Doctor Who (36) 10.10 The Eaters of Light

  1. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    Ok, I'll start. This is my favorite episode of the season, and possibly the last two seasons (I'd have to go back and look at the list of last season to see for sure). I'm very glad I caught it in the first showing and was able to see it twice.

    I don't really like the way he belittles Kar at first, and that's been a common thing, with Capaldi's Doctor. He's developed an attitude that sometimes bothers me. But I really liked her, and he did come around in the end and show some respect.

    I love the bit about the crows. And that the Doctor was a former Vestal Virgin (second class). Of course he was.

    "It even does lip-sync." (How many times have I thought that? :D )

    "What do you always find near churches?"
    "Women in hats."

    "Complete and total absence of sunlight."
    "Death by Scotland."

    "Would you mind awfully all just jumping out of your skins and allowing Nardole and me to escape in the confusion?"

    Bill's thing with the Roman boys -- "Well isn't this all very ... modern." :D She must not have studied *much* of Roman history when she read that book!

    "Basically he always ends up being boss of the locals."
    "How?"
    "Usually by annoying them."

    "If it helps, I do have a plan." (That grin of his... that's the definition of cheeky, right?)

    "Sir, I must protest in the strongest, most upset terms possible. Don't make me go squeaky voiced."

    "That's the trouble with hope. It's hard to resist."
     
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  2. farntfar

    farntfar Ah well.Back to normal

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    All right.
    So sometimes; quite often really; I get the impression Dr Who is trying too hard. And I’m afraid this episode was one of those times.
    Mind you, with the way that Missy is reacting, and with the prospect of the Master coming back as his old self, as was “prophesied” in the ending moments, I think that’s probably only going to get worse.

    For all that, it’s probably going to be quite fun.
    Circumstances dictate that I’ll not get to watch the next couple of episodes in real time, so I’ve got the project of watching them in binge mode later, which will be fun too.
     
  3. Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    Sorry, I agree with TDZ, best episode I've seen in years (and I'd stopped watching for a while.) Loved the Crows. Loved all the quotes already given.

    As for the Master, it always struck me that in classic 'Who' the Master was just a two-dimensional evil bad guy. Missy is quite different. Now that we know that the Doctor and the Master were two little boys in Time Lord school together, you have to ask why they grew up so different. The Doctor is far too sentimental regarding Earth, as wonderfully demonstrated in this episode. Missy may have just been given a bad rap, or did she? I don't watch trailers (trailers are authorised spoilers) and so I can only speculate on what is coming next from this episode. Clearly, we need Missy to continue to be the antithesis of the Doctor, for the story's sake, but the Doctor's character has many dimensions, so why not Missy too?
     
  4. REBerg

    REBerg Registered Alien

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    This seemed like another classic-style Doctor Who to me, so I'm puzzled as to why "Empress of Mars" was panned while this episode is being be lauded. I enjoyed both. :confused:
    As far as Missy goes, I love her; but evil is as evil does. I expect Missy's redemption to fail, which will make for another great the Doctor vs. the Master episode before Capaldi leaves. (y)
     
  5. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    For me personally, I probably didn't get most of what everyone liked, because I haven't seen the classics. But practically all I've seen online is people hating this week's, so we seem to be the odd ones out.
     
  6. REBerg

    REBerg Registered Alien

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    I haven't read what the critics out there are saying about this episode. These last two just remind me of the Tom Baker era.
     
  7. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    I'm not sure "critics" is the right term, in a technical sense. Although the comments section of DW posts on Facebook is certainly critical. :p

    Admittedly, it's mostly people who are incensed by the fact that Bill is not of their preferred orientation. And of course, a good many of those are righteously upset by the implication that the ancient Romans might not have walked the straight and narrow. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    Do they burn copies of Robert Graves I, Claudius too?
     
  9. Cathbad

    Cathbad Male with Ugly (white) Beard

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    I liked this episode. Probably the best of the season so far, but not better than a lot of the episodes I binged on earlier this year. ;)

    Bill is now my favorite companion, and I loved the crow thing. The moment I saw the crow on the pole, I wondered, "Who's going to die?" for it reminded me of Badhbh, the Celtic Crow Goddess, whose appearance foretold of death (usually in combat).

    I'm in the obvious minority here - I like Capaldi's Doctor. Yes, he's different, but he's also one of the better actors to ever play the part. And I don't like Missy. To me, it seems the story suffers every time she's in a scene.
     
  10. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    I like Capaldi's Doctor. I think he's fabulous. I just question his attitudes sometimes. :D

    Missy has her moments, for me. But then, we aren't really supposed to like her.
     
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  11. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    I thought there was a good idea in here somewhere, but the idea of belittling the Picts and Romans as "just children" came across as plain wrong on so many levels. This was one of those instances where modern people had been literally swapped into a period of history with no real attempt to make them have the values or outlook of that period. I mean, seriously, these are supposed to be hardened Roman veteran soldiers - instead, they came across as no more harmless than students in fancy dress.

    It's not that I'm offended - I just thought the idea of having Roman soldiers who didn't come across as anything like soldiers, let alone Roman - or Picts who came across as nothing like Picts - just seemed a little pointless. I don't know what the story was trying to achieve by simply reducing them all to inoffensive children, except to make the Doctor appear especially villainous in his condescending approach to them. And bizarre that someone (was it Billy??) assaulted the Doctor in order to allow these "children" to spend the rest of their lives fighting a creature that - according to the script - had killed thousands of veteran Roman soldiers in an hour.

    So how were a dozen kids going to stop it??

    The creature was well designed and interesting - but then at the end, we hear that although it feeds on light, it's attracted by sound??? And then they attack it with light, even though the Doctor had just said it would eat all the light in the sky, the stars, etc??? That just left me completely confused.

    And the issues with Missy at the end just feels like they're dragging something out rather than getting to any point.

    So, overall, I was left confused by watching a program about Romans who didn't even try to act like Romans, fighting a creature that consumed all light but could be attacked by light.

    Also, my wife and eldest wanted it switched off - they really dislike the way the Doctor is being portrayed. There was a particular shot where he did make me think more of The Joker, but without the laughs or mania. I wonder whether this is an intentional plot device by the writers so that he can turn again and grow as a character later on?
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  12. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    There was something in the (sorry, HB) focus stones they used that was supposed to trap the creature with the light -- channeling it through the stones changed the properties of the light so that it would either hurt or trap the creature.

    I'm not clear on how the kids/soldiers were supposed to fight millions of those things on the other side, either, nor whether it was supposed to be permanent (as it would have been had the Doctor been the one to go) or only last till the next generation had to field a new candidate. (Minutes in there equate to decades out here.)
     
  13. HareBrain

    HareBrain Bunny of Wonder Staff Member

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    I liked the classic feel of this one (not just of seventies Who, but other children's stories from that period), and occasionally, when Capaldi's voice deepened a little, he even sounded like he was doing an impression of Tom Baker. But too many explanations were either missing or were way too thin even for a kids' show. Was it explained where the music came from, for example?

    I liked Matt Lucas's character -- that's the first episode I've seen with him in it.

    Bill referred to having reading "the book" early on in reference to knowing the fate of the legion. Was that an in-show reference, or was she talking about something like Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth?
     
  14. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned that in a previous thread, glad someone else hears it, too!
     
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  15. Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    Not sure, she is meant to be reading History at University with the Doctor as her tutor. I'm not sure how either of them find the time. You may be correct, in which case it is very poorly explained.
    I think this is the main problem people are having with it. I couldn't say whether that is due to poor writing or poor editing, but Brian's complaint regarding "veteran roman soldiers" - I took them to be only the younger members who had run away, so that they really were only kids - and that the adults in both the tribe and legion had all been killed. Thinking on it more now, that was not made clear at all, if it really was the point.
    If the proximity to the gate, in changing the passing of time, made the children stronger at defending against the creatures, that was poorly explained, and the eating light but being killed by light was also poorly explained.

    On the face of it, I thought this was a good episode, but anything that causes so much confusion, and that needs so much explanation after watching cannot be that good.
     
  16. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Inspired. Or possibly insane. Could go either way. Staff Member

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    Well, it wasn't killed by the light, if you mean the light they focused on it with the stone thingies -- that was just to corral it back into the portal.

    I assumed that "the book" was a reference to some well-known book in the UK. Apparently not, eh? Darn, as I was going to go and find it.
     
  17. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Well-Known Member

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    I didn't attach any significance to the book mentioned, I just figured we were starting in media res with them mid argument between Bill's reading a history book and the Doctor's time travelling knowledge.

    But yeah, as much as I liked the episode, it was one that brought a lot of questions, which I don't normally do. Like, I get about the time difference but it's still not a permanent solution (unless the small group were planning to kill them all). They'd either all get killed pretty quickly, or they'd hold up but it didn't look like it was any kind of world where they could settle. Or even have any food or water.
     
  18. pyan

    pyan Great Old One Staff Member

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    Not often I laugh out loud watching TV, but the interchange "...damp weather and a complete and total absence of any kind of sunlight."(the Doctor) - "Ooh! Death by Scotland." (Nardol) absolutely cracked me up...
     
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  19. williamjm

    williamjm Well-Known Member

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    I think Bill said she had read it as a child and then did a school report on the Ninth Legion, so I'm assuming that the book she read was (as HareBrain suggests above) Rosemary Sutcliffe's children's novel The Eagle of the Ninth.

    I think the Pictish musician accompanied the warriors into the portal.
     
  20. Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    Or possibly an entire BBC Orchestra (reminded of Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles.)
     
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