Doctor Who, Terra Nova, and Homeland

Posted on October 03, 2011

Our TV blogging roster is pretty heavy right now, and about to get heavier with the Walking Dead season 2 premiere less than two weeks away, but we figured we’d give our thoughts on some of the more notable television offerings out there. Because “opinionated” is in the tagline and we just can’t leave one unexpressed.

Terra Nova, “Genesis”

Considering all the money spent, the Spielberg involvement, and the long wait for this pilot to air, Terra Nova was more than a letdown. The concept is a fantastic launching point to tell stories: 22nd Century humanity, in the throes of a total environmental collapse, discover a time fracture that allows one-way trips to millions of years in the past. Select humans are chosen to make the trip and start over again in a world both pristine and infinitely more dangerous than the one they left behind. Sounds great, right? So what did we get? Exceedingly lame family drama. You would think after the disaster that “V” was, no television writer would ever want to re-use the old trope of the snotty, trouble-prone teenage boy causing trouble, but there it was; almost two full hours of it. And all because of his daddy issues. And when we say “trouble-prone,” we mean “causes several deaths and puts several dozen other lives in danger.” Result? Hugs. Bleh. There’s also a slightly disturbing racial component, where every character of color was either an idiotic coward (and thus, dino fodder) or a mysterious and dangerous radical. We’ll watch the latest episode tonight, but unless there’s a good 20 minute sequence of lasers vs. dinosaurs, we’ll be left asking “What’s the point of this show?” We can get treacly family glurge practically anywhere else on television. There’s no reason to smear it all over what should be a fun adventure show.

Homeland

Mo Ryan turned us on to this one and once again, the lady knows what we like. Luckily, we already subscribe to Showtime, because after watching the pilot episode OnDemand (which should still be available to everyone, whether they’re Showtime customers or not), we were hooked. It’s easily among the best new shows of the season, if not the best, full stop. Doing a terrorism-based thriller in 2011 seems almost quaint now, since 24 pretty much defined the post-9/11 era, but this one is smart and nuanced in a way its genre-setting forebear was not. Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent who has a tendency to get a little obsessive. Rather than roll around in the tired old trope of the loose cannon who’s always right going up against her by-the-book superiors (one of whom is played by the most low-key Mandy Patinkin we’ve ever seen), we find out that the people she answers to might actually be right when they try to reign her in and fail to trust her instincts. We’ll leave that there because there are reveals galore in the first episode and we don’t really want to give much away. Damian Lewis plays Nicholas Brody, a returning Marine who’s been a prisoner of war in Iraq for 8 years and long considered dead. V’s Morena Baccarin plays his wife and she’s so far from the reptilian uber-bitch she played in her previous show that you’d almost believe it was a different actress except for her uncommon beauty.  All of the performances are nomination-level great, with intensity when the brilliantly tight script calls for it and subtlety when it makes the most sense. We hesitate to reveal much of anything about the plot, save that it manages to delve into the much-delved-into ideas of surveillance overreach in a post-post 9/11 world and what forms the ongoing War on Terror might take as it gets more and more sophisticated – on both sides. With the final reveal of the hour, we’re left wondering just how the show’s creators are going to manage an entire season with this story, let alone the possibility of multiple ones, but we don’t even care. We were sucked in almost immediately and did that thing that always tells us we just got introduced to a show we’re gonna love: “Damn. It’s over already?”

Doctor Who, “The Wedding of River Song”

Well, that was a bit of a disappointment. Taken on its own, the Season 6 finale was a bunch of fun, loud scenes strung together, with more insane concepts in one hour (Winston Caesar! Area 52! Chess-Playing Viking! Talking blue head in a box! Meredith Viera!) than most shows manage in an entire season, leaving the viewer’s head spinning as to what the hell was going to happen next. That’s good. That’s what Doctor Who is supposed to be; wild concepts and fun rides. Sure, the ending was a literal deus ex machina, and worse, one that doesn’t hold up to the slightest scrutiny (compare the Tesselecta’s robotic “performance” when it was imitating anyone else vs. how it acted when it was imitating The Doctor), and sure, it was yet another alternate timeline with the fate of the entire universe on the line, almost exactly like last year’s finale, but none of that really bothered us because most of it was just plain fun ( a word we just realized we – quite appropriately – used way too many times in one paragraph).

But, showrunner Stephen Moffat set up a storyline that had to come to its conclusion with this episode and it was a story that was deeply emotional at its core. You don’t have to do melodrama with Doctor Who (and the argument can be made that you shouldn’t even attempt it), but if you are going to base your story around the idea of parents losing their infant to political zealots who brainwash it into being a psychopathic assassin, and if you end the story by revealing said child spent a good portion of her life in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, then have that adult child jump up and down in glee with her parents at the news  that the man who was, in many ways, responsible for all of that is alive and well and off having adventures somewhere without them, then that rings as terribly false to us. Yes, it was The Silence who did all of those things to the Pond-Williams family, but it was their association with The Doctor that lead The Silence to them and set all of those events in motion and not only did The Doctor not solve any of these problems, he waved them off at the end. He admitted that River still has to go to prison for murdering him (and have history record her as one of its greatest monsters; worse even than Hitler) but that’s okay because she spends her nights with him having adventures. Great, but that effectively removes any agency for the character. She exists because of the Doctor and her entire life has been dependent upon The Doctor. She’s barely made any decisions for herself (even her doctorate was pursued so she could find him again) in her entire life — and THAT’S the happy ending? She’s “married” to a man who has never really demonstrated any romantic feelings for her outside of the mildest of flirtations (and the wedding itself consisted of him barking orders at her to “do as she’s told” after yelling at her that she embarrassed him) and she’s fine with that? Amy’s fine with that? That doesn’t ring true on an emotional level at all. In fact, it’s the very worst thing you can do with science fiction; the trap that all lesser sci-fi authors tend to fall into: not taking real, recognizable human emotions into account. If Moffat wasn’t capable of that or (more likely) simply didn’t want to wallow in the melodrama, then we find ourselves wishing he hadn’t made the attempt at all. River Song was a fantastic character when we didn’t know anything about her, but now that the blanks have been filled in, she comes across as a woman with no life of her own who’s so obsessed with The Doctor that she’ll destroy the universe to keep him alive and will happily live her life at his whim, entirely dependent upon a “husband” who doesn’t even seem to love her.

The Doctor has a very dark side to him and this has been true of virtually all his incarnations. It’s certainly a point that’s been visited more than once this season (both in “The Girl Who Waited” and “The God Complex”). We can buy that he might treat his companions this way and not give it a second thought, but we can’t buy that his companions would necessarily love him for it.

 

 

[Photo Credit: BBC America, Showtime, Fox]

    • http://twitter.com/LianaBrooks Liana Brooks

      Terra Nova’s concept sounds like it’s based on the series that starts with THE MANY COLORED LAND. I didn’t watch, so I’m not sure it’s true, but the opening there and the opening you describe are similar.

      • Anonymous

        No, the two are really quite different.  Terra Nova is very much people in the time of the dinosaurs, while The Many-Colored Land is focused on psi powers and riffs on various mythologies–85 million years ago v. 6 million.  Also the MC Land has a future that’s mostly utopian–those who leave it are sort of misfits.  TN’s future is disastrous.

        While the criticisms of Terra Nova are valid, I’m going to give it few more shots.  The premise has great potential and, fact is, it has family viewing potential, which I know isn’t a lot of people’s concern, but it is an issue for me.  While I’m looking forward to The Walking Dead–though not as much as Mad Men, I’m kind of looking forward to SF that’s not as glum as Caprica.  

      • Anonymous

        Right now Terra Nova is reminding me of Earth 2, except there is no Clancy Brown to keep me interested if the story doesn’t pick up. Since they at least didn’t use the tired TV scifi cliche of crash landing/marooning the settlers with no access to supplies or technology I will stick around for a few more episodes. I guess it is too much to hope that the bratty son will be eaten by a dino? I trie a couple of episodes of the BBC show Outcasts and gave up, it bored me to tears. 

        • MilaXX

          Primeevil is a much better show.

    • Emily Giovanni

      That’s Firefly’s Morena Baccarin! Just saying. Also, I don’t watch Dr. Who (yet) but that River sounds like River from Firefly too, with the brainwashing and assassin training and such. You guys should get the DVDs. 

      • http://twitter.com/bredalot Bridget Smith

        When I was a radio DJ, I called myself “River” because of River from Firefly (also because it was pretty apt for me personally; as badass as River Tam is, she’s not really someone I’d like to emulate). Some of my coworkers took to calling me River in real life, which was a little weird, but not as weird as how I snapped to attention any time someone called River Song’s name in Doctor Who.

    • http://profiles.google.com/eszubert Elizabeth Szubert

      Martha loved the Doctor and look at all the crap he gave her.  Plus, Rose Tyler broke open the TARDIS in order to save Nine…so, the idea of his companions breaking all of time and space for him ins’t that big of a jump.  I do think that, on some level, the Doctor does love her.  It just might not come out as that now because, even married, they’re still at the start of their relationship.

      • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

        They’re not really at the start of their relationship. The Doctor is 200 years older and when they compared notes in the season opener, many of their adventures together had been filled in.

        • Jessica O’Connell

          Is it possible that the Doctor was just lying when he said that he was 200 years older and that he had been through all of those adventures with River though? If not, that would mean that since he dropped off Amy and Rory, he’s just been wandering 200 years alone. I feel as though that’s unlikely, given his apparent need for someone to see how amazing he is and how incredibly lonely he usually is… So maybe they do still have a lot more relationship to go and he was just trying to throw them all off so that they wouldn’t worry that he’d be dropping dead any minute?

          Also, to be fair she isn’t just twiddling her thumbs waiting for him, right? When she’s introduced back when David Tennant was playing the Doctor, she had no clue that he would be there but was working independently for the man whose family owned the library. We just don’t get to see what other crazy adventures she may be breaking out of jail for. She could be up to all sorts of non-Doctor-related shenanigans!

          • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

            When we meet River for the first time in The Library, it’s after she’s been released from prison, more than likely for her work during the crash of the Byzantium.

            Why would the Doctor lie to everyone, including Craig, about his age? Why would he lie to River when she asked about the Easter Island and Jim the fish adventures in the first episode?

            • Jessica O’Connell

              True. Ok, maybe she’s not just breaking out of prison for adventures… I don’t really know how to rectify all of this, but I don’t think that these revelations have sucked all of the badassness out of River entirely.

              Not sure about why he would lie to Craig, which I had forgotten he’d done, so good point. He might lie to Amy and Rory though, since Amy would have been so heartbroken by his death. If he lied, which, granted, he may not have, it could have just been to give her the comfort of thinking he had at least another 200 years to live?

              I’m probably trying to hard to figure this out… I guess I just don’t want to believe that after all that time, the Doctor doesn’t return River’s feelings at all or that such a fantastic female character lives at the whim of an unloving husband.

            • Anonymous

              Oh yes, now why is Amy so heartbroken?  If she reverted to her earlier timeline, wouldn’t we be seeing her just after she was dropped off from the God Complex?  she wasn’t heartbroken then, even though she knew the Doctor would die.  On this point I am still confused.

            • Anonymous

              A few glasses of wine and time to think it over and let it sink in I suppose. Also, because of the crack in her wall she still remembers things that happened to her in alternate timelines. It isn’t very clear though where everything fits in though with Amy and Rory. I’m still a bit confused over a few timings with them too.

            • MilaXX

              I thought between this episode and last week it was said that he was wandering around for past 200 years. In part inserting himself into the movies and pictures Amy and Rory saw. I think it’s also implied that when the Jim the fish and other adventures with river occur.

            • Anonymous

              That is interesting–that means when she shows up at Amy and Rory’s at the end of “Wedding” she is finally a free woman, but soon to leave for the Library?  How sad.

          • Anonymous

            The 200 years in his lifespan is supposed to be after The God Complex according to the writer. How he fills that in we don’t know. There’s still a lot of River and the Doctor to come (including a proper wedding perhaps, as she still doesn’t know his name but did in the library), how much we’ll see of that who knows though.

            I’m pretty sure River gets up to plenty without the Doctor,but we aren’t going to see that on Doctor Who are we ;) Maybe if they launch an ‘Adventures of River Song’ show we might see them, but short of that we’re getting the Doctor related aspects.

          • Anonymous

            “When she’s introduced back when David Tennant was playing the Doctor,
            she had no clue that he would be there but was working independently for
            the man whose family owned the library.”

            River knew the Doctor would be there – she invited him. That’s why he was there in the first place. (She sent him a message via psychic paper: “The Library. Come as soon as you can. X”)

        • Anonymous

          Yes, and the fact that he skips ahead 200 years (we see a few of his adventures at the start of the Impossible Astronaut) is interesting.  It seems like it must have a purpose– leave enough time in Eleven’s timeline for Matt Smith to record audiobooks till he (Matt) is 112 years old without running out of years?

        • http://profiles.google.com/eszubert Elizabeth Szubert

          They are as a married couple though.  There’s a difference between having adventures with someone you think of as a friend/companion/somewhat lover who knows your future and your wife.  At least, that’s my take on it.  

          Sorry it took me so long to get back to this.  I also agree a lot with Jessica’s comments, especially “I guess I just don’t want to believe that after all that time, the Doctor doesn’t return River’s feelings at all or that such a fantastic female character lives at the whim of an unloving husband.” because I don’t want to either.  We know the Doctor has a heart (well, two) and I can’t see him continuing to be so cold.  

          • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

            It seems to me that those who are defending this story so vehemently are doing so by not looking at the text so much as imagining all the things that aren’t in the text – filling in the blanks, if you will, with the things they want to be true rather than what has been all laid out for us. That’s fine, but it only strengthens my point that the writing here was weak and sloppy.

            • Anonymous

              We’re shown the Doctor change attitude to River at the end of A Good Man Goes to War when he finds out who she is, that she’s more than human which has always been his barrier to relationships. Also before that he’s angry at her for not turning up, he feels let down.

              In Let’s Kill Hitler as he’s dying he whispers to Melody to find River and tell her *something whispered of around 3 syllables* to which she replies ‘I’m sure she knows’. That revelation whatever it is, is enough to get her to sacrifice her regenerations and put her on the path to becoming River. The only three syllables that makes sense is ‘I love her’. Open to suggestions though.

              The shooting of the Doctor is before most of those adventures. She’s still quite young and immature and it’s early in their relationship for her but not for the River on the beach who compares notes who is the one he’s had the adventures with. It’s later for that Doctor but not for the Doctor in the rest of TIA/DOTM who has his first kiss, her last kiss at the end. The beginning of TIA is one of the few times we’ve ever seen the Doctor and River in sync.

              The pyramid scene – he says she’s embarrased him because she’s asked for help, because he doesn’t believe anyone would help him. She says I couldn’t let you die, he interrupts, then she says ‘I couldn’t let you die without knowing you were loved’. That’s where he sees she she isn’t just being selfish and will let him die and he decides on the marriage. The Doctor doesn’t get pissed off like that as a rule without being pushed, the end of reality in his name would probably do it! But she also gets him flustered in a way he doesn’t understand. Hell in high heels. And Eleven isn’t very good with women, Ten should’ve left him his little black book!

              We’re told about the birthday at the Frost Fair that she’s returning from to the Stormcage. Sounds like a date to me.

              We know by the library that River knows his name and that there’s only one time he would tell her that. He didn’t tell her his name at this wedding therefore that would indicate there’s a real one to come.

              Their relationship as far as we’ve witnessed is still early. There has supposedly been adventures off screen post God Complex but we’re hardly seen them on screen together in sync. Plus they’ll never be a conventional couple. And, Eleven isn’t the demonstrative, gushy type, that doesn’t make him cold by any means.

              Yes there’s some blank filling in, there has to be. It’s still basically a kids show and I don’t think your average 10 year old would be overly impressed by too much mushy stuff. But generally what I’ve got of the relationship I’ve got from what I’ve watched.

            • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

              I’m not really arguing that they don’t have a relationship; just that the relationship they do have is fairly dysfunctional as it’s been presented to us.

            • grouchywif

              I think their relationship seems dysfunctional because their timelines are in reverse. When we first meet her, she is a mature woman who has had many adventures with him, is completely in love with him, and is treated as an equal by a future him (she drives the Tardis on occasion,and she has a sonic screwdriver of her own). However, he doesn’t know who she is and then boom! she dies for him in Forest of the Dead. So that seems dysfunctional in that she was obviously someone he trusted with everything (his name!) and she was obviously in love with him, but in his timeline, he had never yet met her.

              The River we have been seeing since then has been progressively younger. So earlier on in the series, she was acting like a familiar wife with a high comfort level around him, he was just getting to know her. Now that he knows her, she is a younger version without the age and experience of the River of the Library. The River that was put into the suit to kill him was a young, rather immature River with the infatuation that comes with the first love of youth. She loves him, although yes, it is an immature love. The kind of love of an obsessed young woman who will destroy the universe in order to try to save him. Their relationship (and she) will mature, though, and before she dies she will be the River we met in the Library…one who has adventures with her hubby while also maintaining her own life, going off and doing things without him, like her mission to the Library. She serves her prison sentence to maintain the lie that she killed him, but she’s hardly wasting away behind bars. She gets out at night and runs around with her new hubby having adventures we don’t see on the screen. The Doctor has never been an emotionally demonstrative guy, but he is obviously very attracted to her and feels romantically for her. River and his relationship grows, but in reverse timelines.

              I don’t think he lied about Easter Island and Jim the Fish. I think he’s done these with River (the River that watches him “die” in Impossible Astronaut, not the River that kills the teselecta). At the beginning of The Impossible Astronaut”, Rory and Amy read about adventures of the Doctor from past history and wonder if he is being ridiculous in them to gain their attention. This is likely a reference to  the “farewell tour” that the Doctor mentions in Closing Time.

            • Anonymous

              I don’t think a relationship with the Doctor could be anything else but dysfunctional, or River for that matter so they’re well matched.

              My point simply was that all that is in the text, no imagination required :)

            • Anonymous

              ITA.  The only thing you haven’t mentioned explicitly is that River is the “child of the TARDIS”, and by virtue of that fact alone, she is the only woman the Doctor could ever love.  She knows and understands Time the way he does.  Recall “The Doctor’s Wife” actually *was* the TARDIS, and remember that the TARDIS stole him just as much as he stole her.  River’s unique status means simply that the Doctor *can* love her, in a way that he could not love a human… hence the marriage.

            • grouchywif

              I agree as well. I think it is dysfunctional in a functional way. I also think that at this point, without any Time Ladies around to fall in love with, River is the only person the Doctor can truly relate to…the only one who looks at time the same way he does. The time-jumping, the danger…these have all been things companions have done with him, but they are very much being led by him. River seems to have an inner drive for it that others haven’t had and she is capable of just taking off on her own. She gets it and doesn’t hold it against him.

              It’s been a rather confusing few seasons with River, keeping up with the reversed time-lines and remembering when we see River that she hasn’t been where we have and we haven’t been where she has. I’m looking forward to how they handle it next year because River doesn’t seem to be too terribly far away from the Library, but then again, since they all hop around to wherever they want to go, it could in reality be a while before she gets there.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      You know what I want next year from Doctor Who?  I think we should get a companion fighting against the Doctor.  I don’t think the Doctor is to blame really for much of the bad shit his companions go through (for reasons previously stated on many occasions:) but I’d like to see one who thinks he is.  No one ever flings any blame his way for this kind of thing?  Really?  Seems a tad unlikely, doesn’t it?  That’s where I hoped they were going with River — that at least part of her life was going to be spent wanting him to explain himself and his actions!

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Rory has been a bit cross with the Doctor on occasion. And there was a red haired companion with Five who was working against him.  Excuse me while I go and look up his name…

        Turlough!

        Poor sod was stuck in a school uniform practically the entire time he was on the show…

        • Anonymous

          Turlough is the one you’re thinking of.

        • Anonymous

          And I loved Turlough because he was subversive.  I aslo cheered when Adric died. It seems that many of the companions kind of get screwed after traveling with the doctor. Many often get dumped somewhere. Would make sense for one or two of them to want revenge for it.

          • Eclectic Mayhem

            I wonder whether part of the current show’s preoccupation with the companion’s experience is because of the impression left on the – then youthful audience members – show runners and writers.  

            I was VERY worried about Sarah Jane when Four left her in entirely the wrong place, and very worried about Tegan when she tried to get back in the Tardis.

            • Anonymous

              I still worry about Susan!

          • http://profiles.google.com/ballinger.jl Jessica Ballinger

            At least Old Who companions got to SEE other planets.  I’m so sick of “Oh look, ANOTHER chapter of humanity!”  The past, the present, it’s ALWAYS just humans humans humans.  When do we get to see alien worlds?

            • Anonymous

              No they didn’t, they got to see a slightly different corner of the same quarry ;D

              We got more alien worlds with RTD, but Moffat does seem to be a bit more earth-bound.

            • Eclectic Mayhem

              “No they didn’t, they got to see a slightly different corner of the same quarry”
              *Eclectic guffaws with laughter in an unladylike manner*

        • http://twitter.com/lbcubbison Laurie Cubbison

          Yes, Turlough was the one I was thinking of too. I have those DVDs around here somewhere. Maybe I should watch them tonight.

    • Anonymous

      I’m SO disappointed in Terra Nova. I knew it was going to be stupid, and I’m not surprised that it’s a non-stop parade of one-dimensional cliche characters, but I did think at least it would be rollicking fun. Instead, it seems to think we’re supposed to be pacified by a few “gosh, look, it’s a REAL DINOSAUR and it’s SO BIG!” moments. I wanted more than a slightly-less-impressive version of a scene we got in Jurassic Park 17 YEARS ago.

    • Anonymous

      Good points on Doctor Who. My brain has been reeling since watching that episode. SPOILERS AHEAD…. One thing that confused me is how using a Tesselact version of him prevents the whole “time ceasing to exist” bit. I mean, he’s still alive, so that fixed point was altered. Right? One thing I did like, is that it tied up some of the too X Files-ish stuff for me. If he has to fly more under the radar now, we might get more undercover fun (there’s that word again) and less bombast.

      At least they finally showed us what would happen if someone messes with a fixed point. There have always been dire warnings about it, but no follow through (if I’m remembering correctly).

      Another question. If the second time stream no longer exists, does that mean that eye-patch villain lady is still around?

      • Anonymous

        Wasn’t Father’s Day, back from the first reboot season, basically the same problem? The consequences there were somewhat different, though there was the same general theme of “time starts falling apart.”

        • Anonymous

          Oh yeah, the one where Rose goes back to save her dad? And they’re at that wedding and all the creatures are breaking through and attacking? You’re right. They did address that before. Thanks. (Although this was addressed in a much wackier fashion, appropriate for this Doctor.)

          • Anonymous

            Also in the Waters of Mars–in each case, the Universe reacted to the altering of the timeline, but in totally different ways–in Fathers day we got Reapers, in waters of Mars, we got fulfillment of some of the events despite the Doctor’s efforts.  In Wedding… we get all of time at once.  I doubt it can all be wrapped up in a consistently logical explanation.

        • Anonymous

          That is part of the problem this last two seasons IMO. That episode basically made it so that the consequences of erasing one death, which was not a fixed point, were epic. That’s all gone now, and the Doctor can mostly make changes as he pleases, except for the dire fixed point. I know it allows Moffat a lot of flexibility in telling stories like The Big Bang, but I still think it was a bad move as a whole. Too much timey-wimey, not enough solid storytelling.

          • Anonymous

            But it wasn’t the death that mattered, it was the belief that he was dead and that stands as a fixed point. It’s the actions based on that belief that he’s dead, which then affect the actions of people in the past, present and future. River has to ‘kill’ him to be imprisoned, to escape on adventures, to nearly be executed by the Tesselecta, to be taken to the Byzantium by the clerics and to end up in the library to then die instead of him or he wouldn’t then ever meet Amy and Rory and River would never be born in the first place. His actual death doesn’t matter in that respect, just the record of it. I agree Moffat plays the get out of jail free card too much, but this one made sense to me. And, we always knew he wasn’t actually going to kill the Doctor :)

            • Anonymous

              I am not arguing the logic behind the inability to change a fixed point, I am saying that I think it was a bad decision to make the consequences dire ONLY for changing fixed points. I think it was more interesting when there were more consequences. The death of Pete Tyler was not a fixed point, but it had HUGE consequences nonetheless. I think it was better than the new almost-Universal time can be rewritten policy.

            • Anonymous

              No I agree on that. Moffat is far too keen on hitting the reset button. It’s a bit of an easy option. And he does seem to bend previous rules to suit himself. He’d be better trying to avoid writing himself into corners in the first place. Generally speaking I preferred RTD when it came to story arcs and Moffat for standalone stories.

            • Anonymous

              I liked RTD’s characters better- he was really good at making everyone around the Doctor, even the minor characters, seem like people. The Moff is better- I mean really brilliant- at plotting intricately. I just think he focuses too much on the puzzles and not enough on the people.

            • Anonymous

              I liked RTD’s characters better- he was really good at making everyone around the Doctor, even the minor characters, seem like people. The Moff is better- I mean really brilliant- at plotting intricately. I just think he focuses too much on the puzzles and not enough on the people.

            • http://twitter.com/dialmformichele Michele Rosenthal

              So agreed. I feel like the last two seasons have been TOO plot heavy, at the expense of the characters. And when the plot is made so important, it’s more of a letdown if the conclusion is full of holes.

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        I think he was always in the Tesselact, so THAT’S the fixed point.  The Doctor, in a Doctor suit, dies at Lake Silencio.

        I like the idea of Monument Valley being a – what was it? – a calm/still point in time?  It was one of our stopping points on the big cross-country trek and it is MAGNIFICENT.

        Not sure how the Doctor will manage in stealth mode…  it’s not been his strong point!

        • Anonymous

          I think the Doctor in stealth mode is recipe for fun!

      • MilaXX

        okay, part of this I figured out and part is an answer someone posted on TWoP.
        What I figured out was that it was it worked because as far as the Silence are concerned it happened. Remember Amy saw them up on the hill watching them.
        The other reason given was that it only had to be recorded that the Doctor was killed at Lake Silencio. So the official record and eyewitness account has River Song shooting and killing the Doctor. Hence the reason the Doctor needs to fly under the radar now.
        3rd question also mine. I’m pretty sure yes Madam Kovorian is still alive

        • Anonymous

          Thanks. I can work with those explanations.

        • Anonymous

          That makes sense. I could rationalize that the fixed point in time was the destruction of the Tesselecta, rather than killing The Doctor, but I still couldn’t figure out why River had to go to jail for it. You’ve provided an explanation.

        • Anonymous

          Which is why he would’ve invited Canton. He would need someone to officially log the death and destroy the ‘body’.

      • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

        The fixed point wasn’t altered. The Doctor was always in the Tesselecta, even in episode one. The fixed point isn’t the death of The Doctor, it’s the shooting of the Tesselecta. It always has been.

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          *High fives TLo*

        • Anonymous

          I keep writing this on different blogs, but I will just repeat myself here–we tend to think of a “fixed point in time” as something that happened and can’t be altered after the fact because so many events depend on it.  But it is also possible to *create* a fixed point in time, like what happened when the Tardis’ Artron energy made Jack Harness a fixed point in time.  The Silence decided to kill the Doctor in a circumstance where the Doctor’s death was a fixed point in time, one that could not be rewritten  [for some reason this involved having him killed at a lake in Utah by Amy’s half-Gallifreyan baby in an astronaut suit.]  However, with foreknowledge, the Doctor worked out how to not get killed there by using the Tesselecta, making the fixed point in time the death of the Tesselecta, not the Doctor.  Since it is fixed, when River tries to change her actions, time blows up, and everybody ends up in steampunk Londinium. We are led to believe that it is because the Doctor is still alive (he even tells Churchill that) but it is because the events that are fixed have not transpired.

        • RuthAlice Anderson

          And I think the Tesselacta was a better replicant of the Doctor because the Doctor was a participant in its operation – not an eradicated bacteria it poofed. 

          • http://twitter.com/dialmformichele Michele Rosenthal

            I can buy that, but does it explain how the Tesselacta was able to simulate regeneration?

            • Anonymous

              It emitted light from the mouth as part of it’s execution method, I don’t think it would have much problem replicating regeneration, especially as the crew had witnessed it in Lets Kill Hitler. :)

      • Anonymous

        The fixed point is the killing of the Doctor rather than the death. It has to be believed and recorded that he’s dead, not that his life has actually ended.
        And that takes him back to being the wandering stranger he was before, which is a good thing in my opinion.
        Yes, I’d assume that means Madame Kovarian is still out there.

      • Anonymous

        My problem with all of this is that as a Time Lord with a time travel machine, the Doctor from the past  has traveled to the future beyond this fixed time point. So even if he was dead you could still expect to encounter him at some point. I have watched the show since my local PBS station started running it in the early 80s (always was amused by the fan boys running around college in Tom Baker’s coat & scarf). One thing i have learned to do is throw out any expectation of continuity or sound scientific principles. Pretty much I suspend my disbelief on a per episode basis and enjoy the ride. Unlike most of the minions, however, I really dislike Matt Smith’s Doctor and he doesn’t have the charisma to keep me engaged in boring or slightly ludicrous episodes.

    • MilaXX

      Terra Nova was a huge let down for me. 10 mins in and I want all the kids to die. I’ll give it a second look but after that I’m out.

      I wasn’t going to watch Homeland, manly because I dislike Claire Danes, but I may check that out.

      I was a bit disappointed with Doctor Who. I love Matt Smith when he running abround and being all quirky but when I sat down and really thought about the episode it wasn’t anywhere near a satisfying as The Pandorica last season. I’m not as disappointed with this as I was with Torchwood, but I’m still not entirely happy with Amy & Rory never getting to raise their child and being the go to person every time Mels got into trouble really doesn’t cut it for me. I do have hope that River somehow gets released from prison, because if I recall correctly she’s no longer a prisoner when we first me her in The Library.

      • Anonymous

        It’s implied from last season she was probably pardoned after the first matt Smith adventure with her. At that point she was Dr Song. In Silence in the Library she was Prof Song

        • MilaXX

          DUH! I somehow missed that. Thxs!

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        I see your point about Rory and Amy missing out on raising Melody. I felt all the stuff with ‘Mels’ went by too quickly.  The developments in Let’s Kill Hitler could’ve taken an entire season or at least three or four episodes…  Classic Doctor Who (as you know, of course being a confirmed Whovian!) used to be stand alone story lines that took three or four episodes to play out. There would be a cliff hanger every week!  Sometimes I miss that style of story telling.  Long arcs are all very well but it makes the ‘filler’ stand alone stories stick out like a sore thumb!

        • Anonymous

          I very much miss the classic concept. I think Moffatt sometimes gets too consciously clever for his own good, and even he loses track of his storylines.

        • Anonymous

          I miss those days. The whole Key to Time arc and the subsequent fallout took awhile to resolve but kept things interesting. Eventhough there was a story arc, those episodes were still enjoyable individually.

        • Anonymous

          I do miss the cliffhangers. Especially when you were 8 and really didn’t think the Doctor would find any escape from the end of that corridor with the Daleks bearing down on him :D 

          Ah, it was much better when you were innocent enough to believe the Doctor actually was about to die!

          • Anonymous

            People really did watch from behind the couch lol. Oh Classic Who…

          • Anonymous

            People really did watch from behind the couch lol. Oh Classic Who…

            • Anonymous

              It was my mum that wouldn’t watch it. She would time making the tea for when it was on so she was out the way in the kitchen LOL!

    • http://smalldog.wordpress.com/ Small Dog

      I take your point, TLo, but River hasn’t exactly be incarcerated all her life.  She’s been shown to break out frequently, usually to have an adventure with or on behalf of the Doctor, or simply because he’s taking her out for her birthday.  She’s obviously had a whole life with him that we the audience don’t see.  That’s the whole fun of the River character for me: she and the Doctor keep meeting in the wrong order, and we’re following his timeline not hers.  I can’t really imagine her following him around like a lovestruck puppy as some of his companions have, she kicks too much ass for that.  

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Well said!  *hearty round of applause*

      • MilaXX

        I get the whole “she spends her days in prison and her nights with me”,  and I know she comes and goes often I dunno, it just seems in a lot of their meetings that River still carries a lot of guilt over having shot the Doctor.

        • Anonymous

          I think that what we saw in her was not guilt but her sadness at knowing that it had yet to happen to him, and he would not understand until the time at lake Silencio was over.  The care that is required when meeting at diverse points in each other’s timelines is mindboggling, 

      • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

        Is that really such a great life? “Sure she’s in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, but she breaks out all the time?” What parent wants to find out that their child’s life turned out that way?

        • Anonymous

          I think I’d be quite happy to have a secure bolthole if I was her (given that she treats it more as a homebase than a prison). If the Silence discovered she didn’t kill the Doctor they’d come after her again, so it isn’t such a bad place to be for her own safety.

          • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

            That’s not exactly a point in favor of arguing for the quality of her life.

            • Anonymous

              I didn’t say it was as such. But it might help preserve it for a time.
              However in the library she refuses to let Ten even consider rewriting time and says ‘watch us run’ she doesn’t seem to consider herself to have had a bad life. She’s dotting about through time having a grand old time generally. Clearly not always with the Doctor and not always with that Doctor (she mentions visiting earlier ones). The Stormcage doesn’t appear to hamper her much.

        • http://smalldog.wordpress.com/ C.

          Well, she knows she didn’t kill him and her parents know she didn’t kill him.  The people who matter know the truth.  I sort of read her willingness to be incarcerated as an attempt to convince the universe that the Doctor is really dead.  It wouldn’t really help with his wanting to disappear if she protested her innocent.  I’m not totally disagreeing with you, just pointing out that with Dr Who we really only see his timeline, and it jumps around an awful lot.  Again, the idea of a relationship happening in the wrong order and fragmented is part of the fun for me, which is probably why I’m rooting for River.  Shutting up now!

          • Anonymous

            Of course strictly speaking she did kill him. She killed him in Let’s Kill Hitler. The fact she gave him her regenerations and revived him doesn’t alter the fact she poisoned him in the first place.

    • Anonymous

      If I were you, I wouldn’t give Terra Nova much of your time.  It didn’t pull in the numbers that it was supposed to and the overall critical response has been a big fat yawn.  If Spielberg’s name weren’t on the credits, this wouldn’t be getting a second week.  It’s basically the same threadline as Falling Skies with a much higher budget.  The cast is not very compelling, although I liked the wife more than any other character last week.  At least she had a sense of brightness which the show clearly lacks.  It also lacks a sense of wonder.  I think it will be cancelled in four episodes.

      • MilaXX

        I’m still stuck on how you get a 7 year old in a backpack and it wasn’t a giant army surplus or duffel size backpack.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Ohhhh, I love Mandy Patinkin. I would totally watch this show if I could. 

    • Eclectic Mayhem

      Re: Doctor Who

      I’m happy that the story was wrapped up in such a way that we still get to see more of River Song and Alex Kingston.  I do understand your reservations about them as a couple but (soppy romantic that I am) I think the Doctor loves her.  It’s got to be difficult to embark on a relationship which you know ends the way it ends.  Hard to love someone when you feel obligated and GUILTY.  The contemporary doctors – 9, 10 and 11 – seem to be burdened by guilt in a way that I don’t think I ever felt from Doctors One through Four.  A bit from Five when he lost Adric, of course.  Six I prefer to pretend never happened.

      I enjoyed Let’s Kill Hitler but would have liked to see the wooing of River Song (which, in effect it was as he brought her from psychopath assassin over to ‘our’ side) take a little longer.  I don’t know why they’re in such a hurry to wrap it up.  Take your time.  Have Alex Kingston pop in and out forever!

      As for the Finale…  I was a bit bewildered by it up until the point where the Doctor gives Rory the pep talk about texting and scones – that was the first big laugh for me and from then I was on board.  It doesn’t take much!

      Eclectic

      • MilaXX

        I thought Adric died when he was with 4.

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          Nope, definitely with Peter Davison.  It was the end of a Doctor vs Cybermen cycle and Five is left standing with what’s left of Adric’s mathematics award (a gold star) which he used to suffocate a Cyberman.  Not sure if contemporary Cybermen are still allergic to gold…

          That image of Peter Davison is burnt into my brain.

      • Anonymous

        Can we jump in the TARDIS and erase six from the timeline? OMG that was HOR-REN-DOUS. 

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          Abso – fragging – lutely, dammit! (to quote Bruce Boxleitner in another sci fi fave – Babylon 5.

        • Anonymous

          Six never got a chance due to the politics surrounding the show at the time, and he was given the worst costume ever. But I think if Colin Baker had been given a chance in a different situation he would’ve been really good. I remember really liking him and being gutted when they got rid of him (and nearly the programme) prematurely.

          • Anonymous

            That outfit was awful and it didn’t help that he had one of the worst companions ever. My best friend at the time liked him as well and felt he didn’t really have a chance, but I really couldn’t stand any of it.

            • Anonymous

              I loved Tom Baker and found Peter Davison a bit too wishy washy in comparison, so Colin Baker was return to a more abrupt, less cuddly Doctor which I preferred. The odds were stacked against him though, and he never had the chance to do what he wanted with the character and let the audience warm to him. A huge lost opportunity. And yes, they really lost the plot with assistants in the period! They lost the plot with the show in general for a long time.

    • Mariah J

      I haven’t watched it yet but I’m really excited about Homeland. Terra Nova looked like it had potential but too corny for me.

    • Anonymous

      I’m giving Terra Nova one more week to grab me but it’s far from must see television.

      Just a random thought… what do you all think of BBC America’s Luther? I would love a TLo take on Alice and John!

      • Anonymous

        Ooh yes, a good show. 

      • MilaXX

        Luther is awesome!

      • MilaXX

        Just heard Idris may be in the running to be the next James Bond, now that would be yummy!

    • Anonymous

      Cannot wait to read what you have to say about Dr. Who!  love ya, mwah!

    • Anonymous

      While the Dr Who finale I can see being a bit of let down, I do think the Doctor loves River or certainly will come to love her deeply. The final scene between the Doctor and River in her introductory episode supports that when she realizes he knew she was going to the library to die.. Plus she does know his real name.

      Going back to the idea of someone taking the Doctor to task, Rory has probably come closest since he’s slightly an outsider in their dynamic. He certainly let the Doctor have it in both Vampires of Venice and The Girl Who Waited. He cares deeply for the Doctor but he clearly can see the kind of effect both good and bad he has had on Amy

    • Anonymous

      I watched the first part of Terra Nova but it was so stupid I won’t be watching any further episodes (though I liked the two leads).  The basic concept is so flawed it’s ridiculous. 

    • Lattis

      My god, you guys. Thank you for delineating what was hollow about that Dr. Who finale. I watched it and felt empty.  It felt to me like they were just chucking action after action and novelty after novelty at the screen, but in the end it was all “filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing.” It was fun sound and fury, but . . . 

      I hated the Doctor hollering at River that she was stupid and an embarrassment to him. I hated that they never had any “chemistry” nor any real connection. And most especially I hated that they turned River Song into a fucking country western saga standing by her man and ripping apart time just so she could – well – stand by her man.

      I thought she was going to be the female equivalent of him. Brave. Intrepid. Brilliant. Risky.  

      • Anonymous

        The actress is so brilliant, that she almost persuades you to forget about how horrible everything happening to her character really is. Alex Kingston  brings life to River and convinces me that she IS brave, intrepid, brilliant and risky. It’s really too bad that the plot doesn’t support any of that acting.

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Maybe chemistry is in the eye of the beholder – I feel the screen blistering when River Song and the Doctor are together.

        When it was revealed that Alex Kingston was coming back to the show I was thrilled.  Initially, however, I was a bit disappointed with the way Matt Smith’s Doctor treats her in The Time of Angels but then I realised that he was right.  Of course the Doctor is wary, irritated and distrustful of this woman from his future.  He’s been running ever since he stole the Tardis and this woman has somehow tied him down?  Is outsmarting him left, right and centre?  Knows him better than he knows himself?!

        I loved David Tennant’s Doctor but, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog and to anyone who’ll listen, I got heartily fed up with him falling in love all over the place and snogging anything that didn’t move.  I really appreciate Matt Smith’s characterisation.  I appreciate his reserve, his slightly professorial, fuddy duddyness and his slight asexuality which counteracts the fact that he’s the youngest person to play the Doctor so far and the fact that he’s incredibly hot!

        If Ten had met River Song again it would be a different story (he’d still be caught up in her sacrifice in the Library and whisk her away in a cloud of wonderment) but Eleven is not Ten; he has his memories but he is a different man and he is uncomfortable with the whole damn thing.

        I think, despite himself, he’s already in love with her by the time she shows up in A Good Man Goes To War – that’s part of why he’s so hurt that she wasn’t there to help out earlier.  When he realises who she is his reserve falls away entirely so HE’S in love when they meet again in Let’s Kill Hitler (but of course, she’s not and he has to woo her).

        In defense of River Song, who I believe is – as you so beautifully put – Brave. Intrepid. Brilliant. Risky. – her refusing to go through with the fixed point at Lake Silencio is entirely in character, when has she ever willingly done as she’s told?  And in ‘standing by her man’ she was actually committing herself to never even touching him again in order to save him.

        • MilaXX

          I think that’s what makes this cast Amy/Rory/River/The Doctor work so well for me. They all have great chemistry together. I’ve read where they hang out in real life as well. If so that friendship definitely comes through in their characters. I also agree that River & the Doctor pretty much sizzle in their scenes together.

      • Anonymous

        He was embarassed at her showing him he was loved. He never will believe that. She embarassed him by showing him, and the way I heard it she knew she would have to give in and let him die but she wanted to show him that first.

        • Lattis

          I am taking all your great comments under advisement. :) 

          Somebody (somewhere out on the internets) said that they disliked the fact that River starts out being an independent character and ends up just being in orbit around the Doctor – dislike that her entire life is a reaction to the Doctor. Everything she does is in reaction to the Doctor. She doesn’t become an archeologist because she’s interested in it per se, it’s that she needs to become one to stalk the Doc through time, etc. She starts out being a cool, bad ass adventurer. And ends up being the Doctor’s biggest groupie. 

          Although, my husband – who really should get an account here and make his own comments (eh hem) – points out that  we see her story told from the Doctors time line. If her story is told backwards, like she lives it, she starts out in orbit, a scared, brainwashed killer and ends up being an independent, cool bad ass adventurer. 

          On chemistry: I very much like these actors working together and the way they play off each other. But, I never felt like I was shown any special tenderness building between the Doctor and River. There’s obsession on her part, and curiosity, and (understandable) wariness on his part, and lots of clever banter. It would have been more moving, IMO, if I’d ever seen them in an episode as a couple who are visibly in love with each other. Their entire romantic involvement with each other is off stage. So, as a viewer I can imagine that they love each other deeply and truly . . . but since I wasn’t shown it, I was left nonplussed at her willingness to sacrifice all of time itself to keep him alive. 

          Corsetmaker, I like that interpretation. 

          • Eclectic Mayhem

            1 *like* isn’t enough here – I want to click on it lots and lots!  I too love what Corsetmaker said and Mr Lattis’ interpretation of River Song’s story.

          • Anonymous

            I definitely think the out of sync meetings confuses the relationship. Add in the fact that Eleven isn’t exactly in touch with his feelings and has been quite schoolboyish about relationships. Ten was a more romantic Doctor and would’ve been totally different, but then a lot of people moaned about that side of Ten. 

            It also comes down to the fact it’s a family show and heavily geared towards kids watching, who aren’t going to want the mushy stuff :) It leaves adult viewers wanting more sometimes, so we just have to fill in the blanks.
            Yes, I like that interpretation of River. It’s ‘Doctor Who’, we’re only seeing her actions in relation to the Doctor. If they made an ‘Adventures of River Song’ show it would be an entirely different ballgame. I don’t see her as being in orbit around the Doctor so much as being destined to be with him. And he’s shown himself to need her in the past, he just isn’t very vocal about it.

            • Eclectic Mayhem

              Yeah… I’m one of the people who got fed up of Ten’s frequent dalliances.  I adore David Tennant and I really, really enjoyed what he did with the role. Really.  I’d’ve liked him to do it in his own accent but you can’t have everything…!  

              I probably wouldn’t have minded Ten’s helplessly romantic nature so much if it was just little flirtations here and there like with Kylie Minogue on the RMS Titanic or thieving Lady Whatserface from Planet of the Dead.  It seemed like it was THE. BIG. LOVE. a couple of times too often, that’s all.  The Girl in the Fireplace – BIG ENORMOUS SIGNIFICANT LOVE; Rose – THE LOVE TO END ALL TIME; Joan Redfern from Human Nature – HUGE, ENORMOUS, HEARTBREAKING LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

              He just ends up looking a bit fickle…

              Then, of course, I completely contradict myself by wholeheartedly getting on board with the River Song saga.

              Ten was also probably a bit of a shock to the system after Classic Who where everything was very buttoned up and repressed.  The Doctor generally had a paternal relationship with his female companions.  I felt, as an eleven/twelve/thirteen year-old, that there was a wee frisson of something going on between Five and Tegan but it was all pretty subtle.  There was a definite air of something going on between Four and the second Romana – especially in City of Death – but Tom Baker went on to marry Lalla Ward so that’s hardly surprising.  I’ve never seen Eight so there might be more ‘romance’ in Paul McGann’s interpretation.

              I guess I just prefer my Doctor a little bit repressed.  Pretty much the way Matt Smith is playing him.

              By the way – have you seen this shirt design over at Threadless Doctor-Hoo? The Caricature of Ten is particularly brilliant.

            • Anonymous

              LOL! That does actually look remarkably like Ten!

              Yes, I agree. I loved David Tennant (odd, although I’m Scottish I wouldn’t have liked him to use his accent, I can’t get my head around Doctors with regional accents), and likewise I loved his portrayal but he was a bit of a slapper ;) Snogged anything that caught his eye! Which now I feel has detracted from the River Song relationship. This is the first female character who has been remotely suitable as a partner since Romana and I like the relationship but it would’ve had a lot more punch without Ten’s dalliances.
              I watched some old Tom Baker episodes a while back (a Sarah Jane story) and I was surprised at how flirty he was and how many double entendres were flying about. Of course at the time they would’ve gone right over my head. Peter Davison, yes I think I picked up on that too. But then he was similar to Tennant in that he was an attractive and young Doctor (and Tennant’s favourite, just as well now they’re in-laws LOL!) had he been in the role in current times they would’ve no doubt have given him a love interest. Interesting to wonder what they would’ve done with other Doctors now, Tom Baker in particular as he was young and magnetic, if not particularly pretty. LOL! imagine him with River! A meeting of curls!

              Oh, Paul McGann caused outrage – the first Who kiss! :D 

              But yes, repressed, odd and a bit cranky and impatient. Smith is going the right way, I still think he lacks a little charisma compared to some of his predecessors, but I have an inkling I’m going to like 1100 yr old Eleven better than his younger self :)

            • Eclectic Mayhem

              Regarding regional accents:

              Rose “If you are an alien how come you sound like you’re from the North?”Nine “Lots of Planets have a North!”

              My parents are both Glaswegian but we left Scotland (Falkirk to be precise) when I was three so, unfortunately, I sound like a damned sassanach!  That’s probably one of the reasons Tennant’s own accent makes me weak at the knees.  I’ve had an enormous soft spot for him ever since Takin’ Over the Asylum.  And an enormous soft spot for Ken Stott too.

              Sylvester McCoy used his own accent, for the most part, though so I shouldn’t really feel hard done by.  I guess it really has all been R.P. apart from Seven, Nine’s Lancashire and Ten’s Estuary English.  Unless Eight was a Scouser of course?  I really should watch the damn film!

              I guess we should cut Ten a break – when you wander around the universe looking like that women (and men) simply ARE going to fling themselves at you… he’s only Gallifreyan… ;)

              I really didn’t expect to like Matt Smith as much as I do but he had me wrapped around his little finger almost immediately.  He’s like a Who Savant – there’s just enough of Patrick Troughton’s absent mindedness, a dash of Jon Pertwee’s interest in his appearance, a generous helping of Tom Baker’s LUNACY, and plenty that’s all his own.  

              I’ll admit that it’s been a big adjustment to deal with the actor playing the Doctor being younger than me though.  I remember a joke about aging: ‘you know when you’re getting old when policemen start to look young’.  I was okay with Tennant being the same age as me but Smith being 11 years younger certainly smarted a little!

            • Anonymous

              We’re about the same age then, Tennant is only a month younger than me :) (and co-incidentally I was born in Falkirk as we lived in Cumbernauld until I was 2). I still grouch over my now late grandparents very nearly buying a house next to where David Tennant grew up…. oh the opportunities missed LOL!

              Smiths age bothered me too, but he’s overcome that. The only time it bothers me is when he’s doing the pals thing with Amy. It gets a bit too student flatshare at times. That’s why I’m welcoming his older self and hopefully less Amy and Rory. Much as I like Karen and Arthur I do prefer Smith away from them. But yes, I agree he’s the most Doctorish Doctor since the revival, maybe ever as he does have the best elements of most of them. I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses.

              I remember that explanation, but I still think the Doctor should sound more or less the same accent wise even though he looks different (unless he’s been holed up for a few centuries in Paisley or Manchester and picked it up). I didn’t mind Ten’s Estuary English, as plenty of people have put that accent on to sound less posh (Blur) so it suited Ten’s character. But Eccleston and McCoy, that irritated me. I think McGann used his posh voice, but it’s been a long time since I watched it.

              So yes, liking Smith more and more, but oh I do miss a bit of Ten eye-candy. I forgive him his failings as if I was in that Tardis alone with him…… LOL!

              (with you on Ken Stott too)

            • Anonymous

              Mmm… Tennant eye candy…

              I do miss that. A bit. Of course I LOVE 11 in all his alien otherness. Romantic hero doctor was fun at first, but I got really tired of it around the time they brought on Kylie. It’s why everyone loved Donna so much- so sick of romance.

              That said, I love that he is alien, but I have to say seeing him treat River like crap right before marrying her alienated me as a viewer, and made her look like a doormat. I know she loves him, and is trying to save him, and blahblah but there is some stuff up with which one should not put.

    • Anonymous

      I recorded Homeland last night even though I didn’t really know anything about it but the promos looked good.  And today I’m reading all sorts of critical raves for it.  I look forward to watching it though I’m not sure if my schedule can handle another weekly drama right now.

      • MilaXX

        I just watched and I’m hooked already.

    • Anonymous

      Say what you will, but Terra Nova is the land of hot guys. The storyline is lame, but the guys are fair game! The second episode features even more hot guys in all age groups. Keep your Pan Am. Terra Nova makes me want to to the bosa nova.

    • Anonymous

      So glad you’re watching “Homeland,” since it looks great but, being too cheap to pay for Showtime, I’ll have to wait for it to come out on DVD and, meanwhile, read your analysis.

    • Lattis

      Terra Nova – – – @#$%!!! 

      Have you guys seen the old cartoon series Valley of the Dinosaurs? Well, this is the updated version with fabulous sets and gorgeous dinosaurs. But, it’s still a stupid, stubborn, know-it-all, little boy getting everyone in deep shit every goddam episode. 

    • Anonymous

      I think Moffat got caught up in his own complicated storylines.It is fine to have something like a contest between the writer and the audience when it comes to guessing where the story is headed – but it almost felt like this was the driving force behind much of the plot. I still liked this series very much but more for the details & the actors & single episodes but not for the overall story development.

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t hate Terra Nova…it was entertaining enough.  And I like that guy from Life on Mars and that guy from Avatar.

      I’m trying to avoid getting sucked into the Homeland pilot since I don’t have Showtime, so I’ll just pretend that you didn’t say it was worth watching.

      And Doctor Who….doctor who…doctor who.  What can I say…I’ve tried, but I really miss the days of 9 and 10.  The part on the top of the pyramid with River and the wedding really bugged me….up until then she was always so bad ass, but then they reduced her to a woman living her life to get/be with/save her man. It was kind of pathetic, even with the explanation. (Great acting on Alex Kingston’s part though.) 

    • http://www.facebook.com/WendyLKaufman Wendy Kaufman

      Oh Thank you TLo. I thought I was the only Whovian that felt this season was horrible. The silence was simply a poor copy of the elegant Weeping Angels, and I really kinda felt that The Dr’s repeat visits to Amy as a child was verging on pedophilia..and then go to marry her daughter? Heck, it seemed as if he was modeled on Woody Allen this season. None of the Moffat scripts seem to go beyond the “monster of the week” theme, and they play so fast a free with time that I really was no sure why it mattered if the doc was killed at all, as he’s still be bouncing around in time even if he is dead. He shows up at the end of the universe with Rose, for example, so who cares when his timeline ends? It’s still looping anyway. Very let down after such a cool restart of the franchise.

      • Anonymous

        Probably because when Matt Smith leaves the role they would have to end the series otherwise.

        • Anonymous

          Exactly. Bit of a problem if they put an endpoint on a 50 year old show by killing off the current actor.

    • Stacy Clarke

      I would like to know why they would send us back to the land of the dinosaurs when something wiped all the dinosaurs out.  Plot.  Hole.

      • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

        Our understanding is that they’re living in a time period roughly 20 million years before the extinction event.

        • http://www.facebook.com/aaronfrey9 Aaron Frey

          They’re actually living in an alternate timeline, so the extinction event may never happen, and hence all the made up dinosaurs. 

      • Lattis

        Yeah, but you could have millions of years to live and develop and reproduce in clean fresh Cretaceous air happily romping around with teh dinosaurs!!! I’d go for that – if the choice was that or the dystopian world they seemed to be living in. You know, for all we know there is a great big asteroid out there that is going to wipe us all out in a million years . . . or next year or whatever. 

    • Anonymous

      Ditch the craptastic Terra Nova and catch up on Breaking Bad before Sunday’s finale.  Best show on TV!

      • MilaXX

        Oh  My Dog ! Been trying to come up with a plausible explanation for the kid getting sick cause I really don’t think Walt or Gus did it.

        • Anonymous

          I think that Walt was truly ready to die, especially without Jesse on his side, so I don’t see why he would have done it.  Logically, with Gus’s track record, it seems as if it has to be him.  Sunday night should be crazy!

          • MilaXX

            I really don;t think Gus did it. He seems surprised when Jesse told him the kid had been poisoned. I think that conversation with Jesse is what made him not get in the car. Gus is very methodical and meticulous and upon reflection the entire conversation with Jesse likely didn’t sent right with him.

    • aimee_parrott

      Terra Nova bored me senseless, and it’s too bad because it’s such a great concept.

      Homeland, on the other hand, was far and away the best pilot I’ve seen this year — absolutely fantastic writing, great acting all around, a thrilling concept, complex characters…. wow.  I actually switched over to Showtime from HBO just for this show.

      Doctor Who I love but I’m way behind (still watching David Tennant episodes) and wanting to avoid spoilers.

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Ooops!  Don’t read any of my comments.  Except this one.  And enjoy the fabulous David Tennant!

      • MilaXX

        Ironically enough the black guy on Homeland, was on Doctor Who. I think it was The end of Time. The one where everyone looks like the master.

    • MilaXX

      Just finished Homeland and YES! that is good. This will fill my Breaking Bad void after next week.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the review of Homeland; I was on the fence with it, now I have to figure out a way to watch it without getting Showtime.

    • Anonymous

      i beg to differ re: 24 being the quintessential post-911 series.  in my world, that honor belongs to “sleeper cell”, which was on showtime a few years ago. it’s at the top of my list of best television ever, second only to “deadwood”.  the lead is a gorgeous mocha- skinned green-eyed african-american man who is a traditional muslim, ex special forces, now FBI, who goes into prison to establish his cover identity and join the terrorist organization “the base”.  the members of the cell are each beautifully developed charactersand the story is so engaging i can’t imagine why more people haven’t seen it. 

      • MilaXX

        I watched Sleeper Cell as well, and I loved DeadWood, but The Wire tops my best show ever list.

    • Anonymous

      Totally OT but is anyone else having a problem withe the “Follow Us” and “Archives” links along with the Disclaimer appearing over the comments? Happens mostly when I go to the 2nd, 3rd, etc pages of comments.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, that happens to me when I’m using IE, which I have to use at work.  Also, I often get a ‘bad script’ that tends to slow things down.  I suppose that could be a sign to not read blogs about tv and fashion at work and wait until I get home and can use safari, but hey, it hasn’t stopped me yet.

        • Anonymous

          Same here with the bad script. I’m switching to a Mac at the beginning of the year so I’ll just suck it up until then!!

          • Anonymous

            When you switch, I’d advise Firefox over Safari for following TLo. The presentation on Firefox is much cleaner than it shows up on Safari, although I read/watch almost everything else on Safari.

    • Jessica O’Connell

      Maybe she acts guilty so that no one realizes that she was wrongly imprisoned and then tries to look into it? I mean, if the Doctor shows up in the warden’s office (they still have wardens at this point…right?) and demands to know what she was accused of, then he learns a “spoiler” that he shouldn’t know about…maybe?

    • Anonymous

      Seriously! The more you think about her life, the sadder it gets. There should just be a picture of River Song under the tv tropes entry for Fridge Horror…

    • Anonymous

      Yay for Homeland! Soo good! Can’t wait to see how the show keeps things going all season long.

    • Jessica O’Connell

      Didn’t they say that it’s a completely different time stream, so what they do will not change the future/their present? Wouldn’t that also mean that there may never be an asteroid to wipe out these dinosaurs?

    • Brigid Costello

      “compare the Tesselecta’s robotic “performance” when it was imitating anyone else vs. how it acted when it was imitating The Doctor”
      No one else was actually driving themselves – you have a: someone with the Doctor’s speed of thought and reaction, b: the person reacting purely as themselves rather than another person pretending to be another person.  

      I actually really enjoyed the finale and thought it did a number of very smart things to both wrap up where things were and position the Doctor as a creature of the shadows again.

      • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

        The Doctor was standing behind the eyeball, which means someone else was driving it. Besides, that still doesn’t explain the lack of mechanical noises that accompanied all the other impersonations.

        • Anonymous

          I can only think it was an improved model, or perhaps that the Doctor did some tweaking himself. Or perhaps the Tesselecta just gets better once it’s used to it’s subject. Father Gideon was pretty natural.

          I just rewatched Lets Kill Hitler and the mechanical noises are quite few. One time when ‘Amy’ turns round, then she turns again with no noise and when the shape changed or files are accessed The movement was stiff and stilted but apart from that it looked and sounded real. It had been knocked about a bit in that episode so perhaps in perfect working order it could be a lot more realistic.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe it just me but man, I felt the torture flashbacks and even the “next week on Homeland” scenes were really shocking.  The violence was short and rare, but still really got to me.  I might not be able to watch next week.

    • http://twitter.com/vintagegoddess just julie

      I do think that at some point the Doctor has fallen in love with River because, as we know from The Library, she does know his name and I can’t see the older River sacrificing herself for a man that never really loved her.  (and nice flashback to the library when he says “Time can be rewritten” and she responded “don’t you dare”.)
      I liked the episode, liked the way it ended.Loved the shout out to the Brigadier.
      And Mark Gatiss as Gantok.

      My quibble with not messing with a “fixed point in time” takes me back to Torchwood more then anything. How the hell do we explain Jack becoming mortal when he himself is a “fixed point in time’?

    • Lauren Maier

      Dear TLo – 

      I hope your blurb on “Doctor Who” means you’ll be ditching the A-List entirely to do regular reviews on Doctor Who.  I fell in love with the show during season 4, with David Tennant and Catherine Tate.  Russell T. Davies was at the helm then, and re-watching the old Tennant and Eccleson episodes, I sense something’s missing in Smith.  Or maybe in Moffat, I don’t know.  All I know is, I connected with “The Doctor’s Wife” and “Closing Time” in a way I hadn’t in ages.  Matt Smith’s whole run (and now River’s, as her story becomes more obvious and somehow more convoluted) has consistently left me excited at first only to let me down in the end.  The Silence story could have been EPIC and it just…fell flat.  Even River’s love for the Doctor seems hollow compared to Rose Tyler’s love…and why isn’t Amy upset that all this time has passed and she hasn’t been able to hold her daughter since she was first born?

      But, erm, ahem.  Yes.  MORE DOCTOR WHO POSTS PLEASE!!!  :D

      • Anonymous

        Co-signed on all of this! Would love to get more of TLo’s view on Who.

        Amy is a cardboard cutout of a character, and as much as I REALLY like the actress, her character has never seemed like a real person to me. Not like Donna, who was sublime. Not even like Rose (who I actively disliked in S2, but she still seemed like a plausible, well-rounded character).

        Her relative lack of reaction to losing her child fits right in with her general lack of depth.

        • Anonymous

          Which is the problem with how Moffat writes women. Unfortunately, from things he’s said and the way he writes, he seems to be an unrepentant misogynist who doesn’t even realize he’s being offensive. He gives the ladies no agency and defines them by the men in thier lives.

          Karren does her best, but like with River, I only like the character because I like the actor. It’s just too bad.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah- that whole bit at the beginning of the finale about how what broke the Universe was… a WOMAN just seemed like baiting his critics. Got a big ol eyeroll from me.

      • Anonymous

        I think it’s definitely Moffat whose missing something.

        It can’t be denied that Moffat does not seem to be able to write the emotionally rich episodes of RTD, but Matt Smith really does amazing things with the material that is given to him. Alex Kingston, too, has made me fall in love with River DESPITE the problems I have with the way Moffat has written the characters. It’s all due to the actors. TLo have it right about River’s lack of agency, and yet somehow, I still want to believe in her and think she is doing amazing things by herself, and that is all Alex’s work.

        But the real problem is that when Matt Smith earns a BAFTA, Moffat’s going to see it as proof that
        he’s good instead of proof that Matt Smith is amazing DESPITE him— ARG!

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t say the Doctor doesn’t give his companions’ fate a second thought. He’s regularly torn himself up over their safety – the end of the God Complex, Ten over all his companions and you can go back to that with Classic Who as well. But they keep coming back, he needs them and they choose to stay with him of their own free will knowing the dangers. Surely that was the point made in Closing Time, The Doctor tried to send Craig away but he wouldn’t go.

      As for Eleven and River, Smith’s Doctor has been quite emotionally immature in that regard and has had a perpetual teenage ick! reaction to any sort of romantic behaviour. That changed in the finale, and I think we’ll see a different more mature Doctor now (odd word for an 1100 year old!), at times the older River seemed to be exasperated with the younger him. The River in the spacesuit was the younger, immature River who still had a lot to learn and so behaved rashly. We haven’t yet really seen them meet in the middle.

      I haven’t been keen on the baby arc either. I felt Moffat expecting the audience to just accept that Melody grew up ok so therefore Amy and Rory were perfectly ok with their infant being snatched away was totally unconvincing and unbelievable. They would’ve been better avoiding the Melody/River storyline – except they had to make River more than human in some way or she would’ve been no more an acceptable partner than Rose was. However I think Moffat betrayed his characters.

      As for the Tesselecta – that bothered me too, the Tesselecta in the finale is later than in Let’s Kill Hitler. It’s possible it was a more advanced model or that the Doctor could improve or just operate it better.

      In summary I enjoyed the finale and I’m liking Smith better all the time. It had it’s plot holes and issues, but it was fun and Doctor Who is a family show which should above all be fun.

    • Anonymous

      Good points about Doctor Who.  On some level, the problem is that the show runners haven’t figured out how to translate the companions to today’s audience.  The old ones, who often existed simply to say, in Elisabeth Sladen’s words, “yes Doctor, no Doctor,” and then get rescued from a dire predicament, would not connect with today’s audience.  Davies and Moffat have made the companions central to the story, but I don’t think they’ve figured out what to do with them.   

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6PUVFQ7YCZZFZRIER6BEJ4HVYE Amye

      Terra Nova was basically LOST with no smoke monster, but dinosaurs instead.

      Sixers?  Others….

      Flashbacks?  Lame & predictable.

      Confusing science?  Same muddle (but without the interesting theories).

      The acting is wooden, the characters have no chemistry, and the writing is puke-tastic.

      • http://karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/ Karenlibrarian

        It wasn’t nearly as good as the first season of BBC’s Primeval, which also included time-travel anomalies. The dinosaurs were better, the characters were much better written, and the acting was great.  Season 4 was inferior to the first two seasons but still better than this.  The story is pretty lame and full of plot holes already.  I’ll give the second episode a try but I agree, it seems like Lost but without the smoke monster — minus good characters, good story, and good actors!

        However, I do have to point out that there are plenty of good characters played by people of color — the woman who plays Dr. Shannon is of Indian descent; also one of the military guys (the one whose daughters is outside the fence); plus several of the teenagers.  

    • Anonymous

      The only one of these shows I watched was Terra Nova, and it was so idiotic that I stopped after the first half hour.  The new show I am loving is the Zoe Deschanel sitcom, which last week contained the funniest line I have ever heard on TV.  She goes to her ex-boyfriend’s house to get her stuff and comes out carrying a television and wearing all of her clothes – sweaters, capes, a pile of random hats – and one of her friends waiting in the car says “She looks like Helena Bonham-Carter”.  Except for the television it did look like something HBC would wear.  I’m still laughing.

    • Anonymous

      I can’t even begin to say how much I agree about Doctor Who. This season’s giant arcs to nowhere and attempts at crazy plot turns have fallen flat for me every time; characterization was thrown by the wayside for plots that didn’t make any sense. I actually gave up half way through this season because I was so grossed out at the way they completely removed Amy’s agency and most of her characterization and the spoilers I’ve read after each episode have no convinced me to continue. Blech.

    • Anonymous

      LOL I just wanted to read your evisceration of Terra Nova, thanks! XO

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NMLK23QK6C7NMLMVVYA5POXKJY WhiteMage

      i was very disappointed in the who finale. i am usually oblivious in spotting plot twists, but the tesalecta thing was obvious from the get go. the day of the moon/impossible astronaut was SO POWERFUL of an opener, and the finale disappointed. we KNOW the doctor will live. they aren’t canning the series; the stars have spent all summer talking about the next season! so to me you needed an extraordinary resolution, and we didn’t get it. moffat usually makes you want to rewatch the series to see what hints you’ve missed…but with this one, he’s hit us over the head with a mallet. boo.

    • Anonymous

      i am SO GLAD my girlfriend subscribes to showtime bc i hadn’t even heard of “homeland” til this post, but now i can’t wait to see it!

    • Anonymous

      I never once considered watching Terra Nova as it simply doesn’t interest me. Not the plot, nor the dinosaurs. In my experience, it is all too easy to make a show like this, thinking the audience won’t notice that no effort was made for compelling storytelling and build up of characters to care about, just letting the special effects carry the show. V and Falling Skies fell into this same boondoggle, as did Torchwood: MD.

      Homeland has caught my attention. Claire Danes has proven herself to be quite the talented, versatile actor, compare this performance to her Emmy winning turn as Temple Grandin, so very very different, both so convincing. I hope to see more from Mandy Patinkin; I agree he was very low key in this first episode and has so much more to offer as an actor. What a pleasure to watch the CIA as portrayed in Homeland. Although on a superficial level, I’ve enjoyed Covert Affairs, I’ve been hoping some showrunner could provide a more realistic view of the CIA.

    • Anonymous

      I have discovered myself to be in quite the minority with the season finale of Doctor Who. I freaking loved it, even said on another board that it was *brilliant*.

      I’ve been reading the reviews and comments in several places, trying to understand where/why so many people differ. Maybe my expectations are not the same as most people. For me to enjoy it, I don’t have to completely dissect the timeline and have it be completely logical. I find the *wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey* aspects to be among the most fun things of the show. I thought the season-long (and actually longer) arc of the major storyline *Who Shot the Doctor?* [and don't tell me Steven Moffett never saw Dallas], was woven beautifully, in retrospect, throughout this season’s episodes.

      Plot holes, sure. Loud, fun, insane concepts, sure. My head was spinning. I didn’t see the Tessalecta solution coming, thus, I enjoyed it. Moffett had to write his way out of a seemingly insolvable plotline, and this worked for me. I don’t see it as deus ex machina. From Wikipedia: Aristotle criticized the device in his “Poetics”, where he argued that the resolution of a plot must arise internally, following from previous action of the play. Since we met the Tessalecta previously in “Let’s Kill Hitler,” this resolution is not deus ex machina, it simply is not. It’s a brilliant solution. It’s a perfect Doctor Who solution. And sets up the next series arc for new stories with new twists.

      Plenty of red herrings, and side trips were taken of course, it’s not Doctor Who without that. Let’s never forget that the Doctor is an alien Our reaction to how he sometimes treats his companions and now his wife might be akin to anthropomorphizing a creature of another species than human. He matures at a different rate than humans. We still don’t, and maybe would rather not, and probably won’t, ever know, given that this is a BBC kid’s show, how the Doctor shows romantic love, other than having seen him kissing, and enjoying kissing, more than one woman.

      I still think River Song is a fantastic character, and that hasn’t been diminished for this viewer through learning more about her. I don’t think she’s had a terrible life. I don’t think she exists solely for the Doctor. There is a lot more to learn about her, and I’ll be happy if she reappears. Alex Kingston has hinted that there may be more to come. Throughout the run of the series, the Doctor has been portrayed with a lot of charisma. Humans are drawn to that, even when it’s not always for their own good. I think that is some of what we see in the relationships with the companions. Does he take advantage of that? Maybe. But do you think there has ever been a companion who wishes they had not traveled with the Doctor? I don’t think so. Wouldn’t you travel with him? I would.

      That said, my biggest beef with this season, is Steven Moffett’s portrayal of a woman’s loss of her baby. I wish that it could have been explored further emotionally. I think that he tried to do that in a roundabout way with the wandering Amy lost in time in “The Girl Who Waited.”  I don’t watch with any children, so I don’t know how they would perceive the lack of really addressing this, whereas it obviously bothers a lot of adults, particularly women. In the end it comes back to being both a show about a time traveling alien and a children’s show. Overtly wringing emotional drama is probably not one of the top focuses of the storyline.

      So the Doctor didn’t solve the problem of The Silence. So what. We’ve seen him leave over and over and over again throughout the 50 years of the show, leaving people behind, leaving scorching on-going events for humans and not solving them, never vanquishing completely the Daleks, or the Cybermen, probably not the Weeping Angels, and now The Silence. He is not a Super Hero. He is flawed, he is not human, he carries the burden of all he has seen and done. He is not mighty proud of himself, except on rare occasions. He is brilliant, but can be naive. He sometimes runs away, and sometimes stands his ground to the very end of knowing he will *die* and become another version of himself. How unnerving that would be! It scares him, Ten didn’t want to go. He has chosen to wrap himself up with the doings of humanity more than any other species. If that doesn’t mean love, I don’t know what does. It’s just not quite the way humans do it.

      Something other viewers of Doctor Who might enjoy is watching Doctor Who Confidential, which is a BBC companion “behind the scenes” tying in with each show. I especially enjoyed the Confidential on this finale episode, in it they portrayed Alex Kingston explaining River Song’s timeline. You can find all the episodes here.

      • Anonymous

        That was the last ever Confidential. It’s been axed unfortunately :(

        I’m in total agreement with you. I also think he’s fallen for River despite himself. He knows her fate after all. Also, he saw her in a different light and dropped his guard when he found out her timehead status. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t also drive him nuts.

        • Anonymous

          I’m sad about the end of Confidential. It has often proven to be quite entertaining and can clear up confusing points.

          He better have fallen for River! and she clearly drives him nuts! I think Matt and Alex have delicious chemistry.

      • MilaXX

        I have the confidential on my computer, but haven’t watched yet. I didn’t dislike the finale, I think I was just expecting more. It was fun, just not what I expected. I’ll rewatch later this week and see if I feel the same way.

    • Eclectic Mayhem

      TLo – can I just say another enormous THANK YOU!  

      Thank you for giving your Whovian Bitter Kittens a place to talk, intelligently and without adolescent flaming and trolling, about Doctor Who.  

      I know there are many other venues to discuss the show out there on the internet, but you attract a better class of commenter.  Opinions may differ but the conversation is always excellent.

      Love you guys!

      Eclectic

      • Anonymous

        I can’t say too much without singling out other Who sites, so I will just say I totally and completely agree! This is one of the best online Who conversations I have had in a long time, everyone respecting one another and no unpleasant -isms making me want to stop commenting.

    • Anonymous

      I really loved the complicated arcs this season, trying to figure out what happened and then being surprised by another twist! However, I don’t think the pacing was quite right, and maybe could have fixed a lot of people’s problems with season 6. Sometimes (like the finale) things were too rushed and confusing and then we had an episode (like Closing Time) that, while amusing, hardly related to the overall plot.

      I really wish we had more time to see River and the Doctor happy together, whenever that is in their timelines, and also to understand and experience the crazy world created by altering the fixed point in the finale! Every shot of ancient-present-future London was interesting and could have been expanded upon, at least to give the viewer a moment to comprehend the situation and potential altercations or resolutions. Of course, many people like the short, fun, action-packed problems that are solved by next week.

      One of the many questions I have with the finale is River’s timeline. Mainly, when she witnesses the Doctor’s death in The Impossible Astronaut, does she know that she killed the Tesselecta?

      • Anonymous

        Yes, she does, and that is made clear in the Doctor Who Confidential episode I referenced below.

      • Anonymous

        2 reasons they didn’t show more future London. Mainly budget, Doctor Who is always relatively tight on budget (although we’ve come a long way from egg-whisks and vacuum cleaner tubing) and CGI is expensive. Secondly, the episodes have been shorter recently and the pacing a bit off, I couldn’t say for sure but the suggestion has been that it’s been tweaked to more easily package to the US to fit in ad breaks and fit time slots.

    • Anonymous

      I know I am little late, but here is a good timeline about River Song.

      http://blastr.com/2011/10/watch-river-songs-timelin.php

      • Anonymous

        This is exactly the River Song timeline I mentioned in my long post, from Confidential. Good on you to find it. I didn’t know it was posted anywhere separately.

    • Laura Helton

      You’ve perfectly nailed what I’ve been trying to articulate in my own mind about the Dr Who finale.  I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what about it bothered me, other than the ridiculous Tesselecta deus ex (which, if that had been all, I would ranted for awhile and then gotten over it)… but that’s not all, not really.  It’s that none of the characters actually would have behaved like that and a parallel universe is a complete cop-out, so it leaves me with a vague hollow feeling.  I was honestly much happier when River was feeling badly but was *actually* killing him.

      Matt Smith puts such fierce angst into the Doctor and all he’s getting to play against are characters who do exactly what he says for reasons which turn out to be fairly run-of-the-mill.  Bother.

    • Anonymous

      Reading comments about three different shows at once is a bit psychedelic, but fun once you settle in!

    • http://www.celestiae.net Isy

      TLO!!!! How you managed such exacting commentary on DW

    • Anonymous

      I love Doctor Who, but I have been becoming steadily more disappointed with the episodes this season.  Mainly, I’m sick to death of all the melodrama.  How many times this season have they used the “oh no, the Doctor is dying/going to die” trick to squeeze an emotional response out of the audience?  The worst part is that it hasn’t even been working and just annoys the hell out of me, which makes me think that there has to be some deficiency in the storytelling this season because usually Doctor Who can move me to tears.  Reading over all the comments saying that Amy is essentially devoid of any personality, I find myself forced to admit that I agree, and that what little personality she does have consists of just more poorly-written melodrama.  Rory, River, and Craig all have way more personality than she does, and she’s supposed to be the Doctor’s main companion.

      Which brings me to a question:  In the last episode we’re still at the beginning of River’s time line in terms of knowing the Doctor, right?  So why is she so completely in love with him?  I feel like I must have missed something, because it seemed like one minute she was hell-bent on killing him and the next minute she’s ripping apart the fabric of space-time to save him.  I don’t know, trying to keep track of River’s time stream in relation to the Doctor’s always gives me a headache.

      • Anonymous

        That was a biiiiig problem with Let’s Kill Hitler. I just didn’t buy that River the “psychopath” totally and completely changed her mind and gave up all her regenerations to save the man she just killed, just because Amy said he’s worth it? What? That was when River started turning into Rose.

        *sigh*

        I still love the actress, and the banter is great, but River is essentially the Doctor’s stalker with a crush now. People disliked Martha, but River’s entire life literally begins and ends with the Doctor. Every important decision she has made about her life has been defined by him. It is really creepy.

        On another note, I am consistently curious about why the characters refer to River as a psycopath?? Other than in Let’s Kill Hitler she has NEVER behaved like a psychopath. She has no qualms about using lethal force, but we’ve never seen her harm an innocent, and she seems pretty caring. Why is the show trying to tell me she’s a psychopath?

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          I wish they’d taken more time over Let’s Kill Hitler.  They seem to be in such a rush to get through the stories these days.  I know attention spans are shorter, alas, but come on!  Sometimes the ‘cut to the chase’ storytelling style works really well but most of the time I end up feeling short changed.

          Madam Kovarian spent much time and effort training young Melody Pond and molding her into a single-minded assassin.  I think it’s only at that point that ‘Mels’ and Alex Kingston – once she regenerates – are called psychopaths. River Song has her own moral code but she’s not psycho.

          • Anonymous

            She was referred to as a psychopath by the Doctor in the finale- he pointed out to Madame Kovarian that psychopaths aren’t what they used to be. River agreed with the assessment, and expanded on how she was supposed to be a perfect psychopath, but got sidelined by love. It was annoying, for the reasons above.

            Let’s Kill Hitler was really fun, just insufficient for the task, which was to get Amy to the point of accepting she’ll never see her baby again, and to transform Melody Pond into River Song. Agree with you- it just happened way too fast.

    • http://twitter.com/sockandaphone Gaby

      i loved terranova, and the second episode was better. Love it and addicted to it already.

    • Joshua

      That had to be one of the worst Doctor Who finales ever. I didn’t care for all the back-patting among the producer-writer core and the fact they tried to sum such a complicated plot arc up in a few minutes was ridiculous. We’re still left with questions, and I doubt Moffat will ever answer them now. I think the episode was supposed to be taking the Doctor down a notch, making him less notable/notorious, but I don’t buy the whole fixed point thing. This could have been a real moment to make fan step back and consider Doctor worship, but that just won’t happen, and River/Amy/fans will, for better or worse, be there loyally waiting for the next Doctor adventure.

    • http://liptonrm.livejournal.com/ Lipton

      I haven’t been able to watch Doctor Who since the end of series four. I can’t get past what the Doctor did to Donna and how he made it All About Him. And from what you’ve said about the latest series finale I’m more than happy to remain distant acquaintances with the show.
       
      Re: Terra Nova. I watched the pilot last night. It was entertaining in a brain dead sort of way. But I was much more interested in the environmental apocalypse of the 22nd century than I was with anything that was happening in the Cretaceous. I’ll give it one more episode but it isn’t looking likely that I’ll be giving Terra Nova a season pass.

      • Anonymous

        Donna’s brain would’ve melted. She was already repeating things and going in loops. He didn’t have a lot of choice.

        • ArKane Fyre

          I didn’t think it was his choice to make. Doctor Donna clearly knew what was happening and what he was going to do, and explicitly said no. Saving her was selfish on his part. 

          • Anonymous

            I think you have a good point, but I do not think Doctor Who is the kind of show where the lead could ever have allowed Donna to die- it’s not set up to have a main character THAT grey. That would be a really BSG/Stargate Universe kind of thing to have happen on the show.

    • thehousesparrow

      I hope this Doctor regenerates soon, because I don’t like him at all.

    • http://twitter.com/ryenerman rynerman

      I will probably try Terra Nova again but I’m not optimistic.  The snotty teenager, the dad who is told not to be so tough on him because he’s “been through a lot.”  All bullshit and so very very annoying.  As my husband commented, the two surviving teenagers should at least have had to spend the rest of the night in the brig for putting so many other people’s lives in danger.  The more I write about this the more irritated I become.  Ugh.

    • Anonymous

      Well, your analysis of the s06’s finale of Doctor Who made me wonder how much of the show you watched ?
      The “new” 2005 version ? Or what fans call “classic”.
      As for me, I’m too young to have been able to catch all the episode (some 60’s episodes , most of the 80’s, aired when I was a child but the more ancient I haven’t been able to find, be it in VHS or, one can hope, in DVD) but I have that general idea that, no, the Doctor is NOT a nice man. He’s full of love for the humanity, that’s why he’s always lurking nearby Earth, but that love usually ends up hurting people. It’s a classical story arc in the Whoverse.
      Not that I’m liking it, but I understand The Doctor’s action most of the time.
      If you watch the most recent stories, the destiny of Donna Noble was as horrible as was Rose’s and Jack’s and Amy’s and River’s.
      For me, I found the River’s Arc absolutely tremendous. You can argue that it’s terrible of the Doctor to let River in prison but you have to keep in mind a few things : first, River has been shown numerous time going in and out of her prison without a care for the staff. They can’t keep her in. She agrees to stay there because she made it her home. Secundly, and incidently, its an easy rendez-vous point for the Doctor. Thirdly, she doesn’t care what people say about her, she’s not your average human girl, she doesn’t think that way. And, finally, in “Silence in the library”, River is shown to be a reknowned and respected professor, not a prisoner like in “The time of angels”.
      So my guess is that River waits patiently that the presumed dead Doctor hunt down The Silence, ask the Question, get rid of all this mess and clear River’s name.
      I’m sorry to say that because I usually agree with all your analysis but I think you have a too dark and maybe too american approach of that show. You see and denonce all the abuse those characters have too get through and, If you think it that way, it’s horrible. But, when you take it from the character’s point of view, all you can see is the tremedous love they have for the Doctor. Oh, Amy and River are not blinded by their love. They can see the mistakes and the faults (mostly River) and they still love him.
      Well, that’s my take on the show and I can’t wait to see the Christmas’ episode and the 2012 serie.

    • http://twitter.com/marared Jaime

      The review I’ve read of Terra Nova indicates that it focuses on people who threaten the stability of a new, struggling colony for the sake of “family” – ie, they’re special little snowflakes whose need to breed supersedes common sense, and it’s okay, because it’s about FAMILY. Noooot interested.

    • http://twitter.com/dialmformichele Michele Rosenthal

      TLo, you make me feel better about my feelings on Doctor Who. I’ve had a lot of issues since the writing changed hands, and you’ve hit many of them above. To me it was unforgivable that Amy and Rory never seemed the least bit upset that their daughter was raised by strangers to become a psychopath. One second Amy loses her newborn. The next, it’s oh look! Here’s our daughter as an adult who’s no longer a trained killer, and she’s good at breaking out of prison, so I guess everything worked out?

      But my main issue is that I don’t like this Doctor for some reason. I haven’t decided if it’s the writing that makes the Doctor so mean, or Matt Smith who seems all quirk and no substance to me. Either way I could get past it–I rather like a flawed Doctor–if the past two seasons hadn’t been so damn dependent on how much everyone loves him. We’ve had two season finales in a row where the main conflict was people trying to kill him, and frankly, I’m not invested. Just as I’m tired of the solution to so many episodes being emotional instead of scientific, when they haven’t sold me on the emotions.

      Just so I don’t sound so cranky, I loved when he tries calling the Brigadier. It was the most heart string-tugging scene of the episode for me. And I’ll keep watching the show no matter how many complaints I have.

    • http://twitter.com/aStudiobytheSea Jody Lee

      Wow.  I stopped watching Dr. Who after Tom Baker left. This doesn’t sound that fun… and from the comments, incredibly confusing, like “Encyclopedia to all the Characters of Middle Earth” confusing. 

    • Sassy3000

      River song sure as heck IS a psycho and those denying this are just showing how ignorant they are! Several psychologists HAVE stated quite adamantly that she is. This IS NOT something that each individual can decide for themselves! This is NOT an opinion, this is a scientific FACT! She IS a textbook psychopath! Sadly though many of her fans are morally bankrupted, which is why they see nothing wrong with this psychotic puke from Hell!
      She is NOT badass! everyone saying that is such a joke! Only the creepy whiny nerds who annoy the hell out of most people which is why they go out of their way to avoid their sorry selves.
      She is NOT the Dr’s wife! That laughable psychotic marriage from hell only lasted all of 4 minutes! The minute that alternate time line ended the marriage ended and Amy and Rory were once again married and AMY had no longer killed Madame Kovarian! Some people need to watch Back to the Future II. RME
      And everything her psychotic fans claim makes her so “special” (putting her insanity aside for the moment) has ALREADY BEEN DONE BY THE DOCTORS FORMER COMPANIONS! LOL!

      Flying the Tardis?! CHECK! Adric, Leela, Romana’s I & II and The 5th Dr mentioned giving Tegan and Nyssa flying lessons in ‘Snakedance’ and the 10th Dr is SEEN teaching Donna to fly it.

      Using a weapon? CHECK! Sarah Jane used a gun once in ‘Pyramid of Mars’. Leela used Janis thorns and a knife BUT ONLY IN SELF DEFENSE! (RME) Sadly many of Rovers sick fans are too stupid to comprehend the difference between killing in cold blood (Not needing to kill when there is an alternative!) and killing in self-defense! And also Jamie used a knife BUT again ONLY in self-defense! And he didn’t smile happily when he did! Same with Ace! Seriously some of rovers fans need serious help!
      She meeting the Dr out of order?! BIG DEAL! So did Melonie Bush! The Melonie that The Master brought to the Space Station above Gallifrey in ‘The Ultimate Foe’ had ALREADY TRAVELED WITH THE DOCTOR! Otherwise she couldn’t have testified as to what really happened aboard the space liner in the previous story!
      And some Doctor Who fans have informed me that a similar thing happened with that book character Beatrice Summerfield (AKA BENNY)! The Archeologist that the 7th Dr met out of Order!
      Talking back to the Doctor! WTF?! Are you kidding me?! Just how butt-up stupid are some of the little fans? MOST OF THE FEMALE COMPANIONS TALKED BACK TO THE DOCTOR! Starting with BARBARA WRIGHT!

      And many of his companions put their lives on the line BUT not just for The Doctor the way Rover does! Everything that psycho does IS FOR THE DOCTOR! Or to put on a big show for him! That’s called being obsessed! And psychopaths CANNOT fall in love! That is also a scientific fact! They can be very charismatic! But their emotions are very superficial! What you see IS NOT what you get!

      But getting back to the sacrifice thing! Many of them risked their lives! Jo DID even flung herself between The Daemon and The Doctor in ‘The Daemons’. Sarah Jane did so as did, well ALL OF THEM! In fact some people hate Rose because she was so whiny and clingy?! And YET! ROVER IS 10 TIMES WORST! Now don’t get me wrong! Rose IS NOT one of my favorite companions. BUT she WAS willing to die alongside the Dr in order to Save the Earth! Now compare that to Miss Crazypants! She didn’t give a crap about the entire universe dying in agony! ALL she cared about was NOT being the one who killed the Dr! In fact that line when the Dr asks if she thinks she’ll suffer more then anyone else in the universe and that psycho-pig said YES?! I nearly VOMITED! I have never heard such a disgusting line of sick selfish dialogue in all of my life! NO OTHER COMPANION BEFORE THIS WORTHLESS PILE OF MANURE has EVER put her selfish feelings for ANYBODY ahead of others! Yes, I know this is ALL the fault of Moffat!

      She DID start out as a promising character in the library and then she immediately crashed and burned after that!

      And before any of you psycho’s start babbling about “Haters gonna hate” BS, the way ignorant children do, My friend PJ SWEARS she has a solution that she’s gonna use in her fanfic! She says that of course she could in no way in good conscious, condemn the Dr to a living hell being married to that POS! Nor does she think that that puke should be allowed to get off scott free when she practically held the entire universe hostage UNTIL the Dr offered to marry her gross self! Well, she has found the perfect punishment! And I hate to admit it but it is poetic justice! And some of her ideas actually make her FINALLY sound badass instead of like someones over the hill grandmother! lol

    • Sassy3000

      OH and one more thing! She IS NOT a Freaking Time Lord! Time Lord IS A RANK! The Race is Gallfirey! And not even the Tardis can change a persons RACE! That is too retarded for words! that sort of storyline is worse then the most horrid fanfic out there!

      She is at best, a Human who was imbued with time lord LIKE capabilities! And what little knowledge that was dumped into that sorry excuse of a brain of hers, was archaic knowledge at best! when the Dr (On his own! F that clara bullshit) Stole a Tardis he HAD to steal one that was in for repairs! But by Romana’s time those Type 40 capsules are considered Antique! So there would be literally millions of Time Lords with WAAAAAAY more advanced knowledge then little rover. And in my friends story she IS bringing back a handful of Time Lords including Romana! So little miss rover can go sit in the corner and try to pretend she is someone important while the Dr gets on with his life!

      And no SHE DOES NOT have a life outside of the Drs! HER WHOLE FN LIFE REVOLVES AROUND HIM! And the ONLY reason #10 Dr goes to the library is BECAUSE of her FN psychic message to him! Otherwise he would have never gone!

      Sheesh! does NO ONE PAY ATTENTION?!