This is Matthew's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Matthew's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Matthew
Recent Activity
Does anyone remember the old GameCube game, "Eternal Darkness"? I'm suddenly having the strangest suspicion that I was being "insanitybanned" from it for disruptive behaviour. When my StackOverflow screen starts melting or being obscured by swarms of buzzing flies, don't think I won't be ONTO you people!
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2011 on Suspension, Ban or Hellban? at Coding Horror
I got no sense whatsoever that the "507" line was true facts, as opposed to the Doctor just fobbing off a child who was asking too many questions. After all the hype about a massive rewriting of Doctor Who history... I think it's entirely ignorable. Certainly nothing to get steamed about!
1 reply
It's saddening that every season/story seemingly has to be "one of the best ever" or "one of the worst ever", at least in the context of posting one's thoughts on a public forum. I was shocked at the time at the amount of vitriol unleashed on Victory of the Daleks, which clearly is not "one of the best ever" stories... but to this day I have zero comprehension of why a fun little episode like that should have generated so much rage. Season 31 fails to be "one of the best ever" seasons in my opinion, because really, what does it add to the mythos, it's a whole lot of more of the same (albeit with a brilliant Doctorial debut and plenty of genius Moffatian dialogue). But there's a big gulf between that and "WORST. SEASON. EVER". What does it take to just pleasantly entertain some people?
1 reply
I hope we're not going to have the tedious argument about Doctor Who BEING SCIENCE FICTION and therefore anything that doesn't have spaceships and physics in it doesn't qualify again. Mainly because 95% of Doctor Who since 1963 fails to qualify as Real Doctor Who by the yardstick of these mentalists. Doctor Who is a fantasy show, if it occasionally wears the clothes science fiction and you enjoy it more accordingly then bully for you, but that's not what it's "supposed" to be :P
1 reply
If this had been his final end in the final ever episode, I wouldn’t have felt cheated. I said the same thing in my own review - I can't say anything really bad about this episode, because when it comes down to it, if our show ever has to meet its final end, I want it the last episode to be just like the first 45 minutes of this. On the other hand, this isn't the end of Doctor Who. More of a new beginning. So I don't know, were all the tearful farewells really appropriate? Given that we only got to believe in them for a few minutes before they were rescinded and we were on our way to adventures new. Our heartstrings were well and truly tugged, but it was just a stunt, wasn't it, because according to the RTD rulebook you've got to go big or you might as well go home. I kind of feel that while this season was supremely enjoyable at every turn, it won't be remembered as a classic one. What did it introduce? Possibly the best Doctor yet, sure, and a companion with a REALLY complicated backstory. And then it expanded interestingly on the Moffat-motif of messing about with time... But beyond that? Its reinvention of not one but three classic races seems to have gone down like a lead balloon. Most of what else kinda sorta worked was RTDian NuWho-by-numbers. I think what I'm trying to say is that, after an emotional rush the size of The Big Bang, there's a definite sense that Moffat needs to "follow THAT!" I'm hoping he's up to the task and that Season 6 makes Season 5 look like a trial run. If not, he's a great writer but he could end up paddling around in the shallows of his talent instead of giving us what he's REALLY capable of.
1 reply
I love the idea that Eleventh Hour Rory was an Auton all along, but it doesn't really stand up to scrutiny, does it? Rory grew up with Amy and played raggedy doctors and nurses with her. Also, I don't think even Rory could work as a nurse in Leadworth for 20 years without ever getting good at his job, being promoted or, you know, attracting some attention for the never aging or needing to sleep thing!
1 reply
PS: is there a grammar term for the active "will soon have never-existed" tense? I believe that would be the "wibbly-wobbly future-wuture tense".
1 reply
None of it made a jot more sense than any of RTD's handwavey "plot" "resolutions"... I mean, is there any point in cliffhangers ever again? If all the Doctor needs to do to escape from an inescapable predicament from now on is to turn up from a paradoxical future timeline and let himself out? ...and yet it was ten times more loveable somehow. I mean, who couldn't love Fake Plastic Rory's 2,000 year vigil with no hope of reward, or River being caught in a time loop of failure and regret for the same amount of time. And then the final overturning of one of Who's historically most irksome conventions, the idea that all you need to do to write a companion out is marry them off, because obviously marriage is the end of adventure, fun, heroism and just plain mattering... if you're not sexually available, you're not dramatically interesting or worthwhile either. That was then. This is now. I still feel like this wasn't a Doctor Who story, but a story about Doctor Who, though. Was it meant to make any sense to anyone not wholly invested in the show for decades already? Full marks to Moffat for jettisoning the Alliance of Exponentially Bigger NuWho Finale, though. The man really does understand that a decapitated Cyberman or a crumbling stone Dalek is more scary than a billion spaceships containing everything evil in the universe ever. And that's why the show rests in safe hands into 2011 and beyond.
1 reply
I know that "it was all just a dream!" is a notorious dramatic cop-out, but with the season closer almost upon us (at the Eleventh Hour, if you will), I'm kind of hoping most of this season has taken place inside of Amy's psychologically fractured head. I'm just that uncomfortable with the concept of an Alliance of every foe the Doctor has ever faced: it's a great metaphor, but falls apart on any closer inspection. If we're inside Amy's imagination, then the nature of the "trap" makes much more sense. Also, never mind the Doctpr being The Beast Below now: was he Prisoner Zero all along?
1 reply
It's funny how the tables have turned: in the old days we used to rely on the guest writers to salvage seasons from the showrunner's excesses, and now it's the other way round. Of course given that Steven Moffat was one of those guest writers for 4 years running, I guess it's not TOO surprising. For me this series has been a resounding, but qualified, success. The only episode that really left a sour taste in my mouth was Cold Blood, everything else (including The Hungry Earth!) I found hugely entertaining. Not, mostly, "some of the best episodes of Doctor Who ever produced", but certainly everything one could hope for from a fun-for-all-the-family tragicomic adventure serial on Saturday afternoons. So I'm sad that some people have found it, on balance, a waste of their valuable time. I think we go in every year hopeful that every story will be a new Talons or City of Death, which of course can never happen. I think we should be grateful that we get so little that's boring and by-the-numbers now, comparatively speaking.
1 reply
That has a certain air of plausibility about it, but if Moffat uses his beloved time paradox device once more time, i.e. "Doctor escapes from the Pandorica and then travels back in time to tell 7-year-old Amy how to help the Doctor escape from the Pandorica", I think I might hate it more than one of RTD's and-with-a-single-bound-he-was-free-and-the-bad-guys-defeated endings.
1 reply
Genesis is just "Planet of the Daleks" with a cool-looking villain and two good Holmesian monologues thrown in. That's about five minutes of good stuff to sit through two and a half hours of imbecilic Boy's Own Adventure plotting and characterization for. Definitely overrated!
1 reply
I might have missed a crucial final piece of dialogue due to a screaming baby (a constant hazard of our household). I would love to think that Craig and Sophie got the hell out of Colchester, end-of-Ghost-Light-style... I guess if they have one another, they don't really care where they are, so it could go either way!
1 reply
Oh dear, what have we done? For the record, *I* love reading negative reviews of things I loved, and positive ones of things I hated. So much more interesting than mere confirmation of my own thoughts. I guess there's a fine line to walk between "I hated everything about this episode" and "everything about this episode was objectively sh!t, and only a fool could have liked it", but even if you came close to crossing it in the Vincent review, the hatemail crowd were bang out of order and should be ashamed of itself. I enjoyed The Lodger, as I've enjoyed this whole season, because Matt Smith is pure magic and he could have made The Twin Dilemma or Time and the Rani into poetry if he's been in them. But the muddled ending, the infodump via headbutt, and the return to exalting sitting on the sofa in front of the telly every night instead of being extraordinary (chops and gravy ahoy) were all an explicit return to the values of the RTD era, and not in a good way. I think Season 1/5/31 has been consistently entertaining and even more consistently deeply imperfect, which is probably a good thing: it means that once Moffat gets tired of cleaving timidly to the formulas that made his predecessor's era into a populist triumph, the only way is up!
1 reply
Well, on THIS site, you're either an emotionally retarded gargoyle or an easily manipulated sap, there is no middle ground. Everyone choose their side!
1 reply
Am I alone in not seeing the necessary contradiction between "evil killer" and "poor, frightened wretch"? Certainly it didn't jar with me as badly as the Doctor fawning rapturously over Malohkeh the vivisector for only putting kids into suspended animation instead of taking the knife to them.
1 reply
I agree that this might, in the final analysis, end up not being the "best" episode of this season... but it's got a good shot at ending up my *favourite*. The amount of interest and debate it's engendered; I think that's a triumph in and of itself.
1 reply
Amy-as-impressionist-art-lover is a way more convincing revelation than Clyde-Langer-as-child-artist-prodigy in Sarah Jane Adventures; the only way the writers could think of to get those teenage delinquents anywhere near an art gallery, apparently.
1 reply
More people are always going to tune in to see a much-hyped regeneration story over a random mid-season episode. And more people are always going to watch at the beginning of April than on a sunny Saturday afternoon in June. Anyone who uses the decline in figures as statistical proof that "the public is turning off the Moffat era IN DROVES!!!" is cracked, IMO...
1 reply
I was expecting to read something along these lines sooner or later. After some of the most classically-styled Doctor Who in years, along comes an episode seemingly designed to out-New-Who anything in the RTD era. (The cynical might even speculate that the Pertweevian mediocrity of The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood was INTENDED, to make VatD's crashing-back-into-RTD-world look like an even greater triumph.) The thing is, if I thought every episode from now on was going to have a coda like Vincent and the Doctor's, I'd be up in arms too. But look: you've brought in a "celebrity writer", you want to see them do their thing. I see no mileage in holding a gun to Richard Curtis' head and telling him "write like Robert Holmes". Instead, we got an overwhelmingly Curtisian piece, with the sentimentality poured on with a ladle and THEN an Athlete track played over the top. Which is good! Doctor Who is, or should be, the show that can do anything. And it can do Richard Curtis, for a week. Yes, the ending was definitely self-indulgent, allowing the writer the ultimate in Van-Gogh-fanboy-wish-fulfillment: going back in time and telling this most miserable and wretched of artists that, actually, his life and work was the very opposite of in vain. But so what? This was a better use of the patented NuWhostorical format than gawping and grinning and shouting "you're brilliant, you are!" like a pair of idiots at Dickens, Shakespeare, Agatha Christie or Queen Victoria. The coda was not that much different to the (quite popular, inexplicably IMO) Fires of Pompeii, where you may not be able to divert the unstoppable tide of history but at least you can try to do some little thing to minimize the suffering in its wake. And yeah, my wife and I both cried, not because we're "easily manipulated" morons but because showing a man in the pit of poverty and despair that somehow, somewhere they are loved on a scale beyond their comprehension is a way better use of the Doctor and the format than blowing up another incursion of evil alien marauders inside a spaceship or something. Sorry, it just is.
1 reply
My impression of the TARDIS' reliability this season is that it gets where it needs to go if The Doctor really puts his mind to it, but quite often he doesn't... or pretends he doesn't, anyway.
1 reply
In contrast to you I really liked the Amy/Vincent flirtation, and here's why: it hasn't happened so much in recent years, because the majority of the RTD companions only had eyes for the Doctor, but in the classic days companions would quite regularly develop some kind of unconvincing romance with a guest character, often a convenient couple of episodes before they were due to be written out. But for once here we have a relationship that makes perfect sense. Amy knows she's meant to have romantic feelings, but can't quite remember for whom or why. It's logical then that she would flirt with a handsome, talented chap like Vincent, but also that she would pull away for reasons she can't begin to articulate before things go too far. I think that makes this one of the very rare times in the history of the show where a companion romance both arises and concludes in a perfectly sensible and justifiable fashion. And if it all happened a BIT quickly, well, this is the same season in which it takes 5 minutes to invent a gravity bubble and fill it with Spitfires, or to create a fully functional defensive perimeter around a small Welsh village.
1 reply
The Doctor realized the problem of the crack 3 adventures ago; he decided the thing to do about it was to save Amy's (somehow deeply connected) wedding; for the past 3 adventures he's been working like crazy to get Amy and Rory back together (well, in the third adventure he got distracted from his purpose by a massive drill, but we saw him fighting the urge). He has been taking the crack extremely seriously. He must be bricking it now though, having just blown his save-the-wedding plan (and Rory!) to bits by being unable to resist investigating in and under Cwmtaff.
1 reply
Part 2 in no way lived up to the promise of Part 1 -- sigh -- but in defence of the voiceover at the beginning, for a little while I genuinely believed that maybe, just maybe, Silurians and humans would resolve their differences, "known history" (albeit future history) would change, and we'd have a brave new coalition-ruled Earth as early as 2020. So I was on the edge of my seat during the episode, wondering, could the new production team really be that brave? And of course, they weren't, so that kind of squandered my early enthusiasm for the episode's possibilities. Hey, didn't The Beast Below establish that the world was going to be destroyed by solar flares about 1,000 years in the future? It's slightly morally awkward if the Doctor's deferment of the emergence of the Silurians coincides with a time period when he knows they have about 5 minutes to live before being obliterated in a firestorm.
1 reply
Forget this being the most Old-Whoish episode since 2005... it was pretty much the most Old-Whoish since about 1984. It may have left the youngsters scratching their heads slightly at the vaguely leisurely pacing, but as a kiss to the past, I loved it!
1 reply