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Doctor Who

One last spoiler, for now.

What happened to the Hartnell crossover scene? Unless he was talking about the updated biopic, this simply did not happen this season. Maybe they CGI'd him into some An Unearthly Child footage and had to cut it due to the ongoing rights issues?
That was for the 2023 edition of An Adventure In Space And Time
That being said, they did use a colourised version of a young Carol Anne Ford in this episode.

And I'm going off on a tangent here, as I was thoroughly displease with this finale:

Nothing much went on again for a good twenty or so minutes once we reached the middle, the memory TARDIS had a lousy explanation wrapped up in enigmas and riddles, I know that's par the course to preserve the mystery of the show, but ultimately it's best not to give us that sort of thing ALL of the time. I can sort of see where the Tales of the TARDIS scenes can at least 'fit in' here and there.

Got a little excited when Gwilliam turned up in the interview again, and Ruby remembering 73 Yards so it has significance, but then it's all so quickly forgotten about again and nothing's happening the whole time they're collecting her DNA and Mel's gradually turning into an avatar for Suketek. The pacing was so snail-paced and the music wasn't even intensely building to a shock reveal when Mel finally turned.


Ruby's parents being ordinary is right out of the Last Jedi handbook. As for the reveal that her actual dad is bad news, it strikes me as odd she'd want to even try to know him if he treated her mother badly, it's also odd the last shot wasn't Ruby knocking on the door of his house or something, I'd have probably made it snow and kept a close up shot of Ruby as we hear the door opened. We know she'll be back next series so maybe keep something about her mystery going. Just me indulging in my creativity a bit there.

Surely Vlinx could have been brought back from the dead quicker to help out because he's a machine and not flesh and blood? Nice of the reset button to reattach his head too after we clearly saw it fall off.

Kate sure developed an attraction to that UNIT soldier real fast.

Mrs. Flood looked a little like Romana I in her Ribos Operation snowcoat, or East 17, whichever decade you prefer.

FFS Ncuti, QUIT GREETIN'

I think the idea of the TARDIS landing wherever The Doctor needed help was always a B.S thing from the Moffat era, now they've left us with the implication that ever since the 70s, it's been more or potentially influenced/decided upon by a God is much better for the show, and retroactively helps assert a sense of second sight and forboding, that rewards fans of NuWho whenever they watch an old serial post-Pyramids. I also like to headcanon Idris from The Doctor's Wife may have now been a constructed consciousness conjured forth by Suktekch to give The Doctor exactly what he wanted to hear.

I'll have to give it 4/10, not the worst finale I've ever seen but still a weak sauce entry

Best To Worst Episodes

1. The Devil's Chord
2. 73 Yards
3. Boom
4. Dot and Bubble
5. The Legend of Ruby Sunday
6. Rogue
7. Empire of Death
8. Space Babies
 
And I'm going off on a tangent here, as I was thoroughly displease with this finale:

Nothing much went on again for a good twenty or so minutes once we reached the middle, the memory TARDIS had a lousy explanation wrapped up in enigmas and riddles, I know that's par the course to preserve the mystery of the show, but ultimately it's best not to give us that sort of thing ALL of the time. I can sort of see where the Tales of the TARDIS scenes can at least 'fit in' here and there.

Got a little excited when Gwilliam turned up in the interview again, and Ruby remembering 73 Yards so it has significance, but then it's all so quickly forgotten about again and nothing's happening the whole time they're collecting her DNA and Mel's gradually turning into an avatar for Suketek. The pacing was so snail-paced and the music wasn't even intensely building to a shock reveal when Mel finally turned.


Ruby's parents being ordinary is right out of the Last Jedi handbook. As for the reveal that her actual dad is bad news, it strikes me as odd she'd want to even try to know him if he treated her mother badly, it's also odd the last shot wasn't Ruby knocking on the door of his house or something, I'd have probably made it snow and kept a close up shot of Ruby as we hear the door opened. We know she'll be back next series so maybe keep something about her mystery going. Just me indulging in my creativity a bit there.

Surely Vlinx could have been brought back from the dead quicker to help out because he's a machine and not flesh and blood? Nice of the reset button to reattach his head too after we clearly saw it fall off.

Kate sure developed an attraction to that UNIT soldier real fast.

Mrs. Flood looked a little like Romana I in her Ribos Operation snowcoat, or East 17, whichever decade you prefer.

FFS Ncuti, QUIT GREETIN'

I think the idea of the TARDIS landing wherever The Doctor needed help was always a B.S thing from the Moffat era, now they've left us with the implication that ever since the 70s, it's been more or potentially influenced/decided upon by a God is much better for the show, and retroactively helps assert a sense of second sight and forboding, that rewards fans of NuWho whenever they watch an old serial post-Pyramids. I also like to headcanon Idris from The Doctor's Wife may have now been a constructed consciousness conjured forth by Suktekch to give The Doctor exactly what he wanted to hear.

I'll have to give it 4/10, not the worst finale I've ever seen but still a weak sauce entry

Best To Worst Episodes

1. The Devil's Chord
2. 73 Yards
3. Boom
4. Dot and Bubble
5. The Legend of Ruby Sunday
6. Rogue
7. Empire of Death
8. Space Babies
I agree with most of what you said.

I have to say I found most of the dialogue pretty nonsensical and needlessly flowery.
like when kate said "there will be birds again", I was so taken aback by that, my emotional reaction to her dying a second later was just completely absent because i was still scoffing. Speaking of which, they all clearly disintegrated into sand. there were no bodies left... so what you said about vlinx goes extra for all the dead bodies that were suddenly everywhere. There were so many contrivances in this, it's hard to really list them all.

The explanation for magical beings, david tennant invoking salt at the edge of space, but Sutek is claiming to have been doing this since pyramids of mars??
And he had been creating these apparitions everywhere since then, but for some reason they didn't notice until Ruby came aboard?
So Sutek is going mad because he didn't happen to see a woman's face, but the woman is just a normal woman, who for some bizarre reason was cosplaying as harry potter, and inexplicably thought the name of a road was a great idea for a name, and communicated this to a random stranger, by gesturing dramatically towards the street sign, and now any memory of that causes snow to fall like magic, even though Ruby is just a normal girl, but this all happened because we all imagined that she was special, even though we all thought she was special because we were being told she was special by the magic music, the magic snow and by the maestro utterly freaking out.... WHAT?

So Sutek is a god of death? causes people to die? The robot thing is not alive, so ehm... oh hold on, people's memories are fading now? what? so uhm, memories are fading because memories are life? or are memories time? or are memories a time machine? or are they metal? is metal alive now? why is the metal disappearing? is metal time? what? why is a spoon making the memory ipad work better????? WHAT? oh right, the rope is inteligent now.. of course it is. the rope is inteligent which makes it able to stabilise a time machine made of memories, because molecular rope is memory and memories are metal and that makes it indestructible, except sutek can kill memories and metal and can break robots and anything into atoms and turn it into sand, but can't break the inteligent rope, because reasons.

the doctor is able to remote control the tardis with a whistle now, because... he wants to? no setup or explanation.

and concerning Ncuti.... that performance had no subtlety for me. none of it was at all convincing in my opinion, there was no nuance, no authenticity.

The ironic part in all this, is that despite all this confusion, I still found it to be watchable, whereas I could not bear to watch most of the Chibnall era.

I have to say, most of this series was bad for me. Dot and Bubble was fantastic for me and I really enjoyed Boom, but the rest were poor to average at best.

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And I have to be honest, I am trying to think about what Ruby's motivation is, and I am struggling. I am not sure I can say what drives her. Why does she want to travel with the Doctor? I also don't really understand why the Doctor wants to travel with Ruby. All I really have to go on is assumptions based on what past Doctors have had with their companions.
 
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@Zarius - you got one detail wrong, but it was very rushed and easy to miss.

Ruby's dad wasn't the "bad news," it was Ruby's (step?) grandfather. He was abusive to Ruby's biological mom, so she gave up her baby to protect her from suffering the same fate. The actual biological father is said to be another unremarkable 15 year old from 2004. Also, Ruby's biological mom is said to have never told the boyfriend about the pregnancy, nor the abandonment.

The Doctor was right. Ruby should have stayed away. Her real mom is that nice lady that raised and cared for her. The one who tried to get through UNIT's security to be there at her time of need. I really, really dislike the overbearingly happy depiction of the reunion. I think it sends a bad message. Is it really that important that Ruby have a relationship with a woman who actively chose to avoid doing so her entire life?

Also, per The Doctor's narration at the start of The Church on Ruby Road, the mother was, "Never seen again." I think this arc was just being made up on the fly. I know RTD's used deceptive narration before ("This is the story of how I died.") - but to give such rapid and complete reversal of what was stated at the start, by The Doctor himself strikes me as very sloppy.
 
And I have to be honest, I am trying to think about what Ruby's motivation is, and I am struggling. I am not sure I can say what drives her. Why does she want to travel with the Doctor? I also don't really understand why the Doctor wants to travel with Ruby. All I really have to go on is assumptions based on what past Doctors have had with their companions.

I think Ruby just genuinely enjoys what they do. We can see wonderment in her eyes on most of the worlds they visit. And, per her upbringing, has a deep commitment to helping people in need. The Doctor sees in her many of the best qualities of mankind. The mystery was coincidental. He has her along for the same reason he almost always has human companions: the best of humanity makes him a better person. When left alone, he can descend into ethical territory he'd rather not. They keep him honest, and she's a fine example of that.
 
I think Ruby just genuinely enjoys what they do. We can see wonderment in her eyes on most of the worlds they visit. And, per her upbringing, has a deep commitment to helping people in need. The Doctor sees in her many of the best qualities of mankind. The mystery was coincidental. He has her along for the same reason he almost always has human companions: the best of humanity makes him a better person. When left alone, he can descend into ethical territory he'd rather not. They keep him honest, and she's a fine example of that.
I wonder why I didn't really get that impression then? When I think of other companions like Rose or Clara or Amy, I get a sense of their spirit, their desire to go on adventure, I feel like I know what they want, but in this case I don't. Perhaps I need to watch again to try and figure it out.
 
I think the reduced episode count is also a factor. Well, then again - I still feel like I know Ruby better than I ever did Yaz. Simply put - Ruby isn't all that interesting. She's a hodgepodge of Rose, Clara, and a few others. Familiar, unambitious. Much like the season in general. I'm not even saying that as criticism. I believe that RTD was more concerned with making the show feel like it did pre-Chibnall and wasn't overly interested in innovating beyond a few areas (magic, wheelchair reform, etc.).
 
On the whole, I found this season, including the Tennant specials, mostly disappointing.
There were some nice, even fantastic, highlights throughout, but the final execution of the majority of the episodes left much to be desired.
I do not think this new RTD era is even remotely on par with his first run.
Heck, Chibnall's Flux, was superior to this season on almost every level for me.

Gatwa's Doctor swings from magnetic to insufferable in every episode for me, though I can not quite put my finger on why?
Maybe it is partly that they have so "humanized" him, that I find it difficult to believe he is an alien, never mind a 1,000 year old Time Lord.
And why does he keep referring to himself as the LAST Time Lord? Didn't we have 3 Specials and a controversial Bi-Regeneration?
Tennant's Doctor, with his own TARDIS, is still out there.
In fact, if begs the question, where was he during the finale? Was there a throw away line that I missed?

As for the two part finale,
I thought the lead-in Legend of Ruby Road was excellent, and I went in very excited for Empire of Death.
But it pretty much flopped and fell flat at every turn for me.
Sutekh turned out to be very anti-climatic. He is evil master plan was dull. His motivation, illogical.
He was far more terrifying and intelligent in the Pyramids of Mars than he was portrayed here.
As for the reveal that he has been attached to the TARDIS ever since the 70s?
That did not work at all for me. The TARDIS has continually been portrayed as sentient, I think she might have noticed a stowaway on her back? lol

As for the resolution to Ruby's mother's identity?
Awful. I get what they were going for, but none of it made any sense to me.
And I did not realize hooded cloaks were the fashion rage back in 2004.

So does everyone in every episode need to shed a single tear...?

And Mrs Flood breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the audience.... sigh....

Oh well, at least there was not another song and dance number.
 
15 considers himself to be "after" 14, in his own words. He reassured David's Doctor, that "I'm fine, because you turn out fine. Therapy, out of order." Or something to that effect. So he does consider himself to be the last, with 14 as a 'previous' version that's just existing in the 2020s. Not unlike running into any of his other past regnerations. Of course, he already contradicted this elsewhere in the season by claiming the bi-generation, "tore my soul literally in half". And also unsure if Susan is alive or not. And can he really, truly, honestly believe The Master is dead for good this time?

To say nothing of the whole "not really a Time Lord" wormhole thing.

I like Gatwa's Doctor. I accepted him pretty much immediately - it took Peter Capaldi most of a season to get that far with me. It took until Whittaker's final episode, heh. That said, I really can't say what makes 15 distinct. He's very similar to Tenant's portrayal. A bit more willing to express fear, a bit quicker to shed tears. Again, we've only had him for nine stories - and two of them were Doctor light episodes. About that! I understand why that was done back when we had double digit episode counts. But when he's almost absent from a quarter of the season proper, that's very odd. I like him, but I don't really "know" this Doctor just yet.
 
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I think these figures are even lower than when it was cancelled.
What people really need to understand is that ratings don't mean anything these days, for one very simple reason...
EVERY TV-SHOW'S RATINGS ARE "CATASTROPHICALLY LOW" NOW.

The fact is people just simply don't watch TV live anymore. They vast majority of viewers solely watch shows via streaming, and are aggressively unwilling to sign up for cable or subscribe to channels like the BBC like they did in the past. So looking at ratings is absolutely NOT an accurate indicator of how many people are watching. If you look at the STREAMING numbers, currently "Doctor Who" actually has its largest active audience in the history of the show.

So rest assured, the show is doing fine
(and will continue to for quite some time).
 
I don't know about that, doctor who figures are not just measuring the live viewers. They are viewing all the iplayer figures, which is a free service for every license payer in the UK, and for non license payers who lie. People don't have to subscribe to iplayer. So the figures for doctor who are live and streaming.
 
I don't know about that, doctor who figures are not just measuring the live viewers. They are viewing all the iplayer figures, which is a free service for every license payer in the UK, and for non license payers who lie. People don't have to subscribe to iplayer. So the figures for doctor who are live and streaming.

That's only the UK though, there is a worldwide audience also. In the US for example, the show is now on Disney Plus, which is huge.
 
That's only the UK though, there is a worldwide audience also. In the US for example, the show is now on Disney Plus, which is huge.
I see what you're saying; the worldwide audience may well have increased greatly, despite the UK figures showing a clear drop? That's fair to say.
 
The more I think about that ending, the less satisfied I am.

I'm completely supportive of the message of "ordinary people are extraordinary". But - that doesn't explain the anomalous snow. Ruby's biological mom dressed like Palpatine, with a face obscured to all fantastical technologies, cryptically pointing to a street sign for the benefit of someone not involved with the infant she abandoned in the snow, nor the Doctor's own memory of the event changing over time. Why is Sutekh afraid of her if she's actually ordinary? In all the eons he invaded, he never encountered a person who felt bad for not knowing their biological parents? How was UNIT able to find DNA matches when the Doctor had to go to a database in the future for the same information? If Sutekh truly is "The Doctor's greatest enemy" (Somewhere, The Master and Davros are fuming with envy), the resolution being an improvised magical dog leash isn't exactly compelling. He clung to the TARDIS through the time vortex for something like hundreds of years (not to mention the time it exploded, the time it shrank, etc.), but... the time vortex killed him in the end?
 
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The more I think about that ending, the less satisfied I am.

I'm completely supportive of the message of "ordinary people are extraordinary". But - that doesn't explain the anomalous snow. Ruby's biological mom dressed like Palpatine, with a face obscured to all fantastical technologies, cryptically pointing to a street sign for the benefit of someone not involved with the infant she abandoned in the snow, nor the Doctor's own memory of the event changing over time. Why is Sutekh afraid of her if she's actually ordinary? In all the eons he invaded, he never encountered a person who felt bad for not knowing their biological parents? How was UNIT able to find DNA matches when the Doctor had to go to a database in the future for the same information? If Sutekh truly is "The Doctor's greatest enemy" (Somewhere, The Master and Davros are fuming with envy), the resolution being an improvised magical dog leash isn't exactly compelling. He clung to the TARDIS through the time vortex for something like hundreds of years (not to mention the time it exploded, the time it shrank, etc.), but... the time vortex killed him in the end?
All valid, the DNA thing though.
I think they downloaded the database from the future and brought it with them, and that's what UNIT was looking through. Never mind the ethics and ramifications of bringing something like that to UNIT. (Now they can, for example, identify anyone in the world by DNA... and since it's from the future they can extrapolate who lives and dies by 2046, and essentially predict the outcome of several major events for the next twenty years or so.)
 
All valid, the DNA thing though.
I think they downloaded the database from the future and brought it with them, and that's what UNIT was looking through. Never mind the ethics and ramifications of bringing something like that to UNIT. (Now they can, for example, identify anyone in the world by DNA... and since it's from the future they can extrapolate who lives and dies by 2046, and essentially predict the outcome of several major events for the next twenty years or so.)

While this does make some sense, it doesn't explain why

The Doctor wouldn't simply search the database copy himself, in the TARDIS. Indeed, UNIT was shown to have expressly violated his directives about developing time window technology in this very story. Also - that UNIT now employs and arms children is really, really unsettling. (Why does genre fiction have this problem so often?!) To say nothing of the revelation that the organization had previously been retroactively infiltrated and co-opted by... that guy in Series 13/Flux whose name I can't remember. You know the one! Also the whole business with the Zygons way back. Point is, even with the Brigadier's daughter in charge, I can't see him entrusting them with that kind of information, especially when he could have analyzed it entirely on his own.
 
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Yeah I'm not saying it was a good idea. Just, I think that's what happened, plot-wise.

I enjoyed the episode while watching but as you all have said, obviously there are a lot of loose ends, and missed opportunities I thought would have been easy low-hanging fruit to just tie together or hint at.

Ruby could have been the one delivering herself, hiding her face and remaining a sempre-distance intentionally, with some sort of timey or godly or memory-tardis reasoning behind it, which would have left some trace of her future memory of the VHS tape on her past self, and the "snow" is actually analog video noise.

The baby and mother who were an obvious red herring could have satisfyingly tied up the Ruby and her mother storyline without being a red herring. You could combine this with my first point.

Sutekh should have attached to the TARDIS after the salt. Or at the very earliest, during Last of the Time Lords. For some reason the dusty vortex looked like Season 5's cloudy vortex, which would have been funny to explain in a meta way. Having Sutekh be attached since the Pyramids of Mars is dumb.

Susan Twist shouldn't have continued to exist after. A joke for you: A Clara Oswald, a Susan Twist and a Ninja Turtle all walk into a doctor's office. The nurse comes into the room and says "Who here has a splinter?" Everyone raises a hand. The nurse was Captain Jack Harkness the whole time.

Mrs Flood breaking the fourth wall again with less to say this time was less welcome than the first time. I expect her to be explained or to take some kind of action or to give some genuine hint other than just looking at me and acting like she knows more than me.

Mrs Flood could have been a god, part of a Triad, with Sutekh. Her returning could have been crucial to defeating him.

The Doctor's true origins are still up for grabs. "Did you think I was family, Doctor?" I was half expecting them to say he used to be a god, before the Shobogans tampered with him and used him to make themselves Time Lords. They could have claimed he was Brother of Sutekh. The third piece of the Triad? Then he could grapple with that a while, were they lying or telling the truth?

Ruby literally could have been important because her name is Ruby and Sutekh needs a figurative ruby of some kind to be his new Eye of Osiris or something.

Anyway, I did enjoy it. Like most of Who, I'm just along for the ride. But it could have been just a little bit cooler.
 
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The more I think about that ending, the less satisfied I am.

I'm completely supportive of the message of "ordinary people are extraordinary". But - that doesn't explain the anomalous snow. Ruby's biological mom dressed like Palpatine, with a face obscured to all fantastical technologies, cryptically pointing to a street sign for the benefit of someone not involved with the infant she abandoned in the snow, nor the Doctor's own memory of the event changing over time. Why is Sutekh afraid of her if she's actually ordinary? In all the eons he invaded, he never encountered a person who felt bad for not knowing their biological parents? How was UNIT able to find DNA matches when the Doctor had to go to a database in the future for the same information? If Sutekh truly is "The Doctor's greatest enemy" (Somewhere, The Master and Davros are fuming with envy), the resolution being an improvised magical dog leash isn't exactly compelling. He clung to the TARDIS through the time vortex for something like hundreds of years (not to mention the time it exploded, the time it shrank, etc.), but... the time vortex killed him in the end?
For a lot of this, I think it comes down to the fact RTD clearly has this planned as a multi-season story rather than a single-season story (like, it's not resolved because the story ISN'T OVER yet). And I think the biggest piece of evidence for that is the fact many things set up all the way back in the specials only became things in the finale of this season... and even then, there are STILL things set-up in the specials that haven't happened yet (the master's gold tooth, the hand that picked it up, Mrs. Flood, "the boss" who I'm still not fully convinced was just Sutekh as much as someone bigger).

Like, clearly he's been planning something since the beginning that will go much longer than one season, so I'm okay with the loose ends because it's clear we haven't reached the end of his intended story yet. Don't worry, this isn't gonna be like Chibnall where he sets up a bunch of things that never get resolved, it's just not resolved YET (but it's going to be).
 
Believe me, I'll be very happy if this all winds up fitting together and retroactively being better for it. It's like time travel in its own way. I'm skeptical, but I'd love to be wrong.
 
Jodie and Mandip are back

 
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