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Peter Capaldi as The Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald
Things change and almost everything has a beginning and an end. But most people tend to like continuity, legacy, and the stability those concepts evoke. In politics and government, elections and policies are sometimes sold on the nostalgic feelings for things past. In entertainment, the same approach is used with reboots, re-imaginings, prequels, sequels, and character transitions. The $64,000 question always is whether or not the audience will accept new faces in place of the old ones. Sometimes it can be a horrible debacle that is the very definition of a "jump the shark" moment. But sometimes it works and works well.

Doctor Who has made those transitions work over the past 50 years. The show is a staple of British pop-culture and watched around the globe. This weekend saw the introduction of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor (although technically he's the Thirteenth or even Fourteenth, depending on how you count them). So how is this new doctor and what might be in store for him?

Follow beneath the fold for more ....

I am alone. The world which shook at my feet, and the trees, and the sky, have gone, and I am alone now, alone. The wind bites now, and the world is grey, and I am alone. Can’t see me. Doesn’t see me. Can’t see me. —The Doctor
There have been arguments in the past as to whether Doctor Who even qualifies as science fiction (e.g. according to author Terry Pratchett, it's not). Showrunner Steven Moffat has described the series as a "dark fairy tale" about a reality where wondrous, fantastical, and terrifying things lurk in the shadows and a man in a magic box is there to fight the monsters. But like a lot of fairy tales, Doctor Who is rooted in melancholy. The Doctor may save the universe, but it always comes at a cost. He is an almost God-like figure, who usually knows more than everyone else, and can go anywhere he wants in all of existence and time. And yet, with all that power, there are some things he can't fix, especially with himself. He is lonely and always running, a lonely god that needs "companions" who will run with him through corridors. And there will invariably be another Dalek, another Cyberman, another tragedy to be righted waiting when the TARDIS materializes at its next stop.

With this episode, Peter Capaldi, probably best known for the BBC comedy series The Thick of It, takes over for Matt Smith in the role of the Doctor. Most of "Deep Breath" is predicated on transitioning the audience to accepting Capaldi in the role, and it's not until the halfway-point the story finds its bearings and becomes interesting. Before then it's a bit camp and goofy, with Capaldi's doctor still addled from regeneration and falling from a tree, a giant T-Rex hanging out in Victorian London until it (sorta) spontaneously combusts and the Paternoster Gang doing their best Sherlock Holmes-style investigation. But almost all of it is superfluous to the plot of the episode. In fact, there's really no reason for Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), Jenny (Catrin Stewart), and Strax (Dan Starkey) to be in the episode, other than to act as familiar faces that confirm that Capaldi's doctor is the same person as Smith's doctor. In fact, some of the banter between Vastra and Jenny seems like it could have been on an episode of Moffat's Coupling.

It's only in the latter half of "Deep Breath," which has the Doctor and Clara (Jenna Coleman) confronting an organ-stealing droid (the "Half-Face Man" played by Peter Ferdinando) that's seeking the promised land, where the differences between Smith's Doctor and Capaldi's come to the forefront. There's an intensity and grimmer tone to the Twelfth Doctor that wasn't present in the previous incarnation.

Those people down there. They’re never small. Don’t make assumptions about how far I’ll go to protect them, because I’ve already come a very long way, and unlike you, I do not expect to reach the promised land. —The Doctor
And this is the first time Clara feels like a well-rounded character instead of a figure functioning as a plot device. The scene in which Clara is seemingly abandoned by the Doctor, and has to hold her breath to deceive the clockwork robots, sells the tension of the situation incredibly well. And Coleman's performance is great at evoking a feeling of being betrayed and then a faith that she will be saved. But even in this story, the writing for Clara didn't seem to mesh totally (a little more about that in a bit). However, it was a good introduction that was really helped by how good of an actor Capaldi is, and his Doctor has been described as a minimalist. And I have a feeling this Doctor is more of a realist. Instead of the facade of boyish looks, this regeneration is older, with "lines" on his face, who seems to accept the truth of his nature in ways the previous recent incarnations had trouble doing. And in the end, that's the fun of each regeneration if done right. Each new Doctor provides a new insight and interpretation of a character we've known all along.
Gears, clocks, watches and Peter Capaldi's face
  • New intro: The new title sequence is based on a fan-made video on YouTube. Steven Moffat liked graphic designer Billy Hanshaw's intro so much he asked the BBC’s graphics department to make an official version based on Hanshaw’s work.
  • The English's fault: While trying to figure out why he looks the way he does after the regeneration, with "cross eyebrows" that want to "secede" from his face, the Doctor comes to the realization that he's Scottish (or Time Lord Scottish). Someone should have told poor David Tennant that he didn't have to spend all those years imitating an English accent. One other note about that scene. The homeless man, who was listening to the Doctor's rant and gets his coat stolen by him, is played by Brian Miller, the widower of Elisabeth Sladen (who played Sarah Jane Smith).
  • Trying too hard: Moffat's Doctor Who is much better when he's not drawing attention to his own cleverness and is not so self-aware. His scripts are great at creating complex stories that take advantage of the show's fairy tale, technobabble nature, with the plot many times twisting back onto itself. The criticism of Moffat is generally that he sometimes seems more enamored with the mechanics of the story than consistency and emotions of the characters. I was genuinely surprised by how much time is spent in the episode trying to sell Clara, and by extension the audience, on the idea of an "old" Doctor. It seems like Moffat or the BBC is really worried the show is going to lose some of its sex appeal with the transition from Smith to Capaldi. Not only did it seem like they were selling it hard, but it also made no sense from a story perspective to use Clara as someone who can't deal with a new Doctor and has trouble accepting that he's still the same person. This is the same Clara that went into the timestream, split herself into multiple versions, and been with all of the Doctors, old and young, around the universe throughout time.
  • Lady issues: Moffat has been criticized in the past for the way he writes female characters. In short, the argument goes that almost all of the women on the show have no agency beyond being defined by the men (i.e. The Doctor, Rory, etc.) in their lives. In some comments I saw after this episode, there were people who found it a bit hypocritical the episode rightly says, "How dare you judge The Doctor by his looks?!?" but at the same time almost every companion is a young, attractive woman who more often than not will at some point be a possible love interest. And still, Clara's story is not as much about what she wants but whether she can find it in herself to still serve the Doctor in his adventures. The cameo by Matt Smith has the Eleventh Doctor telling Clara how much he still needs her.

Matt Smith in his final appearance (so far) as the Eleventh Doctor
From Alasdair Wilkins at the A.V. Club:
While Davies envisioned Doctor Who as the story of the Doctor and the companion, Moffat’s show is simply the story of the Doctor ... This is also part of a larger trend of Moffat’s treatment of female characters. In general, almost all of Moffat’s ladies are “mysteries” for the Doctor to solve—Amy has a mysterious crack in her wall followed by a mysterious pregnancy, River is a timeline conundrum, and Clara (Jenna Louise-Coleman) is referred to as “the impossible girl.” While these women serve as dynamic companions to the Doctor, the show has a bad habit of turning them into plot points. Moffat seems generally uninterested in the families, friends, or careers of his supporting female characters, making them frustratingly underdeveloped. Amy’s long-lost parents and their eventual return in “The Big Bang” are major concerns of season five that are immediately dropped so Amy can run away on more adventures. These female characters exist only insomuch as they relate to the Doctor, and anything outside of their time-traveling adventures is irrelevant. Whatever Moffat’s intention, he is continuing the frustrating pop-culture trend of writing women who revolve around men. Add to this the fact that most of the women he writes are sassy, aggressive, and flirty—all of which are fascinating traits for a female character but feel rather reductive when repeated ad nauseam.
  • The push or jump question: The episode leaves it ambiguous, but does it really matter? If the Half-Face Man jumped, it was done under threat by the Doctor. Is that somehow more moral than throwing him out the door? In year's past, there would be a moment of realization where the villain would finally accept a "third option" and the Doctor would grab the TARDIS and take him where he needs to go. That not happening is by itself a major change that points to a different way of doing things with this Doctor. Although there is an argument the Doctor is probably considered one of the biggest war criminals in the universe by his enemies.

Michele Gomez as Missy
  • Missy, aka Mary Poppins: Michele Gomez, probably best known as Sue White on the hospital comedy Green Wing, seems to be the big bad of this series. Speculation as to who "Missy" might be seems to go in every direction, with many believing she's a female regeneration of The Master, with the shape of the garden and fountain in the middle being reminiscent of a TARDIS control room. (i.e., Missy = Mistress = Master) Other conjecture centers on the Rani or maybe even Romana. Since she refers to the Doctor as her "boyfriend," another line of thought goes that this is a new iteration of River Song. Also, given that just before the scene with Missy, the Doctor tells Clara that he's not her boyfriend, some believe Missy might be some timestream version of Clara that's taken her control-freak tendencies too far.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Whovians on DKos and Pink Clubhouse.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd like a coherent explanation of why the BBC (28+ / 0-)

    calls this the "8th season," although the show has been on for about 50 years and there have been at least 13 doctors.

    I asked that in another thread on this, got quite a few answers, and didn't understand any of it!

    My beloved wife, by the way, is currently on a Dr. Who binge, so I'm hearing a lot about this.

    Lies written in ink can never disguise facts written in blood.--Lu Xun
    Support the BDS Movement--www.bdsmovement.net

    by Timaeus on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:36:30 PM PDT

  •  !!! (13+ / 0-)

    Here's a very interesting Peter Capaldi/Jenna Coleman/Steve Moffatt interview.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/...

  •  What is Dr Who's position on corporate ... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, Mannie, high uintas, hbk, CoyoteMarti

    income tax??

  •  And how old is Dr. Who? (11+ / 0-)

    http://www.rawstory.com/...

    Excellent summary of all of them.  I only deeply remember a few.  My favorite was that tall guy with the long scarf.

    Lies written in ink can never disguise facts written in blood.--Lu Xun
    Support the BDS Movement--www.bdsmovement.net

    by Timaeus on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:41:37 PM PDT

  •  I'd like a coherent explanation of why the Doctor (6+ / 0-)

    Is thousands of years old, and yet his last 12 incarnations out of 13 have all happened in only the last 50 years?

    RIDDLE ME THIS BATMAN!!

    The DKOS oath; The cake is a lie, there is only Pie. Through Pie I gain calories. Through calories I gain fat. Through fat I gain a belly. Through my belly, my belt is broken. Sweatpants shall free me!

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:42:05 PM PDT

    •  They are only the ones we know about (11+ / 0-)

      He's seen the end of time itself, whole universes die, and the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. He tells you what you need to know.

      Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:14:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He spends time alone. (13+ / 0-)

      Recently he spent a couple hundred years bouncing around doing his own thing without any accompaniment. His traveling isn't linear, as I recall when he knew the moment that he was to die by river song's hand on that beach he enjoyed the heck out of himself for a while before setting sail for that fateful moment.

      He does that sometimes, goes off on his own to be alone.

      Off the top of my head, the david tenant doctor fled from that nose-smeller aliens in pre-ww1 britain and made use of his camouflage pocket watch to make himself human. After he returned to being "The Doctor" and before he continued adventuring with Martha, he spend some undefined amount of time implementing punishments on those aliens. Forged huge ass chains from the heart of a dwarf star to shackle the dad figure, stuffed the little girl into the dimension that sits just beyond the image in the mirrors, put the son into eternal stasis and made him into a scarecrow.... I forget what else. That sort of stuff takes time to do.

      Then there was the entirety of his time spend actually fighting in the time war, and all those years spend sightseeing before he decided he wanted a traveling companion.

      It all adds up. His 'alone time' suddenly reminds me of a blog post I saw on Cracked about comedians who suddenly stop being funny around people - it's because they feel comfortable enough to drop the comedy act and simply be themselves. When the doctor runs out of energy to "be fun and entertaining" he heads off with just himself and that eats up time.

      That's why he's racked up a lot of time miles on his body, yet we only see the parts where he's "On Stage" so to speak.

      Definition of Pyrrhic Victory...
      Rose Tyler: "Doctor, they've got guns."
      Dr Who: "And I haven't. Which makes me the better person, don't you think? They can shoot me dead but the moral high ground is mine."

      by JayFromPA on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:27:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Didn't he spend several hundred years (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, kerflooey, Mannie, duhban, capelza

      off-screen before Lake Silencio?

      reality based, not really biased

      by NE2 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:32:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In his first incarnation, he was apparently 4-500 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dconrad, Mannie, capelza

      years old, not thousands. In any case, he can live and do many things "off camera," and being a time lord, appear "on camera" at different phases and times of his life.

      Even a single lamp dispels the darkness. --Gandhi

      by My Philosophy on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:07:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are assuming (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, capelza, Susipsych, trumpeter

      that the stories we've seen over the last 50 years represent 50 years of the Doctor's subjective timeline. That's not a safe assumption, especially when you're dealing with a time traveler.

      La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues, et de voler du pain.

      by dconrad on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:18:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  According to Matt Smith's last two episodes: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kerflooey, capelza, Mannie, avsp

      In "Day of the Doctor" - the 50th anniversary spectacular - Matt stated to that he was 1,200 years old.  Presuming he wasn't lying about that (which is uncertain, given who he was talking to at the time and his desire to get away from both his previous incarnations), we watch him get positively ancient in "Time of the Doctor" during his extended one-man defense of the planet Trenzalore.  Given it took him reportedly 750 years to wear out his first incarnation's body so he looked like a 55 year old William Hartnel when the series started back in 1963, him spending an additional 800 years isn't beyond belief at this point.

      Granted, that means he literally burned through his regenerations like mad within a single century, but then given he was living life while the rest of the Time Lords were sitting pretty on Gallifrey that's hardly a surprise.

      Besides, are we even talking about "years" as we measure them here on Earth?  Who knows how Gallifreyans measure time in the first place, given what they do with it.

      •  I have been around long enough to have seen (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CoyoteMarti, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

        all of the Doctors: I'm very old...Hartnell and McCoy were both in black and white teevee days. Clearly though, Hartnell was an older man with white hair which indicated that he was very old without explaining exactly how old he was.

        In those days there wasn't much of a story line...he was just there. Most of the companions in the early days were not even residents of earth and there were usually 2 or 3 girls and boys. Yes girls and boys...because the audience was very young - it was a kids' show.

        John Pertwee was the most dashing Doctor: he also had white hair and was clearly not young,  and he was my favorite until I learned to love Peter Davison.

        Peter was the first young boyish Doctor. His trademark was a celery stalk as a pocket hanky/boutinere and bouncy blonde hair. But after him the Doctors were more mature as per Tom Bakker and the shows became more sophisticated.

        Most people will have picked it up from there...

        •  Except you're flipping Who history on its head (0+ / 0-)

          Tom Baker preceded Peter Davison, and after Davison, the series went even younger with Colin Baker. Moreover, the modern, revived show has had vital, young or youngish Doctors -- and getting ever younger as it went along, until Capaldi just took over.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

          by FischFry on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 11:49:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, RiveroftheWest

      In the past 50 years?  No they have interacted with the past 50 years in ways interesting to Earthlings, but they have existed for all of time and space.

      he comes to Earth a lot because it is apparently an interesting place, and one that needs him - it may be a nexus of some sort - but 'happened in only the last 50 years' is an artifact of perception.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 10:52:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've never seen the show... (13+ / 0-)

    but Peter Capaldi made me laugh so hard as Malcolm Tucker in the political reality movie called "In the Loop" that I'll be tuning in now.

  •  I think Clara's having trouble... (13+ / 0-)

    ...accepting the new Doctor makes sense in a way. As much as she did get split and has helped the other versions of the doctor, as shown at the end of last season, she still started with Eleven. She helped the previous generations because of her connection with Eleven. From her initial timeframe reference (which is, of course, not the same as our timeframe reference), the other generations were Eleven's past, so in helping them, she helped him. Helping the previous Doctors was about helping Eleven. But now, Capaldi is new to her. And as much as she's helped past Doctors, this is the first time she's actually been present for the regeneration process, and this particular regeneration resulted in her losing Eleven. Her rejection of Capaldi's doctor is also part of her grieving over Eleven's death.

    I'm wondering if a quick line near the beginning of the episode might have any foreshadowing relevance: when the Doctor calls Clara "Handles." Handles being the name of the cyberman head Eleven had with him in Christmas. Probably not, but knowing how Moffat enjoys dropping little bits of foreshadowing, who knows.

    •  Also as Clara jumped into The Doctor's timestream (8+ / 0-)

      That time-stream ENDED with the fall of the eleventh! As such, she never encountered Capaldi.

      Because once the eleventh was saved on the fields of Trenzalore, his grave would no longer be there.

      So, the impossible girl never met up with this iteration of The Doctor, and as such probably would feel some trepidation.

      I feel that the episode did a great job of bridging The Doctors!  It was for Clara's benefit, but also the audience, many of which don't remember anyone prior to Eccelstein (Or whatever that jerks name was....he wouldn't even be in the 50th Anniversary Special!) I have been watching since Tom Baker (and caught a lot of "The Dandy" and "The Clown" and a very few Hartnell episodes)

      Extra points on the clown and dandy reference :-)

      Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

      by Mannie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:01:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is my understanding... (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, Mannie, kerflooey, duhban, fumie, avsp

        I've been told by friends that kept more informed than I.... That eccleston signed on for the role of The Doctor almost as a wager on his own acting abilities rather than due to interest in the role itself.

        Something like, his personal investment in the role was geared toward making a curmudgeon lovable rather than exploring the character.

        Definition of Pyrrhic Victory...
        Rose Tyler: "Doctor, they've got guns."
        Dr Who: "And I haven't. Which makes me the better person, don't you think? They can shoot me dead but the moral high ground is mine."

        by JayFromPA on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:36:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I also think that something went south (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mannie, kerflooey, duhban, avsp

          in the actor/studio relationship. No one really talks about it. Eccleston was my first Doctor in a way, he was the first I took seriously and so he holds a special place for me.

          Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

          by high uintas on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:39:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I remember reading that he didn't like (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas, kerflooey, Judeling, avsp

            how the studio was treating the crew.

            reality based, not really biased

            by NE2 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:10:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, there is a video out there where he is ... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              avsp, Susipsych, RiveroftheWest

              teaching a class and someone asks a question about why he left.  

              From what I've seen, he has always been very diplomatic about it, but in that video he alludes to not liking how the members of the crew were being treated by the producers and directors at that time.  (Film sets can be quite abusive environments.)  

              Eccleston alluded to one director unnecessarily abusing crew people under him, and then turning around and trying to pal around with him (i.e. Eccleston), and he could only think (something like), "Why should I respect someone like you, who misuses your power and treats people in that way?"  I've heard a story where he refused to go on with filming late one night because the crew had been putting in long, long hours and were all exhausted.

    •  My husband was speculating on if it was the TARDIS (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, high uintas, kerflooey, capelza

      But, she called him her thief, not her boyfriend. I think the whole 'age' issue was aimed at the newer viewers who have never known the doctor as he was in the previous incarnations. Usually the doctor was older, not the young romantic hero, but the elder teacher. Familiar characters can help the new kids with the transition. Implied that he was talking to himself when he said 'I'm not your boyfriend' with options on the new adversary.

      Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.-Terry Pratchett

      by Shippo1776 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:20:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I find I'M having a hard time accepting the new (0+ / 0-)

      Doctor.

      I've only come to Doctor Who recently, and therefore am only acquainted with just the last 3 or so. The latest Doctor seems to be missing the verve of the ones I'm aware of. It's going to take more than this first performance to win me over.

      You better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin' at you from a neverending parade of stupid. - Motormouth Maybelle, Hairspray 2007 -

      by FlamingoGrrl on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:00:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You - N/T (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doctor RJ, Mannie, high uintas, avsp

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:58:19 PM PDT

  •  As a youngster growing up in Scotland (12+ / 0-)

    I remember seeing Dr. Who listed for the first time back in the early sixties and thinking this is gonna be good. I was just a wee lad then of course, but the Doctor quickly became one of my favorites.

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:04:10 PM PDT

  •  The Doctor as a god (11+ / 0-)

    This statement is undeniably true and is also the thing that annoys me the most about the new Doctor Who.

    He is an almost God-like figure, who usually knows more than everyone else, and can go anywhere he wants in all of existence and time. And yet, with all that power, there are some things he can't fix, especially with himself. He is lonely and always running, a lonely god that needs "companions" who will run with him through corridors.

    Terry Pratchett thoughts on the matter.

    The Doctor himself has in recent years been built up into an amalgam of Mother Teresa, Jesus Christ (I laughed my socks off during the Titanic episode when two golden angels lifted the Doctor heavenwards) and Tinkerbell. There is nothing he doesn’t know, and nothing he can’t do. He is now becoming God, given that the position is vacant. Earth is protected, we are told, and not by Torchwood, who are human and therefore not very competent. Perhaps they should start transmitting the programme on Sundays.

    One of the great appeals of the original series (at least for me) was that the Doctor was a relatively powerless figure.  Granted he was very clever and had the TARDIS but often he couldn't control it very well.  Most of the time the people and aliens around him had no idea who he was.  He succeeded through his wits but was certainly no god.

    Although I quite like the new series every time they build the doctor up into this god-like figure I want to tear my hair out.  It is just so antithetical to what appealed to me about the character in the first place.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:07:23 PM PDT

    •  But as The Docotor gets older and travels more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      He will of course gain even more knowledge, and at some point one could argue, that vast wealth of knowledge along with the TARDIS could evolve into "a g-d like figure"

      So to me it makes sense that The Doctor has evolved more into this as he gets older

      Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

      by Mannie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:17:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like the explanation given... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, duhban, hbk, high uintas

      ...for the reason the tardis was so uncontrollable so often - he didn't pay attention enough in driving school and kept doing things like leaving the parking brakes on and forgetting to push in the clutch before switching gears.

      Definition of Pyrrhic Victory...
      Rose Tyler: "Doctor, they've got guns."
      Dr Who: "And I haven't. Which makes me the better person, don't you think? They can shoot me dead but the moral high ground is mine."

      by JayFromPA on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:39:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  no offense (0+ / 0-)

      but the original series built up the sonic screwdriver to absurd lengths.

      I will not comment on Prachett because my opinion on the man in general and on this in specific is neither kind nor nice.

      Der Weg ist das Ziel

      by duhban on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:51:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Doctor RJ, niemann, avsp, JG in MD, LilPeach

      While I enjoy the new series, there are a few things they've twiddled with that annoy me.  The "Doctor-as-near-God" thing is one of them.

      Second is the fact that Earth knows about all the aliens now.  Back in the original series, plots involving Earth were always resolved before the Big Baddies got that far.  Only the people that got entangled into the plots, and of course, UNIT, knew what was going on.

      Third are the massively hyped-up Daleks.  In the original series, Daleks were evil and dangerous, but you wouldn't expect a single Dalek to be capable of conquering Earth all by itself.  And flight?  Psssh.  I can understand some antigrav to deal with stairs, but soaring around the place like some kind of pepperpot jet fighter?  Nah.  Get that crap right out of there.

      Fourth is the uber-reliance on the sonic screwdriver.  Is it me, or has the SS basically become inseparable from The Doctor to the point where one wonders how the hell he'd ever managed without one (which he did in the old series, IIRC the SS didn't even appear until sometime during the Third Doctor, and while it got a lot of use through the rest of the old series, it wasn't the panacea it seems to be now.

      Anyway, I'll end my rant now, I could throw a couple more in the list but I'll leave it at that.

    •  I don't think the series is doing that, per se (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, avsp, JG in MD, beneldon

      The fact that Doctor Who has, over the decades, turned into a British television institution that has defined generations of children, bred a rabid fanbase, and shown itself capable of surviving multiple attempts at cancellation is what turned the Doctor from a rabble-rousing wanderer into a nigh-godly superhero. Recent production teams can strain against that idea, but can never really break it: when the revived series specifically split the Doctor from the history and backstory surrounding the Time Lords in an attempt to go back to basics, it worked for a while... but even Russell Davies couldn't keep it up. His tenure as show runner ended in what was probably the most self-indulgent trip through the franchise's mythos since the late 1970s. Audiences expect certain things from the series now, and it's hard to break away from those expectations.

      As show runner, I think Steven Moffat understands this at a fundamental level. Instead of renouncing the aura of divinity that has naturally accumulated around the show and the character, he's made something of a point of embracing it for the purposes of deconstructing it. When the show invokes the Doctor-as-god idea lately, it's been done mainly to undercut it. The major recurring theme of the 11th Doctor's era was showing the ways in which the Doctor's reputation preceding him was more of a hindrance than a help.

      That, to me, is the continuity of the character. As the Doctor's lives have gone on, the legends and myths surrounding him have accumulated, both on screen and off. But the character himself is fundamentally the same: the series consistently portrays the man himself not as a god-like figure, but the same clever but largely powerless figure he's always been. He's seen as a god because he's been being clever and scoring victories against evil while remaining seemingly powerless for so long that he's gained a reputation for it.

      Honestly, I feel like the classic series was, if anything, more inclined to mythologize the Doctor himself than the new series has been. While stories like "The Waters of Mars", "The Pandorica Opens", the various "...of the Doctor" episodes (Name, Night, Day, Time) usually invoke the Doctor-as-god only to twist it in some fashion, there were times during the 3rd, 4th, and (in particular) 7th Doctor's eras where it was played largely straight. The 4th Doctor had his melancholy brooding ("I'm not human, I walk in eternity"), and the 7th Doctor literally manipulated his friends and enemies (including several quasi-Lovecraftian deities like the Ragnarok trio or Fenric) in his role as cosmic chess master.

      That said, part of me does hope that the show has managed to exorcise some of those demons in the 50th anniversary year. I'm hoping that Capaldi's first season spends a bit less time telling stories about the Doctor himself and gets back to the idea of the Doctor wandering through time and space and inserting himself into other peoples' stories again. "Deep Breath" actually gives me some hope in that direction, too, but we'll have to see how everything shakes out in the end.

      •  Interesting perspective (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        avsp, LilPeach, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

        Thanks for the reply.

        I've only seen about half of the 7th doctor episodes and they are kind of hazy in my memory.

        The fourth doctor's line you quote was followed immediately by Sarah Jane (gently) mocking him.  I didn't take as something to be taken seriously.

        "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

        by matching mole on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 05:05:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I did not realize that Elizabeth Sladen had died! (9+ / 0-)

    Hated to learn that. She was still too young to go so soon.

    My thought on the "Mary Poppins" lady was that she was a projection of the Tardis, and the robot had been placed/locked in a spatial dimension room of his own inside the Tardis. shrug but could be a new/old villain. Surely not Romana, though. She was a "good" guy. Surely E-space hasn't corrupted her. Rani is the better theory, if it's not someone entirely new.  Most likely, whoever she is, she's the one who put the ad in the newspaper.

    Even a single lamp dispels the darkness. --Gandhi

    by My Philosophy on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:09:34 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure I get complaining... (13+ / 0-)

    ...that the show doesn't spend more time on female characters' time away from time-travelling adventures; time-travelling adventures is what the show is, otherwise, it would be like every other non-time-travelling-adventure show out there. Amy and Clara have had non-doctor careers depicted and referenced. Amy was a model and eventual publisher, and Clara has been a governess/nanny and a teacher. As much as I greatly admire the teaching profession, I turn on Doctor Who to see characters gallivanting through time and space, not dealing with educational politics. And Amy was never defined by Rory; there's a reason the Doctor would always joke calling Rory "Mr. Pond;" Rory was defined by Amy. Aside from Amy's long-lost parents, much of her time on the show is about her family: River is her daughter, after all. The Doctor is her son-in-law. Clara's parents' meeting holds specific emotional significance: "I blew into this world on a leaf." And as much as it's her job to take care of them, Clara is emotionally close enough to Angie and Artie to look at them as a form of family as well.

    Rose, Martha, and Donna seem as defined by the Doctor as Amy and Clara do to me.

  •  push vs jump (6+ / 0-)

    There is a difference.  The line is "V: Self-destruction is against my basic programming.  DW: Murder is against mine.[...] DW: You realize of coursel one of us is lying about our basic programming.  V: Yes.  DW: And I think we both know who that is."  If he jumped there is a clear implication that he wasn't threatened.

  •  Appears to me, and many others that (6+ / 0-)

    Moffat has gone for basically restarting the series (while keeping all the canon history).

    Capaldi has the older looks and I think will have a lot of the same personality as that of Hartnell.

    The way Moffat wrote the last episodes explaining away that the 11h was the last (due to the War Doctor, and the tenth regenerating back into himself), it appears to me that Moffat wanted to get Dr Who back to its roots. And what better way than to have a Hartnell type Doctor.

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:25:41 PM PDT

  •  My favorite line: (9+ / 0-)

    (s) in Saturday's show (from memory, forgive if it's not word for word.)

    D:  I'm not your boyfriend.

    C:  I never thought you were.

    D:  I never said it was your mistake.

    By the way, the last 2 Drs were cute. This one is HOT.

  •  I loved the stuff about his cross eyebrows (9+ / 0-)

    and him miming the "I'll keep you safe..." message to the poor dinosaur.

    I am psyched about the new Dr.

    I totally get the why of all the work in getting the audience to accept this new Dr. There are a lot of younger Whovians who need to make the adjustment from Smith. I think that they handled it quite well.

    Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

    by high uintas on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:34:51 PM PDT

  •  The term "Spoilers" (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, high uintas, dconrad, capelza, SherriG, avsp

    should be added to the title of this diary.

  •  there's some truth in Wilkins' statement (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, high uintas, kerflooey, capelza, avsp

    but it's also an oversimplification of River's arc, Amy's arc and to date Clare's arc. I definitely think with Moffat the focus has been unabashedly on the Doctor. Then again I would argue that's always been the case, after the companions come and go there has always been the Doctor.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:48:04 PM PDT

  •  About women and Doctor Who, I wonder (8+ / 0-)

    if we will ever see a female Doctor.

    It is possible (ala The Corsair as referenced in the episode The Doctor's Wife)

    I wonder if people would be ready to accept that after Capaldi, or when....

    I would think that in general that Doctor Who fans are open to new ideas and would accept this!

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:53:07 PM PDT

    •  Oh YES, let's!!!!!!! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, dconrad, Mannie, kerflooey, avsp

      You better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin' at you from a neverending parade of stupid. - Motormouth Maybelle, Hairspray 2007 -

      by FlamingoGrrl on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:03:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I remember having this conversation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dconrad, Mannie, kerflooey, avsp

      I know that it could happen but I have a problem seeing it. The character of the Doctor is sooo male. He pops in, surveys the situation, fixes the problem, and then pops out leaving whatever mess behind for others to deal with.

      Even the most "touchy feely" of the Doctors are still rather emotionally aloof and solitary without projecting too much melancholy and or depression. Creating a female character who embodies the qualities of the Doctor would be challenging to say the least.

      The idea of a distinctly different Time Lord who is female is one thing, the Doctor as a woman....Like I said, I got problems.

      Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:04:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course it would be hard (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, kerflooey, SherriG, avsp

        to break out of the traditional thinking.

        But that is what Sci-Fi and especially Doctor Who is all about.  Making you think about things from new angels, new ideas, opening your mind to the POSSIBILITIES!

        It is what makes Sci-Fi and Doctor Who special!

        Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

        by Mannie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:19:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It certainly is about that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mannie, SherriG, niemann, avsp

          (love your unintentional typo "angels" lol)

          But, the Doctor is a fixed point. The Doctor is always the Doctor no matter what face he wears. Like I said, it's possible but I have problems seeing that personality in a woman. Good thing I'm not the writer.

          Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

          by high uintas on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:29:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It has happened (non-canonical) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, avsp

      If you've ever seen The Curse of Fatal Death, which is a comedic spoof of Doctor Who. But I don't think it's a good idea, really, although I'd certainly watch it.

      I'd rather see a spin-off with a female Time Lord such as The Doctor's Daughter (q.v.), or else River Song from some unexplored period of her life between when she grew up and regenerated into the form we know her as, and when she took the Doctor captive. Who's to say that she didn't bang about the universe for a few years in between?

      There's plenty of room in the Whoniverse for more than one Time Lord to jaunt about, having adventures.

      La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues, et de voler du pain.

      by dconrad on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:14:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's canonical (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, Mannie, dconrad, avsp

        Not Curse of the Fatal Death, but that the Doctor could regenerate as a woman. During the webisode "The Night of the Doctor", featuring the regeneration of the Eight Doctor to the War Doctor, when Eight accepts the offer for a forced regeneration and is given some options about what type of person he will be, female is specifically mentioned as one of the options.

    •  Might be nice to see some racial diversity too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, avsp, poco

      All those Doctors have been pretty Anglo-Saxon!

      The DKOS oath; The cake is a lie, there is only Pie. Through Pie I gain calories. Through calories I gain fat. Through fat I gain a belly. Through my belly, my belt is broken. Sweatpants shall free me!

      by Fordmandalay on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:39:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Strong woman (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

      There was a rumor early on that Helen Mirren might have had a shot.. I would have TOTALLY been on board for that casting.

      The difference for me is consent. Are you receiving a gift or taking a prize?

      by MightyMoose on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 03:28:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks For the FP Post! (11+ / 0-)

    I am honored and a bit overwhelmed.  As the Fourth Doctor living among you DailyKos humans, it very satisfying to know my future selves will be so popular.  I am speechless!

    To be serious for a moment, I became addicted to the BBC series in the 1970s during the fourth Doctor's time, when Doctor Who was a little known show in the states that could only be seen on a few PBS stations and was only followed by a handful geeky fans like me.  For me the early fascination with this show stemmed from the fact that it was the first to unit both time and space travel into a single show.  Sure there were shows in the 60s and 70s about time travel within earth's history (e.g., Time Tunnel), and about space travel (e.g., Star Trek).  But with Doctor Who you got both, giving limitless plot lines.  It also made perfect sense, because as Einstein would surely note, being able to travel in time allows you to also travel anywhere in space.

    The other thing that held my attention over the years was each shows complex plots.  It is the type of show where you can watch a single episode 3 or 4 times and pick up something new in the plot each time.  Beyond any other show I've ever seen, it always requires you to watch each minute intensely to grasp every nuance of the story, instead of so many other shows with simplistic plots that are so predictable.

    Finally, as the Doctor, I say Thank You and keep watching!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:16:21 PM PDT

  •  The Women of Doctor Who (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kerflooey, niemann, avsp

    So, about this criticism of Moffat that the women are just there as foil characters and aren't full three-dimensional characters in their own right.

    On the one hand, I do think there's a little something to it. When Amy gets her family back, that's obviously a hugely important, watershed moment in her life. And certainly she was given a few moments to react to it, but they are pretty quickly swept under the rug, and in The Angels Take Manhattan when we say good-bye to Rory and Amy, there's no thought at all given to the family she's leaving behind. They aren't even an afterthought.

    But it really drives me nuts that people say that, because there are mysteries surrounding the characters (the crack in Amy's wall, River Song's true identity and timeline, Clara "The Impossible Girl" Oswald), that means they aren't full characters. The TARDIS has always taken the Doctor to places he was needed instead of where he wanted to go, but that doesn't make the people he meets there any less important.

    And still, Clara's story is not as much about what she wants but whether she can find it in herself to still serve the Doctor in his adventures. The cameo by Matt Smith has the Eleventh Doctor telling Clara how much he still needs her.
    Does the fact that he needs her rob her character of agency? Didn't Harry, Ron, and Hermione all need each other? Didn't Meg, Charles Murray, and Calvin need each other? If the dwarves needed Bilbo or the Fellowship needed Frodo, did that mean they weren't real characters? There's something amiss here. Characters always have to both communicate something about themselves as well as serve some purpose in the stories they inhabit. I think more could be done with the companions, but the show revolves around the adventures they have and if they serve a function in the story, that doesn't mean they aren't also real characters.

    La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues, et de voler du pain.

    by dconrad on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 08:42:10 PM PDT

    •  Nothing says Amy and Rory couldn't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, dconrad, JG in MD

      spend their lives in our present and just have the Doctor take them back in time as they're about to die. Except a silly arbitrary plot point. Did I mention Angels Take Manhattan was rubbish?

      reality based, not really biased

      by NE2 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:21:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  About Clara's problem with The Doctor's "change" (9+ / 0-)

    Yes, Clara did sacrifice herself to enter the timestream and save all of The Doctor's previous incarnations, but realize she did it to save HER Doctor (the Matt Smith incarnation). To go to all that trouble, bother and risk, then come back to him and see him change into a complete stranger was, I imagine, a bit shocking. So, in my opinion, Clara's reaction is not that hard to understand.

    •  That was how I took it, too (spoilers!) (7+ / 0-)

      Subjectively, she didn't get to spend all that much time with 'her' Doctor. Finally, Clara has her reunion...and a vastly aged Doctor is taken from her, leaving this stranger behind who keeps insisting he doesn't actually recognize her.

      Still Madame Vastra got to the core of the matter, whether or not Clara was willing to see the Doctor as he was, as he'd become, and not as Clara wanted him to be. To take off the veil, as it were.

      "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

      by Technowitch on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:36:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But that was never mentioned (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, RiveroftheWest

      She had the perfect opportunity to bring it up in her rant to Vastra, but she never did.  "I'm the Impossible Girl!  I've saved him how many times?  I'm the one who told him which TARDIS to steal!  I was there for every incarnation!

      "...so why am at such a loss with this one?"

      If they had done that, it would make sense since yeah, she's been there for every incarnation but has never been there at the incarnation.  But instead, they simply let her go on and on about how independent she was and how she wasn't in love with the Doctor and blah, blah, blah.

      The writers really have no idea what to do with Clara.

      Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by seventh graders for balance. They found your paper "bogus," describing the lab work as "boring." We will be unable to publish your work at this time.

      by Rrhain on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 09:13:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. They set her up as a clever complicated (0+ / 0-)

        multi-episode plot device ... not as a character.

        That is one of Mofatt's big weaknesses.  He doesn't seem to trust characters to be interesting in themselves.  They always have to be mechanisms in a big, convoluted plot arc (which is often not thought out from the start, but rather made up as it goes along, necessitating jarring shifts in character to get out of the puzzle he's written himself into).

  •  I liked it quite a lot. (7+ / 0-)

    The plot was ridiculous, but Nine fought plastic, and ten slept through most of his, waking to zap a spinning Christmas tree, so that's not too surprising. The Paternoster Gang was adorable, as always. I found Clara to be irritating, but at least she had a memorable personality this time. I think they used her concern about the Doctor's age to make fun of the new series fangirls who claimed that they would stop watching the show if it didn't star a pretty boy. And from that point of view, it was pretty funny.

    But in the end, it really is all about Capaldi, and he was amazing. Quite a few reviews say that he was impossible to look away from, and I agree. He was clever, funny, and managed to be vulnerable while also being completely obnoxious. He was the Doctor from the first moment. It wasn't a great episode, but I have great hope for the show.

    "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

    by tb92 on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:01:40 PM PDT

  •  A couple of things-- (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Mannie, avsp, JamesGG

    First, that bit that the Doctor says about being alone--at first I thought it was about the T-Rex, but then when I caught the "can't see me." bit, I realized it could also be the Doctor speaking about himself and about Clara.

    Second, doesn't Missy's garden look a LOT like the Apalapachian garden in "The Girl Who Waited"?

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:10:08 PM PDT

    •  Think that might be budgetary? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JG in MD, Mannie, RiveroftheWest
      Second, doesn't Missy's garden look a LOT like the Apalapachian garden in "The Girl Who Waited"?
      If it's the same garden, the crew knows how to light it and shoot it, and the producers have a relationship with the people who rent it out so they might save a little money that way too.

      Kinda like the surface of every single planet on the latter-day Stars Trek looked like the same desert canyon in southern California.

      But there could be something to the resemblance as well.... with Moffat, you never know what's a clue.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 05:36:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BTW, for those who love the earlier Doctors (6+ / 0-)

    Big Finish productions has been doing audio drama's of Doctor Who since around 1999 with the original actor's reprising their roles as Doctor #4-#8. Check these out as there is some SERIOUSLY good stories fleshing out Paul Mcgann's incarnation and saving Colin Baker's from the abysmal writing he had to endure during JNT's era.

    Also, many of the original companions return (Both Romana's, Teagan, Sarah Jane, Liz Shaw, Jamie, Jo, Nyssa, Peri, Leela, The Brigadier, K-9 and many others) and new ones are cast. These are NOT audiobooks, they are full cast performances.

    My favorites series involves two secondary, but delighful characters from Talons of Weng Chiang, Henry Gordon Jago and Professor George Litefoot. They have there own series and at various points guest stars Leela (Louise Jameson) and The 6th Doctor.

    https://www.youtube.com/...

    I am particularly fond of the following stories

    The One Doctor
    The Kingmaker
    Storm Warning
    Bang-Bang-A-Boom (A Eurovision/Star Trek parody)
    Invaders from Mars
    The Gathering
    The Cradle of the Snake
    The Wreck of the Titan

    http://www.bigfinish.com/...

    •  Thanks. I've only heard one of BF's productions (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

      (with Paul McGann) but would really like to get into more.

      What a great way to get new stories with the older Doctors and companions (who still sound the same, even if they tend to look pudgier and wrinklier).

    •  Thanks -- I've known of Big Finish Productions (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp, niemann, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

      ...but I haven't really gotten into listening to the shows. I know I'd enjoy them.

      Again, having met Colin Baker once at a convention and seeing the VAST difference between him personally and his incarnation as the Doctor, it would be lovely to see a 'rehabilitated' version.

      I so very much wanted the 6th Doctor to be likable, and kept being disappointed over and over.

      "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

      by Technowitch on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:49:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my wife met Colin (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mannie, RiveroftheWest, niemann

        back when he was playing The Doctor and we have both met Pertwee, McCoy and Davison. All were absolute delights and very appreciative of their fans.

        BF audios can be downloaded from their web site and cost about a third of the cost of CD versions when you factor in shipping (about $13 a story).

  •  Thoughts... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, niemann, avsp

    The only doctor who episodes to be avoided were McCoy's last ones, which were also the last ones of the original run.  They're bloody terrible.  

    McCoy himself was rather charming as the doctor, but the writing was abysmal, especially the final year.  

    I always thought Colin Baker was given the shaft by the BBC.  He was pretty good.  

    I like Peter Capaldi.  Hopefully he'll channel a little Malcolm Tucker into his portrayal.  

    •  Colin Baker, the worst Doctor ever (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp

      The writing was terrible, and it looked like technicolor barfed all over him!

      Also, it was so bad that the BBC had to parade Peri around half-naked to get people to keep watching!

      But some of that was the fault of the terrible companions that Peter Davidson had. They had to do something!

      I want to wretch just thinking about Turlough, Teegan, and Adric!

      Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

      by Mannie on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:12:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Colin Baker is actually a super nice guy, but... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        avsp, niemann, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

        ...his version of the Doctor was definitely the one I absolutely disliked the most.

        I could only take so much "irritated egotistical bombast." I kept waiting for him to mellow out, and become at least a little of the charming Doctor we had right from the start, all the way through the somewhat feckless but still likable Peter Davidson incarnation

        And sadly, all Peri ever did was whine. Yet I still felt sorry for her when they did that 'Trial of a Time Lord' mini-series -- and basically the Doctor had just abandoned her to be the wife of some barbarian king.

        There's 'interesting anti-hero' -- and then there's just plain unlikable and annoying -- and that, sadly, was Colin Baker's Doctor. And again, it's doubly sad, because in-person, he's a wonderful, kind, and totally likable gentleman.

        The real problem, by time they got to Sylvester McCoy, is too many people had stopped watching...and the Beeb cut the show's budget to the bone, making it very hard to put on anything like decent stories.

        "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

        by Technowitch on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:27:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Colin Baker was sabotaged from the start ... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Technowitch, avsp, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

        ... not just given that rubbish costume -- (he has said that he asked for a simple, basic black one, much like Eccleston ended up wearing) -- and one of the most annoying companions ever (Mel) ...

        ... but also being purposely directed by the producer to be as abrasive and unlikeable as possible at the start.  If I was the actor, I would have thought, "Gosh. Thanks a lot."

        •  Even worse-- (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          avsp, niemann, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

          The fans could've handled "abrasive and unlikeable" if the 6th Doctor had ever truly mellowed. But he never did.

          And yeah, that was entirely the fault of the writers and producers. I think they wanted to take the "likable" Doctor and turn him into some kind of anti-hero, but it failed miserably.

          "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

          by Technowitch on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:51:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, I found he did mellow a bit (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mannie, RiveroftheWest

            ... and that's when I started liking him.  I could almost feel Colin Baker working to add some softer self-awareness to the Doctor's "abrasiveness" ... as if the Doctor himself was really a softie underneath, and was aware it was a front he was putting on, and took a bit of delight in it.  

            And then, of course, he got sacked by the BBC.

  •  As much as I enjoyed (7+ / 0-)

    Tennant and Smith, I am very ready for a Doctor who is more adult, detached, doesn't spew dialogue too fast for me to understand all of it, and doesn't fall in love with anyone.

    In other words, more like Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee (or even McCoy and Eccleston).

    Sure, the effects back then were cheesy. But the all-too-easy reliance of the rebooted series on the current bigger-budget effects technology has, I think, been detrimental to the writing.

    Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. -- Ambrose Bierce

    by OkieByAccident on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:17:26 PM PDT

    •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

      Although I'll be honest and admit David Tennant's Doctor was the first one I liked very nearly as much as Tom Baker's.

      But I honestly think Smith was a mistake. Too frickin' young. I actually did a little fist pump when the War Doctor remarked on how his later selves seemed to be running away from their past, regressing in age and pretending not to remember what he'd done.

      I was definitely ready for a Doctor with more gravitas and experience once more.

      "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

      by Technowitch on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:59:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This quote (5+ / 0-)
    I am alone. The world which shook at my feet, and the trees, and the sky, have gone, and I am alone now, alone. The wind bites now, and the world is grey, and I am alone. Can’t see me. Doesn’t see me. Can’t see me. —The Doctor
    Was actually The Doctor interpreting what the dinosaur was crying out, in the season premier.  He was not referring to his own state of mind, having just regenerated.

    Conservatism is like an anchor. It doesn't propel either society or the economy. Source unknown

    by SherriG on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 10:27:59 PM PDT

  •  The big "Old" sell. (6+ / 0-)

    the episode was entertaining but far from great and I hope I'm not just biased by the change.  

    It seemed to me that the BBC was desperately trying to sell the new "old" Dr and the more they tried the more you focused on just that.  The mechanics of the change rather than the plot or the actor.  Capaldi will succeed or die as the Dr. because he has the ability to sell the part or not, not because of his face, grey hair and all.  

    And the series will continue to succeed or not in no small part because of the writing and I thought this episode was disjointed from start to finish.  Contrast it with the first Matt Smith episode and his meeting with the little girl Amy which was brilliant.  And I might add in which there was no desperate attempt sell the audience on the new face.  Smith just grabbed the audience and in effect said, "I'm the Dr and let's go," and we did. That show ended with a WOW from me which doesn't happen often.  There was no WOW last night.

    I completely agree:

    ..it also made no sense from a story perspective to use Clara as someone who can't deal with a new Doctor and has trouble accepting that he's still the same person.
     
    It was a totally artificial plot point that made no sense except to over enhance the over sell job.  

    So it will take the series a few shows to settle down but I predict that the Dr will survive and do quite well.  Even it's flaws I'm still looking forward to the next episode.

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:57:39 PM PDT

  •  I haven't seen this new Dr. Who yet (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, LilPeach, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

    Intended to today ... but it didn't happen

    I'm a bit worried that Peter Capaldi's doctor will fail like Peter Davidson's did, because of too drastic of a change.

    I really wish there would be MORE development of the companions and a mature companion would be nice!  Even a female regeneration of the Doctor.

    Romana's back?  so he's not the only time lord left?

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 12:16:23 AM PDT

    •  Nobody knows who the mystery woman is-- (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

      Yet.

      Honestly though, every Doctor's regeneration has been a 'drastic' change over the previous one.

      - Troughton: Suddenly the Doctor is a clown.
      - Pertwee: A dandy, and confined to the Earth most of the time.
      - Tom Baker: An oddball, and definitely not a dandy.
      - Davidson: Kinda preppy. Somewhat feckless and over-his head at times.
      - Colin Baker: A bombastic and annoying blowhard (okay, this one actually was a disaster)
      - McCoy: Back to an older and somewhat dignified older gent
      - McGann: New Romantic.
      - Eccleston: Northern accent, practically crippled by PTSD at times.
      - Tennant: Younger. Sweet. Melancholy.
      - Smith: Practically a child.

      Based on that history, we've NEVER had a Doctor regenerate into roughly the same persona as immediately before. Not once and not even close.

      "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

      by Technowitch on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 12:42:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Clara? Please. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, RiveroftheWest

    The following are my own thoughts after having watched it a couple of times (the second just to clarify a few ideas that bothered me the first time around.)

    I'm not entirely sure how the assertion Clara feels well rounded is founded.  My own view is that her characterization has been schizoid at best.  She's mainly with the Doctor currently just... because.  He found her interesting.  She on the other had does not have any real compelling reason other than the plot required her to be there for the end of the last season, rescuing the various Doctors from the Great Intelligence episode.  She seems to have fun with the tourism, but very little sense of wonder about it or other inner drive that makes her suitable.

    And due to that plot point that makes her required for a little while, she's got the potential for more insight into how many forms the Doctor has occupied.  In this episode, why is she of any mind at all whether this Doctor is the Doctor?  He obviously is, and this has all happened before and it will all happen again.  Maybe it hasn't happened right in front of her face, but still, the mind boggles as to why this is a shock to her.

    Her only good serious moment in the show is being questioned by Vastra about her relationship with the Doctor which, again, due to the schizoid script work she's been delivered, is dubious but at least is delivered with some passion.  Her other dramatic moment is the confrontation with the automaton.  The bits with her schoolteaching background (woefully underused) seem out of place though here, as she starts woozily daydreaming about her classroom and the challenging girl BEFORE the situation develops that makes it connect.  It's as if they put her in that confrontation and realized she had so little development they couldn't even justify her challenging the automaton's negotiation tactics without mashing in a little unconscious and situationally irrelevant exposition.

    I should note my quibbles with Clara are wholly script and not directed at Ms. Coleman.  I believe she's got dramatic potential, but is so very rarely given the opportunity to do more than run around in Doctor Who.  

    Favorite moment was her getting beaned by a really GREAT pitching arm of Strax.  Oddest non-script moment was Clara being beaned by Strax and she walks out with some AMAZING hair work.  Seriously, in Victorian England, how long would it actually take to go from superbangs to that perfectly coiffed curls look?  Maybe it was the rest of the morning, but it FELT like almost instantly.

    The Vastra/Jenny bits are indeed very Coupling-esque.  I'm glad you said that, as there was something to that byplay but I couldn't quite put my finger on why it was familiar.  I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing.  The characters don't really show up very frequently so perhaps it's just a thing and neither good nor bad.

    Capaldi I thought was quite good.  I don't think manic is his forte like Matt Smith managed so the first parts of the show are a little strange and disjointed.  However by the end, I think we see him starting to settle into his style, which will undoubtedly develop over more episodes, but he does manage a sort of dark gravitas that I think will serve the show well.

    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. ~~ Douglas Adams

    by Remillard on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 06:52:38 AM PDT

    •  Agree with this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, RiveroftheWest
      I should note my quibbles with Clara are wholly script and not directed at Ms. Coleman.  I believe she's got dramatic potential, but is so very rarely given the opportunity to do more than run around in Doctor Who.

      She has become my favorite of the new companions, but that has been in spite of the writing, rather than because of it.  I was wary of her at first, as she seemed just another overly clever Moffat-girl-with-attitude ... but I think the actress has made it work in spite of all that.

      I've been impressed with every interview I've seen with her, where she just radiates "intelligent and articulate."  (Unlike Amy Pond, say, where I cringed at the vacuousness of every interview, and never believed the character had all the depth we were constantly told she had.)

      As I noted elsewhere, it's just another example of how all the "trying too hard" cleverness isn't necessary.  All the "paradoxical Impossible Girl fragmented through time" stuff wasn't necessary.  Just get a likable, good actor ... put her with the Doctor ... and it works.

  •  And the Men? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, RiveroftheWest

    The men are also plot devices for The Doctor. What's The Master, if not a plot device? The show revolves around a character traveling in time and space. Every other character is there to support that plot.

    As for Missy, why can't she just be a new villain? Do we have to have the same old bad guys every time? Let's hope she doesn't turn out to be some incarnation of the Tardis or Clara. Ugh!

    I agree that having Clara question The Doctor's appearance made no sense. Having her question his actions would have made sense. That would have brought a dimension to the show. Is it possible for something to really go wrong in the transformation and for us to end up with someone who isn't dedicated to saving the timelines from ultimate cockup?

    But I think we're really back to the essence of the show: someone who just doesn't like to see things out of place. The perfect companion for Clara, I'd say.

  •  I'm probably the only person who likes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    niemann, Mannie, RiveroftheWest

    Clara.

    You can't expect a person split into trillions of shards across time to have consistent characterization.

    The restaurant scene was great, I thought. The chemistry was excellent.

    And who knew Vastra was such a letch?

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. Russia Today=FoxNews, Seralini=Wakefield. yadda yadda.

    by terrypinder on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 07:26:14 AM PDT

  •  How could Missy be River? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, RiveroftheWest

    We saw the death of River in her first episode and she looked exactly the same as she did in Let's Kill Hitler.  So unless River has control over her regenerations like Tennant did when he threw his regeneration into his hand in order to keep the same body or unless Missy is an earlier regeneration of River (from after she was a little girl but before she went to kill Hitler), then Missy isn't River.

    It's not his clone/daughter, either (and I'd really love to see her come back.)  She revived, got into a ship, and wandered off into space.  What happened to her?  Without a TARDIS, what does a Time Lady do?

    Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by seventh graders for balance. They found your paper "bogus," describing the lab work as "boring." We will be unable to publish your work at this time.

    by Rrhain on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 09:19:51 AM PDT

    •  Doubt it's River. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie, RiveroftheWest

      A pre-Hitler River would probably call the Doctor her nemesis or somesuch, being brainwashed to kill him. A post-library River would call him sweetie.

      She's a MacGuffin from the planet MacGuffus.

      reality based, not really biased

      by NE2 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 10:42:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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