200px-Doctor_Who_Series_8_boxsetMy treat for Blank Holiday (popularly known as the Day after New Year) was to sit down and binge on Doctor Who episodes from Doctor Who: The Complete Eighth Series.  I saw Deep Breath at the cinema screening, and downloaded Into the Dalek soon afterwards.  The rest I held off watching, and avoided spoilers until the DVDs came out.  I haven’t changed over to digital signal yet and missed them when they played on television.  The last few days I have watched from Robot of Sherwood to Death in Heaven.

Favorite episodes from Series 8: Listen (it felt like themes from Midnight pushed further, and the monsters never appear) and Flatline (Afterwards I picked up the short story Details by China Miéville and read it again).

Disappointments: Kill the Moon (giant bacteria spiders?!), In the Forest of the Night (it felt like a Torchwood episode and didn’t live up the William Blake expectation hinted in the title), and the series finale two-parter (Doctor Who series finales just don’t work for me, I’m afraid).

Thoughts that occured to me during the episodes:

  • Would mirrors be sufficiently advanced to do stage magic in the 1190s?  I know it is a throw-away line, but still . . .
  • It is probably possible for a good fighter to defend against a sword armed only with spoon.  You would have to be very good.
  • If the sonic screwdriver doesn’t work on wood then how did the Doctor manage to blow up archery butt so dramatically?
  • I would like to see a story where selective memory wipe is used for therapeutic healing from personality disorders and phobias than just a plot device.
  • Clara is too easily distracted by the Doctor’s presence at Coal Hill School to be a good teacher.  She will loose control of the kids if she lets him distract her.  A teacher needs strict control of a class to teach, and of their parents.
  • References to previous incarnations: the yoyo; and left alone on the Orient Express the Doctor was beginning to sound like his fourth incarnation; in Flatline Clara was beginning to look like Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Psychic paper is defenseless against a mean-spirited lack of imagination.
  • I was expecting a Krynoid to turn up in In the Forest of the Night.
  • I would have thought that the Doctor has been in enough mythologies to know how to break into an afterlife.
  • There are places where the Doctor cannot navigate the Tardis: the end of time, lost Gallifrey.  Humans can navigate into those spaces.  The Doctor has not picked up on that yet.
  • Gallifrey is in another dimension.  It is not lost.  Missy came from there.  Gallifrey is still waiting.  It’s possible that other Time Lords will follow the same route, perhaps separately; perhaps in large numbers.  What will be their motives?