Sunday, May 2, 2010

Doctor Who: I Made Him Say "Comfy Chairs"

River Song, River Song, River Song.

What are you up to? Oh yes, I have my suspicions about who it was you killed ("the best man you've ever known" - puhlease), but the thought is so unthinkable I daren't utter it. And besides, it would be a bit predictable - I would be very disappointed.

River Song, I find that I like you a helluva lot - but I don't trust you, despite your sexy red shoes.

There were a lot of elements I liked in this very dense episode - so much happened in this episode I think it's impossible to take in. I adore Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor. Emotion is always passing fluidly over his face - or sometimes in a torrent. It's so subtle and real - and when he gets angry (as it happened twice in this episode), I got shivers - he frightened me. And, even though I knew all the main characters had to survive, I was on pins and needles, eyes open wide, not blinking, afraid I'd miss a single thing.

I love what Moffat has done with the Doctor. He made so many mistakes in this story arch - it was nice. Gave him more dimensions.

And, the Doctor was put in danger. In the other weeping angel episodes, the Doctor never had to not blink, don't even blink.

And yet -

Sure the Doctor's been scared before - both 9 and 10 were scared. But they've never been so -- expressive about it. Like, here you can tell that the Doctor is scared: the crack in the wall (the end of the universe), being displaced in time without a TARDIS or outright killed when the entire universe is about to have never been --

I really liked Amy in this episode - she is so curious. I lost count how many times she demanded the Doctor to explain.

And then, when the angel is about to climb from her eyes:

Amy: So what's wrong with me?
Doctor: Everything. You're dying.
River Song: Doctor!
Doctor: Yes, you're right! If we lie to her she'll get all better!

So nice not having all that tired drama -- but even in the face of death, Amy Pond is so, so brave.

It turns out that, despite my puzzling over the angels in the last episode, they weren't really that important because time is being "unwritten."

Doctor: The angels can only kill you.
Amy: What does the time energy do?
Doctor: If the time energy catches up to you, you will never have been born. It will erase every moment of your existence. You will never have lived at all.

A never have been. That's terrifying - to just simply Not. No moments of amber for you! It's like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead:

Death is the ultimate negative. Not being.

Of course, Guildenstern was just talking about the regular angel death but that's besides the point! Time being unwritten is like that...not being and never been. No Tralfamadorians to see all your moments -- the good and the bad, at once. (Has the Doctor met the Tralfamadorians? I think he'd appreciate them - if they know that time isn't like beads on a string, that time is more or less wibbly wobbly - they could probably have some very decent conversations.)

Remarkable Moments

Doctor: A forest in a bottle on a space ship in a maze -- have I impressed you yet, Amy Pond?

First, I was just gonna say that I love the way he said this and the phrasing - it's like a nursery rhyme, which seems to be a central theme in this series (the mature childishness of Amy, the raggedy-doctor mythos she created, etc). Also, I love the idea of a forest on a space ship - when I saw the movie Sunshine I wanted glass walls with a little jungle inside them.

But, now I think the quote is interesting on another level. The Doctor mentions Amy's last name at least once per episode. 9 and 10 never or rarely mentioned their companions' last names (Donna's was mentioned more but it was "Noble" and Donna was noble so it was more making sure the audience got the metaphor, you know?). What's also of interest is in the first and this last episode, the Doctor has been obsessed with duck ponds without ducks.

There is something up with (P)ond(s), and I would very much like to know what it is.

Bishop: Dr. River Song, I've lost good clerics today. Do you trust him?
River Song: I absolutely trust him.
Doctor: He's not some sort of mad man then.
River Song: I absolutely trust him.

Ha! Never, ever forget that the Doctor is a mad man with a blue box!

Amy: Doctor I'm five! I mean...five.

Amy counting down was possibly one of the tensest moments of the episode for me - especially when she was smiling and or giggling while she did it.

Doctor: [On seeing the crack in the wall and being caught by angels] Oh that's bad. Ah, that's extremely very not good...Good and not so good. Oh this isn't even a little bit good.

No real reason to put this up, other than I love the language. It's so much cleverer than, this sucks.

Remember how I said that the 11th Doctor is so expressive? When he's figuring out what's wrong with Amy and he realizes that "There's an angel in her mind!" he

claps his hands over his mouth. I don't know why, I really liked it. He uses his hands very well.

Doctor: [trying to figure out how to seal the crack in the universe] A complicated space-time event should shut it up for a while.
Riversong: Like what, for instance?

This is the thing I was talking about with what kind of hero the Doctor is - he's genuinely upset and angry when he realizes this -- there's no heroic gestures for the greater good - because there really is no greater good. His death would be in vain and what would happen to the earth - not to mention the ENTIRE universe - when he Never Beens? When somebody has lived for nine hundred odd years, you do an awful lot of saving - an awful lot of saving that would be nonexistent.

Anyway, chills again.

Doctor: [when Amy wondered why she could remember the people who became Never Beens]: You're a time traveller now. Changes the way you see the universe. Forever. Good, isn't it?

This is what literature - Story -- is to me. Changing the way I see the universe.

River: You'll see me again quite soon - when the Pandorica opens.
The Pandorica - huh. That's a fairy tale.
[laughs] Aren't we all?

Oh Moffat you clever bastard - science fiction fairy tales? Oh dear deity, make it so.

Perhaps the most tender part of the episode:

Doctor: Amy - you need to start trusting me. It's never been more important.
Amy: But you don't always tell me the truth.
Doctor: If I always told you the truth I wouldn't need you to trust me...Now listen - remember what I told you when you were seven?
Amy: No...what did you tell me?
Doctor:That's not the point...You have to remember --"
Amy: Remember what?

And, even as he's comforting her - he looks so heartbroken. His eyes are wet, but he's not crying. And she doesn't remember. She doesn't remember!

The Bit that I Can't Decide is Remarkable Or Not:

And then the end of the episode made me eat my words. And boy did I hate doing that, especially since I was laughing while Moffat shoved them down my throat.

And it was hysterical. Hysterical.

I still haven't determined if the circumstances are interesting enough to warrant the kiss, but I still think the reason she did it is ... fresh.

Doctor: [as she's throwing herself at him] Amy, listen to me, I am 907 years old, do you understand what that means?
Amy: It's been a while?
Doctor: No, I'm 907 and look at me I don't get older I just change - you get older I don't and this can't ever work.
Amy: Oh you are sweet, Doctor - but I wasn't suggesting anything quite so...long term.
Doctor: But you're human! You're Amy! You're getting married in the morning!

Even though she wants to have a snog and a bit more with the Doctor, it's not like she's expecting him to have a relationship with her - in comparison to Martha and Rose. And I think Friends With Benefits can be a good thing (a la Stranger in a Strange Land) so...maybe this won't suck.


Especially since I listened to an interview where both the actors who play the two of them agreed that the Doctor and the Companion are best mates and that a romance between them is...tired. long this doesn't turn into a rom/angst fest I'm happy.

ETA: I know that there are some people who think there is more going on than Amy wanting a quick fling - I myself tend to lean in that direction as well because it is /so/ out of the blue, but I kind of want it to be a plot thing (not a mere device mind you) - a symptom of the something that is not right with Amy -- but at the same time, I kind of think it would be nice where sex can be more Stranger-in-a-Strange-Landish. Maybe as an asexual I just don't know what I'm talking about.

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