Doctor Who; The Church on Ruby Road (Christmas Special 2023)

nixie

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This was fun, complete nonsense but fun. I like Ruby, probably later on we will find out the mystery of her heritage. The doctor I'm not sure about yet.
Ive have a burning question, who is Mrs Flood ?
 
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My money is on Mrs Flood being the woman who dropped off baby Ruby at the church.
 
Me and my lot found the episode very underwhelming. The story was very thin, and the pacing rather slow. It's probably the weakest doctor debut episode of Nu Who for my money. I'm still very hopeful that N'cuti Gatwa can be an excellent doctor. I just felt he hadn't earned his status yet and was galivanting around as if he was already a well established doctor. Compare that to the brilliant Deep Breath and the peerless 11th hour where Capaldi and Smith had to gradually find themselves over the course of the episode. Very disappointing.
 
I'm going to give it a pass since it was a (silly) Christmas episode. But overall I thought it was mediocre.

@Pyan interesting theory - would be about the right age for a daughter, no?
 
Looks like I am in a minority of one in really loving the new Doctor. I have no problem with him being up and running - across rooftops, no less! - without any of the usual adjustment period, since they have already explained he was ‘having a rest’ whilst Tennant was still controlling the body and, even if it sounds stupid, that’s all the justification that the writers have to give since bi-generation is a completely new feature about which nobody knows anything.
 
Minority of three. I liked him although the crit. that he was galavanting around from the very start was well taken should you be (as I am) an appreciator of Who history. He actually was fully capable at the end of the previous special. Also did not appreciate the sonic screwdriver suddenly being able to to everything except tie shoelaces,
The third appreciator was Miz Pogo. She has only expressed an affection for one other Who actor - and that was Tennant in his non-Who incarnations.
 
It was a little manic. I'm not sure I understood everything. I cannot believe that there is a flying sailing ship of baby-eating Goblins above us in the atmosphere that has never been detected, but then I guess, no more or less than a mirror-planet-Earth where Cybermen evolved. But the time-travelling of the atmosphere-living, baby-eating Goblins, that wasn't really explained, and I thought that needed some further exposition. Or else, I just follow the advice of @Matteo and put it all down to silliness. There was no need to rescue Davina McCall from the falling tree. Would British TV miss her?

And my second thought - Amy Pond, River Song, Mrs Flood...

And what about the First Doctor's granddaughter, Susan...?
An interesting theory about Ruby Tuesday but with the Doctor's super intelligence and all the Time he has available, wouldn't he easily work that out for himself. So, is he just keeping it from Ruby, or does he really not know? Anyhow, there you have the overarching story theme for next the next Season.

It also looks like there will be a few stories with a North-West London setting. Although that street with Anita Dobson looked nothing anywhere near Notting Hill, and was clearly somewhere near Cardiff, there was a mention of Abbey Road and the Beatles.
 
Interesting that the whole "finding family that you've been separated from since birth" thing is Long Lost Family - an ITV production.
 
RTD Christmas specials are usually fluffier than his normal fare, so we weren't expecting high drama for this one. I was slightly disappointed we didn't go full Labyrinth, and Davina McCall seemed to take up more of the episode than was needed - I mean, why would she randomly ask a guest if she was getting bad luck just because she'd been run over by a rampaging moose? A moose bit my sister once... But I digress.

We weren't sure about the new Doctor. Mrs M T felt he was far too pretty to be the Doctor. I held the position that while he is insanely pretty, so were Mr Davision and Tennant back in the day, maybe include Smith. He was great at the enthusiastic babbling part of the Doctor, we're waiting to see what his "game face" is like before we decide.

I also felt Ruby joined the Doctor less because she had a real reason to, and more because the script told her to, but I also feel we're going to learn more about her over the next series, so I'm withholding judgement.

Mrs Flood interests me too. I have seen a theory that she's a bi-generated River Song. I can't say I like the idea, as bi-generation was sold as an almost mythical occurrence, so having two characters have that same experience would cheapen it, in my mind. ~My dad thought she might be Susan, but for one thing I think it's too early for the time period Susan was left in, previous episodes have implied that she has died, so I don't know about that either. I'm personally hoping she's a new character.

Finally I'm going to give my thoughts on the bi-generation, since I never got around to giving my thoughts on The Giggle. I like it as a concept. I just worry because when Tennant left the first time, there were fans who couldn't let him go. I hope the fact he could potentially come back at any moment doesn't overshadow Gatwa's time as the Doctor, as Rose did for Martha when she was mentioned every five seconds.
 
We weren't sure about the new Doctor. Mrs M T felt he was far too pretty to be the Doctor. I held the position that while he is insanely pretty, so were Mr Davision and Tennant back in the day, maybe include Smith. He was great at the enthusiastic babbling part of the Doctor, we're waiting to see what his "game face" is like before we decide.

Pretty is nice, even too pretty if that’s possible. My concern is that the Doctor seems to be in the grips of a mid-life crisis.

The Doctor started off as an older man and a father figure. That made hugging him safe, and appropriate for a children’s TV series. The drift down the maturity scale seemed to be accompanied by a move up the weirdness scale, especially in the clothing, so perhaps that was supposed to make the Doctor still look safe and non-sexual.

I always believed they were casting based solely on the abilities of the applicants - nothing else explains how Sylvester McCoy got the part, since his stage act was anything but warm and cuddly! - but, thinking about it, they probably have an idea of what they want the next Doctor to be like, and cast accordingly. When they rebooted with Christopher Ecclestone, the darkest and most disturbed of all the Doctors I feel, it was surely a deliberate break with the past and perhaps an attempt to widen their audience. But once you start down that road you have committed to a fundamental change in the nature of the relationships he has with his companions, and that genie is going to refuse to go back in the bottle.

So now we are trapped in the revolving door of new loves and broken hearts which litter New Who; Ruby Sunday doesn’t look like she is going to break the mould. It was entertaining when it was new, but I am heartily sick of it now. Women in particular come out of it looking really cheap and easy. Worse, the Doctor is no longer all-wise and infallible, and his companions are no longer safe. He/She may promise that they will save you, but some companions come to terrible ends and the Doctor’s bitter regrets ‘butter no parsnips” as the saying goes. The character is now, at heart, needy and selfish, with no genuine regard for the flotsam and jetsam that gets caught up in the whirlwind of their passing - they must be, because there is a distinct lack of a safety briefing on offer before the next lot of cannon fodder signs on. If the writers and show runners still see the Doctor as a reassuring father/mother figure, it isn’t obvious.

A change for the better? Who knows. I am not sure that a kids’ SF TV series needs a tougher and more sexualised reality portrayed in it, but I am not the target audience I guess.
 
How catchy was the Goblin Song?
Thanks for the link, particularly as I didn't listen to any of the words of the song while I was watching.

if the Doctor needs a companion, can’t he get a dog?
Oddly enough, just the other day I was watching a repeat of the Big Bang Theory episode where Professor Proton was asking Leonard why he put up with Sheldon and saying that Leonard's descriptions of Sheldon could equally be applied to a dog.
 
When they rebooted with Christopher Ecclestone, the darkest and most disturbed of all the Doctors I feel, it was surely a deliberate break with the past and perhaps an attempt to widen their audience. But once you start down that road you have committed to a fundamental change in the nature of the relationships he has with his companions, and that genie is going to refuse to go back in the bottle.
RTD was writing primarily for himself, it's what he does. So he brought to Nu Who his childhood nostalgia for it, along with the interest in edgy relationship drama he showed in e.g. Queer as Folk (but obviously not so transgressive). That clearly worked with a lot of Who's previous audience, who had matured since it ended. I would say it's aimed at the former child in its adult audience, which appeals to some actual children too.
 

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