Sunday, June 5, 2011

Doctor Who: The Story That Almost Was

So I just finished watching "The Almost People." I know this must disqualify me from being a true fan, but ever since my publishing class, I'm reluctant to download something illegally.

No wait.

That bit's a lie to make me seem more respectable.

I actually just got tired of seeing my favorite telly cancelled for lack of viewership.

So I try to keep it all right and proper, straight and narrow, all on the level, as they say.

So, in general, I don't like reviewing double-parters (or, as in this instance, tri-parters) -- because it's just not fair to judge something without all the facts.

But I have to say, this arc with The Gangers -- just did not do it for me.

At all.

Character development was so, so shoddy. First Jen (both flesh and genetic) is a sweet girl, and then she turns into a genocidal maniac. Then into a weird, creepy-ass spider thing?

I don't know. It was like. Nuance is too hard! Let's go for monstrous instead!

Just. No.

That was boring.

And then don't even get me started on Miranda.

It's so boring having all these people yelling for someone to die. I mean, I know it happens in real life all the time, but story-telling is a chance to really delve and see why people get all rabid at the mouth for a good old fashioned genocide in the park.

And then her random change of heart? Because she's dying from a clot?

Say what?

So. Let's talk about Amy.

Amy. The Almost Person.

But, the entire episode has been about how the Almost People are actually People.

So -- why did the Doctor disintegrate her?

And the look on her face when Rory leaves her. That was. Heartbreaking.

And it seemed so unlike Rory to leave Amy -- flesh or genetic. I just.


That bothered me. It really, really bothered me.

And I'm trying to figure out how the Silence fit into everything -- but maybe that'll be explained in the finale. Which, yes, I'm waiting a week unless my will crumbles.

But, right now, I just can't help but wonder if Moffat has stumbled into a classic story-crafting blunder:

Trying to be astonishing in all the wrong ways.

Finding out that someone isn't who you thought they were isn't astonishing.

People encounter that every day of their lives.

And, I'm sorry, but the main anxiety regarding The Gangers wasn't moralistic -- wasn't, who's more human, who's more of a person -- it was

Who gets to be the boy's father?

Now, good fiction doesn't attempt to answer hard questions. It just proposes them.

Doctor Who answered that question by tidying everything up all nice and pretty. Gangers and humans survive --

but there is not a double to be seen to ask that terrible question because Jimmy and Miranda and the other one are dead, they're all dead.

And the Doctor destroys Amelia Pond, the Flesh.

There will be no one asking:

Who is the baby's mother -- and wouldn't that have been interesting, Amelia Pond, pregnant and not pregnant on the deck of the TARDIS, experiencing the labor and pain of birthing a baby she doesn't even have in her womb --

Who is the Doctor's companion --

Who is Rory's partner --

because she's gone.

And so, I am disappointed.

But not with Matt Smith. Because he bouncing back between Time Lord and Flesh was fantastic.

No comments: