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Hm. Somehow I wasn't very taken with Forest of the Dead.

And no, not because of the wife, or close approximation thereof (let's assume for the moment that's what she is/will be, although I wouldn't be surprised either if she turned out to be someone wholly different), because I really like her and I can see them being absolutely great together. I'm still waiting for her to turn out to be Jack's daughter or something, though. There's just something about her... A female Jack without the whole immortality angst, or the burden of his past. I guess on the whole it's my fault, lack of imagination, bloody literal-mindedness and all that. I love books, I love the internet, but somehow a virtual existence doesn't equal not dying for me. And an eternal, or as-long-as-the-computer-lasts virtual ivory-tower existence with the same six people (give or take a few children; will they age? have families of their own?) with the Doctor visiting once in a while? That seems more like a prison than a blessing to me. The resolution seemed a bit of a cheap cop out; it failed to make me as happy as it obviously should have and makes me even more apprehensive about the finale, because when no one died (well, sort-of) again this time, someone will probably die eventually. Really, irreversibly die.

And Donna's virtual family and her grief at losing them somehow failed to touch me, too; it just was all too sudden, too obviously not real from the start.

David Tennant is still brilliant, though. 'I'm the Doctor and you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up.'

And I love the Doctor and Donna at the end of the episode.

And while I'm waiting for the TW DVDs to be released (no commentaries, btw? that kind of sucks), I've rewatched the second and the third DW series and I've got to say while there are parts of S3 that do absolutely nothing for me (The Lazarus Experiment, which already bored me the first time I saw it, not the least because I'd just got the accept your mortality, or else! message in Deathly Hallows; 42 and the Daleks in Manhatten two-parter, which I remember at least not disliking the first time, but fall kind of really flat upon rewatching), there are episodes that are among my overall favourites. I love Gridlock, and not only because it gives Jack closure, for which I'm incredibly grateful; Blink is still a pleasure to watch even with the initial shock value gone, and Human Nature/The Family of Blood are absolutely brilliant, because the story isn't easy or clear-cut, but painful and complicated in so many ways. John Smith leading the school boys in a battle neither he nor they understand. The Doctor and Joan after he punishes the Family, and before either of them even opens their mouths you already know she'll never be able to love that man. 'Could you change back?' - 'Yes.' - 'Will you?' - 'No.' Possibilities and might have beens and accepting who you are. Not, I gather, exactly old school Doctor characterisation, but since I'm still a sad newbie I have to say I absolutely love it, including the idea of the Doctor hiding from his own power. [*]

And the Utopia/The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords finale is definitely my favourite finale of the three, and a lot more rewatchable than the S2 finale that just doesn't have the same emotional impact after the first time. Admittedly LotTL is a bit too religious for my taste for a few minutes there towards the end, and I'm not ever comfortable with mass anything, so I find the idea of every human being thinking about the Doctor more creepy than anything else, but the story-line about the potential of humanity for either good or evil, humanity turning on itself when it cannot accept the thought of the end of its existence... of course it's not the most profound philosophical message either if you analyse it, but it's rather deeper and more epic than Daleks vs. Cybermen. And the religious images and overtones are immediately undercut by the brilliant, but more than a bit fucked-up 'How about that? I win.' final scene between the Doctor and the Master which shows that this isn't altruistic forgiveness at all for something that is almost unforgivable, but driven by a profound loneliness and need that none of the human companions will ever be able to really alleviate. I wonder if that was what contributed to both Martha and Jack leaving, realising that they could never touch that. Jack gets chided for pulling the gun on someone in self-defence and here's the Doctor grieving for someone who'd killed at least a tenth of the Earth's population, enslaved the rest and was planning the same fate for a galactic empire, not to mention held Martha's family hostage and humiliated them, killed Jack I don't know how many times and abused Lucy.

I'd kind of forgotten the exact details by the time Fragments was aired, but 'So I went to the time-rift, based myself there 'cause I knew you'd come back to refuel'... so a hundred years in Torchwood really was only about that. And then to have the Doctor run away from him again. Ouch. Although, like I said before, Jack was really lucky that the Doctor didn't turn up a few years earlier. 'And while I was waiting for you to turn up again I sort of might have worked for Torchwood all those years until at the turn of the millennium my sort-of boss saw something he shouldn't have seen and decided to kill the whole team and dumped the Cardiff branch on me before blowing out his brain, and then, er, Canary Wharf, which you know about, sorry about that, wasn't me, but I really did try, er, last year, and I swear to you it's different, it's changed...'

Love, love, love the conversation between the Doctor and Jack in Utopia, though.

And I really liked Martha in S3, I wasn't imagining that. I don't know what it was that slightly bothered me about her in S4...

Martha: And what is he to you? Like colleague, or...
Doctor: A friend at first.
Martha: Thought you were gonna say he was your secret brother or something.
Doctor: You've been watching too much TV.


It really slightly annoys me that after that really brilliant writing with good pacing and plenty of buid-up and exposition they basically recycled the plot for the TW S2 finale and squashed it into 45 minutes.

Which made me think about S3, though... While of course 5 episodes make me lass happy than a full series would have done, if it's done well, I'd absolutely love to see a something like that on TW - a longer, complex story arc with a plot that isn't rushed and all the right emotional moments, and a good balance of both elements. I never understood why they never did a double episode on TW, except, sort of, Dead Man Walking/A Day in the Death, which wasn't plot driven though, but character driven. Could be interesting. Could be really interesting.

[*] Really not ignoring the pesky race issues. The problem for me is, though, that I don't... I can see why people would point it out, why it would bother some, but (privilege talking, I know, I'm sorry) I'm not quite getting it on a gut level here, not enough to ruin the episode for me. For me it's not problematic on the same level as Jasmine in AtS (by all means, let's have white masculinity defend individualism and freedom against the female hive-mind; I hated that in the Star Trek: First Contact movie, and throwing race issues into it doesn't help at all), or parts of Gunn's arc; Mickey in S1 DW, or even Beth in TW's Sleeper; not the least because IMO both in Human Nature/The Family of Blood as well as the Master's treatment of Martha's family there's awareness and condemnation of the racism that happens. (The Master's 'And look, it’s the girly and the freak, although I’m not sure which one’s which,' is the only time we hear anything like a homophobic slur, either.) Martha gets to save the world; the universe. She's strong and independent enough to leave the Doctor behind and go on with her life without either Rose or Sarah Jane or Donna's regrets. And, hypothetically, if she'd stayed I'm pretty sure the Doctor would have loved her just as much as he loved Rose if he'd had a little more time, although I find the argument that a woman's worth is essentially determined by whether or not a man loves her at least equally problematic.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 9th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
I'm anxiously awaiting the Season 2 Torchwood DVD's as well. I heard that they won't include commentaries because the BBC wouldn't pay for that. Is sitting 3 people in a room to talk over an episode really that extravagant? Ah, well. Having a 5 episode season 3 next year just sucks. Because I have to hope that BBC America will even carry season 3.
Re: Doctor Who. I really only watch the episodes that have Jack in them and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed last season's three parter. I also loved Jack and the Doctor's talk in Utopia. And I cannot get over how much I enjoy seeing Derek Jacobi and John Simm just completely rule those episodes. You know John Simm has to be some amazing actor if I'm watching David Tennant and John Barrowman together and I'm actually watching the Master instead. Sorry for the long post, but you got me thinking :)
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
No apologies necessary, I always love to hear other people's thoughts. :)

I wouldn't have thought it'd be that expensive either, but I remember reading an interview with JB about how chaotic filming season 2 was, so money seems to *really* be an issue at the moment?

I know there have to be all kinds of episodes or it'd get boring, but I really love the slower ones that rely more on the acting than on action and effects and the S3 finale was just very perfect in this respect...
Jun. 9th, 2008 06:35 am (UTC)
The Master's 'And look, it’s the girly and the freak, although I’m not sure which one’s which,' is the only time we hear anything like a homophobic slur, either

Did you mean not the only time? There was a line in "Aliens of London" before this.
Jun. 9th, 2008 06:58 am (UTC)
Help me out? I don't remember, and didn't find anything skimming (albeit quickly) over a transcript either...
Jun. 9th, 2008 07:03 am (UTC)
When the Doctor's on the roof with Rose. This is copied from the first transcript I found:

THE DOCTOR: Nine hundred years of time and space and I've never been slapped by someone's mother.
ROSE: (unsympathetic) Your face.
THE DOCTOR: (complains) It hurt!
(He rubs his cheek with the palm of his hand.)
ROSE: You're so gay!
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'd missed that, I was pretty much already on my way out to work this morning. Not that it's okay (OTOH the episode was written by RTD who could have easily not included that line, so I feel a bit stupid arguing the offensiveness of it...), not that I'd say something like that, but that's not remotely on the same scale, IMO.

Edited at 2008-06-10 04:53 am (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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