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Doctor Who Series 12 |OT| Spyfall Is Where We Start

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,839
4.6 million viewers in the UK yesterday according to unofficial overnight figures.

The rating, representing 22.6% of the total viewing audience, was disappointing for the series making Doctor Who the fifth most popular show on British Television yesterday. Doctor Who was beaten by its ITV opposition, Dancing on Ice: The Launch, which had 5.14 million viewers.

Top for the day was the return of Call the Midwife, with 6.97 million viewers. Countryfile, the lead into Doctor Who, had 5.04 million. Football also did well with Match of the Day seen by 5.14 million during the afternoon.

Is anyone surpised? The modern DW still has its moments but is past its prime which I would argue was from 2006 David Tennant til the 50th anniversary. An actress playing the role was a nice change with Jodie Whittaker, but the quality didn't improve. I'll still watch it because IMO it's still a decent show but it's far from unmissable.
 

Dwebble

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,136
I disagree with the portrayal of that rating being disappointing- it went out directly opposite ITV’s big Dancing on Ice launch, and took a 1.5 million chunk out of its ratings. It also barely dropped from the first episode- almost unprecedented.

I’d be looking for a big timeshift, but that’s a pretty good figure.
 

CD_93

Member
Dec 12, 2017
932
Lancashire, United Kingdom
I disagree with the portrayal of that rating being disappointing- it went out directly opposite ITV’s big Dancing on Ice launch, and took a 1.5 million chunk out of its ratings. It also barely dropped from the first episode- almost unprecedented.

I’d be looking for a big timeshift, but that’s a pretty good figure.
It actually held up better than I thought it would against DOI, 4.8 -> 4.6.

The final rating for Episode 1 will be the most telling rating.
 

Quick Mustard

Member
Oct 25, 2017
618
Interesting few weeks coming up- Chibnall's not writing again until the final two-parter, and we've got Ed Hime (It Takes You Away) next week, and Nina Metivier (who's new to the series) the week after.
So either sporadic mentions of the series arc throughout the series until the big rushed blow out at the end of the series or sporadic mentions of the series arc throughout the series and then a completely different series finale with this being picked up next series.
 

Protome

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,806
Is anyone surpised? The modern DW still has its moments but is past its prime which I would argue was from 2006 David Tennant til the 50th anniversary. An actress playing the role was a nice change with Jodie Whittaker, but the quality didn't improve. I'll still watch it because IMO it's still a decent show but it's far from unmissable.
Ehhh I definitely wouldn't include the Matt Smith stuff as its "Prime." They had some good episodes but especially towards the end they were pretty rough series. I like the last Capaldi series more than most people in here, partially just because it felt like Moffat finally allowed the writers to pace their episodes properly and would consider it better than most of the Matt Smith run.

Honestly, Moffat is just a garbage showrunner (which is not something that is unique to his work on Doctor Who) and even though Chibnall's first series didn't have anything special going on it was competent which is immediately better than most of Moffat's work.
 

RDreamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,438
Ehhh I definitely wouldn't include the Matt Smith stuff as its "Prime." They had some good episodes but especially towards the end they were pretty rough series. I like the last Capaldi series more than most people in here, partially just because it felt like Moffat finally allowed the writers to pace their episodes properly and would consider it better than most of the Matt Smith run.

Honestly, Moffat is just a garbage showrunner (which is not something that is unique to his work on Doctor Who) and even though Chibnall's first series didn't have anything special going on it was competent which is immediately better than most of Moffat's work.
I wouldn’t just include Matt Smith era in prime Doctor Who. It was the prime. Series 5 and 6 for me are the peak. Sure it waned a bit near the end of the run (Chibnall episodes were part of that), but when it was really swinging in those seasons I felt like it rarely missed.
 

Protome

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,806
I wouldn’t just include Matt Smith era in prime Doctor Who. It was the prime. Series 5 and 6 for me are the peak. Sure it waned a bit near the end of the run (Chibnall episodes were part of that), but when it was really swinging in those seasons I felt like it rarely missed.
That's fair, I disagree entirely though. The Matt Smith era almost made me stop watching Doctor Who. The first season was good but then the focus on River Song in the series after completely ruined what was once an interesting character, then the less said about Series 7 the better.
 

RDreamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,438
That's fair, I disagree entirely though. The Matt Smith era almost made me stop watching Doctor Who. The first season was good but then the focus on River Song in the series after completely ruined what was once an interesting character, then the less said about Series 7 the better.
To me Moffat’s over the top nonsense is perfect for Doctor Who. It’s like peanutbutter and jelly for me. Everything before and everything after feels like it’s missing something.
 

-shadow-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,279
Watched the series 4 finale yesterday, and with all the talk about prime New Who, that's very clearly it. Because lord, that's some amazing build up and incredible pay-off over four seasons and two spin-off titles. Even taking in the absolutely ridiculous Meta Crisis Doctor.
 

Protome

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,806
To me Moffat’s over the top nonsense is perfect for Doctor Who. It’s like peanutbutter and jelly for me. Everything before and everything after feels like it’s missing something.
I liked it when it worked but I felt series 6 and 7 in particular messed with episode pacing in a way that just didn't work at all for me while also systematically ruining characters I had cared about before (River Song, Amy Pond, etc) Moffat's whole writing style is all about seeming flashy and smart while doing the dumbest shit imaginable and when it works it's flashy and cool and when it doesn't it's Sherlock has a sister he forgot about.

Watched the series 4 finale yesterday, and with all the talk about prime New Who, that's very clearly it. Because lord, that's some amazing build up and incredible pay-off over four seasons and two spin-off titles. Even taking in the absolutely ridiculous Meta Crisis Doctor.
Yeah if we wanted to really narrow down "Prime New Who" I'd go with Series 4 + its Specials. I have a soft spot for The Water Of Mars in particular, the build up of The Doctor feeling powerless and his whole "Time Lord Victorious" speech is fantastic. I kinda wish they had done more with that.
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,839
Ehhh I definitely wouldn't include the Matt Smith stuff as its "Prime." They had some good episodes but especially towards the end they were pretty rough series. I like the last Capaldi series more than most people in here, partially just because it felt like Moffat finally allowed the writers to pace their episodes properly and would consider it better than most of the Matt Smith run.

Honestly, Moffat is just a garbage showrunner (which is not something that is unique to his work on Doctor Who) and even though Chibnall's first series didn't have anything special going on it was competent which is immediately better than most of Moffat's work.
I think after the 50th anniversary and Capaldi's dodgy 1st series, where they tried too hard to be edgy, is where I believe the series was past its prime, at least with the broader audience.

I believe series 11 had some good advertising with Whittaker as the first actress and an inspired choice with the popular Walsh as a companion, that sounds like a winning combo, but believe a bigger audience would have stuck around if it was very good but it was middling and underwhelming at best. In terms of consensus Tennant was the prime, Smith had people wanting Tennant back at first but came to see him as a worthy bearer of the torch, and then things faded after that.
 

Protome

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,806
I think after the 50th anniversary and Capaldi's dodgy 1st series, where they tried too hard to be edgy, is where I believe the series was past its prime, at least with the broader audience.

I believe series 11 had some good advertising with Whittaker as the first actress and an inspired choice with the popular Walsh as a companion, that sounds like a winning combo, but believe a bigger audience would have stuck around if it was very good but it was middling and underwhelming at best. In terms of consensus Tennant was the prime, Smith had people wanting Tennant back at first but came to see him as a worthy bearer of the torch, and then things faded after that.
Oh yeah, I was just talking about my opinion. Bigger audiences liked Sherlock Series 3 and 4 so fuck 'em, shit sticks as long as it's flashy.
 

ChrisP8Three

Member
Oct 26, 2017
317
Leeds
Well I don’t know what to say about that episode, it was underwhelming

I waited to watch both parts together and it felt like the two episodes had been written independently of each other in terms of quality

Doctor who has some odd plots but this one felt so dire that it was very apparent the episode was a vessel to set up
the Master (badly)
So the evil extra universal Aliens were spies, original motives not really clear, exist and have for eons, but the Doctor and others have never seen them before, but somehow earths Intelligence services did so they needed a new plan.
Lenny Henry was a parody (or was he?) of Zuckerberg who for some reason decided he didn’t care for humanity and at some point came into contact with these Aliens and did some sort of deal, which involved letting them experiment on him to turn 7% of him into something else – it was implied testing the process at the end of the two parter, but this makes no sense because then it meant they turned 7% of him into a hard drive?
Then there’s the Master – is he post Missy (who died on screen) or is he post Simm prior to Missy? Who knows who cares, once he revealed himself he lost his neck and became dick dastardly (seriously its like Dhwan hunched over post reveal and/or his outfits were so padded he looked like he had no neck). So the Master, somehow also found out about the Aliens and their deal with Lenny Henry and convinced them of a better way? Or did he pull the strings and orchestrate this? It wasn’t overly clear, one min it seems to suggest he was the mastermind, the next it implied they were already a thing and he latched on for his own means and planned to betray them.
So the evil plan? Turn humans into Data storage………okay? Why? Why would the aliens want this? Not explained? Why would the Master want this? Other than he likes havoc not explained, which arguably it should have been since he could have just killed humans in a million other ways (hell the device could have shrunk everyone on mass), the only person who I can assume had a motive for that outcome was henry’s character as a tech giant as he could use them as data stores – only that falls down as he eliminates his own market to do so.
Then episode 2 took an even weirder turn in randomly putting in historical figures who conveniently were previously ‘taken’ as research and via them she could force one of the aliens to teleport them? Eh? Why? It was out of no where and didn’t help plot really, other than saying it was planned for a long time.

It felt like a terrible rehash of the Simms master reveal (and its season long arc introduction) and they had to outdo that’s ‘long’ set up by forcing a time travel element to establish the plan had been on going across time.

The companions felt even more like comic relief than normal and oddly abandoned to important tasks that turned out to just be elaborate set ups to establish how you can pass through the aliens and teleport.

The Doctor also felt dumb by comparison to her predecessors, I know there was a whole memory issue from the prior season, but it felt like a convenient dumbing down for the plot.

I do have to say I’m surprised they made the Master a man again after the cracking success of Gomez, how she was written she was utterly mad, but you could see vulnerable damaged person the Doctor may have been friends with, it was there enough to make her likeable. It’s hard to judge Dhwana on one performance, but either poor acting or bad writing (probably the latter) left me hoping he was dead by the end just for a regeneration to someone better.

And what happened to his ‘Tardis’?
 

Spinky

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,380
London
I liked this ep, not as good as last week though. Dhawan's Master is so good, I have a feeling I'll be slightly less interested without him around.
 

thefro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,352
Watched both parts of Spyfall last night. The first episode dragged (even if I like the spy motif as a James Bond fan), but was entertaining for the last 20 minutes with the chase, etc. The master reveal was great and I enjoyed Dhawan in the role. Was hooked for the second episode even if it was a lot of rebaked ideas from the past 11 seasons.

I thought the Doctor getting sent back in time and being stranded in a couple different time periods was a fun twist for episode two.

Not a classic, but a good start. I'm not a fan of basically resetting the Gallifrey stuff but we'll see where it goes.
 

Ignatz Mouse

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,196
That's fair, I disagree entirely though. The Matt Smith era almost made me stop watching Doctor Who. The first season was good but then the focus on River Song in the series after completely ruined what was once an interesting character, then the less said about Series 7 the better.
This is me. Series 6 and 7 were dismal, and I'm not as big a fan of 5 as a lot of people. Equal parts Smith and Moffat I figure, since I liked the show more with Capaldi but it still had Moffatisms. I rather liked his last season, felt like Moffat had grown out of his worst tendencies.

Anyway, Series 11 was drab overall but had highlights, and this is a promising start to a new series. Spyfall Pt II was jam packed with fun stuff and still managed to stay coherent, quite the feat.
 

Dr Doom

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,442
Couldn’t finished episode 2 instead watched Messiah (and actually binged the whole season 😆)

Maybe tomorrow I’ll finish it
 

APZonerunner

Features Editor at VG247.com
Verified
Oct 28, 2017
902
England
I wouldn’t just include Matt Smith era in prime Doctor Who. It was the prime. Series 5 and 6 for me are the peak. Sure it waned a bit near the end of the run (Chibnall episodes were part of that), but when it was really swinging in those seasons I felt like it rarely missed.
In real ratings terms, the prime of modern Doctor Who is from Voyage of the Damned until the end of series 5, with another individual spike for Day of the Doctor. In raw terms of ratings, newspaper coverage, etc etc, that was the absolute peak. I don't think we'll see the likes of the hysteria over Kylie in VOTD, or the newspaper front pages over the cliffhanger for The Stolen Earth, for another decade, or more.
 

Goomy

Member
Aug 31, 2019
5
I'm kind of irked about all the 'you-are-awesome/this-is-bad' speeches Chibnall likes to throw around. So Barton (like a true Bond villain I guess) spells out how his evil plan hinges on modern technology such as social media and surveillance, yet that's merely a perfunctory justification to explain the evil machine. Not really deep commentary there. And then afterwards the Doctor pops in explaining how she managed to thwart his and Master's plan off-screen.

Also the Doctor loves to point out who Ada Lovelace and Noor Inayat Khan are, but plotwise they are treated as merely cameo's (and on top of that got memory wiped against their consent).

This really gives me a bad JJ Abrams keep-running-and-don't-ask-questions vibe.

And I haven't mentioned how irked I am that Missy's arc got junked and the Doctor doesn't ask the Master how he survived, but considering how that info might be withholden for the season arc, I'm putting a pin on that for now.
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,839
I'm kind of irked about all the 'you-are-awesome/this-is-bad' speeches Chibnall likes to throw around. So Barton (like a true Bond villain I guess) spells out how his evil plan hinges on modern technology such as social media and surveillance, yet that's merely a perfunctory justification to explain the evil machine. Not really deep commentary there. And then afterwards the Doctor pops in explaining how she managed to thwart his and Master's plan off-screen.

Also the Doctor loves to point out who Ada Lovelace and Noor Inayat Khan are, but plotwise they are treated as merely cameo's (and on top of that got memory wiped against their consent).

This really gives me a bad JJ Abrams keep-running-and-don't-ask-questions vibe.

And I haven't mentioned how irked I am that Missy's arc got junked and the Doctor doesn't ask the Master how he survived, but considering how that info might be withholden for the season arc, I'm putting a pin on that for now.
The Master has been reset as usual, she went though a mid life crisis like Time Lord Victorious. My guess is learning the fucked up secret of the timeless child, has regressed him to his petty and vindictive old ways.
 

sir_crocodile

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,975
The Master has been reset as usual, she went though a mid life crisis like Time Lord Victorious. My guess is learning the fucked up secret of the timeless child, has regressed him to his petty and vindictive old ways.
You're assuming the master is post missy and not post simm pre missy

I reckon it's the latter
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,839
You're assuming the master is post missy and not post simm pre missy

I reckon it's the latter
,
I think it has to be post Missy because they seen to generally meet in Chronological order, except from the Cybermen 2 parter. And the master just regressed again, possibly because of what he found in Gallifrey. Visiting his home after choosing to stand with the doctor might explain his mind set because he was going through an identity crisis.
 

Grunge_Hamster

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
5,270
I liked the episode a lot, the best parts were the Doctor making a pamphlet and using Photoshop/Illustrator? :v
Also Graham's laser shoes :v I hope he keeps them.

So cool about the origins, I hope we get to learn more about the Timeless Child :D

What better to time to invite Eccleston back since:
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,735
Everybody always wants to pit Davies vs Moffat while I've always liked both their tenures overall and think they both had ups and downs 🤷
chib is the first time ive actually had trouble staying motivated as a viewer
 

Drewton

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,247
“Both David Tennant and Matt Smith have now expressed their fondness for the once annual outing.

Speaking at Wales Comic Con panel in December, Smith said: “There was something magical about just being on telly on Christmas Day.”

Tennant then agreed: “There really was. That’s the bit that I miss most.”

He continued: “Christmas rolls around and the Christmas Radio Times comes out. That was the bit I used to be most proud of. Right in the middle of Christmas Day.

“And they’re not doing that any more! Why are they not doing that on Christmas Day any more?! What’s going on, people!?”
 
May 26, 2018
5,082
I don't get it either. New Years Day is when many people are on the road or back in the sky, on their way back home from visiting the family abroad. Christmas is when everyone gets to sit down and watch Doctor Who. It makes no sense.
 

Dwebble

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,136
I hope the bbc abandons the 'hire a superfan' philosophy for finding a showrunner.
That’s the trouble, though- the Who role is extremely demanding, and it’s high-profile enough that the BBC are always going to demand high-profile talent to do it. If they aren’t a fan, why wouldn’t they want to run a show with less bullshit, that they can build from the ground up?

Chibnall, Moffat and Davies weren’t hired because they were uber-fans- they were hired because they’re critically acclaimed, extremely successful writers.
 

EvilRedEye

Member
Oct 29, 2017
560
I hope the bbc abandons the 'hire a superfan' philosophy for finding a showrunner.
I feel like Series 11 is pretty much exactly what a season from 'not a superfan' would look like, and it wasn't very good.

I don't see how logistically the show could work without a fan working on it - even BBC Worldwide and core licensees like Big Finish and Titan Comics struggle to avoid glaring, genuinely bad, continuity errors.
 

Blader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,357
Isn't Chibnall a long-time fan though? He was watching Who in the 80s and going on tv to complain about it lol

Also, I suspect the special that was banked as part of S12 filming will go out on Christmas this year.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
37,921
,
I think it has to be post Missy because they seen to generally meet in Chronological order, except from the Cybermen 2 parter. And the master just regressed again, possibly because of what he found in Gallifrey. Visiting his home after choosing to stand with the doctor might explain his mind set because he was going through an identity crisis.
It would be interesting if his ravaging of Gallifrey was some kind of twisted revenge for what they did to the Doctor, but that...at this point...feels more like a Missy move than an O move. O feels more unstable than that. There's little bits of the old friendship strewn throughout his performance, but I don't feel like he'd do a plan this convoluted unless the Time Lords wronged him specifically.
 

EvilRedEye

Member
Oct 29, 2017
560
Isn't Chibnall a long-time fan though? He was watching Who in the 80s and going on tv to complain about it lol
Yes, I just think having a season that eschews popular successful monsters with duff attempts at new ones and stories that struggle to entertain long-time viewers are both things that a non-fan showrunner would plausibly stumble into.
 

Guppeth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,941
Sheffield, UK
Doctor, please stop mind wiping people, thanks.
That did bother me. Usually in Doctor Who you can show an iPad to a Roman centurion or something, and it's all fine and good fun. The timeline is resilient and you can mess around a bit without consequence. But in this episode the Doctor has to erase Ada fucking Lovelace, against her will, to prevent her from using the Sports Almanac to rule Hill Valley.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
37,921
That did bother me. Usually in Doctor Who you can show an iPad to a Roman centurion or something, and it's all fine and good fun. The timeline is resilient and you can mess around a bit without consequence. But in this episode the Doctor has to erase Ada fucking Lovelace, against her will, to prevent her from using the Sports Almanac to rule Hill Valley.
I think the idea was that Lovelace was TOO significant to the timeline to have that kind of information bouncing around in her head.

Of course, that ignores the fact that the Doctor fought demons with Shakespeare and is good friends with Winston bloody Churchill.
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,839
I think the idea was that Lovelace was TOO significant to the timeline to have that kind of information bouncing around in her head.

Of course, that ignores the fact that the Doctor fought demons with Shakespeare and is good friends with Winston bloody Churchill.
I think it was trying to say, 13 is not all rainbows and sunshine, sometimes she must make harsh decisions too, but it didn't really work because you don't believe that's who she is, she's one of the more chilled out doctors.
 
OP
OP
Paradox

Paradox

Member
Oct 28, 2017
299
Doctor, please stop mind wiping people, thanks.
It's funny because everyone used to talk about how Moffat seemed to spend a lot of his run undoing or rewriting a lot of the RTD era, and now Chibnall seems to be doing the same to Moffat. Like, both Bill and Clara directly admonish the Doctor for trying to mindwipe them without their permission and here Ada Lovelace comes disturbingly close to begging the Doctor not to do it to her, Donna style. Taken together with redestroying Gallifrey and ignoring Missy, I'm not sure whether Chibnall just loves the RTD era or hates Moffat's.
 

EvilRedEye

Member
Oct 29, 2017
560
Given that there didn't seem to be two episodes of content in this two part story, I wouldn't be surprised if the mindwipe scenes were just there to pad things out.
 

Blader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,357
It's funny because everyone used to talk about how Moffat seemed to spend a lot of his run undoing or rewriting a lot of the RTD era, and now Chibnall seems to be doing the same to Moffat. Like, both Bill and Clara directly admonish the Doctor for trying to mindwipe them without their permission and here Ada Lovelace comes disturbingly close to begging the Doctor not to do it to her, Donna style. Taken together with redestroying Gallifrey and ignoring Missy, I'm not sure whether Chibnall just loves the RTD era or hates Moffat's.
I don't think any of these guys hate the other one's work, but just that they have their own preferred vision of what they want Doctor Who to be. For instance, I think Moffat is a big fan of RTD's but also doesn't think the Doctor should be guilty of committing genocide against his own people, and I don't think these two ideas are irreconcilable even if it seems like rewriting the latter would be a shot at the former.