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If I was The Silence I'd spend my time taking odd socks out of washing machines, moving pens and reprogramming Sky boxes.

Rory is brilliant, you are all wrong.

On 21/11/2021 at 20:26, Subject Delta said:

I hate Weeping Angels episodes where you have two people and instead of having one person watch them whilst the other escapes in turns, they both back away together like morons.

Logic, my dear, 'merely enables one to be wrong with authority.

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Isn't Angel logic a bit mangled anyway, they always do the "walk away looking at it" trick, but surely the Angel would then immediately get them as soon as they went out of sight walking in the same direction? You could never get away in the end. Plus the looking at each other thing is a bit out of the window now.

Anyway in other news, having watched the first few episodes of the new series I watched Rose with my near six year old, and he can't grasp the concept of The Doctor being a man...

 

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This is the most I've enjoyed Doctor Who for years. Defo my favourite groups of episodes from the Jodie era, probs the best since the Capaldi nearly solo episode. 

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I wanted to like the Angels episode a lot more than I did - the previous episode was peak Chibnall, just unfiltered nonsense, whereas this one was a potentially great episode being consistently marred by Chibnall-isms and being too clever for its own good.

Leaning heavily into the potential of the Weeping Angels in a folk horror 1960s setting should be brilliant, and at times it threatened to be. The reason the Weeping Angels are so good is that, like The Silence but better, they lean into some absolute base fears - "what happens when you're not looking?" is a brilliant horror starting point, and distilling that to "don't blink" is a genuinely inspired bit of writing, and that they're also creepy statues just adds to that.

Unfortunately, while they've had a better hit rate than most New Who monsters, the more they try and add to the concept, the further they move away from that root idea. I could have happily never heard a Weeping Angel talk (I don't even want to know that they are capable of communication), I hate the idea of the Angels managing to inhabit human minds, and all the psychobabble that went with it - the Doctor entering someone's subconscious is a daft superpower and lazy writing, and if "that which contains an image of an Angel is an Angel" extends to people thinking about them, why isn't there one inside of everyone that's ever met one? As for Angels working for The Division, hate it. The idea of them working for anyone, rather than just being single-minded predators, doesn't work for me at all.

A lost kid stranded in another time, a village becoming deserted, Weeping Angels - it should all be like a brilliant Doctor Who take on an M.R. James story, but it felt like they had to crowbar in elements of the overarching Flux story. It kills the mood to cut away from the horror atmosphere they're building up to a sci-fi mess with characters we barely know. Such a shame.

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I think the Doctor's been able to read minds since 10 (when they randomly decided to have him act like Spock) so I don't really feel like irs much of a stretch to have her enter people's subconscious. And I don't think that's much of a stretch from the mind control the Master has always used. 

The Weeping Angels were pretty much ruined from their second ever story when they decided to show them moving. Didn't help that Blink hinted that they could look like any statue but they've mostly stuck with the same design. The Division using them feels like a continuation of a dangling plot threat from the RTD era when shamed Time Lords would pose like them. Not sure its necessary but you could say that about a lot of Chibnall's stuff.

I've actually quite enjoyed this series. I'm not really sure why when it shares quite a lot of similarities with the Moffat series that I couldn't get on with. There's a lot of questions asked that haven't been answered yet (and I'm not sure how they're going to answer them all with one episode left to go) but because it feels like one contained story it's less irritating than with Moffat when you felt he was constantly making you sit through episodes that don't really matter as much as his bigger overall story. 

I do long for something a little more back to basics though. They won't do it but I kinda wish that we didn't catch up with the next Doctor until several years into their regeneration. 

 

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So tomorrow's/this week's episode is the final this season before the New Years special, with all the build up and slow burn I would have accepted 1-2 more episodes on top because there is so much that just got dumped on us this season, oh well, I guess typical Chibs, just dump it all in the final episode and then leave us scratching our heads till you have to explain it all next season.

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I felt the six parts had a lot of good ideas but failed to bring them into any real sense of coherence. I dug Swarm, Azure, Jericho, Dan, Grand Serpent, basically all the new characters, but honestly the plot just felt like noise. It felt like it was plotted by a 5 year old "and then this happens, and then this happens, and then a dragon came..." and never had time to breathe nor explain what was actually happening with any sense of coherence. I assume it's because they got cut from 8 episodes to 6 because of Covid but if that's the case they probably should have just wiped out some of the non-essential plot. Overall, not the worst of Chibnall, but I'm still glad it will soon be over. God help whoever has to make sense of it all though.

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I didn't like this episode at all - too many big concepts were just hand-waved away, or never really amounted to anything. I'm assuming we see the Grand Serpent again, though, because he got far too much build for very little gain.

It had the problem of a lot of Doctor Who finales in that even if it ostensibly wraps up a lot of things - the Flux is over, Swarm and The Grand Serpent somehow dealt with, the token historical figure sent back to their time with the knowledge that their contributions are valued in the future, Vinder and Bel are reunited, and so on - it does so in such a scattershot, deus ex machina way that there's no real sense of meaningful resolution to any of it. It's just not satisfying.

Someone once wrote that Sherlock Holmes stories are all terrible detective stories, because they don't do what a detective story should - they don't provide the reader with all the information they require to potentially solve the mystery before the characters do, or at least to be able to look back and think "oh, of course"; instead, the solutions always rely on Sherlock picking up on minute, obscure details that are kept hidden from the reader. Doctor Who is that turned up way past eleven - the solutions require knowledge of concepts that don't even exist, of pseudo-magical tricks, and explanations plucked out of thin air. Nobody at the end of the last episode, when confronted with the question of "how do The Doctor and her mates get out of this situation?" would or could possibly have answered, "The Doctor will be split into three parts because reasons, Swarm will be handwaved out of existence, Dan's mate will figure out a hitherto never mentioned weakness of Passenger, and The Grand Serpent can be frozen in place by a big red light because fuck you that's why". 

When the storytelling and the pacing is good enough, that kind of magical ending isn't a problem, but when it's as convoluted and overly busy as this series has been, it's a huge problem. They could have cut Vinder and Bel's entire story arc from this series and I don't think the overall story would have been affected at all, and it would have just left more room for everything else to breathe. I was cautiously optimistic about this series going in, because New Who's weakness since the beginning has been a consistent failure to deliver on the second episode of a two-parter - the pay-off is never as good as the set-up, and usually relies on either the story completely switching gears, or "I do believe in fairies" levels of deus ex machina writing - so I thought spacing it out over six episodes would actually allow time for the story to be told coherently. By the end of this episode, turns out I was completely wrong.

 

I also think that the character of the Doctor, as best exemplified in Genesis of the Daleks (clip below), isn't someone who would attempt to avert the Flux by sacrificing countless Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans in its wake. How do you square that "solution" with the "do I have the right?" speech about ending the Daleks? It was especially egregious when they immediately after killing thousands use Passenger to absorb The Flux. Maybe Chibnall could have just gone straight to that solution, rather than just writing in the Doctor committing multiple genocides?

5

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6 hours ago, Skummy said:

I also think that the character of the Doctor, as best exemplified in Genesis of the Daleks (clip below), isn't someone who would attempt to avert the Flux by sacrificing countless Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans in its wake. How do you square that "solution" with the "do I have the right?" speech about ending the Daleks? It was especially egregious when they immediately after killing thousands use Passenger to absorb The Flux. Maybe Chibnall could have just gone straight to that solution, rather than just writing in the Doctor committing multiple genocides?

 

1000% yes!

The most Doctor like result would have been to put Passenger in front of the Flux and absorb it in front of the daleks, cybermen and sontarans and then just go "Flux sorted, now you three can make peace" and then just leave them to do their thing as they went off and finished the rest of their to do list in the last 10 minutes.

 

I will say Flux was an improvement on the previous seasons, but then again a step away from dogshite is still near dogshite, the finale should have been a two parter, if only to reduce the jumping from all over the place, it just felt like a rush to get things over with answering the leftovers of the last series while then dumping us with a load of leftovers from this series.

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10 hours ago, Skummy said:

I didn't like this episode at all - too many big concepts were just hand-waved away, or never really amounted to anything. I'm assuming we see the Grand Serpent again, though, because he got far too much build for very little gain.

It had the problem of a lot of Doctor Who finales in that even if it ostensibly wraps up a lot of things - the Flux is over, Swarm and The Grand Serpent somehow dealt with, the token historical figure sent back to their time with the knowledge that their contributions are valued in the future, Vinder and Bel are reunited, and so on - it does so in such a scattershot, deus ex machina way that there's no real sense of meaningful resolution to any of it. It's just not satisfying.

Someone once wrote that Sherlock Holmes stories are all terrible detective stories, because they don't do what a detective story should - they don't provide the reader with all the information they require to potentially solve the mystery before the characters do, or at least to be able to look back and think "oh, of course"; instead, the solutions always rely on Sherlock picking up on minute, obscure details that are kept hidden from the reader. Doctor Who is that turned up way past eleven - the solutions require knowledge of concepts that don't even exist, of pseudo-magical tricks, and explanations plucked out of thin air. Nobody at the end of the last episode, when confronted with the question of "how do The Doctor and her mates get out of this situation?" would or could possibly have answered, "The Doctor will be split into three parts because reasons, Swarm will be handwaved out of existence, Dan's mate will figure out a hitherto never mentioned weakness of Passenger, and The Grand Serpent can be frozen in place by a big red light because fuck you that's why". 

When the storytelling and the pacing is good enough, that kind of magical ending isn't a problem, but when it's as convoluted and overly busy as this series has been, it's a huge problem. They could have cut Vinder and Bel's entire story arc from this series and I don't think the overall story would have been affected at all, and it would have just left more room for everything else to breathe. I was cautiously optimistic about this series going in, because New Who's weakness since the beginning has been a consistent failure to deliver on the second episode of a two-parter - the pay-off is never as good as the set-up, and usually relies on either the story completely switching gears, or "I do believe in fairies" levels of deus ex machina writing - so I thought spacing it out over six episodes would actually allow time for the story to be told coherently. By the end of this episode, turns out I was completely wrong.

 

I also think that the character of the Doctor, as best exemplified in Genesis of the Daleks (clip below), isn't someone who would attempt to avert the Flux by sacrificing countless Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans in its wake. How do you square that "solution" with the "do I have the right?" speech about ending the Daleks? It was especially egregious when they immediately after killing thousands use Passenger to absorb The Flux. Maybe Chibnall could have just gone straight to that solution, rather than just writing in the Doctor committing multiple genocides?

5

Simple. The Doctor had not fought in the Time War yet. The Doctor has had no problem whatsoever taking out Cybermen, Daleks, etc. since then. Go back and find Ten's "Mercy" speech. Or watch this:

Pre-Time War, the Doctor would not kill and showed remorse even when bad guys died. Post-Time War, the Doctor's attitude is more `prefers not to kill, but will when its the only way to stop the bad guys. And if bad guys bring about their own destruction, so be it.' If a Post-Time War Doctor (or the War Doctor) was in Genesis of the Daleks, they'd have done what Four refused to do.

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I think that's more post-Time War/pre-Day of the Doctor, 9 and 10 were very much them trying to get their humanity back after what they had done, with Day of the Doctor being the the point they literally face what they did. So to me 12 and 13 were more at the point of accepting what they did and bettering themselves.

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