Doctor Who: It Takes You Away
December 2, 2018 6:47 PM - Season 11, Episode 9 - Subscribe

"On the edge of a Norwegian fjord, in the present day, The Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz discover a boarded-up cottage and a girl named Hanne in need of their help. What has happened here? What monster lurks in the woods around the cottage - and beyond?"
posted by homunculus (65 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This was definitely the weirdest Doctor Who episode I've seen in quite some time.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:50 PM on December 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

I really enjoyed it. I just wish the Doctor had been able to spend a bit more time chatting with the Solitract.
posted by homunculus at 7:06 PM on December 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

Fleshmoth had some great albums in the ‘90s for sure.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:06 PM on December 2, 2018 [8 favorites]

I expected for a split second that the Solitract would take the form of someone the Doctor lost, and then I couldn't figure out who it would be because there's been so many, and that's when I guessed that the Solitract wouldn't be able to hold everything together with just the Doctor because of all the data it would have to process about her. So it didn't even have a proper environment, just white space and leftover triangle beams from the house's top floor and a chair and a simple frog with a voice it already knows, Grace. That was all it could manage while facing the immensity of the Doctor. It had to ask her immediately about the universe before everything collapsed or it had to push her out.

What a great new thing about the Doctor Who universe. Such a great episode and I loved the moment at the end with Graham and Ryan.

I also loved that Yaz just knew what to do in every situation, like how to talk to the child, facing down Ribbons as soon as he grabbed Graham, and understanding that it wasn't really Trine and Grace.
posted by numaner at 8:04 PM on December 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

I think this is the best episode of the season. This is what I watch doctor who for, the truly weird and wonderful. Sure the creature in the dead zone made no sense, but man was he fun. I love how the episodes reveal was truly unexpected, and the alien was exceptionally weird.

It was also really emotionally honest, and while on some levels confronting someone with the person they've lost is obvious, I thought it was done really well.

And honestly, the bravery of having the final confrontation involving a talking frog on a chair is just bloody brilliant.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:52 PM on December 2, 2018 [11 favorites]

I liked it, but wow, what a weird, messy episode. It started with all sorts of silly business, with the gag about the killer sheep, the Doctor somehow deducting all sorts of stuff by tasting the soil (Was she just dicking with the companions then?), and then the gang just busting into a locked house. I mean, they maybe saw somebody peeking at them through a window, and that was that. There were no screams coming from the house, no signs of foul play, just kind of a spooky peeker. It worked out because it's a story, but in the real world just busting into somebody's locked house based on a hunch like that is a really, really bad idea.

But then we got into the meat of the episode, and that was all pretty good. I was getting major Coraline flashbacks, complete with an Other Mother, but it was effectively creepy and sad. The tragic froggy puppet scene didn't quite land for me, but it was nuts in a way I had to respect. This season has been a really rocky ride but it has had some good stuff in it, and this episode reflects all that. It was really rocky but ultimately good.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:53 PM on December 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

Look, I know it's boring that in a season celebrating diversity that my favorite companion is the old white guy. But I'm so glad Graham got his "granddad" moment with Ryan. At some point I'm assuming he's the one they cut loose (again, preferably he goes off to be a spacebus driver) when they need to focus more on Yaz and Ryan, but I've really liked his arc this season. Plus, an extra sandwich is just smart.
posted by Gary at 12:23 AM on December 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

I’m amazed to find this is the first time Kevin Eldon has been in Doctor Who (as Ribbons), he seems like 100% the sort of person who would have appeared three or four times as different characters by now.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:40 AM on December 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

I've been really disappointed with the way this season has gone. No multi-show storylines, no grand happenings, the special effects look like they've been cut 80%. We haven't heard from the Cybermen or the Daleks once. It's been one quiet stand-alone episode after another, no saving the earth or the universe or the timeline, it has been very very tame and I really hope that's not because of sexism. Now that the Doctor is female surely doesn't mean they don't still have pivotal exciting big things to do for the universe does it? I've been waiting to post this until I'd seen more episodes but this really isn't the exciting Doctor I was looking forward to. Gah it's just been so tame.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 1:02 AM on December 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Rufous-headed, that's what's made this a great season for introducing the show to new watchers in some ways. My kids who are casual Dr Who fans are able to watch episodes without needing to know the whole Time War backstories.

And in other news, I have an appointment coming up for OT with a note for dyspraxia thanks to watching Doctor Who, googling and going what, that's what that is, really? and discussing it with my neurologist. Yay to no longer endlessly bumping into things and falling over hopefully!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 1:40 AM on December 3, 2018 [19 favorites]

It's been one quiet stand-alone episode after another, no saving the earth or the universe or the timeline

In the last episode the Doctor stopped some belligerent aliens from taking over the Earth, and this episode she stopped a conscious universe from collapsing our own. In "Kerblam!" she stopped thousands or even millions of customers from receiving a deadly poison. In "Rosa" she saved the timeline that led to the civil rights movement.

Sure, it's not the same as a screenful of floating Daleks... thankfully. It feels much more like old-school Who in not having every single episode being about some universe-threatening entity. After the overblown story arcs of the Moffatt and Davies eras (and I liked plenty of elements of both), it's a breath of fresh air.
posted by rory at 2:16 AM on December 3, 2018 [13 favorites]

Rufous-headed, I get it, but I'm afraid this is the path Chibnall wanted. He explicitly said there would be no multi arcs this season, and no returning bad guys. To be honest, I'm still expected a surprise return from the daleks at some point, but we will see. I don't think Chibnall is a strong writer, and a lot of these episodes have suffered from some very odd choices (let's let Donald Trump get away, and be happy that space Amazon gets to exploit these people), but if the show can make flat out odd episodes like this one I'm happy. Episodes like this, which are just unusual and interesting are absolutely what I love Doctor Who for.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 2:24 AM on December 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Really enjoyed this, it really felt like a sci-fi mystery and not just "something weird happening, turns out it was aliens" (I mean, it was that, but it was over-all weirder and spookier than the usual Random Aliens Up To Something plot).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:35 AM on December 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

100% love that the climax was the Doctor chatting to a lonely sentient universe taking the form of a frog.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:36 AM on December 3, 2018 [19 favorites]

(One thing I thought was a little silly was the Doctor says "a house in Norway in the winter with no smoke?" - uh, that was definitely not Norway in winter).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:38 AM on December 3, 2018 [12 favorites]

Most of the way, I felt like we were 3 additional moving parts and a sense of misanthropy away from a Moffat episode.

But instead of "rar how dare you threaten MYYYYYYY pet planet," we got a weirdly sympathetic take from the Doctor. The alien consciousness was incompatible with our universe, but that doesn't make it an enemy. Loved that.

I'm reminded of that song from Craig Ferguson about how the Doctor solves problems by being smart and not brutish, and sure that's been played out differently over the decades. At times the "aren't I clever" button has been mashed too often for my liking. But I feel like Thirteen is written to solve problems through gleeful curiosity and, at times, empathy. I also hope this isn't a "women are peacekeepers" thing, but so far, I like it. I can get baddy-vanquishing anywhere in fiction. Befriending the proverbial dragon is a bit more surprising.
posted by cage and aquarium at 4:56 AM on December 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

I'm appreciating Graham's arc, as he grieves for Grace - sometimes it's hardly there, sometimes it's the centerpiece of an episode like this one. As a recent widower myself, I find that ebb and flow a lot more realistic than on many other shows I've seen.

For me, the saddest part was near the end, where Graham is standing alone, looking out over the water. He's got new memories of Grace now, even if it's not the real Grace, and he's saying goodbye.
posted by Mogur at 5:00 AM on December 3, 2018 [13 favorites]

But yeah, I think the Doctor was kidding about the sheep. We've seen previous incarnations pulling a companions' leg with perfect deadpan seriousness.
posted by Mogur at 5:02 AM on December 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I liked that the episode climaxed with a return to its roots as a children's show, by having the Doctor talking about friends, and how she will be the Solitract's friend. It was something so very simple and something very important to children...having and making friends.

I really liked the very subtle clue that the home where they found Erick was in an alternate space...Erick's Slayer t-shirt had the printing reversed when they were in the Solitract space. When he escaped back to the real space, the printing was correct. I really like that they didn't draw attention to it or anything. Just a little clue left for you to find.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:31 AM on December 3, 2018 [19 favorites]

I need to re-watch it. I wonder if his hair was parted on the other side?
posted by Mogur at 5:35 AM on December 3, 2018

Rufous, you’ve had your style of Doctor Who for years and years now. Taste a different flavor: that’s what this show is all about! And it’s getting deep enough that I don’t feel bad about jinxing it: this is my favorite season of the reboot bar none (and I thought season one was damn near perfect).
posted by rikschell at 5:38 AM on December 3, 2018 [9 favorites]

That was very Full Circle-ish. I loved it.
posted by hawthorne at 6:00 AM on December 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

Hmm, should have looked that up -- of course I meant Warriors' Gate.
posted by hawthorne at 6:13 AM on December 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Actor Kevin Eldon
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:43 AM on December 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

I haven't even seen anything The Actor Kevin Eldon has been in for ages, and I didn't know he was going to be in Doctor Who, but the way he pronounced a specific word in like his second line made me immediately ID him.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:50 AM on December 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

I thought it was okay (especially the Graham stuff), but this season seems like it could use a script editor or two. A lot of these episodes are feeling like they took ideas for two or three episodes and crammed them all into an hour. They could have done a lot more with "creepy zone full of carnivorous moths that comes into existence as an interdimensional immune reaction", for instance.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:24 AM on December 3, 2018

I was so happy to see a Blind character portrayed by a Blind actor.

The child actor - whose name I cant look up right now - I felt was particularly good.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:02 AM on December 3, 2018 [8 favorites]

I really liked this episode too, some very creepy concepts turning into high weirdness. I thought they were going for the blind-person-is-superpowered-in-the-dark trope with the lantern business, but I guess they decided that was too clichéd. Not sure how I feel about the girl being reunited with the parent who keeps her terrified of a fake monster, though she'd presumably be safer in Oslo.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:10 AM on December 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

...the special effects look like they've been cut 80%.

That's a really odd observation. Everyone at my viewing party think the SFX are quite good this series. The photography and lighting has been great, too. The only real obvious stumble was the frog in this very episode, which was so obviously a practical effect puppet rather than a CG frog.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:40 AM on December 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

Huh, I didn't even notice the mirror trick:
The Doctor is quick to realise that they’ve gone through the mirror, and if you look closely it’s obvious why – because the appearances of the Doctor, Graham and Yaz have flipped, i.e. they’ve become their mirror images.

Graham and the Doctor’s haircuts are now parted on the other side, Yaz and the Doctor’s earrings have moved around, their clothes have flipped (keep an eye out for the flap near Graham’s collar) and even their actions are different to usual, with the usually right-handed Doctor using the sonic screwdriver as a lefty.

Elsewhere in the Solitract world, the mirror images continue – Hanne’s dad Erik is wearing a Slayer T-shirt that runs backwards...
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:02 AM on December 3, 2018 [10 favorites]

This episode was a mess, but The Doctor and companions stumbling through a portal into a weird cave nether-dimension filled with carnivorous moths only to stumble back into an even weirder mirror-dimension that threatens the fabric of reality is exactly what I want in my Doctoring.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:18 AM on December 3, 2018 [18 favorites]

I'm glad there are no Daleks/Cybermen this season. I don't mind multi-episode arcs, but 1 more EXTERMINATE!!/DELETE!! and I flip the channel..
posted by Pendragon at 10:37 AM on December 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

It's been one quiet stand-alone episode after another, no saving the earth or the universe or the timeline

I am desperately relieved for a break from WE MUST FACE THE OVERWHELMING THREAT TO THE FABRIC OF REALITY ITSELF, which is the kind of hyperlame American comic book toddlershouty blowfuffery that blusteringly diminishes what I always loved about Who—localized problem-solving with quirks. Plus, the Doctor has been back and forth to all the ends of time solving the WE'RE GOING TO BLOW UP THE WHOLE ENTIRE COMPLETE FOREVER-AND-EVER UNIVERSE, so it may be entirely possible that she's pretty much successfully eliminated all the instances of overwhelming doom scattered throughout the timestream and can now settle into a prolonged and relaxing turn at being the interdimensional watchmaker fine-tuning the world at a reasonable and humane scale with little fixes here and little tweaks there, gradually undoing the universe-and-time-wide industrial accident that the discovery of time travel would be for any universe unlucky enough to experience that toxic meltdown.
posted by sonascope at 11:00 AM on December 3, 2018 [17 favorites]

TheophileEscargot: Huh, I didn't even notice the mirror trick

The Slayer shirt is what caught my eye, but I didn't even think to pay attention to hair parts (Erik was just a floofy dude for all I recalled, but the pic in that article showed him with a minor part in the front) and use of dominant hands.

Interesting that the Solitract-version of Trine and Grace pushed their partners back through the portal to expel them from the fantasy -- the fantasy rejected them, not a simple snap of the fingers or some other semi-magical *poof* of smoke. They were something of sirens to lure in their husbands, but in the end, they were the ones who had to break the illusion and send the men away.

Faintdreams: The child actor - whose name I cant look up right now - I felt was particularly good.

Indeed! Her name is Ellie Wallwork (IMDb, with scant info). Radio Times has a bit of a write-up on her.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:14 AM on December 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

What I miss are the episodes which imaginatively explored the nuances of time travel, like The Girl in the Fireplace and Blink. Maybe Chibnall isn't as good at those kind of episodes, but I hope we get one next season, or maybe in the finale.
posted by homunculus at 11:33 AM on December 3, 2018 [2 favorites]

That frog, though. I wonder if there was an initial CG attempt that came out too uncanny, so they opted for the straight-up absurdity of a practical puppet instead. If so, I think it was the better choice.
posted by mumkin at 12:30 PM on December 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

What I miss are the episodes which imaginatively explored the nuances of time travel, like The Girl in the Fireplace and Blink. Maybe Chibnall isn't as good at those kind of episodes, but I hope we get one next season, or maybe in the finale.

That’s a bit unfair, isn’t it? We’re only nine episodes into Chibnall’s first series. The Girl in the Fireplace was four episodes into RTD’s second series, and Blink didn’t happen until 10 episodes into his third series. And, to be honest, those two stories are almost anomalies when compared to the rest of their respective series.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:40 PM on December 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

so they opted for the straight-up absurdity of a practical puppet instead. If so, I think it was the better choice.

Heh, I read it as the conscious universe didn't even have enough power to properly render a frog.
posted by numaner at 3:03 PM on December 3, 2018 [6 favorites]

Heh, I read it as the conscious universe didn't even have enough power to properly render a frog.
Or, like Graham's wearing of Grace's frog necklace, a crude token of greater memories.
posted by hawthorne at 7:05 PM on December 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

That was a weird episode! Good, except I was a little distracted by the show deciding that threats to spacetime now take the form of anti-zones and not like the other three or four different ways of making threats to spacetime into the supernatural that the series has had over time. I'd appreciate it if Doctor Who ever got around to inventing minor antagonists they could insert into stories that could be used as flexibly as the Doctor's tools.

What I miss are the episodes which imaginatively explored the nuances of time travel, like The Girl in the Fireplace and Blink.

Both of these were Moffatt episodes, and we're unlikely to get any more of these after what happened with him as showrunner. (He seems to be the only regular writer interested in doing these kind of stories.)

Now the season's mostly over, I feel like this was overall a solid start - it's not quite what I want from Doctor Who, but it reminds me a lot of Season One (the highs aren't quite as high, the lows aren't nearly as low) and the series grew over time. We'll see what the finale's like next week - Davies was mostly pretty rubbish at finales.
posted by Merus at 6:16 AM on December 4, 2018 [2 favorites]

The frog catapulted this episode to my favorite of the season. The frog puppeteer did great work making the frog act, and I am forever thankful to whoever decided that the frog should lift his little froggy paw to blast the Doctor into the Anti-Zone, just as Faux Trine and Grace has.

But the silliness and absurdity would not have worked without the deep emotional chasm yawning beneath that frog and its chair. The idea of a sentient universe having been alone and rejected since the beginning of time is so heartrending—especially when it turns out that for all its infinite power, pretty much the best it can do at making a friend is Erik, the worst dad in Norway. For the Solitract to make friends with the Doctor, the only person who could really fully appreciate it, and then have to say goodbye almost immediately was just as tragic as Graham having the wounds of his grief reopened by seeing Faux Grace. (Just desserts then, I suppose.)

I noticed the reversed Slayer t-shirt and thought it was a clever bit. Then I thought “It would have been cool if they filmed all the Mirror universe scenes reversed!” Then I thought, “Wait, maybe they did?” Sadly I had to verify it by taking note of which side Whittaker’s hair part was and seeing whether it switched when she got back to reality. So yes, they did do the cool thing, and it was almost entirely lost on me.
posted by ejs at 8:34 PM on December 4, 2018 [13 favorites]

A little wink towards Douglas Adams at the beginning: the Doctor referring to Norway's fjords as "crinkly bits".
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:17 PM on December 4, 2018 [13 favorites]

We'll have to see what happens for the season finale. In fact, I don't think we even know if the season finale is going to be episode 10 and the New Year's special will be a stand-alone, or if episode 10 will be normal and the special will be the finale. I have not been a fan of the world-ending finales of years past, but RTD has written about how he purposefully pumped them way up to draw in the casual viewers and goose the numbers enough to keep the show on the air. You have to admit the strategy seems to have worked. Chibnall may be following a different path, or not. We shall see. I don't think it can be worse than Dobby Doctor.

After the season ends, if you enjoy Thirteen's brand of heroism-by-way-of-friendship, you might want to check out the current run of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. She does for the Marvel Universe pretty much what Jodie Whittaker's Doctor does with the Whovian one. It's written by the infamous-for-falling-into-holes Ryan North, and is a hilarious and heartwarming comic.
posted by rikschell at 11:13 AM on December 5, 2018 [5 favorites]

I've only just started this episode, but Graham's sandwich is already my favorite thing in all of Doctor Who.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:31 PM on December 5, 2018 [7 favorites]

Everything else about the episode was my second-favourite thing in all of Doctor Who.

What I especially liked about this story is that it actually was a story where the entirety of the universe and existence was threatened, but it managed to contain that big an idea within a much more person-scale framework. You don't need a billion Daleks hovering around a million planets or whatever to express the end of the universe, you just need a frog on a chair in a house that's falling away to reveal a blank, white space.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:45 PM on December 5, 2018 [8 favorites]

And to build on that: The reason the universe was threatened was not because a race of psychos wanted to EXTERMINATE all life. In fact it wasn’t out of malice at all. It was because the Solitract was so crushingly lonely it couldn’t help itself. And the Doctor saved the day not through weaponized technobabble or intimidation or a deus ex machina, but by being giving and selfless and genuine.

Damn I loved this episode.
posted by ejs at 7:22 PM on December 5, 2018 [8 favorites]

…the Doctor somehow deducting all sorts of stuff by tasting the soil (Was she just dicking with the companions then?)

In the Chibnall-writ “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” the Doctor's tastebuds also do planetary survey work. He samples the air and declares, “Well, it's not Earth. Doesn't taste right. Too metallic.” There’s a history of the Doctor licking things in the name of science.
posted by mumkin at 7:46 PM on December 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

I don't object to the Doctor deducing some things by tasting the soil or whatever, but in this case the stuff she was deducing seemed pretty silly. I don't have a transcript handy, but I remember the info was detailed to the point of self-parody. That and the sheep revolt struck me as two bits of strained whimsy piled atop each other, but fortunately the rest of the episode worked better.

I find myself thinking back to Erik in this episode and just being more and more appalled by the guy. I mean, he had his little girl terrified and hiding under a table, whimpering about the beast that takes you away, while he was ready to abandon her to go live in some other universe. That's some spectacularly shitty, abusive parenting. I wish the episode had ended with him begging for forgiveness or saying they were going to go live with some relatives for a while, while he got some serious therapy. I kind of feel like Hanne would be better off if he'd stayed in the Frogverse, really.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:27 PM on December 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

Did Erik ever give a reason for not just bringing Hanne into the mirror universe?
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:42 AM on December 6, 2018

Erik never did give a reason for not just bringing Hanne into the mirror universe but Hanne did mention that her dad had been 'sick' since her Mother died. Depression cased by grief can make people erratic and selfish is all kinds of ways. I suspect Erik never even considered trying to bring Hanne to her mirror mother because if she rejected the reality he'd have to face up to possible loosing his Mirror wife and also facing up to his ahem *suboptimal* parenting choices
posted by Faintdreams at 8:04 AM on December 6, 2018 [6 favorites]

the Solitract could've also realized it can't support more than one person for that length of time and asked Erik to not bring Hanne there
posted by numaner at 12:41 PM on December 6, 2018

I hope the Solitract makes a return appearance! I didn't understand why the Doctor couldn't say, look, we can't stay together long but I'll come back and visit for like an hour (or however long is safe) every once in a while. That way they really could be friends!
posted by overglow at 4:51 PM on December 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

I mean, like, I imagine the Doctor is pretty lonely too and could use, alongside their temporary human companions, a relationship with another being as strange and long-lived as they are.
posted by overglow at 4:56 PM on December 6, 2018

I bet the Solitract and the Face of Boe would get on famously.
posted by ejs at 5:48 PM on December 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

I bet the Solitract and the Face of Boe would get on famously.
Captain Jack with a conscious universe that can take any form? My god, the fanfics write themselves...
posted by acidnova at 7:51 PM on December 6, 2018 [10 favorites]

It Takes You Away . There was no monster, so what is It? Love or grief?
posted by hawthorne at 1:13 AM on December 7, 2018

Love and Grief are both sides of the same coin.
posted by Faintdreams at 3:30 AM on December 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Love is grief, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
posted by ewan at 4:40 AM on December 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

Love is the credit card, grief is the credit card bill.
posted by Mogur at 5:59 AM on December 7, 2018 [7 favorites]

I was just like to note for the record that I was knitting when the Woolly Revolution gag came up. Awkward!

(Really fun thinky episode, though, the perfect mix of heartfelt and spooky and trippy. Also, Graham now most relatable companion because he’s the only one who’s ever shared my emergency travel planning priorities.)
posted by bettafish at 1:50 PM on December 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Came into the thread to write Damn, I loved this episode - beaten to it by ejs.

Damn, I loved this episode.

I started to get tired of the universe hanging by a thread every week sometime in the second Tennant season, so I've not seen much Who since then. Much as I love Freema. And then every time I accidentally caught Peter Capaldi's Doctor, I would end up feeling quite sorry for what he must have been going through as an actor! O my god particularly in that last one set in the trenches. Pertwee was my first Doctor, followed by Baker, and I really liked Sylvester MacCoy, who I think at the time was understood to be an unpopular Doctor. I never lived anywhere where I knew anyone else that watched the programme until after the internet got popular. Quirky and thoughtful and ingenious and not afraid of being silly or slightly naff will always for me be the essence of the character and the series.

And I am extremely proud of having been nudged into watching Pasolini and ==> Italian cinema and ==> world cinema, simply because of having a bit of a crush on Tom Baker with the plummy voice and curly hair and kinky boots.
posted by glasseyes at 3:05 PM on December 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I LOVED how this season it brought me back to what originally hooked me on watching this silly, silly show. Which is the experience of watching and absorbing brand new stories about brand new concepts & people & stories that I never heard before. There was a lot of that in Matt Smith's first 3, and then much less so after that until now. Every time they trot out the Daleks, the Cybermen, the big red guys, I just lose all interest. It's like your friend telling you over and over about their awful friend who they're always fighting with but never leaving behind. It becomes boring to hear about. And I like how they wrote the character of having lost interest in all that stuff too, and starting over. It really tracks with the character's emotional journey over the entire reboot, of trying to deal with the trauma of the timewars, being alive for so long, and experiencing all that loss. The character has gone through all the stages of grief and now it's time for them to move on. I really hope they continue with this great track.
posted by bleep at 6:36 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I also really LOVED the Doctor's approach to this new universe character. I think previous Doctors would have been in danger of taking more of an asshole approach when that was the opposite of what was needed.

My only TINY quibble is that the speech that introduced the universe character was a little hard to follow. I had to rewind it three times to figure out what she was saying. I don't like to critique writing in general but I think that could have used a little smoothing out.
posted by bleep at 6:38 PM on December 9, 2018

Also I guess the Doctor doesn't watch Futurama, eh? Also I guess this means they're definitely not in the same universe unfortunately.
posted by bleep at 6:40 PM on December 9, 2018

My catch up binge-watching continues. The best episodes have been the ones not written by Chibnall. I don’t really object to him as showrunner, as I like the changes he’s made, like going back to the children’s educational roots, the multiple companions, and the general SJWho thing (I’m living for that and sipping on misogynistic tears) but I don’t like him as a writer and never have.

But he didn’t write this episode and I thought it was delightful. I would love to be friends with a sentient universe in the shape of a frog. Solitract, call me.

I would have liked it better if the wife/child roles were reversed, though. If Slayer Dad left his wife behind to be with their child. It would have worked better for me if it had been a contrast to Ryan’s situation, instead of a compare.
posted by Ruki at 1:47 PM on January 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

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