Monday, May 18, 2015

Aragon vs. Anderson: The Girl Who Waited


Now that I have a few minutes free, I thought I'd go back to one of my great passions...bashing The Whorist (or as it's generally known, The Nerdist), in particular their Doctor Who reviews by one Kyle Anderson.

Mr. Anderson (now doesn't that sound sinister) in my view, has rarely if ever met a Doctor Who post-Rose story that he hasn't loved.  I don't mean liked.  I mean L-O-V-E-D, to where that particular episode is the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time...until the next episode when THAT becomes the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time.  It's gotten to be almost a point of parody to see how Anderson rarely finds fault with a Doctor Who episode.  I don't mean just to nitpick on a few things.  I mean give a bona-fide negative review.  Even I, someone who has been vociferous in my condemnation for many NuWho episodes, do admit when I see a good one (like Flatline or Mummy on the Orient Express).  Anderson, however, will almost always find something to wax rhapsodic about, even on something as atrocious as In the Forest of the Night

I was intrigued by this, so a little research was required.  I went as far back as I could regarding Anderson's Doctor Who reviews, and the earliest one I could find was the Series/Season Six opener, The Impossible Astronaut.  What I've done is taken Kyle Anderson's review verbatim, and offered my own 'translation' to the text to see what Anderson is, in my view, really saying.  I also throw in my own thoughts as to what is being said.

I hope this will be a fun and informative journey into the strange mind of the Functioning Nerd.

I present Part 7 of The Nerdist as Whore: The Girl Who Waited .  My 'translations' are in red.




As I’ve said several times, my favorite Series 5 episode is “Amy’s Choice.”
 
As I've said several times, Karen Gillan turns me on.
 
My reason for liking it so much is that it tells a relatively simple, straightforward story, but, within that framework, is able to get to the heart of each one of the show’s three leads, and forces them to hash out their differences and avoid death at the same time. 

My reasoning for liking it so much is that Karen Gillan is hot.  We also get the first of what will become a running joke on Doctor Who: Rory Dies Again.  

It was, to me, a perfect 45 minutes of science fiction storytelling. 

From what I know, Kyle Anderson thinks a lot of Doctor Who is perfect science fiction storytelling, which leads me to think he hasn't much experience with perfect science fiction storytelling.

Episode 10 of Series 6 of Doctor Who is called “The Girl Who Waited,” and in many ways it could be called “Amy’s Choice 2,” 

I offer "Rory's Choice".

yet, while they share a lot of basic elements, 

yet, while they are repeating themselves

Tom MacRae’s script goes a step beyond. It’s not merely whether Amy will choose a life with or without Rory, it’s Amy being forced to live a life without him, and how that changes her view of everything. And latterly, 

Amy has on at least one occasion shown she is perfectly willing to live a life without Rory (that was when she tried to rape the Doctor).  I also think that later on, she is perfectly willing to live a life without Rory (when she wants a divorce), but we are getting ahead of ourselves.


Curious that.

Rory has to decide if he can live with an Amy he failed to save.

Though given how Amy has pretty much pushed Rory both away and around throughout the whole of their time on Doctor Who, one wonders why he loves her so.   He's lived for thousands of years without her, waiting for that big box to open up, so a good thirty-some odd years can't be all that bad in the great scheme of things.

Through a simple pressing of a red button instead of a green one, Amy spends 36 years alone waiting for Rory to save her, which is longer than either of them have been alive. 


However, it is longer than River Song has been alive, and she's their daughter!  Timey-wimey indeed...

It’s a painful proposition no matter which side you’re on. It’s made even more painful for Rory knowing that, to her, he failed to save her, but to him, he’s in the middle of doing so. 

Amy can be so bit...eh, difficult, can't she?  One would think she would have done something constructive in those 36 years, or someone would have come around, or Rory and/or the Doctor would have told her which button to push and we could have avoided all this, but alas, I don't have an analytical critic's mind.

He and the Doctor know that they can figure out how to save past-Amy, but that means that present, older Amy won’t have existed, something she does not want to happen.

She would have lived 36 years for nothing, like a lot of Doctor Who fans waiting for a coherent story.

The central idea of the Two Streams facility is an interesting one: When a plague that kills in 24 hours hits the resort world of Apalapucia, a place that’s incredibly fun to say, they set up a way that the infected can live out an entire life’s worth in a quicker time stream and their loved ones can watch from a slower one. There are two sides to the argument of this place, as represented by the Doctor and Rory.

Doctor Who makes a stab at being intellectual. 

Rory thinks it would be terrible to watch and not interact with someone you love for their whole life,

which is odd because as The Last Centurion, that's pretty much what he's done for two thousand years.  He could have gone and seen an authentic Shakespeare play, set sail for the New World, stopped Miss Davison from throwing herself under the King's horse, had a real chat with Churchill, but no.  Instead he spent all those years guarding the box of a woman who for more years than he can remember barely gave him the time of day, a woman who was more interested in running after her Raggedy Man than in the wimp she had in front of her.  Given that, why would Rory think it terrible to 'watch and not interact with someone you love for their whole life'?  Granted, he didn't have any say in either the Auton or Pandorica Box business, but still, isn't Rory "The Boy Who Waited?" 

A little reciprocation would be nice, Miss Pond.

while the Doctor thinks it’s incredibly kind because at least they aren’t watching them die. This is the central difference between the Doctor and Rory. The Doctor is detached from that type of emotion after centuries of traveling with people he is inevitably forced to leave behind. Rory, on the other hand, could not imagine having to witness a life and not be a part of it.

OK, I'll give Anderson that.  The Doctor has always bee a bit different because he isn't human.  Colin Baker said it best that the Doctor one moment could casually walk over a dead body and the next cry over a dead butterfly, not because he doesn't care about humans or is passionate about butterflies, but because he sees things from a different perspective.  That makes sense.  It wouldn't to Rory, but while I on a personal level liked The Girl Who Waited on the whole, I can't say this ground hasn't already been travelled over on Doctor Who. 

It’s this exact question he’s faced with when he meets older Amy, now world-weary and hardened from living nearly 40 years on her own, running from androids that will literally kill her with kindness. He doesn’t mind that she’s old; he minds that he didn’t get old with her. 


 

I mind that she grew old.  I like my Gillan hot!

He would gladly take that Amy with him, 

Heaven knows why.

though he’d much rather spare her from having to be alone for so long.

though he'd much rather have sex with the nubile redhead than the tired old bit of crumpet he's been offered.

Rory is maybe the most kind-hearted person in the history of Doctor Who.

Rory is maybe the most wimpy person in the history of Doctor Who. 

Let's get this straight: in the history of Doctor Who, Rory Pond...Williams...Pond-Williams...Whatever, is the most kind-hearted.  So what were people like Barbara Wright, Vicki, Sarah Jane and Nyssa among others: Nazi sympathizers? 

The word “stalwart” comes to mind.

The word "moron" comes to mind.

But this Amy doesn’t want to disappear; she doesn’t want those experiences of being alone to leave her, which I think is a very interesting dilemma.

Given how bitter and angry Amy became in all those 36 years, wouldn't she be glad to be free of those experiences?  Just a thought.

To get to relive 36 years of loneliness with the person you love at the expense of being who you are now: Would you do it? I can’t say if I would or not.

Kyle hasn't been told by Moffat, Gatiss, or Hardwick what to think yet.

Rory blames the Doctor for not being more careful about where they land, to which the Doctor says that’s not how he travels. Rory then says he’d rather not travel with him anymore.

Rory to The Doctor: I QUIT!
The World to Rory: DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT!

Ultimately, there can only be one Amy, 




despite the lie the Doctor told about taking them both on the TARDIS. It would indeed cause a paradox. 

For someone who travelled with a doppleganger of Amy for so long, aren't THEY rather picky....

The Doctor does what could be considered the cowardly thing and leaves it up to Rory to choose, either HIS Amy, or the Amy who lived without him for so long.

Exactly how is that cowardly?  After all, the Doctor isn't "Mr. Pond".  Why should the Doctor get to decide? 

To his credit, it’s a harder choice than it might have been. There’s no doubt he’d love either Amy with all his heart, but it’d certainly be much easier on him if he didn’t have the one he’d failed for so long. By the end, we realize the name of the episode could have been “Rory’s Choice.”

THAT'S WHAT I NAMED IT!

What makes “The Girl Who Waited” great is that, with the exception of Imelda Staunton as the voice of the Interface, and a brief hologram of a hostess, the whole episode is just the three leads.

A Doctor Who episode that stays with just the main characters?  We've never seen THAT before!

"Amy’s Choice” had this element as well, but there was still the Dream Lord to act as antagonist.

I miss the Dream Lord.  He could have been the Valeyard.  He could have been the Celestial Toymaker.  Instead, he's someone we'll probably never hear from again...

In this, time is the antagonist and the kindness robots are the inevitable end. It’s nice to know that the characters are so rich and the actors so good that they can sustain an entire episode essentially on their own.

It's nice to know that despite how awful the scripts and dumb their characters are, the actors can actually do something with them.

MacRae turns out a powerful character study, somewhat in keeping with his earlier Who effort, the Series 2 two-parter “Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel” which plays with the idea of an alternate universe where Rose was never born and her father didn’t die.

Of course, thanks to Rise of the Cybermen Parts 1 & 2 we're stuck with perhaps the worst version of the Cybermen on the show.  It also shows that MacRae is either repeating himself or drawing from the same well and trying out a variation.  It be nice to have the show go beyond what it's done prior, but why break something that's already dysfunctional?

He excels at these “What if?” scenarios, and is able to explore the character relationships more deeply.

Karen Gillan gives her best performance to date as she convincingly portrays the character of Amy Pond both in her 20s and in her late 50s. There is a definite age behind her mannerisms and physicality that goes far beyond the old-age makeup she’s wearing. The scene where she speaks to herself through the looking glass is truly phenomenal. 

Broken clock, broken clock....

Nick Hurran’s direction really adds to it as well, with the use of shot/reverse-shot and the slow fading between the two. Amy Pond as a character needs to be written well to be effective, and this script surely does that.

Amy Pond as a character is a bit...challenge, and this script gives her something better than that 'feisty' redhead, right?

Let it never be said that Karen Gillan isn’t a good actress, because, given the proper material, she’s clearly very good.

So, are you saying Selfie wasn't good material?  In fairness, she was good in Guardians of the Galaxy, so could that be a broken clock I hear ticking?

Arthur Darvill is likewise very good playing the pain, frustration, and difficulty of Rory’s predicament with aplomb. As stated before, Rory has really become the heart of this TARDIS crew and has shaken off any of the just-the-boyfriend problems and has become quite the character. You buy the love between Rory and Amy, even when it seems neither have any reason to.

Well, OK,  Darvill was good in something that actually showcased him rather than being the eternal sad-sack he usually is.  However, he still hasn't shaken that whole 'just-the-boyfriend' problem.

Matt Smith has the least to do in this episode; however, he’s still at the very tip top of his game.
 
This was essentially, a Doctor-lite episode in all but name. The way the Doctor basically got shunted off is ridiculous: this virus will target only those with two hearts?  How many two-hearted beings could there be, given that Time Lords are extinct? 

However, I still suck up to Matt Smith.

The Doctor, as old Amy says, is like the voice of God, trapped in the TARDIS to help with the plot but detached from his companions. However, the reaction shots by Smith convey all the guilt, regret, and sadness the Doctor feels because of his action (or inaction) and masques the trickery and deceit that was needed to get old Amy to help them.

Nope, not buying this one. 

I also really enjoyed his relationship with Rory in this episode. Rory objects to the Doctor trying to make Rory more like him, which in a way is very true. The Doctor has protégés, and Rory flatly does not want to be one.

Which might be the only smart thing Rory Williams has done in his life.

Like “Amy’s Choice” before it, “The Girl Who Waited” gives viewers a story about the main characters entirely unhampered by a guest cast.

**cough**Inside the Spaceship aka The Edge of Destruction**cough**

The Doctor and friends can help strangers week after week but they often have the hardest time helping each other.

Nope, not buying that either.

In both stories, we get the very real sense that the Doctor does what he does because he has to, but hates himself because of it. For all of the Eleventh Doctor’s silliness and cheer, he harbors a real darkness which is maybe most fascinating.

For all of the Eleventh Doctor's silliness and idiocy, he harbors a real darkness which will not be tapped in the future, for NuWhovians prefer him to be dimwitted.

And there was a Twitter reference in it.


For someone who HATES Twitter...

And, what was that about "harboring a real darkness", again?

What more can I say? I dug it.

SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!

Next week is Toby Whithouse’s “The God Complex.” It also looks very good.

Seriously, has Kyle Anderson found a Doctor Who episode that to him, DIDN'T 'look very good'?

Doctor Who meets The Shining. Love it.

Doctor Who meets a rip-off.  Hate it.

In fairness I didn't hate The Girl Who Waited and thought it was pretty well acted.  It isn't my favorite episode and not one that I would rank among the classics, let alone offer as 'perfect science fiction storytelling', but I didn't hate it. 

-Kanderson would rather not wait 36 years for you to follow him in the TWITTERS… but he will.

-Kanderson would rather not watch the first 26 years of Doctor Who...but he will, and will make fun of it because Curse of the Black Spot, in his mind, is a triumph over something like The Aztecs or Tomb of the Cybermen.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Aragon vs. Anderson: Night Terrors



Now that I have a few minutes free, I thought I'd go back to one of my great passions...bashing The Whorist (or as it's generally known, The Nerdist), in particular their Doctor Who reviews by one Kyle Anderson.

Mr. Anderson (now doesn't that sound sinister) in my view, has rarely if ever met a Doctor Who post-Rose story that he hasn't loved.  I don't mean liked.  I mean L-O-V-E-D, to where that particular episode is the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time...until the next episode when THAT becomes the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time.  It's gotten to be almost a point of parody to see how Anderson rarely finds fault with a Doctor Who episode.  I don't mean just to nitpick on a few things.  I mean give a bona-fide negative review.  Even I, someone who has been vociferous in my condemnation for many NuWho episodes, do admit when I see a good one (like Flatline or Mummy on the Orient Express).  Anderson, however, will almost always find something to wax rhapsodic about, even on something as atrocious as In the Forest of the Night

I was intrigued by this, so a little research was required.  I went as far back as I could regarding Anderson's Doctor Who reviews, and the earliest one I could find was the Series/Season Six opener, The Impossible Astronaut.  What I've done is taken Kyle Anderson's review verbatim, and offered my own 'translation' to the text to see what Anderson is, in my view, really saying.  I also throw in my own thoughts as to what is being said.

I hope this will be a fun and informative journey into the strange mind of the Functioning Nerd.

I present Part 6 of The Nerdist as Whore: Night Terrors .  My 'translations' are in red.

Through the eyes of a child, anything can be terrifying. To some children, including me at ages 4-9, everything can be terrifying. Simple sounds and shadows taken for granted in the daytime become objects of fear once the sun goes down. Children’s fears are very powerful, but if the child in question is not from this planet, the fears can become a danger to everyone around them. This is the central idea behind episode 9 of Doctor Who’s sixth series, “Night Terrors,” written by Mark Gatiss.

I scare easy.

This is a very scary episode written by a very scary man, who in the future, will be the Executive Producer of a Doctor Who Special my Boss, Chris Hardwick, will host.  My Boss, Chris Hardwick, won't feel a need to disclose on-air that Mark Gatiss, who was a guest on the After Deep Breath Special, also was in charge of the After Deep Breath Special.  In the real world, that would be called a 'conflict of interest' and would be considered unethical if not deceptive.  However, just pretend Mark Gatiss is with the New England Patriots (in other words, he gets a free pass...and I'm fighting the temptation to say Gatiss would love to get a free pass from Tom Brady).

This episode is a return to the standalone episodes of Who for which everybody seems to be clamoring recently,

Whovians and even NuWhovians have had it with these season-long story arcs that no one cares about, involving characters we don't care about, and which ultimately don't make any sense, so we got this.  I don't know why people don't like convoluted plotlines and having to have every single Doctor Who episode basically be trailers for the season finale. The people who have been clamoring for standalone episodes obviously don't have analytical critic minds, because only a select few of us can appreciate the genius of Steven Moffat and Company, and even fewer of us have our bills paid for by The Moff and...The Gatt? 

and features the Doctor and company answering a little boy’s distress call to save him from “The Monsters.” The rumors going around warned that this was one of the scariest Doctor Who episodes ever. Well, I didn’t think it was scary, really, and certainly can’t hold a candle to something like “The Time of Angels,” but it did have creepy living doll people which are fairly nightmare-inducing in and of themselves.

A bunch of hype about how scary this all was.  It isn't as scary as what Moffat can write, because The Gatt is one level of genius, the Moff on a Shakespearean level.  It did have the dolls, and I'm scared of dolls. 

The general storyline for the episode is strong, with the Doctor receiving a distress signal on the psychic paper and finding a little boy who’s afraid of everything and the boy’s father, who is also afraid of everything, but in a different way. The boy, George, has been told to put everything that scares him into the large cupboard in his room and that cupboard now holds the manifestations of everything he fears come to life.


Imagine if he were afraid of Indians!



So, basically, things that scare him get sent in the cupboard, and specifically into the creepy dollhouse inside the cupboard, probably because there were no nearby corn fields into which he could wish them.

Question: what is a little boy doing with a dollhouse?  Are we diving into Gatiss' childhood here, like we did with The Idiot Lantern?  We have two Gatiss-penned scripts dealing with difficulties in father-son relationships, as if he had a theme or something.  What are you trying to tell us, Marky Boy?  I admit two things: one, I liked both Idiot's Lantern and Night Terrors, and two, I don't get the corn fields bit.

So while the Doctor and George’s father, Alex, try to get to the bottom (of) the boy’s fear, Amy, Rory, and a number of neighbors have to try not to get turned into creepy, giggling doll things. Seriously, if I was a kid and got dolls like that, I’d be terrified too.

You left off "of" in the sentence, so you get points off for that.  It's not for me to say, but why would Kyle have dolls in the first place?

The story is simple, but I feel like the episode missed some great opportunities to amp up the scariness.

Don't Believe the Hype.  Don't Believe the Hype.  It's not scary, not even if The Gatt says so.

While the dolls were creepy to look at, and the sight of someone turning into one is equally disturbing, they never seemed like much of a threat. The scene with Rory and Amy running from them and then barricading themselves behind the door could have been much more intense, but I never really felt like they were having trouble keeping them at bay and the only reason Amy got turned is because she thought they should open the door and run past them (and because Rory was a bad husband and didn’t stop to make sure she was okay).

I don't see the potential to see the Living Dolls as future scary monsters.  They are the Quarks of this series: a marketing ploy that didn't pan out.  The direction in my view was not as good as it could have been, since I wasn't scared.  Then again, I'm a very grown man who shouldn't get scared over an episode that was aimed at children.  At least, I speculate that it was aimed at children.  The only reason Amy got turned is because we all have gotten so tired of Rory being made the Dead One and it would be nice to have a change.  That, and the fact that Night Terrors is primarily male-centric, which is odd for Gatiss.

If I were Rory (and I so desperately want to be), I would have protected Amy because Karen Gillan is so hot I perform auto-erotic exercises to her every night, especially when I look at her Kiss-O-Gram or pirate outfits.  Oh, Amy...Oh, Amy...

This, to me, is just bad scene blocking. It may well have been a budget or time issue, which is not really anyone’s fault, but such a great creature design was sort of ruined because they weren’t particularly threatening.

I was confused by how things looked, which is strange given that Doctor Who has tons of money thrown at it.  Either they actually skimped on this episode (spending more on things like hiring a Hitler lookalike for an episode that didn't need the character) or they were in such a rush to finish they didn't put things together.  That's even stranger since this episode was suppose to air after the premiere, but instead they had to switch places with the pirate one.  I'm too cowardly to blame people for this, but it's sad that despite having great production value we couldn't make the Living Dolls really, really scary...scary enough to scare a thirty-plus year old man. 

Director Richard Clark also directed “The Doctor’s Wife” this season, so we know he can do a lot with a little, making the scenes with Rory and Amy running through the corridors of the TARDIS quite frightening with literally nothing but camera angles. It just felt like a waste to me.

I wasn't too hot for this episode (Karen Gillan, another story).  Director Richard Clark can do a lot with a little, so I was surprised at how little he did. 

The other real problem I had with the story, and it wasn’t much of one, granted, was the reveal that young George is an alien. I know Doctor Who is a sci-fi show predicated on alien stuff, but does every single thing in the show have to be alien-related?

I want to be more critical, but am contractually prohibited from being so.  We get a not-surprise that we have to have aliens in this one again.  Anyone forbid that we deal with actual humans on Doctor Who.  Why does every story have to have an alien in it?  Just like in The Pirate One, we have to go back to "Oh, Look...it's Aliens again!"  I'm getting tired of it always being aliens.  It's like the reverse of the early Pertwee years, where we had to have either mad scientist or alien invasion.  At least back then they tried to have variety on the themes (see The Silurians) but here, they're not even trying.  Fortunately, they don't have to since I and all the other NuWhovians will watch anything and be generally pleased with it no matter how stupid.

I kept hoping that they’d discover that the cupboard itself was somehow causing the manifestation of fears, or that some other thing was controlling it, or what have you. But it just seemed to me, the realization that Alex and Claire couldn’t have kids so an alien who wants to be accepted found them and made them think he was their own child was a bit too complicated, convenient, and unnecessary.

I kept hoping that they'd come up with something better, stronger, more original.  We can't have supernatural elements, so we have to go with aliens.  I'm getting a little tired of it always being aliens. 

Also, is it me or are we retreading ground covered with Fear Her?  We got the alien-child connection, we got this "alien just wants to be loved" theme, we got the parent-child bonding again bit.  This just came to me, and as someone who liked Night Terrors IF you think of it as a.) being aimed at children and b.) being an obvious allegory to children, it looks like the show is repeating itself a bit.  However, I (not Kyle) am beginning to question whether I overrated this episode myself. 

Just a thought.  Take it as you will. 

It could have been the same story; the father’s fears had transferred to the adopted child, who then became afraid of everything and even more afraid of being sent away, etc., and then they manifest because of X alien thing. Like I said, it’s not a huge gripe, it just didn’t need to be there.

It could have been the same story...and I both wouldn't have noticed and wouldn't have cared.  Kind of sad that I could come up with a better scenario than The Gatt.  Still, no worries.  I roll (easy) with everything Doctor Who throws at me.

I also feel like finding out your son’s an alien who has trapped you and others in a world of his own subconscious fears is not something anybody would accept that quickly, but some “bad thing” creating it as part of your adopted son’s fears totally is. Any number of other explanations would have been fine, but an entire race of foster children? Come on now.

As I said, I'm getting tired of it always being aliens.  It is almost sad that they can't come up with anything better.  I would have accepted any other explain (no matter how implausible), so long as they gave it a try.

I'm seriously questioning why I (not Kyle) liked this episode...

For my money, Matt Smith is at his best as the Doctor when he’s on Earth dealing with humans. He delivers a mix of rambling nonsense and alien technobabble the way Samuel L. Jackson delivers yelling and swear words.

For my money, Matt Smith is at his worst as the Doctor when he's on Earth (like he'd be on any other planet).  He also is pretty inept with people.  He does his usual schtick of being an idiot, spouting gibberish to such a degree that like Samuel L. Jackson, it's become a cliché to being a parody.  Even if either tried to spoof themselves on purpose, the joke would be lost on everyone since they do it so often they parody themselves even when their not trying to.   

It’s like poetry.

Laying on a bit thick there, Kyle...even for you. 

The scene in this episode where the Doctor describes “pantophobia” to Alex is particularly enjoyable.

I cringed at the "pantophobia" bit.  I can't decide whether he was trying to be funny or trying to be serious.  You do have some pediophobia here (fear of dolls), and I myself use the term panophobia to describe a fear of everything (even though Everything Is Awesome).  You could also go with polyphobia (fear of many things).  In any case, Smith trying to sound smart is always doomed to failure.

Daniel Mays as Alex was also fantastic.

Actually, on this we agree.   Congratulations, Kyle...you've hit your broken clock minute.

Mays is an actor I’d seen in a few things here and there but really got to know and like during his stint on Ashes to Ashes, where he played the British equivalent of an Internal Affairs man. He was really great on that show and played such a dark character that I kept expecting him to be somehow evil in “Night Terrors,” but I was pleased and impressed to see Mays just play a terrified father, a very sympathetic character. The interplay between him and Smith made the episode work for me, hands down.

Wow, a good guest star on Doctor Who.  Got to appreciate the few bright spots in things.  Mays was so good he even made Matt Smith tolerable.  He should get an Emmy just for that. 

While they had less to do, besides the usual running around, I really liked Amy and Rory in this also. This series they’ve really become a team, and a good comedy double-act.

Well, break out the smelling salts!  Kyle Anderson likes Amy and What's-His-Name.  I think we've found our comic relief...but shouldn't that be Matt Smith? 

The fact that there are two companions give a dynamic I really like. At any given time, two of them can be doing something, while the third is off with a guest actor (or just by themselves) doing something else. It works with these characters, and it’s something I didn’t know I was missing during the latter RTD era.


"The fact that there are two companions give a dynamic I really like."  If ONLY they had tried more than one Companion in the past... 


"At any given time, two of them can be doing something, while the third is off with the guest star (or just by themselves) doing something else".  If ONLY they had tried more than one Companion in the past... 



"It works with these characters, and it’s something I didn’t know I was missing during the latter RTD era."  If ONLY they had tried more than one Companion in the past... 

Rory and Amy doing something, the Doctor doing something else: this is what works best.



"Rory and Amy doing something, the Doctor doing something else: this is what works best."  If ONLY they had tried more than one Companion in the past...


Why, oh WHY didn't they EVER try for more than ONE Companion when it all began?  What fool RTD was.  He had a golden opportunity to...what?  What do you mean there were Companions before Rose Tyler?  What?  There was a show called Doctor Who before Russell T Davies created it?!  Isn't that violation of copyright or something?!


Oh, and how funny was Rory’s line, “We’re dead aren’t we? Again!”? Man, that was great.

The whole "Rory Dies Again" bit is so bad even the characters make fun of it.  Man, that was bad.

Those two just keep dying.

Actually, Rory (or the badass in the wacky world of Kyle Anderson), is the one who keeps dying.  This I think marks the first time we've seen Amy bite it.  I'm sure Kyle would love for Amy to bite something else, but I'll leave it at that. 

At the end of the episode, the Doctor says “It’s good to have everybody back, in the flesh.” Now, this stood out to me for a few reasons. A) because we know what “The Flesh” is regarding earlier this series, 2) he had his back to the camera when he said it, meaning it may have been an added line not in the original script, and d) because if it wasn’t an “important” line, it’s just a dumb line. In the original scheme of things, this episode was supposed to be transmitted third or fourth, in place of “Curse of the Black Spot,” meaning that line could have referred to the Doctor knowing that Amy was Flesh at the time. So either the line is completely meaningless, it’s a holdover from the original placement of the episode, or it means yet another person is a Flesh Ganger, which I really hope is not the case.

Thanks to the shuffling of episodes, something that might have been important, a subtle clue about the season or half-season long story arc now got rendered meaningless.  This stood out to me for at least one reason: it shows the failure of the Moffat Method.  If this 'flesh' bit was suppose to tie into what has come before, it now is a massive flop because it doesn't make any sense (not that a.) I'm particular about a Doctor Who making sense, and b.) many NuWho episodes do end up making sense on their own, let alone for the massive story arcs that sometimes go several seasons long).  If they had been stand-alone episodes, or maybe a few two to three-part stories, then we might have something.  However, Moffat's insistence on having all these stories serve as essentially trailers for his season ender just brings all these episodes down.  Night Terrors, like others, could work on their own.  However, Moffat just can't leave well enough alone, and wants to create some massive epic that is rubbish. 

If anything, Night Terrors and the inclusion of this 'flesh' line, is instructive.  It shows the show desperately needs to get away from the season-long arc and just be stand-alone episodes.    

If the Doctor dying ends up just being some kind of clone, I’m gonna be really angry at Moffat. He’s cleverer than that, and surely can come up with something we haven’t thought of to get the Doctor out of that situation.

Kyle Anderson mad at Moffat?
Steven Moffat clever?!
Moffat coming up with something we haven't thought of to get the Doctor out of a situation?



At any rate, it’s just something to think about.

So, overall, “Night Terrors” was a pretty good, diversionary episode with good performances and some decent creepiness.

The kid was weird, but I guess if he was an alien, that would more or less explain it. Not a bad episode at all, and it does the concept of a kid projecting fears a whole lot smarter and more effectively than series 2’s “Fear Her.”

I KNEW I wasn't the only one who saw the similarities. 

How odd: I, Kyle Anderson, just got over complaining about how predictable it was to have this be alien-related, and now I don't seem to mind all that much that it was alien-related.  It really is hard for me to find a 'bad episode', one that I really, really hate.  There's Victory of the Daleks I guess (which I keep complaining about but whose review no one could ever find), but so far I pretty much have said they're all good.  Yes, Night Terrors was better than Fear Her.  

Few things can be worse though. 

The big key for me with Doctor Who episodes is how likely am I to watch them multiple times once I have the DVDs.

Who are you kidding, Kyle?  You watch all of them all the time, well, at least all the pre-Rose ones.  Junk like The Aztecs, Tomb of the Cybermen, The Daemons, Caves of Androzani...well, that's another story.

For instance, aside from an initial view or if I’m watching the whole season with someone, I skip “The Beast Below” and “Victory of the Daleks” when watching series 5. I’ve seen them both quite enough, thank you very much.

Kyle's hit another broken clock minute.  On this, we agree. 

“Night Terrors,” on the other hand, is one I probably will watch multiple times. So far, there aren’t any series 6 episodes I actively dislike, which is pretty good.

SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!

“Black Spot” is bad but harmless

Quoth Anderson on Curse of the Black Spot, "It certainly was not a bad episode (emphasis mine).  In fact, I even enjoyed watching it on second viewing..."

Hypocrisy, thy name is Anderson.

and the Ganger two-parter is poorly plotted but interesting. “Night Terrors” is just a fun, watchable episode. And that’s not a bad place to be at all.

Seriously, you come to The Nerdist for fair and objective Doctor Who reviews?  What kind of an idiot are you?

Next week’s episode looks super interesting — Tom MacRae’s return to Doctor Who for the first time since series 2’s “Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel,” in the form of “The Girl Who Waited”:

I am very excited. Yay, Doctor Who!

I'm very discouraged.  Boo, Doctor Who!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Aragon vs. Anderson: Let's Kill Hitler




Author's Note: Before I put in my traditional intro to these spoofs, I should state that I believed A Good Man Goes to War and the following episode Let's Kill Hitler were a two-part story.  This was due to the "To Be Continued..." bit at the end and because Steven Moffat wrote both.  I now think I might have been wrong, but don't feel the need to change that.  Therefore, there is only one review for these two stories under the umbrella title of River's Secret Parts 1 & 2

Now that I have a few minutes free, I thought I'd go back to one of my great passions...bashing The Whorist (or as it's generally known, The Nerdist), in particular their Doctor Who reviews by one Kyle Anderson.

Mr. Anderson (now doesn't that sound sinister) in my view, has rarely if ever met a Doctor Who post-Rose story that he hasn't loved.  I don't mean liked.  I mean L-O-V-E-D, to where that particular episode is the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time...until the next episode when THAT becomes the Best Doctor Who Episode of All Time.  It's gotten to be almost a point of parody to see how Anderson rarely finds fault with a Doctor Who episode.  I don't mean just to nitpick on a few things.  I mean give a bona-fide negative review.  Even I, someone who has been vociferous in my condemnation for many NuWho episodes, do admit when I see a good one (like Flatline or Mummy on the Orient Express).  Anderson, however, will almost always find something to wax rhapsodic about, even on something as atrocious as In the Forest of the Night

I was intrigued by this, so a little research was required.  I went as far back as I could regarding Anderson's Doctor Who reviews, and the earliest one I could find was the Series/Season Six opener, The Impossible Astronaut.  What I've done is taken Kyle Anderson's review verbatim, and offered my own 'translation' to the text to see what Anderson is, in my view, really saying.  I also throw in my own thoughts as to what is being said.

I hope this will be a fun and informative journey into the strange mind of the Functioning Nerd.

I present Part 5.2 of The Nerdist as Whore: Let's Kill Hitler* .  My 'translations' are in red.




You have to love a show that isn’t afraid to do something different, and Doctor Who in the Moffat era certainly does things differently.
 
You have to hate a show that isn't afraid to destroy all that came before, and Doctor Who in the Moffat era certainly does things destructively.

Expositional episodes are a necessary evil of season-spanning arcs, but there are ways to do this in an unboring way. While some shows give you an info-dump of people talking in a room (*cough* Torchwood *cough*), others surround exposition with off-the-wall craziness.
 
Instead of trying to integrate exposition into the story (which a good writer would do) or go the easy route and basically tell you things (a Torchwood flaw), we're going to throw things in a clearly bonkers way.
 
It’s pretty clear from watching “Let’s Kill Hitler” that the Moff sat down and said, “Okay, I want to answer a whole bunch of River Song-related questions; how can I do that in the most outlandish way possible? Hmm.”
 
Never trust a reviewer who refers to the person he's reviewing by a cutesy nickname.  It suggest the reviewer is partial/prejudiced towards his subject, more a fan than a, what was it, 'analytical critic'.  It's pretty clear from watching Let's Kill Hitler that "The Moff" sat down and said, "Okay, I want to expand on the unimportant self-important character of River Song and make her the focus of Doctor Who; how can I do that in the most outlandish way possible?  Hmm."
 
And it’s true; we get all kinds of answers about River Song and wrapped up a few mysteries from “The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon,” but we also get shrink rays, shape-shifting robots, and Rory punching Hitler in the face.
 
It's not true; we got all kinds of nonsense about River Song and muddied up more about both her and the show, but we also get shrink rays, shape-shifting robots, and Rory punching Hitler in the face.  In short, a whole pile of steaming shit. 
 
Oh, Doctor Who, I sure did miss you.

Oh, Doctor Who, I sure do wish they'd cancel you.

I usually like to save the things I didn’t like about the episode for the end of the review, but since it began the episode, I see no reason not to lead with it. The whole “Mels” idea is really, really stupid.

I usually like to throw a few negative comments to suggest that I'm writing a balanced review, but since something so stupid that even I couldn't go along with it began the episode, I see no reason why not to start.  The whole "Mels" idea is really, really stupid (even for me).

Sorry, Moffat, good try, didn’t work for me. Felt like a cop out. She’s Melody Pond’s second (I’m assuming) iteration after we saw her regenerate at the end of “Day of the Moon,” and so we’re supposed to believe that Madame Kovarian & Co. spent huge amounts of time cultivating this plan, a human/Time Lord hybrid to kill their sworn enemy, the Doctor, but instead of waiting until she’s a grown up and sending her to kill him at some various point in his history, she’s just allowed to go grow up with her own parents on the off-chance that the Doctor might come back?

Sorry, Moffat, it was inexplicably bad, and if it didn't work for me, can you imagine for those who don't suck up to "The Moff"?  It was beyond a cop-out.  It was obvious, idiotic, and nonsensical. 

First, she would be Melody WILLIAMS (why do people insist on going along with this "Pond" nonsense?), and we now have to accept that humans (or human/Time Lord hybrids) can regenerate. Second, this would not be her second iteration after we saw her regenerate at the end of Day of the Moon.  The dialogue from that episode clearly states that it's happened before.  How many times before we don't know, but the little girl from Day of the Moon (who is the future River Song) apparently regenerated before (otherwise she wouldn't be conscious of the transition.)  I think I'm going to get ahead of myself, but I ask for a little leeway.

OK, let's go over some things here.  Sydney Wade, the little girl from Day of the Moon, was between nine and ten when she was on the episode.  "Mels" (how clever of Moffat to point out how close this name was to "Melody", who in turn was the Pond/Williams' own daughter River Song) grew up with her own parents.  That means that somehow, the little girl would have to a.) travel from New York, where she regenerated, to Scotland, b.) regenerate into a baby to match the ages of Amy and Rory, and c.) maintained control over her aging process as she, if we go by chronology, would have been old enough to be her own mother's mother by the time Amy and Rory themselves were born. 

Let's remember that the little girl regenerated around January 1970 or December 1969 at the earliest if we're generous (the regeneration having taken place six months after the Egg Landing on July 20, 1969).  Amy and Rory were clearly born in the 1980s, a good ten years minimum from their 'daughter's' regeneration.  How would "Mels"/Melody/River be able to control her own regeneration to that degree?  What would be the chances of her growing up with her own parents (and being a constant source of trouble for them)?  No one, not even I, Kyle Anderson, who usually happily goes along with a lot of nonsense because you wrote it,  can possibly give a rational answer as to how someone who regenerated in 1969/1970 New York could then regenerate at an unknown time from a little girl to apparently a baby in 1980s Scotland with a gap between the two where we know nothing of what came between.

OK, on the baby thing, maybe she wasn't one when she met her mother (and sperm donor), but she still would have had to have been close to their age.  She also, despite what we saw, have somehow to be conscious of the fact that she could regenerate.  It can't be a surprise to someone who by her own admission in a regeneration prior, is fully aware of it.

Or am I missing too much?       

They’re from the future, they would know exactly when he’d come back, which we saw in “The Eleventh Hour,” and she’d have been there waiting for him. But not only does she completely seem to miss the events of that episode, the one where giant EYEBALL THINGS come from the sky and say stuff about destroying the Earth, we’ve never even heard of Mels until just now, when we see a ridiculous set of flashbacks showing us she’s been there all the time, but just out of our frame of knowledge.

The Moff just forgot his own already convoluted timeline in order to give us some sort of wild twist.  He thought he could paper over things by suggesting that this "Mels" was there all along, even though she never showed up or was mentioned until now, because he thinks his audience is stupid.  Normally we are, but sometimes he goes one too far for even us to accept.   

And just because the Doctor comments on never having heard of her, it’s still not okay. Mentioning how it doesn’t make sense isn’t the same as it making sense.

And just because the Doctor comments on never having heard of her, it's still not okay.  Pointing out the obvious is not the same as providing an actual answer. 

And “Mels,” for some reason, wants to go kill Hitler… Why? Just so there can be the title line, “Let’s Kill Hitler.” End of. Explanation over. Just for the ever-loving fuck of it.

Dear God, this is too stupid even for me.  She wants to kill Hitler because...she wants to kill Hitler?  Even I, most sycophantic of creatures, can see through something so patently stupid that I'd lose what little credibility I have by not pointing out the fallacy of all this.  We don't get an explanation for something we know will never happen (here's a spoiler, Hitler wasn't killed), and this time, I'm really angry that I don't get an explanation for things. 

It would have been much more likely, and less hokey, if they’d have just accidentally crash-landed in Berlin in 1938 because she shot the TARDIS (which I rolled my eyes at, but whatever, it’s fine) and then they could have gotten mixed up with the tiny pilots of the robot people and that, which is something I thought was a neat idea.

I could come up with a better way to get Hitler into this story.  We could get something like we did back in the early days of Doctor Who, when the Doctor would find himself involved in the past by accident, like in that almost forgotten story The Aztecs (something we NuWhovians wouldn't bother with because it's in black-and-white...and no one really remembers anyway).

However, to please my Lord and Master, his little robot people was a great idea. 

I’m not just crapping on Moff’s parade to be contrary;

I'm just crapping on Moff's parade because a broken clock is right twice a day, and this is my time of day.

it just seemed like a huge convenience to explain something he didn’t feel like thinking about anymore.

Even Moffat got tired of building up this legend of River Song, a secondary character that could have worked but which he got too enamored of.  A lot of Let's Kill Hitler was extremely convenient.

I LOVE the idea of seeing Melody Pond in an earlier regeneration, and some crazy woman coming in and acting River-ish only to reveal she is, in fact, River Song herself earlier in life is fantastic.

I'm into cougars (though for me, Grandma Moses is a cougar).  I HATE the idea of seeing Melody Pond (and again, shouldn't it be Melody WILLIAMS?) in an earlier regeneration because...HUMANS CANNOT REGENERATE.  Just because she was conceived by the Power of the Holy TARDIS (aka Moffat declared it so) does not make it plausible, let alone real within the confines of the show.  Wow, some crazy woman coming in and acting River-ish only to reveal she is, in fact, River Song herself earlier in life is beyond stupid. One thing we do learn, though: River Song, regardless of whatever regeneration she is, maintains the same personality: obnoxious bitch.  I guess the idea that the Doctors change personalities a bit at each regeneration kind of goes out the window now, right Moff? 

I just think the entire “Mels” thing was a way of making it so they can stop looking for baby Melody, because, oop, wouldn’t you know it, she’s been safe and sound with her parents the whole time.

I just think the entire "Mels" thing was a way of making it so they can stop looking for baby Melody, because, oop, wouldn't you know it, it would be a waste of time and would turn Doctor Who into The Master (Lee Van Cleef version): every week they search for the girl, only to find she 'just left'.  It's already bad enough that Doctor Who has now become about The Companion, but even the eternal search for River Song would have been too much to bear. 

Anyway, despite all that griping I just did, I actually, overall, quite enjoyed the episode.
 
SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!

Once the regeneration happened, I was well on board.

Once what was clearly impossible and a destruction of all Canon happened, I was well on board to continue metaphorically rimming Steven Moffat.

The idea of weird future vigilantes driving a shape-shifting robot is pretty brilliant,

The idea of weird future vigilantes driving a shape-shifting robot is pretty brilliant...even if a variation of this idea came from that Eddie Murphy vehicle Meet Dave.

and going back in time to make war criminals experience “hell” is a very interesting notion, though I don’t think I’m crazy about River being a worse offender than Adolf Hitler, implying killing the Doctor is far worse than exterminating millions and millions of innocent people.

Gee, that moral equivalency thing is getting out of hand.  However, I'm now genuinely debating whether one of the most vile, repulsive creatures in history deserves to be compared to Adolph Hitler.  However, if you want to talk about the person who killed the Doctor, I think we need look no further than the current showrunner.  OK, he's not Hitler and there shouldn't be any comparison, but he did kill the Doctor.

Hitler and Berlin itself were completely superfluous, but I guess it was worth it for me simply to have Rory punching Nazis.

Hitler and Berlin itself were completely superfluous, but I guess I won't mind so long as my avatar gets to do something we all have wanted to do.  So what if Hitler in Let's Kill Hitler had nothing to do with the plot?  Weren't you impressed with Rory Pond?
 
No two ways about it, Rory is a badass.
 
 

And what about Matt Smith? He’s nothing short of great.

Oh, was Matt Smith in this?  Hardly noticed given how River Song-centric Let's Kill Hitler was.  Oh, and what about Matt Smith?  He's nothing short of awful.

How difficult must it be to play like you’re slowly dying in agony for half an episode?

It isn't too hard, given the audience has slowly been dying in agony for half an episode.  Then again, I'm pretty sure a good actor can pull it off.  For the moment, we're stuck with Matt Smith, so we get what we can take.

This episode expressed all that the Doctor represents, and it’s his compassion for his friends that allows Melody/River to begin to realize that he might not be such a bad guy after all.

Well, since this is suppose to be one of the great love stories of all time, we have to get it started somehow, but now I do wonder, when exactly is her first meeting with The Doctor?  After all, isn't her first meeting his last?  How long can timey-wimey cover all this?

It also plays up the notion that the Eleventh Doctor, deep down, does not like himself,

Join the club.

as evidenced by the scene in the TARDIS where the voice interface activates using a hologram of himself. This has been hinted at many times over the last season and a half, most notably in my favorite series 5 episode, “Amy’s Choice.”

I liked Amy's Choice, and it was definitely used to great effect via the Dream Lord.  However, bet that thread will get dropped before Smith departs.   

I also liked the going-through of previous companions as holograms and his response that he feels guilty about all of them. The joke maybe only needed to be made once, but you can’t show Rose and then not show Martha and Donna, to be fair. Also, he did the “Doctor Who?” joke. Cute.

Having been a long time since we've seen River's Secret Parts 1 & 2, but I don't remember the previous Companions popping in, so I'm not going to fight this point.  However, did we see Ian or Barbara, or Polly and Ben, Jamie and Zoe, Tegan, Adric, Nyssa, or Ace?  Oh, wait, that was pre-Rose, and who really cares about that?

Also, he did the "Doctor Who?" joke.  Stupid.

The end of the episode featured River transferring all the rest of her regenerative energy (forever and ever it seems) to the Doctor to save him from the poison. That’s another big question answered: If River can regenerate, how come she didn’t regenerate at the end of “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead?” Cuz she ain’t a Time Lord no mo’. That’s definitely also a plot convenience, but one I can live with.

The end of the episode featured River transferring all the rest of her regenerative energy (forever and ever it seems) to the Doctor to save him from the poison.  That's another big question raised: since when could Time Lords, even human/Time Lord hybrids, transfer their regenerative energy to someone else?  It does make me wonder if this was possible, why didn't the Doctor do this for the Master at the end of Vengeance of The Master Part III (The Last of the Time Lords)?  If he was so weepy about this, why not just sacrifice one of his regenerations for him?  Come to think of it, why didn't he sacrifice one of his regenerations to save Peri in Caves of Androzani, rather than go through all those hoops to get some little elixir to save her? 

Granted, it does give an explanation as to why she didn't regenerate in Forest of the Dead Part 2 (Forest of the Dead), but I think the easiest answer is usually the correct one: no one, not even Steven Moffat, considered River Song a Time Lord, or a human/Time Lord hybrid, when the episodes aired.

It is highly instructive to learn from history.  A quote from Kyle Anderson's Day of the Moon review on the potential identity of the little girl regenerating: "She’s River Song, though that seems less and less likely the more we know about River, i.e. she ain’t a Time Lord." 

How the worm turns.  Now we happily go along with something a few weeks ago, you dismissed out of hand as impossible.  We've gone from "she ain't a Time Lord" to "she ain't a Time Lord no mo'".  

Kyle, buddy, seriously ask yourself this: can River really be a Time Lord?  Does she have two hearts (I doubt she has one, but that's irrelevant)?  Did she in her current state ever give any indication pre-Let's Kill Hitler that the possibility of her being a Time Lord or human(?)/Time Lord hybrid?  Steven Moffat declaring River Song a Time Lord (or human(?)/Time Lord hybrid) doesn't make it so.  No producer can arbitrarily make a declaration that alters Canon to such a degree without providing some logical explanation.  No, being conceived by the Power of the Holy TARDIS isn't an explanation.  It isn't even logical.  Did we get any sense that River was a Time Lord or part-Time Lord in Forest of the Dead Parts 1 & 2?  No. 

Then again, even though you think it's a plot convenience, you'll go along with it because...    

Now, I really doubt her saving the Doctor will entirely undo the brainwashing done to her as a child, but now she has an inner conflict which is quite interesting.

Now, I really doubt we'll touch on much of anything having to do with her brainwashing, a plot point which is now hopelessly in tatters.  Let's see: she grew up with Amy and Rory as an obnoxious and crime-prone black girl (no subtle racism/sexism there) while also being controlled for decades by Madame Kovarian and the Silence simultaneously.  I say "simultaneously" because even accounting for regeneration, can you really go back to being the same age in two different time periods in two different places at the same time?  Remember, "Mels" grew up with Amy and Rory, so it stands to reason that she would be their age, including nine.  Nine is also around the same age the girl in the spacesuit is when she calls for the Doctor and Richard Nixon's help. 

Every time the Doctor has regenerated, he may look younger (or older) than his predecessor, but the ageing process continues (i.e. he doesn't get younger but older).  He isn't Merlin (probably).   If Regeneration A was 456 when he stared, when Regeneration B comes around five years later, he's now 461.  If we accept that the regenerating child in Day of the Moon and Mels are one and the same, then we also have to accept a lot that doesn't hold up.

We have to accept that River is so powerful she can freeze and control the ageing process (even though she herself is not fully aware that she is part-Time Lord, at least I think she isn't aware). 
We have to accept that River can be abducted as a child by a group of aliens plotting the assassination of the Doctor and that she is growing up with her parents at the same time, putting a character in two different places at once.
We have to accept that Time Lords can be created by two humans having sex aboard a TARDIS.     

The sad thing is, though, River has now completely lost all of her mystery.

The sad thing is, though, we won't be able to make up a sensible backstory for River.  She's used goods, and all that fanfiction, not to mention the idea of a sensible explanation for things, kind of went out the window with this nonsensical stab at spectacular. 

We know everything about who she is, where she came from, how she knows the Doctor, and why she’s a criminal. The only thing we don’t know is if she is the person in the astronaut suit who kills him. My instincts say that’s still too easy. We’ll see.

Always listen to your instincts.

“Let’s Kill Hitler” brought Doctor Who back with some continuity-thrashing revelations and some crazy-weird ideas, but for the most part, it was a solid 48 minutes of fun.

Let's Kill Hitler brought Doctor Who back with some continuity-obliterating nonsense that makes a mockery of not only established Canon from the 1960s, but from the revived series as well.  For the most part, I was pleased with 48 minutes of blanket stupidity.  Then again, I would be pleased with 48 minutes of the Indian-head test pattern if it had Doctor Who in the place of Sitting Bull, which in reality would have been better television than Let's Kill Hitler. 

Really glad Doctor Who is back on our telly screens and we can watch and talk about a show that consistently entertains. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I still have Friday’s Torchwood to watch…

Really depressed Doctor Who is back on our "telly" screens (don't I sound so British) and we can watch and talk about a show that consistently enrages and disappoints.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I still have Moffat's check to cash...