Doctor Who, Season/Series 11 + "Resolution" (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in December 2019, our panel of stalwart Whovians – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Sarah, Hilary, and Kyle – is Around the Water Cooler and recapping Series/Season 11 of Doctor Who, i.e. Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the titular Doctor, as well as the 2019 New Year special “Resolution.” If you haven’t viewed Doctor Who through the 2019 New Year Special, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite). Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Rezmer
Keyboard: Kelsey Rezmer
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Doctor Who” – the Series 11 + the 2019 New Year's Special, "Resolution," Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Doctor Who” airs on cable TV, specifically on BBC America/BBC Worldwide, Sundays at 8:00 PM in the United States.

What: “Doctor Who,” the long-running British science fiction show about an alien time and space traveler who gallivants across the universe with companions in an effort to save people and/or history and/or the universe itself.  The synopsis changes from Doctor to Doctor, but the above statement pretty much encapsulates all of them.

When: Series 11 aired from October 7 to December 9, 2018, on BBC America with a total of ten episodes. “Resolution” aired on January 1, 2019, at 8:00 PM on BBC America.

Where: The show is set literally everywhere in the whole universe at any given time, though not without the Doctor’s ship, the TARDIS, and some face of the man (or woman) who pilots it.

Why:  Once upon a time (no, not that show), friends of the Chief CP said precisely this: “Why aren’t you watching Doctor Who?!  It’s science fiction, it’s British, it’s everything you love (short of vampires)!  Watch it! Do it!”  I started with the 2005 pilot of “Rose” and kept right on chugging. Now, I’m a fully converted Whovian, with an obsessive eye to both past, as in Classic, Who and the future incarnations of the “Madman (Madwoman?) in a Box;” I’ve joined a rotating roster of friends who are Whovians in their own right as we meet for another discussion “around the water cooler.”

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

Welcome to a new season of Doctor Who! With another full season under our belts, our “Who” panel of Kristen, Sarah, Nick, Kyle, Hilary, and Chief Couch Potato Kylie reconvened to discuss all things Series 11: the stellar and interstellar as well as the parts that should really be exterminated.  We, again, have many diverse, though decidedly more enthusiastic, thoughts about what we saw, including new companions Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Yaz (Mandip Gill) and the introduction of new villains (Tzim Sha) as well as the re-introductions of old villains, the Daleks specifically, in the New Year special, “Resolution,” which we also discuss in this episode.

Give our latest Doctor Who rundown a listen, and tell us what you think in the comments. Do you agree?  Do you disagree? Can Alex Kingston or John Barrowman or Catherine Tate come back for more, as our original Who panelists continually hope?  What do you want?  What did you like?  What did you hate?  Tell us!  Tell them!

For previous CPU! Doctor Who episodes, check your podcast feeds or click the floating box up right within the header, the picture with the couch full of TV watching potatoes, and search for those words! This particular CPU! episode was recorded in December 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points and episodic stories of Series 11 and “Resolution!” Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our Apple/iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , find us on Google Play, or on Spotify (!) to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next week, schedule permitting, our Supernatural panel returns to the Water Cooler to discuss the beginning of the end – the first half of this final season, Season 15, of the long-running fantasy/horror drama about two monster and demon-hunting brothers. Stay tuned! Tears will probably be shed – at least a few.

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Is Gallifrey really back?  How is it back?  Is it only in existence at the end of the universe, where the Doctor met Me and Clara?  Where is Gallifrey in current times and in current universes?  We need clarification.

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Series 11 does not answer this question, so it remains a question.

2) REPEAT QUESTION: How many extra regeneration cycles does the Doctor have right now?

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Still a question, which moves forward.

3) Will the TARDIS survive the explosion that sent Doctor Thirteen plummeting to the earth?  Why did Chris Chibnall choose to somewhat mirror the entrance of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor?

ANSWER: Without much explanation as to how, we learn in Episode 2, “Ghost Monument,” that the TARDIS survives and lives to see another day and another Doctor, once Doctor 13 finally finds her lost ship. As to why Doctor 13 mirrors Doctor 11’s entrance, we can only speculate: as our panelists discuss in tonight’s episode, it seems that Jodie Whittaker is channeling some of the more popular Doctors to formulate her own persona. In fact, some of our panelists see echoes of Doctors Four, Ten, and Eleven in her, either via wishful thinking or because Jodie herself is making deliberate choices to evince memories of the Doctors that people most loved (plus, we know she’s friends with David Tennant from their time on Broadchurch and is comfortable drawing inspiration there). Then again, it was a spectacular entrance, so, perhaps, it’s all about the spectacle!

4) Will Jodie be awesome enough to calm the more feisty corners of the fandom down?

ANSWER: If our panelists are any indication, I believe that Jodie’s performance is appreciated by all but the most reactionary corners of this fandom (some still struggle…because that’s the cool thing to do nowadays…).

5) Who will the new companions be, as there are predicted to be three?

ANSWER: The new companions are:

Graham O’Brien (Walsh) – step-grandfather to Ryan Sinclair and husband to Grace, who is in remission from a serious illness.

Ryan Sinclair (Cole) – a warehouse worker and step-grandson to Graham and grandson to Grace as well an old school mate of Yasmin Khan. He has dyspraxia.

Yasmin “Yaz” Khan (Gill) – a probationary detective/police officer and old school mate of Ryan Sinclair.

They all meet the Doctor in the series premiere, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth.”

6) Mr. Chibnall has suggested that he will not, at least at first, rely on canonical appearances of villains like Daleks and Cybermen to tell the stories.  What new villains and/or conflicts will he create for our thirteenth Doctor?

ANSWER: And he kept true to his word, which caused some disagreement and debate among our panelists – listen to tonight’s podcast episode for details. New villains include: the Tzim-sha, sniper robots, Krasko, giant spiders, the Pting, and sentient mud. Then, there are some beings who cause conflict without intending to be villains, but we will leave them off the list.

7) Is the Master truly out of the running after what happened in the tenth series finale?

ANSWER: ….as of Series 11, the Master has not returned. But can you really keep a good Master down…?

8) Will Doctor Thirteen find the Time Lords of Gallifrey again?

ANSWER: She hasn’t found them yet, but there’s a whole Series 12 for such exploration.

9) Will Doctor Thirteen be earth-bound for awhile like the Fourth Doctor was?  Will she take over UNIT?

ANSWER: She is Earth-bound for precisely one episode. She finds her TARDIS rather quickly. As for UNIT, we find out in “Resolution” that the governments of the world have stopped funding UNIT, leading to its disbandment. This leaves the Doctor rather displeased.

10) Will Doctor Thirteen meet any of her old companions again?  A meeting with John Barrowman’s Captain Jack would be fun, but our panel continues to hope for the return of favorites like Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble or Alex Kingston’s River Song.

ANSWER: Still a question…

11) What will Doctor Thirteen’s TARDIS look like?  How about her sonic screwdriver?  Will she still have one?

ANSWER: The interior of Thirteen’s TARDIS seems to cross the grunge-like atmosphere of Ten’s TARDIS with the blue, sleek modernity of Eleven’s TARDIS, which is probably a highly deliberate design, if one considers it. Thirteen fashions herself a sonic out of silverware and other random junk, being without sonic in the premiere, and so the sonic is silver, somewhat long, somewhat crooked, and equipped with a yellow light. She makes much use of it.

12) Will the Doctor meet her past selves in her current form this season?

ANSWER: Not in Series 11…

13) Will the show revisit the concept of the Doctor “revisiting old faces,” as was suggested by Tom Baker’s Curator in the 50th Anniversary Special?

ANSWER: Not in Series 11…

14) Will Doctor Thirteen avoid romance?  The panel votes please do.

ANSWER: So far, so good.

15) What will be the explanation for Doctor Thirteen’s latest form (other than that it’s time or some such)?

ANSWER: We aren’t really given one, at least so far, but she seems pleased by the change?

New Questions

1) Will we see a triumphant return of other classic villains, such as the Cybermen and the Master, considering that the Daleks make their triumphant return in “Resolution?”

2) So, seriously, how about Gallifrey?

3) Or, will there be some word about old acquaintances and companions, such as Romana and Susan?

4) Will we learn more about the Doctor’s family, such as the mystery behind the Doctor’s mother?

5) Just how much of the universe will Doctor Thirteen revisit in Series 12?

PARTING SHOTS

The CPU! Doctor Who podcast panel, in reaction to Jodie Whittaker’s first turn, were much less diverse than they were to the Peter Capaldi era. Despite initial bouts of skepticism in prior episodes from some panelists, as well as some malaise upon leaving the Steven Moffat era from other panelists, the panel universally praised and enjoyed Jodie Whittaker’s inaugural series as the Doctor. The panelists unanimously opined that her performance, coupled with Chris Chibnall’s overall sensibility and subtly changed tone for the show, injected the long-running cult science fiction drama with some much needed new and fresh energy. The panelists also generally enjoy the new companions; some panelists (particularly Hilary) did not connect to them quite as quickly, but others found this combination of “fam,” with Jodie’s Thirteenth Doctor, to be quite charming. Our panel, as a result, continued a previous philosophical discussion about Who regarding who on the show connects more in the moment for a viewer – Doctor, companion, or the combination of both/all – and how important companions are to the overall story and mythology.  Also, while the panel generally enjoyed the execution of the season, including the episodic storytelling and new villains like Tsim Sha, some of the panelists pined for the Classic Who villains once more, particularly with the collectively appreciated “Resolution” triumphantly bringing back the Daleks. Happily, panelist Sarah additionally rediscovered love for the series upon realizing that she did not have to navigate the perils that a Scottish brogue poses to a native American ear.

Finally, the panel universally praised “Resolution,” as all of the panelists heartily enjoyed the return of the Daleks and the Doctor’s full-fledged realization as the world’s/galaxy’s protector.  The panel further liked the guest stars in the episode and the horror/mystery elements added to the Daleks’ mythology. In fact, with the changes brought on by the new series, new show-runner, and new Doctor, the podcast panel is excited – more excited than they have been in previous seasons – about the upcoming season, with teased new adventures for the Doctor and her companions, including the return of the Cybermen and Kate Lethbridge-Stuart.  The entire panel, of course, continues to eagerly hope for the (unlikely) return of River Song or Donna Noble or Captain Jack or even appearances by any of the modern age Doctors predating Jodie – whatever may happen, though, the panelists remain eager to see what happens in the coming season, Series 12.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Doctor Who 2020 New Year’s Special, “Spyfall, Part I,” aired on January 1, 2020, while Series 12 premiered with “Spyfall, Part II,” on January 5, 2020, at 8:00 PM on BBC America in the United States. The Doctor Who CPU! panel will next reconvene following the season finale of Series 12, at which time we will report on reactions to the new series, the new New Year special, and everything in between.  Until then! 😉

RERUN! – Doctor Who, Series/Season Ten (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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This week, our grateful gaggle of Couch Potatoes gives thanks and goes on holiday. Hey, podcasters need vacations too! Because we have other TV to watch and a possibly desperate need for mashed potatoes, and because it’s too hard to edit with the distracting smells of holiday cooking wafting, we offer a rerun of this episode, originally published in 2018.  We do so because we’re thankful for our two-hearted Doctor friend, who has persevered for over 50 years, and we think you should be as well. More to the point, next week, we will be Around the Water Cooler, Looking Back at the Cold War with the erstwhile FX spy-drama, The Americans. Following that, our Schitt’s Creek and Star Trek panels return to the Water Cooler, pre-Christmas vacation, to talk Season 5 and the Animated Series, respectively. Stay tuned!

—Original Synopsis—

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in July 2018, our panel of stalwart Whovians – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Sarah, Hilary, and Kyle – is Around the Water Cooler and recapping Series/Season Ten of Doctor Who, i.e. Peter Capaldi’s last season as the titular Doctor. If you haven’t viewed the series through the 2017 Christmas Special, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite). Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Rezmer
Keyboard: Kelsey Rezmer
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

Doctor Who: The 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time,” and the Series 11 Preview (MAJOR SPOILERS)

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in July 2018, our panel – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Sarah, Hilary, and Kyle – is Around the Water Cooler and recapping the 2017 Christmas Special of Doctor Who, “Twice Upon a Time,” as well as speculating upon Series 11, Jodie Whittaker’s first as the titular Doctor. If you haven’t seen the series through the 2017 Christmas Special, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Doctor Who” – “Twice Upon a Time,” the 2017 Christmas Special Review and the Series 11 Preview (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Doctor Who” airs on cable TV, specifically on BBC America/BBC Worldwide; though it is currently on hiatus, it was announced today that Doctor Who will begin airing Sundays this fall, starting October 7, 2018.

What: “Doctor Who,” the long-running British science fiction show about an alien time and space traveler who gallivants across the universe with companions in an effort to save people and/or history and/or the universe itself.  The synopsis changes from Doctor to Doctor, but the above statement pretty much encapsulates all of them.

When: The 2017 Christmas Special, “Twice Upon a Time,” aired on December 25, 2017, at 8:00 PM on BBC America/BBC Worldwide.

Where: The show is set literally everywhere in the whole universe at any given time, though not without the Doctor’s ship, the TARDIS, and some face of the man (or woman) who pilots it.

Why:  Once upon a time (no, not that show), friends of the Chief CP said precisely this: “Why aren’t you watching Doctor Who?!  It’s science fiction, it’s British, it’s everything you love (short of vampires)!  Watch it! Do it!”  I started with the 2005 pilot of “Rose” and kept right on chugging. Now, I’m a fully converted Whovian, with an obsessive eye to both past, as in Classic, Who and the future incarnations of the “Madman in a Box;” I’ve joined a rotating roster of friends who are Whovians in their own right as we meet for another discussion “around the water cooler.”

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

Welcome to the days leading up to a new season of Doctor Who! Last week, we published our review and recap of Series 10!  In case you missed it, here it is again:

Series 10

True to form, our CPU! “Who” panel of Kristen, Sarah, Nick, Hilary,  and Kyle, plus the Chief CP, reconvened Around the Water Cooler to dissect the 2017 Christmas special, including the stellar and interstellar as well as the parts that should really be exterminated.  We also take time to speculate upon the new Doctor, the Thirteenth, to be played by Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch); the three prognosticated new companions; and the general oeuvre of the series under new show runner Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch), as Peter Capaldi made his departure from the series effective as of the 2017 Christmas special, along with longtime writer and show runner for the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors, Steven Moffat.

Give our latest Doctor Who rundown a listen, and tell us what you think in the comments.  For our part, the panel generally enjoyed this special, particularly for its meeting of the First Doctor, currently played by David Bradley (Harry Potter film franchise), and the Twelfth; there was little bad said about it, in fact, as the panel found it to be a generally “sweet” if not necessarily memorable sendoff for Doctor Twelve. Do you agree?  Do you disagree? What did you like?  What did you hate?  Tell us!

For (other) previous CPU! Doctor Who episodes, check your podcast feeds or click the floating box up right within the header, the picture with the TV watcher, and search for those words!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, our Supernatural panel returns to the Water Cooler, newly reconstituted and resurrected in its fullest form, to wax wickedly about the second half of the longtime cult favorite’s thirteenth season.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions Are the New Questions (repeated from the Series 10 entry)

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Is Gallifrey really back?  How is it back?  Is it only in existence at the end of the universe, where the Doctor met Me and Clara?  Where is Gallifrey in current times and in current universes?  We need clarification.

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Series 10 did not answer this question, so we move it forward into the Series 11 list of questions.

2) REPEAT QUESTION: Where did Missy go?  Will she be back?

(DEFINITIVE) ANSWER: Missy went and got herself in trouble with a group of Time Lord like (but not Time Lord) aliens that were prepared to execute her.  Yet, River Song told Nardole to tell the Doctor that he better save his longtime best friend – or else, naturally.  So, the Doctor promises to the executing aliens that he will watch over Missy for 1000 years while she is locked up in a vault, hidden in the basement of some unnamed British University (maybe it’s called British University).  When we start the season, he is lording over that vault.  So, Missy is back.  Plus, she gets to have a run-in with her past Master generation, played by John Simm.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

3) REPEAT QUESTION: Steven Moffat has announced that he will step down as show-runner after Series 10, and Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnall will take his place.  Unofficially, Peter Capaldi has suggested that Series 10 will also be his last as the Doctor.  Who could possibly be the new Doctor?  Feels too soon, doesn’t it?

(DEFINITIVE) ANSWER: The new, Thirteenth, Doctor will be played by none other than Broadchurch’s Jodie Whittaker, marking the first time that the titular Doctor will be female in all 55 years of the show’s existence.  This announcement proved to be controversial as well as crucially and critically circumspect for the international legions of Whovians – some were more enthusiastic about this decision than others – but we might be over the hump of some of the initial ugliness, at least until Series 11 premieres.

4) REPEAT QUESTION: How many extra regeneration cycles does the Doctor have right now?

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Still a question, which moves forward.

New Questions

1) Will the TARDIS survive the explosion that sent Doctor Thirteen plummeting to the earth?  Why did Chris Chibnall choose to somewhat mirror the entrance of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor?

2) Will Jodie be awesome enough to calm the more feisty corners of the fandom down?

3) Who will the new companions be, as there are predicted to be three?

4) Mr. Chibnall has suggested that he will not, at least at first, rely on canonical appearances of villains like Daleks and Cybermen to tell the stories.  What new villains and/or conflicts will he create for our thirteenth Doctor?

5) Is the Master truly out of the running after what happened in the tenth series finale?

6) Will Doctor Thirteen find the Time Lords of Gallifrey again?

7) Will Doctor Thirteen be earth-bound for awhile like the Fourth Doctor was?  Will she take over UNIT?

8) Will Doctor Thirteen meet any of her old companions again?  A meeting with John Barrowman’s Captain Jack would be fun, but our panel continues to hope for the return of favorites like Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble or Alex Kingston’s River Song.

9) What will Doctor Thirteen’s TARDIS look like?  How about her sonic screwdriver?  Will she still have one?

10) Will the Doctor meet her past selves in her current form this season?

11) Will the show revisit the concept of the Doctor “revisiting old faces,” as was suggested by Tom Baker’s Curator in the 50th Anniversary Special?

12) Will Doctor Thirteen avoid romance?  The panel votes please do.

13) What will be the explanation for Doctor Thirteen’s latest form (other than that it’s time or some such)?

PARTING SHOTS

The CPU! Doctor Who podcast panel offered an unusual and modestly surprising consensus when reviewing “Twice Upon a Time,” as all of the panelists heartily enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s swansong, even if they felt his goodbye scenes lacked the emotional punch of his two most recent predecessors’.  The panel characterized the strongest parts of the special to be those that centered on interactions between the First and Twelfth Doctors, including all of the clever parallels written into the narrative, as well as the appearance of Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) as the soldier plucked out of time before his death.  Alternatively, the panel found the “Testimony” story line to be the weaker segment of the episode, at least in terms of using the story as a contrivance to reintroduce a version of Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) in a way that did not seem as organic as it could have been – and since, of course, the panel continues to offer mixed reactions to Bill as a companion.  The panel remains cautiously intrigued about the upcoming season, with a new Doctor, new companions, and a new show-runner on the horizon, the latter of whom has teased leaving aside some of the classic/signature elements that have defined the series since its inception.  Some of the panelists are additionally looking forward to not spending as much time with the Daleks, Cybermen, and the Master, but the longer term Whovians note that too much change would also not be good, and that any of the frequent flyers should be revisited at some point in the future, even if not for awhile. The entire panel, of course, continues to eagerly hope for the (unlikely) return of River Song or Donna Noble – whatever may happen, though, the panelists remain excited to see what happens in the coming season, Series 11.

LOOKING AHEAD

It was announced today (sometimes, we do serendipity right!) that Doctor Who Series 11 will premiere via BBC Worldwide on October 7, 2018! The Doctor Who CPU! panel will next reconvene following the season finale of Series 11, at which time we will report on reactions to the new series, the new Doctor, and the new executive producer, Chris Chibnall.  Until then! 😉

Doctor Who, Series/Season Ten (MAJOR SPOILERS)

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in July 2018, our panel of stalwart Whovians – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, Sarah, Hilary, and Kyle – is Around the Water Cooler and recapping Series/Season Ten of Doctor Who, i.e. Peter Capaldi’s last season as the titular Doctor. If you haven’t viewed the series through the 2017 Christmas Special, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: Doctor Who – The Series/Season 10 Recap and Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Doctor Who” airs on cable TV, specifically on BBC America/BBC Worldwide, though it is currently on hiatus.

What: “Doctor Who,” the long-running British science fiction show about an alien time and space traveler who gallivants across the universe with companions in an effort to save people and/or history and/or the universe itself.  The synopsis changes from Doctor to Doctor, but the above statement pretty much encapsulates all of them.

When:  Series 10 aired from April 15, 2017, through July 1, 2017, on BBC America/BBC Worldwide with a total of 12 episodes.

Where: The show is set literally everywhere in the whole universe at any given time, though not without the Doctor’s ship, the TARDIS, and some face of the man (or woman) who pilots it.

Why:  Once upon a time (no, not that show), friends of the Chief CP said precisely this: “Why aren’t you watching Doctor Who?!  It’s science fiction, it’s British, it’s everything you love (short of vampires)!  Watch it! Do it!”  I started with the 2005 pilot of “Rose” and kept right on chugging. Now, I’m a fully converted Whovian, with an obsessive eye to both past, as in Classic, Who and the future incarnations of the “Madman in a Box;” I’ve joined a rotating roster of friends who are Whovians in their own right as we meet for another discussion “around the water cooler.”  

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

Welcome to a new season of Doctor Who! With another full season under our belts, our “Who” panel of Kristen, Sarah, Nick, Kyle, Hilary, and Chief Couch Potato Kylie reconvened to discuss all things Series 10: the stellar and interstellar as well as the parts that should really be exterminated.  We, again, have many diverse thoughts about what we saw, including new companions Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas); the introduction of new villains (the Monks) and re-introductions of old villains (Daleks, Cybermen, and Ice Warriors, oh my!); and the return of what turns out to be several versions of the Master, including the version portrayed by John Simm as well as the fairer gendered incarnation known as “Missy,” played by Michelle Gomez.

Give our latest Doctor Who rundown a listen, and tell us what you think in the comments. Do you agree?  Do you disagree? Can Alex Kingston or John Barrowman or Catherine Tate come back for more, as our original Who panelists continually hope?  What do you want?  What did you like?  What did you hate?  Tell us!  Tell them!

For previous CPU! Doctor Who episodes, check your podcast feeds or click the floating box up right within the header, the picture with the couch full of TV watching potatoes, and search for those words!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, our Doctor Who panel returns – once more with feeling! – to the Water Cooler to dig deep into the most recent Christmas special, “Twice Upon a Time,” which notably centers on Peter Capaldi’s understated swansong: his version of the Doctor’s regeneration into controversial Thirteenth form Jodie Whittaker.  Stay tuned!
Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions Are the New Questions

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Is Gallifrey really back?  How is it back?  Is it only in existence at the end of the universe, where the Doctor met Me and Clara?  Where is Gallifrey in current times and in current universes?  We need clarification.

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Series 10 did not answer this question, so we move it forward into the Series 11 list of questions.

2) REPEAT QUESTION: Where did Missy go?  Will she be back?

(DEFINITIVE) ANSWER: Missy went and got herself in trouble with a group of Time Lord like (but not Time Lord) aliens that were prepared to execute her.  Yet, River Song told Nardole to tell the Doctor that he better save his longtime best friend – or else, naturally.  So, the Doctor promises to the executing aliens that he will watch over Missy for 1000 years while she is locked up in a vault, hidden in the basement of some unnamed British University (maybe it’s called British University).  When we start the season, he is lording over that vault.  So, Missy is back.  Plus, she gets to have a run-in with her past Master generation, played by John Simm.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

3) REPEAT QUESTION: Stephen Moffat has announced that he will step down as show-runner after Series 10, and Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnall will take his place.  Unofficially, Peter Capaldi has suggested that Series 10 will also be his last as the Doctor.  Who could possibly be the new Doctor?  Feels too soon, doesn’t it?

(DEFINITIVE) ANSWER: The new, Thirteenth, Doctor will be played by none other than Broadchurch’s Jodie Whittaker, marking the first time that the titular Doctor will be female in all 55 years of the show’s existence.  This announcement proved to be controversial as well as crucially and critically circumspect for the international legions of Whovians – some were more enthusiastic about this decision than others – but we might be over the hump of some of the initial ugliness, at least until Series 11 premieres.

4) REPEAT QUESTION: How many extra regeneration cycles does the Doctor have right now?

(CURRENT) ANSWER: Still a question, which moves forward.

New Questions

There are none!  We had more questions following our dissection of the 2017 Christmas special, so you should just listen to our next episode.  Are your whistles whetted yet?  Get ready!  Allons-y! Geronimo! Fantastic!

PARTING SHOTS

The CPU! Doctor Who podcast panel reactions were, again, varied and diverse when reviewing Series 10, with no universal or overriding feeling guiding the group.  Some panelists felt that Series 10 was stronger than Peter Capaldi’s other seasons, while others felt it was weaker, owing largely to whether or not each individual panelist personally connected to companion Bill.  The votes were literally split down the middle regarding Bill, with panelists Kylie, Nick, and Sarah feeling more enthusiastic about her, and panelists Kristen, Kyle, and Hilary less.  This then led to a philosophical discussion about Who regarding who on the show connects more in the moment for a viewer – Doctor, companion, or the combination of both/all – and how important companions are to the overall story and mythology.  If nothing else, the panel seemed to agree that this season was competently executed, though some panelists, in contrast, felt that some of the story situations were recycled variants of tales told already within Capaldi’s other/prior seasons. Happily, panelist Sarah found new love for the series upon realizing that she could understand and/or work through Capaldi’s Scottish brogue.

In any event, the podcast panel is cautiously intrigued about the upcoming season, with a new Doctor, new companions, and a new show-runner on the horizon, the latter of whom has teased leaving aside some of the classic/signature elements that have defined the series since its inception.  Some of the panelists are additionally looking forward to not spending as much time with the Daleks, Cybermen, and the Master, but the longer term Whovians note that too much change would also not be good, and that any of the frequent flyers should be revisited at some point in the future, even if not for awhile. The entire panel, of course, continues to eagerly hope for the (unlikely) return of River Song or Donna Noble – whatever may happen, though, the panelists remain excited to see what happens in the coming season, Series 11.

LOOKING AHEAD

Doctor Who Series 11 is expected to premiere via BBC Worldwide sometime this fall, though no official premiere date has yet been announced at the time of this publication. The Doctor Who CPU! panel will next reconvene following the season finale of Series 11, at which time we will report on reactions to the new series, the new Doctor, and the new executive producer, Chris Chibnall.  Until then! 😉