Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Now that the great big two-parter is over, we settle into the rest of series 12. Join Deb, Katrina, and Lizbeth as they chat about messages, character development, monsters, the fam, and much much more.

What did you think of “Orphan 55”? Drop us a tweet or let us know in the comments!


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Comments on: "Episode 214 – Orphan 55 and Dime" (8)

  1. Sonja said:

    Hard pass on this episode.
    Not easy to follow Spyfall, which really delivered.

    The episode was too short to develop the many characters, making their motivations puzzling.
    Bella is angry at her mother so she’s going to blow the spa up?
    She smuggled in bombs? Zero security?
    Everyone out to the spa! Nope, everyone back into the spa!
    Why so few people and little security provided by Kane if she knows about the threat the ‘monsters’ pose?
    How is she making $ by giving away free vacations?

    As for the ‘monsters’, I know the budget is tight, but they can’t close their mouths. It seems biting would be a problem. And they walk very stiffly, making it seem that you could outrun them. And comically, in the scene where you see many of them, they appear to be standing equidistant from one another.
    And while we’re at it, if they are the apex predator, where is their prey? Once they eat those vacationers, no one’s coming back.

    Setting all that aside, the ending seemed odd. When they’re all back in the Tardis, why doesn’t the Doctor go back and get them out? Kane and her daughter weren’t nice folks, but they could have been saved. I wonder if they did this because if they were saved, it might have made the Doctor’s speech about that outcome not necessarily being their future problematical.

    And the speech was overkill.
    Too many episodes feel like Doctor Who’s Fables.
    I’m always waiting for the moral of today’s story.
    I’m all for the inclusion of real historical characters (ala Spyfall), but does every episode need a teachable moment?

    The Tesla episode looks promising. Hope springs eternal!

  2. thebutler said:

    What an excellent discussion!

    I’ve heard too many podcasts being negative about it without presenting informed and considered arguments and reasonable alternatives. But I found those here.

    It’s great to hear you all disagree on plot points and characters and more. I found myself agreeing and disagreeing as I listened. You all bring so much to this discussion!

    Listening to this episode, I’ve been reminded why I like Verity! Podcast so much and why I keep listening.

    One thing I agree on is that you don’t need likable characters to make a good story.
    One of the things I didn’t like about Orphan 55 was how Silas’ father is suddenly really proud of his son. It didn’t come across as believable to me.

    I do get the feeling that this was either a rushed script or too much was changed during the filming and editing. The monster reveal shots seemed illogical, not built up well.

    • thebutler said:

      I also wanted to say I very much appreciate Kat talking about the effects on negativity online, which can spoil our enjoyment of things.
      I think this is totally a thing.
      Which reminds me, would you all agree that first watch anxiety may aso be a thing?
      I’ve noticed that people’s opinions often change after the second, third, or whatever, viewing.
      Or a year or so later. They hate something and then later change their mind about it.

      So, First Watch Anxiety. What do you all think? Is it a thing?

  3. Sonja said:

    Hey @ thebutler: yes, first watch opinion can certainly change. I do think the second watch mellows you. You notice faults with the great episodes and find some saving graces in even the least appealing ones.

    The second viewing of Orphan 55 allowed me to appreciate a few good moments since I wasn’t trying to figure out the plot and relationships anymore. But It also underlined plot holes and weaknesses. So I guess repeated watching won’t save a poor episode, but you may find some character moments that you can enjoy and that help with character arcs through the series. Just head-cannon and hand-wave really hard over the rest!

  4. Writing this comment 20 minutes into the podcast because I cannot agree with you enough Deb! My biggest problem with Orphan 55 was the seemingly endless repeated ‘I will sacrifice myself so you can get away’ thing! It must have happened 3 or 4 times in one 45 minute episode and that, to me, is not good writing!

    On the other hand, unlike you Deb, I absolutely adored ‘It Takes You Away’ so I still look forward to seeing other episodes by Ed Hime in the future.

  5. Squibby said:

    This story seemed to be a bunch of ideas taped together with clunky climate-splaining. There are the bones of a good story here but for me needed a rewrite to make it into a cohesive story.

    Its a pity that it was placed after Spyfall Part 2, as the drop in quality is made more obvious by the comparison

    Darn, I was hoping every episode would be close to Spyfall quality

  6. On Bella (and I say this as a social worker), she’s about Ryan’s age (so 19), she’s been a carer for her father for who knows how long, (possibly since her mother left). This means she’s not had the change to grow up and mature in a normal manner; so her acting like an angry teenager makes more sense. On top of that she’s just lost her father so she’s grieving and people do strange things when they’re grieving (seems to be a theme with this script writer).

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