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Davros1
Jul 19, 2007

You've got to admit, you are kind of implausible

The_Doctor posted:

I think the only thing I liked about this episode was the monk’s shield effect when a soldier fires on it.

I mention this when it aired, but I really appreciated that Erica's height was never once mentioned.

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Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


Davros1 posted:

I mention this when it aired, but I really appreciated that Erica's height was never once mentioned.

Yeah, that was really good. It was just a character that could have been written for anyone, and they cast someone who happened to be short. It's a rarity on television.

Gynovore
Jun 17, 2009

Forget your RoboCoX or your StickyCoX or your EvilCoX, MY CoX has Blinking Bewbs!

WHY IS THIS GAME DEAD?!

Jerusalem posted:

The Pyramid at the End of the World

Holy crap, I'm glad someone agrees with me. I still remember watching this and thinking "This isn't a real Doctor Who episode, right?"
  • The Doctor not telling anyone he's blind was loving stupid. Even stupider was that he just happened to have a pair of sunglasses which let him see his surroundings. During the Tennant/Smith era I complained about how lazy writers turned the Sonic Screwdriver into a magic wand that could essentially do anything, but this takes the shitbiscuit. And, conveniently, none of the Bradbury-magic on the TARDIS could restore his sight.

  • On that note, when the Doctor was trapped in the lab, why didn't he just kick back and put his feet up? The lab blows up, the bacteria is roasted, the Doctor regenerates and gets his sight back, everyone's happy.

  • The inconsistent level of technology. The Monks have essentially infinite computing power, can teleport massive objects, can turn people to dust with a thought... but they can't see into the lab that's Really Important To Their Plans when the cameras are off? And then when Bill 'submits', they wave their hands and restore the Doctor's sight from halfway across the world? WTF?

At least it's not as bad as the resolution of the next episode.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


I like the first part of that three-parter, but I sort of feel like the best resolution would have been the Doctor and Bill casually discussing how they got rid of the monks at the beginning of their completely unrelated next adventure.

I think the second episode is probably the worst, because there seems to be no reason why any of the military people are saying the things that they're saying, and it's so painfully long. The whole "This is not consent" thing was a weird mystery with an unsatisfying conclusion. At least the third one has some happy "the power of love somehow blew up the alien monsters, the love just made their hateful hearts explode" with an accompanying Murray Gold soundtrack.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


Bicyclops posted:

I like the first part of that three-parter, but I sort of feel like the best resolution would have been the Doctor and Bill casually discussing how they got rid of the monks at the beginning of their completely unrelated next adventure.

I think the second episode is probably the worst, because there seems to be no reason why any of the military people are saying the things that they're saying, and it's so painfully long. The whole "This is not consent" thing was a weird mystery with an unsatisfying conclusion. At least the third one has some happy "the power of love somehow blew up the alien monsters, the love just made their hateful hearts explode" with an accompanying Murray Gold soundtrack.

Yeah shame about the millions of people literally executed and then I guess forgotten about.

Sorry Sara, your mom is dead now because you turned her in for thought crimes and you don't know why

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


Burkion posted:

Yeah shame about the millions of people literally executed and then I guess forgotten about.

Sorry Sara, your mom is dead now because you turned her in for thought crimes and you don't know why

Yeah, the whole "Ah, but people do not accept that which they don't understand, and so the whole alien invasion was instantly forgotten" plot has pretty much always been annoying to me. The idea that most of the people in the world are complacent sheeple and there's some enlightened few who can deal with a bunch of conspiracies has always felt at odds with the revival's optimism. I didn't like it in the Davies years and I don't like it in the Monk conclusions.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Bicyclops posted:

I like the first part of that three-parter, but I sort of feel like the best resolution would have been the Doctor and Bill casually discussing how they got rid of the monks at the beginning of their completely unrelated next adventure.

Absolutely. Hell I'd have even preferred it if the first episode had ended with an aside between the Doctor and Bill or Nardole about how they'd defeated the Monks thanks to Simulation-Doctor's warning. It felt like each episode made the Monks into something different because the writers weren't exactly sure how they worked, which is even worse when you realize 1.5 of those writers was the guy who created them in the first place.

That said, Terry Nation once forgot the Daleks weren't robots...

Bicyclops posted:

I think the second episode is probably the worst, because there seems to be no reason why any of the military people are saying the things that they're saying

I think either Peter Harness has zero idea how soldiers operate, or he loving hates soldiers and is deliberately writing them as the dumbest morons in the universe.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


Jerusalem posted:


I think either Peter Harness has zero idea how soldiers operate, or he loving hates soldiers and is deliberately writing them as the dumbest morons in the universe.

Hyper-militaristic "dumbest morons in the universe" is one thing, but these ones were idealistic Doctor-worshipers who seemed to be reciting lines from an abstract, avante-garde play in which words didn't need to mean anything. The best parts of basically every Harness episode are definitely carried by the acting or touch-ups from Stephen Moffat, however you feel about the latter.

Gynovore
Jun 17, 2009

Forget your RoboCoX or your StickyCoX or your EvilCoX, MY CoX has Blinking Bewbs!

WHY IS THIS GAME DEAD?!

Bicyclops posted:

At least the third one has some happy "the power of love somehow blew up the alien monsters, the love just made their hateful hearts explode" with an accompanying Murray Gold soundtrack.
I didn't mention this above because I thought it would break the 'no spoiler' rule, but... yeah. Bill clicks her heels three times and defeats the badguys by thinking happy thoughts.

A dude posted:

I think either Peter Harness has zero idea how soldiers operate, or he loving hates soldiers and is deliberately writing them as the dumbest morons in the universe.

Not just Harness. With the occasional exception of UNIT, soldiers are portrayed as ultra-fanatic (Sontarans, Ice Warriors) or as thundering idiots (the other 95%).

Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Jerusalem posted:

I think either Peter Harness has zero idea how soldiers operate, or he loving hates soldiers and is deliberately writing them as the dumbest morons in the universe.

The Second World War would have been much easier if we could've just got a shape-changing alien pretending to be Hitler's mum on our side.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


Gynovore posted:

I didn't mention this above because I thought it would break the 'no spoiler' rule, but... yeah. Bill clicks her heels three times and defeats the badguys by thinking happy thoughts.


Anything that's aired is solidly beyond spoiler rule, technically, although some of us tend to spoiler things when it seems there's somebody new watching the show for the first time.

I actually don't mind the occasional "We're vanquishing evil with the Doctor Who equivalent of the Care Bear stare" every now and then. The Rings of Ahkaten sort of ends that way, and its fine. The third part isn't good by any stretch of the imagination, but I like that one moment when the concept of Bill's mum sends the terror-aliens running for the hills.

Hopefully, they'll stay in the hills, never to be touched even by Big Finish.

Gynovore
Jun 17, 2009

Forget your RoboCoX or your StickyCoX or your EvilCoX, MY CoX has Blinking Bewbs!

WHY IS THIS GAME DEAD?!

Bicyclops posted:

I actually don't mind the occasional "We're vanquishing evil with the Doctor Who equivalent of the Care Bear stare" every now and then. The Rings of Ahkaten sort of ends that way, and its fine. The third part isn't good by any stretch of the imagination, but I like that one moment when the concept of Bill's mum sends the terror-aliens running for the hills.

Last of the Time Lords kinda-sorta had the Doctor defeat the Master by getting all humanity to think happy thoughts, which is about all I can stomach.

Bicyclops posted:

Anything that's aired is solidly beyond spoiler rule, technically, although some of us tend to spoiler things when it seems there's somebody new watching the show for the first time.

'Aired' is a bit vague if you're not in England.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


The_Doctor posted:

I think the only thing I liked about this episode was the monk’s shield effect when a soldier fires on it.

I remember that being in the next episode, not Pyramid.

(Also, it's so painfully obvious watching these three episodes that the writers were barely communicating with each other. Hence the "churches" in Lie Of The Land.)

2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

You did a super job wrapping things up! And I'm not just saying that because I have to!

It seems a lot like there were three unrelated episode ideas that were folded into one story arc and handled by three different writers. It could probably have actually worked, if they didn't get that terrible writer whose name I forget to write part 3

E: Toby Whithouse, that's the one

https://twitter.com/PhilSandifer/st...8300787712?s=19

2house2fly fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2018 around 23:13

Astroman
Apr 8, 2001



I take it Sandifer has finely tuned his opinion that "Nu-Who is the only valid continuation of the original series" to "RTD-Who is the only valid continuation to the original series."

Can't to hear his increasingly Lawrence Milesesque hot takes on Chibnall-Whittaker Who.

aBagorn
Aug 26, 2004


Gynovore posted:

Last of the Time Lords kinda-sorta had the Doctor defeat the Master by getting all humanity to think happy thoughts, which is about all I can stomach.

Ugh this gave me way too many DBZ-esque “Goku take my energy” spirit bomb vibes.

2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

You did a super job wrapping things up! And I'm not just saying that because I have to!

Astroman posted:

I take it Sandifer has finely tuned his opinion that "Nu-Who is the only valid continuation of the original series" to "RTD-Who is the only valid continuation to the original series."

Can't to hear his increasingly Lawrence Milesesque hot takes on Chibnall-Whittaker Who.

From reading his blogs he's a Moffat superfan and iirc described series 8 and 9 as a "golden age" of the show, with the Peter Harness episodes as his favourites. Hard bloke to pin down

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

High marks for compassion, low marks for survival skills





Power Of Love endings rule and I will bask in the tears of those who hate them forever, though Lie of the Land wasn't really the best example of the form.

e. I enjoyed Pyramid when I watched it, though I have to wonder if my reaction to a repeat viewing would be similar to Jerusalem's. (Also, having seen Arrival in the meantime, I'm not saying Pyramid ripped it off, but wow do I see a lot of at least superficial parallels.)

docbeard fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2018 around 01:15

Narsham
Jun 5, 2008


Bicyclops posted:

I like the first part of that three-parter, but I sort of feel like the best resolution would have been the Doctor and Bill casually discussing how they got rid of the monks at the beginning of their completely unrelated next adventure.

I think the second episode is probably the worst, because there seems to be no reason why any of the military people are saying the things that they're saying, and it's so painfully long. The whole "This is not consent" thing was a weird mystery with an unsatisfying conclusion. At least the third one has some happy "the power of love somehow blew up the alien monsters, the love just made their hateful hearts explode" with an accompanying Murray Gold soundtrack.

The third could have redeemed some of the threads in the second if, you know, the second were in any way related to the third beyond cosmetic elements. I admit to finding all the people trying to surrender and getting killed because they didn't really mean it to be hilarious.

Really, there's a deeper waste of potential here. The Monks are all about living for/in the future, even down to their "we see you as corpses" comment. So have them both genuinely alien in their thought processes and ridiculously patient. They land, say that they predict a rolling climate disaster over the next 50-60 years, set a deadline for the point that they'll actually help rectify it, and just settle in for the long game. They aren't really invaders. They aren't harming people. They're just saying they predict a disaster and refuse to help unless they are put in charge. Does the Doctor even have grounds for fighting them?

This show can have the main characters skip ahead a decade at a time to see how things are going. Have a patient invasion lasting a century or two that you can only see happening with that perspective, and force the Doctor to fight a new kind of approach. It's like neither Moffat nor Harness have any confidence in the actual concept and have to gin up some sort of immediate crisis.

I look forward to the next review as I hate the third episode the most by a large margin. This one is contrived, but the majority of the damage done is to single-episode characters. The Doctor actually comes off fairly well.

Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


2house2fly posted:

It seems a lot like there were three unrelated episode ideas that were folded into one story arc and handled by three different writers. It could probably have actually worked, if they didn't get that terrible writer whose name I forget to write part 3

E: Toby Whithouse, that's the one

Toby Whithouse has written good episodes of Doctor Who other than "The Lie of the Land" ("School Reunion", "The God Complex" et al.).

Maelstache
Feb 25, 2013

gOTTA gO fAST

Wheat Loaf posted:

Toby Whithouse has written good episodes of Doctor Who other than "The Lie of the Land" ("School Reunion", "The God Complex" et al.).

Yeah, Whithouse has written many good things in the past, which makes it kind-of extra lovely that the worst thing he has ever written will probably be the last time he ever writes for Dr Who.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005



2house2fly posted:

From reading his blogs he's a Moffat superfan and iirc described series 8 and 9 as a "golden age" of the show, with the Peter Harness episodes as his favourites. Hard bloke to pin down

Nah mate it's easy, he's a grandiloquent know-nothing twerp who thinks that talking for a really long time is a sign of intelligence

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Yeah, Whithouse has written really good stories before which makes Lie of the Land so confusing. School Reunion remains one of my favorites, even if only for the scene of Sarah Jane seeing the TARDIS again for the first time in decades

fractalairduct
Sep 26, 2015

I, Giorno Giovanna, have a dream!


Lie of the Land at least has the theoretically interesting premise of 'why has the Doctor started working with the monks?"

Pyramid has nothing interesting in it at all.

cargohills
Apr 17, 2014



I personally quite like Phil Sandifer. I really like Series 8 and 9, and I appreciate that he doesn’t like Big Finish as much as most. As someone who has sort of fallen out with their stuff recently it’s nice to be able to read discussion of them that doesn’t give even the audio equivalent of The Twin Dilemma at least 7/10. (By comparison, see every other audio review site.)

Astroman
Apr 8, 2001



My issue with Sandifer wasn't his dislike of BF per se, but the fact that he clearly went into his critical analysis with a planned narrative--that the 2005 series was the apotheosis of the show and the only valid version. The books and BF were "The Wilderness Years" and a mere placeholder til we got back to the business of "Real Who".

He ignores the inconvenient fact that BF has continued 13 years after the new show started, that it uses the current and former actors and writers, and has produced some of the best Doctor Who stories ever made.

At least he did last time I read him, which was admittedly a few years ago.

Tim Burns Effect
Apr 1, 2011



i like big finish but having not one but TWO boxsets where winston churchill rants about how disgusting indians are was an odd choice

Sydney Bottocks
Oct 15, 2004

Eh.


Astroman posted:

My issue with Sandifer wasn't his dislike of BF per se, but the fact that he clearly went into his critical analysis with a planned narrative--that the 2005 series was the apotheosis of the show and the only valid version. The books and BF were "The Wilderness Years" and a mere placeholder til we got back to the business of "Real Who".

He ignores the inconvenient fact that BF has continued 13 years after the new show started, that it uses the current and former actors and writers, and has produced some of the best Doctor Who stories ever made.

At least he did last time I read him, which was admittedly a few years ago.

I haven't read his stuff in a few years either, but I seem to recall that his views on DW went beyond just thinking that the books and audio stories were "the wilderness years"; and that he basically viewed all of classic DW as just a trial run for what he feels is the show's true form, namely the 2005 revival.

In any case, his writing style is overly pretentious and his views really shouldn't be given any more weight than amyone else's.

Organza Quiz
Nov 7, 2009



Having episodes of Who where he doesn’t go into a rant about how disgusting Indians are is an odd choice.

Doctor Zero
Sep 21, 2002

Would you like a jelly baby?
It's been in my pocket through 4 regenerations,
but it's still good.

Jerusalem posted:

Yeah, Whithouse has written really good stories before which makes Lie of the Land so confusing. School Reunion remains one of my favorites, even if only for the scene of Sarah Jane seeing the TARDIS again for the first time in decades

School Reunion is definitely a favorite but I watched it again recently and the plot is ugggghhhh up there with the Monks. So I don’t think I’d personally call it a good story .

All the Sarah Jane stuff is so awesome though it just powers through past the plot like Brian Blessed charging through a scene.

Doctor Zero fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2018 around 15:04

Davros1
Jul 19, 2007

You've got to admit, you are kind of implausible

Rewatched Day of the Doctor, and drat, do I love John Hurt.

Eleven: I demand to be locked up with my co-conspirators, Sand Shoes and Grandad.
War: (incredulously) Grandad?!
Ten: These aren't sand shoes!
War: (scoffs) Yes they are.

Sydney Bottocks
Oct 15, 2004

Eh.


Davros1 posted:

Rewatched Day of the Doctor, and drat, do I love John Hurt.

Eleven: I demand to be locked up with my co-conspirators, Sand Shoes and Grandad.
War: (incredulously) Grandad?!
Ten: These aren't sand shoes!
War: (scoffs) Yes they are.

I've stated often that I am not the biggest fan of Moffat's run on the show (to put it mildly), but danged if I didn't enjoy the hell out of Day of the Doctor.

2house2fly
Nov 14, 2012

You did a super job wrapping things up! And I'm not just saying that because I have to!

In retrospect I think Matt Smith is my favourite Doctor. Capaldi's great and probably had at least as many good episodes, but I guess I prefer the lighter tone of the Smith years

corn in the bible
Jun 5, 2004

Oh no oh god it's all true!


Pertwee will always be the best Doctor. Accept no other!

Tim Burns Effect
Apr 1, 2011



One of the downsides of watching the classic series in order is that UNIT really wear out their welcome over however many seasons Pertwee has (4? 5?)

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


I do wish more companions reacted like the Brig did when he first saw the inside of the TARDIS


Namely annoyance and indifference. Of course this is happening. It's likely something the Doctor did just to pick at him

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

Hey, Karn, what do you say to console someone who just got Thought Erased? You give up? "Need a hand?"


The Brig had a good function in being an authority figure to say "This fellow is on the level," to cut through some of the capture-and-release, even if, in the end, it was usually undermined by the Brig not believing the Doctor or by some other authority figure telling the Brig to go screw himself.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


The Brig basically worked for a lot of the same reasons Jamie worked.

Jamie just did not care, all of this poo poo was nonsense to him so he took it all without much complaint.

The Brigadier is similar in that nothing really phased him, but unlike Jamie who just accepted whatever and went on his way, the Brig just got really annoyed about it not being normal.

Vinylshadow
Mar 20, 2017


Davros1 posted:

Rewatched Day of the Doctor, and drat, do I love John Hurt.

Eleven: I demand to be locked up with my co-conspirators, Sand Shoes and Grandad.
War: (incredulously) Grandad?!
Ten: These aren't sand shoes!
War: (scoffs) Yes they are.

Not even five minutes with his future selves and War was already done with the both of them

"What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at them?"

He's adorable

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Davros1
Jul 19, 2007

You've got to admit, you are kind of implausible

Bicyclops posted:

The Brig had a good function in being an authority figure to say "This fellow is on the level," to cut through some of the capture-and-release, even if, in the end, it was usually undermined by the Brig not believing the Doctor or by some other authority figure telling the Brig to go screw himself.

My favorite (I think it was "Invasion of the Dinosaurs"), the Brig's been relieved, and the new man in charge, working in aid with the villains, orders Benton to lock the Doctor up. Benton does so, but after the new guy leaves, looks at the Doctor, and says "You'd better get out of here", turning his back so the Doctor can render him unconscious.

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