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S12.E02: Spyfall (2)

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A terrifying plan to destroy humanity is about to reach fruition. Can the Doctor and her companions escape multiple traps and defeat a deadly alliance?

Airing Sunday, January 5, 2020.

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Trailer for next episode. Let me know if there are problems seeing it:

 

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In Canada, Space is showing it at 20h00, slated for a little under an hour and a half. I could not find any listing for a showing in a movie theatre.

And if you need to be refreshed on the history of the Master, Sacha Dhawan provides a little primer in one of the clips posted on the network's site. In my case, it did not work in Firefox but played without any problem in Safari.

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I enjoyed that. I didn't like everything about it, but overall I really enjoyed that. Two episodes in, I feel like this season is starting to address some of the things I had issues with last year.

I liked seeing the companions off on their own, trying to cope without the Doctor, and having conversations among themselves that weren't just about the plot. I loved that they came up and executed an effective plan, even if it didn't really pay off for them in the end. I really loved seeing Ada Lovelace and Noor Inayat Khan working together as a team! (Ada was pretty much what I wanted Victorian Clara to be, back when it looked like we were going to get a historical companion, before she was killed off so we could have Modern Clara and her Magical Mystery Plot instead). I like that having the Master around immediately makes the Doctor seem more grounded in her own history. I'm enjoying Sacha Dhawan as the Master - channeling various different incarnations at different times, while also bringing a new energy and personality to the character. I enjoyed Lenny Henry's performance as Barton, he is always excellent.

I admit, I got a bit tangled up in the TARDIS shellgame at the end there - correct me if I'm wrong, but by the end of this episode the Doctor had both retrieved her own TARDIS and captured the Master's, yes? And since the episode ended with her turning the Master's allies against him and them sucking him into their own dimension...what did the Doctor do with the Master's TARDIS after that? We weren't told, right? Or did I miss something?

I don't like that Gallifrey is gone again, but then again I haven't liked anything New Who has ever done with Gallifrey and the Time Lords, really, so no change there. I'm interested to see where this storyline leads - how long can the Doctor avoid telling her companions anything truly meaningful about her history? She gave them some information here, but it was all fairly surface stuff. She still isn't letting them in, not really. That bothers me a lot less now that it is so clearly a character note, part of this Doctor's arc to be resolved over time, whereas last season it came across more like an oversight in the writing.

I'm pretty sure I had other thoughts, but I'll have to come back to them later.

Edited by Llywela
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When the Master said Gallifrey was in ruins, I was like again? They really don't want to commit to bringing in more Time Lords in NuWho do they. They are either destroyed or trapped in a pocket universe away from everything. 

I figured this arc would have the Doctor tell them some things. I would've liked if the Doctor gave them something that showed all her different faces.  I'll be okay with the basics for now. Especially if we are going to get a bit of history of them with whatever the timeless child is. The Master will probably be back in time for the finale. 

I liked seeing the women pioneers in different times in history. Makes me kind of wish they were her companions even though being historical figures would make that impossible. Since we know'd they'd get their minds erased like Donna.  I too wish we'd get a different time period companion. I got it when they first brought it back, having Rose a modern person would be a way to introduce new viewers. We get it now, why can't we have a companion from the past or the future to change it up a bit. I would've taken Victorian Clara or the future Clara we first met over the Clara we got. 

I also don't know what the Doctor did with the Master's Tardis since it has a working chameleon filter. 

 

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I just got back from seeing this and Part 1 at the local movie theater plus the Q&A with the cast. I really, really enjoyed this. Who knows if it all hangs together on close inspection, but it was a lot of fun and looked and sounded great on a movie screen.

And holy crap, I wasn’t expecting that ending between the Master and the Doctor, about a ruined Gallifrey and the Timeless Child reveal. Clearly they are setting up a running theme through this season and maybe even next season

As for a ruined Gallifrey, it feels like stuff set on Gallifrey, at least during New Who, never goes well because they come across as buffoons against the Doctor, so this plot point keeps things away from there

Yeah, I had a little trouble keeping track of the Tardis stuff as well. I would have thought the Master would have prevented the Doctor from using his ship and vice versa

i need to see this again and can’t wait until it comes on BBC America in a few hours. I also had trouble with some of the dialog so I missed some things and will need the closed caption on my TV to better catch stuff

I have to say, I’m so happy seeing the positivity for Series 12 so far from so many fans, particularly those who didn’t like Series 11 or were tepid on it.

One complaint I’ve seen previously I don’t get is that the 13th Doctor era lacks humor when the humor is one of the first things I noticed and appreciated in Series 11 as a new viewer

Edited by DanaK
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They certainly love to destroy Gallifrey in not-so-nuWho.  And yet, I can believe there was something rotten at the core of the Time Lord culture and am looking forward to finding out what drove The Master over the edge this time.  

The mind wipes tick me off though.  I'm still furious about Donna after all these years and need them to fix it at some point.  

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I've heard some talk that since the Master mentioned the Gallifrey founding fathers that they could be bringing in the Other story from Seventh Doctor's run. Which could be interesting for 13 to explore. 

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Well, that was... OK. Not as good as Part 1, some good moments but more problems with it. I did like the inclusion of the historical figures (and I'm glad Noor Inayat Khan didn't ask if she made it through the war, because like many SOE Agents, she didn't - Ada Lovelace died young as well) and "the Fam" displayed mixed competence (dropping your phones - good, getting in what has to be an easily trackable car - bad), but they don't have that much experience at doing this, so I can accept that. And as an old school fan, I thought the Master was true to his nature, wanting the Doctor to kneel at his feet (and oh boy, will the Fanfic writers love to elaborate on that moment!) and of course, being betrayed by his allies before he could betray them, because, like the Frog & the Scorpion, he just can't stop himself (or apparently learn from his mistakes).

But for me, like many 2 parters, it rather failed to resolve anything satisfactorily. We never really got any clue what the Kasarven want (and "they're everywhere" seemed to be a rerun of The Silence plot), why not-Steve Jobs was working with them and Gallifrey is destroyed had me thinking, "What, again?" And while I liked the use of time travel to resolve the stuff on the plane, it felt like a retread of Blink (which was an episode I love, but it's still a retread).

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Maybe I can get this on rewatch, but I had trouble understanding why Ada kept getting taken to the alien place since she was young

Did it feel a little wrong for the Doctor to remove the Master's perception filter and get him turned in as a spy to the Nazis? I guess she figured he would survive but he could have ended up with a violent death. But he's a Time Lord and would regenerate so I guess it wouldn't matter much in the end

As much as I loved this episode, there's a lot to take in and perhaps a little too much timey-wimey stuff that produces some head-spinning. But it was still enjoyable overall. I think both Jodie and Sacha were excellent here

 

Edited by DanaK
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2 hours ago, DanaK said:

I just got back from seeing this and Part 1 at the local movie theater plus the Q&A with the cast. I really, really enjoyed this. Who knows if it all hangs together on close inspection, but it was a lot of fun and looked and sounded great on a movie screen.

Can you tell us about the Q&A?

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52 minutes ago, elle said:

Can you tell us about the Q&A?

It was Jodie, Tosin, Mandip and the presenter. They had apparently watched the 2nd episode in the back of the theater with the rest of the audience (at the Paley Center in NYC). They talked a lot about what the show means to them and how much they appreciate the fans. Mandip's favorite episodes in Series 11 were Rosa and Demons (because Demons represented part of her heritage) and Tosin's was Rosa. I don't recall Jodie saying her favorite. They worked very hard not to spoil upcoming episodes, but they did say the Cyberman episode was really good and it helped that they could interact with them instead of them being a special effect added later. They were asked what percentage of episodes were filmed overseas and which were filmed in Cardiff. Mandip thought it was 50/50. A funny thing was Tosin and Jodie conferred for a bit as to which filming blocks were done where and it seemed like they were trying not to reveal too much. Episode 3 is pretty scary, but they've already said that. There was other stuff I can't remember at the moment, but all in all, they are a nice bunch of people and very appreciative of what they are doing and of the fans

ETA: They had a quick birthday celebration for Mandip (she's 32 or 33). They were asked to sum up the season in 3 words. According to other people's memories, they said something like Tosin: A Mad Thing, Mandip said something like Planet Hopping Mayhem, Jodie said something like Adrenaline Fueled Rollercoaster

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Is it my imagination or is this iteration of Doctor Who ... talkier than normal? There were three separate subplots, each of which was resolved by a monologue. The Master monologuing his plan to the Doctor, Barton monologuing his plan, the Doctor monologuing the solution. The Companions (plus two) were there to stand there and look shocked. And then, to boot ... what's wrong with Gallifrey is explained not by the Doctor investigating the planet, but ... another monologue! I feel like there's a lot of action, but the action isn't part of the climax, the climax is always ... talking. I get that the Doctor can talk her way out of things, but this wasn't talking her way out -- this was explaining what she did offscreen. I'm not saying I want more fighting, but I want a story told in a way that's not so complicated that you don't have to info-dump it all at the end, in the guise of a solution. I want to not go from "what the heck is going on?!" for the first hour to getting all the answers in the last five minutes.

And I feel like the show hasn't always been this way. But when it's twenty minutes left and none of the subplots are resolved and the Companions and the Doctor are still separated and the bad guys are still alive, to have all of them end with an explanation of the action seemed pretty anticlimactic.

Edited by Eolivet
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2 hours ago, tessaray said:

They certainly love to destroy Gallifrey in not-so-nuWho.  And yet, I can believe there was something rotten at the core of the Time Lord culture and am looking forward to finding out what drove The Master over the edge this time.  

The mind wipes tick me off though.  I'm still furious about Donna after all these years and need them to fix it at some point.  

Ooh, I'd love for them to get Donna back as a companion with this Doctor somehow.

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Okay, I loved that! It felt tighter to me than part 1 (even if there's still some handwaviness, like what Barton and the Kasarven were going to DO with 7 billion human "hard drives,") and I felt like everyone was used to good effect. I had no idea where we were going with it when Ada first popped up in the Kasarven dimension with the Doctor, but I love that it led to the Doctor going on a mini adventure with Ada Lovelace and Noor Inayat Khan! (But, while I get that she had to wipe their memories, I wish she'd given Ada that "You'll figure it out on your own without the sneak peek" speech while Ada was still conscious, so Ada could have understood and consented to the mind wipe.)

I think separating the companions from the Doctor and leaving them to cope on their own in the 21st century was just what they needed. We got to see all of them taking initiative and pressing on, determined to stop Barton even though they had next to no resources. We got more of a connection between them too, with them discussing their relationship with the Doctor and what they know about her. Graham and his laser shoes were a blast, and I loved Yaz scolding Ryan for telling Barton's security guys their plan.

It was a great showing for the Doctor - loved it pretty much from start to finish. Giving herself a pep talk in the Kasarven dimension (what she would've told her companions if they were there,) passing herself off in Victorian London as the Apparating Man- Lady (every time!), "where there's risk, there's hope," reaching the Master in occupied Paris by using the 4 beats on the telegraph... So much great stuff! She was awesome, and I loved it.

Really liking this new Master too. I like that he can be totally manic and unhinged, but then he can also do just deathly quiet/subdued - it was so creepy when he told the Doctor how it felt when he killed the bystanders with the TCE. Even though this regeneration clearly doesn't have Missy's soft spot for the Doctor and revels a lot more in the idea of beating/destroying her, you could still feel the history between them and the notion that it wasn't as simple as JUST beat/destroy. Great scene with them on the Eiffel Tower, and then again through the hologram in the end.

Don't like the idea of Gallifrey/the Time Lords being destroyed again (all the convenience of not having to deal with the Time Lords without the guilt of the Doctor having caused it?), but this Timeless Child stuff admittedly intrigues me. As @tessaray said, the Time Lords having skeletons in the closet of their origins totally tracks, and I'm really curious what they would have done to make the Master go all scorched-earth on them like that.

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Jodie listening to the Master talk about destroying Gallifrey and the secret that was kept was really terrific, especially in that she had no dialogue, she just reacted

I'm surprised Chibnall went this dark, as I had the impression he and/or the BBC had intended to keep this Doctor hopeful and cheerful

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So the Master was telling the truth when he said things aren’t what the Doctor thinks, and I really want to know more about why they were lied to and what the lie is. The Timeless Child is something we’ve heard about before, right? Wasn’t there something about it in last season’s premier? 

I loved the addition of Noor and Ada and I wish they could’ve stuck around a little longer. I’d never heard of Noor before, so thanks for teaching me something new, show! Though I understand why, it’s a shame they had to have a mind wipe. 

I’m glad Graham, Ryan, and Yaz finally got to learn a little about the Doctor. When she said “I stole this TARDIS and ran away” it reminded me of what Eleven said to young Amy at the end of S5 (“an old man who stole a blue box and ran away”). I hope she actually does take them to Gallifrey this season. 

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I really loved this episode! The companions were actually fun to watch. Loved their antics with the laser shoes and cuff links and their talk about getting the Doctor to tell them who she is. For the first time I felt they had chemistry together.

Loved the Doctor with the two ladies and her interactions with the Master.  It was a lot of fun.

Ok, I said earlier that if this is a current incarnation of the Master I would hate it as the Missy development would be undone. However, with the reveal at the end that the Master discovered something horrible about the Time Lords I could see him regressing and going loopy loo again. I just wish he hadn't gone scorched earth on Gallifrey, though. Hopefully that can be undone. It was one thing I disliked about Nu Who that they were gone. I was happy when they were brought back.

Right now I am all in and I hope the episodes continue to be this good and that Gallifrey can be saved, again.

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Graham with the ‘shootie thing‘ shoes! And Ryan becomes a Bond villain blabbing the plan! It’s another Rose, Mickey & Sarah Jane caper. It’s always fun watching the companions romp.

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Good way to open the season. I'm hoping this will be a good season. Minimum, the return of the Master didn't seem gratuitous from Chibnall (re: "You want the old enemies back?!? I'LL GIVE THEM ALL TO YOU!!!!") And Gallifrey is destroyed. Again. Maybe. With all the wibbly-wobbly, who can tell anymore?

And the Fam fended for themselves well enough, given the abuse Barton heaped upon them. You can't credit their survival solely to Graham's laser shoes. Ryan inadvertently getting the Doctor to "Bill & Ted" (for lack of a better term) their escape from the crashing plane was cute.

How many times in the universe has a mastermind tried to take over the world via press conference? I'm thinking Mark Zuckerberg would have done that at least twice in that continuity.

The Master found out a secret and had to wreck Gallifrey? Is there anyone else here into Naruto? I dunno, the thought of the Master as Itachi Uchiha is a funny one, at least to me.

7 minutes ago, phalange said:

So the Master was telling the truth when he said things aren’t what the Doctor thinks, and I really want to know more about why they were lied to and what the lie is. The Timeless Child is something we’ve heard about before, right? Wasn’t there something about it in last season’s premier?

Maybe in "The End of Time"? RTD threw out two dozen story ideas to us on his way out.

6 minutes ago, gail56 said:

Ok, I said earlier that if this is a current incarnation of the Master I would hate it as the Missy development would be undone.

Who knows? Maybe this is pre-Missy. Or pre-Harold. Maybe even pre-Yana.

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1 hour ago, phalange said:

The Timeless Child is something we’ve heard about before, right? Wasn’t there something about it in last season’s premier? 

It was referenced in Series 11, Episode 2 The Ghost Monument by the killer rags (the Doctor had a quick flashback this episode)

I’m glad they opened the season with a big bang given the long hiatus. I just fear the rest of the season won’t quite measure up, though if they keep the threads they’ve started running through and keep doing interesting stuff, they’ll probably be ok

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Just didn't like this episode. Using the TARDIS to go back in time and get your companions out of a sticky situation. Graham shooting his laser shoes at a crowd of people that included the other companions. Ada using a machine gun in a crowed room, she manages to hit her target and then stops firing? Wanting to use all the people on earth as data storage when a jar full of bacteria would give you the same results. Why did the aliens want to do this and why did they say this would effect The Universe, it would barely effect the Earth, the Earth would probably be better off. How would they prevent the data from being corrupted, would all the humans be in some kind of suspended animation where their bodies never change? Why did the aliens give up their plans? Are there thousands of aliens living in the brains of humans? Are the aliens still here or did they leave? Who's brain is The Master in? Where is the Master's TARDIS? Why did they show swastikas, will they have to remove them to show this episode in Germany? Has The Doctor always been able to touch people and make them forget they met. This sounds like as useful a gimmick as psychic paper, why haven't they used it more?

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I imagine there might be some ranting (not necessarily on here) about the feminist implications of a female Doctor kneeling to a male. Personally I hope that people will realise that any variant of the Doctor would have reluctantly knelt at that point in order to protect the other people in the room.

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Everybody who figured out who "Ada" was before the Doctor did, raise your hand! (Most, if not all of, the forum raises their hands).

I really wish they'd stop wrecking Gallifrey.

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4 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

Are there thousands of aliens living in the brains of humans? Are the aliens still here or did they leave? Who's brain is The Master in? Where is the Master's TARDIS? 

They aren't in anyone's brain. Ada thought she was in her own mind when she was transported there, because that was just how she explained the experience to herself. The Doctor explained that they had actually been transported to another realm, where the aliens themselves originally came from.

I agree that there were a lot of plot holes, but there usually are with Who. I have a lot more tolerance for plot holes when I enjoy the viewing experience and the characters, which I did here.

There were swastikas on-screen because those scenes were set in Paris during the occupation, when there would actually have been swastikas openly displayed. Stories set during historical periods have to acknowledge the reality of those periods, even if it isn't pleasant - can't just sweep it under the carpet and pretend everything was rosy when it wasn't.

Yes, we have seen the Doctor removing memories from peoples' minds before now. It has been a known Time Lord ability ever since Jamie and Zoe had their memories wiped in 1969. The Doctor doesn't do it often, no, but I'm glad about that - especially when it is handled the way it was here, without the consent of the individuals having their memories removed. 

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7 hours ago, phalange said:

So the Master was telling the truth when he said things aren’t what the Doctor thinks, and I really want to know more about why they were lied to and what the lie is. The Timeless Child is something we’ve heard about before, right? Wasn’t there something about it in last season’s premier? 

I loved the addition of Noor and Ada and I wish they could’ve stuck around a little longer. I’d never heard of Noor before, so thanks for teaching me something new, show! Though I understand why, it’s a shame they had to have a mind wipe. 

I’m glad Graham, Ryan, and Yaz finally got to learn a little about the Doctor. When she said “I stole this TARDIS and ran away” it reminded me of what Eleven said to young Amy at the end of S5 (“an old man who stole a blue box and ran away”). I hope she actually does take them to Gallifrey this season. 

I hadn't either. I looked her up and read about her, saw her picture and it made me cry.

When Barton was giving his speech, I thought for a minute we were going to get Cybermen.

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The episode got 4.6 million in the overnight ratings, not a bad drop from Part 1. It was up against the premiere of live show Dancing On Ice, which got 5.14 million. Call the Midwife was 1st with 6.97 million. The episode was 5th for the night, which included at least one other live show. Consolidated numbers, which include catch up via streaming and other means, should be available in a week or so

Edited by DanaK

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There was one reference in the Eiffel Tower scene, where the Doctor asks the Master "How was something-something" and he replied to the effect of "it was cold."  Did anyone catch that reference?  I meant to go back after and rewatch it but forgot and erased the episode instead.

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13 minutes ago, MarkHB said:

There was one reference in the Eiffel Tower scene, where the Doctor asks the Master "How was something-something" and he replied to the effect of "it was cold."  Did anyone catch that reference?  I meant to go back after and rewatch it but forgot and erased the episode instead.

From memory, the Doctor said something about it being cold up there and then said it reminded her of Jodrell Bank. The Master asked if he'd ever apologised for that, and she said no. It was a reference to the 1981 classic serial Logopolis, in which the Master's neverending quest for power caused the total destruction of hundreds if not thousands of worlds, costing billions of lives (lest we forget who this character truly is and always has been). The story ended at Jodrell Bank, where the Doctor fell from the top of the telescope tower while defeating the Master's evil plan, triggering his regeneration from Tom Baker into Peter Davison.

Logopolis is the first Doctor Who adventure I have memories of from my childhood, so it was a thrill to hear it referenced here.

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I think keeping Gallifrey permanently out of the picture keeps The Doctor and The Master as the last two Timelords.   Every so often you do kinda wonder why The Doctor doesn’t go home.....because there is no home to go to and despite all the evil the Master does The Doctor can never kill him because he is all she has left of her home.   
 

I thought having the humans working together doing  the whole “what would the doctor do” thing was fun.   

I do think there are some feminist implications of a female kneeling to a male but on the other hand they were done purposefully and with intent.    Right to the side a dude was telling Ada not to play with a gun and Ada shut him down to rescue the Doctor.  This was all about men trying to make women.....kneel.   

The interesting thing about a female Doctor is the ability to time travel through history and show the lost females of history that might have seemed too much like mansplaining when the doctor was a guy.   I never heard of Ada Lovelace but I looked her up on google.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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So the 7% non-human DNA in Barton was DNA that had been used as storage? Did Barton volunteer himself as a test? (That at least makes him better than Zuckerberg who wouldn't release his personal info the way F-Book does with everyone else's).

The return of the Timeless Child was a good rebuke to all who whined last season that a 50 year old show raised a concept and didn't address it within that one season: gee, it's like the writers actually looked ahead when they planned 13's run.

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1 hour ago, Llywela said:

From memory, the Doctor said something about it being cold up there and then said it reminded her of Jodrell Bank. The Master asked if he'd ever apologised for that, and she said no. It was a reference to the 1981 classic serial Logopolis, in which the Master's neverending quest for power caused the total destruction of hundreds if not thousands of worlds, costing billions of lives (lest we forget who this character truly is and always has been). The story ended at Jodrell Bank, where the Doctor fell from the top of the telescope tower while defeating the Master's evil plan, triggering his regeneration from Tom Baker into Peter Davison.

Logopolis is the first Doctor Who adventure I have memories of from my childhood, so it was a thrill to hear it referenced here.

Thanks!  Logopolis was actually the first episode I ever watched (although I was in college at the time), but I didn't remember the specific Jodrell Bank reference.

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I have to say, the last shot with the Doctor on the stairs with her back to the yellow  pillars in the background was gorgeous. I really like the changes to the Tardis, including the stairs. The set feels roomier than last season and better used (so far)

That whole Gallifrey/Master sequence near the end was really superb, especially in that Jodie had no dialogue during any of it. She blew me away with just her reactions

Before we knew this was a two parter, the spoilers made me think this episode would be solely about the team being in WWII Paris fighting the Nazis with Khan’s help. What we got was probably better given how Khan ended up

I haven’t seen the Classic series, but I’m glad there were several callbacks for the fans to have fun with. Jodrell Bank was one. Comments I’ve read suggest the wireless contact beats and then the telepathic conversation between the Doctor and Master was another

@Eulipian 5k Barton did volunteer himself as a test subject, as he said he’s always testing things

The kneeling scene was interesting because the Doctor was less afraid and humiliated and more disgusted and rolling her eyes 

Is this the first time time since 10 wiped Donna’s memories that the Doctor has used this technique?

Given a lot of what I thought would happen throughout the season happened in these first 2 episodes, I’m not really sure how this season is going to go and it’s exciting. I hope it ends up being a lot of fun and that more fans are engaged this season than last

I’ve rewatched this a couple of times and parts of it several times. It’s a bit complicated and doesn’t fully hang together, especially if you nitpick, but it was entertaining, I enjoyed Ada a lot, and we got some great stuff with Jodie and Sacha. I think it managed to stick the landing, though it wobbled some

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I noticed that the Master also kneeled to face the Doctor, so I guess his demand that she kneel had more to do with kneeling in submission and NOT a reference to the Love and Monsters  parting joke. (It's a family show! with 60+ year old kids watching, lol).

Also:

Has the Nu Who Doctor ever pre-viewed or discussed regeneration with any companion who didn't witness the regen? Was Martha, Donna, or Bill ever told that the Doctor may turn into somebody else? Only Clara. I don't think it ever came up with Amy either 'til 11's last episode.

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The tapping was also what Simm's Master kept doing during his run with 10th Doctor as well. They are also going a little meta with calling the things they are doing classic. 

Mind wiping is always iffy but I understood it in this case, they saw too much and that could change the entire course of history. 

The Other storyline intrigues me because the Timeless child could be the Other. 

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17 hours ago, John Potts said:

Well, that was... OK. Not as good as Part 1, some good moments but more problems with it. I did like the inclusion of the historical figures (and I'm glad Noor Inayat Khan didn't ask if she made it through the war, because like many SOE Agents, she didn't - Ada Lovelace died young as well) 

Worse than that she was responsible for one of SOE's biggest disasters, keeping her codes written down which were captured and used by the Germans in one of their 'radio games'.  

5 hours ago, libgirl2 said:

I hadn't either. I looked her up and read about her, saw her picture and it made me cry.

When Barton was giving his speech, I thought for a minute we were going to get Cybermen.

Absolutely, me too but it's rather been done. 

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We enjoyed both episodes, but my husband mentioned that this felt like it was written for 10 or 11, even 12. It didn't feel like last season. 

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2 minutes ago, libgirl2 said:

We enjoyed both episodes, but my husband mentioned that this felt like it was written for 10 or 11, even 12. It didn't feel like last season. 

Well, it feels like the producers upped their game and gained some confidence. They went from 10 mostly stand-alone episodes to an opening 2 parter and suggestions of an arc and some darkness for 13. Chibnall does suggest this was the plan all along, to raise the stakes for 13 and the companions over time but starting with a refresh devoid of baggage to lure back old viewers and bring in new ones. You do have to wonder though if the BBC demanded a refresh for Series 11 but allowed Chibnall to do it his way after that

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3 hours ago, DanaK said:

Is this the first time time since 10 wiped Donna’s memories that the Doctor has used this technique?

Quoting an earlier post:

8 hours ago, Llywela said:

Yes, we have seen the Doctor removing memories from peoples' minds before now. It has been a known Time Lord ability ever since Jamie and Zoe had their memories wiped in 1969. 

Random thoughts

I thought no one could visit Gallifrey in the "cup of soup" stasis cube.  I didn't watch 11's last episode or most of 12.  Did they get freed?

I thought of Simm's Master too with the tapping of four beats.  That was the pattern they placed in his head as a child that was supposed to have driven him crazy.

I thought we had heard of the Timeless Child before.  Wasn't Ashildr thought to be the child?  Is this strictly NuWho?

I was disappointed that none of the companions asked after Ada or Noor.

I was yelling at the TV that the Doctor should fix the floor before she left Noor's room.  That was a flub of the show because it should have been fixed when the three of them left to find the Master's Tardis.

What did happen to his Tardis?

His comment about the last 77 years had me wondering if he tried to find the Doctor to steal that Tardis during all the visits over the years.

15 hours ago, Lantern7 said:

Ryan inadvertently getting the Doctor to "Bill & Ted" (for lack of a better term) their escape from the crashing plane was cute.

Hee!  Love the reference.  Who knows, one could argue Rufus was a Time Lord.  I'm glad that they took the time to show how the Doctor accomplished that with the help of Ada and Noor.

ETA: Thank you @DanaK, for the explanation, also thank you for the summary of the Q&A.

Edited by elle

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@elle Gallifrey was freed from being frozen in a pocket universe sometime during the 12th Doctor's era, though I don't think they explained how. They went to the end of the life of the universe to hide, I think because they knew people were pissed at them for the Time War. The Timeless Child was referenced by the cloth creatures in Series 11's The Ghost Monument. I don't believe we know what happened to the Master's Tardis. As far as the mind wipe, I'm aware the Doctor had that ability in the past, but I was wondering if we have seen it since it was used on Donna Noble

Edited by DanaK
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I missed the part toward the end where Yaz explains to her supervisor that she isn't really an enemy espionage agent, that it was all a big mix-up -- and could she please return to her special assignment now? 😉

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42 minutes ago, arachne said:

I missed the part toward the end where Yaz explains to her supervisor that she isn't really an enemy espionage agent, that it was all a big mix-up -- and could she please return to her special assignment now? 😉

I missed that too! Also the part where the world collectively shrugged their shoulders, thought "huh, that was weird" then went on with their social media lives.

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1 hour ago, elle said:

I thought no one could visit Gallifrey in the "cup of soup" stasis cube.  I didn't watch 11's last episode or most of 12.  Did they get freed?

I thought of Simm's Master too with the tapping of four beats.  That was the pattern they placed in his head as a child that was supposed to have driven him crazy.

I thought we had heard of the Timeless Child before.  Wasn't Ashildr thought to be the child?  Is this strictly NuWho?

I was disappointed that none of the companions asked after Ada or Noor.

I was yelling at the TV that the Doctor should fix the floor before she left Noor's room.  That was a flub of the show because it should have been fixed when the three of them left to find the Master's Tardis.

What did happen to his Tardis?

His comment about the last 77 years had me wondering if he tried to find the Doctor to steal that Tardis during all the visits over the years.

Hee!  Love the reference.  Who knows, one could argue Rufus was a Time Lord.  I'm glad that they took the time to show how the Doctor accomplished that with the help of Ada and Noor.

I pretty much gave up trying to understand the status of Gallifrey toward the end of the Moffat era. Is it inaccessible or not? Who even knows, any more. I preferred it back in the old days when the Time Lords and Gallifrey just existed and there was no mystery about them, they were just a bunch of stuffy old fuddy duddies that the Doctor liked to avoid if possible and kick against when avoidance wasn't possible.

The drum beat placed in the Master's head as a child was a total New Who retcon, it was never a thing for any of the classic Masters. But using the beat here was a call back to the Davies era, for sure.

The Timeless Child was referenced for the first time last season, sowing the first seeds of this season's arc. We'd never heard of it before. It certainly isn't Ashildr.

I'm torn over what to think about the Master living through 77 years after the war, waiting for the right moment to jump back into the fray. I mean, there were so many other Masters and so many other Doctors on Earth during those years. Part of me thinks the Master has just enough sense to know not to mess with his own past, but there's a bigger part of me that doesn't believe he would care two hoots about that. Fertile ground for Big Finish to play with, in time! Dhawan has worked for them before, I've no doubt he'd do so again to fill in some blanks in his Master's history, once his TV story is told.

The adventures of the Doctor, Ada and Noor would also be perfect for Big Finish to pick up some day. Although they already have at least one Ada Lovelace story on their books.

I really want to know what the Doctor did with the Master's TARDIS, in the end. I mean, you can't just leave a thing like that lying around, but Logopolis showed us that landing one TARDIS inside another really isn't optimal, so what else could she do? Will this loose end ever be tied up?

1 hour ago, arachne said:

I missed the part toward the end where Yaz explains to her supervisor that she isn't really an enemy espionage agent, that it was all a big mix-up -- and could she please return to her special assignment now? 😉

LOL, yes. Which reminds me of a thought I had about another problem I've had bonding with this group of companions, which is their hive mind where being with the Doctor is concerned. Their entire decision making process regarding their time in the TARDIS seems to be communal - we've never really been given much insight into what they think about it as individuals, how they came to their decision to stay with the Doctor as individuals, whether there was any conflict. And there should be inner conflict - for Yaz especially. Like, we've been told that she is ambitious, we saw in her introduction that she was eager to run before she could walk. So taking time away from her career should be a big deal for her. It should have been a hard decision to make, and I think it would add a lot of depth to her character, help us understand her a bit better, if we got to see some of that tension, if she admitted to someone else that it was a difficult choice to make - that she really wanted to stay with the Doctor, because it is an incredible opportunity that she will never have again, but that she is also worried about the effect on her career, because she's worked hard to get where she is and is so close to finishing probation, and if she flames out now she will never get another chance. Instead, her whole decision-making process was off-screen last year, she didn't seem to give the impact on her career a second thought. And now a full season later we've finally been shown how she's fudging her time away with falsified records, like it's no big deal - just a throwaway scene to answer viewer questions, it came across. But that doesn't tell us much about what is going on in Yaz's head, whether she has any mixed feelings about it all, which is a real missed opportunity. She could use that development.

It was good to see her stressing over her family here, so desperate to make contact with them, in spite of the risk - and she really should have known better. It was a strong character note for her, and drove home that she is the only one of the three with those kinds of ties. Since Ryan isn't close to his father, the only real family he and Graham have is each other, and they are already together in the TARDIS.

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I really enjoyed this episode and the previous one; it seemed ike a big step up from last season.

 

Is the Timeless Child perhaps the founder of Gallifrey, and maybe from the alternate dimension?

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10 hours ago, Llywela said:

From memory, the Doctor said something about it being cold up there and then said it reminded her of Jodrell Bank. The Master asked if he'd ever apologised for that, and she said no. It was a reference to the 1981 classic serial Logopolis, in which the Master's neverending quest for power caused the total destruction of hundreds if not thousands of worlds, costing billions of lives (lest we forget who this character truly is and always has been). The story ended at Jodrell Bank, where the Doctor fell from the top of the telescope tower while defeating the Master's evil plan, triggering his regeneration from Tom Baker into Peter Davison.

Logopolis is the first Doctor Who adventure I have memories of from my childhood, so it was a thrill to hear it referenced here.

Actually, Logopolis was filmed at Jodrell Bank, but the story happened at the Pharos Project. So that's a lovely bit of fan pleasing that Chibnall managed to get wrong straight from the get go. That's all I expect from him.

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I loved this episode. It felt like Doctor Who, if that makes sense. I loved the way they incorporated Ada and Noor. They were interesting and fun to watch. I also thought the separation of the companions was great. 

I admit I could have watched Graham shooting those ridiculous shoes all day. I thought it was hilarious. 

I enjoyed this version of the Master. I didn't mind the kneel scene because it was supposed to be unsettling. I like the Master a little manic. 

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10 hours ago, DanaK said:

 

Is this the first time time since 10 wiped Donna’s memories that the Doctor has used this technique?

I think it was done with technology rather than telepathy- however 12 was going to wipe Clara’s memory of him, but ultimately erased his own memory of her.

I thought this was a pretty fun episode- and thematically worked pretty well with the premiere.  While that show was more of a straight up homage to James Bond, this one carried through on the concepts of espionage and technology.  The Doctor had her adventure through the history of coding and spy craft- while the companions were basically on the run as disavowed agents.

In general, I’m excited to see how this season plays out.  I actually liked most of last season- I thought it was a smart decision to consciously not weigh down a new Doctor with 50+ years of narrative baggage.  However, now that they have her established, I’m interested in where they take her, especially given the twist at the end.

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On 1/6/2020 at 9:52 AM, tessaray said:

The mind wipes tick me off though.  I'm still furious about Donna after all these years and need them to fix it at some point.  

I can understand the need this time but I too am furious about Donna and haven't got over it.

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Will Yaz be the one to restart UNIT or Torchwood? I mean she's no Face of Boe, but she's got off world experience, and she's all "I want more!".

Do "agents" Ryan and Graham still have all the spy tech they "stole" from MI6?

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