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10 April 2010 @ 07:49 pm
in lieu of a longer post (okay, somehow the post turned long, oops)  
I just want to put two lines up next to each other:


1. "I'm so old now...I used to have so much mercy." (season 2, "School Reunion")

2. "Amazing though, don't you think? The starwhale. All that pain and misery--and loneliness. And it just made it kind." (season 5, or 1, or whatever we're calling it now, "The Beast Below")

I think that says a lot about the shift from Ten to Eleven. And I love that the one possibility Eleven couldn't see--was himself. (Seriously, I love the way Moffat handled the last-of-his-kind thing, and Amy's line was lovely: "If you were that old, and that kind, and the last of your kind..." The way to my heart: sweet, emotional puns.)

(And while we're talking wordplay--"You're only human" broke my heart a bit.)

In related news, Sophie Okonedo is awesome. I love Liz 10 forever. And the Doctor didn't bring down her government with six words, so that was nice. And--continuing on from last week's depiction-- Moffat has a very old-fashioned view of childhood, which amuses me. Girls in red cardigans and boys with satchels...

The plot was very Matrix in spots, of course; but with the twist that this isn't the story of One Special Man who manages to see through the world to get to the world, the Chosen One and a small band of outsiders, but a deliberate election, for everyone--so everyone's complicit. And the idea that Liz 10 is haunted by the thing she can't remember, enough to be looking for the Doctor for help, when it's all at her own design... well, it's haunting, is what it is. Still puzzled by Amy's video, though. (It is true there are some plot holes in this episode. I will have to think about how annoyed by them I am at a later date, because I'm pleased by the emotional bits. Except one thing: wait, the whale eats people??? What is THAT??? I mean, I suppose if they won't feed it anything else other than people who vote "protest," then it has to eat something, but...what.)

And I'm loving Eleven's and Amy's reactions to things, and to each other. I particularly like the little grace notes Amy has, like her "well, that's no help" slouch when the computer can't ascertain her marital status. And watching Matt Smith move is like watching some slightly different species, which is...appropriate.

Adding more stuff: I suspect that Eleven plus children is going to make me all melty this season. Because we didn't get a lot of children in the RTD years, did we? I mean, proper children, not going-to-grow-up-to-be-Madame-de-Pompadour children, or scary gas-mask children, or children who are secretly spaceships and/or not actually real. (And all of those were written by Moffat anyway!) There were some children in "School Reunion," I suppose... I guess what I mean is, not much in the way of proper interaction between the Doctor and children, which, now that I think on it, is a bit peculiar. And maybe that's why I squeed so hard at Eleven and little Amelia? But there's something lovely about Eleven's youthful air and the way he talks to children. (I keep using the word "lovely." "But now every commendation on every subject is comprised in that one word!")

Placeholder: I keep thinking that it should bother me, the way Moffat has these elements that he recycles: children, plucky girls with whimsical names, relationships that are temporally out of sync. But it doesn't. I love the incongruous images--chandeliers and water glasses on a spaceship; metal and sparks and eighteenth-century gowns. The way things jam up against each other, the old-fashioned and the futuristic, all of that. And yes, this appeals to me in a way that RTD's aesthetic didn't, quite--but I think it's also the difference between plot point and archetype. There were all those interviews going around in which Moffat said that he wrote fairy tales, and it shows. Liz 10's cloak is about mystery and sheer swirling awesome, sure--but it's also Little Red Riding Hood, and finding one's way out of the belly of the beast. And I can watch people play in that sandbox forever without getting tired, whereas a few uses of the reset button or the Needlessly Tragic Ending, and I'm worn out.
 
 
 
Gileonnen: Wrinkling Out the Ironsgileonnen on April 11th, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
I wish to protest that 'Amelia' is in no way a whimsical name!

... or maybe it's just not whimsical with my surname attached.

Your reactions are basically parallel with mine, which I find fascinating.
tempestsarekind: amelia pond (ready for adventure)tempestsarekind on April 11th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)
*giggle* It's the combination of given name and surname (Amy Pond, Amelia Pond), in the same way that "Sally" isn't whimsical, but "Sally Sparrow" is. (ETA: And "Charlotte Lux" is rather, fairy-tale as well.) But it's a good name, either way!

It may be too early in the season for proper Doctor Who posts, particularly after the drawn-out year of specials and then the burnout from "The End of Time." Because most of my reactions are "yay!" and "shiny!" :)

Edited at 2010-04-11 01:41 am (UTC)
Enlevéenleve on April 11th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
I think the plot hole with Amy's video will turn out to be deliberate. Maybe something she did in a later episode, and having to do with the crack that appeared on the hull of the spaceship in the last shot that looked suspiciously like the crack in Amy's wall in the first episode. At least, I'm hoping they are clues to a larger story that will unfold and not just plot holes and irrelevant stuff added.

I think Moffat does a better job at not leaving gaping plot holes than Russell T. Davies did, at least in the episodes he wrote in earlier seasons, so I'm willing to think it will add up later.

I suppose an alternate explanation is that she made the video in the voting booth, and then forgot about making it, and that she did it for the reasons the Doctor tells her she chose the forget button later.

So far I like the new Doctor and companion.

The relationships temporally out of sync thing does bug me somewhat, mostly because the Doctor seems so oblivious to the timing of his arrivals and the effect it has on people. You'd think that after so many years being alive, and making the same mistake so many times, he'd get a clue. He's so smart about so many other things, but it's like he has a blindspot about this issue. You can't trust him on it, when usually he's very trustworthy.
tempestsarekind: bananas are goodtempestsarekind on April 11th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
I suspect that maybe Amy's video is less "plot hole" and more of what you suggest--that she recorded it before she completely forgot, and there just wasn't a line to explain it. But we shall see. I'm definitely interested in what the crack will turn out to be.

I think the Doctor thinks he's much better at landing in the right place and time than he actually is! He'd have to admit that he's actually rather awful at piloting the TARDIS.
Constant Reader: doctor who - rainbow tardisskirmish_of_wit on April 12th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
Isn't there a mysterious black mark on her face in the recording, though? Or at least something like her mascara running. And that never appears in this episode. (I hope that wasn't a mark on my screen because I will feel like a right idiot.)

I am trying to make this comment more organized than the one I just left on the other post! But I make no promises, alas, alas, alas.

Sophie Okonedo YES.

Plot holes: yes there were those and I kept going O_o at them BUT I actually kind of felt like the people-eating was part and parcel of the torture that humans imposed on the star whale. I mean, not that eating people was torture itself but that the people-eating was imposed by people not the demands of the star whale, like they not only kept it in pain for HUNDREDS OF YEARS but also turned it into a monster when all it wanted was to stop little kids from crying, and instead they turned it into something that actually MADE the kids cry, poor star whale.

I hadn't made the Little Red Riding Hood connection! Very true and interesting.

The more I think about Eleven the more I like him. I wish David Tennant could have gotten to play a doctor who wasn't an asshat, albeit a charming and charismatic and über-Ravenclawy asshat.
tempestsarekind: TARDIS plus angelstempestsarekind on April 12th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
I seem to remember Amy's mascara running, though I might not have been paying enough attention to that bit (Significant Clues almost always pass me by, unless they are super obvious).

And I really, really like your reading of the star whale--that the inhabitants of the spaceship actually made it into a monster, the thing under your ship bed.

I'm definitely interested to see where Eleven is going to go. I haven't quite got a handle on him yet, whereas I feel like I had the basic outline of Ten by the end of "The Christmas Invasion": the giddy, manic side with a wide streak of "no second chances."

I was telling my mom last night (who sooo doesn't care, poor woman!) that Ten is always going to be the Doctor who was let down by the material; there's a lot of good stuff there, but in the end it all just tipped over into burnout and frustration for me. *sigh*
Neaneadods on April 11th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Sophie Okonedo is awesome. I love Liz 10 forever

She was amazing! That is, alas, the one thing I agree with the flist on; otherwise, I'm the odd voice saying "Oh, Stephen Moffat, no."
tempestsarekind: martha + ten + TARDIStempestsarekind on April 11th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)
The weird thing is that I feel like I *should* be saying that! Rationally I recognize that the episode has serious problems; I just don't seem to be at the stage where I'm irritated by them yet. Which is why I needed to write the second, shorter post: I think my enjoyment of the episode has very little to do with the episode's quality.
Neaneadods on April 11th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
I don't mind the "SQUEEE!" reactions - there are a lot of them, certainly. People feel what they feel.

But so do I, and I can't get over what I see and my reaction to what I've seen.
tempestsarekind: TARDIS plus angelstempestsarekind on April 12th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
Nor should you have to--and I hope my comments here or on your post haven't made you feel that way. If so, it wasn't my intention; I just like to babble on about Doctor Who! :)
Neaneadods on April 12th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
Nah - there's someone else bein' a burr under my saddle back at my place. There's no *fun* if we all agree!

It's just that there's no fun if it's knee-jerk "no, you're wrong" either. Which you haven't been saying.
tempestsarekind: martha at the globetempestsarekind on April 12th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear that (about the burr, that is). I hope it gets dislodged soon...
Tithenaitithenai on April 11th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
I mean, proper children, not going-to-grow-up-to-be-Madame-de-Pompadour children

Except Moffat wrote that episode...
tempestsarekind: bananas are goodtempestsarekind on April 11th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Right--it turns out (did I forget to mention this in the post?) that he'd actually written all of the examples of not-proper-children I listed!
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke: dw | one day i slowly floated awayfaeriemaiden on April 11th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Bweeeee, all of this. I am so glad that Doctor Who can finally be a favourite show again, because I was starting to wonder if it was all gone, if even Moffat could make me love it as I used to.

It is true there are some plot holes in this episode. I will have to think about how annoyed by them I am at a later date, because I'm pleased by the emotional bits.

Heh, this is sort of my approach to most things -- if the emotional bits, the "real" parts, ring true, then I don't mind much of this or that thing isn't properly explained, unless it's so vast and gaping and problematic that it can't be shuffled off to the side. I am trying to tell myself that this does not make me A Silly Emotional Girl Person Who Should Not Be Allowed To Watch Stuff, just someone who knows what she likes. (And what she likes are FLOATING SPACESHIP CITIES and grimy future circusy worlds and clever children and women in red cloaks and porcelain masks and kickass boots and lovely hugs and views of stars, whee!)

And yes! on the inclusion of children, hurrah! This is supposed to be partly a children's show; let's not erase their perspective. I like that Moffat's children have been clever and industrious, and what they do and think matters. Which means a lot to a young viewer.

Moffat's aesthetic pleases me A LOT -- one of the problems I had with RTD is that he seems to have the imagination of a twelve-year-old boy (crossed with a weirdly cynical grown-up), and I sort of got sick of spaceships and funny aliens with funny names and everything drawn in broad strokes. I can't exactly say that Moffat is Better At Doing Everything (I mean, aside from writing episodes that don't make me want to drink myself into a coma, if I... did that sort of thing), but his way suits my aesthetics a broad sight more. There's a lot more wonder and mystery, and science-fiction that's a lot more fantastical. ♥
tempestsarekind: amelia pond (ready for adventure)tempestsarekind on April 11th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
oooh, your icon! It is perfect and floaty!

I really like that we seem to have gotten some joy back in Doctor Who, with Moffat. Amy tells us that the Doctor has been lonely, and been through pain--but it only made him kind. And I (almost) don't care that she told us twice, because I've been needing to hear that. Much as I loved Ten...he could do manic, but I think he'd lost joyful somewhere. I feel like he needed to see joy through others' eyes (like Martha's, on the moon), but Eleven seems so far to want to *share* joy with other people.

As for being a Silly Emotional Girl Person--I guess I am one too. :) But no, really, I think you're right: you watch for what you like, just like people who put story above all. It's no better or worse, and I don't think I'm saying that because that's how I tend to watch and read, too. (I mean, hello, I love Shakespeare. Dodgy plot bits ahoy!)

And I agree about Moffat's aesthetic, too. His episodes with RTD were almost always my favorites--so, like you, it may not always be that Moffat does it *better* (though...), but I like the way he does things more. And he's not as much for Giant Spectacle and explosions; it's more creepy, battered faces and striped tents, and the thing you can see from the corner of your eye. I love that. I hope we get to keep it. (I'm assuming there will be some Spectacle somewhere, but hopefully only when appropriate.)