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Best Producer/Showrunner?
This poll is closed.
Verity Lambert 49 7.04%
John Wiles 1 0.14%
Innes Lloyd 1 0.14%
Peter Bryant 3 0.43%
Derrick Sherwin 3 0.43%
Barry Letts 12 1.72%
Phillip Hinchcliffe 62 8.91%
Graham Williams 3 0.43%
John Nathan-Turner 15 2.16%
Philip Segal 3 0.43%
Russel T Davies 106 15.23%
Steven Moffat 114 16.38%
Son Goku 324 46.55%
Total: 696 votes
[Edit Poll (moderators only)]

  • Locked thread
Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Jerusalem posted:

Yeah, but the thing is that it has a strange (almost philosophical) way of talking. It seems like it is something new and weird and different and I'm looking forward to seeing what that is.

It could actually be the Time Controller. (It won't be, but I really like that character.)

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?




One day a man called Adrian Rigelsford had a rather good idea for a Doctor Who story. The trouble was that this was all he had, and he produced The Roof of the World - a story with a very interesting premise and a lot of potential that completely squanders it. Rigelsford is no stranger to controversy, having been accused of faking interviews, quotations and references in his work, as well as being convicted of the theft of tens of thousands of photographs and onselling them for his own profit. He was also slated to write the 30th anniversary special for Doctor Who (how crazy that this was 20 years ago now!) which never eventuated - by all accounts this is a good thing, The Dark Dimension also sounded like an interesting premise with a lot of potential that was probably going to be horribly squandered.

The Doctor is keenly anticipating taking part in a cricket match in Tibet in 1917 and is dragging Peri and Erimem along with him. Meanwhile, alpine explorers discover an ice pyramid in the Himalayas and are attacked by a terrifying psychic presence. The two come together - of course - when the presence sends its human servant (now in the guise of one of the explorers) to intercept and capture Erimem, which for some reason it has a keen interest in. It succeeds immediately, leaving the Doctor and Peri (and Erimem herself!) unaware if she is alive or dead, and needing to get up into the mountains to hunt the creature, aided by an aging British General and his weary, disgruntled biographer.

There's a great deal of potential in this story, and sadly it is either squandered, mismanaged, or just thrown away without a second thought. The most egregious of the many fumbles that Rigelsford makes is with Erimem herself. I thought this audio might be a chance for her to come into her own, but she dangles in the wind as a mostly passive figure - even her apparent submission to the psychic presence which marks the cliffhanger of episode 2 basically goes nowhere. What makes things worse is that once the Doctor and Peri are reunited with her, she immediately fades into the background again, with the Doctor quickly taking the center stage both for the audience AND the bad guy, which puts all its focus onto him as opposed to the person it has apparently been trying to get its mental claws on for the last few thousand years. Even Peri gets more to do, as she is the one actively working to try and get through to Erimem to break her out of her funk, and to make things worse the possessed, "evil" Erimem sounds (to me anyway) like Butters from South Park talking in his "super badass" Professor Chaos voice. If you haven't heard that, well it's basically an adorably pathetic little boy trying to be gruff and just coming across as more adorably pathetic

I suspected that the identity of the psychic presence, given the location, might well turn out to be The Great Intelligence. I was wrong about that, which means that apparently the Himalayas have had at least two enormously mentally powerful mysterious entities hanging around in potentially overlapping times in the past. The nature of the "creature" and the means with which it tries to break down its opponents/prey does mean though that we get to hear a few interesting scenes where actors get to portray their characters in a different way to usual. This is probably the writer's best work (helped by very good performances) as characters say things that don't seem QUITE right but are delivered in ways perfectly reasonable for the characters. When "the Doctor" tells Peri that he may have given up and tells her he had hoped their friendship was strong enough that he could open up to her about his doubts it feels almost appropriate. That does mean, however, that you're never entirely sure if you're hearing a character or an imposter talking to another character, and in some cases that leaves you (well okay, me!) confused about if a character said or felt something that didn't seem right to me.

Davison gives a(two) good performance(s), and though it is a little disappointing that he becomes the focus for the presence rather than Erimem, the verbal sparring is quite nicely handled. Seeing the Doctor slowly gain the upper hand and the presence's smug superiority start to crack is quite satisfying. But it is Peri who saves the day, with quick thinking and improvisation that would make the Doctor proud... and while that's great for Peri, it leaves Erimem again as the third wheel, and since this story seemed like HER story that is a bit of a disappointment.

Similarly, the supporting characters of the General and the Biographer are... well, their stories go nowhere and an earlier moment between them that I think was supposed to come across as cathartic just seems out of character. The General vacillates between a bombastic empty-headed buffoon and actually seeming to be the stern, proud and accomplished man he demands his biographer make him out to be. The biographer is crabby, sarcastic and smugly superior in his inferiority... until he becomes supportive and encouraging of the General at the very moment the latter seems to show his humanity and actually show some foresight and humility. Once they assist Peri in her plan and help clean up, they head off and that's that, they're gone, with nothing resolved and no sense that they really needed to be there at all. They seem to be there just to be there, even the nominal reasoning of "Well the General can get together the supplies for our climb" disappears out the window in episode 3 and yet they still come along for the ride, simply to stand in the background or do things the other characters could have just as easily done.

The Roof of the World is a disappointing story. It squanders its potential, does nothing for Erimem who is left a passive figure in need of rescue, and introduces a number of characters/potential subplots that are discarded, forgotten or ignored. There are good performances from Davison and Bryant, and Caroline Morris gets a meaty role in episode 2 at least even if the cliffhanger for that episode goes nowhere and she is quickly relegated to the background again. This is Rigelsford's only story for Big Finish to date, and given his controversial background and conviction I imagine it will probably be his last. I don't think it is any great loss, though I would have enjoyed seeing this presence taken and improved by a different writer... though you could probably argue he was just taking base elements from other Doctor Who stories (not least of which would be The Abominable Snowmen/The Web of Fear) anyway.

Now I can listen to Medicinal Purposes and then never have to hear that horrible preview for it ever again!

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at Jul 14, 2014 around 04:44

Potsticker
Jan 13, 2006



Roof of the World is so terrible, while reading the first part of your review I thought it was an audio I hadn't yet listened to. As I recall, the first episode was a good start and it's almost shocking how large the avalanche became when the snowball started tumbling down the mountain.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


I was trying not to be too pessimistic because I do think it has a good premise... but yeah, the whole thing just falls apart pretty drat quickly. It feels like it was written with no real sense of where the story was going, so you get characters/subplots introduced that go nowhere and then it ends on a pretty weak note with nothing really having been accomplished and nobody having grown as a character (even if the story seems to think that Erimem has).

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

You don't know how lucky you are you're snakes.


Rhyno posted:

Capaldi is the first new actor that without seeing anything substantial, already feels like the Doctor to me. Like I look at him and my mind says "that's the Doctor" without any question.


Yeah, he really does just immediately feel like the Doctor. I liked Tennant and Smith, but I'm happy they're going with someone with experience this time. I've seen Capaldi for about 30 seconds worth of screentime and he's already channeling a kind of dark mixture of Three and Four. A little over a month!

Moffat has said a lot that Capaldi will play a darker Doctor, in terms of the writing. I hope it means that he's a bit more unapproachable at times and a bit more accountable for himself and not that he'll be some sort of grimdark Batman imitation.

DoctorWhat
Nov 18, 2011

Someone call the Chancellery Guard. Commander Maxil's out of uniform. AGAIN.

I just hope that "dark" doesn't translate to not having character motivation, the way it often does for Seven (especially in books and audios). One of the critical flaws of the Virgin New Adventures was that Seven was often barely in them because they didn't want to give him an inner monologue, as it would spoil his ~mystery~.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

My whole life is a dark room.
One big, dark room.


"I've made a lot of mistakes. It's time to rectify that. BY STOMPING rear end AND BEING AWESOME."

Okay maybe he didn't say that last part but it was implied.

quote:

They're going full Pertwee.

You never go full Pertwee!

Box of Bunnies
Apr 3, 2012

One day, we'll know all the secrets of the skies, and we'll stop our wanderings.


Chokes McGee posted:

You never go full Pertwee!

Who Is The Doctor 2014 Mix performed by Capaldi when

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Box of Bunnies posted:

Who Is The Doctor 2014 Mix performed by Capaldi when

Moffat: We thought we might get you to cover Who Is The Doct-
Capaldi: Here's the home-made covers I've made of the song over the years

Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012


We've got this thing licked!



DoctorWhat posted:

I just hope that "dark" doesn't translate to not having character motivation, the way it often does for Seven (especially in books and audios). One of the critical flaws of the Virgin New Adventures was that Seven was often barely in them because they didn't want to give him an inner monologue, as it would spoil his ~mystery~.


"Right Master, no bloody games this time. Tell me what your fuckin' plan is or I kick you in the timey-wimeys a third time!"

Fil5000
Jun 23, 2003

HOLD ON GUYS I'M POSTING ABOUT INTERNET ROBOTS


Chokes McGee posted:


You never go full Pertwee!

And that's when Moffat and Capaldi start firing pepper spray into each other's eyes.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005



Jerusalem posted:



One day a man called Adrian Rigelsford had a rather good idea for a Doctor Who story. The trouble was that this was all he had, and he produced The Roof of the World - a story with a very interesting premise and a lot of potential that completely squanders it. Rigelsford is no stranger to controversy, having been accused of faking interviews, quotations and references in his work, as well as being convicted of the theft of tens of thousands of photographs and onselling them for his own profit. He was also slated to write the 30th anniversary special for Doctor Who (how crazy that this was 20 years ago now!) which never eventuated - by all accounts this is a good thing, The Dark Dimension also sounded like an interesting premise with a lot of potential that was probably going to be horribly squandered.

If anyone else is interested in the Ballad of Rigelsford, here's something from the Grauniad about him, written by Stanley Kubrick's PA. It's absolutely fascinating.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/200...eatures.weekend

quote:

There was something about the two interviewers' names. Adrian Rigelsford. Adrian, for no good reason, I've always felt was a bit of a poser's name. And Rigelsford. What did this suggest? Somebody who wriggles? Kim Meffen. I couldn't get, as they say, a gender-fix on the first name. A girl or a bloke? And as for Meffen, what was this? It sounded like some long-forgotten agricultural implement or, perhaps, something to do with West Country folk dancing. In fact, as I later found out, it's a variant of the Scottish name, Methuen, from Methven in Perthshire.

So, who were these two?

I came across a book by Rigelsford in a second-hand bookstore in Rochester - Carry On Laughing: A Celebration, published by Virgin in 1996, a hastily put-together scrapbook of a volume with lots of illustrations. He had also written books on the TV series Blake's 7, Peter Sellers (another "celebration") and several on a series he claimed to be a world expert on, Dr Who. He inhabited that undergrowth of showbiz literature where fandom and cultists hang out.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

My whole life is a dark room.
One big, dark room.


Jerusalem posted:

Moffat: We thought we might get you to cover Who Is The Doct-
Capaldi: Here's the home-made covers I've made of the song over the years

"There are three remixes on this CD. Three."

"I know, I was busy with The Thick of It for a while and didn't have as much time for side projects."

DoctorWhat
Nov 18, 2011

Someone call the Chancellery Guard. Commander Maxil's out of uniform. AGAIN.

I cross the void beyond the mind to seek a truth they'll never find:

CAST ME AS THE DOCTOR!

Gaz-L
Jan 28, 2009


Chokes McGee posted:

"There are three remixes on this CD. Three."

"I know, I was busy with The Thick of It for a while and didn't have as much time for side projects."

"Plus, y'know, Craig has this whole chat show thing in America, it made collaborating a lot harder..."

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


His voice mail is just him singing doctor in distress.

CobiWann
Oct 21, 2009

There are lost episodes of course. Stories that were commissioned but never made. Or made but misfiled, post broadcast. Sheer incompetence, of course.

bobkatt013 posted:

His voice mail is just him singing doctor in distress.

No, it's just "Hello, this is Peter Capaldi. And I'm the new Doctor."

Ratspeaker
Mar 6, 2009

Your minds are too green
I despise all I've seen
You can't stake your lives
On a savior machine

I went to a lovely comic convention over the weekend. They were selling old fanzines and I picked up this



I still don't know what Timelash is or why people have strong opinions about it, but I added it to my playlist for this summer's classic Who marathon, so I guess I'll find out!

There was also the cutest little Doctor you ever did see



(Also, obligatory "Oh my god that trailer" )

Ratspeaker fucked around with this message at Jul 14, 2014 around 21:08

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


DWM was good fun back in the day (although that one is slightly before my time)

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


That clear Dalek looks awesome. Is that whole creature in side of it meant to be the mutant?

...cause that makes more sense than what we actually have!

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


Burkion posted:

That clear Dalek looks awesome. Is that whole creature in side of it meant to be the mutant?

Sort of, watch Revelation of the Daleks

Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

Fancy.


MrL_JaKiri posted:

DWM was good fun back in the day (although that one is slightly before my time)

The first issue of DWM I got was the last one before they rebooted it as a kind of Future Press Classic Rock Magazine style format for the new series (the cover was a shot from the movie, the comic was either the last or the penultimate part of "The Flood" and it came with a free Big Finish CD which had a Bernice Summerfield story with the Cybermen and the UNIT story with the Silurians).

I think I sort of lost interest in it between maybe the second and third years of the revival and I've never really had much inclination to get back into it since.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


Back in the day = from late eighties until about 1994

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


MrL_JaKiri posted:

Sort of, watch Revelation of the Daleks

That moment is genuinely chilling and upsetting. In fact the whole story is pretty good apart from the atmospheric whiplash created by Alexei Sayle's DJ.

Ika
Dec 30, 2004
Pure insanity

I haven't been keeping up with the thread since I still have not had a chance to watch the newest Christmas special so I hope this hasn't been answered, I just wanted to ask two things:

Does anyone know whether the Christmas special will be included in the series 8 boxset, I can't find a listing of the contents anywhere? I'm assuming the 50th anniversary special will not be included.

And secondly, does anyone have further recommendations for doctor who books? I have read wheel of ice (and was surprised baxter was allowed to reference his other books indirectly) and harvest of time, both of which I picked out because I had enjoyed the normal scifi books by the authors.

DoctorWhat
Nov 18, 2011

Someone call the Chancellery Guard. Commander Maxil's out of uniform. AGAIN.

Ika posted:

I haven't been keeping up with the thread since I still have not had a chance to watch the newest Christmas special so I hope this hasn't been answered, I just wanted to ask two things:

Does anyone know whether the Christmas special will be included in the series 8 boxset, I can't find a listing of the contents anywhere? I'm assuming the 50th anniversary special will not be included.

And secondly, does anyone have further recommendations for doctor who books? I have read wheel of ice (and was surprised baxter was allowed to reference his other books indirectly) and harvest of time, both of which I picked out because I had enjoyed the normal scifi books by the authors.

What references were you thinking of in Wheel of Ice?

As for books, the 7th Doctor version of Human Nature is a classic, as is the 9th Doctor book Only Human.

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

Coach Bloodbutt
Default Status: POOPING



Have they released an album with the theme from the Day of the Doctor trailer yet?

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Ika posted:

Does anyone know whether the Christmas special will be included in the series 8 boxset, I can't find a listing of the contents anywhere? I'm assuming the 50th anniversary special will not be included.

Unless they produced a new one after I bought it, the complete season 8 boxset does NOT include the Christmas Special. I had to buy that separately (and was quite annoyed that it comes with all the other Christmas Specials packaged in, since I already have those as part of previous season boxsets.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005



MrL_JaKiri posted:

Sort of, watch Revelation of the Daleks

Jerusalem posted:

That moment is genuinely chilling and upsetting.

Natasha's conversation with Stengos is one of the few bits of Doctor Who I've ever seen that is genuinely scary as gently caress for all ages, both viscerally in the moment and then intellectually when you think about exactly what's been done. Yeesh.

Chokes McGee
Aug 7, 2008

My whole life is a dark room.
One big, dark room.


CobiWann posted:

No, it's just "Hello, this is the Doctor. And I'm the new Peter Capaldi."

Timby
Dec 23, 2006

Your mother!


Rhyno posted:

Have they released an album with the theme from the Day of the Doctor trailer yet?

No. That version was composed as a special one-off by a third party working for the company that produced the teaser -- I doubt it will ever see official release. (Hell, most of The Day of the Doctor's score was tracked in from pre-existing material as it was.)

Rhyno
Mar 22, 2003

Coach Bloodbutt
Default Status: POOPING



Timby posted:

No. That version was composed as a special one-off by a third party working for the company that produced the teaser -- I doubt it will ever see official release. (Hell, most of The Day of the Doctor's score was tracked in from pre-existing material as it was.)

God drat it, that version of the theme is so loving good.

Jurgan
May 8, 2007

Topologically speaking, there is a single point beyond the last visible dog, provided all the cans are closed.

Jerusalem posted:

If I recall correctly, the 11th Doctor was already roughly 13-1400 years old by the time they got to that episode, there were significant jumps of time between seasons (and half seasons!).

I'm quite happy they finally got themselves firmly out of the 900s, though I still feel that as he noted in Day of the Doctor, he may be lying about his age anyway (he was older than 900 in the 7th Doctor's time!) or just have forgotten how old he actually is.


That's my assumption. Or, if not lying, he's lost track. I remember how old people are by subtracting their birth year from the current year- if I were constantly jumping around, I'd lose track very quickly. So, I figure he doesn't actually know how old he is and just says whatever sounds good at the moment.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Blink is a great episode, and one that people frequently recommend as a great "starter" episode of Doctor Who. I disagree with that notion, I think it's actually pretty bad in terms of showing people what they can usually expect from an episode of the show - I'd still happily recommend that people watch it, but with the caveat that what they're seeing is NOT usual fare for Doctor Who.

A Doctor-lite episode, I recall dreading this episode before it aired since the last Doctor-lite episode had been Love and Monsters which I'd absolutely detested. Still, the fact that Steven Moffat was writing it had me cautiously optimistic, and he certainly delivered in spades. Like L&M, the Doctor remains an integral if mostly absent part of the story, and thanks to the way the story is structured, Tennant appears frequently throughout the episode despite really only filming three brief scenes - one of which involves him simply sitting and talking directly into a camera. Also he keeps the ghost of Robert Holmes happy with a fantastic bit at the end of the episode that seems custom-designed to make the children of England poo poo their pants, as the Doctor warns everybody watching that every statue you see could be a monster ready to toss you backwards in time, while a number of humdrum everyday statues from common locations are shown on the screen!

The episode essentially works as a twist on the normal companion introduction story. A bright, inquisitive young woman called Sally Sparrow explores an old abandoned house where she discovers writing beneath the wallpaper warning her BY NAME to duck, and also to "BEWARE THE WEEPING ANGELS!". Understandably troubled, she turns to her best friend to investigate further only to find herself drawn into a bizarre world of monsters and time travel and a madman with a box. But unlike Rose or Sarah Jane or Leela or Tegan or Ian & Barbara or any of the many others, Sally doesn't meet the Doctor till the very end of the episode, at which point she makes a conscious decision to turn her back on the madness (and thrills) he represents and accept happiness in the more mundane, "normal" world.

This is also the introduction of The Weeping Angels, a new and utterly terrifying monster to Doctor Who. While I'm not one of those who disliked or hated Angels stories that would follow this one, I am more than happy to agree that this is the BEST Angels story Moffat has ever done. They're creepy and new and weird and terrifying and relentless, a twisted take on a fairly common sight, the kind of statues you might find in any sizable garden or park. They're such common, unremarkable sights that their presence in odd places goes mostly unnoticed/unremarked upon, and the careful decision to make sure they don't move even when only WE THE VIEWER can see them adds to the palpable sense of dread whenever they're on screen. One blink, one shift of the eye or turn of the head and suddenly there's a silent screaming face right next to yours and an outstretched claw that was only a moment from making you into another victim. Even the absence of the Angels after a character has looked somewhere else and then looked back creates that sense of dread, it's a great gimmick and it is executed to perfection. The threat of the Angels might have been somewhat diluted over time with concurrent appearances, but in this episode they're at their most effective and chilling. There's a reason why an otherwise nonsensical line like,"The Angels Have The Phonebox" leaves you going,"Oh shiiiit."

Sally is played by Carey Mulligan relatively early in her career, and she would go on to bigger things. Her career success is well deserved, she's a tremendous actor and though many will ponder what an alternate reality where she became a regular companion would be like, I think it was unlikely she would have ever settled in for a lengthy run on the show. It's a little sad that in this one episode and in her very limited interactions with Tennant (including the scenes where she talks to a pre-recorded version) she comes across as a more interesting character with a more immediate rapport with the Doctor than Martha ever gets across her entire season. Mulligan was lucky to get such a strong script to work with, and she takes the opportunity to demonstrate excellent range as she encounters a surprisingly wide variety of situations. Idly curious, bemused, clowning about with a friend, confused, scared, sympathetic, concerned, flirty, terrified, etc, etc - a hell of a lot getting crammed into 45 minutes and yet it never feels too dense, everything somehow gets room to breathe. There's even a really lovely scene where Sally waits for an old man (whose younger version she was flirting with less than an hour before) to die, there to comfort him after he waited a lifetime to give her one important message.

Each of the supporting characters are also used well. There's the previously mentioned Billy, who first appears as a cheeky Detective Inspector who decides (perhaps rather inappropriately!) to try and pick up Sally Sparrow when she comes to him to report the odd goings on at the abandoned house, and then again as the now old dying man tasked with giving her an important message. There's Sally's best friend Kathy who gives us our first look at the powers of the Angels, and sets her unwittingly on the path to defeating them when she asks her to look after her brother. Kathy's fate is both horrifying and sweet, as she is "killed with kindness" by the Angels, trapped in a time of sexism and racism with a war not far down the road... but she also finds love and lives a long happy life surrounded by a loving family. There's a kind of horror about the fact that she listens in on Sally's conversation with a man who she will eventually realize is her own grandson, I wonder how she felt about potentially sending him into that danger, or if she felt that as it happened once before it had to happen again? Or maybe that explains why he quickly clears out and is never seen in the episode again, maybe his Grandmother's instructions included telling him,"Give her the letter, tell her who you are and then run the gently caress away and don't look back!"

Kathy's brother Larry is a bit of a dork and a loser, and I recall there being some discussion about the possibility he might have been a little poke at Lawrence Miles. I don't know if that is true or not, but if it is then I can think of a lot worse fates than having a character that is based on you end up in a happy romance with Carey Mulligan. Together, the two of them end up fulfilling Kathy's joking comment that she and Sally team up as "Nightingale and Sparrow" (Sally complains that it sounds a little too "ITV" for her liking), as they survive the Angels together, open up their own shop together and eventually begin a new life together free of the Doctor and the strange events that brought them together.

Moffat gets accused nowadays of being too wrapped up in being "clever" with the way he wraps up the time traveling oddities of his storylines. It's a complaint with some justification, and may be the result of overexposure, but even with the benefit of hindsight (foresight?), I think Blink still holds up in just how neatly it ties up all the apparent loose ends and creates a neat circle where everything makes perfect sense. Technically speaking of course there is no actual start and end to the story unless you look at the Doctor/Martha story and Sally/Larry story as two distinct paths that somehow intersected at different points. It's very much a predestination paradox - Sally gets given all the information she needs to give to the Doctor because she gets that information (third-hand) from the Doctor who got it from her who got it from him who got it from her etc, etc - but it's a time travel story, paradoxes are part and parcel and this story is wrapped up about as well as it can be, and in an enormously satisfying way.

The director of this episode is Hettie MacDonald, and it is a drat shame she has never directed another episode of the show, because she is fantastic. Her direction plays a gigantic part in taking Moffat's story, Mulligan's acting, and the terrifying Angels and putting them together in a moody story that builds tension and dread to a incredible climax. Sally and Larry embrace in terror as they find themselves surrounded by the Angels... and then realize the creatures' own power has been turned on themselves, and they have eternally trapped themselves in statue form. Any other director could have done a perfectly good job given the excellent material they had to work with, but MacDonald brings it to another level, this doesn't really feel like a usual episode of Doctor Who, and certainly not like anything else in season 3. Compare it to 42, which is also intended to be an atmospheric horror story but doesn't come close to the quality of Blink. Graeme Harper is a perfectly good director, and The Waters of Mars is a pretty drat good effort, but MacDonald was clearly the perfect choice for this story, and understood immediately how to raise everything up to a higher level. I hope we see her work on the show again, I would love to see what she could do with the improved visuals the show has enjoyed since season 5.

Blink is fully deserving of all the praise it gets. Any niggling issues it has are easy to dismiss, and probably the "worst" of them is hardly the episode's fault. "Wibbly Wobbly Timey-Wimey" was a neat joke in the midst of the story that far too many grabbed hold of and ran into the ground, and the slightly condescending quasi-quirkiness of Sally and Larry's first meeting can be mostly ignored, as the episode tends not to wallow too much in that style of self-aware (from a writing standpoint) slight zaniness. Larry is made out to be a bit of a loser, but he's a happy loser who enjoys his life. He's right there at Sally's side dealing with all the craziness that is thrown their way, without much of the explanation that Sally is made privy to, but he ends up making out pretty well. The episode is a remarkable achievement considering it was designed to work around a heavy filming schedule and the lack of the show's main star, and while I wouldn't recommend it as a good example of what Doctor Who is usually like, I also wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as an episode that people really, really need to watch.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at Jul 15, 2014 around 07:20

LividLiquid
Apr 13, 2002

BITCOIN BATMAN

Keep it up, J-Ru. I hope you're at least saving these somewhere so they're not lost somehow someday.

Ika
Dec 30, 2004
Pure insanity

DoctorWhat posted:

What references were you thinking of in Wheel of Ice?

As for books, the 7th Doctor version of Human Nature is a classic, as is the 9th Doctor book Only Human.

Mainly the company bootstrap inc which is owned by the main POV character in the manifold time book. (And I believe also in the other manifold books, but I haven't read them yet.)

Jerusalem posted:

Unless they produced a new one after I bought it, the complete season 8 boxset does NOT include the Christmas Special. I had to buy that separately (and was quite annoyed that it comes with all the other Christmas Specials packaged in, since I already have those as part of previous season boxsets.

Which other ones? Are you thinking of the season 7 boxset, which came out before the latest special? Normally I think the boxsets include the christmas specials that came out between the series in the set and the previous series, which would mean series 8 should include the current special and maybe the 50th special. I just can't find more than the number of episodes anywhere.

Ika fucked around with this message at Jul 15, 2014 around 07:59

Arglebargle III
Feb 21, 2006



Was any of the Matt Smith stuff not garbage?

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

Ask me about my calm and reasonable opinions on cycling!

I am in no way a zealot about cycling!

Cycling helmets are ABSOLUTE HARAM!


Arglebargle III posted:

Was any of the Matt Smith stuff not garbage?

As someone who disliked the big set piece episodes, yes quite a lot is not garbage.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Arglebargle III posted:

Was any of the Matt Smith stuff not garbage?

If the only Matt Smith episode you've seen is The Doctor, The Widow & The Wardrobe, then everything Matt Smith did was garbage, yes.

Ika posted:

Which other ones? Are you thinking of the season 7 boxset

Yeah, slip of the finger sorry, I meant to write the Season 7 boxset.

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Barry Foster
Dec 24, 2007

Brush your teeth.


Arglebargle III posted:

Was any of the Matt Smith stuff not garbage?

Most of series 5, four or five episodes of series 6, and maybe three episodes of series 7 are good to great. The mediocre-to-garbage ratio for all the other stuff definitely shifts towards garbage with each passing series, though.

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