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kenman

Doctor Who Series 10 Discussion (with Spoilers)

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Sim   

Just watched "Knock Knock". A good old "spook house" story, but IMO very solid. As far as I am concerned, spookhouses hardly ever get old. :laugh:

Now I think Robin is right, and this revisiting of familiar stories is intentional -- a kind of "best of medley" as a farewell for Moffat and Capaldi, perhaps? If they're later revisiting old-style Cybermen and other aliens from the classic series, that would make this season an intentional effort of exploring the show's past. I can think of worse concepts for a farewell season. :)

So while the episode was "recycling" again, I absolutely enjoyed watching it, even though I wasn't surprised. I liked the Doctor as "annoying grandpa", and the landlord was a nice guest role. By-the-book episode, but solid IMO.

Edited by Sim

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16 hours ago, Sim said:

Just watched "Knock Knock". A good old "spook house" story, but IMO very solid. As far as I am concerned, spookhouses hardly ever get old. :laugh:

Now I think Robin is right, and this revisiting of familiar stories is intentional -- a kind of "best of medley" as a farewell for Moffat and Capaldi, perhaps? If they're later revisiting old-style Cybermen and other aliens from the classic series, that would make this season an intentional effort of exploring the show's past. I can think of worse concepts for a farewell season. :)

So while the episode was "recycling" again, I absolutely enjoyed watching it, even though I wasn't surprised. I liked the Doctor as "annoying grandpa", and the landlord was a nice guest role. By-the-book episode, but solid IMO.

^
Pretty much this.   The episode had many familiar elements, but I enjoyed it very much.   Once again, adoring Bill for just being herself; not a super-predestined warrior-chosen one, but for being the kind of girl who would ask the Doctor to use the Tardis to help her move!  :laugh:

As someone who LOATHES moving, I would gladly warp spacetime if it saved me from hauling heavy boxes from place to place...:P

Overall I thought "Knock, Knock" would've made a great Halloween episode if the broadcast order could've allowed it (which it couldn't; I understand).

Loved David Suchet's role as 'the landlord'; nice to see him again (used to watch his Hercule Poirot series on A&E years ago; I almost didn't recognize Suchet without his mustache and with that gray wig...).  

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For me the most fun part was when Bill began referring to The Doctor as her Grandfather.  I think given the retrospective tone of this season it was a nice touch.  I think it takes their relationship to a different, sentimental level than recent past companions.  Curious to see if this is a one time thing or if Bill will start to ask The Doctor about more of his past.

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It was pretty good, wasn't it? The first three-quarters were creepy as hell. The wooden woman shouldn't have worked, but did, especially her slow reveal. Suchet was as brilliant as expected, turning from malevolent landlord to little-boy-lost on a penny. I thought it fell down slightly at the end with the convenient resurrection of Bill's friends ("Everybody lives!" again) and the house sinking into the earth, all very Hammer-style. Or Brian de Palma, if you like. Where did the bugs go? Was it okay to just leave them there? I guess they had no one controlling them so, yeah. Minor quibbles - overall, very enjoyable. The vault - that's got to be the Simm Master, no? Maybe they're double-bluffing us.

That's three hits out of four eps sp far this season. Still not wanting Capaldi to leave. i think his era has defined Moffat's far more than the Smith one.

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8 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

It was pretty good, wasn't it? The first three-quarters were creepy as hell. The wooden woman shouldn't have worked, but did, especially her slow reveal. Suchet was as brilliant as expected, turning from malevolent landlord to little-boy-lost on a penny. I thought it fell down slightly at the end with the convenient resurrection of Bill's friends ("Everybody lives!" again) and the house sinking into the earth, all very Hammer-style. Or Brian de Palma, if you like. Where did the bugs go? Was it okay to just leave them there? I guess they had no one controlling them so, yeah. Minor quibbles - overall, very enjoyable. The vault - that's got to be the Simm Master, no? Maybe they're double-bluffing us.

That's three hits out of four eps sp far this season. Still not wanting Capaldi to leave. i think his era has defined Moffat's far more than the Smith one.

^
I thought I was the only one wondering what happened to the bugs... :laugh:

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16 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^
I thought I was the only one wondering what happened to the bugs... :laugh:

With Wooden Lady gone, I'm supposing they just become mindless, non-gestalt. Let's hope they're not otherwise problematic for the local flora and fauna... ;)

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2 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

With Wooden Lady gone, I'm supposing they just become mindless, non-gestalt. 

Or fodder for a sequel...? 

2 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Let's hope they're not otherwise problematic for the local flora and fauna... ;)

Hehe... wooden stray cats, wooden dog, wooden sparrows.  :P

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Oxygen (ep 5) is bloody fantastic. Storming. Still reeling from how edge-of-the-seat and hardcore that was - gripping from start to finish. Also, Star Trek fans will love the opening line. Excellent character work, funny, poignant. Everything. Jamie Mathison has written another instant classic of an episode. 

I don't give scores but hell, that was 11/10. 

Also, the death of capitalism. ON POINT as usual, Who. 

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Sim   
5 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Oxygen (ep 5) is bloody fantastic. Storming. Still reeling from how edge-of-the-seat and hardcore that was - gripping from start to finish. Also, Star Trek fans will love the opening line. Excellent character work, funny, poignant. Everything. Jamie Mathison has written another instant classic of an episode. 

I don't give scores but hell, that was 11/10. 

Also, the death of capitalism. ON POINT as usual, Who. 

^ Yes, this!

Great episode! By far the best this season so far, IMO! (Though I'm not sure it's 11/10 points... but bloody good at any rate.)

Gripping, thrilling, occasionally funny... and the capitalism critique is straight to the point -- Bert Brecht himself couldn't have made a more concise critique, if he had written for DW! :laugh:

And I wonder where they're going with the Doctor's eyesight next week... wasn't that Missy in the preview? Looking forward to the next episode! More like this, please! :thumbup:

Edited by Sim

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6 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Oxygen (ep 5) is bloody fantastic. Storming. Still reeling from how edge-of-the-seat and hardcore that was - gripping from start to finish. Also, Star Trek fans will love the opening line. Excellent character work, funny, poignant. Everything. Jamie Mathison has written another instant classic of an episode. 

I don't give scores but hell, that was 11/10. 

Also, the death of capitalism. ON POINT as usual, Who. 

^
That was a DW that really had something important to say; and more timely than ever.   Charging for air... seems absurd, right?  About as absurd as charging to... I don't know... mend someone's broken arm, or cure a child's cancer.   Timely as hell. 

And that cliffhanger (!!!).   My reaction below: 

14316564957.jpg

 

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Sim   
6 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^
That was a DW that really had something important to say; and more timely than ever.   Charging for air... seems absurd, right?  About as absurd as charging to... I don't know... mend someone's broken arm, or cure a child's cancer.   Timely as hell. 

 

Yeah... or, water.

The sharp yet concise critique of capitalist logic reminded me of Bertolt Brecht, who is THE classic German anti-capitalist author of the 1920s -- minus his bohemian pretentiousness. Like in "The Good Man from Sezhuan", where a water vendor literally has to develop a split identity to be able to be both a humane being, and a good vendor.

Edited by Sim

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kenman   

Saw "Oxygen" last night as well and it was quite good indeed!  Part Zombie movie, part Capitalism analogy....great stuff all around!

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4 hours ago, kenman said:

Saw "Oxygen" last night as well and it was quite good indeed!  Part Zombie movie, part Capitalism analogy....great stuff all around!

The zombie stuff reminded me a bit of "First Contact"; not saying that disparagingly or otherwise, but it did.

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kenman   
1 hour ago, Sehlat Vie said:

The zombie stuff reminded me a bit of "First Contact"; not saying that disparagingly or otherwise, but it did.

Yeah a little bit, but definitely liked its own twist on Space Zombies. 

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Sim   

10.06 "Extremis". Hm, maybe I didn't get everything because I wasn't very focused, plus language barrier, but I'm a bit confused. Or am I supposed to be confused, because the riddle wasn't solved yet? So, from what point on were we seeing a hologram? And how is the hologram storyline connected to the Missy one -- is it a time jump, or is one the real and the other the holographic world? Maybe I should watch it again some time. Or next week's continuation will bring clarity.

Apart from that? I enjoyed it. The Doctor put the Pope in Billie's bedroom, hah. :laugh: And although we're dealing with another alien with the plan to conquer earth, it didn't feel like a repetition, but somewhat new.

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3 hours ago, Sim said:

10.06 "Extremis". Hm, maybe I didn't get everything because I wasn't very focused, plus language barrier, but I'm a bit confused. Or am I supposed to be confused, because the riddle wasn't solved yet? So, from what point on were we seeing a hologram? And how is the hologram storyline connected to the Missy one -- is it a time jump, or is one the real and the other the holographic world? Maybe I should watch it again some time. Or next week's continuation will bring clarity.

Apart from that? I enjoyed it. The Doctor put the Pope in Billie's bedroom, hah. :laugh: And although we're dealing with another alien with the plan to conquer earth, it didn't feel like a repetition, but somewhat new.

It's the first of a two parter, so it didn't properly 'end' per se. 

You didn't miss a conclusion, because it ended on a cliffhanger. 

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kenman   

The point the ahologram begins is at the beginning when the Doctor sits at the Vault and recieves a message in the sunglasses, so essentially post opening titles up until the end. 

The connection to Missy seemed to be more thematic, and I am sure we will get more in the following episode...aso i love that the Doctor's blindness is not yet cured, and it barely could even be cured in the Hologram!

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Extremis.

I enjoyed the rollercoaster ride of this one while I was in it, but it felt like a "shaggy dog story" at the end with its "It was all a dream" outcome. The bairn called this one "Cool but confusing." I agree with her. It felt like Steven Moffat throwing caution to the wind and mixing some Dan Brown with a few horror tropes and his own trademark plotty knots and having fun. It was great to watch, but afterwards, I'm scratching my head a bit. Why would the alien monks include the 'Vertitas' in their simulation anyway? Because it was perfect and such a thing exists in the real world? That would mean the real world is a sim-- oh, wait...  Plus, if it was perfect, it would surely randomize the way different simulants guessed numbers, wouldn't it? Uh? So it wasn't perfect? That seemed a bit dumb. I guess that's nitpicking. 

I liked the Missy bits a lot, though I was hoping the Vault wasn't just a Pandorica for Missy. That really is a Moffat trope, at this point. It's not 100% confirmed she's in there, so that may still be misdirection (and what I really want to know is, how did whoever is in there get a piano in there too if it's been sealed for a thousand years? And is there a candelabra on it? I guess it's bigger on the inside.) Nice to see HUMANS' Ivanno Jeremiah in a small role in those scenes. Fantastic actor who I hope finds his way back to Doctor Who in a larger role at some point. 

Speculation. The monks' open their mouths and words issue forth just like the original Cybermen from The Tenth Planet. Could there be a connection? We know those versions of the Cybermen are returning before this series' end. This is a simulation; are these monks Cybies without their suits? Nekkid Cybies? Perhaps not, as these guys appear in the next couple of episodes too. Maybe Moffat knows it's just a tremendously creepy effect. But it does seem weirdly coincidental... 

Overall, I thought it was a cool episode though. When Bill and Nardole were in the hologram generation room, did anyone else get a flashback to the TNG episode Contagion with its portals to other worlds? The bits where the Doctor was being chased with his eyesight failing were great. Nardole's "death" was genuinely disturbing. By the time of Bill's, I felt less invested. 

The bit with the "guilt" set-up with Penny for the gag with the Pope walking in was a bit of a "What?!" moment. 

I have to rewatch. 

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1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

I liked the Missy bits a lot, though I was hoping the Vault wasn't just a Pandorica for Missy. That really is a Moffat trope, at this point. It's not 100% confirmed she's in there, so that may still be misdirection (and what I really want to know is, how did whoever is in there get a piano in there too if it's been sealed for a thousand years? And is there a candelabra on it? I guess it's bigger on the inside.)

^ Was thinking the exact same thing; either it's an overused trope or... clever misdirection.  Either way, having Missy inside does seem more than a bit obvious.

1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

Nice to see HUMANS' Ivanno Jeremiah in a small role in those scenes. Fantastic actor who I hope finds his way back to Doctor Who in a larger role at some point. 

He has a fascinating face; it's amazing how he can switch from unflinchingly benign in HUMANS to 'cowardly and cruel' in this latest DW (apologies to the Doctor, for stealing a piece of his mission statement...).  I would love to see him in other, more diverse roles.   For some reason, I can see him playing a Vulcan (don't ask...I think I see everyone as a closet Vulcan :P).

1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

Speculation. The monks' open their mouths and words issue forth just like the original Cybermen from The Tenth Planet.

I wonder if this whole thing is some kind of Cybermen plot (?); if they're behind all of this somehow (?).

1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

Nekkid Cybies?

Yikes! Thanks for that image over breakfast... :P

1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

Overall, I thought it was a cool episode though. When Bill and Nardole were in the hologram generation room, did anyone else get a flashback to the TNG episode Contagion with its portals to other worlds?

Having recently bought S2 of TNG on blu ray, that's a resounding affirmative... ;)

 

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Sim   

10.07 "The Pyramid at the End of the World": An entertaining episode with a good amount of action and tension... but I'm still left a bit confused: I was hoping for a couple of last week's open question to be answered, but the episode didn't. Bill sold the world to give the Doctor his eyesight back -- and we don't know what that'll mean yet, looking forward to next week. So... I guess I'll have to rewatch this and last week's episode again, to let it all sink in ... and I won't really be able to decide whether I like this episode, when I know how the arc will be concluded.

A problem I have with watching very complex and/or confusing episodes, like "Extremis" last week, in the original English version is this: Due to the language barrier, I'm never 100% sure if my confusion is because I missed something that was said, or if it's a general concentration and/or memory problem, or because the episode actually is so confusing and I'm supposed to feel confused. In other words: Is it me, or the show? :laugh:

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Didn't get the chance to see the new episode last night.  

1.jpg << Me, this morning...

My wife was occupying the living room, working on a last minute school project, and years of experience have taught me to just stay out of her way when she engages herself like that (18 years of marriage = wisdom :giggle:).   And since we usually prefer to watch DW on the living room's 'big TV' together, I guess it just slipped our minds.

We'll try to catch it on Monday (holiday here in the US; Memorial Day... which means my wife and I will both be home and free to see it).   Tonight we have plans.

1 hour ago, Sim said:

A problem I have with watching very complex and/or confusing episodes, like "Extremis" last week, in the original English version is this: Due to the language barrier, I'm never 100% sure if my confusion is because I missed something that was said, or if it's a general concentration and/or memory problem, or because the episode actually is so confusing and I'm supposed to feel confused. In other words: Is it me, or the show? :laugh:

^

I've heard (through other fellow American DW fans) that the accents do seem a bit thicker than usual this year to non-Brits, so maybe that's some of it (?), I dunno.  

Speaking only for myself, my wife and I have been able to follow okay, but between the Doctor's Scottish accent and Bill's thick south London accent?   I could see the confusion for a non-native English speaker.  Or in the case of US fans, people who speak only American.  :laugh:  

As for the stories being confusing?  Last week's (haven't seen the latest yet) was a nice bit of mind frak, but it made sense in the end (to me, at least?).   I was also assuming that some of the loose ends would be cleared up with last night's episode. 

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Sim   
46 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^

I've heard (through other fellow American DW fans) that the accents do seem a bit thicker than usual this year to non-Brits, so maybe that's some of it (?), I dunno.  

Speaking only for myself, my wife and I have been able to follow okay, but between the Doctor's Scottish accent and Bill's thick south London accent?   I could see the confusion for a non-native English speaker.  Or in the case of US fans, people who speak only American.  :laugh:  

As for the stories being confusing?  Last week's (haven't seen the latest yet) was a nice bit of mind frak, but it made sense in the end (to me, at least?).   I was also assuming that some of the loose ends would be cleared up with last night's episode. 

Yeah it's indeed a bit thick at times, but usually, I think I understand most of it -- the general gist or statement at least, even when I don't understand every single word.

But it leaves me with a certain kind of uncertainty -- have I really understood everything? Or was there anything I missed afterall?

When then, the episode is a mind-frak even for native speakers, I'm just not sure who's to blame. :laugh:

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37 minutes ago, Sim said:

Yeah it's indeed a bit thick at times, but usually, I think I understand most of it -- the general gist or statement at least, even when I don't understand every single word.

But it leaves me with a certain kind of uncertainty -- have I really understood everything? Or was there anything I missed afterall?

When then, the episode is a mind-frak even for native speakers, I'm just not sure who's to blame. :laugh:

Well, I'm not sure I'd call some of my North American brethren "English speakers", but yeah, I understand... :P

Even I trip up on grammar and tenses sometimes...and I have no excuse (my mother was 100% Anglophone).

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It honestly hadn't occurred to me that accents might be a problem on the international circuit in terms of understanding the storytelling. Capaldi's Scots accent is very soft, and Bill's London accent is kind of a TV version of modern sarf Lahndahn. But it's enough of a difference to throw off a not-naturally attuned ear, I s'pose. 

[Spoilers below]



Hmmmmmmm. I think The Pyramid At The End of The World may be the first episode this season that didn't really work for me. Even Frank Cotrell-Boyce's Smile had all those great two-hander scenes with the Doctor and Bill, but this 'concept' ep really fell flat for me as a viewer. To be fair, it's the middle act of a three-parter, but I came away from it (after two viewings to make sure I hadn't got it wrong) feeling unsatisfied and a bit disappointed. Maybe this will change once we get the third act. 

The pacing at the beginning seemed off. The repeat Bill/Penny gag made me groan (Penny is hot - poor old Bill) and the way the representatives of the world armies just acquiesced so easily to the Monks was a plot contrivance that I just found extremely difficult to buy, even with the set-up demo of their power with the tractor beams. Okay, this in turn is to demonstrate something's going on with the Doctor - a question not yet answered, so I'm prepared to give it some slack there, but this meant the plot was hamstrung by not being allowed to reveal what that is. Much of this felt a poorer replay of last season's Zygon two-parter (same writers too.) 

The subplot with Erica and the lab was a bit more interesting - she and Penny were the only guest characters who were halfway believable - and things picked up when this became more of the focus of the plot. Odd structural decision though - we knew the lab had something to do with the denouement as soon as it was introduced, so can't see much eventual rewatch value here. (On second watch, to clarify my thoughts, I found myself watching Erica more, so it works in character terms, but plotwise it's just a big info-dump). The meat of the episode is towards the end, when Bill sells the world to keep the Doctor alive - a situ that could've been avoided anyway if he'd just taken a photo of the lock and sent it to Erica or Bill and had them guide him through changing the numbers. Still confused about the whole consent thing - although the idea that it has to have a purity about it - of love - is good, so am intrigued to see how this plays out. Not sure these Monks are highly-evolved Cybermen now, but maybe it's love they want to understand so they can erase it? The Monks are, so far, kind of lame villains, but their way of killing people is great. The way the bodies just fall to dust is quite horrific. 

A good build to the ending after the awkwardness of the previous half hour, great exchanges between the Doctor and Bill, great companion chemistry. But the ending, when the Doctor gets his sight back, felt curiously flat. 

Perhaps it will all work better when we get the third episode in this sequence. 

The bairn's reaction to this episode was to go and watch a load of old David Tennant episodes.

I am still struck by how much I don't want Capaldi to leave the role. 

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12 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

It honestly hadn't occurred to me that accents might be a problem on the international circuit in terms of understanding the storytelling. Capaldi's Scots accent is very soft, and Bill's London accent is kind of a TV version of modern sarf Lahndahn. But it's enough of a difference to throw off a not-naturally attuned ear, I s'pose. 

 21949670.jpg  :laugh: :giggle:

^ This made me chuckle...

Anyway, I've never had any issues with Capaldi's accent; as you say, it's pretty light.   Bill's accent is a bit thicker but it's still legible enough.  My wife and I might miss a word or two every now and then, but that's been pretty rare so far.    I've never had issues with any previous DW accents/dialects.   It seems like the producers probably wanted Bill to be more 'natural' (earthy) sounding, and less 'theatrical' (?); just a thought.   

She seems a bit more "Eliza Doolittle-ish" in that regard.   Not complaining, because I'm really enjoying her character so far.

 

As for the rest?  I haven't seen it, but I hope to catch it tomorrow.  

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