Doctor Who: New Year Special, Resolution.( contains spoilers)

nixie

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I really enjoyed this episode, wasn't enthralled by the Ryan's dad side story irrelevant to the overall story line even if it was his microwave that saved the day.
The Dalek was brilliant, taking a human host, building a new body.

We need to know more about what's happened with UNIT.
 

Dave

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The Dalek was brilliant, taking a human host, building a new body.
Actually, I'm tired of the 'Doctor pitted against a single, lone and damaged Dalek' stories. The last decent Dalek story was Ben Aaronovitch's 'Remembrance of the Daleks', IMHO. I wish there had been no Time Lord/Dalek War so that the Dalek fleet was still real and not just a firework display,

When it got to half-way through the story, and the Dalek was still rebuilding itself and its knowledge, I thought that they could never resolve this story in the remaining half an hour, and maybe it was actually the beginning of a whole new next Season arc, that would focus just on the Doctor versus a renewed Dalek threat. Imagine then, how disappointed I was by the first ending, beaten by a microwave oven. But then, hope survived, it wasn't dead yet, like the Monty Python sketch. Queue then, even further disappointment, by a rather silly ending as it got sucked out of the TARDIS door.

We need to know more about what's happened with UNIT.
I think that was just another of their political jokes which really aren't that funny. This time, UNIT is the subject of Austerity and Government cuts, and disagreements with international funding arrangements. Not only can we not talk about that here, but it isn't a very funny subject.

The Doctor has changed her view on not killing things again. That speech she made a few episodes ago all forgotten now. At the moment, it doesn't apply to Daleks, but on several previous occasions now, we have seen the Doctor agonise even about killing Daleks, or even from preventing them from being created. It is like she has a split personality, or is being written by completely different people.
 

Narkalui

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I'm just at the start and I'm not impressed already. So how do we make the audience care about our Redshirts? I know let's make them fancy each other!
Clumsy, clumsy, clumsy.
 

Ursa major

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I found quite long sections of it to be either dull or boring, as if it was being padded out. (I wonder if it started life as a 45 minute story that then had to be expanded to make it fit the one-hour-long slot the show is given in the festive season.)

A disappointing episode, in my opinion.
 

Vladd67

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I wonder why the UN wouldn’t let the BBC use their name anymore? The Brigadier was always on the phone to Geneva.
 

MemoryTale

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I actually really enjoyed this episode. I too felt the archeologists at the start were just being set up to be extermination fodder, but seeing as both survived with a few scars both physical and mental I can get over the clumsy they fancy each other stuff.

I liked how one dalek is now a credible threat again, even if the military didn't try anything more powerful than assault rifles against it. I didn't mind that the Doctor was all for killing it - Four's hesitation in genociding them aside, s/he is usually more than happy to suspend the "everything should be allowed to live" rule, and New Who in particular has the Daleks set off the berserk mode of The Doctor. In fact I would say this one was nicer than most. Five gassed them to oblivion, Nine went off on a rage against one, Seven happily tricked them into genociding themselves. Thirteen was willing to give it chance.
 

Daysman

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  • Cool Dalek design!
  • Does the scout extend the mythology? Might upset some fans...
  • Lethal but vulnerable to a cunning plan, very old school Who...
  • MDZ... wasn't the black archive inventory a part of their webportal?
  • MD... sounds like a clue... Z... the doc ended something with a Z and made a joke of it...
  • Mmm... 1st day back @ the office... too much caffeine... ;)
 
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Anushka Mokosh

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The episode was a mixed bag for me, much as most of the season.

To get the easy stuff out of the way, I adored the music choices. It managed to enhance the scenes and make them dramatic at all the right moments. The visuals were beautiful, start to finish.

The historical premise was interesting and a new addition to the Dalek lore is interesting depending on whether it ever again comes into play. It would have been better had the ending been more ambiguous as far as the scout's fate was concerned.

The intro wasted time however. Mitch rehashed it just minutes into the episode to bring Doctor and the gang up to speed. Audience didn't really need the intro. It was just left sort of hanging there in retrospective.

The Dalek had a very Alien vibe to it and the way it could take over a human was something terrifying, at least in theory. My main beef with this is the choice of the actress. I was unimpressed by Lin to say the least. Considering all the big guest stars this season, couldn't they have saved some budget for one in the special? With the right actress/actor, this could have been done much better and more time could have been given to their battle for control to enhance the horror vibe instead of being wasted on boring subplots and sketches. Make it about the vessel's humanity and not about its stupid romance subplot I know nothing about. And I absolutely hated the tacked on romantic subplot between Lin and Mitch. They are one dimensional and I don't care about them and them being new lovebirds will not make me care and this really detracted from the suspense of the episode.

That all ties in with the UNIT segment. The entire bit was useless and wasted too much time. It shouldn't have even been a part. However, including UNIT in this episode could have made this episode awesome to say the least. Instead of introducing Mitch and Lin and wasting time trying to make us care about them, we could have included Kate Lethbridge Stewart and Petronella Osgood instead of Mitch and Lin. That way, the episode would not have been tasked with the subplot of establishing one-timers and we could have used the additional stakes it would have introduced because one character we actually care about might have been in danger instead of the new person about whose fate we could not give a rat’s ass despite the tacked on romantic subplot. (This sentence got away from me, sorry.) It would have fully banked on the horror vibe it introduced. It would have also explained how the Dalek could access the necessary information without its tech. Hacking the ever living sh*t out of internet without Dalek tech or biotech would have been far easier to believe if either Stewart or Osgood was the Dalek's ride. They could even still mention budget cuts this way too if they really wanted to include them and made it actually funny instead of distracting.

I take no beef with Doctor's stance on Daleks. I actually liked it as it is actually consistent in its inconsistency. They are dangerous to all life. Therefore, they must be destroyed. They are a form of life.Therefore, they must be preserved. The two instincts keep battling and overpower each other depending on circumstances of the events and emotions and circumtances of the Doctor. 9th, 10th, and 11th were all of stronger opinion on Daleks than 12th and that is somewhat understandable. Doctors 9 through 11 all believed they had wiped out their own people to get rid of Daleks. That they had to do it. To find out they failed, made them want to do it all over again. Yet, they too struggled and had massive shifts on the issue of Daleks. 12th was more removed from that because he knew he did not sacrifice Time Lords to wipe out Daleks. He was more at peace and could be a bit more forgiving, he could afford more hope for them. 13th is a consequence of disappointed hopes. I like how Whittaker pulled it all off and I like what little she could do considering how both pressed for time and time-wasting this episode managed to be at the same time.

The arrival of Ryan's dad was too distracting from the get-go. It felt too tacked on and the entire subplot wasted just too much time without any contribution to the plot aside from the tacked on Checkov oven resolution. I liked Ryan's stance about his father as it gave him some flavour, but it is somewhat too little too late for our old pal Ryan. It at least finally made me remember his name. However, Dalek taking over Ryan’s dad was a distracting and uninspired choice. Audience doesn’t even care for Ryan. Much less his father. I think that for a moment I hoped both would be sucked into the supernova so Ryan wouldn’t waste time in the next season.

Graham's commentary was a breath of fresh air in the somewhat stale dialogues. His quips provided some comic relief without being overbearing. Contrasting them with the UNIT segment, that is how comic relief is done. As an understated, point-on running commentary by a liked character with the right gravitas and near-perfect timing.

On the other hand, we kept wasting time on the Dalek reasserting itself as a credible threat. The horror vibe would have been better served without the military and the police scenes as they served absolutely no purpose whatsoever. It just racked up its kill count. Horror vibe is much better when it doesn't rely on numbers, but the sheer revolt against the motives. Dalek has no real motives to kill most of the time. It just exterminates. The death of the Communications Centre employee provided much more impact because it was so purposeless.

The comment about the internet being down by Graham was hilarious, but the cut to the unknown family was not. It wasted time and brought nothing to the table. It just reminded me that AVbyte did it first and much better at that.

So again, the issues come down to great and brilliant parts being drowned in too much time given to distracting bits and pieces (and characters) nobody cares about. There is just too much going on with too many people I am supposed to care about and the interesting bits don't manage to land because time is given to things I just couldn't care less about. The attempts to make me care are too clumsy to work because they are just too uninspired and lazy. It would take surprisingly little to make the episode so much better. A better actress for the Dalek vessel, a focus on the humanity of the vessel and it would have been so much better already. Use a character we already know and care about or cut out the dad subplot and devote that time to the vessel's humanity so we could care about it. Actually, cut out the dad subplot either way and Ryan and Yaz too while you're at it. Yaz managed to reach the pinnacle of her own uselessness this episode. I just realized I did not mention her once before now.

In theory, this should have worked as a horror vibe episode. In practice, it has too many issues because the elements of the two main subplots don't mesh well together and their tie in was just too lazy and trivial. There is a too great of a thematic dissonance between them and they keep battling for time against each other and against rather unfunny sketches.
 
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farntfar

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I enjoyed it, but yes. A bit too much time wasted where it doesn't seem necessary.

The army captain (or whatever) cries "run!" So they all jump out of the lorries to run off.
Drive off you silly arses!

I'm glad to see that building a complete dalek is much like building a sonic screwdriver. Done with a sledge hammer and a blow torch. (And dalek bumps hiding missile launchers.:giggle:. We were never told what they were for before, except on Comic Relief.)

Maybe Mitch and Lin (and Ryan's dad) will reappear in the new series. (or even a spin off. :eek:) And maybe the actors of Kate L-B and Osgood aren't available. There are still two thirds of the original dalek left buried somewhere. 1/3 can recreate a complete dalek. Presumably so can the other 2.
 

thaddeus6th

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As a non-watcher, a query: how is a single dalek still a credible threat if it got thrashed by some Dark Age chaps?
 

Vince W

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Doctor Who and the Puppet Master Dalek. A lot of mishmash of well worn tropes. Mainly Heinlein and Quatermass. I should have shut it off after about twenty minutes, but I wanted to see Graham again. Bradley Walsh is the only reason I finished the series and he was brilliant once again. They should have ended it right after his chat with Aaron. *sniff*

At least Ryan had some semblance of purpose. Yas could have been replaced in this entire series with a couple of traffic cones.

A mediocre ending to a middling series.
 

M. Robert Gibson

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Anushka Mokosh

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I enjoyed it, but yes. A bit too much time wasted where it doesn't seem necessary.

The army captain (or whatever) cries "run!" So they all jump out of the lorries to run off.
Drive off you silly arses!

I'm glad to see that building a complete dalek is much like building a sonic screwdriver. Done with a sledge hammer and a blow torch. (And dalek bumps hiding missile launchers.:giggle:. We were never told what they were for before, except on Comic Relief.)

Maybe Mitch and Lin (and Ryan's dad) will reappear in the new series. (or even a spin off. :eek:) And maybe the actors of Kate L-B and Osgood aren't available. There are still two thirds of the original dalek left buried somewhere. 1/3 can recreate a complete dalek. Presumably so can the other 2.
Unless I missed something vital, those two parts were used. They teleported somehow.

For UNIT, it was just one of suggestions how to fix irlt. It was just a bad joke that didn't really land properly to include them this way.
 

Matteo

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Just got around to watching this last night. @Anushka Mokosh has more or less covered my feelings.

It was one of the better episodes - but that's not saying much... The initial intro was fine - particularly because the way it was shot (with the voiceover) it appeared that the enemy was a humanoid. But why split up the Dalek instead of burning it? And what happened to its shell (it was shown in that old book that Mitch had? And on that point, why wasn't it taken more seriously - as, perhaps, a depiction of the Dalek itself would not be (being not so recognisable. I also doubt the guy in Yorkshire would have ended up buried, with the Dalek fragment; he would have been left where he lay and probably eaten/torn apart by animals.

The love interest between Mitch and Lin was fine as it didn't really distract from the episode, but the re-introduction of Ryan's father was dreadful and padded out the episode.

The Dalek taking over Lin's body was good - though I struggle to accept she could possibly lift two large cast iron gear wheels. But it's actions were contradictory; no compunction in killing random people (fine; Daleks have no compassion) but not killing Lin when it was finished with her?

Good that a single Dalek was a threat - though that was some laptop Lin had...

The UNIT joke was pathetic as was the cutaway to the internet-less family.

The segment with the soldiers was out of place (unless I missed something).

They allowed random (and nice) people to be killed but then chickened out at the end by allowing Ryan's dad to be saved - in the rather mediocre ending.

Overall disappointing, but not as much as the rest of the series.

My wife thought it was good but that there was too much "touchy feely" stuff - as with the rest of the series and wondered if that was deliberate because she was a woman and so it would be better to take this line (she hoped not).

And I take back what I originally said about Yaz; at the start of the series I thought she was good (and pondered the idea of a Doctor/Yaz pairing (losing Ryan and Graham)) but since then she's proven to be as ineffective as Ryan, and it's Graham that has come though.

2020 is some time to wait for another series (and I suppose it will be late 2020). I'm not expecting much to change unless Jodi leaves (not because of her, but because changing the nature of the scripts would mean changing the way the Doctor is, and it would be difficult to justify doing this with the "same" Doctor). Also the audience figures disagree with my opinion...
 

picklematrix

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This episode felt like it was building up really well in the beginning, with tension and atmosphere rising up.
Then it just kind of fizzled out, round about the time when the Dalek was inside the shell.
Fairly mundane episode really, nothing horrendously bad, which is more or less how I've felt about a lot of this season.
Besides Bradley Walsh, everyone is a bit flat, though it seems most people are big fans of his, and his performance in this.
I think Doctor Who, in its current incarnation, is something to have on while I'm knocking around the house, but it's not quite on a level where it demands my full attention. I'm not paying rapt attention the whole way through every episode. This New Years special definitely falls in line with that kind of experience. Nothing too involving happened really, the character moments were predictable and the plot quite formulaic, but vaguely entertaining as my expectations were managed.
 

MemoryTale

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I think I figured out why this series has felt "off" to me.

In every other series of New Who, and in a fair few of Old Who as well, there's been a feeling that the Doctor needs companions to keep them on the straight and narrow. 9-12 had absolutely no compunction about obliterating enemies if they crossed the line, 4, 6 and 7 could be callousness personified and 1 needed convincing not to dump a pair of human teachers out into the vortex. Even goody goody 5 had his moments.

That's what this series lacks. I get the feeling if 13 had been in the Pompei episode, there'd have been no need for Donna to convince her to save one family. If 13 had been in the werewolf episode, she wouldn't have made an enemy of Queen Victoria by geeking out over the beast that was killing people, I could go on.

In this series, the Doctor has been consistently portrayed as the absolute moral authority - the only people who disagree with her are villains or otherwise nasty characters.
 

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