Doctor Who (37) 11.01: The Woman Who Fell to Earth

Lenny

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#1
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'We don't get aliens in Sheffield.' In a South Yorkshire city, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan, and Graham O'Brien are about to have their lives changed for ever, as a mysterious woman, unable to remember her own name, falls from the night sky. Can they believe a word she says? And can she help solve the strange events taking place across the city?

---

New Doctor, new companions, new writer, new timeslot, new theme music, and easily the darkest episode of Doctor Who we've had for a long time.

I think overall I enjoyed it. Whilst the episode had its issues, it was a welcome change to the silliness of the past few series. I'd even go as far as to say it reminded me (in a good way) of the initial RTD era, in tone, characters, and even the story.
 

Venusian Broon

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#3
I'm not a whovian by any stroke, but I did keep me engaged and absorbed, so I'd give it pretty high marks. It was pretty dark for an early Sunday evening, with four pretty horrible deaths, but enjoyable in that dark way.

I liked Jodie Whittaker's impersonation of Capaldi. When her regeneration settles down we'll get a better idea of what her new personality will be like, I suppose.
 

Paradox 99

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#4
Hmmm. Overall, not as impressed as I was hoping to be.
The best thing about the episode was Jodie Whittaker, hands down. I think she's going to be a great doctor (and, don't throw eggs, but I was one of the ones up in arms about the BBC pandering to the obsessive political correctness). Actually I think all the characters, were good in this. That, I think is Chibnalls's strength.

But I really hope the stories improve. The premise this week was pretty uninspired and the atmosphere of it definitely reminded me of Torchwood, which I grew to enjoy on the whole but felt it was never as strong as its parent.

The threat started out very well but when revealed, made me roll my eyes and stifle a yawn. We'd better get better bad guys/monsters than that! But I'm hopeful. I'm expecting things to get better as the show moves along.
 

TheDustyZebra

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#5
I feel like Jodie is Peter and Matt and David all rolled into one, and it wasn't any different than any other Doctor change, where you can still see the old ones along with some new stuff as the regeneration settles. She just IS the Doctor, like she was born for it. Bring on the season!
 

Anthoney

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#7
She was pretty good. I liked that they used a similar theme to how both the 10th and the 11th Doctors started. Wake up and confront an alien species on behalf of Earth.

I also liked that she admitted it was more of a multi-tool than a screwdriver.

Of course as soon as we met Graham's wife I knew she was doomed to die.
 

MemoryTale

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#8
After all the hoo-hah about a female Doctor, I'd say she did a very good job. We've had all the normal first story stuff about not knowing who she is yet, so we still have to wait and see what she's really going to be like.

I agree with Paradox about the threat, as soon as his purpose was revealed he became kinda lame.
So his race choose their leader based on their ability to travel to a comparatively primitive planet, grab one random person who has no real means of fighting back, and still feels the need to cheat? A cool monster design with an impressive looking kill count suddenly looks a lot less threatening.

I would say this is fine for anyone who likes Doctor Who and doesn't have a hang up about s/he suddenly having breasts. On the other hand, I don't think having a female Doctor is going to bring anyone on board who previously wouldn't watch it.
 

TheDustyZebra

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#9
So, umm... someone will have to tell me why Tim Shaw is funny. I looked it up and found it's probably referring to an actor from Sheffield, but that tells me nothing.

I still don't know what the new theme tune is, because BBCA didn't show it. I thought this was just my usual obliviousness to music in shows, when everyone was going on about it, but it was the fact that they didn't have it on here.

I have no idea what the Doctor meant by "fried-egg sandwich", but I'm eating one for lunch now. I can guarantee my family's traditional fried-egg sandwich is not what she meant.

I'm not at all sure about her building a new sonic screwdriver, but I suppose they have to come from somewhere. Presumably it will sync up with the software when they find the TARDIS.
 

pyan

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#10
I enjoyed most of it (loved the return of the electronic theme music) even if I got the impression that Jodie Whittaker was channelling Victoria Wood for most of the time, and the villain was basically
a Predator, economy-class
. Agree about the darkness, though - I thought the
death of the security guard just after he was Skyping his grand-daughter
was just plain cruel, and
writing out Grace got rid of
one of the best characters in the episode. Altogether, though, a good start for Chris Chibnall as showrunner.
 

Bagpuss

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#11
someone will have to tell me why Tim Shaw is funny
It's a pronunciation joke. In that the alien pretentiously states his name and then she makes fun of it. The dialogue is in the spoiler quote.

THE ALIEN: You may tell your children you were once privileged enough to encounter Tzim-Sha of the Stenza.

THE DOCTOR: Tim Shaw?

THE ALIEN: Tzim-Sha!

THE DOCTOR: Tim Shaw?

THE ALIEN: Tzim-Sha! Soon to be leader of the Stenza warrior race.

(And then she deliberately repeats her pronunciation of his name from now to the end of the episode to bait him.)
 

TheDustyZebra

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#12
I got all that. I just thought, from the way people were reacting to it, that there was something inherently funny about Tim Shaw in particular. Why that name was chosen to be the joke.
 

Bagpuss

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#13
I just thought, from the way people were reacting to it, that there was something inherently funny about Tim Shaw in particular. Why that name was chosen to be the joke.
With all due respect, I think you're over-thinking it. The joke is in the comparison of the pronunciations between the Doctor and the alien, not in the name itself. So far as I know, the name has no significance whatsoever.
 

TheDustyZebra

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#15
Nope, it went straight into the "after-show" chatting thing, from the end shot in space. Some were saying on Twitter that the credits and theme tune came after that, but the channel was long changed by then, so I don't know. It's ok. I'll see it next week, probably. Or later tonight -- it's showing four or five times today.
 

Bagpuss

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#16
It was pretty dark for an early Sunday evening, with four pretty horrible deaths, but enjoyable in that dark way.
It's only really dark if you're used to the Moffat version of the series where (unless you belong to a group that Moffat hates) nobody ever actually dies. This episode actually has deaths that mean something to the other characters (and for the record I think that that is actually a good thing). Potentially those characters might grow and change as a result of said deaths. Having said that, I'm not sure how one particular death relates to the rest of the series or how it relates to the development of the character the deceased most cared about. (the tortuous phrasing is because I'm trying to avoid spoilers).
 

Paradox 99

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#17
I definitely agree with you, Bagpuss, about the death thing. Random characters often got killed in classic Who and it kinda decreased the danger in new Who when they got scared about doing that (though I suppose there were deaths, but not as frequently). I think it's the manner in which it gets portrayed that defines whether it's appropriate or not, and I think they balanced it nicely in this episode.
 

Lenny

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#18
(the tortuous phrasing is because I'm trying to avoid spoilers).
and the title being changed to include: " - please use spoiler tags!"

Have I been inactive long enough that this is a thing now? Surely the fact that it's a thread for an episode implies spoilers? Not knocking anyone, just genuinely curious.

---

I agree with the general sentiments about the "threat". I was also a bit naffed off with how Tim was beaten - seemed a very rushed, very convenient gotcha. Two quick scenes would have improved that massively.
 

Ursa major

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#19
even if I got the impression that Jodie Whittaker was channelling Victoria Wood for most of the time
I wondered why her portrayal seemed vaguely** familar, even though it was nothing like that of her character in Broadchurch.


** - I wasn't a big fan of Victoria Wood, which was probably why it took someone else to point out the similarity.
 

TheEndIsNigh

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#20
Where do I start.

I watched it to the end - which says something, but not much.

Woman who fell... Desperate stuff and of no relevance to anything Who. Tardis chucked her out? Have we seen the end of it.

Sadly old Ned (or his equivalent) did appear and died as predicted. Not a great start.

I thought it was very poor. On what planet does someone drag a bike up a massive hill so someone can learn to ride it. Not to mention the age of the character trying to do it.

When did some ever throw a bike of a hill/cliff edge for it to land in what looked like almost tropical jungle with not a hint of a hill anywhere to be seen. Obviously it was some chuck and Sheffield has suffered more global warming than the rest of us.

The pot spaceship - Blue? were we supposed to think it was old Tardy.

I did like the snaky tentacle thing - But the (as someone mentioned above) the second class Predator was crap. The teeth thing was just nonsense shoved in for poor effect. I do wonder how long it will be before the tattoo and piercing fraternity will be adopting the idea.

Sorry, but the cold skin killing thing was just poor - Not a hint of condensation.

As for the actual story line - Mm... nothing special. A lot of running around in cars and little in the way of plot.

The screwdriver/Swish nife thing, I was hoping we'd seen the last of that.

The weird gun/thermic lance thing - I thought he didn't like guns/killing. Obviously she is a stone cold hard killer. as witnessed with the death of the baddy. Maybe a good thing.

Victoria Wood - Missed it and I'm glad I did.

I don't like the sidekicks. Apart from the fact they all seem familiar from other things (especially Graham and the other two look like previous sidekicks regurgitated) at times it seemed like I was watching an episode of The Three Stooges.

As for the characters to come in the little prequel sequence. I'm didn't see anything to look forward to.

Missus Who - She'll need to improve fast IMO.

Basically - Not impressed.
 

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