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Problems with new Doctor Who episode

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#1 King Koi

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 09:52 AM

This post contains spoilers!!!


I've really been liking the Twelfth Doctor so far. However, I'm not so sure about some of the science of this season. They always seem to be late for something, wishing for time to relax, or worrying about missing a phone call, things that should not be an issue when you can travel through time. I found that the most recent episode, "Kill the Moon," is the worst one yet in this respect. Let me tell you why.


To begin with, the entire plot of the episode is based around the Moon getting heavier. The Moon is getting heavier because it is actually the egg of giant alien, who is growing. The problem with that is that eggs don't get heavier. Because of conservation of mass, a creature can't spontaneously add cells to its body from nothing. In the case of a creature in an egg, it digests yolk and, through synthesis, essentially builds new cells with it. The overall mass of the creature and its egg always stays the same.


The other thing that really popped out at me was the scene where the Earth's population votes by turning their lights on or off. This one might not be the fault of the writers, so much as the animators. First, how does everybody see this broadcast simultaneously? Are they all awake at midnight watching TV? Second, how does everybody know English? Last I checked, there is more than one language. I considered the possibility that there is some futuristic tech that alerts all people on Earth at once and translates it into whatever language they speak, but isn't this only 30-ish years in the future? Next, and I am not so sure about this one, why does the whole world seem to be dark? Perhaps the Moon just happens to be on the exact opposite side of the Sun when this happens? Finally, if you watch how the lights go out, there is definitely something wrong. The lights appear to go out speck by speck, as if each speck of light is a single house. New York City would look like a single speck, but their lights wouldn't go out all at once. Actually, the United States' lights seem to go out state by state. I found it funny that Florida was the last place in the world to turn off their lights.


Also, they have an issue with a person posting photos of their Moon adventures on Tumblr. This is a problem with time travel. They don't want the girl to post the photos, because they don't want people in 2014 to see them. If I mail a picture of a microwave to my friend, would I worry about people in 1893 seeing it and getting freaked out? Also, how does she get an internet connection in space? I can't even get one in my living room!


Finally, why did the TARDIS even land on a space shuttle? To be the first woman on the Moon, I think the Doctor would bring her to many years ago on the Moon. And why not go to the surface? You could  pop in and pop back out without an issue. Would the actual crew of the space shuttle even continue with the mission when they found strangers on their ship? Also, by the time Mexico is forming colonies on the Moon, you'd think they'd have at least one woman go there.


Of course, despite all these issues, the episode was fairly enjoyable and probably worth watching. Have any of you noticed any problems with this episode or another?

#2 The Robstar

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 06:04 PM

I so don't get Dr. Who. I tried to watch it because it's on everyday at 4pm on UK-TV.


One day it had that Tanner dude, the next he turned into another white dude, then the new one had another OLDER dude?????


Yeah fuck that, too many changes, confusing to me.


I'll stick to living my life…….


#3 Nanovirus27



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Posted 29 October 2014 - 02:27 PM

Well I see your point and on the egg issue its all valid it wouldnt have been able to gain that much mass it isnt how it works but i think the way the producers see it is as "Its a new alien creature if it grows 10x its original size before hatching then it does." which has been a common theme and always a bad way to do science in the show but most of us let it slip.

As for the lights going out yea thats true as well it doesnt make since how everyone got the message even if they did here it but it is possible for something like that to happen with much more exterior channels rather than what the show tried to do.

As for the ohone remember Rose Tyler was able to make phone calls from several billion years in the future and without crappy connection so if we assume that through the power of the TARDIS she can get a connection without any issues then it should all be fine.

As for the TARDIS landing, it always lands in the most convenient spot towards the show despite the doctor wanting to go somewhere else, he even complains that they were suppose to go to Las Vegas and instead go to a submarine so it all makes since for it to arrive on a shuttle rather than the surface of the moon.

#4 Slorrin



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Posted 03 November 2014 - 12:12 PM

Yeah, I had the same thought.  Eggs don't get heavier unless some mass is being added, but eggs (on earth) don't do that.  All the nutrition that would feed the embryonic moon dragon would be within the egg at the time it was laid.  The yolk is the food that the embryo uses to sustain its growth.  Mass isn't just created out of thin air.  And then when the dragon flies off, it lays a moon sized egg.  An egg that is larger than its own size.  


I guess if the TARDIS can be bigger on the inside, dragons can to... 



There's a lot of this kind of thing going on though in the show. But that shouldn't trouble you. Sci Fi adhering to accurate scientific principles is a relatively recent idea.  Childhood's End has a moon getting destroyed and the planets spin slows down.  I checked with an astronomer friend, and she assured me that that's just not how tidal forces work. Go figure.  Maybe she's wrong, who knows, she's a heliologist so she focuses on stars.   The Foundation series is based on the idea that a "really smart" historian can figure out the future based on the universal psyche of human beings.  Obvious mumbo jumbo, but it's the "one big idea" for the books.  War of the worlds has a race of superinteligent blobs come to a planet without any kind of thought given to what kinds of diseases might be there, and also has those blobs be succeptible to our diseases.  Think how many diseases cats get that we can't catch, or how many diseases we get that lizards can't catch.  Now add another planet's species into the mix.  It's preposterous.   But it's still a great book.

"hard" sci fi is its own sort of branch and it can be great, but its existence doesn't invalidate "soft" sf or simply "pure imagination for the sake of it" sf.  


My 2 cents.

#5 opScrotch



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Posted 26 November 2014 - 06:13 PM

I think Capaldi is the best Doctor yet. His timing is great and he's a brilliant subtle actor (similarly Clara is the best companion so far), however I think this has been the worst series to date. The actual science fiction plots have dried up and I more often than not found myself being more entertained by the romantic drama. The only good episodes of the series were the perspective one and the London forest one (not too hot with episode names).


As for the science, I think up to Blink the show did a fairly good job of backing up the plot lines with science that was at least mildly relatable, but after Tennant's wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey bit was so well received by fans, the writers realised that they could just not explain stuff and expect the viewer to believe the Doctor knew what was happening, and that was the important part. This got worse for Smith's last series and Capaldi's, with the sillier elements of the show (Orient Express in Space) becoming as unexplained and 'normal' as the serious stuff. 


Only slightly related, but on another note I hated the final episode of this most recent series. What an anticlimax, especially with such a promising build up.