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There is one other thing about Doc not taking a soldier along: divided loyalties.

As a soldier, Journey has a loyalty oath to the authority that empowered her to carry arms on its behalf. The Doctor, being an independent agent, is fully aware that he may be going into situations where a companion who answers to another authority could be compromised. (The only reason why UNIT could be exempted is because, during his tenure with them, the Doctor wasn't going anywhere.)

6 hours, 19 minutes ago on Into the Dalek Review

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I'm not fond of the new "oo-eee-oooo" bit; it sounds too much like it's coming out of a synthesizer.

What I liked about Series 1-4 is that they kept the original Derbyshire BBCRW "oo-eee-oooo" track, the original that went from Hartnell to T. Baker's first six seasons. The key to the original's appeal is that it *could not* be reproduced by today's keyboard synthesizers, as was demonstrated at the 2013 BBC Proms. The original, being mixed in studio, had a more ethereal quality and thus was more alien. 

Series 5-7 was more synthesized, but they made it slightly more echo-ey in a bid to recapture that etherealness. I also wasn't bothered by the 5-7 counterpoint; it was more bombastic and swashbuckling, reflecting the energy of the Smith Doctor.

4 days, 12 hours ago on Examining Series 8′s New Title Sequence

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Eleventh Hour. It had the harder job of selling a new Doctor, a new Companion, new production people and a new direction for the series. it succeeded brilliantly.

5 days, 7 hours ago on Face-Off: The Eleventh Hour vs Deep Breath

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The "tragic villain" -- honestly we don't get too many of those in DW, the last one I can recall is Julian Glover's Count Scarlioni in City of Death.

5 days, 9 hours ago on Ferdinando on the Possible Return of Half-Face

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No, not really. It's something that Rose, or Sarah, or the Brigadier would have done: test the companion's loyalty because of the fact of regeneration. Like anyone familiar with the process, Vastra knows that the Doctor is still the Doctor no matter what face he wears or what manners he acquires; she also knows that being rejected by a companion could have disastrous effects on the Doctor's psyche during the recuperation phase.

5 days, 12 hours ago on Deep Breath: The Very Best of Clara Oswald

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Actually, given the premise, I'm going to see if I can spot any "Robin Hood Daffy" references. Or something from "Maid Marian."

6 days, 6 hours ago on Robot of Sherwood BBC Synopsis

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@KingoftheOod4450 Unless the Tardis had a default setting WRT its force field: "If encapsulated by giant living creature and unable to disengage, do not let it die in time vortex" or some such condition.

1 week ago on Sciencey Wiencey: Deep Breath

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@TomLong2 Eleventh Hour. As good as Deep Breath is, it's not really as self-contained as Matt Smith's full-on debut. That, and Amy's introduction is funnier and fuller than Clara's performance here -- but then Clara's function in this episode is different from Amy's, so it's not a fair comparison.

1 week ago on Rate & Discuss Deep Breath

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My own explanation: while Clara does vaguely remember meeting most of the Doctor's past incarnations (and saving their lives in the process), she was never present during any of the post-regeneration recuperation periods. Consequently, she's seeing a side of the Doctor that frightens and frustrates her, and also getting the worry that this behaviour isn't temporary.

1 week ago on Deep Breath Review

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Honestly? I think it's ultimately useless to decide whether or not the Doctor killed him. Not now, anyway.


He had several good reasons *not* to kill him. For one thing, the Half-Face Man is a unique life-form because of his assembling of body parts. For another, unlike the Daleks HFM isn't motivated by hate or monetary gain, but by the need to survive, putting him closer to the stingrays of Planet of the Dead than to Solomon the trader.


Future episodes will likely feature the Doctor making similar decisions vis-a-vis his opponents, and each one is meant (like this one) to force him to confront the question: is this Doctor a good man? Does removal of the knowledge that he committed genocide have an effect on the moral authority of the current Doctor, as the existence of said knowledge did on his three predecessors?

1 week, 1 day ago on Whodunnit? The Fate of the Half-Face Man

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It's important to remember the primary purpose of the Paternosters: they help to illuminate and add to the Doctor's backstory.

We do not know the events that put Vastra and Strax under obligation to the Doctor, but we do know their effects: the Doctor's personality and behaviour impressed them so much that they consider themselves as the Doctor's friends and allies, no matter his personality or appearance. And because of this, they possess knowledge of his past that can be passed along to his traveling companions (and thus the audience) with the audience trusting that information.

That role has tremendous value to the writing crew, when it comes to shaping the current Doctor's characterization. We have characters who react from a different viewpoint to the companions; and they can also illuminate the relationship between the companions and the Doctor by challenging the companion's firsthand knowledge and conclusions.

1 week, 1 day ago on The Future of the Paternoster Gang

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@TheOncomingHurricane Because they don't have a broadcast-quality copy of the track for the new theme yet?

1 week, 1 day ago on Next Time: Into The Dalek

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Remember that Moffat defined Vastra as the equivalent of Sherlock Holmes. Reimagine the scene with Benedict Cumberbatch in a dress and it makes better sense.

1 week, 1 day ago on Rate & Discuss Deep Breath

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My problem with the title sequence is the orchestration of the main theme. I maintain that the use of the original synthesized main melody track (1963-1980) should be mandatory; it worked so well in the Eccleston/Tennant eras, so why not keep it?

1 week, 1 day ago on Rate & Discuss Deep Breath

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It does explain why there are bookshelves in the Tardis control room.

1 week, 1 day ago on Rate & Discuss Deep Breath

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Did anyone else get the impression that the Vastra / Jenny scenes were just "Moffat's trying out some stuff to use in Sherlock Series 4"?

1 week, 1 day ago on Rate & Discuss Deep Breath

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The horror of the situation is a bit more than you might think.

Consider that, as a robot rebuilding himself over the centuries with organic parts, the Half-Face Man not only lost his original self. He may have accidentally incarnated himself as a unique, original life form.

This is one of the reasons why the Doctor is so horrified. Did you note the restrained performance when he brought up the broom analogy? I got the impression that he was also trying to convince *himself* that the Half-Face Man was still functionally an automaton (and therefore killing him would not be murder), and failing.

1 week, 1 day ago on Rate & Discuss Deep Breath

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Well, I suppose *saying* "question" is better than actually *wearing* one.

1 week, 2 days ago on Rate & Discuss Deep Breath

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There is one backstory question that I wonder if people are asking.


It would seem that Madame Vastra is familiar with regeneration. More to the point, it's strongly implied that she was around to help the Doctor recuperate from one of them.


Which raises the question: which one? The War Doctor, or Chris Ecclestone's?

1 week, 2 days ago on Rate & Discuss Deep Breath

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"You look at me and you can't see me. Do you know what that's like?"


I reckon with that one line, Moffat has got most of the teenaged / young adult viewers hooked, or at least nodding in sympathy.

1 week, 2 days ago on 12 Great Moments From Deep Breath

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I think of this as one final bit of character behaviour to close out the Matt Smith Doctor's story.


Moffat's always liked to experiment with non-linear storytelling, and I think it is necessary given the starker contrast between the Smith and Capaldi Doctors to reassure the more generalized fans that they are the same character by having a poke from the past.


Furthermore, there haven't been that many "companion transfer reaction" story cues that have been done that well. Ben and Polly's reactions were the first, and being the first they may have been a bit dry (it's hard to say since this is one of the "lost" stories.) Pertwee didn't get one because the Brigadier and UNIT staff weren't yet regular traveling companions. Tom Baker did get a good one, mainly because it was already established that UNIT knew how regeneration worked and what could happen to the Doctor as a result, and so not much time was spent on it.. Davison's was handled pretty well, mainly because there were three companions to show the confusion and Davison chose to mimic a few of the previous Doctors, establishing the continuity. Colin Baker's and McCoy's were done poorly, mainly because both had fresh companions from their predecessors' final storylines. Tennant's was handled pretty decently, while Smith didn't get one because of the complete production cast and crew change.

1 week, 2 days ago on Moffat on THAT Deep Breath Cameo

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My own opinion of Missy? If she's not an original character, then she must be (wait for it) ... one of the Guardians.

The Guardians of the Key to Time arc are pretty much the closest the show's come to having an original cosmology (the traditional ones like Demons, etc, tend to be "scientific" re-interpretations or dramatic corruptions). So for a being to yank in a freshly-dead enemy from the afterlife, not to mention consort with Cyberfolks with nothing more than a laugh, means someone so supremely self-confident in their powers that they can have the personality to serve a "higher function." That's the Guardians to a G.

1 week, 2 days ago on 12 Great Moments From Deep Breath

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Donna Noble. Gotta be.

1 week, 4 days ago on Moffat Teases “Major Foe” For Series 8

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@Xaven No, it sounds more like Jenna has discovered her inner Jack Nicholson.

Fan: "I want the truth!"

Jenna: "You can't handle the truth!"

1 week, 4 days ago on Coleman on Exit Rumours: “I don’t want to tell you the truth”

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You want Strax as a regular companion, then?

Seriously, though, the closest we'd get to having a soldier on board the Tardis would be that female UNIT captain from "Planet of the Dead" being conscripted by Kate Stewart to babysit a reluctant Doctor. You'd get a superficial tension, but it'd be hampered by one major thing:

None of the writing staff have military "life experience." That means you run the risk of the Captain turning into a parody or caricature, much to the consternation of those viewers who *do* happen to have a military career.

1 week, 5 days ago on Capaldi on Coleman Leaving Rumours

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Which is why Osgood *won't* be a regular companion. She's essentially the writers' commentary on the fanbase, and to dwell on the fanbase's particular foibles would be too exhausting for a storytelling device.

1 week, 5 days ago on Capaldi on Coleman Leaving Rumours

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@Doctor When Actually the paper tells you what its holder *needs* you to see. 2 days is just fine.

1 week, 5 days ago on Series 8: 2 Days Teaser

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@ Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey He also used it in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, to get the alert from the Indian Space Agency, as well as that wooden puppet episode when he got alerted to do a house call.

1 week, 5 days ago on Series 8: 2 Days Teaser

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I think we're more likely to see "guest star" deaths of the Horror of Fang Rock variety, i.e. show enough of the character that you care about them, and then bang they're all gone.

And to the more bloodthirsty of the fans out there, companion deaths in the TV series are the exception rather than the rule. I fully expect Clara and Mr. Pink, the character, to walk away from the Doctor at the end of the Christmas special instead of being burned in a pyre.

1 week, 5 days ago on Moffat on Death: “There are dark times ahead”

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"Robot of Sherwood" -- Now I *know* that Gatiss and Moffat watch Looney Tunes. I'm gonna keep an eye out for "Robin Hood Daffy" tributes.

1 week, 6 days ago on Details on Series 8′s First Four Episodes

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Oh, you didn't catch the reference? "Fantastic Voyage" was a 1966 movie in which a team of scientists got shrunk to microscopic size in order to take care of a blood clot inside a patient's brain.

1 week, 6 days ago on Moffat Previews Series 8 in Radio Times

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I'm just remembering this comment from CA on Mock the Week, from Scenes We'd Never See on Doctor Who:

"Yes, I hang around mainly with much younger women. Yes, I was on television during the Seventies. Where are you going with this?"

2 weeks ago on Chris Addison to Guest in Series 8 Finale

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There is one advantage that Moffat enjoys that JNT didn't: the BBC's tacit acknowledgement that DW is a cash cow for the network. This means they're less likely to try to cut its budget as they did during the JNT era, and since Moffat is not a one-trick pony (due to successes with other TV shows), they're more likely to give him some latitude for experimentation.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Is Doctor Who History Repeating Itself?

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Um ...reality alert here?

Capaldi's longevity as the Doctor does not depend on his health, his age, or the demands for his services as an actor.

It depends on the ratings.

It's not enough that he capture the hearts of the core fandom. He (and the stories he's in) also have to capture a good chunk of the general viewing audience.

And a lot can happen that could affect those viewing numbers. A popular show could be scheduled against them (e.g. Dave re-running Sherlock or Bake-off). Restrictions on online platforms like iPlayer could be loosened. A technician's strike might delay program delivery. And I know it sounds unfair, but the show's expected to overcome *all* such adversity.

If Series 8's ratings drop significantly and follow a severe downward trend ... well, as unfair as this may sound, executives will blame the ratings drop on the casting of Capaldi, as being too radical a departure from Tennant and Smith.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Capaldi Unclear on Series 9 Return

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@Undiscovered Adventure Oh sure. Let Series 9 start with Clara Oswald's funeral, Clara having died of extreme old age.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Coleman on Clara and Danny in Series 8

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@Deus_Ex_Machina Suuuuuuure she did. Married a woman named Harry Watson. Gave her a mobile phone. Harry drank. It didn't work out. ;)

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Coleman on Clara and Danny in Series 8

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@Antee991166 Lasagne: layers upon layers upon layers ... into the Dalek's psyche.

And let's face it: if Phil Ford gave the clue "Layer Cake" we'd be looking for a cameo from Daniel Craig.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Into The Dalek BBC Synopsis

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BTW - is anyone else looking forward to seeing a Tarantino / Reservoir Dogs reference when Danny Pink is introduced?

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Coleman on Clara and Danny in Series 8

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@Venawesomeo Nope. Not gonna happen.

Using romance is actually a very efficient method for a writer to showcase character development. How does Clara act when she's in love? How does Mr. Pink? How do they fight / treat each other? And how does that affect their relationship with the Doctor?

If Mr. Pink is not boyfriend material, then what motivation can you supply to get him on board the Tardis? If you use professional jealousy, you brand him as a villain. If they're just friends, they'll give each other space for their non-work activities, which means there's no reason for Mr. Pink to inquire further.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Coleman on Clara and Danny in Series 8

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@Ottoman14 One vital difference: Rory knew about the Doctor prior to meeting him (via Amelia's cosplaying during their childhood). I'm expecting Mr. Pink to be in full-on "stranger in a strange land" mode.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Coleman on Clara and Danny in Series 8

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This does sound interesting. Because what if the Doctor takes a "mentor-apprentice/sidekick" relationship with Mr. Pink, as he did with Jamie or Harry Sullivan? Does Clara become jealous of that?

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Coleman on Clara and Danny in Series 8

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Easy. John Watson and his ex-sister-in-law Clara meet up for coffee. They discuss the foibles and frustrations re their companions, Sherlock and Doctor Smith.

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Moffat Would Do ‘Wholock’

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All this means is, none of the writing staff have come up with a plot fiendish and vexing enough to make a good story for The Master.

Also note: "Sorry John Simm." Translation: they're not going to recast the character, i.e. no regeneration. And yes, that's a good thing.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Moffat on Why the Master Won’t Be Back

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Realistically? I'd say about 4 series should be the limit.

First, no actor in Britain today wants to commit to Tom Baker's record. It's not just the risk of typecasting, but the character risks becoming stale once everyone gets used to the portrayal.

Second, there are other projects that Capaldi (or his agent) might want to look forward to. A return to The Musketeers. Work in America. Auditioning for the Doctor Strange movie. And so on.

The role of the Doctor, properly speaking, should only be seen as *a* highlight of a career, not its summit. It's a good way of rapidly advancing an actor on the "B" or "C" list to get within striking distance of the "A," which is what the three previous Doctors are doing.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Capaldi Signed Up For Doctor Who Series 9?

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@tombaker64 Actors tend to be signed on on a "per series" basis. There are also other projects that Capaldi might want to work on -- a recurring role in "The Musketeers," for example.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Capaldi Signed Up For Doctor Who Series 9?

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@SteveWillis They already did that. Check the Green Death Special Edition DVD.

3 weeks, 5 days ago on No 10th Anniversary Special For New Who?

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@Gallade Zero Unless she does a Tegan. I.e. leave at the end of the series, "guest star" for the Special.

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Capaldi & Coleman Back For 2014 Christmas Special

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@The Finn He was on the shortlist for the Eleventh Doctor casting, according to Moffat. My guess is they went with Matt because Peter looks too much like an older version of Tennant.

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Doctor Who World Tour: Cardiff Launch Pics

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I don't mind the idea, with one caveat: I'd prefer to see simulataneous release via a global platform like YouTube rather than a proprietary thing like iPlayer. This is because iPlayer still has this hangup about releasing select TV content to users outside the UK. And of course don't forget the technical issues like video format, HD file size, etc.

I will say that one thing troubles me: the additional online material falls into the same category as the interstitials for specials like Ultimate Guide and Proms: they're good for amplifying character development, but risk having the characters appear flat or inexplicably changed in the main series, for viewers whose habits don't normally include watching online video (due to limited bandwidth, firewall compatibility, etc.)

3 weeks, 6 days ago on Moffat: Big Plans For Future Online Episodes

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The thing to remember about the Tennant and Smith Doctors is that they were written by writing teams whose head writers cut their professional teeth on relationship comedies (Queer as Folk, Coupling). So they couldn't help but bring that mode of thinking into their versions of the Doctor, which meant injecting varying levels of "romantic tension" as a shortcut to establishing the bond between the Doc and his regular companions.

Since Moffat's long-term vision seems to be to revert the current series to the values and worldview of the Classic series, bringing in an older Doctor will help that project along by helping to recreate the "Doctor / Sarah Jane" or "Doctor / Ace" style of relationship. Probably an amalgamation of the two.

3 weeks, 6 days ago on Capaldi Doesn’t Expect to be a Heartthrob Doctor

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