Rate The Beast Below

Rate The Beast Below

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Total votes: 181
Gorkle
 
 
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LizR wrote: But he's the Doctor, his solutions should be clever and laced with compassion, he should never have necessarily seen the whale as less important than the humans, there is no way he should think lobotomising the (apparently - sigh) last of its species is the right answer. And doing it so quickly, it's been suffering for centuries, why didn't he STOP FOR A MOMENT to think it through? I'll tell you why, it was just so Moffat could put in an RTD moment and have the "uncaring alien" Doctor pulled up by "smart, feisty" companion. I admit this isn't as bad as the Delta Wave but it's still heading in that direction. It's ridiculous and patronising to assume that the human race has a monopoly on compassion, I will give him the regeneration blues this time around, but I sure hope this doesn't keep happening!
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I need The Doctor to be fallible, and potentially catastrophically. I need to see evidence of that possibility. It's happened before, I need to be reminded of it now and then. And his decisions should be clever and laced with compassion, but it's so much richer if sometimes, his idea of compassion is different to ours. I can deal with "It's okay - it'll all be alright in the end", but I lose interest if it's "The Doctor will make everything alright in the end, always". Regeneration blues or not, I don't see what happened in Beast as lazy writing. It was a device, surely, but to illustrate rather than to resolve.

I didn't have a problem with his urgency. if Liz 10 had always chosen to accept the situation and press the 'forget' button, there's no reason why she wasn't about to do it again in the face of the awful truth, and in a highly distressed state (another idea planted earlier with Amy's hysterical video message to herself). He had to show her an alternative, and quickly. His 'solution' had to be enough to stop her in her tracks. Plenty of Smilers in the room to back her up. That, for me, was where his sense of his urgency came from. That's honestly what I was thinking at the time, when I watched it.

I didn't think it was a matter of him just thinking the Humans were more important than the whale. He wasn't just saving their lives, he was saving freedom of choice and thought. His solution was to 'brainwash' the last of a race, in order that another race with a reproductive future could not just live on, but evolve, physically and ideologically. Okay, it happened to be his favourite ever race. But what if it had been a choice between one last human, or a whole future race of whales? Or one last spider and a race of moths? I'm not trying to justify his moral choice. I'm pleased that it's contentious. And equally, think he missed the point of The Last Pea.

I'm not trying to justify a bad plot device in retrospect. Not just because I don't see one - but because right up to the point at which Amy intervened I was thinking that The Doctor's course of action was terrible, but inevitable, because The Doctor Is Always Right. Maybe my suspension of disbelief filters need adjusting, or maybe I is just a bit fick.

As morality goes, it's a far cry from saving a woman's life by turning her into a felating paving slab, with Rose quite happy to stand by and let him do so. The other big difference for me is that Amy didn't save The Doctor's life, so I didn't see him weakened in the way RTD tended to weaken him with Rose or Martha. I saw her saving something inside him. I certainly didn't see her as pulling him up.

I like the idea that The Doctor needs someone to stop him, occasionally, and I thought it was well executed. It's just my own, y'know, personal ... thing.
:)
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LizR
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Gorkle wrote:I guess what I'm trying to say is that I need The Doctor to be fallible, and potentially catastrophically. I need to see evidence of that possibility. It's happened before, I need to be reminded of it now and then. And his decisions should be clever and laced with compassion, but it's so much richer if sometimes, his idea of compassion is different to ours. I can deal with "It's okay - it'll all be alright in the end", but I lose interest if it's "The Doctor will make everything alright in the end, always". Regeneration blues or not, I don't see what happened in Beast as lazy writing. It was a device, surely, but to illustrate rather than to resolve.

I didn't have a problem with his urgency. if Liz 10 had always chosen to accept the situation and press the 'forget' button, there's no reason why she wasn't about to do it again in the face of the awful truth, and in a highly distressed state (another idea planted earlier with Amy's hysterical video message to herself). He had to show her an alternative, and quickly. His 'solution' had to be enough to stop her in her tracks. Plenty of Smilers in the room to back her up. That, for me, was where his sense of his urgency came from. That's honestly what I was thinking at the time, when I watched it.

I didn't think it was a matter of him just thinking the Humans were more important than the whale. He wasn't just saving their lives, he was saving freedom of choice and thought. His solution was to 'brainwash' the last of a race, in order that another race with a reproductive future could not just live on, but evolve, physically and ideologically. Okay, it happened to be his favourite ever race. But what if it had been a choice between one last human, or a whole future race of whales? Or one last spider and a race of moths? I'm not trying to justify his moral choice. I'm pleased that it's contentious. And equally, think he missed the point of The Last Pea.

I'm not trying to justify a bad plot device in retrospect. Not just because I don't see one - but because right up to the point at which Amy intervened I was thinking that The Doctor's course of action was terrible, but inevitable, because The Doctor Is Always Right. Maybe my suspension of disbelief filters need adjusting, or maybe I is just a bit fick.

As morality goes, it's a far cry from saving a woman's life by turning her into a felating paving slab, with Rose quite happy to stand by and let him do so. The other big difference for me is that Amy didn't save The Doctor's life, so I didn't see him weakened in the way RTD tended to weaken him with Rose or Martha. I saw her saving something inside him. I certainly didn't see her as pulling him up.

I like the idea that The Doctor needs someone to stop him, occasionally, and I thought it was well executed. It's just my own, y'know, personal ... thing.
:)
Hmm. You've almost swung me round to your point of view...let me see. I certainly agree that the Doctor has to be fallible, which obviously entails the possibility that he'll screw up catastrophically. I may well be over-reacting to the way he was so dumbed down by RTD, so that any sign of heading down the same path again gets my back up...

However....it's a matter of degree. It feels to me as though SM's gone too far, too fast. The Doctor gets it horribly wrong, Amy gets it completely right - even though he's got all that experience, saved every planet in creation at least 27 times, and she hasn't had time to change out of her nightie? I could buy this happening later, after she's knocked around the universe a bit, but this just feels like the ghostly hand of RTD. Sorry.

“And then I find a new name, because I won’t be the Doctor any more.”

Exactly. I just hope this was a blip, and we get the Doctor back next week. He doesn't have to be right all the time, which is boring, but IMHO he should be wrong in a more Doctorly way. I guess this is me doing that personal thing too.

PS - I'm not sure what you mean by "the point of The Last Pea" - is that something I missed? (I must watch it again...)

PPS - By the way, when did Amy manage to plant that video message to herself? I haven't managed to work that out, either... (I must watch it again...)
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Makkabee wrote:I enjoyed that, all in all. Still, did anyone notice the similarity between the enforcers and these gentlemen?

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Who are those gentlemen?
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LizR wrote: PPS - By the way, when did Amy manage to plant that video message to herself? I haven't managed to work that out, either... (I must watch it again...)

between the protest and forget button there is a record button, presumably so you can leave yourself a message to explain to your own conscience why you chose to forget, if you fell that way inclined - perhaps another device to "scare" the populace.

My main beef is not so much the character stuff with the Doctor (which I kinda agree with LizR about, though I think Gorkles explanation (has to come up with an answer before Liz 10 chooses to forget) is excellent and would have deserved a line to that effect in the actual show. That said my main problem with this was the lack of subtlety in making these character points - it was all layered an a bit thick.

My main problem with the episode is still the way it sets up the society as mencaing only to then have the Doctor happily leave them to it with the woman who set it all up still in charge of her army of smilers. The Queen might not remember that she asked for protesters to be fed to the whale, but apparently, she did - nice lady Liz 10. As for the demon headmaster, he didnt even have the decency to forget - but at least he was only following ze orders.

Apparently, Amy is going to be the one who questions the Doctor all the time, but she missed a few questions I'd have liked to see answered there, such as "I thought you said you were bringing down this Government?".

Thats not to say this is not a massive improvement for Who - the writing is just that much more considered, the ideas much more interesting and important to the plot - I love the idea of teh Doctor investigating a seemingly oppressive society, only to realise (or to have his companion realise) he can solve its insolvable problem - but the set up made the society too far beyond redemption for such a pat resolution - If only the sopace whale hadnt eaten anyone, and a trip to its mouth was just another way they intimidated protesters into voting "forget" ): otherwise, why the button at the exit to the mouth?
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Not an original idea with me, but one I tend to agree with, is that (aside from the 42 minute format) another thing that makes it difficult for a decent story to see the light of day nowadays is the concept of a "showrunner". Classic Who was produced by a team, and anyone who went too far could be reined in (well, with a few exceptions...) But now, for some reason, one person is expected to run the whole thing. Having recently read "Timeless Adventures" I can see just how much of a team effort the original programme was, particularly the initial creation of the series - with people brainstorming to the extent that no one knows who came up with the title or the idea of the TARDIS...

So now we may be getting "Moffat's vision" (unless he has the strength of character to allow others to chip in) which could turn out to be as shallow as RTD's...

I'm still living in hope, though!
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LizR wrote:Hmm. You've almost swung me round to your point of view...
:lol: Well, I certainly didn't think I was trying to swing anyone around to anything ...
LizR wrote: I may well be over-reacting to the way he was so dumbed down by RTD, so that any sign of heading down the same path again gets my back up...
... until you said that, at which point I realised that might have been spurring me on. It's not a matter of winning or losing a debate or being evangelical - in fact, to quote Colin Baker, I can sometimes go for several days without thinking about Doctor Who. Just, apparently, not recently ... :lol: I was just trying to work out why I saw something so different from you. In any case, it's just fun to bounce the ideas around.

The Last Pea - Holmes brings his vast experience and intellect crashing down to bear on the problem of Watson cornering the last pea on the plate. By squashing it with the fork. And you think 'Clever old Holmes, and silly old Watson, spending ages chasing the pea around the plate with the prongs of his fork when all he had to do was squash it'.

Then Watson, genuinely hurt, explains the pleasure of capturing the pea whole so it pops in his mouth when he bites down on it. Holmes goes for the most effective solution, if all you need to do is get the pea down your throat. He makes a quick judgement which'll work, because he's up against it with the bigger picture. In doing so, he makes an assumption about Watson, misses the point of the chase, and gets it wrong.

In that scene of the film, you learn in a moment just why Holmes needs Watson around. It's one of my favourite scenes from any film, and I was delighted to find it on YouTube. (Being brought up on Rathbone's films, Murder by Decree was the first take on Holmes I saw which showed that he was fallible and that Watson wasn't a bumbling idiot.)

Anyway, last Saturday, The Doctor missed the point of Chasing The Last Pea too.
Dobey Kweeg wrote: My main problem with the episode is still the way it sets up the society as mencaing only to then have the Doctor happily leave them to it with the woman who set it all up still in charge of her army of smilers. The Queen might not remember that she asked for protesters to be fed to the whale, but apparently, she did - nice lady Liz 10. ?
Hi Dobey.

That's something else which I didn't see in the programme. What I took away from it was the Queen's mask being given to The Doctor with her message "No More Secrets". Which for me meant "No more secrets, no more brainwashing, no need for Smilers". And Liz 10 was a nice lady - it's the situation and the 'brainwashing' which perpetuated her actions, surely - which were then erased from her mind every time she realised the horror and got taken to the Tower. I don't see a plot hole there - every few years, she puts the jigsaw together, protests, gets taken to The Tower and her jigsaw pieces are scattered around the ship once more, for her to find one by one. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Dobey Kweeg wrote:If only the sopace whale hadnt eaten anyone, and a trip to its mouth was just another way they intimidated protesters into voting "forget" ): otherwise, why the button at the exit to the mouth?
That was my take on it exactly. :Doctor 3D:
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Gorkle wrote:
Dobey Kweeg wrote: My main problem with the episode is still the way it sets up the society as mencaing only to then have the Doctor happily leave them to it with the woman who set it all up still in charge of her army of smilers. The Queen might not remember that she asked for protesters to be fed to the whale, but apparently, she did - nice lady Liz 10. ?
Hi Dobey.

That's something else which I didn't see in the programme. What I took away from it was the Queen's mask being given to The Doctor with her message "No More Secrets". Which for me meant "No more secrets, no more brainwashing, no need for Smilers". And Liz 10 was a nice lady - it's the situation and the 'brainwashing' which perpetuated her actions, surely - which were then erased from her mind every time she realised the horror and got taken to the Tower. I don't see a plot hole there - every few years, she puts the jigsaw together, protests, gets taken to The Tower and her jigsaw pieces are scattered around the ship once more, for her to find one by one. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Dobey Kweeg wrote:If only the sopace whale hadnt eaten anyone, and a trip to its mouth was just another way they intimidated protesters into voting "forget" ): otherwise, why the button at the exit to the mouth?
That was my take on it exactly. :Doctor 3D:

I think the killing of the protesters is the one major thing that really is niggling away at me, and it is explicitly stated by The Demon Headmaster that the Dcotor and Amy are the only adults the whale hasn't consumed. This one fact really pushes Liz 10s regime beyond the redemption of "oh, thats all sorted now then" - I mean, if these are, underneath the threats and disappearances, a Government of good conscience, why are they killing off protesters - thats about the worst thing any government can do, surely and Demon H is doing it without the dubious benefit of having been able to conveniently brainwipe himself every 10 years. It would stil have been morally a bit murky if the whole thing was a scam to quell dissent, but when they go he extra mile to kill dissenters, they've gone beyond the pale for me really. I know the queen says "we'll put this all right" - would that have been (Godwins Law alert!) OK coming from Hitler on the 31st March 1945?

But I can see your take on it Gorkle, and really, I'm trying not to let it completely overshadow all the good things about teh episode - it just seemed like an unnecessary element that kinda dampened the twist for me.
hsbc123-0
 
 
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Lord Privy Toastrack wrote:
HornOrSilk wrote: And I'm not finding Amy Pond too engaging.
With those legs, she could recite the phone book for all I care...

Amen! :lol:
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Dobey Kweeg wrote:I think the killing of the protesters is the one major thing that really is niggling away at me, and it is explicitly stated by The Demon Headmaster that the Dcotor and Amy are the only adults the whale hasn't consumed.
Ah, I missed that line. Twice, including the BBC3 repeat! :roll: Now I get it. The 'forget' button by the exit to the mouth is for the children, which the whale spits out, and not for the adults. Thanks, Dobey. :Doctor 3D:

So now I'm trying to work out why I'm still not niggled by everyone getting away with it at the end - or, at the very least, the 'Demon Headmaster' :lol: . Once again, maybe I is just a bit fick. Or I was too wrapped up in the rest of it.

It's a fair cop, guv. You got me bang to rights. :lol:

This is the point where part of me wants to do the 'What if .." bit, to justify the ending. Or the "It would have been better if ..." bit. It's fun to do, and I do it regularly with films and shows in discussion with friends. But that's the opposite of what I've been doing so far, here, which is to look at what's on screen and judge the episode by that. ('Judge' is the wrong word, but you know what I mean, I hope.)

The trouble is, you never know what was left on the cutting room floor, in order to get the episode into 43 minutes. (oh-oh - someone stop him, quick ...) There might have been scenes where (too late - here he goes)...

the queen ordered the headmaster to be executed for his crimes but the doctor stopped her after all he was only following orders and the situation was extreme or what if there was an exit for adults at the other end after all the whale couldn't possibly live on a tiny fraction of human protesters look at the size of it it probably lives on invisible space plankton and can't digest the humans but it excretes oxygen in its digestive tract so they would survive and *SLAP*.

(Shakes head, rubs cheek.) Thank you, whoever did that. :lol:

Actually, thinking about why I wasn't niggled ... maybe it's because I saw nothing villainous in Terrence Hardiman's (did I get that right?) portrayal of the character. Yes, I made assumptions about him at the beginning, but looking back (and I'm not going to watch it a third time -mainly 'cos I'll miss Ashes to Ashes again if I do) he portrayed him as a kindly teacher patiently explaining something for the umpteenth time to a frightened, slightly dim pupil, all the way through his exposition at the end. In fact, if memory serves, right back to the first phone call. "Are you sure?" "We're under orders to tell Her ..."

If he'd been portrayed, say, like Simon Pegg's Editor (Did I get that right, either? I only saw it once), or if he'd got angry or forceful during the exposition, I might have expected him to be punished. And then, when he wasn't, I would have been niggled.

There. Best I can do with what was on screen. That would explain my I overlooked Moff's plot hole (if there was one) and how he got away with it in my eyes (if he did).

Incidentally, did anyone else smile when we found out he was called 'Hawthorne'?
Dobey Kweeg wrote:But I can see your take on it Gorkle, and really, I'm trying not to let it completely overshadow all the good things about teh episode .
Absolutely - I never got the impression you were doing otherwise. Thanks to you and Liz for continuing the debate - it's been fun and made me think. A lot. I wish I'd put a fraction of this thought into my A level Lit when I was 18. I might even have avoided 'Ungraded'. (No Beast Below at my school, fortunately).

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LizR
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I'm going to leave this until I've watched it a second time. Well, I'm going to try to... :)

By the way, I don't think we should worry too much about Godwin's Law - especially not when discussing next week's episode!

Still, this juxtaposition is rather amusing...I wonder if Norwich University noticed?

http://reason.com/archives/2005/07/14/hands-off-hitler

(...oh, and it also has some interesting comments on Godwin's Law...)
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I think its fairly clear from this that Moffat has run out of ideas already.
I predict that this season will simply be rehash after rehash of ideas that we have already seen done better by Davies :(
HornOrSilk

I don't think he has run out of ideas, but I think he had to write too much as a "show runner" which means he will do some things on the quick. Even though I gave this a 6/10 I rate that as a Doctor Who 6/10. All Doctor Who, even Planet of the Giants, rates 10/10 in comparison to non-Doctor Who for me, even if I think some things outside of Doctor Who is better than what we get in an individual setting. For I see Doctor Who as a whole and that whole mediates much.
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timelord2000 wrote:I think its fairly clear from this that Moffat has run out of ideas already.
I predict that this season will simply be rehash after rehash of ideas that we have already seen done better by Davies :(
We've gotten more repetition than I'd like, but it's been handled better than in the Davies era.

I agree with HornOrSilk that having the same person serve as producer and head writer is a mistake. The old system of producer, script editor and writers with discrete functions worked better.
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." Abraham Lincoln (attributed)
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Does anyone have any theory to explain why they would conclude the Space Whale was the last of its kind?
HornOrSilk

renegade wrote:Does anyone have any theory to explain why they would conclude the Space Whale was the last of its kind?
The rest were killed.
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renegade wrote:Does anyone have any theory to explain why they would conclude the Space Whale was the last of its kind?
It's a new Who thing......
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timelord2000 wrote:I think its fairly clear from this that Moffat has run out of ideas already.
I predict that this season will simply be rehash after rehash of ideas that we have already seen done better by Davies :(
Ironic when you consider a noticable number of his episodes/ideas were rehashes of NAs, EDAs, Big Finish audios and Eighth Doc comics (and 2000AD strips). :roll: :lol:
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DaReverendMrMagister wrote:Ironic when you consider a noticable number of his episodes/ideas were rehashes of NAs, EDAs, Big Finish audios and Eighth Doc comics (and 2000AD strips). :roll: :lol:
Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that authors/stories should be flexible. No in that, if one looks to life, we find ourselves often repeating ourselves, dealing with similar problems over and over again, and so I don't have a problem with that for the Doctor doing the same. But I do like a variety of stories.
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Gorkle wrote:
LizR wrote:Hmm. You've almost swung me round to your point of view...
:lol: Well, I certainly didn't think I was trying to swing anyone around to anything ...
No need to be faux-naïf, my dear!

What I meant was, you almost had me convinced, whether you were actually trying to or not. Actually, you STILL almost have me convinced, I am hoping to rewatch the episode and see what I think on a second viewing. But last night we saw "The Worst Christmas of My Life" instead... :D :D :D
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