Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Spaceship! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy as the rest of us try to talk Deb into liking this story more than she did on first viewing. We can all agree that Astos is pretty awesome and we look forward to more Yaz, but that might be it…

What did you think of this story? Was it your favourite of the season like it was for some of the Verities? Or did it leave you wanting more? Let us know in the comments!


Happy things:

Support Verity! on Patreon!

Download or listen now (runtime 1:36:33) 

Comments on: "Ep 180 – The Tsuranga Conundrummer" (14)

  1. Stephanie said:

    This episode finally got me 100% on board with the new Chibnall era. In Arachnids, I kept feeling like I was missing huge chunks of details. I’m usually a very forgiving viewer, so that left me feeling less happy. This week, even though the plot was simple, there were no moments that I wondered if BBCAmerica had cut the episode. The fantastic character work was supported by a delightful plot that left me feeling as satisfied as a Pting full of antimatter!

  2. Hmmm. I’m torn. I am enjoying the new series, but I’m getting the growing feeling that there’s something lacking, and it’s mostly down to Chibnall’s stories. They just feel very light and, well, disposable. I hesitate to use that word, but it’s the one that seems to fit how I feel. Usually with new Who, I’ve gone back and re-watched the episodes in the days following transmission, but I’ve only done that with ‘The Woman Who Fell To Earth’ and ‘Rosa’, this series. The other episodes have been frothy and fun, but haven’t made much of an impression.

    Whittaker is a splendid Doctor and the companions are all great, I just feel that I’d like to see them thrown into stories that have a bit more substance. This has felt like a lot of puddings (or desserts, if you’re not Scottish) and I could really do with a hearty main course at this point. Maybe we’ll get it in the second half of the series? I hope so.

    • I have to say I agree that these stories have felt lighter, but the more I think about it, the more I hope we don’t get a bunch of main courses. As much as I positively adored the last few series, I almost never found myself wanting to rewatch the episodes. This series I’ve rewatched just about every ep at least once. So while it might not help, do know that there are some folks out here who are getting exactly what we want and need and will be thrilled to bits if what we’ve seen so far is what we’re gonna get. I am in my Doctor Who happy place. 🙂

      • It certainly helps to know that you and other folks are in their Doctor Who happy place. 🙂

        Also, it pleases me that we now have several distinct phases of New Who. You could argue that the RTD and Moffat eras were a bit too similar, but it would be pretty hard to say that about the Chibnall era, so far! If the Moffat era was the New Who equivalent of the Hinchliffe era, then is the Chibnal era the new Graham Williams era? Discuss! 😀

  3. Emily Topham said:

    My general feelings about this ep can be summed up with an equation! The Tsuranga Conundrum = Lilo & Stitch + Call the Midwife + Pacific Rim. Perfectly cromulent, while not my favorite, and I’m on the side of “yay small-scale stories!”

  4. Seriously, you guys? This is a show that has hour long episodes. You’re not going to get that much detail about each character in every episode. You need to have a little more patience, particularly Miss Deb, with how much information we’re getting about Yaz. It’s an hour long ep, and we have four main characters now, plus however many guest characters come along. That’s a lot of background to be trying to fit in along with the main plot. I am perfectly happy to be getting indications of character in dribs and drabs as the series goes along. And I don’t agree that we know that much more about Ryan and Graham, but even if we do, it’s because they are characters who have known each other for a while and have history to talk about. Yaz is kind of on her own, she’s connected to Ryan only in a very tenuous way. She hasn’t been in touch with him since their school days. She doesn’t know Graham at all, and she is drawn to the Doctor but isn’t that comfortable talking about herself to her yet.

    And yeah, step back into the meta a bit, and these are the choices that the writers are making, but it does not seem like that invalid a choice. There is a danger that in being so excited in having an amazing character like Yaz, we over celebrate her at the expense of the equally legitimate characters of Ryan and Graham, who are equally interesting.

    Finally, I go back to my first point. You can only do so much with an hour long episode and four main characters and trying to get in an interesting plot with a lot of guest characters and an adorably voracious alien. Please, guys, be patient. The next episode promises a possible opportunity for Yaz to share a bit more, with someone. It will happen. I also agree with the possibility that one of you floated in the podcast that Yaz may be a more longterm companion.

    So be patient, all good things come to those who wait. Look how long it took us to get a woman Doctor, after all.

    (Oh, and also, I do adore your podcast! It’s so hard to wait till Thursday now! Hugs!!)

    Might have posted this twice, so apologies if I did!

  5. Yay! I’m so glad to hear people being positive about this episode! Count me in favour of smaller-scale stories; it’s such a refreshing change from “god-Doctor saves all of space and time”. Bless Chibs for his strength with small moments and character development. (And for his glee as he pokes at the trolls.)

    I did have some issues with the pacing, i.e. leisurely discussions/speeches when people are supposed to be in a hurry. And I’d generally prefer for the sci-fi plotting to be tighter… but props for the neat resolution with the bomb and the Pting. Overall, an enjoyable episode and far underrated.

  6. I feel like you have to see Ryan’s opinion that Yoss should keep his baby not as the show itself advocating against adoption, but in the context of Ryan’s feelings about his own father – given how much he is feeling like his father abandoned him, I can totally understand why Ryan would be irrationally distressed by the idea of a father giving up his child.

    It might have been nice for Graham to take the opposite stance, to give us more of a balanced opinion, and I think it would also have made for some interesting character moments, since Graham is falling more and more into a paternal role with Ryan – maybe some exploration of chosen vs given family, etc, but as has already been pointed out, episodes are only so long, and Graham and Ryan’s dynamic is already getting a lot of screen time.

    I think more could have been done to clarify that this is a character’s understandable but not rational opinion, as opposed to an actual criticism of adoption, and parents who make the mature, difficult, decision to give their children the best possible life, by giving them to people more able to care for them, but overall, I didn’t have a problem with how this was handled.

    • Indeed. As I said, my problem wasn’t with Ryan having or expressing those feelings–all of that made perfect sense for his character. However I *do* think it was not an excellent choice to use this particular avenue to highlight those feelings. *Especially* without providing any other views on the subject. As Deb said, Ryan isn’t really a real person. Every situation he’s in is manufactured by the show’s creators. The choices of those creators make a difference in the larger world. I appreciate the care they have been trying to take this season in terms of sensitive issues, but I feel like it’s our duty as fans/podcasters to be honest about it when they miss the mark on something that is important to us. So while I’m perfectly fine with this storyline from a Watsonian* perspective, I have a Very Large problem with it from a Doylist viewpoint.*


  7. Yvette Walker said:

    I’m loving the podcast Verity women! On the conversation about 13th’s Doctor Moment, and the masculine traits of the traditional Hero, it seems to me that the Doctor has always led with their feminine side – they are non-violent, pacifist, a diplomat and a negotiator, a problem solver. A massive egotist too, and the War Doctor when there was no other choice (or was there?) but predominately non-violent. I’ve been re-watching some of 10 and 11 to compare them to 13 and to Classic Who. Tenant and Smith seem more closely aligned to Marvel super heroes than to Doctor Who – their series arcs push them into numerous masculine Hero posturings, which are Epic but lack something (nuance, subtlety). As you discussed, 13 seems much more aligned with Classic Who. These new stories, stripped of Classic Who’s inherent misogyny (no more paternal Doctors) give us a Tardis Team in which anyone, regardless of their biological gender, can perform acts of bravery or heroism, be they large or small, masculine or feminine. And that is fantastic. Also I am loving the small stakes episodes. All I want for now is an episode set entirely in the Tardis where nothing happens except a nice cup of tea with some custard creams.

  8. Graham Bell said:

    Hiya, some good stuff as ever this week but I’ve felt compelled to call out some biases. I get that not wanting children is a choice that society is sadly hardwired to object against and I find that extremely retrograde and unpleasant. As the parents of 11 month old triplets I can fully appreciate why people wouldn’t (and would) want kids… But…

    … You’ve foisted your opinion on the Doctor, yes, she’s not involved with the male birthing plot but to say she’s uninterested in parenting or babies contradicts events of (off the top of my head) Delta and the Bannermen, Curse of Fenric, Fathers Day, Closing Time, Good Man Goes To War and that Twelfth Doctor viking one. As well as that the Doctor is a parent and a doting grandparent.

    Also, what’s with the gender bias. At no point are the ships crew identified as Doctors and they both act like nurses or paramedics but you’ve assumed that the male character is a doctor.

    I’ll award 9 out of 10 for podcast fun… But 1 out of 10 for progressiveness.

    Ooo and The Doctors Daughter

    • squibby said:

      Graham, I agree completely. The two paramedics were interesting characters but its telling, and unfortunate, that the Verities jumped straight to male = doctor and not male = nurse / paramedic.

      The ongoing complaints about Grace’s death is becoming counterproductive.
      Yes it’s not the Verities’ preferred use of a female character but after half a series its becoming self-indulgent rather than analysis of pros and cons of the choice.

      For example, I would rather have Grace as an intriguing character for 1 ep than a one line reference at the start of ep 1. “Hi, I’m Ryan, this is my step-granddad, he married my Gran, she died”.

      I find this year’s episodes an engaging and interesting analysis of nurturing and family through characters surrounding the Doctor.

  9. After just listening to this episode and hearing the different views on how much we learn about the companions, is it possible that the way they are beeing featured is what is creating the differing opinions as different parts of the story is relatable to different people.

    I feel much more knowledge and relatability to Yaz than to Graham a Ryan and that I understand Yaz a little bit more (which is strange because as a cis-male white dude with a problematic and kind of shitty childhood it do not really fit with my experience so maybe I am condraticing myself)

    Just a random thought

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: