lizbee: (DW: Bill (garden))
[personal profile] lizbee
The first episode of the season which hasn't thrilled me, but I liked it better than some.

This was co-written by Peter Harness, of whom The Guardian writes, "Writer Peter Harness was behind the standout Zygon two-parter of 2015, proving himself adept at portraying alien conquest in the terms under which our security services might truly tackle it", and of whom I write, "Oh yeah, that guy whose Zygon two-parter was racist and transphobic and all around uncomfortable, a dude so unaware of his subtext he didn't even realise that 'Kill the Moon' was an uncomfortable abortion allegory."

Accordingly, my expectations were very, very low indeed, and since the episode was not horribly and uninentionally offensive on multiple axes, I'm prepared to call it a winner by Harness standards.

On the other hand, it's very like him to not really understand what consent is all about (spoilers: you cannot freely give consent if there's duress -- I'll buy the Monks not getting it, but I don't really feel like the writers had a handle on the concept either).

The co-writer was Moffat, and I just ... I feel like there are certain writers (Harness, Gatiss) with whom Moffat should not be allowed to work, because they just bring out the worst in him.

And I have mixed feelings about Bill giving the planet to the Monks just to save the Doctor -- it reminded me of the "I could save the world but lose you" nonsense of season 1, though saved by the fact that Bill is a 26 year old human (according to the Doctor's accessibility sunnies), not a thousand year old Time Lord, and thus has a different perspective. I feel like each companion gets one big stuff up, and this one's hers -- the question is always whether or not the show will address it.

Mostly, I found this episode ... uneven. The military stuff felt very rote, although I quite liked the Chinese general and was sad when she died. (Note: Peter Capaldi is never allowed to pronounce Chinese names again.) The lab stuff was incredibly tense, but that just made the rest of it more frustrating in its predictability -- not to mention that the "revelation" (to Bill) of the Doctor's blindness was a classic idiot plot, and everything could have been avoided if the writing hadn't required Bill to be oblivious to increasingly obvious signs.

(Or if the combination lock had had Braille. Inaccessibility kills, guys.)

Anyway, I hope that next week is better. Will the writers remember that Bill is incredibly bright? Will Penny give her another chance? Will Missy make everything better? (The answer to that last question is, as always, yes.)
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