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It's all Me, Me, Me! in Doctor Who's The Woman Who Lived but what of Clara's fate?

Unhappy

I thought it was a great ep

But filled with some terribly hamfisted "comedy" only after did I realise it was Rufus Hound - current the leading BBC contender for worlds unfunniest man. Note to the writer of this weeks Ep - you can't write comedy - please don't attempt it again.

If they had not taken the mistep of trying to balance the darkness of Ashildr with the comedy it could have been a truly classic episode.

It was frankly insulting to both Peter Capaldi and Maisey Williams that they couldn't let the episode stand on their 2 shoulders. They were electric together with nary a romantic notion in sight. In Ashildr they have possibly filled a role that has been empty since we last saw the Rani. More Maisey please it's nice to see her stretch her talents.

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Re: I thought it was a great ep

Seconded !

Bring back the Rani.... oh and Romana too !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I thought it was a great ep

Rufus Hound's character was made 'human' through his humor. He was supposedly a character for the audience to empathize with. Although I would have preferred they made him less boisterous with his death imminent. But I guess they needed a way to get the doctor involved in the scene somehow. I know why the writers made him boisterous. It's because of that has gone before in British drama/comedy regarding that era in Britain (Too much baggage from Blackadder no doubt in their minds).

That scene let it down the most and the bad guy was pretty lame. Still I found the interplay and moral hand ringing interesting even if they keep hammering the 'tidal wave' consequences comparison home rather too bluntly.

My one annoyance is that 'Me' was willing to kill someone to get her way but when she found out she had been duped and random people were dying everywhere (something she had witnessed already in wars and plagues I might add) she had a sudden change of heart. I found this a bit too hard to swallow considering her prior attitude to humans as 'smoke'.

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Re: I thought it was a great ep

I think the idea is that Ashildr/Me has developed a calloused exterior to humanity because she's seen so many fade and die and because her memories fade. [by comparison to the Doctor who can run off in the TARDIS to somewhere different each time]

It is then the Doctors insistence that individual lives ( whether a half blind/half deaf old man at the end of his life, or a common criminal about to be executed) matter that gives her renewed purpose. It is probably significant to this that the only killing she considers in the course of her plan to escape are of those near death anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I thought it was a great ep

I have a feeling we're going to get more of Maisie than we thought from this series... She was absolutely charged tonight...

I suspect that your reading of the 'hamfisted comedy' was both spot on and slightly off: just from my understanding of 'gallows humour' and the sense of humour that permeates the literature we have from the dark ages: it was crass, it was what many of us today would consider unfunny, I felt as though the writers were highlighting a well known historical fact: these newly to be departed were celebrities of their day; the crowd were there to see them and there are several accounts of crowd engagement prolonging the inevitable... Rather than being an attempt at contemporary humour... there was plenty of actual humour in the script, and moments of extreme pathos, it was an incredibly well written episode... Imho >.<

I also don't understand why you thought it insulting to the actors... it was a two part story, both were given ample opportunity to showcase the build up to things to come and their relationship is one of the most interesting we've seen in modern Who, the dialogue between them is loaded with so much subtext I doubt any of us understand the consequences of it yet... ...again imho... I hope a second viewing will temper your thoughts to your initial reaction... it is opening this season's mood to a darkness as yet unhinted at in the Who universe...

I think... lol =)

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Re: I thought it was a great ep

>>"Although I would have preferred they made him less boisterous with his death imminent"

I thought there was a nice edge of desperation to this humour. Could you not see the edge of panic when he was struggling to think of any more jokes to delay his execution? Of course the jokes were banal - it was a man floundering for any way to get this mob of people to stop baying for his death. It seems odd to me that both you and Kelly have taken this for a comedy scene. It didn't strike me as one, although it made me like the character and his efforts to cling on for just a few more minutes of life. It made a strong thematic contrast to Ashilda.

I disagree with Kelly on this. I found this episode far more interesting than the previous one. I liked seeing what Ashilda had become and I liked seeing someone failing to cope with their immortality and there were many nice little touches such as when the Doctor asks her why she hasn't torn out the pages about her children dying when she destroys other bad memories and she snaps back "to remind me not to have any more". There's some dark stuff in that character and I enjoyed it.

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Re: I thought it was a great ep

Yeah, Sam Swift isn't supposed to be a comedian - he's someone who has realised a joke could save him and is desperately grasping for anything to delay the inevitable. Having his perform a perfect standup routine wouldn't have been believable.

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Re: I thought it was a great ep

I didn't get the impression that Sam was supposed to be all that funny. Rather he struck me as a sort of "useless at everything, including comedy" type character. His utter incompetence was the only thing funny about him, and I think that was rather the goal. Unless, of course, you believe the Doctor Who writers so out of touch with real humor that they thought that 'well hung' line was actually funny. I've got a pretty puntastic sense of humor that often leads to groans and eye rolls by those around me and not even I would have made that joke.

No, I contend that Sam Swift is not supposed to be a funny man. He has his strengths, one of which is undoubtedly his positive outlook on life, but being funny isn't supposed to be one of them. And if he truly is immortal (probably) we'll see him again. At which point I suspect his other strengths will be revealed.

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Double negative?

Me’s not getting neither her way or the attention

Interesting combination of negatives ;-)

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Angel

Re: Double negative?

Confused me too, don't understand the downvote there unless it's in regard to there not actually being a double negative per se but a negated negative-positive or possibly negated positive-negative where a negative-negative or positive-positive expression was expected.

You can have either 'neither ... nor' or 'either ... or' but neither 'neither ... or' nor 'either ... nor' are likely to be clearly understood, especially if prefixed with a 'not'.

I trust all is now clear.

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I think you're about to discover the origins of one of the other Torchwood satellites. The Doctor planted the idea that she needed to track down Captain Jack....whats the betting she and the other new immortal track him down and then found the "missing" Scottish Torchwood site? Remember that Torchwood was founded with a remit to protect against the Doctor

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Good bit of thinking there, it would certainly 'fit' and explains why the Doctor actually mentioned Capn Jack by name because in spite of reconciliations/revelations/whatever we know he's still a little uneasy about that - mentioning it is one thing, but the name as well?

I did like the 'creepy girl in the photo background' thing, I know it's frequently used but as a sneaky photobomb on a selfie to send a message to a time traveller, it's a good one.

The next thing is to look for how the character names are anagrams or get mangled into godawful puns for things we already have names for. Calling Dr Ashil, you have an appointment with Count Uladrac, or even the blatant 'a shielder' but I really hope it's not as chronically lame as that unless... ah hang on... (yes an actual thought occurring while typing) it is the *origin* of the word, much like the origin of 'doctor' was described (by River?) IIRC.

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She's got a long wait. If memory serves Jack landed in the 1850s or thereabouts. She's got about 200 years before he's around for her to track down.

Here's hoping that Jack shows up a time or two this season. He's definitely one of the better companions to come out of NuWho. And if you don't count Torchwood one of the most underused.

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Meh

didn't really like it. Ashildr as a 'dolled up' woman didn't work, and Rufus Hound, well least said soonest mended.

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still just waiting till he leaves .. at least lose those sun glasses .. no just cancel the whole lot and start again .. worked for star trek ...

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Capaldi's a great Doctor in my opinion. He reminds me a lot of the early Doctors actually. But those sun glasses.....yeah, that abominable idea has got to go.

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Anonymous Coward

Worked for Star-Trek?

Only if you happen to be intellect free.

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Osgood is back !

And please lose Clara on some remote planet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Osgood is back !

The traditional way is to have an accident in the airlock. No wait...

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TSM

Re: Osgood is back !

What's up with that anyway? Osgood got killed off by Missy last season, so why is she back now?

I mean, I always liked Osgood and was disappointed when she was killed, but you can't just blatantly ignore it and shove her back on next time you want to do a UNIT episode.

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Re: Osgood is back !

Osgood got killed off by Missy last season, so why is she back now?

I mean, I always liked Osgood and was disappointed when she was killed, but you can't just blatantly ignore it and shove her back on next time you want to do a UNIT episode.

I'm guessing that they will retcon it so that the Osgood who Missy killed was the Zygon one, and not the human one.

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Re: Osgood is back !

Or... the Osgood we get next week may be the Zygon. Who knows (pun intended)?

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Re: Osgood is back !

>>"I'm guessing that they will retcon it so that the Osgood who Missy killed was the Zygon one, and not the human one."

I would prefer it the other way around. Osgood the friendly Zygon sounds much more interesting.

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Re: Osgood is back !

My thought is that Missy's ray gun thingy wasn't the death ray we all thought it was. After all, it didn't kill Missy, why would it kill anyone else?

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Re: Osgood is back !

"My thought is that Missy's ray gun thingy wasn't the death ray we all thought it was. After all, it didn't kill Missy, why would it kill anyone else?"

Missy's ray gun thingy was never fired at her - the Cyber Brigadier shot at Missy. Missy didn't die because she was wearing a Vortex Manipulator that she had rewired to work off of death ray energy, as explained in The Witch's Familiar. However the still-alive Osgood is explained, Zygons are involved either way.

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I thought it an 'uncomfortable' episode. There was the plus of no Clara, the minus of Rufus and the big minus of poor writing. The concept was great and I loved some of the backgrounds in terms of immortality and a human sized memory, and it shed an explanatory light for those who hadn't already worked out those issues for the Doctor out, but the sudden about turn at the end for Ashildr was jarring and wrong, unless it is the opener for a future plot twist? No. Not a good episode, few of 12's episodes have been as good as his predecessors, but often that is down to the writing team as much as the actor.

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the lion, the witch and the ... police box

... and maisie moonface swiftly takes the slap-o-meter straight up to 11 - and now i know why i hate game of thrones without seeing a single episode

tardis sound system's coming along nice though

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Re: the lion, the witch and the ... police box

That's way too harsh. Her turn in GOT is one of the better ones and considering she's 18 and has been doing it for the last 6 years she's obviously a talent to watch - way ahead of day the Harry Potter actors at the same age.

Bear in mind that in GOT she's acting with virtually every UK character actor of a certain age plus a selection of handpicked international actors.

If she makes the right career choices she's a star in the making.

And if you haven't watched GOT - your loss.

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Re: the lion, the witch and the ... police box

And if you haven't watched GOT - your loss.

If you have, your loss too

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"He's so old, he farts dust"

That pretty much summed up everything that's wrong with the show right now - trying too hard at comedy and falling flat on its face. Lay off with the crappy jokes, the sunglasses and the "ageing rocker" stuff, it's getting old already.

(Oh, and please don't break out the check trousers again like last week - Capaldi looked like some dull, monochromatic version of Rupert the Bear)

Clara is now suttering from the same problem the show had with Amy - a character whose story had a "natural" ending (Amy's marriage, Clara jumping into the Doctor's timeline to save him from The Great Intelligence) but the character was kept on well beyond that ending and outstayed their welcome.

At least the trailer for next week's episode shows some promise - Zygons and the return of Osgood - but given how Moffat fluffed what could have been a stand-out classic story with the return of Davros, I'm not holding my breath.

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A friend in an enemy, an enemy in a friend.

They made a great show of her saying she was a friend in the pub. So I guess she'll pop up again in the last two episodes at the end of the series and maybe at the start/end of the rest of the programmes from now to till then looking evil as she'll have forgotten how to be like a mayfly.

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Re: A friend in an enemy, an enemy in a friend.

Meh, remember Missy counts herself as a good friend to the Doctor also. Apparently "friend" has some odd connotations when used between immortals.

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Deep shallows

So Ashildr shows what it might be like to be stuck for eternity as a confused teenager. Perhaps now she's got an irritating older man around he'll act as sand-paper to smooth off some of the raw edges.

Interesting reference to Captain Jack. Hint of more to come from that angle?

I'd be intererested to know where the doddery old 17th century butler got to know about cocktails. I think there could be more to this episode than meets the eye.

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Classic Who

Utterly dreadful plot, awful jokes and stupidity all round.

Bloody wonderful! More of this please.

I honestly loved it, but I may be still drunk from last night.

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I think you guys are being unfairly harsh on Rufus

He wasn't telling jokes, he was acting out a person telling jokes. If he was just being genuinely funny then the acting wouldn't have worked. It's a bit like when someone in a film / tv show is then "in a play", they have to convey the story point that they are acting. Similarly so, he was acting out a person that wasn't a comedian, that was making cheap gags in order to delay his execution. Would it have been more convincing if he'd come out with a finely polished routine?

I thought it was actually quite well done. He conveyed the sense of desparation well, trying to find anything to keep him alive.

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Re: I think you guys are being unfairly harsh on Rufus

Exactly. Note the line: "Yes, but while you're laughing I'm living."

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Coat

Now we know the face of Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged.

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I don't understand the negative comments about the "jokes"?

It would, in my opinion, have been cringe-worthy to watch the condemned man making actually funny, witty or, especially, intelligent jokes. The whole point of the jokes was that they were bad and in bad taste -- it's part of the plot for goodness sake.

If they featured an untalented but aspiring musician who couldn't sing or play guitar would there be moans about how bad they were?

I was disappointed though that Ashilder didn't shoot any squirrels.

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Re: I don't understand the negative comments about the "jokes"?

"It would, in my opinion, have been cringe-worthy to watch the condemned man making actually funny, witty or, especially, intelligent jokes. The whole point of the jokes was that they were bad and in bad taste -- it's part of the plot for goodness sake."

I'm reminded of reactions to Penn & Teller playing the "unfunny" Rebo & Zooty in Babylon 5's "Day of the Dead". That too was actually part of the plot, the point (seemingly missed by many fans) being that humour in the 23rd Century is different to the 20th and by our standards Rebo & Zooty really weren't funny. Our audience identification character, Captain Elizabeth Lochley, was as equally mystified as us at their popularity, while everyone else laughted like drains at their dreadfully lame jokes.

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Re: I don't understand the negative comments about the "jokes"?

>>"I was disappointed though that Ashilder didn't shoot any squirrels."

Which squirrels?

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Re: I don't understand the negative comments about the "jokes"?

"Which squirrels?"

They'd have to be red squirrels.

Truth is though there probably were never many around......red squirrels like conifers, not deciduous trees, and London (and southern England in general) was never exactly rich in Scots Pine. People blame the lack of reds on the rapid expansion of the greys, but the truth is that there were probably never that many reds around anyway: the environment wasn't there.

FWIW my uncle was supposed to have had the last red in Somerset as a pet - when it died in the 1950's it was stuffed and displayed at the local primary school

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Re: I don't understand the negative comments about the "jokes"?

See Simon Harris's Post below referring to Amy and Amiability for an explanation of the squirrel reference.

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TRT
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Re: I don't understand the negative comments about the "jokes"?

They stuffed your dead uncle and put him on display at a primary school??!!! And I thought putting Jeremy Bentham's corpse on display at a university was bad.

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Yin

Ying is from the Goons.

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Amy and Amiability

Was anyone else reminded of the episode where Blackadder meets The Shadow?

https://youtu.be/wL-NNWoblxI

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"gone are anachronistic Vikings, and in are anachronistic early-modern Britons"

Yes, I never realised how many black people there were in rural 1600s England. Reputable population statistics puts the black population of 16th/17th century England in the high hundreds/low thousands, certainly not high enough to be cropping up in crowd scenes.

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"Reputable population statistics puts the black population of 16th/17th century England in the high hundreds/low thousands"

Of whom virtually all would be in major port towns such as London, Bristol, Plymouth..........as the hanging was supposedly at Tyburn then having black people in the crowd is totally feasible. What probably isn't feasible is the apparent rural environment of Tyburn as depicted in the program - it was probably more built up with wooden houses

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Anonymous Coward

it winds up the sort of people who go on about SJWs ruining scifi?

And UKIPers.

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TRT
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And UKIPpers

with their program of extermination...

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