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Which season should the next animated reconstruction be from?
Season 1 (Marco Polo)
Season 2 (The Crusade)
Season 3 (Galaxy 4/The Myth Makers/The Daleks' Master Plan/The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve/The Celestial Toymaker/The Savages)
Season 4 (The Smugglers/The Highlanders/The Underwater Menace/The Evil of the Daleks)
Season 5 (The Abominable Snowmen/The Web of Fear/The Wheel in Space)
Season 6 (The Space Pirates)
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Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011

The Timeless Child is THE DOCTOR? Oh, for God's sake!


Top Cop



Remember 2018, when people believed that Doctor Who was going to be better than ever, now that we had a woman playing the Doctor? Well, it worked...for a season. Season 37, Chibnall's and Whittaker's first, scored ratings that almost matched revival-high levels! Season 38, on the other hand, had revival-LOW ratings, with finale the Timeless Children having the worst ratings for the show since the Curse of Fenric. That's not ideal.

It hurts me to say this, but the ratings reflect how good the season was. Good ideas for stories got dragged down by CONCEPTS and PARADIGM SHIFTS and BULLSHIT. Everything we thought we knew about the Doctor's life before leaving Gallifrey with Susan was retconned into having the Doctor have countless Brain of Morbius lives, including a Doctor whose TARDIS looks like a 1960's police box for no reason other than be a red herring into thinking she lived in season 6B. Captain Jack Harkness made his first televised appearance since 2011, but he didn't meet or speak to the Thirteenth Doctor. Lenny Henry played a man who was only 93% human for no explained reason. Orphan 55 was Earth all along, even though that twist has been done before in Doctor Who and contradicted several other "future Earth" stories. The best episode was probably Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror.

Now, we wait for the festive special. Oh, but don't worry about cancellation - there are still three more guaranteed seasons. Thank you, People's Republic of China!

The previous thread can be found here. Now for the formalities.

NO SPOILERS gently caress it, I don't know what we do about spoilers now
We have a designated spoiler thread, but under Chibnall the amount of spoilers have dried like the lake in that one episode. Use your best judgement. Episode titles can be spoiler-y, so use discretion when discussing episodes yet to air. For example, 'Hide' doesn't spoil anything, but 'OH poo poo IT'S THE DALEKS' does.

WHERE DO I START?
The Woman Who Fell to Earth is a good starting point, as the current Doctor makes her first starring appearance there alongside her current companions. This is not to discount Doctors 9-12, but so far their stories have not made a major point in the tenure of Whittaker's Doctor. If you want to watch the original series, there are plenty of places to start. You COULD start with An Unearthly Child and watch everything in chronological order. You could also watch individual serials of all the Doctors and determine which you like the best. Keep in mind, don't shotgun a whole Hartnell or Troughton in one go, or else you'll get complacent. Those 60's episodes are meant to be seen one at a time, and if you only just rented the DVD, wait a few hours between episodes.

The most popular serials for the original series you can jump into are:

First Doctor: An Unearthly Child, The Aztecs
Second Doctor: The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Enemy of the World
Third Doctor: Spearhead from Space, Carnival of Monsters
Fourth Doctor: Pyramids of Mars, The Robots of Death
Fifth Doctor: Kinda, Frontios
Sixth Doctor: Vengeance on Varos, Revelation of the Daleks
Seventh Doctor: Dragonfire, Remembrance of the Daleks

WHERE CAN I WATCH DOCTOR WHO?
If you're an American, you're in luck! You can watch the original run of Doctor Who both on TV (Retro TV and some PBS affiliates) and online (via BritBox*)! The United Kingdom and Canada get BritBox, too. If you're Australian, I'm sorry but you'll have to buy or rent the episodes physically or digitally for now - BritBox hasn't launched there yet.

For the current run:

ON TELEVISION
UK - BBC One (first run), W
USA - BBC America (first run), most PBS affiliates
Canada - CTV Sci-Fi
Australia - ABC (first run), ABC ME, Syfy

STREAMING
UK - BBC iPlayer, Netflix
USA - HBO Max (in May, probably)
Canada - Crave
Australia - Stan, Prime Video

*Day of the Daleks, Planet of the Daleks, the Five Doctors, Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, and Remembrance of the Daleks are not available, along with almost every serial missing at least one episode.

SHOULD I BUY THE DVDs AND BLU-RAYs?
Just for the bonus features alone.

THE NOT-AT-ALL BRIEF GUIDE TO BIG FINISH
There are literally thousands of Doctor Who and Doctor Who-related audio dramas released by Big Finish Productions. This is not a post telling you what audio dramas to listen to, because everyone has an opinion that is different from everyone else (some people like Minuet in Hell, believe it or not). This is a post telling you the basic info on the different series of titles there are. I'm only covering ongoing ranges, since devoting a paragraph to the Stage Plays seems a bit silly. If you're wondering why I'm about to spend a good portion of the OP about audio dramas, you are clearly new to the Doctor Who thread.

The Monthly Range
Since 1999, Big Finish have released, on a consistent basis, mostly standalone stories featuring the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh (formerly including Eighth) Doctors. Up to 262nd(!) release this month.

The Fourth Doctor Adventures
Tom Baker gets his own line of releases.

The Seventh Doctor: The New Adventures
Hey, remember the Virgin New Adventures? These take place during those! No, I don't know how to find cheap copies of those books.

The Eighth Doctor Adventures / Dark Eyes / Doom Coalition / The Eighth Doctor - The Time War / Ravenous / Stranded
Paul McGann's Doctor also gets his own line. Goons love 'em.

The Tenth Doctor Adventures
David Tennant reprises his role in mini-seasons every chance he can get, and the results are very RTD-like. In a good way!

The Companion Chronicles / The Early Adventures
This is important: SOME OF THESE ARE NOT AUDIO DRAMAS. These are "enhanced audiobooks" for the most part, which means that one person does all the parts while another gives narration, but also contains sound effects and music cues. The Companion Chronicles originally were one-handers, but now may contain small casts, which the Early Adventure always have.

The Ones with Fake Doctors
The First Doctor Adventures, the Third Doctor Adventures, and the Ninth/Tenth/Eleventh/Twelfth Doctor Chronicles feature people who are not the original actors playing the roles of the title Doctor. If you're OK with that, by all means give them a try.

Spinoffs
There are a ton of these, ranging from good (I, Davros) to who gives a poo poo (anything involving a companion from the audio series).

THE DISCORD
Here it is. The future is now!

FINALLY, let's take a look back....all the way to ten years ago! Lawrence Miles was the topic, who at the time was slagging then-upcoming showrunner Steven Moffat.

Big Mean Jerk posted:

British people are fascinating. You fuckers used to run the civilized world and now you've been reduced to writing angry journal entries about how a big mean sci-fi writer must be making fun of you because one of his characters shares your name.

Edward Mass fucked around with this message at 04:11 on Apr 19, 2020

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Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

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


In the last thread, someone said that Ernest P. Worrell would have made a good Doctor Who, and, darn it, they're right.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


As always, shameless self-advertising: An index of the write-ups I've done for all the Revival Episodes so far, as well as the (distressingly large number) of Big Finish Audios I've listened to so far.

Be warned that most of the television write-ups feature a number of spoilers for future episodes as well, as they were all written months or years after I saw them on original airing. Audio write-ups may also feature references to episodes of the show, both classic and revival.

Television
8th Doctor - TV Movie: The Enemy Within | The Night of the Doctor
War Doctor - The Day of the Doctor
9th Doctor - Rose | The End of the World | The Unquiet Dead | Aliens of London/World War 3 | Dalek | The Long Game | Father's Day | The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances | Boom Town | Bad Wolf | The Parting of the Ways
10th Doctor - The Christmas Invasion | New Earth | Tooth and Claw | School Reunion | The Girl in the Fireplace | Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel | The Idiot's Lantern | The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit | Love and Monsters | Fear Her | Army of Ghosts | Doomsday | The Runaway Bride | Smith & Jones | The Shakespeare Code | Gridlock | Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks | The Lazarus Experiment | 42 | Human Nature/The Family of Blood | Blink | Utopia | The Sound of Drums | The Last of the Time Lords | Time Crash | Voyage of the Damned | Partners in Crime | The Fires of Pompeii | Planet of the Ood | The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky | The Doctor's Daughter | The Unicorn and the Wasp | Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead | Midnight | Turn Left | The Stolen Earth/Journey's End | The Next Doctor | Planet of the Dead | Waters of Mars | The End of Time
11th Doctor - The Eleventh Hour | The Beast Below | Victory of the Daleks | Time of Angels/Flesh & Stone | The Vampires of Venice | Amy's Choice | The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood | Vincent and the Doctor | The Lodger | The Pandorica Opens | The Big Bang | A Christmas Carol | The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon | The Curse of the Black Spot | The Doctor's Wife | The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People | A Good Man Goes To War | Let's Kill Hitler | Night Terrors | The Girl Who Waited | The God Complex | Closing Time | The Wedding of River Song | The Doctor, The Widow & The Wardrobe | Asylum of the Daleks | Dinosaurs on a Spaceship | A Town Called Mercy | The Power of Three | The Angels Take Manhattan | The Snowmen | The Bells of Saint John | The Rings of Akhaten | Cold War | Hide | Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS | The Crimson Horror | Nightmare in Silver | The Name of the Doctor | The Day of the Doctor | The Time of the Doctor
12th Doctor - Deep Breath | Into the Dalek | Robot of Sherwood | Listen | Time Heist | The Caretaker | Kill the Moon | Mummy on the Orient Express | Flatline | In the Forest of the Night | Dark Water | Death in Heaven | Last Christmas | The Magician's Apprentice | The Witch's Familiar | Under the Lake/Before the Flood | The Girl Who Died | The Woman Who Lived | The Zygon Invasion | The Zygon Inversion | Sleep No More | Face the Raven | Heaven Sent | Hell Bent | The Husbands of River Song |The Return of Doctor Mysterio | The Pilot | Smile | Thin Ice | Knock Knock | Oxygen | Extremis | The Pyramid at the End of the World | The Lie of the Land | Empress of Mars | The Eaters of Light | World Enough and Time | The Doctor Falls | Twice Upon A Time
13th Doctor - The Woman Who Fell to Earth | The Ghost Monument | Rosa | Arachnids in the UK | The Tsuranga Conundrum | Demons of the Punjab | Kerblam! | The Witchfinders | It Takes You Away | The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos | Resolution | Spyfall Part 1/Part 2 | Orphan 55 | Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror | Fugitive of the Judoon | Praxeus | Can You Hear Me? | The Haunting of Villa Diodati | Ascension of the Cybermen | The Timeless Children


Television Gifs
William Hartnell | Patrick Troughton | Jon Pertwee | Tom Baker | Peter Davison | Colin Baker | Sylvester McCoy | Paul McGann | Christopher Eccleston | David Tennant | Matt Smith | Peter Capaldi | Jodie Whittaker

Audios
4th Doctor Adventures - Season One
5th Doctor - Phantasmagoria | The Land of the Dead | Red Dawn | Winter for the Adept | The Mutant Phase | Loup-Garoux/The Eye of the Scorpion | Primeval | The Church and the Crown | Nekromanteia | Creatures of Beauty | Omega | The Axis of Insanity | The Roof of the World | The Game | Three's a Crowd | The Council of Nicaea | Singularity | The Kingmaker | The Gathering/The Veiled Leopard | Circular Time | Renaissance of the Daleks | Exotron | Son of the Dragon | The Mind's Eye | The Bride of Peladon | The Haunting of Thomas Brewster | The Boy That Time Forgot | Time Reef | The Judgement of Isskar | The Destroyer of Delights | The Chaos Pool | Castle of Fear | The Eternal Summer | Plague of the Daleks
6th Doctor - Whispers of Terror | The Marian Conspiracy | The Spectre of Lanyon Moor | The Apocalypse Element | The Holy Terror | Bloodtide | Project: Twilight | The One Doctor | ...ish | The Sandman | Jubilee | Doctor Who and the Pirates | Project: Lazarus | Davros | The Wormery | Arrangements for War | Medicinal Purposes | The Juggernauts | Catch-1782 | Thicker Than Water | Pier Pressure | The Nowhere Place | The Reaping | Year of the Pig | I.D | The Wishing Beast | 100 | The Condemned | Assassin in the Limelight | The Doomwood Curse | Brotherhood of the Daleks | Return of the Krotons | The Raincloud Man | Patient Zero | Paper Cuts | Blue Forgotten Planet
7th Doctor - The Fearmonger | The Genocide Machine | The Fires of Vulcan | The Shadow of the Scourge | Dust Breeding | Colditz | The Rapture | Bang-Bang-a-Boom! | The Dark Flame | Project: Lazarus | Flip-Flop | Master | The Harvest | Dreamtime | Unregenerate! | Live 34 | Night Thoughts | The Settling | Red | No Man's Land | Nocturne | Valhalla | Frozen Time | The Dark Husband | The Death Collectors | Kingdom of Silver | Forty-Five | The Magic Mousetrap | Enemy of the Daleks | The Angel of Scutari | A Thousand Tiny Wings
8th Doctor - Storm Warning | Sword of Orion | The Stones of Venice | Minuet in Hell | Invaders from Mars | The Chimes of Midnight | Seasons of Fear | Embrace the Darkness | The Time of the Daleks | Neverland | Zagreus | Scherzo/The Creed of Kromon | The Natural History of Fear | The Twilight Kingdom Faithstealer/The Last/Caerdroia/The Next Life | Terror Firma | Scaredy Cat | Other Lives | Time Works | Something Inside | Memory Lane | Absolution | The Girl Who Never Was | The Company of Friends
8th Doctor Adventures Blood of the Daleks | The Horror of Glam Rock | Immortal Beloved | Phobos | No More Lies | Human Resources | Dead London | Max Warp | Brave New Town | The Skull of Sobek | Grand Theft Cosmos | The Zygon Who Fell to Earth | Sisters of the Flame | The Vengeance of Morbius | Orbis | The Hothouse | The Beast of Orlok | Wirrn Dawn | The Scapegoat | The Cannibalists | The Eight Truths | Worldwide Web | Death in Blackpool | (Bonus) An Earthly Child | Situation Vacant | Nevermore | The Book of Kells | Deimos/The Resurrection of Mars | Relative Dimensions | Prisoner of the Sun | Lucie Miller/To The Death | Dark Eyes 1
The War Doctor - Only the Monstrous | Infernal Devices | Agents of Chaos | Casualties of War
10th Doctor Adventures - Volume 1 | Volume 2
Big Finish Specials - The Sirens of Time | The Light at the End | UNIT: Dominion | UNIT: Extinction | UNIT: Shutdown | UNIT: Silenced | UNIT: Assembled | UNIT: Encounters | The Diary of River Song Volume 1 | The Diary of River Song Volume 2 | Classic Doctors, New Monsters: Volume 1 | Classic Doctors, New Monsters: Volume 2 | The War Master Volume One

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 12:24 on Mar 10, 2020

Rochallor
Apr 22, 2010


A part of me is gleeful about the ratings drop because I despise this incarnation of the show and I want it taken out of Chibnall's hands as soon as possible. The problem is is that Chibnall hasn't really cultivated any potential successors; the most any of the other writers have amassed is 1.5 to 2 episodes. There's a whole mess of great writers from the Capaldi seasons who remain woefully commissioned: I'd love to see the show taken over by Sarah Dollard, Jamie Mathieson, or Peter Harness (yes I know I'm alone on that front). After the past two series, I'd even take Mark Gatiss if it weren't for his gross transphobic poo poo.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


Bicyclops posted:

In the last thread, someone said that Ernest P. Worrell would have made a good Doctor Who, and, darn it, they're right.

You're drat right I did

And you're drat right I am

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


I had assumed Gatiss was the likely replacement for Moffat and wasn't all that enthused about it, but he certainly had written better episodes than Chibnall (not a high bar to clear at that point), but I assumed that Chibnall's success showrunning Broadchurch meant he would end up doing a better job. Arguably he has done a pretty good job (I assume the scheduling issues are entirely out of his control?) in every aspect OTHER than the writing, and there's nothing beyond ego I'm assuming that dictates he HAS to write so many episodes if any at all.

I think somebody mentioned Toby Whithouse might have been a possibility at one point? I haven't seen any of the shows he created but apparently Being Human was quite good?

Rochallor
Apr 22, 2010


Jerusalem posted:

I think somebody mentioned Toby Whithouse might have been a possibility at one point? I haven't seen any of the shows he created but apparently Being Human was quite good?

Based solely on his DW work, I was dreading a potential Whithouse era. It's not that he hasn't made stories which I don't enjoy, but the vast majority of them are about hard men making hard choices, which is to say, every single other show on TV. And the two stories he wrote with Capaldi are both strong contenders for the worst of the revival (until Chibnall). There are heavy, heavy extenuating circumstances for The Lie of the Land, but Under the Lake/Before the Flood is terrible completely on its own merits.

Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011

The Timeless Child is THE DOCTOR? Oh, for God's sake!


Top Cop

Under the Lake/Before the Flood wasn't BAD, per se, just unremarkable. I remember the guy from Slipknot did some screams for a monster, and there was an actual deaf woman in the cast, but that's about it.

Doctor Spaceman
Jul 6, 2010

"Everyone's entitled to their point of view, but that's seriously a weird one."


Edward Mass posted:

Under the Lake/Before the Flood wasn't BAD, per se, just unremarkable.
I remember liking the first half more than the second but that's a common problem for two-parters.

Also this was a great alternate title theme
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE-6gpPYPMQ

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

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


Burkion posted:

You're drat right I did

And you're drat right I am

The Ernest Doctor, walking into the Clara Diner TARDIS: I've been vandalized...... by Elvis!

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Edward Mass posted:

Under the Lake/Before the Flood wasn't BAD, per se, just unremarkable. I remember the guy from Slipknot did some screams for a monster, and there was an actual deaf woman in the cast, but that's about it.

That two-parter had some really neat ideas, but none of them really managed to make the episode GOOD. I'll add the mystery about the Doctor's 'ghost' to that pile, as well as that fake prop town setting, which I remember thinking was a really neat concept when it came up, but then didn't really... do anything.

Rochallor
Apr 22, 2010


Cleretic posted:

That two-parter had some really neat ideas, but none of them really managed to make the episode GOOD. I'll add the mystery about the Doctor's 'ghost' to that pile, as well as that fake prop town setting, which I remember thinking was a really neat concept when it came up, but then didn't really... do anything.

The fake town was particularly galling because it's the second time Whithouse ripped off Curse of Fenric, and the second time he couldn't do it as well as Curse of Fenric. In a medium that ages as quickly as television, it's really damning when you can't pull off a trick better than one done thirty years ago.

I'm one of three people in the world who thinks that Series 9 is the pinnacle of all Doctor Who, so that two-parter stands out all the more for me.

Astroman
Apr 8, 2001



Remember that time when we thought Doctor Ruth was something to do with 6b and not the Morbius Doctors?

Yep, those were some good times.

DancingShade
Jul 26, 2007

MAYBE IF MY WEAK NONSENSICAL "BURNS" ARE CONVOLUTED ENOUGH, NOBODY WILL NOTICE THAT IN SPITE OF BEING A CONDESCENDING TAINTSMEAR IN EVERY THREAD I POST IN, I HAVE LITERALLY NEVER HAD ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY INSIGHTFUL OR FUNNY TO SAy.

Edward Mass posted:

Under the Lake/Before the Flood wasn't BAD, per se, just unremarkable. I remember the guy from Slipknot did some screams for a monster, and there was an actual deaf woman in the cast, but that's about it.

I remember liking parts of it. Nice feeling of dread & mystery. A bunch of good ideas knitted together a bit dodgy. Ending didn't feel earned.

Big Mean Jerk
Jan 27, 2009

The future? You mean like flying cars? Hotels on the moon? Tang?


Grimey Drawer

That OP made me realize Iíve been posting in incarnations of this thread for a full 1/3rd of my life.

Youíre welcome.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


I love Whitehouse's work, and I'd really argue that between his work on Being Human and No Angels he's really not that obsessed with hard men making difficult decisions tbh. Both those shows were pretty great, and in the latter case, almost entirely about women.

Also he can write an argument like nobodies business.

That said, he's such a chameleon in his Who work that I don't know what his era would have looked like, beyond an emphasis on morality plays. That's pretty much the only consistency between all his works.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Astroman posted:

Remember that time when we thought Doctor Ruth was something to do with 6b and not the Morbius Doctors?

I'm still holding on to that belief/hope until Chibnall expertly dashes it!

The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


<bursts in, panting and looking like heís just woken up>

Youíve! <gasps for air> redeco- <catches breath, inhales deeply> redecorated. I donít... <sits down to rest> I donít like it.

shades of eternity
Nov 9, 2013

Where kitties raise dragons in the world's largest mall.

Maybe he just needs to do a remake of the only episode worth a darn that he did: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.

Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


shades of eternity posted:

Maybe he just needs to do a remake of the only episode worth a darn that he did: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.

Funny way to spell "Adrift", but you do you.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Season 11, Episode 5: The Tsuranga Conundrum
Written by Chris Chibnall, Directed by Jennifer Perrott

Ryan Sinclair posted:

He's like a... a gap in my life.

I legitimately kept forgetting this episode exists, and I feel it's a little unfair because it's actually not a bad episode. It's also, unfortunately, not really a good one either. It's perfectly serviceable and better on a second watch than it was on the first, but it's doomed to be an episode like Tooth and Claw, 42 or A Town Called Mercy where you often only remember they exist when you see them named on a list or some poor sap like me ends up writing a lot of words about them. There have been far worse episodes, but those stood out due to how bad they were. The only thing that really makes this episode memorable is that the Pting looks like a somewhat better rendered version of Glip Glop from Community.... which is a shame, because the episode also serves as an extremely strong example of world-building

The episode opens with a literal bang, as the Doctor takes her companions to Seffilum 27, a trash planet in a junk galaxy, in search of parts for the TARDIS but ends up uncovering a sonic mine instead. It blows up in their faces, and when the Doctor comes to (interestingly, unlike in most serials she is the last to recover) she finds herself in a hospital called Tsuranga, upset and disoriented as she freaks out about the TARDIS being left unattended on a planet often scoured by scavengers.

Ignoring the medic's insistence that she stay in place as she and the others finish stabilizing from their injuries, the Doctor sets off in search of the exit. This provides the excuse to introduce the other supporting characters in the story: Yoss, a pregnant male; Durkas and Cicero, siblings with a tense relationship; Ronan, the artificial lifeform/partner of Cicero; and the two medics Astos and Mabli.



At this point the story is having fun with some common tropes: namely that the Doctor is always right and also that doctors in general make terrible patients. She refuses to listen to the medics, and when she discovers Tsuranga is a ship and not a stationary building, she becomes all the more insistent on getting access to the flight deck or a teleporter or an escape pod so she can get back to the TARDIS. At this point, it seems like this is going to be the driving force of the story, the Doctor's attempts to get back.

Happily it's a bit more exciting than that. The Doctor's insistence on running around while clearly not physically 100%, making demands and refusing to listen lead to a very nice moment where Astos chides her for not listening and reminds her that not only is she putting herself at risk, but the rest of the patients as well. It is to the Doctor's credit that she actually has the self-awareness to realize she is being a bit of a dick and to apologize, especially as it follows so soon after a scene where she can't help but brag to war-hero Cicero that she has a much larger entry than her in the Book of Celebrants, which recounts the feats of heroic figures in history.

At this point in the story we've been fed a lot of background info that the Doctor has largely been ignoring, but she finally starts taking it onboard. The ship is automated and the medics get no control over navigation, they're skirting the edge of "disputed territory", they have a war hero on board, and the ship has a remote-activated auto-destruct system. This is a galaxy (or galaxies) at war, an environment where even junkheaps have been weaponized on the off-chance somebody could get some use out of them. So when something is seen on the scanners (and to be fair, nobody would have seen that if the Doctor wasn't poking her nose in where it didn't belong) and penetrates the shields, the immediate and understandable perception is that this is a hostile and intelligent force.



Well, a hostile one at least.

Astos and the Doctor split up to go to the two different lifepods on the ship to make sure they're secure, and Astos finds himself ejected out of Tsuranga when damage to the lifepod causes it to jettison and explode. He just has time before he dies to offer words of encouragement to Mabli, who is the junior medic and has already been shown to have low enough self-confidence to let Ronan intimidate her into handing over adrenaline blockers for Cicero's use.

The stage has well and truly been set here, and the writing has proven functional enough to set the stakes: there's a hostile force on board, a pregnant man about ready to give birth, a medic with shaken confidence, a Doctor still suffering the effects of a sonic mine, and a war hero with an android consort and a brother suspicious about what both are hiding from him. They encounter the creature and use the Tsuranga's extensive medical records to learn it is called a Pting, a highly hostile creature that is practically invulnerable, toxic to the touch, and while non-carnivorous can and will eat any non-organic material.

The unusual thing here is that everybody involved, including the Doctor, is able to look at the Pting for more than a few seconds without realizing that it isn't intelligent. All of them ascribe malice and intelligence to its thinking, they assume it knowingly set up the trap for Astos and is stalking or otherwise playing with them as it eats. Nothing about its appearance or demeanor backs this up, it's a strange take for the story even accounting for the Doctor being at less than 100% - while its actions could be perceived as planned when it was an unseen force moving through the ship, from the moment they first encountered it, it should have been painfully obvious they were just dealing with an animal. That "revelation" comes later in the episode and it feels like it was delayed to add tension, but that was rather redundant since as an added bonus problem, the Doctor discovers that their destination of Resus One has detected something is wrong with the ship and is demanding to know if there is a problem. If they learn there is a Pting on board they will auto-destruct the ship, and if the ship sends back three "all clear" messages in a row they will assume it has been hijacked and blow it up anyway. The Doctor lampshades this a bit by complaining about who the hell would design a system like this.

In any case, they need a plan and the Doctor of course comes up with one. She can send a false positive signal to Resus One claiming they're still on their automated route, while Durkas (an engineer) jury-rigs a control system that can hook into the nav-controls so Cicero (a pilot) can take control of the ship and fly them through an asteroid field and cut significant time off their journey. In the meantime, they'll need to figure out how to get the Pting off the ship AND deal with Yoss' imminent giving birth. Graham and Ryan are tasked with helping Yoss, while Yaz and Ronan are armed with stazers to stun the Pting if it comes after the anti-matter drive which is their only means of propulsion. This leads to a rather lovely if kind of out-of-nowhere moment where the show reverts back to its old educational roots for a moment and the Doctor lovingly explains how a particle accelerator works.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJGaY58ysN4

The episode has been tight and functional, but the emotional beats have to come from somewhere and after the initial awkwardness of the Doctor realizing she's being a shithead to Astos, that is largely covered by the Yoss storyline. While Cicero and Durkas' sibling rivalry has its moments, it is really Ryan's reaction to Yoss that hits home. While arguably you could read the storyline as making GBS threads on people who put their kids up for adoption, I'd say Ryan's reaction to Yoss saying he will be giving up his child is more about him wanting to make sure he has truly thought about it rather than just jumping to what he assumes is the "right" decision.

Regardless, it's a deeply personal thing for him, and we get given further background information on Ryan's parents: we already knew his dad was absent to the point of not even attending Grace's funeral, but we also learn that not only did Ryan's mother die young, but he was the one who found her body. This rather horrifying revelation plays out amidst the "comedy" of a male pregnancy, as Graham and Ryan struggle to come to terms with alien biology and cultural norms. It also plays out as a bonding moment (but still no fistbump for Graham!), as the two work together to aid Yoss and Mabli with the birth and Graham reveals that he loves Call the Midwife but always looks away during the squeamish bits.

Yaz is again given the short end of the stick, mostly standing around asking questions and getting exposition dumps. Her one big moment comes when they toss a blanket over the Pting and she dropkicks it down a corridor. The supporting characters get to have more development than she does, as we learn that Cicero has "Pilot's heart" and her body can't deal with the strain of flying ships anymore, which is all that she ever wants to do. She and Durkas finally have a heart-to-heart moment as he aids and eventually replaces her in flying the ship, as she dies doing what she always loved. Even Ronan gets a moment, as Durkas apologizes for being such an rear end in a top hat to the artificial lifeform which is now going to shutdown as its consort has died. He offers the kindest compliment he can think of: that he gave good service to Cicero. Even that small moment is more than Yaz really gets character-wise.



Having finally figured out that the Pting isn't intelligent and is just hungry, the Doctor figures out how to get it off the Tsuranga. Finding the bomb that would be used to destroy the ship in the event of hijacking/infection etc, she arms it and leaves it in the last functioning escape pod. The Pting is attracted to the energy source and eats it, and the Doctor ejects it from the Tsuranga. In an oddly sweet moment, the Pting falls into a happy food-daze after the bomb explodes in its stomach, and it floats away with a serene look on its face into the vacuum of space (which it can survive in).

Having completed her promise to save everybody (Cicero died, but was "saved" in a different way), the Doctor is rewarded with Mabli letting her know that a now-informed Resus One has agreed that after a 3 hour quarantine they will arrange her transport back to Seffilum 27 to collect the TARDIS. Yoss informs them that he has decided he is going to at least try to raise the baby himself, admitting that he's going to make mistakes but he wants to at least try. Again, it's a rough balance in a storyline like that, the intended message is that dad's are important, but of course dads are dads whether their kids are biological or adopted, so I just choose to take this at face value of Yoss' initial decision being one he felt he HAD to take until Ryan offered him a different perspective from a son who felt abandoned by his father.

It's this final scene that I think sums up my best feelings about this episode. Yeah it's largely forgettable as a functional storyline that doesn't really stand out in any way. But the world-building is handled incredibly well, this is a great example of an episode where the Doctor and companions land in a fully-formed place that feels like it existed before they arrived and will continue to exist after they're gone. It's the 67th Century in the midst of a period of war, an era of multiple alien species co-existing and aware of a culture and traditions alien to anybody from the 21st Century... but not the Doctor. The android clones simply exist in this world without being called out beyond a grumpy, slightly-jealous brother. The Book of Celebrants is a known cultural icon. But most tellingly of all comes during the "incant" for Cicero. No explanation for what this is gets given, and it doesn't need to be. The viewer can understand from the context that this is a ceremonial gesture for the recently deceased, and the participants all know it by heart. Even the Doctor, who admits she has spent less time than she should in this century, is fully versed in this tradition. It is the companions who are left on the outer as she joins the others in recognizing the passing of Cicero. They are strangers from a different time, while the Doctor is a citizen of all times and places.

The Incant for Cicero posted:

May the Saints of all the stars and constellations, bring you hope as they guide you out of the dark and into the light on this voyage and the next, and all the journeys still to come. For now and evermore.

It's a lovely ending to an episode that most of us will forget within a day of being reminded of it. Ironically, it's one of the most solid "standard" episodes of Doctor Who that Chibnall has ever written, something that would have fit in fine as one of the "other" episodes during the RTD or Moffat eras. I feel bad for considering it a missed opportunity for some other writer (say Jamie Mathieson, for example) given that Chibnall gets to write the bulk of the episodes in a season now. But it's not bad, it's a strong example of world-building and it's nice that the Doctor found a non-fatal way to deal with the Pting that also had the benefit of leaving it sated and happy instead of hungry and angry. It's just... you know, it's nothing more than a completely standard and non-memorable episode of Doctor Who.



Index of Doctor Who Write-ups for Television Episodes/Big Finish Audio Stories.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 13:41 on Mar 10, 2020

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

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


The_Doctor posted:

<bursts in, panting and looking like heís just woken up>

Youíve! <gasps for air> redeco- <catches breath, inhales deeply> redecorated. I donít... <sits down to rest> I donít like it.

Mr. Troughton, we're begging you to get some rest, you're supposed to take over after Colin Baker leaves the role.

marktheando
Nov 4, 2006



The OP says spoilers dried up under Chibnall, actually the timeless child reveal was making the rounds on Reddit and Gallifrey Base from before this series started. Just nobody in the spoiler thread believed them since they were too stupid to be real lmao

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

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


marktheando posted:

The OP says spoilers dried up under Chibnall, actually the timeless child reveal was making the rounds on Reddit and Gallifrey Base from before this series started. Just nobody in the spoiler thread believed them since they were too stupid to be real lmao

This is usually true of Doctor Who spoilers too, is the thing. I remember seeing the Twice Upon a Time ones and saying "Nah."

egon_beeblebrox
Feb 29, 2008

WILL AMOUNT TO NOTHING IN LIFE.



"Doctor Who," is Good

marktheando
Nov 4, 2006



Bicyclops posted:

This is usually true of Doctor Who spoilers too, is the thing. I remember seeing the Twice Upon a Time ones and saying "Nah."

The spoiler thread's finest moment was when the joke spoiler in the title (every river starts as a Pond, or words to that effect) accidentally turned out to be a real spoiler.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

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


When FYAD changed their name to "SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE!" and had a sticky with the page where it happened, I remember saying "That's a pretty good prank, but not even J. K. Rowling's prose is that bad," and I literally didn't believe it was true until I got to the page where, in fact, Snape kills Dumbledore.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


marktheando posted:

The OP says spoilers dried up under Chibnall, actually the timeless child reveal was making the rounds on Reddit and Gallifrey Base from before this series started. Just nobody in the spoiler thread believed them since they were too stupid to be real lmao

Honestly, I saw the reveal coming a mile away to some degree, I think we all did. We just... kinda thought it was too dumb to be true.

Vinylshadow
Mar 20, 2017


Ah, new thread!

Oh, you've redecorated



I don't like it


https://twitter.com/BriggsNicholas/...354768022016000

mehall
Aug 27, 2010






Fine, I'll do it

Vinylshadow
Mar 20, 2017


The_Doctor
Mar 29, 2007

"The entire history of this incarnation is one of temporal orbits, retcons, paradoxes, parallel time lines, reiterations, and divergences. How anyone can make head or tail of all this chaos, I don't know."


mehall posted:



Fine, I'll do it

After that finale, I really donít like it.

SiKboy
Oct 28, 2007
Simaggeddon



From my perspective, Jodie is a good Doctor who is being let down by some bad writing. Not the first Doctor to be in that situation, and almost certainly not the last. But I feel, much as I loving HATED the timeless child reveal in that last episode people are jumping a little too hard on the "its a catastrophe! Burn everything!" train. It was a bad episode in a mediocre season (some good episodes, some meh episodes with good bits, some flat out bad), and thats amplified because thats the last episode we will see for... Actually I dont know. A while anyway. Has there been any word on if the next season going to be this calendar year or next? In any case, the last episode was bad with a continuity shitshow*, but its totally savable. The next series could start with the master revealing that he lied and hes the timeless child. The Matrix could have been manipulated by a third party to try and manipulate the Doctor or the Master. That could have been a fake Gallifrey for whatever reason. If it doesnt get changed then theres a good chance the next showrunner will just memory hole it, as we've already seen with "half human on my mothers side". Ratings were down (thats bad) but people are watching less live TV in general, and so ratings for almost everything are down, and it managed to be watched by a high percentage of people who watched live TV, which is surely a more realistic standard to look at. Plus as far as I know it still shifts merchandise and sells well internationally (which the BBC officially is not supposed to care about, but c'mon they totally do). Shows not going anywhere.

*I dont generally go too hard on continuity in Who, but the revelation as presented fucks up too many previous episodes and makes too little sense for me to overlook it. Like for example every time the doctor has been scanned by aliens who identify them as Gallifreyan/Time Lord. Now it turns out the doctor is not in fact a Gallifreyan. Sure they'd share some DNA if the regeneration ability was spliced into the time lords, but those goats they gene altered to produce spider silk milk would still be identifiable as goats, not spiders. I realise thats the most minor of the continuity this fucks, but its something thats across a bunch of episodes.

theblackw0lf
Apr 14, 2003

"...creating a vision of the sort of society you want to have in miniature"

Rochallor posted:

A part of me is gleeful about the ratings drop because I despise this incarnation of the show and I want it taken out of Chibnall's hands as soon as possible. The problem is is that Chibnall hasn't really cultivated any potential successors; the most any of the other writers have amassed is 1.5 to 2 episodes. There's a whole mess of great writers from the Capaldi seasons who remain woefully commissioned: I'd love to see the show taken over by Sarah Dollard, Jamie Mathieson, or Peter Harness (yes I know I'm alone on that front). After the past two series, I'd even take Mark Gatiss if it weren't for his gross transphobic poo poo.

The woman who wrote the episode with Mary Shelley, which I thought was a standout of this season, looks to be one of the main writers next season. So maybe she could take over.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


SiKboy posted:

From my perspective, X is a good Doctor who is being let down by some bad writing. Not the first Doctor to be in that situation, and almost certainly not the last.

this has been the song and dance since, what, Colin? Arguably Peter

Sydney Bottocks
Oct 15, 2004

Eh.


People keep saying "oh it'll just be memory holed by the next showrunner" like that's pretty much a given, when in reality it's nowhere near guaranteed. Meanwhile, we're stuck with Chibnall's stupid retcon that absolutely craps on the past history of the show and ruins what made the character of the Doctor special for a lot of people.

Bicyclops
Aug 27, 2004

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


It's still only one really bad episode in a series that was otherwise pretty decent IMO. The problem is that we have to sit with it for like eight months now because Doctor Who has moved to a schedule where they film 8 episodes every half a decade. If they run with it as an ongoing thing that they constantly bring up, it's going to be bad.

I also wonder what the cast is going to look when they start filming again, given that at least two of the companions are leaving.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


I mean I guess we're getting the Dalek episode before next year but the actual series 13 won't be until 2021

Sydney Bottocks
Oct 15, 2004

Eh.


Bicyclops posted:

If they run with it as an ongoing thing that they constantly bring up, it's going to be bad.

That's kind of my point, it's not necessarily a given that the next person to run the show is gonna go "well that's stupid" and retcon it. I understand that people want to downplay it as not being that big of a deal because they otherwise enjoyed the season or whatever, but it's still a dumb idea that for a lot of people retroactively spoiled their enjoyment of the show. It's not as bad as the last season of Game of Thrones in that regard, but it's still pretty loving dumb.

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York_M_Chan
Sep 11, 2003



I honestly feel that Doctor Who is a happy show in an unhappy time. It is a show that tries to remain light and optimistic in an era where shows dare one another to go as dark as possible. Taking a quote from The Dark Tower, the world has "moved on" from Doctor Who. We only want anti-heroes now and it is really, really difficult to write a happy but believable character. Although, I think the major flaws of the past two seasons were in writing's structure not the characters... so I guess I don't know what I'm talking about.

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