Doctor Who Discussion: References at the End of the Greatest Title Ever

Posted: May 28, 2017 by J.A. Prentice in Doctor Who Discussions, Uncategorized
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Welcome to Living Authors’ Society’s latest Doctor Who discussion with J.A. Prentice and Jaden Kilmer. This week we’ll be discussing Pyramid at the End of the World, which might be the best title any human being has ever created, by Harness and Moffat. Read on to find out if the episode lives up to the title.
Be warned. There are SPOILERS ahead.

Jaden: Well I had a strong opinion but I was surprised to see the internet polarized over it and now I’m re thinking
JA: I had a very mixed opinion.
Because part of it was genius and part of it was stupid.
Including legitimately the stupidest character to ever appear in Doctor Who.
Jaden: Would that be one of the soldiers?
JA: The scientist. Douglas.
Jaden: Hm. Yeah I’m seeing people say that but I excused his stupidity because he’s pretty well established as being hammered.
JA: But being that stupid? Really?
And Erika doesn’t call him on it?
Jaden: That’s more the part that gets me. She was sober and should’ve realized something was wrong earlier. But I excused Douglass because A) drunk and B ) colossal stupid mistakes by scientists happen
JA: I guess. It was more Erika not catching it that seemed like PIS to me.
Jaden: PIS?
JA: Plot Induced Stupidity
Jaden: Ah. I think unfortunately that was something that recurred throughout the episode.
JA: Yeah. That character was my problem in a nutshell.
Jaden: Strangely I didn’t mind the stupidness too much as I was actually watching it though. It feels more like fridge logic.
JA: It bothered me.
I loved a lot of the concepts, but some of the execution was eh.
Jaden: I think it’s clear that blindness was NOT the original plan for this story.
JA: Yeah. I was glad it came up at the end, but that scene has some major plotholes.
Jaden: Like how apparently there’s no longer any way for his glasses to transmit images anymore.
That was the one thing that really bothered me while watching.
JA: That’s problem number one.
Number two is that, as much as I whine about an overpowered sonic screwdriver, there’s one thing it’s designed to do.
And that’s open doors.
Jaden: And it didn’t work because……..
JA: Because apparently it can’t do the thing it’s supposed to do anymore.
And problem number three…
Didn’t the lock have raised numbers? So the Doctor could have felt them.
Jaden: The whole time I just kept thinking I wish the glasses had broken as well and he had no visual stimulus at all.
I think that would’ve fixed some of the issues.
JA: That would have worked so much better.
Jaden: The other thing the glasses did was lessen the impact of his blindness. I felt it somewhat last episode but here more so. He functioned pretty much ok.
JA: I feel like it almost works as a sign of the Doctor’s overconfidence/hubris.
He thinks he can bluff his way through this and doesn’t tell anyone.
Then it bites him in the rear.
Jaden: Almost being the key word?
JA: If the last scene had been done better — destroyed glasses is a good idea — I think it would have worked.
It comes damn close to working.
Jaden: I guess overconfidence is also your answer to why didn’t the Doctor tell his gosh darned companion he was blind?
JA: I think so. It works well as a deconstruction of the Doctor’s arrogance and hubris.
Jaden: I think he should’ve told her. He could’ve maintained that he was fine but I don’t see why he would all out hide it rather than downplay it
JA: No pun intended.
I think he should have, but it was in character for him not to.
Jaden: Is it fair to say we can tell where Harness was writing and where Moffat was?
Or do you think Moffat might’ve had a hand in the not good scenes?
JA: I’m not sure if it was a straight up “one wrote some scenes; one wrote the other” thing.
The opening felt very Moffat.
To name a positive, I loved how they interwove the previously stuff.
Jaden: Was about to say “Like for instance Moffat probably came up with that spin on the ‘previously….’ segment”
JA: The Penny/Bill stuff also felt very Moffat.
Jaden: As did the way the Doctor narrowed down the lab locations. That was actually genius.
JA: The deduction there was very clever.
Jaden: Also, um… did Nardole just die?
JA: I really hope not.
It would be really anticlimactic
Jaden: You disappoint me.
The proper rely was “I don’t know… it was very unclear”
JA: I see your reference and raise you a “He’s mostly dead, which is partly alive.”
Jaden: Was all ready to post a “joke over my head” gif but then I remembered The Princess Bride. I think.
So is this episode mostly bad which is partly good or mostly good which is partly bad?
JA: Uh…
Mostly dependent on the final part.
The Monks needing consent/love, for example, was a cool idea, but needs a good payoff.
Jaden: I’m not sure I need payoff there. They sorta did it with Bill coming to them, but I know what you’re gonna say in response to that haha
JA: The question of why they need it seems like a big one to me.
And seeing as the Doctor asks it, I think it’s supposed to need resolution.
Jaden: I was thinking you were gonna say “she did it out of love but also strategy, and love for the doctor, not them.”
JA: That also seems odd.
Jaden: I think it’s an excellent story though. As you said it’s the execution that gets wonky.
JA: I liked it. I’m just being overly critical.
Jaden: Which is supposed to be my job
JA: I thought it was time we switched things up.
Jaden: I think we’re about to slide into the positives more but before we do I have to point out the single most unrealistic thing in doctor who history.
JA: No, that was Harness’s OTHER episode.
Jaden: Even more than the moon being an egg.
JA: In the Doctor Who universe, the UN actually holds measurable power.
In the Doctor Who universe, they run UNIT (or they did in the 70s/80s/It’samess), so that’s surprisingly consistent.
Jaden: Don’t they know the UN is an obsolete drain on american taxpayers’ money?
Doctor Who S10 Ep7 The Pyramid At The End Of The World
JA: Apparently not.
Speaking of which, let’s take a moment to appreciate that Doctor Who referred to Trump as orange.
Jaden: I’m still waiting on an episode where he’s revealed to be a Slitheen, but it’s a start.
JA: It would be entirely consistent with everything we know about Slitheen.
Jaden: OK before our other conservative follower leaves us, returning to the actual episode and its non-Trump joke positives I think the design on the monks continues to be great
JA: It is great. Very distinctive and very creepy.
Jaden: I like how there’s also an explanation for how they look
JA: The explanation was good and it opens up the interesting question of what they really look like.
Jaden: Yeah thats what I was thinking. Pretty scary.
JA: I had a theory as of last episode, but I no longer think it fits.
Whatever they are, they must be incredibly powerful to restore the Doctor’s eyes just like that.
Jaden: Yeah they’re quite possibly the most powerful race not named the daleks we’ve seen in a long time
JA: I’m a big fan of them as villains
I like them a lot as well. I feel they could be one of the few new villains (assuming they are new) to stick around.
Jaden: I’m not too sure they’ll stick around after this story. Kinda hard to continue them after this. Like the Silence
JA: True.
It all depends on how Lie of the Land goes.
Jaden: Doctor Who has never bungled the last episode to a multipart story before.
JA: Absolutely never.
Jaden: I’m excited for it. I liked where the episode left off. Obviously not the dumb sequence at the door, but with the sight restored but the Monks in control of the world.
How are you gonna beat an enemy that knows all the possibilities? If they come up with a clever solution it’ll be great. I also have a guess as to how it works out.
JA: Same.
I also have a guess. I don’t really want to say mine because it would spoil a lot if it’s true.
Jaden: Well mine is nonspoilery. I think he’s gonna make a snap decision without thinking about it.
JA: I feel like that wouldn’t work, but at the same time I could see them doing it.
Jaden:I hope they do it because that’s a plot point in twilight and I wanna see the internet go nuts over doctor who pulling something from twilight
JA: It being from Twilight explains why it doesn’t make any sense.
Jaden: 11 year old me wants to fight you.
JA: I’d win, because you’d be 11.
Jaden: Do you want to make your prediction outside this discussion so if you wind up being right I can verify it for the blog?
Or are we honor ruling it
JA: I’ll make my prediction outside the discussion.
Do we want to do the wrap up?
Jaden: Sure.
So right after the episode I would’ve probably said 8.5/10. I really enjoyed the ride. I loved the villains and the story. But some of it was a bit, or a lot, contrived. It’s clear there was some rewrites after the idea of him being blind was brought up. We didn’t even get to how dumb and not interesting the soldiers were, and the other contrived instances in the episode. It’s one that kind of lingers with a bad taste, but only after the credits. I honestly don’t really know where to rank it now. I really enjoyed it, but it was hiding huge faults.
7/10 sounds fair. But make that a 7?/10.
JA: I love the title, which automatically boosts my score by one point. The idea of the Monks and their need for consent, as well as the seperate apocalypse playing out in the background were genius. On the other hand, there was a lot of PIS, especially in the scenes in the lab and with the door. I really liked Bill’s date with Penny and the recurring joke of important people crashing their date. I forgot to bring it up in the review, but I really don’t like the President of the World thing. Overall I liked it and I’m excited for the next part. At the risk of confirming that we’re a hive mind, I’d also go with 7/10.
Join us next week for our discussion of The Lie of the Land!

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