Taking Satisfaction


The Angels Take Manhattan (Series 7, Ep 5; 2012)
Viewed 16 Apr 2018

Doctor/Companion: Eleven, Amy Pond, Rory Williams, River Song
Stars: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston
Preceding Story: The Power of Three (Eleven, Amy, Rory)
Succeeding Story: The Snowmen (Eleven, Clara)

    This coming weekend, I get to take my daughters to their first Doctor Who con—in fact, their first con of any sort since becoming fans of the show. As you may recall, the three members of the Paternoster Gang were slated to be the guests of honor, and I was trying to figure out how to give the girls enough background to appreciate said guests.

    Since then, Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra)—the first of those guests to have been announced, as I recall—has had to cancel, and my kids have blown through so much Doctor Who that they've now seen not just one, but every extant episode in which the Paternoster Gang appears. I'm no longer worrying about their excitement for meeting these actors; now it's a matter of which Doctor do we watch next (and next, and next...).

    Not only are we watching lots of episodes together, but it's also been a ridiculously long time since the Ladies have gotten together to watch anything other than the most recent series (scheduling can be a real bear). And since a commenter suggested it might be fun to read more about what my daughters think about these new-to-them stories, I thought I'd choose a few during which to record their reactions and reboot the NuViews section of the blog in earnest.

    At the time I made that decision, we were in the middle of Series 7A. A Companion departure story seemed like a really good one to capture, so when it was time to watch The Angels Take Manhattan, I got out my clipboard and—with the girls' permission—started taking notes.


    Confession #120: I Love a Retrospective


    My kids had spring break last week. We spent some lovely time with family members whom we don't get to see often enough, and returned home with a couple of spare days to laze around the house. The girls and I have been making our way through modern Who together over the past few months, and before we headed out of town, had reached the end of Tennant's run. Although they were resigned to the change, they were (much like their mom at that stage) not really ready to move on.

    However, with several more days of spring break stretched out in front of us, and the Smith era just waiting there invitingly, the girls decided to dive in. They grudgingly agreed to give this not-Tennant guy a try, knowing that eventually we'd roll back around to Capaldi (remember that they started modern Who by watching Series Ten), but they weren't harboring any high hopes.

    We started on Wednesday the 4th with The Eleventh Hour (S05E01, a day late for the eighth anniversary of its first broadcast) and binge-watched nearly two full series, finishing The Girl Who Waited (S06E10) by Sunday the 8th. That's twenty-four episodes in the span of five days—a serious feat, if I do say so myself. Somewhere in the middle they reached the fourth of the five stages of the Whovian's regeneration cycle (counting "Regeneration" as the first), though I don't know that they necessarily rank Eleven as their favorite. Still, they're on board with him being the Doctor, and they adore Amy, Rory, and River. Result!


    Confession #61: I Want a 50th Boxed Set


    Over the weekend, reports surfaced that The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot; the unofficial-but-officially-sanctioned half-hour special written and directed by Fifth Doctor Peter Davison and co-starring Colin Baker (Six), Sylvester McCoy (Seven), and (briefly) Paul McGann (Eight); would at some point be released on DVD. The source of this information is apparently C. Baker himself, sharing the news at a Doctor Who Appreciation Society event. Details are ridiculously sketchy, pretty much only including the fact that it's slated to happen and that it will be part of a "special set" focused on Matt Smith.

    Folks are already speculating wildly about what will be on this rumored set, though most (like me) seem to have settled on the idea that it will be something 50th anniversary-related. My favorite overly enthusiastic and admittedly too optimistic list of items that might be included encompassed everything from the Proms to Hurt interviews to a specially created farewell to Eleven.

    Admittedly, if it does turn out to be an anniversary set, there is a lot of material from which to choose. A lot of material was only available in one part of the world or another (e.g., the aforementioned Proms, or the Doctors Revisited series which didn't make it to the UK until mere weeks before the anniversary). But how likely do we really think it is that BBC Worldwide would include videos of panel interviews, for instance? Realistically, there's a pretty short list of what they're likely to use.


    That Turkey Never Did Quite Get Cooked


    Review of The Time of the Doctor
    Warning: This review contains episode-specific spoilers and wild speculation about future episodes.

    I suppose my expectations finally sank to the cellar when the first "nude Doctor" promo pics hit the Web. You'd think there would be no room left for crushed hopes after that, but apparently you'd be mistaken. It seems I had an iota of optimism left that Moffat could tie shit together coherently—I really ought to know better.

    Usually I enjoy Moffat's episodes in the moment; it's not till later when I have time to think about the plot that I realize how riddled it is with holes and other offenses. Most times he manages to catch me up in the emotion of each scene (which is, after all, his strong suit) and I can take an episode as it was intended on that first viewing.

    Not this time.

    Maybe it had something to do with all of the interruptions (mine were familial rather than commercial, but I'm sure the effect was much the same for those who watched on BBCA). Or maybe it was the painful running "gag" about nudity (which just... No.). At any rate, from the very first chirping tones of the message—the Question—and the Mother Superious's droning voiceover, I was a detached observer, uninvested (at least in a good way) in the proceedings. I was pissed at Clara for not listening when the Doctor said he was in danger, I was pissed at the Doctor for blatantly ignoring human social mores (with which he is damn well familiar), and I was pissed with Moffat for thinking that "for kids" and "juvenile" were interchangeable.


    First Fifty's Final Face


    Review of The Doctors Revisited - Eleventh Doctor

    As we wind down the year, anticipating the upcoming regeneration, we Revisit Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor. Since his reign is only current until Christmas, it's not as premature to do a retrospective on his era as it felt when this series of specials was announced.

    I did, however, find it odd that the production team chose to throw out spoilers for the entire arc of Series Six left and right—and for the mid-series finale of S7, too—yet barely breathed a word about anything to do with the second half of S7 except Clara's personality and relationship with the Doctor.

    I realize they had to be careful, if all of these specials were filmed at the same time; not even The Snowmen would've aired yet when everyone was interviewed. (And while I'm on the topic, here's the list: lead actors Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and Jenna Coleman; supporting actors Mark Sheppard, Frances Barber, Hugh Bonneville, and Mike McShane; writer Tom McRae; producer Marcus Wilson; and show-runner Steven Moffat.) So long after the fact, though (remember that The Name of the Doctor aired way back in May), it provides a certain surreality to the episode, like time traveling back a year, when we had no idea what was coming with Clara's Series Seven storyline.

    The rest of the special feels, for a fan like me, like redundant rehashing of obvious traits of the Eleventh Doctor, his Companions, and their stories. More so than the rest of the installments, even. Much like last month, it may be down to how recent all of this is, so I've tried to take it in context.



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