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Doctor Who - Shightmare in silver - Ed's journal
Doctor Who - Shightmare in silver
I have to say - I really had high hopes of Neil Gaiman's second episode - in what has been a lacklustre season so far, it ... well, frankly I was hoping to see the same magic of the Doctors Wife. Sadly not. I'm not sure what's going on with this season, but it really hasn't managed to deliver any of the really cracking episodes in the previous seasons.

So what went wrong? Well, I think it just lacked a bit of cohesion. I thought Porridge was great. The idea of a penal legion being a bit useless... well, I think they could have done more with - why were they there, and that's _surely_ room to have a room full of some un-military thieves, fraudsters and the like, which might make 'fighting a cyberman' something they could get creative with.

I also quite liked where they were going with a chess game - the idea of abstracting a conflict is something that suits Dr. Who... but sadly, in this case it felt a bit forced. (I mean, the Doctor was pretty sure the cyber-collective was going to cheat anyway). Setting up an unsolvable problem for it, though, was ... well, straight out of a Star Trek plotline. Could have worked though, I think, but ... didn't.

Likewise - one Cyberman had potential to be scary, but as it went along... also didn't really deliver. And an army of them _stops_ being scary, because it's just a big unstoppable threat.

But mostly, meh. It was good by virtue of being the the best out of a lacklustre season, but still didn't really deliver. I'm not sure what's going on really - I mean, Moffat has been behind some of the better episodes in recent history. But .... well, it feels a bit... well, I don't know. Something's gone wrong.

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jorune From: jorune Date: May 12th, 2013 11:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel that Dr Who has political correctness at its heart so any time any black characters are placed in danger I sigh because there is no way that anything bad will happen to them. Their rescue is pre-ordained, inviolate and wholly lacking in dramatic tension.

Tedium is what defines the current season of the show. Will the final episode deliver on its reveal? I'm leaning towards no.

RTD and Moffat are excellent writers yet their time in the exec producer role hasn't been a satisfying venture. Much like Spielberg in his role swop from director to exec.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 12th, 2013 11:41 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think it's possible to deliver on a 50 year old mystery like 'Who is the Doctor'. I cannot think of a single thing that wouldn't be a disappointment, that wasn't 'because he was warned, he made sure that it wouldn't come to that'. (With maybe a hint in there, of something epic, like 'creator of the universe, because the 'big bang' was the end of the time war').

*shrug*. I'll watch it, but I fear disappointment is inevitable.
xarrion From: xarrion Date: May 12th, 2013 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
My money is on him being called Rassilon.
jorune From: jorune Date: May 12th, 2013 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread.
—H. P. Lovecraft, "The Dunwich Horror"

Clara is either a dream tardis or destined to be the consciousness of one, a young Romana or maybe, just maybe she is Bad Wolf.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 12th, 2013 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or maybe Jenny.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 12th, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'm not sure there's actually many possibilities. Rassilon is about the only character that has been referred to, never explicitly shown, and generally is a powerful - but not explicitly 'good' character.

I can't think of many others.
Other Timelords before/after. (Omega? Romana? The Master?).
Err... perhaps some of the other characters that show up and never entirely defeated? Celestial Toymaker?
Not many spring to mind.

Unless they go for some sort of fudge, that's 'he's nobody, because he _has_ deleted himself from the timestream' or something.
xarrion From: xarrion Date: May 12th, 2013 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it were me, I'd definitely have him going full circle and reboot his own origins - progenitor to a new, 'better' Time Lord race, to atone for past sins. Then later, a young, unknowing Doctor could steal what is technically his own TARDIS.

Rassilon = Doctor would also increase the number of people who have technically played the Doctor, which might mess with people a bit.

I'm more inclined to believe that they'll fudge it like they have all previous 'event X will cause Y to happen' storylines. As both a reveal and a fudge is likely to cause rage, it could really go either way this time.

mrph From: mrph Date: May 12th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, he has been shown - he was the villain in Tennant's last story (Timothy Dalton), although RTD only explicitly named him in the final scene; prior to that he was just Chancellor.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 12th, 2013 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, I thought they alluded to, but didn't actually name? Oh well, so much for that theory.
(Although, they could blag in various ways)
mrph From: mrph Date: May 12th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nope, it's there. The very last line:

"Back into the Time War, Rassilon—back into hell!"

(Google has its uses)

It did feel a little like RTD was just ensuring that after so many years, he was the one who got his fingerprints on the character... the fact they left it that late (and you, among others, didn't notice) suggests that it really wasn't essential to the plot.
mrph From: mrph Date: May 12th, 2013 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
But we've met Rassilon now, haven't we?
xarrion From: xarrion Date: May 12th, 2013 10:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
We've seen the Doctor and Rassilon in the same place at the same time, but then we've also seen the Doctor and the Doctor in the same place at the same time.

Having had a trawl of (one of) the Who wiki(s), it looks as though he's already been hinted at kick-starting the Time Lords as the Other (http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Other), so probably wasn't Rassilon as well.
mrph From: mrph Date: May 12th, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
More generally, Moffat doesn't like to kill too many people. And Doctor Who doesn't like killing children.

Vampires of Venice, Flesh and Stone / Time of Angels, The God Complex, Asylum of the Daleks (although, technically, he was dead already...) - all of them have killed non-white characters. As did quite a few RTD stories.

Strictly speaking, "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" killed three black characters just two weeks ago - it just didn't stick...

I'm curious as to what's going on at the top, though - with Beth Willis, Piers Wenger and Caroline Skinner all gone (and Skinner leaving abruptly, from the sound of it), it sounds like it's been a little problematic in terms of shaping this season.
jorune From: jorune Date: May 13th, 2013 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I bow to your superior memory of past stories and internal schisms.

I think my comment comes off watching the BBC4 series 'United States of Television'. It looks at the development of American tv from the 50's to now with interviews from the writers and cast of the most significant series. If we demand that characters who are not wholly mainstream must always be exemplars and role models then we are doing a disservice to the actors and viewers who see the characters/actors as regular parts of society and so expect a rounded character. Modern tv drama does tends towards grimdark and becomes too dark for Dr Who and probably so for large parts of the society.

Given the recent mauling of bbc tv management I can imagine there is a requirement for playing it safe.
ehrine From: ehrine Date: May 13th, 2013 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Part of me wonders if this is why they've appointed a second person alongside Moffat is executive producer. It's possible that trying to run the show and be in charge of (and write) the story is too much to do solo hence causing the issue.
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