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 S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)

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Rate S5E2: The beast below
Brilliant! Fantastic! Molto benne!
21%
 21% [ 7 ]
Very Good
48%
 48% [ 16 ]
Average, Okay
24%
 24% [ 8 ]
Not good
3%
 3% [ 1 ]
Great balls of fire, what was that?! (Rubbish)
3%
 3% [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 33
 

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jonwes
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:11 am

terrasolo wrote:
Fair enough. I mean it's not a bad thing as you want the companion to be strong, just not unexpected.

I get where you're coming from. And I DO think there are ways for a companion to prove their worth other than figuring it all out. Donna was written well in this way. She was worthy not because she always figured it all out but because of her sheer humanity.
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Wes Crayon
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:51 am

I liked it... but the more I think about it the less sense it makes.

Like, okay, I get enslaving the star whale... but why would the government also make a bunch of creepy flip-face robots? For that matter, how'd they manage to get three faces onto the front and back design? One assumes that if they had the time to wire the star whale up in this complicated way and make a bunch of creepy robots, they could just as well have built engines (like every other country did, presumably) to get themselves off the burning planet.

Why would they be dumping citizens down the chute to feed the star whale, assuming other food for it was available? For that matter, why would they be dumping children down there simply for getting poor grades in school? And heck, since the star whale is so kind, why would it be eating the people who get dumped into its mouth for protesting? In addition to children, shouldn't those be the people it wouldn't eat? If it's so kind, why is it eating and seeking to impale random children on its stingers in the first place?

And so on...

I kinda want to change my vote to okay/average. Razz
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jonwes
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:59 am

I think the episode actually answered a lot of those questions.... although some might take a little creative "filling in."

Wes Crayon wrote:

Like, okay, I get enslaving the star whale... but why would the government also make a bunch of creepy flip-face robots? For that matter, how'd they manage to get three faces onto the front and back design? One assumes that if they had the time to wire the star whale up in this complicated way and make a bunch of creepy robots, they could just as well have built engines (like every other country did, presumably) to get themselves off the burning planet.

Although we weren't given the reason the UK lagged behind, I imagine it was either lack of funds or perhaps a government that didn't believe in the danger before it was too late. It's not like we don't have similar examples in modern society. In any case, that's not too important to the story at hand.

As for why the Smilers were created - remember, the Doctor said it was a police state. The Smilers were, essentially, the police. They were Big Brother. Always watching, always judging and handing out their judgments swiftly.

Also, remember, that there's nothing to suggest the Smilers came about right from the get-go. They might have lashed the ship onto the Star Whale's back, set off, and then realized the need for the Smilers later.

As for the ship engines... it's one thing to build engines, it's another thing to power it. If the UK government did lag behind the rest of the world in coming up with a solution, all the necessary minerals available to power the ship (maybe something radioactive for fusion?) might have been scooped up and they didn't have time to go digging for more.

Quote :

Why would they be dumping citizens down the chute to feed the star whale, assuming other food for it was available?

I think this was more of a matter of convenience rather than necessity. If you have to get rid of someone because they chose to protest (and this was never a valid choice as far as this society was concerned) might as well feed it to the big animal below.

Quote :

For that matter, why would they be dumping children down there simply for getting poor grades in school?

This one makes less sense to me too. Since they knew the children were not eaten, maybe it was considered a sort of "scared straight" program. Rather extreme, of course, but I suppose the ships continued survival (they'd been out in space a while already) relies on future generations so they need to do well in school.

Quote :
And heck, since the star whale is so kind, why would it be eating the people who get dumped into its mouth for protesting? In addition to children, shouldn't those be the people it wouldn't eat?

Well, they WERE torturing the poor thing. It felt badly for the innocent children... maybe it didn't feel so bad about the adults. There's nothing to say that it actually knew about the protest system at all.

Quote :
If it's so kind, why is it eating and seeking to impale random children on its stingers in the first place?

You lost me there. I don't think it ever tried to randomly impale a child. Wasn't that the point of the ending? Smile
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Wes Crayon
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:39 am

jonwes wrote:
IAs for why the Smilers were created - remember, the Doctor said it was a police state. The Smilers were, essentially, the police. They were Big Brother. Always watching, always judging and handing out their judgments swiftly.
My problem is less with their creation than their design. I can certainly understand creating robots with scary flipping faces if you're, I dunno, running a circus or trying to scare children. But you'd think government officials would come up with something a little more professional... and bland.

Quote :
Well, they WERE torturing the poor thing. It felt badly for the innocent children... maybe it didn't feel so bad about the adults. There's nothing to say that it actually knew about the protest system at all.
No, but it somehow knew enough to help children by letting their country ride on its back... and to spare them when they ended up in its mouth or near its stingers. If it's that darned perceptive, I'd think it should be able to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent no matter how old they are.

Quote :
Quote :
If it's so kind, why is it eating and seeking to impale random children on its stingers in the first place?
You lost me there. I don't think it ever tried to randomly impale a child. Wasn't that the point of the ending? Smile
Yeah, that was a mistake -- I meant to type random "people" there. Razz The point stands.
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:29 am

I too am rather confused. After about half way, I was like "huh?". I'll have to watch it again. Hopefully BBC iPlayer is working now!
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:09 am

Wes Crayon wrote:

My problem is less with their creation than their design. I can certainly understand creating robots with scary flipping faces if you're, I dunno, running a circus or trying to scare children. But you'd think government officials would come up with something a little more professional... and bland.

Police states often rely on over-the-top symbology: this both creates an atmosphere of supreme awareness of the authoritarian power regime, and creates a kind of surrogate religion for the masses (i.e., it is much easier to dominate people when you've fed them a symbol that reminds them they're dominated). Look at all the striking print propaganda and bold statuary that represented Communism across the Eastern Bloc before the fall of the Soviet Union. Look at the use of Saddam Hussein's face as iconography in B'aath Party-dominated Iraq. Look at the symbol-rich civic religion of the Nazi regime in Germany. Examples such as these are limitless; extreme, almost absurd symbols have been a part of nearly every Earthly police state.

In this sense, the Smilers are a logical development despite their seeming weirdness.

This was one of those episodes that blends a great many disparate influences, from the horrific to the absurd to the fanciful. I liked it!
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:35 am

mysterylad wrote:
Wes Crayon wrote:

My problem is less with their creation than their design. I can certainly understand creating robots with scary flipping faces if you're, I dunno, running a circus or trying to scare children. But you'd think government officials would come up with something a little more professional... and bland.

Police states often rely on over-the-top symbology: this both creates an atmosphere of supreme awareness of the authoritarian power regime, and creates a kind of surrogate religion for the masses (i.e., it is much easier to dominate people when you've fed them a symbol that reminds them they're dominated). Look at all the striking print propaganda and bold statuary that represented Communism across the Eastern Bloc before the fall of the Soviet Union. Look at the use of Saddam Hussein's face as iconography in B'aath Party-dominated Iraq. Look at the symbol-rich civic religion of the Nazi regime in Germany. Examples such as these are limitless; extreme, almost absurd symbols have been a part of nearly every Earthly police state.

In this sense, the Smilers are a logical development despite their seeming weirdness.

This was one of those episodes that blends a great many disparate influences, from the horrific to the absurd to the fanciful. I liked it!

Oh, that's good Mysterylad! I can't believe I didn't make the connection! I saw it as a distraction from the population to help keep them from thinking about what was happening. But your idea makes sense too. There should also be pictures of the Queen everywhere, but that would give away a plot point.
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:58 am

I've just watched this for the second time with more concentration and no interruptions, and I must say I understand a whole deal more than I did before. I advise those who are still confused to watch it for a second time.

But anyway, as I said on Bret's review for this episode, I don't think anyone expected what we saw. It wasn't the greatest episode, and I didn't like how Amy had more of a role in saving the day rather than the Doctor, but it certainly wasn't a bad episode!

However, I don't think Moffat is producing the best he can. I mean, look at episodes like The Doctor's Daughter, that was a great episode so why hasn't these first two episodes been of that quality?

I think Matt is an absolutely great Doctor, but I also think that Moffat is holding him back from showing his true 'awesomeness'.

But next week is Daleks! How can any writer, besides RTD, possibly go wrong with Daleks?! I love the whole idea of them being used in WW2 as weapons against the Nazi's and I cannot wait to see what their 'true plan' is!
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:13 am

I just watched for the second time, and I was more confused than the first time.

So Ireland and Scotland can build ships and fly away but England and North Ireland get left behind? So the children cry and a giant space whale appears. Good hearing! The country who can't build a ship can go and trap this space whale. And Amy figures this all out by watching a giant scorpion tail play with 2 kids. WTF?

And when did she record that video? And how did she get it to play at that moment?

And don't get me started on the Smilers. Oooh, scary. They sit in a booth, slowly stand up, then slowly walk towards you and say "you will come with me". How absolutely terrifying. RUN!

Matt seemed so different than last week. Maybe this episode was filmed before the Eleventh Hour? He seemed awkward and a little unsure of himself. I dunno. His performance was still the high point.

I really hate being negative but this episode was bad on so many levels. I really hope next weeks washes away the memories of this... otherwise I'll have to watch Fear Her affraid
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:17 am

Ah, Fear Her: the episode you can always turn to to remind you just how bad things could be, and which makes all other episodes look awesome by comparison.
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:20 am

I don't know what's worse, Fear Her or The Idiots Lantern?
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:28 am

Well, at least it isn't Spock's Brain!
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:53 am

mysterylad wrote:
Ah, Fear Her: the episode you can always turn to to remind you just how bad things could be, and which makes all other episodes look awesome by comparison.

For me it would be Love & Monsters. Fear Her is a masterpiece compared to that one.

Just saw the story again for a second time and while I did understand and follow the script the first time round, somehow this second time was more enjoyable. That's always good.
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:43 am

I liked the first half... and I liked the third half. The problem was, there was no second half.

Ok, maybe that's not quite fair, but it just seemed like 10 minutes of script was missing right around the voting booth segment. Made me wonder if Moffat didn't try for longer episodes at some point in the production process and got denied for all but the first one.

Still a decent episode though. Finally, someone managed to jam star whales right into undeniable Doctor Who canon. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:16 pm

I liked the story, it was a bit confusing at some points, but it all made sense towards the end. (Didn't help that I was watching it this morning after waking up.)

Some funny dialogue too, I loved this exchange:

"Ahh... it's not a floor, it's... ahh... So."

"It's a what?"

"The next word is kind of a scary word, you might want to take a moment and think of yourself in a calm place. Go 'ommm.'"

"Ommm..."

"It's a... tongue."


I wonder what is causing the cracks... my guess is either Amy or the Doctor. Prisoner 0 seemed to know what was causing it, so it would be great to see it turn out to be something obvious. I'm also thinking this might have to do with the Waters of Mars (messing with fixed points) or the events of The End of Time...
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:21 pm

LOL! Yes, the Eleventh Doctor's dialogue is superb. I freely admit that I am able to forgive some of this episode's pacing issues simply because the Eleventh is such a joy onscreen.
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:51 pm

I wasnt sure if anyone else noticed this but when we first see the "whole in the road" above it read a sign saying magpie electricals. A little blast from the past there (if you are watching it on ilpayer its at 9:58)

I did enjoy that episodebut to me it showed off amy more than the doctor. The crack atthe end was interesting. I think its gonna be something big on the other side
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:07 pm

retrodude wrote:
I wasnt sure if anyone else noticed this but when we first see the "whole in the road" above it read a sign saying magpie electricals. A little blast from the past there (if you are watching it on ilpayer its at 9:58)

I did enjoy that episodebut to me it showed off amy more than the doctor. The crack atthe end was interesting. I think its gonna be something big on the other side

Bet its Daleks
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:32 pm

Or maybe Cybermen...?
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:59 pm

mysterylad wrote:
LOL! Yes, the Eleventh Doctor's dialogue is superb. I freely admit that I am able to forgive some of this episode's pacing issues simply because the Eleventh is such a joy onscreen.


Yeah, I'm with you there. Actually, I think both Eleventh Hour and Beast Below have been oddly paced somehow. I sort of wonder how kids will react to it.
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:05 pm

Rogue wrote:
Or maybe Cybermen...?

Ohh great! That's the final ruined. If its not Daleks, its Cybermen! Grr! Why can't we just have a new character, or at least someone different, as the monster in the final! But in all fairness, we don't know that for sure.

But Cybermen would make sense. Another "parallel universe braking through to our universe" story. Arrgghh, we need something new!!
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:23 pm

mysterylad wrote:
Police states often rely on over-the-top symbology... Look at all the striking print propaganda and bold statuary that represented Communism across the Eastern Bloc before the fall of the Soviet Union. Look at the use of Saddam Hussein's face as iconography in B'aath Party-dominated Iraq. Look at the symbol-rich civic religion of the Nazi regime in Germany. Examples such as these are limitless; extreme, almost absurd symbols have been a part of nearly every Earthly police state.
Yeah, I'm not buying it. The Smilers weren't symbology or propoganda, nor did they serve to reinforce government control or swell nationalistic pride or faith in one's leader. They were creepy-faced booth robots that look like the mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and they looked that way because Moffat wanted some creepy-faced booth robots and didn't much care about the logic of a government creating creepy-faced booth robots. Razz

Also, the crack! The crack was moving with the ship! Aren't the cracks supposed to be at fixed points, such that the crack in Amy's wall would have remained even if the wall were knocked down? Though I guess it should also have moved along the wall and eventually "vanished" given the rotation of the planet or something, but yeah.
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:50 pm

scarywood wrote:
How can any writer, besides RTD, possibly go wrong with Daleks?!

Helen Raynor's Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks was terrible.
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:59 pm

Drathro wrote:
scarywood wrote:
How can any writer, besides RTD, possibly go wrong with Daleks?!

Helen Raynor's Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks was terrible.

Now come, it wasn't that bad. I really liked it. It was better than Journeys End, however, not better than The Stolen Earth.
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PostSubject: Re: S5E2: The beast below (SPOILERS!)   Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:18 pm

Yes, it was that bad. It totally was that bad. Wink
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