lizbee: (DW: Bill (garden))
[personal profile] lizbee
This was scary! Which I mention above the cut in case anyone was planning to watch it with children. Unless your children are tough. Which I am not, and I'm glad I was watching it at 9 in the morning like a sensible human.



"Space ... the final frontier." I didn't realise how much I needed for a Doctor to use those words until it happened.

This was tense, scary and took the show's Anti Capitalist Agenda into space. In fact, I don't think it's been this overtly left wing since the glory days of Seven 'n' Ace. I've oft said that Doctor Who will achieve perfection when the dudes who grew up on Three and Four age out and are replaced by the women who imprinted on Seven and Ace, but, you know, this is okay too.

The whole oxygen credits conceit was particularly nifty -- similar to The Expanse, only less subtle (and The Expanse is not a subtle show) since they had to cram all that worldbuilding into one episode. I guessed the twist quite early on, but didn't even come close to spotting the Doctor's plans.

Making him blind, and keeping him that way, is interesting -- I'm a little wary from an ableism point of view, but it's certainly something new, which you don't often get in a series this old. And I like the way Moffat lets the Doctor's physical condition deteriorate slowly as he approaches regeneration -- all in one episode, in Eleventy's case, but maybe over a longer period for Twelve? Unless it's fixed next week, who knows?

My main criticism of the episode is the stuff with Bill and Dahh-Ren. There's a weird trope in SF where humans of colour are prejudiced against aliens. (Or Australians are space racist, which is totally ... expected.) It's nearly always white writers doing it, and you can just about hear the smug rendition of "Everyone's a little bit racist" in the background. It's frustrating here, because it's just a weird, pointless bit where Bill cannot win. And she goes through a lot in this episode! Give the girl a break!

(I love her, though, she's so great.)

NEXT WEEK: The Vatican, River Song's diary and Missy! WHAT A COMBINATION!

Date: 2017-05-14 01:25 am (UTC)
nonelvis: (DW blue TARDIS)
From: [personal profile] nonelvis
I'm rewatching it now, and yeah, the racism bit is a little iffy. And I am still cringing at "Some of my best friends are blueish!"

Date: 2017-05-17 05:00 am (UTC)
shyfoxling: glowing blue circles and hexagons on a dark blue background (doctor who (TARDIS scanner))
From: [personal profile] shyfoxling
Egads, that line.

If it had been the Doctor I might have thought, ha ha, he means the TARDIS. Still maybe not the greatest line, but not so gratuitously awful. But...

Date: 2017-05-14 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] capalxii
tbh I found myself comparing it to Clara's first time meeting someone visibly not human. she got to play it cool, but Bill--whose girlfriend turned into a puddle in her first episode--gets the weird racist treatment? it was odd

overall it was a good Mathieson episode but that exchange was odd. especially since it was so unnecessary and out of place given what she's already seen

not sure how the blindness will be played. I'm hoping it all goes well but with an upcoming harness episode, not so sure. next week's should be good though!

Date: 2017-05-14 03:07 am (UTC)
skipthedemon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] skipthedemon
Hmm, Bill comes off more socially awkward than Clara to me? Faking confidence and cool was kind of Clara's wheelhouse.

Date: 2017-05-14 10:34 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] capalxii
given that Bill's already seen & experienced certified weirdness, and that it was quickly established that she's tying her experiences back to science fiction & knows the genre, it still felt very odd and out of place. like in Rings of Ahkaten, Clara has one adventure under her belt & her experience with aliens is basically "handsome dork with a time machine."

whereas by Oxygen Bill has experienced so much more that she's taken in stride, and on top of that she's very genre savvy. why would she be shocked by a person in space who doesn't look human, except to make a joke about space racism that doesn't even fit the character? so while I'd agree that Clara's big thing is shows of confidence when she's not really that confident, it was still a garbagey writing choice for the relatively more experienced, more genre savvy, and "more likely to have experienced actual racism" to be like "omg blue dude, let me stare and be defensive over accusations of racism."

Date: 2017-05-15 06:40 am (UTC)
dbskyler: (Sarah looking up)
From: [personal profile] dbskyler
Yeah, it felt off for Bill's character. I think she'd be more likely to get all excited at seeing her first "looks-like-an-alien" alien, make a Star Trek reference, and then offend the guy by wanting to take a selfie with him.

Date: 2017-05-17 05:05 am (UTC)
shyfoxling: interior of the 12th Doctor's TARDIS (doctor who (12's tardis))
From: [personal profile] shyfoxling
Yeah, I think that would have been more it. She might have been slightly startled to actually encounter such a person, but then would have recovered to go on to make wrong assumptions drawn from her sci-fi-pop-culture background.

Date: 2017-05-14 11:09 am (UTC)
londonkds: (Bring back Bilis! (by redscharlach))
From: [personal profile] londonkds
It's not just SF, there's also the very dodgy pattern in Buffy and Angel where characters who are depicted as taking the fight against evil too far and bigotedly persecuting harmless supernatural beings always seem to be African-American men (Forrest Gates in the Initiative arc, Gio in "That Old Gang of Mine", and to a degree Robin Wood). And I still resent that Supernatural episode with the vampires trying not to kill people and the bigoted human villain who seemed intentionally and pointedly created as "Evil Charles Gunn".

Date: 2017-05-14 01:40 pm (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
Loved the socialism, not okay with the weird racism bit. Interested to see how long the Doctor will be blind.

Anti-capitalist Doctor is definitely the Doctor I need right now.

Date: 2017-05-28 02:36 pm (UTC)
lokifan: Bill from Doctor Who, smiling in front of a purple sky (Bill)
From: [personal profile] lokifan
So scary! And I'm enjoying super-lefty Who, especially (although painfully) the idea that in this semi-dystopia, unions have become this mythical thing (too busted to help?)

Agreed on Bill. So great!!! And the space-racism thing was super, super weird and unpleasant.

Blind!Twelve lasting, with no miracle cure (until an unrelated regeneration) is something I'm definitely here for. So sad and scary but opens up so many storytelling opportunities, especially if it's like... something that genuinely affects him but also he's able to access a whole bunch of assistive tech.

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