Doctor Who Discussion- MAJOR COSTUME CONFLICT, the Sun is a Seed, and a Multitude of Ships

Posted: November 8, 2015 by J.A. Prentice in Doctor Who Discussions
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Welcome to the Living Authors Society’s weekly Doctor Who Discussion! This week, J.A. Prentice (JA) and Jaden C. Kilmer (JC) discuss The Zygon Inversion and briefly touch on their expectations for the rest of the season/series. They also wander slightly off-topic.
Be warned, there are spoilers. Read more at your own risk.

Image © BBC

JA: I thought it was really good. Capaldi’s speech was amazing. I’m trying to find the words for how great that speech was.
Also I ship Bonnie/Clara really hard now.
JC: I think the speech was likely the highpoint of the season, if not Capaldi’s whole run. But I’ll save that for later. I thought as a whole the episode delivered really well.

JA: Yeah. I was worried it wouldn’t live up to last week’s, but I think it did.

So what was up with Kill the Moon, then?
JC: Well I think the key here is that the concept was good. Kill the Moon did have a nice morality discussion like this episode. It was just a horrendously stupid idea. Here, he was able to use an idea that, you know, wasn’t stupid. But I don’t think he did a total 180 here. There’s similar styles
JA: I see your point.
JC: And I’m 99% sure Moffat wrote the speech, not him
JA: That would make sense, since Moffat had a writing credit.
 I can’t think of what else he could have written.
JC: Maybe he did in fact have a plot point where the moon was a seed and Moffat stepped in, lol
JA: The sun.
The sun was a seed.
The moon is an egg.
Get your astronomy straight.
JC: They’re both equally ridiculous.
Oh, and another thing I liked was that Kate didn’t feel totally useless this time.
JA: I loved the “Five rounds rapid” line.
Apparently being awesome is genetic.
JC: Oh that’s right. Classic who exists.
JA: I watched Terror of the Zygons earlier today for maximum Zygon-ness. 
JC: Speaking of Zygons…
I loved this story. I loved it a lot more than I thought I would… but I’d be very happy if we went without a zygon story for awhile
Or at least the Zygon on screen needs to evolve beyond “guy in a costume.”
JA: My attitude towards Zygons is the same as my attitude towards any other Doctor Who monster/alien/character: if there’s a good idea for a story, use them. If all someone wants to do is the same story again… don’t.
I’m curious as to what you mean by “evolve beyond guy in a costume.”
JC: As far as the “look” goes. With the production design taking such a huge leap this year, it was kind of jarring to have the aliens be obviously guys in clunky costumes.
JA: I really like the Zygon’s design. It’s a nice, subtle update of the original look. So, um, difference of opinion?
JC: Probably. That’s new.
JA: The hive mind is destroyed.

Classic (Left) vs. New (Right)

JC: What did you think about the lying scene?
JA: The Bonnie and Clara scene?
I liked it.
JC: I liked it, except the whole “I’ll know if you’re lying because your heartrate will change” seems strange… I’m pretty sure my heart would be racing anyways. Out of, you know, fear.
JA: I don’t understand how hearts work.
So I don’t know if that’s an issue.
JC: It’s a real life issue, as people say traditional lie detector tests are bunk because people taking them just get nervous at being questioned. So duh, of course their heart speeds up.
I’m really just nitpicking though.
JA: Clara didn’t seem particularly terrified.
Her heart rate might also have sped up because she was face-to-face with the person she loves most in the universe.
JC: Herself. Oddly accurate.
So does this mean you’re over the Jane Austen ship?
JA: “If I ship multiple things, then I ship multiple things. I contain multitudes.”
JC: Reference?
JA: Paraphrase of famous quote that’s famous, but I can’t remember who said it. They’re probably famous.
Walt Whitman.
Thank you, Google. (EDITOR’S NOTE: I got the phrasing of the quote wrong. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.)
JC: Okey doke then.
Ummmm what else about the episode is noteworthy?
JA: I loved the opening with Clara in the pod.
It was creepy and surreal in a very Doctor Who way.
JC: Ah, yes. Forgot about that. Very Doctor Who. Loved the dream logic.
JA: “This is Toothpaste.” And then the black stuff squirting out. And the windows not being there.
JC: And the nonsense words on the newspaper. Would be interesting to have that whole dream logic concept applied to a full episode.
JC: To have ANOTHER episode with that.
JA: I agree.
I think it might be a bit too soon for another dream episode, though.
JC: It’s never too soon for dream episodes lol. I also thought for a sec they were gonna do the whole “companion’s mind too strong for the dream” thing I thought of
JA: Steven Moffat hasn’t stolen all your ideas.
JC: Another reason why he needs to hire us already. Hire us now before all our ideas are gone
JA: That’s really not the best sales pitch.
JC: Well if he keeps stealing our ideas then he won’t have a need to hire us frown emoticon
JA: My pitch is as follows: You put out Kill the Moon and In the Forest of the Night. Clearly, you’re desperate and everything I’ve written is better than those two episodes.
Backing up a bit and preventing us from getting further off topic…
You said you wanted to come back to the Capaldi speech later. Is it later?

Image © BBC

JC: I can’t think of anything else real pressing at the moment, so sure.
JA: It was really just astonishing. That speech was pure Doctor and Capaldi played it so well.
JC: It was one of the best moments the show’s had in years. It was something I felt like they tried for and failed (miserably) with Rings of Akhaten.
JA: Rings of Akhaten felt a lot more hollow, like they were trying to be epic.

JC: Yeah it was a moment of trying too hard. This speech fit perfectly. And going back to last week, Capaldi got his “edge” back.
JA: The Doctor’s speech/rant here wasn’t an attempt to be epic. It wasn’t grandstanding. It was pure, genuine emotion: anger, regret, hope for a peaceful solution, dismay at the violence of the world.
JA: And for good reason, which I think is the best “middle ground.”
Because admittedly Capaldi in Season 8 was just a jerk for no reason sometimes.
This episode reminded me of how I prefer to write the Doctor. But better.
JC: Same here. I love having those moments where I’m watching or reading something and go “this guy is better than I am.”
JA: I kind of love them.
But I kind of don’t.
JC: I see what you mean.
Ah, forgot about one thing. Osgood.
JA: I think there’s one more thing that’ll probably be quick, but let’s talk Osgood first.
This was definitely her best story yet.
Mostly due to her actually being a character rather than a stand-in for fans.
JC: Ugh, can we go back to disagreeing on things?
This story is a stand out to me because it took the zygons, Kate, and Osgood, all of them characters I didn’t care for, and made them all better.
JA: I found it a little odd that the Doctor kept asking if she was a human or a Zygon, though.
I assumed it would lead to something important, but she just said the same thing about it not mattering each time.
JC: That did seem a little uncessary. Perhaps padding for time a bit?
JA: Maybe. But surely there would have been better ways to pad?
JC: *shrugs*
JA: Also, despite liking Osgood, Bonnie should have remained in Clara form.
Not for logical, story reasons, but just because BonnieClara was awesome.
JC: I was about to say “you just want your ship alive”
JA: That too.
It’s a good ship.
JC: I’d agree, but I’m retired from professional shipping after Korrasami.
JA: Whereas Korrasami just inspired me to go on shipping insane things because they might become canon.
JC: All hail Bryke. Back to Doctor Who though, one of my favorite lines was when the Doctor said that they’d found out the buttons were useless “15 times already.”
JA: That was great.
I’m just picturing 15 untold Zygon stories that keep getting wiped from Kate’s mind.
JC: I’m picturing the Doctor failing to get them to stop 15 times, which is why he was so frustrated.
JA: That works too.
 Since we talked a lot about the cliffhanger last week and you felt any resolution would be a cop-out, how did you feel about it?
JC: It was pretty much as good as I could’ve expected. Part of me thinks they should’ve set up the parachutes, but that would’ve killed tension
JA: I agree. And I think a plane having parachutes isn’t that big of a stretch.
I just realized they didn’t deal with the Zygon running through London video at the end.
JC: How so?
JA: The video was released to start causing panic. The Doctor finds out the video was released. It’s on the news.
And then no one mentions it again.
JC: Ah, forgot the “released to cause panic” part.
JA: I’m fine with people just writing it off as a fake, but it would have been nice for it to mentioned that it was written off as a fake.
JC: Yeah, it’s a small loose end, but still a loose end.
JA They could have cut one of the redundant “Are you Zygon or Human? I’m going to say I need to know, but I guess I don’t because it’s not actually important.” scenes and put a wrap-up to that in its place.
JC: All better. (once more, Moffat. Please. We’re available.)
So there’s only two stories left. Do you have any idea on how the finale will play out?
JA: Wow. There are only two stories left.
I didn’t think of that until now.
I genuinely don’t know. I think hybrids will play a role, given how they’ve made sure to put that in almost every episode.
JC: The theory I’m seeing round the internets is that the Doctor is going back through his time stream to see Clara, who’s already died. Not sure if it makes any sense, but that’s what I’m hearing
JA: Hmm. I’ve been avoiding a lot of discussion for fear of spoilers. I do know that one of the upcoming episodes is supposed to just be Capaldi by himself. I’m intrigued to see that- and the found footage story from next week.
JC: Oh yeah you mentioned the Capaldi solo episode before, but I have no idea where it could end up going… I’d like to see it somehow as the finale.
JA: I have no idea how it could work, but I’m really intrigued by the idea.
JC: Especially with the speech from this episode and the intro to before the flood. I definitely think he could pull off a whole episode on his own.
JA: Normally, I’d predict a Gallifrey return in the finale, but given that it’s almost definitely already dealing with Clara’s departure and the Hybrid, I feel like that might be too much.
Although it is Moffat.
JC: Yea I’m not expecting anything from gallifrey in the finale. Maybe next year.
Score time: I’m giving out a 9.5 for this one. Stellar story, not quite all time favorite territory, but very very good, with a moment that will go down in Doctor Who history as one of its best.
JA: I have to agree, which is unfortunate because I really want us to disagree, darn it. I LIKE THE ZYGON COSTUMES AND YOU DON’T! DISAGREEMENT! CONFLICT! DRAMA!
It was a great story that lived up to the promise of Part One and had some fantastic acting from Capaldi. 9/10.
JC: With only two stories to go, it’s looking very likely that this series will challenge 5 for my favorite in NuWho.

What’s your favorite season?

JA: Again, I agree.
Although actually I have no idea what my favorite season is.
JC: Don’t make it 5.
JA: Does it have to be NuWho?
Because Seasons 13 and 14 are great. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Tom Baker’s second and third seasons.)
I really want to say 6 for the New Series, but it has major problems that hold it back.
But I’ll say it just so we disagree.
JC: 6 would be my second place one, so we only barely disagree!
JA: We’ll have to settle for barely. Or I can go for 3, which is my favorite RTD season despite some flaws. But then I’d just be saying things so we disagree.
Which might be a viable option to make these discussions more interesting.
Next week: I pretend to disagree with everything you say.
JC: You have to say it in an old timey narrator voice: WILL JADEN AND JOSH EVER DISAGREE? TUNE IN NEXT WEEK TO FIND OUT
Join us next week for our discussion of Sleep No More!

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