All New Who

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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:34 pm

{{ Sadly we will probably see a lot of this in the reporting of Who now- this is from a Daily Mail article ostensibly about Jodie Whittaker meeting some fans, signing some autographs and receiving some fan gifts-

'The actress also showcased her slim physique in her skinny-fit navy jeans while adding a touch edge with her funky ankle boots.
Her blonde bob skimmed her shoulders while she showed off dewy clear skin with a make-up free look.
Eager fans waited to speak to the beauty...'

Odd, they never went into such detail on the physical appearence of any of the male Doctors. }}}



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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:25 pm

{{ I can recommend RTD's The Writer's Tale for anyone interested in the stress and hassles and what goes into writing Who. Its a good read.
And full of interesting stuff.
I have found it fascinating how loose and rough (though not surprising) the initial series ideas can be when first submitted.
Series 4 is a good example as its generally considered one of the best series of RTD era.
The first episode which introdues Donna as a new companion gets this for its summary in the series 4 outline written by Russel-

4.1 - NEW COMPANION
The Doctor meets his new companion, they solve an alien threat, and then sail off together. Modern-day Earth. Possibly a CGI monster.

An the iconic Pompeii episode was a second choice- the original episode to go there was this-

4.3 - NAZIS

'World War II. Monsters on the loose in the Natural History Museum as a Nazi strike-force invades. FIRSTDRAFT SCRIPT AVAILABLE, but with changes to come.The museum could be a London shoot for a few days, if we can use the interior of the Natural History Museum,but we'll need Cardiff corridors and rooms as well, if they can match. Plus, an Indiana Jones-type chamber hidden beneath, with sliding stone doors and stuff.'

RTD gave Pompeii as an alternative as he was worried about revisiting WW2 again, but largely dismissed the idea for Pompeii on the basis they probably couldn't pull off the scenes necessary on the budget.

And some episode (in this case fortunately I think!) never got made at all-

4.8 - CENTURY HOUSE

A double-bank episode.'All Doctor. Companion-lite (she sits at home and watches the whole thing on TV with her mum; hopefully, one day's filming with her). The Doctor goes live on reality TV show Most
Haunted to track down the ghost of the Red Widow. A big, old, abandoned,spooky house, like on a cliff top. OB vans and trucks with cables ringed around the house. Certain rooms will flashback to the 1950s or '60s. A big fire sequence towards the end - a couple of rooms burning.'

Its clear that a large part of these series summaries the head writer submits are more concerned with logistics than the plot as such- where can we film in, will it need cgi ect. And this remains the case, as Peter Capaldi in a recent interview said that Moffat sits him down before every series and gives him the series episode by episode- then when Capaldi turns up finally for the read throughs half the stuff is gone or changed.

But its fascinating to see the process.

Character evolution is another interesting one- this is what RTD was thinking about the new companion that ended up as Donna (Catherine Tate).

'Never mind schedules, and actors, and bollocks I've found a companion's soundtrack! And I'm excited about Penny.
Thoughts I've had about Penny, prior to this: a bit older, maybe 30+ (are we losing all the little girls in the audience?), smarter, sassier. All of us loved Catherine Tate and that sort of repartee with the Doctor.

At the RadioTimes Covers Party, Jane Tranter (the BBC's Controller of Fiction) said to me, 'Can't we bring back Donna for a few episodes?' Hmm, no. There are tentative Maybe plans for everyone to come back in cameos for 4.12/4.13, including Donna, so let's keep our powder dry for that. But we all liked Donna's equal-status sparkiness, independence,sharpness - Hang on. Back to Penny. What's her job?! Journalist?It worked for Sarah Jane. In 4.4/4.5, there's going to be an Earth research base that needs investigating. Maybe.
Also, Penny is northern. It's my love of northern, and my ability to write that speech pattern. I actually miss it.But we've told Andy Pryor, 'Don't limit your thinking to northern.' That would be stupid. We've just got to get the best. Andy lives in his great big Casting Maybe all the time. He's already thinking. Sheridan Smith? Someone like a younger Sarah Parish? That ability to really banter with the Doctor, to match him. And to love him, actually. Under all this is my need to write The Doctor In Love again. I think we've handled it exactly right for Series Three: he'd never fall in love with Martha, because he can't just love the next woman to walk through the door, after Rose. That would cheapen the whole thing..... Penny is walking into the Doctor's life at just the right time. The first time that the Doctor sees Penny, it should be like — wham! Both hearts.'

So very, very glad this never came to fruition, another RTD Doctor in love saga would have been terrible! But interesting that as RTD is spewing out ideas at this point he hits on this -

'Northern also gives Penny a northern mother. Lovely! Maybe a bit posh. Maybe lottery-winner posh. I miss the funny mum. Little voice in the Maybe, a little doubt whispering away: 'You've done funny mum. Lots of funny mums, in fact. Rose's. Even Donna's. What about a funny dad?' But dads aren't funny. Yes, that's not fair, and probably not true. But tough.
Or what about a grandfather? Nice old bloke, gentle, sweet, telescope in his shed - he's always been the stargazer. He's the one who waves Penny off, tears in his eyes. It's all unashamed sentiment in the Maybe. I'd planned that grandad for Martha, vaguely, but he never appeared. He lingers on.They do that, the Characters In Search Of An Author.'

That grandfather character was eventually Wilf- probably my favourite secondary companion in the RTD era.

Its a very interesting read- I think folk that dont write underestimate was a weirdly messy busy it is and how what you start writing and what you end up with can be as much a surprise to the author as to anyone else. }}

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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:06 pm

{{Love this! }}


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Re: All New Who

Post by malickfan on Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:33 pm

You heard of this series Petty?

http://www.dwcompletehistory.com/

I don't have the space or money to subscribe, but I got the volume on the TV Movie and have found it a really interesting (and good value) read, absolutely packed with info on the genesis, develop, production, design etc of the story/cast/crew, lots of photographs as well, I'm considering picking up more of the volumes on other stories at a later date.

On the subject of McGann I'm currently re-listening to the Dark Eyes boxsets, epic, timey wimey stuff, for audioplays they weirdly often manage to be more visual than the TV stories...

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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:38 am

{{No thats new to me Malick- but very interesting indeed. Bookmarked for a closer look when time permits- thanks.
Think Ive heard some of the Dark Eyes stuff but not all of it.}}

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Re: All New Who

Post by malickfan on Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:10 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{No thats new to me Malick- but very interesting indeed. Bookmarked for a closer look when time permits- thanks.
Think Ive heard some of the Dark Eyes stuff but not all of it.}}

I've seen those Complete History books for sale in Forbidden Planet and WH Smith R.R.P £9.99 (which is rather reasonable for a partwork i.m.o, the TV Movie volume was 130 pages long and very interesting/sturdily put together) though some of the earlier volumes are being sold on Amazon cheaper, and I'd assume you'd save money by subscribing. IIRC 80 Volumes have been planned so far, only going up to the end of Capaldi's first series (though one or more 'appendix' volumes covering the minisodes, extra episodes, Webcasts and Cushing Movies has also been mentioned as a possibility), though it's possible they might extend the series:

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Complete_History

Apparently the company doing these books is also considering doing partworks of the various Doctor Who comics, and the old Target Novelizations...

(Just finished Dark Eyes 2, excellent stuff, Frank Skinner was in it in a brief pre-Perkins cameo as a soldier)

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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:56 am

{{Ever noticed in NuWho how often the Doctor has got slapped- heres just some of the best ones-



and not to leave 12 out, sadly I couldn't find a clip of Clara slapping him in Into the Dalek so a threat from Kill the Moon will have to do-



Thing is the Doctor is often an unfeeling, insensitive, alien or a bit of an arrogant dick and is often in need of a good slap. But will we see 13 ever be slapped in such a fashion? Or will those days be gone simply because she is a woman? And should it make a difference? Is it actually sexist not to have someone slap her because she is woman when if she were still a man in the script they would?}}}

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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:19 am

{{Nice trailer for the 3rd Doctor era- the action Doctor!}}}


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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:31 pm

{{Ok this one is a bit out of left field- rumoured companion for 13!

'Bradley Walsh, the former Coronation Street star and quiz-show host, will reportedly be Doctor Who's new companion. Although the news has yet to be made official, Walsh has reportedly been informed of the decision.
“But, crucially, it won’t affect his role as presenter of The Chase. He loves that show with a passion and so does the audience, so he’s delighted to have found a way to make it all work”
Instead, the presenter will drop sports quiz Play to the Whistle and daytime quiz Cash Trapped.'

Worth noting however the paper this story broke in was the Daily Mirror and they have a very spotty history on Who inside stories. Think I'll wait for confirmation on this one.
If he is cast however means not only a main male companion, but an actor considerably older than the actor playing the Doctor. }}}

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Re: All New Who

Post by halfwise on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:35 pm

Makes sense to have a male companion to a female doctor. Keeps the typical dynamic going, though with a twist. A twist that could be worth watching for!

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Re: All New Who

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:15 pm

I like Bradley Walsh, he was great in Law and Order UK. and he acted with the actress who played  Martha Jones so there is a Who connection of sorts.

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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:51 pm

{{I like him too, The Chase is the best quiz on tv right now. And I know he can act a bit.
He has a stronger DW link than that Figg- he played a villain in the Sarah Jane Adventures. He has also worked for Chibnal before.
Not so much surprised at a male companion- that was pretty much expected, more that they would pick an actor who is 57 years old for it- I think that would make him the oldest full time companion ever.}}

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Re: All New Who

Post by malickfan on Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:44 pm


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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:39 pm

{{{ You've got to hope Chibnal has the good sense to try to talk her into working for him too. I know she has said she feels like its time for her move on with Capaldi and Moffat as they had such a good working chemistry between them- but I think her love of Who will get the better of her eventually, I hope. Best director in Who's history- there I've said it! But name me anyone who is better than her! }}}

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Re: All New Who

Post by malickfan on Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:49 pm


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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:06 am

{{{ Damn it I haven't got all the War Doctor set yet!!! Mad Wonder, as these are prequels if I should go for them first and then do the War Doctor ones, or if they are written assuming you have already heard the War Doctor ones?- hard to know given its a Time War.
If you get the 8th Doctor stories Malick let me know if they'd be ok to listen to first. }}

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Re: All New Who

Post by malickfan on Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:57 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:
If you get the 8th Doctor stories Malick let me know if they'd be ok to listen to first.

I get all the 8th Doctor stories anyway so yeah I will.

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{{ Damn it I haven't got all the War Doctor set yet!!!  Mad Wonder, as these are prequels if I should go for them first and then do the War Doctor ones, or if they are written assuming you have already heard the War Doctor ones?- hard to know given its a Time War. }}



I've got the War Doctor sets but I've listened to just the first two so far (which were both really good...so sad Hurt passed away before he could do anymore, they had actually finished several of the  scripts for the next run of boxsets...I wonder if they will be adapting any of those scripts for the 8th Doctor? Or maybe releasing them as short stories or something?) so I'm not an expert on the range, but as I understand it the War Doctor boxsets are largely stand alone, and set centuries into the Time War so they didn't have any references to the 8th Doctor that I can recall, I'm assuming these 8th Doctor sets are considered prequels more in the sense they are just set before, rather than tying in directly (the Character Of Cardinal Ollistra appears, plus the daleks obviously in both ranges, but that's the only major link that I can see), but time (Razz ) will tell...

Worth noting they have already done 3 other 8th Doctor Doctor Time War stories: Classic Doctors: New Monsters 1.4 'The Sontaran Ordeal', Classic Doctors New Monsters 2.4 'The Day Of The Vashta Nerada' and The Diary Of River Song 1.4 'The Rulers Of The Universe'.

If you haven't got them yet, I'd very much recommend the follow up series to Dark Eyes, Doom Coalition as well (well, the 2nd boxset is a bit underwhelming, but sets 1,3 and 4 are fantastic i.m.o) full of surprising twists and turns, a great variation  of stories and settings, and an epic arc that wasn't as reliant on technobabble and timey-wimey as Dark Eyes, 8 Liv and Helen make a fantastic tardis team (and The Eleven a very unusual villain), and all 3 are returning for another run of soon to be announced boxsets....

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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:05 pm

{{ Thanks Malick- was the presence of reoccurring characters made me wonder- but you'd hope they would make them so if your doing a run of all 8 they fit in order without jumping about Doctors!
Think I will order the 8 ones first simply because I'm a big 8 fan.

On a different note why do we not have any soundtracks for the Capaldi era? Whats going on BBC Worldwide? Gold's been knocking it out the park the last couple of series and we have nothing Mad

Hers a favourite section from The Doctor Falls, Missy and the Master's final scene together and the Doctor Falls, a reworking of the beautiful Heaven Sent theme. Starts at 34.40 }}}


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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:29 am

{{{Lovely little scene from the Magician Apprentice- Missy and a tied up Clara consider the Doctor. }}}


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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:21 pm

{{ OK this is one of those settle in for the night, pour yourself a buckie, a wine, put a brew on, whatever your tipple and have a read! Your thoughts on it are very welcome.

The Capaldi Era- a study of the Doctor.

Been rewatching the 12th Doctor run from the start and its clear that there is one driving factor underlying the whole thing which marks it out in Who's entire run- more than any other era it is a study of the character of the Doctor, of what makes him tick and be who he is.
The question of why the Doctor does what he does is set up from the initial episode, Deep Breath, with the question of why the Doctor has chosen the face he has for this regeneration, even if it is on a subconscious level. He doesn't know, but he knows there is a reason for it.

Doctor-I never know where the faces come from. They just pop up. Faces like this one. Come, come look at it. Look, look, look. Its covered in lines, but I didn't do the frowning. Who frowned me this face?....Why this one? Why did I choose this face? Like I'm trying to tell myself something, trying to make a point. But what is so important I can't just tell myself what I think?

It sets up the theme of exploring parts of the Doctors character in a new way as the face in fact expresses the fact as the Doctor, he saves people no matter what, and the eventual consequences of actually trying to do that by the end of series 9.

The second episode Dalek gives us insight into how the Doctor calculates the odds of survival and at what price- striped of his previous incarnations pleasantries he seems cold and harsh, even though he is only doing what he always does- finding the only way out- but now with a brutal honesty that lets the viewer see those actions for what they are in the cold light of day. That harsh reality to his actions, the cold calculation of probabilities of survival and of doing what must be done when you have to do it is preempted in the script, as a warning to the viewer of what is to come, in the exchange where the Doctor introduces Clara to the soldiers-

Doctor- This is Clara, she is, not my assistant..some other word.
Clara- I'm his carer.
Doctor- Yeah, she cares so I don't have to.

By striping him back like this of the more fluffy fun way he previously did things we as viewers are forced to review how we see his actions. This of course is why the overt theme of the series is the question of if the Doctor is a good man or not. A theme first asserted in Deep Breath with the death of Half-Face Man and the ambiguity over if he jumped or if the Doctor pushed him.
We are being forced here to confront our own assumptions about the Doctor and how he goes about saving worlds just as the Doctor, at the beginning of a new set of regenerations is contemplating just who he is after all this time and what he does and if its all worth it in the balance of things.

In Robots of Sherwood we get to see what it is makes the Doctor the hero, this episode is all about heroes, hence Robin Hood being in it and real. Like Robin the Doctor never sets out to save anyone, his problem is the same as the Doctor's. The Doctor cant walk on by, he never could. He has to help because its the right thing to do. Another big 12 theme.
This is summed up in the final exchange between the Doctor and Robin-

Doctor - I am still having a hard time believing your story.
Robin- Is it that hard to credit? That a man born into wealth and privilege would find the plight of the weak and oppressed too much too bear?.... Until one night he is moved to steal a TARDIS and fly among the stars fighting the good fight.

But its also shown when the Doctor frees the prisoners- at no point does he do it for any other reason than people are suffering and he can help, and it is only when Marion thanks him that he has a moments realisation that he has just acted the hero, despite himself and with no conscious thought to be one. This idea that he is not a hero by choice or design but by inclination of his character to help where and when he can will come up again and again in 12's run.

The next really overt case of this is in the fourth episode, Listen. Here we are shown a Doctor driven by a conviction based on something which happened to him as a child and how that incident helped form his views, as conveyed to him by Clara in the 'fear is a superpower' speech.
And that touches on another strong reoccurring theme in 12's run- the paradoxical nature of the life of a time traveler and therefore of the time traveler themselves. Parts of the Doctors character are informed by events which have yet to occur.
We also learn that the Doctor is essentially driven by fear, he doesn't fight monsters because monsters dont scare him, he fights monsters because they scare him. Despite his occasional bravado on the subject. This taken with the later "I must play my part, the man who stops the monsters" speech in Flatline we are shown that the Doctor is almost like a costume he wears, he is as he says playing a part, the role of the Doctor who fights the monsters. This idea of the Doctor as a persona comes up again at the start of the next series in conversation with Davros when the Doctor admits "On a good day, if I try really hard, I'm not just some old Time Lord who ran away. I'm the Doctor."

In Time Heist we see how the Doctor will not only manipulate everyone involved to achieve his ends but he will also if necessary manipulate himself too. The extremes he goes to in order to free and preserve the last pair of a species from bondage show both that his motivations have not changed, but his methods have. The Doctor has been manipulative before, particularly in his 7th incarnation, but here it tells us something else about him- the reason why he does it is two fold- its firstly the right thing to do but secondly he is asked for help. Not at gun point, but by a dying woman full of regret. A horrible nasty women in her younger years, but nevertheless now just someone asking to put right a great wrong. 12 does not judge her morality he only sees the bigger picture of saving the species.
He also never refuses someone asking for hep- in Dalek we saw with Journey he refuses to deal at gunpoint, but he will do as she asks when she does so politely and saying please, and in the next series he tells Davros the main reason he came was because Davros was dying and asked. Its 12's sense of doing the right thing. But the fact that he is wiling to risk his own and especially other peoples lives as the only means to achieve it on a risky venture, that he is willing to be the person who makes the big decision to put other peoples lives on the line to achieve his aim, he hates.
12 is brutally honest in his actions and often with himself- he has done the right thing but the method endangered several people and might not have worked. All this is summed up in the moment the Doctor makes the realisation that he is the Architect who set the whole thing up-

Doctor- Clara, what do I know about the Architect? I know one thing about the Architect. Something I have known from the very start. I hate him! He is overbearing. He is manipulative. He likes to think that he is very clever. I hate him! Clara Don't you see? I hate the Architect!

The Doctors reoccurring self-loathing reappears, as too does the question of just how far is justified to achieve an end? And does the Doctor have the right to make these decisions for people?

Next up we have the Caretaker, on the surface a romantic comedy with a psychotic scifi robot thrown in. But this one confronts 12's views on soldiers and the military- throughout the series we are given a paradoxical view of this. He acknowledges the virtues of Journey Blue in Into the Dalek, yet rejects her as a companion on the grounds she is a soldier with a soldiers training.
In the Caretaker the issue comes up directly when ex-soldier Danny confronts him and accuses the Doctor of being Officer class-

Danny- Thats why he is talking like that. He is being clever.
Doctor- Now you mention it, being a Time Lord I can feel a light-shield aura when its right next to me.
Danny- Time Lord? Might have known.
Doctor- Might have known what?
Danny- Well the accents good but you can always spot the aristocracy it's in the, attitude. Now Time Lords, do you salute those?
Doctor- Definitely not.
Danny- (saluting) Sir!
Doctor- You do not call me Sir.
Danny- As you wish Sir! Absolutely Sir!
Doctor- You can get out of my TARDIS!
Danny- Immediately Sir! One thing Clara I'm a soldier, guilty as charged. You see him, he's an Officer.
Doctor- I am not an Officer.
Danny- I'm the one who carries you out the fire, he's the one who lights it.
Doctor- Out now.
Danny- Right away Sir. Straight now?
Doctor- Yes.
Danny- Am I dismissed?
Doctor- Yes you are!
Danny- That's him, look at him right now. That's who he is.

Danny is pushing all sorts of buttons here- firstly the Doctor is both aristocracy- born to one of the High Noble Gallifreyean Houses, and an Officer, we know men served under him during the Time War as we see at least one soldier later who served under him at Skull Moon in that war. And we also know he served on the front line. And the last 900 years of 11's life were spent not in an official military capacity but in marshaling several generations of inhabitants to defend their town against a near thousand year siege.
These events explain 12's attitude to soldiers and military, it's largely self-loathing which the Doctor is good at, or as he might say he has a lot to loathe. Yet to save the day he nearly always has to assume the 'officer' role in a situation, taking charge, coming up with plans and strategies, and he often even resorts to military means or solutions if none other are present to take. Again its that paradoxical side to the Doctor, highlighted to 10 by Davros when Davros said of him, "the man who abhors violence, never carrying a gun, but this is the truth Doctor, you take ordinary people and you fashion them into weapons."
That the Doctor has had close friends in the military and relied upon them at times and that conflict with his disdain for the military mindset and aims is addressed with in the series finale with the Brigadier and the Doctor resolving some of his conflict through interaction with Danny so that he finally salutes Cyberbrig after all these years of never being able to do so.
But the overall questions we are forced to ask with 12 is when is the line crossed between doing good for a good reason and doing bad for a good reason and what's the difference? When is going too far to do the right thing too far? And who decides? The answer is the Doctor decides. But with 12 we are pushed to ask is he right?

Kill the Moon- this is important for what it says about the Doctor and companions. Clara snaps finally in this one at how 12 goes about things compared to her experience with him previously as 11. Though he does the same things in the end- save the day- he often simply expects Clara to deal with extreme situations. This was first evident in the opening episode Deep Breath when he seemingly left her to her fate with the half-face robot. But put under extreme pressure she never lost faith somehow it was all part of a plan, he would not really abandon her, she rallied despite her terror and asked all the right questions to get the information the Doctor needed. Something the Doctor remarks on when she calls him out afterwards for abandoning her-

"yeah, sorry about that. Actually, no I'm not sorry. You're brilliant on adrenaline."

12 basically is simply not willing to mollycoddle or pretend to cushion Clara the way 11 did. After all they have been through together he knows she is capable of more and he is willing to throw her in there to prove it. Which brings us back to Kill the Moon- where the Doctor again abandons her, this time to make a huge moral decision with the fate of the planet in the balance.
This episode touches on another emerging theme of this series- lies.
With 11 lying was almost a virtue- rule 1 the Doctor lies. Paradoxically with 12 he still lies when he feels he needs too, for a greater good, yet his very personality is a stripping away of the usual lies the Doctor surrounds himself with to make himself more human friendly.
When he told Clara that actually no he was not sorry he had lied to her- that was the truth, it always has been the truth- he has ever cared if he has lied, he has always been satisfied with is own reasons for doing so, but 10 and 11's personalities inclined them to say things like 'sorry' because it was the sort of thing humans would say- he never has meant it. He is not human he is an alien, trying to fit in.
This is touched upon in Deep Breath in the scene with Vastra where she tells Clara that the Doctor wears his face like she wears her veil, to conceal her true self and to be accepted. 10 and 11 were veiled by the pretense of human niceties to more easily be accepted by their human companions. 12 has stripped that veil back. He is the most honest version of the Doctor in personality. Yet it is lies which will plague the relationship between him, Clara and Danny till the end of the series.

The lying comes to the fore in the next episode, Mummy on the Orient Express, where we get the Doctor forcing Clara into lying to someone that he can save them and we also see more of how seemingly callous the Doctor can be in the face of people dying when the greater need forces his hand.

Engineer- A man just died in front of us, can we not just have a moment?

Doctor- No, no, no. We can't do that. We can't mourn. People with guns to their heads they cannot mourn. We do not have time to mourn.

The Doctor's entire attitude is summed up in his final analysis to Clara-

Clara- So you were pretending, to be heartless?
Doctor- Would you like to think that about me? Would that make it easier? I didn't know if I could save her, I couldn't save Quall I couldn't save Moorhouse. There was a good chance she would have died too. At which point I would just have moved onto the next, and the next until I beat it. Sometimes there are no good choices, but you still have to choose.

And this episode wraps up by returning to the question of why the Doctor does what he does, what makes him the man who saves the day?

Clara- Do you love it?
Doctor- Love what?
Clara- I know its scary and difficult but do you love being the man making the impossible choice
Doctor Why would I?
Clara- Because its what you do. All day, every day.
Doctor- Its my life.
Clara- Doesn't have to be. Is it like, an addiction?
Doctor- Well you cant really tell if something is an addiction unless you try to give it up.
Clara- And you never have.

The Doctors companions and choice of companions are another theme of this series, and will come up again in the finale. With Clara we have a natural exploration of something inherent to the role of companion.
All companions start out green and end up expert time travelers showing bravery, confidence, courage ect- it is necessary to allow them to fully participate in the plots. In the end all companions in a way become more like the Doctor.
Rory is a good example of this- in his first adventure with 11 he accuses the Doctor of not realising how dangerous he makes people to themselves when they try to impress him. But by the end of his time on the show he is a seasoned time traveler braving dangers himself for the Doctor, although he is at least more self aware of it than most as in The Girl Who Waited -"This isn't fair. You are turning me into you."

With Clara we have this journey taken through to his logical conclusion.
And the next episode along, Flatline is where this comes to the fore.
Here we have companion acting in the role of the Doctor giving us a fresh perspective on how the Doctor acts and giving the Doctor an outside perspective on his own actions.

Clara- I just hope I can keep them all alive.
Doctor- Ha, ha. Welcome to my world. So what's next Doctor Clara?
Clara- Lie to them.
Doctor- What?
Clara- Lie to them. Give them hope tell them they're all going to be fine. Isn't that what you would do?
Doctor- In a manner of speaking. It's true that people with hope tend to run faster people who think they are doomed..
Clara- Dawdle. End up dead.
Doctor- So that's what I sound like?

Clara by this point was the longest serving NuWho companion as such she acts more like the Doctor than any other and this in turn allows the viewer to reflect on how the Doctor acts when we see the same actions performed by another character. The increasing hostility towards this arc and towards the show becoming the 'Clara Who' show is interesting therefore in this context.
Clara is what happens when someone starts to become as used to the time traveling and the danger as the Doctor does and who emulates him, forcing us to question just what sort of a long term influence the Doctor is on someone and is it for their good really?
It is not so much that we are ever told exactly why the Doctor does what he does, but we are being asked to consider how we feel about what he does when his actions are stripped away of their usual warmer more user-friendly cover.

The episode comes back around both to the subject of lying- that the Doctor does it for the greater good, calling it "an essential survival skill, and a terrible habit," and with Clara lying as Danny calls that its not him calling.
But it also again raises the question of just what is goodness, what is the price worth paying where the end result can still be called good? The bad guys are dead, the planets safe but people died for it to happen along the way.
There is an important line from the Doctor here, when the least likeable of the humans in the group is the one who survives the Doctor comments that of those who survive maybe some were the 'wrong ones'. Good people died, bad lived, there is no arbitrator begging the question should there be? And should the Doctor put himself in the position to decide? And does he in fact not already do that? This is of course a big question that will be posed again in the finale by Missy.
His reply to Clara on her instance he admit she had made a good Doctor is of course telling-

Doctor-You were an exceptional Doctor Clara. Goodness had nothing to do with it.

In the Forest of the Night we see more of a reflection of the Doctor on Clara when confronted with the puzzle of what has happened she is more concerned with working it out than with the people-

Clara- See, question is how did it get here? Have they just grown overnight or have we been asleep for years, like Sleeping Beauty?
Danny- No, the question is, how are we going to get these kids home?
Clara- Oh, yeah, absolutely, that is the question.

Like the Doctor her response is to immediately assume its something she can work out and so fix. Individuals are just secondary to saving everyone if possible, even children.

The two part finale Dark Water and Death in Heaven bring a lot of themes naturally together.
We get more on what companions mean to the Doctor, both in Clara's betrayal of him and in the speech at the end. The issue of lying comes back to the fore as does the matter of what does make a person good? And how far and by what means can you act to bring about good before you stop being good?
Its starts with Clara and her grief and guilt at the senseless death of Danny, killed whilst distractedly crossing the road talking on the phone with her. Just as Clara had finally decided no more lies and to tell him the full truth.
The harshness of the reality of this combined with Clara increasingly seeing things more like the Doctor comes out in her description to her Gran of Danny's death-

Gran- Of course your not all right. You know what you should do? You should cry. Let go.
Clara- Of what?
Gran- Its just a terrible thing, a terrible, terrible thing.
Clara- It wasn't terrible. It was boring. It was ordinary. People just kept walking with their i-pods and their shopping bags. He was alive and then he wasn't, it was nothing, like stepping off a bus.
Gran- He deserved better, and so did you.
Clara- I dont deserve anything. None of us deserves anything. But I am owed better. I am owed.

This entire sentiment is mirrored in the following series finale when the Doctor tells the head of the Sisterhood that the universe owes him. In both cases grief is a motivating factor and more importantly the refusal to accept the unfairness, the lack of judgement in the universe and in its arbitrary nature of who lives and dies and how.
Clara understands the cold harsh truth of things, but she refuses to accept it. As too does the Doctor which is why he is always running, otherwise the guilt of all those he couldn't save or had to sacrifice along the way to save millions more would catch up with him and haunt him. He has to keep moving, saving more and more for the very reason Clara will not accept that cold reality of Danny's death- its not fair.
But that in turn raises the question if someone had the power to decide, who should have it?

This story also touches briefly on the Doctors beliefs- he basically doesn't have one in an afterlife, but is willing to entertain the notion of looking for one on the basis it would be nice if there was. His attitude to being told what is supposed to be happening with the dead and with communication with the recently deceased is of pure skepticism and impatience and he is in the end proved right. If there is an afterlife in the Whoverse its not confirmed here. What is conformed is that the Doctor doesn't believe there is one.

We return to companions with Clara's betrayal of the Doctor and attempted blackmail of him. The Doctor allows it to play out in order to see how far she will go, and the answer is to the very edge and over, taking him with her if necessary. In other words as far as he would himself prove to go eventually to save her by the finale of the following series.
The Doctors line to Clara- "Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?" reveals his depth of feelings towards his companions and his need for them to balance out his own alienness but more importantly immediately following this he helps Clara out of her emotional state of her grief and to action-

Doctor- Cut out the whining while your at it. We've got work to do. This is it Clara one of those moments. The darkest day, the darkest hour. Time to see what we are made of, you and I.

In order to help her he needs her at her best, aware, thinking, working, he needs Doctor Clara to help him not grieving human Clara. Note how he equates them both, 'you and I'. But by helping her in this way he is adding to the growing problem of her acting increasingly like him. Even when dealing with personal emotions of that magnitude. Clara's increasing tendency to do this, to put analytical thought ahead of her emotional will grow as time goes on and contribute to the decision which leads her to her death. But it was first pointed up in Forest.
Its also indicative of her tendency to compartmentalize her life, an order she tries to maintain and did so largely successfully with 11, keeping her everyday life separate from her life with the Doctor. But as she becomes more like the Doctor in attitude she is less capable of doing so and her life, juggling work, personal and Doctor becomes increasingly more chaotic and intermingled as a result. But again its a reflection of the seemingly haphazard way in the which the Doctor lives his life, careering from one event to another without plan.

Now we cant go further without talking abut Missy. Why the Master? Well the Master represents the question of where the line is between your actions being good and your actions not being good. Missy we see as being on the wrong side of the line, the Doctor on the right side of the line.
Missy however does not see herself that way. The Master sees the same harsh truths about existence the Doctor does, that there is no greater point to it all, no higher purpose, no after life, that the strongest and the most secure prosper regardless of their kindness or cruelty and that cruelty is often more effective. For the Master the universe is there to be dominated to be owned and taken, but the premise that conclusion is based on is the same as the Doctors. The stripped down direct, harsh 12 is not hiding from that truth he accepts it and still sees the beauty in the universe without the desire to seize it or covet it. Its why he calls himself an 'idiot' because he knows it is pointless but he chooses to act as if it matters. But the Master represents that point in childhood where they diverged from the same realisation to very different paths.
Missy wants acknowledgment that they are not so different because they aren't, at least not in what they both understand about the non-arbitrated nature of existence.
What Missy offers therefore- a solution to save the Earth where the only way out is to accept command of an ever growing army of cybermen, with the express purpose of being the Universal arbitrator is the solution to the problem posed all series about the unfair nature of the universe and who, if anyone should be the person who makes the big hard decisions and decides who lives and who dies.
This question of when your acts outweigh the good of your outcome can be traced at least back to the fourth Doctor questioning his right to wipe out the Daleks in their infancy, and noting that through fear of their evil much good was done, alliances and friendships forged that never otherwise would have been. He never had to answer the question then of if he had that right or not.
Here Missy presents him with a similar moral dilemma. With an army of cybermen he could end wars, save slaves in Daleks camps, destroy the Daleks themselves once and for all.
12 however does have an answer, and it comes down to companions and the realisation he is none of the things he has been accused of-

Doctor- I am not a good man, but I'm not a bad one either. Nor am I an officer. Do you know what I am? I am, an idiot. With a box and a screwdriver, passing through helping out. Learning. I don't need an army, I never have, because I have them. Always them.

On his own with an army of cybermen he would be no better than than the Master. But with a human companion or two he has his moral compass, whenever he is in doubt they are his guide to what is right.

But one theme remains overhanging, Clara and her continued journey. The series ends on lies. Lies for the greater good.
The Doctor lies to Clara about Gallifrey returning and tells her he is returning home at last so she can have a settled life with Danny. And Clara lies telling the Doctor that Danny has indeed returned when he is dead in order to let the Doctor go and be with his people. And so the series ends with them parting, neither knowing because of their lies for the other that their parting is unnecessary and really unwanted on both sides.

So to summarize series 8 sets up an examination of the Doctors actions and methods by reflecting them through his companion and by putting doubt in the viewers mind over if his actions can truly be said to be good, or if the ends do not always justify his means or the lives cost. The seemingly random and often cruel nature of events in the universe raise the question of if the Doctor should intervene on a large scale and if so does he have that right to? And are his judgements even sound enough to do so? The Doctors self conclusion is that the universe might well be randomly cruel but its also beautiful and wondrous too and he is going to choose to see that side of it and to love it anyway regardless. He is going to be a willing and happy idiot.

And that wraps up, at last I'm sure your thinking, my thoughts on series 8 of NuWHo and how its the first part of an examination of the character of the Doctor himself. Xmas episode and Series 9 to follow as I get time to marshal my thoughts. }}}


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: All New Who

Post by halfwise on Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:14 pm

Oh good grief.

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Re: All New Who

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:46 pm

{{{What?! Ok it's not short admittedly, but there is a lot to say about 12 and every episode is a piece in the puzzle. Although if that's to be the limit of the responses to the post then there might not be much demand for parts 2 and 3! }}}

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Re: All New Who

Post by David H on Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:40 pm

I'm gearing up for cranberry harvest, and all of the various preharvest inspections and certifications that go with it (an essential part of 21st century farming Rolling Eyes ) so I only gave this a scan I'm afraid. My quick comment is that I saw enough of 12 to follow some of what you're talking about, and where I do I mostly agree. I really enjoyed his character and I'm glad the writers had a deep backstory to give it all depth, but I remember thinking at the time I was watching that, if you think of these motivations as the "skeleton" that gives structure to a living breathing story, then there were often a few too many "rips" showing. It's always a tricky balance for writers and directors, and I'd rather see them go a little too deep than too shallow, but perhaps a little less obvious psychoanalysis would have less distracting?

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Re: All New Who

Post by halfwise on Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:13 pm

It's like Sherlock - the gay couple theme was great when it was no more than a playful joke, but then somebody thought any of would care about how they got there.  In real life you don't care about somebody's completely backstory unless you're both roaring drunk or in love (is there much difference?).    That may be a safe assumption for the likes of Petty, but most of us aren't in a state that we care to be bothered with that stuff.

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Re: All New Who

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:17 pm

It is normal to start academic works with a short and clear formulation of your research question/questions. Sofa Otherwise I applaud your effort in this runthrough, Petty.

Not having been through much of recent Who I'm not sure what I could contribute, but good to see someone putting this amount of critical thought into what they enjoy. Smile

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