Blog Writer (PopGap), recent college grad, always looking for interesting things to write about.
@tom colman @SirTrey @joe4 Oh I certainly agree on a personal level that a writer doesn't necessarily have to come from the list of prior Who writers, I'm just going from the one prior example we have with Moffat, though he was more prolific under RTD than anyone has been under him. Didn't see that about Mathieson not wanting the job, fair enough...and I WANT TO BELIEVE when it comes to Gaiman, though I acknowledge it's highly, highly unlikely.
And admittedly, you're right that we don't know what goes on in the writer's room, though YMMV on Moffat's quality pre/post-RTD, obviously.
I'm also limited in that, being an American viewer, I can't say I regularly watch too many British shows, so my familiarity of high quality television in the UK is limited. Cross ran Luther, if I'm not mistaken, hence his name, and Whithouse Being Human.
I doubt the show abandons the model; in America, it's frankly becoming MORE popular, not less, and provides a consistency of vision.
3 days, 7 hours ago on Capaldi Doesn’t Plan to Regenerate “For a While”
@joe4 @SirTrey Well there's always dissent somewhere haha I mentioned in the Moffat birthday article that you could make a serious argument that Moff has written the best episode in all 8 seasons. The only one where I think it's a serious stretch is series 6, due to "The Doctor's Wife" being - at least for me - the obvious leader that year. Hell I even enjoyed "Nightmare in Silver" a lot more than others.
With that said, Mathieson's two episodes were phenomenal and showed a great understanding of the Doctor and his companion. He's probably a LOT cheaper and, aside from a new French drama - and, let's be honest, if Doctor Who asked I think he'd make things work - also a LOT less occupied. I like the idea of handing the keys to Mathieson so, so much more than to Gatiss and at least as much as, say, Toby Whithouse or Neil Cross. I'd love it if he ended up becoming a consistent writer under Moffat like Moffat was under Davies, would allow for a smoother transition.
4 days, 2 hours ago on Capaldi Doesn’t Plan to Regenerate “For a While”
Love Capaldi and hope he stays for years to come...and, as much as I also love the Moff, it might be interesting to see how a Doctor is handled under different showrunners. It happened plenty in the classic series but so far in the revival each Doctor has been covered by one main writer. Next year will be the fifth with Moff in charge and the tenth where he's been writing for the show...if he were to step down it would be after an excellent run.
Then the BBC just needs to start throwing money at Neil Gaiman and only stop when he says yes :P
4 days, 8 hours ago on Capaldi Doesn’t Plan to Regenerate “For a While”
@Planet of the Deaf @supermoff @NotsoSmartguy Personally I'd say one of the reasons S8, S5 are my favorite seasons (and favorite finales) is that they have such a singular focus. S1 is similar, though I'd have it behind S4 in terms of the overall season but miles ahead in terms of the finale. Not that the other seasons didn't have an arc or clear focus but I felt that the execution and connecting factors were their most taut in those years.
It can't be a coincidence that those are all first seasons for Doctors...Davies and Moffat both knew exactly what they wanted for Nine, Eleven and Twelve respectively and everything moved towards that end. Similarly I think Ten's best season is the one where Davies was the most removed from Rose's shadow and created a new dynamic/focus with Donna and with moving towards the end.
SO, revolving back around to Clara and Danny, especially considering we'd already seen a long-running TARDIS romance under Moffat with the Ponds I was ok with a bit more rushed romance if the actors can carry it...and I'd certainly say Jenna Coleman and Samuel Anderson do so with aplomb,
5 days, 1 hour ago on Steven Moffat: 10 Triumphs
@Switcharoo I...erm...um...*scrolls down*
5 days, 2 hours ago on Steven Moffat: 10 Triumphs
@Kongosoha, investigating the Other And give Ten one more shot to be an ass to Jackie Tyler, don't forget that :P
5 days, 4 hours ago on Finale Face-Off (Series 1-8)
@the Doctor's euphonium @SirTrey True enough but that seems to be the exception with Doctor Who finales for whatever reason, not the rule, so I'll take a perfectly logical and straightforward ending if everything prior worked to build to that moment over something that builds up and then does nothing with most of that, or alternately a finale that basically comes out of nowhere (Space Jesus). And even a very well established resolution (the Teselecta) collapses under the weight of all the other twists and turns.
@the Doctor's euphonium That "plot-point men" line was hilarious though haha
And yeah with S4 I'm impressed at how many balls RTD was juggling at once but that doesn't mean I care about those characters. Among many, many other issues.
5 days, 5 hours ago on Finale Face-Off (Series 1-8)
@the Doctor's euphonium I just find it interesting that after loads of (entirely valid) complaints over Moffat being too timey-wimey and convoluted, people are complaining because Series 8's finale was apparently...too logical :P
Strategically I wanted to vote for Series 8 because it's a very solid #2 for me and easily the most logical resolution of any of the finales IMO, even my favorite one takes some stretching.
But The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang isn't just my favorite New Who finale, it's probably my favorite episode period. Couldn't vote for anything else.
@TheOncomingHurricane Also, piggybacking on what troughton who? said, just because a literal deus ex machina is used twice doesn't make it ok the second time. It makes it a deus ex machina used twice ;)
I've also always wondered why that entire process back on Earth was necessary. Rose had traveled with the Doctor for quite a while, clearly meant something to him, and the world was clearly in danger. Are we supposed to believe that the TARDIS could get pried open by a truck? Was Rose just not trying hard enough yet? What happened there?
And yeah, cleansing Blon is still a ways away from granting near-immortality, wiping out an entire fleet and causing instant regeneration...I feel like it's notable that not even Davies bothered mentioning the Heart of the TARDIS again (to my knowledge) and the next time the TARDIS' sentience became a topic was a completely different portrayal in "The Doctor's Wife".
All that said, it's still a brilliant finale...but that resolution is its one glaring flaw for me.
@Clara Bosswald wants a Kate Stewart Spin-off @TheNightmareChild I also love how he basically seeds the whole "name of the Doctor" arc here, in his second episode, with Eleven saying he'd have to find a new name for himself. It's certainly a flawed episode but far from "bad".
5 days, 5 hours ago on Moffat’s Best Monsters, Tricks & Stories (So Far)
Top Twelve Moffat Episodes:
1. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
2. The Day of the Doctor
3. The Girl in the Fireplace
5. The Eleventh Hour
6. Dark Water/Death in Heaven
7. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
8. The Time of the Doctor
9. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
10. Deep Breath
12. Asylum of the Daleks.
JUST missed: The Angels Take Manhattan, The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, The Snowmen, The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes to War/Let's Kill Hitler.
The man's written some of the show's best-ever episodes and I'll be very sad to see him go. There's a very good argument that he's written the best episode for each and every season!
5 days, 7 hours ago on Moffat’s Best Monsters, Tricks & Stories (So Far)
@TheNightmareChild "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone" was great, excellent ending to Part One and holds up nicely, I just honestly can't remember much of it, unlike many other recent episodes, which tends to mean it didn't stick as much with me. I'd submit either of his last two season premieres, I greatly enjoyed both "Asylum of the Daleks" and "Deep Breath" and think they should both be better received. For me, with the exception of the first two the show's mostly had great premieres.
@MrRazza likes counting down with Tony Blackburn @SirTrey Ahhh interesting! My tastes are waaaaay too fluid for me to be able to settle on anything that direct, so well done on your end! And yeah sometimes with next-door episodes the gap is infinitesimally small, so I certainly understand that.
5 days, 8 hours ago on Moffat’s Best Monsters, Tricks & Stories (So Far)
@Mark McCullough On that note, has Davies wholly ruled out returning for a one-off? While I had tons of issues with his arc writing, when he had one offs like Midnight, Turn Left or The Waters of Mars he was fantastic and I'd love to see a one-off idea of his.
@TheNightmareChild @NotsoSmartguy @supermoff, chief of the statistics police @NSSG&SMAF I began watching Doctor Who in summer of 2013 after my roommate introduced me to the series and he'd already seen all of the episodes...he was getting disgruntled with Moffat by then. I adored S5, which even he did, and distinctly remember messaging him after Let's Kill Hitler wondering when things supposedly started getting "worse"...legitimately enjoyed Let's Kill Hitler quite a bit and never really understood the reception. Now, Wedding, yeah, that's when things got messy haha But for me the midseason two-parter worked great, it was certainly crazy complicated but that's not necessarily bad.
@MrRazza likes counting down with Tony Blackburn I'm curious, how did you develop your rating system? I've done a lot of my own rankings for various things and briefly flirted with quarter points before finding it too difficult to apply consistently so I stuck to half points...can't imagine implementing .05 point differences.
@Huknar *Before his final episodes, Ten certainly sacrifices in The End of Time, though he handles it so, so much worse than either of the other two. Nine is composed, Harriet resolved...meanwhile Ten goes on an whiny rant.
5 days, 8 hours ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 8
@Kongosoha, investigating the Other I cheat a bit there too in my usual rankings so I can pack in one more episode...often I'll combine "Midnight" and "Turn Left" since one is companion-lite and the other Doctor-lite. I know there's no real argument there but it's my list haha
But yeah, "Turn Left" directly leads into the S4 finale as much as "Utopia" leads into the S3 finale...
@Ian Chatterton She really does work so much better with Nine than Ten, I enjoyed Rose for the most part in Series 1 - until she became a TARDIS god but that's not on her - but really came to dislike her in Series 2 and beyond.
@91 Queen of Evil Out of all of these I'm most curious about S7 (and amused that seemingly everyone else has S3 at the bottom)...I think having it at the bottom is certainly too low but I'm curious why/how it's your favorite finale, especially ahead of the next two you have ranked.
5 days, 20 hours ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 8
@TheNightmareChild @NotsoSmartguy @Planet of the Deaf I probably would've had less of a problem with Rose ending up happy (still wouldn't have loved it as I never liked her much, but it wouldn't have been as much of a sticking point) if Donna hadn't gotten completely screwed - against her will - ten minutes beforehand.
6 days, 2 hours ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 8
@Huknar *A meaningful sacrifice they chose, so Donna doesn't count for those purposes*
@supermoff, chief of the statistics police @SirTrey There's contradictory information on this front...he's been quoted in Doctor Who Magazine as saying he considers Utopia to be a separate story but at the same time it's officially listed just about everywhere as part 1 of a 3 part finale and there's that 200th episode point as well. It's not like I'd argue with someone on that point, I just personally prefer them separated for the exact same reason. Though even if I included Utopia it might not even raise the episode up much, MAYBE above Wedding.
@NotsoSmartguy @StephenAHayes Agreed, I'll at least give them that. I mean, I still think Series 3's rating is, well...bananas, and Series 1 could probably be about a point lower. But everything else seems pretty well within the episode's range if you don't really look at the numbers and just look at the overall rating from 1-8.
@Huknar @supermoff, chief of the statistics police @NotsoSmartguy Oh that's FAR from my only issue with the S3 finale :P But yeah it's a pretty big portion of those issues, though my bigger problem is less in the execution and more in what it results in...glowy Jesus Doctor who basically hugs the Master into submission but conveniently loses his magic powers just before Lucy shoots him.
@Huknar I would contend that my issue with Series 1 is how few of the consequences it actually addresses. Yes, obviously, Nine regenerates. But Rose is basically a-ok. Jack gets resurrected while everyone else is left to die because of what I found to be an annoying habit of Davies'...he had no problem killing off minor character's we'd just met but had a complete inability to let basically any remotely important characters go. I think the Ninth Doctor and Harriet Jones were the only characters with more than one episode's appearance to actually have a meaningful sacrifice that wasn't eventually made better. And the whole "continents are being melted" line is never even remotely addressed so it seems that pretty much the Earth is left to fire and ruin.
Despite everything I just said :P, I still really love the closing, almost entirely because of Eccleston. But boy did it try me to get there haha
@supermoff, chief of the statistics police @Huknar His first finale is his best for me by a pretty decent margin, and even though that one ends in a quite literal deus ex machina, I'm willing to largely overlook that due to the emotional resonance and how amazing Eccleston is during his closing moments. It just feels like a better episode.
It's also easily Davies at his most restrained, before he started throwing the kitchen sink at us...then the kitchen...then the entire house...then the block.
@Huknar @TheOncomingHurricane While I don't necessarily disagree with the idea that TSE/JE wraps things up "neatly" (how well it does that and how fulfilling it is, I disagree with, but not the base premise), I'd say that's largely because RTD really seemed to set up that episode (and The End of Time) as essentially end-of-show episodes and not just end-of-series episodes, tonally.
Of course it feels like the end of everything...not to say that, because of that you disregard it but it's notable that such a feeling isn't really apparent in his other finales. We haven't seen the end of Moffat's run yet and I suspect he'll include some major closure in his as well.
For some reason LiveFyre didn't like the first few things I wrote, so the intro (where I explain the three "tiers" and apologize for the length haha) was "malformed"...so here it is.
In my rankings,
the various finales are divided into three distinct tiers, and for these
purposes I'm including the regeneration episodes and the one episode where a
companion leaves outside of a standard finale, since it checks so many of the
boxes. The first tier includes the two finales I most believe work coherently
both with emotion/character AND plot and a 3rd finale that, while I have one
major issue with it, the rest works phenomenally well:
1. The Pandorica
Opens/The Big Bang - Probably my single favorite episodes in New Who.
Simply brilliant, top to bottom...fantastic end to a fantastic season.
Dark Water/Death in Heaven - EASILY the most logically sound of the finales,
from either Moffat OR Davies. And Gomez is excellent.
3. Bad Wolf/The
Parting of the Ways - Eccleston puts this episode on his back. The
presence of the Bad Wolf entity annoys me but everyone else is brilliant.
second tier includes episodes where I have some pretty serious issues with some
parts but I find other parts so compelling that I'm willing to mostly overlook
the other problems.
4. The Time of the Doctor - There are certainly issues
with the rogues gallery/300 year war segment but as far as I'm concerned from
when Tasha brings Clara back to the ending the episode is basically perfect.
This one is MUCH closer to the first tier than to the rest of the
5. The Angels Take Manhattan - Very similar to the below
Journey's End...the plot makes little to no sense but dammit seeing the Ponds
leave is absolutely heartbreaking, and the episode seems to carry itself
significantly better than, well, the "actual" finale seen later in
6. The Stolen Earth/Journey's End - The middle seems appropriate
here...seeing the Doctor Who version of the RTD Avengers tugs at the
heartstrings, the cliffhanger is unbelievable and it just feels right as you're
watching it. But when you step back...the episode collapses. Also,
what Ten does to Donna is abhorrent, and, alongside the ridiculous Metacrisis
(and that resolution with Rose), is what pushes this just below Angels.
Name of the Doctor - I can't really put my finger on what's..."wrong"
with this finale. I actually like the Impossible Girl resolution, it's nice
seeing everyone together (the Paternoster Gang, River, Clara, Eleven) and it
seems to wrap things up. Plus there's that stunning cliffhanger.
But it just doesn't feel nearly as interesting as even some of the more
flawed other finales...someone pointed out in another comment that The Angels
Take Manhattan is, in many ways, the real S7 finale, while the second half in
many ways simply serves as buildup for the 50th and Christmas special, and I
agree. The Name of the Doctor isn't bad, but it's clearly part of a
larger setup, so it arguably feels the least like a "finale", and
probably also contributes to the ambivalence over Clara's arc.
8. Army of
Ghosts/Doomsday - Plot issues, Ten-as-asshole issues, nonsensical appearances
and resolutions, Rose saying she's going to die three times and not dying...but
despite all of that Gold's score, the Cybermen-Dalek battle and the emotional
resonance still manage to keep this one working. Barely.
And the final
tier are the three finales that, to various extents, I'd say go pretty
disastrously. None of them are without their positives, but there are
just so many issues that I at least am not able to overlook.
9. The End of Time
- I'll say this much: Murray Gold's score is arguably better here than in any
other episode in New Who save MAYBE The Eleventh Hour. But so, so much
more in this episode fails where it's trying to succeed. The Master is
barely better here than he is in Series 3...his plan (and the main MacGuffin
plan of part one) is just...off. Bringing back Donna only to have her be
a temporary grenade for no good reason not only devalues Journey's End but
seems wholly unnecessary, which yes more so means "I don't like it"
but I still can't see a good reason to bring her back in if all that's going to
happen is she'll remember and NOT die. Ten should've regenerated from his
fall alone, the entire Rassilon scheme with the white point star barely holds
together (what of the Time Lock) and he acts like a petulant, arrogant child
leading up to an over-the-top-even-for-an-opera regeneration.
10. The Wedding of
River Song - So basically, our main takeaway from this confusing mess of an
episode is that time is an idiot that can be tricked by a look-alike robot.
This was Moffat at his most convoluted and least effective.
11. The Sound
of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords - No, I'm not including Utopia
here...Davies doesn't and I'm not either. The Master's portrayal just
feels...wrong from nearly every turn. The plot makes zero sense.
Gollum/Dobby Doctor turning into Tinkerbell Jesus Doctor may be the most
ridiculous thing I've ever seen on this show. Martha finally gets a
moment after a series of neglect only to spend her strength chasing after a
giant MacGuffin and spreading a message the Doctor apparently told her in about
ten seconds. A giant reset button not only renders the events basically
meaningless but allows for the beginning of The End of Time to make even less sense.
Pretty much the only thing I did like about this episode was "This
is Gallifrey", which is admittedly one of Gold's best-ever Who tracks.
@rowan5215 has two broken hearts @TheOncomingHurricane "It's for your own good, I swear" is rarely a good excuse, especially when the person is a grown and intelligent adult capable of making their own decisions. Just because he's the Doctor doesn't give him the right to stomp all over that.
1 week, 2 days ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 4
@Aztecs, Daleks and Cavemen In my headcanon I often consider Midnight and Turn Left to be a two parter since they were Companion-Lite and Doctor-Lite back to back, and that run of Silence In the Library/Forest Of the Dead and Midnight/Turn Left is better than probably any other run of four episodes in the show, possibly save Series 3's run right before the finale of Human Nature/The Family of Blood, Blink, and Utopia.
Turn Left is brilliant - Gold's music when Donna is traveling back is beautiful and when it cuts out your heart just breaks for her. Midnight works amazingly well too since it's creepy as hell and for once Ten being arrogant to everyone comes back to bite him.
1 week, 3 days ago on New Who Finales in Perspective: Series 4
@Planet of the Deaf I agree about the whole "end of the show" vibe being annoying, though I felt it more in The End of Time when Ten was busy freaking out over his actual death and went around to go stare sadly at all of his former companions before a regeneration so dramatic that it made opera seem subtle. Compared to that the closing of Journey's End felt downright restrained :P
Ultimately this one was pretty easy for me...Jacobi, while brilliant, gets about five minutes as the Master, so it barely counts. And Simm...I mostly blame it on Davies' writing in his trilogy (especially Last of the Time Lords) and in The End of Time, but I really didn't like that portrayal of the Master. Hell, you even see it in that picture above...the Master should never wear a hoodie lol Gomez is just as brilliant as Jacobi, if not more so, and gets time to really shine. I can't wait for her return!
1. Michelle Gomez
2. Derek Jacobi
3. John Simm
1 week, 3 days ago on Face-Off: New Who Masters
@Clara Bosswald wants a Kate Stewart Spin-off @SirTrey I think that's fair with Utopia though I use the Davies excuse and basically count that as a separate episode. Can't complain about Jack...Martha does have great moments (finally) but I'm almost more frustrated we didn't get that until the finale than happy to see it haha. And Simm just annoys the hell out of me, much more in Last of the Time Lords.
But yeah that's fair, I was just baffled yesterday by some of the unbridled enthusiasm and 9+ rankings for the episode. I'm gonna be in that same unreasonable excitement boat for The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang tomorrow though, that tops my list by a mile though S8 is within range and S1 isn't far behind.
@Clara Bosswald wants a Kate Stewart Spin-off @SirTrey See that moment is redeemed for me because after like three seconds of it the Doctor gets shot by a Dalek. It's like even Davies, master of sappy romance - especially with Ten and Rose - was like, "Nah, that's too much, even for me." XD
@Anthony Retondo @SirTrey Oh that's entirely fair, I'm just a sap haha Though that sappiness never really extended to the Ten/Rose pairing for some reason...
@TazminDaytime It couldn't until DoctorDonna pressed a lot of buttons :P
@Clara Bosswald wants a Kate Stewart Spin-off I made a similar comment below...while I'm personally more forgiving of Stolen Earth/Journey's End because of all the character moments - it's basically RTD-era Doctor Who's version of The Avengers - even those have issues (Donna's fate) and the story is so bonkers that I perfectly understand why people really don't like it. Angels Take Manhattan was similar for me...great character moments, nonsensical plot. And yes, RTD had a major problem with escalation.
With that said, I don't really know how the S4 finale can be seen as crap and the S3 finale as not-crap at the same time, considering that plot, for me, was equally ridiculous (they even both shared a "use 6 billion people to contact the Doctor" story move, though one was through words and one was through cell phones)...
@Anthony Retondo You see, I actually really liked that scene. Davies was great at character moments, especially group character moments - though he's still unnecessarily an ass to Jackie Tyler - and that one felt touching. Now, how he GOT to that point? Yeah, that was ridiculous haha. But once we were there, it felt earned.
@Malohkeh @NotsoSmartguy Though "Hey, at least it's not as stupid as some of their older plans" isn't exactly a great defense...
@Malohkeh @supermoff And somehow none of those comebacks broke the Time Lock...
@LGwalchmai95 @NotsoSmartguy "Played jump rope with that line"...I like that :P
@NotsoSmartguy @LGwalchmai95 Which is why I have less of a problem with it being said and more with it being emphasized like three or four times lol
@LGwalchmai95 Yep. Big complaint about both of those episodes...it's said like three or four times in each episode. I'll even accept Donna's thing being a death of sorts, mentally - though you still didn't need to tell us three times, Russell - but Rose's was just melodramatic for the sake of it. I don't care that she's legally declared dead, that's not what he wanted us to think and we all know it.
@NotsoSmartguy @SirTrey @supermoff Good catch :P
@Antee991166 @SirTrey @supermoff @LGwalchmai95 Like I said, I didn't know anything about this before today so I don't know anything of the Falklands War besides that it happened between the UK and Argentina over...some islands, right? I really feel like I should know more about this just for general history knowledge. But yeah, can't comment on her justification there. My instant, no-background impression is that the threat would've had to be pretty huge to justify that...and, to circle back to Doctor Who, giant aliens with lasers have to be a pretty huge threat to Earth. Remember, in this continuity this is pretty much before all of the other public-knowledge, Doctor-intervened invasions. They were just recovering from the Slitheen (twice, counting Boom Town) and probably more than a bit jumpy.
@NotsoSmartguy @SirTrey @supermoff It's not even that she's a character I like getting screwed - though she probably is my favorite New Who companion, here or Amy - but how it happened (generously, memory protection, less generously, mind rape) and how it completely reverses all of her character's development to send her back to that monotonous existence Davies had made sure we knew sucked beforehand.
And then in The End of Time it's conveniently overridden, not to bring her memory back but just sorta...because?