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07 January 2016 @ 07:11 pm
NuWho Rewatch: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS  
I was very disappointed with this story first time around. I thought it had a potentially interesting set-up which was then squandered with a rather mundane resolution and a reset button. I enjoyed it more this time around, since I was going in with low expectations, but I still think it is a wasted opportunity. NLSS child (who it should be noted is not only no-longer-so-small but actually bigger-than-I-am so should possibly be renamed BTIA child) thought it was great. Her good opinion of this half season remains intact.

The business with the book on the Time War makes more sense in the context of what comes later. It's clearly supposed to be pre-figuring the importance of the Doctor's name. I still think the way Clara makes a beeline for the book and her reaction to its contents are a bit odd and, in fact, I think the direction here generally is misleading. Obviously Clara is out-of-the-ordinary and has her own agenda (at least to the extent that she isn't content just to follow the Doctor around) but not in the ways this episode would seem to suggest.

I'm not sure when Moffat started briefing that Clara thinks she is the centre of the story. I wasn't aware of it until Capaldi's run started, but I think they must have been thinking along those lines even here, though a lot of it is being subsumed by presenting her as a puzzle to be solved. I liked that she already has the Doctor teaching her how to fly the Tardis. Obviously that becomes important later.

I was less irked by the three brothers than I was previously. I complained then that they didn't seem to have an real relevance to the rest of the story, but Ithink I was giving the episode more weight and thinking it had deeper resonance than it had. If you view it simply as one of Who's puzzlebox stories, then the brothers work quite nicely as both part of the puzzle and a random element the Doctor must account for in his search for the solution. The fact that they have their own inter-personal dynamics and some unexpected reactions makes them more interesting rather than less.

I still think this story marks the beginning of a down turn in quality for this half-season of Doctor Who and I still think there are much more interesting things you could do with the concept of being trapped inside the Tardis. However it works well enough, I suppose, on its own terms.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/181985.html.
wellinghallwellinghall on January 7th, 2016 08:14 pm (UTC)
Hmm, BTIA child might work if I can refer to her as BTYA (bigger than you are; because she's certainly not bigger than I am). My younger nephew might soon be, though; at twelve, he has reached 5'11" ...
cynthia2015cynthia2015 on January 9th, 2016 04:47 am (UTC)
It was hard for me to invest in the partnership between Eleven and Clara. The whole "impossible girl" thing didn't click with me.

Moffat likes to make some of his female characters have a huge mystery behind who they are.

louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on January 9th, 2016 11:57 am (UTC)
I certainly thought Clara improved immensely once she stopped being a puzzle to be solved. I think Moffat's approach the last two seasons has shown a distinct move away from puzzle based arcs and I think in many ways that is an improvement - though it also seems to have drained some of the sense of fun away, which I'm not so keen on.
cynthia2015cynthia2015 on January 9th, 2016 01:57 pm (UTC)
I felt the same. Also with Amy when the crack plot was resolved.

The show needs to still have an element of mystery but not to the point where viewers can't identify with the champion.

Hopefully Moffat will find another form of storytelling. Maybe something that doesn't involve memory lost.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on January 10th, 2016 12:18 pm (UTC)
I think the puzzles can work well in individual episodes, but I don't think he's successfully sustained one for the length of the season. Even when you know the answers, a lot of the build up doesn't make a lot of sense.

I think he realises that, which is why we're seeing seasons presented more as hints which are foreshadowing rather than clues.
cynthia2015cynthia2015 on January 11th, 2016 07:42 am (UTC)
I don't like to draw comparisons between RTD and Moffat because they both have a different approach for how they write stories and the characterization of the champions etc.

In the RTD era we had domestics and the mystery of the series would be revealed in the series finale and sometimes the result is a deux ex machine and a champion leaving. But the latter was done because of the actress moving on.

Whereas Moffat chooses to answer some questions in the series finale and then drag the rest for the following series. Series 9 started with the Doctor thinking he was going to die again! and than nothing?. Then it shifted to the hybrid plot which I found confusing.

Are we suppose to think that River whispered the name "Basil" into Ten's ear in "Forest of the Dead?.

Was the "sliver of ice" comment from "Hide" a foreshadowing of the Doctor going "dark"?.

I'm I making too much of this?. I guess its just some things for me to ponder until the next series.
Polly: cutejane_somebody on January 20th, 2016 08:11 pm (UTC)
Ah, the time has finally come :-) I am taller than you, and El is younger than G, but I can only just rest my chin on the top of his head now, and I wonder how long it will be before he overtops me. (userpic chosen in honour of a time when he was much smaller :-) )
louisedennislouisedennis on January 21st, 2016 10:47 am (UTC)
G. was actually about 6 months slower than I anticipated. She was only a couple of centimetres shorter than me on her 11th birthday and I thought she was bound to be bigger by the time she was twelve, but in fact it was more like 12 1/2.