The Doctor's Consort

Doctor who Series 10; He has been away for a while but he is back!

131 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

On 6/7/2017 at 10:37 PM, Starkess said:

I hated that fake regeneration scene. It didn't make sense and seemed really out of character for both the Doctor and Bill, and the emotional punches were totally pulled. Really soured the whole episode for me.

Yeah. It seemed to be making light of regeneration, which AFAIK has previously been treated as quite a solemn thing. 

Hated the most recent episode - really thought it was embarrassingly bad. Dreadful dialogue, characters written by Gatiss while apparently typing with clogs on his hands. I liked the beginning - with God Save the Queen being discovered written on the surface of Mars; that was the last thing I liked. 

Why is it that in Thin Ice, Bill was shown to be anxious about how she would be treated in Victorian London - but when she runs into a redcoats - on service in South Africa - she's fine? 

Note: Looking on Black Presence.co.uk - according to it, there are quite substantial records of black soldiers serving in the nineteenth century British army.  I note that in the instance I've linked to, black drummers stopped being recruited through the 1820s and 1830s. I wonder if that coincides with an increase in the sense of racial superiority and imperial destiny in Britain as the country enjoyed total dominance in Europe without the French to puncture the hubris. 

Anyone want to take a punt on what decade the soldiers were supposed to originate from? From the pictures I've seen on the internet, I'd say they're from the eighteen seventies from the period of the Anglo-Zulu war. 

Edited by dog-days

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10 minutes ago, dog-days said:

Why is it that in Thin Ice, Bill was shown to be anxious about how she would be treated in Victorian London - but when she runs into a redcoats - on service in South Africa - she's fine? 

Because she has learned and developed?

 

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9 minutes ago, mormont said:

Because she has learned and developed?

 

Why would she learn and develop away fear/dislike of racist representatives of British establishment power? Sutcliffe wasn't an advert for the fluffy warm liberal side of Victorian life. 

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3 minutes ago, dog-days said:

Why would she learn and develop away fear/dislike of racist representatives of British establishment power? Sutcliffe wasn't an advert for the fluffy warm liberal side of Victorian life. 

Why wouldn't she? Bill's faced a lot worse since then. She's grown in self-confidence accordingly. If any of those guys had given her shit, she'd have dealt with it.

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Posted (edited)

16 minutes ago, mormont said:

Why wouldn't she? Bill's faced a lot worse since then. She's grown in self-confidence accordingly. If any of those guys had given her shit, she'd have dealt with it.

She's dealt with aliens and evil plans to take over the world. Racism is something different. It's closer to home. 

What I mean is, why did Thin Ice remember that Victorian Britain was a racist colonialist society, but Empress of Mars didn't?  We have a band of redcoats fresh from fighting a colonial war in South Africa, and there was absolutely nothing? (In terms of the characterisation of the soldiers re: Bill and the young black guy who appeared to be heading towards moving from a redcoat to a redshirt when he started talking about how he wanted to get married). 

Yes, in a sense the episode was about imperial delusions of superiority and inferiority. But it just seemed so facile and trite. I don't know. Maybe I just feel uncomfortable seeing Doctor Who take a real and horrible period of history and then ham-fistedly push it into a sci-fi story, while providing very simplistic characterisations of the soldiers themselves. It jams together the allegorical and the actual in a way that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 

Edited by dog-days

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14 minutes ago, dog-days said:

What I mean is, why did Thin Ice remember that Victorian Britain was a racist colonialist society, but Empress of Mars didn't?

Thin Ice actually shows most of Victorian society to be much less racist, and much more racially diverse, than Bill is expecting. Sutcliffe is the exception, not the rule.

 

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1 hour ago, mormont said:

Thin Ice actually shows most of Victorian society to be much less racist, and much more racially diverse, than Bill is expecting. Sutcliffe is the exception, not the rule.

 

The diversity that is shown is represented by people on the lowest ranks of the social scale - a man selling pies, a beggar girl. Sutcliffe is a wealthy industrialist. Societies can be diverse, and still be racist. 

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2 hours ago, dog-days said:

The diversity that is shown is represented by people on the lowest ranks of the social scale - a man selling pies, a beggar girl. Sutcliffe is a wealthy industrialist. Societies can be diverse, and still be racist. 

Absolutely, and that was the point in Thin Ice. But I don't see any issue between that and last night's episode.

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I thought it was an entertaining episode, although I think it's perhaps best not to think too deeply about some of the plot points.

5 hours ago, dog-days said:

Anyone want to take a punt on what decade the soldiers were supposed to originate from? From the pictures I've seen on the internet, I'd say they're from the eighteen seventies from the period of the Anglo-Zulu war. 

I think you're right, if I heard correctly the commander said the battle he ran away from was Isandlwana which was in 1879.

I was a bit confused about how he was still commanding. I understand that his execution was botched but why did he get handed back his command after that?

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1 hour ago, williamjm said:

I thought it was an entertaining episode, although I think it's perhaps best not to think too deeply about some of the plot points.

I think you're right, if I heard correctly the commander said the battle he ran away from was Isandlwana which was in 1879.

I was a bit confused about how he was still commanding. I understand that his execution was botched but why did he get handed back his command after that?

He said the Major was the only one who knew about it and had been blackmailing him

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The episode was set in 1881. The Doctor and Bill both say so and the TARDIS monitor flashes up the date when they arrive :) 

Pretty good episode. The Ice Warriors are best used as a species with their own culture and society rather than monsters of the week, and this episode did a good job of that. It also fitted in splendidly with continuity, especially with Alpha Centauri showing up at the end (played by the same actress as 45 years ago!). I'm assuming it's not the same Alpha Centauri (since The Curse of Peladon and  Monster of Peladon take place about 2,000 years later) and that supremely annoying voice is their standard translation matrix.

We can assume that the Alpha Centaurians helped the Ice Warriors relocate to New Mars, and its from where that they sent the rescue ship to recover the lone Warrior in Cold War. And of course it sets up the founding of the Galactic Federation (with Earth and Arcturus) later on.

Also, a great shout-out to The Thing. The first Ice Warrior story was very consciously based on The Thing From Another World, which of course The Thing is the remake of.

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7 hours ago, Maltaran said:

He said the Major was the only one who knew about it and had been blackmailing him

I do remember that being mentioned and it might explain why the common soldiers didn't know about it, but if he'd been convicted and an execution had been attempted then surely the British Army should know about this and relieve him of command.

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That was a mostly decent episode, although Moffat clearly has a thing about Romans standing guard over humanity for eternity. Nice to see it making some strong nods to the TARDIS's translation powers and make that part of the plot: part of the Doctor's success might be because he can talk to everyone (and help everyone talk to one another) where language problems otherwise would make communication between different species and nationalities more difficult. Or, in other words, he cheats a bit.

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

That was a mostly decent episode, although Moffat clearly has a thing about Romans standing guard over humanity for eternity.

Maybe they were trying to save money by reusing some costumes?

The premise did feel a bit more like an Amy Pond episode rather than Bill as the companion, although she did well anyway.

Nice to see it making some strong nods to the TARDIS's translation powers

I did like the 'it even lip-syncs' comment Bill made.

I liked the episode, although I may be biased due to the Scottish setting. I liked the nod to Celtic mythology about being able to hear music beneath the ground upon faerie hills.

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Though it was okay - beautiful setting, costumes, and nice one liners. Williamjm highlights one of the best. The Doctor-Nardole banter was good too. “What are you doing?” “Ingratiating myself.” “Well stop it, it’s revolting!” And I liked “Death by Scotland”.

Loved the clear reference to Rosemary Sutcliff's The Eagle of the Ninth at the start of the episode - a book that has been a big part of many people's childhoods - probably Rona Munro's, certainly mine. I studied Latin at university. The late great Sutcliff must certainly take some of the blame. 

I doubt Roman soldiers would be so sexually accepting in quite such modern terms, but obviously can't prove it, so will hand-wave it. 

The plot itself would have been better without the monster. That’s quite a big caveat. I also wasn’t fond of the solution. How are a tiny band of adolescents expecteed to hold off thousands of great big monsters for all time? Or even thirty minutes? Even fairy tale logic doesn’t seem to work there.

And I could have done without the “let’s just put aside our differences and work together” speech. The show has done that so many times before that the trope really needs to be given a rest for a while.

Since the show decided to do one tribute to a classic of twentieth century children’s literature, they could have worked in another one to Earthfasts by William Mayne. Much of the author’s work has been tainted by the knowledge of his paedophilia, some probably justifiably so, but I don’t think Earthfasts should be lost with the rest.

 For those not familiar with it: it’s based on a local legend in North Yorkshire that a gang of eighteeth century soldiers discovered a tunnel beneath Richmond castle, and sent down the youngest boy to explore it, telling him to keep drumming so that they could plot the route above ground. They followed him as far as Easby where the drumming stopped. The drummer boy was never seen again, except in Earthfasts, of course, where he emerges from a hill slip into the twentieth century.

 

 

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Ah, this was Rona Munro's one. That's quite interesting, as she wrote the last-ever script of the original series (Survival, in 1989) and was slated to return the following year but the show was (unofficially) cancelled. Good to see she finally got to come back.

Surprisingly, that makes her the only writer to work on the original series and the new one. I'd have thought they would have tapped Ben Aaronovitch, or even asked the seemingly-immortal Terrance Dicks to come back and do one episode for old time's sake.

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1 hour ago, dog-days said:

How are a tiny band of adolescents expecteed to hold off thousands of great big monsters for all time? Or even thirty minutes? Even fairy tale logic doesn’t seem to work there.

Only one monster can approach at a time. And there's the time dilation effect - something like a second in the rift equals a day outside? Optimistically, they could hold out for hundreds of years, but without food or water, not much more than that. Certainly not till the end of time. Perhaps being in the rift eliminates their bodily needs as well as dilating time? That does seem to be a standard property of temporal weirdness, eg when people are subjected to rapid ageing they actually get old instead of instantly starving to death and their young corpse undergoing accelerated decay.

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29 minutes ago, felice said:

Only one monster can approach at a time. And there's the time dilation effect - something like a second in the rift equals a day outside? Optimistically, they could hold out for hundreds of years, but without food or water, not much more than that. Certainly not till the end of time. Perhaps being in the rift eliminates their bodily needs as well as dilating time? That does seem to be a standard property of temporal weirdness, eg when people are subjected to rapid ageing they actually get old instead of instantly starving to death and their young corpse undergoing accelerated decay.

Interesting. That kind of calls for a follow up episode where the Romano-British saviours of the world drop into McDonalds for a cheeseburger and a toilet break. :)

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3 hours ago, dog-days said:

Interesting. That kind of calls for a follow up episode where the Romano-British saviours of the world drop into McDonalds for a cheeseburger and a toilet break. :)

Since this is Scotland I feel they should emerge every few centuries to get a fish supper and some Irn Bru to sustain themselves.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, williamjm said:

Since this is Scotland I feel they should emerge every few centuries to get a fish supper and some Irn Bru to sustain themselves.

If they came back to the rift with a few cans of Irn Bru (sorry, I mean Irrrn Brrrrui), I reckon the creations of utter darkness would put the monsters to flight pretty fast. 

Edited by dog-days

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