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S08xE11 “Dark Water”

The first of the two-part series 8 finale, “Dark Water” answers a few of the big questions posed to viewers over the last few months, and asks even more. It is no secret I think this season has fallen flat, mostly because it seems the story lines are recycled from better story lines of previous seasons. The writing of series 8 has been a wee bit boring and predictable, with the two most interesting characters–Missy and Danny Pink–not getting nearly enough screen time for me to stay interested in the disjointed episodes of Peter Capaldi’s first season as the Twelfth Doctor. While a two-part episode is a bit difficult to gauge at this point, that won’t stop me from discussing decent character development for Clara, Moffat’s TOO wide net and a slight nostalgia for really good Doctor Who that recently has been eating at me.

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie! Repeat–DO NOT PROCEED if you haven’t watched “Dark Water” yet.

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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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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 Time of the Doctor

Written by Steven Moffat

The Collective gals have been dreading this episode ever since the BBC’s announcement that Matt Smith was leaving Doctor Who back in June. For those of us who fell in love with Eleven fairly soon after he and his bumbling TARDIS crashed into Amelia Pond’s garden shed back in April 2010, the Timelord’s regeneration proved to be as emotional and as satisfying as we knew it would be. While I have enjoyed watching many different faces play the time traveling alien, Matt Smith was my Doctor. The Doctor with whom I began the journey through the time vortex and the one who sparked my interest in the wide Who-niverse of this brilliant television show. Matt Smith played Eleven as an ancient god; fierce and fun, sad and sweet, knowledgeable and knowingly forgetful all at the same time. He protected the innocent, never forgot a face and believed that everyone mattered. This is what led him to Trenzalore. (Spoilers ahead, sweetie!)

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S07xE15 (the 2013 Christmas special)

AKA Raggedy Man, Goodnight