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Doctor Who
Finally saw Robots of Sherwood last night, and I really enjoyed it.
I thought the direction was much better, key character moments were focused on and emphasized rather than being flashed over like in the last two eps. Capaldi really won me over in the episode, I got a much better sense of his character.

But yeah, the golden arrow schtick at the end was too much, even I groaned at that.... lol

So a good comedy romp episode. The real test will be next weeks horror episode....

"... let's go exploring!" -- CALVIN.
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Now we're talking!


Masterful work. Those last three were flukes. This is the show I know and love, at its best. Cinematography was gorgeous, effects were up to the quality they had been recently. Murray Gold's score was fantastic, but not overbearing. The atmosphere was palpable. The way the story was told, what it all wound up meaning - pure poetry. Heartfelt, genuine. I especially like how they worked in the barn from Day of the Doctor. I thought it was odd that the Doctor would pick such an out of the way, rustic location for The Moment. And now, now it has meaning. And above all else, at long last, I felt it. Peter Capaldi is the Doctor now. Bring on the crazy heist!

10/10
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I love the episode, I just didn't fully get it. What was


the meaning behind the entity under the blanket early on? So the Doctor now has the little army figure? Does he still have it? How is it that if the Doctor is the one who has the bad dream we all then have it? Who wrote "listen" on the chalkboard?

It felt like it started out as a bit of a clever horror story and got very confusing towards the end of what the focus was. Again, the fiance and I liked it, we just didn't fully get it.
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My interpretation:


Whether or not there was a monster is ambiguous. Any time the "monster" is around, there are alternate explanations - either the monster wrote "LISTEN" on the chalkboard, or the Doctor did and forgot about it while he was rambling to himself (Clara points this out, and that it appears to be his handwriting); either the monster was hiding under the blanket, or it was one of Rupert/Danny's housemates playing a game; either there was a monster knocking at the end-of-the-universe space station's door, or all of those things the Doctor mentioned ("pipes settling" and all that jazz) was happening, and the only reason he passed out was because he broke the oxygen shell and something conked him on the head while the depressurization sucked everything out.

So basically, whether or not the monster existed is up to you. It's ambiguous because the monster wasn't the point - the point was that the Doctor was stubbornly asserting that there must be a monster while refusing to admit that maybe he was just letting his fears get the better of him. The whole episode is about fear, and that it's okay to be afraid just because you're afraid.

As far as the army figure goes, it started at the orphanage, was passed down from Danny to his children, and from them to their son Orson, who gave it to Clara, who gave it to the young Doctor. What happened to it after that, we don't know - he may still have it, he may not.

As far as the dream goes, remember that the initiation into the Time Lord Academy is looking into the Untempered Schism - this is how the Master had the drumbeat implanted in his mind by Rassilon. Maybe the Doctor somehow subconsciously spread his "dream" out through all of time and space through the Schism when he looked into it, and that's why everyone has that dream at some point.

Personally, I loved this episode. Easily the best of Series 8 so far, and probably the best Moffat script since Blink (and yes, I'm including Day of the Doctor - as awesome as that was, The Empty Child, Blink, and now Listen were much better scripts). And Capaldi is really settling in as the Doctor. I like that Twelve apparently gets so bored that he HAS to have something to do, or someone to save, or some monster to fight, going so far as to

make one up, even if he made it up subconsciously.
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ErikPancakes Wrote:My interpretation:


Whether or not there was a monster is ambiguous. Any time the "monster" is around, there are alternate explanations - either the monster wrote "LISTEN" on the chalkboard, or the Doctor did and forgot about it while he was rambling to himself (Clara points this out, and that it appears to be his handwriting); either the monster was hiding under the blanket, or it was one of Rupert/Danny's housemates playing a game; either there was a monster knocking at the end-of-the-universe space station's door, or all of those things the Doctor mentioned ("pipes settling" and all that jazz) was happening, and the only reason he passed out was because he broke the oxygen shell and something conked him on the head while the depressurization sucked everything out.

So basically, whether or not the monster existed is up to you. It's ambiguous because the monster wasn't the point - the point was that the Doctor was stubbornly asserting that there must be a monster while refusing to admit that maybe he was just letting his fears get the better of him. The whole episode is about fear, and that it's okay to be afraid just because you're afraid.

As far as the army figure goes, it started at the orphanage, was passed down from Danny to his children, and from them to their son Orson, who gave it to Clara, who gave it to the young Doctor. What happened to it after that, we don't know - he may still have it, he may not.

As far as the dream goes, remember that the initiation into the Time Lord Academy is looking into the Untempered Schism - this is how the Master had the drumbeat implanted in his mind by Rassilon. Maybe the Doctor somehow subconsciously spread his "dream" out through all of time and space through the Schism when he looked into it, and that's why everyone has that dream at some point.

Personally, I loved this episode. Easily the best of Series 8 so far, and probably the best Moffat script since Blink (and yes, I'm including Day of the Doctor - as awesome as that was, The Empty Child, Blink, and now Listen were much better scripts). And Capaldi is really settling in as the Doctor. I like that Twelve apparently gets so bored that he HAS to have something to do, or someone to save, or some monster to fight, going so far as to

make one up, even if he made it up subconsciously.

Thank you for that. That definitely makes sense! Agreed that it was a great angle that the Doctor NEEDS something to do.
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ErikPancakes Wrote:I like that Twelve apparently gets so bored that he HAS to have something to do, or someone to save, or some monster to fight

It's a very interesting idea, and it's similar to an idea from The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, a stage play starring Jeremy Brett I was lucky enough to see when I was on vacation with my parents in London in my late teens (I don't think the play was ever filmed, but I don't want to spoil it here, just in case).

I would just like to add a couple of things that Mrs. Heb noticed and reminded me of after I'd nearly forgotten them:


1. There was something under Danny's bedspread, something that vanished with a bit of a blue light,

and

2. Something was turning the airlock door from outside.

As I said in another forum where we were also discussing this episode, the question is whether Moffat wanted us to forget them because he plans to make use of them later (as in the coat switch in Season 5, for example) or whether he wanted us to forget them because they don't make sense. Obviously, I hope for the former...
Criticism is good. Suggestions are better.
_____________________________________________
IN THE WORKS (so to speak...): Indiana Jones and the City of Skulls, KOTCS: The Slocombe Lookprint
PLANNING: The Vengeance of Zorro, Tales of the War Doctor: The Bringer of Fire
COMPLETED: The List (Shut Up! Consecution)
ONGOING: Hebrides's Box o' Tutorials
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ErikPancakes Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for that wonderful post! *applause*


Indeed, part of the fun of the episode is that we never find out for certain whether or not there are any actual monsters this time. There could have been something to it, or it could have all been in the characters' heads. That was part of what made it creepy.

But it wasn't just there for creepiness' sake. As you said, this was about the effect that the fear of the unknown horror had on the characters, particularly the Doctor. It was a brilliant character piece that required no prosthetics or effects for aliens, but in no way did it feel like just a "filler" episode. Instead, it's one of the best stories in several years.

I also agree about the army figure. There isn't intended to be some great mystery or time-travel paradox regarding Clara leaving it with the Doctor; it was just a character moment -- Clara helping the young Doctor to be brave.

I don't know if the Untempered Schism was intended to be the reason why people have that dream, but it's a brilliant theory and I think it completely works!

This was totally an episode about how the Doctor needs something to do or someone to save, and he's been doing it so long that he doesn't know what to do with himself if no crisis exists. I love it when the show takes something that's just part of its necessary formula (that is, there has to be danger every week or there's no show) and turns it into a terrific, complex character point.

Other thoughts:

When the figure in the astronaut suit unmasked, I thought that it was either going to be the (regular) Doctor or it was going to be the monster. I wasn't expecting Mr. Pink to be there, and the fact that it was a descendant was another good twist. And the figure in the bed turning out to be the young Doctor -- that was a real corker!

It seems like it should have been one revelation too many to find out that the Doctor returned to that barn when he was going to set off the bomb (as seen in "Day of the Monster"), but it wasn't. It makes absolute sense that if the Doctor thinks he's going to commit the most heinous crime in the galaxy that he would want to return to a place where he felt safe--or, alternatively, to return to confront old fears.

I've understood why the Doctor has been written and performed the way he has this season. Moffat seems to be trying to address long-term fans' complaints about the show: that the Doctor shouldn't be romantically involved with his Companions, that he should be more mysterious and unpredictable, that he should be more of an older mentor figure, and that he should be more cantankerous (this version seems to lean heavily on William Hartnell, Jon Pertwee and even the controversial Colin Baker). I wasn't bothered by any of the modern portrayals of the character, but a lot of fans were; this version of the character seems designed to address those issues.

Since the Doctor is now less sympathetic and knowable, the character that the audience now relates to is the Companion, and that's just as it used to be. This shift in the character dynamic has worked wonders for Clara, who previously was the dullest of all the modern Companions. I like her a great deal more this year.

Ironically, though, all of the aspects being put back into the Doctor--his grouchiness, his unknowableness--have meant that I hadn't really grown to like this Doctor yet. But then came this episode, and now I love the guy. His fears, his past, and especially the scene where Clara hugged him and he half-jokingly said not to (but let her do it anyway)...just terrific stuff.

The first three episodes were all solid (or four, depending on how you count the 2-hour premiere), but with this one, Season 8 finally hits its stride. I'm now really excited for next week!
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[quote=hebrides]

1. There was something under Danny's bedspread, something that vanished with a bit of a blue light,

I had forgotten about that. I think that part of Moffat's point was that sometimes there are reasonable explanations even if there's no way for us to ever know or understand them -- just as

the Doctor will never understand why there was a person (Clara) under his bed when he was a youngster.


[quote=hebrides]

2. Something was turning the airlock door from outside.

I thought the Doctor said something about how he might have accidentally set something off (with his sonic screwdriver or something). I think I'll have to rewatch the episode to see if I can understand it better.
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OK, I just looked back at the script (thank heaven for the leaked scripts).

On pg. 52, we read this:

He raises the screwdriver, sonics.

The word LOCKED blinks, changes to UNLOCKED.

CLARA

Is that you turning?

No!

But then, a little further down on pg. 53, the Doctor says this:

It's a pressure lock - releasing it could trip the opening mechanism.

So there is still some ambiguity about what happened in that moment.
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I'm a little late to the conversation but it seems that I am in agreement with most. I was a little concerned at the start of Capaldi's episodes but after Listen my worries have ceased. I started watching Doctor Who with the 11th Doctor, then went back and started with the 9th, so this new more serious and darker Doctor took a bit for me to adjust to him. Unfortunately I have not seen any of the older episode but hope that is something I can remedy in the future. Can't wait for the rest of series 8 and hope that the remaining episodes can at least be close in quality with Listen.
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