Episode 18: Doctor Who Returns! (And Torchwood Continues)

podcast 31 August 2011 8 Comments

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After months of waiting, we welcome back Doctor Who with loving arms! And some concerns! And an old-school Simpsons reference! Was “Let’s Kill Hitler” the romp that Liz and Rudy were hoping for? Listening will bring you the answer to that question!

Oh, but are you only here for Torchwood discussion? How about that! Just skip forward to the timecode 32:40 (just in time to hear Rudy’s Rex Matheson C.I.A. impression) and you’ll get all our thoughts on episode 8 of Miracle Day, “The End of the Road.” Was there enough revealed to keep us happy as we prepare for the final two episodes of the series? Look, I could tell you, but you’ll probably have more fun listening to the podcast.

Huge episodes! So many things to discuss! And you can discuss them with us on Twitter, Facebook (new and exciting, I know! Please like us!), email or right here in the comments! Thanks to Casey McKinnon for hosting, and you, as always, for listening!

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8 Responses on “Episode 18: Doctor Who Returns! (And Torchwood Continues)”

  1. Andrew Seely says:

    Always a great day when the Simpsons are referenced. I’ll make sure to work something into my next review.

  2. Kevin says:

    The season 4 ratings (average 5.46 million UK) are better than either season 1 (1.42 million UK) or season 2 (3.78 million UK). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Torchwood_episodes

    Only Children of Earth was better at 6.60 million UK. The final tally for season 4 may fall below the 5 million mark per episode by the conclusion, but that will still be considerably higher than season 2 in the UK. Even episode 6, which I consider a dud episode, had higher ratings that the average of season 2.

    Torchwood Miracle Day really belongs in the suspense / mystery genre rather than the scifi / fantasy genre. Season 4 is less concern on the how-that-works questions, and more concern with the who-done-it questions. In the mystery genre, the seemingly disparate plot points are only revealed logically at the end of the story.

    I am starting to get really annoyed by certain scifi podcast reviewers. For them, if there aren’t robots of death and/or multiple explosions, its an awful show. They’re bored by the mystery storyline in Torchwood, poor darlings. These geeks live and breath scifi, and limit their viewing preferences to just scifi. The problem is that by episode 8 they should have figured-out the shift in genres by now. The scifi geeks absolutely hate Torchwood – but watch it anyway. Why? If you don’t like the show, don’t watch it. Or better yet, start watching TV shows that maybe aren’t so hard-core scifi.

    Several other podcast reviewers, the ones that have a more wide-range of genre-viewing preferences, have liked watching Miracle Day. In fact, a couple of these reviewers have stated categorically that they dislike the monster-of-the-week shtick in the scifi genre, and avoid shows like Doctor Who – but they say they are enjoying Miracle Day. I’m beginning to believe the viewership for Torchwood has shifted as well, to those people who like the suspense / mystery genre more than the scifi / fantasy genre.

    • Hi, Kevin! Really good points and thanks for the ratings clarification! I definitely agree with the fact that the genre has shifted and that should be acknowledged — and hopefully it’s clear that Rudy and I fall into the latter category of podcasters who are enjoying the show (despite making fun of Esther. :)

  3. DangerShoes says:

    Starting off with things I had confusing issues with…
    1) The end of previous season, Amy and Rory grew up with no Doctor, because the old timeline was destroyed~ish, because the alliance of villains created a universe from Amy’s mind… Anyways, at the wedding it took a lot to remind her of the Doctor to bring him back. She even had her parents alive. Soooo… is this another alternate world where Melanie shows up and doesn’t stop talking about the Doctor through Amy’s childhood??
    2) Melanie the Magician… Find it hard to accept that while Amy & Rory are starring at her she managed to reach down into the chair, grab the gun and hide it behind her in the dress while run to the Doctor at the table. Then, while Amy is looking at her, clearly grab a banana thinking it’s a gun and somehow hide it in her vest… ugh!

    So much more to ramble on about, but need sleep. I may start a blog and link it here. To sum it up. I wasn’t impressed nor happy with this episode. Too rushed and crammed. Next episode seems like another detour episode. pointless for this season. grrr

  4. Groonk says:

    Hey guys,

    I’ve been a constant listener but a bad commenter. I usually have tons to say after each episode of Timey Wimey but I’m never around a computer or a piece of paper to write things down. Today is different.

    First, Liz, I meant no real animosity about Strange Luck. I just had to defend my show, man..er…woman! Heh

    Second, regarding why Amy/Rory were okay with leaving River in the timestream, I think there’s a disconnect between them thinking River is their daughter and knowing she is their daughter. They haven’t bonded with her or raised her for any amount of time.

    It’s like me coming from the ether, standing at your front door and declaring, ‘I’m your son! Now love me like you’ve known me for 18 years.’

    Moffat not only works as a puzzle master but he’s a master at understated emotion. Every big emotion with his characters is internal. I saw a Confidential where he talked about the guilt that forced Rory to watch over Amy in the Pandorica. He went into such detail that I could not believe that all that was going on inside Rory’s simple statement to The Doctor’s question on why he has to be so human, “because right now, I’m not.”

    I had problems, on the first viewing, with River making that sudden Heel Face Turn as The Doctor lay dying. But on rewatching it, the action seemed truer. I wonder if Amy telling Mels all those stories about The Doctor for all those years made Mels fall in love with 11 from a distance. Even though her secret love did not usurp her kill-programming, I wonder if it laid dormant all that time until she realizes he actually loved her back. maybe I’m just going for a big No Prize but that’s how I see it.

    As for Davies approach at storytelling. His characters wear every feeling on their jacket. Some times this is to RTD’s detriment. Most times it’s to my annoyance. It reminds of the first two seasons of Torchwood. Those characters were crying every two minutes over some spilled milk we were supposed to care about.

    I’m pretty much done with this season of Torchwood. It would have been great if it were a 6 episode season. They’ve been meandering off the main plot road for far too long. Now I’m watching to see the big reveal and to hear you guys talk about the episode afterwards.

    I have not forgotten about the Rex Matheson, CIA shirt design. Some poor attempt at design should pop up soon.

    Sidenote: it just occurred to me, did you realize the first person to write for Captain Jack Harkness was Steven Moffat? All the way back in The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0562996/fullcredits#cast

    This is funny cause that’s my favorite iteration of the character. Not counting one or two episodes in the Torchwood series.

    Ok. I’ve prattled too much. I’ll step back into the Internet now.

    Looking forward to your next show.

    hmj

    • I like your point about Moffat’s understated emotions — he really does approach things differently from Davies, which does spare us things like the Doctor clenching the Master to his bosom and sobbing for five minutes. Really, good points overall. Glad you commented!

  5. Groonk says:

    Oh! I forgot to mention my favorite line from the latest Torchwood.

    When Oswald says that people love him, the PR Manager Lauren Ambrose says, “TV loves you. That’s not the same.”

    Her character is definitely better when she’s morally ambiguous.

  6. Steven Keevil UK Correspondent says:

    Feels good to be back in the comments box, its been too long.

    Before I mention thoughts on ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ wanted to share this comment by a Local Conservative regarding the Captain Jack sexy scenes.

    “I’m glad I’m not watching Torchwood, the writer and producer are just spreading the BBC’s sinister liberal agenda’

    Anyway;

    The Episode… I loved it but I needed more of it.
    I agree with Rudy, they missed a real opportunity not exploring River as the villian.
    Mixing that with Dr Eleven at a place where he sees them as future lovers, and Rory and Amy wanting to save their Daughter. Whilst she attempts to kill the Doctor.
    I don’t know if this is becuase Moff doesnt want anybody else writing River, which so far they havent, or how ever episode this season from him seems to be a season finale.
    The final moment with River becoming the archeologist was great.
    However
    Rory and Amy leaving their Daughter, who they have been searching, in Hospital.
    to go off into Time and Space, without even waiting for her to wake up.
    When Mels was with them growing up, did she know that they were her Parents?

    There are still so many unanswered questions, and with the Moff only having 1 episode left this season there seems to be an awful lot to tie up if the story isn’t going to roll into a third season.

    we still don’t know
    Who blew up the Tardis during The Pandorica Opens.
    Why is there an unending war against the Doctor?
    How does Melody Pond go from Demon’s run to the creepy Children’s home, to phoning the president, to being alone in the streets of New York to being childhood friend of Amelie Pond?

    Sure the Doctor may die at Lake Silenctio but, thats in a 160 of his years! so the current Eleven, doesnt have anything to worry about just yet, but why does he just walk to his death without a fight?

    Will we see the the Tessaltor and the Minature time cops again, hope so.

    I have faith, but hope Moffet allows some time to breath and appreciate the little moments that he has written.
    Theres a reason Sherlock in 90 minutes after all.

    Anyways.

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