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The (Regenerated) Doctor Who Thread: Reverse the Polarity!

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Which of Steven Moffat's Doctor Who Christmas Specials has been the best?

A Christmas Carol
8
22%
The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
0
No votes
The Snowmen
1
3%
The Time of the Doctor
11
30%
Last Christmas
5
14%
The Husbands of River Song
11
30%
The Return of Doctor Mysterio
1
3%
 
Total votes : 37

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The Huskar Social Union
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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:57 pm

Nea Videssos wrote:
Astrolinium wrote:
Yeah. I've been trying to look through clips on YouTube, but aside from a very bizarre short film in which Alan Rickman grinds up and snorts children's teeth, I'm mostly finding interviews rather than actual acting. May have to watch Broadchurch.


Well, I found this, though it's a theatre thing.

That was great.
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Postby Ameriganastan » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:03 am

Nea Videssos wrote:
Astrolinium wrote:
Yeah. I've been trying to look through clips on YouTube, but aside from a very bizarre short film in which Alan Rickman grinds up and snorts children's teeth, I'm mostly finding interviews rather than actual acting. May have to watch Broadchurch.


Well, I found this, though it's a theatre thing.

Well, I'm sold.
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Postby Forsher » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:45 am

Nation of Quebec wrote:I really should see Broadchurch before Christmas.

I haven't seen her in anything before, the same was true with Eccleston and Smith. I was familiar with Capaldi from the couple of episodes with him as the hilarious Malcom Tucker I saw, and of course David Tennant was in Goblet of Fire (although only a bit part and not enough for me to judge him on).

I'm pretty sure The Chibs wanted a reliable person he had worked with before, and I seriously doubt political correctness had anything to do with it, but I'm sure people will whine about it regardless.

On an unrelated note, we do have our first blond Doctor since Davidson.


The actress isn't blonde. In fact, her hair is quite dark. The image of her with dyed hair makes her look a lot older. Frankly, I'm surprised, given how young she tends to look in Broadchurch, that she's 35. Anyway, the point I am making here is that a dyed hair doctor is definitely not a good thing: it makes a mockery of the whole ginger thing. Hopefully that changes.* Now, to the casting itself...

Of course, I haven't seen the series just been as of yet so I can't really say if there have been any indications the Doctor has gained any sort of control over, um, his regenerations which makes her latest regeneration difficult to swallow. It's a bit like how you might install a dictator in a coup who then turns out to be a generally good thing for the country... it doesn't make how you end up with the dictator right. But, as I said, maybe the Doctor's managed to learn something about his species and she will now carry that forwards so the fourteenth doctor is a ginger dude.**

But, definitely, the casting was a cop out. Should've been daring and gone for a black man, hmm, that sounds wrong. (If you're being pressured by two camps, one for a "white" chick and the other for a "white" dude, clearly bending either way is cowardly.) Notice how this, and again maybe he got educated in the episodes I have not seen, doesn't actually fundamentally recast the question of the Doctor's nature.***

Now, the series before last (9) was awful so being better than that would definitely be a good thing and shouldn't be particularly difficult. Broadchurch, for reference, lost the plot a bit in series two, was decent enough in series three and the only major problem with series one is that there are better British mystery shows about dead/missing kids... e.g. The Missing. While I would hesitate to suggest this was due to the Beth character, it certainly doesn't bode ill despite severe genre differences.

*Any other dyed Doctors are problems I am not aware of. And, given I am familiar with the revival series one, also from the original run which I presume pre-dates the ginger thing anyway (I have seen some Third Doctor episodes but not, I believe, his regenerations from Two and into Four).

**If it is bad to be redhaired, it is worse if you're male than if you're female. Sorry, that's just how it is.

***Two points here. One, I can't remember the exact details of Missy but the Master has always struck me as being more aware of what being a Time Lord means than the Doctor anyway. Two, if you're familiar with Runaways they had a shapeshifting character who claimed that being male or female at any given moment was meaningless to shapeshifters. This is clearly inconsistent with literally every other shapeshifter (including others in, theoretically, same-sex relations) I can name in Marvel comics, which rather means that Xavin's portrayal consistently side-stepped the rather interesting question of whether the character was completely gender-fluid. An "accidental" regeneration into a female form raises the same questions, which means there is a glaring continuity problem (even if there were foreshadowing attempts in the just completed series). A deliberate regeneration side-steps these issues entirely (at least in my eyes... this is funny) but, again, it has been my impression this is an aspect of Time Lord life history that has been beyond the Doctor (although there is the ginger problem but insofar as that is really a joke doesn't really matter).

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Great Confederacy Of Commonwealth States wrote:The vitriol on facebook about the casting of Whittaker has been horrendous. How much hate can a society have for something they've never seen before?

People are taking this as pandering to SJWs.

For fuck sake, give her a chance. ...


Actors are stupid. You tell them where to go, they go there ("blocking"). You tell them if they're doing something wrong, they try to fix it (this can also be called "blocking"). They don't control the quality of the characters or the plot they are in... basically, all actors have to do is not be distracting. Same with cinematography. As long as it's good enough, it's excellent... even if there are better actors and better cinematographers around.

Bizarrely, given the deep influence of blocking on the quality of whatever is produced, I am also a director sceptic. I think writers get stiffed when it comes to films, but with television at least people give them their dues.

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Crysuko wrote:And we have all the reactionary rage to look forward to

Fact is at the end of the day, most of the people who will rage about this will still watch the fucking show, its the same with everything. The Majority of people who cried about the lead cast for Force Awakens and Rogue One for example, they went and fecking watched it.


You have no moral authority to critique anything if you don't experience it. You have no credibility if you persist in a critique without giving it a chance.*

This notion of "if you don't like it, don't watch it" is silly. All that's better for is the people who are comfortable with whatever is happening... because it means that they can just pretend "haters gonna hate" and partition them off as "not fans" rather than wondering if, perhaps, there is a credibility to criticism when it comes from, er, experiencers.

*The dictator analogy works well here, too. "Yeah, sure, we've got aqueducts now, but that doesn't validate everything else" is more credible than "But they weren't meant to be leader" whine-criticisms that don't acknowledge the contextual elements of improved quality of life.
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Postby Anywhere Else But Here » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:04 am

Forsher wrote:Snip!

What's this about dictators? Has there been some kind of coup at the BBC?

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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:13 am

Anywhere Else But Here wrote:
Forsher wrote:Snip!

What's this about dictators? Has there been some kind of coup at the BBC?

Corbyn killed everyone who disagreed with him and turned it into the Comrade Corbyn Broadcast Network.

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Postby The Two Jerseys » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:59 pm

Forsher wrote:
Nation of Quebec wrote:I really should see Broadchurch before Christmas.

I haven't seen her in anything before, the same was true with Eccleston and Smith. I was familiar with Capaldi from the couple of episodes with him as the hilarious Malcom Tucker I saw, and of course David Tennant was in Goblet of Fire (although only a bit part and not enough for me to judge him on).

I'm pretty sure The Chibs wanted a reliable person he had worked with before, and I seriously doubt political correctness had anything to do with it, but I'm sure people will whine about it regardless.

On an unrelated note, we do have our first blond Doctor since Davidson.


The actress isn't blonde. In fact, her hair is quite dark. The image of her with dyed hair makes her look a lot older. Frankly, I'm surprised, given how young she tends to look in Broadchurch, that she's 35. Anyway, the point I am making here is that a dyed hair doctor is definitely not a good thing: it makes a mockery of the whole ginger thing. Hopefully that changes.* Now, to the casting itself...

The blonde hair was bothering me ever since I saw that pic, and I finally figured out why: she looks too much like Kate Stewart with it. Definitely should have kept her natural hair color.
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Postby Forsher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:09 am

Anywhere Else But Here wrote:
Forsher wrote:Snip!

What's this about dictators? Has there been some kind of coup at the BBC?


Can I just say, absurd jokes work best when they're (a) not illiterate (I did repeatedly say analogy) and (b) actually false. The BBC has suffered a coup.
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Postby Anywhere Else But Here » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:47 am

Forsher wrote:
Anywhere Else But Here wrote:What's this about dictators? Has there been some kind of coup at the BBC?


Can I just say, absurd jokes work best when they're (a) not illiterate (I did repeatedly say analogy) and (b) actually false. The BBC has suffered a coup.

You made your analogy a couple of times but I've absolutely no idea what it's supposed to communicate.

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Postby Forsher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:08 am

Anywhere Else But Here wrote:
Forsher wrote:
Can I just say, absurd jokes work best when they're (a) not illiterate (I did repeatedly say analogy) and (b) actually false. The BBC has suffered a coup.

You made your analogy a couple of times but I've absolutely no idea what it's supposed to communicate.


Let's say we have a suspect. In fact, more than a suspect. We're completely sure Henry (let's call him Henry) has abducted a little girl and hid her somewhere. He's killed people before too so the girl might be dead. Or maybe there's enough time to save her. If we can find her soon. We chase Henry into a building and he runs upwards. Henry slips. And hey, now we can threaten not to save Henry if he doesn't say where she is. She's found.

The world is much better off for for finding the girl. That doesn't justify how the girl was found. It lets us sleep at night, sure, but what we did is still wrong.

Similarly, it doesn't matter if the episodes with Whittaker turn out to be Tennant-good or whatever actor you like most... it doesn't change that there are problems with a female Doctor that have nothing to do with "cooties" and it doesn't change that there are problems with having a Doctor with dyed hair (but this might change). It's almost like having Tom Hiddleston or Tom Hardy play Wonder Woman (because for all that is said about Chris's one can't turn one's head without finding either of these two). The only difference is that Wonder Woman is a non-human with Woman in her name. It'd be a bit more different with Superman because there's no Greek mythology context.

Now, as I have been at pains to point out, there is a major qualifier: I am quite a few episodes behind. To use an example. There's a plot-line in the run-up to the Siege storyline in 616-Marvel that sees Loki as a woman (I think he may have been inhabiting Sif's body, but I can't recall exactly). There are clear plot reasons for this. Plot reasons, I am suggesting, may have been set up in the episodes I have not seen or in the last Capaldi one. That is, the Whittaker-announcement could be like seeing a female-Loki cover (and knowing it's for 616) having read no issues in the sequence.

These could be a bit like Loki's apparent sex-change, i.e. part of a plan, or they could just be based on a whim and the Doctor has learnt how to exert control over his regenerative process so can have such whims. They could raise interesting questions about sex/gender (a la Xavin, as I said before) and preserve the Doctor's limited knowledge of his own species' life history but this is a retcon, even if established with foreshadowing in the episodes I haven't seen it just means it is a retcon with a longer history.

Now, if Whittaker turns out to be Jenny/a different female relative of the Doctor and Capaldi's is the last Doctor (i.e. he dies for good/retires) that would in some ways help but would be differently unsatisfying. That is, it's like painting a horse with black and white stripes and saying it's a zebra and getting people to buy into a zebra before revealing on opening night that it was always going to be a horse. I think this is called an arse-pull but it's late and it would be a bad idea to go to TV Tropes and check that.
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Postby Anywhere Else But Here » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:11 am

Forsher wrote:
Anywhere Else But Here wrote:You made your analogy a couple of times but I've absolutely no idea what it's supposed to communicate.


Let's say we have a suspect. In fact, more than a suspect. We're completely sure Henry (let's call him Henry) has abducted a little girl and hid her somewhere. He's killed people before too so the girl might be dead. Or maybe there's enough time to save her. If we can find her soon. We chase Henry into a building and he runs upwards. Henry slips. And hey, now we can threaten not to save Henry if he doesn't say where she is. She's found.

The world is much better off for for finding the girl. That doesn't justify how the girl was found. It lets us sleep at night, sure, but what we did is still wrong.

Similarly, it doesn't matter if the episodes with Whittaker turn out to be Tennant-good or whatever actor you like most... it doesn't change that there are problems with a female Doctor that have nothing to do with "cooties" and it doesn't change that there are problems with having a Doctor with dyed hair (but this might change). It's almost like having Tom Hiddleston or Tom Hardy play Wonder Woman (because for all that is said about Chris's one can't turn one's head without finding either of these two). The only difference is that Wonder Woman is a non-human with Woman in her name. It'd be a bit more different with Superman because there's no Greek mythology context.

Now, as I have been at pains to point out, there is a major qualifier: I am quite a few episodes behind. To use an example. There's a plot-line in the run-up to the Siege storyline in 616-Marvel that sees Loki as a woman (I think he may have been inhabiting Sif's body, but I can't recall exactly). There are clear plot reasons for this. Plot reasons, I am suggesting, may have been set up in the episodes I have not seen or in the last Capaldi one. That is, the Whittaker-announcement could be like seeing a female-Loki cover (and knowing it's for 616) having read no issues in the sequence.

These could be a bit like Loki's apparent sex-change, i.e. part of a plan, or they could just be based on a whim and the Doctor has learnt how to exert control over his regenerative process so can have such whims. They could raise interesting questions about sex/gender (a la Xavin, as I said before) and preserve the Doctor's limited knowledge of his own species' life history but this is a retcon, even if established with foreshadowing in the episodes I haven't seen it just means it is a retcon with a longer history.

Now, if Whittaker turns out to be Jenny/a different female relative of the Doctor and Capaldi's is the last Doctor (i.e. he dies for good/retires) that would in some ways help but would be differently unsatisfying. That is, it's like painting a horse with black and white stripes and saying it's a zebra and getting people to buy into a zebra before revealing on opening night that it was always going to be a horse. I think this is called an arse-pull but it's late and it would be a bad idea to go to TV Tropes and check that.

So, your analogy (and indeed your argument) rests on the premise that the Doctor being played by a woman is just intrinsically wrong, in the same way seizing power or threatening a suspect is wrong?

Yeah, that's not gonna fly. Baseless assertions that something shouldn't be done simply because it's "wrong" belong in the Christian Discussion Thread.

And what's this about hair dye? You have a problem with actors dyeing their hair for a role?

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Postby Forsher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:25 am

Anywhere Else But Here wrote:So, your analogy (and indeed your argument) rests on the premise that the Doctor being played by a woman is just intrinsically wrong, in the same way seizing power or threatening a suspect is wrong?

Yeah, that's not gonna fly. Baseless assertions that something shouldn't be done simply because it's "wrong" belong in the Christian Discussion Thread.

And what's this about hair dye? You have a problem with actors dyeing their hair for a role?


If you're unable to read, that's not my problem.
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Postby Anywhere Else But Here » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:30 am

Forsher wrote:
Anywhere Else But Here wrote:So, your analogy (and indeed your argument) rests on the premise that the Doctor being played by a woman is just intrinsically wrong, in the same way seizing power or threatening a suspect is wrong?

Yeah, that's not gonna fly. Baseless assertions that something shouldn't be done simply because it's "wrong" belong in the Christian Discussion Thread.

And what's this about hair dye? You have a problem with actors dyeing their hair for a role?


If you're unable to read, that's not my problem.

You can keep accusing me of being illiterate, but I suspect the issue here is that you lack a coherent argument. You asserted it was wrong, went off rambling about a few superheroes (none of whom, AFAIK, have an ability that resembles regeneration), and then went into some Jenny-related epileptic trees theory and a fresh analogy, this one about zebras.

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Postby Philjia » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:53 am

If anything, the most exciting opportunity that the next series presents is creating a new companion who isn't a feisty young person from present day Britain. Every primary companion since the new series started has been this to an extent, and despite how much I like Donna I'm thoroughly bored of it. If they're making the step of having a female Doctor, they have no excuse for falling back on the same archetype for the seventh time in a row. I want to see another companion in the mould of Captain Jack: someone with their own particular set of skills in contrast to the Doctor's, who's quite capable of looking after themselves and solving problems in their own way.
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Postby Anywhere Else But Here » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:13 am

Philjia wrote:If anything, the most exciting opportunity that the next series presents is creating a new companion who isn't a feisty young person from present day Britain. Every primary companion since the new series started has been this to an extent, and despite how much I like Donna I'm thoroughly bored of it. If they're making the step of having a female Doctor, they have no excuse for falling back on the same archetype for the seventh time in a row. I want to see another companion in the mould of Captain Jack: someone with their own particular set of skills in contrast to the Doctor's, who's quite capable of looking after themselves and solving problems in their own way.

Really, I'm expecting a very conventional companion next series, with the only possible change being a man in place of a woman. If anything, one big change will probably be accompanied by rigid adherence to formula in all other areas.

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Postby Forsher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:03 am

Anywhere Else But Here wrote:
Forsher wrote:
If you're unable to read, that's not my problem.

You can keep accusing me of being illiterate, but I suspect the issue here is that you lack a coherent argument. You asserted it was wrong, went off rambling about a few superheroes (none of whom, AFAIK, have an ability that resembles regeneration), and then went into some Jenny-related epileptic trees theory and a fresh analogy, this one about zebras.


None of that is correct.

Firstly, I dismissed the attractiveness of a Jenny epileptic trees theory. The associated analogy required one to realise that on an abstract level misleading advertising is bad and unsatisfying. While I should stop using analogies and examples as they clearly complicate communication with you, it really isn't clear to me why these particular analogies and examples are put together poorly (nor do you explain) which puts the problem on the reader's part on account of my inability to not be essentially me (remember this notion).

Secondly, I actually have evidence that you have an issue with examples and analogies. The point is never the specifics of the situation. The reason why analogies and examples are used is that they can concretely explain abstract principles, which are what the reader is meant to infer. Yet, here you are saying, "went off rambling about a few superheroes." No. I used examples I can control to try and get across an idea you're struggling with. To be fair to you, where I thought I was explicit the first time was in the context of the dictator analogy, i.e. " it doesn't make how you end up with the dictator right." To be fair to me, it shouldn't be necessary to hit you over the head with a fish that says, "It doesn't make it right that the episodes with Whittaker are good (if that happens to be the case)".

On a related note, notice how an analogy to explain away the irrelevancy of liking a female-acted Doctor to the validity of that notion (or, more cynically, an analogy which also asserts the maker's having no problem watching such a programme) was translated into the actual argument itself by AEBH? That has nothing to do with me. I tried to explain the analogy... not to restate my case. (How "maybe the Doctor's managed to learn something about his species and she will now carry that forwards" is unclear, escapes me entirely.)

Thirdly, it is possible you think the examples are too dissimilar. To a certain extent, this doesn't matter. The Loki one, after all, was simply to try and explain that there are episodes I haven't seen and that this is an important disclaimer to make when my argument is entirely about characterisation and continuity (not that talking about retcons made you realise this, either time). I could have chosen anything with continuity to make this argument. "My" flaw is being too similar, not too dissimilar. But, in any case, I pointed out the complications with regeneration. To do so logically requires moving on to the next point.

Fourthly, as I said, my objections to a female Doctor have nothing to do with "cooties" or your delightfully illiterate "premise that the Doctor being played by a woman is just intrinsically wrong". I have suggested that the Doctor's inability to really control regenerations (hands/not-hands aside) raises continuity issues.

Think, for a moment, about the nature of the regeneration. While it is true that each regeneration is a new personality, it is not true that each regeneration is a new person. There are clear consistencies across them. There is either a constant self and changing persons, or a constant person and changing selves. Therefore, an accidentally regenerative Time Lord/Lady in any given regeneration must be drawing from the same essential being. We could take two analogies here. One, each regeneration is like the shadow of a chair on a cave wall as created by a fire in a different place and/or a different strength and/or from different fuels... regardless, the chair is the same. Two, it's like how a time series process appears different at different points in time: the process is constant throughout. The beauty of these examples is that you can physically investigate them yourself.*

Following the above, any regeneration must be reflective of (at a minimum) some mixture of the present self/person and also of the underlying self-person. The argument I have been making is that the Doctor has not demonstrated the capacity to influence the next regeneration deliberately. You know, "maybe the Doctor's managed to learn something about his species and she will now carry that forwards " again. This works like so:

  • there is an underlying self-person
  • each regeneration samples from that self-person
  • absent controlled regeneration, each regeneration is a non biased sample
  • hence, a regeneration into another "gender" (sex?) alters the inferred self-person
  • the Doctor has shown no real capacity for controlled regeneration**
  • hence, a female Doctor/regeneration alters the inferred self-person
  • a retcon occurs when an established part of continuity is rendered inconsistent with newer canon
  • the regenerations of the Doctor are established parts of continuity
  • hence, the Doctor's inferred self-person is an established part of continuity
  • therefore, a female Doctor is a retcon
  • retcons are undesirable
    • this is an argument I am implicitly making rather than another premise
    • I feel that it is sufficiently common a position that there is no real need to explain the argument
    • and lo I have not been criticised on this account (oh dear, now I want AEBH to have understood my posts... and by want I mean have a vested interest in having as always one wants to be understood)
  • therefore, the Whittaker-choice was undesirable (because it is a retcon)
  • but we might enjoy Whittaker's Doctor anyway because we're fans of the show (enter the dictator analogy)
A perfectly logical and coherent and previously stated case, in other words. I have 0 difficulty believing the Doctor has we know him would, on a whim, decide to try out a female regeneration. The issue is that there is no reason (in the episodes I have seen... a point I've been very clear on) to believe that he has any ability to execute such a whim.

Anyway, we can now get back to the fundamental question of the appropriateness of mentioning Wonder Woman. Ah, the abstract point is even more clearly that we're talking about an established characterisation. Hiddleston's Wonder Woman is just the same as Gal Gadot's Magnussen (his character in Wallander) or casting Helen Mirren in a serious biopic of Henry VIII. By noting that it's Wonder Woman I point out that people would not find it possible to ignore that we're talking about an established characterisation. By talking about Superman I note that Classical mythology has plenty of changed sexes in it (Wonder Woman, I am given to understand, is an Amazon or something). I made such a classical allusion before in dismissing the conclusion that a female regeneration is a bad idea in the controlled regenerative case. The previously parenthesised pronouncement points one to why I then started talking about Loki... I needed an example I could control to make a new point. It's only rambling if you think the point is the same (but then why is it in a different paragraph?!).

Although I don't think you were talking about it explicitly, we can also return to the Xavin superhero example. As I have been saying for years, I think Runaways missed a trick when it comes to Xavin... passing up the possibility of a gender fluid shape shifter in favour of a fairly superficial argument about whether they were born male or female (Xavin is the only shape shifter Marvel has that I've read who doesn't return to a distinct natural form; to be fair I think the intended implication is the banal "it's better to present as male" angle). The point here is that a female Doctor opens up some interesting thematic avenues due to the resultant recasting of the self-person but the issue is that it is still a retcon... interesting or not!

Finally, and unsurprisingly, you also failed to understand a very plainly stated critique of a dyed-hair Doctor and the associated disclaimer that this may change by the time any episode are made. That is, "a dyed hair doctor is definitely not a good thing: it makes a mockery of the whole ginger thing". Where is the room to interpret that as "You have a problem with actors dyeing their hair for a role?" I ask you? Because on the basis of the words involved it isn't there.

As a general rule, if you don't understand something and you're explicitly told your characterisation is wrong, your characterisation probably isn't the true meaning.

*Compare and contrast the TARDIS wiki which has this to say, "According to the Sixth Doctor, a Time Lord's basic personality traits remained unchanged throughout all their lives, but the balance of said traits could be affected by regeneration. (AUDIO: The Sirens of Time) " It should obvious that this is the same sentiment.

**Which is an arguable assumption. I have been clear that something could have changed in episodes I haven't seen, but you could also argue the hand-regeneration was controlled. To which I might argue that it was a lucky happenstance or that it was different in that it was so close to a "conventional" regeneration or that it only worked out because that is what the Doctor thought (i.e. both). You might see some other form of attack on this point, but I don't know of that one/those (and similarly I do not see the flaws in my other premises).
Last edited by Forsher on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Astrolinium » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:14 am

Forsher, I'm sorry, but that's just a bunch of incoherent babbling, and if you can't express it simply enough for us to understand what the hell you're actually getting at, I don't know how you can expect us to properly engage with it.
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Postby Anywhere Else But Here » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:36 am

I apologise for the mention of hair dye. Amid your walls of text and asterisks, I'd quite forgotten your comment about ginger hair. That only leaves us with the fact that you still don't have any compelling reason that the Doctor shouldn't regenerate into a woman.

If you're going to talk about retcons, you need to talk about the actual show, not about some pet theory of identity you have and believe Chris Chibnall should accept (and apply to a fictional alien). There is no retcon here. You can write another wall of text if you like. You can write another handful of awkward analogies that are unnecessary at best and obfuscating at worst. You can flatter yourself that you're writing brilliant insights into the inner workings of a soft sci-fi show, and you can continue to bandy about the word "illiterate".

But until you produce a line from a previous episode where a character (who can reasonably be assumed to be both well-informed and truthful) says, "Time Lords cannot change sex during regeneration (without first gaining control of their regeneration)" you have no argument.
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Postby Eastfield Lodge » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:38 am

Forsher, from what I can tell, the basis of your argument is that is goes against all continuity that the Doctor can be a woman.

To which I say it's actually been canon that Time Lords/Ladies can be regenerate into the other gender since Series 6 - in the episode "The Doctor's Wife", the Corsair (the dead Time Lord that lead the Doctor to the bubble universe) was a bloke when he was killed, but was a woman in at least a couple of his regenerations.

On the dyed hair thing, that doesn't really matter. Tennant was forced to use an English accent despite him being naturally Scottish, and then Capaldi came along.

If this is the wrong end of the stick, please explain, in 100 words or less, what you problem with Whitaker's casting is.
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Postby Anywhere Else But Here » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:47 am

Eastfield Lodge wrote:Forsher, from what I can tell, the basis of your argument is that is goes against all continuity that the Doctor can be a woman.

To which I say it's actually been canon that Time Lords/Ladies can be regenerate into the other gender since Series 6 - in the episode "The Doctor's Wife", the Corsair (the dead Time Lord that lead the Doctor to the bubble universe) was a bloke when he was killed, but was a woman in at least a couple of his regenerations.

On the dyed hair thing, that doesn't really matter. Tennant was forced to use an English accent despite him being naturally Scottish, and then Capaldi came along.

If this is the wrong end of the stick, please explain, in 100 words or less, what you problem with Whitaker's casting is.

Arguably even earlier than the Doctor's Wife. One of Matt Smith's first lines was "I'm a girl!" You could handwave it as him being dazed after regeneration, but he clearly believed a random change of sex was possible.

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Postby Kouralia » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:57 pm

Just on the matter of the self-person being altered... Hell Bent: 'The General' (way to go with the titles, DW: could the Time Lord CinC not get a fancier name?) canonically spent their first ten lives as a woman, before regenerating into a man for their eleventh, then back to a woman for their twelfth. So it's very clearly possible to alter genders in a non-planned regeneration.
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Postby Forsher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:40 pm

Astrolinium wrote:Forsher, I'm sorry, but that's just a bunch of incoherent babbling, and if you can't express it simply enough for us to understand what the hell you're actually getting at, I don't know how you can expect us to properly engage with it.


I do not see why it is incoherent.
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Postby Forsher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:40 pm

Anywhere Else But Here wrote:I apologise for the mention of hair dye. Amid your walls of text and asterisks, I'd quite forgotten your comment about ginger hair. That only leaves us with the fact that you still don't have any compelling reason that the Doctor shouldn't regenerate into a woman.


If one or two paragraphs per your nonsensical interpretations is a wall of text, allow me to begin writing one post per idea.
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Postby Anywhere Else But Here » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:59 pm

Forsher wrote:
Anywhere Else But Here wrote:I apologise for the mention of hair dye. Amid your walls of text and asterisks, I'd quite forgotten your comment about ginger hair. That only leaves us with the fact that you still don't have any compelling reason that the Doctor shouldn't regenerate into a woman.


If one or two paragraphs per your nonsensical interpretations is a wall of text, allow me to begin writing one post per idea.

If I responded to each of your points at the same length you respond to mine, we'd have written a novella between us by now.

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Postby Forsher » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:16 pm

Anywhere Else But Here wrote:If you're going to talk about retcons, you need to talk about the actual show, not about some pet theory of identity you have and believe Chris Chibnall should accept (and apply to a fictional alien). There is no retcon here. You can write another wall of text if you like. You can write another handful of awkward analogies that are unnecessary at best and obfuscating at worst. You can flatter yourself that you're writing brilliant insights into the inner workings of a soft sci-fi show, and you can continue to bandy about the word "illiterate".

But until you produce a line from a previous episode where a character (who can reasonably be assumed to be both well-informed and truthful) says, "Time Lords cannot change sex during regeneration (without first gaining control of their regeneration)" you have no argument.


That other thing was already annoying. See why I don't do it? I just rely on people who feel like they want to read what I have to say being capable of understanding how paragraphs work. Maybe despite its paragraphs the product is, as Astro says, incoherent but it's moronic to think not showing why is actually going to change anything.

For instance, I think that it is perfectly clear that there is no "pet theory of identity". There is an inference about the way regeneration works (you know the fictional alien in question's defining alien-quality). And there was a quote from a previous episode previously mentioned. If you're going to insist on misinterpreting plain English or just not reading it, there really isn't too much I can do to help you. If you think I contrive to make simple words not make sense, then please tell me how because I understand what I mean... and as I said before, I can't use psychic powers to tell me what exactly it is you're struggling with.

But, let's hold up a bit, there is a quote but it says nothing like what you say. Why would it? That is not my argument. It's pathetic to see you continue to pretend that it is. What it does is explain that I'm not the only one who has my theory of the way regeneration works.

Eastfield Lodge wrote:Forsher, from what I can tell, the basis of your argument is that is goes against all continuity that the Doctor can be a woman.

To which I say it's actually been canon that Time Lords/Ladies can be regenerate into the other gender since Series 6 - in the episode "The Doctor's Wife", the Corsair (the dead Time Lord that lead the Doctor to the bubble universe) was a bloke when he was killed, but was a woman in at least a couple of his regenerations.

On the dyed hair thing, that doesn't really matter. Tennant was forced to use an English accent despite him being naturally Scottish, and then Capaldi came along.

If this is the wrong end of the stick, please explain, in 100 words or less, what you problem with Whitaker's casting is.


I already have.

In the previous post there were a mere 1561 words. Not bad really considering that I had to explain the content of two posts which were 600 and 540 words long and also make the new point THAT NOBODY GETS ME. This is a joke. Laugh. 1500 words is reasonably long, but it's paragraphed so what matters is how long the section you care about is. Which in the case of Eastfield Lodge is 543 words... hardly long at all. But within that there was:

Forsher wrote:
  • there is an underlying self-person
  • each regeneration samples from that self-person
  • absent controlled regeneration, each regeneration is a non biased sample
  • hence, a regeneration into another "gender" (sex?) alters the inferred self-person
  • the Doctor has shown no real capacity for controlled regeneration**
  • hence, a female Doctor/regeneration alters the inferred self-person
  • a retcon occurs when an established part of continuity is rendered inconsistent with newer canon
  • the regenerations of the Doctor are established parts of continuity
  • hence, the Doctor's inferred self-person is an established part of continuity
  • therefore, a female Doctor is a retcon
  • retcons are undesirable
    • this is an argument I am implicitly making rather than another premise
    • I feel that it is sufficiently common a position that there is no real need to explain the argument
    • and lo I have not been criticised on this account (oh dear, now I want AEBH to have understood my posts... and by want I mean have a vested interest in having as always one wants to be understood)
  • therefore, the Whittaker-choice was undesirable (because it is a retcon)
  • but we might enjoy Whittaker's Doctor anyway because we're fans of the show (enter the dictator analogy)


Which is 208 words long. But that's including the explanation for why I haven't bothered to argue why retcons are undesirable. And the last bullet point which is just showing AEBH where the dictator analogy attaches. Remove those and you're at 117. And the explanation of what a retcon is... which you probably don't need.

But 100 is just a number, That is literally as simple as it can get being bullet points of one point per bullet. And it doesn't say "can't have different sexes/gender between any two regenerations".

Kouralia wrote:Just on the matter of the self-person being altered... Hell Bent: 'The General' (way to go with the titles, DW: could the Time Lord CinC not get a fancier name?) canonically spent their first ten lives as a woman, before regenerating into a man for their eleventh, then back to a woman for their twelfth. So it's very clearly possible to alter genders in a non-planned regeneration.


I'm going to go ahead and say that Kouralia understands my argument. At any rate, this is a critique that appears to do so.

To which I can only respond with three things:

1) I had forgotten that episode/its events (I have seen it) and it is a problem,
2) It does appear to have been a non-deliberate regeneration according to the personality page in TARDIS wiki for the eleventh General: "was at least partly relieved to be a woman again". However, we don't know for sure. (Buyer's remorse for instance... plenty of people are relieved that, say, a movie they paid money to watch is finished... i.e. regret does not imply an absence of agency.)
3) I can't think of any other dismissal for this problem so my last response is about the name the General. Perhaps the character was created as something of a foil for the Doctor and the Master, i.e. neither ran away nor went mad, but still goes for a the [noun] name.

Solid post, would struggle to rebut again. 10/10.

There is also a flaw in my earlier logic which I really should have noted before. While a dozen samples from a process is quite good when they're random, it is still always possible to find a different looking part of the process in the next one. With two such examples of this, it gets less likely but how many regenerations do we think that all Time Lords have clocked up between them? And why would a show about time travelling have to worry about coincidental timing? Isn't that the entire point?

Anywhere Else But Here wrote:
Forsher wrote:
If one or two paragraphs per your nonsensical interpretations is a wall of text, allow me to begin writing one post per idea.

If I responded to each of your points at the same length you respond to mine, we'd have written a novella between us by now.


Yes, vapid assertions and strawmen do tend to have the side-effect of shorter posts. Explanations tend to involve at least two sentences on account of (a) stating a position (what you do) and (b) saying why (which you don't do). Explanations that also have to point out that they're try to correct for vapid assertions and strawmen tend to have at least three sentences on account of (a) stating a position (what you do), (b) saying why (which you don't do) and (c) acknowledging the assertion/rebuttal (which you don't need to do).

My posts are quite a bit longer than this would suggest. But I not only have more to do, I clearly hold my responses to higher standards than you do. Whether or not I manage to execute those standards is beside the point... I still try.
Last edited by Forsher on Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Kannap » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:19 pm

So the theme this week is space at the camp at which I'm a counselor. While most people are having the grand dispute of Star Wars versus Star Trek, I'm toting Doctor Who.

I drew the TARDIS on construction paper along with various quotes from a few of the regenerations of the doctor and imma tape them all over my shirt for the dance Thursday night.
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