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Old 05-26-2011, 02:10 AM   #181
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Chiming back in with a general Who early Season 4 report card. I’ve been closing in on this season from both ends, having watched The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End not too long ago and just having finished Voyage of the Damned, Partners in Crime and The Fires of Pompeii tonight. Davies hasn’t had a perfect record up until now, but it feels like more and more fixable elements are slipping through the cracks.

First, Voyage of the Damned had an unusual opening that bugged me for the whole rest of the episode (it rammed the TARDIS? Punched a hole in it, and no one on board noticed?), and was saddled with the Doctor trying to rescue unlikable characters I was actively rooting for to die. And then two angels carried the Doctor skyward in a pillar of light. A Moses analogy? Space-Moses? No, wait, the name is on the tip of my tongue. Partners in Crime had a great hook to carry it through the first half, but started losing steam near the end. Malevolent women in power may still be playing against type, but for Doctor Who this is starting to become a little repetitive. (A problem that cropped up in The Rebel Flesh this last week) Luckily, PiC was rescued by the sheer absurdity/ballsiness of the premise- I want an adipose squeeze toy! Finally, I was looking forward to Fires of Pompeii for some Foxy Scot Extra Karen Gillan action and had another modest letdown. The script felt like it should have been an hour + movie to properly breathe. What we got was a first act cram packed full of exposition trying to get us caught up, and a final act that managed to turn the interior of a mountain into a series of revealingly cheap tight close ups. They really ended up hinting at spectacle rather than embracing it. Would have required a bigger budget, of course, but it’s just disappointing. It wasn’t bad overall (Latin/Celtic mixup!), but really not handled right.

And then there’s The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End. This had the improbable charm and eventual letdown of watching an 8 year old come up with a story as he played with his toys. I really didn’t mind the ridiculous scope, but the thing Davies ignored while giving himself a victory blowjob was that there needs to be a compelling reason for bringing in the Sarah Jane Adventures or Torchwood 3 or the Shadow Proclamation. What really symbolized the lumpy, misshapen script was seeing Davies get bored and give up talking about Ianto and Gwen. “cliffhanger? ….Ok….they’re in a time bubble. Completely safe!” Yes, thanks for wasting my time, then. The nadir was finally seeing the entire cast, having grown like a tumor, literally stuck jockeying for space at the end for room around the TARDIS control panel. I will remain mum on the tow cable scene.

The 10.5 Doctor is gross. Bonus points for bringing in the chopped hand as a meaningful thing, but once it crept in that 10.5 was conceived as a sex toy for Rose I just got angry.

And yet, there was a solid, stupid wavelength that this all was working on. I don't want to watch this again, but I can almost respect the audacity of it.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:10 AM   #182
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So you haven't watched Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead yet?

May as well save the best for last.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:04 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
So you haven't watched Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead yet?

May as well save the best for last.
Already seen it. Caught it on your recommendation a few months ago when I first started getting into the series. But I'm going to watch it again as I finish off this season.
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:42 PM   #184
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As Starz gets ready to unleash Torchwood: Miracle Day this summer, there’s one element of the sci-fi drama that’s not referenced in the trailer. When word first broke of the U.S. network picking up the cult favorite BBC series and changing its setting to Los Angeles, fans worried the show’s immortal bisexual hero, Captain Jack Harkness, would be portrayed differently. According to the show’s cast and showrunner, the new series doesn’t hold back. “I knew they would be true to the show and not change drastically,” says star John Barrowman. “If it was watered down, I wouldn’t have done it. For those people who are our stanch fans, it’s going to have the heart and soul of Torchwood which we’ve always had, plus the energy and excitement of a show that’s bigger and better.”

As for his character’s love life, Barrowman says Capt. Jack “gets to have full-on boy-sex a couple of times. On those days going to work I’d wake up and Scott my partner would say, ‘What are you filming today?’ And I’d say, ‘Oh it’s going to be a tough day, I get to have sex with a 24 year old.’

For Americans checking out Torchwood for the first time, a TV action hero who beats up bad guys, saves the world, and wins the boy is likely a new experience. But showrunner Russell T Davies says that, contrary to what Americans might assume about all European countries, our primetime lineup is more progressive about showing gay characters. “The portrayal of gay, bisexual, and lesbian characters [in America] is currently way ahead of Britain,” Davies says. “The kids on Glee, the beauty and detail of that couple on Modern Family. We’ve got nothing like that. Even a nice Republican sitcom like $#*! My Dad Says, a show I quite liked, was stacked with intelligent gay-friendly stories, and that’s in a corner you’d never expect to find them. If course, it’s all the gay men and women sitting on writing teams pushing their stories forward, which I think is wonderful.”

In Torchwood: Miracle Day, the CIA brings in Capt. Jack and Gwen Cooper for assistance when, suddenly and inexplicably, nobody in the world can die, causing the population to skyrocket, criminals to be indestructible, and a host of problems from overcrowded hospitals to food hording. Yet Captain Jack is – spoiler alert — suddenly mortal, putting himself at risk fighting a sea of enemies who cannot be killed. “You’re going to get a lot into the history of Jack,” Barrowman teases. “You see one of his big relationships that defines a lot about who he is. You also find out a lot about Jack and Gwen.”

Gwen, meanwhile, is now in hiding and a protective mother. “You’ll see her as a mother and a warrior,” Eve Myles says. “She’s militant and does what she has to do and has to make the biggest sacrifice of her life. The only place for Torchwood to go was bigger and better. We’ve completely conquered that this year.”

The change in location has been “marvelous,” Myles added, though it was also intimidating. “Coming here to Hollywood to play a character I love, you’d think I’d be the most confident person in the world, and I’m not,” she says. “Walking onto the Warner Bros. lot was the best and most nervous day of my life. I was a sweaty heap.”

Meanwhile Davies says he’s keeping the cost of admission low for new viewers by using the change of location to help explain the show. “You know how sometimes on a show you can tell a new executive has come in, like the Spock’s Brain year on Star Trek — it’s not like that,” he says. “It’s faithful and careful and honest, but at the same time, it’s brand-new for a whole new audience. In Episode 1 you have a brand new cast of American actors who have never heard of Torchwood saying, ‘What is Torchwood?’ So all those questions in the mind of a new audience are literally being said on screen and being answered.”
At last, the Barrowman sex scenes I've been the world has been waiting for.

But seriously folks. He's a handsome man.

 
"Boy sex"? You're a Captain, not a Father!
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:22 PM   #185
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Isn't there someone who only posts in/dominates the Oasis thread? Haha, I'm starting to feel like that person. At least until I finish up watching Season 4.

As a whole the two parter was underwhelming, because I didn't really know the factory workers and so their quick descent into mutual destruction was mostly boring. Tear yourselves apart, miserable brutes! No, it was watching the Doctor
 
and Amy
deal with the duplication. I care about him so that split matters.

Also, stay away from the BBC Doctor Who site because before this episode even aired they plastered spoiler images as to whose coming back in the midseason finale.

 
Final scene: wow. He fried her! Wow. Amy's consciousness was being broadcast to the flesh decoy, do I have that right? It's not the same as the ganger technology we saw in this episode where there was a straight duplication.

IIRC, the first time we see Eyepatch Lady is when Amy and Canton are poking around the orphanarium in Day of the Moon. Which implies she was kidnapped and replicated sometime before then.

The "next time" trailer promises to be the last goddamn time River Song teases us about what a glorious mystery she's supposed to be. Lightsaber action! Centurion Rory! Etc.!
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:54 PM   #186
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My mind is in knots over this episode.
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:20 PM   #187
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Moffat apparently said on Confidential that we have yet to see the real Amy Pond this season, i.e she's been a duplicate for eps. 1-6.

The baby room scene in the Orphanarium makes the barest iota more sense now- it affirmatively connects her pregnancy/duplication with the Silents and their metanarrative over the last two seasons. The photos on the counter were of the "normal" Amy, who was trucking around in the late 60s with her daughter, something which I'm assuming we could see as a resolution in the second half of this season. If the Silents (or their Lodger-mobile) have time travel, of course, all bets are off.

That goddamn baby better not be River. And knowing the ending, pay attention to the Doctors' conversation at the very start. They're talking about the switcheroo, Tom Baker and David Tennant voice clips sneak in, and there's a weird hanging thread about Cybermen. Right before Amy confesses to the Not-Actually-A-Ganger Doctor that she knows he's going to die, there's also a bit about a phone call on delay that the Doctor has to make.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:29 PM   #188
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I believe it was the real Amy in the first episode, as she was the one who told the Doctor she was pregnant then when queried I think in the second episode she says she is not. If she checked when she was human then she would have thought she was pregnant, then she was kidnapped kept unconscious and her consciousness was transmitted to the ganger when maybe checked and of course wouldn't be pregnant.

There is a prequel segment only about a minute long on the website, not really missing much though but the faux Jedi's are interesting.

The Doctor eventually getting jiggy with Amy's baby (if River Song)? I'm not sure i'd buy that. Anything though I guess could happen after that twist.

Must say, an excellent performance by Matt Smith.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:25 PM   #189
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Starting to get the faint wisp of a "Lost" vibe with the mad layering Moffat's doing.

 


Huh. I'm actually ok with the River thing now. In retrospect they fluorescence-tagged and made a glowing connection just by having the "baby episode" be the same one we figure out what River's role is.

Credit for actually turning the baby into a sticky mess. Holy moly.

So there's some self-awareness of how the Doctor has become a negative influence on the universe, but I'm jumping back to a more basic and potentially significant question: didn't Amy say in The Eleventh Hour that she had no idea who the Cybermen or Daleks were?

The Autumn trailer is a slow camera pan down to a skeleton arm on gravel/rocks.....holding a sonic screwdriver. Tag: "Time Runs Out".

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Old 06-04-2011, 11:08 PM   #190
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9 Jan 1995 01:22:45 GMT
Here's a particularly stupid theory. If we take "The Doctor" to
be the Doctor's name - even if it is in the form of a title no
doubt meaning something deep and Gallifreyan - perhaps our
earthly use of the word "doctor" meaning healer or wise man is
direct result of the Doctor's multiple interventions in our
history as a healer and wise man. In other words, we got it from
him. This is a very silly idea and I'm consequently rather proud
of it.

Steven Moffat
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:42 AM   #191
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The second viewing was even better than the first. I'd call it a 4/5 because I think "perfection" is an abused numerical concept, but this was really good. Particularly on what I think of as the "Battlestar Galactica" quotient: the primary necessity for River's revelation wasn't a literal recalling of who she was but a sufficient motivation for the smug "Spoilers, love" that would justify the last 3 years of suspense. I think this delivered.

I would watch the shit out of a Jenny/Silurian Victorian Crime Fighters show. The 51st century clerics may be unfortunately the red shirts of Doctor Who, but I can't wait to see them again. Heh- the "papal mainframe". He's neat at coming up with tunes, but with a half-season under the belt I think I can say that Murray Gold has finally employed some restraint at key moments.

Last weekend I tried watching "The Doctor's Daughter" before getting enraged and quitting after 4 minutes. Instead, I enjoyed Amy's Choice for a second time. Steven Moffat's overseen a few dodgy episodes the last season and a half, but the arc he's building is rather colossal in scope. I can't help but hope he sticks the landing, either at the end of this season or whenever he and Matt Smith decided to cash out and hand off to the next writer.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:33 PM   #192
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Arthur Darvill has a new fan page on Facebook. Like him!
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:03 PM   #193
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Season 7 has been confirmed, another standard 13 ep + Christmas deal with Matt Smith.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:55 PM   #194
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...And Season 7 has been delayed.

No full season of Doctor Who in 2012, which (for my guess) implies that the BBC is A) keeping the midseason split, and B) aligning with the US television schedule by doing a fall 2012/winter 2013 airing. Maybe now the Brits will finally shut up about the weather influencing Who ratings. Seriously- 6pm during the late spring? Don't be surprised when people are doing stuff then.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:10 AM   #195
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Torchwood's back! Torchwood! Torchwood!

eeeugh.

There's some awfully rickety elements of dialogue and pacing rattling around on a decent foundation. Mekhi Pfifer and the blonde American kept....I don't know what, scene chewing? Her voice annoyed me.

The flipside of the negativity is that this hour's not a very enviable task narratively, trying to both introduce Torchwood to newbies while being faithful to the original fans' expectations. I hope from here on out Davies assumes we're up to speed with what Torchwood is and stops holding our hand so strongly.

Because Jack inspecting the charred bomber in the hospital morgue was an electrifying scene, and hints that the series has a higher gear waiting to be revved up. Not a great hour, but I do want to keep watching.
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