Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Doctor Who - The Tsuranga Conundrum

Cross-posted from Reddit.

Okay. The Tsuranga Conundrum.

The basic idea is good. There is a lot of dramatic potential.

The Doctor recognizing her selfishness is good...but over too quickly. The dramatic potential for self-realization? Kind of lost.

Team TARDIS starts out injured? Good....but not really utilized. Only the Doctor is still hurt when the action starts, and it doesn't actually prevent her from doing anything.

Ryan is on a future medical facility, and never once considers that these people might be able to sort his disability. No one else considers that either.

Pregnant man needs a couple of folks there to cut his umbilical cords, but there isn't a lot of challenge for either Ryan or Graham in that role. The baby is not kept because it was brought into the world with difficulty, but because of how Ryan feels about his own father.

There was no reason that Yaz could not stun the P'Ting, punt it, stun it again, and punt it again, until she got it out the airlock. Using the bomb was actually a far riskier solution....and no one brought it up.

Why the General needs to pilot the ship, and her brother cannot, is...unsatisfying. There is a clear theme in the episode of the female characters being in charge, while the male characters perform supporting roles, and that is fine, but the General then needs to not only bring something to the table that her brother cannot, but this has to be seen. Better if the brother pilots the ship first, but the asteroid-littered region results in a number of collisions, forcing the General to take over. Specifically better if the General says something along the lines of "Just until we clear this field". Much, much better if the Doctor demanded that she didn't pilot, and then she did anyway while the Doctor was off dealing with the P'Ting. This would strengthen, not weaken, the theme.

Put these things together:


  • Injured Doctor doesn't recognize her selfishness until after first death. No chance to say sorry. The injury is affecting her ability to think. I would suggest short temper and some real animal-in-pain nastiness. Channel the Doctor at their most sarcastic.
  • Graham suggests that the future medics might be able to help Ryan's dyspraxia. They can, when they reach the hospital, but it is a year-long treatment. Again, the Doctor's selfishness can be highlighted. She can't wait a year to recover the TARDIS. She can promise to come back and get him, but Ryan has already seen how poorly her control of the TARDIS can be.
  • The Doctor demands that the General doesn't fly the ship; her brother can do it. She goes off to sort the P'Ting and the bomb with Yaz. The Doctor is angry with herself. "I'm thick! It's this injury, still not healed. Using too much of my mental resources to keep the pain under control."
  • Yaz has already done the stun-and-punt when the Doctor arrives, and has already worked out how to use it as a solution. But the Doctor already has her bomb-based solution, and shoots Yaz down.
  • Collisions cause the ship to shudder, making the Doctor worse and causing complications for the pregnant man. The Doctor almost blows up the ship extracting the bomb, and yells angrily, "Can someone get this ship under control?" The flight smooths out; the Doctor is pleased.
  • Pregnant man decides to keep the child because of the cost of bringing him into the world (effort, pain). Ryan can then tell his story about his dad. Now he is supporting pregnant guy, not convincing him.
  • When Yaz finds out the Doctor's plan, she is upset. After all, she was ready to punt the P'Ting out without any risk to anyone, and the Doctor could have blown them all up.
  • We find out the General took her brother's place flying the ship. The stress killed her. The Doctor is upset - she told the General not to fly - but has to acknowledge they would all be dead had she not.
  • The Doctor then gets to apologize. In a quiet moment she tells Yaz that the punting wouldn't have worked. The P'Ting was able to launch itself at the ship once; it could do it again. Giving the creature the bomb satisfied its hunger and let it nap. "Let's just hope we never run into an adult."

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