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S08xE09 “In the Forest of the Night”

I’m bored. Doctor Who is boring me. Moffat, I have been a staunch supporter of you since “Silence in the Library” but the recycled plots and heavy-handed moral lessons feel a bit tired.

So, I’m going to recap “In the Forest of Night” using images from Doctor Who episodes I actually like. Enjoy!

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie!

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S08xE09 “Flatline”

We are only 3 episodes away from the series 8 finale of Doctor Who, so I feel it’s time to admit it. I am completely bored with this season. The only interesting part of the series so far has been Missy and The Promised Land plot line, and we get so little of that in between the grumpy kermuffin Doctor and romantically torn Clara, it is taking all my strength to watch and write each week WITHOUT complaining.

I’m complaining now.

Spoiler-y rant ahead, sweetie!

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S08xE08 “The Mummy on the Orient Express”

In the eighth episode of series 8, we get a pretty decent monster-of-the-week mystery, fabulous costuming and lovely music that reminded me why this show reaches across generations and captures the hearts and minds of so many different types of people. Reminiscent of an Agatha Christie murder mystery, this story poses more questions than it answers, and we see the Doctor doing what he does best; saving people, hunting things, the Timelord business.

Spoilers ahead, sweetie!

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S08xE05 “Time Heist”

In the fifth episode with Twelve, we finally get a glimpse of the man we know the Doctor to be–the man who risks it all to help others. While last week’s episode explored the mytharc of the Doctor in an abstract and thoughtful way, in “Time Heist” we see Twelve chose a familiar path, and, although he has been acting very different than Eleven, we are reminded that the Doctor made a personal commitment to help the universe, and he will continue to see that oath through, regardless of the cost.

Spoilers ahead, sweetie!

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S08xE03 “Robot of Sherwood Forest”

This week, we traveled with Clara and Twelve through time and space to, you guessed it, England. Imagine that? Mark Gatiss penned this episode that reminds Whovians that we are “all stories in the end” and sometimes the story does not tell the whole truth and sometimes, truth shifts over time. The parallels between Robin Hood (whom the Doctor at first does not believe exists and then believes is a robot) and the Doctor (last of the Timelords, the Oncoming Storm) shine in this episode. Even if the plot was a little campy and we didn’t get to see the curious character “Missy”, the overarching plot points subtly woven into this episode are worth discussing.

Spoilers ahead, Sweeties!

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S08xE02 “Into the Dalek”

While I spent the last year or so really, truly excited for the new Doctor, I’m beginning to feel a bit of a let down with series 8. The writing (MOFFAT, I defended you!) has been lackluster and the plot almost nonexistent. Although the Collectress has encouraged me to rant my frustrations, I’m still giving the new Doctor and the new series a chance, and therefore will save my judgements for at least a few weeks from now. There are a few things that interest me in regards to the over arching storyline, so that’s where we will begin.

Spoilers ahead, sweetie!

The Doctor and the Military

Throughout his 12 regenerations, the Doctor has had a tenuous history with military forces. While he and Brigadeer Lethbridge-Stewart remained friends through numerous regenerations, the Doctor is wary of the armed forces, for obvious reasons. He is an alien with a spaceship that contains the technology and history of, not only the Timelords, but the entire universe across space and time. UNIT, as well as other military forces the Doctor has encountered over the years, continuously attempts to exert power over the Doctor, his property and his friends. As Nine and then Ten, the Doctor is suspicious and somewhat rude to soldiers, working with UNIT only when Martha or Rose asks for his help. When he does help the military, it often turns into a standoff, with his TARDIS confiscated and his life threatened by soldiers with guns. Eleven was a softer Doctor and, while he didn’t volunteer his help, he often worked with the military because of River Song and her connection to the Papal Mainframe. At the end of his life, Eleven may have become more than disillusioned by the idea of the military, because of the tense situation on Trenzalore. Soldiers on both sides had a complete disregard for the innocent lives lost in the town of Christmas, while the innocents are the precise people the Doctor is always trying to save. With both sides, the Daleks and the Papal Mainframe, fighting against the Doctor right before his regeneration into Twelve, his personality seems to have taken a dark turn in terms of how he feels about soldiers.

In “A Good Man Goes to War”, the Doctor meets a soldier who dies protecting Amy and baby Melody, a soldier who joined the army to meet him and with whom he inspired when she was a child. Eleven takes the time to talk with her, he doesn’t immediately judge her for her military ties, instead giving her a chance to prove herself as an individual. For him, this is enough to invite her to run with him once again, but, alas, she dies and her chance is lost. Twelve shows us that he is not as forgiving as he once was. In “Into the Dalek”, he meets a soldier who seems to have a good heart. He saves Journey Blue and even works with her team to heal a “sick” Dalek (Who subsequently turns evil as soon as he is healed, leading the Doctor to articulate that a kind Dalek is a sick Dalek. I thought we already knew this?) but, once the adventure is over, refuses to allow Journey to travel with him, even though she proved herself to be worthy. Twelve believes Journey made the decision as to what kind of person she wanted to be as soon as she joined the military. Meaning, Twelve may not believe in second chances as his former regenerations once did. If this bias against the military remains strong in him, Twelve and Clara may have a problem soon enough, because it seems she’s met herself an army man.

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S08xE01 “Deep Breath”

On Saturday, Whovians everywhere (including my own living room) sat in from of the telly to watch Peter Capaldi begin his run as the Doctor on the longest running sci fi show in all of humankind (Chris Hardwick’s words, not mine). The episode after regeneration is always a bit rough, as we are all getting to know this Doctor as not just a renewed version of the Timelord, but also a special incarnation with unique characteristics all his own. It has taken me a few days to mull over what I wanted to do with this series in terms of writing. I don’t particularly want to pen recaps each week, instead I will touch on a few really interesting points and look at the overarching continuity of Doctor Who. Yes, friends, I’m going meta. (Spoilers ahead!)

The Clockwork Droids

Twelve and the Paternoster Gang made a slew of past Doctor references, some of which I got and some of which I missed. Let’s start with the most obvious, the clockwork aliens who use living parts to work themselves and their spaceship. In series 2, the Tenth Doctor, Rose and Mickey Smith met Madame de Pompadour in “The Girl in the Fireplace” and the clockwork droids attempting to harvest her brain to pilot their space ship, The SS Madame de Pompadour. We find out that the ship posing as a restaurant is none other than the Marie Antoinette, the sister ship to the Pompadour, which, although viewers may recognize the connection, the Doctor does not. In “Deep Breath” Twelve cannot remember why the clockwork aliens are so familiar, and leaves the mystery for another day. Amnesia isn’t out of character for a regenerating Doctor. We know that the regeneration process shifts the thinking and interacting skills of the Timelord, and no two Doctors have quite the same personality quirks, including what they choose to remember as important from their previous regeneration. As Twelve might say, the question is not why he doesn’t remember, but who are these clockwork droids and why are they back?

Steven Moffat wrote “The Girl in the Fireplace” in 2006, and we know the writer is aces at long term continuity (may I present you the story of RIVER SONG), so it isn’t surprising that he has an overarching plot point originally addressed eight years ago. Moffat is king of the spiderweb plot, in which he weaves intricate storylines together over a long period of time. Mostly, he picks them back up and blows our minds, and so I am looking forward to seeing how this particular plot point will effect series 8.

The Doctor lands in Parliament Square [Flynet]
The Doctor lands in Parliament Square Friday [Flynet]
The countdown to new Who has begun and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. For the last twelve days, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman have traveled the world, from London to Rio, promoting series 8 of Doctor Who. This morning in Parliament Square, the TARDIS landed and London prepares for New Who this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the new season and will watch every Saturday ON MY OWN TV because I ordered a bunch of new channels to bring you timely TV talk for Fall. Still, while I have stayed positive and professional, this nostalgia started about ten seconds after crying my eyes out on Christmas 2013, like a good Wholigan.

I miss Matt Smith.