Doctor Who (39) 13:05 The Flux (part 5): Survivors of the Flux.

BT Jones

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
628
Location
Australia
Wow, I wouldn't normally post a whine as I know a lot of people here still enjoy the show but, I'm sorry, that was comfortably the worst Doctor Who episode I have ever seen.

I actually said out loud to my family about the Doctor being a weeping angel: 'bet it's over in 5 seconds'. Sure enough, the stone crumbles away and she is back; a cliffhanger that was actually reasonably good completely undone in the first scene.

This is my issue with the show: nothing is earned, nothing is shown. Everything is explained to us in intricate detail. If it were a book, it would be a series of bullet points, rather than an actual story. I mean, Yaz, Dan, and the professor have been SEARCHING THE WORLD for three years or something (can't remember what for) but rather than maybe have an entire episode showing the slog, the travel problems, visas, language, cultural issues, etc, we are just shown 3 scenes (a Mexican tomb, a Constantinople shop, and a Himalayan sanctuary) and the first lines out of the characters mouths are 'Wow, we've come half way around the world to find this' or 'three years we've been looking for this' or 'and here we are in the Himalayas with our last chance for finding the secret McGuffin thing'!!! The dialogue is execrable. The writers have NO INTEREST in showing us any personal ordeals, character developments, thoughtful expressions, painful silences, nuance, NOTHING. Characters exist solely to explain what is going on to the audience so that we can move as quickly as possible to the next scene.

As for the whole arc about timeless children division, flux, etc.... So, Division poisoned the universe with the flux to stop the doctor because they were worried about the doctor exposing division???? Why not just capture the doctor in some kind of time trap or shot her / him repeatedly?!?!?! They just had her surrounded by weeping angels and they decided to bring her back to HQ (where I am sure the suspiciously convenient Ood has been placed to help her save the day at the last minute) and talk to her about it. Why not just kill her. Why not just take the Tardis, or lock her between dimensions somewhere. With this vast army of agents, surely they can do anything. No? Instead, they just go with destroying the universe (oh, but it's okay, it's not serious: we have a multiverse now, so we can just go anywhere, anytime, redo this, rewrite that... Nothing is permanent).

The retcon angle is horrific too. Yes, the character was male, and yes, it was time to add a little more diversity; I agree that it was time for a female doctor. But retconning it to suggest the doctor has already been a woman before???. Now, I have to admit that the Ruth story line was pretty good and one of the better episodes (and Ruth definitely had the look), but I struggled with them retconning the doctor's history for the sake of diversity. I just find that part of it a little bit insulting. Great, have a black female Doctor; find the best actress you can get and make her the next one, but don't inject one into some hidden past to suggest that Doctor Who WAS a lot more diverse and liberal, and that we just weren't told about it. It's cheap, especially when they've only given her a few minutes of screen time. It's the same issue as the writing: they don't want to actually work and graft for anything; they just take the end goals they want and hammer them into the middle of a sprawling, nonsensical story line with a little bit of exposition on either side and hope everyone accepts it. For me, I just feel this undoes the actual work they and a lot of other writers are doing to try and make a more diverse and equalified entertainment world (in the same way that making Rey a super Jedi in Star Wars with almost no training in some way tarnishes the brilliant female-led Sci-Fi movies we already have, like Aliens, Rogue One, Hunger Games, etc). The best movies and shows highlighting equality, diversity, and liberalism are the ones that do it organically without screaming 'LOOK, we're being diverse, and you'd better like it, otherwise you're sexist / homophobic / racist, etc.

Sadly, this show bears ZERO comparison to one that brought us Listen / Heaven Sent / Blink / Father's Day, etc; far simpler stories with actual writing, subtly, character development, SHOWING the story, rather than telling it.

I'm sorry, but the end of this era can't come soon enough. Poor Jodie (great actress, terrible script and direction) is going to be unfairly burdened with the blame for this phase of the show by a lot of people when really it is 100% down to Chris Chibnall.
 
Last edited:

farntfar

My garden may be smaller than Rome, but...
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
2,780
Location
France.
The weeping angels were an absolutely brilliant creation and Blink was probably the best New Who episode ever.
But they have been over used now.

Some people think that the daleks and the cybermen are now beyond their sell by date, but the Angels got there alot quicker.
The times you can be shocked by the perrennial last frame of the angel with both hands raised and showing all her jagged teeth, just before the tardis (or other) door shuts is not limitless, and has now been passed. They have only ever managed to get anyone by poking them with a finger. not by scary teeth.

As for the Doctor changing into one and out of one in order to be transported to Techtuan (or whatever her name is)... meeeh!

The mythology fits, I know. When David Tennant first spoke of the Angels, he said they came from before the beginning of the universe, if I remember correctly. But I know longer find them scary; especially when there are more than 50 of them on the screen at a time. Angels are most scary in ones or twos.
 

CupofJoe

Some medals you wear on your heart not your sleeve
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
1,113
I'm sure that i red somewhere that the Doctor was originally supposed to get younger with each regeneration [this sort of ended with Peter Davidson]. So I'd like to see a young actor. Someone in their teens or early twenties. They would still have all the wisdom and knowledge and then be completely ignored and overlooked...
 

AE35Unit

]==[]===O °
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
7,757
Location
Somewhere near Jupiter
I'm sure that i red somewhere that the Doctor was originally supposed to get younger with each regeneration [this sort of ended with Peter Davidson]. So I'd like to see a young actor. Someone in their teens or early twenties. They would still have all the wisdom and knowledge and then be completely ignored and overlooked...
Daniel Radcliffe?
 

AlexH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
1,526
Location
Staffordshire, UK
I did find myself a bit bored during the episode but enjoyed it overall. I agree with a lot of BT Jones' points. I had to google 'retcon!'

With the climax of the Doctor being turned to a weeping angel ruined straight away, wasn't inspiration right there in "Blink?" Why not have a Blink-style episode where the Doctor hardly featured? Yaz is a good character and I like Dan - they're perfectly capable of holding up an episode. I didn't know if it was meant to be funny and a reference to the early 1900s that the older guy of the trio talked funnily and that almost every line of his was exposition. Past the previous episode, I don't get the point of his character at all. I did laugh at the scene in Nepal.

It felt like an episode that would've been great if it was in the Eccleston/Tennant/early-Smith era.
 

TheEndIsNigh

...Prepare Thyself
Supporter
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
3,278
@BT Jones
Excellent rant.
However,

I just find that part of it a little bit insulting. Great, have a black female Doctor; find the best actress you can get and make her the next one, but don't inject one into some hidden past to suggest that Doctor Who WAS a lot more diverse and liberal, and that we just weren't told about it.
That would be a colossal waste of her talent. Plus, can you see any actor of any caliber taking on the role after this.

If this isn't the end of the Who universe, the next Who will need to come from the the school leaver age group.

That or the back end of a pantomime horse, so they can really flog the franchise to death.
 

BT Jones

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
628
Location
Australia
@BT Jones
Excellent rant.
However,


That would be a colossal waste of her talent. Plus, can you see any actor of any caliber taking on the role after this.

If this isn't the end of the Who universe, the next Who will need to come from the the school leaver age group.

That or the back end of a pantomime horse, so they can really flog the franchise to death.
I have more hope for the future than you have @TheEndIsNigh. Whilst this era has been an unmitigated disaster from a storytelling and quality point of view, I think the producers have realised that extolling the show's positive message and greater diversity of talent whilst the end product is so poor would be a fatal miscalculation if not corrected, hence the first showrunner of the NuWho era to only get to oversee one doctor.

Quality, sales (viewers), and a general appetite for a 'product' is what governs business success in the broader world, and the same is true of entertainment. High ratings and fan support is no good if the viewership has halved and no one is buying the toys or DVDs (a classic marker for a dwindling fanbase is not the actual rating of a show on IMDB, but the number of people giving the rating; often ratings go up as a show continues, but if it's only the diehard fans rating it, it is painting a false picture).

I think RTD will redress the balance, whilst still providing the positive messaging and liberal attitude the modern version of the show has always carried. He will just be able to do it far more subtly through intelligent storytelling, and good scripts, rather than foghorning it from the rooftops just in case viewers don't notice it over the numbing effect of having content physically injected into their veins. The casting of the next doctor, however, is absolutely critical.
 

AlexH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
1,526
Location
Staffordshire, UK
I have more hope for the future than you have @TheEndIsNigh. Whilst this era has been an unmitigated disaster from a storytelling and quality point of view, I think the producers have realised that extolling the show's positive message and greater diversity of talent whilst the end product is so poor would be a fatal miscalculation if not corrected, hence the first showrunner of the NuWho era to only get to oversee one doctor.

Quality, sales (viewers), and a general appetite for a 'product' is what governs business success in the broader world, and the same is true of entertainment. High ratings and fan support is no good if the viewership has halved and no one is buying the toys or DVDs (a classic marker for a dwindling fanbase is not the actual rating of a show on IMDB, but the number of people giving the rating; often ratings go up as a show continues, but if it's only the diehard fans rating it, it is painting a false picture).

I think RTD will redress the balance, whilst still providing the positive messaging and liberal attitude the modern version of the show has always carried. He will just be able to do it far more subtly through intelligent storytelling, and good scripts, rather than foghorning it from the rooftops just in case viewers don't notice it over the numbing effect of having content physically injected into their veins. The casting of the next doctor, however, is absolutely critical.
I haven't seen much original Who, but wasn't that positive messaging and even 'wokery' a part of it? Of course much more subtle and perhaps not as frequently as it has been in the past 2-3 series. The voice for wokery in relation to film and television is rather OTT these days, which has led to more highlighting of Doctor Who and some of it's storylines. Personally, I think a couple of episodes singled out for criticism for wokery have been two of the best of Jodie Whittaker's era (Rosa and Demons of the Punjab).
 

BT Jones

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
628
Location
Australia
I haven't seen much original Who, but wasn't that positive messaging and even 'wokery' a part of it? Of course much more subtle and perhaps not as frequently as it has been in the past 2-3 series. The voice for wokery in relation to film and television is rather OTT these days, which has led to more highlighting of Doctor Who and some of it's storylines. Personally, I think a couple of episodes singled out for criticism for wokery have been two of the best of Jodie Whittaker's era (Rosa and Demons of the Punjab).
I've re-watched a quite a few episodes of original Who over the last few years with my curious, once-fanatical son. I can't say I noticed anything particularly obvious with respect to 'wokery', as you call it. Certainly it's messaging was quite varied, depending on who was writing the episode (I seem to recall Peter Davison's Doctor running around with a handgun, shooting the creatures that live inside Daleks in one of the shows).

Yes, I didn't mind Rosa, and Demons of the Punjab was ok; they were at least from the far more respectable season 11 when they were still trying to tell coherent stories and not bombarding the viewer with far too much plot and endless exposition. Orphan 55, I recall, from season 12 was possible the worst example of messaging being force-ably jammed down our throats.
 

Similar threads


Top