Blog Writer (PopGap), recent college grad, always looking for interesting things to write about.
@Stradiwhovius That it has ranked so low in the wider fandom is absolutely baffling to me...according to one poll it's ahead of exactly two revival episodes, namely Fear Her and Love and Monsters. DO PEOPLE HAVE NO SOUL?
I mean, I get it with the finales, people love setpieces and big moments. And even some of the blander episodes have their defenders. But 3rd from the bottom? How in the hell is that even remotely accurate?
16 hours, 23 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
@SonicTheHedgehogRules Also, hell, if the science is bad in Rings Bells of St. John (sould getting sucked into the Internet via Wi-Fi, a motorcycle riding up the side of a building) must've set your blue spiky hair aflame :P
19 hours, 2 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
@The Lazy Cat Returns! You should probably just leaf that alone...
19 hours, 3 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
@Benvenfold Last year Doctor Who Online did a poll ranking every single Doctor Who episode...Rings was dead last among Eleven's episodes and 215th overall out of 239 episodes at the time.
So I don't really know how it could be "overrated"...
19 hours, 11 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs It makes sense for me because the society subsists on underlying value...in this case, the Doctor's words, his story, represented that value in a big way.
19 hours, 17 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
It's not specifically that it's supposed to be "better", just that it was able to put the Old God over the edge. I never took it as the Doctor "failing", in fact had the Doctor not done what he did the Old God wouldn't have been near full for Clara's leaf to push it over. But the Doctor still offered a finite past, as the Old God consumed directly from him. But the leaf - especially taking into account Clara's impossible nature - represents, as the music puts is, infinite potential, as without that all of those different Claras wouldn't have come out, saved the Doctor, etc. Combining that potential with the Doctor's already expansive history and it's enough to defeat a God.
19 hours, 18 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs Hey me too! Though it gets better for me a bit later than you...
19 hours, 23 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs Finally got a chance to use that line, well done :P
19 hours, 52 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
@SonicTheHedgehogRules The breathing is simple, and something we've seen tons of times before...just like when Amy is floating in space outside in "The Beast Below", the Doctor presumably extended the TARDIS' air shell. We also saw him extend an air corridor to River in "The Time of Angels". I daresay they don't have to say that every time for us to remember that's a normal capability.
Also, given that all of those people are sitting outside on the asteroid without, well dying, I think it's safe to assume that whatever kind of atmosphere the planet has or technology the planet uses, it allows people to breathe and also allows for wind to exist. Given that it's an alien planet, I'm not expecting any more of an explanation about its gravity than I'm expecting on Skaro or Midnight or Gallifrey. Technically gravity should be different on every planet they visit but most of the time it isn't so I just assume in every episode that it works for those people in its own way and the TARDIS sorts out any differences in the same way it translates.
As for Cold War, it just felt really...really...*snores*...oh I'm sorry, were we talking about another Gatiss episode? For whatever reason, all of his episodes up to that point just bored the hell out of me. Victory of the Daleks was probably my "favorite" thus far, which should tell you all you need to know.
The pacing seems off, the "tension" barely got to me at all, Skaldak looked...unimpressive (clearly I need to see some of the classic Ice Warriors episodes, because after this I wondered what all the fuss was about), and the other members of the crew seemed like a cast of redshirts. It wasn't bad, just crazy boring, especially after the color and emotion of Rings.
19 hours, 54 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
And as for today's main event...The Rings of AkhaTEN. See what I did there? :P Supermoff has already done a phenomenal job defending this episode, but I had to write my own piece.
This is a tender, touching, excellently inventive and unique episode that allows so many disparate parts of this show to shine beautifully that I'm compelled back to front in a way that really no other one-off episode had ever managed to do thus far. I'm absolutely stunned at the disconnect between the quality of this episode and its wider reception, and would like to highlight five different groups that did spectacular work in this excellent episode.
First, the makeup and hairstyling teams, whogot their Mos Eisely cantina moment with an opportunity to create a vivid and interesting cast of alien characters. We get a glimpse into the Doctor's history through his always on-point interactions with these creatures, a hint of his family and are made aware of a fascinating concept, namely bartering-through-value. It is a poignant concept that obviously comes into play later.
Secondly, the VFX team. Whether we focus on the aliens or the trip on the speeder or the Old God itself, this is a very effects-laden and very impressive episode to watch, one that I could certainly imagine on the big screen.
Thirdly, Murray Gold and his musicians. This episode focuses on music at its heart, which really allows for Gold to make some truly phenomenal pieces. "God of Akhaten" really seems like a hymn, "The Long Song" like a work of art, and "Infinite Potential" a perfect summary of the Doctor...which is why it would be used, once more, in an even more iconic setting. Plus, the music ends up coming in handy in a very clever way...how the Doctor gets into the temple and fends off the vigil.
3.5 - How music makes the Doctor's screwdriver use logical Many have complained about this aspect of the episode, saying that essentially the Doctor waves around the sonic screwdriver and saves the day. Which he does...but this time, I'd argue, it makes perfect sense for that to be his solution out of this mess.
Akhaten and the Seven Worlds revolve around value and music. They've been singing a song for countless years, they sing as a people, they sing to survive. And indeed, music arguably holds the more value than any tangible item. None of us can really quantify the value of music that we enjoy, but for many of us it plays a vital role in our lives. Music can remind us of a first love, of a lost family member, of one of the best (or worst) days of our lives...what better to bargain with?
And what does the the Doctor carry with him? A screwdriver, but not just any screwdriver...a SONIC screwdriver. Combined with his not-insignificant psychic powers, it manipulates sound in order to open and close things, hack into things, fix things, etc. So, in a land almost entirely built on music and sound, it seems both logical and poetic to see the Doctor open the door with his screwdriver, to see him fend off the Vigil, who presumably also use some kind of sound/sonic power through their voice as a weapon.
We know that sound produces waves, and with Time Lord technology, on a land like Akhaten, that sound could essentially form a shield to block the Vigil, used to using sound of their own. It is a solution that's perfectly tailored to the Doctor, as is the next one.
Fourth, the writers, Neil Cross and, to whatever extent he participated, Steven Moffat. Presumably, as with almost all episodes, Steven Moffat had some input pointing out the overall arc and characterization he was looking for, but Neil Cross painted within the outline Moffat provided. With those two working together, we get a heartwarming glimpse into not just the Doctor but Clara, her family and her strength. While she's...let's go with iffy in future episodes, here is Clara better than any other episode in 7B until the finale. Her emotion surrounding her parents is palpable, and her story with the leaf gorgeously rendered.
If we can't be hyperbolic when talking about our own loves, when can we? Sure, logically, that isn't "the most important leaf in human history", but when we get married or tell someone we love them, we're not the "happiest person in the world" either. But in our world? It feels that way. And in Clara's world (and her parents'), a simple leaf that essentially caused her life is indeed more important than any other leaf could possibly be.
Fifth, and finally, the actors, especially our leads. Merry is charming even while carrying the weight of seven worlds on her shoulders and serves her purpose well here, but the focus is, understandably, on Clara and the Doctor. Eleven certainly fancies himself as a speaker, but with the possible exception of his regeneration (which, uncoincidentally, utilizes the same music), none of his speeches emotionally resonate as well as this one here. The raw, personal truth of this speech reaches back through the decades we've seen the Doctor and the centuries he has lived, letting his story, likely a longer song than even that of the Old God, feed that hunger. I almost expected him to drop that legendary "I am more than an ordinary Time Lord" line cut from the Seventh Doctor's dialogue...it works perfectly.
And then, as he finishes, Clara steps in, with her own personal truth, her own story, her own song, to help push things over the edge. A life unlived, a life yet to be lived, and a life nearing its end, but one with so much more life to come...truly, Infinite Potential, and a wonderful end to a classic episode, one of the best since the revival.
The Rings of Akhaten - 10
20 hours, 10 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
Like many others here, I'm also giving The Rings of Akhaten its own post. So, to quickly tackle the other two...
The Bells of St. John - 8 This series has featured some amazing music thus far, and The Bells of St. John is no different, featuring what is undoubtedly the greatest track in Doctor Who history...
Bah Bah Biker
Lol Ok, in all seriousness, "Up the Shard" is one of the best renditions of "I Am the Doctor" in all of Eleven's tenure. The technology-themed villain is fascinating, the episode directed and shot in a very film-epic styled fashion that makes London lookgorgeous, and while the episode isn't quite as entertaining as either of Clara's prior introductions, it's still a wonderfully fulfilling episode that reminds me a lot of its two most similar predecessors, "Partners in Crime" and "Smith and Jones". Generally solid across the board.
Cold War - 4 Meanwhile...oh look, another underwhelming Mark Gatiss episode. In other news, the sky is blue. If you're wondering, this is when Series 7 starts to take a pretty dramatic dip in quality.
20 hours, 40 minutes ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
@Typo42 "Magic Carrots" @SirTrey @Shane Michaels @Planet of the Deaf Hmmm...because it's Douglas Adams, I'll allow it :P He did write for the show, after all. That would be pretty amusing as a comedy, actually:
"Huh, isn't that the Statue of Liberty walking down the street?"
"Yeah, guess it is...looks pretty pissed too."
"Well, carry on, we've got a subway to catch"
1 day, 16 hours ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2
@Alleigh member of P.O.N.D.S It's heavily implied that a pretty long time had passed between The Angels Take Manhattan and The Snowmen, so he'd certainly been grieving for quite a while. At least from my end, it makes sense that someone with as vibrant a personality as Eleven would love having that side of himself finally awoken again, and I'd much rather see the Doctor move on after a tragic exit rather than constantly look back and ignore his new companion, like what we saw from Ten with Martha.
@SonicTheHedgehogRules @SirTrey Thanks and likewise! It's fascinating reading through all of these different opinions on here.
I guess, without getting into a long End of Time rant, my response in terms of being in the Doctor's shoes there is, "Wait, I've done this ten other times right? Get yourself together man", which sure he eventually does, but I end up comparing that to Nine joking about two heads or Five's dignified trudge with Peri to his end. It seems...I don't want to use the word "weak" to imply that a sadness or show of emotion like that equals weakness, that's ridiculous and I couldn't defend Eleven here if I did that. But "weak" in reference to the millennium's worth of experience Ten had, in reference to all of his prior selves...that's what I mean there.
I've spent a LOT of time on there, certainly, it's an excellent resource...before I really started watching the show I'd read a ton about it on Wikipedia and the Data Core since I'd heard so much from friends but felt that 33 seasons (at the time), or even 7 for just the new show, was daunting. Eventually, though, I took the plunge and I'm very glad I did.
And yes, further discussion is rarely a bad thing!
@SonicTheHedgehogRules @SirTrey I expected nothing less, but still figured I'd at least use the opportunity to go into some detail.
It reminds me of Ten's outburst to Wilf...which, admittedly, annoys the hell out of me. I guess I don't mind this one as much because the reaction seems to be solely sadness instead of petulance and he's not taking it out on anyone. You could certainly argue both are over the top.
I'm also not as well versed in the Classic series or Big Finish as I'd like to be, so I can't make as many of the "what about ______ companion" connections as you're able to here.
As for the Statue...yeah, I've got nothing there, I even made a post about it above to try getting some other input because even in context my reaction was, "Really? Okay then," and I've thought about it a lot/read some other articles only to never really get a great answer. I'm just openly a sap sometimes haha, so I got caught up enough in Amy and Rory's final moments on the roof/the goodbye that I mostly let that slide.
1 day, 17 hours ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2
@Typo42 "Magic Carrots" @SirTrey @Shane Michaels @Planet of the Deaf The iron thing actually doesn't bother me at all, actually...go back and watch that very last scene of Blink, when the Doctor is talking and we're flashing through a bunch of potential Angels. Metal/Iron/Non-Stone statues are shown in that montage, which seems to at least strongly imply they can take the form of non-stone creatures.
Perception filter is a pretty interesting idea, I'll give you that...but a perception filter large enough to mask a 46 meter statue? If they have technology that powerful, nobody should ever be able to see them.
@Shane Michaels The Snowmen as an episode really kicks some ice, doesn't it?
@Shane Michaels @SirTrey @Planet of the Deaf Eh, I think that's pretty true across the board, I mean Davies specialized in absurdly large scope and often it resulted in some spectacular scenes. But when they could both make it work was when they could make those cool/big things at least make sense.
@Planet of the Deaf @SirTrey Haha yeah, that's basically my best bet..."It seemed like a good idea at the time, I swear" XD
But no, it doesn't really, none that would be instantly, internationally recognizable aside from Lady Liberty.
Ok so, after SonicTheHedgehogRules's...vivid criticism of The Angels Take Manhattan, I'd like to bring up one particular point. Obviously that comment contained a lot of dislike...mine, mostly, loved the episode, but there's one point even I can't really wrap my head around: The Statue of Liberty Angel.
How does that Angel's existence make any remote amount of sense? There seem to be at least somewhat, slightly reasonable explanations for most of the other crazy points but I've tried and I straight up don't get how that's possible...it made about as much sense to me as Ten surviving that skydive in The End of Time :P
So yeah, about the Liberty Angel...someone care to explain that one? Because I'm lost.
@SonicTheHedgehogRules I feel like you had Emperor Palpatine standing behind you while you were writing this...
Use your aggressive feelings...let the hate flow through you :P
Seriously though, damn, I don't think I even would've written that much about The End of Time...actually, that's a lie, that's exactly why I just wrote two sentences because otherwise it would've been like 3,000 words. I'm almost tempted to write up that End of Time diatribe for the final recap to have a hate-off...but even I don't hate that particular episode as much as you do this one so I'd probably lose haha.
While I disagree with a lot of the post, and will say why below, I'm very impressed at the conviction and depth.
To tackle a few points just because I feel like it, even though it's very clear you're unshakeable in your feelings here:
1. River's presence. It makes sense for her to be there in the Pond's last story because she's their daughter, just like it made sense to have Jackie and Mickey in Doomsday or Martha's family in Last of the Time Lords. They don't really serve any main plot purpose that couldn't be satisfied by another character but their main purpose is to further advance the emotion of the characters the episodes are actually focusing on.
2. Sledghammering Angels...I'd presume, given that they're aliens, that they - especially while strong - aren't exactly "stone" in the exact same sense as we know them, or at least they're very, very strong stone. Plus, it's not like hammers or wrecking balls are just lying around ;)
3. The Cherubs. OBVIOUSLY YMMV here but those things creeped me the hell out, there's a reason creepy little kids are such a common horror trope. Also, a small detail on their defense that would be hard to notice on tv unless you have a major sound system...they're rendered in surround sound. I watched the episode on my phone and in my headphones you suddenly hear them on your left, then your right, then it's as if they're behind you. The sound mixing here was very well played.
4. The Liberty Angel - Yeahhhhhh, I'm not gonna defend that lol Anyone else want to try tackling this one?
5. Waking up in the graveyard. All we really get from the show is that the graveyard is "causally linked, somehow" (presumably from being their future gravesite), but my best bet there is that's where they end up because if the Angels' entire scheme is thwarted, they'd have no reason to go into the city, so they end up back at the last place they went to before going into the city...which was the graveyard.
6. The Doctor's reaction. I feel like this one's a bit unfair...I mean, Ten's "burning up a star to say goodbye" for Rose, he's got the saddest pouty face ever after Journey's End (and in the rain, no less). I haven't seen enough of the classic series to comment, but isn't Adric usually talked about as a bit of a prat? Also, in general, Eleven (and Ten) seems to wear his heart on his sleeve, so reacting that way seems in character. Now, had he said something like "I loved you more than any of them" or something I'd get it, but an emotional reaction doesn't seem THAT bad as this is a different Doctor than those.
7. I've seen a LOT of other people virulently against this episode so believe me, you're FAR from alone in terms of disliking it, hell I thought people who liked it was the minority until I came here. And, at least from some of us, it's not that we don't notice issues, just don't necessarily think of them as quite that dramatic.
8. The Doctor not being able to return. My best effort there isn't that he absolutely "couldn't", but that he's worried further mucking with their timeline by pulling them away and all of that could cause quite a bit of damage to time, much like we see in The Wedding of River Song when he doesn't die...and considering the nonsensical resolution we got to fix that paradox, I shudder to think of how we would've gotten around the Ponds returning. Plus, yes, the Doctor was selfishly worried that his heart couldn't take going back and losing them again, whether to the paradox or something else.
@DaftDalek is the Aphex Twin Doctor @SirTrey @Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs Well, really, Part One and Two together...I literally didn't even write an essay for that one because I probably would've spent more time on it than I did on Last of the Time Lords, and that got almost 1,500 words by itself, plus I know it's one a lot of people love so I didn't feel like ripping into damn near every scene. Let's just say I had a LOT of issues with the episodes and leave it at that.
But even with that, I loved Gold's music in it and following that episode was one of my Top 5 ones ever, so there's always something to look forward to. This show always kicks itself out of slumps because it has such a wide range of stories it can tell...infinite potential, indeed.
1 day, 18 hours ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2
@DaftDalek is the Aphex Twin Doctor @Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs I mean, it's not the worst finale we've had...End of Time Part Two exists :P
But we've already all said our pieces about those episodes. My main point is that great episodes have followed [insert your example of a terrible episode here] and people have had harsh ranking for all of them, we'll be fine.
I just didn't/don't get people who suddenly seemed to almost entirely lose faith in the show after, what, eight episodes?
@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs Well I don't need to go into all of the other...let's be nice and say "clumsy" things it also had to resolve an entire season's arc :P
But I didn't feel like anything in Journey, a slight one-off of an episode, was that offensively terrible, and given that this episode basically let the production design and VFX teams go to town, I thought it was a visual dream. I wouldn't call it a great or even very good episode by any stretch, just ok with an interesting ending, but I'll be curious to see why it would be terrible.
@4sure It's not that he "couldn't" as much as that he wasn't willing to risk the damage to time by altering their timeline further...think of the ending of The Wedding of River Song. When he doesn't die, time goes wibbly...and the "solution" they thought up was pretty bad. Same here...
Also, he probably wasn't sure if his heart could take going back and trying to save them and then losing them again.
@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs Eh, I liked the concept enough to somewhat forgive the Doom hallways, and that ending with Clara was always compelling. Admittedly, though, in my fantasy 7B-as-specials solution to the series' issues, I'd cut basically all of Journey except that last scene...I'd say it's in the 5-6 range.
@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs I'm with you in it being the weakest bit, but hey, it gets better :D *points to Series 8*
If we made it through Last of the Time Lords, we can make it through anything *waves at The Nightmare Child*
@TardisBoy! That music hits me, emotionally, harder than probably any of the (also absolutely brilliant, don't get me wrong) regeneration music...just perfect.
1 day, 19 hours ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2
@supermoff, defender of Series 7 @MrJimiTheFish @MrRazza is going all Craig Revel Horwood Just watched it again yesterday...yep, very strong defense tomorrow. :D
Also, two other points on Amy's final speech in Angels: One, she improvised a LOT of that, as when it was being filmed she was missing part of the script, which is just astounding.
And two, I thought it was a very nice touch that, in the end, it's Amelia Williams. While with the Doctor, in a sense, it was always Pond first, that's why he felt that he loved her more, etc. So with that change it seems that she moved on, that she could focus on their love without it being dwarfed by her love - non-romantic, but certainly love - for the Doctor. Small touch, but another note of emotion in what's already a touching scene.
@Conall McCormick At least on the "loose ends" point, they had written and storyboarded a scene where Rory's dad was notified of things, it's called P.S., but the actors weren't available to actually film it. File that one under real life getting in the way, unfortunately.
@MrRazza is going all Craig Revel Horwood As usual, I think the ratings are crazy but am still greatly entertained by the creativity of your comments.
And I think those of us backing Rings all know we're in for a fight there...but dissing Snowmen?
That's cold :P
@TardisBoy! I think Vampire Weekend said the definitive piece on the Oxford Comma :P
Huh...with the exception of Dinosaurs, I'm actually really kind to 7A. Pity there's the back end of 7B coming...
The Power of Three - 7 This one reminds me of the best - and worst - of the RTD era. Giant invasion of earth, everyone thinks everything is ok, oh look it's not, wave the screwdriver around and everything is better. So this wasn't exactly something we hadn't seen before.
But what helps this episode work fairly well are the new characters, namely Brian and Kate. They add a spark that a confident Amy and Rory further fan into flames that carry the episode pretty efficiently. Much like the prior episode, it's not great, but at times it's very, very good.
The Angels Take Manhattan - 9 Ah, the first of two finales, for all intents and purposes, in Series 7...and, much like basically every other finale, its plot has some pretty serious issues.
I feel like there isn't much I can really say about this episode to "convince" people if they don't like it very much. No, the Liberty Angel doesn't make any damn sense. Yes, Winter Quay is a strange construction. And of course, if you were cruel enough to make the Doctor touch down in New Jersey, he could probably take a trolley in and manually find the Ponds, though they'd have to be very careful with the timeline no more careful than they were in the Wedding of River Song, though, and that seemed to work out.
So, why a 9? Well, I've made my finale point before, and so I'll cite the two other "finales" I've scored higher: Series 1 and Series 5. In both cases, there are still some things that seem to confuse upon scrutiny...they have explanations but said explanations take a LOT of work and some leaps of faith, which usually isn't a good sing. But they work because the characterization, the music, the moments all emotionally resonate so well you simply don't care about the details...and Angels Take Manhattan, for me, works better on that front than almost any other episode in this entire show.
I made the mistake of watching this episode for the first time in public, and had to hold back from a very loud and undignified cry while sitting on the train. The Girl in the Fireplace and Vincent and the Doctor were my prior high water marks for tearjerking endings, but both of those episodes were sad due to one-off characters. The Time of the Doctor ends on notes as triumphant (the tower) and curious (Twelve) as it does heartbreaking (Amy, the regen). But Angels...just completely heartwrenching.
River, Rory and Amy all hit emotional peaks, the Ponds jumping off Winter Quay to the tune of "Together or Not At All", those final moments in the graveyard...watching this episode hurts, in the best of ways. And then that beautiful final page, those readings, moments, the sepia fade off on young Amelia...emotional, character-driven writing at its best.
But...I can't quite let go of the plot issues like Statue Angel, so it's not quite a full 10. Close though, and certainly a fondly-remembered episode due to its pitch perfect goodbye.
And to pre-emptively address one concern...it's not necessarily that the Doctor can't go back and find them, it's that he's too worried doing so could cause irrevocable damage and is emotionally so scarred by that, following so soon after his near-death, that the risk of doing so and then somehow losing them again hurts him too much to even think about. So, well...this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.
On one final note, I do greatly appreciate that it really was how it ended. While there's charm in returning characters we haven't seen in ages, when they get a really big exit most of the time I'd like that exit to actually mean something, and I always felt that Davies undermined his emotional exits with their returns. The hallucinated brief moment before his regeneration was poignant and special, but it wasn't a full return they'd have to timey-wimey handwave away. It was a glimpse, nothing more, and that felt beautiful.
Regrettably, Moffat seems to have done the same thing now, with Clara...I'd like it if at least one revival companion gets to walk away on their own terms after Martha. It's not even that I don't like Clara or don't see the story potential, I do...but that moment worked so well.
The Snowmen - 9 The best Christmas special thus far for me, and proof after not one, not two, not three, not four but five prior lackluster examples that it's possible to write a good Doctor Who Christmas special that doesn't have the word "Christmas" in the title :P.
AMAZING music, another charming and interesting performance from Jenna-Louise Coleman, a compelling story and villain, and Matt Smith showing some delightful range. Plus, this sets up the mystery very well, no matter what you think of how said mystery was resolved.
Downgraded a point for Dr. Simeon briefly turning into a ridiculous, laughable zombie straight out of the "Thriller" video who stole his signature line from Series 1 of Game of Thrones...but otherwise, cracklingly good episode.
Watch me run.
@TardisBoy! OOOOOOOOHHHH :P
Also, I've meant to say this for ages...LOVE your avatar. Greatly enjoyed the finale last night and I desperately hope the show gets renewed for a second season.
@TardisBoy! I think he meant Rory didn't get enough of a moment but Amy did. Took me a bit as well, wording-wise haha
I'd disagree...Rory's speech to her on the top of the hotel, his lines ("You think you'll just come back to life? WHEN DON'T I?") and his commitment were emotionally stark and felt strong for me.
But Amy was the Doctor's first new face, long before he met Rory. She gets a focus for a good reason.
@Alleigh member of P.O.N.D.S Two points there...one, Ten was actively, romantically involved with Rose, while Eleven and Amy never were remotely there after about halfway through Series 5 because she had Rory. Also, it's heavily implied that it's been a pretty long time between Angels and Snowmen, he's certainly had time to grieve.
Two, I've never gotten the whole "Clara's too special" thing. Rose is chosen by the Bad Wolf and the Moment...Donna is told multiple times that "the universe/timelines are converging around her", that she's special (Turn Left especially, Journey's End)...Amy growing up next to a crack is able to restart the universe. Save Martha, basically ALL of of the companions have been "special".
@SonicTheHedgehogRules @supermoff, defender of Series 7 Here are my best guesses with Skaro:
We don't know when the Doctor arrives on Skaro, so that could be presumably before Remembrance.
Also, there seems to be decent evidence it wasn't actually destroyed...some of the novels contradict that, and it's mentioned as still being around both in the TV movie and in passing when referring to the Time War, which seems to indicate that it survived the events of Remembrance. Given that it wasn't the Doctor directly but Davros through the Doctor who destroyed it, something could've gone awry.
2 days, 16 hours ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 1
@DaftDalek is the Aphex Twin Doctor @SirTrey Still, fair to say it. And I'll acknowledge that the "Doctor Who" line only really resonates once we've gotten all the way to The Time of the Doctor...and whether you liked it or not was more of a personal preference. I found it amusing haha
Also, Moffat's been seeding the whole "name being important" thing since at least "Girl in the Fireplace" so turning his greatest enemies into people asking that question, as Dorium did, seemed like a poetic way to turn it on its head. Now, even the Daleks need to know...Doctor Who?
2 days, 18 hours ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 1
@SonicTheHedgehogRules @SirTrey @Planet of the Deaf I suppose that's fair, and was a complaint that came up again during the 50th. I guess it's just a question of time and viewership impact and they figured that was better served focusing more on the revival ones.
I'll also admit that I had no idea of the whole "will have every Dalek" thing when I first watched it so I wasn't waiting for anything at all, obviously made my experience different.
@DaftDalek is the Aphex Twin Doctor @SirTrey I assume there it's because the crazy ones can't be controlled...the Daleks like being able to give orders and have them followed and the crazies would fly off the handle and maybe even inadvertently harm their own.
Now, I do think it might've been interesting to have a few insane Daleks who they use for special missions, almost like a Suicide Squad, but that seems more fit for a side story.
And haha with that many Daleks, they were never going to satisfy everyone, they just hoped people would be happy to see them again. Clearly that was not the case :P
@The G Unitt - It's my initial, I'm not a rap fan @Typo42 "Magic Carrots" I can't speak for everyone, but I do know just from personal conversations that for some people it really is a big deal to have the biological kid...and it's not like they got a chance to raise River, watch her grow up, have her really be "their" daughter instead of the Kovarians. That was one of the more grounded points as marriages fall apart to that in real life quite a bit, sadly, and that's something even the Doctor couldn't fix.
@DaftDalek is the Aphex Twin Doctor According to the Doctor Who Wikia page for Asylum, it's there as one of the ones awakening when Rory is wandering through the building and stumbles across the room of Daleks.
And they don't want to destroy it under normal circumstances but with the hole self-preservation outweighs beauty. They'll take ensuring no remotely plausible danger to Dalek life over sustaining beauty any day.
And with the divorce thing...it would've made less sense IMO to have that happen while they were traveling and distract away from the storyline, the point was that life goes on without the Doctor and without his presence it's not just stars that can go out. They worked as a couple with the Doctor, it makes sense that after a couple of years without him that might slip away.
@Planet of the Deaf @SirTrey @Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs @Stradiwhovius That's entirely fair, if harder to see while watching it in context. And I do feel that, due to the aforementioned factors, there wasn't quite enough time to work with her...my statement about the finale being three parts works with Clara too, I think she works a lot better by Time of the Doctor but considering the months between Name and Day/Time, on their own I felt that it's a bit more difficult to feel for the character as opposed to be interested by the mystery, which seemed more plot-centric.
She's equally plot-important in Series 8 too but the character also gets a lot of attention and that's where I feel she really shines.
@supermoff, defender of Series 7 @Amy Pond- Defender of the Doctor's morality I concur, excellent work!
And I empathize with the amount of writing haha Definitely planning on submitting at least part of this at some point, 13,000+ words isn't just staying in the comments section...
2 days, 19 hours ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 1
@Malohkeh will sell soul for Big Finish CDs @Stradiwhovius @SirTrey I actually "mostly" agree with you, in that I don't think she's just a plot device...but I do think there are definite times when it at least seems by any logical estimation that's the case. I really don't mind her as much as others in S7, but I do think she's much better in S8. Curious to see more of your explanation here, though, once she's the permanent companion.
@The_War_Braden @supermoff, defender of Series 7 @Notsosmartguy Ah, one more thing on the multiple Daleks...according to what I'd say is a pretty valid source (the Doctor Who Wikia page for this episode, look under "Continuity"), at least eleven different types of Daleks are visible, albeit likely briefly. So they're there, people just missed them.
@SonicTheHedgehogRules @Planet of the Deaf First of all, even taking that at face value, essentially he "got away" with what was likely never intended to be more than a visual easter egg/treasure hunt...I mean, were people expecting like 20 different Daleks to have speaking roles and significant plot actions?
Second of all, according to what I'd say is a pretty valid source (the Doctor Who Wikia page for this episode, look under "Continuity"), at least eleven different types of Daleks are visible, albeit likely briefly. So they're there, people just missed them.
Also, given that the series is starting here, a more general note on/defense of Series 7, in terms of something to keep in mind...
Steven Moffat and the production team had an absurd amount of things to deal with in 2012 and 2013, most of which were special circumstances which rarely arise one at a time, and yet this time they ALL appeared. To wit:
1. A midseason companion exit, recasting and re-integration - For whatever reason - and we don't know the intricacies of Gillan and Darvill's contract negotiations or if they just felt like it was time - the Ponds left in midseason, something this show's writers had never had to deal with. Usually that process comes naturally with a new series, but this time the writers were tasked with dispatching the longest-running companions of the revival in a sufficient manner and also with introducing the new one, which resulted in, essentially, Angels Take Manhattan serving as a finale (as all other companion exits have).
2. Matt Smith's exit - We don't know when Moffat knew Smith was leaving, but clearly he had to direct the series towards the end of Eleven's life in order to properly set that up, something that would usually have a full season's timeframe and wouldn't also coincide with so much other upheaval.
3. The 50th Anniversary - Obviously, this was a huge deal, with a lot of long-term planning involved. Not only did Series 7 have to exist by itself while cycling through companions, it also had to build up to this momentous anniversary (AND Smith's exit). Plus, there was all of the behind-the-scenes writing, wrangling and production for the 50th which likely diminished the effort that anyone could give to Series 7 by itself.
Furthermore, since Angels was essentially a first finale, and the 50th had to be built to, 7B essentially has a three-part pseudo-finale of Name, Day and Time...I'd argue the episodes and the overall arc work much better when they have that later context, but obviously right after Name there was a large gap where you didn't know that. Also, since Clara came in during the middle of all of this, she had to basically serve as a plot device because there was more important business to attend to with the 50th and Eleven's exit; Moffat was clearly able to dedicate more time to Clara's development as an actual character in Series 8 and the effort shows, rather well IMO.
This isn't to all give the series a complete "pass"...Clara-as-plot-device often doesn't work and things feel rushed for those exact reasons I mention above. Frankly, I think the series would've been better served as a series of specials, much like between 2008 and 2010...I'd say that, after Snowmen, we could've seen Bells, Rings and Name, with the character details seen in parts of Journey (the Time War book, the ending confrontation with Clara) sprinkled into the earlier episodes. February, May, August and then the 50th and Christmas.
With all of that, it's a miracle everything manages to work at all, and I'd still argue it's not that bad, if a bit more average than other times...but that's because things were building in a huge way. It doesn't exempt Series 7 - you can see my 4 below, and there will be other low scores coming - but it's just something to remember, and maybe something to help temper any harshness. Transitions are hard, and this show had so many that usually wouldn't exist. No reason to nearly "give up" after essentially a half-season :)
@The_War_Braden @supermoff, defender of Series 7 @Notsosmartguy Seems like a relatively nitpicky list...but given that I can be extraordinarily nitpicky in my own right sometimes, why not, I'll give it a go.
1. The point? What's the point of anything regarding character development...to advance their storyline. In this case, it's also to address that a significant amount of time has passed and further express that for all of the problems the Doctor causes, he also helps people, and when he's gone the effect isn't just felt in fallen empires, but sometimes in things as relatively "small" as a relationship. While I think it would've been nice to spread it out over a full season obviously that route wasn't available, given when Gillan and Darvill left, and since none of us know the intricacies of contract negotiations we don't know if they could've "just done that instead".
2. If there's going to be a "Parliament", presumably there's going to be a variety of different Daleks, and rather than just have it universally one color/style,why not tip the hat to fans and show some other styles. I mean, had they tried shoehorning in an actual role for each of them the question would've been "What's the point of showing us all of those Daleks, it distracts from the story." It's an easter egg, not some huge detail.
3. Best guess is that when she initially crashed and tried communicating she might've noticed that her voice "sounded weird" and fiddled with the programming to have it sound like what she wanted it to...that worked for the Asylum's speakers but once the Doctor was in the room he could hear her directly, coming straight from the Dalek.
4. Other commenters have addressed this, but it's relatively straightorward. What would a Dalek value more...beauty or its own life? They acknowledged the beauty but they're not going to put themselves in danger just because they think they look nice, and now with the changed circumstances of possible escape things must be adjusted.
5. You'll have to take that one up with Terry Nation's estate, though according to multiple sources 1963 Daleks were there, just probably hard to spot in wide angles. Again, more of an easter egg than a major plot point.
6. We don't know when the Doctor arrives on Skaro, so that could be presumably before Remembrance. Also, there seems to be decent evidence it wasn't actually destroyed...some of the novels contradict that, and it's mentioned as still being around both in the TV movie and in passing when referring to the Time War, which seems to indicate that it survived. Given that it wasn't the Doctor directly but Davros through the Doctor, something could've gone awry.
7. The same way they had a concept of divinity in Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways or a desire to change from the Cult of Skaro...different developments over time. No species would be static and the Daleks are no different.
8. Clearly they were able to reactivate, as we see when the Doctor and his companions start wandering through the base, and if Oswin's ship can stumble across it so can something else. Plus, it just seems like a preemptive safety measure, as just assuming "Oh, nothing will ever happen to activate them, we might as well just leave this door open forever" doesn't seem very prudent. And, knowing the Daleks, destruction seems like a more likely path than just fixing the hole.
9. I admittedly don't have a great answer here, except maybe that since it's all automated they just figured they can leave it be so there's no need to have any controls at the Parliament. But I think it's also good to keep in mind sometimes when a villain's plan has flaws that they're rarely perfect in their planing...like humans, we might do something that seems like a great idea at the time, until it's not. Daleks wouldn't be exempt from bad planning every once in a while.
10. This one's addressed in-episode...while the Doctor calling them "scared" is probably a simplification, they wouldn't want to take the risk of potentially losing even one sane, useful Dalek when they can send somebody else to do the job, especially someone clearly good at dispatching Daleks. Also, the process of going down and killing a bunch of other Daleks might end up subsequently driving those Daleks insane later, as they generally avoid killing their own.
11. The defense system and missiles were likely constructed with the same Dalek technology so it makes sense that their own stuff couldn't penetrate the shield (why would you make weapons that can be used directly against your own shields, that's your enemies' job), while something foreign (and not perceived as a threat since it was crashing and the nanobots would clean up any messes) might be able to get through.
12. Best guess here is that the pathweb is pretty integral to a Dalek mind and short of killing them (or EXTREMELY dramatic circumstances like what happened to Dalek Caan, not just "run of the mill" insanity) it's not possible to disconnect them from the web, as that would go against the whole purpose of having a web in the first place if things could just sign off. The shield, however, may insulate them from the rest of the sane Daleks.
Phew, alrighty then.
2 days, 20 hours ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 1