Comics Creators

Doctor Who Thread of Space and Time: Discussing New Year's Special "Resolution"


Does that also mean that all news is bad news? Or is that just how we say it in Scotland?


i was very happy that Kerblam sent the Doctor a fez to get her attention


V[quote=“MartinSmith, post:5167, topic:214, full:true”]
At the same time though, chatter about this series has died down considerably since it started. Maybe it’s just this happening in America on Thanksgiving, but it’s the kind of thing that would usually be all over the place, but I’ve only seen it mentioned here. More broadly, I follow various people on twitter that like Who and I haven’t seen much mention of the show since episode 2. It’s a little odd.

I think you are onto something here. None of my friends have mentioned it in weeks on any group chats, despite some serious initial buzz for the first week, I’ve not heard anyone mention it since the episode with the spiders and Rosa Parks.

I think it’s because it is so middle of the road.
The episodes are too long for the content within, the writers are really struggling so get an hours worth of material in there.

I’ve still not watched last week’s episode yet and I can feel my own interest waning. When the family were more interested in watching it I enjoyed it a lot more because it was something to watch together. Now they’ve lost interest I’m not really bothered about watching it on my own, which is why I know the quality isn’t there.
Like Jim says, it’s not must watch TV.
So I’m probably only sticking with it for nostalgia reasons, because I grew up watching Dr Who with my mum and step dad I want my own kids doing the same with me.

Whittaker isn’t really coming into her own on the character, she just feels like another supporting role on an ensemble and there is a lack of something about the show that I can’t put my finger on…it’s like when you are cooking and you taste the food and can’t quite work out what is missing.

Maybe a good script?


I like this metaphor. It’s like a bland curry, lacking in spice. And Moffat, for his flaws, always added a lot of spice.


Unless I misunderstood something the takeaway message was that it was okay for Amazon to kill a worker or two if it needed to and that employees in the distribution centre should be damn grateful for having a job and stop complaining.


It really wasn’t.

The AI that runs the Space Amazon system was the one that called the Doctor to try and get her to stop the murders. The AI killed one person; the girl that the villain was in love with, and that was to try and get him to stop because he was the one who murdered all the rest and was planning to kill millions more.

The message at the end is to hire more people, and value the human workers more.

@James posted this earlier;


I thought it was DON’T POP BUBBLE WRAP.


I think the politics of it are a bit more complicated than that, and I think in trying to do the fake-out (Surprise! The villain isn’t the company or the AI!) the story loses sight of the fact that this isn’t a set-up that the Doctor would approve of.

This is a company which enforces fairly draconian working conditions on its staff, where employees work their lives away with barely a chance to see their children, where the profits are clearly going to a select few at the top of the pile. You can argue that that doesn’t make the company “wrong”, and that they’re providing jobs where otherwise there would be none - but it’s not something the Doctor would normally be comfortable in passively endorsing, which is what she effectively does by the end of this episode.

(A really Doctory thing to have done would be to have got the AI working to improve things properly for the staff in the factory by the end)


The humans at the end are trying to do that. The AI is off screen as it were, it runs the day to day business, but it’s not the owner, if it had that much autonomy it could’ve dealt with the villain itself. It’s a character, but we never actually meet it.

So it’s up to the human management to re-structure the company operations and treat people better, which they say they intend to do, and offer the Doctor and co. management jobs to help make it happen the right way.


Yes … but are you confident there will be much more than window-dressing changes, or is it just more corporate hat-tipping to ideas rather than substance?

It’s unusual for the Doctor to take that stance.


I’m confident that it’s not sophisticated enough for this to be a fake-out.


I don’t think it’s a fake-out in that sense though. This. Doctor solves the immediate problem and then leaves, while passively endorsing the company’s general approach to exploiting its workforce. What’s in place now is window-dressing and the end of the episode says “we’ll beef up the window-dressing a bit”

That’s not an ending previous Doctors would have been satisfied with.


As I said, I don’t think it’s that sophisticated. You’re thinking like an adult, not a Chibnall.


I think that’s kind of Mike’s point though, isn’t it?




No, but he can comment on what he’s saying.

My point is that the Doctor solving the immediate problem is solving it for the long term too.

That happy ending, where things are going to get better, means that things are going to get better. There’s nothing deeper there about potential backsliding or even the potential for outright lies.

Because the show right now (under new management) isn’t playing to that sort of complexity.


Which I think is a shame if, in the desire to move away from the potentially overly complex plots and themes of Moffat’s run, the basic moral tenor of the Doctor has changed.

This isn’t a “New Who” thing either - the Doctor has been championing the downtrodden, and toppling regimes and organisations who exploited people - just like Kerblam - since before I was born. If in simplifying the writing that has been lost, I think that’s a significant change in who the Doctor fundamentally is.


It’s only a morality change if you think there’s more going on and that everyone isn’t going to live better lives because of the Doctor’s intervention.

This is a fairytale. Not one of those post modern ones where Cinderella and Prince Charming get married and then start arguing over domestic problems, but the Disney sort of fairytale.

They all live happily ever after.


A pic of the Tardis set, under construction;


I totally see this point, and I also felt similarly at the end of Kerblam! - it felt like the Doctor didn’t do enough to change what was obviously a bad situation.

But I think this description of the Doctor’s morality actually oversimplifies things itself. As much as you can point to past examples of the Doctor intervening to champion the wronged and the downtrodden, you can also point to examples of the character actively avoiding making changes that would result in that kind of positive outcome. (How many times have we heard arguments about “fixed points in time” and wariness about altering the future too severely?).

It seems to have come up a lot in this most recent series though, and it raises some interesting questions that put Kerblam! in a bit of perspective. Does the Doctor’s decision not to challenge the racism inherent in 1950s American society in Rosa mean that she tacitly supports it, or is ignoring the victims of the civil rights struggle? Does her decision to walk away from a cold-blooded killing in Demons Of The Punjab mean that she endorses it? How about letting the Trump analogue in Arachnids in the UK walk away without consequences, despite his negligence being the root of the problem they were dealing with?

(And going back before the current series, you can point to lots of examples of the Doctor only going so far to help people, and even having to be reminded of what the right moral choice is, like Fires of Pompeii, where lives were at stake and the Doctor was happy to let them die.)

It seem like there’s always a bit of tension in Doctor Who between the Doctor helping people and changing their lives for the better, and not changing things so much that the character becomes overpowered, a force for pure good that can solve every problem in the universe. It’s a bit like the old Superman argument about why bad things are still allowed to happen in a world where a hero with his powers and moral code exists.

That tension needs to exist, I think - otherwise it weakens the drama and turns every instance of something bad happening to someone into a plot hole (“why didn’t the Doctor prevent it?”). We need to know that the Doctor can’t do everything, and can’t save everyone.

Chibnall seems to have particularly focused on this inner moral conflict over the course of this series, and I half-expect him to eventually return to some of the unsatisfying conclusions of this series and examine whether the Doctor actually could (and should) have done more. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t, and it’ll make me revise down my opinion of some of the earlier episodes.