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  1. #491
    I've been keeping up with the show, but not enjoying it much. Rory and Amy making a decision to have a normal life and get away from the Doctor only to change their minds at the last moment is whatever, but then a single episode later to have them trapped forever locked away from the Doctor was awful manipulation.

    The Christmas special was entertaining on a simple TV level I guess, but I found it quite shallow and cheap so it left a bitter taste after watching. Not a single character actually did anything for any reason based on who they were, everybody was a shell of an idea. The Doctor just sits around on a cloud and glumly walks around Victorian England, why? That's a thing you maybe do for a short bit on a whim, not a way a person lives. Clara is a barmaid and a governess, why? What drove her to that? What drives her to chase the Doctor from the first? Who knows, she's a plot device rather than a character, she acts and reacts based not on a personality but on scripted actions. Vastra and Jenny are interracial lesbians who are also the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes and Watson, yet how? What do we see that actually makes them in any way believable as this, and why are they here, why are they doing this? Who knows. And Doctor Simeon is just a lonely child that makes outerspace snow into a mad villain with no real actions and no real purpose, aside from being a bummed out kid, what is driving him? Nothing, just another hollow character in a hollow episode. But at least he's defeated THROUGH A FAMILY'S TEARS... WTF?!? And then there's the ending that sets the Doctor off looking for this character throughout time, but I can at least chalk that up to the stated weirdness.

    The TARDIS' new interior look felt small, cramped, unattractive and cheap with the upper portion rendered apparently in CGI. Lots of railings to keep people from going anywhere but the tiny middle, why? I liked the worn look of the exterior though, even if it did change considerably from first scene to second (that might have been a conscious choice but a statement as such would have been nice). And the look of the evil snowmen was laughably cheap. Plus, Moffat needs to stop trying to be so damned cute cramming the phrase "doctor who?" in now, it's lame and diminishes the show every time, like a wink to the audience. Don't turn this into the '80s Doctor.

    The new theme was ok in that it contained a lot of pieces from past themes. The visuals that went with it were cheeseball, the face of The Doctor was a cute nod to the old school titles with just some Doctor's face the whole time, but most everything else looked like an expensively-rendered cheap expression of "scifi!", and it ending on the TARDIS doors opening was the worst of it.

    So all in all, this felt like a frustratingly shallow Christmas special, packed a lot of quirky characters into one place and didn't really give them much of a personality or a thing to do, like a child's toys being smashed together in a fight. More Moffat Doctor Who that's all flash and no substance.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  2. #492
    I agree they need to ease up on the "Doctor Who?" thing a bit, it's being over done, but I suspect the "That's a dangerous question" comment they are ramping up for the big storyline. "On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the eleventh hour, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked"

    We know the question is "Doctor Who".

    SO I expect they are gearing up for that.
    May the force be with you.

  3. #493
    This Christmas special makes for only the second Doctor Who episode I've ever watched, with the first being 2010's Christmas special. I was a little lost during the 2010 special with the jumping between the two on the crashing ship, constant distractions and 'oh why not' random flying sharks. This year's seemed cool with the snowman thing and in general sounded as though it would be a decent standalone episode since I saw frequent mention it wouldn't have him with a companion.

    So... I'm glad it's apparently not just me not being a fan for the reason this was very disappointing. JT, you put it so succinctly - all I kept asking was "WHY?" And I tried to just chalk it up to my not being familiar with Who past very basic details, but it got to a point where it felt very much a problem of not just being oblivious to Who's long history but from an actual production standpoint. I was expecting a much richer, and involved, and clever story from the way people praise Doctor Who.

    But, the snowmen were a terrible disappointment and the ice lady just left me scratching my head. The snow was an alien parasite or whatever, and they weren't supposed to get their grubby... flakes... on the ice lady, but the ice lady was scattered in pieces around the courtyard for a good length of time? With the snowmen? "The Intelligence" never came off as any worthwhile threat, although the ice lady was very neat at first - until she was foiled by a window sill. I kept expecting her to T-1000 after the big fall so it was surprising that they stayed away from doing that. Although, it pretty much implies that the biggest threat of the episode could have been dealt with had they just pushed her down the stairs. Or off the roof.

    Lizard lady & wife were interesting, until lizard lady finally pulls her cool sword out to jump into action and was promptly knocked out of the fight. Very disappointing.

    There was an aspect I enjoyed through the episode, buuut apparently I was very much mistaken. Turns out it's Ian McKellen who voiced "The Intelligence," but during the episode I thought it was Patrick Stewart. I swear it sounded like Stewart. So I got a kick out of it when the Doctor described the snow as a "crystalline organism."
    "Hokey packaging and ancient gimmicks are no match for good detail on your figure, kid."
    "I am a Klingot from Oklahoma in human boy form."
    "We came, we saw, we conquered... We, woke up!"

  4. #494
    I agree the story felt a bit rushed. However, I disagree with the assessment of Jenna-Louise Coleman's character (Clara Oswin).

    I felt she played the part well for the character and it was well scripted. Given the similarities of her character in "Asylum of the Daleks" and the, yet to be revealed, connection she has to the Doctor. Her natural inclination to be drawn to him was obvious to me. I was a bit confused by the dual life, but I just chocked that up to the time period, bar maid moonlighting as a Governess. Women didn't exactly have a lot of job opportunities in those days. Obviously it would be something she would want to keep secret from her employer. I do wish they would have had time to delve into it a bit more.

    I think a 2 hour episode would have been much better for the story telling. The characters themselves have already been developed in previous episodes, Strax, Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint.

    Has anyone caught the 2 free mini-episodes from iTunes "The Great Detective" and "Vastra Investigates" both go along with the latest Christmas special.
    May the force be with you.

  5. #495
    Quote Originally Posted by sith_killer_99 View Post
    I agree they need to ease up on the "Doctor Who?" thing a bit, it's being over done, but I suspect the "That's a dangerous question" comment they are ramping up for the big storyline. "On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the eleventh hour, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked"

    We know the question is "Doctor Who".

    SO I expect they are gearing up for that.
    This surely didn't feel connected to that, this felt like cheek, like Moffat pointing his finger right through the screen into our living room and saying "hey you, look here, nod nod wink wink, eh? Say no more, say no more?" This was certainly no "Bad Wolf".


    Quote Originally Posted by LTBasker View Post
    This Christmas special makes for only the second Doctor Who episode I've ever watched, with the first being 2010's Christmas special. I was a little lost during the 2010 special with the jumping between the two on the crashing ship, constant distractions and 'oh why not' random flying sharks. This year's seemed cool with the snowman thing and in general sounded as though it would be a decent standalone episode since I saw frequent mention it wouldn't have him with a companion.

    So... I'm glad it's apparently not just me not being a fan for the reason this was very disappointing. JT, you put it so succinctly - all I kept asking was "WHY?" And I tried to just chalk it up to my not being familiar with Who past very basic details, but it got to a point where it felt very much a problem of not just being oblivious to Who's long history but from an actual production standpoint. I was expecting a much richer, and involved, and clever story from the way people praise Doctor Who.

    But, the snowmen were a terrible disappointment and the ice lady just left me scratching my head. The snow was an alien parasite or whatever, and they weren't supposed to get their grubby... flakes... on the ice lady, but the ice lady was scattered in pieces around the courtyard for a good length of time? With the snowmen? "The Intelligence" never came off as any worthwhile threat, although the ice lady was very neat at first - until she was foiled by a window sill. I kept expecting her to T-1000 after the big fall so it was surprising that they stayed away from doing that. Although, it pretty much implies that the biggest threat of the episode could have been dealt with had they just pushed her down the stairs. Or off the roof.

    Lizard lady & wife were interesting, until lizard lady finally pulls her cool sword out to jump into action and was promptly knocked out of the fight. Very disappointing.

    There was an aspect I enjoyed through the episode, buuut apparently I was very much mistaken. Turns out it's Ian McKellen who voiced "The Intelligence," but during the episode I thought it was Patrick Stewart. I swear it sounded like Stewart. So I got a kick out of it when the Doctor described the snow as a "crystalline organism."
    Wow did you get a bad episode to jump in on. The 2010 special at least was self-contained and felt like The Doctor. This was nothing like Doctor Who from the past 5 years, the character is hundreds of years older and broody and whiny about something from the previous episode. Your reason to try it was sound, but boy howdy was this not the right episode for you. Nothing here was clever at all, and while we did have 4 characters from previous recent episodes, plus a villain from 40 years ago, none of it really spoke well to the richness that is (was?) Doctor Who. And yeah, nothing you'd think should pay off paid off well at all. Last year's xmas special was very self-contained and would have been a much better place to jump in like that, if you get a chance, check it out: The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe (gives you a bit of a hint at what they're going for right in the title).

    Funny, I thought they got a Christopher Lee sound-alike to do the Great Intelligence snow, then I see McKellen's name and go back and can only barely hear it. Sorry you got gypped on Patrick Stewart hopes after the crystalline entity reference.


    Quote Originally Posted by sith_killer_99 View Post
    I agree the story felt a bit rushed. However, I disagree with the assessment of Jenna-Louise Coleman's character (Clara Oswin).

    I felt she played the part well for the character and it was well scripted. Given the similarities of her character in "Asylum of the Daleks" and the, yet to be revealed, connection she has to the Doctor. Her natural inclination to be drawn to him was obvious to me. I was a bit confused by the dual life, but I just chocked that up to the time period, bar maid moonlighting as a Governess. Women didn't exactly have a lot of job opportunities in those days. Obviously it would be something she would want to keep secret from her employer. I do wish they would have had time to delve into it a bit more.

    I think a 2 hour episode would have been much better for the story telling. The characters themselves have already been developed in previous episodes, Strax, Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint.

    Has anyone caught the 2 free mini-episodes from iTunes "The Great Detective" and "Vastra Investigates" both go along with the latest Christmas special.
    She played the part with exuberance, but can you tell me one thing that motivated her? In Asylum of the Daleks it suggested she was a distant offspring of this character, yet this episode made it feel more like the Kenny McCormick from South Park version of Captain Jack Harkness' immortality - same character living many lives with the same name (plus, this girl had no children before she died). Her "natural inclination" to be drawn to a character is a plot device when it goes unexplained, not a character trait. Rose Tyler, Donna Noble, Amy Pond, they all followed the Doctor for reasons that were at the essence of who they were; Oswin here just was a companion right out of the box with no explanation. She's not shown to be clever or inquisitive about anything except Doctor-related issues. She's a lower-class barmaid who moonlights as an upper-class nanny, they barely even give 2 scenes to explain this (one of her leaving her bar job and the other with the kids and her discussing her "funny voice" which is her lower-class accent) and no reason, no longing, no desire, no explanation of any kind, no training, no education to explain how she could net a nanny job in the Victorian age. Does she have family? Does she have friends? Does she have any personality whatsoever aside from tickling the Doctor's fancy? Who knows.

    All the aliens you mentioned were thinly-applied in A Good Man Goes To War, they weren't significant character moments there except Strax. Having not seen the minisodes of The Great Detective and Vastra Investigates, Vastra and Jenny feel no more whole to me than they did in Good Man Goes To War, which is to say not much. I didn't know they were available through itunes for free, since that I checked and they're also on Amazon Prime, I guess I'll watch them in a few minutes but an entire episode shouldn't have characters so dependent on minisodes.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  6. #496
    I have to disagree.

    "Doctor Who?" is the new Bad Wolf, before the mess with the Silence you almost never heard "Doctor Who". Yet ever since then it's everywhere. The prophecy about the question. I think that's where they are going. He has gone through great lengths to erase/limit/reduce his presence, faking his death, the erasing of his information from the Daleks. He is trying to avoid the prophecy, but it won't do any good.

    As for Clara Oswin Oswald, she is the same person, not a descendent, or a relative, the doctor was pretty clear on that. Her comment to the Doctor "Run, you clever boy, and remember." Then her grave stone "Remember me, for we shall meet again". It's like each time they meet she remembers on some level and is drawn to him.

    Those are my interpretations anyway.

    The mini episodes don't really explain, so much as expand a bit.

    Honestly I do wish they had gone a full 2 hours with this episode.

    On the flip side I've always felt like we were cheated out of the Madam Vastra story, like a missing episode.
    May the force be with you.

  7. #497
    Okay, more info on Clara's character.

    She was a barmaid. When the kids Governess died she took an assumed name and applied for the job, she was a fraud, a charlatan. The night she was working at the bar and she met the Doctor, she was only helping out for a short while. Her friends didn't even know she was working as a Governess.

    Don't feel bad, I didn't get all of that until my 3rd viewing on closed caption. The conversations happen so quick. There were actually three conversations about it. The first was when she left the bar. The second was when all the wierdness broke loose at the house, lizard lady, Strax, Clara (Who is Clara? Your current Governess!), and the third conversation was when her and the Doctor were on their way to the Tardis, that got cut short.

    The reason the Ice Governess couldn't reform after the fall was because the ice pieces were inside the Tardis. Madam Vastra says "what if it reforms" and the Doctor says "not in here" which makes sense because the creature was based on a psychic connection which the Taris would be able to block.

    Additionally, I did some more research and the Doctor does in fact know "The Great Intelligence". It goes back to 2 episodes during the Second Doctor and the London Underground plays a part in that story, which explains the weird ref.

    Confused?
    May the force be with you.

  8. #498
    I missed the new episode on Saturday, but was able to catch the rerun later in the evening. I was thinking it wasn't going to be on until April, and hadn't checked the schedule.

  9. #499
    I didn't like this episode. I didn't hate it, but overall I didn't like it much. It really felt like a cheap hollywood mess rather than quality Doctor Who. Clara isn't much of a character as she is a pre-fabbed companion, already mysterious and quirky and inquisitive and flirty out of the box without any OTHER personality traits of her own. She just barely survived becoming Kenny McCormick of Doctor Who by not dying this time. The big evil of the episode made very little sense and the solution made equally no sense. Kind of disappointing to see big visuals take over for big thoughts. It was watchable but that's about all I can say for it.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  10. #500
    I've been watching the a few of the tribute episodes, where they talk about a specific doctor and replay a classic episode. I really liked it when they covered the 2nd doctor and replayed Tomb of the Cybermen. I'm far more of an old school Dr Who fan and haven't been able to get into the new ones very much.

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