Doctor Who Reactions: "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" (SPOILERS)

1)"I got dressed in a hurry."

 

2)"Usually called 'the Doctor' or 'the Caretaker' or "Get off this planet', though strictly speaking that probably isn't a name."

 

3)"This Christmas is going to be the best Christmas ever."

 

4)"Fairyland looks completely different."

 

5)"There's no crying in military engagements."

 

6)"We're from Androzani Major."  Ah, a call-back to "The Caves of Androzani".

 

7)"Something like this was bound to happen."

 

8)"it's Christmas, you moron."  That should be on a Christmas card.

 

Overall:

An acceptable bit of holiday fluff, the latest in a long line of Moffat scripts that are amusing enough to watch so long as you don't think about them too much.  I think a thing they need to do for future Christmas specials is to not try so much to tie them into existing stories, as that tends to make the storyline seem a bit "forced".

 

On a vaguely-related note, has anyone actually read any of the Narnia books? Are they worth taking a look at?

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Whoa!  That's a lot of schmaltz!  Not good for my blood sugar levels.

 

"Mummy?  Is Daddy dead?"  lol.

 

It was hard to take the daddy seriously as that actor does comedy sketches about WWII RAF pilots who have the same attitudes and street talk as present day UK yoof.

 

Quite funny actually.

 

Of course, casting him as the RAF pilot was the in-joke in the episode.  And the guy out of Black Books and the woman who became famous saying 'Does my bum look big in this?' served only as a further distraction.  Gimmicky casting gets annoying.

 

And again with the WWII background?  There is more to British history than 'their finest hour.'  Maybe one of these days, the Doctor will pop up during a 'not so finest hour' such as the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the 1950s?

 

It's strange how Moffatt keeps trying to present a very uncomplicated, unproblematic, narrative of Britishness but some part of him* keeps betraying his intent.  It's fascinating.  Here, the forced repatriation of the native 'peoples' of the forest in order to benefit from the energy resources is exactly like what the 'great' empires have been doing for the last few hundred years in the Middle East.

 

*The Scottish part, perhaps?  :-)

Some of the "stunt casting" is lost on us igmorant Yanks.

 

I don't recall that the show has ever gone in for the "difficult" bits of British history. If they must do the 1940's, then India during that timeframe might be interesting - I wonder what the Doctor would make of Subhas Chandra Bose, for example?

Moffat plays it very safe tries to rub middle England just the way it likes. Hence the pointless stunt casting and the one-note view of Britains colonial past.

Actually, the thing is that the past and the present aren't so far apart. On that wiki page about the Kenyan uprising, it mentions that Obama sent back a bust of Churchill to England. It seems that his grandfather was one of those tortured and imprisoned while Churchill was PM and trying to hold onto the Empire in the 50s. Churchill has a lot of blood on his hands, but our all-knowing Gallifreyan doesn't seem too bothered by that...

The Baron said:

On a vaguely-related note, has anyone actually read any of the Narnia books? Are they worth taking a look at?

I'm honestly not entirely sure how to answer this question. I loved them as a kid, and revisited them a few years ago. They're very much juvenile literature, and not-overly-subtle Christian allegory, but they're also cultural touchstones and not-bad fantasy stories. If you are interested, the audiobooks might be the way to go. Each one is read by a different great of British theater — Michael York, Kenneth Branagh, Lynn Redgrave, Derek Jacobi, Jeremy Northam, etc.

Interesting. Thanks, Alan.

Yeah, you should read the Narnia books.  Each one would take you about half a day, from what I understand of your reading speed!

 

Read the first two anyway, and then see what you think.  The second "Lion, the Witch etc" is better than the first.

 

Taken altogether you get the whole history of a pretty well realised fantasy world, from Creation up to the final Rapture.

 

Everyone should read more Irish authors in general anyway.... :-)

 

The movie underlined for me one way that these books have dated.  We no longer think that the problems of sovereign nations are nessecarily best fixed by blue-eyed public school kids whose only qualification to rule foreign lands is that they speak with fine RP accents. 

 

But obviously, you don't get the accents when you read the book!  They'd all speak Bostonian, probably.

Ironically, I just saw this today on BBCA On Demand and enjoyed it a lot. Hokey ending? Perhaps but it is a Christmas special!

"What do we do?"

"Do what I do. Hold on tight and call it a plan!"

"Yes, I know it's wood! Get over it!"

Matt Smith was in fine form and at the end, Karen Gillem looked angry, happy and beautiful!

I read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time before I saw the movie. It was a quick read and seemed very against the British school system, not that that's a bad thing.

The movie wasn't bad but it suffered because Harry Potter andLord of the Rings came out first!

Churchill has a lot of blood on his hands, but our all-knowing Gallifreyan doesn't seem too bothered by that...

 

I seem to recall the Pertwee Doctor claiming to have been buddies with Mao Tse-Tung at one point, so maybe that sort of thing only bothers him up to a point.

Figserello said:

Read the first two anyway, and then see what you think. The second "Lion, the Witch etc" is better than the first.



"Second"? Blasphemer!

I've been reading how there's a debate as to whether to read them in "publication" order or "chronological" order. I think my instinct would be to go with "publication" order, myself.

I loved the books when I read them in primary school. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe appeared first, The Magician's Nephew is a prequel written later. I think it's better read after Lion, because it picks up elements of the earlier book and provides them with a backstory.

 

Lion is set during WWII; the kids are evacuees. The climax involves Christmas.

 

Tom Baker played Puddleglum in the 1990 TV version of The Silver Chair.

Figserello said:

And again with the WWII background?  There is more to British history than 'their finest hour.'  Maybe one of these days, the Doctor will pop up during a 'not so finest hour' such as the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the 1950s?

 

It's strange how Moffatt keeps trying to present a very uncomplicated, unproblematic, narrative of Britishness but some part of him* keeps betraying his intent.  It's fascinating.  Here, the forced repatriation of the native 'peoples' of the forest in order to benefit from the energy resources is exactly like what the 'great' empires have been doing for the last few hundred years in the Middle East.

 

*The Scottish part, perhaps?  :-)

 

[...]

 
 

Reply byFigserelloon
January 3, 2012 at 5:41pm
 


Moffat plays it very safe tries to rub middle England just the way it likes. Hence the pointless stunt casting and the one-note view of Britains colonial past.

Actually, the thing is that the past and the present aren't so far apart. On that wiki page about the Kenyan uprising, it mentions that Obama sent back a bust of Churchill to England. It seems that his grandfather was one of those tortured and imprisoned while Churchill was PM and trying to hold onto the Empire in the 50s. Churchill has a lot of blood on his hands, but our all-knowing Gallifreyan doesn't seem too bothered by that...

 

 

Good Heavens!

 

The Doctor
did actually pop up during the Mau Mau Uprising in 1950s Kenya! Or at least the 7th Doctor did according to his Big Finish timeline!

 

It's on digital radio starting next week. A Thousand Tiny Wings. Perhaps there will be mention of Churchill being a despotic, Imperialist, old so-and-so? You never know!

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