Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Posts tagged ‘My Two Cents’

Liz’s Two Cents on Under the Lake

Though this is less like 2 cents and more like 2000 cents, seen as that’s more or less the length of the posts I’ve been writing about each episode this season so far. Anyway, yes, my post about Under the Lake!

(And if that isn’t enough flail for you, I’ve also written a…review type thing of The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar.)

Farewell, listeners!


Liz & Lynne’s Two Cents – Episode 49

Yes, I know that makes 4 cents.

Both Liz and Lynne have blogged about their thoughts on Deep Breath! They just didn’t do it here. Please be so kind as to continue on to their personal blogs to see what they had to say!

Liz: Everything I Loved About Deep Breath

Lynne: Thoughts on Deep Breath


Liz’s Two Cents – The Rankings of the Cybermen

Somehow I’ve been tricked into making a list that ties into this week’s Verity! How did this happen? Being awake at two in the morning, when bravado and confidence that, dammit, of course I know what Cyberman story’s better than what convinced me it was a good idea.

Well then, here it is; a list of Cyberman stories in order of Cyberman Greatitude.

In fact, it’s two lists; one for the classic series and one for the new series. Why? Because, dear reader, if I plonked them all into one list you might get the distinct impression that I was smidgen unimpressed by the new series Cybermen. Which is true, but I’m cunningly disguising that fact by splitting up these rankings.

Now, if you’re a sharp one, you’ll have spotted the one flaw in this otherwise brilliant plan: I’ve just told you what I’ve done. That is true, I have. Now let us move on… (more…)

Tansy’s Two Cents – Who’s In What?


Mrs Hudson from Sherlock, what are you doing with the Third Doctor?

Mrs Hudson from Sherlock, what are you doing with the Third Doctor?

Turns out that despite having watched Doctor Who my whole life, I’ve rarely gone hunting for Classic Who actors in TV shows or movies – I’m much more likely to have done that with the modern gang, in our post-IMDB reality. I did however spend most of my childhood being hit over the head by  appearances of Doctor Who actors in unexpected places.
I am more likely to have deliberately sought out shows featuring Press Gang actors (yes Hotel Babylon I’m looking at you for hiring Dexter Fletcher) – though there are several actors appearing in Press Gang who I definitely saw in Doctor Who first, including Principal Winter and Duggan from City of Death. Oh, and Chrissie, AKA Winifred Bambera.
I think my lack of actively hunting classic actors is because it wasn’t exactly an easy thing to do back in the height of my classic Who fandom – I was much more likely to casually stumble across them. And by the time the Internet was available for the likes of me, I was already pretty well established in my ‘casual stumbling’ technique. (also let’s face it, a lot of the actors playing companions didn’t actually turn up in many other shows, at least in substantial roles)
And, you know, remembering odd connections between actors from British TV is kind of my superpower. I have often baffled people with my unfailing ability to remember exactly which Carry On Film featured that particular actor, or which long-forgotten BBC drama featured that actor now guest-starring on Absolutely Fabulous. Following them deliberately would be a bit of a cheat, wouldn’t it?
Having said that…

Lynne’s Two Cents: What I Did For Love

I’m totally bummed to have missed out on the Who’s In What discussion, so I thought I’d weigh in on some of the things I have experienced because they have Doctor Who actors in them.

Some of them were excellent, and some of them were… experiences. So, here you go. Benefit from the rabbit holes that I have explored. 🙂 (more…)

Episode 29 – Katrina’s Two Cents

Disclaimer: Please don’t expect this to be a witty, intellectual review or for it to contain great insight into the show and the show’s history. It won’t. It will however be written with a lot of squeeing, happiness and love for a program that means a lot to me. I’ll talk about both the episode and the energy leading up to the episode so if you’re allergic to talk about fandom, fans and feelings best to just stop now.

If you haven’t seen Day of the Doctor then go watch it, I’ll wait.

Done? Good.

Let’s begin.

Now that I’m sure you’ve seen the program, I can dispense with the horrible summary that always begins every review ever and know that I can say whatever I please without risk of spoilers.

Let me get this off my chest first: those space battles between the Daleks and Gallifrey were awesome and combined with the war room scenes I had blissful memories of The Phantom Menace, something I didn’t think I’d ever say about Doctor Who. I’ll now continue for anyone still reading.

I went to see The Day of the Doctor in 3D at a local theatre. We arrived almost 3 hours early to no line and about 30-40 people already seated in the theatre waiting. This was a very interesting group of fans and amidst buzzing sonics and TARDIS dresses aplenty, a group of about eight fans had pitched in to get a cord to hook their iPad up to the big screen. So before the main event we watched Nightmare in Silver and The Name of the Doctor. A couple of theatre employees setup an impromptu costume contest, giving away movie passes to five fans dressed as various incarnations of the Doctor and a TARDIS.

Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton in the Five Doctors

Now to the story. I’ve proclaimed my love for multi-Doctor stories to anyone who will listen (Dimensions in Time anyone? Anyone?) so it’s not a surprise that that aspect of the story appealed to me outright. The first Doctor Who story I saw was The Five Doctors (a starting point I don’t recommend to new fans coming to the show) because we got to see the Doctor reacting to different incarnations of himself and saw what life in the TARDIS might have been like if say, Tegan had joined forces with the First Doctor. The plot didn’t need to be strong or even very interesting to keep my attention, and because we had many Doctors, it didn’t matter if one of them wasn’t exactly my favourite.

This brings me to the first big thing that surprised me: the amount I adored David Tennant’s Doctor in this story in combination with Matt Smith and John Hurt. We often say how “manic” the Tenth Doctor is but when compared to the Eleventh Doctor he’s a downright sloth! If David Tennant’s Doctor was compared to say, a puppy, then Matt Smith’s Doctor would definitely have all the attention span and energy of a ferret or a kitten high on espresso.

Perhaps it was this “toning down” of his character or the contrast between Doctors that made me enjoy the performance Tennant gave to us;  perhaps it was the fact Tennant was without a companion. The Tenth Doctor is very companion-dependant, and I think without a companion he becomes a more mature character. Yes, he did some showing off around Clara but not nearly as much as he would have if Rose was actually there to impress. I think it was an extremely smart decision to not actually have Rose come back, at least not the Rose we knew.

I know the Ten/Rose shippers are upset; I’ve seen a few comments on twitter and tumblr that they feel cheated and were led to believe that she would be coming back to interact with Tennant. I’m sorry they feel cheated but I feel the episode would have suffered if she was properly “there” as Rose.

That brings me to Billie Piper’s performance.

For as much as I like to express my displeasure with Tennant’s Doctor, I express doubly that amount with Rose. I know we are supposed to identify with her and she is the gateway into the Doctor’s world, but I’ve never seen her as anything more than an attempt at a love interest for the Ninth and Tenth Doctors. I don’t feel she ever represented me and that feeling has extended to a lot of the companions in the new series (until Clara). However in this episode Billie Piper is representing ‘Bad Wolf’ and offers a face to the Moment’s operating system. Her performance is brilliant. She is sarcastic, mocking, fun, and perhaps even a bit on the darker side. She has a purpose and one she fulfills extremely well. Like the Tenth Doctor has Billie Piper’s Rose gotten a bit more mature? Is this simply Moffat flexing his writing muscles and bringing more to her character? I’m not sure, and I doubt I’ll ever know for sure, but I can say her performance hit me in a way that the original Rose didn’t.

This episode had something for everyone. Here comes the fangirling.

Day of the Doctor Opening

I’ll admit I stifled a squeal of glee (I was in a theatre after all) upon seeing the black and white opening and then again when they showed the I.M. Foreman junkyard sign and Coal Hill school. There was “I. Chesterton” on the sign! I was giddy, this was paying homage not just to the classic series but the very first episode of Doctor Who!

This whole episode was like a love letter and an apology all rolled into one. It was for all the episodes of the new series that may have seemed to be ashamed of or refused to acknowledge the classic series. There was a time when Doctor Who first came back that people were worried that new fans might not stick around if too many references were made to the classic series. Now they were confident enough they practically shoved those same fans directly into classic series references whether they understood or not. Classic opening, classic monsters, classic places and so many images of classic companions if you knew what to look for.

The 50th anniversary was designed to appeal to as many different people as possible. In Doctor Who fandom people come from many different paths. We have classic fans, new series fans and people who start with Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures. This is how fandom is created.

On Verity! I often talk of fandom and how it can influence and shape peoples’ lives as well as the show they love. Joining into a fandom can completely change how you view the show, for better or for worse. This episode managed to contain so much love for its fans and for the show itself and yet it somehow didn’t tip over into pandering. It felt like genuine love about a show the writer genuinely loved. There should be no doubt in your mind that Steven Moffat loves Doctor Who.

Even the extended format, simulcasting it all over the world and airing in theatres brought the fans together. I’m sure there were fans that have never before met another fan of Doctor Who now suddenly they were watching alongside other fans. It was more than just a UK thing. We had parties, celebrations, and marathons all over the world. We had expressions of copious amounts of pure love for a show that has aired for five decades.

Osgood (Scarf Girl)

This all started before November 23rd. Days before I started stalking the #doctorwho hashtag on tumblr and on many occasion my eyes welled up because of the stories people were posting there. Just like Osgood (scarf girl) keeps saying that the Doctor will save them, the show has changed us. I’ll be brief and I’m not doing it all justice but take a look for yourself. People were saying so many things including: the show helped build their self-esteem, helped them find friends and for some it gave them a reason to live.

Personally, Doctor Who has given me so many wonderful things including people I can’t imagine not having in my life. I happily sport a TARDIS tattoo because of it.

“Doctor Who day” saw my tumblr inbox fill with messages from friends wishing me a happy Doctor Who day and hoping I enjoyed the special. These people don’t even watch the show! The buzz about it was enough that even those in other fandoms couldn’t ignore what was going on.

That same buzz made me appreciate what I’ve been saying for a long time now; Doctor Who is my foundation fandom. I may go months without consuming anything relating to Doctor Who but the moment it’s brought up or I sit down and watch an episode I’m transported back to all the happiness it has brought me in the past.

As Stan says in early episodes of South Park, “I learned something today.” I don’t dislike the Tenth Doctor nearly as much as I thought I did. Watching the Tenth Doctor acknowledge his character traits and faults right along side the Eleventh Doctor gave me reason to reconsider some of the things I’ve said about his era. I may not agree with certain aspects of his stories, and I certainly don’t agree with his relationship with Rose, but he plays a key part of the Doctor’s personality. We need that regret and emotion about what he had to do in the Time War to mould the new regeneration just as I hope all this newly found happiness will help mould Capaldi’s Doctor.

It all boils down to this: I can only express through half-formed sentences and inarticulate noises how much I enjoyed this episode. I’m sure there were plot holes, issues with the characters and places where there could be improvement but I don’t want to talk about any of those things. I just want to enjoy all the happiness this episode brought me and share that happiness with anyone who would listen. This was an amazing episode and I think when I finish writing this I will watch it again. That makes viewing number 3, a number usually reserved for classic episodes and rarely done with new series episodes. Those stats speak for themselves.

Tansy’s Two Cents – Episode 26

weboffearHello everyone!

I was devastated not to be on this special Verity! Episode because the New Old Episodes Festival of Squee is so very dear to my heart.

To answer Deb’s first  question, I did download Enemy of the World right away, at midnight in the UK which was about 10am Friday Australia time, and I spent the day watching it (cos CONVALESCING FROM PNEUMONIA HOORAY). Then I bought Web of Fear straight after that.

I will admit that I was about 50 times more excited about The Enemy of the World than I was about Web, because I loved the novelisation as a kid. It wasn’t quite at the top of my Desperate Wish List of episodes (that would be The Myth Makers, The Highlanders and The Daleks’ Master Plan But Especially The Feast of Steven) but it is definitely one I was hanging out to see for reals.

Which explains why I downloaded it first, and watched it immediately, just in case it disappeared again.
Can I just say that while the reclaimed missing episodes have brought me incredible joy and glee, one of the most gleeful experiences associated with them was in fact listening to Deb make her Dread Troughton Reveal on this episode, and Liz’s reaction to it. Oh, I love you both so much. And Deb, you have SO MUCH to look forward to!

Ahem, but we’re talking about The Web of Fear, right? I had previously listened to the audio of Web of Fear a million years ago but had forgotten most of it luckily. I don’t think I had read the novelisation, and I don’t think I’d even seen the existing ep – or if I did, it was before the age of 10, so barely counts.
Unlike Enemy of the World, which I hoarded to myself on my laptop, I watched The Web of Fear with my family. My partner who likes Who but is a tad less hardcore than me about it, watched it cheerfully enough all the way through (we only took one coffee break!). The girls managed until the reconstruction episode, then wandered off, and drifted back occasionally after that. Both were fascinated by the Yeti, and little Jem was slightly obsessed with the whereabouts of Chorley the TV interviewer, regularly asking me if he had turned up again. By the last couple of episodes, they were hooked again.


Tansy’s Two Cents – Spin-off? Or Spin-out?

601372_10151315309299856_227302541_nSome thoughts that I thought while listening to you all (and doing laundry)


1. Given how popular and widespread the opinion that ‘Torchwood is rubbish’ is among Doctor Who fandom, I don’t feel remotely bad that Verity does not provide ‘balance’ in this degree.

2. I love Torchwood. All the Torchwood!

3. What you did represent really nicely is the disconnect between those who feel the different seasons of Torchwood are different shows and those who feel it’s all part of the same thing. I think I’m more on Katrina’s side because I feel that there is a fairly strong narrative progression between each of the different ‘eras’ of the show but I will admit that I like them all for fairly different reasons.

4.I am so overdue for a massive Torchwood rewatch that it’s not even funny.


Tansy’s My Two Cents – Episode 15

DoctorWhoEntertainmentWeeklyCoverOMG YOU GUYS THIS EPISODE!!!

Like my fellow Verities, I was blown away by the first few scenes of The Name of the Doctor and never quite recovered from the blatant squee of all those lovely Classic Who teases. I had been avoiding previews, etc. so had managed not to be tipped off about the extent to which they were doing the Old Doctor thing.

First Thought: I want to address the common criticism that The Hurt Doctor (I love that fandom is calling him this) gets his ‘Introducing as the Doctor’ billboard immediately after the Eleventh Doctor specifically saying this is the incarnation that doesn’t get to call himself the Doctor.

I assumed from this that Eleven is kind of judgy and unreliable about these things (possible) but in retrospect I think it’s more likely that the ‘introducing’ line means we are going to get the whole John Hurt Doctor story (not necessarily in the right order because, Moffat) including his progression from being the actual Doctor (of whatever number) towards No Longer Deserving That Name. So he will be the Doctor at first, or at the very least, at some stage of the story.


Deb’s Last Word – Episode 12



Kyle Anderson (@FunctionalNerd on twitter) posed an interesting question:  At what point does your displeasure at a TV show’s present regime outweigh your loyalty to it? Can you ever just stop watching?

This caught my attention because of the nature of Verity!  In case you haven’t noticed, we disagree.  We critique, we discuss and we don’t always like everything we see.  And that’s okay because not every minute of every episode is going to everyone’s  hearts’ sing.  Well, except for maybe Katrina but she is in Clara’s thrall and Kat + Series 7B = OTP* so that’s okay.  😉  But the rest of us typically turn a critical eye to Doctor Who – not out of some malicious desire to tear down the show or to make it lesser, but because we absolutely love it.

I spend more time thinking about Doctor Who than any other television show.  Wrapped up in a neat and tidy “family entertainment” package is show that explores time, history, morality, sin, joy, depression, family, good, evil, all the “-isms” and nearly anything else you can come up with.  I cannot view this show dispassionately and it is only because of this great affection and respect that I give it the brain time necessary to critically think about what is happening on my screen.  This show fascinates me in ways that other “good” television doesn’t.  Justified?  An amazing show with fantastic actors.  I watch it every week but when the television turns off I simply don’t think about it any more.  I’m sure there are people out there who do think of Justified in a critical way.  There are probably forums where the Shakespearean elements of the show are examined and the loose morality of the characters debated but for me it’s simply an entertaining hour of television.  I’m sure there are some people who feel the same way about Doctor Who, but I’m not one of them.

If you are one of those people for whom Doctor Who is just a fun 46 minutes of television you’re not doing it wrong by any stretch!  We all take different things from media and each experience is just as valid.  But for me, and I suspect for my co-horts as well, we look at this show deeply.  We enjoy peeling back the layers and looking at the good and the bad and filtering that information through our individual lenses.

This week we talked about silly things as well as more serious racial and gender issues.  We didn’t agree while talking and we certainly don’t expect all of our listeners to agree either,  but at least some of our thoughts resulted in conversations that made people think about these issues as well.  And whether you watch Doctor Who for 46 minutes of fun or with a more critical eye, it’s these conversations that absolutely fill me with delight.  (Deb + interesting Doctor Who conversations = OTP!)

But to get back to Kyle’s original question – is there ever a point where your displeasure overides your desire to watch?  My answer was “when the bad far outweighs the good”.  Yet, despite the occasionally negative critique in our conversations (and I love that the negative critiques rotates among us.  Well, except for maybe Kat.  See Also: Paragraph Two), there has not been an episode of this show EVER in which I have not found something good, something interesting and something worthwhile to take in.  Every week I am surprised.  Every week something new comes across my desk that is tangentially related to the show – whether it is a book release, a Big Finish audio, a podcast or a fan creation.  Every week I look forward to what this show will reveal and how I will react to that.  And if one episode, one actor, one writer, etc. doesn’t make my heart sing – another one is right around the corner.  Like an addict, it’s the next hit that keeps me going and I can’t ever imagine walking away.

*OTP: One True Pairing