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10 April 2010 @ 10:32 pm
non-spoilery reaction to The Beast Below  
I was having a conversation with thepresidentrix the other day about "Gridlock," among other things, and it reminded me that there are some Doctor Who episodes that I love all out of proportion to their actual quality as episodes, because they work for me as meta. (Which is not to say that they are bad, necessarily; it's just that I love them for reasons other than their quality.) "Gridlock" is one of those, because it is all about Ten going through heroics for Martha (which doesn't happen all that often in S3), and then all about Ten needing therapy at the end. (Er, and because he's totally coming on to her near the end, all "It's been a long time since I saw you, Martha Jones." I am shallow.) "The Lazarus Experiment" is likewise one of those episodes (though it also pushes my person-outside-of-time buttons hard in Southwark Cathedral), because Martha Jones Is a Star and also Never Really Just a Passenger. And so are the Sontaran episodes in S4, because they're all about how Ten has always seen Martha, despite "he never even looks at me."

I wonder whether, upon my finishing the season, "The Beast Below" will be one of those. I suspect that it already is, in some ways (see previous post).
tempestsarekind: keep calm and rock ontempestsarekind on April 15th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)
I've seen that film, and, argh, the problematic racial elements! But I did think Shirley Maclaine was quite good.

You're right: that sort of relationship only works if there's mutuality, if each person puts the other first, and it doesn't happen with Ten and Rose. Nor does it happen with Ten and Rose, I don't think, but Rose's story isn't *about* that lack of mutuality in the way that Martha's is, because Rose seems to get what she wants, or thinks she gets it: there's so much she doesn't know about the Doctor, but she thinks they're in it together.

Ten invites Martha in and then literaly tells her she's imposing on his privacy before she can find a place to sit down.

Argh, I know. The thing is, that whole first scene in the TARDIS is written as classic "protests too much." As Martha points out when Ten says "Don't think you're replacing her," she never said she was. It's *Ten* who's worried about that, who comes back for Martha when he could have just sailed away. The reasonable arc is that the Doctor does indeed move on from Rose--not *forget* her, but accept Martha. And RTD has to break every rule he's set up to tell a story that utterly contradicts itself.

It's probably too early to say, regarding Amy, but while Amy's life is certainly shaped by the Doctor, it's accidental, and it seems like Eleven is less dependent on her than Ten was on Martha. They seem like friends, basically.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on April 16th, 2010 03:39 am (UTC)
I was thinking more of the emotional dependence Ten had on Rose. And yes, Ten did seem to give Rose the big balloon, when she cried for the moon. It's rather insulting to women in general to suggest she's content with a substitute.
tempestsarekind: bananas are goodtempestsarekind on April 16th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
I don't even know what Rusty was thinking, with that ending. Granted, he doesn't seem to have the strongest sense that people in relationships should actually know one another, and not (say) the version of that person from a parallel universe, in which he would have had very different influential life experiences. But still, 10.5 is very clearly *not* an exact copy of Ten, because he's at least a little bit Donna. You can't just fob a different person off on Rose and expect that to be unproblematic.