February 07, 2016

The Companion Departures - #5:  Perpugiliam (Peri) Brown

This is certainly an interesting departure - we don’t actually see it happen, we hear about it afterwards. So why isn’t it down in the depths with Dodo or Liz’s departure which also are only referred to after the fact? Mainly because that’s the only thing that these departures have in common, the apparent departure - and death - of Peri at the end of Mindwarp is absolutely the focus of that particularly story in The Trial of a Time Lord, so one can hardly say that the character is just casually written out the same way that Dodo and Liz were. Peri has an extremely dramatic apparent departure on screen. The actual departure - including the resolution which comes afterwards - is very unique and which - spoilers for those who haven’t seen the 2015 season of Doctor Who - ends up sharing some similarities with Clara’s departure.

There’s an impending sense of inevitable tragedy throughout Mindwarp as the Trial format works magnificently in this story. The Doctor’s lack of memory from being taken out of time allows for some brilliant foreshadowing (if that’s the right word) by the Valeyard as he is able to tell the Doctor that he’s in for a nasty surprise when they get to the end of the adventure - something that works better than any trailer ever could (even if the trailer included a clip of the Valeyard saying that very line). When the apparent death does occur on screen - including the Matrix screen - it is quite shocking. Some (many?) fans prefer this ending and feel the resolution that the Matrix evidence was fabricated to be a cop out. However there were plenty of clues - both on screen and off screen - that should have alerted anyone paying attention to the possibility - if not the probability - that Peri’s death at the end of Mindwarp did not actually happen. First, the events are not witnessed in person by the Doctor but he’s watching in on a television screen the way the audience is; related to that the possibility of the Matrix’s evidence being tampered with is present throughout The Trial of a Time Lord. Thirdly, there’s a illogical jump in the evidence presented, where Crozier spends the entire story (as well as much time before it) trying to solve a physical problem of finding a skull that is large enough and yet compatible for Kiv’s brain, but after the Doctor is taken out of time and space, suddenly Crozier is able to transfer the contents of Kiv’s mind into Peri’s brain - a more subtle clue that the ending was a fabrication, but a clue nonetheless. Finally, the people who believe that Peri did and should have died at the end of Mindwarp obviously missed the memo about Doctor Who being an optimistic show, as there was never any chance that a companion’s fate would be that horrific, without any positive side to it whatsoever. In no way is her death a cop out, to anyone paying attention, the probability that it was a fake was always there.

Another question is hoow likely was it that Peri would agree to marry Yrcanos? Under the circumstances that we know of, very likely. The Doctor and the TARDIS has been removed from the planet and given that she was stuck there, who else was she going to spend her time with - Crozier? The old Thoros-Betan who was just happy when Yrcanos didn’t shout? We know that Yrcanos wanted Peri (this isn’t a Andred and Leela fancy each other out of nowhere scenario), and they do spend some quality time together and they do get along. Under the circumstances, I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that Peri takes the best offer available to her. Although I think the Doctor envisioning Peri & Yrcanos with a pink heart around them upon hearing the news is perhaps a tad fanciful on the Doctor’s part - but then he’s an old romantic at heart. Just ask Cameca if you don’t believe me.

January 31, 2016

The Companion Departures - #6 - Nyssa

Terminus is one of the most underrated Doctor Who stories of all time and as such Nyssa’s departure is also often underrated. Yet it is a departure which is original, emotional, poignant, and serves the character well. It is a very logical “fate” for Nyssa and makes for a companion departure that is immensely satisfying as a result. And no, I’m not saying that because Nyssa drops her skirt (although that isn’t a negative either). Nyssa’s departure is one of the most selfless, yet non-tragic acts any companion has done in the history of the show. She stays behind on Terminus to take a very hard life so she can use her scientific skills and knowledge to help the sick. She leaves her companions in the TARDIS (basically, the only “family” she has left) and gives up seeing the wonders of the universe for the sake of staying in a dirty, grimy, bleak space station that is filled with contagious, sick people. And yet, her decision to do this isn’t a stretch at all, but the sort of thing that the audience could always see the character doing. It’s difficult, in hindsight, to see a more satisfactory departure for this particular character - if she was going to leave the Doctor, it was going to have to be for martyrdom reasons, one way after another. Given that her departure is the first to follow the death of Adric, it was always unlikely that they would have killed off a second long-time companion.

There’s been fan speculation that Nyssa would ultimately have married one of the Vanir or perhaps persuaded Olvir to stay and help, and started a relationship with him. I believe the latter is more likely than the former, especially since the fate of Olvir and Kari is left unclear in terms of what they would do next. Either way, I imagine that the Garm would have presided over the wedding, and how cool would that have been?

January 22, 2016

Coming up Sixes

Lost in the news that Chris Chibnall will be the new “showrunner” for Doctor Who in 2018 (following one last Moffat season in Spring 2017) is the peculiar significance of the 2016 Christmas special. Yes, the special will very likely feature the debut of a brand new companion so it will be notable for that; and it will definitely be the first new story in a year (meaning that people who do Doctor Who marathons of the new series or even the whole show will be watching Christmas specials back-to-back) so it will also be notable for that.

But here’s the tradition that gets continued - since Doctor Who was created, it has always broadcast a bona fide new story on television in the “6” year of the decade. There has been new Doctor Who stories on television in 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 and 2006 - five straight decades. It has been the only year of each decade you can say that because 1996 was the only year of the 1990’s that featured a proper, bona fide new Doctor Who story broadcast on television (no, I’m not counting the charity episodes broadcast in 1993 and 1999, respectively, as fun as they were). So had they skipped 2016 entirely, that would have ended the “6” tradition. Instead, for the sixth decade in a row, there will be a new Doctor Who story broadcast in the “6” year of the decade.

In the meantime, let the debates about Chibnall’s appointment as the new showrunner begin…...

December 25, 2015

How to Get Ahead in Marriage

So, come all ye faithful and let us know what ye thought of this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song. Too much of a romp? Not enough of a romp? Too many husbands? Not enough Rivers? This may be the last new episode (on television at least) for nearly a year, so don’t rush, take your time, polish off that leftover turkey, and let us know what you thought in the comments section below.

December 05, 2015

Line in the Sand

So what did you all think of the finale? How many of you predicted that ending? How many fan fiction novels do you think will be written because of that ending? How many actors who once appeared in The Sea Devils did you recognize in the episode? What did you think of Me? (I don’t mean the person writing this blog, I mean the character also known as Ashildr)? Was the Doctor violent enough for you or not enough? Which TARDIS console room did you prefer?

So many questions that can be asked, and only another three weeks until the next episode (don’t get used to that regularity of new episodes when we hit 2016 by the way). Let us know the answers and whatever else you may have thought in the comments section below.

November 28, 2015

A Tower Struck Down

We want your confession - in particular we want you to confess what you thought of this episode. You don’t have to dial in however, you can just leave your comments appropriate section below. Was this episode a diamond in the rough or did it make you feel like you wanted to jump in a lake? Or was it a hybrid of the two?

November 21, 2015

Thus Quoth the Raven Nevermore

It might be premature to ask people what they thought of this episode because it might be akin to asking people to judge the first two episodes of a six-part classic series story. Or maybe it’ s the equivalent of a four-part classic series story. We just don’t know. But don’t let that stop you - let us know what you thought of Face the Raven in the comments section below.

November 14, 2015

Go To Sleep

Well how was that for experimental and high concept? Did you enjoy that or did it, ironically, put you to sleep? Will we see the repercussions from the events of this episode some time in the future, or was that it? And exactly where did that opening title sequence go?

Give your eyes a rub, shake the dust out and let us know what you thought in the comments section below.

November 07, 2015

Five Rounds Rapid

We thought of doing two entries for this episode in honour of Osgood, but in the end, we decided against that plan. Much like certain characters in this episode. But what did the viewers think? Some are calling it the best episode of the season. Some are not. Some have called it so and then shifted their opinions. That seems fairly appropriate given the subject matter of the episode.

We thought of doing two entries for this episode in honour of Osgood, but in the end, we decided against that plan. Much like certain characters in this episode. But what did the viewers think? Some are calling it the best episode of the season. Some are not. Some have called it so and then shifted their opinions. That seems fairly appropriate given the subject matter of the episode.

Which one of the above paragraphs was written by a human and which by a Zygon? I refuse to answer that question. In the meantime, feel free to enter your comments in the section below. Both of you.

October 31, 2015

Keeping the Peace

We know Osgood is a huge fan of the Doctor. The question is we are asking though is whether you are a fan of The Zygon Invasion, by my count a sequel to at least three different Doctor Who stories (and that’s before we count the reference to Mawdryn Undead. Some stunning revelations - such as the first description in over 52 years of the Doctor’s underpants. Let us know in the comments section below what you though, and please tell us the truth - or there will be consequences.

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