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Doctor Who - bionicbob - 08-31-2014

This episode left me unsatisfied.

I felt many key character/plot moments were lost or glossed over due to very poor direction/editing.

matrixgrindhouse Wrote:

I'm doubling down on my earlier insane hypothesis. Capaldi is the Valeyard... and Missy is The real Doctor.

I absolutely LOVE this theory!!!! Smile

Doctor Who - TM2YC - 08-31-2014

bionicbob Wrote:

I'm gonna really struggle to take Ben Miller as the Sheriff of Nottingham seriously, or perhaps you're not supposed? Probably not a problem for fans outside the UK, who likely don't know Ben as mostly a comic actor...

Doctor Who - hebrides - 08-31-2014

A quite possibly insane idea occurs to me about Missy:

We know that this Doctor has difficulty remembering things that have occurred to him in the past. We know that he seems to be somewhat lacking in certain character traits we have come to associate with the Doctor. We also know that Moffat loves to plant clues in plain sight and can hardly ever resist a pun.

What do we know about Missy so far?

1. She claims the Doctor is her "boyfriend," suggesting a degree of intimacy with him.

2. She seems to go around scooping up the consciousnesses of people who get sacrificed during the Doctor's travels.

3. She seems to live in a garden that greatly resembles the one in Silence in the Library, which represents an Edenic second chance in the largest repository of knowledge in the universe.

4. She seems to have sent the message to Clara last season and planted the newspaper advert for "The Impossible Girl" in Deep Breath, which suggests she not only knows Clara but the name 11 referred to her by.

Perhaps she is "Missy" because she gathers up all that is "missing" from this Doctor. This could suggest that she is River, particularly since River was linked psychically to Clara even while technically/physically dead. But it's also possible that she is scooping these things up to actively conceal them from the Doctor and try to use them against him.

Who would have an interest in doing that? Who else besides Clara and River has learned all about the Doctor's lives? Who else can travel and intervene without physical form and would have an interest in obtaining all the knowledge of the Library?

The same one who just disappeared at the end of The Name of the Doctor: the Great Intelligence. The implication at the end of the episode was that Clara entering the Doctor's timestream somehow vanquished the GI, but its fate was never made explicit. Perhaps when Clara entered the timestream, the GI was made aware of all parts of her consciousness as well, including her link to River's consciousness in the Library.

When the GI was apparently defeated, it may have merely retreated to the Library, taking it over to plan its next move. If it could not defeat the Doctor, perhaps it could at least keep siphoning off bits of his memories/consciousness, slowly trying to steal what makes him the Doctor.

But the universe needs a Doctor, and bits of previous adventures -- including missing ones -- keep appearing at the periphery of this Doctor's current travels, in an attempt to jog his memory and restore him. Perhaps that's what this Doctor's journey (aside from the hunt for Gallifrey) is all about -- restoring himself to fully being the Doctor as we know him (and, just maybe, finding a way to free River and all the others who are "saved" in the garden).

And, going along with that, the glimpses we see/he sees of previous adventures may all come together as he suddenly remembers them all, which would be the perfect cue to reveal that the missing episodes (or many of them, anyway) have been found.

So…"Missy" could be what kept them "missing," and this Doctor's "job" is to re-find them, in a parallel to what Phillip Morris, Paul Vanezis, and others have been trying to do for the past ten years or so in real life.

Like I said, possibly insane…but tell me it doesn't sound almost exactly like something Moffat would do if he thought of it...

Doctor Who - TM2YC - 08-31-2014

Re ^

I'm not totally sold on most of it but your suggestion that "Missy" is a pun on the word "Missing" sounds very likely to me. Although 'Missy = Mistress = Master' is worryingly plausible too.

As to other theories, as far as I'm aware Capaldi has already signed for another series and the last Episode of this series is called "Death in Heaven". Make of that what you will.

And this from Wikipedia, while not new is interesting given the last two episodes...

Quote:Capaldi has previously appeared playing other roles in the Doctor Who franchise. He portrayed Lucius Caecilius Iucundus in the 2008 episode "The Fires of Pompeii" and John Frobisher in Children of Earth, the 2009 serial of the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.[SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][13][/SUP] Moffat has stated that he plans on explaining over time why there are three characters in the Doctor Who universe with the same appearance; his predecessor Russell T Davies had once explained to him a theory for the first two, and upon Capaldi's casting assured Moffat that the explanation would still work.[SUP][14][/SUP] This situation was alluded to in "Deep Breath", when a confused Doctor is reminded of Caecilius when he examines his face in a mirror.[SUP][15][/SUP] Capaldi's casting marks the second time an actor has previously appeared in the series and then been cast as an incarnation of the Doctor, the first being Colin Baker.

Doctor Who - TomH1138 - 09-01-2014

bionicbob Wrote:

Then there is the whole MISSY = MISTRESS = MASTER thing.

Ahhh, OK. Sorry, I hadn't thought of that. And come to think of it, Moffat has teased that he wants to do a reverse-gender regeneration for years.

I'm still not sure I want to see that, but at least now I can see how others might think that. Smile

Doctor Who - musiced921 - 09-03-2014

A little off topic regarding NuWho, but a few days ago I was feeling the Doctor Who itch and Netflix has a very limited amount of episodes so I figured I'd dive into a Tom Baker story. I ended up going with The Ark in Space and wow was I happy with my decision. I really enjoyed the episodes and started feeling the urge to watch more.

Up to this point I've seen a few First Doctor stories and Genesis of the Daleks as well as The Five Doctors. The First Doctor stories are a little tough, but their heart(s) are in the right place, but Genesis felt a little slow and I figure that is partly because it was so hyped up for me. Maybe in the near future I'll get the urge to edit a few of the stories. All in all though, Ark in Space has really made me interested in more Classic Who stories.

Does anyone recommend an order in which to watch the Doctors other than chronologically? I'm feeling like seeing more Four and breaking into some Third at the moment. I've had little to no interest in the Sixth, but I will give him a chance. His plaid outfit bothers me!

Doctor Who - matrixgrindhouse - 09-06-2014

I hate to say it, but Series 8 is just not working for me.

While I did chuckle a few times, most of this episode's humor fell flat for me. The plot was thin, could have been fleshed out better. Even by the simple criteria of "Robin Hood, but Doctor Who-ized", it wasn't enough for me. Cinematography was off again, despite the change in director. And above all else, The Twelfth Doctor just isn't doing it for me. Where's the warmth, the magic? He comes across as tired, spiteful, bitter. I'm all for changing things up in a regeneration, but I don't find myself enjoying the character like I did for the previous seven seasons, or in my limited exposure to Classic Who. I don't know. It just doesn't feel the same anymore. Neither the majestic heights, nor the emotional depth. It's all just so very flat now.


Doctor Who - hebrides - 09-06-2014

Actually enjoyed this one a good deal more than last week, though I agree that the pacing was (still) off. I wouldn't put it up there with Vincent and the Doctor for historical (ish) NuWho, but it felt at times like The Shakespeare Code, which was good enough in its own way. Plot did feel quite light -- where last week's had too much plot to fit into one episode, this one probably had too little -- but I was in quite a dark mood before watching (almost told Mrs. Heb I couldn't watch tonight), and it managed to bring me out of it, even though I could hear a bit of the machinery of the episode creaking.

There were plenty of things that felt a bit slapdash, but overall I felt it got the job done (which wasn't hard, since there wasn't that much that had to get done, but still). Things I thought worked well and did feel Doctorish (to me, anyway):

1. The spoon. It would have been easy and obvious to go for the eight billionth time for the Sonic, but the spoon was a suitably demented idea that I could easily see Tom Baker, Troughton, or Smith (possibly even McCoy) going for.

2. Capaldi disarming Robin at the tournament with a quick "Hai!" and far-more-effective-than-it-should-have-been chop. It's the return of Venusian aikido a la Capaldi's childhood hero and close friend Jon Pertwee!

3. The shot of Troughton as Robin Hood in the ship's historical data banks. I don't know if this is a missing episode reference or not, but it's cool to see Troughton pop up in NuWho.

4. Some of the banter, as well as Twelve's rejection of it. Some of it fell very flat due to the inconsistent pacing -- as I said to Mrs. Heb, that kind of thing has to be quick to really work (all in the timing, etc.). But some of the stuff, including when Robin and Twelve are carrying their chains as well as the stone they're attached to and the aforementioned spoon scene, did feel like things just about any Doctor would do/say.

5. The peasant revolt was a bit (OK, more than a bit) silly, but the idea of using the plates as shield/reflectors is just the kind of cleverness we'd expect from the Doctor, particularly Tom Baker or Troughton.

6. The final scene between Robin and The Doctor, where it turns out that Robin is telling the Doctor his own story, was very NuWho in a good way. It could easily have been written by Moffat or Russell T. Davies, when they're not being too self-indulgent and just enjoying the interaction of the Doctor with historical/legendary characters. The line, "I'm as real as you are" works for kids as a line affirming the possibility that their hero, whether Robin or the Doctor, really is real, and it works for adults on a whole different level (somewhere between knowingly jaded experience and Galaxy Quest-like rediscovery of innocence and possibility, depending on your outlook).

7. The Promised Land thing. If we are going to have to sort through this one all season, at least we didn't have to have an incongruous Missy appearance in this episode. Two in a row was sort-of acceptable, but three appearances in a row by her would have been overkill.

Anyway, while I do not think that this episode will go down in history as one of the greats, sometimes a light, fun episode is all that's required, and I think this largely delivered, even though it could have benefited from tightening up to make the humor really work. I think this Doctor is still finding his feet, and he may not fully until he gets the chance to meet his own new companion, but this at least shows that there are different notes that can be played while keeping this Doctor more alien and cantankerous than we have seen in ages.

Doctor Who - TomH1138 - 09-07-2014

musiced921 Wrote:A little off topic regarding NuWho, but a few days ago I was feeling the Doctor Who itch and Netflix has a very limited amount of episodes so I figured I'd dive into a Tom Baker story. I ended up going with The Ark in Space and wow was I happy with my decision. I really enjoyed the episodes and started feeling the urge to watch more.

Glad you dabbled in some classic Who!

I'm by no means and expert, but if you enjoyed "The Ark in Space," you'll probably enjoy other stories by Robert Holmes, one of the most acclaimed writers of the classic era.

Here's a list of his stories:

Of these, I can personally vouch for the following:

Spearhead from Space: A much better starting place for classic Who than the actual first episode, IMO. This story started with a new Doctor and new Companions, so it's something of a clean slate. It was also the first storyline in color, and the only story to ever be completely shot on film. (Most classic episodes have an awkward combination of videotape for the interior shots and film for the exterior shots. All modern episodes are of course shot digitally.) As such, this story has a very handsome and polished look to it.

This episode introduces Jon Pertwee's debonair Third Doctor, as well as companion Liz Shaw (a scientist that was a refreshing change from the typical screaming damsels in distress that the Doctor had previously worked with), brings back Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT (both introduced during the Second Doctor's run), and re-formats the show into a very entertaining Earth-bound adventure.

This storyline also introduces the Autons, controlled by the Nestene Consciousness. The first episode of the new series, 2005's "Rose," is a virtual sequel to this story.

Carnival of Monsters -- When the Third Doctor returned to traveling through space, he did so with companion Jo Grant. This storyline is honestly so clever and surprising that I don't want to reveal anything about it. it's my favorite classic Who story that I've seen so far, and the one that made me pay attention to Holmes as a writer.

The Time Warrior -- When the series began, time travel stories were purely historical; other than our travelers, there was no science fiction element in them. But for the first time in this story, we see other aliens (in this case, the Sontarans, introduced here) going back through time and making changes for their own sake, which is now the norm for all historical stories.

This tale also introduces Sarah Jane Smith, a companion so beloved that she would return to the modern series ("School Reunion," "Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End," plus her own spinoff). If all that weren't enough, Holmes gives the Doctor's home planet its name (Gallifrey) for the first time!

This medieval adventure was largely shot in and around an actual castle.

Pyramids of Mars -- A fun romp for Sarah Jane and the fourth Doctor.

Of the ones I haven't seen, "Terror of the Autons" is a Third Doctor story notable for introducing the Master, and "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" is a highly acclaimed story that has the Fourth Doctor playing Sherlock on the streets of London in 1889. "The Brain of Morbius" (4th), "The Caves of Androzani" (5th) and "The Ultimate Foe" (6th) have also all been referenced at some point in the new series.

Happy viewing! Let us know what else you see and what you think of them.

And don't worry about not liking the Sixth Doctor's outfit. Nobody liked that, not even the actor who had to wear it. Smile

Doctor Who - hebrides - 09-07-2014

Agreed about Holmes. Haven't seen everything he wrote yet, and not everything I have seen is brilliant all the way through, but he definitely is one of the most consistently inventive and dependable writers the show has had, and he contributed hugely to the Doctor's backstory in ways that continue to reverberate right through last season's finale (and probably beyond). Oh, and after watching Pyramids of Mars, be sure to check out a bonus feature starring its main villain -- very, very well done and very funny.

ETA: Terror of the Autons isn't quite the game-changer that Spearhead in Space is, but as the first appearance of The Master -- in (IMHO) his best incarnation -- it's a classic. And Talons of Weng-Chiang is cited by many as the best Doctor Who story ever , competing in most lists with City of Death by Douglas Adams and Caves of Androzani. I was never a big fan of Peri, mostly because of her all-over-the-place American accent, though I do want to give Androzani another try, and I found City of Death fun but insubstantial, so Weng-Chiang is probably my favorite. I recently rewatched it for the first time in probably close to 30 years, and I was surprised to see that I remembered the name of one key element of the episode and an exact shot -- I guess it really made that much of an impression on me. Also, if you want an empowered female companion, look no further than Leela in that episode -- she's like a cross between Eliza Doolittle and Tarzan! :lol: