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12 June 2010 @ 06:21 pm
The Lodger  
Well, that was gleefully ridiculous!

Also, the Eleventh Doctor is indeed rubbish as a human, but in an entirely different way. And he tries so hard, bless him.

Incidentally, the actress playing Sophie was one of the Miss Steeles in the recent Sense and Sensibility miniseries. Amusingly, I could hear the accent in my head every time I looked at her, but couldn't remember why. (Which is odd: it's not as if there are a ton of candidates!)

I feel like just listing all the adorable bits would be kind of tedious for any readers (though if you want to list them in comments, go right ahead!), but I do have one sort of meta-comment:

As much as I think the logic is rather shaky, I do quite like that in the end, the thing that saves the day is...people who want to stay put. The show has tended to favor those people who want to see the stars--as makes sense; it's a show about adventuring and time travel. But that has tended to come with an inability to imagine that life on earth, the everyday, is worth living. Oh, we get the speeches, the idea that a day-to-day existence is the one adventure the Doctor can never have--but we also get a string of characters who can only leave the TARDIS through implicit rejection (Mickey: "It's always gonna be Rose, and never me"; Martha: "He never looked at her twice") or tragedy (Rose, Donna). Mickey is portrayed as a terrified idiot in his first appearance, and his journey toward being a "hero" (quotation marks because Mickey became a hero for me the instant he stepped in front of Jackie and tried to hold off an alien with a chair, to give her time to escape) requires him to travel aboard the TARDIS; his on-earth work is disparaged, since he's nothing but the tin dog. (Which is clearly deflating and derogatory in context.) In two of these cases (Donna and Martha), we wind up in this position despite initial claims that the character is focused on her life on earth: Donna explicitly rejects Ten's offer of travel the first time round, in favor of learning how to be magnificent on her own, to "walk in the dust." When she returns, of course, we learn that in fact, she couldn't quite manage that, and chooses to stay with the Doctor "forever." Her marriage at the end of the specials is presented to us as a failure, as a letdown, one that's so heartbreaking to her grandfather that he has to chase the Doctor down: she could be so much better than this.

Martha, on the other hand, was always going to be a doctor, and she talks about her adventures throughout season three as though she knows they're finite. Yet she leaves the TARDIS the first time because she has to get away from the Doctor, not to go be a doctor. (Note: no disrespect to Miss Jones; you know I love her, and I love that's she's honest about all the reasons she chooses not to keep traveling with Ten. I'm just saying that Russell had already written an "out" into the character; he didn't need to use the unrequited love thing to get her to leave.) When she leaves the second time, in season four, we again have her doing it for reasons that have nothing to do with her overtly stated ones: she's got a job with UNIT, and a(n invisible) fiance; she's "got a whole big world" of her own. But Russell still needed to make her return trip to the TARDIS so awful that she wouldn't want to stay on board, because he couldn't quite imagine that anyone would choose to stay in one place. (And if we want to take the marriage thing farther, it's perhaps significant that Martha gets passed off onto Mickey despite their never exchanging words with each other in canon [if I'm wrong, please correct me], because--well, how could she marry anyone with an earthbound life, like Tom? How could she ever choose to settle like that, if even working as a doctor for UNIT isn't close enough to the alien action in Russell's view, and she has to "freelance" and fight?)

Which, you know, whatever. Bygones. But I liked that alongside the adventurers, the Doctor is forcing Sophie and Craig to choose to stay where they are: not because they can't do better (as that scene on the couch points out), but because they want to.

And because it is always worth doing: RORY WE MISS YOOOOU. I heard you, Doctor, very much NOT answering Amy's comment about finding her a man--oh, yes, the TARDIS just happened to be acting up right then. Also, the engagement ring is back out in the open! *bites fingernails*

I love how I'm so much less concerned with the All Epic Hands On Deck, Epically going on in the trailer for next week than I am with what is going to happen with Rory.

Also, now I really want an omelette.
stoplookingup: eleven amy rory benchstoplookingup on June 13th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
Yes, this. All of it.

tempestsarekind: freema squeetempestsarekind on June 13th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
I got to the end of the episode and just went, "Yay!" And then, being me, I had to write about it. :)
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 13th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
I hate, hate, hate, seeing all these wonderful previews --On You-tube, not LJ, and having to wait it out. I don't get BBC/BBC America at all. What's with the wait-especially if I really wanted to see it, I could go to a number of websites and catch it there. Geeze. I hope with Eleven the stories get to a point where traveling with the Doctor makes the Humans companions --like Jo, like Sarah Jane, Liz, all did -- realize how wonderful being human is. Of course, you have to get a writer who really believes that!
tempestsarekind: martha + ten + TARDIStempestsarekind on June 13th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't really get the wait times, either, given that BBC America isn't editing the episodes (at least not for the first showing): they shouldn't have to do anything to them. Maybe there's some kind of clearance agreement or something, that they have to be vetted before they can be shown on US television? I don't know why that would be the case, but it is peculiar.

There have been some encouraging signs this season; even in "Amy's Choice," the Doctor's view of everyday life as "dull" gets challenged. So I hope that sort of thing continues! There's nothing wrong with wanting to see what's out there--but you can do that without also disparaging what happens on earth.
Jay the Nerd Kid - Elitist Internet Royaltybewarethespork on June 13th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
tempestsarekind: amy pondtempestsarekind on June 13th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
It's like, I actually don't care what else happens! My expectations for season finales aren't that high, anyway, so that isn't exactly surprising, but if I can forgive pretty much any misguided, over-the-top stuff that might go on, given enough time. I'm only worried about one thing.
clean all the things!!!: amy pondthepresidentrix on June 13th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC)
Oh, I completely adored this episode, and I'd listen to you talk about it just as long as you wanted to! In sum, though:

1. Eleven was DORKTASTIC! So completely precious. I want him to come be my neighbor. Even if it would involve awkward, seriously distracting encounters with his lovely pale naked torso!

2. Just as you say: so nice to see The Doctor show affection for an ordinary bloke - somebody without a Companion's charm and pluck and wanderlust and inexaustible courage. Eleven was so tender with poor, dopey, wonderful, loveable Craig. (Craig? Am I right?) He's such a little tornado of contradictions, this Doctor. All prickly and self-involved one minute, but then kindly and quite nakedly caring the next. It's funny, but when I look back on Ten and his feelings about individual humans, what I remember most is more akin to admiration than, well, love. Not that Ten didn't love Martha and Donna and Rose and Wilf. I'm sure he did. But what I mostly remember is Ten leaping about, monologuing and being all, 'Oh you ridiculous, fantastic human beings! Watch as I stagger about and monologue about you all!' Eleven, on the other hand, kind of grudgingly, helplessly takes care of people. He comes running to help them, with only a towel and a toothbrush. He practically keens when his friends are in trouble. There was the little moment from the beginning of this episode, after the Doctor was hurled out of the disappearing TARDIS and left behind. He just sits there for a second, lamenting: 'Amy... Amy...' And I was thinking to myself: why is it that I never for one moment think Eleven is in love with Amy, when he's obviously so completely taken with her and so cut to the quick whenever anything happens to her? And I came to the conclusion that it's the open depth of his feeling, itself, that makes me think so. He's so completely unhesitating in his affection toward her. There's nothing concealed or repressed or sublimated about it. In this way, he's more like a parent with a child than he is like man in love.

I got side-tracked. I was talking about my favorite parts of this episode...

3. The Doctor recruits a kitteh!

4. Craig and Sophie were a truly memorable couple. Sophie continually reminded me of Emma Thompson. I kept hoping I'd find out she's a relative. (But no).

5. In conclusion: waaaah, Rory... Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I NEED RORY BACK.
clean all the things!!!: worse than anybody's auntthepresidentrix on June 13th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
ETA: I forgot: 'NONE OF THIS ANNIHILATIONS I AM TEH DOCTOR I AM THE ONCOMING STORM oh you meant beat them at the football?'
tempestsarekind: eleven is awkwardtempestsarekind on June 13th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, absolutely--I loved that bit! (Appropriate icon is appropriate.) And--again on the meta-level--I love it that they're sort of deconstructing the whole Oncoming Storm thing with that, too; it's positioned as laughable in this instance.

(Incidentally--off of your other comment--I think it's interesting that Eleven gets all Oncoming Storm to prevent annihilation, not to cause it. Ten was very much about wreaking vengeance, it often seemed.)
tempestsarekind: eleven and amytempestsarekind on June 13th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Well, I did think it would result in my going, "Remember that scene? It was adorable! And then remember the scene that came next? It was adorable too!" But all the bits you point out are fab. I love that the Doctor tries to disguise what he's been doing: "Lots of people talk to cats!" Yes, but not like that. (And his attempt at playing the disaffected artist, just after, is so, so unconvincing.)

As for the rest of your comment, I *heart* it. Especially point 2, which is so spot-on. I love how Eleven interacts with ordinary people. And Craig is especially ordinary--and there's no "Not her, she'd hold us up," or "I only take the best"; Eleven says to him, with matter-of-fact tenderness, "You're important."

That whole scene is fantastic: Eleven is basically a crotchety old man with the impulse control of a toddler ("Can you hold? I have to eat a biscuit"), and he's grumbling away about Craig's behavior like he's chastising a child--but when it comes down to it, he's really quite gentle and worried. As you point out, he can't help it. (I mean, he's the Doctor. And I believe it of Eleven in a different way.)

what I mostly remember is Ten leaping about, monologuing and being all, 'Oh you ridiculous, fantastic human beings! Watch as I stagger about and monologue about you all!'

This bit cracked me up, but it's so true, as well. Ten admires and loves humans in the abstract, but he's not actually all that good at caring about what they want or need. Eleven doesn't make the big speeches about how awesome humans are (and I've read complaints about Eleven, that "he doesn't love us humans" as much as Ten, because of that--but I prefer actions to words, I think), and he's simply awful at basic social interaction, but he cares so deeply about individuals. He's rooting for Craig and Sophie to get together; he really is a little matchmaker.

Also--argh, Eleven's "why is Amy gone?" face totally breaks me. He doesn't yell or scream, and I think it's all the more affecting because we can still see that the emotion goes all the way down.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 13th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Just seen the previews for the finale: At least it didn't say Bad Wolf on the piece of the TARDIS police sign. Wonder when that fell off?

On the comment about Eleven's feelings for Amy: very much avuncular but loving and very much in line with the classic Doctor's fondness for his humans companions. In those days we humans always exceeded his expectations and he loved us more than he thought. I like Matt's range of emotions. He's raw and earnest, but not scary. You want to hold his hand the same way you would hold a parents hand or an older sibling when you're both scared, but you know mummy, daddy, or big bro will do everything in his power to keep the monsters away. Watched him last night when Amy got sucked in. And then there is the sex appeal thing -- that is not quite there but not absent, but, in my case maybe that is because Matt is almost young enough to be my grandchild! With Ten-- well, skinny enough to hug and give one a paper cut or not, David, when he's quiet, just oozes sensuality. That scene of Ten waiting for Martha at the end of the alley in Smith and Jones is still the sexiest thing ever on Who. Well second -- Nine and the Tree Lady -- that was just toe curling. Third is just wrong: Yeah it's the Master. But Matt's appeal is very different. He has moments with promise, but there is still something about him that is very much an earnest, sweet, and bright young boy, but that feel is pitch perfect for the Doctor. Yu expect an alien to have more honest, unchecked reaction to new sensations.
tempestsarekind: eleven is awkwardtempestsarekind on June 13th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
He's raw and earnest, but not scary.

Yes--I think that earnestness is so key to Eleven; Ten was (and I'm borrowing this from a quote in that Doctor Who book I'm reading now) very "been there, done that," but Eleven is just so engaged in what's happening, and he responds to it very honestly.

And he's much less flirtatious, too--as you point out. His interactions with Amy are very fond and loving, but he briskly calls her "Pond" instead of purring things like, "It's been quite a while since I saw you, Martha Jones."
Constant Readerskirmish_of_wit on June 13th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. You heard the accent; I saw the costume and couldn't remember which Austen production it was from!

Also: ELEVEN. ♥ Matt Smith is so spectacular.

I have to say, when Craig went "upstairs" to check on the neighbor, and there was just the edge of an old man, my first thought was William Hartnell. Like, we were going to discover that the Doctor's past had indeed been rewritten and now One was a homicidal maniac.
tempestsarekind: your strange behavior puzzles marthatempestsarekind on June 13th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
Hee. If only we'd watched it together, we could have solved the whole costume drama equation at one time!

Whoa. That would have been terrifying! I'm glad it was just some weird protocol robot gone wrong, or whatever it was (I...may have forgotten the plot a bit, what with all the cuteness going on).

I'm just loving Eleven to bits. I thought I would miss Ten terribly, but I don't, because every week I'm so happy to see what Eleven has gotten up to. And he's so cranky and dear and absentminded and strange.