Friday, August 24, 2007

Doctor Who Discussion Post #3

Oh, and for those who have managed to see the episode, here's another Doctor Who discussion post. Because they're fun, even if we never do seem to end up talking about the actual episode much.

Currently airing in the US: "Human Nature." Feel free to drop a comment below if you have anything to say about this episode, Doctor Who in general, or anything else the conversation happens to drift toward, but, as usual, I'll ask you to avoid anything spoilery for later episodes.

By the way, it looks like Who will not be airing on Sci Fi next week, having be pre-empted for some reason or other. I know that this will seem like a particularly cruel point at which to make you wait an extra week, but if I recall correctly, this was also the point at which the show was pre-empted in its original UK run, in order to air the Eurovision contest. So it's only fair, really.


  1. I haven't really been discussing the episodes because I haven't been re-watching them. But "Human Nature" is one of the best. That everyone will have to wait two weeks for the conclusion seems very cruel and unfair.

    Next week is apparently a Stargate "Viewer's Choice" marathon.

  2. It is a good episode.

    By the way, for those who may be interested and don't already know, this two-parter was based on a novel (also called Human Nature) which originally featured the Seventh Doctor. (Paul Cornell, who wrote the book, also wrote the screenplay adaptation.) It's been ages since I read the book version, and I don't remember it well enough to be able to discuss the similarities and differences, but I do remember it being really, really good.

  3. I liked "Human Nature", though I had got the impression it was going to be a "vampires from space" episode. Pleasantly surprised.

  4. Vampires from space? What gave you that impression? Unless it was the title of part 2...

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  6. 2 weeks! Woe is me:( I particulary liked the use of scarecrows. When the little girl was taken, for some reason, The Wizard of Oz came to mind.

    Janice is livid that she has to wait for the second part.

  7. Magnus:

    While admittedly vague, I think your last comment just slips over my threshold for spoiler tolerance here, so I made the administrative decision to zap it and repost an edited version. Thus:

    Hard to say, really? When I saw the stiulls, it just seemed kind of Halloweenish. Whatever, I liked it. Looking forward to the three parter and Gavin's reaction to [spoiler deleted]

    To which I say: 1) Yeah, I can see that, especially give the scarecrows. And 2) I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's reaction to that. :)

  8. Dad: Scarecrows are just sort of intrinsically creepy. So are little girls, really. :)

  9. Not referring to anyone I know!

  10. I think "Human Nature" (combined with "Family of Blood") was the moment I stopped worrying if this season was going to be only as good as the last one (which is to say, sort of okay but overall kind of a disappointment). It may be the point where I went from being a casual fan to the sort who...well, who is actually still planning to sit through the rest of Torchwood. (Hey, I've done the first three episodes of Lexx. They can't be "worse" than that!)

    I recall reading somewhere, possibly the BBC website, that the screenplay was surprisingly faithful to the book, despite the changes necessary by it falling completely elsewhere in the Who continuity. Then again, the changes spelled out here --

    -- seem a little more substantial. So who knows? Oh, obviously, spoiler warnings for that link if you haven't seen both of the episodes.

  11. Thanks for that link! It clearly has been a long time since I read the book, because I didn't remember the ending at all. (But I'll say no more about that, at least until we get to part 2.) I do remember at least a couple of other minor changes, specifically that the Seventh Doctor's list did include "don't let me fall in love." (He always did plan ahead, that one. :)) And I think the relationship between Smith and Joan took a longer while to develop... It did feel rather compressed in the space of a television episode.

    Reworking it for a different spot in the continuity does have some unintended effects, though. A friend of mine commented that she thought the Doctor was an absolute jerk for brining Martha to an era where she'd have to deal with the level of prejudice and racism that she did... This was less of an issue with the companion in the book. (We can excuse him a bit for that by noting that he did say he was allowing the TARDIS to pick the era, but one imagines he might have exercised some degree of choice in the matter. Probably he didn't even think about it.)

  12. Really enjoyed "Human Nature". Couldn't stand to watch The Doctor kissing that woman though :) Sorry just my opinion. I convinced Gary(my husband) to watch it and he enjoyed it as well. We were both dismayed when the "to be continued" came up knowing it would be 2 weeks!
    Also I liked the little touch with his journal having sketches of some prior regenerations.(well I could see Sylvestor Mccoy and Paul Mcgann(spelling) I couldn't frankly make out the 3rd picture?

  13. Couldn't stand to watch The Doctor kissing that woman though :)

    Well, but it wasn't really the Doctor at that point, was it? Anyway, she seems like a nice person. :)

    I had trouble making out the third picture in the journal, myself, but apparently it's Hartnell. The BBC put up a full scan of those pages on their site at some point, and actually all ten Doctors are on there. I think they're going to be selling book versions of it at some point.

  14. Oh and I thought those were the creepiest!!! scarecrows ever

  15. I read a comment by someone recently to the effect that animated scarecrows were originally really creepy because they were familiar, mundane objects brought frighteningly to life, but that nowadays almost nobody encounters scarecrows in real life, and they've become just another Halloweeny monster. I can't really argue with that, but somehow, it just doesn't seem to have made them any less creepy.

  16. Yesterday, I began this with an apology for commenting so late because I hadn't seen the episode until Tue. 9/4/07. (But it's thanks to Betty that I was able to see it at all!) Today, let's make it a double apology because I'm trying to recall my insightful, witty comment that didn't go through yesterday, for some reason.

    Scarecrows: Perhaps the scarecrows were frightening because they have human form (something familiar) but inhuman faces (something scary). For those of us who are old enough to remember scarecrows (or people who live in Smallville), just seeing them move under their own power would be enough to give one the willies.

    Kathy: my reaction to seeing "to be continued" on the screen was far stronger than yours & Gary's. I felt more like your dad's wife. I actually swore out loud.

    Betty: I agree that the "love story" suffered from being condensed for TV. When they kissed, I thought, "Already?" and at the end, when the Family's son offered Master Smith the choice of his friend or his lover, I thought, "Have I missed something?" Then again, I might be putting a 2007 spin on the word, rather than the 1913 one.

    Pun: Thanks for telling us her name, Betty. I just thought of her as "Matron". Now, though (this is your fault!), I offer that it would have been funnier if Smith had to make a choice between "your Joan or your Jones".

  17. Well, points to you for taking the time to recreate it, anyway! I hope it wasn't that my commenting system messed you up.

    You know, in a way you kind of lucked out my missing the episode and having to wait for me to send it to you. It means you don't have a two-week wait between parts one and two like other people! (And, may I say, it gladdens my heart somehow to know that this show has moved your passions sufficiently to induce actual swearing. :))

    You might be right about the scarecrows. There is something intrinsically creepy about anything that looks human-ish, but is less than human.

    As for "lover," yeah, I believe the word had rather a different sense in 1913, and wouldn't necessarily have implied they'd actually had sex. Never mind the standards of propriety, it's hard to see where they would have had time!

    I offer that it would have been funnier if Smith had to make a choice between "your Joan or your Jones".