Monday, 30 November 2015

Doctor Who 9.11

It's another episode by Steven "I've got this great High Concept" Moffat. I'm beginning to treat his episodes with "oh dear".

We have this "neat idea" of the Doctor in his own nightmare, which somehow includes a large block of more than diamond he decides to punch through. Okay, we can see how this plays out from a generic point of view (although having read Mauritz by Jonathon Morris, I was suspecting it from early on).

Where it fails is thinking about how it began. How did the Doctor first get summoned there? He would have dived down and not found any skulls at all. Nor one attached to the machine. And there wouldn't have been any dry clothes to put on (not that I'm sure how the room 'resets' to having clothes in it anyway). And it may also have wider implications about free will if the Doctor does exactly the same things over and over again...

Still, we get a grand performance from Peter Capaldi, who has to hold his own against a monster with obvious large rubber claws. And, of course, the obligatory cameo by Jenna Coleman. (And I'm not the only one having trouble in believing in her death.)

And all this is a set up for "surprise, he's on Gallifrey!", which again I think most of us suspected. Okay, I didn't get the fact he was in the confession disc (which was One Neat Trick), but there he is.

Next week: Oh, this isn't going to be good...



evildicemonkey said...

I have not read that book, but I pegged it from the hand right at the beginning.
I also saw the writing credit and went "Oh dear".
But I don't think it falls down in the beginning as you think it does.
I would postulate that at the start when there are no skulls or anything else around that his actions are not the same every time, that only once he starts the cycle does he figure things out the same way every time because he is setting up his own puzzle with clues he knows he will follow (implications being he himself painted the Clara picture during one cycle and laid out the clothes on his first run through).
I also think that even without his hand on the lever he would be "revived", the purpose of the place was two-fold, one to punish the Doctor and two to learn his secret. If the Doctor dies without revealing the secret then his death has not accomplished the thing "they" want, so recreating him to try again is a necessary thing to do. As he himself says, in the torture room he is the only indispensable being.

And Gallifrey? Yeah I got nothing other than "What a surprise, Moffat shits on his own continuity again!".

Jamas Enright said...

If the room resets though, how do you set anything up for next time?

This is just another example of Moffat going "yeah, this is a neat idea, I can't be bothered about consequences", which is typical of him and leads to that last thing you said.