Summary: Will the Doctor’s Failures cost him his life

Plot: Stuck on Floor 507  everyone’s world is in tatters.  The people there are slowly being assaulted by Cybermen, Nardole dealing with the Amorous advances of a woman, Bill is dealing with now being a Cyberman, the Master and Missy are dealing with each other while Missy deals with her conflicted emotions concerning the Doctor , oh and there are a bunch of rapidly evolving cybermen out to kill them all finally the Doctor is dealing with all of these things that are to some degree his fault.

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Writing:  I am of so many minds with this story, there are so many excellent plots running parallel ins and outs and emotions (I really like the parallel evolution Cyberman business) that make it almost a masterpiece, and then you get the resolution that is so bad, so ridiculous so lame that despite the emotional strings it tries to pull you have to say to yourself:  Really you got us all worked up all last week for this?    What an absolute joke.  One half expects that the very surprise ending leading to the Christmas special was just about defecting us from how absolutely lame the resolution was.

Acting:   With the quality of this cast this is pretty much a no brainer.  Everyone pulls his weight and then some Mackie doing well with the split role and Simm and Gomez working well together but  I really think there needed to be at least one more Capaldi Gomez scene

Memorable Moments: Stabs in the back, scary lady, the mirror, willing to try anything once, he’s dead and never liked you, yes it’s wrong.  Do you want to be alone.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Too many to name from dematerialization circuits (the three doctors), to not accepting reality (Clara in Asylum of the Daleks) 11th Doctor , to different faces in the mirror (regeneration of 2nd doctor Power of the Daleks) to final words, particularly at the end.

Oddities: While I actually expected things to end this way for Missy’s regeneration it seems to me that knowing that there is a variation in personality after regeneration the Master’s decision is a bit rash to say, don’t regenerate. However this episode illustrates why the timelords instituted the 1st law of time. The Doctor says they can’t get to the bridge because of the time difference, but the closer to them they get the smaller said time difference becomes thus as they get closer it becomes harder for them to catch them.
Pet Peeves:Quite a few actually the big one is the same pet peeve as in The Pilot, the concept is lame, the use of it is lame and the use of it as a resolution is the worst copout in a long time. It’s like that three step cartoon where the scientist shows step one, in the middle has “then a miracle occurs” and then step 3 and the guy looking says: “I think you need more detail in that middle step”. Furthermore is squishy water lady was able to save the day this way where was she when bill was dying in Oxygen or every other time when she was about to die? The Master says he will never stand with the Doctor but then spared him in the end of time when he could have killed him and let him die. Can someone explain to me how the doctor is able to hold back his regeneration and if he’s holding it back, how is he not just dying?

Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Again lots of great quotes we’ll again stick with just a few FYI posted this before the transcripts got up as the show was being broadcast so I reserve the right to fix anything I got off by a word or two.


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The Master:  I can do this, they’re not difficult, they’re Cyberman.
The Doctor:   Go Ahead, knock yourself out
Missy:  Your wish is my command (cold cocks the Master)  I’ve secretly been with you all the time
The Doctor:  Is that true?
Missy:  Don’t spoil the moment
The Doctor:  I’ve got to know
MIssy:  It’s hard to say I’ve of two minds fortunately one of them is unconscious

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The Doctor: I’m sorry but you can’t be angry our temper is a luxury you can no longer have.
CyberBill: Why can’t I be angry?
The Doctor: Bill Please
CyberBill: You left me alone for 10 years why can’t I be angry (shoots a beam out of her headpeace and blows up the barn door)
The Doctor: because of that, that’s why, because you’re a cyberman
Nardole: Right everyone back to work, nothing to see here, just somebody broke the barn no biggie.
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The Master: I had some trouble taking off
Missy: The black hole?
The Master:Too close to the event horizon.
Missy: And you screwed up you went too fast.
The Master: I blew the dematerialization circuit
Missy: Which reminds me a funny thing once happened to me once.
The Master: What?
Missy: [Throws the master to the all pressed against him] A very long time ago a very scary lady threw me against the wall and made me promise to always ALWAYS have a spare dematerialization circuit. I don’t remember much about her now, but she must have made quite an impression. (pulls a spare dematerialization circuit from her pocket)
The Master: you know you basically have me to thank for that
Missy: You’re welcome
The Master: By the way Missy is it wrong that I
Missy: [looking down then up] Yes very

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The Doctor: [To Missy and the Master walking away] No NO! When I say no you turn back around. Hey I’m going to be dead in a few hours, so let’s have it out, right now you and me. Winning? Is that what you think it’s about? I’m not trying to win. I’m not doing this because I want to beat someone because I hate someone or because I want to blame someone. or because it’s smart. God knows it’s not because it’s easy, or because it works because it hardly ever does. I do what I do because it’s right, and it’s decent and above all it’s kind. Just that, just kind. If I run away today, good people will die. If I stand and fight some of them might live, maybe not many of them maybe not for long. Hey you know Maybe there’s no point in any of this at all, but it’s the best I can do so I’m going to do it and I’m going to stand here doing it until it kills me. You’re going to die too, someday. What would you die for? Who I am is where I stand, and where I stand is where I fall.

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12th Doctor:Nooooo.  I will not change!

Figure in distance:I will not change, I will not, no no no, the whole thing is ridiculous 

12th Doctor:Is somebody there?

figure in distance (getting closer)  Who is that?

12th Doctor:I’m the Doctor

1st Doctor:The Doctor?  No I don’t think so, no dear me no.  You may be “a” Doctor but I’m “The Doctor” the original you might say.


Final Verdict: 4 1/2 stars  Given what I’ve written above you might have expected a lower rating but this episode was like watching Godfather 3.  If you’ve never seen any of the other movies it’s a pretty good picture, clearly above average and in some aspect great, but it can’t hold a candle to the 1st two as they are two of the greatest movies of all time.  Likewise this episode suffers from it’s final 10-15 minutes which with a different resolution (one that seemed pretty obvious to me btw) between being a five star top Capaldi episode and contender for the best of the new run, to being a far above average episode where the writer couldn’t figure out how to get to that final scene so he took the easy way out. I know how I would have done it and perhaps I’ll put that into a stand alone post sometime in the future.

Ranking of Season: 4th of 10  It was touch and go if it would be 5th but there is just enough good stuff to edge out the Lie of the Land which also had a kinda lame end. The irony being I really wanted to love this episode but in the end it ranked behind an episode that ironically I really wanted to hate.   The fact that this episode that disappointed me so much still ranks 4th in the season tells you everything you need to know about how bad this season was.

1st World Enough and Time
2nd Extremis
3rd The Eaters of Light
4th The Doctor Falls
5th The Lie of the Land
6th Empress of Mars
7th The Pyramid at the End of the World
8th Knock Knock
9th Oxygen
10th Thin Ice
11th Smile
12th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era:  Last week after World Enough and Time I wrote “I imagine the next two episodes might cause some movement on the list and boy will it be disappointing if it doesn’t”   In a season full of disappointing episodes the fact that this one  wasn’t able to crack the top 10 of the Capaldi era is the biggest disappointment of all.

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd World Enough and Time
3rd. Last Christmas
4th. The Caretaker
5th  Extremis
6th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
7th. The Girl who Died
8th. The Witch’s Familiar
9th. Hell Bent
10th. Mummy on the Orient Express

By John Ruberry

Deep in southwestern Germany in the Rhineland-Palatinate state lies the small village of Kallstadt, which has about 1,200 residents.

It is well-known for two reasons. It’s a stop on the German Wine Route and it’s the ancestral home of Henry J. Heinz, the founder of the H.J. Heinz Company, and President Donald J. Trump. In fact, Heinz and Trump’s grandfather, Kallstadt-born Friedrich Trump, were second cousins.

I was digging deep–very deep–on Netflix for something interesting to watch when I stumbled across Trump’s face on a movie poster for Kings of Kallstadt, a documentary by Simone Wendel, a Kallstadter. It was filmed in 2012 and released in 2014; her movie probably would have been forgotten outside of Rhineland-Palatinate had the Trump Train not steamrolled into Washington last year.

Much of the dialogue is in German–with subtitles of course.

There is a Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon feel within Kallstadt, because Wendel tells us that “the sun always shines and the wine never runs out.” And while Kallstadt has only 1,200 inhabitants it counts 1,600 members in its 27 clubs. “That amounts to 135 percent of love,” Wendel beams. Does Kallstadt have a Miss Kallstadt? No, it has a Wine Princess. No, make that two of them, which is a situation you might expect to find in the Andy Griffith Show’s Mayberry. Kallstadt’s culinary delicacy is saumagen, that is, stuffed sow’s stomach.

Yummy!

Trump is interviewed here, along with the family historian, Trump’s cousin John Walter. If you ever imagined what our president would be like if he was a modest accountant–that’s Walter. Because he’s a modest, albeit retired, accountant.

Fascinatingly, even before he officially entered the political world, the man who was then simply known as the King of New York felt compelled to bring up his troubled relationship with the media.

“Okay, I think (there are) a lot of misconceptions about me,” Trump explains to Wendel in a Trump Tower conference room. “I’m a lot nicer person than the press would have you think. I don’t want to ruin my image by telling you that, but I believe that.”

Not discussed in the film is what Donald and his father, Frederick, said about their heritage–the Trumps were Swedish–which the legions Trump-haters jumped on during the presidential campaign. But the Swedish fib is an understandable distortion of the truth. During World War I it was quite common for German-Americans to hide their ethnicity. I regularly run into people who tell me stories of a grandfather or great-grandfather who changed his name from say Muller, to Miller, after being hounded out of a town as Americans fought the Kaiser’s army. After World War II Trump’s grandmother, Elizabeth, and Frederick rented many apartments and sold many houses to Jewish New Yorkers, who understandably had extremely uncomfortable feelings about Germans.

“He had thought, ‘Gee whiz, I’m not going to be able to sell these homes if there are all these Jewish people,'” Walter told the now-failing New York Times last year about the dilemma of Trump’s dad.

More on Grandma Elizabeth in a bit.

“After the war, he’s still Swedish,” Walter continued. “It was just going, going, going.”

As for the Swedish tale, Donald repeated it for his best-seller, The Art Of The Deal. Frederick was still alive then. But by 1990 the Swedish stuff was dead lutefisk.

Outside Chicago’s Trump Tower in 2017

Friedrich Trump left Kallstadt at age 16 for America where he enjoyed great success in Seattle, Yukon, Alaska, and then New York. Walter tells Wendel that Grandfather Trump married Elizabeth Christ, a Kallstadter. She demanded that he sell his American properties and return to Kallstadt, which, in a story Trump confides to Walter that he never heard, Prince Leopold of Bavaria deported Friedrich. Yes, a Trump was deported! Friedrich died in 1918 in Queens, likely an early victim of that year’s flu pandemic. Elizabeth and Frederick then founded Elizabeth Trump and Son Company, now known as the Trump Organization.

Back to the almost present: a group of Kallstadters are invited as guests of New York’s German-American Steuben Parade. Trump was the parade’s grand marshal in 1999. They also visit Pittsburgh and the Heinz History Center, where amazingly, no members of the Heinz family meet them. Say what you will about Donald J. Trump, but he earnestly tries to make himself accessible except to those who are openly hostile to him. Trump could have easily dismissed Wendel’s request for an interview for her quaint little film. But Trump has alway been a salesman.

The Kallstadters attend a Pittsburgh Pirates game–big league baseball–but one cranky woman constantly complains that there is “no action” in the game.

But is there is a lot of action in a 0-0 soccer match, frau? Other than the brawls in the bleachers?

Then comes the Steuben Parade. As the Kallstadters–two of whom are carrying a giant model of a saumagen–and Walter gather on the route, an “Obama 2012” sign is seen from a window behind them.

Blogger in Washington State last year

Late in the film Wendel asks Trump if would like to visit Kallstadt. “When I’m over there I will certainly visit,” he replies. “Absolutely.”

The president will be in Germany next week for the G20 summit. No word of a Trump homecoming yet, along the lines of his visit to the birthplace of his mother in Scotland in 2008. Although Trump isn’t very popular in Kallstadt, at least according to media reports, since his political rise.

“Believe me,” Trump just might respond to such stories, “that’s just fake news, believe me.”

In addition to Netflix, Kings of Kallstadt is also available on Amazon. It’s an enjoyable, wunderbar, and yes, big league movie. Even if you hate Trump. Believe me.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

A few days ago I when I said Trump’s Mika tweet was a bad idea I included this caveat:

Now it’s very possible that this is Trump playing 3D chess while I’m playing checkers.  He knows the media effects of this kind of thing, knows it will help their ratings short term and may want the media obsessing on this rather than the healthcare bill or something else coming down the pike.  He might even be interested in demonstrating that he can lead the MSM by the nose where ever he wants them to be.

Don Surber who has read the Trump campaign and presidency far better than me says that’s exactly the point:

Feuding with Trump is a bad move. He piked their heads as a warning. The spin is this brouhaha boosts their ratings. Maybe, but man did it destroy their credibility. That is all the media has.

That’s a pretty good point but this one is even better

Democrats need the public’s support to stop Trump. Democrats can either talk about policy or Russia. They chose the latter. They chose poorly.

And the media chose to look at the tweet, not Kate’s Law. You cannot rally people against it if it is never discussed.

He cannot afford to lose three Republican votes in the Senate on any legislation. The RINOs are publicity hounds. Much as they would like to stop Kate’s Law, how can they if it is not in the public’s eye?

Tweet on, Mister President. That shields the slim Republican majorities in the House and Senate from  public attention, and allows them to do their work without interference from the press.

The thing that proves his point is that he manages to get the entire media in an uproar to the point where even good smart people like Jake Tapper are getting played to wit:

As Brent Bozell put it

And let’s close this post with the ultimate irony, quote from Keith Olbermann that I think fits very well here:

Pope, as Shelby Foote recalled in Ken Burns’s documentary, was a liar and a braggart. Yes, said Lincoln. In fact I knew his family back in Illinois. All the Popes were liars and braggarts. I see no particular reason why a liar and a braggart shouldn’t make a good general. Pope did not win the Civil War, but in appointing him, Lincoln made it plain that what he needed from his Generals was usefulness, not etiquette.

Right now we are in a political war or perhaps even a cold civil war with the left and Trump is my side’s general in chief fighting the battle in his own Jacksonian way and winning.

Update: via insty Byron York Great Minds and all that

Scarborough and Brzezinski are engaged in a back-and-forth with Trump over…what? A facelift? Hand size? Who said what to whom? The argument, which appears to have started Thursday with Brzezinski’s needling of Trump’s hand size (“They’re teensy!”) took a turn when Scarborough and Brzezinski wrote in a Washington Post op-ed (“Donald Trump is not well”) that, “This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked. We ignored their desperate pleas.” TrumpWorld sources are telling some (decidedly not-in-the-tank) reporters a very different version of events, which suggests Scarborough and Brzezinski will be pulled into a he-said-they-said fight that is far different from the one they wanted.

Does anyone think that, by any measure other than notoriety, this episode will not diminish Scarborough and Brzezinski? . . .

Of course one could say that Trump is at fault, that he regularly engages in spats that are beneath the dignity of the presidency. He should not, for example, respond in kind to “small hands” jabs. But Trump is Trump. He does what he does, which is what he did during the campaign and before. And now, in the White House, he has enlisted his media adversaries, wittingly or not, in a campaign against “fake news” that resonates with his core supporters.

What all these folks forget is that President Trump’s proclivity to do this has already been factored into people’s equations about him (think Joe Biden and his gaffes) It’s just Trump being Trump, but if you’ve built a reputation on something other than that, you just sound crass.

Update 2: You’re right Eskyman I can’t believe I forgot the link, fixed now