Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Curious Case of Orson Pink

Author's Note: Nothing is more disappointing and frustrating than working long and hard on something only to have it erased by a button.  I had a much lengthier post about this situation, but somehow it got erased and I could not recover it.  I'm most frustrated because I put a lot of effort into it.  However, I'm not going to be defeatist.  I'm just going to make it shorter and more direct.


In Listen, a well-praised Doctor Who episode, we were introduced to Orson Pink, which the episode strongly suggested was the descendant of Danny/Rupert Pink and/or Clara Oswald.

Well, in The Wrath of Missy Parts 1 & 2 (Dark Water/Death in Heaven), Danny was killed off without having children.  Clara, perhaps, might have been pregnant (a curious Post-It reading "Three Months" was seen).  However, SHE was killed off in Face the Raven.  She was not shown to have given birth.

Now, in Listen, Orson Pink had a family heirloom, a toy soldier, ostensibly the same toy soldier Clara had given Rupert/Danny as a child.  He also talks about how his great-grandparents told him stories of time-travel.  Granted, Listen never overtly stated Orson WAS Danny and/or Clara's descendant, but it strongly suggested it.

With both Danny and Clara dead, we are faced with a quandary.


Kyle Anderson, carrying water for The Moff, came up with some interesting theories via Twitter (before he blocked me): that time can be rewritten, that Danny wasn't dead, or that Orson wasn't Danny and Clara's descendant.

Moffat himself in Doctor Who Magazine offers that Orson may be descended from another branch of the Pink family (one of Anderson's theories).  Clara went to them and gave them the toy soldier, and from them sprung Orson.

I argue that theory makes no sense.  If it was Rupert/Danny's brother, Stanislav Pink, he himself didn't travel through time and space.  Come to think of it, neither did Danny.  He was always waiting for Clara to come back from one of her many journeys, but as far as I remember never travelled in the TARDIS itself.

Furthermore, Rupert/Danny was in a children's home (read, an orphanage).  Where were these phantom Pinks all the time he was away in this lonely place?  Or was he adopted by a family with the same surname, or adopted and allowed to keep his original last name?


For me, this is yet another example of a larger issue: Doctor Who's inability to have any sense of continuity.  I found a few examples to back up my idea.

Series Five's The Eleventh Hour: Amelia Pond is left waiting by the Doctor, and she grows angry and resentful regarding her "raggedy man".
Series Seven's The Angels Take Manhattan: Amelia Pond is visited by the Doctor early the next morning after her encounter, with him correctly dressed.

For the sake of an admittedly cute scene, Steven Moffat, who wrote both episodes, contradicted himself.  He also erased two season's worth of character development. What was Amy's motivation, her emotional arc?  Her anger at The Doctor for leaving her waiting as a child.  With The Angels Take Manhattan, she wasn't left waiting.  The Doctor came to her, late but now by mere hours rather than years.  Therefore, why did she have this anger for years, or say he didn't show up when he clearly did, or go on about a 'raggedy man/Doctor' when he wasn't in regeneration rags when she technically saw him last? 

Series Six's The Doctor's Wife: The TARDIS in human form tells the Doctor she picked him.
Series Seven's The Name of The Doctor: Clara is shown telling the First Doctor which TARDIS to pick.

For the sake of showing how important Clara (and by extension, Steven Moffat) is to Doctor Who, Moffat contradicted The Doctor's Wife, which was written by Neil Gaiman.

Series Seven's Asylum of the Daleks: Oswin (a version of Clara that spread through time and space), is able to say "I'm Human, I am NOT A Dalek" clearly, with the Doctor able to hear her exact words.
Series Nine's The Witch's Familiar: Clara, inside a Dalek, says "I'm human" but it ends up coming out as "I am a Dalek".

For the sake of drama, Steven Moffat, who wrote both episodes, contradicted himself.

Series Eight's Listen: a figure named Orson Pink, who looks like Danny/Rupert Pink, has as a 'family heirloom' a toy soldier that originally belonged to Danny Pink.
Series Eight's Dark Water/Death in Heaven: Danny Pink is killed, turned into a Cyberman (albeit one who cries), with no known children.
Series Nine's Face the Raven: Clara Oswald is killed, with no known children.

It cannot be both.  There can be no Orson Pink if he has no ancestors.  Orson Pink cannot exist. 

Yes, I know Moffat said Orson was descended from another branch of the Pink family, but I cannot accept speculation in Doctor Who Magazine as Canon.  As previously stated, Rupert/Danny had no known family, no known children (legitimate/illegitimate), and with him dead he could not father the child who would become Orson's grandfather (assuming Danny would have been Orson's great-grandfather who told him time-travel stories).

With Clara dead and without her having children, she could not have been related to Orson Pink either (which makes her connection to the Pink family that got her sent to the children's home where Rupert/Danny lived in all the more bizarre given she was using the TARDIS' telepathic link that should have been keyed into HER lifestream, not Danny's).

By killing off BOTH Danny Pink AND Clara Oswald, Steven Moffat, writer of two of the three stories (Listen and The Wrath of Missy Parts 1 & 2, with Face the Raven written by Sarah Dollard with Moffat as the showrunner/producer), Steven Moffat has essentially rendered Listen illogical and impossible. 

If Danny and Clara are both dead and without having had children, Orson (assuming he was indeed meant to be the descendant of either one or both of them) cannot exist.
If Orson cannot exist, he cannot be the first human time-traveler.
If Orson cannot be the first human time-traveler, the events of Listen could not have taken place.
If the events of Listen could not have taken place, Clara could not have gone to Gallifrey to inspire the future Doctor on his course to being the Time Lord he grew to be.


I cannot find a way, a logical way, to reconcile the contradictions and discontinuity between the events of Listen and those of both The Wrath of Missy Parts 1 & 2 and Face the Raven.  At least Back to the Future, which faced a similar situation with the future children perhaps not being born due to changes in the past, made things logical.  Doctor Who can't be bothered to do that.  More on that in a bit.

Going on to the other contradictory episodes, one thing is clear.

It cannot be both. 

IF Oswin could say "I'm not a Dalek.  I'm Human" and have it come out as such (despite being in reality a converted Dalek), how is it possible then for Clara, who is merely inside a Dalek, to have the exact same words come out completely differently?

It cannot be both. 

IF the TARDIS chose the Doctor, why would Clara tell him which TARDIS to take?

It cannot be both. 

IF the Doctor failed to return to Amelia until twelve years later, how was it he was shown returning the very next morning to a waiting Amelia?  Why would she maintain all that anger and keep referring to him as "the raggedy man/Doctor" if technically, the last time she saw him, he was perfectly dressed and not in the disheveled clothes from his regeneration?

And those are the ones I could think of off the top of my head.  Therefore, I ask again...


No television show gets away with such massive continuity errors as Doctor Who.  Moreover, no television show not only gets away with such massive continuity errors as Doctor Who, but actually gets praised for them as Doctor Who.

It's a curious thing to me that programs of all stripes, even soap operas, strive to maintain continuity, but Doctor Who not only doesn't bother to, but that this lack of continuity is seen as one of its strengths, not weaknesses.  I remember well when after asking about points of logic after The Day of The Doctor theatrical screening, the exasperated NuWhovian replied to me, "It's NOT SUPPOSE to make sense!  It's British!".  I can argue with the fact that it's British being the reason for its lack of logic, but from my vantage point this captures all that is wrong with NuWho and its fans (including professional rimmer Kyle Anderson).

Doctor Who, for them, is not about logic.  It's not about stories tying together as a cohesive whole.

It's about the emotional response.  It's about which Doctor Who episode can make them cry the most, the hardest, the loudest. 

I for the life of me cannot understand why NuWhovians would take the answer about how Orson Pink can be when Danny Pink is no longer with us either seriously or rationally.  I believe plot holes and continuity questions should be answered within the confines of an episode, not a writer's commentary in a magazine. 

Imagine if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, rather than answer the mystery in a Sherlock Holmes story, opted to give readers tidbits and then take to The Strand to give the answers.  Then again, most Sherlockians hold that ACD wasn't as good a writer of Holmes as Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, or even really bother to read Canon (which is thoroughly unimportant to them).

Yes, again and again Doctor Who contradicts itself, sometimes within the same series/season.  And again and again NuWhovians and critics don't seem too bothered with that.  Moffat takes the applause, the praise, the awards, but when it comes down to it he cannot keep things straight (not even his own writing).  However, he didn't have to worry about that then and doesn't have to worry about that now.

I figure we'll never get an answer to my original query, or on how Sherlock Holmes survived The Reichenbach Fall, or how a Dalek can say one thing one day, and NOT say the exact same thing another day, or when exactly the Doctor returned to Amy Pond, or how the "Ponds" could see themselves happily in the future in one episode only to be zapped back in time in another episode, or how Clara could read 'the name of The Doctor' in a book but have this big mystery built around 'the name of The Doctor' when the answer was so easily available (or who actually wrote The History of The Time War and manage to include 'the name of The Doctor' in it).

So long as you cried...

Alas, my question, in a shorter version than my original (but still wordy) essay, remains The Unanswered Question:


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Aragon vs. Anderson: The Time of The Doctor

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 30 of The Nerdist as Whore: The Time of The Doctor. My 'translations' are in red.

That’s that, then, is it? The Doctor is gone, long live the Doctor. I’m sure “The Time of the Doctor” isn’t what most people thought it would be,

Most people thinking and hoping it be...good.

and it might leave a percentage of fandom cold,

I put that percentage at 90-95%, or at least that percentage of fandom that has functioning brain cells and isn't satisfied with tripe (which would certainly exclude Kyle Anderson).

but from where I’m sitting, next to my mom’s Christmas tree after a festive and joyful day, I can’t think of a better way for the Eleventh Doctor to end his tenure that began a week shy of four years ago when a 20-something goofball checked in to see if he had all his appendages, if he was a girl, and if he was ginger.

Oh, sorry.  For a moment I thought Anderson was talking about himself, but I forget…he’s in his 30s.

There were lots of loose ends for writer Steven Moffat to tie up, but somehow he did it.

Steven Moffat tied up loose ends...into a Gordian knot that no amount of timey-wimey can unravel. 
Again, whether or (not) you think he did a good job of it is another matter.

Kyle Anderson knows it was a terrible job and a terrible episode and something that will be looked on in horror and sadness, but Kyle Anderson isn't about to tell you that.  In the end though, anyone else's opinion is irrelevant if that opinion is a negative one.  The (not) is added because it was not part of the original review, but I figure that's what he meant.

Love how Anderson basically says, "Screw you" to all those who can point out why there IS an island called "Easter" and thus making The Doctor's response to why "a town is called Christmas" more idiotic.  Then again, this must have been one of those "loose ends" so well-tied by "The Moff".  

I’ll say this, though: it had no potions or physics-defying not-deaths. Matt Smith got to be the hero he always was and go out with class.


As I said before, Moffat had a lot to do, what with us still not knowing how the Doctor ended up on Trenzalore, why the first question was the first question, why “silence will fall,” and how he could get around those pesky regenerations. It’s as though Moff creates problems just so he has to solve them, like he has a split personality when he writes.

Moffat is a psycho.  It's as thought Moff creates problems that he cannot solve logically, so he's forced to make up outlandish resolutions that make no sense, but since when has Anderson ever cared about logic on Doctor Who?  This is the same man who said that the lack of a plot was "not necessarily a bad thing".  Is it me, or did we really ever get an answer about how the Doctor ended up on Trenzalore (or how he and Clara left his own tomb) or why the first question was THE FIRST QUESTION, or why Silence Will Fall? 

Again, never trust a critic who refers to his subject by a cutesy nickname.

Granted, a lot of the problems stemmed from Series 6, which is easily my least favorite, and the least focused.

Anderson keeps insisting that Series 6 is his 'least favorite', yet he gave at least 11 out of the 13 episodes positive reviews to that same series.  You even go on to say that "despite all the griping I just did, I actually quite enjoyed the episode" (Series 6's Let's Kill Hitler).  Oh sure, you were enraged at The Wedding of River Song, but you do go on to say that "I still love the series, I still love the era, and I even generally like this episode (though a second viewing was required).  Hell, I still really like Steven Moffat’s work as a whole. He’s incredibly innovative from a storytelling standpoint and continues to make compelling, thought-provoking television.  I’m glad he’s showrunning my favorite show". Few people talk out of both sides of their mouths as much as you do. 

Honestly, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you say "Series 6 is easily my least favorite and least focused" and also say "I even generally like (11 out of 13 episodes) from Series 6"?

It may seem like a hand wave the way things ended up, but it’s actually very clever (if easy), and it cleans the slate rather nicely for the next fellow. More on that later.

It was a hand wave...of dismissing so much of Doctor Who's history, continuity (both Classic AND revived), and if by 'clever' you mean 'thoroughly nonsensical and insulting to the remaining members of the audience who actually THINK about things rather than cry incessantly whenever an actor is replaced, then yes, perhaps it is 'very clever'.  I'll give you this: it WAS easy. 

So, “The Time of the Doctor” is all about inevitability, fate if you will. We know, even if the characters don’t, that Smith is leaving the show and Peter Capaldi is taking over, but the whole of the series has been about changing the future.

I'd say the whole of the series has been about changing the past.

If “The Day of the Doctor” taught us nothing, it’s that not only can time be rewritten, but popular fan wisdom as well.

If "The Day of the Doctor" taught us anything, it's that only can time be rewritten, but Canon (can be) as well.  If I'd had retweeted that, old Kyle would have been enraged and blocked me.  Oh wait, he HAS!  So much for that idea that Kyle's an open-minded liberal tolerant of all views.

If you don’t like the music, change the station; If you don’t like the future, make a new one.

Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey strikes again!

How does the Doctor reconcile not wanting to die, but knowing he must? The truth? He doesn’t, but that’s where friends come in, yet again.


How does Moffat reconcile the tangled mess he created by making the Eleventh Doctor the Thirteenth Doctor by fiat? The truth?  He doesn't, but that where sycophants and lackeys come in, yet again.

After being tricked into going to Trenzalore by the Church of the Papal Mainframe,

The splinter group of The Church of the Poisoned Mind...

the Doctor finds in the perpetually truthful town of Christmas the crack in the fabric of the universe, the very same crack he faced before and made “The Big Bang” happen, only this time it’s a question being asked by a long-forgotten, and long-destroyed, world: Gallifrey.

Wonder what that question is.  And WHY is there a town called Christmas?

They need to know the Doctor is who he says he is,

because there is no other way to identify the Last Gallifreyan and apparently an imposter can regenerate, though in fairness, if we go by The Impossible Astronaut a robot CAN regenerate.

and so ask the question to which the Doctor cannot lie in order to come back into this reality.

However, for him to bring the Time Lords back will mean the re-igniting of the Time War, with the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Weeping Angels, and even the Terileptils (who get name-checked) all waiting to make it happen. The Doctor knows he can’t abandon these people, and the Papal Mainframe instigate silence to make sure he doesn’t speak the name.

Would that they have instigated silence on the whole series.

He sends Clara back to her home in the TARDIS and spends the next 300 years foiling every plot and attempt to attack the good people of Christmas, Trenzalore.

How BORING!  300 years on THAT planet.  Talk about a living death! 

It’s this action that is the perfect farewell to the Eleventh Doctor.

He’s the Doctor, more than any other, who has run away and not wanted to be tied to any one place or time. Remember how bent out of shape he got in “The Power of Three” after just a couple of days?

What I DO remember about The Power of Three is that it was the first episode of an astounding 13 positive Doctor Who reviews in a far.  Now, I'd like to ask this Doctor Who expert, who knows all things Whovian, didn't the Third Doctor repeatedly try to escape his enforced exile on Earth yet managed to function without turning into a tottering old nutjob who does goofy dances and Punch-and-Judy shows?  HE wasn't particularly fond of being tied to any one place or time either, but then that's Classic Who, of which neither you or the average NuWhovian really give a damn about.     

So here is he, the Doctor who wouldn’t stay still, who lived many hundreds of years more than we’ve ever seen onscreen, compelled to stay put to save each and every life he can. He isn’t pissed off that he has so much more to do in this form; this is his last form,

REALLY?  I thought the Doctor could regenerate twelve times for a total of thirteen incarnations, yet isn't he only the twelfth version?  Oh, now let's see.  There's the "War" Doctor who both COUNTS and DOESN'T count, reasoning being since HE didn't call himself "The Doctor", he can skip the whole numerical order business.  Then The Formerly Tenth Doctor managed to regenerate...into himself, a neat trick the Doctor or any other Time Lord couldn't do until Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat decided they both knew better, thus making himself the Tenth AND Eleventh, or is it Eleventh AND Twelfth Doctor? 

I suppose it DOES take an 'analytical critic' to try and make sense of the disorder Moffat created.

and he’s going to save every single person he possibly can, even if that’s only in one place. He’s always had a scheme or two, but this time it’s just him standing in between innocents and death. Finally, it’s Clara, who finds her way back to him for a third time,

Finally, it's Clara, who clearly can't take a hint about how nobody wants her around...

who is able to save him by beseeching the Time Lords from through the crack.

who is able to save him by essentially begging the Time Lords, "Please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top?"

And it works, because who else can eventually free them?

There’s tons of other stuff worth mentioning here before I get to the final scene, so here we go: I love that the Doctor makes friends with a Cyberman’s head. Adorable.

I know when I watch Doctor Who, 'adorable' is the quality I'm looking for.

I love how well Moffat writes Clara,

and how well Jenna Coleman plays her.

She’s the most compelling companion in ages.

Clara is the most erotically gratifying Companion in ages.

I love how everybody in Christmas draws pictures of their hero and celebrates him.

Who needs to celebrate that Jewish kid on Christmas?  It’s not like Jesus Christ has anything to do with Christmas…

I love how they figured out a way around Matt having shaved his head. Genius.

Bloody HELL, Anderson!  The Doctor said he shaved his head because he was bored.  BORED!  How in the name of all that is good and pure does THAT constitute 'genius' on ANY level?  It's obvious that Anderson and I have widely differing views on what constitutes 'genius'.

I didn’t much care for the nudity joke, especially because it didn’t seem to matter beyond the initial joke, but it didn’t spoil things too much. I loved the puppet show with the Monoid puppet. I loved seeing old, senile Eleven, muttering to himself.

How that was different from young, senile Eleven, muttering to himself, Anderson does not say.

And most of all, I loved seeing Matt Smith being Matt Smith.

And most of all, I loved seeing Matt Smith make the Doctor into a total buffoon. 

Now, for the final scene. It was perhaps the most important thing to me that “The Time of the Doctor” did two things: 1) make sense on its own terms without being too complicated (which it did about 80%), and 2) to allow the Eleventh Doctor to go out with dignity and both appreciate the sadness of leaving without casting a pall over the new. The second passed with flying colors.

What about the first thing, Kyle?  What about the first? Oh, 80% of the time.  Methinks someone doth failed math…Now, for the final scene.  It was perhaps the most important thing to me that "The Time of the Doctor" do two things: make sense on its own terms with being nonsensical (which it failed to do) and to allow the Eleventh...or Twelfth...or Thirteenth...Doctor to go out with dignity and both appreciate the sadness of leaving without casting a pall over the new.  As much as I detested the Smith Era of Doctor Who, even he deserved better than the horror he was put through (and that he put us through). 

Smith returned to his young self in order to say goodbye to Clara,

because...the old-age makeup Smith was given was not just thoroughly appalling, but hilarious too.  That and the fact that NuWho fans cannot bother to think about how this up-to-now impossible ability to degenerate to your younger self no other Doctor could do, but oh, why bother...Moffat pays Anderson's bills and he'll call anything "The Moff" comes up with brilliant, logic be damned.

but he also sees the first face his face saw with a surprise appearance by Karen Gillan.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but isn't THIS technically the first face his face saw?

It was a bit hokum, but still really nice.

I cried.

Then, the Eleventh Doctor says his final words, and they aren’t “I don’t want to go;” they’re his (and Smith’s and Moffat’s) way of saying that remembering THIS Doctor shouldn’t mean casting aspersions on any other Doctor and that each incarnation is as important as the last or the next.

I really don't remember The Eleventh...Twelfth...Thirteenth...X...Doctor's final words, just that he removed that damn bow tie and all these morons were in wails of tears about seeing (if they started watching with Rose) their THIRD regeneration.  You'd think that by now, NuWhovians would not be brought to fits of unbridled anguish by a casting change.  The final words, I imagine, were to try to convince NuWhovians, long used to pretty, young, hot guys like David Tennant and Matt Smith (though who exactly has erotic dreams starring Chinny-Chin-Chin I can't imagine), will have to make due with someone old enough to be their grandfather.

It was classy, exactly as classy as the Eleventh Doctor (but the Thirteenth Form) always was.

It was classy, exactly as classy as the Eleventh Doctor (but the Thirteenth Form) always was.

It was classy, exactly as classy as the Eleventh Doctor (but the Thirteenth Form) always was.  Oh, SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY, does he ACTUALLY BELIEVE THIS?!

It was classy, exactly as classy as the Eleventh Doctor (but the Thirteenth Form) always was.  Talk amongst yourselves, I need a few minutes...

It was classy, exactly as classy as the Eleventh Doctor (but the Thirteenth Form) always was.  I'm sorry, I can't breathe...

It was classy, exactly as classy as the Eleventh Doctor (but the Thirteenth Form) always was. 

World leaders react to Kyle Anderson's thoughts on the 'classy' nature of the Eleventh Doctor (and his attempts to force logic on the irrational with the "Eleventh Doctor but Thirteenth Form" ass-kissing/covering)...

It was classy, exactly as classy as the Eleventh Doctor (but the Thirteenth Form) always was.  The Arab World reacts to Kyle Anderson's 'analytical criticism'...

Oh, sure.  Gaddafi was bonkers, but somehow his ramblings have more intellectual heft than just about anything in Anderson's typically ebullient Doctor Who propaganda he pretends is dispassionate analysis.  They also have a better beat.

I don’t know about you all, but the Eleventh Doctor


was MY Doctor, and I will of course always remember the time when the Doctor was he.

They don't count.
Now, I'm a bit perplexed by that statement.  Given he's watched ALL Classic Doctor Whos, and given he probably started in the 1980s, wouldn't it be more logical to say that Davison, Colin Baker, or Sylvester McCoy were HIS Doctor?  He can say Smith is his favorite Doctor (and I can see why, given both were, in the words of a Doctor Who Magazine reader, "so dimwitted"), but HIS Doctor, like the first Doctor he encountered...  

BUT! We get our first, very fleeting glimpse of the next Doctor, Peter Capaldi, who is just as intense and strange as we probably expected.

BUT! We get our first, very fleeting glimpse of the next Doctor (because by this point no one really knows what version he is), Peter Capaldi, who is just as old and unattractive as we feared.

He knows the color of his kidneys and doesn’t know how to fly the TARDIS, so we’re definitely going to have a lot to get used to,

He knows the color of his kidneys (for which we feel embarrassed that the Academy Award-winner has to spout off such dreadful dialogue in his very first moments as this formerly-iconic character), so we're definitely going to have a lot to be angered and saddened over.

but we have plenty of time to make peace with our goodbyes to Matt Smith before we officially say hello to Peter Capaldi.

but we have plenty of time to get over the fact that Matt Smith is on his way to ruin another time-travelling franchise before we start feeling truly sorry for Peter Capaldi.

Thanks for everything, Mr. Smith. You were splendid.

THANK HEAVENS YOU ARE FINALLY GONE, MR. SMITH.  YOU WERE HIDEOUS. Oh, if only just about EVERY Matt Smith Doctor Who episode became 'Lost Episodes'... 

Until our paths cross again in the 60th Anniversary Special in 2023, Geronimo!

Somehow, I don't see the show lasting to the 55th Anniversary Special, let along long enough for Smith to actually make things more horrendous by returning to Doctor Who (though to be fair, he did he best to make Whovians cringe in disgust). 

SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!

I'm more shocked that Anderson didn't say he cried, which is what Doctor Who uses to measure the quality of an episode.  I cry quite a bit while watching Doctor Who too: sometimes in laughter, sometimes in fury, sometimes in utter disgust, and every so often, in sadness that a once-great show has reduced itself to this sorry condition, and that lackeys like Anderson will keep making Pravda look like the Daily Planet.

Was it me, or did he not mention the River Song-like Tasha Lem, or how regeneration now is so big it can wipe out a Dalek fleet (which makes me wonder why the Time Lords didn't just harness all that energy to destroy the Daleks whenever a whole group of them were killed in the Time War?  Oh, well, Kyle Anderson's raison d'etre isn't to really analyze a Doctor Who episode for any flaws.  It's to promote whatever crap Moffat produces. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Aragon vs. Anderson: The Day of The Doctor

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 29 of The Nerdist as Whore: The Day of The Doctor. My 'translations' are in red.

Review: Top 13 Things in THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR

SHOCKED that Kyle Anderson liked a
Doctor Who episode!

It's not even worth being shocked.  This isn't going to be a review of The Day of The Doctor.  This is going to be a fanboy orgasm.  The title alone says it all: "Top 13 Things in The Day of The Doctor".  He isn't going to state whether something was wrong.  He isn't go to comment about how The Day of The Doctor, if you think short and easy on it, doesn't make sense on just about any level.  He certainly isn't going to talk about how again, established Canon is pretty much thrown out the window, and not just pre-Rose Canon but NuWho Canon too.  Instead, Anderson will regale you with 13 things (one for each Doctor, no doubt imagining himself clever) that were great about it. 

It’s sometimes the most difficult to review a thing you love unconditionally.

Actually, for you it isn't, especially since you've loved every Doctor Who episode since The Power of Three, making now 12 straight episodes that have received positive reviews (and yes, your notice for Cold War, which got a "mild like" from you and which you stated you'd "definitely watch again", counts as a positive review).  I've come across many television episodes and films that I've absolutely loved, and oddly, I found it easier to review those than those I've The Day of The Doctor.

How can you quantify unmitigated adoration in anything approaching coherent speech?

I'm sure you can find a way, Kyle.  You've been doing it for at least two series/seasons now.  Also, your speech in terms of your 'reviews' have never approached coherence. 

I mused on Twitter following the airing of “The Day of the Doctor,” the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who,

the "50th" anniversary special of Doctor Who...

that my review here on would be little more than “AAAAAAAAAAA!!!”

Well, in fairness, I know many Doctor Who fans had the exact same reaction, except that phrase was expressing fury and outrage.  Don't think that was your meaning.

and in the time since I tweeted up to now, I really haven’t found anything more articulate or profound than that.

My theory as to that?  You are neither articulate or profound. 

After going through each and every story in the Companion’s Companion over the last few months, I worried that my love of the show and the wonders it possesses would lessen as I was forced to think about it critically over and over.

Are we back to that "I'm an analytical critic" garbage again?  Seriously Kyle, do you HONESTLY believe you are anywhere near an 'analytical" anything? Lest you forget, from your own words...

On A Good Man Goes to War: ""“A Good Man Goes to War,” the mid-series finale of Doctor Who, was full of action and cool new characters, but there wasn’t, strictly speaking, a “plot.” Yet this isn’t necessarily a bad thing".  You, analytical critic who prides himself on separating his unabashed fandom from his cold eye, just said that the lack of a plot was not necessarily a bad thing.  I can't imagine critics like Roger Ebert or even Richard Roeper saying that a film not having a plot was not necessarily a bad thing.

On Doctor Who's Seventh Series/Season: "It really only had a few missteps for me, but I almost don't care at this point".  Despite your own tacit acknowledgment that it had a few missteps, you state you don't care about them.  Oh, Kyle, what are we going to do with you?    

I also worried that the special would let me down in some way, like I’d built it up too much in my head for it to be anything more than a bit of a disappointment. What a dumb dummy I was.

As I had worked on this off-and-on, it looks like YouTube is being prickly by not letting me put in the original Vincent Price Laugh.  I hope this will work as a substitute. 

So, instead of merely gushing for a few paragraphs, I’ve decided to tell you my 13 (yes, thirteen) favorite things about “The Day of the Doctor,” and also the one (only one) thing I was mildly disappointed by.

What would that one (only one) thing that Anderson was mildly disappointed by be?
A lack of logic?
A lack of plot? (We already know the answer to that one)?
The total destruction of established Canon and what little continuity Doctor Who had up till now? 

1. All three of the main Doctors got ample screentime/quips/moments
With something like this, it’s going to be very difficult to give every character his due, especially when one is the current star, one is the very beloved former star,

The only Doctor most of your target audience are aware of...

and one is a brand new version played by a screen legend.

Broken Clock: John Hurt IS a Legend.

Steven Moffat was able to give them all the proper due and none were left out. It’s the story of THE Doctor, not just the Eleventh, Tenth, or War one.

2. It made sense for Billie Piper to be there


Something that could have been really weird is having the character of Rose Tyler actually in the proceedings. She’s already gotten three quite-good sendoffs from the show, so having her back would have messed that up a bit, and would have meant either a) it would be she and the Tenth Doctor from Series 2, or b) it would have meant she’d somehow been brought back between “Journey’s End” and “The End of Time,” which also wouldn’t have worked. She got to be the Doctor’s conscience, which is what Rose always was, but in a way that didn’t bother with screwing up her storyline. Genius.

Yes, I suppose it made sense in having the character of Rose Tyler be there, even if the Ninth/"War" Doctor would have no idea who she was.  It made sense because she is the First Companion the target audience of this Eight Anniversary Special would know. 

They could have cast this person to be the Doctor's conscience.  Then again, if you have to ask "Who is this old broad?", you simply have no reason to call yourself a Doctor Who fan.   
3. It rewrote and changed games without lessening the past


It’s integral to the Ninth and Tenth Doctor’s tenures that they believe they destroyed their own people to end the war. The battle-scarred nature of their journeys depends on them having done this horrible thing. In this, we’re able to get a hopeful resolution to the Time War without taking away the sacrifices and choices made because he thought he’d done something dreadful.

We really can't fix what Russell T Davies gave us, so we are going to essentially do a reboot within a mere eight years after the series' debut.  Now, they will have convenient memory lapses about Gallifrey while we all keep pretending that everything makes sense.  Never mind that having this twist really does rob us not just of continuity but also of the pathos that the Ninth/Tenth, Tenth/Eleventh, and Eleventh/Twelfth Doctors went through.  So long as we get to reset everything, it's all cool.   
4. Matt Smith, David Tennant, and John Hurt TOGETHER

In all of the multi-Doctor stories (just three of them)

The Three Doctors for the Tenth Anniversary
The Five Doctors for the Twentieth Anniversary
The Two Doctors...for the heck of it.

that came prior to this, the best relationship/banter had been between the Second and Third Doctors. Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee had a great adversarial snap and were always taking the piss out of each other. Here, Tennant and Smith do a bit of that, but are also seen to get along really well at times and are like the best cop-movie duo in history.

No, they don't.  There is no real adversarial snap between Tennant and Smith, more like a pissing contest than anything else.  For the most part, they are quite cooperative of each other, which takes away from the whole point of having two different Doctors facing each other.  It does show that for all intents and purposes, Tennant and Smith were pretty much cut from the same cloth.     

John Hurt is both the younger man and the older man in this instance, and the disapproving glare with a twinkle in his eye as his “mid-life crises” do their dashing thing is especially grin-inducing.

Sorry, misread that.  I thought Anderson said 'groan-inducing', which would have been closer to the truth.

It’s like he is us for a little bit as he makes fun of the way they point their screwdrivers at things (“What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at them?”) and wear “sandshoes” and “dickey bows.”

In other words, even the Ninth/"War" Doctor cannot take them seriously, and neither can we. 
5. Clara rocked!

Clara is my favorite companion of the new series hands down and it’s for things like what happened in this special.

Clara is the Companion that has given me the most wet dreams hands down (eventually), and it's not for the fact that she isn't all that important to the goings-on.

I figured she wouldn’t have too much to do with the three titans around, but she is in many ways the reason they’re able to be better in the end than burning all the 2.75 billion children of Gallifrey.

Clara cried, and reset a time-locked event by the power of her weeping. 

And really, 2.75 BILLION children on Gallifrey?   
6. The Queen Elizabeth I stuff
This special tied up the loose end of Queen Elizabeth I knowing the Doctor (in “The Shakespeare Code”) and hating him before he knows he’s done anything. You’d be pissed off, too, if your husband ran off for a couple of decades.

Oh, I'm sure the future Mrs. Anderson would find that a pretty sweet deal. 

Joanna Page got a bit of the short shrift as more of a plot character than a thematic one, but she really did a great job as both the real QEI and the Zygon version.

Joanna Page was horrible as the hammy, screeching Virgin Queen, and after seeing her in this, it's clear why she remained a Virgin Queen.
7. Speaking of, the Zygons!

It was so lovely to see these beloved one-off villains (from 1975’s “Terror of the Zygons”) return and not be merely a cameo.

It just isn't the same, is it?

They, not the Daleks, are the bad guys of the special, and they’re just as creepy and effective as they were back then. Fans had wanted their return since they appeared, and here we have them in all their gooey, suction-cuppy glory. Also funny, the Tenth Doctor could never figure out who or what was a Zygon.

In fairness, neither could the writer, but we can't have it all, can we?
8. UNIT!

I love the UNIT years anyway, and I thought having Jemma Redgrave brought in as the Brigadier’s daughter in “The Power of Three” was a wonderful touch.

Yes, so she can remind us over and over whose daughter she is.

I hope UNIT returns many times, seeing as the Doctor now has a desk. The character of Osgood, clearly a Doctor Who fan, was also a welcome addition.

The character of Osgood, clearly a parody of Doctor Who fans, was pure fan service.

Love for her to come back too.

Oh, I'm sure it will. IT will.
9. The throwback opening titles
What better way to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who than by starting the episode with the original main theme and titles?

Like any of the NuWho fans have ever bothered to watch anything from An Unearthly Child to Survival.

And fading to reveal the policeman walking by Coal Hill School,

which again, would be lost on just about everyone in their bow ties and fezzes...

seeing that Ian Chesterton is the headmaster of the school, and knowing that Clara is now a teacher there, are all frigging wonderful.

Of course, despite the fact that William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton, is still alive, the "50th" Anniversary Special couldn't bother to bring him into it.  Of course, the fact that the First Companion and the Last Companion work together has never entered the Doctor's mind.  He's never bothered to visit or look in on Mr. Chesterton, let alone ask whatever happened to Miss Wright. 
10. It took the piss out of itself
Doctor Who is the best show ever,

Yes, Kyle.  Doctor Who is the BEST SHOW EVER.

Doctor Who is the best show ever,

Yes, Kyle.  Doctor Who is the BEST SHOW EVER.

Doctor Who is the best show ever,

Yes, Kyle.  Doctor Who is the BEST SHOW EVER.

but it also does a LOT of silly things.

Contradict itself?
Tell us, oh analytical critic, what 'silly things' does the 'best show ever' do?

All of Moffat’s sly jabs at the goofier parts of the show, and especially of the new series, were brilliant. The jokes about kissing, the aforementioned sonic screwdriver joke, the whole thing where the Doctors overthink how to break out of the cell in the Tower without actually trying the door first, and “chinny” and “skinny” were all terrific.

11. It somewhat redeemed the Tenth Doctor’s regeneration
As I’ve said a billion times, I really hated the Tenth Doctor’s regeneration because I felt like it made him seem weak and unheroic, and sort of not giving Smith and Moffat a proper welcome with his tearful line of “I don’t want to go.”

Broken Clock: The End of Time was wimpy and weepy, but it did fit into the overall Tennant tenure.

This was, of course, more RTD’s doing than Tennant's,

I will never blame Steven Moffat for anything, because I'm his lapdog.  Kyle Anderson goes beyond plain ass-kissing into straight-up rimming of "The Moff". 

and here, as the Tenth Doctor leaves, we have two wonderful moments that take a bit of it back. One, he says “It’s good to see my future’s in safe hands,”

Odd that Kyle, resident Whovian at The Nerdist, didn't mention that this line either comes or is similar to what the First Doctor said to the others at the end of The Five Doctors. 

and two, when he says “I don’t want to go” again and the Eleventh Doctor says, “He always says that.”

Even Tennant didn't want to go...there.

Just lovely, and finally the passing of the torch (albeit at the end) that should have happened on New Year’s Day 2010.
12. Tom Baker as The Curator!
It seemed a shame that none of the older Doctors could really be in the special because, well, they all look way too old.

Screw you, Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy!  You're all fat, old, lumpy,  and ugly.

Moffat recognized that the history of the show was important,

so including Tom Baker, the oldest living Doctor, and putting forth the idea that he could be a future retired incarnation of the Doctor who’s going through his old faces again is both intriguing and fun.

Of course, we could ask how this 'retired Doctor' plays into overall Canon, but why bother. 

He wasn’t in the hat and scarf, but it was still Tom Baker and it was still the Doctor. He and Smith play off each other really nicely in that scene and it brought an extra level of class.
13. The Thirteen Doctors!
Yes, it was fan service, but when every single incarnation of the Doctor appeared at the end to put Gallifrey into a painting, I got giddy, and when Peter Capaldi’s eyes appeared for that brief moment, signifying the future, I might have clapped loudly.

I bet we'll never have the Thirteenth/Fourteenth Doctor pop up in this by the time his tenure is over, and it skips over that whole "Valeyard" thing, right?  I think.

In fact, I did. Such a gorgeous way to celebrate 50 years, and hopefully 50 more.

Now, the one thing I was a bit disappointed by was that John Hurt regenerated, but we didn’t see him turn into Christopher Eccleston. I understand he didn’t want to do it and that he’d met with Moffat but decided against it, but, after “The Night of the Doctor,” I had a glimmer of hope that maybe they’d have kept that secret incredibly secret. We knew what was happening, but I’d have really loved even a two second shot of the Ninth Doctor post regeneration.
That’s my only nitpick. Steven Moffat, director Nick Hurran, and all the cast and crew delivered on every possible level,

and made me want to watch it 50 more times between now and Christmas. In short, after months of build-up and thinking and wishing and hoping,

I still love Doctor Who, and if possible, more than ever.
WHO WROTE THIS SHIT?  This doesn't sound like a serious review.  It sound like Kyle Anderson just took dictation from Moffat's ass and wrote down Moffat's own views on Moffat.  Kyle will always love Doctor long as they keep paying his bills and he can get Cons out of this.