Tangential 5: Mummy on the Tangential Express

22 December, 2014


Shaking up the show format Vic Hudson and John geek-out big time over the more recent season of Doctor Who, the first for Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. We talk about the best and worst episodes of the season.

Transcript available
This is Tangential, an unending conversation where every topic is a ta- a ta- oh fuck. This is Tangential, an unen- oh my. Third time's a charm. This is Tangential, an unending conversation where every topic is a tangent from the last. Embrace the chaos. This episode, Vic Hudson joins me to geek out about Doctor Who. Here we go. How's it going Vic? It's good John. How's Doctor Who going Vic? Doctor Who is doing great John. Really? I thought it was the end of the season already. It was. I'm a little hyped up for the Christmas episode though. I was really pleased with the season as a whole. I really like Peter Capaldi. So you're basically jumping into your conclusion at the very beginning of the episode. That's what you just did. You sorry? You sorry? I'll make you sorry. I'm a bit excited. Yeah, well, OK, fine. So there's something special I want to do at the end of the episode. We're going to save that for the end. Let's just time warp it all and it's all timey-wimey. So, I've been a fan of Doctor Who since I was, you know, five, six years old, and I've been watching it since the John Pertwee, you know, and Tom Baker years. And I've pretty much watched every single episode since then, including the TV movie that we all wish didn't happen. And of course, all of the episodes of the so-called "2005 series" of Doctor Who. The new Who. Yes. And I absolutely love it. I've loved Doctor Who for years, and it's so wonderful to me to look around and now see it becoming part of more popular culture. And a lot of that, I think, has to do with the accessibility, I think, of the show, it's not just the effects have improved significantly, but although you listen to visual effects artists, and I'm not going to name anyone by name, but some bloke that we both are aware of on Twitter who's into visual effects and stuff. Yeah, him. Yeah. And they'll go on and complain about how the train looks fake. And it's like, well, you know, compared to a croton that was basically a box with a bunch of alfoil on it, I mean, really, it's a hell of a lot better. Thank you very much. And your bar needs to be reset, but that's okay. Yeah. Okay, it's fine. Go make a better train. It's TV. Hey? It is fiction, it is entertainment. Yeah, I'm not here to pick apart special effects, but I think that it's the better special effects and the better budgets have definitely made it more accessible because people take it more seriously. But not just that, I think the new Doctor Who also since 2005, all of them, Christopher Ecclestone, David Tennant, Matt Smith. I'm not including the flash in the pans, you know, like the single episode ones with John Hurt, you know, because- Oh, no, no, no. You have to include John Hurt. John Hurt was awesome. Yeah, he was awesome, but he was also cranky, right? Yeah, but for the part he was playing and the role he was in the place in the doctor's life that was he nailed it Oh sure he did That's... For me John Hurt was a bigger highlight in Day of the Doctor than Matt Smith and David Tennant Okay, you know that's a big call right there, but you know what that's fine, you know, that's cool I can respect that, but what I can't agree with is the fact that he's just not playful and he's not accessible and people like Christopher Ecclestone to set it all up as a reboot of sorts. And I say of sorts because, you know, in many cases, reboots or, you know, selectively ignore certain facts about the past, whereas this was sort of more of a as a reboot goes more of a return than a reboot. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I don't think reboot actually fits. No, not really. And then you've got David Tennant, who then really took it to that whole playful level, at least for most of it, although the last season of David Tennant was getting very heavy and a bit dark. And then, of course, Matt Smith just went off the charts in terms of being playful. And that whole playfulness and, you know, giddy sort of excitement and, you know, pop, pop, pop, lots of energy kind of thing is in stark contrast to someone like, you know, Colin Baker or even to some extent, Sylvester McCoy and what little we saw of Paul McGann. You know, it's like these- Yeah. A very, very different Doctor, you know, and I think that really did help a lot to spread Doctor Who and make it far more popular. People that I've come across who've sort of enjoyed Doctor Who in recent years that have got into it after Ecclestone will look at Doctor Who and season eight, and this is why I'm coming- I'm circling back to season 80 because I specifically wanted to talk about is Peter Capaldi. And like my wife, for example, does not like Peter Capaldi. And several of my work colleagues who also got into Doctor Who only in the 2005 series don't like Capaldi at all. And the reason that they don't is because he is completely unlike Matt Smith, David Tennant and Christopher Ecclestone. He just isn't. And they're happy to- They're willing to put aside John Hurt's far more serious, you know, portrayal. on the basis of the fact that it was a one-off. That was before Ecclestone, you know, then he got a sense of humor. Something like that, you know. Yeah. I definitely would agree with you that he's far different from Tennant and Smith, but I don't remove him quite as far from Eccleston as... Ecclestone had a flip personality. He did. But I think that, I mean, on a continuum, Capaldi is much closer to him than either of the other two, but he is different from all three of them. Well, I completely agree with that, but if you can count the number of times that Capaldi actually cracks a smile, like a full-blown smile or even laughs on one hand in the entire season, all right, the man is serious. He's- It's business. Yeah, it is. Yeah, it's business. But you know what, I'm a fan of the original series and all the original Doctors, and I think each and every actor that has ever portrayed a Doctor has brought something special to the role. Even Colin Baker, everyone goes on about how horrible Colin Baker was. I didn't think so. The first couple of episodes when he had that, like, really bad regeneration and it was like, you know, he came out of it really badly. You know, I saw that and I sort of shook my head and I'm like, whoa, okay, that's different. And I can respect why they chose to do that. And but it turned a lot of people off in a similar, but not the same way, but in a similar way to the way Capaldi has turned a lot of people off. And I hear a lot of the hardcore fans saying, oh, Capaldi's great. He's a return to the classic who kind of thing. He's more edgy, he's more hardcore and so on. And I'm like, yeah, it's great. You're going to alienate a lot of people. And he has. And that's the truth. So, you know, but in taking the show in that direction, obviously you can't just keep doing the same thing. You can't keep having Matt Smith goofing off and doing funny things Well, and that's the great thing about Doctor Who as a whole I've watched it for a long time myself, I was introduced to it as a child by my grandmother on PBS watching reruns. I can't share your boast and your claim of having seen every single episode of Classic Who but I've seen a lot of it. I've definitely sampled every Doctor And I've got favorites and least favorites, but I love them all for their uniqueness. But the great thing about Doctor Who is just, you know, if you're not enjoying the current run of the show, then you can choose to stick with it and ride it out, or you can choose to leave it and come back later. But the one thing that's constant is, you know, just give it a few seasons or series, you know, as it's called in New Who, and come back to it. And it's going to be a completely different beast, because it's a show that literally regenerates itself. Yeah, exactly. And that's a good point. So, a lot of people that never were into Doctor Who before came to the 2005 series and saw Christopher Ecclestone acting and they just went for it. They went nuts over it and they're like, oh, this is really cool. How come we weren't watching this before? And I'm like, that's fine. Don't worry about the old series if that's how you feel. But, you know, see for me, the funny thing was that I thought Sylvester McCoy was fantastic. I loved his three seasons and, you know, I loved survival. He definitely had some highlights. Oh yeah, I love "Survival", I love "Curse of Fenric", I love "Paradise Towers". I think they were all really, really great episodes and they had a lot going for them. You know, I mean, they really took the cleaners to the cleaners. And it's one of those things that I go back to the days of the original, like William Hartnell. And I struggle to find episodes of the original that I really, really liked. I mean, they were OK, they were passable, but they were slow and a bit tedious at points. But then of course, yeah, well, it was just a completely different set of production. Yes, exactly. And when they launched, they had a different goal for the show. Oh, sure. Yeah. I don't know how many of today's fans understand that it originally began as an educational TV show. Yeah, exactly right. It's sort of it's one of those things that as the show has evolved, it's appealed to wider audiences in different ways. And it's been able to reinvent itself. And that's the other thing. When it came to Patrick Trodden, I absolutely loved Patrick. I thought he did a fantastic job. And I didn't actually go back and watch his stuff until I watched The Two Doctors, which was the episode with Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton, of course, you know, Patrick Troughton and Jamie. Sorry, I'm terrible with the name. Jamie is the character, not the actor's name. But anyway, and it was his performance in that episode that made me go back and watch the older black and white ones, because I originally had written off everything before John Pertwee. And I'm like, yeah, I'll just stick with this. Thanks. Not a big fan of black and white. Oh, there's a lot of good stuff back. I know. And the war games remains one of my favourites. And, you know, I'll just leave him on simmer. It's just the delivery with the lines is just some of them was just absolutely brilliant. So Troughton was fantastic. And then, of course, you know, John Pertwee was I mean, the cravat really. And anyhow, but the point was that, you know, he did a very hard edge on certain aspects and being stranded on earth for as long as he was and all that interplay with the Brigadier and with Yuna really set up a lot of the mythology that still continues. I mean, there was a reference to the Brigadier in this season. So, you know... The Brigadier was in this season. Yeah. If you choose to accept it, I know there's some contention on that. Yeah. Well, let's just assume that that was what that salute meant and everything, and we'll assume that that's the case. Of course, this whole discussion is assuming... I think he was the brigadier for the record. He was the brigadier and I was OK. Yeah. Yeah. It's just so weird. All right. All right. Anyhow, so before we get to some of the specifics about this season, I just got to ask you, who is your favourite doctor of all time? You know, I honestly have a really hard time picking that. I won't accept that as an answer. Honestly, for me, when somebody asks me who my Doctor is, a lot of times will tend to be the current one that I'm watching. Sure. I think you want just out of all of them together, or do you want a favorite classic Doctor and a favorite new Doctor? Not favorite all of them. Honestly, I think that it probably could have been Eccleston, had he done more than just one series, because I really loved his portrayal in The Doctor, and the doctor and I really wished he'd stuck around to do some more, but since there wasn't very much of his content it kind of limited it. I think probably currently I think Matt Smith would be my favorite. Okay, fair enough. Well that's cool. I would actually put Matt Smith down as probably my number three, but my favorite of all time is Peter Davison, because I thought that he was a very gentlemanly, very organized and I thought I just yeah I just liked him, then I thought he was a nice doctor. You know, he wasn't a jerk. He was, you know Yeah. Now the classic doctors, my favorite is probably the old standby Tom Baker But that's probably in part due to he's the one that I have seen the most of And that's partly because he's the one that did the most, but also because like I said my grandmother introduced me to it when I was still pretty young. I can't really speculate exactly what age I was But I was still relatively young and we were watching reruns on PBS, which is how most Americans were introduced to Doctor Who. And yeah, he's just the guy that I saw so much of, and he's probably my favourite of the classics. OK, cool. Well... But I love them all. And for a unique... You know, they all have their unique perspective and take on the character, and I love them all. Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I have much the same sentiment there, but if I had to pick my number two, there would be David Tennant, followed by Matt Smith, because I think that David Tennant brought a lot of energy to it and he was fun, you know, like really fun. And then, of course, Matt Smith also fun. But the problem with Matt Smith I always had was that he was always a little bit too goofy, you know. He is, but I think that it just suited his time. Oh, it did. Yeah. But at the same time, I guess maybe I'm just too influenced by the more seriousness of- I just thought he took a little bit too seriously. bit too far, but that's okay. And you'll notice Capaldi is not in the top three. So, anyway. I think that Capaldi would probably be my number two at the moment. I'm really eager to see where he takes it. So am I. And I really liked it. So am I. Because my hope when he was first announced and so far I feel like it's moving in that direction and I've been pleased with it. When he was first announced was not that I did not enjoy Tenet. And I've already said that Smith is probably my current favourite, but I had always hoped that Capaldi would take things in a more Eccleston direction as far as the Doctor and the portrayal of the Doctor, because like I said, I think that Eccleston, had he done more, I think he would have been a lot more people's favourite Doctor too, but his run was just so limited and so short, you know, just the 13 episodes. All right, cool, fair enough then. Okay, so highlights for you, season 8. favorite let's say top three episodes and why top starting with your number three working way up to number one I know my three it's hard to put them in order oh any order then random then if you like okay all right are we gonna count dark water and death in heaven as two episodes or as one continuous Fine, one episode. We'll make it a double two part as count as one. Go. Okay. The two part finale. Flatline and listen. Okay. Now, why is the question I want to know. So, why flatline? Why flatline? Flatline, because although there was some cheesy, campy visual effects, it was really nice to see Clara. And she did a lot of it in this season, but I think definitely in in this series need to correct myself there Um, she did a lot of stepping into the role of the doctor at times but in this episode she really she would she just really stepped in and she was the doctor and she did a great job and Even though peter capaldi's role was minimalized and he was trapped in the tardis that was ever shrinking. He did a great job, too But uh, there was a lot of just genuine creep to it and it was just I think I probably found it like one of the creepiest episodes in a long time. Listen was in much the same regards, too, but I just the bad guy in Flatline was really interesting to me, and I thought they did a good job with the visual effects on it. Okay, cool. So, you've mentioned Listen briefly there. Do you have anything else to expand on Listen as to why that's in the list? I think it was a great episode. again just good good creepy episode I love episodes of Doctor Who that just kind of make you sit on the edge of the sofa wondering what's going to happen what's going to happen next I think the thing that I like best about Listen is also a lot of people's biggest complaints is we never know what was under the sheet and I kind of like it that way. Yeah yeah that's fair that's a fair comment. I like the twist at the end where it turned out the whole time Clara was the monster under the doctor's particular bed. That was good. Absolutely. So, all right. The season finale, the two-parter. Missy. Yeah, Missy. She just... Missy. Yeah, it was pretty brilliant. They did. I was kind of in Jason Snell's camp a little bit during the run of the series, because I wasn't exactly sure where they were going with her. And I was kind of in one of his his many episodes that they did, you know Immediately after he kind of said that the way they were tossing her in there wasn't like the way they did long-run arcs of the past It was more like here I am I'm still here and this is just a trailer for the finale coming Sure, and I was kind of feeling that way But the second they actually gave her some real screen time and some real story even though that was pretty inevitable who she was gonna be Just to have it confirmed and to give her real screen time and real story and to just let her run away with that part Oh, she was just unbelievable and fantastic and it was great Cool okay bananas. Sorry. I said bananas All right my top I liked her portrayal of the master better than John Sims I I think John Simms was- I got to disagree on that. I think John Simms was better, but the wheels fell off John Simms because he- yeah, the last episode he was in, which was the- God, the end of time. Thank you. Really went off the rails. You know, he just- Yeah. Yeah, it did. But that last arc, the utopia, last the Time Lord. That was good. That was absolutely brilliant. So, I kind of think that that's difficult to live up to, you know, he's standing out there in the street going Martha Jones. I mean, it's like, come on, that's just, you know, it's like just creepy off the scale, like megalomaniac kind of, yeah, really captured the megalomania. Anyway. He did and he was great. Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising or attacking and it's not that I didn't enjoy him as the master but I think I put Michelle Gomez's performance just a little higher. Fair enough and that's cool. So all right my top three then. My top three in order of least to most and I say least I mean it's still on the top you know still on the top three okay so listen followed by flatline followed by Mummy on the Orient Express being my favourite. Oh, good choices. Yeah. I mean, we kind of have two overlaps there. Well, if we had extended it to four, Mummy would have been my favourite. Fair enough. Well, listen, honestly, I just thought the whole concept was brilliant and I thought it was wonderful to have an episode where there was in essence no bad guy and it was, you know I mean, like there's in almost every other episode of Who there's like fighting against like a Dalek or a Cyberman or some kind of a... You know, it's like there was no... There's usually a clearly defined protagonist. Exactly. So as... Protagonist. Yes. Well, as episodes go, I thought it was also beautifully written, beautifully acted and just it was just I love that, like you said, Clara under the bed, you know, that was just magic. And the fact that it tied it all back to the barn from the 50th episode. And I know a lot of people didn't like that and they didn't feel that was needed and necessary, but I just, you know, it really made it really timey-wimey and it ties up some other things and... Well, it's like, why the shed? Why the barn? Sorry. You know, why? Because I thought... What was the significance to it? I thought that as well. You know, I thought that as well when he was there in the 50th episode. I'm like, well, he's in the middle of nowhere. What the... Why there? What specifically is it about there? And I don't know. Anyway, whatever. So. It's a place that he obviously had spent some time as a child. It has some significance to it. Exactly. So, there you go. Anyway. All right. So, next. Flatline. I actually was genuinely freaking out by this episode. It was just... It was great. It was so good. And in terms of the fact that it was a completely different idea of an alien, a completely different one that exists only in two dimensions. And they're trying to understand three dimensions. And some of the visual effects on it, I thought, were very good, very convincing. Although at some points I felt like I was getting a headache watching the 3D people trying to be people, trying to look like people. But it was really quite a disconcerting episode. And I thought the whole role reversal thing was nicely done, as you said. So, kind of I agree with you on that. And just seeing the-. Yeah, from my point of view, that episode just got, you know, it got its five stars on concept alone before they ever started to film. Oh, sure. And the whole fingers coming out of the TARDIS and everything and moving the TARDIS around. That was the pinnacle of cheesiness, but it was so great. Yeah, but you see that the cheesiness worked. She said, you know, you're going to have to move the TARDIS. That's it. The cheesiness worked because it was such a freaky episode, you know, if there wasn't a matching amount of freakiness, it just would have come off as ridiculous. Yeah. Well, it was- Yeah, exactly. And it was a great tension. Yeah, exactly right. So, it was a great way to reset the tension during the episode. And I thought it was just so beautifully done. So, yeah, I absolutely love that one. But my absolute favourite, and not by a small amount, by a lot, is Mummy on the Orient Express. I'm the doctor and I will be your victim this evening. Are you my mummy? I absolutely adore this episode. I think I must have watched it 10 times now. I love it. And I'm actually rewatching all of the episodes of the new Doctor Who with my kids. And I gave them a trial on Rose and then, you know, we did a few more and got to- By the time we got to Dalek, it was, you know, they were hooked and they're like, oh, this is awesome. You know, so we've been gradually watching an episode at a time, you know, every second or third night, sometime on weekends, we do a bit of a binge watch, like four or five in a row. And we've been slowly edging our way through the seasons for the last two months, three months, gradually edging my way towards present. So, eventually we'll reach a point where when it shows live on TV, we'll be able to watch it and the kids will be able to join us. But this is an episode as an exception. So, we're still- We're just embarking on season seven, in quotes, season 7A and 7B, if you like. So the first half that have kind of got the ponds and the second half that have Clara and we're just entering that season now. It's got the Christmas special to do. And anyway, so but Mummy on the Orient Express, I just loved it so much that I let the kids watch it ahead of time and it was just brilliant. OK, so why am I gushing over this episode? I love the concept. I just think the concept is brilliant. The way that they execute the stopwatch, you know, where they're always like starting to start the clock, you got 66 seconds. And I think that the whole idea that only you, the person that's about to die, can see what's going to come and kill you and everyone else thinks you're mad is a beautiful little twist on it. And the way that the doctor, like at the end of the episode, one of the most beautiful, deep lines that I've heard in Doctor Who for years is that, you know, sometimes all you have are bad choices, but you still have to choose. Just resonated, you know, every now and then someone says something or you see something that someone else has said either on TV or whatever else, it just strikes a chord and it struck a chord with me personally. And I guess I've been, I feel connected with that, just that one comment. And honestly, the whole episode was just beautifully acted and having- The actor was at Skinner, what's his name? The engineer, you know, he's a comedian. Of course, you wouldn't know it from the episode, at least I don't think you would, because he was like, if he was funny, it was complete deadpan humour. But I thought he played that role beautifully well. And the way that he turned down at the end, you know, I don't suppose you know anyone who'd be up for that. And he's like, no, I'm afraid I don't really, you know, a job Not just that he turned it down, but the way he turned it down, you know, I'm afraid that's going to change a person Yeah, that's going to change, that could change a man, you know, and it's the thing is about this episode that there's a lot of hints. Okay, first of all, not everything that happens in an episode that stands out shows up again in future, but there's things that you can tell that they're laying seeds for potential future stuff. And one of those things is Gus. And so, on the train, you've got Gus, who is the... You start out thinking Gus is just a fancy computer system and they're trying to get in through the door and it says, you know, "computer, please open the door". And it's like, "please call me Gus". And, you know, unfortunately, only people with authorisation can enter this room. Sorry. And then there's a little sort of sound and there's a thumbs down that pops up, just a little bouncy thumb down. I thought that was just such a beautiful little touch, you know, and it's like, oh, I'm Gus. I'd like to help you, but unfortunately, you know, I can't help you. It turns out that it's not just a computer program. It's actually someone call- calling themselves Gus who set this whole thing up and, you know, getting all the scientists together to try and figure out what this mummy is that's killing everybody. And not for good reasons. But I like the way that they tied it to, I don't know if it was an intentional seed planted way back in Matt Smith's era or if they just made use of a good coincidence, but I like the way they tied it all the way back to then Yeah, they did and they didn't, but it was like something to do with Cleopatra or something It was I watched that episode with the kids recently and that was the, you know, like a few Well, actually, it was about three or four weeks ago And it struck me at the time because I'd seen Mummy on the Orange Express at that point I'm like, hang on a minute, that doesn't quite connect. It's close Yeah. Well, I think they probably just make use of a handy coincidence Yeah, sure. Then that's fine. But anyway, irrespective of that At the end of it all, I just thought it was lovely And one of the things, though, at the end of this episode that, you know, and now just to pull back a bit from my gushing about this one episode that, you know, I want to apparently marry. The thing is that Clara at the end of it and throughout the whole season really kind of started to annoy me, you know, because she has this- you get this repeated statement from her over and over again, "I don't know who you are anymore". You know, and it's like, yeah, we know, we get it. Okay. We get it. And it's not just that, though. It's also the fact that she's like, well, she wants to believe the worst in him, you know. And at the end of this, she's like, he said to her, you know, would it make it easier for you to think that of me, you know? No, I just rescued you, I let the rest suffocate. This is just my cover story. And he has a nervous laugh. It's like, it's almost parodying itself, which is cool. I'm totally cool with that, but throughout the whole series, it's been Okay, I get it, Clara, he's a different guy Yep, we get it Second of all, you don't really like the new guy that much You sort of kind of like him, but you sort of kind of don't like him And it's just like, why are you there? Really? Why? I don't... I feel like that might be a little bit harsh I kind of think I've really enjoyed Clara this season I've enjoyed her more this season than I did in her Impossible Girls. Yeah, I did too. I'll agree with that. It's really fun to give her room to breathe and to become an actual character versus plot device. And I've really enjoyed that. And I think that what we're actually seeing play out with Clara is a long run of what's his name said. I think that this changes a person. And I think we're seeing that happen and I think that we're seeing that you know you can't just travel with the doctor and have fun with all these adventures without consequences. That was touched on some with the pawns too and some of the other companions but I think we're just getting a really good and I would agree she's definitely having trouble adjusting to the new doctor but I don't think it's that she doesn't accept him I think it's just that she doesn't know I Think part of it's been a series of events and in circumstances that were much different than her Matt Smith was a completely different doctor, but they also had completely different adventures Yeah, and a lot of it she was able to address and to look at a lot more lightly Mm-hmm most of it with with a few exceptions And I think that the stakes in a lot of these adventures have been heavier The choices have been heavier and harder to make I mean like the doctor said, you know Sometimes all you have are bad choices and you still got to choose, you know when? When your best decision is still just the choice of the lesser evil That's not a good decision to ever have to make and I don't think she's always responding well to that And I think they've wrote written her to respond accordingly to a lot of it And I think she's performed accordingly to a lot of it. I loved You could say whatever you want to about kill the moon, but I loved her response to the doctor at the end I do hear what you're saying, but my issue is that where I've enjoyed Clara this season, it's been when she hasn't been ragging on the doctor. It's been when she has been doing being independent, being strong, like, for example, in Deep Breath, where you think the doctor has abandoned her, you know, when she's talking down the robot, you know, with that beautiful bit of dialogue, you know, that That really shined, you know, absolutely You know, she's still human, she's still a little bit vulnerable, but she's still very, very strong And that essence of her stays with her through the whole season And if anything, it intensifies and gets stronger as the season goes on, and that's great I am all for that Yeah, and I would agree Those are definitely the highlights of her performance and her personality and her as a character But my issue But I like some of the other stuff, too Yeah, OK, and that's fine But where I have to disagree is I just I get sick to death of hearing, you're not the man you know, that you used to be. It's like, no kidding. We know that already. Stop it. You know, just, you know, either you want to stick around with them or you don't. Choose. Yeah. But anyway, I don't know. Well, and I think that I think that and from fan perspective, I think that the name of the doctor has done her a bit of a disservice because people just assume because fragments of her personality were scattered throughout the doctor's timeline and she interacted with and saved all of the doctors all of the time that she should know and expect and she should just be 100% okay with the regeneration and what comes from that but those were fragments of her and they've never really clarified that whether she does or doesn't remember all those interactions and all the times that she saved the doctor. Yeah. And even if she did, this would be like, I guess I kind of look at it like she's Clara Prime. Yeah. And this is Clara Prime's first time dealing with regeneration and a new doctor. Yeah, this is the... I agree with you. And here's the thing, I keep thinking about when in the original series, which was a Tom Baker episode called City of Death. If you remember that, have you seen that one? I think so. That's the one with the Jagaroth. And it was the last Jagaroth and he was trying to take off and he couldn't take off with standard engines, he had to take off with his like warp drive or something like that. And it caused him to splinter in time. And so, there were instances of him in like the Renaissance era, as well as in, you know, 20th century Earth. And those different fragments of this, the last Jagaroth in time, they were able to periodically sort of connect with each other, you know, and sort of communicate telepathically in some respects with each other, just periodically. And it's like they were split, but they were also sort of part of a whole. Whereas when Clara had her timeline scattered and she was in fragments, there was never a moment where they were all brought together, at least none that we were shown. So, we can assume if we weren't shown that, that it didn't happen. So, I've never bought into this theory that people sort of kick around and say, oh, well, she should know better than anyone else, you know, who- About the different doctors and different regenerations. And it's like, well, why? Because, you know, based on the individual that she was when she was extracted from his own timeline, you know, at that point, was she actually the recompression of all of the splinters of herself? Because I didn't think she was. They left it very ambiguous. You just don't know. No, well, I have to assume based on her behaviour that the answer is no. And the simplest explanation is the truth. And the simplest explanation is it's just a TV show and it's what they wrote down in the script. But never mind that. Sorry, I had to throw a dose of reality in here, but never mind. That's okay. So, seriously, though, I just got a bit sick of her whinging about it. But the moments when she wasn't whinging and she was being strong and independent, Which was, to be honest, the vast majority of the rest of her screen time. It was absolute magic. And, you know, it's a tough- It's a tough thing to be the sidekick and be as engaging as the main character. And however you want to slice it, the Doctor is the main character. Doctor Who, that's it. He is the Doctor. He is the main character. And being the bumbling sidekick is one thing, but being a sidekick that can hold their own is completely another. And there is, I think, no companion in recent- in the recent series that has really held themselves the same way. In fact, I would go back so far as Romana as being the last one who actually sort of held their own. I mean, well, I guess elements of Sarah Jane, I guess, at times. But early on, Sarah Jane was- although she was tough, but she was, you know, still sort of had her moments where she kind of fell to pieces a bit. Yeah. Whereas Romana was, you know, always, you know, she's very, very strong will. Well, she was a Time Lord, right. So, you know, very strong will, hung out with Tom Baker and so on. And it was just, yeah, she was always very strong and independent. And Clara in this last season, you know, really was very much that. And I appreciated that at least. It's just, why did she have to keep ragging on the Dan Dock doing that? They've even, yeah, and in Nuhu, they've even established, there's a trend of usually when companions start getting pretty close to that point, you know, where they can kind of be the doctor and they can stand on their own That's usually about the time we end up having to say goodbye to them, sometimes tragically Yeah, that's true. All right, so Anything else you want to quickly talk about before we wrap up? Because I have a feeling we could probably go on for hours And I don't really want to go on for hours I could talk for days about Dr. Who You could, huh? Well, I'm going to have to stop you, I'm afraid, because no, I'm not going to talk for hours about Doctor Who. I'm kind of... I've never done anything quite like this. So, this is a bit of an experiment. But the thing is, though, I guess one of the things I didn't want this to be is I didn't want this to be... The character development was rather good, and I do rather like the arcs and it is most splendid - Okay. - Or the fashion which they have crafted the individual's characters through the season. You know, it's like, no, no, no, no, no. Screw that, I just wanna know. - You don't wanna be all pretentious about it? - No, screw that, I want this to be lighthearted and you know what, what did you like, what did I like? And that's it, man, that's what this is. - Okay, wait. - Yes. - I wanna counter you. - Uh-oh. - Let's do three least favorites and why. - Ooh, you're on. - And you go first. - Ooh. You're on the spotlight. Okay. Okay. Three worst. In the Forest of the Night was Borderline Unwatchable. Kill the Moon was also Borderline Unwatchable. And Robot of Sherwood. It was funny, but cheesy was ridiculous and so cheesy. So, okay. So, Robot of Sherwood, I'll start with that. It was cheesy as hell. It was the cheesiest episode of the entire season. It was the most far-fetched, the most ridiculous. I mean, okay, it's a sci-fi, you know, and it's all far-fetched. I mean, okay, little blue blocks you walk into, bigger on the inside, travels through time and space. Right, okay. Fine, it's got the monopoly on ridiculous, but you know what? The whole concept within the confines of the show and it's just the whole thing of the doctor insisting through the whole day and episode that, you know, oh, the it's- - There is no robot. - There is no robot, it's not real. It can't possibly be real. They must all be robots. must be in some kind of a simulation. You know, it's like, it got tiring, you know, and just the ending of it also with Marion just hanging back while they chatted. And then she sort of like wanders in and I'm like, oh, really? It was just cheesy, cheesy start, cheesy middle, cheesy beginning, too much cheese, too much cheese, American cheese. Anyhow. Some wine with that? I'm sorry, I say American cheese because my kids have a thing for American cheese. They love American cheese. Yeah, like the thick, heavy, yellow sort of- Yeah, like the sort of cheese that McDonald's put on their burgers, you know, that kind of American sort of like- Yeah. I mean, when I was younger, I guess I liked that. I'm sort of more of a Swiss cheese kind of person these days. Anyway, whatever. Well, anyhow. Next, I really did not like Kill the Moon again for the whole- It was predictable, it was the whole moon giving birth to another moon. I'm sorry, but my brain's running through the physics of that. So, what you're basically saying is that this thing that just hatched from an egg was itself pregnant at the time with an egg that happened to be the same size that it itself was. And it's like, so you're telling me that inside this creature, there's some kind of a time, like a space compression field inside this creature that held an egg inside it. The physics of it makes beyond no sense Yeah, but I have to interrupt you on that one And I'm going to tell you upfront that I agree, and that one's on my three on my list of three least favorites, too But I just have to say, and I say the same thing to everybody else that brings this up We're talking about a 50 year old TV show with a guy that travels all of time and space in a blue box That's bigger on the inside than the outside And you have trouble believing this bit about the moon being there? I do have trouble believing it, and I do have trouble believing it for the simple reason that it's a living thing. It should follow some degree of laws about natural living things. Natural living things don't have like a space compression feel built into them or something like that. It's like- And no living creature that I'm aware of is born with- Or pre-fertilised eggs already in it, you know, I don't get it. I just I'm sorry. I mean, I can believe the blue box to a point of ridiculousness. Tribbles were born pregnant. Tribbles also are not real, but you know what? That's fine. And besides, and McCoy says they are practically born pregnant. He didn't say that they were born pregnant, he said they were practically born pregnant. Practically. I think he said near as I can tell they're born pregnant. I'm going to have to go back and watch that again. I'm not like I haven't watched that 50 bloody times already in my life, but that's fine if you- Now we've got homework. Here's 51 and I'm not doing a follow up. Anyway, I say I'm not. Okay, sorry to interrupt. That's perfectly fine. I did love the ending, but it wasn't enough to rescue Kill the Moon. I'm sorry, but now I'm with you on the ending. I thought it was brilliant. I thought the way that she held the Doctor to account, like it's all some big joke and some game for him and everything. Yeah, it's like it is to some extent. And you do wonder. Anyway. Well, and in a lot of ways, the payoff to that came at the end of Flatline Oh, sure. When she had had to make some of those tough choices and... Oh, yeah, absolutely. Oh, yeah. Foots on the other hand now. Okay. So then, of course, In the Forest of the Night. So honestly, it was the most tedious, boring, pointless... I mean, why? Just why? I mean, there were so many better things I could have done with that 45 minutes of my life than watch that. It was just that bad. It was- My eyes were bleeding with boredom. It was seriously that dull. If you took the doctor out of that, it would have ended the same way. If you took Danny out of it, you took everyone out of that episode, it would have happily had the same conclusion, the exact same conclusion. What do we learn? And that's a very fair criticism. And it's like and the premise was beyond ridiculous so I just. You on anyway there you go now you're three. Okay my three are and I want to preface this by saying I actually enjoyed every episode this. You can't that's a cop out. The spectrum of love to hate on them is really really tight but my three least favourites would have been In the Forest of the Night, Kill the Moon and Robots of Sherwood. So you're basically ripping off my list. No, I'm not ripping off your list. I think it's a case of great minds think alike. Although I don't feel as strongly negative about them as you do. With Robots of Sherwood, I felt like, and there's been some discussion in some other podcasts about this, but I don't know if it's true or not, but it felt like an episode that had originally been written for Matt Smith and got recycled and reused for Peter Capaldi. Yeah, true. And it doesn't fit into the-- I like the episode, and I enjoyed it. But I'm also able to kind of shut off critical analysis while I'm watching something and to just enjoy it. Not always, and I don't think you should have to do that to enjoy a show. But sometimes it's necessary, and sometimes you can enjoy a particular episode or a particular show better that way. And if you shut off the logical analysis And you just watch it then it was a good fun rop Clara was great and and her reaction to seeing Robin Hood and stuff was great, but it just it didn't fit necessarily to me with the whole arc of the series and the the giant arrow hitting the side of the spaceship and launching it That was kind of a stretch So many things kill the moon I I share some of your grievances with again not quite so harshly as you do but it was it was by far one of the zaniest and and by far one of the the Least logical as far as making sense and in holding up to critical analysis but uh It was it was still fun But it was in my least favorites and That the ending to it really paid off a lot of the other things that I didn't like before that Okay, and in the forest of the night. I Wouldn't say that it was unwatchable for me. I definitely share your critique that Nothing anybody did in the episode would have changed any outcome to it at all and Missy at the end of that episode as well Aside from the line about I chose well in implying that she had arranged for Claire to be with the doctor all along Was still like Jason Snow. It said, you know, it's just I'm still here waiting for the finale. Don't forget about me So none of the characters did anything that changed the outcome And I think that I can't remember the the character's name now, but the the missing sister reappearing from the bush was It was nice to give it kind of a happy little ending and I think the children might have probably kind of enjoyed that but I think it was just kind of a stretch and it just didn't really need to be there or belong there at all Okay, fair enough. And I agree with that. I don't think I need to be there I think those are my biggest complaints about it. Okay fair enough So I kind of get the feeling that you're not quite on board with Capaldi yet either I mean don't misunderstand. I like Peter Capaldi. He's a great actor I've respected him for years through his different roles that he's played It's just that the way that he's been cast as being an old and cranky doctor and Hankin harks back to When you know to the older series and he's got elements of you know, John Pertwee and elements of Colin Baker and And, you know, he's serious, he's hardcore, and he's the sort of guy that you would be scared of, you know, he has that about him. If sometimes the doctor needs to be a guy, you're scared. Well, sure. But what I'm saying is that I enjoyed this season. My wife was not convinced. And her reaction is typical of what a lot of other people I've talked to have been recent. - Yeah, her reaction is not uncommon at all. - No, it's not. And this is my problem. - And I think that, well, my thing is, I think that, I think you'll probably agree with me too, but I think that people that have been fans for a long time or even not necessarily a long time, but have gone back and they've experienced a lot of "Classic Who" and are fans of that, I think they're gonna tend to be more favorable toward it. Because I think that there's aspects of this series that having some experience with classic Who help it to, I don't know if that should have to be a prereq for it or not, but I think if you experienced and you liked classic Who, you're gonna be more happy because there's a lot of very classic Who vibe to the whole series and to Capaldi. - Yeah, that's true. - Perkins, start the clock. - Deep breath. - Peter Capaldi's best performance as a zany doctor. - Reusing the girl in the fireplace robots, but I feel bad about the dinosaur. Into the Dalek. Great classic Doctor Who feel and cinnamon effects. Shrinking people again but the Tesslector was cooler. Robert O'Sherwood. Would have been a great Matt Smith episode. Ridiculous but funny. Listen. Claire is the beast under your bed but what's the one under the sheep? Brilliant. Beautiful ending in the same barn from the 50th special. Time Heist. I love a good heist and hope to see those characters back. Fun but mostly predictable. A good romp. The Caretaker. You recognised me, eh? Different coat? Funny but the schoolgirl was annoying. Kill the Moon. Why is the egg a problem compared to all of the rest of Doctor Who? Stupid moon giving birth to a stupid moon. Mummy on the Orient Express. Disappointed the mummy was a soldier but the ending was appropriate. Fantastic in every way, I loved every second. Flatline. Dr. Clara with local knowledge. 20 seconds. Brilliant. Funny but also scary with flat angry people in it. In the forest of the night. It just happened. Remove the doctor and you get the same result. Yawn. Dark water. The tombs in dark water. 10 seconds. Don't cremate me. The water was cool but pointless. Missy is the master y'all. Death in heaven. Missy, bananas, unfortunate ending for the Brig, but he was the Brig. Dead people with rotting brains make boring Cybermen. Zero. And that wraps this episode about Doctor Who. So if you have been... I don't know. I mean, should I even break the fourth wall and talk to the list... Dear listeners. This never happened to the other fellas. Oh, my God. That is- That line ruined a lot of that movie, which is a shame because otherwise I've actually quite enjoyed that movie. I mean, if you listen to John Gruber go on about how horrible it was, honestly, I don't see that. I actually really quite enjoyed it. I thought there was plenty of stuff to learn. Did you read the books by any chance? I've read some, but not all. And that particular book I haven't read. Yeah, of the classic James Bond movies, Lazenby became the closest, in my opinion, of matching the movie character to the literature character. Yes, I would absolutely agree with you on that. Yeah. And I don't know what exactly people expected. You know what I mean? Like, I guess Connery sort of defined the... And now we're talking about 007, but Connery defined 007 for the mass public and to see- see Lazenby come along and make, you know, and what a lot of people considered to be a meal of it, when in fact it really wasn't. But, you know, looking at that, people say, who's this guy, you know, and let's be honest, it was his first major role. It went to his head really badly and behind the scenes, he was an absolute twat, which is a shame because- I have heard some of that. Sorry. I said I have heard. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, there's plenty of corroborated evidence and people saying that so I tend to believe it's true because I can absolutely see how something like that would go to a previously small time actors head. Having said that, I actually love this performance, I thought it was fine. Yeah, I thought it was a good story and I thought that it was it was not it was relatively well put together and I, you know, as Bond films go. But anyway. Yeah, well I love the Bond films and I love the Bond books. I've read virtually everything, even the ones that weren't written by Fleming after his death, the other guys that kind of continued it on. And I treat the Bond books and the Bond movies much like I do the Bourne stuff. You just got to view the movies and the literature as two separate beasts and appreciate each for what it is. Yeah, exactly right. Anyway, well thanks for joining me to talk about Doctor Who and geeking out about it and everything and who knows we might do this again sometime, anything can happen. (upbeat music) [Music] [Music] [Music] [music] [Music] We apologize for any distress you may have just experienced. Grief counseling is available on request.
Duration 54 minutes and 18 seconds Direct Download

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John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.

Vic Hudson

Vic Hudson

Vic is the host of the App Story Podcast and is the developer behind Money Pilot for iOS.