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movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson

still heartbroken over Doctor Who (“The Return of Doctor Mysterio” open thread)

the-return-of-doctor-mysterio-promo-cast-image

[previous: “The Husbands of River Song”]

“The Return of Doctor Mysterio” is a big ol’ nothingburger of an alien invasion story that moves around some familiar pieces on the Doctor Who chessboard… and in service of nothing more, it seems, than letting a nerdy comic-book fanboy land the girl of his dreams.

I continue to be done with Doctor Who, and heartbroken over it. Maybe I’ll go watch some old Tom Baker episodes.

Anyway, here’s an open thread for you all to discuss “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” if you want to. I will monitor comments here — as I do across the site — but don’t be surprised if I don’t participate.

Assume that the comments below are full of spoilers.

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  • Jurgan

    That “superhero costume” is hideous, though maybe it’s a parody. And the bald guy looks like Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin. This is pathetic. I haven’t seen the episode, and this doesn’t make me want to.

  • Jurgan

    “letting a nerdy comic-book fanboy land the girl of his dreams.”

    This has always been one of Moffat’s weaknesses. “Blink” was a very good episode, but it unfortunately contained a man stalking a woman until she married him and a nerdy guy getting with a girl with very little buildup. Plus Rory and Amy. It wasn’t a big problem at first, but the more I see it repeated the worse it gets.

  • RogerBW

    I can strongly recommend watching the whole of the old show, in order. (I did, and blogged about it.)

    I don’t see myself doing that for the new show. It just doesn’t trigger that kind of enthusiasm. The longer it goes on, the more it feels like a tired old dog trying to do the same old tricks but its legs don’t really work any more.

  • Hey! I’m doing it right now and blogging!
    It’s such a great experience and has kept me going as a Doctor Who fan this year… going to watch Earthshock for the first time tonight!

  • I thought the episode was okay… it didn’t make much sense, but I liked the characters and there was nothing brutally bad like in Hell Bent. Nardole(or as Capaldi calls him, Nardoul) was a breath of fresh air after years of Clara.
    Series 10 looks like a mixed bag, but I’m hopeful.

  • Kathy_A

    I have the entire run of Capaldi on my dvr waiting for me to watch it, and I’m still debating if I even should or if I should just delete them. As a lifelong DW fan, that’s a sad thing for me to have to say.

  • Elwood72

    There are maybe 4 or 5 good regular season episodes of Capaldi, and some okay ones as well, and for old-school Who fans, Michelle Gomez is the closest they’ve come to the original Roger Delgado master, gender swapping aside. (It’s almost impossible to watch the old Pertwee/Delgado episodes and not suspect that they used to have a thing. . .) But I’m sad to say the majority of it is the worst stuff since the late, unlamented Colin Baker era. Capladi’s a dick, and Clara is a cipher. And the moon, in a solid contender for Worst Episode Ever, is an egg. With spiders living on it. Whatever you do, don’t watch that one. Oddly enough, I don’t mind the Christmas specials, and Capaldi is a charming loon in this one, rather than the jerk with contempt for humanity he’s usually played. The characterization has also changed wildly between seasons, as it must have become obvious it wasn’t working. I wasn’t previously a Moffat-hater, by the way, Eleven was my favorite Doctor and I rather enjoyed the complicated dynamics he had with Amy and Rory. They all seemed like interesting, flawed people. Twelve and Clara just aren’t people at all. My advice – skip Season 8 entirely, Season 9 watch the Dalek ones with Michelle Gomez, and go ahead and watch the Maisie Williams ones if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, and the Christmas specials are okay.

  • Owen1120

    I thought this was an overall mediocre episode- I really like Capaldi and Lucas, and the brain stuff was the usual throwaway Christmas story, but the Grant/Lucy plot line was full of plot holes and had the uncomfortable “girl of his dreams” sexism.

    The Power of the Daleks was a great throwback-I recommend it if they aired it on TV in the U.K. I’m still excited for Class due to the presence of Patrick Ness- BBC America doesn’t get it until spring.

  • Jurgan

    All of the old show? Are you Robert Mugabe?

  • ketac6

    I thought it was better than last year’s Xmas special at least and had some bits of humour in it but yeah, nothing great and nothing very Doctor about it.

  • That wasn’t *all* “Blink” was about, though.

  • I can strongly recommend watching the whole of the old show, in order. (I did, and blogged about it.)

    I’ve mostly done that. I have seen all the show in order from the Tom Baker years onward (and almost in real time!). Caught up with previous Doctors in between.

    I can binge the Eccleston and Tennant years: those were mostly great.

  • Jurgan

    Exactly. With hindsight, I can see how relatively minor flaws in Moffat’s early episodes were the cracks in the Doctor Who universe that eventually made the whole thing break apart. Like how I enjoyed Girl in the Fireplace when it aired, but after he reused the idea of a young girl imprinting on the Doctor and then him reuniting with her as an adult with Amy Pond, I started to think the whole thing was a bit creepy. The increasing sexuality of The Doctor was interesting at first, but after a while I started to suspect it was Moffat living out a sexual fantasy. Combine that with the way 12 mocks Clara’s appearance, and The Doctor starts looking like a creepy pick up artist.

  • Tonio Kruger

    It was probably inevitable that we’d see a Nu Who episode about a superhero. And now that we have, I’ll be very glad if we don’t have to see another one for a long while.

    Not that this episode didn’t have its amusing moments. And it was nice to see Capaldi channeling the young Tom Baker for a change rather than take yet another ill-advised take on Marty McFly or Dr. Greg House.

    But the plot was very predictable — especially in the episode’s second half — and I really rather not think too much about how the superhero of the week managed to retain his powers for so long.

  • Hu

    What I think is upseting about this episode is the fact that the Doctor isn’t supposed to be able to go back to NY, it’s the reason he couldn’t go back in the past to see Amy and Rory
    So does that mean he found a way to see them again? Anyway I didn’t like this episode, it doesnt make much sense. It just didn’t feel like watching a DW episode…

  • the Doctor isn’t supposed to be able to go back to NY

    Ha! I forgot about that.

  • Radek Piskorski

    I loved Kill the Moon.

  • Radek Piskorski

    I think he can’t go 1930s NY only. But apparently he was there precisely to try to “fix” time in order to be able to do precisely that, which is a weird plot point.

  • I think he can’t go 1930s NY only.

    So he could have popped forward a few years and rescued Amy and Rory. And he didn’t. Maybe he’s just an asshole… which, to be fair, does seem to be a lot of what Moffat seems to have been saying about the character.

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