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

CaptainCrowbar wrote:

So UNIT twigged to the significance of S. Triad, but didn't think there was anything sus about H. Arbinger?

Notice they didn't twig correctly to S. Triad. What a bunch of units, am I right?

That was really good and felt like everything really hitting its stride. Round of applause all round.

I watched it tonight and immediately after was on my phone looking up to be sure they still had another episode to go for this season (they do). I was so afraid they were leaving it right there and we'd have to wait for a Christmas episode or something to see the conclusion.

That reveal was quite the lore deep dive this time with no daleks, cybermen or Master in sight. In don’t think I have ever watched The Pyramids of Mars, so the connection was lost on me. It would be great if we found out what really happened to Susan after all though.

Brainsmith wrote:

That reveal was quite the lore deep dive this time with no daleks, cybermen or Master in sight. In don’t think I have ever watched The Pyramids of Mars, so the connection was lost on me. It would be great if we found out what really happened to Susan after all though.

'Pyramids of Mars' is one of the Tom Baker Doctor Who stories that consistently finds its way into 'Top 10' lists (along with 'Genesis of the Daleks' and 'City of Death'). I watched it about a year ago, so I had a spark of recognition when the Egyptian imagery and Sutekh's appeared. (No more than a spark mind you...) The only thing that is slightly curious is that it was strongly suggested that Sutekh was destroyed by the Doctor, ageing and dying in a time-space tunnel extending thousands of years into the future. It'll be interesting to see how the writers work around this.

But I'm absolutely with you on the return of enemies other than the Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Silurians and the Master. Doctor Who has a very good roster of past villains and it's nice to see some of the less well-know ones returning.

Well, I found that wrap up rather disappointing. It just starts to feel cheap to me when everything is wiped out and then everything is brought back so really there are no consequences.
I also think the show is starting to falter under the weight of its past history. They try and so many connections, so many callbacks, etc., that it starts to feel awkward. I think they do fans argue with each other about how they saw a red ribbon in this scene that was the same as the one in some episode from 1995. Or when they listed all the planets and knew that fans were going to talk about how that place was in this story or that story, etc.. It is fan service and that is fine to appoint. Eventually, it gets to be a bit too much for me.

Another thought, question does the doctor see all possible timelines because Rose went back and stopped that man from becoming Prime Minister so his policy of taking DNA samples never happened in the time that Rose lives but they use that information her mother so did they hop to a different timeline and then back to theirs?

farley3k wrote:

Well, I found that wrap up rather disappointing. It just starts to feel cheap to me when everything is wiped out and then everything is brought back so really there are no consequences.
I also think the show is starting to falter under the weight of its past history. They try and so many connections, so many callbacks, etc., that it starts to feel awkward. I think they do fans argue with each other about how they saw a red ribbon in this scene that was the same as the one in some episode from 1995. Or when they listed all the planets and knew that fans were going to talk about how that place was in this story or that story, etc.. It is fan service and that is fine to appoint. Eventually, it gets to be a bit too much for me.

Another thought, question does the doctor see all possible timelines because Rose went back and stopped that man from becoming Prime Minister so his policy of taking DNA samples never happened in the time that Rose lives but they use that information her mother so did they hop to a different timeline and then back to theirs?

Ruby stopped Roger ap Gwilliam from becoming PM in the timeline where they broke the fairy circle, but that's not the current timeline, since they went back and prevented the fairy circle from breaking (thanks to Older Ruby). Therefore Roger ap Gwilliam did become PM in their timeline, and compulsory DNA testing became a thing. And The Doctor, having already visited 2046 before, means that the testing happened before the dust of death did its thing in 2046, even though the dust of death occurred in 2024?

David Tenant - "timey wimmey"

Loved the season finale! Fun season all around.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Loved the season finale! Fun season all around.

That's exactly the point. It was a fun season to get newbies used to Doctor Who, and to ease folks back into the series, with so many changes. New Doctor, new companion, new old showrunner, etc.

As Mrs. Flood said in the end, The Doctor is in for some "absolute terror." I think we can look for things to get serious next season.

I was fine with everything except the resolution to Ruby’s backstory- after leaning on it SO heavily nearly every single episode this season the explanation was like a noisily deflating balloon.

ruhk wrote:

I was fine with everything except the resolution to Ruby’s backstory- after leaning on it SO heavily nearly every single episode this season the explanation was like a noisily deflating balloon.

My thoughts exactly. “The mother is a normal person and that’s special”-explanation did not make sense at all. I had my money on her mother being the Doctor’s granddaughter or something like that. So I was wrong. Not the first time this season.

A few thoughts now that the Season is over.

I agree with farley3k that there was a lot of "timey-wimey" fudging in the last two episodes. On Roger ap Gwillam, the different timelines explanation may well be correct, but this will have flown over the heads of the much of the audience - children - who will have understood only that Ruby successfully changed the course of history.

On Sutekh himself...? Well, anyone who has previously watched Pyramids of Mars would have been pretty clear that he was dead. The notion that somehow he hitched a ride on the Tardis, and sat their undiscovered (and undisturbed) for 40-odd years of Doctor Who is pretty implausible. The Tardis has taken a fair old battering in that time...

On Ruby's parentage... it wonder whether the writers were influenced by the Disney flip-flop on Rey's parentage in Star Wars. There, we were told initially that her parents were just ordinary people... until, of course, we were told that she was really a Palpatine. Ruby's story is the exact opposite. We are invited to infer that her mother is someone of Galactic importance. Then we're told that she isn't.

But my biggest concern is what this Season portends for future seasons. I had understood that the Disney investment was meant to offset the BBC's inability (and unwillingness) to dedicate a significant proportion of its drama budget to the show (it's runs once a year, and is pretty niche... unlike - say - EastEnders). And yet this Season is only 8 episodes. That's one-third fewer episodes than we were getting only a few years ago. And it's a long way short of the 20 episodes we enjoyed in the days of Classic Who.

Combine this with the structural change from 4- and 6-episode stories to single-episode stories, and it begins to feel like Doctor Who is starting to evaporate before our eyes.

detroit20 wrote:

But my biggest concern is what this Season portends for future seasons. I had understood that the Disney investment was meant to offset the BBC's inability (and unwillingness) to dedicate a significant proportion of its drama budget to the show (it's runs once a year, and is pretty niche... unlike - say - EastEnders). And yet this Season is only 8 episodes. That's one-third fewer episodes than we were getting only a few years ago. And it's a long way short of the 20 episodes we enjoyed in the days of Classic Who.

Combine this with the structural change from 4- and 6-episode stories to single-episode stories, and it begins to feel like Doctor Who is starting to evaporate before our eyes.

Yes. It felt like almost a lead up to a full season.

farley3k wrote:

Yes. It felt like almost a lead up to a full season.

That was my thought as well.

I'm also dissatisfied with Ruby's resolution. Why did it always snow when she was thinking of her mother? Perhaps everyone was so focused on her mother instead of her father, who was mentioned in only 1-2 lines.

sometimesdee wrote:
farley3k wrote:

Yes. It felt like almost a lead up to a full season.

That was my thought as well.

I'm also dissatisfied with Ruby's resolution. Why did it always snow when she was thinking of her mother? Perhaps everyone was so focused on her mother instead of her father, who was mentioned in only 1-2 lines.

I thought there was a hint that Ruby is the special one, and therefore her Mom's purpose was to save her. Hopefully we'll learn more about her next season... but* the way it ended...

Spoiler:

it seemed like she was a one-season only companion. I hope I'm wrong because we really liked her overall.

* I caught it before I posted, but I had an extra word in there so it originally read, "I hope we learn more about her but next season."

PaladinTom wrote:
sometimesdee wrote:
farley3k wrote:

Yes. It felt like almost a lead up to a full season.

That was my thought as well.

I'm also dissatisfied with Ruby's resolution. Why did it always snow when she was thinking of her mother? Perhaps everyone was so focused on her mother instead of her father, who was mentioned in only 1-2 lines.

I thought there was a hint that Ruby is the special one, and therefore her Mom's purpose was to save her. Hopefully we'll learn more about her next season... but* the way it ended...

Spoiler:

it seemed like she was a one-season only companion. I hope I'm wrong because we really liked her overall.

* I caught it before I posted, but I had an extra word in there so it originally read, "I hope we learn more about her but next season." :lol:

In regards to your spoiler,

Spoiler:

you're correct. Varada Sethu (who played Mundy in "Boom") is going to be the next season's companion.

Season Two cast maybe spoilers?

Spoiler:

From what I've heard, they will both be companions in season 2, but neither will be in the Christmas special. And Varada will be a new character. They just liked working with her.

Also they've apparently already shot season 2, so maybe in the end it'll feel better thinking of these two as half seasons when taken together.

detroit20 wrote:

On Sutekh himself...? Well, anyone who has previously watched Pyramids of Mars would have been pretty clear that he was dead. The notion that somehow he hitched a ride on the Tardis, and sat their undiscovered (and undisturbed) for 40-odd years of Doctor Who is pretty implausible. The Tardis has taken a fair old battering in that time....

I can't help but picture the scenarios in that interval where Sutehk must have been so colossally bored being tied to the TARDIS (the entirety of The Ghost Monument) or having fun when something novel happens (the helicopter ride in The Day of the Doctor, "wheeeee").

detroit20 wrote:

On Ruby's parentage... it wonder whether the writers were influenced by the Disney flip-flop on Rey's parentage in Star Wars. There, we were told initially that her parents were just ordinary people... until, of course, we were told that she was really a Palpatine. Ruby's story is the exact opposite. We are invited to infer that her mother is someone of Galactic importance. Then we're told that she isn't.

The writer was definitely influenced by it.

Yeah, I wasn't that impressed with the episode. I didn't think the emotional beats had been earned (which is a bit of a theme with this series - I think they've tried to overwring pathos out of too little more than once), and the resolution wasn't especially satisfying for me. The little bit with the spoon lady was nice though.

I'm comparing it to the Rose stuff at the end of Series 2, and the Donna stuff at the end of 4, and those definitely hit harder. In terms of the "reversing the universal threat through timey wimey Who nonsense" I think Series 6 was far superior to this.

This was a 6/10 series to me. Nothing was bad as such, but it was generally rushed, and it felt most of was similar to better episodes in older seasons.

You're spot on about the emotional beats not really hitting throughout the series! I think it's another result of the decision to create one-part stories. We barely even get to know characters' names before we're invited to feel sadness at their plights. The episode Dot and Bubble is a particularly egregious example of this. Minor characters were dropping like flies in that one, but I simply didn't care because I'd spent zero time with them!

And because they can't make the viewer care, it feels like the writers have fallen back on forcing the Doctor to show that he cares on our behalf. Resulting in almost every episode containing a sequence with Ncuti weeping ceaselessly like Niobe, Queen of Thebes (or, at least, that's the way it feels to me)!

The risk, of course, is an inflationary spiral of bawling; the logical conclusion to which is Ncuti's Doctor being incapacitated by grief when a tragedy of planetary scale takes place in some future adventure. I wonder whether it just cheapens the Doctor's emotions, which used to be shown sparingly as something that they guarded carefully for their sake, for the sake of their companions and for the sake of the Universe as a whole.

But perhaps I'm just a repressed old fart. Perhaps this is where the culture is now; everyone emoting about anything and everything... all of the time!

I agreed a lot with this article on I09

On Doctor Who's Finale, the Biggest Questions Have the Smallest Answers

For the most part, “Empire of Death” is a finale much in a similar manner to many of Russell T Davies’ own prior big-event finales in years past. It’s an episode that leans heavily on emotional climaxes delivered impeccably, in the hope that those highs and heartbreaks, those chills and thrills, will distract you from the fact the episode itself is an ambling, logistical state of perpetual disarray, never quite managing to connect the dots.
But again, this is what all of “Empire of Death” has been: compelling emotional work, delivered impeccably by its stars, built off the back of a logical and narrative fallacy.
if you go back and watch this season of Doctor Who with the context of who Ruby’s mother really is, suddenly so much of what was structurally laid out to get to that reveal doesn’t matter at all. Not because the answer itself is unsatisfying, but because all those moments were laid out to tell you that there was a significance beyond Ruby’s own character arc to this reveal that were ultimately nothing but red herrings.

Wow, iO9 is still around?

Not sure why I quit following them. Maybe they got too clickbaity over the years? Guess I’ll give them another go. (Sorta related, but Lifehacker seems to pretty good too again.)

They are click-baity but they update regularly and it is nice to have a web site I can check daily for news.

PaladinTom wrote:

Wow, iO9 is still around?

I lost interest in io9 after the founders left it to focus on writing. They've both put out some great books!

Okay not sure how spoilery we are in here but wanted to discuss something, I skipped everything above as I am not caught up and also don't want to be spoiled.. ha (so forgive me if what I am bringing up has been discussed in depth already)

I just finished 73 Yards, finally going through the new season.

I simultaneously quite enjoyed it, felt like it was the closest we've been to better who in a while, and also really really didn't like a couple points.

Spoiler:

The other political volunteer being pretty clearly abused by the politician just felt like a lazy way to show that bad man is bad. Like they spent so much time leading up to that point and then had ten minutes to show us that he is bad so they made him super into nukes and an abuser..

I after the first episode of the current season wrote:

Dammit, now I want the Doctor to run into the crew of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Oh now they're just messing with my head at this point.