Peter Capaldi as the Doctor S10 E13 Twice Upon a Time (or Welcome to the New WOKE Doctor Who!)

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Peter Capaldi as the Doctor S10 E13 Twice Upon a Time (or Welcome to the New WOKE Doctor Who!)

Sum­mary: The Doc­tor Doesn’t want to Regen­er­ate, in fact two of them don’t.

Plot: The first Doc­tor and the twel­veth Doc­tor meet in the throes of regen­er­a­tion. but nei­ther one wishes to do so. While they are work­ing on that they are sud­denly con­fronted with first a sol­dier from the 1st world war and then Bill Potts and then some kind of future alien who is extract­ing humans from their time­line just before their deaths? Can the Doc­tors foil what­ever das­tardly plan these folks have and even if he can will either of them decide to change.

— — — — — — — — — — — –

Writ­ing: This is in effect the per­fect story for Steven Mof­fat to end his run on in that it per­fectly encap­su­lates his entire run of Doc­tor Who. Flashes of absolute bril­liance (the intro­duc­tion scenes par­tic­u­larly) an unhealthy obses­sion with para­doxes, great plot ideas that are at times writ­ten bril­liantly and at other times weakly. The gen­eral plot of this episode cool but the the writ­ing of that plot while occa­sion­ally bril­liant, is really kinda…meh and seems all about show­ing how woke we all are as opposed to that 1st Doctor’s who was basi­cally painted as a stand in for every fan who didn’t like the SJW choice of the next Doc­tor, lame.

Act­ing: As Always Capaldi is very good although I thought his end speech was so weak I would think he would have objected to deliver it. Pearl Mackie deliv­ers her best per­for­mance of the series. Mark Gatiss car­ries his role per­fectly but the real ques­tion was: “Could David Bradly pull of the 1st Doc­tor?” The answer is clearly yes, I just wish the char­ac­ter was treated with more respect or at least some respect. If not for Simm and Gomez this would be the best acted episode of the sea­son if not the Capaldi era.

Mem­o­rable Moments: I am younger, Leth­bridge Stew­art, Here’s what’s going to hap­pen, What’s Browser His­tory?, This has been cleaned. It would help if you could see properly.

Doc­tor Who Flash­backs: Given that this whole episode is a flash­back there is much too much to list here.

Odd­i­ties: It seems to me that the Time Lords would not allow the tech­nol­ogy in human hands and there is a long his­tory of them not allow­ing it. That’s a pretty big plot hole.

Clara has been extracted from her last moment but the time lords have done the same thing so wouldn’t that be an issue?

Pet Peeves: First the small ones:

The 1st Doc­tor can’t steer the ship but some­how gets back to the south pole. Nor­mally you would think: Fast return switch but the fast return switch would take him back to Rusty. How does he man­age to get there?

The first doc­tor has obvi­ously been to the future and should know what Browser His­tory is. Fur­ther­more given the shift in time­lines and the fact that it’s at the very end of his, he should remem­ber meet­ing his 2nd, 3rd and fifth selves.

Given the num­ber of peo­ple dying in the 1st World War or in fact on earth at any given time shouldn’t there have been thou­sands caught in the error?

It didn’t take long for me to get REALLY sick of the Capaldi char­ac­ter going after the 1st Doc­tor for dar­ing to have tra­di­tional views. The whole holier than thou bit was com­pletely insult­ing but is totally con­trary to the whole, respect­ing other cul­tures, busi­ness, that the #sjw team pushes. Of course the excep­tion is the tra­di­tional cul­ture of West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion which we are totally allowed to mock. It’s rather ironic since the story turns on one of the most extra­or­di­nary events in the his­tory of west­ern civ­i­liza­tion which is com­pletely a prod­uct of that cul­ture being attacked. The 1st Doc­tor wasn’t there as the bril­liant Doc­tor that he was. He wasn’t played as the per­son to whom every sin­gle per­son watch­ing this series, work­ing on this series or mak­ing a liv­ing off owes every­thing to. He was there as a run­ning gag on how back­ward he and some fans are to the cur­rent Doc­tor Who team. It’s almost as if the entire episode was about prepar­ing the ground rather than giv­ing Capaldi a story to go out on. That was unfair to Capaldi and unfair to Bradley and the 1st Doc­tor. Per­son­ally I found it quite offensive.

You might be sur­prised by this peeve as I’ve already objected to the SJW change in Doc­tor Who but I also think Jodi Whitaker was treated poorly in her pre­mière in the role. Does she get mem­o­rable lines? Does she get mem­o­rable scenes, nope. After a com­pletely for­get­table (and almost unin­tel­li­gi­ble) first line the first thing the first woman Doc­tor to Pilot the TARDIS does is touch one but­ton and gets her­self com­pletely ejected from the ship. Thus the first thought when see­ing the first scene of Jodi Whitaker as the Doc­tor is “bad woman dri­ver”. One might argue that it was sim­i­lar to Matt Smith’s start but her char­ac­ter didn’t even man­age what he did. Not the way you want to write the 1st scene of the 1st woman Doc­tor is it? What a gyp and how unfair to her.

Great Quote(s)


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The Cap­tain: [in shell hole point­ing pis­tol at a wounded Ger­man also point­ing pis­tol] There is some­thing I should like to say. That is, there is some­thing I would very much like you to under­stand. I do not have the slight­est desire to kill you. The only rea­son why I would do so is self defense. How­ever since you are aware that I might kill you in self defense, there is the strong pos­si­bil­ity that you might kill me in self defense. It does rather make me rather wish you spoke Eng­lish…
Wounded Ger­man: [Speaks in Ger­man no trans­la­tion avail­able as I type this but it ends with I think it ends in bit­ter nicht trot­ten. or “Don’t kill me please” ]
The Cap­tain:or I spoke Ger­man. War is hell eh?

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The Cap­tain:: She’s com­ing, she’s com­ing. It’s her.
1st Doc­tor: Not human I think. State your planet of ori­gin and your inten­tions. This is Earth, a level five civilization.t
12th Doc­tor: and it is pro­tected!
1st Doc­tor: It’s what? [Alien dis­ap­pears]
12th Doc­tor Oh OK Well that usu­ally doesn’t work.
1st Doc­tor: Pro­tected by whom?
12th Doc­tor: It tis early days isn’t it?

************************************************************************

Cap­tain: Is this mad­ness? Am I going mad
12th Doc­tor: Well you’re an offi­cer from world war 1 at the south pole being per­sued by an alien through frozen time. Mad­ness was never this good
The Cap­tain: World war 1?
12th Doc­tor: Judg­ing by the uni­form, yes?
The Cap­tain:: Yes, but what do you mean, one?
12th Doc­tor: Oh, Sorry Spoilers

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12th Doc­tor: Tell me what to do then, Bill Potts would tell me what to do
Bill: Do what you always do, serve at the plea­sure of the human race?
12th Doc­tor: He’re what’s going to hap­pen. 1st I’m going to escape (whis­per­ing to 1st Doc­tor) you with me
1st Doc­tor: Where are we going?
The Glass Woman: Escape is not pos­si­ble
12th Doc­tor: It is pos­si­ble and it is hap­pen­ing and I’m tak­ing Bill and the Cap­tain with me.
1st Doc­tor: Why are you adver­tis­ing your inten­tions? Can’t you stop boast­ing for a moment?
12th Doc­tor: Mr. Patient too, I could do with a laugh
The Glass Woman: Escape is not pos­si­ble
12th Doc­tor: Oh I’m going to do way more than escape. I’m going to find out who you are and what you are doing and if I don’t like it, I will come come back and stop you. I will stop all of you!
1st Doc­tor: Who the hell do you think you are?

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1st doc­tor: Good is not a prac­ti­cal sur­vival strat­egy. It requires loy­alty, self sac­ri­fice, love. So why does good pre­vail? What keeps the bal­ance between good and evil in this appalling uni­verse? Is there some kind of logic, some mys­te­ri­ous force?
Bill: Per­haps there is just, a bloke.
1st Doc­tor: A bloke?
Bill: Yeah, per­haps there is just some bloke, wan­der­ing around, putting every­thing right when it goes wrong.
1st doc­tor: Well that would be a nice story wouldn’t it?
Bill: That would be the best?

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12th Doc­tor: Oh! It’s not an evil plan! I don’t know really what to do when it’s isn’t an evil plan.

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Final Ver­dict: 4 12 stars. The day before I watched this episode was the first day I had watch any episode of Doc­tor Who since they announced Jodi Whitaker as the new Doc­tor. My sons had it on Christ­mas Eve and I watched some with them and it reminded me of how much I once loved the show. How­ever the spark remains gone so this is iron­i­cally the 1st episode that I’ve watched with the eyes of a pure critic vs the eyes of a fan­boy of 41 years. I think there was a lot of waste here. This is a good episode for many rea­sons. It is enter­tain­ing, some of the plot­ting is pretty orig­i­nal, the con­trast between the Doc­tor as explorer vs pro­tec­tor and the res­o­lu­tion with the cap­tain but While enter­tain­ing the Doctor’s don’t actu­ally DO any­thing. The 1st Doc­tor stands around while the 12th Doc­tor makes fun of him as a sex­ist. This could have and should have been a grand adven­ture, instead it was a lec­ture on being woke, yet another exam­ple of our gen­er­a­tion preach­ing how much smarter they are than every sin­gle one that came before it. Iron­i­cally the best scene is Bill’s scene with the 1st Doc­tor con­cern­ing good and evil which is won­der­ful. I’ve never seen an episode both so deep and so shal­low at the same time.

Rank­ing of Sea­son: 5th of 10th The real prob­lem for this episode, other than the sick­en­ing lec­tures is that it has to com­pete with the absolutely bril­liant per­for­mances of Michelle Gomez through­out the sea­son and John Simm and her in pre­vi­ous episodes that raised the bar to a point where even two doc­tors just couldn’t match it. While the res­o­lu­tion on this episode were not as hor­ri­ble as the episode that pre­ceded it the Simm/​Gomez combo made up for the defi­cien­cies in said episode more than the Bradley/​Capaldi stuff did.

FYI you might won­der why I rated this episode so high if I was so offended? The answer. It’s a TV show whose pri­mary pur­pose is to enter­tain, for all it’s faults. It was enter­tain­ing and very clever at spots.

1st World Enough and Time
2nd Extremis
3rd The Eaters of Light
4th The Doc­tor Falls
5th Twice upon a Time
6th The Lie of the Land
7th Empress of Mars
8th The Pyra­mid at the End of the World
9th Knock Knock
10th Oxy­gen
11th Thin Ice
12th Smile
13th The Pilot

Top 10 Rank­ing in the Capaldi Era: In my pre­vi­ous review I said the fol­low­ing “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.” The fact that a multi Doc­tor Episode that includes the regen­er­a­tion scene of the 12 Doc­tor couldn’t crack the top ten of the Capaldi era should be a dis­grace and in fact is one. Of course you might say that it’s all because the episodes already in the top ten were so damn good (and they were) but still the Christ­mas spe­cial com­bin­ing two doc­tors and includ­ing two regen­er­a­tions is a big thing and it should have been a lot bet­ter than it was.

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

Summary: The Doctor Doesn’t want to Regenerate, in fact two of them don’t.

Plot:   The first Doctor and the twelveth Doctor meet in the throes of regeneration.  but neither one wishes to do so.  While they are working on that they are suddenly confronted with first a soldier from the 1st world war and then Bill Potts and then some kind of future alien who is extracting humans from their timeline just before their deaths?   Can the Doctors foil whatever dastardly plan these folks have and even if he can will either of them decide to change.

———————————–

Writing:  This is in effect the perfect story for Steven Moffat to end his run on in that it perfectly encapsulates his entire run of Doctor Who.  Flashes of absolute brilliance (the introduction scenes particularly) an unhealthy obsession with paradoxes, great plot ideas that are at times written brilliantly and at other times weakly.  The general plot of this episode cool but the the writing of that plot while occasionally brilliant, is really kinda…meh and seems all about showing how woke we all are as opposed to that 1st Doctor’s who was basically painted as a stand in for every fan who didn’t like the SJW choice of the next Doctor, lame.

Acting:    As Always Capaldi is very good although I thought his end speech was so weak I would think he would have objected to deliver it.  Pearl Mackie delivers her best performance of the series.  Mark Gatiss carries his role perfectly but the real question was:  “Could David Bradly pull of the 1st Doctor?”  The answer is clearly yes, I just wish the character was treated with more respect or at least some respect. If not for Simm and Gomez this would be the best acted episode of the season if not the Capaldi era.

Memorable Moments: I am younger, Lethbridge Stewart,  Here’s what’s going to happen, What’s Browser History?, This has been cleaned. It would help if you could see properly.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Given that this whole episode is a flashback there is much too much to list here.

Oddities:  It seems to me that the Time Lords would not allow the technology in human hands and there is a long history of them not allowing it.  That’s a pretty big plot hole.

Clara has been extracted from her last moment but the time lords have done the same thing so wouldn’t that be an issue?

Pet Peeves:  First the small ones:

The 1st Doctor can’t steer the ship but somehow gets back to the south pole.  Normally you would think:  Fast return switch but the fast return switch would take him back to Rusty.  How does he manage to get there?

The first doctor has obviously been to the future and should know what Browser History is. Furthermore given the shift in timelines and the fact that it’s at the very end of his, he should remember meeting his 2nd, 3rd and fifth selves.

Given the number of people dying in the 1st World War or in fact on earth at any given time shouldn’t there have been thousands caught in the error?

It didn’t take long for me to get REALLY sick of the Capaldi character going after the 1st Doctor for daring to have traditional views.  The whole holier than thou bit was completely insulting but is totally contrary to the whole,  respecting other cultures, business, that the #sjw team pushes.  Of course the exception is the traditional culture of Western Civilization which we are totally allowed to mock.  It’s rather ironic since the story turns on one of the most extraordinary events in the history of western civilization which is completely a product of that culture being attacked.  The 1st Doctor wasn’t there as the brilliant Doctor that he was.  He wasn’t played as the person to whom every single person watching this series, working on this series or making a living off owes everything to.  He was there as a running gag on how backward he and some fans are to the current Doctor Who team. It’s almost as if the entire episode was about preparing the ground rather than giving Capaldi a story to go out on. That was unfair to Capaldi and unfair to Bradley and the 1st Doctor. Personally I found it quite offensive.

You might be surprised by this peeve as I’ve already objected to the SJW change in Doctor Who but I also think Jodi Whitaker was treated poorly in her premiere in the role. Does she get memorable lines? Does she get memorable scenes, nope. After a completely forgettable (and almost unintelligible) first line the first thing the first woman Doctor to Pilot the TARDIS does is touch one button and gets herself completely ejected from the ship. Thus the first thought when seeing the first scene of Jodi Whitaker as the Doctor is “bad woman driver”.  One might argue that it was similar to Matt Smith’s start but her character didn’t even manage what he did.  Not the way you want to write the 1st scene of the 1st woman Doctor is it?  What a gyp and how unfair to her.

Great Quote(s) 


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The Captain: [in shell hole pointing pistol at a wounded German also pointing pistol] There is something I should like to say. That is, there is something I would very much like you to understand. I do not have the slightest desire to kill you. The only reason why I would do so is self defense. However since you are aware that I might kill you in self defense, there is the strong possibility that you might kill me in self defense. It does rather make me rather wish you spoke English…
Wounded German: [Speaks in German no translation available as I type this but it ends with I think it ends in bitter nicht trotten. or “Don’t kill me please” ]
The Captain:or I spoke German. War is hell eh?

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The Captain:: She’s coming, she’s coming. It’s her.
1st Doctor: Not human I think. State your planet of origin and your intentions. This is Earth, a level five civilization.t
12th Doctor: and it is protected!
1st Doctor: It’s what? [Alien disappears]
12th Doctor Oh OK Well that usually doesn’t work.
1st Doctor: Protected by whom?
12th Doctor: It tis early days isn’t it?

************************************************************************

Captain: Is this madness? Am I going mad
12th Doctor: Well you’re an officer from world war 1 at the south pole being persued by an alien through frozen time. Madness was never this good
The Captain: World war 1?
12th Doctor: Judging by the uniform, yes?
The Captain:: Yes, but what do you mean, one?
12th Doctor: Oh, Sorry Spoilers

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12th Doctor: Tell me what to do then, Bill Potts would tell me what to do
Bill: Do what you always do, serve at the pleasure of the human race?
12th Doctor: He’re what’s going to happen. 1st I’m going to escape (whispering to 1st Doctor) you with me
1st Doctor: Where are we going?
The Glass Woman: Escape is not possible
12th Doctor: It is possible and it is happening and I’m taking Bill and the Captain with me.
1st Doctor: Why are you advertising your intentions? Can’t you stop boasting for a moment?
12th Doctor: Mr. Patient too, I could do with a laugh
The Glass Woman: Escape is not possible
12th Doctor: Oh I’m going to do way more than escape. I’m going to find out who you are and what you are doing and if I don’t like it, I will come come back and stop you. I will stop all of you!
1st Doctor: Who the hell do you think you are?

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1st doctor: Good is not a practical survival strategy. It requires loyalty, self sacrifice, love. So why does good prevail? What keeps the balance between good and evil in this appalling universe? Is there some kind of logic, some mysterious force?
Bill: Perhaps there is just, a bloke.
1st Doctor: A bloke?
Bill: Yeah, perhaps there is just some bloke, wandering around, putting everything right when it goes wrong.
1st doctor: Well that would be a nice story wouldn’t it?
Bill: That would be the best?

****************************************************************************************

12th Doctor: Oh! It’s not an evil plan! I don’t know really what to do when it’s isn’t an evil plan.

*************************************************************************************************


Final Verdict:   4 1/2 stars.  The day before I watched this episode was the first day I had watch any episode of Doctor Who since they announced Jodi Whitaker as the new Doctor.  My sons had it on Christmas Eve and I watched some with them and it reminded me of how much I once loved the show.  However the spark remains gone so this is ironically the 1st episode that I’ve watched with the eyes of a pure critic vs the eyes of a fanboy of 41 years.  I think there was a lot of waste here. This is a good episode for many reasons. It is entertaining, some of the plotting is pretty original, the contrast between the Doctor as explorer vs protector and the resolution with the captain but While entertaining the Doctor’s don’t actually DO anything. The 1st Doctor stands around while the 12th Doctor makes fun of him as a sexist. This could have and should have been a grand adventure, instead it was a lecture on being woke, yet another example of our generation preaching how much smarter they are than every single one that came before it. Ironically the best scene is Bill’s scene with the 1st Doctor concerning good and evil which is wonderful. I’ve never seen an episode both so deep and so shallow at the same time.

Ranking of Season: 5th of 10th  The real problem for this episode, other than the sickening lectures is that it has to compete with the absolutely brilliant performances of  Michelle Gomez throughout the season and John Simm and her in previous episodes that raised the bar to a point where even two doctors just couldn’t match it. While the resolution on this episode were not as horrible as the episode that preceded it the Simm/Gomez combo made up for the deficiencies in said episode more than the Bradley/Capaldi stuff did.

FYI you might wonder why I rated this episode so high if I was so offended? The answer. It’s a TV show whose primary purpose is to entertain, for all it’s faults. It was entertaining and very clever at spots.

1st World Enough and Time
2nd Extremis
3rd The Eaters of Light
4th The Doctor Falls
5th Twice upon a Time
6th The Lie of the Land
7th Empress of Mars
8th The Pyramid at the End of the World
9th Knock Knock
10th Oxygen
11th Thin Ice
12th Smile
13th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era:  In my previous review I said the following “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.”  The fact that a multi Doctor Episode that includes the regeneration scene of the 12 Doctor couldn’t crack the top ten of the Capaldi era should be a disgrace and in fact is one.  Of course you might say that it’s all because the episodes already in the top ten were so damn good (and they were) but still the Christmas special combining two doctors and including two regenerations is a big thing and it should have been a lot better than it was.

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