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rabid1st

More Doctor Who Updating...for the Easter Special

It seems my review--posted yesterday, feel free to scroll down-- was echoed by the fanboy* press. I was surprised to see AlphaLock and Digital Spy, the "We can't wait for Moffat and are thrilled by the last of Rose" stalwarts, suddenly lamenting the very things I predicted all of us would one day lament. Yes, there was no real emotion here. We didn't feel it in our bones. It's a bit soon to see this sort of thing take hold of the fanboys. But it was sure to happen when the Doctor walks this road.

And I live in hope that RTD is simply rushing it along with this last episode, because he obviously does stay on point in the end. I expected some of the reviewers to simply blame the tired old crew for the lackluster appeal of this episode. Just as I expect them to blame Moffat and Matt for the sharp drop in ratings if we don't take a turn into a better ending for Ten than JE gave us.

But, surprisingly, many of the fanboys are already with me. The reviews hit the nail on the head...we can't care because Lady Christina is fluffy and the Doctor is an aimless drifter. There is no longer any reason to involve ourselves in these stories. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with Planet of the Dead...or with Lady Christina...it is just sort of in bad taste to have her pressing her romance...and being given openings that should come with rim-shots...given what we expect of the Doctor. We know what he's given up...not lost...but thrown away. And he pretends he is fine...not like a man forcing a smile through his heartbreak...but like someone who loves denying himself.

And given those circumstances...we don't think a quipping, flirtatious, thrill-seeking companion is amusing. There is no passion here. And nobody seems to care very much about the people on the bus. And contrary to popular belief you can't just manufacture passion or peril if the character's reality works against it. I know that some people feel that Stephen Moffat managed to manufacture passion in Silence in the Library...but really...he just gave us peril. I was bored by River and so were most of the audience...the ratings were very low for part one. Alex Kingston worked her behind off trying to make the most of her character, but there is only the mystery of her...and the sorrow of him. I will say that losing Donna and the very real peril of the library episode managed to give us a fair amount of emotional upheaval. David did connect with those turbulent emotions. He doesn't really connect with them this time...he's not worried and neither are we.

Not until he is presented with something real...his loss coming to the forefront at the end. And then there is the flash of (promise of) menace to come. But I wonder, if we didn't know David was leaving would all of that "It is coming through the dark." And "He will knock 4 times" stuff have moved us?

I'm not dissing RTD's writing...not yet. I liked the episode and Christina well enough to believe that what I feel is what I'm supposed to feel: the loss of real meaning in the Doctor's life. It is all just so pointless now. Which, I believe...if you click on the Humperdinck tag...you will find is the problem I said we would face...no matter how vital the companion or cool the special effects. I am willing to believe this episode fails to satisfy on purpose...just as Christina, the perfect match, cannot captivate the Doctor enough to have him take her with him. I feel this episode is an illustration of why Ten 2 should step in and become the Doctor. Ten can't go on like this...casting aside people he could help, like Christina...simply because he never got to have the life he longs to live.

Rae
*which may be penned and read by fangrrlz, as well.

totally captured what I was feeling and put it into words so much better than I could. :)

Sorry the Wild Geese is delayed. I had hoped to get more writing time in.

Rae

Word. Glad to see the talking heads are leaning toward our side.

I had supreme confidence they would one day lean to our side...I simply expected they would not know WHY they were leaning that way...and would blame the very people they are currently vesting all of their hope in...Moffat and Matt.

The simple fact is...RTD needs to finish his story...well...so we can look forward to the next story.

Here...we see people refering back...because they have no reason not to do so.

Rae

"People have traveled with me and I've lost them. Lost them all, never again". Really?

Seriously, come on. You dumped Rose back in Bad Wolf Bay not once but TWICE. Took Donna's memories away and left her back home with Wilf and Sylvia. Dumped Jack back in Satellite Five. Martha is the only one who really walked away on her own.

I can't help but roll my eyes at the delusion/denial/lack of personal blame. I love Ten but I really want to do what Cher did to Nic Cage in Moonstruck.

Anyway, you expressed all my feelings, after watching this episode last night, much better than I can.


Ah...see? This is what I have been saying...you can't just run over people like the Doctor ran over Rose and Donna...the people who TRULY cared about him...and go on lamenting your lonely state.

Even if the Doctor were to cheer up after his regeneration...he will always be marred by what he did in JE...unless what he did...is put right...he's lost to us as a hero. This, in my opinion, is why so many Rose/Doctor shippers turned to Ten 2 without a qualm...because they were so disappointed in Ten. But the regular fans are not so aware of their disappointment...it is vague to them...a sense that this man is shallow...not really heroic or fun anymore.

Thanks...for the "seriously, come on" and the compliments. I am glad I could spell it out there.

Rae

And you make a good point about Jack, too. And really...not everyone is lost to him. He also dumped Sarah Jane...but he didn't lose her. He did lose Jenny and the rest of his family...and his world. But he wasn't like he is now...until Rose and Donna...and both of them look to be HIS fault.

Which means...to save the Doctor's reputation...RTD is going to need to make it NOT his fault. He's going to have to fix Donna...and go back to his Rose. That's how it works...Ten 2 is Eleven.

Rae

I want to believe that RTD will find a way to make this right at the end of his tenure and not try to pull a Joss. I'll be royally pissed if that happens. :)

I love Rose but my heart broke for Donna because she did not deserve her fate. RTD really needs to fix that.


He does need to fix Donna. I simply feel that fixing Donna leads to fixing the Doctor...which leads to a happier ending for he and Rose. I have a specific way to fix it all, but I don't have a real attachment to any particular solution. I feel there are at least five different ways that it could all work out better.

And one of them is just to have Ten 2 absorb back into Donna and become a hand. And Ten to simply realize that HE needs to live that life with Rose. Off he goes...and back he comes in 2010 and the crossing over changes him into Matt Smith. You need not switch Doctors for that one. But there are plenty of ways in canon to push the tired, worn old Ten personality off into that human body, too. And then we would have a truly renewed Doctor in Eleven.

Rae

And, if you haven't written this, you should. (bats eyelashes)

Honestly, I wish you were part of the writing team at Doctor Who. Your ideas make way too much sense!! :)


Basically. As I commented on your review post - his genuine-sounding words about how great domesticity is really jumped out at me. And it was followed by adventurer's glee for a while... until that was squashed when Christina kissed him, and he remembered how much his life sucks. And how much it's his fault.

I mean, talk about stagnating - he's a Doctor who won't take a companion!

I mean, talk about stagnating - he's a Doctor who won't take a companion!

Exactly! It is as I said...the path to stagnation is a deeper sort of change than resisting losing Rose as a companion. Stagnation is saying "I will never change...I must go on being this lonely traveler forever." And that's what the fanboys* of old school were trying to say.

Yes, they wanted him happily to trade off to a new girl. They want to believe that Rose and Donna and Martha had no impact at all on his playboy spaceman existance. But to pretend that is to negate everything RTD told us about this complex being. And maybe the fanboys think they are all for that...but I know they are not. I know that it will seem hollow to them eventually...and they will find another show to watch.

The Doctor needs to stop being so cowardly...face that death is the loss he will have to deal with when giving his love to a human. And also face that humans are the species he loves. Yes, as we saw in Planet of the Dead...it is a little perverted...but they do LOOK Time Lord to him.

Rae


I always love reading your reviews and thoughts on DW and I'm not going to repeat everything adriana_is said because she voiced pretty much exactly how I feel. I just wanted to say that while I wasn't emotionally attached to Lady Christina it was sort of fun to see the Doctor and the Bionic Woman teamed up. ;)

Edited at 2009-04-13 04:48 am (UTC)

I really hope you're right. Even though I personally do not plan on watching after David leaves (though not for the very valid reasons you state... I simply loved DT too much to see someone else step into his place), I would give anything for RTD to actually wrap this up in a satisfying manner. Ten shouldn't end this way.

Many people do feel that way...about David

rabid1st

2009-04-13 01:41 pm (UTC)

But I think many people still watching felt strongly about CE, too. I love the character of the Doctor. I am not threatened by his love of Rose. I embraced it because it was new and astounding and it made the Doctor a more complete person on screen. I do not think it needs to be repeated with every companion, nor last forever, nor change the essential format of the show. What it needs...is to be completely honored. The love must have its own course...and RTD has purposefully kept the love on course to this moment. Regeneration will not change that. Only resolution changes that.

The Doctor's stand is that Rose is "lost to him." She found someone better. She kissed Ten 2 and is now happy without her Doctor. Knowing Rose, I doubt he is right about that. I doubt he HAS lost Rose...despite his being one of the biggest dumbo jerks in SciFi history...anymore than he LOST Donna. Both ladies are right where he left them (metaphorically).

Rae

Re: Many people do feel that way...about David

angely78

2009-04-13 01:54 pm (UTC)

I wish I could say I have no doubt that Matt Smith and Moffat will do this legacy justice, but I'm afraid I'd be lying. I'm a pessimist, unfortunately :-/ Though I do understand that many fans were crushed with the loss of CE and look how well that turned out, so.... remains to be seen.

I have no problems with the the Doctor being in love. What I have a problem with (and I'm pretty sure we're on the same side in this) is having that love brushed aside like it never happened. Do I want the Doctor to mope the rest of his lives because he does not have Rose? No. Would it make me angry if he came to terms with his decision and laid his feelings for Rose to rest--"got over it" as it were? No. That's part of life, letting things go. Except as you pointed out, he didn't let her go. He pushed her away deliberately. Twice. The fact that he thinks it's for her own good doesn't make it right. Now personally I'd like to think that Ten 2 is everything that Rose wanted in Ten and more, and she's deliriously happy in her parallel world. Ironically, his actions with Rose annoy me a lot less than his actions with Donna, because come on, TIME LORD. There had to be a better way.

Oh, we are definitely on the same page...

rabid1st

2009-04-13 02:25 pm (UTC)

...I did not believe RTD was going to have the Doctor let go of Rose as quickly as all of the fanboys (and in using this term I am not excluding fangrrls) expected he would. However, if RTD had chosen upon Rose's eventual return...to have the Doctor better able to go on without her...okay. He's had two years, which really would be more like two months in human terms...but we could say maybe he had a lot longer...on his own.

But that is NOT what RTD chose to do. RTD chose to have Ten still very much in love with Rose. He doesn't care that the universe is ending. She's coming back...and isn't that good? YEAH! And standing in the middle of a war devastated street...knowing Davros is back with an army of Daleks...Ten RUNS to his beloved. And he refuses to regenerate. The Doctor has NEVER been able to control a regeneration in any way, shape or form. But for ROSE...to see her again with the same eyes...he does control it.

And then...after all of that...he just shoves her off on a beach?

No...we need extenuating circumstances beyond..."He's me!" He's good enough for you, Rose, but he's no good for the universe. You babysit him and I'll take care of Donna and then we can all be miserable...won't that be jolly for everyone?

I cannot seriously imagine a scenario where Rose and Ten 2 are happy. I know I might be SUPPOSED to imagine it...but I can't...because I know Rose Tyler too well. She is stubborn. She would never accept that life. Even if she believed the Doctor had abandoned her...she would not then cling to his doppleganger...she would reject him. She might feel sorry for him...give him a job...encourage him to date. Now, there's a fic I could write.

And if Ten 2 was in love with her...he'd be miserable knowing that she was so unhappy and he was just a reminder of all she'd lost. But if he doesn't love her...then he's a man in exile and I feel so sorry for him. All of the Doctor's sense of adventure combined with Donna's hatred of her "nothing" life and he's stranded on Pete's World while someone else is living the life he can never have. SAD!

Rae


Re: Oh, we are definitely on the same page...

angely78

2009-04-13 02:34 pm (UTC)

Yes to all of the above. Even though we've only seen two incidents where the Doctor interacts with other people (read: potential companions) he shows clearly that he's still in mourning for both Rose and Donna. He hasn't forgotten, he's not anywhere near at peace with his decisions, and he's just... I keep thinking of Turn Left where he let himself drown. He let himself drown. It's clear enough to me that even though he thought he was doing right by both his favorite girls, he's not happy with it. And...come on, Uncle Rusty, can't he be happy for once?

I read an interesting fic once where Ten 2 actually ends up with Alt! Donna. It was remarkably well done, even for someone like me who could never see a romantic relationship between the two.

I actually think it far more likely...

rabid1st

2009-04-13 04:02 pm (UTC)

...Ten 2 would end up with Alt!Jack.

After all...both Donna and the Doctor found Jack attractive. The objection the Doctor had to dancing with Jack...wasn't any more or less than with any other companion. The problem is that the Doctor was in love with Rose. And falling in love like that is, for him, a very rare thing.

Actually, the Doctor mainly tried to put Jack off Rose by insinuating that Jack was only interested in sex and would take anyone that was breathing. That in itself tells us something about the Doctor's feelings toward Rose and toward Jack. He knew that Rose would not be interested in that sort of open ended relationship...or, to be more accurate, Nine HOPED Rose would not be interested in that.

His response to Jack taking an interest in Martha in Utopia was..."Now, don't start!" That wasn't indicative of any sort of interest in Martha or Jack...it was annoyance with Jack's flirtatous behavior. Ten is far less patient than Nine. And this is the thing about regenerations...and Ten 2...that people miss.

But having Ten 2 fall in love with Donna is also possible. Because he's not really completely the same Doctor that loves Rose Tyler. The Doctor is always the same Doctor after regeneration...same man, different face...well...different everything. But the vital thing is...different TASTES. He bickers with his previous selves precisely because THEY wouldn't handle things the same way HE would. They miss things he sees. He still have the same memories, same thought processes, same name...same soul...but things LOOK different with different eyes. Haven't seen it, yet, not with these eyes.

To me, this is the vital point...Ten can't bear to see Rose through different eyes...because THOSE eyes adore her. They see her as the most amazing, glorious, completely lovable being in the universe. Nine saw that too...just at the end...he was amazed by her as well. But no man in love would be willing to risk losing that ability to see his beloved. And, indeed, Ten isn't willing to risk it. Instead, he sends the next Doctor off into a handy spare hand. Which, sadly, grows into a man...with a little help from Donna...a man with eyes that look first to Sarah Jane after some triumph. Watching JE...that's what struck me most...Ten 2 turns away from Rose for his celebratory hug. Ten turns toward her.

Rae

Re: I actually think it far more likely...

angely78

2009-04-13 04:28 pm (UTC)

"Rose, honey, I'm gay".

yep, I could see that. I think he could be quite content with Jack.

People tend to look at the regenerations at a very superficial level, I think, even though there is plenty of proof that personalities, likes, dislikes, and social skills (or lack thereof) do change (Six is the most extreme example I can think of...what a switch from Five!). It's one of those things most viewers have trouble wrapping their brains around---alien, yeah?

Rose and Ten are a unit, have been a unit since the moment he regenerated; he did it FOR her, after all. Its one reason why I avoid anything online that pairs Eleven and Rose (in whatever way). Because he's not Her Doctor anymore. He's The Doctor still, but not hers.

and whoa, I have got to go back through JE and watch the Hug scene again. Of course, there was a lot of stuff about JE that annoyed me, not the least of which being no Rose/Jack reunion scene. But I'm picky.

I just wrote this all up again as a post...

rabid1st

2009-04-13 04:37 pm (UTC)

...because it needs saying...but I'll tell you a secret here. In Like Gum on Your Shoe...I have Ten 2 in love with Alt!Jack. The Doctor, and indeed the reader at this point, is assuming something that is not all together true: that Ten 2 raped Rose and is some kind of monster. He is actually a terribly tragic figure...and in love with Alt!Jack...as will become apparent...if I ever am able to write again. SIGH!

Rae

Re: I just wrote this all up again as a post...

angely78

2009-04-13 04:42 pm (UTC)

Oooooo.... well that certainly puts a different spin on things. Stupid writer's block, eh?

quite alright. You've just got me on the edge of my seat :)

All that 'coming through the dark' guff made me think is *Oh fuck, they had better not be bringing the master back, can't anyone on that team create an ORIGINAL VILLAIN*

(Deleted comment)
Of course...THAT is a spoiler if it is not a rumor. And we want to be very careful on this journal about unaired spoilers.

Please avoid anything you've seen twittering or in set photos unless I've already posted about seeing them.

Rae

I'll admit it, I really enjoyed POTD as a Bank Holiday special, but I think it motored along on DT's enormous energy and pleasure to be back. That's why it succeeded where, for me, Next Doctor failed - he was knackered then and it showed.

Having said all that, I think the Special format does make very different demands and certainly the Doctor's emotional state isn't sustainable long-term. I think the last few minutes showed that, because the Doctor I love would have been unable to resist the temptation to cure Lady Thing of her unfortunate habit of stealing things. They had to treat very carefully there - it was just too cruel to have her arrested and led away but you can't condone stealing.

The next stories will bring us back to the character development arc, I'm pretty confident. It's too big a story to progress in a single episode. One very interesting scenario would be if it turns out that the Time Lords are still out there and they offer the Doctor a return to the fold, on the grounds that he's finally learned his lesson and become detached and unable to relate to anybody. I wonder if that's really how he wants to be regarded?

As for the "lose them all" line - I was rolling my eyes at that point and only DT's prettiness kept me watching. When I watch TV, the last thing I need is a dysfunctional male justifying himself with self-pity and puppy-dog eyes.

One very interesting scenario would be if it turns out that the Time Lords are still out there and they offer the Doctor a return to the fold, on the grounds that he's finally learned his lesson and become detached and unable to relate to anybody. I wonder if that's really how he wants to be regarded?

For the longest time in S3, I thought that was how it would end. That the Time Lords would come back and the Doctor would choose to go to Rose for a lifetime rather than rejoin the fold. It could still go that way...I mean...Ten 2 could just as easily decide to break the time lock and pop Gallifrey out of existence the way Davros was popped out. Take it into Pete's World and then pop it back home. Easy Peasy. And Ten 2 has Rose's Bad Wolf knowledge to help him along with the task...she, too, has seen all of time and space.

As for the "lose them all" line - I was rolling my eyes at that point and only DT's prettiness kept me watching. When I watch TV, the last thing I need is a dysfunctional male justifying himself with self-pity and puppy-dog eyes.

He is pretty, isn't he? Tha's what got me through the episode. I enjoyed him bounding about like he does. But yes, there was no way to shake off Christina easily...letting her go to prison. I'm glad he helped her escape...but I didn't like how long that escape went on...after the dysfunctional part...still...it was okay.

Rae