42 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

Er, The Girl Who Waited was a pretty good episode dude. With all Moffatt’s uncharacteristic missteps and weird plot choices (is there any BIG MYSTERY he writes that doesnt have the most obvious ending? Rivers true origins was hilariously awful, then that Mels thing… oh man.)

TGWW however explored some classic scifi cliches with interesting new perspectives, like how they really reinforced the death that changing your timeline actually is for the original party. I wouldnt go back and change time for younger Mr Gale, fuck young Mr Gale, he is not worth dying for.

And was one of those rare episodes that actually addressed the ridiculous danger of being a companion and The Doctors somewhat denial of that… leading to the whole, well, point and end of the season.

Maybe you should try watching that one again?

ReplyReply
mygif

Yeah, second girl who waited working pretty well. I also didn’t like Closing Time that much, but maybe the ending just annoyed me too much.

ReplyReply
mygif

I think “Let’s Kill Hitler” was the lowpoint for the season. That’s not because “A Good Man Goes To War” was such an amazing set up, it’s more that it basically demanded that we get at least some answers about River Song, then wrapped them up with an idea that was so antithetical to the Doctor that you had to see how it would resolve….and then it didn’t. And the answer we got for how River Song got to her current incarnation was just…terrible.

I know “Black Spot” wasn’t that good of an episode, but at least it lived up to its basic premise, even if it could have executed much better.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Let’s Kill Hitler” bugged me to no end because when you have an episode with a title like that it needs to include a LOT more Hitler/Nazi antics. The highlights of that episode were the few antics of that sort that made it in, less so the expanded River Song backstory.

ReplyReply
mygif

Can you explain what you mean by River is a better Turlough? I’m new to WHO so I had to check him out on the TARDIS wiki and I’m not getting the comparison.

As for your thoughts; I pretty much agree. I liked THE GIRL WHO WAITED, A GOOD MAN GOES TO WAR, and NIGHT TERRORS more than you did, but I didn’t like CLOSING TIME as much as you (it felt far too similar to THE LODGER; while I know this was intentional, it wasn’t as funny as the former).

Other than the occasional point, I pretty much agree with your assessment of the season; it’s weaker than season 5, but I think that it’s not because the quality is overall worse (for example, I find the Gangers two-parter to be as unimpressive as the Silurian two-parter) but because it simply lacked anything as good as THE ELEVENTH HOUR and THE PANDORICA OPENS/THE BIG BANG. It came close, but it didn’t hit the high-points as highly as season 5 which is some of the best tv ever.

But that’s kind of saying, “It’s not as good as BLINK”.

I’m enjoying the show a great deal.

ReplyReply
mygif
Cespinarve said on October 16th, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I disagree completely about Night Terrors and The Girl Who Waite, I thought they were excellent. Curse of the Black Pea- Spot was so f-ing boring I actually fast-forwarded the ending, and never bothered to re-watch it. And I’m a guy who’s re-watched Love and Monsters more than once.

Fuck Curse. It is bad. Really, really, stinkingly bad.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Mr Gale: Rewatched it just before writing this post: It sucked more the second time. It is, quite literally, an episode where you can predict the ending from the first two minutes. Anything where you can watch the first two minutes and say, “Oh, they’re going to get separated into two different time streams and more time will pass for Amy than for Rory and the Doctor and she’s going to wind up becoming a bitter hardened warrior-woman who decries having to become all bitter and hardened and they will try to rescue Young Amy but there will be a Moral Dilemma because won’t that mean the death of Old Amy’s whole timeline and Do They Have the Right and then Old Amy will sacrifice herself in a big last Warrior Charge against a horde of robots allowing us to get out of this with a convenient reset button and nothing ever actually changing.” The closest it came to a twist is that they didn’t also give the Doctor the convenient out of having Old Amy die without him having to lift a finger, which is a bit more mature than the 19,000 other times this trope plays out but does not change the fact that this is one of the oldest, most worn, most threadbare ideas in any science-fiction adventure that has a time-travel element and yes it is fucking embarrassing that McRae thinks he’s doing something exciting and fresh.

The whole time I watched it, I kept saying to myself, “There’s got to be some point at which they come up with a clever twist on the idea, right? They’ve got to be planning to do something interesting with this, right?” And the twist was that there was no twist. The twist was that absolutely nothing I didn’t expect to happen ever happened. That’s Not a Good Thing.

@Bass: Turlough was an alien with a mysterious backstory who was hired/coerced to kill the Doctor by pretending to be a companion. He struggled with the moral dilemma, but eventually couldn’t go through with it. They eventually revealed his backstory, but it was never really thought out as part of his character and as such it falls kind of flat.

ReplyReply
mygif
Wolfthomas said on October 16th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I thought the burning out regenerations thing was completely pointless. I thought in the library two parter they established that performing that link thing would kill the Doctor in a way that he couldn’t regenerate. So there was no need for that hasty excuse.

ReplyReply
mygif

I just wish they would have given the bad guys more of a reason for wanting to kill the doctor. I thought the woman would be revealed to be something more relevant/complex than “That bad person that wants to kill the Doctor”, like maybe River Song from later in her timeline/after another regeneration or something like that.

Then again, maybe I didn’t get the point of the season, but if I’m not mistaken it all boiled down to “people grew wary of the doctor because he’s beaten so many threats, their fear led them to create a religion/sect-thing to kill him” which, really, is a bit shallow, I think.

Then again, maybe I missed something in the middle of all the time paradoxes and whatnot.

ReplyReply
mygif

^All of that being said, I thought this season was awesome. The silence were creepy as hell and though some episodes were weak (the gangers, the black spot(which was horrible)), there were also some really good ones, like the doctor’s wife.

So yeah, I enjoyed it.

ReplyReply
mygif

The Girl Who Waited was my favorite of the season, probably. Lovely episode.

This was probably the first season of Who where I wasn’t excited for the finale, and where I didn’t salivate for each new episode. It landed with a thud for me at most spots. The opening two-parter brought the show to a new level and they just didn’t live up to it.

ReplyReply
mygif

Man, you are so wrong about The Girl Who Waited. One of the best non-Moffat episodes in a long time, and Night Terrors was decent enough, if not great. Other than that, though, yeah this season was a bit weaker than Series Five, but I thought Series 5 was the best season of Doctor Who since the relaunch, so it had a lot to live up to.

ReplyReply
mygif

Can we go back to RTD as show runner with occasional Moffat episodes? The ratings would probably go back up too…

ReplyReply
mygif

I liked The Girl Who Waited. A lot.

On the other hand, this paragraph:

The whole time I watched it, I kept saying to myself, “There’s got to be some point at which they come up with a clever twist on the idea, right? They’ve got to be planning to do something interesting with this, right?” And the twist was that there was no twist. The twist was that absolutely nothing I didn’t expect to happen ever happened. That’s Not a Good Thing.

expresses my exact thoughts about The God Complex.

ReplyReply
mygif

Add my name to the list of people who thought “The Girl Who Waited” was the a high point.

I know some people gush over Gaiman (I’m not one of them), but ultimately it made me think of the Doctor Who version of a cheesy ’80 romantic fantasy movie. “Boy loves car, car turns into pretty girl, witty banter, blah blah.” It wasn’t a bad episode, but if you remove the Gaiman name it just becomes a decent episode in a show already filled with them. (It’s no “City of Death” for Pete’s sake!)

Meanwhile, the Girl Who Waited finally made me appreciate Amy, it “introduced” an awesome (and older!) female character to the show who was flawed (and expendable) enough to not feel like someone’s Mary Sue, explored some neat philosophical issues with time travel, and it had an actual emotional punch to it all.

ReplyReply
mygif

On the whole, this wasn’t quite as good as Season Five for me, but it easily trumped Seasons Three and Four and makes me look forward to Seven quite a bit.

Just outta curiosity, what made you not like season 4?

ReplyReply
mygif

John, you’re insane about The Girl Who Waited. INSANE. Especially if you’re going to hold up F&*$%ing Closing Time as a superior product, one of the most eye-gougingly awful episodes of the entire run of NuWho. I mean, it was worse than most of the Russell T. Davies run, for god’s sake. It escapes being better than “Fear Her” by not being utterly boring, and it’s better than “Love and Monsters” because it’s not utterly mean-spirited and misogynistic and built largely around a blowjob joke, but that’s about all you can say for it. The Komedy in this episode was excruciating, the “men sure are dopes when it comes to babies, aren’t they?!?” theme was stale in 1955, and the Big Gay Misunderstanding jokes aren’t much fresher. It was a f&*$%#ing “Three’s Company” episode with the Doctor in it.

ReplyReply
mygif

First, anyone who now looks at a child without thinking, “Hello, Stormageddon,” is probably someone who doesn’t watch the show. That episode was probably the second or maybe third best of the season. And there were bits of this season that were fantastic. The opening was great, except for the bit where the Doctor died. As soon as that happened, I remembered thinking, “Well, this whole season is going to be about ‘beating’ a fixed point, which means its a whole season about breaking one of the fundamental rules of the show. That sucks.”

The Gaiman episode highlighted what I always thought should be the Doctor’s one true love: the Tardis. This nonsense of a will-they-won’t-they dance between the Doctor and Rose, then Martha (who was one of the best companions in a long time and chronically underused as a character), then Amy (and yes, they did push that for the first half of the last season) and finally River is just so utterly wrong. I didn’t particularly like Donna as a companion, but at least they got that relationship right. If they had left out the unrequited love aspect, Martha would have been fantastic: strong, smart, calling the Doctor on things regularly (think in Smith and Jones when she tells him that Doctor is a title to be earned). They weakened the character too much by making her in love with the Doctor.

You can have a differing opinion that River isn’t a Mary Sue. You’d be wrong, but that’s OK. She’s the ultimate, perfect Doctor companion. She’s not just a custom assassin to kill the Doctor, but she’s a custom assassin who can make a fecking Dalek beg for mercy. She can fly the Tardis better than he can (because he taught her? What?). She can take on a dozen of the Silent and order him back into the Tardis to get him out of her way. Please.

Turlough, while having the same basic premise, was a flawed character that the Doctor redeemed. Moffat wanted to skip that entire process with River and give us two seasons and an episode of her being awesome at everything, with a mediocre episode of her redemption.

This season had some great gems, arguably better than any in Season 5. But the overall level of quality was lower. It was an extremely uneven season, and my hope is that they can FINALLY stop focusing on River Bloody Song and how great she is, and start telling some good Dr. Who stories.

ReplyReply
mygif

Seriously? I do a big response post and the site swallows it by saying you’re posting too quickly? What, once a week is too quickly?

ReplyReply
mygif

(So to attempt to recreate my post)

Sorry John, you decry Girl Who Waited for being predicable (which apparently meant you watched the Coming Next Episode Trailer because all of your guess were presented up front)and without any twists, while Moffat’s entire season arc was filled with mysteries that were answered with their most obvious solutions.

Who is River Song? She’s Amy baby. (ignoring that the question of who she is was never about her parents. We know nothing about Rory’s parents either).

How will the Doctor survive? It was the Shape Changing Robot that got shot. The only real mystery there was would it be the Shape Changing Robot or a Flesh Duplicate, and the choice between two obvious things isn’t a twist. Had it been a Flesh duplicate, there’d at least have been the thematic reflection of him tricking Generic Female Villain with the same tool she used to trick him in GMGTW.

Your comment about “Pterodactyls Are Vermin–Do Not Feed” shows you fell for the Shell Game…that’s all the final episode was..a three card monte to disguise that the actual story was 5 minutes long. “The Doctor goes to the lake and it’s actually the shape changing Robot who gets shot”. All the rest of it, the pterodactyls, zepplin cars, the time that doesn’t change, despite it actually continuously changing because Moffat doesn’t actually understand what frozen in time means….was just padding because the actual arc resolution was 5 minutes long.

ReplyReply
mygif

Generic Female Villain’s plot was “Blow up the TARDIS so that cracks form in the Universe that will talk to Amy Pond as she grows up so that the Doctor will find her and make her a companion so she can get married and have sex on the TARDIS so she can give birth to a time baby that GFV will kidnap and raise and brainwash to want to kill the Doctor and put her in a spacesuit which she’ll manipulate all of human history to have built and have it remote controlled so the operator can’t overide the plan and stick her in a lake in case the Doctor wanders by.” (Frankly, as she has invisible aliens that can blow up people, I’d just have Barry the Silence walk up to the Doctor and pop a cap in him)

Her entire motivation, that we can tell of, is that “the Doctor is scary”. As I belive you pointed out after GMGTW, that’s rubbish. The thought is the Doctor is scary because he stops the bad guys. That makes GFV a bad guy. That the Doctor, in the end talking to Dorian basically agrees with her that it’s bad that he’s known for stopping monsters, just gives credence to that rubbish plot point. The Cybermen don’t just want hugs, and the Daleks aren’t noble plumber-bots who are bedeviled by a time traveling clog maker.

ReplyReply
mygif

“and built largely around a blowjob joke”

Okay, are you seriously arguing that Love and Monsters mainly exists for a throwaway line like “We do have a love life”?

Whatever the episode’s flaws, people blow (no pun intended) that one line WAY out of proportion.

ReplyReply
mygif

John, I’m surprised: no mention at all of “A Good Man Goes To War,” which almost trumped the Gaiman episode? Absolutely the best application of Moffat’s whiz-bang writing style for showcase eps since he took over the series, and the final step in the ascension of Rory F’ing Williams.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Evan Waters: I mean several aspects of the plot are constructed so that they can end with a blowjob joke. It’s really quite awful. This girl is now sentenced forever to be a blowjob machine, and it’s supposed to be “funny”. I don’t know how I can’t make a big thing out of it, because once they’ve brought it up you can’t stop thinking about it.

And to prove it’s not a fluke, there’s also the other woman who gets absorbed and is basically forced to become a boil on the alien blob-thing’s ass. What the fuck was Davies thinking? I mean, he’s a pretty shitty writer when he’s not trying (which is almost always), but that’s a new low even for him.

The rest of the episode was awful too, basically a screed against people nitpicking his show for crazy things like “logic” or “coherence”. Just…just the worst episode ever.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Scavenger: You are assuming that the rest of ‘The Wedding Of River Song’ is padding because you are looking at the wrong thing. The important point isn’t “How is the Doctor going to get out of being shot in Utah?”, because as you pointed out, we were all thinking from the beginning of the season of ways that the Doctor could get out of this, and Moffat supplied us with enough obvious ones that it was not a tremendous surprise. (Although I thought he applied enough sleight-of-hand that the revelation wasn’t dull, but YMMV on that.)

The important bit, though, was the question of whether or not the Doctor was going to get away with concealing his survival from his friends. Watch it again (and I have, a couple of times) in the full awareness that the Doctor knows he’s not going to die in Utah, and the critical point changes. It’s not about whether or not he can escape death, it’s about whether or not he can get River to accept his death. The fact that she’s willing to let the universe die rather than be the woman who killed the Doctor is simultaneously infuriating and astonishing to him, and the whole story is about their battle of wills, not about whether the Doctor can pull off another neat escape.

(For the record, though, you’re absolutely right about the revelation that River is Melody being both obvious and boring.)

@Rongeur: Season Four had a really flat ending, for one thing; not quite as bad as Season Three, but everyone who complains about River Song being a giant Mary Sue has to remember that she follows a companion who got her own fucking pet Doctor to take home with her. Add that to Davros coming back for no apparent reason, the Doctor’s mindrape of Donna (oh, and River Song also follows a companion who got to mind-meld with the Doctor and save the universe when he couldn’t. Suck that, River Song!)

And it had three episodes with Martha, which was three too many, and a big self-indulgent “look at me, wasn’t my run on Doctor Who so awesome?” finale, and…still way ahead of three, but it was not Davies’ best work.

@Prankster: “Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All.” I’ll agree, it wasn’t a great episode, but Matt Smith and James Corden have good comic chemistry and that made up for a lot. And ultimately, it was inconsequential, not bad.

And no, “Love and Monsters” was not a screed against people who nitpick Russell T Davies’ scripts. It was a screed against the kind of asshole fan who thinks that fandom is something you can be better at than other fans, that insists that having a superior collection or a better memory for trivia and minutiae is somehow more important than actually caring about the programme. And not incidentally who insists that being a fan is Serious Business and tells people to stop sharing off-topic anecdotes and get to the Purpose of the Meeting. :)

ReplyReply
mygif
Sitruc Eyd said on October 18th, 2011 at 12:06 am

I thought “Let’s Kill Hitler” was the low-point. It’s not the focus on River that bothers me as much as the Mary-sueness of her character. Amy’s thing is that she’s the girl who waited, right? She was obsessed with a Doctor that may not have been real and folks thought she was crazy. However, now we know that her whole life River song (as Mel) has been ever MORE obsessed than Amy. My problem is that by doing this she’s taken over the motivation of a character we care more about. That is textbook a Mary-Sue move. “Hey, a new character that can do everything better than our old characters, and everyone loves her!”

ReplyReply
mygif

The Doctor’s Wife was fanfic that was only gotten away with due to who wrote it.

And Closing Time was very funny. That some
think a man in a blue box who has adventures isn’t allowed to be silly need to check themselves.

ReplyReply
mygif

I guess I’m in the minority – only The Curse of the Black Spot and Night Terrors were a disappointment to me by sole virtue as not being as good as the other episodes rather than any real intrinsic flaw within themselves. I’d almost include The Rebel Flesh, but watched together with its second part, it sets up the high points of The Almost People too well for me to bash it.

Overall, I think if anything hurt this season, it was just general pacing. Moffat steered things more toward the overall story arc than previously, and it showed. I almost wonder now if Moffat should just take a page out of Davies book, and try a more serial-like approach like what Torchwood has done with Children of Earth and Miracle Day. It almost feels like he’s going down that road already anyway.

ReplyReply
mygif

Yeah, but Turlough has sexier eyebrows.

ReplyReply
mygif

@John Seavey: I get that there’s a certain type of downer fan who’s worthy of disdain, but Davies is/was also notoriously closed-minded about listening to the fanbase and taking criticism–even in his book, The Writer’s Tale, he talks about surrounding himself with yes-men–and given that his plots tend to fly apart the instant you examine them too closely, it’s hard not to read into the blob-monster an embittered attack on the portions of the fanbase who have the gall not to unquestioningly love his stories.

@William George: Silly is fine. But the Komedy in Closing Time was excruciatingly cliched and hacky and sitcom-like.

ReplyReply
mygif

The twist was that absolutely nothing I didn’t expect to happen ever happened. That’s Not a Good Thing.

It wasn’t a story about a twist. You might as well complain about Cinderella getting her Prince Charming. The question was not “What’s happening?” but “How do you resolve the Two Amys problem?”.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on October 18th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

@Jase: Oh please for the love of God PLEASE may Dr. Who never ever ever become anything like the heaping pile of dogshit that was Miracle Day.

ReplyReply
mygif

@ Prankster: It’s a show for nine year old children. The stuff for us adults is the icing, not the cake.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Prankster: No, it’s hard not to read it as a very specific critique of a very specific Professional Fan whose name I won’t mention because it might be libelous, but if you go looking around for fan consultants on the series during the late 80s on Wikipedia you’ll run into the speculation there. :) Seriously, this one is very much steeped in particular Doctor Who fan politics. It’s like Citizen Kane; you either know who they’re talking about, or you think it’s a generic allegory and you’re wrong. :)

ReplyReply
mygif
dangermouse said on October 19th, 2011 at 5:12 pm

My favorite part about Let’s Pick an Amy to Kill is where Rory is ~the only one who can decide~. Because fuck anything the actual Amies might have had to say about it.

But in the end Amy Who Actually Got Some Character Development Holy Shit Better Kill Her realizes that the important thing is Rory’s happiness and throws herself behind the killing-her plan, so everything works out for everybody.

ReplyReply
mygif
dangermouse said on October 19th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

@Scavenger: I don’t disagree that River Song’s Pain Is Worse Than Everyone Else In Creation’s was 99% padding but everything before River Song saying sweetie for the ten millionth smug as fuck time was at least kind of clever, entertaining padding.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Pterodactyls are Vermin” was great, but I think “Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All” trumps it.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on October 21st, 2011 at 8:51 am

@William George: I don’t think it’s a show for nine-year-olds. I’d say the show currently is for grownups who all watched Dr. Who when they were nine, and want to balance their nostalgia for that time with some grudging admission that they are now adults.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on October 21st, 2011 at 8:54 am

*(or at least not PRIMARILY for nine-year-olds.)

ReplyReply
mygif
Greg Morrow said on October 21st, 2011 at 10:51 am

Ugh. “Girl Who Waited” was the worst kind of Davies-manqué crap. (And, as a friend pointed out — I kind of expect the Doctor to do something about a plague more than rescue just one person.)

“Closing Time” was just plain fun, at a time when the series desperately needed just plain fun, and if you don’t love it, you are not a fun person.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on October 21st, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I think the plague in GWW was meant to be on the same level as why the Doctor can’t rescue everyone from Pompeii or stop 9/11 or cure the Black Death before it starts. The Doctor can only thwart huge catastrophes that would otherwise change the course of events. I think they’re pretty consistent about that. Least I hope they are.

ReplyReply
mygif
Bogglemunch said on October 26th, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I really don’t understand the hate for Season 4.

Seriously, Donna is so far my favourite new Companion. The only one who really has balls. Her and Rory.

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments