Can’t Decide

RTD giveth, and RTD taketh away.

About Simon Wood

E-learning officer, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more…

17 thoughts on “Can’t Decide

  1. Adam – the things I liked included the Dalek Invasion style Earth resistance, and… no. That’s it.

    I disliked:

    The anti-climax. After such clever writing in bringing the Master back, being true to his back story but tying everything in with the new series (and even Torchwood); after the subtle-but-charming continuity references in TSOTD (Teletubies/Clangers on TV, jellybabies) that make fine sense on their own, but make the fans jump with glee; after the outstanding dialogue scenes that saved last week’s episode (the phone call with the Master, the recollections of Gallifrey); after all that the Master’s demise was out of character, the continuity references just grating (shut UP about the SODDING AXONS), and the resolutions (such as they were – Leo? Lucy?) lacked surprise and failed to satisfy.

    The resurrection. I didn’t like the Lazarus screwdriver much, but the gollum Doctor made me cringe. Thinking it couldn’t get any worse, I was proved wrong by the awful resurrection of the Doctor. The religious subtext has become a Christ complex in a show where (however off the wall the science gets) the Doctor always believes in a rational explanation.

    John Simm. Sorry, I feel guilty saying this because I think Simm is a fine actor, and after rewatching TSOTD I was beginning to think his Master could work. But it doesn’t. I’m starting to prefer Eric Roberts… Indeed, TLOTTL makes the flaws of 96’s Doctor Who look minor by comparison! I suppose, at least, he won’t be back in that form, and the Alexandra Moen Master could be rather good?

    So, gridman, what say you? The Return: Worth it or no?

    I think I shall go off and watch The Claws of Axos now. It may be feeble, but perhaps I’m missing something deep, because it’s clearly resonated with RTD. I fear the spaghetti monsters will be back for season 30.

  2. Adam – the things I liked included the Dalek Invasion style Earth resistance, and… no. That’s it.

    I disliked:

    [spoiler]

    • The anti-climax. After such clever writing in bringing the Master back, being true to his back story but tying everything in with the new series (and even Torchwood); after the subtle-but-charming continuity references in TSOTD (Teletubies/Clangers on TV, jellybabies) that make fine sense on their own, but make the fans jump with glee; after the outstanding dialogue scenes that saved last week’s episode (the phone call with the Master, the recollections of Gallifrey); after all that the Master’s demise was out of character, the continuity references just grating (shut UP about the SODDING AXONS), and the resolutions (such as they were – Leo? Lucy?) lacked surprise and failed to satisfy.
    • The resurrection. I didn’t like the Lazarus screwdriver much, but the gollum Doctor made me cringe. Thinking it couldn’t get any worse, I was proved wrong by the awful resurrection of the Doctor. The religious subtext has become a Christ complex in a show where (however off the wall the science gets) the Doctor always believes in a rational explanation.
    • John Simm. Sorry, I feel guilty saying this because I think Simm is a fine actor, and after rewatching TSOTD I was beginning to think his Master could work. But it doesn’t. I’m starting to prefer Eric Roberts… Indeed, TLOTTL makes the flaws of 96’s Doctor Who look minor by comparison! I suppose, at least, he won’t be back in that form, and the Alexandra Moen Master could be rather good?

    [/spoiler]

    So, gridman, what say you? The Return: Worth it or no?

    I think I shall go off and watch The Claws of Axos now. It may be feeble, but perhaps I’m missing something deep, because it’s clearly resonated with RTD. I fear the spaghetti monsters will be back for season 30.

  3. Oh, and one more thing…

    If you watch Battlestar Gallactica you’ll understand the significance of the fact that I watched the season 2 finale for the first time earlier in the week.

    “One Year Later”.

    Eek. It happened again. (I really don’t like it).

  4. Oh, and one more thing…

    If you watch Battlestar Gallactica you’ll understand the significance of the fact that I watched the season 2 finale for the first time earlier in the week.

    “One Year Later”.

    Eek. It happened again. (I really don’t like it).

  5. Oh, and one more thing…

    If you watch Battlestar Gallactica you’ll understand the significance of the fact that I watched the season 2 finale for the first time earlier in the week.

    “One Year Later”.

    Eek. It happened again. (I really don’t like it).

  6. Was the return worth it? No, it was squandered.

    100% agreement on your points, let me see if I can’t use your spoiler protector…

    I particularly think that the “one year later” technique is usually poorly implemented, and certainly miserably utilized here.

    Am I really to believe that the Doctor did nothing at all in the one year he waited for Martha and that was the very first time he touched the laser screwdriver? That was one of the things that rang horribly bad for me in Human Nature/Family of Blood, the Doctor did nothing. We know that, in most circumstances, the Doctor, no matter what the circumstances, doesn’t play a waiting game. His advanced age doesn’t count, either. He was similarly aged in Leisure Hive and it didn’t slow him down much. (OK, similarly aged to his first year of captivity, not the hyper-aged CGI bush baby.)

    How did he know to tell Martha about preparing his ressurection before he even knew the Master’s plan for the rockets (and therefore the countdown which the whole world had to be told about?)

    It really felt like it was one year later for Martha and Earth, and one day later for the Doctor and everyone on the carrier.

    And what about the Paradox Engine? In the Sound of Drums he wouldn’t tamper with it till he knew what it was doing because it might blow up the solar system. As soon as he knows what it does, it’s OK to machine gun it? That doesn’t sound like the safest way to deactivate a machine that could blow up the solar system.

    I could go on… in fact, I will, eventually. The more I think about it, the more I feel a post coming on.

  7. Was the return worth it? No, it was squandered.

    100% agreement on your points, let me see if I can’t use your spoiler protector…

    I particularly think that the “one year later” technique is usually poorly implemented, and certainly miserably utilized here.

    Am I really to believe that the Doctor did nothing at all in the one year he waited for Martha and that was the very first time he touched the laser screwdriver? That was one of the things that rang horribly bad for me in Human Nature/Family of Blood, the Doctor did nothing. We know that, in most circumstances, the Doctor, no matter what the circumstances, doesn’t play a waiting game. His advanced age doesn’t count, either. He was similarly aged in Leisure Hive and it didn’t slow him down much. (OK, similarly aged to his first year of captivity, not the hyper-aged CGI bush baby.)

    How did he know to tell Martha about preparing his ressurection before he even knew the Master’s plan for the rockets (and therefore the countdown which the whole world had to be told about?)

    It really felt like it was one year later for Martha and Earth, and one day later for the Doctor and everyone on the carrier.

    And what about the Paradox Engine? In the Sound of Drums he wouldn’t tamper with it till he knew what it was doing because it might blow up the solar system. As soon as he knows what it does, it’s OK to machine gun it? That doesn’t sound like the safest way to deactivate a machine that could blow up the solar system.

    I could go on… in fact, I will, eventually. The more I think about it, the more I feel a post coming on.

  8. Was the return worth it? No, it was squandered.

    100% agreement on your points, let me see if I can’t use your spoiler protector…

    [spoiler]

    I particularly think that the “one year later” technique is usually poorly implemented, and certainly miserably utilized here.

    Am I really to believe that the Doctor did nothing at all in the one year he waited for Martha and that was the very first time he touched the laser screwdriver? That was one of the things that rang horribly bad for me in Human Nature/Family of Blood, the Doctor did nothing. We know that, in most circumstances, the Doctor, no matter what the circumstances, doesn’t play a waiting game. His advanced age doesn’t count, either. He was similarly aged in Leisure Hive and it didn’t slow him down much. (OK, similarly aged to his first year of captivity, not the hyper-aged CGI bush baby.)

    How did he know to tell Martha about preparing his ressurection before he even knew the Master’s plan for the rockets (and therefore the countdown which the whole world had to be told about?)

    It really felt like it was one year later for Martha and Earth, and one day later for the Doctor and everyone on the carrier.

    And what about the Paradox Engine? In the Sound of Drums he wouldn’t tamper with it till he knew what it was doing because it might blow up the solar system. As soon as he knows what it does, it’s OK to machine gun it? That doesn’t sound like the safest way to deactivate a machine that could blow up the solar system.

    [/spoiler]

    I could go on… in fact, I will, eventually. The more I think about it, the more I feel a post coming on.

  9. I’ve added in the spoiler tags. I think it’s probably quite hard to miss the spoilers unless you’re a hermit (and you don’t go to hermits united meetings). But I didn’t see Utopia until five days after it was broadcast, and one glance (one glance!) at a Doctor Who site spoiled it.

    Although actually, it didn’t really spoil it as I enjoyed it hugely anyway.

    Anyway, to use the spoiler tags: <spoiler> and </spoiler>, thus:

    I think you’re absolutely right about the Doctor not doing anything. I think that’s the main thing wrong with the episode. It’s obvious, now you mention it, but I missed it.

    If he’d been doing anything, however ineffectual, that would have been okay. But would he really have lived in a tent for a year and done nothing? It’s the same reason I dislike Jubilee.

    There’s a moment in the audio play Red where the Doctor emerges from a trance and there’s an exchange of dialogue whilst in the background you can hear the computer systematically killing people – and it jars, even just for that moment – that the Doctor isn’t straining every fibre to save them.

    So I just can’t buy that he gave up, and that’s what I like least about the episode.

  10. I’ve added in the spoiler tags. I think it’s probably quite hard to miss the spoilers unless you’re a hermit (and you don’t go to hermits united meetings). But I didn’t see Utopia until five days after it was broadcast, and one glance (one glance!) at a Doctor Who site spoiled it.

    Although actually, it didn’t really spoil it as I enjoyed it hugely anyway.

    Anyway, to use the spoiler tags: <spoiler> and </spoiler>, thus:

    I think you’re absolutely right about the Doctor not doing anything. I think that’s the main thing wrong with the episode. It’s obvious, now you mention it, but I missed it.

    If he’d been doing anything, however ineffectual, that would have been okay. But would he really have lived in a tent for a year and done nothing? It’s the same reason I dislike Jubilee.

    There’s a moment in the audio play Red where the Doctor emerges from a trance and there’s an exchange of dialogue whilst in the background you can hear the computer systematically killing people – and it jars, even just for that moment – that the Doctor isn’t straining every fibre to save them.

    So I just can’t buy that he gave up, and that’s what I like least about the episode.

  11. I’ve added in the spoiler tags. I think it’s probably quite hard to miss the spoilers unless you’re a hermit (and you don’t go to hermits united meetings). But I didn’t see Utopia until five days after it was broadcast, and one glance (one glance!) at a Doctor Who site spoiled it.

    Although actually, it didn’t really spoil it as I enjoyed it hugely anyway.

    Anyway, to use the spoiler tags: <spoiler> and </spoiler>, thus:

    [spoiler]

    I think you’re absolutely right about the Doctor not doing anything. I think that’s the main thing wrong with the episode. It’s obvious, now you mention it, but I missed it.

    If he’d been doing anything, however ineffectual, that would have been okay. But would he really have lived in a tent for a year and done nothing? It’s the same reason I dislike Jubilee.

    There’s a moment in the audio play Red where the Doctor emerges from a trance and there’s an exchange of dialogue whilst in the background you can hear the computer systematically killing people – and it jars, even just for that moment – that the Doctor isn’t straining every fibre to save them.

    So I just can’t buy that he gave up, and that’s what I like least about the episode.

    [/spoiler]

Leave a Reply