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Author Topic: New Doctor Who  (Read 38755 times)

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Sharkey

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #980 on: December 27, 2013, 08:41:35 AM »

I have to bring up the idea that Tasha Lem is some much later iteration of River. It could just be that Moffat tends to write women the same way, but her characterization is damn near identical. Sure, she burned out all her regenerations and we already saw her die, but it's hard to imagine she just deleted herself after her appearance in Name. Forceful, flirty, bossy psychopath with a past with the Doc who happens to live in a giant computer? After a very, very long time in the library it may have just amounted to cp -r /CAL/Song_River/* /PapalMainframe/Lem_Tasha. Also, you know, Mel backwards. Hell knows she has plenty of experience with self-fulfilling predestination paradoxes at this point. Also goes along with the theme of being different people.

Or maybe the Doctor just has a type he happens to like. I can relate (and really need to stop going for domineering sexpot psychopaths. They're just so much fun.)

I'm fine with it either way, but the groundwork is there.
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Royal☭

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #981 on: December 27, 2013, 09:14:24 AM »

I was less than pleased with the character. Mostly because she seemed like she never existed outside of being anything than a sexpot to fawn over the Doctor. It worked with River, but mostly because River got more characterization and a chance to press back against the Doctor, and given her own agency. Tasha Lem felt more like "Don't you like how the Doctor can seduce these women?"

Of course, that's nothing compared to Clara who's been in 10 episodes and I still can't think of a better description for than "The Doctor's Companion"

Lottel

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #982 on: December 27, 2013, 09:23:05 AM »

I'm really hoping Capaldi's episodes give her some personality beyond "blander Amy"

I'm also hoping they kind of forget about the whole "Impossible Girl" bit for a while. I hated her whole arc, really.
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Royal☭

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #983 on: December 27, 2013, 09:35:12 AM »

Didn't mind the Impossible Girl bit, just that it was all plot, no character.

Sharkey

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #984 on: December 27, 2013, 09:41:01 AM »

Yeah, that's actually one part of the rampant Moffat bitchery that I agree with. He writes women absolutely terribly and interchangeably. They're either plucky, sarcastic bouncy-balls, or violent dominatrix types that for some reason fawn all over a bumbling, eccentric manchild. (Though to be fair, that does tend to happen. Shrug.) It's a legitimate complaint, and not just the province of the fun-hating feminist caricature the Internet is always so quick to dismissively invoke. This stuff gives Twilight a run for its money in terms of creepy sexist shit that appeals to teenage girls for some damn reason. I adored Girl in the Fireplace the first time around, but when it's the only fucking story you can tell, yes, I begin to suspect the writer might have a problem with women.

That aside, most of the rest of the criticism I'm seeing elsewhere just sounds like a lot of incoherent, infantile whining for the sake of it. It's like half the damn Internet is making that high pitched EEEEEEEE sound my dog does when she's frightened of a slightly larger than average rock.

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Royal☭

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #985 on: December 27, 2013, 10:10:59 AM »

My guess is that anti-Moffat types dislike the show because he doesn't make episodes like Fear Her that end with the Doctor running the Olympic torch. :strawman:

In truth, the beginning of Time of the Doctor shows why it's best that Moffat avoids silly Doctor Who writing in the first place.

Thad

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #986 on: December 27, 2013, 11:50:29 AM »

Yeah, I think I liked it for all the same reasons The Internet hated it.  It's completely the opposite of what we were led to expect.

But really, we just came off TWO action-packed regenerations LAST MONTH.  As I said, trying to top that would have been foolish (and a total Davies thing to do -- he was the guy who always tried to top the last thing he did, and met with failure as often as success -- though in his defense, End of Time was a pretty high note to go out on, both for him and for Tennant).

Seeing more evidence that the Doctor ISN'T the battle-hardened general he's made out to be was just right.  All that shit's going down right outside his window, but it's not a battle, it's a siege.  And the Doctor abides.

I'll agree on the problematic characterizations of women.  (I have to say Amy is my second-favorite companion of the entire '05-present run -- though it probably says something in and of itself that #1 is her husband.)  Clara hasn't really distinguished herself from a character perspective; I liked her as much in this episode as I ever have, but she was really hitting the same plot beats Rose did in Parting of the Ways, with the ending swapped out for Martha in Last of the Time Lords.  (A lot better than the latter, obviously, and much more narratively coherent.  And while Bleeding Cool called it another Power of Love ending, there's an entirely more cynical interpretation -- [spoiler]the Time Lords just rescued the only person who can get them out of limbo.[/spoiler])

I think when the Time Lords do come back, though, we'll be spending a bit less time on showing them as evil or misguided all the time -- after all, wouldn't be much of a victory in rescuing them if they're all still assholes.

I'm thinking Moffat will either ignore the "trapped in a single moment" bit, or explain it away with a one-liner (the cracks in time did it).  Thousands of years have passed on Gallifrey, Rassilon's out of power and his successors have had time to look back on the Time War as a pretty bad idea and come to think of the Doctor sticking them in a pocket universe as the merciful act it was (though you have to figure they were probably pretty pissed off at first).
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Mothra

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #987 on: December 27, 2013, 06:12:50 PM »

Really enjoyed this episode.

I think the only complaint I can think of was all the townspeople being murdered, right near the end. Besides that, yeah, they crammed a lot into an hour, but this was perfect.
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Sharkey

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #988 on: December 28, 2013, 12:15:41 AM »

Also on the critical side, Clara really is such a fucking blank. Which is funny, given that the first couple Claras were actually kind of interesting. I still wish there were a Dalek Tinkerbell season instead of the Doctor being an enormous asshole space racist, but that's just a fanfic for someone else to write. And it really is obvious that Gaiman's cyberman ep was written with the Victorian governess in mind.

If Time did anything wrong it was that it assumed an emotional connection to a character that was never actually established. In fact, if they'd killed her off at the end of Name it would have added some actual gravity to the earlier season. Meanwhile, the best thing that could have been gained by keeping her around after that would have been a companion who knows the Doc better than he does himself, but in the last couple specials following that it hasn't been acknowledged beyond "I know you used to be a bunch of dudes and they were all rad." Like that doesn't take two minutes or a headbutt to explain. And he still has to deliver expository dialogue about that to the one person who already knows.

Really, if they're going to keep her around they have to get a second person on. Her to know everything, and the newb to explain shit to. You can't have both of those in one character, otherwise she's just this blob of pretty play-doh that just happens to be whatever the story needs at that particular moment, which is dull and bafflingly inconsistent at best. One week she's weeping in fear when the last week she was unflappable in the face of certain death. Or she's there to get exposition she doesn't actually need. Or she completely forgot to be sad and angry about her abducted newborn until she realized she was barren... wait, wrong one. Whatever. That's not a character, that's a macguffin multitool.

Theory: Clara is the sonic screwdriver.

That's all just sort of a subsection to "Moffat can't write women for shit," though.

Again, liked the thing, even though it would have worked better with River as the mainframe and Amy as the companion. The script would have been pretty much the same.
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McDohl

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #989 on: December 28, 2013, 03:18:16 AM »

I think that, given all the Omega stuff we've seen over the past couple of years, Omega from The Three Doctors will come in to play at some point during Capaldi's run.

I totally wasn't ready to lose Matt Smith.
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Thad

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #990 on: December 28, 2013, 04:10:59 AM »

Yeah, we've been figuring that for years; hasn't panned out yet but I still wouldn't be surprised.  Bringing another Time Lord villain in would be consistent with bringing the rest of them back.  (Wouldn't be terribly surprised to see the Rani at some point.  Or Romana; she's not a villain, just thinking out loud here.  Did she ever regenerate in the radio series, or could they still use Ward?  Her husband already had a cameo a few years back, and I guess she was in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot?  I still haven't gotten around to watching it.)

The Moment came from the Omega Arsenal.  (They even pronounced it with the accent on the first syllable, though I always assumed that was just an accent thing.  Then again, the guy in the previous scene referred to a "Code Omega" with the accent on the second syllable.  Regional?)
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Sharkey

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #991 on: December 28, 2013, 08:24:16 PM »

Then again, the guy in the previous scene referred to a "Code Omega" with the accent on the second syllable.  Regional?)

I can't think of any brit regional accents that put the stress on the second syllable. Just a straight UK/US split in my experience. Like paprika. Or stalactite. Or an absolute shitload of nouns, actually.

Funny enough, there're more US exceptions in some northern New England dialects than the other way around. Maine and some parts of Mass and upstate New York contain some fascinating linguistic cul-de-sacs, particularly in isolated rural/coastal towns. Really fucks people trying to guess my accent when I've drank enough for it to peek through. Nevadans usually guess either Australian or "you talk like a fag and your shit's all retarded."

Apparently because long vowels and theya shit's ah retahded.

SKINHEADS FROM MAINE Dana Carvey

Holy shit young Stephen Colbert out of nowhere.

Anyway, I can't remember the second syllable stress in the previous line, but I'd bet that it was delivered by a jarhead type. Whether by accident or design they tend to slip in a lot of American speech patterns even when they're not playing an American character, because if they are it has to be a straght up shitshow John Wayne impression. Give a brit actor a gun and I swear they start talking like an American just out of force of habit.

Speaking of accents and Who, I remember seeing a fair amount of misguided criticism of John Barrowman's "unconvincing" American accent way back. Always got a kick out of that. Still not as good as Hugh Laurie's though. That shit is black magic.
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Lottel

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #992 on: December 29, 2013, 02:32:02 PM »

The 50th Anniversary 3D blu-ray is pretty dang disappointing, valuewise.
Bonus features are The Last Day, The Night of the Doctor, a short "Doctor Who Explained" and the Behind the Scenes thing they showed after seeing it in theaters. This misses several of the shorts and doesn't have the pre-movie things they showed in theaters, which is disappointing because I thought those were great.

If you do get it, make sure you get it on sale. Post-Christmas sales have it between $12 and $20 while several places have nonsale prices at $30.
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Thad

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #993 on: December 29, 2013, 03:19:03 PM »

Anyway, I can't remember the second syllable stress in the previous line, but I'd bet that it was delivered by a jarhead type.

Sure enough.

I rewatched it the other night (and Name and Night), because my brother was in town and wasn't caught up.
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Zaratustra

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #994 on: December 29, 2013, 07:44:35 PM »

Yeah, that's actually one part of the rampant Moffat bitchery that I agree with. He writes women absolutely terribly and interchangeably. They're either plucky, sarcastic bouncy-balls, or violent dominatrix types that for some reason fawn all over a bumbling, eccentric manchild.

CROSS-REF: Steven Moffat, Sherlock

Smiler

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #995 on: December 30, 2013, 02:37:27 AM »

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Zaratustra

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Re: New Doctor Who
« Reply #996 on: January 07, 2014, 04:20:38 AM »

The episode was interesting, although it broke its own rules at the end (the Doctor just plain out lies about having a plan despite the whole 'truth field' stuff) and the fact the story is the Basic Hero Plot #3, which is even more prevalent than the so vaunted hero's journey:

1) The hero is given a choice between two negative consequences (Have all innocents in Trenzalore die, or reignite the Time War).
2) The hero finds a third alternative that avoids the negative consequences through personal sacrifice (Stay on Trenzalore and save ten generations of Trenzalorians by maintaining a stalemate; the Doctor knows it's his last regeneration and this planet will be his tomb and such dramatic very anxiety)
3) Because the hero has been so selfless in sacrificing themselves, they are miraculously given back what they sacrificed and more (thirteen new lifes oh boy)

(Basic Hero Plot #2 is a character coming back just in time to save the hero, basic hero plot #1 is the villain turning into a snake)

And all of it is done in a dramatic fashion enough that you forget to ask why, for example, ol' Doc just doesn't evacuate the rest of the population on his Tardis. Hell, arguing a Doctor Who episode is like trying to find a solution to the omnipotence/omniscience/omnibenevolence problem.
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