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Oh, wow. I'm fascinated by the way they're playing with the theme of the Doctor as a not-quite-but-sort-of god, but at the same time never completely easy with it and once again there was just a little too much of the messianic streak for my taste, but, damn. That broke my heart more than the TW finale, I think. [*] How can they go from the cracktastic Adipose plot of last week to that and make it work? And if that was episode 2, what will there be left to do in the finale? It's what I've said about TW before - both series' strength doesn't lie in the CGI aliens, who in a way are almost an afterthought, something to keep the plot going; it's all about the purely human moments, and the understated way in which this was done here, people going about their lives, bickering and having ambitions and and buying blue boxes as modern art to impress important visitors and loving each other despite the bickering; trying to keep busts and vases from falling and breaking, ignorant of the doom hanging over their heads, that's what gives the episode its epic, tragic quality. The honest admittance that life is never fair and often horrible and that some decisions are awful, but still have to be made, because the alternative is worse. (And other than in Sleeper James Moran really made it work here with more seriousness and less ill-placed snark.)

I've liked both Rose and Martha, but I'm fast falling in love with Donna and her relationship with the Doctor, because it's already a much more adult and mutual thing than either with Rose or Martha. From the Doctor's perspective of course it probably doesn't make much of a difference, but generally speaking I think it was a really good choice to bring in an a bit more mature companion, with more of a fixed personality and life experience. And it's interesting to compare Donna's ultimate support of the Doctor's decision because she understands its necessary with TW's Small Worlds, where everyone is pissed off and not talking to Jack because he let the girl go when there was nothing else he could do...

[*] Although admittedly that might be the former archaeology student speaking, because for me there just isn't really any historical distance that might make it easier, just because the people are wearing togas, and from the beginning of the episode when I looked at the people, I saw this.

And here I'd been stupidly thinking I'd get DW on tv since I have BBC on cable, but apparently BBC on Austrian cable isn't BBC proper and only re-airing S2, and times like this I wonder how long it'll take for the internet to really change the way tv works. When DW S1 finally started on German tv this year it really was only for the people who either don't speak English well enough or hadn't already downloaded it and/or bought the DVDs years ago, and their number, I think it's safe to say, is steadily decreasing.

And speaking of downloading, I've watched bits & pieces of JB's concerts on YouTube and got mp3s of someone's slightly scratchy recording of the Cardiff concert, and this really takes me back 14 (dear god, 14!?! ::facepalm::) years when my sister and I (well, I more than my sister, by the end) saw Kuss der Spinnenfrau a gazillion times and made our own bootleg recording with a walkman & tape, and you always had to figure out when to change sides so that it wouldn't be right in the middle of some song, and then there was the laborious business of finding someone to exchange tapes with -- via adds in a German musicals magazine, before they didn't allow those any more, and then you wrote to people (pen and paper, positively archaic), and so eventually I got the first act of Les Miserables with The Crush singing Valejean in addition to my own recording where he's singing Enjolras... The times they are a-changing, and I'm feeling very old sometimes. And apparently nostalgic & rambly on Sunday mornings...

Anyway, JB is brilliant, and the next time he's doing a concert thing like that I'm most definitely planning a trip/holiday around it. One thing I've been wondering about though, mostly because I'm a rather private person myself (Okay, so you probably wouldn't guess that from the stream of TMI on lj, but it's a bit different in real life, where I'm rather reluctant to tell things about myself, at least not before I'm really feeling a connection with someone, which mostly takes a lot of time to establish.), after the autobiography etc., is how much of his private life he's willing to make public. Apparently it works for him, Scott and the rest of his family, but it always makes me feel just a bit uneasy, like I shouldn't be knowing these things (not so much the sexual stuff even, rather, e.g., the bit about Scott's sister...), and hoping that he won't regret it eventually.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:16 am (UTC)
Drive-by quick comments! Loving DW also and Donna especially, not least because I love that she's attractive in a completely ordianry way, not a stick-thin clothes-horse / dolly bird. Love that she's down-to-earth and stroppy but not an idiot, a forceful personality but perfectly capable of seeing the other person's point of view eventually. She feels, for the first time in ages, like someone who really can bring an intelligence and insight to the Doctor's life that he truly needs, as much as he changes the lives of the people he travels with almost without noticing (or caring). Love it.

I thought the singing part of Cardiff was brilliant, way beyond my expectations having heard various JB studio recordings. He had exceptional energy and an amazingly powerful and emotive voice, and his singing managed to be both technically good and really individual at the same time.

But I spent Friday night with Dan moaning at length about some of the between-song narratives. I felt really embarrassed by some of the stuff he was using as anecdote - not anything rude, it's as you say, the very sad personal stuff. I come from a fairly emotionally controlled family - we argue with insane passion, but we never cry or say "I love you", it's about deeds not words, and over-expressive love and sorrow make me squirm. Part of me simply can't believe that, if these incidents affected him so much, he'd stand up blithely and tell a whole hall full of strangers about them, and then go on and sing a song. Turning profound and intimate personal memories into public entertainment - yep, freaked the hell out of me, though it has to be said I was surrounded by teary-eyed people, so maybe it's just me and not a British thing, or just an English thing...?

Having said that, if he tours some more then hell yes, get a ticket and go see him! I probably wouldn't go again, the music is definitely not my usual taste, though I'm very glad that I did see him at least once. He's a spirited performer who utterly adores being adored, and it really shows!
Apr. 13th, 2008 11:40 am (UTC)
I'm also from a very reserved family, and okay, you could make that emotionally fucked up family, where emotional stuff was never really discussed at all in a way everyone is really comfortable about, although it did kind of explode occasionally, and almost everyone I know comes from more or less messed up families with less than perfectly happy childhoods, so even reading what he wrote in his autobiography about his family felt in some ways profoundly alien to me...

Part of me simply can't believe that, if these incidents affected him so much, he'd stand up blithely and tell a whole hall full of strangers about them, and then go on and sing a song.

Somehow I am willing to believe it, maybe because he's who he is, maybe because he's got a family who really seems to love him a lot, and a partner who's been willing to put up with this and stick with him for 14+ years (which, frankly, is a hell of a lot more than can be said for my life), but on an intellectual level it's not something I can understand at all, either.
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