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2:31 AM
Of course it's the same one! That barn has become iconic Doctor-on-Gallifrey. The War Doctor went there in Day of the Doctor, then Clara went there in Listen, and now Twelve in Hell Bent.
> WOMAN: You, up there! You're not supposed to be there! I've just put all that back. It's for the boys, if any of them ever want to come
> (Then she sees his face, and realises who it is. He nods.)
> WOMAN: They'll kill you.
He WAS one of "the boys". That's the point.
 
See also: The Day of the Doctor.
...ah, you mentioned it. Yes.
I'm not sure quite how I feel about the barn. Moffat's playing a really long game with that and his long games don't usually stick the landing.
 
@BESW Who is that actor playing the Doctor?
I'm sure I recognise him, but it's just not clicking...
 
@randal'thor Mark Gatiss. You may know him best as Mycroft.
He was also Richard Lazarus in a Tenth Doctor story.
He was also at least two other Doctor Who characters. And he was in Jekyll, and Game of Thrones, and Midsomer Murders, and Poirot, Sense and Sensibility, Being Human, George Gently... he gets around.
 
THAT'S Gatiss? I've seen him a few times: Mycroft, Stephen Gardiner, and of course writing lots of DW episodes.
How old is this video?
 
That clip was made for a 1999 BBC Doctor Who marathon.
 
2:41 AM
Ah, so a bit younger than when I've seen him.
 
Yeah, Gatiss and Moffat have been part of Doctor Who productions since the Wilderness Years.
(If you haven't seen The Curse of Fatal Death, look it up. Should be on YouTube. It's a charity event, and Moffat's first script for Doctor Who. While it's terribly funny, it's also a distillation of all the quirks and foibles he'd bring to the show proper.)
 
"Well, naturally I anticipated your journey back in time..." :-D
Thanks - I'll watch that when I have time.
 
2:58 AM
Watching it now that Moffat's been show runner for several years... a lot of what seemed like over-the-top parody then is now just "Yeah, they did that a couple seasons ago."
 
 
5 hours later…
8:21 AM
@BESW Moffat-isms are the worse thing about Doctor Who right now. Episodes that don't use them? Instant classics, like 'Heaven Sent'. Episodes that do? Tripe, like 'The Magician's Apprentice'.
 
@DrRDizzle I think there's nothing inherently wrong with most of Moffat's Moffatyness. It's just been repeated so much that we're sick of it.
And Moffat himself is running out of fun new ways to do it.
I mean, if we look as far back as The Doctor Dances, Blink, and Silence in the Library, they're rife with Moffatisms. But they're some of the best beloved stories of the RTD era.
 
@BESW Depends what you class as a Moffat-ism. For me, it's his inability to let a moment happen naturally and his tendency to base an episode around fan service.
 
That too.
But there are major motifs moving through his work, that we can see in Curse of Fatal Death and ever since.
 
8:41 AM
@BESW Moffat's motifs mostly masterfully made.
 
Using the TARDIS to mess with causality; the Doctor's sexuality as a major theme; the Doctor getting tired of fighting evil; the Master and the Doctor getting chummy; a chronic inability to write women well...
 
@BESW But when he's on form, none of these things matter (beyond his inability to write women, but that's another matter entirely). All I ever want from a Moffat episode is spooks, and he is fairly good at delivering when it matters.
 
Looking at Curse of Fatal Death, we see the seeds of River Song; Missy; the Eleventh Doctor's trying to make the universe forget about him; all of Moffat's playing around with causality to mess with the narrative (Blink, River Song, Big Bang Two, etc)...
Moffat does do atmosphere quite well, and when he can avoid explaining things he does tension very well too.
I'm not saying all of those things are bad.
Just that he repeats them so often that we start to see the seams in his stories too much, we're tired of the same "Why is this woman unusual?" plot prompt over and over and over...
 
@BESW I don't think he ever should have been showrunner though. I've liked season nine more than any of his other seasons by a fair amount, but in my eyes Doctor Who doesn't need the kind of character development and long(er) form storytelling that Moffat has bought to the table.
 
(That's one thing we don't get in Curse, which is interesting to note.)
@DrRDizzle I agree, but Moffat didn't start that. Russell did, albeit less aggressively and more clumsily, and it's an inevitable result of restarting Doctor Who in a post-Buffy TV space.
Season and multi-season story arcs with planned-out character development were experimented with even in the closing years of Classic Who, and after the success of Buffy it became something every network felt was necessary to try for most long-running shows.
As much as I think Moffat isn't very good at it, and that Doctor Who doesn't need it, I can't blame him for including season arcs in the show.
 
8:48 AM
@BESW Aye, but there is a big difference in my mind between the subtle set up required for the Bad Wolf story and an entire season of The Doctor running around trying to prevent being shot by an astronaut which later turns out to be both his wife and the child of his companions.
 
What about the Time Lord Triumphant?
@DrRDizzle That was pretty silly.
 
@BESW I honestly can't even consider that as a season wide plot. It feels to me like it happened over the course of 3 or 4 episodes.
 
The Impossible Astronaut storyline is a good example of what I think is both best and worst about Moffat: he's a fan and always has been. He's been thinking about Doctor Who for most of his life, speculating and mulling and plotting. So he's got a TON of well-developed ideas about what Doctor Who can be.
When he was writing for Davies, Moffat was using the best ideas from decades of careful fannish contemplation.
As he went on, we can see that he was getting more ambitious... and also slowly running out of the really great ideas.
So then Moffat started using some of the less-great or less-well-developed ideas. Or recycling the successful ones.
Most of Eleven and Twelve, until this season, have risen out of responses to Classic Who.
That's pretty great for some of the old fans, to see the show in dialogue with itself, rebutting some themes and building on others. And it's introduced new fans to a lot of cool old stuff.
But I think one reason series 9 is clicking with people so well is that New Who is now talking to New Who.
Series 9 is in direct correspondence with the RTD era.
 
@BESW See, that's something I wouldn't pick up on, but Eleven is still easily my least favourite Doctor thanks to the significant drop in quality that the average Doctor Who episode saw when he took over. If that's down to Moffat relying on a knowledge of Classic Who in order to fully appreciate what he is doing, that makes sense.
@BESW Then it also makes sense why season nine would have been my favourite since Moffat took over.
 
Look at Ashildr and Harkness.
The Doctor wiping Donna's memory of himself to save her, and Clara wiping the Doctor's memory of herself to save him.
 
8:57 AM
@BESW I can see the links here within the context of the show, but logically I still don't really understand why one of them needed their memory wiped.
 
@DrRDizzle I don't think it requires a knowledge to appreciate--or River Song wouldn't be so popular--but that's the headspace he's coming from.
 
And that's often why I find myself left cold by Moffat - he does things for thematic reasons regardless of if they actually make sense a lot of the time.
 
Yeah.
 
He builds story around a moment, rather than letting moments form naturally.
 
That's a good way to say it.
I said something a while back... [goes to dig it up]
Bah, can't find it right now.
Anyway, that's why the Doctor needed his memory erased.
RTD and Davies have both been fascinated with the balancing act of the idea that the Doctor needs his companions to remind him of how to be a Good Man. It's supported since the early days of the First Doctor, but never made explicit until New Who.
The idea is that... somehow... Twelve is broken by and because of Clara.
That unlike Rose, who healed Nine enough that Ten could let her go (although RTD couldn't), Twelve's too attached to Clara to stay Good in the face of her leaving him.
So she... somehow... meddled with his memory so that the fixing stayed in place without the attachment.
The Russian Roulette thing was just dumb.
 
9:07 AM
@BESW See, I'm sure that there are ways that could have worked within the context of the show, but it simply didn't at least from a logical perspective.
 
[sigh] No.
But if it sticks... well, Moffat's other big problem is that consequences don't stick.
 
I kind of feel that Doctor Who is too into itself at the moment. Like the last two James bond films, we're in the position where the show is (in general) too preoccupied with examining itself to really just be the show that I want it to be.
 
So if he keeps the Doctor and Clara apart, makes the Doctor live with the consequences of getting back on Gallifrey's bad side, and moves forward to new things, I can be okay with this as yet another "Grand Moffat Climax That Made No Sense."
@DrRDizzle Oh, man, Spectre felt like they got a parody script and didn't notice.
 
@BESW I actually quite liked parts of Spectre, but as a film it was a bit bum - partly because it was pretty much the exact same story as (but less fun than) the significantly better Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.
 
...I should probably watch the newer Mission: Impossible films.
But they just aren't Mission: Impossible anymore, not after the first.
 
9:11 AM
You know what I want from season ten of Doctor Who more than anything? A companion who just enjoys traveling with a Doctor who just wants to help people across space and time.
 
(And even that one was kinda... well, making the series lead into your film's bad guy just because he got greedy? Not cool.)
@DrRDizzle Two or three companions, please.
And not from the same eras or places.
 
@BESW Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation > Mission: Impossible > Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol > Mission: Impossible 3 > Mission: Impossible 2.
 
@DrRDizzle And where does the TV series fit?
 
@BESW Oh yeah, that too. I don't mind if it just one or multiple companions so much, but that last thing I want is another modern Mary Sue.
@BESW I've never seen it, but I have to assume it's better than Mission: Impossible 2.
 
Less 21st century England, more wacko alien planets that we've never seen before and will never see again.
@DrRDizzle I've seen the first... three films? And I much prefer the TV show to all of them. It's not an action-adventure film, it's more like Spy MacGyver with a really strong faith in the audience's intelligence.
The show always starts with the lead and the audience hearing the goal of the mission, and then the team has a briefing where the audience learns only bits and pieces of the plan, like what gadgets they have.
 
9:16 AM
@BESW Then you might not like the other Mission: Impossible films to be honest. They are less Spy MacGyver and more Stunt MacC***. Awesome and thrilling and surprisingly well written, but not particularly smart.
 
Then as the mission unfolds, the audience watches to see how they get from seemingly-random-beginning to pre-set-ending.
 
Although I do have to say that as action blockbusters, the last two have been really good ones.
 
When something seems to go wrong, sometimes it's part of the plan and sometimes it's not.
And they're very very clever about it, sometimes ridiculously so.
 
Yeah, these films might not be for you then. But still, good action films.
 
I'll try to watch them as action films.
I'm not against action films, I'm just not really down with hijacking such a great franchise for them instead of making their own Tom Cruise Does Stunts franchise.
 
9:21 AM
@BESW If that's the case, you are going to be really mad about the upcoming Vin Diesel led Doctor Who film franchise.
 
@DrRDizzle Nah, it's Vin Diesel so I'll probably be content.
Practically anything with Vin Diesel in it is worth watching for Vin Diesel. He's like Bruce Willis and Tilda Swinton that way.
 
2 Time 2 Space and Time & Space: Raxacoricofallapatorian Drift are the best two.
 
I know it's not very popular and it doesn't fit neatly into the continuity of the other films, but I really like Guardians of the Gallifrey.
Anyway, I'd like to see New Who spend more time in periods of Earth history that the BBC doesn't already have sound stages for, and have companions from off-world who aren't obviously alien.
...Actually, y'know what might reasonably happen is another Romana-type companion.
Romana was a Time Lady who got... assigned... to the Fourth Doctor to keep an eye on him and be sure he did the job the Time Lords wanted him to do.
He eventually turned her to his way of thinking and they had adventures together for a while (then they returned to Gallifrey and by the time he was done the Doctor had installed her as Lady High President of Gallifrey, but that's neither here nor there).
It could be pretty cool to have a moderately antagonistic Time Lord/Lady companion for a while.
 
@BESW That means Moffat writing for a female Time Lord though, which he's proven twice now that he simply should not be allowed to do.
 
This is our fantasy, so we'll assume Moffat's not the show-runner anymore.
(He can still write episodes sometimes, but no more than two a season.)
I'd love to just start a season with a random assortment of companions from various times and places, no explanation for how they got there or anything, just BAM ADVENTURES GO.
And never look back, never explain.
 
9:39 AM
@BESW Just a montage of The Doctor in different times/places holding his door open to new people, and we're off.
Someone phone the BBC, it's clear that @BESW and myself should be running this shit.
 
 
 
7 hours later…
5:07 PM
0
Q: How did all the doctors know to save Gallifrey?

Gil KeidarIn the day of the doctor, all the doctors came to save Gallifrey (no sir, all thirteen!). My question is how did all the doctors know to come? Only the three doctors (10,11,8.5) were brought together by the moment, after all. So how did they know?

 
 
3 hours later…
8:27 PM
that is one derpy looking cybermat
 
9:02 PM
wow, it really does leap onto your neck and bite you to death
 
9:15 PM
Cybermats: Monty Python didn't invent the tiny cute thing that'll jump up and rip your head off.
In all seriousness though, the derpy effects hardly matter when the acting and the soundtrack are so awesome.
 
its movement is actually pretty good
 
I use a 13-minute cut of Tomb of the Cyberman soundtrack as background music for some of my horror games.
 
and yes I am liking this episode
oh, they're using the bigger cybermats to help assimilate a human
 
Notice, please, that "Assimilate" doesn't mean "put a human brain in a robot body which can still act autonomously without the brain." I have no idea who thought that was a good change for New Who to make.
 
I do still remember you pointing out that old who cybermen are enhanced humans, not brains in robots
the brain thing is more of a "conversion" than it is an "assimilation"
ok I'm a bit lost as to what these cybermats are supposed to be doing
 
9:27 PM
They're replacing Toberman's arms, right?
 
I probably missed something, the way these cybermen talk it's tough for me to catch all the words
 
Yeah, they sound creepy but not very understandable.
 
uh-oh, full-grown cybermat made it to the top floor
 
The basic concept is that Cybermen don't convert willy-nilly. They only convert people they think are worthy. Toberman's strength is an acceptable quality to justify at least partial conversion, and is useful for their current situation.
 
now they really sound like the Borg
 
9:30 PM
Except on an individual rather than cultural level, yeah, the similarities are definitely there.
(There's a comic event where the Borg and the Cybermen team up.)
 
man, Victoria is clever
interesting, the partial conversion did not rob him of free will
 
Well, not entirely. The death of his mistress--and probably the Doctor's Passionate Speech-Making--snapped him out of it.
 
9:48 PM
I love how the bad guy slowly lowers his gun as soon as the Doctor starts passionately praising him
so in love with his plot he forgot about the Cybermen waking up behind him
 
[grin] The Doctor's speech-making often treads the edges of being an outright psychic power.
Two and Seven were especially power speech-makers.
 
I wouldn't be surprised if that was an actual Time Lord power
 
We do know that Time Lords are slightly psychic, and it appears that the strength of it varies with each regeneration.
 
"They shall never pass Toberman!"
and now that the Cybermen are dead forever, time to watch your clip
@BESW well, now I know why people keep saying Sylvester was "dark"
 
The main reason The Happiness Patrol isn't widely considered a classic, in my opinion, is that the villain was a robot made out of candy.
 
10:00 PM
the anvilicious message probably didn't help either
 
That too.
But yeah, I love a lot of the Seventh Doctor's stuff. Curse of Fenric, Remembrance of the Daleks, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy...
He basically had just one companion for his entire era, and she was very much the mould in which New Who companions have been trying to be cast--but failing.
 

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