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28 June 2010 @ 05:05 pm
season wrap-up  
Cut just in case of very mild spoilers:

I cannot seem to stop flailing internally. Oh, show. My beautiful, brilliant, mad, ridiculous show. Doctor Who and I don't have a long history; I didn't watch it growing up, and even now I've still only seen one classic serial (though I'm working on that. just very slowly). So in some abstract way, I am grateful to Russell T. Davies for rebooting the show, because I wouldn't have had it otherwise, and I wouldn't have had all the bits that I loved about it under his tenure.

But the show this season has just felt like my show again: what I wanted it to be, free from a Doctor who is casually callous even toward the people he travels with; from the idea that the Doctor is the center of the universe and that he believes it, too; and from the idea that the only story worth telling is one that is tragic, regardless of how much you have to disregard or deform to get it to that point. It's felt like life and magic again, this season, not just noise. The Big Bang, not The Sound of Drums.

I love love love it: brave little Amelia in her red boots, first ready for the stars and then always knowing they were real; Amy Pond, far less grownup than she thinks she is, learning how to hope and trust; steady, patient Rory, who has always been a hero in his heart, even if he didn't know it. I love Karen Gillan's face and Matt Smith's strangely elegant gestures and Arthur Darvill's deadpan. And the Doctor--mad and distracted and sometimes very scary, short-tempered and oblivious and tender, who no longer wears his loneliness like armor but lets it, instead, soften his heart. So much quicker to cry than to rage, this Doctor; so much easier for him to connect to humans despite how much worse he is at playing one.

And the show itself makes me laugh out loud and want to cry, sometimes in the same scene; it goes from being utterly absurd to being utterly true in a way that's a little bit breathtaking (and envy-making, as well). Every episode hasn't been amazing ("Victory of the Daleks" is probably my personal low point). But oh, I have loved the ride.
 
 
 
La Reine Noire: Victorian Fanlareinenoire on June 28th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
And even 'Victory of the Daleks' had Daleks trying to serve the Doctor tea. Which is something. ;)
tempestsarekind: eleven and amytempestsarekind on June 28th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
Heh. Very good point. And he gets points for holding off a Dalek fleet with a biscuit.

(Ridiculously, I know that one of the reasons that episode gets as low a rating from me is that I'd really hoped that they wouldn't *be* Daleks--that the programming had been shorted out or something, and whether you can treat a Dalek like a Dalek if it doesn't know it is one, if it really thinks it's a machine doing its part for the war effort. Not that I would like the episode all that much without that, but the disappointment didn't help.)
La Reine Noire: Victorian Fanlareinenoire on June 28th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
Ridiculously, I know that one of the reasons that episode gets as low a rating from me is that I'd really hoped that they wouldn't *be* Daleks--that the programming had been shorted out or something, and whether you can treat a Dalek like a Dalek if it doesn't know it is one, if it really thinks it's a machine doing its part for the war effort.

That would have been really neat! Alas, not so much. But I love that he tackled the question of 'What would X historical figure do if given a futuristic weapon and what should the Doctor do about it?' Even if it was just a poorly paced episode in general.
tempestsarekind: bananas are goodtempestsarekind on June 28th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
Yes--it's perfectly logical that Churchill would be all "anything to win the war"; the episode itself is just never quite where it needs to be, somehow.
Jay the Nerd Kid - Elitist Internet Royaltybewarethespork on June 28th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
Tangent: let me know if you want Classic Who recs! :D I'll mostly rec you a whole lot of Seven serials, but I have favourites from a few of the Doctors that are on my must-rec list, so if you're interested on watching more but don't know where to start...
tempestsarekind: martha + ten + TARDIStempestsarekind on June 28th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
That would be really useful, actually; the combined amount of Who out there is rather daunting!
Jay the Nerd Kid - Elitist Internet Royaltybewarethespork on June 28th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Okay, rec time! Here are some of my favourites:

Dalek Invasion of Earth (One - though this serial is really, really long); Carnival of Monsters (Three); The Ark in Space (Four); Pyramids of Mars (Four); City of Death (Four - written by Douglas Adams!); Horror of Fang Rock (Four); The Caves of Androzani (Five); The Five Doctors (stand-in!One, Two, Three, Five and footage taken from an uncompleted Four serial); Dragonfire (Seven); Remembrance of the Daleks (Seven); The Happiness Patrol (Seven); Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Seven); Battlefield (Seven); The Curse of Fenric (Seven - if you only watch one Seven serial, this should be it!); Ghost Light (Seven - this one is confusing and takes multiple watches to understand); Survival (Seven; the final Classic Who serial).

And here are some that everyone always recs but that I either haven't seen or haven't seen in full:

An Unearthly Child (One); The War Games (Two); Inferno (Three); The Horns of Nimon (Four); Genesis of the Daleks (Four); Mark of the Rani (Six).

If you head over to doctoreleven, they're putting together a list of recs for a planned Classic Who weekly rewatch, so you'll find some good suggestions there too. :)
tempestsarekind: amelia pond (ready for adventure)tempestsarekind on June 28th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
Ooh, thank you!
Jay the Nerd Kid - Elitist Internet Royaltybewarethespork on June 28th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! :)
Constant Readerskirmish_of_wit on June 29th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
I'm just chiming in to say that "City of Death" is really amazing, includes a Hamlet reference that took me totally off guard and cracked me up, and in general just makes me really happy. Also, it is on Netflix streaming.
tempestsarekind: hamlet/horatio OTPtempestsarekind on June 30th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
Well, if it has a Hamlet reference... :)
Constant Readerskirmish_of_wit on June 29th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
YES to all of this, as I'm sure you could have guessed I would say! I just love this Team TARDIS so very much; they're brilliant and they make me want to just hug them all. In fact, now I want to go back and watch all of the Confidentials, none of which I've seen because I only ever watched them in the past because I'm a David Tennant fangirl and thought I wouldn't find them interesting. Then again, I didn't think I would find the show interesting without him either, and clearly I was very wrong about that. So very wrong.

I know that this season wasn't perfect, but OMG it was so close.
tempestsarekind: eleven is awkwardtempestsarekind on June 30th, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
Ha, I watched the first episode of this season's Confidential yesterday because I was seriously feeling Doctor Who withdrawal pains. (Matt Smith is adorable in the readthrough, because he keeps leaning across Karen Gillan to reach Caitlin Blackwood during their dialogue together. Also, he cheers like Kermit the Frog.) I stopped watching Confidential a while back (except for special ones, like the Pompeii episode), because so much of it seemed to be devoted to the Mill and CGI, but I've watched a couple of the Confidentials for this season--mostly because people keep posting about Matt and Karen and sometimes Arthur being goofy and cute.
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke: dw | brighter than sunflowersfaeriemaiden on June 29th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
I am so with you on the gleeful flailing! I just... can barely even believe this happened. My show made me happy all the way through! While I was mildly disappointed in some parts I did not experience blinding, nauseating rage! (...This should not be on the check-list. THANKS A LOT, RTD.) And now I just want to start over from the beginning and bask in the knowledge that I needn't worry, and look for clues and foreshadowing.

We got perfect, serendipitous chemistry this season -- the writing, the cast who interact so beautifully, the visuals (how much do I love all of the iconic images we've gotten?).

And I didn't know how badly my heart needed Eleven and his kindness until I got it. In his character, kindness wasn't a soft thing, as it is often portrayed: it was a sharp shining thing, forged from loneliness and injustice and grief.

And next year: NEIL GAIMANNNNN. *waves hands giddily* He posted a picture on his Twitter of him and Moffat and Some Other Producery Person sitting on a Couch of Discussion, him holding his Doctor Who script with his hand covering the title. GRRR.

Edit: I am also rather delighted that the show gave me most of what I was really hoping from, either from Moffat specifically or just from not!RTD: a sense of wonder, yes, and more playing with the nature of time, but also multi-companion stories, and children with important parts to play, and older women, and characters not all being from London. Heh.

Edited at 2010-06-29 03:22 am (UTC)
tempestsarekind: eleven and amytempestsarekind on June 30th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
And I didn't know how badly my heart needed Eleven and his kindness until I got it.

Heavens, yes. While I am pretty sure that there are some fairly large plot issues with "The Beast Below" (the whale eats people, what?) I'm always going to have a soft spot for it because it establishes that kindness so thoroughly. After a Doctor who had to be told to express sympathy to another being who had lost her entire race, it is so, so lovely to have a Doctor who croons at people and plies them with tea when they're sick.

Plus, oh, that episode is lovely to look at--as the season as a whole has been (as you point out).

I still think that the combination of Steven Moffat and Neil Gaiman is a thing I made up in my head, a little bit. The picture helped, though. :)