strange_complex: (TARDIS)
[personal profile] strange_complex
Ooh! That was good, wasn't it? Good enough to make me want to write about it here, anyway, which I haven't managed for the last season-and-a-half.

Jodie Whittaker definitely gives good Doctor. Just the right balance between warm and human and strange without being too mannered. And I liked how the extended episode time allowed plenty of space to develop and introduce all the characters. I'm not sure I was wild about the alien threat, who felt a bit two-dimensional, but then again I get how you need a fairly simple villain when the real business of the episode is introducing a new Doctor and her companions, and I did enjoy the stuff about how he was cheating his way to get power, and what kind of leader did that mean he was going to make? Definitely felt like a broken-state-of-modern-politics reference to me.

I like how the Doctor built her new sonic screwdriver / Swiss army knife out of actual Sheffield steel, and chose her new outfit from a charity shop. And I liked the use of the cranes, too. As someone who regularly drives through Sheffield (on my way between Leeds and Birmingham), they are very much one of the major icons of the city to me. In the run-up to Christmas, they string lights along them. Oh, and the drunk guy mocking the alien dude by saying "Halloween's next month, mate." That felt like a shout-out to all the Goths - and perhaps also a sign that the original plan was to broadcast this episode slightly earlier in the year, as of course Halloween is in fact now later this month.

I could really have done with Grace not dying, partly because she was just awesome and I wanted her on the TARDIS team, and partly because it felt like a rather token, deliberate mechanism for signalling how High the Stakes are in the Doctor's world. But at least, if that was going to be the case, they gave time and space to the consequences of her death, to the extent of showing her funeral - have we ever even had a funeral in Doctor Who before? I can't think of one. Anyway, of the team that's left, I'm pretty sure Graham is going to be my favourite as we go on. He seems very kind and good-hearted, and I just loved his very relatable and human focus on the threats they were facing - like the way he was the one who kept going back to the issue of the DNA bombs, and how long did they have?

It's too early to be sure how this new era will pan out, or what Chris Chibnall has lined up, but I certainly didn't get much sense of any Big Arc being established - I mean, no Crack in Time or Impossible Girl or anything like that. Just the Doctor and some randomly-collected people off for an adventure into space. That actually makes it feel fresher and more exciting than I think all Moffat's Big Arcs generally did, so I hope things stay that way. Here's to a new era.

Date: Sunday, 7 October 2018 19:43 (UTC)
djm4: (Default)
From: [personal profile] djm4
Funerals happen in Black Orchid and Remembrance of the Daleks, but we only see the Doctor afterwards, I think.

I loved it.

Date: Sunday, 7 October 2018 20:50 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
I'd forgotten Black Orchid, but it did remind me of Remembrance. I liked it. It seemed to match with the respect the Doctor showed for the other characters - regularly thanking them.

The whole thing seems to scale down the Doctor from the Lonely God that the series has revolved around since 2005, which feels very overdue. Comments like "I never refuse a request for help" and "I'm a traveller. I help out where I can" could come from pretty much any Doctor.

It seems to be going back to it's roots in other ways if we're going to perhaps have an on going thread of the Doctor with three travellers who may want nothing more than to get back to Earth.

Date: Sunday, 7 October 2018 22:12 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
I'm partly excited for what's coming next and partly relieved that it was genuinely good.

Date: Sunday, 7 October 2018 21:06 (UTC)
miss_s_b: Mindy St Clare from The Good Place, hiding her nakedness behind very large sunflowers and looking shocked (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
I loved that Graham was playing the "girl" role - reluctant, timid, etc. I half-expected him to sprain his ankle.

Date: Sunday, 7 October 2018 21:40 (UTC)
qatsi: (capaldi)
From: [personal profile] qatsi
Whittaker was good, and I think the companions could grow on me. I agree with you about Grace, but maybe she was too strong a character to take into the series. I did feel the story was a bit Torchwood-y though, and I didn't like the music. But I'll be watching again next week.

Date: Sunday, 7 October 2018 22:11 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Also that it was mostly urban. Moffat Who, even when it was set in a city, was the likes of Death in Heaven around St Paul's Cathedral. Ithink, it's not so much that it looked like Torchwood, as that it looked like a contemporary police series, which Tirchwood was visually modelled on.

Anyway, next week's looks very different. It'll be nice to have a more varied palette visually.

Date: Monday, 8 October 2018 09:11 (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
I thought it was okay. I was reminded of the quote by Kenneth Branagh on Wild Wild West "it had a begining, a middle and an end". Which I think is fine. There is plenty else going on in the episode without trying to cram in a long, big or complex story. Or big bits of anything else.

There were a couple of bits of Whitaker's performance which slightly jangled with me but she's playing someone who is in a jangly state of mind and body. More importantly, it's a transient state of mind and body, the main performance comes over the next few months and, hopefully, years.

I'm fine with okay. It was better than I feared it might be.

The real test, for me, comes over the entire season and then whether the BBC, Chibnall and Whitaker are focused enough on the programme to actually put out a second season in 2019, which also have a begining, a middle and an end.

Date: Monday, 8 October 2018 10:35 (UTC)
danieldwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] danieldwilliam
The Captain seemed to enjoy it and enjoyed watching it with me. He was interested in the idea of this being the first Doctor he remembers changing and asked me what "my" Doctor was like.

I don't at all subscribe to the notion that Doctor Who is just a kids' programme so it's okay if it doesn't make any sense. So it was important that it worked as a narrative. Which it did, so far, so he and I can carry on enjoying it together without me seething with rage at the writer.

Date: Monday, 8 October 2018 11:03 (UTC)
sfred: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sfred
I really liked it, and I was really disappointed about Grace because I liked her, as much as because of the principles.

I'm hoping that Ryan's accent becomes more consistent as he hangs out with actual Yorkshire people longer.

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