Friday, April 30, 2010

Hot Women in Science Fiction

Trudy Chacon from Avatar

Even though the dialogue in this movie is about as generic as the plot (except for the creation of the Na'vi language), Trudy still stood up and saidNo when almost everybody else was saying Yes to slaughtering innocents just because it was orders.

That takes so much courage, worthy of admiration.

I've been thinking a lot about those kinds of situations lately. Sometimes, I wonder if I have the moral fiber to say no, when people should say no. I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be Amy Pond, overcome by so much fear that she became culpable for the sins of thousands before her. I don't want to be the entire classroom in The Chocolate War as Brother Leon bore down with staggering force against a small boy named Bailey. I want to be Jerry, before he agreed to stoop to their level. I want to be the Goober, who stopped playing football. I want to be Trudy, who defiantly took her finger off the trigger.

I don't know why all the good people always have to die.

Gender Bender: Avatar

Even though Avatar is not the most unique story ever told, I think there are some really surprising elements to it.

Though I think that both Jake and Neytiri are generic characters (not annoyingly so but not worthy to be included in my Hot People in Science Fiction lists), I think that there were still some spectacular moments of gender bending that make Avatar a little more interesting than just a panorama of beautiful imagery (which I believe is an integral part of story telling; actually, I think the story which the images tell is what saves this film from being merely shrugworthy). I thought it was really interesting when the father told Neytiri to protect The People, since in earthling perspectives, the role of protector is usually masculine, something that is passed down from father to son. I also think it's interesting in the scope of Na'vi culture as well - after all, if I understand it correctly, Neytiri was supposed to inherit her mother's role as the spiritual leader, not the role of her father.

Another moment that I appreciate for its gender bending is here:

So often (not so much now, I suppose, especially in science fiction, but I think it's still a popular perception) you see images of women as weak - frail, swooning into the arms of a masculine presence (James Cooper, I'm glaring at you). The conception is that men protect women, the fairer vessel. But here, the roles are reversed. It's Jake who is weak, Neytiri who is supporting him, protecting him.

I find it to be a beautiful image, possibly my favorite element of the movie. Not only because of it's gender bending -- it's just...tender, accepting -- I see you -- I grok you, acknowledging an individual, a person, something that exemplifies the very best of us.

Doctor Who: Mr. Grumpy Face

Doctor Riversong is possibly one of the most intriguing female characters on the show. I still haven't decided if I like her - but I think I kind of like that.

I can't really comment much on the story itself because The Time of Angels is one of those tantalizing two parters, but some really interesting character elements were at work.

First, I still can't figure out what kind of hero the Doctor is. By hero, I of course mean an archetypal hero, and I love that.

He's not a traditional hero because he definitely has a bit of the bad boy in him - he did, after all, steal the T.A.R.D.I.S. But, even when he says things like,

I can run away from anything I like -- Time is not the boss of me!

One would think that would be very anti-heroish, except the Doctor has very many admirable qualities and doesn't really fit the definition of an anti-hero. His moral fiber is just too strong to fit.

I especially love the 11th Doctor - he's so serious and intense, it's like his very soul is vibrating. Yet he is so...child-like as well. Observe, when Dr. Riversong flew the T.A.R.D.I.S:

River: Use the stabilizers!
Doctor: It doesn't have stabilizers!
River: The blue switches.
Doctor: They don't do anything - they're just blue.
River: Yes, they're blue, they're the blue stabilizers. See? [The TARDIS stops shaking like it's about to fall apart]
Doctor: Yeah - well it's just boring now isn't it? They're blue Boring-ers!
Amy: "Doctor, why can she fly the TARDIS?"
Doctor You call that flying the TARDIS? Ha!
River: Parked us right along side!
Doctor: Parked us? We haven't landed.
River: Of course we've landed, I've just landed her.
Doctor: But it didn't make the noise.
River: What noise?
Doctor: You know the -- [mimics TARDIS engines]
River: It's not supposed to make that noise. You leave the brakes on.
Doctor: Well, it's a brilliant noise, I love that noise.

Yes, Doctor, the sound of the universe!

And, then he says stuff like this:

Whoo you lot you're everywhere, you're like rabbits! I'll never be done saving you.

He sounds so - wearied.

But, as I was saying, I don't believe the Doctor fits any of the archetypal heroes I've learned about in my myth class. And I really love that - I think it's bloody fantastic. It makes him so much more real, more alien -- more interesting.

Enough about the Doctor. Let's talk about Amy - magnificent Amy.

She is so brilliant. She is better than Rose who would have wailed for the Doctor if she ever found herself trapped with a weeping angel. Better than Martha who ... I'm not really sure what she would have done. I think she would have probably focused more on why she shouldn't stare into the angel's eyes instead of actually focusing on the bit that turned off the angel like Amy did. Donna would have just mouthed off at it.

But Amy was magnificent. Snuffed it.

Yet, for all her smarts, she doesn't let people know that something is wrong - like when the sand fell out of her eye. Yet, maybe she didn't even see the sand before it disappeared. Hm.

I loved it when she thought her hand had turned to stone and she said,

I don't need you to die for me Doctor - do I look that clingy?

Which is, of course, a direct slap at Rose who was incredibly clingy and bit of a commentary on Martha who fell in love with the Doctor.

I have to admit, when I saw that Riversong (who may or may not be the Doctor's future wife) return, I was bracing myself for Amy to be jealous. But she wasn't - she was so thrilled with Riversong. She wanted her to be the Doctor's wife.

It's so refreshing not to have a companion tumble head over heels in love with the Doctor.

And then I braced again during the course of the episode, hoping that they wouldn't have the Doctor kiss Amy to snap her out of thinking that her hand was turned to stone (Tennant got an obscene amount of on screen snogging time so I think my fear was justified). But no!

He bit her with his "space teeth"! How magnificent is that? I was delighted, absolutely delighted. (Though, I recently heard a rumor that there would be a future kiss between 11 and Amy - hoping it's just a false little thing, or if they do kiss, there are some really interesting circumstances surrounding it).

And of course, typical Moffet style, a little jab at Religion. The church, in this episode, is essentially a military organization with clerics carrying guns instead of soldiers. When explaining this to Amy the Doctor says,

It's the 51st Century - the Church has moved on.

Which, of course, is simply a commentary on how the Church is simply an organization attempting to control people. Hopefully in our 51st Century, people will have wizened up enough to realize faith is just believing things for unreasonable reasons, and the Church will have to come face to face with this unpleasant truth as it realizes unfounded superstitions are no longer adequate to coerce people into cooperating with their moral standards.

Let's talk about villains. I believe that the weeping angels are potentially the scariest villains in the Doctor Who 'verse.


This is a weeping angel:

Looks safe, doesn't it? Just an angel.

Its real face:

As it's about to do nasty things to you. If you're lucky, it'll just displace you in time and feed on the possibility of your life. Or it just might kill you. Either way - it's dangerous.

The weeping angels are stone when they are seen by someone else. It's only when you blink or turn your back that they are truly alive.

A crazy man writing about the angels said,

What if we had ideas that could think for themselves, what if one day our dreams no longer needed us? When these things occur and are held to be true, the time will be upon us - the time of angels.

And I'm trying to figure out how this works with the idea of the angels -- stone in front of your eyes, alive behind your back. The idea is sort of like that quote from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the one that goes

All your life you live so close to truth it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye. And when something nudges it into outline, it's like being ambushed by a grotesque.

And the angels are certainly grotesque - but I'm not really sure how they fit with the whole your subconscious doesn't need a conscious presence to express it.

And then the Doctor says that their image is their power -- how does that fit with everything else? I honestly have no idea but I find the quotes fascinating - and I hope that the second part will illuminate things a little more.

Which, by the way, is what makes the angels so scary. Daleks and Cybermen are easy to figure out. One's a hate mongrel, the other is just borgs on steroids. But the Angels -- they really make a person think.

Remarkable Moments

Her past, my future. Time Travel - we keep meeting in the wrong order

To me this hints at the quintessential elements of science fiction. Time travel shouldn't be a plot device to save the crew of the current Star Trek vessel from some kind of evil plot thing - it should be something more. I can't even explain - but there seems to be so much more than the words, but I just can't articulate it. It's just out of reach ---

The Doctor knows the importance of words:

The lost language of the Time Lords: there were days, there were many days -- these words could burn stars and raise up empires, and topple gods.

Wow. No really, wow. That is the most fabulous description I have ever seen. It speaks of the the amazing possibility of language, truly demonstrating how the pen is mightier than the sword. No wonder the Doctor has an entire library in the T.A.R.D.I.S. And he has all the time to read them - if he wasn't too busy saving people.

Look at those bad girls! Those are amazing shoes - nothing I could ever wear for an extended period of time but gosh! They're beautiful!

This is just after he explains what kind of creatures the angels are. Such an interesting smile, intense and just a little bit odd -- a queer little smile, the smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Chocolate War: A Discourse

I honestly have no idea why I have never read this book before now.

I decided to simply read a new book for my thematic unit instead of going with something I've already read. Stay the cries of "Overachiever You Wench" because I was simply drawing a blank about stories that were about inhibited identity.

I really like The Chocolate War because it demonstrates how flawed social structures can become, how dangerous tradition can be, and how important it is for just one person to have the guts to say no. I also like how real the book was - there was no closure, no happy ending - Cormier didn't provide the message people wanted to hear, he didn't lie to the audience.

It was staggering. It was relentless.

It was a total downer.

And I appreciate that. I love that, even as it makes me uncomfortable, even as I howl like some kid -- it's not supposed to end like that.

One of the most powerful scenes in the book is this right here:

[Brother Leon has accused Bailey of cheating] "But look at the evidence, Bailey. Your marks -- All A's, no less. Every test, every paper, every homework assignment. Only a genius is capable of that sort of performance. Do you claim to be a genius, Bailey?" Toying with him. "I'll admit you look like one -- those glasses, that pointed chin, that wild hair..."

Leon leaned toward the class, tossing his own chin, awaiting the approval of laughter, everything in his manner suggesting the response of laughter from the class. And it came. They laughed. Hey, what's going on here, Jerry wondered even as he laughed with them.


Brother Leon whirled around. "Are you perfect, Bailey? All those A's -- that implies perfection. Is that the answer, Bailey...Only God is perfect, Bailey."


Cut it out, Brother, cut it out, Jerry cried silently.


A voice boomed from the rear of the classroom. "Aw, let the kid alone."


Brother Leon regarded them pityingly, shaking his head, a sad and dismal smile on his lips. "You poor fools," he said. "You idiots. Do you know who's the best one here? The bravest of all?" He placed his hand on Bailey's shoulder. "Gregory Bailey, that's who. He denied cheating. He stood up to my accusations. He stood his ground! But you, gentlemen, you sat there and enjoyed yourselves. And those of you who didn't enjoy yourselves allowed it to happen, allowed me to proceed. You turned this classroom into Nazi Germany for a few moments. Yes, yes, someone finally protested...A feeble protest, too little and too late....You did well, Bailey. I'm proud of you. You passed the biggest test of all -- you were true to yourself....Of course you don't cheat, Bailey," his voice tender and paternal. He gestured toward the class..."Your classmates out there. They're the cheaters. They cheated you today. They're the ones who doubted you -- I never did."

I think -- that is one of my greatest fear. That I am that classmate who said nothing. Who did nothing. Apathy, stagnation, zombie.


I don't ever want to betray myself or my brethren. But sometimes...sometimes...I wonder...if I already have.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Doctor Who: The Case of the Jammy Dodger

I know that a lot of people are rutting tired of the Daleks. I'm not - I mean, I rather thought their appearance at the end of the fourth season was a little over the top, but I honestly didn't mind because of all the character interaction sizzling on the screen.

But this time, we learn something important: Amy doesn't remember the Daleks. I'm not sure if it's a personal thing or if something a little (a lot) timey-wimey happened on her earth. Interesting.

I love the emotion in this episode - when the 9th Doctor and 10th Doctor discovered the Daleks were not as dead as he thought they were - it was...well, the 9th Doctor tried to kill the Dalek while laughing gleefully (or maniacally), and the 10th doctor had a very emo moment, a "why do they always survive and I lose everything moment." But the 11th Doctor --


He knows these ironside canons are wrong and he knows they're Daleks even as they're asking, "WOULD YOU LIKE SOME TEA" (as opposed to their usual motto: exterminate, exterminate!) and he gets so angry - a cold, burning anger that gave me chills.

Finally he erupts - he whales on the Dalek with a force of hatred even as the Dalek ever so politely inquires, "You do not require tea?"

And then -- "You are everything I despise...I've defeated you time and time again, I've defeated you. I've sent you back into the void. I've saved the whole of reality from you! I am the DOCTOR AND YOU ARE THE DALEKS!"


And the Doctor's cleverness, his persistence, everything that makes him the Doctor - is his undoing. The Daleks win, the Doctor is defeated - all because he would not let it go, he wouldn't continue to pretend that they were brilliant weapons designed to win the war against the Third Reich.

And I love that because he's so clever and so smart that it could easily be used as a simple device -- I-Win-Button, Deus ex Machina -- but instead, it is the very thing that precipitates all the bad stuff that I'm sure will be coming up in forthcoming episodes.

Doctor Who also addressed the matter of androids - do androids dream of electric sheep? Winston Churchill demands of the professor/android - "I don't give a damn if you're a machine - are you a man?" Which is, of course, a theme Star Trek has explored in depth (only, in one 45 minute episode, Doctor Who handled it with so much more finesse).

But I love this thread because the writers chose to turn the Professor-Android into a metaphor, a symbol. The android may be a walking bomb about to detonate and destroy the earth, but it only takes him the realization that he is a man -- that he is human -- that the bomb is stopped; the Daleks have no power over him. He's the Tin Man with a human heart.

And, once again, Amy Pond - little Amelia Pond - saves the day. Her human-ness serves as a foil to the Doctor's alien-ness. Here he is, attempting to convince the android to become human by talking about war and death and friends dying in the trenches (really, the very worst of humanity) - but they aren't the right things to say - how could he say the right thing? And it is Amy who taps into the human condition with one simple question:

"Have you ever fancied someone you shouldn't?"

Isn't that just like us to want more than we have? And, at that same moment, it is the very thing that makes us so very very much alive.

Also, speaking of Amy Pond, I really love the relationship she has with the Doctor. For some reason, 9 and 10 were fixated on Rose, in love with her even though he refused to admit it. Yet, 11 shushes her at one point! And when he finds out she hasn't seen the Daleks, well:

Doctor: They invaded your world, remember. Planets in the sky, you don't forget that. [pause] Amy, tell me you remember the Daleks.

Amy: "Nope, sorry."

Doctor: "That's not possible."

And then he looks at her as if she's not quite human, but a puzzle to be figured out (which is a nice juxtaposition to how thrilled he is with her as he kisses her forhead when she initiates the android to the human race). I just loved this new dynamic they've added to the Doctor/Companionship relationship -- it's so much more complex and interesting.

(Other) Remarkable Moments:

[When the Daleks imply they are going to destroy London]

Doctor: This ship is a wreck - you don't have the power to destroy London.

Dalek: Watch as the humans destroy themselves.

Hello, Social commentary. It's so true. So who are the real monsters, eh? The Daleks who have been designed to be genocidal, genetic weapons -- or the people who destroy their neighbors, their friends?

[to the new and improved master daleks]

Doctor: Don't mess with me, Sweetheart.

11 is so much grittier and sharper and - I can't think of the word - a something. He's got it which, of course, is the hardest, most difficult thing to have.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Doctor Who: The World Must Know

It has often been said that the television show Torchwood is the Darker Version of Doctor Who.

But this episode touched on two ideas that Torchwood has previously explored - in greater depth and subtlety I think.

Towards the beginning, Liz 10 says, "There's a darkness in the heart of this space ship - it threatens every one of us."

Oh ho, says the viewer. Evil Monster Defeating Time with the doctor's mega brains. But no!

Because the darkness isn't "the beast below" as is implied by both the language and the dialogue, but it's the people. All the people in their little voting booths blithely pushing the forget button when they have to confront their darker history. It's like what we've been talking about in mythology, the shadow self, the beast in the center of the space ship labyrinth.

And, what's worse than the mind wipe ("democracy in action" as the Doctor called it) is that people don't talk about it. They don't question. They're not curious. And Amy calls them on it.

"And because you're not supposed to [talk about it] you don't?"

In this episode, we have people exploiting, torturing, and inflicting pain on sentient aliens for their own purpose or survival. The few who did protest or who were "citizens of limited value" were thrown into the belly of the whale. That's pretty dark in my book. But, I think even more than those two horrible things, is the idea that people would choose to forget, silent collaborators in a vicious atrocity. The idea that people would just automatically resort to exploitation.

The emotions on the Doctor's face were so overpowering and so - alien, even while being human. I loved Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, but he was too human. Matt Smith was...amazing. He was human and he was alien and he was terrifying.

"Nobody talk to me, nobody human has anything to say to me today!"

Shivers. Chills.

I love it.

Remarkable Moments.

I really love the lullaby theme they composed for Amy. It's adultish and childish - and just so...Amy. I love how flippant she is with the Doctor, so different from the other companions. Even though Donna called him out more than the other two (probably because she didn't want to get into his lovely pin striped trousers), Amy has a different vibe than Donna. Very child-like without being immature. Whereas Donna, of course, was middle aged.

The Doctor: "sorry, checking all the water in this area. There's an escaped fish." [taps nose]


The Doctor: [on what he is going to do] Stay out of trouble. Badly

Mischief managed, anybody?

Amy: "Is this how it works, Doctor? You never interfere in the affairs of peoples or planets...unless there's children crying."

Dawww. When this idea was revisted at the end of the episode, my soul got a little weepy. I admit it.

Amy: "Oh don't mind me! Never could resist a keep out sign."

I LOVE AMY POND! Look at this girl go! She's so curious - and she saves the day!

Amy: [on her upcoming wedding] "A long time ago tomorrow morning."

That language is so so beautiful.

Doctor: "The computer won't accept me as human."
Amy: Why not? You look human."
Doctor: No. You look timelord. We came first."
Amy: So there are other timelords?
Doctor: No, there were, but there aren't...just me now. Long was a bad day, bad stuff happened.

There was a similar scene when the 10th Doctor explained it to Martha. This, to me, hits me more deeply in the heart. The simplicity of it reveals the tragedy of it. Heartbreaking.

Doctor: "Hold tight. We're bringing down the government" [slams the protest button]

I'm sensing lots of social commentary here. And I love it.

Amy: "It came because it couldn't stand to watch your children cry. If you were that old, and that kind, and the very last of your kind, you couldn't just stand there and watch children cry."

The Doctor's face while Amy saves the day and explains - oh gods. Especially when juxtaposed to all of the humans and adults who just did nothing but ignore the tears, ignore everything but their own survival, no matter the cost.

Doctor: You could have killed everyone on this ship.
Amy: You could have killed a starwhale.

I just...I just...want to hug them both, and then they hug each other, and it's so sweet, and you can tell the Doctor's is just...overwhelmed with emotion, it's almost exhausting to watch because you can feel it too.

And a little lullaby:

In bed above where deep asleep
while greater love lies further deep
this dream must end, this world must know
we all depend upon the beast below.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I believe that my hair is my best feature. I liked it when it was red.

And now it's gone.

There wasn't any parking so I had to have my head shaved alone. This rather numbed me. There were throngs of people everywhere – the idea or concept of a personal space vanished.

Once I got into the pub, it was better. Mostly it was guys shaving their heads.

It was confusing for me because there was no structure, no lines. People came up to be shaved when they wanted to. When I managed to mingle my way through the front, an “oh” rippled through the crowd when they saw my hair and how long it was, how red it was, how pretty it was. Then, when I sat down, cheers. Hands high fived me. People thumbs upped me. Cameras flashed at me as both men and women crowded closer to the front.

A woman gave me a ten dollar bill right then and there because I was shaving off my long, beautiful hair.

I must have been the first girl to shave.

It was very embarrassing – and thrilling – to be put in the spotlight. When the barber put my hair in a pony tail and shaved it off, held it out to me, the crowd cheered again while I exclaimed over and over, “Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.”

I numbed again.

I must have looked lost – a man assured me it would grow again. Another woman jokingly offered me her beer.

Then I felt a buzzing in my skin, a whisper of metal against my ear. The tickle of the wind across my scalp, so gentle and tender and cold. Hair fell in swathes against my arm, down my neck.

“Oh, you look so pretty bald! Doesn't she look pretty!” To me again, “At least you can pull it off right?”


They handed me a mirror. And yeah, I did look good bald.

When I stood up again, the crowd whistled and cheered.

It was amazing...surreal. I wished I could have processed it more instead of going tharn.

But, I can feel the entire world on my head.

I need to write journal entries for one of my classes and I wrote one about why I shaved my head. I think some of it is relevant, and possibly of some interest to my readers. So here's some of it below (and professor D, if you somehow stumble across this, I swear I'm the same person!):

I believe that hair has socially constructed gender connotations. Women are supposed to have long hair, period. Evidence: a friend told me about an unspoken rule her friend experienced in a school district. If the hair's short, a woman should wear a skirt but if it's long, pants are okay - or else people would assume that one is lesbian (which also opens its own can of worms, but I've decided to focus simply on the hair). The skirt on short haired women is something that is also intrinsically feminine -- essentially becoming an x = y equation for femininity. Thus long hair becomes intrinsically feminine, allowing places like TDCJ to demand that their male employees cut their hair short while letting women keep their hair long and tied up above the collar (yet if a male member of TDCJ wished to grow his hair out and wear it like a woman employed by the state, he still would not be allowed to do that). I think that assigning this sort of gender value to hair is more harmful than healthsome. To continue the TDCJ observation, women are told that pony tails can be easily grabbed, so they should tuck it up. However, if a woman has a lot of hair, a bun (which adheres to regulations), is just as easy to grab and wrench (and if the pony tail doesn't go below the collar, it's still okay to wear it like that). Assigning such a value on hair is ultimately gender roled and, though they are attempting to treat women as equal, ultimately sexist because they are exempt from the rule that requires men to clip their hair. I want to fight that kind of gender allotment to hair. (Because I can.) Wow, all that and I didn't even really get into the Rapunzel fairy tale, but I think that that's (obviously) a wonderful tale illustrating just how long hair is plugged into femininity.

I also decided to shave it for charity. Personally, I don't know a child who has cancer – and only a distant relation of mine has cancer, so it seems a little weird I'd shave my head for a cause that really has no connection to me. I think I did it for several reasons – hair and cancer are inevitably intertwined and, from my observations above, gender is probably involved in the background. Also, I think that people get a lot of flak for being different, or for being sick – for example, when I was reading about people who had shaved their heads, one woman said that girls would flock by her, muttering that she looked like a cancer patient as if she were making a bad fashion statement. I find those kind of actions despicable. People who are different (whether by choice, illness, genetics, etc) should not be ostracized simply because of their difference. Even though I had a choice to lose my hair unlike many others, it shows empathy - that I wasn't afraid to lose what they had lost. I believe if people had more empathy, the world would be a better place.

The third big reason I decided to shave it is because I am a writer. Like I said once before on this blog, I think all writers should be like starlings, collecting new experiences like shiny flim-flam. I've never done anything like this before. I've never driven out of town for a hair cut. I've never fund raised. I've never had my hair cut shorter than my shoulders. I wanted to experience life – and be part of something that I've never been part of before. I think I accomplished that, though it would have been easier if there had been parking and no headache from congested, grid locked traffic. But, I think I'm glad I did it.

Still -- I have lost something - it's a quiet feeling, slightly tasting of isolation - a naked sort of feeling.

Live long and prosper.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Doctor Who: Hello to Everything Else

I have waited so long for Doctor Who to return.

First, after the tragic end of series 4, there was an entire year with only Specials to momentarily relieve the desperate need for more of the Doctor.

And not even all those specials were good (I mean, none of them actually sucked....but...ya know...). Yes, I'm looking at you, Davies, for making the Brave and Amazing Doctor-Donna faint. And for inserting the ridiculous Long Goodbye which was simply to indulge the wanking of a thousand fans.

But all is forgiven because the 11th Doctor is fantastic. I like him better than Tennant already - and I'm pretty certain that's sacrilege. I mean, don't get me wrong, Tennant was fantastic, but there's something about Matt Smith -- he's so gawky and lanky and adorable.

If only he wore those delicious glasses...

Also, Amy Pond as the companion. Brilliant! She hit the Doctor -- the DOCTOR! -- over the head with a cricket bat! How gutsy and amazing is that?

You know, there is another reason I like Doctor Who - it pokes fun at theism. Example: Amelia Pond prays to Santa. Even though it's Easter. And that's only one in a long line of humorous commentary on religion in general.

I always like the new Doctor episodes - because he's a brand new person, has to get used to himself. On trying to figure out what kind of food he liked:

"Apple's rubbish I hate apples.

[on trying bacon] Are you trying to poison me?

Beans are evil. Bad, bad beans!

bread and butter. now you're talkin. [throws plate outside] And stay out!

And he's so tender with his sonic screwdriver!

Come on, what's the bad alien done to you?

You almost expect him to kiss it better.

One of Tennant's trademarks as the 10th doctor was to say "what" multiple times when something unexpected happened - it appears in this episode, but it doesn't sound like the 10th doctor with a different face at all - I missed it the first time I watched it actually. Very impressive of Matt Smith I have to say.

When he meets Amy Pond again as an adult.

Amy: Then I grew up.
Doctor: Oh, god you never wanna do that.

Oh yes, 900 + years old with a Peter Pan complex!

He also has quite an ego problem - which somehow manages to be adorable and absolutely fitting since he's not exactly human. For example, when he saves the world (again):

No TARDIS, no screwdriver, two minutes to spare - WHO DA MAN!? [beat] Oh I'm never saying that again. Fine.

Actually, that's another nod to Tennant/10th doctor which I missed the first time. Hee.

And finally,

Listen to me, in ten minutes you're going to be a legend...but first you have to be magnificent You have to make them trust you and get them working. This is it, Jeff, right here right now, this is where you fly. Today's the day you save the world.