Saturday Waffling (November 23rd, 2013)
Let’s talk about Jack Graham, writer of Shabogan Grafitti, who has just wrapped up his 50 post countdown of Marxist readings of Doctor Who scenes across the years. Cheeky, passionate, insightful, and altogether wonderful, it has been, for my money, the best part of the 50th Anniversary so far.
Read them all, but if you must have highlights, 3, 4, 15, 17, 20, 23, 25, 26, 30, 32, 37, 47, and 49.
Seriously. I have not even been in the running for best Doctor Who blog this month, and it’s not just because I spent it stuck on sodding Torchwood. It’s because Jack has hit this one out of the park. Repeatedly. I’ve read each one with a hint of jealousy, wishing I’d written them. He’s just about the most vibrant voice in Doctor Who blogging these days, and this has been an absolute masterstroke by him. Unless there’s something on TV you really want to watch, there’s no better way to spend your time today than reading these.
Wait, is there something on TV today?
Edit: Oh, hey, yes, there was. Thoughts?
November 23, 2013 @ 1:01 am
Well, not today, but I will be in a cinema at 4 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, dressed as the Ninth Doctor.
November 23, 2013 @ 1:04 am
#22 and #29 are particular highlights for me so far.
November 23, 2013 @ 1:28 am
I assume Phil has seen the interview with Alan Moore in the Guardian?
November 23, 2013 @ 2:44 am
Here's my itinery for the day. Listen to Radio 4Extra Doctor Who special as I have breakfast, chill out all day till girlfriend arrives at 4. Get ready. My costume of choice will be somewhere between Hartnell, McGann and Ecclestone so pretty much John Hurt I guess. Double check I have sonic, tickets and 3D spex in Time-War-battered leather coat pocket. Meet friends at 6 for pre Doctor Who drinks. get to cinema by 7.30 maybe earlier if it looks like there'll be queuing (This is England after all) Watch Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor in 3D! Then post movie drinks and debrief at our favourite local pub. That's my day. How about you?
November 23, 2013 @ 4:10 am
Not only are me & tha kidz donning our 3Ds for some serious Big Screen Who this evening…but they've only gone and found Marco Polo! What a year!
(I could post links, but just Google "Marco Polo found", ok?)
November 23, 2013 @ 4:14 am
Assuming that "How about you?" was meant in the general sense and not just for Phil, my 'day' involves staying up until 6:20am to watch the live simulcast (tried sleeping, it didn't take). I've already capped off a year-long marathon with The Name of the Doctor, just watched the 2013 Proms concert and still have another six hours to fill.
November 23, 2013 @ 4:42 am
I couldn't get tickets for today's cinema simulcasts (as far as I can tell, for New York City they never got online sales working; I got tickets for the Monday repeat), so I'll meet up with friends at a bar that will show the special. That means I probably won't be able to watch it, because people in bar. So torrent tonight or wait until Monday (and stay off of the internet until then).
As for what I hope to see… since multi-Doctor stories are always weird and don't make a lot of sense, maybe Moffat has taken advantage of the unique situation he has here. One problem of multi-Doctor stories is that they muck up the timeline of the previous Doctor. In this case we have the War Doctor that we know nothing about, so we're free and clear there. So if Moffat decided not to bring Ten back, but instead the metacrisis Doctor, now we've got something.
As the audience, we don't have to try to slot these events into a previous season, and as a writer Moffat gets to actually do something with the characters. Because we'd be seeing alternate Ten and Rose from Pete's World, something new and exciting can happen to them (if they come from the past series, then their story arc has to return them to what we already know).
November 23, 2013 @ 4:43 am
The Marco Polo find reeks of hoax perfume to me, but I'll be happy to be proven wrong.
November 23, 2013 @ 4:54 am
9.30 tonight watching DotD in 3D at local flicks, if all goes well. And I am absolutely sure I will enjoy it immensely.
From a slightly different viewpoint, I was beginning to wonder about the endless hype for the show on the beeb. It's too much to expect them to spend much time discussing the death of CS Lewis, or Aldous Huxley. But the JFK retrospectives have been swamped under Daleks and Tardises.
One thing I don't like about the Beeb right now is the attitude of "We've Always Loved Doctor Who As It Has Continuously Broadcast On All Channels Since 1963". It's like the corporation's had a huge hypegasm. And just now, buried in all the adoration, they had the guts to publish a negative article "Who cares about the Doctor?" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-25051457
Bless the Beeb (seriously) it ain't perfect but they do try.
November 23, 2013 @ 5:50 am
Yep. I believe it marks the first time he's spoken about Grant Morrison by name when not directly prompted, although the Guardian's style of hiding the questions makes it tough to tell. The Situationist quotes are gold, though. So happy to see him address that directly.
November 23, 2013 @ 6:26 am
For me, it's about enjoying the new episode the way Doctor Who should be: as a fixture of Saturday evening entertainment. So it's Pointless Celebrities (a Doctor Who special, as it happens, but I'd watch it even if it weren't: Pointless is my crack and Richard Osman is my dealer), Strictly Come Dancing (No evident Who connection, but Brucie is bound to get in a lame gag about the Doctor being a young whipper-snapper, you can depend on it), during which dinner shall appear, then settling down to see what Doctor Who is getting up to this week.
November 23, 2013 @ 6:43 am
Yes, there was something on TV today! The season premiere of My Little Pony had some very interesting choices, including bringing back a fan-favorite villain to do nothing but stand around and make snide remarks, and an ending that they may be moving from purely episodic to a mix of standalone and arc episodes this season.
November 23, 2013 @ 6:54 am
I'll be on the road today and won't see it! 8^O
But I have tickets for a 3D theatre screening Monday night.
Will actually try to avoid spoilage for the next two days ….
November 23, 2013 @ 7:18 am
Well you pop round my place then, and I'll have a nice slice of Humble Pie warmed up for you!
November 23, 2013 @ 7:21 am
If you turn off the Radio, the TV and disconnect any internet connection you might just manage it. No you won't. You've got no chance.
November 23, 2013 @ 9:06 am
All-time favourite DW stories:
1). The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
2). City of Death
3). Love and Monsters
5). Genesis of the Daleks
6). The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon
7). Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways
8). The Aztecs
9). The Talons of Weng-Chiang
12). The Robots of Death
13). The Three Doctors
14). The Mind Robber
15). Human Nature/The Family of Blood
16). The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
18). Carnival of Monsters
19). Father's Day
20). The Snowmen
21). The Happiness Patrol
22). Turn Left
23). The Time Meddler
24). The Caves of Androzani
25). Vengeance on Varos
November 23, 2013 @ 9:13 am
Keen Goodman compared Mark Benton's foxtrot to a Dalek, just to prove your point.
November 23, 2013 @ 9:17 am
"Apparently" they haven't found the broadcast quality materials but a fan-recorded 8mm off-screen recording. "Apparently"
November 23, 2013 @ 9:53 am
Yeah, but the article I read had this bizarre breathless awe about it as if the fan-recording was somehow miraculously broadcast-quality, and possibly able to perform miraculous healings if you laid hands on it after saying twelve Hail Roses and three Our Frobishers.
November 23, 2013 @ 10:42 am
I don't have a set list of favorites, so I'll just run through them chronologically:
Dalek Invasion of Earth
Carnival of Monsters
Planet of Evil
Brain of Morbius
Face of Evil
Keeper of Traken
Delta and the Bannermen
Remembrance of the Daleks
Curse of Fenric
Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways
Planet of the Ood
Pandorica Opens/Big Bang
Bells of St. John
Name of the Doctor
November 23, 2013 @ 12:15 pm
Better that this kind of restoration was performed on a story where no episodes exist, that way you won't find yourself comparing the one remaining broadcast quality ep with the substandard rest.
Anyway, no matter how fuzzy, it's got to be better than just the recon.
Oh and the Cinema version was splendid. A true celebration of 50 years and a lot of fun. With a couple of nice surprises for fans that were kept very quiet!
November 23, 2013 @ 1:01 pm
The Mind Robber
The War Games
Genesis of the Daleks
The Brain of Morbius
The Deadly Assassin
The Robots of Death
The Sun Makers
The Ribos Operation
The Androids of Tara
City of Death
The Horns of Nimon
State of Decay
The Keeper of Traken
The Caves of Androzani
Remembrance of the Daleks
The Happiness Patrol
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
The Curse of Fenric
The Chimes of Midnight
Doctor Who And The Pirates, Or, The Lass Who Lost A Sailor
The End of the World
The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
The Eleventh Hour
Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone
The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
The Doctor’s Wife
The Name of the Doctor
Night of the Doctor
November 23, 2013 @ 1:53 pm
My list is here, though I wrote it before today's episode, which would assuredly make #51. http://www.thiel-a-vision.com/?p=8631
November 23, 2013 @ 3:41 pm
I wrote a thing today about the serials that I feel best show off what the Classic Series was best at aimed at people who maybe only know Doctor Who from the New Series:
November 23, 2013 @ 4:44 pm
You should do a TARDIS Eruditorum book for the Hurt Doctor, Phil. I love the idea of one book with a single "Time Can Be Rewritten Post", and a bunch of Pop Between Realities posts. 😛
November 23, 2013 @ 6:13 pm
Well, that was neat.
November 23, 2013 @ 6:17 pm
I thought it was Okay. Just okay..
November 23, 2013 @ 8:26 pm
Here's mine. I'm not considering Day of the Doctor yet, because I insist on having some time to let my feelings on a new episode settle. At the moment it would probably win up somewhere in the bottom half of the first ten, though:
Power of the Daleks
The Happiness Patrol
The Stolen Earth/Journey's End
The City of Death
Remembrance of the Daleks
Love and Monsters
The Mind Robber
Carnival of Monsters
The Ark in Space
The Girl in the Fireplace
The Talons of Weng-Chiang
The God Complex
The Curse of Fenric
The Doctor's Wife
A Storm of Angels
The War Games
The Marian Conspiracy
The Romance of Crime
The Banquo Legacy
The Crimson Horror
The Fires of Pompeii
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
The Left-Handed Hummingbird
The Name of the Doctor
The Also People
Protect and Survive
The War Machines
Doctor Who and the Pirates
Nightmare of Eden
The Daleks' Master Plan
The One Doctor
November 23, 2013 @ 11:01 pm
Huh. It should have been compared to an auton's.
November 23, 2013 @ 11:17 pm
I've been on an anniversary binge the last couple of days – heard The Light at the End on Friday, then episode one of The Beginning Saturday morning, will hear episode two later today (all for the first time) – and The Day of the Doctor fitted right in with that. It's all nostalgic, backward-looking event stuff, so I don't expect quite the same from it as I would regular TV (or audios). I'm the same with Christmas specials, which follow different rules again.
Watched in that light, I thought it was great – not frantically rushed, not overly complicated, which were the two things I most fear from a Steven Moffat script. Me and the children thoroughly enjoyed it (my wife was on a night shift, so will have to catch up later).
I'll leave further comment until everyone has had a chance to see it and I've had a chance to let it sink in.
November 24, 2013 @ 1:29 am
I love the way "The Day of the Doctor" tries to defeat the fan tendency toward list-making and categorisation by muddying even the apparently simple question of Doctor-numbering. "How many Doctors have there been?", "Which Doctor did Tom Baker play?". "Um, well, it's complicated…"!
November 24, 2013 @ 3:15 am
I think I'd really enjoy some humble pie. Oh wait, you used capital letters. Do you mean that white blues band? Ugh… fine, as long as we get more restored Who.
November 24, 2013 @ 3:39 am
I seem to spend all my time thanking you, Phil… but thanks again. Much appreciated.
November 24, 2013 @ 4:26 am
I enjoyed it a lot while watching, was faintly disappointed afterwards, and am now still thinking about it. I think that means it was probably rather good.
Has Moffat been reading John Rawls?
November 24, 2013 @ 5:17 am
I thought it was really great. Not perfect,but with some absolutely beautiful moments that really properly celebrated what the show was towards the end (I will admit to crying at the brief second or so of Patrick Troughton) and all the "well I was not expecting THAT" bits worked really well (the doctor regenerating back into Tom Baker at some point and Peter Capaldi's cameo were particularly well received at the cinema I was in).
That said, I'd purposefully tried to avoid any spoilers, interviews and general hype, so I'm not sure what other people were expecting or whether stuff like Tom Baker was leaked.
November 24, 2013 @ 5:21 am
Also, side note and a long shot:
A big hello to anyone that was at the Manchester Disbury cineworld showing! I was the guy dressed as Matt Smith (and have been told many many times that I look eerily similar to him: one kid actually asked me whether I was him.) I particularly enjoyed the man dressed as Patrick Troughton and the staff giving out jelly babies on the way in. Just thought I'd say thank you for the great atmosphere and the quiet children.
And to the guy afterwards ranting about the "I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman…" line and how only Steven Moffat could come up with something so sickening; it was paraphrasing a really famous quote from Queen Elizabeth that most writers would have referenced and you're a prat.
November 24, 2013 @ 5:23 am
Was that really the Doctor? He seemed like such a nice old man…
November 24, 2013 @ 5:32 am
Except that in the end, it said 'Nah, John Hurt counts, everyone moves down one and we still have a nice consistent timeline, also no one remembers this so all the continuity from 'Rose' through 'The Name of the Doctor' still works out fine'
Also, all that "Gallifrey Stands"/"Gallifrey Falls" stuff boils down to "Gallifrey Ducked"
But hey, at least we managed to turn Doctor Who into a campbell-style Hero's Never-Ending Quest To Find His Lost Home; the show really needed that.
November 24, 2013 @ 6:17 am
Has Moffat been reading John Rawls?
I was waiting for a character to drop the phrase "veil of ignorance"…
November 24, 2013 @ 7:16 am
"Never-ending quest to find lost home" isn't a Campbell trope.
November 24, 2013 @ 7:17 am
He's the Curator from "Summer Falls," the children's book written by Amelia Williams that appeared in Bells of Saint John.
November 24, 2013 @ 7:53 am
Queenie: "I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of A CONCRETE ELEPHANT!"
[Blackadder – Beer]
November 24, 2013 @ 8:55 am
A big hello to anyone that was at the Manchester Disbury cineworld showing!
I was at that screening. I agree it was lovely that the cinema were giving out jelly babies at the entrance, though they somewhat lost my goodwill later by screening the first five minutes of the special with the 3D effect turned off…
November 24, 2013 @ 11:46 am
It did feel a bit Campbellian to me, when I saw it. Or rather, to be accurate, it felt a bit cliched on first watching. On second viewing, tonight, I felt like the Doctor was being offered a chance to find his lost home which he may or may not take, or for that matter, has or has not been taking all his life. That's a little more ambiguous, and I can take it on those terms.
I do worry about Gallifrey exerting too much gravity in the wake of this story, though. Making the show "about" Gallifrey would surely be a mistake, although I find it hard to articulate exactly why.
November 24, 2013 @ 12:08 pm
(Mild Spoilers ahead)
At a whim, and having met a friend earlier that day who is a fan, I went to the 930 3D presentation at the local flicks. Pretty good, a lovely family atmosphere although the youngest kids were in the earlier showing. And there were some nice bits of bonus material such as Strax threatening the might of the Sontaran Empire on upon anyone whose phone rang or who talked loudly.
I'm not a huge fan of 3D in general. I don't think it really added a great deal to the story but it wasn't offensive.
The continuity references were all around, but not at garyrussellian levels. Did you notice the chairman of the board of governors at Coal Hill? "You've redecorated? I don't like it", "Never cruel or cowardly". The overcompensating sonic screwdriver, the locked door routine (which wasn't as gratuitous as it first appeared). Osgood and the scarf.
I don't think the Zygons really worked for me, as there wasn't a proper resolution to the subplot – it felt like something was lost in the edit.
When Tom Baker made an appearance, you could actually feel the smile across the auditorium. Lovely stuff. And there was a gasp at the appearance of Capaldi's eyes. Incidentally, it clear that Gallifrey High Command are NOT fans; when all those TARDISs turned up you can imagine them muttering "Rassilon Help Us".
But these are minor gripes. For entertainment value, top notch. Lots to analyse!
November 24, 2013 @ 3:54 pm
If you haven't seen the Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, you should. It's… you know what you should probably just watch it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m3kfy
November 24, 2013 @ 3:54 pm
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November 24, 2013 @ 3:56 pm
Dave beat me to it by seconds. Lovely wonderful stuff. I hope that is a bonus feature on the DVD of the special.
November 24, 2013 @ 6:35 pm
BBC Cyrmu Wales: Meta-Fanwank Division. So good. Also I'll take the fact that Sir Ian appeared as a guest spot confirmation for next season.
November 24, 2013 @ 7:07 pm
But it isn't about Gallifrey. None of it is. It's about the Doctor. It was about what destroying Gallifrey did to him. Now, it's become about what saving it means. And I have a strong suspicion that it's also about why he left, and what he's been running from all his life. Now, he has a place to run towards, not away from, and that in itself implies a shift in how the character will function. Can he go home again? And what's become of his family? I can't help but wonder what Clara made of Susan's UNIT profile.
November 24, 2013 @ 7:14 pm
Arguably better than the official episode! Peter Davison' Doctor isn't my favorite, but he's rapidly becoming my favorite former Doctor.
November 24, 2013 @ 9:52 pm
Except that in the end, it said 'Nah, John Hurt counts, everyone moves down one
I'll just point you towards a couple of dozen lengthy "is John Hurt the ninth Doctor?" debates currently going on on Gallifrey Base.
Doctor numbering, it's the new UNIT dating…
November 24, 2013 @ 11:51 pm
Thankfully I have forcefully exiled myself from Gallifrey Base as it was a drug that was ruining my life and giving me ulcers. How is the dear old place?
November 25, 2013 @ 12:21 am
This was truly a labour of fan-love on Moffat's part. Extra bonus points for the TARDISes at the end not just being multiple CGI copies of Smith's – eagle eyes at the Tardis Builders forum have spotted Jon Pertwee's modified Brachaki model and Tom Baker's short-lived Barry Newbery prop.
And what about UNIT scientist Osgood? Just a coincidence or possibly intended to be a relative/granddaughter of technical Sgt Tom Osgood from The Daemons?
November 25, 2013 @ 1:51 am
When it comes to finding Gallifrey Moffat did everything he needed to do to hide a shaggy dog in plain sight.
November 25, 2013 @ 2:07 am
Potted highlights of my Doctor Who weekend in England:
Friday – this blog post on Tor featuring me drinking 11 Who-themed cocktails goes up: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/11/doctor-who-50th-anniversary-cocktails-tasting-notes
Saturday – accidentally talking about our introductions to Who over breakfast with three other people without even thinking of the anniversary. Geof Darrow having Shaolin Cowboy vs Dalek, and Tennant/Smith/Shaolin Cowboy drawings for sale t Thought Bubble ("I'm shamelessly whorish!"). realising I was standing next to Paul Cornell and wishing him a happy Doctor Who Day. recognising a random person as Abigail Brady by her avatar in the Eruditorum comments, saying hello, and being rewarded with a 7/Ace ficzine. seeing the 50th in giant screen 3D with a happy mainstream audience, and it being glorious. running into the founders of a Who Livejournal community in the aisle and chatting about the episode in a burrito bar. getting to a giant party and swapping impressions with various friends who'd insisted on watching it alone instead of communally, then dancing til the booze ran out.
Sunday – the TARDIS cosplayer attempting to have a wazz in the urinals at TB. going by Andrew Hickey's table just to ask if his blackened, Moffat-era-hating heart had been able to enjoy the special.
And I've still got Adventure In Space And Time and The Five-ish Doctors to get to, next week sometime. And possibly the Radiophonic Workshop to go see tonight. It's been a good week. (Starting with a Waris Hussein Q&A last Sunday, then standing beside him for a staged recreation of An Unearthly Child…)
November 25, 2013 @ 2:11 am
Also, not necessarily a highlight, but freakishly notable: on each of the three days, a different person raised Lawrence Mi1es in conversation with me.
November 25, 2013 @ 3:48 am
I wonder if we can advance a case that Moffat is now firmly prejudiced against people with asthma? As in the "why do I always get the defective one" line. Presumably she has less than perfect eyesight too. Imagine the outcry if the line had been "why do I always get to be the stupid female" or some remark about weight or skin tone.
[Ducks – I am not being too serious]
And if the Zygon Osgood was able to replicate her scarf and spectacles, how come she had to demand the original's inhaler? Didn't she/it replicate her/its own? The answer, of course, is that it made a better story.
November 25, 2013 @ 4:02 am
Inasmuch as Alien Bodies and the like prefigure the Time War, in some form, I suppose that's understandable. But I can't help thinking that if Miles were involved in something like this, he'd have come up with some more inventive (but impractical) way of representing Daleks invading Gallifrey than flying saucers and ray guns. I don't mind them, but it did feel a bit odd that the final assault of a TIME war should feel like the weapons and effects were more "Star Trek". Miles in AB alluded to Time Lords and "The Enemy" using time as a weapon, sealing off great chunks of Gallifrey's past and so on. There's not a lot of that here on display in DotD. The three doctors warn each other that they shouldn't be together for long, or that the hut in the desert would normally be timelocked. but Gallifrey is under attack from cyborgs with lasers.
If Gallifrey were to be under a final assault from a massively powerful time-active enemy, I'd think of them as being attacked by something more abstract like new ideas, or systems of belief. Which would make a rotten movie, of course, and would be most unlike Daleks who are not known for originality.
Actually, that's the only bit of the Ancestor Cell that I liked – as Gallifrey gradually fell to whatever-it-was, its past was progressively eroded away as the number of sides of the panopticon were retconned away. with only Fitz having an awareness of it.
Miles, predictably, appears to have hated the special, and An Adventure In Time And Space.
November 25, 2013 @ 4:19 am
Agreed that DotD was primarily about the Doctor's reaction to destroying Gallifrey, not Gallifrey itself. My point is that if Gallifrey were to begin exerting excessive narrative weight in future stories, it would be a retrograde step IMO. I agree it would be a shift, but not one that I would personally welcome.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:09 am
"He's the Curator from "Summer Falls," the children's book written by Amelia Williams that appeared in Bells of Saint John."
November 25, 2013 @ 7:27 am
I don't think the show should be about Gallifrey OR the Doctor. It should be about the places the Doctor goes, or maybe at a stretch about the companions. Anything else and the show curtails its own lifespan.
My own favorites lists and commentary are all here: http://encyclops.com/tag/50th-anniversary/
I'm sure they'll change over time, but as not-terrible as Day of the Doctor was, it's never going to crack the top 50.
November 25, 2013 @ 8:43 am
I don't even comment here very much, really…
November 25, 2013 @ 9:00 am
Actually I think this represents Miles War in Heaven better than he'd like. In the Book of the War, it mentions that certain waves of house (time lord) troops mark use of Burlesque technologies. Mundane things like energy weapons. Just like we saw. The higher form weapons (Conceptual Entities, You Protocols) are invisible to use and can't be used on screen. Exactly like the Moment is.
Also: Am I the only one who doesn't see how this conflicts with "The End of Time"?
November 25, 2013 @ 9:08 am
Yeah, I kind of lost track of whether Gallifrey was supposed to have burned (been completely destroyed) or been locked in/away from time somehow (held in stasis?) or what. I'm assuming that "The End of Time" is now / was always about them trying to escape from…the painting? I'm still confused, I think.
November 25, 2013 @ 10:07 am
As I understand it, while the “Day of the Doctor” is occurring Rassilon and the High Council are attempting to escape the Time War, as they believe themselves to be doomed. They open a link to the Master’s mind and come through. They are defeated and Gallifrey is sent back. This is unchanged. The Time Lock prevents them from leaving the War. Meanwhile, the soldiers fighting the war are still in the line of fire. The people on Gallifrey, are still in the line of fire. The plan of the High Council doesn’t work and so people are still being slaughtered. The Doctor’s shunt Gallifrey into a single moment in time, functionally an alternate universe rather than being forced to deploy the Moment. Depending on interpretation Gallifrey is either frozen in time somewhere waiting to be moved back into the regular flow of time, or in an alternate universe/hidden, waiting to reveal themselves to the cosmos.
November 25, 2013 @ 11:44 am
The Gallifrey we see here isn't obviously the 'almost as bad as the daleks' Gallifrey of End of Time / Night of the Doctor. It's not mentioned as a factor in the moral decision the Doctor makes.
November 25, 2013 @ 12:10 pm
The High Council certainly is.
November 25, 2013 @ 2:51 pm
We rewatched the TV recording tonight, since the wife (having the trots) hadn't gone to the 3D showing with us. Surprisingly this was only the 2nd viewing for me, but I did pick up on the idea that Gallifrey had been saved, even though everyone (from the 9th Doctor onwards) still thought it had been destroyed. In fact I take my hat off to Moffat for making everything so utterly watertight. You can now argue that from 2005 onwards, Gallifrey actually still existed, lost somewhere in time, but we all thought it had burned. It doesn't make a blind bit of difference to anything that happened in the last 7 years – it all still counts. This isn't a retcon, it's a revelation. Something we've only just found out about always happened that way. It doesn't alter anything one jot – the Doctor's anguish and misery at being alone, and the events of The End of Time.
However it does mean that whenever the Doctor does find Gallifrey…he'll find the Master too. Well done Moffat!
November 25, 2013 @ 3:45 pm
In both The End of Time and Night of the Doctor, we're presented with the idea that the war is, essentially, over either way; this is the final onslaught. The Time Lords have all fallen back to Gallifrey, the Daleks are all in orbit, Rassilon is ready to destroy corporeal existence altogether (They've got a weapon that does that which they haven't used yet. But the One Big Forbidden Weapon That Even In Our Desperation We Wouldn't Use is a galaxy-busting bomb.). The Time War is over — the universe was "very nearly over" when the eigth Doctor regenerated, despite him having aged visibly during his involvement. The Doctor's final act is taken to stop the Time Lords from taking the universe down with it.
Day of the Doctor says no, actually the war could have gone on an indefinite amount of time, but the Warlock was so horrified by the Fall of Arcadia that he decided the war must be stopped here and now, no matter the consequences.
It's hard for me to explain just how disappointed I was in Day of the Doctor. I basically really needed this to be fantastic, and it was… Okay I guess. I mean, it's competent. It's thematically and structurally sound at the same time — two things that RTD never managed to achieve simultaneously. It's a perfectly good story, with solid parallel structure between the "A" and "B" plots, all the resolutions evolve organically and are clued ahead. If this had been the season finale for season 8, I'd have few enough qualms about it. I'd forgive the twist being "Gallifrey Ducked", I'd overlook the way that it stupids-up the time war, and I'd grit my teeth at the whole "Now the Doctor is on a quest to find his long-lost home" plot, and I'd declare it the third or fourth best season finale.
But it's not. It's the fiftieth anniversary extravaganza. Season 8 is not happening this year. This is 50% of this season's Doctor Who. I have been waiting for this all year — hell, I have been waiting for this for most of my life. This is getting a letter opener for christmas. (My parents gave me a letter opener for christmas one year. It was a very nice letter opener. If it's the thought that counts, the thought behind that was quite clearly "Oh shit, we forgot to get our only son a christmas present. What can we get on a sunday night that's about $100? Oh, this place has gold-plated letter openers.").
All that fun speculating, all that reminiscing over 50 years of TV history? And the payoff is: "Congratulations on wasting your time looking forward to this! Ha! Not a god damned word said before Night of the Doctor is at all relevant! Here's the least interesting thing it could possibly have been!"
Right now, I kinda wish I wasn't so invested in Doctor Who so I could just walk away. It's become something like CSI where I'm gonna watch it, but I kinda wish they'd just cancel it so I can have that extra hour back, because any time I spend thinking about Doctor Who when it's not actually on the air is time wasted that will give me no joy.
Day of the Doctor has, at least for the moment, ruined Doctor Who for me. This was something I was looking forward to sharing with my child, but how can I do that now? How can I encourage him to invest himself in this when the payoff is gonna be "A competently made episode that is fairly good but doesn't amount to anything spectacular"? I don't even especially care if I see the christmas special now; it's just going to be another "Perfectly okay story that isn't anything special or spectacular."
(And since Amazon won't let you go back in time and retroactively not have added a bunch of Doctor Who stuff to your wish list, Day of the Doctor has also preemptively ruined my christmas.)
November 25, 2013 @ 4:10 pm
But it's not. It's the fiftieth anniversary extravaganza.
So really, all it had to do was be better than The Five Doctors and Dimensions in Time.
November 25, 2013 @ 4:47 pm
"Oh shit, we forgot to get our only son a christmas present. What can we get on a sunday night that's about $100?
Jeez, man. One can see why you get so offended about an episode of TV not being exactly how you imagined it.
November 25, 2013 @ 5:34 pm
Ross, what part of "Day of the Doctor" makes it look like the war could have gone on for some time? It explicitly calls it "The Last Day of the Time War". Also doesn't the ending imply he can find Gallifrey if he wants to but that's up to the Doctor.
November 25, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
Well I went into the cinema with Who-butterflies in my stomach (something I haven't had for decades) and came out 80 minutes later feeling elated and uplifted, surround by people who had laughed, gasped, cheered and applauded. My 15-year old son looked at me, grinned, said "Who-gasm!" and we continually talked about it on the way home.
He now tells me that everyone at his school is going on about it.
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it, Ross, and I'm sorry it ruined your Christmas. I hope it's some small consolation to you that I and my children loved it, I haven't met anyone who didn't enjoy it, and I hope someone does pick "Day of the Doctor" from my Christmas list. So in that respect it wasn't a complete failure on the BBC's part.
November 26, 2013 @ 12:23 am
It's hard for me to explain just how disappointed I was in Day of the Doctor. I basically really needed this to be fantastic … I have been waiting for this all year — hell, I have been waiting for this for most of my life.
I think you have to ask yourself whether any television programme could possibly live up to this level of expectation.
November 26, 2013 @ 6:16 am
I know you're joking, but it's funny how people assume the mean and nasty things villains say and do are actual opinions held or actions endorsed by the actual writer. Maybe the Zygons think people with asthma are defective because…they're jerks!
As for the scarf and spectacles, both are visible at replication time, but the inhaler isn't. You might then argue that if the Zygon can't see the back of the lab coat, it doesn't know what that should look like either, to which my reply would be…what's that shiny thing over there? ::cloud of dust::
November 26, 2013 @ 6:27 am
This isn't too far off from how I felt about every season of New Who for a while…I kept going "you have an amazing cast and a budget and the license to be funny and interesting and layered and cool! Why is it not 'City of Death' every week? And instead you're doing shit like [insert name of the story that just aired]?" I had the same "I don't want to care about this so much" feeling numerous times before I calibrated my expectations. In fact, I had it a couple of times during the McCoy era, and after the McGann movie, and BIG time after reading Lungbarrow. I don't think it's healthy or reasonable for us to feel that way, but sometimes it's hard not to.
So I get where Ross is coming from, though I enjoyed the special more than he did, and I think Jesse has succinctly explained the best point of view to take: it just had to be better than (at least as good as) "The Five Doctors," and IMO it absolutely was.
November 26, 2013 @ 7:27 am
And it's twice as good as "Silver Nemesis."
November 26, 2013 @ 7:40 am
They did exactly the same at my theatre in South Miami last night! Grr.
November 27, 2013 @ 12:48 pm
I liked Osgood and !Osgood's "what happens if I lose a shoe?" exchange about the clothes being part of the Zygons bodily disguise, as they could obviously then tell the others to try and take their shoes/clothes off to reveal who is and is not a Zygon – but the sharing of the inhaler shows that both Osgood and !Osgood have no intention of spoiling this opportunity for a peaceful resolution.
Very nicely handled.
November 27, 2013 @ 12:57 pm
Indeed – he only got a gift covered in gold. First World Problems.
December 4, 2013 @ 2:26 pm
My sentiments exactly, Ross. At this point I'm contemplateing on taking a hiatus from NuWho until Moffat leaves.
January 2, 2014 @ 7:58 pm
Just to say (rather late, of course), that any interpretation which relies on "Day of the Doctor" being inconsistent with "Night of the Doctor," which was written by the same person as a specific tie in to what he had, most likely, already done in "Day of the Doctor," is probably deeply flawed. I can see the argument that this episode was inconsistent with "End of Time," but the idea that it was inconsistent with "Night of the Doctor" seems faintly ridiculous.
January 3, 2014 @ 12:14 pm
That would be true if Moffat could be safely assumed to be a competent writer. Given that in Time of the Doctor, the Doctor tells an outright lie five minutes to either side of the plot hinging on the fact that the Doctor absolutely can not lie in Christmas, this may not be a safe assumption.
January 4, 2014 @ 4:38 pm
There's no particular reason to assume the truth field would affect the inside of the TARDIS, assuming that's what you meant.
January 4, 2014 @ 4:44 pm
He wasn't in the TARDIS when he told the kid that he had a plan and then ten seconds later admitted that he didn't.