Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 01:53 on 06-06-2010, Viorica
It may have been because of the awful overbearing music

Tht was the one part that I felt was out-of-place. They usually use instrumentals- why the pop music all of a sudden?

Was it ever explained how the Ood knew the Doctor was going to die?

It`s been awhile since I watched any Ood-centric episodes, but don`t they make several prophecies? I always assumed it was just an ability they had.
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at 01:02 on 06-06-2010, Jamie Johnston
I was also thinking of the stuff about the Doctor having to meet the Face of Boe a certain number of times, and the business with 'he shall knock four times', 'your song is ending', &c. Perhaps 'prophecy' was inaccurate, but that type of device.

And admittedly there's been a tiny bit of that in this series, but not much so far, and it's been straight-forward 'person from the future talking about something that's happened in her past but happens to be in the Doctor's future' rather than mysterious aliens making pronouncements about things that are actually in everyone's future. (Was it ever explained how the Ood knew the Doctor was going to die?)

I think Moffat has just brought the crack more to the fore...

Was the crack featured before this series? I don't remember it before it appeared in Amy's wall in Eleven's first episode. I've been assuming it's connected to whatever made the TARDIS crash in the first episode, and possibly derives from Ten mucking about with history in The waters of Mars.
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at 00:48 on 06-06-2010, Andy G
(Only spoiler-ish about previous episodes/series, so I haven't bothered to mark it)

I'm also (as a more general remark, possibly not relevant to this episode - OR IS IT?
No, it isn't
) enjoying the fact that this series over all has a mystery plot (what's the crack in the universe all about?) in contrast to the previous series' penchant for prophecy-driven suspense plots.


Which prophecies do you mean? I can think of the prophecies that Billy Piper, Catherine Tate and the Doctor respectively would die (though of course the first one was false, the second one had a massive get-out clause). But other than the the final series of 'specials', I don't think most of the previous series had much of an overarching prophetic plot - just little repeated details (Bad Wolf, Torchwood, Saxon, missing planets) that acted as teasers for the main event without actually giving anything away. I think Moffat has just brought the crack more to the fore and integrated it more into the plots of the episodes.
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at 00:35 on 06-06-2010, Andy G
(Doctor Who Van Gogh episode spoilers)

Hmm, I'm not convinced. I *cringed* my way through that scene in the Musee D'Orsay (and why, incidentally was it there? why wasn't it in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam?). It may have been because of the awful overbearing music, but the whole concept of Van Gogh having the chance to see the future just struck me as sentimentalised wish fulfilment.

Besides that, I thought that the Doctor Who elements were rather good, and the Van Gogh sections were excellent, but I wasn't convinced they cohered together remotely, meaning they both felt rather compressed. Still, certainly even the 'filler' episodes have been much better this time round. I miss modern urban settings though - none at all so far this series!


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at 00:12 on 06-06-2010, Viorica
I only caught the second half of tonight's, but I really liked it. I'd probably be the same if I got to go back in time and meet Oscar Wilde. (Only instead of "Don't kill yourself, you're really successful!" it would be "THAT LAWSUIT IS A BAD IDEA, OSCAR.") There was a bit afterwards on the Confidential I really liked as well- where Moffat talked about the way they handled depression/mental illness while still being aware that young kids were watching.

To me, the episode had more emotional depth than any of RTD's. By a distance of several fathoms.

I thin the biggest difference is that they're trying to tell an emotionally compellong story to the audience, wheras RTD was just indulging himself. His handling of the series always reminded me of a fanfic writer (which is essentially what DW showrunners are) throwing whatever the hell they wanted into the story because they wanted instead of doing so because it served the plot/characters.
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at 23:51 on 05-06-2010, Jamie Johnston
@ Viorica: Don't worry, I was teasing. I think starting a sentence with 'Yeah, you probably haven't got to the bit where...' is sufficient warning for anyone with half a brain. I stopped reading at that point.
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at 23:47 on 05-06-2010, Jamie Johnston
I'm also (as a more general remark, possibly not relevant to this episode - OR IS IT?
No, it isn't
) enjoying the fact that this series over all has a mystery plot (what's the crack in the universe all about?) in contrast to the previous series' penchant for prophecy-driven suspense plots.
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at 23:39 on 05-06-2010, Arthur B
I think the sentimentality was less galling than some of RTD's excesses. I especially liked the way the episode acknowledged that
even though the Doctor and Amy couldn't necessarily save Van Gogh from his ultimate fate, that doesn't mean what they did for him was meaningless or pointless.


To me, the episode had more emotional depth than any of RTD's. By a distance of several fathoms.
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at 22:03 on 05-06-2010, Andy G
For anybody who feels Doctor Who has been missing cloying sentimentality and unabashed hero-worship since RTD left, I direct you to Richard Curtis' episode tonight. Though in this case it was Van Gogh rather than the Doctor who was singled out for non-stop embarrassing praise.

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at 20:50 on 05-06-2010, Dan H
I suspect the damage is now done...

I don't think there's an actual site policy about spoiler tags, so I think it's okay to let it pass this time.
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at 20:09 on 05-06-2010, Viorica
Oh, shit. Is it possible to edit comments, or should I just delete/repost with the tags?
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at 19:31 on 05-06-2010, Jamie Johnston
Yeah, you probably haven't gotten to the bit where...

Thank goodness for those new spoiler tags, eh? ;)
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at 19:30 on 05-06-2010, Viorica
Although obviously we're not that far into it yet.

Yeah, you probably haven't gotten to the bit where Thomas Wyatt whines about how she wouldn't sleep with him, but supposedly tortured him by describing all the sex she had with other men in graphic detail. And the constant reiteration of her "sharp teeth" and the suggestion that she goes around slapping and pinching her ladies-in-waiting for fun and the fact that she refuses to stick up for reformers, which is blatantly inaccurate . . .

. . . I don't like it much.
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at 17:25 on 05-06-2010, Dan H

See, I didn't get that when I watched the movie. By that point, all I could really think was "Really? More rape? Really?"


I think in this context "you" means "a hypothetical member of the film's assumed target audience, which we strongly suspect to be the sorts of Nice Guy dickhead for whom feminism is primarily a stick with which to beat other men, a group who some of us understand rather more than we care to admit."
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at 17:13 on 05-06-2010, Dan H
From what I've read of Wolf Hall thus far, I've actually quite liked their handling of Anne Boelyn, and one of the things I've found impressive about it so far is that nobody comes across as particularly evil. Although obviously we're not that far into it yet.
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at 14:41 on 05-06-2010, Viorica
Then you get to feel all glowy and righteous when the bad man gets what's coming to him.

See, I didn't get that when I watched the movie. By that point, all I could really think was "Really? More rape? Really?"

(I've been reading Wolf Hall- I got about halfway through it on the plane ride over from Canada- and honestly, I'm not enjoying it. Mostly because it falls into the really common Tudor-novelist trap of "ambitious people are EEEEEVIL." and so portrays Cromwell as really an okay guy who isn't instrumental in destroying peoples' lives at all, while taking a chapter-long detour to talk about how Anne Boleyn is evil, and also a cockteasing bitch. Either she's a whore or she's a cocktease; she just can't win, can she?)
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at 14:22 on 05-06-2010, Jamie Johnston
On yesterday's Culture Show, an all-male Bolton book-club reads the Orange prize shortlist and quites likes Wolf Hall. Also they turn out to have a rather arbitrary voting system that picks out two books and then eliminates one. (Item starts at 40:19).
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at 15:41 on 04-06-2010, Arthur B
It gets better in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. You get to watch women being violated. Then you get to feel all glowy and righteous when the bad man gets what's coming to him. Then you get to read about Salander fucking the main character and get to wistfully hope that an unrealistic fantasy figure will fuck you because you Understand.

And if you think that's unhealthy, think about what happens when this sort of thing comes into contact with full-blown Nice Guy Syndrome. (Assuming it isn't actually a product of Nice Guy Syndrome, as it could well be.)
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at 15:18 on 04-06-2010, Dan H
There is this skeevy undertone of having one's cake and eating it, isn't there? It's okay to enjoy graphic, faintly sexualised, mildly fetishistic depictions of women getting beaten and killed, because it makes us "uncomfortable". You almost have to applaud the people who come up with this sort of thing - it takes a special kind of chutzpah to indulge in a violent, misogynistic power fantasy and award yourself Feminism Points at the same time.
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at 01:57 on 04-06-2010, Andy G
This article about violence against women in films sees relevant to some of the discussion there's been about that here. Also, it singles out Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for particular criticism.
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at 13:09 on 03-06-2010, Niall
All this seems based on the assumption that The Anubis Gates is steampunk. Given the lack of divergent steam-powered technology with a Victorian aesthetic involved in the book I'm inclined to doubt that it is


Ha! Arthur, he admits you have a point.
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at 11:04 on 03-06-2010, Andy G
You beat me to it Jamie!
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at 23:30 on 02-06-2010, Jamie Johnston
On which subject (ooh, it's like 'six degrees of Kevin Bacon's linkspam') Garland Grey recently made the good point that there may well be some link between the fact that there was no significant outcry about the zombification of Austen and the fact that (1) she's widely thought of (at least partly for sexist reasons) as basically frivolous and chocolate-box-heritage-industry-BBC-costume-drama-ish and (2) the majority of people for whom her books are emotionally important are almost certainly women.
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at 23:00 on 02-06-2010, Arthur B
They did another good comic recently about the whole Pride and Prejudice and Zombies thing.
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