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DW rewatching, the specials:

Really liked The Next Doctor (still/again, not a lot of memories, actually); interesting story, visually gorgeous, with a melancholy, but still Christmas-y sort of happy ending. Planet of the Dead is the episode where I always have a hard time recalling that it actually had a plot, or what it was beyond, flying bus, stolen cup, will knock four times, because there really isn't much of one, is there? OTOH, I liked Lady Christina more than I remember, and the flying bus still makes me grin. Clearly I'm mentally four years old.

Waters of Mars is still brilliant, possibly even grew on me. The ambiguity of the Doctor-as-god theme IMO has always been there, as well as the reasons that might make him chose this path, ever since School Reunion, and you really could see it in this episode, the desperation, the genuine inability to witness yet more deaths, really at the end of his endurance. The basically good intentions. At the same time the potential danger and ugliness of what he became was visible almost immediately, and at the end of the story one can absolutely understand why Adelaide did it, why she had to say 'no' to the idea of someone outside of everyone's control, someone unstoppable, even if he'd saved her life. It's interesting to see the show's atheism finally applied to the Dcotor himself. Of course there already was Human Nature/The Family of the Blood, but for the first time one really understood why he usually kept himself under the kind of control he did.


The finale, OTOH, I'm so conflicted about. *sigh* There are some scenes in these episodes that are definitely among my overall favourite ones. All the conversations between the Doctor and Wilf are perfect; the Doctor's tiny break-down in the cafe, the conversation on the space ship; the Doctor dying, the Doctor and the Master. The opening scene with the Ood, who makes the Doctor look like a petulant child. The Doctor's journey, the whole long story of the Doctor's relationship with death, as well as his complicated relationship with humanity, the way it brings the Doctor's arc to an end, weaving all these themes into one story, that's brilliant. Completely and utterly. The story written around that? Not so much really. The Master's resurrection with all those potions? *cringe* Hard. Master with superpowers? *facepalm* (Actually, I wish the Master had stayed buried; much like Rose should have been left in that alternate universe.) Immortality Gate? Meh. 'Master race'? Somehow, still not really scary. Certainly not compared to the S3 finale, or the alternative future in Turn Left. Return of the Time Lords? Not as scary as it apparently was supposed to be either. Too much tell, too little show. Timothy Dalton didn't convince me. Doctor jumping from a flying spaceship through a glass dome? Seriously, sometimes my feeling with RTD's writing is, don't give the man a budget.

The end is lovely though, sue me. In all its kitschy glory. After the lonely year (probably more) the Doctor just spent, it really does make sense. And am I the only person completely unbothered by Martha/Mickey? I actually quite love the two of them, from the brief glance we got, as well as their harder future freelance alien hunter!look. As far as I'm concerned, Martha and Tom broke up when she was promoted to New York some time before Journey's End, and after they'd all come back from saving the universe, Jack, Martha and Mickey went off somewhere, got drunk, traded stories and complained about the Doctor, and then Jack had to go home, because sort-of-if-not-quite-boyfriend, and the rest is history. It's really not too much of a stretch of the imagination. And I can't say I've had all that much of an emotional investment in a relationship we never even saw happening on screen.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
elisi
Apr. 14th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
I'll be back later (if I can find the time), but just wanted to say that I love Martha/Mickey. As you say, it makes all kind of sense, and she's not the first girl to break up an engagement.
solitary_summer
Apr. 14th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
They both have a rather similar history they can't really talk about with a lot of people who'd understand, they're both big damn heroes (*g*), and like you said, it's not as if people never end relationships. I really don't quite understand fandom's sudden fondness for Tom, whom we saw in exactly one episode.
elisi
Apr. 14th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
I really don't quite understand fandom's sudden fondness for Tom, whom we saw in exactly one episode.
I know... There's also the fact that he (of course) wasn't quite the same man she first met. And I'm sure that must have made a difference.

Anyway, found a couple of minutes and thought I'd try to formulate a few more thoughts. Agree with your thoughts on the first three specials pretty much word-for-word. As for EoT... Well. *ponders*

I don't have a problem with the crack. I'm easy that way - I can cope with pretty much anything as long as the characterisation is good, although I can understand why other people feel differently. However, I disagree with this:

Actually, I wish the Master had stayed buried; much like Rose should have been left in that alternate universe.
The Master was the *perfect* character for that story. Because what the Master has always wanted, has always fought for above all else, is immortality. His [fanon?] name isn't Koschei [the Deathless] for nothing, and he will do *anything* to stay alive. I'm not sure a story about the Doctor running away from death could have been told without the Master.

Of course it is magnified by the Timelords - "I. Will. Not. Die!" Rassilon yells, and *that* is what they contribute, more than a threat to the world (because we know that they won't succeed)... It is all about the lengths that this race will go to, to survive - because the Doctor is very much one of them, at that moment in time. "I'm the winner on the Time War!" he says in WoM, and knowing that he fought against Daleks and Timelords puts a different spin on those words.

Also, of course, the Master brings a whole different concept of death to the table. To quote this post:

Either way, I love this little confirmation that the Master does think of bodies as receptacles; here we've got the Doctor talking about his own death as Ten as a real death, because someone else with his memories walks away, and meanwhile the Master treats his current body like a faulty suit. Mm the politics of regeneration.

(Actually that post is, word-for-word and picture-for-picture, pretty much EXACTLY how I feel. Except I love, love, love the drawn out goodbye to everyone, and that's what made me cry... the realisation that it wasn't just Ten we lost, but Rose and Martha and Donna and everyone else who'd been part of his life. The end of an era. *sniff*)

And now I've RAMBLED in your LJ. I hope you don't mind. You know... I think the reason I cope with the crack is because the metaphors and themes work so beautifully. :)
solitary_summer
Apr. 14th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
I know... There's also the fact that he (of course) wasn't quite the same man she first met. And I'm sure that must have made a difference.
There's also the fact that in a way he simply was rebound. Maybe not even so much from the Doctor, but from the whole terrible year.

Actually, this is the first RTD episode where I have a genuine problem with the crack vs. seriousness balance. There are episodes I don't like as much as others, but usually it more or less worked for me, here it seems just... off somehow. I can't really explain it. Maybe the crack was a bit too cracky for my taste in comparison to the serious elements.

As for the Master's resurrection—I guess I just loved the S3 finale too much. And of course I still haven't seen any of the Master episodes from the original series, so I might have been a bit misled there. Prof. Yana was ready to die, so I thought in the end the Master might also have been, at least on some level, even if he refused to regenerate to spite the Doctor.

Of course it is magnified by the Timelords - "I. Will. Not. Die!" Rassilon yells, and *that* is what they contribute, more than a threat to the world

Oh, I know... it's the Master, the Time Lords, and Mr. Naismith, his daughter and the immortality gate, who made it all possible in the first place... But somehow, the execution doesn't really work out for me.


And I never mind rambling! :)
elisi
Apr. 14th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
I can't really explain it. Maybe the crack was a bit too cracky for my taste in comparison to the serious elements.
Well you are certainly not alone in feeling that way, and I can see where you're coming from. I just focus on all the stuff I like and fanwank/ignore the rest. :)

And of course I still haven't seen any of the Master episodes from the original series, so I might have been a bit misled there.
I've hardly seen any Old Who at all, but from what I've read I know that he has gone to ridiculous lengths to Not Die (think Voldemort) - it is his one overarching goal, even more than causing death & mayhem & gain power. (I'm reminded of Buffy in 'Buffy Vs. Dracula' "You always come back!" *g*) The Master will always come back. Otherwise he wouldn't be who he is.

Edited at 2010-04-14 09:18 pm (UTC)
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