Monday, July 10, 2017

Original Me: An Overanalysis of "The Doctor Falls"

If you met yourself, as a different gender, would you not spend all your time fucking?
I know I'm in the minority in saying this but, despite thinking this was a good season (albeit not as good as Capaldi's other two seasons), I thought the two part finale was just so-so.  I mean, it's got some great moments, and the first two-Master episode is a certainly a prospect that I was excited to see, but "The Doctor Falls" set up a lot of expectations that it didn't deliver on.  The two Masters together were woefully underused, and I think there could have been a lot more fun interactions with those two.  Also, I expected this episode to explain the Master's motivation for turning Bill into a Cyberman, and the answer in the end seems to just be "to be a dick."  Frankly, I would rank this as the weakest Moffat finale, as even Moffat's disastrously weak 7th Season still ended strongly (even though I said it didn't at the time).

They keep calling this the origin of the Cybermen, which makes little sense because it's been well established that Mondasian Cybermen come from...well, Mondas, not a Mondasian colony ship.  Even if this isn't explicitly stated in their debut episode, "The Tenth Planet," it is in what is generally considered the best of the Doctor Who audio stories (which, remember, are canon) Spare Parts, in which the 5th Doctor visits Mondas just before the creation of the Cybermen to see their real origin.  Moffat tries to fix this in the dialogue by saying that the Cybermen start a lot of places, here, Mondas, Telos, Earth.  Okay, not only does that not explain the fact that these Mondasian Cybermen are identical to the ones in "The Tenth Planet."  Also, the Cybermen never started on Telos.  Telos is the planet that the Mondasian Cybermen moved to, displacing (or killing, I don't remember) the residents because their home planet of Mondas had been destroyed by their own stupidity.

And what does the Doctor accomplish with this episode, anyway?  He manages to leave Nardole behind to continue to help protect the people from the Cybermen for eternity.  Good luck with that Nardole, you useless lump.  But there's really no climactic scene in this episode.  There's a big, muddled scene of the Doctor battling the Cybermen (and the sonic screwdriver is used as a weapon, which is breaking a rule of Doctor Who) and the Doctor is basically killed and then he spits out a 1st Doctor quote that's based on a 4th Doctor quote, but nothing really feels like a climactic moment of the episode, and I think that's what I disliked about this episode the most.

I also didn't feel satisfied with the interactions between The Master and Missy interactions.  In "Day of the Doctor," I felt like Moffat hit all the right notes of everything I wanted 10 and 11 to say to each other.  I didn't get that from the Master and Missy.  I did love the Doctor's speech to them to stand with him, and that, at the end, Missy tries to but the two Masters kill each other.  But I didn't get why the Master was so opposed to standing with the Doctor.  The last we saw the Saxon Master, he was standing with the Doctor against Rassilon.  And then he got sucked into the time lock and cured of being Skeletor (which seems unlikely, but okay) and this is him after the events of "The End of Time."  So why has his tune changed so much?  Missy's right in "The Magician's Apprentice," the Doctor and the Master have always been as much friends as enemies, and the Saxon Master is no exception.  There were plenty of moments where he and the 10th Doctor had a mutual respect and admiration for each other.  Where'd all that go?

I thought it was a shame that the Doctor never explained the concept of regeneration to Bill (even though he demonstrated it to her) so she just leaves him not knowing she could stick around and wait for him to regenerate.  Although, she does repeat the Doctor's line about it being a big universe and hoping she'll run into him again.  And I've been having the same argument about this episode that I had about "Time of the Doctor":  Heather showing up is not a deus ex machina.  Something that was set up previously cannot, by definition, be a deus ex machina.  It's just another one of Moffat's methods for killing off a character but not really killing them off (but really killing them off).

The Doctor then wakes up and starts babbling phrases from other Doctors before him, and people are already complaining about this Doctor not wanting to regenerate and it being like 10's big whiny speech about not wanting to go at the end of "The End of Time."  But that's not a fair comparison.  My problem with 10's speech was that a man was about to die if the Doctor didn't spend a regeneration.  That's not happening this time.  Very.  Big.  Difference.

Me every morning before work.

And then the 12th Doctor runs into the 1st Doctor (played by a new actor, of course, because Billy Hearts is long dead) and the 1st Doctor repeats the same 1st Doctor line that the 12th Doctor said earlier.  Moffat couldn't leave us without lying one more time, because he said like 6 months ago that there would be no more multi-Doctor episodes, and he's clearly just set us up for a 12th Doctor/1st Doctor Christmas Special.  It looks like a lot of fun.  But I have to say, what right does the 1st Doctor have to be criticizing the 12th Doctor about not wanting to regenerate.  He's the 1st Doctor.  He hasn't regenerated yet.  As old as he may look, he's a child compared to 12.  He should shut the hell up.

Well, that's it.  My last blog entry for Moffat's final season.  I put together Julie's Punk Rock Doctor Who Playlist Season 10 of songs that represent season 10 for me, partially based on my blog titles, partially based on what I would have titled the blogs I skipped, and a little editing to make sure no band gets used twice.  I can't throw up a link to it like last season because I'm on Apple Music, not Spotify, now and I don't know how to do that, so I'll just write it out.  Feel free to put it together on your device and play along with me:

1.  The Pilot - Drown With the Monster by White Lung
2.  Smile - Smile Smile Smile by The Dollyrots
3.  Thin Ice - The Unseen Tears of the Albacore by The Vandals
4.  Knock Knock - Safe European Homes by The Clash
5.  Oxygen - For Your Lungs Only by Alkaline Trio
6.  Extremis - Bad Catholics by The Menzingers
7.  The Pyramid at the End of the World - Pyramid Scheme by Mad Caddies
8.  Lie of the Land - Die for Your Government by Anti-Flag
9.  The Empress of Mars - God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols
10. Eaters of Light - All My Best Friends Are Metalheads by Less Than Jake
11. World Enough and Time - Hospital for Heroes by Direct Hit!
12. The Doctor Falls - Original Me by ALL

That's it until Christmas, where I'm going to be really sad because we're not just saying goodbye to a great Doctor, we're saying goodbye to the best showrunner Doctor Who has ever had.  Fuck the haters.  Until next time:

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