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Series 8

Posted: 10 Nov 2014, 16:55
by BBrooks
My personal thoughts/musings etc. on Series 8.

Deep Breath.
Like most regeneration stories, this one was set on Earth, but in Victorian London this time. I wish we could have seen more of the T-Rex, all it did was stomp around the Thames looking lost, but it's death was quite horrific and showed off the darker/grittier direction that the show is going in. Also the public didn't look scared enough to me, considering a carnivorous dinosaur had just appeared out of nowhere.
Peter Capaldi was perfectly manic as the newly regenerated Doctor and those moments gave us some interesting scenes. The Twelfth Doctor is Older, Darker, more Complex and it's a welcome change after the Youthful/Energetic antics of Docs 10 & 11. Jenna Coleman seemed to get more screen time than Peter in this episode, her acting was excellent and showed that Clara Oswald is one of the greatest NuWho companions. An unusual introduction to Series 8, but still very entertaining.

Into the Dalek.
A cross between the movies Fantastic Voyage (1966), Innerspace (1987) and 2005's "Dalek". The basic plot remained the same, an imprisoned Dalek escaping, going on a killing spree and learning to be good etc. But the episode was still fresh & original, adding another layer to the Daleks that we hadn't seen before. The Twelfth Doctor showed a lack of compassion when people died, he even made a joke about a character who got killed in a previous scene. I'm liking this new darker edge though, Peter Capaldi plays it perfectly whilst still maintaining all of the old traits that make up the Doctor. It harkens back to the Sylvester McCoy era.

Robot of Sherwood.
A fun episode, full of rollicking adventure, perfect for a saturday night! :-) The episode looked like it could have been written for David Tennant and wouldn't have looked out of place in Series 2 (2006). The Errol Flyn-like Robin Hood & his Merry Men were deliberately cliche'd, with plenty of swashbuckling and no tights. :-D I liked Ben Miller's Sheriff of Nottingham too, with his beard, he bore a slight resemblance to Anthony Ainley (The Master).

Back to classic "hide behind the sofa" DW, made better by the fact you never saw the monster. A generation of kids developed a fear of statues thanks to "Blink", this episode will make them scared of anything they now hear at night. One thing that DW has always done is terrify viewers and this has kept up the tradition nicely. It was also good to see John Hurt again, hope they bring him back some time soon!

Time Heist.
The Doctor has done many things in his lifetime, but bank-robbing is a new one, this story should have been called "Oceans Twelfth". lol Keeley Hawes played a great part, the twist involving The Teller was well done and The Architect's video reminded me of the "Saw" films. Seeing all the different forms of intergalactic people in the bank, gave it a "Star Wars" feel too. An enjoyable episode.

The Caretaker.
This story focused more on Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson), who I'm liking more with each episode. He's a damaged character, who's haunted by events/actions from his past, something which The Doctor can relate to. Both of them should get on straight away, but instead they don't.
The Skovox Blitzer was supposed to be this deadly killing machine, but the animatronic model didn't quite live up to that. I found it funny more than anything, but that could have been intentional. It caused a lot of damage and I'd love to know how the school are going to pay for it. The show never seems to explore that side of things! :-)

Kill the Moon.
With the previous week's episode having a CBBC feel, it was business as usual this time. A typical plot involving monsters & the end of the world, throw in some monster Arachnids (a'la Planet of the Spiders) and you can't go wrong! :-) It did bring up some interesting scenes though, like seeing the Doctor test his companions, by leaving them in danger. That's not something that the 11th would have done, up until now the fans have been comparing the 12th with his predecessor, but that scene showed them that he's a different character altogether. In the words of Colin Baker, he's The Doctor now "whether you like it or not!".

Mummy on the Orient Express.
A nice/stylish production, with a convincing Mummy (great work from the Make-Up department) and there were some nice moments, like the Jelly Babies in the cigarello box. Loved the guest stars too, such as Foxes singing "Don't Stop Me Now" and Frank Skinner playing.....himself. It was a delightful little cameo, but I doubt he'll win any BAFTA's for it! lol
Also a special mention must go to Peter & Jenna, who have brought so much to the show so far.

Clara the companion, became Clara the hero and did a pretty good job of it. I enjoyed the moments of comic relief and the visual gags involving the shrinking TARDIS, especially when The Doctor was trying to get off the railway line. The whole episode looked like a Banksy art exhibition, with many inventive death scenes and the CGI monsters themselves were visually stunning.
For me, this and "Listen" were among the best of this season. If they can keep on churning out quality stories like them, then the show is in good hands.

In the Forest of the Night.
The effect used to create London being covered in trees was well achieved and the close-ups were probably shot in a forest somewhere in Cardiff. But there's nothing wrong with that, after 9 years Whovians have realised that Wales can double up for literally anything! :-) It was a different kind of alien invasion with real threats (Tigers, Wolves etc.) and normal human characters. Nice to see more of Danny Pink in action, I'd love to see him get more of a central role. Another winning episode!

Dark Water.
After popping up throughout the series, it was time for Missy (The female Master) to take centre stage........hang on a minute!!!! It's typical of Steven Moffat to throw a spanner in the works like that.
Michelle Gomez is a terrific Master, but I'm sad that John Simm's reign has been cut off so abruptly, without so much as a regeneration scene. Where did he go after "The End of Time"?
The idea that you're still conscious after you've died is quite disturbing, so much so that it caused viewers to complain. You won't find better publicity than that! lol

Death in Heaven.
Steven Moffatt went down the "tried & tested" route with this finale, by bringing back old enemies. But this wasn't your usual Cybermen invasion story, the sight of them rising from their graves & flying with jet-packs was awesome. There was many great character moments too, like The Doctor furiously banging his fists on the TARDIS controls when he hadn't found Gallifrey, Danny Pink's final moments were very sad and it was nice to see a homage to The Brigadier. Is it the end for Clara Oswald though?, if so then she's gone out on a high note.

For me, this season has been a triumphant one and a great start for Peter Capaldi's Doctor. Also the decision to not split it into two mini-series (like S6 & 7) was a good one, I don't like mid-season breaks and having to wait months for new episodes. So having it in full was a bonus, I'm looking forward to seeing what they have in store for next year.

Re: Series 8

Posted: 10 Nov 2014, 18:08
by HStorm
In The Forest Of The Night really offended my intelligence. The science in it was so appallingly hashed - especially the utter b*ll*cks about oxygen deflecting the solar winds when it is the Earth's magnetic field that does that - that I wanted to throw the TV out of the window.

Then I realised that I don't own a TV, and that I was watching it on my mum's set, so better not.....

Re: Series 8

Posted: 10 Nov 2014, 20:52
by Canadanne
Glad someone enjoyed it. I thought this series was mostly awful, apart from the two episodes by Jamie Mathieson, and the guest companions in Time Heist. Capaldi deserves better writing than this.

Re: Series 8

Posted: 10 Nov 2014, 21:37
by wombstar
Overall excellent series and equally as good and bad as anything the show has done in the past 8 years.
Clara is horrid and the sooner she goes the better i think, i liked her a bit more at the start but she's way to bossy and hateful, time of a companion who isn't 20 something female from earth.

The final was awful, but i expected nothing less from the Moff who tried so hard to be clever by forgets to be intelligent. Doing things just for a sake of it, and having ideas but no idea how they will end or what impact that will have. And i reckon that story would have been better had they brought back the Rani not Master.

The Moff has had his time, and getting a bit stale.

Re: Series 8

Posted: 10 Nov 2014, 21:55
by HobGoblin
Speaking as someone with only a passing interest in Doctor Who, I feel the show has always been patchy. However, the last few years don't seem to have produced really great episodes unlike the first few series of the revival (Dalek, Fathers' Day, Blink to name a few). Could just be because I don't watch it as much as I used to...

And I generally find the season finales to be rather messy and borderline impenetrable!

Re: Series 8

Posted: 11 Nov 2014, 20:50
by wombstar
Well the early revival did introduce farting aliens, burping bins and the horrid Love and Monsters episode. lol At least it hasn't reached those lows recently.

Re: Doctor Who Series 8 (2014)

Posted: 12 Nov 2014, 19:26
by Drassil
In In the Forest of the Night, when the school party was in the museum, the caption 'London Zoological Museum' came up, just so we didn't mistake this museum of natural history in London for the Natural History Museum (cf. previous episodes' International Gallery (definitely not the National Gallery), the National Museum (definitely not the British Museum)). Later, when the group got outside, we saw Natural History Museum signage. If the programme makers don't care, why should the viewers?

And this series, I found myself caring less than ever before: about the Doctor, about the companion, about the Doctor-companion relationship, about the TARDIS, about the guest characters, about the story arc. I don't consider it unmissable television in the way that I used to. 2015 is a year that has excited time-travel fans for a long time, and I can only hope that Doctor Who won't make it an anti-climactic one.

Re: Series 8

Posted: 12 Nov 2014, 22:25
by wombstar
Did you notice the 'Doctor who' poster on the bus in that episode?
I like to think that episode didn't happen, i thought it was awful.

Re: Series 8

Posted: 14 Nov 2014, 15:15
by Pooka
I actually quite liked this series... to a point.

The main problem I had with this series was the patchy writing. A good few of the episodes were written for a generic Doctor รก la 8 through to 11 - someone sprightly, energetic or physically at his peak. 12 is none of those things - he's a brooding, grizzled "survivor" Doctor with a grumpy demeanour, but a heart in the middle of all of it (which we didn't get to see much of). The episodes actually written with Capaldi's Doctor in mind were much better, whereas other ones, such as Into the Dalek and Time Heist, would have suited Smith or Tennant. Listen, by contract, was a perfect episode for Capaldi.

I didn't like Dark Water - imagine a child whose parent has just died and been cremated watching that! - but Death in Heaven picked it up a little for me, and the absence-of-Gallifrey rage was the moment that I thought, "ah, there you are, Doctor." All in all, an OK ending to a series, although...

I want to get Clara back, somehow; even though both she and the Doctor have lied to each other, they're doing so (for the first time, I notice) in order not to hurt each other's feelings, or betray their own personal disappointment. Clara came into her own this series - although stifled by Danny Pink, who I found really annoying by the end - I'd like to see her as an independent companion again. I know she'll be back by Christmas, so it'll be interesting to see in what capacity.

All in all, a bit of a muddled series, held up (just) by good performances in terms of the acting, but marred by a mixed bag of writing. My favourite episodes, in fact, were Robot of Sherwood and In The Forest of the Night - the more light-hearted ones - as, frankly, they were more fun. It is, after all, a children's show, and a darker Doctor doesn't have to mean the absence of jokes at all!