Kickstarter Update/Capaldi Entry List

(22 comments)

Since I did my usual "forgetting to queue Proverbs of Hell for a Monday," I figured I should provide a Kickstarter update instead. At the time of writing, we're at $8069. We hit the Algebra of Ice stretch goal over the weekend, which means we're now approaching the $9000 stretch goal of The Unknown, which from Big Finish's Diaries of River Song series. I haven't listened to it yet, but it sounds fascinating. The hook is simple: River Song meets the Seventh Doctor. This is self-evidently a good idea. River's entire M.O. is that she destabilizes the Doctor's place in the narrative. She can do the things they do, and knows more than them. That's especially true in stories before A Good Man Goes to War, which obviously this is. The Seventh Doctor, on the other hand, stands out even among the Doctors. He's manipulative and has foreknowledge of events in ways they don't. That's a stereotype of his character in the same way "the loud obnoxious one" is of Six, but it's also similarly true. So having River meet him is, in its own way, as much of a limit point for her character as meeting the Twelfth Doctor was. It's a hook that does to River Song what she usually does to Doctor Who. Outside of pornographic fanfiction (where the answer is clearly the Third Doctor) the Seventh Doctor is straight-up the most interesting past Doctor for River to meet save arguably the First? Can Guy Adams rise to the occasion and hit his obviously laid out marks? Can Big Finish avoid screwing up a self-evidently good idea for once? I don't know. I'm actually kind of nervous to find out because I am so often frustrated by Big Finish and I do so love this idea. 

So if me tackling that sounds interesting and you haven't backed the Kickstarter yet, now is a great time. If you have backed the Kickstarter and haven't spread word on social media, now is a great time. If you've done all of those things, on the other hand, now could be a great time to do them again. But it could also be a good time for some self-care. Get a drink of water. Have a small and healthy snack. Look at some cute cat videos on YouTube. You've earned it.

I also wanted to give an update on the Patreon campaign for the Peter Capaldi era of TARDIS Eruditorum. Right now that's at $345, a mere $5 away from The Full Eruditorum, complete with Pop Between Realities, You Were Expecting Someone Else, and Outside the Government entries. One way or another that will start on March 19th. But will it start with Deep Breath (currently readable by Kickstarter backers) or Pop Between Realities, Home in Time for Tea (Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Lego Movie, It Follows)? While odds look good for the latter, it'd be good to get well over $350 so that's nice and secure and we don't suddenly drop down to going episode-only in the middle of the run. Anyway, here's the FULL RUNNING ORDER for the Peter Capaldi era of TARDIS Eruditorum. Boldface entries will need to be at $350 to happen. Ones with italics are going to be edited reposts of earlier-written essays that will go up on Tuesdays or Thursdays and not be charged to patrons. Listen will split the difference between being a repost and being charged to patrons in a fair and honorable way. 

The Empty Hearse
The Sign of Three
His Last Vow
Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Lego Movie, It Follows
Deep Breath
Into the Dalek
Robot of Sherwood
The Blood Cell
Listen
Time Heist
Marcelo Camargo
The Caretaker
Kill the Moon
Mummy on the Orient Express
Flatline
In the Forest of the Night
Dark Water/Death in Heaven
The Game
Last Christmas

 

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Big Bang Generation
The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar
Under the Lake/Before the Flood
The Girl Who Died
Legends of Ashildr
The Woman Who Lived
The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion
UNIT - Assembled
Face the Raven
Heaven Sent
Hell Bent
The Husbands of River Song

The Abominable Bride
Blackstar
For Tonight We Might Die
The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo
Nightvisiting
Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart/Brave-ish Heart
Detained
The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did
The Lost
Mr. Robot
The Return of Doctor Mysterio

The Six Thatchers
The Lying Detective
The Final Problem
Broadchurch
The Pilot
Smile
Thin Ice
Knock Knock
Oxygen
Extremis
The Pyramid at the End of the World
The Lie of the Land
The Empress of Mars
The Eaters of Light
The Missy Chronicles
World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls
Rick and Morty
Titan Comics
Twice Upon a Time

I'll also go ahead and announce that the first entry of the Whittaker era will be on Star Trek: Discovery. Because that's a funny announcement.

So if you want all those to happen, here's the Patreon link again. And if you want to get the Kickstarter closer to that Kate Orman interview at $10k, here's that link again. Thanks again for all the support, and I'll see you tomorrow for cannibalism and Blake.

Comments

William Shaw 9 months ago

If you do cover the Titan Comics, a humble request: please cover the ridiculous miniseries they did where the Ninth Doctor fights the Chumblies.

It has the Ninth Doctor. Fighting the Chumblies.

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Elizabeth Sandifer 9 months ago

I'm unlikely to do that for the Capaldi era, but there is a book...

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William Shaw 9 months ago

Fair enough.

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Max Curtis 9 months ago

Putting Broadchurch there is neat. Chibnall, and Whittaker in retrospect, haunt Series 10. But I hope there's more to say about it (and Chibnall's other work) when 13's book comes round.

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David Anderson 9 months ago

For those of us who've backed the kickstarter and received a confirmation email and are missing something obvious/ under the effects of a perception filter: how do we find the Deep Breath entry?

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Elizabeth Sandifer 9 months ago

It's in the Project Updates section - update #1.

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entropicdecay 9 months ago

Just backed the Kickstarter. Looking forward to the book.

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James V 9 months ago

Just skipping Sleep No More then? Can't say I really blame you; I always do when re-watching. :)

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mx_mond 9 months ago

I missed it when it aired and still haven't found the willpower to catch up.

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Przemek 9 months ago

"Sleep No More"? Never heard of it.

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CJM123 9 months ago

Sleep No More is interesting, despite not being very good, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it's telling when Gattis gets a coveted "Story with the least to do with anything else" in an otherwise serious, long-form story line, he tries to create something more serious by upping his horror ideas from Hammer to Found Footage (something newer), throws a load of Shakespeare in, gives it an unhappy ending and makes it feel far more explicitly anti-capitalist. There's something about Season 9 which feels like it made this possible. In no other Moffatt season would anyone be this experimental with the form. It's as different as Love and Monsters was.

That final twist is interesting, because it's one of the few times the Doctor is defeated by a genre. It might make no sense (and my actual head cannon is that the Twelfth Doctor hijacked the signal, made it harmless and forgot to add something to the end to say so), but it's trying. There's even elements of the villain staging Doctor Who content so the viewer doesn't realise the signal is in-fact the corrupting influence the Doctor can't escape. Very capitalistic.

The political elements, along with Dollard, Mathieson and Harness show how explicit politics returned to Doctor Who. It's fascinating that a writer that normally goes in for uncomplicated celebration of iconography actually tries to grapple with the anti-capitalist themes of a subject he's dealing with for the first time. It even forces him to deal with colonialism in The Empress of Mars in a way he totally avoided in The Unquiet Dead.

The genre is fascinating because the BBC just couldn't do found footage. It's borderline unfollowable at points, and what is supposed to be a big Moffatty moment of misdirection at the end becomes "What happened to him? This doesn't make any sense." Replacing one thing that didn't make sense with a new thing that doesn't make sense, and acting like you should have figured out that it was all a set-up because DOCTOR WHO doesn't make sense is just awful writing.

Finally, it has DOCTOR WHO's first trans-actor in it with Bethany Black. Whilst making her a vat-grown clone has huge issues, her presence alone means it seems churlish to forget SLEEP NO MORE.

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Przemek 9 months ago

We're not forgetting, we're actively repressing.

Otherwise you're right. Definitely interesting, definitely not good.

Now I'm wondering what about the found footage genre made it impossible for the Doctor to win...

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CJM123 9 months ago

My honest guess. Found-footage merges medium and content so closely that it tries to make everything real. No score, the editing is simple and linear, a commentary after the fact. If you go for realism, then a Doctor Who script is twaddle that should rightly be called out. And if you combine that with capitalism, all TV content is a distraction from the medium's capitalist qualities.

Which goes to show, that despite everything, Doctor Who is not "realistic footage of non-real events". It's a theatrical world that clearly can't work as realism. It's telling that Face the Raven takes the political, and makes it work by placing it in a setting that is all about Perception, Heaven Sent shows how to make Doctor Who explicitly theatrical, and Hell Bent shows how to break Doctor Who in a way that actually inspires.

Sleep No More is an interesting example of a dead end, from a genre that is itself in a bit of a dead end. It's grim and gritty, but's that all. But I'm glad it was placed in Series 9 over something like Empress of Mars or Robot of Sherwood. Series 9 almost needs Sleep No More to show remarkable what it does is.

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Sean Dillon 9 months ago

I personally read the episode as ending with the Doctor changing where the signal goes. From the future dominated by the Lazurus machines to a parallel 21st century.

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BenJ 9 months ago

There's a lot to look forward to here. It just occurred to me today that Bowie's death came about two weeks after "The Husbands of River Song", but that his influence on Doctor Who isn't going to end there, so the Blackstar entry should be pretty meaty.

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mx_mond 9 months ago

At the very least I like to think that Lazarus was a strong inspiration for the bandaged Cybermen in World Enough and Time.

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BenJ 9 months ago

I like that. I mean, it also goes with the Mondasian thing, but Lazarus could have helped them get there.

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Przemek 9 months ago

Yay! Colour me excited.

As usual, I'm very curious about your essays on DW spinoffs, supplementary material and Moffat's other work like Sherlock. Your entries about Torchwood and SJA were amongst the most thought-provoking ones for me and they have given me some great insights into DW proper. I can already tell from this list that your coverage of "The year without DW" before Series 10 will shed some interesting light on the Moffat era. Can't wait.

Will the "Listen" entry be in any way changed from the existing version? Just curious.

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Scriptscribbles 9 months ago

Oh God, I can't recommend those Big Finish picks as representatives of their takes on the new series. Uniformly those aren't very good.

Unit Extinction and Silenced actually have some things to say about the police state of UNIT and whistleblowers, while Assembled only escapes being the worst UNIT set because Shutdown is racist. And Big Finish didn't really work out River in a solo series till the recent set with the Fifth Doctor, though her inclusion in Doom Coalition was wonderfully queer and feminist and political.

I expect you'll have good things to do, you always do, but those picks certainly won't help your Big Finish cynicism

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Aylwin 9 months ago

Totally off-topic, but perhaps of interest, and for the benefit of any non-habitual-Guardian-readers passing through: the Guardian's Long Read today is on Peter Thiel and New Zealand, and is very NRxaBish, with a denouement that seemed like life attempting to imitate the end of The Player of Games but not quite getting there.

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Allyn 9 months ago

I signed up for the Patreon, solely to make sure we get an article on Titan Comics' Doctor Who output. On the one hand, you have to admire them for their aggressiveness (at points they've had five series running). On the other hand, you have to bemoan their slapdash shipping schedules and their inconsistent art.

And I wish they'd kept on Julie d'Aubigny as a twelfth Doctor companion for more than a single story.

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Comment deleted 8 months, 2 weeks ago

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