The Rise, Rise, Rise, Rise, Rise of the Cybermen   Leave a comment

An interesting theory.

 

Posted July 7, 2017 by Elisabeth in Cool Stuff, Themes and Ideas

Tagged with ,

The Next Doctor   Leave a comment

SO MUCH SPECULATION!

It’s possible the casting is done and an announcement imminent. It’s possible we have months more to wait. The Internet loses its collective marbles at every opportunity. Rumors! Bookies! Fancasts! It’s all really too much.

And yet here I am adding to the noise.

I don’t have a pick. A lot of the names I see would do just fine, if not great. There’s at least a decent chance the winner will turn out to be someone I’ve never heard of. It’s likely that whoever it is will be amazing. Of course there are a few I’d love to see, but I’m perfectly happy to be surprised.

I still believe, however, it can’t be another white man.

It’s been a tough year for decent people. Racism, misogyny, and violence have won hearts and minds on both sides of the pond. But the Doctor represents the opposite of that. He’s about the best humanity has to offer. Right now the best of humanity is taking a pounding. The Doctor has to take a stand.

Wonder Woman has shown us how much the world needs a new kind of hero. We’ve been starved for goodness and love and doing the right thing – not for credit or fame but because it’s right. As much as I love the Marvel universe, only Captain America comes close – and he’s the Aryan ideal of manhood.

It’s time to pass the torch to someone new.

There’s a lot of pressure on Chris Chibnall right now. Taking on a show of this scope and intensity – and a fanbase this raving – is a mad task in any case. Taking on a show about hope in these times, even more so. There’s no safe space to fall back on – it’s only illusion. The only way out is through. The only way home is forward.

It will be an act of courage. It’ll get him in a world of shit. But it’s his only choice. Anything else would be failure on an epic scale. Temptation must be resisted. The new Doctor must represent a new era, one that includes all kinds of people.

I haven’t seen enough of Chibnall to know if he’s man enough for the task. But I know the Doctor is.

Posted July 3, 2017 by Elisabeth in Commentary, Speculation

Tagged with , ,

How does he do it?   Leave a comment

We’ve been through a lot of Moffat season arcs by now. Some of them have been meh; some of them have been really terrible. At least one has even been amazing, but we know better than to expect it.

That expectation is key.

My husband and I both sat on the edge of our seats throughout “World Enough and Time.” The reveal of Simm’s Master blew our minds. (I saw it coming about 1 min before, my husband about 10sec.) Cyber-Bill broke our hearts. And Nardole – Nardole! Running away! I haven’t thought that much of him over the course of the season but somehow I knew him for no coward.

As a result, anticipation for this week was high. But we’ve been burned plenty before. Even after everything we’ve been through with this Doctor, we just didn’t know what to expect. We braced ourselves for disappointment. And when we didn’t get it – when instead we got everything we never knew we wanted and more – the reward is just that much sweeter.

He doesn’t have to be that good; just better than we expect. And then, when he IS good, he just seems that much greater.

Let’s keep going out on top. 🙂

Posted July 3, 2017 by Elisabeth in Piffle, Season 10, Writers and Writing

Tagged with , ,

The Fall   Leave a comment

It’s not often an episode leaves me blubbering like a tiny child.

Daleks-May-Return-Doctor-Who-Season-8

SPOILER ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!

It’s been rumored that Pearl Mackie would be leaving the show after one season. The rumor has never been confirmed, nor conclusively denied. Officially we don’t know for sure if Bill will be back.

She made one hell of an exit.

Bill’s is (assuming it in fact IS) the companion departure I’ve long been hoping for: neither death, nor return to ordinary life. Instead, Bill gets to travel onward into eternity. Not with the Doctor – his friends never linger long – but with a companion all her own.

The slow-burn love story is a bonus twist.

As much as it pains and embarrasses me to say it, I am a Moffat-style nerd. I believe, as Moffat does, in the eternal optimism of this show. I adore, as he does, the fun little references to the past, the inside jokes, the Jelly Babies. My heart caught at Heather’s invitation, so similar to the Doctor’s words to Rose. I enjoyed yet another iteration of “I don’t want to go,” and the echo of Eleven’s last words. I loved seeing my (yes my) companions’ faces again. I miss each one of them terribly, and I’m so glad I got to know them.

The Christmas special looks to be a big fat heap of goodies for fans, starting with Capaldi and Moffat himself. The outgoing Doctor already got his first wish: Mondasian Cybermen. The Moff got his multi-Master story, a trick no one before has had living actors available to pull off. Now, the First Doctor returns. I can’t help but remember what Capaldi said when asked which past companion his Doctor would most like to encounter.

“I think he’d like to see his granddaughter again.”

Carole Ann Ford is still alive. Is it too much to hope?

Whether or not the Doctor meets Susan again, the toys have all been strewn about, the best ideas ransacked, all the going-big gone home. Moffat and Capaldi say goodbye with a bang Davies and Tennant can only envy. And what’s next? A new Doctor, a new companion, a whole new show.

Good luck, Chris Chibnall.

Coming up:

  • The secret of Moff’s success
  • How the Doctor is like Wonder Woman (or vice versa)
  • The next Doctor

Stay tuned!

Posted July 3, 2017 by Elisabeth in Season 10

Tagged with , , ,

Moffatism   Leave a comment

I’ve admitted to mixed feelings about Steven Moffat. I think he’s written some of the best and some of the worst episodes in all of New Who. I think he’s put his foot in his mouth on occasion. I also think he’s gotten better – more relaxed, more thoughtful, more humorous in interviews and other interactions with fans. Running this show must be a brutal if exhilarating job, and he’s done at least decently by it.

This interview, shared by Paul Cornell on his blog, shows the latest Moffat. He loves Doctor Who, loves his exhausting, herculean job, mocks himself and his fellow fans, acknowledging their shared passion for the ridiculous. He’s got heart and humor. I’ve never been able to say I like him, and I’m more than ready for a new showrunner, but he’s contributed a great deal to the show. I appreciate his hard work and his point of view, even if I don’t always agree with it.

Good luck, Chris Chibnall.

Posted June 28, 2017 by Elisabeth in Cool Stuff, Writers and Writing

Tagged with , ,

Eaters of Light and other monsters   Leave a comment

Lady creators are on my mind of late. I’ve seen Wonder Woman twice, with a possible third pending later this week. Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot are heroes of the hour. Rachel Talalay’s third two-part season finale blasts into space next week. And now, I’ve finally spent some time with Rona Munro.

First, “Survival.” The ironically-titled final serial of classic DW is – like much of the rest of DW – a good story marred by questionable effects and costumes. Still, its heart is there. The final line – written not by Munro but by script editor Andrew Cartmel once he learned that the show was definitely not coming back – is a lovely bittersweet conclusion to 26 years of madcap adventure. The influence of Ace on Rose is glaringly apparent. Costar Anthony Ainley and showrunner John Nathan Turner would not live to see the show’s return. Lisa Bowerman, who played furry Karra in blazing heat, returned as Bernice Summerfield for 50-plus (and counting) Big Finish audio stories – a few with Ace and the Seventh Doctor, but most on her own. Rona Munro went on to a full and fruitful career writing stage plays and radio dramas. And now she’s back.

“The Eaters of Light” features a strange segment of history with which I was not previously familiar: the disappearance of the 9th Roman Legion sometime in the second century. The episode makes fun use of the popular (if slightly out of date) theory that the 9th was annihilated by Celtic tribes in northern Britain. The tribes, in this case, had the assistance of an inter-dimensional photon vampire.

(I’m not sure about the physiology of this. There was a bit of hand-waving.)

First of all, I love the bookends of this episode. The Scottish setting (actually Wales according to guest star Rebecca Benson) is brooding and ethereal. The little girl who hears music coming out of the ground sets a creepy stage – and the truth about that music is at turns inspiring and sad.

I also really enjoyed the crows. (We replayed that one bit – it DID say “Master!”) Our neighborhood is full of crows: waking up to cries of “Kar” the following morning made me smile. I’ll certainly never listen to them the same way again. I also enjoy that the Doctor was wrong about them – “They’re not brooding, they’re remembering!”

I did wonder if the non-white Roman soldiers were going to cause a flap among that more annoying segment of fandom. I know very little of history generally, but given how widespread Rome’s impact and influence was, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that their garrisons would include people from all sorts of backgrounds. And if I’m wrong about that, I still think a show that features an inter-dimensional photon vampire can get away with a couple of black Romans. I appreciated that they weren’t both killed right away; I had my doubts after the first one.

The side characters in this episode get some wonderful depth. Of course to the Doctor all humans are children: our lives too short, our experiences too limited. But these “soldiers” are children even to Bill, young people far out of their depth and with a weight of responsibility on their untested shoulders. Together Bill and the Doctor take their hands and help them grow – and in the end, when the Doctor wants to keep holding on, to save them from the burdens of adulthood, Bill and the young people themselves demand that he let them go, to make their music under the hill for eternity.

(Again the precise logistics are mystifying – the Doctor claims his lifespan, his regenerative ability, make him the better choice to guard the gate, but somehow a handful of human soldiers can do the same job? Wave-wave.)

“I can’t promise you won’t die. But I can promise you won’t die in a hole in the ground.”

Other high points are the popcorn distraction and Nardole’s instant adaptation and acceptance into the community. I enjoyed Nardole more this episode than any since the Christmas special. The coming together of enemies as friends and partners is a trope I’ll never get tired of – and the Doctor’s speech on the topic is perfectly on point.

The denouement with Missy remains a mystery. I still don’t buy that she’s going to turn good, whatever the Doctor does. I think she’s fooling him on some level. But I also think she’s maybe going through something a little unexpected. Perhaps she’s really experiencing remorse or compassion in ways she thought herself safe from. Perhaps if not a full shift, she may still make a small one.

Husband and I expect her to sacrifice herself for the Doctor or a companion in the finale. (Will we see that regeneration – a new Master? or will it be a surprise for next time?)

Or will it be John Simm! When I first heard that he would return, I thought it unlikely; when I learned it was true, I realized we’ve had many multi-Doctor stories but never a multi-Master one, and how much fun would that be? We don’t know how the Master got from Simm to Gomez, or whether there were any versions in between, Simm’s Master having been sent back to the Time War with Rassilon in “The End of Time.”

On a related note, Derek Jacobi is returning as the Master for Big Finish. And in further speculation, there is the theory that in honor of Missy’s sacrifice the Doctor will next regenerate into a woman.

doctor-who-peter-capaldi-and-hayley-atwell

PS   Leave a comment

MISSY.

Is she genuinely remorseful? I doubt it. Can she make a lasting change? Ditto. She will give the Doctor what he wants, right up until the moment she is free. Will she make an unexpected choice, in opposition to herself for once?

Quite possibly.

Gomez is magic under any circumstances. I’m heartbroken she won’t return after this series. I can’t wait to see her chew scenery with John Simm. When this is all over I’m rewatching every Green Wing and DW scene of hers in a row.

Every little thing…

Posted June 7, 2017 by Elisabeth in Guest stars, Piffle

Tagged with , , ,