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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Doctor Who blogging: “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Matt Smith

(all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode… or unless you don’t care if it’s spoiled for you. this is a love fest only — all complaints and bitching must come from a place of love / previous: “Asylum of the Daleks”)

(get my downloadable discussion guide to “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” for teachers, librarians, and everyone else who needs to keep kids amused, engaged, and educated at DoctorWhoTeachersGuides.co.uk)


Oh, I love this. Not just the wonderfulness of this episode, but that I can unreservedly love a Doctor Who again. That feels so good.

This could be one of my favorite episodes ever. It’s everything I fell in love with about the show in the first place. It’s got wonder, danger, moral ambiguity, flirting, kissing (actually, there was never enough of that in the old show), cute guys, awesome gals. It’s got lizard people herding dinosaurs onto a space ark. It’s got big goofy Douglas Adams-esque robots.

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Matt Smith

It’s got those robots singing “Daisy.” It’s got a “fabulously impossible” spaceship. It’s got the Doctor being grossed out:

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Matt Smith

It’s got the Doctor being silently mysterious:

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Karen Gillan Matt Smith Arthur Darvill

(What is going through his head right there?)

All this crammed into 45 minutes. It’s hard to think of another show that can be this all over the place so successfully. Doctor Who has often done comedy and drama and science fiction and horror… but not all at once. It’s hard to even think of another Doctor Who episode that featured so many characters — five companions! — and moved so smoothly.

What other show could shift, on a dime, from light and silly to dark and dangerous, as happens in the moment when Solomon orders the robots to injure Rory’s father? Suddenly we’re in a new realm of casual horrors, as Solomon calmly explains that he ejected the thousands of Silurians who were on the ship. His awfulness is made worse by how unfussy he is in his villainy. He doesn’t rant and rave: he’s so composed. As he’s telling the Doctor about the thing he’s discovered on the ship that’s more valuable and more unique than dinosaurs — “I don’t know where you found it… I want it” — I was certain (as I’m sure was writer Chris Chibnall’s intention) that he was talking about the TARDIS. But it’s Nefertiti he means! She’s a thing, an object… and yet Solomon is looking forward to breaking her spirit.

This is not the stuff of kiddie TV.

At least Nefertiti is able to fight back against Solomon. The poor triceratops! It had just been playing catch like a puppy, and then it is destroyed without a second thought by Solomon just to make a point. Awful!

But then it’s worst again! The Doctor casually executes Solomon without a second thought… but with a joke. There isn’t even any of the hint of regret of David Tennant’s Doctor (“I used to have so much mercy”).

This episode is one of those sucker punches Doctor Who delivers once in a while, where you don’t even realize how dark it’s getting until you’re already deep inside the darkness.

And then there’s perhaps a hint of the darkness to come:

“You’ll be there till the end of me.” –the Doctor
“Or vice versa.” –Amy

Is Moffat gonna kill off Amy and Rory? In a way, I hope so. Not that I want them to die, but that’s a lot more dramatically interesting than him just forgetting to drop in to see them.

Random thoughts on “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”:

• Okay, need-to-know time! The Doctor has been having cool adventures with the likes of Queen Nefertiti, who is obviously hugely impressed with him

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Riann Steele Matt Smith

and with a big-game hunter whom the Doctor has lead astray at least once before

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Matt Smith Rupert Graves

and who was about to lead the Doctor astray the last time the Doctor popped out on him. (The Doctor also knows that Riddell is someone who would “love to get a look at” the spaceship — was the Doctor anticipating big game such as dinosaurs?)

I want more stories with these two. And now that they’re together

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Riann Steele Rupert Graves

it wouldn’t even be all that difficult to bring them back.

Oh, my fanfic lobe is throbbing!

• This week’s custom credits: lizard skin.

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

• When someone asks if you’re a queen, you say yes.

• Aww, Rory’s been collecting cool nursing stuff around spacetime…

• Is “Only my balls” the most surprising line of dialogue ever on Doctor Who?

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Arthur Darvill Matt Smith Mark Williams

Or just the one most mortifying for Rory?

• Is this the most surprising moment ever on Doctor Who?

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Arthur Darvill Matt Smith

This is all the more mesmerizing because Rory is suddenly totally hot, and I’m not sure when that happened.

• The Doctor is not in Solomon’s database of valuable things

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

but it sure seemed like he was worried about what was going to show up on the screen. I wonder why? (And is the fact that he is not identified another instance of that ultimate question: Doctor who?)

• Steven Moffat keeps defending his choice of giving the Doctor very young companions by saying things about how he doesn’t imagine that middle-aged people would want to run off with in the TARDIS. But here we have Brian, Rory’s father, who is clearly having a ball and is clearly enchanted by the possibilities travel with the Doctor offers.

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Mark Williams

There’s the suggestion, too, that Brian travels a bit with the Doctor after things are wrapped up here, including to whatever planet the dinosaurs got resettled on… because Brian sends Rory and Amy a postcard from there!

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

So where is all this nonsense about only youngsters wanting adventure with the Doctor coming from? Hell, Riddell is middle-aged, too, and he obviously has had at least several adventures with the Doctor. Or is it merely that Moffat isn’t interested in telling stories about more-complicated middle-aged people?

• Great quotes:

“Where’ve you been, man? Seven months! You said you were popping out for some licorice. I had two very disappointed dancers on my hands.” –Riddell, to the Doctor

“I found… something” –the Doctor
“No no no, I shan’t fall for that again.” –Riddell (spoiler: he falls for that again)

“I’ve spent enough time with the Doctor to know whenever you enter somewhere new, press buttons.” –Amy

“Don’t wake the baby.” –Amy, about T. rex juvenile

Doctor Who Dinosaurs on a Spaceship Rupert Graves

“I’m a Sagittarius, probably.” –the Doctor

“How do you start a triceratops?” –the Doctor

“You clearly need a man of action and excitement. One with a very large weapon.” –Riddell, to Nefertiti

“Where’s a Silurian audience when you need one?” –the Doctor

“Dinosaurs ahead, a lady at my side, about to be blown up. I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier.” –Riddell
“Shut up and shoot.” –Amy

(next: “A Town Called Mercy”)



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  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Oh, I love this. Not just the wonderfulness of this episode, but that I can unreservedly love aDoctor Who again. That feels so good.

    YAY!!

    Now, to read the rest of the post.

  • Arkaan

      I thought the postcard was from the Doctor directly, his way of informing Amy and Rory he’s still alive.

  • Arkaan

      Beyond that, it was enjoyable, but a step down from the premiere.  Though I will say, love the production values.  This was amazing in HD.

  • I was also kind of relieved you liked it. I watched the middle episode of The Happiness Patrol earlier in the day, which I hadn’t liked on broadcast, and realised that the reason for that was that, basically, Doctor Who is a children’s show, and it doesn’t do to forget that. Sure, it’s much more than a children’s show, but at its heart, that’s what it is. So this time I got a lot more out of The Happiness Patrol, and when it came to Dinosaurs on a Spaceship I was just bowled along.

    Risky with a lot of the ingredients: and I notice a lot of British critics have been mishearing David Bradley’s line about breaking Nefertiti (adding an ‘in’ on the end) in order to express their own unconscious sexual perversions in a rather Freudian way, while attributing them to the show. Must be the effect of big guns.

    But it’s easily the best thing I’ve seen by Chibnall. My son was chortling ‘Tricey! Fetch’ as he went to sleep, interspersed with occasional ‘This is even better than golf!’ He also insisted on asking whether Nefertiti was a real person, and whether she did go missing. Although I could answer the former, it was only after he went to sleep that I found out that she did, indeed, mysteriously disappear from the historical record…

  • bronxbee

     i saw it as a big step back and up from the premiere… it reminded me of the reason i fell in love with DW in the first place … all the hints at life and adventure outside of the one we’re watching… the Doctor as the *solution* instead of the problem… the hints of mystery, his occasional ruthless streak… yeah i loved this episode… i love that the Doctor has interesting friends (oh, i’d love to see Riddell again) and a history with them, without needing tons of exposition or ridiculous riffs… and i love that matt smith, in this episode, seems to have a reason or at least an intent behind his rapid fire babel.  all in all, happiest i’ve been since david tennant and davies left.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    This one felt very much like a “classic” Doctor Who story. The difference being: instead of dragging it out for 5 or 6 episodes nearly two hours of screen time, this one barreled through in 45 minutes. Currently, I can’t make it to the halfway mark of a classic story, but I’ll be watching “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” over and over, as I do with “Partners in Crime”, “Blink”, and “The Eleventh Hour”.

  • Arkaan

      There’s a lot to like, no doubt.

  • ‘Classic’ stories vary in length, of course. Ambassadors of Death, of course goes on a bit (171 minutes), and could productively be redone in 45 minutes. The 7th Doctor period is different, though. I don’t think The Curse of Fenric feels particularly stretched (same length as a contemporary 2-parter). And the same series has three-parters.

    I now recognise that the 7th Doctor period, which I didn’t like much at the time, was doing the same thing Moffat is doing now: rather than making the show for ‘the fans’ (who are generally adults), remembering that at its foundation it is a children’s show. That comes first. Everything else — including the emotion, the darkness, the humour — is built on there. So I watched an episode of the Happiness Patrol before watching Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, and while 24-year-old me hated the idea of licorice allsort character Bertie Bassett becoming a monster called ‘The Kandyman’, I understand the thing now, and can enjoy it. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship works the same way.

    My ten-year-old son was delighted by it.

  • Ohiopokey

    yes, Daisy, Daisy!.. and at least one excerpt from Also Sprach Zarathustra.  What a nasty piece of work Soloman is, and yet somehow I’m surprised that the Doctor didn’t find an uninhabited planet somewhere to shoo him off to.  I’ve said from the beginning of Matt Smith, this is an angry Doctor.  I love this episode!!

  • I actually got a chill watching the Doctor’s face after Amy said “or vice versa.”

  • RogerBW

    I suspect that “Doctor who?” is this season’s theme.

  • I think we knew that it would be.

  • Amy does say, “More postcards from your dad” just before we see the Siluria postcard that they’re looking at.

  • Wehmer

    It seemed very much like an episode focussing on what would have been a Tennant non sequitur, much like when Tenth Doctor briefly mentioned how he had to track an insane computer after it had kidnapped Charlemagne in one episode.

    ‘Oh, this is almost exactly like that one time I was chased by pterodactyls on a beach in a spaceship with Queen Nefertiti’

    I loved it, and thought the episode was brilliant. Matt Smith is always borderline cunning and hopelessly amused and bewildered by every situation (like a small puppy), but when he gets mad, I get tingles. When Tricey died, I knew **** was about to go down.

    I’ve read a lot about people upset how the Doctor killing Walder Frey was out of character, but it’s really, truly not. He’s killed many, many people (including three genocides) in his time. He doesn’t get enjoyment out of it, but he still does it. Solomon had committed his own genocide and seemed utterly without remorse…the Doctor did what he had to do.

    Great episode, and looking forward to the end of the Ponds and the start of a new Eleventh chapter (not that I hate the Ponds – in fact, Rory is one of my all time favourite companions. Just that change is what makes this show great, and I’m in no way ready to let Matt Smith go any time soon).

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    But isn’t there some other line of dialog or voice-over right before they post the picture from Siluria. Also, all the postcards from Brian feature Brian himself in the photo.

  • I found the episode to be a lot of fun, but if I get to really thinking about it I find faults aplenty.
    I like it when they do these stand alone, non-mythology type,  episodes, but MAN did they jam a lot of stuff into 45 minutes. It felt a bit overstuffed to me.
    There’s something weird about Amy this series. Not only does she have a slightly different ‘look” about her, but her attitude, and the way she presents herself, is somewhat off putting. I find myself actually looking forward to being done with her.  I’ve grown to like Rory more and more, but Amy not so much.
    I felt so bad when he had the Triceratops killed. I was like “He didn’t really just do that, did he?”.
    Then I was surprised again when the Doctor actually allowed the missiles to do Solomon in.

  • Ohiopokey

    I am looking forward to watching this a second time (usually of three) with my husband, who showed the poor taste to watch a live football game over my DVRd program.  I gushed to him how great the episode was and how much he would love it because it was just plain fun.  No cracks in the universe, things on anyone’s back, red herrings, Questions, silence,…  I miss these episodes which can truly stand on their own – the kind that I can finally urge my mother to watch because it isn’t cluttered by reliance on a story arc.  

    But I’m so used to the fun of puzzling pieces together that I still look for trends and symbols.  OK, how about this.  Second show of the season, and the second show where a crashed ship houses an individual enjoying classical music.  

  • Also the second mention of classical music with the doctor being in the recording

  • Ohiopokey

    I guess I mean “stranded” since Soloman’s ship wasn’t exactly disabled…

  • Pelahnar

    I loved Amy in this episode – though I admit that the reason I loved her was probably the very reason that she has to leave soon. The reason was that she was pretty much acting like the Doctor, even referring to Nefertiti and Riddell as her ‘companions’ (“I won’t have my companions flirting”)

    So, really, while you say that the Doctor had five companions in this episode, _I_ say there were two Doctors, with two companions each.

    But Amy can’t be allowed to be another Doctor, right? Is this why she has to go?

  • I had good fun, and I adore Rory ever since he was a Roman.
    Though I think he got hot since ‘day of the moon’ when he wore the mad men outfit with the huge rimmed spex.

  • Raymond

    Wasn’t Rory’s dad at the wedding. Wouldn’t he have met Dr. Who then?

  • Rory’s ALWAYS been hot!

  • PrincessSlaya

    Ooo, I somewhat disagree.  There was a lot of good stuff in this episode, and you’re right, that flippant darkness was quite shocking.  However, I found the bit with them riding the triceratops to be horribly cheesy and embarrassing to watch!

  • Alex Kreis

    So, the bad guy is named Solomon, who’s only interested in money, who’s performed genocide, has brute strength enforcers, and is in conflict with an Egyptian Queen. What is this, Doctor Who vs. the Jews? And one of the good guys is a British Imperial-era big game hunter, the most iconic reference to white privilege? All other issues aside (and I do have other issues with this episode), the politics are extremely problematic.

  • I liked that the spaceship protecting the Earth appeared populated by Indians. Who were firm about their deadlines and their responsibility to protecting the planet. It wasn’t clear to me if they had called the Doctor (‘Haven’t been there before’) or if it was a general distress call.

  • Lynn

     Also, the second time the Doctor hasn’t shown up in a database of life forms.  He did as of season one.

    I’m wondering if we are in fact heading toward why it is the Question That Must Never Be Asked

  • Sounds like you should be having serious words with the director of this episode, Saul Metzstein.

  • Lynn

     My big disappointment with Nefertiti’s portrayal is that one thing you really don’t get from the way she was written is that she may have ‘disappeared’ by becoming pharaoh in her own right. 

    Instead we get someone willing to bounce from man to man for no obvious reason, leaving her children to fend for themselves as her dynasty collapses.

  • You don’t always meet everyone who’s at a wedding….

  • innpchan

    That bugged me, too.  That entrance in the old new borrowed blue box was pretty
    unforgettable.

    Okay, two possibilities:
    1) Rory’s dad was in the bathroom
    2) There were thin, stretchy-face men in suits!  And they… what was I saying?

  • innpchan

    Yup.  Just like Donna.

  • innpchan

    Riddell, BTW, appears to be G.H. “Flash” Jack (or John, I’ve seen both) Riddell, an old army friend of Churchill’s who accompanied him on a trip to Africa in 1908.  He later started the Boma Trading Company (Hello, Disney’s Animal Kingdom!) and ran a horse and ivory smuggling operation with (and I’m not kidding) The Marquis Gandolfi Hornyold.  After the authorities finally shut him down he returned to the safari business, at which he made just as much or more money, but it wasn’t as much fun.

  • innpchan

    OMIGOD!  I just realized… Didn’t Amy essentially accuse The Doctor of chasing hot young companions and close with an “Ooh, Gandalf!” after seeing Leela’s leather bikini?

    I guess it beats John Smith…

  • Well, let’s be honest, there were a number of problems with Nefertiti’s portrayal, but you seem to be saying that the main one is that the script didn’t make explicit a theory you happen to be interested in. I watched the show as someone with only a passing knowledge of Nefertiti, and what I inferred from what I saw was that she was supreme ruler of Egypt. Therefore we were being shown her as, at the very least, co-regent with Akhenaton, or possibly as sole ruler after his death. I can imagine they didn’t refer to her as Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti for, er, rather obvious reasons.

    Now again, I don’t claim any knowledge about ancient Egypt, but in what way did her dynasty collapse? Also, my knowledge of the ruling families of other ancient civilisations leads me to wonder whether your description of ‘leaving her children to fend for themselves’ may not be a little overdramatic. I imagine that the daughters of a supreme ruler, three of whom are suspected of later becoming rulers themselves (is that a collapsing dynasty?), had one or two people to look after them.

    Running off with Riddell was, I concede, somewhat irresponsible, if we view Nefertiti from a 21st century perspective, as the equivalent of a modern soccer mom. Personally I’m prepared to view her in a somewhat wider light, and recognise that she can make her own choices. I may wonder why she would go for an unreconstructed sexist Imperial Brit big-game hunter, but that’s me imposing my 21st century preferences on a rather powerful 2nd millennium BC woman who was accustomed to dealing with the men of her own time. I would even argue that the script was suggesting that she regarded Riddell as someone she could tame. And there are those, I have noticed on the Web especially in the last few days, who regard Rupert Graves as deserving of the female gaze.

    In short, give her a break!

  • ‘Walder Frey’? Huh?

    You mean Argus Filch, surely?

  • And just like Romana before her.

  • Lynn

     Well, I suppose the upside of going from a palace to a sharing a tent with a self absorbed hunter is that she never necessarily has to learn that her ten year old daughter ends up begging the Hittites for help, only to have her rescue party murdered.

    And you seem to be perfectly willing to impose things on the narrative that weren’t there at all.  She wasn’t given any motivation other than very physical attraction to the Doctor, followed by attraction for the hunter.

    Which was my point.

  • Not imposing on the narrative. “[W]hat I inferred from what I saw” may not be elegant English, but it does clearly signify interpretation rather than imposition. 

    And you’re right, she was not given any other motivation in the sense of having it made explicit, and that may be seen as a weakness, in that she displays physical attraction to the Doctor and to Riddell. But I’d generally got the impression that audiences fill these things in for themselves. Especially with characters they like (can I just direct your attention to MaryAnn’s comment above: “Oh, my fanfic lobe is throbbing!”).

    So I take your point. My point was just to wonder why Nefertiti — a wealthy, privileged ruler who is presented as being ready and willing to have people who offend her executed — was being held to such high moral standards; and why your objection to her portrayal seemed to be based on the failure to make explicit a historical theory.

    As I say, my knowledge of Ancient Egypt is not that comprehensive: I hadn’t heard of the Hittite incident.

  • But in “Lets Kill Hitler” the Doctor knew he hadn’t met Mels because he’d danced with everyone at the wedding. “The women were all brilliant. The men were a bit shy.” So where was Brian? Does anyone have quick access to the, err, “DVD”? Who else was on the top table?

  • Rory’s father does appear to be there. Naturally, he isn’t played by Mark Williams.

    Perhaps best to just cough quietly and move on…

  • I suppose Rory’s dad was quite possibly checking the light-fittings at the reception while the dancing was going on. Or digging something up. 

  • b.lynch black

    remember… she’s friends with the Doctor.  she could spend months with Riddell having a great time and jolly nights, and the Doctor could come back and whisk her right back to her own time with perhaps the loss of only a day or two (well, knowing the TARDIS, maybe a year or two)… and it seems that commenting on Nefertiti’s attraction to both the Doctor and Riddell brushes dangerously close to sexist double standards.

  • bronxbee

    wait?  when did amy see Leela’s leather outfit?  (it wasn’t a bikini) what did i miss?  damn BBCA.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    It wasn’t BBCA. It was one of the “Meanwhile in the TARDIS” deleted scene/mini-episodes. the one that fell between the end of “The Eleventh Hour” and “The Beast Below”. I’ll see if I can find it.

    ETA: sorry, no, it’s the one after “Flesh and Stone”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=005hhOPMK4U

  • I agree completely, and appreciate you making the point — especially that of “sexist double standards” which was what I was trying to get at.

  • bronxbee

    yeah, actually i was trying to reply to lynn, but my computer at work gives me a really hard time making replies… it will only let me reply to *some* comments, and won’t let me post an original post at all.  sorry… my comment wasn’t actually aimed at you — but at those who seem to think Nefertiti should be held to a higher standard for some reason… *i* thought Riddell was attractive.  yum.  and of course i’m mad for the Doctor… 

  • bronxbee

    thanks.

  • bronxbee

    i didn’t get the whole “oops we have to be getting back” after amy bitched about the Doctor being gone 10 months and waiting for the sound of the TARDIS every day… what the hell?  maybe rory isn’t that thrilled with the travelling… 

  • bronxbee

     “kid’s show”… or at least, family show…

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    My pleasure

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    No, but when you’re the groom’s father, and the guest in question materializes in the middle of the reception hall, in a 1963 police box, interrupting the bride’s father’s speech, and then spends the evening dancing the “drunken giraffe”, that’s kinda hard to miss. >.>

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    A continuity error? In my Doctor Who? It’s more likely than you think.

    ETA: I mean, yes, it’s a lazy continuity error. But it doesn’t break the story, just misses out on some amusing dialog possibilities:

    Brian: Rory, who is this man?
    Rory: Dad, that’s the Doctor. You remember him. He was at the wedding? Arrived in a big blue box? Danced with everyone?
    Brian: What, you mean that magician friend you hired to crash the reception?
    Rory: (beat) You think we hired a magician for our wedding?

  • Pelahnar

    I’m wondering whether adventures with the Doctor have turned into a sort of vacationing thing for them. Unlike Rose and Donna especially and Martha to a lesser degree, it didn’t seem like they ever had a ‘I want to travel with you forever’ stage. I mean, Amy had first told him ‘get me back by tomorrow’, then the way Rory mentioned their traveling to his dad, it sounded like it was supposed to be a honeymoon. 

    Now they’re in the process of trying to settle down – and maybe Amy is conflicted about that. She’s not 21 years old anymore and she knows it, but at the same time she still enjoys the thrill of adventure. Maybe she’s just finicky – at the end of an adventure, she wants to go home, but when she’s at home she wants more adventure.

    If you can’t tell, I’m kind of making this up as I go along. I hadn’t really thought about it before. But I think my point is that sometimes people can want more than one thing. She doesn’t want to _never_ see the Doctor again (hence her constant waiting for him) but neither does she want to spend all her time with him like she used to.

  • This snatch of dialogue has now become part of the episode in my memory.

    Thank you. Aren’t the modern concepts of Bakhtinian intertextuality and participatory culture wonderful?

  • Now *that* snatch of commentary has become part of my official recollection of the episode…

  • It’s turtles all the way down…

  • Alex Kreis

     I’m not sure if you’re just making a joke or intended that as a serious rebuttal. I’m not accusing the show as a whole, the crew, Chris Chibnall, or any fictional characters of being anti-Semitic. I’m raising an issue with the text of the episode, one that I think is worthy of critical analysis. If you think I’m wrong and want to engage in the text, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. But having a Jewish director (if he is, I don’t know the man) doesn’t immunize the text from being problematic, any more than having a woman, or gay, or black, director would immunize an episode from having problematic representations of those subgroups.

    And again, I’m not interested in condemning the episode or the crew, but I think it’s a worthy topic of discussion.

  • NorthernStar

    You’ve only just noticed that Rory is hot?!  Really?! 

    The boy who waited?
    Smokin’ geek glasses? 
    Looking the Doctor in the eye and telling him he’s making him into him?

    Better late than never I suppose.

  • Cahir

    For me Rory became the hottest dude to grace DW since pouty Turlough when he sat down to guard the Pandorica in a Roman centurions uniform. Honestly, it had one of my favorite ever sequences in DW (the beach scene). Mad, hilarious, clever, in service to the plot, and Matt Smiths grimace and Arthurs startled expressions and his dads exasperated sarcasm. It was so British and so bizarre and perfect. A bit Monty Pythonish/Time Bandits too. Still not over it.

  • bronxbee

    that would be like saying having a character named david, who has an affair with a married woman while her husband is at war, is necessarily anti-semetic. 

  • Pelahnar

    You – wh – the hottest – wha – *several more minutes of sputtering* The hottest guy on the show since Turlough!?!

    While I do not argue that both Rory and Turlough are/were hot…have you forgotten Jack!?!! Jack just so happens to be the hottest guy…not just on the show, in the universe! Ever! Is this not obvious to everyone?!

    Personal opinion, of course. :) You may disagree if you so choose. 

    *walks away muttering about people who think that Rory – however awesome – is hotter than awesome, amazing, gorgeous, and immortal Jack*

  • But don’t you think that problematicization can seriously problematicize discussion?

    And in case you’re wondering, I intend that, like most of my comments, as both a joke and a serious point.

    All texts are problematic. It’s inevitable when they explode and disperse.

  • 21pimlico

    Waaaa. I miss the ‘Kiddie TV’ aspect – ‘DW” has too much soap opera chicanery right now with Amy and Rory not being able to have kids and signing divorce papers and crying about it (if I wanted to see that, I’d watch proper boring grown-up telly, like a proper boring grown-up. And, when I was a little Whovian, that whole ‘can’t-have-kids’ bit from last week’s ep probably would have upset me more than any monster, cos I wouldn’t have understood why the pretty red-haired lady couldn’t have children with her nice husband-fellow. Aliens and monsters – kids get. Fertility issues – not so much.) I just am not feeling my Inner-10-Year-Old’s heart beating wildly when watching DW anymore. That makes me a bit sad. 

    And, from this ep, it seems The Doctor kills the baddies outright now? No space jail or leaving them on some desolate planet like a kid in the corner, to ‘think about what they’ve done’ (but still at least tries to save them)? Would have been funnier and more in keeping with The Doc’s character (as I feel I know him) for him to send Solomon back to Egypt with Queen Nefertiti as her personal slave or some such – Reverse the polarity, as it were. He’d still be punished, but not blown up by missiles The Doc sent after him (which is basically pulling a trigger. He didn’t even do that when his cloned daughter got shot in front of him.) 

    Dunno if I can get fully on board with this new aspect of The Doctor. Not that anyone should care, they don’t make it for me. Just seems…I dunno …Off. 

  • Alex Kreis

    “David” is not an exclusively or even predominantly Jewish name. “Solomon” is. Having an affair with a married woman is not a stereotype that gets applied to all Jews. Thinking that making a lot of money is worth genocide is.

    And I didn’t say anything was anti-Semitic.

    Look, I don’t want to keep beating this drum. I’d be happy if people just said “Yeah, that’s problematic, his name probably shouldn’t have been Solomon, but I still loved the episode because it has dinosaurs.” That’d be fine. But why are people being defensive?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    “David” is not an exclusively or even predominantly Jewish name. “Solomon” is. 

    That’s debatable, at least. Solomon is a very rarely used Biblical name, but it does show up in Christians (consider African-American singer Solomon Burke, or former Texas Congressman Solomon Ortiz). Unless you know a lot of Jewish Solomons. I know of none in my own Jewish ancestry. 
    Given that it seems to be your starting premise (the bad guy has a Jewish name), I hope you understand that it puts your whole observation on shaky ground.

  • You’re right to call me out for snark, and I was formulating a great argument about the irrelevance of the ethnic origins of the other characters names (Rory – Gaelic, Amelia – Germanic, Brian – Celtic, Oswin – Saxon). But the harder I looked, the more unusual it seemed for a Jewish name to appear, and the more your point seemed to be validated.

    So what evidence does one need to conclude that an undesirable combination of character name and characteristic is less authorial coincidence and more textual hate crime?

  • Presumably the ‘evidence’ we would need to look for would be other examples of such behaviour by the same author.

    Problems with this, though, include the identification of the author of the piece (we would need to know who chose the name ‘Solomon’ for example — it may not have been Chibnall). And more fundamentally, with the idea of tackling this as if it’s an investigation into a ‘crime’, when it’s actually an inevitably consequence of taking a writerly approach to a text (in other words, a text is constructed by the interpretations of its readers; meanings explode and disperse, as Barthes put it). 

    I don’t disagree with Alex’s interpretation or points, save for this one: ‘I think it’s a worthy topic of discussion.’ I’m not so convinced about that. But then, two of the things I’ve been studying recently are the ‘RaceFail’ debate in SF fandom from 2009, and the more recent ‘sexual harassment’ incident and fallout (Laurie Mann, who I believe has posted here, got caught up in that). Following these sorts of flamewar (which were both on very important topics of discussion) can lead to a sort of disillusionment about internet discussion. Maybe I’m also influenced by the imminence of a new ‘Tree of Life’ thread here, inspired by Terence Malick’s new effort.

    Other than recognizing that there are still plenty of anti-Semitic threads woven into texts produced by privileged whites (and of course there are other problematic issues of racism, sexism and other power relations), where would such discussion take us? Is this just a failure of imagination on my part?

  • J.T. Dawgzone

    Game of Thrones.

  • Les Carr

    Hot enough to grace the cover of the current issue of Gay Times.

  • My partner and i appreciated that the spaceship protecting our planet shown up filled simply by Indians. Who have been firm in relation to their particular deadlines and their particular duty for you to protecting our planet. It weren’t distinct if you ask me when they acquired referred to as the physician (‘Haven’t been at this time there before’) or even if it turned out holistic hardship telephone.

  • Only thing missing from this episode.

    “Enough is enough!  I’ve had it with these mother(bleep)ing dinosaurs on this mother(bleep)ing ship!  Step aside Rory, I’m gonna open some airlocks…”

  • Harry Potter.

  • J.T. Dawgzone

    Argus Filch is a character from Harry Potter.
    Walder Frey is a character from Game of Thrones/ASOIAF.

  • Harry Potter is a series I quite like.
    Game of Thrones is a series I don’t much care for.

    Thank you for your clarification, though. I’m sorry it was unnecessary.

  • J.T. Dawgzone

    Alrighty then. You’re right; all of that was unnecessary.

  • Radek

    Rupert Graves is hot! I’ll never forget his Scudder: “Lie with me, sir!”

  • Radek

    Yes!

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