daibhidc: (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] daibhidc
Let's do this before I watch this week's, shall we?

Well, that was probably the most gothically horrific Doctor Who story since the Hinchcliffe era. (An aside: Mum told me she'd seen the trailer and "it looks terrible". I eventually figured out she meant "terrifying".)

And she was right. Creepy house, creepy landlord, creepy insects. I was definitely behind a cushion (literally going behind the sofa means getting up and sitting on the floor. Why would you do that?)

But before that, Bill's housemates were fun. I spent far too long trying to work out where I knew Harry from - he's Lorenzo from Leonardo, of course - and I also somehow forgot the basic premise of this season, and couldn't work out why they were all acting like they already knew the Doctor. I'm glad they all got unkilled.

I loved that Bill figures out the twist because the Doctor doesn't get human ageing, but what really sells it is that he doesn't get it twice - he's too old to recognise the difference between a man of ninety and a man of a hundred and fifty ... and at the same time he's too young to realise that capturing unusual insects to show them to an ill woman isn't something a grown-up would do. That's the Doctor.

So, that's four in a row where the "monster" isn't really monstrous, and while it's the second in a row to have a more monstrous human villain, the Landlord is a more sympathetic character than the moustache-twirling Sutcliffe. I mean, exceptionally creepy, and definitely villainous, but ultimately operating from a broken kind of love, rather than greed or hate. And David Suchet's portrayal was excellent.

And back to the Vault. The fact the Vault-Dweller likes stories about kids being eaten suggests they're definitely a villain (you might think that goes without saying, but I've seen speculation it's Thirteenth, locked away in an attempt to stop him happening or something; or even David Bradley's First, although I forget why Twelfth would have him locked up), although I still think Missy is too obvious.

And I did like Nardole's "You see? You don't need to go off in the TARDIS. Plenty of things trying to kill you right here on Earth."

Date: 2017-05-13 11:36 am (UTC)
capriuni: Close-cropped picture of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor (12-2)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
I've seen a couple fan review vids on YouTube that criticized it for being too horror-movie cliche -- hitting all the marks of the trope without any variation. But I commented on one of these vids that this is a show that still considers kids to be their primary audience. And most of them haven't had a chance to watch horror movies for themselves, yet (and plenty of adults who haven't, either). Seen in that light, it's an excellent introduction to the genre.

I do wish Eliza hadn't been such a blank slate, though. I would have found the resolution more convincing if she had been trying to exert her maternal authority all along, instead of passively waiting for the Doctor's say-so.

As for the vault, [personal profile] skipthedemon, on [personal profile] lizbee's journal, put forward a theory that I'm adopting as my own: The Timelords have given the Doctor an ultimatum. "Either you act as warden for The Master/Missy, and make sure they never get away again, or we'll execute them for real," thus ensuring that both renegades are kept out of the way.

If that turns out to be the case, I hope, in the finale, that the Master, Missy, and the Doctor team up as allies against the Boss Bad of the series.

Date: 2017-05-13 08:30 pm (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
if she knew she was actually the one who should be in charge, you'd need another reason why she didn't just stop it all before anything happened.

True... Though I was thinking of something along the lines of competing personalities -- kinda like the sci-fi trope of when an alien symbiote invades a host.

Or even just a hint that she was still in the house before she actually peeked around the screen. ... maybe if they'd heard her singing to herself (maybe some old-time popular song from the 1930s) -- even if she didn't have enough fullness of mind to act as mother all along, there could have been some memory of who she used to be, upon which the Doctor's reminder could have been founded.

(Actually, that brings up another question; Eliza may disapprove of the plan now, but back at the start when she still had her memory and the Landlord was clearly not her dad...?)

As I understand it, the "tributes" were paid every twenty years, starting in 1957.

...So maybe: she was saved/transformed in 1937 so that she would have 20 years to forget who she'd been before the scheme even started (And by that time, it would have given the Landlord time to realize that he was aging, and she was not). Maybe, that first year, he passed her off as his "sister."

Date: 2017-05-14 02:34 pm (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
And good explanation for how it started, thanks.

Thanks! (And you're welcome!)

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Daibhid C

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