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Author Topic: Doctor Who: 2012 Season Part One - read with caution if you haven't seen it yet  (Read 5096 times)

Geoff the head Uncle

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Doctor Who: 2012 Season Part One

observations by: GF Willmetts


   As with the SFCrowsnest Forum in recent years and this time there and here on the SFCrowsnest.org.uk, my comments on the latest season of ‘Doctor Who’. These will mostly be impressions – here’s my Doctor one, ‘Geronimo!’ – rather than plot spoilers. If you’re living in a country that hasn’t seen these episodes yet, read with caution but I’m not going to give too much away. If you can watch it first, that’s even better.

Asylum Of The Daleks   01 September 2012

  The oddest thing about this story is how easy it was for the Daleks to capture not only the Ponds but also the Doctor. Surely, if they wanted him dead that easy, why have they been messing about with him all these years? Then again, considering that the Daleks are also time-travellers, there’s no real way of knowing where in their history this happened. Well, there is one. Skaro is still around, so it must pre-date the seventh Doctor’s destruction of their planet. Whether the Daleks are actually from this time frame, how are we to know?
  Added to this, a Dalek nanotechnology which unprotected can turn humans into Daleks is also the ultimate weapon. Why invade? Drop some of that into a planetary atmosphere and instant converts.
  The colour foam bottle Daleks from the last appearance appear here as well but, thankfully, are vastly outnumbered by the better traditional looking Daleks.
  Another new factor out of this is that the Daleks call the Doctor the predator. Are there any more surprises we are going to learn from these malevolent beings?
  Oddly, this is a very well constructed story, made so this time by showing the Daleks are more than exterminating machines. One can only hope that the intention is to develop them more so we see something akin to the society as shown in the original 1960s ‘TV21’ comic back page story. Certainly there is a need to stop showing the Doctor destroying them every time they meet. It’s making him look more a mass murderer than they are.
  There’s some nice twists in this story that should keep you on the edge of your seat and you’re more likely to watch and find out than speculate before the reveal. A great way into the latest season.


Geoff the head Uncle

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Dinosaurs On A Spaceship         09 September 2012

   Continuing from last week, if you’re living in a country that hasn’t seen these episodes yet, read with caution but I’m not going to give too much away. If you can watch it first, that’s even better

  I wonder when it happened outside of TV continuity that the Doctor became the guy to ring up when there was a problem outside of a people’s control? Last time, it was Churchill, now in 2367AD, a team in India. Is this a subliminal plot to sell novels for these missed events?
  The Doctor isn’t correct when he says he’s never led a gang before. What were they when he was in his fifth regeneration when he had four people on the TARDIS and for a longer period? This isn’t to say that there wasn’t some skilled use of the five extra companions this time around and with two of them, a reminder that he often goes out of his way to meet interesting people in his travels, but it was still a touch of convenience plotting to give them all something to do.
  Probably the oddest thing was having the TARDIS materialising around the Ponds than letting them walk in through the door like they normally would do. It was just a convenient way to get Rory’s dad, Brian, into the adventure by mistake. Adding this facet to the Doctor Who mythos and something only the Master had done previously, in the Doctor’s fourth regeneration, is of some concern because it would also mean that he can remove companions or unwanted guests the same way now. Part of the interest with the TARDIS is that it doesn’t fully function, not to be made a convenient tool like the sonic screwdriver to do plot necessities because it hasn’t been done before.

  Is there anything good? I like the idea that the spaceship was a Silurian Ark. After all, they couldn’t all have stayed on Earth with the Ice Age that had them hibernate. The special effects was near perfection this time and it’s a shame the BBC have dropped their ‘Confidential’ series because it would have been interesting to see behind the scenes of this episode. It was a bit odd that the humans on Earth and the Silurians both had similar touchscreen technology.
  Something else that is worrying is that as despicable a villain that Solomon was, this is another first that the Doctor knowingly arranges for someone to die. A bit odd for someone opting for peaceful solutions or a fate with some irony. [Before anyone points out the sixth regeneration Doctor annihilating Skaro, there was no indication that all the Daleks were there when he did so.]

  There, a review without even mentioning the dinosaur ride, although its s shame Amy missed out on that. Don’t forget to carry a mini-shuffle, medical kit and golf balls if you ever get invited for a little adventure.

Geoff Willmetts
September 2012

Geoff the head Uncle

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A Town Called Mercy      15 September 2012

   Continuing from last week, if you’re living in a country that hasn’t seen these episodes yet, read with caution but I’m not going to give too much away. If you can watch it first, that’s even better

  Essentially, the Doctor meets the Wild West meets the Terminator meets High Noon. What should have been cliché becomes a visual Spartacus moment. How scriptwriter Toby Whithouse avoids that is anyone’s guess but just cos he gets away with it, makes me a little uneasy that future (sic) scriptwriters will use this as a template instead of seeking original ideas.

  Nice to see actor Ben Browder on the screen again. It is actually a nice play and allows the Doctor to wear a Stetson again. It’s a shame the Ponds weren’t allowed the same thing. Wouldn’t you want to play cowboy if you arrived in such an environment? The cyborg is a tad clichéd but as comments above, the premise makes it work although quite how a barrier of stones and wood as described by the Doctor, when everything else is run by electric, keeps him out is anybody’s guess. Then again, is it me or do you find it odd also that these people in the old wild west accept technology that isn’t even common in our own century?

  Whatever, the sonic screwdriver is back in Swiss pocketknife mode, able to do anything that’s required.

  One important thing that is learnt is that without companions, the Doctor gets callous which would explain why he killed in the previous episode. Is this why Time Lords didn’t do much travelling, that they would become homicidal? Does this put the likes of the Master, the Rani, etc into a different perspective? They just went bad cos they travelled alone? Now that is a scary thought.

  Another reference to the Ponds are aging at a faster rate than their parents. Ever since Rose Tyler, the connection to family on Earth has become commonplace. When are we going to go back to go back to the old times when there’s no regard to local Earth events? Maybe that’s the hint about the next companion?

  Be quick on the draw.

Geoff Willmetts
September 2012


Geoff the head Uncle

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The Power Of Three               22 September 2012

   Continuing from last week, if you’re living in a country that hasn’t seen these episodes yet, read with caution but I’m not going to give too much away. If you can watch it first, that’s even better

   Nice to know that even Dr. Brian Cox finds himself out of depth with this story as passive black cubes arrive on the Earth. Meet your Yuletide pressies earlier cos I see a merchandise manoeuvre afoot or a box so to speak. Make sure you pick the working model.

   There is a reference made to a decade passing for the Ponds before the Doctor comes back but assuming that previous references have been current, then surely this is ten years from now so why is newscaster Sophie Raeworth, Brian Cox and Sir Alan Sugar all looking contemporary?

   Back to the cubes. The one thing the Doctor doesn’t do with them is scan them with his sonic screwdriver. You would have thought that would have been the first thing he would have done. Considering he cleaned the Ponds house in less than an hour, he would make a wonderful house guest.

   Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, now head of UNIT, has a wonderful calming influence and we really do need to see more of her in the time-line. Considering that the turnover of people in charge of UNIT is like a turnstile, having some stability here would be appreciated.

   Having the cubes give people heart attacks doesn’t explain why Amy, Kate and the computer operator weren’t affected and yet the Doctor was. I would have to say that it might have been because other than the cube in the chamber, the room had been cleared but you would have thought the single cube would have affected them all, not to mention on the way to the hospital when they must have passed cubes out in the streets.

   Mark Williams as Brian Williams also brings a stabilising influence as well as some typically British eccentricity.

We also have an explanation why the Doctor is attracted to the Ponds. It’s practically a safety blanket that he doesn’t want to give up. That’s not a spoiler, just an analysis of a scene.

The Shakri as the enemy is too quickly resolved. This is a real problem with bringing in potentially big bads these days. You can’t even inhale a breath or have a heart attack and they’re gone. How can they be true menaces if they can be so easily beaten? It’s making the series like a fast food diet. Quickly eaten. Quickly forgotten. Hopefully, this particular enemy, which appears to be older than the Time Lords, will be back with something a bit more substance (sic) as they did have some potential.

   Despite my criticisms, the pace was such that you were carried through to the end but left wondering why it felt so short an episode.

Geoff Willmetts
September 2012


Geoff the head Uncle

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The Angels Take Manhattan            29 September 2012

   Continuing from last week, if you’re living in a country that hasn’t seen these episodes yet, read with caution but I’m not going to give too much away. If you can watch it first, that’s even better.

   I’m still puzzling how the Weeping Angels move. OK, if you catch their eye and then blink, then they move towards you. However, they can also move without you looking at them as well, so why don’t they just dominate. I suspect that not only are they predators but symbiotic. They need the temporal energy organic life generates to stay alive. It’s an attraction without a marriage.

   I wonder how many Americans are going to look at Lady Liberty in a new light after this. Don’t blink though.
   The Weeping Angels have followed the Daleks with the notion of taking Manhattan. From the looks of things, the Doctor won’t be able to do anything about a third invasion. Maybe the Angels will do so instead.

   Hello Sweetie. Good to see Alex Kingdom again as Professor Song this time. Obviously further along her own time-line and still to become a future Companion let alone a married one, but is she here or not yet. One has to wonder when in her time-line.

   The lesson from what is written in books coming true is going to make some writers be careful on what they inflict on mankind in the future.

   For those who sneaked a look at my Ponds prediction in the SFC Forum looks like I hit it on the nail, although just not the means. Check out under ‘Feedback’ there if you want to see what I wrote a month ago. I’m a writer. I can see how the options are laid out. Like the Doctor, I tend to avoid the endings and I could have been wrong.
   From one story aspect, I hope no one will do what the Ponds tried to break a time paradox. It is fatal to anyone without temporal energy!!! Be suitably warned.

   As we’re talking temporal energy, just what is Rory Williams. I mean, he probably had a body reboot when the Doctor resurrected the universe last season but he’s still carrying some two thousand years of temporal energy. I suspect the Angels drained his temporal energy off faster than his wife.

   Great episode and a great lead in for the end of the season end of the year.

Geoff Willmetts
September 2012

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