The Doctor is back!!

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Geoffrey(aka Jasper)
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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:03 pm

Last weekend I watched The Day of the Doctor.

Hmmmm . . .

Spoilered JIC and as always JIMHO:

Random witterings including bits I liked (with an odd little niggle or two.):

When The Doctor spelled out "No more," I did wonder if he was going to spell out "No more Mister Nice Guy."

Using the Tardis as an anti-Dalek battering ram. -g-

The curator -grin- only it did bother me that the Tom Baker Doctor had definitely regenerated in the Peter Davidson Doctor so how could he be there? Ah well, put it down to timey-whimey stuff. Although it would explain why the character I mentally dubbed as nerdy-science-girl-with-asthma-inhaler had his old scarf.

Talking of timey-whimey stuff; I loved the interaction between the three Doctors. But a minor niggle is that they didn't have Christopher Eccelston completing the trio of the Modern Era Doctors. -sigh-

However John Hurt as the Doctor? Craggy and careworn, but with a certain gravitas. I thought he was great.

And the idea of a weapon with a conscience? I liked that especially as the conscience was played by Billie Piper. -yay!-

The idea of the UNIT having a Black Archive of technology too dangerous to be left loose is kinda cool, but blanking people's memories so that they effectively only get one days' worth of living out of ten years on the job? I found that getting on to uncomfortably dark.

And this is getting on to be a bit of a long list, so lets move on to niggles, with the odd nice bit:

Okay an lot of it was clever; the two Elizabeths and messages left in the past for the present to read, and the idea that if you give your past self a problem, then your future self will have a four-hundred year lead time to figure out the solution, well, they all struck me as being rather neat.

However the key note of the Doctor of the modern era is that the Doctor has been suffering under the weight of a great pain and a great guilt. Over the years we have found out that this is because the Doctor had to do a really bad thing for the best of reasons; he had to wipe out two races to save the Universe. Both the Daleks and his own people.

Now in The End of Time it is stated that the Time Lords were going to unleash untold horrors upon the Universe ("The Nightmare Child" etc) which is why the Doctor had to stop them. And in The Night of Doctor it is pretty much stated that the Time Lords are now regarded by, well everyone, as a great a menace as the Daleks, if not actually a greater menace. In the Day of the Doctor all this seems to have been quietly forgotten about. (Unless I missed something of course.) This is a bit of a niggle for me.

But the really big niggle? For me it's how the Doctor solves this problem and re-writes history; he waves the magic wand of techno babble.


Okay it's all JIMHO, but for me while there was a lot of really cool stuff in this special, it ultimately felt like a bit of a let down.

To borrow from Mich Benn, The Day of the Doctor wouldn't get you off a charge of murder, but it might get you off a charge of Actual Bodily Harm. If the Judge was feeling generous of course.

Ah well. Here's to looking forward to a regeneration scene. :)
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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by Rotobunny » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:54 pm

I have to say that I agree with much of what Geoffrey says. I would add that it would have been nice to include all the Doctors a bit more, especially as it was the 50th anniversary. I know not all of the actors are still with us, sadly, but the casting was so good in "An Adventure in Time and Space" that I'm sure this could have been overcome successfully. Having not seen the previous two seasons (I didn't like the writing) did leave me a bit confused and I think the writer(s) should have done a completely stand alone show for the 50th that wouldn't mean you had to be right up to date with the story lines. John Hurt as the War Doctor was inspired, I have always liked him as an actor and his skills shone through. The Curator bit was very emotional as far as I am concerned, Tom Baker is one of my favourite Doctors (I can't eat a jelly baby without thinking of his Doctor :) ). I thought most of the effects were good (a few minor niggles), acting mostly good, but the problem was the writing as seems to be the case for all the episodes since Mr RTD left. When compared to the writing for "An Adventure in Time and Space" it just didn't stand up, at least not for me. My other thought is why wasn't it longer? This was a very special show and I think it justified being much longer, it did feel a little rushed, things happened too fast and were over before you had a chance to realise what was going on (am I showing my age?), it also seemed to gloss over some bits in places. I think I would give it a B+ but I am glad I watched it.


Geoffrey(aka Jasper)
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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:09 pm

Hmmm . . . less than impressed.

Why? Well here are my reasons/observations/random witterings.

Please note all JIMHO and YMMV, so if you thought TToTD was fantastic, well good for you! :)


When I first came across the Weeping Angels, I thought that they were genuinely scary and weird; to me the subsequent outings have somewhat lessened their impact.

Similarly the idea of the 'Church Militant,' when we first encountered this, "How are those explosive charges coming Verger?" I thought it was rather cool, now not so.

And that throwaway line that much of the previous seasons were all down to a conspiracy by a rouge faction of the Papal Mainframe . . . :roll:

The whole business of Clara having the Doctor pretend to be her (naked) boyfriend was kinda fun, but it seemed to me that it belonged in a completely different episode.

So the Doctor takes 300 years off to defend a Town Called Christmas from a massed invasion of bad guys . . . it wasn't as much fun as it might have been.

The twelve regenerations limit; okay to me this has never been a sticking point. I've always regarded it as a contrivance for one adventure, Mawdryn Undead, and as such it could have been quietly forgotten about. However it does seem to be have become part of Doctor Who's cannon. So how do they get around it? Well one girl wished really hard at Christmas and some Timelord magic came through . . . okay it makes as much sense as anything else, but . . . well it did give us a very emotional regeneration scene.

Talking of which, during the more emotional moments, it felt like someone was twisting my arm, while peeling onions under my nose and shouting "Cry damn you! CRY!" :x

I did like the description of The War Doctor as "Captain Grumpy Pants" though. :0 I wonder if there are any Big Finish productions in the pipeline for him?

Ah well, here's to seeing how Peter Capaldi's Doctor turns out.

Btw, I am toying with the idea of the "Mich Benn Scale of Doctor Who Episode Enjoyability." i.e. would being interrupted during the episode be a defence for justifiable homicide? In the case of The Time of The Doctor . . . threatening behaviour, maybe. ;)
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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:18 pm

Saw ‘Deep Breath’ the first of the new Doctor Whos . . .

Disclaimer: please note this is all JIMHO and your mileage may vary, but basically:

Good bits: Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I think he’s going to make a great one.

Bad bits: The episode; it lasted eighty minutes but if felt a lot, lot longer . . .

Expanding on the basics, plus some random witterings SPOILERED JIC:

Actually there were some nice things in the episode e.g. it was nice seeing Jenny and Lady Vastra and Strax again, but to me a lot of the time they came across as not-very-funny comedy turn. How long has Strax been on Earth? Yes, I know he was intended as a bit of comic relief, but his continued ignorance of human interaction came across as silly. And Vastra’s veil chat seemed a bit naff as well.

Okay, I did like Strax not being able to tell human sexes apart and the bit with ‘The Times’ was also mildly amusing.

And that was another thing I liked, the advertisement giving the location of a meet up and the Doctor and Clara both realising neither of them had placed it. –eg-

And yet the whole thing of the clockwork robots scavenging human spare parts; that ought to have been seriously scary and yet it just came across as a bit unpleasant.

The big fight scene also came across as a let-down; Jenny and Vastra fighting robots . . . with swords. Okay given they’re clockwork I suppose there’s a good chance that they’d jam the gears, but really, it just seemed a bit daft.
Confusing the killer robots by holding your breath, was this a deliberate reference to ‘Blink?’ Well, duh! But the idea of the only way to be safe is to not do something you find it impossible not to do is pretty scary. Or was it just an excuse to have Vastra share oxygen with Jenny?

Talking of which; dude we get they’re a couple, no need to keep on about it. Or was this in case of anyone complained about stuff like balloons made of human skin “they” could just turn around and accuse the complainers of being gay-bashers? Or am I over thinking things? Probably.

Btw, balloons made of human skin; that was a bit nasty and frankly a bit silly as well. Effectively you are making a balloon out of leather.

Which brings us to the Doctor and the “node-nexus robot” debating the morality of murder vs. self-termination, to me this came across as prissy. I found myself muttering, “Dude! This a homicidal robot which has been killing humans for their organs! And if he doesn’t get deactivated Clara and company are going to get harvested, so just push him out the ficking door already! Anyway it would be scientific research and not murder; the world needs to know if homicidal robots bounce!”


Oh, and the giant dinosaur. It started out as a major plot point, and then it just got zapped and forgotten about. Somehow, to me, that felt unsatisfying.

All right these are a lot of random witterings which have been, not entirely, about things I didn’t like about the episode, let’s finish with something I did like.

The scenes of Clara taking a call from the Matt Smith’s Doctor and the interaction with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor; he’s changed but he needs to know he’s still him. I thought it was very nicely done and also gave a feeling that PC’s Doctor has a vulnerable side.


Oh, and I also liked the new Tardis interior.

So here’s hoping that next week’s episode is better, which IMHO won’t be difficult. :twisted: But hey, Daleks!
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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by Spudgun » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:19 pm

I enjoyed it. It does take a couple of episodes for things to settle, so I'm not passing a critical eye on things. The only comment I'll make is; The whole thing appeared to have an HG Wells feel to it.
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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by David A Harvey » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:37 pm

Geoffrey(aka Jasper) wrote:Confusing the killer robots by holding your breath, was this a deliberate reference to ‘Blink?’ Well, duh! But the idea of the only way to be safe is to not do something you find it impossible not to do is pretty scary. Or was it just an excuse to have Vastra share oxygen with Jenny?!
Probably Yes, more yes to the former (It worked really well in the Hong Kong film Mr Vampire), than the later, but I appreciated Jenny and Madam Vastra's refusal to acquiesce to a friend belittling, with coyness and euphemism, their committed relationship.
Geoffrey(aka Jasper) wrote:The scenes of Clara taking a call from the Matt Smith’s Doctor and the interaction with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor; he’s changed but he needs to know he’s still him. I thought it was very nicely done and also gave a feeling that PC’s Doctor has a vulnerable side.
I found that phone call and cameo a bit contrived and saccharine - I'd have been happier to see Clara take an episode or two longer and reach that conclusion for herself.

Oh and I was pleased to see the return of a behind the scenes show. It may be short but at least it no longer gets all the references to anything pre RTD trimmed out after the first broadcast :D

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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:40 pm

I guess mileage really does vary. :)
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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by Spudgun » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:27 pm

I'm finding that Capaldi is easier to 'get into' than Matt Smith was. It took me about 6 episodes to get used to Smith's persona. I'm already half way there with Capaldi. Capaldi's Doctor is a lot less frantic than Smith's, but Peter does have a nice line of witty one-liners. In jokes and references abound. From Clara's Hitchcock blouse, to Star Trek TNG I Borg episode theme.

I look forward to a geeky series.

Oh, I almost forgot.

I get this strange feeling that the Rani is going to return.
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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:33 pm

Well I’ve finally caught with all the episodes of the current series of Doctor Who.

Stand by for some random witterings and observations about some of them anyway, and some fairly (mercifully?) brief.

All, of course, JIMHO and SPOILED JIC:

‘Into the Dalek.’

Well this was an improvement on the first episode, which IMNSHO wouldn’t be difficult. –eg-

The miniaturisation business, well this is basically twaddle. Even if you tell people not to hold their breath it’s still twaddle.

OTOH it is a well-established truth of the Whoverse that miniaturisation works, and the whole microwave lasagne analogy did make me smile.

I did like Clara slapping the Doctor, and about him being more comfortable with the Daleks being irredeemable evil than capable of change.

One of the arguments for the difference between people and monsters is that people are capable of choice i.e. they can choose between good and evil. A monster cannot choose e.g. vampires will always suck.
So if are Dalek is capable of choice, does that mean that they are in fact people?

NB Of course that is just *one* argument; not a definitive treatise on the definition of humanity, or on the nature of good and evil, or well anything else really.

This is just my personal observation, but it did seem to me that the giving “Rusty” free will was accorded a higher priority than stopping the Daleks from exterminating everyone.

And this anti-military schtick . . . okay, blind worship of uniforms and the military is not the best of things, and the idea that there are better ways to solve problems than by killing sentient beings is absolutely great.

But . . .

When a Dalek got blown up by the human soldiers I felt like cheering!

Talking of which, this business of the Doctor equivalent with the Daleks; call me old-fashioned, but I feel there is a difference between hating something which wants to wipe anything which isn’t exactly like it, and hating everything which isn’t exactly like you.

Overall it was certainly a different take on an old enemy.

Oh, and I would I be reading too much into the fact that the Daleks in this episode weren’t the New Dalek Paradigm?

And, “I wasn’t saving him, I was saving us!” That had a real shudder to it.

‘Robot of Sherwood’

I thought this was a fun episode which, for me anyway, stayed just the right side of camp.

Okay, why use slaves to do basic labour when you’ve robots? And one could be very picky the Robin was far more Hollywood than history, but like I said I thought it was fun.

Though does anyone else think it would have been far cooler for the Doctor to have duelled with a spork! -eg-


Taking something that’s everywhere and making it scary? Classic Moffat or just a cunning scheme to boost the sales of divan beds?

OTOH if what’s under your bed is Clare Oswald, well it could be worse. –g-

And that insight into the Doctor’s childhood –interesting. Particularly given some theories about how TimeLords reproduce.

Also some nice touches of crossing over your own time line.

But this stuff about fear is a superpower? Fear makes us clever? Fear makes us companions? Yes, the fight or flight reflex can be a life saver, and there are situations where not being scared is the same as being stupid, and something, like say, fear of dying in a car crash probably helped the development of seat belts, and binding together for mutual defence is all well and good.

But . . .

In a panic rational thought and fine motor reflexes tend to go by the wayside. And if you fear something and it walks through the door you’re more like to whack it one, than sit down and ask it to tell you its life story.
Overall, to me anyway, “Fear is a superpower” came across as twaddle trying to sound deep.

‘Time Heist’

Neat little “caper” story, and I did think at one point the Doctor was going belt Psi.

Odd thing though the teller working by sensing guilt. Wouldn’t it make more sense (sorry) for it to sense intent? I mean if you don’t feel guilty about what you’re doing that’s one very expensive security system buggered.

And the whole think was in effect a time loop brought about by an evil-banker having a death-bed moment of remorse? Hmmm . . .

‘The Caretaker’

Nice mood swing in line where Clara askes the Doctor if the children are in danger.

The interaction between the Doctor and Danny did make me grin.

And the Doctor’s concern over Danny being good enough for her did make me smile. Warmly.

Interesting comment about the Doctor going to live with a family of Otters after a row with River. All previous Doctors haven’t known River Song before they meet her, maybe Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is the one who settles down with her, or maybe it was just a disagreement between friends rather than a row with the wife.

And given the BattleDroid’s fearsome reputation . . . well perhaps marksmanship is in inverse proportion to how far up the cast list the target is. –g-

I did feel a little sorry for PCSO. He might as well have been wearing a redshirt, “Me? I’m just here to demonstrate how this week’s monster works.”

And this brings us to . . .

‘Kill the Moon.’

Okay good bits, flying a reconditioned museum piece space-shuttle loaded with nuclear weapons to the moon on a last ditch effort to save humanity. Yay! Pity the budget couldn’t run to Bruce Willis as a guest star.

And the germ-spiders were genuinely scary. Although I thought they did very quickly go from being scary into being nasty, what with the teeth and the way the attacked the face. Back in the days when I was watching ‘Dr Who’ from being the sofa this would have prompted lots of angry letters to the beeb.

Also back in those days we wouldn’t have female urinary incontinence jokes either. Though I did actually like the line.

And the beeb definitely wouldn’t have stood for the blatant product placement either.

But talking of good lines, I think Clara did have the best line in the episode, “I’ll slap you so hard you’ll regenerate!”

Okay, now the not so good bits.

The bit with the Doctor confronting the astronauts over “who they should shoot first.” It’s not unreasonable for people finding stowaways on board a spacecraft loaded with nuclear weapons to be a touch suspicious.
And it definitely lost something since they weren’t actually armed. –sigh-

And now the OMFG what-were-they-thinking bit!

Now the science in a lot of SF is pretty dodgy to say the least. Even SF I love has some seriously dodgy science. Probably more than I actually realise.

But . . .

The moon is actually a giant egg which hatches into a space dragon which immediately lays another egg identical to the moon.

Head-desk moment.

Even worse the whole moral dilemma of the episode was built around this premise.

Is there a competition at the BBC to see if they could come up with something that makes ‘Space 1999’ look credible?

Okay, now I have enjoyed some seriously silly bits in ‘Dr Who.’ I’ve cheered Spitfires in space! I thought the Doctor diving head first down a planet deep shaft and using the sonic screw driver to cushion his landing was just awesome!

But this just had me going “What?”


Ah well, let us see what the future brings.

As said at the start these comments are just my random, and on occasion very random, witterings and two-pennyworth of JIMHO. Feel free to have your mileage vary.
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Re: The Doctor is back!!

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:11 am

This is my two-pennyworth of JIMHO on ‘Mummy on the Orient Express’


Basically I enjoyed it. Yes trains which are really spaceships pretending to be trains is kinda silly, but it’s also kinda fun and kinda awesome. Though not, of course, as awesome as Spitfires in Space.

The episode did show the Doctor being ruthless, callous even, yet it also showed him being heroic. This is what I’m liking about Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, the manic darkness over a fundamentally good man. But. If not careful, to borrow a phrase, this manic darkness can slip over into the Doctor being a clownish pantomime villain. But on this occasion, IMHO, he stayed on the right side of this.

I found the monster genuinely scary and I found the explanation of it being a left over soldier from a long forgotten war to be satisfying.

Hmmm . . . random thought: if the mummy was intended as an assassin wouldn’t it have made more sense for it to lock on to “High-value targets” e.g. leaders and technical specialists, rather than the sick and the lame? Or was it programmed to pick off stragglers? Or were the aliens(?) who programmed it working to a different set of priorities?

And FWIW the line “Are you my mummy?” didn’t really work for me.

But what did work for me was Gus. He was a suitably urbane and nasty villain. And I was expecting Frank Skinner’s creepy janitor to turn out to be Gus all along; just goes to show you can’t assume that just because it’s a “big” name in the role that they’re going to be the villain. Unless it’s a double-bluff . . .

“Hard-light holograms?” Wasn’t that borrowed from ‘Red Dwarf?’ But I guess if you’ve got hyper-spatial railway lines holodeck style tech isn’t too implausible. And unlike ‘Kill the Moon’ –spit- it didn’t directly and repeatedly contradict my limited stock of scientific knowledge. Or even common frickin’ sense. –double spit-

And as a side-line I did like the jazz version of “Don’t stop me now.”

So with Clara off in a, perfectly understandable, huff what’s next?

Well here’s hoping that whatever it is, it’s a good ‘un.


Please note all JIMHO & YMMV
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