daibhidc: (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] daibhidc
Rona Munro!

(Sorry, but trust me, that was mildly amusing if you were reading DWM about ten years ago. Possibly.)

I had a bit of a disjointed experience watching this. Nothing to do with the story or pacing or anything, but I'd grown complacent, what with it being on at almost the same time every week. So at 6:55, I check the Radio Times to see if it's 7:15 or 7:25 and AAARGH!

What I should have done at this point is opened iPlayer and clicked "Watch From Start". Instead, I went through to the TV, and tried to catch up. The result was I missed the beginning of the crows thing, and was vaguely assuming it had followed straight on from "Empress" and Missy was still in the TARDIS (which, of course, it turned out she was, but that was supposed to be a reveal). I watched the start on iPlayer later, but if I'd hoped it might explain why Nardole was in his dressing gown, I was disappointed.

I liked the twist that when Bill finally gets her "a Time Lord gift I allow you to share" moment, the Doctor isn't there to explain it. And she figures it out on her own.

There were some nice funny lines. Not as much as I expected, given that -- "Survival" aside -- the bulk of Munro's work that I'm familiar with has been Stanley Baxter's Playhouse. But I did like Bill trying to explain lesbianism to a Roman legionary who turns out to be bi. (And hey, Rona Munro gets to write a companion she can actually say is attracted to women!)

The monsters ... well, they were cool looking. And they were the horde-of-locusts kind of monsters, which is ... not as good as intelligent monsters with coherent motives, but better than intelligent monsters who want to conquer Earth because That's What They Do. (No, I'm still not over the Monks.)

The legionaries and Picts were nicely realised as individuals. I especially liked the way Carr was played as "I need to be the fiercest person here so nobody realises I may be very slightly in over my head". Pictish standing stones and cairns as gateways to the Otherworld inevitably had me thinking about the Nac Mac Feegle, but that's just two works drawing on the same mythology, I think.

I did enjoy this one; so much so that I'm not even going to nitpick that that is not what happened to the Whoniverse Mary Celeste. Much less whether the temporal mechanics of the alteration to the present day scenes actually holds up. And the Next Time teaser looks like it's very much Everything Happening At Once, which should be great fun if it holds together.

(Current theory: the other Master is a manifestation of Missy's mind, representing her evil side rebelling against her reformation. The Harry Saxon With Goatee look is intended as an amalgamation of previous incarnations.)

Date: 2017-06-18 11:57 pm (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
At one point, early on (when the party splits up), Nardole mumbles: "I just want to go back to bed!" which is why he was in his dressing gown.

And the horde-of-locusts monster does fit with what I've taken to be the general theme of this season, which is: "Not much of the universe is evil. But nearly everything is hungry."

The Pilot -- check
Smile -- check
Thin Ice -- check
Knock Knock -- check
Oxygen -- corporate greed (false hunger?)
Extremis --> Lie -- ???
Empress of Mars -- Victorian Lust for empire (false hunger + racism)
Eaters of Light -- check

I'm looking forward to the next story, but I'm also sad about it, because Capaldi is coming to the end of his run. I thought he was excellent in this story, BTW -- top of his game.

Date: 2017-06-19 06:13 pm (UTC)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From: [personal profile] capriuni
the good guys are the ones who are hungry and the baddies are intentionally starving them

Oooh! Yes!

Also the starving street kids in Thin Ice vs. the racist greedy capitalist. In the scene where the Doctor gives his "key speech" (is there one in every episode? Now I want to do a project), the R. G. C. is practically underlined sitting down and eating from a plate of delicacies.

heh. "Motiveless Monks" heh. Also the irony is that the biggest reason the audience is given to accept them as the Baddies is that they are visually designed to trigger our squick while the titular hero is blind. If ever there were a story for the Doctor to raise questions around the assumption of evil, it would have been that one.


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