Friday, July 25, 2008

Is It Friday Already?

Because my sister just called me on the phone a little while ago and reminded me, here's your Doctor Who discussion post for the episode airing today on Sci Fi: "The Stolen Earth."


  1. I don't see any way of discussing this without also discussing the second half.

  2. Yeah, it is extremely difficult.

    Heck, I just had this rather frustrating conversation with my sister in which she wanted to discuss about "Turn Left" and Rose and general opinions of RTD's writing and such, and I just had to keep saying, over and over, "I can't talk about that. Come back in a couple of weeks."

  3. Ok, I already assumed that Davros was the "old enemy" who shows up as we are told in the description of the episode that my cable company provided me with. Frankly I was excepting him to show up in the end of the first season. The Doctor says something like Davros was killed in the first phase of the time war. I believe the last time we see Davros before this on the show was in Remembrance of the Daleks where he escapes. I think he is "seemingly" killed plenty of other times prior in the series.
    Really loving this season, but I have got to say what an element of cheesiness in this episode. Sorry but honestly. And no way would everyone be seem kind of giving up throughout the episode until Harriet Jones shows up.

  4. All I can say is, if you think that one had some cheesiness, wait until you see next week. Not that a certain degree of cheesiness is necessarily a bad thing in Doctor Who, but, y'know...

    And, yes, the last time we saw Davros was in "Remembrance," boarding his inevitable escape pod. Really, it was only a matter of time before he showed up again. You can't kill Davros for good any more than you can kill the Master. It's a rule.

    I can sort of understand the fatalism everyone was showing, because they've all had experience with just how horrible the Daleks can be, and it a "kiss your ass goodbye" type of situation if there ever was one, but, yeah, there is something about it that sits a little uncomfortably. I can forgive it, though, simply because it gives Harriet a chance to be utterly awesome.

    It's Jack's "we're dead" that kind of bugs me, actually. Yeah, yeah, very funny, Immortal Boy. :P

  5. I think Davies' basic idea was, "hey, let's take everything and just throw it all together to see if that works." (I mean, these are his last two episodes.) And I think it works about as well as can be expected -- which is to say that some of it is genuinely brilliant and fun and everything I love about Doctor Who, and some of it is just cheesy and a real mess...but maybe there's something to love about that, too, even when it sometimes disappoints.

    Because the idea could just as easily have been "Hey, I'm leaving. Let's screw with things and make it really tough for Moffatt."

  6. I think throwing a bunch of stuff around randomly to see if it works is exactly what he's doing, and sometimes on Doctor Who that does, indeed, work just fine. But I'll wait until next week to offer up my opinion of whether it ultimately does work in this case or not. :)

    I gather his stated intent was to leave Moffat a "clean slate." We can discuss whether he achieves that or not next week, too. :)

  7. I gotta wait til next week to comment. I did`nt like what I think I saw.

  8. Are you waiting until next week to find out whether what you think you saw is what you actually saw? :)

  9. Ah, yep
    My verification word was uuapce. I think its asking if you you a PC.

  10. Well, it is trying to figure out whether you're a computer or not, so I guess it's a fair question. :)

  11. I, too, was a bit surprised that every one of our heroes/heroines seemed to lose hope, but then I pondered that they weren't fatalistic about the Daleks necessarily, but that they didn't know where the Doctor was. (That, of course, raises the question of what good they are if they think they're no good without the Doctor.)

    Another thing I picked up on was what might or might not be an intentional disconnect by Davies. First, Rose wasn't included in the subwave conversation (or maybe Harriet just didn't know she was back in our dimension). Then, we saw everyone converging on the TARDIS except for Martha (or maybe she just didn't want the key/weapon anywhere near the TARDIS -- and I hope that's pure speculation and not a spoiler that will get bleeped by Betty). Maybe Davies just couldn't think of dialog for that many characters in one scene.

  12. (That, of course, raises the question of what good they are if they think they're no good without the Doctor.)

    Which is a good question. One of the criticisms people sometimes level at Russell Davies' writing is that it too often seems to involve humans passively crying to the Doctor for help, and for a while this does seem to be another example of that, although at least Harriet understands that the Doctor ain't always going to be there and that humans need to get off our butts and help ourselves. I do like the amount of initiative they all show after they're given that push, though.

    and I hope that's pure speculation and not a spoiler that will get bleeped by Betty

    I don't bleep speculation even if it happens to be right -- which I'm not saying whether this is or not -- only when people who actually do know what happens later let too much slip. Feel free to speculate away!

    Maybe Davies just couldn't think of dialog for that many characters in one scene.

    It is a lot of characters. Frankly, I'm a little surprised he was able to manage that many supporting characters in one episode. :)

  13. I'd almost give him a pass just because the whole thing's not an unmitigated disaster -- which, with all those characters, it could very easily have been -- but I, too, I didn't always like what I think I saw. (And I've seen the second half, so I think I know by now what I actually saw. I think.) There's stuff that works terrifically, there's stuff that's just sort of neat, and there's stuff that...well, not so much. For better and worse, it's got Davies' stamp all over it.

    I'm not sure how I feel about the Shadow Proclamation stuff, although it was sort of nice to see the Judoon again. Still, the whole layering and dropping of hints -- in this case all the planets that were disappearing -- really only works when the audience can sort of pick up on it. And I don't think it really has since the first season "Bad Wolf" stuff. I know I didn't remember characters in earlier episodes talking about missing planets.

  14. To try to put this without actually getting into spoiler territory for next week... I'd pretty much agree with giving him a pass for actually making this whole mess work, except that he ends up making a few mistakes that are... less forgivable to me than his usual mistakes. Um, yeah. Next week, we will have much to discuss! :)

    I actually did like the fact that this time the hints were something subtle that I didn't actually pick up on. I was getting a little tired of that little game of hiding the season's secret code word in plain sight all over the place. And I certainly remembered all the missing planet references once they were pointed out, even though the possibility of a connection went right by me at the time.

  15. I thought the little game worked in the first season, and to less extent with the third, but yeah, it was getting tiresome. (One of Davies' weaknesses as a writer is that he finds something that kind of works, and then keeps coming back to it, sometimes until it stops working.) Which is why I sort of wish it hadn't come up here at all.

    And I just want to say: I'm not giving Davies a pass. I think he did some things well, but others really not. They're a messy couple of episodes.

    And I guess that's enough of my nattering until everybody's seen the second half. It does air this week, right?

  16. Yup, it's on this Friday, and Sci Fi is actually going to be showing it uncut, apparently.