The Doctor Falls

The Doctor Falls

How many times have we known that we were witnessing the waning moments of the current Doctor’s term, regeneration was nigh, and that heartache was imminent, yet we were riveted to the screen? And in those moments, how much time was spent in the episode where the Doctor himself knew that time was at hand? With few exceptions, these exercises in loss (for both character and audience) have been graciously brief, relatively speaking. The quick-pull of the bandage, if you will.

When your showrunner is also a showman, however, and knows that the fiercest arrows in his quiver are named “drama”, “emotion”, “witness”, and “time”. Moffat will ensure that hearts are laid bare by the events to come, the reactions will be profound and cathartic, they will seek to shake the core of all who take part, and — as we now see — they will not be brief. We will linger.

This week, we draw the incredible tenth series of the renewed Doctor Who to a close (if you will) with “The Doctor Falls”. We scream for respite from the pain of Bill’s predicament, and get a most unexpected response. We beg for the resolution of a millennia-old struggle between Doctor and Master, and are handed an outcome that leaves us agape. We hope for a closure to the Twelfth Doctor’s struggle to rediscover himself, a ‘good man’, renewed as the champion of those who cry out for help, anywhere and at any time, and find the most unlikely guide steps forward to aid in that last journey. Christmas of 2017 is going to be one very melancholy holiday, indeed.

BONUS: We step through the many and various responses to our tweeted question about Capaldi possibly emerging as some listeners’ ‘official’ Doctor after Series 10.

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World Enough and Time

World Enough and Time

We could not count the times over the course of the past five-plus years on GPR that we have come to the defense of Steven Moffat. His writing, his style of production, his casting choices, his vision for the series, his whimsical-bordering-upon-maddening way of talking about the program through vague words and red herrings. Through it all, we recognized that he is a consummate fan, like us in many ways, and he revels in putting forth stories and ideas that delight and astonish him — in hopes that we will share in that delight and astonishment.

With this most recent episode, he must be grinning like the cat who ate the canary at what he has accomplished…and he’s not quite finished with us yet.

This week, we release our grip on the edges of our seats long enough to reflect on “World Enough and Time”, the penultimate episode of Series 10, and the first of an unofficial trilogy leading up to the end of Moffat’s tenure as showrunner, and the close of Peter Capaldi’s time as the Twelfth Doctor. Given the perfect storm of a solid TARDIS team, the fascinating return of Mondasian Cybermen, and the baffling duo of Missy and the Harold Saxon Master, we had high expectations. We were not wrong. In fact, we were unprepared for how intense it would be. We discuss the emotions (many), the tone of Rachel Talalay’s direction (chilling), the complexity yet plausibility of the script (wonderful), and the questions left to be answered…or so we hope…with the series finale episode to come, and yet a regeneration that is reported to occur months later, but yet…BUT YET.

Oh, Steven; you brilliant, maddening, magnificent bastard, you.

BONUS: We announce the winner of our latest listener contribution contest, where we discussed the DW contributions of Mark Gatiss!

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The Year of the Woman?

The Year of the Woman

Series Nine of Doctor Who was, in a word, groundbreaking. The broadcast format changed. The tone shifted dramatically (pun intended, of course). The stories grew in intensity and weight. The performances from both principal and supporting casts expanded exponentially. The series as a whole felt cohesive, focused, and full of the thrills, adventure, and emotion that marks a stellar season for the program.

Over and above all these accolades, and in many ways directly feeding into them, was the rising strength of women involved in the program. Like most viewers, we were astounded by the immediately apparent acting prowess of Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, Alex Kingston, Ingrid Oliver, and Jemma Redgrave; the directorial eye of Rachel Talalay and Hettie MacDonald; and the exceptional first episode contributions of Sarah Dollard and Catherine Tregenna. As we sit back and absorb all we’ve been given, the question is raised: in 2015, why are we still surprised to see these wonderful things happen?

Joined by brilliant blogger and Gallifreyan aficionado Alyssa of Whovian Feminism, we sit for a long session to discuss what has been a banner year for women in Doctor Who. We discuss the legacy of the program, accusations and confirmed instances of misogyny and chauvinism, the roles and representation of women both on camera and behind it. It becomes immediately clear that this is an ‘iceberg’ topic too large to address in one episode, so even with continued talk about the Bechdel test and other related issues in the “GPR After Dark” extended time that follows, we know for certain that we’ll be coming back to the subject — hopefully with news to celebrate about further advances for women’s equality in Series 10.

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The Magician’s Apprentice

The Magician's Apprentice

The advisement that “your patience will be rewarded” often sounds like something you’d tell a child who asks repeatedly how much longer they have to wait for a birthday, or allowance, or other anticipation. Why would it be any different for us as the groundlings at Steven Moffat’s feet, hoping against hope that this is the day we are given a tremendous gift, and that gift is not only all we hoped for, but perhaps even more for the sake of wanting? Could it be? Is this the day? Are we actually going to be rewarded?

This week, we unwrap the crinkling paper and fling the proverbial ribbons and bows into the air to discover ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’, and discover that the adage regarding patience is actually quite accurate. From hands-up moments of surprise, to laugh-out-loud scathing interplay between Doctor, Clara and Missy, to references and homages to Classic Who and the more contemporary RTD era, to a cliffhanger that could change the fundamentals of Doctor Who as we know it — Series Nine is off to an explosive start, and many fans and critics are referring to this as potentially one of Moffat’s best scripts to date.

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The No-Longer-Impossible Girl

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When she first appeared unexpectedly in “Asylum of the Daleks”, we were all shocked and left unable to form a proper opinion. When she then returned (in another form) in “The Snowmen”, we fell in love, only to mourn her inexplicable death. And when ‘Clara Prime’ finally joined us in “The Bells of St. John,” we reached the point of wondering what the hell was really going on. Now that we’re on the other side of a character-driven and well-structured Series 8, and we have a fully realized and appreciated Clara Oswald, it leaves us wondering what paths our resourceful and complex Companion has yet to walk.

This week, we look at the substantial growth Clara’s character has had thus far, and discuss what we would both like to see — and what we expect to see — in the upcoming ninth series. Do we want her to continue her journey towards becoming more like the Doctor himself? Do we want her to find happiness and contentment with her lot in life? Do we want her unceremoniously killed off? (Or do we just want her to finally get us that coffee we ordered weeks ago? Worst waitress…ever. What? She was just a customer there, too? Well, now we look foolish, don’t we?)

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