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bret_owen99
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PostSubject: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:32 am

i'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!. ok, i know, overly dramatic. it's 3 am, and i just finished watching the beast below(for those of you who follow the letter of the law, don't concern yourself how).

first up, we have the cold open. kids. more kids. sorry, and i know this might sound grinchy, but i don't like kids(and no, i don't have any myself, which means i get to spend all my well earned money on myself, yay!). anyways, kid gets bad grade, scary monster sends him to heck(edited, you know what i mean). really?? never heard of that kind of discipline. usa spends more money than any other country in the world, yet we have the least amount of results. maybe we should take a cue from steven moffat to improve out test scores.

2. the title sequence. still hasn't grown on me. i'm just thinking, and it's just a thought, that maybe the time vortex being a storm has something to do with the crack in time. so, if by the end of this series, the doctor fixes the crack thing, the time vortex openning will be normal next series. i can only hope. the music still isn't good, reminds me of the trial of the time lord theme(which wasn't my favorite).

the story starts out with the doctor lovingly hangin amy pond outside the tardis in her jammies. i love how people dogged on the relationship the doctor had with rose, but the drop dead fred(here's looking at you vicki) romance is perfectly ok. i just don't get it. are they friends? is the doctor a father figure? is amy oedipus? maybe i'm just reading too much into the relationship for now. don't like it, especially since amy ran away from her husband to be with the doctor(sort of like rose ran away from mickey, but at least they weren't going to be married, steven moffat, you homewrecker).

next up we have the doctor saying he never interferes. is this improv night at the appollo??? i mean he lied at the end of the first episode(ok, it wasn't a lie detector, but a crack detector, but he was still lying, so imo, it was a lie detected). now he's lying again. is this what moffat meant by making it like the old series??? sure the 7th doc was manipulative, but not so much so that the audience knew that he was outright lying. we had to wait untill he revealed it.

jurrasic park water scene stolen(actually, it was used in wes craven's new nightmare first, but everyone knows it more from jp). we get the doctor sending amy off on her own(because that's worked out so well before:adam). and off we go.

ok, i know i might be in the minority here, but i don't like the smilers. not that they are scary, just lame. i think the only people the smiley/angry faces scare are the 5 year old the show is now aimed at, and starring(two episodes so far have started with nothing but kids, hmmm, who's a new target demographic). first they are just booths like in big, then they are walking robots(that didn't even have guns or knives or anything, just walking robots, ooooh scary). then we have guards who have the masks grafted onto the back of their heads(that must hurt). makes me wish the guy with the dog would return(when the guy barked, that was just funny).

next, we have the common queen. ok, she's the queen, but she lives in shambles, walks around with guns and talks like a commoner??? you know, security must have really gotten lax in hundreds of years. i know here in america, the president can't even go for a walk without the secret service watching him. however, looks like liz10 can endanger herself and others, while her govt just watches and calls her on her cell phone(maybe they are tired of her, and want her to get killed by the beast, subtle sub-plot, i'm stretching i know).

now we get to the end(let's skip the video that amy made to herself, that we never see her make, or maybe it's a psychic message, i don't know, i just know it was confusing, and the writer just want's us to forget about it instead of explaining it). the doctor is going to give the creature a lobotomy. really???? and he had no problem with it, just started working on it. you know the 9th doctor built the delta wave, but refused to use it, almost sacrificing himself and earth instead of becoming a monster. doc10, he had bad choices, he agonized over them(some people called him the whiny doc, i just say he had the biggest heart). this doc, just dove in, ready to make a creature a vegetable. wow, guess he is a brand new doc.

then from just one scene of kids playing with a tentacle(i won't read into that), amy figures the whole thing out. really??? and people wonder why i compare the show now to harry potter. here's my review of the harry potter series: all the kids are geniuses, and all the adults are morons, and the kids are the only ones who can save the day. a lot like scooby-doo, except not as funny. ok, we have a queen, a govt, the doctor, heck, the whole british isle, but amy(drop dead fred little girl at heart) is the only one who can figure out the solution???? and people complained that rose was a deus ex machina.

so at the end, the doctor was saved from becoming a monster, even though he didn't really agonize over it. the queen was saved(even though she didn't really deserve it imo). and amy is still a companion/girlfriend. oh wait! i forgot to mention the crack. another harry potter type thing. you see, in the harry potter books, j. k. throws out clues that any 5 year old can see(which is good, because the heroes of the books are kids), but none of the adults can see. this crack thing better be good. that's all i'm saying. i was a fan of you are not alone. i was a fan of bad wolf(i still think in the end of time, the doc should have said something to rose about being a bad wolf and it would have wrapped the whole thing up). but this crack thing, i just don't know.

then we have the lead-in for the next episode. ok, we had daleks in manhattan. now its daleks in ww2. can't get any worse. on a whole, this episode was better than the first(no giant eyeball creatures, that's a plus). minuses, the smiler creatures turned out to be a small role even though they were hyped for the first half of the show. they've been torturing this creature for hundreds of years, but nobodies even tried to build an engine. really??? magpie electrics, anyone else catch that??? they didn't do anything with it in this episode, but i hope that comes back, if not, a waste of a good clue.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:47 am

Well you are entitled to your opinion, as so is every body else, but man you've got to try and watch these episodes with a more positive perspective!

I have to say, and I'm not ranting just so you know, that you compare these episodes too Harry Potter, Twilight (etc) too much.

Okay, so the episode wasn't what we expected, but PLEASE just try to look at it in a more positive way. Please?
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:32 am

It really is starting to come across as curmudgeonly grousing, Bret. You've put yourself in a pretty hostile place, and I really think you're reading too many youth-oriented flourishes into the episodes, just because you (by your own admission) have a problem with things youth-oriented. Granted, Doctor Who isn't Blake's 7: it's a family program that, by design, incorporates points of interest for all age groups, and that means some whimsical, even childish contrivances from time to time (like space whales). But at the same time, uncomfortable complexities like the nature of the Doctor/Amy relationship (Is it a romance? Is he manipulating her? If so, why?) are very adult touches. And yet, as non-youth-oriented as that bit is, it bothers you, too. You seem to be looking for things to dislike. Not that it matters, of course...everyone is entitled to their opinion! It just seems to me that you're in a very negative headspace, and that's never good. I hate seeing good people fall into the downward spiral of pointlessly negative thinking.

Side Note: Your Harry Potter review is also a bit off. The kids are geniuses and the adults, morons? Hardly accurate, given the level of gamesmanship exhibited by Albus Dumbledore, who basically planned out the entire series. Also note the bravery of the adult characters who so willingly sacrificed themselves for the generation of kids they cared about (Snape, Tonks and Lupin, and Sirius Black all give their lives willingly in their struggle). As for the kids, they make all manner of mistakes! When you get right down to it, the Harry Potter novels are metaphors for the very process of growing up and figuring out who (and what) you are, much of which involves screwing up.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:17 am

i am a proud crudmudgeon! i admit, from the openning scene with kids, i was put off. let's play a little counting game. how many of moffat's episodes have started out with kids. hmmmm. 1. the empty child. 2. the girl in the fireplace(i know it wasn't the cold open, but it was still in the beginning of the episode). 3. silence in the library. 4. the 11th hour. 5. the beast below.

really? out of all of moffat's stories, the only one not involving children was blink(although imo it would have been cool to see some little buggers timesnatched by the angels). you know, i remember how everyone said moffat was making the show more like the "classic" show. i have around 44 classic dvds. i don't think a single one of them starts out with the doctor helping kids. i think every one of them starts out with the doctor helping adults.

and if you want to know where my negativity comes from, i'll tell you. for the last 5 years i have listened to people bash russel t davies like it was the cool thing to do. even though a. he brought the series back. b. made the series a rating success. c. made the series a merchandisers dream. i mean, i thank him every time i buy and action figure from character options(classic or new), because without what he's done, we wouldn't have any of it. however, that didn't stop people from bashing his writing, bashing rose and her relationship with the doctor(which i think was the best thing since sarah jane and ace, a companion who wasn't just "there":peri).

but here we are in the age of moffatt. if you don't like his writing, you're just not "clever" enough to figure it out(i guess the same could be said for my reviews of j.k. rowling's writing ability). are there too many kids, i'm reminded it's a family show(even though it was a family show for the "classic" run, and there weren't any kids there.). i don't like amy pond, or the doctor manipulating her, then i just don't see the grand scheme that moffat's cooking.

am i being negative? yes. you know why?? because apart from a few others(rdks and wes crayon), i'm the only one who's not giving moffat excuses. was rtd perfect, no. he had plot holes, and deus ex machina's and less than stellar character development. guess what, i'm seeing the same in moffat's writing. i think he did fine in one off's, but i'm just not seeing the same quality in doing the whole series. am i calling him out as a writer and showrunner? yes i am. all i know is, somewhere john nathan turner is smiling, knowing he won't be the only one remembered for taking a successfull show and tanking it.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:55 am

Maybe Moffat just likes Children... That dirty old man! Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:57 am

I am with you regarding the fact that RTD doesn't get credit where credit is due. I'm the first to call his era on its failings, but I'm also the first to defend him on the grounds that be brought the show back and let the show follow its natural evolution along the path that was developing in the McCoy era (the companion being important, too). For all his flaws, RTD was obviously an exuberant fan, and above all he gave us back our Doctor!

And bashing Rose is just stupid. Smile

If you want to get technical, though, the classic series had LOTS of kids: they just weren't played by age-appropriate actors, and thus go unnoticed as such. Heck, Susan was supposed to be 15 (despite being played by an actress in her early 20s). Likewise, Ace and Vicki were both supposed to be teens. Adric and Turlough were also supposed to be younger than the actors playing them. As far as kids who weren't companions but figured into the plots, The Twin Dilemma springs to mind, and once again inappropriate casting detracts from the youth of the teenaged Perivale characters in Survival. The only reason there weren't young kids on the classic show: the conditions under which it was taped precluded the use of young or, in the case of teen characters, age-appropriate actors. The hours were too long and the schedule too rigorous; plus, the speed of shooting would've made child actors too risky in terms of flubbed lines and bad takes. If it had been at all logistically possible, the show would have been full of children: the way the Beeb marketed the classic show back in the day makes that a no-brainer (it's also worth noting that the very first Doctor Who comic strips had companions who were small children, which remained the case well into the Second Doctor's run in TV Comic).

I don't think anyone is saying you're not "clever," though. That's certainly not what I intended to convey! I just think you're letting a negative mindset limit your objectivity.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:03 pm

Well, totally entitled to your opinion... and you know I like you man... but I do wonder why you feel the need to start a whole new thread with just your opinion when scarywood has already created one for everyone to post in. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:00 pm

ah, jonwes. scarywood's threads are great, and i mean no disrespect to him in starting my own thread. i just noticed from the very first thread of the 11th hour, that most(not all) posters on here tend to love moffatt, and just adore his stories, errors and all. i started my own threads, well, to provide a counterbalance to all the nodding heads and smiles of the moffat fans. i hope no one takes offense of that.

anyone who has been reading me for awhile knows that i am brutally honest(my first review, i believe, was of the torchwood figures, and i think not very many people aprreciated my honesty for what it was). so as much as i like scarywood(happy birthday again), i don't want to clutter his thread with my ramblings that take up pages. if, and that's if, i start liking the new episodes, i will not post my own thread, and instead, join in with everyone else. that is, if i have nothing to pick on, rant about, etc.

i'm really really trying to like the new season. i promise. i think the high points so far are matt smith's acting ability, and the cgi monsters(i'm a sucker for cgi monsters). but i don't watch doctor who for just acting and monsters. i want there to be a story. not just any story mind you, but a great story. so far, i haven't been impressed. i'm ranting and raving about it, because i loved the last 5 years of who. you can call me a rtd mark, or a tennant lover, but either way, i don't think moffat is living up to what was given to him.

i hope i'm proven wrong, and he does some big reveal near the end of the series, but i as a viewer, shouldn't have to wait that long. i mean, in the rtd era, most of the good episodes were at the beginning of the block, and the so-so's(idiot's lantern, fear her), were near the end. it almost seems to be the other way around now.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:13 pm

mysterylad wrote:
For all his flaws, RTD was obviously an exuberant fan
Which explains why many of his episodes read like bad fanfiction. Wink

While I've got no love for RTD as a science fiction writer, I do agree that Moffat's episodes are starting to suffer from the same kinds of predictability and cliched themes that made RTD's so unbearable for me. Granted, the whimsical quality of Moffat's episodes make them easier for me to stomach than the grandiose explosiveness and ham-fisted Jesus metaphors that characterized RTD's work (and I much prefer looking at Amy Pond to Donna Noble, so that helps to make this more appealing to me than Series 4), but I'm starting to think that Moffat's writing will begin to wear on me in another episode or so. Frightened children, creepy angry-faced things, mysterious instructive video messages, blah blah blah. Moffat's episodes are excellent when they appear once (or twice) per series, but this... this could get old fast.

Now, I liked "The Beast Below" as I watched it, but I pretty much grant most of bret's points -- and the more I think about the episode, the weaker it seems. That's probably the ideal response given the show's audience, though! I don't think that children are going to be thinking about it in depth, and most of the fans that do are likely to devise their own explanations for any holes or problems... you know, the way they do.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:40 pm

bret_owen99 wrote:
ah, jonwes. scarywood's threads are great, and i mean no disrespect to him in starting my own thread. i just noticed from the very first thread of the 11th hour, that most(not all) posters on here tend to love moffatt, and just adore his stories, errors and all. i started my own threads, well, to provide a counterbalance to all the nodding heads and smiles of the moffat fans. i hope no one takes offense of that.

anyone who has been reading me for awhile knows that i am brutally honest(my first review, i believe, was of the torchwood figures, and i think not very many people aprreciated my honesty for what it was). so as much as i like scarywood(happy birthday again), i don't want to clutter his thread with my ramblings that take up pages. if, and that's if, i start liking the new episodes, i will not post my own thread, and instead, join in with everyone else. that is, if i have nothing to pick on, rant about, etc.

i'm really really trying to like the new season. i promise. i think the high points so far are matt smith's acting ability, and the cgi monsters(i'm a sucker for cgi monsters). but i don't watch doctor who for just acting and monsters. i want there to be a story. not just any story mind you, but a great story. so far, i haven't been impressed. i'm ranting and raving about it, because i loved the last 5 years of who. you can call me a rtd mark, or a tennant lover, but either way, i don't think moffat is living up to what was given to him.

i hope i'm proven wrong, and he does some big reveal near the end of the series, but i as a viewer, shouldn't have to wait that long. i mean, in the rtd era, most of the good episodes were at the beginning of the block, and the so-so's(idiot's lantern, fear her), were near the end. it almost seems to be the other way around now.

No no, don't worry! I take no offence at all and totally understand you for making another thread.

In terms of people "loving moffat, and just adoring his stories, errors and all" is just a bad perspective. People love what he's doing right and not what he's doing wrong. Don't take this the wrong way, its meant as constructive criticism, but I think that you're only looking for the bad parts of the episodes and you've got a constant eye open for errors and faults.

I'm very pleased with you, however, that you are not afraid to show your honesty. If its one forum on the net where you can express your self without being hated its this one. You are entitled to your opinion and I'm glad that you take advantage of that.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:14 pm

bret_owen99 wrote:
i just noticed from the very first thread of the 11th hour, that most(not all) posters on here tend to love moffatt, and just adore his stories, errors and all.

No writer is perfect, and that includes Moffat. Though I do feel he is a superior writer to RTD (a mostly subjective distinction, to be fair), I can certainly see some errors in what Moffat's done thus far. For example, the pacing of The Beast Below was a tad plodding in spots, and the character of Liz 10 really wasn't all that effective in the narrative sense. However, I haven't yet seen any errors so egregious that they've been game-breakers for me. Now, if what appears to be an intriguing set-up fails to pay off, or if there are too many rehashed themes getting in the way of the new series standing on its own merits, the Moff will certainly incur my wrath retroactively. Smile

Quote :
you can call me a rtd mark, or a tennant lover...

There are SO much worse things to be called than a Tennant-lover. He was awesome!
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:20 pm

Few things are worse than being called an RTD mark, though. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:32 pm

I don't know. With all the hype of Moffat making a "change", and with these past two shows being disappointing (I haven't seen either yet), I just don't know.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:34 pm

Having now watched The Beast Below 2 -times, I have pretty much the same type of opinion I had after The Eleventh Hour.
1: I love Matt Smith as the Doctor.
2: I love Karen as Amy Pond.
3: I like the lines that Moffat writes for his characters.
4: But his stories are just a little bit...lacking in something, and I don't know what. I feel like I did after the last Star Trek:TNG movie,(or Indiana Jones) I love the character bits, but the story was just confusing and a little week. Disappointed, but not unhappy.
I feel like I just watched Paradise Towers!!
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:32 pm

lol@ronpur. i absolutely love paradise towers, which might say something about what kind of doctor who fan i am.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:16 pm

Paradise Towers, the Happiness Patrol, and even Delta and the Bannermen...they just don't get enough credit.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:37 pm

In all honesty, I haven't seen PT since it first came out, so I have a vague memory of it not being a very good episode. Just that I never really wanted to go out of my way to see it again! Delta, on the other hand, I enjoy, but I have no idea why?? Maybe the strong performance of McCoy.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:52 pm

bret_owen99 wrote:
ah, jonwes. scarywood's threads are great, and i mean no disrespect to him in starting my own thread. i just noticed from the very first thread of the 11th hour, that most(not all) posters on here tend to love moffatt, and just adore his stories, errors and all. i started my own threads, well, to provide a counterbalance to all the nodding heads and smiles of the moffat fans. i hope no one takes offense of that.

That makes sense. I just like to have everything in one place so I'm not checking two threads. LOL. Just lazy. Anyway, it's an interesting read.
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PostSubject: Re: bret_owen99's review of the beast below   Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:11 pm

Interesting and quite curmudgeonly review...however, from my as yet limited postings here, you can probably already see that I am not a curmudgeon, and in fact, I am very nearly the opposite of a curmudgeon, and I'm not getting off your lawn anytime soon with this post at any rate...


I don't have kids either, but I do like them, and have no problem with that issue in the show. In fact, looking through a child's eyes made those booth robots that much more frightening -- I found them creepy, but many people are scared by that sort of thing...really, tentacles, snakes, ooze, and even for some, clowns, which the robots reminded me of, in the same way the evil Santas from Christmases past did -- although I personally have no such specific fear, it is a pretty common one -- as is snakes and spiders, which some fear more than others, but these are all things that scare people on a visceral level, and so even if they are derivative, and may not scare *everyone*, they work for me.


I thought Amy's video was chilling...the forget button had obviously come into play here...I wonder at what point Amy knew something so wrong was happening and how she came to record the message, but the not knowing was really the scary thing in this...another basic fear -- that of the unknown. So, for me, it doesn't necessarily have to be explained. Fine if they ever do, but scarier if they don't, you know?

I do agree with you that the Tenth Doctor had the biggest heart[s]...but I don't agree that Eleven didn't agonize over lobotomizing the creature. I think he was in a great deal of angst. He'd only just allowed himself to trust travelling with a companion again and thought he'd been betrayed. While I thought he gave into his negative feelings a bit too quickly, I could definitely understand how he could do just that, given what he'd so recently been through. It also gave Amy an opportunity to prove herself, which she did brilliantly. She drew the parallel between the Doctor and the creature, gambled and won. She restored the Doctor's faith, which needed to happen, and people were saved! It's not about whether they deserve to be saved. Certainly that wealthy but boorish man whose name escapes me at the moment in Voyage of the Damned didn't deserve to be saved, but sometimes it happens that way...at least sometimes they do deserve saving and are saved -- Wilfred -- so it all works out...

As far as anything romantic playing out between the Doctor and Amy...so far, I don't see it. A Drop Dead Fred sort of imaginary friend is not the same thing as whatever it was the Doctor had with Rose. Oh, and btw, aside from Rose Tyler, who I never really cared for until after Doomsday, when she more or less redeemed herself for me after a fashion [I didn't actively bash her, except, admittedly, in fun -- bashing her *seriously* is definitely pretty stupid!] I just didn't relate to her at all till she came back in the last couple eps, and even then it took some time...], I tend to agree with what you're saying about RTD and his era, specifically David Tennant's tenure -- the Tenth Doctor blew me away entirely, brought me back into the fandom and is, by extension, the reason I'm posting all this! Rose just never "spoke to me", but I still loved the episodes, etc., etc....

Of course I do see the very obvious parallels between Rose/Mickey, Amy/Rory, but at this point, it's still all very much on the surface, so I'm waiting to see what's next. Rory isn't Amy's husband yet...there hasn't been a wedding -- her marital status is undetermined, and anyway, to state the obvious, the TARDIS is a time machine and the Doctor can, at least in theory, send her back as if she'd never left...I also don't have a problem with Moffat's stories in general, aside from being slightly negatively ambivalent about River Song, that is. Still, I'm hoping that when she does come back, it'll be done in a way that makes things better, or at least that much more interesting!

Oh, and if it wasn't obvious, count me as a Tennant lover...and quite right too!
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