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SilverStormm

S11.E05: The Tsuranga Conundrum

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Airdate: 11.04.2018

Episode Synopsis:

“Risk to life: absolute.” Injured and stranded in the wilds of a far-flung galaxy, The Doctor, Yaz, Graham and Ryan must band together with a group of strangers to survive against one of the universe’s most deadly — and unusual — creatures.

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OK, this seemed like the skeleton of an interesting episode that struggled to fill the time. All the parts seemed to be there, but there was a decided lack of cohesion. I thought the Pting was a decent "monster" (even if it struck me as a cross between a Gremlin and Nibbler!) and the resolution made sense, but there were too many scenes that had me going "Did we really need this bit?" (like Ryan complaining about his dad, or pretty much all of the delivering the baby plot). And while I liked the Doctor sticking around for the Memorial Ceremony at the end (hey, that's two funerals this season!), shouldn't she be more concerned with getting back to the TARDIS? It is, after all, her home and her ship. (Of course, I get the necessity of keeping it all in the one set to cut costs, but we could at least have had a graphic of where it was, or have the Doctor be able to summon it remotely).

Disappointing.

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Hmm. Slow start, but once the action actually kicked in properly, the elements began to slip into place more.

Clunky in places, but I like what they were trying to achieve here - lots of character stories woven around a fairly simple plot. I rolled my eyes a bit at the start, when the three companions were once again trailing after the Doctor like so many ducklings, but once they were split up into separate tasks and sub-plots, they had more of a chance to breathe, as it were. Yaz's conversation with Ryan about his dad was a bit clumsily written, but tied in with his sub-plot about the new baby, which in turn helped move Ryan's personal journey forward a couple of steps, contemplating his relationship with his father from more angles than he'd ever considered before. I wasn't keen on the pregnant alien bloke himself, he mostly came across as a caricature rather than a person, but he served his purpose. I like the role reversal in play here, that Ryan and Graham got shunted off into the baby sub-plot, and spent the bulk of the action not even knowing what was going on with the main crisis, but instead of being distracted by that, focused all their attention on the task at hand. And I like that Yaz was given a stun gun and placed on guard at a key location - she is a police officer, after all - and that she accomplished her task successfully. I liked the Doctor encouraging and motivating the people around her, inspiring each of them to perform to the very best of their abilities - it is an interpretation of the character that I like much better than Rory's view of the Doctor making people a danger to themselves, and the general Davies/Moffat vision of the Doctor turning people into soldiers. I liked the story of the inexperienced med-tech suddenly finding herself in charge and rising to the occasion, albeit in fear and trembling. And I liked the story of the general and her brother (shout-out to Suzanne Packer, my fellow Cardiffian!)

I liked a lot of things about this episode. It felt very Fifth Doctor era. I didn't like everything about it, but I liked enough.

36 minutes ago, John Potts said:

And while I liked the Doctor sticking around for the Memorial Ceremony at the end (hey, that's two funerals this season!), shouldn't she be more concerned with getting back to the TARDIS? It is, after all, her home and her ship. (Of course, I get the necessity of keeping it all in the one set to cut costs, but we could at least have had a graphic of where it was, or have the Doctor be able to summon it remotely).

We were told that the ship would be in quarantine for a few hours, after which the Doctor's teleport back to the TARDIS was already booked. That's why she wasn't concerned and why she stuck around for the funeral. She literally had the time to kill.

Edited by Llywela
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Wish they'd be more cognizant of keeping clear sounding dialog, especially since Who has a big american audience. Could barely understand a flippin' word. Gonna have to heavily rely on subs for this one

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Best episode ever. I can’t believe how great that was. Might as well stop the show now, because they’ll never be able to top that. Absolutely amazing.

At least, that’s what I hope I say after I watch it. :)

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Meh, the politically correct elements in the episode had all the subtlety of being hit by a sledgehammer, the weakest episode so far IMO, they did get me teary at the end with the eulogy/prayer. The creature was adorable and reeked of merchandising opportunity, LOL. Was this episode meant to be a salute to Star Trek btw? It really struck me as similar to various original ST storylines.

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Liked everything but the male pregnancy story line. That was awkward and clumsy. Loved the Pting. It was just the right combination of ugly/adorable. It was just so cute when the bomb went off in it's tummy and it had such a look of bliss on it's face. I get that same look when I eat cream horns. 

I'm sorry they killed off Astos so quickly, but I guess it was necessary to give Mabli a chance to shine. I wish there had been more time to get to know the General, her brother, and the android. 

All in all, an ok episode. Decent mid-season filler. 

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Yet another really boring episode. I know that dull, filler episodes are a fact of life in episodic TV, but couldn't the production team try to give this some spark? A little life in the dialogue? Even Power of Kroll had the Doctor singing opera.

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Couldn’t understand a lot of what was said. Why wouldn’t Ryan fist-bump Graham? 

 

I kind of liked the pregnancy subplot. Thought it was cute. But they’re gonna have to try harder. I liked bits and pieces of the story but it wasn’t riveting.

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I liked it, and I'm a little surprised to see opinions vary so much, but c'est la vie.  

Astos was awesome and the show is naughty for killing him off.  @LiveenLetLive suggested a Star Trek shout-out, but I was thinking Alien, what with the crew trapped on a ship with a deadly alien creature threatening to kill them and a guy with something growing in his stomach.  Glad that pregnancy storyline worked out so well and I thought it was cute.  Also agree that it was hard to follow the conversations.    

So besides reiterating that Astos was awesome and should have survived, this was a good ep.  Something like this every Sunday night is fine by me.     

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8 minutes ago, truther said:

Astos was awesome and the show is naughty for killing him off. 

I was really sad they killed Astos off. I was looking forward to an episode of him. He had a surprising amount of gravitas for a small role and I liked his chemistry with the Doctor.

3 hours ago, Lokiberry said:

Liked everything but the male pregnancy story line. That was awkward and clumsy.

I just - there's no such thing as a male pregnancy. If he can get pregnant he's not male. He may not be female but he's not male either. And it makes the statement 'men give birth to men and women give birth to women' ridiculous. It's like some kind of logic paradox. This statement is false

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Aww, I liked the pregnancy plot if only for the Call the Midwife shout-out. 

I enjoyed the episode, my favorite bit was the Doctor's line about her 'academic' credentials: "Well, medicine, science, engineering candyfloss, Lego, philosophy, music problems, people, hope. Mostly hope." Hope was a bit of a leitmotiv and I hope (he!) that it will become one of 13's mottoes.

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Cluttered episode. I feel bad that the series has been taking hits, and that Chibnall might shelve the series until 2020. Really?!? I compare Jodie to Colin Baker because they're both blonde, but I'm thinking Jodie might be getting the shaft. I mean, she didn't have a "Twin Dilemma," but I fear that the series would return in eighteen months' time, there would be a confusing mega-arc in the follow season, and she would get replaced. Oh, and then she'd be asked to come back to film the regeneration scene. Seriously, I like the show as it is, and Chibnall seems poised to shake things up.

Once again, this was a cluttered episode, but I got through it okay. Yeah, pregnant guy (that's the term I'm using, @AudienceofOne) is too easy for laughs, but we got more interaction with Graham and Ryan. And we got the Pting . . . lovely design. You know that you have to kill it, and yet it's somewhat adorable. With the Adipose, there was no menace. They just popped off human bodies, and sometimes a person would die from that. The Pting would be its mortal nemesis, from the show to the merchandising.

I like Jodie in Frustrated Doctor Mode. Seriously, I get she's looking better in the role than Capaldi was five episodes in. I know, not really fair to Peter, but I feel it's true. And I'm not praising her in a hope of looking "correct." So far, she's been carrying the load quite well.

6 hours ago, Llywela said:

I liked a lot of things about this episode. It felt very Fifth Doctor era. I didn't like everything about it, but I liked enough.

Right. The other blonde Doctor, and one with three companions. And now I'm wondering which of them will die in a crashing spaceship, mutter a line just as sad as "Now I'll never know if I was right."

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16 minutes ago, Lantern7 said:

Cluttered episode. I feel bad that the series has been taking hits, and that Chibnall might shelve the series until 2020.

I thought it was rating well? Not that I monitor ratings or behind-the-scenes or anything but I heard a mad Who fan say the ratings were going gangbusters. 

I personally never wanted a female Doctor but since I could never come up with a reason that wasn't 'just because I don't' and 'Moffatt is a gross misogynist and his female Doctor would be awful' then I've decided to be fine with it. I have my problems with The Chib's writing but sexism and misogyny isn't it so I decided to give it a chance and it's been fine so far.

But they didn't just put in a female Doctor, they also changed the time slot after 60 years. I'd be pretty annoyed if people tuned out because of the new time slot and they blamed it on the lack of dick. Or if they suddenly decided the ratings they've had for the past 5 years were fine with a male Doctor but suddenly a problem with a female one. The latter is entirely possible mostly because people are awful. 

I felt this episode was the same as the rest of the season so far - calmly middle-of-the-road. This season is pedestrian but after Moffatt's long-slow fustercluck I'm enjoying how paint-by-numbers it is. it's like a breath of fresh air, really. I've long described The Chib's writing as solid rather than brilliant but solid is desperately what this show needs. And it's another reason why shelving it for a year would be disappointing.

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1 hour ago, AudienceofOne said:

 

I just - there's no such thing as a male pregnancy. If he can get pregnant he's not male. He may not be female but he's not male either. And it makes the statement 'men give birth to men and women give birth to women' ridiculous. It's like some kind of logic paradox. This statement is false

I mean . . . Male seahorses carry and birth their young. Male pregnancy has literally been applied to them. 

 

I loved this episode, but we know I LOVE running around spaceships. The monster was simultaneously adorable and menacing. The Doctor was very Doctory. There were interesting side characters and you felt their loss. Agree that some of the character development was a bit awkward, but I found it enjoyable overall.

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I am always negative so I will tell you the things I didn't like. How does the creature move through space? The creature was eating his way through the ship, why wasn't more of the equipment malfunctioning. If the creature liked energy, why did it take it so long to go after the anti-matter reactor. Since the creature didn't like flesh, I thought they were going to wrap it up in synthetic skin, but instead they wrapped it up in a blanket and kicked it to the curb. This really didn't find a solution, they just made it somebody else's problem, a solution would have been to shoot it into the sun.

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I felt this episode ended too suddenly.  Maybe I missed a line, but it went from Ronan saying he would be killed since his owner (?) died to Ronan leading the prayer and everyone being all nonchalant about reaching the planet.  I was thinking that the brother would offer to take Ronan in, but didn't hear it.  Because otherwise it was people being happy because the episode was over despite 2 people dying and a 3rd about to be decommissioned.

It seems like they could have taken out the male pregnancy storyline to give some more space for some of the other parts of the plot.  Not because of the biology - if male seahorses can be pregnant, than aliens or humans of the far future could have gender-specific reproduction - but because it all felt very cliched.  Person unexpectedly goes into labor during a crisis? Check.  There's a shortage of personnel and/or equipment so unqualified people need to help deliver the baby? Check.  Person screams about pain and not being ready? Check. Baby comes out looking sparkling clean? Check.  I enjoyed the parallels to Ryan's and his absentee father, but felt the time could have better been spent on the Pting or general worldbuilding.  Did they even try to communicate with the Pting?

I did enjoy the Doctor and Eve both being in awe of the other person for being in that history book that was mentioned.

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I feel like a semantic argument on alien reproduction might turn really dumb and ultimately pointless, but I'll simply point out that you're right - he's an alien - but that just means that our notion of 'male' and 'female' apply even less. Ultimately, the "male pregnancy" is always played for laughs. Having a person who meets our social concepts of blue-collar male going through a pregnancy is an image that's entirely contingent on us being uncomfortable with "men" being forced into the role of "women". So yeah, the "male pregnancy" was the part of this I had a problem with rather than the 7000 plot holes and the fact that Astos died. And the fact that he wasn't actually a "man" at all.  

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4 hours ago, futurechemist said:

Maybe I missed a line, but it went from Ronan saying he would be killed since his owner (?) died

IIRC, it was mentioned that he was a clone of her original servant and that he was something like the fifth clone. Presumably whatever procedure they use leads to fairly short lived clones (in the Classic Tom Baker [Four] serial The Invisible Enemy, they only last ten minutes!).

6 hours ago, AudienceofOne said:

But they didn't just put in a female Doctor, they also changed the time slot after 60 years

That's not entirely true. DW has usually been on Saturday nights, but there was a period in the 80s when it broadcast on Tuesdays/Wednesdays (part of Michael Grade's stated desire to kill the series). And then of course, there was the long period when it wasn't on any night of the week!

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14 hours ago, 100Proof said:

Wish they'd be more cognizant of keeping clear sounding dialog, especially since Who has a big american audience. Could barely understand a flippin' word. Gonna have to heavily rely on subs for this one

For the first time in 40 years of watching the show, I had the same issue!

9 hours ago, MissLucas said:

Aww, I liked the pregnancy plot if only for the Call the Midwife shout-out. 

I enjoyed the episode, my favorite bit was the Doctor's line about her 'academic' credentials: "Well, medicine, science, engineering candyfloss, Lego, philosophy, music problems, people, hope. Mostly hope." Hope was a bit of a leitmotiv and I hope (he!) that it will become one of 13's mottoes.

Me too since I watched that show religiously.

All in all I liked it. Parts of it looked like Ark in Space. Finally Yaz with the weapon!

Edited by libgirl2
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That was atrocious. Hopefully though it's the only real dud we'll have for the rest of the series though.

There was too many guest characters along with the Doctor and the companions and the Pting was something altogether and I don't mean that in a good way.

The resolution felt horribly rushed, I could've done without the cringey fanfic trope of the pregnant guy.

Chibnall need to up his game with the monsters. His own creations are lacking here.

Some good character moments but not enough to save the episode I'm afraid, 5/10

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1 hour ago, ElleryAnne said:

The Pting looked like the unholy offspring of a Slitheen and the baby from Dinosaurs.

that is what it looked like! 

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I'm an American who is watching the show for the first time and first season ever. I'm really enjoying the season as a whole and I love the Doctor's humor and the show's humor in general. The Doctor is a bit manic, but smart and kind and rather loopy as well and I think Jodie is rocking it. That said, I mostly enjoyed the episode. There were some slow spots, but most of it worked for me, especially the characters. I look sideways at plush toy alien threats, but it still worked in general.

I've been trying to read up on the past history of the show so maybe I missed some parts that would explain the following questions:

Why was the Doctor going on and on about the antimatter power device? Some basic techno-babble about the power supply was enough for the plot but then she went on and on about it like it was deadly important to her and she almost seemed rapturous about the whole thing especially with the camera doing a close up on her as she was doing so, but it had nothing to do with the plot. So what was the deal?

I'm probably wrong, but I thought the Doctor didn't believe in messing with time and people's timelines? But there she was in the far future happily telling people they were time travelers and interacting with people who ended up getting killed and possibly because of her decisions (like in the male medic's case)

Edited by DanaK
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8 hours ago, Llywela said:

There is no such thing as human male pregnancy, except in rare transgender cases, but this guy was an alien, describing what is a fact of his species' biology. He also said his pregnancy came to term in a week, and described that as perfectly normal, as well. Not even all Earth creatures function the same as humans in terms of biology and reproduction, so why would it be surprising or illogical to find that an alien species reproduces differently than we do? I mean, I had my issues with the sub-plot, which was weak and cliched, but the concept of an alien male pregnancy wasn't one of those problems.

Not to belabor the point (hehe), but its odd that in DW's universe, an alien apparently can look all too specifically and genetically human but not be a human. But as we all know, DW is nothing if not huge gaping plot holes

I know in Who's universe, the Doctor and companions are always wind up interacting with actual earth humans across time as the human race eventually come to spread out all through the galaxy. But besides the Doctor, this guy was for all intents and purposes human but yet an alien.

Come to think of it, were Astos and Malbi aliens or earth human descendants? If aliens, a different human looking species than preggo guy?

Besides that, why would a species evolve to look like a male, an apparently without the proper genitalia to deliver a baby as well, to then need to be physically cut open... iow, perform surgery... in order to birth a child. Makes ZERO sense! lol

Edited by 100Proof
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This one wasn't horrible but it wasn't that interesting either. I still love Jodie's Doctor though. I am beginning to think 3 companions is too many. We meet plenty of other characters each episode, with 3 companions on top of that we don't get to see the Doctor bond with the companions. 

I didn't mind the male pregnancy because I figured he was a human looking alien like space racers. The pregnancy seemed normal for his species. 

The alien looked like a siltheen gremlin. I guess they shot him space to attack the next ship that comes by. 

Edited by Sakura12
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3 minutes ago, Sakura12 said:

This one wasn't horrible but it wasn't that interesting either. I still love Jodie's Doctor though. I am beginning to think 3 companions is too many. We meet plenty of other characters each episode, with 3 companions on top of that we don't get to see the Doctor bond with the companions. 

I didn't mind the male pregnancy because I figured he was a human looking alien like space racers. The pregnancy seemed normal for his species. 

The alien looked like a siltheen gremlin. I guess they shot him space to attack the next ship that comes by. 

I think they explained the power he swallowed from the self destruct bomb would keep him satiated for quite some time-he won't be hungry for more ship parts for a while. 

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I don't understand why, when the Doctor came across the initial junkyard bomb, didn't tell everyone to run immediately. They all just stood there like dolts. Sure, there didn't end up being enough time, but the fear of death should get everyone running pretty quickly

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15 minutes ago, 100Proof said:

Not to belabor the point (hehe), but its odd that in DW's universe, an alien apparently can look all too specifically and genetically human but not be a human. But as we all know, DW is nothing if not huge gaping plot holes

I know in Who's universe, the Doctor and companions are always wind up interacting with actual earth humans across time as the human race eventually come to spread out all through the galaxy. But besides the Doctor, this guy was for all intents and purposes human but yet an alien.

Come to think of it, were Astos and Malbi aliens or earth human descendants? If aliens, a different human looking species than preggo guy?

Besides that, why would a species evolve to look like a male, an apparently without the proper genitalia to deliver a baby as well, to then need to be physically cut open... iow, perform surgery... in order to birth a child. Makes ZERO sense! lol

I think that is a fairer point, though to the extent the birthing pods are readily available and the c-section type surgery was fairly minor for him (he was sitting up fairly soon after not really much worse for the wear), I am fine with handwaving that the species has just evolved in a way that birthing requires assistance (something that arguably many humans require as well for safe and healthy births), and that the birthing pods may facilitate something more akin to a non-surgical birth. In fact, if they have some sort of accelerated healing it might also explain the short gestational period and the massive healthy baby (which, I know, is actually about the actor but that baby was huge). Looking around the earth, we haven't exactly all developed the most logical and efficient way to reproduce either.  

I understand the criticisms that the male pregnancy storyline may have been a bit cliche, but I actually liked the shorthand of putting the characters into a familiar yet alien situation. I would have liked a little more discussion of the world from which he originated, but the character was quite likable and I liked the representation of hope that the birth represented in the same room as death. 

I do have to say, I didn't love the assumption that choosing adoption is equal to abandonment. Many people choose adoption as an act of love and sacrifice to give their child something they don't believe they can give. I hated that it was presented as something bad and dishonorable, as opposed to a loving choice. The character presented it as a thoughtful way to ensure his kid got a loving family when he wasn't ready to parent, but it certainly wasn't interpreted that way by the humans and I felt like we were supposed to be happy that the baby was with his biological father rather than that his biological father was able to find the resources and confidence to parent (which is an equally wonderful thing, don't get me wrong). Something there missed the mark for me, but I am biased as a parent through adoption. I just hate the way birthparents/origin parents are treated like they didn't care about their kid or "gave them up" or "abandoned" them. 

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26 minutes ago, DanaK said:

Why was the Doctor going on and on about the antimatter power device? Some basic techno-babble about the power supply was enough for the plot but then she went on and one about it like it was deadly important to her and she almost seemed rapturous about the whole thing especially with the camera doing a close up on her as she was doing so, but it had nothing to do with the plot. So what was the deal?

I'm probably wrong, but I thought the Doctor didn't believe in messing with time and people's timelines? But there she was in the far future happily telling people they were time travelers and interacting with people who ended up getting killed and possibly because of her decisions (like in the male medic's case)

The Doctor sometimes gets hung up on seemingly tiny things that they find particularly beautiful or inspiring; this was one of the clunkier examples.

For your second question, the show's approach to historical adventures has always been messy, but the way I see it, the risk of time travel adventuring is about the danger inherent in upsetting a known timeline, which is primarily an issue when they travel to what to the companions is the past. Rosa Parks being a classic example. It wasn't just a random place and time. It was a moment in history that they knew about, in detail, so if anything had happened to derail that moment in history, it would change the personal timeline of the three companions, over-writing the history they'd already lived and thus preventing them from returning safely to their own timeline – like Terry Pratchett's 'trouser legs of time' analogy, which basically holds that everything that can happen actually does happen; there's a moment when reality splits and one reality heads down one leg while the other heads down the other leg. So if a time traveller goes back in time and the events they take part in somehow end up playing out differently than history says, they will find themselves in the wrong Trouser Leg, in effect – stuck in an alternate timeline that isn't their own.  It is about known timelines. It is why getting involved in politics on alien planets or the distant future is less of a concern – they aren't mucking about in their own past, changing their own timeline. 

So if the Doctor and her companions travel to a place and time they don't know anything about, i.e. the future, they are pretty much free to act and react as they please, because they aren't interfering with a known timeline - for all they and we know, their involvement in this particular event is what always happened. Their presence changed nothing, beyond saving lives that would have been lost if they hadn't been involved, because the Pting would have attacked the ship whether they were there or not, Astos would have investigated whether they were there or not...but Mabli probably wouldn't have managed to rise to the occasion without the Doctor's support, the General and her brother would not have been inspired to step up and help without the Doctor's encouragement, and the Central Control people would have blown up the ship remotely without the Doctor's involvement.

It matters a lot less if the Doctor knows a bit about the general history and politics of the era, because the Doctor is a Time Lord - it is the personal timeline of the companions that is key.

That's my take on it, anyway!

9 minutes ago, The Companion said:

I think that is a fairer point, though to the extent the birthing pods are readily available and the c-section type surgery was fairly minor for him (he was sitting up fairly soon after not really much worse for the wear), I am fine with handwaving that the species has just evolved in a way that birthing requires assistance (something that arguably many humans require as well for safe and healthy births), and that the birthing pods may facilitate something more akin to a non-surgical birth. In fact, if they have some sort of accelerated healing it might also explain the short gestational period and the massive healthy baby (which, I know, is actually about the actor but that baby was huge). Looking around the earth, we haven't exactly all developed the most logical and efficient way to reproduce either.  

I understand the criticisms that the male pregnancy storyline may have been a bit cliche, but I actually liked the shorthand of putting the characters into a familiar yet alien situation. I would have liked a little more discussion of the world from which he originated, but the character was quite likable and I liked the representation of hope that the birth represented in the same room as death. 

I do have to say, I didn't love the assumption that choosing adoption is equal to abandonment. Many people choose adoption as an act of love and sacrifice to give their child something they don't believe they can give. I hated that it was presented as something bad and dishonorable, as opposed to a loving choice. The character presented it as a thoughtful way to ensure his kid got a loving family when he wasn't ready to parent, but it certainly wasn't interpreted that way by the humans and I felt like we were supposed to be happy that the baby was with his biological father rather than that his biological father was able to find the resources and confidence to parent (which is an equally wonderful thing, don't get me wrong). Something there missed the mark for me, but I am biased as a parent through adoption. I just hate the way birthparents/origin parents are treated like they didn't care about their kid or "gave them up" or "abandoned" them. 

Agreed! My little sister is adopted, my dad has an adopted brother, my older sister is going through the adoption process (goes to panel in January - fingers crossed for them!) - adoption is a wonderful thing that is rarely treated as such by the media. That said, the storyline was primarily used to help Ryan process his own family background, so he was clearly projecting his own issues onto the pregnant dude and his baby rather than taking an objective approach to the guy's situation.

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43 minutes ago, Sakura12 said:

This one wasn't horrible but it wasn't that interesting either. I still love Jodie's Doctor though. I am beginning to think 3 companions is too many. We meet plenty of other characters each episode, with 3 companions on top of that we don't get to see the Doctor bond with the companions. 

I didn't mind the male pregnancy because I figured he was a human looking alien like space racers. The pregnancy seemed normal for his species. 

The alien looked like a siltheen gremlin. I guess they shot him space to attack the next ship that comes by. 

 

I feel like we are getting a bigger attempt at character development on the companions that I'm not getting any for the Doctor. Yes, the Doctor has been around for so long, but this is a new regeneration, I feel that we aren't exploring her as much as we should. 

I had no issue with the pregnant man. He is an alien after all. We have seen more than that! 

Edited by libgirl2

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30 minutes ago, DanaK said:

I don't understand why, when the Doctor came across the initial junkyard bomb, didn't tell everyone to run immediately.

I presume she thought it would set off the bomb.

56 minutes ago, DanaK said:

I'm probably wrong, but I thought the Doctor didn't believe in messing with time and people's timelines?

I didn't catch what date it was, but Captain Jack is from the 25th Century (IIRC), so people know time travellers exist. The Doctor doesn't like to mention things that don't exist in the time period he/she is in (so no mentions of cars or computers prior to the 20th Century, for example), but is fine with mentioning things that already exist. As for messing around in general - well, the Doctor always does that!

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This show is being written like a drama rather than an adventure.

Quote

The Doctor finds herself in the middle of a tense conflict between brother and sister. A young doctor must step up to the plate after her mentor is suddenly killed. Meanwhile, Ryan is forced to confront his father issues. And Yaz finally gets to put her police skills to work. Sort of.

Quote

Also, the brother hates the sister's android servant, for some unclear reason that is never really significant.

Since this episode was called The Tsuranga Conundrum, shouldn't the big focal point of the episode be, you know, a conundrum? Sure, finding a way to defeat the Pting could might be considered a conundrum if you don't think hard, but no more so than any other villain.

The real conundrum should have been whether they allow the ship to continue on its course to the space station with the Pting still on board, or if they activate the self destruct and sacrifice themselves to keep the Pting away from all the people on the station. Alas, that never seemed to be a point of contention as the Doctor was perfectly willing to bypass the ship's safety protocols built to prevent this exact thing.

And the iPhone of CERN reactors? Um... okay.

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57 minutes ago, Llywela said:

Agreed! My little sister is adopted, my dad has an adopted brother, my older sister is going through the adoption process (goes to panel in January - fingers crossed for them!) - adoption is a wonderful thing that is rarely treated as such by the media. That said, the storyline was primarily used to help Ryan process his own family background, so he was clearly projecting his own issues onto the pregnant dude and his baby rather than taking an objective approach to the guy's situation.

I do think that is correct, which is why I wanted to be sure to note that I thought the issue originated with the humans (and certainly through the lens of Ryan's family background). I guess I just didn't love the equivalency there from the writers, who seemed to think being unwilling to show up for your kid was the same thing as making an intentional choice to place your child with a loving family (and certainly, even that doesn't encompass all of adoption). I can live with it, and I don't see the resolution as anything other than positive, but I do wish that writers who seem to be very intentional about a lot of representation would have considered whether or not the connection was one they wanted to make.

Good luck to your older sister! Adoption IS a wonderful thing.

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Everything was great except the male pregnancy story.  I get what they were trying to say and do within Ryan but it missed it mark.  I love how Yaz has become The Doctors go to girl.   She  and to a lesser extent Graham are my favorites.  Honestly the only one Im not really feeling is Ryan.  I am not sure why.  I really liked Him in the Rosa Parks episode but other then that he has been the least interesting character on the show.  

For the record this show has always been a strange mix of drama and adventure depending on the showrunner.  This is the same show that has a baby get kidnapped and that same baby be the kid of the doctors best friend and the love of his life and the woman who would kill him a couple times. 

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46 minutes ago, ae2 said:

This show is being written like a drama rather than an adventure.

Since this episode was called The Tsuranga Conundrum, shouldn't the big focal point of the episode be, you know, a conundrum? Sure, finding a way to defeat the Pting could might be considered a conundrum if you don't think hard, but no more so than any other villain.

The real conundrum should have been whether they allow the ship to continue on its course to the space station with the Pting still on board, or if they activate the self destruct and sacrifice themselves to keep the Pting away from all the people on the station. Alas, that never seemed to be a point of contention as the Doctor was perfectly willing to bypass the ship's safety protocols built to prevent this exact thing.

And the iPhone of CERN reactors? Um... okay.

I feel the same. As much as I did enjoy the episode for the most part, I want more adventure! It still doesn't feel there yet..... I don't feel quite like I'm watching Doctor Who. Too much drama that it isn't feeling like SciFi or even fantasy. Last night at least came close. And did anyone notice the dramatic camera shots? 

Edited by libgirl2
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14 minutes ago, libgirl2 said:

I feel the same. As much as I did enjoy the episode for the most part, I want more adventure! I don't feel like I'm watching Doctor Who. Too much drama that it isn't feeling like SciFi or even fantasy. And did anyone notice the dramatic camera shots? 

I don't know, I think all the running around, including being in a race on a desert planet, is a lot of adventure, so it seems like a good mix of action and drama

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29 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

Everything was great except the male pregnancy story.  I get what they were trying to say and do within Ryan but it missed it mark.  I love how Yaz has become The Doctors go to girl.   She  and to a lesser extent Graham are my favorites.  Honestly the only one I d not really feeling is Ryan.  I am not sure why.  I really liked I’m in the Rosa Parks episode but other then that he has been the least interesting character on the show.  

For the record this show has always been a strange mix of drama and adventure depending on the showrunner.  This is the same show that has a baby get kidnapped and that same babby be the kid of the doctors best friend and the love of his life and the woman who would kill him a couple times. 

 

I was just happy to see her be the person she is..... a police officer. 

2 minutes ago, DanaK said:

I don't know, I think all the running around, including being in a race on a desert planet, is a lot of adventure, so it seems like a good mix of action and drama

For me running around doesn't make an adventure. I need more magic (in a SciFi sense) the fantasy.... I want to be on that TRADIS with the Doctor, I want to be awed and entertained. I want fun. 

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8 minutes ago, libgirl2 said:

 

For me running around doesn't make an adventure. I need more magic (in a SciFi sense) the fantasy.... I want to be on that TRADIS with the Doctor, I want to be awed and entertained. I want fun. 

 

The TARDIS is a time machine that gets them to places and mostly into trouble and most often then not abandons them there so there is no easy way out of.     They have never spent an entire episode on the TARDIS.  

 I am not sure what you mean by more magic?  This isn’t a magic kind of show? It has always been a mix betweeten an adventure and a drama set in a sci-fi universe 

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I like the new Doctor, but not the season so far. I have been underwhelmed by the stories. I also have been having a hard time understanding dialogue and alot of what's going on. I watch a great amount of British tv and this is one of the few times when accents are killing me.

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17 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

The TARDIS is a time machine that gets them to places and mostly into trouble and most often then not abandons them there so there is no easy way out of.     They have never spent an entire episode on the TARDIS.  

 I am not sure what you mean by more magic?  This isn’t a magic kind of show? It has always been a mix betweeten an adventure and a drama set in a sci-fi universe 

 

I don't mean magic as in witches, spells or all that. I have been watching this show since the early 80s and have also seen whatever I can of Doctor's One and Two. I know its not "magic". I mean more of the magic of going to new planets, meeting different aliens, the sense of wonder in the companions of being on the TARDIS...... I remember last season how excited Bill was, the look of "wonder" in her eyes, the look of excitement. These companions touched on it briefly in episode 2 but now it seems lost. 

10 minutes ago, Writing Wrongs said:

I like the new Doctor, but not the season so far. I have been underwhelmed by the stories. I also have been having a hard time understanding dialogue and alot of what's going on. I watch a great amount of British tv and this is one of the few times when accents are killing me.

I relied heavily on subtitles yesterday. I'm not sure what it is, I managed to understand Capaldi most of the time. Last night, I was a bit lost, but its what subtitles are for! 

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6 minutes ago, Occasional Hope said:

The alien was kind of cute.

I half expected that when baby, er, Avocado's name was revealed, the doctor would tell us that he grows up to become somebody important in history.

I thought Avocado would be the one to get rid of the alien. Glad it didn't turn out that way. 

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Since they seemed to have found a way to "tame" the Pting, it might have been better if they took it down to the planet so they could study it so that it would be less hazardous to fellow space travelers.

3 hours ago, 100Proof said:

Besides that, why would a species evolve to look like a male, an apparently without the proper genitalia to deliver a baby as well, to then need to be physically cut open... iow, perform surgery... in order to birth a child. Makes ZERO sense! lol

Just because current technology makes performing surgery the more preferable option for giving birth doesn't mean that there isn't some hole that the baby might pop out of naturally if surgery isn't available.

2 hours ago, Llywela said:

It wasn't just a random place and time. It was a moment in history that they knew about, in detail, so if anything had happened to derail that moment in history, it would change the personal timeline of the three companions, over-writing the history they'd already lived and thus preventing them from returning safely to their own timeline

From the previews of the next episode it seems like this very issue was be addressed. This is probably all we should say about it in this thread, since I think we will all have a better understanding of it next week.

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Regarding male pregnancy - I agree with other comments that any question of realism shouldn't apply to an alien species.

"He may not be female but he's not male either."

Well sure - after all they presumably don't even speak English, so wouldn't use those terms. But the question is then one of translation - why are their sex or genders mapped to male and female (or why does the TARDIS choose to translate in that manner)? Perhaps there are other characteristics that mean a male label is a closer approximation despite pregnancy (see seahorse example - plus if everyone gets pregnant, then that's no longer a feature to distinguish at all). Or maybe it's based on gender expression.

This does indeed fall into the trope of "aliens look identical to humans except for one single aspect". On TV we see a male actor playing a male character except for the one difference of pregnancy, but it's unlikely this would ever apply to actual aliens - even if evolutionary pressures still led to two sexes and humanoid beings, they'd likely look very different.

I have mixed feelings really - on the one hand I'm sure it's meant to make us think about definitions of sex and gender and how they may vary. On the other hand, it's still having aliens having to be male or female and follow gender roles and appearance almost identical to 20-21st century westerners (except for occasional limited differences), when in reality even among humans there are and have been societies with more than two genders for example.

Anyhow. I tried to get into the episode, but grew bored.

"And the iPhone of CERN reactors? Um... okay."

I was like, what does she mean their ship's CERN engine is outdated and lacking basic functionality despite the high price. I also agree with DanaK, it seemed odd that the Doctor was going on and on about this.

That wasn't good science either: antimatter might be useful as a fuel, but isn't an energy source if you are generating the antimatter, so unclear why they'd be doing that on the ship.

Maybe the reason for that scene was to get children interested in science, but it just came across as stupid apple reference and bad science imo.

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When the doctor said "This is like the iPhone version of CERN" I thought she was saying this is like taking CERN's Large Hadron Collider and shrinking it down to the size of an iPhone while still having the same power.

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Grrr...science fail...unless you have an antimatter mine or the equivalent antimatter is not a source of energy. It is a form of energy storage. A very concentrated store of energy. But the setup described made about as much sense as having a car that has to produce it's own gasoline on the fly using another on-board energy source. It would be far more efficient to use that energy to run an engine directly without the middleman.

Given the sound issues and not having closed captioning available on the secondary tv set I was relegated to I didn't quite understand the status of the ship - was it just the equivalent of an ambulance or something that would be involved in more dangerous areas (there was talk about some border area they didn't want to cross)? And I didn't get just why the pregnant dude needed to be conveyed across interstellar space for adequate obstetrical care.

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1 hour ago, Terrafamilia said:

Grrr...science fail...unless you have an antimatter mine or the equivalent antimatter is not a source of energy. It is a form of energy storage. A very concentrated store of energy. But the setup described made about as much sense as having a car that has to produce it's own gasoline on the fly using another on-board energy source. It would be far more efficient to use that energy to run an engine directly without the middleman.

Yeah, but then you wouldn't have that cool spiral effect! Maybe that's what she meant when she compared it to an iphone. Very cool to look at but not the most practical piece of equipment for its purpose. 

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