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     Home »  The David Tennant Era »  S4e9 Forest of the Dead [Spoilers]
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    S4e9 Forest of the Dead [Spoilers] Views: 4804
     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 04:59 PM EDT
    No spoilers from me - just thought I'd put that in the subject as per usual.

    Wow. Just wow.

    Pat

    "Don't play as if you've swallowed the metronome!" -- Nadia Boulanger
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 05:17 PM EDT
    I need time to think about this one. In some ways I was disappointed that it wasn’t absolutely perfect. In some ways I absolutely loved it. I think this is because it was a very different type of episode to the first part – the whole style and feel was different somehow. The Vashta Narada were suddenly sentient, the pace changed completely and rather than the fast-paced action horror it became more introspective, more matrix-like.
    Things I didn’t like so much: the resolution to the cliff-hanger I’m starting to agree with those who are calling for at least a short term ban on sonic devices; a lack of out and out answers, sorry, call me impatient but I wanted to know who River Song was for sure – OK the implications of who she was were very strong but I wanted to be told directly. A large part of the first episode was based around the mysteries behind this woman, so strong were the questions asked that it feels like a bit of a cop out not to have given straight answers (but that’s just me!). Why the shadows felt they needed to possess three different spacesuits, one I could buy, but three? – why did this swarming entity feel the need to personify itself and follow the Doctor around - a bit like a Bond villain feeling the need to explain itself to the eponymous hero rather than just killing him there and then.
    Things I liked: Catherine Tate showing her excellent acting skills once again; the poignant sadness of the truth behind CAL; a whisper – just a whisper of the Doctor’s real name – did you hear it? And the reasons for why he might actually tell somebody his name; the shadows looking the doctor up in the library and feeling fear. And was it just me or did Miss Evangelista’s voice sound suspiciously like Sarah Sutton’s?
    Things I loved: the time travel nature of the story and an ending that I didn’t see coming (i had to admit to groaning at the idea of the Time Lord yet again finding and losing somebody close to him – that one has been done to death (if you’ll pardon the phrasing) recently) and how clever the Doctor is setting up a situation for his past self to recognise and exploit; and the joy of Everybody Lives – Stephen Moffat not only brings out the darkness of Doctor Who but he also brings out the sheer joy that travelling with the Doctor must be bring – ok death and destruction seem to follow him but every so often Everybody Lives and you cannot help but be carried along by that.
    4 out of 5 for this one. 4.5 for the two parts as a whole. But I need to wait and reflect and then watch it again. And then maybe once for luck. Oh I love this programme!

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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 06:22 PM EDT

    Well done Moff. Will come back and post more l8r. Wife got sucked into the prophecy line and now wants to watch FoP and PotO.

    I'm a Time Traveler, I point and laugh at archaeologist.
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 06:50 PM EDT
    I very much liked it. Very hopeful but sad. I'm sure many people will be upset about the loose end of River Song but it leaves more to come on that. The little girl bit was better then expected. I also like how the dead were saved by the wifi, even the data corruption was nice touch, I would have liked a hint of proper Dave in there too.

    A few points that could have been better:

    The nodes could have been used in some ways better, like the doctor saying goodbye to River or if Donna's man were one. Or even them giving a clue to the book/Vashta Narada connection.

    I would have liked to see what would have happened with Donna meeting up with the man from the "matrix". I do sometimes hate when things are written out because they don't tie thing up in a nice little bow. I mean why can't see be forced to choose the doctor or the man.

    The Vashta Narada being able to talk to the doctor was a weak plus they could have been a bit more threatening here like in the first episode. I would have liked to have the doctor figure out about the books anther way.

    And why they stood around talking before anyone mentions the elevator. Its like they were going there for that but no one tells the doctor till after he decided he needs to go there. I mean come on.

    Some times the nicely tied up endings get a bit old.

    I think a 4.5 out of 5 for me.

    "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe." - Carl Sagan
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 06:54 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  actorguy] No spoilers from me - just thought I'd put that in the subject as per usual.

    Wow. Just wow.

    Pat
    I'll see your wow, and raise it to a WHAT!!

    I honestly think that's one of the best stories I've ever watched. It was so clever, so knowing, and yet so moving. I was welling up about 3 minutes before the end, and it always had me asking what was going on? Genius, absolute genius!
    Plus the line Donna says about this not being her real body, "But, I've been dieting!".


    Excallibur? Blizard? ...Bikini Cops?
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 07:46 PM EDT

    Not fully decided yet - is some ways it more than met expectations - in others it wasn't fully reslized.

    By that I mean it was a 'clever' - very clever as a second part - but I'm not sure it was a fully satisfying second part.

    Although I did like the realisation and saving of Riversong at the end.

    It's a story that certainly makes you think - that's no bad thing!

    I need to think some more. Frown

    Cheers, daveac

    daveac on blip.tv, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 07:55 PM EDT

    Dave,

    You just need to watch it again,... and again,... and again!



    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 08:38 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  spoonmerlin]I also like how the dead were saved by the wifi, even the data corruption was nice touch, I would have liked a hint of proper Dave in there too.


    Was I imagining it? I thought he was there.

    [Quote  by:  spoonmerlin]I would have liked to see what would have happened with Donna meeting up with the man from the "matrix".


    That was the most heart-wrenching moment for me...finding out he was real and that his speech impediment prevented him from getting to Donna.

    Pat

    "Don't play as if you've swallowed the metronome!" -- Nadia Boulanger
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 09:16 PM EDT

    Ok "Song has ended" but in true Moffat style, it has only begun. I can only say to those that wanted more closure that oft repeated idiom of our Time Traveler "I'll explain later". Listening to the commentary, we have RTD, Tennant, and the Moff having a grand old time while trying to avoid saying to much. The book of spoilers is in a very safe place indeed, but not "Quite" impossible to get to. So I would not be supprised to see it return as a vilian's tool or if the Doctor can no longer contain himself.

    Moffat has set up some trends and possible storylines in this two parter that are making my mouth water for 2010. I say Brill, bring me more. I just hope the general populace can handle temporial dynamics being fed to them in this fashion without their heads exploding, that is my only fear. Is it (as "The Cage" was once thought to be) "Too Cereberal" Rolling Eyes ?

    But as I say, More Please!

    Enough of my random nuron discharges,
    for now.......

    Cheers,
    Merlin

    I'm a Time Traveler, I point and laugh at archaeologist.
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 09:59 PM EDT
    Well. That was quite good, wasn't it?

    It was very great episode, top notch stuff, but I have to admit I am left with some questions.

    Maybe I'm a bit thick -(or I'll probably catch it on second watching) but exactly where did the Vashta Nerada go? I mean are they just suspending from eating people for 24 hours but then once everyone is gone the whole library planet is going to be abandoned by humans and the vashta nerada will float around eating.. uhm.. nothing? I genuinely missed that resolution. Maybe I was just mesmerized.

    So... do you think Donna wound up pocketing the book? Or has it been left there for some baddie to find? It's not the sort of thing I'd expect The Doctor to leave laying around considering the danger it might cause. And since when could shadow carnivores access computer databases to read through all the books to find out who The Doctor was?

    My heart went out to Donna this episode - of course the dieting comment was hilarious but the bit with her non-children disappearing - and then missing her dream man - were really touching.

    I hate to say this but I've never really liked Alex Kingston and it sort of put a damper on the whole River Song thing for me, though it was also very moving and I thought it was great when she punched him out. Yikes psychologist field day, right? Anyway I'm trying to figure out when exactly would a time lord reveal his or her name? Either on their deathbed or in the heat of passion perhaps!?

    Makes you wonder though - would your rather hedge your bets with the afterlife or be imprisoned indefinitely with a few mates in a computer simulation?

    If Worzel Gummidge and the Third Doctor had a fist fight - who would win?
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 10:45 PM EDT

    Quantum Children! They don't exist unless you are directly observing them. Wow, what does that say about the Moff's parenting skills?

    I'm a Time Traveler, I point and laugh at archaeologist.
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 11:19 PM EDT
    I'll have a pint of whatever you lot are on! I thought the story fell well short of Steven Moffatt's eariler works. But to be fair that standard is almost impossible to keep up.

    But still, I was rather disapointed that the Doctor's name is now a sticking point. Previously The Doctor had just glossed over it and his only alias was John Smith (and that has already been overused in the new series)!

    And then there is the whole Donna plot. That world of hers just semmed pointless and proved what a numpty we all saw in the Runaway Bride, she is. Then there is this total under use of Steve Pemberton. A brilliant witer/actor reduced to saying a few lines that didn't suit him, much like John Hurt in the new Indy movie.

    I can bet you, if RTD or anyone else had wrote this episode, the vast majorty of DW fans will be panning it. It reminds me when Helen Raynor wrote two AVERAGE (not bad!) episodes last year, her two episodes this year (in my view) have been the best this eeries. I don't think the word 'fickle' is enough to describe some DW 'fans'!

    But I did love the final bit with River but The Doctor clicking his fingers to open the TARDIS? Please!

    Please check out my blog, as I attempt to watch and review EVERY Doctor Who episode! http://journeythroughtimeandspace.blogspot.com/
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 11:32 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Magpie] Anyway I'm trying to figure out when exactly would a time lord reveal his or her name? Either on their deathbed or in the heat of passion perhaps!?

    In their last meeting prior to the expedition to the library, of course... While handing over his sonic screwdriver, and near the time of her nicking Capt. Jack's sonic blaster from the TARDIS one could assume...

    [Quote  by:  Magpie] And since when could shadow carnivores access computer databases to read through all the books to find out who The Doctor was?

    Maybe that neural thingy that caused the data ghosts allowed them to communicate???

    [Quote  by:  Magpie] Maybe I'm a bit thick -(or I'll probably catch it on second watching) but exactly where did the Vashta Nerada go? I mean are they just suspending from eating people for 24 hours but then once everyone is gone the whole library planet is going to be abandoned by humans and the vashta nerada will float around eating.. uhm.. nothing? I genuinely missed that resolution. Maybe I was just mesmerized.

    Unlike the Family of Blood, or the Sontarans, the Vashta Narada, when given a choice by the Doctor, decide to let the saved people go, sothe Doctor doesn't need to fight them. Since this whole series has been about building the myth of the Doctor, there is evidence of his deeds throughout time. Having access to some of these in the library (apparently), the Vashta Narada choose not to confront the Doctor. They survived for a century without humans on the library planet, so one can assume they can survive without them. I guess that would probably be like the difference between a planet with a protein soup (no humans) and a planet with cheeseburgers (humans)-one prefers the cheeseburgers, but can survive on the protein soup.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Saturday, June 07 2008 @ 11:45 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  cybercolin] I'll have a pint of whatever you lot are on! I thought the story fell well short of Steven Moffatt's eariler works. But to be fair that standard is almost impossible to keep up.

    I would argue that the level of this series was just so much higher than the past three series, and that means that those stories are reaching for the bar set by Moffat.

    This has been the most cerebral of all of Moffat's contributions to Who, and as such, may lose some of the audience along the way. Also, the tone changed quite dramatically from Silence to Forest. The former is obviously a drawn out set up getting you to that cliffhanger, where you have almost as little idea of what is going on as you did at the start of the episode, or, at least have as many unanswered questions as you did then. And though we still have the menace on the loose in the conclusion, the second part is not as dark as the first, especially since we spend quite some time in the safety of the virtual reality of CAL's harddrive/computer. This change is deliberate to set up the "happy ending". "Everybody lives!"

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Sunday, June 08 2008 @ 12:23 AM EDT
    Okay. I'm confused. How can the Doctor enter what is apparently a significant relationship with someone when he's already seen her actually (if in some ways, not effectively) dying? I mean, it's one thing knowing intellectually that he's gonna outlast his companions with lesser lifespans. But when you've begun your relationship actually witnessing their death, how can you enter into it wholeheartedly? I'm not saying it's a "flaw" of this episode; I just don't understand how it would work.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." — JNT, 1986
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