The Universe Will Surprise You: Doctor Who 2020

The new season of Doctor Who debuts on New Year's Day, so I thought it might be nice to get a new thread up and running for comments and discussion!

FYI, as near as I can determine, here is a link to the prior thread.
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Comments

  • We are rushing through series 11 right now in preparation. It really is a brilliant iteration of the show. We have just watched the Witchfinder's episode with King James VI. (The Duke of Bavaria is the current Stuart pretender, just FYI.) What a ripper!!!!

  • Ohhhhhh my goodness that was fun!
  • I liked that. It was a bit intense (were there any jokes?) but it kept me gripped. Let's hope part 2 doesn't let it down.
  • Does the
    flagrant Bond rip off where they all walk into the casino party dressed up in their tuxes to Bond like music
    count as a joke?
    I laughed.
  • Possibly. But classic Who is great at mixing high tension with moments of relaxation, and I missed that here. But there are far worse faults for an episode to have; as I said, I enjoyed this.
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    I've found that my local cable provider, in this 'ere Continental WesShire, offers TV replay on the puter as well, so I'm now checking out the Dr Who thingy. Certainly star-studded, which in itself probably isn't a spoiler: Stephen Fry, Lenny Henry et al. :)

    And:
    Also a 'Men in Black' rip-off! :D
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited January 1
    Oh, and another one:
    The two white chairs in front of Mr Henry's desk in his office look like the classic alien faces with those big eyes, from a certain angle! Nice one!
  • Wesley J wrote: »
    Oh, and another one:
    The two white chairs in front of Mr Henry's desk in his office look like the classic alien faces with those big eyes, from a certain angle! Nice one!

    Oh, clever! Didn’t see that.
  • I thought the title was an homage to Bond.
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    Or the other way round? We do have a programme that deals with time travel, after all.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Okay, that came as a surprise.

    Clearly it was deliberately set up to feel like a spy movie. As @St Everild observes, the title echoed a James Bond film title. In some ways, the episode also echoes back to the Third Doctor's exile on Earth, which tried for a spy-vibe for UNIT.

    But I will refrain from other comments until after Part 2 on Sunday.
  • The Guardian liked it https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jan/01/doctor-who-spyfall-review-only-jodie-whittaker-can-save-blighty-now
    Though I’m not sure I agree that it’s hard not to see it as an allegory for Boris Johnson’s Britain. I found it quite easy.
  • Indeed. Nothing struck me as referring to Boris Brit, and I normally see links like that when they're not there.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    I just watched and rather enjoyed, though it did get into the "let's just throw everything at the screen" mode from around the chase sequence. But even from there it was fun.

    Three cheers for Australian characters that positively scream cannon fodder, eh?

    It did seem distinctly more action-oriented than most of Whittaker's first season as I remember it, which makes sense given the massive amount of James Bond references. The previous season felt like it was deliberately going back to some of the more educational roots of the show. I wonder whether action focus is a sign for the season as a whole.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    Indeed. Nothing struck me as referring to Boris Brit, and I normally see links like that when they're not there.

    It was filmed in the months before Boris PM.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    I thought that:
    MIB = MI6
    Bond style music in the car chase

    were good touches.
    The humour was there but was in the form of quips that were not dwelt on.
  • What time is part 2 on today?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    What time is part 2 on today?

    7pm :smile:

  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited January 5
    Anyone else watching? :)

    Popcorn? Tea? Other drinkies?
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    Hm... one of the characters/actors looks a bit like David Cameron. Eeeks!
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Well, he certainly did not look like Babbage. I'm sitting next to someone more like Babbage.
  • Blown away. That was SO good! Coherent response later. Maybe
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    Yup. Wasn't bad. Must watch both parts again.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    I enjoyed both parts of that. The challenge to the likes of Google and Amazon.

    And the history of computing in 2 hours! Nice to see the two important women highlighted. Babbage ignored, Lovelace celebrated.
  • Yes, one of the many things I liked was the intelligent use of historical figures.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    I enjoyed it, although I may need to watch it again to understand everything that was going on. A few too many ideas being thrown around in the last 15 minutes for me to keep track of.
  • The last few minutes suggest that we are returning to the days as of a story arc. Which is fine by me. Also pleased to see the return of a "old friend".

    I also liked the fact they did the story over 2 episodes - giving it room to breathe - rather than attempting to do in one go.
  • SipechSipech Shipmate
    The ending did strike me as a bit Bill&Ted meets Men In Black and Lenny Henry's character felt rather two-dimensional, but it was a mostly enjoyable romp. The whole motorbike chase sequence was OTT, though there were some very good lines thrown in.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    And Paris was not bombed except on one day by the Luftwaffe, and the Germans did not get up the Eiffel Tower.
  • ChoristerChorister Shipmate
    The Dr. Who Christmas / New Year double episode is an institution. But would, I think, have become a rather tired one - except that Dr. Who is now a woman. Which brings a whole new dimension. I loved the part where Stephen Fry (a bastion of the British instution if there ever was one) assumes she would be a man.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Just watched Part 2. I didn't mind it, but I wasn't very engaged by it either. I just kind of... watched it happen.

    Typical case of a hopelessly vague and complicated plot to destroy the world, but it seemed to have even less explanation than usual. In particular, those creatures had virtually no explanation and were clearly designed for the sole purpose of looking cool.

    Also... I kind of miss Michelle Gomez.
  • We miss her too.

    Just caught up on pt 2, which we enjoyed very much. We did think
    that the Master / Doctor relationship was very Sherlock / Moriarty though.
    Not that that’s a bad thing in any way.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    I have often thought that the biggest strike against Jodie Whittaker is that she is not Michelle Gomez. The "female Master" was a dry run to see if a female Doctor would work--and Michelle Gomez knocked it out of the park. She would have made a glorious Doctor.
  • Currently rewatching the first season of Torchwood. One of the scariest episodes is the cannibal one, and I was interested to see that it's by Chibbers.
  • bunnywithanaxebunnywithanaxe Admin Emeritus
    Hoo, boy.

    This ep reminds me why I got sucked into NuWho in the first place. Every time Jodie Whitaker blazed into a room like Bill Murray blazing out of the Four Season’s (?) ball room , my heart skipped a little. Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of individual episodes, she’s really building up her character.

    And that pretty much colored everything for me, I’m afraid. I don’t think I’m capable of giving an objective opinion on this, because seven year old me is delirious.

    That said, there was something I found very satisfying about
    The Doctor’s mini life story speech at the end.
    “Rule Number 1” never sat well with me, and this appears to be a Doctor who is reconsidering that rule.
  • TwangistTwangist Shipmate
    The thing is it's dr who which automatically makes me a 7 year old again and so I just love it whatever (I also love that it's cross generational viewing)
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    Anyone else watching?
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    New alien for the Whoniverse, or a poor man's xenomorph?
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    Hm... not sure about this episode, but hey.
    A Greta-inspired script?
  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    Wesley J wrote: »
    Anyone else watching?
    Yep
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    Wesley J wrote: »
    Hm... not sure about this episode, but hey.
    A Greta-inspired script?

    The message was a good one, of rather heavy-handedly delivered.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    Wesley J wrote: »
    Hm... not sure about this episode, but hey.
    A Greta-inspired script?

    The message was a good one, of rather heavy-handedly delivered.

    Blame it on the editing, JW was not overplaying it.
  • SparrowSparrow Shipmate
    Yes. Way too preachy.
  • It was like a cross between Dr Who and Primeval, complete with the 'future predators' from the latter.
    And yes, the ending was way too preachy.
  • Another who found the ending far too preachy. Might have been better if condensed into just a sentence or two, rather than a sermon.
  • TwangistTwangist Shipmate
    I enjoyed it but did find myself wondering what the Dregs as apex predators actually eat other than tourists
  • bunnywithanaxebunnywithanaxe Admin Emeritus
    Haven’t got to the end yet, but I’ve got to say, that was the most fantastic opening line of an episode I’ve heard yet.

    Also, the Doctor actually doctoring a companion’s illness was... extra doctory fun. Those little touches can make me forgive a lot.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    edited January 13
    Last week had the anti-tech speech by Lenny Henry. It's getting political.

    We spotted H G Wells, including the tunnel access, and I think they owe a fee to Giger for the mouth parts.
  • Wet KipperWet Kipper Shipmate
    edited January 13
    I guessed who the dregs were before it was "announced / worked out" in the episode.
    they rate high on the visually scary scale.
    If they are apex predators, there are probably other surving / mutated species which survived. Or they eat each other
  • Penny S wrote: »
    Last week had the anti-tech speech by Lenny Henry. It's getting political.

    We spotted H G Wells, including the tunnel access, and I think they owe a fee to Giger for the mouth parts.

    Getting?! 70's Who was pretty political. Green Death anyone?! I enjoyed it. Looking forward to next week. My inner 7 year old is so happy right now!
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