Any thoughts on the latest Dr. Who episode? I gave it a 6.5/10
I'm not sure about a rating, but here's what I thought.
Generally, I'm getting real tired of Moffat's females being super-sexy, super-smart, and super-immediately devoted to the Doctor. Also the fact that he meets them as children and then they grow up to have flirty crushes on him. It's weird, and especially irritating as a reoccurring problem (see: Reinette, River, Amy, Clara). It seems like he just takes characters and dumps them into an archetype, so everything they do is very predictable--not as a result of characterization or character development, but by virtue of the larger trope.
I mean, companions in RTD's series were introduced as normal people who found courage and took initiative to help the Doctor in whatever crisis they found themselves. With Clara, on the other hand, we have a character who relies on the Doctor constantly to save her. In the first episode of the series, she did a little bit to help the others (not really) while staying in her little hole looking pointedly adorable and baking (not to mention it turns out that she was a dalek, but that's another thing); in the Christmas special, she runs to the Doctor who is absolutely the only person ever who can solve their current situation, and it is not through her own cleverness that she gets his attention, but by an unintentional reference to the Doctor's soft spot.
This episode, she is first portrayed as literally calling him for help (while she is un-fucking-believably stupid about wi-fi; her ditziness was so unreal it was gross). And yeah, she doesn't know it's him, but it automatically puts her in a submissive position as a character, a position from which she largely doesn't emerge in the rest of the episode. Later, she has an almost-nice moment when she realizes the face on the robot is the face from the book (the Amelia Williams book--I felt like that was more Moffat being self-indulgent than anything important or rational), a moment diminished by the fact that she proceeds to do absolutely nothing about it and ends up under its control a few seconds later. The Doctor rescues her, he tells her a little bit about what's happening, they fly via TARDIS into the plane where Clara is bumped around endearingly (holding a cup of tea, looking cute) for a bit but doing, again, effectively nothing. She asks him more than once "what the hell is going on," but it always comes off as mock-anger and flirtatiousness rather than a genuine concern about herself or the situation, and she continues to let herself be dragged around by him. Then they go to the cafe (the Doctor having averted the earlier crisis on the plane) and fight/flirt over the laptop. The Doctor goes inside and has the plot revealed in greater detail to him, while Clara does some insanely convenient (like really this server thing is feeding off of humanity and his pawn can literally control the IQ and obedience of her workers and it never fucking occurred to anyone to maybe not put their super fucking important location on Facebook???) and quick something on the laptop to figure out where the people are. Then the Doctor comes back out -- but wait! it wasn't him! silly girl, fooled again, in the clutches of the evil aliens. The Doctor figures out all of Clara's work for himself and proceeds to rescue her with minimal trouble.
Jesus. I can see why her resourcefulness, courage, wit, and kindness would make her the perfect companion. Except Moffat doesn't even really bother with pretending that those have to do with it -- the Doctor is simply fascinated by her. I can just feel a great relationship building between the two of them.
So. Aside from Clara's characterization, I thought the episode was alright. Again, though, Moffat is the king of recycling. I think I've had enough of the faceless alien overlord controlling humans to do his evil bidding. We've seen that one before; several times, in fact. But what was more disappointing was the failure to compensate for the build-up.
The network of human robots connected through wi-fi could have been legitimately intimidating. Another faceless baddie was repetitive, but not necessarily non-formidable. Thousands of screens of confused people unknowingly waiting for their minds to be eaten by a monster could have been heart-wrenching.
But it wasn't.
I never felt, outside of maybe the first five minutes, that humanity was legitimately in danger because of this threat. I never felt like the Doctor was endangered at all. And Clara was a repeated target for no discernible reason (other than the fact that she got away--but even then, why were they focused on her, not the Doctor? why didn't they send some robots out after him on his motorbike? all they did was talk at him vaguely threateningly through some people nearby, but even those always felt like empty threats especially given the constant glances back to the headquarters where that woman was just pacing around), but it was patently obvious that she wasn't really going to get hurt.
Furthermore, the climactic encounter was mostly just stupid. The Doctor acted entirely by proxy through that robot while he sat cheerfully at the cafe. Is it dramatic, Moffat, or isn't it? Is he rushing to save his damsel, or is it all just a fucking game? Also, his knowing how to reprogram the robot to look like him and follow his commands to such an extent as to not even warrant screen time seemed like an unbelievable cop-out to me. And wasn't it convenient that the director woman, even within her little screen thing (which, infuriatingly, wasn't ever really made clear), could control the obedience level of her employee on her little iPad thing? It's like the plot required almost no effort to wrap up. And then the faceless baddie got a face. Of-fucking-course it was a pasty white guy. And he didn't really care? He was done being hungry? Either I wasn't paying attention closely enough or his character didn't make any goddamn sense.
Aside from all that, then, some of the dialogue was good? Some of it was painfully stupid and obviously scripted (I mean, obviously it was scripted but it's not supposed to sound like writing). The little thing at the end with the director woman actually being a child was kind of interesting, but it seemed (again) like mostly Moffat cackling and congratulating himself on fucking with people's minds (in the most simplistic and yet overdrawn ways). The plot arch for this season reads a lot like that of series 6 (who is [insert mysterious, attractive female]?), which was mostly terrible. I think Matt Smith got a haircut, and it was nice. It wasn't an unenjoyable episode, per se, but I wouldn't call it good.
[Sorry, that was really long and ranty and incoherent and I only watched the episode once just this afternoon so I likely missed some things. But there are my thoughts.]
[Edit: Holy mother of god that was longer than I thought. Apologies. Also apologies for the no editing part.]
I agree with most of that.
1) Yes, this was the weakest version of Clara we've seen so far.
2) Yes, this was the weakest set of reactions we've seen from the Doctor so far about Clara.
3) Yes, Moffat likes reusing things (though, to his credit, so do Poe, Shakespeare, Dickens, Verne, etc...)
As for originality of the bad guy though, it's the Great Inteligence from Christmas (the white guy is Doc Simeon from the same episode)...and it isn't originally Moffat's idea. He recycled it from something that the 2nd Doctor fought twice during the late 60s.
At the same time though, I wouldn't go as far to rank it as bad. Just 'about par'.
Personally, when I rank things, I do so like this:
5-Would see it again, and recommend to others.
4-Would see it again.
3-Would not see it again, once was fine.
2-Would avoid seeing it again.
1-Would avoid seeing it again, and recommend that others stay away.
So overall I haven't felt a need to watch the episode through again (hence the 3/5=6/10), except to jump through and review components of the Clara mystery, which is still intriguing (thus the extra 0.5).
Oh, so I did miss something. I didn't connect this baddie with the Christmas one (and I didn't know it was an original series reference). But I still feel like Moffat has a particular fondness for faceless villains. Without looking it up, I do concede that it might be a feeling entirely based on these latest two episodes and what he did in Sherlock's first series.
On your scale, then, I think I'd also give it a three. I'm too irritated by the 'mysterious woman' trope (and Moffat's love of flashiness) to be particularly intrigued by this case with Clara, but that's entirely personal.
Saying hi, everyone. It's been a while.
I left the college I was going to due to medical reasons, and am attending one closer to home.
Hope all is well now.
I don't think I've asked before, but what are you studying?
Hey, Lamp. How've you been?
Things are better.
Physics, for now.
Y'know, survivin'. XD
That's lovely to hear!
Ooh, have fun with that....
That sucks. I hope you're doing alright. :\
Thanks for your concern.
Things have been better, things have been worse. But I'm doing better than I was, which is nice.
So um, some of you may have noticed Fate hasn't been online lately. This is due to her a few weeks ago she has been diagnosed with the one and only curable leukemia (which is cancer of the blood). She really wanted everyone here know and has been doing phenomenally better!
These's a group on Facebook about her updates and stuff, and if you talk to her friend Sam she can add you to the group.
An online conversation has left be surprised. It is really possible that this many (over 200) people don't know the difference between a star and a planet?
In reference to the most recent Doctor Who episode, for those of you who are wondering.