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21 July 2007 @ 12:16 am
second thoughts on "Gridlock"  
Oh, okay, fine.

As I thought about "Gridlock" yesterday, I figured that the scene I had problems with, Martha's "You have your songs and your hymns, and I have the Doctor" bit, would make more narrative sense after seeing the season in full. Which it did. So I guess I am reluctantly more okay with it. Yes, she hasn't really known him long enough, but it's another instance where the needs of Martha's character seem to get set aside in favor of the plot. (See also "watches, fob.") I guess I should keep this in mind for the capsule scene in "42" as well.

I am NOT, however, saying anything about the Face of Boe. la la la I can't hear you.

But I suppose I'll always forgive this episode a lot for two things. One is the Doctor's "I was too busy showing off"--a rare moment of self-awareness for Ten. And the other, of course, is the last scene. As a New Who fan, I just don't have the same connection to Gallifrey as others, but I am a sucker for nostalgia. And the Doctor really, finally, confronting this loss, even just a bit, really got to me. Plus David Tennant, in both the first scene and the last, really did a good job with getting that across.

And Martha, of course. I liked her from "Smith and Jones," but that last scene was where she clicked for me. I love the way she's no-nonsense about things, the way she wants explanations ("But how does it travel in time?"), even if she doesn't always get them, and that's absolutely showcased here. And, actually, I love the way her need for proof (she'll accept that the TARDIS is a space ship, but it doesn't necessarily follow that it travels in time) exists alongside her absolute wonder for the things that she sees or hears about, like the Doctor's description of Gallifrey at the beginning of the episode. Plus that "You've got me--is that what he meant?" exchange just before broke my heart a little, even this early in the season. First the Doctor invites her along on another trip without her having to say anything (he likes her!), then she finds out that he's just taking her to places he went to with Rose (he's just using her for company!), then that scene... Oh, no. If I keep writing, I'm going to write myself into sympathy with that ridiculous "sometimes I think he likes me" coversation in the Dalek two-parter. I'd best stop.

As an aside to all the Doctor-Martha relationship meta that the season provoked, I found it interesting that the Doctor exclaimed at one point, "That's Martha. I knew she was good!" His attitude goes from the "I will find her alive and well" at the beginning, through to "...if she's still alive" with Novice Hame, to "I knew she was good." He's just gotten confirmation of her ability to survive without him, which is important throughout the season as well as at the end. But also, the spontaneity of the praise surprised me, because after "Lazarus" ("Martha Jones, you're a star"), I don't think he does that any more. I don't really know what to make of that, or if anything needs to be made of it, but right there, in that moment, we get everything we *need* to know (as opposed, perhaps, to everything I'd like to see) about the Doctor's opinion of Martha. But, perhaps crucially given the end of the season and the return of those words, Martha doesn't hear it, this time. Hmm. Maybe that will allow me to mellow a bit on this issue. (Though I already have somewhat. Probably shouldn't have posted five minutes after watching the finale.) (I do think, though, that RTD can also be blamed for my lack of mellowness, since he was quoted as saying that Martha would justify the Doctor's faith in her in the finale--as though she hadn't been doing that since *at least* this episode, though I say she started when she gave her last breath to save him in "S&J." Hmph.)

Oh! I nearly forgot the third thing about this episode that would always win my forgiveness: David Tennant plus kittens. Yay.
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