Breakfast Blog Closing Imminently, Replaced By Craven Capitalist Consumption (A Prequel)


I'll admit it, I'm properly excited.

I liked where Doctor Who was going at the end of the Matt Smith era, even if I was at moments ambivalent about precisely where it was. And it feels like the change of Doctors is being used to take a breath, get in under the hood, and finish making the show they've been trying to make since 2011.

I think Capaldi's a fantastic actor. He's got a slight ostentatiousness to him that sets him apart from most of British television, where he spends most of his time lurking. He has the strange quality of underselling everything while still stealing scenes, which is of course the central joke of his ludicrously oversold Malcolm Tucker.

I still believe in Steven Moffat, in a very "I hitched my heart and soul on this series a long time ago, and I'm seeing it through to the very end" way. I remain calmly convinced that this will be seen as one of the great eras of Doctor Who, whatever may come in two or three years. I like the infusions of new talent, I mostly like the old talent they're retaining or bringing back, and I like the sense of confidence it feels like the show has.

And I like that I don't have to do it for TARDIS Eruditorum, to be perfectly honest. I like that I can see the end of that project, and that for a solid chunk of that end I get to be absolutely immersed in a hopefully fantastic chunk of my favorite show.

There was never any way I wasn't going to write about it at all, though, now was there? And the exact means took me a while. I thought about doing it on Tumblr or somewhere out of the way, quietly. And I thought about trying to work for a larger site. Slate was very nice last year. And ultimately, I decided to just run a Patreon and do them for, well, you guys. The sorts of people who come to this blog on a Saturday. Which I tend to assume is pretty coextensive with my fanbase, such as it is. "My precious quasi-fame," as Joss Whedon had it.

So here we are, a week from curtains up. $236.75 per episode, at the moment, according to the Patreon, which you are enthusiastically reminded you can still back if you would like to help support my decadent phase, as I eke dollar after dollar out of my tiny legion of fans to sustain my lifestyle of excess and grandeur. No, seriously, I need to buy heating oil this month. That shit's expensive.

So, the plan is that reviews will go up here as soon as I can get them done. Which is reliant on how I watch the episodes, which, see, here's the thing. I don't have cable. It's expensive, and I don't actually watch much television. So I just buy Doctor Who on an iTunes Season Pass, which delivers the episodes to my hard drive in a way that's trivial to output to the TV, and I'm happy as a clam. And I've done that this season, for $38 or something like that. They've got some nice interviews with Steven Moffat up as teaser content.

The thing is, those deliver at like 3am. Which is a lousy time, especially since Twitter and most of my social media lights up about the episode as soon as it starts, which is generally at like 2pm my time, thirteen hours before iTunes will be delivering my file. So I usually decide that, having paid for the episode, I have no ethical problems with using alternative delivery systems so that I can go back on the Internet, and then torrent the sucker when it goes up, usually around 3:00 or so for a forty-five minute episode starting at 2:00.

I'm still not sure how long these will take to write. I will probably watch the episode twice before starting, and then jump right in and write something fairly stream of consciousness, then check the word count and see where we are. I suspect the answer is that reviews will hit somewhere between UK and US transmission, bit we'll see. I'll make a dummy post here on Friday evening so people can start discussing the moment it airs, then drop the review in later. And then there'll be discussion, and I'm really excited about seeing what the people who hang about here have to say about the episodes. I really do love being an exception to the "don't read the comments" advice.

Notably, that method will not cause any Twitter alerts or anything. Indeed, as one cheeky little concession to the Patreon backers, the only way to get an e-mail alert or ping that the review is up is to back the Patreon. There you go. A $12 RSS pinger.

Oh, speaking of Twitter, I'll turn it off once UK transmission starts, and not turn it on again until I've watched the episode at least once. But one thing I think I'm going to be very interested in is the immediate, gut reactions to the episode. So, please do comment early, feel free to tweet at me to register your immediate thoughts on the episode. I'm @PhilSandifer over in that nest of the woods.

So yes. I'm excited. This should be fun.

How will you be watching, ladies and gentlemen? And are you excited?

Here's the Patreon link again.


Anton B 6 years, 6 months ago

When I woke up earlier and registered it was Saturday my first cogent thought was - 'One week to go!' If that's considered sad in the wider world I know that round these parts it's considered normative behaviour.
My only problem now is avoiding spoilers and deciding what to wear at the screening. Being a follically challenged gentleman of a certain age in possesion of a decent leather coat I'll probably go for a Ninth/War doctor mash-up.
How about the rest of you guys? I have a need to know your plans for next week.

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Daru 6 years, 6 months ago

Well my partner and I are very excited about going next saturday to our favourite arthouse cinema in Edinburgh for the screening - I'm not dragging her along, she's as much a fan as I am. We'll both dress up - last time for the 50th I was a semi-military version of late Tom Baker and Beith was a pink version of Romana 2. Might create my own Doctor this time as a I have a pretty good Tweed jacket that has a bit of a Colin Baker vibe going on.

We don't have TV in the house so we will be watching via BBC iPlayer and also iTunes too, so I can watch as soon as possible (shows like Doctor Who are often available very quickly) and contribute financially to the show.

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jane 6 years, 6 months ago

My plans for Saturday have slightly changed, given that my nephews will regrettably be seeing the other side of their family that weekend. So, after work (about 3pm or so) I'll get going to Chicagoland to see my parents (who are such good sports) and queue up the episode while we go out to dinner. Afterwards we'll see the show, just the three of us, then play games until bedtime.

Well, their bedtime. I'll be up feverishly watching the episode again and again, putting my thoughts together primarily through the religiously painstaking process of making all kinds of screencaps. Seriously, the show is so startlingly visual I think it behooves all of us to, you know, seriously consider the visuals from the get go.

But if the Eruditorum is rocking on Saturday night, and it sounds like it will be, I'll likely be chiming in with some early incoherent babbling before I make my usual Mirror thread at GB.

Monday night, back in Valparaiso, I'll be attending the screening with my friend Laurie, an early birthday treat for myself. :)

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Daibhid C 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm very much considering just watching it on television. I went to the cinema for Day of the Doctor, because that was An Event. But I want to just watch this as a regular episode of Doctor Who; we haven't had one of those since last May!

If my sister is taking her kids to the screening, I may change my mind and accompany them. If so, I will probably wear my question-mark pullover print T-shirt. (Any further dressing up and my niece will refuse to be seen with me.)

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Kit 6 years, 6 months ago

The first episode, I'll be seeing in the cinema at 10am with two friends (five hours past UK TX), and then probably again on TV at 19:30 with a friend I'm catsitting for that weekend.

The second episode I'll probably be watching with people round my living room, including a UK visitor, in early afternoon. Might miss the TV broadcast that night due to pub, so will rewatch on iView if I'm home a night during the week.

The third episode I'll watch on iView with breakfast whenever I wake up, and once I've made an omelette. Then probably again that night with housemates.

The day of the fourth episode, I'll have flown to Vancouver that morning, spending something like 17 hours in a seat and arriving three hours before I left. I'll probably torrent that one in the US on the Monday, unless there's a legal catch-up service in Canadia?

The weekend of the fifth episode, I'll be in Chicago for four days, having spent two on a train to get there. That will probably have to wait until Tuesday to watch, unless there's a bar that shows it in the Chi, near something else my American companion can do for 45 minutes; but we'll probably be dining and talking with folks already. Thank goodness this is the Stephen Thompson ep.

6th and 7th I'll be staying in Seattle, and probably torrenting within an hour of being at "home" post-UK-TX, and watching when said companion falls asleep.

During the 8th ep, I'll be on a roadtrip down the west coast of the US, and may not have an opportunity to watch until I'm back in Sydney the following Saturday (where it will still be up legally). Can someone give me a thumb drive in LA to watch on my laptop on the plane?

9th through 11th: will probably watch on iView with a friend or two during the day, or alone with breakfast, and again with at least one housemate on telly at night.

The weekend of the final episode, presuming weekly transmission, my best friend is visiting from London for the first time since she moved there eight years ago. She adores Tom Baker and cannot abide any other Doctor Who in any form. Hopefully, we'll have gotten drunk enough on the Saturday night that she'll sleep in long enough for me to watch it in the morning before getting her up the road to speak in a tent at an arts festival, but a second watch may have to wait until the following Sunday, after we've visited another city and she's flown home again. :(

Eruditorum-following will be highly erratic during these three months.

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Chicanery 6 years, 6 months ago

Missing first transmission for my cousin's wedding. I'll probably end up watching it hungover on the iPlayer on Sunday, aching head and stomach in tow.

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Ombund 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm ridiculously excited about the new series but almost as excited by the fact I'm going to actually have somewhere to discuss it properly. I dipped in and out of other message boards as series 7 was going out but they're all so drenched in bile it was in danger of sucking all the joy out of watching something I love.

Sadly (!) I've got social engagements over the next two weekends so I won't be watching on broadcast or at the cinema as I'd have preferred. But I'll be watching Deep Breath on iPlayer late Saturday night and Into the Dalek as soon as I've got wifi again.

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BerserkRL 6 years, 6 months ago

There's one lovely sequence of dialogue (well, mostly monologue) in episode 2 that's incredibly Malcolm Tucker-ish while being distinctively Doctor-y at the same time. It's been released in a clip; it's the bit running from 1:50 to 2:05 here:

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Matthew Blanchette 6 years, 6 months ago

I should see if it's going to run in theatres where I am; probably not on the same day, as was the case with "Day of the Doctor", but... I can wait. :-D

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James V 6 years, 6 months ago

The episode goes out the day I move back to campus, and given what first weeks of school years tend to be like I haven't a clue when I'll have a quiet hour to watch the episode (that said, I've mostly spoiled myself from the script leaks anyway so the Internet should be safe). There's one theater near me that'll be screening it, so maybe if I can round up enough willing friends we can check it out there.

While I'm definitely excited for this season, I can't shake the feeling that I'm not AS excited as I should be. I've loved almost every bit of the Moffat era so far. The only explanation I can come up with is that there's still a part of my brain in denial that Matt Smith is gone.

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jonathan inge 6 years, 6 months ago

For most of the year, I shunned anything which would hype the new series. To fill some of the void, I feasted on a number of the fan-made videos out there. I get the feeling some folks get what Moffat is trying to do and most of the fan films (well the ones I've seen anyway) edge closely to that intangible feeling of why DW is so mercurial and magnetic. Capaldi's performance (well, what I've seen so far) continues the Second/Seventh vibe I noticed in Smith. And although I like Smith, I get the sense Capaldi will be much more capable of filling Moffat's vision for the Doctor.

In the past, I enjoyed having friends over for a DW night and having terribly long discussions of how episodes fit the show's (dis)continuities. Sadly, I had to move hundreds of miles for a job and currently work weekends. We'll see how things turn out.

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Ed Azad 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm getting major Hugh Laurie vibes from this doctor. Which is grand, because I always thought he'd make a fine Doctor Who.

I like how he's always teetering emotionally. He's thousands of years old and brooks no disrespect. But by the same token, he's terribly lonely. He's not self-satisfied like Sherlock or in denial like Eleven, two TV archetypes which (in my mind) have been done too much already.

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Whittso 6 years, 6 months ago

Is there some kind of cryptic mystery hunt going on with the title? BBC... No, I don't get it.

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Steven 6 years, 6 months ago

as one of the leak-watching scum, i'll chip in to say that Gaitiss' Robets of Sherwood turned out to be an incredibly, incredibly pleasant surprise (and one which would never have worked with Smith, or Tennant, possibly Chris though that would have been surreal). Yeah. No complaints here.

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Pen Name Pending 6 years, 6 months ago

I have a dinner thing to go to beforehand, but I'm hoping to be back in time to watch live or almost live. It does start at 7:15 because there is a liveshow. It's going to be interesting because this is going to be the first season my boyfriend is watching (he saw the previous two specials but not much else due to limited time and me introducing him to Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I'm also in a different corner of fandom this time, so I'm hoping to enjoy it more. And I love how they haven't released too much to the public yet (well, officially) and the air of mystery surrounding it all, so I am going in much blinder than last year.

EDIT: There is an add that keeps popping up over the prove you're not a robot thing. I had to refresh the numbers to get it to work.

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Elizabeth Sandifer 6 years, 6 months ago

It's mainly just a baroque way of saying there will be no waffling for the next few months.

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Elizabeth Sandifer 6 years, 6 months ago

If you can get some details of the ad, I can look on my end and see if I can find and kill it, assuming it's one of my ads and not some bit of spy/malware on your end.

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Leslie Lozada 6 years, 6 months ago

I will be watching with about 8 family members that I managed to show to the past episodes, which wasn't hard, seeing as the channel is doing a marathon of all Eleven episodes, even some Ten specials, in a living room with an used tv.

Later, i'll be going on my social circles to discuss with my friends from American friends.

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Ed Azad 6 years, 6 months ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

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Ed Azad 6 years, 6 months ago

The scripts aren't even cold yet, and everyone's jumping on Robots in Sherwood for being the most sexist script in the series history. I literally just had someone tell me that the 70's had progressive companions.

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Pen Name Pending 6 years, 6 months ago

I think it was something with houses and it did have the AdSense logo in the corner.

EDIT: Okay this time it said "camoican"

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Sean Williams 6 years, 6 months ago

I'll be going with my Who family* to the cinema on Sunday night here in Adelaide, Australia, having watched it already via other means that morning, no doubt. Probably more than once. I'm looking forward to it.

* My wife and stepsons aren't interested in going. Luckily I have my son and his girlfriend, his mother and her younger twins from another relationship to accompany me. The more the merrier.

I'm looking forward to reading the reviews.

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Kit 6 years, 6 months ago

Thank goodness this is the Stephen Thompson ep.

lol pwned

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Whittso 6 years, 6 months ago

Cool. I just wouldn't have put it past you....

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Katherine Sas 6 years, 6 months ago

So. Excited.

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Daru 6 years, 6 months ago

Plus a Scot I am so excited to have a Glaswegian in the role and one who will use his own accent too! That make me so happy in ways I can't fully describe. And we'll see what happens to our country during this season, though to be honest I'm not so excited about that.

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