Unsurprisingly, the strongest episodes from either season are ones he didn't write or co-write (speaking of which, if RTD or Moffat are to go by, "co-write" is code for "complete rewrite"):

 

Demons of the Punjab

It Takes You Away

Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror

The Haunting of Villa Diodati

 

None of those is perfect, but they're much better than the episodes around them. The last one is probably the only one in which the Doctor seems to act like the Doctor. Maxine Alderton, its writer, seems to have been promoted next season so that's at least a good sign. 

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7 hours ago, Docteur Qui said:

Nah, I place the blame squarely on Chibnall. As head writer, executive producer and showrunner the buck stops with him. Just take a look at the writing credits for both of his seasons, out of a total of 22 episodes his name is on 15 of them. Unsurprisingly, the strongest episodes from either season are ones he didn't write or co-write (speaking of which, if RTD or Moffat are to go by, "co-write" is code for "complete rewrite"):

 

Chibnall's Who scripts have never been highlights. He did great things with the first two seasons of Broadchurch, so I figured he might fare better if he handled the whole show himself and could do more character based long form stuff - but somehow none of that translated to Who.

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I'd prefer someone like Jamie Mathieson to take over honestly. Three of his four Who scripts have been terrific IMO and his movie FAQs About Time Travel was a nice and inventive take on the genre.  He definitely gets science fiction and his scripts are always fun, which is something the show needs after Chibnall making things so dour.  

 

I like what Chibnall has done, but there needs to be more mass appeal for the show for sure at this point and a more light-hearted approach is probably definitely needed at this point.

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2 hours ago, Goldfinger said:

I like what Chibnall has done, but there needs to be more mass appeal for the show for sure at this point and a more light-hearted approach is probably definitely needed at this point.

 

Funny, because I feel Chibnall's approach is too mass-appealish (family TV-ish with no strong season arc) and light-hearted (no serious drama or dark sides to the characters) compared to RTD and Moffat.

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Yeah I never thought I'd say this but I even miss the frequent sexual innuendo that Moffat and (to a lesser extent) RTD injected into the scripts. As cringy as it could be sometimes at least it was a nod to the fact that a good chunk of the audience are actual adults.

 

The postulating of the current run is almost unbearable, as is the refusal to acknowledge any nuance or complexity concerning the issues raised. Take Arachnids for example - the Doctor is staunchly against killing the invading spiders (fair enough), but her ultimate solution is to.... allow them to slowly starve and/or suffocate to death in incredible agony. Ok, that's also fair enough, as long as there's discussion around having two terrible things to choose from (or, you know, baiting them into the TARDIS so she can release them in a less hostile environment).... Nope, nothing like that. What could've been an interesting exploration about the ethics of euthanasia is instead a black-and-white GUNS BAD, KILLING BAD narrative in which the Doctor's opinion is presented as the only right - and obvious - one, completely ignoring the implications of her choices.

 

The appallingly named Ranskoor Av Kolos (cringe) has a similar conundrum; old mate Graham is hell-bent on getting revenge on Tzim-Sha for killing his wife. Ooh, juicy! The Doctor is all like "no Graham, if you kill him you'll be just like him", which, eh yeah that's a point-of-view I suppose, not exactly the most original take (or even accurate) but it's an attempt at conflict. Graham's ultimate act is.... to keep Tzim-Sha in a permanent state of torturous half-life for the rest of eternity, with no hope of escape. The same action that the Doctor earlier lambasted the villain for as being "completely obscene". And she congratulates him for it. No hint of irony, no meditation on the implications of torture or incarceration, just a simplistic scenario in which it's her way or the highway, ethical discussions be damned.

 

I won't go on, and a lot of this is covered in a 5-hour Youtube video by Jay Exci I recently watched, but honestly I wouldn't recommend it. As much as I agree a lot with their points, it's often repetitive and some arguments are a stretch, they could easily have whittled this thing down to an hour. Still, I watched it, but what else do you do in lockdown? Watch something you actually like? I did that, and here I am again.

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