Doctor Who Season 8 chat thread

While we were away, S8 wrapped up! What did you think? (For previous discussion, comments on my previous post go about as far as episode 4.)

Twelfth Doctor in the TardisI’m not the ideal person to do this wrap-up, but I did watch some of the season and I feel like I better use my chance to contribute to this aspect of Hoyden while I can!

Some of my feelings:

  • I want to see this Doctor with a different companion at some point, someone who is more indifferent to him than Clara. (My husband says: Donna makes a good companion for all Doctors!)
  • I found a lot of the human characters’ behaviour puzzling. Who or what did Danny want Clara to be? Why did Clara keep lying to him? It’s not that I can’t think of reasons, but I feel like all the reasons I come up aren’t strongly supported by the scripts.
  • I felt like two episodes (Kill the Moon and In the Forest of the Night) that hinged on a girl or young woman taking over global communication systems and presenting humanity with the choice to spare a large and apparently hostile Other was at least, well, one and a half episodes too many. (Plus, you think people would get the idea after a while. Hey, remember how it was a good idea to not kill all those trees? Perhaps we should apply our learnings to the giant creature hatching out of the moon.)
  • Missy was fun. I’m still figuring out what I think beyond that. I’m amused by Tansy Rayner Roberts’s fanon from the Verity! podcast, episode 59 (at time 55:17):

     I do love the idea that the Master’s like “OK, I’m female now, I need to figure out, like, how women are supposed to behave” and obviously just sat down and watched a lot of Julie Andrews movies.

I think the episodes I liked best were the ones that were the least connected to the Clara-Danny arc or the Am-I-a-Good-Man-? arc, or at least, what I liked about them were the least connected to those arcs. I enjoyed the silliness of Robot of Sherwood, for example, and I thought the climax of Mummy on the Orient Express was a good character study for this doctor.

That said, looking at the season breakdown, I only watched five episodes all the way through, so I’m not sure I’m destined to be your Who correspondent forever.


Categories: arts & entertainment

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4 replies

  1. Nothing to disagree with there! I found the episodes even more uneven than Moffat’s usual efforts and continue to feel that he still doesn’t know who he wants Clara to be, and that he doesn’t really know how best to write for Capaldi as the Doctor either. Still, I continued to look forward to each week’s episode, and there were always a few really enjoyable moments in every episode.
    Missy however was marvellous, largely to the inspired casting of Michelle Gomez.

  2. My read on Clara’s characterisation is that Moffat/the writing team are putting wanting us to like her ahead of writing her with coherent motivations and methods and risking us not liking her.

  3. I’m really rather tired of the Doctor being the universe’s greatest obsession. Or even the main villain’s greatest obsession. I think he works best as a living Deus ex Machina who stumbles into situations that are otherwise irretrievable. Moffat even seems to think so too, given he has the odd speech where the Doctor says that’s what he is, prompty undercut by bringing in someone else obsessed with him.
    Danny got on my nerves almost the whole time he was on screen (the forest was the only episode where I could stand him). I much preferred Riggsy from Flatline.
    I can’t help thinking that the episodes with the Cyberdead, the Insta-trees, and the Moondragon would have been set on alien planets in the old series, or even the Russel T Davies era in the latter two cases.
    Speaking of the Moondragon, I disagreed in the post on the subject that it was anti-choice, because the humans weren’t in an analogous position to a pregnant woman – this post from I Was a High School Feminist changed my mind.
    Killing Osgood = Boo. But at least she got a chance to shine first, and was invited to be a companion.
    Flatine and Mummy on the Orient Express were far and away the best episodes.

  4. I thought they could have used Danny a lot more. And it seemed odd to kill him off when the Doctor and Clara had already run into some supposedly far future descendant of his. I also thought that, given the way he was always going on about officers, that his unpleasant incident in Afghanistan would have been somewhat different.
    I was pretty angry that they killed off Osgood. And the whole turning dead people into Cybermen strained my suspension of disbelief substantially. Michelle Gomez was awesome though. Mr a and I thought the hints she was dropping about her identity were pointing to her being Romana as much as the Master.
    On the whole I agree with it being a bit uneven, and there did seem to be some episodes where Capaldi (or the script) was still a bit uncertain of his voice as the Doctor. I am looking forward to the Christmas special, but I really wish Moffat would decide it’s time to let someone else play with his shiny toy.

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