[personal profile] morganminstrel
Well, that was a bit silly, wasn't it? Yep, spoiler-free: silly, but fun.

And now, the spoiler-full.

[PLEASE NOTE: I wrote a nice, little review that somehow got completely mangled by Livejournal's editor. I'd really like to reconstruct it, but the tl;dr is that this episode was complete fluff with a silly villain, but it worked entirely because of the Doctor and River and Alex Kingston and Peter Capaldi. I enjoyed it, even though it was light fluff. I may try to reconstruct it later.]

So, yes. There was not one minute that I felt any sense of danger whatsoever. But that's ok, because the entire plot was basically hung on Alex Kingston and Peter Capaldi doing their thing, and that was really good.

Peter Capaldi, especially, was fantastic. The standout moment of the Doctor's "bigger on the inside" reaction was hilarious. (I could see the Doctor" always wanting to do that. And the more subtle moments worked.

The whole story winds up being the Doctor's revenge against River always being a step ahead of him, and it worked if you bought River constantly missing clues and cues. I suppose if she was absolutely convinced he couldn't have been able to regenerate...

way="way" back="back" in="in" in="in" the="the" should="should" take="take" place="place" shortly="shortly" after="after" this="this" except="except" she="she" a="a" prison="prison" release="release" program="program" when="when" that="that" took="took" river="River" implied="implied" met="met" multiple="multiple" doctors="Doctors" besides="besides" the="the" met="met" the="the" and="and" now="now" the="the" and="and" in="in" a="a" timey-wimey="timey-wimey" way="way" that="that" i="I" still="still" see="see" how="how" pull="pull" to="to" meet="meet" the="the" eighth="Eighth" in="in" a="a" couple="couple" months="months" set="set" i="I" have="have" no="no" idea="idea" what="what" that="that" all="all" was="was" in="in" aid="aid" but="but" it="it" was="was" and="and" i="I" can="can" understand="understand" needing="needing" a="a" new="new" flow="flow" so="So" the="the" baddie="baddie" was="was" a="a" comedy="comedy" and="and" not="not" in="in" the="the" least="least" even="even" with="with" the="the" head="head" the="the" plot="plot" was="was" a="a" bit="bit" but="but" it="it" still="still" of="of" the="the" doctor="Doctor" and="and" river="River" and="and" capaldi="Capaldi" and="and" and="and" finally="finally" come="come" to="to" the="the" end="end" of="of" i="I" honestly="honestly" do="do" not="not" see="see" how="how" they="they" could="could" possibly="possibly" shoehorn="shoehorn" any="any" more="more" stories="stories" in="in" happens="happens" during="during" the="the" twenty-four="twenty-four" unless="unless" the="the" hologramatic="hologramatic" from="from" a="a" while="while" that="that" could="could" be="be" as="as" a="a" last="last" as="as" a="a" last="last" moment="moment" this="this" worked="worked" wonderfully="wonderfully" hate="hate" you="you" so="So" i="I" tell="tell" you="you" quite="quite" but="but" i="I" liked="liked" it="it" was="was" total="total" but="but" i="I" liked="liked"

COMING IN 2016: To be honest, I have no idea! But the Doctor will return in Doctor Who, series 36/10! Can't wait!

Click here for my previous Doctor Who reviews.

Date: 2015-12-26 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
(chris-tmas)

Yes the plot was a silly thing and forgettable, but if Moffat is able to produce one of these episodes a year I could tolerate him owning just teh Xmas specials. :) I'm also going to pretend the end of last season didn't happen and that Moff's actually capable of keeping from wrecking good endings, so that I can enjoy what should be a proper ending to River Song's story. I ducked out of the Smith era as you know, so I'm not quite as tired of River as some might be, so it was actually good to see her.

The "doesn't know he's the Doctor" was dragged out a bit too long and really required River to have temporarily become stupid (ok, I'll be charitable and say she was distracted). But really, Alex Kingston performing with Peter Capaldi was pretty much as good as I expected. They were having great fun, they exceeded what was given to them in the material, and it was worth it to see Capaldi ham it up a bit with being given the chance to do the bigger-on-the-inside bit.

Even with a bit of overwriting, overwrought professions of love and excessive metaphor, I thought this episode was actually fairly touching. Put it up against everything DW's been through with Clara this season and it resonates nicely that way too. And it felt like the right time to close the loop on getting her the 'correct' sonic for Forest of the Dead / Silence in the Library.

Overall, I guess I was in the mood for an overly sweet little trifle with lots of sentimental touches :) because I rather liked this one. The tone was very right for a Xmas special.

And as usual, there will be plenty of time between here and the next season so that I have time to forget how irritated I was at the end of the last one. (Once again, my Mariners fandom serves me well.) No idea what series 10 will hold either, and that nice round number makes me think we might see a parade of who's-who-from-the-revival. Do you believe any of the mumblings of Capaldi possibly being on the way out after this next season?

Date: 2015-12-27 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganminstrel.livejournal.com
So frustrated that my review got borked--I made a couple of points you did up there. ;-) (Along with observing which Doctors River may have met--which is implied to be more than "three" in Silence in the Library--and how she is somehow going to be meeting the Eighth Doctor soon and wondering how Big Finish will pull that off...)

As for your question, in a word, no. I don't believe any mumblings about Peter Capaldi leaving during/after this year....until I see something definite about it. Hopefully not!

Date: 2015-12-27 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saavedra77.livejournal.com

That was,  without doubt, the only Doctor Who Christmas Special I've enjoyed since Tenant's debut. Part of the reason is that the X-mas bits were minimal, humorous touches: "Carolers will be criticized" was perfectly in keeping with the Capaldi Doctor's personality, and a scene I could even envision. The cyborg tyrant amounted to a throwaway villain, a screw-top plot device. But what really won me over, as she always does, was Alex Kingston's River. I did kind of smack my head at the number of hints and clues she overlooked, but she didn't know about the extra regenerations. I loved the way her indulgent dismissal of David Tenant's Doctor evolved through the confused devotion of the Matt Smith years to the mature couple she finally makes with Capaldi's Doctor: the secrets and flaws are out, time isn't completely out of order, they understand one another, have a last dinner before this impossible pairing ends and they go their separate ways. (Of course, younger Dave Tennant and an afterlife in the Library is still in her future. Capaldi's Doctor gently gets to use her signature line "spoilers," here--as well as "Hello sweetie" when River finally recognizes him.) As you say, it's all about Capaldi's and Kingston's performances and the character histories.

Date: 2015-12-29 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ketina.livejournal.com
That is quite the mangled blog post. :o

Date: 2015-12-30 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganminstrel.livejournal.com
Tell me about it. Sigh.

Date: 2015-12-29 03:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saavedra77.livejournal.com

Are you guys watching SyFy's The Expanse? I just guzzled the first four episodes via iTunes (the available half of the first season). I'm fascinated by it. It's like the Game of Thrones of space operas. 23rd century earth is environmentally damaged but still heavily inhabited. Off world colonists center on Martian terraformers, still living under domes, and deep space miners who supply earth and Mars with bulk ice H2O. Long-haul Rust bucket ships carry ice back to the inner planets. After generations at work on Mars on asteroids like Ceres, inhabitants can't bear earth's gravity. Mars and earth have a kind of Cold War going over access to outer system water, and separate "navies" of space warships. Miners on Ceres are more or less paid with air, water, food, heat--there are no laws there, "just cops," radical miners' groups, religious groups. They have lots of physical adaptations and problems from generations in the light gravity. One Ceres cop looks suspiciously like Tom Waits. People stab one another in the back a lot, a la Game of Thrones. A lot is done with zero G, oxygen deprivation, hypoxia, deep space survival on rust buckets, against a broad background of political conflict. Lots of fun handheld tech, no AIs or aliens. Talk about generational deep space ships.

Date: 2016-02-13 04:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] strahd72.livejournal.com
I've rewatched the Library episodes a few times, because I found the River story so much cooler, knowing what her journey is.

When she's about to die, she says something to the effect of: "Oh! That's why you were so sad the last time you saw me. You knew this was about to happen. You must have known I was about to die."

Except that line no longer makes any sense because she knows it now too.

Continuity fail.

Otherwise, a perfectly fine episode.

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