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cheesygirl
rabid1st

"We never did a bad episode?" RTD says about DW.

Is he right about that? What say you all?

Let's weigh in on our least favorite and most favorite episodes.

Do, please, if you can, explain your answers.



The worst episode in my opinion is The Last of the Time Lords. It feels rushed, there's not enough Doctor and there really are no consequences for anything. The set-up was grand...I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed Utopia and The Sound of Drums. For a couple of hours there...I thought we might have a good Master story at long last. But there was no delivery on anything. And, as I had predicted, the Master was a lot of noise but no substance in the end. That's pretty much how all of his stories went in Old School Who, too. He's a non-starter, a braggart and he's always defeated rather easily in the end. Not worth weeping over in my opinion.

Second place goes to Planet of the Dead...relatively pointless and not as much fun as it pretended to be...it was rather like a family holiday to Dubai, during a sandstorm...and don't even get me started on the magical thinking in that one. But, it isn't completely unwatchable. DT makes a good point about it being a nice introduction to the Doctor, as long as you are willing to hold all of your questions and just pick up on the new concepts. I have episodes I do not like for some reason or other...JE for the ending...Girl in the Fireplace for what I considered amazing misunderstanding of character development at that point. But, I think I only found Last of the Time Lords to be unwatchable.

My favorite episode...? Oh...that is much tougher! I think overall...it is Father's Day. I like the Doctor/Rose relationship there and I enjoyed the monsters and while the fix was easy...the show allowed a full range of emotions to play out so that we came to truly appreciate Pete Tyler. Second place is Fear Her. It warms my shipper heart and makes a great case for the companion being a vital part of the team. I also like Turn Left and The Doctor Dances.

Okay...how about you guys? Was there a bad episode? What did you feel was the worst episode?


The Dalek episodes with Martha, in New York City, are awful. Badly written, horrific New York accents, and just BORING.

"Gridlock" is also awful. Out of character for both the Doctor and (if LotTL was being truthful and not just messing with our heads) the Face of Boe, full of stupid skiency mistakes that should have been simple to fix, and with plot holes you could drive a Mack truck through. For example, what happened to the Macra the Doctor left in the lower city's motorways? How can the fuel be ever-renewing if it belches out half its mass in exhaust? Could the Face of Boe and a nun honestly be expected to live for twenty years in a room full of rotting corpses and do nothing about it? (I mean, she could've maybe put the bodies into another room, stacked with some dignity, rather than just leaving them sprawled at their desks to rot.) And would the Doctor have honestly never said a word about them just leaving the bodies there? Would the song "The Old Rugged Cross" still be in existence 5 billion and 23 years in the future? And if it did, would it still be so identical to the one written in the 19th century that Martha could sing along with it?

Personally, I can't watch Father's Day, but that's my issue--has to do with having lost my father when I was a toddler, and me putting myself in Rose's shoes.

I think the best episodes are "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" and "Human Nature"/"Family of Blood", with "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" and "Turn Left" coming close third and fourth.

I am beginning to think

rabid1st

2009-08-03 06:06 am (UTC)

...I did myself a huge favor by not watching Daleks in Manhattan. The main reason I didn't watch it was because of Gridlock. I didn't have the issues you have with it...though I certainly agree about them. I just was so over Martha by that time that I needed a break. And, also, Daleks AGAIN? I mean...it was rather like what just happened in CoE...when we are expected to forget that we just has the definitive Dalek episode with Doomsday.

In CoE we are expected to forget that we just watched two of the Torchwood team die in the very last episode to air. Therefore...we KNOW that they die...what we don't know is what the hell GOOD they are. Sadly, that is a question CoE doesn't bother to answer. Sorry, minor rant there...not everyone agrees with me on CoE, I know.

Anyway, yeah, there are lots of things I don't like about Gridlock. I never do is look too closely at the science of Doctor Who...things like...who cleans up afterward...or...how could we even get into a mess like this? I will say though that those bodies were just a little too much. RTD going for the emotional hit rather than logic again.

For me, the Face of Boe loses some of is magic when he becomes Jack. Because what was so grand about him was that he was like the Doctor and the last of his kind. Up until that joke in LotL you felt like there had been BOE-KIND. He even mentions them at one point...that he has stayed behind when they left and can die only when one like him arrives to take his place. I had hoped that both Boe and the Doctor were alike...guardians for the younger species in the universe. But instead...we have this idea of Jack tranformed and two lonely, suffering gods who do dark and dreadful things.

I know we have talked before about our mutual, but differing reactions to Father's Day. I having had the same loss of my father as a baby and also relating to Rose's pain, find deeper meaning in it. Which could well be why I put it ahead of TIP/TSP because I do adore those two.

Rae

Re: I am beginning to think

soophelia

2009-08-03 08:59 pm (UTC)

I agree with you also about the Face of Boe. I'm hoping that Jack really isn't the Face of Boe because in the end, Jack who loves life, people, other life forms, ends up in a jar all alone. It's quite bleak.

Daleks in Manhatten was horrible. So was the Pompeii episode and I don't care what anyone says, the Riversong episodes were so poorly thought out. Moffat needs to work out his plot hole issues. Partners in Crime was kind of campy and Gridlock, I agree was just bad. Although, if you believe the Jack theory about Boe, you're left relieved that he finally dies and I did like the kitties.

I loved the Satan Pit and in the two parter when we first see Jack, is also when we first see the Doctor get jealous. Midnight was very Hitchcock. One of RTD's better eppies and Bad Wolf, Parting of the Ways, Turn Left, and School Reunion.

Oh and the Last of the Time Lord three parter was the best.

Well obviously nothing beats SitL/FotD for BAD episodes for me, those fail on virtually every level from concept right through end product there is no redeeming factor as far as I'm concerned except maybe how totally not into it DT seamed half the time.

I can understand RTD willing to stand by GitF no matter how much I dislike it and I don't think even he really *cares* about it. It wasn't really bad, but it will always make my list of least favorite episodes.

There are several less that stellar episodes in s3 though. Trying to reason through the logic of Gridlock just makes me head hurt so I would say that yeah RTD, that kind of was a bad episode. I find 42 boring the way most people complain about DiM/EotD (which I see the problems with but still kind of like). And I agree with you on the lack of payoff in LotTL, the plot going on in those three episodes could have covered half a season easily and really needed to be given for time so as to make sense. It's a huge let down, both in terms of the arc of those episodes and the Doctor's characterization all season, but I'm not sure I think it's *bad* per-se.

I'm reserving judgment on the specials so far because so far I've been kind of bored by them, but I think (hope) they'll work together better than they do as standalone stories.

Favorites: Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, and Turn Left make up most of my top tier episodes, but that does tend to vary with mood. Yes they're the obvious choices, but there's a reason they are.

I have to agree that DT seemed completely detached from everything in SitL/FotD...and I wonder if that was because of the insistence that River was the Doctor's "wife" or only because DT was playing it as completely divorced from any relationship with her. The chemistry was definitely very forced...which made River seem unsavory to me.

I, too, can understand RTD standing by GitF...because...it does work in the arc if you look upon what is happening with Rose and Ten. Rose is given a broader look at what sort of women the Doctor has had, can have...if we are to assume he has women. I would note that we only see sexuality presented in Moffat episodes. RTD is more about romantic love in his episodes. But...if we take School Reunion and "the ex" of Sarah Jane...and then GitF with the fascinating possibilites of a new woman...add in Rose's still clinging to Mickey (which the Doctor is NOT happy about in School Reunion)...then GitF isn't as jarring as lots of people make it out to be. But...it also sort of fails for me because it strays too far out of character...making the Doctor too much of a Lothario and Rose too much of a child for that stage of their development.

I can't argue at all with your favorites...as they are some of mine as well. Few people liked Fear Her...but it is the episode I've watched the most...however, I will say Impossible Planet is next...even though I said Father's Day was the best. To me, Father's Day was the most suprising and delightful episode and it kept on satisfying everytime I rewatched it...which is why I gave it the highest mark.

Rae

GitF...needed a bit more work, or to be written by someone other than Moffat for the relationship dynamics to work. Because in a lot of ways I can't argue terribly with anything that happens but...it all feels really glossed over. A lot of it (because of the Moffat-ism) come from the fact that Rose's characterization isn't given much thought, she's just there for back up and yeah, and the Doctor...while not *out* of character is not exactly in character either.

I would note that we only see sexuality presented in Moffat episodes. RTD is more about romantic love in his episodes

That's a great way of putting it, which does a lot to explain why to me most of my favorite D/R moments come in RTD episodes (not all but to me WW3 is more romantic and therefore more important than TDD, ymmv).

I love Fear Her and it has a pretty steady place on the second tier of favorite episodes (unless I'm just ranking ones that make me happy, and then for obvious reasons, it's pretty damn close to number 1). FD waffles between tier 1 and tier 2, because it is an awesome episode, I can just never commit to whether I love it as much as the ones I listed.

Tough question! I'll pick a favourite and worst episode per season.

Season One
Best: Boom Town. It had Old School charm in the sense the scale of the budget had no bearing on the scale of a good story. We learn a lot about all the characters as they face an execution over supper. Though perhaps Jack was relegated to 'soldier and tech support' he has evolved from his lone agent ways, and the location will be his future home.

Worst: To be honest, I can't think of one! These were the days RTD had planned in advance so everything linked and had nice weighting.


Season Two
Best: The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit. In terms of meta, it was the last to be filmed and lead chemistry was at its peak. In terms of my interests, it was Doctor Who meets Call of Cthulhu. It wasn't afraid to tackle big themes and simultaneously focused on individual people, their desires and fears and ... beliefs. That was epic. Just a pity the football world cup was on so it didn't get the ratings it deserved.

Worst: The Girl in the Fireplace. If it was just an episode on its own, it would be better. But it's placement in the season jars terribly with character development and who I understand the Doctor to be.


Season Three
Best: Runaway Bride. Donna has more character development in one episode than Martha does in a whole season! It had a lot to live up to following Doomsday and it didn't disappoint me. It honours the previous episodes, satisfies it's own narrative, whilst setting up a season in advance.

Worst: Spoilt for choice! But I agree, Last of the Time Lords. It was an unsatisfying quick fix, wasting a good set up.


Season Four
Best: Fires of Pompeii and Turn Left. Donna proves she will be with the Doctor, even if it means dying. In the former it's not being allowed to rewrite the history books but changing one line, and in the latter everything changes in order to keep the history books. (Also, you know, episode I found filming for.)

Worst: Forest of the Dead. Patronising to the audience, because I'd figured out everything long before the Doctor. I didn't like having the chemistry of River Song forced upon me (though I'm grateful Tennant seemed bored by it). I can't accept that the enemy would choose to die slowly by starvation, and that River Song would accept her enforced maternal role when she knew it was a false reality.

Lisa

Going by season is much easier than picking even one or two good and bad episodes.

That said, though...yes...given more leeway I would have to put Forest of the Dead into the running...definitely the clunker of that season. Turn Left and Partners in Crime would be my favorites. It is odd I don't hate JE...what with the totally lame plans of the companions, no follow through again...and then the hideous final acts. But there are good points in JE...clever things that work.

I also must say that I never really watched all of S3...and Daleks in Manhattan is one I skipped...so perhaps I should count it as the worst...simply because I couldn't be bothered watching more than ten minutes of it.

As for The Satan Pit/Impossible Planet...yes, I do completely adore that whole arc...and it was very well done...but I felt S1 and S2 spoil me for choice of best episode. Love & Monsters has to come in there as worst for me...but I think that is a little unfair on my part...because it just didn't qualify as a Doctor Who episode for me. Oddly enough the other Doctor Lite episodes DID qualify. Blink is one of my favorite episodes.

Did we have a Doctor lite episode in S1? It is very hard to pick a bad episode there. I wasn't a huge fan of Bad Wolf though...but if I count it with Parting of the Ways...it was RTD's best season finale. The only one that was really part of a satisfying season arc.

I would have to say in S3...Utopia is my favorite episode. Martha really ruins a lot of otherwise okay episodes for me...like Human Nature. I was so over her whining by that time that she didn't provide enough balance for me to the rest of the episode. And then, Last of the Time Lords...and muppet Doctor...and Jeebus Doctor...and Martha STILL...STILL a whiny child to the very end. And the weeping scene everyone finds so very moving and I find...melodramatic. I much prefer the single tear of Doomsday and his face in his hands. It's not that I don't see the poignancy of losing his last link to his people again...but...well...it WAS the Master, you know? We all knew he would be back later...and he's not the sort you weep over openly anyway...because he is going to say, "I win!" <<--which I must say was the good part about the episode...they didn't change the Master too much. But the Doctor was very out of character for most of it.

Rae

I make the rules suit me ;-)

nightbeast

2009-08-02 04:22 pm (UTC)

Did we have a Doctor lite episode in S1?

No, we didn't. The lead actors are contracted for 13 episodes a year, because they weren't expecting it to last beyond the initial season! But, they have the Christmas episodes which takes the tally to 14 a year. Eccleston only filmed 13, so he didn't have an episode 'off' in his run.

Love & Monsters has to come in there as worst for me

I have a soft spot for it because I studied the meta for oh_she_knows.

Re: I make the rules suit me ;-)

rabid1st

2009-08-02 07:10 pm (UTC)

A lot of what you notice about L&M is what makes me keep it off of my bad episode list...well...that and I hate to be mean to it just because it cost me one more hour with my OTP. :->

I do absolutely love that the romantic intensity that we see carrying through from Impossible Planet to Doomsday...the mirroring of one another...Rose's influence and her importance in decision making are all on display in that little sliver of time. And, like you, I wasn't lost to the fact that Jackie cares about the Doctor. Again...we see this carry through to where she kisses him as they come home. I don't see her really minding him as son-in-law so much by this time...but only upset that she never sees Rose and that Rose could be hurt. And THAT is something that the Doctor also worries about.

And you don't mention it...but the scene in the Sontaran episodes where the Doctor talks Donna in to risking her life. That isn't something we would see with Rose. With Rose he would be worried about her risking her life. The argument would be Rose asking him how to stop it all...and him telling her to stay in the TARDIS and her telling him..."I'm out in the corridor...what now?"

This is what made me really admire RTD's work so very much. He was so consistent with his storylines...S1 and S2...you really felt the impact of Doomsday...because you really believed the Doctor had found his perfect companion in Rose. Even the basic idea behind S3 with the Doctor growing darker and mourning Rose's loss...works...but is marred by the concept of Martha and the limitations of Freema's acting...and some of the scripts.

But I had hoped, with Rose's promised return in S4 and Donna as a sustainable companion model for the future...that we would have a really insightful view of what it is truly like to be "the last of your kind." And I do hope that RTD is going to deliver that...at Christmas 2009. Because THAT would, for me, repair much of what was wrong with Last of the Time Lords and make me believe RTD has the ability to drag all the pieces together...even if he wasn't planning for a finish all along.

Rae
hoping we get our pony...not just for the sake of the pony...but for the Doctor and for the way it would connect a greater theme through all of RTD's work. As you say in your META...the Chav & the Time Lord...making something hopeful out of what seems like an impossible situation. That's what Doctor Who should be about at the core.

(Deleted comment)

No need to apologize for hugeness

rabid1st

2009-08-03 05:12 pm (UTC)

This is a very insightful post. As I told Nightbeast, below, I wish I'd thought of going season to season.

Season 1...I totally agree with you, Parting of the Ways is a jewel of an episode. It is the ray of hope for all of us who dream of a finale pony at this point. Because we know that it was the way RTD intended to end his love story if he never had another season. And it was beautiful and uplifting and magnificent. As you say, we truly saw that the Doctor loved Rose and she loved him and would do the impossible for him, too.

And while I picked Father's Day as my all time fave...I can see going with The Doctor Dances or Parting of the Ways as viable alternatives.

Season 2...I would have to stay with Fear Her as my favorite here...but I also love The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit pairing because there was a really deep connection between Rose and Ten (this is where many of us believe the sexual relationship began) and, as you say, Rose and Ten are both awesome in it. Also, it is very scary. I must say I am not a huge fan of New Earth...simply because of the lack of Rose during most of it. Again, that kiss is not what I hope for...I want a REAL, everyone present and accounted for KISS. Though the opening and ending intimacy of their interactions definitely go a long way toward making up for the lack of Rose in most of the episode.

Season 3...Well, from what everyone else says I might have missed the worst episode ever when I failed to finish Daleks in Manhattan. I actually have only watched bits of it and whatever the other part was called. I was too upset by Gridlock...not that I consider it bad for some of the obvious lack of logic reasons...I just didn't like Martha, at all. Like you, I just don't think Freema had the acting chops to pull off being such a clinging and needy character and also being kick ass. She really did bug the bejeebers out of me with her whining and those two expressions...huge smile and pouty frown for every emo moment.

Series 4...I feel was a great season in many respects...I loved the Sontaran episodes...even though we have Martha back. I enjoyed Pompeii and the Ood and Partners in Crime was a hoot. I didn't mind the total lack of logic in The Stolen Earth. And Turn Left is one of the best episodes ever, even being Doctor-lite. Shows what having the REAL cast can do for an episode. Hopefully, they will use that method in the future to give first the companion and then the Doctor a break.

I hate the last twenty minutes of Journey's End but up until they head for Bad Wolf Bay...I could handle it all. Sure, it was uber-corny to have the Earth towed home. But I loved that family feel of everyone in the TARDIS and it working as it should. I liked that they tied in to the idea of it needing more people than just him to run it. And I liked that for a moment there was that sense of the Doctor and humanity united that I had hoped the series would be all about. But then...it all crumbles to dust and Rose is hurt (again) and Donna is stripped of her awesome sauce...and yes, Davros is rather pointless if the Doctor loves him and wants him to live. And Jack and Rose never have their moment outside the TARDIS...I mean...we have to skip that so that she can be put back in her bottle-world? Yes, cramming everyone in...is fine...if you tell your story completely and with satisfaction.

Sadly, I am afraid RTD is going to use his extra hour this coming Christmas to just cram in more stuff again. If only he would think about what works for the story...a little bit longer than he does.

Rae


I'll have to see if I can get the cat to leave me alone long enough to type this!

Very hard to choose! A bad episode...I guess it depends on your definition of "bad" - is it the plot? The writing? How it fits into the season/show? Production value? Poor acting?

I think I might actually have to agree with RTD and say that there is no purely "bad" episode. There are better and worse episodes, definitely, but they all have something redeemable about them (even if just a small something! LOL) and even the best episodes we manage to pick apart, so there's obviously things we're not entirely satisfied with!

But...okay... Worst episode? I have kind of a hate-on for (almost) all of Season 3 (sorry Martha fans, I don't like how she was written and I don't think Freema is a good actor), so it's a toss-up between LotTL and the Daleks Take Manhattan episodes. Both had great visuals and some fine acting moments by DT, but...the Daleks were boring and I hated every second of Martha in LoTL, as well as the "Tinkerbell" ending. Also on my crap list: Love & Monsters, SitL/FotD, and PotD. GiF I didn't hate as much as other folks, I guess. I think it was wildly inappropriately placed in the season (would have been perfect as episode 2 or 3), but it was a decent episode, despite some huge flaws.

Best episodes...much harder to choose since there are some really, really fabulous ones. I think TIP/TSP are still my all-time favorites. The chemistry between DT and BP is sizzling, the Doctor and Rose are obviously bound to each other (as they say, this is the episode when you're sure there's been shaggin' in the TARDIS! LOL), lovely acting, great visuals (though I've always been bugged by the weird stretchy look of the black hole-through-the-ceiling shots), fabu dialog...I just love it all. Other faves: Father's Day, PotW, PiC, Midnight, Turn Left, Doomsday (even though it rips out my heart every time I watch it!).

Edited at 2009-08-02 05:47 pm (UTC)

I have to say...that's what I based

rabid1st

2009-08-02 06:45 pm (UTC)

My choice of LotL on...was all things together. I figured GitF had some great moments...and as both said...it was really that is jarring where it is. There's still some great writing there. I didn't see Daleks in Manhattan...so I may well have put it on the list if I had. And I really didn't dislike Silence in the Library the way everyone else seems to dislike it. I thought it was, again, misplaced and this time DT couldn't work up any enthusiasm for his out of character behavior. But I did think a lot of the production values and the twisting storyline was good. Again, it is sort of like what you were saying about GitF...if only it wasn't a Doctor Who episode I would have liked it.

I am happy to see all of the love for Impossible Planet...the one thing I think it has going for it over my choices is that it is FAR scarier and more intense. Midnight is also great. And I completely agree that Doomsday was magnificent, despite the pain of it all.

Rae

Picking the best episodes is easy: “Father’s Day,” “The Parting of the Ways,” and “Turn Left” aren’t just my favorite episodes of Doctor Who, they’re some of the best episodes of television I’ve ever seen.

“Father’s Day” shows us the dark side of Rose’s strengths—the recklessness and stubbornness that go hand in hand with her courage and self-confidence. It shows her that sometimes you can’t save everyone. And it shows us that people don’t have to be perfect to be heroes.

“Turn Left” does exactly what alternate history is supposed to do—it shows us the effects of a single change in the timeline. And it’s one of the only episodes in the Tenth Doctor’s arc that’s clearly and unmistakably about the importance of ordinary people, which was one of my favorite themes in season one.

(When it comes to “The Parting of the Ways,” I’ll just point you to Jacob Clifton’s recap and rynne’s review.)

Picking the worst episodes is harder, if only because there are so many bad ones to choose from. But I think my least favorite are “New Earth,” “The Stolen Earth,” and “Journey’s End.”

The problems I have with season two have more to do with the season as a whole than they do with any single episode. But I think that even if I’d liked the season as a whole, I’d still hate “New Earth.” First, because I hate stories about being possessed (especially when they’re played for laughs) as much as some fans hate stories about “magic love what came out of nowhere” (e.g., “The Girl in the Fireplace,” “Silence in the Library”). Second, because RTD apparently thought that the best way to introduce the Tenth Doctor was to replace Rose. And third, because this episode marks the beginning of the Lonely God arc.

The only episode I hate anywhere near as much as “New Earth” is “The Stolen Earth.” First, because Rose spent the entire episode literally sitting on the sidelines. Second, because RTD apparently hadn’t given any thought to what she’d been doing since “Journey’s End.” (Just as an example, we still don’t know why neither she nor Jack seemed surprised to see each other.) And third, because he’d so clearly dropped the Bad Wolf storyline that he couldn’t even remember what the phrase “Bad Wolf” originally meant. (It wasn’t a warning in season one.)

And I don’t think I need to explain why I hated “Journey’s End.”

...I picked Father's Day and Turn Left. I believe they are not only great episodes of Doctor Who...I think they are great episodes of television. They are self-contained and well-acted and tell a spooky, yet interesting story.

While I do not hate New Earth...I don't like the possession part of it. I do not consider that kiss to be a Doctor/Rose kiss. We have actually not had a Doctor/Rose kiss, yet. This is what really set my teeth on edge about Journey's End. She kisses him. And he's not really HER Doctor. He may be A Doctor...he may be THE Doctor...The NEXT Doctor...but he's not Rose's Doctor. We did come closest to a real kiss in Parting of the Ways...but Rose wasn't in her right mind and doesn't remember it. Though she must have been happy enough to kiss him, or he wouldn't have been able to get near her. And she does remember the kiss from New Earth. Which to me...is what the Journey's End kiss was all about...Rose trying to see if 10.5 was her Doctor. Sort of like that song...if you want to know if he loves you so...it's in his kiss.

I want that kiss from the confidential. But more than that...I want him to kiss her. Because DT is quite right...so far...we haven't really seen the Doctor kiss anyone. People kiss him. And Rose in JE was no exception...and 10.5 was not moved any more than 10 was moved when Reinette kissed him in GitF. 10.5 does have his arms around her waist...as she pulls away...but all of that heat in the confidential...was lost in the edit. And that just strikes me as completely wrong...because WHY would you want people to feel Rose is unhappy with 10.5? If that was your end story? I don't know.

Re: See? That's why...

mls03j

2009-08-03 11:59 pm (UTC)

I do not consider that kiss to be a Doctor/Rose kiss.

Actually, I dislike the “Lonely God” scene (and the “If you want to take it to a higher authority, then there isn’t one” scene, and the “I’m the Doctor and I cured them” scene) more than the Doctor/Cassandra kiss.

(Though if I had to pick my least favorite scene in the episode, it would probably be the elevator scene. The first episode in season one asked us to identify with Rose. The first episode in season two asked us to laugh at her. Pfft.)

We did come closest to a real kiss in Parting of the Ways… but Rose wasn’t in her right mind and doesn’t remember it.

See, I thought the kiss in “The Parting of the Ways” was incredibly romantic. The Doctor loved Rose enough that he was willing to sacrifice his current incarnation for her, and she trusted him enough that she was willing to sacrifice phenomenal cosmic power for him. (Plus, it was visually coded as romantic, which I don’t think was true for the Doctor/Cassandra kiss.)

And she does remember the kiss from New Earth.

Do we know that? I don’t remember them ever talking about it. (The sheer number of things they weren’t talking about is one of my biggest problems with season two.) I’d be more likely to believe that she remembers the kiss from “The Parting of the Ways,” since we know she remembers at least some of what happened on the Game Station.

I want that kiss from the confidential.

I didn’t watch the “Journey’s End” Confidential, though I’ve seen more screencaps of it than I’d really prefer. But I want a kiss that’s at least as romantic as the one in “The Parting of the Ways.” And for that, I think you’re right. He has to be the one to kiss her. He has to take the initiative, just like he has to take the initiative in going back to Pete’s World.

WHY would you want people to feel Rose is unhappy with 10.5?

Because RTD is allergic to happy endings? I wish I knew.

I agree with the consensus on favorites - Fathers Day, The Doctor Dances, Impossible Planet/Satan Pit, Parting of the Ways, etc.

I think the worst regular season episode was Daleks in Manhattan. I had to rewatch it when I got a friend of mine into New Who, and I hated it even more the second time around. There is only one redeeming thing about that ep IMO, which is that it allowed some Monty Python fans to make this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v0gDGsy5i4.

Also, Voyage of the Damned didn't sit well with me. Aside from the whole Astrid storyline and the ham-handed attempts at teaching us morals, I really really dislike the whole The-Doctor-as-a-Christ-figure thing they had going on there at the end.

I think that is a large part...

rabid1st

2009-08-03 01:21 am (UTC)

...of what bothered me about Voyage of the Damned as well. The Doctor-as-Christ business also happened in Last of the Time Lords. And again, we are down to what may be a difference in philosophy between RTD and I. I would like the Doctor to become mentor to the human race. I would like him to be that bridge figure LIKE the Face of Boe (assuming Boe is not Jack here)...who stays after his species has gone on...so that the NEXT dominate species has a guide.

Intrinsic to this is an attitude of respect for humanities possiblities that I felt very strongly in S1 and S2 but that we have lost completely as of S4. At the end of S4...we have had the humans reduced to the role of children to the Doctor's god figure. And words cannot express how much I want his god figure to be "The False God" that Bad Wolf Rose is speaking of in Parting of the Ways. It would be so very easy for me...to wrap up the RTD years with a message of hope for all...by putting the brakes on the Doctor as our god-figure.

But it seems to me that RTD, Moffat and a host of geek boys everywhere enjoy the idea of having a god rather than a guide. They want us to believe that the Doctor is the one who can make life and death decisions, it seems. But at the same time...we have Harriet Jones and Mr. Copper and Bad Wolf Rose...all warning us that it is bloody dangerous for the Doctor to make these decisions. And there...in Utopia...the Doctor even says that if a Time Lord had unchecked power...he would become a vengeful god.

If only that is what RTD is going to tell us in these last few episodes...that the Doctor is becoming a vengeful god. And if only...to check him...they allow him to step down from his high perch above humanity and join with humanity to protect the universe. That is all that it would take to salvage what is looking like a trainwreck to me at this point. All we need to show in these last 3 episodes is that an unchecked, god-like Doctor...will be bad for the universe. And that it is humanities time to take the universal stage and begin the Time Lord work.

Everything RTD has written so far...says just that in theme and subtext...except...for his conclusions in some places. Specifically the conclusion that we now face that if the Doctor says you should lead a certain life...then that's the life you lead. Amen! I think he has gone too far...and I think he should be checked sharply...and find that he must rely on the humans...NOT his returning fellow Time Lords.

Rae

Re: I think that is a large part...

hazelwho

2009-08-03 02:47 am (UTC)

Yes, there was actually quite a bit of that in LotT - the big I forgive you line, Martha walking the earth telling the story of one man who showed people a better way to live, the power of psychic network-enhanced prayer. Actually, ugh, just realized, Archangel Network - isn't an archangel supposed to blow a trumpet or something to kick off the Second Coming? I so hadn't made that connection before. That's even worse than I had thought it was. And what do we get in the very next Christmas special? The Doctor, bathed in light, floating in a crucifix position at the end of VotD.

I agree with you about Humanity's Potential being the bigger theme early on before being taken over by the Doctor as Christ. I'll even take it a step further and say that stuff started with Ten. Nine says in the first episode, I couldn't save your world, I couldn't save any of them. Second episode - he overrules everyone else to allow the Gelth in, but it was the wrong choice and Gwenyth died because of it. Rose chose to change history and help her dad, bad things happened, and not even the Doctor can save him. Blon was regressed to an egg instead of forcing the Doctor to take her life (or, at least, put her in a situation that would lead to certain death). And he couldn't use the delta wave, even knowing what was coming.

Nine's theme was "inspiring ordinary people to be better". Ten's first act is to ruin Harriet Jones. New Earth - if you're looking for a higher authority, there isn't one. GitF - lonely angel. Doomsday - making choices for people because he knows best. And after that, we get more high-handed decisions, the whole vengeful god thing, special powers like opening doors with a click of his fingers, The Children of Time, and Donna's ending.

I had thought some of the lonely angel/vengeful god/highest authority stuff was a run-up to a Valeyard storyline, but now I'm wondering if that's not just how RTD sees the Doctor. I certainly hope that's not the case, because that's not my Doctor. My Doctor isn't the supreme high being in existence, he's just some guy from Gallifrey. In fact, he's kind of a screw-up who stole his TARDIS, skipped out on his governmental duties, and has an un-Time Lord-ly sense of adventure.

I certainly hope that the last three episodes will play out like you suggest, with the Doctor checked and restored to his previous place in the universe. But I am afraid that this return-of-the-Time-Lords idea doesn't really lend itself to a story arc where the Doctor is humbled. Even though I think "seek God in yourselves and each other" is a better message, I can't but think they meant to be uplifting to see the Doctor like that in VotD. And I can't imagine they'd throw so much Christ-imagery in the Christmas special from two years ago as a set up for this year's Christmas special tearing that down.

Ohhh...Hugs You Tight!

rabid1st

2009-08-03 02:59 am (UTC)

This is MY Doctor, too!

My Doctor isn't the supreme high being in existence, he's just some guy from Gallifrey. In fact, he's kind of a screw-up who stole his TARDIS, skipped out on his governmental duties, and has an un-Time Lord-ly sense of adventure.

And I wsa so certain we were heading for the Valeyard storyline in S3...and then it turned out to be the Master...but still...even with some recovery in S4...JE just screams Valeyard at me. And I would so like these final episodes to be a real lesson about playing god...an humbling lesson for Ten. But, yes, I am afraid that RTD has fallen in love with his false god...and firmly believes that the Doctor should be making decisions for everyone...because...well...he's the Doctor.

And yes...it does seem like a stretch to wait this long to dismantle the god-figure...when River, a Mary Magdeline style worshiper is already lined up to continue the ickiness. The only thing I will say...is that there are always warnings against the god-image. Like in VotD...Mr. Copper says, "If you could decide who lives and who dies you would be a monster." Just as the Doctor is childishly raging, "I can do anything!" I found that juxtaposition chilling. Then we have Harriet Jones reintroduced to say that the Doctor is wrong...still...in her opinion. And we have Davros calling the Doctor "The Destroyer of Worlds"...of course...we don't listen to any of these people. But they are there...throughout. Even Joan...in Human Nature views the Doctor as something of a monster...and he definitely acts like one there.

One thing...upto this point in the story...Rose and Jack have been on the Doctor's side...but I don't think either of them would realistically support his choices in JE. So...it is possible we could have Ten meet himself and do a reversal of the god complex. And making him human...and mortal...would be a just punishment in a way...for that...I wonder if there is a way to transfer him to the 10.5 body...and leave his Gallifreyan body suspended until he ages and dies in Pete's World. A way to rejoin him into a whole...in other words...but first he goes into the human body...then back into his own.

Still...more than likely...RTD just wants him to be a god figure...and for all of us to stop questioning the moral implications of all of this. :grin:

Rae
hoping for humility, but expecting heroic sacrifice and maudlin speeches.


Re: Ohhh...Hugs You Tight!

hazelwho

2009-08-03 03:24 am (UTC)

*hugs back*
The really sad thing is I don't know if anyone who has just watched New Who would recognize our Doctor anymore!

You're right about people pointing out the scariness inherent in the Doctor having/wielding that kind of power. But the take-home lesson from each of those stories is that it's okay when the Doctor does it. Yes, Mr Cooper doubts, but he's not a developed character and is easily dismissed because he doesn't really know who the Doctor is. His legacy is the Mr Cooper Foundation creates the sub-wave network. This allows Harriet Jones to contact the Doctor because, even though she thinks he was wrong, she calls to him as a supplicant before a higher power and dies for the cause. Joan says he must be a monster, but Tim who sees him better sees that he is terrible and wonderful. I think the closest we get to someone actually questioning his right to play god is Donna in Runaway Bride after seeing his treatment of the Racnoss. But after shying away from that, she spends her time looking for a way back to him. And we all know how that works out for her.

So far as Jack and Rose go, well... Even though the Rose we knew wouldn't have supported any of those decisions, or the Doctor's right to make them, I cannot believe that RTD will allow her to have been pissed at the Doctor from a parallel world all this time. That was supposed to be a happy ending, which is kind of sick if you ask me, and RTD will never admit that it wasn't. Who!Jack would not have supported those choices. But do you think the Jack at the end of CoE would have argued with the Doctor's right to make choices like that? I'm not so sure.

-Hazel
getting used to disappointment

Yes...they have ruined Doctor Who

rabid1st

2009-08-03 03:30 am (UTC)

And not the way I thought they would, truthfully.

They have ruined it by suggesting that he's a god and he knows best what everyone should be and do. And no...I don't think that Jack at the end of CoE is in any shape to argue with the lonely god. I think, in fact, that he's well on the way to being a god-figure in his own right. And yes, I do agree...that RTD appears to like it that way. He justifies everything that I loath about JE...that idea that the Doctor can do these horrible things and still be our hero.

Rae
also getting quite used to disappointment...but I will still weep for a week or so if it all goes horribly maudlin next Christmas...and we are just asked to accept that he's "Sorry, so sorry!" that the little people got hurt, but he still knows best. PFFT!

My Who is dead; long live New Who

hazelwho

2009-08-03 04:06 am (UTC)

Yes, RTD does seem to love the Doctor he has made. But, honestly, how did we get from Who are you? I can feel the turn of the earth. to this place. How would the Doctor answer now? In my mind, the response would be a montage of I can do anything/no higher authority/I'm so sorry/floating through the air/I forgive you/because I said so clips set to Orff's Carmina Burana.

You know, just today, I listed Doctor Who as one of my favorite shows on a meme somewhere. But this discussion reminded me I haven't really been happy with that show since 2006. It's my favorite fandom, but I can't exactly say that two good years followed by three not-so-good sounds like a track record that makes it my favorite show. It's reflex or nostalgia or loyalty or something else besides actually thinking it's the most brilliant thing on television. It makes me really sad that my love for Nine and Four and Seven and Ace and Eight and Rose and DT as an actor is all that's keeping me watching. I'll probably keep watching so long as it's on - I do own a Doctor Who t-shirt and a Dalek bottle opener that screams "Exterminate!" after all. ;) But between what's been going on these last few years and the fact that I'm having a hard time getting past being older than Matt Smith, I think my Who is gone forever.

At least I won't be alone balling my eyes out next Christmas, not just for what happens, but for what doesn't. I just cannot reconcile the Doctor in JE who says I didn't need to change, I didn't want to. Why would I? Look at me! with the Doctor who regenerated in Logopolis.

I know what you mean...

rabid1st

2009-08-03 05:49 am (UTC)

...and under the layers of hope, that I still maintain, there is a really bad feeling generated by Children of Earth and the attitude about the fan reactions. And I also had this chill as I thought about RTD and DT going on about how this Doctor doesn't want to die. Because I can certainly see a very limited worldview revolving around the Christ image again...that he dies for our sins. So the very act of his giving his life...which he loves...is to be considered enough to keep us all happy with him.

Look, he gave his life for you...and his life is worth so much more than yours...so be now you know that he's worthy again.

Uhm...no! I want him to earn his way back through serious time spent learning to NOT be a god. Which would require some long term reflection (such as he could have spending a life with Rose)...not the "noble sacrifice" we are most likely going to be getting.

And the Doctor I have trouble relating Ten to as he now stands...is Nine when he said, "Don't worship me. I'd make a very bad god." This was an attitude put forward by Four and Five, too. I find it really hard to swallow what has happened...knowing that RTD is Old School and should know better.

Well...it's not done, yet. Maybe he does know better and is planning to have the Doctor accept an ordinary life for a bit...to show that he's no longer thinking he's so very special. Certainly, I can see Wilf giving him what for about playing god. Wilf was ready to argue in JE...but he came around to the Doctor's way of thinking with a bit of "god-like authority" directed at him. I was proud of Wilf (and RTD) for that "But she was better with you...she was!"

Again, it is a textual questioning of his decisions, even as we are forced to pretend they are correct as we move forward without resolution.

Rae
who is frustrated...and not likely to watch Moffat unless RTD fixes this mess.

Re: I know what you mean...

hazelwho

2009-08-03 06:07 am (UTC)

I had completely forgotten Nine said that in Boomtown! How come Nine is allowed to be so flawed and humble and pro-humanity and all about letting people make the choice to do the right thing when it's the same people now writing Ten? That's weird. When Nine regenerated, he was so serene and accepting, and he never ever wanted Rose to think he had made a sacrifice for her. Please, please let them give Ten the same graceful exit, allowing him to make peace with his life, without overwrought drama or admonishments about being worthy.

Hazel
who is crossing her fingers for RTD to come through, but isn't going to hold her breath

All Pony hope hangs on this question...

rabid1st

2009-08-03 06:19 am (UTC)

How come Nine is allowed to be so flawed and humble and pro-humanity and all about letting people make the choice to do the right thing when it's the same people now writing Ten? That's weird.

Because it IS very weird!

Especially when you look at what RTD does on his own...he creates a season that ends with Parting of the Ways...Rose as Bad Wolf...elevation of humanity to the Doctor's equal...and he confesses his love. All of that...before the show even aired one episode.

This is unadulterated storyline. This should be...what Russell was trying to convey. That the companion IS just as vital to the whole...that even though he is older, wiser and more educated...the Doctor really does need Rose and can love her as an equal because she is capable of doing things he and his kind never could do. It is a beautiful story.

But...now...RTD has lost his muse...his truth...in fame and fortune and future history.

Or so it seems at this point. However, this is NOT the end of the story. And he has done the exact right thing to set up the Doctor for a final fall. He has made him into an arrogant lonely god figure.

He allowed Wilf and Sarah Jane and Mickey to point out the obvious. There is no way Mickey felt that he was leaving Rose to 10.5...when he left. There is no way THAT was the writing he saw on the wall. There was Sarah Jane...pointing out that the Doctor has a huge family if only he would allow himself to embrace their love. There was Wilf...pointing out that Donna was better with the Doctor. And I'm sure that he might yet say that there are worse things than dying.

RTD also made it quite clear that Donna and Rose and 10.5 were all unhappy about their lack of options. Donna is saying NO as the Doctor takes her mind. And that shot in her bedroom of him with the long evil shadows is quite ominous. Rose is arguing that 10.5 is not him and runs after him as he leaves. And 10.5 is only grudgingly cooperating with any of the plan...even the kiss...which is what burns me up on the "better kisser" front on all sides. He doesn't kiss her. She kisses him. That's just not the way to sell us on this working out...on him truly being her Doctor.

Rae
feeling that we are still owed the proper kiss...which is why DT mentioning the kiss was rather interesting, I thought. Though, on the surface, it's just what they have been presenting...that Rose is getting shagged so she's happy. PFFT, Again!

Re: All Pony hope hangs on this question...

hazelwho

2009-08-03 07:07 am (UTC)

So here's the thing about JE. Donna's fate is undeniably horrible, and the Doctor going against her express wishes is unforgivable. But in the Confidential and interviews after JE, all the talk about Ten's actions was along the line of isn't it so unbearably tragic that the poor guy had to go through all that self-sacrifice and end up alone with no mention of whether or not it was his choice to make.

In addition to that, RTD really seemed to think has given Rose and 10.5 a schmoopy shipper ending. There was some is it happy/is it sad discussion but from what I remember of the Confidential, it's all about Ten's heartbreak and his generous "gift" to Rose.

I agree, S1 is the most unadulterated version of his vision. Maybe the pressures of The Powers That Be and ratings and what-not made him ramp up the drama after that. But usually someone's last season is also a chance to write something honest, if unpopular. RTD's swan song has started off with a weird Christmas special that emphasized that no human can be the Doctor, or even his peer, and ended with him blaming his companions for breaking his hearts (lonely!god is lonely). Then we get the Easter special, which ends with the military types doing their military thing, the geek fanboying all over the place, heavy your-fate-is-to-die foreshadowing, and the Doctor deciding on his own what justice should be for Lady Cassandra. Not a good start for fixing his mess.

I'm not sure what they're doing with the characters. I agree about Mickey. Also, Billie Piper was clearly unhappy with Rose and 10.5's fate. Wilf is allowed to speak truth to power, even if in the end basically says he'll light a candle for Donna and watch the sky. I would absolutely love all of that be lead-up to some serious soul-searching on the Doctor's part. But how many shows, ever, have set up something that is ostensibly Right and Good for years before ultimately revealing the hero was in error the whole time? If RTD makes this happen, I will have so much respect for him. But I can't see anyone doing that, especially on a kids show.

hmmmm have to start with best in my opinion... I'm with you on Turn Left, that was fantastic bit of character development and what might have been; ohters... Idiots Lantern for the last scene... ever seen Mansfield Park with Billie? the ending of IL and MP were the same reaction.... a great shipper ep...Human Nature/Family of Blood.... Again... within that lots of shipper possibilities even with the Joan story.

there's a few more but I don't have time right now... am at work.

Worst...

Lazarous Expirament.... was one I just didn't care for the premise; Planet of the Dead... lots of build up, no substance...


I agree with you about Last of the Time Lords and for the reasons you stated. I really enjoyed Utopia and Sound of Drums. I got the feeling that RTD didn't quite know where he wanted to go with the story and just gave up (resulting in, as one person stated, "Tinkerbell!Jesus! Doctor")

I agree with sibhinn about the Dalek episodes: awful accents, badly written plot. Plus I kept getting distracted by the CGI Dalek tentacles (and not in a good way either).

I also agree with sibhinn about Gridlock. It was terrible because it seemed to be two stories in one, but neither story was ever completely finished.

I have to confess that I own season 1, 2 and 4 of Doctor Who, but I haven't bought season 3 and I don't think I will. The reason is that I don't find myself wanting to sit down and watch most of those episodes again (Exceptions: Shakespeare Code, Human Nature/Family of Blood, Utopia/Sound of Drums).

I still think Girl in the Fireplace was terrible, but I think it's more due to my shipper bias in addition to Moffat's admission that he didn't read any of the other scripts beforehand (which led to inconsistencies in all of the characters behavior). I also think that Reinette was a Mary Sue. I just couldn't like her because she seemed so perfect. Too perfect, really.

Season 1: I loved every episode and have watched them numerous times, even The Long Game. I don't think there is a bad episode here.

Season 2: I disliked Girl in the Fireplace for inconsistent characterization (Moffat admitted that he had not read the script for School Reunion) and for the above reasons that I've stated. And also because it gave us the phrase "The Lonely God" or "Lonely Angel" in reference to the Doctor. I just gag every time he is referred to as either one of those. Also what I find hilarious about the real Reinette is that according to one book that I read, she wasn't as fond of sex as Moffat made her out to be.

While a lot of people hate Love and Monsters, I just can't. I like Marc Warren too much and I think it's an interesting episode because it does give us a glimpse into how the Doctor affects people he comes into contact with and how they go on about their lives afterwards.

I don't watch Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel and Fear Her as often as the others, but I still enjoy them. In other words, I don't think they're terrible episodes, I just don't watch them all of the time.

Verdict: the only truly horrible episode is Girl in the Fireplace.


Season 3: I guess I should just save time by telling you what episodes I enjoyed instead of what episodes I thought were horrible.

I enjoyed Shakespeare Code, Human Nature/Family of Blood, Utopia/Sound of Drums. The rest of season 3 I don't care for.

The episodes that I absolutely think are horrible are Gridlock, the two Dalek episodes (Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks), Blink, Last of the Time Lords.

I'm just not a big fan of Moffat's stories. They're okay the first time, but upon re-watching them, I find plotholes and Mary Sues.

Season 4: I haven't watched all of the episodes of season 4 (I also have not watched the Voyage of the Damned). After season 3, I kind of gave up and didn't feel the desire to watch every episode.

I did most of the enjoy the episodes that I did see and I did enjoy Donna as a companion.
Journey's End started out wonderful, but at the end (as in Last of the Time Lords), I felt that RTD didn't know quite how to end the story and just gave up.

I didn't care for Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead because I felt that River Song was annoying. She was always talking about spoilers and acting coy. It was a bit too meta for me. Also I didn't see the purpose that the trees had in killing everyone.

I am split on the Moffat episodes myself

rabid1st

2009-08-03 09:26 pm (UTC)

I love Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. Even though we introduce the idea of the Doctor there as a sexual being, Chris is so child-like and charming about it that it really works for me. I was a little shocked at the time, I remember, but I had also fallen deeply in love with the ship...and so I was ready for a little flirtation from Rose and Nine. In fact, I remember my initial reaction to Jack was that he would prove a rival for Rose's affections...and I was thrilled to see Nine step up and take a stab at being considered "a man." So funny.

But then...in Girl in the Fireplace...as you said, Moffat didn't really know what he was doing...and he goes for the sex in a much more blatant fashion. I think it works where it is not because of Moffat but because of Mickey. The whole tussle there in School Reunion and GitF is about commitment. We allow the Doctor and Rose to re-establish their connection in New Earth and Tooth & Claw...then we introduce the idea that he will lose her one day...and that he will and can easily find a replacement for her. But underlying all of that...is something people don't often focus on...the Doctor is jealous of Mickey. He refers very petulantly to Mickey as "your boyfriend" in School Reunion...even though we, the audience, knows that Mickey and Rose are on the rocks. Also, as I predicted would happen with GitF aired...in the very next episode...Mickey is kicked to the curb, permanently. So, to me...it is about Ten and Rose making the choice to be a couple. Which they do make by the end of Age of Steel.

Blink...to me...is a very scary and involving episode. But...it does suffer from being Doctor-lite and from Moffat's continued disinterest in the companion of record. I hated Martha...but I think she is really out of character in Blink. And I liked Sally Sparrow...but really...she's not the companion. I do wonder if Moffat is going to be shoving his own companions under the rug this way so he can create random flirtations for the Doctor.

Silence in the Library was another good example of shoving the companion aside...and bringing in a Bond-girl for the Doctor to flirt with. Like you, I was sick of River Song in about three mintues. I know I am supposed to be delighted and intrigued by her...but I found her grating and, in the end, her story is practically pointless. We don't know what she means to the Doctor but we certainly know that HE knows how their story will end. He will put her away like a collected butterfly. Her days of being a strong, independent woman with a sense of being loved by a "lonely god" will end just as Rose's do...with the firm understanding that she could only briefly touch the flaming hem of his glorious robes and should count herself lucky for the shag or two and her "happy" arranged life. All of it disgusts me in a way that is hard, I think for a geek boy to understand. But I really do not like women to be reduced to madonna/whore figures and then gush about the men that reduced them to that state.

To me...it is a very ugly thing to say about the Doctor/Companion relationship. In my opinion, it would be fine to introduce sexuality to the Doctor...as long as he and his partners enjoyed the encounters. But to introduce sex as a way for him to be worshiped and adored...just really grates on me. If Rose and River aren't worth his time...then they really should stop looking up to him. And frankly...so should little children and all of us.

Rae

Re: I am split on the Moffat episodes myself

soophelia

2009-08-04 01:39 am (UTC)

Well said. You've stated everything that I hated about River Song and also how the Doctor treats Rose (and Donna) in Journey's End. I do like the the Empty Child and the Doctor Dances because of the flirtatious turn that their relationship takes and of course it's our introduction to Captain Jack. Other than that, I don't care for Moffat's writing because of the way he writes his female characters.

And speaking of River, you're right that the Doctor does know how her story ends – he basically puts her away on a shelf. I think they jokingly referred to it as a "forced retirement" in the Confidentals. What bothers me about the fate of River (even though I don't care for her), as well as Donna and Rose is that the Doctor decides their fates for them (with an air of "I know best") rather than asking them what they want. It's a stark contrast to Nine. Don't get me wrong, I love Ten, but I do agree with you that RTD and Moffat have changed him from someone who doesn't want power to someone who has a god complex.

I posted to my blog when I realized how long my response had become...

But what the heck, here it is anyway:

Preface: ♥ Nine. ♥ Nine/Rose.

S1: Best: Every ep has a payoff in it terms of character/relationship development. If you twisted my arm to pick one Best, I'd choose TDD for the flirting and the Jealous!Nine and Happy!Nine. :)

Worst: None (for the reason above).
If you twisted my arm again (quit doing that!), I'd go so far as to admit that every ep had something in it that one could find to knock or mock (i.e., Mickey in Rose, the Lost in Space movie's spiders in TEotW, the accents in Dalek, etc.) but those weaknesses were inconsequential compared to the strengths of each ep when evaluating it as a whole (or even as the first of two-parter).

S2: Best: The DW lite ep L&M. I liked it, because among other things, it opened up the season from Ten/Rose which was starting to feel claustropobic.

Alternate: TIP/TSP. Although a bit The Black Hole, it was notable to me as the first time that I'd stopped white-knuckling Ten/Rose -- and I later discovered that this was the first ep for which they had Murray Gold record new score! Until that ep, they'd been recycling s1 music, and I'd been repeatedly jarred by heartwrenching flashbacks of missing Nine. If they'd rescored sooner, I sometimes wonder if I could have gotten more into Ten. But then again...TCI's "No second chances", Harriet Jones...so, no.

RunnerUp Best: School Reunion. Hello again, Sarah Jane! Hugs, K-9! Might have made Best ep, but CGI aliens were lame and ASH should have been featured in his own ep -- as it was, he was simultaneously under-utilized and a distraction.

Worst: GitF. Not only was The Doctor out of character - not in a good way! - but also Moffat self-referential. Bananas and singing "I could have Dah-nced all night". Bah! Just reinforced how weak a *DW* story it was compared to the previous season's work.

S3: Best: TRB. Was a breath of fresh air after S2. Loved CT's chemistry w/ DT -- and maybe also tickled that she yelled at Ten a lot. ;) Good repartee, character development and payoffs.

Worst: Muppets Daleks Take Manhattan and Gridlock are the frontrunners. Tasteless cardboard.

S4: Best: FoP. Hits comedic highs (running "Celtic" gag asides, water pistol/"I bloody love you") and tragic lows (the calamity of Pompeii from so many people's perspectives). Well written and literate. My quibbles are tiny: as I understand it, death from gas preceded death from rocks & lava and I was more annoyed by the Sisters of Cairn (sp?) as the Sybilline Sisters until I heard on the Commentary that the writer's intention was to reference them (Four/SJ's The Brain of Morbius). Peter Capaldi (of Fortysomething and TW:CoE) and Catherine Tate sold this ep to me.

SideNote: fave commentary is TPS's. Give a listen, if you haven't yet heard it! (And then you'll understand why I mention it now.)

Alternate: Turn Left. Quibbles: weakened by being It's A Wonderful Life derivative, and an ending marred by focusing on being the cliffhanger setup for TSE. Otherwise, strong internal and external continuity for the story.

Worst: I want to say JE, but I must award it to VotD. Too Irwin Allen, in a dated, been-there-done-that kind of way. James Bond on the Poseidon. Blech. Wasted (returning DW guest) Geoffrey Palmer.

RunnerUp Worst: TSE/JE. The score was intrusive and inappropriately climactic too often. There were too many guests to do any of them full justice -- except for (surprise!) Mickey, who was the only character who I believed from start to finish (he certainly came a long way from Rose!). Insult to injury, Ten's King Arthur's "One brief shining moment" speech was off-puttingly stagey, unoriginal and manipulative.

S5: TBD...

And, now, I will try to stop posting about your life. :wink:

What can I say...I do agree with most of your choices. Except, I didn't care for Love and Monsters. I actually think that Turn Left is the best Doctor Lite episode and should be the standard. But part of the reason I didn't like L&M is that I really hated the guest stars. Most people are big fans of them...but everyone of them irked me. I did like Jackie in L&M and I loved that the Doctor had become so deferrential to Rose at that point. You really get a sense of them as a couple despite the limited screen time. I resented the "lonely god"..."you can only touch the hem of his flaming robe for a second" voice over that became a running cliche. It is used again in Family of Blood and River Song uses it. I am very, very grateful that neither Rose nor Donna spouted that sort of drivel at the end.

I do completely agree with you about Mickey in JE...I not only had envisioned Mickey returning in just that way...but I'd also imagined him growing in that direction. I was quite proud of him. I was disappointed in Jackie...who was still clinging even though he life must be more fulfilling with a husband, baby and home to manage. I'm not saying she should forget about Rose...but she should allow Rose to have a little bit of a life. I think that sense of running another person's life to suit youself...is one of the things RTD believes in very strongly. Rose is so very capable on her own...it makes no sense for Jackie and the Doctor to keep pushing her into lives THEY want.

Can't argue with Voyage of the Damned as bloody awful...again we have this presentation of the Doctor as a god-figure...and it irks me so very much. I mean, I'm not even an atheist or anything...I love religious overtones in Science Fiction...when appropriate. But the idea of the Doctor as a god...is so ANTI-DOCTOR! It just seems completely out of character to me. And...I'm not sure if RTD really means to say that the Doctor should be a god-figure for us. Realistically, that is a good thing to explore given his current situation. But, I strongly disagree with it.

That's not my Doctor!

Rae

Late to the game over here! But my least favorites... Girl in the Fireplace. I just WTF'd all over the characterization in that episode. It had some cool stuff in it - clockwork, steampunk robots! Awesome! - but lacked a lot of... sense. So much so that I wrote an oh-so-common "rationalize that episode" fic for it in my main 'verse. The fact that those fics are so common is telling, no?

Last of the Time Lords. God, that was just BAD. Dobby Doctor. Super shiny power of happy feelings Tinkerbell Doctor. The fact that it was obvious a reset was coming. I mean, you can't screw up the earth that badly and not reset it. But it does help that I love John Simm.

And River Song just aggravates me. GRATES, even. One part bad timing, one part the total lack of chemistry between her and David, and a touch of bad writing. Not a lot of people are going to react well to a smarmy new/old beau of the Doctor's while we're all flipping out about Rose's unfinished story. It was like, can you step off til we finish out this one tale? You're kind of disrespecting it. Thanks.

Loved Blink. It's just... cool. The shippiness in Fear Her sets my heart aflutter. Actually, I'm pretty sure they shagged right in the middle of that episode, after that deducting conversation. You saw how smug they looked in the next scene! Also, Partners in Crime, because no episode has EVER made me laugh so hard or, I suspect, ever will.

Oh, and if I'm allowed another, Army of Ghosts. The sweetness and the teamwork and the mother-in-law vibe from Jackie... not to mention how badass Rose is!

I find it impossible to choose between The Christmas Invasion, Turn Left, Midnight and Family of Blood as my all-time favourite episode, primarily because all of them for one reason or another are critical points in the Doctor’s psychological development.

The Christmas Invasion has him new-born (so to speak) and learning that it’s all right to believe in people (Rose) because they won’t all abandon him – this Doctor seems to have huge issues around abandonment and I can’t really blame him for them.

Turn Left backs that up in many ways; Donna meeting Rose, and Rose passing a message to the Doctor through Donna, gives the Doctor more proof that if he believes in anything in the pantheon of Gods and would-be Gods he believes in Rose, who will never desert him.

Midnight is less of a look into the Doctor’s psychology and more a look into human psychology, but nevertheless it hits my favourites list because it is the episode that scared me most since Horror of Fang Rock (although TEC/TDD gives it a good run for its money.)

And Family of Blood (and, to an extent, Human Nature) hits my favourites list because of how it shows that, even when human (and thinking about it, is this a forerunner of Journey’s End? Interesting, if that turns out to be the case here), he can’t forget how much he loves Rose; and when he says to Joan Redfern that all he [John Smith] was capable of he was capable of too (marriage and kids included, I wonder?), that to me confirms the depth of his relationship with Rose.


And for me, the worst episode? Journey’s End; and why?

Does it need saying?


A little late to the party, but I enjoyed reading the post and all the responses.

Series One was pretty much WIN all across, though the characterization stumbled a little in TEC/TDD. But I loved the chemistry between CE and BP, the tight characterization and plotting of nearly all of the stories and was just plain happy to see my old favorite show brought back!

While I liked most of Series Two, I hated TGitF precisely because everyone was way out of character. I really can't see Ten falling for Madame De Pompouswhore while he's in love with Rose, and leaving Rose and Mickey behind on a derelict spaceship with no way home. Plus, casting Rose as the fishwife...Moffatt obviously doesn't give a rat's arse about characterization, preferring to go for the cheap laugh.

I didn't much like Love and Monsters. I might've liked it better if it weren't for Ursula's fate. Maybe it's my claustrophobia, but ending up trapped in a paving stone for eternity is a fate worse than death to me.

Series Three...unlike many fans, I sympathised with Martha. I know how painful unrequited love is. I liked most of the series, though not nearly as much as the previous two. Loved The Shakespeare Code (and I really want to find out what the Doctor did to tick off Queen Elizabeth!). LoTL was overblown, though. Turning the Doctor into Flying Jesus was dumb; they really should've ended that a lot better.

I wasn't that fond of Series Four, though I liked Donna and really liked Midnight and Turn Left. SITL/FOTD was bad. The whole Professor MarySue River Song debacle, the Vashda Nerada (I'm thinking the Doctor could've upgraded a few Bug Zappers and hung them throughout the library!), the very idea that a happy ending is being trapped in a computer program, living an unreal life. As far as the series finale, I wrote an essay on my LJ as to why it did not work for me.

I haven't seen any of the specials; I'm still bummed out over JE. But I'm also still perusing the internet for Who news. If they can fix what they messed up, I'll happily watch them.