Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 6: The Caretaker

I was extremely excited to to see Garath Roberts sharing a writing credit on this episode. He completed Douglas Adams' Shada, and, it is, no lie, almost my platonic ideal of what a Doctor Who story should be. He also co-wrote The One Doctor, which is just about the funniest thing associated with Doctor Who. I'm very specific about the humor I like in Doctor Who. I don't like Moffat's sitcom misunderstandings, but Doctor Who is often unintentionally absurd, and I do like works that lampshade those elements.

Unfortunately, it's Moffat's voice that dominates the conversation. We open with the Doctor and Clara chained up on Tattooine.

He asks her for the vibro-cutters, but she tells him that they're in her other jacket. "Why have you got two jackets?! Is one of them faulty?!" Herp derp, herp derp. Women and their clothes, amirite? 

Also, as I recall, the TARDIS does have a rather expansive wardrobe.

Then we have a montage of Clara's adventures interspersed with her dates with Mr. Pink, culminating with Clara sitting in front of the mirror, declaring to herself that she can't do this any more. I kind of liked the mirror as metaphor for her double life.

And that's the last substantive positive thing I've got to say about this episode. It's a parade of everything I hate about this season. Clara had a "thing", but the "thing" is gone. In the montage, the Doctor said, "I hate soldiers! Don't you hate soldiers?!" The only thing missing is the Doctor wondering if he's a good man.

"Jazz hands!"
The Doctor shows up as a staff meeting in Coal Hill is just concluding, introducing himself as John Smith, the new caretaker, but most people just call him the Doctor, he says, with a wink at Clara. Capaldi hams it up here, and I liked this a bit.

We cut away to a scene where a cop is killed by the monster of the week. Specifically, he dies of embarrassment when he's killed by a special effect left over from Classic Who. 

The Doctor climbs up a ladder and sticks his head through a window into Clara's classroom. There is some wacky relationship comedy, but the thing I remember is how Clara pronouces Buddy Holly. It's like "Boooddy" Holly, and it reminds me of nothing so much as the kind of corny jokes you find on Popsicle sticks. "Who's a ghost's favorite singer?" "Boooddy Holly!"

She spies the Doctor working on something and rushes out to talk to him, and holy shit is that a short skirt!
I don't think I'd get much learning done if I were an adolescent boy at Coal Hill school. Anyway, Mister Pink meets up with the Doctor before Clara can, and the Doctor is confrontational, insinuating that since Pink was a soldier, he's not smart enough to be a math teacher. Ugh. I can't believe Moffat is going to drag this thread around for the entire season. I seem to recall a UNIT adventure not that long ago. The Brig was a career military man, and one the Doctor's closest friends. He should be asking himself, WWtBD?

And here is the answer, of course.

We get some Three's Company misunderstanding, where the Doctor thinks Clara is dating a nebbishy teacher, and tells her that he approves. He's been secreting devices around the school ground in order to shunt the Monster of the Week, the Skovox Blitzer, a billion years into the future, but since Mister Pink interfered with his devices, it only pushes the monster 72 hours into the future.  Pink sees the whole thing and Clara tries to offer an excuse, but he's having none of it. Clara makes it clear to the Doctor that Danny is her boyfriend, and we're not as far away from the romantic subplots of last season, because I can't the distinct impression that the Doctor doesn't want Clara to have any other man in her life at all. He wants to be the only one, and it's so small and petty a desire.

A little later, Clara sneaks Mister Pink on board the TARDIS with the invisibility watch that the Doctor had put together for use against the Blitzer, so he can observe what their relationship is really like, but the Doctor sees through it. They bicker like hormonal teenagers, with Mr. Pink assuming that Time Lords are like an officer class. Ugh, it's a horrible, shitty scene that diminishes everyone involved.

Later on, it's parent-teacher night, but the Blitzer arrives in the auditorium, returning a day early. Mr. Pink is talking to a child's parents, admitting that she is a disruptive influence. They say last year that he called her a VERY disruptive influence, so this counts as an improvement. Mr. Pink is a new arrival to the school, so he didn't say anything about her last year, though they may have been referring to his predecessor. They see the Doctor, and when they run off to join him, he tells them the Blitzer has returned early.

It's worth noting that the Blitzer has such a shitty design, displacing the Raston Warrior Robot and its disturbing bulge as the worst looking Who monster.

Clara distracts it, it chases Clara. The scene is filmed at a bunch of entirely bizarre angles, and I? can only assume that the cameraman was drunk.

She lures it to the Doctor, and he commands it to stand down. It does, but the Doctor forgot about the self-destruct sequence it would initiate when doing so. Fortunately, Mr. Pink shows up and distracts the robot by flipping over it.

"Go, go, Power Rangers!"

The Doctor concludes the shutdown sequence, and he and Mr. Pink find a kind of peace.

The episode ends with the cop killed by the Blitzer being interviewed in a sterile white office. The interviewer informs him that he's in the Promised Land, but that Missy is too busy to talk to him.

I thought this was a pretty bad episode. The whole soldiers arc is so completely boring that I can't wait for it to be over.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Legend of Korra Book Four: Balance Trailer Review

Hot on the heels of Book Three, which concluded in the end of August, it's season four of The Legend of Korra. 

Korra has not been treated well by Nickelodeon. Season Three was delayed for months, then launched with almost no advertising, then later pulled from the schedule entirely, to live on as a digital-only release.

Korra is a great show with a ton of outstanding characters. I'm not going to go into a huge amount of detail here, but it's the successor to Avatar: The Last Airbender, set seventy years after the end of the first series. We see a couple of the original character, now the Elder Statesmen of the world, but mostly it's all new cast of youngsters.

It's rare enough to find a children's show with a female lead, let alone a person of color. I don't watch it because it's progressive, though. I watch it because it's outstanding. I could write a series of posts on how great the show is, but I'm just going to cover the trailer with this.

Look, I made some low quality gifs of Asami kicking some dude's butt! Go Asami!

The trailer tells us that it's three years later. We get the montage, including Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Mech Suits,


Suyin looking sad (and frighteningly, Lin is nowhere to be found in this trailer),

Zelda Williams' character Kuvira launching a coup (?), She'd been somewhat awkwardly thrust to the forefront at the end of Book Three, and it looks like it was to set up her larger role in Book Four.

Meelo, Jinora and, uh, the other one (Ikki), in their flight suits,

more Metal Clan army,

ZUKO'S DAUGHTER, the Fire Lord, finally!

I love that she wears glasses

the triumphant return of Katara,

ugh, Zhu Li and Varrick,

 and maybe...Toph?

"I can't believe it! Toph?"

You'd better not tease me with Toph and not follow through! You hear me, DiMartino and Konietzko?!

Based on what we're looking at here, I'm guessing that Kuvira was another one of the Red Lotus' sleeper agents, and that she launches a full scale war, with mech suits designed by Varrick.

Your lack of Lin disturbs me. I hope she doesn't get killed early on, especially after all that development she got last season. She's tied with Tenzin and Asami as my absolute favorite character. Would love to see Toph, Zuko and Katara back together again. How great would that be?! October 3rd can't come soon enough. has a brief promo clip, and I think it's the most endearing thing in the world that Konietzko is wearing a Gymkata shirt.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 5: Time Heist

The Doctor wants to take Clara on an adventure, but she's getting ready for a date. On one hand, I like a Doctor who loves experiencing all the wonders the universe has to offer and wants to share them with his Companions. On the other, I hate that he seems to have retained Matt Smith's trait of being unable to comprehend perfectly normal human behaviors. ("Why is your face all colored in?" "Are you taller?")

The Doctor is a nearly omniscient time traveler with intimate knowledge of the etiquette and mores of every culture that has ever, or will ever exist, except, apparently, for those of contemporary earth.

A lot of human behavior doesn't make sense outside of the context of its society, but is perfectly logical, and indeed, sometimes compulsory within that society.

Whovian Feminism had a great piece on the subject. It was in reference to the (a)sexuality of the Doctor, but I think it applies in the broader sense, in that it's possible to understand something without being interested in pursuing it. I have friends who are sports fans/vegetarians/attracted to men, and while I don't share those interests, I have an intellectual understanding of why someone might. The Doctor should be able to manage something more than a stupefied "Wha-wha-what?!" when he sees Clara wearing lipstick. It's stupid sitcom humor, and I had thought we were done with it.

Just as she's about to leave, the TARDIS phone rings. Clara is concerned that "a thing" will happen if he answers it, but the Doctor assures her that nothing happens when you answer the phone.

Is this transitioning into another cheesy sitcom gag?

Quelle surprise.

Moffat's not going to be satisfied until the show has a laugh track.

We see that there are four people at the table, the Doctor, Clara, and two others. Each has his or her own worm.

The Doctor informs them that the worms are memory worms, and a recorded message in each person's voice declares that they consented to memory wipe.

The guy is called Psi, and the woman is named Saibra. I got the spelling from the end credits. During the episode, I thought it was "Sabra", like the brand of hummus or the Israeli superhero. I liked her look. The actress seemed familiar, but I didn't recognize any of her earlier roles when I looked her up.

She and Psi are a huge part of what I like about this episode. I wouldn't mind seeing them as full time comapnions. The case in the center of the table pops open and plays a message from a "terribly mysterious" man calling himself the Architect. He tells them that their mission, should they decide to accept it, is to pull a heist on the Bank of Karabraxos, the most secure bank in the galaxy. I like the name "Karabraxos" a lot. It seems like such a Doctor Who word. Bank security shows up, and we cut to Ms. Delphox.

I had her pegged as a haughty woman who got her comeuppance as soon as she appeared onscreen, and I was right. (Oops, spoilers.) Despite my tone so far, I don't dislike this episode as strongly as this review might suggest. Had it been a man in this role instead of a woman, I think my opinion would have shifted from a mild negative to a mild positive. Moffat says he has a fetish for sexy, powerful women, but what he really has is a fetish for seeing sexy, powerful women being humbled. It's pretty ugly, and it brought down my opinion of this episode.

Yes, I'm being uncharitable with this, and I don't think I would hold another writer to this standard, but Moffat no longer gets the benefit of the doubt.

Cut to the Doctor and his new companions running down a corridor. We learn that Psi is a cyborg, and that Saibra is a shapeshifter who uncontrollably mimics any person she touches. They meander around a bit through the most impregnable bank in the galaxy before the room they're in is locked down. Delphox and her goons march out the Teller, and while the name is terrible and an unnecessary pun on "Bank Teller", the design of the creature is outstanding.

They think the Teller is there for them, but it sucks the brains out of someone who sought to exchange some counterfeit currency for that in his vault.

I've been watching a lot of Leverage lately. (Gina Bellman's fortunes have vastly improved after escaping Moffat's sweaty clutches.)  And it's competence porn fantasy where they pull off one heist after another, but at least they go through enough hand-waving to allow me to buy into the illusion. My biggest complaint about this episode is theme. It doesn't feel like a heist movie. The characters lackadaisically stroll from one location to the next, collecting the plot coupon at each before moving on. It lacks the tension that a good heist movie should have.

While lazily ambling down the unpatrolled steam tunnels, the Doctor says, "My personal plan is that thing will probably happen, quite soon." I think I'd prefer 45 minutes of nails on a chalkboard to hearing that phrase in next week's episode. 

Clara finds another case. This is a pretty good scene. The Doctor says that once he opens the case, he can't close it again. Psi asks if it would be safer if only one of them knew the incriminating information, because the Teller can track them through their guilty conscience. I really liked this bit of characterization.

Let's have a pity party for Saibra.
However, there is no message inside. Instead, the case has six devices. The doctor claims not to know their purpose, but Saibra knows he's lying. Meanwhile, Clara is talking to Psi. She asks him about his ability to delete his memories. He tells her that he panicked when he was in prison, and deleted all memories of his loved ones when being interrogated. That brief exchange might well be my favorite sequence in the season. (Up until something later in the episode.)

Unfortunately it's followed by a really terrible and artificial exchange. Saibra laments to the Doctor how she is completely and forever alone, because she automatically assumes the form of whomever she touches. Tell it to Rogue, sister.

She asks him "Could you trust someone who looked back out at you out of your own eyes?"

I don't know. I've know a couple identical twins, and they generally got along okay.

The whole thing is just silly. The show is trying to elevate Saibra's personal hangups to level of a universal taboo. The universe is a big place, and I'm sure even on Earth she could find some narcissists into that kind of thing.

They continue navigating the sprawling, easily accessible corridors and find the counterfeiter in a cell with his head improbably concave.

Then the loudspeaker goes off and tells them that they've been detected, so they better hide if they don't want to be caught. They wander into the room where the Teller is being held in hibernation. Unfortunately, it picks up on Clara's thoughts and wakes up.

Clara gets away, but it then locks on to Saibra. She's tortuously dying by inches, but she exchanges some melodramatic dialogue with the Doctor, asking him to kill the Architect, should they meet him. He says that he hates the Architect, but he can't make that promise. She's all like "You're a Good Man, Doctor Who," and then she uses the "disintegrator".

That "Good Man" was so awkward and jarring. It was terrible.

The survivors escape through an unfeasibly large grate, into a ridiculously wide corridor.

Most secure bank in the galaxy

They bicker. Psi says Clara must have been traveling with the Doctor for a long time, because she's really good at making excuses for him.

Delphox releases the Teller after them. Psi tries to hack the vault. There are corridors and running, just like old times. 

Clara is unable to keep her mind empty, and her Destroyer is coming for her,

but before it can reach her, Psi uploads the memories of a number of criminals, including some classic Who villains, and the Teller starts coming for him.

He strides right down the corridor directly towards it and says "Clara, for what it’s worth, and it might not be worth much…when your whole life flashes in front of you, you see people you love, and people missing you. And I see no one."

That was great! Because of scenes like this, I can't bring myself to hate this episode, despite all its flaws.

The vault doesn't unlock, but then there's a solar storm, which causes it to automatically unlock. The Doctor and Clara enter the vault. There is a brief exchange where the Doctor concludes that the Architect must be a time traveler, because he planned the heist for the time the solar storm would hit. I suppose he could be some kind of solar astronomer too, because presumably solar storms occur due to pre-existing conditions and don't just happen for no reason, but forget that for the moment.

I like how they addressed the absence of the TARDIS, that the solar storm would have made navigation impossible. They enter the vault and find the rewards for their "dead" comrades, a device to restore Psi's memories, and one to stabilize Saibra's genetics. But before they can retrieve their own rewards, they're captured by the Teller. Delphox twirls her metaphorical mustache, and then takes the Teller off to hibernation, telling her underlings in face concealing helmets to dispose of them.

This is really my biggest complaint about the episode. It had no surprises whatsoever. Yes, the Doctor is the Architect. Yes, these goons are really Saibra and Psi in disguise. Yes, the disintegrator was really a teleporter. (If you liked the disintegrator that was secretly a teleporter in Bad Wolf, you'll love it in Time Heist! Man, Into the Dalek rips off Dalek, and now this?) Yes, the Teller, in its leg irons and prison uniform, was serving under duress.

They enter the private vault through some air vents that are bigger than my first apartment. I do like the layout of the vault, and here's one of the most touching things about the entire series. 

They confront Director Karabraxos, who was the template for Delphox. She then orders Delphox's execution. The Doctor has a revelation! "How could you trust someone who looked back out of you out of your own eyes?"

Then he figures out that he's the Architect. It was so obvious that the only question was if his identity was actually supposed to be a twist. The Director packs up some of her treasures, but before she goes, the Doctor tells her that he's a time traveler, and he gives her his phone number. He mansplains that someday that she's going to be old and full of regrets, and that she'll call him. She rolls her eyes, but...

The Teller arrives and scans the Doctor's memories of the missing days. In a flashback, we see the events leading up to the episode. An elderly Karabraxos calls the Doctor from her deathbed (she was the phone call to the TARDIS in the beginning of the episode)  The Doctor was right! Women don't know what they want until a man tells them! Eye roll, please, Clara.

The Teller knows the combination lock and opens the safe within, freeing its mate. The Doctor takes them to an uninhabited planet, before likewise returning Psi and Saibra home. I like the scene in the TARDIS a great deal.

I wouldn't mind seeing a larger crew in the TARDIS at all. Some of the best scenes in the news series were Captain Jack and Rose playing off each other. I hope we see more of Psi and Saibra.

Overall, for me, its flaws outweigh its virtues.  I think there was a really good episode in here, it was probably the most tightly plotted of the season,  but it needed better direction, and NuWho dearly needs someone to rein in Moffat's worst tendencies regarding writing women and jokes that belong in sitcoms.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Night in the Lonesome October Re-released!

Wow, two Zelazny posts in two days. This blog is almost living up to its original purpose.

I've just learned from Zach Shephard, fellow Zelazny enthusiast, that A Night in the Lonesome October has been re-released.  Amazon is selling it at this link:

A Night in the Lonesome October (Rediscovered Classics)

According to Amazon, the official release date is October 1st, but I placed an order just now, and the confirmation indicated a Thursday arrival.

Ideally, place your order through the Lovecraft eZine's Amazon portal. They've published two Lonesome October tribute issues (First Issue, Second Issue), and they've done a lot to spread the word about the book.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: in the world of ROGER ZELAZNY'S AMBER: Seven No-Trump

I used to lament that there wasn't that much out there other than books themselves for fans of Zelazny (Zelaznyphiles? Zelaznians?). Where was my Corwin t-shirt, my Flora legwarmers, my Merlin urinal cake?

However, if Seven No-Trump is any indication, I may have dodged a bullet. There is so much wrong with this book that I barely even know where to begin. ("Beginnings are always difficult. Wherever I begin, something preceded it.")

In the order that I encountered them, the problems with this book are:

The Rules

There are sixteen pages of them, with dice rolls, ability scores, items to track. You have an arbitrary limit of four items, which cheeses me off more than most of the problems with the book. The rules section was written by Bill Fawcett, and, though I haven't read the other Crossroads Adventures books, I assume this section is the same in all of them. I appreciate that Amber was adapted using an existing system that had to accommodate a large number of fictional worlds, but this set of rules seems like an especially poor fit.

The Stats

Each character has the same six stats as characters in Dungeons & Dragons,  Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom/Luck, Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma, and they're measured on the same 3-18 scale. Random, the Prince of Amber who lifted a Mercedes, is given an 11 strength, which corresponds to "An average 20-year-old man." Random, the Prince of Amber, of whom it has been written, "My brother Random looks and acts, on occasion, like an asthmatic, teen-age hood-but once we had fenced together for over twenty-six hours, to see who would call it quits." has a Constitution score of 14, slightly above average.

Also, some of the examples given are weird. The table for each score lists who might have the trait at this level. It's generally real world examples for lower levels, veering into fictional characters as the score gets higher. A "Five-year-old child" has a strength of 3, "Doc Savage, or Mr. Spock" have an Intelligence of 17, etc. However, Magnum, P.I. (that's topical) is an example of high Charisma, beaten only by...Henry Kissinger. Lee Iaccoca has the highest Wisdom of any real world person. I'm not disputing that he's a smart guy, but surely there are better examples?

Careless mistakes 

Of Neil Randall's other works relating to Roger Zelazny, I found Black Road War flawed in some ways, but still engaging, but I rather liked the Visual Guide to Castle Amber, and I'm one of the few people who will admit to holding that opinion.  I thought he was a fellow fan, man.

I've always thought it especially clever for Zelazny to introduce the Trumps early on, so that the the reader could reference them when the character in question was introduced later in the story. As a result, I have a vivid visual picture of the Amberites. I assumed that most other fans, particularly those who wrote books about the property, did too.

How then, do we explain Random's "blue-black hair" (rendered with "eerie accuracy" in his Trump, no less), Flora's black hair, Caine's green eyes and Brand's blue ones?

In one sense, these are minor details, because they don't affect the story, but in another, these are mistakes that Randall shouldn't have made. I'm sure he had an editor (though, maybe not. More on this below), but the editor probably wasn't looking for loyalty to the source material as much as the structure of the prose, so this is all on him.

Characterization all over the place

It's not like we don't have an idea of what Random would be as a narrator. We get a chapter from his point of view in Sign of the Unicorn, and that Random, and this Random sound nothing alike. 

Benedict gets it the worst. He's "angry"? There are several passages in 7-NT talking about how Benedict wanted to be king, and set himself up as king in Avalon. No, he didn't. He called himself the Protector. Fiona, of all people, placed him above suspicion:  "Benedict, in my opinion, is above suspicion. If he wanted the throne, he'd have it by now, by direct, military methods. With all the time he has had, he could have managed an attack that would have succeeded, even against Dad." (Benedict from the book:  "I've never had any use for fairness, if I want something badly enough, And I want you, brother. I want you dead!"

We have some possible scenes where Random outsmarts Brand and outfences Bleys and Benedict at the same time?  (And Brand is the tougher fight!)

Flora is "mischievous"?

Random had always liked Deidre? 

Corwin is "honest"? Which dovetails into...

Random's mancrush on Corwin

If I could choose one brother to be standing here beside me at this moment, I would choose Corwin. The man is truly one of a kind. As striking as he looks in his black and silver clothes, his cloak clasped by a broach in the form of a silver rose, his looks have nothing on his brains. 

We get more than a few passages like this, but this is the first and had nothing to do with the matter at hand, so I chose it to serve as an example. Yeah, Corwin is the main character of the chronicles, but Sheesh! 

Sloppy editing

Sections 14 and 22 are almost identical. I don't know if Randall was being lazy and thought that no one would read it more than once and never catch on, or what, but it sucks. There's also a section where Random's name is substituted for Brand's, making the conversation seem like one scene in Jack of Shadows.


The villains are...Dworkin and Llewella? The fuck?!

This book was irredeemably bad. I even have the occasional kind word for the Merlin books, but ugh. Having read the book, and reread Zelazny's blurb: "Neil Randall has shifted some shadows in an intriguing fashion. I am pleased with the results.", it strikes me as rather tepid praise, and now I know why.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sorry, no post tonight

I mean, no post tonight, other than the one you're reading now.

It's just been the culmination of a bruising week. Sorry, those of you who came here believing in that M/W/F schedule I promised. I'll be back on Monday.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stuff Josh Likes: Death Note

Back in my day, we'd have to drive twenty miles to the mall to get the latest anime release on VHS from Suncoast Video on VHS. I'd plunk down my thirty bucks for whatever shitty OVA they got as soon as they got it.

Kids these days have an abundance of anime to choose from. The biggest problem is observing Sturgeon's Law, and not watching the 90% of anime that, like 90% of everything, is crap.

I forget if my baby brother or my best friend originally recommended Death Note.  The idea is that a high school student namd Light Yagami acquires a notebook that will kill the person whose name is written in it if the writer also knows their face. He initially uses it to kill criminals, but, when he realizes that that he's being investigated, uses it to kill a umber of innocent people investigating him.

That's the thing I like about Death Note. Light is a monster, and the show never lampshades it, but nor do they flinch away from it.

There's a scene where Light gets an ID from an FBI agent investigating him after he murdered her boyfriend. The first thing he tried to do on meeting her was write her name in the Death Note and get her to die as a suicide, but that didn't work, because she had an idea of how things functioned, and she gave him a fake name.

He writes her real name into the Death Note, and she goes on to kill herself at his command, even when offered the chance to call the director of the investigation directly.

It's deeply disturbing, and intentionally so. Some shows say "Let's be bad guys," and show meaningless rebellion against impotent paper tigers. Death Note depicts someone monstrously, horribly evil, but he's never shown as a hero.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 4: Listen

We open with the Doctor meditating cross legged on the TARDIS with his eyes closed. Will they open so he can say something needlessly portentous?


Survey says yes. Moffat, you fucking hack.

The Doctor muses on why is there no such thing as perfect hiding? I don't know, jackass. Ask the Visians, or the Spiridons.

Jump to Clara and Mister Pink on a date, and it's is awful.Painful. Ugh. On this very special episode of Blossom, Clara learns that soldiers are people too. She couldn't find a taxi, so Clara leaves in a huff. This scene was just so bad. You can take the misogynist out of the sitcom, but you can't take the sitcom writer out of the misogynist.

The Doctor shows up at Clara's place and starts babbling about Russell's teapot, as explained by a third grader. "Clara, what if there if there were an invisible, inaudible, intangible, undetectable companion following everyone around?"

Clara doesn't say, "Well, you belonged to the most advanced civilization in the history of the universe. If such a thing existed, I imagine that your people would have devised a way to detect it."

This is absolutely what I hate most about Moffat's writing. Hey, I had a thought, and I'm going to write it directly into a script without time for introspection or investigation. It's bullshit, footnote to sophomore philosophy, tide goes in, tide goes out you can't explain it, magnets how do they work sophistry. It's like a Michael Bay movie without the explosions.

This worked in a comedy episode like Robot of Sherwood. It doesn't work in episode expected to be taken seriously.

The Doctor belittles Clara's appearance again throughout the episode. This is beyond shitty. We also get this.

How wacky.

Near the end of the episode, Clara says she can do "a thing". More talented writers have tried this phrase, but they only got away with it because they used it in passing, not as the crux on which an episode hinged.

And she winds up in the Doctor's bedroom when he was a Time Tot. Fortunately, the people on Galifrey decorate and talk exactly talk like sitcom parents from the 80s, enabling this misunderstanding.

I can't think of a worse episode of modern Who. This was just atrocious.