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S00.E157: Revolution Of The Daleks

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The Doctor is imprisoned halfway across the universe. On Earth, the sighting of a Dalek alerts Ryan, Graham and Yaz. Can the return of Captain Jack Harkness help them stop a deadly Dalek takeover?

Debuting January 1, 2021.

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I did not watch all of last season so I had to check with Wikipedia why the Doctor had been in jail. But when those three couldn't stop whining about a couple of months I was all: 'Ever heard about Amy Pond?'

Loved the little joke between Captain Jack and the Doctor about having had something done. Also great: the shout-outs to Torchwood's Gwen Cooper and Rose.

Chris Noth chewing scenery like there's no tomorrow is a sight to behold and I would not mind seeing him again.

All in all quite entertaining but I prefer the more whimsy, wholesome holiday outings.

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I loved seeing Jack again and hearing him mention Rose and Gwen. 

I'm not really sad to see Ryan and Graham go. I never connected with any of these companions, so maybe with just Yaz we can connect with her. I liked Jack having a talk with her about the Doctor leaving. I mean she has to know that Doctor is really old, while the Doctor can be around of all of her life, she can't be around for all the Doctor's life.

I hope we explore more about the Doctor really being Doctor Who now. Will she try to find her home dimension? 

 

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2 hours ago, John Potts said:

10 I thought it was longer than that? It may have only been a year for those on Earth, but I got the impression the Doctor had been locked up for several years, if not decades (I'm sure that in time somebody will screenshot the scratches in her cell and provide a more accurate estimate!). The fact that it took Jack a long time to break her out would seem to indicate that, though given time travel might also be involved with him it's hard to be sure.

Yeah, she said she'd been there decades, and Jack said it took 19 years to get close to her. I think once they got back to the Tardis, she set it to come back to Earth close to the time she left them there, but it ended up being not close enough.

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It was OK. Didn't live up to my anticipation. Did any one else feel we were in the age of a pandemic? The shots were mostly one person on one person. No large crowds. Everything looked like it was shot on a soundstage. 

I'm glad it's back.

 

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5 minutes ago, Rhetorica said:

It was OK. Didn't live up to my anticipation. Did any one else feel we were in the age of a pandemic? The shots were mostly one person on one person. No large crowds. Everything looked like it was shot on a soundstage. 

I'm glad it's back.

 

I think it was filmed in 2019.

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I enjoyed this quite a bit. Lots of explosions and Daleks and the Dalek mutants, lots of Jack, corrupt officials upping security with something they don't understand. Robertson being an ass and somehow ending up the hero, the Doctor and Jack working great together, the Doctor saying goodbye to Ryan and Graham. Finally some hugs! It was a lot of fun for a special

Jack broke the Doctor out way sooner than I expected so I was pretty happy to see a lot of the Doctor given that the promos suggested she wasn't in the special a lot.

I was sorry to see part of the fam leave because I liked Graham quite a bit and Ryan wasn't so bad; I did like their relationship quite a bit. I was glad neither of them died and they found a purpose on Earth. A bit emotional that both saw some vision of Grace

As far as the Doctor's time away, her driving skills made it a bit hard to get back to Earth as soon as she wanted. She was imprisoned for decades but it was 10 months or whatever to the fam

Edited by DanaK
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3 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

12. Is John Bishop the next Doctor?

There was a little promo message before that scene in the US airing that said “Stay tuned for the reveal of The Doctor’s new companion,” so I guess it will now be The Doctor, Yaz and John Bishop. 

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I'm not sure I fully understood the thing with the other inmates in the prison (like, are they in special cells and only the Doctor can take a walk?) but it was fun having some interact with the Doctor

Regarding John Bishop. See the post I'm making in the Series 13 topic

 

Edited by DanaK

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While they were escaping Jack commented that it took him years to get a cell next to The Doctor.   Plus with all the chalk marks (usually to signify days) we can all deduce she had been in Alien High Max for years.   The Doctor has never been particularly good at hitting the mark time wise with the TARDIS 

So...an evil Corp guy gets control of a burnt out Dalek only to greedily if unintentionally get used to create a Dalek hybrid army that’s goal is to attack earth....is so 2020.

Never particularly cared about Ryan but i really liked Graham.   But it made sense why he would stay on Earth if Ryan stayed.  I did like how their story had a happy ending with them deciding to fight for Earth and go on adventures together and had psychic paper.  Plus Ryan still not being able to ride a bike.

I wouldn’t have minded of The Doctor and Yaz had been alone for a few episodes at least before new guy shows up.

 

 

Edited by Chaos Theory
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It appears they will be releasing the soundtrack of the special by Akinola. Translated: "Very soon we will have the original soundtrack of According Akinola from Revolution of the Daleks !! More information coming soon ...#DoctorWho"

 

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A reminder - the politics policy at Primetimer prohibits the mention of politicians in episode topics unless they're specifically mentioned in the episode.

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We do not allow mention of elected political figures (past or present), current political candidates, political bodies (Congress, Parliament), political movements or political parties, including jokes and asides, unless those entities are specifically mentioned on an episode of the show being discussed

Posts mentioning politicians have been removed. If you believe your post has been removed, please pm the forum mods; we will be happy to work with you to edit your post. Thank you.

@saoirse and @starri

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Posting this just because it gives me the laughs

 

 

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Me: (after being relatively quiet during the episode). Aaargh!  Why didn’t they kill him off?  He can’t be knighted, he’s not a citizen!

DH:  Why not?  Jack Ryan was.

Me: ?

DH:  Patriot Games.  It was honorary too.  (smiles)

 

I know I indicated I was not planning to watch this one because of Chris Noth, but my family had been asking all week when it was going to be on.  Then today, they were reminding me it was going to be on, so I agreed to watch and went in spoiler free.

It was better than I had expected, not a Cyberman in sight!  Yes, a mention and Jack should have yelled at her about that but I digress.

3 hours ago, Joe Hellandback said:

1. Okay, I know we suspend disbelief to a degree but surely everyone remembers the previous Dalek invasions? 

and

3 hours ago, John Potts said:

1 I wondered about that, but there have been so many parallel worlds, Universe Reboots and memory wipes that I've completely lost track of what people are meant to remember about the Daleks! Oddly enough, the one thing I do remember is that the Doctor deleted himself from the Dalek mainframe so they shouldn't be remembering him (well, her now), but that may have since been undone.

3 I didn't get any Theresa May vibes from Harriet Walters's Jo Patterson - she seemed far too Machiavellian and corrupt (obviously mileage will vary there regarding real world comparisons). OTOH, Theresa May wasn't assassinated by her own creations, so she has one up on her there!

Regrading the apparent amnesia about Daleks, I ranted about that earlier so DD and I started listing all the people who would remember starting with Wilf .  She also said that most governments would have a secrets book where they would have that info and were probably now freaking out seeing them rolled out on TV.

On point 3, I had a hard time seeing the character and not the actress.  I kept switching between seeing Fanny Dashwood and Brutus in Julius Caesar .

3 hours ago, John Potts said:

6 I thought they were the right degree of formidable, at least when out of their shells, but YMMV. I do prefer it when the Daleks are portrayed as (essentially) tanks - hard but not impossible to kill.

When was it established that they could survive outside of their shells?  Was that a NuWho thing?

3 hours ago, John Potts said:

ETA: I did like the gag of the Doctor seeing the Silence and going "I forgot you were there!", even if I (ironically) have completely forgotten how that season arc resolved

I liked all the callbacks too (and no Cybermen!).  Avoid “The Time of the Doctor” if you want to keep the creepiness of the Silence intact.

27 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

I wouldn’t have minded of The Doctor and Yaz had been alone for a few episodes at least before new guy shows up.

I agree.  It would have been nice to see them adjusting to the new situation.  It is too bad they didn’t go with someone from another time period or another planet.

An aside: I did appreciate with tptb did with the promos for the show with the commercial that was introducing the Daleks.  First time I saw it, it took a split second to register that it was not going to be another watch commercial.

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1 hour ago, DanaK said:

I'm not sure I fully understood the thing with the other inmates in the prison (like, are they in special cells and only the Doctor can take a walk?)

I think they all have individual cells. I got the sense that the collection of electrified cubes was the exercise yard.

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As far as Dalek stories go, this wasn't bad.  Personally, I prefer them in episodes like Resolution - give me one Dalek with a plan and a hostage over a bunch of shouty floating CGI things.  Still, this had some of that personal menace from the cloned Recon Dalek - and it did feel like they were trying to say something about how easily "security" can be manipulated.  I'd like to think they'd have a stronger message if this had been produced this year instead of 2019, but hey...

Beyond that, I don't think "Present Day" Earth has seen a full scale Dalek attack since Journey's End, so I suppose we were due.  I also think there was an implicit understanding that the universal reboot of Pandorica/Big Bang erased all previous knowledge of alien invasions - Dalek or otherwise.  It actually felt like a running theme of the Moffatt era that humanity has the memory of a hummingbird when it comes to major extraterrestrial events.  And realistically, I don't want them to have to reference every single past instance when they do these types of stories - I'm more than happy to let them treat each one as a novel event.

Sad to see the Fam split up - but I think they gave Ryan and Graham good reasons for leaving.  And, it's a relief to see companions depart on their own terms, with hugs and gifts no less.  I grew to appreciate Ryan's earnestness and enthusiasm over the past few years - it's not surprising to see him want to essentially watch over his home planet.  And Graham has just been the best - funny when there needs to be humor, wise when someone needs advice, and above all unfailingly caring.  No question he would give up all of time and space for his grandson.  In any case, it'll be interesting to see how the lineup works with Yaz and the new guy.

Barrowman was back in form as Captain Jack - the breakout scene was super fun, and had the classic Jack/Doctor chemistry.  I also thought his talk with Yaz was well done - I hope she takes it to heart (there were a few moments where I felt they may be taking her into Rose/Martha territory, which I hope is not the case).  Otherwise, I do feel like Jack kind of fell out of the story - his last bit being a voice over was kind of disappointing, despite the shoutout to Gwen.  And, for all the weight the preview gave the line about being immortal, he didn't die once!  Missed opportunity there.  I was secretly worried they'd do something like actually turn him into the Face of Boh - so I'm glad that he's still human, and available for future returns should the stars align.

Bring on Season 13!

 

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 Did the Fam tell Jack what the Doctor looked like? Or do the Judoon publish a police blotter? It seems like the entire Christmas aspect is scrubbed from these specials, (except for the whole alien invasion thing).

The concept of those cells with an exercise grid keeping the inmate’s pace up was 21st century Who.

 

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Forgot to mention that I did chirp “hey, the squareness gun!”  Nice callback, wonder where Jack got it.

Also wanted to ask if there was any significance to the look of the control room on the decoy Tardis.  (so sad to see any Tardis destroyed)

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Did anyone get a small sense that the Doctor's Tardis had changed a little bit?

Nice to see John's name in the title sequence. I saw some speculation or hope that it might happen

I'm not sure the alternate Tardis was destroyed. The Doctor threatened that she was sending the Daleks (and the Tardis) to die, but then an ending comment in that scene suggested she was just sending them into exile or to be trapped in some part of space.

@elle I think the look of the alternate Tardis was that it was simply the one that brought the fam back to Earth and it was simply one of the spare Tardises standing around Gallifrey

Edited by DanaK
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"On tonight's episode of Doctor Who, the Daleks' shells are used as guardians with AI units, and it all goes to hell. [long pause] WHAT THE FUCK  DID YOU EXPECT?!? HOW CAN YOU BE THAT STUPID?!?"

In defense of the big-business American stereotype, there weren't any Daleks inside the units. But the Dalek that was supposed to be destroyed wound up living, cloning itself, and sending those clones into the shells. Chaos ensures, and Great Britain finds itself in the market for a new Prime Minister. AGAIN. Also, the stereotype is now seen as a hero figure, even though he barely has the one dimension.

I will confess that I like how the Doctor finished the Daleks: lure them into a spare TARDIS, then collapse the sumbitch. Seeing them zip inside to go for the kill was pretty neat.

I'm going to miss Ryan and Graham. I do have to question the Doctor's parting gift for them. "Right, this past adventure was about people mishandling alien technology. So here are what are two VIP passes to everything either of you can dream about. Enjoy!!" Seriously, though, I liked those two. The Doctor and Yaz should be fine along with the new guy.

Jack Harkness is still Jack Harkness. John Barrowman is a geeky treasure, Liked his chemistry with Jodie.

Is it weird to think that more could have been done with the Doctor in prison?

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I loved seeing Jack back but was mostly bored with the plot. The setup took too long and was too predictable. The Daleks just aren’t scary enough on their own now. Yaz was annoying. I’ll miss Ryan and Graham but I am happy to see companions choose to walk away for the first time since Martha.

My biggest problem was that the plot made zero sense. Why would the Dalek shells be some kind of revolutionary security system? I could see it being revolutionary technology but why would they use the exact same design. Who would agree to a nationwide robotic security system that sprayed water and gas on people? 

Plus it’s annoying they pretended the Dalek’s are unfamiliar to humans. 

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6 hours ago, elle said:

When was it established that they could survive outside of their shells?  Was that a NuWho thing?

Resolution showed a dalek "piloting" a human, but Old Who had the squishy innards of the daleks occasionally doing things (Remembrance of the Daleks had a claw grabbing either the Doctor or Ace, IIRC). It is, however, like most of Who, entirely inconsistent, as Dalek shells are sometimes co-opted by Team Doctor to roam around in apparently without difficulty!

Good to see (even if I dislike the concept) that the revelation of the Doctor's true origins has had an effect on her. It seemed somewhat believable that absent of any globe shattering crisis that she might use the time in prison to reflect on exactly who she is. Of course, that went out the window when she heard about the Daleks turning up again, when it was full steam ahead on thwarting them.

5 hours ago, Eulipian 5k said:

 Did the Fam tell Jack what the Doctor looked like?

Beyond He was now a She, not that we saw. But Jack had (at least) months to plan his prison break, i assume he got the details of the Doctor's new appearance in that period. If you had accurate enough details of the prison to plot a break out, getting hold of the inmates details is presumably trivial. 

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"On tonight's episode of Doctor Who, the Daleks' shells are used as guardians with AI units, and it all goes to hell. [long pause] WHAT THE FUCK  DID YOU EXPECT?!? HOW CAN YOU BE THAT STUPID?!?"

They were no worse than "The Greatest Ever Britain", Winston Churchill was in Victory of the Daleks. If you assume (as the episode seems to) that nobody remembers the Daleks, then it was just a novel design of chassis for their new security robots

Was that the (I guess) 0th Incarnation of the Doctor that Graham saw at the end as they left?

Edited by John Potts
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Surely I was not the only one here who had a flashback to this song as Jack had his heart to heart with Yaz!

 

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8 hours ago, DanaK said:

I'm not sure I fully understood the thing with the other inmates in the prison (like, are they in special cells and only the Doctor can take a walk?) but it was fun having some interact with the Doctor

Regarding John Bishop. See the post I'm making in the Series 13 topic

 

I thought that was the prison yard scene. Half an hour to exercise every day. Something like that. 

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2 hours ago, John Potts said:

Was that the (I guess) 0th Incarnation of the Doctor that Graham saw at the end as they left?

That was Grace, Graham's wife and Ryan's grandmother, who died in the introductory episode. Seeing her in the sunlight at the end was sort of closure to their "arc."

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7 hours ago, Chyromaniac said:

(there were a few moments where I felt they may be taking her into Rose/Martha territory, which I hope is not the case)

Ah, you noticed that too. Yeah, I hope they don't go there; I got very annoyed by it during the 10 and 11 periods and I still haven't recovered.

Not every companion needs to be in love with The Doctor.

Eulipian 5K said: It seems like the entire Christmas aspect is scrubbed from these specials, (except for the whole alien invasion thing).

I seem to remember Chibnall announcing that Doctor Who had run out of ideas for Christmas stories and that's why we're getting New Years specials now.

Edited by NeenerNeener
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Also, I like the thematic idea of "Family" for the Doctor and the Daleks: Team Doctor can disagree and feel hurt but will come together, while Team Dalek see any "family" conflict can only be resolved with Extermination.

27 minutes ago, cardigirl said:

That was Grace, Graham's wife and Ryan's grandmother, who died in the introductory episode.

Thanks! That makes much more sense.

Edited by John Potts

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Jack said he spent 19 years getting to the cell next to the Doctor, so she was there a long time. 

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I enjoyed the little Monty Python Holy Grail-ish chimes during the opening graphics.  I kind of wish they had continued.

11 hours ago, elle said:

Also wanted to ask if there was any significance to the look of the control room on the decoy Tardis.  (so sad to see any Tardis destroyed)

It was basically the same set as “Doctor Ruth’s” Tardis from the Judoon episode (besides being the one they hijacked from Gallifrey).  This may mean that it’s replaced the “all white” look as the default console room in this iteration of the series.  If so, it’s a bit of a shame - the white was a sharp, classic design.  However I liked the alternate version here too (Jodie’s has grown on me, but it’s still not my favorite) so I hope we haven’t seen the last of it.  And yes, knowing what we do about them, it’s a shame to lose any Tardis.

9 hours ago, Dani said:

Who would agree to a nationwide robotic security system that sprayed water and gas on people? 

Sadly, as an American I have to assume that 90% or more of our police departments would happily use crowd control drones that look like alien tanks, just because they look like alien tanks.

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Another thing I really liked was the scene with Yaz, Ryan and Graham when the Tardis returned after being away from them for 10 months. The music, the blowing wind, the look all made this arrival pretty special and a big friggin deal.

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10 hours ago, John Potts said:

Beyond He was now a She, not that we saw. But Jack had (at least) months to plan his prison break, i assume he got the details of the Doctor's new appearance in that period.

Yeah,That means they chose not to show the payoff to his great line in FOTJ "This.. I gotta see!" It's not a rap on the show they went with just slotting Jack in as if he was always there. To the 2000 year old Doctor everything they've ever seen essentially  happened yesterday, so even though the last time she saw Jack was 11 years ago, she still treated him like 10 did and denied Jack his suite, 😒. {Maybe she's mad he didn't break her out of the billion year compression dial sentence, lol.)

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Yaz really irritated me with her acting like a spurned lover, totally brushing past the Doctor's, "I was in space jail," and making it all about herself.

I know I was supposed to be somewhat sympathetic with the idiot tech guy given he had a family and all, but seriously, he was way too stupid to live. Not only did he clone an alien life-form (did he have one of those doctorates in multidisciplinary Science! that comic-book geniuses tend to have?) in secret but he hooked it up to the company's computer network. For. Reasons. He got everything he had coming to him.

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[Wild-ass speculation ahead -- I'll bet Captain Jack Harkness would like a TARDIS.  Do you think The Doctor will give him the one that turned into a house (after she breaks out of that unbreakable prison?)  Or alternatively -- maybe Jack comes to earth to get the spare TARDIS and gathers up the "Fam" in order to lead them on a mission to break The Doctor out of prison.]

That's what I posted in the thread for the prior episode back in MARCH 2020.  So I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.  I was wrong about The Doctor giving Jack a TARDIS but I was RIGHT about Captain Jack having a role to play in the holiday special and that that extra TARDIS would have a role to play as well. You have to love Jack's loyalty to The Doctor -- getting himself incarcerated just to break The Doctor out.  That being said, I could have done without the insinuation about where he hid the squareness gun all that time.

As for the special itself . . . it was okay.  I've been binge-watching some of the older episodes that BBC America aired this past week and I have to say my love for this particular cast has simply never reached the levels of love I felt for David Tennant or Matt Smith or even Peter Capaldi and their various companions. (I will always love Rose because she was the first but Catherine Tate's Donna is still my favorite.)  It felt weird when Graham and Ryan decided to leave and even weirder that Yasmin was so eager to stay.  I don't think Mandip has much on-screen charisma nor do I think she has much chemistry with Jodie (I mean acting chemistry, not romantic chemistry) so I'm pretty surprised by this change in the cast.  But I will keep an open mind and hope the change -- coupled with additional cast changes -- sparks some clever plot ideas.

Edited by WatchrTina
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I chuckled when Jack called Graham a "silver fox."

Anyone like to see Graham and Ryan get their own show? I think it could be like Torchwood, but funnier. 

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I enjoyed every minute of Captain Jack, he's great.  John Barrowman has good chemistry with Jodie; I hope we see him again.   And Hallelujah a thousand times, we finally had companions simply LEAVE.  Not get stuck in a parallel universe, not have her memory wiped  (still gutted about that), not stick around endlessly before finally croaking except she didn't, worse luck.

I'll miss both Ryan and Graham.  

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On rewatch I see Ryan and Graham mentioned the New Year to Yaz, so that makes it a Die Hard type Christmas time special?

It seems the whole Daleks or aliens attack the UK (in the Festive Period) is a running joke, like every monster from the sea attacked Tokyo, we shouldn't expect any precautions or memory of them, or even a social distancing policy regarding aliens, Mr. Jack Robertson!

Jack was always better with the companions than with the Doctor. I like how they found the adventure all by themselves like Sarah Jane did in School Reunion.

Edited by Eulipian 5k · Reason: name change

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22 hours ago, Chyromaniac said:

Sad to see the Fam split up - but I think they gave Ryan and Graham good reasons for leaving.  And, it's a relief to see companions depart on their own terms, with hugs and gifts no less. 

I was SO RELIEVED that they walked away. I'm still incredulous about Donna. Clearly, Ryan had done a lot of thinking on the 10 months, but I was worried they were going to blow up the ship themselves (with them on it). And really, this is what the show should be - the companions travel with the Doctor, they grow and become better, and they're able to move on an put that out into the world. Yaz isn't ready yet. No problem.

Though I'm slightly surprised given that they worked well with Jack that he didn't want to start up Torchwood again. I forget if it's still active. Then again, after the last Torchwood series on Starz, Jack might be over it. Graham and Ryan are clearly keen to keep 'doctoring' around Earth, so I would have thought Jack might have encouraged it. I don't know how they can afford to travel to Korea and Finland.

The overall plan worked really well and went rather straightforward for a Doctor plan. Though the Daleks are ruthless, they are highly predictable. Great monologue calling them 'pets'. WE ARE NO PETS OF THE DOCTOR. They're so dumb sometimes.

I love when Daleks are talking to one another with no one around. It's so silly. There's no way they'd be using sound, but I love the way they thought to design the shell so the lights go off when they talk.

Edited by DoctorAtomic
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5 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

 I don't know how they can afford to travel to Korea and Finland.

You can afford to go anywhere when you have psychic paper!  Boarding pass, paid reservations, Interpol officer credentials, "give the bearer all necessary assistance", whatever you need it to say.

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I really enjoyed this episode; it was a perfect rollicking New Year's special.

I'm still not thrilled with Chib's Doctor retcon but thankfully it only got mentioned tangentially and so I can pretend it never happened for a while.

RTD remains the very very best at characterisation and you can tell when one of his characters is on screen. Jack Harkness is amazing and I would love to have him back full time. He just has so much energy and heart. 

11 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

 It felt weird when Graham and Ryan decided to leave and even weirder that Yasmin was so eager to stay.  I don't think Mandip has much on-screen charisma nor do I think she has much chemistry with Jodie (I mean acting chemistry, not romantic chemistry) so I'm pretty surprised by this change in the cast. 

This is possibly all true but her character is the one that is still on an arc they can explore. Graham and Ryan don't really have a narrative arc other than coming together as a family and having fun with the Doctor and as a consequence that arc is long done. Yaz's screen presence may be a little too low key and her character a bit too pleasant for an apparently gung ho cop but there is at least aspects of her character they can still explore.

I know people like Graham but if they spend less time on his folksy meanderings through the universe we may get some better development of other characters. And I still think he was only there so the viewers who can't cope with the Doctor being a woman can still have an old white man to watch. Yaz may not interest me that much as a person but I think this was quite a good change.

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The scenes of the Doctor in prison were well done. I liked the Doctor telling herself stories and how some past well-known villains like a Weeping Angel (how did they manage to catch one?!) and the Silence made an appearance in the prison yard. Good to see Jack again; how nice of him to spend 19 years committing crimes to make sure he'd be able to break her out of prison. What a good friend!

Smart of the Doctor to trick the Daleks into eliminating each other because of their own obsession with purity, and it's fortunate there was that spare TARDIS to use to get rid of the enforcer Daleks, even if it is sad to see a TARDIS destroyed. 

I'll miss Ryan and Graham, but I'm happy they got to leave on their own terms. It was realistic that Ryan would want to stay and that Graham would choose to stay with him. I like how their story came full circle with Ryan not giving up on learning to ride a bike. And it was nice of the Doctor to give them a going away present; those psychic papers will come in handy.

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I watched it again, and the she said she a few decades to think. So she was in there for over 19 years, that's just how long it took Jack to get to her. You'd think she'd nicer to Jack since he's the only companion that will live forever like her. 

As for Yaz, I wonder if they are going to explore her being in love with the Doctor. Especially with the mention of Rose. They kind of hinted at that she might be gay with the bullying she received at school and her mom even asked if the Doctor was her girlfriend.

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Finally managed to watch this. Overall impressions...mixed. Mostly positive - as festive specials go, this was fun to watch with some nice little character moments that I enjoyed, although they also served to remind me of how under-developed this group of companions is. Why couldn't they have had meaningful little moments like that all along? I especially enjoyed Ryan's chat with the Doctor and he's the one who has needed development the most. If he'd been having chats like that all along, we all might have felt more attached to him.

But there was also stuff I didn't like. Yaz's reaction to the Doctor's absence especially, which smacked of Rose's entitlement in the worst possible way. I mean, the Doctor even said she'd been in space jail and Yaz (and all the others) just blew past it without it even registering. No, "what happened, how'd you get out, are you okay?" It didn't even occur to any of them to ask how long it had been for the Doctor - even when she said she'd tried to get back to the same day she left them. No, nothing but "me, me, me, how could you leave me like that," which is the exact attitude that always bugs me most in a companion. And, I get that it is always new to each of them, I'm just really tired of companions who subsume their entire identity in the Doctor like that. Which is why I'm really, really glad Ryan and Graham left on their own terms. Ryan showed so much more maturity than Yaz throughout this episode, and his story here was a continuation of what we saw at the end of last season, which was good. It was also nice to see Graham's much smaller arc in this episode, that he'd have quite happily continued adventuring through time and space with the Doctor, but made a specific choice to stay on Earth with Ryan, because that's his family. That was nicely done.

The Doctor's many decades in prison I'd rather not comment on because that was a thing that always struck me as out of character when Moffat did it as well - having decades if not centuries pass for the Doctor off-screen and then have them return to the same companions as if no time had passed at all. The Doctor of old would never have gone back after so much time had passed. They'd have moved on, emotionally, and would simply start again from where they found themselves now. Then again, I have as hard a time believing the Doctor would remain trapped in prison for decades as I did believing that the Doctor would spend several centuries sulking on a cloud, so. I clearly have a very different interpretation of the Doctor's character than the showrunners do!

I enjoyed seeing Jack again, he fitted right back in, as he always does. Although I still side eye the decision to confer immortality upon him, as well as a lot of the stuff that happened on Torchwood, I love that he has developed so naturally into the same sort of position the Brigadier reached back in the Classic era, where it doesn't matter which Doctor he encounters, he just slides straight back into the friendship and carries on from there. It's also what Moffat wanted to achieve with River Song, but it never worked for me there because he forced it so much. Works better with Jack because it isn't forced.

I have a very hard time believing that anyone would look at those defence drones and not immediately recognise a Dalek. But this was hardly the first plot to revolve around such an anachronism.

The little post-episode clip I guess we are talking about elsewhere? I will go have a look.

ETA I forgot to mention the thing that annoyed me most in the entire episode, which was that the corrupt, traitorous billionaire who tried to betray the entire human race was ultimately rewarded for his actions. Who is usually better at punishing villainous characters than that, which is important, imo, because rewarding them sends the subtle, subliminal message that what they did was actually okay, that they can't be that bad, really, not if they were allowed to get away with it. Very badly done, has me side-eyeing Chibnall quite severely. Who is meant to represent a moral standard.

Edited by Llywela
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2 hours ago, Sakura12 said:

I watched it again, and the she said she a few decades to think. So she was in there for over 19 years, that's just how long it took Jack to get to her. You'd think she'd nicer to Jack since he's the only companion that will live forever like her. 

As for Yaz, I wonder if they are going to explore her being in love with the Doctor. Especially with the mention of Rose. They kind of hinted at that she might be gay with the bullying she received at school and her mom even asked if the Doctor was her girlfriend.

I tried finding a specific number earlier this morning, but they really haven't given one.  So since "over 19 years" and "decades" are both accurate answers, I just went with what I thought was funnier.

2 hours ago, Llywela said:

the corrupt, traitorous billionaire who tried to betray the entire human race was ultimately rewarded for his actions. Who is usually better at punishing villainous characters than that, which is important, imo, because rewarding them sends the subtle, subliminal message that what they did was actually okay, that they can't be that bad, really, not if they were allowed to get away with it.

He's a bit like the tuxedo guy from Voyage for the Damned to me - yes, he's a jerk and it's a shame that he survives when most of the people we're supposed to care about don't.  But at the same time I kind of feel like the fact that they get away is supposed to diminish them as villains - like they're beneath the heroes effort to deal with.  I'm an American, but I get the sense that this may be a British attitude - "let him go - he's not worth fussing over."  It's kind of what happens to the Malfoys in Harry Potter as well - their main punishment is knowing that they turned tail and ran.

Or, maybe they have plans for Robertson, and he may yet get his just desserts.  As the Curator would say, "Who Nose?"

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Just now, Chyromaniac said:

He's a bit like the tuxedo guy from Voyage for the Damned to me - yes, he's a jerk and it's a shame that he survives when most of the people we're supposed to care about don't.  But at the same time I kind of feel like the fact that they get away is supposed to diminish them as villains - like they're beneath the heroes effort to deal with.  I'm an American, but I get the sense that this may be a British attitude - "let him go - he's not worth fussing over."  It's kind of what happens to the Malfoys in Harry Potter as well - their main punishment is knowing that they turned tail and ran.

Or, maybe they have plans for Robertson, and he may yet get his just desserts.  As the Curator would say, "Who Nose?"

...I mean, I am British, so no, it isn't a British attitude and didn't play out like that at all, for me. It's not the fact that he was just released to go about his merry way that bothered me, it was that we were specifically shown him lying through his teeth and being rewarded, after attempting to sell out the entire human race, and that just doesn't sit well, especially in this current climate.

And if there are plans for him in the future, that's worse, because it means we have to see him again, and I just can't see how this character is remotely worth re-visiting so many times. He's not charming, he's not entertaining, he is merely symbolic of so many things that are wrong with the world right here and now, and seeing him get away with his treachery and corruption really burns. This is not an area where I want realism from Who, I want the symbolism of seeing that character torn down and I wanted it in his first appearance, it shouldn't take multiple returns! 

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3 hours ago, Llywela said:

Yaz's reaction to the Doctor's absence especially, which smacked of Rose's entitlement in the worst possible way. I mean, the Doctor even said she'd been in space jail and Yaz (and all the others) just blew past it without it even registering. No, "what happened, how'd you get out, are you okay?" It didn't even occur to any of them to ask how long it had been for the Doctor - even when she said she'd tried to get back to the same day she left them. No, nothing but "me, me, me, how could you leave me like that," which is the exact attitude that always bugs me most in a companion.

Yaz seemed clearly obsessed, so her reaction was extreme, especially compared to the boys, who were more accepting and over it. Yaz's talk with Jack clearly showed she was having a hard time letting go of being with the Doctor and going on adventures, especially since the end was so sudden. Given Yaz's past issues with mental illness, I hope Series 13 follows up on Yaz's mental state a bit and her inability to let go just yet. Of course, it's not easy letting go when you've suddenly had to stop after having the whole universe to explore. Sarah Jane Smith had a really hard time after the Doctor left her and her reunion with the 10th Doctor, 15 or so years later, was bittersweet.

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13 minutes ago, DanaK said:

Sarah Jane Smith had a really hard time after the Doctor left her and her reunion with the 10th Doctor, 15 or so years later, was bittersweet.

I think that's what they were going for. That aspect of the show hasn't really been explored since they're bent on having tragic ends for the companions in the new era. Sure, Yaz was being selfish, but they've been fairly strong in their hinting she has issues. I know it's a kids' show overall, but there's some good material here to mine in that regard.

I hope they don't go the route of Yaz 'I can't live without the Doctor' and give her a tragic ending.

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45 minutes ago, DanaK said:

Yaz seemed clearly obsessed, so her reaction was extreme, especially compared to the boys, who were more accepting and over it. Yaz's talk with Jack clearly showed she was having a hard time letting go of being with the Doctor and going on adventures, especially since the end was so sudden. Given Yaz's past issues with mental illness, I hope Series 13 follows up on Yaz's mental state a bit and her inability to let go just yet. Of course, it's not easy letting go when you've suddenly had to stop after having the whole universe to explore. Sarah Jane Smith had a really hard time after the Doctor left her and her reunion with the 10th Doctor, 15 or so years later, was bittersweet.

My point was that this is a storyline we've seen before, multiple times throughout New Who, and I disliked it the first time, so getting it again for the fifth or sixth time here rubs me the wrong way. I understand that Yaz's mental health issues have been seeded through her time in the show, but do they really have to manifest as yet another unhealthy obsession with never ever wanting to leave the Doctor?

Sarah Jane was reunited with the Doctor 30 years after she left him, not 15, and as much as I enjoy School Reunion, she is out of character throughout - the Sarah who left the TARDIS back in the 70s was ready to leave and would not have spent 30 years pining, she had better things to do with her life than that. She was written that way to facilitate Rose's storyline, which was the first time we'd seen a companion invest their entire identity in the Doctor to the extent that they couldn't imagine a life without him. And ever since then, that has been the primary take on the Doctor-companion relationship - far more New Who companions have felt that way than otherwise, mainly as build up to a melodramatically tragic departure, and it stands in direct contrast to the far more varied experiences and departures seen in the Classic era. So yeah, I'm a little depressed to see Yaz going down the same road, because we've seen it before. Ryan's more mature attitude here was refreshing in its contrast. I much, much prefer it when companions learn and grow through their time with the Doctor to the point where they are ready to take what they have gained from their experience and move on to the next stage of their life on their own terms. I really hope Yaz gets there eventually, rather than all this just being build-up to yet another New Who tragedy.

But I get that this is a perceptual divide between people who grew up watching the Classic show and people who started out with New Who. New Who fans were trained from the very beginning to see Doctor-companion co-dependency as not only normal but romantic, whereas to those of us who grew up watching the Classic show, that exact same thing just seems jarringly out of place!

Edited by Llywela
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