Blog Writer (PopGap), recent college grad, always looking for interesting things to write about.
@KatyS42 @SirTrey That's fair, and not necessarily a bad thing, because I suppose the alternative is starting with another First Doctor, something few of us think would be a good plan. Hence my focus on something like an Eleventh Hour-esque episode with a nearly clean slate where you can pick up fresh without much of an intro/
The biggest "problem" when it comes to the show's relationship to the movies is that the odds are the film franchise wouldn't want to tie themselves to the current Doctor because with a film's production cycle that would either mean making the tv series around the movies - bad idea - or starting a canonically separate series with a different Doctor. The franchise-leaning tendency of modern film means that if it's successful a sequel would be inevitable and that starts complicating things.
Personally, I'm mostly ok with a canonically largely-separate film series, though I know many would vehemently protest that.
4 days, 3 hours ago on Why A Doctor Who Movie Is A Good Idea
Personally I'd be 100% ok with the series taking a year off to make a canonical movie; what I'm on the fence about is whether or not a movie should be close to a regeneration. Part of me thinks it would be good to make a new Doctor's first adventure a film - end the prior season with a regeneration and, in the new Doctor's first scene, a cliffhanger which leads into the film - and another part would like to see a Doctor's final adventure get the big budget treatment. A regeneration with big screen gravitas, VFX and Murray Gold's score could be astronomical and provide the tease necessary to make sure people jump into the TV series.
If it's used with a mid-life Doctor, the story has to be gigantic to make it work, and I worry that picking it up midstream in such a way could be confusing for new fans, considering you're already going to need to add some story legwork to make this sensible. Something like an opening ten minute montage, narrated by the current Doctor, explaining who he is and showing the old Doctors. And sure, ending a Doctor's run could be equally confusing...so an Eleventh Hour-esque episode that almost feels like a new show is probably the best bet. Entirely new setting and cast of characters to work with.
Nick Hurran did a wonderful job with The Day of the Doctor and BBC Films could likely produce, maybe in a partnership with another company. The first name that comes to mind? EON Productions. They're very familiar with the idea of maintaining a British institution, seeing as they've shepherded the James Bond franchise for decades, and would respect the story efforts while being able to guide them to the bigger scope a film needs.
Writing-wise, it's the obvious choice but I wouldn't mind seeing a co-credit between RTD and Moffat; possibly with Davies composing the story itself and Moffat actually writing the script, under his supervision. While personally I love Moffat's works as showrunner, I worry that unchecked on a film scale he could write something incomprehensible...plus, Davies has an eye for scope and attachment to "normal" people which could help appeal to others worldwide.
Finally, to those who think keeping the film attached to canon would be too difficult or unlikely, I'd point to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU has proven in the last few years that you can take obscure comic characters, keep their "comicy-ness" intact, and make hits while maintaining relatively decent continuity across comics, film and tv. Look at Guardians of the Galaxy: a little-known comic team with a talking raccoon and a three-worded tree made hundreds of millions of dollars while staying true to their style and personality. I see little reason why the same couldn't be done with Doctor Who. True, it might not fit in perfectly, and if it's a different Doctor entirely there might be some canon hoops to jump through, but keep in mind that "canon" is largely a fan-made concept that works however we want it to. I still think the Doctor could lead a phenomenal movie, while acknowledging a lot of logistics that would need to be worked out. But to see Doctor Who on the silver screen?
5 days ago on Why A Doctor Who Movie Is A Good Idea
@Malohkeh, not a member of any acronyms @twoheartsonemind (Six Seasons and a Movie) I've posted this elsewhere but curious for different opinions. I LOVED Series 6, almost as much as 5...until the finale. 100% agree with your statement about risk...but that's when it felt like the risks failed, and badly. What am I missing with The Wedding of River Song?
1 week, 1 day ago on Best of 2014 Awards #14: Moffat Series
@Beasts_a_Snarling - THE KANDYMAN'S APPRENTICE Addendum...when I've ranked finales, Wedding is only above Series 3's most of the time. It's very rare for me to call this show "confusing", but that one does it, and it seems the resolution is for the Doctor to essentially trick all of time itself by...hiding in a robot and then going undercover? Excuse me? It's TIME. How do you hide from time? :P
I love Moffat's work and defend his twists and plot complexities to no end - adored Time of the Doctor, for example, and thought the arc explanations/general plot machinations were more than sufficient - but Wedding of River Song is the one time (ok, two, Angels Take Manhattan, though the emotions hit so well I mostly forgive the plot issues) where I think he got a little carried away.
@Beasts_a_Snarling - THE KANDYMAN'S APPRENTICE I can certainly understand picking Series 5, I almost did myself, though I'd quibble with calling Beast, Vampires or the Silurian two parter "excellent" haha I personally place a lot of stock in finales and I found The Wedding of River Song to be a complete and utter mess, even though I greatly enjoyed most of the season before it, even common pariah Let's Kill Hitler. As someone who admittedly loved Series 6, what am I missing with its finale?
It's a really, really tight race between Series 5 and Series 8 for me...Series 5 has been my unquestioned favorite for all of New Who since I first marathoned through the revived show, so it has set quite the bar. But when I look a little more closely:
Series 5 has two stories that I'd put in my top 5 for all of New Who, The Eleventh Hour and The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang...Series 8 has 1, Listen.
But if I look a little lower, at stories I'd put in the 8-9 range, if not the 10s at the top, Series 8 moves ahead of Series 5. 5 would have The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, Amy's Choice and Vincent and the Doctor in addition to the first two, meaning five total. Series 8 would have Deep Breath, Kill the Moon, Mummy on the Orient Express, Flatline and Dark Water/Death in Heaven...AND, depending on my mood, maybe even Robot of Sherwood.
And if I look at the "bottom" of the series, I'd probably say that Series 8 comes across better too. Their floor is about even - Victory of the Daleks or In the Forest of the Night, but I don't really hate either of them. But there's more "meh" to go around in S5.
Character-wise, I'd say they're about even. I found Eleven and Twelve both fascinating. Amy was a very compelling character in her own right and Rory interesting and heartwarming...but I was more impressed with Clara's massive development. Admittedly she had a place to build from while the Ponds were entirely new, but that doesn't wipe the slate. And Danny's journey touched me as much as Rory's did.
Musically, the title would go to Series 5, if only because of the utter brilliance that is "I Am the Doctor"...however, Gold hasn't lost a step and the music in S8 is still fantastic.
If we include Christmas specials, I'd probably give it to Last Christmas by a nose over Christmas Carol.
Ultimately, it's close to a coinflip. Opening and closing with stone-cold classics as Series 5 did is a huge boon, but I'd say Series 8 was a tad more consistent across the board, and ultimately that's where I'd place my vote, though they're really more like 1A and 1B for me in terms of overall series, and I might change my mind after re-watching both of them in the near future. For now, though...Series 8, my favorite of Moffat's and of the series as a whole. Let's see what they do for an encore.
@galactic_unicorn I mean it wouldn't be a favorite of mine but I thought it was a perfectly sweet episode, and a nice palate cleanser before the intensity of the finale. Definitely didn't understand the vitriol it inspired...the episode was no "Fear Her" :P
1 week, 2 days ago on Best of 2014 Awards #13: TV Story
@Aztecs, Daleks and Cavemen @The Lazy Cat of CATS Agreed. I often found myself wondering if I was watching the same show. The friend of mine who introduced me to the show in 2012 didn't really like where Moffat was taking things, and so as I marathoned through the series on Netflix I got to Moffat's episodes with some trepidation.
Series 5...turned out to be my favorite of all of them. Series 6...the finale is a clusterf**k but I genuinely enjoyed almost all of the rest of it - yes, even Let's Kill Hitler - even once texting him asking, "So when is this supposed to start getting bad? It's getting better." Series 7...sure, it was inconsistent, but there were some true highlights and when I caught up with the series in real time I was as excited as everyone else for the 50th.
I loved that special and Time of the Doctor, and found Series 8 to be second only to 5 for me. I do understand that such a diverse, wide fanbase will have people with wildly different viewpoints, but I'm troubled when an ostensibly still-successful show seems to be always under attack online as if its some kind of foregone conclusion that it sucks now.
@Supermoff, member of CATS @SirTrey @The Lazy Cat of CATS "Death makes companions of us all..." Awwwwww. That would be quite the heartstring-tugger.
I'll say that I really hope she leaves on her own terms though, not necessarily because of any devotion to Clara - though I did love her development in S8 - but because frankly I just want a companion to be able to get back to their life without the Doctor screwing it up for once. Martha is pretty much the only one in the new series who got to live a relatively normal life afterwards...Rose was marooned in an alternate universe, Donna got mind-wiped, the Ponds zapped back a few decades. I just think it would be nice.
@MartianWaters @SirTrey Well thanks haha I haven't rewatched the finale since the weekend it premiered but I remember discussing it with friends after my second viewing and the main reason I liked it so much was that it actually had a pretty logical, straightforward, non-reset-button resolution. Warning, inner journalist moment and brevity isn't my strong suit, so this one's long...
This show, under both Davies and Moffat, has had some...issues with the resolutions in its finales. Whether turning Rose into a near-literal deus ex machina or tricking time by hiding in a robot, basically every single finale, including the two regeneration Christmas specials and Angels Take Manhattan (which I count as a "finale" of sorts since it's the only time a companion left outside of the usual series finales), has some kind of nonsensical at best resolution to the problem the finale brought up.
The only two exceptions to that rule, I'd contend, are in The Big Bang and Death in Heaven. Now, I'm not saying those two didn't still stretch credulity, they did, but this is a time travel sci-fi show that goes VERY big with its concepts, so nearly everything is going to take some suspension of disbelief.
But in S5, the Doctor's sacrifice at the end of the Big Bang held water, and as for Amy remembering him back, I'll chalk that up to her having a variation on the same kind of thing like the void stuff which was on Rose and Ten in Doomsday and which allowed for the "touch of a time traveler" to open the void ship.
Except this time, Amy had grown up next to a really powerful fissure in spacetime, had spent years of her life there. The Doctor didn't quite have that ability because he'd spent time in a controlled travel space, the TARDIS, but the crack? It was essentially unfiltered time radiation, so it makes sense to me that she could pull off some crazy stuff if she wanted.
And in Death in Heaven, it's already been established that, to a degree, a loving and mentally powerful person can resist cyber-control (Doomsday, Closing Time), and whether you think that's stupid or sweet, it's there. Missy also makes clear that she's handing over control, so Danny then being able to lead makes sense. I trust her comeback's full explanation is being held back by Moffat because it relates directly to Gallifrey's return...he's playing the long game there, and I doubt we see a full resolution for a while. Obviously, YMMV on whether or not you think the answers from the last time he pulled that (Time of the Doctor supplying answers for various arcs littered throughout Eleven's tenure) were satisfactory. Returning the kid from the Nethersphere...ok even I have to stretch for that one but a) it's more of an epilogue and b) "Time Lord Tech" has been used as a catch-all explanation before so I'll just go with that.
Blasted lack of an edit button...I'd also put Kill the Moon and Deep Breath up there with those other honorable mention episodes, shocking I know :P
AND Last Christmas, which was also brilliant.
While I don't really get the supposed gap in quality between Dark Water and Death in Heaven - for me the S8 finale is second only to The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang in terms of New Who finales, and it's not a HUGE difference - I still ultimately voted for Listen, and the finale would be 2nd for me. Listen is a top 5 episode for me alongside Pandorica/Bang, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Eleventh Hour and a rotating cast of a few others.
Honorable mention to both Flatline and Mummy in the Orient Express - Mathieson did a phenomenal job.
@The Lazy Cat of CATS I must've missed that thread, could someone please fill me in? I'm now very curious what this CATS/Supermoff Clara ending is...
@PaddyB @Supermoff, member of CATS I was expecting that ending to come into play at some point in the finale with the whole "people coming back from the dead" thing, but nope.
@The Lazy Cat Great, now you've motivated me to go watch a boatload of pre-title sequences so I can properly answer this question, oh bother :P I'll get back to you.
1 week, 3 days ago on Best of 2014 Awards #12: Pre-Title Sequence
@Browncoat of arms @SirTrey I do see your point, though I don't think it would be much more flippant towards regeneration/new incarnations than Metacrisis or War Doctor suddenly being introduced. Plus, technically it wouldn't be reversed as much as it would've never actually happened. I can definitely see the large possibility that goes badly, though.
1 week, 4 days ago on Speculating on Series 9’s Big Cliffhanger (Part 2)
@MrRazza has drezzzed for the occasion This was excellent, though I'm assuming it's even funnier if you regularly watch BBC election coverage - as a Yank, I haven't seen it, though from watching ours and this great skit I can picture it in my head :D
1 week, 4 days ago on Best of 2014 Awards #11: Writer
@Supermoff @ilyootha, agent of C.L.A.R.A. @ Notsosmartguy @Ivegotkidneys 5>8>4>1>6>7>2>3 on my end.
It seems a bit unfair to include Moffat here, seeing as he always gets many more episodes than everyone else as the showrunner, including the big ones, and also since it's arguable that he might have written the best episode(s) of literally every series the field is a bit slanted. Here too...I actually rather enjoyed Deep Breath, Listen is a top ten New Who episode for me, and Dark Water/Death in Heaven one of the show's best finales.
So, with the acknowledgment that Moffat is essentially Best Writer Emeritus, I'll vote for Mathieson, who wrote two absolutely excellent episodes. I'd never really been "scared" by Doctor Who before...the Angels creeped me out and I may have given a few weird looks to statues at night after watching "Blink" and other episodes were tense as all hell, but "Flatline" was the first time I really jumped out of my seat and found myself paranoid about daily life thinking of the episode's implications. "Mummy" was also fantastic, and together they explore the Doctor and Clara beautifully.
@MrRazza has drezzzed for the occasion Before her Series 8 development I was sorta hoping she'd turn out to be a Time Lady...have her eventually find a fob watch next to that leaf in her parents' things. But now...agreed, just a great companion, continuing with the excellent development from this season. And I really hope whenever she leaves that she leaves alive on her own terms; really, Martha is the only companion that just walked away from the TARDIS without some major, heartbreaking trauma and I know it makes for big moments but I'd like the Doctor not to ruin his companion's life for once :P
Addendum: Ok sure, Rose eventually got metacrisis, Donna doesn't know she had it so much better and the Ponds lived happily together. But hopefully my point makes sense.
1 week, 5 days ago on Speculating on Series 9’s Big Cliffhanger (Part 2)
This may be a bit too far into paradox-land: a regeneration would probably be the most shocking possible cliffhanger...but what if it only lasts basically one episode? Have Capaldi regenerate into another Doctor, who somehow realizes that this cannot be and works to move back and override the events that caused the regeneration, causing that Thirteenth Doctor to no longer exist and Twelve to not regenerate by the end of the finale. Could maybe use another "Paradox Machine" like what Simm's Master used, except with more of an actual explanation this time.
The question there, I suppose, is whether or not that locks in the actor as the Thirteenth Doctor; I'd say no, since that timeline would've never happened. Imagine that as a midseason thread; temporary new Doctor, with Capaldi's return in the finale to stop whatever caused that initial regeneration after Thirteen's sacrifice. Or, alternatively, just as a three part finale: Part one ending with Capaldi's regeneration, part two adjusting to the new Doctor and realizing it must be reversed, and part three the reversal, Twelve's return and the big finish.
@The MasterDoctor @TheMaster999 There have definitely been times when I've seen a Doctor Who episode and wished it could've been a tentpole blockbuster movie, would've made millions.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Neil Gaiman on Nightmare in Silver Reception
VERY excited about the prospect of more two-parters, and certainly interested to see how Whithouse handles it. God Complex was excellent and all of the others at least entertaining, no real duds...and hell, last year I even enjoyed a Mark Gatiss episode, which I never thought I'd say. Optimism all around!
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Toby Whithouse Two-parter Confirmed for Series 9
@MrRazza has drezzzed for the occasion @the Ultimate Notsosmartguy Oh and for the record I haven't actually seen The Moonbase, I dunno if there are any issues here at all, I just knew there was a Doctor Who moon episode haha
@MrRazza has drezzzed for the occasion @the Ultimate Notsosmartguy @SirTrey To slightly clarify, I can understand people having issues with things that go against the show's internal logic, less so issues with things that go against external/scientific logic. Often there's a lot of overlap, of course, but that's usually how I look at things.
I.E. I'm actually far more ok with someone saying they dislike the implications of Kill the Moon because it could hypothetically semi-retcon (or cause problems) with the events of The Moonbase, because that's within the show's already pre-established rules. Or, someone debating The End of Time, saying Ten should've regenerated just from the damage suffered by jumping out of the ship considering Four (and arguably Six) regenerated due to far less physical trauma.
For me, with a science-fiction show there are always going to be implausible, unrealistic, dubious or just plain shoddily handled elements but as long as they hold up within the show's internal logic then I'm willing to accept a lot of it. Considering The Moonbase takes place 21 years later, one could say that there's still time for that to happen, and if that holds up then the rest seems sound enough for me personally. Not saying it's rock-solid, but enough to not be a major detriment to the episode's quality. My approach.
@the Ultimate Notsosmartguy @Gustaff My mother has worked in a school district for almost 20 years now, and from the stories she's told me over the years...trust me, there are very real kids that are far worse than the Maitlands. Not all of them, sure, but you only need bad luck to get two little monsters.
@Gustaff @supermoff @The Lazy Cat is in a Hugging Mood @the Ultimate Notsosmartguy Doesn't that seem to happen a lot for the Doctor too though? Take his footballing skills in Closing Time (or is it the Lodger...one of those two). I've usually just taken that as par for the course.
I think we've all known people where we'll be out spending time with them after knowing them for ages, and suddenly they do something well we didn't know they can do at all. We humans learn a lot of random stuff over the years haha And often we'll find out we're good at something we've never even tried...
@MrRazza has drezzzed for the occasion @the Ultimate Notsosmartguy @SirTrey Well I'd disagree on both counts...that it's ALL dubious science has pretty much been the entire reason why I found the controversy over Kill the Moon to be a bit ridiculous, and also that it did seem that a large portion of the people who had issues with it had those problems because it seemed "unrealistic"/"implausible" or some variation on that, so yes many did have an issue with the science in general.
Disagreeing on how its handled is entirely fine; you can look at just about every single finale and people will disagree about how the resolution was handled itself. It was just baffling to me that among all of those other times, both in well received episodes (like, say, "Doctor's Wife") or less-well-received episodes (I'll throw out "Last of the Time Lords", if you like that one pick another one with an ending you don't), there might've been a small peep over the ending seeming "implausible" but this time that completely took over the narrative when, frankly, the bones of the moon solution weren't even the important part of the episode.
If you're "suspending disbelief when you wish", then it seems like a LOT of people should've failed to suspended disbelief years ago when this show is concerned if that was the line, at least to me. It just seems like often this fanbase has to find something to complain about and that was that particular week's subject.
Lastly, I wasn't trying to "belittle" anyone as much as just crack a small joke over a familiar controversy, and one that didn't even seem particularly harsh at my estimation, but obviously people's thresholds are similar and I hope you/anyone else wasn't too offended.
"Too odd for Doctor Who"? Nah, a time-travelling machine becoming a woman who then saves her captain from a ship eating planet? That's fine. It's the moon as an alien when we apparently draw the line :P
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Neil Gaiman on Nightmare in Silver Reception
@PaddyB Just specific to 16...if I recall correctly, that was the first time after Eleventh Hour when Murray Gold really put "I Am the Doctor" to great use again, and it just works so, so well. Some think the tune was overused, though the point when it crossed that line always varies, but no matter where you fall on that spectrum (I for one wouldn't have minded it essentially taking up semi-permanent residence) it wasn't too much by then and that just WORKS.
3 weeks ago on New Who’s Best Cliffhangers (Part 1)
@IcarusBeDamned @SirTrey Ah there it was: go check out the TARDIS.Wikia page on the "Silver Devastation". In it they have a quote from Davies saying, ""He was a baby. A human baby. Because that's what the Master did — he was so frightened and terrified that he wiped himself as a baby and found on the Silver Devastation."" I don't really know how that would work but I guess the answer is "Time Lord Technology" and don't ask any questions haha So there might have to be some hoop-jumping or retconning to fit him in. And granted, I love Jacobi's performance, so feel free Moffat, but it might get complicated. Maybe he was already in that form before reverting back to a baby so they could pluck him from before the Time War/fob watch.
Yes, with Simm I wasn't thinking about the time - he's got loads of it - as much as the memories. Somehow he'd have to get back to his own time defeated, but not killed or regenerated, and without remembering anything. Obviously the series has its ways there, would just be the story consideration.
That's why I somewhat understand the author's idea to not use either of them so that a) a good chunk of time isn't spent explaining how they got there and/or b) there aren't a bunch of disgruntled fans loudly shouting about "plot holes" as many are wont to do. But realistically if this were to happen Simm is a lock. Jacobi, maybe, and Roberts, well it depends. In a way it would be an even more unexpected cameo than Eight's in Night of the Doctor haha
All of these points aside, I love the idea as a fan, but Moffat may have similar worries here to his worries in the 50th - if you stuff in too many incarnations, it's too difficult to give them all something important to do beyond making a fanservicey appearance unless basically an entire season builds up to this. So if it did happen, we'd likely only see Gomez and Simm, MAYBE one more between Roberts and Jacobi.
3 weeks ago on Why A Multi-Master Story Needs to Happen
@IcarusBeDamned I'd wondered with Jacobi, did he grow old at the end of the universe with that watch? He mentions that he was found as an "orphan in the storm" and one usually doesn't hear that term used to refer to full-grown people, so I'd imagined him as, somehow, a boy. I suppose, though, that it's open-ended enough to get around it and have him as The Master pre-watch.
With Simm, the principle would be the same as the non-Eleven Doctors in Day of the Doctor, right? Only Missy would remember it. I suppose that could slot the story at some point in the years when Saxon rose to power.
And Eric Roberts' Master, basically the same deal, just with a slightly stretched timeline? There doesn't seem to be much room there either...
I do love the idea of building to a multi-Master finale, though, could be the perfect segue into Gallifrey's return near the end of Capaldi's run.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Why A Multi-Master Story Needs to Happen
@yoshfiction Well that's the thing with science sometimes, it doesn't necessarily have to seem plausible to any of us (and I'm including myself in that group, to be clear) that don't have an extensive background in the sciences to be correct. There's that old saying about complex science being essentially indistinguishable from magic and I think that holds firm here.
Now, as for 12, that's a separate debate, but it's not related to the science of the episode.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Sciencey Wiencey: Kill the Moon
@MarlonJBonnici @SirTrey @supermoff What I'm saying is that the key difference is what he didn't do. He hallucinated her in the TARDIS for a brief period and that was it. It would have been more similar had he taken the TARDIS to 1930s Manhattan and actually seen, you know, the real person. Amy Pond didn't actually see Eleven again since she wasn't actually there.
And furthermore, while I'd still contend that structurally there are some key differences (Eleven also essentially had two regeneration moments, one on the tower and the small change in the TARDIS, among others), most people's problems with Ten's aren't the structure at all, that's missing the point. It's the attitude/words/conduct.
And on that note, despite your insistence to make this a Ten/Eleven point (i.e. RTD/Moffat) I'd also make the same comparison between Nine and Ten, and did so above...not in the structure, but in how it's handled. That's where the dissatisfaction comes in. Nine is much closer to the Time War trauma, he's finally found someone who cares about him...and now he has to regenerate? But he's warning Rose, even cracks a joke, and goes out with a smile.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Why I Hate the Tenth Doctor’s Regeneration
@TheNightmareChild, lone agent @SirTrey Eh. "Shakespeare Code" Ten seems pretty similar, and to be fair I do love him in that episode. He's like that a lot in "The Girl in the Fireplace" too, at least with grown-up Reinette, and again admittedly it works beautifully, so it's not like that was a problem in and of itself. He just didn't really have an off switch, something I'm certainly guilty of myself so I do understand.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Why We Shouldn’t Hate The Tenth Doctor’s Regeneration
@TheNightmareChild, lone agent @SirTrey @TardisBoy! That's true, and also why I'd certainly say I don't hate that Doctor. The child comparison in the article works surprisingly well...I'd still be willing to sympathize with/comfort Ten, while also pointing out that he's being a bit dense, just as you would a kid who acts out because they're hurting. The problem was that, save Donna, nobody else ever really called him out on his...less desirable traits, and he pretty much wiped that away from her.
@TheNightmareChild, lone agent @SirTrey That works, though there's still the reward line. It also hinges on whether you'll then see "I don't want to go" as just sadness or a reversal of said recognition, though I'll also grant that could be part of the tragedy...even after all that, at the end he still couldn't quite give in.
I can also fully admit that my reticence here is also due to the significant issues I have with the rest of The End of Time, aside from Ten's conduct, but that's not really related to this article. If I liked the episode better, I'd probably be more forgiving of its/his issues across the board haha So there's that.
@TardisBoy! I do agree there, I'd say that the disconnect just comes because it seems as if we're really supposed to still sympathize/like him throughout, with the exception of after "The Waters of Mars". It would be a very curious position to take in an article to argue that Davies, hypothetically, didn't really mean for Ten to be all that likable...a prodigal son with good qualities, sure, but one punished for recognizing his flaws too late, if at all.
@TheNightmareChild, lone agent That's a very interesting way to look at it! I think had his closing rant to Wilf been delivered differently or later, with more resignation instead of what came off as whining to many, it could've been seen as a poignant realization. "I could have done so much more" in the sense that he wishes he could've gone back and done things differently...a profound regret.
I don't really see that final moment of recognition, personally - his comment about going "to get [my] reward" still seems more rueful than anything else - but a more charitable interpretation of that Doctor could certainly go that route, and it's a fascinating one nonetheless.
@PaulRaymond Thanks for the response, always love it when authors have dialogues in the comments! I know from my own experience published here once and elsewhere that it can be an off-putting place, to put it lightly. Entirely fair to bring up another perspective!
I've sometimes wondered if I would've received Ten better in context as opposed to in marathon-form, with time to digest and miss him a bit. I only really came into Doctor Who in summer of 2013 and watched all 7 seasons of the revival era (and the TV movie) over the course of about two months, so I went straight from 8 to 9 to 10 to 11 with maybe a day's break in between seasons and Doctors.
I've also surmised that Ten and Eleven could've been better serviced (or, at least, more interestingly) had they been switched...almost all of my favorite episodes for Ten were written by Moffat and Matt Smith's childlike whimsy with an old soul could've worked well under Davies. All thought experiments...
@TheNightmareChild, lone agent @SirTrey Entirely fair point there. I've honestly not re-watched Tooth and Claw since the first time I saw it in Summer of 2013, so my memory there is a bit hazier. Upon reading a summary, true, there's probably less he could have done there, since the Doctor and Rose are banished essentially for having fun in the face of danger, something other Doctors would've certainly also been guilty of. I'd still, say, though, that when (if?) the Doctor realizes the eventual consequences of this, he doesn't seem to alter much of anything about himself.
@SimonThorpe @Conall McCormick That said, if Murray Gold wants to call in the world's biggest orchestra and choir for his final episode - which is hopefully far, far away - I won't begrudge him at all.
And I'm very curious to see what Moffat's swan song ultimately looks like...I figure it'll come with the end of Capaldi's run.
The author completely nails my biggest complaint not just with the Tenth Doctor but with all of Davies' finales after his first two...his inescapable tendency towards escalation, logic be damned. In S3, 6 billion humans from "the end of the universe" have been transformed and the TARDIS is a paradox machine, plus the world might get nuked to oblivion. S4? Twenty-Seven worlds are taken and Davros threatens to destroy all of reality. The specials? Pshh, reality? Rassilon is going after the end of time itself!
It's not that big was always bad in and of itself, the alternate universe finale of S2 and Dalek invasion/"People, we are at war" moment in the S1 finale is pretty dramatic by itself. But, for me, some of Davies' best work as a writer were his more contained episodes: Christmas Invasion, where Ten is knocked out and most of the action concerns one room on one ship with one group of aliens. Midnight, which, aside from its intro and outro, takes place in a small black room. I felt more tension watching Midnight than I ever did with any of his finales, and often wondered why we never saw more of that.
But we didn't see that because the Tenth Doctor's bombastic personality didn't allow for too many small moments, and that's expressed all the way up to his regeneration.
For the record though, well-written article, disagreements aside, and impressively quick if it was indeed written as a response to the prior one!
I'll say that of the things you mentioned that Ten had gone through, almost all of them were, well, his own fault. Had he not tried to prolong his life the first time around, he wouldn't have had a clone to leave in another universe, and Donna's memory wipe...I'd rather not get started on that one. I'm also slightly amused that your defense is to compare him to a child haha
Personally, I don't just judge the Tenth Doctor by this moment, but by so many of his others where he rubbed me the wrong way, dating all the way back to his very first episode, and how, until near the end he's almost never reproached for that. For me, many times that youthful charm came off as arrogance, and we see that early on with his immediate undermining of Harriet Jones. Mind you, if Harriet stayed Prime Minister, Harold Saxon might not have had such an easy time taking over. Then, TWO episodes later, that same young charm is taken the wrong way and he pisses off the Queen, leading to the creation of Torchwood, thus setting up the villains of both of the next two series.
In "Midnight", his insistence on being the most clever one in the room nearly gets him thrown out of the ship, until one valiant, nameless woman sacrifices herself. And finally in The Waters of Mars that "Time Lord Victorious" is finally checked by fate.
Also, for no really good reason he's always snippy towards both Mickey and Jackie, and basically treats Martha as "Not-Rose" for nearly her entire season.
Despite everything I just said, I don't "hate" the Tenth Doctor, by any stretch. He is indeed charming at times and when that comes out well he's a very fun, passionate character to watch. Episodes like "The Girl in the Fireplace", "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit", "Blink", "Partners in Crime", "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead" and most of "The Christmas Invasion" pre-Harriet come to mind. And this is NOT a criticism of David Tennant or Russell T Davies...he played the character excellently ("Human Nature/The Family of Blood", while textbook "vengeful god Ten" at the end, is also ridiculously well acted) and Davies wrote some truly intelligent, excellent episodes.
But for me the overall arc of the Tenth Doctor's character was often an annoying one for me, throughout his tenure, and his conduct in The End of Time, while not surprising, just exemplifies that for me.
@ItsSmallerOnTheOutside That last bit sparked something in me...I'd said before I thought it would've been really beautiful - ok, a bit logistically unsound, even ignoring how much energy he let out, but nice - had he regenerated in the snow outside of the Powell Estates. That "I don't want to change" instead of "I don't want to go" could've been a something he yelled at Rose, who could've comforted Ten, telling him that change is a good thing, something that happens every year. Saying it makes us better people. He smiles, stumbles into the center of the snow as she walks away, and regenerates. I'm not even a big fan of Rose/Ten and Rose together, but something like that, for me, would've been much more poignant and expressed her effect on him...even when he's feeling his worst, there she is, one last time.
I'd also be really, really interested, on a personal level, to see an episode, maybe once Gallifrey returns, where the villain is some kind of mad scientist basically playing with regeneration. Explore the "science" of it as he/she (could be an excuse to bring the Rani back) is drawing regeneration energy out of people, forcing it, trying to discover the secret to an infinite amount. Could also be a very sinister plot of the Master.
@stargazer0118 @the Ultimate Notsosmartguy Honestly, Davies altered the concept from himself...personally, I much rather preferred Nine's regeneration to Ten's and about equally with Eleven's. He's finally starting to recover from the horrors of the Time War, he's found someone that truly cares for him, and his enemies have been vanquished...and NOW he has to go and regenerate?
And yet the Ninth Doctor calmly has the resolve to explain what's going to happen, keep Rose safe, tell her goodbye and hell he even finds the time to crack a joke. It's dignified and beautiful...and doesn't practically blow up the TARDIS either, despite him having absorbed the entire Time Vortex.
@alonsys wants a TARDIS trio for Series 9! (Shona!) I do like the idea, though of course it banks on Davies knowing what Moffat had planned for 3 years later :P
@ElyotWren @Rassilons Cat 10 into 10 (and 9 into 10) were both relatively calm compared to the others. Source: recently watched every finale episode. Also, the Master's regeneration in Utopia doesn't blow anything up (though it's so much more entertainingly colorful), and to be fair neither does Mels'.