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@ManWithChips Oh, and don't forget: moods change.  "Vengeance on Varos" was one of my least favorite stories.  It's one of my favorites now; you see things differently later, when you're in a different mood or you've noticed something you missed before, and it changes the whole experience.

21 hours, 52 minutes ago on In the Forest of the Night Advance Review

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@ManWithChips People have wildly different sentiments for this season, which I'm finding very interesting.  And exciting!  What makes Doctor Who great is that it can appeal to such a huge range of people.  It does this by varying its format and the style and messages of its episodes.  So the fact that we have wildly different opinions about the stories isn't a bad thing.  It's probably the best thing possible, because it means Doctor Who is playing to its greatest strength.  Nobody will love every episode, but every episode will be loved by somebody.  That's what keeps it alive.

21 hours, 53 minutes ago on In the Forest of the Night Advance Review

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@TheOncomingFish @ADeviousTree Except, she wasn't one-dimensional, she wasn't generally annoying (not if you took the time to understand why she was acting out), and she wasn't obsessed with a phone.  Yeah, she was on Tumblr with it, but c'mon.  They'd just tossed her in the TARDIS to wait.  She was bored, with only her phone for entertainment.  I'm turning 40 next year, and I'd've whipped my phone out too.


It's true, most teenagers aren't like Courtney.  Even within Doctor Who, they're not.  But one or two are like her.  It would be interesting to explore her further.  Why is she a "disruptive influence"?  I get the impression she's just bored and can't see the point of going along with the whole "school" thing, and long since became fed up with it.  Which is why she relates to the Doctor so well -- he's exactly the same way.

21 hours, 55 minutes ago on In the Forest of the Night Advance Review

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@DWTV Oh sure, just rub it in that you get to see it before us plebians get to see it.  :-D

22 hours, 1 minute ago on In the Forest of the Night Advance Review

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"Nightmare in Silver" gets a lot of hate, but honestly, it's only by comparison to the brilliance of "The Doctor's Wife".  I think we sometimes forget just how lucky we are to have a TV series like this, where there are stories so incredibly good that ones that would be spectacular on a lesser show seem poor by comparison.  Even bad "Who" is actually quite good TV.  ;-)


And I'd totally watch another one with Warwick Davis.

22 hours, 2 minutes ago on Neil Gaiman on Hopes for Capaldi Episode

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@Who is the Doctor @LGwalchmai95 Brilliant!  So yes, of course there will be talking animals.  There are *always* talking animals.  It's just they're not generally talking English.  ;-)

22 hours ago on In the Forest of the Night Advance Review

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@Sneezed Regeneration @Moffat'sLittleHelper - is surrounded by trees! Nitpick: if you were born in 1980, you'd've been 9 when the show was cancelled.  Plenty of time to want to be on it.  ;-)  My daughter is seven, and she's wanted to be on it for years.

2 days, 19 hours ago on Next Time: In the Forest of the Night

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@Old Floridian My guess is they've escaped from the London Zoo.  But we shall see.  ;-)

2 days, 19 hours ago on In the Forest of the Night Promo Pics

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@PaddyB That'd be cool!  If you discover that you do, will you take requests?  ;-)

2 days, 19 hours ago on In the Forest of the Night Promo Pics

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@joe4 @DWTV It may have been unintentional.  Someone not paying attention to what the bus they were photographing was advertising.

2 days, 19 hours ago on In the Forest of the Night Promo Pics

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@foolmentaljoker @Typo42 @The_Ogri Which is very handy, from a writing perspective, since it means any continuity errors are to be swept into the crack until such time as you want to use them, and then they're not.  ;-)

2 days, 21 hours ago on Rate & Discuss Flatline

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@ConradWesleyClough It didn't strike me as being pedantic.  It struck me as a reminder that the Doctor is not very proud of himself.  He can be astoundingly arrogant, but it's an act to cover up his own shame.  He has serious doubts that he's a good man, so the distinction isn't mere pedantry but actually kind of the point they've been getting at this season.

3 days, 17 hours ago on Rate & Discuss Flatline

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@11th Doctors Purple Coat I loved his little Gomez dance afterwards in the console room.  ;-)  Pity the TARDIS then fell over, and it was all for naught....

3 days, 23 hours ago on 12 Great Moments From Flatline

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It didn't get the impression it was something Clara could've done with the sonic at any time; he did tell her he needed her to stall a bit, and he needed the TARDIS' dimensions restored as well.  So there were presumably calculations, and the sonic couldn't have been doing it all on its own.


"A Doctor with a new set of regenerations."

Now there is a very very chilling thought.  Suddenly I'm thinking of "Mawdryn Undead".  What if she needs not the Doctor but his future regenerations?

3 days, 23 hours ago on 12 Great Moments From Flatline

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@Mark McCullough I would've thought the omission of the heart would've been clue enough.  Even if you ignore the heart and of course the massive aorta and vena cava, there is a beautifully delicate web of coronary arteries that outlines the whole thing.


I've been to a couple of "Body Worlds" exhibits.  One of the pieces that tours is a circulatory family.  The only thing plastinated in all three people is the circulatory system; the rest has been removed.  It's remarkably beautiful.

3 days, 23 hours ago on 12 Great Moments From Flatline

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@Scootersfood has 66 Seconds to live... @JFrance Well, now my youngest daughter is definitely going to want to see it.  ;-)

3 days, 23 hours ago on Next Time: In the Forest of the Night

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@Old Floridian  @Oodkind I couldn't make it all; had to turn on the subtitles and back it up.  ;-)

3 days, 23 hours ago on Rate & Discuss Flatline

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@ar2261 @EvilZygonRabbit That was a really intriguing line.  She's all caught up in the excitement of saving the world, the headrush of "I'm an awesome superhero!" and the Doctor called her on it.  It obviously blindsided her.


We've had a companion who started out evil and went good (Turlough); it would be very interesting to be seeing the reverse.

3 days, 23 hours ago on Rate & Discuss Flatline

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@Two of Hearts @BoneyardBetty "Projects" indeed is probably the closest American equivalent, though I get the impression there's more community planning and organization in a British housing estate.  A project wouldn't usually have its own council to set rules on subway* art, for instance.  This is probably reflective of different attitudes towards public assistance; it's more organized in Britain.

*For my fellow Americans, "subway" in this case does not refer to an underground train.  It refers to a pedestrian tunnel.

3 days, 23 hours ago on Rate & Discuss Flatline

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[pedant]It is, of course, Tyger, Tyger, not Tiger, Tiger.[/pedant]


I love that poem.  I would love to see more great poetry show up on Doctor Who.  ;-)  If I had my wish, we'd get another historical episode visiting a tormented artist of the past, and this time it would be set in 1840s Baltimore, if you get my drift....


I mean hey, we've seen Dickens, Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, and Van Gogh -- let's visit Poe!

6 days, 19 hours ago on Details on Episodes 9-12 of Series 8

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@The Finn @Master Michael Moon @Clara Laurinda Which Mark Gatiss wrote, so I think that's what Master Michael Moon was getting at.  ;-)

6 days, 21 hours ago on Flatline Clip

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Immortalized, eh?  Well, that can mean a lot of things.  As Woody Allen famously said, "I don't want to achieve immortality through my works.  I want to achieve it by not dying."  Which kind of immortality will Danny get?  The Jack Harkness kind (literally can't die), or the Sarah Jane kind (can never be forgotten)?  Or the Adric kind -- woven into a massively historical event, and dying in the process?  We shall have to see.  But I find this encouraging.  I like Danny Pink.  He's an interesting character and I want to know more about him.

6 days, 21 hours ago on Anderson on Series 8 Finale, Danny Future

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@PaddyB Well, in the set of stills that they released, there is a picture of Clara and the black guy jumping into that hanging chair, so I'm guessing that does occur to them at some point as well.  Scary thought!

6 days, 21 hours ago on Flatline Clip

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@floppy_who I've got a balsa wood model on about that scale that my parents bought for me at a convention in the late 80s.  I later assembled and painted it, and it now graces my cubicle at work.  Every time i watch this, I glance up at it on the shelf and smile.  ;-)

6 days, 21 hours ago on Flatline Clip

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@TheBlueDiary likes classy jelly babies @conallmc2013 @Old Whovian I suspect it's possible but uncommon, as most Time Lords probably aren't comfortable with that much change in their lives.  Regeneration's enough of an upheaval without having to relearn how to use the bathroom.  :-P  But some would be daring enough.


I've also read a fascinating theory that the regeneration process may be driven in part by a Time Lord's subconscious and/or mental state.  Romana, we may recall, had a very easy time of it and was able to select the body she desired.  The Doctor, however, has a very tumultuous experience every time.  Perhaps this is because he buries so much feeling, and then those feelings end up expressed in his next regeneration, whether he wants them to be or not.


So if one's mental state is a factor (and I really think it is -- note also River Song casually mentioning how she will "take the age in a bit, gradually, just to freak people out"), then that might explain why some Time Lords might gender swap and others wouldn't.  I don't think the Doctor would be likely to.  Although he seems to have little control over the process, he seems to have a frank terror of his identity changing.  (That's been noted more this season than before, but it's not new.)  That alone might make such a radical change impossible.

6 days, 21 hours ago on Rate & Discuss Mummy on the Orient Express

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Ooooh, that looks really intriguing!  Shades of "Logopolis", but with a bit more exploration of what that would mean for the TARDIS.  I'm looking forward to this one.  ;-)

1 week, 1 day ago on Flatline Clip

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I'm glad Clara's not going -- but at the same time, I wanted to smack her upside the head for lying to the men in her life again.  She knows what she wants, but she can't bring herself to trust either of them with the truth, at least not without controlling what bits of the truth each of them gets.  I think Danny sees through it, and probably recognizes why she's doing it; I think he's been there himself a lot of times, and have a sneaky suspicion still is -- I think he's hiding something too.  The Doctor, however, doesn't seem to notice the lie at all, and in any case might not fully appreciate the implications.  After all, he's quite comfortable with white lies, and would probably file this under that category, even though it's pretty manipulative and self-destructive as well.  Clara's heading for a personal catastrophe, I think.

1 week, 2 days ago on 12 Great Moments From Mummy on the Orient Express

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@Typo42 That's a really interesting way of looking at it!  I was assuming it was going for the weakest simply because it's so weak and tired itself that that's all it can manage.  But I really like your explanation better.  Honorable.  It has to kill, one at a time, to protect its flag and maintain its own existence (as it's leaching off life force in some manner), but it doesn't like killing civilians so it chooses those most likely to die anyway.

1 week, 2 days ago on Rate & Discuss Mummy on the Orient Express

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@Deus_Ex_Machina Oh, shut up and let us fantasize about 8th Doctor TV episodes for a little longer.  ;-)

1 week, 3 days ago on DWM #479: Heaven or Hell?

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If Katarina was a companion, then Courtney surely is as well.  ;-)


Regarding the giant flea: well.  "One, the fact the Giant Moon Flea™ was able to lay an egg the size of the moon, despite the fact it was neither pregnant or and, well, it was a bit silly."  How do you know it wasn't pregnant?  I've been giving that some thought, and, well, it might actually have been.  Look up aphid reproduction sometime.  They are seriously weird, with multiple reproductive strategies even in the same species, but you can have a female aphid give birth (they're viviparous, though lacking a birth canal this involves the babies coming out Alien style) to pregnant daughters.

2 weeks ago on Is Courtney Woods a Companion?

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One thought came to me during my commute this morning: the Doctor clearly thought it was really cool that a sort of space dragon was born out of this egg (and it does neatly tie into the Whoniverse moon timeline -- our Moon has orbited the Earth for billions of years, but in the Whoniverse it arrived during the Mesozoic, somehow convincing the Silurians and Sea Devils that they had to go into deep sleep underground in order to survive) but what if it's not?  What if it's not a space dragon?  We've seen another monstrously huge winged space creature before on Doctor Who, and it was immensely evil.  What if the Doctor just unwittingly saved a newborn Great Vampire, the first to be born in millions of years?


(Yeah, I'm sort of a sucker for "State of Decay".)

2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon

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@BazHood @kainanite I think the idea there was that the creature was shifting.  Gravity follows the inverse square law, so if the creature moved inside of the egg, its mass may have moved far enough away that she weighs so little that a tiny footstep would send her up into the air.  I liked it as an explanation for the lunar mascons that so bedeviled the early lunar orbiters and the Apollo program, and I liked it as an explanation for the curious phenomenon of moonquakes.  But yeah, they really can't get away with ignoring conservation of mass.  Some technobabble was required, and we didn't get it.  I too adore your suggested dialog, kainanite.  Ever thought of writing fanfiction?  ;-)


Actually, the creature laying an egg right away didn't bother me scientifically.  Aphids are born pregnant, after all.  (Which is pretty horrific if you think about it, really -- male aphids mate with pregnant female aphids, which have no, um, *passageway* for that, so this means they basically stab her abdomen.  This inseminates any females she's carrying.  When they are ready to be born, again, she has no birth canal, so they just eat their way out of her.  Ew.)  So instead of scientific implausibility, that bit gave me fridge horror instead....

2 weeks ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon

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@DoctorBobbob I dunno.  I'm as much of a science pedant as the next nerd, but I think Doctor Who left the science plausibility boat behind a very long time ago.  ;-)  This episode gave me some sciency quibbles, but honestly "The Impossible Planet" was worse from a physics perspective.  My main problem with this one (besides the Shuttle landing in a completely impossible manner -- flying to the Moon in the Shuttle would indeed have been a suicide mission, but would've resulted in a very short episode) was that nobody explained where the moon-egg's mass was coming from.  A hand-wave at subspace transfer or something would've been nice, or perhaps suggesting the spider critters were interstellar scavengers attracted by a newly hatching moon-egg, and so the added mass was just them (a horrible thought, really -- see also XKCD What If #4, which speculates what a mole of moles would look like, and it's not pretty; turns out it would produce a mass of compressed mole flesh about the size of the Moon).  But I was able to give that a pass for the duration of the episode.


"The Impossible Planet" actually irked me more from a celestial mechanics perspective.  "Kill the Moon" at least seemed to be aware of how gravity works.  "The Impossible Planet" instead had the popular misconception of what a black hole is.  It is not actually impossible to orbit one.  It is totally possible.  The only real reason they probably don't have planets is that a stellar-mass black hole is born in a supernova, which would blast any planets out of orbit in the first place.  But a planet captured later would be fine.  (Apart from radiation if it's actively feeding.  And you really don't want to get inside its Roche limit.  If you were inside that, you still wouldn't get immediately sucked in, but you would get ripped apart by tidal stresses.)

And I enjoyed "Impossible Planet" too.  ;-) "Doctor Who" has never been terribly accurate from a scientific perspective (the Doctor even repeated the old yarn about scientists not understanding how bumblebees fly), but that's not the point.  If you want better physics, watch "Babylon 5".  If you want a quick adventure and then back home in time for tea, then watch "Doctor Who".  ;-)

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon

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@doctorpoo123 Yeah, in the hype it made it sound like it was a sequel to something, but it turns out all they were referring to is that he's been to the Moon before.  Several times, in fact -- "The Moonbase" springs instantly to mind, but more recently he went to the Moon in "Smith and Jones".  (And apparently forgot about that when offering to make Courtney the first woman on the Moon in 2049.)

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon

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@Strontium Of course not.  ;-)  It was a scene clearly built to fit in after anything.  Moffatt was making a joke with that comment about guff about clockwork droids.

2 months ago on Moffat on THAT Deep Breath Cameo

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The ambiguity of the robot's demise is indeed a master-stroke, and rather unsettling because of it.  I found myself unsure which outcome I would prefer -- after all, the Doctor seemed to be manipulating it into killing itself, so if it did leap, would that really reflect better on the Doctor?  And we know that in the past he has killed.  And I'm not just talking about using the Moment (even if that decision later got reversed).  The Doctor has killed.  There's a scene in "Resurrection of the Daleks", for instance, where the Fifth Doctor actually empties a handgun's clip into a Kaled mutant that's been squirming along the floor, out of its casing and vulnerable.  Self defense?  Sure.  And so's this.  Usually he tricks his enemies into killing themselves, but is that really any different?  And I felt myself really examining that question during the scene in the "escape capsule", and not coming to a satisfactory answer.

The Doctor is a complicated person, obviously.  And I feel we're gonna see more and more of that over the next season.

2 months ago on 12 Great Moments From Deep Breath

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@pyroclasticflow @Clara Laurinda That would be very interesting!  I don't think that's where they'll go with that, but it would be a really interesting path to take.

2 months ago on 12 Great Moments From Deep Breath

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I think she's someone new.  But if she's someone old, I like the idea of Romana gone crazy.  I doubt that's who she is, but it's a fun thought to play around with.


Nethersphere -- well, wouldn't that be the afterlife anyway?  The netherworld?  How interesting.  It seems out of character for Doctor Who to take a position on the traditional concepts of an afterlife, but I could see them going with a facility that has the ability to snatch people out of the moments of their deaths in some way.  It's an interesting idea -- and could confer great powers of supervillainy.  Given we're going to see her again in an episode featuring a Cyberman invasion, I wonder if the process of cyberization is somehow antithetical to what she does?  I don't know.  It's going to be fun finding out, though!

2 months ago on Introducing Missy the “Gatekeeper”: Who is She?

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@Scootersfood @007 Bond 50 I believe she's a new character too, though part of me thinks it would be lovely if she turned out to be Romana.  ;-)  Rani would be nice to see again too, but that seems vanishingly unlikely.

2 months ago on 12 Great Moments From Deep Breath

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@Antee991166 @ Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey @type41tardis @The 14th Doctor The original Sontaran was played by Kevin Lindsay.  (Who indeed did not have a British accent, as he was Australian.)  I was unable to find a record of his height, but I did find some stills from "The Sontaran Experiment" showing him next to Elizabeth Sladen.  It was shot entirely on location, with very uneven ground, but he doesn't appear to be much taller than her.  IMDB lists her height as 5' 4".  So I'd guess he was about 5' 6".  Whether or not you consider that "short" probably depends on perspective.  I'm 5' 2", so it's a decent height in my books.  ;-)


The Sontarans were recast for their next appearance, in "The Invasion of Time", because Kevin Lindsay had suffered a fatal heart attack not long after "The Sontaran Experiment".  To keep costs down with them being a clone species, they had all but one keep their helmets on at all times, thus avoiding any complicated split-screen work.  Most of the stills I could find show them with the Doctor (and Tom Baker isn't a fair comparison, as he's pretty tall), but one showed the lead Sontaran with Castellan Kelner, played by Milton Johns.  Johns is clearly looking slightly downwards to look General Stor in the eye.  I couldn't find heights for either Johns or Derek Deadman, who played Stor.  But at any rate, the Sontarans in that episode (the first time we'd seen them in a group) definitely appeared shorter than average for adult males.  It's possible all the other actors were just tall, but I don't think so.


There was a fairly tall Sontaran in "The Two Doctors"; the two main Sontarans in that serial had a rather surprising height disparity for a clone species.


As far as design, I think the old design is pretty dated; it looks like the 70s.  It's not bad, but it's very 70s.  ;-)  Also, the modern costumes clearly have far greater flexibility, and modern prosthetics offer far more expressiveness for the actors than the original masks did.  From a *technical* standpoint, I prefer the modern designs.  And really, they're not much different.

2 months ago on Deep Breath Spoiler-Free Review

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Not having seen it yet, I have to disagree about confining the Paternoster Gang to the Matt Smith era.  I realize there's a temptation to make a clean break, but we must be reminded in some way that this *is* the same man, even if he has changed rather drastically, and bringing an element of the previous era along has been used before to great effect.


I'm thinking specifically of "Robot", Tom Baker's debut serial.  (I second the call for longer runtime; one of the things that made the classic series so successful was the runtime.  Yes, they had fewer stories in a season, but I think they were generally stronger.)  The entire story was conducted in UNIT's bailiwick, complete with the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton.  (No Captain Yates, alas.)  And they even gave the Doctor a companion out of UNIT: Dr Harry Sullivan, who went along for the rest of the season.


Of course, sometimes it's not an old goodie gang that helps them along, but a baddie.  Peter Davison's tenure began with the dramatic conclusion to a lovely story arc featuring the Master, and that really helped tie it together in my opinion.  Of course, I was quite young when those stories aired, so I remember htem so fondly anyway that it colors my judgement.  ;-)  But my point is that the idea of bringing along something familiar from the previous era is not that unusual and has been beneficial before.  Honestly, I prefer it to a clean break.  I love "The Eleventh Hour", but in the first few minutes it felt like they were putting the previous era on a bonfire to dispose of it and start clean.  Heck, they started it by blowing up the console room.  It did work out, but I'm pleased to see them doing something different this time around, and giving us more of a link.

Oh, and one other story comes to mind: The Christmas Invasion.  Rose's family was a home gang that helped give the audience something familiar through the transition, beyond the main companion's continued presence.



2 months ago on Deep Breath Spoiler-Free Review

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@craig33 In fairness, I think interviewers try to be thick so as to get their subjects to try harder to explain things, and they ask stupid questions so as to get the known and expected answers stated.  By now, I wouldn't be surprised if he can do an interview in his sleep....

2 months ago on Capaldi on Coleman Leaving Rumours

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That is an absolutely beautiful response.  My hat is off to you, madam.  You know how to tease us fans exactly right.  ;-)  And you know how to preserve what's important - the experience of watching and going on an adventure of discovery with the Doctor in the TARDIS.  Thank you!

2 months ago on Coleman on Exit Rumours: “I don’t want to tell you the truth”

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I'm looking forward to this one; I suspect it will be a lighter episode, because "robots + Robin Hood" just equals fun.  Or at least, it should.  ;-)  But we'll see where they go with this.  Personally, I just like swashbucklers and other period pieces, so I'm looking forward to this.

2 months ago on Robot of Sherwood BBC Synopsis

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@mrclever @The Alien Hunter YES!  YES!  YES!  A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!


But then, we all already felt that way, didn't we?  ;-)

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

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@Gustaff The novel "Lungbarrow" (which was originally intended to be an actual serial in what ended up being Sylvester McCoy's final season) had exactly that -- a Gallifreyan identity theft by regeneration.  The story was nixed by producers, and bits of it morphed into the transmitted serial "Ghost Light".  (Lost nearly all the story, but kept the fantastic atmosphere and several story elements.)  I don't want to say whose identity gets stolen, because it's a serious spoiler, but let's just say that if a Gallifreyan wants to frame somebody, and is able to control their regenerations well and were willing to sacrifice a couple of regenerations to do it, they could do a damn good job of it if they wanted.

2 months, 1 week ago on Series 8 “Faces” Deep Breath BBC Radio Trailer

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That's a really creepy way to look at it -- if the Doctor has a lined face, where did the lines come from?  How creepy would it be, getting a body with an obvious history that you weren't a part of?  Might explain Doctor #3's tattoo (seen very briefly in his debut episode; certainly the Doctor wouldn't have had time to go get that done, so where do things like that come from, hmm?).  Of course, they look like their actor's, but how much more interesting to think "what if that was real, what if that could actually happen, what would it mean for them, psychologically?"

2 months, 1 week ago on Series 8 “Faces” Deep Breath BBC Radio Trailer

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*chuckles*  That last paragraph has me really strongly thinking of another schoolteacher character.  Is Clara becoming a bit like Susan of Sto Helit from the Discworld books?  ;-)

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Coleman on Capaldi’s “Mad Curiosity”, Clara’s Home Life

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@GRANDMARSHALL Colin Baker has joked that the best thing about wearing the costume was that it meant he didn't have to look at it.  :-D  He did not like it either.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Moffat on Capaldi’s “Grey-haired stick-insect” Look

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The "reset" is actually pretty consistent with 10's regeneration scene; we saw his face mysteriously heal well before the actual change occurred, and he seemed to be indicating that this meant the process was now irreversibly started.


Hallucinating that Amy was there . . . well, that has precedent.  Both Tom Baker and Peter Davison hallucinated friendly faces (and some decidedly unfriendly faces) during their regenerations.  So as a longtime fan, I was actually glad to see that.

3 months ago on Why I Love the 11th Doctor’s Regeneration

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