Doctor Who *Spoilers Abound! We've lost Containment*

That was a really fun episode. Maybe it's just because I was so tired of her, but I already like Bill better than Clara.

Capaldi's run as the Doctor has been the biggest mix bag. Any scene with he and Clara is typically a low point, where any scene with him being The Doctor in front of randos turns out awesome. It's no surprise one of my favorite episodes of all time was just Capaldi being chased by a monster through a mysterious gothic castle.

The man monologues at the drop of a hat, regardless of the audience. When it's meant to be part of a conversation, it starts to feel pompous for the sake of being pompous. Maybe the reason why his interaction with Bill felt more natural was because she was either putting him off-guard or genuinely interested in what he had to say.

The whole "The TARDIS acronym doesn't work if it's not in English" line, and Capaldi's sheepish reaction to it ("Well, nobody ever really brings that up...") was better than any line Clara's had in years. Bill acts smart but with a sense of naivete that still lets the Doctor act clever, but never so outrageous that he doesn't get pulled back by some keen observation on her part.

It's only been one episode, but the new season already feels much more Sherlock and Watson than any other pairing I can remember.

I didn't really care for the first episode that much. I'm indifferent to Bill I don't hate or love her. I do like having two companions instead of one. I think the actors work well with each other.

I do love seeing all the different reasons people love the episode or love Bill.

Wow.

I needed to see Capaldi with another companion to realize that it's not Capaldi I had a problem with, but rather Capaldi with Clara. I agree, Capaldi by himself felt awesome. Capaldi with Clara always felt ... off.

There was an implied (or at least I remember it as being implied) unrealized crush between Clara and Matt Smith. I think it just felt weird (for me) that Clara kept that crush with Capaldi. I don't want to debate about a couple and their age difference; rather that the undertone between Clara and Capaldi always kept me uneasy.

I guess I'm saying I'll be saddened to see Capaldi go.

Clara's introduction (before becoming a companion) was one of the best episodes I think and the writing really didn't live up to that when she got the role full time.

liquid wrote:

Clara's introduction (before becoming a companion) was one of the best episodes I think and the writing really didn't live up to that when she got the role full time.

I liked her first season, from her unexpected introduction, to the mystery of who and what she was, to her insertion into the entire history of the Doctor.

But then she came back for a second season and they dropped all that Impossible Girl stuff and kinda sorta pretended that she'd never actually jumped into the Doctor's lifestream to live out a million lifetimes that intersected in small ways with his own. Now she had a new character arc as a similar but slightly different person who is torn between her life on Earth with Danny and her life with the Doctor, ending finally in their mutual desire to break off contact and to lie to one another about their own happiness.

But then they get back together so that a Clara who doesn't really seem to remember that whole fight can have adventures with Santa Claus that finally end with the Doctor returning to her "too late" and finding her as an old woman who lived her life waiting for him to return but he never did. Oh, but that was just a dream.

But then she came back for a third season and not only was the Impossible Girl stuff gone but now there's this handwavey stuff about how she wants to be the Doctor and that ends with her dying because she doesn't know what she's doing, is impulsive, and screws up. But then she comes back again so that she can fake die and erase the Doctor's memory of her and go have space pirate adventures with an immortal.

None of Clara's storylines were individually all that bad. The problem was that it didn't make a lick of sense for all of them to happen to the same person, and it didn't make any sense how each subsequent storyline largely forgets about the last one. It doesn't help that each ending to her story was presented as the final-final one, complete with schmaltzy slo-mo and retrospective montages, but she was effectively Ed the Undying.

Give those three story arcs to three companions, and they're great, memorable companions. Give those three storylines to the same companion and she just gets tedious as hell to see every week.

My enjoyment of the Doctor-Bill interactions was tempered with the knowledge that this is all going to get upended on Christmas.

Very well put, Clock. That is a fantastic explanation of the problem I have with Clara. The Doctor didn't even pine that much for Adric when he died or Amy and Rory when they got trapped in early New York.

I watched the first episode, an d - for the first time - felt that it might be time to put Dr Who back into suspended animation for a decade or two... to be resurrected when someone with a new vision comes along.

I really felt that I'd seen large chunks of this story before in the Nu Who run.

Of the new series, first we had the Rose-Doctor-Mickey romantic triangle, where Rose was "in a relationship" with Mickey - he didn't work as a companion, Rose and the Doctor fell for each other, and Mickey was left behind.

In the aftermath of that storyline we then have the Martha - Doctor relationship, which was too one-sided, with the Doctor still pining away for Rose.

Then we have Amy and Rory, who are just the cutest little couple and aside from a few minor moments of jealousy, otherwise turns out fine without the Doctor.

So then we swing back around to the Clara - Danny - Doctor triangle, which felt very much like the Rose-Doctor-Mickey situation, with Danny being jealous of The Doctor but not being a good companion. But then the episode involving a decendent of Danny being a time traveller started to make it feel very Amy-Rory again. I think they overcorrected by killing Danny off, leaving Clara with nowhere to go development-wise. So they turn her into a death-defying thrill-seeker until it kills her...Huh?

They never could find a unique path for the Clara character after the "Impossible Girl" scenario, and their attempts at finding a unique relationship for her and the Doctor never worked. With Capaldi's older appearance, they could have made more of a father-daughter vibe, but with the Aging Rockstar attitude Capaldi's Doctor has, that just couldn't work. So now we have the Doctor acting all Martha towards Clara, which makes him him look like an icky kind of sugar daddy, showering a pretty young girl with lavish trips while she pretty obviously doesn't have the same kind of feelings for him.

With Bill, they pretty emphatically put the kibosh on any Doctor-Companion romance right off the bat. Making him a lecturer at her college angles for a more mentor-student relationship, with a possible bent towards a more Sherlock-Watson partnership down the road.

Then again, if everyone gets their wish and the next Doctor is female, maybe we get "The L-Word in Space" instead.

Alz wrote:

Then again, if everyone gets their wish and the next Doctor is female, maybe we get "The L-Word in Space" instead.

Don't say that like it's a bad thing.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Alz wrote:

Then again, if everyone gets their wish and the next Doctor is female, maybe we get "The L-Word in Space" instead.

Don't say that like it's a bad thing.

Sorry - didn't mean to imply that it would be a negative. Just that it wouldn't be the Sherlock-Watson relationship I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Though ... depending on how you want to interpret the Cumberbatch-Freeman series ... maybe it is kind of the same.

Going to add my vote to the "really liked Bill" camp. "Disguised as a box with 'Pull to Enter' on the front?"

Did anyone else notice the "Mary Celeste" sign down in the basement?

2nd episode was good. Nothing massively spectacular but a fairly satisfying "first trip to the future" type story. Still loving Bill, and the Emojibots weren't quite as silly as I thought they would be.

minus points for the line about 'Scots demanding independence from every planet they arrive at' . The BBC had, for all it's purported neutrality, a huge bias towards maintaining the union during the last independence referendum, so little snarky comments like that tend to make my jaw clench a little.

Fan of planescape torment might like one part of he second episode.

Watched first 2 episodes tonight.

Bill is amazing. I love her. 2 very very solid episodes and the end of 2? Wonderful. That's a damn fine sci-fi ending.

I'm really digging this so far.

I enjoyed the second episode. Was a decent Who story, pretty standard though.

Kinda reminded me of the David Tennant episode where he takes Rose to New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York.

Wasn't a fan of the ending, it felt a bit cheap and portraying humans as these thugs god knows how far into the future where they shoot and ask questions later didn't feel right. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

liquid wrote:

Wasn't a fan of the ending, it felt a bit cheap and portraying humans as these thugs god knows how far into the future where they shoot and ask questions later didn't feel right. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Agreed.

Yeah, the ending on the colony fell apart a teensy but, but up until then that was a ton of fun. The end of the episode itself, with the elephant, was great.

Booth wrote:
liquid wrote:

Wasn't a fan of the ending, it felt a bit cheap and portraying humans as these thugs god knows how far into the future where they shoot and ask questions later didn't feel right. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Agreed.

They weren't portrayed as trigger-happy thugs, they were portrayed as people woken from possibly hundreds of years in stasis only to discover that their tools had started slaughtering people and their lives were in imminent danger. Their reaction seemed perfectly reasonable.

ruhk wrote:
Booth wrote:
liquid wrote:

Wasn't a fan of the ending, it felt a bit cheap and portraying humans as these thugs god knows how far into the future where they shoot and ask questions later didn't feel right. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Agreed.

They weren't portrayed as trigger-happy thugs, they were portrayed as people woken from possibly hundreds of years in stasis only to discover that their tools had started slaughtering people and their lives were in imminent danger. Their reaction seemed perfectly reasonable.

That's how I saw it also, though I still felt the ending fell short of the rest of the episode.

I don't know, is the frozen Thames with an elephant on it an upgrade or a downgrade from that time everything was overrun with trees?

Rat Boy wrote:

I don't know, is the frozen Thames with an elephant on it an upgrade or a downgrade from that time everything was overrun with trees?

It's perfectly simple:

Scissors cut paper;
Paper wraps rock;
Rock blunts scissors;
Elephant uproots trees.

QED.

liquid wrote:

Wasn't a fan of the ending, it felt a bit cheap and portraying humans as these thugs god knows how far into the future where they shoot and ask questions later didn't feel right. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Have you been to Earth?

Although I thought the preview last week for smile looked boring, the episode turned out to be fine. A lot of Bill and the Doctor talking lead to interesting conversations. We are only in the second episode and it actually feels like Bill has the Doctor pretty much figured out to a degree that all other companions since 2005 haven't (or couldn't, because – apart from Donna – they were all in love with the Doctor). Her realisation about why the TARDIS is still a police box is spot on and says more about the Doctor than anything Clara or Amy have ever said.

Rat Boy wrote:

I don't know, is the frozen Thames with an elephant on it an upgrade or a downgrade from that time everything was overrun with trees?

Actually happened - the Thames used to freeze solid in the past, and they would hold frost fairs on it.

When an elephant walked on the river Thames

Rallick wrote:
liquid wrote:

Wasn't a fan of the ending, it felt a bit cheap and portraying humans as these thugs god knows how far into the future where they shoot and ask questions later didn't feel right. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Have you been to Earth?

Yeah, have you? It's not the case now and when you think about how far into the future this is happening and them being under the banner of "United Earth" you'd think that people will think about the best possible solution instead of rushing to grab some crappy guns.
Another thing is that they have designed these robots so they should know how powerful they are and that just rushing in guns blazing wouldn't achieve a thing. If anything, they should have the tech/means to just disable them outright instead of going on the revenge path.
Their reaction was entirely out of proportion and didn't make sense unless you have the sh*ttiest opinion about humans and believe that they will remain as simple thugs, even after they achieve interstellar capabilities and the unification of all nations on Earth.

liquid wrote:

Another thing is that they have designed these robots so they should know how powerful they are and that just rushing in guns blazing wouldn't achieve a thing. If anything, they should have the tech/means to just disable them outright instead of going on the revenge path.

Did you design your phone or your car? Most people don't know how the tech they use works, they just know that it does. If Roombas suddenly start killing people the average person isn't going to consult the user manual, they're going to go at it with a hammer or kick it into a wall.

I enjoyed that episode. It won't go down as a classic. Den of Geek pointed out that they spent more time up front on the exploration of the world (which would have been the whole first episode in the old days), and it made the resolution a bit rushed as a result.

I totally bought the "humans waking up to find robots have killed a bunch of friends and family want to kill the robots" thing.

I don't buy the robots' AI killing people to make them happy, which seems like a rookie AI mistake to me (especially given all the events could have been predicted and tested for), but maybe they outsourced the software.