kerravonsen: Twelfth Doctor looking down, with the number 12 in the top left corner (Doc12)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
Still behind on Doctor Who. Just finished watching The Eaters of Light.
Going to ramble on a bit about it and previous ones.

What is going on with Missy?

"That's the problem with hope: it's difficult to resist."

Exactly. I'm hoping along with the Doctor, that she's really reforming, that her tears aren't fake, and I just can't tell whether she's actually sincere or not. Missy/Master is very good at playing the long game, very good at pretending to be someone s/he is not, considering that the Master's usual modus operandi when on Earth is to set up a fake identity and play it to the hilt. She could be messing with the Doctor's head, it could all be a plot to let her escape. But... we, the viewer, are not being given any hints in that regard; we aren't seeing her alone with a secret smile or anything like that.
And, really, that scene where the Doctor spared her life a few episodes back on the Planet-of-the-Executioners... I don't think that was faked. She was facing unrecoverable death there -- those Executioner guys were pretty thorough -- she begged, she asked him to teach her how to be good... but the clincher in her sincerity, I think, was that she didn't promise to be good, no, the last thing she said before she thought she was going to die, was that "without hope, without witness, without reward" she was his friend. And I think that was true. We all know that they are best-frenemies...

Ah, here's the quote, from "Extremis":

MISSY: I am your friend.
DOCTOR: Makes no difference.
MISSY: I know it doesn't. I know I'm going to die. I have to say it, the truth. Without hope. Without witness. Without reward. I am your friend.

So, possibilities:
1. she's faking it, she isn't really trying to reform, and we await her sudden-but-inevitable betrayal
2. she isn't faking it, she really does want to learn to be good
3. she wasn't faking it, but she's getting sick of how difficult it is, and she'll end up betraying the Doctor anyway.

The Lie of the Land

This one was rather disappointing, really. It could have been so much better than it was... or maybe I was just expecting something more weird-and-subtle and less evil-brutal-police-state. And I hated that whole "let's fake out Bill" scene, it was just cruel, and I think it was out of character for the Doctor, really.
Yeah, there was some good stuff in it, but... as I said, I was disappointed. The best episode of this three-parter was the first one.

The best parts of the episode were with Missy, really.

BILL: But it's, it's just a woman.
(Missy stops playing and looks around.)
BILL: God, the way you and Nardole have been carrying on, I thought you had some kind of monster in here, or something!
DOCTOR: I do. Missy, Bill. Bill, Missy, the other Last of the Time Lords.
BILL: Wait a sec. Why have you got a woman locked in a vault? Because even I think that's weird, and I've been attacked by a puddle.
DOCTOR: She's going cold turkey from being bad.

DOCTOR: I want to ask if you've had any dealings with the Monks before.
MISSY: Of course. I've had adventures too. My whole life doesn't revolve around you, you know.

BILL: So when you defeated the Monks, that's how you did it?
MISSY: Well, at this point, all that was left of the bloodline was a wee girl, and I just pushed her into a volcano.

DOCTOR: Even if that was the truth, the fact that you're suggesting it shows there's been no change, no hope, no point. We don't sacrifice people. It's wrong, because it's easy.
MISSY: You know, back in the day, I'd burn an entire city to the ground just to see the pretty shapes the smoke made. I'm sorry your plus one doesn't get a happy ending, but, like it or not, I just saved this world because I want to change. Your version of good is not absolute. It's vain, arrogant and sentimental. If you're waiting for me to become all that, I'm going to be here for a long time yet.

MISSY: I keep remembering all the people I've killed. Every day I think of more. Being bad, being bad drowned that out. I didn't know I even knew their names. You didn't tell me about this bit.
DOCTOR: I'm sorry, but this is good.
(She turns her face away, to hide her tears.)
MISSY: Okay.

The Empress of Mars

I liked this one. I liked the twist that "God Save The Queen" could have meant one Queen or the other Queen. I liked that it showed both the worst and the best that the British Army of that time could be; and that their concept of honour and the Ice Warriors' concept of honour were very similar: that cowardice was worse than death, and that to redeem one's name was something worth dying for.

IRAXXA: You sacrificed one of your own without tactical advantage?
GODSACRE: No, I didn't sacrifice him. I executed him.
IRAXXA: Do you now expect your life to be spared?
GODSACRE: No. No, no, no. I expect it to be taken. And I give it willingly.

GODSACRE: Some time ago, I was hanged for cowardice. The execution took longer than expected, and I fear I have not used my time well. I should be happy for you to complete the work they failed to do so long ago.
IRAXXA: It will be a pleasure.

GODSACRE: Your Majesty, I have a request, if that may be permitted.
IRAXXA: Speak!
GODSACRE: That man was not one of us. Please, do not judge mankind by his cruelty or indeed by my cowardice. Spare my friends and my world.
IRAXXA: Your request does you credit, soldier. It will be considered.
GODSACRE: God save the Queen.
SOLDIERS: God save the Queen!
IRAXXA: You will die with honour, with bravery, and in the service of those you swore to protect.
GODSACRE: Thank you. You don't know what that means. Thank you.
IRAXXA: But not today. In battle, soldier. To die in battle is the way of the warrior. Pledge your allegiance to me and my world, and I will ensure you have the opportunity.
GODSACRE: My life and my service are yours. (kneels) To the end.
IRAXXA: To the death, my friend. To the death.

And it was such fun to have it tie in with OldSkool canon; Alpha Centauri from Three's era, and this explaining how the Ice Warriors became part of the wider universe.

And I loved Missy's repeated "But are you all right?" to the Doctor at the end.

MISSY: Are you all right?
DOCTOR: This can't happen. This is not what we agreed to. I'm going to have to put you back in the Vault. You know that.
MISSY: Sure. That's fine.
DOCTOR: What?
MISSY: But Doctor, please tell me. Really, are you all right?

The Eaters of Light

Transcript here.

The Eagle of the Ninth! Bill must have read that too.
And Bill did find a Roman soldier, and the Doctor did find a pile of bodies...

For once, a cairn with its ghostly music is not hiding something evil. Weeelll, it is hiding something evil, but the music is not part of the evil, but of the good.
Bill was right, it wasn't the Doctor's job this time. Mind you, this Doctor is very good at hanging on for billions of years, given what happened in "Heaven Sent". That probably gives him a different perspective even from his earlier selves.
It was kind of amusing, the thing with the crows. I couldn't get what they were saying most of the time, though I did catch the occasional "monster".
I liked how Bill figured out the TARDIS translation thing, though one could wonder why she didn't question it before... except that this was the first time she was (a) not in the present, (b) not in the future, and (c) not in the recent English-speaking past, so it was the first time she'd had her face rubbed in the fact that she shouldn't be able to understand what they were saying.
It's also rather fun how Nardole becomes a storyteller to the Picts.

Now, some quotes.... actually, a LOT of quotes.

BILL: You don't know more about the Ninth Legion than me. You don't. I read the book. I loved the book. I read everything.
DOCTOR: They disappeared.
BILL: Except they didn't.
DOCTOR: They were annihilated in battle.
BILL: Then where's the big pile of bodies? Oh, I don't know.
DOCTOR: So where's the Ninth Legion? If they'd left, they should still be leaving. Can you see five thousand Roman soldiers marching south?

"Five thousand Roman soldiers. Eyes peeled. They must have left some kind of mark on the landscape. Burning huts, slaughtered locals, sweetie wrappers." -- Doctor

NARDOLE: It's all a bit damp, though, isn't it?
DOCTOR: It's Scotland. It's supposed to be damp.

BILL: Oh, a Roman soldier. Oh, I wish I'd studied Latin so you could understand me.
(This soldier is from Rome's African lands.)
SIMON: I understand you.
BILL: Sorry, what?
SIMON: I understand you.
BILL: But you're, you're speaking English.
SIMON: What's English?
BILL: Er, what you're speaking in.
SIMON: You're speaking Latin.
BILL: I'm not.
SIMON: That's Latin. You just said that in Latin.
BILL: Ah! It's the Doctor. Or the Tardis. Or both. Something, telepathic, link. Auto-translate. That's why everyone in space speaks English.
SIMON: What on Earth are you talking about?
BILL: Oh my God, it even does lip-sync.

DOCTOR: Shh! Did anybody hear that? Do you know what that sound was?
BAN: What?
DOCTOR: That was the sound of my patience shattering into a billion little pieces.

"Let me tell you about the Romans. They are the robbers of this world. When they've thieved everything on land, they'll rob the sea. If their enemies are rich, they'll take all they have. If their enemies are poor, they'll make slaves of them. Their work is robbery, slaughter, plunder. They do this work and they call it empire. They make deserts and they call it peace."
(That's a really good speech. Who wrote this episode?)

NARDOLE: We're looking for Bill, right?
DOCTOR: No, we're looking for the maximum danger in the immediate area and walking right into it.
NARDOLE: Yeah, but what about Bill?
DOCTOR: Well, if she's there, we're saving her. If she's not, she's safe already. Trust me, this is not my first rodeo.

LUCIUS: One man? You think one man can save us all?
BILL: Come and meet him. He came here to meet you. He's met loads of people like you. The terrified, the desperate. And he always helps. He always makes a difference.
LUCIUS: There are painted barbarians up there. They outnumber us. There is a beast of darkness that laid waste to an entire legion in less than an hour. No one man can make a difference to that.
BILL: Maybe that's what you don't learn when you think it takes five thousand highly trained soldiers to slaughter a bunch of Scottish farmers. Yes, one man can. And he's here.
THRACIUS: If you're calling us cowards, carry on. We already ran away. We know.
BILL: You're not cowards. You're scared. Scared is fine. Scared is human. But I'll tell you what it isn't. It isn't a plan.

BILL: How old are you?
LUCIUS: Eighteen.
BILL: Right, listen to me, all of you. I'm going up there to find my friend. If you come with me, I can't promise that you won't all die. But I can promise you this. You won't all die in a hole in the ground.

DOCTOR: Are you sulking?
KAR: I'm remembering the dead.
DOCTOR: Oh, right. Well, save that for old age.
KAR: They're dead because of me.
DOCTOR: You know, every moment you waste wallowing about in that happy thought means more of the living are going to join them. When you want to win a war, remember this. It's not about you. Believe me, I know. Time to grow up, Kar. Time to fight your fight.

LUCIUS: This is where we hear them, the barbarians. Right up there, up above us. Are you sure your friend will be with them?
BILL: Yeah. Basically, he always ends up being boss of the locals.
LUCIUS: How?
BILL: Usually by annoying them.

BILL: Hi. I brought you the Ninth Legion.
(Currently in a small defensive square fending off the Picts.)
DOCTOR: Whoa, there they are. The lost Legion of the Ninth.
BILL: Totally found them.
DOCTOR: Yeah, you totally did.

BILL: Something to do with the Tardis. Maybe, telepathic field? So now that we all understand each other, how do we all sound?
LUCIUS: You sound like children.
KAR: You sound like children too.
DOCTOR: You all do.
BILL: Is this what happens when you understand what everyone in the universe is saying? Everybody just sounds like children?
DOCTOR: There are exceptions.

"Okay, kids, pay attention. She slaughtered your legion. You slaughtered everything that she loves. Now, you all have a choice. You can carry on slaughtering each other till no one is left standing, or you grow the hell up! Because there's a new war now. I think these creatures are light-eating locusts, looking for rents and cracks between worlds to let themselves into dimensions of light. Once they break through, they eat. They will eat the sun, and then they will eat the stars. And they will keep eating until there are no stars left. So, whose side are you on now? Because as far as I can see, there's only one side left." -- the Doctor
(this speech sent shivers down my spine)

DOCTOR: I've got a better idea this time.
BILL: Which is the part you never tell me.
DOCTOR: Don't I?
BILL: No.
DOCTOR: I probably just get interrupted.
(gets interrupted)

DOCTOR: All right, I was wrong. I didn't know what really happened to the Ninth Legion.
BILL: No, we were both wrong about that.
DOCTOR: They were never really missing. They've always been here. The Ninth Legion and the Keeper of the Gate, seizing the day till the sun goes out. Holding back the dark.

BILL: I thought. Do you hear that? I thought I could hear the music, but I can't, can I. They're in another time.
DOCTOR: Music's funny like that.

NARDOLE: Right, shall we go back home? Time you were guarding that Vault. We don't want Missy getting any ideas.
(Missy is sitting on a recliner chair with footstool on the gallery, reading.)
MISSY: Oh, one should always try to avoid those. Hello! You lot were ages. I was getting ever so worried.

NARDOLE: Sir, I must to protest in the strongest, most upset terms possible. Don't make me go squeaky voiced!

[It's interesting to note -- because I was just looking at the transcript of Extremis -- that the Doctor didn't vow to guard the vault, he said "On my oath as a Time Lord of the Prydonian Chapter, I will guard this body for a thousand years." Which means that letting her out of the Vault isn't technically breaking his oath, not if she's unable to get out of the TARDIS.]

MISSY: All those little people, trapped in a hill, fighting forever. Is that really up to your bleeding heart standards?
DOCTOR: Well, they're not trapped and they're more than just fighting. And there's music. Always music.
MISSY: Well, team, who's going to help me hide his gee-tar?
DOCTOR: See, that's what I'm trying to teach you, Missy. You understand the universe, you see it and you grasp it, but you've never learned to hear the music.

MISSY: I don't even know why I'm crying. Why? Why do I keep doing that now?
DOCTOR: I don't know. Maybe you're trying to impress me.
MISSY: Yes. Probably some devious plan. That sounds about right.
DOCTOR: The alternative would be much worse.
MISSY: Really?
DOCTOR: The alternative is that this is for real, and it's time for us to become friends again.
MISSY: Do you think so?
DOCTOR: I don't know. That's the trouble with hope. It's hard to resist.

Date: 2017-07-01 03:14 pm (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
That's a really good speech. Who wrote this episode?

I don't know, but the speech is based on the speech Tacitus says Calgacus , a Caledonian chieftain he may or may not have made up for the purpose, gave before the battle of Mons Graupius.

Date: 2017-07-01 04:42 pm (UTC)
kalypso: Dr Ace (Ace)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
As [personal profile] tree_and_leaf says, the speech derives from Tacitus. But the episode is by Rona Munro, who also wrote Survival, and is apparently the first writer to contribute to Classic and New Who..

Date: 2017-07-01 05:45 pm (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: David Tennant in suit imitating Tony Blair, Boyish grin, last-of-the-timelord hand gesture, even shinier teeth (last of the timelords hand gesture)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Ah, good to know! Thank you!

Date: 2017-07-01 05:46 pm (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Also, well done Rona Munro for stealing from the best :)

Date: 2017-07-02 01:17 pm (UTC)
kalypso: Bill in puddle (Bill)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
Also, re The Lie of the Land, I totally agree; Extremis was a brilliant set-up for a three-parter, but was badly let down by what followed. I think most of us could have come up with better plotlines. We didn't even get Erica back, when she was the saving grace of the Pyramid episode!

After seeing The Eaters of Light, I did wonder whether there was some significance in the repetition of the motif of a young woman insisting that the threat to Earth was her responsibility, she had to fix it, and the Doctor must be forcibly restrained from trying to do it himself. And TEoL also repeated the motif of the soldier(s) who'd previously run away but now faced death without flinching. But, though I did enjoy The Empress of Mars, I'd take The Eaters of Light over any of them. It was Good Stuff.

Date: 2017-07-02 02:52 pm (UTC)
kalypso: Bill in puddle (Bill)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
I've watched Empress of Mars twice, and would happily do it again. But if I could keep only one of the pair, I know it would be The Eaters of Light.

And now you've seen World Enough, there's another echo in this episode - time passing at different speeds.
Edited Date: 2017-07-02 08:23 pm (UTC)

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kerravonsen: (Default)
Kathryn A.

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