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Topic: The Ghost Monument (S11, E2) Post Reply | Post New Topic
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 14 October 2018 at 1:50pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

PLOT: The Doctor and her new companions (fellow travellers?) land on a desolate planet where they meet two aliens (human-looking ones) that are engaged in a race to find the "Ghost Monument". Overseeing the race is the mysterious Ilin (Art Malik).

This is pretty good and fairly character-driven. The plot is by the numbers - what can be original in 2018? - but the beautiful South African scenery helps. The Doctor and her companions must get from A to B whilst travelling with two very competitive racers. And what is the "Ghost Monument"? I won't spoil it for those who haven't yet seen it.

I like Whitaker's mannerisms and delivery in this episode. The travellers seem genuinely in awe of what they are seeing. 

If there's one problem I had with RTD/Moffat's Who (and ENTERPRISE), it's that some of the characters seemed to treat their travels in the same manner I treat a bus ride to the supermarket. There didn't seem to be awe. I didn't get that here as the Doctor's fellow adventurers all seem to be taken aback by their experiences.

There are some good lines of dialogue, funny moments and, as I stated earlier, character-driven moments. It's probably hard to allow four characters to shine - especially when you have guest stars to consider, too - but it worked here.

Nothing seems particularly original with fiction now. What can be? It seems we are looking at variations on a theme, but as long as the characters are compelling, and the scripts are good, it's fine.

This new series seems to be about "less is more" (I know it's silly to make a judgement two episodes in). There's no excessive incidental music or constant explosions. I hope that continues.


"Next episode..." shows the Doctor and her pals meeting Rosa Parks!

Edited by Robbie Parry on 14 October 2018 at 1:51pm
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Jim Muir
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 26 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1259
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 5:54am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

###may contain spoilers###

Second episode in, and second very standard storyline.
While I thought the first episode had good drama but a
weak story, this just feels weak all round. The drama
was not dramatic, the sci-fi not very sci-fi and I
found myself bored halfway through waiting for them to
get to the well-telegraphed ending.

I honestly get the impression the writers have never
watched or read any sci-fi before - the 'secret' of the
Ghost Monument was obvious the second it was mentioned,
and Chekhov's gun, sorry, cigar might as well have had
a huge neon arrow on the screen pointing at it. It's
not just lazy scifi, but lazy storytelling.

I do like Whittaker, so more than happy to let her bed
in to the character - but could do with less
breathless, shouty Doctor, and more calm, introspective
Not that any of it was awful, it was just all a bit...
so what?

Not to be too damning, I thought again, the visuals
were spectacular, the music subtle and well done and I
really like the moody Tardis interior!

Edited by Jim Muir on 15 October 2018 at 5:55am
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Andrew Saxon
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Joined: 19 June 2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 336
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 7:26am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The episode looked a million dollars thanks to the South African location shoot, however the script was pretty poor. None of the guest stars were of any interest and I would have far preferred a character piece about the Doctor and her companions struggling to survive on an inhospitable planet while waiting for the TARDIS to turn up.

Ah, the TARDIS. It's been doing itself up. I didn't like it. The new console room is horrible and reminded me of something the Replicators from Stargate would have put together. Mind you, I haven't liked any of the 21st century TARDIS interiors (Capaldi's being the least worst), so my hopes were none too high to begin with.

Jodie Whittaker continues to impress and, again, I strongly disagree with all the lazy 'Tennant in a skirt' comparisons I've been hearing. She's the most original Doctor to date and I really like the breathless quality Whittaker brings to the role. To my chums across The Pond struggling with her Yorkshire accent I'd just say this: tough - it's our show.* Plus you have plenty of actors of your own who I need sub-titles to understand.

Looking forward to the next episode and a spot of time travel.

*Typed with a wry smile and not meant too seriously.
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Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 7:37am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Ouch, Andrew, that was harsh. ;-)

Be thankful there are no Midlands accents. Quite a few here have a habit of saying, "An 'orse" instead of "A horse". And on and on...
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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10937
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 7:59am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Robbie, it`s an `Oss!

I found the plot to be very "Meh"
The location was stunning, but i found myself
wondering what that ruin used to be?
On such a desolate planet with no Tardis, nobody
seemed worried about water or food, and i`m no expert
on Dispraxia, but the lad can`t ride a bike or climb
ladders well, but is a crackshot with a blaster?
I feel the cast are trying hard, but hampered by very
average plots and scripts.
I wonder if there will be a sizeable drop in ratings
after the initial novelty of the first episode, and a
very average second?
Most of the Tardis interior looks ok, but i think
those crystaline things around the control panel are
very obtrusive and make for a poor visual, i bet
they`re a bitch to get a camera around.
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Conrad Teves
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 28 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1652
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 8:23am | IP Logged | 6 post reply


Considering the amount of "all of space and time is at stake" episodes done previously, a narrower focus is very welcome, makes everything more visceral.

I agree about the breathless quality Whittaker is bringing to the role. Energetic, adamant. I liked her noting how her companions weren't going on and on about her calculation error when they might well have. This Doctor seems to have a thought to what others think of her, rather than affecting eccentricities as a sort of shield.

Your mileage may vary, but I like the new TARDIS control room. It looks mysterious and alien.  The biscuit dispenser was an inspired touch.

Some (spoilery) things of note on the episode:  

No one died!  Not unheard of, but far less usual. I also like that the one character who's character grew for the better (if only a little) was Epso, the one who needed it most. Nice mom, btw.  Jeez.

As with Epso, I sense a theme emerging with many of the characters (including The Doctor)--that of outgrowing your past.

I also like (second episode they've done this), where the Doctor only had partial knowledge of the situation not only needed more information to solve things, but was wrong from time to time.  She's had to adjust her opinion of the situation to new data more than once.  This avoids her relying on encyclopedic knowledge of everything, and requires her to be intelligent. It makes her seem less of a laser-guided solution to whatever's going on. While I love the Tennant line "You're the biggest library in the Universe, I'm The Doctor--look me up!" it's exactly what I'm talking about. 

Fourth episode is titled, "Arachnids in the UK," which got a smile out of me.

I fear if anyone is hoping that this will turn back into the broadly-toned Doctor Who of old (and not-so-old), they may well be disappointed.

[Edited to add]

I was impressed how expensive the episode looked.  The VFX were both numerous and well-done.  The South Africa location shoot was also really pretty.  They've come a long way from the weatherman-quality chromakey VFX of the Tom Baker era.

Edited by Conrad Teves on 15 October 2018 at 9:18am
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James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5582
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Robbie says: "An 'orse" instead of "A horse". 

I'm from Huddersfield (where Jodie Whittaker is from) but now live in the Midlands.

I'd say the Midlands (well, Black Country anyway) says 'O'se' while Huddersfield would say 'Orse'. We don't have 'H' at the start of words in Huddersfield, hence the joke 'Udders Feel'd'
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Jack Bohn
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 13 July 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 711
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

As an Ugly American, I did hear her say, "Let's get a shift on," in the episode, when in the commercials for it I had to tell myself that she CAN'T be saying, "Let's get **** done"!

I heard fans interpreting some production announcement as there would be no season arc this year, but we get another mention of the Stenza as having previously cleansed a planet, (previously?.. yeah, we've only traveled in space)
and a reference to something called The Timeless Child that the Doctor doesn't know she knows about.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 120434
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 10:27am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

...struggling with her Yorkshire accent...


A Tale Told Before: I went with one of my high school chums to take his little brother to see Santa at one of the big department stores downtown. Being teenagers and long pasr such trivial pursuits we gote to goofing around, standing in line. Part of it was speculating about Santas with different accents. My friend laughed saying “What about Yorkshire! Imagine Santa with a Yorkshire accent!”

The older guy in line in front of us wheeled around and demanded “Wass wrong wi’ Yorkshuh?”

Luckily for us, the guy’s kid had by then reached the front of the line, so he and his dad were whisked away, and Doug and I did not have to account for ourselves!

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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 120434
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 10:34am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Black Country joke:

Enoch sees his friend Eli fishing in the river. “Caught anyfing?”

“O, aye. I caught a whale.”

Enoch looks around. “Where is it?”

“I frew it back.”

“You frew it back? Why?”

“It din’t ‘ave any spokes.”

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Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10937
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 10:36am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Slight thread drift...when i was at Junior school, we
had a student teacher from London, he couldn`t
understand our accent when we said "Weem goooin `um"

Universal translator "We are going home" ;-)
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 120434
Posted: 15 October 2018 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I once heard my maternal grandfather address the pet canary by saying “E’s grond bitol mon, incha?”

(“He’s a grand bit of old man, isn’t you?”)

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