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@supermoff agent of C.L.A.R.A. My primary objection to a female Doctor really is merely that, while lore may have stated theoretically that Time Lords can regenerate as either gender, we've never actually seen that. Every person with regenerative abilities that we've ever met - the Doctor, the Master, Rassilon, Romana, even Jenny and Melody Pond/River Song, has always remained the same gender every single time. In practice, the show has established that all Time Lords have a clear dominant gender preference.
If the Doctor turned female, that would have to be something of a crisis point. It doesn't mean she couldn't do the job brilliantly, even still, but it would mean that a being with an overwhelming sense of male-ness has to cope with being stuck in a female's body. A transgender Doctor. I'm not sure Moffat's up to telling that story with any success at all.
The Doctor is not male because it requires a male to be the Doctor. The Doctor is the Doctor, and just happens to be male. I'd find a black, asian or hispanic Doctor a lot more feasible. That's been done successfully; Melody Pond grew up black.
4 days, 15 hours ago on Rate & Discuss Flatline
@LiamTheFizz @ClaireAbraham I do understand your thinking; I was just trying to explain the Doctor's reaction. Every Doctor has had the burden of understanding the big picture more clearly than those around him, and in the process of serving the greater good, he has often had to make decisions that seemed callous, or which allowed suffering to certain individuals.
There's a real dilemma for the Doctor, no matter what era he's in. If he's not focused on the big picture, and the best case scenario for the largest number of people, he can't do his job well. He can't be the Doctor, and these people need the Doctor. But he can't avoid all suffering for everybody, and no matter what he does, people are going to complain if his actions result in any level of suffering for anybody involved.
The Doctor can sacrifice 100 people to save ten hundred billion, but he will end up carrying the guilt from allowing or even causing those hundred deaths, and people will talk about how he's washed in the blood of others.
Consider the episode that first introduced Capaldi to this universe - Fires of Pompeii. The Doctor had to set off a volcano that would annihilate an entire town, or the entire earth would be destroyed. He gets to save the planet and be the bad guy at the same time! Hell, he even gets raked over the coals for killing monsters.
No matter what he does, he's going to get blamed.
@Scootersfood has 66 Seconds to live... @MarySue Moffat Twelve works better with Clara because there's a certain amount of conflict and tension in their dynamic. It makes both characters much more interesting. Eleven's relationship with Clara was very bland.
Characterization for everybody hasn't been this good since the best of the RTD days. Now that wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey isn't at the heart of every single episode, I'm enjoying it very much more.
This is the best series in years.
@supermoff agent of C.L.A.R.A. The sonic should not have been involved at all. It has become the magic wand that solves every problem, and I thought it was a tremendous letdown to what was otherwise an amazing scenario. It doesn't matter if meticulous hyper-analysis can show that the sonic was working in concert with the Tardis; the overall impression is that he waved that damned screwdriver and the monsters vanished. I would very much have preferred him to have a different means of projecting the green force field to eliminate the monsters.
@LiamTheFizz He said she did the Doctor's job very well. He also implied that she was not showing herself to be a good person as she did it. Her morality is changing for the worse, and it troubles him, because he caused it.
@supermoff agent of C.L.A.R.A. Possibly, as Clara becomes more and more like him, the Doctor is seeing how he comes across to others and is not liking it at all.
@Whovian64 Survival? Probably pretty good, since Moffat never really kills any companions. Amy and Rory went back in time and died naturally at a ripe old age. Also, she and Danny have to create Orson's grandparent at some point.
Staying? I think she's gone at the end of the finale.
@THE FOREST THAT NEEDS EXPLAINING @Scootersfood has 66 Seconds to live... Probably deliberate.
I thought the monsters were innovative, the characterization brilliant, the acting superb, the suspense unbearable...
And the solution just stunningly awful. That episode was a clear nine right up to the instant the Doctor solved the problem by waving his sonic screwdriver at the monsters and making them go poof. Oh, my god, what a letdown - and the whole thing had been great up until then!
@John Smith the Second No, the character of the Doctor can, and has, carried the show at times successfully - usually with a Doctor who was generally sympathetic, played by an unusually strong actor. While Capaldi is a jaw-droppingly strong actor, his Doctor is not sympathetic by himself, so we need a companion to provide contrast. It works...really, really well... for now.
5 days, 15 hours ago on ‘Doctor Who’ or ‘Clara Who?’
@CompanionRaffi Good comment, there. Colin Baker might have fared better if he'd had a companion as strong as Clara is now.
@OncomingStorm in a Browncoat with a stake I don't think Clara always did the solving. She solved Listen, and she solved Kill the Moon under screaming, crying protest. The Doctor solved all the rest.
@ Notsosmartguy Agent of C.L.A.R.A. I agree. Her function this season could have been similarly done by Amy or Donna if they were somehow still here. (Although I think a tenure that long for any companion would not be a good thing.)
@ Notsosmartguy Agent of C.L.A.R.A. @Oodkind, now in 2D! I'm not sure he's even uncaring; he's just stunningly pragmatic. He wants to solve the problem, save as many people as he can, and defeat the monsters. However, if it's clear that one person is not saveable, but their death can lead to the saving of others, he doesn't spend a lot of time in mourning.... unless that person is Clara. Her, he cares about as an individual.
We've gotten used to warm, accessible Doctors who can carry the audience sympathy. Tennant and Smith were both like this, and Nine was not as cold and mean as Twelve is. .When the Doctor is cold and alien, the Companion must be the person who carries the audience sympathy, and this has been the case for decades. Clara is more prominent because the quirks of this particular Doctor demand that she be so; if she were as weak and poorly defined a companion as she was last year, the show would be in trouble. However, because she is so much stronger as to be almost a different character altogether, the present dynamic is working, and we've got, IMHO, the strongest Doctor/Companion pairing since Tennant and Tate. It's also, IMHO, along with Tennant and Tate, one of the top two Doctor/companion pairings in all of New Who.Clearly a little sandpaper between the two leads is very, very good for the show.
I am not going to complain about Clara Who if the present dynamic gives us the strongest series in the entire Moffat era.
5 days, 16 hours ago on ‘Doctor Who’ or ‘Clara Who?’
David is the first reviewer to bring up one of the problems I had with the episode upon rewatch: the insistence that Courtney be viewed as "special." It's not particularly polite to tell a child she's not special, but nor is it wise to grant such an effusive statement of praise without accomplishments to back it up. Children are all unique, and they are all valuable. They should all be special to particular people in their lives, but special as a generic accomplishment? I think the millenials may be victims of too much praise without reason, raised to an unrealistic and unwarranted sense of entitlement.
The Doctor's response was to grant Courtney an experience that would indeed make her special - but he felt she had to do something to earn that description. It was borderline kind of him to make that possible - ultimately irresponsible and unwise, and he caused the dilemma in the first place - but he meant well when he offered her a trip to the moon.
To be honest, I wish Doctor Who would stop hammering the idea that each of these people had to be special in their origin story. I liked it better when ordinary people, like Rose and Donna, traveled with the Doctor and found themselves capable of extraordinary things because of their time with him. Does everybody in Doctor Who have to be the Most Special Snowflake of All?
2 weeks ago on 2nd Opinion: Kill the Moon
@TheOncomingHurricane @Aztecs, Daleks and Cavemen @Clara Laurinda @G_Unitt How many human babies would kill the entire planet just by being born? There is no suitable analogy.
@Antee991166 @The Lazy Cat is Hiding from the Mummy Tennant certainly couldn't have - but that's what led to Time Lord Victorious. Poor Doctor. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't, and not human enough to know the right way to do things to appease human sensibilities.
2 weeks, 1 day ago on Kill the Moon: Clara or the Doctor?
This one's hard. I think his position on the question was correct, but the way he presented his argument was a disaster.
@Tardiswatcher @savasta I am very sorry to say that if I had been in charge of that decision, I'd have picked saving billions of people over one space dragon.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon
@Scootersfood has 66 Seconds to live... @DoctorBobbob No, but he green-lighted it. He's still in charge.
@The Living Angel / is Regenerating @BeyondThePolice ...And they got a little lucky. The situation turned out fine because of miraculous circumstances they had no way of knowing about.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Rate & Discuss Kill the Moon
@ Notsosmartguy Will Kill the Moon Oh, God no. He'd have had his fingerprints all over that decision. Ten would have, as well. We'd probably have had an epic speech on preserving the beautiful and unique things of the universe, along with an explanation of why the moon bits probably won't destroy the earth, and it all would have ended with a heart-warming embrace.
@Terileptils On The Orient Express Well, every Doctor has had a reckless, selfish moment, but not every Doctor is reckless and selfish all the time. Capaldi's pretty damn cold. I don't recall even Hartnell being quite this oblivious to the needs and feelings of others this deep in his run.
@ahunter8056 This is Jenna's second series. She'll have lasted as long as most companions and longer than many. I think Clara's on her way out, and it's not an unusual loss. Companions last 1-2 series, Doctors last three. Anything more is gravy. That's just how it usually goes.
@Typo42 @Clara has a Flatline @Romanadvoratrelundar @ilyootha @sontaran17 Especially since Courtney was born in Great Britain. Unfortunately, it is not possible to become the President of the United States unless you are actually born in the United States. The Doctor Who production team may not have known that.
@ Notsosmartguy Will Kill the Moon @Doc Hamme @wolfinwoods Yes. And together, they created and maintained the worldwide phenomenon that is current Doctor Who. This is a magnificent product with some flaws; each showrunner contributed in different ways to both the magnificence and the flaws.
@John Smith the Second That was my initial response, too, but if they'd set off the bombs, they'd have blown up the moon anyway. I don't think you could make the decision based on that.
@Rorschach's_Journal_of_Impossible_Things I don't think it's in danger of cancellation, but I do think they may decide they have to rethink how they are writing Capaldi's Doctor. Maybe Callous Grandpa Doctor isn't going over as well as they hoped it would. Yes, it's a return to the Hartnell template, but folks have had almost ten years of younger, nicer Doctors and that might be what they prefer. They can't make Capaldi younger, but they might mellow him a bit.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Doctor Who Series 8 UK Ratings Accumulator
@Warisfiller By all means, point out its flaws, but please don't accuse us of willfully heaping praise on bad work just to be contrary.
@Got bored one night, didn't ya? @ClaireAbraham This has really been the Season of the Sequels. More episodes so far HAVE harkened back to a previous Doctor Who episode than not. Deep Breath recalled The Girl in the Fireplace. Into the Dalek was a return to Dalek. Listen included references to Midnight. The Caretaker evoked memories of School Reunion, and now this - Kill the Moon as a response to the Waters of Mars. I'm half expecting Mummy on the Orient Express to end up reminding us of Voyage of the Damned.
@who251 @PaddyB Listen to the Doctor as he discusses the creature about to be born. He wants that baby to live. He always did. He talked about the child never feeling the sun on it's face, and he talked about the moon being left as a corpse over earth. Anybody who really listened to the Doctor knew what he actually wanted to have happen. He just DIDN'T want to be Time Lord Victorious again, and he trusted Clara to choose well, because he knows her very well indeed by now.
This was not 12's Time Lord Victorious moment. It was his Anti-Time Lord Victorious moment. Time Lord Victorious happened because the Doctor took matters into his own hands that should not have been there. This happened because the Doctor realized - almost certainly BECAUSE of the Time Lord Victorious - that he could not and would not make a world-changing decision that needed to be left in the hands of those who truly belonged to the planet.
This is the best and truest sequel to a Doctor Who episode that I've ever seen - one in which the Doctor has learned from his terrible mistakes and actually applied what he'd learned to the situation at hand. For the record, I think the Doctor was absolutely bang-on right, and for once he was not only the smartest man in the room, but the wisest.
Clara shrieks and howls at him when he makes decisions; now she's thrown him out of her life because he allowed her to make the decision instead. I think it's superb writing, and enormously plausible, but I think Clara's fury is not justified here. Understandable, yes, and I totally get where this might be the moment where she decides that life with the Doctor is just too hard and too frightening, but he was not as morally bankrupt as she made him out to be. Also, if she's listened to anything he said at all, she would have realized that he was completely against killing the creature and he'd already told her, quite clearly, his opinion on the subject. What he did NOT do was shut down everybody else's opinions just because he was The Doctor Know-It-All. My respect for the 12th Doctor as a character has skyrocketed here, and I am sad for the grief he will endure because Clara didn't understand.
Ten out of ten. The first truly great episode of the Capaldi run.
@TheNightmareChild has some moon in his teeth I hope so, too. Capaldi hasn't had universally applauded episode yet - a 10, and I've been a little shocked at some of the mainstream reaction to him. It's not as positive as I feel he deserves, and I was disappointed when I found out. At the same time, I think a Time Lord Victorious type moment is a bit early in his tenure; a Doctor needs to be fully embraced by the public before he can afford to go that dark, and I'm not sure Capaldi is there yet.
3 weeks ago on Kill the Moon Advance Review
@TheOncomingHurricane @Oliver J. "cool" No, I think he's got a point. There have been recycled ideas in nearly every episode this season. Brilliantly recycled, but I can tell expertly reworked leftovers when I see them. Not quite copy and paste. More like copy, paste, photoshop extensively, declare brand new.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Next Time: Kill The Moon
@The Lazy Cat Has a Terrible Decision to Make... The problem is that Season 7 Clara was a boring cardboard cut-out. They've made her a character now, but they can't un-write the total lack of character development from the first series.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on The Caretaker Review
@supermoff will kill the moon! @Miss Bosswald wants you to nuke the Moon.
Foreshadowing, obviously. The Doctor is about to get even more difficult.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on Rate & Discuss The Caretaker
@exile2000 Three cheers for the Clara Oswald Soap Opera. They've got some characters on this show, at last!
My favorite episode of the season - with a bullet. The story was about relationships, and it focused on how each of our three leads handled each other and the Monster of the Week. The Doctor was a jackass, but he got called out for it appropriately and I could understand where he was coming from. Danny was beautifully written, and Clara has finally become a fully realized, interesting, flawed, three-dimensional person.
Doctor Who as puzzle/Escher drawing is intellectually interesting, but in the New Who era I have always preferred the stories that breathed life into the characters and showed us who they are. That's why I prefer the Davies era to the Moffat era - and this episode had the same kind of emotionally compelling relationships that I have missed.
Scores for the season so far:
The Caretaker - 8.5
Deep Breath - 7.5
Into the Dalek - 7
Robot of Sherwood - 6
Listen - 8
Time Heist - 6.5
Why are these so low? Because I am saving room at the top for the stories that will become legends. I'm waiting for this year's Human Nature/Family of Blood, Vincent and the Doctor, or Blink. I do think we may have just seen this year's School Reunion.
@Stradiwhovius @ManWithChips They didn't play Ten as being in the right. That's why his ending was so harsh; everything he ever did wrong finally bit him in the butt with a vengeance.
3 weeks, 6 days ago on The Caretaker Advance Review
@VictorWong1 @LiamTheFizz That will work great IF they actually address that. Right now, I think they are venturing into overkill. It's good to have a darker Doctor, I think Capaldi is magnificent, and I am loving the new trend of Doctor - as - actual - ADULT, but the Doctor has been a soldier, he's turned his companions into soldiers, and one of his greatest companions ever was a full-time member of UNIT. They need to either address this or dial it back.
@The Living Angel / is Regenerating I don't think the ratings put Doctor Who in any danger of cancellation. I do wonder if they will give the producers pause as they decide what direction to take the show in Series Nine and beyond.
4 weeks ago on Doctor Who Series 8 UK Ratings Accumulator
@sontaran17 AI is just a measure of opinion. Opinions are never wrong, unless they are based on inaccurate facts. Judging the quality of a television show does not require comprehension of empirical facts. Opinions may or may not be consistent with the majority opinion, but they are not wrong.
@Ottoman14 @Planet of the Deaf Nor should it be necessary to be a Doctor Who nerd in order to enjoy the show.
@The Outer Space K9 So what's wrong with casual viewers? It's great to be a die-hard, but make no mistake: without the casual viewers, the program probably wouldn't have become the legend that it is, and would not be able to survive now. The key to success for any program is to appeal to a large amount of people, even those who aren't glued to the set for every episode the instant it comes out.
And really, Doctor Who made it's mark on the world with rollicking adventures that were simply fun to watch. That's one of the reasons why I like the direction the show has gone this year. It's trying a little less hard to be Important and trying a little harder to be accessible and enjoyable to whomever tunes in.
Time Heist. I didn't like the other two.
4 weeks ago on Face-Off: The Thompson Episodes
@KingoftheOod4450 I'm with you on this one. Clara doesn't need to be the central driving force of every episode.
1 month ago on Time Heist Review
@PaddyB Possibly it's her planet, her rules. Although I agree with the reviewer; why would anybody put their assets into a bank this deadly? I'm not sure, as a potential investor, that I'd buy the infallibility of a mind-reading Teller who lobotomizes on the slightest suspicion. And I sure wouldn't subject my family's safety on it.
@Polyphase Because Cowell's programs are only for the moment, and lose enjoyment value a week after they are broadcast. Each Doctor Who episode can be enjoyed years later. It's not as urgent that it be watched instantly to be enjoyed.
1 month ago on Doctor Who Series 8 UK Ratings Accumulator
Blink. All the concepts and tropes introduced in this were original at the time. All the ideas were fresh. Listen is interesting, and it's the best Capaldi episode yet, but there's quite a bit of retread here - the mysterious knocking outside the hull, the monsters nobody can see, the Doctor heavily influencing the future of people he's never met before by really screwing up their childhoods. I'm also in the camp of those who think that, if Gallifrey is time-locked, nobody should be able to get there - not in any era.
Blink had no such serious problems with continuity.
1 month ago on Face-Off: Blink vs Listen