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Feb. 12th, 2010

Six more hours of work tomorrow, and then two free weeks, hallelujah. Reading, skiing, relaxing. I've missed skiing.

I just might manage another day without actually murdering someone. Just. If I suddenly disappear from the internets you know what happened.


The Writer's Tale continues to be fascinating. Part of my brain hasn't quite given up worrying about fourth walls &c., but I actually love reading about the process of the stories evolving, which ideas made it, which got discarded, and how it all compares to my own impression of the finished product. I know fandom is all about the death of the author, but if someone's work really interests and engages me, I tend to also become interested in their thoughts &c., beyond the work itself. Fond memories of reading 10 volumes of TM's diaries and wishing he hadn't burned the earlier ones.

One other idea: what if David has aged between his penultimate and final episode? It could pay off beautifully if the Ood summon the Doctor at the end of the Christmas episode, and then he steps out of the TARDIS in the 2010 episode... looking older! A little bit of grey. A little bit tired. Like he did anything to avoid this summons. He went everywhere, did everything, to avoid discovering his destiny from the Ood. He ran away. Travelled to the furthest stars. Got married. Broke his heart. Did unspeakable things. All to avoid this. He will do anything to avoid dying. [...] But the Ood have waited, with infinite patience. He couldn't out it off any longer.

Written before they even knew how many specials there'd be, much less what the plot(s) would be. (Enterprise cross-over? Empty hotel, empty Earth with spidery aliens, Helen Mirren and the Doctor?) I don't think they physically aged DT in EoT after all (Or did they? I thought it was just in the acting...), but this is so there, the hat, the pink garland, how DT played it, the defensive edge... IMO at least sometimes you can tell what was at the heart of an episode from the beginning, before there even was an episode, and what was written around that.

You can go around philosophising with 'Everything has its time' and 'Everything must die', and all that shtick, but when an Ood says, 'It's your turn now', you'd be like, 'RUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!' [...] The Doctor's arrogance and determination to outwit death should become part of his last story, like it is really time that he dies before he becomes too powerful.

This family isn't important. They're no one. The kids won't grow up to become Leaders of the Universe. And that's the point: they're as important as anyone. But it's a great way of bringing out the Doctor's growing resentment. 'You're nothing! You're no one! I give my life for you?!' He's bordering on 'Do you know who I am?!' He should actually say that. It's the twenty-fist-century marker for vanity. All this emerging arrogance, all his rage and fear, all his loneliness.

I've read people complaining that the Doctor was 'whiny' in the end, but that wasn't something I saw in the episode. But the ego, the - exactly that, arrogance - definitely. He does redeem himself dying instead of Wilf, but for a moment it's there, and it isn't pretty. But fascinating. And I always thought that it was a brilliant choice and made such a strong point that it was for Wilf, rather than someone young and pretty (and female) with their 'whole life before them', someone he loved/was in love with.

(And of course the ending with the Doctor saying good-bye was also already there from the beginning. Interesting, though, that the episode RTD himself calls self-indulgent is the bit with Nurse Redfern's granddaughter and the book signing.)

I'm so not surprised that the story he 'felt the most' was what became WoM (& the bits about the Doctor's struggle with his death that ended up in EoT), and not the Return of the Master extravaganza, which IMO did suffer from the fact that the S3 finale 'really did push every button' already, and a lot better, too. The dynamic between them does work on some level, but it's not enough of a story.

[...] I meshed the Doctor Will Do Anything Not To Die story with the Master Returns story. I thought, what if he really will do anything? What if the Master and the Doctor team up? What if the Doctor is so tempted by an offer of life - or survival - from the Master that he begins to compromise himself?

I wish he'd really gone there. I'd have loved to see that. In my notes from watching EoT there's something about how the Master's real flaw/stupidity is the failure or incapability to see past his madness enough recongnise that if he just managed to control his insanity and ego a bit and push the right buttons, he could have had the Doctor on his side so easily, at least for as long as it mattered. And that the Doctor (Ten, that is) probably didn't even realise that. So I guess as a possibility, on some subtextual level this must have made it into the story, or always have been there.

Oh, and the bit about Jack, Gwen and Ianto scamming their new laptops, etc., in Day Three? Was apparently supposed to be the part of the Master's story for a week or so, until 'He's Harold Saxon! Everyone knows his face! That hit me like a thunderbolt today. I can't believe I forgot that. D'oh! Oh well. I'm an idiot.' *ggg*

TBC, probably.


solitary summer

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