Finished Series Eight

We finished up the Doctor Who episodes on Netflix tonight ... and I have a couple of things to say.

Well, one thing mostly: THAT WAS A REALLY DEPRESSING SEASON. D: D: D:

Narratively, I liked the end with the Doctor and Clara both pretending they have everything they wanted for the other's sake while actually they got NONE OF IT and are miserable and grieving. Emotionally, though, GAAAAHHHHH.

Also, a couple of the episodes were ... just ... bad. Like "Forests of the Night" or the blowing-up-the-moon episode. They had enjoyable parts, but they made no sense! NOTHING makes any sense! It's sort of like ... I can see where they were going, but the script needed a few more revisions, and maybe, if a science advisor is too much to hope for, then 10 minutes on Wikipedia perhaps.

Still, I had a lot of fun, and I continue to adore this Doctor and the whole aesthetic of the TARDIS and front credits this season. And because he's so much more abrasive and morally ambiguous (in some ways) than recent incarnations, there were some moments of straight-up beauty and sacrifice that were all the better for being unexpected, like the Doctor taking on the victim's attributes in order to draw the killer to him in the space-train episode, or his "Did you think I cared so little that betraying me would make any difference?" to Clara after the volcano fake-out (which was also great).

However, I'm not so much looking forward to the next season in delight, as thinking that another full year will be juuuuuust about enough time to get over this one. XD

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"Did you think I cared so little that betraying me would make any difference?"

So brilliant. That was one of the best lines of the show, total. ♥

(You haven't watched the Christmas special yet, have you?)
I have not! Actually, like an idiot, I forgot I was watching last year's episodes and didn't even realize there had been a Christmas special! So now I have something to look forward to. :D
yep, have to agree with this. (especially those two episodes you singled out)

Also the train episode was probably my favorite of the year. I wanted Clara's dress (and if it's not too much to ask to look like her in it) but the darkness of this Doctor was highlighted in that episode without it being hit on with a sledgehammer
I did really enjoy the train episode. :D (Though I think the Robin Hood one was my favorite, because it made me laugh so much.)
The two most infuriating parts of the season for me:
• The girl in "In the Forest of the Night" must not take her meds because meds are bad and hearing voices is good! What a great message for kids who may have parents on meds or friends on meds or may someday be on meds themselves? I gnashed my teeth. I ranted. I'm still furious.
• I maybe could have handled if they'd killed Danny Pink for a reason or let him die heroically, but he died because he was hit by a car? Possibly because he was distracted by a phone cal from Clara?! AAAAUUUUGGGHHHH!

I liked Danny. A lot.

I won't go on here. I like some things about Clara, but some of them really annoy me; I loved Oswin Oswald and the Victorian version of Clara and was disappointed by Clara as she has been written. I'm still hoping I'll like her better this season.

I do think the actress is doing a great job with a very uneven set of scripts. And Capaldi is brilliant with the same mixed bag. The two of them have real chemistry, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again.

I loved the scene with Clara and the volcano, and I was spellbound by the episode on the train. I also love Madame Vastra and Jenny and even Strax.
Yeah, I absolutely adored Capaldi's Doctor; love Madame Vastra and Jenny and Strax (who is hilarious); really enjoyed Clara's interactions with this Doctor (though I agree with you that almost any of the other versions of her would've been better -- I think I'm just thoroughly tired of Contemporary British Girl as the Companion archetype and wish the show would do something different for a change); really hope some of the one-off characters come back for an encore (like the ones from the heist episode) ...

... and really wish I loved more of the season overall. I love Capaldi's Doctor so much that I want to rewatch and wallow around in it ... AND I CAN'T, because there were so few episodes that didn't make me squirm, eyeroll, or rage at some point. The season started off making me think I was going to LOVE it ... and then I just didn't. I hope I like next season more, as a whole, because Capaldi is honestly my favorite of the New Who Doctors so far -- and I really enjoyed them all! But I didn't have that same CLICK with any of them that I have, so far, only had with Four, and possibly only there because he was the first one I watched and therefore the one I imprinted on.

I was spoiled for Danny's death. Normally I hate spoilers, but in this case I was very glad I was forewarned. I didn't know details, but at least I knew that a) we were going to lose him, and b) a lot of people were pissed about how it happened. And I'm glad I didn't go in completely unprepared. It must have been awful to get blindsided.

Edited at 2015-09-11 06:24 am (UTC)
there were so few episodes that didn't make me squirm, eyeroll, or rage at some point
Thank you for saying this! I didn't want to be too harsh on the show when you love the characters, but it's a relief to know someone else felt the same! Almost every darned episode had something that made me angry.

I think the worst of it overall was the Doctor's ongoing denigration of Danny. The Ninth and, to a lesser extent, the Tenth Doctor did it to Mickey. The Eleventh did not do it to Rory! So Black companions get treated like idiots or gym teachers, no matter how smart they are and good they are at what they do. I love Rory and I wouldn't want to have seen him get the same abuse, but do the writers not realize that the Doctor seems to single out only and always Black boyfriends of his companions for contempt? Rose's friend from the station above earth ("End of the World"?) got contempt after he did something awful; Mickey and Danny got it for existing and having the temerity to date the Doctor's companions.

I'm still angry that they killed Danny. I kept hoping they'd find a loophole. Apparently they're bringing back someone else who died in the same story, but not Danny! /rant

I think only Capaldi could make me like the Doctor that they're writing now. I found it easier to like the other new Doctors (though I was a bit slow on Eleven, to be honest). And writing the Doctor as truly alien, as not always compassionate and frequently baffled at human perspectives—that's the best thing about the writing this season. One of my favorite exchanges:
Doctor: This is Clara. Not my assistant, she's ah, some other word.
Clara: I'm his carer.
The Doctor: Yeah. My carer. She cares so I don't have to.

I wish the writers would get some clues on a lot of other fronts, though. I would be happy to help them. (conceals giant Clue Stick behind back)
The blowing up the Moon episode was SOOOO BAD!! I almost stopped watching after that.

Out of 12 episodes I only really like a few Listen, Flatline & Robot of Sherwood. I was very surprised & disappointed that Danny was killed off. It seemed like they were making him out to be someone important in the whole scheme of things.

The new season is scheduled to start in a couple of weeks and I am still not sure if I will check it out.

Is there a definitive list of episodes to watch or episodes to avoid? Without completely missing the overarching plot, that is. Some of DW writing makes my blood boil so if I could just watch the 'better' episodes without losing the thread that would be fantastic. (Not asking you to provide it for me, lol, just wondering out loud)
Those ones you mentioned were my favorites, as well as the train episode. And, yeah ... I enjoyed a bunch of the character stuff this season, but a lot of the episodes were REALLY weak, and I felt like the overall, "afterlife invasion" plot should've been built up better than it was.

I was spoiled ahead of time for Danny's death, which usually I would've minded but in this case it was a relief to know, because I think otherwise I would've been really upset about it. I agree, it seemed like he was being built up for something special, and then he got the world's most anticlimactic death, followed by a somewhat pointless sacrifice. SIGH.
I was very surprised & disappointed that Danny was killed off. It seemed like they were making him out to be someone important in the whole scheme of things.
I was too! I'm still angry about it. They needed him dead for the episode, which I already resent—but the way they killed him was particularly stupid.
The writing was very uneven, I do recall that... Capaldi pretty much held it together by sheer acting prowess at times...
Yeah, uneven is a good word for it. I loved some of the individual episodes and a bunch of character moments throughout, and Capaldi is SO GREAT, but augh, I wish his debut season had been more solid.