Spoilers Survivors of the Flux grade and discussion thread

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by The Nth Doctor, Nov 27, 2021.

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How do you rate Survivors of the Flux?

  1. Brilliant!

    9.3%
  2. 9

    4.7%
  3. 8

    32.6%
  4. 7

    16.3%
  5. 6

    4.7%
  6. 5

    18.6%
  7. 4

    2.3%
  8. 3

    2.3%
  9. 2

    4.7%
  10. Rubbish!

    4.7%
  1. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    This. In spades.

    Disliking something - especially something as ultimately completely trivial as (part of) a TV show - does not equate to "hating" it. Of all the utterly moronic, stupid, puerile and completely, indefensibly dumb terms I've encountered in 25-plus years online, "hater" is among the most utterly moronic, stupid, puerile, completely indefensibly dumb terms of the lot.

    Apologies for the off-topic mini-rant but I'm fed up with seeing this fucking stupid word. The sooner it goes the way of the dinosaurs the better.
     
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  2. Revdkathy

    Revdkathy No PPE was wasted in the making of this avatar Moderator

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    I keep seeing people saying they'll stop watching when RTD returns. But I can't help reflecting that for me some - maybe even most - of the best episodes of modern Who were from his era. Certainly the ones I return to for watching again.

    I grant he also produced some clunkers, and his humour tended to be childish. He did set out to make a children's programme.

    With the slower pace, and less demand for frenzied production quantities I'm hoping we'll see a return to some decent story telling, with a good balance of standalone stories and a running continuity arc.

    I have to be an optimist about something!
     
  3. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've not seen anyone say that, anywhere! Most people seem very excited that he's back, because the show was at its most popular during the David Tennant era.

    Is this perhaps a UK vs US thing? Doctor Who really took off internationally during Matt Smith's time.
     
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  4. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah I don't get the corporal nonsense. Either make Lethbridge-Stewart already a colonel, or probably Major if you were going down the rankings. Captain to Colonel and then Brigadier in, what, less than ten years might be a stretch. Captain would at least have made more sense than corporal!
     
  5. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I'm British and I'll always be more Team Moffat than Team RTD, I'm still excited about RTD's return. If he just tries a redux of 2005-2010 I'll probably get annoyed very quickly, but I suspect he's grown as a writer and the tv landscape has changed so much that he'll actually give us something new. For all that his Who annoyed me, it never bored me the way some of Chibnall's has. Did he make me want to throw things at the telly sometimes? Absolutely? Did he keep me excitedly watching week in week out? Most of the time yes!

    Plus I'm looking forward to Moffat's new era starting in 2028 :p
     
  6. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    How to over-egg the pudding. You think you have added too many ingredients to your grandiose, over-the-top, space-time opera? Nah, you're just not using enough, mate. Here, try adding a million Sontarans and, for good measure, a similar number of shaggy dogs with a cherry, I mean semi-magical fob watch, on top, which may, or may not, be a complete MacGuffin.

    My prediction is that the Doctor won't get her memories back but we will get to see her origin as envisaged by Chibnall. At the moment, another rebooted universe also seems likely as in "The Big Bang" - so basically, a reset button - although River Song doesn't get conceived soon after this one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2021
  7. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    WARNING: Random thoughts abound.

    Oh, what an atrocious episode. And for so many reasons. But it all goes back to the comment I posted while I watching it:
    This episode has three parts. One is the Yaz/Dan/Old Man subplot, the second is the DoctorTecteun confornation, and the third is a unique UNIT Origin story, complete with a bland Marvel-wannabe villain to boot. Lots of decent ideas in all three stories, but crucially none of them work.

    Why did the previous episode work? And when? It worked because it was, in essence, a good Angels story that happened to be wrapped around the nonsense story of the Division. Good stuff.

    But this is one mostly the Division stuff, with no room for the best part of the story (the 1904 globetrotting team subplot) with any room to breathe. Indeed, I despise the writing of this part the most. In the hands of an imaginative, interesting writer you could get oodles and masses of characterization from all three, like what they are, who they, what this travelling brings out of them and how they feel about the situation. Under Chibnall, we don't get any of that. We get, again, Yaz and a glimpse of her missing the Doctor, but what's insulting is that this is the second episode in a row where Dan basically has nothing to say beyond "are really going back home?". Three YEARS and their entire relationship is written as if its been three days. Indeed, the Old Man comments on Yaz's resourcefulness AFTER they'd been globetrotting for that period of time, which made my eyes bleed. Why introduce a dufous like Dan if you are not prepared to wove him into the dynamic meaningfuilly? Maybe make Yaz question her loyalty to the Doctor ("Is the Doctor work this devotion from you?" is a much better line than "Are we ever coming back?"). Seriously, if this guy hadn't written a fairly decent set of episodes in the RTD/Moffat years, I would potentially call him one of the worst NuWho writers, perhaps ever. As is, he's certainly the one showrunner who has a clear disdain for his companions, and most especially Yaz, who has been screwed for the entirety of his run, and he has no excuse for it.

    The UNIT storyline is an interesting idea in and of itself - a timetravelling Immortal who can wait out UNIT's growth but also help the organization nurture to what we know why he develops his own plot. That was exactly my idea of what the Minister of War from series 9 would've been, a mastermind Saxon-esque season-finale villain who would square off against Capaldii in a more idealized series 9 (or even 11!). Instead, this admittedly interesting idea is wasted in a horribly, akwardly, annoyingly and ineptly written set of sequences that all lack suspence, intrigue and even some basic believeability. The General who takes the Serpent in is the most comically OTT camp General the show's ever had, and its astonishing to think he's not just Brigadier's superior at some point, and not just a high-ranking General, BUT ALSO ONE WHO FIRST HEADED UNIT! Its just insulting to have this ludicrously written creation blindly trust this Serpent whom he knows nothing about and in such an open way, too. The rest of the sequences after this stupid character dies are slightly better though, and indeed the Kate Stewart scenes are, unsurprisingly, the best part of the episode. Jemma Redgrave anchors the subplot with some much-needed gravitas and tension, basically calling the Serpent to his face and enacting action against him before he ever did. She's a cool character, and I only wish they would stop reminding us she's the Brigadier's daughter all the time.

    And the Doctor-Tecteun story... is kinda like The Timeless Children again, only its actually a female character explaining things to the slow Doctor, so at least its not mansplaining anymore. But its not any better at the end, as its the Doctor stopping to receive loads and loads of infodump again, and this shows Chibnall's understanding of the Doctor VERSUS RTD and Moff's. Both of his predecessors wrote the Doctor as an exceedingly clever man, an impossibly intelligent guy who cought up in a conversation even to his own chagrin. And not only kept up, he did so while formuilating a plan and, best of all, verbally assaulted the speaker, joking around to bring some levity to the situation and also confuse the enemy. Not saying that's what he'd do in this case, but so far, Whittaker's Doctor has been on her to be that person again, a Doctor who had a million plan and only so little time to pick one and stick with it. BUT HERE, Chibnall fails to bring the intelligence back to the Doctor. For you see, at no point does the Doctor attempt to circumvent the Tecteun's plan to take out this universe, instead she becomes invested and loses focus of the situation until it's too late. I get that she wants to know more about her previous lives, but wouldn't she prioritize the entire universe she grew up in over her own squabbles? That's the essence of the Doctor, at least. But Chibnall never writes her that way. She never writes her as the hero in the desperate hour of need, no.

    And what about her actual confrontation with the Tecteun? Well, let's just say, despite two very accomplished performers being present, both of them basically fail to instigate any kind of chemistry, and without it the scene lacks gravity and depth. Indeed, Barbara Flynn is acting very flamboyantly in the part, despite clearly not being very invested in it, and Whittaker acts more annoyed than angry or even vilified, numb, petrified and violated (all of which she should be, by all rights). Its like Chibnall actually doesn't know how his own version of the Doctor should react, and that's astonishing frankly. But it doesn't help that this scene lacks any actual impact because, quite frankly, this entire storyline IS NOT INTERESTING IN THE LEAST. I mean, the Doctor as a virus, really? Oh, and let's not forget the asinine line of Tecteun's eyes never changing with every regeneration (WTF). By the time she's done in, you certainly don't feel like the Doctor lost an important figure of her life, and indeed, again under the previous showrunners you would at least get a sense of bond and history between the two. Chibnall thinks exposition is substitute for characterization though, but this isn't a procedural. Constant infodump does not suddenly connect Tecteun and the Doctor in any meaningful way, certainly does not add a new color to the franchise, rather its an annoying blemish that fans will now have to aknowledge, and be reminded of by the most annoying of Chibnall fans.

    And how interesting that all of the Doctor's previous lives are stored in that Chameleon Arch, btw. Oh, so much more MYSTERY!!!

    Anyway, thanks, I hated it. All the goodwill of the previous episodes is coming down to this. Bummer.
     
  8. cultcross

    cultcross (Taylor's Version) Moderator

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    I didn't catch that at all, this thread makes more sense now. Was the General someone I was supposed to know? He was introduced like he was but I find myself endlessly confused by the backstory and what I'm supposed to know.

    I listened to it, rolled my eyes, and ignored it as gobbledegook as meaningful as Warp Particles.

    Yup, me too. The RTD era was the consistently best. Sure he had some weirdnesses and odd moments, but overall, it's the strongest bit of nuWho and the least up it's own arse in complicated continuity. I'm thrilled he's back, and hoping that his additional maturity as a writer gained since will show in what he does with the show.
     
  9. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That’s next week. Just surprised he didn’t off the young Brig, since he really seems to have no clue. The mess with UNIT was almost the worst thing here. Almost. But not quite. Chibnall is terrible.
     
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  10. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Chibnall has a habit of retconning things that worked fine the way they were. Unit now has a terrible backstory, and apparently it took until 2017 for anyone to notice the alien villain running the show behind the scenes. (Who got in on a wink and a nudge at a shooting party, setting up a ‘world beating’ organisation ‘forget about the NHS’… )
    I didn’t like when Moffat cyberised the dead brig, but I could see what he was aiming for. Chibnall? Apart from somehow wanting to writhe his under-developed imagination around the entirety of who history, I don’t see it.

    There are so many continuity errors, even with his own episodes (including last week, when the village was ripped out of time and space but now they can travel to Mexico. In fact, at the beginning of this episode they said the Doctors friends were marooned. I fully expect him to fix these two in the next episode. Maybe. They’re too obvious to not be deliberate.)

    At this point, the absolute best I am still hoping for is that the whole past two or three series are going to be revealed to have happened in a different universe. That the Doctor is just being confused for her University 1 self, and the show itself has always been in universe 2. It’s not like there isn’t precedent. (Hey look, we even have something like the Edifice on screen for two seconds, god bless the nine gallifreys… anyone who read the old EDAs will by now surely see what is being borrowed here.)

    It was awful and full of holes. Oh, and a quick James Bond tribute scene, because Chibbers loved Connery and Moore I think.
     
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  11. Pindar

    Pindar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Liked it all, except the bits with the doctor. I don't really like Tecteun but still found it a bit annoying how she wsa done away with as ab aside by the swarm. I also liked Kate vs Prentice and hope we see her again next episode.

    Anyone worried about how they financed there trip, they had a whole village of empty shops and and houses to pillage before setting off.

    That should have provided them enough to get started.
     
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  12. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well crap. There goes my theory. I guess I didn't hear him say Lethbridge-Stewart. That's a real mess up.. Even if this was the 50s, no way he'd be a brigadier by the late 60s. I guess he could have chosen to go to officer's school, but still.
     
  13. cultcross

    cultcross (Taylor's Version) Moderator

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    I can only assume the people on the team that know the difference between a corporal and a colonel, and the people that did the looped dialogue with the Easter egg about Lethbridge-Stewart didn't crossover at any point.
     
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  14. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    The thing to remember with all the UNIT fuckups here is that this wasn't UNIT's actual history- this is the Grand Serpent right now altering their history to give the Sontarans a victory. So the fact that it's all wrong is, well, the entire point of that.

    There is also the problem of how does Tecteum know what the Master told the Doctor? She doesn't, or at least there's no evidence for her knowing. (Her and Division's own backstory is screwed as well, since the Doctor apparently was found by Division before Division existed, in terms of their own timestream. The whole thing's a mess.... For which I blame Amy Pond.
    No, seriously - the universe was rebooted from the molecules trapped in the Pandorica, but the Doctor and TARDIS were recreated from her memories... Between human memory having a tendency to confabulate, a lot of things she never knew so couldn't remember, and the limited amount of the pattern of the universe held in the Pandorica... a lot of i came out wrong and/or changed.
     
  15. auntiehill

    auntiehill The Blooness Premium Member

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    I can't say I've hated the Flux episodes but I can't say that I've really liked them, either. I'm still waiting for it to all come together and make sense. So far, it's just a winding, confusing path--which I guess is rather the point--but I can't imagine that any payoff is going to be enough to make all this wandering about worthwhile.

    I loved Broadchurch; I thought it was a brilliant detective drama--all the fascinating characters in the town, connected in so many ways, bringing the solution to the mystery together. But the Flux...I'm not feeling it. Maybe science fiction just isn't Chibnall's forte.

    I'm hoping this will all have been worth it but I'm not optimistic.
     
  16. cultcross

    cultcross (Taylor's Version) Moderator

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    Definitely seems to be too big a sandbox for him. They say creative people thrive on restriction, and perhaps all of space and time lacked enough restrictions. He doesn't seem to have the discipline to keep from throwing it all up in the air and yelling some nonsense about time.
     
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  17. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Quoter of Quotes Premium Member

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    Thanks! I was going crazy trying to think what it reminded me of! I even googled "snake + Doctor Who", which brought up the Mara.

    Yaz, Dan, and Jericho were fun to watch. I wondered about money, but then decided it wasn't relevant. However, it is relevant how they got out of the village! As @Csalem pointed out, perhaps it was only cut off as long as the WA needed it for a trap. Still, one line would've been nice. Seeing Jericho go out to fight the good fight was great, but seriously, why does Dan exist? He really seems completely useless.

    It was very strange seeing the Grand Serpent again. He said something to Kate about "I used to have an Empire to do this for me", so I think what Vinder set in motion is in his past. But did he manipulate UNIT just so Sontarans could invade in 2021? That seems a bit of overkill, at best. I was happy to see Kate again and to hear that Osgood is still around too. The shoutouts to past UNIT history were nice too.

    The scenes with Tecteun had my attention while I was watching, but now seem a bit unsatisfying and I'm not sure why. As others have said, the actors are doing a great job, so it's not that, but something felt... lacking. I did like the between universes effect/look.

    Sadly, I think you may be right. There's just too damn much to deal with in one episode.

    Is that a fallacy? Rats. I thought that was true and therefore why they were there.

    The best part about Doctor Who is there is literally something for everyone, somewhere in it's decades of history. Try some older stuff. I started watching in the mid-80s, but I was seeing the 4th Doctor, whose episodes were mostly in the 70s. In the years since, there has been stuff I didn't like, but far more that I did. :)

    Yes! One of the few scenes of genuine tension IMO.

    I did catch that, and it was mentioned in a previous episode of this series as well. I wonder if there's someone or something else manipulating Space in this fight.

    Yes. Brigadier (later General) Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was a "Companion" of (primarily) the 2nd and 3rd Doctors. More here if you're interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigadier_Lethbridge-Stewart
     
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  18. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True. I suppose it is terribly meta that Chibnall is writing about fucking with continuity while fucking with the continuity. His own personal Trial Of A Timelord tribute act every week.
     
  19. cultcross

    cultcross (Taylor's Version) Moderator

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    Well now I'm just more confused. Wasn't Lethbridge-Stewart the corporal off screen when the general was talking to snake guy?
     
  20. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Well, I'm not at all enthused about Davies returning and the Tennant era is probably my least favourite, ever (for the record, I'm Australian and have been a Who fan for decades. That's neither here nor there, of course).

    I'm in the minority on both points and that doesn't bother me in the slightest. Each to their own. What does bother me is how poor the writing and characterisation has been for so much of new Who, not just the Chibnall era. The current era has probably been the worst of new Who, though, and as I mentioned upthread that's been a great disservice to Whittaker in particular. So unless the writing and characterisation improve sharply I very likely will stop watching (as I did for much of the Davies / Tennant era), but I also know I'll give it a go first.

    Exactly. There's a lot out there to discover and enjoy. :bolian:
     
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  21. matthunter

    matthunter Admiral Admiral

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    You're not confused - Commander Troi misunderstood you. The General CultCross meant is the guy Prentis schmoozed up to at the shooting event in order to wangle a UNIT advisory role (the credits have him listed as "General Farquhar"). No, we haven't seen him before, as this is pre-UNIT as we knew it.
     
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