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Klaus
post May 24 2020, 01:33 PM
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The rates have been counted and verified. In a series cranked up to 12 featuring Cybermen, Mary Shelley, the Master, Nikola Tesla, Captain Jack, a focus mental health, climate change, the plastic crisis and the reveal of 100 new Doctors, which episode was your highlight and which episode should be cast out into that other dimension. These are the episodes:

Spyfall, Part 1
Spyfall, Part 2
Orphan 55
Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror
Fugitive of the Judoon
Praxeus
Can You Hear Me?
The Haunting of Villa Diodati
Ascension of the Cybermen
The Timeless Children
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JosephStyles
post May 24 2020, 01:35 PM
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Excited for these!! Expecting Orphan 55 to be out first (obv), and perhaps Fugitive to win? That or Haunting would be my bet.
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Calum
post May 25 2020, 10:55 AM
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The Timeless Children to flop please x

Fugitive of the Judoon and The Haunting of Villa Diodati to slay wub.gif
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Klaus
post May 26 2020, 06:21 PM
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10. Orphan 55 | 4.39



Highest: 8 (DalekTurret), 6.5 (Calum)
Lowest: 2 (dandy*, Chez Wombat), 1 (Meekul)


Orphan 55 is by the same writer as Series 11ís It Takes You Away which also came 10th in that rate (the pting episode came last, the extra episode being Resolution) but gets a lower rating AND lower than The Pting Conundrum. Soooo it seems he needs to pull his socks up to perfect writing a Doctor Who episode. Interestingly Series 12ís offering was essentially the complete opposite of It Takes You Away. Rather than a quiet, contained adventure with little in terms of events, Orphan 55 was full balls to the wall with about a hundred different twists and reveals and nearly the same amount of supporting guest characters. The episode was certainly full to the brim, trying to cover as many areas as possible with reveal after reveal. Itís for these reasons that it falters. I do believe that if it had stripped away itís elements and got rid of characters like Ryanís love interest and BENNNNIIIIIIís wife, it might have been a solid episode.

The essential premise is strong (if not overused in the show), as we discover the inhabitable planet is actually Earth and the monsters are humans. However, itís an episode of frustrations and a Ďwhat could have beení and perhaps a mark of the danger of (dare I say it) a bad production team. The script is essentially a first draft with too many unnecessary elements such as a screeching woman, a random daughter on a mission for reasons not entirely sure, a random excursion outside only to re-tread steps again, another parent/child relationship sprung out of nowhere for the sole purpose to bring a solution and the main twist being unable to land. The costume design is noticeably one of the worst ever seen on the entire run of the show (probably due to a lack of budget). Let us never see those green wigs or cat costume again. Itís a shame because the design of the Dregs is STUNNING and one of the most effective monster creations. On the flip side though, they donít really do anything with them. We then get a really awkward speech at the end by the Doctor. Yes, what sheís saying is right but it doesnít sit right with the episode. I donít mind the show addressing these issues as it always has done but it fell on the wrong side of preachy.

There's so much going on, so many different ideas, so many characters that the episode never has the chance to breathe and enable the viewer to appreciate ANY aspect of it.
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Calum
post May 26 2020, 06:29 PM
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While I really cannot disagree with any of your commentary there, I find myself being in the minority camp of finding this mildly entertaining (more-so than Praxeus or The Timeless Children, anyway xx). sad.gif It does have its faults though.

Honestly, I think one of the biggest problems starting to appear now is Chibnall's desire to change absolutely everything about the show, both on-screen and off. If he had one, or even a couple, of guest writers who had written for the show before on board with him to help flesh things out, etc he'd probably be in a better situation right now, and with more fans appreciating the direction he's going in.
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Klaus
post May 26 2020, 06:47 PM
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09. Praxeus | 5.17



Highest: 9 (DalekTurret), 6.5 (Joseph)
Lowest: 3 (dandy*, Chez Wombat), 4 (Calum, Meekul)


From one Series 11 writer to one whose episode in that series was a lot more acclaimed! However, the curse of Chibnall seemingly hits him this time. Another environmental story, Praxeus takes a look at the plastic pollution as a special bacteria is infecting the plastic that is seemingly inside us all, creating some horrible effects on our skin and blowing us up. Praxeus takes us to three different locations that the show hasn't taken us to before (Peru, Hong Kong, and Madagascar), not that they have any bearing on the plot. This divides up the 'fam' and allows them to have separate storylines for a bit but it also means we get another huge wave of guest characters, including Gabriela the blogger and married couple Adam and Jake. It all gets very crowded yet not an awful lot ends up happening in the episode. The special effects of the Praxeus taking effect are one of the highlights, as it looks really realistic and gruesome and Yaz finally becomes independent and starts exploring on her own like any proper companion should. This all takes us to a huge plastic dumping ground/pile up in the ocean where we learn the Earth has been used as a testing ground to find an antidote to the bacteria. (Even with the Coronavirus in the background when this aired, it's all feeling incredibly more familiar now!!). Stuff happens and The Doctor manages to save a randomer by materialising just before an explosion hit in a way she never could for poor Adric.

There's not much more to say, it's a nice episode to look at but it's not overly eventful. This is probably why I'd personally rank Orphan 55 above it because at least there are things happening (just too much!). This episode just floats along like the plastic in the ocean. It's lacking that proper villain (even if we now know viruses are the worst villains) or that major event.
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Klaus
post May 26 2020, 07:12 PM
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08. The Timeless Children | 5.44



Highest: 10 (Joseph, DalekTurret), 8 (Slick)
Lowest: 0 (ElectroBoy, Meekul), 3 (dandy*)


Normally finales at least rank in the top half or so but it appears we're not fans of possibly the biggest game-changer the show has ever seen! In this episode we (and the Doctor) found out that she is actually NOT a Time Lord but a random child that appeared from who knows where and had the ability to regenerate. The Time Lords then experimented on her and took her regeneration ability for themselves. (no mention of the Time Lord's other features such as two hearts, ability to see time, minor-telepathic skills etc tho oops) This meant the Doctor doesn't have 14 incarnations but actually about 493832. At least that's what the Master tells us and he's been known to tamper with the Matrix before. and that's right we're also back on Gallifrey for the fourth time (?) since Nu-Who started when it got destroyed because it's destroyed AGAIN after poor Moffat brought it back. The Time Lords are certainly not an essential part of the show and are not something that needs to be featured but it does feel unnecessary to destroy it when it was living in its own random bubble and the show had rebooted itself which meant it didn't even need to reference it. The Master's reason to destroy also feels too excessive for me. Yes, he'd be angry and it can explain why he's gone back to his usual ways after Missy but committing genocide on your own species???

That leads me on to one of the show's more bizarre creations of Cyber-Time Lords which look... interesting but don't end up really doing much. And neither does the Doctor as the majority of the episode sees her locked in some rings whilst her past gets mansplained to her. She then does some thing with the death particle and leaves someone to sacrifice themselves. Meanwhile the great build up from Ascension falters as that group of Cybermen, characters and companions get forgotten about as they become inessential to the plot. Sadly, with the Timeless Child reveal and the Cyber Time-Lords, they become unnecessary. This is a shame really as if you remove Gallifrey and the Timeless Child, it could have been a really strong finale. I loved the way Ascension built the story and you had the huge carrier of Cybermen travelling to the only escape for humans. Rather than properly conclude that, the show decides to tell a different story.

Considering Series 11 was purposely AVOIDING continuity and referencing the show's past, the final episode of Series 12 feels a bizarre retread into that. I don't think it was particularly necessary and, at this point, it doesn't add much to the show. I think it will have also confused any new viewers that were brought back to the show. I can get used to the idea of more incarnations of the Doctor but, at this stage, I don't see what it adds to the show other than helping Big Finish create random Doctors. It might possibly get explored further in the next series but will that be to the detriment of the casual viewer? It certainly leaves a lot of unanswered questions such as who the Division were, where Ruth is in the timeline, why was Ruth a fugitive, why was her TARDIS a police box, why did they wipe the Doctor's mind and let him/her wander the universe etc. I think it was an unnecessary step where all we wanted was an all guns blazing finale which this had massive potential to be.
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Klaus
post May 26 2020, 07:13 PM
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the remaining episodes are now a lot stronger cheer.gif
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Chez Wombat
post May 26 2020, 08:00 PM
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I did enjoy Timeless Children at the time, but certainly the more you think about it, the more it falls apart, and just doesn't add something really needed to the character and I'm not sure it will be looked back on fondly. Indeed, it was essentially just one big exposition episode, with a complete sidelining of the Cybermen plot resolved in five seconds. I hope the show can expand on the Doctor's past next season and finding out who the Doctor really is, but I don't really trust Chibnall with this, we'll wait and see I suppose.

Correct bottom 2 for sure, alongside many other issues already stated, they were both overly preachy and about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the head, there are far better ways to convey the message.
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JosephStyles
post May 26 2020, 08:04 PM
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Orphan 55 had some good ideas but it was too busy, meaning nothing was developed in quite the way it should've been. Praxeus was okay, just not the most interesting concept really.

The Timeless Children is better than that! A thrilling finale and I really don't think the additions to the Doctor's backstory were bad at all oops.
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Klaus
post Jun 12 2020, 07:10 PM
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07. Can You Hear Me? | 6.22



Highest: 11 (DalekTurret), 8 (Joseph, Klaus)
Lowest: 1 (Meekul), 4 (dandy*)


We now come to an episode featuring God-like beings but the actual focus is mental health, an incredibly important issue. It's an episode that shines a light more on Ryan & Yasmin as we discover Ryan's best friend is going through some troubling times and Yasmin also had a dark time before she met the Doctor, with a policewoman helping to save her. It was fantastic to see the show address these issues and particularly have them affect the companions, I only wish we had seen more of this backstory for Yasmin in the first series. However, it can perhaps be interpreted that we never know what a person has gone through. We also see Graham is worried his cancer may return, resulting in a divisive scene between him and the Doctor which I actually love. I understand the criticisms but I can sympathise with the situation as the right words don't always immediately come to mind.

With the companions returning to their everyday lives (as we previously glimpsed at the start of Spyfall), the Doctor goes to Syria and meets a girl and this fits into the plot for reasons I can't really remember. I think there was some monster or something that then returns? oops I've not watched any episodes since broadcast but this definitely is the one I remember least about. The focus is then on two God-like beings, one with a creepy face and even creepier hands with the fingers detaching themselves to plug in people's ears and give them bad dreams. We also get the first animated sequence in Doctor Who which looks beautiful and v Tales of Beedle the Bard from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows but is also a bit of an info-dump. The episode is a mix of ideas and its strengths lie (for once!) in the companions storylines (as they actually have some for a chance x). I gave it an 8 but I think I need to rewatch it, feels more like a 7 looking back.

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Klaus
post Jun 12 2020, 07:25 PM
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06. Ascension of the Cybermen | 7.11



Highest: 10 (JosephStyles, DalekTurret), 8 (Chez, Calum, Klaus, Slick)
Lowest: 1 (Meekul), 5 (ElectroBoy)


Ascension of the Cybermen was the first of the two-parter finale, or the second of the Lone Cyberman trilogy. We saw another telling of the last humans in the Universe (poor Cassandra, how many times has she had her title threatened to be taken away from her x) as we are thrown into the devastating effects of the Cyber-Wars. It is very battleground heavy and we see flying Cybermen heads that give us a great glimpse into the battle nature of the Cybermen. Yasmin & Graham are forced to be divided from the Doctor & Ryan and fly off in the human's ship whilst the Doctor & Ryan steal a Cybership. It leads to some interesting scenes at the Boundary, a place where another human is guarding and directing humans to safety to cross into random locations in the universe. Meanwhile, Yasmin & Graham are forced to fly a Cyber-troop carrier and are making there way to the same destination...

I love the glimpse that we get into this post-apocalyptic world and it really benefits from teasing a lot of events and we question what the boundary is, where it leads, if anyone we know is hiding amongst these so-called last humans and one great bit of tension for me is Yasmin/Graham piloting the Cyber troops to the safe place!! It's a really great piece in driving up the tension and the scale of the story, which makes it all the more disappointing that The Timeless Children didn't take advantage of this. It'd actually be a lot more fun if the Boundary led to somewhere actually habited so we could see a Cyber-invasion. Anyway, we do get a great reveal at the end of the Master (another fabulous incarnation) and Gallifrey.

An even more interesting part of the episode that provides more questions and no answers is random scenes set in Ireland with a chap called Brendan. No context is provided for these scenes as we follow his life from a wee baby left on the side of the road to falling off a cliff and surviving to his time in the police force to getting his memory wiped. This turns out to be Genesis of the Doctor in disguise but is a much neater way of the reveal than the info-dump of the Timeless Children.
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Klaus
post Jun 12 2020, 07:26 PM
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which leaves these episodes in the top half (a perfect selection!):

Spyfall, Part 1
Spyfall, Part 2
Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror
Fugitive of the Judoon
The Haunting of Villa Diodati
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JosephStyles
post Jun 12 2020, 07:58 PM
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Can You Hear Me? was a decent episode, just needed a stronger conclusion I think.

Ascension is way too low sad.gif superb episode!!

That's a pretty great top 5 though - Fugitive and Haunting for top 2 please!
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Klaus
post Jun 13 2020, 06:57 PM
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05. Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror | 7.28



Highest: 9 (Klaus), 8 (Calum, Meekul, DalekTurret)
Lowest: 4 (ElectroBoy)


Despite not receiving a 10, this episode benefits from less people not liking it and secures a placing in the top half. For me, it really continues the strength of the historicals in the Chibnall era and is quintessential Doctor Who. It has a proper monster, a threat and a whole lot of fun. It packs a lot in whilst keeping a proper pace! The episode centres around Nikola Tesla and Thomas Eddison and particularly their rivalry and fear from local residents. I think the two characters, as well as Tesla's own companion, are written and played greatly and it's good to have the scenes in the TARDIS with them. The threat comes from new monster The Skithra, a scorpian like race who are scavengers seeking to scavenge Tesla himself. The Queen of the Skithra is played by Rani Chandra herself, Anjli Mohindra, making her first appearance in the main show - coincidentally the same series as her partner Sacha Dhawan! She revels in the role and makes what could be a cliche part quite memorable and possibly an enemy that could return. The location for the episode is also really spectacular and is benefited by a proper chase scene, one that felt a long time coming. For me, this episode stood out as one that reflected both good sides of the Chibnall era mixed with what makes Doctor Who so good.
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JosephStyles
post Jun 13 2020, 07:11 PM
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A little higher than I'd place it but I really enjoyed it nonetheless! Anjli Mohindra was excellent as the Skithra queen, agreed *.*
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Klaus
post Jun 13 2020, 07:15 PM
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04. Spyfall, Part 2 | 7.39



Highest: 9.5 (DalekTurret), 9 (Joseph, Calum, Klaus)
Lowest: 3 (Meekul), 5 (dandy*)


Spyfall is only the second episode after The End of Time to not have a different title to it's predecessor. It feels an odd decision for me (although more likely aimed to attract viewers with a big explosive two part opener) as the episode is very different to it's more spy focused predecessor. In this episode, the Doctor meets some new historical figures in Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage and Noor Inayat Khan. These are figures that many viewers are perhaps unlikely to be familiar with but played important roles in our history and Ada's father is Lord Byron as seen in The Haunting of Villa Diodati! I wouldn't say they were essential to the story or the episode but it's adds a nice bit of fun. This is the episode where we get the first full glimpse of Sacha's Master who has (in an interesting decision) become a Nazi officer. It leads to quite a controversial moment where the Doctor turns off his perception filter so the Nazi's can see him for what he really is. The connotations behind that aren't exactly clear and can be seen as quite a dark moment for the first non-white Master. Meanwhile, the companions are fugitives in scenes that I felt were reminiscent of The Sound of Drums. It does allow them to have their own story and actually be independent from the Doctor, which disappointingly feels too much like a rarity.

The episode does feel a whole load of fun, if lacking perhaps on the plot and the set up from the first episode. Lenny Henry feels pushed aside in place of the Master (as would later be seen in the series finale as well) and it feels a quick resolution at the end, when they could have played out the plan and effects a bit longer. Yaz's family are brought back only to feature in like 5 SECONDS of scenes. It does allow Master to find his excellent costume after he's been hanging around since WWII and we get another shocking cliffhanger as the Doctor discovers Gallifrey is destroyed AGAIN. This time by the Master as he found a shocking secret of the Timeless Child. I am disappointed by this decision as it feels like Chibnall shitting on Moffatt again (after immediately getting rid of the Christmas Day placing Moffatt literally only wrote episodes for in order to keep) and it means the Day of the Doctor, and especially the scene with the Curator, isn't as special as it should be. Not that I want episodes with Gallifrey but for an era that started out so desperate to AVOID its past, it feels a random inclusion to bring back only to destroy it.

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Klaus
post Jun 29 2020, 07:28 PM
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03. The Haunting of Villa Diodati | 8.22



Highest: 10 (JosephStyles, Calum, Klaus), 9 (dandy*)
Lowest: 6 (Slick)


After many a near miss, we FINALLY got a proper haunted house story that worked in The Haunting of Villa Diodati. This was helped of course by the Queen of science fiction Mary Shelley herself. It's actually not the first appearance of Mary in the Doctor Who universe as she meets the Eighth Doctor in Big Finish audios but that history is seemingly overwritten as the Doctor travels back to the night that Frankenstein was born all over again. This episode also sets up the series finale as the Lone Cyberman is introduced who is after a McGuffin and, ultimately, despite Captain Exposition's earlier warning, the Doctor gives him what he wants!!1

The whole episode is really eerie and balances the line between a self-contained episode and setting up the finale really well. There's also an excellent scene where there's finally acknowledgement that the flat-team structure doesn't really exist as the Doctor fully comes into her own and has to make a crucial decision. The Lone Cyberman is also a fantastic creation. They get given a lot of duff stories but there's still so much potential behind the idea for the Cybermen and its great to have an opportunity for some of that potential to be realised. It's more chilling to see the humanity side of the Cyberman and the design is superb.
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JosephStyles
post Jun 29 2020, 10:00 PM
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Surprised that's not top 2!! A superb episode, and the surprise of the Lone Cyberman felt like a natural inclusion. Jodie gives one of her best performances too wub.gif
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Slick
post Jun 30 2020, 02:08 PM
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Oops I gave that quite a low score. I don't really remember much about it though frankie.png
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 9th July 2020 - 11:10 AM