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May. 16th, 2010

Which I actually rather liked, go figure. Or at least it was the first episode where I felt I was finally getting a slightly better grip on Amy's character, because it put her at least occasional coldness and detachedness in better context, although it can still be a bit disturbing, which I think that came out really well when Rory couldn't hit the old lady, and Amy told him to 'just whack her', and it was the first S5 episode that made me feel anything other than faint boredom mixed with faint artistic appreciation. I'm just not so sure yet if I'm completely happy with what it made me feel, or if I really like all that relationship drama left, right and centre, and after the Dream Lord=Doctor revelation I'll definitely have to rewatch it, because that's some serious Doctor darkness there. Intriguing, though.

What I thought could have been done better are the dream/reality scenarios, because I never was in much of a doubt that the village wasn't real. In Normal Again most of the time I'm 51% convinced that the the mental hospital was in fact real, and Buffy just chose the world of her imagination because it was more meaningful to her. Not so much here, even if the Doctor was telling me to doubt, and that takes the darkness and realism out of Amy's not-really-suicide and also effectively resolved the moral dilemma of Amy's choice, because it was always clear that (at least for the time being) she still would have both in the end, Rory and the Doctor. It's a sort of emotional safety net that might be comfortable, but in the end does take away from the emotional impact the story might have had.

What I didn't like was the idea of the monsters disguising themselves as scary old people, because on the surface that seemed just gratuitously ageist, but OTOH I do realise this was something of a plot-point, what with Eleven accusing himself of always travelling with young people combined with his (at least that's what this episode told us; not that I personally would have come to this conclusion from eps. 1-6) self-hatred, so dreaming up these (very, very) old people that are hiding monsters within themselves would make sense.

Not so sure either how comfortable I am with the 'Anything could happen' line either, or the Dream Lord/Doctor's comments on Amy's relationship with Rory and her sexual fantasies about himself, but after Amy jumping him at the end of F&S it's a bit hard to complain. Although it really highlights the double standards that the latter seemed to have been played entirely for laughs, and the former felt like (and if Amy's reaction is anything to go by, was meant to be seen as) a vaguely threatening or at least distinctly uncomfortable situation.

ETA: In the beginning the Doctor accuses Rory that the whole village, pregnant Amy etc. scenario must be his dream, the end reveals that it all was the Doctor's dream. Does the episode actually say anything about Amy and her choices (or wishes) at all? Except that the Doctor wants her to chose between him and Rory?

In Old New Who news, still writing, and what drives me kind of crazy (mostly in a good way, except when I'm actually trying to analyse the text, in which case it's really annoying because it makes me feel so stupid) is the scope of ambiguity RTD's writing sometimes has. The moral dilemma of the S1 finale is still relatively clear, although the implications of the Doctor's decision are still problematic, but (I think) intentionally so, in order to balance the deus ex machina solution, and S2 is even less complicated, because it's all about the Doctor and Rose. But the S3 finale already confuses me especially with its use of religious themes (Good? Bad? The conclusion of Ten's arc certainly suggests the latter. And can forgiveness be wrong?), and as for the S4 finale, while the whole thing with the moving planets is a bit over-blown and ridiculous, I've already changed my mind at least a couple of times about the implications of Davros's words about the Doctor's soul being revealed and the all the deaths. Am I stupid? Or am I for whatever reason missing something crucial that is obvious to everyone else? These scenes work incredibly well on an emotional level, probably precisely because they evoke such complex feelings, but once you try to untangle them logically... *sigh*


solitary summer

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