Radio Free Skaro #204 – The Big Bang on the Edge of Forever

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Radio Free Skaro #204 – Click here to listen

Something almost completely impossible happened this week in that not only did the Series 5 finale, The Big Bang, provide a fantastic and satisfying end to one of the best series of Doctor Who in recent memory, but the Three Who Rule actually agreed on how much they enjoyed a series finale. From Steven Moffat’s mastery of what could have been a convoluted story to Matt Smith’s best performance as The Doctor (again, for the 13th straight week), The Big Bang had it all, and it only makes the six-month wait until the 2010 Christmas special seem that much longer. And what will Radio Free Skaro do to pass the time until then? Listen and find out…
Show Notes:

Skaro Shop…Buy Our Stuff!
Episode Thirteen…The Big Bang!
The Big Bang…Ratings!
The Pandorica Opens…Appreciation Index!
The Lodger…Final Viewing Figures!
Christmas Special 2010…Readthrough!
Sarah Jane Adventures…Series 4 Titles!
Doctor Who Adventure Games…Episode 2 Released!
Doctor Who Adventure Games…New Monsters!
Doctor Who…Not at San Diego Comic-Con!
Running Through Corridors…Volume 1!
Children of Earth…Saturn Award!
Pennant Roberts…Obituary!

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13 Comments on “Radio Free Skaro #204 – The Big Bang on the Edge of Forever

  1. Hey Guys!

    As Chris already knows, I completely disagree on this episode, but I think it has more to do with feeling Dr. Who is being deliberately and needlessly made into a “for kids”-type of show in terms of story logic, etc.

    The Star Trek TNG episode you were referring to was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remember_Me_(TNG_episode) and it wasn’t Dr. Crusher that caused this but the fact that she got trapped in some kind of bubble which, as it collapsed, kept eliminating the reality which Dr. Crusher knew. A friend of mine told me years ago that this episode was actually used in college psychology class as an analysis of Alzheimer’s.

    Getting back to The Big Bang, I agree that this was probably done better than if RTD had done it, but it is a bridge too far for me to say that “being less crap” = quality story. To use a different Star Trek reference, if you go back to ST:TOS “Bread and Circuses”, slavery as we know it and slavery as that other planet’s Roman Empire eventually evolved it into is *still* slavery, even if their slaves had it “less worse” than ours.

    Perhaps I should just quit watching Dr. Who then if it seems I’m going to continue to be this dissatisfied? I don’t know, but I would entertain the thoughts of others here.

  2. Rory does remember the Doctor… he even says something like “of course, how could we have forgotten the Doctor? And hey, I was a centurion made of plastic!” as soon as the TARDIS appears.

  3. Mike, Doctor Who has always been a kid’s show, from the first episode.

  4. Amy, Amy, Amy… She’s always been insensitive to Rory, in that she says things that could be construed as insensitive but she says them because she thinks she is being amusing. the difference now is that the Doctor is safe. First, he’s got a possible love interest of his own, Second, she and Rory are officially together. She can now make all the playful comments she wants, and as long as Rory puts up with it, (which, face it, he seems to) she’s perfectly safe. In fact if you look back at the season, she has usually defended her relationship with Rory. I think most of her doubts were about whether she wants to get married, and whether she really wanted the sedate life that Rory would have given her. Now that Rory is caught up in the excitement of time travel, that isn’t an issue.

    You mention the monologues… The Doctor talking to Amy in the Pandorica and again to her as a nine year old – that’s one of the reasons this season and especially Steven Moffat’s writing is so great. The only other Moffat I’ve seen is Coupling, but I waited every episode for Steve to start ranting about couch pillows and man’s age old desire to see naked women, or for Jeff go into excruciating detail about giggle loops and porn buddies. Even Amy’s speech to bring the Doctor back overshadowed the use of said speech as a plot device. He’s just got the knack of saying everything in the right order.

    It’s interesting… I’ve been listening to you guys since I went looking for spoilers after “Sound of Drums” (and even though I didn’t find any, I was compelled to keep listening) And all season long I’ve been watching and thinking “Oh the guys are gonna hate that…” But then I sit in on Sunday night, and you loved it. Or even if you didn’t love it, it was for different reasons than I expected. (Even stranger is that Perryman seems to have enjoyed the season too.) I always love it, but I know I’m easy to please. Except for Last of the Timelords, which I still can’t think about without cringing, Dr Who is still the only current show I go out of my way to watch as soon as possible every week. It’s certainly the only fandom I follow. I finally got a twitter account, for the sole purpose of following you guys and other fans.

    Well, it’s been a great season. Can’t wait for your commentary next week. Like most North Americans, Tom Baker was my first Doctor. If you look hard at my Twitter icon (tjsilvers), that’s me in a pink Romana costume in 1985.

  5. So, the Universe was reset by The Doctor, except that he wouldn’t exist if it werent for Amy’s Memory.
    What about the “invasions of yesteryear”. Amy didn’t remember the dalek invasion of 2008, has that happened or not?

  6. The Star Trek Next Generation episode is called “Remember Me”. I’m not a Star Trek fan, nor have a watched a lot of Next Generation, but this episode happens to be the only one I’ve seen in a long time. It was on BBCA a couple of weeks ago. Coincidence? I think not.

  7. Jack:

    Yes, you’re right: it *started* as a kid’s show.

    However, it really grew beyond that over the years. So, to try and artificially force it back into that mold just doesn’t wash.

    The classic series is less sophisticated, etc., in the same way that most tv from the early 90s and back is “less sophisticated” than tv of today. The difference is that law shows and cop shows and spy shows and all that (and much, much more) are more sophisticated and polished today on both the production and writing fronts. All, of course, except for Dr. Who.

    And frankly, I just don’t appreciate that any too much.

  8. Thanks for the effort you’ve put in to these. You’ve become part of my “New Doctor Who” experience this year.

  9. Chris, I am revoking your Beatles Pedanting License. Steven was correct – the verse in question is:

    I read the news today oh boy
    4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
    And though the holes were rather small
    They had to count them all
    Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall

    Nitpicking aside, another fine episode of RFS! Keep up the good work, fellas.

  10. Great show after a great series the best of new Who for me.

    When are you guys gonna do your full series review after the Xmas ep or before.

  11. >>> Whats going on with River?

    I was surprised when River started off in the Stormcage prison. I had assumed whatever happened with the opening of the pandorica would have been what had her put in jail, and would have probably been how she first met the doctor in her time stream (prehaps she was arrested for putting the doctor inside?) of course, this turned out not to be the way things happened.

    At the end, the doctor returns the wrist vortex manipulator, and river leaves for parts unknown. . . . is she voluntarially returning to jail, or is she going on lamb (and thus must be rearrested prior to her expriencing the events of Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone). Unless of course, since the Angels no longer ever exists (except for in amy’s memory which means they might have been restore the same was as rory and the doctor?), River will not experience these stories (timelime changed)

    Of interest is the dalek/mercy scene. This is the second time the veiwer is exposed to the new-style ‘power rangers/starfleet Dalek, ut clearly they have been active in the the future, possibly even the doctors timestream. the daleks computer has information regarding river song. At the time i wondered what it could be, but know i suspect it is her arrest records. These daleks have visited the 52nd century, or further, and acquired information on river song. it also means that, for once, we have solid proof that the daleks are doing whatever in their own order. That is (as suggested by RFS in an earlier podcast) from the daleks point of view, episodes are not occuring in a linear fashion.

  12. First off, let me get this out of the way:

    RadioFreeSkaro = Quality Podcasting, Quality Show Reviews

    Dr. Who = Deliberately Non-Sophisticated Story Telling

    I’m just saying this because I don’t want there to be any confusion that I can tell these two things apart.

    The more I sit here and think about the Podcast and what the community’s reaction here has been, the more I think my wants, needs and desires vis a vis Dr. Who are simply going to forever be unfulfilled.

    What saddens me in a way is the complete and utter lack of demand (or even acknowledgement) for Dr. Who’s plotting, scripting and general storycraft to be of a more sophisticated level. I’m not saying this to start a flame war here or anywhere else. If I’m the minority — or if I’m totally the odd-man-out — then I’ll respect it and move on. It doesn’t mean I’ll agree or go along with it, intellectually, but I really don’t see much point in continuing to be frustrated with Dr. Who unless it’s going to be “fixed” from my perspective.

    And as we’re all about “respecting different people’s opinions” here, I hope this will be received with the same degree of understanding and respect that everyone elses’ posts are, and that (again, quite legitimately) the weekly RFS podcasts are.

    I really fail to see this “obsession” with making Dr. Who so dumbed down. Why is it even looked at as a “kid’s show” in the first place? Since when have such things as murder, terrorism, torture and genocide been a part of any sort of wholesome “kid’s tv programming”? Dr. Who long ago left the cradle of “light entertainment” and “casual family viewing” and why people (many of them here?) think they can or even should put Dr. Who back in that particular genie’s bottle is just beyond me.

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