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McGann
May 18, 2003

Get up you son of a bitch! 'Cause Mickey loves you!



I have to say, it's pretty confusing having both this and the regular non-spoiler Doctor Who thread open simultaneously. I keep having to double check the thread title.

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Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

You can't take it with you, you know.


Tiggum posted:


Why are all the Time Lords dead? What does that achieve? The Doctor was already an outcast who could never go home, making them dead doesn't seem to gain you anything. In fact, it just adds an arbitrary restriction that you can never do stories involving other Time Lords without coming up with some bullshit explanation for how they managed to survive.


The Time Lord stories in old Who are actually mostly pretty bad and involve people in silly hats so getting rid of them was actually a great idea.

DoctorWhat
Nov 18, 2011

A little privacy, please?


Yeah, and if you really want political drama involving the Space House of Lords we can direct you to the first three seasons of the Gallifrey spin-off audios, which more than exhausted any such potential.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Bicyclops posted:

The Time Lord stories in old Who are actually mostly pretty bad and involve people in silly hats so getting rid of them was actually a great idea.
Oh, I don't actually want stories about the Time Lords in the show, I agree that the stories set on Gallifrey are generally bad. But I still think having them be dead is a bad idea. With them around, the Doctor is an exile, sort of by his own choice, but also because he can't accept the the conditions that would be imposed on him if he were to go back, which is much more interesting than simply having them be dead. If he's an exile, he's a more interesting character because of the internal conflict of having chosen this life, but still kind of wishing he didn't have to. If they're dead, he's just an orphan. There's no conflict, he's just sad. He's Batman.

Also, if all the Time Lords died, you can't have individual Time Lords like the Master or Romana (or any of the others that have been in the show previously, or any new ones) show up without jumping through hoops to justify it. Even though the Master may generally be on the opposite side to the Doctor, he has shown previously that he doesn't want to see his own people and their civilisation destroyed. Especially if the threat were Daleks, because everyone is against the Daleks. It's pretty much impossible not to be.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

You can't take it with you, you know.


Tiggum posted:

Oh, I don't actually want stories about the Time Lords in the show, I agree that the stories set on Gallifrey are generally bad. But I still think having them be dead is a bad idea. With them around, the Doctor is an exile, sort of by his own choice, but also because he can't accept the the conditions that would be imposed on him if he were to go back, which is much more interesting than simply having them be dead. If he's an exile, he's a more interesting character because of the internal conflict of having chosen this life, but still kind of wishing he didn't have to. If they're dead, he's just an orphan. There's no conflict, he's just sad. He's Batman.

Also, if all the Time Lords died, you can't have individual Time Lords like the Master or Romana (or any of the others that have been in the show previously, or any new ones) show up without jumping through hoops to justify it. Even though the Master may generally be on the opposite side to the Doctor, he has shown previously that he doesn't want to see his own people and their civilisation destroyed. Especially if the threat were Daleks, because everyone is against the Daleks. It's pretty much impossible not to be.

I disagree. He's still an voluntary exile, just emotionally and from his adopted home. Part of why Eccleston is angrier than a lot of versions is that he doesn't really enjoy traveling as much anymore, and if the first season has an arc, it's kind of him learning to be his old self again.

He's never really interesting as an "exile" rather than as a traveler/tourist except during the Hartnell years when he claims to be trying to get home; everything else involving his home world is bad House of Lords commentary with the Doctor as trickster god. And we don't need individual Time Lords to show up. None of them, besides the Master, have ever been particularly interesting. RTD makes some very bad decisions, but the Time War was actually one of the best ones.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

A bracing glass of carrot juice!


Oxxidation posted:

JaKiri is one of the most popular posters in the Who megathreads, which means he is one of the worst posters absolutely everywhere else. A valuable guideline.

It's true

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Bicyclops posted:

He's never really interesting as an "exile" rather than as a traveler/tourist except during the Hartnell years when he claims to be trying to get home
It's interesting as a character background that explains what motivates him.

Bicyclops posted:

And we don't need individual Time Lords to show up. None of them, besides the Master, have ever been particularly interesting. RTD makes some very bad decisions, but the Time War was actually one of the best ones.
Romana. :colbert:

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


Tiggum I know your posting career is a quest to show the world how irritating you are but you are simultaneously flirting with the no-spoiler rule and really getting on my tits, please search for the Who-ly Grail elsewhere.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Tiggum posted:

It's interesting as a character background that explains what motivates him.

Romana. :colbert:

Lol quit spergin bout doctor who

hcreight
Mar 19, 2007

My name is Oliver Queen...


You made a thread about Doctor Who. What did you expect to happen?

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

You can't take it with you, you know.


E PLURIBUS ANUS posted:

Lol quit spergin bout doctor who

My friend, you have just posted over 4,500 words about Doctor Who in which you discuss characterization, genre fiction as a whole, episode themes, contextual knowledge, and narrative weightiness using bullet points, scoring, and references to the Hardy Boys. Your reason for doing this, about a "lovely, lovely" show you "loving hate" was "my e-buddies dared me to." I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the person making "longass tryhard careposts" is you. Jeru, who reviews every episode, actually put less effort into watching and discussing Doctor Who than you have this week. The guy who spent hundreds of dollars on a rainbow Doctor Who coat spent less effort posting about Doctor Who than you have this week.

Look into the mirror and offer your best Lovecraftian scream, for you have become the Doctor Who careposter.

DoctorWhat
Nov 18, 2011

A little privacy, please?


Bicyclops posted:

The guy who spent hundreds of dollars on a rainbow Doctor Who coat spent less effort posting about Doctor Who than you have this week.

Full disclosure - if you follow me on Tumblr, you'd find that this is debatable, but I'm a statistical outlier anyway.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

You can't take it with you, you know.


DoctorWhat posted:

if you follow me on Tumblr, you'd find that this is debatable

The fact that an off-site blog can even contain the word "debateable" when compared pretty well illustrates my point, honestly.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Bicyclops posted:

My friend, you have just posted over 4,500 words about Doctor Who in which you discuss characterization, genre fiction as a whole, episode themes, contextual knowledge, and narrative weightiness using bullet points, scoring, and references to the Hardy Boys. Your reason for doing this, about a "lovely, lovely" show you "loving hate" was "my e-buddies dared me to." I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the person making "longass tryhard careposts" is you. Jeru, who reviews every episode, actually put less effort into watching and discussing Doctor Who than you have this week. The guy who spent hundreds of dollars on a rainbow Doctor Who coat spent less effort posting about Doctor Who than you have this week.

Look into the mirror and offer your best Lovecraftian scream, for you have become the Doctor Who careposter.

poo poo well, this is the best post this thread will produce

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

A bracing glass of carrot juice!


It turns out that the sperg was coming from inside the house. What a twist!

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


Bicyclops posted:

My friend, you have just posted over 4,500 words about Doctor Who in which you discuss characterization, genre fiction as a whole, episode themes, contextual knowledge, and narrative weightiness using bullet points, scoring, and references to the Hardy Boys. Your reason for doing this, about a "lovely, lovely" show you "loving hate" was "my e-buddies dared me to." I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the person making "longass tryhard careposts" is you. Jeru, who reviews every episode, actually put less effort into watching and discussing Doctor Who than you have this week. The guy who spent hundreds of dollars on a rainbow Doctor Who coat spent less effort posting about Doctor Who than you have this week.

Look into the mirror and offer your best Lovecraftian scream, for you have become the Doctor Who careposter.

Yeah hi I just got in touch with Occ and he's burst into flames, you'll be hearing from my attorney.

Irish Joe
Jul 23, 2007

by Lowtax


Oxxidation's creepy symbiotic relationship with Anus is easily the best part of this thread.

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

Can we at least let Occupation get angry about the xenophobic bullshit in Unquiet Dead before this thread totally implodes please

egon_beeblebrox
Feb 29, 2008

WILL AMOUNT TO NOTHING IN LIFE.





If he hates it this bad right now, I can't wait til he gets to "Let's Kill Hitler." I mean, that poo poo is where I stopped liking New Who, and I'm pretty spergy about Doctor Who.

(Tom Baker 4 Life)

Spatula City
Oct 21, 2010

LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING

MikeJF posted:

What're you thinking? Dalek, Father's Day, and the Empty Child two-parter?

Father's Day, The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances. Two-parters are still two episodes.
There are also only three great episodes in Series 2, surprisingly there are five in 3, and five in 4. So, objectively the series with Rose in them suck. :colbert:

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


Spatula City posted:

Father's Day, The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances. Two-parters are still two episodes.
There are also only three great episodes in Series 2, surprisingly there are five in 3, and five in 4. So, objectively the series with Rose in them suck. :colbert:

But Rose was in season 4 :confused:

angerbeet
Mar 23, 2004




Oh lord I've wandered into a den of nerds

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

Toxic is a good song, gently caress you. Whatever you think of the rest of Britney Spears' oeuvre, the production is neat and they do all sorts of cool freaky things with her vocals and the instruments and it actually makes a good track for a suspense sequence. Seriously that poo poo is fun.

David D. Davidson
Nov 17, 2012

Orca lady?

As someone who actually likes nuwho I can honestly say that the first season is probably the weakest. At least from a technical standpoint. IF I had to guess why I'd say that they just weren't sure that it would take off the way it did so they only really planned for just the one season. I admit I don't have any proof of this, but that's just the vibe I get from this season.

MikeJF
Dec 20, 2003






Had the BBC really done any really high-quality actually-trying heavy-CGI-FX TV shows before that point? As I understand it, Who Revival was a huge learning experience for the studio.

Spatula City
Oct 21, 2010

LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING

Burkion posted:

But Rose was in season 4 :confused:

I should clarify, "as the primary companion". Still, the finale of season 4 was also not good. No NuWho finales have been good except maaaaaaybe Season 5's, which was moderately clever.
Pro-tip for people going into NuWho clean: X-Files rules are in effect here, meaning the best episodes are stand-alones (two-parters count), the worst are heavy plot (for the most part). Maybe this will help Occupation? Although, ugh, some great stand-alones were retroactively made plot relevant (MOFFAT YOU FUCKHEAD).
GOOD EPISODES THAT HAVE NO IMMEDIATE PLOT RELEVANCE (putting 'em in spoilers to be careful): Father's Day, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, Human Nature/The Family of Blood, Blink, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, Midnight, Turn Left, The Waters of Mars (special, but you know what I mean), The Beast Below, Amy's Choice, Vincent and the Doctor, The Lodger, The Doctor's Wife, Night Terrors, The God Complex, Cold War, Hide, The Crimson Horror.

BAD EPISODES WITH IMMEDIATE PLOT RELEVANCE: Rose, The Christmas Invasion, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks, The Sound of Drums, Last of the Time Lords, The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, The End of Time, Cold Blood, Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes to War, Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song, The Angels Take Manhattan, The Name of the Doctor, The Time of the Doctor.

DoctorWhat
Nov 18, 2011

A little privacy, please?


Spatula City posted:

I should clarify, "as the primary companion". Still, the finale of season 4 was also not good. No NuWho finales have been good except maaaaaaybe Season 5's, which was moderately clever.
Pro-tip for people going into NuWho clean: X-Files rules are in effect here, meaning the best episodes are stand-alones (two-parters count), the worst are heavy plot (for the most part). Maybe this will help Occupation? Although, ugh, some great stand-alones were retroactively made plot relevant (MOFFAT YOU FUCKHEAD).
GOOD EPISODES THAT HAVE NO IMMEDIATE PLOT RELEVANCE (putting 'em in spoilers to be careful): Father's Day, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, Human Nature/The Family of Blood, Blink, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, Midnight, Turn Left, The Waters of Mars (special, but you know what I mean), The Beast Below, Amy's Choice, Vincent and the Doctor, The Lodger, The Doctor's Wife, Night Terrors, The God Complex, Cold War, Hide, The Crimson Horror.

BAD EPISODES WITH IMMEDIATE PLOT RELEVANCE: Rose, The Christmas Invasion, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks, The Sound of Drums, Last of the Time Lords, The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, The End of Time, Cold Blood, Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes to War, Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song, The Angels Take Manhattan, The Name of the Doctor, The Time of the Doctor.

Is there a reason The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances isn't in either of those lists?

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


Hey hi this is exactly the sort of nonsense the no-spoiler clause was created to avoid, breathlessly gush about which episode of shouty Englishmen is the best in your own little hole.

I have stolen Occupation's dreams and learned that he intends to post another review tonight. Swelter in anticipation.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Doctor Who
"The Unquiet Dead"
Series 1, Episode 3

Although I generally don't like straight genre fiction, there's one series I especially enjoy watching, and that's the FOX show Sleepy Hollow. I do think Doctor Who and that show are fairly comparable in many aspects- fancy, smug, self-assured British gentleman from another era arrives in the present day, teams up with attractive younger woman, goes on supernatural adventures in a pseudo-episodic fashion. There's even the sense of loneliness of being the "last of their kind"- in Ichabod Crane's case though, it's due to Rip Van Winkle storytelling rather than overt genocide, but the sense of loss and fish-out-of-water is still present in both characters. Why do I adore Sleepy Hollow so much and hate Doctor Who equally, when they're so similarly themed?

I think it's mostly due to execution. Admittedly the SFX in Sleepy Hollow aren't laughably terrible, so that helps, but it's because the tone of the show, from the very first episode, is one of knowing insanity. At no point is SH not the mostly absolutely, ludicrously, insanely, gloriously stupid show to ever exist, and the writing staff knows it, so instead they focus their entire efforts on clever one liners and character building over forced tension and justification of their gimmicks. Sleepy Hollow makes no apologies for what it is, and as long as you're willing to come along for the ride the dialog and acting carry the absolutely nonsense plotting through to make it genuinely effective, engaging television.

This episode of Doctor Who, "The Unquiet Dead", comes closest to that feeling of pure glee I felt when marathoning Sleepy Hollow early this year. An absolutely ludicrous story involving alien ghosts from another dimension inhabiting corpses to start a zombie invasion in- wait for it- Dickensian England, of all places.

From one of the first scenes of the episode, the Doctor and Rose exhibit a manic glee for the proceedings that permeates throughout the whole episode and makes it palatable. There's some nonsense with cadavers coming back to life at the funeral parlor, causing no small amount of consternation for its owner, a Mr. Sneed, and his maid/resident psychic, Gwyneth. As luck would have it, one of the zombies decides to go see a local performance by a Mr. Charles Dickens (Simon Callow), for reasons never really made clear. Predictably, the zombie woman unleashes the ghost possessing her body in the middle of a packed opera house, which allows our two mains to cross paths with both Sneed, Gwyneth and Dickens. Rose notices that the possessed woman was a corpse all along, so in response Sneed inexplicably decides to knock her out and...I guess kill her to make sure the zombie secret never gets out? Again, it's not really explained.

This leads to the Doctor and Dickens teaming up to track Rose down, which eventually ends up revealing that the funeral parlor is on a rift in spacetime, because of course it is. The ghosts inhabiting the corpses turn out to actually be an alien race from another dimension (the Gelth) desperately trying to escape extinction as a result of the Time War (something this Doctor is intimately familiar with), only able to take corporeal form by inhabiting other corpses, in this case bodies. The psychic maid Gwyneth makes a bridge from the Gelth dimension to the 1860s England everyone is currently in because of course she is the only one who is able to. Then the Gelth turn out to be genocidal dicks because of course they are, seeking to give bodies to their billions-numerous species by turning all humans on earth into corpses. The Doctor saves the day, exploding only one building in the process.

The reason why this episode works in relation to, say, "The End of the World" is tone. There's a lot of stupidity throughout this episode, stuff that once the viewer thinks about and questions for even half a second completely collapses in on itself. Plot holes abound, characters make absolutely asinine decisions (Sneed's decision to sleeper hold Rose once she makes the corpse discovery is a particular riot of poor planning. What were you planning to do with her body after, dude?), and the show in itself is a complete mess, but none of it manners because no time is spent justifying any of it. In comparison to "The End of the World"'s numerous, terrible monologues about character motivation or backstory for its stupid bullshit, it glosses over any sort of halfassed justification for the nonsense occurring and in so doing allows the numerous plot holes to fade into the background. Instead, the episode completely focuses on character interaction, to its benefit.

Dickens, in particular, was extremely well cast. Simon Callow is a delight, especially when paired with Eccleston. Luckily, most of the episode involves just The Doctor and Dickens bouncing off of each other, and the writing, rarely, lives up to the promise these two actors provide. In particular, the stagecoach scene (where The Doctor reveals himself to be a massive Dickens fan), is goddamn wondrous, just one-liner tossed after one-liner. When Doctor Who abandons the melodrama, abandons its own absolutely loving terrible backstory, and just has fun interactions only possible with its time-bending narrative conceit- seeing one of the nineteenth century's greatest writers chewing the fat with our resident Time Lord makes all of the TARDIS idiocy, the timey-wimey "bigger on the inside" bullshit worth it.

Unfortunately the episode still kinda falls apart about halfway through. Instead of focusing on just The Doctor and Dickens interacting, we're forced to suffer through, I guess in the interest of equality, scenes between Rose and Gwyneth. In theory, these scenes should work, but they presume that: 1) Rose is a decent character, which she is not in absolutely any way- her entire characterization up to this point has been wide-eyed, superficial moron, and she does the exact same thing here, giggling over boys like a loving fourteen-year-old, 2) Billie Piper is a good actress, which I'm pretty sure she's mediocre at best, since outside of being a desperately facile character Piper injects zero life into Rose whatsoever, so whenever Rose isn't being superficial as poo poo she's just completely dull, and 3) the writing staff has any investment in Rose or her actress whatsoever, which they clearly don't, either recognizing Piper and Rose only work well when interacting with Eccleston and the Doctor, respectively, so the staff dumps all the boring backstory of Gwyneth's character (hey do you know that Gwyneth is a psychic? That sure won't be plot-relevant!) and forced melodrama into these scenes. Gwyneth's actress, in particular, is especially bad so these Rose/Gwyneth scenes realistically only have one person even half-heartedly trying to squeeze any emotion out of them.

To, again, contrast to the in my opinion superior show Sleepy Hollow, from the very beginning of that show's run the writing staff made Abbie into an independent character with agency and interesting motivations, so she was a fun character to watch even when removed from Crane for extended periods of time (Case in point: the season finale essentially has Ichabod and Abbie split up for the entire episode, and it's one of if not the strongest of the season). In contrast, whenever Rose is away from the Doctor it seems like she's being sent to the time-out corner to think about what she did, being forced to hang out with the terrible actress instead of the rad author. It also doesn't help that Rose, up to this point, is entirely defined by her relationship with the Doctor, so watching Rose by herself feels like watching a vestigal tail just flopping around uselessly on the floor when cut off from its host.

In any case, those downright grating scenes mercifully end and we approach the climax of the episode, with Gwyneth the human bridge.

Now due to this thread's many, many complaints about it, I was totally expecting for some super xenophobic sideplot or message to rear its ugly head during "Unquiet Dead". Now, I guess you can view the Gelth as dirty immigrants sneaking into the country to destroy the gloriously British homeland or whatever, if you squint. But to me, especially having seen this episode fresh, this really seems like a slanted way to look at the antagonists of the episode and forcing a narrative that isn't validated by the episode, in the grand old internet tradition. I also think that part of the reason why this whole "this episode is xenophobic" narrative comes from people half-remembering what actually happens in the episode and extrapolating and exaggerating in their own heads what the episode was like until "Unquiet Dead" becomes, to them, that episode. The Gelth aren't analogous to immigrants- they're dickbag aliens, in the (I assume) grand old Doctor Who tradition of dickbag aliens looking to gently caress over other races for their own gain. Like- look, I despise this series and take any chance to poo poo all over it if I can, but the whole "'The Unquiet Dead' is actually a super xenophobic parable meant to spread jingoistic messaging" dog just won't hunt, gentlemen. This show is quite frankly too loving stupid to pull that off, and for once I mean that in the best way possible.

Grade: B

Random Thoughts:
  • I really like Sleepy Hollow, guys.
  • Doctor: "Attaboy Charlie." Dickens: "Nobody calls me Charlie." Doctor: "The ladies do." Dickens: "I told you, I'm your.." Dickens (sarcastically): "Your number one fan, yes."
  • Gwyneth: "I'm sorry, we're closed sir." Dickens: "Nonsense, since when did an undertaker keep office hours? The dead don't die on schedule."
  • Dickens: "What the Shakespeare is going on?" (I liked this subtle joke.)
  • I really liked Charles Dickens. Can the rest of the show be the Doctor hanging out with Charles Dickens? I want that show to exist.
  • I honestly would've given this episode an A if the Rose/Gwyneth scenes didn't exist. I'm 100% serious.

NieR Occomata fucked around with this message at 03:00 on Aug 2, 2014

hcreight
Mar 19, 2007

My name is Oliver Queen...




Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


Doctor Who
"The Unquiet Dead"
Series 1, Episode 3

Well, we saw the Earth explode, so let's cleanse that palate with a trip into the past, where men were chimney sweeps and women didn't have the vote. If I had to group the past, present, and future episodes of Doctor Who into discrete categories, I have the strong impression that the past episodes would contain the largest number of my favorites by a good margin. The sets look merely cheap instead of cheap and ridiculous and are often obscured by some lovely twilight gloom, the focus tends to be more on silly period acting than badly-made aliens, and there is an inherent incongruity to most of the past episodes that gives them a natural boost over their peers. I mean, look at this poo poo - you've got a blustering mortician and his timorous maid-servant teaming up with Charles Dickens to stop alien ghosts. It's like someone smearing steak sauce all over your peanut butter, the ingredients do not match up at all but it's a taste sensation that years of therapy will not allow you to forget.

The beginning of this episode takes care to mention that it takes place in Cardiff, which is in fact where most of Who was shot, to my knowledge, at least during the Davies era. A Welshman himself, Davies does not hesitate to seize one of the most time-honored creative traditions, viz., crapping all over the place of your birth. Not like he has to try very hard; I mean, what is Wales, really? It's nothing. It's a parking lot with fancy ideas. Cardiff aside, the interiors are well-designed (I especially liked the overcrowded funeral parlor set) and the outer streets, while a bit cardboard, at least don't show up often.

I'm echoing most of what Occ said in regards to the acting here. Simon Callow's performance is outstanding - while I don't know much about Charles Dickens, never really read the man, find most literature from period desperately turgid, there's no question that he does a superb job of portraying an aged, bitter, and remorseful old scribbler. Despite his funk, Dickens conducts his "Christmas Carol" reading with the aplomb his audience expects and visibly preens when the Doctor starts to gush about his lesser-known works; he's doubtful about his legacy but still hungry for validation of it from others, a very sympathetic position. Also sympathetic is his skepticism, because there exist few greater cynics than professional novelists. Dickens' contempt, incredulity, and fearful acceptance of the supernatural events occurring around him comprise a small but deft character arc, where a man who fancied himself a top-class bullshit artist finds that all the nonsense he wrote about was true and is left wondering if he's had his feet on the wrong side of the world all this time. His "God bless us, every one!" is a perfect cap to the episode, and a touching conclusion to a side character that could have existed as nothing but a punny gimmick.

Less impressive (as usual) is Rose, who spends half the episode stuffed in a cupboard and rather improves things by her absence. For two episodes in a row the series attempts to humanize her by having her treat servants like they're people, but Rose's monotone Cockney lilt isn't great at conveying actual compassion, and she's easily out-hammed by Gretchen and her accent (is that what the Welsh sound like? Sounds like Scottish with a head cold). Her brief spat with the Doctor over using the dead as vessels for the Gelth raises some interesting questions - interesting to other people, I mean, I was with the Doctor all the way, cemeteries have always stuck me as only slightly less pointless than golf courses - but of course that's all tossed out the window when the ghost zombies turn out to be at once evil and terminally flammable.

I first heard the "xenophobia" mutterings in this thread and was so perplexed by them that I did a little research. Evidently, upon the episode's first airing, some sci-fi author or something accused the Gelth subplot of being a veiled anti-immigration analogy, which I don't understand at all. I mean, they're just outsiders who initially appear harmless and willing to integrate with society but upon official acceptance into our territory reveal a hitherto-unseen malevolence and desire to consume vast amounts of natural resources with their overwhelming numbers- uh-ohhhhhh

Okay, but seriously, I wasn't impressed with the "xenophobia" meme even after hearing this, and not just because I hold a natural contempt for television as a cultural medium and everyone who views it as such. The Gelth are a standard "alien invader" antagonist with a few twists that get it within eyeshot of an unfortunate metaphor, and of course the screeching noise machine that is the Doctor Who fanbase takes it and runs with it. Occ is a loving Californian, he was literally bred to take offense at stupid things, so if my callous East Coast heart and his pillowy West Coast one concur on this issue then we may at last lay to rest the xenophobia meme with the conclusion "Doctor Who fans are stupid." Fine work being done in this thread, well done all around.

So, with present, future, and past out of the way, we may now expect to finally begin nu-Who proper. It was a bit of a rocky start, but with all the primers done, the possibilities before us are limitless, or at least as limitless as a couch-cushion budget and a lot of blue body paint can allow. I have no doubt that the next episode will give us insight into the full potential, wit, and profundity of Doctor Who.

...*fart*

Oxxidation fucked around with this message at 03:32 on Aug 2, 2014

Xenoborg
Mar 10, 2007



Oxxidation posted:

Less impressive (as usual) is Rose, who spends half the episode stuffed in a cupboard and rather improves things by her absence.

Traditionally the assistant's main job has been to get captured so the doctor interacts with interesting people.

Unkempt
May 24, 2003

...perfect spiral, scientists are still figuring it out...


Oxxidation posted:

Doctor Who
"The Unquiet Dead"

Okay, but seriously, I wasn't impressed with the "xenophobia" meme even after hearing this, and not just because I hold a natural contempt for television as a cultural medium and everyone who views it as such. The Gelth are a standard "alien invader" antagonist with a few twists that get it within eyeshot of an unfortunate metaphor, and of course the screeching noise machine that is the Doctor Who fanbase takes it and runs with it.

Spot on.


Sadly, this too.

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

Maybe you kinda have to understand the general reaction to immigration over here in the UK, which is similarly negative to America but in a different way.

hcreight
Mar 19, 2007

My name is Oliver Queen...


Isn't the main difference just "hate the Arab people" instead of "hate the Hispanic people?"

Lipset and Rock On
Jan 18, 2009


You could make a comparison to some of the scare stories around about asylum seekers around the time of the original airing. The Gelth appear to be refugees, who then have malevolent intentions, but really I just think the whole thing is stupid and I doubt anyone involved was seriously thinking about asylum seekers when writing or making the episode, especially as Russell T Davies is basically, instinctively, a woolly lefty liberal type, albeit one who basically doesn't actually know what he's talking about.

Sure he didn't write the episode, but if he thought there was a xenophobic tone to it I suspect he would have changed the script a lot more.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Bown posted:

Maybe you kinda have to understand the general reaction to immigration over here in the UK, which is similarly negative to America but in a different way.

I honestly just don't think it's there dude

Like not only am I crazy liberal, I'm a crazy liberal living in loving California aka where all the undocumented workers go. I'm surrounded by xenoracism (coined it) constantly, of every possible flavors: I've literally heard arguments about who those goddamn illegals come into the country to sneak in arms to terrorists

And some conservative Cali douchebags even try to dogwhistle it, urging for statewide ids or to eliminate birthright citizenship or something something 9-11, so I'm used to poorly chosen metaphors trying to justify xenophobia

I just didn't loving see it, at all, and I was explicitly looking for it

If I had never heard the complaint in the first place I wouldn't have assumed the episode dealt with xenophobia at all, period so uh yeah

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

You can't take it with you, you know.


:lol: "The Unquiet Dead" gets a B? An he liked the goofy "What the Shakepeare?" joke? He's going to be posting in the Doctor Who thread and buying bowties before the end of the month.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

A bracing glass of carrot juice!


Spatula City posted:

I should clarify, "as the primary companion". Still, the finale of season 4 was also not good. No NuWho finales have been good except maaaaaaybe Season 5's, which was moderately clever.
Pro-tip for people going into NuWho clean: X-Files rules are in effect here, meaning the best episodes are stand-alones (two-parters count), the worst are heavy plot (for the most part). Maybe this will help Occupation? Although, ugh, some great stand-alones were retroactively made plot relevant (MOFFAT YOU FUCKHEAD).
GOOD EPISODES THAT HAVE NO IMMEDIATE PLOT RELEVANCE

BAD EPISODES WITH IMMEDIATE PLOT RELEVANCE:

Cool you like some Doctor Who episodes but don't like some other ones

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MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

A bracing glass of carrot juice!


The Immigrants angle is down to a guy called Lawrence Miles, who's this Doctor Who superfan who is an incredibly bitter nerd but is also quite funny and does some good analysis a lot of the time. He got hammered when watching the episode for the first time and in a fit of "poo poo is different to my dreams" pique he read far too much into it, and withdrew it later when sober.

This has stuck around due to ??

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