Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
saoirse

S03.E07: Moondust

Recommended Posts


I actually prefer Tobias Menzies to Matt Smith in this role:  I just feel like Tobias, together with the writing of Philip this season, infused the character with a complexity that hadn’t come across before.  This episode was the first one (save a few scenes of the prior season’s flashback episode to Philip’s time at Gordonstoun) where I felt something for Philip the character beyond exasperation, frustration and contempt for his constant whining.  In this episode, at base, there were real factors driving his prickliness:  his mom had just died, and he had lost his faith.  He recognized that these things had driven him to be an ass, and was humbled enough to come back to the group and give what I found to be a quite moving speech that was part mea culpa, part plea for help:  I was genuinely moved.

That said, I agree with every single criticism of the episode that the grinding down of the astronauts to prop up Philip’s story really detracted from the effect that they were trying to achieve.  Coming on the heels of unfortunate portrayals of JFK, Johnson, and Jackie Kennedy, I’m definitely in the camp of getting tired of simplistic portrayals of American figures in service of story.

  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

However, that doesn't stop me from enjoying his portrayal, and the added nuance.

Menzies knows how to make a character odious! We got that on display in the first episode, when he ordered Blunt "Eyes left!" when he kissed his wife.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/2/2019 at 8:48 PM, Umbelina said:

It wasn't, at least in my experience, an "American" thing at all.  It was a human on the moon!  

When President Nixon called Armstrong, he didn't speak of human acievement, but an American one. 

On 12/2/2019 at 8:35 PM, Clanstarling said:

I also know from my same experience, that American activities- even those that advance humankind, are not of particular interest by some people in different countries, some of whom will actively ignore or reject anything American. Which, to be fair, how many of us know the names and accomplishments of all the Soviet Cosmonauts? Some, sure. But in general, people tend to be oriented toward their own national achievements.

I guess people of great countries are interested only in their own achievements. People of small countries can't be.

As for the US, one can't help knowing both good and bad things. In the end of 60ies and the beginning of 70ies the appreciation of the US was perhaps lowest because of Vietnam war. 

I remember the first Sputnik, the dog Laika and Yuri Gagarin, Gherman Titov, Valentina Tereshkova. Especially Gagarin was so different from the old Soviet type, with his smilig face - the Soviets really chose well. Even in 1986 a popular song was made "Childhood hero" whose refrain was "Fly Yuri Gagarin, come back alive".

On 12/2/2019 at 10:11 PM, Umbelina said:

It's not my biggest problem with the show either, but in the episode it was glaringly wrong, not just to the whole, tired "stupid lunkhead Americans" thing, but to the particular plot of Moondust.  It wrecked, rather than add to the whole Philip spiritually lost crap.

You ain't seen nothing yet. "Stupid lunkhead" and "uncivilized" (LBJ) are really little things compared to those nationalities who are always decribed as criminals, not to speak of terrorists.

You can comfort yourself that in order to keep the remnants of their self-esteem the British have to look down at Americans.

Edited by Roseanna · Reason: correcting grammar
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
45 minutes ago, Roseanna said:

You can comfort yourself that in order to keep the remnants of their self-esteem the British have to look down at Americans.

I'm just talking about the show, and was specifically talking about this episode.  I am not personally offended, just annoyed when it wrecks the flow of an episode, or when they bend over backwards twisting the facts (and their portrayals of Americans are the tip of the iceberg there.)

Also, I don't care what Nixon said, and of course politicians brag about their country's achievements.  Competition compels countries and people forward, sometimes to good, sometimes to evil.  

What I saw was a human being on the moon, which was absolutely incredible.  It was like science fiction come alive, and there were so many theories and old stories, and no one REALLY knew what would happen.  I would have been just as riveted if the first humans on the moon were Russians...will they live?  will they sink in?  will they get back?  why did they go to manual controls, is something wrong?  (etc.)

As an American child, I suppose I was proud that "we" did it, but the fascination part?  It wouldn't have mattered to me WHO did it, just that it was actually happening.  I also liked JFK, and was glad that his dream of the USA putting a man on the moon came true.  So, there was that part.

Edited by Umbelina
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

On 11/18/2019 at 3:38 PM, andromeda331 said:

Also, one thing I'm surprised no one brought up and I really expected it was pointing out Armstrong and Aldrin completed their biggest achievement. Collins might still have one and hopes of walking on the moon one day himself. But the other two did it. What do you do after you complete your biggest achievement? How do you deal with that? They are still relatively young men and still have a lot of years left. What's next? 

Same here. I thought this is where Phillip was going when he decided not to ask the questions he had prepared.

On 11/19/2019 at 12:54 PM, iMonrey said:

Honestly that pissed me off. So Philip is having a little midlife crisis and maybe in that moment didn't care whether he died or not, but that poor pilot sure did. What an asshole for putting his life in danger like that.

For our current sensibilities, of course. But keep in mind, his plain old a**hat personality aside, he was one of a group of people used to being surrounded by people who quite literally lived (and died) to serve them. So even though that poor pilot was scared to death at how Phillip's Flight of Fancy could all end, no, he would probably never have punched Phillip out and taken back the controls to save his own (and Phillip's) life. 

On 11/19/2019 at 4:22 PM, tennisgurl said:

Yeah, sorry that the astronauts caught colds (gasp!) and didnt take time to compose any sonnets or philosophy papers while they were doing something no person in the history of ever has done Philip. He was awfully harsh on the astronauts for not living up to his expectations and just being normal guys, but I guess he was just upset that they didnt find God living up there or the meaning of life, and they always say that people are often disappointed when your heroes dont live up to your standards. They weren't gods, they were just men. Men who did something amazing, but men none the less. Its funny that as he was talking about what he wanted them to be (dazzling, exciting, poetic) and what Elizabeth said she saw about them (disciplined, consistent, focused) was exactly how Philip described the House of Windsor in episode two, and how while people might gravitate towards the dazzling ones, its the disciplined ones that you would want steering the plane. No wonder Elizabeth sympathized. And some of them did get rather more philosophical about their voyage later on, to which I am sure Philip would have approved. 

What's that expression about "never meeting your heroes?"

On 11/28/2019 at 10:43 AM, dubbel zout said:

I cracked up at Philip's annoyance that all the astronauts had colds. Well, yeah: They were on a whirlwind, worldwide tour. You tend to get sick when you're constantly traveling through different time zones and don't get much sleep. Just like regular folks, gasp!

Let alone that they were recently back from a half-million mile round trip!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

For the second time this season, I was too bored to watch the episode all the way through to the end. Coincidentally (or not), both were Phillip-centric episodes. I like Tobias Menzies much better than Matt Smith in the role, but this season is just not living up to the first two.  I might have to give up watching more until The History Chicks catch up in The Recappery.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Eeksquire said:

For the second time this season, I was too bored to watch the episode all the way through to the end. Coincidentally (or not), both were Phillip-centric episodes. I like Tobias Menzies much better than Matt Smith in the role, but this season is just not living up to the first two.  I might have to give up watching more until The History Chicks catch up in The Recappery.

I just found The History Chicks this year! I listed to the recap of episode 1. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/2/2019 at 11:02 AM, Umbelina said:

...the astronauts, who were just ripped to shreds by the writers to give Tobias shit to do.  

I'm rapidly tiring of Morgan's portrayal of any American as know-nothing, superficial, bores.  Actually, I'm completely over it.  Enough already, seriously.

Loved your post, but this part doesn't correspond with my response to that scene. (Others share your response, though, so what do I know?)

I certainly felt that Philip was disappointed in the astronauts. But I didn't feel that I was supposed to be. Maybe a little at the beginning of the conversation. But as it went on, I came to feel that of course they would have been laser-focused on the mission and the tasks--if nothing else to ensure their survival--at the expense of being able to think big thoughts. I felt the scene was actually helping me to understand the astronauts in a way I hadn't before.

Philip, for some reason, didn't come away with that. But I did. And I felt Morgan wrote it that way.

Thinking now, I'm reminded of the responses of the vets of D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the war in the Pacific, when asked what it was like. They often seem to answer, "I was just trying to stay alive." I think that's the reality.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

Loved your post, but this part doesn't correspond with my response to that scene. (Others share your response, though, so what do I know?)

I certainly felt that Philip was disappointed in the astronauts. But I didn't feel that I was supposed to be. Maybe a little at the beginning of the conversation. But as it went on, I came to feel that of course they would have been laser-focused on the mission and the tasks--if nothing else to ensure their survival--at the expense of being able to think big thoughts. I felt the scene was actually helping me to understand the astronauts in a way I hadn't before.

Philip, for some reason, didn't come away with that. But I did. And I felt Morgan wrote it that way.

Thinking now, I'm reminded of the responses of the vets of D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the war in the Pacific, when asked what it was like. They often seem to answer, "I was just trying to stay alive." I think that's the reality.

EXCEPT the astronauts were not stupid, and Philip, I'm certain, wasn't the only one to ask about the technical side of things, let alone the spiritual insights or impressions completely unique to those men.

Making them so deaf to his rather obvious needs was ridiculous.  Any child could see what Philip wanted, and those men certainly would have caught on as well.  

It was his awards episode, and it's no shock that he's nominated.  

At the expense of story and reality, just like Margaret's storyline.

Writers CAN do both, but this season, they didn't and it was a bummer for me, this episode is one of the worst for the pandering for awards, for their "big stars."  It wasn't JUST the astronauts crap though, the episode as a whole failed for me.  It wasn't horrible, but, at best, for me, it was a D+ or a C-.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
21 hours ago, Umbelina said:

EXCEPT the astronauts were not stupid, and Philip, I'm certain, wasn't the only one to ask about the technical side of things, let alone the spiritual insights or impressions completely unique to those men.

Making them so deaf to his rather obvious needs was ridiculous.  Any child could see what Philip wanted, and those men certainly would have caught on as well.  

It was his awards episode, and it's no shock that he's nominated.  

At the expense of story and reality, just like Margaret's storyline.

Writers CAN do both, but this season, they didn't and it was a bummer for me, this episode is one of the worst for the pandering for awards, for their "big stars."  It wasn't JUST the astronauts crap though, the episode as a whole failed for me.  It wasn't horrible, but, at best, for me, it was a D+ or a C-.

I agree. They show those men having no idea what Philip was asking which was stupid. He wasn't the first or the last to be asking them about spiritual insights and impressions. Not only that the astronauts have answered those questions often since they came but. Aldrin especially. All three were amazing men. They worked hard. They did a good job. They along with everyone else who worked hard to make it happened. Of course they were focused. It had never been done before and no one including them was completely sure it was going to work. There were so many ways it could go wrong. But no Morgan chose to reduce them to "three little men" with colds who couldn't answer the questions they've already been asked hundreds of times since they got back. He could have done better and still dealt with Philip's midlife crisis. But he chose not too. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

On 11/18/2019 at 12:15 AM, pivot said:

This episode was hard for me to get through. The Poor Phillip nonsense gets old partially because he is a pretty terrible person IRL. And in part, because the actor has zero charisma. The show is so much better when we don't focus too much on Phillip. 

On another note, I honestly keep forgetting Edward exists. 

Olivia Colman is doing a fabulous job bringing to life the ice cold Queen. I love Claire Foy but I always thought her portrayal was too sympathetic to the Queen.

I like the actor playing Philip, but I found this the weakest episode so far. It was just dull to me. I didn't even finish it. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I am fairly certain they kept Charles in a broom closet in an abandoned hallway for all these important family moments. He wouldn't have been at school in July, I gather.

I think this the episode where I'm not all that enthoused about the new cast. I don't know why they didn't cast slightly older boys for Edward and Andrew, because neither Olivia Colman nor Tobias Menzies look like parents to grade school children.

Loved the viewing party sequence.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/18/2019 at 12:15 AM, pivot said:

This episode was hard for me to get through. The Poor Phillip nonsense gets old partially because he is a pretty terrible person IRL. And in part, because the actor has zero charisma. The show is so much better when we don't focus too much on Phillip. 

 

On 11/18/2019 at 5:31 PM, magdalene said:

I wonder how I would have felt about this episode had Matt Smith been still in the role.  I don't like this actor at all. It does color how I feel about Philip now.

 

On 12/2/2019 at 11:02 AM, Umbelina said:

Tobias portrayed Philip's nervousness and all that quite well, but again I DON'T CARE about this self-centered shallow man.  In the previous two seasons?  I did care.

I thoroughly detested this episode and couldn’t wait for it to end.  I couldn’t care less about Philip.  He’s been in this role as the Queen’s husband for nearly 20 years now and he’s still all sad sack poor me Philip.  Suck it.  
 

There appear to be a whole legion of Tobias Menzies fans.  To each his own.  I’ve disliked this actor ever since I saw him in “Rome”.   I agree with all the comments above.  I find him completely unappealing and a black hole of charisma.  Matt Smith played the role with so much more flippant charm and I was much more invested in Philip’s story.  Here this season, with Menzies, every time I see his gloomy face and hear his monotonous voice, I just want him to go away.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
14 hours ago, blackwing said:

 

 

I thoroughly detested this episode and couldn’t wait for it to end.  I couldn’t care less about Philip.  He’s been in this role as the Queen’s husband for nearly 20 years now and he’s still all sad sack poor me Philip.  Suck it.  
 

There appear to be a whole legion of Tobias Menzies fans.  To each his own.  I’ve disliked this actor ever since I saw him in “Rome”.   I agree with all the comments above.  I find him completely unappealing and a black hole of charisma.  Matt Smith played the role with so much more flippant charm and I was much more invested in Philip’s story.  Here this season, with Menzies, every time I see his gloomy face and hear his monotonous voice, I just want him to go away.

Rome, yes,  it had slipped my mind that he was in it. He turned that character into an insufferable whiner. But the absolute worst for me was when he was in Outlander.  Don't get me started on that one.

I didn't like Philip when he was played by Matt Smith but he was interesting to watch then.

I know this whole family is so entitled and yet acts so put upon but some of the actors can make me look beyond that because they have that special "it".  Like the actors who play the younger generation, Anne and Charles, for example.  When Philip endangered that poor pilot with his woe is me attitude I just wanted to smack him.

And to be really catty, Menzies is too homely to play Philip.  Whatever I may think of Philip otherwise, he was a very handsome man.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I've been making my way through The Crown only since just before Christmas and have been surprised by how much I've enjoyed it. I was worried going in that it was going to be soft propaganda for the royal family, but instead have been very entertained on the whole. But this episode, I have to say, was not just the most boring hour of The Crown yet, but I feel possibly the most boring hour of television I've ever seen. I was almost climbing the walls waiting for it to be over. And I like slow moving drama generally as I feel it allows for better character development and more in depth discussion of the history they are portraying.

It was a shame, I felt, that more wasn't done with Princess Alice before the mention of her death in this episode. She lived an even more fascinating life than they portrayed, and quite frankly was worth more than all the other royals put together.

Edited by SuzieSioux · Reason: Punctuation.
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

After seeing Apollo 11, I'm even more annoyed by how vapid they depicted the Apollo 11 astronauts in this episode.  They also looked far younger, and sure acted liked it.  I would think that Neil Armstrong was far more articulate with Prince Phillip than how he's depicted here.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

On 1/2/2020 at 12:30 PM, Hanahope said:

After seeing Apollo 11, I'm even more annoyed by how vapid they depicted the Apollo 11 astronauts in this episode.  They also looked far younger, and sure acted liked it.  I would think that Neil Armstrong was far more articulate with Prince Phillip than how he's depicted here.

That was my reaction at first as well.  Then I realized what we are seeing here is the experience through Phillip's eyes.  It seemed he expected the Apollo 11 astronauts to not be his equal, but his ideal.  As this show has established, Phillip was (is) a man with very high expectations, not only for himself, but for others as well.  There was no way that the astronauts were going to be all that he expected--and that's not to say that they weren't impressive enough, but that they were not what he wanted to see.  I'm not sure how the show would have been able to convey that without showing that the astronauts did not impress Phillip very clearly.  Was it ideal?  Not at all...but it did get the job done.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

Was it ideal?  Not at all...but it did get the job done.

What job?

I suppose if the job was awards reel for the actor, then yeah, it got the job done.

Coherent story?  Truthful story?  Interesting story?  Story that furthered the plot lines of the season?  Story that was even mildly interesting?  Story that treated Americans as more than punchlines or story points?  Story that had one damn thing to do with anything else in this disjointed season?

 

All massive fails as far as "getting the job done."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 11/20/2019 at 3:10 PM, Kfir said:

Perhaps the reason he became so angry at the priests talking about their issues was because he saw that he was a lot more like them than he would like to be.

I think that's exactly why he became so angry. I was expecting that reaction. He hates to recognize himself in these men. I was actually quite charmed at his lengthy and graceful mea culpa at the end.

On 11/27/2019 at 10:43 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Philip continues to annoy me. Between his snotty attitude with the servants, telling everyone to STFU when they were excited about the moon landing, and then flying the plane recklessly so he could get a better view of the moon,

Oh my God, I was terrified when he was pulling the plane up like that. I can't even imagine how frightened the pilot must've felt.

Damn, Menzies is talented.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Rewatching the season, had actually skipped this one the first time round since I saw it was a Philip centric episode & I just wasn’t interested. 

But I loved the little connection between this and the Bubbikins episode. Elizabeth talking to the Prime Minister, saying no one could be an ideal & that “only God is ideal” and that they are just like everyone else “get colds”, etc.  

Then we meet the astronauts, Philip’s ideals of men, and they all have colds. And God is her answer (more or less) to Philip’s midlife crisis. 

Groaned at Philip complaining about them when she clearly was identifying with them. 

Not my favorite episode of the season but much better than I initially expected!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

So, while I dig Tobias Mezes, I am just not buying him as Philip. The last guy, Matthew Smith was it??, seemed to hit the mark better. Also, his 'whoa is me' story just bores me so. I almost didn't finish the episode. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
saoirse

A reminder that discussion/mention of future events is not allowed in episode topics. This includes mentioning individuals who have not yet appeared, or events that occur in future decades. Posts will be removed; repeated violations may incur further sanctions.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size