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S08.E06: The Caretaker

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Yes, that's the River reference.  Tumblr has been abuzz since the teaser of that scene was released a few days ago, mine included.  Also, he offers to take Clara to the Frost Fairs, where he took River for her birthday.

 

I'm so ready for Clara to go.  And I'm finally feeling the Moff hate.  This season has been such a disappointment.  The majority of this show has just not been good since Clara hit the TARDIS

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I can only assume the iPad has advanced audio compared to the crappy speakers on the average TV.

 

The return of Aid was not entirely welcome, since it was really more of a one episode gag. Plus it smacks of Moffat not being over losing Matt Smith.

 

Peter Capaldi's struggles have convinced me that if the same team wrote for Hartnell in 1963, Doctor Who would have been cancelled before it began. Capaldi had better characterization in The Fires of Pompeii.

 

And more old jokes. Twelve looks like Clara's dad. You want to mention that a few hundred more times? Nine didn't look all that youthful, either.

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i have to say I find Capaldi's accent delightful and very easy to understand. But then I find British accents easier than most American ones so it may be that. 

 

That was exactly my wife's reaction.  She doesn't really watch the show but we sit there together and I'll be watching while she does something else.  When the Doctor scoffed at the idea of Pink being a maths teacher she immediately looked up and said "why?  Because he's black?  Since when is the Doctor racist?"  I agree that wasn't the intent, but it's further evidence that they didn't really think through the (ridiculous) plotline.

So they shouldn't make any jokes about Pink being athletic because he's Black (or mixed? I'm not sure). I don't think that's the Doctor being racist there. 

 

I'll say this - I've changed my mind. I don't want Danny as a companion - he came across as a little dumb to me. Maybe it was just the actor overacting his shock and confusion at the reveals, but dumb. Even if he was "behind Clara the whole way". Was the Doctor being an ass? Sure. Was Danny being silly? Yes. It's a piece of technology under the fire alarm - did he know it wasn't a security measure that he stropped from the wall? No he didn't. 

 

The conversation with Clara was also classic. Oh Clara, person I've been going out with for (presumably) less than a year. How could you not tell me that you travel through time and space in a blue police box with a shapeshifting alien. I can never trust you again. 

 

Oh, and I know this alien after interacting with him for 30 min, much better than you could ever know him, though you've been hanging out and having adventures with him for a much more than 30 min. 

 

The Doctor was being an ass, sure. But I don't want to see an eventual mutual respect grow between Doctor and Danny. I saw enough of that dynamic with Mickey and Rose and Rory and Amy. What I want is for the Doctor to dump Clara and Danny Pink and go pick up Psi. And maybe some hoYaY there. 

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That's exactly what grated about this episode. "Go away humans" on a sign? This is the same man who, as Ten, made such impassioned speeches about how complex humanity was, and who could read Rose's expressions like a book? There's a difference between not really caring as much about humans and not understanding humans. I know they're trying to make him more "alien", but he shouldn't be losing his knowledge about them. In fact, it would be much more interesting and sinister if he were to use that knowledge to be manipulative, which could set up an arc that turns him into something close to the Master before he realizes it and stops himself. 

Yes exactly! The Doctor has been living around and among humans for over 2000 years at this point, throughout every one of his many lives. Even in his first incarnation, back in his relative youth, he had no problem with social interaction, could pass as human and operate undercover successfully. But this era values comedy quirk over dignity and appears to have no respect for either character or consistency. The Doctor can be quirky and eccentric and alien without being written as a shambling imbecile who can't interact successfully with anyone at all, even his closest friend! I really miss having a Doctor I could respect - more than that, I miss having a Doctor who was respected by the people around him.

 

Peter Capaldi's struggles have convinced me that if the same team wrote for Hartnell in 1963, Doctor Who would have been cancelled before it began. Capaldi had better characterization in The Fires of Pompeii.

You know there is something badly, badly wrong when a low budget, throwaway educational show for children made in 1963 handles characters and character dynamics better than a prime-time, state-of-the-art show made today.

 

The willy-waving contest with Danny...it harks back to the 9th Doctor being similarly rude to Mickey, likewise for no reason. I think the writers think it's funny to make him competitive against the men in his female companions' lives and I think they also think it harks back to some of the classic Doctors being a bit rude and dismissive to their companions - like how Tom Baker's Doctor, for example, called Harry names from time to time (usually unfairly, usually under stress). But the difference there was that we always knew the Doctor was fond of Harry really - there was a lot of affection and respect there. With the 9th Doctor and Mickey, and here with the 12th Doctor and Danny, he's just being rude to a stranger for no reason, without any mutual affection built-into the relationship to offset it. So it comes across as mean-spirited rather than affectionate banter, which makes all the difference.

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I still get the feeling they're trying to make Capaldi fit the mold of the previous Doctors, Smith and Tennant, instead of letting him find his own way. The "manic" dialogue would have come across as eccentric with those two. With Capaldi, it just comes across as grumpy old man, and not as the fun kind of grumpy that a person can laugh at. I really would like them to write to Capaldi's strengths.

For me, Tennant and Smith could pull off the rapid fire dialogue and self deprecating sense of humor. With Capaldi's natural Scottish accent, I find it terribly hard to make out anything he says when he talks fast. Same with Jenna.

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How do they dangle John Smith, bring up how he lived as a human with River for a week and completely fail to mention the entire time he lived as a human teacher with the Chameleon Arch because he was trying to be kind to the Family of Blood?  It's not like the Doctor forgot that he did that!

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This is the first episode that I have imagined Matt Smith in a scene instead of just watching the scene.  It started with the Doctor mistaking "Aid" for the boyfriend and just kept it up from there.

 

It keeps happening to me. I don't normally keep track of who writes which episode, but maybe Moffatt's contention that it's always the same man is just not working when it comes to actually writing the character.

I don't know anymore why I'm watching and I'm starting to not care that I don't know. Maybe I need to wait until a new showrunner. I'm fairly sure I would like Capaldi with better writing that fits him better. With his lines, all I hear is Matt Smith and somehow I'm missing Ten at the same time and whoever said Eleven is a lot like Sherlock hit the nail on the head.

 

Nine was quite a jerk to Mickey and I didn't like that about him but there was enough to like or at least to be intrigued by. He was my first and I remember being surprised to have such a somewhat aggravating character as the hero of a kids' show. So, I don't have a problem with prickly and arrogant. But right now, he comes off as an overbearing asshat.

 

Nothing fits, nothing makes sense, and I'm ready to throw in the towel.

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How do they dangle John Smith, bring up how he lived as a human with River for a week and completely fail to mention the entire time he lived as a human teacher with the Chameleon Arch because he was trying to be kind to the Family of Blood?  It's not like the Doctor forgot that he did that!

He didn't say he lived as a human with River for a week, he said he lived among otters for a week while sulking over a fight with River. Which annoyed me intensely, so let's not get into that.

 

But his experience teaching as a human teacher while chameleon arched couldn't be mentioned here, because it would remind viewers that prior to being written as a socially inept idiot during the Moffat era, the Doctor was perfectly at home among humans and had no trouble interacting with them in a reasonable way. It would be a reminder that this show used to be a semi-serious drama about characters rather than a sit-com featuring caricatures. Can't go there.

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I knew the episode was going to be hated as I watched. I liked it though. It was definitely more like an Episode of a Clara show. Her Alien father comes to visit and all hell breaks loose. 

 

And Clara and 12 are being portrayed as parent&daughter most of the season. Which I think has been interesting. 

 

As for as the Doctor being weird. He just spent a many years with a Robot as his companion. In more than less a war zone country like planet. He lived all that with what he thought was his last regeneration cycle. And at the end of that he was given new life.

 

I think the doctor is very much like Sherlock so I'll agree with you all there :p  It's kind of why The doctor name himself the Architect-Logic what else have you. 

 

And this was another episode about a robot villain. Though the Main Plot was the two mean Clara was hiding from each other meet.

 

I did raise my Brow at the PC teacher and Danny as a Black man. Maybe it was written before Danny was Cast and they just didn't change it. The Doctor did not come out in good light there.

 

I like the parent/Daughter relationship with Clara and the Doctor. I like that they seem to be going at the PTSD this season. We are half way though the season and this episode was a season arc episode. Things need to become clearer are more and more fans will be alienated like you all. I like the Drammedy of the episode but the best parts were Pink's reaction to the Doctor.

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I'm fairly sure I would like Capaldi with better writing that fits him better. With his lines, all I hear is Matt Smith and somehow I'm missing Ten at the same time and whoever said Eleven is a lot like Sherlock hit the nail on the head.

I still regret not getting to see what Matt Smith's Doctor might have been under a different showrunner, I can't bear to think that Capaldi's might have nothing but Moffat as well. If he wanted to write the Doctor as Sherlock, fair enough for one - but not two, and especially not two in a row. Yes, he's always the same man...but he's also always different. I'm familiar with every Doctor, I've seen about 85% of every episode ever made - including quite a lot that don't actually exist - so I know that with every Doctor there are sometimes lines you can picture another Doctor saying, and that's usually a good thing, it helps to reinforce that they are always the same man at the core. But they have also always had very distinct voices, each one very much an individual, markedly different to the last. And that's how it should be. Moffat doesn't get to come along and say, 'oh but I like writing this particular character voice, I think it's funny, so I'm going to use it for Sherlock and for the Doctor, and now for the new Doctor as well, he's the same man after all so he should sound the same'...no, that's not how it works. And it isn't working. Capaldi's Doctor needs to be allowed to find his own voice, not get wedged into the same tired, faux-quirky patter as Smith's. It doesn't suit him.

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I did raise my Brow at the PC teacher and Danny as a Black man. Maybe it was written before Danny was Cast and they just didn't change it. The Doctor did not come out in good light there.

I have to be honest and say this comes across as a particularly American reading - I've never been aware of any association with black people with being seen as too stupid to teach anything but sport. That just isn't a thing here, our racial politics are different, and so I doubt it's a reading that would ever occur to British writers. They'll have just seen it as a stupid joke to hammer home their point about the Doctor suddenly being prejudiced against soldiers - and hammer it into the ground they certainly did. And the classic series is accused of padding! The modern show only has 45 minutes to tell a story and still manages to waste time telling the same joke over and over.

 

Damn, this episode made me really cranky!

Edited by Llywela
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I like the parent/Daughter relationship with Clara and the Doctor. I like that they seem to be going at the PTSD this season. We are half way though the season and this episode was a season arc episode. Things need to become clearer are more and more fans will be alienated like you all. I like the Drammedy of the episode but the best parts were Pink's reaction to the Doctor.

Danny was the most likeable character in this episode. He knew the Doctor figured out he was in the TARDIS about the same time I did. He had the Doctor pegged as the man who likes to give the orders. He also saw how Clara put her life in danger because she was so sure that the Doctor would save her. What's sad is that there are all kinds of reasons for Clara to be with Danny and almost no reasons for her to stay with Twelve.

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I was never a fan of the older Doctor Who episodes, I've only come on board with the show since it's reboot in 2005.  And even then it took a looooong while for me to get past some of the cartoonish/campy aspects of the show (the Daleks do not scare me in the least).  So I cannot comment on how poorly Doctor Who is being written/acted at this particular time.

 

What I can comment on is that I have been thoroughly entertained by Moffat's storytelling and this particular episode charmed me again.  I love Danny Pink, and his figuring out that the Doctor's concern about Clara is that Pink is good enough for her.  I'm sentimental, so shoot me.  Also loved the mention of River and the other mentions of previous generations in other episodes.

 

I loved it all, the watch that can turn you invisible, Clara tap-dancing away like mad to explain to Danny that what he saw was just a play rehearsal, the setting in the school, the teachers' concern for their students safety.  Well done!

 

And Danny's speech to Clara at the end reminded me of Rory's speech to the Doctor in Vampires of Venice, about the Doctor being dangerous because he makes people want to impress him.  It's rather true.  The Doctor's companions do not usually go off into the sunset happily. 

 

I've been having a bit of trouble accepting the Doctor's gruffness this regeneration, but apparently he is SUPPOSED to be the Rude doctor.  And even as the Rude doctor, I'm still enjoying watching where the story will take us.  On board for the season!

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For me, Tennant and Smith could pull off the rapid fire dialogue and self deprecating sense of humor. With Capaldi's natural Scottish accent, I find it terribly hard to make out anything he says when he talks fast. Same with Jenna.

It reminds me of Bunheads, because on paper the lead in that show was perfect, but (to me) her voice was just too low and melancholy for the dialogue.  They need to start writing dialogue for this actor, that suits his accent and voice.

 

I have to be honest and say this comes across as a particularly American reading - I've never been aware of any association with black people with being seen as too stupid to teach anything but sport.

I don't think it's "black people are too stupid to teach anything but sport," I think it's more like the racist attitude of "black people are good at sports but not much else." Which may be a particular American thing of course, I wouldn't know since I'm American.

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Race is still a very sensitive subject in America. Just look at what's happening in Ferguson to see our wonderful race relations. If DW had been produced in America Rose and Mickey would not have happened I can tell you that. Clara and Danny would be a struggle for some people nine years later. We had people in a uproar over an interracial couple in a Cheerioes commercial a year ago. Moffat has lots of issues but race isn't one of them, its just cultural thing.

 

I have a question for people. Do you feel like you know Clara as a character? I know she's not an empty vessel like she was during the Impossible Girl arc but it feels artificial. She's getting a lot to do but it just doesn't feel natural. Am I missing something or she still just another Moffat woman?

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The opening montage of "interesting adventures that you'd probably rather see than the shitty story we're actually going to present" was better done with the Ponds in "The Power of Three".  That wasn't good either, but it was better than this crap.

 

Danny thought the Doctor was Clara's Space Dad.  Later, he said something like "he doesn't have to like me, he just wants me to be good enough for you."  From that, I think the writers were attempting to make the Doctor into Clara's over-protective father.  He's her grumpy dad who doesn't like his daughter's new boyfriend.  He's insulting and demeaning to Danny because no one is good enough for his little princess.  (i just threw up in my mouth a little).  Unfortunately that doesn't explain why the Doctor was such an asshole to Danny before he found out that he was her boyfriend.  Lousy writing I suppose.

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So they shouldn't make any jokes about Pink being athletic because he's Black (or mixed? I'm not sure). I don't think that's the Doctor being racist there. 

 

No, I don't think anybody actually thinks the Doctor was being racist.  What I (and, I think, some others) are saying is that the Doctor's behavior on that issue is utterly incoherent and out of character.  There's no reason why he should so angrily refuse to acknowledge that a former soldier can teach mathematics.  Certainly no reason that the show has ever given us.  It's insane.  So the viewer's mind starts grasping at straws, trying to find something that at least explains why the characters are doing what they're doing.  It's a staple of American society that black men are assumed to hold lower rungs on the ladder vis a vis whites.  It's the inherent racism that's been there since slavery days.  The Doctor sees Clara hanging out with a black man and wonders why she's wasting her time with a PE instructor.  Then he sees her with a white man and instantly approves of what is to him a perfect match of equals. 

 

I know that's not what the show is trying to say (or at least I hope to god not).  That's why I said my wife, who only sits in the room while the show is on and doesn't really pay close attention, drew that conclusion.  So what the showrunners should have been doing is giving Twelve's hatred of soldiers a more plausible foundation.  Then we wouldn't be thinking about racism which, again, is at least a plausible explanation for the Doctor's behavior rather than whatever soldier hatred he now has that hasn't been explained to us.  Make sense?

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I have a question for people. Do you feel like you know Clara as a character? I know she's not an empty vessel like she was during the Impossible Girl arc but it feels artificial. She's getting a lot to do but it just doesn't feel natural. Am I missing something or she still just another Moffat woman?

It's complicated. On the one hand, I can list a good few personality traits that Clara has - she's good with kids, she's bossy, she's a control freak, she has an extremely high opinion of herself, etc - but on the other hand, a) very few of them are particularly attractive traits, and b) they still feel...artificial is a good word. She feels like a character rather than a person, if that makes sense. There's very little substance, still, behind the surface sheen.

There's no reason why he should so angrily refuse to acknowledge that a former soldier can teach mathematics.  Certainly no reason that the show has ever given us.  [...] So what the showrunners should have been doing is giving Twelve's hatred of soldiers a more plausible foundation.  Then we wouldn't be thinking about racism which, again, is at least a plausible explanation for the Doctor's behavior rather than whatever soldier hatred he now has that hasn't been explained to us.  Make sense?

Yes, because there really hasn't been any coherent explanation of why the Doctor suddenly and irrationally hates all soldiers so vehemently.

 

Plus...the Brigadier taught mathematics, after retiring from UNIT. So there's even precedent - the Doctor knows damn well that ex-soldiers can teach mathematics!

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I sat on this overnight so I wouldn't jump on here all full of vitriol… but my thoughts on this ep haven't changed.

 

I don't know what I watched, but it sure as hell wasn't Doctor Who. More adventures of Clara's dating life, watching Clara "teach" (and is it me or is she the crappiest teacher ever?) watching the Doctor and Mickey, I mean Danny have an episode-long pissing contest, Clara as always being the only voice of reason and wisdom, I hate to go on. I do know it was the longest 42 minutes I've sat through in a long time.

 

I also had a tougher-than normal time understanding the dialogue, and normally I do OK. Then I got to thinking - I haven't watched this show regularly, every week, since Donna's season (2008? 2009?) so maybe my American ears are just out of practice.

 

Peter Capaldi's struggles have convinced me that if the same team wrote for Hartnell in 1963, Doctor Who would have been cancelled before it began. Capaldi had better characterization in The Fires of Pompeii.

Agreed. The writing gives PC nothing to work with here. And I wholeheartedly agree that he had more to work with in Fires of Pompeii than he has in all six (right?) episodes of this season so far. Makes me so sad.

 

But this era values comedy quirk over dignity and appears to have no respect for either character or consistency. The Doctor can be quirky and eccentric and alien without being written as a shambling imbecile who can't interact successfully with anyone at all, even his closest friend! I really miss having a Doctor I could respect - more than that, I miss having a Doctor who was respected by the people around him.

 

You know there is something badly, badly wrong when a low budget, throwaway educational show for children made in 1963 handles characters and character dynamics better than a prime-time, state-of-the-art show made today.

Bolded because Yes!! That's exactly what bugs me about Moff's writing - he'll sacrifice everything from character history to common sense to the friggin' intelligence of his audience just for a cheap laugh. Guess what, Moff? I'm not laughing. And if I want mindless comedy, I'll watch a sitcom.

 

All episode I kept thinking that Ten had no trouble fitting in at Krillotane High when he went undercover with Rose, Mickey and Sarah Jane. So WTH was going on with Twelve here? I know it's supposed to be because Twelve is a different man, blah blah blah. But I didn't get that from the episode. Which is another fail for Moff.

 

I truly hope Moffs leaves very, very soon and takes Clara with him - I'd hate for this dreck to be Capaldi's legacy as Twelve.

 

ETA:

Yes, because there really hasn't been any coherent explanation of why the Doctor suddenly and irrationally hates all soldiers so vehemently.

Yeah, I'd love to know where this came from, and more importantly, why? Especially since the reboot has made mention more than once that the Doctor's companions tend to end up as soldiers after their time with him.

Edited by Maelstrom
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I think the Doctor's hatred of soldiers in this episode goes along with his hatred of himself which was highlighted in the last episode. I think this Doctor is having a hard time reconciling the fact that he really is a soldier.  Being clever isn't always enough, sometimes you have to pick up the gun and he hates that.

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truther - that's exactly what went through my head (in a pretty quick flash, but yes). There's zero in-show reason for him to react as he did, especially with regard to calling him a PE teacher, therefore the only connection that made "sense" was the racist one.

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As for the PE teacher thing, my crazy brain figured the Doctor went with that because, like me, he hates PE and assumes someone he dislikes would have to teach PE. #itmadesenseinmyhead

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Didn't we see Danny as a PE teacher in an earlier episode?  I could have sworn that in one episode he was in athletic gear, outside with students, coaching them through some physical activity.  That's what I kept thinking all the way through this episode as Danny and Clara kept insisting that he was a maths teacher, NOT a PE teacher.  Maybe I'm just imagining things...

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My husband, who has no real investment in this show, commented that he is not liking this new Doctor.  I was telling him of some of the comments I've read and he replied that he guessed it was too late now for tptb to change another for this season.

 

Yep.

 

 

I'm thinking the Doctor's hate of soldiers may be a leftover from the Time War. He doesn't like the whole war machine and, as has been mentioned 10 wasn't all that thrilled to have to work with them. It could be 12 is less able to bury the pain of being a soldier and fighting. He never liked killing.

 

One would think that, right?  For Nine maybe! (that was a snark at Moffett not you).  But even when surrounded by soldiers, Nine was still trying to help everyone from the mess that Captain Jack inadvertently made.  If he was as anti-soldier as Twelve is, he would have been so busy insulting all the uniforms around him to have figured out what was the key to saving the child and everyone else.

 

Yes, Twelve has the memories of the Time War but he also has the now know that he did not destroy his own race and another by using "The Moment".  And, why in the name of not killing would he save and release what was basically a "planet destroying weapon"?

 

 

 

Certainly, there's much to dislike in the current Doctor-Companion relationship.  My impression, though, is quite different from yours.  Underneath the quibbling, I think they're rather fond of each other.

 

How about the rest of you?  What do you think?  Does Clara like the Doctor, or not?

I don't know anymore.  I was rather creeped out by the Doctor's comment at the end of "Time Heist" made the comment about "A bank heist, a whole bank, top that for a date"  What was that?  As far as whether or not Clara likes the Doctor, she may have once, now I feel she enjoys the adventure and the ego boost from "helping" the Doctor.

 

Yes, that's the River reference.  Tumblr has been abuzz since the teaser of that scene was released a few days ago, mine included.  Also, he offers to take Clara to the Frost Fairs, where he took River for her birthday.

Excuse me as I roll my eyes in an exaggerated manner...

 

Didn't we see Danny as a PE teacher in an earlier episode?  I could have sworn that in one episode he was in athletic gear, outside with students, coaching them through some physical activity.  That's what I kept thinking all the way through this episode as Danny and Clara kept insisting that he was a maths teacher, NOT a PE teacher.  Maybe I'm just imagining things...

He may have been supervising a recess.  We saw Clara at that when the kids where playing ball instead of lawn chess.

 

 

The opening montage of "interesting adventures that you'd probably rather see than the shitty story we're actually going to present" was better done with the Ponds in "The Power of Three".  That wasn't good either, but it was better than this crap.

I wanted to know, when does the woman sleep?  She runs, literally in one case, from the Doctor to Danny.  How does she even have the energy for her job?

 

Remember when the TARDIS locked out Clara?  Was the TARDIS replaced and I missed it?

Edited by elle

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I think the Doctor's hatred of soldiers in this episode goes along with his hatred of himself which was highlighted in the last episode. I think this Doctor is having a hard time reconciling the fact that he really is a soldier.  Being clever isn't always enough, sometimes you have to pick up the gun and he hates that.

That fits with what I guessed above, but now, after reading the explanations about how the PE teacher lines would never have sounded racist in Britain, I'm wondering if there is a particular British zeitgeist about soldiers that U.S. viewers don't have, which would make the Doctor's feelings about soldier's more readily understood.
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There was this show I used to watch about a guy from another planet encountering all sort of other species and having adventures in time and space...I really miss that show.

 

The soldier-hate isn't bothering me because I expect some pay-off later on, like an explanation or a Very Special Episode wherein the Doctor learns how very wrong he was, group hug, never hear about the issue again, etc. It will probably be tied in with Missy and her dead buddies.

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Certainly, there's much to dislike in the current Doctor-Companion relationship.  My impression, though, is quite different from yours.  Underneath the quibbling, I think they're rather fond of each other.

 

How about the rest of you?  What do you think?  Does Clara like the Doctor, or not?

I totally think they are fond of each other.  Although the Doctor's insulting remarks to her actually fall flat most of the time instead of being the endearing kind of comments I think he actually wants them to be. 

 

For those who think she needs to just decide whether to go with the Doctor or lead her human life, it's the Doctor who keeps coming back for her.  And he lands somewhere in her personal space so she can't ignore him.  And she does care for him so continues to go with him when he asks her.  

I don't understand the deal with the beginning.. it was just about all the adventures Clara had with the Doctor and we didn't need to know how they escaped them all? I couldn't help but think "I wish we were watching THAT episode" in one of the sections, rather than the episode we ended up with.

 

Also, anyone else notice a trend of the people 12 is bringing on board this season:

Journey, Psi, Saibra, "Disruptive Influence" - I can't for the life of me remember her name now :P

 

I so agree that the adventures we almost saw at the beginning of the episode would have been much more interesting.  

 

He does seem to be auditioning companions.  The one thing I don't want is both Clara and Danny traveling on the Tardis.  Please no repeat of Amy & Rory. 

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Still loving Capaldi.  And, to my great surprise, so does my nine-year-old nephew.  I say, "surprise", because Matt Smith was his first doctor, and I'd figured, youth to youth, etc.

But he actually relates more to PC's incarnation -- "He's like me!" he exclaimed when I asked, and went on to say, he identified with 12's smarts (no ego problem there!).  So I thought that was cool.

 

Clara is still readjusting her emotions, re: the Doctor.  I think it's obvious she cares for him; why else would she care what Danny thought?  She's just trying to reshape the "caring" to fit this new mold.

 

One of the only things that irritated me was the dump on soldiers, but then I read this from AngelKitty:

Being clever isn't always enough, sometimes you have to pick up the gun...

 

-- makes as much sense as anything.  And I laughed at Maelstrom's comment about using the P.E. teacher crack as a knock.  Shades of the brothers in Frasier!

 

Didn't even mind the River reference.  I can see her with this man.  Never thought she had any chem with 11, so I stopped watching for a while, but this is a twosome that could work.

 

Ohhhh, Danny.  Don't be saying, Just always tell me the truth.  Every time a character trots out that trope on a soap opera, I know how *that* relationship will end.

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I actually really like Capaldi as the Doctor (he's actually the reason I've started watching again after losing interest 1 or 2 seasons ago), but this soldier thing is so tiresome (also, why so much hate for PE teachers? Were the writers always picked last in gym class?). Other thing I wish weren't a thing: the heaven ~mystery~ they've been gradually teasing. Overall I liked this episode until Danny and the Doctor started shouting at each other in the Tardis.

Edited by glitterpants
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Didn't we see Danny as a PE teacher in an earlier episode?  I could have sworn that in one episode he was in athletic gear, outside with students, coaching them through some physical activity.  That's what I kept thinking all the way through this episode as Danny and Clara kept insisting that he was a maths teacher, NOT a PE teacher.  Maybe I'm just imagining things...

I believe Danny was supervising cadets in that scene - an after school extra, not his regular subject. Why the school has a cadet group attached I don't know.

 

Remember when the TARDIS locked out Clara?  Was the TARDIS replaced and I missed it?

I only ever saw that as Clara's ego mania misinterpreting the situation. The TARDIS has never magically unlocked itself for a companion. When the door is locked, you need the key to get in. If Clara didn't have the key, she was locked out. She chose to take offence because Clara likes to have things her own way.

 

That fits with what I guessed above, but now, after reading the explanations about how the PE teacher lines would never have sounded racist in Britain, I'm wondering if there is a particular British zeitgeist about soldiers that U.S. viewers don't have, which would make the Doctor's feelings about soldier's more readily understood.

Nope, no anti-soldier zeitgeist here. Just a very clumsy storyline imposed on the characters for no readily apparent reason beyond the desire for a 'seasonal arc'.

 

This is why I have come to dislike arcs. They should be great, but very few showrunners seem to handle them well, so instead of building on what's gone before, a new story gets invented out of thin air and is bolted onto the character as an additional extra, whether it fits or not, and then everything has to bend to the requirements of that story. And I'm not just talking about Doctor Who now - I've seen it drag down so many shows, over the last few years.

 

The soldier-hate isn't bothering me because I expect some pay-off later on, like an explanation or a Very Special Episode wherein the Doctor learns how very wrong he was, group hug, never hear about the issue again, etc. It will probably be tied in with Missy and her dead buddies.

The trouble is, we shouldn't need pay-off later for the character story now to make sense. We should be able to follow the story as it goes along - a trigger for this irrational new dislike, an exploration of where it comes from and why and the impact its having, and then resolution later to round it off. That would be a satisfying character story. This isn't.

 

I hate disliking my favourite show. I've watched Doctor Who all my life. I can remember watching Tom Baker turn into Peter Davison when I was four years old. I've stuck with it through dark times before. I can stick out a showrunner whose style doesn't appeal to  me. I just find it such a shame - there's so much potential there. I can nearly always see why Steven Moffat does the things he does, I usually like the ideas...it's just the execution of those concepts that so often falls flat, for me.

Edited by Llywela
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This seems to be the theme: interesting concept on paper, but not pulled off well. Guest stars more interesting than Clara's Dating Life. 

 

The conversation with Clara was also classic. Oh Clara, person I've been going out with for (presumably) less than a year. How could you not tell me that you travel through time and space in a blue police box with a shapeshifting alien. I can never trust you again.

 

I also didn't like, "do you love him?" "Not in that way." "Is there any other?" Actually, yes, there is. If you don't understand that, Danny, that's your problem, and maybe you need to work on yourself before getting into a serious relationship. And if you, TPTBs, don't understand that, then that's just sad. 

 

He lived all that with what he thought was his last regeneration cycle.

 

I was hoping this new series would address this in some way. It's a legit point, but II don't think they thought of this. 

 

If DW had been produced in America Rose and Mickey would not have happened I can tell you that.

 

Oh, definitely not. There probably wouldn't have been Jack either. 

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By this point Clara really should have asked him about his problem with soldiers. He's never particularly liked them as a group but this outright aggression is new and over the top. I dread the inevitable Doctor/Danny bonding, I expect it's going to be similar to Rose/Sarah Jane and at the end of the episode they'll be making fun of Clara's habits.   

 

I'm ready for the Clara era to be over and by the way Twelve is tentatively auditioning I think he is too.

 

It's always interesting to get other nationality's pov because to me the Doctor was being insulting towards Clara's boyfriend with no underlining racial competent and as other poster's have said dialogue that would have been sulky from Eleven is mean and surly coming from Twelve. 

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We can't know, but my suspicion is that the season arc is somehow dragging down this season. Plus, there's this pending drama of Clara leaving. We would have been much better off if she and the Doctor had some adventures, then one day he shows up six months later in her time and she's already engaged and says so long. I keep thinking about that line about how if you use a knife in the fifth act, you have to introduce it in the third. Moffat seems to be waiting until the fourth act with the intention of beating us over the head with it just to make up for the lack of exposition.

 

The one season-long arc that actually worked goes back to "The Trial of a Time Lord" which I'm sure is eliciting groans right now. They stuffed in regular episodes by making them newly filmed "flashback" testimony. Of course, they also introduced Mel without introducing her, which was kind of a mess. Frankly, Clara was the same way. The reason the Doctor chose Clara as his companion is because Clara was his companion. She never really proved herself.

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Plus, there's this pending drama of Clara leaving.

 

I didn't know anything about that until just now, because I stay away from a lot of media. My view of the show wasn't colored by this. I just don't think watching her dating life and complaining about having to go off with the Doctor was that interesting. 

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I'm so over Clara and her treating the Doctor like he's a bumbling idiot who doesn't know anything. I also don't give a crap about her personal life. She can leave now and take Moffat with her.

Edited by looksee
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I didn't think that there was a race component to the Doctor constantly thinking Danny was a PE teacher (especially with it being a British show).  I thought they might have been attempting the same joke they do with Strax.

 

Strax: Isn't it hilarious that the Sontaran nurse can't tell apart a human male and female.

Doctor: Isn't it hilarious that the super intelligent Time Lord thinks a soldier can't teach math.

 

If that's what they were going for, they missed pretty badly.

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Here's how I saw this episode:

 

1.  It was aimed more towards children, i.e. taking place in a school, jokes about bodily functions, a kid getting to travel in the tardis.

2.  I agree.  There is absolutely no chemistry between Clara and Danny.  I have absolutely no idea why they are together.

3.  I no longer like Danny Pink.  His sullenness, mouthing off to the Doctor (puhleaz), and a just plain blah factor.

4. In contrast to Danny, I'm actually liking Capaldi more. He was the only interesting character in the whole show. Why shouldn't have he been bored and dismissive of Danny.  I bored with him, too.   Someone mentioned upthread that Clara didn't defend Danny to the Doctor.  Well, why the heck didn't she really defend the Doctor to Danny.  When Danny was getting all out of control over the Doctor being a Lord, a bit of discussion on how the Doctor has saved earth and every life on it multiple times as well as probably a billion people in the universe and that he is the smartest man in the universe would have knocked that smirk off of Danny's face and given him a little understanding of why Clara travels with him.

5.  I totally agree with those wondering why the Doctor doesn't seem to understand humans.  1800 years of travellling with them should have clued him in by now. 

6.  The whole anti-military thing.  Yes, it will probably be tied to Missy and Paradise at some point, but it's tiresome to be hit over the head repeatedly with it. 

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That was a hoot!! I loved the Doctor assuming Clara was dating the Eleven-knock off.

 

But the surprising part was Danny pissing the Doctor off by identifying him, not as a soldier, but as an officer. From what we saw in The Last Day, it's pretty clear that there is a class component in the Gallifreyan army, and while the Doctor doesn't want to be seen as a soldier, he really doesn't want to be seen as the man who orders other people off to die while he stays behind. For a man who says he's rebelling against his background, the Doctor is quick to claim to be a Time Lord; to know a man who sees that as a bad thing from experience is a new thing for him.

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We have a doctor that is pretty much unlikable.  Sure, 9 wasn't keen on Jackie or Mickey at first, but he wasn't such a jerk about it.

Right because Mickey the idiot was meant with affection.

 

I think the racist overtones people are picking up are a result of a cultural shift.  I mean The Doctor is having trouble telling if Clara has her make up on or that they don't look the same age, you really think he's noticing skin colour?

 

As for the lines sounding funnier coming from Matt?  Probably, but I don't think they were particularly intended to be funny.  I think they were supposed to make us feel uncomfortable with how the Doctor is treating Danny so that when Danny does come back at the Doctor, we're rooting for him, because he really does nail exactly what Doctor is.  As much as the Doctor rebels against Time Lord Society  he's still very much a product of it. 

 

He's always been arrogant and somewhat condescending and expects to be obeyed, he does like to be challenged from time to time by his companions those he likes and respects enough to bring with him, but everyone else he doesn't like it.  Especially soldiers, doesn't want the salute because he doesn't want to be thought of as another soldier, but he wants their obedience.

 

I'm giving them a bit of slack on finding twelve's voice.  As much as Moffat likes to say it's the same man there are always changes and they have no frame of reference to sort of build on it.  Gatiss talks about it a little bit in the extra for Robot of Sherwood.  I'd be curious to know the shoot order for this series.   (I'm assuming most of the Danny episodes were shot together.)

 

Also i don't really need to see how Clara and Danny got closer.  I get the whole show don't tell aspect, but lets face it any extended examination of their relationship would just slow the show down to a crawl.  I thought the opening montage did enough establishment of their relationship continuing to move on that I was willing to accept it.

 

Though I wish they had a two part episode this year.  I saw the interview where Moffat decries it, but i think that's mostly a money issue.  I think if they had done this as a two parter to give a little more time for character beats i think that would help with a lot of concerns.  The fact that the series went from 13 episodes plus a Christmas special to 12 and a special means they probably didn't have room even if they wanted to. 

 

.

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Good grief no, I don't think they're trying to make the Doctor racist. I was saying that the writers fell into a racist stereotype. I don't think they did it on purpose, but they did such an awful job of explaining why the Doctor suddenly has such a terrible attitude towards soldiers that they left the interpretation wide open to it. They haven't explained why he suddenly hates them so much. They haven't explained what he hates about them, whether it's that they kill people, or that they obey all of their orders, or that he thinks only stupid people become soldiers, or that he thinks they're actively evil, or anything. So they're asking a huge amount from the audience to have him look at Danny and declare he must be a PE teacher and for us to get out of that "The Doctor knows Danny was a soldier and the Doctor doesn't like soldiers because he thinks they're all brawn and no brains and therefore he thinks Danny must only be fit to be a PE teacher and that's funny", because there is NO support for any of those assertions in the script or characterizations up to that point.  Instead, what a decent chunk of the viewing audience does have as prior knowledge is "white people throughout history have called black people idiots who are only good at sports", and that's something that's been ingrained in us since birth. So, their mistake in not setting up the Doctor's feelings towards Danny left that there as the easiest solution to the question of "Why is he treating him that way", and there isn't anything wrong with noticing that.

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It's always interesting to get other nationality's pov because to me the Doctor was being insulting towards Clara's boyfriend with no underlining racial competent

 

 

I dont think anyone believes that was the show's intent so much as were pointing out how tone deaf the writers are being with this "Doctor hates all soldiers and does not respect them" idea they are beating us over the head with. The fact Danny happens to be bi-racial and the Doctor is basically screaming in his face that he cant be smart and must only understand athletics just makes the Doctor look even worse despite that not being show's intent at all.

 

And you know that stupid afterlife is going to be the hospital or morgue where the Doctor's 'soldiers' go after they die, and he's going to have YET ANOTHER all encompassing internal crisis about admitting to himself he's some kind of General moving the pawns around a chess board.

 

He's the ultimate Thing That He Hates, but surely Clara's Sacrifice will pull him back from the edge.

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Have to echo the comments above about the Doctor's actual history with soldiers, in fact he works with them CONSTANTLY and has enjoyed a mutual admiration with many of them by end of an adventure. This isnt just Classic Dr either, 11 w/Churchill is a 'soldier' episode and in it the Doctor doesnt having a burning disdain for the military. 

 

It's bad enough they have decided to make the Doctor despise soldiers out of the blue for sake of a story arc but on top of that the writers are thrashing us about the head and shoulders with it every episode. Just how many times does the Doctor have to say Danny cant be a math teacher because he's a soldier? So hamfisted, we get it already!

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I just realized, I'd prefer the Drama teacher to be the next companion over anyone else I've encountered this season. He was cute and adorable.

 

So, this is what it feels to have to sit out a showrunner until the next one takes over. Interesting.....I don't like it.

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I found this one to be the most enjoyable yet of the season. It wasn't above criticism, not by a long shot, but I enjoyed it. For those who don't like the part-time companion thing it looks like that may be coming to a head and Clara will have to decide what she really wants. The soldier thing may be as well.

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I never thought for one second the Doctor was being racist with Danny.  It's made very clear in the episode and the earlier Into the Dalek that he's developed a (ridiculous) hatred of soldiers.  If anything, he's prejudiced against SOLDIERS for whatever reason.  That was made loud and clear and repeatedly and annoyingly so far this season.

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Why show up and park the TARDIS is Clara's home if you aren't going to whisk her away? I mean, Clara would have been suspicious at the Doctor being at her school the moment he was at the school. The I can be mysterious and fit in bit really wasn't needed.

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It's made very clear in the episode and the earlier Into the Dalek that he's developed a (ridiculous) hatred of soldiers

 

 

He says outright the reason he doesn't think Danny can be a maths teacher because he was a soldier. He literally says that.

 

As has been repeatedly said, this is a British show written by British people for a British audience. The race issues are different. The class issues, however, are far more stark and that's why this dynamic was about class and not race. We know this because the writer spent two whole scenes hitting us over the head with it like a thematic hammer. A giant, boring, simplistic hammer.

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I couldn't help but think "Why didn't she just ask to be taken home an hr or so before she had to meet Danny" and then she wouldn't be in some of those circumstances.

Because that would be a paradox. She can't come back before she leaves, or then there would be two of her in the same place and time.

 

And Clara and 12 are being portrayed as parent&daughter most of the season.

I think you mean parent and son. She's been treating him like she's his exasperated nanny. I'm frankly getting tired of it. As others have said, this is not the Doctor/Companion relationship at its best.

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