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

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
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Oct 25, 2017
38,204
Was the implication that Benni turned into a Dreg too or were they just using his voice somehow? I missed the scene when he disappeared.
 

Platy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,143
Brazil
I don't remember the Doctor going up to people and touching their head to read their minds, since I've been watching in 2005. However it looks like he did in 2x04:

your own link mentiones more than once

10 uses it in the End of Time 'listening' for the Master- Eleven uses it to help Amy remember Prisoner Zero in Eleventh Hour, and again to leave a message for Amy in Big Bang, and again in Doctors Wife when he's 'listening' for Timelords. He also transfers memories to Craig via a headbutt in the Lodger. There is also the implication that the sonic and the TARDIS have telepathic interfaces. I'm sure there have been instances with Classic Doctors, but I'm not well versed enough.
 

Guppeth

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Oct 25, 2017
3,020
Sheffield, UK
Was the implication that Benni turned into a Dreg too or were they just using his voice somehow? I missed the scene when he disappeared.
It was quite a weird situation. I was sure they were going for "the Dregs are all guests who were transformed" but nope. He was abducted by horrifying Dregs and begged for death, but in a weird calm way that included a marriage proposal.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
38,204
It was quite a weird situation. I was sure they were going for "the Dregs are all guests who were transformed" but nope. He was abducted by horrifying Dregs and begged for death, but in a weird calm way that included a marriage proposal.
What a weird scene. Like that totally felt like a RTD/Moffat-era “calm conversation with a character who’s already dead” scene but I guess they decided to just play it ghoulishly straight instead.
 

Guppeth

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Oct 25, 2017
3,020
Sheffield, UK
What a weird scene. Like that totally felt like a RTD/Moffat-era “calm conversation with a character who’s already dead” scene but I guess they decided to just play it ghoulishly straight instead.
And then later, Lydia from Breaking Bad is all like, I shot him, and maybe she shot him because she wants to hide the fact that he was ACTUALLY A DREG NOW OMG. But no, she just shot him because he couldn't bear to live, but he was quite calm about it.

And they didn't mess with any other guests, just poor Benni.
 

plagiarize

To its ports I have been
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
10,395
Cape Cod, MA
What a weird scene. Like that totally felt like a RTD/Moffat-era “calm conversation with a character who’s already dead” scene but I guess they decided to just play it ghoulishly straight instead.
This episode had loads of ADR in and around those scenes, and a suspiciously short running time. I suspect a lot of that had to do with whatever they originally intended to do with Benni, but I'd only be speculating. Perhaps they had a half Benni half Dreg make up effect but it was too gruesome for prime time?

Overall this was a very vanilla episode, with a heavy handed (but probably good for kids) message at the end... but yeah, it really feels like something major happened in post production and that key things were changed in the edit and covered up with ADR. I expect we'll find out at some point.
 

Charismagik

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,827
And then later, Lydia from Breaking Bad is all like, I shot him, and maybe she shot him because she wants to hide the fact that he was ACTUALLY A DREG NOW OMG. But no, she just shot him because he couldn't bear to live, but he was quite calm about it.

And they didn't mess with any other guests, just poor Benni.
OMG, I was going nuts trying to place where I knew her from lol

Yeah, that was a pretty trash episode with the eye rolling global warming lesson as a cherry on top. Reminded me of a 7th doctor episode from back in the day...minus any of the personality
 
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Paradox

Paradox

Member
Oct 28, 2017
307
This episode was like when 'upmarket' restaurants do deconstructed versions of basic meals, that essentially amount to over-complicated and incredibly strange versions of something that was never all that bad in the first place.

By which I mean this is a base under siege episode, which Doctor Who has done a thousand times before, but so unnecessarily complicated and with increasingly baffling moments - Why do you take eleven people, including a child and an elderly woman, out to find an old man on a planet literally full of killer aliens? Why was there like two security people if you knew said killer aliens were everywhere and able to get in? Why were the aliens sinister enough to goad people with an old man's dying proposal one minute, and then stupid enough to let themselves be trapped in a cage the next? Why would someone decide to blow up a whole resort, potentially killing dozens of people, just because their mum was busy at work?

Genuinely inexplicable episode.

And then later, Lydia from Breaking Bad is all like, I shot him, and maybe she shot him because she wants to hide the fact that he was ACTUALLY A DREG NOW OMG. But no, she just shot him because he couldn't bear to live, but he was quite calm about it.

And they didn't mess with any other guests, just poor Benni.
That's where I know her from! Thank you, that was bugging me all the way through.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
38,204
This episode was like when 'upmarket' restaurants do deconstructed versions of basic meals, that essentially amount to over-complicated and incredibly strange versions of something that was never all that bad in the first place.

By which I mean this is a base under siege episode, which Doctor Who has done a thousand times before, but so unnecessarily complicated and with increasingly baffling moments - Why do you take eleven people, including a child and an elderly woman, out to find an old man on a planet literally full of killer aliens? Why was there like two security people if you knew said killer aliens were everywhere and able to get in? Why were the aliens sinister enough to goad people with an old man's dying proposal one minute, and then stupid enough to let themselves be trapped in a cage the next? Why would someone decide to blow up a whole resort, potentially killing dozens of people, just because their mum was busy at work?

Genuinely inexplicable episode.
None of the episode holds up under scrutiny. It's a really, really weird story. I think plagiarize is right - the episode was likely chopped down a LOT in editing.
 

JediTimeBoy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,584
Awful episode imo. The creatures did remind me of the Curse of Fenric though. The episode itself felt like it was meant to be a two-parter, but somebody forgot; a bit like that 12th Doctor episode - Sleep No More (iirc). It felt like the Doctor wasn't bothered about the fact that she'd left others to die.
 

Kschreck

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,084
Pennsylvania
Nobody else thought of C.H.U.D?



P.S: I've been a huge Who fan since the 2005 series but I feel like this show has gotten really lame in recent years. Void of whimsical personality and life like prior seasons.
 

ClivePwned

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,631
Cambridge, UK
so now I will post about how mediocre Orphan 55 was.

It started off okay and really quickly (possibly too quickly) went into disaster movie mode and felt like a bit of Midnight, a bit of Voyage of the Damned, a pinch of In the Forest of the Night, Sleep No More and finally Peak Chinballs Lecture.

I can't say i hated it, it was just like someone trying really hard to do an RTD style show but then added the lecture and bullshit about potential future.
 

Jakenbakin

Member
Jun 17, 2018
1,280
This was so bad I had to actively look up writing and directing credits to see who was to blame. Surprisingly the only other episode the writer did was one of the somewhat better ones last season, same with the director. I have no idea what the fuck happened, because it was legitimately one of the worst NuWho episodes I've seen.
 

filkry

Member
Oct 25, 2017
805
Guess I’m in the minority but I felt the episode was somewhere in the ok-to-good range. Not the best plotting in NuWho but the dialogue and pacing was a step above Spyfall 1/2.

Oh yeah, I thought Cane was legit great. What a badass. She had clearly gone through some stuff that really fucked her up, but I like that they didn’t feel the need to give us her whole backstory/justification. Broken person who thought she needed to do something phenomenally stupid for her kid.
 

Tupper

Member
Jul 15, 2019
196
I kinda liked this episode. It probably works best to turn off the brain a bit though, because as several of you mentioned nothing really makes sense and people act a bit dumb.

The biggest thing that bothers me is there are all these monsters but what do they live on? What is their food source? They obviously have big teeth for munching things. I dunno why but stuff like that bugs me, lol.

Did anyone else hope that the monsters turned out to be killer trees instead of humans?
 

JediTimeBoy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,584
I kinda liked this episode. It probably works best to turn off the brain a bit though, because as several of you mentioned nothing really makes sense and people act a bit dumb.

The biggest thing that bothers me is there are all these monsters but what do they live on? What is their food source? They obviously have big teeth for munching things. I dunno why but stuff like that bugs me, lol.

Did anyone else hope that the monsters turned out to be killer trees instead of humans?
I thought they'd turn out to be plants (guessing that might be too similar to the Vervoids though lol).
 

IMCaprica

Member
Aug 1, 2019
218
I didn’t like the episode but I can’t in good faith say this was one of the worst. Not when I’ve seen the 9th and 10th Doctors’ episodes. And before anyone comes for my throat: I actually like a lot of Tennant’s seasons, and I thought Eccleston played a great Doctor plagued by regret and despair buried just beneath the surface.
 

CommodoreKong

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,211
I thought they could only teleport in and out, although I'm sure with a broken barrier the Doctor could have found some way to get the TARDIS in for a quick rescue. Although it would have to be super quick because the mother and daughter were about to be overrun... unless the Doctor was willing to cross her and her companions own time stream.
I really don't believe a barrier from a post apocalyptic Earth could keep the Tardis out.
And the Doctor has a time machine, she could pop it in one second after they teleport out since there wouldn't be two of them back there.
Not showing or even having the Doctor say they were going back to save them right at the end of the episode was just a bad decision and feels really wrong.
 

Ignatz Mouse

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Oct 27, 2017
6,232
Man, that episode seemed like it was turning out awesome until it veered hard into stupid.

A lot of wasted potential there. Still worth the watch, but ended Ina sour note.
 

milamber182

Member
Dec 15, 2017
3,414
Australia
AI of 77. 4th lowest in Nu Who history. Only Rose, The End Of The World and Love & Monsters scored lower.

For comparison the TV Movie scored 75. The highest known Classic Who AI is The Five Doctors at 75, the lowest known AI is The Gunfighters: Episode 4 at 30.

 
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EvilRedEye

Member
Oct 29, 2017
599
AI of 77. 4th lowest in Nu Who history.
I think the blatant climate change politics makes it difficult to interpret that. I suspect older viewers have tanked an already weak score. Heaven Sent also had a big dent in its AI score caused by older viewers - that score has often been viewed as viewers universally rejecting experimentation but it actually got a great score among younger viewers and a very weak one among older viewers.
 

Watchtower

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,597
Man, if Orphan 55 was rushing it too much then I can't imagine how y'all thought of Spyfall Pt. 2, an episode that literally had two A-plots (The Doctor and Ada Lovelace's time escapades against The Master and Graham, Ryan, and Yaz racing off the grid to stop Not Google) constantly bump against each other while still cutting them off 5 minutes early.

I'll say this though: fair point on the fate of Benny. Chibnall era likes to cut corners to keep the budget low and that's a real rough side effect of that.
 

EvilRedEye

Member
Oct 29, 2017
599
It's a real shame that when many of us were hoping that this series would be a big improvement on Series 11 that they are dropping clangers like this. Hopefully it's up from here.
 

Platy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,143
Brazil
that benny thing was SUPER weird in that episode
like how they didn't showed him anymore

maybe they wanted him to slowly turn into a dreg but them changed the plans to nobody change into a dreg
 

Ignatz Mouse

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,232
AV Club suggested that there seemed to be stuff that is the result of script rewrites.

I would rather have a mess of an episode like this than boring AND dumb ones like last season's spiders one.
 

hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
3,688
I found the "Marry me?" followed by "Shoot me!" to be darkly humorous, which was probably what they were going for.

The episode was... okay? Not great, not terrible, just kind of okay. The climate change thing wouldn't have bothered me aside from how it was handled. When I saw the plate on the wall with Russian on it it was an immediate pickup on "shit, this is probably future Earth" and it would have been something that ended up playing into whatever this season's major arc ends up being with Gallifrey, but instead of was a super hamfisted preach about climate change mixed with a take on The Time Machine. The Dreg at the end mugging into the camera sealed that.

The only thing I could think of with that Dreg at the very end was Jim Carrey screaming into the camera "Eroooodddiiiing! ERODING! ERRRROOOOODINGGGGGG!"
 
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Paradox

Paradox

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Oct 28, 2017
307
To the show's credit, it generally does a pretty good job of casting consistently decent actors, thus making the...less great ones stand out even more.

It's a weird trend that the universally panned episodes previously have had bad child actors (Fear Her, Nightmare in Silver, Forest of the Night), and this time it was the other end of the age scale.
 

Alastor3

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,798
Jodie is one of my favorite actress amd it's so sad almost all her episodes are badly written... make me almost want to drop Who until next showrunner
 

Sheepinator

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Jul 25, 2018
8,188

Rand a. Thor

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Oct 31, 2017
9,859
Greece
Have seen spyfall only so far, what a way to start the season. If youtube didn't hate me I would have totally gone into the season blind and been blown away by the Master reveal, but alas I was spoiled.
Having the canon seep in is what I needed for the Chinball Era to not be a total dud. I mean its still bottom tier, but now Season 12 is at least gonna be part of the "its still doctor who which means its good or great" and not bottom tier "its not even what Doctor Who should be for me" like Season 11. I don't mind the retcon or Gallifrey being destroyed AGAIN for example to be honest, cause at least he is now touching upon the canon.
For me besides the edutainment episodes or stuff that focuses on key moments in history, what I want when watching Doctor Who is to see how each director and showrunner interprets and utilizes its vast pool of lore and continuity and what mark they leave in that pool. I appreciate even a poor effort of that instead of acting snooty and trying to ignore all that just to be different, which is what season 11 was in the end.
As for the actual master, I loved his performance. Comparable to Simms, but his eccentric manic energy felt far more insidious and dark, perhaps because of how camp the RTD era was. After the stellar Missy it does feel a bit fast to get into that particular corner of the continuity, but with how quickly he has grown on me I don't mind. I really hope they keep him around for more than one Regen, we need a multi doctor master back in the limelight. Kinda sure they will actually considering that he managed to destroy Gallifrey single handedly, dude is hyper capable and I really don't see Jodie's doctor being up to snuff to take him down. This would in turn could mean we could get another doctor that hasn't had the reset button hit because of the regen, or at least not hit as hard like when 9 turned into 10, and I would very much like something like that to happen again.
As for the rest of the episode the companions were fun and easily remain the best part of the Chinball era. A bit too much actually, Jodie is a great actress but good lord is her Doctor being overshadowed by almost every aspect in each episode. If its not the companions its the adventure of the week supporting cast, and if its not the cast its the one off villains or in this case the brilliant master. It might be too early to tell if we will never get an identity or a feel for who Jodie's doctor truly is, but I doubt Chinball can get her up to the level of Smith's doctor, let alone Capaldi or Tennant. Which is a shame, cause I really love the idea of a female doctor.
 

APZonerunner

Features Editor at VG247.com
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Oct 28, 2017
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England

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,026
He doesn't have to make a show based on a committee, because that wouldn't be creative enough, but he should try to make a popular show. Also having a long wait after a series that was hyped as a revelatory reboot... and also having the first actress in the role, yet the episodes were generally forgettable, wasn't a good look. And it's indeed a bad look when you cut the series to just 10 episodes and can't get away with the reason of quality of quantity.

Also hope Bradley Walsh and Jodie Whittaker do some big finish one day, because that casting was inspiring.
 
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-shadow-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,330
The amazing thing is that this is so rich from somebody who as a young man in the 80s went on a TV panel show to talk about why the show had lost its way, hahaha. Especially because in many ways he is presiding over an era that feels a lot like that lost mid 80s Who...
You want to know the biggest laugh of this? This clip where he asks the writers if they've gone to far (or not far enough) is actually included on the Classic Season 23 boxset last year! It's so amazing in hindsight that the very guy that is so critical of the writers (who did their absolute best considering the show was about to be canned again and constantly being mishandled by the BBC), some 35 years ago, does the exact same thing. Sure the guy has aged a lot in the meantime and has changed, but it's still so interesting to see.
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,026
You want to know the biggest laugh of this? This clip where he asks the writers if they've gone to far (or not far enough) is actually included on the Classic Season 23 boxset last year! It's so amazing in hindsight that the very guy that is so critical of the writers (who did their absolute best considering the show was about to be canned again and constantly being mishandled by the BBC), some 35 years ago, does the exact same thing. Sure the guy has aged a lot in the meantime and has changed, but it's still so interesting to see.
Unfortunately Orphan 55 did reminds me a bit of the worse excesses of 80s who like green hair and a character that look like Barf from spaceballs. Bit of Paradise Towers, and deja vu with the costumes of The Happiness Patrol. It feels like history repeats itself and Doctor Who maybe getting that reputation again. Don't forget the talking frog last season which looked very cheap, whether it was meant to be ironic or not .I feel like Chibnall after the hit of Broadchurch was chosen to make the show contemporary and relevant again but we saw he wasn't the right man for the job, when he was announced.
 

M.Bluth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,937

He really, really should
Funnily enough, I agree with Chibnall. I don't think there's much use for the showrunner specifically to read reviews. It'll just make their lives more miserable than it already is.
Though, someone on the production and writing teams should. The show should be made with an awareness of what its viewers think about it. Otherwise we'd still be stuck with the M&M Daleks.
 
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Paradox

Paradox

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Oct 28, 2017
307
Funnily enough, I agree with Chibnall. I don't think there's much use for the showrunner specifically to read reviews. It'll just make their lives more miserable than it already is.
Though, someone on the production and writing teams should. The show should be made with an awareness of what its viewers think about it. Otherwise we'd still be stuck with the M&M Daleks.
Spyfall gave me the sense that someone, somewhere, had been listening, but that it had been somewhat diluted down to a series of checklists; more action, more lore, more 'drama' for the Doctor. Which all is fine on paper, but after Orphan 55 you get the sense that it was a case of following the letter of the law, not the spirit.

It's doubly weird with all the talk before the era that Chibnall was adopting some form of writers room set-up, which you'd hope would help both with consistent, evolving characterisation and a wider awareness of what has and hasn't worked so far.
 

Nikus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,249
France
half way in and man this ep is bad. Reminds me of 80s Who.
The episode wasn’t that bad. Reminded me of classic who in a way.
It reminded me of Classic Who (especially the 80s) in the same way some Gatiss episodes do.
This episode for me was easily the worst since Gatiss' Don't Sleep. And that's saying something. Even though I didn't love series 11, at least I enjoyed a good part of it and didn't think it was dumb.

This episode though... I was seriously embarassed by the writing. And such a missed opportunity with the message. Dr Who has always hamfisted these kind of things but this time it was really fucking bad, particularly in a time when it should have been handled seriously with competent and impactful writing. I feel this was the year to treat the subject well. A real damn shame. I have to look up who the writer was too so I can brace myself in the future.
I've almost always been on the most positive side in discussions about the show, but yeah this one stung.

Oh and no one talked about Ryan and Bella sucking on their thumbs to say goodbye? I don't cringe easily, but I did there.
Remarkably bad secondary characters all around. All these people died because of Bella so I was also pretty iffy on the kiss with Ryan. Bella and Kane were awful and their motivations too.
God, what a mess.

At least the next one seems good. And there's no way I'm gonna dislike another episode so much in the season. So, yay.
 

Drewton

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11,511
Going by the impressions and leaks this is the first season that unless I change my mind I’m entirely skipping, I’m hoping it’s quickly forgotten about.

Has the Master being back been explained? It’s just stupid if he regenerated from Missy.