Ben Weldon

The Doctor Who thread

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That was an exceptionally fun story, and I absolutely adore the callback with the matchbox.

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I missed out on most of season 11. Do I have to have seen it before jumping into Spyfall? I've got the season on DVD, just haven't had time to watch it yet.

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I don't think you'll miss out on too much by watching Spyfall first - just back story and relationship building. 

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For the sake of character backstories / relationships, watching the first episode of season 11 would help a little, but it is not a must-watch beforehand. If you don't watch it, all you need to know is: Graham is Ryan's step-grandfather, and Ryan are Yasmin are old classmates.

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The only other minor point is that we learn in "Resolution" (last year's New Year's special) that

UNIT and Torchwood have been shuttered due to Brexit cuts

, hence the reason they aren't available to help when that would have been the obvious first call.

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Ahhh, thank you! I was trying to recall if there was an on-screen reason why UNIT was no more.

As for Torchwood, I've always assumed they were underground, so their burial wasn't a big deal to me.

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Gotta admit, I'm kinda down on the second part. The bulk of the episode seemed muddled and swerved aimlessly toward the Eiffel Tower and warehouse / presentation showdowns. Mostly, though, what did Ada Lovelace and Noor Inayat Khan's inclusions add to the story?

No, I'm not whining about female historical figures as companions, because that's awesome and we need more of that please. What I mean is, they were nothing more than sounding boards for The Doctor to explain things to in the absence of her "fam." They could have been literally anyone, historical or otherwise. When they had the opportunity to add something without The Doctor's presence, it took them all of 30 seconds to find The Master's TARDIS. And, sure, by meeting Khan The Doctor had access to a spy's telegraph, but she could build something like that in her sleep.

Then again, maybe I missed something relating to the Kasaavins being time-spies and that's why Khan and Lovelace were integral to the plot.

Can we also not do another Gallifrey-based mystery? So much time was spent on The Doctor believing himself to be the last living Time Lord only to learn he actually saved his people (2005-2013), to the whole confession dial thing (2015), I feel I need a big break from anything doing with her people. Even that five-year gap doesn't seem long enough.

All my moaning aside, it was really good to see the companions companion-ing even in the face of never seeing The Doctor again. Whenever The Doctor is not around, the companions should know what to do to gather clues and solve mysteries.

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I dug it. It was definitely shaggy in spots and I agree with Mike in questioning the purpose of the two historical figures (unless they come back down the line), but the Doctor/Master dynamic was fun to watch and it just made Jodie Whitaker become more intense. Additionally, having fallen behind last season it's interesting to me that she still hasn't been totally forthright with her companions this far into their relationship. Is that a first? 

Speaking of them, I like their dynamic as a three-pronged effort team. They're very much human and vulnerable, but they pull it together when the Doctor's not present. Sometimes when the companions go without the Doctor they become a little too hyper-competent IMO. I agree that they should FAIAP "become the Doctor", but some of the characters like Clara just seemed to take on things with little fear and zero trepidation. I thought the three of "The Doc's" friends came off more believable in their fuddling around.

I also agree with Mike that jumping back into a Gallifrey mystery this soon feels like a misstep, as it's clear no show runner has any idea how to deal with the Doctor's home planet. But I like that it gives the Doctor a personal investment in something to concern herself about at the same time. And the fact that the Master fucked up the planet himself was pretty cool to me.

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Spoiler

What did the Doctor do with the Master's TARDIS? 

For the record I don't mind a clever Gallifrey-based retcon - they seem like a staple.

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That's a very good question. My initial thought is that The Doctor materialized The Master's TARDIS inside her own and then dropped it somewhere. Maybe she even stored it inside her TARDIS. Or, if she could get to the chameleon circuit, she could leave it where it is but as a more era-appropriate item.

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So, some ideas about tonight's HOLY SHIT~! moment:

1. If Ruth really is The Doctor from her past, she could be slotted in between Troughton and Pertwee, as we've never seen that regeneration.

2. Ruth could be a future incarnation of The Doctor that lived with Rose on "Pete's World."

3. Since Doctor Ruth (sorry) and all of those around here seemed to be a bit harder, she could be The Doctor from another reality. Possibly the Inferno alternate universe, which definitely had a harder edge about it.

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Twitter spoiled the shit outta this one, but I was still enthralled when I watched it a few hours ago.

Spoiler

I have no idea what to think about the new Doctor, in terms of what her deal is. I swear I thought this was going to be a two-parter, but the fact that it just ended with questions unanswered was disturbing, in a good way.

This era (insofar that I've seen) has been pretty good with the surprises. I've been caught off guard constantly. 

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I was reminded that episode one laid the groundwork for multiple realities, which could explain not only this episode but the Master's return and the destruction of Gallifrey if they wanted to reverse that.

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I'm just know fans are up in arms over the Cartmel-esque retcons in this season's finale, and they're 100% entitled to be. We still don't know everything, or even if The Master was telling the truth, so a lot of that is still up in the air for me. 

Me? I LOVED this episode. Easily the best one I've watched from this era. Sacha's Dawan's Master really brings out the best in Jodie Whitaker's Doctor. He was so full of rage, conviction and charisma, he made me question how I compare him to Missy, who I also love. Maybe Missy's goofy humor got old for me after I while, IDK. But this Master was definitely OTT and comedic, but he never came off as silly or irreverent. That scene between him and the Ashad Cyberman was killer. I loved how he wasn't BSing him, but he had no time to appeal to the Cyberman's ego. Why would he? He's the fucking MASTER.

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