Arachnids in the UK (Spoileriffic)

Arachnids in the UK (Spoileriffic)

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:44 am

I liked this one! It probably helps that I'm not much of an arachnophobe, lol.

I wonder at the title. It seems a bit weird. Is it riffing on Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, Snakes on a Plane, etc?

Previously I've wondered if three companions is too many. I still think it might be, but honestly so far they're doing okay with it. Lady Cop is still a bit of a blank, but the others are pretty interesting characters and it's fun to watch them. Grandpa remains my favourite, and I'm coming to like Wobbly Boy more than I did. I love the way their relationship is gradually developing, with Wobbly at first being quite resistant to Grandpa - and I adore the way Grandpa reacts to that. Every time Wobbly gives him anger or rejection, he just calmly accepts it and stays completely supportive, letting the kid do what he needs to do. And because of that, it was very nice to see Wobbly get the letter from his dad this week and respond angrily to the "real family" comment.

I've been wondering if they would play the "can't find Earth" thing over the whole season - which idea was soundly torpedoed by this episode! Interesting to see the Doctor so obviously wanting to hang around with the gang once she gets them back home, though. The Doctor has asked people to come along before, obviously, but I don't know that I've ever seen him/her so obviously keen to hang out with people that it almost bordered on desperation.

Of course, giant spiders are impossible. Scale a spider up 10x and it wouldn't be able to move. Most likely its legs would snap off if it tried. 100x, the body would collapse under the weight. But screw it, it's Doctor Who. Roll with it. And I like that the Doctor wanted to treat the spiders with dignity, though that is a little undercut by the fact that they're killing people.

And oh my god, could the Trump expy be any more on the nose? It kind of bothered me, actually, though not massively so. And I had to laugh at his frustration with the lack of gun culture in the UK.

Seeing Lady Cop's mum obviously suspicious of the Doctor was a bit weird. It seemed to almost be a re-run of the Martha Jones situation, where her family were conned into thinking the Doctor was some alien threat by the Master. I wonder if it was just there to drive Lady Cop away, or if it's going to develop more later.

They were back into the same area of Sheffield again! Those flats are called Park Hill flats, and I used to live in a house right behind them when I was a student. At the time they were pretty awful places with a lot of crime - I asked an insurance guy about insuring my stuff once, and when I told him where I lived he literally laughed and told me it wasn't going to happen at any price. This was twenty five years ago, mind - they're a lot nicer now, apparently. That hill that Grandad's house is on, with the view overlooking the city? That used to be my favourite place in Sheffield when I lived there. I'd often stop on my way home and gaze out over the city, just taking in the view and thinking deep thoughts. It's so weird to see Doctor Who happening in places I know well from the old days. Ian actually went to the same university that I did, five or so years earlier, so he knows that area well too.

Anyway, I think I'd give this a 7. This season has actually been pretty consistent - four in and not a bad one yet. At the same time, though, it hasn't really excelled either. I'd love for this season to come up with something to rival The Empty Child, Blink, Listen, Heaven Sent, Vincent and the Doctor, The Eleventh Hour... but honestly I have the feeling that it won't. At least so far, I think this season will be looked upon as the workmanlike season... all good, but nothing inspired.

But hey, who knows. The next few weeks will tell!
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Re: Arachnids in the UK (Spoileriffic)

Postby IanKennedy » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:42 am

Pretty decent, that said the American was pretty stereotypical, especially as he was meant to be the opposition to Trump, not trump himself.

At one point the mother asked if she and the doctor where a couple. Equally, they're continuing their casual reference to gay couples in that the 'Fix-it' lady said she was 'your niece's wife'. Which is good, especially as the result is always to completely ignore the comment, just as they would be hetero couples.
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Re: Arachnids in the UK (Spoileriffic)

Postby Griffin » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:35 pm

Up until the end this was, in my opinion, shaping up to be a top-tier episode. A nice "slice-of-life" (if you'll pardon the twisting) episode in a life that consists mainly of running and fighting monsters. Toxic waste producing giant spiders is absurd, but the sort of absurd that is a natural part of Doctor Who. But then we run into the issue I'm having with this series/Chibnalls depiction of the Doctor;

I really hate that Chibnall has decided to give the Thirteenth Doctor the Tenth Doctors screwed up morality. Locking the spiders in a room to suffocate and eat each other is actually a rather horrific thing to do. Absolutely horrible, and yet we’re supposed to think it’s better than a quick bullet? Come off it. If the spiders are going to die anyway then the method with the least amount of suffering is the way to go.*

But no, because that wouldn’t fit with this new Doctor’s idiotic and hypocritical opposition to guns. A viewpoint, it should be pointed out, shared by ONLY the Tenth Doctor.

The Doctor is a pacifist, and if they could they’d never do anything violent ever. But they also know that’s not feasible and are willing to use violence, whether it be fisticuffs, guns (both “real” and laser) or high octane explosions. The point of the Doctor isn’t that they would never use a gun, the point is they never have their OWN gun. When you do it this way it just makes the Doctor look like a sanctimonious idiot. Shooting things isn’t okay, but melting people with DNA bombs, frying them with EMPs, blowing them up, smearing them across history and locking them in a torture chamber are all A-okay? Give me a fucking break.

It swaps the moral from “Violence is bad but regrettably it’s sometimes the only way” to “Violence is fine so long as it’s not done with a gun.”

(There's probably a lot of preaching to the choir here, a lot of it is copy-pasted from me posting it elsewhere)
(*Now, if the solution was to lock up the spiders and then drop them on a nice oxygen rich world things would be different. It’s a sci-fi, my suspension of disbelief can extend to the Doctor finding a world where the spiders can find a niche without having too much of a detrimental impact on the surrounding ecosystem)

Graham Kennedy wrote:I wonder at the title. It seems a bit weird. Is it riffing on Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, Snakes on a Plane, etc?

I assumed it was a reference to the Sex Pistols song "Anarchy in the U.K."
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Re: Arachnids in the UK (Spoileriffic)

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:16 am

There's also the fact that they captured the spiders in the hotel, and then... left. But the Doctor's map showed that there have already been at least a couple of dozen spider incidents across the city. And there's a live one in the flat next to Yas's mum, which as far as we know they just leave there.
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Re: Arachnids in the UK (Spoileriffic)

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:28 am

Oh and it's a minor thing, but the whole map deal doesn't make a lot of sense. There's a bunch of scattered dots, and then the Doctor joins many of them up with lines to make a pattern that leaves a gap in the centre. But the gap is only there because the Doctor didn't join some of the dots to others.

Image

Look at the red one just under the hole and the yellow one just over it. A line between them would cross straight through the hole. And I can see at least four other point pairs that would put lines through that hole. They've just arbitrarily connected the dots up in a way that leaves a gap and then called it significant. Grrrrr.
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Re: Arachnids in the UK (Spoileriffic)

Postby Nutso » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:31 am

Graham Kennedy wrote:There's also the fact that they captured the spiders in the hotel, and then... left. But the Doctor's map showed that there have already been at least a couple of dozen spider incidents across the city. And there's a live one in the flat next to Yas's mum, which as far as we know they just leave there.

How did any writer forget about that?
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Re: Arachnids in the UK (Spoileriffic)

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:43 am

Also worth noting, the toxic dump that caused all this is still there. There's no reason at all why it won't continue to mutate spiders into giants. So the original problem that caused all this? It's left completely unsolved.

Okay, better ending :

The still round the spiders up and lock them away. But (1) the Doctor fiddles the stereo to produce subsonic vibrations that will travel for miles and bring in every affected spider in the city. And (2), she says that's just to contain them; she will then gather them up in the Tardis and ship them to a planet with a suitable atmosphere and food source, where they can live out the rest of their lives.

Not-Trump says he will clean up the toxic waste from under the hotel. Yes, it will cost him. But he doesn't want giant spiders around any more than anybody else does. If you handled it right, he could even do it as the result of some epiphany about being an asshole, thus giving him a character arc.
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Re: Arachnids in the UK (Spoileriffic)

Postby IanKennedy » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:13 am

A few minor thing:

1) The doctor kinda said that the spiders would home towards the hotel. The noise she setup was supposed to draw them all from all around. Granted the timescale was far too short for that and they couldn't possibly have got there in time for the door closure.

2) The room they were locked in was not-trump's panic room. He said it had food and water to last for more than 6 months. Obviously it had an air supply to match that. So they're not locked in to suffocate. Now, I'll grant you they also said that they just get bigger and bigger the longer they live so they will all grow to the point they will suffocate. But they would have done that if she had put them anywhere. It would just take longer. Most spiders have a relatively short life span so perhaps they're meant to not live more than 6 months in any case, if so they room has supplies and air for that...

3) If not-trump is to open his hotel then the dump is going to have to be cleaned up. I'm glad they didn't magically clean it up somehow, anything else would have been better. The Doctor telling him he had to would have been better than ignoring it.

4) The no guns thing has been pretty strong in quite a few of the recent doctors. Tennant used to say it all the time.
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