A Hater Revisits nuWho

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Bones2, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. HappyDayRiot

    HappyDayRiot Commodore Commodore

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    ^ The medical tricorder use of the 'driver is probably one of the worst abuses of it in my opinion. For some reason I don't think you're going to like the conclusion to The Empty Child...

    I always put forward Time Flight in this kind of exchange. However, I've not seen either of those two serials. The idea they could be worse though....
     
  2. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Time Flight is less bad because the first episode is okay. Then you've got a lot to laugh at in the rest of it, even though it wasn't intentional.
     
  3. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    I wouldn't put it quite that damningly but I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like the character (it certainly seems as though I am at times).

    Despite Jack's incredibly annoying presence I'd rank the episode slightly higher. One of the (many) things I always liked about classic Who was how genuinely creepy it could be, and "The Empty Child" had its share of creepy moments. One of the better S1 eps, for mine.
     
  4. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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  5. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Perhaps the screwdriver communicates readings through vibrations that communicate in some sort of morse code with certain patterns telling the Doctor what's going on or maybe it's partially telepathic and transmits on a unique kind of alpha wave that only he can monitor and as you can see I got absolutely nothing to explain the tricording screwdriver at all.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Given as how the Doctor rarely seems to be physically manipulating any controls on the sonic screwdriver while using it, I always assumed that it has some sort of telepathic control system that lets it respond to the Doctor's mental instructions and can communicate information the same way.
     
  7. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    To be fair, there is medical precedent for the use of sound as a diagnostic tool.
     
  8. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, really? I totally missed that. I assumed DWM always went with the same names as the "official" BBC ones, found on the VHS and DVD releases, and multiple books. I'm not a regular reader by any means, but I thought there was a general consensus outside fan debates. Interesting.
     
  9. Captain Pike

    Captain Pike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    The new series has just gone apeshit with the screwdriver though. The comparisons to Harry Potter's wand (no the other one) are apt..
     
  10. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    *snigger*

    Everyone should check out the youtube video on the subject. It's awesome. :techman:
     
  11. The Castellan

    The Castellan Commodore Commodore

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    An Unearthly Child sounds alot better than 100,000 BC or Tribe of Gum. :p I liked some of the elements in the unaried pilot, like the ink blots, Susan's more alien outfit in the TARDIS, and a more sinister Doctor than the aired version.
     
  12. The Castellan

    The Castellan Commodore Commodore

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    Peri and Mel in a cat fight. :bolian:
     
  13. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Funnily enough I didn't have a problem with the sonic screwdriver being used in this way in this episode, it worked with the story. To be honest the think I hate most about the screwdriver is it being used when other--much simpler-- things would be available (i.e. locking a door when you could just as easily have a key in it that he turns!).

    Anyway, The Empty Child, bloody brilliant episode. The first truly great episode of the new series for me. Not actually sure I have any real quibbles with it and also features one of my favourite Doctor quotes (sadly too long to use as my sig)

     
  14. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, isn't that special.
     
  15. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's also gay and soothing, I think.
     
  16. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Isn't that a cream you can get?
     
  17. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    Is that what they've been telling you?
     
  18. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    Ouch, nothing feels worse than killing your own topic with a joke that was barely a joke at all, and then having to make the next post. Well, actually, plenty of things feel worse. But still :(.



    The Doctor Dances (***½)

    So, the cliffhanger resolution. The Doctor tells them to go to their room. Eh, cute I suppose. Better than the cliffhanger for Aliens of London at least. Though should it still effect the gasmask chasing Nancy? Either way, it did. Then we get the terrific line that makes me swallow it hook, line, and thinker.
    Fantastic. I loved that. And the titles haven't rolled yet.

    Anyway, a title-rolling later, and Jack explains his con in greater detail. Because he was asked. But yeah, this space ambulance thing is responsible for the strange happenings. Obviously. Then the Doctor delivers his line about bananas, which could have been irritating but wasn't. And then there's a creepy recording of Dr Meldrew talking at the first child victim. Which works very well on a creepery level.

    After that, a fat man who we're not supposed to side with bothers Nancy about her food theft. Turns out he's gay (this being new who), and has been at it with the butcher. Which means Nancy's perfectly right to steal from him. Or something.

    Then more fun dialogue when Rose points out how the Doctor likes to insult other species when he's stressed. Also funny.

    And some more nice drama with the tape finishing running and the empty child standing there. That's resolved because Jack's weapon (err) can make a hole in a wall and then put it back. Yeah, that's not such clever writing. They then escape by putting a hole through the floor and falling through. They're completely unharmed and not shaken at all.

    Jack then insults the sonic screwdriver, which is conflicting for me because I hate them both.

    But anyway, they end up trapped in a room. Jack says they can't escape through the window because it's a 7 storey drop, but considering how completely unharmed they were falling through one floor unexpectedly earlier, I don't see why they wouldn't give it a go. So long as Jack goes first.

    Then Jack disappears. If only for good.

    Meanwhile, Nancy's got some kind of guilt or something. And the typewriter's typerwriting by itself. Which isn't as creepy as the tape thing earlier, but I can see what they were going for.

    And another fun moment between the Doctor and Rose. This episode is working quite well in terms of humour. Turns out Jack had an emergency teleport. Handy. And he can talk to anyone the same way as the empty child does. Handy.

    After discovering that, Rose and the Doctor sort of dance and we get some in-your-endo. Then they're teleported to Jack's ship too. Only it's not his ship. We then find out more about those nanobots from last time, and that Jack's had two years of memories stolen. Someone must have been making a porn film.

    Nancy's been captured after cutting through some barbed wire to get to the crash site, and then the soldier guarding her gasmasks (read "gasmasks" as a verb). Only this time, we don't get to see it.

    Then there's more gay as Jack has to distract a guard and some inappropriate (for a kid's show) sex references. The guard gasmasks, and we do get to see it. It's a damn creepy thing. Good stuff.

    They rescue Nancy after she's sung the soldier zombie to sleep (yeah, why not), then go and find the ambulance. Then, Jack goes to close the gates and Rose and Nancy take the sonic screwdriver to go and reattach the barbed wire. I'm assuming it's to stop the gasmask zombies getting out. On the one hand, it's nice to see a possible plot hole resolved, but on the other...it's that bloody screwdriver again.

    We then get the answers. Some idiot nanogenes from the ambulance ship think humans are made of gasmask, so in letting them out, Jack's to blame for everything that's happened. People like this guy? Worse still, it's a battlefield ambulance, so the zombies all think they're soldiers. Or something.

    So, Jack buzzes off (flying down to briefly stop a bomb hiting), and in what's meant to be a twist or something, Nancy's the empty child's mother. But for some reason, though "are you my mummy?" seems to just be an automated weird thing the gasmaskers do, things are sorted out when Nancy answers yes and gives a hug. The nanogenes sort of recognise the mother and...everything's put right. The Doctor smiles and dances a bit, and everyone's fine. In fact, a one-legged woman has two legs now.

    That was good. And it is nice to have an episode where everyone lives.

    Oh hang on, it's not over...

    Jack's about to die! When I said it's nice to have an episode where "everyone" lives, at the same time, I wouldn't mind him snuffing it. We then get more facepalming sex talk from the yank, and....the Tardis rescues him. Just when I was warming to the Ninth Doctor. Then, to finish, the Tardis becomes an anachronistic blend of disco lights and Glen Miller, and the episode ends 5 minutes later than I'd have liked, with Jack living to sodomise another day.


    So, what did I like? Well, quite a lot. The plot worked. If the nanogenes just putting everything right again is a deus ex machina, then it's still one I can live with. It was also effectively creepy in places. They should have cut down on all the bloody sex references though. It's a bit much for a kid's show. And Jack's irritant level is multiplied in the second part.

    Otherwise though, it was quite good. Wouldn't call it the fifth best Who story ever, but it's decent nonetheless. The show could certainly use more like this and fewer like...well, the RTD stories thus far.



    Extraordinary screwdriver:
    1. Stops plastic arm from receiving signal.
    2. Disengages computerised lock on door.
    3. Seems to be the only tool you need while fixing a time machine.
    4. Even opens conventional doors.
    5. Helps "patch in the radar [and] link it back 12 hours so it can follow the flight of that spaceship". You mean your screwdriver can't?
    6. Helps steal money from a cash machine in the year 200,000. Maybe they should have kept chip and pin.
    7. Helps open shackles in the year 200,000. For when you're not lucky enough to have them just fall off.
    8. Opens a padlock. It's a different lock, so it goes on the list.
    9. Manages to be a medical tricorder, with a readout only the Doctor can see. Streuth.
    10. Undoes handcuffs.
    11. Reattaches cut barbed wire. Sonic welder?
     
  19. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I can't call the nanogenes a deus ex machina since they were introduced fairly early on, if anything they'd be considered a chekov's gun.
     
  20. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah I suppose, it's just that they were the problem and then it just sort of solved itself. But I don't mind and it was entertaining, so...what's my problem. :)

    Incidentally, you'll notice I'm sad enough to be posting this on here on Christmas Day. Nothing on TV y'see. But I'll be watching The End of Time at 6pm, just like everyone else. I'm not that much different than other Who fans really, just a little more critical.

    Anyway, merry Christmas to all of you who follow this.