The Doctor Who thread

Ben Weldon

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And also Nick Frost Santa.


Loved it, so sad. I'm not bothered about the Brig, more about Sanjeev Bhaskar! I think as neat a way to wrap up the loose ends in a series finale as I've seen (re: hugging, Danny's ghosts, the Doctor's doubts and who kept the Doctor and Clara together.)

The last scene in the cafe was a nice call back to their rendezvous at the bistro in Victorian London.

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On the whole I enjoyed it. That’s "enjoyed" the ridiculous ride the conclusion of a series usually is and this is no exception.

But there are too many nit-picks about the story for me to really like it.

Missy was great. Every bit the Master as any previous incarnation. Devilishly fun and I now no longer care that he is now a she. It would have been nice to see her as the Rani though, been far too long since she made an appearance.

Why do we have to kill off the Master every time? I know she probably isn't dead and we will almost definitely see her again so why do we have to go through that whole rig morale time and again. It is getting really tiresome. I Would have much preferred she was just taken away by Unit and locked away having her break out the next time she appears in a story.

Why did the Doctor say to her you’ve found Gallifrey? Surly she was on Gallifrey when it was lost, so shouldn’t he be more concerned with how she got out?

Why is every cyberman story of late solved by the power of Love?

If Danny was able to overcome the inhibreter and protect Clara because of his love for her and his need to protect her. Then there would be more dead converted cybermen humans who are able to do the same. We only saw him and the brig who defied their Cyber state. I know they both have the Army connection but if that was the key factor, think of how many other dead soldiers throughout History who would be able to do the same.

It's also really odd that they have acknowledged the existence of an afterlife and sometimes you can come back from it with the aid of a one-time use only magic bracelet????? I know it was used just to round up the story beat of the child but they have really opened a can of worms there.

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Michelle Gomez is now my favorite Doctor Who villain.

She was terrific. Loved her. She's a huge amount of fun in a way the Master hasn't been since... well, Delgado.

Is it weird that I'm really not all that fussed about the Brig?

I'm not either.

I mean... it actually makes a certain amount of sense and takes nothing away from the character.

MISSY: I have turned every person who has ever died into a Cyberman!

BRIG: I think not, madam. PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW

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Overall I think it was pretty good....but

What the hell was Master-Missy's point?

She creates an army of Cybers okay....and gives it to the Doctor? I get she was trying to blackmail him sort (conquer or I destroy the Earth) but still. IDK maybe I chalk it up to her being and I quote, "Bananas" (did enjoy that line lol)

The ending was one of the saddest for me since Donna left (that being number one). Clara and the Doctor lying to one another so not to hurt the other. That worked for me and I hope that the X-Mas special addresses some of this.

The Brig bit didn't upset me but I haven't seen as much Classic Who. Glad Kate made it, I think she's a good support character and would hate to see her go.

Now the worst bit was the magic bracelet thing. I feel like there was a scene cut and Clara's dump of exposition was so forced. Though I liked how Danny sent the kid back, though he didn't think it through.

-Does said kid speak English?

-How without the Doctor is Clara supposed to find his parents in Afghanistan or Iraq?

Missy was a good villain and I doubt she's gone. Hope they keep that regeneration. I only wish they had done more with her throughout the series. I hate the fact that she's the Master is basically important for one episode plus five minutes of the preceding one. Heck even in Series 3, the Master was around for three episodes.

Anyway I still think overall it wasn't too bad. Plus Nick Frost Santa? I demand Simon Pegg now as the tooth fairy or something!

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Stream of consciousness thoughts:

I didn't hate the finale, but I didn't love it either. The whole overarch of this season just felt like a long walk to get to things we already know about The Doctor. He's not going to rule the universe to do good, but he does use his companions for his dirty work. Davies covered that in an episode and a line by Davros. What was this exercise for? And speaking of Davies, The Doctor becoming President of Earth is so Davies I'm surprised he didn't get a screenwriting credit. The dead coming back as Cybermen should have been scary and emotional, but they put the minimum amount of effort into it. Where the Brig is concerned, that seems to be Moffat's fan cross to bear. From The Doctor learning of the Brig's death to Kate Stewart to him showing up as a Cyberman in this. "Man, don't you wish the Brig had appeared in the modern series?" Yeah, but he passed away, it's a shame, it happens. I'm of two minds on Missy. Michelle Gomez was great, and she was probably the most Master-ish in the scene where she killed Osgood, but I thought there was too much of the Simm Master in her with her acting crazy. I was hoping for something more along the lines of the Ainley Master: campy, but still sinister. I also had to sigh at her getting killed and us having to do that dance again. Credit to Jenna Coleman and Samuel Anderson, I felt something during their scenes together. Anderson deserved much better than he got this season, what a waste. Dunno what that scene from "real Heaven" or whatever it was was about. I did love The Doctor's anger at The Master having lied to him, though they pretty much forgot about the search for Gallifrey this season. Oh, and Nick Frost as Santa made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe.

Overall, this season was an improvement from the last one, but it was an improvement from "underwhelmed" to "whelmed." There's not a lot from this season that's going to stick with me storywise. Credit to them for making Clara an actual character, and to Jenna Coleman for a great performance every week, but by tying so much of her story to the underdeveloped Danny Pink, she got a bit shortchanged again. And it pains me to say this, but this is the first time in the modern series where I wasn't left loving the new Doctor more than the previous one. Twelve got some great moments here and there, and I've got no complaints about Capaldi's acting, but this just doesn't feel like he's fully realized yet.

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Thoughts on the finale:

Yesterday I asked a friend about his thoughts on the finale. He said, "I want to know how RTD snuck in and convinced everyone he was Moffat while he wrote this episode." It's kinda true. This feels more like an RTD finale than any of the Moffat ones, which is sort of odd. But despite that, I still liked it more than most of the other Moffat-era finales. It wasn't weirdly confusing or so invested in its own cleverness that it got lost in itself.

As for Series 8:

I mildly enjoyed it at the beginning, but I wasn't really feeling it until Kill the Moon, which seemed like the first episode to "get it" to any great degree. I'm with Chris; this is the first time in the new series that I haven't been 100% on-board with a new Doctor right from the beginning. It took me a while to figure out why, but now I think it's honestly that the Twelfth Doctor doesn't have any fun. Doctors 9, 10, and 11 would all find themselves grinning like idiots when confronted with something awesome like a mummy assassin or Robin Hood, but Twelve just sits there and frowns at everything, and even berates Clara for being happy. If the Doctor himself isn't having fun, it's hard to have fun as a viewer. And it's not that a "serious" Doctor can't work, it's just that the stories need to be strong enough to support that kind of Doctor. Which is why Kill the Moon and Flatline worked so well: they were good stories that played to Twelve's strengths. (As opposed to Robot of Sherwood, which was a fun story that played against Twelve's strengths)

Another thing: this season it seems like the Doctor was split into two characters: Twelve and Clara. It can't be a coincidence that Clara twice pretends to be the Doctor, because she seriously took on all of the traits that Twelve dropped. Clara is the fun-loving adventurous one; Clara is the one who picks up the sonic and does the things while the Doctor's otherwise busy. She's the one who cares so he doesn't have to. And it makes her all the better for it. Clara really is the standout character in Series 8; she's arguably the main character. But that makes Twelve kind of just a grumpy grandpa, but without the charming grandfatherly attitude that One had.

In the end, I feel like Series 8 made me love Clara, but care less about the Doctor.

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I honestly think that now in the Modern Era, when Doctors change but companions stay from one to another that will automatically shift the focus of importance to the companion for the audience's sake. Back in the day maybe they just never cared, but in this day and age now we need to see the companion getting used to the loss of their friend and gaining a new one to get used to. As a result, the Doctor gets the short end of the stick when it comes to ultimate resonance for a season. I remember feeling that way when I first watched series 2, and I definitely feel it here. This season felt, more often than not, like "The Adventures of Clara, featuring the Doctor". Not to suggest it was intentional, but it just ended up like that. Clara was a lot more sure of herself and easier to follow than Capaldi was. I think Capaldi carried the finale better than he's carried any other episode. By the end of the season, like with Matt Smith, I felt comfortable seeing him as the Doctor. But it'll take more time before we want to see more of him solo, and not just how Clara will react to his "no-fucks-given" personality.

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To try to keep the secret the team even went to the trouble of recoding as scene where Missy identifies herself as a Random Access Neural Interface, hoping fans would pick up on the acronym and spread the word that the Rani was returning. Whenever I arrange skullduggery, no-one ever notices.

Okay, that's kind of awesome.

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