"The Doctor is a romantic character, though not in the sense that he bedded Rose..."
Wha?! Have I missed something?
1 day, 8 hours ago on Flatline Review
Yesterday I was in an 8 mile race. As I pushed on across the stormy beach with the wind howling in my face I watched the shifting sands beneath me which reminded me of The Boneless and spurred me on with anticipation for that evening's episode. My anticipation was certainly worthwhile:
Concept- I'm surprised that 2D monsters haven't been done before (they did feature in a DWM comic strip although they played a more active role in this episode) simply because they are so effective. The shrinking TARDIS was also an innovative way to remove the Doctor from the episode (sort of) and the 'siege mode' TARDIS was very cool, much more so than the rather bland cylindrical TARDISs that featured in Name of the Doctor. I wasn't quite sure why the TARDIS's lack of energy was causing the Doctor to become delirious, was it lack of oxygen or something? Clara 'becoming' the Doctor was an interesting continuation of a recurring theme this series, but more on that later.
Monsters-The absorption and 'dissection' of the entity's victims came across as horrific rather than cartoon-like and the fragmented zombie creatures were the scariest that we've had for a long time. The giant hand scene could have been a great 'jumpy' moment had it not appeared in the episode's teaser.
The Doctor- More childish in this episode than we've seen so far this series with the '2Dis' and his little dance (who else loved the dance?). His final line, "you were an excellent Doctor. Goodness had nothing to do with it," was perhaps a little hypocritical given that he had forced Clara to be manipulative in the previous episode.
Clara- As consistently good a character as she has been throughout this series. Last year's 'Impossible Girl' seems like a completely different companion. Yet again life with Danny is portrayed as maddeningly mundane. It's a very intriguing, if bleak idea that traveling with the Doctor is eroding Clara's conscience and humanity. This is an interesting interpretation of a similar motif in the RTD era. Watching Army of Ghosts the other day I was struck by the poignancy of what Jackie said to Rose, "in forty years time, fifty,
there'll be this woman, this strange woman, walking through the
marketplace on some planet a billion miles from Earth. But she's not
Rose Tyler. Not anymore. She's not even human"
Supporting Cast- Rigsy was likeably earnest and I was glad that he got to play a role in saving the day. Fenton on the other hand, was deliciously deplorable. Unimaginative, cynical, unhelpful, uncaring, unthankful and just generally an all-round nasty piece of work. There's something very bittersweet about the episodes where the unpleasant characters survive (Voyage of the Damned, The God Complex).
Missy- What she said at the end of the episode appears to rule out the possibility of her being a Clara splinter gone bad- "I'm glad I chose you" (or something to that effect). If Missy was Clara then why would she need to 'choose' herself?
1 day, 8 hours ago on Rate & Discuss Flatline
I completely agree that this series, otherwise average episodes such as Robot of Sherwood and The Caretaker are greatly improved by their focus on ongoing character development.
Also, does Clara have a cat?
1 week, 1 day ago on Mummy on the Orient Express Review
The floor is 2 dimensional as well. Can't this entity be "in the floor" as well? I know, I'm nitpicking, that was a very sinister and tense scene.
3 days, 11 hours ago on Flatline Clip
Thanks to DWTV for publishing my article and thank you to everyone for your kind comments. I had been painting blackberries for AS Level Art when I took a break to the pleasant surprise that this had come online- blackberries are really very tedious to paint!
4 days, 4 hours ago on The Girl Who Painted: Artistic Themes in Doctor Who
Obviously the Doctor has lost that pair of glasses he had in The Girl Who Waited!
5 days, 6 hours ago on Flatline Clip
The baby TARDIS looks a bit like plastic-y, almost like a toy TARDIS! Should Capaldi's face poking out of the door not be a bit bigger than that?
5 days, 7 hours ago on Flatline Clip
Something that's never been done is a companion that spans three Doctors (obviously it would be odd considering that said hypothetical companion would have a longer tenure then the actor playing the Doctor).
Imagine if Rose had stayed with Ten until the end and he had then regenerated into Capaldi (yes, I'm getting very hypothetical now but bear with me). With Eccelston she had what was intially a slightly unstable friendship which soon became much firmer. Then With Tennant an actual Doctor-companion romance developed, albeit one that remained unspoken. It would make for a very interesting dynamic if she ended up with Capaldi, causing any budding romance to evaporate in a puff of regeneration energy and leaving her on even less stable ground than she had been on in the early days of Eccelston.
All hypothetical of course!
5 days, 11 hours ago on Piper Praises Capaldi, Unsure on Another Return
There are probably more topical articles in your waiting list although since Flatline is relatively art-centric in its use of grafffiti, you may wish to publish the article I submitted a couple of months back- 'The Girl Who Painted: Artistic Themes in Doctor Who'.
Obviously if it isn't up to scratch I'll stop hassling you!
5 days, 18 hours ago on Write for Doctor Who TV
I never realised how much thought went into the symbolism and foreshadowing included in the the songs of Doctor Who. It just goes to show how much love for the show that the entire crew have.
6 days, 3 hours ago on Who Tunes: Ranking the Lyrical Songs of Doctor Who
The whole 'Clara Who' thing annoys me, not because of any ill-feeling towards the character (although that is unfair) but because it's completely illogical.
The title 'Doctor Who' indicates the various mysteries surrounding the eponymous character- "Who
are you? Where are you from? What set you on your way and where are you
going? Oh, and what is your name" .
The 'Clara Who-ers' are bemoaning the fact that this series there is a greater focus on the companion than the Doctor (a very good thing, I think). Therefore the title 'Clara Who' would be a better name for series 7 part 2 when Clara was, let's face it, a wee bit bland, and we didn't really know what kind of character she was.
1 week ago on Next Time: Flatline
I think that photo of Capaldi was used on the inside cover of last month's issue placed in the context of Kill The Moon. I really shouldn't know that!
They also used that photo of McGann on the cover in April or May!
1 week ago on DWM #479: Heaven or Hell?
Coming in at 11:39- my very clever and very arrogant verdict:
Plot- Very enticing and tense setup. The countdown was an inspired narrative device (even if it got slightly stale by the end) and it was thrilling wondering who the mummy would take as his next victim and when. The alien soldier resolution was satisfying enough although, as others have said below, it would have been nice to get a slighter longer explanation. I would have liked the mummy to have been one of the innocent species corrupted by the Time War all those years ago, and that this would have helped the Doctor to work out who the mummy was.
Aprés Plot- I really love the extended Doctor-Clara discussions we're getting when the conflict is resolved at the end of several episodes this series. It serves as a nice 'what we've learned' scene although obviously not as patronising to the viewer as that sounds.
Doctor- Capaldi was at his best here. There was the darkness we've come to expect, his apathetic and calculating attitude to the imminent deaths of supporting characters was shocking, but is it really new, or have previous incarnations simply been able to put on a sympathetic face? As much as I loved Tennant's Doctor, his "I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry," catchphrase always came across as rather insincere to me. However, he received a redemption of sorts, at least in the eyes of Clara, in the final scene. I was also touched by his genuine pleasure that Clara would continue travelling with him.
Clara- Coleman's performance was excellently tinged with poignancy as she contemplated her last ever adventure with the Doctor. I can personally see why she want to continue in the TARDIS based on how mundane life with Danny appeared:
"Hi Danny. I'm on a train in space!"
"That's great babes. I'm sitting on a sofa in a dank room."
(several hours later)
"Hi Danny. Just to say, everything's turned out all peachy!"
"That's great babes. I'm still sitting on a sofa in a dank room."
Also, Clara's flapper-esque hair and clothes were just darlin'!
Supporting Cast- I really liked Foxes' jazzy rendition of Don't Stop me Now and it really contributed to the (sort of) period ambiance. Was Foxes a hologram?! Perkins was a great character and Skinner's acting was, on the whole, very good. I was pleased by how intelligent and independent he was for a humble train engineer.
Villians- As threatening and visually horrific as the Foretold was, it was a surprise twist that he wasn't really the villain of the piece. It was an unexpected subversion of the now familiar 'irritating computer interface' device in Doctor Who that Gus was the episode's antagonist. His (its?) overriding demand to discover the identity of the Foretold at any cost was very sinister and gave a chilling hint of what Twelve could become. The image of the chefs floating in space was a very disturbing and macabre one (second time I've used the word 'macabre' in as many days!) and it was slightly callous of the Doctor to continue his convesation since he already knew how ruthless that Gus was. Lastly, Gus was able to call the TARDIS phone, and not very many people know that number...
1 week, 2 days ago on Rate & Discuss Mummy on the Orient Express
The CGI for In the Forest of the Night looks excellent, especially since there didn't seem to be any location filming for that episode.
The song was even better accompanied by the series 8 montage. I wonder if it will go on sale, in which case we should all try our hardest to get it into the charts!
1 week, 2 days ago on Foxes ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ Full Song (Featuring New Series 8 Clips)
2d monsters have featured before in a DWM comic strip yet that was basically just a gimmick whereas the idea of an entity experimenting with the human form in order to establish itself in the 3d world sounds very clever and scary indeed.
1 week, 2 days ago on Next Time: Flatline
Is it just me or does the Doctor's endorsement of the human race colonising the universe in Kill the Moon and several other episodes feel misplaced. Obviously he has a great love and respect for our species yet the adaptation and endurance that takes us all the way to the end of the universe must have involved the destruction and slaughter of countless alien civilisations. The Shakri considered the human race to be vermin and perhaps they weren't entirely wrong.
1 week, 3 days ago on Kill the Moon and Its Importance in Whoniverse History
Its all very well thought through how Kill The Moon complinents and fits in with previous episodes yet would it even matter if there were inconsistencies in the first place? After all, time was in flux so events subsequent to the hatching of the old moon and the birth of the new moon could be rewritten and compensated for accordingly.
@Chris502 I pity the Voice. No gimmick nor even the whole "appearances don't matter to us" concept could make it cool. Even hiring Astrid Peth didn't work! Er... I mean... Kylie.
1 week, 3 days ago on Poll: Lights On or Lights Off?
@Beasts_a_Snarling It was certainly a very macabre image and the way that Capaldi delivered the line really emphasised the severity of the situation.
I voted lights on although in reality it's impossible to say whether or not I would be so merciful.
That was really rather disturbing. Not disturbing in the way of a conceptual, thought-provoking analysis of human nature, just disturbing 'cause there's a big, eyeless, smiley mummy walking towards you!
1 week, 4 days ago on Mummy on the Orient Express Clip & Intro
"This episode sees the Doctor taking Clara to a place that he hopes will be... fun."
So she is in it? It seems odd that the BBC would let this detail loose after their extensive warnings to the preview writers.
@Ottoman14 Within the fictional universe of Doctor Who 'humanity' is a rather arrogant concept on our part. It's mostly used to refer to love, compassion and emotions in general yet the human race obviously isn't the only species in the universe to possess these qualities.
1 week, 6 days ago on Kill the Moon: Clara or the Doctor?
@stargazer0118 All the best episodes of Doctor Who require engagement in the characters and plot as well as considerable thought after the credits have rolled. That's why series 7 isn't my favourite, the 'blockbuster' format makes for overly inconsequential and digestible storylines.
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, Cold War and Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS are the Doctor Who equivalent of a can of red bull, as opposed to episodes like Human Nature or The Girl who Waited, or indeed Kill the Moon, the Doctor Who equivalent of a big, hefty... potato?
Yesterday I read an article by Charlie Brooker on a similar topic. I would say I found it very amusing yet I'm wary of giving praise of any description having read it!
1 week, 6 days ago on Doctor Who and The Hype Train
Has anyone considered that the new moon was just closer to the Earth than the original meaning that it looked smaller?
2 weeks ago on Kill The Moon Review
I hold the average opinion as regards series 8 episode ranking. I don't know if I should be pleased or disappointed!
2 weeks ago on Your Verdict on The Caretaker & Episode Ranking
@TheOncomingHurricane When I first watched it my nine year old self took Evolution of the Daleks to be quite a science-orientated episode (I suppose there wasn't a huge amount of character drama going for it). Reading your comments now I realise that the whole set-up is rather unfeasible!
@gavinbarsby There's a type of jellyfish that can return to its 'baby form'- please excuse my lack of scientific terminology- after mating (effectively making it immortal). Perhaps the moon flea works in reverse, after being born it can immediately become sexually mature. It's a big universe so the concept is hardly unfathomable.
2 weeks, 1 day ago on 12 Great Moments From Kill the Moon
@Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor! The Ambassador from the City-State of Blinding Light?! I can't believe I missed him! he was my favourite!
@supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space! Yes! That was beautifully directed. Even the brightness of the moon penetrating the curtains of Clara's bleak, desaturated flat was brilliantly evocative.
@ Notsosmartguy Will Kill the Moon I agree. Nine hundred years of the Doctor on Trenzalore being explained away by ten seconds of narration didn't really feel credible to me.
@MaraBackman As long as he's able to?
He may be a bit older than Matt Smith but I don't think he's going to die any time soon!
I like the little Take me Out reference slotted in at number two.
Does anyone know the music playing when Clara storms out of the TARDIS at the end of the episode? Is it just me or does it sound like "Where Are You Christmas?" as sung by Cindy Lou Who (a relation to the Doctor?!) in the Grinch? Not that that's a bad thing necessarily!
@Typo42 Psi and Saibra got what they most wanted in the universe in Time Heist so their respective fantasies both effectively came true.
2 weeks, 1 day ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon
It seems that Moffat is being held hostage by Daleks. I liked Capaldi's snarky little Tennant hair gel joke.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Doctor Who Extra: Kill the Moon
@Mercy Reborn2 The Doctor can't tow planets (or moons) whenever he wants. The TARDIS was only able to bring the Earth back home in Journey's end because he was able to use the rift as a sort of tow chain.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon
@The 14th Doctor Maybe they've relaxed their rules by 2049.
I'm back- with more potential symbolism!
When Clara enters her classroom at the end of the episode, the opening line of David Copperfield can be seen written on the whiteboard- "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether
that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show".
It seems to me like a nice reflection of whether the Doctor was right or not to opt out of heroism and allow Clara to make that fateful decision. I love attention to detail like that, even if half of the whiteboard was cropped out of shot and I had to consult Google to get the full quotation.
I just read on the Guardian website that someone saw the plot as a metaphor for abortion. It does cause you to look at the episode in a new light although I'm not sure whether I'm willing to accept the theory just yet.
@Roq777 It did look like a toned down version of the garb John Nathan Turner used to wear...
@supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space! I love how Doctor Who can just dip into its long history in a passing comment. The fans are delighted yet it goes straight over the heads of casual viewers. I rewatched Utopia last night and was ginning away when Ten called the human race "indomitable"- also from The Ark in Space. You can tell that the line means a lot to Tennant just by the way that he delivers it.
@supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space! Thanks for transcribing that. It proves that not only the acting but the scripting too is top notch. I can see why Moffat found that scene his favourite of the series- "the Doctor isn't a hero every day".
@who251 @PaddyB Clara was completely in the cold over whether the creature posed a threat or not. The Doctor knew yet didn't tell in a patronising attempt to get the humans to think for themselves.
@TardisBoy Those are very valid criticisms. I agree although perhaps to a lesser extent. Hype is never healthy for me, I felt very let down by the 9.5/10 early verdict of Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (yet I don't dislike the episode as much as others tend to).
@Ivegotkidneys is companionless! I liked that nice little callback to Blink. Shows that Peter Harness is certainly a fan!
It wasn't 10/10 for me but I still really enjoyed it because there was lots to think about after the credits rolled, and all the best Doctor Who episodes give the viewer a lot to think about.
My general overview:
The Concept- I guessed that the moon would be alive in some way from previews and the synopsis although the egg concept was much more original and engaging than the sentient sun in 42 or the space whale in The Beast Below. The spiders being giant bacteria was an ingenious idea and a nice way to include a monster in a more thoughtful episode.
Hinchliffe S**t- the spiders leaping onto the Doctor's face was a great 'jump out of your seat' moment. However I felt that a lot of the episode was wasted with the whole tense spider preamble and that the episode could have been slightly tighter if a different plot-thread or idea was introduced instead. Perhaps Courtney could have done a little more- talking of which...
Courtney- deftly characterised and immediately likeable, despite being a "disruptive influence".
Her compulsion to call Clara "Miss" added some pleasing realism, who would ever feel comfortable calling their teacher by their first name? The Tumblr shout-outs were humorous and didn't feel shoehorned in as popular culture references often have in the Moffat era. I eagerly await the reign of President Courtney!
Science- If the moon creature has been in its gestation period for 100
million years then why does it start to grow so suddenly in the last 35
years? Shouldn't Neil Armstrong have been attacked by giant spider
bacteria?- "One small step for maAAAAARGGG MY FACE!"
Humanity- Something that wasn't much dwelt on but that I found very dark and shocking indeed was that the human race voted in its millions to kill the moon. It was an interesting dilemma that I found conflicting, would killing the moon mean killing a baby or was it simply protecting the Earth from a malevolent virus? The potential idea of a giant, mutilated corpse hanging in the sky was incredibly disturbing to me.
Dark Doctor- ostensibly his actions were noble, he didn't want to be nanny to the human race and he was granting Clara's wish to make Courtney feel important. However, dig just a little beneath the surface and he is seen to be callous, manipulative, condescending and aloof. He lied about knowing the outcome of the situation to make the 'little' humans feel like they were making their own decisions. He was completely unthinking of the anguish and distress that he was forcing upon his friends. If time was in flux then how did he know that they would make the right choice? Basically there wouldn't have been a dilemma at all if he had chosen to intervene. Clara's reaction was perfectly justified.
So there you go, rambling over. If you fancy an alternative opinion then you can always head to my earlier comment!
@denial No More, its CLARA WHO! Clara was annoyed because the Doctor's decision to give Courtney a chance to shine was aloof and condescending to the entire human race as well as incredibly stressful for Clara.
@ Notsosmartguy Will Kill the Moon I actually thought its big smiley mouth was a bit funny looking although the hollow eye sockets and uncanny valley vibes make it disturbing nonetheless.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Next Time: Mummy on the Orient Express
What was that all about?
I know that Kill the Moon was supposed to change everything but what I saw barely seemed like Doctor Who at all.
Mediocre at best renditions of Robbie Williams' Angels, nauseating sob-stories and the completely worthless presence of Cheryl Cole.
Even the moon only made a cameo appearance in the new title sequence with the giant, flaming red X flying towards the Earth. What was it with the giant flaming red X anyway.
Lastly, why in the name of God did the BBC sell the rights to Doctor Who to ITV?!
That was Doctor Who wasn't it?...