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Adventures in Space and Time
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Thread: Adventures in Space and Time

  1. #1
    President of The Long Patrol Martin the Warrior's Avatar
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    Question Adventures in Space and Time

    I'm something of a Doctor Who fan and think the modern era has been home to some of the best sci-fi stories out there (Christopher Eccleston will always be the Doctor that made me a fan, although there's not a one I don't wind up loving). The way the show is able to effortlessly walk the line between humor, drama, a study in the nature of humanity itself, grand adventure, pure optimism, and raw emotion is largely unmatched. And the premise of the show is such that they can literally do anything within its confines without having to stretch. That appeals to me quite a bit.

    I've been really looking forward series 8 with Peter Capaldi in the role, because I think there's a lot to be done with an older Doctor in the modern era of storytelling. Plus Tennant and Smith gave us the younger end of the spectrum quite handily and change is always refreshing. Two episodes in and I haven't been disappointed by Capaldi yet. I still want to see more.

    Neither episode has been an instant classic in the way that The Doctor's Wife was, but they've been fun and entertaining glimpses of the new Doctor. I'm anxious for more.

    Anyone else?
    ~Martin the Warrior~
    -President of The Long Patrol

    "A poet is a musician who can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart, and some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens."
    ~The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

  2. #2
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    I’m a huge Doctor Who fan. In fact, it’s probably the only Sci-fi show/movie that I’m currently a fan of at the moment, basically for the same reasons Martin wrote above. DW was the first show my wife and I got into when we first got married. I turned on BBC America one evening for the beginning of the Family of Blood two-parter. We watched both Family of Blood episodes, followed by Blink the following weeks. We were lucky in our timing, as those three episodes are some of the finest in Modern Who. After we finished the season, we went back and caught up with what we missed. Since then, we’ve followed the show on a regular basis, trying to get all of our friends into it (usually with success).

    While I do like Doctor Who, occasionally the show will try to go ‘dark’, which kind of bugs me. Is it necessary that every companion has a tragic exit from the show? Even Martha, who was lucky enough to escape when she did, had to survive on earth for a year while running from the Master. The Waters of Mars also bugged with the “I can’t save you, so I’m going to leave you all to die. Wait! I changed my mind! Oops, you died anyway” plot. For me, Doctor Who is at its best when it shows the joy of life, adventure, or a crazy suspenseful plot (Blink, Midnight, Silence in the Library).

    Haven’t had a chance to watch Peter Capaldi’s debut yet. My wife and I still have to finish the multi-doctor story and Matt Smith’s finale. It’s not going to be easy, as I already had a hard time saying goodbye to Amy and Rory. While I think it’s generally the case that your first Doctor is your favorite, and while I do love David Tennant, Matt Smith won me over with his first episode. I have no doubt that Capaldi will do great things as the Doctor, I will miss Matt Smith and the energy he brought to the role.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

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  3. #3
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Alright, I’ve sat down, said goodbye to Matt Smith (*sniff*), and completely caught up through the first three episodes of Season 8. I’ll save my thoughts for each episode below, but so far I’m fine with Peter Capaldi’s depiction of the Doctor. I haven’t been wowed yet like I was with Tennant and Smith, but I have no doubt he’ll be a great Doctor. The best thing about his portrayal has to be his intense stare, which I think could freeze a Dalek in its place. Got to admit, I’m not all that interested in the season long mystery they’re setting up, but I have a theory on what’s happening.

    Spoiler!


    Deep Breath
    I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of new Doctor stories. They spend a bit too long with the Doctor running around in pajamas acting loopy and take their time before revealing what this new Doctor will be like. I appreciated Eleven’s intro episode because Smith just kind of jumped into things with little distraction other than fish fingers and custard.
    Once Twelve and Clara showed up at the restaurant the episode picked up for me. I was very pleased to see who Moffet brought back as villains, as the first episode they featured in is one of my top ten favorites. I also liked how the show added a new stressful catchphrase to ward off the villains, “Hold your breath.” Still, by the end of the episode, I thought it was just “okay.”

    Into the Dalek
    I think I would’ve liked this episode more if the last three of the four episodes (including this one) didn’t feature the Dalek’s predominantly. I’m a bit tired of the Daleks, but this one had enough new ideas that it didn’t bore me. Thought Twelve’s condescending attitude towards soldiers was a bit out of character and frustrating. Yes, he’s never been a huge fan of them, but he’s had at least one companion with a military background (Jamie MacCrimmon, Two’s beloved companion), if not more. Why not bring Blue along and show her a better way?

    Robots of Sherwood
    My favorite episode of the season at this point, but I enjoy Mark Gatiss’s episodes. Doctor Who doesn’t do a whole lot of Medieval stories, so I had fun watching the Doctor take on his knight adversaries. Lot’s of fun jokes, and I’m pleased with how the episode resolved the question of if Robin was the real Robin Hood or not.

    A bit of a slow start to Season 8, but I’m sure it will pick up speed. Next episode looks very promising, as I love the creepy stories.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

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  4. #4
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Two more episodes down for Season 8.

    Listen

    I need to watch this one again, because going into the episode I had much different expectations for the episode than what transpired. I expected more of a scary episode, and while it had some chills, it didn't fully deliver on them.

    Instead, we got more insight into the Doctor, Clara, and Dan (who I hope eventually has a turn in the TARDIS). While it wasn’t what I expected, it was the first episode that really won me over with Clara. Until now I haven’t had much of a feel on how I felt about her character. With this episode, I think I’ve fully accepted her as a good companion, and hope she sticks around for at least through next season.


    The Heist

    Wow, this is the first episode of the season I can confidently say was excellent. Great moments from the Doctor and Clara, and I hope we see the other two companions again at some point. The creature for the week had its creepy moments, but had an air of sadness to it. I’d go so far and say it’s my favorite Doctor/Clara episode (discounting Matt Smith’s final episode).
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  5. #5
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Watched the latest two episodes of Season 8 and… they haven’t been my favorite. I like Capaldi, and Clara’s definitely grown this season, but there have been too many story bits that just leave me frustrated.

    The Caretaker

    An okay episode, reminded me of the school episode with Sarah Jane in Season 2, but it also highlights why I haven’t been digging this season. I’m getting annoyed with the Doctor’s hatred of soldiers. I’m okay with a grumpy Doctor, but this episode sent it into overdrive. The Doctor’s continual comments that Danny was a PE teacher due to his military background just went too far in the condescending territory for me. I understand the Doctor has high expectations for someone to date his companion, but this just seems too over the top. Really feels like the writers are doing some retcon work with the Doctor, and I just don’t like it.

    Otherwise, I liked the monster for the episode. If Doctor Who excels at anything, it’s fun evil robot voices. Also enjoyed how Danny and Clara had to juggle being school teachers and not have the school discover their world destroying robot problem. These are the wacky hijinks I love about this show.

    Kill the Moon

    Ugh, least favorite episode of the season for me. Granted, we got a well overdue scene with Clara chewing out the Doctor at the end, but I just didn’t enjoy the story. It started off alright, and had Alien vibes from it. The spider creatures were some of the scariest I’ve seen from the show, and no way did I want to encounter them.

    However, once the true element of the plot was uncovered, I rolled my eyes. I know this is a kids show, but really didn’t enjoy the twist with the moon. Also hated how the ending waved away any speculation about if the moon existed in the future. For a better example of the dilemma of sticking around and solving a world crisis problem, I recommend checking out the vastly superior Fourth Doctor episode Pyramids of Mars (featuring the always great Sarah Jane when she was a companion).

    However, I did like Courtney and what she brought to the show. I hope she isn’t a one-time companion, and comes along for more episodes. I’ll forgive much of my issues with this season of the Doctor, Clara, Danny, and Courtney travel together for some episodes. It’ll harken back to the start of the series with the Doctor, two schoolteacher companions, and a young student companion.

    I hate sounding so harsh about this season, but I have high expectations out of Doctor Who. Hoping the Orient Express episode is an improvement. Looks like it’s a Doctor only episode.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  6. #6
    Patroller Schröder's Avatar
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    With "Listen" I was expecting some sort of anti-weeping angel, when the Doctor started telling Clara about how there could be something so perfectly evolved to hide, and how there could be a "companion" with them for their life. I don't know, that's just what came to mind when he said that, and thought that is would be pretty cool to have such a thing, like the angels where they can't do anything if you look at them, but instead of that, they could only do things if never seen at all. Or something. I liked how it ended up, though. I'm just rambling now, so I'll stop.


    "Knowledge is a thing that one cannot have enough of. It is the fruit of wisdom, to be eaten carefully and digested fully..." -BJ

    “I wish to thank all the breweries who manufactured all the ale which got me so sodden drunk, that I got the inspiration to write this book.” -BJ


    Me: "Wait for it...wait for it...MARSHANK REDEMPTION!"
    My friend: "Comments section on 'Escape from Marshank'."
    Me: You've gotta spoil everything, don't ya?"
    Him: "Yup."

  7. #7
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schröder View Post
    With "Listen" I was expecting some sort of anti-weeping angel, when the Doctor started telling Clara about how there could be something so perfectly evolved to hide, and how there could be a "companion" with them for their life. I don't know, that's just what came to mind when he said that, and thought that is would be pretty cool to have such a thing, like the angels where they can't do anything if you look at them, but instead of that, they could only do things if never seen at all. Or something. I liked how it ended up, though. I'm just rambling now, so I'll stop.
    Now that would've been interesting, kind of like an anti-guardian angel of sorts. To be fair, the episode did leave it open that the creatures do exist, particularly the scenes with young Danny.

    Ha, and don't worry too much about rambling, this is a forum after all! They're meant for rambling!
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  8. #8
    President of The Long Patrol Martin the Warrior's Avatar
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    I won't go through every single episode, but I will say that on the whole I've really enjoyed the season so far. I think a lot of how I'll look back on it will depend on how they stick the landing, however.

    Positives:
    • Capaldi. Just really doing a phenomenal job as the Doctor. He still feels like he's breaking into the regeneration in a way Tennant and Smith never did, but I think it really works for him and helps sell the introspective "What makes the Doctor tick?" approach the season is going for.
    • The episodes. Series 6 got too focused on the River arc, while Series 7 felt disjointed with the first-half-Ponds/second-half-Clara structure. Series 7's episodes especially felt like a set of mini-movies with very little connection to one another except for the odd-off mention. By contrast, Series 8 has managed to find the perfect balance of standalone adventures that nevertheless function as if they do lead into one another. And keeping the Missy arc/subplot on the back-burner kept it intriguing without being tiresome. Again, the finale will have to stick the landing or not.


    Neutral:
    • Clara. On the one hand, she's a more well-rounded character this go around. The bickering dynamic between her and Capaldi is loads of fun to watch. On the other, I think she's been a little unreasonable this season. For somebody who jumped into the Doctor's timestream and knew all incarnations-- beyond that, someone who literally was just on an adventure with three of them at once-- her trouble adjusting to the new regeneration never made a lot of sense story-wise, nor did her sudden mistrust of the Doctor (too quickly ready to believe the worst). So I'm in the middle where I can either take her or leave her.
    • Danny Pink. It could be because he's under utilized right now. But there's a small part of me hoping that early rumors about him pan out because I think it would make for some epic storytelling. But I'll say no more until the series has wrapped up. Ask me about it then.


    Negatives:
    • The constant anti-soldier stuff. That grated, if for no other reason than the Brigadier. I can accept the Doctor having a general dislike for soldiers, but not being prejudiced against them. I have to believe it's leading somewhere, though.
    • A lack of Gallifrey. With all the attention spent to saving Gallifrey in the 50th, with the explanation of the cracks and the new regeneration cycle in the Christmas Special, the search for Gallifrey that many thought would drive the season has instead been strangely absent. I want to see the 50th special from the other side.


    That's a quick overview, in any event, while I catch up.
    ~Martin the Warrior~
    -President of The Long Patrol

    "A poet is a musician who can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart, and some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens."
    ~The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

  9. #9
    Patroller Schröder's Avatar
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    I just watched the Christmas special, and it was messed up. Like, Inception messed up. Dreams in dreams in dreams... And it was good, and I didn't want it to end.

    Unless that's what they want, and I was/am dreaming, and none of this is real, but instead a fabrication of memory and semi-reality meant to distract me and keep me content while things happen. And at this very moment Santa Claus of all people is trying to get me out, is he real? is he part of the distraction? I don't even know...

    That's why I liked it...


    "Knowledge is a thing that one cannot have enough of. It is the fruit of wisdom, to be eaten carefully and digested fully..." -BJ

    “I wish to thank all the breweries who manufactured all the ale which got me so sodden drunk, that I got the inspiration to write this book.” -BJ


    Me: "Wait for it...wait for it...MARSHANK REDEMPTION!"
    My friend: "Comments section on 'Escape from Marshank'."
    Me: You've gotta spoil everything, don't ya?"
    Him: "Yup."

  10. #10
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Now you've got me interested in seeing it. To be honest, I still have to watch the final three episodes of Season 8. Not really looking forward to it to be completely honest, but your description for the Christmas episode gives me some hope that I'll enjoy it.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

  11. #11
    Dibbun T.W.'s Avatar
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    I only got into the show last year (in fact, the first episode I sat down and watched was The Day of the Doctor premiere), but I was hooked immediately. I've watched at least a couple stories with each Doctor now, the complete New Series, as well as a number of Big Finish audio plays. The only reason I've had the chance to watch it all in such short time was because my whole family got interested in it when I did, except my sister who only likes 10 and 11. I think my favorites are Pertwee, C. Baker, and Capaldi, but I enjoy all of them.

    I really enjoyed last year's series. I enjoyed just about every episode and thought episodes like Deep Breath and Robot of Sherwood were great, while Mummy was an instant classic practically pulled straight from the Tom Baker era. My only problem was how Clara-centric the series was. Flatline was good, but not an episode I need to see again. Kill the Moon had some great acting, but was an overall ridiculous plot. I honestly don't see the love everyone has for Last Christmas. It's funny and I love the Doctor's distaste in a horror movie called Alien, but I didn't think it was anywhere as good as A Christmas Carol or some other episodes. (It was certainly better than Ten's first episode or Eleven's second Christmas special).

    Spoiler!
    "In my books there is life and death. Goodies get killed as well as baddies. It’s not like Walt Disney where there are singing teapots and we all go over the hill singing bobbidy-bobbidy-boo at the end so goodies get killed as well as baddies." -Brian Jacques

  12. #12
    Patroller Mulchior Lancer's Avatar
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    Doctor Who does have that ability to put you under its spell and cause you to rush through it once its got its claws in you. The same thing happened to me when I got into it. I need to watch more classic Who, as I haven’t seen any of Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, or Paul McGann material. I’d love to check out the Big Finish stuff, but I lack the funds to do so.

    For favorite Doctors, Smith is my all time favorite, followed by Tennant, Troughton, and Pertwee. I think Pertwee is a fantastic Doctor, with Inferno being one of the best Who episodes I’ve seen. I wish there were more Troughton episodes available, because after Smith, I think he’d be the Doctor I’d most like to travel with.

    I still have to see the final three episodes of Season 8 (and the Christmas episode), but it’s been an okay season. I actually really liked Flatline, though it features a concept I wanted to use for a story. Robot of Sherwood remains my favorite of the season. And as for Kill the Moon, it might be one of my most hated episodes I’ve ever seen. That ending was just stupid, and I knew it was going to happen. Pyramids of Mars does a much better job using the same kind of concept. As for the Mummy episode, I liked it up until the hologram of the train went away and the real plot began. I liked it better a the faux historical/futuristic tone for the first half. Still, it was a good episode.
    “Aha! Today I shall become an author! And I will auth and auth and auth and make a squillion dollars, whoopee!”
    -Brian Jacques

    My Story Blog

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