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How do you rate it?
5/5 - Excellent! 10%  10%  [ 5 ]
4/5 - Pretty good 40%  40%  [ 20 ]
3/5 - Acceptable 24%  24%  [ 12 ]
2/5 - Distinctly Sub-Par 10%  10%  [ 5 ]
1-5 - Shite 10%  10%  [ 5 ]
0/5 - Eurgh, why did I bother watching it? 6%  6%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 50
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 Post subject: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 10:30am
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Well, this was the 2011 Christmas special. The Doctor crashes on Earth in a backwards "impact suit" and gets rescued by a 1930's housewife. He tells he if she ever needs him, just make a wish. Three years later, she wishes for a better Christmas, and lo and behold, the Doctor provides. It all goes slightly wrong of course, and interesting shenanigans ensue, before being resolved.

Personally, I thought it was rather good. Mostly, it wasn't the Doctor who got them out of the problem, nor was there really a villain. For once, the Doctor was simply there for the ride.

I thought Bill Bailey was rather wasted in his role though, even if it was amusing. And a paraody of the "weird materials affect our scanners sir" with the weird material being...her wool cardigan. Excellent.

Also, Alan Armstrong as the father/pilot just brought back memories of the Chavvy pilots of "The Armstrong and Miller Show." I kept expecting him to say "harsh."

Still, a fun romp, not entirely serious at all which is a welcome break.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 11:15am
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It was a stand-alone Christmas special which also tied into the series proper with references to everyone supposedly thinking he was dead, and being low-key, taking the title "Caretaker" as much as "Doctor". He's trying to assume a new role here, "taking care of things".

Couple lines I really enjoyed:

In reference to Madge asking how he got his suit on backwards: "I dressed in a hurry." Oh, yes - thrown out of an exploding spaceship, on a re-entry trajectory to a planet, I'd say yes, in a hurry.

"Suddenly, the previous 900 years of time travel seem less secure". Personally, I think Sexy Thing was giving Madge a hand with the lockpicking to help out the Doctor. (ETA: Well, no, actually not - at least not for that particular phone box, which was a nice reference to the fact the real ones used to be common.)

- "Why would you need to repair a wardrobe?"
- "Have you seen how I'm dressed?"

But, really, it's yet another example of how trouble follows the Doctor, even when he's trying quite hard to not be a flamboyant mover and shaker. I don't mind that the Doctor wasn't the big hero, as he was a catalyst to keep the action going. I also liked how matter-of-fact Madge was with a spaceman cratering into the ground almost on top of her, I think it was only her distress at the "sorry your husband died" telegram that kept her from both recognizing the Caretaker as her spaceman and going along with the zaniness in Uncle Digby's house. In a sense, that trait of Madge's was very peculiar but then, I like weird.

I found the scene at the end with the Doctor showing up at the Ponds' house (Amy even calls Rory "Mr. Pond") quite touching. Yes, they're pissed at him for not showing up for two years, but not unforgivably so because the Doctor is like that and you put up with the character flaws of family members (it is, after all, dinner at his in-laws' house). Amy and Rory always setting a place for him, despite the real possibility he'll never show up at their door again, shows that they do consider him both friend and family and want him back, even if only for an evening. That implied tear at the end? The Doctor, the lonely, essentially immortal wanderer of the cosmos has a home (despite his earlier statement in the episode that he doesn't), a place where he is always welcome, and he has a family again (however peculiar) after multiple centuries of not. Happy tears indeed, for the Time Lord.

In other words, it's a heart-warming Christmas story about family, told with Doctor Who twists.

And, oh yes, just this once, everybody lives. We don't often get that in Who, do we?



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice


Last edited by Broomstick on 2011-12-26 11:23am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 11:21am
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No, we don't.

To clarify, it wasn't a complaint when I said the Doctor wasn't the big hero, I liked that. It really was him just going for the ride. He didn't even figure out a way home, not really anyway, I know he told Madge to think of home (I'm surprised he didn't say "think there's no place like home." or somesuch Wizard of Oz reference).

And yes, everyone lives. What a pleasant surprise. Goes with not having a real villain I suppose.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 11:24am
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I think a "there's no place like home" reference would have interfered with the Narnia references. On the other hand, it is such a strong meme I thought of it, too.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 11:27am
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Now that I think about it some more, this might be one of only two episodes in the whole new series where there isn't a true vilain and everybody lives. This and "Empty Child/Doctor Dances." Unless I have overlooked one somewhere.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 11:39am
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Best line for me had to be 'Do what I do; hold tight and pretend its a plan'.

Great episode.



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 11:57am
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"It's astrononmy"
"Stop making up things"
Oh pre-WW2 British people, they so funny. the episode was pretty damn entertaining best Christmas special yet.



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Last edited by lordofchange13 on 2011-12-26 12:01pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 11:57am
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"This hammock has developed a fault."



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 12:39pm
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Why was the husbands death note's words cut out and glued to a second sheet of paper?



"There is no such thing as coincidence in this world - there is only inevitability"
"I consider the Laws of Thermodynamics a loose guideline at best!"
"Set Flamethrowers to... light electrocution"
It's not enough to bash in heads, you also have to bash in minds.
Tired is the Roman wielding the Aquila.

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 01:39pm
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Oh what a relief. After weeks of being huddled in a corner whispering 'thiswillbeshitthiswillbeshitthiswillbeshit'to myself, it ends up being the best episode since The Doctor's wife. May the rest of series 7 (whenever we end up seeing it) not become a confusing muddled mess like 6, and continue the high standards of TDTWATW (phew).



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 02:32pm
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Loved it. My favourite Christmas episode yet. Gave it a 5. Only complaint I had at all was Bill Bailey not making any sense (shows up with guns for a military operation that is actually fuel mining and doesn't require anyone down on the ground with guns). Great stuff. And I've said it before, but I really wish we'd have a kid as a companion. Matt Smith is great with them and it precludes annoying romances.

Also, I so totally want the Doctor to redecorate and fix up my house. I mean Lemonade tap!



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 03:08pm
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lordofchange13 wrote:
Why was the husbands death note's words cut out and glued to a second sheet of paper?

Because, if I recall, in that era telegrams were often printed out on one long continuous single-line sheet of paper, basically a tickertape, then cut apart and stuck to a form for easier handling and reading.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 03:18pm
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OH, question:

The three "military people" did say they were from Androzani Major, right? And those trees were referred to as Androzani trees, right? Is that the same Androzani Major we saw (briefly) in the Fifth/Sixth Doctor story "The Caves of Androzani"? (The caves and most of the action on that one being on Androzani minor, and TDTWATWD being on Androzani major, and presumably in different time periods)



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 05:11pm
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I caught that reference. Curious methinks.

And yes, a child companion would be interesting. It would also allow the show to cut out technobabble for a reason (kid doesn't understand what quantum means).



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 05:18pm
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I was expecting to come into this thread and have to complain about there not being a '0' option, but there was, so thank you E_F!

What a fucking mess. I missed the last hour of Spartacus for this shit. I didn't give a shit about any of the characters, the plot was wholly predictable (and soppy as shit), the Doctor was more annoying than ever (and I say this as someone who quite likes 11).

Uch lemonade tap how fucking quirky.

The only good thing about the episode was Bill Bailey as a Space Marine (seriously, look at that armour, the helmets are straight out of WH40K), and they even managed to waste that.



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 05:32pm
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evilsoup wrote:

The only good thing about the episode was Bill Bailey as a Space Marine (seriously, look at that armour, the helmets are straight out of WH40K), and they even managed to waste that.

The helmet's reminded me more of old fashion Cylon heads.



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"I consider the Laws of Thermodynamics a loose guideline at best!"
"Set Flamethrowers to... light electrocution"
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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 05:46pm
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"I met the Forest of Cheem once...she fancied me."

It was good, the Doctor's "repairs" were amusing.

Good Christmas Special Overall.



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 06:28pm
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evilsoup wrote:
I was expecting to come into this thread and have to complain about there not being a '0' option, but there was, so thank you E_F!

What a fucking mess. I missed the last hour of Spartacus for this shit. I didn't give a shit about any of the characters, the plot was wholly predictable (and soppy as shit), the Doctor was more annoying than ever (and I say this as someone who quite likes 11).

Uch lemonade tap how fucking quirky.

The only good thing about the episode was Bill Bailey as a Space Marine (seriously, look at that armour, the helmets are straight out of WH40K), and they even managed to waste that.


:finger:
You black-hearted humbug monster.



These disgruntled people can refocus their energies on getting more sovereignty for Indian nations within America; you know, the groups with actual reason for being disgruntled.
-Haruko, on the terrible plight of those wishing to secede from the United States.

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 06:40pm
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Revy wrote:
Loved it. My favourite Christmas episode yet. Gave it a 5. Only complaint I had at all was Bill Bailey not making any sense (shows up with guns for a military operation that is actually fuel mining and doesn't require anyone down on the ground with guns). Great stuff. And I've said it before, but I really wish we'd have a kid as a companion. Matt Smith is great with them and it precludes annoying romances.

Also, I so totally want the Doctor to redecorate and fix up my house. I mean Lemonade tap!


I though that the 'space marine' people were the equivilent of security guards checking a site before its demolished, they expected to have to frighten off the space equivilent of squatters or protestors. Being worried about how the scheme might 'look' would match with that, they've have to deal with protestors before and dont want them to get any good PR out of being removed from the site.

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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-26 07:42pm
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I seem to fall somewhere between Evil Soup and everyone else on this. Last year's special still holds the top rank for me.

This one wasn't bad per say... but there was a lot of problems with it. The 11th Doctor is goofy comedy doesn't work with me, and the start of the plot with the "doctor made everything awesome then acts super smug about it" stuff was really tanking for me. Story wasn't that good, and the happy ending was pretty obvious and unmoving. Also I got a little weirded out by the women are mothers and that makes them awesome bits. Not that I have anything against that sort of sentiment, I love Whedon's work, but something about how it was written here made it feel off. Maybe it was just really cliche.

Once we get into the plot of the story it become a pretty average episode with a few bright points here or there, usually one line quips from the Doctor that do really work for me, like "Do what I do, hold on to something and pretend like you have a plan"



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-27 12:55pm
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Pretty damn good overall, unsubtle SW references notwithstanding.

I would, however, like to know when Churchill managed to nick the time travel technology to send Lancasters on raids before Christmas 1941 when they didn't come into service until March 1942.



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-27 01:03pm
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Polls should never include a 0 option. Its symbolic value makes it disproportionately appealing.

Anyway. 1/5. It was crap. Time Travel does not excuse having no story to speak of.



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-27 02:20pm
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Yeah I was not a fan of it for the most part. The dinner with friends conclusion was sort of already done by The Next Doctor. In this case I suppose the doctor is kind of having dinner with the inlaws but apparently no one cares about River not attending because she's in jail. If we were going for "Dinner with Companions" than apparently Rose, Mickey and the others can F off because they are old hat.

If the Christmas ball hatched into the wooden man the kid followed, what's with the woman in the tower? How did the ball get there right in front of the box, was this a special one of because the kid stuck his head through the box? That suggests either the trees can make people balls REALLY quickly OR this is something they did before, and the wooden lady is the byproduct of a previous effort. I hope that tower isn't fill of the skeletons of other failed efforts, just because the trees can't figure out they need a woman to carry their souls.

Are giant robots so common in the future we just THROW them away? i mean i know when a bulldozer broke down in the woods, loggers would sometimes just leave it there, but the robot still worked fine, and whose the jerk in the transporter room that left Madge to die, not to mention the children and the doctor when presumably the crew mentioned it in passing after they were transmatted away.


Ultimately, this was as ham handed an effort to shoehorn Doctor Who into The lion "The Witch and the Wardrobe" as the last Christmas episode was to shoehorn Dr. Who into "A Christmas Carol."

My prediction is next year's story will involve either a train, a grinch, or a BB gun. I think we already had an episode where someone views an alternate reality where they never existed but I can't remember which one it was.




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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-27 02:35pm
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Themightytom wrote:
If the Christmas ball hatched into the wooden man the kid followed, what's with the woman in the tower? How did the ball get there right in front of the box, was this a special one of because the kid stuck his head through the box? That suggests either the trees can make people balls REALLY quickly OR this is something they did before, and the wooden lady is the byproduct of a previous effort. I hope that tower isn't fill of the skeletons of other failed efforts, just because the trees can't figure out they need a woman to carry their souls.
They prophesied that the Doctor and his entourage's were coming in which one of them would be a match.

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Are giant robots so common in the future we just THROW them away? i mean i know when a bulldozer broke down in the woods, loggers would sometimes just leave it there, but the robot still worked fine, and whose the jerk in the transporter room that left Madge to die, not to mention the children and the doctor when presumably the crew mentioned it in passing after they were transmatted away.
Yes, this was certainly an annoying part of the episode. Acid rain was going to start pouring within the hour so you would think they'd have transported equipment off the planet long beforehand, but Madge needed a vehicle to get through the acid rain whoop-dee-doo. :roll:



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 Post subject: Re: DW "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" [SPOILERS] PostPosted: 2011-12-27 02:46pm
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Soontir C'boath wrote:
Yes, this was certainly an annoying part of the episode. Acid rain was going to start pouring within the hour so you would think they'd have transported equipment off the planet long beforehand, but Madge needed a vehicle to get through the acid rain whoop-dee-doo. :roll:


This is a common flaw in Dr Who writing these days.

Things in who happen because they're dramatic, but sometimes no thought is put into the logic behind them. Take, for example, End of Time: Why in Rassilon's name would you bring your political enemies with you instead of say, a pair of armed guards? Because the Doctor needs to get someone to remind him of who he is, and because he needs to be able to point a gun at a president, a war time president, without getting shot for his trouble? Why does Rassilon even go there in person?

Moffat is not immune to this by any measure.



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