The Doctor In The TARDIS
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1  Travels In Time And Space / Warriors Of The Deep / Re: Poll: Rate & Review Warriors Of The Deep on: May 10, 2015, 03:13:24 pm
I've gone with a 2, but I agree with those who think that there is a decent story in here somewhere. It is just that it is all so appallingly executed.

For those who fail to find the moral ambiguity in the story, and who complain about the early discovery of the hexachromite, go and watch the scene again. The humans know that this stuff kills marine and reptilian life but use it as a sealant anyway. So even though they do not use it for the specific intention of killing this is no excuse -- in the Doctor's words, it should have been banned. In other words, I think that the Silurians are quite entitled to see the humans as the aggressors. The hexachromite is not only the means for resolving the conflict, it is also its casus belli. This adds a layer of irony to its eventual use, and justifies what the Doctor says about humanity. Tegan possibly has her best line ever when she says "That doesn't change what they are going to do."

The point of the story, as I see it, is how suspicion makes everybody act stupidly. Out of suspicion, the TARDIS is nearly blown out of the sky. The Doctor himself is driven to act stupidly just after this out of suspicion when he decides to set the reactor to overload, again thinking this is okay because he does not actually intend the reactor to blow up. Even the enemy agent, in his own mind, is only following orders and doing his duty. And there is something sinister about the conditioning someone has to undergo in order to be a "sync operator" -- note the shiftiness when the base commander picks up the disc following Solov's inexplicable decision to engage the Myrka in hand to hand combat (or is it meant to be a dance-off?). Again, it seems to show how a reasonable and sensitive soul can be programmed to perform acts of genocide out of suspicion, not by enemies (who only take advantage -- again a parallel with the Silurian's plan) but by those who are presumably on the same side.

I admit that with the bad acting, bad dialogue, and bad direction much of this does not get across. (I don't know why the set design gets criticised so much, since I rather like them, and frankly I don't notice how well or badly they are lit).

One other thing -- I don't think that The Sea Devils is anywhere near as good as its reputation. Better go and watch the original Doctor Who and the Silurians. It is worth remarking, though, that the monster there was scarcely any better than the Myrka. Let's face it -- nearly all large-scale Doctor Who monsters are rubbish.
2  Fanatical For Who / The Arc Of Infinity / Re: Poll: Returning Baddies on: April 06, 2015, 12:07:04 pm
Bring back the Ergon from Arc of Infinity! Call me crazy but I really like its sheer chicken-ness. It was the only good thing in that story. I have a recurring fantasy that the Ergon was the real brains of the outfit and enjoyed watching Omega and the Doctor running around and trying to outwit each other.
3  Travels In Time And Space / The Invasion Of Time / Re: Last Story/Episode You Watched? Part V on: March 16, 2015, 02:02:25 pm
4  Series 8 & Beyond / Last Christmas / Re: Rate & Review Last Christmas on: December 27, 2014, 09:03:18 pm
Hovering between a 3 and a 4. The script itself would probably get a 3. If I was a Dream Crab then the one thing I would make sure my victim did NOT dream of was dream crabs! And I really don't know why a ride on Santa's sleigh helped them to wake up. But Nick Frost was great as Santa and sparked brilliantly with Capaldi's Doctor. In fact, all the performances were good. The direction was also good, even though it ripped off Alien. The music was good too. So overall I'll be generous and go for a 4.
5  Series 8 & Beyond / Death In Heaven / Re: Rate & Review Death in Heaven on: November 09, 2014, 08:26:19 pm
I'll go for a 3. I don't think the direction was that great.

I'm still not really sure what the whole deal with 3w and the x-ray water was. It was sort of explained as just The Master getting money and resources. Strange how that never seems to have stopped him before.

Not sure how I feel about Cyberman pollen. It was kind of dropped in there without much warning.

Same goes for The Master keeping the Doctor and Clara together. She didn't have any great motivation that I could tell, except may to tease the Doctor a bit.

Did Cyber-Danny take Clara to the graveyard? I suppose he must have done. She just seemed to turn up there.

Why was The Doctor put on a plane in the first place?

Didn't like the Danny beyond the grave bit in the epilogue. As DAK says, the boy shouldn't have returned in a physical body, either. But I think the whole scene was a bad idea from the start, or are we to suppose that there really is an afterlife?

I'm still not sure what happened to Gallifrey. We just see The Doctor banging at the controls, so I suppose it can't be good news and he is lying to Clara at the end. Did anyone get anything more specific?

I've concentrated on the negatives, but there was some good stuff too. I kind of liked the brutal dispatch of Osgood and the Master. It was kind of shocking in a good way. And I kind of liked the Cyber-Brigadier. Great dialogue too between The Doctor, Danny and Clara.
6  Series 8 & Beyond / Dark Water / Re: Rate & Review Dark Water on: November 02, 2014, 10:20:04 am
The individual parts were good but I'm not sure the whole thing held together all that well. I'm not really sure what the point of Dr. Chang and that stuff about the dead talking is related to the rest, but maybe it will all come together in the second part. Loved the idea that instead of the Cyberman deleting people's emotions etc. people could be persuaded to delete themselves. The performances were all great (I especially enjoyed Chris Addison's turn). So despite some misgivings about whether it will all hold together, I'll go for a 4.
7  Series 8 & Beyond / Dark Water / Re: Missy on: November 02, 2014, 10:11:22 am
I admit I was taken by surprise. But in the end I was left thinking "The Master again. Can't they think up anything new? Okay, a woman this time." I so wanted it to be Romana, and I thought for a moment I was going to get my wish (I thought of K9 calling her "mistress" too. I even considered Leela as an alternative for a second, though that wouldn't have made sense, her not being a Time Lady or even Gallifreyan). She's really the only other Time Lord/Lady they could bring back without violating the "last of the time lords" thing. The Master is becoming like Jason in the Friday 13th films. No matter how many times you kill him they find some contrivance to bring him back. Or is The Master also in the Nethersphere and that is only his intelligence downloaded?
8  Series 8 & Beyond / In The Forest Of The Night / Re: Rate & Review In The Forest of the Night on: October 29, 2014, 07:53:56 am
Happens to me too sometimes. Hated The Caves of Androzani and Dalek, loved The Creature from the Pit.
9  Series 8 & Beyond / In The Forest Of The Night / Re: Rate & Review In The Forest of the Night on: October 26, 2014, 10:04:18 am
Eurgh. Horrible. I can see how some might like it more so I won't give it a 1. A 2, then, but a low 2.
10  Series 8 & Beyond / Flatline / Re: Rate & Review Flatline on: October 18, 2014, 10:03:58 pm
This was much better after what I thought were three pretty mediocre episodes in a row. It has its flaws. Becoming smaller does not equal losing dimensions. The monsters were more effective when they were 2D and seemed too zombie-like in 3D, and I am not really sure what their motivation to become 3D was. But the episode was very creepy when it was trying to be creepy and funny when it was trying to be funny (loved the Addams Family homage, and Clara taking a sledgehammer out of her handbag). Hovering between 4 and 5. I don't usually award fives unless it is perfect, but I'm tempted.
11  Series 8 & Beyond / Mummy on the Orient Express / Re: Rate & Review Mummy On The Orient Express on: October 16, 2014, 02:04:08 pm
I don't get it. This story made practically no sense at all! Capaldi was pretty good in this one, but otherwise it didn't impress me
12  Travels In Time And Space / The Invasion Of Time / Re: Last Story/Episode You Watched? Part V on: October 16, 2014, 09:35:25 am

I really like The Creature from the Pit. Okay, watching as an adult the humour is over the top, but I don't think the script is given enough credit for how clever it is. The Power of Kroll sucks.
13  Series 8 & Beyond / Kill The Moon / Re: Rate & Review Kill The Moon on: October 09, 2014, 10:41:58 am
The only scientific inaccuracy that actually bothered me was the idea that because something was growing inside the egg and about to hatch, that meant that the whole thing was somehow gaining mass. Since this was central to the episode it was a clunker. Things like the cellphone I don't care about.

Incidentally, how certain are we that pressing "Abort" was the correct decision, at least from Clara's point of view? After all, in The Beast Below the Doctor was ready to lobotomize the beast, and in that Torchwood thing Captain Jack sacrificed his grandson or whatever to save the Earth. Sometimes sacrificing the innocent is just the best we can do, regrettably. Yet here Clara backs her own hunch against the will and wishes of the entire human race. Just because it turned out well in the end does not make her decision right.
14  Series 8 & Beyond / Kill The Moon / Re: Rate & Review Kill The Moon on: October 05, 2014, 01:10:11 pm
Awwww, it wasn't THAT bad. The first half at least was exciting and well directed, if not exactly original. The moral dilemma had been done before and much better in "The Beast Below," which I loved.
15  Series 8 & Beyond / Kill The Moon / Re: Rate & Review Kill The Moon on: October 04, 2014, 10:07:36 pm
3/5 A middling sort of episode. Scary in places, but I think it fell well short of its ambitions.
16  Series 8 & Beyond / The Caretaker / Re: Rate & review The Caretaker on: September 28, 2014, 02:25:22 pm
Focussed too much on Clara and Danny. Some of the dialogue was quite funny but the whole "P.E. teacher" joke wore thin, and in the end The Doctor did come across as more arrogant than usual.
17  Series 8 & Beyond / Time Heist / Re: Rate & Review Time Heist on: September 21, 2014, 10:58:08 am
I didn't think much of this. It seemed like they took ideas from other tv and other Dr. Who episodes and cobbled them together. The final lock on the vault is straight from Die Hard, and all that slo-mo at the start is from, well, practically everything in the heist genre. This isn't always a bad thing and can come across as a fun, self-conscious pastiche, but for me it just didn't work. The one thing that did work for me (even if it was largely cobbled together from Hide and The God Complex) was the Teller itself. A great 'monster' that I hope we will see more of. I nearly gave it a 3 for the Teller alone, but in all conscience could only give it a 2.

Incidentally, are we to assume that it was the Doctor who put the memory recovery thingy and the vaccine into the vault in the first place? This would mean that he was just manipulating Psi and what's-her-face all along. Also, are we to assume that the TARDIS cannot just materialize inside the vault. Granted we are told that the TARDIS cannot navigate while the storm is taking place, but then why not choose another time? Also, if not the TARDIS, why not the teleporters? Being able to teleport back to wherever they want to be seems to make a nonsense of all the trouble they went to.
18  Series 8 & Beyond / Listen / Re: Rate & Review Listen on: September 14, 2014, 12:09:13 pm
I think that this is just the kind of episode Capaldi needed. That there was little in the way of resolution may put some people off it (was there something under the sheet in Danny's room, or were we just seeing what they were imagining? If there was, what was it?) On the whole I didn't mind that. Other plot contrivances seemed more forced. For instance, he takes Orson back in time as a "test flight", then goes back to the end of the universe (why?) and then has to recharge in order to take Orson back again. Huh? Why not just take Orson where he wanted to go in the first place? But the quality of the acting, direction, and music papered over the few cracks. Can't quite give it a 5, but I think its a cut above the earlier episodes that all got a 3 from me. So, on the whole, I'm going with a 4.
19  Series 8 & Beyond / Into The Dalek / Re: Missy (part 2) on: September 10, 2014, 04:41:20 pm
Maybe we're all assuming too readily that she will turn out to be the big bad. Maybe she's a goody
20  Series 8 & Beyond / Robot of Sherwood / Re: Rate & Review Robot of Sherwood on: September 07, 2014, 12:15:18 pm
3 again from me.
Plusses? I agree that it was enormous fun. Kids would have loved it. Clara was too over the top in the first few minutes of the episode, but otherwise it was a very good episode for Clara. And the Bickering between Robin and The Doctor was very amusing.
Minusses (is that how you spell it?)? The "golden arrow" ending was just horrible. I wasn't keen on the gold dishes reflecting the laser beams either. Its weird how mirrors or other shiny objects sometimes reflect beams, and other times just melt. Marian seemed shoehorned none too subtly into the plot. And also, the final explanation was exactly the same as in Deep Breath! Another spaceship crashed on the way to the Promised Land and needing repairs. Maybe this will turn out to be a clever leitmotif, but right now it just seems like they've run out of ideas. Finally, Peter Capaldi's performance is very hit and miss for me. Very good in the aforementioned bickering scenes, while at others he seemed like a grumpy granddad trying very hard to get into the spirit of kiddies' games.
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