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Robin Bland

Doctor Who - General Discussion

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28 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

There's also the new Ice Warrior as mentioned by Mark Gatiss. Sounds a bit "greatest hits!" But I think Mr Moffat has had a high hit rate with making the Cybermen creepy again. That Pandorica scene where Amy Pond is attacked by one and its nano-tentacles wrap around her is fantastic. And all the Death in Heaven stuff was very eerie. Well, until they all became Iron Man, but strangely, I find I can live with that too. CyberBrig might've been a step too far towards the ridiculous, but hey, it's Doctor Who. As someone who doesn't care that much about the knotty continuity of their history (are they from Mondas? Telos? Cybus?), I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with the Cybermen next. I suspect the appearance of the 10th Planet ones are very much a goodbye present to Capaldi, who is on record as asking for them. So this is the two of them indulging their inner fanboys - and hey, why not? :) 

There are some minor stylistic differences, eh? Probably due to modern materials being used, more lightweight construction, etc. I note also they have rubber gloves instead of the naked human hands the originals had. Which might be something to do with the fact that they're now appearing in color. 

The ski mask faces look a bit sturdier too; at least now they no longer look so much like liquor store robbery suspects... :giggle:

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I am less thrilled about the Ice Warriors. Never been my favorite monster, I enjoyed "Cold Blood" well enough, I just don't have the same love for them as Gatiss clearly does.  Honestly I doubt that Capaldi will have all his wishes granted in this final year. Will they really do Axons and Daemons again?  I can more honestly see Moffat picking one of his wishlist items and giving him a big go at it, than trying to make sure they all get in in 12-13 episodes.

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I'm not bothered about the Ice Warriors, either. Cold Blood was okay, nothing great. I think Gatiss' hit rate is very low - of the 7 (8?) eps he's written, I think two are above average. So the idea of another of his Ice warrior episodes doesn't fill me with wild enthusiasm. I tried re-watching Sleep No More recently and wow, it's a bore. It's actually a very clever piece of writing - but it just doesn't work as an episode of DW. It distances you from the the characters you're supposed to care about. Arguably, the problems with it could be laid at the door of the director, but I think it's just misconceived.

At his best - away from Doctor Who - Gatiss is amazing. I sort of wish he'd just write another episode like The Crimson Horror or The Unquiet Dead which were to my mind, his most successful episodes. 

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6 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

I'm not bothered about the Ice Warriors, either. Cold Blood was okay, nothing great. I think Gatiss' hit rate is very low - of the 7 (8?) eps he's written, I think two are above average. So the idea of another of his Ice warrior episodes doesn't fill me with wild enthusiasm. I tried re-watching Sleep No More recently and wow, it's a bore. It's actually a very clever piece of writing - but it just doesn't work as an episode of DW. It distances you from the the characters you're supposed to care about. Arguably, the problems with it could be laid at the door of the director, but I think it's just misconceived.

At his best - away from Doctor Who - Gatiss is amazing. I sort of wish he'd just write another episode like The Crimson Horror or The Unquiet Dead which were to my mind, his most successful episodes. 

I am with you there. Ice Warriors aren't my favorite, even in their classic appearances, and Gatiss does have a fairly low batting average, so nothing about the two returning together fills me with some sense of excitement. And Sleep No More derailed what, for me, was the finest run of episodes Who has seen in some time.  I don't even care much for the premise, I just found it a boring idea, with a horrible and tedious presentation, just not much to enjoy at all. Even by Gatiss' usual average to humdrum scale, I think that story was a real low. 

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24 minutes ago, kenman said:

I am with you there. Ice Warriors aren't my favorite, even in their classic appearances, and Gatiss does have a fairly low batting average, so nothing about the two returning together fills me with some sense of excitement. And Sleep No More derailed what, for me, was the finest run of episodes Who has seen in some time.  I don't even care much for the premise, I just found it a boring idea, with a horrible and tedious presentation, just not much to enjoy at all. Even by Gatiss' usual average to humdrum scale, I think that story was a real low. 

Completely agree. When he's announced as a writer, at this stage with that track record you can't help but feel a sense of it being something a wasted slot. While I respect Mr Moffat's assertion (I think it was in the pages of DWM) that when he gets a Gatiss script, there's nothing he has to do to it, no rewrites, it's ready to be made, and that dependability in TV production is a huge bonus, I can't help but think there must be other dependable writers out there who get Who and can provide same.

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2 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Completely agree. When he's announced as a writer, at this stage with that track record you can't help but feel a sense of it being something a wasted slot. While I respect Mr Moffat's assertion (I think it was in the pages of DWM) that when he gets a Gatiss script, there's nothing he has to do to it, no rewrites, it's ready to be made, and that dependability in TV production is a huge bonus, I can't help but think there must be other dependable writers out there who get Who and can provide same.

I think because Gatiss and Moffat became such good friends, it plays into it. I think Moffat was trying to make Gatiss the heir to the throne or something. Moff had been the obvious choice to succeed Davies, only other person to contribute a story each year under Davies run, critical acclaim for his scripts...I think Moff genuinely thought he could make Gatiss the same kinda deal. But Gatiss just couldn't succeed in terms of quality at the same rate. I loved the Crimson Horror...but most of his contributions left something to be desired. And in the end it, happily, didn't work.  They didn't go to Gatiss. I can't imagine he wouldn't desperately want it, he probably tried to get it...and maybe someone at the BBC has some brains.  I am not saying Chibnall is the most exciting choice in the world, but I just feel he might be the better alternative to poor ol' Gatiss (who seems so nice and suc a big fan that I'd love to root for him, but I just can't. 

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http://www.doctorwhonews.net/2017/03/series-ten-trailer.html

Latest trailer for Series 10.  Looks like tons of fun.  Theres the old foes returning, Daleks, The Master, the previously discussed Ice Warriors (but it looks like a lady Ice Warrior, what a twist...) and Original Cybermen, but there seems to be plenty of new stuff in their too.  Plus Bill seems like a nice change of pace from Clara, someone to change it up and keep things fresh. And I enjoyed Nardole, so I am interested to see this new dynamic for Capaldi's final year.  Hope he goes out with a bang and another solid year! Really can't wait, this new year looks to be as much fun as the last, and we can only dream of it having as good a run of episodes as Series 9. 

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10 minutes ago, kenman said:

http://www.doctorwhonews.net/2017/03/series-ten-trailer.html

Latest trailer for Series 10.  Looks like tons of fun.  Theres the old foes returning, Daleks, The Master, the previously discussed Ice Warriors (but it looks like a lady Ice Warrior, what a twist...) and Original Cybermen, but there seems to be plenty of new stuff in their too.  Plus Bill seems like a nice change of pace from Clara, someone to change it up and keep things fresh. And I enjoyed Nardole, so I am interested to see this new dynamic for Capaldi's final year.  Hope he goes out with a bang and another solid year! Really can't wait, this new year looks to be as much fun as the last, and we can only dream of it having as good a run of episodes as Series 9. 

Great trailer!! 

Lots of returning favorites, but it looks like the Doctor is back doing what he does best; traipsing across the universe with companions in tow, having a great time...:thumbup:

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What I love about that trailer was it looked like there'd be as much new as old, and that pretty much sums up why Who continues to work, it has really found that balance that rewards old fans and longtime viewers, but keeps it moving forward with fresh new companions and monsters and villains...and presenting it all in a way that can keep luring new audience members in.  Can't wait.

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I am really into Bill's hair. She can give the twelfth Doctor's grey quiff a run for his money, and what with Nardole's baby-bald looks, we have quite a diverse set of hair-- um, head-styles this coming season.

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8 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

I am really into Bill's hair. She can give the twelfth Doctor's grey quiff a run for his money, and what with Nardole's baby-bald looks, we have quite a diverse set of hair-- um, head-styles this coming season.

I can't wait to see more of Bill; it'll be nice to see everything through fresh eyes again.   I loved Clara, but she seemed to always be in the know; in the thick of things; she was almost too quick and too clever right out of the box (and there was a reason, of course).   And as a result, there was almost none of the old 'getting-used-to-all-of-this' phase.  And because of that, some of the 'awe' was gone.   I'm not really complaining too loudly since Clara was a great character, but Bill seems to be a return to the basics of a DW companion; a regular person who acts as an audience surrogate, and who is special precisely because she IS one of us.  

One of the wonderful messages of DW; human beings are special creatures... hence the Doctor's eternal fascination with them. 

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8 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I can't wait to see more of Bill; it'll be nice to see everything through fresh eyes again.   I loved Clara, but she seemed to always be in the know; in the thick of things; she was almost too quick and too clever right out of the box (and there was a reason, of course).   And as a result, there was almost none of the old 'getting-used-to-all-of-this' phase.  And because of that, some of the 'awe' was gone.   I'm not really complaining too loudly since Clara was a great character, but Bill seems to be a return to the basics of a DW companion; a regular person who acts as an audience surrogate, and who is special precisely because she IS one of us.  

One of the wonderful messages of DW; human beings are special creatures... hence the Doctor's eternal fascination with them. 

New Who has tended to go with that a bit - Rose as Bad Wolf/the Moment, Amy as Eleven's muse, Clara as the Impossible Girl. All have had a greater influence over the Doctor's destiny than previous companions, who were just people, whether alien or from Earth. Special people, as you observe, because to the Doctor, no-one's unimportant. Yeah, I do miss that a little - someone fun that he just wants to show cool things around the Universe to. Perhaps Bill's superpower is that she has excellent hair that the Doctor envies. :) 

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9 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

New Who has tended to go with that a bit - Rose as Bad Wolf/the Moment, Amy as Eleven's muse, Clara as the Impossible Girl. All have had a greater influence over the Doctor's destiny than previous companions, who were just people, whether alien or from Earth. Special people, as you observe, because to the Doctor, no-one's unimportant. Yeah, I do miss that a little - someone fun that he just wants to show cool things around the Universe to. Perhaps Bill's superpower is that she has excellent hair that the Doctor envies. :) 

Maybe next regeneration... ;)

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3 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Maybe next regeneration... ;)

I can see it... :punk:

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Right on. Should be a refreshing change of pace all around with Bill. Looking forward to meeting her in a couple weeks (yay! New Doctor Who! Its been a long time, and I am in the mood for it...been reading a ton of Who comics). 

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4 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Glad to hear this.

DW (and Russel T. Davies, in particular) had been quietly opening closet doors for awhile now (Capt. Jack Harnkess, Torchwood, Madame Vestra and her wife) but I look forward to seeing a regular, week-to-week companion (and not just a guest) who is openly gay.  

Kudos! :thumbup:

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28 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Glad to hear this.

DW (and Russel T. Davies, in particular) had been quietly opening closet doors for awhile now (Capt. Jack Harnkess, Torchwood, Madame Vestra and her wife) but I look forward to seeing a regular, week-to-week companion (and not just a guest) who is openly gay.  

Kudos! :thumbup:

I just recently read the Eighth Doctor's comic run from Doctor Who magazine, and the companion for most of his run was definitively revealed as gay in her final issue (but knowing that happened before I read I noticed all of the subtle hints of that from neary the beginning of the run), and it is sort of refreshing to see a story unfold in which a characters sexuality was handled so maturely and naturally, in the 90s! I mean the reveal at the end doesn't feel so much like "shock twist!" And more like "you didn't know?" And it didn't feel gratituous or anything. 

It is about time the parent show got with the program too, though Davies filled the universe with a lot of characters that just made it seem absolutely normal. 

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I like it also because it helps put the final nail in the coffin of the companion falling in love with the Doctor story lines that showed up repeatedly with 9,10,11 and early 12. I liked it with 9 and 10 because he was messed up and needy because of the war but it got tiring after 10 left. 

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5 hours ago, scenario said:

I like it also because it helps put the final nail in the coffin of the companion falling in love with the Doctor story lines that showed up repeatedly with 9,10,11 and early 12. I liked it with 9 and 10 because he was messed up and needy because of the war but it got tiring after 10 left. 

I mean, after Martha there wasn't neary as much of that. There'd be one off characters that may have, but beyond Amy's brief thing where she kissed the Doctor, it became quite clear that Rory was the one she was truly in love with. The Doctor was more of a friend after that first series. And Clara never seemed to have any romantic feelings towards either Doctor. You could argue River, but she was never a full time companion and she was a whole other deal. 

But Donna never fell for him. Amy only briefly had a crush which seemed to be a sort of reaction to her anxieties about getting married, and I never fet there was any romanctic feelings at all with Clara. Other than bith actors being young, I never saw any sense of that between her and Smith in their brief tenure together, and I definitely don't recall any romantic feelings between her and Capaldi, even early on. The entire arc for her in his eary days involved her trying to have a boyfriend outside her life of the Doctor. 

I don't see the companion being gay being any different than Clara being straight but having romantic interests that lie elsewhere. Or Amy being married to someone else in the TARDIS. The companions being in love wuth the Doctor thing really did lind of end with Martha (though I can concede River, even though she is part time).

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Martha did say that she was in love with the Doctor but knew it would never work. Donna certainly looked at the Doctor as a only a friend. Amy always gave off vibes that she loved both the Doctor and Rory. Rory was always afraid he'd lose her to the Doctor up until they finally married. When the Doctor got back at Amy and Rory's wedding, Amy ran up to the Doctor and grabbed him and said "You may definitely kiss the bride," which the Doctor stopped immediately. The first episode with the 12 Clara was upset that the Doctor wasn't young and cute anymore, indicating to me that there was a sexual attraction even if Clara had no intention of acting on it. Except with Donna, there's always been a subtext of the companions loving the Doctor. It's been fading for years and It has pretty much disappeared in the last two years. I'm glad it is now obvious it won't come back. I think Doctor Who works better with the Doctor and companions as friends rather than as potential lovers. Let River be the lover if you need it for a plot point. 

 

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7 hours ago, scenario said:

Martha did say that she was in love with the Doctor but knew it would never work. Donna certainly looked at the Doctor as a only a friend. Amy always gave off vibes that she loved both the Doctor and Rory. Rory was always afraid he'd lose her to the Doctor up until they finally married. When the Doctor got back at Amy and Rory's wedding, Amy ran up to the Doctor and grabbed him and said "You may definitely kiss the bride," which the Doctor stopped immediately. The first episode with the 12 Clara was upset that the Doctor wasn't young and cute anymore, indicating to me that there was a sexual attraction even if Clara had no intention of acting on it. Except with Donna, there's always been a subtext of the companions loving the Doctor. It's been fading for years and It has pretty much disappeared in the last two years. I'm glad it is now obvious it won't come back. I think Doctor Who works better with the Doctor and companions as friends rather than as potential lovers. Let River be the lover if you need it for a plot point. 

 

Clara was only upset that he changed, not that he was not young and cute anymore. That was made clear when she told off Vastra for assuming that was the case. That was a scene that, to me, indicated precicely the opposite of how you seemed to read it. Vastra was accusing her of little more than only enjoying the Doctor because he had a pretty face (or at least partially liking that), and Clara shut that down in fine fashion.  So no, Clara never showed or had any indication of any sexual attraction or romantic feelings towards the Doctor in my view.  And yes, Amy seemed to have a slight crush at first, but that faded once she and Rory married, which was at the end of her first year, they even reinforced the fact that the possible love triangle element that they sort of tried in that first year was completely over and done with at the end of the first story of the following season.  That was the moment when it truly faded for good. 

Clara was never presented that way, and Amy only early on. I think it faded there and hasn't really been even much in terms of subtext that much.  Clara's arc during 12's run (she didn't have much more than plot device in the first year) has mostly been that she wanted to BE the Doctor. Not WITH the Doctor.  They made that evident in her two years with Capaldi that she had no romantic interest in either version of the Doctor she traveled with, she was more interested in being like him. I saw little romantic subtext even in Amy (just a bit of schoolgirl crush that faded as her character matured during the travels). Rose was properly into him, especially once he died for her and came back as the cute Tennant.  And Martha definitely fell for him, but came to terms that there was nothing there with him. Beyond those first three years of the new show, and a bit of Amy in Series 5, I just don't think it has had much subtext or otherwise in the show.

I don't see the new companion being gay changing anything on this level. It isn't like some final nail in the coffin, because There other ways to do a story about a companion that falls in love with the Doctor, and I am sure it will be returned to someday, but I don't see a gay companion finally ending it for good and proper. It just means that it won't happen for now. And let us hope that IF the Doctor becomes a Woman AND Bill sticks around...we won't have to deal with that suddenly happening...because I think it would be a bit of a pathetic story to tell (at least with a companion that BEGAN with Capaldi and watched him change to a her...to suddenly fancy the new Lady Doctor would seem a bit trivial to a character presented as gay, in my opinion). 

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I always wondered how Clara knew that Jane Austen was an amazing kisser. There was also that comment she made to the Doctor when she first saw Ashildir: "Fight you for her." We got to see her relationship with Danny Pink but it was hinted that she liked to keep things fluid. 

On that - Cindy Wu in the Titan tenth Doctor comics is bi. She has the hots for (recurring character) Cleo and seems to be in love with fellow companion Gabby, although that also doesn't stop her having an affair with a 1920s Jazz trumpeter called Roscoe. Humans, eh? So many aspects to them. Both companions do very clearly adore the Doctor, but see him as a teacher, not as a potential lover. 

Being Doctor Who, and it being Steven Moffat's final series as showrunner, I'm wondering whether Bill will be a one season companion? That Chris Chibnall will want to create his own all-new characters? Either way, I'm looking forward to meeting her, and seeing how the new dynamic plays. We also have Nardole, so we're back to the Doctor having both a male and female companion, which I always liked. 

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I'd almost forgotten the little hints about Clara, and I think that's a testament to the writers; it's so casually presented as to be invisible.  My grandniece is bi, and these days I treat news of her male and female crushes with equal 'meh' (she's a teenager; her crushes change week to week, according to my family members in the Midwest).  As I get older, I'm delighted to see that gender fluidity (in social, if not political circles) just isn't that big a deal.   

And yes, same with Cindy in the Titan books (of which I'm an avid reader).  It's so incidental that it's pretty much invisible; I don't really even make note of it these days any more than I would if I found out she ambidextrous.  The information is there, and the reader/viewer processes it however they choose.

As for Bill?  All I can say is that the previews of her adventure with the Doctor seem to bring back the sense of 'newness' to the TV companions; a genuine first-timer to the world of DW.  I haven't really felt that way since "Rose" and reading my first issue of the Titan 10th Doctor books; someone who is plucked from their mundane life and whisked away into a great adventure.  Not someone who had an immediate 'destiny' or history with the Doctor (Amy, Clara, etc).   I know it never lasts, but I love that bit of awe that comes with the new companion.  It allows the audience to get vicariously 'swept away' for the first time ourselves.

I miss that feeling (even if I describe somewhat clumsily...it's super-early here, and I need coffee, so...).

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Second full trailer, a few new snippets, including a bit of the original Cybermen...and a brief hint of regeneration...

I thought Capaldi was staying on through Christmas...but maybe not! I hope he does. Especially as I'd hate for the Doctor that Chibnall casts gets their debut written by Moffat. Just on that front, I have to imagine that we are getting 13 final episodes of the Twelfth Doctor, and then that means we may have gotten a taste of Christmas in that brief moment!

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