selenak: (Frobisher by Letmypidgeonsgo)
[personal profile] selenak
London-based friends, I'm so sorry, and hope you're all as well as you can be under the circumstances. Granted, the latest rl awfulness is impacting my mood, but this was really below par again, especially for scriptwriter Toby Whithouse who can do better.

Well, at least it's clear now Blake's 7 the show can't exist in the Whoverse so the actual B7 universe might, given that the Doctor uses the Blake - and Blake the series finale - type of honesty test, Bill responds Avon-style, and it all feels empty and unearned. (As opposed to, say, Clara in the s8 finale trying to get the Doctor to resurrect Danny for her by (she believes) TARDIS-napping and key destroying in the middle of a volcano planet. Now THAT was an earned and emotionally powerful moment.) It also feels ooc for Bill not to show at least a little ire about this.

As for the Monks, they make less sense than ever - in all their advance simulations, they didn't come across a scenario where the Companion was prepared to sacrifice herself? That's practically standard for every one of them. And if they can control all weapons and magically restore eyesight, why do they still need an agreement given under duress to retain control on a planet - that doesn't even make fairy tale sense.

There were some concepts in these episodes I can get on board with - Bill's made-up memory of her mother being the key and immune to manipulatiion because it is something she herself created, for example. But even the general and generic "people can overthrow an oppressor if they stop believing the lies they're fed with" idea feels hollow if you look at so many dictatorships where that doesn't work. And the Monk dystopia feels like a worn out nth rerun of Earth-under-oppression; if you had to stretch out this story for three episodes, two of which were lame, then wouldn't it have been far more interesting with the Monk-led-Earth actually was a peaceful idyll, albeit at the cost of brainwashing, not one with death or prison for comics book ownership. and the Doctor and Bill would have to face an actual dilemma - let this actual paradise at the expense of free will continue or restore Earth-that-was with all its warts, wars, and isms?

Also: nobody was expecting Bill do actually die, given it was the middle of her first season, but zilch negative consequences to the supposed brain frying in combination of the Doctor retaining his eye sight feels like yet another example of how Moffat as chief plotter at his worst managed what was once a powerful emotional moment in his planning - "Just this once, everyone lives" - into empty routine.

I liked the Nardole and Bill scenes, and both scenes with Missy, not least because I truly can't tell whether she's faking or being genuine, and it could be both, and the two actors just click as the best Doctors and Masters do. But all in all, this was another let down. I'm starting to think that the show needs to stay away from more parter alien invasion stories for a looooong while, because I can't think of the last one I really liked. Now, with the next episode, can we PLEASE get back to before this multi parter form?

Oh, and a trivial dissappintment: given that the show's current main location is Bristol, I'm surprised Toby Whithouse didn't go for a stealth crossover with his own show, Being Human. At any rate, if the Doctor was teaching at the Bristol university for these last decades, he must have run into the local vampires as well...
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