capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
[personal profile] capriuni
And yet, after the Christmas Special, there's virtual silence?!

So I guess I'll have to start (if you want to get something done, be ready to do it yourself :::Rhubarb, Peas, and Carrots:::)

I want to squee!

I want to Grumble!

So this will be a Squumble!

Anyway, I'll get the grumble out of the way:

There were no closed captions on the Amazon Video Stream!

I'm privileged enough to be able to understand audio, but I've gotten so used to having closed captions that not being able to read and listen at the same time is as distracting to my brain as a vague itch between my shoulder blades that I cannot reach. So that actually subtracted from my enjoyment of the episode, and it's frustrating because I'm sure that all of the creative, talented people who actually had to work to create this story had nothing to do with it.

Also, the trailer had captions, so I had no reason to suspect that the actual episode would not. And I didn't find out the truth until after I had already bought it.

I suspect something sloppy and irrational, like not double-checking the copyright license (I'd come across the tidbit, somewhere, somewhen, that captions are licensed separately from the audio -- talk about Humbug!).

And that has me worried about all of Series 10...

Okay, now for the squee.

First: this Christmas Special is just proof that "The Husbands of River Song" was actually the first episode of a two-parter.

Second: In the negative reviews I've seen, the biggest complaint has consistently been that this episode was not Christmassy enough. But frankly -- I found that aspect refreshing. This was, after all, an entire series of Doctor Who in just under an hour, so a strong story that gives us some character development for the Doctor was more important to me than a bare scaffolding on which to hang yet more Christmas baubles. I think (I hope) that this story finally brought the Doctor around to grieving his losses and accepting them -- not just River Song, but also Clara -- and Amy and Rory, too,* so that Moffat can wrap up his last year with a "clean, emotional, slate."**

Third: Overall, the emotional tone of this episode was just sweet -- the Harmony Shoal aliens, notwithstanding. I mean, a superhero with a nanny alter-ego. Also, a superhero whose code of ethics includes not causing grievous harm or destroying a city block just to stop the bad guys (are you listening, Marvel?)

Fourth: I was pleasantly surprised by Nardole -- that he was allowed to be actually competent, and point out where the Doctor is wrong -- and have the Doctor admit that Nardole was right, at the end.

Fifth and Finally: This was a story with a second hero (besides the Doctor) And the Doctor acknowledged that they were both on the same side from the very beginning. Hip-Hip-Hooray!

*(Wasn't that contraption on the roof in New York City his last ditch attempt to get around the "Temporal Anomaly" that "he caused," in order to get a chance to see Amy again -- having an innocent child swallow the last, key, element sure was a clever way to get the Doctor to stop trying on that front).

**Now, I want to check the TARDIS interior again, to see if that scribbled-on chalkboard is still there (Was that a visual metaphor, all along?).

Date: 2016-12-28 11:07 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: unicorn line drawing captioned "If by different you mean awesome" (different=awesome)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
A1 initiative, will hang around waiting for you to start things all my life.

The caption-lack is excruciating.

"clean, emotional, slate"?

How is this different than an emotional clean slate (except it needs two fewer commas)?

Also, did you old Who as well as new Who?

Date: 2016-12-29 01:06 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Robot dog from old Doctor Who (k9 to the rescue)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Your thoughts on RTD are clearly informed with deep & wide experience & introspection.

Wisconsin Public TV was showing them in true serial fashion at 11p in the late 70s -- a quick look at the TARDIS wiki leads me to believe I started out with the introduction of Leela in The Face of Evil during Tom Baker's run (Doctor FOUR).

I was well and truly mystified and entranced. Of course I couldn't hop online to get oriented, but I kept watching. I persevered through the transitions from Four to Five, but Six made me itch and I dropped out. (I weep even now remembering Logolopolis/Castrolvalva.)

Much later I saw some of the B&W versions. I remember some very silly para-Army business that brought to mind Monty Python.

I did see some of the Christopher Eccleston eps, and I really appreciated a Doctor non-U.

Another item for my retirement, I guess: get 'em all.

Are the Doctor Who books comfort-reads (like fanfics) or do some achieve really-new stories with actually-developed characters?

Date: 2016-12-29 03:35 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Two bookcases stuffed full (with books on top) leaning into each other (books)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Thanks for the education.

Can you recommend a particularly lovely starting point in the books?

Date: 2016-12-29 02:08 am (UTC)
vilakins: (dr who jelly babies)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
Four was my first too. And I almost gave up on DW when RTD was writing it, the mean-spirited sexist bastard. His Christmas specials were all bummers.

I hope with Moffat going that things won't change too much - I like optimistic DW - though bring on more alien planets and inhabitants, and enough with the Daleks already.

Date: 2016-12-29 07:50 pm (UTC)
vilakins: (dr who brigadier)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
Ah, that explains it. I wouldn't mind if they did something new with them. At least we haven't been inflicted with cybermen recently. More new and inventive aliens, I say!

Date: 2016-12-29 08:34 pm (UTC)
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
Good idea! I believe some of the aliens we've seen were from the classic series, though I didn't know them.

Date: 2016-12-29 11:25 pm (UTC)
rj_anderson: (Five - Expletives)
From: [personal profile] rj_anderson

Seriously, I am so 100% over people being Angry About Moffat and longing for the Glory Days of RTD. Not even at his worst has Moffat produced anything as vile as "Love and Monsters", let alone written three years' worth of episodes that made me actively hate the Doctor and feel sorry for all of his companions. (And none of that was Tennant's fault, either! I thought DT did the best that anyone could of making a silk purse out of some very sow-eared scripts, but there's only so much a good actor can do...)

Anyway, on a more positive note, I thought it a perfectly fine Christmas special and didn't miss the Christmassy angle one bit. Moffat has already written some extremely Christmassy specials in the past, there's only so much you can do without it starting to seem like parody...

Date: 2016-12-30 12:58 am (UTC)
rj_anderson: (Sherlock - Get Yourself a Hobby)
From: [personal profile] rj_anderson
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and absolutely YES. For me the rage started with Ten's awful treatment of Martha in "The Shakespeare Code" -- comparing her unfavorably to Rose = just gross, especially as she'd done nothing to earn or deserve it). Though my misgivings had begun all the way back at "The Long Game," with Nine and Rose being horribly smug and self-centered at everyone, escalated in "New Earth" where the Doctor behaves and accepts worship like a god, and achieved skin-crawling status in "Tooth and Claw" where a man dies horribly only seconds before Rose looks at Ten with big eyes and giggles "Werewolf," while he grins back at her as though he thinks it's funny too.

I stuck with the show gamely all through Ten's run, however, mostly because I loved Martha and thought (or rather hoped, I suppose) that the Donna-Doctor relationship would work out better because she wasn't in love with him. And then RTD did THAT to Donna and I was So Very Done. I still haven't seen the last two Ten episodes (and I dearly wish I hadn't seen "The Waters of Mars" either, for that matter) and I can't imagine any reason I would want to.

And you're quite right about Moffat quietly or not-so-quietly undoing or otherwise countering all of RTD's most awful additions to the canon. It's one of the things I've liked best about his tenure.

Date: 2016-12-30 05:34 pm (UTC)
rj_anderson: (Leonardo - Wings)
From: [personal profile] rj_anderson
I did love the Eleven run, apart from a few eye-rolling plot holes and some gratuitous sexy bits (seriously, Eleven would have been SO much more entertaining if he'd been written as consistently asexual, and Matt Smith was already 75% of the way there with his performance in any case), but I can definitely see the superior appeal of Twelve from that angle. Twelve is a LOT more like the classic Doctors, and that's refreshing.

(Why do I not have a Twelve icon? Note to self: get on that.)

Date: 2016-12-30 03:59 am (UTC)
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (donna)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
I loathed Ten for his selfishness and self-pity, and I'll never forgive him for destroying Harriet Jones's career in a moment of pique so that the golden age Nine told Rose about never happened. It was a huge relief when Moffat and Eleven came along; they restored my faith in the Doctor. And there was Donna. [incandescent fury at what Ten did to her]

Man, even the way Ten left, moping about on his interminable goodbye, made me yell at him.

How can anyone call RTD's days glory days? Pessimistic, nasty, insulting to so many different people... I just hope Moffat's legacy continues.
Edited Date: 2016-12-30 04:03 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-12-30 05:30 pm (UTC)
rj_anderson: (Peggy Carter)
From: [personal profile] rj_anderson
Oh, that's well put about the River and Clara arcs! I agree.

I wish the showrunners would get over the idea that they constantly have to be topping themselves and that every Doctor-Companion relationship has to be the Most Epic Love of All Time. If Twelve and Bill turn out to be good buddies who banter and bicker entertainingly and loyally look out for each other but are able to eventually part ways without a lot of angst and universe-unravelling shenanigans, I shall be greatly relieved.

Date: 2016-12-30 10:39 pm (UTC)
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (river song)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
Clara and River Song are nicely wrapped up now, though I'm seriously dubious about any sort of sexual relationship between humans and the Doctor (though he did have a grand-daughter - unless that was a lie). The lifespans are ludicrously different, and though I can believe in love (we love our pets who don't live long) anything more is just skeevy.

I'm also unsure about Me. Moffat created her, then made her able to survive the death of the universe (seemingly). She's basically another alien and the length of her life made her forget most of it and abraded her empathy. It was a horrible thing to do to anyone, and why would the Doctor even have a device like that about him? But that's a whole other discussion. :-)

Date: 2016-12-31 08:22 pm (UTC)
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
Oh, did he? I missed that. Why didn't those guys survive to the end of the universe then? It must have worked differently on humans.

living forever might have just as well have made her super compassionate
True. Maybe travelling with Clara changed her, though there must have been other people, like the husband she had children with, who touched her.

Date: 2016-12-30 05:27 pm (UTC)
rj_anderson: (Kate Beaton - TESLA!!!)
From: [personal profile] rj_anderson
So much seconded to all of that. WHERE HAVE YOU PEOPLE BEEN ALL MY LIFE.

(Honestly, I don't even know how anyone can think Ten/Rose, or even Nine/Rose, was any sort of healthy relationship, let alone a swoonily romantic one. I like Billie Piper as an actress and Rose as a character well enough; but she and the Doctor brought out the absolute worst in each other, except [surprise!] when Moffat was writing them.)

Also, as a Christian viewer, I found the whole "Lonely God" motif to be gross. And just when I'd almost convinced myself I was being hypersensitive, RTD had Ten assume a crucifix posture and be carried up into the air by robotic angels, which ... ugh.

Not the Doctor, basically. And definitely not MY Doctor.

Meanwhile, Eleven is now my favorite Doctor of all time, even displacing my long-adored Five (though only just). So uneven scripts and occasional annoying sex jokes aside (seriously, people, lay off with that), Moffat had to be doing something right.

Date: 2016-12-30 10:44 pm (UTC)
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (eleven)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
I've seen you in passing; I'm a friend of kerravonsen. :-)

Ugh seconded! Utterly tasteless and offensive. That whole lonely god thing was not just hubris but marinated in self-pity. "No one understands me; woe." Ugh, ugh, ugh. I was so glad to see him go, though he tried to linger. For a self-described fanboy, RTD didn't understand DW at all.

I love Eleven! Also Four, Five, and Twelve too. I've heard Two is pretty awesome, but I doubt I'll ever catch up on him or the other doctors apart from isolated eps.

Date: 2016-12-31 08:18 pm (UTC)
vilakins: (dr who cricket)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
I have the occasional Seven story on CD, but I should look out some Two stories. What do you think of Three? He's the one with the vintage car, right? Which must place him always in the present.

I remember watching Five at the time (very delayed here in those days) and have got a couple of his CDs too. Six remains an unknown though I've met Colin Baker who was very funny about his stint (he bit his companion Peri on the bum for a dare, and she floored him. Report here

Date: 2016-12-29 02:05 am (UTC)
vilakins: (tardis)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
I really enjoyed it too! I didn't mind it not being Christmassy because it was sweet and fun, though I did wonder about Grant giving up the super hero shtick at the end - won't he get the guilts when something he could have prevented happens? This is what I always think with super heroes though.

I thought the lights on top of the building for for a Christmas invasion (didn't the Doctor mention one?) though I like your thought. I like Nardole a lot and am glad that apparently we'll have more of him. We should have more alien companions.

Captions are increasingly necessary these days what with so many shows drowning dialogue with music, but I also find they distract me from the scene. Maybe I'm too visual.

Date: 2016-12-29 07:55 pm (UTC)
vilakins: (screen)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
I don't have a problem with subtitles in foreign films, but somehow they annoy me when it's English. That said, we've occasionally put them on when we just can't hear dialogue, but then turn them off again.

A lot of what we watch doesn't have them though and I only pick up on something I've missed when I read comments or reviews, e.g. that Nardole was emperor in Constantinople. Which amuses the hell out of me now I know it; I's watch that!

Date: 2016-12-29 05:05 am (UTC)
pedanther: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pedanther
I wasn't particularly enthused by the Christmas special - it probably says something that one of the things I liked most about it was a case of "not as bad as I was expecting", ie. Nardole being competent and the Doctor having to admit he was right, which was great.

In the negative reviews I've seen (which admittedly are not many, since my circles have been quiet on the subject too), the biggest complaint has been that Grant's relationship with Lucy can be characterised as "if you hang around her being a nice guy for long enough she'll eventually realise she loves you", which is an idea with a troubled history.

It hadn't occurred to me that the contraption on the roof might be specifically an attempt to see Amy again - like Vilakins, I assumed that it was part of an alien-thwarting adventure that continued off-screen - but now that you mention it, it does fit neatly.

Date: 2016-12-29 07:58 pm (UTC)
vilakins: Vila dozing off at the teleport controls (alert)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
See, I missed all that - well done, you for catching it; it makes so much sense. I was sure he mentioned an invasion at some point, though it might have been expectation of one.

Date: 2016-12-30 04:02 am (UTC)
vilakins: (cheers)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
Ah, that was it! I do often find the dialogue on DW difficult to catch.

Date: 2017-01-01 12:47 am (UTC)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
From: [personal profile] igenlode
I really liked the absence of shoe-horned-in Christmas content (it wasn't until thinking back over it afterwards that I realised there was actually a nod to Christmas at the beginning, where Grant mistakes the Doctor for Father Christmas paying him a visit)
And I thought the superhero theme really worked, given the conscious meta-references to comic books etc. (i.e it wasn't just "Dr Who rips off Superman"). The squidgy toy as interrogation device was annoying, though -- if I'd been the Doctor, I'd just have thrown the stupid thing out of the window and snarled "How old do you think I am -- five years old?" :-p

I found Nardole totally puzzling, since I had no idea who he was supposed to be; I think he may have been a one-off character from some 'special' that I never watched (Comic Relief)?

I didn't enjoy Capaldi's introductory episode very much (too much silliness) but he is rapidly becoming one of my favourite Doctors; I was never very keen on Oswin/Oswald, I'm afraid, and never did work out what was supposed to be the big deal about the character (again, I have the feeling I may have missed a vital episode somewhere). I still miss Rory; more male companions, please! That was something else I appreciated about this episode, of course.

And I don't really think that the Doctor's companions *ought* to be made into characters central to the fate of the Universe, or the planet, or the galaxy; the series isn't 'supposed' to work that way, in my view. They're supposed to be ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, not world-changing entities who by some incredible coincidence just happen to be on the same planet as the Doctor. Although again, I didn't mind Rory ;-)

Date: 2017-01-03 03:15 am (UTC)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
From: [personal profile] igenlode

Ah, thanks. I don't remember much about that episode at all, other than that River Song was married to some unpleasant king (the head of some unpleasant king?)

I was thinking of Rory as the Centurion -- I'd actually managed to forget all about Amy being the cause of the Doctor going to war, and all that :-( Although Melody Pond being River Song was quite neat (if a bit incestuous...)

I always thought of Amy and Rory as having been killed, because that's how it's shown from the viewer's perspective (character disappears and bang! there's a tombstone). But I suppose from their perspective, life went on as normal for a whole lifetime.

Date: 2017-01-03 08:14 pm (UTC)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
From: [personal profile] igenlode

So it's just that one specific slice of time and space that the Doctor can't get into, and that they happen to have been relocated in?

It seems a bit of a contrived hand-wave, given the amount of temporal chaos in the series as a whole (sending people back in time as a means of separating them forever doesn't make a lot of sense in the context of a protagonist who travels in time on a day-to-day basis), but presumably for some reason they didn't feel that 'Amy and Rory settle down, have children and live happily without the Doctor' would be acceptable to the fans otherwise :-p


capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)

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