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Mooning: Mummy on the Orient Express - Patchworks

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From:betawho
Date:October 13th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC)

Part 1

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"the mummy appears again in the kitchen and has a stern word with the chef."

LOL! I love the way you worded that.

"The Doctor confronts the captain and berates him for not doing anything and instead is just letting people die to allow the evidence to slowly manifest itself. Surely this will not come across as hypocritical later."

Oh, that is a VERY good point.

"The engineer, though, had already been looking into it, and gives the Doctor a pile of information on the passengers and the train."

You know, the timing of that made me wonder, how did the Engineer even surmise that an old woman's death apparently had something to do with an ancient mummy curse? Especially so quickly? Or at all, for that matter. I can see him investigating the chair, to see if it had malfunctioned, but it's a big leap to thinking he needed train itineraries and a map of the train. Actually, at that point, I thought the reason must be because he was GUS and the one behind it all.

"that since they've already passed the Bechdel Test by talking about Macy's mother, they're free to spend the rest of their time together talking about the Doctor."

God yes. I'm glad I'm not the only one who immediately thougth of the Bechdel Test during that scene. Two women alone, in harrowing circumstances, what do they do, do they try to get out of the compartment? Find a way to communicate? Try to pry open the door? No, they sit down and talk about guys. Ugh. Honestly, Doctor Who used to be better than that.

As well as with your abused wife observations before, I've pretty much given up on women being presented in any way other than as being 'about the guys'. Moffat does seem to have this idea stuck in his head that a woman's main function as an individual is to be in a relationship with a guy. (No matter how strong or independent or intelligent or self-willed the women he writes, they all seem to be required to be in a relationship. Because apparently a woman without a man isn't a real person or something. Sorry, but it bugs me. Especially when he is good at writing strong intelligent women. It's just that they all happen to be strong and intelligent, not for themselves, but because it's somehow attractive, tittilating, or useful to a man. It's an odd dichotomy, and one I'm pretty sure he isn't even aware of. But I miss the days when the female Companion could be there as an individual in her own right, rather than needing to be dependently "attached" to a man. Sorry, personal rant.

"Clara and Macy happen to find some records in the room they're locked in and call up the Doctor to relay the information. The computer tells them to terminate the call, which is an odd thing for it to want to do if its primary purpose is to gather information."

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought those were odd.

"The mummy appears in front of Macy, and he uses a plot device to suck out all her trauma and give it to himself "

I actually liked what he did there. But it's a symptom of the show I don't like, which is just that "technology" can do anything the plot requires, even if it's been shown to not be able to do that before, or to have a completely separate function, with no tinkering even. It's very sonic screwdriver. And while I can understand why they did it for timing reasons, it still bugs me when the Doctor can pick up any piece of technology, which has been shown to be something else, and suddenly just have it do something else, just because.
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From:betawho
Date:October 13th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC)

Part 2

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As to your end comments, I completely agree. I've never been so disapproving of the Doctor, or the show, as I have been this season. It's not just a matter of not liking a particular incarnation, it's a matter of actually hating this person. This is not a person I would want to travel the universe with, or be stuck in a box with, or even someone I would trust. And I think they are riffing, entirely too much, on how un-trustworthy this Doctor is.

The whole point of the show is that the Doctor is the one person in it you can trust, and if you can't, especially if you actively dis-trust him, it loses all meaning as Doctor Who. I know they are trying to make 12 different from 11 but I do think they've gone way way to far. It's one thing to make incarnations different. It's another to make the incarnation seem to not even be the Doctor.

Loads of people have been saying they wish he'd come up against the Master, the problem is, as this incarnation stands, there would hardly be any contrast. I'm more willing to believe this is the Valyard than the Doctor I've always known and loved (even in the incarnations that annoyed me.)

But, yeah, this whole series has focused far far far far too much on all the negative qualities of all the characters. The Doctor's a dick. Clara is an abused wife, stuck between a callous man on one side, and a manipulative one on the other. Danny vascillates from being a really nice guy, to being "Run, Clara!"

And this is supposed to be optimistic family entertainment?

I wasn't attracted to Doctor Who inorder to watch the characters be mean and disfunctional and the monsters be boring. (Although, I honestly think, until they get off this kick of thinking that 45 minutes is better for the show, we are't really going to get to see much in the way of interesting "non-killbot" adversaries, there is literally no time to develop them.)

I don't personally think "monster of the week" works very well, especially not week in and week out. It lacks the richness of traveling and meeting different cultures and exploring the cosmos that was always one of the greatest advantages of Doctor Who (even when the effects, budgets, and "stage play" type acting were dating it to death otherwise. It offered more in terms of "story" than just "TV episode."

I do think I like the Doctor better this week, they did at least allow him some softer moments, some concern, some heroism, and some reasons for his dickish behavior.

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From:betawho
Date:October 13th, 2014 01:53 am (UTC)

Part 3

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Clara, sadly, I think is a lost cause by this point. Which makes me feel sad for Jenna. She's doing a great job, acting her socks off. But they can't seem to actually do anything good with her. She's either a control freak (which she isn't, but which all the other characters emotionally abusively and repeatedly accuse her of) or a victim. (Presumably thinking she HAS to marry Danny and have his kids now, because "time" said it already happened. Personally, I think Danny already has a kid, that's what all his "family problems" are about, when we know he's an orphan. So Clara isn't actually needed for Orson to exist, and the grandparent with the "time travel stories" was actually Danny.)

Although, unfortunately, knowing Moffat's writing tendencies. I think we're probably stuck with the dickish Doctor. Everybody says, "Oh, he'll mellow out by the end of the series and have an epiphany and change, just you wait and see, Moffat "has a plan." Which frankly, I'm not buying, when has Moffat actually had a plan by the end of the story? I sincerely hope I'm wrong. But I wouldn't put money on it.)

And, honestly, where is everyone getting the idea that Capaldi is acting like the Classic Doctors by being this negative callous person? I don't remember even 6 being this bad. It's like they've taken rare and isolated incidents (1's first 2 or 3 stories, Tom's one surprising callous moment in Pyramids of Mars, and 6's badly thought out characterization,) and conflated them into meaning "this is what the Doctor REALLY is." Frankly, I find it rather insulting to the Classic Doctors, who were, largely, charming and whimsically funny fellows, the kind I'd love to travel with. Not this negative, pessimistic, callous, and deliberately MEAN person.

I really don't understand whey they'd ever even write the Doctor this way. Much less deliberately. And repeatedly.

I don't know whether to feel sorry for Capaldi or not. I just hope that this isn't the "real" Doctor he'd always wanted to play. And if it is, I'm sort of sad that his vision of the Doctor was always such a negative one.

Characterization is one thing, but there is also context. Why is this being done in DOCTOR WHO of all places?

Where has the joy and optimism gone?

Anyway, loved your review, love the insisive way to look at things, and your great and hilarious way with words. It's always a delight and a laugh out loud to read your reviews. Love it.


(And I am sorry for the long replies, I really don't mean to come on here and write a treatise. But I'm longwinded, and I love discussing Doctor Who. And you raise so many good points.

I'd say I'll try to keep it shorter in future, but I probably won't.)
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From:gonzo21
Date:October 13th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
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Capaldi is reminding me a bit of Six. When Six arrived my memories of watching the show as a child are that he was just such a monstrously abusive dick that this was the moment when I fell out of love with the show and pretty much stopped watching it.

And... Capaldi's Doctor has now been much more of a dick than Six ever was.

Maybe that's why the engineer turned him down, because it was a recognition that no, the sane response to this Doctor would be to absolutely not get in any blue boxes with him.
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From:ctanworldkiller
Date:October 13th, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC)

Re: Part 2

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"It lacks the richness of traveling and meeting different cultures and exploring the cosmos that was always one of the greatest advantages of Doctor Who"

-gives you a medal-

This is possibly the thing I love the most about SF in general too. The Davison years did this kind of thing really well inparticular. It has been practically non-existant in the new series.
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From:patches365
Date:October 13th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC)

Re: Part 1

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Yeah, the whole thing with the engineer felt like it was trying to lead towards or hint at something, but then it just never amounted to anything in the end. But with as sloppy as the writing has been, I can't tell if it was an intentional red herring or if they just forgot where they were going with that.
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From:blackdwarv
Date:October 21st, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)

Re: Part 1

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...save for it is the... what? Sixth or so time that someone asked to join, or was asked to join... and turned him down.

Engineer guy, annoying schoolgirl (who later got to go anyway), soldier girl from Into the Dalek.... I'm forgetting people, but it keeps happening enough that I'm thinking it'll amount to something.
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