…launching a Docback for the second episode of DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 8 - Into the Dalek.
ITD finds the Doctor, Clara, and a military team miniaturized and inserted into a wounded Dalek, whose malfunction has mysteriously (and favorably) altered its behavior. How? Why? What next? The answer to these questions may have large ramifications in the future of the WHOniverse.
A FRIENDLY REFRESHER RE: EASY DOCBACK GUIDELINES
WELCOME TO THE DOCBACKS
We warmly welcome and strongly encourage anyone interested in joining our DOCTOR WHO conversations here in the Docbacks.
Unlike many forums on the Internet and any other forums here on AICN, these Docbacks are moderated.
This is not our maneuvering towards censorship or idea control - this is merely a heartfelt effort to provide a ‘safe haven’ for readers and Talkbackers who merely want to connect with other very kind, highly intelligent DW-loving folks in an environment free of the disrespect and snark often encountered elsewhere in cyberspace. The rules are simple, please take a moment to familiarize (or re-familiarize) yourselves with them below. Good folks and smart discourse here - please join in.
When applicable, please be sure to include ‘SPOILER’ padding in your posts - enough to allow someone to look away before they get to the meat and bones of your thoughts.
Perhaps do so via a ‘countdown’ or some other form of dead space.
Annoyingly, Disqus does not allow for subject lines to warn readers in advance of looking at a post, so perhaps consider an approach similar to this?
SPOILER: CLARA’S BRA
<<<THAT IS ONE LUCKY BRA (OR, SAY WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY HERE)>>
POSSIBLE SPOILERS (like: POSSIBLE SPOILERS RE: KEELEY HAWES’ CHARACTER)
<then your thoughts>
EXTREME SPOILERS (like: EXTREME SPOILERS: TARDIS CONTROL ROOM)
<then your thoughts>
Feel free to adapt this formula in any way - the idea here is to give readers time to avoid a spoiler they’d rather have looked away from.
While BBC has done a rather nice job synchronizing transmissions of new episodes globally, there is still a disparity in broadcast times, and many folks even wait ’til Sunday morning to watch the steams on Amazon, iTunes, and other services.
INTO THE DALEK INTRODUCTION FEATURING MOFF AND COLEMAN
MEET DANNY PINK
A new character introduced in Into the Dalek. He'll matter this Season/Series, although just how much he'll matter remains to be seen...
DEEP BREATH CINEMA SCREENING INTRO
Those who viewed S8's launch episodein theaters this week were treated to a special presentation before the episode began; here’s a shaky cam sense of what those audiences saw.
HORNORSILK REVIEWS THE BREAKING BUBBLES AND OTHER STORIES BIG FINISH AUDIO
Big Finish 188 – Breaking Bubbles and Other Stories
By: LM Myles, Mark Ravenhill, Una McCormack and Nev Fountain
Every year, one of the monthly releases is an anthology of four one-part stories. Perhaps rather appropriately, this year the anthology is a series of Sixth Doctor and Peri adventures. While there are four stories here, instead of giving a thorough examination of all of them, I want to bring up one and focus on it, because what it says about the Doctor and the Doctor Who universe as a whole I thinks is relevant to New Who and the rise of the Capaldi Doctor.
The story I want to focus on is the last of the anthology, The Curious Incident of the Doctor at Night-Time (by Nev Fountain). As the title suggests, it is thematically based upon the novel (and the play) The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon. In this story, narrated by the main character, a boy named Michael who has aspergers, the story is told similarly to narration found in Haddon’s novel. It must be noted, no two people with aspergers have it the same, though they all share things in common, so that we should not expect all to act like Michael here (though qualities behind Michael’s actions will be held in common; I say this, knowing aspergers within and without, having a slight form of it myself and family with a more noticeable form). The story is about the way Michael deals with the mysterious incidents surrounding his father and his father’s garden gnomes (where one vanishes).
Micahel is well-played by Johnny Gibbon, who played the lead in the Curious Incident play. While it is clear he played the role similarly, he adapts his performance for the audio format (and change in character), but he, like the audio itself, is interested in giving an accurate performance which doesn’t insult those with aspergers, and so he potrays Michael authentically and with concern for the dignity of those who have some form of aspergers in their life. People with aspergers, especially with forms which are more severe, find social interactions difficult, and yet most find ways to manage their lives and take their strengths forward and use them in unique, and often ingenious, ways, solving problems which often others cannot because aspergers gives that unique perspective to deal with such problems. This, we find, is the case with Michael, whose distinct view of the world gives him a perspective to see a real problem and a way to engage it that others might ignore.
The way Michael meets the Doctor (and Peri) demonstrates a great deal of this. He can tell something is odd with the Doctor, and so initially assumes the worst. But, as the Doctor figures out what motivates Michael, he is able to interact with him, and his nuanced experience of the world, to help engage a real problem and to work together to find a solution (while showing Michael a great deal of dignity). There is, with this, a kind of character study which goes on, with the Doctor himself being shown to be quite similar to Michael, that one way to read the Doctor and his oddity is to see that he shares social confusion similarly to those with aspergers (which many of us with high-end form of aspergers have long recognized). In this way, the Doctor, and especially the Sixth Doctor, is shown to have the same strengths and weaknesses as with those with aspergers. The Doctor, like Michael, goes in and confronts what doesn’t seem right with the rules he has established to understand the universe. Those with aspergers have an inclination toward law and order as long as law and order is consistent and understandable, but if the law makes no sense and is not followed in a consistent manner, they tend to reject and fight against it as a form of injustice. Is this not what the Doctor does? The Doctor might at times appear anarchic, but we must also note, he is also for peace and justice through proper law and order. It’s not the law which he opposes, but bad laws; it is not order which he opposes, but inconsistent order which oppresses people through its inconsistency. Moreover, like those with aspergers, the Doctor really is an outsider to the world, to the people he works with and helps, and he does this through the establishment of his own rules, rules which he enforces once he creates them. Again, we see a parallel to this with Michael, who must always discern and establish “invisible rules” which others innately follow (even if they don’t know they do) and yet which he observes and uses to find a place for himself in the world. The Doctor’s invisible rules are more comprehensive, perhaps, but they follow the same pattern.
This character study couldn’t come at a better time. While it is not necessary for New Who fans to listen to Big Finish, they serve a complementary role to the show. And in a way, this especially true with this story. Until Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor has been seen as the harshest, most antagonistic, most alien Doctor of all (with William Hartnell coming in a close second). While it is too soon to know how Capaldi’s era will relate to Colin Baker’s, if anyone would question Capaldi’s Doctor’s actions as being un-Doctorish, all they need to do is look back to the past, especially with Colin Baker and see what the Doctor has been alike for all these years. We see with Colin a solid “alien” persona, and yet even with him, there is always something very human, a core which is best explained by the TV-Movie with the Doctor being “half human” all along. He’s human and Time Lord, and his persona is always a mix of the two, sometimes Lording it over others, while at other times, much more human and much less alien (Peter Davison perhaps being the most human of all). The alienesque quality of the Doctor will make him something “out of this world,” and so, always share qualities with those with aspergers, something which makes him different from the norm, seeing the world different from everyone else. Capaldi has shown us this – his “Scottish” nature is just another way this alienesque nature of the Doctor has taken form. With it, he is domineering, and very unpredictable. What is he willing to do? We do not know; we have been left with that question open (and for a purpose, I believe). But this is not something new for Doctor Who; Colin Baker barely stopped himself from strangling Peri after his regeneration. He, like many other Doctors, found he needed the help of his human friends to keep him in check; Big Finish have done a good job showing this, showing the charm of his Doctor, the compassion he has, which is more easily brought out as he has more and more companions help him overcome his alienesque quality. I expect we will see something of this with Capaldi, but perhaps not before something bad happens.
The other stories of this Big Finish release are interesting in their own right, but none of them hold my interest as Nev Fountain’s story, for the personal reason I gave above. We find the Doctor working with a deposed empress (Breaking Bubbles), dealing with a time bomb that takes him out of the normal sequence of time (Of Chaos Time), and investigating the insidious going-ons at St Ursula’s College in 1939, with Peri being confused as the mystery writer Miss Sarah Perry.
While I have found some anthologies of other years better than this, I nonetheless find this one better than what we have had the last few years. It is difficult to give this cd one rating because of the divergent qualities of the stories, but I will give the last story an 8/10, and the monthly release itself an average 7/10.
1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc....
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