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

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,834
I wish we could someday drop all the old villains and do something fresh. Doctor Who and Stars Wars can't for the life of them let go of the past and move on.
I don't agree, in DW there's more freedom to reinvent characters because of regeneration. The master is like a rival to the doctor which is a really good trope, but if they get boring they do a new incarnation and change their personality so it's not necessarily just bringing an old character back. Whereas I think new SW films sometimes just rip specific scenes off and bring the exact same characters back to drive the plot, with mixed success. But this ideally you want every master and doctor to be different enough and still have the same dynamic.
 
OP
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Paradox

Paradox

Member
Oct 28, 2017
299
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.
Oh sure, I definitely use 'hate' hyperbolically. As you say, I imagine a lot of it comes down to have ones own vision and noticing all the ways the previous era rubs up against that, and trying to self correct once you take charge. Why you'd go back to thinking the Doctor flagrantly mindwiping people is OK though is a little odd.
 
Oct 26, 2017
9,143
I don't agree, in DW there's more freedom to reinvent characters because of regeneration. The master is like a rival to the doctor which is a really good trope, but if they get boring they do a new incarnation and change their personality so it's not necessarily just bringing an old character back. Whereas I think new SW films sometimes just rip specific scenes off and bring the exact same characters back to drive the plot, with mixed success. But this ideally you want every master and doctor to be different enough and still have the same dynamic.
I'm okayish with The Master...if they could take a break for a season. But just like the Daleks, I can only listen to the Doctor talk about them being super evil, super powerful, super destructive threats so many times before it all loses it's oomph. For a story that has a billion worlds throughout time and space to play with, Doctor Who stays too boxed in. And I'm sure a part of that is budget...but it still bums me out all the same.
 

Blader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,357
Doctor Who does create fresh villains pretty often though. Most of any given season is the Doctor squaring off against someone other than the Daleks or Cybermen or the Master. S11 didn't even have any of them!

I think people actually also get tired of recurring new villains faster than recurring old villains. The Daleks appearing again or the Master popping up in a new body is always a big moment for the show, but I don't think there would be nearly as much as hype around the return of, say, the Weeping Angels or the Silence or Slitheen.
 

Fury451

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,081
Doctor Who does create fresh villains pretty often though. Most of any given season is the Doctor squaring off against someone other than the Daleks or Cybermen or the Master. S11 didn't even have any of them!

I think people actually also get tired of recurring new villains faster than recurring old villains. The Daleks appearing again or the Master popping up in a new body is always a big moment for the show, but I don't think there would be nearly as much as hype around the return of, say, the Weeping Angels or the Silence or Slitheen.
I think there’s truth to this. They really overplayed the Weeping Angels to be honest. The Silence were also more interesting in theory than execution.
 

RetroMG

Community Resettler
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,968
My wife and I were just talking about this last night, and IMO, a good season of Doctor Who needs at least one appearance from one of the classic villains. (Daleks, Cybermen, the Master) But the season shouldn't be ALL classic villains. The Tennant and Smith era did a good mix, I feel like.
 

Blader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,357
I actually liked all the Angels episodes... but that's kinda my point: someone would be quicker to say "the Weeping Angels have been ruined, I never want to see them again" than "the Cybermen have been ruined for me, I never want to see them again." It's harder for new creations to stick because the older ones, by virtue of being older, have more leeway baked into them.

For instance, I was a big fan of Amy's Choice and I liked Toby Jones as the Dream Lord and thought that was a compelling new villain. But I'd imagine if people were asked whether they'd like to see another iteration of the Dream Lord or another iteration of the Master, most would pick the Master, partly out of fear of 'ruining' the Dream Lord character and/or Amy's Choice as a one-off with any new version. You can ruin the Dream Lord and make people sick of him, but you can't really ruin the Master that way...as much as the show might like to try!
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,834
I actually liked all the Angels episodes... but that's kinda my point: someone would be quicker to say "the Weeping Angels have been ruined, I never want to see them again" than "the Cybermen have been ruined for me, I never want to see them again." It's harder for new creations to stick because the older ones, by virtue of being older, have more leeway baked into them.

For instance, I was a big fan of Amy's Choice and I liked Toby Jones as the Dream Lord and thought that was a compelling new villain. But I'd imagine if people were asked whether they'd like to see another iteration of the Dream Lord or another iteration of the Master, most would pick the Master, partly out of fear of 'ruining' the Dream Lord character and/or Amy's Choice as a one-off with any new version. You can ruin the Dream Lord and make people sick of him, but you can't really ruin the Master that way...as much as the show might like to try!
Amazing they didn't bring Toby Jones back but I suppose he'd be a great villian for a 60th Anniversary episode, lol unlikely.
 

Htown

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,034
Doctor Who does create fresh villains pretty often though. Most of any given season is the Doctor squaring off against someone other than the Daleks or Cybermen or the Master. S11 didn't even have any of them!
i just wish any of season 11's villains were good.

Tim Shaw was the big bad. Tim Shaw.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
37,919
I actually liked all the Angels episodes... but that's kinda my point: someone would be quicker to say "the Weeping Angels have been ruined, I never want to see them again" than "the Cybermen have been ruined for me, I never want to see them again." It's harder for new creations to stick because the older ones, by virtue of being older, have more leeway baked into them.

For instance, I was a big fan of Amy's Choice and I liked Toby Jones as the Dream Lord and thought that was a compelling new villain. But I'd imagine if people were asked whether they'd like to see another iteration of the Dream Lord or another iteration of the Master, most would pick the Master, partly out of fear of 'ruining' the Dream Lord character and/or Amy's Choice as a one-off with any new version. You can ruin the Dream Lord and make people sick of him, but you can't really ruin the Master that way...as much as the show might like to try!
I think the trick is, how would you reuse the Dream Lord? You can't do the same story again and you can't really do the same twist again.

I suppose the best way to do it - and this would be very, very difficult to pull off - would be to have him manifest as either a past (or future, Valeyard-style) version of the Doctor and rope Thirteen into some kind of joint adventure while secretly screwing up the plans on purpose over and over again.
 

Mulciber

Member
Aug 22, 2018
4,987
Finally got to watch these. Did so back to back. And, I kind of loved it! I totally called Ada as soon as she used the gatling gun and made the comment about how stuff was never built for women, but she did it fine anyway.

And, I gotta say, that reveal of the Master got me big time. I was freaking out. And what a fantastic performance as the Master, even if he has gone pretty damn evil this time. At least they seem to have thought it out, and he has a reason.

In any event, I liked these more than I liked any episode from last season. And I actually enjoyed last season, even if it's nowhere near my favorite season.
 

Mulciber

Member
Aug 22, 2018
4,987
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.
My take on Ada was that what she had learned was just too closely connected to her history, like how the Doctor freaked out just because she had said "computer" around Ada. This would be different than Shakespear learning about ghosts or whatever.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
37,919
My take on Ada was that what she had learned was just too closely connected to her history, like how the Doctor freaked out just because she had said "computer" around Ada. This would be different than Shakespear learning about ghosts or whatever.
Basically. Her experiences with the Doctor would've prompted her to launch into computer research much earlier and altered a key moment in time.

Never mind the fact that Ada was pretty much desperate to come with her as a companion. I would've been okay with that...

Still, the Doctor running around casually erasing memories after learning the lesson that maybe that's a shitty way to treat people who care about you as Twelve feels...odd.
 

Mulciber

Member
Aug 22, 2018
4,987
Basically. Her experiences with the Doctor would've prompted her to launch into computer research much earlier and altered a key moment in time.

Never mind the fact that Ada was pretty much desperate to come with her as a companion. I would've been okay with that...

Still, the Doctor running around casually erasing memories after learning the lesson that maybe that's a shitty way to treat people who care about you as Twelve feels...odd.
Oh, I absolutely agree. At the very least that scene should have played out longer. Maybe she could have explained why to Ada.

I also kind of agree about the companion thing, though I don't think they've ever done that before. Plus, from the Doctor's perspective, her companions get killed sometimes, and that would be seriously bad for the timeline.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
37,919
Oh, I absolutely agree. At the very least that scene should have played out longer. Maybe she could have explained why to Ada.

I also kind of agree about the companion thing, though I don't think they've ever done that before. Plus, from the Doctor's perspective, her companions get killed sometimes, and that would be seriously bad for the timeline.
I would've cut the scene of her mindwiping Noor (or at least shortened it significantly) and focused more on Ada. Noor was just kind of there, Ada actually wanted to come along and deserved far more than just a "it'll all be fine sleep now" moment.
 

Ignatz Mouse

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,196
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 thought they did it because it would imply Lovelace got inspired by the Doctor rather than being a genius on her own.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
37,919
I thought they did it because it would imply Lovelace got inspired by the Doctor rather than being a genius on her own.
That's also a very good point that I didn't even consider. Having the Doctor being responsible for the origin point of virtually all of our modern technology is a pretty Doctor Who twist but it would also simultaneously devalue the contributions of one of science's great legends.
 

davidnolan13

Member
Oct 27, 2017
485
north east uk
They should bring back some one off or rarely used villains, just watching the dominators now and they suck but have potential to be updated. Macra have been used twice and the 2nd time was barely worth it. In nearly 60 years they have a lot of characters they can go back to.
 

Mulciber

Member
Aug 22, 2018
4,987
I would've cut the scene of her mindwiping Noor (or at least shortened it significantly) and focused more on Ada. Noor was just kind of there, Ada actually wanted to come along and deserved far more than just a "it'll all be fine sleep now" moment.
Excellent suggestion. She didn't even need to mindwipe Noor, IMO.
 

milamber182

Member
Dec 15, 2017
3,371
Australia
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.
Most people are assuming this is a post-Missy Master but he seems closer to the Simm master (unhinged and quick to temper) whereas Missy was more poised and calculating. Plus that way it doesn't undermine Missy's arc. That's what I choose to assume until told otherwise.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
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Oct 25, 2017
37,919
Most people are assuming this is a post-Missy Master but he seems closer to the Simm master (unhinged and quick to temper) whereas Missy was more poised and calculating. Plus that way it doesn't undermine Missy's arc. That's what I choose to assume until told otherwise.
I thought Missy confirmed outright that Simm regenerated directly into her, but I guess that's something they could easily explain away given we never actually SAW Simm's regeneration.

Moffat probably did that on purpose, didn't he...
 

Dakkon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
435
Most people are assuming this is a post-Missy Master but he seems closer to the Simm master (unhinged and quick to temper) whereas Missy was more poised and calculating. Plus that way it doesn't undermine Missy's arc. That's what I choose to assume until told otherwise.
I finally watched Part 2 and I'ma hit you with some logic for my theory.

This episode introduced a concept that could give the Master a very compelling desire to forget and move on from something.

So I think the order is Delgado - Pratt - Beevers - Ainley - Roberts

Then Dhawan, who finds out about the Timeless Child and massacres Gallifrey. Eventually coming to terms with what he does and wanting to forget, the Doctor/himself helps by equipping him by using a biodata module and a chameleon arch in conjunction with a fob watch and putting the Master somewhere in the past where he can live out a relatively full human life of solitude and safety, using his TARDIS to heavily manipulate his memories.

Then of course Jacobi - Simm - Gomez.

Yana specifically says he was "found with it, an orphan in the storm, a naked child found on the coast of the silver devastation, abandoned with only this".

And after the Master massacred all of Gallifrey, he could use the reminder that even though he killed all of them, he didn't kill 1, and that "you are not alone".

e:

Obv. just talking actors here tho, since those aren't his exact regenerations since the Master does a lot of body snatching, but yeah!
 
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Hamchan

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,737
I wish they has acknowledged the prior relationship development the Doctor had with Missy. Having the Master just be plain evil again without any explanation is kinda a bummer. Just some throwaway line about how this is a pre-Missy form would have sufficed. I know they’re perhaps trying to minimise on continuity to make the Chibnall era a pseudo-reboot but still, a bummer to me since Missy was so good.

I was kinda bored by the story and the serious tone. I think when we’re dealing with actual serious topics like Demons of the Punjab last season, I appreciate Chibnall’s tone. When we’re dealing with cartoonish villains with goofy plots to mind wipe the Earth, like this episode, I appreciate the RTD and Moffat style of the Doctor coming in and making a joke out of them, injecting some lightness into the show.

Not too keen on Gallifrey and the time lords (presumably) being dead again when it feels like we only just got them back and there’s still a lot to explore. But also I’m happy with Chibnall bringing in a mystery this season that seems to have proper stakes for the ongoing mythology of the show. I think I’ve heard the “Timeless Child” referenced previously so this is something that Chibnall could have been thinking about for a while now. Overall though I’m interested to see where they go with it.

One extra thing, I didn’t much like how nonchalantly the Doctor wiped the memories of those two ladies, after her traumatising experiences of memory wiping with Donna and Clara, but of course what I said about reboot, continuity, Chibnall’s show etc, still applies. Ada was pretty rad though, would have taken her for a companion and given Ryan or Yaz the boot tbh.
 

EvilRedEye

Member
Oct 29, 2017
560
It turns out that the Doctor wiping Ada Lovelace's mind actually corrects a continuity issue where the Fourth Doctor meets her later in life in a Big Finish story. And here we were complaining Chibnall throws continuity in the bin!
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,834
I thought they did it because it would imply Lovelace got inspired by the Doctor rather than being a genius on her own.
I got this, but they wrote Rosa well, without the doctor having to change her memory. And it's inconsistent considering how many famous friends the doctor has. IMO you just have to write it differently if the plot has to end up with a memory wipe.
 

acheron_xl

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,065
MSN, WI
I got this, but they wrote Rosa well, without the doctor having to change her memory. And it's inconsistent considering how many famous friends the doctor has. IMO you just have to write it differently if the plot has to end up with a memory wipe.
TBF, the Doctor didn't take Rosa Parks on a trek through time, or let her play with future tech. As far as she was concerned, the Time Team were just weirdos from England.
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,834
TBF, the Doctor didn't take Rosa Parks on a trek through time, or let her play with future tech. As far as she was concerned, the Time Team were just weirdos from England.
That's kind of what I'm saying, I'd rather the doctor just not interfere in their story, if she feels the need to mind wipe them. I know the context of the episode, they had no choice but to involve her, but then maybe they can write something else. It just makes the doctor look like she doesn't respect humans' choices if she plays with their minds like that, without permission and the doctor is meant to love humans, not control them.

There is a few episodes like mind wiping Donna but I wasn't a fan there either, because it felt like tragedy was obligatory at that point, after bad things kept forcing the doctor to leave a companion. Arguably it's even more unsatisfying if she does it so casually at well, like messing with a human's mind, is no big deal.
 

mclem

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,380
My wife and I were just talking about this last night, and IMO, a good season of Doctor Who needs at least one appearance from one of the classic villains. (Daleks, Cybermen, the Master) But the season shouldn't be ALL classic villains. The Tennant and Smith era did a good mix, I feel like.
While I broadly agree, part of me would be interested in seeing a season that goes all-in on one (probably the Master, he's got the most potential for variation) like OldWho Series 8 did.
 

WillJoe

Member
Nov 14, 2018
1,446
UK
i enjoyed the second half. wasn't really interested in the first half.

can't wait to see what happens with Gallifrey.
 

M.Bluth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,910
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’?
All of this.
Did not enjoy any of it, I probably should cut my losses and stop watching at this point. Chibnall is just not delivering ANY of what I want out of Doctor Who.
 

Chitown B

Member
Nov 15, 2017
4,779
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.
Those mind wipes felt akin to rape. Very un-Doctor.
 

Blader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,357
I finally watched Part 2 and I'ma hit you with some logic for my theory.

This episode introduced a concept that could give the Master a very compelling desire to forget and move on from something.

So I think the order is Delgado - Pratt - Beevers - Ainley - Roberts

Then Dhawan, who finds out about the Timeless Child and massacres Gallifrey. Eventually coming to terms with what he does and wanting to forget, the Doctor/himself helps by equipping him by using a biodata module and a chameleon arch in conjunction with a fob watch and putting the Master somewhere in the past where he can live out a relatively full human life of solitude and safety, using his TARDIS to heavily manipulate his memories.

Then of course Jacobi - Simm - Gomez.

Yana specifically says he was "found with it, an orphan in the storm, a naked child found on the coast of the silver devastation, abandoned with only this".

And after the Master massacred all of Gallifrey, he could use the reminder that even though he killed all of them, he didn't kill 1, and that "you are not alone".

e:

Obv. just talking actors here tho, since those aren't his exact regenerations since the Master does a lot of body snatching, but yeah!
I think this is all probably too complicated to ask audiences to accept. It's easier to roll with every Master being the next new one in line, rather than leading audiences to a scenario that is all about setting up an episode from 2007.

The thing about the Doctor and Missy's relationship is that Twelve never knew he'd actually redeemed her. The Doctor gives his speech about being kind for kindness' sake to the Master and Missy. The Master basically tells him to fuck off; Missy then goes with him rather than stay with the Doctor. We all know that Missy told the Master it was finally time to stand with the Doctor, but for all the Doctor knows Missy just opted to stay evil. So when Missy regenerates into a Master who is once again evil, from the Doctor's pov there's been no regression.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
37,919
Let's not forget 13 disapproving of Aida's use of that machine gun-like thing, but then cracking hero lines as Aida switched to using hand grenades against the Master.
I don’t know. That part in particular is pretty Doctor. They’ve always been a hypocrite about guns vs other kinds of weapons.
 

Slime

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,825
I don't hate it, but the one thing I will say is that it feels like Chibnall doesn't really have his own unique vision. The RTD and Moffat eras felt very distinct, but so far this just feels like an awkward mix of both, like he doesn't really know what to do and is just occasionally mimicking RTD and Moffat's voices. All his whimsical Doctor lines kinda just feel like off-brand Tennant or Smith, and his Master is basically just an angrier Simm. It feels like the main thing he's bringing to the table is that Torchwood-style moodiness, which just doesn't feel compatible with Doctor Who proper to me.

I like these companions, and last series had some good episodes imo, but overall this run feels very unfocused and unsure of itself, which is weird given how accomplished Chibnall is as a showrunner otherwise.

I think one of the main problems is actually just that Chibnall isn't funny, which is a problem given how much the revived series has depended on humor, and so he's injecting lines that feel like something RTD or Moffat would write. This run has been at its best when it's grounded and darker (Rose and Demons of the Punjab), which is great for one-off historicals, but not really something you can do every episode.

I just don't see his run getting any better unless he just drops all attempts at trying to cater to NuWho expectations and finds his own voice.
 
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PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
37,919
Did Barton just get away at the end of the episode? I forgot what happened to him after he yelled EXTRACTION TEAM and ran out the door at the end of his failed TED talk.