Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Happy New Year to one and all! Especially happy because we have some current Doctor Who to discuss! Jon Deb, Erika, and Tansy as we dig into this “Resolution” of series 11.

What did you think about this ep? Was it a better finale than the previous episode? Did you miss the Daleks? Let us know in the comments!

^E

Happy things (and one sad thing):

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Comments on: "Ep 187 – Resolution OF THE DALEKS" (17)

  1. David said:

    UNIT wasn’t suspended because of Brexit. It was Trump pulling out of international agreements.

  2. Neil A Ottenstein said:

    I thought it was Jodi’s best episode and it was the best Dalek episode we’ve seen since “Dalek”. I had read and heard absolutely nothing about the episode before watching, so it was quite a surprise to see the Dalek on her back. For me it was an adrenaline thrill ride. It was also a culmination of a lot of what we saw during the season. I don’t think it would have worked as well if you had not seen series 11.

    I’m sure there are still plenty of things to nit-pick about the episode, but overall it was pure fun to be carried away with it. Looking forward to hearing what you say.

    • Neil A Ottenstein said:

      And when it was fully revealed I did yell something and my wife wondered whether I was talking to the TV.

  3. Oh man, I REALLY need to re-listen to ‘Iris Wildthyme and the Claws of Santa’ (and all of the original Iris Wildthyme audios tbh, they are all so hilarious)! Katy Manning is going to be at GallyOne again of course and I’ve been thinking for a while that I might cobble together an Iris costume…

    Anyway, it was fun to listen to you all review the series as a whole once more with this episode as the endcap. I honestly feel like this episode is intended to be the “real finale” of series 11 rather than a standalone special. Most of the other specials have the Doctor by themself with one-off companions, but this special had all of the series 11 companions and all of their baggage, with the real, final ~resolution~ to Ryan and Graham dealing with the loss of Grace. You really can’t call that a “standalone” episode.

    (Btw I didn’t twig to the idea that the title is a coy reference to ‘~ of the Daleks’ as well as the obvious New Year’s reference, so thank you for that!)

    Surprisingly I didn’t have the reaction “yes, this is my favorite and better than anything else we got in series 11”. I still want to rewatch the entire series but I think the high points for me were ‘Demons of the Punjab’ (OUCH MY HEART) and ‘The Witchfinders’ (cheesy villain makeup and utter hilarity from Alan Cumming)! Oh and ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’ for the superlative joy of seeing Whittaker for the first time doing All the Doctor Things. Then again as soon as I say that I keep second-guessing what the best episodes were!!

    (Sidebar, I won’t go into a long rant of “your opinions are WRONG” but ‘Doctor Mysterio’ is my LEAST favorite special and possibly my least favorite New Who thing ever. Uuuugggghhhhh sexist garbage grumble grumble sorry Erika)

    Anyway, this New Year’s special was great as well!! Thanks for everything in 2018, and I’m excited to hear what your theme is for 2019!!

  4. I rewatched not one, but two Christmas specials, both are episodes I’ve only seen once when they aired. The first was The Return of Doctor Mysterio and I’m with Erika on this one: I liked it even more now than the first time! The other was Twice Upon a Time, it’s a beautiful story and the perfect goodbye to 12.
    My favourite Christmas special is The Snowmen but I’ve seen it many times so my go to Christmas story would be The Husbands of River Song. I think it’s a very entertaining episode with an emotional ending and I love River and Twelve together.

    I really enjoyed Resolution and I view it as the proper finale to series 11. Thirteen was at her most Doctorish yet and I appreciated how she was allowed to be a bit angry and resentful. I love how generally nice she is but I don’t want her to be so nice that she lacks depth of characterization.
    I had so many feelings when The Doctor called UNIT and I hope we’ll get more later. I need Kate to come back and interact with 13.

    My problem is how little Yaz gets to do. I hope this is going to change next season.
    I also didn’t like that random scene with the family when the Wi-Fi went down, it was so heavy handed and added nothing to the episode.

    I would disagree with Ryan’s story of growing up being at the center of the season. I felt like Graham got more attention from the writers than Ryan. At the beginning of the season the focus was on Ryan but then it shifted to Graham, especially towards the end of the season.

    Sidenote about Doctor-companion matches: yes, the Clara-Doctor relationship and Clara’s approach to it wasn’t healthy, but that was the point, to show and explore the negative consequences of travelling with the Doctor, not just the good things about it.
    This new era has a different approach to the companion-Doctor dynamic. Now that Graham has truly embraced being part of the Tardis Team, his enthusiasm matches the Doctor’s, everyone gets along and they’re all ready to have fun and go on adventures. It’s refreshing to see (though the relationship between Twelve and Bill was similarly healthy) but I wouldn’t say it’s better (or worse) than Clara and Twelve just because it’s healthier.
    As far as I’m concerned it makes for a less interesting story but in fairness there are few things that are as interesting to me as Clara and the Doctor together. (Which is fine because I know that there are fans who find this era the most interesting).

    • Squibby said:

      100% agree from me

      The Husbands of River Song is also my favourite – Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston duelling with words, and The Bigger on the Inside Reaction Scene by the Doctor.

      I couldn’t help but notice in Resolution that the Doctor stood out in every scene without Graham.

      This season it felt like Graham was the lead and the Doctor was a supporting character. Many scenes are blocked / shot with Graham in the Lead Character position, and Bradley Walsh also seems more prominent and stronger on screen than Jodie Whittaker

    • “I really enjoyed Resolution and I view it as the proper finale to series 11. ”

      I agree

  5. Squibby said:

    A stronger Dr this episode but I was still frustrated by the script. A strong combative speech and then a collapse back into Tennant-ish babble, but written with less sophistication.

    The babbling is annoying because for Tennant its an amusing male quirk but for Whittaker, as a blond woman, it plays into the Ditzy Blond Bimbo stereotype. Which is extra annoying as she’s getting stronger in the role, while the script undermines her.

    The complaining family scene didn’t work – it would have worked if it was Yaz’s family complete with a sharp comment from Yaz’s grandmother.

    Speaking of Yas, why didn’t she offer/suggest to call the authorities when the Doctor tried to call UNIT? Because she’s Peri / Mel / Martha – the female with skills that the writers forget exist.

    My new year’s wish for 2019 – the production team learn that simple doesn’t mean insophisticated

  6. Steven Brown said:

    I liked the circle-closing of the Doctor falling into a train on the Hope Valley Line (between Hathersage and Grindleford), somewhere near where the Dalek was defeated in the Battle of Hope Valley in the 9th century, and that the rider with one piece of the Dalek got as far as Sheffield from there, same as Doctor in the first episode.
    Maybe when the Tardis was blowing up post-regeneration, it sensed danger below (from both the Stenza and the buried bit of Dalek), and decided that the only way to get the Doctor there was to tip her out the door…
    My favourite Christmas special is still ‘Last Christmas’ (‘Dr Mysterio’ would be third, after ‘Christmas Carol’).

  7. I love the Return of Doctor Mysterio. I can watch that over and over again for some reason. Maybe it is the comic book nerd in me. But my parents aren’t Doc Who fans, and they loved the episode as well.

  8. Janet said:

    AAAUUUGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

    I was behind in my Doctor Who viewing (horrible thing, yes), and after listening to your “Witchfinders” episode, I came here to look for the crochet pattern you described so wonderfully….

    Only to get slammed by a GIGANTIC SPOILER with the very *title* of the most recent episode the moment the page loaded!

    Please, please, when naming your episodes, pretty please with jelly babies and custard creams on top, think about the fact that not everyone who listens to your podcasts will be completely caught up on Who. After all of Chibnall’s declarations that past villains would not be appearing this season, can you imagine how cool it would be to come into that New Year’s episode cold, rumor-free and unspoiled? Kind of like if they’d been able to keep quiet about the Master being in last season’s finale, and we could have been surprised by that!

    I’m going to shuffle off now, dejected, and never again will I so much as look at the list of Verity! episodes to download ahead of seeing every single Doctor Who episode to that date. I love you guys, I really do, but seriously!!! 😦

    • I’m really sorry that’s how you came across the news, but our policy has always been that if the BBC announced something, it’s not a spoiler — it’s advertising. The BBC announced the Dalek well before the episode aired, or I definitely wouldn’t have titled the episode that!

      • I try hard to avoid BBC/BBC America spoilers, too, and since I was only listening to your podcasts up to where I was in the episodes, I hadn’t heard the word yet. (You and RFS, in that order, are my main sources for Who news and info.) I’m guessing if it was announced, then I’d have heard it during one of the podcasts between Witchfinders and the actual special, then. Ah, well, not being spoiled would have been nice, but it’s not the end of the world, not so long as the Doctor is on the job, anyway! 😉

  9. Thanks for another entertaining podcast!

    I mustn’t have been paying attention because I missed any specific spoilers about a Dalek being in the New Year special. However, I did guess that we might be getting one from the trailer. Who else could “the most evil creature in the universe” be? Or whatever the line was!

    Anyway, it was still nice to see the 13th Doctor face off against a proper classic Who monster at last. And what better than a Dalek? It’s easy to take the old pepper-pots for granted, but I hope the showrunners never forget that without the Daleks, Doctor Who probably would have been cancelled after that first year.

    I agree that it was a nice surprise to see something a bit different done with the Dalek and I wondered if maybe we were only going to get a squishy caseless mutant for the whole episode. But no. I was pleased when the Dalek cobbled together a casing. I just wish the junkyard Dalek had looked a bit less…silly. Have the makers of Who not learned yet that you tamper with that classic design at your peril?

    Still, this was definitely a more satisfying season conclusion than ‘The Battle of Thingummy-whatsit’, so I’m going to see it as that. Unfortunately, it looks like the Beeb disagree because it doesn’t look like it’s going to be part of the Complete Eleventh Series Blu-ray set. Unless it is, in which case – yay! 🙂

  10. I’ve been listening to this podcast for a couple of years now but this is my first time posting a comment. This isn’t intended as a slight. I listen to a lot of podcasts and don’t leave comments or feedback very often.

    For example for Doctor Who I listen to Verity, Radio Free Skaro, Don’t Blink – the Golden Spiral Media Doctor Who Podcast, The Coffee Klatch Crew Doctor Who Podcast and the AfterBuzzTV Doctor Who AfterShow.

    I usually download podcasts about the shows I watch as mp3s and listen to them while I’m walking for exercise.

    I’ve never been good at being succinct which is why even before I started listening to podcasts a few years ago I was more often a lurker on message boards and forums than an active participant.

    Anyway the reason I’m posting this comment is because I wanted to talk about how underutilised Yas was this season and how especially glaring it was in Resolution.

    In the early part of the season when people were complaining about how Yas was being handled I didn’t mind because I thought different companions would get more attention in some episodes than others and it was too soon to pass judgment. After Demons of the Punjab which was supposed to be Yas’ episode but was really more about her family than her I had to acknowledge that she wasn’t being very well served this season.

    The Legends of Tomorrow Podcast has a segment where they name the Jax of the episode – basically the character who was most under-utilised/superfluous that episode. They came up with the name of the segment from the character Jax who in the first season of the show was often given very little to do. Perhaps next season you can have a Yas of the Episode segment. Unlike Doctor Who which has a core cast of four, Legends has a cast of around six or seven. With a cast that size I wouldn’t expect every character to have a significant contribution every episode. Growing up with Star Trek TNG I was accustomed to sci-fi shows with a large ensemble cast not giving every character their due. It’s almost unavoidable.

    Doctor Who is another matter. With a cast of four it should be possible to give every character a storyline of substance throughout a season.

    Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back on this season I have some ideas about what could have been done with Yas’ character but I can’t fairly say that I would have come up with them in advance.

    Before I elaborate on them I wanted to raise the question of exactly how experienced a police officer Yas was before she joined the TARDIS crew. In the first episode of the season I had the impression that she was still fairly new to the job – perhaps even a probationer – which is why she was being given jobs that she felt weren’t exciting/challenging enough by her superior. An alternative theory is that her superior(boss? not sure about the correct term) was treating her in a discriminatory fashion by not giving her tasks equal to her capabilities. Without more information to go on I lean more towards the former interpretation because I got the impression that Yas and Ryan were around the same age. When they first met in the pilot Ryan recognised her from school and I think when he jogged her memory she remembered him.

    An idea I had for how Yas could have been written this season is actually an amalgamation of a few concepts from different media. One of those ideas is from a book I just finished reading so it’s not like I would have come up with it before the series began. The book was a fantasy novel – The High Druid’s Blade of the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. In the book a young man – Paxon – who is running the family airship business wants to do something more meaningful with his life. As it turns out his family has a magic sword that has been passed down through the centuries and he ends up becoming a Paladin of the Druid Order in service to the Ard Rhys (leader of said order).

    In the series Druids are somewhat like the magical equivalent of Time Lords. They study and collect magic, mostly keeping to themselves and only interfere in the wider world on magical matters. Paxon finds purpose and meaning in his life by serving as protector of Druids as they go about their business. He watches their backs whilst they try to contain or eliminate dangerous magic. Much like almost none of the Doctor’s human companions have been able to match his/her intellect and breadth of knowledge Paxon is in a similar position with the Druids. They know and understand far more about magic than he ever will and can fix magical problems that he cannot. All he can do is what he is good at and do his best to act as their protector whilst working everyday to improve and perfect his skills. He feels like he is doing what he can to serve a cause greater than himself. He is a servant but not subservient. He repspects the greater knowledge of his Druid superiors but will challenge them when he believes they are choosing the wrong course of action.

    While I was reading this book I thought about how Yas always insisted on staying by the Doctor’s side throughout this season and thought to myself “What if Yas saw herself as the Doctor’s Paladin?”. A lot of people saw (or wanted to see) it as Yas being romantically interested in the Doctor. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that but I don’t think entertaining stories always have to be driven by emotion. I used to watch a lot of procedural shows such as Law & Order and they can be entertaining in a different way.

    My thinking is that if Yas had been written to view herself as or aspire to be the Doctor’s Paladin/protector then her character arc throughout this season could have been one of skills development. We could have seen her working to make herself a better protector for the Doctor throughout the season. I actually think the Tsuranga Conundrum could have been a launch point for this arc. If the android Ronan that Yas partnered with recognised her ability and suggested she stay behind as a soldier only for her to refuse by saying that she felt she needed to watch the Doctor’s back. Ronan could have given her some special tool/weapon as a parting gift just like Paxon had his magic sword. Something unique to Yas that can do things the Doctor’s sonic can’t. Possibly an energy shield?

    All you would need is a few little moments here and there throughout the season to show Yas working on herself and trying to level up to use an MMORPG term. With the occasional moment of her showing off her newfound skills to help the Doctor and co. It wouldn’t have had to be front and center throughout the season.

    Well those are my thoughts on Yas and what could have been. I told you I wasn’t very good at being succinct.

    I did like Resolution by the way but I struggle to reconcile how difficult it was for the Doctor with her TARDIS and sonic to stop a lone Dalek without it’s casing in contrast to a bunch of 9th century humans with bows and arrows and swords who were somehow able to overcome it when it was peak condition in it’s proper casing. Whilst this episode was entertaining this personal bugbear made it a tough pill to swallow.

    • Re Yas’s status as a police officer, they stated she was a second-year probationary. Also, when they met, it was Yaz who recognized Ryan’s name and remembered him from school; *she* jogged *his* memory.

      I agree that 9th century humans taking out a Dalek is a little hard to swallow. Perhaps Captain Jack, Me (+/- Clara), River Song, or some other outside help? I think that will be my head canon. 😉

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