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8 hours ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

And sorry to hear about the water damage in the storage unit, that sucks. It's great that insurance is reimbursing the cost but I'm sure it's still a hassle to have to replace everything.

8 hours ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +1 points

Maybe you can try contacting a local independent bookstore and give them a list of books/CDs you want to see if they can track them down? Lord knows the independent bookstores are in need of a boost, what with the pandemic...

2 days ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 1 reply · +2 points

Hmmm, I'd probably give this... 6 out of 10? Overall I enjoyed it. Jake and Adam's story was lovely, I appreciated the emphasis on the dangers of microplastics and special effects/make-up for the people becoming plastic were suuuuuper unsettling and scary.

Splitting the three companions up is a good way to give them some individual growth. Ryan and Graham both were lovely in this episode, but I was particularly impressed by Ryan. He knew exactly when to take charge and be assertive with Gabriela and when to be a sympathetic, friendly ear to her. His people skills have definitely developed!

Yaz I was less impressed by... using the alien teleport device was way too reckless - the thing could have taken them to somewhere where the Doctor could not track them and then they would have been stranded.

2 days ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 0 replies · +3 points

1) him dying when no one else is around and 2) literally no one mentioning him ever again the moment he dies, no one even acknowledges he died?
Yeah the treatment of Aramu was really egregious. Heck, I don't even know if he was an alien like Suki or just an unfortunate local?

3 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +2 points

That's very sad.... she was relatively young, too :(

3 days ago @ http://markspoils.blog... - Weekly Shenanigans · 0 replies · +4 points

Wonderful is not a strong enough word! :)

5 days ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 0 replies · +3 points

FUCK YES. This was the best episode Chibnall/Whittaker have ever done, and one of the best in Nu!Who. I was so excited by this that I couldn't really compose my thoughts into a coherent comment, so here, have are some reactions in a random order:

-The pacing was incredible. SO MUCH happened, yet none of it felt rushed, and there were tons of moments for the characters to breathe and talk to each other. I loved it.

-Also loved all the callbacks to season three - the Judoon, the Time Lord disguised as a human and stripped of their memory, and their faithful companion who stays by them...

-The way they built suspense was also incredible - and they did it several times! The mystery with Lee, Ruth getting triggered in the cathedral, the Doctor's slow discovery of Ruth's TARDIS... All total nail-biters, I was on the edge of my seat throughout.


-I have zero idea what could be the explanation for Ruth!Doctor, but I absolutely loved her. The actress infused a mesmerizing authoritative quality into the performance as the Doctor (not to mention so much warmth and kindness into Ruth the Tour Guide). And that outfit was fucking amazeballs. I hope we'll see so much more of her. Much as I like Jodie Whittaker, I felt she was totally outclassed here in terms of charisma and I'd be totally fine with Jo Martin taking over from now on.

-Mark said Ruth has to be an earlier incarnation than the First Doctor, but that can't be... Matt Smith was explicitly the last one in the cycle of regenerations and there were no gaps for a mystery Doctor to fit in within that set. So unless they fuck around with that rule ORRRR the lie the Master referred to is linked to the number of lives and the regeneration cycle somehow, Ruth cannot be an earlier incarnation of our Doctor. Whoever she is though, kudos to Chibnall for finally taking advantage of the extremely rich cannon at his disposal and finding ways to grow it and make it his own, as RTD and Moffatt each did. The fact that this show has gone on for 50 years makes it extremely special in my opinion. You'd be a fool not to lean into that.

-I remember utterly loving the Judoon when they appeared in season three. I found their speech patterns and their helmeted silhouettes hilarious and the rhino heads adorable. They're still pretty fun to watch, but wow yeah the underlying concepts are pretty dark especially after 2020..

-Maybe I just loved the Judoon in season three because of the absolute delight Tennant always took in pronouncing the word :D "Platoon of Judoon near the lagoon" is also up there though :D

-Last episode, I wrote in my comments about how I wished the companions were challenging the Doctor more. So I loved the confrontation at the end of the episode, with the Doctor being all snappy and secretive and distant and Yaz and Graham telling her in no uncertain terms to cut it out. That said, the companions again were completely incidental to the Doctor's story, and there really was no growth for their individual characters or in their relationships with each other. Still a pity.

-In the same way as the Judoon, I'm SOOOOO excited Jack Harkness is back (and wow, Barrowman looks like he hasn't aged a day), but Jack's constant suggestive comments and unsolicited kissing of Graham play a lot differently after #metoo...

-Poor Lee. I hope we get to learn a bit about him from Ruth at some point.

-I'm kinda gleeful that Ruth dissed Thirteen's outfit because I've always found it a tad too twee myself.

5 days ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 0 replies · +5 points

that's the one of the two who remembers his past; if Ruth had kept her memories she'd probably stand out even more.
I found that to be a very, very cool echo of Ten and Martha in the Family of Blood/Human Nature two-parter (which is still one of the best things Nu!Who has done)

1 week ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 5 replies · +3 points

With all previous Doctors, it was implied that they knew they were fallible, at least on a subconscious level (remember Twelve choosing Caecilius' face because he needed a concrete reminder to be good?), and that they sought out companions precisely to serve as a system of checks and balances against their less laudable impulses. Previous companions learned from the Doctor, but the Doctor also learned from them: about hope, about perseverance, and kindness, about second chances, and about looking out for the little guy. I don't feel like that's the case with Thirteen? She already has those qualities. So what's she getting/learning from these specific companions? It's like in every story we've had so far, she's had the solution, she's got the plan, she's invented the thingamabob, and the companions have felt more or less incidental. In Spyfall and Orphan 55, you could have even removed the companions entirely from the story and it wouldn't have altered things all that much. Anyway, all of this is just a very long roundabout way of saying that I hope the companions get more things to do and more in depth development soon.

Misc. thoughts:
-As Starsea28 wrote above, it's bullshit that the Doctor wiped Ada and Noor's memories but not didn't do it to anyone here.
-Graham's AC/DC joke may have been the best joke in the history of this show. I HOWLED.
-Mark wrote that the Doctor's solution was aimed at not killing the SIthra, but I got the impression that she fully intended to fry their ship to a crisp and that the Sithra just somehow managed to escape. In fact, she straight up says that she'll take out the queen to take out the rest of the hive. I mean, if you think about it, the Doctor went REAL DARK in this episode. "I gave you your chance, but you were too stupid to take it. When you die, there'll be nothing left behind." That's not a speech you give to somebody if you're not planning to grind them into dust. And the Doctor is not normally so overtly homicidal. Clearly the destruction of Gallifrey and the future fate of Earth freaked her out. Would have been great if the companions had confronted about her willingness to be so murdery but instead they just happily wander back to the TARDIS after bidding goodbye to Tesla. Sigh...
-In a similar vein, so one minute Graham, Ryan and Yaz learn that their species is doomed to extinction via mutation to horrifying predators, the next minute they're back to happily traipsing around history? Shouldn't they be haunted and tortured and unable to think of anything else?

1 week ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Doctor W... · 6 replies · +5 points

There are some nitpicks to be had, but overall this was a very enjoyable episode, which reminded me of the vibe of the early RTD years. Goran Visnic gave a haunting performance. There was such a bittersweet quality to the story, to knowing that Tesla's brilliance only got full recognition posthumously, to knowing that he kept working and working for the betterment of mankind despite having no hope of reward and that he felt so, so lonely and misunderstood. The moment when he latched onto the Doctor being an inventor was simply electric - you could see just how much it meant to Tesla to find someone he could relate to, and how desperately he had yearned for such a connection.

I also appreciated the nuances given to Edison. His distraught over his murdered employees was genuine, and you could see that he was not just a brute driven by capitalism but a man who was just as committed to progress and science as Tesla, albeit with wholly different ideas on how to achieve those.

As for the companions... Well, I would actually love to hear what everyone else thinks about the companions and how the Doctor relates to them. I like Ryan, Yaz and Graham a lot, mostly because the actors are so charming. But I still think the show needs to give them a lot more character development and flesh out the Doctor's relationship with them, both individually and collectively. Like, we get it, they're a cute family unit and everyone likes each other and it's all hunky dory. But there is no differentiation between the Doctor's relationship with Ryan and her relationship with Yaz. I don't know if it's because three companions is a lot, but we've had multi-companion stories before. Think of Amy and Rory. within one season we already knew so much about both of them, about the frictions in their relationship, and about the separate, well-defined aspects to their relationships with the Doctor. We don't have the same for Graham, Ryan and Yaz, especially now that Graham and Ryan's initial friction has been resolved.

We're also missing a critical component of previous Doctor-companion relationships: One of the companion's main functions in the story is to challenge the Doctor and question the latter's judgment. Yaz, Graham and Ryan NEVER do this. Here we have a story where the Doctor is SO VERY OBVIOUSLY repressing traumatic shit about her past and repeatedly refusing to tell the companions anything about herself. Can you imagine any of Donna, Clara, Amy et al putting up with that? They would have sat the Doctor down and made them talk about it. Heck, there are three companions now. They could stage an outright intervention and say they refuse to go anywhere until the Doctor tells them what's bothering her. But they don't. Similarly, the companions are conveniently not around when the Doctor does things like mindwipes to question her moral judgment. All this makes the companions seem too deferential and makes me wonder why the Doctor even needs them around at all apart from shits and giggles.