Author Topic: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years  (Read 29560 times)

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #540 on: September 14, 2021, 09:13:09 PM »
Steven Moffat: Note to self, write a scene with Karen Gillan in a school girl outfit.

Let's Kill Hitler was an underwhelming opening to the second half of the series when it originally aired. It rather cemented my view that Series 5 was a flash in the pan and that this wasn't the great Doctor Who revival I had hoped. Yeah, it isn't any better than I remember. All just feels like exposition hidden with silliness.

Moffat does have a way of making stuff I think is shit work. The Doctor has gotten married twice in the new run and both times it initially sounds awful and both times Moffat has pulled the rug out to reveal they both only happened because of silly scenarios (Queen Elizabeth I/Zygon and River).

I liked Rory putting Hitler in the cupboard.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #541 on: September 14, 2021, 09:50:36 PM »
Biggest fuck up with Let's Kill Hitler for me was the needlessly rushed origin for River Song.  Should have left it open-ended, never shown the Alex Kingston version being smitten with the Doctor, because it completely undermined all the mystery set up about who she was and what the Doctor was destined to experience with her as she got younger. 

Should have kept it fully open-ended.  Multiple incarnations of a younger River Song all working through their role as the Doctor's assassin.  The Doctor could have kept on meeting versions of her in future stories, mysterious strangers who appear friendly before debilitating him so he is limited in his ability to respond to the needs of a situation and other characters.  An open-ended gift for future decades of showrunners and Big Finish to have someone like that who wasn't the Master or Rani.  This is what I was hoping Moffat was up to, and then Let's Kill Hitler bummed in and crushed it all.  Such a waste, really.


On the positive side, ignoring the River Song stuff, the episode shows what to do with a title that threatens Chibnall levels of error.  And yeah, Rory putting Hitler in a cupboard.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #542 on: September 15, 2021, 05:33:06 PM »
Night Terrors is pretty standard Doctor Who fair. Like a good version of Fear Her. Not really excelling in any way, but doesn't do anything particularly wrong. Feels like late season filler so feels oddly placed in the series as a whole.

Amy getting turned into a doll is a really wonderful, understated creepy moment.

One thing I've noticed which has probably been creeping in for a while. There is an unnatural sheen to the look of the show now. It seemed more prevalent with some shots this episode more than any other, but it just makes the whole thing feel cheaper. I remember thinking last series how much the natural look made the show feel so rich (Eleventh Hour and Vampires in particular). It is only a minor observation and not a stick to beat the show with as it is only subtle, I just think they really nailed the look in Series 5 so the slight adjustments here disappoint. It isn't like they are turning into a James Cameron remaster or a Chibnall teal and orange blur, certainly.

Biggest fuck up with Let's Kill Hitler for me was the needlessly rushed origin for River Song.  Should have left it open-ended, never shown the Alex Kingston version being smitten with the Doctor, because it completely undermined all the mystery set up about who she was and what the Doctor was destined to experience with her as she got younger. 

The whole thing does feel rushed, doesn't it? Not just this episode but the whole of Series 6. It feels like two series of arcs squeezed into a five or six episodes (with the rest of the series mostly free from arc references).

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #543 on: September 15, 2021, 06:29:10 PM »
The internet seems so hopped up on the moral dilemma of Voyager's Tuvix these days, just imagine what will happen when they discover The Girl Who Waited. Does The Doctor and Rory have the right to erase the bitter future Amy in her late 50s in order to rescue an Amy in her 20s? I mean, yes they do but my opinion of Tuvix is much the same.

I'd completely forgotten the resolution, and it is honestly just as strong as Tuvix. The Doctor and Rory make the right choice but the way it is played out is dramatically a master-stroke.

Makes me wonder how Tuvix would have been seen if Janeway lied to Tuvix and made him think that there was a way to keep him alive whilst restoring Tuvok and Neelix. Would Janeway be looked on more favourable. I certainly don't think any less of The Doctor for his actions here.

Overall, it is a relatively simple but incredibly effective story. Makes me wonder why Tom MacRea hasn't written more. His Cyberman story wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either, and this episode is wonderful.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #544 on: September 15, 2021, 07:22:18 PM »
After a long dip in this series I remember watching this and hoping/thinking things might have started to pick back up. Especially nice to see the Doctor being stupid, cowardly and mean for a change, rounds him out a bit in the face of all the Hero Crap that Moffat likes to write.

"You're turning me into you"

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #545 on: September 15, 2021, 07:34:15 PM »
Was The Doctor cowardly? I felt his actions were brave and compassionate in as much as they could be in the circumstances. He lied to get the young Any back and left the old Any with only a few seconds to contemplate her impending non existence.

I guess pushing the decision into Rory was a cowardly move in a way. But The Doctor knew which choice he would make. It kind of harkens back to McCoy manipulating events to work in his favour.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #546 on: September 15, 2021, 08:26:14 PM »
A bit shit to make Rory live with that guilt, though.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #547 on: September 15, 2021, 08:44:29 PM »
Was The Doctor cowardly? I felt his actions were brave and compassionate in as much as they could be in the circumstances. He lied to get the young Any back and left the old Any with only a few seconds to contemplate her impending non existence.

I guess pushing the decision into Rory was a cowardly move in a way. But The Doctor knew which choice he would make. It kind of harkens back to McCoy manipulating events to work in his favour.

Oh aye, I do agree with you, I was mostly talking about things from Rory's perspective. I always felt that Matt Smith had a good line in deviousness that the didn't do enough with.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #548 on: September 15, 2021, 08:52:32 PM »
A bit shit to make Rory live with that guilt, though.

I thought that. But also The Doctor wants to give his companions an autonomy. He just chose a poss poor moment to do it. It does give an interested added dimension to the 11th Doctor though.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #549 on: September 15, 2021, 09:44:26 PM »
I think it does work well at making the Doctor look a prick, swanning into these situations with an arrogant obliviousness, and the companions having to pick up the pieces.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #550 on: September 15, 2021, 11:34:04 PM »
The God Complex has an interesting idea behind it but it isn't the best execution and is incredibly poorly positioned in the series right after the superior The Girl Who Waited. The resolution was incredibly obvious when you've seen The Curse of Fenric but I guess it works as a callback in a way. More could have been done with destroying the character's faith to save them. In the end, the execution was quite poor and not dramatically very satisfying.

The editing on the scared reactions is fucking horrendous. Like the sort of thing you'd get in a drugs sequence in an E4 teen drama. Cheap and tacky.

Why did the simulation look like an old hotel? Did they just watch the TNG episode The Royale and think "that'll do"?

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #551 on: September 16, 2021, 12:22:44 AM »
After enjoying The Lodger so much, I was utterly disappointed by Closing Time back when it aired. Then again, disappointment is a byword for Cybermen in modern Doctor Who. My favourite villain are reduced to loud lumbering nothings in new Who. Their original appearance was passable and The Next Doctor wasn't too bad but that was only because of the elements of the story that didn't involve the Cybermen.

I just want a single really good new series Cybermen story. I saw part of a Capaldi Cyberman story which I disliked so I imagine it is a long time until I get one. They've even ruined many Big Finish Cyberman stories by making Nick Briggs think he can play all Cybermen.

The comedy worked well enough, I guess. If you are going to do a Cyberman story with the Cybusmen then not doing it seriously is probably the best way but any dramatic tension evaporates when surrounded by comedy set pieces.

The Cybermen wanted James Cordon to be the new Cyber Controller. So they wanted The Fat Controller? Missing that joke is the worst thing you have ever done, Gareth. I mean aside from all the transphobia.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #552 on: September 16, 2021, 04:36:03 PM »
The Wedding of River Song has such a striking opening. Moffat so full of ideas and throws them all into a single episode. Could have done so much more with the converging of time but it was effective here so it is no criticism of Moffat.

It is one of those typical big red button episodes of TV yet despite knowing everything will be reset, they still end up incredibly effective. Star Trek has mastered the art of the big red button story (Yesterday's Enterprise, The Visitor, Year of Hell, Timeless, Twilight).

I wasn't enamoured at all by the overall arc but they nailed the landing. Either this or The Girl Who Waited are the strongest of the series.

Overall, Series 6 is a little stronger than I remember. The Moffat episodes are surprisingly lower in quality aside from the finale but some good individual stories make it a good enough series. Production wise the show feels cheaper than Series 5. I feel like the more natural look of Series 5 helped it to not only differentiate itself from the Tennant era but it also made it feel a much richer show to watch.

I can do without all the "Doctor Who?" crap. I don't give a toss about who he is and I hope that it is never answered. Any backstory at this point makes him less interesting. That is what makes The War Doctor so good though. It wasn't backstory, it was midstory. so it doesn't recontextualize the character as a whole but just the previous few series. Meanwhile you've got a moron writing the show now who blunders in and adds huge fucking backstory to the very beginning and fundamentally changes the character forever.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #553 on: September 16, 2021, 05:34:09 PM »
Moffat tries to emulate the style and success of A Christmas Carol with The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe but, at least in my view, fails miserably.

The first half of the episode can pretty much be summed up by "The Doctor is mad, isn't he?" which I can do without at this point. All just felt a plot drawn out to fit 60 minutes with the forest elements not really fleshed out.

An attempt at something sentimental but it felt so saccharin. Meanwhile the previous episode hit the exact right emotional beats. Ending with Any and Rory was good.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #554 on: September 16, 2021, 06:42:56 PM »
For me the worst problems with "the Doctor's mad innee" moments during this phase is the overuse of the music telling us.  Once you recognise any music cue it becomes immensely distracting, and by this point the wonderful piece first heard when Amelia was making the Doctor breakfast has sadly had its day.

Even if it's not distracting, the familiarity deadens the scene, even if it's subconscious.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #555 on: September 16, 2021, 07:08:22 PM »
By far the worst episode of the whole Moffat era, that. Absolutely horrible.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #556 on: September 16, 2021, 07:09:05 PM »
Definitely agree. It was also quite exciting when The 11th Doctor's main theme kicks in the first few times but they started overusing it any time the Doctor takes control of a situation.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #557 on: September 16, 2021, 07:14:41 PM »
I always felt the music repetition was one of the giveaways that the budget was being slashed in ways that we couldn't always "see"

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #558 on: September 16, 2021, 08:29:33 PM »
The God Complex has an interesting idea behind it but it isn't the best execution and is incredibly poorly positioned in the series right after the superior The Girl Who Waited. The resolution was incredibly obvious when you've seen The Curse of Fenric but I guess it works as a callback in a way. More could have been done with destroying the character's faith to save them. In the end, the execution was quite poor and not dramatically very satisfying.

Oh I love The God Complex (although I can't really remember the ending so maybe that's a sign that that isn't one of its strongest points). Just wish that this had been the Ponds' last episode (apart from coming back in Wedding of River Song) - just commit to them leaving before the Doctor gets them killed, I think that would have been really strong.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #559 on: September 16, 2021, 09:17:51 PM »
Asylum of the Daleks wasn't an episode I disliked when it aired. I nothinged it. I nothinged it so hard that I decided to stop watching for a while. I never planned to stop watching for as long as I did but it was probably for the best. Aside from Matt's last three episodes and a few stray Capaldi episodes, I've seen nothing after this.

The problem I had at the time was that I didn't feel like I was watching out of pure enjoyment anymore but I was returning to a feeling of watching out of obligation. Series 5 reinvigorated my love for the show so Series 6 being a downer and then the poor Christmas Special followed by this just left me with the view that it would be best to leave the show to air for a while and I could go back at some point in the future to watch it all in a row with a bit of distance to it. Lesser serials of the Classic Series feel improved by being watched in quick succession, even when not surrounded by strong serials.

The fairytale relationship of Amy and Rory splitting with animosity is rather off-putting. Got a little uncomfortable with the reveal too. Though I guess it is only the hindsight of all the Avengers stuff with Joss Whedon that makes me think Amy feeling their relationship couldn't continue due to her not being able to bear children was a little misjudged. Not their fault and there was certainly no ill intent from Moffat so it is nothing I will dwell on.

From a fanwank perspective it is nice to see the Special Weapons Dalek again but there is little else to this really. It feels all just about setting up the Clara story. Some inventive new elements to the Daleks. The dead people with Dalek parts added was pure Moffat creepiness and it is a shame they couldn't form a larger part of the story. As with The Wedding of River Song, it feels like Moffat using up lots of great ideas but at least it always has the possibility of being in a future Dalek story. Likewise, I think more could have been done with Clara being a Dalek despite it making a strong reveal to close the episode.

The changes to the opening titles and fonts are awful.

Now onto the next episode. Really weird that they only aired three episodes in this 2012 run and they aired with a two-week gap in between each other.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #560 on: September 16, 2021, 09:32:17 PM »
the view that it would be best to leave the show to air for a while and I could go back at some point in the future to watch it all in a row with a bit of distance to it.

fingers crossed you will do this one day

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #561 on: September 16, 2021, 10:04:07 PM »
A Town Called Mercy is pretty standard fare. A garish orange hue mixed with the on-screen graphics of The Gunslinger gives the episode a suitably Sarah Jane Adventures feel. The practicalities of recording in Winter in the UK mean it is probably difficult to make it look like the wild west without a harsh colour grade so I guess we can let them off here.

They make Jex go all Nazi (that's what his speech to The Doctor seemed to be thrusting to) and make there no realistic choice other than to give him up to The Gunslinger. Having the Doctor then protect him feels wrong, to me. It goes against my left-wing pro-rehabilitation side but I just don't feel sympathetic to the Nazi. Am I wrong in seeing Jex as analogous to a Nazi? I just can't look past it once I saw it. The Gunslinger is always portrayed as somebody who does not wish to harm anybody innocent, despite being a soldier built for war. The Gunslinger is an innocent victim of Jex. Jex is a warmonger with the weight of guilt who wanted to escape the wrath of his victim.

It wasn't a bad episode, but I just struggled once I saw Jex the way I did. I feel it pushed Doctor Who too close to an area I don't want. Definitely think it must be my interpretation of the moral core that is the problem rather than the episode itself. Would be interested to hear how others interpreted it.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #562 on: September 16, 2021, 10:25:11 PM »
Dammit, I can't remember enough about that episode to come down on either side, but I remember thinking that turning kids and other townspeople into targets to protect Jex seemed a bit off. Only needs the gunslinger to squeeze off one sharp shot and whoops! Dead child.

Inspired by your posts to do my own revisitation of nu-Who, at least to the end of the Capaldi era. No need to inflict the Chibnall dirge on myself again, certainly not so soon.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #563 on: September 16, 2021, 10:31:40 PM »
I don't think I've seen series 7 more than once.  The episodes of series 5 I watched multiple times the weeks they were coming out.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #564 on: September 16, 2021, 10:32:59 PM »
Inspired by your posts to do my own revisitation of nu-Who, at least to the end of the Capaldi era. No need to inflict the Chibnall dirge on myself again, certainly not so soon.

Yeah, I will be stopping at Twice Upon a Time. As if I would inflict Chibnall on myself. Just hearing about The Timeless Child is bad enough!

Just a good thing that Chibnall never written any episodes during the Moffat era.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #565 on: September 16, 2021, 10:35:29 PM »
Weird the way a redesigned Silurian suddenly appears without explanation halfway through series 6.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #566 on: September 16, 2021, 11:11:52 PM »
Such a short run ends with The Angels Take Manhatten. I feel like they blew their load with the Statue of Liberty being revealed right at the start as it would have been a neat ending reveal. Whilst I did like the earlier Matt Smith Angels story, this felt much more in keeping with Blink. Exploiting the horror of people losing their lives so their time stream can be used to feed the Angels.

I actually have to admire that Moffat has waited until now to use the Angels to their full potential. I'm surprised looking at Wikipedia that this is the last proper Weeping Angels story too.  Only a matter of time before some hack ruins them though. Bet Chibnall already has that script called Wink ready with all the characters winking to save the day.

I really liked the simplicity of this episode. All very low-key after the opening. It feels like a mix of Blink and The Big Bang. A great way to say goodbye in a bittersweet way to Rory and Amy. Probably my favourite Weeping Angels story too. The subversion of having a smiling Angel at one point is about as creepy as they've ever been.

I wish I'd saw this one at the time. It may have kept me watching each week at least up until the end of the Smith era.

Weird the way a redesigned Silurian suddenly appears without explanation halfway through series 6.

Probably just a rejected design they decided to use to save money. It makes sense they would have rejected it, since it is rubbish.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #567 on: September 16, 2021, 11:56:24 PM »
The internet seems so hopped up on the moral dilemma of Voyager's Tuvix these days, just imagine what will happen when they discover The Girl Who Waited. Does The Doctor and Rory have the right to erase the bitter future Amy in her late 50s in order to rescue an Amy in her 20s? I mean, yes they do but my opinion of Tuvix is much the same.

I'd completely forgotten the resolution, and it is honestly just as strong as Tuvix. The Doctor and Rory make the right choice but the way it is played out is dramatically a master-stroke.

Hmmm. The Tuvix debacle is why I stopped watching Voyager. You can say what you like about it but that ending is not consistent with Star Trek's previous ideals. I'm not quite so wedded to New Who but older Amy's death is clearly morally wrong. The Doctor of my youth (Pertwee/Baker) would have found a way for both to survive. That this didn't happen is something of a disappointment. I get no joy from rewatching this episode,  even though in many ways it is better written and constructed than a lot of New Who. They just fucked up the ending.

Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #568 on: September 17, 2021, 12:04:46 AM »
Hmmm. The Tuvix debacle is why I stopped watching Voyager. You can say what you like about it but that ending is not consistent with Star Trek's previous ideals. I'm not quite so wedded to New Who but older Amy's death is clearly morally wrong. The Doctor of my youth (Pertwee/Baker) would have found a way for both to survive. That this didn't happen is something of a disappointment. I get no joy from rewatching this episode,  even though in many ways it is better written and constructed than a lot of New Who. They just fucked up the ending.

I think an ending in an earlier era might have seen older Amy left to survive in her own time bubble with robot Rory. Definitely feels like an Eccelstone/Tennant type ending.

It is essentially down to the writer whether it is possible for both young and old Amy can both survive, and the writer this time decided to make it not possible and threw the difficult choice to The Doctor and Rory. I don't think it diminishes The Doctor morally to set some temporal rules which even he cannot disobey.

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Re: Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years
« Reply #569 on: September 17, 2021, 12:09:43 AM »
Well, I do. The Doctor is all about breaking temporal rules.

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